HSSB1117: Titles cannot be randomly assumed
Seeing Gao Qing in rather low spirits, Yan Zhaoge too could not help but sigh.
Gao Qing’s second grandaunt was the second daughter of the Profound Sovereign Gao Qingxuan and the Dragon Spring Emperor Long Xingquan.
She was ranked second in seniority as a sibling of Gao Xuebo and Long Xueji.
As compared to Gao Xuebo who was constantly handling affairs on behalf of his parents who were in secluded cultivation and Long Xueji with his great reputation, this second grandaunt of Gao Qing’s was much more low key in comparison.
Yan Zhaoge had virtually never heard anything about her before in the World beyond Worlds.
On the one hand, she had kept a low profile. On the other, she was deceased. Thus, little information on her was available.
“Nine Heavens Soaring Solo Crane, Fragrant Splendour Fills Divine Lands…” Yan Zhaoge deliberately changed the topic, asking, “Are they the rumoured twin supreme heaven’s favoured from the Roving Jade Heaven in recent years?”
Gao Qing composed herself and nodded, “Right. Have you heard of them too, little apprentice-uncle?”
Yan Zhaoge replied, “There are some rumours regarding the Roving Jade Heavens in the World beyond Worlds. Still, these are mostly very brief.”
“The two of them are the most outstanding figures to appear in our Roving Jade Heavens after little apprentice-granduncle,” Gao Qing nodded and explained, “The latter half, ‘Fragrant Splendour Fills Divine Lands’, refers to little aunt, while the first half, ‘Nine Heavens Soaring Solo Crane’, refers to that disciple of Ashen Spirit Valley’s Cloud Emperor, Sword Shaking Nine Heavens He Mian. He has the title of Sacred Court Exalt as some also refer to him as the ‘Eight Heavens Exalt’.”
Yan Zhaoge burst out laughing, “Eight Heavens Exalt? What does that count for? Shouldn’t it be Nine Heavens Exalt?”
“Either be a bit more arrogant and be called Nine Heavens Exalt, or simply don’t. Now, he daren’t be called Nine Heavens Exalt and calls himself Eight Heavens Exalt instead. Isn’t it too much of a joke?”
The term ‘nine heavens’ was used to refer to the vast, endless skies.
Nine Heavens Exalt was virtually equivalent to being hailed as Heavenly Exalt.
This was a weighty title indeed.
The legendary bigwig, the Primordial Suppressing Immortal, had coexisted with the world, only paying respects to the heavens and the earth as he did not worship the three Purities.
While it was said that he only paid respects to the heavens and the earth, it was actually only the heavenly dao that he worshipped. ‘Earth’ was simply added on here for a symmetry and harmony.
Therein could be seen the difference between the heavens and the earth.
The number one Martial Saint of the World beyond Worlds, Chen Qianhua who was able to battle True Immortals head-on as a mere mortal, had once been hailed the Heavenly Young Master. Yet, even he was only known as the Upper Exalt now as opposed to the Heavenly Exalt.
Although this was partly due to the naming tradition of the World beyond Worlds’ Ten Exalts, underlying this was also the fact that the title of Heavenly Exalt was too weighty. It was not something someone in the human realm could bear.
Of course, this was just what other people called him. Chen Qianhua himself cared nothing about it.
In the Eight Extremities World back then, the Chiefs of Broad Creed Mountain would all have the ‘heavenly’ character in their titles as per their tradition.
It was fine in such a lower world. Even if others learnt about it, they would simply laugh it off.
Still, it was different in the World beyond Worlds.
In fact, the higher one’s cultivation realm, the more the improper usage of titles was taboo.
Considering Chen Qianhua’s personality, he was not much interested in things like this at all.
Still, if any other Upper Exalt of the World beyond Worlds were to run into other Martial Saints styling themselves as ‘Heavenly Exalt’, they would probably take the initiative to measure the true abilities of the other party.
When a title was too lofty and precious, it was not anybody who could bear its weight.
This was just like how anyone who had yet to attain the Immortal realm styling themselves as Emperor or Sovereign was no mere laughing matter and cause for amusement.
If actual experts of the Immortal realm who were more serious or had bad tempers learnt of it, they would probably come furiously knocking on their doorstep.
Also, no one would care even if such a person was offed by an actual Emperor. They would only feel that the person deserved it.
An incident like this had actually occurred before in pre-Great Calamity times. The fool who dared to call himself Emperor had had his entire lineage exterminated by an actual True Immortal.
“It was not Nine Heavens He himself who proposed this. Instead, he was indeed once hailed as the Nine Heavens Exalt back when he first attained the Human Exalt stage,” Gao Qing laughed too, “It was indeed adopted directly from his earlier title of ‘Sword Shaking Nine Heavens’, but the subtle change still drew much doubt from many people nevertheless.”
“Other things aside, little granduncle was still in the Human Exalt stage back then.”
Gao Qing said, “Although it was bestowed by others, Senior He himself did not firmly refuse to accept going by this title. Therefore, little granduncle went to look for him.”
“Ahem…” Yan Zhaoge stroked his lower chin, “So this is how nine heavens ended up becoming eight heavens, huh?”
“That’s right! Little granduncle won in a competition of the sword,” Gao Qing first nodded, but then shook her head, “Still, this title of ‘Eight Heavens Exalt’ is not totally a joke and a deprecating name.”
While Long Xueji had won that battle, he had only won it by a narrow margin.
Afterwards, Long Xueji had been full of praise for He Mian as he had once admitted candidly that it had been his most difficult battle against another Martial Saint in recent years.
Although the nine heavens had become eight, there was still glory to be had for He Mian.
Considering how He Mian was younger than Long Xueji and had only newly ascended the Human Exalt stage at the time, he really possessed extraordinary strength.
“Ah…” Yan Zhaoge laughed lightly, “The Roving Jade Heavens too has many crouching tigers and hidden dragons.”
It looked like this He Mian was a proud person too. He had kept the title of Eight Heavens Exalt definitely not to be reminded of the shame of defeat. He had surely wanted to challenge Long Xueji again and defeat him this time before finally changing his title back to nine heavens.
This person’s resolve and confidence was self-evident here.
“Right! After little apprentice-granduncle opened the door to Immortality, the Sacred Court Exalt is probably the top expert amongst the Roving Jade Heavens’ Martial Saints,” Gao Qing said, “Though little aunt’s talent is acclaimed alongside him, due to her young age, she is currently still just a ninth level Martial Saint as she would naturally be unable to defeat the Sacred Court Exalt.”
“Little aunt aside, even my grandfather would not be confident enough of beating the Sacred Court Exalt for sure.”
Gao Qing had been carried away in speaking as only now did she realise that her words were a little improper. She unconsciously shrunk her neck, as though her grandfather, Gao Xuebo, was standing just beside her.
She looked ingratiatingly towards Yan Zhaoge, “Little apprentice-uncle, can you pretend that you never heard that last bit?”
“That’s hard to say. I have a very poor memory sometimes, but sometimes my memory is great,” Yan Zhaoge teased as Gao Qing’s face instantly fell in regret.
The two conversed happily as they headed north, traversing countless mountains and water bodies while travelling in the direction of the You Region.
As they stood at the border of the Yu Region, Yan Zhaoge glanced back in the direction of Green Duckweed Mountain seemingly nonchalantly.
After leaving Green Duckweed Mountain, that sharp, piercing aura which shook one to their very core had eased greatly, no longer emanating the feeling of one being very close to a sword’s blade.
Having completely exited the Yu Region, that domineering air could virtually no longer be felt at all.
Yan Zhaoge had a thoughtful look on his face. Still, he returned his attention to travelling alongside Gao Qing as they headed towards the You Region’s Heavenly Contours Mountain’s Dynasty Vessel Valley.
They did not run into any trouble along the way or a random challenger suddenly appearing like Wen Daihong.
While they had simply asked Gao Qing to lead him over, Long Xueji and Gao Xuebo had surely additionally ensured a smooth journey for him too.
After quite a long time, the destination of their travels finally appeared in Yan Zhaoge’s field of vision.
This place was icy cold yet had no snow. With the sunlight illuminating the area, the icy water would not reach the extent of freezing.
Still, what they were seeing was a gorge that was sealed in ice, being frozen entirely within a glacier.
As Yan Zhaoge and Gao Qing approached, without having to announce their presence, a crevice simply opened soundlessly in the glacier, resembling the opening of a door to welcome them.
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