670 The Celestial River or the Milky Way?

    "Marshal Canopy!"

    Meng Qi raised his eyebrows, picturing a fat pig in his mind. "Second Senior Brother? Zhu Bajie?

    "Why did he return to the Celestial Court instead of the Holy Mountain? Or did the Heaven Sovereign appoint someone else as the Marshal Canopy?"

    In history, the Celestial Court fell before the ruling of the monster on earth. According to tales in the Journey to the West, Meng Qi presumed that Sun Wukong had become the Victorious Fighting Buddha before the Celestial Court fell; and after the Celestial Court's falling, the Monster Saint led the Great Sages to invade the Holy Mountain.

    In other words, if Zhu Bajie was still the Marshal Canopy, then he did not cleanse the altars at all. After finishing his tasks, he directly returned to the Celestial Court, taking over the Celestial River army.

    Numerous thoughts crossed his mind, but Meng Qi assumed that it was Zhu Bajie's nature to avoid rules and commandments, regardless of the different nature of the two jobs. Thus it was natural that he left the Holy Mountain, but only with the consent of the Buddhas. "He must have begged the Heaven Sovereign so bad."

    Jiang Zhiwei, Ruan Yushu, and the others had heard of Marshal Canopy from Dominator of Samsara in Six Realms. They simply knew that he was on the Journey to the West team. Without any further thought like Meng Qi's, they glanced over their surroundings to check for anything suspicious.

    "I wonder if they'll wake up." Observing the statue-like Heavenly Army, Jiang Zhiwei became cautious.

    Bearing in mind the Heavenly Army on the bridge, they could not be too careful.

    Zhao Heng looked back and suggested in a deep tone, "Monster Kings are chasing after us, and the Heavenly Army is in our way, why don't we lie low to let them fight each other? And then we'll reap the benefit."

    He could not expect the soldiers in the barracks to remain still while they were passing over the bridge, and even if just a few hundred of them woke up, there still might be some grandmasters among them. If a group of Heavenly Army grandmasters swarmed toward them, they might die without even putting up a fight.

    "That's a good idea." Meng Qi agreed, looking in the direction of the island. "But can we find a proper place?"

    Barracks occupied the whole island with solid fences, covered in Formations. And once they triggered something, the Heavenly Army would most likely wake up. Thus, they dropped the idea of hiding somewhere near the outskirts of the island.

    But looking around, all they could see was surreal water glistening under the clouds and the bridge, reflecting the stars in the sky.

    "Hide under the river?" Ruan Yushu carefully suggested.

    Even though they were not good swimmers, being at the level of the Exterior they could still hold their breaths under the water for a long period of time.

    Meng Qi squatted down to carefully scrutinize the Celestial River water. "Hiding under the water seems to be the only way, but I'll throw something into the water to test it first. After all, we don't know the nature of the water, what if the water is poisonous or nothing can float in it?"

    "You're really experienced." Zhao Heng agreed. While in the debris of the palaces, they could not afford to think in a regular way.

    The five of them searched nearby but found nothing except for white clouds, not even a piece of rock. Their possessions had either been exchanged for Karma points, or were really necessary.

    Without delay, Meng Qi plucked out a hair and then turned it into an avatar as he jumped into the Celestial River.

    As "Meng Qi" dived into the water, he felt a surreal and immense coldness. He could still sense the Vital Qi under the water, but most of the elements were missing and something bad was permeating around. Such Vital Qi could only be used to practice some specific skills.

    He could not float in the water as he did in the airflow, and being in the Celestial Court, Meng Qi could not fly, thus he sank straight down.

    The real Meng Qi confirmed the safety of the water through his avatar's eyes. As long as they did not stay under the water for too long, their bodies and Vital Spirits would be safe from the cold. Then, he grasped out, trying to withdraw the avatar.

    At that moment, the avatar became heavy and fell faster, as though a greater force than Meng Qi was pulling him.

    Meng Qi fixed his eyes, only to discover a bright star under the river. Maybe it was because of the distance, but it looked like a bowl. However, as the avatar drew near, Meng Qi noticed that it was a burning orange ball, around which the light twisted and seemed unreal. And a heat storm raged around the ball.

    "It's the real Grand Sun!" The astounded Meng Qi immediately cut off the connection with his avatar.

    In just minutes, his avatar was burned, melted, and gasified as it disappeared under the water.

    "Every shining planet in the Celestial River is a star? It's really the 'Milky Way'!" Meng Qi expanded his senses to feel the world, only to discover that the Celestial River was boundless. He could neither see the beginning nor the ending of the river.

    Countless stars were shining under the water-they seemed real and were penetrating every void with their lights.

    All of a sudden, Meng Qi felt great respect for Zhu Bajie, who must have been an extraordinary immortal to guard such a river!

    As Jiang Zhiwei noticed the strangeness of Meng Qi's avatar, she frowned. "We can't hide in the Celestial River."

    If they could fly, they would be able to dodge the shining planet under the river for some time. But under such circumstances, going into the river was suicidal.

    "We'd better make our way through the barracks, and we'll return if anything dangerous comes up," Qi Zhengyan proposed.

    There was no other way. Meng Qi took a light breath and collected himself. He moved quietly and slowly onto the island and into the barracks.

    The barracks were utterly quiet, but Meng Qi seemed to hear the talking, drinking, and chewing sounds-sounds that could shake one's Aperture acupoints-and the neighing of horses from hundreds, even tens of thousands, of years ago. However, all of those things had been sealed in the void.

    Their original appearance had not changed one bit and it seemed as if they could wake up at any second, resuming what they had been doing in a vivid ancient Celestial Court style.

    With every step, Meng Qi was fully alert, carefully choosing the path where the Silver-armored Heavenly Soldiers were sparse. He stayed vigilant lest a bunch of Silver-armored Heavenly Soldiers come at him in the blink of an eye.

    Jiang Zhiwei was bringing up the rear of the team. She held her breath and stayed calm, with not fear, but concentration in her eyes.

    In this way, the five of them stopped breathing by mouth, but through the pores of their whole bodies in an imperceptible way as if they were immortals sneaking through a jungle full of pythons.

    Under such circumstances, walking consumed a lot of their mental and physic energy, as if they had fought enemies at their same level. Fortunately, the army in the barracks remained still when they walked through the area where the soldiers were dense. Finally, they saw a few well-decorated barracks.

    Several Golden-armed Heavenly Warriors sat inside the barracks, with their long swords on the table and other articles arranged around. The warriors were so energetic that the mere sight of them set Meng Qi's blood pumping, as though every drop of their blood would penetrate Meng Qi and form into a dynamic river.

    "The Dharmakaya..." Meng Qi glanced at them covetously, but he did not approach them and went ahead directly. Zhao Heng did not even dare to cast a look over, as though his eyes would provoke the soldiers.

    They did not want to wake up the Dharmakayas out of greed for the articles in the barracks.

    And especially because when they had previously met the soldiers, the soldiers had not weakened one bit over the past years of being frozen.

    Behind those barracks, the main battalion barracks appeared. A wooden sign was hanging on the door, saying "Marshal Canopy"!

    "Hell, will I see a frozen Zhu Bajie?" Seeing the wooden sign, even Meng Qi could not control his feelings in such a depressing atmosphere.

    Jiang Zhiwei became more serious. "The officials are already Dharmakayas, so what about their commanders, or even the Marshal Canopy?"

    "It's empty," Ruan Yushu suddenly said using Secret-voice Sending. While Meng Qi was stunned, she had already taken a peep.

    "Empty?" Meng Qi looked as far as the eye could see. The main battalion barracks was indeed empty. Not to mention Zhu Bajie, but all the articles, including the table, were gone. The barracks seemed to be vacated.

    "Vacated..." A scene crossed Meng Qi's mind.

    A big fat man with a pig mouth stormed into the barracks, muttering, "It's over, the Celestial Court is over. I'd better get all my things and go home now."

    "If that's so, Zhu Bajie was much sharper than the rest of the Heavenly Army..."

    In the midst of thinking, Meng Qi and the others walked through the main battalion barracks and saw a pond. The water inside the pond was surreal like the water under the bridge and it seemed to flow into the Celestial River.

    "Can the Heavenly Army enter the Milky Way through the pond? How is that different from entering the river from the outside?" Meng Qi was puzzled.

    Qi Zhengyan said with a serious face, "There must be a reason that the pond is here. Let's try it."

    Meng Qi nodded, plucked out another hair, and turned it into an avatar while diving into the pond.

    The water was surreal, but not as cold as the water that was outside. The usual elements in the water were fading, and hazardous things were accumulating.

    As he was going deeper down, "Meng Qi" was feeling the pressure and a film of water surrounded him!

    Along with the film of water, he swam into the Celestial River. Meng Qi found that he could move freely in the Celestial River as long as he returned before the water film vanished.

    "This could work." Meng Qi was delighted. "What if we hide in it?"

    "Do the Heavenly Soldiers here not wake up?" Ruan Yushu was puzzled.

    Meng Qi smirked. "The monsters don't know that the Heavenly Soldiers can wake up, so they won't be as careful as us. Even if they make their way out, for Karma points we can follow them to capture some monsters that are left behind. After all, treasures need to be hunted, so why don't we lie low and let them pave the way?"

    Because of the woken Heavenly Army on the bridge, they were not as far away from the monsters as they expected. And being chased closely by the monsters, they did not have enough time to keep searching. Thus, they had to switch to another method.

    "Well, we don't know what's lying ahead for us, so it's best to have them explore." Jiang Zhiwei nodded.

    "And if we can hunt down several Monster Kings, we'll still be rewarded with Karma points, even if we can't finish the task." Ever since he was supervised by Political Affairs Hall, Zhao Heng's resources were controlled and he could no longer be extravagant.

    After weighing the pros and cons, the five of them dived into the pond and were covered by films of water. Finally, they swam into the Celestial River.

    They saw a vast space and distant bright stars, as if they had crept into the grand universe. They could not help feeling small and having admiration for the magnificent world!

    "How beautiful..." Ruan Yushu exclaimed as though she had been inspired and wanted to compose a piece for it.

    Meanwhile, Meng Qi looked around. "It indeed is like entering the cosmic space, but there's something different."

    He could not tell what the exact difference was.

    At that moment, his avatar was almost sucked away by the "Grand Sun" nearby. Meng Qi had to withdraw him and avoid the sun carefully.

    During the process, Meng Qi found a relatively large "Dark Dot" on the "planet".

    After a few thoughts, Meng Qi utilized his Penetrating Stare technique to carefully scrutinize the planet. A flaming fireball was reflected in his eyes, and a large pig corpse lay on the surface of the planet. The corpse's skin was burnt in flames, and its flesh was consumed in the fire, as it was lying flat on the surface of the planet!

    Even compared with the whole fireball, the pig corpse was not so small. Its eyes were wide open with disbelief.

    "Zhu Bajie?" Meng Qi was alarmed and felt scorching heat. His eyes seemed to be burning red and tears swelled out of them uncontrollably.

    Even by using the Penetrating Stare technique, "closely" scrutinizing the Grand Sun would draw countercharges!
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