South of the Chaotian continent, green mountains stretched for thousands of miles. Hundreds of elegant peaks were hidden in cloud and mist perennially.
The world's greatest cultivation sect, the Green Mountain Sect, was located there, though it was extremely difficult for ordinary people to get even a glimpse of it.
A few ordinary towns were scattered around the green mountains, and among them was a small town located in an area southwest of the hills, known as Yunji for the enchanted clouds that flowed through the mountain
The view from Yunji Town was splendid. The light breeze blew through as it made the flower blossoms dance gently. It resembled the beginning of spring under nearly cloudless skies; it resembled a paradise.
The locals who traversed between the villages had long since been accustomed to the high praise of travelers who visited the local restaurants.
Sitting by the window, Yin San was craving for a hotpot meal.
"There's not a problem in the world that can't be solved with a hotpot meal. If the problem exists, get two. This phrase has become popular in Underworld Capital, and I hear that it was brought here from Zhaoge, though I think it’s from Yi Prefecture. You also know that we don’t really get that much sun during the year, and with it being cold and damp, who wouldn’t like hotpot? Only satisfied by the harvest of mushrooms? You, from the land above, like eating them, but we’ve been eating them for thousands of years, to the point of getting tired of it. Right now, I want to eat authentic hotpot and boast about it later; what’s wrong with that?"
He looked at the duck intestines and the occasionally surfacing chili peppers as they boiled in the spicy red broth. He swallowed a mouthful of saliva as he stared at the young woman across the table. The young woman had a head of short, raven-black hair, eyebrows that resembled a portrait, and a child-like demeanor. She would have looked beautiful if she smiled, but she didn’t; her eyelids were slightly drooping. She seldom blinked her thin, long eyelashes, making her seem more like a portrait than an actual person.
The room was still quiet, and the footsteps of people passing by the window became increasingly clearer.
Yin San said,"Very well, I admit that I stayed to watch the crowds, but this is a big scene. Who in the cultivation world wouldn’t want to watch it? And because of this, you’re now going to teach me a lesson? Please! Junior Sister, could I trouble you to loosen your grip? Even if you don’t let me leave, at least let me get two mouthfuls. If the tripe and aorta aren’t fished out, they can’t be eaten anymore."
The duck intestines had sunk to the bottom of the broth, and the chili peppers were still floating. Tripe and aorta were faintly discernible.
Yin San couldn't eat the food as he had a thin silver chain wrapped around his body, leaving him with no way to move, let alone pick up chopsticks.
The young woman sat quietly at the table, saying nothing.
"What about your sword?" said Yin San suddenly. "If you had used a flying sword to kill me before, I would’ve had no way of defending myself, but now you’re sitting in front of me, aren’t you afraid of me retaliating? Do you truly believe this sword chain can subdue me?"
The young woman took no notice of him.
Finally, Yin San became earnest. "The Green Mountain Sect are masters of the way of the sword, leaders of the orthodox way; would they kill without asking questions?"
The young woman finally raised her head. Her eyes were bright and clear, without a trace of impurities.
Looking into such eyes, Yin San felt at ease. Soon after, he felt a slight coolness in the space between his eyebrows as though a rain droplet had landed there.
A small sword was quietly hovering right in front of him.
He did not know that blood had been drawn. The hole was small and round; it could even be described as delicate.
Blood, like a fine waterfall, gushed from his brow, falling into the hotpot.
The blood of this disciple of the underworld was also hot, but not as hot as the soup of the hotpot. The boiling surface of the pot gradually calmed down.
The vitality in his eyes began to fade, leaving behind only baffled emotions.
Hundreds of wisps of cold flames sprung up around the restaurant with awe-inspiring sword intent, scattering as they met with objects. It was the remnant soulfire of the Underworld disciple.
The young woman trembled slightly. Her eyebrows raised, as did the corners of her eyes, like a slender willow leaf. It had a sharpness to it.
Very quickly, her brow dropped, and she looked thoughtfully.
The sword flew out the window and disappeared into the street.
She twitched her finger slightly and the thin chain that bound Yin San transformed into a beam of light before landing on her wrist, turning into a silver bracelet.
"I'm an external disciple. I don't have a sword." She got up and said to the dead Yin San.
Yin San's corpse fell to the floor.
She pushed open the door and walked out.
There was a commotion in the restaurant. Panicked, diners and travelers fled outside.
In the still-misty street, a middle-aged man appeared. His expression was indifferent, with a rather thin face. His eyes had a ghostly coldness to them, making him exude an immortal’s air.
"For a demon from the underworld to come to the Green Mountain Sect and act so ostentatiously, he deserves death."
Everyone who heard him had no doubt as to the man's identity.
Travelers who had come from other regions were shocked. They quickly sank to their knees on the ground and did not dare to raise their heads.
The local villagers also sank to their knees in prostration to this immortal master, but they had lived in Yunji Town for a long time, and had heard many things about the deeds of the Green Mountain Sect, and even seen signs of these immortal masters, but they came to their senses quickly, feeling that today was not a normal day.
The hostilities between mankind and the underworld had gone on for millennia, and the deep hatred could not be resolved. However, after Perfected Pure Yang of the Green Mountain Sect joined forces with the God Emperor to defeat the large army led by the underworld generals in the Great Marsh 2,000 years prior, there hadn’t been a war between them for many years.They would even have dealings with each other privately. Underworld demons that had been captured in places like Zhaoge Capital City and Feng Dao County, and with the exclusion of spies, would often only be sent to Fiend Lockdown Hell. If not, humans would seek the chance to exchange prisoners with the underworld or ask for valuables. Furthermore, Green Mountain Sect was an otherworldly immortal sect; they dealt with things in a generally mild manner, so what was the cause of the hostility?
As the light breeze blew, the mist on the street dispersed. A dozen or so young people were gathered in front of the restaurant, each having good looks and disposition. They were none other than the external disciples of Green Mountain Sect.
"Greetings, Master Meng."
The young disciples bowed in reverence to the middle-aged man.
The middle-aged man, Master Meng, had a solemn expression. "Great events are close at hand. You must all be careful."
The disciples acknowledged in unison.
"Leave once you are done cleaning up," continued Master Meng. "Don’t be a disturbance in the world too long."
The young woman walked out from the restaurant.
Master Meng looked at her, his expression turning a lot gentle and accommodating. "Not bad, Layue."
Once he had said it, a sword rose up and tore through the air. His figure had already disappeared.
"Senior Sister Zhao."
The disciples of the Green Mountain Sect surrounded the young woman, their faces full of admiration, respect, and love.
The young girl Zhao Layue was only twelve or thirteen years old. She was clearly younger than the other disciples. It was unknown why she had been addressed as a senior by the other disciples. When she ordered them to clear the tavern and remove all traces, so as to ensure that the soulfire of the Underworld’s demon would not mutate, she did not face any opposition. She enjoyed a great prestige among her peers.
"Immortal Master was correct. Seven days ago, Tianguang Peak issued a fifteen-hundred-kilometer prohibition. Yet, this demon actually dared to stay here without leaving. He was truly suicidal."
A disciple, seeing the corpse that had been brought out, could not help but shake his head and say, "I don’t know what he was thinking."
"It’s already good here. I heard that the senior brothers from Liangwang Peak went to the Muddy Lake Town to suppress the demons. Their swords illuminated South River Prefecture."
"So what? The four guardians were suddenly awakened the other night. Half of the starlight that filled the sky had been devoured by them."
As the disciples discussed in excitement, Zhao Layue did not speak. She quietly looked at the dull gray sky. No one knew what she was thinking.
The Green Mountains had nine peaks, shrouded in cloud and fog.
Tianguang Peak was the main peak, the residence of the sect master.
Liangwang Peak was the second peak. The strongest young disciples of the Green Mountain Sect cultivated their swordplay there.
When the Green Mountain Sect encountered serious matters, they would activate a formation, and deliver a ban throughout the entire continent.
A certain number of miles outside theGreen Mountains was demarcated to forbid entry. Unauthorized trespassers would be killed without question.
The size of the forbidden zone depicted how serious matters were.
That year, before Perfected Taiping entered death seclusion, the Green Mountain Sect had issued a four-hundred-kilometer forbidden zone, shocking the world.
Extending four hundred kilometers from the Green Mountains, the forbidden zone covered a fifth of the continent of Chaotian.
In order to comply with the Green Mountain Sect's order, His Majesty, God Emperor even dispatched thousands of troops to the north that very night to intimidate the snowy northern countries and the underworld.
And now the Green Mountain Sect wanted a fifteen-hundred-kilometer exclusion zone?
What sort of great event was about to happen?
Zhao Layue's eyes suddenly narrowed.
The dark gray sky she had been looking at had suddenly brightened.
The sun came through the clouds, the mists dissipated, and the distant peaks could be faintly seen, shining like countless swords that aimed at the firmaments.
The gathered disciples followed her gaze and looked at the crowd of peaks.
The sunlight shone upon their young faces, full of reverence.
As if they were facing a great enemy, an exclusion zone of fifteen hundred kilometers was made because this was the most important event to happen to the Green Mountain Sect in over a thousand years.
Master Jingyang was about to ascend into heaven.
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