The sounds of tea boiling and winds blowing; all these sounds entered the ears.
More disciples noticed the commotion at the rear and couldn’t help but feel dumbfounded.
Master Lü showed a trace of discontent, frowning after viewing the scene, and lightly flicked his right finger behind his back
The sound of a sword of extreme cold and ice could be heard all over the training hall.
All the disciples trembled a little at the sound, suddenly coming to their sense and turning their heads back quickly.
The ground between cliffs was awfully quiet, and even the chirping sounds of birds in the distant trees had disappeared.
Master Lü' eyes were gazing among the disciples and rested on Jing Jiu and Liu Shisui a little bit longer, finally setting on a few mountain peaks in the distance.
"Focus here. No matter how talented you are, you must try your hardest to pass the stage of Possession of Virtue. If you do so within three years’ time, you might succeed in reaching the stage of Spiritual Stability in three years and be recruited into the inner sect, becoming a real Green Mountain disciple. The right path of the heavenly sword is practiced at our sect, which emphasizes the concept of ‘contentment’. The initial practice is not difficult; it is something that even a dim-witted fool could achieve, just as long as he is willing to spend the time and the effort practicing, he will be able to successfully pass the stage some day, but how far is the road leading to heaven? The last leg of the road is always the most difficult to tread. When climbing a steep and dangerous peak, it feels like climbing the heavens for the last couple hundred yards. So, if you cannot get in the inner sect within three years, forget about hiking the road to heaven."
He was visibly emotional. The statements were expressed for these disciples, while also being his own experience and understanding.
He had already achieved a state of Perfect Attainment, being able to drive the flying sword, and was at the stage of killing anyone within ten steps without leaving even a trace of blood on the fabric. In the eyes of those mortals in the human world, he would be regarded as a mighty swordsman, and respected as someone to praise by the noble men and ministers in Zhaoge City.
Yet in the Green Mountain Sect, he could not reach the state of The Undefeated, so his Life-Spirit was limited, and harder to achieve the more advanced states, and it was because of this that he couldn’t become one of the chosen ones of the sect..
Just like now, he could only be trusted to teach these know-nothing external disciples at the South Pine Pavilion; this was a rather important task for the sect, but...
A tender voice brought Master Lü back from his sentimental thoughts.
"Master, if we practiced well enough, would it be possible for us to participate in the Wielded Sword Competition in three years?
It was obvious that the young disciple who spoke up somehow had learned of something from somewhere. It was known that the Wielded Blade Competition would be the most important test for these young disciples.
Master Lü was slightly surprised at first, and soon smiled, but he did not answer the question. He thought it was pretty naive for this young disciple to raise the question.
It was at this time that one could hear the murmurs of muffled discussions and chuckles in the background; eventually that disciple understood, after somebody explained to him, only those who had achieved the state of Perfect Preservation had the qualification to take part in the competition.
Possession of Virtue and then Spiritual Stability were the initial stages, then the state of Perfect Attainment, and then the state of Perfect Preservation...
There were four levels to overcome for these new external disciples to reach the state of Perfect Preservation.
"Only two years to reach the state of Perfect Preservation?"
"Who do you think you are, a genius on par with Lady Zhao?" some disciples remarked with a laugh.
"I hope you can catch up to Layue."
Everybody was alarmed by a noise in the hall.
No one dared snicker at the person.
And that was because it was Master Lü who had just spoken.
But Master Lü did not speak to the disciple who wanted to participate in the Wielded Sword Competition.
Following Master Lü's line of sight, the disciples looked behind the line and set their sight on one person.
It took Liu Shisui awhile to realize this. "Are you talking to me, Master?" said he, pointing to himself.
"Yes, I hope you can become another happy surprise for the Ninth Peak of the Green Mountain," Master Lü said.
After being dismissed, some of these young external disciples did not stop reading the instructions in the textbook held in their hands; some were staring at the rays of sun streaming through the leaves in a stupor. Naturally, they were separated into several groups.
The scene mentioned above had occurred many times since these young disciples arrived at the Green Mountain Sect. They were separated according to their birthplace and social status in the mortal world, but from now on the status depended on the state of one’s cultivation.
Yet, it was somewhat different today. The disciples, no matter whether they came from a rich or poor family, all looked at the same place.
Even those who read books intensely or were dazed by the sun rays glanced in that direction from time to time.
It was Jing Jiu and Liu Shisui who stood there.
Some of them were looking at Jing Jiu, but more of them were looking at Liu Shisui because nobody forgot what Master Lü said before dismissing the class.
Who would have guessed that the disciple favored by the master was not the extremely handsome youth in white, but the little boy acting as his attendant.
What was so special about that boy?
The name of the youth who had mocked another disciple was Xue Yong'e, hailing from an aristocratic family in Yuzhou County. He had a relative on the Sixth Peak, known as Shiyue Peak, who was a practicing Grandmaster. He was asking for information.
And sure enough, the credible news arrived.
This little boy actually had a natural Dao quality!
Now the eyes of these disciples staring at Liu Shisui were filled with amazement and shock.
Unlike before, there was no trace of resentment mixed on with that shock, not even admiration.
The gap between Liu and them was way too big; they weren’t not at the same level at all, so what would admiring him even do?
There were numerous talented disciples in the Green Mountain Sect over the years, but how many with natural Dao quality had appeared?
Other than Lady Zhao, the only other exception was Brother Zhuo, the internal disciple of the head Grandmaster on the Tianguang Peak!
Now that such a person appeared among them, how could it NOT shock them?
Xue Yong'e was the first person who learned of the news and was the first one to recover from the initial shock. He walked over toward Liu Shisui, ignoring the still amazed expressions of other classmates, and gave him a gentle smile.
"Little Brother Liu, each of us will have a small courtyard that we’ll reside in ; which one have you picked? If you are not bothered by the sound of the creek at night, room A4 would be an excellent choice. It's close to the training hall and makes it easier to ask the master trainer for advice, and a patch of Zhenyang flowers planted just outside the courtyard, can encourage the righting of wills and calming of spirits with its aromatic smell, which is really handy when practicing."
Some of the disciples did not quite understand why the usually proud Brother Xue was so warm toward Liu today? Some simply snorted and thought Brother Xue's reaction was really fast. Nobody knew whether Zhenyang flowers could help aid them during practice, though it would indeed be of use to his cultivation if he were neighbors with that natural Dao talent
Xue did not get a reply from Liu Shisui because he knew Jing Jiu would not pick this courtyard.
Liu Shisui smiled thankfully at Xue Yong'e, carried luggage to the training hall, and asked the caretaker for the cards for two small courtyards behind the hill.
Watching the youth in white and that boy with natural Dao quality walking towards the depths of the mountain, all the disciples were very surprised and turned silent.
Xue Yong'e shook his head in vexation. "This is really strange."
A natural Daoist being somebody's attendant? Who wouldn’t think it strange
The talking started in front of the training hall, and it was inevitable that someone would scoff at Jing Jiu.
The girls did not care too much about this talking and kept watching the mountain path.
A young girl whispered: "That Young Master Jing Jiu...is really good looking, eh."
"I heard he is from Zhaoge, though don’t know which manor he belongs to," said another girl.
Deep in the mountains, there were two adjacent small courtyards, far away from the stream in the jungle.
The courtyards could be seen plainly as the sunshine was shaded by the trees.
Pushing open the door to the courtyard, Liu Shisui put down the luggage, wiped a stone bench clean, and got ready to clean the rest while looking around the surroundings.
"How do you know I don't like the scent of Zhengyang flowers?"
Jing Jiu sat on the stone bench, looking at Liu with great interest.
Over the year, he and Liu had many conversations, but such emotions were rare.
"I don’t, but that...that Brother said the courtyard was near the stream."
"The sound of the stream is sort of loud, and since Young Master likes sleeping, you wouldn’t want to live there," said Liu Shisui.
"Yeah, I forgot about that," Jing Jiu responded.
The small courtyard was incredibly quiet and looked like a straw cottage, but in reality was a cave residence which was also very clean, without so much as a speck of dust..
If no disciples lived here, then the cleanliness would last forever.
Liu Shisui didn’t need to do that much, and bed was made in no time; he put a plate of mountain fruits that had been gathered by the caretaker earlier onto the stone table in front of Jing Jiu.
Noticing the restless look on Liu's face, Jing Jiu said, "Go back to your courtyard and read that textbook if you want,".
Raising his head, "I’m not getting all worked up to leave so I can read some magic instruction manual," Liu Shisui said with a slightly red face.
Jing Jiu knew that the source of his uneasiness was the mocking by other disciples; so he simply smiled lightly without saying anything further.
The white frosty grass leaves were falling down, blown by the breeze from the mountains.
Staring at the walls in the cave, Jing Jiu was filled with emotions; It’s been how many years since you left, and yet things have stayed the same. ?
He sat down by the window sill and opened the thin textbook in his hands.
The code for entering the Green Mountain Sect.
Very simple and quite familiar, there are only two minor changes compared to that year.
These two changes were quite interesting, but he could not read any longer.
Jing Jiu closed his eyes slowly.
The book was resting on his lap.
The wind blowing gently into the cave tucked at his clothes and flipped the pages of the textbook back and forth.
Due to the high-speed flipping of the pages, the letters of the textbook were blurred, but a human figure drawn in the book kept moving.
The little man was now squatting in a strange position, resembling the horse step, then standing like a pine tree, though he more often he was practicing a set of boxing routines which seemed quite intimidating and hard to manage.
Jing Liu fell asleep.
When he woke up, the sun had already set below the peaks with some red light like the painted colors left in the sky, and the hillside nearby was getting dark, so it was hard to see anything.
Following a squeaking sound, Liu Shisui pushed open the courtyard door and shouted excitedly with sweat running down his face, "Young…Young…Young…Master!"
Jing Jiu recalled some memories from long time ago. "Don't shout like this outside, otherwise you might get in trouble," he reminded Liu.
Liu Shisui wiped the sweat from his face with his sleeves and nodded continuously, but could not speak, appearing somewhat anxious.
"Understood?" Jing Jiu asked.
Liu Shisui kneeled before him with a thud, knocking his head on the floor twice.
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