The Path Toward Heaven
25 Nine Nights
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The Path Toward Heaven
Author :Mao Ni
© Wuxiaworld

25 Nine Nights

The next night Liu Shisui came to Jing Jiu’s minor cave again, but didn’t stay long and left after a few words exchanged.

As a person with natural Dao quality and carrying the high expectations of the whole Green Mountain Sect, Liu Shisui was under tremendous pressure right now. There were so many similarly talented disciples in the inner sect; they might be a bit inferior to him, but some of them practiced even harder than he did. Moreover, he was practicing with Gu Han, and often met some weird people on the Liangwang Peak, so he couldn’t relax at all.

The third night, Liu came and made Jing Jiu’s bed and filled up the teacup.

Jing Jiu noticed that he limped on his left leg, as well as had a wound on the back of his neck.

"Were you hit again?"

"This has nothing to do with Brother Gu. This came from sword fighting."

Jing Jiu didn’t say another word.

Liu Shisui felt the situation was kind of intense, either because he lied or because he tried to defend Gu Han in front of Jing Jiu.

"Well Young Master…should I leave now?"

Jing Jiu didn’t pay attention to him.

The wind outside the cave got stronger, the light radiated from a sword illuminating a corner of the night sky curtain, disappearing instantly.

Jing Jiu lifted his head, remaining silent as he looked in that direction.

He knew full well the tradition of the Liangwang Peak; they treated their chosen disciples very strictly, so Liu would need to withstand a great deal of pressure.

The fourth night, the door of the small courtyard was pushed open, though the person walking in was not Liu Shisui, but rather the chubby fellow he met once on Sword Peak.

"My name is Ma Hua. The name isn’t popular at all and ranked number thirty-seven on Liangwang Peak, which isn’t outstanding either. But I am much more important than you, even though you are more famous than me. You probably know that my reason for coming here tonight is, yes, to deliver a message for Third Brother Gu that you shouldn’t see Liu Shisui anymore. You don’t have to say anything right now. And I know you look down on this, and we can’t do anything as long as you don’t want to join the Liangwang Peak; but don’t forget that Shisui is learning the sword work with us."

"Shisui is punished by the peak rules every day, and injured quite badly; it’s very painful.
What’s the point of that," Ma Hua asked with a smile on his chubby face.

Jing Jiu glanced at him once.

"At the South Pine Pavilion, Shisui would rather give up Cultivation than give up following you. But as you should know, that this is no longer an option for him," Ma Hua continued.

Jing Jiu knew it was true; as someone with natural Dao quality, coming to the nine peaks to learn so many sought-after sword methods, who would want to give it all up?

"Of course, we’re not going to force him to make a choice."

"Actually, if he can’t come see you, you can go to see him," Ma Hua said with a fat smile.

The implicit meaning of his words was profound, but Jing Jiu saw through them as clearly as one could see rocks at the bottom of the clean shallow stream.

"You want me to enter Liangwang Peak?" Jing Jiu was quite surprised.

"My opinion is different from Third Brother Gu’s. I don’t care whether you ate magic pills or whatever to get into the inner sect; I only know if you can come this far even after being so lazy, you must be a real genius, a trait which our Liangwang Peak likes most," said Ma Hua, looking at Jing Jiu and smiling.

But the issue was that Jing Jiu didn’t like Liangwang Peak.

He motioned him to the cave entrance, meaning to send the guest off.

Ma Hua smiled even more, and said, "Interesting…very interesting."

The fifth night Liu Shisui arrived.

Jing Jiu didn’t see wounds on his body, but sensed the tiredness on his face and some hesitation in his eyes.

The minor cave was very quiet. After Liu cleaned and tidied up everything, he stood to the side and said with a lowered head, "It’s too hard to practice sword work, too much homework, so there’s no way that every day I can…"

Jing Jiu raised his hand; Liu understood his meaning and stopped.

"Practice requires focus."

Liu Shisui turned his head up and looked at the profile of Jing Jiu’s face.

Jing Jiu was reading the Scripture of Swords with seeming focus.

Liu Shisui knew Jing Jiu didn’t want to look at him.

Young Master was lazy and he never read books.

The sixth night Liu Shisui didn’t come.

The seventh night he came.

The eighth night he didn’t come.

The ninth night.

Jing Jiu lifted his head and looked outside through the window, making sure that he wouldn’t come tonight since it was already quite late.

Then, he didn’t look outside again.

The days afterwards were simple and dull as usual.

The disciples at the Hall of Sword Washing practiced diligently. The dozen or so disciples who entered the inner sect with Jing Jiu climbed the Sword Peak every day; it was said that some of them had the desire to succeed. Jing Jiu was still the same as he was the South Pine Pavilion, bathing in the sun, placing sand in the plate very seriously, and waiting for the ocean-like Spiritual Fountain to become the nutrients for the Sword Fruit.

So, he became an alien again.

But different from the days at the South Pine Pavilion, Master Lin Wuzhi of Tianguang Peak was only responsible for answering questions from the disciples, and he never noticed whether Jing Jiu attended the class or not.

The other disciples showed a trace of curiosity at first, but after some observation, they found he was exactly like the rumored portrayal and gave up on him, not even bothering to discuss it.

After all, sword cultivation was hard and dangerous, requiring diligence and aggression; nobody had time to be concerned about him.

A few days later, more disciples who had passed the examination from the North Crane Pavilion were sent here, and a few more disciples from the South Pine Pavilion also came, including Xue Yong’e, Sister Yushan, and that disciple Yuan from Lelang County; it seemed Master Lü’s leaving hadn’t affected them all that much.

In the Hall of Sword Washing, Xue Yong’e mocked Jing Jiu’s laziness again; unfortunately, he didn’t get the expected reaction.

Sister Yushan and the youth from Lelang defended Jing Jiu, and went to visit Jing Jiu once.

Jing Jiu was still hard to understand, but his performance was much better than the days at the South Pine Pavilion, and he was also more emotionally accessible.

He remembered Sister Yushan’s name, and asked them to eat two mountain fruits.
On night two, monkeys came by climbing over the mountain, but were disappointed when all the fruits were gone.

The time passed away gradually and peacefully.

Liu Shisui secretly came in twice to make his bed and clean the courtyard, saying only a few words.

He spoke less and less, either because of the increasing pressure or because the practice was too tough.

A few days later, Jing Jiu heard the news from Sister Yushan that the date for the Inherited Sword Competition had already been decided; It would be held at the beginning of spring.

There was only six months left before Inherited Sword Competition.

The person most anticipated at this Inherited Sword Competition was of course Zhao Layue, watched by millions of eyes; even other sects were discussing which peak might have picked her in advance as their inherited swordswoman, and ultimately, which peak she would choose herself.

After Zhao Layue, Liu Shisui also attracted a great deal of attention.

All the people were curious about what kind of progress in Cultivation this disciple with natural Dao quality had achieved.

Now Liu had already formed the Sword Pill, if he could reach the State of Perfect Preservation and had what was needed to participate in the Inherited Sword Competition, he would definitely be a disciple to be fought for by all the peaks.

If so, he would be the second youngest Inherited Swordsman in history.

The second morning Jing Jiu left the minor cave.

He wanted to find Liu Shisui.
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