31 A Strange Being in the Clouds
Many people knew that Jing Jiu had promised to obtain the Senior Master Mo’s sword of Shiyue Peak ever since he first came to the inner sect.
In the beginning, many people kept guessing whether Jing Jiu would reveal another surprise like he had done at the South Pine Pavilion, though as time went on, fewer and fewer people thought this, and even South Pine Pavilion’s Sister Yushan and young Yuan from Lelang didn’t have much hope for him.
Jing Jiu hadn’t gone to Sword Peak even once in half a year, let alone obtained the sword.
This had been the most discussed topic at the Stream of Sword Washing. For those who didn’t like Jing Jiu, such as Xue Yong’e and those outstanding disciples of Class A, Jing Jiu was a natural target for their mockery.
Yet, today it seemed he was going to get the sword.
"Getting the sword!"
"Jing Jiu is about to get the sword!"
The shouts could be heard everywhere in the Hall of Sword Washing.
A dozen disciples ran out of the hall.
Lin Wuzhi felt a little surprised to find that Master Mei Li finished her lecture for the Class C and was riding her flying sword, seemingly toward the Sword Peak as well.
When Jing Jiu got to the Sword Peak, he didn’t know Mei Li and Lin Wuzhi had already arrived there in advance; he also didn’t know, as he walked his way to the Sword Peak, that a great number of disciples had heard the news, or that some of the disciples from other peaks followed him to the Sword Peak to see what was going to happen, as he hadn’t expected them to mistake his trip to the Sword Peak as a trip to get the sword.
The good thing was that he didn’t have to run as he had that night, and now he walked steadily and leisurely.
Soon he climbed up the cliff at a slower speed, though he had no intention of slowing down.
It was quiet at the bottom of Sword Peak.
The caretakers of Yunxing Peak were constantly shaking their heads, shocked beyond words.
The disciples’ mouths were wide open, though not a word could come out.
At the beginning, it was not so quiet here, and the mockery of and sneering at Jing Jiu could be heard.
But as Jing Jiu walked among the cliffs, the mockery and sneering had been replaced by the sounds air being sucked through the teeth.
After a while, the disciples came back to their senses as they started to talk among themselves.
"Is this his first time entering Sword Peak? How can he walk so steadily?"
"How could this be possible? He already passed the Eagle Beak Rock; isn’t that two thousand yards from here?"
"How far do you think he will walk? Another three hundred yards?"
"There’s no way he can walk right into the clouds on his first try!"
"It’s really extraordinary…he was actually hiding his talent. But I heard that Senior Master Mo’s sword was placed closer to the top, so it’s hard to get."
"Look! He is about to enter the clouds!"
"He has actually entered the clouds!"
Jing Jiu didn’t expect so many people to witness for his journey to Sword Peak.
Though even if he had, he wouldn’t really care and would have still do as he pleased.
Pretty soon, he was walking into the clouds, disappearing in them and out of sight, leaving the surprised and resentful sentiments behind, at the bottom of the peak.
If he waved his hand toward those watching at the bottom, how attractive would that be?
Lin Wuzhi turned around and was about to return to the Hall of Sword Washing, his eyes meeting Master Mei Li’s.
"Senior Master Mo’s observation was pretty good then."
"Sorry, but it looks like we are for sure going to be fighting for this boy," said Lin while gazing at her.
There was a trace of bitterness on Master Mei Li’s beautiful face, and, she said, "I’ll say it again: Just look at that boy’s face; of course he has to come to our Qingrong Peak…Brother Mo was so ugly. How could he dare take the boy on as a disciple?"
Arriving at the high elevation on the east side of Sword Peak, Jing Jiu came to a halt, having found the cliff wall.
It was daytime, so everything in the cave could be seen more clearly; the depth of the cave was about three feet, fitting just one person, who sat in a cross-legged sitting position.
Zhao Layue sat inside, just as she had two days ago.
The bleeding had stopped, though she still looked pale, and one could tell her injuries were severe.
"Eat these," said Jing Jiu, putting down a basket of mountain fruits held in his hands.
These fruits were collected by the monkeys among the cliffs in front of his manor cave, just as he had ordered. They tasted a bit sour and bitter, but had the benefits of restoring blood supply and energy.
He took out a magic tablet from his sleeve and placed it in front of her.
Raising her head and staring at him, Zhao Layue asked, "Why was the corpse found?"
Jing Jiu was somewhat surprised.
How could she have known what happened down at the cliff-side? If she had a helper in the nine peaks, why didn’t that person help treat her injury?
Zhao Layue seemed to see what was on Jing Jiu’s mind, saying, "I have my own way of knowing things."
Jing Jiu didn’t keep on asking, as he really didn’t care.
Yet, Zhao Layue stared at his eyes, wanting to get an answer.
"I haven’t killed anybody in a long time, so I forgot how to take care of the cleaning-up part."
"And taking care of a corpse is really troublesome…" Jing Jiu said.
"Then you simply dumped it by the stream?" Zhao Layue said.
"How should I have done it then?" Jing Jiu asked.
Zhao Layue thought, This young man is really a strange being…even stranger than I am.
"Who are you really?"
Of course, she knew he was Jing Jiu with the unparalleled beauty.
But then who is Jing Jiu? Was he sent here by the Imperial Court as an under-cover agent?
"And what about you? Who are you?"
Of course, he knew she was the one and only Zhao Layue.
But who is Zhao Layue then? Is she sent by the monkeys as a rescuer?
Jing Jiu was not worried that she might expose him.
If she was found to have killed the Senior Master of Bihu Peak, she would be in deep, even if she was Zhao Layue.
If she told others that it was the Senior Master who wanted to kill her…who would believe her?
This incident could be nothing else but a secret.
Jing Jiu made sure that her wounds would heal soon, then turned around to climb down the mountain.
He suddenly remembered something, saying, "I just remembered: I didn’t bury the body of the person I killed in the past."
"Not afraid to be found out, were you?" she asked.
"Why would I be?"
"Fear of revenge, fear of…trouble?"
"Revenge? There were a few times in the beginning, but nobody dared afterwards, so it wasn’t that much trouble."
Jing Jiu left the Sword Peak after saying these words.
Back at the bottom of the peak, he remembered that he seemingly forgot something, and was reminded by the regretful expressions of his peers of exactly what.
Jing Jiu’s journey on Sword Peak caused a sensation along the Stream of Sword Washing. Though he didn’t successfully bring back the magic sword of Senior Master Mo, The mockery and jeering could no longer be heard in the Hall of Sword Washing. At most, only a few regretful sighs were heard, including from those spending many years washing swords, and the Brothers of higher states, who, when were talking about Jing Jiu nowadays, used words that contained more respect, since they all saw him climb the Sword Peak the first time, entering the clouds.
As for the murder case of the Senior Master of Bihu, Shangde Peak was busy investigating. Yet, not too many people talked about it by the Stream of Sword Washing. Nobody had met that Senior Master, so there was no emotional attachment, not to mention the incident was too far removed from their daily life.
Nobody believed a sword washing disciple could kill an immortal swordsman of the Undefeated State.
Besides that fool, Jiu Shisui.
Jing Jiu smiled when thinking of it.