Zhao Layue knew what Gu Han wanted to ask her, but she didn’t want to answer, and so she kept on walking.
"Stop!" Gu Han demanded with a strong voice.
He took a deep breath to control his emotions, saying behind her, "Those on the peaks are getting old, and the future of the Green Mountain depends on us to…"
Zhao Layue didn’t wait for him to finish the sentence.
"You are wrong; the future of the Green Mountain depends on me, not you people."
Having said that, she kept on toward Sword Peak, soon disappearing in the wind and snow.
Watching the dark spot in the wind and snow getting smaller and smaller, Gu Han wondered, "What about Jing Jiu? Why do you care about him?"
The wind and snow spread out, and flying sword arrived from the sky; Gu Han stepped on the sword, flying against the wind, becoming a trace of white smoke.
Riding upward, Gu Han soon came to a beautiful place located among the peaks in the southwest part of Green Mountain.
The peaks and cliffs here were gorgeous, yet the dreadful sword lights could be seen everywhere on the cliffside, full of lethal intent and the taste of blood and steel, even the snowflakes falling down from the sky melted into green smoke.
Here was the second peak of Green Mountain, the Liangwang Peak.
Here gathered the most outstanding disciples from all over the peaks, most of them having already reached the Undefeated State, and few of them even reaching the State of Free Travel.
Gu Han liked this feeling very much.
Like most of the young disciples on Liangwang Peak, he didn’t like the way other peaks acted, including with the Inherited Sword Competition. They thought the competition was merely for the inheritance of their peaks, to seize talented disciples, and that is was a waste of time and senseless, causing far too much damage to the sect.
The sword light disappeared into the manor cave atop Liangwang Peak.
"We cannot let things go down this way, but I don’t know why Layue feels such resentment toward us," said Gu Han, looking at the back of a person.
"Let me talk to Young Sister, but you have to make sure Gu Qing and Liu Shisui are safe and sound."
That person didn’t turn around, asking, "Additionally, I want to know: What do you really think of Jing Jiu?"
"I don’t like him," Gu said after a moment of silence.
That man turned around, showing a handsome face and gentle temperament.
He was the number one disciple of the Sect Master, and also the top disciple of Liangwang Peak, Guo Nanshan.
"Ma Hua has already proved his idea is right."
Guo Nanshan said with a narrow smile, "But I still support your methods; if he can’t withstand the hardships, then talents are useless, no matter how great they are. That boy, facing your humiliation of him several times, didn’t even dare to draw his sword; how can he in the future fight and defeat demons to protect the Dao for the Green Mountain?"
"That guy doesn’t even have a sword, so how could he even draw one?" said Gu Han, emotionless.
The snowstorms came one after another, and then died down gradually; the yellowish grass became green again; the beginning of a new spring arrived.
The Inherited Sword Competition was about to start.
It was said that Zhao Layue had finished practicing on Sword Peak and came back again, but she was nowhere to be found, not even in Jing Jiu’s manor cave.
For the Green Mountain Sect, the Inherited Sword Competition was very important, and it was emphasized by all the peaks.
At the end of Stream of Sword Washing, the benches for audiences were arranged in advance. A platform made of several huge rocks, brought in by the immortal masters of Xilai Peak using their magic powers, was built on a cliff wall that was a thousand feet high. The rock platform was wide enough to hold several thousand audiences, accompanied by the white clouds and the flowing shallow brooks, as if from a realm of fairies.
The ordinary disciples by the Stream of Sword Washing practiced silently and diligently, but they couldn’t help but look in the direction of the setup once in a while.
The Brothers who went to suppress the demons and devils in the mortal world, and the masters of the peaks in Zhaoge City, all came back one after the other.
The most striking were those representatives from various sects for the event. More than ten monks were sent by the Fruit Formation Temple; a few officials from Zhaoge City were sent by the Imperial Court; some elders were sent by the Water-Moon Nunnery and the Hanging-Bell Sect, both of which were on friendly terms with the Green Mountain Sect. It was even rumored that some representatives were even sent by the Windy Broadsword Sect, located far to the north.
The inner sect disciples, who had been here by the Stream of Sword Washing for many years, had already applied for the Competition, having had enough confidence to.
Zhao Layue and Liu Shisui, the two with possessed of natural Dao quality, attracted the most attention. It was said that an elder from the Hanging-Bell Sect had asked about Liu Shisui; and Zhao Layue was the focus of tens of thousands; the Water-Moon Nunnery would have talked to her a long time ago if not for the fear of causing inconvenience.
Everybody wanted to know which peak Zhao Layue would pick at the Inherited Sword Competition.
The solution to that puzzle would also help solve another puzzle that had been troubling the Green Mountain Sect for many years.
Before Zhao Layue’s birth, the Green Mountain Sect knew beforehand she would be someone with natural Dao quality, protecting her secretly until now; so who was this mysterious figure?
Besides Zhao Layue and Liu Shisui, a dozen other disciples also received some attention.
These disciples performed very well during the process of Sword Washing, three of whom, like Liu Shisui, were favored by Liangwang Peak. Another disciple favored by the Sect was Gu Qing, who had achieved the highest state among the disciples and was taught by Gu Han personally from the very beginning in the A Class.
So long as there were no mishaps, Gu Qing should be able to inherit the sword easily.
Gu Qing was not famous, since he had been practicing sword work in Liangwang Peak as a sword attendant, rarely appearing by the Stream of Sword Washing, so he was a mysterious figure.
For those who had access to the inside information, the state and qualifications of Gu Qing’s were even slightly superior to Zhao Layue’s, so he was the strongest among the swordsmen of this generation.
He was also sword attendant of Guo Nanshan, the top disciple of Liangwang Peak, and the younger brother of Gu Han.
Before the Inherited Sword Competition, the Green Mountain Sect had an important business to take care of.
The inheritance of the Peak Master of Bihu.
The death of the former Peak Master of Bihu, Lei Poyun, was related to some secrets of the sect, and also was an inside matter of the Green Mountain Sect, so it was carried out carefully and secretly.
Besides the Sect Master of the Green Mountain Sect and the peak masters of each peak, nobody else was present at the contest for the Peak Master, to say nothing of those representatives from other sects.
At night, the sword lights illuminated the nine peaks.
The wills of swords were wielded among the heaven and earth and the Green Mountain Formation was activated, with the North Guards opening their eyes and swallowing numerous star lights. Finally, the winner was announced.
An elder hermit on Bihu Peak, defeating Chiyan of Shangde Peak, successfully took over the position of the Peak Master.
The nine peaks awoke during the early morning hours, and faint human voices could be heard at the end of the Stream.
Jing Jiu threw a glance in that direction, walking over to the opposite bank of the stream and arriving at the Hall of Sword Washing, then knocking on the door.
All people went to the cliff wall at the end of the stream, and the Hall of Sword Washing was extremely quiet, since nobody should be inside at the moment.
Lin Wuzhi didn’t go; it looked like he was waiting for him.
"I thought you were not coming," he said, smiling at Jing Jiu.
"I prefer doing today’s work by today," Jing Jiu said.
Lin Wuzhi opened the registration book in front of him, handing a pen over to Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu took over the pen and wrote down his name in the registration book.
"Senior Master Me really appreciated you. Considering how long I have waited for you, please share some thoughts about him."
Lin Wuzhi patted on his shoulder, continuing, "Though…he is really not so good-looking."
After some thoughts, Jing Jiu said, "I don’t really care about pretty or ugly."
Lin sighed after looking at his face, thinking, It’s true that nobody looks better than you.
Jing Jiu walked out the Hall of Sword Washing.
Lin Wuzhi picked up the registration book, which was ready to be sent Shiyue Peak to for recordkeeping, and lifted his head to gaze at the back of Jing Jiu, suddenly remembering one thing.
Sword? Why don’t you go get the sword?
At the end of Stream of Sword Washing, both banks of the stream were full of the disciples waiting to participate in the Inherited Sword Competition.
On both sides of the thousand-foot-high cliff wall, there were many people, mostly from the nine peaks.
The top of the cliff wall was surrounded by a patch of clouds, so it was impossible to see clearly see the scene inside. One could just imagine those high-ranking masters of the Green Mountain Sect and those representatives from other sects were inside there.
Not sure who will be sent here this year by the Water-Moon Nunnery? Sister Lian perhaps will not come personally due to her high status, so are those who are coming her disciples?
Looking at the cliff in the fog, Jing Jiu finally recognized some old acquaintances.
It was full of people by the stream.
"Brother Jing, over here!" Sister Yushan stood up and waved to him to indicate his spot already preserved.
Jing Jiu took a look at the spot and found it was pretty good for watching the fights, but there were too many people there.
He preferred being alone to being in a crowd.
His attention turned to the quietest place by the stream.
That place was a big green rock in the stream, quite close to the cliff wall.
There was a lone figure on the green rock, giving a feeling of tranquility.
Zhao Layue was there.
No disciple dared go there.
Jing Jiu walked over and sat by her side without much thought.
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