Of course, he still had other ways to climb the peak, but as Zhao Layue said, at the moment, somebody was probably watching them.
The Sect Master and Yuan Qijing could see what was going on there if they chose to do so.
Under different circumstances, Jing Jiu would stop his ascent and go back directly, but…
He took a look at Zhao Layue. If he did that, he thought, she would be very disappointed.
"Then…let them watch," he said in a whisper, looking at the mountain peaks in the clouds.
He reached out his hand, fingering the bracelet on her wrist lightly.
The bracelet left her wrist quietly, turning into the sword rope and landing in Jing Jiu’s hand.
Somehow, this unusual sword rope was willing to obey his orders.
He focused his will slightly, and the sword rope darted out like a snake to bind Zhao Layue’s body.
He unfastened his sword from his back, but after a moment of thought, he put it back again. He walked toward the top of the peak, carrying Zhao Layue in his arms.
He made sure that Zhao Layue’s body was wrapped up evenly.
Carried by Jing Jiu, Zhao Layue slept soundly, as if she were in a hammock.
Jing Jiu’s climbing style was completely different from Zhao Layue’s.
Unlike Zhao Layue – who walked carefully, three steps forward and two steps backward, sometimes turning left, sometimes jumping over – Jing Jiu didn’t do anything of the sort. He walked directly forward.
After two steps on the mountain path, he encountered a sword will.
The sound was clear and loud, and a slit appeared on his white clothing.
He marched on, nonstop, as if he didn’t feel it.
He continued, marching along the mountain path at a faster and faster pace, encountering more and more wills of swords, the clear popping sounds becoming more frequent.
Pop!!! Pop!!! Pop!!! Pop!!!
They were like the raindrops, and like countless arrows shooting out at the same time, and also like countless swords clashing with each other.
The sounds of swords boomed continuously, forcing open the areas blocked off by the Sword Formation. The sounds echoed among the cliffs, but couldn’t escape the peak. The echoes gradually mixed together gradually, the pitch becoming lower and lower, sounding scarier and scarier. It was like thunder, constantly bombarding the mountain path.
If anyone were on the mountain path at that moment, he would be deafened by the thunder formed by the sound of thousands of swords.
Yet Zhao Layue didn’t wake up. She slept soundly, her face pink; it seemed that Jing Jiu was protecting her very well.
After a long while, the night was still not over, and morning was yet to arrive.
Shenmo Peak stood ahead of them.
A few buildings could be seen vaguely in the midst of the green peaks and cliffs.
Jing Jiu stopped, rubbing his face.
Even for someone like Jing Jiu, forcing his way to get here from the middle of the peak and breaking so many sword wills had left his face feeling numb.
His white clothing was very special, repelling water and fire and withstanding the flying swords, but by that point it was already in tatters.
Dozens of cloth shreds hung from his body. His jade-like flesh was visible. He looked a sorry sight.
Suddenly the noise of the wind arose among the cliffs. It was an endless, heartbreaking sound, like the weeping of ghosts.
Dozens of wintry soul-fires flew out of the rock cracks of the broken cliff in front, combining together to form many terrifying and ugly faces. It was frightening to the extreme.
"No wonder the Ink Pool was nicknamed the ‘Dead Spirits’. They are ugly indeed."
Looking at the Dead Spirits that were emitting a terrible smell, Jing Jiu shook his head.
Many years ago, Immortal Taiping was at death’s door. A war involving powerful swordsmen took place on the Lanlin Snowy Plateau between the Human Imperial Court and the Ice-Snow Kingdom.
The Sect Master brought all the strong swordsmen from the nine peaks to the rescue, and only regular disciples were left on the Green Mountains.
At that time, the Curtain Rollers lost a few important books of information, which fell into the hands of an Underworld Master.
This prominent figure of the Underworld led his subordinates through a weak point mentioned in the books about the Green Mountain Formation and sneaked into the nine peaks, intending to steal a certain item.
But what they had not anticipated was that the item wasn’t in the Sword Jail of Shangde Peak. Instead, it was on Shenmo Peak.
The Underworld Master presumed that Jing Yang would be behind closed doors, so the opportunity could not be missed.
All his life, Jing Yang spent most of his time behind closed doors, so he wasn’t wrong.
However, unexpectedly, when they reached the ninth peak of Green Mountain, the four principal guards woke up at the same time, so Jing Yang came out of his confinement.
Jing Yang swung his sword, killing all the Underworld swordsmen.
The badly wounded Underworld Master was the only one who managed to flee.
This event was related to a huge secret of the Green Mountain Sect and the Curtain Rollers, so it was concealed with the greatest care.
Of course, the Underworld wouldn’t announce their tragic defeat, and until now, very few knew about it.
After the Sect Master returned, he thought the residual soul-fires should be cleaned. At the very least the corpses around the peak had to be collected and buried.
Jing Yang felt it was too troublesome, since there was no disciple on the peak and no guests either, so the measure was considered unnecessary.
As a result, the corpses of the Underworld swordsmen were spread out among the cliffs, the wind and rain helping to turn their corpses to white bone, and then to dust.
As for the residual soul-fires, they remained, existing as the miserable spirits.
These miserable spirits formed by the soul-fires had no consciousness, only miserable wills and murderous intentions, and they could cause troubles for the regular disciples.
But for Jing Jiu, these residual soul-fires were no different from smoke produced by wet firewood on the stove.
"Get away from me."
He carried Zhao Layue as he marched toward the top of the peak.
He didn’t pause at all when passing a terrifying Dead Spirit.
The Dead Spirit emitted an ear-piercing scream, intending to swallow Jing Jiu.
Suddenly, the Dead Spirit was disbursing, becoming dozens of cold dead fires again.
The dead fires emitted horrible screams, fleeing toward the surroundings of the peak, but they didn’t escape too far, landing powerlessly onto the cliff rocks, becoming dozens of streaks of smoke, dissipating to nothingness.
"It’s easier to deal with the collected bundles than the separate ones."
Such were Jing Jiu’s thoughts as he walked into a small building on the top of the peak.
It was like the most buildings in Green Mountain, with a small cave behind the building.
This was the manor cave that had belonged to Jing Yang.
The building was made of the most precious materials. All the details – from the large trees, the floor covered with the beautiful jade, the carved pillars and elegant painted ceilings – demonstrated perfection.
Jing Jiu came to the wall and turned the glowing glass-ball inserted in the wall with his hand.
The floor shook a bit, and it started turning around.
A gentle wind came in, blowing the dust on the walls and the ground out of the building. Soon, the manor cave was clean and dust-free.
Jing Jiu put Zhao Layue down on the floor. He walked around in the building, touching the stone walls, pillars, utensils and objects here and there with his hands.
At last he stopped in the middle of the small building. He looked around with his hands behind his back, feeling sentimental.
He didn’t expect to reunite with all these objects so soon.
Zhao Layue had changed his plans, but it felt pretty good so far.
Jing Jiu walked to the far end of the manor cave, pressing a button on the stone wall at the end of the cave. The wall opened up quietly, revealing a secret chamber.
In the stone chamber, there were dozens of sets of clothes hanging up, mostly plain-colored, looking rather clean.
He ran his fingers over them for a moment. Finally, he stopped.
Jing Jiu picked a set of white clothes. They didn’t fit perfectly, but were good enough to wear.
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