The news of the Inherited Sword Competition of the Green Mountain Sect soon spread throughout the world.
Usually, the Inherited Sword Competition was an internal affair of the Green Mountain Sect, involving merely the lower-state disciples; it shouldn’t have such an effect. However, there were two participants with natural Dao quality, plus a genius in sword method, and more importantly…two disciples chose to inherit the sword of Shenmo Peak, and actually succeeded!
The news that the Shenmo Peak had reopened spread to the counties in the south, then Zhaoge City and the Windy Broadsword County in the far north, even to the Underworld and the Ice-Snow Kingdom, for the ninth peak of Green Mountain had a special status in the Cultivation world, the place that housed the manor cave of the immortal Jing Yang
Immortal Jing Yang had seldom been to the immortal world, keeping a low-profile and remaining mysterious, but who would dare ignore him?
Who could say that the leadership position of the Green Mountain Sect within the orthodox sects had nothing to do with Immortal Jing Yang?
As Shenmo Peak was reopened, who would doubt that the inherited sword disciple couldn’t become the second Immortal Jing Yang.
How could those Cultivation sects and Zhaoge City not be nervous?
How could the Underworld and the Ice-Snow Kingdom not be worried?
As a result, Zhao Layue became even more famous in the Cultivation world.
In the past, the Cultivation world only knew that she was someone with natural Dao quality, but she was still young, and so the future of her development was uncertain. Now that she had successfully inherited the sword of Shenmo Peak, the situation was different now. Meanwhile, many people got to know the disciple who followed Zhao Layue to the top of Shenmo Peak, whose name seemed to be…Jing Jiu?
The disciples of Green Mountain wanted to know what Senior Grandmaster Jing Yang had left behind.
Since the Senior Grandmaster didn’t ascend with the Thoughtless Sword, it meant that there might be some other treasures left atop the peak, such as the instruction manual on the Nine-Deaths Sword Style.
The disciples felt a bit jealous of Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu every time they thought of this.
Of course, the courage and determination shown by Zhao Layue during the sword inheritance were admirable for them, but the person whom they were truly jealous of was Jing Jiu.
"If Sister Zhao didn’t walk ahead, how could he climb up Shenmo Peak?"
"That night we all saw with our own eyes, he used a low and shameless method to achieve the feat; I think they should disqualify him from inheriting the sword," Gu Han said in a jealous tone.
Guo Nanshan understood his feelings, yet, if Zhao Layue didn’t have any objection, who could use this reason to disqualify Jing Jiu?
Looking at Gu Han, Lin Wuzhi said with a seemingly smile, "Have you still not figured out your opinion of Jing Jiu was wrong?"
"Shut up, all of you."
The elder Bai Rujing said to Lin Wuzhi, "Though you were the first one to discover Jing Jiu’s talents, but you shouldn’t defend him in such excess; after all, you and Gu Han have the same Tianguang heritage."
Lin Wuzhi didn’t say anything more.
Elder Bai Rujing told Liu Shisui behind him, "You go to the receiving arena by yourself. After I see off the guests, I will have someone take you home."
The day after the Inherited Sword Competition, all the new disciples gathered together to see off the visiting guests from the various sects. This was the courtesy of the Green Mountain Sect, and also a part of the tradition.
Of course, the Green Mountain Sect needed to march their masters of similar status with the guests, as well as present their prominent disciples such as Guo Nanshan, Lin Wuzhi, and Gu Han.
The receiving arena was in front of Xilai Peak, surrounded by numerous planted pine trees, looking like a gorgeous display of green fireworks from a distance.
Twenty new disciples stood in the receiving arena, ready to bid a warm farewell to the visiting guests.
Jing Jiu, Zhao Layue and Liu Shisui stood in the shadow of a pine tree without anyone around them.
It wasn’t because of ostracization or something else; it was simply the natural outcome.
In the eyes of the new disciples, these three were different from them.
Those eyes that looked at Zhao Layue seemed to possess more awe and admiration than before.
Nobody knew the real reason for Shenmo Peak being reopened last night, as they thought it was all because of Zhao Layue’s efforts; the wounds on her face were still visible, demonstrating the dangers and risks she faced on the path toward the peak top, and as for Jing Jiu…no wound could be found on his body, and so it seemed he hadn’t done anything.
Liu Shisui wanted to ask Jing Jiu what had happened to them last night, and if he was injured, but he held back.
Standing by Zhao Layue’s side, Jing Jiu had to put up with the resentment expressed by the others, wondering if their expressions would change if Zhao Layue didn’t undo the pigtails?
The guests were coming down from Xilai Peak to the arena.
The Principal Justice of the Fruit Formation Temple was talking with the Peak Master of Xilai in the hall. The two princes of Zhaoge City were chatting with the elder Bai Rujing of Tianguang Peak, accompanied by Guo Nanshan.
This was a chance to mingle, exchange ideas and establish connections. It was natural for the young disciples of various sects to talk to each other. Lin Wuzhi and Gu Han talked to others in a relaxed manner since they had been sect disciples for a longer time and knew many disciples from other sects. However, the new disciples like Ji Yuanlang and Sikong Yiming seemed nervous when mingling with others, even stammering a little when talking.
As usual, the female disciples of the Water-Moon Nunnery stood together with the female disciples of Qingrong Peak.
Jing Jiu thought of Sister Lian, and couldn’t help but glance in that direction, but his glance was seen by those female disciples, causing giggles that sounded like silver bells.
Hopping to the side of Liu Shisui, the young girl of the Hanging-Bell Sect said to him, "Come visit my place later on to play."
Liu Shisui was too nervous to say anything, nodding his head instead.
Then the young girl came to the side of Zhao Layue, saying, "Sister, you are so amazing! later, when you visit my place, I’ll find a pair of good bells for you."
Jing Jiu noticed the young girl had a pair of silver bells on her earlobes, thinking she must be the child of an important figure of the Hanging-Bell Sect to be a Silver-Bell Messenger at such a young age; after hearing what she said to Layue, he began thinking he should get a pair of bells if he was going to travel the world.
The bells of the Hanging-Bell Sect were very famous in the Cultivation world, far superior to regular magic devices.
Zhao Layue knew about the superiority of their bells. "Then, I will find a good sword for you," said Zhao Layue after sensing the sincerity in what the girl said.
Upon hearing this, the young girl of the Hanging-Bell Sect said with glinting eyes, "It’s a deal."
Now she turned toward Jing Jiu.
"I also want the bells," said Jing Jiu.
The young girl was startled, saying, "They are all saying that you are shameless’ looks like it is true."
"I only made a request, one that you are free to decline," Jing Jiu said.
Having thought about it, the young girl said, "You are right. If I ask my Mom for candy, she can refuse to give me any, but she can’t say I’m shameless."
"Good metaphor," Jing Jiu said.
Listening to their exchange, Zhao Layue and Liu Shisui thought it wasn’t a good metaphor…She was merely a little girl, not your mother.
Looking at Jing Jiu with a tilted head, the young girl said, "I can send you the bells, but you don’t need to visit our place."
Jing Jiu asked, "Why not?"
"You are too good-looking, I’m worried my Mom might want to marry you," said the young girl seriously.
"This is an adequate reason," said Jing Jiu after some thoughts.
The young girl of the Hanging-Bell Sect left, hopping and skipping. It was said that she and her Senior Master planned to embark on the hollow boat of the Great Marsh as a way to return home.
The Principal Justice of the Fruit Formation Tempe came out from the hall, glancing at Jing Jiu in the distance; maybe he heard something from the Peak Master of Xilai in the hall.
The two princes of Zhaoge City came over to the side of Zhao Layue, asking, while looking at her like father figures, "Do you have any letter to be sent home?"
"No thanks," said Zhao Layue.
The disciples, who successfully inherited swords and thus becoming personal disciple of nine peaks, could return home for a period of time.
This was what Master Lü had promised Liu Shisui.
Since Zhao Layue didn’t even want to write letters, of course she wasn’t going to go back to Zhaoge City for a visit. The two princes didn’t feel surprised, as everybody knew she was single-heartedly engaged in Cultivation.
Liu Shisui was prepared to go back to the village for a visit. After hesitating for a long time, he asked, looking at Jing Jiu, "Do you need me to bring anything back?"
Jing Jiu thought about it then said, "Cut a few bamboos and bring them here. I don’t want those by the pond; they’re too damp. I want those on the backside of the hill. It would be better to move some plants and grow here."
Looking at Jing Jiu once, Zhao Layue thought, "What is he doing now?"
"Are the legs of the chair broken again?" asked Liu Shisui.
Jing Jiu nodded, saying, "And there is a hole on the back of the chair as well."
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