The still clouds started moving, spreading to the four sides of the sky, showing a patch of blue sky; that was the passage opened by the Green Mountain Formation.
Along with a golden light beam, the lotus sedan of the Fruit Formation Temple disappeared into the sky, after which the flying sedan of Zhaoge City and the hollow boat of the Great Marsh moved off the mountain one after another.
Then, a cold glinting flash of broadsword radiated through the sky, traveling toward the north.
Seeing this scene, the expression on Guo Nanshan and others’ faces showed caution.
The Windy Broadsword was located to the far north. No conflict existed between them and the Green Mountain Sect, only that one practiced broadsword and another practiced the general sword, so these two sects were in competition with each other, both in the eyes of the mortals and in the minds of the disciples of the two sects. Their emotions were unspeakable and unclear.
This year was the first time a representative was sent by the Windy Broadsword Sect to observe the Inherited Sword Competition. This representative didn’t say anything from throughout the competition, remaining completely silent. He possessed an exceedingly high Cultivation state. The Broadsword King was really a capable figure with the Heavenly Arrival State, able to acquire many strong swordsmen in the barren northern land.
The Inherited Sword Competition had come to an end. All that remained were the internal affairs of the Green Mountain Sect. As for this event’s influence, nobody could tell at this moment what that would be.
The green pines in the receiving arena rattled a bit as Guo Nanshan walked out of the hall. He had discussed with the two princes of Zhaoge City the number of Liangwang Peak disciples that were to assist the north border next year, that and related matters. He was therefore in a tranquil mood and brought Gu Han with him to Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu.
"Congratulations, Young Sister," he said with a gentle smile.
"Thank you, Big Brother," said Zhao Layue.
"As far as I know, the instruction manual for the true Nine Deaths Sword is not on Shenmo Peak," said Guo Nanshan.
Zhao Layue didn’t respond.
Looking at her, Guo Nanshan continued, "Why don’t you come to Liangwang Peak and have a look?"
He had suggested this yesterday at the Inherited Sword Competition, which got the consent from the Sect Master.
No matter how she would inherit the sword, she needed to learn the sword work; without the instruction manual about the Nine Deaths Sword, what could Zhao Layue learn?
If she were willing to join Liangwang Peak, she could easily have access to the magic sword instructions of the other eight peaks.
Of course, she could keep the status of the inherited sword disciple of Shenmo Peak.
Guo Nanshan’s suggestion was the best choice for Zhao Layue no matter how you look at it.
Zhao Layue didn’t accept it.
"As I said yesterday, I am not thinking of going to Liangwang Peak even if I had failed to inherit the sword."
She didn’t continue from here, but the disciples at the receiving arena understood what she meant: Since she had already succeeded in inheriting the sword, it was even more impossible for her to join Liangwang Peak.
"Young Sister, do you somehow misunderstand Liangwang Peak," asked Guo Nanshan after a silent moment.
Suddenly Gu Han blurted out, "If some of my behaviors displeased you, Young Sister, then I accept blame, and I apologize to you."
Hearing this, the disciples at the receiving arena were startled, astonished that this proud and cool Third Brother of Liangwang Peak was willing to apologize!
What were those improper behaviors he had talked about?
Jing Jiu watched the exchange silently, thinking Liangwang Peak tried its hardest to acquire talent, and the ideas of these young people were getting stronger.
Yet, they didn’t recognize that Zhao Layue wasn’t the kind of person they believed she was, so they couldn’t get what they aimed for.
"I don’t misunderstand anything about Liangwang Peak."
Zhao Layue didn’t say that she wasn’t displeased with Gu Han, but said directly, "However, I just want to learn the sword style of Senior Grandmaster Jing Yang."
"But Senior Grandmaster Jing Yang is not with us anymore," said Guo Nanshan while looking at her.
Jing Jiu was not pleased when hearing this, and this was how he felt when seeing that picture in the small building.
"The sword instruction doesn’t mean everything; Take Jing Jiu as an example, as he hadn’t learned the true sword style of Shiyue Peak, but he still defeated Gu Qing," said Zhao Layue.
Hearing the name Gu Qing, Guo Nanshan raised his eyebrows slightly, and the expression on Gu Han’s became unsightly.
Jing Jiu noticed that all the new disciples were at the receiving arena…except Gu Qing.
"Young Brother Jing has an outstanding talent with swords, and he demonstrated marvelous sword skills in the stream yesterday, but what if you encountered a truly powerful opponent," said Guo Nanshan while looking at Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu didn’t think he would be a part of the conversation.
"Of course, I don’t think Young Brother Jing’s attempt in sword work has any problem," said Guo Hanshan with a gentle smile while looking at Jing Jiu. "On the contrary, I agree with his method. If you go to Liangwang Peak, you will learn how the sword style practiced by the disciples on Liangwang Peak is meant to kill enemies without limiting the methods; we even encourage killing enemies without a sword. Young Brother Jing is a perfect fit for Liangwang Peak."
"I thought you guys didn’t like me," said Jing Jiu.
"Your Brother Gu intended merely to test you. We wanted to see if you had the courage to pull out your sword when facing a challenge; you proved yourself yesterday," Guo Nanshan said.
The young disciples at the receiving arena were surprised to learn that Liangwang Peak really wanted Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu didn’t say anything.
Looking at him, Guo Nanshan continued, "To succeed in Dao Cultivation, one has to experience physical hardship and strengthen his willpower; that is when he will be able to march forward fearlessly. You should understand this rationale."
Shaking his head, Jing Jiu said, "Our Cultivation methods are different. I think yours is wrong."
The countless pine trees were stirred by the gentle wind, sounding like ocean waves as the receiving arena remained silent.
"I’d like to hear your point," said Guo Nanshan, still showing a gentle smile.
"You guys think that one has to undergo plenty of external pressure to strengthen the Sword Hearts of the disciples."
What Jing Jiu was referring to was the harsh training Liangwang Peak disciples received, including, obviously, the pressure and deliberate suppression inflicted on Liu Shisui.
"Your method is to cultivate from the outside to in, which I don’t like. To me, Cultivation is a personal choice, so one’s initiative should be formed from the inside out. Of course, for the regular disciples, I’m not sure which method is more effective. The fact that I don’t like you guys is probably a prejudice, so I will try my best to treat you and others impartially."
Jing Jiu reached out to pat Guo Nanshan’s shoulder in an attempt to encourage him.
Guo Nanshan was the principal disciple of the Sect Master and the principal disciple of Liangwang Peak, and he was basically the leader of the disciples of the third generation. His management style was fair and just, and his temperament was mild and friendly, different from those young disciples on Liangwang Peak, who were cold, indifferent, and looked down on everybody. The regular disciples felt quite nervous even meeting Guo. Who would dare to talk to him in such a manner, let alone pat him on the shoulder!
It grew even quieter at the receiving arena.
Yet, in spite of the initial startle, Guo Nanshan didn’t get angry, as if what Jing Jiu did was normal.
The way he looked at Jing Jiu was like a disciple looking at a master.
This feeling was…quite strange, and not comfortable, so Guo Nanshan frowned.
"You don’t respect the Senior! That is just shameless! Do you think you’ll be free after following Young Sister to the ninth peak? You won’t even think about joining Liangwang Peak. I’d like to know what kind of sword style are you going to learn, if you wouldn’t mind saying," Gu Han said coldly, glaring at Jing Jiu.
There was no sword instruction manual on Shenmo Peak. Many people thought this was a big problem for Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu.
"That is our problem," Zhao Layue said calmly.
Hearing these two words, Gu Han could no longer, the corners of his mouth trembling slightly as he looked at her, saying, "But Young Sister…such a shameless…"
Zhao Layue raised her eyebrows a bit.
"You are wrong," said Jing Jiu.
"What I said was wrong? You thought that since we couldn’t see the mountain path, we couldn’t guess how you climbed up the peak top? Who among the disciples of the nine peaks doesn’t know how shameless you are," Gu Han said with a smirk.
"What I meant was, the title you used was wrong. Now you can’t call her Young Sister anymore; you have to call her Peak Master, or Senior Master," said Jing Jiu.
The green trees were stirred by the gentle wind, rustling as if in response to these words.
The disciples at the quiet receiving arena heard this, at first thinking it was ridiculous, then feeling panic after some careful thoughts.
Jing Jiu wasn’t speaking nonsense.
Zhao Layue had inherited the sword of Shenmo Peak, and could be called the personal disciple of Senior Grandmaster; in other words, she was of the same generation as the Sect Master, Yuan Qijing, as all the peak masters, and the elders!
Even though they were the prominent disciples of the third generation of Green Mountain, Guo Nanshan and Gu Han still had to call her Peak Master out of respect, or Senior Master!
After the initial confusion, Guo Nanshan abruptly came to his senses, shaking his head with a bitter smile.
Gu Han was so angry that he actually laughed, looking at Jing Jiu as he asked, "Do I even have to call you Senior Master?"
"Of course," Jing Jiu said.
Gu Han was stunned.
All the disciples at the receiving arena were stunned.
Yesterday, Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu had still been regular sword-washing disciples, but today, they became our elders?
"Aw, I just remembered I forgot to do what my master told me to do."
A young girl of Qingrong Peak spoke to her colleague, then walked to the outside without looking in Jing Jiu’s direction.
Soon, the disciples at the receiving arena dispersed for various reasons, not bidding farewell to Guo Nanshan and Gu Han as usual.
What else should they do? Should they go over and call Jing Jiu Senior Master?
Guo Nanshan leered, saying, "Senior Master."
Gu Han turned around, walking away with an ashen color on his face.
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