Jing Jiu shook his head.
Zhao Layue glanced at him. "Do you think I’m strange?" she asked.
"That’s up to you," said Jing Jiu.
She walked up beside him and looked out at the surrounding cliffs. "Do you know what? The person I worship the most is Senior Grandmaster Jing Yang."
"Many people worship him," said Jing Jiu.
"But I have never seen him," said Zhao Layue.
"Very few people have seen him," said Jing Jiu.
She stared at him.
Jing Jiu raised his hand to indicate for her to continue.
Zhao Layue calmed herself and carried on. "I feel sorry that I couldn’t practice with Senior Grandmaster at the same time. It would be such a wonderful thing."
Jing Jiu felt like he was becoming more like Liu Shisui, always wanting to say something.
For instance, at that moment, he wanted to congratulate her.
"But now that I’ve finally come to his peak, it feels like I’m with him," said Zhao Layue. "It feels great."
Thinking of those hidden teacups and other tea utensils and looking at her baggy dress, Jing Jiu was sure about one fact.
This proud and unconcerned young girl, considered by others to be a genius practitioner, was actually a zealous follower of Jing Yang – a fanatic.
It felt odd to be standing next to her. "Were you worried that he might have failed to ascend, and died?" he asked.
"Senior Grandmaster was prepared beforehand, so nobody in this world could harm him," said Zhao Layue.
Jing Jiu said, "I think you worry too much."
"The Thoughtless Sword has been with me all the time, so it is obvious that I’m the successor arranged by Senior Grandmaster, and of course you as well," said Zhao Layue.
"We are different," said Jing Jiu.
"What is the difference?" asked Zhao Layue.
"We are really different," replied Jing Jiu.
"I have a sword bracelet and you have one. I wanted to come here and you did too. And we are here together," said Zhao Layue.
Looking at his own bracelet, Jing Jiu thought it sounded quite reasonable.
Yet he knew this was far from the truth. He shook his head, lay in his bamboo chair, and rested with his eyes closed.
No one knew when he had moved the bamboo chair here from the Stream of Sword Washing.
Closing his eyes didn’t mean that he was sleeping. Maybe he was planning something.
Resting didn’t mean that he was not doing anything. He could use the time when his brain was empty to contemplate or observe himself.
Jing Jiu’s mind had entered his own body.
This wasn’t the first time he had observed himself, but he was still not used to it, and it was some time before he was able to see that patch of ocean.
Boundless, bottomless, silvery ocean.
The gentle wind, produced by his mental will, blew over the silvery ocean, setting off ripples on its surface, looking like molten metal.
The ocean was higher than the land, and there were countless rivers at the edges of the ocean, flowing deep into the dry and barren land.
The rivers were meridians.
Higher up, the rivers narrowed gradually, turning into channels inside tree trunks, with a tree at the front, reaching up toward the sky.
This was the tree grown from the Dao Seed.
There was a fruit hanging deep within its branches.
It was a very pale color, so it was hard to tell if it was ripe or not.
At the other sects, this fruit could turn into a golden pill, or a fortune bell.
For the disciples of Green Mountain, this was the Sword Fruit.
Now in his meridians, the energy source had already turned into a mercury-like substance, meaning the Sword Source had been purified.
Within time, the Sword Fruit, cultivated by the Sword Source, would become completely transparent, becoming a Sword Pill, resembling a glassy orb.
The day that the Sword Pill formed would also be the day that he entered the State of Inherited Will.
But what he anticipated even more was the moment that he could enter the State of the Undefeated. By that time, his flying sword would be able to combine with the Sword Pill. In other words, he could store the sword within his body.
He wanted to know what would happen if he did that.
This was not a problem for other practitioners.
However, nothing similar to his situation had ever occurred in the Green Mountain Sect, or the continent of Chaotian, or even the whole world.
Jing Jiu opened his eyes and found Zhao Layue sitting cross legged by the cliff, meditating.
The red Thoughtless Sword was hovering over her head quietly.
A barely visible thread of air moved back and forth slowly between the Thoughtless Sword and her body.
After a few years of hard practicing, Zhao Layue had already reached the State of Inherited Will, and now with the help of the Thoughtless Sword, she would be able to enter the State of the Undefeated within two years.
When would Jing Jiu enter the State of Inherited Will? All he could do was wait.
The night before, when he had charged through the peak, he didn’t get hurt, but lost a lot of Sword Source. So he felt tired, and had no energy to play with the sand.
At that moment, the wind was quite gentle, and the setting sun was pretty warm, so it was the best time for taking a nap. He closed his eyes, ready to sleep soundly.
Unexpectedly, as Jing Jiu was about to fall asleep, a series of monkey screams came up from the bottom of the cliff.
The screams were loud, meaning they were quite happy.
Zhao Layue opened her eyes, asking, "What is going on?"
"The monkeys are moving back," said Jing Jiu.
Before Jing Yang ascended, the birds and animals in Shenmo Peak had been disbursed to all the other peaks.
A few years later, Shenmo Peak was reopened, but the birds and animals were unaware of it. The monkeys behind the cliff at the Stream of Sword Washing were moving back as soon as they could.
These monkeys had lived on this peak for many years, and they were sick and tired of living away from home.
Now Shenmo Peak was free from tigers and cougars fighting for space with them, and the forest was full of sweet fruits, so the monkeys were of course very happy.
Yet the only disappointment was that the insects were not abundant in the mountain, so it would be hard for them to have a varied dinner.
"Shut up!" Jing Jiu yelled toward the bottom of the cliff.
The excited screams disappeared immediately.
Though they were out of sight, one could imagine how uneasy and nervous those monkeys felt at that moment.
The peak returned to dead silence.
Zhao Layue looked at him.
"Just keep your voices down a little," said Jing Jiu.
The excited screams of the monkeys started again, seemingly responding to his command, much quieter than before.
The peak was full of life again.
Soon it became noisy and chaotic among the cliffs once more.
The monkeys’ angry shrieks could be heard everywhere, along with the sounds of breaking tree branches and heavy objects falling on the ground.
"What is going on?" asked Zhao Layue.
"The monkeys from Shiyue Peak came over to claim their turf. Those guys are small in size but big in number."
Jing Jiu seized his iron sword as though ready to go down the mountain.
Zhao Layue was somewhat startled. "What are you doing?"
"Helping the monkeys fight."
He said it so naturally that it seemed like he took it for granted.
Zhao Layue was surprised. "Helping the monkeys fight?!"
"Those are our monkeys."
Jing Jiu turned into a streak of green smoke, jumping down into the forest at the bottom of the mountain.
It took Zhao Layue a while to come back to her senses. When she thought about the last words Jing Jiu said, she felt embarrassed and angry.
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