In the early hours of the morning, Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue left Shenmo Peak.
They walked more than two hundred miles continuously, leaving the South Pine Pavilion behind, and they ordered a hotpot in Cloudy Town.
Zhao Layue ate seven plates of soft meat and drank three cups of wine, but Jing Jiu merely boiled a few green vegetables in the water.
In the afternoon, they resumed their travel, covering about one hundred miles and arriving at the outskirts of the capital city of Shangzhou
The city of Shangzhou wasn’t so big, but it was located on the intersection of five official roads, so its geographical position was very important. This was why the city was administered so meticulously.
The city gates were overseen by guards, who might take a few coins as bribes to let you in faster, but they still checked all the travelers carefully.
Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue stood under the Farewell Gazebo outside the city gate, looking in the direction of the city gate for a long time.
They had a thorny issue that was difficult to resolve.
How were they to enter the city?
Jing Jiu recalled travel books and the relevant rules of the Imperial Court he had read before, but he still couldn’t find a way to get in.
"We simply ride our swords into the city, where they should have the special Immortal House for Cultivation practitioners," he told Zhao Layue.
Zhao Layue was beginning to get annoyed.
At the beginning, she suggested that they should ride their swords, but Jing Jiu didn’t agree, saying that they should take their time since they were traveling, and it was better to keep their identities concealed.
"Otherwise we need a Travel Permit issued by the government," said Jing Jiu.
"Do you have any?" Zhao Layue asked him.
"We could get some from Xilai Peak before we leave," said Jing Jiu.
"Does that mean we don’t have them right now?" asked Zhao Layue.
Jing Jiu looked at the carriages on the official roads. "I wonder if they put your portrait on the Travel Permits," he said to himself.
"Green Mountain is humiliated," said Zhao Layue in a dull groan.
It was true. Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue were two people who didn’t have any knowledge of everyday life.
In the Green Mountains, they were not so different from others, but this became a serious issue when they were in the real human world.
They were focused on Cultivation, spending all their time and energy on practicing Cultivation and on comprehending heaven and earth, so they didn’t pay attention to such trivial matters in their daily lives.
In the small village, Jing Jiu had spent nine days learning farm work, house work and handy work, but he hadn’t learned many other things, such as how to deal with people.
In all those places, including Liu’s home, South Pine Pavilion, the Stream of Sword Washing, and Shenmo Peak, he was always alone by himself, and didn’t need to deal with people.
Zhao Layue was slightly better off than Jing Jiu, but her knowledge of how to handle daily life was also limited. Before her birth, she was already under the protection of the Green Mountain Sect, and after she arrived in the world, she was always preparing herself for Cultivation, learning all kinds of advanced knowledge. She always stayed in her family’s manor house, never greeting visitors. After she came to Green Mountain, she still spent most of her time alone, like when she was on Sword Peak.
They were surprisingly talented whiz-kid disciples in the Cultivation world, but they often appeared clumsy in the normal world.
There was no other choice but the direct method.
Of course, the method wasn’t what Jing Jiu had considered: snatching Travel Permits from other travelers.
Dusk was turning to night, and visibility was getting limited. Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue came to a remote section of the city wall. They disappeared with a flash of sword light.
The flying sword landed in a back alley.
"Where are we going?" asked Zhao Layue.
"I have never stayed in the Immortal House before, but I hear it’s pretty good," said Jing Jiu.
"Since we are traveling, we’d better stay in a local Inn, like the monks of the Fruit Formation Temple in the secular world," said Zhao Layue.
Thinking of what had been written in those books, Jing Jiu was concerned. "I heard that the Inns are rather dirty, and they stink of feet."
"You really are inexperienced," thought Zhao Layue. "If we can find a decent inn, then that’ll be fine. Do mortals really not wash their feet?!"
Jing Jiu wanted to say something, but before he could, Zhao Layue snapped, "I am the Big Sister here, so listen to me."
The two of them left the alley, heading toward the well-lit street.
Zhao Layue suddenly stopped. "Wait here for me," she said.
Soon, she came back from the street with two conical hats in her hands.
"Why?" asked Jing Jiu after taking the conical hat.
Zhao Layue made a gesture on her face with her hand without saying anything.
This gesture had already become a regular behavior on the nine peaks of the Green Mountains, anybody who saw this gesture would know it meant Jing Jiu.
Though Jing Jiu had never seen this gesture himself, he soon realized what Zhao Layue meant.
Jing Jiu put the conical hat on his head. "Can we still see?" he asked in a low voice.
The light from the street fell on Jing Jiu. Though the conical hat covered most of his face, the exposed part was still too visible.
Zhao Layue pulled down his conical hat forcefully, nodding her head satisfactorily after seeing the result.
The Disgraced Immortal House was the best restaurant and inn in Shangzhou.
Zhao Layue found this out after summing up the courage to ask a few passers-by.
The Inn was well-lit, with clean windows and tables. The ambience was quite nice, though it was a bit noisy.
Zhao Layue was quite satisfied with it, but Jing Jiu didn’t like the three words on the plaque so much.
They entered the Inn and arrived at the front counter, behind which an Innkeeper stood. Zhao Layue suddenly fell silent.
Jing Jiu didn’t understand at first, then realized she must have forgotten to bring money.
He hadn’t forgotten. He remembered that money was very important, as his status in the small village had, to a great extent, depended on how much money he had.
He took out a golden leaf and gave it to the Innkeeper. "We want the best room," he said in a serious tone.
Usually people didn’t come in asking for a room with conical hats on, and nobody paid for rooms with golden leaves… but still, it was a golden leaf.
Who cared what kind of weirdos you were, as long as you had the money?!
"Heavenly Room 1! Look at the title, it was saved just for you two."
The Innkeeper offered a genuine smile, asking a porter to take the guests to their room.
Coming to the door of the room and seeing "Heavenly 1" on the wooden sign, Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue felt rather satisfied.
Entering the room and looking around, Zhao Layue thought the furniture and decorations were pretty good, even when compared with her home in Zhaoge City.
Jing Jiu had a sudden thought. "How did you buy the conical hats without any money?" he asked.
Zhao Layue was startled a bit, but she didn’t answer the question. She sat on a clean spot on the floor with her legs crossed and eyes closed, recuperating.
"Green Mountain really is humiliated!" said Jing Jiu with a smile, shaking his head.
Zhao Layue still didn’t respond.
A streak of white fog arose from the top of her head, as straight as a pencil or a sword.
Jing Jiu untied the iron sword on his back, activating his mental will slightly. A faint blue fire appeared on the black shaft of his sword.
He rubbed his face a few times with a handful of the blue fireballs. All the dust he had accumulated during the thousand-mile trip disappeared from his face, showing skin as spotless as jade.
After a short while, Zhao Layue finished recuperating and opened her eyes, which looked very beautiful, with distinctive black and white parts.
Looking at Jing Jiu and thinking for a moment, Zhao Layue reached her hands out, collecting a handful of water from the air using magic and washing her face clean.
After knocking on the door, the porter came in with a pot of hot water and two clean white towels on his elbow.
Seeing Zhao Layue’s face, the waiter was stunned.
He put down the pot and looked at Jing Jiu. "Would you like…"
His voice suddenly halted again.
The porter rubbed his eyes. He couldn’t believe what he had just seen.
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