Since the chess tournament winner also wearing a conical hat, the crowd realized this young girl was the winner’s companion, so obviously she would make such a remark.
"Please explain exactly how my statement is hypocritical," Xiang Wanshu said.
His expression was composed and lacked anger, but gave a sense of intimidation.
His temperament was mild, and he didn’t want any trouble, but since someone was disparaging his sect, he had no choice but to speak out.
A silence fell over the building, and the atmosphere became tense.
It was Zhao Layue standing by the cliffside.
"As you said, if you played his way, your Big Brother would hit you, so did you mean he should be hit because of the way he played chess?" asked Zhao Layue grimly as she looked at Xiang Wanshu.
What she had said may have sounded unwarranted, but that’s just what his statement meant if you thought about it.
Xiang Wanshu raised his eyebrows slightly and asked, "Would you mind explaining the word ‘hypocritical’?"
"You think his chess skill is poor, but you don’t want to say it; and you even want to hit him, but you don’t dare do so; that’s hypocritical."
Xiang Wanshu shook his head, "These are not hypocritical. I simply want to save your companion’s dignity."
"Do you think you are qualified to criticize him?" asked Zhao Layue.
There was a commotion in the crowd. They thought it was ridiculous to say so, and a person granted three steps by Tong Yan was of course qualified to criticize her companion.
Xiang Wanshu raised his eyebrows slightly and said, "You are right. I’d like for him to know that chess is by no means simple."
"Believe me, chess playing is the simplest thing in the world for him," Zhao Layue retorted.
As Zhao Layue was talking, she thought that if he had seen the ceramic plate by the bamboo chair and the sand grains in the plate, he would understand what she meant.
Xiang Wanshu said, "Really? I’d like to have a chance to play with him."
"You’re not good enough; let your Big Brother do it."
The way Zhao Layue said it was so natural, as if she were mentioning something trivial.
An uproar sprang up in the crowd.
The purpose of the Western Ocean Sword Sect hosting the Four-Seas Banquet was to compete with the Plum Meeting, but everybody knew there was an insurmountable gap between these two events in resources, and in other aspects.
You thought that since your companion won the chess tournament at the Four-Seas Banquet, he was qualified to play with Tong Yan?!
Who was Tong Yan? How could a regular practitioner meet him?
Xiang Wanshu forced a bitter smile, not uttering a word as he thought how inexperienced this young girl was, and so his anger waned, and he let it go.
An hour later, Xiang Wanshu saw that inexperienced young girl again.
The winners of the Four-Seas Banquet and the invited guests would later take the ocean boats from the Lone Mountain to enter the Cloudy Platform in the sky.
Xiang Wanshu could use his magic to walk on the air to get there, but he chose to wait here in respect of the Western Ocean Sword Sect.
He looked up at the cliffside, and his gaze falling on two people with conical hats, shaking his head while thinking they were spoiled disciples of an unknown sect.
"How do you feel? Did you have any fun?" asked Zhao Layue.
"Not really," Jing Jiu replied.
Zhao Layue asked, "What do you mean?"
"Playing chess is different from Cultivation, since relying on your opponent’s mistakes to win; this part isn’t fun."
After some thoughts, he added, "And it’s too simple."
The ocean boat had no sails, simply taking off with the wind and traveling in the clouds.
While shrouded in the clouds, one could vaguely see the rugged cliff rocks, the nearby buildings, decks, pavilions, and gazebos.
Those practitioners who visited the Western Ocean Sword Sect the first time found out that the so-called Cloudy Platform was actually a mountain floating in the sky.
The ocean boat arrived on the peak top, and the disciples of the Western Ocean Sword Sect came forward to meet them and lead them to a magnificent palace.
The invited guests of various sects had already taken their seats in the palace, and were enjoying the dancing and singing of mermaids, having discussions among themselves hushed voices.
Xiang Wanshu, Mo Xi and Jing Jiu, as the winner of the tournaments at this Four-Seas Banquet, walked into the grand hall of the palace as winners of the tournaments at this Four-Seas Banquet.
Many people stood up to receive them, showing their respect for the Four-Seas Banque as well as the sects of Xiang Wanshu and Mo Xi.
Some gazed at Jing Jiu since he was still wearing the conical hat, which seemed odd to them.
One of the gazes was hidden in the dark, full of wickedness and hatred.
Two of the gazes were full of shock and puzzlement.
The expressions on Yao Songshan and Lin Yinglang changed slightly, wondering why he was here? Didn’t he know the Pure Heaven Bureau was looking for them? What was he doing?
As they arrived at the far end of the palace, a figure emerged gradually from the foggy clouds.
He was a tall and broad man with an intimidating aura, wearing a bright yellow cloth with a veil made of a dozen strings of pearls that hung from his crown and obscured his face.
Gazing down at Jing Jiu, he looked like a true emperor.
He was Xiwang Sun, and the most mysterious and important figure in the Cultivation world in recent years.
Jing Jiu stared at him silently.
Xiang Wanshu and Mo Xi had already returned to the grand hall, wondering what precious treasures the Western Ocean Sword Sect would give out this time.
Jing Jiu was the only one remaining, which was bizarre in many people’s minds.
"The path is endless, so we have to broaden our perspective; we shouldn’t abandon the entire forest for a single tree."
The voice of the Xiwang Sun was as placid as the glowing pearls of the south sea bejeweling his crown veil, so pure and round.
The first part of what he said was typical instruction for the younger generation from a master; the second part was quite odd.
Jing Jiu said in his mind: You are not him.
Now he knew who was Xiwang Sun, and also knew he wasn’t the one he expected to see.
Xiwang Sun looked at Jing Jiu with a fake smile.
The interesting thing was, thought he knew who this young practitioner with the conical hat was.
In his mind, this young man chose to participate in the Four-Seas Banquet to join his Western Ocean Sword Sect since he was pursued so closely by the Pure Heaven Bureau.
He knew what happened in the Ocean-God Temple that night, but he wasn’t upset; on the contrary, he appreciated his courage and capability, thinking these two young individuals had tremendous potential for future development, though the young man in front of him with an iron sword on his back had apparently not entered the State of the Undefeated and was far inferior to the other person.
Yet he wouldn’t allow the Western Ocean Sword Sect to accept them; it would instead be in another name.
This was the meaning of the second half of his previous statement.
It was quiet, and Jing Jiu didn’t respond.
Xiwang Sun gradually narrowed his eyes, displaying a hint of coldness expression. "If you don’t want to join our sect, why would you participate in my Four-Seas Banquet?" he asked.
"I simply want to see you," said Jing Jiu.
This was an unexpected answer.
Staring at Jing Jiu quietly, he suddenly asked, "Do you still want my precious treasure?"
Jing Jiu shook his head.
Having seen this, Xiwang Sun thought the man simply hadn’t made up his mind and so didn’t know what to do yet. After a moment of silence, he waved his hand, motioning for him to leave.
The grand hall of the Western Ocean Sword Sect was huge, about one mile long and one mile wide, with a thin fog grazing the ground, and the guests sat loosely in it.
It would be hard to see the other person’s face clearly if they were not practitioners with powerful eyesight.
Jing Jiu returned to the grand hall and sat down by the table where Zhao Layue was sitting, ready to leave with her.
A wintry voice bellowed out.
"Some guests are still wearing the conical hats in the banquet; are you afraid of letting others see your faces? Or you have done too many dirty things, and thus won’t dare to show your faces?
The guests felt a bit surprised. Looking in the direction of the voice, they found a slender middle-aged practitioner wearing a black robe and looking repugnant.
Those guests who knew this practitioner told others in a low voice, so the other quests learned this middle-aged practitioner was Zhu Jie, a traveling practitioner.
He had a good relationship with the Western Ocean Sword Sect, so it was no surprise that he was present at the banquet.
Zhu Jie had a reputation as bad as his late Big Brother—the Head Master of Black Dragon Temple, Zhu Gui, so nobody was willing to talk to him. Usually he would finish eating and drinking at the banquet quietly, afterwards boasting about his special treatments from the Western Ocean Sword Sect and his friendly chatting with the gifted disciple of the Middle State Sect.
Today was different.
Those two with the conical hats on were the killers of his Big Brother.
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