The Path Toward Heaven
88 Three Months of War and Flame
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The Path Toward Heaven
Author :Mao Ni
© Wuxiaworld

88 Three Months of War and Flame

Zhao Layue glanced at him without uttering a word. Her response showed that she really didn’t care what others thought of her.

"Good question!"

Elder of Kunlun said angrily, "In Chaonan City, the disciples of the Sect of Three eagerly sought the drug for their young master, and even got involved in petty disputes, but they didn’t deserve death!"

Having heard this, many people grew fearful of Zhao Layue, wondering if being the master of the Green Mountain Sect’s ninth peak gave one license to be so cruel. And when they remembered how Zhao Layue killed Zhu Jie without uttering a word, the crowd believed this legendary gifted girl was virtually a monster at heart.

"Petty disputes?"

Lin Yinglang edged forward, looking at Elder of Kunlun as he said with a sneer, "That day, the two monks of the Fruit Formation Temple wanted to use the drug to treat the folks of Chaonan City, whose souls were taken by the Dace Devil; and in the Precious-Tree House, the practitioners and merchants all gave up bidding to support their benevolent deed. And yet still, the disciples of the Sect of Three attempted to get the drug for their young master, who was infected by the flower poison and felt itchy, but didn’t let the drug be used for treating more people. They increased the bidding to a ridiculously high price. Senior Master Zhao couldn’t stand seeing the local folks suffer, so she won the bidding of the Icy Pill by offering a Xuancao Pill. Afterwards, on her way to give the drug to two monk doctors of the Fruit Formation Temple, she was intercepted by the disciples of the Sect of Three. When they tried to forcefully snatch the drug from her. As they didn’t know the identity of my Senior Master, they had wanted to kill her. Of course they deserved to die!"

A few days ago in the Immortal House of Haizhou, after having learned the details of the event, he and Big Brother Yao Songshan compared these facts with the case file of the Pure Heaven Bureau, and figured out the actual scenario. What Lin Yinglang described was not far from what had actually happened, causing talking and discussion abruptly took place in the grand hall.

The old monk of the Fruit Formation Temple prayed in a Zen mantra, and said to the crowd, "This poor monk was in the Precious-Tree House at that time, and many practitioners could also confirm what he has said."

Hearing this, the crowd in the grand hall mostly believed the story since everybody knew the Fruit Formation Temple was famous for its impartiality and neutrality, and the old monk couldn’t lie.

The Elder of Kunlun wanted to claim that nobody witnessed how Zhao Layue killed those men in the alley, that what had actually happened was still unknown, but he knew his argument would be of no use when he sensed the mood in the grand hall.

"What about the rest of the people you killed?"

Shi Fengchen strode a few more steps forward, getting closer to Zhao Layue.

He stared into Zhao Layue’s eyes and said, "The four people you killed in Shangzhou were merely passing by! The person you cut in half was a magic guard! And the person you slashed into pieces in Yuzhou City was an old woman! And so I’d like to know, how did they offend Peak Master? How did they offend you?!"

Zhao Layue raised her eyebrows as if ready to speak.

Jing Jiu glanced at her.

A peak master of Green Mountain was rendered speechless after being challenged by an official of the Imperial Court.

Nobody could believe it.

Many thought Zhao Layue didn’t argue with this official of the Imperial Court because he was disrespecting her status. What they didn’t know, however, is that her lack of a response was due to Jing Jiu thinking it might bring too much trouble.

"Even though those people didn’t offend the Senior Master, they offended the sword of Green Mountain."

Yao Songshan looked at Shi Fengchen, saying grimly, "Our sword will act when encountering injustice. I think you know the reason why those people died by Senior Master’s sword better than anybody else."

Shi Fengchen sneered. "The Peak Master traveled for two years, snuffing out more than seventy lives in that span. Doesn’t she need to give an explanation for her action?"

Yao Songshan looked at this official as if looking at stone.

"Our Green Mountain Sect needs to explain why villains were killed? Who is qualified to demand such an explanation?"

Such an overwhelming statement.

Such an intimidating sword.

Dead silence fell over the grand hall.

The Green Mountain Sect had truly made a powerful statement; who would dare challenge it?

"What Big Brother said isn’t quite appropriate; even if you pull out your sword when encountering injustice, you must be prudent, as human lives are at stake."

The speaker was Xiang Wanshu.

Mo Xi shook her head, "This is indiscriminate killing."

The atmosphere in the grand hall began to change slightly.

It was interesting that the disciples of the Zhongzhou Sect and the Water-Moon Nunnery spoke at the same time.

Among today’s major Cultivation sects, the One-Cottage Sect kept a low profile, the Fruit Formation Temple didn’t want to compete with anybody, and the Windy Broadsword and the Western Ocean Sword Sect didn’t have enough resources. So the Zhongzhou Sect and the Green Mountain Sect were the two biggest orthodox sects. However, the Zhongzhou Sect, situated close to Zhaoge City, had produce more gifted disciples in the last thirty years, making its reputation slightly better than that of the Green Mountain Sect. Though the Waster-Moon Nunnery didn’t have as many disciples, but it had its nunnery master and a few other masters who had entered State of Broken Sea, and it was rumored that one of their masters was close to entering the State of Heavenly Arrival, so the Water-Moon Nunnery was a power house that shouldn’t be ignored.

Yao Songshan was not pleased at all.

Least of all with Mo Xi.

When the Zhongzhou Sect spoke, he could simply snap back, but he couldn’t do so with the Water-Moon Nunnery since his sect and the nunnery had a friendly relationship, so he felt troubled and uneasy.

It was then that Jing Jiu spoke.

This was the first time people in the grand hall had heard his voice.

His voice was very calm and smooth, like clean water flowing over the shaft of a sword, and no one could tell the water from the sword under the circumstances.

"Is Lian Sanyue your Senior Master?"

The crowd in the hall was startled and intrigued when hearing this, and Mo Xi herself became angry, her willow-like eyebrows raised.

Lian Sanyue was the Young Junior Sister of the Nunnery Master, yet she was the number one in the Nunnery when considering the ranking of the Cultivation state. She was the one expected to enter the State of Heavenly Arrival.

In terms of generation or qualifications, she was one of a few highest-ranking figures in the Cultivation world. It was said that she and the Sect Master of Green Mountain greeted each other with the courtesy of equality when they met.

Since he was the personal disciple of the Immortal Jing Yang, Lian Sanyue and Jing Jiu were the same generation; but the practitioners in the Cultivation world knew he relied on Zhao Layue to up the Shenmo Peak. Even if both of them were of the same generation, calling such a significant master in the Cultivation world by her first name was extremely rude!

Mo Xi looked at Jing Jiu with an extremely unfriendly gaze, as if she intended to see through his conical hat and to see just how shameless he looked.

"Do you know why your Senior Mater was named Lian Sanyue?"

It seemed that Jing Jiu didn’t notice her inhospitable attitude, continuing, "That year, the Snow Kingdom invaded the southern lands, disrupting the inheritance of the Imperial
Court. The whole world was in chaos; the populace lost their homes and loved ones. Worst of all, the bandits were everywhere, eating the refugees as their foods. Your Senior Master came down the mountain and killed forty thousand bandits within three months and burned down seventeen banditries in what was to go down in history as ‘Three Months of War and Flame’. Thus her name, ‘Three Months’."

It was truly quiet in the grand hall as they listened to this anecdote in history, they were shocked as they wondered, could this be true?

This past event had happened so long ago, so it became a secret nobody knew. Mo Xi had never heard of this story, so she retorted automatically, "What nonsense are you talking about? My Senior Master has a mild temperament; she could never do such…such…"

Mo Xi suddenly found that she didn’t know what words she should use to describe her Senior Master in this story. It was definitely legend that her Senior Master saved thousands of people from destruction, but killing forty thousand bandits in three months, perhaps even including refugees, women and children whom were captured by the bandits, how should she evaluate this act?

The young disciples didn’t know about this past event, but the practitioners of older generation still remembered it.

The Elder of Kunlun fell silent, as he didn’t want to recall that chaotic era.

The elder of the Western Ocean Sword Sect recalled the bloody ocean created by the spilled blood of the slaughtered populace in those years, and his face went sickly pale.

The old monk shook his head, hinting at Mo Xi to stop talking; this story was the truth.

Mo Xi snapped, "Those my Senior Master killed were all villains!"

Yao Songshan sneered, "Were those my Senior Master killed all good people?"

The Green Mountain always killed the villains.

This was knowledge shared by many practitioners and a majority of the populace.

This was the foundation of a main orthodox sect, and was an image established by countless years of accumulating good deeds.

Shi Fengchen knew he had no chance to capture Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue anymore.

The Western Ocean Sword Sect would stay neutral, and the Fruit Formation Temple and the Great Marsh Sect would stand with the Green Mountain Sect.

Though the Zhongzhou Sect and the Water-Moon Nunnery had spoken out, they would never stand on the side of the Imperial Court against the Green Mountain Sect.

How could an official of his status represent the Imperial Court?

"I will report this case to the Imperial Court."

He looked at Zhao Layue and said, "I will certainly get an explanation from you…and an apology."

…Even at the cost of my life, He thought in his mind.

However, Zhao Layue didn’t know what was on this official’s mind, nor about his heroic sentiment…That, or she simply didn’t care.

"Have you seen that person?" Zhao Layue asked Jing Jiu.

Jing Jiu nodded.

Zhao Layue said, "Let’s go then."

"Hope to see you at the Plum Meeting," Xiang Wanshu blurted out.

He looked at Jing Jiu when he said this.

There were tournaments of zither, chess, calligraphy and painting at the Plum Meeting.

Next year, the young disciple Jing Jiu should be able to represent the Green Mountain Sect in the Plum Meeting.

Since he could win the chess tournament at the Four-Seas Banquet, he probably would take part in the chess tournament then.

"As I said, you’re not qualified, let your Big Brother give it a try."

Xiang Wanshu felt taken back, but didn’t say anything.

Zhao Layue said the same thing outside the building on Lone Mountain.

At the time, he thought she was simply a spoiled and ridiculous young girl, so he didn’t pay attention to her.

But she was Zhao Layue; he couldn’t regard her statement as ridiculous anymore. This must be what she truly thought.

There was an uproar in the grand hall.

Xiang Wanshu had many big brothers in the Zhongzhou Sect, but when saying Big Brother without adding a name, it had to be…Tong Yan.

What did Zhao Layue mean by saying that? Was that statement a challenge to Tong Yan?

Would the Zhongzhou Sect and the Green Mountain Sect eventually confront each other head on?

This generated a great deal of expectations amongst the crowd.

The whole land would be intrigued when this statement got out.

What would happen in the Plum Meeting next year?

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