Liu Shisui sat against a stone post, covered in blood.
He didn’t pay any attention to the angry gazes fixed on him. "So what? I’m willing to do anything as long as I can kill him," he said, his voice emotionless.
Guo Nanshan looked at Jian Ruoyun as he received first aid. "You couldn’t have hurt him today if he knew you had learned the deviant sword style, but he didn’t suspect you."
"Of course he doesn’t suspect me. He knows I’m not that kind of person."
Liu Shisui turned his head with a great deal of effort toward the unconscious Jian Ruoyun. "It was he who wanted to eat the Devil Pill," he said.
"The truth has already been revealed," said Guo Nanshan, shaking his head. "Why do you still want to slander him?"
"Two years ago under the Muddy River, he wanted to steal the Devil Pill. I tried to stop him, but he attacked me unexpectedly. This is the truth. How can you say that I am trying to slander him?!"
Guo Nanshan looked at Chi Yan.
In the last two years, Shangde Peak had been in charge of interrogating Liu Shisui, so the other disciples of Green Mountain didn’t know the details of the case.
"Lies. There is no reason to trust him, so you have no need to know," Chi Yan said emotionlessly.
"Two years ago your people tortured me," said Liu Shisui in an indignant tone. "I didn’t say anything, regardless of how painful it was, because I knew nobody would believe me. Last year your people interrogated me again. I started telling the truth, but no one believed what I said. Now that you all think I am the bad guy, why do you even bother asking me?"
"Today’s event has proven that you ate the Devil Pill," said Chi Yan calmly.
Only Liu Shisui and Jian Ruoyun knew what had actually happened under the Muddy River, so the Devil Pill was the sole evidence.
In the last two years, the masters of Shangde Peak, including Chi Yan, couldn’t find direct evidence to prove that Liu Shisui ate the Devil Pill, as a secret magic that had been planted in Liu Shisui’s soul concealed the evidence.
Today the evidence finally came out.
Suddenly, Liu Shisui laughed loudly, sounding as if he had gone mad.
"I tried to snatch the Devil Pill from him…but the Devil Pill itself…entered my body…it entered by itself…what could I do?"
He glanced at Guo Nanshan, then Chi Yan and his peers, who looked at him with a resentful expression. "If you were in my position, what would you do?" asked Liu Shisui, shrugging his shoulders.
He was still laughing when he spoke. And his face was covered with tears. The tears mixed with the blood and dust on his face, leaving it an awful mess.
Silence fell upon the arena. If what he said was true, what should I do in this situation?
The disciples of Green Mountain asked themselves this question, but they couldn’t give an answer. Yet it also meant they had an answer.
Looking at Liu Shisui, his face matted with tears and blood, many had sympathy for him, but they still didn’t believe what he said.
"You are a liar!"
"You have made Big Brother Jian suffer so much, and now you want to defame him!"
"You are a shameless scoundrel! Using such dirty tricks to frame Big Brother while he is still unconscious and unable to talk."
The disciples of Liangwang Peak and Yunxing Peak couldn’t put up with Liu anymore, so they started cursing him.
The emergency treatment of Jian Ruoyun by Shiyue Peak was over. He was out of danger even though his injury was severe.
Guo Nanshan and many others could breathe more easily now.
Liu Shisui also felt relieved.
The anger pent up in him was finally released that day.
He had prepared silently for two years with a single goal in mind: to kill Jian Ruoyun, even at the expense of revealing the fact that he ate the Devil Pill.
Unfortunately he didn’t succeed.
He lay against the stone post, wordless, full of despair.
Chi Yan announced Liu Shisui’s crimes in public, including secretly eating the Devil Pill, practicing deviant Cultivation methods, and acting as an accomplice in the death of Zhuo Yi of Bihu Peak.
Some of the hot-tempered disciples of Bihu Peak spat and cursed at Liu Shisui.
In the end, Liu Shisui’s sentence was announced.
Death by sword.
Jing Jiu looked at the young man at the foot of the stone post quietly.
Compared to the time when they were in the small village many years ago, Liu Shisui had grown quite a lot. Jing Jiu hadn’t seen him in three years, so he looked somewhat unfamiliar.
"I object," yelled Zhao Layue as she glanced at Jing Jiu.
The disciples were startled.
In the Sword Justice of Green Mountain, "death by sword" was the extreme punishment for a disciple. Even the Sect Master of Shangde Peak could not decide such a sentence alone. All the peak masters had to give their consent.
The punishment couldn’t be carried out as long as one peak master didn’t approve. In this case, the punished disciple could only be imprisoned in the Sword Jail, even though it could be forever.
The prisoners in the Sword Jail at the bottom of Shangde Peak were former disciples of the Green Mountain Sect, as well as demons and deviant practitioners who were difficult to kill.
"May I ask why?" demanded Chi Yan, frowning slightly.
The authority of Shangde Peak had been challenged, but he had to respect Zhao Layue as the Peak Master of Shenmo.
"Jian Ruoyun didn’t die, and no disciple of Green Mountain has died because of Liu Shisui. Why does he have to die?"
"Did you hear what he just said?" asked Zhao Layue. "Now that there is disagreement, why don’t we wait until Jian Ruoyun wakes up? Then we can ask him."
It was obvious that she suspected Jian Ruoyun and stood on Liu Shisui’s side.
Having heard this, the disciples of Liangwang Peak and Yunxing Peak couldn’t help but glare at her.
Zhao Layue’s expression was quite calm. "Who do you think you're looking at?" she asked, staring back at them.
Those disciples realized their behavior was very rude, and grudgingly broke their gazes.
"There is nothing to ask Jian Ruoyun about! Everyone who has a brain knows that the Devil Pill is in Liu Shisui’s stomach!"
The Peak Master of Yunxing spoke sternly, showing his anger as he looked at the unconscious Jian Ruoyun.
"So what? I still don’t approve," said Zhao Layue, remaining calm.
Her disapproval meant that the decision could not be made.
Once Zhao Layue disapproved, Liu Shisui would not die.
It was very quiet around the stone forest.
All of them knew Liu Shisui should be able to live.
But was being locked in the darkness of the Sword Jail better than death?
Jing Jiu didn’t speak. He knew this wasn’t really the end.
Just as he expected.
The Sect Master’s voice came from the peak top.
"This is the first time in one hundred years that the ninth peak has taken part in the discussion of the affairs of Green Mountain…I urge Shangde Peak to consider her opinion."
The Three-Foot Sword suddenly started vibrating, exuding a freezing cold energy.
Yuan Qijing’s voice boomed across the peaks, as sharp and cold as an icicle as it reached the disciples’ ears, making them feel uncomfortable.
"Take away his Sword Pill, sever his meridians, purge his Devil Pill, destroy his Cultivation, and expel him from the Green Mountain. All this will be carried out by Tianguang Peak."
This was the final result for Liu Shisui.
Shangde Peak was willing to take a step back, because the Sect Master had spoken.
The Sect Master wanted to show some respect to the personal disciples of Immortal Jing Yang.
Why would Zhao Layue want to save Liu Shisui’s life?
Many people had already thought it had something to do with Jing Jiu.
They still remembered the relationship between Jing Jiu and Liu Shisui in the past.
A caretaker of Shangde Peak helped Liu Shisui get up and bound his arms with sword rope.
Liu Shisui looked at Jing Jiu on the platform in the cliff. After a moment of silence, Liu Shisui suddenly bellowed, "I don’t need your phony benevolence!"
Jing Jiu still didn’t speak, his expression unaffected.
"When I needed your help the most…where were you?!"
"When I suffered the most, where were you? You left! You left the Green Mountain to travel around!"
"I know you left on purpose! Why? Are you afraid of offending them? Or afraid of seeing me in such a miserable condition that makes you feel uncomfortable?"
"You’re the most promising talent of the Green Mountain Sect, and I’m a disciple who has strayed from the path," said Liu Shisui sadly. "Is there any friendship between us? You merely stayed with my family for a year. At the South Pine Pavilion and the Stream of Sword Washing, they used me to mock you. I think you already hated seeing me at that time."
It was quiet.
Liu Shisui gradually calmed down. He gazed at Jing Jiu in the cliff. "But I have never thought of you this way…" he said sincerely.
It was clear that he had stopped before finishing his sentence.
Because Jing Jiu had raised his hand.
It was just like when they were in the small village, at the South Pine Pavilion or the Stream of Sword Washing.
Liu Shisui could understand what Jing Jiu meant from his gesture or eye contact.
Jing Jiu thought he talked too much. He was too noisy.
Liu Shisui gave a miserable laugh and said no more.
Liu Shisui was taken away by a caretaker of Shangde Peak. Later, a master of Tianguang Peak would carry out those merciless punishments, and then banish Liu Shisui from the Green Mountain.
Looking at his figure as it gradually disappeared down the mountain path, Jing Jiu still didn’t speak.
The masters and disciples all stared at Jing Jiu, astonished by his hardheartedness.
"Did he say those things from the bottom of his heart?" Zhao Layue suddenly asked.
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu spoke. "I’m not sure. You think you’re dreaming but you’re not, and you think it’s real but it’s not, and vice versa."
"Why don’t you explain it to him?" asked Zhao Layue.
"As you know," said Jing Jiu, "I was simply a tenant in his family, and paid enough rent."
Though such a significant event had happened, the Sword Trial had to continue, as life had to go on.
Jian Ruoshan was severely wounded by Liu Shisui and couldn’t take part in further combat, so his opponent in the draw moved up to the second round without actually fighting.
As the next disciple was about to come up according to the drawing order, Jing Jiu suddenly stood up.
There was a commotion in the crowd.
Many people thought he was sitting there ashamed and ready to leave.
Of course, Zhao Layue knew that wasn’t the case. She thought it all over with a slight smile on his face. Did he really say that he was only a passerby?
Jing Jiu came down from the stone platform along the mountain path in the cliff, and arrived in the arena.
He lifted his head, looking at the stone forest. The stone posts were high indeed, and shrouded by the clouds in the middle, so it was hard to see the top of the posts so well.
The disciples didn’t know what he was going to do, or why he was standing there looking up at the sky.
The disciple who was about to get in the arena didn’t know what to do. Should he ask Jing Jiu to leave?
"Jing…Young Brother, why are you standing here?" asked Chi Yan with raised eyebrows.
"I have an agreement with the Middle State Sect to play chess with Tong Yan at next year’s Plum Meeting," said Jing Jiu, turning his gaze back to Chi Yan.
Everybody knew all about such a prominent occurrence, but many disciples thought he would humiliate himself and the sect as well.
Even if you wanted to go to next year’s Plum Meeting, what did it have to do with him standing there?
"I suddenly realized that I need to be qualified to take part in the Plum Meeting, so I have to participate in the Sword Trial of Green Mountain."
"That’s why I’m standing here," said Jing Jiu in a serious tone.
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