A man was not quite a sword. The unsubstantiated idea could only be a conjecture.
So the concept of the Sword Body could merely be treated as a hypothesis.
"If that wasn’t the Sword Body, what could it be?"
The Peak Master of Bihu, Cheng Youtian, spoke, breaking his silence.
Though the regular disciples couldn’t understand what they saw, how could these experienced swordsmen not be shocked?
"What about his hands?"
The Peak Master of Shiyue frowned. "Guo Nanshan’s sword wasn’t a normal flying sword."
As the principal disciple of the Sect Master, Guo Nanshan’s sword was far from a normal sword. It was named "The Blue Ocean" and was a magic sword of the second class.
A story was often told about this sword.
It was said that in order for Guo Nanshan, a sword washing disciple at the time, to obtain this sword, an elder of the Gu family returned the sword back to the Green Mountain… earlier than expected.
Guo Nanshan had spent two years to get the acceptance of "The Blue Ocean", taking a much longer time than Zhuo Rusui and Zhao Layue.
This famous sword was broken. It would take many years to temper it back to its original condition, so the peak masters felt it was a pity to have the sword destroyed.
"Even if Jing Jiu knows how to employ the Benevolent Hands of the Fruit Formation Temple, it would be still impossible for him to handle that sword."
Normally, anyone who tried to grab "The Blue Ocean", like Jing Jiu did, would have his fingers cut off, then his both hands.
"Unless…that guy has actually practiced the Gold-Steel Shield," said the Peak Master of Shiyue, frowning slightly.
"Shangde Peak suspected this three years ago," said the Peak Master of Xilai.
Back when Shenmo Peak reopened, Chi Yan had mentioned that Jing Jiu might have practiced the Gold-Steel Shield.
The Green Mountain Sect didn’t believe this conjecture and treated it as a joke. But they couldn’t figure out why the normally-serious Shangde Peak would tell a joke either.
It looked like Shangde Peak was too serious to tell jokes.
They all gazed at the Three-Foot Sword.
The peak masters knew that the cold-hearted old man was listening to their conversation.
"A Fruit Body with the Gold-Steel Shield, along with the Sword Way of our Green Mountain, might actually eventually lead to the Sword Body," said the Peak Master of Xilai in a gentle voice.
"What are those monks thinking?" asked the Peak Master of Qingrong. "If he had already achieved the Fruit Body before leaving the temple, he must be a true genius. How could they let this kind of disciple leave? Jing Jiu has already been at our Green Mountain Sect, and it’s beneficial for us, even if he is a monk seeking different experiences in the outside world."
If this guesswork turned out to be true, according to their rules regarding experiences in the outside world, Jing Jiu had to come back to help out if needed by the Green Mountain, even after he had returned to the Fruit Formation Temple in the future.
"Not enough." After some careful thought, the Peak Master of Xilai spoke. "If he stayed in the Fruit Formation Temple for ten years, he has to stay here for ten years. At least the staying time should be equal on both sides. I’ll discuss this matter with the Sect Master. I’d like to ask my brothers and sisters not to let this information get out, and not to question the Fruit Formation Temple. We should simply pretend we don’t know anything about it."
They thought this was probably what Jing Jiu meant by splitting the sword into two.
The other peak masters agreed in unison.
Though Jing Jiu had a low Cultivation state and it was rather a lucky incident for him to break Guo Nanshan’s sword, who could anticipate what he might achieve in the future?!
If the guesswork turned out to be true, just as the Fruit Formation Temple helped the Windy Broadsword Sect gain a Broadsword King, the Green Mountain Sect might gain a Sword King a hundred years later.
Back on Shenmo Peak, Zhao Layue took out the glowing orb from her sleeve and gave it to Gu Qing and youth Yuan.
Gu Qing took it with great care, and then led youth Yuan back to their manor cave. Back in the manor cave, Gu Qing cast the Will of Sword upon the orb.
The orb projected countless light rays onto the cliff wall, forming blurry images, but those images were clear enough for them to see what had happened at the Sword Trial earlier.
This was the Reversed Orb, which could record images. It was rumored that the Center Sect had a magic treasure called the Returned Heaven Orb, which could vividly replay scenes that had happened before, and could even record sounds. But the Returned Heaven Orb was too precious, so it was always locked in the Mended Heaven Hall of the Center Sect. Nobody had actually seen it.
The twilight had faded away and the night had fallen. The stars twinkled and the teapot lay still.
Sitting by the cliff edge and looking at a mountain peak in the distance, Jing Jiu remained reticent, pondering over something.
Zhao Layue walked up beside him. "Do you want to chat?" she asked quietly.
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu spoke. "I didn’t talk much before, but I talk a lot more now. Everything in the world changes, and everything has its cause. However, I still don’t understand why they take life so seriously, and are willing to live for others. Even though I know the motivation, I just can’t accept it."
Zhao Layue knew he was talking about Liangwang Peak, or Liu Shisui to be specific, but she didn’t know how to respond.
"My Cultivation progress is too slow," Jing Jiu continued,
Zhao Layue thought this remark wasn’t fitting for his temperament. Had he lost his mind?
"I know what the path is like ahead of me, but I still have to march forward. It’s really boring to see the scenes I have seen before. So I wasn’t in a hurry."
"But today I have felt the pressure for the first time," Jing Jiu said.
"Why?" prompted Zhao Layue.
"If I entered the State of Broken Sea, I would be able to beat up Bai Rujing today," said Jing Jiu in a serious tone, looking at Zhao Layue.
Zhao Layue was speechless. He had beaten up three most important disciples of Liangwang Peak, and he still wasn’t satisfied?
It looked like this wasn’t the end of matters regarding Liu Shisui.
Dozens of light rays returned to the Reversed Orb.
The glowing orb began emitting light again, brightening the manor cave as if it were in daytime.
Qu Qing remained somber, and youth Yuan’s face turned ashen.
The images projected by the Reversed Orb were blurry, and without sound, but they learned what had happened that day.
Liu Shisui had been relieved of his Cultivation and expelled from the Green Mountain.
Jing Jiu had challenged three disciples of Liangwang Peak one after another, and even made the principal disciple of the Sect Master throw up blood.
Eyeing each other, they could see the shocked expression in each other’s eyes.
Patting youth Yuan on his shoulder, Gu Qing reassured him. "It’ll be okay."
Gu Qing felt something might happen even before today’s Sword Trial, but he could never have imagined such an outcome.
It was lucky that Liu Shisui didn’t lose his life and the two masters were safe and sound.
Youth Yuan really admired Gu Qing. He hadn’t shown any sign of panic and fear as he had stayed on Shenmo Peak for three years. "Big Brother is really composed," he remarked.
"Your master is the Peak Master," said Gu Qing, "so you are the principal disciple of Shenmo Peak. I have to call you Big Brother."
Youth Yuan didn’t want to accept the title. "It should be decided by the order of arrival."
Gu Qing shook his head. "If it’s decided by the order of arrival, I’m still not the Big Brother."
Youth Yuan felt a bit confused. "Then who is the Big Brother?"
Gu Qing looked at the night sky outside the peak and remained silent for a long time. "I don’t know if our Big Brother…can come back or not."
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