"Did you want the proof? Now I have proven the Old Ones have both good and bad people, and many different schools."
Wei Chenzi looked at Liu Shisui emotionlessly. "You can choose to stand on our side, or to die," he said.
They had actually identified themselves in front of Liu Shisui.
An elder of the Center Sect in the Yuanying State and an elder of the One-Cottage Sect were in fact the members of the Old Ones.
If Liu Shisui didn’t go with them, he would be killed for sure.
A dead person couldn’t reveal this secret to anybody.
Liu Shisui still couldn’t put two and two together. Why did they suddenly kill the disciple of the Mysterious Dark Sect? Just to prove there were some good guys in the Old Ones?!
"Our orders are to bring you back, and it has to be voluntary on your part. So we had no choice but to use this method to persuade you."
"Our Center Sect has simply killed an evil demon," said Wei Chenzi. "Is there a problem with that?"
"I don’t think I’m that important," said Liu Shisui.
"You are of excellent quality," said Wei Chenzi, "and already in the middle state of the Golden Pill at such a young age. You could be ranked top ten in Chaotian Land. Since the Green Mountain Sect didn’t cherish you much, there are many other sects that will cherish you. If those sects didn’t care about offending the Green Mountain Sect, all of them would have come to see you."
After a moment of silence, Liu Shisui spoke. "Let me think about it. Come back tomorrow."
"I know you’re not afraid of dying, but don’t even think about suicide," said Wei Chenzi. "Otherwise, all the villagers will be buried with you, including your parents."
Liu Shisui stared into Wei Chenzi’s eyes. "All that good people and bad people talk is just a lie!"
"Those are the reasons and excuses you wanted to hear. Regardless of lies or truth, you simply need to ask yourself one thing: ‘Do I really want to accept this fate?’."
Having said that, Wei Chenzi and the elder scholar left.
It was late night, and the sky was full of twinkling stars.
Liu Shisui looked through the window at the night sky. Was he pondering that question?
Suddenly, he got out of bed, and went in the kitchen next to his room.
His mother held his hand, and didn’t know what to say.
His father sighed, took out a small box from deep within the cupboard, and handed it to Liu Shisui.
He took the box and opened it. Inside was a jasmine flower.
The jasmine flower must have been sealed by magic. It looked as fresh as when it was first placed in the box.
"It was left here by your Young Master Jing Jiu a year ago."
"He told us to give this flower to you if you insist on leaving," said Liu Shisui’s father.
Liu Shisui couldn’t figure out what this meant.
His mother sewed the jasmine flower onto the collar of his clothing. It looked rather nice.
Liu Shisui disappeared from the small village. The villagers knew about his disappearance, but the outsiders had not noticed.
At that time, the most important event in Chaotian Land was the Plum Meeting, which was soon to take place. Many Cultivation practitioners were on their way to Zhaoge City.
Dozens of sword lights emerged in the blue sky. This spectacular scene created by a group of immortal masters from Green Mountain traveling together became a regular sight in South Land. If the weather was good enough, some lucky folks would be able to witness this scene, which would be a boasting topic for the rest of their lives.
Zhaonan City had been informed of their coming. So the officials readjusted the Formations as soon as possible, and put the Formations back in place until those sword lights arrived in the city.
Nanhezhou was the traditional territory of the Green Mountain Sect, so the masters and disciples of Green Mountain didn’t have to stay in the Immortal House, like other Cultivation practitioners.
As the largest auction house in Nanhezhou, the Precious-Tree House could collect plenty of crystal stones, gold and silver every day, but it had closed its business two days prior. Dozens of caretakers and servants, supervised by the boss of the auction house, had cleaned all nine floors of the building, making sure every speck of dust was cleaned.
On the ninth floor, two suites were prepared. One was for the group leader, the Peak Master of Qingrong. The other one was for Zhao Layue.
The boss of the Precious-Tree House wasn’t qualified to meet the two peak masters. He only hoped that neither of the two who had been here four years ago would recall their unpleasant treatment in the Mysterious Room B on the eighth floor. But how could the manager know the young girl wrapped in gray cloth was the legendary Zhao Layue?
The Precious-Tree House didn’t neglect its duty in the slightest when serving the Peak Master of Qingrong, but all the disciples of Green Mountain who were to participate in or observe the Plum Meeting could sense that the attitude of the Precious-Tree House toward Zhao Layue was especially courteous. Besides a hint of trepidation, they obviously wanted to please her.
Yao Songshan was one of the ten disciples selected from the Sword Trial of Green Mountain, and he had practiced on Shangde Peak before joining Liangwang Peak. So he didn’t know the reason, but understood it after two disciples of Xilai Peak and Shiyue Peak had explained to him.
The Precious-Tree House was an external business of the Green Mountain Sect. It could acquire a large amount of crystal stones, gold and silver, but those treasures were not so important to the Green Mountain Sect. What the Green Mountain Sect truly cared about were the magic pill materials and resources for Cultivation distributed annually by the Imperial Court and the Sects Federation, which were sent by the Precious-Tree House to the Green Mountain.
The former Peak Master of Bihu, Lei Poyun, died many years ago, so his influence had mostly faded away. The Precious-Tree House was worried that their privilege might be no more.
Yao Songshan didn’t quite understand the reason. "Shenmo Peak has just been reestablished. They don’t even take part in the meetings of Green Mountain. How can they care about such a trivial matter? Why didn’t the Precious-Tree House seek help from the masters of other peaks?"
"As you know, the Shenmo Peak has just been reestablished," said a disciple of Xilai Peak. Except for Shenmo Peak, which peak doesn’t have its own business? Why would they let the Precious-Tree House carry on the most profitable business forever? The intention of the Precious-Tree House is quite clear. They want Shenmo Peak to be their new backer."
Yao Songshan raised his eyebrows slightly. "I think their effort will be in vain. Our Senior Master Zhao won’t be interested in helping them."
A disciple of Shiyue Peak laughed. "Of course our Senior Master Zhao won’t be interested, and the Precious-Tree House has no way to contact Shenmo Peak. But you have to remember, our Senior Master Zhao’s family is in Zhaoge City. It’s not difficult to find her family. It’s said that the Precious-Tree House sent dozens of carts of treasure to Zhaoge City last winter."
Yao Songshan couldn’t speak for a while. "Let’s not chat about this anymore, and make good use of our time to practice Cultivation," he said.
The location of the Plum Meeting was not far from here. If they could make slight progress in their Cultivation states on their way to the Plum Meeting, it would be a good thing.
The two disciples of Shiyue Peak and Xilai Peak eyed each other and shook their heads with a bitter smile. They didn’t have any confidence when it came to the Plum Meeting.
In the view of many, the disciples of the Green Mountain Sect participating in the Plum Meeting this year were the weakest they had been in centuries.
As Zhuo Rusui was still behind closed doors, Guo Nanshan should have been the leader of the disciples of the Green Mountain Sect taking part in the Plum Meeting.
This principal disciple of the Sect Master had demonstrated a Cultivation state far superior to that of his peers at the Sword Trial of the Green Mountain Sect. He had even entered the state of Free Travel after many years of hard work. Many people predicted that Guo Nanshan might be able to defeat Tong Yan if Tong hadn’t had any special experience. And Guo Nanshan could even challenge Luo Huainan.
But…his sword was broken.
He had to stay on Yunxing Peak, tempering his sword. No one could tell when he would be able to leave the mountain with his repaired sword.
Besides Guo Nanshan, both Gu Han and Jian Ruyun were recuperating from their wounds.
In fact, the best disciples of Liangwang Peak couldn’t take part in the Plum Meeting this time.
All because of that person.
"Why doesn’t he come with us?" asked the disciple of Xilai Peak.
"Because he is the senior master," the disciple of Shiyue Peak replied with a slight mockery in his voice.
Jing Jiu didn’t ride his sword. He left the Green Mountain and arrived in Cloudy Town by dusk.
Just like the last time when he had walked out of the Green Mountains, he came to the top floor of the restaurant and ordered a hotpot.
This time he didn’t have to order the special hotpot soup. Instead he asked for a pot of boiled water and put a vegetable in it.
No restaurant liked this kind of diner, but this diner paid a gold leaf for the meal. So Jing Jiu was welcomed as an exception.
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