Your assessment for such legendary experiences was "knowing how to bluff"?
The doctor thought to himself, Perhaps it was you who knew how to bluff. He then took out a booklet and handed it over to Jing Jiu, giving Jing Jiu a meaningful stare as he did. "This is the third piece of information. The booklet is worth one hundred white crystals. I believe you need this quite a bit," he said.
Jing Jiu took the booklet and said after some thought, "I’ll give you piece of information: Zhao Layue will take part in the Plum Meeting."
The doctor’s expression changed slightly. "Which tournament?" he asked abruptly, to make sure.
Jing Jiu said, "The last tournament of course."
The doctor said, "We will inform you once we’ve obtained the information on Fang Jingtian and Xiwan Sun."
He didn’t ask who Jing Jiu was or discussed with him about how to contact each other.
After Jing Jiu left, his assistant in the medical house came in and shook his head, "I couldn’t see his face, so I had no way of drawing his portrait."
The doctor asked, "Did you use the Light-Ray Identification?"
The assistant replied, "Yes, I did. The conical hat wasn’t a problem, but the black mask on his face was really hard to penetrate."
The doctor thought it might be a treasure created by Shiyue Peak, and he didn’t say anything more on the topic. "Zhao Layue will participate in the Tournament of Cultivation at the Plum Meeting," he said to the assistant.
The assistant wrote the information on a piece of paper as quickly as he could.
Many people thought that Zhao Layue couldn’t compete with the likes of Luo Huainan and Tong Yan, among others, even though she was someone with natural Dao quality, as she had practiced Cultivation for a shorter period of time. Moreover, she was the Peak Master of Shenmo, and wouldn’t compete herself. They all thought that she would just observe the Plum Meeting this time, but surprisingly, she would participate in the tournament.
"The ranking in the booklet will change soon." The doctor sighed, saying, "The relationship between Shenmo Peak and Xilai Peak is problematic, not to mention the problem Bihu Peak had in the previous incident. When was the last time the Green Mountain so messy? Tell all the divisions to investigate further. Put all the information about the Green Mountain in Category C."
The assistant continued writing down what the doctor had said.
"Put the origin of Young Zen Master in Category A, top secret."
The doctor glanced at his assistant and handed him a new piece of paper.
The assistant understood what he meant, nodding his head several times.
The doctor said after some hesitation, "If this information is proven true, give him the information we have on Xiwan Sun."
"But Xiwan Sun is so cautious that he doesn’t even use the people of the Western Ocean Sword Sect. His close associates and guards are all mysteries, so we don’t have very much information on him," said the assistant.
"I merely promised to exchange information with him. I didn’t tell him we had a lot of information," the doctor said.
The assistant felt slight sympathy for the young man who had just left with a conical hat on, asking, "Who was that person?"
The doctor said, "Yesterday the Young Zen Master told State Duke He that the person protected by the propitious cloud the night before was the child of a friend. There are two questions here: Who is this child of his friend? Why did he need the Young Zen Master to protect him? Today this visitor said that the Peak Master of Xilai was present that night and that he wanted to investigate it. So it’s not hard to figure out his identity!"
The assistant was startled, asking, "Is he Jing Jiu?"
The doctor sipped some tea from his teacup, and confirmed, "No doubt. If he weren’t the personal disciple of Immortal Jing Yang, who could have known such an old code?"
The assistant started realizing something, as he said, "That is why you gave him three pieces of information."
"Since he was to participate in the Plum Meeting, he must want the information, especially that last piece of information."
The doctor couldn’t help shaking his head when he thought of a few things.
It was obvious that Jing Jiu wasn’t experienced with common affairs. He wore a mask to conceal his identity, but there were so many clues left behind.
This kind of young man couldn’t achieve anything great in the future, even though he was a special talent in sword work. He didn’t know whether it was a good deal for the Curtain Rollers to build a relationship with him.
The rain at night was soundless, and pleasant.
Jing Jiu returned to his room in the small courtyard, lying in the bamboo chair, and took out that booklet, skimming through it.
His expression was peaceful one.
But any young participants at the Plum Meeting, even Tong Yan, would show a somber expression when reading this booklet.
This seemingly simple booklet recorded comprehensive information regarding the top one hundred candidates at the Plum Meeting. The booklet not only recorded simple information for these candidates like their sect, hometown, age, and gender, but also more important information, like their Cultivation styles, what kind of treasure relics and flying swords they were using, analysis of their fighting styles, evaluation of their Cultivation states, and prediction of their eventual ranking at the Plum Meeting.
As for how they determined the top one hundred candidates, this was wholly determined by the Curtain Rollers.
The booklet talked about the Cultivation style and fighting, offering important information for the last tournament in the order of the zither, chess, calligraphy, painting, and Cultivation tournaments.
The Cultivation tournament.
Jing Jiu wasn’t really interested, continuing to skim through the booklet.
Luo Huainan was ranked first for the Cultivation tournament.
He was the leader of the young disciples at the Center Sect, had been in the middle state of the Gold Pill six years ago. Nobody knew which Cultivation state he was in at the moment. If Jing Jiu didn’t break Guo Nanshan’s Blue Ocean sword, Guo in the State of Free Travel might be able to compete with Luo Huainan. Now it looked like nobody could challenge him.
It was reasonable that the Curtain Rollers ranked him number one.
But the surprising part was that the number two ranking was not Tong Yan or Bai Zao, or a disciple of the Water-Moon Nunnery, but a disciple named Tong Lu of the Western Ocean Sword Sect.
Jing Jiu didn’t pay too much attention to it, turning more pages. Finally he saw a name of the Green Mountain disciple, ranked seventeenth.
Later he saw his own name, ranked in the forties.
Many people thought it was an accident that Jing Jiu defeated Gu Han, and that that fight couldn’t prove that Jing Jiu’s sword fighting skill was actually better than Gu Han.
Unlike the masters of the nine Green Mountain peaks who had been involved in sword Cultivation for many years, some people still couldn’t appreciate Jing Jiu’s special talent in sword fighting. However, the masters of Green Mountain also thought Jing Jiu had no chance of defeating Gu Han, even if Jing Jiu was the true Sword Body; it was merely that Gu Han used the Locking Autumn by Cold Well because of his overconfidence; otherwise, there was just too big a difference between their Cultivation states.
This was the natural logic of it, to which Jing Jiu didn’t pay much attention.
He thought the Curtain Rollers would make some changes to the booklet after they learned Zhao Layue would take part in the Cultivation tournament, wondering what ranking that girl would get.
Suddenly, he became interested in the ranking of the chess tournament.
Of course, this interest in the chess tournament didn’t mean he was unhappy about his ranking in the Cultivation tournament.
Turning the booklet to the chess section, the first name he saw was Tong Yan. The evaluation about him was full of compliments and praises, just as rumored.
His own name appeared after more than ten names, and the evaluation about him was simple.
The winner of the chess tournament at the Four-Seas Banquet. He had surprisingly powerful calculating skill, but was obviously a beginner. Even if he had made huge progress in the past year, he still couldn’t master all the ins and outs of chess.
In the early hours of the morning, Jing Jiu woke up, washed his face with the sword fire, tidied his clothes, and walked out of his room into the living room.
The family members were eating their breakfast, porridge and steamed buns, a simple breakfast, while only a big bowl of Wonton with vegetables in the middle of the dining table looking delicious.
Standing up abruptly, the young woman asked tentatively, "Would you like to eat a bit with us?"
Jing Jiu replied, "No. A guest will visit me soon. Just letting you know. Don’t be nervous."
This family had lived here for a long time. So they often had visiting relatives and friends, but when they thought the visiting person was Jing Jiu’s guest, they couldn’t help feeling a bit nervous. The expressions on the grandfather’s face and on the middle-aged couple’s faces displayed anxiety, wondering what to do when the guest was here.
Only the little child didn’t share the anxiety of the other family members, staring at Jing Jiu with roaming eyes that looked on in curiosity, wondering if he was the uncle.
"My guest doesn’t need special treatment; just act natural."
Having said that, as Jing Jiu was about to return to his own room, he thought of something. "Is there a bet placed on the Plum Meeting?" he asked.
A young man sat by the table, one who should be Jing Jiu’s older brother in name; they hadn’t spoken for the past two days.
After hearing Jing Jiu’s question, he knew his parents and wife didn’t know anything about this, so he explained.
"The common folks in Zhaoge City can’t attend the major Cultivation events like the Plum Meeting. The Imperial Court prohibits the betting, worrying the immortal masters might be upset about it. So the over-the-counter betting is prohibited; but the under-the-table betting is still popular with kings, dukes, ministers and other important figures."
Jing Jiu said, "If you can find a reliable betting bookie, you should give it a try."
The young man was somewhat surprised, asking, "Bet on what?"
"Bet on the chess tournament, and on my winning," said Jing Jiu.
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