Jing Jiu glanced at the old man once.
This old man was of course the Tian Jingren.
He was regarded by everybody as the grandmaster who saw destiny, the one closest to the heavenly path.
Yet Jing Jiu wasn't all that interested in him, even though he mentioned the name of Jing Yang.
Jing Jiu looked at him until he was asked the question.
What the old man had said was correct, regardless of whether it was a lucky guess or if he was simply good at deceiving people.
Jing Jiu was indeed uninterested in anything having to do with the human world.
It wasn't a secret; but he hadn't announced it to the whole human world yet, and it wasn't necessary that he did.
Liu Shisui and Zhao Layue should have sensed it, since they had a special relationship with Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu was somewhat surprised when Tian Jingren pointed it out.
However, Jing Jiu didn't respond to the old man's inquiry, instead asking, "I heard that every person could ask three questions, right?"
The pen in Tian Jingren's hand halted above the paper, and he answered, "Yes, any question."
He didn't lift his head to look at Jing Jiu as he spoke.
This didn't mean he was impolite, as the entire land was aware that Tian Jingren was blind; he couldn't see anything.
Jing Jiu stared at his forehead. It seemed that Jing Jiu wanted to find out something from those wrinkles.
Tian Jingren was waiting for something as well.
All of Zhaoge City knew that Tian Jingren had come, but they didn't know he was staying in the old plum garden.
The people who found out about Tian Jingren's whereabouts and who came undetected were not ordinary individuals, like Luo Huainan, the young man in embroidered cloth, and of course Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu.
As the most famous destiny-sensitive grandmaster, Tian Jingren's words could affect the future of a person, even a sect.
Anyone who had the chance to ask him questions would choose these three questions very carefully.
The questions asked by those coming to the plum garden that day were mostly related to the heavenly destiny or the future of the land, what about Jing Jiu?
Tian Jingren wanted to know what this outstanding individual among the young generation of the Green Mountain Sect, who had many hidden secrets, would ask him…
…so he would be able to know what Jing Jiu's secrets were.
Jing Jiu asked his question without giving it much thought.
"I'd like to know what questions they have asked."
The breeze brought in the faint scent of flowers through the window, but were soon swallowed up by the much stronger smell of burning incense.
Like time being swallowed up by spring.
The nunnery was rather quiet, mostly due to Tian Jingren's silence.
He kept silent not because he found the question hard to answer, but because it was unexpected.
If one knew the questions asked, like Luo Huainan's, he would be able to get to know his secrets; so it was of course very important.
The problem was that nobody would waste such an important opportunity on finding out others' secrets.
Up to that point, Tian Jingren still believed that Jing Jiu's walking away earlier was a trick to get his attention.
Tian Jingren didn't believe that a person wouldn't cherish the chance to be read.
After a long while, Tian Jingren slowly put down the pen.
"To learn about others' secrets will definitely bring many benefits to you; but what could be more important in this world than learning about yourself and knowing the future?" he asked.
The separated water and ink in the ink-stone mixed together after being placed on the paper through the tip of the pen.
"It would be an immense failure to ask about your own things."
"I failed before myself, so I don't like the feeling," said Jing Jiu.
Now Tian Jingren was certain that he really didn't care about this opportunity.
A long silence followed.
Tian Jingren said leisurely, "Luo Huainan's question, like yours, is a bit strange."
The window of the room was open. The smell of burning incense was still very strong. The water and ink of the freshly written words were separating on the paper.
Luo Huainan stood in front of the incense table in reverence, and he praised Tian Jingren's writing, and praised him again after getting a response, as if he had never used the cooked ink before.
As for the fact that Tian Jingren could write the words well even though he was a blind man and couldn't see anything, Luo Huainan, like Jing Jiu, didn't ask about it.
On the other hand, Luo Huainan asked, "Wise Master has read many people, but what do you actually examine?"
"I read the past and the future," answered Tian Jingren.
After a long silence, Luo Huainan said, "I'd like to ask about the Snowy Kingdom's weather."
Tian Jingren closed his eyes. It wasn't clear whether he was calculating or if he was hesitant to reveal the heavenly secret.
"The Snowy Kingdom has been very cold in recent years, and it should be cold for a long time."
"For as long as hot pot has been popular in the underworld capital?"
"Yes, at least over one hundred years."
Upon hearing this answer, Luo Huainan smiled genuinely, saying, "Then I don't have to worry too much. Thank you very much, Old Master."
Luo Huainan didn't ask about himself, as he was concerned about mankind.
The first question was irrelevant, but he used the next two questions skillfully to obtain the answers he wanted.
If the Snowy Kingdom's weather and the underworld capital's hotpot would last for another hundred years, then the human race had no need to worry for the time being.
Luo Huainan's were what Jing Jiu had expected them to be.
What about Zhao Layue?
Tian Jingren said, "She stood before me, hesitating for a long time; eventually…she didn't ask any question."
Jing Jiu thought about it briefly.
Tian Jingren continued, "You have two more questions."
"Since she didn't ask any question, then I don't want to ask anything either."
Jing Jiu said, "You and I know full well that you allowing me in here is so that you can ask me questions, not the other way around."
Tian Jingren stood up slowly, looking through the window at the outside at an unknown spot; nobody knew what a blind man could see.
Jing Jiu asked, "Is the person Jian Xilai, the Emperor, or someone from the Green Mountain Sect?"
Tian Jingren replied, "I was indeed, but I won't tell you who he is, since you give up the next two questions on your own."
Jing Jiu said, "How do you know that I will answer your question?"
All of a sudden, Tian Jingren had thought of another thing, "If my perception isn't wrong, you haven't changed your appearance, to that of a twenty-something-year-old man."
"Correct," said Jing Jiu.
Tian Jingren said nonchalantly, "If so, before an old man like me, what is the difference between you and a naked infant?"
This remark was very obvious even though it wasn't stated in its entirety.
Though his eyes couldn't see anything, he could see through all the disguises, even the heavenly secrets, in one simple glimpse.
Because he was Tian Jingren.
"Are you sure you want to examine me?" asked Jing Jiu.
"Yes, but do you dare let me?" Tian Jingren pressed.
"Can you handle it?" Jing Jiu challenged, while staring at him.
Tian Jingren replied, "I've dared to peek at the heavenly path; a young man should pose no problem."
Having said this, he lifted his head, staring at Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu didn't evade his stare, returning the stare in silence.
The wrinkles on the old man's forehead became deeper when he raised his head.
His eyes had indeed been blind for a long time, with only the white eyeballs remaining and no pupils in sight, like round jade-balls buried in graves.
This pair of eyes was exceptionally eerie; they seemed to have some kind of magic power, which could consume all light, including the eyesight.
Jing Jiu's eyesight had gradually turned hazy, then frozen.
They became like fallen green leaves in the mud, which couldn't fly up anymore, sinking deeper and deeper.
Meanwhile, time in the nunnery had slowed down, and until even it froze.
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