Zhao Layue was prepared for Cultivation since her young age. She seldom ventured outside her house, and she mostly met other Cultivation practitioners other than her family members and servants until she went to the Green Mountain, so she had never thought of these issues.
"This is my first time talking to others about these issues, because they are boring and meaningless, which makes this the last time I talk about them."
Jing Jiu continued coolly while looking at her, "The demons eat people, and the Cultivation practitioners eat people as well. Some of them eat for real, and some eat as a pretense; but they are all eating."
Zhao Layue remained silent for a while before saying, "It's like what you said about those pearl hunters in Haizhou, though there should be some difference between the two."
Jing Jiu said, "All in all, the Cultivation sects need to be served by the mortals, but what have the Cultivation practitioners have done for mortals?"
Zhao Layue said with arched eyebrows, "Building the Heavenly Arrival Bridge in Henanzhou, which we have walked on."
Jing Jiu said, "Yes, the Cultivation practitioners can build bridges and roads for mortals and slay devils and demons; but they have done too little in comparison to their actual ability. It's because the Cultivation is for cultivating oneself. For instance, at the Green Mountain Sect, those disciples of the second generation are not even willing to be external masters if they don't have the chance to break through the state, let alone solving problems and helping the needed in the world."
"Do you mean that the Cultivation practitioners treat mortals like the sheep?"
Zhao Layue continued while staring into his eyes, "Building bridges is the same as making the sheep pen stronger, and the purpose of slaying demons is to prevent too many sheep from being eaten by the wolves."
Jing Jiu said, "It's a good metaphor, but still not accurate. The Cultivation practitioners were originally mortals, so the relationship between the Cultivation practitioners and the mortals is much more complicated than that between shepherds and sheep."
"What are the problems?" asked Zhao Layue.
Jing Jiu said, "Mortals would admire and envy the Cultivation practitioners, because their former acquaintances have become the Cultivation practitioners."
Zhao Layue understood what he meant now, asking, "What is the solution then?"
Jing Jiu said, "The people who possess power have everything, and so it has always been the Cultivation practitioners who manage the country on Chaotian, and the current situation is the same. The royal family of Jing is the manager chosen by the major Cultivation sects after considering the balancing factor and other elements. Of course, the royal family of Jing will also take advantage of this balancing factor to strengthen themselves to maintain their rule."
Zhao Layue seemed to understand a little more now, saying, "It all started at the Plum Meeting then."
"Correct. It was the Plum Meeting back then that had set the basic arrangement of the land for the next couple of hundred years. However, some Cultivation practitioners later had some different ideas."
Jing Jiu continued, "They thought that this arrangement was too stable, not efficient enough, so the human race didn't improve fast enough to eliminate the threat of the Snowy Kingdom."
Zhao Layue asked out of curiosity, "What did they plan to do then?"
Jing Jiu remained silent for a while before saying, "They thought that the human race shouldn't live too leisurely, at least not before wiping out the Snowy Kingdom. They thought that mortals shouldn't get too much support and that the Cultivation practitioners should take down their hypocritical mask and directly enslave the mortals while selecting from a larger pool to find the mortals who had the potential for Cultivation, and all kinds of methods should be used to accelerate their development and to strengthen the human race."
The startled expression appeared in Zhao Layue's eyes. "This is exactly like raising sheep!" she cried.
Jing Jiu didn't respond.
The Xihuai Mountain was located west of Zhaoge City.
Five hundred miles away.
It was just outside the big formation of the Cloud Dream Mountain.
The fog was everywhere on the cliffs. As the morning sun rose, the fog lifted as well. The objects in front of the cliff became clearer.
A young man sat by the cliff's edge, holding a bamboo rod in his hand.
The cord from the head of the rod dropped to the bottom of the cliff, into a waterfall.
The falling water made a thundering sound, and the waterfall dropped down at a high speed, but that cord didn't move at all.
He fished for birds in the clouds the other day; what was he fishing in the waterfall this time?
Some extremely slender black shadows could be vaguely seen, shuttling in the waterfall at an incredibly high speed. They could swim freely in the almost vertical water curtain, so they must be some sort of special fish.
Those black shadows stared at the end of the cord. They were not willing to leave even though they knew the danger. It seemed that they were a greedy creature as well.
The short and skinny old man squatted by the young man, rubbing his red nose now and then, looking like a real dog.
The young man suddenly cranked his head, looking at a patch of cliffs three miles away.
The old man followed his gaze. He could see clearly, due to his super vision that a limping youngster with a bag on his back climbed the mountain with great difficulty.
"He is different from Liu Shisui. The fire in Liu Shisui's heart rings false, but his hatred is real. Those meager methods of the Three-Purities Sect are not worthy of learning."
The young man looked at the old man once before saying, "Letting him become the Sect Master of your Dark Mysterious Sect: what do you think?"
The old man said, "Interesting. Those disciples of mine and the disciples of my disciples have never honored and served me anyway. And they have never helped me, their sect founder, solve problems either. They all deserve to die."
The young man inserted the bamboo rod in the crack of a cliff rock, and stood up, looking at the distance.
The instant his hand left the bamboo rod, those slander black shadows in the waterfall rushed toward the end of the cord like countless flashes of black lightning.
The water splashed in all directions, along with the ear-piercing screams.
The young man didn't heed the commotions, and while looking at that place, said suddenly, "Should we let him jump off the cliff and find a cave or drop to the lake and find a treasure box?"
The old man said with a smile, "I think either way is fine."
The young man suddenly asked, "Do you have the desire to kill me?"
The old man maintained a normal expression, not saying a word.
The young man turned around and looked at him, his handsome face still wearing a lovely smile.
The old man kept silent for a while, and then said, "I don't want to lie to you, because lying is meaningless and not working. Correct, I indeed want to kill you today to some extent."
The young man asked, "Why?"
"Those disciples and disciples of disciples of mine haven't served me, because they don't know where I'm hiding; and they can't help me solve this big problem because they can't beat the Green Mountain. Yet, this doesn't mean that they don't love me and respect me. My portrait is always placed at the third spot at every annual ancestor worship."
The old man sneered, "My sect has been suppressed by your orthodox sects for over a thousand years, living like dogs. Finally, we have found some hope in recent years, and I, as their ancestor, want to do something for the sect, but instead you want me to teach our magic methods to this unknown guy with a limp. Don't you think I should get angry?"
"That's right. I heard that the current young master of the Dark Mysterious Sect is not so bad. I think that you intend to teach your magic methods to him instead."
The young man added with a gentle smile, "But I think it's quite interesting, so it's been decided this way."
The old man narrowed his eyes without uttering another word.
He of course wanted to kill this young man to acquire the true freedom.
Yet he didn't do it. There was a reason not to.
The young man sighed once and reached his hand out to rub the old man's head, his eyes full of pity.
Pity wasn't the same as sympathy; it was more of looking down on somebody.
The old man was the famous master of evil, one of the well-known hidden swordsmen: the third grandmaster of the Dark Mysterious Sect.
Who was qualified to pity him?
Or, was it himself that the young man pitied?
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