"Do we have to worry about their anger?"
"The difference in strength is simply too great, so there is no need to worry, unless heaven and earth will totally change."
"What would the total change of heaven and earth be like?"
"The spirits in Chaotian have been depleted, and the energy sources have drained."
"Is that possible?"
"Maybe one day, but not now."
"What about now?"
"The real threat for the human race is from the Snowy Kingdom."
Jing Jiu continued, "So the only worry about the total change of heaven and earth is the invasion of the Snowy Kingdom from the north."
Back when the monsters of the Snowy Kingdom invaded south, those Cultivation practitioners who didn't choose to flee had almost all died. The Cultivation sects of either orthodox or deviant factions on the northern land had nearly been wiped out. There was no order in the human world. The populace had to flee their homes, becoming homeless, and later, bandits. As some of them obtained the wealth of those Cultivation sects and the magic treasures disowned, they traveled around without fear, robbing, killing and burning everywhere. They had done all kinds of evil deeds.
"Then came three months of fire and water," Zhao Layue said.
Jing Jiu said, "That's right."
Zhao Layue suddenly thought of a person.
"If it wasn't due to the Broadsword King, more mortals would die. He is a Cultivation practitioner, but it seems that the mortals are not grateful for what the Cultivation practitioners have done, only feeling hatred and anger."
"Cao Yuan isn't a regular Cultivation practitioner, he is a Buddha. Few Cultivation practitioners could become the Buddha."
Zhao Layue asked, "But many Cultivation practitioners have died in order to resist the Snowy Kingdom and to suppress the Underworld; why can't they win the mortals' appreciation?"
Jing Jiu countered while looking her in the eyes, "Did they fight for the mortals, or for their own sects?"
"I don't think there is any difference," Zhao Layue replied.
"Of course there is a difference, because they have to consider what the priority is when facing the test of life and death."
Jing Jiu asked, "If they could save their Cultivation sects, do they really care about the lives of the mortals?"
Zhao Layue thought of her colleagues on Liangwang Peak, like Guo Nanshan and Gu Han, and she couldn't find an appropriate answer.
Jing Jiu continued, "Besides, if every Cultivation practitioner acts like Cao Yuan, the mortals' hatred and anger would not go away."
Zhao Layue couldn't understand this point, asking, "Why?"
"Because of jealousy," Jing Jiu answered.
Zhao Layue imagined that she would be a regular aristocratic mistress in Zhaoge City if she couldn't get involved in Cultivation…she would miss all those sceneries above the clouds, feelings that couldn't be described by words of human world, the experiences that couldn't be had in the mortal world, and the peaceful and free Cultivation life style. Of course, she would be jealous of all these!
For the populace who had to work hard to make the ends meet, they would have even more reasons to be jealous of the Cultivation practitioners.
Jing Jiu stood up and walked to the front of the corridor, looking at a patch of green bamboo.
"The hardest problem for the mortals is the fact that the Cultivation practitioners can live up to hundreds of years, or over a thousand years old, even longer, but mortals can only live for a few score years."
Yes, this was the hardest problem.
It was quiet in the corridor.
"Anyone would be jealous of real longevity."
Zhao Layue asked while looking at his back, "Is that why the Grandmaster Jing Yang had the mishap?"
Jing Jiu didn't turn around, and he didn't answer her question either, as if he hadn't heard it at all.
He closed his eyes, his eyelashes very long.
The sunlight passed through the bamboo branches in front of the corridor, landing on his face as the shadows of the bamboo leaves were projected upon it.
Zhao Layue walked to his side, saying after a moment of silence, "I don't think you are the sort of person who would bother themselves with such things."
"I came from the human world, and have to think of the human world."
Jing Jiu opened his eyes, and said, "But thinking of the human world is enough."
Looking at his face, Zhao Layue asked, "Why is it enough to simply think of it?"
Jing Jiu replied, "Because you would know after thinking of it that nobody could find a solution for the problem."
"So this is it?" Zhao Layue pressed with the arched eyebrows.
"What else can we do?"
Jing Jiu said, "Go back to the mountain first. The Cultivation is the most important thing. When you are not thinking of these issues, you can come to the human world again."
Looking at Jing Jiu's profile, Zhao Layue asked seriously, "Have you found the person you are looking for?"
Jing Jiu shook his head, saying, "But I can tell that he has appeared, and he has already met me by certain means."
"Okay, but be careful during the Cultivation tournament," said Zhao Layue after some thought.
Jing Jiu felt surprised, asking, "Why would I participate in the Cultivation tournament?"
Zhao Layue felt even more surprised, countering, "Why wouldn't you?"
Jing Jiu said, "As I have told you, it's very risky to 'seek plums by stepping on blood', and I seldom take risks."
Zhao Layue opened her eyes wide, and asked while staring into his eyes, "Why?"
Jing Jiu answered, "Because I'm afraid of dying."
On his way to Zhaoge City, when the fake second manor house of the Immortal Jing Yang was about to open, Jing Jiu went to observe undercover. However, he was discovered by the Peak Master of Xilai, Fang Jingtian, who had even attempted to kill him.
It was at that moment that felt the immense danger.
It was the first time he had felt that way in years.
That night, Fang Jingtian didn't draw his sword, but later in the old plum garden, Tian Jingren attacked.
Later, he realized that he wasn't the same as before.
Before, he had been used to his invincibility, so he could travel and act at will; but it was different now, as many people could try to kill him.
Hearing about the assassination attempt on Zhao Layue the other day created feelings inside him even though he looked the same on the outside, and it had to do with his feelings of vulnerability. Jing Jiu didn't like this feeling at all, so he decided to be more cautious in his later actions, meaning he shouldn't always travel in the world to entice that person to show himself. It would be safer to return to Green Mountain.
Zhao Layue didn't expect him give her such an answer. "You always wait for him to find you; why don't you go out to find him?" asked she.
Jing Jiu looked at the sky above the eaves, saying, "I have this feeling that he wants me to participate in the Cultivation tournament and then discover something."
"If you believe that you are right, why don't go have a look?" Zhao Layue suggested while looking at him.
Jing Jiu thought about it for a while. "It makes sense," said Jing Jiu, while reaching out his hand to rub her head.
The final determination for Shi Fengchen's case was suicide, though this still didn't stop a lot of people from suspecting the Green Mountain Sect.
Certain forces intended to utilize this incident to cause some trouble, but Zhaoge City was still peaceful.
It seemed that there was a secret force in the imperial court that wanted to suppress all the issues. As a result, many people had responded with feelings of fear and respect. This was Zhaoge City, not Tian'an; but who would have thought the Green Mountain Sect had such a strong influence here, no less than the Center Sect?
The more respect and fear people showed to the Green Mountain Sect, the harder time Royal Concubine Hu had, because almost everybody believed that she was the main conspirator of Zhao Layue' assassination attempt.
The recent period of time had been very exhilarating for Royal Concubine Hu. She had just been allowed by the Emperor to have a child, having his singular affection, only to be placed in such a difficult situation soon after.
"Do you think me that stupid or hard-headed? I'm not a disciple of Lian Sanyue! How could I do anything so irrational at this critical time?"
Royal Concubine Hu didn't put on make-up, looking quite tired. "That Shi Fengchen had made a big trouble for me!" she claimed angrily.
The old female servant said with a bitter expression, "You shouldn't have sent money to them. Doing so would give others the reason to suspect you."
"This is a different matter. Shi Fengchen had done something for me. Now that he is dead, I have to show my appreciation."
Royal Concubine Hu said solemnly, "One has to repay the kindness one received to end the cycle of cause and effect. This is what the Young Zen Master taught me."
The old female servant thought cause and effect were not such simple things. "What should we do now?" she asked worriedly.
Royal Concubine Hu was worried as well.
The Emperor hadn't visited her in the last couple of days.
On the surface, her life was still the same as before, but the atmosphere around her had become suffocating.
She suddenly asked, "The Young Zen Master still doesn't want to see me?"
"No. I think…"
Glancing at her once, the old female servant said carefully, "Maybe State Duke He hasn't even taken the message to the Net-Perception Temple."
"I'd like to meet Zhao Layue in person. Is that possible?" she asked with the furrowed eyebrows.
The old female servant answered, "She is badly wounded and recuperating right now; so she certainly doesn't want to see any visitors. And I heard that she is about to return to the Green Mountain for treatment."
Royal Concubine Hu fell silent for a while before asking, "What about Jing Jiu?"
The expression on the old female servant's face changed slightly as she replied, "He has gone to the Cultivation tournament, of course."
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