It was late that night as seven young people sat around the bonfire.
This place was located inside the mountain range, with high-rising cliffs on both sides, the sky looking like one narrow line. The snowy clouds that had disappeared for many days reappeared, blocking out all objects.
The starlight didn't come from the stars in the sky, but from Ying Qingmo's Star Pot.
The bell hung quietly in the distance, sensing the changes in both heaven and earth, and the bell could be rung at any minute.
Yao Songshan sat cross-legged with his eyes closed. His green sword had been called back, lying on his knee silently in recuperation.
The other six young people were also recuperating and cultivating, but they didn't forget looking at a rock about one hundred feet away once in a while.
Jing Jiu and Bai Zao were sitting on that rock.
When they had entered the entrance to this mountain range, Jing Jiu asked them to halt their advance.
They didn't understand his intention, thinking that if they had moved forward and killed more snow monsters, it would help Jing Jiu further establish his position in first place in the Cultivation tournament; why did they have to stay here?
And yet, they had high respect for Jing Jiu, and Bai Zao didn't object to the suggestion, so the nine of them stayed put in the valley.
At dusk that same day, a dozen snow monsters suddenly ran through the valley from the outside of the mountain at a frantic pace.
Jing Jiu didn't attack them. He merely said a few words here and there at the critical moment.
Bai Zao displayed nearly perfect leadership ability. She led the others in killing all dozen snow monsters.
Under her command, the eight of them had more fighting power than any two groups, and this was because she could use each person's capability optimally and expertly coordinate all of their special skills.
What if she were allowed to command hundreds of Cultivation practitioners fighting at the same time?
There were eight of them fighting instead of nine because Jing Jiu didn't participate in the battle. He had only said a few words once in a while at the critical moment.
It was like when he had instructed Yao Songshan how to use the green sword the other night.
Though his instructions were quite simple, Wu Mingzhong and others felt that their fighting got much easier because of the instructions.
It was as if Jing Jiu had known how the snow foot monsters would attack in advance and the weakest shell spots of the snow foot monsters, and his instructions were precise.
They were shocked speechless by his deed, thinking that even their own masters wouldn't be able to do the same so well.
"I didn't believe that you are the disciple of experiencing the mortal world from the Fruit Formation Temple, but I believe it now. Only those Cultivation practitioners who have killed innumerous monsters of the Snowy Kingdom would know better about them. As far as I know, this should be your first time to here; that means then that there could be only one explanation: that you have been instructed by a highly achieved person."
"A highly achieved person?"
"The person I'm talking about is of course the Broadsword King."
"You guess wrong. I'm merely good at cutting things off."
"But how did you know exactly where you should cut them off?"
"Everything has its weakness. My sight is pretty good, so I could find its weak spots after having observed it for a few days."
In the last few days, Jing Jiu often took out that white little beetle bug to look at, which was the observation he talked about.
Though that little infant bug hadn't moved up a state yet, he still could observe many desired things.
Bai Zao suddenly asked, "Are you in the upper state of the Undefeated?"
Jing Jiu answered, "In the initial state."
The Undefeated State was the Cultivation state for the Green Mountain Sect, and according to the Cultivation states of the Center Sect, the initial state of the Undefeated would be the initial state of the Golden Pill. How could someone in this Cultivation state have killed so many snow foot monsters in one night?
Bai Zao didn't believe it.
Jing Jiu said, "Maybe the sword style I'm practicing is suitable for killing these monsters."
"When did you find this out?" Bai Zao asked.
"That night," said Jing Jiu.
He said with a great deal of sincerity, without even a hint of jest.
It was that night that he had killed so many snow foot monsters and he realized that he was good at or suitable for doing it.
The snow foot monsters' attacks were too slow for him, and their poisonous blood, troublesome for other Cultivation practitioners, didn't have any effect on him.
The most important part was that the extremely cold, thick fog, so terrifying to other Cultivation practitioners, was actually of benefit to him.
He wasn't afraid of the cold fog, and instead could utilize the fog to shield himself, and so the snow foot monsters couldn't see him.
He had killed so many snow foot monsters that night. The feat was impossible for anybody else, but it was a simple thing for him to do.
As he was totally shielded by the cold fog, all he needed to do was walk to the rear end of the snow foot monster and cut it with his sword.
The monster simply died as a result.
He then walked behind another snow foot monster and raised the iron sword in his hand again.
Killing one monster with one swing of the sword.
This wasn't hard to do at all.
The only trouble that night was that his body had been stained with too much poisonous blood, so he didn't feel so comfortable.
Even though the sword fire could burn it clean, he thought that he could still smell the uncomfortable odor.
As a result, he found a snow lake and heated the lake water with the sword fire. Then he took a good bath in it.
Thinking about it, this would be the first bath he had taken since he had entered the Green Mountain.
"Why do we have to stay put?"
Bai Zao had finally asked the relevant question.
The question brought Jing Jiu back from his strayed thoughts before saying, "Waiting for someone."
Bai Zao didn't ask further, glancing at his wrist once.
She could remember clearly that the sword bracelet on Jing Jiu's wrist had suddenly disappeared two days ago and then reappeared on his wrist again today.
The next morning, four young Cultivation practitioners appeared at the entrance of the valley.
They looked tired. They must have walked all night.
It was well known that the snowy land at night was even more dangerous. They must have been under some kind of pressure to have needed to walk throughout the night.
The four of them were surprised to see Bai Zao and the others. All of them greeted each other courteously.
There was a disciple of the Green Mountain among them, Lei Yijing from Liangwang Peak. When he saw Yao Songshan, Lei Yijing approached him and said, "Big Brother."
Yao Songshan simply offered a light smile, indicating him to greet Jing Jiu first.
At this point Lei Yijing had seen Jing Jiu. He was taken aback, displaying somewhat uncomfortable expression; but his courtesy was sincere enough. "Greetings, Senior Master," he said.
Looking at the situation of the four people, Jing Jiu said, "Give you one hour to rest, then we take off together."
Lei Yijing didn't quite understand what Jing Jiu meant, and the rest of the young people didn't understand either, thinking that the groups had to fight separately according to the rules of the Cultivation tournament; if they met occasionally, they had to separate.
Why did Jing Jiu say "take off together"?
The disciple of the Center Sect among the four was telling Bai Zao about what they had encountered last night, and he asked Bai Zao in surprise after having heard what Jing Jiu said, "Big Sister, what's the matter?"
Bai Zao wasn't sure about Jing Jiu's intention, saying, "Let's follow him first."
Even if Lei Yijing wasn't willing to do so, he couldn't disobey a senior master's request; and the disciple of the Center Sect listened to Bai Zao without question. The other two had learned the outstanding performance Jing Jiu had demonstrated two nights ago, so they didn't want to object to his demand out of instinct; but they were worried that if the masters in West Mountain Residence had known about it, they may decide that these participants had violated the rules.
An hour later, Jing Jiu walked toward the inside of the valley.
There were many mountain paths in the valley. Some of them led to the peaks covered by the icy snow that hadn't melted for ten thousand years; and some led to the natural rocky caves that were immensely narrow and dark.
Jing Jiu walked onto a path seemingly without much thinking.
The cold wind disheveled some loose rocks on the cliffs and blew off some accumulated snow once in a while.
The rest of the groups stood up, eying each other and then following Jing Jiu with some suspicions.
By the dusk, many of them finally realized why Jing Jiu had chosen this mountain path.
It was because there was another group at the bottom of a distant cliff, getting ready to set up the formation and to rest.
Seeing the arrival of Jing Jiu and the others, the group let out a surprised yell.
"Senior Master Jing?"
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