The morning sun had shown itself for a short time, but it was soon swallowed by the clouds.
It was probably due to the cold that the color of the morning sunshine was quite dim, appearing unenergetic.
Zhao Layue walked to the front of White Town, and spun her head to look at the north.
The snowland was right in front of her, and Jing Jiu was right inside of it, but she couldn't go in there.
In her current Cultivation state, it would be useless even if she could go in there. She would die before she could pass through that patch of cold fog.
Under the circumstances, Zhao Layue needed help. As the Green Mountain Sect didn't allow her to enter the snowland, her sect of course wouldn't help her in this regard; so she had no choice but to seek that person's help.
Yuan Qijing didn't intend to heed her plea last night, but he pointed out a path for her after she mentioned that affair.
That path led to a temple.
There was only one temple in White Town and so it was easy to find it.
She came to the front of the temple, thinking that she would find that person, but she saw Guo Dong instead, feeling quite astonished.
Guo Dong was sitting on the doorsill, mulling over something.
There was a couplet on both sides of the temple door.
"Helping people by alleviating their hardship and misfortune; begging oneself by praying to Buddha and Daoists."
Zhao Layue didn't ponder the deep meaning of the couplet, instead walking directly to the inside of the temple.
As Zhao Layue passed by Guo Dong, she asked Zhao Layue, "Is your wound healed?"
After uttering "Hmm", Zhao Layue walked to the front of that golden Buddha statue, narrowing her eyes.
Though the morning sunlight was dim, the light reflected by the golden surface still glowed brightly for eyes to look at it comfortably.
The Buddha statue looked quite corpulent, smiling with narrowed eyes, his stomach exposed.
Her sight fell on the broadsword in front of the Buddha statue.
The iron broadsword was as long as a house beam, and its weight was hard to fathom.
Thinking of the legend about this broadsword, Zhao Layue's eyes brightened as a bit of hope formed inside her mind.
However, where was the owner of this broadsword?
Zhao Layue turned and walked to the temple door, asking, "Do you know what is going on?"
"She is having a baby," said Guo Dong.
Zhao Layue was taken aback, asking, "Who?"
"The Queen of the Snowy Kingdom," said Guo Dong.
After a moment of silence, Zhao Layue asked, "What is this fog?"
"The fog is her bloody energy." Looking at the fog in the north, Guo Dong said, "This is the most important moment in her life, so she has used most of her blood energy to call back all of her subjects, the purpose of which is to prevent the birth from being disturbed by humans, and of course, she wouldn't challenge anybody unnecessarily."
Zhao Layue said, "I've read in the books that it's very painful when women bear a child, she will become very weak during the labor."
Guo Dong said, "I've read it as well. I went to see it once out of curiosity. It's indeed painful, and the mother becomes weak after giving birth. I wonder if this is the weakest moment in her long life."
"If so, why don't we gather all the swordsmen of the Cultivation world to enter the snowland and kill her?" Zhao Layue asked.
"First of all, she hasn't given birth yet, so it's not her weakest moment. Nobody knows how many years it will take for her to bear the child."
Guo Dong added, "Even if she has already bore the child, do you know how many swordsmen would actually dare to enter the snowland and kill her?"
Zhao Layue didn't quite understand, thinking it should be the best opportunity for humans to get rid of this nemesis.
"If we gather all of human swordsmen, excluding those old guys of the deviant sects, we can definitely kill her, even when she isn't in labor."
Guo Dong raised her head to look at Zhao Layue, as she said calmly, "The problem is that nine out of ten would die in the fight. Who is willing to give up the path to longevity and to gamble their lives on the battle?"
"But somebody has to do it," Zhao Layue said.
Upon hearing this, Guo Dong smiled, feeling quite delighted.
Many years ago, like Zhao Layue now, Guo Dong contacted the best swordsmen of various sects and told them her plan.
She even went to the backside of the Cloud Dream Mountain and the hermit peak of the Green Mountain.
Yet, nobody responded positively to her suggestion…besides that idiot.
The answer from Jing Yang was the most negative of all.
It was so negative that she had never seen him again since.
"After so many years, it's only that idiot who is still trying his hardest; have you seen them come here?"
Guo Dong commented with a mocking tone while sitting on the doorsill and pointing to the important figures of the Cultivation circle hiding behind the clouds.
"Who are you actually?" Zhao Layue asked while looking at Guo Dong.
As she had such an attitude toward the Center Sect Master, the Godly Swordsman of the West Ocean Sword Sect, and Yuan Qijing, and used "idiot" to describe the Broadsword King, Guo Dong couldn't be a young disciple of the Water-Moon Nunnery.
Guo Dong didn't answer her question.
A sigh rang out in the temple.
Guo Dong didn't heed it.
Zhao Layue turned and looked around, but she still couldn't see anybody and failed to identify where this voice came from.
"I know why you've come here, but I can't help you."
The voice was deep and loud, echoing in the entire temple, as if it came from everywhere, and also as if it lacked something; the voice made the listeners feel melancholy.
Though Zhao Layue didn't see him in person, she knew who he was.
Bowing toward the inside of the temple, Zhao Layue said, "Greetings, Master Broadsword King. This is Zhao Layue of the Green Mountain."
The owner of that voice was the Broadsword King.
He was the disciple of experiencing the mortal world three generations ago, and abided by the temple's order to come to the north and join the Windy Broadsword Sect.
He won first place in the Cultivation tournament of the Plum Meeting as a regular disciple of the Windy Broadsword Sect, but he didn't want to go back to the Fruit Formation Temple to inherit the position of the chief monk of that temple.
In the following years, the weak Windy Broadsword Sect had successfully suppressed the Kunlun Sect, becoming the most powerful sect in the northern land of Chaotian.
And he became one of the most powerful swordsmen in the Cultivation world.
The most reputable deed he had accomplished was that he had never left White Town since he first arrived.
For innumerable years, he led the disciples and the pilgrims alike in the fight against the monster invasions from the Snowy Kingdom by the side of the Northern Magic Army.
In the entire human world, he was the only one who dared fight the Queen of the Snowy Kingdom, and he hadn't stopped fighting since.
During his years here, he had fought countless times with that being, and he had been wounded so badly that he had almost died many times, but he had never given up the struggle.
A lonely broadsword attempted to suppress the wind and snow.
He of course became a legendary king.
The sword Cultivation of the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean was so outstanding that he was called the "Godly Swordsman", because his sword Cultivation was near a godly state; but the Green Mountain Sect and the No-Mercy Sect had never been convinced of his actual ability.
Yet, nobody in Chaotian dared disrespect and overlook the Broadsword King.
Otherwise, the unconvinced should do it themselves.
Few people would be able to convince Zhao Layue, besides the Immortal Jing Yang.
She didn't feel the likes of the Sect Master of Green Mountain and the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean worth her respect.
All they had achieved was the fact that they had lived a bit longer.
If she could live as long as they did, she might have become even more powerful than they were.
But she totally respected the Broadsword King.
It was because she couldn't do what he had done.
Therefore, she bowed to him in a low position and with a great deal of sincerity.
The Broadsword King said, "Since the peak master is the personal disciple of the Immortal Jing Yang, you and I should greet each other as equals."
Zhao Layue straightened her body, and asked, "Please forgive me for asking you so bluntly, but why can't you help me?"
If someone could dare enter the snowland and bring back Jing Jiu under current circumstances, it would definitely be the Broadsword King.
He had such courage and capability.
"I have been living with her side by side for so many years, and I have never experienced such a mental state of hers, one so over-sensitive, short-tempered, and irritable…I have a feeling that if I make even the slightest movement, she will mistake it as a threat and mount the strongest counterattack, and that's to say nothing of testing her or challenging her. To put it more precisely, she could go mad if challenged. In that case, even if those people above the clouds were willing to help me, and we had actually killed her, at least half of the human race would have died with her. On the other hand, if we don't do anything, we will have a period of the most peaceful time in the north, because I think she will be busy with raising the child. It could be a long period."
Zhao Layue remained silent for a long time after hearing the speech.
Compared to the peace of the north for scores of years or even longer, important figures meant nothing, let alone Jing Jiu and Bai Zao.
"Do we have to wait indefinitely? Until she gives birth to her child? By then, the human race would probably have to face two queens."
"The world of the Snowy Kingdom is simpler in comparison to ours, and they can only have one queen. As her child becomes an adult, I believe that they will fight between two of them first to decide who will be the queen. If the winner wants to invade the south by then, I will fight the winner."
"You won't step foot in the snowland now, so how do you know that you will be able to beat her?"
Everything he said was reasonable, but Zhao Layue still couldn't agree with his thinking, and she couldn't help but mock him a little, even though he was the Broadsword King.
The Broadsword King's voice was peaceful, and sounded a bit straightforward.
"I can't beat her, and I won't be able to for the rest of my life…but I still have to fight her."
Zhao Layue was speechless.
The Broadsword King's voice didn't ring out again.
Zhao Layue walked back to the temple door and sat on the doorsill, looking at the northern snowland, saying in a low voice, "So, I have no choice but to wait indefinitely?!"
She had brought up the same question earlier, but she referred to the Queen of the Snowy Kingdom the first time, and this time she referred to Jing Jiu.
"That patch of fog is too cold, so nobody can survive it. So there is no point waiting, but everybody shows that they are concerned and wanting to do something for them."
Guo Dong continued, "I can bet that all these people will leave here in a few days, and the busy scene in White Town will disappear soon."
"But Jing Jiu hasn't died yet," Zhao Layue protested.
Guo Dong responded, "He is either dead, or he is dying; ultimately, death awaits him."
"No! Even if you all die, he will be still alive," Zhao Layue exclaimed.
The temple became very quiet after Zhao Layue had said this.
Two young women were sitting on the doorsill.
The golden Buddha was looking at them.
The cold fog covered the whole snowland.
The magic boats of various sects had left White Town one after the other.
Zhao Layue asked Gu Qing and young Yuan to leave with the Sword Boat of Green Mountain, and she stayed behind.
It got colder and colder in White Town.
Several bouts of snowfall had already arrived here at the beginning of autumn. The wells in town were completely frozen, and even the mud bed heated by the fire couldn't warm up. And the most reverential pilgrims had no choice but to leave the town.
Guo Dong had left as well.
Zhao Layue was still sitting on the doorsill.
It still felt cold after the winter was over.
The fog over the snowland didn't get any thinner when the mid-summer arrived, but it finally felt a bit warmer in White Town.
The well water melted, and the town was full of pear flowers. Yet, Jing Jiu still hadn't come back.
Zhao Layue stood up, and her black braid dropped down, which was a lot longer than last year.
She collected the braid in her hand and cut it carefully; and then she left after throwing the cut hair on the ground.
The wind tousled her short hair.
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