Seeing this scene, Gu Qing and Young Yuan eyed each other, thinking their worries were needless.
Jing Jiu didn't know what were on their minds, saying, "Tell her."
Gu Qing understood what Jing Jiu meant. He told her all about the happenings in the snowland, including Luo Huainan's underhanded assault, hardship in the snowy cave, and what Jing Jiu had said to others after being rescued, the issue about Fang Jingtian, and finally about Tong Lu's duel challenge.
However, he intentionally omitted the fact that Bai Zao came to the courtyard of the Green Mountain Sect in the early morning two days ago.
Zhao Layue said without turning her head around, "Why didn't you tell them what Luo Huainan said was false? Even though it's not important for us, it would be better for Liu Shisui."
"Since Bai Zao and I haven't died, Luo Huainan's crime doesn't deserve the death penalty; so killing him isn't quite appropriate, especially by Liu Shisui's hand"
Jing Jiu added, "There is another issue. What Liu Shisui is something he should consider a serious offense on his part."
Zhao Layue didn't say anything more; Gu Qing was at ease, but Young Yuan felt a bit uneasy.
Young Yuan looked at the clouds in the sky, then at the forest at the bottom of the cliff, finally settling on listening to the monkeys' screams in the forest.
The regular activity on the peak was cultivation; the chit chatting like what had going on that day had seldom taken place before. The atmosphere was quite relaxed after a long separation. However, the problem was, none of them knew how to chitchat, so they didn't know what to say next. The situation was sort of awkward.
Jing Jiu thought of something, and he took out the snow beetle bug, saying, "I have brought this from the snowland."
This snow beetle bug was white throughout, his limbs like the bamboo, ugly but clean. A regular person would feel scared when seeing it.
Zhao Layue and Gu Qing felt curious, but Young Yuan shouted excitedly.
"I saw only the remains of the snow monsters in the snowland this time. This is the first time I've seen one alive!"
"It is an infant of the snow foot bugs, but I don't know why it has experienced some mutations. Now it is different from all the other monsters of the Snowy Kingdom."
Jing Jiu turned his palm over, and the snow beetle bug dropped on the ground. It sensed that the environment was unfamiliar, feeling rather nervous, and turned over instinctively to lie on its back, exposing its stomach to show submission. Its six thin legs quivered at a high speed, and the sound caused by its colliding legs was the same as that of the cicadas.
"Very interesting," Young Yuan remarked. He reached out his hand and brought it closer to his eyes to study it more thoroughly.
Gu Qing reminded him, "Be careful; it might have cold poison."
Young Yuan thought that the other poisons might be dangerous for him, but he didn't mind the cold poison. "Senior Master, what should we call it then?" he asked Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu had never bothered thinking about this, because this was simply a bug in his eyes, no need for a proper name.
"Cold Cicada," Zhao Layue replied.
Gu Qing thought the name wasn't bad, though it didn't look quite like a cicada.
Young Yuan also thought the name was a good one. However, he felt somewhat disappointed when thinking of another matter. "Master, have you thought of a given name for me?" he asked Zhao Layue.
Gu Qing said with a smile, "Your current name isn't so bad; why would you insist on changing it?"
"I've always thought my given name isn't appropriate," said Young Yuan.
Jing Jiu thought it was indeed offensive to have the name Qinghu against Qijing, saying, "It's not a bad idea to change the name."
Sitting on the bamboo chair and looking at the ocean of clouds outside the cliff while enjoying the wooden comb running through her hair, Zhao Layue was in a very good mood, feeling like singing a song, saying without much thought, "Yuan Qü."
Young Yuan thought this name was given a little bit too randomly.
Jing Jiu said, "'Seeking honesty in a crooked world.' Not bad."
Upon hearing this, Young Yuan felt more convinced, thinking what Senior Master said must have some sort of deep meaning, so he got up and bowed to his master to thank her for giving him a name.
From this day on, he had a new name, Yuan Qü.
"Wow, it has turned red!" Gu Qing exclaimed in surprise.
Yuan Qü looked at the snow beetle bug newly named "Cold Cicada" in his hand and found the edges of its shell was indeed showing a greenish red color, looking like the color of a shrimp or a crab in the boiling water, feeling startled.
"It's too hot here," said Jing Jiu.
The peak top had a cool breeze, so it wasn't hot there at all. And even though it was a bit hotter than in the snowland, the beetle bug shouldn't look like being cooked in the boiling water.
Yuan Qü wondered what they should do about it. "How should we raise it then?" he inquired.
"There is an icy jade bed in the cave. Make a nest for it there."
Zhao Layue instructed without turning her head around, "Gu Qing tell those monkeys to stay away from the bug to avoid being poisoned to death."
Jing Jiu chimed in, "Go to Shiyue Peak to ask for some icy bone marrow. One bottle of it should be able to keep it alive for a month."
Yuan Qü calculated the costs and thought this Cold Cicada was really expensive if they raised it this way.
After Gu Qing and Yuan Qü had gone to take care of their duties, Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue were the only ones left by the cliff's edge.
"Why didn't you leave back then?" Zhao Layue asked.
She still had many questions regarding the stories retold by Gu Qing.
Jing Jiu said, "The Queen of the Snowy Kingdom sensed my existence, so she kept a close tab on me."
So that's why, Zhao Layue thought. "But, why didn't you use the Ten-Thousand Mile Seal to leave? Luo Huainan had done it," she asked Jing Jiu.
"I couldn't take a young girl's stuff by force," said Jing Jiu.
This was the proper answer.
Looking at the moving clouds outside the cliff, Zhao Layue asked, "At the beginning, why did you follow Bai Zao to rescue Luo Huainan?"
This wasn't jealousy, but merely out of curiosity and for the purpose of discussion, because she knew Jing Jiu wasn't a heroic person.
More importantly, this wasn't the Dao he believed in.
"Humans are social animals. We have spiritual needs and also the desire to be needed."
Jing Jiu continued, "The Cultivation practitioners are immortals, so we have to surpass these needs."
Zhao Layue understood that this was his Dao.
"Luo Huainan, you and Guo Nanshan are thinking of how to help all the humans; this is to satisfy the spiritual needs," Jing Jiu said. "It is not a bad thing by itself. It can provide a valuable aid when your Dao Heart isn't steady yet; it is like a precious boat traveling amid the windstorm that needs a good steer and a weight to hold the boat steady."
"But you didn't need this; why did you choose to stay behind?" Zhao Layue pressed.
This was actually the initial question.
Jing Jiu said, "She had intended to save me. I had no choice but to respond in kind. This is the so-called 'lack of liability'."
"Is this the cause and effect that is often talked about in the Fruit Formation Temple?" asked Zhao Layue.
Jing Jiu said, "If one wishes to seek the path toward heaven, they must get rid of all responsibilities and liabilities."
The remark was quite understandable.
Zhao Layue thought about it for a while before asking, "What about us?"
"I don't know, because I have never had to deal with that before," said Jing Jiu.
Zhao Layue understood what he meant.
The masters of previous generations in the Cultivation circle usually took their personal disciples late in their lives, and the Cultivation partners wouldn't have their offspring until they were quite old.
Jing Jiu's remark sounded mysterious, but it mostly originated from this thought.
In order to ascend as a true immortal, one had to cut off all the connections with the mortal world.
Jing Jiu put away the comb; looking at the pitch black braid, revealing a pleased grin.
Zhao Layue turned around and stared into his eyes, asking, "Has the experience you have gone through in the snowland changed your opinion?"
"No," Jing Jiu replied sharply.
Zhao Layue remained silent for a moment before saying, "I shouldn't have persuaded you to go there in the first place."
"It was my decision to go there," Jing Jiu said while rubbing her head.
"Have you found that person?" Zhao Layue asked.
Jing Jiu rubbed his own ears this time, and said, "No, but I believe I have fooled him."
Zhao Layue's gaze fell on his ears.
Jing Jiu had a pair of big "windy" ears.
Yet, when people looked at him, they most likely focused on his face, and few people noticed his unique ears.
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