There was a forbidding formation set up on Shenmo Peak to isolate itself from the outside world.
After Zhao Layue forced her way to the peak top many years ago, this powerful formation had been only kept on the peak top, and was activated only once in a while.
For instance, it was activated when Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue traveled around the world, and when the white cat bathed in the sun…and today.
People couldn't see the scenes on the peak top from the outside, but those on the peak top could see the sky.
Looking at the stars in the night sky, Jing Jiu was assessing that energy, pondering what the other person was going to do next.
The energy was fairly peaceful, but its inner nature was actually very powerful, similar to two silvery eyebrows ruffling with the breeze, looking old, but by no means weak.
Gu Qing and Yuan Qü also sensed that powerful energy hidden somewhere, feeling a bit nervous.
The Green Mountain Formation was hidden among the peaks, which couldn't be broken through even if the Center Sect Master came in person; so why this person could come so close to Shenmo Peak?
Was he an elder of the nine peaks?
Thinking of this possibility, the look on Gu Qing and Yuan Qü's faces changed.
Zhao Layue walked out from the manor cave.
Gu Qing and Yuan Qü turned toward her.
Zhao Layue shook her head.
Yuan Qü was somewhat surprised, wondering, even though the great grandmaster was lazy and liked sleeping, why wasn't he willing to come out at this critical moment?
Jing Jiu looked at the night sky, remaining silent for a while. All of a sudden, he reached his right hand out.
Zhao Layue called out the Thoughtless Sword.
The sword flew to Jing Jiu's hand by itself.
Jing Jiu held the sword and inserted it into a tiny crack between the rocks on the cliff's edge, and then he twisted it slightly.
After a few cracking sounds, like a dozen glass cups dropping on the solid ground and breaking into pieces one after the other, the forbidding formation on the peak top was dismantled, and hundreds of sword wills returned to the inside of the mountain.
Zhao Layue was taken aback a bit, and then she walked to Jing Jiu's side, looking at the night sky.
The powerful energy was still hidden in the darkness of the night, not showing up.
Jing Jiu looked at the night sky, saying nothing.
The night wind blew over the treetops on the mountain, making rustling sounds, and the monkeys didn't scream, nor did the cicadas; it was deathly quiet.
Gu Qing and Yuan Qü looked at their two masters' back figures, feeling immensely worried.
They were aware that their attacks were meaningless and ineffective in a battle of such high states.
As time went by, the situation hadn't changed that much; and all of a sudden, the energy vanished.
Gu Qing and Yuan Qü were not quite certain about it, so they were still waiting nervously.
Jing Jiu turned around and walked toward the manor cave.
Looking at his back, Zhao Layue wanted to say something to comfort him, but stopped herself from doing so.
Gu Qing and Yuan Qü finally felt relieved, but now they felt their legs were weak and their clothes soaked in sweat.
The icy-jade bed in the deep end of the manor cave exuded a tinge of coldness.
It was probably because Jing Jiu disliked the cold, so he had never rested here, and even seldom came here.
He arrived before the icy-jade bed, looking at the white cat sleeping soundly while holding Cold Cicada.
Cold Cicada sensed his will, and climbed out between the cat's paws vigilantly and crawled to a corner.
Sensing the departure of Cold Cicada, the white cat reached out his right paw to grab it, but failed to catch it. He then opened his eyes slowly, looking at the surroundings perplexedly.
Cold Cicada hid in the corner, trembling.
It was scared of this demon with the long hair, but it was even less willing to disobey Jing Jiu's will.
"Oh, stop pretending now."
Jing Jiu said while staring at him, "The forbidding formation is activated every time you go out of the cave. Nobody could see you save for Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing."
The white cat looked at Jing Jiu calmly, showing no emotion in his eyes, to say nothing of the perplexity.
"I have spent three years plotting this scheme, but he didn't strike."
Jing Jiu suspected that Fang Jingtian, the peak master of Xilai, had a hostile intent back when the fake manor cave of Jing Yang was opened.
Later in the old plum garden of Zhaoge City, the suspicion was proven when Tian Jingren attacked him.
In Fang Jingtian's eyes, Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue were both investigating the matter regarding the ascension of the Immortal Jing Yang, and these two inherited disciples were most likely his personal disciples.
In order to cover up certain things, Fang Jingtian had adequate reason to get rid of Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue, and in fact, he had already tried to do so twice.
Fang Jingtian was a swordsman in the Broken Sea State, and probably the third strongest swordsman at the Green Mountain Sect. It was an uncomfortable feeling to be watched by such a figure.
Jing Jiu was still very weak at the moment, so he didn't have a better way to deal with the threat; but he still attempted to be rid of it.
As such, he brought White Ghost from Bihu Peak three years ago.
He knew that Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing would both leave the Green Mountain when the conspiracy of the West Ocean Sword Sect was exposed. By the time, the hidden intent inside Fang Jingtian would resurface again.
If Fang Jingtian tried to kill him again, he would use the forbidding formation of Shenmo Peak and White Ghost to counterattack.
Fang Jingtian finally came this night.
Unexpectedly, he didn't strike.
There was only one explanation for this.
Fang Jingtian knew the arrangements of Shenmo Peak in advance.
The white cat narrowed his eyes, indicating this had nothing to do with him.
If it wasn't he who revealed the arrangements, then it must be the Sect Master or Yuan Qijing.
Yet, Jing Jiu didn't believe White Ghost completely, because he didn't act this night, and also because of what Jing Jiu had said when he went to Bihu Peak the first time.
--Without White Ghost's approval or acquiescence, Lei Poyun wouldn't have been able to take out a piece of the Thunder-Soul Wood even though he was the peak master of Bihu.
Of course, apart from the hidden hostile intent of Fang Jingtian and this White Ghost, there must be other moles among the peaks. His Big Brother attached the spiritual soul to that disciple of the Underworld through the Thunder-Soul Wood to break through the forbidding formation that he himself set up, but his Big Brother needed other help to get out of the Sword Jail. Who was that helper then?
Jing Jiu left the manor cave and went back to the cliff's edge, looking at the distant snow-capped cliffs in Shangde Peak illuminated by the starlight, remaining silent for a long time.
Now that his Big Brother could have crawled back from the Underworld, there was no way the Sword Jail could lock him up forever.
Should I have killed you back then?
After Nan Zheng fled her tribe, she joined the Old Ones. It was because Cultivation practitioners needed sufficient resources for cultivating, but she didn't have any at the time.
She had killed many people for the Old Ones, and witnessed many hideous scenes that looked exactly like the hell.
Yet, instead of merely acting as a witness, she was in the thick of things for the first time tonight.
This hell was covered by a layer of thick fog this night. She knew this was created by the Wind-Rain Magic Method of the Great Marsh. And it was this fog that prevented her and her partners from sending out the help signal to the night sky.
The battle screams could be heard everywhere inside the fog. Once in a while, a flash of light would appear and illuminate the dark cliff, followed by horrible cries and thudding that heralded deaths.
Nan Zheng could vaguely hear the thundering hooves behind her, and she knew they were the Magic Army of the imperial court. It was these armored horses that killed her red elephant by piling on it.
The cavalry made up of ordinary men became extremely powerful after the amulet paper slips were attached to them. The seemingly fragile arrows became exceptionally strong after being attached to by the slips of amulet paper; even someone like her, a Cultivation practitioner, couldn't withstand them. Worst of all, she and her partners encountered a few scholars of the One-Cottage House.
Those scholars were not acting like the scholars though.
They were a bunch of mad men!
Tu Qiu was dead; so was Yu Buhuan. Nan Zheng tied the former's boxing gloves and the latter's Barren Vase to her waist, the Green Stone Zither placed on her back.
If she struck now, she should be able to kill many cavalrymen of the Magic Army, but she didn't even bother thinking about it.
All she wanted to do right now was to flee.
The further away, the better.
Eventually, Nan Zheng broke through the clouds and fog, and arrived on a peak top.
This was a nameless mountain outside Haizhou City.
The flashes of lightning illuminated the heaven and earth.
She spun her head around and found the lightning came from the Cloud Platform.
A flash of sword light arose from the ocean.
It entered heaven.
Returning to the earth again.
Her face became extremely ashen.
She didn't know if this was the most shameless murder in the history of the Cultivation world.
What Nan Zheng did know, however, was this: Hell wasn't nearly as relentless and unsympathetic as that flash of sword light.
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