The thin fog shrouded the peaks partly; with the green mountains and clean rivers, the beautiful scenery was everywhere. Walking among such scenes was as if strolling in the fairy realm.
Xiao He had grown calmer gradually, but Liu Shisui felt more nervous as they moved forth, because the South-Pine Pavilion was just ahead.
The external disciples could be seen sitting cross-legged under the pine trees amid the cliffs, and the white smoke could be spotted once in a while. Seeing these familiar scenes, Liu Shisui naturally recalled his experiences here many years ago. He used to practice diligently under these pine trees every day and then go to that small courtyard far away from the noisy stream to make the bed and tea.
He let loose a sincere and nostalgic smile as he recalled the past,.
There was no guard outside the mountain gate. They were stopped by a caretaker when they arrived at the South-Pine Pavilion, asking why they came here.
After Liu Shisui told the caretaker his name; the caretaker was stunned and couldn't speak after a long moment, gripping the hilt of his sword with his right hand reflexively.
A moment later, the caretaker came back to his senses and realized that he behaved inappropriately and hastily went inside the South-Pine Pavilion to inform the immortal master.
The immortal master was stunned as well and didn't know what to say to Liu Shisui, and he hurriedly took him to the inner gate.
As they arrived at the bank of the Sword-Washing Stream, the noon sunlight was shining on the surface of the stream, creating countless golden coins on the water., Liu Shisui recalled many past events as he looked at the familiar scene.
A few young disciples were washing their swords by the stream. It looked like they had just obtained their own flying swords from Xingyun Peak, since they cherished their swords so much judging by their countenance and movements.
After the immortal master of the South-Pine Pavilion brought Liu Shisui and Xiao He to the inner gate, he handed them over to the masters of the Sword-Washing Hall.
Hearing the discussion, those young disciples by the stream turned around and gazed at Liu Shisui. They were wholly astonished after figuring out his identity.
News spread rapidly, and more disciples rushed over from the Sword-Washing Hall and the cliff on the opposite side.
They looked at Liu Shisui from fifty feet away, not daring to approach him. Nor did they dare to discuss about him in a low voice. They appeared fairly curious about him, in addition to a slight fear of him.
In the story they learned about him, Liu Shisui was a traitor of the Green Mountain. He stole and ate the Devil Pill, practiced the deviant methods of the Bloody Demon Style, and wounded his colleagues at the Sword Trial; he was then expelled from the mountain gate. And he secretly joined the Old Ones and killed many orthodox Cultivation practitioners. He was a truly evildoer.
Yet, who could have thought that all these depictions were false!
Liu Shisui was undoubtedly the big hero of of the destruction of the Old Ones and the Cloud Platform at the hands of the orthodox Cultivation sects. All that he did were the tactics he used to win the trust of the Old Ones. Those unforgivable crimes had become the proof of his exceptional character: Enduring humiliation for the sake of the ultimate goal and never giving up.
This experience was so legendary and the turn of the event was too dramatic, so much so that the young disciples didn't know how to deal with him after Liu Shisui returned to Green Mountain; their emotions were complicated.
The water in the Sword-Washing Stream flowed slowly, and the banks of the stream were filled with people; but no sound could be heard. The atmosphere was quite eerie.
Xiao He felt ill at ease, stealing a glance at Liu Shisui.
A voice suddenly burst out in the crowd, breaking the silence.
"Big Brother, you are back!"
Nobody knew which young disciple said that.
Looking at that spot, Liu Shisui revealed a smile, saying, "Yes, I'm back."
As he said this, it suddenly became cheerful by the stream.
"Welcome back, Big Brother!"
"Thanks for your hard work, Big Brother!"
"Big Brother is awesome!"
Countless greetings rang out by the Sword-Washing Stream.
In front of the Sword-Washing Hall, senior masters Mei Li of Qingrong Peak and Lin Wuzhi of Tianguang Peak exchanged glances, revealing pleasant smiles.
The disciples of various peaks arrived after hearing the news. The cliff was abruptly brightened by the sword lights.
Looking at Liu Shisui surrounded by the crowd, the disciples of the peaks were excited to see him, and yet still were filled with complicated emotions. The young disciples by the Sword-Washing Stream merely knew Liu Shisui's legendary experiences, but they were unaware of the details of what had happened in the past. However, these disciples of the peaks had experienced the events, and some of them were even the participants in them. Thinking of the hard time Liu Shisui had to endure over the few years on the Green Mountain, they truly felt sorry about how they treated him. Though it was a scheme set up by Liangwang Peak, it was nonetheless they who inflicted insults and mockery upon him.
As the disciples of Tianguang Peak thought of the lonely stone room in the cliff, they felt even more shameful than the others.
The sword lights from Liangwang Peak made its way to the stream.
As the crowd parted, Guo Nanshan walked in front of Liu Shisui. He patted Liu Shisui's shoulder as he said emotionally, "It's good to have you back."
Standing behind Guo Nanshan, Gu Han remained silent with a smile.
Liu Shisui said to Gu Han earnestly, "Big Brother, how are you?"
"I'm fine," Gu Han replied genuinely.
Liu Shisui looked at Ma Hua and said with a laugh, "Big Brother, you are still so fat."
Hearing this remark, Ma Hua smiled with the eyes looking like the slits on the steamed buns. But if one could see his eyes through the "slits", they would find that his smile was somewhat forced.
Liu Shisui turned to Jian Ruyun and said, "Greetings, Fourth Big Brother."
"Let's go back to the peak. We have something to discuss first, then it's on to the Immortal Sect Master."
Jian Ruyun said this lightly, and then glanced at Xiao He with furrowed brows that revealed feelings of disgust.
Liu Shisui didn't notice Jian Ruyun's expression, and as he was about to comply, a voice suddenly rang out outside the crowd, though he was surprised to hear it.
That voice was soft and gentle, like a breeze sweeping over the surface of the stream, creating some ripples.
"Big Brothers, could I speak to Cultivationist Liu for a minute?"
Seeing the young woman in white dress, the disciples of the Green Mountain felt somewhat surprised.
The young woman in white was very feeble, like the willow branch in the wind, making any onlooker feel protective toward her.
This was the first time Liu Shisui had met Bai Zao.
It was apparent that Guo Nanshan and the disciples of Liangwang Peak knew what Bai Zao wanted to talk to Liu Shisui about, so they didn't interfere, waiting by the stream instead.
The place where Bai Zao and Liu Shisui had the conversation was in a classroom in the Sword-Washing Hall.
The classroom was offered by Lin Wuzhi.
Looking at Xiao He guarding outside the classroom, Lin Wuzhi said with a smile, "You are a vixen, right?"
Xiao He didn't know that Li Wuzhi was the personal disciple of the Immortal Sect Master of the Green Mountain, so she felt astounded, thinking the Green Mountain must have a great many talents since a teacher could discern her identity so easily. "The people of the Green Mountain Sect…don't like the devil race, do they?" she offered uneasily.
Lin Wuzhi said with a small smile, "I'm a teacher. I'll teach anybody who is willing to learn, so I don't care about it. But some people might be against you since they have different opinions on the subject."
"What should I do then?" Xiao He asked nervously.
Lin Wuzhi prompted, "Are you Young Brother Liu's…?"
After some hesitation, Xiao He summoned enough courage to reply in a low voice, "I'm his concubine, okay?"
Lin Wuzhi said without hesitation, "No, it's not okay."
Xiao He was disappointed, thinking that they had just said that they didn't mind.
Lin Wuzhi continued, "Our Green Mountain Sect is an orthodox sect, so our disciples can't take any concubines."
Now that she understood what he meant, Xiao He asked naively with wide eyes, "What should I do then?"
Lin Wuzhi commented sentimentally, "You are truly a vixen…"
"The immortal master just wants to tease me," Xiao He said sullenly.
Lin Wuzhi laughed out loud, saying, "Since you two are in love with each other, you should simply become Cultivation partners; why bother asking me?"
Xiao He sighed, "I'm afraid that your sect has strict rules, and that masters won't approve of it."
Lin Wuzhi said, "The sect rules don't have anything specific about the partnership with the vixen race. As for the masters…Young Brother Liu's former master is too ashamed to take charge of his matters. It should be alright."
"Then…what about the Immortal Jing Jiu?" Xiao He asked softly, her eyes wavering slightly.
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