When the Immortal Sect Master and Yuan Qijing went to the West Ocean, it was an excellent opportunity for Fang Jingtian to get rid of Jing Jiu; but he didn't do it. It was obvious that someone had warned him.
Jing Jiu had suspected a number of people, including the Sect Master and Yuan Qijing, and even White Ghost; yet, he forgot the one who had the best vision on the nine peaks of the Green Mountain.
Jing Jiu mulled over this matter while stroking the bamboo board in his hand.
It occurred to Zhao Layue that Fang Jingtian, the peak master of Xilai, was the disciple of that person, so she asked after a moment of silence, "As you said, the Cultivation practitioners usually take personal disciples at an old age; but why did the Immortal Taiping take his personal disciples so early in life, and so many of them too?"
It was the first time Zhao Layue mentioned this name and talked about the matters related to this person.
Though she displayed a calm countenance, her voice was somehow a little shaky.
"That person's ideas were always peculiar. He didn't believe in the mortal connection or the factor of cause and effect, so he wasn't afraid of anything. He thought that the Cultivation practitioners should focus on cultivating only, and he also believed the saying 'More people equals more strength'. That was why he took personal disciples so early on…"
Jing Jiu continued after a brief pause, "Had he believed that his flesh and blood could be duplicated, he would have already produced tens of thousands of doppelgängers."
It was hard for Zhao Layue to understand all this. She thought the Immortal Taiping's ideas were really odd.
It was because Jing Jiu didn't tell her all of Taiping's ideas; otherwise, she wouldn't feel it odd; on the contrary, as she would be filled with dread.
She would feel the same way as Jing Jiu did the moment when he recalled the idea of Taiping's after hundreds of years had already passed; it still gave him a chill.
Very few things in the world could make Jing Jiu feel restless and cold like that. That hideous idea could be ranked number one on the list of things that could.
"However, it had been proven that at least some of his ideas were correct."
Jing Jiu continued, "If he hadn't taken the disciples of Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing early on, it would have been difficult to take back Green Mountain."
Of course, Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing were not enough for the cause; the help from other senior masters and the elders on the Hermit Peaks, who usually had an unimaginably high Cultivation state, was needed as well. Though he and his Big Brother were quite powerful, it would be still inadequate to totally suppress their opponents. As such, they needed other forces.
This was the first time Zhao Layue had heard of the past secrets. "Did the Immortal Taiping employ outside forces?" she asked with widened eyes.
"It was an internal issue for Green Mountain; letting outsiders help wasn't an option."
Jing Jiu shot a glance at the white cat in Zhao Layue's bosom.
Zhao Layue understood what Jing Jiu tried to convey. Her arms holding the cat in a habituated manner had become rigid again. "I thought the Principal Guards should remain impartial, shouldn't they?" Zhao Layue wondered.
The white cat opened his eyes and shot Jing Jiu a glance; then he closed his eyes to go back to his sleep without saying anything.
Jing Jiu said, "The Principal Guards are also Cultivation practitioners. It's natural that they also have their own goals, no matter whether that's ascension or longevity."
"What did the Immortal Taiping promise them?" Zhao Layue asked.
Jing Jiu said, "He said one thing at the time."
It was because of this statement, two of the Principal Guards of the Green Mountain sided with him and his Big Brother, and as a result, they could have suppressed all the peaks and maintained the status quo on the Green Mountain until now.
Zhao Layue asked out of curiosity, "What was the statement?"
"If one person made it, roosters and dogs could ascend with him," Jing Jiu replied.
Zhao Layue knew that Master Dead Dog and Master Dark Phoenix had helped them.
At the time when the external disciples of the Green Mountain entered the Sword-Washing Stream, they would go inside a small building where the pictures of the important figures in the history of the Green Mountain Sect were hung. The pictures of the sect masters of all generations were the most noticeable in the building. Yet, nobody noticed that the arrangements of those pictures had many hidden secrets, even though they looked simple enough.
For the onlookers, the inheritance of the Green Mountain had never broken off at any period, passing down from the founding grandmaster to the Immortal Daoyuan, then to the Immortal Taiping, and finally to the current Sect Master. The inheritance was clear and straightforward. Nobody knew that so many events had happened before the Immortal Taiping took over the sect master position of the Green Mountain.
The previous inheritances of other peaks had been lost in the vast span of history; and the elders of other peaks with the profound Cultivation state had either been killed at the time or been locked up in the Sword Jail, or fled to the Hermit Peaks, having sworn not to come out ever. Hundreds of years later, how many of those elders of other peaks who had been locked in the Sword Jail and fled to the Hermit Peaks were still alive?
The only inheritance left on the Green Mountain was the Immortal Taiping's.
All nine peaks of the Green Mountain belonged to Shangde Peak. This statement was indeed accurate.
Zhao Layue wondered if the history would repeat itself again.
Even though she had a steady Dao Heart, Zhao Layue still couldn't help but feel restless. She looked at Jing Jiu blankly, not knowing what to say.
Back when the Green Mountain announced that the Immortal Taiping was behind the death doors, no turmoil had occurred. Could Jing Jiu keep the situation under control this time?
"No need to worry so much. It's still an internal conflict; it's not a life-and-death matter yet."
Jing Jiu reached out his hand and rubbed her head, saying, "And there is still a lot of time left. We can take our time to prepare for it."
A lifetime was quite long for Cultivation practitioners, so they had more time for doing things. And as they spent most of their time on Cultivation, everything else would take a bit longer to accomplish.
Even the schemes would take a lot longer to be carried out.
They heard a noise outside the manor cave, realizing it was a sword letter from a peak.
Zhao Layue put the white cat back on the Ice-Jade Bed and walked out of the manor cave.
"Wake up," Jing Jiu said loudly.
The white cat opened his eyes to shoot him a glance.
Jing Jiu said, "Ada, someone wants to kill me."
It became very quiet in front of the Ice-Jade Bed.
The white cat mused that there were always some people who wanted to kill Jing Jiu, and it was only that they had failed to do so thus far.
Had they succeeded, you would have been dead a long time ago, maybe even died honorably in my hands, the cat mused.
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu remarked, "I don't understand why."'
The white cat shrank his pupils slightly, showing a wicked look.
"It's because nobody liked you."
"Was it because they were lonely and bored? Of course not. It was because they were jealous of you. You are such an idiot."
"Oh, that's why."
"Do you feel a little disappointed? And also a bit resentful and sad?"
"It's mortals' desires to be needed and liked. You and I are Cultivation practitioners, so we shouldn't mind these things."
Having said this, Jing Jiu put the bamboo board with the picture of a rooster back in his sleeve, heading to the outside of the cave.
Looking at Jing Jiu's back, the white cat yelled at him inside the mind, "Go ahead then; keep on pretending!"
Jing Jiu walked to the cliff's edge, looking at the peaks amid the ocean of clouds. His figure appeared lonely.
Zhao Layue walked to his side, and the lonely scene had suddenly changed a great deal.
Jing Jiu commented, "They all don't like me. They feel like I'm a failure."
He referred to Devil Rooster specifically.
Zhao Layue thought he referred to Fang Jingtian, asking, "Now that the Immortal Sect Master and the Sword Justice have known what he is going to do in advance, why don't they stop him?"
"Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing still feel pity for that person," Jing Jiu said. "In their eyes, Fang Jingtian has the right to do something for that person."
Zhao Layue understood it now. If Fang Jingtian had actually acted out his ideas, the Immortal Sect Master and the Sword Justice would counteract and thwart him; but if Fang Jingtian merely had thoughts, there was nothing for them to do.
A disciple wanted to avenge his Master. This had always been taken for granted by everyone.
"It's good to have disciples."
Jing Jiu added after a long pause, "I feel a bit lonely."
He had revealed a rare true emotion, or in other words, he had finally showed a tinge of emotion.
"You have us now, right?!" Zhao Layue said seriously while looking at him.
Jing Jiu found it was indeed the case. The loneliest peak of the nine peaks on the Green Mountain, Shenmo Peak, was growing crowded, because both monkeys and humans were increasing in number on the peak.
Jing Jiu let out a satisfactory smile, adding more color to the ocean of clouds in front of the cliff.
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