Gu Qing entered the palace and met the Emperor right before the court session began. But he had merely bowed to the Emperor in distance in the grand hall and had a brief conversation; Gu Qing actually didn't even see the Emperor's face clearly.
Soon after, State Duke Lu led Gu Qing to the Royal Concubine's palace.
Seeing the small smile on Gu Qing's face, Royal Concubine Hu recalled his disdainful statement the night a few years ago, showing an uneasy expression. And she felt Gu Qing's smile a kind of disgusting.
Gu Qing had no way of knowing what was on her mind; he kept the smile on his face and exchanged some pleasantries.
As the two of them were talking, an old maidservant brought in a little boy who looked like a carved jade figure, very cute. He was the second prince, Jing Yao.
Jing Yao had the Emperor's blood flowing in his veins and the inheritance from the vixen race; as a result, he was extremely intelligent.
Though he was only three years old, he had already known how to judge others by observing their behaviors; moreover, he seemed to have the instinctive ability to sense others' emotions.
At the night a few days ago, he sensed his mother show a tremendous awe and respect to the immortal master of Green Mountain, Jing Jiu, though she was usually not afraid of anybody; so he behaved very obediently. When he learned that this immortal master, Gu Qing, would be his teacher, he was a bit displeased about the arrangement. He also noticed that his mother was not very satisfied with this person, and that also made him behave differently today.
Jing Yao stood in the same spot and looked at Gu Qing with wide eyes, showing tremendous curiosity, though he didn't approach Gu Qing to bow to him.
Gu Qing looked at him quietly, and also didn't have any intention of bowing to him.
Seeing the scene, the old maidservant was upset, thinking that Gu Qing should bow to the prince first even though he was the immortal master of Green Mountain and would become the teacher of the prince.
Didn't he know the order of seniority in relationships: heaven and earth, emperor, parents, and teacher? The position of a teacher was behind the emperor and his family.
Royal Concubine Hu was startled at first, and then understood what was going on. As she was about to say something, State Duke Lu stopped her by signaling with eye expression.
Time had passed slowly.
The spring sun had risen almost to the zenith from the eastern horizon. The flowering trees outside the palace had lost their vigor after being scorched by the sun.
Gu Qing still stood there quietly, like the spring wind that was neither swift nor hasty; and he was not upset either.
Jing Yao was nonetheless a small child, so he could hardly hold his balance while standing, unable to maintain his amenable appearance any longer.
His small face was slightly red, and his body wobbled a little; but in his stubbornness, he still didn't want to speak first.
The old maidservant saw this and was pained, thinking that Gu Qing was an adult and immortal master, yet he was playing a staring game with a small child.
A gust of spring wind blew into the window and onto the little prince; he almost fell onto his buttock when his legs gave in slightly.
That old maidservant went up to support the little prince hurriedly, feeling frightened. "This immortal master, I think it's enough. You can't prove your ability by bullying a small child!"
Seeing the scene and hearing what the old maidservant said, Royal Concubine Hu felt relieved. "You're such a mouthy old fool; you even dared offend the immortal master. Drag her away and slap her on the mouth!" she scolded the old maidservant pretentiously.
The palace servant girls came over and dragged the old maidservant away. The little prince Jing Yao was held in Royal Concubine Hu's bosom.
The whole episode had happened so fast that Gu Qing didn't even have time to react to it.
It should be noted that Royal Concubine Hu reacted truly fast; she used the wrong-doing committed by the old maidservant as an excuse to avoid any further embarrassment. In so doing, she looked like a well-behaved and elegant person.
State Duke Lu glanced at her approvingly, thinking that the naïve young girl in the past had finally become a mature woman now.
Jing Yao propped sideways against his mother, feeling indignant, unwilling to raise his head.
Royal Concubine Hu lifted his head up and demanded while looking into his eyes, "Do you know that you've done something wrong?"
Jing Yao didn't know what he had done wrong; but seeing his mother's expression, he knew right away that he was wrong.
He stood up hesitantly, turned toward Gu Qing, and bowed to Gu Qing as he said in a crying tone, "Hi…teacher."
Gu Qing received it calmly, and then returned his courtesy, "Hello, Your Highness."
In the White Mountain meditation room of the Justice Hall at the Fruit Formation Temple, Yin San was reading a Buddhist Script, so was the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect.
If all the evildoers in last one thousand years in Chaotian were ranked, these two would definitely be ranked in the top ten; but they were not here to redeem their crimes by reading the scripts under the Buddhist lamp in a temple. No matter whether it was the orthodox or deviant sects, they would by and large merge into a similar path in the end; the devil men of the deviant sects could also benefit in their Cultivation from reading the Buddhist scripts.
The bell for the morning session rang outside the room. Yin San set down the Script in his hands and strolled out of the room and toward the outside of the temple on a narrow passage shadowed by the pine trees.
The surroundings of the Justice Hall were quite safe. If he was careful enough, the entire Zen temple should be safe as well.
He was certain that the alarm that caused the oil lamp to explode while explaining the script to Liu Shisui had already died down, and nobody knew that he and the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect were still in the temple.
Outside the pine forest was the pagoda forest. The lighting grew increasingly dimmer until he passed the Precious Hall and walkway and came to the outside of the temple. It was bright again outside the temple.
The spring scenery everywhere, but they didn't enter the Zen temple, since the monks didn't want to be disturbed while they were cultivating.
Yin San walked along the familiar mountain path and came out of the front yard from its side door. He climbed up a hill close to the vegetable garden and stood on the top of the hill, looking down.
The scene he saw was different from the black and white one in the winter. The whole vegetable garden was greenish during this period in spring, a time in which the melons, vegetables, and fruits were growing pleasantly.
The fields in the vegetable garden and the fruit forest had evidently been tilled many times, and the weeds were cleared out, as none remained.
If one looked closely, they wouldn't be able to find any harmful insects on the vegetable leaves as well as on the fruit trees.
"Using the flying sword to till the fields is quite interesting, but using the flying sword to remove the weeds is rather troublesome; and using the flying sword to kill the insects is even more…"
Looking at the conditions of the vegetable garden, Yin San thought sentimentally that Liu Shisui was very good at growing the vegetables, so he was even more suitable for managing the medicinal grass and mountain fruits on Shiyue Peak.
More importantly, he ascertained by checking these details that Liu Shisui had already overcome that barrier, and that his Cultivation state was not damaged, instead benefitting from it.
The morning sunlight grew brighter. The dogs' barking could be heard in the distance. The sound of opening door of the vegetable garden was heard, and one could hear the fetching of water from the well, and the cooking smoke was spotted in the kitchen.
Yin San turned around and left the hill. He walked under the shadow of the cliff to the front of the temple, entering the front yard by the side door. He then walked into the gloomy and quiet pagoda forest after passing through the walkway, seeing the Precious Hall in the distance. Finally he came back to the front of the White Mountain meditation room. In addition to some pine needles on his collar, he had a script in his hand, though it was unclear where he got it from.
He opened the script while standing in the courtyard, rather than going to the meditation room.
The morning sunlight reddened the sky and colored the script as red as the blood.
The information written in secret code was inserted in the script, recording all the significant events that had happened in the outside world lately.
These were the reports from the Old Ones. Although they were not as swift and abundant as those provided by the Curtain Rollers, the accuracy was perhaps better than theirs.
Yin San didn't care so much about the fact that Gu Qing became the teacher of Jing Yao; this was a trivial matter. What he cared was where Jing Jiu had gone to.
He had learned earlier that Jing Jiu left Green Mountain, but he didn't know that Jing Jiu went to Zhaoge City until the Old Ones had found, which was only recently.
What did Jing Jiu go to Zhaoge City for? For the inheritance of the emperor's position?
Yin San pondered this while standing in the morning sunlight. He suddenly thought of one possibility, and the expression changed in his eyes.
Jing Jiu went to the place in an attempt to solve his Cultivation problem.
Yin San had never expected that Jing Jiu and Liu Shisui would encounter problems in their Cultivation.
He had unlimited confidence in Jing Jiu, like he had back then, even if he had another answer right now.
It wasn't until now that Yin San realized he had made a mistake.
To enter the Free Travel State from the Undefeated State, Jing Jiu would definitely encounter that problem.
It took a long time for Jing Jiu to figure out the way to solving the problem.
It didn't take Yin San as much time to figure it out; it was because he was more familiar with the problem, and he had thought about it for many years already.
"As a matter of fact, you are at Taichang Temple."
Yin San laughed when he thought of something.
His jovial laugh echoed in the quiet courtyard.
A few birds resting in the trees flew up, frightened.
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