If one prostrated on the ground and looked at Jing Jiu's feet, they would find that the bottoms of Jing Jiu's shoes actually didn't touch the ground.
As the Underworld Emperor pointed with his finger at the bottom of Jing Jiu's feet, Jing Jiu realized that he was floating above the ground. Jing Jiu landed on the ground, and his body suddenly became shorter.
It was then that Jing Jiu had more of an existential feel, though the fairy aura was still with him. The only difference was that he didn't feel like he was un-rooted anymore.
As Jing Jiu looked at the Underworld Emperor, he also discovered the bodily changes on the Underworld Emperor.
The Underworld Emperor's energy became stronger, and his black jewel-like pupils were more peaceful. His facial skin was pale as usual but not as transparent as before.
It wasn't because his facial skin grew thicker, but because the flowing light in his body had vanished without a trace; maybe, it was hidden in his body covered by the clothes.
A gust of wind blew over from the broken cliff, tousling his black sleeve. His aura appeared more composed, like the night or the abyss, as if it could absorb all the lights in the world.
How could the Underworld Emperor's Cultivation state have recovered so much? Though it was still not nearly ten percent of the height of his state, he was a totally different person in comparison to three years ago.
Jing Jiu and the Underworld Emperor had had a long discussion about the Sword Ghost; as a result, the Underworld Emperor must have gained some beneficial ideas from it, though there must have been other more important factors contributing to the change.
The bell rang, and lightning occurred in the dark cloud after a cracking rumble.
As Jing Jiu looked at the cloud first, then the formation diagram and the mosquitoes hiding in the wind, he soon found out why.
"In fact, you didn't think driving the mosquitoes away by using the Soul-Fire was troublesome; the true reason was that your Soul-Fire had no effect on these mosquitoes."
Jing Jiu said to the Underworld Emperor, "To put it more precisely, you had no idea how to deal with these mosquitoes. So you asked me to help you three years ago."
"When did you figure this out?" asked the Underworld Emperor, his eyes narrowed.
The deduction for it was simple.
This was the Fiend Prison, and the Underworld Emperor could be said to be the most important prisoner in human history. As such, the existence of the mosquitoes must have another purpose.
If the Underworld Emperor could kill or drive away those mosquitoes easily, their existence would be pointless; the mosquitoes wouldn't be needed here.
"You're right. These mosquitoes are part of the Taichang Prison, designed to suck away my Soul-Fire; so I had no way to deal with them. But you could."
The Underworld Emperor continued, "These mosquitoes would suck one piece of Soul-Fire from my body every day and enter the Abyss through the Chaotic Gate, bringing it to the Underworld."
Jing Jiu chimed in, "In so doing, they would be able to ascertain that you are still alive."
"That's right," the Underworld Emperor confirmed. "Since they use me as a hostage to threaten my populace, they have to prove to our people that I'm still alive."
"The mosquitoes haven't sent your Soul-Fire to the Underworld for a while; they should have realized that, right?" Jing Jiu asked.
"I don't like the Underworld Master; but he is very smart. So he must know what to do. As for those mosquitoes…"
The Underworld Emperor continued while looking at a spot in the valley, "That dragon doesn't even know it yet; neither does the Cloud-Dream Mountain."
Jing Jiu fell silent for a while before saying, "Now that the Underworld hasn't gotten your Soul-Fire in three years, they must think you are dead."
The Underworld Emperor said, "That's right. They should have already been prepared for those three years."
"Prepared for what? The war?" Jing Jiu asked loudly.
The Underworld Emperor shook his head, as he said, "No. they would choose a new Underworld Emperor, cut off contact with humans, and stop being the paws in the hands of some human schemers, and finally live a peaceful and happy life going forward."
In the rumors in Chaotian, the sunless Underworld was treacherous and shameless, the most dangerous enemy of the human race.
Unexpectedly, a powerful swordsman like the disciple of the Underworld Master was merely a puppet controlled by some human swordsmen.
Nobody knew what benefits the Cloud-Dream Mountain and the Emperor, who had the power of punishing the Underworld Emperor, had gained in the past six hundred years.
"Over the years, we had always come up to the ground with immense difficulty and been driven back to the underground; we had never won once. But why do the humans still fear us? It's because you need your populace to fear us in order to maintain the respectful status of the Cultivation practitioners, and need an enemy to maintain your rule over Chaotian," the Underworld Emperor continued while staring into Jing Jiu's eyes, "by any means."
Jing Jiu said, "But it was always you who had come to our world; we had never wanted to go to your world."
The Underworld Emperor said in a mocking tone, "If you were in the Underworld, would you wish to go up there?"
Jing Jiu didn't use silence as a way to express his attitude. "Yes, I would," he said. "So the war between the human race and the Underworld will not end."
The Underworld Emperor said, "If you were strong enough, the war would end."
"I understand what you mean. The new ones won't come if the old ones don't go. You hope that the Underworld will choose a new emperor and start over without you as a hostage."
Jing Jiu continued, "But, you will be forgotten by your people, becoming a lonely and isolated soul in the human world and dying as such."
The Underworld Emperor said, "This is the price an Underworld Emperor should pay or compensate for his people."
Jing Jiu said, "Like I said, I have admired very few people in my life, and you are definitely one of them."
The Underworld Emperor laughed and looked at Jing Jiu meaningfully, saying, "You are well aware that we can't beat humans, so you shouldn't mind me fulfilling my wish."
This statement was full of meaning.
Jing Jiu suddenly remarked, "I have seen tens of thousands of flying swords flashing among the stars, and all this will vanish in the relentless river of time."
His statement was clueless and devoid of any context.
The Underworld Emperor fell silent for a long time before saying, "The scene must be marvelous."
"I'll look at them more for you," Jing Jiu said.
The Underworld Emperor asked Jing Jiu while staring into his eyes, "Where did you see them?"
"Maybe in my dreams," replied Jing Jiu.
Having said that, Jing Jiu put away his bamboo chair.
The Underworld Emperor knew he was going to leave, and said, "Don't forget your promise."
"Now that the Underworld will choose a new emperor, what do you want me to do there?" asked Jing Jiu.
"Without the Royal Seal and the Control of Soul-Fire, what kind of new emperor is he?" the Underworld Emperor exclaimed.
Jing Jiu said, "Okay, I'll keep my promise."
The Underworld Emperor said, "I've been curious about how you're going to leave here."
Outside the green valley, it was the darkness devoid of time and space.
"I have my own way," Jing Jiu said.
After he had learned the Control of Soul-Fire, he could have left by then; but where could he find a place in the world that was as peaceful and suitable for cultivating as the Fiend Prison?!
Looking at the darkness outside the valley, Jing Jiu suddenly asked, "Did you know why I could find you?"
"Is it because you are the personal disciple of Taiping?" the Underworld Emperor offered.
"The Center Sect didn't tell him about the secret of the Fiend Prison," Jing Jiu said, "and it took him a long time to obtain the information. In the end, he had a well-thought-out plan."
"What plan?" the Underworld Emperor asked, with a slightly changed expression in his eyes.
"Rescuing you, from this place."
Jing Jiu said, "So I'm sure he wasn't the one who had gotten you captured after you came to the human world from the Underworld."
After a moment of silence, the Underworld Emperor said, "Yet, he didn't do anything at the time."
Jing Jiu said, "He was very young and didn't have enough power at the time. By the he had enough power, I had already locked him away."
"Why are you telling me this?" the Underworld Emperor demanded.
Jing Jiu said, "I had hoped that you might find some peace of mind in the end."
"Thanks a lot," the Underworld Emperor said, smiling softly.
The Underworld Emperor thanked Jing Jiu for telling him what the Immortal Taiping had thought at the time, and for what Jing Jiu had said earlier, or for the scene Jing Jiu had described.
Jing Jiu walked toward the outside of the green valley.
The Underworld Emperor watched his back quietly.
Jing Jiu stopped short when he arrived by the broken cliff. "Could you give me a gift?" he turned to the Underworld Emperor and asked.
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