341 The Music of the Underworld River
A pitiful expression showed on the Young Zen Master's face, as he said, "I didn't experience what had happened in the past. But, what the masters of the former generation did was indeed inappropriate…"
"Why was it inappropriate?" the voice of the Immortal Bai suddenly rang out from the high sky. "The Young Zen Master should be careful with your words."
Her voice sounded nonchalant, but it was extremely tough, making anyone feel chilly.
The snowfall suddenly took over the sky Zhaoge City.
A voice that was even colder than the Immortal Bai's burst out.
"There were many things that were inappropriate. First of all, did you think about what situation the Green Mountain would be in when the Center Sect struck?"
The Three-Foot Sword arrived after breaking through the wind and snow. An old man with a solemn appearance stood on the sword; he was the Sword Justice of Green Mountain, Yuan Qijing.
Yuan Qijing shot a sideways glance at a spot in the sky expressionlessly. Then, he looked at the Underworld Emperor, though didn't say anything.
"You should have heard me saying that I'd rather die than live like this," the Underworld Emperor said while looking at Yuan Qijing.
Yuan Qijing fell silent for a while before saying, "But you have lived for six hundred years."
The Underworld Emperor said, "To die peacefully and quietly is of course different from the situation I'm in right now."
Zhaoge City was shaken a great deal that day, and the strongest swordsmen of the human race all arrived; but they still couldn't stop him from dying together with the great grandmaster of the Center Sect.
This kind of death was worthwhile and meaningful.
The Immortal Bai couldn't stand it anymore, and her voice bellowed out like the thunder in the sky over Zhaoge City.
"Do you think everything would be over after you died? If the divine dragon of our sect were harmed, I would go to your Underworld and kill ten thousand of your inhabitants to bury them along with our divine dragon."
"The human race is really complicated. Some of you are interesting, and some are uninteresting; some of you are trustworthy, and some are untrustworthy."
Looking at the sky, the Underworld Emperor said in a slightly mocking tone, "Your family name is Bai. I think you are that person's daughter. Then you are the uninteresting and untrustworthy one. So you are not qualified to talk to me."
"Are you really not afraid?" the Immortal Bai asked tersely.
The Underworld Emperor didn't pay any attention to her as he said. "Are you sure that she has a good reason to go to my Underworld to kill ten thousand inhabitants?" He turned to the Young Zen Master and asked him.
The Young Zen Master replied with a smile, "Of course not."
This answer was clear in its meaning.
If the Old Dragon was dead and the Immortal Bai went to the Underworld to commit killing to avenge his death, the Young Zen Master and the Fruit Formation Temple would try their best to prevent it.
The Underworld Emperor was taken aback at first, because he didn't expect that he would answer him this way; and then the Underworld Emperor laughed out loud.
"You are a very interesting kid. I think you are trustworthy as well. Pretty good."
As the Young Zen Master was about to say something more, he was stopped by the Underworld Emperor raising his hand. "Are you going to let me go back to the Underworld?" the Underworld Emperor asked them.
It was quiet in the sky over Zhaoge City.
No matter how shameless what the swordsmen of the human race had done back then was, nobody would dare let him leave, since it had already been done.
Neither the One-Cottage House, nor the Young Zen Master, could do it, to say nothing of the Center Sect.
"There is nothing to be said then."
The Underworld Emperor said this sentimentally, and then turned to the Old Dragon.
At the moment, he was like a speck of dust in front of the Old Dragon, but for some reason, he appeared bigger than the Old Dragon.
"Your Cultivation state is so high, and your dragon energy is so powerful; your dragon teeth can cut through the hardest objects in the world. But why have you ended up like this?" the Underworld Emperor asked the Old Dragon seriously.
It was even quieter now in the sky over Zhaoge City, and that was because they knew what they were to hear would be the last statement left by the Underworld Emperor for the world.
"It's because you are too greedy and you always want to swallow more things into your stomach. These greedy desires are poisonous. The things you have eaten in your stomach will become your burden in the end."
The Underworld Emperor said this while folding his hands behind his back, "It is true that the heaven and earth in the jar are broad enough, and one can enjoy life inside the jar. But if you sit in the jar year after year, your vision will become increasingly narrower. In the end, you will lose the courage and desire to leave the jar. All you want is to live life this way; and eventually the greed overcomes the desire to understand heaven and earth. Living a life like this is no difference from being dead. Hence, you will die today."
Having said this, he turned around and swept his gaze across Liu Ci, the Emperor, the Immortal Tan, and the Young Zen Master in turn, and then he stared at Yuan Qijing once.
And he lifted his head to look at a spot in the sky, where the Immortal Bai should be.
"Your human race is as greedy as this dragon. Are you going to die out in the future because of it?"
The Underworld Emperor was done talking.
A jade-like bone flew out slowly from the Old Dragon's mouth, and landed in the Underworld Emperor's hand.
This was the remaining bone of that large demon that had been in the green pond for a great many years.
The Underworld Emperor placed the jade-like bone on his lips and played a piece of music.
The piece of music was devoid of fluctuating tones; it was mostly a long and even tone, slow and elegant, without sorrow and joy. It could be said that the music was lack of any emotion.
The sound of his flute was like a gentle breeze, devoid of any meaning.
The waves occurred on the surface of the lake; it had nothing to do with the music.
The waves occurred among the pine trees; likewise, it had nothing to do with the music.
The long and even tone coming out from the flute echoed in the sky over Zhaoge City, as if it could calm the human minds and the waves in the river.
"What is this music?" Bu Qiuxiao asked as he had felt something about it.
"The lullaby of the Underworld River."
The Young Zen Master said, "Once the inhabitants of the Underworld are dead, they will be put in the Underworld River. Their relatives and friends will play this music by the river in the hope that the waves in the river will abate to let the dead sleep in peace without being disturbed."
The music was over.
The Underworld Emperor's spiritual soul dispersed into the wind.
The Old Dragon had no more breath, dropping to the ground slowly.
The rainfall followed the fall of the dragon.
An extremely angry and painful scream could be heard on the distant Cloud-Dream Mountain.
It was the scream from the Unicorn.
Ten days after the spring rainfall, Zhaoge City had gradually gone back to normality.
Led by Hanshi Valley of the Center Sect and Shiyue Peak of Green Mountain, the Cultivation practitioners of all the major sects helped rebuild Zhaoge City. It didn't take long for the damaged streets and buildings to be repaired. The residents were finally allowed to return to the city. As they saw the brand new houses, many residents were shocked speechless. The damages inside the houses were compensated by the imperial court.
As for what kind of mental shock the residents would have in their future lives, it was beyond the consideration of the imperial court.
On the same night, an important meeting took place in the newly repaired Taichang Temple.
How the financial loss caused by the turmoil in the Fiend Prison should be shared among different departments was of course one of the agendas; but it was a trivial matter.
The most important part was to find out the reason why the Fiend Prison had such turmoil in the first place.
The likes of Liu Ci and other figures in the Heavenly Arrival State had already left and returned to their respective sects. But the matter had to be investigated.
All the major sects, except the Water-Moon Nunnery, had sent representatives to the meeting. There were in total thirty seven sects; they were the main participants in the Plum Meeting. Even the Windy-Broadsword Sect and the West Ocean Sword Sect had sent their representatives to the meeting.
The host of the meeting was not the Chief of Taichang Temple, State Duke Lu, or State Duke He; it was the Principal Justice of the Fruit Formation Temple, Monk Duhai.
This highly achieved monk, as the representative of the Young Zen Master and the Chief Monk of the Fruit Formation Temple, was accepted by all the representatives as the suitable host of the meeting.
After Monk Duhai announced the commencement of the meeting, nobody spoke inside Taichang Temple; the atmosphere was still and depressing.
Some representatives felt uneasy while thinking of the fact that the remains of the Old Dragon were in the underground right beneath their seats.
The person who broke the silence was someone experiencing the whole event.
This person was not only present when the turmoil occurred, but he also had a close relationship with the Fiend Prison.
All of them knew by now that the Fiend Prison was the divine guardian animal of the Center Sect, the Old Dragon.
Yue Qianmen looked at State Duke Lu and asked tersely, "Back when the Fiend Prison had the mishap, why didn't State Duke let me enter it?"