The Path Toward Heaven
360 New Lake, Ruined Temple, and Starry Nights
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The Path Toward Heaven
Author :Mao Ni
© Wuxiaworld

360 New Lake, Ruined Temple, and Starry Nights

There was a green valley by the seashore of the East Ocean, and there was a seemingly bottomless underground hole in the valley. The hole was filled with mist and gusts of shadowy wind. This hole was the Heavenly Well, which was as famous as the Secret Realm of the Singing Spring.

To prevent the swordsmen of the Underworld or even their army from climbing out of the Heavenly Well to devastate the human world, the powerful forbidding formations were set up around the well.

The Godly Nun of East Ocean built the Water-Moon Nunnery not far from the Heavenly Well.

As such, this place had never been a tourist attraction, even though the scenery here was magnificent.

Jing Jiu stood by the edge of the cliff and looked down at the well with his hands folded behind his back, looking like a tourist.

The shadowy wind blew over the mist in the Heavenly Well to form countless currents and whirlpools, which were even more formidable than the Chaotic Wind in the sky.

As far as Jing Jiu's sight could reach, it was the utter darkness; so he couldn't see clearly what was at the bottom of the well.

As Jing Jiu remembered, he had never been to the Underworld.

Being here meant that he had also been to the Underworld.

According to the books he read, the Heavenly Well had thirteen levels in total.

He suddenly felt something and turned around to look in that direction.

The Green Mountain was located there.

He looked in that direction quietly, reflecting on something.

A gust of shadowy wind came out from the Heavenly Well.

He reached out his right hand, and a shapeless object seemed to have landed on his palm.

He used his spiritual awareness to perceive it for a while, his eyes revealing a sentimental emotion.

It was not as expected by the Underworld Emperor. After the Underworld learned the news of his death, they didn't immediately put a new emperor on the throne; but instead, they were thrown in chaos.

The Underworld Master was busy suppressing the rebelling army and negotiating with other forces.

Maybe, all this was within the plan of the Underworld Emperor. Long-lasting peace was often built after a great turmoil.

When the chaos in the Underworld ended and the new emperor was appointed, he would try to find time to go to the Underworld to give the Royal Seal of Underworld Emperor back to the new emperor.

If it were his Big Brother, he would choose the new emperor himself; but Jing Jiu wouldn't do it.

It was the affair of the Underworld, so they were the ones who should make the decision.

Jing Jiu wheeled around and left.

The Heavenly Well was surrounded by the forbidding formations, and the amulet paper slips were attached to the cliff walls along with the scripts left by the highly achieved monks of the Fruit Formation Temple.

The gust of shadowy wind and Jing Jiu's presence by the well alerted some people.

It didn't take long that a few good-looking girls flew to the edge of the cliff, looking around cautiously; but they didn't find anything out of place.

"We should request the masters of our nunnery to send the message to all the sects. I'm afraid that a powerful devil man of the Underworld might have climbed out from the Heavenly Well."

The leader of the girls said worriedly, "Maybe he is interested in the Fairy Book of Longevity from the Center Sect. I hope nothing significant would happen."

But they were not aware that the person they were worried about had already been in the Water-Moon Nunnery.

The Water-Moon Nunnery was located on the other side of the green valley. It had a front yard and an inner yard, just like the arrangement of the Fruit Formation Temple. The front yard was the place for dealing with the mortal affairs, and the inner yard was the real center of the nunnery.

Jing Jiu landed in the deep end of the nunnery without disturbing anyone. A small green-curtain sedan was waiting for him there.

Sitting in the small green-curtain sedan was the Great Grandmaster of the Water-Moon Nunnery.

He knew what her intention was, yet Jing Jiu didn't stop to talk with her, merely nodding his head toward her.

Apart from the Nunnery Master and this great grandmaster, nobody else knew he had come to the Water-Moon Nunnery.

The details of the West Ocean mayhem three years ago had already spread everywhere.

Everybody thought that Guo Dong was dead.

If somebody knew that Jing Jiu brought Guo Dong back to the Water-Moon Nunnery, they would be able to figure out that the elder of Green Mountain who saved Guo Dong was Jing Jiu.

While it was not a big deal given that it was impossible for the West Ocean Sword Sect to ask the Green Mountain Sect about it, Jing Jiu had employed the Underworld Fairy Sword to evade the sword wielded by the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean.

The scenes and the details of his action might remind some people of the figure who had escaped from the Fiend Prison of Zhaoge City and flew to the sky, one whom even the Old Dragon failed to catch.

Since the Center Sect had already determined that the figure had something to do with the death of the Old Dragon, Jing Jiu would be in big trouble if they knew the figure was him.

At the very least, it would be an impossible for him to obtain the Fairy Book.

In the end he might still be discovered as the figure when he went to the Center Sect to participate in the Dao Competition. However, by that time it should be inconsequential since he would have already obtained the Fairy Book.

There was a big round window on the wall of the meditation room, and the bottom of the window was close to the ground. It should have been newly constructed.

Outside the round window was a lake with many precious flower trees by it.

Though it was the late autumn, this place was still like spring, the flowers blooming fully on the trees.

The lake was newly excavated, and those trees were moved here recently.

The trees outside the window were too dense, so the scenery when watched from inside of the window was not as beautiful as that at the Three-Thousand Nunnery.

If this was a round fan, the painter did a bad job of painting it.

Jing Jiu took a glimpse of the scenery outside the window, thinking she shouldn't do all this.

Jing Jiu of course didn't say anything about the thought. He pushed the wheelchair out of the meditation room and arrived at the lake.

As they came to the lakeshore, the flower trees were not as dense, so they felt better.

Guo Dong uttered "hmm" satisfactorily. "I'll ask them to cut down these trees tomorrow," she said.

Jing Jiu thought that it would be boring to look at a barren lake if all these trees were cut down.

All of a sudden a gust of wind rose. The flowers rained down from the begonia trees, landing on both of them.

He and Guo Dong didn't encounter any problem in the last three years.

It was often not that the problem was waiting for someone, but it was because someone was looking for it.

Guo Dong had been warmhearted, and was warmhearted even now. Yet, many years had passed, and she was tired of punishing the evildoers and helping the oppressed. She wasn't looking for the problems everywhere like she had done before.

Zhao Layue was interested in doing such deeds back then; as a result, the Thoughtless Sword soaked in much blood.

Jing Jiu didn't care what they had done; all he did was accompanying them quietly.

Thinking of Zhao Layue, the subtle feeling that had emerged earlier occurred again. Jing Jiu raised his brows slightly.

There were not that many weeds in the new lake, and the fish swam lazily.

Looking at the surface of the lake, Guo Dong asked, "What's up?"

"I have to go," Jing Jiu replied.

Guo Dong thought for a while and said, "Take care."

Jing Jiu could have left when he was at the Heavenly Well; he came to the Water-Moon Nunnery for the purpose of bidding farewell to her.

Guo Dong should have said "I'm not seeing you off" according to her temperament, but she said "Take care". It was because she knew he would come back.

He would come back with the Longevity Fairy Book.

After Jing Jiu pushed Guo Dong back to the meditation room, he left.

Sitting in the wheelchair, Guo Dong looked at the outside of the window without turning her head around.

The flower trees outside the window were indeed too dense.

She arched her brows, feeling displeased. She had the trees cut down.

The fallen flower trees were then carried away.

It was an open sight in front of her.

Guo Dong looked at the clouds in the sky silently.

The white clouds drifted away from the lake and cast a shadow in the green valley.

Jing Jiu walked out from the nunnery and stopped short. He lifted his head to look at the sky and the clouds.

There was a nameless mountain, and a ruined temple on it.

It was the late autumn. Everything was quiet, and the mountain path was covered by the wild weeds. No traveler was using the path. But there were many people in the ruined temple that night.

In comparison to the mortal world, there were many regulations in the Cultivation world.

As long as a bonfire was started in a ruined temple in the middle of nowhere, the Cultivation practitioners would gather there like the moths flying to the fire.

Evidently, the prerequisite was safety.

This place was not far from the Cloud-Dream Mountain and close to the edge of the Great Formation; no devil men dared come here to make troubles.

The bonfire could help warm the practitioners, mostly their hearts; and they could also gather together to exchange information and news.

It was like the mortals did in the restaurants and brothels.

A crowd was seated around the bonfire in the ruined temple.

A majority of them wore conical hats since they didn't want others to find out their identities.

Three bald heads in the crowd were quite noticeable.

The three monks wearing simple clothes were from the Fruit Formation Temple. The others let them have the best spots by the bonfire.

"There are so many people here tonight. It's really rare," someone said with a laugh.

Since the number of the Cultivation practitioners was limited to begin with, usually it would be hard to meet another practitioner on the road. It was not unusual for the bonfire to be lit a whole night without anyone coming. Yet, there were so many practitioners gathering here this night.

It was evidently due to the Dao Competition that was to take place at the Center Sect. No matter whether they were invited or not, many Cultivation practitioners would like to come here to witness the event.

The topic they talked about was naturally this event; and the thing they all paid most attention to was who would win the Fairy Book at the Dao Competition.

They had not even dreamed of obtaining the Longevity Fairy Book themselves; but it was a pleasure to just talk about it, as if they could receive some fairy energy by simply talking about it.

Many talented Cultivation practitioners who might have a chance of winning the prize were mentioned back and forth around the bonfire.

"Xi Yiyuan is actually very strong…"

Someone said, "He is the personal disciple of the One-Cottage House Master Bu Qiuxiao. He has studied diligently for twenty years, and I heard that he has been recognized by the guardian magic treasure as its master, just like that Ming King."

"I heard that a talented person at the Hanging-Bell Sect is also pretty good. Evidently, it's not that young master, since all she is interested in is playing all day. Her Cultivation state has improved too slowly."

"Who will participate in the competition from the Green Mountain Sect? Guo Nanshan or You Siluo?"

"You are so isolated lately. Didn't you know that Zhao Layue will participate?"

"Your information is not the undated one…You didn't even know that Zhuo Rusui defeated Zhao Layue."

"Who? Zhuo Rusui? Are you talking about that little weirdo who stayed behind closed doors since becoming the personal disciple of their sect master?"

A barrage of surprised screams broke out in the temple. The bonfire swayed uneasily.

The crowd was discussing this matter excitedly.

There was a person wearing a conical hat, sitting in the shadow in a corner, not drawing any attention of the crowd.

No matter what these Cultivation practitioners talked about, he didn't have any reaction; but his conical hat quivered a little until he heard the news that Zhao Layue lost to Zhuo Rusui.

"At the time, Zhuo Rusui said that he as the inheritance of Tianguang Peak would like to test the secret style of Grandmaster Jing Yang. Anyone can tell just how arrogant he was. He didn't take Zhao Layue seriously in the least."

This informative free-traveling practitioner continued, "He behaved even more arrogantly after his win. He pointed at Zhao Layue's nose and said 'How can you inherit the sword of Grandmaster?'."

Someone sneered, "You are just making it up. You are obviously lack of knowledge. Zhao Layue is the Shenmo Peak Master and a senior master to Zuo Rusui. No matter how arrogant he is, if he acted like that and said those words, didn't he fear that the Sword Justice might cut him in half with a sword?"

The free-travel practitioner said with a slightly red face, "I only heard it from somebody else. Even if the details are not quite accurate…even if he didn't point his finger at her nose…his intention was more or less the same."

Someone said, "It's meaningless whether it is Zhuo Rusui or Zhao Layue attends the Dao Competition, it's because the winner of the Dao Competition has already been decided by the Center Sect."

"What do you mean by that?" another asked.

"You and I both know that the rule for participating in the competition is one participant per sect; but why doesn't the Center Sect abide by the rule? Both Tong Yan and Bai Zao are not weaker than Zhuo Rusui and Zhao Layue. And I heard that another mysterious person from the Center Sect will take part as well. When a few of them gang up against one, who do you think will win?"

The other person shook his head and said, "If the winner has been decided already, why doesn't the Center Sect just keep the Fairy Book for their own use? Why bother then? You shouldn't guess it from your own selfish point of view. There is a rationale that the Center Sect has become the orthodox Cultivation leader. The Green Mountain Sect is not broad-minded in comparison; they don't like dealing with the small sects like ours. They are too arrogant."

Thinking of the way the Green Mountain Sect behaved, they all nodded in agreement.

Someone said, "The Green Mountain is arrogant, because they are indeed qualified to be so. They are truly powerful though."

"The Green Mountain Sect has two in the Heavenly Arrival State and many in the Broken Sea State. Their strength is probably superior to the Center Sect, but why can't they beat the Center Sect in popularity?"

"It's evidently because the Center Sect has the Great Grandmaster Bai."

"But the Green Mountain has the Immortal Jing Yang."

"However, the Great Grandmaster Bai left the Fairy Books to benefit the human world; but the Immortal Jing Yang left nothing behind."

The speaker glanced around and said in a hushed voice, "I heard that he not only didn't leave anything behind, but also took many magic treasures with him. I heard that many people on the nine peaks of Green Mountain have complained about this. Since the Immortal Jing Yang didn't even concern himself with the affairs of the Green Mountain Sect back then, it would be natural that he was not concerned about leaving something for the Green Mountain after his ascension."

The three monks kept their silence the entire time.

One of them lowered his head, his face was unable to be seen.

An old monk was taking a nap with his eyes closed.

Yet, the young monk's face grew redder and redder after hearing those comments, until he couldn't stand it any longer. Eventually he nudged the old monk softly.

The old monk opened his eyes and smiled at him, saying, "Speak up if you want to."

The young monk took a deep breath, as if he was just released from a prison. He stared at those Cultivation practitioners and yelled thunderously, "You are a bunch of idiots!"

The crowd was stunned, wondering what had happened to this monk of the Fruit Formation Temple.

The young monk stood up and said to the speaker, "You said that the Immortal Jing Yang took the magic treasures of Green Mountain with him, but did you know that those magic treasures were his in the first place? You said that the Immortal was not concerned even when something happened to Green Mountain; but did you know that anyone who dared to attack Green Mountain had to be worried of him?"

Hearing this, the crowd thought it absurd at first, but soon came to their senses. It was evident that they could refute the first part of what the young monk said, but it was impossible to refute the last part…

The two hundred years before the ascension of the Immortal Jing Yang were the best time in the history of the Green Mountain Sect, because they hadn't encountered any real crisis.

Why? It was because the Immortal Jing Yang was the one who had the highest Cultivation state in Chaotian.

Though he stayed on Shenmo Peak all year long and didn't concern himself with mortal affairs, he was still the most powerful person with the highest Cultivation state.

As long as he was around, nobody would dare bring harm to Green Mountain.

This was a simple fact. Yet, both the Cultivation practitioners and many people on Green Mountain didn't realize it.

Or they were unwilling to think about it.

It was a sentimental fact.

The ruined temple grew quieter now.

Nobody noticed that the person with the conical hat sitting in the shadow of a corner had already left.

That person came to the field and leapt to the top of a tree. He moved his fingers slightly, and countless twigs fell down noiselessly to the ground; and a platform was built on the treetop.

He took out the bamboo chair and set it on the platform. And then he took off the conical hat and lay on the chair.

The wind was very strong that night, making whistling sounds, and blowing away all the clouds. The stars were twinkling.

The starlight fell on his face, which still looked perfect, devoid of any emotion.

The wind grew stronger, and the tree branches were swaying slightly. Even though the platform had no chance of tipping over, the bamboo chair somehow was making creaking noise.

Jing Jiu thought it was the time to repair the chair again, wondering if Liu Shisui had planted some bamboo trees at the Fruit Formation Temple; otherwise he could send the chair over to let him repair it.

The night wind whistled and the big tree swayed. The stars and the field seemed to be wavering in Jing Jiu's eyes, as if he was in a dream.

If the scene was to be painted, it would need a good painter.

It reminded him of the monk who kept his head lowered in the ruined temple.

He Zhan was in the ruined temple tonight.

Then, Jing Jiu looked at the distant Green Mountain.

The Fairy Book of Longevity was indeed very attractive to many people.

He predicted that Zhuo Rusui would come out from behind closed doors, but he didn't expect that Zhao Layue would lose to him.

Back when he was on Shenmo Peak, he told her several times that she shouldn't lose to him.

But, how could she have lost?
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