Others would know certain things without being told, like Bai Zao's affection for Jing Jiu, and the result of this sword fight of Green Mountain.
Before the tree broke apart, Zhuo Rusui raised the sleeve to wipe off the blood trickling down from the corners of his mouth, and his eyes revealed a strange expression as he looked at Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu could have killed him easily a moment earlier; the result would be apparent.
The rumored shapeless inborn Sword Body was indeed formidable. It could even ignore the differences in Cultivation states.
"If Young Brother Zhuo didn't give you a break, how could you have succeeded in sneak-attacking him?"
An icy voice burst out in the night sky.
The crowd was startled at first when hearing this, but they found the statement was sensible after they recalled the earlier scene.
Few fights between the Cultivation practitioners were like the combat between Jing Jiu and Zhuo Rusui, who stood so close to each other. Zhuo Rusui was in the Free Travel State, and all he needed to do was lengthen the distance to take advantage of his higher state. No matter how talented and achieved Jing Jiu's sword work was, or how abundant his Sword Source was, or how formidable his Sword Body was, Jing Jiu wouldn't have had a chance of attacking Zhuo Rusui.
In the beginning, He Zhan told Tong Yan that Zhuo Rusui didn't do his best against Jing Jiu; his opinion was based on this assessment.
The more surprising fact was that this voice came from the Green Mountain group.
The speaker didn't control the volume of his voice, so everybody heard him. It was obviously intentional.
Jing Jiu raised his head to look at the night sky. He remembered that the speaker was a disciple named Jian Ruyun, but forgot his ranking on Liangwang Peak.
For certain reason, Jian Ruyun had always been cautious of Liu Shisui, and didn't give up the investigation into the Zuo Yi case; unfortunately, his persistence in the case caused the death of his younger brother Jian Rushan.
After the death of his brother, Jian Ruyun had an even stronger hatred toward Shenmo Peak and Liu Shisui. As such, he couldn't let Jing Jiu leave like this, and spoke out the "truth".
Jing Jiu walked back to the iron sword, pulled out the sword from the ground with his hand, and threw it up into the night sky.
He simply waved his sleeve, which was a seemingly careless move; but a violent wind rose in the valley.
A flash of sword light shot up and then pointed to the Green Mountain group.
The beam of the sword light was as straight as a pen; and it seemed that the night sky was being written on by a huge invisible hand with a giant stroke.
Along with a thunderous boom, the iron sword came to the sky a few miles away and arrived in front of Jian Ruyun.
The sword arrived so fast that Jian Ruyun didn't have time to react to it. He was on the verge of being killed by the sword.
Suddenly, a slender finger reached over and flicked gently on the iron sword.
The iron sword turned around to return after giving out a crisp sword sound.
Nan Wang pulled back her finger and didn't say anything while wearing a smile.
The iron sword returned to the ground at a faster speed. Jing Jiu reached out his hand to catch the sword.
It was then that Jian Ruyun realized what had just happened.
His face was pale, as he knew that he would have ended up having his head and body separated if Senior Master Nan Wang hadn't blocked the sword.
There was an uproar in the night sky.
He Zhan and the others in the valley were shocked speechless.
The expression in Zhuo Rusui's eyes as they gazed at Jing Jiu grew much weirder.
It was deathly quiet after the initial uproar.
It was soundless in the night sky.
He could kill a disciple of Liangwang Peak with a swing of the sword from a distance of a few miles; what Cultivation state was he in?
Jing Jiu actually wielded the sword casually; it was evident that he hadn't used full power. It meant that his true Cultivation state should be even higher than that he revealed.
Was it possible that he had already attained the middle state of the Free Travel and surpassed Zhuo Rusui?
If it was the case, then what Jian Ruyun had said, as well He Zhan's opinion and others' conjecture…all of it was a joke.
If Zhuo Rusui attacked Jing Jiu from a further distance by thinking that he had a higher Cultivation state in the very beginning, he would have lost even more horribly.
Nan Wang looked at Bai Rujing as she asked in a mocking tone, "Do you still want to expel him from the mountain gate?"
"It looks like it's not convenient to use that again today."
Jing Jiu walked to the front of Bai Zao while heaving his sword.
The cloth that he had thrown on the ground earlier was burned by the sword fire, so it was impossible to use it again.
Bai Zao nodded, and then took out a white cloth from nowhere like a magician.
Jing Jiu took the white cloth and found it was made of the natural worm silks. He nodded in appreciation and used the cloth to wrap the iron sword and tie it on his back.
He Zhan was baffled and asked, "You are in the Free Travel State already; why are you still carrying the sword on your back?"
It was true that Jing Jiu could put the iron sword into his body, but the sword didn't merge into his body in the true sense.
Similarly, he was undoubtedly the youngest Cultivation practitioner in the middle state of the Free Travel by now, but it was not the true Free Travel State.
In other words, his iron sword still couldn't merge into the Sword Pill, because the new method he developed didn't require the iron sword to nurture a sword ghost.
He had to hide the iron sword in a faraway place and brought it back whenever he needed it; it was quite troublesome.
However, he had never felt it troublesome when he brought the bamboo chair from a faraway place every time.
It was troublesome to explain all this, so he chose not to do it at all.
Zhuo Rusui had sat on the stump of the broken tree unnoticed, asking, "What style is the sword work you have used? I have never seen it before, and it's not recorded in any book either."
Jing Jiu replied, "There are many sword styles that you haven't seen. Don't just sleep in the caves; come out to check things out. It'll be good for you."
Having said that, he turned around and walked toward the outside of the valley.
Seeing his back, the crowd felt a complex emotion.
But many of them were astounded.
Since Zhao Layue had shown her talent to the world, she didn't have any true competitor. Though Zhuo Rusui defeated Zhao Layue after a long period of her domination, it was merely a few days later that Jing Jiu had defeated Zhuo Rusui and regained the domination of Shenmo Peak.
The Shenmo Peak, where the manor cave of the Immortal Jing Yang was located, was indeed a sacred place for the Cultivation world. The disciples coming out from there were all outstanding and peculiar.
Witnessing the fact that Jing Jiu had broken through the Free Travel State and attained its middle state, Bai Zao was naturally the happiest one, or at least, felt comfort from it.
Her guilty feeling that Jing Jiu's Cultivation was delayed during the six years in the snowland was alleviated a great deal.
Sese's attitude toward Jing Jiu was the same as before. She glanced at Zhuo Rusui who was in deep thought and snickered, "He is so lazy himself, but he shamelessly gives advice to others."
He Zhan felt sentimental when he recalled what had happened at the Plum Meeting years ago.
"Back when I witnessed the Go game you and Jing Jiu played, I decided not to play the game anymore. After I witnessed the sword fight of those two, I've decided not to use the sword from now on."
Tong Yan stared at him and said, "But you don't use the sword anyway."
After getting back to the residence of the Peeled Skin House and putting down his feet on the floor, Jing Jiu could sense clearly the rough feel of the floor; he felt a bit tired.
This was a rare experience for Jing Jiu. Zhuo Rusui's talent and the fight prowess were truly outstanding; so it was reasonable that Liu Ci had a high expectations for this child.
He entered the room and saw Gu Qing sit cross-legged on the floor, meditating. A straight white smoke came out from the top of his head, and a flying sword rotated slowly amid the smoke.
Jing Jiu watched him quietly.
Gu Qing was quite talented, and also diligent. He thought that his sole disciple had almost broken through the Free Travel State, but he found that Gu Qing was still a half step from it.
If he hadn't been delayed for three years in Zhaoge City, he might have already stepped over the huddle and broken through the state.
He didn't know the evaluations of Gu Qing by others until Bai Rujing mentioned it a few days ago.
Gu Qing was good at buttering up his Master? He didn't care about it, and he thought a disciple should behave this way.
Gu Qing retrieved his flying sword and opened his eyes. As he saw his Master stand right in front of him, his heart skipped a beat. He stood up hurriedly to bow. Then, he sensed that Jing Jiu's energy was more formidable than usual, indicating that he had been in a fight not long ago. Gu Qing was alerted and called out his flying sword, asking, "Master, what happened?"
"It was with Zhuo Rusui," Jing Jiu replied.
Baffled, Gu Qing asked hesitantly, "Is it solved?"
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm".
Gu Qing was delighted.
As a Shenmo Peak disciple, he worried about more things than Yuan Qü, and he even took more things into consideration than Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu.
Shenmo Peak didn't have a master of the previous generation in the high Cultivation state to watch it over, and Master White Ghost couldn't possibly stay on the peak top forever. As such, they had nobody else but themselves to rely on.
They had to wait things out, and it needed time. The limited time they had was the residual prowess left by Grandmaster Jing Yang; so Shenmo Peak couldn't afford losing any battle.
Regardless of the battles with their own colleagues or the Cultivation practitioners of other sects, they should lose as little as possible; and they should win it back lest one of them had lost in a fight.
It was exactly what his Master had done.
Of course, it was only his Master who could achieve this feat.
Gu Qing thought of all this in his mind.
Jing Jiu took a look at his sword and asked Gu Qing, "Do you want to change it?"
It was time to nurture the Sword Ghost after attaining the Free Travel State; hence, it was better for a Cultivation practitioner to change the sword before breaking through the Free Travel State.
Gu Qing looked at the sword in his hand, and said after some thought, "There is no need for it."
Even though Gu Qing was aware that his Master must have found a better sword for him, one which might match a flying sword of the Fairy State like the Blue Ocean Sword, since Jing Jiu asked…
If he didn't change the sword, he would have to use this ordinary flying sword from now on.
Yet, he still refused his Master's offer.
He had developed a connection to this flying sword, and there was a more important reason for his refusal.
"This disciple doesn't dare forget the principle that the power of a sword improves with its user."
Gu Qing looked at Jing Jiu and said sincerely, "My Master could use this ordinary and ugly sword to defeat Big Brother Zhuo; and I think I can do it too."
Jing Jiu suddenly discovered an issue.
In order to stick to the so-called "fair fight", Zhao Layue suppressed the power of the Thoughtless Sword on purpose and lost to Zhuo Rusui.
Gu Qing was unwilling to change his sword.
Yuan Qü was often criticized by the Young Sister Yushan.
Those monkeys were often bullied by the monkeys of their distant kin from Shiyue Peak.
They were a bunch of idiots on Shenmo Peak, including Liu Shisui who was in the Fruit Formation Temple right now.
It was unclear whom they had learned all this from.
Thinking of these things, Jing Jiu walked out of the room, took out the bamboo chair and lay on it.
The scene projected by the Heavenly Retrieval Orb was still lingering in the night sky, but it was much lighter than that during the day. The projected scene was the starry night, so it was hard to tell the real night sky from the fake one when they were mixed together. The onlookers would feel like they were in a dream or delusional.
Yet, Jing Jiu suddenly felt something out of place during such a wonderful night.
He was determined to obtain the Fairy Book of Longevity no matter what. As such, he had to contend with other participants and even fight against them, so it was even necessary to employ the Underworld Fairy Sword.
Tonight he used his shapeless inborn Sword Body to prove his qualifications to Green Mountain, because he didn't want the Center Sect to discover the secret.
But why did he feel something out of place?
He closed his eyes and drummed lightly on the arm of the bamboo chair with his fingers while he started calculating all the possibilities.
After a long time, he opened his eyes and ascertained his feeling; but he failed to find out where his feeling came from.
More than ten days later, the celebration of the Center Sect for its founding thirty-thousand years ago had reached its last phase
The teachings by the immortals were mostly over. Yet, none of the Cultivation practitioners of various sects and those free-traveling practitioners had departed; it was because the most important event would begin soon.
The Dao Competition would start this day.
It was said that the Fairy Book of Longevity was left behind by the Great Grandmaster Bai before her ascension. Though it was only an accessory book, it was still considered to be the most precious treasure in the world.
Who would obtain the Longevity Fairy Book? This was the matter concerning the entire Cloud-Dream Mountain and even the whole Cultivation world.
Those young and famous swordsmen like Zhuo Rusui became the center of people's attention.
He stayed behind closed doors for twenty years and defeated Zhao Layue after coming out from closed doors. He was both mysterious and legendary.
When Zhuo Rusui stood in the crowd, he always had the drooping eyelids, and any observer would think he looked rather drowsy.
The news that he had lost to Jing Jiu in the sword fight a few nights ago had spread already. Those who didn't know him well thought that he looked drowsy because he was dejected due to the result of the sword fight.
The look on the face of Fang Jingtian, Bai Rujing and others was quite gloomy, even terrible.
It was not because Zhuo Rusui lost to Jing Jiu, but because Jing Jiu was not with them.
A dozen disciples of the Water-Moon Nunnery stood on a distant stone platform, their dresses ruffling. There was only one seat on the platform, on which Jing Jiu sat.
Countless gazes were fixed on Jing Jiu, and innumerable discussions broke out regarding him.
Undoubtedly, he was the most famous figure currently in the Cultivation world, and he was considered to be the best candidate for winning the Dao Competition.
He was the most outstanding genius, having entered the middle state of the Free Travel at such a young age.
The Cultivation world hadn't had such a genius before, and it was believed that it would be hard to find such a talent in the future.
The Green Mountain Sect Master didn't show up for the event. It was said that he, the great grandmaster of the Water-Moon Nunnery, the Kunlun Sect Master and other important figures were discussing the Dao with the Immortal Tan.
It was apparent that the Immortal Liu didn't offer his opinion on Jing Jiu's choice. As such, Bai Rujing's suggestion of expelling Jing Jiu from the mountain gate became a big joke.
However, people still didn't expect Jing Jiu to actually represent the Water-Moon Nunnery in the Dao Competition. If he did obtain the Fairy Book of Longevity, which sect would get it then?
A voice broke out outside the valley. It reached the ears of every Cultivation practitioner so clearly as if they were words spoken in front of them.
The host of the Dao Competition was an elder of the Center Sect, Yue Qianmen. He had a profound Cultivation state of Lianxu; he would be considered a true immortal in the mortal world.
Countless birds flew over from the surroundings of the Cloud-Dream Mountain. These birds were summoned by the magic method, so they hovered around a cliff and formed a single line; and finally they formed a name.
As Yue Qianmen gave out the orders, the birds flew around flapping their wings to form a new name on the cliff wall.
Nan Wang was not so pleased, commenting, "Are they playing magic tricks here?"
Though she complained, she was well aware that Green Mountain was a lot more boring in comparison to the Cloud-Dream Mountain.
That was why Qingrong Peak always requested to have the Great Formation of Green Mountain opened a gap for a few days during the spring rain, summer thunder, autumn wind, and winter snow.
Yue Qianmen finally spoke this name.
There was a slight commotion in the crowd. Countless gazes were fixed on the place where the disciples of the Water-Moon Nunnery were.
Jing Jiu stood up and walked toward the entrance of the valley.
The birds on the cliff wall didn't expect this name to have so few strokes, so they didn't know how to write it quickly.
In the end, many birds failed to get in the lines, and they had to stay outside the lines. The scene was chaotic.
Jing Jiu had been fairly satisfied with his name, but now he was even more satisfied.
It was then that the birds on the cliff wall changed their lines and formed three words.
This was a name.
Jing Jiu sensed a repulsive energy coming from behind, full of violent and bloody intent.
He thought it must be the energy exuded by Bai Qianjun.
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