Master Mo was the swordsman of the highest state in this world.
It was such a fact that he could be recognized easily when he was standing in black clothing in the Royal Palace covered by the white snow.
Normally, he was not allowed to stand here; but he did anyway because nobody dared question him.
Some imprints of bird feet were on the snow, which were left by the green bird when she flew over in the sky.
Master Mo stopped looking at the sky. He looked at those imprints of bird feet instead, reflecting on something.
The Grand Scholar Zhang was looking at the tea in the teacup, which was getting cold, in his office outside the Royal Palace, pondering something as well.
An official standing in front of him displayed a nervous visage.
The leader of the royal army pushed open the door and walked in along with snowflakes, saying gravely, "We are watching those from Cangzhou closely; but I'm afraid some of those kamikaze assassins might have snuck into the Royal Palace ahead of time. And if we don't disperse those residents and scholars gathering outside the palace, I'm afraid they might be used by certain ambitious individuals for the ill purpose."
The Grand Scholar pushed the teacup gently away from the edge of the table with his forefinger, and said, "If there is a commotion in the palace hall where the Emperor resides, the royal army will take action."
Upon hearing this, the official's look changed tremendously, and he knelt down on the ground with a thud before the Grand Scholar, as he exclaimed urgently, "Master, please don't."
The Grand Scholar took a look at this official and didn't say a word.
The official said with a slightly muffled tone, "The Emperor made an inappropriate decree to summon the son of King Jing to come to the capital, unsettling the situation and the opinion of the populace. We shouldn't miss this good opportunity."
Though this statement was not elaborated enough, but its meaning was unmistakable. No matter whether the Emperor wanted to kill the son of King Jing or the son of King Jing wanted to kill the Emperor, the imperial court could benefit a great deal from it, and they ran no risk of taking the responsibility for the incident. Regardless, this would be a good opportunity or even a perfect opportunity for the Grand Scholar.
Even the leader of the royal army was somewhat persuaded, as he looked at the Grand Scholar, waiting nervously for his final decision. Seeing the Grand Scholar remain silent, the official thought that there was a hope and then advised with more urgency, "Even if the Emperor is prepared for it, Master Mo is here in the Royal Palace. As long as he strikes…there's nothing that can't be resolved."
"Master Mo acts only for the justice of the world all his life. How can he strike for our selfish purpose?"
The Grand Scholar stood up and walked to the window and looked at the deep end of the Royal Palace, thinking of his friend whom he knew for a great many years. He was deep in thought again.
The son of King Jing, who was highly intelligent and capable, would be able to convince Master Mo to strike since he had successfully brought Master Mo to the Royal Palace. The opportunity was indeed very good today. No matter how wise and profound the Emperor was under his guise of slowness, he had no chance of avoiding this turbulence. Yet, why did the Grand Scholar still feel uncertain?
His line of sight penetrated the palace walls and the wind and snow. He seemed to see the scene of Master Mo standing in the snow. He sensed that a significant event was unfolding right at this moment.
Master Mo stood in the wind and snow, and many more people were standing in the wind and snow as well.
The residents and scholars gathering outside the gate of the palace shouted and cried against the wind and in the snow, pleading the Emperor not to harm the son of King Jing to avoid bringing Chu State into the dreadful inner war. The war could be started at any moment by the cavalrymen in the back alleys and those swordsmen of Cangzhou who were ready to break through the palace gate on the order. Not far from the grand hall, a few eunuchs in blue plumage clothes, who had themselves castrated voluntarily more than ten years ago, approached the grand hall stealthily under the cover of the wind and snow. Besides Tong Yan and themselves, nobody knew that they were the kamikaze assassins sent in by Cangzhou.
The events and people in Chu State that day were like the imprints left on purpose by the green birds in various places that appeared to be unrelated to each other. Yet, they were actually all related in a mysterious and secret way.
What would be the final outcome of all these related events and the results for those people had to wait for the end of the game of Go.
The game of Go was halted for a brief break.
Watching the distant wind and snow, Tong Yan raised his sword-like bushy eyebrows.
Here was the Illusionary Realm of the Green Sky Mirror, not the real world. The Cultivation practitioners here couldn't ascend…so why was there a heavenly barrier? Yet, Tong Yan recalled the rule he heard many years ago before he entered the realm: The highest Cultivation state here was the upper state of the Golden Pill or the initial state of the Yuanying, or the initial state of the Free Travel, and not higher.
Did the sign of the heavenly barrier mean that someone in this world attempted to break through the highest state and reach for a higher one?
Such an event might have happened in the Green Sky Mirror before. Since the Cultivation practitioners here were not real human beings, the aftermath had all been removed.
But this time…sensing the changed energy in the wind and snow, Tong Yan's emotion was complicated; it was because he knew who was attempting to break through the heavenly barrier.
Master Mo was a great scholar and a highly achieved calligrapher; and most of all, he was a Cultivation practitioner of the highest state here in the last hundreds of years.
He was a friend of Tong Yan's as well as a close friend of the Grand Scholar Zhang's. He came to the capital of Chu State today not for killing the Emperor, but for the peace of the world.
As the Grand Scholar Zhang had thought, now that Tong Yan could persuade him to come to the capital, Tong Yan would be able to convince him to strike Jing Jiu.
However, Tong Yan was quite hesitant at the moment.
If Master Mo chose to break through the heavenly barrier, he would meet the death of his body and Dao Heart; it would be a fatal blow to Tong Yan's scheme.
Tong Yan thought that he should try his best to convince Master Mo not to challenge the heavenly barrier, either from Master Mo's perspective or from his own.
However, Tong Yan was a Cultivation practitioner, so he was fully aware of the feeling when the path toward heaven lay in front of the person involved. The saying "Obtaining the Dao in the morning, one can die in the evening" conveyed the similar idea. He didn't want to see Master Mo miss the opportunity.
"How would you choose?" Tong Yan suddenly asked Jing Jiu. Tong Yan didn't ask him about how he would make his next move in the game of Go, but about the choice Master Mo should make.
Jing Jiu shot him a glance, not saying a word.
This should be an obvious choice, as far as Jing Jiu was concerned. The goal of the life should be headed in that direction.
The wind and snow grew more violent, and the scenes in the Royal Palace became increasingly blurrier.
Time went by slowly.
Master Mo hadn't made a move as he was standing in the snow.
But Jing Jiu made a move.
He picked up a white Go piece and placed it on the board.
A large bolt of lightning suddenly struck down from the sky and passed through countless snowflakes and smashed into the Royal Palace.
Innumerable surprised screams broke out inside and outside the Royal Palace, and turbulence ensued.
Tong Yan's body turned rigid; it was unclear if it was a coincident or something else.
"Let's go have a look," Jing Jiu suggested.
Liu Shisui glanced at Tong Yan and then walked out of the gate of the grand hall while holding the umbrella, to the square of the Royal Palace.
The decree of closing the gate of the palace had been announced. Nobody was allowed to enter the palace gate regardless of the heavenly thunder and the chaos outside the palace.
A fracture appeared in the snow that looked like a white blanket. The fracture looked like it was burned by a fire with countless cracks in the surroundings.
The rims of the clothes Master Mo wore were slightly burned. He looked at the sky in silence, devoid of any fear in his eyes, save for the fighting intent. His right hand placed on the sword's hilt.
Liu Shisui looked at Jing Jiu quietly, waiting for his final decision.
The green bird flew over through the falling snow and landed lightly on the table.
She didn't look at Master Mo in the snow; as such, the Cultivation practitioners outside the Huiyin Valley in the real world didn't see the scene of the heavenly thunder striking down.
She didn't look at the Go pieces on the board either; but instead, she was watching Jing Jiu, an inquisitive and bewildered expression in her eyes.
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