The green bird was looking at Jing Jiu.
"Don't look at me. It has nothing to do with me," said Jing Jiu.
Tong Yan was looking at the green bird.
The green bird spoke in human words, "Don't look at me. It has nothing to do with me."
Hearing this, even Jing Jiu turned to look at the green bird.
This was the Illusionary Realm of the Green Sky Mirror; everything here of course was her doing.
"I'm just a spirit, not the one who made the rules," the green bird claimed.
What she said had deep meaning; but she didn't elaborate on it, letting Jing Jiu and Tong Yan figure it out themselves.
Jing Jiu didn't comment on the matter, as he said to Tong Yan, "Let's continue the game."
Regardless of choosing to break through the heavenly barrier or to give up, Master Mo was the only one who could make the decision.
As Jing Jiu laid down the white Go piece earlier, a bolt of lightning struck down; it was Tong Yan's turn now.
Looking at the deep end of the wind and snow, Tong Yan remained silent for a while; then he picked up a black piece with three of his fingers and placed it on the Go board.
The green bird walked onto the Go board and moved the black piece Tong Yan had just placed slightly with her right foot to straighten it. "Why are you still as clumsy as when you were younger?" the green bird complained.
Tong Yan retorted emotionlessly, "If I'm clumsy, what about you?"
It was obvious that Tong Yan and the green bird had known each other before, and they were even very familiar with each other. Jing Jiu didn't pay much attention to it, as he picked up a white piece and put it on the board.
Tong Yan laid down a piece.
Jing Jiu placed another piece.
The two of their hands placed the Go pieces alternatively.
The Go pieces had been increasing on the board.
The green bird trotted among the Go pieces. She did it lightly and elegantly, as if she was dancing.
It was a wonderful scene.
Unfortunately, the Cultivation practitioners outside the Huiyin Valley in the real world couldn't witness the game. And they couldn't see the wind and snow in the Royal Palace either, nor those occasional thunders and lightning. What they could see were the scenes the green bird saw. It was evidently the intention of the green bird, because she didn't want anyone in the outside world, especially the Immortal Bai, knew that Master Mo was encountering the heavenly barrier.
The Cultivation practitioners in the real world were aware of the dangerous situation in the capital of Chu State. But in the past ten days, they had witnessed the frequent changing of political environments, the possessions and the emperors in the Green Sky Mirror, and so the similar events couldn't affect them as much; what they wanted to see was simply the game of Go between Jing Jiu and Tong Yan.
They could only hear the occasional deep and depressing rumbling of thunder in the far end of the Green Sky Mirror. Yet, they wondered why they could hear the thunders during the weather of wind and snow.
This game of Go between Jing Jiu and Tong Yan was different from that game of Go played by the two of them on the Chessboard Mountain.
That game of Go was called the amazing game. It was because the two of them were full of lethal intents on the Go board. Whenever one of them put down a piece, heaven and earth would respond to it, and the wind and rain as well as thunder and lightning would ensue.
Though the wind and snow and thunder occurred in the Royal Palace that day, the game of Go was quite calm and peaceful itself; the game could be called a "laid-back" game.
Nobody could tell what flavor the water had; likewise, few people could figure out the hidden tactics this game displayed.
Jing Jiu and Tong Yan placed the Go pieces carelessly. The onlookers outside the Huiyin Valley were bewildered, since they had no idea what they were doing.
Que Niang was the only exception. She stared at the game in the sky with a blush, her body swaying from side to side slightly, as if she were drunk.
A moment later, her face suddenly turned pale, as if she had drunk too much alcohol and wanted to throw up.
She had won first place a few times in a row in the chess tournament of the Plum Meeting, and was considered the best in the game of Go. She was probably the only one who could understand the game played by Jing Jiu and Tong Yan at the moment.
She discovered to her surprise that Jing Jiu and Tong Yan could play the game of Go much better than back when they played it at the Plum Meeting.
Xiang Wanshu let out a bitter smile, remaining speechless, as he thought that he could be counted as someone who knew how to play the game, but he had to rely on the reaction of Que Niang to judge the situation of the game; it was truly ridiculous.
Many Cultivation practitioners also realized it. After Jing Jiu or Tong Yan placed a Go piece, they gave up on pondering the move themselves; just looked at Que Niang for the clue.
Outside the Huiyin Valley, innumerable eyes darted back and forth between the sky and Que Niang. It was similar to what happened at the Plum Meeting back then, but it was even more absurd and humorous.
The game in the pavilion was in its final stages, and the reactions from Que Niang were less evident now. The others could hardly judge the situation of the game from her expressions.
She stared at the game in the sky with slightly expanded nostrils. It was apparent that she was extremely anxious. Her face turned to red from ashen one more time, and the expression in her eyes returned to determination from what had before been bewilderment.
The few eunuchs were still waiting for the order.
The kamikaze assassins outside the palace and those spies among the crowd were also waiting for the order.
The Royal Palace was locked down, and nobody else could be found there.
Liu Shisui held an umbrella beneath the wind and snow as he stared at Master Mo in the square.
He wasn't sure what the Emperor asked him to look at, but since this person was the only one in the entire Royal Palace, it occurred to Liu Shisui that he must have come to watch him.
This man in black was indeed very powerful, and his Cultivation state was profound. If he intended to harm the Emperor, Liu Shisui didn't think that he could stop this man, believing that he would be killed after exchanging a mere few blows.
But, what was he doing in the snow? Was he an imbecile?
Thinking that he had forgotten many things himself, Liu Shisui considered himself an imbecile as well; so he felt sympathetic toward this man.
Master Mo was evidently not an imbecile, but a swordsman of the highest state in this world. And he was the most intelligent and benevolent person in this world.
The intelligence was a good thing, and the benevolence was a good thing as well. But when the two of these elements were mixed together, making decisions became a difficult thing.
Master Mo was facing such a choice right now, hence his long silence.
He came to the Royal Palace of Chu State by the invitation of the son of King Jing, and meanwhile wanted to offer assistance to Grand Scholar Zhang Shaoqiu.
The political powers of the world were mostly settled. The three most powerful states were: Qin State, Zhao State, and Chu State.
If these three states had similar strength in terms of military and politics, the wars between them would be difficult to start. As a result, the populace would be able to enjoy a peaceful life. Master Mo didn't have to worry about Qin State and Zhao State. That bad-tempered Prince in Qin State and that gloomy and formidable Master Eunuch in Zhao State wouldn't normally make any mistakes; he only worried about this retarded Emperor of Chu State.
His worry was that the Chu Emperor was not really as slow as believed.
As expected, just when the situation in Chu State was stabilized, the slow Emperor suddenly ordered the son of King Jing to come to the capital.
It was evident that the Emperor would take the risks of starting the inner war to get back his political and military power in Chu State.
This was a courageous and ambitious decision, a decision a slow person could not make.
As such, Master Mo came against the wind and snow to kill the Emperor in the name of world peace.
Yet, unexpectedly, it was at this critical moment that he suddenly sensed a heavenly opportunity.
It was just then that the green bird flew over in the sky, leaving behind some chaotic imprints of bird feet on the snow and inside his mind.
Master Mo craned his neck to look at the heavens. It seemed that he had vaguely seen a glimpse of another world.
The grey sky and the falling snowflakes seemed unreal; it seemed…like he could cut the sky open with his sword.
The moment Master Mo thought this, the thunder started rumbling in the snowy sky.
He had to make a choice.
To wield the sword toward heaven…
…Or to turn around to kill the Emperor.
Master Mo was aware that the Emperor and the son of King Jing were playing a game of Go in the pavilion outside a side hall not far from him.
The thunders occurred nonstop in the snowy sky. The rumbling sounds were within earshot.
Some of the lightning bolts were as thick as a post, and some were as thin as a thread, striking all around him. The lightning melted the accumulated snow on the ground, exposing burned green rocks. The rocks were all cracked, their remnants flying in all directions.
Holding the hilt of his sword, Master Mo had generated a determined expression in his eyes.
Seeing the expression, Liu Shisui turned around abruptly and headed toward the pavilion.
The game of Go in the pavilion had reached its last stage.
Liu Shisui came to the outside of the pavilion while holding the umbrella; he shook his head toward Jing Jiu.
The wind and snow suddenly stopped. The thunder and lightning died down as well.
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu laid down a Go piece on the board and said, "I won."
It was deathly quiet in the Royal Palace.
It was likewise outside the Huiyin Valley.
Tong Yan looked at Jing Jiu quietly; but he failed to discover any cheerfulness in Jing Jiu's eyes, save for a hint of tiredness and regret.
Jing Jiu seldom had such emotion.
Why was he tired?
And whom did he feel regret for?
The swishing sounds of shoes stepping on the snow were heard.
Master Mo walked toward the pavilion.
Tong Yan sat in the wheelchair, remaining silent as he pondered something.
Jing Jiu made a remark while looking at the Go board.
Everybody knew that this remark was made for Master Mo.
"I hope that sometime in the future when you recall the choice you made today, you will not regret it."
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