Earlier in the palace hall, the Grand Scholar Chen and a general had said mockingly
that it would be useless for Jing Jiu to trap them in there.
Yet, Jing Jiu had never thought of doing that; his intention was to kill them all.
Dozens of officials lay in the pool of blood; and Jing Jiu also paid some price for doing
Those military generals had a high level of fighting capability. And the Grand Scholar
Chen had prepared for the event in advance; he invited a few Cultivation practitioners to
enter the palace hall by disguising themselves as the officials.
As the morning sunlight shone on his pale face, Jing Jiu looked at the distant sky
outside the Royal Palace, mulling over the things that had happened many years ago
and would happen many years later.
The history will always repeat itself. Yet, the difference was that his Cultivation state
was truly low in this world.
The young eunuch led several officials who were still alive to come out from the corners
of the hall. Seeing the large pool of blood and thinking of the bloody scenes earlier,
these officials felt weak in their knees, and staggered out of the palace hall. As they saw
the Emperor who was covered in the blood throughout his body and held a sword in his
hand, they didn't dare look at him and knelt down abruptly on the ground with a thud.
"If you still can walk, go ahead do what you are supposed to do."
Jing Jiu's voice was devoid of any emotion.
These officials didn't dare to delay for a second; they climbed up from the ground and
dashed to the outside of the palace as quickly as they could.
There were many things for them to do next. First of all, they needed to persuade the
royal army to be loyal to the Emperor; and secondly, they had to rescue those officials
locked in the royal prison.
Though there was a minor commotion outside the Royal Palace, it was soon
suppressed. It didn't take long for the palace gate to open again. Dozens of officials
arrived in front of the palace hall, and knelt down before Jing Jiu.
These officials had just left the royal prison, so they were still wearing the prisoner
uniforms, which made them loo rather shabby.
The General Pei and the Governor Zhou knelt in front of the group.
The former was the most reputable military general in Chu State and trusted the most
by the Grand Scholar Zhang; the latter's status was rather inferior in comparison, but he
was someone prepared by the Grand Scholar Zhang to be the prime minister for Jing
They had heard of what had happened that day from their colleagues, but they didn't
believe it. That is, until they saw the dozens of eunuchs and palace servant girls,
commanded by several eunuchs, pouring the water on the ground in the palace hall as
the bloody water flowed out like a waterfall and stream down the stone steps; it was
then that they realized, in shock, what they were told earlier was actually true.
The Emperor had killed all the officials of the imperial court.
Jing Jiu looked at the General Pei and said, "You go to the barracks outside the city. If
there is any issue here, you bring your army back to squash it."
The expression on General Pei's face changed a little. Governor Zhou was worried that
the Emperor didn't know the complex situation at the moment, saying, "The barracks of
the capital won't listen to General Pei. The manors in the capital have all prepared for
this a long time ago, and those kings won't stay put either. It's possible that they would
do something rebellious by taking advantage of the chaos. Your Majesty…"
"You were all selected by the Grand Scholar Zhang. If you can't take care of such trivial
matters, his choices were indeed terrible."
Thinking of the dead Grand Scholar Chen in the hall and the Minister Jin who died the
day before, Jing Jiu found that Grand Scholar Zhang's choices were truly bad, save for
his perception of Jing Jiu himself.
"All in all, don't bother me with these trivial matters today, nor in the future. You should
take a page from Grand Scholar Zhang's book in this respect."
Having said this, he turned around and walked toward the Cold Palace.
Zhuo Rusui yawned once and then left after Jing Jiu.
The Cold Palace was by and large the same as before, still very lonely and gloomy,
except that the rusty and inoperable lock was removed and the side door that had been
used for bringing in provisions was sealed off.
Jing Jiu threw the heavily damaged sword into the pond, changed into new clothes, and
sat back on the bed, propping up against its end. The blood covering his body had dried
a long time ago.
Standing in front of the bed, Zhuo Rusui said, "Were my arm still attached, I would have
already forgotten most of the things in the outside world."
Jing Jiu said, "The purpose of us coming here is to contend for the Fairy Book, which is
why the Green Sky Mirror won't let you forget this, even though you are allowed to
forget everything else."
"Senior Master, what are you going to do next?" asked Zhuo Rusui.
"What about you?" Jing Jiu prompted.
"Like I said before, I will cultivate here by killing others."
Zhuo Rusui said matter-of-factly, "If I kill all the other participants, the Fairy Book will
belong to our Green Mountain. Even if I can't do it, it will be still worthwhile to come here
for a couple of decades."
Jing Jiu said, "My thought is similar to yours."
The Green Mountain disciples tended to act in such a straightforward manner; it was
only normal, then, that they had the similar plans.
However, what Zhuo Rusui failed to understand was, since Jing Jiu intended to cultivate
and kill all other participants in the Dao Competition, why hide in the Royal Palace all
Yet he was aware that he wouldn't get an answer even if he asked Jing Jiu; the death of
Tong Yan was proof of that. So he raised his hand to salute Jing Jiu carelessly, ready to
"Where are you going?" asked Jing Jiu.
Zhuo Rusui replied, "To Zhao State to kill that eunuch."
"He Zhan's temperament has changed, so be careful," Jing Jiu offered.
After Zhuo Rusui left, the palace hall became even more lonely, and quieter.
The capital would be in chaos that day. Jing Jiu wasn`t sure if General Pei and the
Governor Zhou could have the situation under control, and how many people would die
as a result.
Sitting on the bed, Jing Jiu gazed at the sky outside the window. He maintained this
posture for a long time.
It was not clear what he was thinking about; it should have nothing to do with the turmoil
in the capital.
The sun had moved from one spot to another in the sky. Someone came to the outside
of the palace hall to report the situation to Jing Jiu from time to time. It was interesting to
note that the messenger was not the young eunuch, but the eldest son of the Grand
Perhaps in the eyes of the General Pei and the Governor Zhou, the eldest son of the
Grand Scholar Zhang could be trusted the most.
Jing Jiu didn't have any response; he looked at the outside of the window, remaining
The sun gradually set, with night arriving after the disappearance of twilight. It became
gloomy and dim in the palace hall.
A lamp was lit in the hall.
The green bird flew into the palace hall while flapping her wings. As she landed on the
bed, she changed back into an amicable little girl.
"It's settled then?" asked Jing Jiu.
The Green Girl said, "The rebel barracks outside the city and royal guards have already
been suppressed by Pei Siming, and the manors of those chancellors are controlled as
well. You have nothing to worry about."
"I wasn't worried to begin with," Jing Jiu snapped.
The Green Girl complained, "The people outside like seeing the battle and chaos; so I
have to show them such scenes to satisfy them, which means I've no choice but to
show them some of your scenes."
"I remember that you said that I have been sleeping and cultivating here all this time,
and that those people outside the Huiyin Valley had tired of seeing me a long time ago."
"However, the scene in which you killed those officials in the palace hall is liked the
most by them. However, I didn't show it to them; I wonder how many complaints I will
"The scenes they can't see directly may be even more exciting for them."
"It makes sense. That's why I got so many good evaluations."
"No need to thank me."
"You don't have to be so modest."
Then, the Green Girl complained angrily, "Could you not ask me to be your messenger
so often? What if the Immortal Bai suspects me?"
"I'll be careful," Jing Jiu said.
The dim and yellowish lamp light fell on Jing Jiu.
His face looked pale and tired due to the exhaustion of killing so many people earlier.
His black hair spread on his shoulders, displaying a bleak beauty.
Seeing this, the Green Girl was a bit dazed. After she finally came back to her senses,
she exclaimed surprisingly, "You have lit a lamp."
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm" in response.
The lamp had been seldom used in the palace hall until the Grand Scholar Zhang came
some days ago before his death.
Thinking about what had happened in the last few days, the Green Girl asked
confusedly, "You have focused on Cultivation and paid no heed to anything else; but
why were you willing to strike this time?"
Jing Jiu replied, "To cultivate, I need a quiet environment. What I have done is no
different from bears eliminating threats from outside their caves before their
"Is this all? Is it the truth?" the Green Girl asked while staring at him.
Jing Jiu said, "Of course it's true."
The Green Girl pouted and said, "Maybe it's true…but I still think that it has something
to do with Grand Scholar Zhang."
"Maybe so," Jing Jiu said.
The Green Girl's eyes gleamed. "Why was the Grand Scholar Zhang so different?" she
asked. "You are unreal as far as he was concerned. And as far as you are
concerned…okay, he was probably real...No, since you are going to leave the
Illusionary Realm and won't come back again during your lifetime. If you could come
back here, you wouldn't be able to see him again; as such, he was unreal to you."
There were too many real and unreal notions in what she had said above. It would be
hard for one to tell the real from the unreal.
The Green Girl said while staring into his eyes, "As you have said, all those who will
leave and not come back are unreal; why did you do it then?"
Looking at the dim lamp, Jing Jiu said, "It's because many things in the world have
nothing to do with real or unreal."
It was deathly quiet outside the Huiyin Valley.
The light screen in the sky displayed the scene.
The dim light in the palace hall faded away, and the lights in the capital were bright. The
cavalrymen's horses' stepped on the green stone slabs as the weeping gradually faded
Though they didn't hear the conversation between the green bird and Jing Jiu, they had
watched the entire story.
No matter how peaceful and unaffectionate the Cultivation practitioners were supposed
to be, seeing the lights and people in the scene and thinking of the happy gatherings
and tragic departures in the last thirty days, they couldn't help but feel a bit sentimental.
The tears swam in Sese's eyes. Yet, it was unclear if she cried for Jing Jiu or for Grand
Scholar Zhang, or for something else.
Standing at the edge of a cliff in the distance, Tong Yan fell silent for a long time after
having heard what Jing Jiu had just said.
Everything was unreal.
The Cultivation practitioners had all heard of similar saying during their path toward
Dao; they might hear it from their masters, or their colleagues, but they had never said it
so definitely as Jing Jiu did.
After the Cultivation practitioners had heard it so often, they often generated an illusion
that they could apply the unreal to the real so that they could cut off all of their
connections and affections and become indifferent. As Jing Jiu said earlier, many things
in the world had nothing to do with real or unreal; so who could be truly unaffectionate?
Or, better yet, why should they be?
Hearing the footsteps behind the cliff, Tong Yan turned his head in that direction. He
saw the thin and dark No-Mercy Sect disciple. "What do you think about what your
Young Master has said?" he asked suddenly.
Liu Shisui was startled, wondering how his true identity was discovered.
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