Yin San remained silent for a while and couldn't help but laugh out. "Is this his intention, or he doesn't care about you? By the way, do you know who I am?" he asked.
"I have only guessed it," Zhao Layue replied.
Given her intelligence, Zhao Layue had soon gathered her wits and figure out the truth.
"You are indeed someone who likes eating hotpot," said Yin San. "But, why didn't you let me take a bite back when we were in Cloudy Town? The foods in the hotpot were almost over boiled."
This statement was intended to admit his identity.
Even though she had already guessed who he was, Zhao Layue still fell silent for a long time after his identity was confirmed.
It had been a great many years, but it was impossible for her to forget that name.
Or the Immortal Taiping.
"I should've called you the Great Grandmaster according to the time difference when we entered the Green Mountain gate; but now I shall call you Senior Master…"
Looking at the young monk propping against the tree branch, Zhao Layue remained silent for a moment, then continued, "Today I might have to do something disrespectful."
"That's alright. It wouldn't be the first time for you people anyway."
Yin San continued with a small smile, "But, are you sure that you can keep me here? You have passed so much time here and the little emperor hasn't come yet; don't you find it odd?"
Many events had happened since Jing Jiu threw her to the outside of Chenhua Hall. The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect slapping his palm down, and the Emperor suddenly appearing, and Zhuo Rusui lifting up his head, a huge sword coming down from Green Mountain…In fact, all this had happened within half a minute.
Though Zhao Layue didn't know that the Emperor had come to the Fruit Formation Temple, she somehow believed that Jing Jiu must have a back-up plan. Hearing the plan mentioned by Yin San, her expression changed a bit.
Did something bad happen to Jing Jiu?
Looking at Yin San sitting on the tree branch, she felt helpless, but she soon felt a strong sensation of regret.
She thought that she shouldn't have listened to Jing Jiu a few years ago and should break through the Cultivation state, otherwise she wouldn't have such a hard time catching up to Yin San.
What should she do next? Zhao Layue was fully aware that she had no chance of beating the Great Grandmaster or catching up to him. Should she simply give up and go back to the Fruit Formation Temple to find out what had happened, and then return to Shenmo Peak to stay behind closed doors until she entered the middle state of Free Travel?
The Tranquil Garden had become a pile of rubbles, except for the small stone pagoda that was still intact. The unconscious Zhuo Rusui held the small stone pagoda tightly like a koala, sleeping soundly.
Monk Dachang sat in a corner of the ruins recuperating and treating his wounds. The Monk Duhai bowed reverentially to the Emperor.
The Emperor nodded to return the greeting and then started recuperating with his eyes closed. He had suffered a minor injury after his palm colliding with that of the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect.
The Monk Duhai walked to the front of Jing Jiu and said sentimentally, "We didn't know these two demonic swordsmen had hidden in our temple for so many years. It is truly a shame."
"I was not certain about his identity either," said Jing Jiu.
Yin San had been the Chief Monk of the Fruit Formation Temple for many years back then. It would be hard to find him when he hid here. As such, Jing Jiu couldn't blame the Monk Duhai for it. However, he didn't expect the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect to hide in the Fruit Formation Temple with Yin San. If the Monk Duhai hadn't pointed it out, Jing Jiu wouldn't be able to find the position of the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect among the monks performing the rituals outside the Tranquil Garden.
"What about that person?" Monk Duhai asked with a grave expression.
Looking at the Emperor who was recuperating, Jing Jiu thought that his Big Brother shouldn't be able to escape today if Layue could hold him up for a while.
Sensing Jing Jiu's gaze, the Emperor opened his eyes and nodded to signal that he was alright; then he was ready to leave the Fruit Formation Temple.
The Monk Duhai knew that the Emperor was to pursue the Immortal Taiping, so he said hesitantly, "The Chief Monk and the Elder of the Instruction Hall are on their way coming out from behind closed doors. Please wait a little bit, Your Majesty."
His suggestion sounded reasonable. The Immortal Taiping was nonetheless the most formidable figure in the Cultivation world of Chaotian in the last thousand years; even though his Cultivation state hadn't recovered yet, it was still unsafe for the Emperor to go there alone.
The Emperor, however, ignored him and leaped up in the air. The scorching hot firing wings came out as he arrived in the sky, ready to fly away.
Monk Duhai sighed softly, knowing the time was up.
The Emperor came to the sky high above, a golden fire burning in the deep end of his eyes. He looked down at the ground, following the marks left by the Thoughtless Sword to survey the area in the distance.
The Emperor believed in Jing Jiu's calculating skill and prediction; no matter how formidable the Immortal Taiping was, he had no chance of getting away from Zhao Layue in a short time.
All of a sudden, the Emperor generated a strange idea, so he turned around abruptly to look in the direction of the Fruit Formation Temple.
It was fairly quiet at the Fruit Formation Temple.
Or to put it more precisely, it was deathly quiet in the Tranquil Garden.
The monks attempting to extinguish the fire hadn't reached those buildings yet.
The Elder of the Instruction Hall hadn't been informed at all, neither had the Chief Monk.
Monk Duhai looked at Jing Jiu quietly.
Jing Jiu looked at him quietly.
They had eyed each other for just a moment.
Jing Jiu realized that the Monk Duhai was the one chosen by his Big Brother.
He was a good or even perfect choice.
The Monk Duhai had grown up at the Fruit Formation Temple since a young age. Back when the turmoil occurred in the Tranquil Garden, he was merely a young monk and had nothing to do with those monks who were responsible.
Over the years, he had represented the Fruit Formation Temple to travel the world. His figure could be seen in Zhaoge City, on Green Mountain, and on the Cloud-Dream Mountain; and he had often been to White Town. He had been fighting in the snowland with the Broadsword King for many years, which had even delayed his own Cultivation of Zen; so he had a very high reputation.
And most of all, he was someone trusted most by the Young Zen Master.
Unexpectedly, the purpose of the Monk Duhai helping Jing Jiu identify the spot of the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect was to use the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect as the bait to lure out Jing Jiu's two trump cards: the Emperor and the Sword Formation of Green Mountain.
In the meantime, the Monk Duhai gained Jing Jiu's trust. Now the Monk Duhai stood in front of Jing Jiu, ready to inflict the last and fatal assault.
It was the Palm of the World.
Smelling the faint scent of the sandalwood in the ruins, Jing Jiu knew that Monk Duhai was about to employ the Sacrifice Method.
It was true that few magic methods could kill Jing Jiu, save for the likes of the Sacrifice Method, which was a major and deadly method of the Zen sects.
Even the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect couldn't kill Jing Jiu with one stroke.
Jing Jiu was well aware of it.
It looked like Yin San was aware of it as well.
The expression in Monk Duhai's eyes was rather calm.
He didn't have to worry that Jing Jiu would employ his peculiar escaping method to flee; it was because the whole world would be in his control once the Palm of the World was wielded.
No matter where Jing Jiu went, he couldn't escape from that palm.
Jing Jiu displayed a calm expression as well. He was well aware that he had no chance of escaping, so it was useless to shriek or reveal a fearful expression.
The Monk Duhai brought his two palms together, as if he was performing a Zen gesture at Jing Jiu.
Heaven and earth integrated.
In the last instant, Jing Jiu put down the Sword of the Universe and raised his right hand.
It was the tip of his sword.
He attempted to rely on his own strength to break through the integration of heaven and earth.
It was then that his left hand suddenly vibrated.
The fairy awareness that had been almost wiped out by him seemed to have sensed the crisis and tried its hardest to break through his hand.
A terrible air wave formed again in the ruined Tranquil Garden.
Zhuo Rusui, who had been holding onto the small stone pagoda was knocked into the empty pond. He woke up baffled, wondering what had just happened.
An angry whistle rang out in the sky high above.
The two firing wings broke through the air and charged into the Tranquil Garden.
Another loud booming occurred, followed by another airwave.
The monks fell down on the ground in tandem.
Zhuo Rusui, who had just woken up, was knocked unconscious again.
As the smoke and dusts settled, Monk Dachang and the others came to the Tranquil Garden.
Jing Jiu lay on the ground with his eyes closed tightly, his clothes in tatters; his right arm looked deformed. It was unclear whether he was alive or dead.
Even if he were, though, his left hand was still clenching the Fairy Book firmly.
In the deep end of everybody's Sea of Awareness, a sigh of regret and disappointment seemed to take place at the same time.
Monk Duhai was in a much worse situation. His face was pale, devoid of any sign of blood, with fresh blood covering the entirety of his monk robe.
Having employed the Sacrifice Method and being hit by the furious Emperor, his meridians were all broken. He would be dead by now if it weren't for the Emperor wanting to ask him some questions.
Monk Dachang and the others suddenly felt the increased heat and energy in the ruins, so they retreated from the Tranquil Garden hastily.
The two firing wings landed outside the ruins to form a shield for the garden.
The Emperor walked to the rear of Jing Jiu and started treating his wounds, as he said sternly, "Anyone who steps in the circle will die, save for the Young Zen Master."
No one was on the banyan tree. Zhao Layue and Yin San had gone to another mountaintop ten miles away. Same as before, no matter how fast the Thoughtless Sword traveled, she still couldn't catch up to Yin San, but it seemed that Yin San didn't intend to leave all that soon. He would occasionally turn around to converse with her while drifting forward.
It was then that Zhao Layue heard two consecutive booming sounds in the direction of the Fruit Formation Temple. She halted in the air on her sword and turned around to look in the direction.
She knew that something had happened to Jing Jiu, her face turning pale. She regretted again that she didn't break through the Cultivation state, lowering her head slowly.
Yin San drifted to her side and said, "Like I said, you can't catch up to me, and nobody will come to help you."
Looking at the mountain below, Zhao Layue said, "I don't believe that you can predict everything."
"I taught him everything. I know how he thinks; at least I can predict all of his thoughts."
Yin San continued calmly, "Even if the little emperor employs his magic method to come here, he won't be able to do anything to me; it's because a member of the Bai family is on the cloud right now two hundred miles away in the north."
Still with her head lowered, Zhao Layue asked, "Aren't you worried that the member of Bai family might discover you?"
Yin San said with a small smile, "I'm just an ant at the moment, so it's hard to detect me."
Zhao Layue lifted her head and said with a determined intent on her face, "Though I'm just an ant, I can still bite you to death."
"But you have to catch up to me first," Yin San said nonchalantly.
"However, you are not much faster than me; otherwise, you would have left a long time ago and have no need to talk all this nonsense to me."
Zhao Layue stared at his eyes and continued, "You have pretended to be careless; and you even flew back to me earlier. It seems that you can leave anytime you want to; but the truth is that you've attempted to trick me into giving up the pursuit. Unfortunately, as I have said, you are too pompous."
The expression in Yin San's eyes turned a bit colder. By now he had noticed that this little girl's eyes had distinctive black and white parts, indicating that no falsehood could escape her eyes.
What he said was of course false.
Once his whereabouts were discovered by the Emperor or the member of Bai family, he would be dead for sure.
And it was also easy to change the predicament. All he needed was a brief moment so that he would be able to employ the escaping method to hide in the forest.
Without revealing any energy, even the figures in the Heavenly Arrival State wouldn't be able to find any trace of him.
The problem was…Zhao Layue had been following him from Shenhua Hall until now; she was only a few feet away from him at the closest and a few hundred feet away at the farthest. He had never had a chance of staying out of her line of sight; so he couldn't employ the magic method in such an interfering condition.
Why would she pursue him so hard without giving him any opportunity?
The two brothers wouldn't do anything without a purpose.
Jing Jiu threw Zhao Layue out to Chenhua Hall for the purpose of evading harm from the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect, and to pursue Yin San.
What could this little girl do to him?
Yin San thought Jing Jiu's idea was truly ridiculous, which made him laugh out loud.
The trees in the forest on the mountain made the rustling sound while being blown by the wind, overwhelming the laughter.
Yin San ended his laughing abruptly and turned around to fly toward the deep end of the mountain. Zhao Layue followed him. Soon, the two of them arrived in a patch of the mountain. This place was further away from the ocean side, and the wind was a lot weaker here, with the treetops swaying slightly. Normally, the sound of ocean waves shouldn't be heard here, but somehow the rustling sound continued.
The sound in fact didn't come from the forest on the mountain, but from Zhao Layue's body.
It sounded like the wind blowing through the forest, but in fact it was the sound of the clean spring water flowing over the stones.
Her Sword Source was flowing constantly in her meridians, at an increasingly faster speed.
It was like the stream water flowing forward among the steep cliffs and valleys; and it would keep on moving forward even if being blocked by the cliff rocks.
Yin San flew in the air like a large bird. He turned to her and asked, "Breaking through the Cultivation state during the fight? Do you have a death wish?"
Zhao Layue ignored him. She kept on traveling on the energy of her Sword Source and persistently expanding her meridians while tempering her Sword Pill. Countless formidable sword wills exuded from her body, knocking down the trees on the way. The black ribbon tying her hair was cut in half by the sword wills, her black hair tousling wildly in the wind.
This was obviously not a good sign, indicating that she was on the verge of losing the control of her Sword Pill; her sword wills leaked out in every direction on their own and pierced about all over the place.
Breaking through the Cultivation state was always the most dangerous moment no matter what magic method one employed or which sect one belonged to. Usually, the Cultivation practitioners would choose to stay behind closed doors to break through the state after taking sufficient magic pills, preparing enough crystals and even inviting their masters to guard the doors. Besides the magic pills provided by Jing Jiu, Zhao Layue had successfully broken through the states without the aid of any further external objects; but she at least had a peaceful and undisturbed environment for the purpose.
At the moment, she was riding on her sword and could get into a fight with Yin San anytime, but she chose to break through the state now!
"You will die," Yin San said while staring into her eyes.
Zhao Layue ignored him again. She retrieved the sword wills forcefully into her body and started integrating the Sword Pill the second time.
What Yin San said was correct; to break through the state while traveling in the violent wind at a high speed was indeed inviting death.
Her sword awareness grew a bit unsteady, and the Thoughtless Sword began to waver, and it nearly bumped into the face of the cliff
Watching Yin San who had distanced himself from her, Zhao Layue showed a calm expression in her eyes, devoid of any emotion of fear; and she didn't have any intention of retreating. What irritated her the most at the moment was her black hair tousling wildly in front of her eyes. After a slight summoning, her sword wills came out like the real objects.
Clack!!! Clack!!! Clack!!!
The tousling black hair flew backwards after being cut by the sword wills, then scattering.
The long, waterfall like black hair changed back to the short and messy hair again.
The distinctive black and white parts in her eyes looked more apparent against her pale face.
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