The young man was Tong Yan of the Center Sect.
Xiao He had been with the Old Ones for many years, so she knew the looks of this talented disciple of the Center Sect. She felt surprised, wondering why he came to the Fruit Formation Temple. Then, she noticed that the shoes on Tong Yan's feet were in tatters, and moreover, that his fingers had the stains of black mud. His appearance was totally different from the impression the people had of the immortal masters of the Center Sect.
Xiao He didn't have enough time to dwell on the thought; she approached Tong Yan and attempted to talk to him.
Tong Yan halted his steps and glanced at her. When he saw her on the mountain path earlier, he thought she was a little vixen coming to the Fruit Formation Temple to burn incense and pray to the Buddha; so he didn't expect her to be the rumored Xiao He of Ying City who had swindled Liu Shisui.
"You can enter the Fruit Formation Temple as a Center Sect disciple, but it doesn't mean that you can see the person you want to see."
Xiao He continued while looking at Tong Yan, "Though I can't enter the Fruit Formation Temple, I can take you to the person you want to see once I'm in the temple."
Thinking of the relationship between Liu Shisui and Jing Jiu, Tong Yan nodded in agreement.
The steps were heard in the pagoda forest.
Liu Shisui went to the backyard to fetch water, and Zhuo Rusui was still unwilling to wake up, his eyes still closed. Zhao Layue had no choice but to walk to the doorsill to check things out.
Seeing Tong Yan brought in by Xiao He, Zhao Layue felt astonished, or more alarmed, to be honest.
The divine guardian animal of the Center Sect, the Unicorn, had just caused a great turmoil at the Fruit Formation Temple and was then wounded by a sneak attack. What was Tong Yan doing here right now?
Liu Shisui came back with a bucket of hot water in his hands. He was startled when seeing Xiao He and Tong Yan.
Xiao He felt ecstatic after finding out that Liu Shisui was alright. She approached him and took over the water bucket, asking, "What are you going to do with this?"
"To wash my Young Master's feet," said Liu Shisui.
Xiao He was displeased to hear this, but she didn't show it on her face. "You should let me do this sort of thing," she said softly.
As she carried the water bucket to the meditation room and saw the back of the figure before the Buddha statue, she sensed a faint royal aura and felt a strong sensation of dread. As her legs weakened, she almost dropped the water bucket on the ground from her hands.
Liu Shisui took over the water bucket from her hurriedly and said to the Emperor, "She is one of our own."
The Emperor didn't turn around, and said nothing.
If Xiao He were not a vixen, or the Emperor took a slight fancy to her, her devil pill would have been shuddered at that moment.
By now Xiao He realized that something significant had happened; so she didn't dare stay in the meditation room. After exchanging a few words with Liu Shisui in whisper, she backed out of the room and stood in the pagoda forest patiently.
She thought that standing here was much better than waiting outside the temple and that she could see Liu Shisui from such a closer distance, feeling contented.
On the other side of the pagoda forest, Zhao Layue had finished listening to Tong Yan's explanation, her eyebrows furrowed. "Jing Jiu doesn't want to see any guests," she said flatly.
Her eyebrows were rather thick, as if they were painted on with black ink. When she raised her eyebrows, they looked like swords, and her words were just as sharp, because she said "Jing Jiu doesn't want to see any guests" rather than "Jing Jiu is unable to see any guest at the moment".
Tong Yan liked neither her eyebrows nor her tone, but he was here to ask for help, so he couldn't lose his temper. "I left the Cloud-Dream Mountain five days ago," he said, "and I traveled day and night to Green Mountain in the south. I only learned midway that he was probably at the Fruit Formation Temple. I came here by traveling thousands of miles; even if he doesn't want to help me, he should at least see me."
Seeing the conical hat on his back, Zhao Layue felt even more alarmed.
She and Jing Jiu wore the conical hats many times while traveling around the world, regardless of whether they were in Henanzhou, Yu County, Shuanghe Mountain, or Haizhou. She had seen all sorts of conical hats, except that she had never seen a conical hat as big as Tong Yan's.
The Unicorn was here at the Fruit Formation Temple five days ago, and Tong Yan left the Cloud-Dream Mountain by that time; so his coming here should have nothing to do with the event; but why was he anxious to see Jing Jiu?
It was then that the Emperor's voice came out from the meditation room: "Let him come in."
Tong Yan walked in the White Mountain meditation room and arrived by the bed.
Liu Shisui was washing feet for Jing Jiu with the warm water.
The white cat was cramped in a small space, curling his body into a small ball sourly.
Liu Shisui didn't even glance at the cat.
Seeing Jing Jiu with a pale face and deformed right arm, Tong Yan's face turned quite ashen, and his body swayed a little, almost passing out.
He had dug the tunnel for six years while trying to avoid the perception of the Unicorn and the Great Formation of Cloud-Dream at the same time, so he had been in an intensive mental state for six years.
Tong Yan took the Green Sky Mirror and fled the Cloud-Dream Mountain overnight; one could imagine how much mental pressure he had been under lately.
At last he had found Jing Jiu, but Jing Jiu was unexpectedly in such a condition.
Anybody who was in Tong Yan's situation would be on the verge of nervous break-down.
Zhao Layue didn't know what had happened to Tong Yan, and said, "You have seen his condition. No matter what you wanted him to help you with, he can't do it now."
Tong Yan fell silent for a moment, and then he suddenly took off the conical hat on his back.
Zhao Layue was alarmed, but she knew it was safe while seeing the Emperor still stand before the Buddha statue without turning around.
Tong Yan tore the conical hat apart with his hands, exposing the object inside.
It was a bronze mirror with many diagrams and cracks. The mirror looked very old. But, the strange thing was that there were a great deal of ice and snow remaining among the diagrams on the bronze mirror, and it was unclear why they hadn't melted yet.
Zhao Layue hadn't seen this bronze mirror before, but she could sense the wonderful intent exuded from this bronze mirror; so she felt even more alarmed.
Seeing the bronze mirror, Liu Shisui asked with a slightly changed expression, "Is this a model of the Green Sky Mirror?"
In the manor cave located in the deep end of the Huiying Valley on the Cloud-Dream Mountain, Liu Shisui had seen the Green Sky Mirror, which was a formation of bronze mirror of about five hundred feet in diameter.
"This is the Green Sky Mirror," Tong Yan claimed.
Liu Shisui was truly surprised now, as he said to Tong Yan, "You are bringing the Green Sky Mirror with you?!"
A magic treasure of heavenly state like the Green Sky Mirror was extremely rare in all of Chaotian. Even though Tong Yan was a talented disciple of the Center Sect, his Cultivation state was only in the Yuanying State. Traveling in the world with the Green Sky Mirror was similar to inviting death. How could the Center Sect let him do such a foolish thing?
The Emperor turned around and looked at the Green Sky Mirror, sighing, "The life is full of sadness; it's the same everywhere."
Tong Yan didn't know his identity; but seeing his appearance and sensing his aura, Tong Yan vaguely guessed who he was. Tong Yan felt shocked, wondering what had happened at the Fruit Formation Temple and why Jing Jiu was sleeping unconsciously.
The Emperor waved his hand a few times, a flame with ancient energy landing on the Green Sky Mirror.
As the flame faded away, the remaining ice and snow on the Green Sky Mirror had melted and gradually dried up.
Flutter!!! Flutter!!! Flutter!!!
The fluttering sound rang out in the meditation room.
The Green Girl flew out of the Green Sky Mirror by flapping her wings.
The little girl's body was translucent, and it seemed able to disappear in the next moment.
Zhao Layue wondered what the heck this thing was.
The Emperor commented, "I have never thought that I would have the opportunity to see a true spirit of heavenly state in my lifetime."
The Green Girl glanced at the Emperor and felt fearful instinctively, especially when she was in such a weak condition and could disappear at any moment.
Next, she noticed the white cat hiding by the end of the bed, feeling uneasy.
Then, she found Jing Jiu sleeping unconsciously in the bed.
With a shriek, the Green Girl flew to Jing Jiu's face, and whirled around nonstop, looking very anxious, resembling a bee that was lost and couldn't find its way home.
"You haven't taught me how to become a real human being yet; you can't die! Wake up! Wake up!"
She screamed persistently, in a crying and fearful voice.
Jing Jiu's ears moved slightly, and everybody saw it; but he didn't wake up.
The Green Girl suddenly sensed something, and lifted her head to smell at it. Then she glided to Jing Jiu's left hand following the scent; she leaped over and held his hand firmly with no intention of letting it go.
"What's wrong?" Tong Yan inquired.
The Green Girl turned around and looked at Tong Yan, and said happily, "His hand has the fairy energy!"
The Green Sky Mirror had been suppressed in the earth source for six years, which was almost two thousand years in the world of the Green Sky Mirror. As a result, her spiritual body was harmed tremendously. If she couldn't find a way to solve the issue, she would probably die soon. The problem was who in Chaotian could repair or heal a magic treasure of heavenly state like the Green Sky Mirror.
The only person the Green Girl thought of for help was Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu told her that he had seen a true spirit of heavenly state and that it was even more complete than her, and Jing Jiu also told her many other things.
As such, after Tong Yan left the Cloud-Dream Mountain with her, he headed to Green Mountain day and night in a hurry. When he received the information that Jing Jiu was at the Fruit Formation Temple, he turned around and came here.
Yet, the Green Girl didn't expect Jing Jiu to be in a worse condition than her.
It was fortunate that the fairy energy was in Jing Jiu's hand, so her spiritual body wouldn't scatter, at least not right away, as long as she was supported by the fairy energy.
Wrapping her arms around Jing Jiu's left hand, the Green Girl was extremely happy. She had no intention of letting it go, sucking on the hand relentlessly.
All the fairy energy leaked out from his left hand entered her spiritual body. As a result, the fairy energy in the meditation room grew lighter.
It didn't take long before Zhuo Rusui woke up from his meditation. "What happened? What happened?" he yelled in panic.
As he saw Tong Yan and the Green Girl holding Jing Jiu's left hand firmly, he was stunned, yelling, "What on earth is going on here?"
The group exchanged some ideas briefly in the pagoda forest outside the meditation room.
Tong Yan was still unwilling to tell them what had happened.
Likewise, Zhao Layue didn't want to tell Tong Yan what had happened at the Fruit Formation Temple. However, the situation looked promising. The leaked fairy energy was absorbed into the spiritual body of the Green Girl, and Jing Jiu's condition was stabilized. The fairy awareness was the only thing to be dealt with next.
Tong Yan had thought of something, and said, "There is a limited amount of fairy energy the Green Sky Mirror can absorb; it won't take long for this process to end."
"The Green Sky Mirror is a magic treasure of the Heavenly State, how come it can only absorb a small portion of the fairy energy?" Zhuo Rusui asked bafflingly.
Tong Yan replied, "The Green Sky Mirror has been sealed with ice for a long time, so the beings who can absorb the fairy energy are not awake yet."
This statement had vaguely revealed a bit of the secret.
It was then that a loud burp suddenly burst out in the meditation room.
The group walked back in the room and found that the Green Girl was sitting by Jing Jiu, her small hands rubbing her slightly bulged belly ceaselessly. Her spiritual body was not so translucent anymore, indicating that her condition was under the control.
Zhao Layue shot a glance at Tong Yan, thinking that he was wrong to proclaim the process would end prematurely.
"I know what you people are worried about. There is nothing to fear!"
The Green Girl patted her own belly, making the lovely "pah""pah" sounds.
Having said that, she flew up and dived into Jing Jiu's body.
It seemed as if a green bird flew into a well and then went to another world.
In the distant Empty Realm, a sword light was traveling forth.
The Immortal Liu Ci was the Sect Master of Green Mountain and had a profound Cultivation state; but the speed of his flying sword had always been an issue. Yet, there was nothing he could do about it, because he didn't even have a flying sword, so how could he travel fast?
As soon as he received the letter from the Fruit Formation Temple, he left Tianguang Peak immediately with no regard for the exhaustion of his zhenyuan and headed to the East Ocean. As he was close to the destination, he sensed a quiver in his Dao Heart; after calculating with his fingers, he figured out the situation Jing Jiu was in at the moment.
"Will it work?"
Liu Ci revealed a smile, and then turned around, heading back to Green Mountain.
It was a long way from Green Mountain, and it would take him a long time to get back; but if he flew forward more, it would take him even longer to get back.
The mist was thick in the deep part of the Cloud-Dream Mountain. Even the Cultivation practitioners had a hard time seeing things inside of it.
The mountain like dark figure of the Unicorn moved around slowly inside the mist; he was absorbing the abundant spiritual energy in the mist, in an attempt to recover from the wounds on his body.
He was recuperating here when he came back from the Fruit Formation Temple, where he was sneak-attacked by the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect.
What he didn't understand was that he found he was not wounded as severely as he had imagined after coming back to the Center Sect. He had thought that he must have been wounded badly by the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect, since he changed to a human form and his Cultivation state was less than 1/100th of his usual prowess. As such, he believed that he would be able to totally recover from his injuries after recuperating quietly for some time.
The mist suddenly whirled violently. The Unicorn gave out a dreadful and lethal intent throughout heaven and earth, because he sensed…that the fairy awareness left by Bai Ren was about to be extinguished.
Soon after, he sensed another problem, feeling tremendously shocked. He came to the deep end of the earth source in a hurry, showing no regard for his unrecovered wounds.
The Great Formation of Cloud-Dream gave off a formidable energy that even made the Unicorn feel uncomfortable. He strained to look ahead, and the expression in his eyes had changed abruptly. The veins under his skin had suddenly expanded, as if they would rush out through the skin, looking blood red.
The underground rivers of lava flew parallel to each other, as if they would never meet with one another . Finally, the Unicorn discovered that the Green Sky Mirror placed on the Cold Heaven Axis was gone.
The Unicorn, by using his spiritual awareness, found the tunnel.
He flew out of the tunnel and found that he came to a manor cave located by the edge of the Cloud-Dream Mountain.
There was nothing in the manor cave, except for a faint scent of remaining energy.
The Unicorn bellowed furiously.
The violent wind rose up in the manor cave, and the cliff walls to which the formations attached were dissolving visibly, turning into a thin, brittle layer and falling off in tandem.
The angry roar of the Unicorn was heard throughout the Cloud-Dream Mountain.
The mist seemed to become heavier.
All the disciples of the Center Sect, including those elders living in the far end of the mountains as hermits, walked out of their manor caves. They all looked in the direction of the valley where the Immortal Sect Master resided, wondering in surprise what had happened.
The heavy mists led to heavy dews, wetting the leaves, as if a rainfall had occurred.
Bai Zao pulled her hand back from a leaf and rubbed the dew between her fingers gently, until it turned into a puff of invisible smoke.
She strolled to the edge of the cliff, and looked in the direction of the distant East Ocean, remaining reticent.
She had figured it out two years ago, which was proven by the angry roar of the Unicorn, even though she didn't need the proof.
It was she who wrote the letter that Tong Yan received midway.
The celebration of the New Year was not over yet. The sound of firecrackers came from the villages outside the Fruit Formation Temple once in a while.
The significant events that had happened in the last day of the last year, including the arrival of the Unicorn, the presence of the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect, the wielding palm of the Emperor, and the Green Mountain sword, had no effect on the human world whatsoever.
The Cultivation world and the human world were two totally different ones. It was hard for the two to connect with each other; in fact, there was no point in them connecting with one another.
In the early hours the next morning, a green bird flew out from Jing Jiu's body.
The Green Girl didn't tell anybody what she had seen inside his body; and she wouldn't tell it to anyone, even in the distant future.
"The true spirit of heavenly state possesses heaven and earth as soon as they are born."
This was what Jing Jiu told her in the Illusionary Realm of the Green Sky Mirror.
Looking at Jing Jiu sleeping unconsciously, the Green Bird wondered where his heaven and earth were, if the Green Sky Mirror was her heaven and earth.
In the ancient fairytales, the green birds were the messengers for the fairy immortals.
But, she didn't bring any message for the group today; instead, another message was brought to the Fruit Formation Temple from the outside.
Having read the amulet letter, the Emperor handed it to Zhao Layue, and then resumed standing before the Buddha statue, remaining reticent.
After she finished reading the amulet letter, Zhao Layue handed it to Liu Shisui after some thought.
Zhuo Rusui felt indignant about it, thinking that he had entered the inner gate earlier than Liu Shisui and that she was too vindictive.
Zhuo Rusui had his turn only after Liu Shisui finished reading it. And the amulet letter ended up in Tong Yan's hands.
It was because Tong Yan was the subject of the letter.
All the Cultivation sects in Chaotian and the imperial court had received the amulet letters from the Center Sect.
The Center Sect in the letter called Tong Yan the traitor of their sect, and invited all of the orthodox Cultivation practitioners to kill him, and claimed that any practitioner or sect helping him or accommodating him would be regarded as the archenemy of the Cloud-Dream Mountain.
The expression on Tong Yan's face hadn't changed a bit after reading the letter. His eyebrows were as light as usual, because he hadn't furrowed them even once.
"It's time for me to take the leave."
He wrapped the Green Sky Mirror with a cloth and tied it to his back, heading toward the outside of the temple.
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