Jing Jiu kept on rubbing against the demon bone in great concentration, with his head lowered all the time.
The demon bone produced a great deal of powder while being ground against Jing Jiu's right arm. The bone powder glittered after dropping on the table, since there were many crystal particles in the bone powder.
The young woman discovered that he was not actually rubbing his skin. Feeling curious, she had even forgotten about her sad mood, as she asked, "What are you doing?"
Jing Jiu regretted that he had dismantled the formation as he didn't want to hurt this little girl.
Making such a noise was not an appropriate thing to do regardless of what relationship she had with Jing Li.
The young woman rested her arms on the windowsill and looked at Jing Jiu. "Is this the make-up powder you're making from the jade?" she asked again. "It looks nice."
Jing Jiu raised his head to take a look at her, wondering if he should do something to make her pass out in order to shut her up.
The young woman was stunned to see his face. She covered her mouth with her hands instinctively to avoid shrieking. "You are so handsome." She couldn't help making such a remark.
This was really a boring remark, Jing Jiu thought. He didn't pay any more attention to her, and kept on sharpening the sword with his head lowered.
The gaze of the young woman shifted between his face and the glittering "make-up powder", as she muttered, "That's why auntie said the good appearance of a woman comes with money."
It was really a bit too wasteful to use the soft jade to make the make-up powder, she thought. Even though she was in the most powerful family in Zhaoge City, she didn't dare do so. In the next moment, she thought that brother Jing Li didn't agree to elope with her probably because she didn't spend enough money on buying the most expensive make-up powder to apply to her face; as a result, she didn't look so pretty.
"Could you please give me some of your make-up powder?"
The young woman looked at Jing Jiu and pleaded, "I don't wish to look as good as you; but it would be great if I could look one part out of ten as good as you."
Jing Jiu didn't pay any attention to her request. He focused all his attention to sharpening the sword, making sure that his every thrust was done at a perfect angle and with right force.
No matter how interesting a scene was, it would become boring after looking at it for a long time. One hour later, the young woman had finally disappeared from the window.
It was probably also because the front gate of the Jing family was pushed open from the outside.
Jing Shang went to the Zhao garden outside Zhaoge City with his wife and father to seek a cooler environment. Though the Jing family and the Zhao family were close and it was safe to stay there, it was nonetheless the garden of another family. And the Zhao family had a profound background in Zhaoge City, which was way beyond the status of an official at Taichang Temple. So they came back after having stayed there for more than ten days.
The wife went to the kitchen with the maidservant to prepare the dinner. The grandfather went to the side room on the east side of the courtyard to check if his birds grew thinner, because he was afraid that his grandson might forget to feed them food. Jing Shang brought a water bucket and other cleaning tools to the study room; he intended to clean all the tables and chairs to make sure there were no dusts on them, like what he had regularly done before.
As long as he was in Zhaoge City, he would do it every day.
Regardless of when Jing Jiu came here, what he saw in the room would be dust free, and everything would be exactly the same.
As Jing Shang pushed open the door, he found that nothing had changed in the room, except that a person was in the room. "Ahh! You…you are back?!" he stuttered, feeling quite surprised.
Jing Jiu concentrated on sharpening the sword, and he didn't wish to be disturbed. But, when he saw the water bucket in Jing Shang's hand and the towel on his arm, Jing Jiu thought that he should say something.
He intended to say "Thank you for your hard work over the years", but he thought that he had said that last time. "Have you eaten?" he asked.
The Jing family had just returned from the Zhao garden, it was evident that they hadn't had the dinner yet, because the flavor of rice and vegetables could be smelled coming from the kitchen.
Jing Shang misunderstood his intention, and invited Jing Jiu to have dinner with them in the living room.
Jing Jiu wouldn't spend precious time on eating dinner, which was a boring undertaking as far as he was concerned. But, he followed Jing Shang to the living room nonetheless. He was ready to spend some precious time chitchatting with this family.
Jing Jiu was not good at chitchatting. Seeing the slightly embarrassed grandfather and the silvery hair on his head, Jing Jiu nodded to him, thinking that the magic pills sent by Gu Qing worked well.
Jing Li bowed to Jing Jiu reverently, full of admiration in his eyes.
Jing Jiu didn't ask him about his study and Cultivation with the Prince Jing Yao. Glancing at him twice, Jing Jiu said, "The progress is a bit slow. He should go to Green Mountain if possible."
Hearing this, Jing Shang was ecstatic, thinking that it was truly fortunate for his family to have such a connection with the immortal world.
But, Jing Li felt indignant. He was already in the Inherited Will State, and Jing Yao with the royal blood had a lower Cultivation state, and Sir Jin of the Royal Palace even said that he had an outstanding talent in Cultivation. Why did Jing Jiu say his progress was slow? It was indeed a rare opportunity for him to go to Green Mountain; but if he went there, he would separate from Shi'er, his girlfriend, for real.
Jing Jiu didn't know what was on Jing Li's mind; he wouldn't care even if he knew.
Jing Li was taught the beginning lessons personally by the Principal Guard of Green Mountain, and he would be able to learn the sword work from Jing Jiu if he wanted to. It would be the best arrangement for any Cultivation practitioner.
However, no matter who brought one into the field of Cultivation, the outcome would depend on their own effort.
Everybody had their own idea, so it was hard to say that it was a pity that Jing Li lost a good opportunity.
Jing Jiu returned to the study room and resumed sharpening the sword. He rubbed against the bone faster and faster, to compensate for the time he spent in the living room.
There was a faint friction sound when grinding his arm against the demon bone; it was pleasing to the ear. And there was also a warm, gentle feel to it.
At least, Jing Jiu thought, the sound was quite pleasing to listen to; actually it was wonderful to listen to.
In the following three days and nights, Jing Jiu didn't take any break; in fact, he didn't even change his posture.
It wasn't until he heard the footsteps outside the window that he stopped; and he felt a bit sore in his arm.
It was a rare thing for him.
It occurred because the demon bone was really hard and his grinding movements were really fast.
If it were regarded as wielding the sword once each time he ground it, he would have wielded the sword at least a hundred thousand times in the last three days and nights.
No matter how ordinary a Cultivation practitioner was, they would be able to comprehend the essence of the sword work after having wielded the sword so many times in such a short period, let alone Jing Jiu.
After having sharpened the sword for three days and nights, he had a better understanding of the sword work, and he had consumed a great deal of energy for this task.
"Pour me a cup of tea," Jing Jiu requested.
The members of the Jing family wouldn't dare disturb him. It was that young woman who had arrived outside the window.
She was the youngest granddaughter in the manor house and spoiled by her grandfather. To say nothing of cold water, she usually wouldn't touch any kind of water, including tea water.
Normally, she would lose her temper if asked to do such a chore by Jing Jiu, or at least she would display a pampered temperament to turn down the request. Yet, she pushed open the door of the study room, came in and poured a cup of tea for Jing Jiu, probably because she wished to get the "make-up powder" or something else from him. Then, she stood by Jing Jiu's side obediently.
Jing Jiu took over the teacup and sipped it once. "Do you know me?" he lowered his line of sight slightly and asked.
"I know you are the Immortal Master Jing Jiu," the young woman said in a slightly trembling voice, an uneasy expression showing on her face.
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm" once, because he remembered that Liu Ci and Zhuo Rusui had such a habit and found it very time-consuming.
The word "hmm" was rather interesting. It could express many meanings with different tones.
It could sometimes indicate agreement, some other times doubt, and still other times anger; with a raising tone at end, it could express both inquiring and challenging intents.
For those lazy people at the Green Mountain Sect, it was indeed a necessary skill to master.
Yet, Jing Jiu uttered this "hmm" as an inquiry.
"Brother Li told me, you are his young uncle," the young woman replied timidly. "He said that you seem like a real immortal. I realized the person he mentioned must be you only after I got back to my house."
"Hmm?" Jing Jiu inquired.
The young woman said hastily, "Brother Li didn't tell me anything else about you, and I haven't told anybody that you are in Zhaoge City."
"Hmm," Jing Jiu said.
The young woman felt relieved. Seeing the glittering powder piled on the table, she couldn't help but ask curiously in a low voice, "What are you actually doing?"
"Sharpening the sword," said Jing Jiu.
The young woman was baffled, wondering where the sword was.
Jing Jiu said, "Don't come here again."
The young woman knew that this was her last opportunity, so she summoned her courage and was about to tell Jing Jiu what she had thought in last three days.
"Don't tell me."
Jing Jiu continued, "I don't want to listen to any sort of stories. You simply tell Jing Li that I have drunk a cup of tea served by you."
The young woman was baffled again; but she suddenly realized his intention. She ran out of the study room to look for Jing Li after thanking Jing Jiu heartily.
Jing Jiu put down the teacup and resumed sharpening the sword.
The tea in the teapot was cold, and it had been there for three days and nights.
If the young woman noticed this, Jing Jiu might have done more for her, like asking the royal palace to decree the marriage.
In the early autumn, the demon bone was used up, turning into a pile of bone powder on the table.
Jing Jiu walked to the window, raised both of his arms, and checked them carefully against the sky in the distance as the background.
His right arm recovered quite a bit; the deformity was not evident anymore. But in comparison to the left arm, it still looked a bit deformed.
For instance, the joints of the fingers looked slightly bulgy, resembling the marshmallows skewered on a stick, and his right wrist was slightly bent.
The bending of the left wrist was so slight that one couldn't notice it if they didn't look at it closely; but it was still unacceptable for Jing Jiu.
He couldn't stand any imperfection; the bent wrist was like a sand grain in his eyes that made him feel uncomfortable.
He still needed to sharpen the sword some more. However, the demon bone was gone; where could he find another whetstone?
The Sword of the Universe flew out of the window and round all the objects, and came to the outside of the Jing house; it then touched a green brick with its tip.
The green brick was pushed in, and the stone ball rolled; the Manor of State Duke lost a precious ceramic ware.
A moment later, State Duke Lu came to the study room while panting heavily, wondering what had happened this time.
"Take this home and drink it with tea. It's good for your health."
Jing Jiu said this while pointing to the pile of bone powder on the table. "The flavor might be a bit strange; so you should drink it with strong tea."
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