The Underworld Master didn't make a response.
And he also didn't agree to Jing Jiu's request as he looked at Jing Jiu's face thoughtfully, nor did he spit to the Abyss.
"Once the wild grass is ablaze, the fire will spread to the entire prairie. When all the common people are dead, it will be the opportunity for the Underworld to go up to the human world."
"Didn't Taiping's ambition make you feel troubled?" Jing Jiu demanded.
"You can talk so openly while wearing nothing, and have drifted a long time in hot lava; I'm really curious just how thick the skin is on your face."
Looking at Jing Jiu's crotch, the Underworld Master added in a serious tone, "I truly feel troubled by the fact that the Seal of the Underworld Emperor is in the hands of such a shameless person."
Jing Jiu remembered by now that he took off his clothes before he waded into the river of lava, to avoid damaging his precious white cloth after soaking in the lava for a long time.
He was currently butt naked.
And he soon remembered that he didn't wear anything back when he met the Underworld Emperor in the Fiend Prison.
It seemed that he had bad luck with the Underworld people. As such, it was the correct decision to ask the Underworld Master to send the potential heir to the human world rather than him going down to the Underworld.
As Jing Jiu thought of all this, he didn't have any intention to put on his clothes.
Since his current condition made the Underworld Master feel troubled, he was actually in a good position to persuade him.
It was then that he suddenly sensed a quiver under his feet; he turned to look at the upstream of the lava river.
Countless waves suddenly formed in the river of lava, rushing toward the huge transparent wall with a booming sound. The dike-like waves could be vaguely seen in the distance.
The river swelled rapidly. It soon drowned his feet and was growing higher.
The lava splashed against the cliff walls, creating thousands of flames.
Jing Jiu leapt up into the air and looked down at the dreadful and torrential waves of lava, wondering what was happening.
He could faintly hear an angry roar, and it was obviously not the sound of the lava river. Then he felt a powerful and formidable spiritual awareness.
The Underworld Master had also heard the roar and sensed the formidable energy. His expression changed slightly, wondering why the King of Fire woke up.
The huge transparent wall insulated the human world from the Underworld, and even those in the Heavenly Arrival State had a hard time passing through it. In his current Cultivation state, the Underworld Master didn't have to fear his opponent; but he was surprised that the little guy suddenly woke up and became so furious since he used to sleep soundly in the lava.
The Underworld Master said to Jing Jiu, "I'll consider your request carefully. You will wait for the news by the Heavenly Well on the first day of winter ten years from now."
"Are you about to leave in a hurry?" Jing Jiu inquired.
Jing Jiu thought that he should leave the place as soon as possible as well if the Underworld Master didn't even want to face the owner of the formidable energy.
The Underworld Master said with a small smile, "If he saw us together, the Center Sect would accuse you of colluding with the Underworld. I'm doing it for your sake."
Having said that, he folded his hands behind his back and drifted away like a small child, vanishing into the Abyss.
Jing Jiu drew back his gaze and turned to look at the upstream of the lava river. He thought the owner of the formidable energy must have something to do with the Center Sect, and it must be the subsequent arrangement after the Gathered-Soul Valley had been sealed off; but why didn't he hear about it? His Big Brother's diary didn't even record it.
The formidable energy grew near.
The dike-like waves followed the energy, rushing over.
Soon, the huge waves arrived at his feet, and bombarded the huge transparent wall.
The cliff cave swayed constantly, with a great many rocks falling down.
The red lava shot up skyward and knocked Jing Jiu into the river.
The moment he fell into the river, he saw something.
A golden carp jumped out of the torrential river of lava. Its body twisting in the air, the carp pulled down those shadows on the cliff walls and swallowed them.
Those were the shadows left behind by the Underworld Master. He didn't take them with him before his departure; it was because he left them behind on purpose for the golden carp to eat.
This was a question he left for Jing Jiu. If Jing Jiu couldn't answer it satisfactorily, he might lose his life.
How could Jing Jiu persuade the golden carp that he wasn't colluding with the Underworld and that what he was doing was persuading the Underworld Master to collaborate with him.
Nobody would believe such an absurd affair. In fact, in the long history of human beings, this sort of thing had only happened to the Immortal Taiping and the Underworld Emperor.
But first, Jing Jiu needed to find out what this golden carp was and why it was so formidable that he could even swallow the shadows of the Underworld Master.
The golden carp dropped into the lava, splashing a cluster of flames.
The violent lava swirled back when encountering the huge transparent wall; as it passed round Jing Jiu, a subtle change occurred to the current.
The lava brought the information of this slight change to the golden carp.
The carp swam to Jing Jiu at a fast speed.
The high density of lava seemed to have no effect on its speed; the lava was like a lubricant to make its swimming even faster.
Soon after, the golden carp arrived by Jing Jiu's side. It looked at Jing Jiu curiously with wide, open eyes.
Likewise, Jing Jiu was staring at the golden carp as well. He noticed the flames in the lava would turn dark blue color when it whipped its tail.
Was it because its body temperature was even higher than the lava?
This golden carp was definitely not an ordinary being, except that it looked like a carp.
Jing Jiu wondered what kind of being it was.
The golden carp suddenly pouted. "What on earth are you?" he demanded as his mouth spat out some bubbles.
"Who do you think you are? You dare to act like Young Senior Master."
A Green Mountain disciple stared at Ping Yongjia's eyes and said in disgust, "You shouldn't even dream of participating in the Inherited Sword Competition if you don't have a sword!"
It was early spring. The Green Mountain Sect had another Inherited Sword Competition. The inner gate disciples who had studied and trained for several years by the Sword-Washing Stream waited nervously and excitedly to be selected by the masters of the peaks. It was natural that Ping Yongjia didn't want to miss the opportunity. He came to the foot of the broken cliff at the end of the Sword-Washing Stream, but he was stopped by a classmate who loathed him.
Glancing at the platform shrouded in the clouds on top of the broken cliff, Ping Yongjia sighed, thinking that he had no right to blame anybody else, especially not that Big Brother Gu from Shenmo Peak, and that he had to blame his own foolishness. Since he hadn't heard anything from Shenmo Peak over the year and nobody sent any message to him, why did he even bother coming here?
Though the talents of the inner gate disciples at this Inherited Sword Competition were rather outstanding, they couldn't compare to the one Jing Jiu had participated in.
Besides Jing Jiu, both Zhao Layue and Liu Shisui had also shown their talents at that competition. Gu Qing also had his debut that year, even though he was taken on as a disciple by Jing Jiu in the next competition.
At that Inherited Sword Competition, there were two disciples with natural Dao quality, and two with the shapeless sword body, and one future teacher of the emperor, Gu Qing. It was indeed a memorable event in hundreds of years.
Of course, nobody would forget another remarkable consequence of that competition.
Both Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue chose to go to Shenmo Peak, and Gu Qing also went to Shenmo Peak. Even Liu Shisui had a special connection to Shenmo Peak.
Shenmo Peak resumed its inheritance and showed its power. The disciples participating in the Inherited Sword Competition would have Shenmo Peak as their primary choice ever since. Unfortunately, nobody had the opportunity to be selected by Shenmo Peak besides Youth Yuan, who was selected evidently for his background. In the following competitions, Shenmo Peak hadn't even shown up. As a result, the disciples by the Sword-Washing Stream had gradually given up the hope of being selected by Shenmo Peak.
The masters of the peaks were sitting on the high platforms amid the clouds, and some of them stood on the mountain path in the cliffs. It was said that fewer sects sent their representatives to observe the competition due to the event in the snowland, yet the Fruit Formation Temple and the Hanging-Bell Sect had sent their representatives. The high platform belonging to Shenmo Peak had been empty for many years.
A commotion suddenly occurred by the stream, followed by a few surprised screams.
A figure appeared on the high platform.
Someone from Shenmo Peak had come!
Seeing those excited young disciples by the stream, Yuan Qü recalled the time when he participated in the Inherited Sword Competition.
At that time, he was merely a steadfast supporter and cheerleader of Jing Jiu. Yuan Qü had been thinking of this over the years. If he didn't act that way, he might not be able to go to Shenmo Peak even though he had the connection of his great granduncle. In the next moment, he sensed the gazes from the surroundings. He couldn't help but feel uneasy, wondering why his Master asked him to come here since he was only someone who was responsible for doing chores and passing messages on Shenmo Peak.
Those gazes were full of inquiry and questions, as they wondered why Shenmo Peak had sent someone to the Inherited Sword Competition this year and who they would select.
But, it was inappropriate to ask these sorts of questions, and they wouldn't get answers even if they asked, otherwise, it would be troublesome when the peaks contended for a certain disciple.
Yet, somebody was not as concerned about this consequence as the others. Young Sister Yushan walked over from the platform of Shangde Peak as requested by her Master, and asked curiously, "Who is the disciple?"
Yuan Qü of course wouldn't tell her. "You'll find out soon," he said with a bitter smile.
The Inherited Sword Competition began. The young disciples stepped onto the rocks in the stream and started demonstrating their skills of controlling flying swords, and then they looked up expectantly at…Yuan Qü.
Yuan Qü held his tongue the entire time.
There were many disciples of other peaks who were the admirers of Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu, but they couldn't help but feel a bit deflated.
It was then that Ping Yongjia walked out.
He was about to give up, but he suddenly had some hope when he saw someone from Shenmo Peak suddenly show up.
The elder of Xilai Peak in charge of the competition looked at him with furrowed brows, and asked, "Where is your sword?"
"I haven't obtained a sword yet," Ping Yongjia said in a low voice.
"Without a sword?"
The elder of Xilai Peak suddenly raised his voice as he yelled, "Why would you bother participating in the Inherited Sword Competition if you don't even have a sword?!"
Ping Yongjia became unconfident again, and muttered, "I…"
The elder of Xilai Peak cut him off, as he said indignantly, "If you dare say you forgot like Jing Jiu said he did back then, I will give you a sound beating."
Shrugging, Ping Yongjia said with an innocent expression, "This disciple has indeed forgotten it."
There couldn't be another person like Jing Jiu in this world.
So it was impossible for him to forget obtaining his sword.
Over a year ago, he was inspired by the scene of disciples being nurtured by the thunders on Bihu Peak and decided to climb up the Sword Peak to obtain a sword.
Unexpectedly, he found two people rather than his own sword after he made his way to the top of the peak with a great deal of effort.
Later, Gu Qing came to seek him by the Sword-Washing Stream.
Afterwards, a monkey brought a letter to him. Gu Qing told him in the letter that he had no need to obtain his sword in a hurry and should wait for further arrangement.
At that time Ping Yongjia realized that he had encountered a good fortune, unless he was a total idiot.
As such, he hadn't climbed up the Sword Peak, and was preoccupied with studying and cultivating at the Sword-Washing Hall cheerfully and obediently until now.
He was indeed wrongfully blamed, because he hadn't forgotten the sect rules and the necessity of obtaining a sword before the competition. But he wondered if Gu Qing forgot about that letter.
It was evident that he couldn't perform his sword skills without a sword.
The proud classmates of the Sword-Washing Hall couldn't challenge him either.
Standing on a rock in the stream, Ping Yongjia felt quite embarrassed.
It was just then that two voices rang out on the high platforms in the clouds.
"Do you wish to inherit the sword of Tianguang Peak?"
"Do you wish to inherit the sword of Qingrong Peak?"
An uproar burst out by the Sword-Washing Stream.
Countless gazes fell on the two stone platforms.
Senior Master Mei Li and Lin Wuzhi exchanged a glance, feeling amazed; but it was also sensible. They revealed faint smiles on their faces.
Both of them were present when Gu Qing went to the Sword-Washing Hall to seek out Ping Yongjia.
They wouldn't want to miss the disciple who was wanted by Shenmo Peak.
Yuan Qü was startled as well. He walked to the edge of the cliff and said, "Wait a second. This kid was wanted by Young Senior Master first."
The voices of discussion by the stream seemed to have suddenly exploded, and it was the same on the platforms.
The masters of the peaks walked to the edge of the cliff and looked down. Even the guests from the Great Marsh and the Hanging-Bell Sect also walked out, showing curious expressions on their faces.
Since Jing Jiu was the strongest swordsman of the young generation and his special talent in the sword work was recognized by all in the Cultivation circle, the disciple he wished to take on must have an outstanding talent.
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