It tastes more delicious to eat dumplings while drinking wine.
The troubles will follow someone if they try and evade them.
Zhao Layue wanted to kill Wang Xiaoming back then, but Jing Jiu didn't agree to it, and now he was being visited by trouble
The Green Girl's sigh was intended to mock him, but Jing Jiu had no intention of responding to her. "Why did you steal this mirror?" he asked instead.
The mirror he referred to was of course the Green Sky Mirror, and the question was directed toward Tong Yan.
Tong Yan told him about what had happened from beginning to the end.
It was now that Jing Jiu learned that the Immortal Bai had found out the change of the Green Sky Mirror and sealed the mirror with ice in an attempt to eradicate the Green Girl's soul.
"To eliminate all those they can't control is indeed the way the Center Sect has been acting over the years. But you are a Center Sect disciple; why did you save her?"
Tong Yan said, "She will become the true spirit of this heavenly treasure, meaning she will be a real life. I heard that it was you who had told her this."
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm".
Tong Yan continued emotionlessly, "Now that she is a living human being, she should be regarded as a Center Sect disciple; how could she be sentenced to death so heartlessly?"
What Tong Yan said was reasonable, but the problem was that the reason was never so important as far as the overall wellbeing of the Cultivation sects were concerned.
Back when he and the Immortal Taiping led Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing into battle on the peaks of Green Mountain, they didn't rely on any reason to do it, and they didn't even bother asking what reasons they had for doing it.
The Immortal Tai Lu wasn't convinced and didn't want to surrender until the very end. As a result, he had been locked up in the Sword Jail until now, suffering from chill and darkness, having lost his freedom ever since.
Thinking of that wicked senior master who had killed so many of his colleagues but always thought what he had done was reasonable, Jing Jiu couldn't help but shake his head.
Tong Yan misunderstood the reason Jing Jiu shook his head. "The way of chess playing seeks the distinction between the black and the white," he remarked.
The remark reminded Jing Jiu of Zhao Layue's distinctive eyes. After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu asked Tong Yan again, "The way of chess playing emphasizes moving any piece only after thinking it through. Since you are very good at this, why did you act so imprudently?"
Back when Tong Yan listened to what the Green Girl had told him in the deep part of the earth source, he put the Green Sky Mirror on his back and left without thinking it through. However, it couldn't be said that he stole the Green Sky Mirror; actually, he had snatched it.
"She was very weak at the time and on the brink of dying. I didn't have enough time to think it through."
Tong Yan continued evenly, "I had thought too much and calculated too much, but I still couldn't surpass you. So I thought I might have a chance if I chose another path."
Jing Jiu commented, "Intuition is another way of calculating; the difference is that the middle process is left out by doing so, but the general outcome should be correct even though it will not be as precise."
Tong Yan asked, "Why did you come to the Cold Mountain then? Did you predict something by calculating?"
"I came here to sharpen my sword," said Jing Jiu.
Tong Yan failed to comprehend what Jing Jiu meant. He glanced at the Sword of the Universe hovering quietly in midair, wondering why such a sharp sword needed to be sharpened still.
Jing Jiu took a look at the Green Sky Mirror, saying nothing.
After having left Green Mountain, he had gone to many places, like the Great Marsh, the Mining mountains, and Zhaoge City, to find the perfect whetstone for his sword.
He had never considered using the Green Sky Mirror as the whetstone, but he had encountered it in the end.
It was not until now that he realized that he had been looking for nothing but the Green Sky Mirror all this time.
To put it in what the Green Girl had said, this was indeed fate.
Thinking of all this, Jing Jiu lifted his hand and rubbed the Green Girl's head matter-of-factly.
Tong Yan protested while raising his eyebrows, "This is the true spirit of our sect. I'd like to ask you to show more respect to her."
Feeling itching on her head, the Green Girl flew to the rear of Tong Yan and poked her small face out. "Yes, yes," she said while giggling, "you should rub your little Bai Zao's head if you want to."
Tong Yan lifted his eyebrows even higher now, which appeared thicker; but he didn't show any cheerfulness after hearing her remark.
"I'll take a rest first."
Jing Jiu closed his eyes and fell asleep.
The chilly wind whistled in the forest full of dead trees. A few wooden birds flew in the gray sky, and they were obviously the magic treasures of the Mysterious Dark Church.
Hundreds of the disciples of the Mysterious Dark Church were in this patch of the barren plain; and the formations and fire nets were everywhere on the surface of and under the ground. They could find the three of them at any moment.
Tong Yan and the Green Girl eyed each other, thinking Jing Jiu was really carefree.
The red color on the cliff walls was much entrenched; it didn't look like blood, but a sort of paint.
The wind was very dry due to the high temperature here. As such, the valley that extended deep into the mountain range didn't give off a feel of gloom and darkness.
The pointed red rocks were seen everywhere on the ground in the valley, which were exceedingly hot. If one cracked an egg on them, they would have a fried egg within half a minute.
A few disciples of the Mysterious Dark Church knelt on the ground. Their hands and knees were cut by the rocks and were bleeding, the blood seeping out turning into smoke after being baked and exuding a terrible burning smell.
"This subordinate is incapable; please punish me, Church Master."
They didn't dare get up, and knocked their heads on the ground before the person nonstop, with no regard for the possibility of being burned on their foreheads.
Facing the threat of death, the feeling of pain was minimized.
That person turned around, his leather boots crushing the rocks into reddish powder.
"You people haven't found them in such a long time; and three disciples died in the process…Where are the dead?"
His voice was devoid of any emotion, which was in stark contrast to the surroundings.
Three corpses were brought over from the outside of the valley. They were the three disciples of the Mysterious Dark Church killed by Jing Jiu.
That person strolled to the front of the three corpses and squatted down slowly, a shallow ditch forming on the ground behind him.
This Master of the Mysterious Dark Church was still rather young. He called himself the "King Ming". There was no emotion showing on his face. His expression was extremely cold, and a ball of fire seemed to be burning in the deep ends of his eyes.
Back when Liu Shisui employed the demonic method of the Bloody Demon Church to wound Jian Ruoyun before he "betrayed" and left Green Mountain, a similar wildfire could be seen in his eyes.
"Kill others with a swing of the sword at will, and don't bother burning the corpses with the sword fire afterwards, with no intention of concealing it…The Cultivation practitioners of Green Mountain are still so arrogant."
Looking at the broken parts on the necks of those three corpses and sensing the sharp sword will, the wildfire in his eyes grew more vigorous.
Since Shi Fengchen committed suicide, he had left Zhaoge City. On his journey, he had encountered treasures when jumping off the cliffs, learned magic methods when entering the mountains, and finally cultivated amazing demonic methods.
After driving away Su Ziye and taking control of the Mysterious Dark Sect, he had re-tempered the Sun Banner and become an important figure in the deviant circle.
What he wanted to do the most was to kill Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue, for which he had done a comprehensive study of the sword wills of Green Mountain.
Gao Ya suddenly walked out from the deep part of the valley and bowed to the ground before him, refusing to get up.
The King Ming raised his eyebrows slightly, motioning with his hand for others to stay away.
Gao Ya got up and advised earnestly, "Tong Yan is a discarded disciple, so the Center Sect is not a big concern, but now a Green Mountain disciple has come…Please give it a second thought, Church Master."
The Mysterious Dark Church was at its height right now. Especially after the Sun Banner had been re-tempered, some elders of the church had the feeling that they were living in the old glorious days again. However, if they offended the Green Mountain Sect and the Center Sect, the two leaders of the orthodox Cultivation circle, and did so at the same time…It was tantamount to inviting trouble.
King Ming said emotionlessly, "Since he is a Green Mountain disciple, killing him is more urgent. No one will tell me to abandon the decision."
The expression Gao Ya's face looked terrible. "Church Master," he said in a low voice, "you haven't been to the headquarters long enough, so you are not informed about many things. The Great Grandmaster three hundred years ago…"
With a buzzing sound, the hot air filled the valley.
King Ming sensed what had been transmitted by the Sun Banner, and looked at the outside of the valley, wondering who the Cultivation practitioner of Green Mountain was and why he hadn't died after having been assaulted by the Sun Banner.
One day and one night had passed.
The Mysterious Dark Church stepped up their search of the area, and the span of the formations decreased. A few groups of their disciples had arrived in the surroundings of this patch of the forest.
The Illusionary Realm created by the Green Sky Mirror was not as realistic as it would be inside the mirror. Though it could easily fool the regular Cultivation practitioners, it had no way to fool those truly advanced swordsmen.
As the search went on, the Green Sky Mirror would be discovered sooner or later.
Tong Yan glanced at the Green Girl, meaning to ask her if the two of them should leave first.
If Jing Jiu liked sleeping, they should just let him be, plus he would also draw the attention of the Mysterious Dark Church to help them escape.
The Green Girl shot Jing Jiu a glance, feeling hesitant.
It was at the moment that Jing Jiu woke up. Countless faint sword wills came out from the bottom of his body and returned to it, fluttering the rims of his clothes.
In fact, he wasn't really sleeping. What was doing was sensing with his sword will, figuring out the formations of the Mysterious Dark Church and determining where the peculiar fires were located under the ground.
After one day and one night, his sword will had already finished searching the underground of thirty square miles nearby and had a general understanding of the situation.
He shot a glance the Green Girl's way.
The Green Girl understood his intention, and went back inside the Green Sky Mirror.
Tong Yan put the Green Sky Mirror on his back.
A gust of wind rose in the forest, creating a buzzing sound.
The disciples of the Mysterious Dark Church sensed the commotion and rushed to the forest, but they didn't find anything there.
The weed with two leaves had also vanished.
There was only a hole on the ground that was dark and gloomy. It was unclear how deep the hole was and where it would lead to.
The north of the barren plain was still within the territory of the Cold Mountain, but the weather was even colder there.
Several snowy mountains stood in front, blocking the road to the snowland.
The ice and snow in front of the snowy mountain had suddenly blown up.
Jing Jiu and Tong Yan flew out of it.
This place was very close to the snowland.
Jing Jiu believed that the disciples of the Mysterious Dark Church wouldn't dare come here, and that because he didn't even want to come here, or didn't dare come here.
Tong Yan, covered with dirt and with the Green Sky Mirror on his back, glanced at Jing Jiu, full of admiration.
His ability to dig tunnels was indeed remarkable. He had no idea how Jing Jiu had done it; the rocks, no matter how hard they were, melted away instantly when Jing Jiu touched them.
The most admirable part was that Jing Jiu had remembered the whole configuration of the underground fire sources and the Sun Banner formations.
The underground fire sources were exceedingly complicated, the same as a maze, but they hadn't encountered the fire once as they traveled among them for a long time.
Seeing the large snowy mountain in front of them, Jing Jiu turned around without hesitation and headed in the opposite direction.
Tong Yan found that his turning was a bit awkward, feeling it odd; but he followed him nonetheless.
It was then that they had heard the sound of footsteps.
Both Jing Jiu and Tong Yan stopped short.
The sound of footsteps was still behind them.
Tong Yan turned around and looked at the large snowy mountain.
The sound of footsteps came from the top of the snowy mountain.
The sounds of the footsteps were also quite peculiar.
The first was the normal sound of a boot stepping on the ice and snow; and the second one was the sound of a broom sweeping the snow on the ground.
A moment later, Tong Yan saw the figure atop the snowy mountain.
He could see that person even one mile away, but that person's footsteps were a bit strange. It seemed that he was limping.
The second sound was from his right foot dragging in the snow.
He was none other than that young church master of the Mysterious Dark Church.
He hobbled to the edge of the cliff and looked down at the two of them, asking sarcastically, "Did you feel comfortable while traveling in the passageway I have prepared for you?"
Tong Yan felt a chill in his heart, as it occurred to him that it was arranged by the Mysterious Dark Church in the first place so that Jing Jiu could lead them while escaping from their formations.
Their opponents were waiting here for them to fall into their trap.
This would be much easier than searching for them all over the place on the barren plain.
"What about you?"
Seeing him atop the snowy mountain, Jing Jiu added, "Are you having a wonderful time living the life somebody else has prepared for you?"
Upon hearing this, the young Church Master changed his expression abruptly.
He had experienced too many lucky encounters since he left Zhaoge City twenty three years ago. Actually, he was even luckier than He Zhan, who was famous for his good fortune. It seemed that he could pick up some instructions of magic methods and crystals wherever he was, so his Cultivation practice was almost trouble-free. He had never needed to worry about the shortage of magic pills or crystals, or the problem of inferior magic methods.
No matter how one looked at these encounters, it was rather suspicious.
Yet, he was afraid to think about all this more deeply; it was because he feared that what he had would be taken away by the person who had arranged everything once the truth came out, and that he would be a nobody again.
All he could do was numb himself with hatred and constantly improving his Cultivation state, and meanwhile comfort himself with the statement:
I'm the main character of the story. Even if the truth comes out, I will be able to change my fate and break the behind-scene hands.
After having successfully re-tempered the Sun Banner, his anxiety and worry had abated a little; but he was fully aware that he was still far from learning the truth, revealing the truth, and defeating the truth; it was because even the secret instruction of tempering the Sun Banner was picked up by him on the ground…
Unexpectedly, he heard such a statement today, and the truth had been revealed by somebody.
He felt like a little child who had no clothing on, standing naked on the snowy mountain. A chilly sensation seemed to penetrate his core.
He was still Wang Xiaoming, and King Ming was an illusion.
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