Wang Xiaoming was taken aback by what Tong Yan had said, and didn't know how to respond to it. He became angry again and yelled, "What do you know?! Do you know how I became what I am?! You're not qualified to judge me!"
"I do know a great deal about you."
Tong Yan looked at him by the cliff's edge and continued, "The whole village and family members were buried alive by two ignorant Cultivation practitioners, and your adopted father died for his dogged ideal. It's for these reasons that you have inherited his view of the Cultivation practitioners, and to carry on his ideal, you would rather destroy this world by using demonic methods and becoming the master of the Mysterious Dark Sect."
Jing Jiu shot a glance at Tong Yan, thinking that the Center Sect had truly investigated Wang Xiaoming thoroughly.
"Yes, I've done it for these reasons. But, these reasons are sufficient enough. Though I was still very young when the village was buried by the mudslide and didn't feel too bad about what happened…"
Staring at Jing Jiu, Wang Xiaoming yelled in a hateful tone, "But you killed my adopted father, and he was very dear to me."
"I didn't kill him," said Jing Jiu.
He didn't like defending himself, but he didn't like being blamed for something he didn't do either; he was not like Liu Shisui.
"You are lying! I knew you had been to his house. Even if you didn't do it yourself, he was pressured by you to commit suicide!"
Thinking of the small courtyard in Zhaoge City and the dried cabbages, Wang Xiaoming said with the tears running down his cheeks, "It's been twenty three years…Do you know? Do you know how much I have wanted the revenge against you and Zhao Layue? I've wanted you to die…And I've wanted to witness one day when you wished you could die, but couldn't."
Jing Jiu didn't respond to him.
Tong Yan chimed in, "Shi Fengchen paid the assassins of the Old Ones to assassinate Zhao Layue; he committed suicide after his attempt failed and was discovered. His death had nothing to do with Jing Jiu."
"My adopted father was a high-ranking official in the imperial court. He could live a comfortable life with his salary and gifts from the small sects. Why would he pursue an important figure of the Green Mountain Sect?"
Wang Xiaoming lifted his head and let the tears on his face be dried by the heat of the Sun Banner, as he continued, "It is because Zhao Layue is and will be a catastrophe! I read those files. The Thoughtless Sword was indeed painted with blood. I thank heaven for sending you to me today, Jing Jiu. I'll kill you and then kill her later; you two will be able to reunite again in the other world."
Having said that, he didn't even bother looking at Jing Jiu, almost as if Jing Jiu already dead.
Then he turned to Tong Yan and said, "I'll let you live for the for having talked so much with me; but you have to hand me the Green Sky Mirror."
The Sun Banner, the magic treasures of the Mysterious Dark Church, and those swordsmen had formed a huge net that cast over the Cold Mountain and the surrounding barren plain.
Wang Xiaoming had opened a gap on purpose so that Tong Yan and that Green Mountain disciple could escape to this place.
As he came here, the net had already extended to the foot of the snowy mountain.
Wang Xiaoming didn't want to adhere to the advice of those elders, but he didn't want anybody to witness that he had killed a Green Mountain disciple.
He hadn't known at the time that the Green Mountain disciple was Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu and Tong Yan were the best chess players in the world. In a sense, they were the smartest and most quick-minded in the world.
The fact that they had cooperated first and then abandoned each other relentlessly was proof of that.
It wasn't until now that the elders and swordsmen of the Mysterious Dark Church showed up; they were aware of what Wang Xiaoming was worried about.
If Tong Yan sent message to the Center Sect, it would be tantamount to inviting death upon himself. So all he could do was rely on Jing Jiu to get out of the predicament.
While Wang Xiaoming was thinking of all this, Jing Jiu wielded his sword again.
The Sword of the Universe broke through the air and turned into a desolate sword light, arriving several miles above in the sky in the blink of an eye.
The dark clouds in that patch of the sky reflected the sunshine, looking as if they were ablaze.
As a matter of fact, those clouds were in fact burning.
The sword light turned around abruptly, arriving at a spot several miles away in the west; but it encountered another fire wall.
Jing Jiu reached out his left hand, the Sword of the Universe returned to his hand.
The Sun Banner had controlled heaven and earth in this whole area, and the scorching fires blocked the entire space.
Jing Jiu had already accelerated the Sword of the Universe to its upper limit. Even if he employed the Underworld Fairy Sword, the result would be the same.
If the Sword of the Universe couldn't get out of here, Jing Jiu would have no way to do the same, and neither would any message being sent out.
Standing by the edge of the cliff and looking down at Tong Yan, the wild fire in the deep parts of Wang Xiaoming's eyes had faded, replaced by lethal intent.
"Since you won't agree to hand over the Green Sky Mirror, you'll die with him."
Having said that, Wang Xiaoming held his right hand up over his head.
The Sun Banner had shown up, and the shaft of the banner was held tightly in his hand.
The black banner fluttered without the aid of any wind and swirled with a whistling sound, letting out countless horrible cries of the resentful souls inside.
These resentful souls were pure entities that had no awareness or perception. This method of tempering the banner was much better than what that deviant practitioner, whom Jing Jiu had met under the ground, did to his magic treasure.
Along with the horrible cries of the resentful souls, the blood-red patches on the black banner grew brighter, then blazed.
As the Sun Banner began burning, the entirety of heaven and earth were on fire.
The dense clouds in the sky blocked the sun, and the snowy mountain was dark and gloomy. All of a sudden, everything turned red and warm, followed by the blinding glow of fire.
The Sun Banner started rotating at a high speed in Wang Xiaoming's hand, spitting out countless flames.
Wherever the flames reached, the ice and snow melted instantly and turned into steam, and the rigid rocks had also softened, then liquefied.
Soon after, innumerable flames appeared on the ground in front of the snowy mountain, which were the earth fires triggered by the Sun Banner. They were not regular fires, but the True Chaotic Fire, which, along with the Dark Fire in the Underworld River, was the most formidable fire in the world.
Neither Jing Jiu nor the King of Fire Carps could withstand such fire, to say nothing of Tong Yan's chances.
The fires were everywhere.
The icy plain became a marsh, and the-ice covered stream became the one with clean flowing water. However, it merely took an instant for the water in the stream to turn into steam and block their eyesight.
The weeds, exposed after the snow had melted, were instantly ablaze, looking like the twinkling stars in the mist.
Though this scene looked like the fairy realm, it was actually a hell in the human world.
Jing Jiu and Tong Yan were like the small boats in the ocean of fire, which could capsize at any moment and vanish without a trace.
The Sun Banner was indeed a magic treasure of the highest demonic state; once it attacked with its full strength, its power was unbelievably strong.
Jing Jiu and Tong Yan were trapped inside innumerable fire walls, and had no way to escape.
All of a sudden, a powerful energy came in from the outside of the fire walls.
A beam of fire headed toward them. It was the head-on assault from the Sun Banner!
As they were about to be burned to death, Tong Yan held a hard object in his sleeve with his right hand, wondering if he had to use it right now.
It was then that he felt his body suddenly become lighter.
Jing Jiu took the Green Sky Mirror from him.
Walking to the front of Tong Yan, Jing Jiu held up the Green Sky Mirror and headed toward the beam of fire.
The air waves rolled in all directions; the flames flared wildly and then scattered.
The earth fires that had been close to them were suppressed back to the underground.
The bright and terribly hot flames hit the Green Sky Mirror and then burst around the edges of the mirror.
Tong Yan grunted and spat out a mouthful of fresh blood, the blood being burned by the hot air into a waft of green smoke before it touched the ground.
He had been wounded severely when he was jolted by the residual of the air waves.
Jing Jiu felt a heavy weight on his right arm, like a mountain bearing down on it.
But, he was still holding up the Green Sky Mirror steadily, not moving his right arm an inch.
If someone looked down at the ground in the sky, they would think that Jing Jiu was holding up a sun.
Tong Yan's fingers wiggled many times; he was employing a magic method to put out the remaining fires on Jing Jiu and his clothes.
The Green Sky Mirror was blocking that beam of fire while giving off a bright glow.
The air was flowing fiercely in the ocean of fire, causing whistling and violent wind and booming thunders.
Looking at the back of Jing Jiu, Tong Yan asked, "Is it okay?"
"It's not so easy to be burned," Jing Jiu replied, without turning his head around.
Wang Xiaoming's laughter could be heard outside the ocean of fire in the distance.
"It's very interesting! You are using the Green Sky Mirror, a magic treasure of the Heavenly State, as a shield. What a waste of a precious item...But, the fires are everywhere in heaven and earth; how can you shield yourself?!"
No sooner had he said this than the Sun Banner demonstrated its dreadful power again.
The earth fires that had just been extinguished came up from the cracks of the ground with a vengeance.
The more horrible part was that innumerable balls of fire dropped down from the rolling, dark clouds above the snowy mountain.
The shooting flames, resembling the shooting stars, bombarded the ground!
Though the Green Sky Mirror was quite strong, it was rather small in size. How could it block the shooting flames as fierce as a rainstorm?
At the time, the idea would cross anybody's mind that it would help if the Green Sky Mirror were a bit bigger.
Jing Jiu threw the Green Sky Mirror into the air.
It grew bigger against the wind and became a huge bronze mirror of several hundred square feet.
The Green Sky Mirror has been as big as it was now, back when it was in the Huiyin Valley.
The huge bronze mirror, like a large treetop, loomed large over Jing Jiu's and Tong Yan's heads.
Boom!!! Boom!!! Boom!!! Boom!!!
The shooting flames that filled the sky had descended and struck the surface of the Green Sky Mirror, creating countless fire sparks and thunderous noises, resembling hundreds of catapults assaulting city walls at the same time.
Looking at the Green Sky Mirror and those figurines of people and buildings, Tong Yan wondered, "Can it work?"
Jing Jiu rubbed his right shoulder and said while looking at the Green Sky Mirror in the sky, "Even though it can't fight, it should be able to protect us from the assault of the Sun Banner; otherwise, it wouldn't be a magic treasure in the Heavenly State."
In the battles between humans, the big wagons that were used by the armies to attack the cities often had an iron sheet covering the wood that could block the arrows and blazing oil.
The Green Sky Mirror was playing the same role at the moment; yet, the metal surface on the mirror was much thicker than the iron sheet on those military wagons. Moreover, the Green Sky Mirror hovered in the sky all by itself, looking like a magic treasure that could be used when traveling in the sky.
If the fire walls on the ground in front of the snowy mountain were not too many for the Green Sky Mirror to travel freely, it could carry the two of them to leave the place.
Countless balls of fire descended from the sky, and struck down on the surface of the Green Sky Mirror like the shooting stars, causing innumerable fire sparks, which then scattered on the ground of the barren plain.
The Green Sky Mirror lowered gradually, getting closer to the ground.
The harsh voice of Wang Xiaoming's came down from the top of the snowy mountain again. "It's truly interesting. But as I said, the fires are all over heaven and earth. Even if you can block them from above, what could you do about the fires on the ground?"
As soon as he had said that, the flames from the cracks on the ground suddenly grew higher, and the ocean of fire swirled more violently.
The flames coming out from the underground were the Chaotic Fire of the Sun Banner. A regular Cultivation practitioner would die immediately when being touched by the fire.
Tong Yan employed the Escape Method of Heaven and Earth and leapt up a hundred feet from the ground, hiding under the shadow of the Green Sky Mirror.
The tongues of the fires coming out from the underground licked upwards. Tong Yan was on the verge of being swallowed.
A very broad flying sword had suddenly appeared and blocked the licking fires.
The Sword of the Universe and the Green Sky Mirror sandwiched the two of them in the middle, with only a narrow space in between.
The fires of the Sun Banner could hardly enter the space.
Tong Yan felt the scorching heat under his feet, and wondered, "Will it work?"
Jing Jiu said, "This sword can resist the fires easily."
This sword had been burned for six years back in the snowland. Though the temperature of the sword fire was not as high as the Chaotic Fire of the Sun Banner, it had nonetheless experienced a great deal of burning.
"Is this the sword the Great Grandmaster, the Unicorn, helped polish?"
"It's truly an excellent sword."
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