The wind of early spring brought fog into the mountain residences.
The cheers were heard in the distant mountain; it seemed that Que Niang had won the
chess tournament again.
In comparison to the noises in the other places, the quietness in this place was
Zhuo Rusui thought that this matter had nothing to do with him and that Xi Yiyun
shouldn't stare at him.
As he was thinking of this, Xi Yiyun turned to him and asked, "I'm rather confused; is
this idea Shenmo Peak's or Green Mountain's?"
Zhuo Rusui lifted up his head and had a glimpse of Gu Qing, wondering if Gu Qing
brought him here just for this.
Soon he thought of the relationship between his Master and Jing Jiu, Zhuo Rusui
lowered his eyelids and said drowsily, "What difference does it make?"
"Then I have no choice but to bid you two farewell," said Xi Yiyun.
In the eyes of the scholars of the One-Cottage House, letting the son of a vixen become
the emperor was something they were unwilling to negotiate.
"We are just disciples of the young generation; we are not qualified to negotiate this sort
of thing. We are only talking about it, but…"
Gu Qing went on with a small smile, "Could Mr. Xi introduce us to the Prime Minister?"
"I haven't seen Big Brother Qin yet."
Xi Yiyun added with a cold expression, "As the disciples of the One-Cottage House, we
are absolutely not going to meddle in the state affairs of the imperial court before
becoming officials of the government."
Prime Minister Qin had studied at the One-Cottage House, so in a sense, he was
indeed Xi Yiyun's Big Brother.
"You are mistaken. This is actually a private matter," Gu Qing said.
Xi Yiyun said, "In that case, it would be even harder for me to help you."
"Okay," Gu Qing said with a small smile. "Could you help me with this then? Your house
has recently taken on a new disciple named He Xiaoliu; please let me take him to visit a
senior master of ours."
Xi Yiyun stared at Gu Qing for a brief moment, and then walked out of the room without
uttering a word.
Soon after, a young scholar came to the room.
Zhuo Rusui lifted his droopy eyelids and saw that dark face and ill-suited robe on him;
he had almost laughed out after the initial bafflement.
The Cultivation practitioners were forbidden to ride swords at will in Zhaoge City. The
Pure Heaven Bureau arranged a carriage for the three immortal masters. Making sure
nobody was in the earshot of the carriage, Zhuo Rusui couldn't hold his tongue any
longer and asked the young scholar in a sarcastic tone, "Are you going to join all the
Cultivation sects in the world? When are you going to go to the Water-Moon Nunnery to
become a nun?"
This young scholar who wore a robe but still looked like a farmer was none other than
He should be locked in the Sword Jail right now, but the whole of Green Mountain was
aware that he had been released a long time ago.
No matter how angry Fang Jingtian was, he couldn't do anything about it. The Sect
Master didn't want to have the issue investigated, and Yuan Qijing didn't allow the jail to
be checked. Under the circumstances, who would dare charge into the Sword Jail to
see whether Liu Shisui was there or not?
Though Zhuo Rusui's words were sarcastic, what he said was actually true. After having
left Green Mountain, Liu Shisui had joined the Old Ones, learned the sword style of the
West Ocean Sword Sect, listened to the explanation of the scripts for many years at the
Fruit Formation Temple, and was now studying at the One-Cottage House. He had had
remarkable experiences indeed.
Liu Shisui paid Zhuo Rusui no mind, asking Gu Qing, "What is Young Master doing here
in Zhaoge City?"
Gu Qing knew clearly that Liu Shisui was not only concerned about the reason why Jing
Jiu came to Zhaoge City, but also concerned about what happened to Jing Jiu lately.
Both of them were fully aware that Jing Jiu had never been keen on talking about this
sort of thing, and so it was always Gu Qing who provided the information.
As the chamberlain of Shenmo Peak, Gu Qing was indeed very busy. Though it was
Jing Jiu who had decided to send Liu Shisui to the One-Cottage House, it was Gu Qing
who had made all the arrangements, including the completion of the vegetable garden
outside the Fruit Formation Temple. He had even personally selected the inn at the
entrance of the Thousand Mile Windy Corridor for Xiao He to manage, and made all the
Gu Qing told Liu Shisui about all that he knew and could tell from the last two years.
Liu Shisui listened very carefully, thinking about what he could do to help out at the
Zhuo Rusui felt what they were talking about was truly boring. He rolled his eyes up and
turned his body away from them, beginning to sleep.
The Green Sky Mirror was lying quietly on the bookshelf, which was a slight variation to
this changeless study room.
If Zhao Layue or Bai Zao came to this study room, would they look at their reflections in
"Master, I failed to persuade the One-Cottage House."
Thinking of Xi Yiyun's attitude, Gu Qing had a heavy heart.
If they couldn't persuade the One-Cottage House to change their attitude, there would
be no hope for this marriage.
"We can simply snatch the bride then."
Zhuo Rusui offered this as if it were something to be taken for granted.
Jing Jiu thought it was indeed a simple solution; but it was easier to snatch the bride
than it was to snatch the position of the emperor. He waved his hand to gesture for
them to take care of the matter themselves.
Gu Qing led Zhuo Rusui to find Jing Shang, and then the three of them went to the
Manor of State Duke Lu to discuss the matter. By now only Jing Jiu and Liu Shisui were
left in the study room. As expected, they didn't exchange any pleasantries even though
they hadn't seen each other for two years. Jing Jiu checked Liu Shisui's meridians
carefully with his sword awareness. He was not concerned about Liu Shisui's physical
condition anymore after Jing Jiu found the problem of zhenqi conflict inside his body
had been mostly resolved.
Liu Shisui was used to the unaffectionate reunion after a long separation. He took the
initiative to report to Jing Jiu what had happened to him in the last two years. The
political situation in Zhaoge City was quite complicated, and it was evident that the
Green Mountain Sect had no chance of persuading the Center Sect to give up on their
idea. What they could do was change the opinion of the One-Cottage House. Liu Shisui
hoped that he could offer some help in this aspect. He told Jing Jiu in the end, "The
House Master has treated me really well and taught me the method of orthodox energy
personally, maybe due to the fact that I had two personal letters from the Immortal Sect
Master and the Young Zen Master. The hidden conflict in my body has been alleviated
"He is a pretty decent person," Jing Jiu remarked.
Liu Shisui said after some hesitation, "But…it seems that he has already known about
He had only told Jing Jiu about that matter.
Back when he was with the Old Ones, an old scholar of the One-Cottage House, Mr.
Yan, had been very kind to him, and the Old Scholar Yan had even died under the
wielding sword of Xiwang Sun in order to protect Liu Shisui.
Before his death, the Old Scholar Yan gave Liu Shisui a long lost and precious magic
treasure of the One-Cottage House, the Pen of the Guarding City, for safe keeping.
Given Bu Qiuxiao's capability and the influential ability of the One-Cottage House in the
imperial court, he could no doubt find something based on the limited clues.
It was for this very reason that Liu Shisui was unwilling to go to the One-Cottage House
a few years ago. But, it seemed that he was suspected nonetheless.
"I've checked Bu Qiuxiao out."
Thinking of the Green Girl's evaluation of him and his own reply, Jing Jiu added "He is
a truly decent person."
Liu Shisui remained silent, wondering why the Old Scholar Yan had been forced to
betray the One-Cottage House and become a nameless member in the Old Ones if Bu
Qiuxiao was such a good person.
Jing Jiu continued, "You have nothing to worry about. Like I said last time, it'll be fine if
you don't make any trouble there."
Liu Shisui gingerly shot a glance at Jing Jiu and said, "Actually…I have already found
something about the One-Cottage House.
Jing Jiu looked at him quietly, with no change on his countenance; though he was
having a complicated emotion right now.
Liu Shisui and Zhao Layue were the first ones he had brought to his side in this life, but
they happened to like making trouble. Zhao Layue was getting better in this respect and
became more and more like Jing Jiu himself, spending most of her time staying behind
closed doors on Shenmo Peak. However, Liu Shisui became more and more like his Big
Brother; he was always warmhearted no matter what situation he was in; and he was
never found in a depressed mood. Why did he have to investigate the secrets of other
sects? Well, that old scholar had saved his life…It was reasonable for him to investigate
what had happened to the old scholar.
"What have you found out?" Jing Jiu asked.
Liu Shisui said, "Mr. Yan was the student of the former House Master and had a high
Cultivation state and reputation. His position at the One-Cottage House was similar to
that of the Senior Master Sword Justice on Green Mountain. A few decades ago, he
suddenly announced that Bu Qiuxiao had a moral shortcoming, and requested Bu
Qiuxiao to give up the position of the house master. He didn't yield no matter how hard
the other scholars of the house persuaded him."
"Was this consistent with his temperament?" Jing Jiu pressed.
"Mr. Yan was famous for his stubbornness. He had a nickname at the One-Cottage
House: 'Mr. Stubborn'."
Liu Shisui thought that the old scholar still kept on doing nice things for others even
though he joined the Old Ones; so it was appropriate to call him "Mr. Stubborn".
"What was the outcome?" Jing Jiu prompted.
Liu Shisui said, "Bu Qiuxiao didn't give up the position of course, and he requested Mr.
Yan to denounce his wrongdoing in front of others. In the end…Mr. Yan fled with the
Pen of the Guarding City."
"Was he worried that he might be murdered in an attempt to silence him?" Jing Jiu
Liu Shisui said, "I've checked the daily logs of the house. It was not so easy for Bu
Qiuxiao to kill Mr. Yan at the time because this matter had drawn a great deal of
attention and discussion. And moreover, others would definitely suspect Bu Qiuxiao if
Mr. Yan was killed. So Mr. Yan should be safe at the One-Cottage House, and he
wouldn't have made such a choice."
Nobody would believe his accusation of Bu Qiuxiao now that the Old Scholar had fled
with the precious magic treasure of the One-Cottage House.
Jing Jiu could figure out what those scholars of the One-Cottage House had on their
mind at the time. "What happened next?" he prompted again.
Liu Shisui said, "Mr. Yan forced his way through the Thousand Mile Windy Corridor and
had his Sage's Heart damaged. As a result, he was severely wounded, and lost a great
deal of his Cultivation. For some unknown reason, he joined the Old Ones later."
Jing Jiu remarked, "You have indeed found out quite a bit of information."
Liu Shisui looked fairly honest, and in fact he was an honest person. Yet, he was also a
smart person. He had been with the Old Ones for many years and taught by Xiwang
Sun personally; so it was expected that he knew how to investigate a case without
being discovered. However, what puzzled Jing Jiu was that if Mr. Yan who betrayed the
One-Cottage House was a decent person, the house master Bu Qiuxiao should be a
hypocritical gentleman. Unfortunately, the current evidence was not enough to make
such a conclusion.
What secret did the Scholar Yan have on Bu Qiuxiao? He even suspected that Bu
Qiuxiao would definitely want to kill him if the secret was revealed. But, if the secret was
true, why hadn't the secret been leaked out in Chaotian after Mr. Yan hid in the Old
Ones for so many years, until he was killed by Xiwang Sun?
This was Liu Shisui's as well as Jing Jiu's suspicion.
After a pause, Jing Jiu suddenly asked, "How much can you remember the daily logs of
"I can only remember the logs of last one hundred years," Liu Shisui replied.
What the scholars of the One-Cottage House cultivated was the method of orthodox
energy mmm and what they nurtured was the Sage's Heart. As such, what they pursued
and did was not concealed from others. The daily logs of the house were always
available for the students of the One-Cottage House to read at any time, the only
exception being that they couldn't pass the information to outsiders.
The daily logs had recorded the daily happenings in details; and a great many events
had happened in the last hundred years. It was almost a miracle that Liu Shisui could
remember them all; but it seemed that Jing Jiu was still not very satisfied with his
"It's not that much; but tell me the logs of last one hundred years first."
Jing Jiu took down the Green Sky Mirror from the bookshelf.
Liu Shisui started by reciting the daily log one hundred years ago.
Jing Jiu didn't have the patience to listen to all the detailed daily logs, which were as
extensive as the ocean; he would make a judgment after having heard a few words, and
knocked the Green Sky Mirror lightly to signal for Liu Shisui to skip to a new log.
"Ninety seven years ago, the huts of the One-Cottage House were rebuilt. Three rolls of
ancient bamboo books were discovered beneath the pavilion."
"Ninety five year ago, the Empress Yuan was buried in the tomb. The house master led
three disciples to Zhaoge City, and copied the Song of Orthodox Energy as a gift for the
late Empress. The Immortal Bai of the Center Sect…"
"Eighty four years ago, the Tranquil Lake of the Windy Corridor had an overflow, and
the fertile fields in the east were flooded. The students of the House set up the
formation to blockade the overflowing water. The casualty was heavy; the total
Jing Jiu took a look at the sky through the window and realized that it would take days
to listen to the logs even if they touched upon each log briefly. "Tell me the log, starting
from ten years before the Scholar Yan fled," he said to Liu Shisui. "No, start with the log
three years before Bu Qiuxiao was appointed as the house master."
Liu Shisui thought about it for a while, and determined that it should be the log from fifty
four years ago, reciting, "The former House Master allocated the bamboo books to the
students in the hut. Bu Qiuxiao obtained ten pieces, much more than other students,
which roused some dissatisfaction among the other students."
Jing Jiu knocked the Green Sky Mirror once.
Liu Shisui's voice wore on in the study room.
The crisp sound burst out from the Green Sky Mirror once in a while, resembling an
"Forty nine years ago, Bu Qiuxiao became the House Master. He led over forty scholars
to the north, and drew amulets for the North Army for three years."
"Forty seven years ago, a mishap occurred at the Thousand Mile Windy Corridor. The
Grand Priest of the Underworld led the devil men sneak-attacking the area. Bu Qiuxiao
was wounded when trying to save some mortals. The devil blood was as black as black
ink by the Tranquil Lake."
"Forty five years ago, the Scholar Yan left the One-Cottage House with the Pen of the
"Forty years ago…"
"Stop. Go back to the log forty seven years ago."
Jing Jiu asked, "Did the daily log say where the inky devil blood came from?"
Liu Shisui shook his head and replied, "No. The log merely mentioned that the huge
demon with a long and thin neck could be spotted intermittently in the Tranquil Lake."
"Where was Bu Qiuxiao twenty seven years ago?"
"He was hosting the Plum Meeting in Zhaoge City."
"What about autumn that year?"
"After the Plum Meeting, he had traveled the world for twenty some days and then
returned to the One-Cottage House."
Jing Jiu didn't ask further questions. He gazed at the clean tea in his teacup while
caressing the Green Sky Mirror gently with his finger, lost in thought.
Liu Shisui was certain that his Young Master must have discovered some secrets from
the daily logs, feeling quite anxious.
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