Proposing marriage was generally a happy event, but it would become an upsetting one
if two families came to propose at the same time.
The guests who came without invitation were usually the unwelcomed ones, like State
Duke Lu, Zhuo Rusui and Gu Qing.
Under the circumstances, the ritual of marriage proposal had to be cancelled, and the
guests were asked to leave the Manor of Prime Minister. Even State Duke Shan and his
son had no choice but to leave the manor in humiliation.
Zhuo Rusui stated it clearly that there was no point in any of them staying around in the
manor now that the marriage was turned down by the One-Cottage House.
Do you guys still want to watch this for fun?
Is the Green Mountain Sect staging a freak show?
Do you have a death wish?
Yet, Bai Qianjun didn't leave the manor. No matter how badly Zhuo Rusui disparaged
him, he stayed put in the chair while focusing on his meditation; no one could do
anything about him.
As the youngest son of State Duke Lu and the youngest son-in-law of Prime Minister,
Lu Ming had no choice but to take the responsibility of pouring tea for the people
The sound of tea being poured into the cups was crisp and desolate, so it felt even
quieter in the study room.
Nobody dared make a sound throughout the Manor of Prime Minister; it was
enshrouded in a tense atmosphere.
Like Bai Qianjun, everybody else would very much like to know what Jing Jiu and Bu
Qiuxiao were talking about at the moment. They were waiting nervously for the outcome
of their conversation.
Gu Qing thanked Lu Ming after taking the teacup from him. Gu Qing walked to the
window with the teacup in his hand, and gazed off into the distance.
He had no idea where he should look at, because he didn't know where his Master had
invited the House Master of One-Cottage, Bu Qiuxiao, to for the conversation.
By now Gu Qing learned that his Master had had an appointment with Bu Qiuxiao, and
that meant that what he had prepared beforehand was redundant, regardless of how
clever those schemes were.
He didn't think what he had done was meaningless or a waste of time; on the contrary,
he felt relieved. But he was a bit worried about his Master's safety.
To change the minds of the scholars of the One-Cottage House was one of the most
difficult things in Chaotian.
How would his Master proceed with it?
Jing Jiu halted his steps after having passed through the forest by the lake and arriving
at the front of the old nunnery. Bu Qiuxiao caught up to him and stood by Jing Jiu's side.
If someone saw this scene, they would feel it odd, even incomprehensible. Though Bu
Qiuxiao's Cultivation state was not as high as Liu Ci, the Immortal Bai, the Immortal
Tan, Yuan Qijing, and the Young Zen Master, he enjoyed a very high status in the
Cultivation circle. Jing Jiu, as the personal disciple of the Immortal Jing Yang, might be
able to see Bu Qiuxiao when he went to the One-Cottage House and requested to meet
Bu Qiuxiao, but it was truly unfathomable that Bu Qiuxiao would come here in person to
meet Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu said, "Tian Jinren should be much older than you, yet the West Ocean Sword
Sect is a newly established one."
The old plum garden was the place where the first Plum Meeting took place; and the
West Ocean Sword Sect didn't even exist at that time. What Jing Jiu said had some
Bu Qiuxiao came to his side and demanded, "You used the Plum Meeting as a
comparison; do you really think this meeting of ours is so important?"
"The accord the Plum Meeting had reached that year determined the structure of the
human world," Jing Jiu said. "And what we are going to discuss will determine the
structure of the human world as well. There is no fundamental difference between the
The candidate for the position of the emperor would definitely determine the structure of
the human world, though it was not as urgent as it had been back then.
Bu Qiuxiao remained silent for a while before questioning, "Do you think you are
qualified to represent the Green Mountain?"
Normally, Jing Jiu wouldn't bother responding to such a silly and pointless question, as
he thought that Bu Qiuxiao shouldn't have come here in the first place if Bu didn't think
he was qualified to represent the Green Mountain.
But, Bu Qiuxiao was truly a decent person; he had contributed a great deal to the wars
against the Snowy Kingdom and the Underworld. The Green Mountain Sect had always
had a favorable view of him.
Bu Qiuxiao pulled out the Dragon-Tail Inkstone without hesitation when he faced the
Old Dragon during the turmoil of the Fiend Prison. He, holding the Dragon-Tail Inkstone,
looked almost like a semi Sage. Though he wasn't an equal of the Immortal Tan and the
Immortal Bai, he did it with no regard for his own safety, nor did he worry about the
feelings of the Center Sect. He put the interest of the human world before the alliance
between the One-Cottage House and the Center Sect.
Because of this event, Jing Jiu had an exceedingly favorable view of Bu Qiuxiao; so he
decided to talk to him patiently that day. "I'm the person who is mostly responsible for
the current political situation in Zhaoge City," Jing Jiu said. "You are certainly curious
about my relationship with the Emperor and what the Green Mountain Sect wishes to
Bu Qiuxiao had thought that Jing Jiu was to talk about Xi Yiyun becoming the teacher of
Jing Yao; but he didn't expect Jing Jiu to talk about something else.
The Emperor's decision to dispose of Jing Xin was originally Jing Jiu's suggestion.
It was because Jing Jiu met Jing Xin in the old plum garden and thought this son of the
Emperor's was an empty-headed one.
"I'm not going to tell you about the first of your curiosity, because it's too troublesome.
But I can talk to you about the other issue."
Jing Jiu continued, "The Green Mountain's request is simple and straightforward. Jing
Yao should be the next emperor, and Jing Xin should become a monk at the Fruit
Formation Temple, or die."
"Why?" Bu Qiuxiao asked with a small smile.
Jing Jiu replied, "I don't like Jing Xin; and you also know that he is not suitable for the
The Prince Jing Xin and those chancellors supporting him had all demonstrated their
foolishness and recklessness, no matter whether it was the assassination attempt on
Zhao Layue or the turmoil of the Fiend Prison.
"The stance of the One-Cottage House is crystal clear; Jing Yao is not fitting."
Bu Qiuxiao stared into Jing Jiu's eyes and added, "He is the son of a vixen."
"That python devil is still wreaking havoc in the Great Marsh," Jing Jiu claimed. "The Old
Dragon had done so many evil deeds in Zhaoge City; who had tried to stop him? And
the ill-tempered Unicorn and the Principal Guards of our sect…are all demons."
"It's inappropriate to compare the divine animals of ancient times to the devil animals,"
Bu Qiuxiao protested.
Jing Jiu said, "The so-called divine animals were demons to begin with. The difference
is that they have lived a long time and have a high Cultivation state. Even if we leave
these divine animals aside, we can still talk about the Young Zen Master."
"What about the Young Zen Master?" Bu Qiuxiao demanded with his brows furrowed.
Jing Jiu said, "His adopted father was a mountain demon; why didn't the Fruit Formation
Temple burn him to death?"
Bu Qiuxiao fell silent.
Jing Jiu came to the front of the nunnery, pushed open the gate and walked inside.
Tian Jinren had lived here a while back then. He had attempted to harm Jing Jiu with his
spiritual awareness, but was counterattacked. Yet, Tian Jinren disappeared and was
nowhere to be found after the White-Deer Institute was burned to the ground during the
battle of the Cloud Platform. Jing Jiu suddenly felt it kind of bizarre to visit this place
again after so many years.
He was aware of Guo Dong's scheme against the West Ocean Sword Sect and that
Tong Yan was still carrying out that plan. Did what they were doing have something to
do with this matter?
By the time Jing Jiu walked out of the old nunnery, he found that Bu Qiuxiao was still
standing on the same spot. "Even though what you said is sensible, I still can't approve
it," Bu Qiuxiao said.
Jing Jiu pressed, "Is it because of the principles of the One-Cottage House?"
"You can say it's the rules. The rules are the law and order and the foundation for the
humans to stand on in Chaotian," Bu Qiuxiao replied.
Jing Jiu said, "There is a difference between sticking to the principles and
Bu Qiuxiao said, "In fact, I have always wanted to know how people differentiate these
Jing Jiu stared at him and said, "If the Scholar Yan had revealed your wrongdoing back
then and you had stepped down from the position of the house master, this would be
called 'sticking to the principle'; but he didn't reveal it and fled with the Pen of the
Guarding City, and he still didn't think you were fitting for the position of the house
master, this should be called 'being stubborn'."
What Jing Jiu said had another implication; if the One-Cottage House had always stuck
to the principle, this matter should have a closure. The current situation was
unacceptable according to their principles.
Bu Qiuxiao remained silent for a while before saying, "You are the young senior master
on Green Mountain, and I'm actually the young senior master at the One-Cottage
House. So the Scholar Yan was my junior…"
Jing Jiu was not interested in listening to the stories of old times, as he said, "Those are
unimportant; what I'm interested in knowing is why he thought you were unqualified to
be the house master."
Looking at Jing Jiu, Bu Qiuxiao said evenly, "If I didn't know you had saved that person
from the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean, I might have killed you today."
"The One-Cottage House has never had any relationship with the Water-Moon Nunnery;
why would you spare me for that matter?"
Jing Jiu pressed on kept while staring into Bu Qiuxiao's eyes, "Is it because you had
done something regretful there, or did you leave some sort of cause-and-effect there?"
It became deathly quiet around the nunnery.
A gust of wind suddenly blew over from the lake.
The wind passed through the forest and then turned into countless invisible lines to
connect all the objects in the surroundings, including those rocks, grass, flowers, and
Everybody would always leave many marked lines in their lives, and some of those lines
would lead to a secret spot.
Staring into Jing Jiu's eyes, Bu Qiuxiao said in a calm and somber tone, "Many people
have guessed your true origin, and some even suspected that you were the disciple
experiencing the mortal world from the Fruit Formation Temple, until He Zhan appeared;
but I have never expected you to know the Two-Mind Connection of the Fruit Formation
Temple. But, you should know that the method has no effect on me, other than making
Jing Jiu had indeed employed the Two-Mind Connection; but he was not like his Big
Brother, because he couldn't totally master this secret method of the Fruit Formation
Temple. As such, he had no way to sense the thoughts of someone like Bu Qiuxiao; on
the other hand, his own thoughts would be sensed by Bu Qiuxiao. But it didn't matter
though; he intended to let Bu Qiuxiao know his intention anyway. If this was a "call" in
the Mahjong game, it could be considered "bluffing."
Judging by Bu Qiuxiao's reaction, Jing Jiu was certain that his assumption was
"What do you know then?" Bu Qiuxiao asked with a cold expression in his eyes.
Jing Jiu said, "I know He Zhan is your son."
Jing Jiu said it without a subtle suggestion, a foreword, a prologue, or a hidden intent.
And Jing Jiu didn't say anything that would gradually lead up to the conclusion.
His words were simple and straightforward; but the listeners could sense the intent of
determination and truthfulness.
The expression in Bu Qiuxiao's eyes grew colder, as if his eyes were made of cubes of
ice. The cubes soon broke into pieces as Bu Qiuxiao displayed a shocked countenance.
"You had an affair with that person at the nunnery, and you two had a son, He Zhan, as
a result. She failed to break through the state in the end because of this, and died. She
only left that green curtain sedan."
Jing Jiu went on, "The Scholar Yan found out about this affair and thought you were not
qualified to be the house master due to this moral shortcoming. Hence, you intended to
It was deathly quiet in the old plum garden. The wind coming from the lake continued
passing through the small forest, then turning into countless dense lines, which made
Bu Qiuxiao feel hard to breathe.
He couldn't understand how Jing Jiu knew this secret that he had been concealing for
Nobody knew about this.
Neither the Water-Moon Nunnery nor the One-Cottage House knew about it. He Zhan
didn't even know anything about it himself.
The Scholar Yan only knew the affair before he fled; but how come Jing Jiu knew He
Zhan was his son?
Bu Qiuxiao's right hand was trembling slightly, as if it would strike out at any moment.
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