482 It’s not Prudent and Don’t be a Good Person
The world would be in peace after killing Taiping (aka. Peace, the translation of his name in English).
This statement sounded rather funny, yet neither Liu Ci nor Yuan Qijing laughed.
It was because what Jing Jiu said was the common understanding of the world, even though the "world" referred mostly to those of high status.
What Jing Jiu intended to convey was crystal clear; the Green Mountain Sect had to regard the Immortal Taiping as its enemy and kill him, no matter how the Immortal Taiping thought of his own status on Green Mountain and how the confrontation with the West Ocean would play out.
However, this would be a very difficult feat to accomplish. The Great Grandmaster of the Foggy Island and the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean were both the best swordsmen in the human world, not to mention the Immortal Taiping and the Young Mysterious Dark Master, and those highly achieved hidden swordsmen of the Old Ones. Could Green Mountain Sect possibly defeat them?
"The more complicated the situation is, the simpler it will be to deal with it."
Jing Jiu went on, "Regardless of what schemes he has under his sleeves, all we need to do is empty our nest and go for it. As long as we can destroy them, there is nothing to worry about."
"Senior Master," Liu Ci said with a bitter smile, "the phrase 'empty the nest' has a negative connotation."
"We are not good people to begin with; a good person can't live a long life."
Jing Jiu glanced at Liu Ci and added, "Remember to bring the rooster and the cat when the time comes."
Hearing this, the Round Turtle who had been listening to the conversation of the three in secret let out the breath he had held.
Liu Ci said, "I have no problem bringing the White Ghost, but are you sure you want me to bring the Dark Phoenix?"
"His life board is in my hands," Jing Jiu said.
"What should they do if a powerful enemy sneak-attacked Green Mountain after all of us have left?"
Yuan Qijing's voice came out from the Three-Foot Sword again.
It was obvious that he was worried that those truly powerful swordsmen of the Center Sect and the Underworld would come to Green Mountain to cause trouble when Green Mountain "emptied its nest".
A similar event had happened three hundred years ago. The Underworld Master led a group of swordsmen sneaking into Green Mountain, but they were all killed by a swing of the Immortal Jing Yang's sword save for the Underworld Master. The problem right now was that Green Mountain didn't have someone like the Immortal Jing Yang to guard it. The Dead Dog was guarding the Sword Jail, and the Round Turtle was enjoying the sunlight quietly on Tianguang Peak; those regular disciples would suffer should an attack occur.
Jing Jiu looked as the Three-Foot Sword outside the cliff and said, "Don't worry. Let Little Fourth stay behind to watch our home base, and all the rest will leave Green Mountain to empty the nest."
Liu Ci uttered "hmm" to offer his consent.
Yuan Qijing sneered, softly.
Green Mountain would empty its nest to go to the West Ocean for the showdown; even if some powerful swordsmen snuck into Green Mountain, whom would they harm then? Was it Fang Jingtian?
As for those treasures in the peaks, the forbidding formations would protect them. If things got worse, the Dead Dog would come out to deal with it.
What they intended to do was simple and brutal, tantamount to turning Green Mountain into a huge sword to sweep Chaotian. Who could possibly resist it?
Liu Ci was aware that Jing Jiu's arrangement had another, deeper intention. "Let's do it," he said after some thought.
Yuan Qijing didn't offer his opinion, but asked, "What about Nan Qü?"
If the uncertain factor for the battle of the West Ocean was the attitude of the Immortal Taiping, then the most difficult task was to kill Nan Qü.
In all of Chaotian, the Great Grandmaster of the Foggy Island, Nan Qü, was the one with the highest status in terms of generations and Cultivation state.
If he had become the personal disciple of the Immortal Daoyuan, Jing Jiu and Yin San would have to call him "Senior Master".
Nan Qü had been a figure in the Heavenly Arrival State for hundreds of years. He was like a fairy swordsman. Though he was a lot older now, his sword work should have developed even more.
Liu Ci said, "I'm the sect master; so I'll deal with him."
"You don't even have a sword; how could you kill anybody?" Yuan Qijing remarked coldly.
Liu Ci was a figure with the highest status in Chaotian; no one could complain too much about his Cultivation state.
The one opportunity Yuan Qijing had over the years to do so was complaining about his lack of a sword.
The Sect Master of Green Mountain didn't even have a sword of his own…
Whenever Yuan Qijing used this fact to belittle him, Liu Ci couldn't give a response to him. Liu Ci sighed after shooting a glance at Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu thought that it was because Liu Ci hadn't cultivated enough if he couldn't beat Nan Qü without a sword, and that it had not so much to do with him.
Yet, Liu Ci's line of sight remained fixed on Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu felt the pressure from his gaze, and offered, "Should we ask the Snow Girl to help?"
"That little girl isn't the equal of Nan Qü even if she recovers from her injury," said Liu Ci.
Jing Jiu said to Liu Ci, "What I meant was that the little girl will collaborate with you."
Liu Ci hesitated before saying, "It might not be a prudent thing to do."
"Of course not!"
Yuan Qijing's voice was extremely chilly. "It's good that you two know she is only a little girl."
The sword work Green Mountain pursued was straightforwardness and honesty, which provided sufficient confidence to their swordsmen.
Liu Ci said nothing more as he gazed off at the distance.
Jing Jiu didn't care that much about the issue of her age; but he couldn't figure out a way to persuade the Snow Girl to help strike at their enemies yet.
The Snow Girl reminded him of the Green Sky Mirror; Jing Jiu said, "It seems that Tong Yan has plotted a scheme against the West Ocean; he should have done so a few years ago."
"What is those kids' plan?" Liu Ci inquired. "No matter what, they shouldn't mess up our campaign."
"I'm not sure," said Jing Jiu. "All I know is that it has something to do with Guo Dong."
Yuan Qijing commented dryly, "That senior master only knows how to kill people. She is probably inferior even to our Youngest Sister as far as the scheming is concerned."
Liu Ci uttered "hmm" as agreement.
Jing Jiu turned and strolled to the front of the stone monument. He lifted his head to take a glance at the sheath inserted in the monument, and reflected on something.
"You two think it over and decide what we should go about it."
Having said that, Jing Jiu patted on the shell of the Round Turtle, and called out the Sword of the Universe. Then he left by riding on the sword.
The desolate sword light shone on the top of Shenmo Peak, making the warmth of the spring weather a bit colder.
Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia were cultivating in the Daoist hall with their eyes closed, and the white cat was fondling the bell on his neck while crouching at the edge of the cliff.
Jing Jiu shot a glance at the cat and walked into the manor cave.
The sunlight shone down on the deep part of the manor cave where Zhao Layue sat with her legs crossed, the Thoughtless Sword hovering and rotating slowly over her head as it gave off a wonderful sensation.
Jing Jiu sat down by her.
Zhao Layue opened her eyes and found that Jing Jiu looked a bit tired. Feeling startled, she asked, "What has happened?"
Jing Jiu told her about what had happened in Zhaoge City and the letter.
"What do you think about it?" asked Zhao Layue.
Jing Jiu prompted, "About the matter of the West Ocean?"
"No," Zhao Layue stared at his eyes and said, "I'm talking about the enemy on Green Mountain."
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu said, "We should be able to find out who he is this time."
It had been thirty years since he had floated down that stream and returned to the human world.
Like Yuan Qijing, Jing Jiu had suspected Liu Ci in the beginning, and he had given Liu Ci many opportunities ever since…but, Liu Ci hadn't done anything, and he had been watching over Shenmo Peak over the years in secret. He had protected Jing Jiu during the Dao Competition and wounded the Young Mysterious Dark Master at the Fruit Formation Temple.
As a result, Liu Ci shouldn't be suspected anymore. Should Yuan Qijing be suspected then?
Shangde Peak was responsible for the Sword Jail, and it was Yuan Qijing who had killed Lei Poyun; as such, Yuan Qijing should be the primary suspect.
As Jing Jiu walked out from the manor cave, the formation was dismantled. He could hear the conversation between Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia coming in from the outside of the manor cave.
He asked Zhao Layue to take on Yuan Qü as her personal disciple back in the Inherited Sword Competition. Though it was an accord reached by him and Yuan Qijing, it was also a test.
Hearing Yuan Qü's voice, Jing Jiu fell silent.
No matter how powerful Nan Qü and Jian Xilai were or whether it was his Big Brother's scheme, he had nothing to worry about as long as all of Green Mountain were united.
As long as Green Mountain was united as a sword, they had no equal in the world.
What if there was a traitor among them? What if there was a fracture inside it even though this sword looked smooth and perfect on the outside?
The reason he accepted the suggestion his Big Brother proposed in the letter this time was to identify that traitor in addition to killing Nan Qü.
Yet, it seemed that Jing Jiu had never considered that the situation might be quite dicey, especially for himself, if one of them turned out to be the traitor, regardless of whether it was Liu Ci or Yuan Qijing and even though all the swordsmen of Green Mountain were engaged in the battle.
Zhao Layue thought of it for him. "It's too dangerous. We should leave here," she said.
It took a great deal of determination to leave Green Mountain.
Jing Jiu said, "If they wanted to kill me, I would have been dead a long time ago. The fact that I'm still alive indicates that they don't have any intention of killing me, even if one of them is the traitor."
Zhao Layue offered, "Not really. This only proves that the relationship between the two of them is truly poor. They couldn't do anything to you because they have been keeping a tab on each other."
The regular disciples and even the caretakers of Green Mountain were fully aware that the Immortal Sect Master, Liu Ci, had a tense relationship with the Sword Justice, Yuan Qijing.
This was actually open knowledge in the Cultivation circle of Chaotian.
The reason for it was simple; Yuan Qijing was the Big Brother, but the position of the sect master was procured by Liu Ci. Yuan Qijing was not convinced as a result.
In the last three hundred years, Tianguang Peak had never stopped expanding their forces, and almost turned Liangwang Peak into their vassal peak. They had achieved this by relying on the power of the Immortal Sect Master. Shangde Peak, on the other hand, relied on the sect rules and the status of Yuan Qijing to get by.
"In fact, both of them became the personal disciples of my Big Brother on the same day. Liu Ci ended up being the young brother only because he spent a bit more time enjoying the view of pine trees on Shangde Peak and entered the manor cave a few steps behind Yuan Qijing."
Jing Jiu continued, "Even though Liu Ci had never said anything about it, he must have his own opinion on it. Still, Liu Ci broke through the Heavenly Arrival State much earlier than Yuan Qijing."
"Did the Immortal Taiping choose Liu Ci because of this?" Zhao Layue asked.
"No," Jing Jiu replied. "He was imprisoned in the Sword Jail at the time. It was my choice."
Zhao Layue was astounded, as she demanded, "Did you choose him based on the level of Cultivation state?"
"That's right," said Jing Jiu. "Besides, Yuan Qijing didn't like me. Of course I would choose Liu Ci."
Zhao Layue was speechless. "It was probably not a very prudent choice," she offered after a long pause.
Jing Jiu said while staring at her, "Don't try to be a good person. It's because this world is too heavy for you to carry. Someone as strong as Cao Yuan can't even do it."
When did his Big Brother realize that this world was too heavy for him to carry?
Even if Nan Qü was killed and the West Ocean Sword Sect was eradicated, what benefit would his Big Brother get from all this? Was it the First Child Sword?
While thinking of these issues, Jing Jiu looked at his right hand. Then, he took out the Green Sky Mirror and started grinding the sword against it silently. His grinding movements were very slow, one stroke at a time.
Seeing this, Zhao Layue suddenly felt sorry for him, though she didn't even know why.