The Immortal Taiping had left.
The atmosphere in the air over the West Ocean Islands became tenser.
The Cultivation practitioners of various sects stared at the elders and disciples of the Green Mountain Sect, their eyes full of anger and shock.
The elders and disciples of the Green Mountain Sect were staring at the Cloud Boat of the Center Sect; their ferocious gazes were fixed on Tong Yan.
Jing Jiu was looking at Tong Yan as well.
Among the dozen sword boats of Green Mountain and close to a thousand swordsmen of Green Mountain, Tong Yan sensed Jing Jiu's gaze. He was taken aback slightly at first, and then nodded to Jing Jiu.
"Tong Yan pretended to betray his sect, and had been humiliated for many years. He had eventually won the trust from Jian Xilai, and was able to come to the deep part of the West Ocean. He found the evidence of the Immortal Taiping collaborating with the West Ocean Sword Sect. We were determined to get rid of that big demon at the expense of one Fairy Book. Yet your Green Mountain Sect didn't appreciate our efforts, instead drawing your flying swords to confront us; why?"
Standing at the bow of the boat, the Immortal Bai continued expressionlessly while looking at Liu Ci, "I'd like to ask you this question: Why did you stand before that big demon to protect him earlier? And you, you must be Elder Mo Chi of Tianguang Peak. Why did you and the Immortal Guangyuan intercept the swordsmen of the orthodox sects pursuing Taiping? I'd like to get an explanation from the Green Mountain Sect."
The ocean waves pushed the broken ice on the surface of the ocean back to the icy layer of the ocean. Apart from this noise, it was deathly quiet in heaven and earth; the tense atmosphere made the people present feel hard to breathe.
Were the two leaders of the orthodox Cultivation sects going to have a real confrontation?
In order to wipe out the West Ocean Sword Sect in one battle, the Immortal Liu Ci had almost moved the whole Green Mountain out; but the Center Sect had only sent out one Cloud Boat, and they didn't have any truly powerful swordsman besides the Immortal Bai, and only the young disciples were on their boat. The Green Mountain Sect could win the fight easily even though Yuan Qijing was severely wounded after being sneak-attacked by Nan Qü and the Dark Phoenix had deserted.
However, the Green Mountain Sect and the Center Sect were not the only ones at the West Ocean. There were dozens of other orthodox Cultivation sects, like the One-Cottage House, the Fruit Formation Temple, the Kunlun Sect, the Great Marsh, the Hanging-Bell Sect, and others. If the fight broke out between the Green Mountain Sect and the Center Sect, whom would they support?
The One-Cottage House had always been the ally of the Center Sect. Even though they had maintained a neutral position unexpectedly a few days ago in the dispute about a marriage proposal in Zhaoge City, it was evident that they would be unlikely to maintain such a position today. Though the Fruit Formation Temple and the Green Mountain Sect had become closer in their relationship, they would probably not support Green Mountain because the Young Zen Master hated the Immortal Taiping the most.
As such, the Immortal Taiping was the key of all the problems. When the matter was about this evil man who had caused a great deal of turbulence in the human world and deaths of millions of people, the allies of the Green Mountain Sect like the Great Marsh and the Hanging-Bell Sect had no choice but to remain silent, to say nothing of other sects.
"Everybody in the world should kill a figure like my Master. What your sect did is not improper, and I won't blame the little friend, Tong Yan."
Liu Ci's voice went on, "As for the explanation the Immortal Bai demanded, it's quite simple…No matter how much my Master deserves his death, I'm not wrong to save him."
Upon hearing this, the Immortal Bai raised her eyebrows slightly.
Before she could speak, Liu Ci added nonchalantly, "However, in so doing, I'm the one who deserves death."
The Immortal Bai said sharply, "In your view, the Immortal Guangyuan and Elder Mo Chi and other elders are blameless?"
Liu Ci looked at those who had helped his Master escape…The Immortal Guangyuan was expressionless; Elder Mo Chi looked a bit mortified…He suddenly laughed out loud.
"I can understand why they did it. My Master was a former Sect Master of Green Mountain no matter what. In their minds, Green Mountain can punish him, but you people cannot."
Before the Immortal Bai could speak again, Liu Ci added, "Let's end the affair for today. If some people think our Green Mountain is in the wrong, they are welcome to come to Green Mountain to demand justice." Then, he waved his hand dismissively, showing a tired countenance.
Having said that, Liu Ci returned to the largest sword boat, saying nonchalantly, "Let's go."
The sword boat turned around slowly, heading toward the east.
The other dozen sword boats followed closely behind, departing the West Ocean.
The sword boat of Bihu Peak was the only one remaining. Chen Youtian would take care of the aftermath of the West Ocean Sword Sect on behalf of the Green Mountain Sect.
Seeing this, the Cultivation practitioners of various sects were shocked speechless, eying each other, as they wondered why these people of Green Mountain were allowed to leave like this. Everybody saw Liu Ci block the heavenly thunders for the Immortal Taiping, the immortal Guangyuan intercept Bu Qiuxiao, and Elder Mo Chi and others intercept the monks of the Fruit Formation Temple. They had witnessed so much…But how could they just let them leave?
Bu Qiuxiao displayed a terrible countenance; but he didn't make a move.
The monks of the Fruit Formation Temple prayed with their palms pressing together soundlessly; they didn't take any action.
Neither did the Immortal Bai.
The ocean wind shoved the floating ice and the sword boats forward, heading to their destinations.
The Immortal Taiping was a big trouble in Chaotian and must be killed; whoever sided with him should be killed by all in the world.
Even though the Green Mountain Sect had saved his life back then, they had promised to lock him up in the Sword Jail forever.
They had never dared let him escape like what they had done today.
If this had happened before this event, or even a while ago, Bu Qiuxiao would strike them; so would the Fruit Formation Temple and the Immortal Bai.
Yet, they hadn't struck this time; and they hadn't even moved their fingers.
There was only one reason for this.
That sword light was still in the eyes of their minds.
In the sword boat of Green Mountain.
Mo Chi led a few of his young brothers kneeling before the Immortal Liu Ci.
He hung his head low, and his trembling voice was full of regret and guilt, "I…I…couldn't…restrain…myself."
Looking at the twilight in the sky, Liu Ci couldn't help but laugh out, as he said, "Young Brother, I've done the same. I didn't restrain myself at the time."
It was then that Mo Chi remembered that his Big Brother, Sect Master, had done the most to let his Master escape. He became baffled, wondering what had happened to them.
Liu Ci sighed, "If we could restrain ourselves, Green Mountain wouldn't be the same Green Mountain anymore."
Jing Jiu looked at the sword boat in the very front.
He couldn't see Liu Ci in inside the cabin.
Yet he could imagine that Liu Ci was still smiling faintly in the cabin and occasionally sighing.
Jing Jiu knew that Liu Ci was not as carefree as he appeared.
He had witnessed true heavenly punishment.
And he believed that the thunder fires brought down by the Fairy Book were that heavenly punishment.
Liu Ci had had his sword returned today, and was at the peak of his Cultivation state; he was undoubtedly the strongest swordsman in Chaotian now, though that itself was the heavenly punishment.
The battle of the West Ocean had been proceeding as expected until that fairy light shot up from Shaoming Island and landed in the dark clouds.
Jing Jiu had to admit that the Center Sect had plotted it well. Even his Big Brother didn't expected to see Tong Yan there.
Yet, what he hadn't expected was for Liu Ci to stand in front of his Big Brother.
More importantly, following Liu Ci, the Immortal Guangyuan, Mo Chi and others had also come out to help. It was evident that the rift in the Green Mountain Sect had revealed itself.
Where would this rift that had been suppressed by him, Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing for three hundred years lead Green Mountain in the end?
Nan Qü had said to Liu Ci before the sword fight: "The decline of Green Mountain starts on this very day."
Jing Jiu was unsure whether it was true, but he had had a similar sentiment at the time, though it wasn't because he was worried that Liu Ci might lose to Nan Qü; it was for another reason.
The most powerful Cultivation sect in the world could only be destroyed by internal conflicts.
Thinking of this, he drew back his line of sight and looked at the Cloud Boat of the Center Sect.
The Sword Boat and the Cloud Boat were brushing past each other at a distance of a few miles.
He saw a young woman in white clothing on the Cloud Boat; she stood in the midst of the crowd, and was not so noticeable.
The ocean wind ruffled her hair, making her look even feebler.
Bai Zao saw Jing Jiu, feeling a bit surprised.
She wondered when he had come over since he was nowhere to be found earlier.
She flashed a smile at Jing Jiu from a few miles away. Her smiling face was elegant but also quite warm, resembling a white gardenia flower.
Jing Jiu looked at her, but didn't say anything.
A few years ago, when he was asleep at the Fruit Formation Temple, Tong Yan went there to ask for his help with the Green Sky Mirror on his back.
He learned more details after he woke up.
Tong Yan was on his way to Green Mountain day and night after he had left the Cloud-Dream Mountain. He received a letter from Bai Zao midway and learned that Jing Jiu was at the Fruit Formation Temple; as such, he changed his course.
However, the Immortal Bai would be certainly informed after the Green Sky Mirror was discovered to be stolen. Tong Yan was in a hurry to flee; so he had no time to make any arrangement with Bai Zao.
He was traveling day and night.
But, how did Bai Zao deliver that letter to him?
Tong Yan heard the help request from the Green Girl in the manor cave left by Luo Huainan back then.
He started digging the tunnel without hesitation. It took him several years to dig all the way to the deep end of the earth source and arrive before the Green Sky Mirror.
The Green Sky Mirror was swaddled heavily with the ice. The Green Girl came out from it. She was weak and dim, and on the brink of vanishing at any moment; but she asked Tong Yan in excitement whether he came down to rescue her.
Tong Yan replied, "No." The reason he had dug the tunnel for several years was because he wished to find out what had happened and then make up his mind about what to do.
The black and white oppositions on the chessboard were not merely important for the players; they manifested the basic principle of the game.
The Green Girl told him about her realization of the potential she had and the punishment the Immortal Bai imposed on her.
Tong Yan thought that his Master was in the wrong. He employed the magic method to melt the ice and take the Green Sky Mirror out.
As he was about to flee with the Green Sky Mirror, he was trapped in a patch of fog, which is where he met the Immortal Bai.
The Green Sky Mirror was a treasure of the Heavenly State. Even if the Unicorn was not around, the Center Sect would not allow such an incident to happen.
Tong Yan knelt before the Immortal Bai, waiting for his death.
The Green Sky Mirror was covered with snow and frost; the Green Girl could dissolve at any moment.
Bai Zao hurried over. She told a story about the West Ocean, while kneeling on the ground, pleading with her mother to give her Big Brother a chance to vindicate himself of his crime.
This was a good story; but it failed to move the Immortal Bai. It was because Tong Yan's intention of killing the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean was originally Guo Dong's idea, something which had nothing to do with the Center Sect.
And the Center Sect needed the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean to hold back the Green Mountain Sect.
Tong Yan told her a story. He had heard the beginning of the story from Su Ziye, but he made up the end part of the story.
Having listened to the story, the Immortal Bai was convinced and agreed to their plan. And she also gave the only remaining Seal of Ten-Thousand Miles of the Center Sect to Tong Yan.
This magic treasure could save Tong Yan's life at a critical moment; but at the same time, it was a forbidding formation. The Center Sect would know at any moment where he was; so he had no way to escape.
Having heard what her mother said, Bai Zao showed an unchanged expression; but she felt a bit chilly in her heart.
She brought two Seals of Ten-Thousand Miles with her back when she participated in the Cultivation tournament. Luo Huainan used one, and the other one had been with her the entire time.
This meant that her parents knew where she was during the time when she and Jing Jiu were trapped in the snowland.
The Immortal Bai had left, as if she had never been there.
The Green Girl woke up again, unaware of what had happened. She was on the verge of dissolving; so she told Tong Yan that Jing Jiu could help her.
Though the Center Sect knew that Jing Jiu was at the Fruit Formation Temple, Tong Yan shouldn't have known anything about it since he had been digging the tunnel for the last five years.
In order for the story to sound more believable without any evident holes in the story, Tong Yan found an excuse, which was that Bai Zao had written a letter to him.
Su Ziye told Yin San about Tian Jinren's manor cave; then he went to the Center Sect, and met Bai Zao through that Lotus Seed of a thousand years. He and the Center Sect had plotted everything together.
The Godly Swordsman of West Ocean had been waiting for the arrival of Yin San at the West Ocean; he agreed to collaborate with the Center Sect to get rid of Yin San.
Tong Yan took the Green Sky Mirror to the Cold Mountain, and found the King of Fire Carps under the ground.
The spiritual awareness of the King of Fire Carp entered the Illusionary Realm of the Green Sky Mirror. As such, a fish in the well conversed with the eldest son of Grand Scholar Zhang.
But, nobody knew that a Fairy Book of the Center Sect had also entered the Illusionary Realm along with the spiritual awareness of the carp.
When being assaulted by the Sun Banner controlled by Wang Xiaoming, Tong Yan had deliberated whether he should use the Seal of Ten-Thousand Miles. He touched the seal in his sleeve and finally decided not to use it.
In the end, he won the gamble.
But, the Green Sky Mirror was taken by Jing Jiu.
He remained silent for many days while facing the lake at the Three-Thousand Nunnery outside Dayuan City.
Jing Jiu had the Green Sky Mirror sent back to him later.
In the end, Tong Yan went to the West Ocean with the Green Sky Mirror. He was locked on Shaoming Island. Then, he dug a tunnel and entered that secret room, where he had been waiting again in silence.
Finally, the door of the secret room was opened that day.
The Immortal Taiping walked in.
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