It was unworthy of it.
What Jing Jiu wanted to convey was the act of Liu Ci standing in front of Yin San at the critical moment to block the thunder fires with his palm.
Even though Liu Ci was that "devil man", it was still unworthy of doing so, it was because a Cultivation practitioner shouldn't act in this way.
Back on the sword boat, Liu Ci and Mo Chi had mentioned that they couldn't restrain themselves as a member of Green Mountain; but Liu Ci didn't give this explanation to Jing Jiu.
It was because Liu Ci was aware that Jing Jiu wouldn't approve of it even if he could understand the behavior.
He was a few steps behind Yuan Qijing entering the manor cave because he spent a moment longer enjoying the view of the pine ocean on Shangde Peak, as a result, he became Yuan Qijing's young brother.
The Immortal Taiping wasn't upset about his late arrival; but instead, his Master appreciated his interest in the external objects. On the other hand, Jing Jiu was impassive about all the external objects.
Liu Ci's first sight of Jing Jiu was that he sat by the cliff's edge in a daze while looking at the ocean of clouds blankly.
Later, he found that Jing Jiu seemed to be dazed all the time, no matter whether he was by the cliff's edge, or in the manor cave, or by the Mahjong table, or facing the hotpot.
It was during a time when the Immortal Daoyuan and the Grandmaster had died, the position of sect master belonged to another peak, and Shangde Peak was under a tremendous pressure.
That young man seemed unable to sense the pressure. All he did was sit there in a daze.
Liu Ci thought at the time that his Young Senior Master might have become an imbecile due to excessive Cultivation.
Later, the Immortal Taiping took them to a restaurant and ate hotpot, and then they headed toward Mocheng Peak. He had witnessed in his own eyes that his Young Senior Master had killed a great many elders on the way to the peak. It wasn't by this time that he had realized that he was that imbecile in comparison. For a true Cultivation practitioner, they should be cultivating all the time, even if when they were in a daze.
By that time he realized that this Young Senior Master of his was a natural Cultivation practitioner, and that all the other practitioners should learn from him.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of them couldn't stay in such a state the entire time, including himself.
Yet, Liu Ci had found that Jing Jiu had changed a bit over the last few decades.
"Back when my Master promised to ascend with the rooster and the dog, he extracted a sliver of spiritual soul from that life board. But I'm sure that you must have a backup method; otherwise, you won't bring that small bamboo board with you all the time," Liu Ci said to Jing Jiu. "Why didn't you kill the Dark Phoenix when my Big Brother asked you to?" he demanded.
"The person I want to kill is your Master, not others. If Little Fourth doesn't attempt to kill me, I won't do anything to him."
Recalling the scene at the West Ocean that day, Jing Jiu continued with a nonchalant tone, "Yet, I didn't expect so many people to support him."
"All nine peaks of Green Mountain hail from Shangde Peak. He is our Master nevertheless. Even though they were young at the time, they could still remember some things."
Liu Ci sighed before he continued, "We had locked our Master in the Sword Jail; do you think how many of them approved of it"
Jing Jiu said after a pause, "Maybe, I'm that 'devil man' in their eyes."
"As I said earlier, the major issue you and my Master have is that you both have thought too much."
Liu Ci went on, "There are not that many 'devils' on Green Mountain! Mo Chi is not one, nor am I. If you insist on investigating further, you'll find that more and more people are the devils."
Jing Jiu recalled the conversation he had with Zhao Layue back on Shenmo Peak.
"Everybody had a devil in their heart; everyone looks like a devil man."
Though this statement wasn't exactly the same as what Liu Ci had just said; but the basic meaning was the same.
Liu Ci believed he was not a devil man, because he didn't have a devil in his heart. But, why did he release the Immortal Taiping from the Sword Jail?
This was the most important issue, and it was the answer Jing Jiu wished to find out most.
The starlight that was reflected off the Sword of the Universe shone onto the peak top, making the dark night look more desolate.
Liu Ci reached out his fingers to fiddle with the starlight, as he said, "Your ascension was a certainty at the time, and I had to consider the future of Green Mountain. Mine and my Big Brother's lifetime had just over a hundred years left. Who will be able to protect Green Mountain after our deaths? Even if Little Fourth and Guangyuan could break through the Heavenly Arrival State, could they replace us?"
Though a hundred years is a long time, but it's probably a mere moment for the Cultivation practitioners who stayed behind closed doors for a great many years at a time.
Jing Jiu didn't quite like the message conveyed in what Liu Ci said, so he called back the Sword of the Universe. As such, Liu Ci had no starlight to play with. "The Sword Formation of Green Mountain can protect itself."
Liu Ci brought back his fingers and said, "Like Nan Qü said today, Green Mountain couldn't afford to lose; once Green Mountain lost the battle, we would lose all the time. As far as Green Mountain is concerned, 'protecting itself' is tantamount to being defeated."
"I didn't hear what he said," Jing Jiu said.
Liu Ci was not in the mood to argue with him, as he continued, "The Green Mountain Sect has been dominating the Cultivation circle for too many years, and offended a great many people as a result. In addition, the disciples of Liangwang Peak have been too violent and brutal in the outside world."
Jing Jiu said, "I didn't agree to set up this so-called Liangwang Peak; it's senseless."
"Hence, I said nothing when you decided to bring the Lone Sword with you."
Liu Ci continued with a small smile, "But, I'm the sect master; unlike you, I had to consider what would happen after my death."
"So you released him," demanded Jing Jiu.
"That's right," said Liu Ci. "My Master has always thought the Green Mountain is his. He will certainly want to come back someday. As such, he won't allow Green Mountain to decline."
"Didn't you fear that he might take revenge on you?" pressed Jing Jiu.
Liu Ci shot a glance at him before saying, "We were the only three who had captured and locked him up. At the time, I thought that you would leave for sure and that I and my Big Brother would die sooner or later; so there was nothing to fear."
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu remarked, "It makes some sense."
The Immortal Taiping was a very capable and powerful figure. To say nothing of his helpers like the Old Ones, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect and Emperor Xiao, his personal prowess alone would be able to change the situation of Chaotian.
As long as he was alive, no mishap would happen to Green Mountain; at least no disaster would happen to Green Mountain with him guarding it quietly somewhere in the world.
The Immortal Taiping was like a mighty tiger crouching in the dark night.
What Liu Ci did was the same as releasing the tiger back into the mountain.
What he didn't expect was that that person had come back.
Jing Jiu had never done anything similar to asking a tiger for its hide, and always stayed as far off from the danger as possible. Even though Liu Ci's idea was sensible, he still couldn't approve what Liu Ci had done. "You think this way one time and think another way the next time," Jing Jiu said. "You have always acted in an indecisive manner, just like the Center Sect. Your disciple is doing better than you in this regard."
The disciple he referred to was of course Zhuo Rusui.
Liu Ci was somewhat displeased at by comment, not because Jing Jiu said he was inferior to his disciple, but because Jing Jiu likened him to the Center Sect.
Jing Jiu went on, "You were like this even at a younger age. I shouldn't have chosen you as the Sect Master back then."
"Do you wish to be the sect master," Liu Ci retorted calmly.
It was noiseless on the peak top.
The sword boat was clearly visible under the starlight.
A meowing could be heard somewhere in the distance, sounding like the cat was quite contented at the moment.
Hearing Liu Ci's sarcastic rhetoric, Jing Jiu was about to rebuff him offhandedly like he had done before, even if his rebuttal would hurt Liu Ci a little.
However, Jing Jiu remained silent tonight.
He, in fact, had remained silent a long time.
"Only the sect master can get hold of the sheath of the Inherited Heaven Sword. You should answer me after a careful consideration," Liu Ci said to Jing Jiu, smiling faintly.
The sword had already returned to the sheath. If Jing Jiu didn't want anything to happen to himself, he had to make sure that the sheath of the Inherited Heaven Sword would end up in the hands of someone whom he could trust completely.
Whom could he trust more than himself in this world?
He didn't expect that Liu Ci had the intention of forcing him to become the sect master of Green Mountain when Liu Ci invited him to return to the sheath.
Jing Jiu couldn't answer this question immediately for the first time. "I didn't expect myself to fall into your trap," he said to Liu Ci.
Liu Ci said, "My Master has been clever and astute all his life, but he has fallen into the trap set by two youngsters of the Center Sect this time."
Jing Jiu remarked, "These two have inherited Sanyue's idea, but they are cleverer than she is. My Big Brother has encountered his match this time."
Jing Jiu's statement seemed to be an ordinary one; in fact, it demonstrated that Jing Jiu had a very high opinion of Bai Zao and Tong Yan.
Yin San would have died on Shaoming Island if Liu Ci hadn't saved him today.
The Center Sect's plan was almost perfect. The Heavenly Punishment triggered by the Fairy Book could execute anyone in Chaotian.
Liu Ci didn't die instantly today because he had a sword, and he was at the peak of his Cultivation and mental state after he had slain Nan Qü.
Liu Ci had paid a dear price for the act.
Thinking of this, Jing Jiu showed a rarely seen emotional countenance.
Liu Ci felt rather moved by his emotional reaction, saying, "That was merely an accessory fairy book without the fairy awareness; so it's not too powerful."
"It's still freaking powerful enough!" Jing Jiu couldn't refrain himself from saying so.
Liu Ci felt even more moved by his concern; so he tried to comfort Jing Jiu by saying, "Rest assured, I'm not going to die tonight. I should be able to live for a few more years."
For a Cultivation practitioner in the Heavenly Arrival State who could usually live up to one thousand years, the period of a few years was the same as a month for mortals.
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu said again, "It's not worth it."
"You should be aware that I can at most live another couple of decades since I have no hope of ascending and my life is near its end."
Liu Ci continued with a faint smile, "If I could live forever, I wouldn't exchange my life for anything. Now, I use the lifetime of a few decades in exchange for a peace of mind; why not?"
Those courageous and benevolent men and evil villains in the world might all have the similar thought, Jing Jiu mused.
He then said, "The eternity can't be substantiated anyway."
Since Jing Jiu had always been preoccupied with ascension, why would he make such a remark? If it were anybody else hearing this, they wouldn't be able to understand him; but Liu Ci could.
It became quiet again on the peak top.
The starlight illuminated the sword boat and the night clouds.
Standing by the edge of the cliff, Jing Jiu and Liu Ci were gazing at this world quietly.
It was rather wonderful.
A long time had elapsed.
"Do you have anything you wish to do?" Liu Ci suddenly asked.
The two of them stood shoulder to shoulder, looking down at the world.
When they collaborated, there was no equal in the world.
They could do whatever they wished to.
"As you had said, I'm only interested in finding out that devil, and apart from Cultivation, nothing else."
Jing Jiu looked at Liu Ci and continued, "What about you? Do you have any unfinished business…or anything you wish to do?"
"I don't have anything special I wish to do."
Liu Ci went on with a small smile, "The life of a Cultivation practitioner is mostly uninteresting."
"We don't cultivate because it's interesting in the first place," Jing Jiu said. "Do farmers work the field because it's interesting? Do fishermen catch fish because it's interesting? Do pearl-collecting women take the risks of going to the bottom of the ocean because it's interesting?"
Liu Ci said helplessly, "I know you are in a bad mood right now. I've just expressed a bit of sentiment I felt, but why were you so agitated?"
Jing Jiu looked calm at the moment, but he had said so much by asking several rhetorical questions in a row, meaning he was not in a calm mood.
Jing Jiu chastised Liu Ci with raised brows, "What I did was simply express my feelings; why are you being so sensitive about it?"
Liu Ci said, "The examples you have listed are all things they have to do in order to earn a living, but we cultivate because we can and we have the Dao Heart. The difference is quite obvious."
Jing Jiu snapped, "Are internal struggles and fighting in the imperial court interesting? Is boiling tea interesting? Is painting interesting? Is playing chess interesting?"
He thought all of these activities were uninteresting, even though they were quite interesting in the eyes of others in the world.
It takes effort to play chess in order to determine who the winner is. In his mind, fighting with swords would be more effective in determining the final victory.
It was then that the Tong Yan's voice drifted over in the night sky.
"Playing chess is of course interesting; but the way you play it is indeed dreary."
Liu Ci and Jing Jiu knew that Tong Yan was approaching them by the time they began to discuss what they would wish to do.
Jing Jiu's last statement was intended for Tong Yan.
Calculation and playing chess were merely a method for achieving the Dao.
If a Cultivation practitioner was enthralled in any one of those activities because they were successful in the endeavor, the problem would ensue.
Tong Yan landed on the peak top, and bowed referentially to Liu Ci.
It was unclear why he had left the Cloud Boat of the Center Sect and hurried here on this dark night.
Jing Jiu shot him a glance, meaning to ask him how he knew they were here.
Tong Yan had stayed with Jing Jiu on the Cold Mountain and at the Three-Thousand Nunnery for a long time; so he had learned the skills possessed by Liu Shisui, Zhao Layue and Gu Qing, saying, "I asked Guo Nanshan."
Jing Jiu felt a bit surprised as he exclaimed, "It's incredible that Zhuo Rusui didn't kill you already!"
The person Tong Yan intended to kill in this scheme was the Immortal Taiping; but Liu Ci was the one who had been harmed instead.
Though it was a reflexive reaction that hundreds of flying swords of Green Mountain had headed toward Tong Yan and intended to slash him into a meat pie, it also revealed the attitude of Green Mountain toward him.
Even if the people of Green Mountain cooled down later after considering the wellbeing of the world and so forth, Zhuo Rusui would probably not care so much about it due to his short temper.
Tong Yan said, "Nanshan had persuaded him. Since I'm here to meet the Immortal Liu, as my life and death are in the hands of the Immortal."
"What do you want to see me for?" asked Liu Ci with a small smile.
"I heard what the Immortal said earlier that you had nothing you wanted to do; I wonder if you would like to snatch the Green Sky Mirror for Green Mountain," said Tong Yan.
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