The Bihu Peak's sword boat had remained at the West Ocean for many days, and because of Chen Youtian's prudent temperament, it was impossible for him to miss anything there; he had indeed found many magic treasures left by the West Ocean Sword Sect, though he couldn't find the First Child Sword at all, which made Tong Yan appear suspicious.
"I don't know how long you had hid on that island, nor do I know what method you had used to deceive even the Green Girl, but I know it's in your hands."
Jing Jiu went on, "Even though the Immortal Bai didn't investigate the matter right away, she would remember it sooner or later. Did you not intend to hand it over, opting instead to run away?"
This was a defaming statement, conjecture of a malicious sort.
Tong Yan pulled back his gaze and resumed playing chess with himself, saying nothing.
"That sword is mine, and has always been mine," said Jing Jiu.
Many, many years ago, the Immortal Daoyuan brought him to Green Mountain from Zhaoge City.
Some years later, the Immortal Daoyuan died because of Nan Qü's sneak attack. Before his death, he had slashed Nan Qü's Dao Tree, snatched his First Child Sword, and gave it to Jing Jiu.
Three hundred years ago, Jing Jiu gave the sword to the new emperor, who had just lost his father, to both comfort and congratulate him for his coronation.
What Jing Jiu said was true; the First Child Sword had always been his. Now that Nan Qü was dead, it should be returned to him. If the First Child Sword were still attached with the mark, he had no need to come and ask Tong Yan. However, back when Pei Baifa attempted to kill Xiwang Sun, the First Child Sword had been re-tempered, and the mark had disappeared.
Tong Yan could detect the determination in Jing Jiu's calm voice; he raised his head and asked, "What benefit do I get out of this?"
"You can pick and learn any of the secret methods of the nine peaks," said Jing Jiu.
Tong Yan said, "I'm cultivating the Dao method."
The best Dao methods were at the Center Sect, something the Green Mountain Sect couldn't deny.
Tong Yan continued, "…And since I'm one of the Green Mountain disciples now, shouldn't learning Green Mountain methods be my right?"
The current Haizhou City was quite deserted; few pedestrians could be spotted on the streets, and the hotpot restaurant where Yin San and the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect had dined was closed.
Though the battle between the Cultivation sects took place in the sky, a small fraction of its repercussion could cause a great change in the human world.
Sitting in the keep on the city wall, Chen Youtian took a case from a disciple, furrowing his brows.
There was a very large ocean pearl in the case, which must be extremely precious, and yet, he didn't understand why his sect paid so much attention to it and asked him to bring it back to Green Mountain personally.
The case was discovered by the disciples of Bihu Peak in the ruins of the West Ocean Sword Sect, and it was placed on the sword boat after being cataloged. It hadn't been taken out until now.
Chen Youtian stopped dwelling on the matter since he couldn't figure it out. He leapt up on his sword.
That ocean pearl didn't have to travel thousands of miles, nor did it need to be hidden in a fish's stomach and sent to Green Mountain by the Gu clan.
Several days later, the case containing the ocean pearl was brought back to Green Mountain, and was carried back to Shenmo Peak by Yuan Qü from Shangde Peak.
Sitting by the cliff's edge, Jing Jiu took over the case and opened it while being watched curiously by Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia.
Seeing the large ocean pearl that emitted a gloomy glow in the case and sensing the energy of heaven and earth in it, Ping Yongjia couldn't help but feel agitated. Looking at the amulet scripts embossed on the case, he remarked sentimentally, "It's fortunate that the case is attached with a formation; otherwise, the demons and deviant practitioners would have tried to snatch it when the energy of heaven and earth leaked out."
Yuan Qü shot him a mordant glance, as he claimed, "It was brought back by Senior Master Chen Youtian personally. Nobody would dare have such a thought."
The white cat shot a mordant glance Yuan Qü's way, thinking he knew nothing about this case.
Jing Jiu took out that ocean pearl and tossed it to the cat as a toy. He willed his left hand slightly, and the sword wills came out and dismantled the formation attached to the case.
The wooden case broke apart, exposing a flying sword hidden inside it.
Jing Jiu picked up the flying sword, sensing the desolate feel transmitted by the sword, saying, "Tong Yan is very skillful at setting up formations."
This case had been hidden in the treasure room on Shaoming Island and had evaded Yin San's perception; as such, the attached formation was not only good, but could be also considered excellent.
Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia realized what was going on by the time. Looking at the obviously extraordinary flying sword, the two of them were stunned, asking, "What is this sword?"
"The First Child Sword," replied Jing Jiu.
Hearing his answer, Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia were even more stunned.
The white cat set the ocean pearl in a crack at the cliff's edge and placed Cold Cicada on top of it.
The surface of the ocean pearl was very smooth; it was hard for Cold Cicada to stand on it the cicada sliding down off of it.
Every time it slid to the bottom of the pearl, the white cat would reach out his paw and scoop Cold Cicada back to the top of it.
"Whom are you going to give this sword to?" Zhao Layue asked.
She had used this flying sword to pierce through Luo Huainan's body back in Guiyun City; so she could remember it clearly.
As the white cat heard it, he had also spun his head around.
Cold Cicada fell down on the ground, its stomach facing upwards.
This was an answer everybody was curious to know.
The Thoughtless Sword was given to Zhao Layue.
The Lone Sword was with Liu Shisui, and it had shown itself to the public at the West Ocean.
The Sword of the Universe was kept for Gu Qing.
The cat didn't need a sword.
Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia were the only two left on Shenmo Peak without a famous sword.
They thought of a possibility, and eyed each other, an ecstatic emotion showing in their eyes.
Yet soon a "bucket of cold water" was poured over their heads.
"It's not for you two," said Jing Jiu.
Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia accepted this obediently, without feeling too disappointed.
Jing Jiu waved his hand to signal for them to disperse.
Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia talked to each other in low voices as they headed for the Daoist hall.
Sitting by the cliff's edge, Jing Jiu looked at the distant horizon, his feet swinging back and forth.
Since his legs were not long enough, his feet couldn't reach the ocean of clouds.
"At least your selection of disciples is much better than the Immortal Taiping; why are you still so troubled?"
The white cat comforted him by means of spiritual awareness.
Jing Jiu ignored the cat, still looking at the horizon quietly.
It was deathly quiet by the cliff's edge.
The quietness indicated depression.
Cold Cicada rubbed its limbs gingerly, making a faint noise; it tried to remind them that it was still in the state of lying on its back.
The cicada could of course turn itself around; but it wasn't sure if it should try and amuse Jing Jiu by exposing its belly, so it asked for permission.
The white cat turned it over with his paw, wondering what this little guy made such a fuss for since it was not a cat.
Everybody was aware that Jing Jiu was in a bad mood and why; they simply didn't know how to console him.
"Don't be so sad."
Looking at his earlobe, part of which had been cut by Nan Qü, the cat continued, "You have a pair of big windy ears anyway. It looks a lot better when it's smaller. You should cut a bit off the other ear, making them symmetrical."
Yet, the cat thought it was too hard so that he couldn't cut it for him, unless he would do it himself, or let Zhao Layue pull on it every day.
As the cat was thinking about it, Zhao Layue raised her hand and rubbed Jing Jiu's amputated earlobe gently, her distinctive black and white eyes full of anguish and devoid of usual nonchalance.
Her heartache was not about his earlobe, but something else.
Jing Jiu's face grew more amiable, probably because the rubbing on his earlobe was fairly agreeable.
He reached out his hand and rubbed the white cat's head.
The white cat felt quite comfy as well; he extended his paw to scoop Cold Cicada back to his bosom.
The gentle wind blew over the cliff. The waves formed in the ocean of clouds without being disturbed by Jing Jiu's feet.
"I want to stay behind closed doors," said Jing Jiu.
Zhao Layue knew why he wanted to do so, saying, "Me too."
Fang Jingtian had already stayed behind closed doors before the people on Shenmo Peak did the same.
He was in the upper state of the Broken Sea and had a chance at the Heaven Arrival State. If he stayed behind closed doors for the purpose of breaking through the Cultivation state, nobody knew when he would come out from behind closed doors.
The disciples of Xilai Peak were rather expectant; but those elders of Xilai Peak who knew the secret remained reticent.
Soon after, the Immortal Guangyuan announced that he would stay behind closed doors, so did the peak master of Yunxing and the swordsmen of various peaks. Guo Nanshan and others on Liangwang Peak also started staying behind closed doors. Even Nan Wang and those female disciples of Qingrong Peak were doing the same.
Everybody knew why.
The current Green Mountain Sect had no equal in the world; but a gloomy cloud was lurching in the sky.
The "spring rain" would fall down sooner or later.
Nan Wang stayed behind closed doors. Qingrong Peak didn't care about the summer thunder, the autumn wind and the winter snow anymore, let alone the spring rain. The Great Formation of Green Mountain had been activated; it was no difference from the seal-off of mountains.
The peaks were deathly quiet; but it was not like a graveyard because the people there were not dead. On the other hand, a silent force was accumulating its strength in the deep part of the mountains.
In the middle of summer two years later, Jing Jiu walked out of the manor cave.
According to the closed doors habit of Shenmo Peak, Zhao Layue, Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia should have also woken up by this time. But Jing Jiu planned to do something on his own, so he didn't disturb them.
He spread the sword awareness to check the situation on the peak. He found that the monkeys added some newborns and lost some old ones, and that the horse eating grass on the slope still looked quite vigorous.
The white cat was dozing off by the edge of the cliff, and Cold Cicada was snoozing on top of the cat's head. That large ocean pearl had probably rolled down to somewhere at the bottom of the cliff.
Yuan Qü was still attempting to break through the Free Travel State; Ping Yongjia was in a much lower state, but he had improved quite fast under the circumstances of lacking a sword, meaning his natural talent was indeed outstanding.
His sword awareness reached the deep part of the manor cave, finding that Zhao Layue had an abundance of spiritual energy and concentrated sword wills, and was on the verge of breaking through the upper state of the Free Travel; he was surprised at the discovery.
Back at the Fruit Formation Temple, she broke through the middle state of the Free Travel forcibly during her pursuit of the Immortal Taiping, which had only been a few years ago.
At the Green Mountain Sect right now, Zhuo Rusui was perhaps the only one who had a similar talent as hers.
Zhuo Rusui fought many battles in the Dao Competition, his sword will becoming sharper. And he was also on the verge of entering the same state.
It was unclear if Liu Shisui would be able to catch up to them after being cured at the One-Cottage House.
Thinking that these young people were so diligent and had improved so quickly, Jing Jiu felt that he should hurry up as well; so he decided to break through the state himself in a few days.
Yet, he had something to take care of before breaking through the state.
He went to Shangde Peak. Along with a band of natural light, Jing Jiu landed on the bottom of the well.
The Dead Dog opened his eyes and looked at him, his eyes revealing an appreciative expression.
He nodded to the dog, and walked toward the deep end of the Sword Jail.
He and the Snow Girl in the cell eyed each other for a while through the space of the passageway and the door covered with layers of sword wills.
Next, he went to the hermit peaks. He ascertained that Fang Jingtian was still behind closed doors and hadn't been released by the Dead Dog secretly, and that nothing was suspicious about him.
Yet, he found in surprise that Tong Yan, who was also behind closed doors, showed a sign of breaking through the state.
Without the proper magic pills and magic methods provided by Cloud-Dream Mountain while being at the Green Mountain Sect, the pace of Tong Yan's Cultivation hadn't slowed down a bit.
Jing Jiu left the hermit peaks, and backtracked all the way to where he started.
Yuan Qijing was waiting for him by the well.
"Have you recovered from your injury?" Jing Jiu inquired.
Yuan Qijing didn't pay attention to him.
A figure in the Heavenly Arrival State would be able to recover after staying behind closed doors for two years even though he was severely wounded by Nan Qü's sneak-attack, as long as his Dao Tree was intact.
His gaze fell on Jing Jiu as he asked, "Can you do it?"
"Of course," Jing Jiu said.
Yuan Qijing sneered once.
Jing Jiu knew that he was in a terrible mood.
Any Cultivation practitioner would feel frustrated when they witnessed the pace of Jing Jiu's Cultivation.
It was the same for someone like Yuan Qijing, though he had witnessed it twice.
Yet, Yuan Qijing failed to wrap his head around it, wondering how Jing Jiu could improve his Cultivation states even faster in this life than in his former life since Cultivation was not the same as pouring oil into a bottle, in which one could do it more efficiently over time after more practices.
Please go to https://www.readlightnovel.cc/The-Path-Toward-Heaven/
to read the latest chapters for free