Morning Lake was very quiet in the darkness of the night.
The only exception was that the cursing and vulgar words were emerging from Near-
The disciples of the Hanging-Bell Sect tried to stay as far away from the building as
possible. They didn't dare listen to what the Grandmaster was saying, as they were
accustomed to it.
She had been cursing someone ever since the former sect master had died.
The target of her curse was always her daughter-in-law.
"This is what it's like in my family."
Standing by the cliff's edge, Sese sighed while listening to the vulgar language.
He Zhan looked at her and said, "It'll get better."
"Thank you for coming," said Sese as she turned toward him.
He Zhan said, "It was a little late when I heard the news."
"Better late than never," Sese said with a faint smile.
"Under the circumstances, I can't leave."
Sese hugged him. She said softly while pressing her head against his chest, "Go back
to White Town. I'll wait here for you."
He Zhan agreed after some thought. He then took out a few pieces of paper and
handed them to her.
Sese thought of a possibility, a gleam showing in her eyes. "I'm a girl…I might be
unable to practice it?" she wondered.
"What are you talking about?!" He Zhan snapped helplessly. "This is the secret recipe
for barbecuing fish."
Hearing this answer, Sese's eyes turned brighter; she licked her lips a few time
He Zhan continued, "I forgot to write down two ingredients last time when I gave the
secret recipe to Tong Yan. This one must be a lot better."
He Zhan and Sese thought that Tong Yan was behind closed doors on Cloud-Dream
Mountain; so did many people. Few of them were aware that Tong Yan had left Cloud-
Dream Mountain, and even fewer knew he was on Green Mountain. There were only
three people and a dog in this world who knew that Tong Yan was hiding in the hermit
The night wind blowing in the faces was not cold, and the sound of pine waves was
audible. Jing Jiu, with a cat on his head, was gliding to the north among the mountains.
Soon, they arrived on the plain in the middle part of Chaotian.
The Center Sect hadn't sent anybody over until now, meaning that it was true that
Cloud-Dream Mountain was sealed off. It seemed that the Cultivation circle would be as
peaceful before the "spring rain" fell down.
If the Grandmaster couldn't live past this year, she wouldn't have chosen to carry out
her plan now.
"You said that she was afraid of many things; but why did she opt to give up in the end
after having done so much?"
This outcome was something Ada couldn't wrap his head around. If he were the
Grandmaster and near death, he would struggle with all his worth and leave this world
Jing Jiu called out the Sword of the Universe and sat on it. The sword flew up a few feet
away from the ground. The fields under the starlight were so close that it seemed as if
they could touch the ground by reaching their hands down.
"Those elders were all dead; and she lost control of the overall situation. If she tried to
suppress the opposition forcefully, the whole of the Hanging-Bell Sect would be
Looking at the green wheat under his feet, Jing Jiu couldn't understand why it hadn't
changed color yet since it was already the middle of summer.
He had read many poems about wheat and harvest, but he had no knowledge of how to
Ada didn't understand what he had just said, as he said, "If it's destroyed, just let it be.
Otherwise, she'd have to leave the sect to her daughter-in-law, the person she loathes
Jing Jiu reached down, picked up a piece of wheat, and looked at it closely with his
eyes. "She thinks she is a member of De family and the Hanging-Bell Sect belongs to
the De family; of course it would break her heart if it were destroyed," he said.
"The Grandmaster is worried that Sese will behave like herself after getting married, so
she doesn't want to pass the Hanging-Bell Sect to Sese. It's truly stupid."
Ada, crouching on Jing Jiu's head, reached out his right paw and scratched the wheat
slightly as he thought how everything would belong to the god of death in the end.
The flowers in summer would be replaced by the autumn leaves, and the green grass
would be rotten in the end; it was inevitable that it was to rain and mother was to re-
marry. There was no point in worrying so much.
However, since the Hanging-Bell Sect would belong to another family, why didn't the
Grandmaster destroy it before it happened?
Jing Jiu said, "She might have thought that the Cultivation partnership between Sese
and He Zhan was the best solution."
Ada didn't quite understand what he meant.
"Monks have many bastards," said Jing Jiu.
Ada meowed, as he thought it was true.
Jing Jiu went on, "Have you seen any bastard of monks bearing the same surname as
Ada meowed again, as he thought it was true that the monks didn't even have a
surname; so there was no way their bastard children could have their surnames.
"Hence, the son of Sese and He Zhan would most likely use De as his family name."
Jing Jiu added, "Now that she understands this, she has nothing to worry about or
Ada thought that troubles would ensue if Sese's mother remarried somebody and
produced a whole bunch of brothers for Sese.
Jing Jiu said, "Sese knows us. It has been proven that Green Mountain will ensure that
Sese will be the next sect master. So there is nothing Jing Shu needs to worry about."
The morning sun peeked over the horizon on the far end of the fields.
The Sword of the Universe flew up and arrived above the clouds. It traveled at a
leisurely speed, like common folks taking a stroll.
Two days later, Jing Jiu arrived in a town and went to a medical house, in which he
learned the latest news about the Hanging-Bell Sect.
The Woman Chen had regained control of the sect, and the Grandmaster was
recuperating in Near-Star Building due to her poor health.
She probably wouldn't have a chance to leave the building. Though she was not dead,
she was living a life that made it seem as if she were.
Gazing at Jing Jiu, Ada attempted to see an emotion of sentiment and reminiscence on
his face, but he didn't detect it. Ada couldn't help but ask by spiritual awareness, "Don't
you have any thought on the matter?"
Jing Jiu said, "Death is the worst result; getting old is the second worst."
Thinking of that hunched and wrinkled grandmaster, Ada meowed once after a moment
It's true; nobody wishes to die, nor does one want to get old. I myself am getting old, to
say nothing about those pitiful humans.
Looking at the reflected face of his on the surface of the water, he felt a bit sad and
thought his whiskers had even turned white.
Jing Jiu retorted, "Your whiskers are white in the first place."
This was a patch of wild fields.
A few streams were flowing slowly and quietly here. They flowed separately most of
time and crossed each other sometimes, acting like what was happening in human
There were many residential houses scattering in the fields. The sound of cicadas could
be heard everywhere in the villages during the middle of summer, giving off a tranquil
feel to it.
Standing under a tree, Jing Jiu suddenly remarked while looking at the distance, "It
looks like he won't come."
Hearing this, Ada had finally felt relieved. He ran around Jing Jiu's legs in a few hundred
laps, scattering some greenish leaves and debris into the air. He seemed to be in an
exceedingly cheerful mood.
Half a minute later, he was tired because of nonstop running, laying down on the ground
with his paws extending toward the sky, his belly exposed.
After some thought, Jing Jiu took out Cold Cicada and threw it to Ada's side.
Cicada was looking at the stars on the other side as he was suddenly brought back to
Chaotian. It didn't know what was happening, feeling bewildered. When it saw the
appearance of the Master White Ghost, it realized what Jing Jiu intended to do. It turned
its body upside down, with its limbs extending skyward and exposing its belly.
Jing Jiu took a look at the First Child Sword in his chest.
Liu Shisui had passed a few letters to him when he was at the Fruit Formation Temple
several years ago. And he had written some letters in return. He talked about the
reincarnations in his letters and touched on the topic of Buddhist methods.
Though the matters he mentioned in the letters seemed to have nothing to do with
Cultivation, Jing Jiu believed that he should be able to understand what Jing Jiu really
intended to say when reading between the lines based on his talent in Cultivation and
It must be the case that the other party decided to go to the West Ocean and obtain the
First Child Sword after reading his letters and comprehending the contents.
It was true that Jing Jiu knew his Big Brother was at the Fruit Formation Temple at the
The First Child Sword was in his hands now. If his Big Brother wished to be reborn as a
sword, he would come here.
One of the reasons Jing Jiu went to the Hanging-Bell Sect to kill people for Sese was to
draw his Big Brother out.
Liu Ci had let go of his Big Brother, but he couldn't let him live.
Likewise, the person his Big Brother loathed the most was him. As long as he had an
opportunity to do so, his Big Brother would not hesitate to kill him, not to mention that
Jing Jiu had the First Child Sword now.
Jing Jiu had stayed at the Hanging-Bell Sect for a few days, and spent some days on
the road. The Old Ones should have found him by now, and his Big Brother should have
arrived already no matter how far he was from here…However, his Big Brother was not
How would he solve his body problem without the aid of the First Child Sword?
Jing Jiu put away the First Child Sword and the cat and Cold Cicada. He tapped his
tiptoe on the edge of the field and reappeared several thousand feet away.
A minute later, he had passed through those serene streams, scattered villages,
nameless trees and greenish wheat fields, and then he saw the big city in the distance.
There was a hill a few miles behind Jing Jiu, with thick forest and irritating wild thorny
It was the mid-summer, but one didn't feel warm at the moment; but instead, it felt a bit
cold. The dews could be found on the leaves, and the wild grass was even covered with
a layer of frost.
Yuan Qijing, with his hands folded behind him, watched Jing Jiu walk into Zhaoge City.
He turned around and left in disappointment after realizing that his Master wouldn't
show up this time.
The wind and snow descended.
There was an ordinary town in the northwest of Chaotian. It felt like spring even though
it was the mid-summer, probably because it was close to the snowland.
The followers of the Windy-Broadsword Church stopped a horse-drawn carriage that
was intended to get out of the town.
The Cold Mountain was not far from the town. The Windy-Broadsword Church had been
purging the deviant practitioners in cooperation with the imperial court in the last two
years, which meant checks of all sorts became frequent and more thorough.
The followers of the Windy-Broadsword Church didn't find anything suspicious at first;
they smelled a strong medicine when pulling up the curtain of the carriage.
There was a small stove in the carriage, boiling the inky medicine in a pot; it looked and
felt quite pungent.
A young man lay on the soft bed in the carriage. His appearance was handsome, but
his face looked rather pale and feeble, though his smile was quite amiable.
A half-bald old man with a red nose was serving him. He looked like an old servant of
The followers of the Windy-Broadsword Church had seen the likes of the patients who
were eager to go to White Town and pray to the Buddha. They dropped the curtain,
sighing sympathetically and waving for them to pass through.
Along with the sound of coughing, the carriage passed through the gate of the town,
heading toward the barren land.
It was a remote area far from the populous middle plain. Yet the imperial court of the
Jing family had governed the area well; the official road on the barren land outside the
town was made of green stone slabs. It was still solid after it had been built more than a
hundred years ago; it was evidently helped by the Cultivation practitioners.
The wheels of the carriage gave off a squeaking sound when they trundled on the green
stone slabs. The carriage shook constantly, as the coughing inside it kept going
Looking at the pale-faced Yin San, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect
seemed worried; but his eyes also showed other complicated emotions.
He had finally won a bit trust from the Immortal; but the word "trust" was pointless for
someone like him. Moreover, the Immortal seemed very sick. If the Immortal didn't tell
him about how to evade the Sword Formation of Green Mountain before his death, what
should he do then? And…
"Immortal, I hope you'll live forever!" he said sincerely.
Hearing this, Yin San couldn't help but laugh out, but he started coughing violently
As he coughed, his body under the cloth would bulge a little and then lowered to its
original condition gradually; it looked quite eerie.
It didn't look like a real human body, but rather like a piece of wood that hadn't been
repaired as it aged.
Pushing open the window and looking at the barren land outside, Yin San said while
coughing, "Let's drink."
The fresh air strayed in the carriage from the barren land, dispersing the heavy odor of
the medicine; but another smell was still lingering in the carriage, and refused to
It was a smell of rotten wood.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect picked up the medicine pot on the
stove and put a wine pot back on it. He touched the wine pot with his hand and found it
became warm only after a short time.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect was better at warming the wine for
the Immortal than controlling the magnitude of fire in the stove.
The smell of wine emerged from the pot; it somehow had a smell of aniseeds.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect sniffed his red nose, as he thought
that this wine didn't taste so good since it smelled like the soup of pig legs.
The wine looked strange as well. It was quite greenish, rising and ebbing inside the cup
like what the oil would do.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect held the wine-cup with both of his
hands and brought it to Yin San.
Yin San took the wine-cup and brought it to his lips. He drank it slowly, as he
commented with narrowed eyes, "Good wine."
It was amazing that his coughing eased up immediately after having drunk this cup of
Seeing the curious expression on the face of the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious
Dark Sect, Yin San urged with a smile, "You should give it a try; it's pretty good."
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect poured a cup of it for himself after
some thought, and drank it after turning his body sideways; then he clicked his lips.
The alcohol couldn't harm him regardless of how strong it was, but the effect of
stimulation could still be felt, especially from this sort of oil-like wine. It was in fact so
strong that it felt like a ball of fire changing into water, making the drinkers feel a
sensation of warmth from the inside out. The wine was indeed excellent; it was why the
Immortal liked it so much.
"This is the strongest wine in the mortal world. Mortals usually drink it only after mixing it
with other liquids. Nobody dares to drink it raw, because they are worried that their
throats and stomachs might be damaged; but we can drink it with ease."
After drinking three more cups, Yin San said, "We can enjoy its flavor and meanwhile
don't have to worry about its potential hazard. This is one of the benefits of being a
After drinking one more cup, the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect set
down the wine cup.
Though this greenish strange wine tasted pretty good, a Cultivation practitioner in his
state had a strong willpower, so he could put down the cup if he wanted to.
The likes of the Immortal Taiping were truly rare.
"If the First Child Sword were sent to the Royal Palace of Zhaoge City, it would be
harder to get it back."
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect went on, "Why didn't we snatch it?"
After drinking the wine, Yin San's face was not as pale as before, with two reddish and
lovely flashes on his cheeks. "Yuan Qijing follows his principles closely and was
inflexible," he said. "But he does things meticulously, and is less likely to make any
mistakes. This is the very difference between him and Liu Ci. I don't want to take risks."
The carriage veered off the official road paved with the green stone slabs, and rolled
into the barren and wild fields.
A few days later, the horse-drawn carriage arrived in the deep part of the Cold Mountain
along with a dreadful piece of flute music.
A deep crack was visible on the surface of the barren land. The lava that erupted two
years ago had cooled down and condensed into all sorts of shapes.
This was the mark left behind in heaven and earth by the swing of Liu Ci's sword. It
should still be a famous site in Chaotian hundreds of years later.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect mused that he would have died for
sure if he were the one that had been slashed that day.
His line of sight followed the crack to look at a place thirty miles away. He fell silent for a
long time after he found the ruins in the Scorching Sun George.
Everything had dissipated along with the wind and rain; there was no more Mysterious
Dark Sect in this world.
Looking at the scene outside the window, Yin San put the bone flute back in his sleeve,
and said, "As long as we are still alive, the sect will be there."
It was unclear if he made the statement to the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious
Dark Sect in an effort to comfort him, or for himself.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect didn't say anything as he thought
of Su Ziye who was busy gathering those dispersed disciples of the Mysterious Dark
Sect and the Center Sect that had been staying behind the sealed-off mountains. He
helped Yin San get off the carriage.
A gust of wind whipped up on the barren land.
The Dark Phoenix flew over from somewhere, and landed atop the carriage.
The feather on his tail that was cut by Nan Qü had grown back. It looked a bit shorter
than before; so it hadn't fully grown yet, but the wound was obviously healed.
"Both of you can speak; so you two should have a good talk. We'll think of what to do if
you two can't reach an agreement."
Yin San continued while looking at the Dark Phoenix with a faint smile, "We only want
two scales from him; he should agree to the request."
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