Zhao Layue was startled, and reached out her palm.
Flapping her wings, the Green Girl landed on her palm, saying, "How are you, Little Layue! Long time no see."
Having said this, she changed back to human form.
She was still as small as before, and could dance agilely on Zhao Layue's palm. But her spiritual body became more tangible now, meaning she had progressed in that aspect.
Looking at Jing Jiu, Zhao Layue asked, "How come she is in the sheath?"
The Green Girl was the true spirit of the heavenly state, and she would occupy a certain space after becoming a tangible body; but how could she hide in a sheath?
It was evident that the sheath of the Inherited Heaven Sword was different from the Green Sky Mirror.
"This sheath can contain all," said Jing Jiu.
As Zhao Layue wondered how a magic treasure, regardless of how high its state was, could contain all the objects, she suddenly understood what he meant after recalling the name of the sword.
Yet, she asked skeptically, "Something that can contain everything means that it can also contain anything; isn't it equal to the Hidden Heaven?"
"They are similar, but not the same thing."
As he spoke, Jing Jiu put away the sheath into that world. Then he felt completely relieved.
During the three years that was gone from Liu Ci left Chaotian, Jing Jiu looked calm, but he was actually quite nervous. If the sheath ended up in somebody else's hands, what should he do?
The Green Girl was watching Jing Jiu the entire time. As she saw the absence of the sheath of the Inherited Heaven Sword, the corners of her mouth curled up, flashing a strange smile. "The Immortal was right; you're afraid of death," she said.
Jing Jiu was indeed afraid of death, and he didn't feel any shame about it.
On the other hand, he didn't understand why a Cultivation practitioner should feel shameful about fearing death.
Yet, there was nothing to explain about this sort of thing.
Zhao Layue could tell that there existed a grudge between Jing Jiu and the Green Girl. She didn't want them to start an argument, so she changed the subject: "Where did you go with the Immortal?"
The Green Girl said, "We went to Penglai Island first and found the rumored grandmaster of the godly boats; we bought a boat that was faster than the flying swords."
"That boat is not as fast as the sword…I told him to bring the sword with him," said Jing Jiu.
The Green Girl ignored him, and continued telling Zhao Layue, "That boat was really fast. It only took a few days for us to arrive on the Foggy Island…"
Jing Jiu interrupted, "No, it's not fast. And he didn't bring money with him when he left; so that boat should be stolen."
The Green Girl couldn't stand it anymore, and uttered "ah".
Zhao Layue also felt Jing Jiu annoying, and thought his behavior was a bit strange today. She signaled for the Green Girl to continue.
Liu Ci led the Green Girl to the Foggy Island. After finding out that they couldn't dismantle its formation, they went to the Huge Whirlpool and enjoyed the scenery there for a few days.
At last, it took them a long time to arrive at the Alien Land on the other side of the ocean.
"A great many spirits live on the other side of the ocean. They look wonderful and kind of like me, with two transparent wings."
The Green Girl told Zhao Layue gleefully, "If I didn't know where I came from, I would think they were my kind."
"Those spirits are too feeble and sensitive, really troublesome," said Jing Jiu.
The Green Girl glared at him before continuing, "However…those spirits are indeed troublesome. They thought we were the bad guys, and didn't believe us no matter how we explained to them. Fortunately, a huge giant…and I mean, REALLY huge…like a mountain…woke up and helped us out."
"He's my friend," said Jing Jiu.
The Green Girl felt quite annoyed, so did Zhao Layue, thinking they all knew this and there was no point in him interrupting the story.
After bidding farewell to the decent Giant, who could only say "ajia" by which he could express endless intentions, Liu Ci led the Green Girl toward the deeper part of the Alien Land.
There they saw the rivers that were dirtier than the Muddy River, the palaces that were more magnificent than the Scholar Palace of the Qi State in the Green Sky Mirror, and the cold plains that were colder and more barren than the Cold Mountain.
They met the wild animals with a single horn, the flying horses, the vicious black dragons, the muddy monsters, and seventeen human kingdoms and one empire of spirits.
They witnessed many beautiful things and ugly things, as well as noble things and disgraceful things.
What they had seen was no different from what Jing Jiu saw back then.
The Alien Land was not so different from Chaotian.
"Have you encountered some troubles?" Zhao Layue asked curiously.
"Of course we have," the Green Girl said. "But the Immortal killed them all."
Liu Ci had killed so many of Green Mountain's enemies before he left Chaotian; it was imaginable that he wouldn't wish to be bullied in the Alien Land.
"If he brought the sword with him, it would be much easier to do those killings," Jing Jiu interrupted.
He had been to that place, and knew that there were quite a few swordsmen there, and even some like his friend Giant, though the overall strength of the swordsmen there was not as strong as those in Chaotian. So there was nothing to worry about there.
The Green Girl sneered once before she continued, "It was only a few days ago that he thought the time was almost up, so he sent me back."
It was the method of sword traveling.
Back when Jing Jiu was still in a low Cultivation state, he had employed the sword traveling to inform his friend, the Giant, through the Thoughtless Sword.
Jing Jiu asked, "Have you two only stayed on the West-Wind Land for three years?"
"There are other lands?" the Green Girl prompted with wide opened eyes.
Jing Jiu said, "They are smaller than the West-Wind Land; some of them are merely an island."
The Green Girl remarked regretfully, "If we knew there were other lands, we should have gone there and taken a look."
Jing Jiu said, "He was unwilling to bring the sword with him. He drifted so slowly. Of course he couldn't go to more places."
The Green Girl couldn't stand him any longer. She came before him while flapping her wings, yelling, "You have an issue with swords, eh?!"
Jing Jiu stopped saying anything.
Zhao Layue had no idea what was wrong with Jing Jiu today. Later, she realized…his intention was to slow the Green Girl down by interrupting her constantly.
It was nonetheless the last story of Liu Ci.
Soon, the Green Girl also realized it.
Liu Ci had already left this world.
After the traveling.
And after the spring rain.
It grew quiet in the manor cave.
The three of them fell silent for a long time.
"Okay." Jing Jiu asked the Green Girl, "Where is the Green Sky Mirror?"
The Green Girl came back from her emotion of sadness instantly; she demanded while staring at Jing Jiu, "What do you intend to do? It's mine."
Jing Jiu said, "Liu Ci and I stole the Green Sky Mirror from Cloud-Dream Mountain, and it was suggested by Tong Yan. He promised to give it to me."
By now the Green Girl realized that she was given to Green Mountain by Tong Yan. Feeling extremely frustrated, she exclaimed, "Why do you chess players have such evil hearts?"
She had thought of this statement dozens of times and also said it many times over the years. Jing Jiu didn't care about her comment, as he reminded her, "It's unsafe outside."
The Green Girl sneered, "Rest assured. It's quite safe outside. I think you're worried about your own safety."
What she said had evidently a deeper meaning; Jing Jiu shot her a glance before offering, "Tong Yan is in the hermit peaks. Do you wish to see him?"
"No," said the Green Girl. "I've finally found out that humans are not good things."
"Humans were never good things to begin with," returned Jing Jiu.
The Green Girl pressed, "What about you?"
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu asked, "Do you regret your decision?"
The Green Girl fell silent for a moment before she said, "I only understood why humans think so much after I became a human; but I still don't know if it's a good or bad thing yet."
Jing Jiu didn't press this issue further. "Where will you live?" he asked the Green Girl.
The Green Girl replied, "I can return to the Green Sky Mirror any time I want to. You have no need to worry about me."
Jing Jiu cast a flimsy sword awareness onto her skirt.
The Green Girl shot Jing Jiu a glance before she turned around and flew toward the stars. Soon she disappeared without a trace.
Jing Jiu sensed the absence of that sword awareness, feeling surprised. He had predicted that the Green Girl would want to return to the Green Sky Mirror, so he left a sword awareness on her, in hopes of tracking the position of the Green Sky Mirror. He didn't expect the Green Girl to figure out his intent. More unexpectedly, the Green Girl had wiped out his sword awareness.
It was not a bad thing actually. In so doing, nobody could find the Green Sky Mirror.
Jing Jiu got up and walked to the outside of the manor cave. As he saw three people and a cicada by the cliff's edge, he thought of that cat again. He turned toward Qingrong Peak.
The ocean of clouds was lower after the spring rain. The starlight looked like water; the objects and scenery on Qingrong Peak, under the illumination of the starlight, were quite visible.
The black rock and the flowering tree on the top of Qingrong Peak were still in the same spots, and the flowering tree was blooming, but no figure or alcohol jar could be spotted. He was a bit concerned.
It was well known that the peak master of Qingrong, Nan Wang, liked drinking wine, and she was even a little bit alcoholic, not to mention she often liked lying on that rock on the peak top, drinking wine while facing that flowering tree.
If she didn't drink wine one day, it meant that she was in a bad mood, or something significant had happened.
In the deep part of her manor cave, Nan Wang pressed Ada down. "Who on earth is Jing Jiu?" she demanded while looming over and staring at him.
Ada meowed twice in her bosom, sounding a bit exasperated.
Nan Wang sneered before exclaiming, "Don't tell me that you know nothing. Tell me what he was doing when we attempted to kill Nan Qü on the barren mountain. What about the West Ocean? Why did you go to Shenmo Peak from Bihu and act so obedient in front of him?"
Ada was the Principal Guard in the Heavenly Arrival State, and had a higher status and Cultivation state than this peak master of Qingrong; but he had no intention of offending this woman.
She wasn't even a peak master yet back when Liu Ci made Blue Lake exclusively for her; he didn't dare voice his objection then.
He had to drink the water in which she had bathed.
Well, it tasted pretty good!
It felt the same back then as he was held in her bosom right now.
Was this a sort of sexual allure?
The problem was how he should answer her question.
Ada felt frustrated.
If Nan Wang found out the true identity of Jing Jiu, he would be the shortest-lasting sect master in the history of Green Mountain.
Though Jing Jiu seemed to beat up Bai Rujing so easily on the top of Tianguang Peak, which had a secret to it, Ada was certain that Jing Jiu was not her match, especially when Nan Wang was in a fanatical state.
"Have you already guessed it? Why would you ask me?"
Ada offered an ambiguous answer through his spiritual awareness.
Nan Wang sneered before saying, "There are so many rumors regarding him; it's impossible for me to know which one is the truth."
"Which rumor is the most popular one? The wind coming out from an empty cave doesn't mean it has no cause."
Ada pushed his head out with a great effort. He found the breeze in his face giving off a fragrant, warm and soft smell.
After a moment of silence, she asked, "Is he really the offspring of Jing Yang?"
Ada meowed once, as he thought Jing Jiu had the smell of Jing Yang on his body anyway.
After some thought, Nan Wang said, "That is why you listen to him so obediently, and is willing to guard his home."
Ada told her with the pitiful expression in his eyes: I don't dare offend your Master and Young Senior Master, nor do I dare offend this young master; otherwise, I'll be in big trouble when your Young Senior Master comes back.
Nan Wang demanded with furrowed brows, "Was the reason Liu Ci gave the position of the sect master to him because Liu Ci knew his true identity?"
Ada meowed once.
"Where did Liu Ci die?" Nan Wang asked.
Ada communicated to her that he had no idea.
On the top of Tianguang Peak, he had observed the crowd.
As the sheath of the Inherited Heaven Sword was inserted back in the stone monument, Yuan Qijing looked a bit hunched, and the Immortal Guangyuan sighed a few times; Guo Nanshan looked a bit pale, and many others showed a sad expression.
Only Nan Wang and Zhuo Rusui had red eyes; it was obvious that they had cried.
The Cultivation practitioners shouldn't behave this way.
Ada looked at her in a commiserating manner, as he mused that she turned out to be an affectionate person, and that it was why she had improved so slowly in her Cultivation states.
Thinking of all this, he pushed down on her bosom gently with his two front paws in an attempt to comfort her.
Nan Wang picked him up by grabbing his neck, heading toward the outside of the cave. "You're still so lustful!" she complained.
Ada meowed once, as he thought that this was his instinct. Moreover, he had done this sort of thing back on the top of Bihu Peak and in the boat on the lake.
Standing by the cliff's edge outside the manor cave and facing Shenmo Peak, Nan Wang asked suddenly, "Who is his mother if Jing Yang is his father?"
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