It was still early in the evening, and the folks in the small town were not sleeping yet. The lights could be seen in many of the courtyards; and the noises of Mahjong pieces being pushed on tables could be vaguely heard.
The new waves pushed the previous waves forward, causing a great deal of sprays to spring up and drop back into water. It was fairly peaceful at the Great Marsh under the starlight.
That clam should have sunk all the way to the bottom of the lake; so it would be hard to find it again.
Even if Jing Jiu could employ partial strength of the Seal of the Underworld Emperor, it would be useless.
Zhao Layue came to Jing Jiu's side, and asked, "Did he run away?"
"Hmm," said Jing Jiu. "But I'm not here to kill him."
Zhao Layue felt a bit surprised, as she thought that there were only a few people in this world worthy of being struck by him; but who would the person be if not Emperor Xiao?
Jing Jiu turned on his heels and headed for the town.
It turned out that there was a decent medical house in town. Some flowers were carved beside the plaque, and the broken flowers were connected with a thin twig; it was unclear what kind of tree this twig came from.
It was already late at night, and the medical house was closed; but these visitors couldn't be stopped if they wanted to enter it.
The caretaker of the medical house climbed out of his bed while rubbing his sleepy eyes. He saw Jing Jiu's face before he could complain about the intrusion.
He rubbed his eyes again and let out a faint yelp. Then he went inside to wake up the doctor.
Moments later, a few files were laid on the table. They were important information collected by the Curtain Rollers recently.
Gu Qing opened these files and analyzed them meticulously.
Zhuo Rusui yawned with a bored expression.
Zhao Layue stood in front of the door of the medical house while holding Ada, keeping a watchful eye on the street.
"Where is Huiyuan?" Jing Jiu demanded.
"After the incident at the Fruit Formation Temple, we knew you would ask us about him; so we have been trying to track him," the doctor replied with a bitter expression on his face. "Though the Master Huiyuan is the great grand elder of the Tonghua Temple, he has been traveling various places in Chaotian in the last several decades. It would take some time to find his whereabouts."
Jing Jiu suddenly asked after having left the medical house, "Does the imperial court own the Curtain Rollers?"
"You didn't know?" Zhao Layue pressed, feeling incredulous.
"I should have figured it out," said Jing Jiu. "But I didn't give it a thought over the years since I was used to using them."
Zhao Layue said after a pause, "Master Huiyuan must be an important figure in the Old Ones, which is why he went undetected for so many years. It seems that the Curtain Rollers won't be able to find his whereabouts in short order. Why don't we go back to Green Mountain first?"
Jing Jiu didn't want to go back to Green Mountain.
It was because he had to explain to Yuan Qijing about the matter regarding the Underworld Master; it was truly troublesome.
And he had told the Young Zen Master that he would like to try it one more time.
"We'll go to a place, where we'll cultivate together," said Jing Jiu.
Hearing this, Zhuo Rusui didn't show any unusual reaction, but Zhao Layue and Gu Qing felt startled, as it occurred to them that Jing Jiu sounded like a master who was genuinely interested in the progress of his disciples…However, he had never cared about their Cultivation since throwing a sword instruction booklet to each of them in the beginning and participating in two discussion meetings.
Ada even opened his eyes wide, wondering what Jing Jiu was up to this time.
At the intersection between Yu County and Beihuazhou was a mountain range that extended several hundred miles. Outside the pass at the northern end of the range was Juye City; and the populous central plain was located to the south of the range. The climates were different on the both sides of the mountain range; the lush and green forests were abundant on the south side, and the sheer cliffs and precipices were often found on the north side, seldom visited by the humans, where the highest peak had the accumulated snow all year long.
The geological position of this mountain range was very important for the armies; but it was not so important for the Cultivation practitioners who could fly freely since there was no large spiritual source here except for a few sparse spiritual energies. As such, there were only a few unknown and small Cultivation sects in the picturesque forests on the south side of the range, and the traces of the free-traveling practitioners and the deviant practitioners could be spotted once in a while on the cliffs on the north side of the range.
As the peak top was illuminated by a sword light, Zhao Layue landed on it. The Thoughtless Sword didn't emit the visible blood-red light because Zhao Layue tried her best to prevent the sword from doing so.
"In a place about twenty five miles from here in the north, a mountain devil is fleeing northwards. I didn't kill it because I didn't smell any human blood in the cave. And somebody sensed us in the south, but didn't dare approach us."
The elders of those small sects were in the Undefeated State at most, and wouldn't dare come close to them when they sensed them.
Jing Jiu sat down cross-legged, and began to cultivate with his eyes closed.
"Are we cultivating here?"
Looking at the snow on the top and the barren rocks around him, Zhuo Rusui felt it absurd. This place had such a thin spiritual energy, why would they come here to cultivate?
As he was about to complain, Zhao Layue and Gu Qing had already sat down by Jing Jiu, their eyes closed.
Ada climbed onto Jing Jiu's head.
Seeing the scene, Zhuo Rusui felt it even more ridiculous, as he remembered that the Sect Master had said that they would cultivate together. He wondered if Jing Jiu meant to cultivate together literally. Didn't he need to give them some magic pills or secret methods of the fairy swordsmen?
Though he thought of all this indignantly, he had no choice but to sit down, since nobody would listen to his complaint anyway.
There was a small Cultivation sect located one hundred and twenty miles in the south, by the name of the Mysterious Heaven Sect.
Zhou Yunmu was the only remaining elder of the third generation at the sect. He was rather talented in Cultivation and in the upper state of the Golden-Pill, which was the equivalent of the initial state of the Free Travel at the Green Mountain Sect.
Not to mention the current Mysterious Heaven Sect, nobody had a Cultivation state higher than Zhou Yunmu since the founding of the sect.
He passed the position of the sect master to his youngest disciple, named Lu Jin, a few years ago since he was tired of spending too much time on taking care of the affairs of the sect.
From that point on, he had been cultivating at the back of the mountain where the scenery was the best and the spiritual energy was the most abundant in the area. Few disciples had the opportunity to see him and get his advice in Cultivation.
Many disciples of the Mysterious Heaven Sect had seen their grandmaster stand on that green rock by the cliff's edge rather than stay in his manor cave in the last two days.
He remained silent while gazing at that high snow-capped peak.
The name of Zhou Yunmu was rather poetic. He had an aura of a fairy man while standing on the green rock against the wind, his cloth tousling slightly.
Seeing the scene, the disciples displayed an admirable expression on their faces. They discussed among themselves in a low voice about what had happened.
Most of them guessed that their grandmaster was at a critical moment of his Cultivation; he was sensing the essences of heaven and earth at the moment, as he was on the verge of breaking through the state.
All of the Mysterious Heaven Sect knew that their grandmaster had already completed the upper state of the Golden-Pill and was in the process of breaking through the Yuanying State, which was the most dangerous and difficult barrier for any practitioner.
Thinking of this possibility, the Sect Master of the Mysterious Heaven Sect, Lu Jin, gave the order that no disciple was allowed to get near that green rock.
If one came before the green rock right now, they would find that the grandmaster Zhou Yunmu was not sensing the essences of heaven and earth at the moment.
He was muttering to himself while looking at the snow-capped peak pale-faced.
"Which sect is this senior master from? Normally I should approach him and pay him a visit; but if I disturbed his Cultivation…it'd be an unforgivable offense."
Looking at the peak top enshrouded by the clouds half-way, Zhou Yunmo muttered, "But the spiritual energy of heaven and earth is so thin here, I have to rely on the magic pills to sustain my Cultivation; why does this immortal master of the previous generation come here to cultivate?"
Under normal circumstances, he wouldn't have discovered the arrival of Jing Jiu and his group based on his limited Cultivation state. It happened that he was satisfied with his Cultivation that day and cast his spiritual awareness into the forest instinctively, which happened to encounter the Thoughtless Sword.
He hadn't even seen a sword like the Thoughtless Sword of the Fairy State, to say nothing of touching it. As such, he was fully aware that the other party was someone formidable whom he shouldn't confront.
Fortunately, the Thoughtless Sword was a magic treasure of the fairy immortals, not something belong to a deviant practitioner, though it had a lethal energy to it. So he was not worried that the other person would come over and destroy his mountain gate.
Zhou Yunmu had a complicated emotion while gazing at the peak top. The expressions of admiration, resentment and jealousy alternated on his face.
He calmed down after feeling helpless in the end.
It was then that rainfall began.
According to the season, this should be the last rain in autumn.
Zhou Yunmu stood on the green rock, with no intention of leaving soon.
It was evident that he couldn't actually see anything, but for some reason he would rather stay here and look a bit longer at the place.
It was probably because he was well aware that it was a scenery he had no chance of seeing himself.
He could climb the peak top.
But the scenery would be different.
A vast majority of the Cultivation practitioners had no hope of stepping over the threshold of the Yuanying from the Golden-Pill State.
The raindrops landed on his face and trickled down. The raindrops were not sad tears, rather clean water that could wash away the dust and dirt and make him feel more peaceful.
Though it was a state he had no chance of achieving, it was something he could at least aspire to, so it was not an embarrassing act to look at it.
All of a sudden, he sensed something was different. He extended his hand and scooped some rainwater in his hand, and found that the rainwater actually contained a slight spiritual energy!
His hand began to quiver slightly, as he wondered what was happening.
Why did the rainwater contain the spiritual energy today in a place with no complete spiritual source and with only thin spiritual energy of heaven and earth?
Though the spiritual energy was extremely thin, it could nonetheless be sensed clearly!
Zhou Yunmu's hands trembled more and more. He suddenly turned around and shouted to the disciples of the Mysterious Heaven Sect, "Everybody gets in the rain!"
No more rainfall occurred after the last one in autumn; but the first snowfall occurred a few days later.
The snowline was moving down gradually. The snow had even accumulated on the south side of the mountain that was usually warmer than the other side, let alone the area close to the peak top.
Four people were sitting side by side in front of a cliff, resembling snowmen as they were covered in snow.
However, the white cat on the head of one of the snowmen still looked white, except that he appeared a bit fatter.
A flying sword suddenly arrived in the sky from the south.
The snowman raised his right hand to take the sword letter after bringing down the white cat.
The ice and snow dropped from his body and head in tandem, exposing his face.
He was a more colorful scene amid the wind and snow.
Zhuo Rusui had also woken up.
He put his hands in front of his chest and looked straight ahead, as if he was reflecting on something.
The Swallowing Boat Sword appeared between his two hands.
The gray and fish-scale like lines on the shaft appeared to be more agile, as if it were a preserved fish that was about to turn its body around.
After a long moment of silence, Zhuo Rusui asked, "Did you guys cultivate like this before?"
Please go to https://www.readlightnovel.cc/The-Path-Toward-Heaven/
to read the latest chapters for free