Having been to heaven.
Having come back to the human world.
This person was either a sword immortal of the previous generation or a disgraced immortal.
The recordings in the Sayings of the Sword Immortals seemed bizarre but actually quite true, like those heavenly fires and the heavenly demons in another world.
Nobody believed in those scenes described by the disgraced immortal because he was the only one who had been to that world and seen them with his own eyes.
As such, he was still a lonely person after he returned to the human world.
"He was…someone like you?" Zhao Layue asked while looking at Jing Jiu wide-eyed.
"Yes. That person must have succeeded in ascension, and later came back like what I had done."
Jing Jiu added, "But the difference is, I was not willing to come back, and he did it willingly, just like Bai Ren who is in the outside world currently."
Thinking of what the middle-aged insane man said, Zhao Layue suddenly felt a chill going through her body. "Is the world above…dangerous?" she asked.
Jing Jiu said, "I'm more used to calling it the outside world."
It was on the other end of the path no matter whether it was called the world above or the outside world.
And it was the world after ascension no matter whether it was called the world of the immortals or some other world.
Zhao Layue and Ada fell silent.
This was the first time Jing Jiu talked about that world, save for what he mentioned briefly to Zhao Layue before.
"It's truly dangerous there, because everything is faster there."
Zhao Layue didn't understand what he meant by saying everything was faster.
Ada had a vague idea, but he still couldn't completely wrap his head around it.
Jing Jiu went on, "I was in that world for a very short time; so I hadn't encountered any so-called immortal. I had merely taken a look in the distance."
Tens of thousands of flying swords were ablaze among the stars.
This was the scene he had described to Zhao Layue.
She had a deep impression of the scene; she hadn't forgotten it.
Those flying swords would vanish in the torrent of time, but those flying swords were a torrent themselves.
If each sword light was an immortal who had succeeded in ascension, how formidable would the torrent be?
Even Jing Jiu felt intimidated and awestruck when he saw those sword lights from a long distance.
If the flying sword torrent of the immortals descended to this world from the outside world, the swordsmen of Chaotian and the alien lands would have no chance of resisting them, and would be destroyed instantly. Even if the Queen of the Snowy Kingdom could kill a few of them, she still couldn't save this world.
Thinking of this outcome, Jing Jiu understood why that disgraced immortal was so fearful of the outside world, and why Bai Ren would wish to come back, that, and a few other significant issues became clear.
For those in the Underworld, the human Cultivation practitioners were the heavenly demons of the outside world; for the people in Chaotian, those immortals of the outside world were the same in their eyes.
Zhao Layue asked pale-faced, "Is it possible that those immortals are not the masters of the previous generations who ascended from this world?"
"It's impossible that so many practitioners in Chaotian have ascended."
What Jing Jiu said was crystal clear; those sword lights he had seen in the long distance were not from this world, and they were most likely the Cultivation practitioners who ascended from other worlds.
"But we are not certain that they must be our foes."
"In an unknown world, anyone is a possible foe."
"It's only a possibility."
"Once it happened, it would be a certain fact."
"But…why do you still want to go there? Is it worth the risk?"
"If there is a meaning in life, I'd say it's meaningful to search for the unknown, find a path to the other world and understand the purpose of our existence."
Jing Jiu added, "This is something we must do without considering whether it's dangerous or not."
Zhao Layue asked after a pause, "This is my last question: What about the question you intended to ask the Immortal Taiping? Did you have an answer to it?"
"Yes," said Jing Jiu.
As he was about to tear up the Saying of the Sword Immortals, he opted not to do it after some thought. He put it back among the ocean of books in midair.
The peaks of Green Mountain were shrouded amid fog, and also clearly visible; but Jing Jiu asked Zhao Layue to land outside Cloudy Town.
Outside that old restaurant.
Supported by the Gu Clan, this restaurant had no need to worry about the patronage as long as it continued to provide hotpot service.
The double hotpot was more like two armies confronting each other than a couple in love.
The spicy soup was boiling on one side and the water soup was inactive on this side; the two camps had their own intents.
Zhao Layue ate two plates of tripe for appetizers, and threw a piece of green cabbage into the water soup when it began to boil.
It was here back then that she caught the Underworld disciple with the soul of Yin San; and he was then killed by Master Meng with a swing of sword.
Master Meng should have died in the Sword Jail.
Jing Jiu had said that he felt sad that night when they were at the Icy Wind and Violent Sea. It was impossible for him to come here and reminisce the past; but what was the reason for him to come here then?
The water soup was boiling with the bubbles rising to the surface; the piece of green cabbage was rising and ebbing like a floating lotus leaf.
Jing Jiu remained silent while gazing at the scene quietly.
Crouching on the windowsill, Ada also remained silent while looking in the direction of the distant Icy Wind and Violent Sea.
The water soup had less water in it now, and the green cabbage wilted because of over-cooking. Jing Jiu scooped it out and laid it on the table.
It was at this moment that his heart skipped a beat; and he knew that that person had probably succeeded in total transformation.
Everything seemed normal in Chaotian. The weather was normal, no matter whether it was windy or rainy.
The Sword Peak stood quietly amid the floating clouds and fog.
The reason he knew this was because the jade egg of rosefinch had suddenly generated a band of energy.
It was a sign that the egg was hatching; it was because the spiritual soul in the egg had sensed something.
Jing Jiu walked to the window, and looked in that direction along with Ada. Zhao Layue was still captivated in eating hotpot behind them.
She didn't do it because she wanted to show that she could eat more than Zhuo Rusui; it was because she figured that the Immortal Taiping would not eat hotpot from now on.
The fog was as thick as ever in Cloudy Town.
While looking at the fog in that direction, Jing Jiu thought that he had at least confirmed the fact that that person hadn't had the intention of killing him.
At least, that person hadn't had the intention of killing him before he led Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing attacking that person.
Was this confirmation important?
Maybe it was.
And maybe it wasn't.
As the blood-red sword light illuminated Shenmo Peak, Gu Qing led Yuan Qü and Ping Yongjia receiving them in reverence.
Jing Jiu said, "Ask the Gu Clan to build a manor house in Cloudy Town. It should have a good view of the sceneries, and should be quiet and have many rooms."
Having heard this, everybody, including Ada, felt it odd, thinking that Cloudy Town was not as scenic as the peaks of Green Mountain though it was picturesque.
And why would he want to build a manor house there? Was it intended to be a second house? But it was among the mortals; wasn't he often annoyed by the noises?
It was impossible for Jing Jiu to explain to them why he wanted to have a house built. "One of the rooms should be able to completely block the sunlight; but it should have good illumination. Add a few more lamps in that room."
Gu Qing was at a loss, wondering what Jing Jiu intended to do, asking, "When do you need it done?"
"Four years from now," said Jing Jiu.
Gu Qing would send a message out of the mountains and ask the Gu Clan to take care of the matter.
Jing Jiu was not done yet. He threw the Sword of the Universe to Gu Qing, saying, "It's yours now."
This famous sword of the fairy state, which had improved along with the user, had been in Gu Qing's possession a few times; but it was always "borrowed" by Jing Jiu later.
Yet, it was evident that Jing Jiu wouldn't use this sword again from this moment on.
Holding the Sword of the Universe, Gu Qing suddenly felt it heavier than before, and for some reason his mood grew heavier as well.
Everybody could sense the heavy atmosphere. For some reason, neither Zhao Layue nor Ada even knew what Jing Jiu intended to do.
The group became somewhat nervous. Zhao Layue wondered if Jing Jiu was to leave Green Mountain, her face growing pale.
"Tell Yuan Qijing, the Grand Ceremony for the new sect master will be hosted in four years."
Jing Jiu went on while glancing at Shangde Peak, "I'll stay behind closed doors, and see nobody."
Having said that, he turned on his heels and walked into the manor cave, a layer of the heavy stone walls falling off as he walked past them, dusts rising.
It grew cold on the top of Shenmo Peak. It was the actual condition, not due to their chilly mood. It was because the Three-Foot Sword arrived along with the wind and snow.
"Where is the Sect Master?"
The solemn voice of Yuan Qijing came out from the sword.
Zhao Layue, Gu Qing and Ping Yongjia turned to Yuan Qü in unison.
Yuan Qü approached the Three-Foot Sword indignantly, and bowed to it. He then related the instructions commanded by Jing Jiu.
The Three-Foot Sword hovered in the wind and snow for a while and returned to Shangde Peak. Yuan Qijing hadn't expressed his opinion on the issues though.
"Master, I shouldn't be the one to deal with him all the time," Yuan Qü complained to Zhao Layue indignantly.
Zhao Layue said, "The Immortal Sect Master has found a sword for you; it's being nurtured on the Sword Peak right now. You'll be able to use it a few years later."
Yuan Qü was ecstatic at the news, totally forgetting the matter he had just complained about.
Ping Yongjia was taken aback. After glancing at the Sword of the Universe in the hands of his Big Brother Gu Qing, he exclaimed indignantly, "What about me?"
In the deep end of the manor cave, the starlight streamed down from the top of the cave, where nothing had changed in the last tens of thousands of years, not even the angle of the moonlight.
Jing Jiu sat on the futon with his eyes closed, the white cloth illuminated by the starlight. He looked like an immortal man dozing off due to the over-drinking of jade liquid.
Hearing the footsteps, he opened his eyes and looked at Zhao Layue.
Zhao Layue came before him and knelt down. "Should it be so hard to pursue the path toward heaven?" she demanded while staring into his eyes.
Jing Jiu replied, "It's actually hard to do everything, such as the love affair and farming."
"But someone like you shouldn't go through so much hardship," said Zhao Layue, feeling troubled.
Jing Jiu returned calmly, "Someone like me enjoys the service provided by others, and has never thought of repaying them; why can't I go through some hardship? And actually, it's not hardship at all."
The wind and snow brought over by the Three-Foot Sword disappeared in the blink of an eye.
The Great Formation of Green Mountain opened a passage again, bringing in a spring rainfall; the wild flowers on Qingrong Peak started blooming.
Many Green Mountain disciples thought that this was a sign that Senior Master Nan Wang's grief had lessened.
Yet, nobody had anticipated that Nan Wang would fly up amid the spring rain, and left Green Mountain through the passage of the great formation.
A few days later, she came back from the east. Hundreds of sword strings formed an invisible bridge, on which she walked to the top of Shenmo Peak.
Gu Qing approached her hastily.
Raising her eyebrows slightly, Nan Wang asked, "Where is Jing…the Sect Master?"
"My Master is behind closed doors, so is Senior Master Zhao," Gu Qing replied.
Nan Wang raised her brows higher now. As she saw the white cat crouching in a heap of wild flowers, she waved for Gu Qing to leave. Then she came before the white cat and picked him up.
Ada was about to pounce on a butterfly for fun; he was irritated by her intrusion. As he was to reach out his paw and scratch her, he suddenly sensed that she had an unstable energy, feeling somewhat surprised. "What has happened to you?" he asked her through his spiritual awareness.
"I've been to the Water-Moon Nunnery," she said.
Ada was startled to hear this, thinking that she had actually gone to them for a fight and she must have been beaten up.
"It's impossible for someone like me to be beaten up."
After she said this proudly, Nan Wang's face turned pale all of a sudden, and then spat out a mouthful of fresh blood.
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