The stone door of the manor cave was closed after the Drifter left.
Gazing at the tightly closed stone door, Tong Yan fell silent. He realized that the person who sat across from him and played the Go pieces was none other than the Immortal Taiping.
In this case, losing a game was not something he couldn't tolerate; but was this kid going to leave the hermit peaks?
Even if the Immortal Taiping knew other secret passages of the hermit peaks, it was impossible for the Immortal Liu Ci and Jing Jiu not to take some precautions during the space of three hundred years.
He didn't even know how he had left the hermit peaks when Jing Jiu led him out. By the time he opened his eyes, he was already on Tianguang Peak; after which he went to the Underworld.
Yet, it wasn't the thing he needed to ponder; so he closed his eyes and started recovering his injury.
His injury was rather severe; he couldn't stand up that quickly. As such, he had no way to open the stone door and inform Jing Jiu.
The Drifter didn't leave the hermit peaks. He went to another peak.
The wild flowers were blooming on that peak, and the vines looked like hundreds of tiny waterfalls on the cliff, the arrangements of which were regulated and meaningful.
In the deep end of the vines and wild flowers hid an unnoticeable manor cave. It was here that Fang Jingtian had stayed behind death doors for over nine years.
The Drifter took out the bamboo flute and played soundless music.
The wild flowers and vines were swaying, and the invisible raindrops started falling down from the sky.
The bamboo flute began to quiver slightly and generate many branches as if being nurtured by the invisible rain.
The braches on the bamboo flute continued growing; the green leaves came out from the branches and a few flower buds emerged, which happened to be seven in total.
The Drifter was more than ten years old, but he looked like a kid of five or six years because people in the Underworld were usually smaller in size.
Having done what the Immortal Taiping asked him to do, the Drifter felt a bit nervous and tired. He sighed instinctively like a little adult.
Like Tong Yan thought, it was quite difficult for the Drifter to leave the hermit peaks. He wasn't sure if the arrangement by the Immortal was still workable.
The Drifter left the hermit peaks with this worried thought. He dodged the formation at a place perilously, and then entered the Sword Jail.
The passages in the Sword Jail were rather dark and gloomy. The devil men of the Underworld in the cells on both sides rushed to the doors after sensing his energy, making a melancholy sound.
Though the sound was melancholy, the emotion expressed was rather cheerful.
The Drifter waved his right hand, greeting the prisoners in the cells like an emperor; but he didn't attempt to dismantle the forbidden formations of the cells.
He didn't have the ability to do so, and moreover, he didn't want to anger that important person.
"This little emperor greets the Master Night Howler."
The Drifter glided to the midair effortlessly and hovered in front of the eyes of the Dead Dog. He then pressed his hands together to salute the Dead Dog in the most reverential manner.
The Dead Dog opened his eyes slowly, and gazed at him quietly, giving no response.
Tong Yan had brought that case to the hermit peaks.
The ghost came out from the case, but Tong Yan was still in the hermit peaks; it was obvious that something was out of place.
The Dead Dog was quite knowledgeable about the Underworld; so he was not very cautious about them. It was because he believed that he could easily gobble them up regardless of how formidable those devil men were.
"You can't eat me."
The Drifter added in a pitiful manner, "I'm the future Underworld emperor. I'll be responsible for the peace hoped for by the two immortals, and I'm also just an innocent letter!"
The Dead Dog closed his eyes, paying no more attention to him.
The Drifter followed the sunlight as he looked up, and he knew it was not the time to leave yet. He had to wait until Yuan Qijing left the place.
Thinking of the task he had to accomplish, an indignant expression showed on his face. Though he didn't want to do it, he couldn't afford to offend any one of them.
The representatives of all the Cultivation sects had arrived.
It meant that all of those sects that were qualified to participate in the Grand Ceremony of inaugurating the sect master of Green Mountain had sent their representatives; and they all had a high status at their sects.
It was the Immortal Bai who represented the Center Sect; but she only came with Bai Zao, Xiang Wanshu and a few more young disciples.
The Young Zen Master of the Fruit Formation Temple came in person on his lotus sedan. Bu Qiuxiao came with Xi Yiyun and Liu Shisui. The Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery came with Zhen Tao. The Sect Master of the Hanging-Bell, Chen Xueqiao, came with Sese. The Sect Master of the Great Marsh came with his chief commander. The Sect Master of the Mirror Sect came with Que Niang. The Sect Master of the Kunlun came with hatred in his heart. The representatives of the imperial court were State Duke He and the chief commander of the Pure Heaven Bureau, Zhang Yiai.
Under normal circumstances, receiving the representatives of various sects was the duty of Xilai Peak; but the peak master of Xilai, Fang Jingtian, was staying behind death doors in the hermit peaks, so the duty had to be taken by somebody else.
The peak master of Shangde, Yuan Qijing, was too old, and his status was also too high for the job. The peak master of Shiyue, the Immortal Guangyuan, was at the distant West Ocean, and he wouldn't come back for the ceremony. The peak master of Qingrong, Nan Wang was unwilling to take care of such uninteresting affairs. The peak master of Yunxing, Fu Wang, felt he had lost face a few years ago, so he was too embarrassed to receive others. As a result, it was the peak master of Bihu, Chen Youtian, led Guo Nanshan and the disciples of Liangwang fulfilling the duty of receiving the guests.
Undoubtedly, this was the most important event that had taken place in the Cultivation circle in the last several hundred years; it was even more important than the Dao Competition hosted by the Center Sect some years earlier to celebrate the founding of their sect thirty thousand years ago.
Protected by the Great Formation of Green Mountain, the weather was fairly desirable. The swordsmen of various sects, sitting among the platforms shrouded in the clouds, looked like fairy immortals.
The picturesque sceneries of Tianguang Peak were in the sight of every onlooker.
Seeing the stone turtle supporting the stone monument on the top of Tianguang Peak, those sect masters and those who knew the identity of the turtle displayed a somber expression.
There was a small hut behind the stone monument, where there was an empty chair.
Dozens of gazes were fixed on the chair. Though they had different emotions when looking at the chair, their expressions were all complicated.
They heard that Jing Jiu had broken through the Sea State several years ago and became the person who had improved the fastest in Cultivation throughout the history. Such a pace of Cultivation had neither been witnessed nor recorded before.
Many important figures in the Cultivation circle, including Bu Qiuxiao, had failed to figure out how Jing Jiu could improve so quickly in Cultivation.
In comparison to Jing Jiu, those so-called geniuses were no different from regular disciples.
And soon some of them remembered that Zhuo Rusui and Zhao Layue had already reached the upper state of the Free Travel and were on the verge of breaking through the Sea State.
It was all rather bizarre. How did the Green Mountain Sect achieve such an extraordinary feat?
"It's the remaining spirits of the Immortal Jing Yang."
Bu Qiuxiao was clearer than anybody else about this matter. He shot Liu Shisui a glance, as he thought Shisui was one of the benefiters.
A small green curtain sedan came over out of the distance, and landed by the Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery.
Many people were aware that this was the holy treasure of the Great Grandmaster of the Water-Moon Nunnery, feeling bewildered, as they wondered why they didn't come with her.
Before they could think more about the matter, Yuan Qijing arrived on the top of Tianguang Peak on his Three-Foot Sword along with some light snowflakes. Nan Wang arrived soon after.
All the people present greeted each other. And they were aware that the Grand Ceremony of inaugurating the sect master of Green Mountain would start soon.
The Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery took a look at the small green curtain sedan, furrowing her eyebrows slightly.
She still looked like a young woman though she had a high Cultivation state. A peach flower petal was attached to the middle of her two pretty eyebrows; it looked wonderful even though the space between her brows was a bit too wide.
As she furrowed her brows, the peach flower petal quivered slightly, exuding a fresh energy; she had actually employed the Heaven-Human Connection soundlessly, undetected.
The Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery felt something was out of place, but she couldn't pinpoint the problem after looking around.
There were at least over a thousand Cultivation practitioners in the vicinity of Tianguang Peak; but the whole area was noiseless, and the atmosphere was rather solemn.
It was the Grand Ceremony of inaugurating the sect master of Green Mountain, which was paid a great deal of attention by a great many people. To say nothing of those devil men of the deviant sects, the Center Sect didn't even dare make a fuss on such an occasion.
If something sinister happened, it would be the internal issue of Green Mountain…The thought of the Chief Nun was interrupted by a sword sound, and couldn't resume any longer.
The sword sound was loud and crisp, echoing among heaven and earth, as well as in everybody's head.
It sounded like a dew falling down from the edge of a huge lotus leaf a few miles high and breaking into powder after landing on a precious white jade.
Jing Jiu arrived on the peak top along with this sword sound. Then he walked toward that chair.
Zhao Layue, Gu Qing and Yuan Qü were watching this scene nearby.
Countless others were watching the event unfold.
The sunlight streamed down from the bottom of Shangde Peak and landed on the Dead Dog along with the sword sound.
In the meantime, he had also heard another sound.
It was the sound of flowers blossoming; the flowers were the plum flowers, and there were seven of them exactly.
The Dead Dog shot the Drifter a glance.
The Drifter had a pale face.
The Dead Dog didn't pay any attention to him, and walked to the deep end of the Sword Jail noiselessly, like a dark cloud.
The Drifter knew that he had finally passed the barrier. He rubbed his small face in fear, and glided upward.
The sceneries in the hermit peaks were more wonderful than the outside world, regardless of whether it was the blue sky, the white clouds or the greenish cliffs here. However, it had been rare for such sceneries and blooming flowers to come into view.
The Dead Dog looked at the green peak in front of him and the small flowers throughout the fields and hills; soon he discovered that bamboo flute.
This bamboo flute wasn't its original appearance anymore. It had many braches and seven plum flowers, all of which were blooming vigorously.
The stone door of the manor cave in the peak was opened along with a squeaking sound. The vines covering the door broke into pieces instantly, and fell onto the ground helplessly.
The two silvery eyebrows ruffling with the gentle wind looked like two milky ways in the night sky. Fang Jingtian came out from behind closed doors.
He looked normal with his energy under control and the expression nonchalant in his eyes; but when he stepped forward, a sword light emerged out of his body, shooting up to an elevation of several miles in the sky.
This indicated the condition of the Heavenly Arrival State!
Unless the Cultivation practitioners employed a powerful formation or magic treasure to insulate themselves from the outside world, they would cause a response from heaven and earth when they entered the Heavenly Arrival State. Why had nothing happened to Fang Jingtian?
This was something hard to understand. Yet, the Dead Dog displayed a composed expression in his eyes, indicating that he knew the reason for such an abnormality.
Fang Jingtian came before the bamboo flute after crossing the field full of wild flowers, and gazed quietly at the flowers on it for a while.
The seven plum flowers became invisible, and the branches and leaves had all vanished after turning into powders. The bamboo flute looked the same as it had been before.
He picked up the bamboo flute and played a few tunes casually. Fang Jingtian discovered that he was not good at it, and smiled faintly while shaking his head. Then, he bowed to the Dead Dog calmly.
An appreciative expression showed in the Dead Dog's eyes.
After the battle of the West Ocean, Fang Jingtian was sent to the hermit peaks by Guan Qijing as punishment, and he was not allowed to get out of the hermit peaks unless he broke through the Heavenly Arrival State.
The most hopeful candidates for breaking through the Heavenly Arrival State at the Green Mountain Sect were Fang Jingtian and the Immortal Guangyuan, but it was not an easy goal to achieve
In the history of the Cultivation circle, innumerable practitioners who had a chance of breaking through the Heavenly Arrival State had fallen at this barrier.
The proof for it was those dried-up corpses in the hermit peaks.
In a sense, what Fang Jingtian had faced was the possibility of death.
Such a pressure could either help the Cultivation practitioners try harder or become a mental barrier for them.
Unexpectedly, he had broken through the death doors in nine years and entered the Heavenly Arrival State!
An aged and resentful voice burst out from one of the peaks: "If Taiping hadn't helped you, it would have been impossible for a slow person like you to enter the state before me. I'm not convinced!"
Fang Jingtian couldn't tell who and from which peak the speaker was, furrowing his brows slightly.
The Dead Dog knew the speaker was a Cultivation practitioner on Mochen Peak. He was regarded as a genius in sword work and had reached the upper state of the Broken
Sea after cultivating for only two hundred years.
During the internal turmoil on Green Mountain six hundred years ago, Mochen Peak was purged with a bloodbath; but his person surrendered fast enough. The Immortal Taiping thought he was a talented swordsman and let him cultivate behind closed doors in the hermit peaks.
Unfortunately, he still hadn't broken through the barrier after so many years.
The aged, resentful and hateful voice didn't ring out again.
The Dead Dog came before that peak, opened the stone door of the manor cave, and found that the person was dead already.
Seeing his skinny body and horrible twisted face, the Dead Dog didn't show any sympathy and pity in his indifferent eyes.
He picked up the skinny corpse with his mouth, leaping up into the air. As he came to the front of a remote mountain among the hermit peaks, he laid it in a grotto the size of a shrine.
Next, the Dead Dog inhaled deeply.
The sword light illuminated the hill of corpses.
A flying sword of high state flew out from amid the corpses.
The sword landed in the ear of the Dead Dog, which looked like a piece of hair.
The Dead Dog paid more attention to Fang Jingtian who was departing.
It was because Yuan Qijing instructed that Fang Jingtian would leave the hermit peaks as long as he could break through the Heavenly Arrival State.
As for whether there would be an internal unrest on Green Mountain…it was the matter between those two brothers. The Dead Dog decided not to get involved in it this time.
As the Dead Dog was bringing the corpse to the grotto, Fang Jingtian had already arrived in the Sword Jail.
He saw the cell at the end of the narrow and long passageway again, but he experienced different feelings this time.
His Master had been locked up by them here. Who was locked in that cell now?
He had more things to take care of today; so he didn't dwell on the issue for too long. He walked forward along the dark and gloomy passage for a while; he halted his steps when he came before a cell.
He took out the bamboo flute. "Grandmaster, let's go," said Fang Jingtian while looking at the tightly closed stone door.
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