Looking at the pigtail on the Drifter's head, Jing Jiu found it familiar.
He remembered after some thought that he had done a same pigtail for Zhao Layue back when they made their way to Shenmo Peak.
The Drifter's pigtail should be Zhao Layue's doing.
It seemed that Zhao Layue was quite pleased with her achievement; she flicked the pigtail with her fingers.
"The one I did for you was better" remarked Jing Jiu.
Zhao Layue could sense a hint of regret in his words, and said, "But I didn't like it."
There were many undesirable things in human lives, like the unattainable things and the departures.
And the white soup in the double hotpot would always dry up first; Zhao Layue didn't like having long hair…and everybody would leave this world.
Jing Jiu had accepted all this now.
Back when the Emperor gave him the Jade Egg, it was meant for Jing Jiu to take care of his son after his death.
He should make use of the few years to do something before it happened.
Jing Jiu lifted his head and looked at the young people eating the hotpot, saying, "I'll give a lesson today."
The Drifter heard this as she rushed to the dinner table holding the chopsticks; she couldn't help but feel upset.
"Green Mountain regards a sword as all the things in the world, so there is the saying: 'All in One'."
Hearing this first sentence in the prelude, the disciples in the courtyard felt it odd.
Their strange feeling had nothing to do with this principle, because Gu Qing and Yuan Qü had heard the similar instruction before; but the All in One was also a sword in addition to being a sword principle and Cultivation state.
And that sword…was speaking right now in front of them.
They couldn't help but think this way when it was mentioned.
Jing Jiu didn't care about what they were thinking. He went on, "Our sword work can resemble the formations, thunder methods, amulet magic, and mysterious Daoist methods of various Cultivation sects. This is the origin of the true sword of the nine peaks. All the paths, even though there are tens of thousands of them, will lead to one ultimate path. Maybe you can't understand this point, but it'd be fine if you can understand the essence of the sword work."
The disciples in the courtyard listened assiduously, pushing away all the distracting thoughts.
How many people could have the opportunity of listening to the lesson on the sword work by the Immortal Jing Yang himself?
The Young Zen Master was the only one who had had such an opportunity in his last life.
"The sword should be used to cut things, regardless of whether it is a cucumber or a human head. All in all, it should be used to cut a whole object in half or into more pieces."
Jing Jiu continued, "To understand the essence of the sword work, we have to learn how to cut things off."
This principle was simple enough and even a bit vulgar, but the group still paid a close attention to what he was saying.
"Everything in the world has a crack, which is the place where the sunlight can shine through."
Jing Jiu walked to a spot in the courtyard and went on while pointing to a ceramic vase, "Such as this vase."
The group felt baffled, wondering how this ceramic vase had a crack given that it looked so smooth and wholesome.
Gu Qing knew better than the others that this vase was a precious ceramic ware the Gu Clan had bought from a famous kiln; it shouldn't have a crack anywhere.
"Raise it higher."
Jing Jiu came to the rear of the ceramic vase and reached out his right hand.
Unexpectedly, a sun seemed to emerge from his fingers, emitting an exceedingly bright glow.
The group was not prepared for such an occurrence; their eyes were almost blinded by the bright light. A while later, they came back to their senses. Then they moved to the other side of the ceramic vase and found there were many tiny cracks on the ceramic vase that had looked smooth and wholesome earlier. And yet, those tiny cracks were actually the junctions of the lights, not the real cracks.
"The spot that can be entered by the light can also be entered by swords. The junction between brightness and darkness can apply to the sword work as well."
Jing Jiu added, "The sword work is quite simple, and it shouldn't have so much formality."
Thinking of the sword manuals he had read after he entered the inner gate and those complex sword instructions, Zhuo Rusui remarked with furrowed brows, "According to what you have just said, the Cultivation states are not that important after all."
Jing Jiu returned, "The Cultivation states determine how far your sword can travel, how fast it can fly, and how accurate it can strike."
Gu Qing remarked after some thought, "The distance is actually not so important either."
His Cultivation state was higher than Jing Jiu back when he participated in the Inherited Sword Competition of Green Mountain, but he was defeated badly by Jing Jiu.
It was impossible for him to forget what had happened that day.
"As long as the flying sword can't reach your body, there is no difference between someone in the initial state of the Broken Sea and one in the upper state of the Broken Sea."
Jing Jiu went on, "If your Cultivation state is lower than your opponent, all you need to do is close the distance between you and your opponent as much as you can. But it is a totally different situation if your opponent is in the Heavenly Arrival State."
It was so simple.
Was it truly so simple?
"But why could you kill the Immortal Tai Lu?"
The voice of the Drifter came up from the underside.
It turned out that she had been kneeling on the ground the entire time, holding the ceramic vase over her head, like a painter looking at a flower panel…
A pretty and adorable girl kneeling on the ground with her hands raised over her head looked truly pitiable; this was evidently a punishment for her.
Crouching on the bamboo chair, Ada uttered a few "tsk"s inwardly to express his bewilderment as he looked at the scene.
He had no sympathy for the devil men in the Underworld, and he could eat each of them in one bite; but he didn't expect the juniors of Green Mountain in Scenery Garden to behave so relentlessly.
Jing Jiu said while staring at the Drifter, "Because I was the one who did it."
The Drifter hadn't met anyone in her life who was so shameless and narcissistic, yet she didn't dare say anything, and she didn't even dare complain in her mind.
Though she hadn't witnessed the Bloody Vow of the Underworld River, she had heard of it many times since her childhood.
"Teacher, I can't learn the sword work of Green Mountain; so it's useless for me to listen to this sort of lesson. Now that you're my teacher, you have to teach me something."
The Drifter turned her small face upwards and looked at Jing Jiu with a pitiful expression.
According to the rule set by the Immortal Taiping when he took on the Underworld Master as his disciple, Jing Jiu was called "teacher" rather than "master".
Jing Jiu said, "Three years later, I'll teach you the Control of Spiritual Souls."
The Drifter protested, "Back when my Great Granduncle, the late Underworld Emperor, gave you the Seal of Underworld Emperor, you must have promised him to teach me; why should I wait for three years?"
Jing Jiu replied, "I promised him that I would select an heir for him and then teach that heir the Control of Spiritual Souls."
What Jing Jiu meant was clear enough that he could choose someone else other than the Drifter as the next Underworld emperor; as such he had no need to teach her the Control of Spiritual Souls.
The Drifter felt it was so troublesome to live a life…She returned in a crying tone, "Okay. What should I do during the three years period? Am I waiting for your tests or taking care of your daily needs?"
Jing Jiu thought that she must be much inferior to Shisui and Gu Qing in this aspect. "I'll teach you the method of ruling," he said.
"What?" the Drifter gasped, feeling bewildered.
Jing Jiu explained, "I'll teach you how to be an emperor."
Everybody, including Zhao Layue, fixed their gazes on Jing Jiu, their eyes full of bewilderment and surprise.
Being an emperor was an immensely troublesome job, regardless of whether it was human emperors or the Underworld emperors; they had to work very hard and be concerned with a great many states of affairs. How could someone who was the laziest person in the world teach others how to be an emperor?
Jing Jiu sensed the doubt displayed in their eyes, feeling puzzled. "I've been an emperor and not a bad one either," he said.
Everybody present except the Drifter knew that he referred to the life he had in the Illusionary Realm in the Green Sky Mirror where he was the Emperor of Chu State for a few decades.
In the Illusionary Realm of the Green Sky Mirror, Zhao State and Qin State were very powerful, and the populace of Chu State was weak in temperament. Under such adverse circumstances, the fact that Chu State could endure for so many decades and their populace had lived a prosperous life indicated that the rulers of Chu State had an outstanding capability of governing the state…But was it Jing Jiu's achievement? It seemed that the Grand Scholar Zhang had done all the work.
Zhuo Rusui had lived with him in the royal palace of Chu State for many years, so he knew the truth better than anybody else. He signaled the Drifter through his eye expression in an effort to discourage her.
The Drifter didn't know anything about this; she nodded her head foolishly when she heard that Jing Jiu had been an emperor himself before and saw Zhuo Rusui's eye signal. She thought Zhuo Rusui tried to encourage her.
Zhao Layue turned her head away; Gu Qing covered his forehead with his hands; and Yuan Qü lowered his head. They couldn't bear to look at the scene.
In the dead of night, the stars were blocked by the clouds and fog in the sky. It was dark in the courtyard; the plopping sound of the flowing stream water was the only thing that could be heard.
It was the most suitable occasion to observe the feeble glow in such a dark night, like watching the fireflies and the soul fire of the Drifter.
Jing Jiu gazed at the gloomy and cold tiny flame in front of him, lost in thought.
The Drifter had a pale face. It was not difficult for her to bring her soul fire out of her body for a while, but it was hard for her to keep her soul fire in front of Jing Jiu because she was quite nervous at the moment; so she spent a great deal of her energy.
After a long while, Jing Jiu motioned for her to retrieve her soul fire. "You should remember to remind me of telling you the stories in the Fiend Prison."
The time he had spent in the Fiend Prison with the Underworld Emperor was something he would like to recall. He hoped that the Underworld would know about it and pass it to the following generations.
The Drifter nodded in tandem before asking, "Teacher, are the methods of ruling difficult to learn?"
"It's quite easy to be an emperor. First of all, you have to know the people, and then you have to be able to use the right individuals; and the last thing, which is also the most important, is that you don't do anything."
Jing Jiu continued coolly while looking at her, "No matter whether your idea is correct or not, the people in the state have to obey it simply because you're the emperor, even though it's not rational."
The Immortal Taiping had created the Plum Meeting and the peace of a thousand years; so he was the orthodox leader of the world.
In a sense, he was the true ruler of Chaotian.
Looking at the night sky, Jing Jiu waved his sleeve to drive away the clouds and fog, exposing the twinkling stars in the night sky.
The starlight shone on Cloudy Town and every spot in Chaotian, and it must also shine on that person.
Now that he had succeeded in total transformation, what was he doing right now?
The world in the Illusionary Realm of the Green Sky Mirror had woken up a long time ago.
After the Emperor Bai of Qin State had died a sudden death, the unrest ensued. It took several years before the world was back in peace again.
Both Qi State and Zhao State had revived their states, and Qin State retreated to their original territory.
Chu State had a similar experience. However, the late emperor didn't leave any offspring, so the Dowager Zhao, after discussions among the chancellors and scholars, was chosen as the ruler of the state.
The Dowager Zhao was very kind to the former Chu State; and the descendants of the officials and the chancellors in the former Chu State enjoyed a high status.
The eldest son of the Grand Scholar Zhang was one of them.
For various reasons, the eldest son of the Grand Scholar Zhang had a very high status among the former chancellors and officials; but he was unwilling to move away from his home, and still stayed in the rural area.
He was not inclined to be an official in the government, but his reputation had gotten better over time. Many people had come to his house to meet him; the Dowager Zhao had given a few decrees to ask him to meet her at the capital of Zhao State.
The eldest son of the Grand Scholar Zhang hadn't met any visitor and didn't pay any heed to the Dowager Zhao. He was still growing vegetables along with his whole family.
The only difference was that he couldn't grow vegetables like what he had done before, because the adjacent houses and crop fields were bought up by the imperial court and given to him.
The large patch of land at the foot of the mountain had a new name, Zhang Garden.
The eldest son of the Grand Scholar Zhang would go to the adjacent courtyard every day.
His neighbor used to live in that house.
There was a well in the courtyard.
The eldest son of the Grand Scholar Zhang would go there every day with his hands folding behind his back; he would mutter to himself while looking down at the bottom of the well, "My dear fish, where have you gone to?"
The fish didn't come back, but a bird came.
A green bird landed on the branch of a tree. Seeing the bare-shouldered and skinny eldest son of the Grand Scholar Zhang, she shook her head a few times.
Time in the Green Sky Mirror was elapsing almost at the same pace as time in the outside world, meaning its world was becoming more and more realistic. She was quite pleased with this change, but she was not so pleased with the performance of the eldest son of the Grand Scholar Zhang.
The Green Bird turned into a flash of lightning, shooting to the sky and traveling all the places of her world. When she found that the pirates were preparing to attack Zhao State, she shook her head again, feeling helpless. She flapped her wings to create a hurricane, thwarting the action of those pirates for a few years.
The more realistic the world became, the more it would be trapped in the repetitive occurrences, just like the situation of her being a human being.
The Green Bird left the Green Sky Mirror in disdain; she landed on another branch of a tree.
A sound suddenly broke out in the sky.
A bird with a reddish body landed right by her side.
The Green Bird spun her head to look.
She saw two jet black eyes.
The two of them eyed each other.
Please go to https://www.readlightnovel.cc/The-Path-Toward-Heaven/
to read the latest chapters for free