There were probably many treasures left behind on Shenmo Peak by the Immortal Jing Yang; he didn't even remember how many there were and where they were. However, those he could still remember were sufficient for the Cultivation needs of Zhao Layue and the others. As such, the disciples of Shenmo Peak had never been concerned about if they had enough magic pills for their Cultivation over the decades.
As Ping Yongjia pushed open the stone door of the manor cave, he still felt excited when he saw those flying swords and a magic pill vial.
It was a pure green vial sealed off by the amulet paper of the One-Cottage House. Not a sliver of energy was released from the vial, indicating that the magic pills inside must be immensely precious.
Those swords were evidently outstanding ones; but when he came before them, he could sense the awe and self-pity of these swords. Ping Yongjia felt helpless regarding the behavior of these swords.
Since he couldn't use any of these swords, it occurred to him that the only thing he could do was take the pills.
Ping Yongjia was fully aware that one couldn't have the magic pills at will; but he believed that he was brought here by the old monkey and that the pills should be safe to take. Mostly importantly, he was anxious to improve his Cultivation state.
In the stories, the main characters usually didn't die after they jumped off a cliff and found the treasures.
The fortunate encounters usually didn't lead to a mishap, he thought.
Thinking of the lonely situation on the top of Shenmo Peak and the discussions among those Green Mountain disciples, he picked up the green vial after a determined expression showing on his face. He pulled off the amulet paper from the vial and chucked the entire content of the vial into his mouth without hesitation.
Seeing this, the old monkey was dumfounded.
"They're very crispy, tasting like the intestines…"
Ping Yongjia was chewing the magic pills like he would do with beans. Seeing the expression on the old monkey's face, he said, "Oh, sorry. I forgot to save one for you."
After making a strange shriek, the old monkey dashed out of the manor cave without spinning his head around once, and he didn't forget to close the stone door behind him.
As Ping Yongjia was wondering why the monkey did that and was about to chase him to ask some questions, he suddenly felt a pang of pain in his stomach, his face turning pale.
The old monkey ran away from the manor cave as quickly as he could. He crossed the stream and came back to the crowd of monkeys drenched; then he cried sharply, signaling for all the monkeys to hide in the forest to evade a forthcoming disaster.
The monkeys had no idea what was happening. They retreated to the forest in a hurry, and didn't feel at ease until they backed a mile away.
The old monkey climbed to the treetop, looking in the direction of the manor cave, his eyes full of worry and rage.
The magic pills in the vial were very strong; taking one of them was enough even for those who were to break through the Free Travel State, and they must stay behind closed doors for at least one year to digest it.
Yet, Ping Yongjia had taken all the pills in the vial in one swig. By doing so, his body would explode and he would die as a result of course, and the whole cliff might collapse due to the powerful explosion.
As the old monkey was thinking of this, the treetop suddenly began to sway.
The monkeys in the forest cried in surprise in tandem, and they staggered and swayed. Some young monkeys even fell off from their mothers' backs.
Countless sprays formed on the surface of the stream, and a great amount of smoke and dusts kicked up on the ground. An earthquake occurred!
A thudding sound seemed to come from the cliff.
In the next moment, a rumbling thunder broke out; the cliff shook again and the water in the stream rippled one more time.
It was not over yet. The rumbling thunders continued and the quake kept going for a long time until everything returned to the original state.
The monkeys in the forest calmed down, feeling curious and uneasy while looking in the direction of the cliff.
Looking at the cliff, the old monkey showed sympathy and sorrow in his aged eyes.
The Green Mountain Sect hadn't seen such a naïve and stupid child for a great many years.
The forbidding formation was designed and arranged by the Immortal Jing Yang himself. It was both very powerful and amazing. Neither people nor their sights could penetrate it, but the wind and rain could.
In the early winter, a snowfall arrived on the top of the peak. The windows of the Daoist hall were open, but no one could be seen standing by them.
The snow fell onto the forest at the foot of the cliff. The monkeys stared at a spot unwaveringly while the snowflakes were accumulating on their heads. They looked quite adorable.
The old monkey took a fruit handed from one of his descendants, had a bite, and then tossed it to the youngest one at the bottom of the tree; he resumed watching the site.
The cliff had already collapsed, and the manor cave was buried underneath the rubbles. That naïve and stupid guy must have died. However, the monkeys couldn't get close to that place, because a seemingly powerful formation and energy insulated the cliff from the outside world.
The old monkey asked his descendants to keep tabs on the place because he was quite alarmed.
In the ensuing days, the winter snowfalls occurred a few more times; the early spring arrived. Another year had passed.
One early morning the old monkey was suddenly awakened. As he looked at the cliff, he found the rubbles of the rocks were bulging slowly and a hole appeared in them.
A person walked out from the hole under the morning sunlight; he was none other than Ping Yongjia.
Seeing this, the old monkey and the others all felt extremely astonished. How come a dead person came back alive again?
The old monkey led the group crossing the stream and approaching Ping Yongjia. However, before they could get near him, the expressions in their eyes changed suddenly, and they ran back while screaming in a high pitch.
Ping Yongjia was covered in dust, his hair messy to the extreme. He looked like a pauper at the moment, and the smell from him was even worse than a pauper.
Seeing the scattering monkeys while holding their noses, Ping Yongjia showed a regretful expression in his eyes before he jumped into the stream.
The snowflakes would melt instantly when they touched the water in the stream, but the water was rather cold. Ping Yongjia didn't even notice the coldness of the water. He rubbed his body carefully, and cleaned the dirt and soil with the sword fire from time to time.
After a long while, he smelled himself again and found the unbearable odor was mostly gone; then he waded out of the stream after saying "sorry" to those dead fish drifting to downstream.
As he was about to put on the clothes, he smelled the stinky odor again. He couldn't help but feel like throwing up. He acted as quickly as he could to burn the clothes into green smoke.
The green smoke still had a residual of the stinky odor while drifting along the stream, just like the lingering fear in his eyes.
He had swallowed the magic pills in the vial a year ago; the powerful effect of the pills had reformed his Dao Tree, and tempered his whole body in the meantime.
All the undesirable materials and contents in his body had been forced out, which was why he had farted dozens of times in a row.
The sounds of farting were the rumbling thunders the monkeys had heard that day.
The smell of his farts was extremely stinky. However, the formation of the manor cave happened to be rather effective, so not a sliver of air could be leaked to the outside because the air was not circulating at all in the cave save for the circulation of the spiritual energy.
As a result, Ping Yongjia had stayed behind closed doors in such a stinky environment for a year; he had almost become a pitiful victim of his own stinky farts.
As for why he didn't become a victim who died after explosion due to the over consumption of the magic pills, nobody knew.
He had absolutely no clue as to why he had survived; he simply took it simply for granted.
It was impossible for him to have a mishap while having a fortunate encounter, he believed.
A while later, the green smoke had finally dispersed from heaven and earth. The old monkey led the other monkeys approaching him gingerly while covering their mouths and noses.
Ping Yongjia waved his hand toward the old monkey.
He had just come out from behind closed doors, so he couldn't control his sword wills well enough. As he waved his hand, a sword will came out and landed in the stream.
The water in the stream became quiet, and a crevice appeared in the water. It looked like a transparent jade stone if one watched it from the side.
"Cutting off the water with a sword" was an extremely difficult task, even for those sword practitioners on Green Mountain who were very good at cutting off things.
Seeing this, Ping Yongjia was taken aback. "What is…my current Cultivation state?" he asked the monkeys.
Since he joined the Green Mountain Sect, Ping Yongjia had only studied for a short time at the Sword-Washing Hall and was bidden by Jing Jiu to enter Shenmo Peak. During the few years when he was on Shenmo Peak, he hadn't done anything except for learning the Endless Sword style of Qingrong Peak. He hadn't seen much, nor had he fought against other Cultivation practitioners. So he was not that confident about himself.
The monkeys hesitated for a moment, and then applauded him, meaning that he was rather outstanding.
The reason he hesitated was because they had to take their hands off their mouths and noses; it was not because they had a doubt about his prowess.
Ping Yongjia asked uncomfortably, "When do you think I will be able to break through the Sea State then?"
The monkeys shook their heads in unison without any hesitation this time; it was a hilarious scene.
Did they mean that he had no chance of breaking through the Sea State? Or, did they mean that he should cultivate diligently rather than set an unrealistic goal?
Ping Yongjia was a bit baffled, wondering if he had already broken the Sea State; so they meant that he had no need to think of when he would achieve it…
"My Master said that we can't go out of the mountains unless we break through the Sea State. So how can I go out and find them?"
He felt troubled. But when he thought that he had improved his Cultivation state, he felt cheered up. He went to that small wooden hut in the forest, and boiled a cup of green tea for himself.
The green tea had been kept here for many years, so it didn't taste as good as the new tea. Though the tea tasted a bit bitter, it somehow invigorated his spirits; he was struck by an idea.
Ping Yongjia took out a light green sword robe from a cabinet, found a conical hat, and made his way to the bottom of the peak.
The conical hats could always be found on Shenmo Peak after that year. The rims of the conical hats were quite broad; it was hard for others to see their faces when they put on the hats.
When he descended to the foot of the peak, Ping Yongjia went to the Sword-Washing Stream. He intended to find the Senior Master Mei Li, whom he knew, to ask when the Plum Meeting would take place. If it would take place as usual, he would like to know if he had to win the top ten at the Sword Trial to earn the qualification of participating in the Plum Meeting and leave the mountains.
Unexpectedly, he couldn't find any masters in the Sword-Washing Hall save for those newly joined inner gate disciples who were sleeping by stooping over the desks and were as lazy and carefree as he used to be.
He pulled a caretaker aside and asked what was going on, and found out that today was the date of the Sword Trial on Green Mountain and that the participants at the Plum Meeting would be selected.
Hearing this answer, Ping Yongjia couldn't help but look at the silver ribbon like Sword-Washing Stream for a while in a stupor.
When he wanted to improve his Cultivation state in order to avenge his Master, he was brought to a manor cave by an old monkey and took a vial of magic pills; when he wanted to participate in the Plum Meeting, the Sword Trial happened to take place on the same day he descended the peak…
Such a good fortune could easily equal that of the rumored He Zhan.
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