There was a lonely nunnery hall on the other side of the lake; the Prince Jing Xin had been imprisoned there for many years.
As the Immortal Tan drew closer to the nunnery hall, the atmosphere by the lake grew tenser.
The group of the Water-Moon Nunnery looked at the Chief Nun with an anxious expression, waiting for her decision.
The Emperor intended to let the Prince Jing Xin become a monk at the Fruit Formation Temple, but the Young Zen Master was upset with Green Mountain because of their protection of the Immortal Taiping and rejected this request. As a result, the Prince Jing Xin came to the Water-Moon Nunnery. The reason the Immortal Tan wanted to bring the Prince Jing Xin with him was evidently because he intended to put him on the throne. What would happen to the current Crown Prince Jing Yao?
If a mishap occurred, what could the Water-Moon Nunnery say to the Green Mountain Sect?
The Chief Nun's gaze followed the Immortal Tan the entire time.
The Immortal Tan's footsteps looked ordinary, but they had a mysterious and amazing rhythm, seemingly in synch with heaven and earth. There was no ripple on the lake; it seemed that the formation of the Water-Moon Nunnery hadn't responded in the least. Was this the effect of highest Cultivation state?
The Chief Nun was well aware that she was no match for the Immortal Tan. Even if she summoned the Great Formation and bade all the practitioners of the Water-Moon Nunnery to attack him, they still couldn't slow him down.
But, how could they just let him take Prince Jing Xin away from the Water-Moon Nunnery?
The Chief Nun suddenly recalled that crazy woman who came here to make a great deal of fuss from Green Mountain, a determined expression flashing in her eyes; she was ready to strike.
It was then that the ripples formed on the surface of the lake. She was startled a little, the expression in her eyes returning to normal state.
The Immortal seemed to have sensed something, and turned to look at the surface of the lake. After a moment of thought, he failed to wrap his head around it, and then resumed walking forward.
Under the gazes of the group, he arrived on the other side of the lake and entered the nunnery hall.
Prince Jing Xin, wearing a green cotton cloth, had been waiting behind the doorsill.
The Immortal Tan gazed at him and found that there were some inky stains on his clothing and on the side of his palm, and knew he wasn't as calm as he pretended to be.
"Greetings, Immortal Sect Master."
The Prince Jing Xin bowed to the Immortal Tan deeply.
The Immortal Tan looked at him quietly. He didn't say anything, nor did he ask Jing Xin to get up.
The gentle wind blew over the surface of the lake, creating more ripples.
The sparse tree branches were trembling slightly.
Time passed slowly.
The Prince Jing Xin maintained the bowing posture, but his body started to tremble slightly.
He understood the intention of the Immortal Tan.
His mother was a member of the Center Sect; based on this status, it was not inappropriate for him to kneel before the Immortal Tan.
However, he was fully aware of what it meant by doing so.
It meant that the system of the Plum Meeting that had lasted for more than six hundred years would be finished.
The Immortal Tan didn't exude any energy, nor did he try to coerce him. All he did was waiting for his own decision quietly.
After a long while, Jing Xin couldn't hold the posture any longer and knelt on the ground after his legs giving in. A thud occurred when his knees contacted the ground.
The Immortal Tan waved his hand after a sigh, dismantling the formation on the doorsill.
He turned around and took a look at the round window; then he led Jing Xin flying away from the Water-Moon Nunnery, heading in the direction of Zhaoge City.
The gentle wind rose again, creating ripples on the surface of the lake. It was quiet throughout the Water-Moon Nunnery.
The Chief Nun drew back her gaze from the horizon and walked into the meditation room with an imperturbable expression on her face. Looking at the woman kneeling on the floor, she said, "You should know who she is."
The woman wore an ordinary cloth, with a silver bell on her exposed wrist; her appearance was both attractive and pretty. She was none other than the former assassin of the Old Ones, Nan Zhen.
Nan Zhen was bidden by Nan Wang to come to the Water-Moon Nunnery to gather information on Lian Sanyue; but she was discovered by the Water-Moon Nunnery.
"When Nan Wang asked me to come here to keep tabs on her, I was already suspicious," Nan Zhen said while looking at the woman in sleep. "I've seen her many years ago, and I know how outstanding she was. If I still couldn't guess who she is, I would be truly stupid."
The Chief Nun walked over and reached out her hand to pick a dried catkin from Guo Dong's cheek, saying, "Unfortunately, she won't be able to wake up; otherwise…"
She didn't finish this sentence before she said to Nan Zhen, "I'll let you live if you go to Zhaoge City to tell the royal palace that Jing Xin has left."
Nan Zhen lifted up her head and looked at the Chief Nun in confusion, wondering why the Chief Nun bade her to do such an important job and how she could travel more quickly than the Immortal Tan.
"You ride in the small green curtain sedan, and you'll get there ahead of him," said the Chief Nun.
The light rainfall occurred in Zhaoge City, making the temperature that had just increased at the end of the spring drop again.
The inspection outside the city gates was still very meticulous; and the streets and valleys in the city were still crowded.
A youth in red cloth led a girl in green dress walking on the street.
The girl looked at various street scenes curiously, her eyes full of interest and caution.
Even in the Dongyi Dao, few people wore red clothes except on the occasion of marriage celebration. However, the red cloth didn't look awkward when it was worn by a clean and amiable youth. He actually looked attractive, drawing the gazes of many women.
"Don't be so worried," the youth in red said to the girl in green with a smile. "We have often met over the last few years and traveled together. When have I schemed against you?"
The girl in green took a look at him, a distrust showing in her eyes. "How can I trust men?" she remarked.
"What you've just said sounds more like a normal human now."
The youth in red laughed as he continued, "You have the Green Sky Mirror, so you can go back inside any time you want to. No man can deceive you."
"I don't think I'm so formidable though," the girl in green said.
The youth in red said, "You're the true spirit of heavenly state, born with the world in you. Your Cultivation state is the highest in Chaotian. Though you don't know how to fight, you should be able to protect yourself with no doubt."
The girl in green was the Green Girl, the spirit of the Green Sky Mirror; but who was this youth in red?
Was he the red bird that had landed on the tree branch back then?
The Green Girl asked, "Why did you bring me to Zhaoge City?"
"Watch a show," replied the youth.
The Green Girl asked, "Where is your servant? And where is that mountain rooster?"
"He is the Dark Phoenix," said the youth, a helpless expression showing on his face.
The Green Girl hmphed while tilting her face upwards, saying, "I can only regard him as a rooster at most."
"He is the Dark Phoenix," the youth said with a calm and resolute tone. "He is recuperating from his injury."
The Green Girl was aware that he treated that bird differently from everybody else, so she asked curiously, "Do you treat him as a family member because you think you two have the same family name 'Yin' (aka. dark)?"
"This name is not my original family name. But, I might have thought it this way back when I named myself."
It turned out that this youth in red was the Immortal Taiping who had succeeded in total transformation and Yin San who had left Green Mountain.
The Green Girl stopped teasing him, asking, "Where is that bald guy?"
Yin San said, "This place is very close to Cloud-Dream Mountain, so the Young Mysterious Dark Master can't come to Zhaoge City; otherwise, the Unicorn will smell his odor and become very irate."
The Green Girl cocked her head and took a look at him. "What about you?" she asked. "All the people in the world are irate when it comes to you; how come you dare come to Zhaoge City? Are you not afraid of death?"
"Someone like the two of us has a hard time dying, even if we want to," said Yin San.
Hearing this, the Green Girl fell silent. "What are we going to watch?" she pressed.
Looking at the distant royal palace, Yin San commented sentimentally, "The Emperor is on the brink of dying; the contention over the throne is of course an exciting show."
This was the first time the Green Girl had learned of the news, feeling surprised. "What will happen then?" she asked.
"The affairs in the world are nothing new."
Looking at the bustling carriages and pedestrians on the streets, Yin San commented, "All sects will come to Zhaoge City. The Center Sect will bring Jing Xin back to contend for the throne. The Water-Moon Nunnery doesn't have anyone who can fight effectively, so they have no choice but to watch on the side. The One-Cottage House seems impartial, but all they do is play both sides. The Fruit Formation Temple set the rules of not interfering in the affairs of the imperial court in order to guard against me, so they can't violate their own rules. As for the rest of the Cultivation sects, they are mostly a witness to the event; there is nothing they can do."
The Green Girl thought reflexively that what he said would surely come true. "Didn't the Emperor appoint the Crown Prince? He is sure to have written a Will," she remarked.
"The Will is the most useless thing in the world; nobody is more aware of it than our Green Mountain Sect."
Pointing to a young girl standing in front of the stalls on the street and those scholars walking together on the street, Yin San said, "These people will die soon."
"You're so cruel," said the Green Girl while glaring at him in disgust.
Yin San said while shaking his head, "The imperial court became the bridge between the mortal world and the Cultivation circle after the Plum Meeting. As time passed, the imperial court grew stronger and more powerful with the support of mortals and the Cultivation practitioners; so the imperial court has finally become a fortress and no Cultivation sect wishes to lose control of it. The only solution is to get rid of the imperial court altogether if no struggle for the imperial court is the desired goal."
With wide-opened eyes, the Green Girl commented worriedly, "Will that lead to a great turmoil in the world?"
"The great turmoil will lead to a great peace," said Yin San.
The Green Girl knew of his evil idea, so she pressed cautiously, "Do you still want to have all the mortals killed?"
"Those mortals who can't survive the turbulence may not deserve to live," Yin San returned with a small smile.
The Green Girl moved away instinctively, as she demanded, "You're indeed a crazy man! What on earth do you intend to do?"
"Only in doing this will the human race will grow stronger," replied Yin San calmly.
The Green Girl thought that she had no way to communicate with this insane person, but she demanded, "Why must humans grow stronger?"
"If the human race couldn't grow stronger, they would be extinct sooner or later," Yin San said nonchalantly.
The Green Girl felt bewildered; but as she was about to ask some more questions, she suddenly sensed a wave of familiar energy in the sky coming from the northwest.
A violent wind kicked up in Zhaoge City, and the ocean of clouds was pushed aside in all directions. A dozen large cloud boats were approaching slowly, casting huge shadows on the ground.
Soon after, the cloud boats of the Center Sect arrived outside Zhaoge City, obstructing the sun.
The streets and alleys suddenly grew dark. The populace looked at the sky in terror, and many shrieks ensued. It seemed that a turmoil would take place.
It was evident that the imperial court had prepared for this event in advance.
Along with the frequent and storm-like horse hooves, the entire divine army seemed on the move. They began to maintain the order on the streets together with the government officials and evacuate the residents from the city.
The cracking sounds broke out from inside the city walls and various buildings. As the roofs and eaves of the buildings opened up, hundreds of divine crossbows revealed themselves. The crossbows as thick as the human arms pointed toward the sky, the amulets carved on the bows glowing brightly against the darkened background, which looked like the stars showing up earlier than scheduled.
However, it was almost impossible for these divine crossbows to resist the dozen cloud boats of the Center Sect.
The Green Girl looked in the direction of south and asked with a worried expression on her face, "Where are the sword boats of Green Mountain?"
Yin San said, "The Green Mountain Sect can't get involved in the state affairs of the imperial court, which is also the rule of the Plum Meeting. Sending the sword boats here is a bit offensive."
The Green Girl was surprised to hear this. "So nobody will come from Green Mountain?!" she pressed.
Yin San said with a small smile, "Hey, I'm a person from Green Mountain."
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