A cloud boat of the Center Sect suddenly sped down the west side of Zhaoge City along with a gust of violent wind. And a mist of more powerful energy had descended earlier. In an instant, a great many houses were destroyed. The Plum Platform and the Chessboard Mountain were located there. Though there were not that many residential houses at the foot of the mountain, the residents would have died immediately if they hadn't left yet.
Bu Qiuxiao had a changed look in his eyes. He released the Dragon-Tail Inkstone from his hand, aiming at that cloud boat ten miles away.
A powerful and clean energy was intensifying between the Dragon-Tail Inkstone and that cloud boat.
If that cloud boat didn't halt its action, the Dragon-Tail Inkstone would attack it without hesitation.
"It was agreed that the battle would be limited to the royal palace today!" Bu Qiuxiao exclaimed sharply to the Immortal Bai above the Yintian Gate.
"Where is Taiping?" the Immortal Bai returned calmly.
The manor house of the Minister of the Ritual Ministry was located near the Chessboard Mountain.
Lying on the bed, Yin San was eating the preserved fruits from a case in his hand; he seemed to enjoy eating them very much.
Leaning against the window, the Green Girl looked in the direction of the royal palace with a worried countenance.
A gust of violent wind suddenly rose in the courtyard, making the window rattle loudly. In the next moment, a huge shadow cast over the manor house of the Minister.
Looking at the cloud boat in the sky, Yin San felt surprised, commenting, "The Center Sect has become a lot more powerful than before. I didn't expect them to find me so soon."
The Green Girl didn't respond like the Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect. "If you didn't spread the information on purpose, of course they wouldn't find you so quickly," she exclaimed.
The members of the Curtain Rollers and the Old Ones had carried out many tasks the night before in Zhaoge City; the Center Sect didn't react fast enough. However, relying on their resources that they had built up over the years, the Center Sect had found many clues, many of which led to the manor house of the Minister of the Ritual Ministry.
"Neither the Sect Master nor the Immortal Bai are on the boat," the Green Girl said after taking a look at the sky. She still called them in the way she was used to. "The person in charge on the boat is Yue Qianmen. Do you have a feeling that you are being belittled?" the Green Girl spun her head around and said in a mocking tone.
Yin San said with a faint smile, "They are all very composed."
If it were on any other occasion, the Immortals Tan and Bai would definitely pursue him when they found out his whereabouts; they would make sure that he had no way to escape.
This scenario didn't happen that day.
The name of Taiping sounded formidable, but his current fighting ability was quite limited. If the Center Sect sent over someone with the highest Cultivation state, their strength in the royal palace would be weakened.
This was Yin San's plan, but it was uncovered by the Center Sect.
Even though neither the Immortal Tan nor the Immortal Bai came in person, Yue Qianmen was a strong swordsman in the Lianxu State, so it was hard for Yin San to deal with him along with that cloud boat.
Yin San put down the preserved fruits unwillingly and left the manor house of the Minister while folding his hands behind his back.
The cloud boat of the Center Sect was traveling at a high speed a few hundred feet above the ground. Even though the formation was employed to reduce the wind, the huge body of the boat still caused a terrible gust of wind; the houses and courtyards had all collapsed wherever the boat passed by, the dusts flying in the air and the pebbles rolling on the ground. It was a dreadful scene.
The most dreadful thing was the mist released from the bow of the cloud boat. The invisible and powerful air waves were hidden inside the mist, which created pits of one hundred feet deep when the solid and hard roads were bombarded, with thousands of holes appearing on the ground.
Those residents of Zhaoge City who hadn't been evacuated in time were crushed to deaths under the roof beams; some of them were turned directly into green smoke by the hot mist.
Standing at the head of the cloud boat and looking at the scene, Yue Qianmen didn't show any sympathy on his face, the expression in his eyes remaining extremely cold. The collateral damage of those residents was not a concern for him; but he wondered how that youth in red in the midst of the rubbles had such a strange and unpredictable movements. The magic lock on the cloud boat couldn't locate and trap him. And, was the green bird following him…that divine being?
"Did you do it on purpose?" the Green Girl yelled into his ear after landing on his shoulder. Looking at the ruined streets and valleys behind her, she had an angry expression in her eyes.
"Why are you so angry?"
Yin San tapped a lotus flower lightly with the tip of his toe, and flew to the top of a fake mountain a few thousand feet away like a band of smoke. He had an itching sensation in his ear, so he inserted a finger into it and picked it.
The Green Girl pecked his finger forcefully, yelling, "You've had so many people killed!"
"The late emperor tried his hardest to stay alive for one more night in an effort to have the residents of Zhaoge City evacuated, but these people didn't want to leave for one or another ridiculous reason. They basically wished for their own deaths."
Looking at the cloud boat in the sky and letting out a faint smile, Yin San arrived under a large green tree a few hundred feet away after shaking his body. He reached out his hand to bring the Green Bird close to his eyes. "Remember, those people are not your kind," said he while staring into her eyes.
"What are you trying to tell me?" asked the Green Girl, feeling uneasy.
Yin San said seriously, "You're not a human, at least not a real human being."
The Green Girl couldn't understand what this insane man meant, so she yelled, "But you're an immortal man!"
Regardless of whether he was a real human or the Immortal Taiping, he was an immortal man.
"No, I haven't been an immortal man a long time ago," Yin San said lightly.
"Even if the Immortal Taiping were in Zhaoge City, you people still couldn't act this way; otherwise, so many innocent residents will die."
Looking in the direction of the Yintian Gate, Bu Qiuxiao demanded sharply, "Otherwise, what is the difference between us and him?"
The cloud and fog didn't give a response, but the cloud boat in Zhaoge City stopped short. It was unclear whether it was the intention of the Immortal Bai or the Immortal Tan had done something.
The people in the royal palace could see clearly that Yue Qianmen led dozens of swordsmen of the Center Sect coming down from the cloud boat, and the pursuit continued. Yet, it was not as formidable and destructive as before. If it had been on any other occasion, all of their gazes would have followed Yue Qianmen and those pursuing swordsmen, because the Immortal Taiping was there somewhere. However, they pulled back their gazes quickly that day.
It was because the Immortal Tan was walking toward the grand hall along with Jing Xin.
Hundreds of secret guards emerged from the rooms on both sides. They aimed their bows and weapons at the square, their expressions exceedingly nervous.
In comparison to the wide square, the figure of the Immortal Tan was extremely small; but no one thought this way.
The Great Formation of royal palace would strike down at any moment like what had happened to the commander of the northern divine army; but the formation had no effect on someone like the Immortal Tan who had a very high Cultivation state.
"Back down, all of you." The voice of Jing Yao broke out in the grand hall; though it sounded a bit shaky, it was nonetheless composed.
It was evident that he didn't want those secret guards to lose their lives unnecessarily.
Hearing what the new emperor said, those secret guards fell silent for a while; then they obeyed the order and left. The square appeared very wide and empty again.
Jing Jiu realized that he didn't choose a wrong person for the throne. He left the stone steps, walking past those chancellors kneeling in front of the grand hall, and arrived in the square.
The Immortal Tan stopped short.
The two of them eyed each other at a distance of one mile.
The Immortal Tan said, "We can talk about this world now."
"Please go ahead," said Jing Jiu.
"I don't wish to see Zhaoge City and this world be destroyed because of us."
The Immortal Tan continued, "This is nevertheless the conflict in our opinions, so we should be the ones to settle it."
"It makes sense," Jing Jiu returned.
"Your sect and my sect will send out three swordsmen each. We will obey whoever wins the fight," said the Immortal Tan. "And the winner can choose to fight again," he added.
This meant that the bloody battle would keep going until the last one standing.
This method of settling issues was simple but a bit too brutal. This was the method often used by the hooligans on the street and mafias in the mortal world.
Yet, the contention for the throne and the leadership of the orthodox Cultivation sects was in essence not so different from the fight over the right of collecting the "protective fees" from the vendors on the streets.
The Immortal Tan took this method for granted, and so did Jing Jiu.
Yet, Jing Jiu didn't intend to accept his recommendation even though he didn't care about fighting like the hooligans on the streets.
He had calculated it carefully before leaving Green Mountain. He had nine out of ten chance to kill the Immortal Tan if he employed that move; but what should he do with that one possible chance of failure?
Worst of all, if he employed that move for the fight, he wouldn't have any energy left. In that case, what should he do with the remaining two fights?
The Dead Dog wouldn't leave the Sword Jail.
The Snow Girl couldn't face the world
Yuan Qijing was too old.
She was still asleep.
He would lose for sure.
Hearing the recommendation of the Immortal Tan, the Cultivation practitioners in the sky thought this was the best solution; the two sects fighting to the end could avoid a bloodbath in the human world. Yet, nobody believed that the recommendation of the Immortal Tan was utterly fair, because they could all tell that the Green Mountain Sect had no chance of winning the battle.
The Immortal Tan and the Immortal Bai were the strongest swordsmen in Chaotian. Even the Sword Justice of Green Mountain, Yuan Qijing, was still a bit inferior in comparison, unless one of the Principal Guards of Green Mountain would fight. But Cloud-Dream Mountain had the Unicorn. Who could defeat these three members of the Center Sect in the highest Cultivation state?
Even the Master of the Bloody Demon Church at his height couldn't do it.
Perhaps, the sword light that had traveled heaven and earth without an equal a few years ago could achieve the feat.
Thinking of the sword light, the Cultivation practitioners of various sects had different emotions.
The departure of the Immortal Liu Ci had a big impact on the Green Mountain Sect.
As expected, Jing Jiu didn't accept the recommendation of the Immortal Tan. "I don't accept it," claimed he.
The Immortal Tan didn't feel surprised to hear it, saying, "Please tell me your idea, Immortal."
Everybody thought that Jing Jiu would request to add more fighters to the battle or that he would recommend another plan; but they didn't expect Jing Jiu to make such an incredible suggestion in their wildest dreams.
"I'm the sect master of Green Mountain, and you're the sect master of the Center Sect; so we can settle the issue just between the two of us. There is no point in asking others to do it for us, and it's troublesome to have so many fights."
Jing Jiu added, "I want to have a fight with you."
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