Zhao Layue was standing in the midst of twilight.
The setting sun was behind her.
It was hard to discern her countenance, but her distinctive black and white eyes were as bright as ever, looking especially remarkable against the dark and gloomy background.
Standing by the side, Gu Qing prayed in secret that his Master would wake up and see such a pair of eyes.
"Should we eat dinner first?" offered Jing Shang uneasily while standing outside the room.
Hearing this, Gu Qing and Ping Yongjia turned to Zhao Layue; the Drifter had no idea what to do.
She was the peak master of Shenmo and the Senior Master.
They were fully aware of how much Jing Jiu meant to her. Though she liked eating hotpot, was she able to eat anything at the moment?
Zhao Layue suddenly wheeled around and headed for the dining room.
The Jing House had prepared many dishes, the dining table full of plates and bowls. Jing Shang's wife stood by the table nervously, and Jing Li's wife stood somewhere farther away, feeling indignant.
Zhao Layue walked to the head of the table and sat down without a second thought. "Everybody, sit," she told the others.
All of them sat down by the dining table.
Zhao Layue said, "Everybody, eat."
All of them started eating. Nobody said anything during the dinner.
Having finished the dinner, Zhao Layue asked Jing Li's wife to comb her hair and to make a braid for her.
All the others pretended that they hadn't noticed anything; the Drifter lifted up a bowl larger than her face, pretending to eat something.
Jing Li had a pale look on his face, thinking that it was fortunate that there was no mirror in the dining room.
Zhao Layue left the dining room and went back to the front of the study room. She sat down on the spot where the begonia tree used to be, cross-legged with eyes closed.
The Thoughtless Sword came out noiselessly.
The beautiful twilight shone on her black braid; the scene was a bit unsightly.
Seeing this, Ping Yongjia felt ill at ease, asking Gu Qing, "Big Brother, what should we do next?"
Gu Qing knew her temperament very well, and was certain that she wouldn't leave the place as long as his Master hadn't woken up. "Let's stand guard here," he said.
As Jing Jiu's personal disciples, they needed to stand guard here, but they couldn't do it the way Zhao Layue did, sitting there and doing nothing.
Nobody knew when Jing Jiu would wake up; what if it took a dozen years?
Fortunately, the Jing House had been expanded twice, and it had enough rooms for all of them to reside in.
Dusk turned to night.
"Master, when will you go back to the palace?" Jing Li asked Gu Qing.
In his eyes, his Master was the Governor of the State so that he shouldn't stay outside the palace all the time.
Gu Qing waved his hand dismissively, thinking that governing the state was not as important as taking care of his Master.
The next morning, Jing Li, after waking up, went to various rooms to pay his respect to Jing Jiu, who was still asleep, Zhao Layue, Gu Qing, Ping Yongjia and the Drifter. Then he told his wife not to bring any tea or food to them in an attempt to please these senior masters before he went to the royal palace.
As he came out of the alley and arrived on the street, he stopped short. Seeing what was happening on the street, he couldn't help but rub his eyes a few times, wondering if he had seen it wrong.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
This used to be a bustling street with many residential houses and shops; but those shops and houses had been dismantled overnight. It was a flat ground now.
What was going on? He walked to the other side and looked around in bewilderment.
An official of the Construction Bureau of the Labor Ministry knew his identity and explained to Jing Li, "It's done according to a royal decree last night. Many officers of the Pure Heaven Bureau came to help out. I have no idea why."
Jing Li came to the royal palace feeling bewildered. The young Emperor asked him before he could put the question to the Emperor, "How is my granduncle?"
Jing Li replied, "The Grandmaster is still unconscious…Your Majesty, why was that street dismantled?"
"You'll know why when you go back home this evening," said the Emperor.
When Jing Li came back from the royal palace by dusk, he found that a temple was built on that street.
It was evident that a powerful Cultivation practitioner had moved this temple here from somewhere, because it was impossible to build such a temple in one day, not even with the help of the officers of the Pure Heaven Bureau.
The temple seemed aged, but Jing Li found it looked familiar. By the time he walked closer to the temple, he recognized that it was the back hall at the Net-Perception Temple.
What was going on?
Jing Li walked into the alley in bewilderment. All of a sudden, he heard a squeaking sound and saw a young monk walk out from the opening door of a courtyard.
Gu Qing walked out with him, showing a respectful expression on his face.
He was the Governor of the State and the principal disciple of the sect master of Green Mountain, both of which were very high status. How many monks in the world could make Gu Qing show such a respect?
"Greetings, the Young Zen Master." Jing Li bowed to the ground hastily, and saw the bare feet as white as the lotus flowers on the ground.
The Young Zen Master didn't pay attention to him, nor did he try to avoid him. He continued talking to Gu Qing, "His Cultivation state was still very low, but he employed the Sword Formation of Green Mountain that day all the same. He should have died that day; yet, he has lasted this long because he somehow obtained the fairy energy from Bai Ren. I have no experience with such a situation and don't know when or if he will wake up. The people at the Water-Moon Nunnery may have such experience; you'd better ask them."
Having said that, the Young Zen Master walked to that street, and was led into the new temple by the monks of the Net-Perception Temple.
The bells rang amid the twilight.
Gu Qing bowed in the direction of that street earnestly.
Jing Li followed suit and bowed hurriedly.
The next day, a small green curtain sedan landed on the street.
The Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery had some exchange with Gu Qing and turned to leave after shooting a glance at Zhao Layue.
The place was guarded by the Young Zen Master, so there was no need for her to stay; and someone had to watch over the Heavenly Well by the East Ocean.
Lian Sanyue had slept for many years after being infused the fairy energy by Jing Jiu. The Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery only noticed the changes on the outside but had no idea how Lian Sanyue tempered the fairy energy, so she couldn't offer any helpful suggestions to Gu Qing.
After the Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery left, Zhen Tao and a few of her colleagues stayed behind and resided in Taichang Temple.
Soon after, the practitioners of the Hanging-Bell Sect, the Mirror Sect and the Great Marsh had also come. They all resided somewhere close to the Jing House.
On the other side of the Jing House were the manor houses of State Duke Lu and the Prime Minister. The former was a servant of Jing Jiu, and the later had the background of the One-Cottage House.
As such, the Jing House was encircled completely and became an isolated and forbidden site.
It was evident that this arrangement was intended to thwart the potential attacks of vengeance from the Center Sect. And with Yuan Qijing in the royal palace, the unconscious Jing Jiu should be safe.
Thinking of all this, Jing Li returned home, yet he found something was missing in his home. Then he remembered that the begonia tree was gone; he sighed helplessly.
Zhao Layue sat in front of the study room with her eyes closed. She heeded neither the Young Zen Master nor the Chief Nun of the Water-Moon Nunnery.
Yet, Gu Qing still needed to report to her about all the happenings no matter what.
Zhao Layue opened her eyes and stood up. She reached out her hand and called back the Thoughtless Sword.
Gu Qing was baffled, wondering what she intended to do.
Zhao Layue held the braid with her left hand and cut it off with the Thoughtless Sword in her right hand, then tossed it to Gu Qing.
The Thoughtless Sword quivered a little and then turned into a blood-red line, heading toward Green Mountain.
Holding the braid in his hands, Gu Qing felt bewildered while gazing at the disappearing sword light on the horizon.
Back when Jing Jiu was trapped in the snowland, Zhao Layue waited for him in White Town in front of that temple for a year; but why did she leave this time only after one day?
He suddenly felt the braid in his hands grow heavy and a bit hot. He thought this was something he shouldn't touch, so he brought it to the study room hastily and placed it on the bed by Jing Jiu. And he didn't forget to place the braid neatly.
The blood-red sword light illuminated the top of Shenmo Peak.
Yuan Qü walked out to receive her, saying, "Master, how is the Immortal Sect Master doing?"
Zhao Layue didn't heed him, waving her sleeve lightly.
Ada rolled out from her sleeve like a snowball.
Yuan Qü held his tongue immediately.
The stone door closed slowly behind them.
Ada pulled back his sight, and ambled to the edge of the cliff and crouched down, looking at the seemingly ablaze ocean of clouds.
One hundred years had passed.
Though it was not enough time for the sea to turn into the field, one hundred years were a boundary hard for mortals to step over; it was a border line between life and death.
Those residents of Zhaoge City who had witnessed the battle between Lian Sanyue and the fairy lady all died; as a result, the event became a legend.
One hundred years was a long period even for the Cultivation practitioners.
This period was quite peaceful in Chaotian.
The devil men had been mostly killed by Liu Ci.
The Center Sect kept quiet, as if they stayed in the sealed off mountains.
On the other hand, the Green Mountain Sect had become increasingly more powerful.
The Immortal Guangyuan reached the Heavenly Arrival State seventy years ago.
Fang Jingtian broke through the middle state of the Heaven Arrival.
Unexpectedly, the Sword Justice of Green Mountain, Yuan Qijing, was still alive. He was still in the royal palace, though few people had seen him.
The Green Mountain Sect seemed to have revived their vigor; but everybody was aware of the true troubles Green Mountain had to face.
The Immortal Taiping was still roaming the world.
And the Immortal Jing Yang was still unconscious.
If Yuan Qijing weren't still alive, Fang Jingtian might have already suppressed Shenmo Peak and welcomed back his Master.
In a normal autumn day, the door of the manor cave on the top of Shenmo Peak opened slowly. Along with the drifting dust, Zhao Layue walked out.
She was covered with dust, her short hair very messy. She looked as messy as when she met Jing Jiu the first time on the Sword Peak over a hundred years ago. But her black and white eyes were more distinctive, like inky words on a white sheet, so heaven and earth would be able to discern her wishes and ideas.
Amid the blood-red twilight, she strolled to the edge of the cliff, looking at the seemingly blazing ocean of clouds.
Countless vague sword wills emerged from inside her dress.
The ocean of clouds suddenly broke into pieces, turning into tens of thousands of strands, looking like innumerable bounding flames.
Yuan Qü walked out from the Daoist Hall. He was so shocked that he even forgot to bow to his Master, his eyes full of bewilderment and disbelief.
What Cultivation state did his Master demonstrate earlier?
A meowing suddenly rang out in the distant top of Bihu Peak.
It was an expression of reminiscence, but more of an admiration.
She had finally surpassed the former Jing Yang and became the youngest practitioner in the upper state of the Broken Sea.
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