Gu Qing left the royal palace and returned to the Jing House.
The begonia tree was not there anymore, and nobody dared plant any other tree in its place. As such, the courtyard was rather empty and looked like a pond of water when the starlight shone on it.
He walked into the study room and looked at his Master on the bed, feeling heavy in his heart.
Jing Jiu's eyes were shut tight, his eyelids unwavering, but his skin still looked as smooth as jade, and his eyes and brows looked like a figure in the painting. He didn't look different from one hundred years ago, and still was the same fairy man who had drawn admiration from all the people.
He was like a lotus flower sleeping at night and waiting to be awakened by the morning sunlight.
However, Lian Sanyue had left the world one hundred years ago; where in the world could he find such morning sunlight now?
The formation in the room was deployed by the Young Zen Master personally, insulating the room from the outside world. So Jing Jiu had no dust on his face and body like what would happen to the furniture in the regular houses after a while even if he would sleep for another one hundred years. However, Gu Qing still washed Jing Jiu twice a day and everyday; this was a way he showed his filial piety to his Master, and it was also a way of expressing his blessing.
The saying "No filial son can be found in front of a long-lasting sick bed" only applied to the patient who had no chance of recovering. The despair would bring out many negative emotions.
The situation would be totally different if there was a sliver of hope.
It was even more difficult to take care of Jing Jiu who was deeply asleep than it was paralyzed patients; it was especially difficult to turn his body around. Gu Qing always wondered why his Master was so heavy.
It was truly a difficult thing to wash Jing Jiu. The Young Zen Master couldn't stand seeing them struggle with the task and taught them a way of dealing with it when he came to Zhaoge City that year.
Gu Qing employed his Sword Source to light the sword fire, then he directed the sword fire from Jing Jiu's head to the bottom of his feet.
His Cultivation state was much higher than one hundred years ago, so he could control the sword fire more precisely. The sword fire traveled along Jing Jiu's white clothing only, and it had no chance of burning the cotton sheet on the bed. Having done the cleaning, Gu Qing moved a chair to the front of the bed and told Jing Jiu about what had happened in the imperial court that day and the messages from Green Mountain; then he fell silent.
What should he say next?
"I'm not willing to leave her, but I also know that she can't be with me; otherwise, how would Jing Yao think of it? The Center Sect will definitely make use of it to cause troubles, and she will definitely have mishaps as well. Master, what should I do," he asked Jing Jiu in a low voice, his head lowered like a child who had just done something wrong. "I have planned and put some thought into the relationship between Zhen Tao and me. I'm truly a wicked person. Actually, I don't want to be a person of this sort because I really like Zhen Tao…but how can a person like two women at the same time? I'm still a wicked person, right?"
Jing Jiu was sleeping unconsciously and couldn't hear him, let alone give him advice.
Gu Qing lifted up his head and said to Jing Jiu, "Master, I'm under a great deal of pressure. I have to hold up as much as I can as long as you're not awake, and I must hold up by all means…I'm the big brother on Shenmo Peak, so I can't fall flat on my face. Regardless of what means I use, I simply must stand with my back straight up even if it means that I have to become a wicked person. Hence, Zhen Tao and I will become the Cultivation partners in the beginning of spring next year. Master, will you bless me? You can beat me up or even kill me if you wish…It would be wonderful just have wake up."
Having said that, Gu Qing stood up and left the study room. He closed the door of the study room slowly and carefully behind him without making any noise; it seemed as if he didn't want to disturb Jing Jiu as he slept.
The courtyard was as quiet as ever. Jing Li was the grand scholar of the imperial court; he locked himself inside his room every night feeling dazed, having no light on after his wife passed away several years ago.
It was dark throughout the Jing House. There was a faint glow in the backyard accompanied by a faint sour smell wafting over; it would make anyone's mouth water.
It was the smell of pickles.
Gu Qing looked toward the backyard, and he suddenly felt admiration for the two people there.
The two of them hadn't gotten married yet; at the very least, they hadn't performed the marriage ritual. But they had already lived together in peace for one hundred years.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Though others had experienced a similar situation, why was it that these two could live a happy life together?
After leaving the Jing House, Gu Qing went to Taichang Temple.
As the young disciples of the Water-Moon Nunnery saw him approach, they all smiled behind their sleeves and went away after bowing to him in tandem.
"Master, the Governor of the State is here."
A mischievous girl called out toward the building and ran away while laughing merrily.
The light illuminated Zhen Tao's face when the door of the building was opened. She still looked as delicate and alluring as before even though she was a master at the Water-Moon Nunnery now.
Gu Qing's eyes beamed slightly as he came before her and asked, "How is your day?"
Zhen Tao had been studying the Heaven-Human Connection over the years and attempted to break through a certain barrier.
She and Gu Qing had a common goal and interest in Cultivation, while in comparison, the most the woman in the royal palace wanted was to cuddle him; she had no interest in any of that.
"I'm fine," Zhen Tao replied with a small smile; and she reached out her hands to straighten his collar as she asked, "What about you?"
"I have informed the Emperor and the Royal Dowager," Gu Qing replied.
Feeling a bit embarrassed, Zhen Tao said, "I'm not asking about this."
"Senior Master Zhao has already come out from behind closed doors," Gu Qing said with a faint smile, "but some important matters still need to be taken care of. I'll hassle with her a bit more."
Zhen Tao kept her embarrassment under control and said earnestly, "It has to be done before the beginning of spring next year."
One of the purposes for Gu Qing and Zhen Tao to become Cultivation partners was to gain the support of the Water-Moon Nunnery. Gu Qing had no intention of concealing this from her, and he had told her about it a long time ago.
"I'm sorry," he said earnestly while looking at Zhen Tao.
Zhen Tao returned with a small smile, "I'm glad that I can be of some help."
"Want to take a stroll with me?" Gu Qing suddenly suggested.
The two of them walked into the starry night at Taichang Temple.
The starlight illuminated the purple flowers outside the Fiend Prison, giving off an eerie feeling.
They were strolling under the starlight and amongst the flowers and bushes; it was quite peaceful and pleasant.
The Cultivation partners should march on the same path toward heaven, helping each other and discussing jointly concerned matters.
As far as how they started the journey was concerned, it was a long story.
The night and the starlight were both very beautiful; so there was no need to relate the story tonight.
He was holding her hand.
It was a wonderful feeling.
And it was a wonderful thing to stroll together under the stars and moon.
It was very sweet to fall in love like regular folks.
The two of them were speaking casually while holding hands.
He suddenly thought of something.
She, in the royal palace, must have been guessing what he and Zhen Tao were doing at the moment.
She must be quite sad.
Looking down at the purple flower swaying slightly amid the breeze at his feet, Gu Qing fell silent.
"What is it?" Zhen Tao asked him worriedly.
"Nothing," Gu Qing said expressionlessly after lifting his head. "I was just thinking about the last three hidden moves in the Inherited Heaven Sword style."
"Are they difficult?" Zhen Tao inquired.
Recalling the last words his Master uttered before falling down, he said, "It truly is."
The news that Gu Qing of Green Mountain and Zhen Tao of the Water-Moon Nunnery would become the Cultivation partners soon spread throughout the Cultivation world.
It was of course happy news.
They were equally matched in their statuses; more importantly, the Cultivation world regarded the couple as the continuation of the relationship between the Immortal Jing Yang and Lian Sanyue.
The Water-Moon Nunnery was naturally agreeable about the marriage, and the Green Mountain Sect couldn't find any reason to object to it.
Even though the likes of Fang Jingtian knew such a marriage would bring more troubles for them down the road, but they couldn't do anything about it.
One early morning in spring, Gu Qing came out of the Jing House and walked on that street.
It had been one hundred and one years, and a majority of people had long forgotten about what the street looked like before, thinking that the temple had always been on the street.
Looking at the temple across the street, Gu Qing thought of Jing Xin, who was locked up at the Fruit Formation Temple and the Green Mountain Meeting that would take place a little more than ten days later. And he wondered if Tong Yan's plan would work out and if Zhao Layue would listen to his advice.
If Fang Jingtian had become the sect master of Green Mountain, nobody could tell what effect that would have in the future.
Thinking of all this, Gu Qing headed toward the royal palace. A voice suddenly came down from above, "This wine is pretty good. Do you wish to give it a try?"
Gu Qing thought the speaker was He Zhan returning to Zhaoge City. As he craned his neck to look in the direction of the voice, he saw a youth with an adorable and handsome look stand by the railing in the restaurant.
The youth was wearing red clothing that looked a bit aged and lacked its former colorfulness. Gu Qing was unsure if the cloth had been washed too many times or if it was too old, but it looked appealing in another way.
There were hundreds of pictures depicting the youth in red at the Pure Heaven Bureau. Gu Qing of course knew who the youth was. He managed to calm down the best he could after a long while. Neither did he try to inform somebody, nor did he activate the Great Formation of the royal palace. "Greetings, Senior Master," he said while bowing reverently.
Yin San said while waving to him, "Come in and let's have a talk."
Gu Qing entered the restaurant and arrived in a private room on the second floor. The first thing he saw was the Retrieved Heavenly Orb on the table.
Countless light rays were projected from it, forming many seemingly real scenes in which he and the Royal Dowager Hu were strolling in the garden and conversing in the palace hall at night…
If necessary, the Retrieved Heavenly Orb could also play the sound. The practitioners in the Cultivation circle of Chaotian all knew that this magic treasure would suffice as proof alone. It was Liu Shisui who had brought the Retrieved Heavenly Orb into the Cloud Platform back when the Green Mountain Sect attempted to destroy the West Ocean Sword Sect. Afterwards, the Retrieved Heavenly Orb was returned to the Center Sect. The last appearance of the orb in the world was during the Dao Competition.
Gu Qing felt a sense of apprehension, wondering what he should do if it were the Center Sect that held the orb.
Nevertheless, the Retrieved Heavenly Orb ended up in this person's hands. He was afraid that more trouble could ensue as a result.
Thinking of all this, his face grew a bit pale, but the expression on his face was rather composed.
Yin San said with a small smile, "If the Little Emperor knew about this affair, how would he treat you? How would the chancellors of the imperial court think of you? The One-Cottage House doesn't like the fact that this vixen became the Royal Dowager to begin with; now, if they got hold of the proof of her having an affair in the royal palace, what do you think those scholars would do to her? More importantly, if the Water-Moon Nunnery found out about it and thought that you were humiliating them, what would happen next?"
All of these questions could have but one answer…
But Gu Qing asked calmly, "What are your thoughts, Senior Master?"
"You people should stop all the plans you've been preparing, including the decree of the Emperor and the commissioners of the One-Cottage House and the Fruit Formation Temple. I don't want these troublesome matters to disturb the Green Mountain Meeting ten days from now."
Yin San continued, "You must take care of these things first, and I'll ask you to do two more afterwards. Then I'll give the Retrieved Heavenly Orb to you."
After a silent pause, Gu Qing said, "Okay."
Having said this, he left the restaurant.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect came into the room and picked up the Retrieved Heavenly Orb, remarking, "He could keep cool when facing such a scandal. His temperament is truly formidable though his Cultivation state is ordinary."
"The standard of taking on disciples has always been high on our Green Mountain," Yin San commented with a smile.
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect said while shaking his head, "No, I think he behaved so calmly because he is determined to die for it."
"He is the next sect master selected by Jing Jiu," said Yin San in a slightly mocking tone. "He has been learning everything from Jing Jiu; how can he consider committing suicide?!"
The Great Grandmaster of the Mysterious Dark Sect thought about it and found what Yin San said was sensible.
"It's truly troublesome. Why don't we project the scenes in the Retrieved Heavenly Orb onto the sky and let the people of Chaotian see them?" The voice of the Dark Phoenix came down from above the roof beam.
"No," said Yin San. "As long as he is willing to do one thing for me, he will do many more things for me. I've been wondering how it feels to persuade his disciples to betray him."
After having arrived in the royal palace, Gu Qing didn't go to the grand hall as he usually did; instead, he went to the palace hall. He waved his hand to signal for the eunuchs and servant girls to leave the place, and then he came up behind the Royal Dowager Hu. He lowered his head under her bewildered gaze and held her tightly in his chest, their bodies clenching together. Then, he started kissing her passionately.
After they pulled apart, the Royal Dowager Hu asked with a red face, "What is going on with you today?"
"I've missed you," Gu Qing replied with a faint smile while staring at her.
After that, he went to that cold palace hall and knelt down before the skinny Yuan Qijing, and stayed in this position for a long time. Afterwards, he left the royal palace and went to Taichang Temple and met Zhen Tao. He told her about the ideas regarding the three hidden moves of the Inherited Heaven Sword Style he had come up with over the last few days, and then kissed her on her forehead.
Having done all this, he returned to the Jing House. He brought a stool to the side of the bed, his eyes fixed on the outside of the window.
Gu Qing didn't talk to his sleeping Master that day.
There was nothing he could say to lessen the dire situation.
He was doomed to be infamous.
And Green Mountain would be humiliated by his behavior.
And his Master would be disappointed at his act.
What should he do then?
He was to plot a scheme to kill the Immortal Taiping.
No matter whether his plot would succeed or not, his own fate was sealed: no matter what, it would end in death.
Since he and the monkeys built that wooden hut on Shenmo Peak, Gu Qing had been trying to learn from Jing Jiu.
He didn't talk much and was so composed that he seemed to be impersonal.
But in essence, he was not a person like Jing Jiu in the slightest.
He was not afraid of death, especially recently.
Death was nothing to him.
He had been considering death a long time ago.
He thought that someone like him deserved death.
Then it would be better for him to die.
Looking at the outside of the window, Gu Qing thought about all this calmly.
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