Jing Jiu led Liu Shisui into the Jing House and arrived in the courtyard where there used to be a begonia tree.
Xiao He was cleaning up the broken pieces of a ceramic bowl. Seeing the two of them, she let out a surprised and joyful cry, but bowed to the ground hastily after she came back to her senses.
Liu Shisui walked over and knelt down on the ground beside her, bowing referentially to Jing Jiu.
"Is this the ritual of marriage?" asked Jing Jiu.
Liu Shisui mused that this could be counted as a marriage ritual so long as Jing Jiu thought so.
As the gate of the courtyard was opened slightly, Jing Li walked in swiftly. He knelt down on the ground with a thud, his shoulders trembling somewhat; but he couldn't cry out.
Seeing this aged man with gray hairs on his temples, Jing Jiu sighed helplessly.
His name was Jing Jiu in this lifetime.
This Jing House near Taichang Temple was considered by him as his family.
When he asked Gu Qing to bring him to his family before he fell asleep, he referred to this house.
He had regarded Jing Li as his nephew, and asked the Master White Ghost, the Principal Guard of Green Mountain to initiate him in Cultivation and Gu Qing to teach him the sword work. Even though Jing Li had a regular talent in Cultivation, he should have had a much higher Cultivation state by now and shouldn't have looked so aged when he was only a little over one hundred years old.
It only meant that Jing Li didn't cultivate diligently enough, and the reason for it was that he had suffered heartbreak long ago.
Jing Jiu didn't say anything. He went to the study room after shooting two silent glances at him.
"The grandpa of the Jing House passed away many years ago. The Jing Shang couple passed away thirty years ago. Jing Li's wife was physically feeble, so the two of them didn't have any offspring. Jing Li has been in such a condition ever since his wife passed away."Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Liu Shisui continued sentimentally, "He is not fit for cultivation because he is too affectionate."
"What about your family?" Jing Jiu asked.
Liu Shisui fell silent.
Xiao He said in a low and uneasy voice, "His parents in the small village passed away a long time ago, and so did their offspring."
She referred to the Liu family in the small village.
The period of one hundred years was merely the length of a sleep for the Cultivation practitioners like Jing Jiu; but it was a lifetime for mortals.
The saying "Life is nothing but a dream" was indeed true in this case.
Over the years, Liu Shisui had been staying at the Jing House because he wanted to take care of Jing Jiu, and it was also because he had nobody else to worry about in the world.
Jing Jiu raised his right hand.
Liu Shisui lowered his head.
Jing Jiu touched Liu Shisui's head.
Xiao He stood by the side, and didn't dare feel jealous.
Jing Jiu stole a glimpse of her and furrowed his eyebrows, as she reminded him of that member of her race in the royal palace.
Back when they were in the Sea-God temple outside Haizhou City, Xiao He's shoulder was pierced through by the Sword of the Universe. She had been scared of Jing Jiu ever since. Seeing him furrow his brows, she couldn't help but fall down on her knees though she didn't know why she did it.
"It has nothing to do with you," Jing Jiu gestured for Xiao He to get up. Then, he said to Liu Shisui, "Bu Qiuxiao is also on the verge of getting it. You should go back there right away."
Though Liu Shisui had witnessed a great many deaths, he still couldn't get used to it. So he was very sensitive to the mentioning of "on the verge of leaving". His face grew ashen instantly.
"Don't worry. It's something good," said Jing Jiu.
Liu Shisui understood what he meant now, and felt ecstatic. "I'll go back immediately then."
If it were Gu Qing, Yuan Qü or Zhuo Rusui, they wouldn't opt to leave right after Jing Jiu had woken up. However, Liu Shisui was always decisive in doing things. Since his Young Master bade him to go back to the One-Cottage House, he collected his belongings and left Zhaoge City with Xiao He without a second thought. As for developing the relationship and affection between him and his Young Master, there was no need for it between the two of them.
The Green Bird landed on the windowsill and looked in the direction of the courtyard.
Jing Jiu's gaze followed hers.
The begonia tree was nowhere to be found.
Jing Li was drinking wine.
The Prime Minister Qin was still alive; but the little girl who only knew how to make cold tea was gone forever.
These were the pains experienced by mortals.
Jing Jiu walked out of the courtyard and arrived on the street.
The scenes on the street were quite different from those one hundred years ago. To say nothing of the Buddhist hall that was moved here from the Net-Perception Temple, all the other buildings were newly built. Of course, they looked aged as well after so many years since their construction.
The saying "The people are not the same in the same place" befitted the situation. Such an experience would bring a great deal of distress to mortals, but it was a normal and regular occurrence for the Cultivation practitioners after they came back to the mortal world.
After walking past the street. devoid of any pedestrians, and climbing up the stone steps, Jing Jiu entered the Buddhist hall. He met the Young Zen Master by the guidance of the Receiving Monk.
The willow trees were blown by the wind, and the catkins filled the air. Though it was a wonderful scene, it was truly annoying to face those ubiquitous catkins.
This was probably how the Young Zen Master felt about Jing Jiu.
The bell rang out melodiously.
The wind bells chimed cheerfully.
There were two teacups.
And two futons.
The Young Zen Master brought his hand to his nose to smell it after picking his toes, saying, "You're truly lucky."
Yin San had made the similar comment in the old plum garden.
What he referred to was that Jing Jiu woke up and broke through the Heavenly Arrival State.
Jing Jiu had reincarnated by means of the All in One Sword, and what he cultivated in this life was not the common Dao. As such, he had progressed extremely fast in the beginning, but it became increasingly harder for him to move forward later on. First, he had encountered the issue of the sword ghost before breaking through the Free Travel State. After he snuck into the Fiend Prison and discussed the issue with the Underworld Emperor for many years, he had resolved the issue by employing the Underworld Fairy Sword. When he broke through the Sea State, he faced an issue that was even more troublesome, which is that he needed much more energy of heaven and earth than the regular Cultivation practitioners to support his Cultivation.
In fact, he needed a great amount of energy to facilitate his Cultivation. Back when he broke through the Broken Sea State on Bihu Peak, he made use of the thunder and lightning drawn by the Great Formation of Green Mountain. If he intended to break through the Heavenly Arrival State, he would have to go to the Thunder Region where he might be able to absorb sufficient energy.
Ada was worried about this issue back then.
Unexpectedly, in the Battle of Zhaoge City, Jing Jiu killed the replica of the Fairy Lady Bai Ren and procured the fairy energy from her. Relying on the fairy energy he obtained, Jing Jiu had successfully reached the Heavenly Arrival State. There were only a few fairy books in the world, and they were all under the control of the Center Sect. Yet, he had obtained two of them. As the Young Zen Master and Yin San commented correctly, the luck like this was truly rare.
Was he really lucky?
Many past scenes flashed in his mind one after the other: the dark clouds bearing down on Zhaoge City; the tens of thousands of swords dropping down from the sky; the replica of the Fairy Lady glittered in gold; the round window and the lake in the Three-Thousand Nunnery; the blocked palm he wielded at Lian Sanyue; and the light specks dissipating like butterflies from his chest…
Jing Jiu closed his eyes, and didn't open them until a long while later. "Maybe," said he.
The Young Zen Master knew what was on his mind. He asked after a pause, "What are you going to do next?"
"I'd like to deal with the issue of Yuan Qijing next," replied Jing Jiu.
"The reason I didn't want to see you was because of this…" said the Young Zen Master with a changed expression on his face. "I'm not good at this, and nobody is. I hope you're not too troubled."
After a moment of silence, Jing Jiu changed the topic and said, "We should take care of the issue of Taiping first, then that of the Center Sect. After all this, I'll have a peace of mind when cultivating."
He talked about these two issues in a carefree manner, as if he was talking about the white rice for lunch and hotpot for dinner; however, these two issues were exceedingly difficult to deal with.
"These are all your issues," The Young Zen Master said. "But what about your Cultivation?"
"I'll ascend when it's the time," returned Jing Jiu.
"The problem is how you're going to do it," said the Yong Zen Master. "It took one fairy book to help you break through the Heavenly Arrival State. How much energy of heaven and earth will you need to help you ascend? It won't be enough even if you have the remaining two fairy books all to yourself and stay in the Thunder Region for ten years."
Jing Jiu said, "So long as I can live long enough, I will be able to find adequate energy."
The Young Zen Master said gravely, "What I'm worried about is that an entire spiritual source may not have enough energy for you to ascend. How much energy do you really need? If all the energy of heaven and earth were used by you, what would be left for the other Cultivation practitioners?"
"We'll see," said Jing Jiu.
The Young Zen Master was aware that Jing Jiu was not interested in such a topic. "I'll go to White Town. Do you want to come with me?" he asked Jing Jiu while scratching his head.
He wanted Jing Jiu to stay as far away from Zhaoge City as possible.
"No," Jing Jiu answered without a second thought.
In the next moment, he thought of Lian Sanyue and recalled that she asked him if he would like to go to the snowland with her many years ago. He remembered that he replied "Don't disturb my Cultivation". Actually it was not a big deal to interrupt his Cultivation a little. Perhaps because he recalled his reply to Lian Sanyue, Jing Jiu explained, "It's because I can't beat the Queen of the Snowy Kingdom, nor can you and Cao Yuan."
"Cao Yuan's injury is not healed yet; of course can't fight," snapped the Young Zen Master.
Jing Jiu knew that Cao Yuan went to the snowland and fought with the Queen madly because he felt heartbroken after Lian Sanyue's death; Jing Jiu didn't say anything.
The Young Zen Master left Zhaoge City that day and went to White Town.
Jing Jiu came to the outside of the city to see the Young Zen Master off. He went to the Zhao Garden after seeing the Lotus Cloud disappear to the horizon.
Zhao Layue's parents were still alive. He embarked that small boat without bothering them, and let the boat drift freely on the lake.
During the day, he covered his face with the conical hat.
At night, he gazed at the stars in a stupor.
It was deathly quiet in the royal palace.
Gu Qing was lying on the bed; his injury healing.
Ping Yongjia had been looking after him painstakingly; Zhen Tao came to the royal palace every day; the Drifter glided everywhere in the royal palace after she was assured that Gu Qing would not die, and discussed the matters regarding how to rule the state with Jing Yao.
The Royal Dowager Hu could see Gu Qing only in the dead of the night.
The stars in the sky looked like eyes captivated by love, unable to blink.
Sitting on the edge of the bed and looking at his pale face, she displayed a concerned expression in her eyes and then a hint of sadness. "Did you…really wish to die?" she demanded in a hushed voice.
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