No matter how obedient he was, Ping Yongjia was unconvinced when he heard the reason, wondering why he had to take the risk.
Yet, he was the latest disciple on Shenmo Peak, so he couldn't shun away from the responsibility.
He left the courtyard indignantly and made his way to the front gate of the Scenery Garden. Soon after, he came back while holding Nan Wang's hand.
In fact, he didn't actually hold her hand. He was holding up her wrist with his raised right hand and hunched back like a servant.
He had stayed in the royal palace of Zhaoge City and the royal city of the Underworld over the years, and had seen the demeanor of eunuchs day in and day out. As such, he couldn't help but behave the same way out of fear that day.
Nan Wang walked nonchalantly with her chest pushed out and her eyes staring straight ahead, looking truly like a royal dowager.
When the two of them arrived in the courtyard, Nan Wang brought back her left hand and waved dismissively.
Feeling like he was unshackled, Ping Yongjia didn't dare to stay a moment longer.
He disappeared into the distance after turning into a flash of sword light.
Jing Jiu said to her, "You should've done it a few years later when your condition would be more stable."
"Why?" snapped Nan Wang, arching her eyebrows slightly.
Jing Jiu uttered a baffled "hmm".
Nan Wang came before him and sat down on the floor beneath the eave, saying, "You've started over, so I have no reason to be slower than you this time around."
"I'm not going to argue with you," said Jing Jiu, letting loose a small smile.
Nan Wang lifted up her head and looked at him in surprise, thinking he had changed a great deal, and wondering if the departure of Big Brother Yuan affected his temperament.
Jing Jiu extended his right hand in front of her.
Nan Wang didn't lower her head like what Liu Shisui usually did, nor did she put her adorable face on his palm. With a sneer, she brought out a small alcohol jar from inside of her bosom and put it on his palm with a "pah" smacking noise.
It was unclear what kind of material the small alcohol jar was made of, though it was evidently extraordinary as it emitted a faint green glow. A formation of some sort was attached to the mouth of the jar.
However, Jing Jiu opened the alcohol jar easily and proficiently. It seemed that he had done so many times over the last several hundred years.
It was unclear how much wine the small alcohol jar contained, but he didn't finish it after a long time. He thought she must have tempered the jar again, and it became some sort of "whale drink" now…Well, it occurred to him that he shouldn't have used the word "whale" because it has the word "jing" (a.k.a. whale) in the name of Yuan Qijing. He set down the alcohol jar, wiped his lips and handed the small alcohol jar back to Nan Wang.
Nan Wang took a sip after taking the jar. "She has been gone many years already; why do you still need to drink wine?" Nan Wang asked expressionlessly.
Many, many years ago, when Lian Sanyue was in White Town to deal with the trouble in the snowland, Jing Yang often went to Qingrong Peak and asked Nan Wang for wine to drink.
She didn't know why he drank wine at the time, so she was mistaken about his motive.
And it was a lifelong misunderstanding.
Now Lian Sanyue went to the other world and wouldn't come back ever. As such, her jealousy and anger became meaningless.
"As far as I'm concerned, she hasn't been gone for too long," said Jing Jiu.
"You're right," said Nan Wang after a long moment of silence. "She was someone special to you after all."Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Lifting his head to look at the sky where the stars were going to appear, Jing Jiu said, "Every star is different from all the others."
"I'm not talking about this kind of special," said Nan Wang.
"What kind of special then?" Jing Jiu pressed.
Nan Wang shot a glance at him before saying, "The way you speak…is a bit weird. Are you sure you are not possessed by Bai Ren's Fairy Book?"
Jing Jiu said, "You think too much."
Nan Wang stared at his face for a long time and ascertained that he was not possessed by another soul before she continued, "Many years ago, when she was Guo Dong and your Cultivation state was still very low, you had almost died to save her at the West Ocean. Later, you participated in the Dao Competition at the Center Sect and obtained the Fairy Book of Longevity, and you had almost died to temper the fairy awareness of Bai Ren. Lastly, you had almost died in Zhaoge City one hundred years ago."
"And?" Jing Jiu prompted.
Nan Wang said, "You are so lazy and so afraid of death, but you have risked your life for her…many times, meaning the person you liked was her.
Jing Jiu said, "Like I said, I like all the things and people."
Nan Wang got this same answer more than one hundred years ago on the same spot at this very garden.
He liked many things, including mountains, rivers, all the objects in the universe, and of course her.
Nan Wang had tears on her cheeks then. She slapped his face once and struck him on the chest once, and a part of the courtyard was destroyed, with rubble left all over the ground.
She didn't cry today, nor did she strike him. She stared at him nonchalantly as she asked, "Would you risk your life for me?"
"I'm not sure. In fact, I didn't plan to risk my life for her, but I did it anyway when I saw her in danger."
Jing Jiu continued while staring into her eyes, "But I don't think you should try, because I don't want something to happen to you."
"Where did you learn how to say all this?" she asked, arching her eyebrows slightly.
Jing Jiu replied after some thought, "I might have learned it from Gu Qing."
Nan Wang shot him a mocking glance at him, pressing, "Why didn't you want me to like you?"
Jing Jiu explained earnestly, "It's because I like all the things and people; so I didn't want you people to like me. That's too troublesome."
Nan Wang found she couldn't rebut. She brought the alcohol jar to her mouth and took a swig. Then she handed the jar to him.
The two of them were drinking in silence. The small alcohol jar was finally emptied after a long time.
"Thank you for drinking with me," said Jing Jiu.
Such a scene hadn't occurred for a great many years.
Recalling what had happened back then, Nan Wang let out a laugh and said, "Big Brother Yuan didn't like it when you went to Qingrong Peak and drank wine with me."
"He couldn't do anything about you, so he vented all of his anger to me," said Jing Jiu.
Nan Wang pushed her chest forward and said proudly, "All big brothers pampered me."
What she said was true.
Liu Ci had allocated the blue lake as a forbidden area for no one else but her to bathe in.
The strict Yuan Qijing had been ignoring the singing and partying at night on Qingrong Peak over the last few hundred years.
The Great Formation of Green Mountain had opened a passage every year to let in the rain of spring, wind of autumn and the first snowfall in winter because she enjoyed watching the scenery.
Speaking of favoring and pampering, Nan Wang had it all simply because she was the youngest sister.
"I heard…you two played Mahjong during his last days."
Nan Wang brought the small alcohol jar to the level of her eyes and looked at the sky over the mouth of the jar. "That's good. Did Big Brother Yuan…feel any pain when he departed?"
Recalling the happy laughs amid the wind and snow, Jing Jiu said, "He claimed that he had lived a happy life over the last several hundred years."
Nan Wang stood up and said to him, "Now that we're all happy, don't do anything to make things unhappy."
Jing Jiu understood what she meant; she was talking about the matter related to the Immortal Taiping.
Like Ping Yongjia and the Drifter, Nan Wang was the youngest disciple of the Immortal Taiping. This was the reason why she had been pampered by Liu Ci and Yuan Qijing and was feared by Fang Jingtian and the Immortal Guangyuan.
"I studied the Formation of Dispersing Smoke and Cloud with him after I came to Green Mountain. But that formation was a fake, the one that he had sabotaged."
Jing Jiu went on, "He hadn't wanted me to ascend since the very beginning."
For a Cultivation practitioner, this was the greatest evil.
Nan Wang was at a loss and offered, "My Master treated you very well back then, and he had no reason to do so. Maybe he had other plans?"
Jing Jiu said, "I've figured out what his plan was. But Cultivation is my own business, and he shouldn't have done that."
"I don't care about the dispute between you two, and there is nothing I can do about it. Two big brothers have left. Now I must look after Green Mountain. I advise you two not to do anything outrageous."
Having said this, Nan Wang waved her arms lightly as countless sword strings sprang up as the silvery bells rang out, forming a shapeless bridge. She leapt onto the bridge and headed toward Green Mountain in the distance.
Watching the disappearing small figure in the clouds and fog, the corners of Jing Jiu's mouth were curled up to let loose a comforting smile.
Though it took a long time…this little girl had finally grown up.
Nan Wang left the place, and those residents had to come back. Ping Yongjia was the first one to come back. He landed in the courtyard like a bolt of lightning; but he heard the sound of a silvery bell in the sky as soon as he put his feet on the ground. His face grew pale as he wondered if Nan Wang was wielding the fatal "returned sword".
Along with the crisp sound of the bell, a cat with long and white hair landed by the stream walking forward like an almighty tiger, exuding an extraordinary aura.
Realizing that it was him, Ping Yongjia felt relieved. He picked up the cat by grabbing his tail as he had done many times one hundred years ago. He brought the cat to Jing Jiu and said, "Master, the Master White Ghost is here."
No anger could be detected in Ada's eyes, only resentment and helplessness. Ada exchanged a look with Jing Jiu, meaning to tell him that his disciple had behaved too brazenly even though Ping Yongjia knew who he was and that something might be wrong with this guy's brain.
Jing Jiu flashed a smile as he brought Ada to his chest. He rubbed Ada from head to tail proficiently.
Ada was well aware of his current Cultivation state, so he was less inclined to offend Jing Jiu. He narrowed his eyes to show his enjoyment of such treatment, and didn't forget to make thunderous purring sounds.
Zhuo Rusui and the others had heard the thunderous purring before setting foot onto the courtyard. They had the same misconception as Ping Yongjia's and thought it was Nan Wang who had returned, which is why they turned around and fled as quickly as their legs could carry them. Zhao Layue was the only one who was familiar with the purring, so she landed softly under the eave.
Ada nestled against Jing Jiu's chin in an effort to please him.
Jing Jiu turned his palm upside down and put the snow white Cold Cicada on Ada's head.
Ada wagged his tail satisfactorily and jumped off of Jing Jiu's chest, and leapt into Zhao Layue's bosom.
Zhao Layue found that the energy exuding from Cold Cicada was much colder than before. She poked the Cold Cicada with her finger curiously. Cold Cicada turned over on top of Ada's head, exposing his belly.
"What are you going to do next?" she asked as she poked the belly of Cold Cicada. The Young Zen Master had asked him the same question only a few days ago.
"No matter how hard he thought, he hasn't thought as much as I've calculated in this life."
Jing Jiu said this calmly as he took out the ceramic plate and the grains of sand that hadn't been seen by anyone for a long time.
Zhao Layue didn't say another word.
Ada stopped purring.
Though Ping Yongjia was unaware of what was going to happen, he knew instinctively that something significant would take place soon. Feeling exceedingly anxious, he looked in the direction of the stream, but he couldn't find a trace of Zhuo Rusui or the others.
Jing Jiu picked up a grain of sand and placed it on the ceramic plate casually.
The irregular pattern on the plate had suddenly transformed into a picture.
It was the picture of heaven and earth.
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