Jing Jiu was sleeping in the meditation room, half-dead and half-alive.
Jian Xilai was holding the Dark Phoenix by the lake, perceiving the essence of the sword work silently.
Under such circumstances, Yuan Qü and Zhuo Rusui looked rather ludicrous when they walked in with the tea utensils and the hotpot.
Yet, Zhao Layue acted calmly as she demanded, "Why did you two come so late?"
The Green Bird had come back after delivering the message. The Immortal Guangyuan and Nan Wang had come; the sword boats of Green Mountain had come, the buildings had been constructed by the lotus pond. The two of them were the last ones to arrive.
Yuan Qü bowed to her while heaving the iron kettle, looking like a waiter in a teahouse. "Master, we spent some time looking for something."
The hotpot was boiling, and the charcoal in the stove emitted a red glow. It could be easily imagined how hot it was to hold, but Zhuo Rusui didn't feel it. However, he still felt it a bit awkward as he said, "It'll take some time for the soup to boil."
Zhao Layue was aware of their intention. She waved her hand to signal for them to set up the table under the corridor by themselves.
Yuan Qü went to find the nuns and ask for a small stove after he set down the iron kettle and the teacups; then he started boiling tea.
Zhuo Rusui went to borrow a table after he put down the hotpot, sighing all the while.
Hearing the commotion, Jian Xilai came to the corridor from the lakeshore after passing through the meditation room. Seeing the hustle and bustle, he furrowed his eyebrows, not knowing what the group was doing.
Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü had learned that the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean was at the nunnery and that his Cultivation state was more profound than before. Seeing him in person, the two of them froze like two wooden men, not moving an inch under the corridor in a typical Shenmo Peak manner.
Jian Xilai uttered "not bad" after glancing at Zhuo Rusui once, and "ordinary" after glancing at Yuan Qü.
Though he was the enemy of the Green Mountain Sect, he was nonetheless the famous Godly Swordsman of West Ocean, a renowned expert in the sword work. Zhuo Rusui raised his eyebrows contentedly, and Yuan Qü gave no reaction to the comment, because he was accustomed to such a putdown.
"The soup is going to dry up," exclaimed Zhao Layue.
Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü came back to their senses, and began to busy themselves with cooking the hotpot, disregarding the pressure and fear imposed by a powerful enemy.
It didn't take long before the aroma of tea and the meats filled the place.
After Zhao Layue ate for a while, Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü began to snatch the meats with their chopsticks as fast as striking swords. The sword lights flashed under the corridor, slicing the twilight into pieces. It was an exciting and cheerful scene.
The seemingly cheerful scene had a deeper meaning. They kept their eyes on the situation in the meditation room as they ate the meats.
Disappointingly, Jing Jiu was still not awake.
All of a sudden, dozens of sword strings dropped down on the bridge after forming a great many threads.
Nan Wang came to the Three-Thousand Nunnery along with the sounds of silvery bell. She walked to the table expressionlessly, without glancing at Jian Xilai once, took the chopsticks handed respectfully by Zhuo Rusui and sank her teeth into the meats.
A moment later, Zhuo Rusui found a jar of wine and handed it to her.
She opened the wine jar and took two sips. Then she got up and looked into the window. Finding that Jing Jiu was still asleep, she turned to leave, feeling rather disappointed.
Zhao Layue had already finished eating. She raised a cup of tea to her lips, seemingly drinking it.
Nobody spoke the entire time; it was deathly quiet under the corridor. What could be heard were the noises of red soup boiling in the hotpot and tea plopping in the iron kettle.
Jian Xilai understood what was going on. Shaking his head, he went back to the lakeshore while holding the Dark Phoenix.
After a long time, Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü finally put down their chopsticks. "We can't eat any more," they complained to Zhao Layue.
"Why not?" pressed Zhao Layue after a moment of silence.
Zhuo Rusui asked, "Can we change it to white soup?"
Regardless of whether it was the white or red soup, it was a good soup as long as it could be used to boil the hotpot.
Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü stayed in the Three-Thousand Nunnery, and cooked three large bowls of noodles in the hotpot soup that night.
Eating the vegetable noodles in the spicy oil under the starlight and listening to Zhao Layue's experience in the snowland, they didn't feel as anxious as before, lessening their caution and fear toward the formidable swordsman holding a rooster and perceiving the essence of the sword work by the lake.
A few days later, Que Niang came.
She hastened to come over during night after she learned of the news about her Teacher. She arrived fast enough because the Mirror Sect was not far from Dayuan City.
Having heard what Yuan Qü said, she returned, "I've also made some preparations."
She took out a Go board and two urns of Go pieces. Zhuo Rusui couldn't help but curl up the corners of his mouth, remarking in a mocking tone, "Young Sister…do you really think a sleeping person can play Go with you? Or do you think the Sect Master wishes to hear the sound of you putting down the Go pieces?"
No sooner had he finished talking than someone knocked on the wooden gate of the Three-Thousand Nunnery again. It was Tong Yan at the gate.
Zhao Layue knew that he had gone to the Underworld at Jing Jiu's command and had done many things there. Looking at his pale face, she asked, "Can you do it, what with you being wounded so badly?"
Tong Yan replied calmly, "The scene where someone spits out blood during a Go game is only in the stories."
Zhao Layue said nothing more, but she thought to herself that Tong Yan had almost passed out while playing against Jing Jiu more than one hundred years ago in Zhaoge City.
Ding!!! Dong!!! Pah!!! Pah!!!
The sounds of the black and white Go pieces landing on the board were various and ear-pleasing, like the various sizes of raindrops landing in the vat in front of the corridor.
Tong Yan and Que Niang were undoubtedly the second and third best chess players in Chaotian. If the chess lovers knew that they were playing against each other in the room with a round window, they would feel extremely excited; they would like to come and observe it even at a cost of shortening their lives by a few years. Yet, the only persons who could observe the game were Jing Jiu and Bai Zao who were soundly asleep.
Zhao Layue, Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü were not interested in the Go game. They sat under the corridor with the teacups in their hands, dazed while looking at the drizzles quietly.
Jian Xilai came over and took a glance when the game commenced; then he went back to the lakeshore, holding the corpse of the Dark Phoenix.
Looking at the drizzle, Zhao Layue suddenly commented, "The two of them are really alike."
Zhuo Rusui was aware that she referred to the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean and the Immortal Sect Master. "Yeah, it's a bit troublesome," said he after a moment of silence.
Yuan Qü turned around and shot them a glance. He vaguely understood what they meant.
As the rain ceased, the game ended. Tong Yan stood up and looked at Bai Zao who was asleep for a long time. Then, he walked out of the meditation room and asked Zhao Layue, "Can we use the Scenic-Cloud Bell to give it a try?"
The nonchalant voice of Jian Xilai rang out from the other side outside the window, "No. Otherwise, his spiritual soul will disperse."
Tong Yan said, "There is no other way to do it unless he wants to wake up himself."
"Kill him then," said Jian Xilai.
"No!" Zhao Layue and the others shouted in unison.
Que Niang who was about to wipe Jing Jiu's face with a damp towel stared at the figure by the lake, her face full of caution.
"I'm taking my leave then," said Tong Yan. As he arrived on the bridge, he suddenly halted his steps and turned to Zhao Layue, "Do you know…he wants me to go back to the Center Sect?"
"You're a disciple of the Center Sect to begin with," returned Zhao Layue.
Three days after Tong Yan left, Gu Qing had come to Dayuan City after he finished taking care of the affairs of the imperial court and his family in Zhaoge City.
He walked into the meditation room with a round window. Staring at the tall figure by the lake for a while, he didn't find anything out of place, and then he turned to Que Niang who was wiping Jing Jiu's feet and found she didn't do it correctly.
Jing Jiu had slept in Zhaoge City for one hundred years. He and Liu Shisui had to do this sort of chore daily. so he was proficient at this chore. He instructed Que Niang meticulously on how to take care of Jing Jiu.
When he arrived underneath of the corridor, he found more problems.
First of all, the tea Yuan Qü boiled was too strong, and he used the Silver-Brow Tea from the Jun Mountain. Though it was a famous and expensive tea, it was not the Little-Elegant Tea his Master liked.
Secondly, the hotpot Zhuo Rusui cooked was a bit too thick, and he didn't put in enough butter, and the boiling soup was not covered with enough oil. As such, the flavors of all the various vegetables were mixed, which would displease his Master.
As far as boiling tea and cooking hotpot were concerned, no one could do a better job than Gu Qing on Shenmo Peak.
As a result, the iron kettle was washed thoroughly, and the Little-Elegant Tea that was brought in from Shiyue Peak overnight was boiled in it. The ingredients of hotpot had changed as well, adding more foods prepared by the Gu Clan.
The same chores had been done one more time; the person in the room didn't wake up.
Gu Qing held the bottom of the bowl with three fingers on his left hand and remained silent for a long time while gazing at the few green vegetables floating up and down in the white soup.
To temper the spiritual awareness in the fairy book left by Bai Ren, Jing Jiu had slept at the Fruit Formation Temple for six years.
He had slept in Zhaoge City for one hundred years after he employed the Sword Formation of Green Mountain to kill the replica of Bai Ren by means of surpassing his Cultivation state.
As such, he should be used to such a condition; but he was aware that his Master's condition was evidently different from what had happened to him before.
He had neither breath nor heartbeat, and he lacked any heat on his body. It was no different from being dead.
It seemed that Gu Qing had suddenly thought of something, as he set down the bowl on the table with a "pah" sound, his face displaying a determined expression. He turned to walk into the meditation room.
With another "pah" sound, he knelt down before the bed, saying, "Master, I'll tell the Royal Dowager and Zen Tao and let them choose; what are your thoughts?"
Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü were startled; it was because the seemingly simple words contained too much information.
Zhao Layue picked up a vegetable with burned edge and tossed it on the table, saying expressionlessly, "Keep eating."
Zhuo Rusuin and Yuan Qü eyed each other, saying nothing.
Unfortunately, Jing Jiu didn't wake up.
Zhuo Rusui patted on Gu Qing's shoulder after he walked out of the meditation room, remarking sentimentally, "You've done your best."
"It's something I've promised my Master."
Having said that, Gu Qing made his way over the small bridge and came before the lonely grave. After standing quietly for a while, he said, "It was I who sent someone to find the picture of your family. I've seen it. I'm sure it's the Grandmaster Lian Sanyue in it. To think about it, I find that you and I are pretty much alike."
He knew the person buried in this lonely grave was the Young Master Li of Dayuan City.
He wiped his eyes a few times and left the Three-Thousand Nunnery.
The Sword of the Universe left a desolate sword light in the dark night sky.
Standing in the corridor, Zhuo Rusui watched the disappearing sword light, pondering something.
The voice of Jian Xilai rang out by the lake, "His talent is not as good as yours."
"Of course," returned Zhuo Rusui while raising his eyebrows proudly.
Jian Xilai added, "But I'd choose him as the sect master."
Zhuo Rusui's eyebrows dropped instantly.
A few days later, Liu Shisui arrived at the Three-Thousand Nunnery.
Seeing the young scholar with a dark face, many people had the same thought: He had finally come.
Que Niang shouldn't have spoken out her inner thought. Zhuo Rusui and Yuan Qü stared at her indignantly, as they wondered if she meant that the hotpots and tea they cooked at the peril of being killed by a glance of the Godly Swordsman of West Ocean were useless.
Even Zhao Layue had a high expectation of Liu Shisui. "Do you have any ideas?" she asked him directly.
Liu Shisui arrived later than everybody else because he was farther away from the place than all of them.
He had been reinforcing the bottom of the ocean at the Huge Whirlpool with the amulets along with his colleagues of the One-Cottage House. His mental energy and quanqi were greatly drained. His face was exceedingly ashen and much thinner than before.
Hearing what Zhao Layue said, he suddenly turned around and left the Three-Thousand Nunnery.
Please go to https://www.readlightnovel.cc/The-Path-Toward-Heaven/
to read the latest chapters for free