Jing Jiu was gazing at the Abyss quietly, disregarding whether the Abyss would respond to his gaze.
After a long while, Cao Yuan's voice burst out at last, "Why did you ask me this question?"
Jing Jiu said, "I might relate your story someday; so I need to verify it first."
It was Lian Sanyue who had told Jing Jiu this story; she would not have lied to him. However, Jing Jiu wasn't sure if it was the case in which a boy in love had made up an extraordinary story to impress his lover; as such, he had to come all the way to the underground of the Cold Mountain and ask Cao Yuan in person.
Cao Yuan's voice was heard again after a long pause.
"I'll come to see you off when you take your leave."
Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue came to the upstream of the lava river from the downstream.
The hot lava was flowing slowly between the rocks; it was not very bright because it was covered with a layer of ash.
Since a large amount of lava had flown down to the Underworld, the level of the river had dropped considerably, with many smooth slopes exposed. It would be probably comfortable to lounge on them.
Jing Jiu handed the white cloth to Zhao Layue after taking it off, and waded into the river.
Zhao Layue hung the white cloth on her arm casually before she asked after Jing Jiu, "He's unwilling to come back from the Underworld; but why does he wish to see you off?"
Jing Jiu waded to the middle of the lava river, emitting an exceedingly bright glow after the surface of the lava river opened a crevasse.
"Maybe, he doesn't want me to tell it to others."
He submerged his whole body in the lava, only his face atop the surface of the lava, with his eyes closed, as if he truly enjoyed it.
Zhao Layue had no knowledge of the story; so she couldn't understand why the Broadsword King was that nervous when he heard the question. She came to the edge of the river and squatted down while looking at Jing Jiu's exposed face curiously.
"Don't you see that I'm really enjoying it? Hence, there is no need to have sympathy for me."
Jing Jiu made the remark with his eyes still closed.
Zhao Layue asked, "…Is it really comfortable?"
"Yeah. Do you wish to give it a try?"
Jing Jiu became talkative again a long while after Liu Ci had departed.
Yet, he was very sensitive emotionally to the word "departure".
Zhao Layue shook her head as she looked at the flames coming out from the crevasse on the surface of the lava. "I might not be able to withstand it," said she.
Jing Jiu opened his eyes and said to her, "Don't forget that you're a formed shapeless sword body."
Zhao Layue understood what he meant, and was tempted to do so with beaming eyes.
"Come on in," urged Jing Jiu.
Zhao Layue bit her lips softly as she set his white cloth on the slope and took off her own dress, on which she then placed the broken Thoughtless Sword. She untied the ribbon binding the braid after some thought. Then, she tiptoed gingerly to the edge of the lava river and dipped her toes into the hot lava.
The moment the pointed toes had touched the lava, a sword will emerged. It then encircled her body like wind, forming a thin shield over her skin.
No plopping sound of water could be heard when she stepped into the lava; it seemed more like stepping into mud.
She waded slowly to the middle of the lava river after she got accustomed to the slight burning sensation. Then she submerged in the lava like Jing Jiu did.
An unexpected thing occurred next.
Her body was not as heavy and dense as Jing Jiu's; as a result, she floated slowly up to the surface of the lava.
The glowing and hot lava produced a dozen flames after trickling down from her curved body; it was a wonderful and beautiful scene.
Jing Jiu looked at this with an appreciative expression in his eyes.
A different woman, even if she was Nan Wang or Bai Zao, would feel somewhat embarrassed.
However, Zhao Layue felt nothing. She smeared the lava over her body with her fingers, looking like a mischievous little girl.
Still, it was a pity that she couldn't completely submerge in the lava.
Jing Jiu took out the Green Sky Mirror and handed it to her.
She held the Green Sky Mirror in her bosom as she sank into the lava slowly. She let out a satisfied sigh as she perceived the ubiquitous sensation of pressure and heat.
The lava river was flowing slowly, making no sound. The rocks didn't make any noise when they were swallowed by the lava.
The two of them didn't speak for a long time while staying in the lava with their eyes closed.
After a long while, Zhao Layue suddenly commented, "It would be great if we could have a cup of ice wine."
Jing Jiu reached his hand into the air and grabbed a black case.
It was the case that had stored the Seal of the Underworld Emperor; it had been kept in that cold place for a great many years and was still extremely chilly.
Even though the case was in the dry air above the lava river, it didn't take long before many water beads condensed inside it.
Zhao Layue took the black case, brought a corner of the case to her lips and had a sip.
The condensed water was of course tasteless; but it felt like something as wonderful as the jade liquid in the fairy palace when it passed through the lips, longue, and throat.
Jing Jiu summoned his sword will, bringing over the Thoughtless Sword broken in half. The sword light disappeared instantly after it showed briefly in his eyes. Then, he gripped the connecting spot of the two broken sections tightly with his hand.
Countless sword fires came out between the gaps of his fingers. Within a few minutes, the spot began to soften and melt.
It would take a long time to repair the sword since it was not a regular sword but the Thoughtless Sword. Jing Jiu brought his hand back into the lava and closed his eyes. "I'm taking a rest," said he.
The sword fires were still shooting up between his fingers, rippling the lava slightly; it looked like a porridge on the verge of boiling.
Zhao Layue had an emotion similar to the porridge as she gazed at his face.
She was aware that his spiritual soul had gone to the inside of the Green Sky Mirror and that he wouldn't wake up for a long while.
His appearance was still as beautiful as a figure in a painting, which was hard to describe in words.
Thinking of the fact that she wouldn't be able to see this face, Zhao Layue wanted to do something because she believed that she would miss him too much.
It was autumn in the Green Sky Mirror.
After a rainfall the night before, a great many leaves must have fallen and the weather grew colder. The people in the former capital of Chu State had put on thicker clothing.
Unexpectedly, the twilight in the early morning was exceedingly bright and red today, after which the sky turned out to be considerably blue and the sunshine was so bright that the people felt a bit ill at ease. The whole world seemed to have suddenly become heated, as if it were summer again. The frogs that had been quiet for many days started croaking again, as though they had revived from their hibernation.
The croaking sound could be heard throughout the courtyard; the floating lotus leaves were also rippling on the surface of the pond.
"It's so noisy! Shouldn't you do something about it? Bid your servants to catch all these frogs right away! Boil them or fry them! I can't sleep if the noise continues!"
The red carp swam to the surface of the water after pushing the lotus leaves aside; his round fish mouth opened and closed to let out many cursing words.
The people in the former capital of Chu State were aware that the Grandmaster Zhang was a bit confused because of his advanced age; he bade the servants to dig a large pond in the courtyard, where he later raised a strange fish.
The so-called strange fish was actually a devil in their eyes; it was because many people had heard the red carp speaking.
Because of this, nobody in the Zhang manor house dared get close to the pond. Grandmaster Zhang was the only one to come before the pond and stay there for a long time every day.
Grandmaster Zhang staggered to the stone bench by the pond and sat on it. He said while pointing his cane at the red carp, "It's not a big deal that you speak to me; but you shouldn't talk to others. What if you scare one of them to death? They all think you're a devil. What will you do after my death? Can't you restrain yourself a little?"
This red carp was the King of the Fire Carps, the divine animal in waiting for the Center Sect. He was killed by the Immortal Bai in an exceedingly cruel manner as a blood sacrifice for the Heavenly Slaying Formation. He was very lucky that Jing Jiu found a sliver of his spiritual soul and put him in the Green Sky Mirror.
Upon hearing what the Grandmaster Zhang said, the Fire Carp grew angrier, yelling, "Am I still myself if I can restrain myself from speaking? The heavenly governor here has been wreaking freaking havoc. It was autumn yesterday, but it feels like summer today. Will it snow tomorrow? How could he mismanage weather like this?"
The Grandmaster Zhang changed the expression on his face after the Fire Carp made disrespectful remark about the heavenly governor. "Watch your mouth!" he warned the Fire Carp in a hushed voice. "Don't let His Majesty hear you!"
The Fire Carp retorted loudly, "I'm responsible for my own life, not the heaven! Even if he came here…Ahhhh!"
As a gust of wind blew in the blue sky, someone had actually come.
Jing Jiu arrived by the pond.
The Fire Carp shouted in a crying tone, "Immortal, you've come at last. I've missed you so much!"
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