Zong Lizi and Hua Xi didn't understand the exchanges between Jing Jiu and the female priest; but Jiang Yuxia did. She realized that Jing Jiu was even more powerful than she had imagined. She knelt on the floor pale-faced, saying, "If this has something to do with my uncle, please forgive…Please keep him alive first and find out the cause."
Jing Jiu was someone who always kept his promise, be it a promise for others or himself; so he didn't heed her.
The female priest said nonchalantly while looking at Jiang Yuxia, "I give you three minutes to dissuade him. Otherwise, no one can keep him alive."
The night wind ruffled the rims of her clothes and the flower petals on the surface of the water. It wasn't until now that she had demonstrated the awe-striking bearing of a female priest.
Thinking of the remaining time of her life and the history of her life, the female priest commented sentimentally, "Just before I'm ready to step on a new path, I have to face an internal rebellion."
"It's not a rebellion. There is no need for you to go," said Jing Jiu while looking at the prairie in the distance.
He didn't look at Jiang Yuxia when he spoke, meaning that he didn't talk to her.
But, everyone present knew that he meant that she had no need to go.
No buildings but the endless prairie could be found in the area of several hundred kilometers around the praying hall; it was probably because the praying hall would appear more magnificent this way or because it was the terrible consequence of the invasion of the Sea of Dark Matter last time.
This patch of prairie had a serious desertification problem. To keep it green all year long, the government had to spend a great deal of money to maintain it. No forest could be spotted on this malnourished soil; a tree could be found only after a long distance.
The vast space with few low trees was a wonderful scenery; but it was not suitable for hiding the traces.
The high-speed flying device of the Mo clan had activated the camouflage system the entire time, the consequence of which was the tree beside it trembling incessantly and many leaves being knocked off.
Mr. Xia dusted the fallen leaves off his shoulders and asked the head of the Mo clan expressionlessly, "Do you know what you're doing?"
The head of the Mo clan stared into his eyes for a long time before he suddenly laughed out and said, "What I'm doing is exactly the thing the priest clan has intended to do over the last several hundred years."
"Did you intend to do this in the name of the priest clan by calling me here deceivingly?" exclaimed Mr. Xia expressionlessly. "I want to remind you that we can't show any disrespect to the Master Priest no matter how brave we are. Don't you fear your entire clan will be destroyed?"
The female priests had the highest status on the planets and gained the support of the governments and the military, as well as the loyalty from the preachers and the followers.
However, the holly power the female priests possessed depended on the support of all the priest clans.
Any attempt to challenge the power of the female priests would face the collected attack from all the female priests in the Federation of the Milky Way.
The history had demonstrated that those forces, no matter how powerful they seemed at the time, would always end up in utter defeat.
The priest clan represented by Mr. Xia had served the female priests on the Stargate Planet for many generations. Though they had their own ambition, which was to produce a female priest from their own clan, they didn't dare to rebel.
Mr. Xia felt dejected after he learned the decision of the female priest tonight; but for this very reason, he didn't dare to protest.
"Of course, I'm afraid. That's why I need your help. I want you to get the members of your priest clan and those you can influence out of the praying hall."
The head of the Mo clan went on with a faint smile, "And rest assured. I won't dare show any disrespect to the Master Priest regardless of how much courage I have, nor will I harm your daughter. But the few people will die for sure if they dare to leave the praying hall."
A hint of sneer suddenly showed on Mr. Xia's numb face, exclaiming, "Do you know who are in the praying hall right now? How dare you say that?!"
The head of the Mo clan was taken aback and asked, "Are you referring…to that officer?"
He had seen how the governor and the director of the base treated that young female officer in the arena of the selection of female priest and guessed that she must have an extraordinary background.
"You know nothing about the resources of the priest clan; but you dare interfere with the affairs of the selection of female priest, indicating that you don't even know how you will die."
Having said that, Mr. Xia heeded him no more and walked to the underside of the tree, taking a rest with his eyes closed. It seemed that he was waiting for the death of the head of the Mo clan.
The head of the Mo clan remained silent for a long time. He muttered in a low voice while looking at the stars in the night sky, "However, I know the power…of those people. What can I do?"
A corner of the gray screen was suddenly pulled up and then dropped rudely.
The cloth of the screen returned to its former smoothness after rippling a few times; it was unclear what material this screen was made from.
"I've received the information from the fleet; there is an unusual movement…"
Ran Handong approached the female priest with the military hat in her hand while rubbing her messy hair. She suddenly spotted Jing Jiu. "Who are you?" she demanded with raised eyebrows.
She left the fleet on the absence leave and came to the Stargate Base today; and she was asked by the female priest to host the second test. It was not too tiring for her to fight against those candidates, but she felt a bit sleepy after she had a good workout. As a result, she took a nap because she didn't care so much about who would become the next female priest of the Stargate.
Jing Jiu didn't heed her.
Ran Handong drew her gaze away from Jing Jiu and said to the female priest, "Aunt, I've just noticed that many people are leaving the praying hall."
The female priest shot a glance at Jiang Yuxia.
Jiang Yuxia was aware that the priest clan must have played a role in this matter, her face turning paler.
"But it doesn't matter. We just stay here for a while since no one could get in the praying hall."
Ran Handong put the military hat on her head and continued, "I've already informed the fleet. Some battleships will come down. By then those guys will all be captured and sentenced in the court-martial. They are a bunch of idiots…who dare to meddle with the praying hall."
Unexpectedly, the female priest ignored her and asked while looking at Jing Jiu, "What are your thoughts?"
Though the female priest pretended to be nonchalant, Ran Handong could still tell that she had a deep respect for him. Feeling surprised, Ran Handong wondered who this youth in blue clothing was.
Jing Jiu was unwilling to spend time and effort on such trivial matters. He got up and said, "Let's go."
He said this to Zong Lizi, like he had done to the disciples of Shenmo Peak in the other world.
Without a second thought, Zong Lizi stood up hastily and pulled up the lower rim of the praying robe and followed him in small and quick steps like what the disciples of Shenmo Peak used to do.
She had totally forgotten that she was the successor of the female priest and should stay in the praying hall.
Seeing this, Hua Xi covered her mouth with hands, unable to utter a single word.
Looking at the two figures disappearing to the other side of the gray screen, Ran Handong turned to the female priest and said, "She is the successor you've chosen. Is she out of her…"
She trailed off when she saw the female priest prostrate on the floor, bidding farewell to the figure outside the screen.
Jiang Yuxia came back to her senses and ran after them hastily.
Jing Jiu and Zong Lizi were already in the grand hall, heading toward the outside along the long stone platform.
The main preacher of Shou'er City followed them beside the stone platform with his back hunched and sweat on his forehead. He intended to dissuade the two of them by telling them that many dangers lurked in the darkness of the night outside the praying hall and for the sake of safety…But he suddenly thought of Jing Jiu's identity and realized that god was omnipotent and wouldn't care about the evil intent of the mortals.
The night was very dark outside the praying hall, as if this magnificent building would be swallowed by the darkness.
A dozen main preachers and Jiang Yuxia followed the two of them to the front gate and halted their steps.
The long white stone steps looked like the passage leading to the divine world from the abyss. It was quiet up ahead. The only noise that could be heard was the sound of wild grass being blown by the wind; the sporadic trees could be vaguely seen in the vast and distant field.
There were a few sparkling stars in the high night sky, which were the battleships on their way to the praying hall.
It seemed rather safe in such a quiet night. In fact, a great many cold gazes were fixed upon this place.
Jing Jiu motioned for Zong Lizi to follow behind him, and then descended the stone steps without hesitation.
Was she to flee the place where she had received the greetings of many important figures and countless populace only an hour ago?
Thinking of this, Zong Lizi had a complicated emotion; but she didn't reduce the speed of her steps, following closely behind Jing Jiu.
Jiang Yuxia and those main preachers were watching their steps nervously. They would occasionally raise their heads to look at the night sky and attempt to spot those "wild animals" ready to attack.
Nothing had happened. Zong Lizi's feet landing on the stone steps gave off crisp sound.
Jing Jiu suddenly stopped short when he stepped off the last stone step.
He would go to anywhere he wanted to no matter how strong the wind and rain were. Nobody and nothing could hinder his steps, even if the world was being destroyed in front of him.
Yet, what had blocked him?
Zong Lizi didn't expect him to stop so suddenly. She couldn't react in time and bumped into his back.
A few lines appeared on the blue tracksuits.
So did a few lines on the pants and Jing Jiu's face.
As the night wind blew over, the lines rippled like the rippling water, separating to form gashes.
However, the gashes on his face were merely the slight dents, and soon they had completely disappeared.
It turned out that there were countless lines before him.
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