The sunlight shone on a remote corner of the praying hall, illuminating a patch of green bamboos. The water in the well looked like a black mirror.
Jing Jiu walked out from the bamboo wall. The water beads rolled down from his body, not a trace water remaining on him, as if he hadn't been touched by wetness at all.
As he extended his arms, a pair of gentle hands reached over and helped him dress.
"Do you want a pair of shoes?" the female priest asked in a low and amiable voice after she brought back her hands.
Jing Jiu turned up the hoodie to cover his head, saying, "Not until I take my leave."
The female priest lowered her head slightly and led him into the deep part of the praying hall.
His bare feet stepped onto the path made of the stone slabs, leaving no traces of water behind.
Walking forward, he recalled the fight he was engaged that day.
His opponent was a Cultivation practitioner in the upper level of the Star State and had, with the aid of the mecha armor, was a powerful as the upper level of the Broken Sea State. His abilities of attacking and defending were even better than those of the same state in Chaotian. Even though it was the case, a practitioner in such a state was still not a match for even a wave of his hand. This fight was far from being dangerous for him. However, his experience in such a fight was not sufficient, and he had to become more familiarized with the environment of the space, which meant it took a bit longer for him to finish the fight. If he encountered the truly formidable figures in this world, like the Cultivation practitioners in the so-called Inherited Night State and the ascendants who were closely associated with the interplanetary civilization, what should he do to kill his opponents more efficiently?
Their prowess lied in nothing but speed and strength, which were the gist of both offense and defense.
As he followed the female priest walking on the passage, he had already come up with a dozen fighting strategies.
They came to the meditation room, the sky-like screen still blocking the views of the people.
The closet, hidden in the wall, was closing slowly, inside of which was found a row of blue tracksuits with hoodies. Likewise, there was a row of white sword robes in the manor cave on Shenmo Peak.
Jing Jiu was quite satisfied with the arrangement. The most inconvenient thing after he left Chaotian was that his clothing was damaged easily and he could bring many extra sets of clothes with him like what he had done before.
He sat down before the green ceramic bowl and gazed at the three flower petals on the surface of the water.
The female priest handed him the boiled tea.
He could merely judge the quality of the tea based on the sight of it and the perception on the tip of his tongue; but he could sense the temperature easily.
The temperature of the tea in the cup was just right, neither too cold nor too hot; it was much better than the tea boiled by that young girl in the Jing House in Zhaoge City, and it was only slightly inferior to that boiled by Gu Qing.
Was it because there was no iron kettle here?
"There is a kind of iron kettle."
Jing Jiu summoned his will slightly, the pictures of a small stove, silvery coals, an iron kettle among other tea utensils similar to those on Shenmo Peak showing in the air of the meditation room. "It's better to boil tea with these," said he.
The female priest was not surprised at the miraculous display of magic because she thought god should be omnipotent.
"I'll ask someone to arrange it," said she reverentially.
"Next time then," said Jing Jiu. "What is a cocoon breaker?"
The topic had suddenly changed. The female priest had a slight change on her face when she heard the words "cocoon breaker".
After some thought, she replied softly, "Like yourself, they should have come from another world."
According to the rules of the priest clan, this was top-secret. Without the permission from the person on the Main Planet, she was not allowed to tell Jing Jiu.
However, now that she believed that Jing Jiu was the new god this world had been waiting for, she couldn't conceal it from him when he asked.
Jing Jiu thought the answer had confirmed his own suspicion.
The cocoon breakers were the ascendants.
He suspected that the military Cultivation practitioner had something to do with the ascendants of Chaotian when he was on the battleship. Based on the most up-to-date knowledge he had obtained, the mecha armors were still not small enough since they still couldn't use the super-micro particles to build them. If it was the case, why did the military Cultivation practitioner produce a mecha armor in such a short time?
It was evident that his opponent had employed the storage magic treasure of Chaotian.
But he didn't find the storage magic treasure after he killed the person. What the person employed was probably the mixture of the Dao and a magic treasure.
The hurried footsteps occurred in the praying hall. Later, Ran Handong walked in from behind the gray screen. "Aunt, are you okay?" she asked the female priest concernedly.
"I'm fine; but I need your help," said the female priest.
Ran Handong noticed by now that her aunt was…serving the tea to Jing Jiu, who sat before the green ceramic bowl.
She had guessed that Jing Jiu was not an ordinary person; but she still felt it a bit odd to witness such a scene. "What's the matter?" she returned in a slightly cold tone.
Jing Jiu brought out a tiny chip.
The assassin in overalls also had similar chip in his brain, which would explode by itself when their minds were invaded.
Jing Jiu had such an experience before, so he didn't wait for the military Cultivation practitioner to do the same. He cut open his brain and grabbed the chip before it exploded.
"What is it?" Ran Handong drew closer to the chip and observed it thoroughly under the sunlight.
"It might explode," reminded Jing Jiu.
Ran Handong thought of a possibility, and asked with a slightly changed expression, "Was it because of you…when the fleet sounded the alarm?"
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm".
"Was the person with mecha armor someone you've been looking for?" demanded Ran Handong while staring into his eyes.
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm" again.
"Where is he?" Ran Handong pressed.
"Dead," replied Jing Jiu.
It took a long time for Ran Handong to calm down. She asked while staring at Jing Jiu's face, "Are there any marks left behind?"
"No," replied Jing Jiu.
"How did you do it?" demanded Ran Handong while staring into his eyes.
The fleet responsible for surveilling the planet had already sent back the data; and she knew how dreadfully the person ended up even though the mecha armor was exceedingly powerful.
The legendary Cultivation practitioners in the Inherited Night State might be able to do so; but they might still not be able to do it in a short time, not to mention that no traces were left behind in the surveillance of the fleet.
Jing Jiu didn't give a response.
Looking at the chip between his fingers and thinking of the assassin she had helped him find, Ran Handong said, "It's the same organization. I believe it's the butterfly."
"Why did you call me here then?"
"I want a higher right of authority in the military."
Jing Jiu stated his request.
He had entered the network of the military and chased this young woman in there, but it would be hard to get into the central part of the network without a higher right of authority.
It had nothing to do with his hacking skill. It was just that he had no intention of encountering the ghost hidden deeply in the network.
Ran Handong turned to the female priest.
The female priest shook her head slightly, meaning that she hadn't told Jing Jiu about her family background.
After remaining silent for a while, Ran Handong said, "I'll ask my father first."
The female priest knew that Jing Jiu wished to go to the Main Planet and the Science Academy to find someone.
She had no intention to find out the truth; she would do her best to help him the way she selected Zong Lizi as her successor. "That child has very little talent, and her temperament is not steady either. She will go to the Main Planet to receive training, accompanied by you. I believe that she will be blessed by you and be able to succeed me more satisfactorily."
"It's not that urgent yet," said Jing Jiu.
The female priest let out a relieved but somewhat bitter smile as she said softly, "I don't have much time left."
Repeating the scripts and words she had memorized day in and day out had exerted a tremendous mental pressure on her, and she was mentally exhausted. Her life reached the last stage after she had sat in the praying hall for more than twenty years, which is why she decided to select a successor.
She hoped that Zong Lizi would come back as soon as possible after she had finished training on the Main Planet for a year.
Jing Jiu dipped his hand in the water in the green ceramic bowl and smeared it on the center of her eyebrows.
The female priest didn't know what he was intended to do, but she let him do whatever he wanted to obediently.
As he rubbed his fingertip, a clean energy entered her through the center of her eyebrows as the water dissipated, then arriving at the deeper end of her body.
The whole process was extremely gentle rather than harsh, like the spring rain nourishing the plants soundlessly and undetected.
The mental state of the female priest became more tranquil, and those chaotic flows in her awareness had gradually subsided. Her whole person seemed exposed to the spring wind, feeling exceedingly fresh and comfortable. She closed her eyes slowly and fell asleep.
Jing Jiu pulled back his finger and grabbed the chip as he looked at the green ceramic bowl.
Some ripples appeared on the surface of the water in the green ceramic bowl, and the three flower petals did the same, swaying slightly in the bowl. The three flower petals started moving around irregularly, just like the butterflies flying around in a slow motion.
The ring on his finger emitted a faint glow.
He entered the interplanetary network through the digital marks on the chip and began to search for the needed information.
The data in the interplanetary network were as vast as the sea of stars; it would take a long time for him to find the traces of the information hidden in the deep parts.
After a long while, sunlight was replaced by starlight. The flower petals on the surface of the water in the ceramic bowl looked even more elegant when they were shone upon by the starlight.
The female priest slept soundly and even snored slightly.
After gazing at the surface of the water in the ceramic bowl for a while, Jing Jiu had finally seen some true scenes.
Some diagrams were left on a rusty iron gate; the blue paint on it had turned black after being eroded over the years. The wings of a butterfly were vaguely visible.
Hundreds of Cultivation practitioners in mecha armor of the latest model were traveling in the dark space. They looked like countless lines when reflecting the light from the distant permanent star.
Many flowers suddenly sprang up amid the windstorm, with blemishes of various sizes on the surface of a huge red planet. It was unclear if it was the natural phenomenon or if it was because the humans lived on it.
After a long while, the female priest opened her eyes, awake, showing a baffled expression in her eyes.
She felt that her mental state and her body had gone through a slight change, as if she had more life force bestowed upon her.
Where did the life force come from?
She prostrated before Jing Jiu.
It was even harder for her to conceal her excitement when she realized she had gained more time in her last stage of life, no matter how tranquil her mind used to be.
Jing Jiu stood up and headed toward the outside of the praying hall.
The female priest followed on his heels silently.
When they came to the landing of the stone steps, the female priest took the shoes from a female servant and helped Jing Jiu put them on while kneeling on the ground.
The female servants and the main preachers were all gazing at the ground with their heads lowered.
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm" before he suddenly asked, "Who is General Li?"
Upon hearing this name, the female priest had a slight change of expression on her face. She motioned for the others to leave the place before saying in a low voice, "He is the commander-in-chief of the military."
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