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Seeing the drop of blood, many people couldn’t help but yell in surprise. Nan Wang was about to come over and check it out; but she thought better of it and halted her steps.
Jing Jiu waved his hands dismissively to indicate that he was fine. He turned to Fang Jingtian and asked, “Your Master is dead; what are your thoughts now?”
Fang Jingtian said after having thought about it carefully for a long time, “If I could have my wound healed, I think I would find a way to avenge him.”
“What if I have already left by then?”
Everybody knew that Jing Jiu meant his ascension by saying that.
Interestingly enough, neither Green Mountain disciples nor the Cultivation practitioners of other sects doubted that he would ascend again after they were certain that he was the Immortal Jing Yang.
“Nothing will be done by then,” said Fang Jingtian.
“Good. You bring the three of them to rest on Xilai Peak then,” said Jing Jiu while pointing to the three elderly masters coming out from the hermit peaks.
After a moment of silence, Fang Jingtian said, “They’re…senior masters.”
He was headed toward the distance like the Sword-Washing Stream was doing, his silvery eyebrows tousling in the night wind.
Jing Jiu turned to Guo Nanshan and said, “You make the arrangement for cleaning up.”
He didn’t refer to cleaning up the Daoist Hall on Xilai Peak, but the peaks of Green Mountain.
The peaks of Green Mountain suffered a great deal of damage that day. Many cliffs had collapsed, and tens of thousands of ancient trees had toppled; it could be said that the scars and rubble were everywhere on the peaks, which had lost their former appeal of a Daoist fairy realm.
Even though the people at the Green Mountain Sect were all Cultivation practitioners, it would still take a long time to repair all the damages.
Everybody was aware that Jing Jiu intended to groom Gu Qing as the next sect master; but he asked Guo Nanshan to arrange the repair. They couldn’t help but have some theories on the matter.
However, Guo Nanshan and those of Shenmo Peak knew that Jing Jiu must have some more important matters for Gu Qing to take care of.
After they came back to Shenmo Peak, Jing Jiu ascertained that Gu Qing’s injury was not life-threatening, though it was serious, and that he wouldn’t die anytime soon, which is why he bade Gu Qing to go back to Zhaoge City after giving him some instructions.
The atmosphere on the top of Shenmo Peak grew tenser when they saw the grave expression on Gu Qing’s face and the drop of blood on Jing Jiu’s earlobe.
The drop of blood was falling toward the ground.
A section of Jing Jiu’s earlobe was gone.
Seeing this, the group felt immensely shocked.
Over the last one hundred and more years, the surface of Jing Jiu’s body had never sustained any wound no matter how strong his opponents were and or how severe his injury was; it was because he was reincarnated by means of the All in One Sword.
The only exception was that he lost a piece of his earlobe during the fervent fight against Nan Qü; it was because he was severely wounded that time.
A similar scene occurred today; how severely was he wounded this time?
Zhao Layue was prepared for this ahead of time. She came to the side of Jing Jiu as a few sword lights emerged from the rims of her dress. She reached out her right hand as fast as lightning and squeezed his earlobe with her fingers.
“I’m not going to die,” said Jing Jiu.
He had destroyed the Sword Formation of Green Mountain and killed his Big Brother, and struck the Fairy Lady with the Sword-Washing Stream; this was his price to pay for all that.
Now that he claimed he would not die, that should have settled things. But Liu Shisui and the others didn’t feel much relief upon hearing this, especially when they found his face looked rather grim.
This was a rare emotion for Jing Jiu.
In fact, he hadn’t been disturbed so much that day when the Immortal Taiping came in Liu Shisui’s body and the Fairy Lady came down from the sky.
Perhaps, those happenings were all predicted by him in advance, but the matter he was considering right now was something that was not on the sand plate.
“What’s the matter? Why is the atmosphere so depressing? Didn’t we win?”
In Zhuo Rusui’s mind, though Green Mountain was tremendously damaged and the sword formation and Shangde Peak were destroyed, the grandmaster Taiping, who was the most dangerous threat for the Green Mountain Sect, had been killed, and the Fairy Lady and the Immortal Bai of the Center Sect were killed as well; they had achieved a great victory that no one had even dared dream of; but why was it not worth it?
The Drifter came before Jing Jiu as a gust of gentle wind rose.
Jing Jiu said to her, “Cao Yuan should be at the East Ocean. You go and tell him that Bai Yuan might have entered the Underworld, and you take him down to the Underworld and try your hardest to kill her.”
The black hair on her forehead was tousled about, mirroring her mood. “Even if I brought the Broadsword King with me, we might still not be able to kill the Immortal Bai…”
Jing Jiu said, “Tong Yan is still down there. Ask him to persuade the Underworld Master to help you. He is the personal disciple of the Immortal Bai, so he should know how to kill her.”
The Drifter sighed, “Okay, but how will I get there?”
“The sedan of the Water-Moon Nunnery is awaiting you outside the mountain gate. I’ve already talked to the Chief Nun,” said Jing Jiu.
It turned out that what the Chief Nun said before her departure had a deep meaning.
The Drifter walked out of the cliff and glided in the ocean of clouds; soon after, she disappeared into the dark night.
The group was actually more surprised about another fact.
They had learned by now that the Immortal Bai was not dead; but why did the patch of cloud and fog disperse?
Zhao Layue asked, “Is the figure in the cloud and fog a replica? But how could it deceive you and the Immortal Tan? And…why did the Immortal Tan spit out blood in the end?”
“Something must be wrong with the Pagoda of Suppressing Devils,” said Jing Jiu. “It should be a counterattacking scheme plotted by Bai Yuan, and the Immortal Tan was wounded badly.”
Zhao Layue said while staring at his eyes, “If the Immortal Bai is still alive, it means our victory is not complete.”
Jing Jiu walked to the edge of the cliff and looked at a distant place under the starlight, saying, “Perhaps, all of our gains will be lost.”
Following him to the cliff’s edge while squeezing his earlobe, Zhao Layue gazed at the distant place along with his line of sight, murmuring, “What does she want to do?”
The patch of cloud and fog was believed to be a remarkable magic method of the Center Sect, and a formation against the Immortal Tan must have been deployed on the Pagoda of Suppressing Devils. All of these indicated that the Immortal Bai had predicted all this beforehand.
However, now that she had predicted all this, why did she come to Green Mountain in such a calm manner and invite the Fairy Lady Bai Ren back according to Jing Jiu’s calculation?
No matter how many benefits her scheme could bring to the Center Sect, nothing would be worth the loss of a fairy lady.
Jing Jiu patted on the back of Zhao Layue’s hand, signaling that she could let go of his hand.
Zhao Layue drew back her right hand and brushed it against her sleeve a few times casually.
Jing Jiu looked at Que Niang and said, “Tong Yan won’t come back soon. You play a Go game with me.”
Nobody could tell why he suddenly wanted to play Go at such a critical moment.
Tong Yan, the known King of Chess, wasn’t even his equal; and the people of Shenmo Peak were aware that he had never liked playing Go.
Liu Shisui suddenly recalled that his Young Master picked up that bone flute and played a piece of music with it outside Zhaoge City the year before even though he didn’t like music. Was there a connection between these two events?
Que Niang had no idea why her Teacher wished to play Go . Instead of feeling excited as she usually did, she walked over uneasily.
Yuan Qü brought out a table and some chairs as quickly as he could.
Jing Jiu took out the bamboo chair and laid on it, feeling a bit tired. “You play first,” he said to Que Niang.
Que Niang didn’t dare to think too long about the move; she put a black Go piece on the board hastily.
Jing Jiu put a white piece on it.
The people of Shenmo Peak, including Zhuo Rusui, didn’t know anything about zither, chess, calligraphy or painting, so it was natural that they had no clue about this game. However, they knew the game must have a deep meaning. As such, they all sat around the table, watching the game with their eyes wide open.
Jing Jiu placed his pieces very fast. Que Niang understood his intention, so she also played her pieces as fast as she could. It didn’t take long before the game was finished.
Que Niang was under tremendous pressure since the two of them played very fast and her counterpart was Jing Jiu; as a result, her face looked ashen, and the hairs on her temples were dampened with sweat.
Zhuo Rusui took out a handkerchief from inside of his sleeve and handed it to Que Niang. “Who won?” he asked.
Que Niang glanced at him gloomily, as she thought it was an apparent fact that nobody could beat her Teacher at Go.
Liu Shisui and the others also glanced at Zhuo Rusui, as they thought he must have uttered such a nonsense because he had nothing else to say.
Zhao Layue thought that the handkerchief might be used by Zhuo Rusui to wipe his Swallowing Boat Sword; but she found it was inappropriate to tell her that.
The black and white Go pieces were intertwined on the Go board, looking quite complicated.
Jing Jiu remained silent for a long time, looking at the board.
It was a quite normal that he had won.
And yet, remaining silent was not normal for him.
A fluttering sound rang out.
The Green Bird landed on the Go board. Her eyes looking at Jing Jiu were full of fear, yet also full of courage.
Jing Jiu raised up his head and tapped her head with a finger. “Even though you’re the fastest traveler, it’s still too late,” said he sympathetically.
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