The Path Toward Heaven Chapter 529
What Tong Yan was doing was not to replay a famous game of Go in the past, and he had no intention of playing another game with Jing Jiu.
He was good at playing Go, but Jing Jiu was even better at it. So Jing Jiu could understand what Tong Yan was doing easily.
The black Go pieces were arranged from the middle to the outskirts, the shape of which looked more like a large dragon. On the other hand, the white Go pieces looked a bit chaotic and concentrated in one corner. The white side seemed unable to resist the attack of the black side. If the trend continued, all the white Go pieces might be swallowed by that large dragon.
The Center Sect was the black side, and the Green Mountain Sect was the white side.
According to the current situation, the Center Sect didn't confront the Green Mountain Sect directly, but attempted to move their forces to the corners.
This move could be regarded as a test of the Green Mountain Sect, and it was also an effort of annexing the vassals of Green Mountain.
The deal between the Grandmaster of the Hanging-Bell Sect and Cloud-Dream Mountain was merely a hidden move; the behavior of Su Ziye in Yizhou was a substantial move for a Go piece.
Yizhou was near Haizhou. One would be able to see the West Ocean after cresting the Xiling Snow Mountain.
The West Ocean had been included in the protected territory of the Green Mountain Sect for only three years. As such, it was not stable yet, and a mishap could occur easily.
"If the white side counterattacks later, I'm afraid it will be in a defensive position," Jing Jiu remarked.
Tong Yan rapped the Go board with his finger before saying, "Take it over after the other side manages it for a while. It will be the reward for your patience."
Jing Jiu played Go by calculating every step at one time, but Tong Yan was better at reading the general trend on the Go board.
Yet, the other reason could be that Jing Jiu had no need to calculate the general trend.
"I can tell you a story about Su Ziye."
Tong Yan said in the end, "It can be considered a gift to you. But I beg you not to bother me for ten years."
After returning to Shenmo Peak, Jing Jiu didn't mention the Go game; he only repeated the story told by Tong Yan.
Zhao Layue didn't like this story, saying, "It's even more troublesome than killing Luo Huainan."
Yuan Qü commented, "I don't think it's all that sensible; it doesn't sound like Tong Yan's plan."
Gu Qing shook his head, as he said, "He has been thinking too much of it."
Jing Jiu knew that Gu Qing had truly figured out the flaw of the plan, saying, "The plan has too many details but not enough specifics. It's inevitable that the story would be a bit too lengthy."
Back when Zhao Layue and Liu Shisui planned to kill Luo Huainan, they needed to conceal their identities, so Tong Yan came up with an almost-perfect plan. However, Jing Jiu was the current sect master of Green Mountain, and so they didn't need to conceal anything in their attempt to eradicate the remaining members of the Mysterious Dark Sect.
Ping Yongjia didn't understand what the others were talking about, so he asked, "Who is going to Yizhou?"
This was the actual issue.
It would take at least a dozen years for the disciples of Liangwang Peak to break through the Sea State, even for Guo Nanshan, who had the highest Cultivation state among them.
If Green Mountain sent an elder in the Broken Sea State, it might arouse a strong reaction from the Center Sect.
Time had passed fast enough; it was summer now.
It was all quiet at the Green Mountain Sect.
The disciples of Liangwang Peak were not going out to purge demons and monsters anymore, and so sword lights were seldom seen by the banks of the Muddy River.
Many people thought that this was the result of the departure of the Immortal Liu Ci.
Apart from the occasional cries of the monkeys, Shenmo Peak was no different from before.
One afternoon, the Great Formation of Green Mountain opened a passage, exposing the true nature of the outside world.
The dark clouds filled the sky, rolling up and down constantly; the thunders and lightning were hidden in the clouds, as if they would strike down at any moment.
Jing Jiu walked out of the manor cave and headed toward the top of Bihu Peak with Ada in his chest. He arrived in front of the palace after walking on the surface of the lake.
Hundreds of wild cats, smelling the odor of Ada, came to the stone steps and the windowsills, looking into the palace; it was a dreadful scene.
The Formation of Green Stone rotated slowly, exposing the stone platform in the middle of the stone shelf.
Ada traveled the palace as quickly as a bolt of lightning. He felt relieved after making sure those precious magic pills nurtured by the thunders and medicine materials were intact.
The five and a half Thunder-Soul Woods were placed in the most apparent spots, which he had counted already.
Jing Jiu walked over and held the unripe Thunder-Soul Wood while looking upwards at the dark clouds in the sky.
Ada meowed once to remind him about taking off his cloth first.
Not so many pieces of white cloth were left on the top of Shenmo Peak. It was unclear how many years it would take before Guo Dong woke up and made some new ones.
Jing Jiu thought it was a reasonable request; so he took off his white cloth and tossed it over.
The thunders broke out in the sky.
Countless bolts of lightning struck down one after the other.
Dozens of sword lights were intermittently visible amid the thunder and lightning.
Those were the disciples in the Undefeated and Free Travel states having their flying swords tempered by means of the natural thunders.
It was white throughout the palace when the lightning struck down; Jing Jiu's figure couldn't be spotted in the palace.
Those wild cats had fled a long time ago.
Crawling out from underneath the white cloth, Ada couldn't help but feel amazed at the scene.
He wondered if this was the so-called "Striking heads with the natural thunder".
After a long while, the sound of thunder abated, but the rain was still coming down.
Jing Jiu's body was wrapped in innumerable blue electric bolts. As the raindrops fell onto his body, they would evaporate into steam instantly with a sizzling sound. Shrouded in the steam, Jing Jiu looked more like an immortal man.
A moment later, the roof of the palace hall was closed again, and the raindrops were blocked outside.
As the white steam dissipated, those blue electric bolts had also disappeared into his body into his skin.
Ada came before him with the white cloth in his mouth.
Jing Jiu put on the cloth, placed the piece of unripe Thunder-Soul Wood back in the original spot, and headed for the outside of the palace hall.
A flame emerged from the bottom of his feet, and a deep footprint with the burning smell appeared on the ground.
Seeing this, Ada shook his head, as it occurred to him that Jing Jiu would encounter a big trouble when he was to break through the Heavenly Arrival State because he couldn't absorb the energy of the thunder and lightning unlimitedly.
Another year had passed.
Guo Nanshan came to Shenmo Peak in early spring. He was received by Gu Qing in that small wooden hut; then he began to drink tea.
All of Green Mountain had known by now that everybody had to go through Gu Qing and drink the tea prepared by him if they wanted to meet the Sect Master.
Guo Nanshan couldn't even remember how many times he had come to Shenmo Peak and drunk tea; the only difference was that Zhuo Rusui came with him this time.
He laid down the teacup and asked, "Is the Sect Master still behind closed doors?"
"Yes," Gu Qing confirmed.
Guo Nanshan asked, "When will he come out from behind closed doors? Do you have any idea at all?"
"I'm not sure about it," returned Gu Qing.
Guo Nanshan felt a bit disappointed.
It was common for a Cultivation practitioner to stay behind closed doors, and they would often stay behind closed doors for many years at a time.
Thinking of this, Guo Nanshan couldn't help but take a look at Zhuo Rusui.
However, this matter couldn't be postponed any longer; it had been one year already, and nobody could anticipate what had happened in Yizhou over the last year.
If it were when his Master Liu Ci was the Sect Master, he had no need to think about it. All he needed to do was send some disciples to Yizhou; but now…
Yet, Zhuo Rusui was not interested in this sort of matter. He felt it rather boring, and stood up and said, "I'll go out and walk about."
Having said that and yawning once, he walked out of the small wooden hut.
Glancing at his back, Gu Qing wondered if the person with natural Dao quality was also born with cleverness.
"I don't care about whether he is Wang Xiaoming in Yizhou, or Su Ziye whom the Sect Master believes the person to be; things have become more noticeable over there, and a big fire is on the verge of blazing."
Guo Nanshan went on in a serious manner, "Even if we don't attempt to put out the fire, we should at least send some people to take a look over there. Otherwise, the Center Sect would extend their hands into the south of Chaotian!"
Gu Qing said with a straight face, "I'm still far away from entering the Broken Sea State."
What Gu Qing intended to convey was clear enough; he couldn't go to Yizhou no matter what.
The disciples of Liangwang Peak couldn't go there either before they broke through the Sea State.
It was simply because this was the order of the Sect Master.
"The merchants of the Gu Clan have found some clues in Yizhou. Gu Han thinks he is more suitable for going there."
Guo Nanshan continued while looking at Gu Qing's eyes, "He just wants to have a look, and do nothing else."
Gu Qing didn't give a response. It was evident that he had already learned of these clues.
As Gu Qing's status improved on Green Mountain, especially after he had become the principal disciple of the Sect Master, the Gu Clan had begun to pay more attention to him.
It was quiet in the small wooden hut. The black tea in the iron teapot gave off the plopping sound.
Gu Qing couldn't agree to his request. The reason was simple: He was not the real sect master.
Guo Nanshan got up and was about to leave. As he was about to step over the doorsill, he suddenly halted his steps, saying, "Could you people cut them some slack?"
The Cultivation circle appeared to be peaceful on the outside, and Green Mountain seemed to be calm on the inside, yet many events had happened in the human world.
The Jian Clan in Nanhezhou and the Ma Clan in Shangzhou had had a hard time over the last year.
They had been suppressed violently either in their business deals or in other aspects. The source of the troubles was the Gu Clan.
After pouring a cup of tea for Guo Nanshan, Gu Qing said, "They have to give back the money they had earned through Green Mountain."
After a moment of silence, Guo Nanshan said, "I know Ma Hua and Jian Ruoyun have offended the Sect Master, but they're nonetheless the disciples of Liangwang Peak and have contributed to Green Mountain in the past. Could you ask him to cut them some slack?"
"But this is not the intent of the Sect Master," Gu Qing said.
The expression on Guo Nanshan's face changed a little.
Gu Qing continued, "This is the intent of Senior Master Zhao."
The Will of the Immortal Liu Ci appeared on the top of Tianguang Peak last spring.
Jian Ruoyun and Ma Hua were the first ones to come out and oppose Jing Jiu inheriting the position of the sect master.
Zhao Layue didn't say anything at the time, but it didn't mean that she would forget about it. She especially disliked that fat Ma Hua, and she had disliked him since she first laid eyes on him.
If Gu Qing didn't persuade and tell her it was not appropriate to do so, she might have struck herself.
Guo Nanshan didn't expect it to be Zhao Layue's intention; he knew that those two clans were basically finished.
Seeing his countenance, Gu Qing comforted him by saying, "Don't worry. I know how to handle it properly."
"The people will die after the family business goes broke," said Guo Nanshan while shaking his head.
"The moment they came out, they should have known that they were wagering on the future of their clans," Gu Qing remarked calmly. "The Gu Clan can suppress any other clans easily, because I'm the principal disciple of the Sect Master. What if they had succeeded that day? Do you think what situation the Gu Clan would be in?"
Guo Nanshan didn't say anything more. He opted to leave the peak.
Having drunk the remaining black tea in the teacup, Gu Qing kept sitting there quietly, sitting there for a long time.
The spring wind outside the window felt a bit chilly.
Zhuo Rusui didn't come back.
Gu Qing thought that he had probably left by himself. He got up and left the small hut, heading toward the peak top.
As he came to the peak top, he found Zhuo Rusui was there already, feeling bewildered.
"Big Brother Zhuo, what you're doing is not compliant with the rules."
"To hell with those senseless rules! Others might say you're a chief executive of the Sect Master, but I don't think you're actually one," said Zhuo Rusui, lying on the bamboo chair by the cliff's edge and narrowing his eyes while bathing in the spring sun. "I'm here to have some fun, not to discuss things. Why should I stay in that receiving house like an idiot?"
Gu Qing thought what he said was sensible. He smiled wryly before asking, "Where have you visited on the peak?"
Pointing to a spot at the foot of the cliff, Zhuo Rusui said droopily, "That patch of grass is a good place for bathing in the sun; and I didn't expect to see a horse there. I rode on it for a while."
Gu Qing said admirably, "You're the first one to think of riding that horse, save for those monkeys."
The Green Mountain disciples rode on their swords; who would think of riding on a horse?
Narrowing his eyes, Zhuo Rusui said contentedly, "I'm not a normal person."
Gu Qing remarked sentimentally, "Of course, and you're also the first one who dares lie on that bamboo chair."
As they spoke, the stone door of the manor cave opened slowly; Jing Jiu walked out from it.
Gu Qing approached him hastily.
Zhuo Rusui stood on the ground with two wide opened eyes. It seemed as if he had never lain down or even his entire life.