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Zhuo Rusui was still behind closed doors, and the disciples of Liangw.a.n.g Peak, like Guo Nanshan, Gu Han and Jian Ruyun, couldn't take part in the meeting for various reasons.
Of all the masters and disciples of Green Mountain partic.i.p.ating in the Plum Meeting, Zhao Layue of course attracted the most attention, followed by Jing Jiu.
They were the personal disciples of the Immortal Jing Yang and had become the masters of the second generation at the Green Mountain Sect. Who could compare to them in terms of extraordinary experience?
Besides, two other opinions made them even more famous.
Zhao Layue wasn't so concerned about her appearance, sporting short and messy hair, often appearing in front of others covered in dust. She could be even described as unkempt.
The opinions about Jing Jiu obviously concerned his face.
It was said that he was too handsome to be a real person.
Some people described him as being unreasonably handsome.
Standing behind Zhao Layue, Jing Jiu kept a low profile.
Yet, as Jing Jiu had said to Zhao Layue, the clouds couldn't block the sun forever, regardless of how thick they were; and the sky was cloudless in Zhaoge City today.
Today at the Plum Meeting, Jing Jiu was unable to put on the conical hat, not to mention the mask.
Countless gazes were fixed on his…face.
The surprised screams in low voices and the compliments echoed throughout the entire Plum Garden, like a large flock of birds flying overhead, buzzing all over the surrounding areas.
"He is so good-looking…"
"How is it possible to have such a handsome man?"
"How on earth can someone be that beautiful?!"
"Well, what is that on his back? Is it the iron sword?"
"It's impossible. I heard he performed very well at the Sword Trial on Green Mountain. Has he not even entered the State of the Golden Pill?"
"It should be the State of the Undefeated if you're using the Cultivation states of the Green Mountain Sect."
Those sects who knew about the Sword Trial of Green Mountain didn't quite understand why Jing Jiu still carried his sword on his back, as he had obviously already entered the State of the Undefeated.
Was he still concealing his true Cultivation state?
The disciples of the Center Sect turned their heads looking at the arriving group of the Green Mountain Sect.
The two leaders of the Orthodox Federation, the disciples of the Center Sect and those of the Green Mountain Sect seldom had opportunity to meet each other, and as expected, they were curious about one another.
A clean and gentle voice spilled out from behind the white curtain, "Who is Zhao Layue?"
Xiang Wanshu replied respectfully, "Big Sister, she is sitting in that chair over there in the distance."
The woman was a bit startled, asking, "Well, she looks fine, and obviously is a good-looking young woman. But why was she rumored to be messy and untidy?"
Thinking of his meeting with Zhao Layue last year at the Four-Seas Banquet, Xiang Wanshu felt pleased, replying, "Those are just jealous remarks made by the mortals of the small towns and villages."
"But that Jing Jiu is really as rumored, beautiful to the extreme."
It seemed the woman was shocked by Jing Jiu's handsome appearance, saying, "Anything that has reached such an extreme level must be extraordinary; we have to be careful when dealing with him."
A disciple said arrogantly, "Gu Han was too proud and arrogant. Even if Jing Jiu has defeated him, it's still not a big deal, as he is merely in the initial state of the Undefeated. There is nothing to worry about."
Xiang Wushu didn't say anything, but smiled bitterly, thinking the Seventh Big Brother had been defeated by Gu Han at the last Plum Meeting, and yet he still made such a remark; who was too arrogant and over-confident now?!
In the far end of the Cold Platform where the delegation of the Water-Moon Nunnery was located, a woman veiled in white silk also looked in that direction.
Her gaze fixed on Zhao Layue, feeling satisfied, thinking Jing Yang's insights were usually trustworthy, and that he chose his successor well.
Seeing Jing Jiu, she felt rather disappointed, thinking this person was most likely superficial, far inferior to Jing Yang.
The Western Ocean Sword Sect and the Green Mountain Sect had not been on good terms. Unlike the other Cultivation sects, they were not talking about or praising Jing Jiu's appearance.
Tong Lu stood by the edge of the cold platform, staring at Jing Jiu on the other side.
Tong Lu's appearance was ordinary, but his posture was quite upright, looking like a real sword, his eyes conveying sharp expression.
He knew Jing Jiu wasn't trying to conceal his true Cultivation state; as the disciple of Green Mountain Sect, Jing Jiu wouldn't be foolish enough to think he actually could.
There could only be one explanation as to why Jing Jiu didn't place his sword in the Sword Pill: he thought it looked better carrying a long sword on the back.
"He was born with such an unusual face, but he still wants more. He is indeed a show-off."
Tong Lu said to an elder of the Western Ocean Sword Sect by his side, "Senior Master, please send somebody to check with the Pure Heaven Bureau. If this person has registered for the Cultivation tournament, I don't mind being in the same group with him."
Thousands of gazes fell on Jing Jiu.
He was, for the moment, the focus of the Plum Meeting.
Jing Jiu didn't know about this, or to be more accurate, he didn't care about.
As he said, the sun couldn't help if it was noticed by all the people.
There were much conjecture about why he carried his sword on his back, but he was really innocent in this regard.
He had never thought of concealing his true Cultivation state, and he also didn't intend to be a show-off. The real reason was actually quite simple.
He simply couldn't integrate his flying sword into his Sword Pill after having entered the State of the Undefeated.
He had been worried about whether he would encounter some trouble once entering the State of the Undefeated because of his special physical condition; it was why he had hesitated entering the state for a long time.
Until he saw Liu Shisui knocked down onto the ground by Guo Nanshan, as that is when he finally decided to move forward.
As expected, he was different from other disciples in the State of the Undefeated, having such a problem as that. Yet it wasn't as bad as he had thought it would be.
As long as he could avoid Zhao Layue's suspicion.
There were many chairs on the platform, but only two peak masters could actually sit in the chairs.
Once they arrived on the cold platform, Jing Jiu gestured Zhao Layue with eyes to sit in an end chair, far away from the Peak Master of Qingrong.
Zhao Layue didn't refuse doing so, but wondered why he always tried to stay away from the Peak Master of Qingrong.
This wasn't the first he tried to avoid the Peak Master of Qingrong; he even stealthily prevented Sister Yushan from joining the Qingrong Peak.
Zhao Layue had spent some effort trying to herself presentable today.
She washed her face, combed her hair, and put on the new clothes.
Her hair didn't look so messy anymore, as she had combed it carefully, making it look smooth, and braided her hair behind her head, making sure that not even one strand of strayed from outside the braid.
Her face also looked attractive, plain and tidy, and her thick eyebrows looked so vivid, just like the birds perched on the top section of a scenery painting.
The only shortcoming was the fact that she looked too plain, lacking decorations either on her tidy face or the light-green sword robe. The looks weren't appropriate for a young woman her age.
There was a plum tree by the cold platform.
A small yellow flower was blooming on a branch of the tree in the late spring.
Jing Jiu reached out and picked the flower from the branch without hesitation, and then inserted it above the ear in Zhao Layue's hair.
Zhao Layue didn't understand why he did that. "What's wrong?" she asked.
Jing Jiu took two steps back and checked it over, nodding his head satisfactorily, commenting, "Looking good."
"I know I look good," Zhao Layue responded with a sweet smile.
Jing Jiu said, "I was commenting on the flower."
Zhao Layue wasn't upset, but prompted, "What about me?"
"You have always looked awesome," said Jing Jiu.
Many people had witnessed the above scene.
Uproar occurred on all the cold platforms.
Had two of them become Cultivation partners?
There were innumerable admirers of Zhao Layue among the pract.i.tioners of the younger generation, like with the disciples of Green Mountain years ago.
They had heard many rumors about Zhao Layue in recent years, like her short hair, cold personality, untidy appearance; but n.o.body really cared about.
There were so many handsome men and pretty ladies in the Cultivation world, but there was only one Zhao Layue.
In addition to those admirers, some pragmatic Cultivation pract.i.tioners thought of Zhao Layue as a worthy target to pursue.
This was because she was someone with natural Dao quality, the personal disciple of Immortal Jing Yang, and more importantly, the Peak Master of Shenmo!
Even if it was only in delusion, a pract.i.tioner could still dream of how happy a time it would be if he and Zhao Layue became Cultivation partners.
Unfortunately, even their dreams had been completely shattered.
"Young Brother, are you okay?"
On the cold platform of the Center Sect, the seventh ranking disciple asked Xiang Wanshu concernedly while looking at him.
Xiang Wanshu's face was ashen, looking as if he had just lost something very precious.