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For the sword Cultivation of Green Mountain, the Undefeated State was the most important threshold. Once entering the Undefeated State, one would be able to live many times longer than the mortals and conceal one’s existence by employing magical methods, and more importantly, one could hide the flying sword in the Sword Pill. The flying sword could come out with the Piercing Discernment when needed, emerging as fast as the lightning and killing a man without the slightest detection.
In the past, Master Meng and Master Lü were sent to the South Pine Pavilion as the trainers for the external disciples since they couldn’t enter the Undefeated State and thus had no hope for further Cultivation. Before producing Zhao Layue, Liu Shisui and Jing Jiu, they were brought back to the peaks and awarded magic pills so that they could try again to reach a higher Cultivation state.
Carrying his iron sword on his back, it meant Jing Jiu hadn’t entered the Undefeated State yet.
It was common for someone his age; but his performance three years ago at the Inherited Sword Competition was so shocking that many people expected him should have had some breakthroughs after traveling for three years. Of course, this expectation was at least somewhat root in their feelings of jealousy and admiration.
"Many early achievers improved at a faster pace at the beginning, but slowed down gradually when the Cultivation became harder and more profound; some of them even stalled."
Looking up at the cliff, Xue Yong’e sneered, "No progress in three years; that’s just like him."
Xue Yong’e reached the State of Perfect Preservation in three years, and he had even entered the State of Inherited Will with the help of his grand uncle from Shiyue Peak a few days ago. He had the confidence that he would be selected by Liangwang Peak and taught the true sword style, and he would be able to catch up to and even surpass Jing Jiu in the future.
These ideas were mostly thought by those regular disciples, but more people didn’t think this way.
The majority of the disciples his age had a Cultivation state lower than the State of Inherited Will, the high expectation for Jing Jiu couldn’t be explained in any way but jealousy.
People still could recall vividly the scene when Jing Jiu defeated Gu Qing three years ago at the Inherited Sword Competition. The sword style was mostly based on the Cultivation state, but not always. Since Jing Jiu entered the inner sect from the South Pine Pavilion, he had performed a vast number of surprising feats, so it was always too early to pass any kind of judgment on him.
Many people were even more intrigued by his presence at the competition, as he had never left Shenmo Peak from the time he first got there.
Lin Wuzhi felt somewhat surprised, asking, "Why do you stay on the peak top dozing your time away but come here to mingle with the crowd?"
"I also need to take on a disciple," Jing Jiu replied.
He wanted to take a disciple only after inheriting the sword for three years?! Lin Wuzhi thought that what he said was beyond ridiculous, though he suddenly realized, before laughing out loudly, Jing Jiu was the master of the second generation of Shenmo Peak; he was of course qualified to take a disciple. It’s just…Lin Wuzhi still felt it was kind of ridiculous.
"Could a master with the State of Inherited Will take a disciple?" Lin Wuzhi asked uncertainly.
Jing Jiu replied with certainty, "It’s allowed if the sect rules haven’t been changed."
The Inherited Sword Competition had finally begun.
The young disciples who had been practicing for three years by the Stream of Sword Washing stepped onto the green rock in the stream to demonstrate their sword work, doing so in the order found in the registration book.
Like any other year, this Inherited Sword Competition was still the stage for choosing the peaks or being chosen by them. Yet many arrangements had already been made beforehand; the masters of the nine peaks discussed this in hushed voices and notebooks in their hands. The disciples taking part in the Inherited Sword Competition looked up at the cliff with anxiety and expectations, hoping their own names would be announced.
The most popular peaks for the disciples were still Liangwang Peak and Tianguang Peak.
Surprisingly, a remote corner on the cliff also attracted anxious and enthusiastic gazes.
Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu were sitting there.
Zhao Layue and Jing Jiu had just returned to the Green Mountain, though they didn’t have time to contact those disciples by the stream in advance, so they didn’t quite understand where their enthusiasm came from.
The disciples were disappointed a bit since no sound came out from that remote corner, so they couldn’t become an inherited sword disciple of Shenmo Peak; though on the other hand, they also felt relieved, since they didn’t know what to do when the speaker was Jing Jiu. If he speaks, do I have to be his disciple?
The reflection of a figure appeared on the surface of the stream.
Both sides of the valley that had kept quiet for three years suddenly echoed with the monkeys’ screams again.
The disciples of Green Mountain felt somewhat surprised and puzzled.
But Jing Jiu knew these monkeys came here offering support for their neighbor.
The person standing on the green rock in the stream was Gu Qing.
Three years had passed, in which time he became a young man with a peaceful and calm air to him, displaying a balanced personality rarely seen for someone his age.
Upon seeing the figure in the stream, silence fell over the cliff, and soon discussions began in hushed voices.
People didn’t forget what had happened three years ago.
Gu Qing was first defeated by Jing Jiu, and then expelled by Liangwang Peak for learning the sword style secretly.
Nobody thought he would go directly to Shenmo Peak rather than wait by the stream for three years or return to Liangwang Peak.
From then on, Gu Qing rarely came out from Shenmo Peak, as if having vanished from the Green Mountain.
No one knew what he had done on Shenmo Peak for the last three years.
People were quite certain that Gu Qing broke off his relationship with Liangwang Peak, or more precisely, with his older brother Gu Han.
In the eyes of many disciples, Gu Qing had made an unwise choice.
The Gu family had profound connections on the nine peaks, not to mention Liangwang Peak. Even though he was a mistreated son of a concubine and had to suffer at the Stream of Sword Washing for three years, why would he have severed his connection with the Gu family?
However, nobody thought he couldn’t pass the Inherited Sword test. He was already at the State of Inherited Will three years ago, even if he didn’t make any further progress, and though he was forbidden from using the Six-Dragons sword style, his prowess was still far superior to these disciples by the stream.
People had even guessed Gu Qing would choose Shenmo Peak. But if he had, what would Liangwang Peak and Big Brother Gu Han’s reactions have been?!
Everyone knew the true reason for Gu Qing’s expulsion from Liangwang Peak, and the terrible relationship between Gu Han and Jing Jiu.
Many people gazed up at a spot on the cliff where the disciples of Liangwang Peak were.
Gu Han stood under a tree, emotionless. Nobody could tell what was on his mind.
Xue Yong’e gazed up at the spot as well.
Under the cover of countless gazes, no one noticed Xue and Gu Han glancing at each other for just a split second.
Xue Yong’e understood Gu Han’s intention, taking a deep breath and walking over to the green rock in the stream.
Xue Yong’e didn’t have the confidence to defeat Gu Qing.
His Cultivation state was the Inherited Will, but Gu Qing had already entered that state three years ago.
However, he was sure that he could manage a prolonged fight with him, to show the masters on the cliff his own progress and Gu Qing’s stagnation in the state of Cultivation over the past three years.
Also he had some hidden methods. If Gu Qing underestimated him, he might actually have a chance to win, and then he would truly have a glorious day!
Xue Yong’e called out his flying sword and stared at Gu Qing, who was standing across from him, saying, "Please."
As soon as he said this, the flying sword shot out, leaving behind a trail of residual shadow as it headed directly toward Gu Qing’s forehead.
Xue Yong’e was ready to make his next move if Gu Qing dodged his thrusting sword or countered it.
However, none of those predicted responses happened.
A crisp sound echoed in the mountain and by the stream.
Xue Yong’e’s flying sword fell into the stream water like a heavy stone, splashing a large amount of water from the stream.
Looking closely at the sword in his hand, Gu Qing felt relieved after making certain his sword shaft wasn’t damaged.
It was quiet on the cliff.
The stream water was constantly flowing, washing Xue Yong’e’s sword in the water.
Somehow, many people thought they had seen this scene before.
Lin Wuzhi felt it looked familiar as well.
In fact, the disciples of Liangwang Peak were most sensitive to this scene.
The looks on Gu Han was surely awful.