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The cold wind was whistling, and the valley was extremely cold, and though these young disciples were Cultivation pract.i.tioners, it was still very hard for them to withstand. They all stood behind the rocks or in the caves, and their discussions were broken off by the windy sounds every now and then.
"Why do we have to wait another day? He's already won first place in the Cultivation tournament, but we are not even close to finishing the tournament, so we have to hurry up."
"You should feel lucky that it's only one day. We have delayed for four days already in order to meet the groups like yours on our way."
"What the heck, why should we stop moving forward when he says so?"
All of them knew that it was Jing Jiu's idea.
If Jing Jiu wasn't from the Green Mountain and had a high status, or if he didn't get the support of Bai Zao, the crowd would have already started their revolt.
Even the disciples of the Green Mountain felt unpleasant, but they didn't dare express their opinions.
"What is on your mind? Do you suspect that something will happen ahead that would require you to gather more people?" Bai Zao asked Jing Jiu in a whisper.
The Snowy Kingdom might really have had something significant going on, and the frontline could be incredibly dangerous.
Yet, Jing Jiu didn't intend to unite all the strength he could get to fight back the unknown dangers.
"Let's wait for another half a day," he told Bai Zao.
Bai Zao had already guessed his intention after they'd been journeying these past few days.
As Jing Jiu had learned the routes of other groups and their speed, his chosen route would guarantee that they would meet these groups in the shortest amount of time.
Bai Zao had calculated that they should be able to meet another two groups if they waited in this patch of the valley for half a day.
Similar to the previous meetings, there would be one disciple of the Green Mountain in each of these two groups.
The sun had moved away from its zenith. The cold wind had gradually gotten more violent, and the temperature had dropped even more.
The young disciples talked less and less, and instead began meditating and recuperating in order to resist the cold weather and recover their zhenyuan.
The atmosphere in the valley didn't calm down because of the quietness, actually became more and more depressing and anxious; even the cold wind couldn't lessen the gloomy mood.
One hour later, a group had arrived at the valley and was asked to stay with the large group.
As the sunset was about to disappear from the entrance of the valley, the last group had arrived.
By this time, there were ten groups gathering in the valley, with a total number of forty five disciples.
Bai Zao glanced at Jing Jiu.
"If all the disciples you have waited for are here, you should give the order now. We can't keep them here forever merely based on your status, performance and fame in addition to mine."
As expected, the long wait had worn their patience thin, and the atmosphere in the valley had become unsettling.
A disciple of a certain sect yelled, "The sun is setting, so why aren't we moving out?"
Jing Jiu didn't pay attention to all the skepticism and anger on the disciples' face.
He told Bai Zao, "Send this message to the West Mountain Residence that I request an end the Cultivation tournament and to call back all the disciples."
The highest place of West Mountain Residence was still enshrouded by the clouds and fog, but dusk was near. The whole peak looked like it was on fire. The masters of various sects were discussing why Jing Jiu had asked dozens of young disciples to stay put, and whether they should send a message to tell them to move forward or otherwise be punished, as they suddenly received the news from the snowy land.
The Cultivation tournament had encountered the unparalleled challenge.
It wasn't because the disciples partic.i.p.ating in the Cultivation tournament had suffered the sudden mishaps of the heaven and earth, but because this event had never occurred before.
n.o.body had never even thought of it.
"Jing Jiu requested to end the Cultivation tournament immediately and call back all the young disciples."
State Duke He felt quite uncomfortable.
With an icy cold expression, the Sect Master of Kunlun yelled angrily, "Is this guy mad?!"
If this was something else, Nan w.a.n.g would retort, but even she was shocked by Jing Jiu's request, so she didn't say a word.
The other sect masters eyed each other, speechless, thinking the request was really ridiculous.
Even if Jing Jiu was the gifted swordsman of the Green Mountain Sect and the personal disciple of the Immortal Jing Yang, he was merely a young disciple partic.i.p.ating in the Cultivation tournament; what kind of qualification and courage did he have to bring up such an absurd request?
The Elder of the Center Sect felt this matter was odd, and he glanced at Nan w.a.n.g before asking, "Why would he have this request?"
Arching his eyebrows slightly, State Duke He said, "He said that he didn't feel right."
"Just this?" asked the Elder of the Center Sect with a slightly changed expression.
State Duke He sighed, "Yes; there was no other reason given."
The Sect Master of the Kunlun sneered as he said, "He wants to end the Cultivation tournament because he doesn't feel right; who does he think he is?"
The big monster invasion two hundred years ago was the only occasion when the Cultivation tournament had to end prematurely, but it was confirmed that there wasn't any monster invasion this year.
The Cultivation tournament was already in the middle stages, and the disciples partic.i.p.ating in it had entered the deep parts of the snowy land, and the chaotic winds were wreaking havoc on in the sky. If the Cultivation tournament had to be cancelled and the partic.i.p.ants had to be pulled back, the magic treasures of various sects had to be employed. The important part was, why would the whole Cultivation circle engage in such a significant action all because of Jing Jiu's words?
Was it all because of the cold fog that had appeared occasionally in the last few days and the Iron Thread Bug that hadn't been seen since?
Even if something had happened in the Snowy Kingdom, as Bai Zao had suspected, and the snow monsters hidden deep in the snowy ground were retreating to the Snowy Kingdom, what did it have anything to do with the Cultivation tournament?
"I don't care why he went mad, but he has violated the rules so boldly that he must face punishment for it."
The Sect Master of the Kunlun said callously, "I demand that Jing Jiu be disqualified from the Cultivation tournament."
Nan w.a.n.g's face revealed an even more terrible look.
The Cultivation tournament of course wouldn't end because of Jing Jiu's words.
As the Sect Mater of the Kunlun said, Jing Jiu didn't have the status and the qualification to do so.
The situation had changed now; the next thing was how to punish Jing Jiu for his inconsiderate actions.
If the request was raised by any regular disciple of any other sect, he would be disqualified right away and then face strict punishment later on.
The problem was that Jing Jiu was a senior master of the Green Mountain.
He had such a status.
Besides, he should be the winner of this year's Cultivation tournament.
More importantly, everybody was aware that the Young Zen Master had the intention of helping him.
All the sect masters and the elders of various sects in West Mountain Residence had gone to the Net-Perception Temple.
The Young Zen Master was the only one who could decide how to punish Jing Jiu.
The seats were set up and the teacups were placed on the table in the small courtyard located in the deep part of the Net-Perception Temple.
But none of them sat down, waiting for the Young Zen Master's words while looking at that window.
After a long time, a voice came from the inside of the window.
"Did Jing Jiu restrain the partic.i.p.ants' freedom? Or did he do something to them? If not, then what reasons do we have to punish him?"
Upon hearing this, the Sect Master of the Kunlun revealed an unpleasant expression. "Do we have to tolerate his nonsense?" he insisted.
"Since you know it's nonsense, there is no point to heed it then."
Having said this, no more sound came from the inside of the window.
State Duke He understood what the Young Zen Master meant. He let show a bitter smile and told the others, "Forget it then. Let's take it as the prank of a young man. Anyhow it's impossible for him to stop the Cultivation tournament, and those young disciples won't listen to him."
As State Duke He said, n.o.body would listen to Jing Jiu.
After they had learned of Jing Jiu's intention, it abruptly became noisy in the cold valley.
Scores of gazes fell on Jing Jiu, full of shock and complicated emotions.
In their eyes, Jing Jiu who had won first place in the Cultivation tournament should be a respectful and gifted swordsman, but now they looked at him like he was a madman.
"Why does the Cultivation tournament have to be cancelled?"
A mature monk of the Baotong Zen Temple asked Jing Jiu.
Jing Jiu replied, "I don't feel right. Dangers seem to be awaiting us ahead."
Upon hearing this remark, there was an uproar amid the crowd.
An angry voice bellowed out.
"Who do you think you are?! Do you think you are the Young Zen Master or the Emperor, or the Sect Master of your Green Mountain? Are you mad?"