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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Today in the dwelling at the peak of Mount Li, several more unconscious people were lying between Qiushan Jun and Qi Jian. Those wounds which had been very simply bandaged were still oozing blood, and the scene seemed rather bloody.
Outside the dwelling stood several dozen Mount Li disciples. Bai Cai stood at the very front, one hand supporting the Sect Master while the other held his sword. His face was somewhat pale, both because he was sick from the sight of blood and because his emotions were rather agitated. Of course, this agitation was not out of fear, even if he was sick from seeing blood, or else he definitely wouldn't be the real Bai Cai.
This youth with the bizarre name was a disciple of the Mount Li Sword Sect's inner sect, sixth law of the Divine Kingdom's Seven Laws, in the later level of Meditation. The emotion currently agitating his chest was called anger. (TN: Bai Cai's name is literally 'cabbage' in Chinese.)
The Mount Li Sword Sect's Master had a very dignified expression, but his body was very weak. This supreme expert whose might once shook the south today found it quite the task to even stand up straight. Only with the assistance of a young disciple could he stand steady. The stone plaza and the mountain path outside the dwelling were both covered in blood and sword slashes. It was very obvious that an extremely bitter battle had just occurred.
In the early morning, several elders suddenly brought their disciples with them to the main peak and requested that Qi Jian be turned over to the Discipline Hall for questioning. When the Mount Li Sword Sect Master rejected their proposal, a battle suddenly erupted. Those unconscious and heavily wounded people in the dwelling, as well as the bloodstains and shattered swords outside of it, were the bitter results of this battle.
"Absolutely shameless!" Bai Cai looked at Elder Xiao Songgong who stood at the head of the crowd. His grief and anger mixed with his rebuke. "You would actually dare conspire to harm the Sect Master! Could it be that you want to betray Mount Li!?"
At the moment, Gou Hanshi, Liang Banhu, and Guan Feibai were still at the capital in the Mausoleum of Books, comprehending the Dao. Qiushan Jun and Qi Jian were still heavily injured and in comas. Of the Divine Kingdom's Seven Laws, only Bai Cai remained. The several second-generation martial uncles had all been imprisoned in the belly of the mountain, so it was he who stood in the front.
Although he was a junior disciple highly treasured and supported by the Mount Li Sword Sect, possessing a very special status, if this were any other time, he would definitely be extremely respectful and courteous to an elder like Xiao Songgong. He would not have dared to say such words as he had. However, he was truly extremely furious at the moment. If the Sect Master had not suffered an internal injury from the Garden of Zhou affair, then even if Xiao Songgong had launched a sneak attack, how could he have possibly dealt such a heavy injury? If those martial uncles had not been imprisoned by some secret technique in the sword array in the belly of the mountain by Xiao Songgong, these people would not have dared to bully their way to the peak.
The mountain breeze caressed Xiao Songgong’s white eyebrows. The morning light shone upon his emotionless face. The normally transcendent feeling he gave off had been completely supplanted by a grim toughness. He sternly shouted back, "Just who is it really that is betraying Mount Li? We are just requesting that the Sect Master, in accordance with the iron law of Mount Li, turn over Qi Jian, the disciple suspected of colluding with the demons, to the Discipline Hall for questioning. Why do you not agree?"
Xiao Songgong stared at the pale face of the Mount Li Sect Master and said with hint of severity, "Can you tell us a reason?"
The Mount Li Sect Master looked back, his slightly dark eyes filled with an indifference and sadness that came from understanding everything. "Then can Senior Brother tell us a reason? Why did you use the secret technique left behind by Master to trap our fellow senior and junior brothers in the belly of the mountain just as they were preparing to use the sword array to travel north to save Junior Martial Uncle? Why is it that behind you stand our fellow Daoists from the Longevity Sect as well as…the clan head of the Qiushan clan? And also…why did you previously have to strike me with that palm?"
As he said these words, there was suddenly the sound of swords whistling through the air in the morning sun. Several dozen flying swords began to circle the summit where the dwelling was. As they flew speedily around, they drew out line after line of metallic light. This was a portion of Mount Li's Myriad Sword Array.
At the sight of these flying swords, all the people that had followed Xiao Songgong up the mountain grew very grave. This included the upper level Star Condensation elder from the Longevity Sect as well as the venerable servant of the Qiushan clan whose strength was unfathomable. Only the head of the Qiushan clan acted like he had not noticed it.
Just how profound was the Mount Li Sect Master's cultivation! Even when he was heavily injured and unable to battle, his sword heart still existed. His words were like sharp swords, directly remonstrating others and leaving them powerless to respond. The two elders from the Discipline Hall that had always been standing behind Xiao Songgong suddenly looked ashamed. Even Xiao Songgong's expression went through several transformations before he finally turned to that elder from the Longevity Sect.
Just after Xiao Songgong had successfully launched his sneak attack, the Sect Master had consumed the last of his sword intent to summon a portion of the Myriad Sword Array. It protected the dwelling and simultaneously cut off this peak from all the other mountains of the Myriad Sword Array. The several Star Condensation second generation experts had all been imprisoned by Xiao Songgong's secret technique in the belly of the mountain. The Sect Master did not want the disciples of the other sects to come and attempt to save them only to be injured by Xiao Songgong's group. However, he had also activated the Myriad Sword Array's Thundercry sound amplification magic, so everything that was said on this peak could be heard by the rest of Mount Li.
If he could, Xiao Songgong would definitely have preferred to not answer the Sect Master's questions. However, in his current situation, if he wanted to smoothly grasp the authority of Mount Li and convince the masses, he would absolutely have to give a convincing answer.
The Longevity Sect elder expressionlessly replied, "Why? Because we suspect that you are colluding with the demons!"
At these words, the Mount Li disciples standing at the Sect Master's side erupted in rage and couldn't hold back their curses. Bai Cai was even so angry that his entire face turned red. Even the hand gripping his sword began to tremble. It seemed like the sounds of cursing could even be heard from the nearby mountains.
The Mount Li Sect Master was noble and highly respected. He had a reputation for treating all his disciples fairly, and he was even famed in the entire south for his compassion. For this Longevity Sect elder to denounce him as colluding with demons, just how could the people stand this?
The ten-odd mountain peaks all flared up. Yet the only people on these peaks were some third-generation disciples as well as some outer sect disciples who had even lower cultivations. It was simply impossible for them to break through the Myriad Sword Array, so they could only incessantly curse.
That Longevity Sect elder's skin truly was extremely thick. His expression unchanging, he said, "Before Mount Li disciple Liang Xiaoxiao died, he accused Qi Jian of colluding with the demons, Wofu Zhexiu, and Chen Changsheng in instigating a mass slaughter in the Garden of Zhou. It was for this reason that Qiushan Jun has fallen into a coma. As Qiushan Jun's greatly respected teacher, just why have you procrastinated for so long, not even willing to give Qi Jian over to the Discipline Hall for questioning? Just what are you trying to hide? Just how could anyone not suspect you of colluding with the demons?"
"Since when were the matters of my Mount Li the concern of the Longevity Sect?" The Mount Li Sect Master gazed at the Longevity Sect elder and said, "Don't say some nonsense like ‘the Longevity Sect is the representative of all the sects and kingdoms of the south.’ When Junior Martial Uncle killed off every last one of your Longevity Sect elders, did you still believe that my Mount Li would listen to you? Truly hopelessly naive."
With this statement, the ten-odd peaks of Mount Li resounded with thunderous laughter, and there were even more disciples who admired the Sect Master for his incisive commentary. Bai Cai and his fellow disciples roared in laughter. When paired with the ground covered in blood and swords, a heroic air spontaneously arose.
Xiao Songgong took notice that those disciples that were loyal to him and the two other elders looked rather uneasy. He couldn't help but inwardly feel some regret. He thought to himself, I was only thinking that Mount Li was a subordinate of the Longevity Sect, which is why I agreed to the Longevity Sect elder accompanying us. But I forgot that because of that incident ten-odd years ago, because of Su Li, the disciples of Mount Li completely lost any respect they had for the Longevity Sect. On the contrary, all they have is hostility.
"Regardless, Elder Jiang is still an elder of the same faction. Junior brother, you should still show some respect."
Xiao Songgong looked at the Sect Master and said coldly, "If you don't want people to think that you are colluding with the demons, then bring Qi Jian out. When the time comes, I will personally come to you to offer my deepest apologies, and then cut off my own arm and seclude myself in the back mountains for five hundred years!"
These words were extremely unyielding, actually causing the laughter and curses from the surrounding peaks to completely come to a halt. The Sect Master calmly gazed at Xiao Songgong and then sighed. He thought to himself, if you weren't already certain that I couldn't bring Qi Jian out, you wouldn't dare to swear such a fierce oath.
"Is it just this matter?" He looked into Xiao Songgong's eyes as he asked.
Xiao Songgong did not concede a single inch. Staring back into his eyes, he hatefully said, "Of course, you also have to hand over the Relic Sword! In addition, you also must hand over the Myriad Sword Array!"
The Sect Master calmly replied, "I must hand over everything, then presumably I must also hand over my position as Sect Master."
Xiao Songgong said nothing, this being his silent acknowledgment.
Bai Cai furiously said, "Just for what reason do you think Junior Brother is collaborating with the demons, that he would conspire with the Demon race?"
A Discipline Hall elder that had remained silent from the beginning suddenly opened his mouth. "The person who identified Qi Jian as colluding with the demons was not us, but rather your deceased third brother."
This Discipline Hall elder had an extremely prestigious reputation. He normally executed the law very strictly and was the most just and fair. All the disciples, without exception, admired him. At his words, even Bai Cai could find no words to respond. This being the case, the disciples of every peak were also silenced.
The Discipline Hall elder turned towards the Sect Master and sighed, "Just why do you insist on not allowing the Discipline Hall to question her?"
The Sect Master calmly answered, "Because I don't believe that Qi Jian would ever do something evil."
The Discipline Hall elder retorted, "Even when your other disciple Liang Xiaoxiao personally indicated it? In addition, he's already dead."
The Mount Li Sect Master grew quiet, and then replied, "Yes."
The Discipline Hall elder asked, "Since you don't believe it, why won't you allow the Discipline Hall to investigate?"
The Mount Li Sect Master looked back at him and said nothing for a very long time. Finally, he said, "Because I do not trust the Discipline Hall."
A small clamor stirred within the mountains. Bai Cai and his fellow disciples had fought bravely and shed blood in order to protect the dwelling, but when they heard the Sect Master's words, even they dared not believe it. It must be known that the Discipline Hall of Mount Li was the most just. It had never done anything improper.
The Discipline Hall elder's eyebrows slightly trembled. It was obvious that he was very angry. He asked, "Might the venerable Sect Master instruct us, in the last hundred years, what has the Discipline Hall done that has been unjust. If there is none, then why do you not trust it?"
"Because you do not believe in Junior Martial Uncle," the Sect Master declared to the two Discipline Hall elders.
The Discipline Hall elder asked, "Why do you think this way?"
The Sect Master answered, "Back then when you two entered the Mausoleum of Books and swore blood oaths to become Monolith Guardians, Junior Martial Uncle was greatly enraged at this news. He burst into the Mausoleum of Books and forcefully dragged you away. Whenever the common people discuss this matter, they will always praise my Mount Li by saying that it acts like soothing wind or bright moon. But I know very well that you two have always felt that you missed out on the opportunity to enter the Divine Domain because Junior Martial Uncle brought you out of the Mausoleum of Books. You have always felt that Junior Martial Uncle was being unfair to you."
This was an extremely famous event from the past. But it was only this morning that many Mount Li disciples learned that the two disciples that had been forcefully taken out of the Mausoleum of Books by the Martial Granduncle were actually these two iron-faced and selfless elders of the Discipline Hall.
The other Discipline Hall elder that had not spoken suddenly said in a hoarse voice, "Could it be that Junior Martial Uncle was not being unfair to us?"
The Sect Master said sorrowfully, "The Mausoleum of Books is a holy ground and also an abyss. It's been open for so many years, but how could you still not understand? Junior Martial Uncle did not hesitate to offend the Li Palace to give you two true freedom. And yet you've held grudges against him for so many years. It's truly preposterous!"