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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
That Mount Li disciple had previously stood in front of the dwelling, staining his clothes with blood and not retreating even half a step nor showing the slightest cowardice. His loyalty and bravery were not in doubt, but even he could not help but question now. The peaks of Mount Li were all silent and all for the same reason. The vast majority of the disciples of Mount Li all stood firmly by the Sect Master, indignant at the shameless conduct of Xiao Songgong and the other two elders, but now there was a change—Su Li was the idol of Mount Li, but if what Elder Xiao Songgong said was true, then this idol was gradually beginning to collapse.
In front, from Tempering Stone Peak, came the voice of a disciple, "If Senior Brother Qi Jian really is…a descendant of the demons, then perhaps…the Discipline Hall really should be allowed to ask a few questions."
Bai Cai was enraged at these words, but before he had time to say anything, he saw one of the disciples by his side plop to the ground and get on his knees. The disciple began to kowtow towards the Sect Master's back, even dipping his forehead into the blood-soaked ground.
"Master, if…Junior Brother really is the daughter born of Martial Granduncle and a Demon Princess, why is it necessary for you to put your all into covering up for him? A few days ago when everyone was saying the Junior Brother had killed Third Brother, I didn't believe a word of it, but if in her body flows the filthy blood of the demons, and then she even collaborates with that wolf youth hybrid, then what can't she do?"
The Sect Master looked at this disciple who was normally the most deferential to him, and he softly sighed. This disciple's entire family had been slain by the Demon Army, so what could he rebuke him for?
When Bai Cai looked at those two disciples and heard the growing discussion coming from the distant peaks, his anger was only inflamed further. He yelled, "The grand disciples of Mount Li have been confused by the heresy of the enemy! Just where have your sword hearts gone!"
The surrounding peaks grew somewhat quieter, as did the main peak.
Xiao Songgong once again sneered and moved his gaze to Bai Cai. "If your sword heart really is stainless, then why do you only dare to reprove your fellow disciples? Why do you not dare to ask your master whether this matter is real or fake?"
Bai Cai's gaze was still enraged, but he clenched his teeth in silence.
Silence sometimes meant that one was extremely angry, other times it meant that there was nothing to be said, and still other times it indicated tacit agreement—quite some time had passed since Xiao Songgong had revealed that Qi Jian was the daughter of Su Li and a Demon Princess, but the Mount Li Sect Master continued to stand in front of the dwelling, showing barely any expression and saying nothing. But his meaning was exceptionally clear.
The several dozen disciples standing outside the dwelling and the even more numerous disciples in the surrounding peaks were all looking at the Sect Master.
Up until this very moment, they had still been loyal to Mount Li and supported the Sect Master, finding Xiao Songgong and the two Discipline Hall elders to be shameless. However, now they began to believe that Qi Jian and even Su Li had some relationship with the demons. Or else why would Third Brother Liang Xiaoxiao on the verge of death direct such a complex and pained gaze towards her?
Even Bai Cai's sword heart began to waver, his emotions growing somewhat frustrated.
Ten-odd years ago, Mount Li and thus the entirety of the human world, because of two women, had a falling out. Ten-odd years later, this matter finally reappeared in Mount Li and began to change the entire situation there.
Finally, the Mount Li Sect Master opened his mouth to say something. He looked into Xiao Songgong's eyes and said, "You should not know of this matter, because the people that knew of it were all killed. Besides three of the Saints and me, there should be no one else that knows. Not even the Demon Lord should know, so how could you know?"
This was a very difficult question to answer, so Xiao Songgong's expression suddenly turned icy, seeming to possess no intention of responding.
"Even if the Tianhai Divine Empress or the Pope wanted to kill Junior Martial Uncle, the Dao hearts of the Saints float about in the sea of stars. It is impossible for them go back on their oath. The other Saint is even less likely to act against Junior Martial Uncle's interest."
The Sect Master did not explain why that Saint would not harm Su Li. He said it as if it was taken for granted. He continued, "Then, how were you able to learn this secret?"
Xiao Songgong sneered, "As I said, there are no secrets in this world that are absolute."
The Sect Master's expression was grave and stern."That year, Junior Martial Uncle went north to Xunyang City and killed everyone in the Liang Household that knew of this matter. The Divine Empress and the Pope also wanted to wash their hands of this matter and ended up protecting this secret. I very much would like to know just who amongst these three leaked this matter to you."
Xiao Songgong's expression shivered with fear at these words. Only now did he find out that behind that bloody incident of the past was originally the will of these three great powers.
The Sect Master continued, "If you cannot say where this information originated from, then I can only believe that this is the work of Black Robe."
This was a very crude conclusion, but in the Eastern Continent, it was also the most convincing. Because amongst the humans, demons, and demi-humans, there was an acknowledgment that was almost close to a truth—Black Robe knew all of the world's secrets.
"If it really was Black Robe that told you…you say that Junior Martial Uncle is colluding with the demons, but what about you? The demon Military Advisor is using your hands to destroy the foundation of my Mount Li; does this count as colluding!?"
He was truly worthy of being the Sect Master of Mount Li Sword Sect. Every word of his was a sword. After the sneak attack, his body was severely injured, but these furious and combative criticisms were still like booms of thunder, resounding through all the peaks of Mount Li. They caused the discussions going on in the surrounding peaks to spontaneously come to an end, and the situation shifted once more.
It was clear that the two Discipline Hall elders did not know the origin of this information, and they subconsciously turned to Xiao Songgong. In the end, Xiao Songgong could not bear the might of those sword-like words. His face a little pale, he answered, "It was from the testament Liang Xiaoxiao left before he died."
The Sect Master silently listened to these words, then said, "So it was like that."
He moved his gaze to the Longevity Sect elder and said, "It was recorded that year that it was precisely Senior Brother Jiang that brought those two children to Mount Li. It now seems that he presumably already knew of his history back then."
After a few moments of silence, Elder Jiang said, "I do not know when he found out his own history. I also learned of this matter after Zhuang Huanyu secretly delivered that testament to the Longevity Sect."
The Sect Master asked, "Banhu has still clearly not learned about his history, let alone that major affair from that year. Xiaoxiao is younger than him by a little, so why would Elder Liang entrust his vengeance to him?"
Elder Jiang replied, "Perhaps ten-odd years ago, Elder Liang already saw that Liang Banhu was too honest and sincere, far from being as vicious, sinister and steady as his younger brother."
It truly was like this. In terms of viciousness, sinisterness, and steadiness, who in this young generation was Liang Xiaoxiao's match? Even after he was dead, none could lay such a claim.
Such a young genius, his cultivation still in Ethereal Opening, would even dare to have a Saint sink into the depths of misery as a sacrifice for his lofty goals. Using his own death, just how many winds and waves had he stirred up in Mount Li against Chen Changsheng and Wofu Zhexiu? It had all been a diversion, a method he had used to muddy the waters. Of course, it had also been something he had been willing to do along the way. His true target had always been Mount Li—it had always been Su Li.
Liang Xiaoxiao keenly understood that he would never have the opportunity to kill Su Li in this life. Even harming Qi Jian would be very difficult, so he had chosen the most desperate path and used the most extreme method. He wanted to destroy Qi Jian's reputation. Things like reputation did not need any sort of evidence to destroy, only malice and conjecture. This was not even to speak of the fact that in the eyes of the common people, he was the senior brother that cherished Qi Jian the most. He wanted to destroy Su Li's legend. Things like legends were the most divine and solemn, but they were also the easiest to malign, because Su Li had himself done things that were too easy to malign.
Together with that unfathomable demon Military Advisor in the distant snowy plains, one in the south and one in the north, they arranged the events within and without the Garden of Zhou and set up these two significant assassinations in Xunyang and Mount Li!
For this, he only needed to pay his life, then leave behind a single emotional gaze and one testament.
Before he died, he had presumably already completed all these calculations. Although he had died, countless people would continue his plan in accordance with his arrangements. Taking his emotional gaze and testament, they would continue the battle.
The entire world would take vengeance on his behalf, and on the behalf of his elders.
It could be believed that the moment when he drew his last breath outside the Garden of Zhou, Liang Xiaoxiao had been calm and joyful.
Xiao Songgong said nothing. The two elders of the Discipline Hall said nothing. That Elder Jiang of the Longevity Sect also said nothing more. The Sect Master stood behind the several dozen sword glows, quietly gazing at the sword gripped in his right hand, pondering something. They were present-day experts at the upper level of Star Condensation. They could kill a junior like Liang Xiaoxiao with a wave of their hands. Yet now that they had completely understood Liang Xiaoxiao's intentions and his preparations, they felt an indescribable tinge of reverence for that now-deceased junior.
If they knew that Zhou Tong had described Liang Xiaoxiao as his most suitable successor, perhaps they would have felt the same.
In a brief span of time, the Sect Master of Mount Li seemed to get rather older. He understood everything and a faint sense of regret took root in his heart. From such a young age, Liang Xiaoxiao had lived in revenge, even concealing it from his own brothers. Just what sort of suffering was that? Why was it that he had never sensed this peculiarity?
The silence was finally shattered in the next moment, and the one to break it was the Qiushan clan head. Before dawn, he had followed Xiao Songgong and the rest up Mount Li's main peak. After that, this Qiushan clan head and his unfathomably powerful Guardian had said not a word, even though where they stood clearly communicated which side they were taking.
"This matter nevertheless must be resolved," the Qiushan clan head said gently to the Sect Master.
This head of a prestigious family of the south seemed to still have a smile about his face, but his words were tough and unyielding. "Since the blood of demons runs through Qi Jian's body, she should naturally be handed over to the Discipline Hall for questioning. Sir Su Li who concealed this matter should also bear some of the blame, but since he has already died in Xunyang City, that subject can naturally be dropped. As for the venerable Sect Master…I believe that you really should step down."
These were all demands that Xiao Songgong had brought up, and the Qiushan clan head had repeated them once more.
All the Mount Li disciples once again grew tense.
This was a bout of internal unrest, a confrontation between two factions of power. It had even already exceeded the bounds of Mount Li and had become a clash between two great powers of the Southern Heaven. This fight was over the position of Sect Master of Mount Li. The myriad swords had yet to break through the clouds and not much blood had been spilled. Could it be that today, Mount Li would really become a green mountain dyed in blood?
The most crucial point was that even though these words had just been a reiteration, coming from the mouth of the Qiushan clan head, they were even more unyielding and forceful than when Xiao Songgong had said them. It was not merely because of the status of the Qiushan clan in the south, but because…he was Qiushan Jun's father.