The moment White Jade City spread the word, the war ceased .
All of the powers in the world plunged into a state of shock . Without them noticing, White Jade City had become so influential, huh?
However, there were also quite a few people who did not think this was strange .
After all, when White Jade City had replaced the Hundred Schools of Philosophy to initiate a new era, this influence had already frightened the entire Great Zhou Dynasty .
The powers from all over the world were no fools because they knew full well how powerful White Jade City was .
Every single White Jade City disciple was a cultivator, and not only were they strong, but also they had a wealth of techniques .
And the master of White Jade City, Lu Ping’an, was the greatest cultivator in the world .
Four Philosopher level existences had joined forces, yet still, they could not last more than a few blows from Lu Ping’an . This was when the world realized just how terrifying this power that had suddenly emerged really was .
Of course, just as the people were all in shock of how mighty White Jade City was…
There was also a seed of doubt growing within them .
Why was the war being stopped for three months?
What was so special about the three months?
Almost all of the great powers were trying to guess what White Jade City’s intention was . Perhaps if they could figure out the meaning behind the three months, some of them could seize this opportunity and might even hit it big .
Not a single person could guess what “three months” signified .
Capital city .
Book Pavilion .
Kong Xiu sat in the rocking chair . Although he had confined himself and not stepped out, he was not the least bit behind in terms of keeping up with new information .
“Master, what is White Jade City doing with their order to cease the war for three months? What’s so special about three months?”
Mo Tianyu could not wrap his head around it .
Kong Xiu looked at the plantain outside his window . He shook his head as well .
“I don’t know what goes through Ping’an’s head . ”
“We’re of different levels, and we look at problems from different perspectives… Perhaps he’s seen something we’ve never,” spoke the Imperial Advisor .
Mo Tianyu still looked rather confounded, but one thing was for sure—White Jade City had really stumped the world with this move, so much so that even the strategizing Master could not understand .
“I’ll stop guessing since I won’t be able to . After three months, we’ll know why Lu Ping’an made this move . ”
“Ceasing the war for three months… It’ll likely be a stormy period, and once the three months have passed, perhaps it will be time to decide whether Great Zhou lives or falls . ” Kong Xiu coughed as he spoke .
After White Jade City’s order to cease the war had gone out, the world really did fall into a state of peace .
With the war gone, powers from all over the world were focused on cultivating and developing .
North County, Wentian Peak in the Tai Mountains .
Tantai Xuan dispatched a small team to head to the Dragon Gate at Wentian Peak .
However, the moment they stepped into the perimeter of the Dragon Gate, they saw a long green snake sweeping the peak and causing the sky to stir .
The small team had been flung away and were completely annihilated .
Tantai Xuan’s face grew deathly pale . He was not a superstitious person, so he sent out another team to try to storm the Dragon Gate, but like the previous time, he was unsuccessful .
One move from that giant green snake, and the regular soldiers were promptly crushed .
Tantai Xuan’s lips were quivering .
Were Dragon Gates really just not in the cards for him?
It was like this with the Dragon Gate on Buzhou Peak and now like this with the one here on Wentian Peak, right in front of his eyes .
When North County lost yet another small team…
The Azure Dragon suddenly appeared, its terrifying aura lingering in Heaven and Earth .
That gigantic, green dragon encircled Wentian Peak, and it fixed Tantai Xuan a gaze that was sharp as blades .
Tantai Xuan had experienced the power of the Immortal on the Hidden Dragon Ridge, who had wiped out 10,000 soldiers with a single thought, so it was not like he was completely inexperienced . Because of this, he was exceptionally calm .
He met the Azure Dragon’s eyes .
After holding his gaze for quite some time, the Azure Dragon did not kill Tantai Xuan . Instead, it turned its head and left, returning to guard the Dragon Gate .
This stunned Tantai Xuan a little .
In the coming days, he stepped into Wentian Peak ceaselessly to look the Azure Dragon in its eyes—he had even tried talking to the dragon .
Initially, Tantai Xuan had dispatched guards, but he sent them off in the past few days and remained alone on Wentian Peak to meet the dragon .
Finally, the Azure Dragon opened the Dragon Gate .
A magnificent smile broke out on Tantai Xuan’s face, and he had the powerful North County people storm the Dragon Gate .
Thus, North County had also successfully started nurturing cultivators . They had broken the North County curse of having no cultivators .
Beiluo, Lake Island .
After Lu Fan instructed Lv Dongxuan to send out the Tianji Order, he also started observing the stance of the different parties .
The result was exceptionally satisfying for Lu Fan .
Or perhaps this was an influence that belonged to exceptional forces .
Even the Hundred Schools of Philosophy would not have been able to cease the war with a single order .
With the cessation of war, powers from all over the world began nurturing cultivators .
The amount of Spirit Qi Lu Fan obtained had been increasing without rest .
And Lu Fan had also begun making preparations for a secluded study into the Earth’s Origin, as well as into building a new Secret Realm .
Regarding the study of the Earth’s Origin, Lu Fan had been exceptionally meticulous . After all, the study of the Earth’s Origin involved an upgrade of the level of the world .
Just as Lu Fan was prepared to go into seclusion…
Nie Changqing came to look for him .
He wanted to roam the world . Aside from ridding the world of demons, he also wanted to look for the path to a breakthrough .
Lu Fan did not stop him . On the contrary, he had the other look for Ni Yu for some Gathering Qi Elixirs so his path to cultivating the Internal Organs Realm was much smoother .
On the island, Jing Yue was standing by the lake, swinging his sword about nonstop . He was too fond of the Jing Heaven Sword to let go out of, and he swung it around 10,000 times a day . This was his way of increasing his sword skills .
It was rumored that this method had been taught to him by Gongshu Yu, who had forged his sheath .
Gongshu Yu had resumed his production of hidden weapons . Now that he had the Tool Refining Manual, his methods of refining hidden weapons were much better than it had been before . Pear Blossom in the Storm had taken him a few days to refine successfully .
At this, Gongshu Yu clutched Pear Blossom in the Storm and stood on the stone steps, zoning out for an entire day .
Maybe he doubted life .
Ni Yu was studying elixirs . She had obtained the Gathering Qi Elixir Refining Manual that Lu Fan had handed down and was exceptionally experienced about refining elixirs now, so she had started looking into creating new elixir recipes .
After going through countless failures and consuming several failed elixir residues, she had finally come up with a new elixir recipe .
This new recipe was really weighing her down .
Ni Yu had really committed herself to this study of elixirs, and she was starting to regret it now . She realized that the path of Elixir Cultivation seemed much more arduous than cultivation .
She wanted to back out, but it was a shame Lu Fan did not agree to it .
The war had ceased .
Lu Changkong lived in Beiluo Island and allowed for several iron blood troops from North County to enter the Dragon Gate for training and become cultivators .
While he sat cross-legged under the huge chrysanthemums and cultivated…
Very quickly, he achieved peak Qi Core and started tackling Internal Organs .
On the tenth day of the cessation, Lu Fan announced his seclusion .
The lake island plunged into a heavy atmosphere . Ning Zhao’s white skirt fluttered in the wind as she stood on the greenstone steps in front of White Jade City Pavilion, guarding the White Jade City Pavilion with her Cicada Wing Sword in hand .
Not a single person would be able to take a step in .
Capital city .
In the dark night, in the imperial garden .
Several eunuchs were struggling as they carried two buckets of raw meat to the nine-turn bridge .
“His Majesty’s Black Dragon has grown quite the appetite… One bucket of mean had barely been enough yesterday, and he had almost destroyed the entire garden . ”
One of the eunuchs trembled .
“Don’t worry . We’ve prepared two buckets today, and it should be enough,” another eunuch assured .
“You do the feeding today . I won’t do it… The way the Black Dragon looked at me yesterday… it was as if it was looking at the meat in the basket . I’m scared,” the first eunuch said as he handed the wooden bucket to another eunuch .
The two of them crossed the nine-turn bridge…
To reach the peaceful, green pond .
After a while, one of the eunuchs rolled up his sleeves and grabbed a piece of raw meat that was dripping in blood .
He tossed it into the pond .
Water erupted everywhere .
A gigantic head that was covered entirely in black scales stirred up a great mist, opening its mouth to swallow the meat whole .
The eunuch who had fed the dragon was quaking . As he looked into the eyes of the dragon, which were about as big as a lantern, fear seized his heart .
He snatched up another piece of raw meat and tossed it into the pond .
The Black Dragon could not even be bothered to spare him a glance as it swallowed yet another piece of meat whole .
The sound of the Black Dragon chewing on the meat was extremely crisp in the lonely, pitch-black night .
Very soon after, it had been fed an entire bucket of meat .
These meat were all beef that Yuwen Xiu had taken extra care in selecting .
The eunuch started tossing meat from the second bucket .
After it had finished the meat in the second bucket, the Black Dragon opened its mouth slowly . The gaping maw opened right in front of the eunuch, and the pungent smell that emanated from it caused his face to pale in an instant .
The Black Dragon’s gaze made the eunuchs feel like they were falling into an ice cave .
Fortunately for him, after a beat…
The Black Dragon dove into the green pond with a splash of water .
The eunuch unconsciously patted his chest . He picked up the empty wooden buckets and turned around to smile gleefully at the eunuch hiding behind the artificial hill .
After that, he strode off .
There was terror on the face of the eunuch hiding behind the artificial hill .
Water splashed about everywhere .
The eyes of the eunuch holding the wooden buckets had suddenly shrunk to become about as big as a green bean .
In the next instant, he could feel the foul smell charge toward him from behind .
Water flowed onto the nine-turn bridge .
All that was left on the ground were two overturn wooden buckets and crimson red blood…
The green pond rippled .
The eunuch hidden behind the artificial hill was scared out of his wits…
He fell to the ground, a rotten stench coming from the lower half of his body .
South County .
Nanjin City .
Sima Qingshan had been leading quite the frightening life these days .
His eyes were bloodshot, a side effect of not having slept well in a few days .
He was strung tight with tension, and the people in the village had even thought that he had fallen ill .
His students came visiting, one after the other, but all he did was chase them off .
On this day, Sima Qingshan had finally mustered up the courage . He picked up his paintbrush and moved it around the rice paper . Soon after, a simple drawing of a little chick pecking on feed appeared before his eyes .
That little chick he drew was rather lifelike .
Sima Qingshan had long gotten used to it . He painted day and night these days, and the lifeless objects in his paintings seemed very much animated .
He did a portrait of a lady, and the beauty in his painting actually smiled at him .
He painted landscape—the mountains and the waters—and he could actually hear the sound of rushing water .
He had painted a little chick pecking on feed, and the little chick was actually dashing about in the painting .
Sima Qingshan thought he was being absurd, but he brought a few of his completed pieces to a few of his good friends .
And yet all of them said his painting skills had really improved .
They thought these were good enough to sell for a piece of silver or two .
Sima Qingshan thought about it . He got over the strangeness of the picture scroll and, for the first time, tried to sell it .
He rolled up the picture scroll properly . As he looked at the lady in the painting blink at him, he could not help the shiver than ran through his body .
He rolled up his painting and put it in his cloth bag, shrugging on a shirt before he left the house, and hurriedly made his way to the market Nanjin City .
Outside Nanjin City .
In the dense forest, black shadows were skimming by, quick as lightning .
In the pitch-black darkness, an aged face covered in paint emerged suddenly . His gaze was dripping with a cold glint and fury .
This was an old priest, a Chili priest .
The news of the young priest being murdered half a month ago had reached Chili, and the entire tribe flew into a rage immediately .
The tribe leader was exceptionally angry, proclaiming that people of Great Zhou were not to be trusted .
They needed revenge . They needed to invade the land of Great Zhou to pillage and plunder them of their food and women .
Because of this, they moved .
The death of the young priest had succeeded in stoking the Chili’s anger . That—on top of the fact that they had been coveting the prosperity of South County—caused the Nanman people to quietly start their attack .
On this day, the gloomy rain that had been falling persistently for a month was making people feel drowsy .
The garrison soldier sitting atop the Nanjin City walls yawned .
All of a sudden…
An arrow flew in and lodged itself in the shoulder of this garrison soldier .
The soldier’s expression changed immediately . All traces of sleep had disappeared from his face as he plucked out the arrow, only to find that the flesh on his shoulder had started festering . He fell rigidly to the ground .
Below Nanjin City…
A dense group of Nanman people charged as they shouted .
There was the sound of a giant elephant whining . A giant elephant, with a chair strapped to it, trampled on trees and caused the earth to shake as it emerged from the forest .
It rolled a thick wooden stick into the city gates .
It rammed and rammed until it finally knocked down the city gates .
The Nanjin City Garrison had already mobilized . They drew their bows and started their fight with the barbarians .
The fight was extremely vicious, with many casualties .
However, this was different from their other experiences with regular barbarians . This time, it seemed like the barbarians had come swarming in full strength .
It seemed like the barbarians had completely filled the space beneath the dense network of gate towers . These barbarians were cheering on excitedly, extremely open about their desire for the prosperity behind these walls .
The gates to Nanjin City had fallen .
The general guarding Nanjin City led a huge army to resist at the frontlines .
He evacuated the citizens in the city center and assigned a team of soldiers to escort them toward Nanjiang City to flee from the crisis .
The market had plunged into chaos .
Sima Qingshan hurriedly rolled up his scroll painting in preparation to flee .
The Nanman barbarians invading the city center was extremely harrowing news for the civilians .
These barbarians were barbaric and unreasonable as they plundered and looted, snatching women left and right . There was no crime they did not commit .
They were much more revolting than the locusts that feasted on crops .
In a rush to escape, Sima Qingshan was knocked down by someone else, and the scroll paintings in his hold fell to the ground, contaminated by sewage water .
Sima Qingshan had wanted to leave without care of the scroll paintings, but the thought of its strangeness made him bend down to gather them .
In the distance, the sound of killing rang out .
The Nanjin City Garrison continued fighting as they made their retreat .
Sima Qingshan lifted his head in a daze . He stared at the crazy barbarians who were charging into the city from a distance, currently engaged in battle with the Nanjin City soldiers .
The Nanjin City Garrison was rather weak in terms of numbers, but still they fought valiantly to resist .
They used their bodies to stop the barbarians .
Sima Qingshan had seen the Nanjin City Master a few times before . He was usually a rather amiable person, but he was like a mad lion in the way he charged fiercely to kill the barbarians .
His entire body was stained by blood .
When this City Master was knocked to the ground with one blow of a burly barbarian warrior’s hammer, when ice-cold spears pierced his body, Sima Qingshan felt his heart seize .
Ice-cold rain poured down from the sky .
The scroll paintings on the ground were wet from the rain .
A mysterious bout of vigorous Qi spread from his diaphragm, extending out to the area around him .
He lifted his hand to point at the air .
The little beads of rain seemed to be in his control .
Sima Qingshan focused his gaze .
With his finger as a brush and the rainwater as ink, he drew a dagger .
After that, this dagger made of raindrops seemed to become tangible, and it followed his movements .
It flew forward .
A barbarian spat out blood as the knife passed him .
The Nanjin City Garrison had been wiped out .
The numerous barbarians turned their heads, their visages crazy and bloodthirsty as they stared at Sima Qingshan . The man had his finger raised shakily, and all the blood had drained from his face .
When a barbarian brandished the weapon in his hand and charged toward Sima Qingshan…
His scroll paintings were scattered on the ground .
Chill ran down Sima Qingshan’s body as he looked at the weapon that was coming to chop off his head .
A sharp bout of Knife Qi cut downward .
The barbarian was cut in half by the Knife Qi right in front of his eyes, like a freshly peeled banana, cut in two…
A figure in a white shirt walked over slowly from far away . In a blink, he appeared right beside Sima Qingshan .
This figure dressed in white had a butcher knife on his waist .
There was stubble on his chin . He turned to glance at Sima Qingshan .
“You are… a cultivator?”
Sima Qingshan’s face hardened . He shook his head, feeling his tongue dry up as he responded, “I…I’m just…a poor painter . ”