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unsheathed – Chapter 71 (2): I’ll Like You for a While Longer

Chapter 71 (2): I’ll Like You for a While Longer

Chapter 71 (2): Ill Like You for a While Longer

Old Man Yang continued, "Just keep swimming as far as you can go, and see where you can reach. Make sure to keep a low profile when passing by that blacksmith shop, but don't be too worried, either. Your existence makes the water in this creek particularly dark, and if that gives rise to water essence, then that would be beneficial to the refinement of swords, so Master Ruan won't go out of his way to target you.

In fact, if you perform your duties diligently, perhaps he'll even bestow some fated opportunities upon you. Even though Jewel Small World is broken, and its spiritual energy is quickly seeping out, it should be able to last for 30 to 40 more years. Master Ruan's status as a Sage is as unshakeable as ever, so this is actually a good thing for him."

"I will be sure to remember your teachings, esteemed immortal," the old woman said in a fawning voice.

Back at the Azure Cow Ridge, an admiring voice suddenly rang out. "What a man of incredible power you are, Senior! Not only were you able to appoint a river guardian, what's most remarkable is that you managed to do so without disturbing the Heavenly Dao."

Old Man Yang remained seated, and he didn't even bother to turn around as he sneered, "The difference between a river guardian and a river god is night and day. Don't tell me that a scholar like yourself is unaware of the difference."

The man who had just arrived was none other than the most studious scholar of Lake View Academy, Cui Minghuang. He was most likely going to be the final outsider to leave this town.

Cui Minghuang smiled as he said, "Even so, this is still an astonishing feat. You've managed to squeeze out a tiny path from what was originally a dead-end. I must say, I am very much in awe of your incredible power."

"Do you know who I am?" Old Man Yang asked in an indifferent voice.

Cui Minghuang shook his head with a smile as he replied, "Our mountain master never disclosed your identity to me, but I can roughly guess who you are."

Old Man Yang was beginning to lose his patience, and he chided, "Get out of here! You're not worthy of speaking to me. Get your mountain master to come here, and maybe then, I'll be open to a chat."

Not only did Cui Minghuang not leave, he took a seat on the ground. Before doing so, he made sure to cup the jade pendant hanging from his waist carefully in his hand to prevent it from striking the stone cliff.

He raised his head to look up at the clear, blue sky, then said in a quiet voice, "Despite his unfathomable power, he was unwilling to use any of it so that the Heavenly Dao wouldn't be able to infiltrate into this small world, even in the slightest. In the end, he could only rely on his two kindred characters and hold on until the bitter end. Why do you think he did this, Mr. Yang?"

Old Man Yang merely continued to puff away on his pipe with a dark expression.

Cui Minghuang continued, "If all he wanted was to save the town's residents, then what he did was a massive waste. This is Qi Jingchun, a mountain master of Mountain Cliff Academy and a prized disciple of the fourth Sage of Daoism. Is it worth sacrificing his life in exchange for the 6,000 mortals to have a chance at reincarnation? I think that's a completely lopsided trade, and I would never be able to do something like that."

Old Man Yang blew out a cloud of smoke as he mused, "You can only say something like this to me. If people on the outside heard what you just said, you can say goodbye to any chance of you becoming a mountain master of your academy in this lifetime. Seeing as you're willing to be so candid with me, I suppose I'm open to a chat."

"That would be a great honor for me," Cui Minghuang replied with a faint smile.

Old Man Yang cast his gaze toward the surface of the water as he said, "But before that, I want to ask you a question."

"Go ahead, Senior," Cui Minghuang prompted with a nod.

"Were you the one who forced Qi Jingchun step by step into that situation where he had no choice but to sacrifice himself?" Old Man Yang asked.

Cui Minghuang was quite taken aback by this question, following which a wry smile appeared on his face as he said, "Aren't you overestimating me, Senior?"

Old Man Yang continued to peer into the water while puffing on his pipe, and he mused, "I don't have much talent for anything else, but I'm decent when it comes to judging the character of others. You should've never come here."

Cui Minghuang smiled as he explained, "Even if we trace everything back to the first time the fourth Sage of Confucianism had his position lowered in the temples, that was still something that happened 80 years ago. I am only 30 years of age right now, how do the timelines match up?"

Old Man Yang turned to Cui Minghuang with a smile as he said, "So what you're saying is that you only came here to take the jade tablet, and it's a pure coincidence that you just so happened to be here for Qi Jingchun's demise. Essentially, you're saying that you spilled water on your crotch, and no one believes that you didn't wet yourself."

Cui Minghuang remained calm and collected as he smiled and replied, "There's no telling what life has in store sometimes."

Old Man Yang merely gave a cold smile and offered no response.

Cui Minghuang didn't want to dwell on this subject any longer, so he cut straight to the chase. "I am very fond of this Cloud Drape Mountain, and I want to make it the site for a new academy. I am an outsider, so it would be rude of me to act without consulting you first. Do you have any demands for me to fulfill, Senior Yang?"

Old Man Yang remained silent as his brows furrowed slightly.

Cui Minghuang didn't seem to dare to force a response out of Old Man Yang, and he slowly rose to his feet as he declared, "Rest assured, Senior, if you don't give the nod, then I would never dare to begin construction on a new academy. If there comes a day when you decide to agree to my proposal, then just get the kiln supervision office to pass on a message to me."

Old Man Yang nodded in response, refraining from giving a verdict.

Cui Minghuang extended a respectful salute, then promptly departed.Gtt the latest chpters on n/velbin(.)com

Old Man Yang didn't really care about whether a minor pawn like the river guardian would actually be able to become a river god, or if Lake View Academy wanted to construct a branch on Cloud Drape Mountain. Neither of those matters were of any consequence to him.

The only thing that he cared about was what Qi Jingchun had said to Ruan Qiong that night at the covered bridge. In the end, Qi Jingchun had sat by himself on the covered bridge for an entire night, only returning to the town once morning arrived, and Old Man Yang was desperate to find out what Qi Jingchun had said and done during that time.

After a while, Old Man Yang stood up with his pipe in his hand as he grumbled, "Why are they all so damn troublesome?"

Inside the school, four children were looking at one another with befuddled expressions.

Mr. Qi wasn't present in the room. Instead, the old janitor had put on a scholarly robe similar to the one worn by Mr. Qi and had taken his place. There was a jade pendant hanging from his waist, and his white hair was immaculately groomed.

There was a tall hat on his head, and he was seated in Mr. Qi's chair, informing the four children that Mr. Qi had already resigned from his position as school teacher and mountain master of the academy, and that he was going to be leading the excursion in Mr. Qi's place.

The excursion was something that Mr. Qi had already told the children about well in advance, and all of the children's parents and guardians had agreed for them to go.

The old janitor's usual benevolent demeanor was completely missing, and he asked in an authoritative voice, "Where is Li Baoping? Why hasn't she come to school?"

Li Baoping was the little girl in the red coat, and Li Huai had never seen eye to eye with her, so he immediately pounced on this opportunity to badmouth her. "On the way here, Li Baoping heard that the old locust tree had been uprooted, and she insisted on going to take a look. I tried to stop her, but she wouldn't listen. She's always had a terrible personality, and she even tried to hit me when I told her not to go."

The other three children were all rather bewildered by this claim. It was truly a case of like mother, like son, both Li Huai and his mother seemed to be compulsive liars!

The old janitor turned to a little girl with her hair arranged into a pair of braids, and he instructed, "Bring Li Baoping back. We're leaving the town today."

The little girl was rather reluctant to follow this instruction, but she still did as she was told and rushed out of the school.

Li Huai was only a young boy, but he was already an extremely sly character, and he continued to try and condemn Li Baoping. "Old Man Ma, you have to be more strict with bad students like her. Otherwise, she's never going to amount to anything. Now that Mr. Qi isn't here anymore, you have to pick up the slack and..."

The old janitor gave Li Huai a vicious glare, and the boy hurriedly shut his mouth with a fearful expression. At the same time, he was cursing Old Man Ma internally for finally showing his true colors now that Mr. Qi was no longer around.

In the past, Li Huai had always been very annoyed by all of the rules set by Mr. Qi, but now, he was beginning to miss him.

Beside the classroom was Qi Jingchun's office, and Cui Minghuang was seated behind the desk, looking around with a faint smile on his face. A slightly disappointed look appeared in his eyes as he remarked, "There aren't many books at all here."

Upon arriving at the blacksmith shop, Chen Ping'an was blindsided by a piece of unexpected news.

Ning Yao had left the town before first light, and Ruan Xiu told him that she had left the blacksmith shop in a hurry after receiving a letter by flying sword from Stalactite Mountain.

Only then did he realize that Ning Yao's earlier visit to Clay Vase Alley had been a farewell visit.

Chen Ping'an stood under the eave of the earthen hut that Ning Yao had been staying in, and a slightly dejected look appeared on his face.

Ruan Xiu said in a gentle voice, "Ning Yao asked me to tell you that she'll be borrowing the scabbard for a while, and that she'll return it to you in the future."

"It's fine," Chen Ping'an replied with a shake of his head.

Ruan Xiu wanted to say something further, but decided against it, and only then did Chen Ping'an realize that there was no point telling Ruan Xiu not to bother returning the scabbard as she wasn't the one who had taken it.

He scratched his own head in a slightly embarrassed manner as he said, "I'm going back home for a bit."

Ruan Xiu nodded in response, and Chen Ping'an turned to depart.

All of a sudden, a thought occurred to Ruan Xiu, and she yelled, "Chen Ping'an, my father says you can stay and work at the forge. We may need your help with iron work in the future."

Chen Ping'an turned around with a smile and replied, "Thank you."

Ruan Xiu gave him a warm smile in response.

Chen Ping'an made his way along the bank of the creek on his own, and he suddenly stopped in his footsteps as he strode onto the stone bridge. He removed the basket from his back and set it down beside him as he sat on the edge of the bridge with his feet dangling over the water.

He wasn't overly saddened by Ning Yao's departure as he knew from the very beginning that she would leave. Unfortunately, there were some things that he didn't get to say to her.

After a while, Chen Ping'an was suddenly jerked back to his senses by the sound of a massive splash under the bridge, and he hurriedly turned to find that the basket beside him was gone!

He immediately extended his arms above his head and dove headfirst into the creek without any hesitation.

After plunging into the water, he quickly changed positions and swam down as quickly as he could.

He could spot a glimmer of light in the water, but in the next instant, he abruptly lost consciousness.

Immediately thereafter, he found himself standing on the surface of a mirror-like body of water. Ripples surged over the surface as he gently stomped his foot onto the water, but the surface didn't collapse.

All of a sudden, he raised an arm to cover his eyes, protecting them from the dazzling light that had abruptly appeared directly up ahead.

After the light faded, Chen Ping'an lowered his arm and spotted a figure seated in mid-air with one foot dangling down, while the other foot was tucked under the opposite leg. It was as if they were sitting lazily on the edge of a cliff.

The figure's entire body was basked in pristine white radiance, and the rays of light were swaying incessantly.

No matter how hard he tried, Chen Ping'an was unable to clearly see the figure's face.

The figure bore a strong resemblance to the one standing at the center of the covered bridge during the dream he had back at home, but Chen Ping'an couldn't say for sure whether it was the same person.

The figure raised their head and yawned, then said, "That scholar by the name of Qi Jingchun said that he's very disappointed in this world. What about you?"

After the question was raised, Chen Ping'an was suddenly struck by a sense of asphyxiation, causing him to grit his teeth tightly.

Soon, he heard the beating of his own heart once again, and it was like someone pounding on a drum with all their might. His face became flushed bright red, and he clasped a hand to his own chest with all his might.

The glowing figure casually swept a hand through the air, and their sleeve rippled like a shimmering river.

On the stone bridge, Chen Ping'an was in the process of nodding off, and he suddenly snapped awake. He turned to find that the basket was still right beside him.

"Again?!" he exclaimed in a bewildered voice.

He then gave himself a vigorous slap, and sure enough, it really hurt.

He hurriedly rose to his feet in a panic, then hoisted the basket onto his back before running away.

He ran all the way back to Clay Vase Alley, and after opening the gate of his yard, he discovered a messy pile of locust branches laying on the ground nearby.

He couldn't help but be impressed with Li Baoping's tenacity and work ethic.

After setting down the basket on his back, Chen Ping'an sat down at the entrance of his yard while wiping at the sweat on his forehead.

All of a sudden, a red blur rushed toward him from one end of Clay Vase Alley, and it was none other than Li Baoping.

The little girl was sweating profusely, and she gave Chen Ping'an a wide smile upon spotting him.

She was using a locust branch as a crutch as she panted heavily, and she pulled out a handful of vibrant green locust leaves from an embroidered pouch strapped to her waist.

Chen Ping'an accepted the handful of leaves from her before closely examining them, and he discovered that even though these locust leaves were indeed green, the veins inside them were already yellow, and in contrast with the locust leaves that he had obtained with Mr. Qi in accompaniment, he wasn't able to see any green light moving within these leaves.

Chen Ping'an turned his gaze back to Li Baoping, then smiled as he extended a hand forward.

The little girl looked back at him with an innocent expression, but Chen Ping'an refused to withdraw his hand.

After playing dumb for a moment longer, a disgruntled look appeared on her face as she pulled out one final leaf from the embroidered pouch before slapping it heavily down onto Chen Ping'an's palm.

Chen Ping'an continued to hold his hand aloft.

Li Baoping puffed out her cheeks in annoyance, then pulled out another locust leaf from somewhere else on her body before giving it to Chen Ping'an with a dejected expression.

Chen Ping'an resisted the urge to laugh as he stacked the eight locust leaves on top of one another, but he pulled out three of them and handed them back to Li Baoping as he said in a gentle voice, "These are for you."

Li Baoping didn't accept the locust leaves. Instead, she looked up at him with a befuddled expression.

Chen Ping'an patted her on the head as he explained in a gentle voice, "It's an entirely different concept for me to give you these leaves than for you to hide them in advance. Don't forget that if you make a promise to someone, then you have to follow through on that promise."

Looking at Li Baoping's tender and innocent features, Chen Ping'an continued, "If you do your best, but are still unable to fulfill a promise, then you have to tell the person that you made the promise to."

Li Baoping knew that he was right, but at the same time, she was feeling quite embarrassed to have been exposed like this, so she put on a grumpy expression as she pouted, "Why are you talking like Mr. Qi? I don't like you anymore!"

Chen Ping'an was quite amused by her disgruntled display, and he said, "I'll help you carry these locust branches to your house. I'm strong, so I can do it in a single trip."

Li Baoping was exhausted, and her eyes immediately lit up in elation upon hearing this. "In that case, I'll like you for a while longer!"

Chapter end

<<Prev
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Catalogue
Chapter 31: Beating Around the Mountain
Chapter 32: Peach Leaf
Chapter 33: White Dragon Disguising as a Fish
Chapter 34: Gathered Together
Chapter 35: Licorice Root
Chapter 36: Ancient Book
Chapter 37: Fist Technique
Chapter 38: Ninth Tier
Chapter 39: Cursing the Locust Tree
Chapter 40: Returning the Courtesy
Chapter 42: Prodigy
Chapter 43: The Young Boy and the Old Dog
Chapter 44: Coming to Light
Chapter 45: Sunlight
Chapter 46: Skirt Dagger
Chapter 47: Going Alone
Chapter 48: The Hunter and the Hunted
Chapter 49: Porcelain Shard
Chapter 50 (1): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 50 (2): One Who is Destined for Great Things
Chapter 51: Confrontation
Chapter 52: Shudder
Chapter 53: Gift
Chapter 54: Facing the Enemy
Chapter 55: Feeling Proud in the Spring Breeze
Chapter 56: Nodding Bodhisattva
Chapter 57: Sword Nurturing Gourd
Chapter 58: Teacher
Chapter 59: Sleep
Chapter 60: There's a Ghost
Chapter 61: Helpless Pawn
Chapter 62: Falling Tree
Chapter 63 (1): So That's How It Is
Chapter 63 (2): So That's How It Is
Chapter 64: The Three Chens
Chapter 65: Jewel
Chapter 66: Looking Up
Chapter 67 (1): Long Journey
Chapter 67 (2): Long Journey
Chapter 68: Spring Under the Heavens
Chapter 69: Night
Chapter 70: Daylight
Chapter 71 (1): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 71 (2): I’ll Like You for a While Longer
Chapter 72: Black Cloud
Chapter 73: Wooden Figure
Chapter 74: The Fire Dragon Roams the Water
Chapter 75: Mountain Selection
Chapter 76: Back to Back
Chapter 77: Entering the Mountains
Chapter 78: Another Dream
Chapter 79: Spring Welcome Seal
Chapter 80: Leaving the Mountains
Chapter 81: Imperial Preceptor
Chapter 82 (1): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 82 (2): Master and Student, Senior Brother and Junio
Chapter 83: Dreams
Chapter 84 (1): I Have a Sword
Chapter 84 (2): I Have a Sword
Chapter 85 (1): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 85 (2): Conclusion of the Examination
Chapter 86 (1): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 86 (2): Walking the Same Path
Chapter 87 (1): Little Teacher
Chapter 87 (2): Little Teacher
Chapter 88: Grand Entrance
Chapter 89: Two Heads
Chapter 90: Heavy Rain
Chapter 91: Jade Hairpin
Chapter 92 (1): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 92 (2): Bamboo Bookcase
Chapter 93 (1): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 93 (2): There's a Character on the Wall
Chapter 94: A Feast for the Eyes
Chapter 95: Too Small a Place
Chapter 96: Demons in the Mountains and Rivers
Chapter 97: Bowing to the Mountain
Chapter 98: The Meddlesome Mountain God
Chapter 99: The Mountain God and the Bamboo Saber
Chapter 100 (1): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 100 (2): The World Beneath One's Feet
Chapter 101: Guard the Mountain
Chapter 102: Soaring White Ray
Chapter 103: Bamboo Building
Chapter 104: Sharing the Spoils
Chapter 105: Rootless Duckweed
Chapter 106: People from All Walks of Life
Chapter 107: Fishing Net
Chapter 108: Spring Hunting
Chapter 109: The Young Boy Has Some Words to Say
Chapter 110: All Good Things Must Come to an End
Chapter 111: Bamboo Hat
Chapter 112: Powerful Individual
Chapter 113: Unparalleled Might
Chapter 114: Seeing A'Liang Again
Chapter 115: There's an Old Scholar In the World (1)
Chapter 116: There's an Old Scholar In the World (2)
Chapter 117 (1): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 117 (2): There's an Old Scholar In the World (3)
Chapter 118 (1): There's Righteousness In The World
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