unsheathed – Chapter 43: The Young Boy and the Old Dog

Chapter 43: The Young Boy and the Old Dog

Chapter 43: The Young Boy and the Old Dog

Chen Ping'an didn't directly return to Liu Xianyang's house. Instead, he went to Clay Vase Alley first and told Ning Yao about Liu Xianyang's decision.

Ning Yao didn't comment on this, and she simply said that this was something between him and Liu Xianyang. She also said that she was only responsible for accepting money to deal with any potential problems for them. If Liu Xianyang could overcome this challenge without needing her help, she would naturally return the three pouches of gold essence copper coins to them.

However, Chen Ping'an said that this had nothing to do with money. Upon hearing this, Ning Yao coldly asked him what their relationship was to talk in such a manner. Chen Ping'an was rendered speechless by her, and he could only squat by the door and scratch his head.

Ning Yao glanced at the desserts on the table that Chen Ping'an had brought over. There were cheap but delicious jujube glutinous rice cakes, and there were also relatively expensive rain dew balls. It was clear that the young boy was doing his best to show hospitality to his guest. The young girl suddenly felt a rare sense of guilt, and she felt like she was treating the young boy quite unkindly. She was living in his house and eating his food, so even if she was unable to help when he encountered troubles, the least she could do was to not add fuel to the fire.

"Perhaps Liu Xianyang felt like his life was being threatened even while he was still at the blacksmith shop? So he had no option but to sell that green and black armor that looks like it's covered in warts? For example, there might be hidden members of the Four Families and Ten Clans in the blacksmith shop, and perhaps they gave Liu Xianyang a beating?"

Chen Ping'an thought about this for a moment before shaking his head and saying, "No, that can't be. Liu Xianyang definitely isn't the type of person to lower his head and admit defeat simply because someone threatened him. When I first met him, even though he had been beaten to the point of vomiting blood by that group of people from Fortune Street, he still didn't utter a single word of surrender. He continued to endure it, and he was almost beaten to death. After all these years, this part about him still hasn't changed."

"There's never a shortage of people who are hot-blooded, courageous, and prefer death over dishonor. I've seen many such people on my journey. However, when they're offered a huge fortune, can they still maintain their composure and moral compass?" Ning Yao asked.

Chen Ping'an fell deep into thought. However, his expression eventually became firm, and he said, "Liu Xianyang won't abandon his principles simply because someone offered him a huge fortune. He had an extremely good relationship with his grandfather, and unless he was telling the truth about his grandfather saying that he could sell the suit of armor for the right price, he definitely wouldn't sell it otherwise. As for that sword scripture, it definitely has to be kept in the Liu Clan and passed down to the future generations."

"From what I know, that wart-like armor is indeed quite outstanding. However, it's nothing too precious. Meanwhile, that sword scripture is definitely an extremely valuable treasure. After all, Sun Scorch Mountain has been coveting it for so long, and they even decided to send two people to this small town to look for it. It's clear that they view this treasure as their own. Thus, it makes sense for Liu Xianyang to sell the suit of armor and keep the sword scripture."

Chen Ping'an nodded in response.

Ning Yao stroked the green scabbard of her saber and suggested with a cold expression, "As a precaution, I'll go with you to Liu Xianyang's house to deal with that woman first. Since Liu Xianyang personally agreed to sell that suit of armor, we'll do as he says and bring the box out for that woman. When that's done, I'll go with you to Master Ruan's blacksmith shop and ask Liu Xianyang what in the world he was thinking. If he was truly honoring the will of his grandfather, then there's no need for me to interfere and do anything else. After all, everyone has their own way of doing things, so we shouldn't stick our noses into their business. If this wasn't the case, however, we'll ask him to tell us what's troubling him and what his considerations were. If it really comes to it, we can just snatch that box back!"

"Ning Yao, you've fully recovered?" Chen Ping'an asked with a worried expression.

Ning Yao smiled coldly and said, "If our opponent is that Mountain-moving Ape from Sun Scorch Mountain, then I'll definitely be left in a sorry state. If it's that woman, however, I can deal with her with a single hand, especially since we're in this small town."

"Mountain-moving Ape?" Chen Ping'an asked in curiosity.

"That's a type of despicable ancient beast that's managed to exist until now," Ning Yao replied in a perfunctory manner. "Their true form is that of a gigantic ape that's as large as a mountain. It's said that once they reveal their true form, they can even dig up a mountain and carry it on their back. However, these are nothing but rumors. After all, no one has ever witnessed that before.

"Sun Scorch Mountain has been holding back for several hundred years, and in reality, their foundations are actually incredibly strong. Even though their sect isn't ranked highly in Eastern Treasured Vial Continent, they're certainly not a force that can be trifled with either. With this in mind, it's best that we try to avoid conflict with them. If we can't, however..."

"If we can't, then what?" Chen Ping'an asked carefully.Findd new tories on nov/e(l)bin(.)com

Ning Yao stood up and unsheathed an inch of her saber. She then looked at the young boy as if she were looking at a retard, and she said, "What else? We'll hack them to death!"

Chen Ping'an gulped.

With his basket still on his back, the young boy slowly walked to Liu Xianyang's house with the young girl who was wearing her veiled hat and saber.

Ning Yao turned around to glance at Chen Ping'an's basket, and she asked, "Why is there so little today?"

Chen Ping'an sighed and replied, "Ma Kuxuan... Oh, he's Granny Ma from Apricot Blossom Alley's grandson, and he's around the same age as me. Anyway, it's as if he's become a completely different person. According to him, the feng shui of our small town has changed, so the pebbles in the creek can't hold their 'aura' anymore."

Ning Yao wore a solemn expression, and she said in a low voice, "He's right, things are about to change in this small town. It's best that you deal with this issue quickly and leave the small town as soon as possible. Even if you leave and return again at a later date, it's still better than staying here the entire time."

Chen Ping'an wasn't a foolishly stubborn person. He had lived by himself from a young age, yet this had made him even more adept when it came to reading the intentions and attitudes of others. He nodded and said with a smile, "I will. I'll immediately leave after Liu Xianyang officially becomes Master Ruan's disciple. It'll be best if Master Ruan also agrees to forge a sword for you at that time."

Looking at the beaming smile on his face, Ning Yao couldn't help but feel a little puzzled. "These things have got nothing to do with you, so why do you look so happy? Am I wrong to call you a foolishly kind person?"

Perhaps because they were slightly more familiar with each other now, Chen Ping'an was no longer as reserved as before when he spoke. He was filled with a righteous manner as he said, "Liu Xianyang, Gu Can, and you... Just think about it, how many people are in this world? Yet, I only care about the safety and happiness of you three. How am I a foolishly kind person?"

Ning Yao smiled and asked, "Then where do I rank among the three people?"

Chen Ping'an flushed red and replied honestly, "Temporarily third."

Ning Yao untied her saber and casually held it in her hand. She then used the scabbard to lightly tap the young boy's shoulder, saying with a fake smile, "Chen Ping'an, you've got to thank me for sparing your life."

Chen Ping'an replied with an inexplicable question, saying, "You don't find brewing medicine annoying?"

Ning Yao faltered upon hearing this. However, she quickly understood his meaning, and she said, "Chen Ping'an, I suddenly feel like you'll do quite well even when you leave this small town and go to the outside world."

Chen Ping'an wasn't greedy in the least, and he said sincerely, "I'll be happy as long as my situation can stay the same."

Ning Yao didn't comment on this. Like a young girl waving a flower branch in the countryside, she lightly waved the green scabbard in her hand.

When they arrived at the corner of the alley where Liu Xianyang's house was located, a black shadow suddenly shot out from nowhere, almost causing Ning Yao to draw her blade. Fortunately, she managed to stop herself in time. As it turned out, this was a dog, and it affectionately ran circles around Chen Ping'an.

Chen Ping'an bent down to pat the dog on the head. He then stood up and said with a smile, "He's called Fortune, and he's Liu Xianyang's neighbor's dog. It's been many years already, but this dog is still as cowardly as always. Liu Xianyang and I used to always bring him with us when we climbed the mountains, but Liu Xianyang would always complain that he couldn't catch any wild rabbits or chickens. In other words, Fortune is even less capable than a cat. For example, people often see Ma Kuxuan's cat carrying wild chickens and snakes into his house. However, Fortune is quite old, after all. He's already 10, and this is old for a dog."

As he said this, Chen Pingan couldn't help but bend down to pat Fortune on the head again. His voice was gentle as he continued, "At this age, you have to accept that you're getting old, right? But don't worry, I definitely won't leave you starving when I become rich in the future."

Ning Yao shook her head, unable to empathize with his feelings.

This was the case even though she had witnessed all kinds of people and events on her journey to this small town. She had seen lofty and powerful immortals, she had seen ordinary and unremarkable mortals, she had seen the extravagant and furious horses of powerful young masters, she had seen the ethereal and carefree figures who soared through the sky, and she had also seen the many kinds of joyful reunions and heartbreaking separations.

There was that Buddhist monk who walked barefoot during windy and rainy nights to ask for food, with his steps firm and resolute as he continued to chant the Buddha's name.

There was that impoverished scholar who was rushing to the capital to take the imperial exam, not remorseful or resentful that the hair by his temples had grayed after staying in that rundown temple and gently helping that fox spirit in human form draw her eyebrows...

There was that young Daoist who held the esteemed title of Heavenly Master, walking through the unmarked graves of that ancient battlefield alone as he silently recited the mantra "Protection of the Myriad Heavenly Venerates", not hesitating to sacrifice his cultivation to point out a path for those lost and lonesome ghosts.

There was that middle-aged official who had personally sealed off an illegal Dragon King Temple early in his career, yet his lips were cracked and bloody as he placed an incense table by the dry riverbed and recited the Dragon King Rain Seeking Script with a hoarse voice, even going as far as to face the direction of the Dragon King Temple and drop to his knees to kowtow for forgiveness, all for the sake of the commoners in his jurisdiction.

There was that old man who refused to abandon a past dynasty, refusing to take his son who had become an official in the new dynasty with him, and instead only taking a few elementary-aged grandchildren with him as he climbed up a mountain and created a poem, tears in his eyes as he faced the destroyed lands of his nation and told his grandchildren of the past names of the states and counties.

There was that boat that streamed down the long gorge like a floating leaf; there was that scholar who was filled with vigor as he listened to the sounds of nature on the two banks, raising his head to howl whenever he read a script that touched his heart; there was that breathtakingly beautiful woman suited in armor who rode her galloping horse and skulled wine after the flames of battle settled...

She walked vast stretches of road, witnessing all kinds of different people and matters and experiencing a wide range of different comprehensions and enlightenment... However, Ning Yao's Dao Heart remained strong and unmoving. It wasn't soiled in the least.

Today, Ning Yao witnessed something new.

There was an impoverished young boy from a run-down alley, a bamboo basket on his back and a fish basket by his waist as he bent down to pat the head of that old dog, his expression one that was filled with hope for the future.

Not long after arriving at Liu Xianyang's house, the two of them heard someone knocking on the door. Chen Ping'an and Ning Yao exchanged a glance.

Chen Ping'an walked over to open the door, while Ning Yao remained standing in the house. However, she turned around to glance at the sword that was silently resting on the cabinet.

The person at the door was none other than Lu Zhengchun. However, he was naturally serving the woman standing next to him. In addition to them, there were also two loyal servants from the Lu Clan.

Lu Zhengchun wore a friendly expression as he asked in a soft voice, "You're Chen Ping'an, Liu Xianyang's friend, correct? We're here to collect that box, and Liu Xianyang should have told you about this already. So, rest assured and take this pouch of coins. Apart from this, the lady will also give Liu Xianyang the other things that she promised him."

Chen Ping'an accepted the pouch of coins and moved aside to let them through. The graceful and bold woman was the first to enter the courtyard, with Lu Zhengchun and the two servants following after her. The woman personally opened the red wooden box that had already been carried to the main hall, and she bent down and reached over to stroke the ugly suit of armor. A hint of intoxication flashed through her eyes, followed by an expression of unconcealable fervor and desire. However, she quickly put her emotions in check.

She stood up and gestured for Lu Zhengchun and the two servants to collect the box. It wasn't heavy, and this was because it only contained a single suit of armor.

The woman was the last to leave the house, and when she arrived at the door, she turned back to face the young boy in straw sandals, saying with a faint smile, "Liu Xianyang genuinely treats you as a close friend."

Chen Ping'an didn't understand what she was trying to say, so he could only keep his mouth shut and remain silent as he watched them exit the courtyard.

He remained standing there for a long time, unwilling to move. In the end, Ning Yao walked up beside him.

The woman was walking behind Lu Zhengchun and the two servants. When they arrived at the end of the alley, she turned around, only to see the young boy and young girl standing side-by-side. She wore an amused smile as she said, "Ah, being young is so nice. However, you'll need to stay alive if you want to enjoy it."

On the covered bridge that spanned across the creek, there lay a tall and broad young boy in a pool of blood, his body convulsing as blood poured from his mouth.

This time, however, he didn't hear the skinny and dark young boy screaming for help at the top of his lungs.

On the northern end of the covered bridge, there stood a large group of people pointing and having spirited discussions. However, they didn't dare to approach the young boy, lest they bring calamity upon themselves.

Two people quickly walked onto the covered bridge, with the man squatting down beside the young boy and placing his fingers on his radial artery. His expression became increasingly solemn.

The young girl in green was infuriated, and she said through gritted teeth, "They destroyed his chest with a single punch! How cruel and merciless!"

The man remained silent.

Ruan Xiu was wearing a ponytail today, and she said in anger, "Father! Are you going to watch Liu Xianyang die just like this? He can already be regarded as half your disciple!"

The man didn't let go of the young boy's wrist, and his face was expressionless as he said in a calm voice, "I didn't expect Sun Scorch Mountain to be so unreasonable this time."

The young girl suddenly stood up, and she shouted, "If you're not going to deal with them, then I'll go and deal with them myself!"

The man slowly looked up and said, "Ruan Xiu, do you want me to collect your corpse for you?"

The young girl strode forward with an indomitable will, saying in a solemn voice, "Eating isn't the only thing I know how to do! I also know how to kill people!"

There was a hint of thunderous fury on Ruan Qiong's face.

Part of the reason was because his daughter was too rash, but more of the reason was because that old ape from Sun Scorch Mountain was far too cruel.

The man pondered over this for a moment. Since he was still yet to officially take over from Qi Jingchun, did this mean that he could also act in an unreasonable manner?

The young girl in green suddenly stopped in her tracks.

This was because she suddenly saw a skinny young boy frenziedly running over from the other side of the covered bridge.

This familiar figure was wearing a pair of straw sandals. He was completely expressionless at this moment.

She wanted to say something as the boy dashed past her, yet she couldn't open her mouth to speak no matter what. She felt extremely aggrieved for some reason, and tears immediately started to flow down her cheeks.

When Chen Ping'an sat down beside Liu Xianyang and grabbed one of his hands, it was as if the tall young boy whose vision was already blurry regained a little bit of energy. He tried to squeeze out a smile, and he said in a labored voice, "That woman said that she would kill you if I didn't give her the suit of treasured armor... She also said that both she and her son had come to our small town, so she could accept the price of one of them being kicked out. I was afraid... I was genuinely afraid that she would kill you... However, I didn't lie to you before, and my grandpa truly did say those words. So, I decided to sell the suit of armor. What does it matter anyway...?

"However, she sent someone to look for me just then, and they told me that the old man had gone crazy. After hearing that I didn't have the sword scripture, he became intent on killing you and then killing me. I was extremely worried about you, so I wanted to run over to give you a warning... That's how I arrived here... However, I was punched by that old bastard... It does hurt a little."

Chen Ping'an's head was lowered as he gently wiped the blood from the corners of Liu Xianyang's mouth. There was a deep frown on his face, and he said in a soft voice, "Don't be afraid; everything will be okay. You have to believe me. Don't talk anymore, okay? I'll take you home..."

The tall young boy's energy gradually waned again, with his eyes losing focus as he murmured, "I don't regret anything, and you don't need to blame yourself either. Really... It's just that... I'm a little afraid... As it turns out, I'm also afraid of death..."

In the end, the tall young boy sobbed as he tightly held onto his only friend's hand, saying, "Chen Ping'an, I'm truly afraid of death..."

As Chen Ping'an sat there, he tightly held Liu Xianyang's hand with one hand, while his other hand was tightly clenched into a fist on his knee.

Liu Xianyang's breathing was erratic and labored.

He was still young, yet he appeared much like an old dog at this moment.

The rims of Chen Ping'an's eyes were extremely red.

When he wanted to demand justice from the heavens, he would appear even more like an old dog.

Chen Ping'an didn't want to be like this. He didn't want to be like this ever again!

Johnchen and Flying Dumpling's Thoughts

Glad you made it to 43! If you made it here, then it only gets better from here. This is the turning point of the story.

But the pace is still going to be slow, so stockpile if it drives you nuts (or subscribe to read ahead). Hope you guys aren't disappointed.

Chapter end

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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