unsheathed – Chapter 48: The Hunter and the Hunted

Chapter 48: The Hunter and the Hunted

Chapter 48: The Hunter and the Hunted

Recently, Chen Ping'an had been frequently visiting Fortune Street and Peach Leaf Alley to deliver letters, so virtually all of the clans living on these streets were familiar with him. Hence, he didn't appear to be out of place. On top of that, he appeared to be quite calm and relaxed as he jogged along the bluestone street as usual, so even if someone did spot him, they wouldn't have thought anything of it.

At this moment, Chen Ping'an was approaching the gate of a manor, in front of which was placed a shi gandang. [1] The shi gandang was around half as tall as a grown man, and presented in the form of a general.

Chen Ping'an knew that this was the Li Clan's manor. All of the households on Fortune Street were quite wealthy, and they each had their own ways of warding off evil spirits. Even the door gods plastered on their gates were quite different and easily distinguishable.

He quickly inspected his surroundings. Going beyond this point would take him to the Song Clan's manor, beyond which was the office of the kiln supervision official. There was a locust tree growing outside the wall at the point where the Li and Song manors met. The tree was quite large and lush, and even though it wasn't as impressive a sight as the renowned old locust tree of the town, it was still quite spectacular in its own right.

According to the older individuals in the town, this locust tree and the old locust tree at the center of the town stemmed from the same origins. The old locust tree was called the ancestral locust tree, while this one was referred to as the descendant locust tree.

Chen Ping'an had come to the Li Clan's manor instead of the Lu Clan's manor, where Lu Zhengchun was staying, because as he was departing from the office of the kiln supervision official, the elderly steward had inadvertently revealed some tidbits of information to him through small talk.

He had told Chen Ping'an about how the young bookworm from the Zhao Clan, Zhao Yao, had already left the town, and that he was destined to become a champion scholar and a powerful official. He had told him about a young mistress from the neighboring Song Clan who was at the age to marry, but still couldn't even do proper needlework, and that she preferred to play with weapons instead, which was completely unbefitting a young woman of her status, often making her the butt of jokes for those in the town who were into gossiping about the affluent clans.

Tucked among all of these interesting stories was a piece of seemingly trivial information, which was that the Li Clan's manor had recently welcomed the arrival of an esteemed guest, namely a little girl who resembled an intricate porcelain doll. The old steward had speculated to Chen Ping'an that she was going to be a stunning beauty once she grew up, and that her future husband had to be an extremely lucky man.

While departing from the office, Chen Ping'an had initially only listened in silence, and he intentionally walked very slowly while carefully inspecting the layout of the office. After that, he began to ask some questions, pretending to be a poor boy who was simply interested in hearing about the lives of the wealthy and affluent clans.

The elderly steward was happy to share everything that he knew, telling Chen Ping'an about the layouts of the courtyards of these affluent clan manors, as well as the various rules that those clans abided by, using the Li Clan and the Song Clan as examples to illustrate his points.

Chen Ping'an was well aware of the steward's intentions, but from the very beginning, Chen Ping'an had never intended to follow their wishes.

At this moment, Chen Ping'an was slowly jogging along the side of the street, and after ensuring that there was no one else around, he abruptly sped up, running straight at the locust tree up ahead. He sprang forward, and only after taking four steps up the trunk of the locust leaf did he begin to display signs of slowing.

However, at that point, he had already reached a sufficiently high point on the tree trunk that he was able to reach out and grab onto a branch of the tree. In the blink of an eye, he was seated on the branch like an agile monkey, then stood up in a steady manner before continuing to climb upward.

Within the span of just a few seconds, he had reached a branch that allowed him to peek over the yard wall, which was just over 20 feet tall. He was concealed within the tree's lush canopy in a stealthy fashion, peering into the courtyard through narrowed eyes and displaying no intention of going in.

On the way back to the town from the covered bridge, Chen Ping'an had asked Ning Yao many questions.

For example, he had asked her about how fast the old ape from Sun Scorch Mountain could run and how high he could jump while in the town. He also asked her about just how physically resilient the old ape was.

He had been told that a punch from him wouldn't have been able to inflict any damage onto the old ape, so he was curious about whether it would be a different story if he were to use a slingshot or a wooden bow, and what amount of damage those weapons could inflict from 20 steps away and 40 steps away, respectively.

He wanted to know if a so-called godlike being like the old ape had any weak points on his body, such as his eyes, his crotch, or his throat. He also wanted to know if there was any chance that he would be able to survive if the old ape were determined to hunt him down.

He had pestered her with so many questions that Ning Yao was wishing that she was deaf or mute.

According to Ning Yao, for all cultivators, regardless of whether they were Qi refiners or pure martial artists, the more advanced their cultivation base was, the more pressure they would be under while in this place. Essentially, all cultivators here were like dams, and the more powerful a cultivator was, the more ferocious the current that they had to keep out.

If they wanted to unleash any of their power, then they would have to open up the dam to release their power, and in the process, the fierce current outside would be let in, thereby wreaking havoc in their body.

However, Ning Yao's final conclusion still remained the same, which was that Chen Ping'an had absolutely no chance of victory if he were to face the old ape in a direct battle.

Within the canopy of the locust tree, Chen Ping'an wore a determined expression, and there was a cold look in his eyes as he murmured to himself, "Don't let the old ape get within 10 steps of me. At the very least, I have to maintain that distance between us."

Ning Yao had said that as long as the old ape wasn't pushed to the point where he would go all-out, then Chen Ping'an would have a chance at survival.

However, Chen Ping'an's response was that he had to push the old ape to that point. Otherwise, there would be no point to this endeavor.

He had to force the old ape into a blind fury and goad him into using his true power. Only then would the restrictions in this town take effect to strip away the cultivation base that the old ape had built up arduously over the course of centuries.

Perhaps in the eyes of the old ape, the lives of the town's residents, like Liu Xianyang, were completely worthless, but Chen Ping'an really wanted to know if the old ape would still think the same thing while watching his hard-earned cultivation base being stripped away before his very eyes.

Of course, in order to accomplish this, the first thing that he had to do was ensure that he wasn't killed by a single punch.

Chen Ping'an was peering down at the people traversing through the manor, and he murmured to himself, "Even if I can't get away, I have to make sure that I at least cop as many punches as I can before I go down."

Chen Ping'an had never envisioned being able to kill the old ape, and he certainly wasn't expecting to survive this self-inflicted ordeal.

The little girl from Sun Scorch Mountain was a direct lineal granddaughter to the Tao Clan's patriarch, and she was revered like the Bodhisattva by everyone in the entire Li Clan's manor. Not only were the maidservants that had been sent to serve the little girl the best that the Li Clan had to offer, all of them had been born in the manor and trained to become maidservants from birth.

Hence, they were all very good at their job, and most importantly, they were absolutely trustworthy, with most of them hailing from a line of servants that had already served the Li Clan for generations.

The courtyard that the little girl was staying in was situated at the center of the manor, so it wasn't in close proximity to Fortune Street.

The little girl's name was Tao Zi, and she was affectionately nicknamed "Peach". [2] She was the pride and joy of all of the Sword Immortals of Sun Scorch Mountain, but of course, that wasn't because of her adorable appearance. Instead, it was thanks to her exceptional aptitude. She possessed such immense potential that Sun Scorch Mountain was willing to invest an astronomical amount of resources for the sake of her development.

Tao Zi's physical constitution, cultivation aptitude, personality, and natural endowments all ranked near the top among all of Sun Scorch Mountain's Sword Immortals for the past 500 years. To put it in simple terms, she was an extraordinary talent who possessed a massive upside, but no downside whatsoever.

In the cultivation world, the term "prodigy" was often overused, but she was a true prodigy in every sense of the word.

At the moment, Tao Zi was alone in a completely unfamiliar place without Bai Yuan by her side, but she wasn't fearful or concerned about her situation, merely a little bored. At the same time, she was also feeling rather disappointed as it seemed that Bai Yuan wouldn't be able to carry a mountain out of this place. This made Tao Zi feel very dejected.

There was an older girl on Sun Scorch Mountain that she referred to as Big Sister Su, and back when she first progressed to the Middle Five Tiers, she had been given a mountain as a reward to serve as her private estate.

That mountain had been carried on Bai Yuan's back all the way to Sun Scorch Mountain from a very faraway place, and it was currently situated in the northeastern part of Sun Scorch Mountain. It wasn't a very large mountain, but Tao Zi had always been very envious of that older girl.

There was nothing to do in the study, so she made her way out into the main hall with her hands clasped behind her back like an old man, staring absentmindedly up at the plaque hanging above the entrance of the hall.

She was constantly accompanied by a pair of beautiful maidservants, one of whom had been discovered by the Li Clan to possess remarkable aptitude at a young age. From that point onward, she received martial arts training and had made some good progress on this path.

For the Li Clan, this was no different from training a pet, and they weren't necessarily doing this in the hope that she would become a master martial artist in the future. There was no lack of stories about servants abusing their own masters behind closed doors in affluent clans like theirs, and it wasn't necessarily a good thing for a clan if one of their servants were to become too powerful.

Tao Zi made her way out into the yard, where she began to skip around to entertain herself. However, she didn't place the servants in a difficult situation by trying to leave the yard. Bai Yuan had told her that the people from Wind Lightning Field had also arrived in the town, and he had prohibited her from leaving this yard before he took care of them.

Even though Tao Zi was still at a very tender age, she had heard many stories about how fraught with peril the path of cultivation was. On top of that, she had been raised by very strict parents, so she wasn't a rowdy troublemaker who was constantly making her seniors worried.

In the end, Tao Zi sat down and rested her chin on a stone table with a bored expression. There was a birdcage on the table, inside of which was a bird called a snake-hunting hawk. It was hanging its head in a sickly fashion, and its feathers were completely dull and devoid of luster, giving it a rather shabby and unsightly appearance.

No matter what Tao Zi did to try and get a reaction out of the bird, it refused to do anything, so she had grown quite bored of it. She had only returned to this fruitless endeavor of trying to play with the bird as there was simply nothing else for her to do.

Inside the cage was a pair of small and intricate porcelain containers fired by the Li Clan's dragon kiln, one of which was simple and elegant and contained water, while the other was vibrant and colorful and contained food.

However, after the snake-hunting hawk was captured, it had refused to eat or drink, and it had already been fasting for close to two days at this point.nw stries at n/vel/b/i/n(.)co

In the town, it was extremely rare for any snake-hunting hawks to be captured, and on the rare occasions that it did happen, all of them starved to death due to self-imposed fasting, regardless of whether they were mature hawks or young hatchlings.

It seemed that there was no way to keep them alive in captivity, and there was certainly no way to tame these birds.

After whistling at the snake-hunting hawk for a while without drawing any reaction from the bird, Tao Zi finally ran out of patience and stood up to leave.

All of a sudden, a loud bang rang out, and one of the containers in the birdcage was violently pulverized.

Tao Zi was rooted to the spot for a moment, then instinctively dragged over a tall and slender maidservant, positioning the maidservant in front of herself as a meat shield.

The maidservant felt as if an iron shackle had been wound tightly around her wrist, and it caused her so much pain that she almost screamed out loud.

In contrast, the shorter of the two maidservants was far more alert, and she immediately positioned herself in front of Tao Zi before quickly inspecting the surrounding area.

All of a sudden, the second food container in the birdcage also exploded violently.

"There's an assassin! I can see him on the rooftop over in Sweet Scent Yard!"

The shorter of the two maidservants was the one who was adept in martial arts, and she finally spotted a crouching figure on a rooftop in the neighboring courtyard.

She began to rush forward to build up momentum, and the wall of the courtyard wasn't very tall, so she was able to run up the vertical surface, then grab onto the edge of the wall with both hands before hauling herself on top of it.

After positioning herself on top of the wall, she was a little hesitant about how to proceed. This courtyard wasn't very far away from Sweet Scent Yard, but the assassin was perched on the rooftop of Sweet Scent Yard's main room, which was very close to Fortune Street, so the assassin could easily flee by jumping over the wall.

With that in mind, she immediately made a decision, choosing to rush along the wall that she was situated on rather than jumping down from the wall before rushing toward the Sweet Scent Yard. She then leaped onto the rooftop of one of the rooms in the courtyard that she was situated in, making sure to be wary of sneak attacks from the assassin this entire time.

Strangely enough, the assassin didn't try to stop her, nor did he display any intention of retreating.

The rooftops of the two rooms were separated by a distance of roughly 20 to 30 feet.

While carefully observing the assassin, the maidservant slowly retreated on the rooftop, then quickly took a deep breath in preparation to rush along the rooftop and launch herself forward.

She was stunned to find that the assassin that was facing her from afar was a thin young boy dressed in shabby clothing.

There were two small bags strapped to the boy's waist, and he wasn't holding any weapons. It seemed that he had already concealed his weapon, and the maidservant felt it most likely that he had used a slingshot just now.

At the same time, she was very perplexed. If the assassin had aimed his shots at her head, perhaps she wouldn't have been killed on the spot, but she would've definitely been severely wounded.

Given how the boy was able to smash the food containers in the birdcage on consecutive shots, it was clear that he was extremely accurate with whatever weapon that he was using, so there should've been no way that he wouldn't have been able to strike Tao Zi had that been his intention.

Inside the courtyard, Tao Zi yelled in a furious voice, "Get back here, you idiot! He's clearly trying to lure you away!"

While it was very important to capture the assassin for interrogation, it was far more important to keep Tao Zi safe.

After releasing the wrist of the taller maidservant, Tao Zi raised a hand and gave the maidservant a vicious slap. The maidservant was petrified from fear, but she immediately snapped back to her senses from the stinging pain on her cheek. "What are you just standing here for? Hurry up and raise the alarm! If I die here, everyone in this entire manor will go down with me!"

Meanwhile, the maidservant on the rooftop didn't immediately jump back down into the courtyard. Instead, she yelled, "There's an assassin here!"

After that, she charged along the rooftop at full speed, and upon reaching the edge, she launched herself toward the opposing rooftop in Sweet Scent Yard.

Through observing the movements of the maidservant, Chen Ping'an was able to develop a rough idea of her strength and speed. He crouched down to pick up a pair of roof tiles, then hurled them through the air with his right hand, sending them flying directly toward the maidservant's forehead. The maidservant was still flying through the air, so she was unable to change directions and dodge the attack.

Hence, she was forced to defend herself by crossing her arms to form a barrier. The pair of roof tiles crashed into her forearms one after another, and not only did they send sharp bursts of pain spearing through her arms, they had been hurled with far more force than she anticipated. As a result, her forward momentum was significantly diminished, and she was only just barely able to land on the opposing rooftop.

Right as she was regretting her decision to take on the assassin on her own, she was struck by a punch to the abdomen and sent flying back through the air.

However, for some reason, the assassin grabbed onto one of her ankles, and only after a brief pause did he let her go.

Despite this, she still wasn't able to make a safe landing, but at the very least, she sustained no severe injuries.

However, she had almost been knocked unconscious by the fall, and she wasn't going to be able to do anything for a while.

Meanwhile, Chen Ping'an had been keeping an eye on his surroundings using his peripheral vision this entire time, and upon spotting a series of figures converging toward the scene, he quickly turned around and fled.

His speed, stride length, and rhythm were all exceptional. In particular, he was able to time every single step so that it was perfectly in sync with his breathing. If the maidservant could see this, she would've definitely been led to believe that Chen Ping'an was someone who had also practiced martial arts for many years, just like her.

Soon, Chen Ping'an had completely vanished into the night like a snake-hunting hawk that had been released from its cage.

Around 15 minutes later, Bai Yuan hurriedly stormed back into the Li Clan's manor with palpable killing intent radiating from his body.

Everyone in the Li Clan's manor, from the clan leader, Li Hong, down to the lowliest of servants, were all waiting in an apprehensive and fearful silence. The maidservant who was adept in martial arts was kneeling on the ground, and both of her cheeks were severely red and swollen, but she didn't say anything, nor did she dare to express any displeasure.

At this point, Tao Zi had already calmed down, and upon spotting Bai Yuan, she shook her head as she sighed, "I've never seen a more incompetent group of people than these people from the Li Clan. How could you have entrusted me to them, Grandpa Yuan?"

Bai Yuan immediately fell to one knee, but even so, he was still taller than Tao Zi. A guilt-ridden look appeared on his face as he said, "Please forgive me, Young Mistress."

He then turned around with a furious expression and called out, "Li Hong!"

The leader of the Li Clan was familiar with the official dialect of the Eastern Treasured Vial Continent, and that just so happened to be the dialect spoken by Bai Yuan.

As the clan leader, he had no choice but to take responsibility for this incident, and he said with a wry smile, "This was indeed an oversight by our Li Clan. According to the information that we've been able to gather up to this point, the culprit is a young boy who most likely isn't a cultivator.

The office of the kiln supervision official hasn't provided us with any useful information thus far. All they said is that they'll be sending out capable guards to patrol our manor day and night."

After a brief moment of contemplation, Tao Zi said, "I don't think that assassin came here to kill me."

She then added, "At the very least, that wasn't his intention today."

Li Hong was initially quite relieved to hear what Tao Zi had to say, only for his heart to leap back into his throat again.

Bai Yuan's brows furrowed slightly as he asked, "Was the culprit a thin boy with dark skin around this tall? Was he also wearing a pair of straw sandals?"

The maidservant who was kneeling on the ground hurriedly nodded in confirmation.

A sinister grin appeared on Bai Yuan's face. "I see, so he did this as an act of intimidation and provocation! There's no need for any of you to investigate this matter any further. I know exactly who the assassin is, he's a boy from Clay Vase Alley."

"Don't let your guard down, Grandpa Yuan," Tao Zi cautioned in a quiet voice.

Bai Yuan hesitated momentarily, then rose to his feet as he turned to Li Hong and instructed, "Get the kiln supervision official's office to give us a copy of that boy's file so we can see his family history going back as far as possible. Also, when selecting guards to protect the manor, make sure to exercise a policy of quality over quantity.

I'd also advise you to inform the one above you of what's happened here. Don't try to brush this off as a trivial matter. If something happens to the young mistress, not only will I be unable to bear the consequences, the same would apply to your entire clan as well!"

Li Hong hurriedly extended an apologetic bow as he said in a fearful manner, "I'll be sure to carry out your instructions, Patriarch Yuan!"

After issuing those instructions to Li Hong, Bai Yuan fell into deep thought as he murmured to himself, "Is this an act of provocation from those bastards from Wind Lightning Field, or is Song Changjing the one pulling the strings behind the scenes?"

In the end, Bai Yuan shook his head as a cold sneer appeared on his face. "Regardless of who it was that convinced that boy to throw his life away, couldn't they have found a better pawn to throw at me? How is a pathetic little boy like him supposed to make any substantial difference in the grand scheme of things?

Come to think of it, this isn't even a bad thing. I was struggling to find a reason to kill people, so this plays right into my hands. I'll kill that foolish boy from Clay Vase Alley, then get rid of all of those little bastards from Wind Lightning Field as well."

Bai Yuan turned to Tao Zi with a smile as he promised, "Young Mistress, I'll be sure to take care of this mess for you this time. I assure you that there won't be any further unforeseen incidents."

Tao Zi raised her fist with a bright smile as a gesture of encouragement to cheer him on.

Prior to his departure, Bai Yuan turned to look at Li Hong, and a wry smile appeared on the latter's face as he said, "I'll get our patriarch to come out of seclusion right away to serve as Young Mistress Tao's personal servant."

Bai Yuan was finally satisfied upon hearing this, and he departed from the manor.

Instead of taking any cautious measures, he readily took the bait, heading straight to Clay Vase Alley.

He was making it clear that he was knowingly walking into the trap, provoking Chen Ping'an to attack him if he dared.

If they were outside of the town, he wouldn't have dared to be so arrogant. However, in this place, where the use of all mystical abilities and treasures was strictly prohibited, he possessed a massive advantage over the average cultivator. This was why he had been sent to accompany Tao Zi over any of Sun Scorch Mountain's Sword Immortals.

Only at the point where Bai Yuan had already almost reached Clay Vase Alley did a thought suddenly occur to him: Could it be that he did this solely to avenge his friend?

Prior to this, he had always been trying to think on a deeper level, attributing Chen Ping'an's actions to some type of meticulously crafted conspiracy. Hence, the sudden realization that this was also a possibility was an extremely absurd thought for him.

However, he quickly came to realize that perhaps this theory wasn't as ridiculous as it had first appeared to him.

It actually does make sense. He's not a cultivator, so he's not that afraid of death. His life is worthless anyway, so he has nothing to fear.

However, as a safety precaution, Bai Yuan still refrained from making his way directly into Clay Vase Alley.

In any case, he had already achieved an important objective during this trip to the town, which was to put an end to the life of that boy that Wind Lightning Field had held in such high regard. In his eyes, Liu Xianyang would only live a little longer than Chen Ping'an.

After circling around and making a large detour, Bai Yuan entered Clay Vase Alley from the side that was closest to Gu Can's home.

Even now, he was actually still quite skeptical about whether Chen Ping'an had the courage to stay in his house and await his own death.

If he were a little smarter or a little more cowardly, he would be able to die after the cultivators from Wind Lightning Field.

With that in mind, a grin appeared on Bai Yuan's face, but in the next instant, his expression abruptly stiffened.

In the darkness of the night, Clay Vase Alley appeared very dim and forbidding.

Bai Yuan suddenly raised his head to look up at Chen Ping'an, who had appeared from a vantage point up ahead.

His feet were situated within a pair of holes that he had dug into the walls on either side of him not long ago, and those holes provided footholds that allowed him to maintain an elevated position above the ground.

He had a quiver on his back, and he was drawing a wooden bow with both hands, with the tip of the arrow aimed directly at one of Bai Yuan's eyes.

In this moment, not only was he completely silent, it was as if even his aura and his breathing had disappeared, to the extent that Bai Yuan was only able to detect Chen Ping'an's presence overhead thanks to his sharp intuition when it came to danger.

Before Bai Yuan had a chance to react, Chen Ping'an fired the arrow, and it came hurtling down with incredible force, whistling loudly as it pierced through the air.

After firing the arrow, Chen Ping'an didn't even stay behind to see the outcome of his attack. Instead, he immediately slung the wooden bow diagonally across his shoulder, then exerted force through both of his feet to spring onto a nearby rooftop, vanishing out of sight in the blink of an eye.

Bai Yuan withdrew the hand that he had used to shield himself from the arrow to find that the tip of the arrow had pierced into his palm. It wasn't stuck very deep, but there was definitely a wound there.

Despite the fact that the injury was so minor that it was virtually negligible, a layer of cold sweat had beaded up on Bai Yuan's forehead.

Even with his physical constitution, if he had taken an arrow to the eye at point-blank range while in this town, the consequences would've been catastrophic.

He pulled the arrow out of his palm, then snapped it before casually tossing it onto the ground.

His hands then clenched up into tight fists as he looked up at the sky with a furious expression. His throat began to rumble as a beasty, inhuman snarl escaped his lips.

Using both his hands and his feet in unison, he climbed onto the rooftop in the blink of an eye, and as soon as his head emerged, a second arrow had already arrived.

Bai Yuan was prepared for this, and he casually raised an arm, allowing the arrow to pierce a shallow wound onto his arm before striding forward with a sinister grin.

Once again, Chen Ping'an stowed away his wooden bow before turning to flee.

All of a sudden, the sound of roof tiles being shattered underfoot rang out incessantly.

Bai Yuan's stride length far exceeded Chen Ping'an's, and the distance between them was gradually being whittled down. Barring any mishaps, he was going to catch up to Chen Ping'an at any moment.

In one powerful motion, Bai Yuan launched himself forward, and his entire body was completely airborne as he swatted a giant hand at Chen Ping'an's head.

However, Chen Ping'an was able to react to the attack as if he had eyes on the back of his head, twisting around before ducking down right in the nick of time to avoid the powerful swat, then sprang toward the rooftop across the alley.

After landing on that rooftop, he continued to run for his life.

Despite his enormous stature, Bai Yuan was extremely fast and agile, and he was able to change directions with remarkable speed to continue his pursuit of Chen Ping'an.

All of a sudden, Chen Ping'an stopped cold in his tracks.

By the time Bai Yuan realized that something was wrong, it was already too late.

As it turned out, they had rushed onto the rooftop of a house that hadn't been inhabited for many years. Due to all of the years of neglect and disrepair, the house was in an extremely dilapidated state, and the rooftop was far too fragile to support Bai Yuan's enormous weight.

As a result, he fell into the house with a flurry of roof tiles falling down around him.

As soon as he landed, he immediately pressed a palm down onto the ground, twisting his head to the side to avoid yet another arrow that was aimed at his eye, leaving the arrow to plunge straight into the ground.

Chen Ping'an stood at the edge of the huge hole on the roof, then stowed away the wooden bow in a well-rehearsed fashion before raising his middle finger at Bai Yuan as he yelled, "Get **ed, you old monkey!"

A peculiar look then appeared on his face as he suddenly reprimanded himself, "Why did I do that? I'm just digging myself into an even deeper hole now!"

Bai Yuan quickly rose to his feet, but by then, Chen Ping'an had already fled once again.

1. A shi gandang is an ornamental stone tablet with writing, which is used to exorcise evil spirits in east Asia.

2. The little girl's name, Tao Zi (), is a homonym to , which translates to peach, hence the nickname.

Johnchen and Flying Dumpling's Thoughts

Get **ed, you old monkey! XD

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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