unsheathed – Chapter 65: Jewel

Chapter 65: Jewel

Chapter 65: Jewel

Liu Baqiao glowed with exuberance when he saw Chen Ping'an and Ning Yao, and his first comment to the latter was, "Young lady, when you grow older, you definitely won't be any less beautiful than Celestial Maiden Su."

This was perhaps the ultimate praise that a woman could receive from Liu Baqiao.

Ning Yao's expression naturally grew dark. However, before she could even say anything, Liu Baqiao who could speak the dialect of the small town had already turned around and raised a thumb at Chen Ping'an. The eyes of this prodigious swordsman were clear as he praised, "Your physique is merely that of a mortal, yet you actually dared to challenge that ape from Sun Scorch Mountain! More importantly, you actually managed to survive! This is an absolute miracle!"

Liu Baqiao was truly curious. Just how did this skinny young boy possess such astonishing and explosive power?

Liu Baqiao retracted his thumb and slowed down a little, not walking side-by-side with Chen Dui and Chen Songfeng anymore. Instead, he chose to walk next to Chen Ping'an. He turned around and said with a smile, "Even though Sun Scorch Mountain is only a measly hill that houses some cowards who don't live up to their reputation, that old ape has indeed built up his reputation using his fists and strength. This was especially the case after the founding sect leader of Sun Scorch Mountain passed away. In the 200 years prior to when Sun Scorch Mountain opened its third mountain, it was essentially that old ape alone who guarded the entire Sun Scorch Mountain. It was because of him that Sun Scorch Mountain wasn't gobbled up by the nearby forces.

"Of course, Sun Scorch Mountain had only been a small and mediocre sect at that time. Because of this, their enemies weren't too powerful either. If they had offended our Wind Lightning Field at that time... Heh, their fate would have been sealed. With a single command from the elder, I would be granted a sword tablet. I would then fly above Sun Scorch Mountain myself and lightly drop our Lightning Field Sword Formation. After facing this downpour of swords, Sun Scorch Mountain would be done for."

Liu Baqiao casually made a throwing gesture.

Ning Yao ruthlessly exposed him, retorting, "Sun Scorch Mountain isn't as pathetic as you make them out to be. Wind Lightning Field isn't as powerful as you say either."

Liu Baqiao didn't feel embarrassed or ashamed at all. Instead, he quickly and smoothly changed topics, and he said to Chen Ping'an in a mysterious voice, "I heard that this covered bridge used to be a stone arch bridge, and there's a rusty old sword hanging under it. I think that it's used to keep out dragons and floods? Generally speaking, these old and seemingly unremarkable objects are almost definitely extraordinary treasures. Perhaps this is even a divine treasure that can astonish heaven and earth."

Liu Baqiao forcefully stomped his feet on the wooden walkway of the covered bridge, continuing, "However, I lay on the ground and knocked on the bridge for half a day, but I still didn't make any discoveries. Perhaps this treasure isn't fated to be mine? But how can that be? I'm a hidden sword prodigy! If that old sword really is a divine weapon, it should at least resonate with me even if it doesn't fly over to accept me as its master, right? Maybe this old sword is only so-so, and really isn't anything more than a slightly older object? Sigh... What a shame..."

Walking next to him, Chen Ping'an couldn't help but feel slightly stupefied. Liu Baqiao didn't look like he was joking at all. In fact, his expression was completely serious. Even though his words couldn't be regarded as reasonable, they couldn't be simply dismissed as unreasonable either.

Not caring about whether Chen Ping'an found him annoying or not, Liu Baqiao continued to rattle on about all the interesting things that he had seen and heard in the small town. For example, he mentioned a person who had obtained an enviable fated opportunity, and they had actually been able to drag the entire iron chain out of the Dragon Locking Well. However, there was also some person who had failed to obtain any fated opportunity even after walking around for several days.

While they were walking through a rundown alley, however, they had casually looked up and surprisingly found a copper mirror embedded in the wall above someone's gate. Making a last-ditch effort, this person had grabbed a ladder and climbed up to take a look. And guess what? The bronze mirror was an ancestor among the demon-exposing mirrors! The bronze mirror was decorated with ancient patterns of clouds and thunder, and there were also eight characters carved around it Sun and Moon's Radiance, Illuminating Heaven and Earth. The person had been so overjoyed that they had started bawling on the ladder.

Elsewhere, there had also been a rich young lady from Sea Tide Cavalry who had obtained fortune from misfortune, becoming acquainted with Mr. Cui from Lake View Academy. The two of them had immediately become like old friends.

After crossing the covered bridge, Chen Dui and Chen Songfeng naturally slowed down to let Chen Ping'an walk ahead and lead the way.

The five people followed the nameless small creek upstream. Chen Ping'an was carrying a large and yellowed bamboo basket, while Chen Songfeng was carrying an adorable green bamboo bookcase. Liu Baqiao was extremely curious about what Chen Ping'an was carrying in his bamboo basket, and he insisted on investigating it no matter what. Thus, he told Chen Ping'an to stop, and he started rifling through the basket.

However, he discovered that it was filled with random items. There were three bamboo hats stacked together, two flasks one with water and one with oil a large machete and a small machete, two flintstones, and a bundle of firewood. At the bottom of the basket, there was also a row of around seven or eight bamboo tubes that had been split in half and put back together again. Apart from this, there was also a small cloth pouch with a fishing line and hooks.

"Chen Ping'an, what are those tubes of bamboo for?" Liu Baqiao asked.

"There are eight tubes of bamboo in total, and six of them are filled with four rice balls each. The other two are filled with pickled vegetables that last for a long time," Chen Ping'an replied.

Liu Baqiao wore a smug expression as he announced loudly, "Pickled vegetables? I've eaten them before!" Even his footsteps became lighter and livelier.

Chen Ping'an shot a strange glance at him. Was eating pickled vegetables something to be proud of? Of course, this was unless he could finish an entire tube of pickled vegetables in one sitting without eating any rice or drinking any water. That would definitely be quite a feat.

Liu Baqiao suddenly asked in curiosity, "We're not venturing that far away, so we'll probably only need to have three meals at most. Is there really a need for two entire tubes of pickled vegetables? These pickled vegetables... Just one small chopstick of them is enough for me to finish half a bowl of rice!"

Chen Ping'an was contemplating which mountain path to take to reach their destination quicker, and he casually replied, "Ning Yao and I are going to share one tube of pickled vegetables, and you and your two friends are going to share the other tube of pickled vegetables."

Liu Baqiao faltered for a moment before chuckling softly and saying, "Haha, there's no need to treat me as an outsider. I can eat from the same bamboo tube as you two."

"No way! You can go eat with your friends!" Ning Yao said firmly.

"Why?!" Liu Baqiao fumed.

Ning Yao gestured with her chin, signifying that the answer was with Chen Ping'an. At the same time, it also signaled that it was beneath her to talk with Liu Baqiao so much.

Liu Baqiao looked over with sulkiness in his eyes. However, there was also a hint of eager anticipation behind this sulkiness.

Chen Ping'an smiled and shook his head.

Liu Baqiao sighed in exasperation, remarking, "Valuing your lover over your friend... I can understand this."

"You two are friends already? Then you surely have thousands of friends, if not tens of thousands, right?" Ning Yao sneered in ridicule.

"How is that possible?!" Liu Baqiao glared at her and retorted.

Ning Yao raised a brow and helped him correct his words, saying, "How is it possibly so few?"

Liu Baqiao clicked his tongue in wonder and commented, "Ning Yao, your personality can't compare to Celestial Maiden Su's."

Ning Yao frowned and asked, "Are you referring to Sun Scorch Mountain's Su Jia?"

"That's right!" Liu Baqiao replied with increasing smugness. "Jia as in the Jia from the Sage's words, 'crops are liked by all people'[1]! How is it? Isn't my missus' name beautiful and soul-stirring?"Chck out ltst vl on novl/bin(.)cm

Ning Yao asked him a question that Chen Ping'an definitely wouldn't understand. "If you genuinely like Su Jia, then have you ever thought about this before? What will you do if she also likes you?"

Liu Baqiao was instantly rendered speechless. He opened and closed his mouth many times, and in the end, he could only murmur in a timid voice, "How can she possibly like me?"

Chen Ping'an felt like Liu Baqiao wasn't a bad person.

Chen Dui and Chen Songfeng walked a dozen or so paces behind Chen Ping'an and the others.

Chen Songfeng was slightly envious of Liu Baqiao's good relationship with Chen Ping'an. Liu Baqiao seemed like someone who was born with the ability to talk to anyone, regardless of what teaching or sect they came from and regardless of whether they were emperors or peasants. There wasn't anyone in the world who he couldn't talk to.

"When that woman caught wind of the situation, she immediately visited the kiln supervision office and offered to return the suit of armor as an apology on behalf of Light Breeze City's Xu Clan. Why didn't you accept it?" Chen Songfeng asked quietly.

Compared to when she had first entered the small town, Chen Dui was evidently much more amiable. If this were in the past, she would have simply ignored Chen Songfeng's question. Now, however, she patiently explained, "If Light Breeze City's Xu Clan had known the truth that Liu Xianyang was a descendant of the Yingyin Chen Clan's graveyard attendants then they naturally would have had to pay a hefty price if they still dared to target him. Simply returning the suit of armor wouldn't have been anywhere near enough. However, since they weren't aware of these secrets, it's only natural and right that they fought for this precious fated opportunity. The Yingyin Chen Clan isn't so arrogant and domineering."

Chen Songfeng smiled and said, "Perhaps Light Breeze City's Xu Clan was also intending to scheme against Sun Scorch Mountain. Otherwise, if it wasn't for that old ape leading the charge and being used as a decoy by the woman, it's very likely that she wouldn't have been able to obtain the suit of armor."

Chen Dui reverted to her original self, smiling coldly and sneering, "Swarming like flies, and being herded like sheep... Some people only know how to flow with the crowd, yet they never stop to consider where the tide is truly heading."

Chen Songfeng lowered his voice and said in a seemingly casual manner, "Perhaps they know, but they're simply powerless. Rather than struggling in vain to chase after something significant, they've decided that it's better to fish for some lower-hanging fruit."

Chen Dui turned around and shot a glance at the young man from Dragon Tail County's Chen Clan. She didn't offer any comment on his "casual remark".

They were about to enter the mountains soon, and Chen Ping'an stopped and was just about to turn around. However, Chen Dui said at almost the exact same moment, "Liu Baqiao, tell him that he only needs to worry about leading the way. The quicker the better."

Liu Baqiao had witnessed more than half of Chen Ping'an's rooftop battle with Bai Yuan from far away, and after going back, he had spiritedly recounted the events to Chen Songfeng. Chen Dui had also been present at the time, so she knew that she couldn't treat Chen Ping'an as if he were an ordinary young boy.

In the end, it was surprisingly Chen Songfeng who became the laggard. Even though this rich and handsome young man also liked to climb mountains and go on adventures, he was truly lacking in ability when compared to the four other people. Chen Dui was an elite martial artist, and Liu Baqiao was a swordsman, swordsmen being cultivators who placed heavy emphasis on tempering one's physique. Meanwhile, Ning Yao and Chen Ping'an had more so been able to battle with a supremely powerful Mountain-moving Ape.

Mountain paths were difficult to traverse.

This was especially the case after a spring drizzle, when the earth would be soft and muddy. Add to the fact that they needed to cross the occasional stream and cliff, and this made Chen Songfeng pour with sweat and feel extremely parched.

Afterward, even with Liu Baqiao helping Chen Songfeng carry his bookcase, Chen Songfeng still panted like an old cow, with his face as white as a sheet.

Chen Ping'an asked Chen Dui if they needed to slow down, to which Chen Dui replied with a shake of her head.

While they were crossing a stream, Chen Songfeng accidentally slipped after stepping on a rock that was covered in algae. He crashed into the water and appeared as disheveled as could be.

Chen Dui stopped in her tracks and looked back. Even though she didn't speak, her dark expression was more than enough to convey her thoughts.

Liu Baqiao hurriedly turned around and helped Chen Songfeng up.

"I'm okay, don't worry about me. I can definitely keep up," Chen Songfeng said apologetically.

Chen Ping'an took this opportunity to shrug off his bamboo basket and lean it against a depressed area in the mountain face. He looked at them and said, "Let's rest for 15 minutes."

Ning Yao naturally didn't mind this. She squatted near Chen Ping'an, and she held the hilts of her sword and saber in boredom, lightly pressing down on them and causing the tip of the scabbards to lightly tap against the green cliff face. The crisp clacking sound was seemingly singing in harmony with the whoosh of the stream water.

"Keep going!" Chen Dui ordered in a solemn voice.

Chen Ping'an shook his head and said, "When traversing through mountains, one shouldn't use all of their strength in a single breath. When he gradually grows accustomed to this, he will be able to keep up with us. It isn't his stamina that's lacking, and he's simply just a little short of breath."

Chen Ping'an was indeed an expert when it came to traversing mountains and crossing rivers.

Unexpectedly, however, Chen Dui completely ignored Chen Ping'an's advice. She looked at Chen Songfeng and directly said, "You can return to the small town."

Chen Songfeng wore a bitter expression as he looked at the commanding and indubitable gaze of Chen Dui. He turned to Liu Baqiao and said, "Then I'll have to trouble you with carrying the bookcase from hereon."

Liu Baqiao was furious, and he immediately threw the bookcase at Chen Dui, shouting, "Bull**! I'm not going to take your crap anymore!"

Chen Dui's expression was calm as she picked up the bookcase and slung it over her back. She looked at Chen Ping'an and said, "Let's go."

Chen Ping'an thought for a moment before retrieving two bamboo tubes from his basket and gently tossing them toward Liu Baqiao. "Here, you can eat these if you get hungry on the way back."

Chen Songfeng spoke quietly as he tried to dissuade Liu Baqiao from accompanying him back. However, Liu Baqiao caught the bamboo tubes and spat with a cold chuckle, "I'm not going to deal with this nonsense anymore. After returning to the kiln supervision office with you, I'm going to order a table full of good wine and good food! I'm going to have large plates of meat and delicacies! Will that not be better than this?"

Chen Dui turned around and continued forward.

Chen Ping'an picked up his bamboo basket, but he still felt a little worried. He looked at Liu Baqiao and asked, "Do you remember the way back?"

"I do," Liu Baqiao replied with a smile.

Chen Ping'an nodded before leaving with Ning Yao.

The three of them gradually disappeared into the distance. Chen Songfeng sat down on a rock and lamented in a bitter voice, "Why cause trouble for yourself? Forging a good relationship with the Yingyin Chen Clan is good for both you and Wind Lightning Field. Why do you insist on acting so rashly?"

Liu Baqiao cracked open a bamboo tube, revealing the snow-white balls of rice inside. His spirits were high as he praised, "Sure enough, Chen Ping'an is still as kind as always. As expected of my good brother."

Chen Songfeng understood Liu Baqiao's temper, so he didn't try to persuade him anymore.

He smiled in a self-deprecating manner and sighed, "I'm just a useless scholar..."

"If I had known this, I should have asked Chen Ping'an to leave us a tube of pickled vegetables as well," Liu Baqiao muttered.

He grabbed a rice ball and started munching down on it, saying in a muffled voice, "Your comment isn't correct either. Mr. Qi from the small town, and naturally Mr. Qi's master as well, are both very impressive people."

Chen Songfeng appeared to be in a trance as he asked, "What do you think Mr. Qi is trying to do?"

"Heaven knows," Liu Baqiao casually replied.

Chen Songfeng extended his arms and shook his soaked outer garment, sighing, "Heh, indeed, heaven knows."

In the blacksmith shop next to the creek, Liu Xianyang lay down and fell asleep again.

Ruan Qiong sat next to the bed, a grave look in his eyes.

Liu Xianyang's breathing was slow and drawn out. So be it if this was all. Most importantly, the breaths that he exhaled were like the clouds in the mountains and the mists above the lakes. They were foggy white and didn't dissipate in the air. Instead, they slowly gathered in front of his nose and mouth.

In the end, it was as if there were a three-inch-long white flood dragon laying coiled above his face.

Using his sleep and dreams as a Sword Furnace.

Forging a divine sword with his breath.

Ruan Qiong rubbed his chin and praised, "So you're taking the extreme path of breaking the old to establish the new. All your acupoints have been destroyed, and all the passageways are now defenseless. Even though your body has been comprehensively ruined, this sword... It's ultimately been forged successfully.

"Not only can one forge a sword, but one can also practice the way of the sword. No wonder this sword scripture is so coveted and sought after. Sleeping is cultivation, and dreaming is also cultivation. The Great Dao is within reach."

Ruan Qiong stood up and said in a self-deprecating voice, "If I had known this earlier, I wouldn't have let the Yingyin Chen Clan borrow you for 20 years."

Three horse-drawn carriages continued to trundle forward, advancing up the mountain road that seemingly had no end.

They finally reached the mountain peak.

Song Jixin and Zhi Gui walked down from the carriage and exchanged a glance. The mountain peak was a flat and even platform, and in the middle, there stood two stone pillars. However, between the two stone pillars was a curtain of light that looked like flowing water. It was impossible to see what lay behind this "water". It was as if a heavenly gate stood before them.

Zhi Gui stared intently at the gate.

Meanwhile, Song Jixin turned around and walked to the perimeter of the mountain peak, gazing into the distance. Vast stretches of mountains and rivers appeared before him, causing him to feel relaxed and at ease.

Song Changjing was wearing a fox fur coat at this moment, with his face also appearing extremely pale. However, he was in a very good mood, and he stood next to Song Jixin and said with a smile, "This Jewel Small World is located in Eastern Treasured Vial Continent, and it's one of the 36 mystical realms. It's not renowned for its size, and it only measures 500 kilometers in radius."

Song Changjing didn't turn around, and he simply pointed back at the gate behind them as he continued, "After passing through that gate, there's a set of cloud steps that leads all the way down. After walking around 15 kilometers, you'll have finally set foot on the land of the Great Li Empire. If you turn around and look back at that time, perhaps you won't be able to see it clearly anymore. However, you can know this. That is indeed the Jewel Small World. In fact, the Jewel Small World that hovers high in the sky is indeed..."

Song Changjing paused for a brief moment before continuing, "Just a small jewel."

1. The Chinese character for Jia literally means crops.

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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