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unsheathed – Chapter 109: The Young Boy Has Some Words to Say

Chapter 109: The Young Boy Has Some Words to Say

Chapter 109: The Young Boy Has Some Words to Say

Chen Ping'an looked at the approaching girl. Her steps were light, and under the illumination of the lanterns hanging along the corridor, her fuzzy figure appeared much like a young milu trotting under the night sky.

Zhu Lu no longer appeared like a silent person who only spoke with her expressions. Instead, she seemed like a friendly neighborhood girl who always had a dazzling smile on her face.

Chen Ping'an could barely believe his eyes. He slowed down and stopped in his tracks, widening his eyes to gaze at the slightly unfamiliar face of the young girl.

Zhu Lu tugged her left hand out from behind her back and waved at Chen Ping'an, saying as she walked, "Chen Ping'an, regarding the things that happened in Go Table Mountain, my father wanted me to tell you..."

There were five paces between them, and the young girl who was at the peak stage of the Second Tier suddenly unleashed her strength and charged forward, arriving before Chen Ping'an in just two strides. They were almost face to face, and they could clearly see the expression on each other's faces.

There was a complicated mix of savageness, rage, delight, and relief on the young girl's face, while there was only melancholy and intensity in the young boy's eyes. His gaze was as sharp and intense as a machete that had been sharpened by a Dragon Slaying Platform.

Zhu Lu's left hand was clenched into a fist as it viciously swung at Chen Ping'an's forehead. However, this was only a feint, and she had even slowed down the speed of her strike on purpose.

The true killing blow would come from her right hand. When she unleashed this lightning-quick attack, three razor-sharp bamboo skewers directly stabbed at the young boy's heart.

Just as the bamboo skewers were about to penetrate Chen Ping'an's chest, the young girl who had suddenly lunged forward to kill him finally finished her sentence in a timely manner, spitting, "Sorry!"

Did Zhu Lu still appear shy and friendly at this moment? No, there was only ruthlessness on her face.

However, shock quickly spread across Zhu Lu's face in the next moment. Knowing that the situation was dire, she was just about to retreat.

Chen Ping'an aggressively raised his right hand. However, this wasn't to block the punch from Zhu Lu's left hand. Instead, he took advantage of the opening that she dared to create by throwing a feint, and his hand ferociously shot forward and grabbed her neck.

At the same time, his left hand firmly latched onto her right wrist which was filled with hidden killing intent. With a forceful tug, he prevented the three bamboo skewers from piercing his chest. He then unleashed a burst of power and dragged her to the side by the neck, throwing a vicious and heavy knee at her abdomen.

The young girl almost vomited bile as her body involuntarily curled up. She instantly lost the ability to resist. However, Chen Ping'an didn't let his guard down, and he continued to launch another attack, using his head as a hammer to forcefully headbutt her forehead.

Zhu Lu stumbled back in retreat.

Chen Ping'an threw another kick, adding further injuries to the young girl's already severely wounded abdomen. She flew back like a ragdoll, heavily crashing to the bluestone floor of the corridor. She scrambled to stand up, yet she failed to do so after making two attempts. Blood seeped from the corner of her mouth, and her face was as white as a sheet. She was in a dismal state.

The young boy had launched a string of ruthless attacks in a single breath.

Zhu Lu pushed her elbows into the ground, enduring the heart-wrenching pain shooting through her body as she exerted all of her energy to retreat. She wanted to get as far away as possible from this young boy in straw sandals, even if it was only an extra inch.

Chen Ping'an inspected the surroundings. Only after determining that there were no dangers did he finally walk up to the defeated and disheveled young girl. However, his body was still tense, and his movements were still cautious.

Zhu Lu descended into unspeakable panic. She had no time to wipe the blood from the corner of her mouth, and she explained through sobs, "Don't kill me, Chen Ping'an. I was only playing a prank on you. Really, I'm not lying to you. If I wanted to kill you, why would I have used the bamboo skewers from some tanghulu? Anyway, why would I even want to kill you...?"

Chen Ping'an directly hit the nail on the head, saying, "When we parted ways on River Viewing Street, you pulled your father with you and said that you wanted to visit a weapon shop. Did you want to purchase a dagger or some other type of concealable weapon? I presume the weapon shop was already closed, so you had no option but to use some bamboo skewers instead."

Zhu Lu suddenly started to laugh. Her chest rose and fell violently, and she broke into a fit of coughing. She covered her mouth, yet sanguine blood continued to seep through her fingers. She let go as if accepting her fate, and she looked up at the young boy who was peering down at her. Her gaze continued downward, eventually reaching the rough and vulgar straw sandals on his feet.

She looked up again, and as if she had gone mad, she laughed instead of cried. She glared at the approaching Chen Ping'an and chuckled in a hoarse voice, "Unfortunately for me, you weren't as stupid as I imagined. However, there's something that I'm very curious about. How did you see through my killing intent?"

She raised her voice, and her beautiful appearance became twisted with insanity. "Chen Ping'an! Before you kill me, can you at least let me know the reason?!"

Chen Ping'an didn't stop, and he countered, "Why did you do this?"

Zhu Lu was just about to sit up, yet Chen Ping'an immediately stepped on her forehead and sent the back of her skull heavily crashing into the bluestone floor. The young girl spat a large mouthful of blood and finally abandoned her futile struggle. Deep in her heart, however, she viewed this as her biggest humiliation an impoverished young boy in straw sandals was standing as he spoke to her, yet she could only lay there in helplessness, with even sitting up being a wishful hope.

She raised her hand to wipe the blood from her mouth, chuckling, "Remember the letter that Second Young Master sent to Young Mistress? Young Master is skilled in all of music, Go, calligraphy, and painting. He's especially skilled in writing the semi-cursive script, and his characters are just as carefree and unbridled as his personality. However, before leaving home to head to the capital, Young Master suddenly said that he wanted to learn the regular script. He said that one needed to understand how to abide by the rules and regulations of the outside world. He wanted to start controlling his emotions and temperament."

Chen Ping'an squatted down beside her and pried her fingers apart, removing the three bamboo skewers from her hand. He held them in his palm as he walked over to sit on the bench in the corridor. He was expressionless as he kept his eyes fixed on Zhu Lu, and he didn't give her any opportunity to cause further trouble.

It was clear that Zhu Lu's killing intent toward him had been resolute and unwavering. There hadn't been a shred of hesitation in her eyes. On the other hand, it would be extremely difficult for Chen Ping'an to kill her without feeling guilt in his mind. This was largely because of the little girl in red and the hearty middle-aged man, as well as this Second Young Master from the Li Clan or whatnot.

Chen Ping'an had immediately noticed her ill intentions when he saw her walking toward him from the other side of the corridor. His eyesight was also terrific, and the young girl's ability to conceal her weapons and intent was far from refined. Her eyelashes had been flickering, and her cheeks had been slightly puffed from her grinding teeth. Her gaze had also been lowered in an attempt to hide the ferocity in her eyes. However, Chen Ping'an had easily detected all of this.

Even so, Chen Ping'an hadn't imagined that she would genuinely try to kill him.

When Zhu Lu mentioned her "Young Master", it was as if her aura transformed completely. As she turned around to look at the young boy in straw sandals, it was as if she were looking at nothing more than a mere dog.

"When Young Mistress first mentioned the contents of the letter to me in Pillow Relay Station, she said that Young Master had told her about the beacon towers and how they were lit to signify that everything was okay. The beacons snaking from the border to the capital for tens of thousands of kilometers had all been lit. However, Young Mistress didn't know, and none of you knew either before this letter, Young Master had never mentioned this so-called 'beacon fire to signify peace' to me before. Ever since I could understand things, I clearly remember all the interesting stories and anecdotes that Young Master has ever told me!

"So I immediately felt like something was off. I asked Young Mistress for the letter, and sure enough, I discovered a hidden secret. No one else in the world could have discovered this! Only I, Zhu Lu, was capable of discovering this!"

Chen Ping'an remained silent as he looked at the fanatic young girl.FOlloow ewest stories at n(v)el/bi/n(.)com

Zhu Lu was lost in her own world, and at this moment, she transformed back into the proud and haughty maidservant of the Li Clan, a martial arts prodigy who was just starting to bud. She continued, "I carefully read the letter twice only twice before finding the correct answer. I solved the puzzle that Young Master purposely left for me!"

She looked at the cold and tanned face of Chen Ping'an and sneered, "Young Mistress is a whimsical child, so she naturally won't be able to understand Young Master's good intentions. Because of this, Young Master never placed any hope in Young Mistress. Instead, he chose me. The 2000 odd characters in the letter were almost all written in flowing semi-cursive script. However, there were seven characters written in regular script!"

Zhu Lu laughed so hard that tears almost came out of her eyes. Her speech was choppy as she said, "Clan of the pillar general of the Great Li Empire, the Chen Clan's eldest grandson. Horse thieves did he slay, fires of peace did he light, an honorary title did he receive."

The seven characters were, "Slay Chen Ping'an, receive an honorary title[1]"!

Scholars didn't need blades to kill people they could kill with words.

Chen Ping'an furrowed his brows.

Zhu Lu held her abdomen which was aching with agonizing pain. It was as if there was a tumultuous storm in her belly, and this caused cold sweat to drench her face. However, nothing could wipe the sneer from her face as she taunted, "You've never even heard of the term 'honorary title' before, have you?"

She struggled to sit up and lean on the long bench that Chen Ping'an was sitting on. The young boy didn't stop her this time.

She looked at the young boy who her young mistress referred to as 'junior uncle', and she spat, "Apart from killing you, do you know what else I wanted to do the most? Aren't you able to recognize a lot of words now? I wanted to show you that letter, and perhaps you would have felt ashamed of your inferiority and worthlessness. Perhaps you would have wondered to yourself how such beautiful words and artistic prose could exist in the world.

"Regardless, even if you read that letter 10 times or 100 times, you would have never realized that the true message and genius in that letter only rested in those seven words. Isn't that funny? I find it absolutely hilarious! So much so that I'm about to die from laughter!"

Chen Ping'an quietly sat on the long bench. Next to him were the pieces of candied fruit that had been discarded and ignored. He looked at Zhu Lu and pursed his lips, saying, "If it weren't for Zhu He, I would have genuinely let you 'die from laughter' today."

He stood up and continued slowly, "I know that you were saying all this to explain the situation to your father. Moreover, your attempt to stand up this time was actually bait to draw me to attack you. You wanted to give Zhu He no choice either he killed me, or he killed you. Am I correct?"

Zhu Lu fell silent, and a shadow fell across her face.

Zhu He had already arrived in the corridor at some time, and his hands were tightly clenched into fists. The veins on the back of his hands bulged, and his face was filled with indescribable pain. He looked at the young boy and young girl.

One was his darling daughter, and one was a junior who he was fond of.

Zhu Lu stuck out a thumb and roughly wiped the blood from the corners of her mouth. She lowered her head slightly, but her gaze remained fixed on Chen Ping'an.

She slowly turned around, and there was a rare expression of calm on her face. "If Young Mistress learns about this, her temperament will mean that I'll definitely lose a layer of skin even if I'm not killed," she said to the familiar figure of her father. "My future will be cut off right there and then. Father, I'm begging you, don't show any mercy! Since A'Liang from the Wind Snow Temple hasn't returned yet, you need to seize this opportunity to act! Young Master said before, hesitation will only lead to doom!"

Chen Ping'an suddenly turned around and leaned over, casually grabbing a piece of candied fruit from the bench and popping it into his mouth.

He then stood up and faced off against Zhu He.

"You'll die," he said to the young girl.

Zhu Lu's heart sank.

There were approximately 15 paces between her father and Chen Ping'an.

Even though Chen Ping'an's cultivation base wasn't high, Zhu Lu had witnessed his speed and agility before. She couldn't help but feel a little frustrated and angry. Her father shouldn't have revealed himself so far away from them!

This was a battle of life and death, so was there any need to act with the demeanor of an elite?!

Zhu Lu turned around and spat a mouthful of bloody saliva. "You can try if you're oh-so-mighty!"

She looked at her father and warned him, "Father, if you don't kill him today, then I'll die in front of you! Regardless, you need to capture Chen Ping'an first!"

As for what they did after capturing Chen Ping'an... If her father didn't want to kill him, then she would!

Zhu Lu was tense and ready, prepared to defend herself if Chen Ping'an attempted to take her hostage and threaten her father.

Her father had once inadvertently told her that she would have some chance at victory if she only sparred against this detestable and lowly filth. However, she would face certain death if they became engaged in a life-or-death battle. She hadn't believed this in the beginning. Afterward, she had become frozen with shock when facing the white python in Go Table Mountain. She could only stand there and wait for death. Meanwhile, Chen Ping'an had displayed courage, determination, and judgment that was far superior to her.

This had caused her to feel immense despair, and her determination to practice martial arts was almost completely quashed. Once a person's mental state collapsed, their journey on the path of martial arts would reach an end.

Before coming to Red Candle Town, the mountain lord Wei Bo had given each of them a farewell gift at the border of Go Table Mountain. Under Zhu He's encouragement, she had received a secret immortal scripture, the Purple Qi Guide. This was a treasured martial arts text that many people dreamed of obtaining. In reality, however, the young girl hadn't been especially excited or motivated by this.

Ambition was easy to lose but difficult to discover.

How could Zhu He an unrefined martial artist who was drunk with dreams of reaching the peak of martial arts have known about this?

However, the arrival of that letter had been like her Young Master personally giving her face-to-face instructions. It was like charcoal received during heavy snow[2], and it had rekindled a flame of hope in the young girl's mind. She told herself that she definitely had to practice martial arts. At the very least, she had to become a martial arts grandmaster like her father. She would make great contributions on the battlefield and rightfully win herself an honorary title!

This was especially the case since they now possessed a Hero's Gall Pill from True Martial Mountain and the immortal scripture, Purple Qi Guide. Just like Zhu He had said, he even dared to dream of witnessing the scenery at the lofty Seventh Tier now. That being the case, why didn't she, Zhu Lu, dare to dream of things that she hadn't dared to dream of before?

However, her dreams of a bright future and a dazzling cultivation path were all built on a small prerequisite.

Chen Ping'an needed to die.

Thus, knowing that she couldn't defeat him in a proper battle, the young girl decided that she needed to catch him by surprise. Just like Chen Ping'an had guessed, she had wanted to buy a dagger.

Unfortunately, the weapon shop had already closed for the day, leaving her empty-handed.

However, her father wanted her to apologize to Chen Ping'an, and she had further heard Chen Ping'an and her Young Mistress talking about buying tanghulu.

Daggers could kill, and so could bamboo skewers from tanghulu if they were held in the hands of a martial artist at the peak stage of the Second Tier.

Worried that a single bamboo skewer might snap from the impact, Zhu Lu had used the excuse of buying tanghulu for Chen Ping'an and Li Baoping to obtain three. With three bamboo skewers in her hand, she was confident that she could skewer the young boy's heart.

Her plan had been immaculate.

Zhu Lu had displayed impressive resourcefulness and sharp wits.

The Li Clan's second young master who had never shown himself this entire time also displayed his immense ability to identify talent and utilize others.

What was truly impressive about Zhu Lu's plan was her ability to leave a path of retreat for herself. At the same time, she left no path of retreat for her father, a martial artist at the Fifth Tier.

Either she died or Chen Ping'an died.

Looking at the impoverished young boy who had a jade hairpin in his hair, Zhu He uttered the word that his daughter should have said in earnest and sincerity, "Sorry..."

Chen Ping'an smiled and replied, "It's fine. Everyone has the freedom to pick their own path."

His smile defied the common sense of the situation, and it instead caused one to feel a chill down their spine.

The nearby Zhu Lu experienced this bizarre feeling firsthand.

After sparring with Zhu He in Go Table Mountain, Chen Ping'an had noticed three acupoints in his body that were surprisingly able to instill apprehension in the fiery dragon that wantonly rampaged through him. It didn't dare to enter these acupoints. Only at that time did Chen Ping'an finally discover the three small wisps of sword qi hiding in his body. They were linked to his mind, so using them didn't pose any challenge at all.

Chen Ping'an had expended a wisp of sword qi to obliterate the white python's head.

In order to save himself, he felt like it wouldn't be a bad deal to use another wisp of sword qi here.

However, he definitely had to obtain something in return when he used the last wisp of sword qi. He couldn't make deals that only broke even every time!

This was a sinister trap that had been set up for him.

Zhu Lu had also explained many things.

Meanwhile, Chen Ping'an had only spoken a few times and uttered a few words.

Thus, the young boy felt like he had to say something at this moment. For himself, and also for Big Sister Immortal who relied on him to live on. Otherwise, he would feel slightly pissed off.

The young boy shuffled one straw sandal forward and one straw sandal back.

He bent his knees, and he lowered his stance. Putting his index finger and middle finger together, he pointed at the man who was standing in the distance at the other side of the corridor. His lips moved slightly.

Perhaps it was her sixth sense, or perhaps it was a warning from the ancestral blessings Zhu Lu suddenly felt panic and terror at this moment, and she shrieked, "No!"

Zhu He's skin crawled, and the powerful grandmaster at the Fifth Tier felt as if his mind and body had sunk into mud. He was frozen to the spot.

Chen Ping'an silently recited, "Sword, unsheathed!"

1. As mentioned before, Ping'an means safe and sound, and can also mean peace in certain contexts.

2. This means receiving help in an hour of need.

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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