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unsheathed – Chapter 100 (1): The World Beneath One's Feet

Chapter 100 (1): The World Beneath One's Feet

Chapter 100 (1): The World Beneath One's Feet

After releasing the hilt of the bamboo saber, A'Liang patted the mountain lord on the shoulder, and even though the mountain lord had been spared his life, he wasn't relieved in the slightest. Instead, he only became even more fearful and uneasy, and the elation on his face had already completely vanished at this point.

He remained completely still, not daring to move even a single muscle as he said in a strained voice, "My sincerest apologies, Senior. This is all one big misunderstanding!"

He didn't know who this A'Liang was, but he was able to appear right beside him without his detection, then plunge a seemingly ordinary bamboo saber through his chest with ease, and that was enough to tell the mountain lord that he was definitely no match for this man.

Perhaps only once he became the mountain god of Go Table Mountain would he have the courage to directly face this man. Hence, he was faced with a difficult predicament. Should he accept his fate and surrender to a clearly superior opponent, or should he muster up his courage and fight?

In the instant that A'Liang released the hilt of his bamboo saber, the blade was no longer a threat to the mountain lord. He was only a mountain lord, and he had no official rank even in a mortal empire, but ultimately, he was still a deity.

Thanks to all the worship and reverence that he had received, his body rivaled that of a seventh tier martial artist, and he didn't have any vital regions, so there were no vulnerable points on his body. Hence, even though a blade had been plunged straight through where his heart was supposed to be, he was still essentially unharmed. However, the more casual and lackadaisical A'Liang appeared, the more uneasy the mountain lord felt.

This sense of fear and unease was only exacerbated by his recollection of the two terrestrial immortals who had visited this place many years ago and destroyed his godly body with their unfathomable powers. They had done so with such casual ease that they had invested far more attention and focus into each move that they had made during their game of go.

After stabbing the mountain lord through the chest, A'Liang reverted back to his usual lackadaisical demeanor, removing the gourd from his waist before gently swirling it around to send the aroma of wine wafting through the air. After gulping down some wine, A'Liang casually strolled around the handsome mountain lord as he mused, "I must say, you've got some great acting skills, and that white snake was pretty good as well.

You and those two snakes form a seamless combination! However, I much preferred it when you showed your true colors and began gloating after thinking that you had won. That was a far more spectacular performance!"

The pair of giant snakes had already attained intelligence and the capacity for human emotion, and as soon as A'Liang appeared, both of them immediately retreated as quickly as they could. The black snake quickly spread open its body before retreating to one side of the plateau, while the white snake also slithered back before stopping at the edge of the cliff in an obedient manner, then lowered its head as if it were nothing more than a tame pet.

This time, they were definitely not putting on an act, and all of the scales on their bodies were trembling slightly in genuine fear.

In fact, they didn't even dare to look directly at A'Liang.

With just a single strike from his bamboo blade, A'Liang had put an end to this battle.

In response to A'Liang's teasing, an awkward look appeared on the young mountain lord's face, and he said, "Surely you jest, Senior A'Liang."

"You think I'm joking around?" A'Liang asked as his smile faded.

A sense of foreboding instantly welled up in the mountain lord's heart. In his mind, A'Liang was the type of person whose mood could turn at the drop of a hat, and he hurriedly fled for his life, fearing that A'Liang would suddenly decide to kill him.

Using a mystical ability unique to a mountain lord, his body disintegrated into mud, while the ground beneath his feet also dissolved into sludge, and in what felt like no more than the blink of an eye, the mountain lord had already vanished out of sight, following which the swamp-like ground also instantly returned to normal.

Without the mountain lord's body holding it in place, the bamboo saber fell out of the air.

A'Liang caught the saber, and he turned to find the three children all staring at him with wide and astonished eyes.

A'Liang hurriedly puffed out his chest, and instead of returning his saber to its scabbard, he pressed its tip against the ground as he rested on its hilt, looking up at the sky as he struck a cool pose and urged, "Praise me! Praise me with all your might! I have two exceptional personality traits, the first of which is my willingness to accept criticism.

If you criticize me, I'll beat you to death! The second one is my ability to accept praise. I don't care how corny or ridiculous your compliments are, I can handle it!"

Li Huai was the first of the children to speak, making his way over to A'Liang's side before looking him up and down as he asked, "Why did you get here so late? Were you taking a **? Lazy people like you are always sitting on the latrine to avoid work! If you had come any later than you did, there would be no one left to chat with you and pee with you! Would you miss me if that happened?"

A'Liang was doing his best to maintain his cool pose, but his efforts to look good were instantly foiled by Li Huai, and a furious look appeared on his face as he snapped, "I would miss your mother and your sister, but I wouldn't miss an ungrateful brat like you!"

For the first time, Li Huai didn't talk back to A'Liang. Instead, he lowered his head with a slight dejected expression.

A'Liang heaved a faint sigh, then patted Li Huai on the head as he said, "You're still alive, aren't you? So why the long face? Cheer up!"

Li Huai immediately raised his head with a wide grin as he asked, "A'Liang, can you teach me martial arts?"

"Are you willing to endure hardship?" A'Liang asked with a smile.

"Of course not," Li Huai replied with a serious shake of his head. "Don't you have any martial arts that you can teach me that would be easy to learn, but can still allow me to become invincible?"

"What do you think?" A'Liang asked in an exasperated voice.

Li Huai pursed his lips as he regarded A'Liang with a disdainful expression. "You're a real let-down, A'Liang. I expected more of you."

Li Baoping gave A'Liang a bright smile, then rushed over to Chen Ping'an with her bookcase on her back.

Meanwhile, Lin Shouyi strode over to A'Liang with a perplexed expression, but he didn't ask any questions. A'Liang gave the boy a slight nod, indicating that he would speak to him in private.

Zhu He was seated with his legs crossed, and his entire body was drenched in blood, presenting a horrifying sight to behold, but he hadn't sustained any substantial internal injuries.

He wiped the blood from his face, and despite the near-death ordeal he had just endured, he wore a wide smile, feeling more exhilarated than he had ever felt. It was as if all of the negative emotions built up in his heart had been cleared away during that battle, leaving him in a state of exceptional comfort and mental clarity.

Zhu Lu rushed to Zhu He's side as quickly as she could, and there were still tear streaks all over her face as she crouched down next to him.

Zhu He made a reassuring gesture to her as he chuckled, "As the saying goes, if one can survive a catastrophe, then good fortune will be sure to follow. This has been a huge blessing for me! I feel like I've latched onto a catalyst for a breakthrough.

Those key acupoints in my body have been stagnant for many years, but they're beginning to stir with renewed vitality. It may only be a slight change, but given that I had already reached the end of my martial arts progression, this is an enormous blessing!"

Zhu Lu was rather skeptical about these claims, and there was a concerned look on her face as she urged, "Don't be in such a hurry to speak, Father. You're going to open up your wounds even further."

Zhu He's smile grew even wider as he rested his hands on his knees, and he was practically glowing and brimming with energy. "These minor injuries are nothing. If I had been able to last 15 more minutes against that snake, perhaps I would've progressed straight to the sixth tier! Of course, I would've had to survive until then first."

Zhu He turned to A'Liang as he spoke, then gave him a thumbs-up as he declared, "Senior A'Liang, once we get to Red Candle Town, I'll buy you some of that spring apricot blossom wine."

A'Liang had his back facing Zhu He, and he waved a dismissive hand in response. "Haven't you heard the saying that the utmost gratitude can't be expressed through words? You should just remember what I did for you. When you come out and say it, your gratitude seems a lot less sincere."

Chen Ping'an accepted the small porcelain vial that Li Baoping was handing over to him. This was a medicine sold in the Yang Family's medicine shop made from a secret recipe that had been passed down for generations, and it had only a single effect, which was to numb pain.

Chen Ping'an had used this medicine once during his fierce battle against Ma Kuxuan at the immortal tomb, and if A'Liang hadn't arrived in time, then this medicine would've definitely come in useful. However, it wasn't required now. Even though Chen Ping'an's entire body was racked with pain, the pain was not so severe that he required this medicine.

Old Man Yang had once told him that all medicines were poison to a certain extent, so it was best to avoid using them as much as possible. In particular, if a martial artist were to consume so-called elixirs and panaceas without any discretion, then they would only be destroying their own foundation over the long term.

Li Baoping could see that Chen Ping'an's complexion was quite pale, and she was observant enough to notice that his left hand, which was holding his bushcraft blade with, had been trembling uncontrollably this entire time.

"Don't worry about me, this is not a significant injury," Chen Ping'an consoled in a gentle voice. "In fact, as long as my intuition isn't mistaken, this should only benefit me in the future."

Li Baoping nodded vigorously in response. Chen Ping'an had told her that he would never lie to her, so she had full trust in his words.

A'Liang's gaze roamed over the pair of giant snakes, and after a moment of contemplation, he discretely exerted more force into the hilt of his bamboo saber, causing its tip to pierce about an inch deeper into the ground.

Meanwhile, the mountain lord had only just fled in a panic back to his cave abode in the belly of the mountain, and he was suddenly struck by a bolt of lightning to the head, sending blood splattering in all directions.

His panic and horror were only further exacerbated by this, and he quickly shuffled a few steps away before looking up, only to find that there was nothing aside from the tiny tip of a green blade up above. After some hesitation, the mountain lord gritted his teeth, then stomped his foot onto the ground.

In the next instant, he emerged onto the summit of Go Table Mountain like a bamboo shoot rising up through the soil. With one hand pressed over his wound, he cast his gaze toward A'Liang with a sullen expression, and at this point, he was willing to kneel down and beg for his life if that would convince A'Liang to spare him.

"Please spare me from further punishment, almighty immortal," the mountain lord pleaded.

Zhu Lu was given a massive fright by the sudden return of the mountain lord, and for some reason, she suddenly flew into a thunderous rage, rising to her feet as she yelled at A'Liang, "Kill them!"

A'Liang turned around to face the incensed Zhu Lu with a smile, and he asked, "Why would I kill them? I have no bad blood with them."

Zhu Lu's face became even more twisted with rage and resentment as she stabbed a finger in A'Liang's direction and exclaimed, "You have no bad blood with them?! Those two foul beasts just tried to eat us, and that mountain lord was the one who orchestrated everything!"

A'Liang feigned a surprised expression as his gaze roamed over the mountain lord and the two snakes one after the other, and he asked, "You want to eat me? Or is it one of you two?"

The mountain lord and the pair of giant snakes naturally shook their heads desperately in response.

Zhu Lu was trembling with rage as she sobbed, "My father almost died! All of us almost died!"

Tears were swimming in her eyes as she stared at A'Liang and yelled, "You clearly have the power to get rid of these menaces to the world, so why won't you do it? These two foul beasts pose a threat to anyone that passes through this area, and this mountain lord should be protecting all those who set foot on his mountain, yet instead, he's working with those foul beasts to bring more harm to everyone, so why won't you kill them?"

A'Liang was silent for a moment, then suddenly burst into raucous laughter. "The way you're talking to me makes it sound like you're my wife! I'm afraid I'm going to have to turn you down. I actually prefer slightly older girls who have reached full physical maturity."

A'Liang pulled his bamboo saber out of the ground as he spoke, then slid it back into his scabbard before drawing an hourglass shape in the air with his hands as he said in a perverted manner, "I like girls with that type of body shape."

Zhu Lu was stunned into silence for a moment, then screeched, "You're completely insufferable!"

Zhu He struggled to his feet, then patted his daughter on the shoulder as he scolded in a firm voice, "Don't be rude to Senior A'Liang, and don't allow yourself to be overcome by your emotions. Just leave everything to Senior A'Liang."

Zhu Lu spun around and cast her gaze into the distance with frustration and indignation etched on her face.

A'Liang turned to Chen Ping'an, and the latter nodded in response. "You can make the decision, A'Liang."

"Alright, in that case, I'll call the shots here," A'Liang said in a lazy voice. "As the old saying goes, it's never good to completely burn one's bridges, so we should learn to be more tolerant of those around us and not take things too far."

The mountain lord nodded vigorously in agreement with this sentiment, and the two giant snakes also lowered their heads slightly.

However, A'Liang's words then suddenly took a turn. "Having said that, you gave me quite a massive fright, so I can't just let you off the hook without any compensation."

The mountain lord was on the verge of tears upon hearing this.

On the contrary to what A'Liang was saying, they were the ones who were scared to death of him!

After a moment of contemplation, A'Liang slung his arm across the mountain lord's shoulders. What was rather awkward was that the mountain lord was significantly taller than A'Liang, but the former hurriedly stooped down to lower himself to the same height as A'Liang so that he didn't have to get up on the tips of his toes.

A'Liang whispered something into the mountain lord's ear, and the latter nodded in response to everything, not daring to raise any objections.

In the end, a mixture of surprise, elation, and skepticism appeared on the mountain lord's face, as if he had been pleasantly surprised by A'Liang's demands and was wondering if he was being serious.

With a disdainful wave of his hand, A'Liang said, "Get out of my sight before I change my mind."

The mountain lord and the twin snakes communicated something to one another through some type of secret technique, following which the mountain lord quickly departed. The white snake then carefully slithered over to its severed wing before picking it up with its mouth, making sure to give A'Liang and the others as wide a berth as possible.

Prior to their departure, the two snakes slowly lowered their heads all the way to the ground, expressing their subordination to A'Liang, and only after that did they dare to leave.

Thus, the ordeal was officially over, and under the dying light of dusk, Zhu He called upon Chen Ping'an to accompany him to a stream on the stone plateau to clean their wounds, and Zhu Lu followed along in silence.

Zhu He and Chen Ping'an crouched down beside the water, washing away the blood on their faces and clothes. Zhu He seemed to want to say something, but couldn't seem to find the right words. Chen Ping'an noticed Zhu Lu sitting far away on a rock beside the stream, and he told Zhu He that he would be going back ahead of him.

Zhu He nodded in response, making no effort to keep Chen Ping'an. Following Chen Ping'an's departure, Zhu He rose to his feet, then made his way over to his daughter's side before sitting down as he asked in a gentle voice, "Why didn't you apologize to him?"

Zhu Lu had removed her boots and socks to reveal her delicate feet, and upon hearing her father's question, her eyes immediately widened with indignation as she asked, "What do you mean by that, Father?"

Zhu Lu's beautiful eyes bore an extremely close resemblance to her mother's, and looking into those eyes, Zhu He couldn't bear to spit out the rather scathing words of criticism he had prepared. After a brief silence, he heaved a faint sigh, then said in a calm voice, "Given how things turned out, Chen Ping'an was clearly right to have told you not to destroy the character."

Zhu Lu wound her arms around her knees as she looked into the stream and harrumphed coldly, "You're not his father, so of course he doesn't care about your safety. I didn't have time to think about all of that! What if he was wrong? Was I supposed to just stand around and watch you die?"

Zhu He offered no response to this.

Tears began to well up in Zhu Lu's eyes again as she asked, "Father, would I still be your daughter if I chose to do nothing at that time?"

Once again, Zhu He was forced to swallow some of the scathing words of criticism that he was going to direct at Zhu Lu.

He wanted to tell her that as a martial artist at the pinnacle of the second tier, she shouldn't have lost her nerve so easily in the face of formidable opponents.

If he were speaking to Zhu Lu purely as a martial artist, then this was something that he would've definitely said, but as her father, this was something that was too hurtful to say.

At the very least, he couldn't raise this piece of criticism now, so he would just have to wait for a suitable opportunity at some later point.

However, deep down in his heart, he couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong, but at the same time, he couldn't put his finger on exactly what was wrong.

All of a sudden, he was struck by a sense of guilt and sorrow.

If only her mother were still alive.

_____

Chen Ping'an was slowly making his way up the mountain path leading to the plateau on his own, casting a particularly long shadow under the light of the dying sun.

On the mountain summit, Li Baoping was organizing her belongings, and Li Huai was crouched down beside her for some company. All of a sudden, he declared, "Li Baoping, I'm going to have a bookcase as well soon."

Li Baoping glared at him with a disdainful expression and said, "That's fine, but you can't call my junior uncle your junior uncle!"

"Why not?" Li Huai asked.

Li Baoping raised a fist in a menacing manner as she narrowed her eyes and asked, "Is that enough of a reason for you?"

Li Huai gulped nervously, then murmured to himself, "So what if he's not my junior uncle? I don't want one anyway! Why should I have to stoop to calling a kid my uncle?"

Li Huai rose to his feet and dusted off his bottom, and only after he was far away from Li Baoping did he turn around as he asked, "Li Baoping, what are you going to do if Chen Ping'an and I start referring to each other as brothers someday? What will you call me then?"Geett the ltest vels on no/v/elbin(.)c/om

Li Baoping smiled as she rose to her feet and began to flex her wrists.

A panicked look appeared on Li Huai's face as he said, "Li Baoping, you can't just threaten me with physical violence every time you can't win an argument! Can't we be more civilized? We're scholars, and scholars need to..."

Before Li Huai had a chance to finish, Li Baoping was already rushing at him with the intention of delivering a beating.

In this dire situation, Li Huai was struck by a spark of inspiration, and he stood his ground as he said in an earnest and heartfelt voice, "Li Baoping, are you not afraid that your junior uncle will think you're a violent and unreasonable young mistress? If he forms that impression of you and ends up disliking you, who are you going to cry to? I'm laying this on the table now, so don't blame me for not warning you! "

Li Baoping immediately stopped in her tracks as her brows furrowed tightly.

Li Huai then reassured, "Don't worry, Chen Ping'an likes you the most out of the three of us. As long as you become like Zhu Lu, you'll remain in his good graces."

Li Baoping smiled as she returned to her little bookcase and continued to sort through her belongings.

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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