unsheathed – Chapter 115: There's an Old Scholar In the World (1)

Chapter 115: There's an Old Scholar In the World (1)

Chapter 115: There's an Old Scholar In the World (1)

Atop Go Table Mountain, the burly man who initially had several wine flagons hanging by his waist was barely breathing as he lay in a pool of blood.

When that burst of brilliant light soared north over Red Candle Town, the closest cultivator who was part of the secret hunt was the woman who had wantonly enjoyed wine near Pillow Relay Station, the grand elder of the Palace of Eternal Spring. However, it was a shame that she didn't have the time to react more precisely, her fighting spirit vanished almost as quickly as it appeared. She neither had the time to react nor the ability to stop that burst of brilliant light. In fact, she didn't have the courage to charge forward anyway. It was as simple as this.

A layer of dust settled on the woman's Dao Heart that had initially been as limpid as a colored glaze. At this moment, she was genuinely drinking to drown her sorrows.

The first person who stepped forward to block A'Liang was none other than the man who was currently threatening the mountain lord Wei Bo in Go Table Mountain. He resolutely charged at the burst of brilliant light, after which he was casually slapped to the ground.

Wei Bo sighed as he squatted down next to the man and placed his hand on his chest, guarding his heart for him. This prevented the courageous but pitiable man from convulsing to death due to his chaotic aura.

An ordinary-looking young man quickly arrived beside Wei Bo, also squatting down as he fed a bright red pill to his subordinate who was drenched in blood. He grabbed the burly man's scorching wrist and felt his radial pulse for a moment, only breathing a soft sigh of relief after the pulse gradually calmed down.

He turned to the mountain lord and said, "Wei Bo, you saved Old Liu's life, and I'll be sure to remember this deed. However, I can't change the mind of the Great Li Empire's imperial court regarding how they want to deal with you. It's even more unsuitable for me to speak for you regarding the choice of formal gods. If I speak, I might draw the ire of the emperor instead. Regardless, I owe you and Go Table Mountain a favor."

Wei Bo was expressionless as he replied, "It's nothing."

He slowly stood up, and only at this moment did he realize that the young man who was restraining his aura didn't have a sword by his hip, even though was regarded as a top-notch swordsman among the gatekeepers of the Great Li Empire's capital. Instead, his sword was casually strapped to his back.

Wei Bo hesitated for a moment before eventually succumbing to his curiosity and asking, "You're already in Red Candle Town, so why didn't you step forward to block that saber-wielding man, A'Liang?"

The young swordsman carefully placed the wounded man on his back. After standing up, he smiled and said, "Saber-wielding man? No, he's a swordsman. In my mind, he's the most carefree swordsman in the world. In fact, it was because I revered this person that I chose to pursue swordsmanship in my youth."

Wei Bo was rendered speechless.

In fact, a rare smile of reminiscence suddenly appeared on the face of the young-looking sword grandmaster as he prepared to leave with his subordinate. He involuntarily felt the urge to chat with someone. Standing there and gazing at the brightly lit Red Candle Town, he said in a soft voice, "Mhm, compared to the other continents that I've lived in before, Eastern Treasured Vial Continent can indeed be regarded as a small place that's cut off from the rest of the world. Some interesting taboo topics can be discussed without any consequences.

"Anyway, why don't I tell you a story? You should know about the three schools of the Confucian Sect, right? Because this person was angry at their treatment of Qi Jingchun's master, he once wielded his sword and forcefully charged into two of them, causing absolute chaos and commotion. We have to remember that A'Liang always lives by his famous words, 'none of you are capable, and I, A'Liang, only fight against leaders and elders, not weaklings and youths', when he traveled through the continents.

"However, A'Liang surprisingly didn't hold back those two times, immediately shattering the bridge of immortality of anyone who dared to reason with him or block his path. Do you know? He didn't show any mercy at all. How many lofty and arrogant individuals of virtue were reduced to nothing more than truly powerless mortals because of this? However, these two tragedies are viewed as reverse scales by the Confucians who most strictly abide by etiquette. Thus, no one dares to carelessly mention these matters."

Wei Bo gulped nervously as he listened to this. "Senior A'Liang is this domineering? Is he a genuine sage?" he asked in a trembling voice.

An expression of shared pride spread across the swordsman's face, and he chuckled, "Because of his actions, he eventually drew the attention of one of the three sages who are honored in the middle three positions in the Confucian temple. The sage secretly descended from the sky and stood before A'Liang, and it was only after this battle that A'Liang decided to relent. No one knows who won, and we simply know that the mighty sage isolated an area of the land.

"It's rumored that they fought on a Go board, and some people also claim that they fought on a book. In any case, no one knows the details of their battle. It's simply known that A'Liang left the Confucian school after that, crossing two continents and passing Stalactite Mountain before arriving at the Sword Qi Great Wall of another world. Stalactite Mountain is a hovering island that the Daoist sages personally constructed in this world, and it can also be regarded as a forbidden land for the disciples of Confucianism. Thus, many pieces of information that are destined to stun the world have also been comprehensively cut off."

Wei Bo was in a trance, and it was as if he were listening to a heavenly book[1].

There was a famous saying in the world of martial artists those who don't cultivate don't understand the world of cultivators and immortals.

However, there was also a famous saying in the world of cultivators cultivators we may be, matters beyond the heavens we can't see.

Even though the swordsman wanted to continue chatting, with a tummy full of legends still to tell, he eventually decided to wrap things up, saying, "It's not suitable for me to interfere in your matters. However, I'll ask the Palace of Eternal Spring to spare no resources to train that young girl. Of course, that's only if you're not offended by this suggestion."

Wei Bo smiled and replied, "I'm not a fool who doesn't know what's good for me. Thank you."

The swordsman breathed a sigh of relief. He looked at the deity who was described as extremely troublesome in the secret documents of the Ministry of Rites, and he said with a faint smile, "Then I'll go to the small town and notify her. I'll tell her to pass Go Table Mountain by foot when they return to the capital, and only travel through the air after that."

There was a complicated expression on Wei Bo's face, and he sighed before lowering his head and saying, "There's nothing I can repay you with, so I can only say thank you again."

The swordsman from another continent asked in a quiet voice, "I never believed the information recorded in the documents in the Ministry of Rites before, but after meeting you, I have no option but to believe them. Wei Bo, you've already delayed forming your godly body for so many years for her sake. Are you still unwilling to let this go?"

Wei Bo shook his head and replied, "Since I chose this path, there's no reason for me to abandon it now."

The swordsman also shook his head, saying, "I can't understand you."

Wei Bo suddenly remembered something, and he asked with a difficult expression, "I made a... promise with Senior A'Liang, so I plan to take a trip to Dragon Spring County's Downtrodden Mountain in the near future. I'm going to take the black python on this mountain with me as well. Even though I'll abide by the regulations of the Ministry of Rites and inform the officials of my plans, I'll still take a quick trip to Downtrodden Mountain even if they reject my request. I hope you can inform Dragon Spring County's county magistrate for me. Is that possible?"

"That's not an issue; don't mention it," the swordsman said with a relaxed smile. "In any case, this is an act of you actively trying to repair your relationship with the Great Li Empire. It's a good thing, so you can be at ease. Even though the Song Clan emperors of the Great Li Empire have all been ambitious individuals who appear domineering and overbearing, they're actually fairly easy to talk to if you truly build a relationship with them. Otherwise, Uncle Luan and I wouldn't have stayed in the Great Li Empire for so many years."

"Senior A'Liang soared toward the north with such vigor and ferocity... Is he looking for trouble with the Great Li Empire?" Wei Bo suddenly asked.

The swordsman nodded and replied with a bitter smile, "Huge trouble."

Wei Bo was stunned. "According to your descriptions, Senior A'Liang was already able to rival one of the top three Confucian sages before heading to Stalactite Mountain. That being the case, will the Great Li Empire disappear from the face of Eastern Treasured Vial Continent's map now that he's going to look for trouble with them?"

The swordsman pondered this for a moment before replying honestly, "If it were me, then perhaps the Great Li Empire would truly disappear from the face of the world before it could become the ruler of the continent."

There was a strange expression on Wei Bo's face, and it was as if he were saying, 'So, this is the true reason why you didn't step forward to stop him? After this battle, the state of the Great Li Empire will revert back to what it was dozens or even 100 years ago. Thus, you're going to pick a better place to cultivate and demonstrate your talent?'

The swordsman was a genuinely open-minded person, so he paid no heed to the mountain lord projecting his own shortcomings onto him. He shook his head and explained, "It's not like what you think. You have to understand that I'm not A'Liang, and I'll never become a swordsman like A'Liang in my life. A'Liang's principles are always different from other people. It's very strange. The immortal sects that appear powerful and lofty in the eyes of ordinary cultivators all become terrified after they collide with A'Liang and learn of his true identity. They think that they'll face his calamitous wrath.

"However, A'Liang almost never causes a big commotion with them. Instead, he simply teaches a lesson before letting them go. Of course, it's rumored that he likes to tease young and beautiful celestial maidens. However, I've never had the opportunity to ask Senior about this, and it's a shame that I'll most likely not have the chance to ask him about it in the future either."

The swordsman strained his eyes to peer into the distance. Following a series of loud explosions and brilliant sparks, the part of him that aided the emperor of the Great Li Empire sighed, while the part of him that was a swordsman like A'Liang was filled with yearning.

There was something that he had never told anyone.

That was, A'Liang had sought him out in Red Candle Town and asked him some questions.

What kind of empire was the Great Li Empire? What kind of emperor was the emperor of the Great Li Empire?

And what had Qi Jingchun done in his many years at Mountain Cliff Academy and Jewel Small World?

He wanted to know everything, regardless of how big or small the matter was.

The two of them had sat in a most ordinary tavern in Red Candle Town, drinking wine as they chatted.

In the end, the extremely excited swordsman had been so focused on answering A'Liang's questions that it was only after A'Liang's departure that he finally remembered that he hadn't asked him anything. He hadn't asked any of the questions that had been pent up in his mind for countless years. For example, just how mighty was A'Liang's swordsmanship? Had he carved any words on the great wall that blocked the demon tribe from the other world from attacking them? And were there any beautiful demonesses on the other side who caused his heart to flutter?

In the end, the swordsman could only console himself by thinking, just how many people in the world had enjoyed wine and chatted with A'Liang before?

The renowned swordsman felt quite happy when he thought of this.

He turned around and was just about to leave, but Wei Bo suddenly chortled heartily and said, "Then I, Wei Bo, managed to survive even after facing an attack from Senior A'Liang's bamboo saber! Can this be regarded as an amazing feat? I don't care whether Senior A'Liang was holding back or not. No, we definitely have to find some time to share a drink as soon as we get the chance. That way, I can tell you all the details of the situation. That was truly a soul-stirring battle, with more than several hundred attacks exchanged between us..."

The swordsman humphed coldly and immediately soared into the sky with a loud rumble.

Wei Bo raised a hand and swatted aside the billowing dust in the air. The smile disappeared from his face, and there was a gentle look in his eyes as gazed at Red Candle Town which appeared like a flickering candle in the night. He fell into a speechless trance.

Once the formal god of the Northern Mountain of Divine Water Nation, he gazed at the small town in the distance just like that. Perhaps his gaze lingered there for a day, or perhaps it lingered there for a hundred years or a thousand years.

He looked at her being born next to the inlet of Rushing Tranquil River again and again, maturing into a beautiful woman and eventually succumbing to old age time and time again.

However, he was ultimately unwilling to admit that she... was already not the same person that she once was.

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In the capital of the Great Li Empire, the White Jade Capital that had lost the concealment formation around it still remained upright and standing. It could be said that it had survived a close brush with death.

However, the formation spell in the capital that had been temporarily opened up immediately returned to normal the instant that the burst of brilliant light pierced through the barrier of the world. Meanwhile, Luan Juzi and Mr. Lu concealed the White Jade Capital at almost the exact same instant. The enemy spies hiding in the capital were only given a fleeting glimpse of this shocking and astonishing sight.

Luan Juzi plonked down on the stairs of the altar, with an expression of resignation on his face.

As for Mr. Lu, he wanted to stomp his feet and scold someone, yet he didn't dare to do so. In any case, his disposition and composure as a cultivator were nowhere to be seen as he walked around in circles and grumbled in anger. "Calamity descending from the skies... Perhaps this is the impermanent nature of the Great Dao? But this doesn't make sense! The Great Li Empire enjoys unparalleled fortune in Eastern Treasured Vial Continent! My Lu Clan's knowledge and philosophy makes up half of the teachings in the School of Naturalists, so even though I don't dare to say that I've mastered everything, how could I have failed to divine such a critical event?!"

Luan Juzi sighed and replied in an exhausted voice, "Because of that A'Liang... He's from the Sword Qi Great Wall, a place that's least affected by the Heavenly Dao. He purposely used an external artifact to conceal his aura as well, so to say nothing of you, even the patriarch of your Lu Clan would have needed to use up all of his power if he wanted to have a chance to detect some clues. So, today's defeat wasn't because of our mistakes in battle. You and I don't need to be too critical of ourselves."

Song Changjing was kneeling on one knee as he looked down at the Daoist talisman warrior that had been cleaved into two. A rare expression of grief appeared on the face of the stone-hearted man. He stabbed the slender saber, Auspicious Talisman, into the ground next to him before carefully scooping up a handful of "splashing water" and placing it into the large sleeve of his Flowing Water Robe.

The two talisman warriors outside the palatial complex had been gifted to the Song Clan by some powerful Daoist Sect when the Song Clan had first founded the Great Li Empire. After all this time, the minds of the talisman warriors were already no different from ordinary people.

The two talisman warriors that people in Eastern Treasured Vial Continent often referred to as the biggest "door gods" had guarded the capital for generation after generation. If someone in a generation of the Song Clan could win the favor of these door gods, the door gods would be willing to guard them for their entire life.

In Song Changjing's generation, it was his older brother Song Zhengchun who had won this opportunity. Back then, this had been viewed as an auspicious omen symbolizing the imminent rise of the Great Li Empire. This was because the two armored talisman warriors had already gone 200 years without picking anyone.

Song Jixin's face was as white as a sheet as he howled in fury, "Where are my swords? Where the hell are my swords?! Shouldn't there be six flying swords remaining?! Why can't I detect them at all?"

The emperor's expression was calm, but the immense pain in his eyes was clear for all to see. His voice was low as he lamented, "At least 20 years of the Great Li Empire's fortune has been destroyed in an instant. In a journey of 100 li, 90 li is only the halfway mark[2]... Our ancestors weren't wrong. All that's left of the White Jade Capital is an empty shell. Without the 12 flying swords, what use will it be in the short term? And all that was left for me was..."

The emperor who had ambitions to conquer the entire continent stopped himself from saying any more. He slowly looked up at the sky which had already returned to normal. "You may as well have beheaded me with a single slash."

He took a deep breath before turning around and ordering, "Changjing, go to the top of the city wall and personally stand guard. See if there are any cowards trying to use this opportunity to stir trouble. If there are, then execute them without mercy. From this moment on, I give you the right to act on my behalf."

"What if they're from the imperial Song Clan?" Song Changjing asked.

A pained smile appeared on the emperor's face, and he replied, "In the past, we raised even trash and good-for-nothings. As the emperor of the Great Li Empire, I naturally had the wealth and magnanimity to do so. However, the situation is different now. If they want to seek death, then we'll grant them death."

"What about her?" Song Changjing asked.

The emperor's voice was calm as he replied, "I'll deal with her personally."

Song Changjing nodded before striding away, with killing intent permeating from his body.

Cultivators were prohibited from flying in the capital of the Great Li Empire. Furthermore, they were only allowed to travel by foot inside the palatial complex.

Even though Song Changjing had been granted the power to break this rule, just as the imperial preceptor Cui Chan had, he was someone who had grown up here, after all. Thus, he was unwilling to break this rule, one of the few remaining rules that were enforced in the Great Li Empire.

The emperor walked over to the steps of the altar and sat down next to Luan Juzi, someone who didn't live up to his name as the leading figure of Mohism. Mr. Lu, the old man with the tall crown, also sat down in despondence.

Both the old men looked like they wanted to speak, but were conflicted about whether they should do so or not.

The emperor smiled and said, "I already know. Extending my lifespan is nothing but a pipe dream now. After all, this was the doing of A'Liang. Trying to extend my lifespan will be impossible unless a 12th Tier Qi refiner from the School of Agrarianism is willing to treat me. At that time, I won't need to count my fingers to see how many days I have left to live..."

The two old men nodded as if in tacit understanding.

"There are only 10 years left on my lifespan, 15 years at most," the emperor said in self-ridicule. "The fate and fortune of empires in this world have always ebbed and flowed. In this sense, perhaps I'll only last until the day I defeat the rising Great Sui Nation with much difficulty. And after that? It seems like that will have nothing to do with me anymore.

"The Great Li Empire marching south, the iron hooves of our warhorses thudding against the land to the south of Lake View Academy, and the dragon rising flag of the Great Li Empire fluttering above the southern coastline of Dragon Rising City... I won't be able to witness any of this..."

The emperor shut his eyes and thumped his knees with his fists. He smiled with gritted teeth and continued, "The biggest problem is, the person who decided my fate might have ascended to some other place, or he might still be observing our mortal world. Perhaps he might even return and appear before us one day. He's not dead... He's not dead!"

Thus, the Great Li Empire didn't even dare to dream of seeking revenge.

This was what the emperor of the Great Li Empire found most suffocating.

It was also because of this that he had said that A'Liang may as well have beheaded him with a single slash. At least that would have ended everything and saved him from this suffocating anger.

Atop the city wall of the capital, a skinny old man in green remained standing with his head raised and gazing at the sky where that man had disappeared.

At some unknown time, a short but voluptuous woman wearing a palace dress had already appeared next to him, directly asking, "Imperial Preceptor Cui, what should I do in the face of this unexpected calamity?"

The old man was unwilling to retract his gaze, and he casually replied, "Await death."

The woman's heart jolted in terror, and she exclaimed sternly, "Imperial Preceptor! What nonsense are you uttering?!"

Cui Chan who was different from the young Cui Chan in the small town pursed his lips and replied, "If you're lucky, then you can wait to be left half dead."

The woman did away with her pretense of geniality, and she pointed at the imperial preceptor with meritorious service and shouted in anger, "And will you, Cui Chan, be any better off than me?!"

The old man finally turned around to face the noble empress of the Great Li Empire, chuckling, "Sorry, I'm already more dead than alive."

Apart from very few people, no one knew that a man was sitting cross-legged above the sky and gazing down at the mortal world.

To this man, there existed only a thread's distance between the two worlds.

Peering down, he could see countless specks of light concentrated together, and it was as if he were looking at a dazzling and slowly flowing galaxy. Amid this galaxy, there were stars that suddenly exploded before vanishing in a flash, there were stars that shone with increasing brilliance, there were stars that slowly dimmed to darkness, there were stars that were dreary with lifelessness, and there were also stars that were brimming with vitality. There were also some large and eye-catching bodies that chose to remain still, unmoving like an old tortoise.

The man stood up and genuinely prepared to leave. "Old geezer, sure enough, you were right," he chuckled. "This is the mortal world... It's enthralling!"

This final comment that he left for this world in his mind was extremely interesting.

Young boy, you need to work hard to practice the sword. In the future, you need to become just as fierce as me. In terms of becoming even more fierce than me...? Haha! Forget about it! That's far too difficult!

1. Listening to a heavenly book means listening to something incomprehensible due to its complexity or profound nature.

2. This means the closer one is to success, the more one has to be careful, lest all previous efforts are undone. Li is a Chinese unit of measurement equal to 500 meters

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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