unsheathed – Chapter 55: Feeling Proud in the Spring Breeze

Chapter 55: Feeling Proud in the Spring Breeze

Chapter 55: Feeling Proud in the Spring Breeze

Chen Ping'an imperceptibly dug the tips of his feet into the ground, and it was as if he were familiarizing himself with his legs that had become lighter.

He was observing Ma Kuxuan the entire time, and he noticed that Ma Kuxuan had picked up five stones, with four in his left hand and one in his right.

Ma Kuxuan appeared calm and composed as he looked at the young girl from the outside world whose sword and saber scabbards were both empty at this moment. He smiled and said, "Let me get this straight first. This is a battle between me and Chen Ping'an, and based on the stories that my grandma used to tell me when I was little, generals shouldn't call their underlings for help when they're dueling one-on-one. Whoever calls for reinforcements is a coward. If a general can slay their foe, then they'll greatly increase the morale of their side and they would have essentially won the battle..."

Ning Yao couldn't help but feel annoyed as she looked at Ma Kuxuan. She had never seen such a punchable person before. Even though Clay Vase Alley's Song Jixin was also scheming and liked to show off his knowledge, he at least looked like a young scholar. Meanwhile, the young boy in front of them was skinny and short, and his skin was also tanned and no lighter than Chen Ping'an's. His eyes were also especially large, and this made him look extremely strange and uncanny. Add to that his strange logic and reasoning, and he seemed much like an old woman who had poured half a pound of makeup onto their face and was purposely trying to act bashful and seductive. This was truly a terrifying sight.

Chen Ping'an didn't utter any threats to Ma Kuxuan, and he simply bent down slightly before suddenly exploding forward, with his speed as quick as a galloping horse as he charged at the young boy from Apricot Blossom Alley.

So fast!

Ning Yao gazed at Chen Ping'an's sprinting figure. In just the blink of an eye, he had already shot out more than six meters. She had seen and experienced many things before, but Ning Yao still couldn't help but exclaim in emotion. This naturally wasn't to say that Chen Ping'an was peerless among those at his age simply because he could sprint faster than foxes and rabbits. Instead, she admired him because he was able to work hard for a dozen or so years to temper his physique to such a level in this small world that was akin to a prison.

Ning Yao pondered over this. Was being able to endure hardships also a talent?

The distance between Chen Ping'an and Ma Kuxuan was quickly halved.

In fact, Chen Ping'an could already see the slight changes in Ma Kuxuan's expression. There was a brief moment of astonishment, followed by a brief moment of fear, which rapidly disappeared and was replaced by an expression of calm and composure. Ma Kuxuan then quickly raised an arm without any hesitation, with his thin limb unleashing an astonishing burst of explosive power.

Chen Ping'an had been staring at Ma Kuxuan's right hand the entire time, and he decided not to continue in a straight line anymore, instead leaning toward the right.

Ma Kuxuan's elbow surprisingly paused for a moment, and with a flick of his wrist, a stone shot toward the turning Chen Ping'an.

The stone possessed a ferocious might, and even though it wasn't as terrifying as the old ape's attacks, it was still something that Chen Ping'an needed to treat with caution. He should have been affected by the attack, but Chen Ping'an didn't grind to a halt. With a twist of his hips, his upper body leaned to the side, causing the stone to flash past his eyes. The strands of hair on his forehead were blown up by the gust of wind created by the stone.

Ma Kuxuan flicked his left hand where he held the remaining stones, tossing one of them into his right hand.

It seemed like he also knew that he couldn't dispose of Chen Ping'an with this second attack, so he decided not to remain in the same spot. He stood up and ran to his right, throwing the stone at Chen Ping'an at the same time.

Chen Ping'an suddenly leaned down, with his hands almost able to touch the ground. The stone shot over his back, ripping his thin shirt. Fortunately, this was only a graze. Even though the wound looked bloody and frightening, it actually wasn't very deep.

The distance between them halved again.

At this moment, Ma Kuxuan also realized that he should retreat and increase the distance between them. However, Chen Ping'an was far too quick, so much so that Ma Kuxuan's hurried retreat appeared slow and clumsy in comparison. As Chen Ping'an drew closer, his resolute and clear gaze also became increasingly piercing. In contrast, a hint of hesitation flashed across Ma Kuxuan's eyes. Should he abandon this opportunity to attack and retreat instead? Or should he gamble everything on this third attack and have it determine the outcome of the fight?

There was a clear juxtaposition between Ma Kuxuan's hesitation and Chen Ping'an's resoluteness.

At this moment, did Chen Ping'an still look like a foolishly kind young boy from Clay Vase Alley?

In this moment of life and death, Ma Kuxuan took a step back and swung his arm.

It was clear that he believed in his own abilities.

To say nothing of fighting with others, this reclusive young boy had never even argued with others before. Ever since he was little, he had never liked to hang out with others at his age, for example, Chen Ping'an and Gu Can. He appeared more like a wild cat who liked to run around by himself.

When he became bored, he liked to grab a handful of stones and throw them as he walked. Of course, he would throw them very lightly, and it would look like he was simply playing. Thus, no one took this seriously. However, when Ma Kuxuan was alone on the banks under the covered bridge, he would skip stones across the surface of the water using slightly flatter stones. He could often have them skip more than a dozen times and strike the bottom surface of the stone arch bridge on the opposite bank, causing them to shatter. This was a clear indication of the dexterity of his hands and the power of his arms.

Ma Kuxuan would often squat on top of the Azure Cow Ridge as well, using stones to strike the fish in the water. Regardless of whether these stones hit their target or not, they would almost never cause a splash.

As a result, there would often be the mangled corpses of several birds lying on the roof or in the courtyard of that residence in Apricot Blossom Alley.

There were only a dozen or so meters left between Chen Ping'an and Ma Kuxuan.

When dodging Ma Kuxuan's two attacks just then, Chen Ping'an's movements could be described as more on the side of agile and light. He hadn't revealed any powerful muscles or limbs, and he was instead like a flittering leaf.

However, when Chen Ping'an and Ma Kuxuan were about to collide, Chen Ping'an finally revealed his "powerful" side. He took three large strides that were both aggressive and powerful, with his feet appearing like hammers striking iron billets when they landed, and appearing like claws that could lift mountains when they rose.

After these three large strides, the two young boys were almost face to face.

Ma Kuxuan didn't have enough time to throw another stone. Logically speaking, he had already lost his best opportunity.

However, Chen Ping'an's heart suddenly jolted at this moment, though he still didn't choose to retreat. This was because his momentum was far too great, making it impossible for him to come to a sudden stop. Since this was the case, he was better off leaping forward and taking a gamble.

The corners of Ma Kuxuan's mouth curled up into a smile as he unclenched his left hand and discarded the remaining stones. His right hand was already clenched into a fist, so he immediately stepped forward and threw a punch.

He had been laying a trap for Chen Ping'an since the very beginning! His hesitation, his allowing Chen Ping'an to draw closer, and even his choice to attack Chen Ping'an with stones all of these were part of Ma Kuxuan's meticulous plan. He was purposely appearing weak to his enemy, and his aim was to draw the slimy boy who could escape from the old ape to his side. He was luring Chen Ping'an over on purpose!

A distance of one arm was a distance of one punch.

Chen Ping'an was left-handed, though this wasn't especially evident. Thus, his left fist forcefully collided together with Ma Kuxuan's right fist.

As their fists collided, both of them raised their legs and kicked each other at almost the exact same moment.

Chen Ping'an and Ma Kuxuan both flew back before heavily thumping to the ground.

The distance between them grew to 20 or so meters again. Ma Kuxuan picked himself up, kneeling on one knee as he sucked in deep breaths. He raised his arm and unclenched his right fist. This was because he hadn't thrown that final stone. Thus, even though his palm couldn't be described as bloody and mangled, the wound on it was still sanguine red and frightening.

Ma Kuxuan grimaced as he rubbed his stomach. There was fervor in his eyes, and he roared with laughter as he said, "Chen Ping'an! Dare to exchange another blow?!"

Chen Ping'an's left hand was in an even more miserable state. This was because a deep gash had been left on his palm by that shard of porcelain when he had killed Cai Jinjian in the small alley. Even though he applied the secret herbal ointment from the Yang Family's medicine shop every day, such severe wounds usually needed around 100 days to fully heal. Regardless of how tough Chen Ping'an's physique was, he wasn't a powerful god or immortal, after all. Thus, he had definitely suffered more during the exchange with Ma Kuxuan.

Wrapped in cotton strips, Chen Ping'an's left hand was already involuntarily shaking. Blood seeped through the cotton strips and dripped onto the wild grass beside his feet.

Chen Ping'an forced himself to take a deep breath, and this made him clearly feel the piercing pain traveling over from his abdomen. He needed to determine how much this pain would affect him in the coming exchanges.

He was doing this out of habit.

Chen Ping'an was born into an impoverished family, and it was exactly because he had far too few possessions that he was always so stingy about everything. In contrast, those born into rich families like Song Jixin and Lu Zhengchun would never care about how many copper coins they had in their pockets. They cared about the bigger picture, so they cared less about these trivial matters. However, Chen Ping'an naturally couldn't do this. Thus, the impression that Chen Ping'an gave others was that he was an extremely cautious person who was slightly indecisive but also very good at enduring things. Meanwhile, he didn't appear very lively and ambitious like the other youths.

As for Ma Kuxuan, who had mysteriously run over to fight with him, he could most likely be regarded as a strange and eccentric person who was also very unreasonable. Ning Yao could still be described as sharp and unyielding, at least, but Ma Kuxuan was someone who would leave others scratching their heads.

Chen Ping'an didn't turn around, and he waved a hand at Ning Yao with his back facing her, signifying that he was okay.

Ma Kuxuan slowly stood up, grabbing a handful of weeds as he did so. He then casually wiped away the blood on his palm.

Chen Ping'an also stood up.

Ma Kuxuan dashed forward first, with his explosive power so great that he left two pits where he had stood just then.

Ma Kuxuan, who looked like a skinny monkey, was unfathomably quick as he dashed forward and leaped into the air, with his knee slamming down at Chen Ping'an.

Chen Ping'an slammed his fist into Ma Kuxuan's flying knee. However, the lunging Ma Kuxuan also leaned forward and threw a lightning-quick jab, striking Chen Ping'an on the forehead. At the same time, his bent knees instantly straightened and smashed into Chen Ping'an's chest.

It was as if Chen Ping'an had suffered a hammer strike to his head and a sledgehammer to his chest, causing him to involuntarily fall backward.

Ma Kuxuan tumbled in the air before landing on his feet and continuing to dash forward with a wicked smile. He arrived before the half-squatting Chen Ping'an in no time, and he immediately launched another kick.

Chen Ping'an raised his arms to block, with his left arm on the outside and his right arm on the inside. He stubbornly protected his face and chest.

Chen Ping'an was sent flying by Ma Kuxuan's kick. However, his center of gravity had been extremely low, and he had also protected his weak points, so the outcome wasn't a bloody and miserable one.

He continued to tumble along the ground.

Ma Kuxuan didn't relent, and he continued to charge forward.

When Chen Ping'an finally stopped rolling, he landed in a half-kneeling position with his knees bent and his body leaning forward, preparing him for a forward thrust. It was hard to say whether this was on purpose.

Ma Kuxuan's expression faltered.

In the next moment, Chen Ping'an shot forward like an arrow released at full draw, instantly arriving before Ma Kuxuan. His speed was so quick that he seemed like a completely different person compared to just then.

Appearing weak to the enemy...

Chen Ping'an also knew how to do this.

Ma Kuxuan didn't even have the time to throw a punch as Chen Ping'an thrust his shoulder into his chest. Ma Kuxuan stumbled back, with another bout of agonizing pain traveling over from his stomach. He instinctively bent over, yet his left temple was immediately struck by Chen Ping'an's swinging forearm, the force of the strike so great that he was sent flying in a peculiar manner, with his feet trailing behind his body as he flew sideways.

However, Chen Ping'an suddenly grabbed Ma Kuxuan's feet before swinging him around in a full circle. With a furious roar, he then viciously threw the 90-pound young boy into the distance!

Ma Kuxuan flew toward the statue of a sitting god that was collapsed on one side. This statue was around five meters tall, and if things continued on the same trajectory, then Ma Kuxuan would definitely suffer a very gruesome fate.

However, Ma Kuxuan didn't rely on any external help as he created a "surprise" for himself.

His feet landed on the head on the statue one before another, and he instantly bent his knees to absorb the impact before immediately straightening them again, causing him to shoot forward thanks to the huge rebounding momentum. He dashed toward his opponent in the distance. This was extremely similar to what Chen Ping'an had done just then.

However, Ma Kuxuan's eyes suddenly widened in shock and terror.

What greeted him was the sight of Chen Ping'an standing there, with one arm raised and holding a short dagger that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. The tip of the blade was directly pointing at the fast-arriving Ma Kuxuan.

When people uttered the words "seeking death", this was probably the kind of situation they were talking about, no?

Even though Chen Ping'an's arm was shaking violently, the way he held his dagger would still ensure that Ma Kuxuan's body was cleanly run through. The only difference would be whether the blade entered through his arm, head, or chest.

Ma Kuxuan was facing a perilous situation, and he was gripped with a sense of extreme shock and fear. However, he didn't have any intention of giving up. He twisted his body with great difficulty, determined to protect his vitals from the fast-approaching blade.

Right at this moment, a tall figure appeared between Chen Ping'an and Ma Kuxuan.

This was a middle-aged man with a sword strapped to his back and a tiger talisman tied to his waist.

Chen Ping'an wasn't able to see what he did, but in a flash, Ma Kuxuan rotated in the air and landed on his feet, with his body fully upright as he stood beside the man.

The man turned around to look at Chen Ping'an who had taken a step back with the dagger still in his hand. There was unconcealed approval and appreciation in his eyes as he chuckled softly and said, "You both did quite well."

Blood seeped from the corners of Chen Ping'an's mouth, and he took another step back.

The man smiled when he saw this, and he said in suggestion, "Since I stepped in to save Ma Kuxuan, I'll repay you by doing you a favor. After I leave, I'll convince the Mountain-moving Ape from Sun Scorch Mountain to abandon his pursuit of you two. How does that sound?"

Ning Yao walked up beside Chen Ping'an.

The Militarian cultivator from True Martial Mountain took a deep look at Ning Yao. He then turned to Chen Ping'an and said, "You don't have the right to bargain with me. Nod if you agree, and continue to remain silent if you disagree. If you feel like this is unfair, or if you feel wronged, or if you feel like you can get lucky and escape from the old ape, then you can come and look for me at True Martial Mountain in the future. You can ask for what you think is fair."

Chen Ping'an put away the skirt dagger that Ning Yao had lent him, hiding it in his right sleeve. He then nodded at the man and said, "If I have the opportunity, I'll definitely go and look for you."

Ma Kuxuan was just about to speak, yet the man immediately cut him off with a cold expression, saying, "Dead people don't have the right to threaten living people."

Ma Kuxuan tightly pursed his lips. However, he really did lower his head and remain silent.

The master and disciple from True Martial Mountain slowly disappeared into the distance.

Chen Ping'an plonked down on the ground.

Ning Yao hurriedly bent down and asked in concern, "How are you feeling? Where are you hurt the most? Will the prescription from Daoist Lu still be useful?"

With his face battered and bruised and his body filled with internal injuries, Chen Ping'an wore a bitter expression as he replied, "It should be fine. At the very least, I can still tell what area hurts, which means that my wounds aren't too severe. Oh, that's right, if the old ape comes over at this moment..."

"Then we'll let him come over!"

Ning Yao also decided to sit down, a smile on her face as she said, "You were here to fight for us just then, so I'll also be here to fight for us at that time. What's there to be afraid of?"

Chen Ping'an silently swallowed the second half of the sentence that he hadn't spoken yet.

Ning Yao's smile suddenly became dazzling, and she raised two thumbs at Chen Ping'an and said, "That was very impressive!"

At this moment, the impoverished young boy who had never viewed himself as impressive before forcefully tried to contain his smile. He purposely tried to make himself appear more nonchalant and carefree.Findd new tories on nov/e(l)bin(.)com

In reality, however, nothing could wipe the happiness from his face.

The young boy felt extremely proud as he sat in the spring breeze.

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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