Chapter 25 – A Narrow Road1
In the following month, foreign cultivators came to Ye City one after the other . The number of city guards also discreetly increased . The cultivators were clothed in their own sect’s robes and the ubiquitous black-armored guards added a degree of solemness in this tumultuous yet inclusive city .
After returning that evening, the incident of Duan Chongxuan inviting Yin Biyue out to listen to the storyteller never happened again—whether or not it really was to listen .
Hence, Yin Biyue practiced his sword, the Frigid Water Sword, during day beside Lake Qiu; and at night, he meditated in his room, mentally performing the move and tempering his mind . The lakeside courtyard was very quiet . Not even the slightest clamor from Ye City could be heard .
However, in the middle of the city, between the hustle and bustle, were Bao Pu Zong who wore cyan robes with trigrams of talisman writings, Lian Jian sect who donned maroon-colored changshan, and Cang Ya who wore white robes embroidered with clouds . The ash gray monk robes were of the Jie Kong Temple, and the bright yellow kasaya were worn by Xing Shan Temple .
The disciples who were walking in front of them, leading the way, were dressed in white robes with ink splashing depictions of mountains and lakes . They were this year’s hosts; QingLu Sword Sect disciples .
He Yanyun followed behind Xi Ping Peak’s shishu2 and passed through the lively streets and alleyways towards Lake Qiu in the south . When she was a child, she would often slip out from the mountain, yet no place she ever saw was as different and interesting as Ye City . But QingLu Sword Sect disciples were still present, so naturally, she couldn’t reveal that she had never seen the world . It was too embarrassing .
Consequently, she gave Ruan Xiaolian a meaningful glance . Ruan Xiaolian returned back a glance .
— Let’s go stroll around the market tonight for some food .
— We’ll first eat the wontons on the left, then eat the rice cakes at the back .
The two calmly reached a consensus and kept walking without the slightest change of expression .
Luo Mingchuan and the others received news from a QingLu Sword Sect disciple and went out to greet their fellow sect’s cultivators by Lake Qiu . After greeting Xi Ping Peak’s elder, they saw a crowd of disciples already starting to excitedly distribute the courtyards . The former peaceful courtyards became more hectic .
From time to time, some disciples came forward to greet the three of them . After He Yanyun finished her greeting, she called out to Luo MingChuan, “Shixiong, I have a lot to ask you . ”
Yin Biyue immediately understood!
You go, girl! Your shixiong have not even met a semi-pretty female cultivator during this journey . Don’t worry!
Duan Chongxuan smiled at him . “The city’s quite lively today; why don’t fourth shixiong and I go take a look?”
Yin Biyue was uncertain if his words implied going to the blossom house, but presently, Lake Qiu was rather noisy, so practicing his sword was not possible . They might as well go stroll around town .
The moment the two passed through the noblemen’s courtyards at the south side of the city, they were met with a heated event . It was easy to spot any kind of commotion in Ye City, because the black-armored guards were exceedingly eye-catching .
Even more coincidentally, the people in the center of the ruckus were actually familiar . The cyan-colored robes flashed between the cracks of heavily crowded people .
Duan Chongxuan, without hesitation, circumvented the crowd and led Yin Biyue to the tea house on the opposite street . He picked a window position on the second floor, asked for rose pastries along with JunShan MaoJian tea3, and begun to serenely watch .
This place was honestly too good . Even the slight tremble from Bao Pu Zong disciples’ clenched fists could be seen perfectly .
Downstairs, the city guards surrounded the ten or so cyan-robed disciples, who by chance were the same ones Yin Biyue and the others met before at PanLong District . The expressions between the two groups were quite tense . A stretcher was placed in the middle of the black-armored squadron, and upon it was a person .
He Lai, as the representative, was negotiating with the city guards . His tone was cold and intimidating, “The person’s already fine, a medicinal pill was already given to him; what else do you want?”
He exposed the pressure of his Breakthrough Stage, which made him look more menacing . If this situation was near Bao Pu Zong’s mountain, no town or village from a hundred li4 radius would defy him .
But here at Ye City, the city guards were not afraid . Even the ordinary commoners, who were watching from afar, were not afraid of him .
With He Lai’s cultivation stage, he naturally could hear the discreet whispers, even if the gossiping voices were low and far . “What prestigious sect, they have no quality . ”
“Bao Pu Zong? Ha . When Cang Ya sect entered the city, they were polite and amiable . They didn’t stir up any commotion . ”
“Yeah, ol’ Li from the wonton stand said those two young ladies from Cang Ya even smiled at him!”
It was Cang Ya again . He Lai burned with anger . Unfortunately, at this time, the head of the squadron spoke up, “According to the city laws, damage to private property should be compensated twice as much, injuring others requires an apology, and one is also responsible for compensating following hospitalization . “
A Bao Pu Zong disciple spoke up before He Lai could, “How did we not compensate!? Do you guys even know how much a bottle of Jade Dew Pill is worth?”
The squadron captain was confused and replied seriously, “But you have yet to apologize . This has nothing to do with whether or not the medicinal pill was expensive . ”
Bao Pu Zong disciples’ faces were mixed with the shock of disbelief and indignation . In the past, they had never experienced this kind of matter . It was reasonable to apologize to strong cultivators . But to actually expect them to apologize to an ordinary person?!
They only bumped against a merchant who was carrying a shoulder-pole5 . The merchant was old, so the impact made him fly backwards; this couldn’t be their fault . If it wasn’t for politeness, there wouldn’t even be a need for that high-quality medicinal pill!
He Lai was the first to calm down, resuming his expressionless manner . Right now, he only wanted to leave this place as soon as possible, instead of being gawked at like they was some spectacle . He faced the stretcher in the middle of the squadron, gave a half bow, and said, “My bad . ”
He obviously did not care for the city guards who were lower in cultivation than him . But in Ye City, aside from the city lord being in the Greater Vessel Stage, there were also several Lesser Vessel Stage cultivators . Furthermore, the guards were part of the city lord’s people .
He Lai didn’t want to stir up any trouble the moment they arrive and before the Flower Picking Festival .
A Bao Pu Zong disciple furiously called out, “Can you let us pass now?”
The black-armored guards stepped aside neatly . The head of the squadron shouted loudly from behind, “Remember to read the city’s laws!”
The people on the side of the street started to laugh while covering their mouths .
He Lai suddenly had a feeling . He lifted his eyes and immediately saw the two people at the tea house . In a split second, his face turned ashen .
Duan Chongxuan did not give him any face 6 and smiled at him .
In the small courtyard on the edge of Lake Qiu, magnolia flowers lightly swayed in the wind .
Luo Mingchuan patiently explained his entire journey to He Yanyun: the Yang City’s embankment, encounters with mountain bandits in PanLong District, Southern Continent’s main road, the great waves at Fu Kong Sea, and the spatial ability of the Director’s teleportation cards .
Finally, He Yanyun couldn’t help but interrupt him, “Shixiong, these things are not what I wanted hear!”
Luo Mingchuan was not annoyed . He gently asked, “Then what do you want to hear?”
He Yanyun sighed and paused . In the end, she still vaguely asked, too embarrassed to say it straightforwardly, “I want to know… How are you and Yin shixiong?”
What do you mean how?
The Flower Picking Festival was nearing; shimei probably was asking about how their cultivation was going .
So he smiled . “It’s good, much better than before . ”
He Yunyun’s eyes lit up . “I knew it!”
She excitedly bolted out of the courtyard like the wind . “Shixiong, rest well . I’ll stop bothering you!”
She must immediately deliver this good news to Ruan Xiaolian! The handkerchiefs and the banner were not in vain, hahaha!
Luo Mingchuan stood in the wind, feeling extremely bewildered .
The novelty of coming to Ye City quickly wore off . On the second day, Cang Ya disciples began their cultivation as if they were still on the mountain .
Lake Qiu kept its usual peacefulness until the day before the Flower Picking Festival, the day people drew lots . The drawing was held beside the martial arena, at the base of ZhongMing Mountain . Everyone must go to ChenYing Wall to record their names and grab serial numbers .
There were a total of 321 people . The first 160 people drew lots to determine who their opponents were, and the last lucky participant got to directly move up to the second round .
Nobody cared if they had the chance to draw, because it all depended on luck as to what their opponent was like . The moment after the draw, ChenYing Wall would have the pairings on display, so there would be no chance of any lot exchanges . Furthermore, this year’s host, QingLu Sword Sect sent out two Lesser Vessel Stage elders to preserve order .
Yin Biyue and the others’ serial numbers coincidentally placed in the top 160, which meant they need to draw lots .
Along the way, it was an ocean of people, all of whom were disciples from different sects discussing the results . “Ah! I got LianJian Zong shimei! How can I hit a girl!” The person who spoke had a cheerful expression .
“I got Jie Kong Temple Hui Ren—he’s a buddhist cultivator; there’s nothing to worry about now . Even if I can’t beat him, I won’t get hurt . ”
There were also those who were utterly miserable, surrounded by their companions, embitterly shouting, “I’m not fighting, I’m not fighting . I’m going home! I got Zhong Shan on the first round . What kind of luck is this!”
The line to draw lots quickly dwindled and Duan Chongxuan reported his number up to draw .
The lot bucket was huge; engraved on it was a knowledge-concealing array to prevent prying eyes . There were also two Lesser Vessel Stage elders, who sat nearby for supervision .
He carelessly reached out to draw one and after opening it, the ink writing appeared . The ChenYing Wall lit up the lot’s corresponding name . The disciple beside the bulletin board immediately wrote out, “Cang Ya sect Duan Chongxuan versus Bao Pu Zong Li Lin, fourth round on the 15th, third martial arena . ”
Yin Biyue didn’t expect that out of the three of them, one would pull Bao Pu Zong in the first round .
Chatterbox’s luck was pretty… accurate .
Next, Luo Mingchuan finished drawing and spoke hesitantly, “one hundred and eighty five; I remember this was also Bao Pu Zong’s serial number . ”
Sure enough, Bao Pu Zong, Wang Zhen’s name lit up .
Yin Biyue silently cursed; one after the other, the probability was too small .
By the time he finished drawing, he was speechless .
“Cang Ya, Yin Biyue versus Bao Pu Zong, He Lai, first round on the 16th, first martial arena . ”
Duan Chongxuan was even more baffled . He sighed, “Ah, the road’s narrow1 . ”
1) 路窄 (the road’s narrow): shortened from 冤家路窄 (Yuān jiā lù zhǎi) which means two enemies who easily bump into each other — that it’s a small world .
2) 师叔 (shishu): The master’s shidi
3) 君山毛尖 (JunShan MaoJian): a kind of tea
4) 里 (li): an ancient measure of length; approx . 500m
5)扁担 (shoulder-pole): a way that people used to carry baggage . They would hang two baggages on the ends of a pole and then hoist the pole up by their shoulders .
6) 不给面子 (not giving face): a Chinese expression describing putting someone in an awkward situation . ‘Face’ in Chinese is synonymous with dignity and respect, so not giving face to someone is to not respect him .Please download our sponsor's game to support us!