Book 6 Chapter 7 Huyue County, Xiao Yao Palace
In the Qingzhou region. After the heavy snow, the heaven and earth looked liked they were dressed in silver.
On a desolate land beside the official road, Teng Qingshan and the caravan were resting. Since there weren’t any inns nearby, they could only drink water and eat the flatbread and buns.
“Heh!” “Hah!” The boy was holding a wooden stick and slashing forward repeatedly.
Teng Qingshan, Old Zhang and a few others were standing on the side were leaning on their carts as they ate buns while watching the child practice.
“Little He is quite serious.” Old Zhang sighed and remarked emotionally.
Teng Qingshan laughed and shouted, “Little He, stop practicing. Rest for a while first. Come here! Eat some buns. I also have some salty vegetables.”
“Teacher instructed me to do this practice a thousand times. If I don’t practice now, I won’t have time to sleep at night.” The child sniffed with his cold-red nose and refused to listen to the words of Teng Qingshan and the others. The child’s mother was at his side, but she remained silent as she watched. After a while, the child was unable to swing the wooden stick any longer and finally stopped.
“Come, son. Sit down.” His mother hastily massaged her son’s wrists.
At this moment, the wild man, who had changed his attire, walked over from afar.
“Teacher.” The child immediately stood up.
“Hmm, eat this chicken drumstick. I just roasted it, so it’s still hot.” The wild man handed a big chicken drumstick to the child.
“Thank you, Teacher.” The child was exhilarated. He gave his thanks and after receiving the drumstick, he immediately took two bites out of it.
“Mother, eat some.” The child ate a little less than half of the drumstick and handed the other half of the drumstick to his mother.
Teng Qingshan smiled as he watched this scene. The wild man, woman and the child had joined this caravan around ten days ago. During these ten days, Teng Qingshan also learned the relationship between them. The child was called Tan He. As for the woman, Teng Qingshan and the others called her Madame Tan.
As for the wild man, his name was Ma Jinxiao.
The boy named Tan He and his mother escaped from somewhere. Fortunately, they met the expert Ma Jinxiao, who protected their lives.
“Brother Ma, come get a few drinks to warm up your body!” Old Zhang shouted.
With a smile, Ma Jinxiao walked over and caught the wine sack that Old Zhang threw. He took two sips and said, “Yes, the wine is good. It’s very refreshing.”
“Brother Ma, I still don’t understand…..A few days ago when the boy, Little He, wanted you to be his teacher but you refused many times. The boy had to kneel for a night during this cold winter and it even snowed heavily all night. Even my heart ached when I saw him. You only agreed after that. You shouldn’t torture a child.” Old Zhang sighed emotionally as he spoke.
The big bearded young man, Hei Zi spoke, “Old Zhang, now you don’t understand! Of course an expert has to give a test before he takes in any disciples!”
Ma Jinxiao shook his head: “No, I actually wasn’t planning on taking in a disciple.”
“Oh?” Teng Qingshan glanced at Ma Jinxiao.
“However, I thought it through in the end. Plus, I quite like this boy, Little He.” Ma Jinxiao glanced at the boy, who was with his mother, and said, “Little He respects and loves his mother….Actually, for a boy who has experienced the death of his family, he still protected his mother when they encountered a gang of bandits. After I saved him, he actually wanted to be my disciple no matter what…..Just this willpower alone was enough for him to be my disciple.”
Ma Jinxiao stared at Tan He with misty eyes. He seemed to be thinking about other things.
“This is someone with a story.” After ten days of being in touch with thi Ma Jinxiao, Teng Qingshan knew Ma Jinxiao better.
At least, in Teng Qingshan’s eyes, Ma Jinxiao was definitely capable of entering top ten in the «Earthly Ranking»
Teng Qingshan knew……
Those who were ranked in top ten of the«Earthly Ranking», all of them had a strong willpower and were extremely talented.The only reason why they couldn’t step into the Innate Realm was because they had no knowledge about how to strengthen the ‘Spirit.’ Practicing the sword every day was not beneficial to the ‘Spirit.’ Instead, doing that consumed the ‘Spirit’ in the human body.
It was not really easy for the ‘Spirit’ to be powerful enough to cross the threshold of the Innate Realm.
In Qingzhou, the caravan headed north and occasionally turned towards northwest.
After a few more days passed.
The sky was blue and clear as a porcelain and looked like a single entity.
Following the long official road, a caravan was advancing.
The Scarlet Flame Horse was galloping effortlessly.
With a smile on his face, Teng Qingshan was sitting on the horse, looking leisurely. However, nobody knew…..that Teng Qingshan was actually training on horseback. Since Teng Qingshan immersed himself in a harmonious and coherent realm, he was feeling a great sense of joy. Thus, a smile naturally appeared on his face.
“Uncle Qin! Uncle Qin!” Suddenly, a young-sounding voice rang from the side.
Teng Qingshan turned and saw that it was Tan He, who was sitting on the cart.
“Little He, what is it?” Teng Qingshan smiled.
“Uncle, why is it that you never talked during this trip? Soon, we will reach the Huyue County City. Everyone is very happy,” Tan He said.
“Travelling is very tiring. So I, your Uncle Qin, was resting.” Teng Qingshan smiled and stared northward. He could already see the blurry southern city walls in the distance. There was a city wall that had a total width of ten Li and its end couldn’t be seen in one glance.
It looked like a terrifying monster entrenched there.
“Oh.” Tan He nodded.
“Brother Qin.” At the side, the big bearded young man, Hei Zi, shouted, “Huyue County City is in front of us. This will be the last stop of our caravan. When we reach this county city, everyone will go their own ways! Brother Qin…..We have traveled together for a month. I am afraid It will be hard to meet Brother Qin in the future.”
“Yeah. Qin Wei is going back to his hometown, Yanzhou, while we lived in Qingzhou…..Qin Wei, you must drink with us this afternoon!” Old Zhang shouted.
“Yes. We won’t return without getting drunk today!” During this whole month, Teng Qingshan had developed a deep relationship with these merchants.
It would really be very difficult to meet them in the future.
Originally, there were five merchants in Teng Qingshan’s group. Two merchants had left when they were in the other cities in the region of Qingzhou. Old Zhang and Hei Zi lived in the Huyue County City now. So when they arrive the last stop, at least half of the entire caravan would leave.
Soon, Teng Qingshan and the others arrived at the South Gate of Huyue City.
Teng Qingshan actually noticed from afar that a large number of soldiers were standing on top of the city walls of Huyue County City. The number was so great that the end couldn’t be seen with one glance. There were even over a hundred guards assembled at the entrance of the city gate, scrutinizing every single person who wanted to enter the city entering the city.
“Why is the inspection so strict?” Teng Qingshan felt puzzled and thought, “Could it be that they are trying to find me?” Even in the region of Yangzhou, which was Qing Hu Island’s territory, Teng Qingshan had not been found. Why was the inspection at the city gates so strict? One should know that innate experts could easily leap over the city walls and escape.
Hence, the inspection at the city gate was useless.
“Why are there so many soldiers at the city gate?” Hei Zi mumbled.
“Nothing like this happened in the other cities. Something must have happened.” Old Zhang frowned.
Teng Qingshan and the others lined up and advanced towards the city gate.
“Eh? Old Man He.”
“Brother Yan, we are all free and leisure merchants that went out to do business together. Everyone came all the way from Yangzhou and we traveled back and forth for two to three months. All of us are extremely tired, so there shouldn’t be any need to inspect,” The organizer of the caravan said casually. The general of the soldiers waved towards the soldiers and said, “Brothers, faster.”
Immediately, the speed of the people entering the city increased.
When it was Teng Qingshan and the other merchants’ turn, the soldiers only cast a few glances at them and let Teng Qingshan and the others in.
“Everyone, our He Trading Company has traveled over a thousand Li during this journey to Yangzhou and came back safely. This is a good thing. Haha…..I believe many of us will be celebrating today. Let us all scatter here,” the organizer said loudly.
Immediately, laughter was heard and many people separated here.
“Brother Ma.” Old Zhang shouted enthusiastically, “You probably need to find a place to rest since a child and his mother are following you. Don’t worry, I am very familiar with this county city. It’s not in a hurry to search for it now. Let’s go. We should eat lunch first. After lunch, I will arrange a place for you all to rest.”
“Then I shall not be courteous, Old Zhang.” Ma Jinxiao laughed.
Old Zhang looked at Teng Qingshan: “Qin Wei, let’s go. You are heading back to your hometown, Yanzhou, but you are not going to leave today are you? Let’s go have some lunch…..and rest for a while. We can talk about other stuff tomorrow.”
“Alright.” Teng Qingshan laughed along.
Under the guidance of Old Zhang and Hei Zi, the few people were brought to a decent restaurant. Old Zhang paid the bill and chose an elegant room on the second floor.
Along with the child, Tan He, the six people sat around the table.
Old Zhang ordered some food with a hint of familiarity. He praised the food he ordered, saying that it was the most famous dish of Hueyue County City, “ Hmph, well then….These wines, a jug at a time is too slow, let’s just order a whole jar! Let us enjoy our drinks today.”
“Good~~, Old Master Zhang, wait a while. Food will be served shortly.” The waiter was obviously close to Old Zhang.
Soon, the food was served.
Everyone ate comfortably and drank merrily!
To be able to make it back from such a long journey, of course everyone would be happy. Hei Zi was talking joyously about his wife and son. Old Zhang was also talking proudly about his children.
Using the window on the side, Teng Qingshan stared at the incessant stream of horses and carriages.
“It’s already December. The Yearly Sacrifice is only a few days away. I wonder how my parents are doing!” Because of this atmosphere, Teng Qingshan was thinking about his parents. Shaking his head in silence, “If I stay by my parents’ side now, I will surely bring disastrous consequences, without any benefits! I shall cultivate quietly, with my speed, I can definitely reach Innate Golden Dan within ten years.”
Teng Qingshan was very confident.
After he fully comprehended the secrets of strengthening the Spirit, as well as practicing during the day and training the Three Postures at night. Teng Qingshan’s Spirit was improving at an alarming rate.
Half a month after he comprehended the secrets fully, Teng Qingshan could feel his Spirit become stronger than before.
“I will be able to reach True Dan of the Innate Realm within two years and the Golden Dan of the Innate Realm within ten years! With my resilient body and my inner strength. I will be undefeated among those that have not reached the Emptiness Realm!” Teng Qingshan was confident. If someone else knew this, they would be scared. Even the Sovereign, Zhuge Yuanhong, only reached the Innate Realm by the age of 30!
But Teng Qingshan claimed that he would reach Golden Dan of the Innate Realm before thirty!
“Qin Wei, what are you thinking? Come, have a drink with me, your brother.” Lao Zhang put his hand over Teng Qingshan’s shoulders and said.
Just as he finished speaking——
“Boom~~”A huge explosion sound came from afar.
Teng Qingshan clearly felt it as the whole restaurant shook gently.
“This explosion, it should be very far, around tens of miles away! To be able to reach here, such power…….” Teng Qingshan couldn’t help but stand up.
The people near the table all ran to the window and looked into the distance.