Book 2 Chapter 43: The Main Tower of Jiangning
Nighttime had fallen on the silent rear garden of Wan Xiang Tower.
Inside a room.
“I reckon that a normal thief wouldn’t have the guts to reveal his hand during the evening and steal the Ten Millennia Coldsteel.” Teng Qingshan washed his face before proceeding to collapse onto the bed with a “Si” sound. He tore off a piece of cloth, “Just in case he is blinded by greed, I should prepare for when such a narrow minded person comes.”
He rested his feet on the ground and began to circulate his inner strength.
Teng Qingshan climbed onto a beam at the top of the room and used the cloth to wipe the dust off the beam. He proceeded to throw the cloth on the ground as he lay on the beam, closed his eyes and began to rest.
Perhaps it was due to the intimidation Teng Qingshan had displayed in the evening, but during this night, there wasn’t a single person who disturbed Teng Qingshan. Teng Qingshan’s eyes were closed until the morning, when the first rays of light illuminated the room. When a shout resounded from outside the room, Teng Qingshan finally opened his eyes and jumped onto the ground.
“I slept comfortably.” Teng Qingshan picked up the piece of dirty cloth and kicked it onto the bed. He then wet a towel and wiped his face. He proceeded to pick up the saber and put it on his back as he walked out of the room.
In the spacious courtyard, the young boys and girls were in the midst of bitterly training their sword arts.
When the young males and females saw Teng Qingshan, they couldn’t help but be reserved. When facing an ordinary person, because they were inner strength experts, their attitude would naturally be arrogant. However, in front of Teng Qingshan… they were unable to take even one step. In addition, he was able to possess Ten Millennia Coldsteel without worrying about trouble; this sort of aura made these boys and girls envious.
“Brother Qin Lang, did you rest well last night?” The master of the local Wan Xiang Tower, Hua Yan, walked over and laughed while calling out a greeting.
“Not bad.” Teng Qingshan faintly laughed, “The delivery I am waiting for will come at noon. For now, I will go for a stroll until I return in the afternoon.”
“Very well.” Huo Yan nodded his head.
Soon after, Teng Qingshan walked out of Wan Xiang Sect’s rear garden.
“Master.” A young girl wearing a green robe walked over and inquisitively asked, “What kind of background does this Qin Lang have? Yesterday, he used only a finger to repel Senior Brother and Martial Sister Lu’s sword! The last time this happened was ten years ago when Elder Master came to us and repelled a sharp sword with his fingertips.”
The other martial brothers and sisters also came closer. In their eyes, Teng Qingshan was an intriguing mystery.
Hua Yan solemnly said: “This Qin Lang is an adventurer under the heavens, tempering his own blade techniques in the midst of life and death, and a true martial artist. The sword arts all of you are learning are from predecessors. You don’t actually understand the true formidability of each strike! Qin Lang is training his blade under life and death situations, making him a genuinely terrifying martial artist. Moreover, his inner strength is extremely powerful! He merely used one finger to repel your sharp swords, so I can estimate that he has already reached the peak of the Postliminary Realm.
The martial brothers and sisters looked at each other.
“Looking at Qin Lang, he seems to be very young. How is his inner strength so powerful? I reckon that his sect his quite formidable. The techniques that he trains at the very least are Human Class secret techniques and could even be Earth Class secret techniques!” The senior martial brother softly exclaimed, “If we were able to acquire such techniques, that would be extremely beneficial to us.”
The surrounding group of youngsters nodded their heads.
They were only Wan Xiang Sect’s fringe disciples and learned introductory inner strength techniques. Thus, the speed of their cultivation of inner strength was comparatively slower.
“Hmph, inner strength is the foundation! Inner strength techniques may be noteworthy, but foresight and methods of killing others can only be gained through practice.” Huo Yan harrumphed and glanced at the group of youngsters, “What is learned from a piece of paper will ultimately be limited. Even if Qin Lang had the same inner strength as you, he would be able to massacre you lot by himself. This stems from experience and foresight; in other words, this difference between Qin Lang and you lot is like the difference between heaven and earth!”
(TLN: This was such a hard paragraph >.< the end of it was a parody of ?? Lu You’s a quatrain about learning)
Huo Yan, as a crafty fellow who loved to adventure, was extremely clear.
True experts, all of them had experienced self-disciplining trials and thus had their own comprehensions. Identical sword techniques, when performed by different peoples, would exhibit extremely different levels of power.
“Hmph, when you guys truly go and escort merchants, explore the world and learn through experience. Only then will you understand.” Hua Yan apathetically said, “Hurry up and eat breakfast. In a little while, we will open our doors and welcome guests.”
Da! Da! Da!
A concentrated sound of horse hooves resonated. Three fine horses with cyan coat and snow white hooves darted over. Riding the three horses were two middle aged men and an old man. These three people were all shouldering a sharp blade. Anybody who knew even a little bit would be able to distinguish the three fine steeds in one glance as they were the king of Qing Prefecture’s native Cyan Bristled Horses “Treading In Snow”.
These Treading In Snow horses were over 8 Chi tall (2.4 meters), covered in a glossy cyan coat without even the slightest mottled color.
This group of horses rushed over in an exceptionally fast speed. Each Treading In Snow horse had a market price of 5000 taels of silver. If one didn’t have status or wealth, he or she couldn’t even think about riding such precious horses.
Soon, the three Treading In Snow Horses entered Yi City.
In the rear garden of Wan Xiang Sect.
“Martial Ancestor, Master, Martial Uncle!” Two disciples were already there to greet them and gave their salutation when they saw the three people on their respective horses. When these three people got off their horses, they directly led the animals into the rear garden. There were people in the courtyard who immediately welcomed them and brought the three Treading In Snow Horses into the stable.
“Quickly go and notify your master.” Among the group, a cyan-robed middle aged man, who was carrying a pouch, yelled at a nearby disciple.
“Yes, master.” The disciple hastily ran into Wan Xiang Tower.
With the three people inside the courtyard, the other young disciples were so scared that they didn’t even dare to speak.
The cyan robed middle aged man turned his head and said to the old man, “Master, where do you think the person who is selling the Ten Millennia Coldsteel, Qin Lang, is from? Our Wan Xiang Sect has a record of those heroes with strength. However, within the record of experts of the Main Tower of Jiangning, Qin Lang is not in there.”
“Wait for your junior martial brother to arrive, then you will know,” the white robed old man said.
“This disciple pays his respects to his master.” At this time, Huo Yan walked over and gave his salutation.
“Huo Yan, tell us information in precise detail regarding Qin Lang,” the white robed elder said.
“Yes, master. This Qin Lang’s strength is unfathomable. The strength that he revealed…” Huo Yan began recounting what Teng Qingshan had displayed while adding in his own conjectures. These three Wan Xiang Sect experts from the Main Tower of Jiangning listened attentively.
When noon arrived, Teng Qingshan had finished eating his lunch at a restaurant and walked towards Wan Xiang Tower with his saber in hand.
“If you with to enter our Wan Xiang Tower, please hand over your weapon.” A girl carrying a sword stood at the entrance while speaking to a pair of sweethearts. The sweethearts, who also knew the rules, immediately laid down their weapons and gave them to Wan Xiang Tower for temporary safekeeping. At this time, Teng Qingshan, while carrying his saber, walked over.
The girl standing at the entrance didn’t dare to obstruct him. Teng Qingshan strode inside and directly went up to the third floor.
“Hey! Why doesn’t he have to lay down his weapon?” The two sweethearts were shocked.
The girl at the entrance couldn’t be bothered to reply.
On the third floor of Wan Xiang Tower, inside Huo Yan’s room.
When Teng Qingshan entered, he saw four people: three middle aged men and a white robed old man.
“Haha, Brother Qin Lang, come, come. I will introduce you. This is my Second Martial Brother Feng Yan! This is my Eldest Martial Brother Liu He Zhou!” The tower’s master, Huo Yan, enthusiastically gave an introduction as the two middle-aged men laughed and cupped their hands. This Wan Xiang Sect was a sect specialized in doing business and thus would normally treat their customers with respect.
The white robed old man slightly cupped his hands and laughed. “This old geezer is Liu Tiannan! I’ve heard my disciple mention Younger Brother Qin Lang’s skills; he has nothing to say but words of admiration. However, I do not know who Younger Brother Qin Lang’s master is. Perhaps this old geezer may still recognize this person.”
“My master is Teng Ba Lei!” Teng Qingshan looked at the white robed old man, “I do not know if Elder Liu recognizes him”
“Teng Ba Lei? Three hundred years ago, an inner strength expert named Teng Ba Lei appeared in our Nine Prefectures. However, he has long passed away. Within the past one to two hundred years, this old geezer really has never heard of an expert called Teng Ba Lei that would be capable of teaching someone like you within our Nine Prefectures. Nonetheless, the land underneath the heavens is vast, and this old geezer’s knowledge is limited. I assume that Younger Brother’s master is secluded and is a hidden expert.”
Hearing this, Teng Qingshan was slightly startled.
In the entire Nine Prefectures, there really had existed someone called Teng Ba Lei. However, he was someone from 300 years ago.
“Haha, we should stop standing. Let us sit and talk.” The white robed elder led everyone to their seats before saying, “I already know that Younger Brother Qin Lang’s wishes to sell us Purple Radiant Coldsteel. The Star Pattern Steel that you need has already been brought from Jiangning County’s general assembly.”
As he spoke, he opened the adjacent pouch on the ground. Large pieces of silver metal were inside. The exterior of the metal seemed to be covered by extremely distinct specks similar to the stars in the sky. This was the Star Pattern Steel, worth its weight in gold.
“I’m delighted.” Teng Qingshan laughed.
“Would you mind if this old man asks where Younger Brother Qin Lang obtained his Purple Radiant Coldsteel?” the white robed old man proceeded to ask. Places that produced Purple Radiant Coldsteel usually didn’t produce just a single piece. Although areas where precious materials formed were normally extremely dangerous, Wan Xiang Sect had a myriad of experts. For a precious treasure like Ten Millennia Coldsteel, risking a large amount of experts was worth it.
Teng Qingshan’s gaze frosted over and his face turned slightly dark.
The atmosphere in the room instantly turned foreboding.
“Gentlemen, is your Wan Xiang Sect still willing to complete this business transaction?” Teng Qingshan subsequently asked.
“Of course we are willing to.” The white robed old man felt that with only the few of them, they didn’t have a large chance of overcoming Teng Qingshan.
“Very well. This is Ten Millennia Coldsteel.” Teng Qingshan took out the Ten Millennia Coldsteel.
The adjacent Hua Yan grabbed another bag and said, “That bag contains 110 Jin of Star Pattern Steel. This bag here contains 60 Jin of gold! You can weigh it yourself if you wish.”
Teng Qingshan carefully examined both the bag of Star Pattern Steel and the bag of gold just in case something else had been thrown in to deceive him.
“My Ten Millennia Coldsteel is 7 Jin, correct?” Teng Qingshan looked at the white robed old man.
“Yes.” The old man stood up.
“Very good. In that case, I will take my leave.” Teng Qingshan grabbed the two bags. In Teng Qingshan’s hands, 170 Jin seemed to be nothing to him as he directly went down the stairs.
The white robed old man’s eyebrows creased as he watched Teng Qingshan leave.
“Master…” The other three all looked at the white robed old man.
“Huo Yan, you stay here. The other two of you will follow me as we quietly track him and see where this Qin Lang is going.” The white robed elder, Liu Tiannan, instantly brought the two disciples with him as they speedily left Wan Xiang Tower.
Teng Qingshan was on Great Yan Mountain, looking at the distant Teng Jia Village, when he turned around and sneered. “Following me? I am afraid that they are currently at the south end of the Great Yan Mountain.” As soon as Teng Qingshan left Yi City, he had purposefully left the southern gate and followed along the Lan Xiang riverbank before entering the Great Yan Mountain.
That path was 100 li apart from the actual route to his home.
Teng Qingshan had deliberately made a loop in the Great Yan Mountain; with his superior experience traversing the great mountain, he had easily left the three inner strength experts behind a long time ago. Afterwards, Teng Qingshan ceaselessly passed over the mountain range from the southern side and travelled 100 kilometers of mountain roads to reach the northernmost part of Great Yan Mountain.
At this time, Teng Jia Village was already within his scope of view.
“110 Jin of Star Pattern Steel and 60 Jin of gold.” Teng Qingshan thought about the expression his grandfather, Teng Yunlong’s would make when he saw the gold and couldn’t help but laugh.
“Time to head home!” Teng Qingshan laughed and strode towards the distant Teng Jia Village.