unsheathed – Chapter 87 (2): Little Teacher

Chapter 87 (2): Little Teacher

Chapter 87 (2): Little Teacher

However, Li Baoping was clearly already fixated on the idea that she had done something wrong, and she was feeling guiltier and guiltier by the second. The corners of her lips began to droop down, and tears were beginning to well up in her eyes again. "In martial arts, the master is only responsible for teaching the basics, while the disciple's talent and hard work decide how far they'll go, but even so, the master still plays a very important role.

The competence of the master will determine how high the disciple's starting point is. On top of that, some masters are limited in their abilities, so they have no choice but to let a disciple go off on their own at a certain point, but more competent masters are able to guide their disciples further before letting go. Hence, to find a good master, you have to make sure that they're a competent master, not just someone with a big reputation."

Li Baoping was sniffling pitifully, and the tears were about to overflow from her eyes as she continued, "Junior Uncle, you're a generational martial arts prodigy. What am I going to do if the lie I told hinders you from becoming a master martial artist?"

Chen Ping'an had no idea how she had arrived at the absurd conclusion that he was a martial arts prodigy, but he didn't have any time to dwell on that thought. His top priority right now was to stop her from crying. Whenever Li Baoping fell into a rut, she gave one the feeling that she was truly heartbroken, and it was nothing like the superficial distress that the average child displayed in order to attract attention.

All of a sudden, Chen Ping'an was struck by a burst of inspiration, and he raised his hand, placing his palm in front of Li Baoping's face before gently closing it into a fist as he loudly declared, "That's enough!"

Li Baoping was immediately rooted to the spot by this sudden gesture, and as a result, the flow of her tears was also abruptly arrested. "What are you doing, Junior Uncle?"

Chen Ping'an waved his fist as he erupted into triumphant laughter. "What do you think of your junior uncle now? That was really impressive, right? I got you to stop crying right away!"

Chen Ping'an was pulling out all the stops in order to console Li Baoping, and this was the first time that he had officially acknowledged himself to be her junior uncle.

A smile immediately broke through Li Baoping's tears, not because she wasn't distraught anymore, but instead because her elation outweighed her distress in this moment.

Chen Ping'an was very relieved to see this, and he set his palms down onto the trunk of the old willow tree, then raised himself up to sit down beside Li Baoping, while the pair of baskets, one large and one small, were placed beneath their feet.

Li Baoping said in a quiet voice, "Uncle Zhu He often told Big Sister Zhu Lu that training fist techniques the incorrect way is a sure-fire way to ruin one's body, but someone who finds the true essence of their fist techniques will be able to slay gods with a single punch. If a martial artist falls ill, it's far more difficult to treat them than it is for a normal person. There were two times that Big Sister Zhu Lu was almost unable to pull through.

After the first time, she was unable to recover for close to half a year. During that time, she was constantly sick and frail, and she was so weak that she couldn't even lift up a water bucket. The second time was even worse. After I heard the commotion, I got onto a stool, then poked through the window paper, and I saw Big Sister Zhu Lu in so much pain that she was rolling around on her bed.

The other people with her weren't even able to hold her down, and in the end, even her fingernails had all peeled away. There was blood everywhere, and I felt really bad for her. After that, we asked the shopkeeper of the Yang Family's medicine shop to bring us some medicine, and only after taking the medicine did her pain seem to go away.

At the time, our patriarch was standing at the entrance of the courtyard, but he didn't go in. Instead, he shook his head and left, and it seemed like he was quite disappointed about something. I asked him why he looked so disappointed at the time, and he told me that the medicine had saved her life, but it had rid her of any hope of progressing to the eighth tier.

Hence, there was no longer any need to invest too much in her development as doing so would only be of detriment to her. If she's immensely blessed by the heavens, then she'll be able to reach the seventh tier, but if she's unlucky, then she may not even reach the sixth tier."

Li Baoping turned to Chen Ping'an with a concerned expression as she continued, "Please don't get sick, Junior Uncle. I don't know anything, so if you get sick, I won't be able to help you at all!"

Chen Ping'an smiled as he reassured, "Don't worry, I won't, and even if I do, there's no need for you to worry. I don't mean to boast, but I have a very high pain tolerance."

Li Baoping was rather skeptical about this claim, and she reached out to pinch his arm before giving it a gentle twist. "Does that hurt?"

Chen Ping'an patted her on the head, then turned to the path that they had taken to get here as he asked, "Have I told you about the most painful experience of my life so far?"

Li Baoping shook her head in response.

Chen Ping'an pressed his palms down onto the tree trunk, then crossed his ankles as he swayed back and forth in a carefree fashion, just as Li Baoping was doing. A faint smile then appeared on his face as he said, "It was the second time I went into the mountains to gather medicinal ingredients on my own.

At the time, I was only four years old, and as I was leaving the house, I thought to myself that I was going to gather a ton of medicinal ingredients, so I picked the largest basket to take with me. Before I even made it out of the town, I was already exhausted. It was a really bright and sunny day, and my shoulders felt as if they were on fire from being chafed by the rope attached to the basket, and the pain was even worse in my back.

At that time, the pain was actually still bearable, and I wasn't particularly afraid. However, I was feeling really disheartened because the mountain looked so far away, as if I would never be able to reach it, even if I walked my entire life. On top of that, this wasn't very long after the first time I entered the mountains, so the blisters on the underside of my feet quickly began to act up.

I was gritting my teeth and crying as I walked along. With each step that I took, I was telling myself that I still hadn't reached the foot of the mountain yet, so I could still just turn back and go home. I'm too young, my basket's too big, and the mountain's too far away, so it wouldn't have been embarrassing for me to turn back, and my mother definitely wouldn't have blamed me for it."

Li Baoping quickly became immersed in his story, and she quietly asked, "Did you give up in the end?"

Chen Ping'an shook his head in response. "I didn't. At the time, I suddenly decided that no matter what, I was going to make it to the foot of the mountain, and after that, I would turn back. In the end, I really did make it to the foot of the mountain, and while I was sitting on the ground and crying, I thought to myself that I had already made it to the mountain, so I may as well pick a medicinal herb before I go home.

After that, I began to climb the mountain, and when I spotted the medicinal herbs, I was suddenly instilled with a burst of energy. It was a very strange thing."

An admiring look appeared on Li Baoping's face upon hearing this, and she praised, "You must've filled your entire basket with medicinal herbs before you went home, right?"

There was a hint of pride in Li Baoping's eyes as she spoke, as if she were feeling proud on Chen Ping'an's behalf.

Chen Ping'an shook his head in response. "No. I was up there until the sun was about to go down, but by the time I left the mountain, the medicinal herbs I'd collected still hadn't even covered the entire bottom of the basket. Medicinal herbs aren't that easy to find, and given how small I was at the time, it was actually more of a chore for me to carry around that big basket while traversing the mountain paths than it was to pick medicine.

On top of that, I really was exhausted. I thought to myself that if I didn't leave at that time, then I would be stuck on the mountain at night on my own, so I was really scared. However, what I was most scared of was..."

Chen Ping'an's voice trailed off here, and Li Baoping waited for a long time for him to continue, but he remained silent. A curious look appeared on her face as she asked, "What were you most afraid of, Junior Uncle?"

"Nothing," Chen Ping'an replied with a shake of his head. "At the very least, I was no longer scared of it by the end."

Li Baoping was very considerate of Chen Ping'an's feelings and didn't insist that he tell her what he was so afraid of.

After returning to his senses, Chen Ping'an turned to Li Baoping and smiled as he said, "I'm not telling you all of this to boast about how tough and resilient I am. All of the impoverished children in the town have had similar experiences, so I'm not special in any way. I'm only telling you this because I think you did a very good job explaining the intricacies of martial arts practice to me.

It reminds me a lot of back when I would sneak to the school to watch Mr. Qi's lessons in secret. Didn't you say that there are no female teachers and scholars? I feel like after you get to Mountain Cliff Academy and read enough books, there's a chance that you could become the first female teacher."

After hearing what Chen Ping'an had to say, Li Baoping was immediately instilled with a sense of vigor and ambition, and she raised her fists as she encouraged, "You can do it, Li Baoping! I believe in you!"

Chen Ping'an watched her self-encouragement in silence, and he knew that if Mr. Qi were still around to see this, he would also be very happy.

However, what she said next immediately left him feeling both amused and exasperated.

"I'll definitely be able to do this because I have the best junior uncle in the world!"

Chen Ping'an could only pretend to have not heard anything.

In this picturesque season when flora and fauna were flourishing and thriving, the two of them sat next to one another, and both of them had beautiful aspirations for the future.

In a secretive location on the other side of the creek, a man and a young girl were seated with their legs crossed while eating some dry rations.

There was a sharp gleam in the girl's eyes as she grumbled, "Father, will the young mistress really be able to make it safely to the border of our Great Li Empire with that idiot accompanying her? I heard that battles regularly break out on the border, and there are lots of former soldiers turned bandits causing unrest in the area as well."

"Have you forgotten the lesson that he taught you?" the man jibed. "That was your first-ever battle as a martial artist, and not only did you lose, you lost in such embarrassing fashion as well."

The girl was furious to hear this, and she objected, "That's because you forbade me from activating my aura for fear that I wouldn't be able to bear the repercussions! Right now, I can beat him to a pulp even with one hand tied behind my back!"

"Are you sure?" the man asked with a smile.

"Of course I am! Don't forget that I'm at the pinnacle of the second tier right now!" the girl reminded in an indignant voice.

The man took a sip of water from a canteen, then shook his head in response. "You won't be able to beat him. Only in a sparring match where things aren't taken too far will you have any chance of winning."

The girl was clearly unconvinced. In her eyes, Chen Ping'an had only just embarked on the path of martial arts training, and he had only gotten the better of her during their rooftop battle back in the Li Clan's manor because he had taken advantage of the terrain.

An amused look appeared on the man's face as he jibed, "What an ungrateful little rascal you are! Back when he sent you falling down from the roof during your battle, he made sure to grab onto you to soften your fall. If I had been in his place, I would've thrown an extra tile onto your head to make sure you wouldn't be getting in my way anytime soon!"

"That's why I called him an idiot!" the girl sneered. "He's training to become a martial artist, yet his heart is as soft as a woman's. There's no way he'll live very long like this!"

The man was quite taken aback to hear this, and scoffed, "You're not a very capable martial artist, but you sure seem to know a lot for a little girl your age! Who taught you all of this? I never said anything like this to you."

The girl raised her chin in a proud manner as she replied, "The second young master taught me all of this! He's read a ton of books, but he never goes around preaching about morals and ethics. All he says is that someone soft of heart can't lead an army effectively, and that one must be decisive and heartless in battle."

The man's brows furrowed slightly upon hearing this, and he was just about to set his foolish daughter straight when he abruptly rose to his feet and instructed in an urgent voice, "We have to cross the creek!"

The girl rose to her feet with a puzzled expression. "Why? Didn't you say we should follow the young mistress in secret?"

Instead of answering her question, the man urged, "Someone's coming! Make sure to be on your guard!"

With that, the two of them quickly rushed over the creek.

Chen Ping'an and Li Baoping had only just left the old willow tree and were about to continue in their journey when they spotted a figure in the distance.

Chen Ping'an set down the basket on his back, then instructed Li Baoping to stand behind him.

If they were situated east of the town, then Chen Ping'an wouldn't have been surprised to encounter anyone there, even if they were an immortal or a demon.

However, this path that was leading to the south was about to end soon, so it was very peculiar to run into someone here.

In the distance, a man who wasn't particularly tall or well-built was making his way directly toward Chen Ping'an and Li Baoping. He was dragging along a white donkey behind him, and there was a conical bamboo hat on his head. A cloth pouch was slung diagonally across his shoulder, while strips of cloth were tied around his legs. He was holding a bamboo staff in one hand, and strapped to his waist was a saber in a green bamboo scabbard.

The man stopped around five or six steps away from Chen Ping'an and Li Baoping, and he refrained from advancing any further beyond that point. He removed the conical bamboo hat to reveal a rather unremarkable face, and he smiled as he asked, "You must be Chen Ping'an, right? My name is ALiang, Liang as in kindness." [1]

He then added, "I am a swordsman."

1. The Liang character in his name () is the same character that makes up one half of the Chinese term for kindness (). Ne/w novel chaptrs are published on no/vel(/bin(.)co/m

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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