unsheathed – Chapter 44: Coming to Light

Chapter 44: Coming to Light

Chapter 44: Coming to Light

The Lu Manor on Fortune Street was quite small and compact, but there was far more to it than met the eye. Even the woman from the Xu Clan of the Light Breeze City felt like every possible effort had already been made, and there were no further ways to improve this place.

Inside a lakeside pavilion, the woman was leaning lazily against the railing of the pavilion with a content expression, having just successfully secured the suit of scaly armor from the Liu Clan. She was in such a good mood that even though Lu Zhengchun was standing on the steps of the lakeside pavilion, she didn't find him to be as much of an eyesore as usual.

Her son was dressed in his large red robe, standing on the long bench while tossing fish food into the small lake. Close to 100 red-backed koi fish were squashed together, fighting for the food, presenting a stunning sight to behold.

The woman turned to Lu Zhengchun as she instructed, "There's no need for you to remain here any longer. Once everything is done here, you'll return with us to Light Breeze City. Not only will my husband accept you as an in-house disciple, we'll also fulfill your grandfather's rather unreasonable request and ensure that you reach the Middle Five Tiers someday. This is the most valuable type of promise, and it has to be said that your grandfather is quite a wily old fox for making such a request."

A faint smile appeared on the woman's face as she continued, "If you ask me, if your grandfather had been the leader of the Lu Clan, then the Lu Empire wouldn't have collapsed so quickly. Even the extremely arrogant Monarch Song Changjing of the Great Li Empire once stated that he was only able to conquer the Lu Empire in a single year due in large part to the incompetence of the Lu Empire itself.

Unfortunately for this branch of your Lu Clan in this town, you weren't able to rise to greater heights as the main branch rose to power, but now that the Lu Empire has fallen, the negative consequences have adversely affected this side branch as well. Hence, this opportunity to come to our Light Breeze City is truly a vast honor and privilege for you, so make sure you don't let it slip through your fingers."

Lu Zhengchun extended an extremely deep bow as he cupped his fist in a salute above his head, and he was so grateful that he was on the verge of tears as he declared, "I'll never forget this opportunity that you have bestowed upon me, Mistress Xu! Even after I go to Light Breeze City, I will serve you as your most loyal subordinate for the rest of my life! I swear that you will be the only one that I pledge my loyalty to for as long as I live!"

The woman narrowed her eyes in a seductive manner as she smiled and said in a gentle voice, "Make sure you don't let my husband, your future master, hear what you said just now. Alternatively, perhaps you could repeat what you said here to him when you meet him."

Perhaps Lu Zhengchun no longer felt any shame in kneeling to others after kneeling down to Liu Xianyang in Clay Vase Alley, but after hearing this thinly veiled threat from the woman, he immediately fell to his knees, then kowtowed onto the top step outside the lakeside pavilion as he said in a trembling voice, "I wouldn't dare to forget the one who bestowed this opportunity upon me."

The woman smiled and waved him away in a dismissive manner. "You can get up now. Speak with your actions, not your words. The path of cultivation is a long and arduous one, and eventually, your true colors will come to light."

Lu Zhengchun backed away from the lakeside pavilion, only turning around after he had made his way down the steps. The high and mighty young master who had once been one of the most prominent figures in the town seemed to have never had his back straight when in the presence of this woman.

Outside of the town, the Lu Clan was an imperial clan that ruled over a massive empire. However, the empire had been dealt an extremely severe blow by the army of the Great Li Empire, and it was going to be very difficult for them to make any type of resurgence in a short time. As a result, all of the direct lineal branches and side branches of the Lu Clan had to keep a low profile for the time being.

Otherwise, given the power and reputation of Light Breeze City, there was no way that the woman would've dared to take over the branch of the Lu Clan in this town and order its young master around as if he were her servant. In fact, if the Lu Empire had been at the height of its powers, even the little girl and her elderly servant from Sun Scorch Mountain wouldn't have dared to treat the Lu Clan with such disdain.

At the moment, the Lu Clan was like a dragon that was stranded on shore, and it was forced to lower its head during these difficult times.

The boy in the red robe chuckled, "That man was truly born to be a slave. Why did you agree to take such a pathetic piece of trash along with us, Mother? You're not actually going to make Father take him as his disciple, are you? And you promised to get him to the Middle Five Tiers? Since when was it that easy to get to that level?"

The woman smiled as she replied, "Lu Zhengchun may be a pathetic little man, but he's not completely without merit. His aptitude is quite mediocre, so it would've been extremely fortunate even to have become an external disciple to your father, but ultimately, he's only an afterthought in the far bigger deal that's taking place.

On the surface, it appears that I've promised the Lu Clan in this town a lot, but in reality, we've granted the imperial branch of the Lu Clan even more. We took in all of the members of the imperial clan who were seeking refuge and allowed them to settle in our Light Breeze City. On top of that, we've been treating them as the most esteemed of guests, and we've even marked out a large area in the city that we've granted to them as their private territory for the next 10,000 years."

After tossing out all the fish food in his hands, the boy suddenly ran out of the lakeside pavilion, then scooped up a large handful of rocks before rushing back into the pavilion. After that, he leaned against the railing and began to hurl the rocks forcefully at the koi fish, taking great pleasure in their suffering. As he did this, he turned to his mother and said, "I'm guessing that we only came to this town in search of that suit of armor as nothing more than a ruse, right?

In reality, our goal was to use this opportunity to seize control of the Lu Clan. The Lu Empire may have fallen, but its residual forces are not to be estimated. I've heard that just the imperial family of the Lu Empire alone numbers in excess of 3,000 members, and if we count in all the servants, officials, and generals who weren't willing to surrender to the Great Li Empire, all of them provide a massive boost to our Light Breeze City."

A gratified smile appeared on the woman's face as she said, "I'm glad that you're intelligent enough to think of this, but I have to tell you that you're wrong."

The boy's brows furrowed slightly as he awaited further elaboration.

"There's more to that suit of armor than meets the eye. To put it simply, it's not inferior to that sword scripture," the woman explained.

The boy hurled a rock viciously into the lake, and it struck one of the koi fish on the back. Blood was immediately sent splashing in all directions, while the poor koi fish flailed violently in pain.

A fervent look appeared in the boy's eyes as he said, "My father's forte is his offensive power. In that regard, he's not far behind Song Changjing of the Great Li Empire. Unfortunately, he's always been held back by his naturally weak physical constitution, so he's always been weak to opponents who fight fire with fire and do everything in their power to wound him, even if it means being wounded themselves in the process.

This is why he hasn't been able to make a name for himself and why he's being treated as a laughingstock. Even our own clan members in Light Breeze City dare to make fun of us behind our backs. Could it be that after my father obtains this suit of armor, his defensive shortcomings will be accounted for, and he'll be able to stand toe to toe against Song Changjing?"

The woman shook her head once again.

The boy slammed a palm down onto the railing as he yelled with an enraged expression, "Stop playing games with me!"

Even though he was facing his own mother, he was baring his fangs at her like a tiger cub.

The woman had never felt it inappropriate for her son to yell at her. This was due to the fact that a mighty figure had appraised her son at birth and declared him to possess the ferocity of tigers and wolves, coupled with supreme aptitude that placed him above all others.

The woman patiently explained, "If your father can successfully master the suit of armor, he'll be able to take another massive stride in his offensive prowess. When that time comes, his defensive shortcomings will be of no concern. He'll be able to crush all of his enemies with overwhelming power, and offense will be the best defense for him!"

The boy immediately began to chortle with glee. "That's what I like to hear! When that time comes, I'll get my father to start off by killing all of our clan members who spoke ill of us behind our backs! Those people are the most deplorable of all!"

The boy then quickly calmed down, and a thought suddenly occurred to him as he said, "By doing this, we've really played Sun Scorch Mountain for a fool. What if that stupid ape realizes what we've done and decides to attack us after we leave the town? Also, there's one other thing that I haven't been able to make sense of all this time.

Liu Xianyang already has a porcelain buyer, and he possesses exceptional aptitude for cultivation. On top of that, he had both the suit of armor and the sword scripture in his possession. Someone as blessed as him is extremely rare, and even I have to admit that I was quite impressed by him. So why is it that his porcelain buyer has refrained from showing up all this time?

Not only have they allowed us to secure this suit of armor, we were also able to get that old ape from Sun Scorch Mountain to take the fall for us. Now that he's killed Liu Xianyang, we're completely in the clear. No matter what repercussions arise out of this, Sun Scorch Mountain will be forced to bear them, while our Light Breeze City won't have to take any accountability."

The woman replied in a confident manner, "That Mountain-moving Ape from Sun Scorch Mountain certainly isn't the brightest, but he's not so stupid that he would be fooled around by me like this and still remain completely oblivious.

He's already figured out that I'm using him to kill Liu Xianyang, and as for why he was willing to jump into that trap anyway, the reasons involved are rather complex, and there are some rather obscure historical factors behind this. Seeing as Sun Scorch Mountain thinks that it'll be able to handle the consequences, we certainly have no qualms in allowing them to take the fall for us."

The woman fell into deep thought as she spoke, re-evaluating everything that she had done up to this point to ensure that she hadn't made any mistakes or oversights.

Liu Xianyang's porcelain buyer was a power that had once thrown their full support behind the Lu Empire, and they had suffered extremely severe losses in the wake of the empire's collapse. Prior to that, they were a first-rate sect that ranked only below the empires on the continent.

Otherwise, they wouldn't have been able to afford the massive expenditure required to keep Liu Xianyang in the town for the next nine years of his life even after they had ascertained his aptitude for swordsmanship.

After somehow learning about this, Sun Scorch Mountain had approached Liu Xianyang's porcelain buyer and attempted to purchase Liu Xianyang's bonded porcelain from them. One of the leading figures of Sun Scorch Mountain had offered an astronomical price for the bonded porcelain, but in a rather inexplicable turn of events, the porcelain buyer refused to sell.

All they told Sun Scorch Mountain was that they had already sold the bonded porcelain to someone else, but they refused to reveal any further information about the new porcelain buyer's identity.

Sun Scorch Mountain had been rather perplexed about this, but they subsequently caught wind of a rumor that their sworn enemy, the Wind Lightning Field, had pounced on the opportunity before them and extorted the previous porcelain buyer out of the bonded porcelain. Checkk new ovel chpters at novlbin(.)com

The previous porcelain buyer naturally didn't dare to tell Sun Scorch Mountain that the bonded porcelain had been sold to their sworn enemy, so it made sense why they were so tight-lipped about the identity of the new buyer.

As for who it was that had leaked to Sun Scorch Mountain the information regarding the suit of scaly armor and the sword scripture passed down for generations in the Liu Clan, and the fact that Liu Xianyang's bonded porcelain had been purchased by the Wind Lightning Field, one need not look any further than Light Breeze City.

Of course, they had only done so in secret from behind the scenes.

The boy's mother was the primary mastermind behind this, and she had paid an enormous price to be able to enter the town with her son, so she naturally had to ensure that they would at least break even on this trip. Otherwise, her status in Light Breeze City would suffer a massive fall, placing her in an extremely perilous position, and she certainly wouldn't have any chance of taking over Light Breeze City in the future.

The town seemed to be an unremarkable place, but in reality, it was not to be looked down on. Setting aside the Lu Clan, which had fallen into decline, the other three major clans were all extremely powerful entities on Eastern Treasured Vial Continent.

The true power of the four major clans didn't actually stem from how many powerful cultivators were residing among them. In reality, those clan leaders and patriarchs were already condemned to be unable to leave this town.

Unfortunately for them, they were rooted to the town just like the peach trees on Peach Leaf Alley or the old locust tree at the center of the town. Furthermore, there was no possibility of reincarnation for them, so they were essentially stuck with a whole host of powerful abilities that they were unable to make use of.

Instead, the power of these clans stemmed from how many dragon kilns were under their control as this had a direct correlation to how many pieces of bonded porcelain they could provide to the outside world each year.

Once a child with good cultivation aptitude emerged, as long as the porcelain buyer wasn't too stingy, they would generally pay the clan that had sold the bonded porcelain to them a large additional tip. Aside from that, a relationship of mutual favor would be formed between the two parties, and that was an invaluable resource as well.

All of a sudden, the woman mused to her son, "Don't ever look down on anybody, not even someone like Lu Zhengchun, who's content with serving as a lapdog to others. Did you think that once we arrived in this town, it would be easy for us to obtain those treasures and fated opportunities?

That's not the case. Fu Nanhua of Old Dragon City almost suffered a complete collapse of his Dao Heart, while Cai Jinjian from Dawn Cloud Mountain has disappeared off the face of this town. There was also another junior who possessed remarkable aptitude, but has also had his Dao Heart compromised during the course of his pursuit of the fated opportunities here. Similar things will only continue to happen in this town, and that's why we say that there isn't a single person who has an easy time on the path of cultivation."

The boy considered what he had been told momentarily, then replied, "Caution is the key to longevity. I'll be sure to keep this in mind, Mother."

"That would be best," the woman replied with a nod.

The boy tossed out the final stone in his hand, then asked, "What's the deal with that Qi Jingchun?"

In a rare display of anger, the woman put on a stern expression as she scolded, "How dare you be so insolent? You must refer to him respectfully as Mr. Qi!"

The boy faltered slightly upon hearing this, then obediently did as he was told, rephrasing his question. "Is Mr. Qi encountering some kind of trouble?"

The woman hesitated momentarily, then replied, "Mr. Qi's teacher was once not only an accompanying officiant at that Confucian temple, he was also positioned second to the left of Confucius himself."

The boy was astonished to hear this.

This meant that Qi Jingchun's teacher was the fourth-most important figure in the school of Confucianism, which had existed for thousands of years.

This was an unfathomable figure, and if anyone were to claim that such an almighty figure would be able to completely crush the largest mountain on Eastern Treasured Vial Continent with a single stomp of their foot, the boy wouldn't be fully convinced, but he definitely wouldn't be overly doubtful about such a claim, either.

A forlorn look appeared on the woman's face as she mused, "That man was once a Sage among Sages, but unfortunately, as we speak, his status has plummeted to below even the dilapidated deity statues in this town."

The boy gulped nervously, then asked, "What are we going to do with that friend of Liu Xianyang's?"

The woman took a moment to think about who it was that was being referred to, then asked, "You're talking about that orphan with the Chen surname living on Clay Vase Alley?"

The child nodded in response.

The woman smiled as she replied, "You called him an ant yourself when you first met him, didn't you? In that case, just leave them to their own devices."

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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