Unsheathed-Chapter 261: A Sword From the Sea of Clouds (1)

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Chapter 261: A Sword From the Sea of Clouds (1)

Zheng Dafeng took a glance at the sea of clouds above Old Dragon City, then suddenly complained, "Why isn't she wearing a dress?"

The Yin god slowly appeared in the courtyard, and it had no idea how to respond to this.

Zheng Dafeng turned to the Yin god with a smile as he asked, "You're not going to say anything no matter what I ask, right, Old Man Zhao?"

The Yin god shook its head in response. "To be honest, I don't know any more about Fan Junmao than you do. However, back when I was in the temple, I heard a rumor that may or may not be true from a deceased foreign sword immortal."

Zheng Dafeng was very intrigued to hear this. "Well, pray tell then. It's not like either of us have anything better to do anyway."

A cold sneer appeared on the Yin god's face as it scoffed, "You may be wasting your life away, but I'm really busy. Playing my role is no less difficult than fighting on a battlefield. Actually, that's not entirely fair, you're really busy every day as well, busy flirting with a bunch of women, that is! Given how good you are with your words, you should really go and take up a teaching position at Lake View Academy."

"Don't say such hurtful things, Old Man Zhao. The fact that we're together now clearly indicates that we're bound to each other by fate," Zheng Dafeng said with a smile.

"And what an ill fortune that is," the Yin god retorted.

Zheng Dafeng shook his head as he pointed up at the sea of clouds and corrected, "You and I are connected thanks to a stroke of good fortune, the ill-fated encounter is between me and her."

When Fan Junmao had entered the Dust Medicinal Shop, the Yin god had immediately disappeared on its own, both to conform to the rules and as a gesture of etiquette and respect. Hence, he didn't hear the conversation between the two, but it was clear that it had not ended on a positive note.

The first time Zheng Dafeng had met Fan Junmao, the latter had only been at the Cave Abode Tier, yet after returning to Old Dragon City from the Great Li Empire, she had already reached the Golden Core Tier. This rate of progression was clearly not something that could be attributed to outstanding aptitude alone.

It was so astonishing that it reminded the Yin god of a certain young woman who had grown up in Jewel Small World. Even the most stunning prodigy under the heavens couldn't match someone who was "born with intuitive knowledge."

The Yin god heaved a faint sigh at this thought.

Thankfully, even across all of nine continents, people like her were exceedingly rare.

"Hey, wakey wakey, Old Man Zhao! Quit daydreaming! What were you saying about the foreign sword immortal who perished in Jewel Small World? What secret about the Fu Clan's sea of clouds did he divulge to you?" Zheng Dafeng prompted.

"I don't want to tell you anymore. I have things that I need to do," the Yin god replied, then abruptly vanished from the spot.

Zheng Dafeng was rooted to the spot for a moment, then erupted into a fit of fury as he yelled, "You mother..."

Before he had a chance to finish, the bamboo curtain was suddenly lifted, revealing the tender and beautiful features of a young girl. It was the girl who always liked to sit beside Zheng Dafeng to eat sunflower seeds. She smiled as she asked, "Oh? You want me to be your mother, Shopkeeper Zheng?

Zheng Dafeng set down his pipe, then rose to his feet as he rubbed his hands together and approached the girl with a fawning smile. "I don't want you to be my mother, that would place way too much distance between us."

"How can we be any closer than mother and son?" the girl asked with a perplexed expression.

Zheng Dafeng reached out to place his arm across the girl's shoulders, but she ducked down and took a couple of steps backward with a mischievous grin on her face as she asked, "Do you want to marry me instead?"

Zheng Dafeng sheepishly retracted his hand and said, "Let's be brother and sister instead. That way, nothing will tear us apart."

He then rested his elbows on the counter, looking at the shop full of beautiful female employees as he mused, "What a wonderful sight to behold."

A smile suddenly appeared on his face as he continued, "Teaching one a skill is better than bestowing upon one wealth, but giving one a good name is even better than teaching one a skill. Have any of you heard this saying?"

The girl who Zheng Dafeng had stolen that book from was the only one of the female employees who was literate, but she offered no response. After Zheng Dafeng shamelessly borrowed that book from her, he refused to return it! The book was only worth several dozen copper coins, yet he refused to return it, and in the end, he simply told her that he had lost it!

She had been so enraged that she picked up a broomstick and began chasing him around the shop. In the end, Zheng Dafeng was forced to relent, telling her that he would add an extra 100 copper coins to her monthly wage as compensation for the book, and only then did she let him off the hook.

She had already read the book anyway, and it was doing nothing but gathering dust at home. Her parents displayed a great deal of favoritism toward her younger brother, so if they had discovered the book, they would've most likely reprimanded her for being wasteful.

With no one responding to his call, Zheng Dafeng was forced to pull out his trump card. "Do any of you want to know the name of the boy from the Fan Clan who regularly visits our shop?"

All of the women immediately turned to Zheng Dafeng, and a look of schadenfreude appeared on his face as he revealed, "His name is Fan Er, as in two! Doesn't that really suit him?"

No one was willing to believe him. In their eyes, there was no way that such a handsome young boy could have such a ridiculous name.

Zheng Dafeng made no effort to try and convince the women that he was telling the truth. Instead, he began murmuring to himself, "Fan Er has to study martial arts and take over as the future leader of the Fan Clan. He certainly has a heavy responsibility on his shoulders. As for his sister, she has a far better name than him. Looks like there's more to the Fan Clan than meets the eye..."

Zheng Dafeng pressed his cheek against the countertop as he cast his gaze toward the small alley outside. He could tell that a storm was approaching.

The young mistress of the Cloud Forest Jiang Clan was going to be married into the Fu Clan of Old Dragon City, and the dowry was undoubtedly going to be enormous.

The only thing that was unclear for now was how the Fu Clan was going to take advantage of gaining such a powerful ally. Was it going to eventually reign supreme on its own in Old Dragon City, or would both those clans stand at the pinnacle of the city?

Zheng Dafeng smiled as he rid himself of that train of thought. It wasn't like any of that mattered to him anyway.

He took a glance at the female employees in his shop, and he began to consider whether he should buy some expensive and tight-fitting clothes for them out of his own pocket. It was the height of summer, so if they were to sweat even just a little, those clothes would cling to their bodies and accentuate their curves. freewebno(v)el

A perverted grin appeared on Zheng Dafeng's face at the thought, and he wiped away the drool trickling out of his mouth.

This was the life that he should've been focused on.

When it came to the Divine General pinned to the pillar and mysterious people like Fan Junmao, those were just things that he would have to worry about another time.


A wisp of sword Qi imbued with Ma Zhi's Sword Dao true intent shot forth without any warning toward Chen Ping'an with astonishing speed.

Even though Ma Zhi was already aware that Chen Ping'an possessed an extremely solid martial arts foundation, he was still stunned by the outcome.

Surely he had to stumble a little at the very least!

Chen Ping'an was under the false impression that Ma Zhi had held back too much in that attack, so he smiled and encouraged, "It's alright, Mr. Ma. Back when I was refining my soul at the third tier, I had to endure a lot of hardship, so I have a decent capacity for suffering. As long as your sword Qi won't cause any substantial harm, you can attack with as much force as you like."

"Alright, be careful now," Ma Zhi replied with a slight nod, then extended a hand forward, plucking out three wisps of sword Qi from Shade with his index and middle fingers. He rolled them into three pearl-sized balls, all of which were giving off a faint green glow, as if they really were formed by the cool and green shade of a tree.

He flicked his middle finger thrice, and the three sword Qi beads were sent hurtling toward Chen Ping'an. Right as they flew into his body, they split up to strike his embryo light, refreshing spirit, and serene essence immortal souls with unerring accuracy.

Chen Ping'an was already prepared this time, and he adopted his standing meditation stance while opening his heart. The three bursts of sword Qi were like three knocks on his door, announcing their intrusion before flying into his immortal souls, striking him with a bone-chilling sensation that made him want to shiver.

Chen Ping'an's expression remained unchanged, and his True Qi, which resembled a fiery dragon, quickly surged forth from elsewhere, instantly soothing the bone-chilling sensation that had pierced through his three immortal souls.

"Keep going, Mr. Ma!" Chen Ping'an urged.

Ma Zhi's expression also remained unchanged, but internally, he was quite stunned. He didn't say anything; instead, he joined his middle and index fingers and gently swiped them across his bonded flying sword. This time, instead of plucking out a thin string sword Qi and rolling it into a bead, he pulled out an entire strip of sword Qi.

As opposed to immediately darting at Chen Ping'an, the strip of sword Qi hovered in mid-air, giving off a glacial aura, immediately replacing the summer heat in the courtyard with the spring chill.

As the strip of sword Qi was hanging in mid-air between Ma Zhi and Chen Ping'an, the former said, "The embryo light is where a person's soul is born. For the majority of swordsmen, the embryo light serves as the initial sword furnace for their bonded flying swords. Hence, that is essentially the scabbard of the sword and also where the sword is nurtured.

“The three immortal souls have no set places in one's body. Just like snakes and rats have underground tunnels that they can traverse through at will, a similar analogy can be drawn to the three immortal souls. Just now, my sword Qi beads struck your heart, but they serve as nothing more than a trio of appetizer dishes. From here, we move on to the main course, and the sword intent imbued in this strip of sword Qi will be far more formidable than before, so make sure to brace yourself well!"

Chen Ping'an reflexively nodded in response.

As soon as Ma Zhi saw Chen Ping'an make this slight nodding motion, he immediately took the opportunity to strike, and the streak of sword Qi pierced straight into Chen Ping'an's body in the blink of an eye.

Ma Zhi smiled as he said, "In future battles against swordsmen, make sure you don't allow even the slightest lapse in your focus."

Pure martial artists were the most extreme group of people under the heavens. They had to refine the body, the Qi, and the spirit, honing their bodies from the outside to the inside layer by layer. In doing so, their efforts would be constantly reinforcing their physical bodies, thereby granting them superior physical constitutions to Qi refiners.

Ultimately, in the eyes of cultivators, they were pursuing themselves rather than the Great Dao; compared to cultivators, martial artists had far shorter lifespans, with even the most powerful ones living to only around 300 years of age.

Compared with Qi refiners, who refined themselves both on the inside and the outside, pure martial artists placed excessive focus on honing the physical body, which ultimately had a detrimental effect. The Martial Dao was simply too limited, and martial artists were too stubborn, to the point that they used solely their own power to refine their souls, drawing upon nothing more than the True Qi in their bodies for this purpose.

On one hand, they could be praised for their self-reliance, which allowed them to not have to count on external forces, but on the other hand, such a practice ultimately limited the height of their ceiling.

In contrast, Qi refiners had to erect bridges of immortality, which served as bridges between the body and the outside world. Thus, they could absorb the abundant small world between heaven and earth to hone their souls, and with the power of heaven and earth on their side, it naturally became far easier to live much longer.

Right at this moment, a burst of excruciating pain arose in Chen Ping'an's soul, pain that rivaled the agony of tearing his own skin and plucking his own tendons.

However, he remained as still as a mountain in his stance, much to Ma Zhi's surprise.

Even though he had held back significantly, he was still a Golden Core Tier swordsman. From his perspective, a fourth tier martial artist had as many weaknesses and holes as a leaky bucket. Hence, the nod that Chen Ping'an had given had presented an opportunity for him to strike. He had already done his best to overestimate the foundation of Chen Ping'an's physical constitution, but as it turned out, he had still severely underestimated him.

Chen Ping'an's body had been pounded into its current condition by the Deity Drumming Technique unleashed by a 10th tier martial artist that was Cui Chan's grandfather, while his three immortal souls and seven mortal forms had been pummeled into shape by the Rain Evaporation Technique and the Heavy Cavalry Formation Shattering Technique, all of which were the manifestation of the essence of the old man's martial arts ability.

Even after reaching the pinnacle of the 10th tier, those were still the three techniques that he was most proud of.

In order to endure the Deity Drumming Technique for longer, using the Eighteen Stops Technique had become second nature to Chen Ping'an. After that came the torment of stripping his own skin and plucking his own tendons, and it could be said that his physical constitution had been honed on the basis of more pain than anyone should've had to experience in ten lifetimes!

The end result still wasn't anywhere near as the impregnable vajra body attained by seventh tier martial artists, but that sliver of sword Qi from Ma Zhi wasn't enough to breach the holes in Chen Ping'an's physical constitution, unless it were to barge its way in through brute force.

Such was the power of the strongest third tier martial artist under the heavens.

Ma Zhi's competitive spirit was ignited a little by Chen Ping'an's lack of reaction to his attacks, and this time, he pulled off three more strips of sword Qi from his bonded flying sword, then sent them flying into Chen Ping'an in unison. Surely, Chen Ping'an's three immortal souls weren't truly impregnable, were they? novelbuddy. com

Chen Ping'an remained completely still, and he wanted to say something but decided to refrain from doing so in the end. He didn't dare to request Ma Zhi to use more of his power as he felt like doing so would be an insult to the old swordsman. The three streaks of sword Qi were tearing through his body like oxen plowing a field, forcibly tearing three trenches into his heart.

For the average person, this would've been unbearable agony, but compared with what Chen Ping'an had been forced to endure in the bamboo building, this was nothing more than an appetizer.

Ma Zhi could see that Chen Ping'an was largely unaffected, and he was forced to reassess his appraisal of the young martial artist once again.

He took a glance at Shade, which was trembling slightly as it hovered in mid-air in front of him, and he took a deep breath before declaring, "Chen Ping'an, for this strike, I'm going to make Shade adopt an insubstantial form and force its way into your soul. Be prepared for an immense degree of pain. If it's too much for you to bear, then make sure to speak up.

“Even though Shade is my bonded flying sword, it'll be concealed by your soul once it enters your body, so my spiritual connection with it will be compromised. In battle, this wouldn't be a problem as I would simply allow it to wreak havoc as it pleased in the body of my opponent, but of course, that's not my objective here, so make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew."

Chen Ping'an offered no response, merely taking a step backward to adopt an ancient fist stance with one fist pressed over his own heart while his other fist was raised high above his head.

If he were to raise one of his legs as well, then he would bear a strong resemblance to a heavenly king statue worshiped in Buddhist temples, but the resemblance was only in appearance, while the true intent was vastly different. This was the same Rain Evaporation Technique that he had unleashed to force back those golden flood dragons twice back at the Sun Clan's ancestral residence.

After adopting this new stance, Chen Ping'an's aura completely changed.

From Ma Zhi's perspective, he was no longer the bright and optimistic young boy who had been joking around with Fan Er, nor was he the focus and restrained young boy practicing his walking or standing meditation.

Instead, he was giving off the aura of a truly seasoned master martial artist. It wouldn't have been a surprise to see such a formidable aura from the few seventh and eighth tier grandmaster martial artists in Old Dragon City, but their auras had been honed over the course of decades, even centuries, during which they had endured countless life and death battles. In contrast, how old was this boy?

Ma Zhi had been shocked so many times on this day that he was feeling a little numb.

At this point, Chen Ping'an had already entered a completely immersive state, and he could no longer see Ma Zhi standing before him, nor could he see Shade hovering in mid-air.

Instead, he was seeing Cui Chan's grandfather chortling with glee as he administered the most horrific punishments while denouncing Chen Ping'an as a weakling, a frail lass. Those insults weren't just directed solely toward Chen Ping'an. Instead, they were also partially directed at this entire world.

With this punch, he was determined to force the deities that had descended from the heavens back to the Heavenly Court!

His fist was going to serve as a pillar between heaven and earth!

"Please enlighten me!" he blurted out without thinking.

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