Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Zhang Xiaohua hesitated for a moment before pulling out his beloved small sword from his breast and passing it over to elder Yu.
Elder Yu extended his hand to receive it and wrinkled his brow immediately when he felt its weight. When he studied this seemingly normal looking small sword, he could not find anything special about it. He inserted his inner energy, but unfortunately, he did not have Li Jian’s level of insight towards the sword and the small sword did not have any reaction to him, so it appeared to be a normal toy except for its weight.
Elder Yu shook his head as he looked at it closely again as though trying to solve some mystery in his head.
Zhang Xiaohua looked at elder Yu’s actions helplessly before asking impatiently, “Elder Yu, are you planning on not returning it to me?”
Elder Yu glanced at Zhang Xiaohua, smiled and said, “That’s right, this toy is pretty good to be able to pierce through the black clothed metal cocoon skill, of course I would want to keep it to play.”
Zhang Xiaohua shrugged his shoulders and said helplessly, “Since elder Yu liked it so much, I would like to give it to you as well but sigh, unfortunately, I had nothing on me to repay my benefactor when I was rescued from the water so I gave this sword to her and it is impossible for me to give it to you now.”
Elder Yu glared at Zhang Xiaohua and said, “Who are you teasing? I don’t want this sword, stop playing about, I have no intention of taking away your possessions.”
At that moment, Ou Yan walked up to them and asked curiously, “Is this the thing that killed the black clothed person?”
He Tianshu walked to the front as well and said, “That’s right, it is this small sword. The wound on the black clothed elder’s throat should be caused by it, and it is also the free gift I received when I bought my sword.”
Ou Yan wanted to take it as well to study it closely but elder Yu said, “Villa master should not hold it personally, this sword is pretty heavy despite its normal looking appearance. I will carry it for you while you inspect it.”
Ou Yan was agreeable and she peered at the sword before saying, “Even though my abilities are limited and I cannot practice martial arts, I have read many books. However, I still have not heard of such a mysterious sword before.”
When she stroked the sword from elder Yu’s extended hand, she became even more puzzled and said, “This sword obviously does not have a sharp edge so how is it able to pierce through a person’s body?”
He Tianshu said, “That’s what I was thinking of as well. I remembered that the small sword had no sharp edge when I gave it to Zhang Xiaohua.”
Elder Yu pondered and turned around to ask Zhang Xiaohua, “Are you sure you used this sword to kill the black clothed person?”
Zhang Xiaohua nodded his head helplessly.
Elder Yu casually handed the sword back to Zhang Xiaohua and said, “How about this, Zhang Xiaohua, why don’t you attack me with the sword like you did to the black clothed man.”
Zhang Xiaohua and the rest were surprised and they shouted in unison, “No way!”
Ou Yan said, “Elder Yu, is there a need to go so far? It is enough to know that this sword is responsible for the attack, there is no need to witness its prowess personally.”
Zhang Xiaohua also shook his head and said, “Elder Yu, not to mention that the atmosphere now is different from then, I have already forgotten how I executed the stance that day. Furthermore, I will not be able to bear the responsibility if I hurt you accidentally.”
He Tianshu added, “Elder Yu, this might sound impolite but the black clothed elder’s metal cocoon skill is top-tiered even if his martial art skill is not comparable to yours, and Change Ge’s sword was not enough to pierce through his defence. Do you think you could withstand Chang Ge’s sword without getting hurt?”
Elder Yu pondered for a moment and smiled bitterly, “Zhang Xiaohua’s sword stance was imparted to him by me, so I am naturally happy of his accomplishments. However, I really want to know how his sword stance’s prowess exceeded my expectations.”
Everyone continued to shake their heads and just at that moment, Qiu Tong interrupted, “How about this, elder Yu, we can let Zhang Xiaohua demonstrate the sword stance again but with half its power, there should not be much danger with this right?”
Apart from Zhang Xiaohua, everyone else revealed expressions of approval.
Actually, Zhang Xiaohua never expected to use the sword stance against another person while he was practicing it. The sensation also appeared only when he executed the movement at the required speed, and its prowess was something Zhang Xiaohua had experienced personally so he was certain that elder Yu would not be able to receive it safely.
However, he knew that elder Yu would definitely feel insulted if he said these, after all, he had only trained the sword stance for a few months so what rights did he have to brag so proudly to his teacher?
Another problem was pertaining to Qiu Tong’s suggestion, how was he able to reduce its power by half? His own left hand was already used to the required speed for the sensation to appear, and even if he reduced the force he put into the sword by half, its prowess would definitely not be halved as long as the flow appeared, and he was unwilling to let elder Yu risk the danger.
Zhang Xiaohua was about to object when his eyes suddenly brightened, he smiled and said, “Alright, I shall use half the force as elder sister Qiu Tong suggested for you to try and intercept. However, I shall say this in advance, even if this sword stance is not as powerful as you think, the other sword stances will be similar in power as well.”
Elder Yu smiled and said, “Alright, then I shall try this sword stance.”
After finishing his sentence, elder Yu left the hall first while everyone else followed behind, and only Zhang Xiaohua had a bitter face as he walked at the back.
There was a spacious little field in the middle of the courtyard.
Elder Yu and Zhang Xiaohua stood facing each other in the field, and Zhang Xiaohua asked, “Elder Yu, I shall begin if you are ready.”
Elder Yu smiled and said, “Alright, you can begin now, I am ready.”
Zhang Xiaohua was still worried and he asked again, “Elder Yu, are you sure you don’t what to consider again if we should do this?”
Elder Yu mock scolded, “Little rascal, just show your hand. The sword stance was taught by me so what is there for me to be afraid of?”
Upon hearing this, Zhang Xiaohua switched the sword to his right hand and shouted, “I’m coming.” His right hand gripped onto the sword as he executed the sword stance he used to kill the black clothed elder, and the small sword was like a meteor from a hidden corner as it shot towards elder Yu’s throat.
The fact was that the sword stance was powerful, and He Tianshu who was watching aside was surprised as he had never seen Zhang Xiaohua practiced the sword before. Now that he watched Zhang Xiaohua’s demonstration, he realized that the sword stance appeared very practiced as its angle, force and grip were flawless, and he could not help but feel worried for elder Yu.
However, elder Yu’s smile remained on his face. What a joke, the sword stance was imparted to Zhang Xiaohua by him so all its variations, angles and movements were familiar to him, so he naturally began his counter before the sword stance got close to him.
When the small sword was in front of his eyes, elder Yu extended his unarmed hand forwards and caught Zhang Xiaohua’s wrist. If it was a real fight with an enemy, Zhang Xiaohua would definitely struggle but at that moment, he naturally stopped and looked at elder Yu while awaiting for further instructions.
Elder Yu was slightly disappointed as he said, “Just this stance? It is pretty normal.”
Zhang Xiaohua replied, “I am sure that I used this stance that day.”
Elder Yu looked over at the other people. He Tianshu was faraway that night so he was uncertain, and as for Ou Yan and Qiu Tong, they were flustered from the danger that night so how could they notice these things?
Seeing that the rest were unsure, elder Yu released his grip and said, “Then try using other sword stances on me.”
Zhang Xiaohua helplessly raised his small word again and demonstrated the other sword variations, but the result remained the same, and he was caught by elder Yu’s only arm again.
Elder Yu was still unsatisfied so he asked, “What if you used your full strength?”
Everyone objected again when they heard this, but Zhang Xiaohua thought secretly, “Even if I used my left hand and full strength, you would still be able to intercept it.”
Elder Yu said in an annoyed tone, “We would not know how powerful this sword is if you do not use your full strength.”
He Tianshu smiled and said, “Isn’t that easy? Just strike any large tree in the courtyard to find that out.”
Elder Yu laughed, “Haha, He Tianshu is right, I am being too obstinate. Let’s see you demonstrate on a tree.”
At the corner of the courtyard was a tree as wide as two people could hug. Elder Yu walked over to the tree and smiled at Ou Yan, he said, “Villa master, can we use this tree for our experiment?”
Ou Yan smiled and said, “It is okay to try as long as you don’t kill it.”
Elder Yu turned to Zhang Xiaohua and said, “Zhang Xiaohua, use your full strength to strike this tree.”
Zhang Xiaohua was unhappy as he thought, “A tree is still a life form, why are you so heartless towards them? I can’t even bear to hurt the flowers or grass while practicing yet you are instructing me to do something this bad right now.”
Zhang Xiaohua walked to under the tree and used the same sword variation with his full strength to pierce the large tree. Zhang Xiaohua’s five hundred jin strength in each arm was not for naught as a “Phuahh” sound echoed out and the metal rod like small sword bore a three to four cun hole into it.
Even though the result was quite impressive, elder Yu was still unsatisfied as a sword with a sharp edge is also able to produce such a result, yet Chang Ge’s sword was unable to penetrate the black clothed elder’s metal cocoon.
Hence, he asked again for Zhang Xiaohua’s sword and used it personally to attack the tree. With a “Phuu” sound, the sword struck into the tree about as deep as the length of the sword, and it seemed no different from a metal rod.
Elder Yu retrieved the small sword and looked at the hole made in the tree. He was wordless for a moment before turning towards Zhang Xiaohua and said, “Zhang Xiaohua, your strength is quite impressive, the hole I made is not as deep as yours.”
Zhang Xiaohua’s mouth curved into a smile as he said, “I do not dare to accept your compliment, elder Yu, it’s just that I am still young.”
After trying for a few more times with not satisfactory outcome, everyone came to the conclusion that Zhang Xiaohua’s success in killing the black clothed elder was due to the latter’s carelessness.
The black clothed elder must have slighted Zhang Xiaohua’s small sword which had no sharp edge and assumed that the latter had no martial arts background so he did not used his full strength to guard his attack. When his palm was pierced, he realized that Zhang Xiaohua had superhuman strength, but it was already too late as Zhang Xiaohua broke through his metal cocoon to pierce his throat, causing his death.
After some consideration, this was the conclusion that everyone came to, and why so? Who wouldn’t agree if they saw the indignant expression on the black clothed elder’s face?
Carelessness can cause death.
A minor detail led to the reversal of the situation.
Since everyone came to this conclusion, they no longer continued to discuss on the topic and returned back to the main hall. Elder Yu returned the small sword back to Zhang Xiaohua who kept it carefully into his breast and specially sat in a further distance away from the former.
Everyone began to chat idly again when Zhang Xiaohua suddenly thought of something and asked Ou Yan, “Elder sister Ou, can I ask you something?”
Ou Yan replied curiously, “What is it, Xiaohua, just say it freely.”
“We, when we left the villa for such a long time, is there an allowance for that?” Zhang Xiaohua asked sheepishly, “Or is there any pay or compensation for the period while I was injured and away?”
Ou Yan was surprised as she exchanged glances with Qiu Tong before saying, “Xiaohua, what do you mean by this? Can you explain it more clearly?”
Zhang Xiaohua’s face turned red as he recounted how station head Luo requested Zhang Xiaohu to separate his living expenses, and Ou Yan’s face turned white and was about to speak up when Qiu Tong hurriedly interrupted, “Young mistress, don’t be angry. Leave this matter to me, I will go to the escort station and talk to fourth elder Wen about this later.”
Ou Yan took a deep breath and replied, “Alright, I am reassured if you are handling this.”
She smiled towards Zhang Xiaohua and said, “Xiaohua, you don’t need to worry about this matter, we will handle it for you.”
Zhang Xiaohua then sighed in relief, he said, “My second brother’s pay is already not much, so his job might be fruitless if he has to pay for my living expenses as well.”
Gosh… had Zhang Xiaohua forgotten about the dump of money pouches?!
When Ou Yan heard his words, she thought of something and said to Zhang Xiaohua, “Xiaohua, wait for a moment.”
After finishing her sentence, she went out and not long later, she returned with a small wooden box and passed it to Zhang Xiaohua. She said, “Zhang Xiaohua, I prepared this for you a while ago, so I shall give it to you now that you have returned.”
Zhang Xiaohua was surprised, he hesitated for a moment before accepting it and opened it casually. In the next moment, he became as surprised as Zhang Xiaohu from the previous night and exclaimed in shock, “Elder sister Ou, why is there so many checks? Are they for me?”
Everyone burst into laughter when they saw Zhang Xiaohua’s shocked expression. Qiu Tong explained, “This is your prize for sacrificing your life. Our Piaomiao sect’s sect master personally instructed for this to be prepared and it was actually supposed to be three hundred taels, but sect master Ou said that it was too little and added five thousand tales to the sum. Our young mistress still felt that it was too little so she took out another five thousand tales from the mountain villa and was about to give it to your family.”
Zhang Xiaohua looked at the checks blankly, he blinked and said, “I have never expected myself to be able to earn so much money. If you stack all the money together, it might be taller and heavier than me.”
Everyone laughed as they said, “That is of course!”
Zhang Xiaohua pondered before closing the wooden box and passing it back to Ou Yan, he said, “Elder sister Ou, you treat me so well just like my elder sister Qing, so sacrificing myself when you are in danger is no different from protecting my family to me. Moreover, my life is still ‘preserved’ so I definitely cannot accept this money.”
Zhang Xiaohua’s reaction exceeded Ou Yan’s expectations and she asked in disbelief, “Xiaohua, there is ten thousand taels here, are you sure you don’t want it?”
Zhang Xiaohua smiled and said, “Elder sister Ou, to be honest, not to mention ten thousand taels, I have not even seen a hundred taels of money before. This is the money you prepared when you thought I passed away, but I am alright now so I naturally cannot accept it.”
Ou Yan pondered and said, “How about this, since you saved my life after all, and your elder sister Ou’s life is very precious and worth far more than these money, why don’t you treat this money as a thank you gift?”
Zhang Xiaohua continued to reject, he said, “Elder sister Ou, haven’t I said this before? Saving you is like saving a family member to me, so do you think I will ask for money from my own family?”
The two tugged and pushed like this for half the day until Zhang Xiaohua helplessly opened the wooden box and said, “Elder sister Ou, I will accept your kindness then.”
After finishing his sentence, he took out a check that was worth a hundred taels and kept it in his breast. He said, “This hundred taels of money is worth the same as ten thousand taels of elder sister’s sincerity to me, so keeping this hundred taels is equivalent to accepting elder sister’s ten thousand taels worth of sincerity, what do you think?”
Ou Yan’s eyes brightened and she giggled, “Xiaohua, you have many little smarts about you. Alright, elder sister won’t force you in that case, but remember that you said you consider me as part of your family so I am going to treat you like my own family as well, and I hope you treat me like your elder sister as well.”
Zhang Xiaohua became overjoyed when he heard this, he said, “Elder sister Ou, I have nothing more to ask for with an elder sister like you.”
Ou Yan rolled her eyes upon hearing this, she smiled and said, “As long as you know this.”
She turned to Qiu Tong and said, “Go to the accounts room in the mountain villa, Xiaohua’s monthly pay…”
Ou Yan pondered for a moment but she did not say any actual sum. Qiu Tong understood that Ou Yan was unaware of the payroll of the mountain villa so she smiled and said, “Young mistress does not have to worry about this. As long as Xiaohua works in our mountain villa, he will not be short-changed in the future. I propose that we give him three taels each month for now since his food and accommodation expenses are all covered by the mountain villa, and it would not be good if he gives too much money to his family.”
Zhang Xiaohua was naturally overjoyed when he heard that his pay had increased by ten times, and Ou Yan was also pleased when she saw the happiness on Zhang Xiaohua’s expression. She said to Zhang Xiaohua, “Xiaohua, what do you like to do in the mountain villa in the future? We can let Qiu Tong arrange this for you.”
Zhang Xiaohua pondered for a while before saying, “I should better stick with squad leader He. Not only can I learn fist martial arts, I can learn to plant different types of herbs and even help elder sister solve difficult problems.”
Ou Yan smiled and said, “I shall let you be then since Xiaohua still wants to help elder sister solve this problem”
She said to He Tianshu, “I will have to trouble squad leader He in the future to look after Xiaohua. His work should not be too strenuous, and you can let him read whatever he wants to read and practice whatever martial arts he wants to learn, what do you think?”
He Tianshu smiled and said, “I agree with villa master, Zhang Xiaohua is a good child who does not require much effort for me to look after.”
Everyone’s praises caused Zhang Xiaohua to feel uncomfortable, he scratched his head and said helplessly, “Am I really that fool? Why don’t I feel it at all?”
His stomach growled loudly while he was in the middle of his sentence.
Zhang Xiaohua’s face flushed again and he said, “Elder sister Ou, is there still any breakfast after talking for the whole morning? I have not eaten the food in the mountain villa for some time and am missing it now.”