Chapter 281: Innocent

Chapter 281: Innocent

The young Daoist priest stood up and stepped out from his straw mat. He then rolled up the Daoist scroll that he was reading and lightly patted his hands, looking at the dejected young boy who had just arrived in front of them. This Heavenly Lord, who was skillful in battle yet relatively unknown in Majestic World, suddenly felt a little happy.

He's most likely broken up with that detestable young girl, right?

In a rare sight, the young Daoist priest decided to console Chen Ping’an. He tried his best to put on an expression that he felt was kindly and sincere, and he smiled with squinted eyes and said, "The temper of that stinky young girl is far too bad. She's also far too aloof. Only her appearance is slightly better, her background is slightly better, her aptitude is slightly better, and her future potential is slightly better... Why fall for someone like her?

"So, don't take things to heart now that you've broken up with her. After all, just look at Stalactite Mountain over here. You can randomly walk along the streets and find yourself a bunch of warm and gentle girls with ease. Take a look at their slender waists that look just like strips of pickled cabbage. This isn't a rare sight at all. Which girl do you like? I'll help you."

There was a reluctant smile on Chen Ping'an's face. However, he didn't say anything, as it was best not to provoke a supremely powerful person like this young Daoist priest.

Chen Ping'an simply farewelled the smiling young Daoist priest in a respectful manner. As for the sword-hugging middle-aged man, he was dozing off as he always did in the mornings. Thus, Chen Ping'an didn't disturb his beautiful dreams.

Ning Yao had mentioned this person to Chen Ping'an before. He had participated in the ninth of the thirteen battles, yet he had lost to a 12th tier great demon who was only a hundred years old. It had been a pitiful loss for him, while that young great demon with a celestial tool had suddenly shot to fame from out of nowhere. The great demon's name had spread throughout the world that lay to the south of the Sword Qi Great Wall. Meanwhile, the sword-hugging middle-aged man had been sent here as punishment, with Stalactite Mountain being his prison.

The sword-hugging middle-aged man was an itinerant sword immortal. He was over 500 years old, yet he hadn't started a family or left any descendants at the Sword Qi Great Wall. According to rumors, he had once had a Dao partner of mediocre cultivation talent when he was still at the early stages of the Middle Five Tiers. After she died on the battlefield, this sword immortal had never married another woman in his long life that followed. He had a fairly good relationship with everyone, yet he didn't have a very deep relationship with anyone.

When it came to cultivators, especially Qi refiners at the Upper Five Tiers, having offspring was a grand and mystical matter. This was especially the case for females who wanted to achieve immortality and attain the Dao. They needed to cease having periods from a young age[1], so it was naturally very difficult for them to give birth.

Moreover, with the exception of Militarians, Qi refiners were largely unwilling to involve themselves with mortal karma. Unless a couple was extremely confident that they could give birth to a child with extremely good cultivation talent, they would often delay this matter indefinitely until a suitable fated opportunity arrived.

Otherwise, how would those immortal clans and forces in the mountains deal with descendants and disciples who were as weak and mediocre as mere mortals?

Would they raise them as if they were raising chickens and dogs?

So be it if these pitiful insects with poor talent yet high standards were willing to lead a peaceful life and wait for death. In reality, however, many such untalented hacks had brought destruction to their clan or force throughout history.

Moreover, even if cultivators were willing to afford their descendants patience and love, it was ultimately a sorrowful affair for white-haired elders to continually and helplessly farewell their black-haired descendants.

Passing down wealth and continuing a clan's lineage was a matter for one's clan. However, attaining Dao and achieving longevity was a matter for oneself.

Even though Jewel Small World that had hung above Eastern Treasured Vial Continent's Great Li Empire was the smallest of the 36 small worlds, measuring only 500 kilometers in radius, it was still able to attract everyone's gaze because of the unfathomable talents that it produced. Even the offspring of ordinary mortals could possess talent similar to the offspring of earth immortals who had planned long and hard for childbirth.

For example, cultivation prodigies who had walked out of Jewel Small World included Complete Reed Continent's Xie Shi, Southern Whirl Continent's Cao Xi, the twin jade pendants of the Great Li Empire who had helped the Imperial Song Clan extend the fortune of their empire, and so on.

Chen Ping'an returned to Stork Inn and found out that Osmanthus Island had already set off on its return trip to Old Dragon City. Chen Ping'an asked the young inn manager which intercontinental ships could take him to the central region of Parasol Leaf Continent, and which ferry stations in Stalactite Mountain he could board these intercontinental ships from.

The young inn manager's family had lived in Stalactite Mountain for countless generations, so he was naturally well aware of this information. The patch of sea surrounding Parasol Leaf Continent was windy and had tall waves, so it was naturally not suitable for intercontinental ships that traveled on the sea. This was especially the case for the southern region of Parasol Leaf Continent, which was close to inaccessible.

As such, almost all of the ferry stations in Parasol Leaf Continent were located in the north. This was partly the reason why Parasol Leaf Sect in the north could suppress Jade Tablet Sect.

In the end, the young inn manager suggested that Chen Ping'an take a Treasure Swallowing Whale that could travel along the bottom of the sea. He could board this intercontinental ship from Stalactite Mountain's Incense Offering Dock, and the ship would take him straight to Planchette Writing Sect[2] in the central region of Parasol Leaf Continent.

The Treasure Swallowing Whale was scheduled to leave in ten days, so Chen Ping'an booked a room in Stork Inn to stay in.

The young inn manager glanced at the disappearing figure of the young boy as he made calculations with his abacus. He couldn't help but feel slightly puzzled. The young boy was still carrying a sword, but where had his sword case gone? Also, wasn't this a different sword from the one he had before?

The young inn manager shook his head and rid himself of these thoughts. This was Stalactite Mountain, so strange matters were the norm rather than the exception.

Indeed, it was only a short while ago when a young boy from Middle Earth Divine Continent had caused a huge commotion when facing his opportunity to break through to the next tier of martial arts. The instant that he had strode over to Stalactite Mountain from the Sword Qi Great Wall, he had shockingly triggered a peculiar phenomenon of heaven and earth that caused the mirror-like gate on the plaza to shudder violently.

In fact, even the Great Heavenly Lord guarding Lone Peak had been forced to show himself. According to rumors, the Great Heavenly Lord had personally unleashed his powers to suppress the astounding commotion taking place at the gate.

There was also a group of female immortals from Sweet Rain Sect in the sea who had brought countless flood dragon corpses to Stalactite Mountain and made a huge sum of money.

The Flood Dragon True Lord had spent the most money, and he had purchased a large amount of golden and silver-colored flood dragon whiskers. In fact, he had spent so much that he had accumulated a debt with the sellers. However, no one thought that the True Lord was an idiot for incurring that debt. After all, his fly-whisk, already outstanding among pseudo-celestial tools, was likely approaching the level of genuine celestial tools now.

Meanwhile, a young man who was with the female cultivators from Sweet Rain Sect instantly became hot property that everyone wanted a piece of. As it turned out, this fortunate person who had just married into Sweet Rain Sect was not only the Dao partner of the extremely renowned Celestial Maiden Pangtuo[3], but the founder of Sweet Rain Sect had also discovered that he possessed trulyoutstanding cultivation aptitude.

Afterward, Celestial Maiden Yulin, who was renowned throughout the South Sea, had also fallen in love with him and become his wife. And thus, two Golden Core Tier celestial maidens who had the potential to become earth immortals were now married to the same man. Such great fortune truly made him the envy of all others.

On the path of cultivation, whether one's fortune was good or bad could truly make an astronomical difference.

After traveling to the Sword Qi Great Wall, Chen Ping'an had stayed on the great wall the entire time and not gone anywhere else. While staying there, he had felt like he could say his bellyful of words slowly.

After being tossed back to Stalactite Mountain, however, he discovered that it was already too late.

However, aggrieved as he was, he wasn't feeling too sad at this moment. Rather, he was feeling quite anxious.

Chen Ping'an held his key and walked to his room. In fact, there was nothing for him to leave here. He only had a sword on his back and a Sword Nurturing Gourd by his waist. He didn't have anything else apart from these. Heeding the young inn manager's suggestion from before, Chen Ping'an quickly left his room and headed to the shops nearby to purchase some necessities.

He bought the Mountain and Sea Chronicle, a book that described the cultures and lands in Majestic World. Of course, this was the type of book for immortals, or else he would simply be wasting his money. A single page in this book could hold a dozen or so pictures and three to four thousand words. These pictures and words were like flowing water and drifting clouds that slowly moved around the pages.

He also bought a book that introduced the official dialect of Parasol Leaf Continent, as well as one for the dialect of Middle Earth Divine Continent. Chen Ping'an definitely didn't want to arrive in Parasol Leaf Continent and be unable to communicate with the people there from the beginning to the end.

Even though the situation of Parasol Leaf Continent was definitely similar to that of Eastern Treasured Vial Continent, with many dialects existing in the various empires and vassal states, learning the official dialect used by imperial courts and immortals in the mountains was most certainly a necessity.

It was almost impossible to find underpriced goods in Stalactite Mountain, especially if they were immortal treasures or spirit tools. The Qi refiners here all possessed high cultivation bases and good appraisal skills. Moreover, the prices of goods and treasures here were often far higher than those of other states in Majestic World.

However, there was one very good thing in Stalactite Mountain, and that was the lack of fake goods. Businesses that had the ability to open shop here were almost all reputable ones that had existed for hundreds upon thousands of years. There were no fly-by-night businesses, and everyone greatly cherished their hard-earned brand reputation.

A single grain rain coin was worth an exorbitant amount of money, as long as one didn't compare it to gold essence copper coins that were unique to Jewel Small World.

This was the case even in Stalactite Mountain where there was a large number of immortals. T/his chapter is updat𝓮d by nov(ê(l)biin.co/m

Since Chen Ping'an had money, and given that he wasn't planning to invest it in anything else, he naturally couldn't leave it in his pockets to rot away. As such, Chen Ping'an planned to buy a useful spirit tool for Lin Shouyi and Xie Xie. It was okay even if these spirit tools were a bit more expensive. As for Little Baoping, Li Huai, and Yu Lu, they didn't need such spirit tools. The former two were yet to become cultivators and were still very young. Meanwhile, Yu Lu was also a pure martial artist like himself.

In terms of selling things, he definitely wouldn't engage in such an activity.

After all, Chen Ping'an wasn't lacking money right now.

After buying the books near Stork Inn, Chen Ping'an headed to Ganoderma Inn which he had briefly visited with Jin Su before. However, they had only taken a quick glance at things, and Chen Ping'an hadn't been able to look at the goods and treasures carefully. Indeed, he had simply treated that visit as an opportunity to appreciate immortal treasures.

This time, however, Chen Ping'an came here with a clear goal. His search was very targeted, and he completely ignored the immortal treasures that were eyewateringly expensive and had prerequisites for Qi refiners to use. He didn't so much as glance at these treasures.

Chen Ping'an hoped to find a Daoist scripture or spirit tool suitable for practicing lightning element techniques. Otherwise, he wanted to find something like the dew bowl that Zhang Shanfeng had obtained before, one which was capable of accumulating spiritual energy from heaven and earth for its owner.

Even with such specific goals, there were still enough treasures to make Chen Ping'an's eyes go blurry.

He carefully walked back and forth around Ganoderma Inn for almost half a day, building an increasingly clear plan in his mind. After picking a dozen or so items in his mind, he would return to Stork Inn to mull over them at night, weighing up the pros and cons of each treasure. That way, he could most likely make some informed purchases the next day.

There was a lightning element Daoist scripture that was labeled as an only copy, two kinds of high-grade alchemical pills used for cleansing marrow and tempering bones — one from Circling Ascension Continent's Black and White Sect and one from Southern Whirl Continent's Censer Mountain, both renowned forces from the Daoist Sect's alchemy branch — and finally seven or eight different spirit tools.

While walking around Ganoderma Inn, Chen Ping'an inadvertently glanced at three Militarian armor pellets that were placed in a row inside a wooden case. According to the accompanying description next to the case, these were Divine Dewbearing Armor similar to the one worn by the imperial preceptor of Ancient Elm Nation. However, these three armor pellets were much higher grade, and all three of them could be worn at the same time. Not only that, but the wearer wouldn't feel any sense of burden. One could imagine just how incredible the defensive ability of these armor pellets was.

It was just that the asking price was far too terrifying.

A whopping 30,000 snowflake coins!

A single snowflake coin was approximately equivalent to 1000 taels of silver.

A single lesser heat coin was equivalent to 100 snowflake coins.

A single grain rain coin was equivalent to 10 lesser heat coins.

This was the so-called "magnitudes of 10" rule for currency used by immortals from the mountains.

Chen Ping'an remembered that even the most prized treasure on Ceremony Mountain's kun ship hadn't cost this much money.

Moreover, this price was taking into account the fact that two of the three armor pellets were slightly damaged and not properly repaired. Thus, the armor pellets couldn't be regarded as flawless.

However, these armor pellets were far from being the most expensive immortal treasures in Ganoderma Inn. There were many immortal treasures that Ganoderma Inn hadn't priced using snowflake coins or lesser heat coins. Instead, their price tags were in grain rain coins.

There was a golden-yellow feather with flames floating inside a colored glaze display cabinet. There was no accompanying description, and the asking price was 100 grain rain coins.

There were also some items radiating with brilliant colors and some items that appeared completely unremarkable. These items didn't have a price, and they were instead marked with "negotiation."

Chen Ping'an felt a little numb after seeing all of this.

Night arrived, and Chen Ping'an decided on the two items that he would buy. There was the lightning element Daoist scripture that Ganoderma Inn dared to claim was "an only copy that is unfortunately missing dozens of pages, else the scripture would be priceless." He would give this scripture to Lin Shouyi. There was also the Divine Dewbearing Armor that couldn't be repaired to its original form. In fact, the price of both treasures was far above Chen Ping'an's planned budget. These treasures almost cost as much as immortal treasures.

However, Chen Ping'an didn't hesitate anymore after making up his mind.

Then, with a pale face, he started to practice walking meditation.

He wasn't pale simply because it pained him to spend so much money. Rather, it was because of Lasting Qi on his back, the sword that the old sword immortal had lent him for ten years. Right now, wisps of sword qi were radiating from the sword and continually seeping into his soul.

If he only carried the sword for a short while, his breathing and meditation definitely wouldn't be affected too much. However, carrying the sword for extended periods of time would cause him to suffer quite some punishment. This was a bit similar to the Deity Drumming Technique created by Cui Chan's grandfather; the effects would continually stack as time went on.

However, Chen Ping'an discovered that the Eighteen Stops Technique was more useful than the breathing technique taught to him by Old Man Yang when it came to helping him resist the sword qi that could "freeze one's heart and cleanse one's soul." Nonetheless, it was still very painful and difficult to endure.

Yet, it was this extremely familiar sense of pain that surprisingly made Chen Ping'an feel at ease.

The next day, Chen Ping'an went to Ganoderma Inn and bought the two treasures, handing over money in one hand and receiving the treasures in his other. There was no mishap.

The only surprise was that Ganoderma Inn gifted him a small carved work after he paid for the two treasures. This was a white ox holding a piece of ganoderma in its mouth.

Ganoderma Inn explained that today was the birthday of one of their founding ancestors, so Ganoderma Inn would always give their esteemed guests who spent enough money some small presents on this excellent day. These were the cheapest acquired spirit tools, and such spirit tools could be categorized as elegant ornaments for the study tables of wealthy clans. They were something to fiddle around with.

Chen Ping'an discovered that there were indeed more customers than yesterday. Moreover, some children accompanied by their elders as they walked out of Ganoderma Inn were indeed holding ornaments similar to white jade ganoderma ruyi.

It was already night when Chen Ping'an returned to Stork Inn. While taking a break after practicing walking meditation, Chen Ping'an heard someone lightly knocking on his door. He looked over and asked quietly, "Who is it?"

The man outside the door chuckled and spoke using the dialect of the Sword Qi Great Wall, saying, "I'm the gatekeeper who always sits on the hitching post. Little Ning asked me to deliver a message to you and also bring you an item."

Chen Ping'an hesitated for a moment before walking over and opening the door. He then silently retreated several steps.

Fortunately, his visitor was indeed the sword-hugging middle-aged man. One's appearance could be disguised, but the unique flavor of one's sword qi couldn't be faked.

The middle-aged man wasn't holding his sword this time. Upon seeing the puzzlement in Chen Ping'an's eyes, he smiled and explained, "Since I'm responsible for guarding the gate, I naturally need to leave something over there, right? So, I came here, while my sword remains on top of the hitching post."

The middle-aged man was a straightforward person, and he tossed a small package that was slightly larger than a fist to Chen Ping'an, saying, "This is a present from Little Ning. Apart from this, she said that you can wait in Stalactite Mountain for a while longer. Don't you have two golden flood dragon whiskers? I can find someone to help you forge them into fairly decent demon-binding chains. If you're unwilling to wait, however, then I can save myself from doing this favor."

After saying this, the middle-aged man invited himself to sit down. He then poured himself a cup of tea and continued, "Little Ning also asked someone about that golden Dao robe. It's an extremely high-grade Dao robe, and even ordinary terrestrial immortals will find it difficult to obtain such a robe.

"The name of the Dao robe is Golden Sweet Wine, and it's a precious relic left behind by an esteemed individual from Mount Longhu's Heavenly Master Residence. After breaking from their clan, this individual lived in seclusion and passed away on an island located in the south of the Lone Hanging Sea.

"The Dao robe was obtained by a lucky itinerant cultivator, but it was eventually snatched away by that old flood dragon from the Flood Dragon Trench. The Dao robe will also suit your size if you wear it, as it is a legitimate Dao robe, after all. Its size can change according to the person wearing it. Take it out, and I can help you cast some minor mystical ability on it. It's way too eye-catching as it is."

Chen Ping'an didn't hesitate this time, and he directly took out the golden Dao robe from his pocket treasure.

The sword immortal from the Sword Qi Great Wall who had participated in one of the thirteen battles snapped his fingers before roughly explaining his actions.

The illusion technique cast by the middle-aged man was similar to the one that Wei Bo had cast on Chen Ping'an's Sword Nurturing Gourd. It could prevent Qi refiners under the level of earth immortals from noticing anything special. Of course, the Dao robe would naturally activate and protect Chen Ping'an if he were facing a life-and-death situation. In such cases, his opponents wouldn't be fools either. They would obviously notice the clues.

When the middle-aged man left, he took with him the two golden flood dragon whiskers.

After closing the door, Chen Ping'an gently opened the small cotton package.

There was a rectangular Dragon Slaying Platform as large as his hand inside.

Most importantly, there were characters inscribed on both sides of the Dragon Slaying Platform, "Innocent" and "Ning Yao."

It was naturally the case that only great sword immortals could achieve the feat of inscribing characters onto Dragon Slaying Platforms. Ning Yao's parents had most likely made this in a meticulous manner and given it to their daughter as a present while she was still little.

After Ning Yao grew up, there was a day when she came across a young boy she liked, so she decided to gift the Dragon Slaying Platform to him.

1. This is a Daoist concept whereby the period of females will be detrimental to their cultivation. Thus, females need to cease having periods (斩赤龙) if they want to cultivate Dao. ☜

2. Planchette writing (扶乩), also known as Chinese Ouija, is a method of spirit writing that uses a suspended sieve or tray to guide a stick which writes Chinese characters in sand or incense ashes. ☜

3. Pangtuo literally translates to torrential, as in torrential rain. ☜

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