Martial Cultivator-Chapter 430: Not Many Good People, Too many Bad People

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Chapter 430: Not Many Good People, Too many Bad People

After descending the mountain and returning to the small town, Chen Chao traveled without incident. He did not flaunt the snowy white deer antlers he had obtained, so the cultivators on the mountain would not know that the young martial artist in front of them was the one who killed the demon king and seized the demon antlers. They might not even be aware that the demon king was already dead, continuing to search the mountains for the demon antlers.

In fact, the deer antlers in Chen Chao's possession could have been given to Xu Bai and his wife. This trip to Sword Qi Mountain, what he wanted to ask them to do was a huge request. Having an extra pair of deer antlers was actually just adding flowers to embroidery; unlikely to truly move Sword Qi Mountain. However, even when visiting relatives, it was customary to bring a small gift. What Chen Chao wanted to request was significant, so the pair of snowy white deer antlers served as a meeting gift.

However, Xu Bai's flying sword had become scrap iron after clashing with his broken saber. But presumably, Xu Bai should not mind it, as long as he saved his wife. Especially since the flying sword was not a valuable item. Otherwise, Jiang Ying would not have been so eager to replace the flying sword for her husband.

Thinking of Jiang Ying, Chen Chao's thoughts were complex. That woman could not be considered a good person, but neither was she evil. Her deep feelings led her to act this way. However, if not for Xu Bai, Chen Chao might have had to kill this woman with all his might. Although the young girl Xie Ying had somewhat changed his mindset, he was determined not to become a soft-hearted person. He would not hesitate to kill those who should be killed.

When he returned to the town, it was already early next morning. Chen Chao stood before the small courtyard. Instead of barging in, he patiently knocked on the door.

After a while, the young man, Erhu asked softly from inside, "Is it Sir Chen?"

Chen Chao replied with an affirmative sound, and he opened the courtyard gate, saying with joy, "I thought Sir Chen would be on the mountain for many days. Why did you come back so early?"

Chen Chao chuckled half-seriously, "The demon king was killed by someone, so there's no show to watch anymore. Why wouldn't I come back?"

The young man was taken aback for a moment before asking, "Who killed it? Was it South Mountain Maitreya or the sword cultivator Xu Bai?"

Chen Chao asked with some curiosity, "You seem to know quite a bit."

The young man scratched his head sheepishly. He was quite clever and always kept his wits about him. After Chen Chao left earlier, he went to the inn to inquire. With South Mountain Maitreya those people being somewhat famous figures in Yellow Dragon Prefecture, it was natural for him to have heard of them.

Chen Chao walked into the courtyard, smiled, and said, "Guess."

The young man followed behind Chen Chao and asked probingly, "It must be that sword cultivator Xu Bai, right? I heard his sword cultivation is quite renowned in Yellow Dragon Prefecture."

Chen Chao shook his head, pointed to himself, and smiled, "I killed it."

The young man was stunned for a moment, then exclaimed, "Sir Chen is truly skilled!"

Chen Chao waved his hand and said with a laugh, "I'm just teasing you. How could I have the ability?"

The young man shook his head and said, "Sir Chen killed that scruffy daoist in an instant. Killing a demon king should be possible too, right?"

As they spoke, a young girl had already brought a basin of clean water and a cloth towel. Arriving in front of Chen Chao, she said somewhat timidly, "Benefactor, please wash your face."

Chen Chao took the cloth towel, washed his face, before saying, "Don't call me benefactor, just call me sir. As for that demon king, it's much stronger than that scruffy daoist. You didn't see it, the demonic qi filled the sky. It's not something the average person can handle."

After washing his face, Chen Chao found a chair to sit under the eaves and said, "Hurry up and tidy up. How about we set off today?"

Before the young man could speak, the young girl asked timidly, "So early?"

Chen Chao glanced at the young girl, but before he spoke, the young man on the side already said with some embarrassment, "We were planning to pay respects to our deceased parents today. After that, we might not be able to come back for many years."

Chen Chao glanced with his peripheral vision and sure enough, he saw a bag of yellow paper and some incense candles in the corner of the room.

Seeing Chen Chao's silence, the young girl hurriedly said, "If Sir thinks it's not convenient, we'll pack up immediately."

Chen Chao shook his head and said softly, "How can I say no to such a thing? I'll accompany you guys."

The young man quickly waved his hand, "How can we trouble Sir with this sort of thing?"

Chen Chao raised an eyebrow and teased, "Are you worried that your sister here will catch my eye? You were hiding her so secretly before. How come it seems like you're only wary of me now?"

The young man's face turned red, unsure of what to say for a moment. The young girl was even more flustered, turning away, her face already flushed.

Chen Chao asked, "Outside the town? There are many cultivators there. I really can't rest assured if you two go alone. If something happens to you two, I'll have to make another trip, which would be quite troublesome."

The young man nodded and thanked, "Then I thank Sir Chen."

After that, following the young man and girl out, they chatted idly along the way. It was only then that Chen Chao learned the girl's name was Chunyue. Compared to the young man Erhu's name, it was much better. This made Chen Chao sigh and comment that Erhu seemed like an adopted son, whereas Chunyue was clearly their biological daughter.

The girl was already shy in the first place, and now she spoke even less. However, listening to Chen Chao's words made her feel happy, and she could not help stealing glances at him along the way.

As for Chen Chao, he had grown considerably taller in the past two years. Although he could not be called handsome, he could at least be described as refined-looking. Coupled with his extremely attractive eyes, Chen Chao's overall demeanor was quite striking. He was way easier on the eyes than the usual handsome young man.

Arriving at the outskirts of the town in the forest, the siblings found their parents' graves with ease. The young man knelt before the grave, his eyes red with tears. "Father, Mother, Erhu is taking his sister to the Divine Capital. We won't be able to come back to pay our respects to you in the future, but rest assured, Erhu will take good care of his sister and won't let her suffer any grievances."

Unlike her elder brother, the young girl just shed tears silently, perhaps recalling past memories.

Chen Chao stood alone at a distance, gazing into the distance, lost in thought.

Upon returning to the town, the young man had returned to normal, but the young girl's eyes were still red, occasionally choking back sobs.

Chen Chao couldn't help but say, "Life is a series of farewells. Whether one leaves early or late, we all have to leave. It's best to take it in stride."

The girl nodded slightly but did not speak.

After returning to the courtyard, the girl prepared a sumptuous meal. The three of them sat down to eat, and Chen Chao asked, "What about the house? Are you going to sell it?"

The young man shook his head and said, "We might have to come back in the future. It's good to have a place to stay then. Besides, if we really sell the house, our hometown might not feel like home anymore."

Chen Chao nodded without saying anything to dampen the mood. After finishing the meal, he returned to his room early to rest. At the same time, he reminded the siblings to pack their belongings. Early the next morning, they would set off for the nearby prefecture. Chen Chao would arrange a trustworthy merchant convoy for them to travel with to the Divine Capital. As for whether there would be any unexpected incidents along the way, it was hard to say.

The night passed without incident, but in the morning, several disheveled cultivators returned to the town's inn.

Chen Chao pushed open the door early in the morning to find the siblings already packed and waiting in the courtyard. Chen Chao had spent the night circulating his qi, partially healing his previous injuries. Normally, one should temper their body after breaking through, but considering that he was outside, he decided to postpone it for now.

Chen Chao led the siblings out of the house. The young man locked the door and hid the key under a stone slab in front of the door. The girl took a reluctant glance at the small house. Leaving home and hometown behind was never easy.

The three of them quickly left the small town. However, as soon as they left, they encountered several itinerant cultivators returning to town. During their conversation, they inadvertently revealed that they had already discovered the demon king's corpse and that South Mountain Maitreya had died. They speculated that the demon antler had fallen into the hands of the Xu Bai husband and wife. Knowing Xu Bai's profound swordsmanship, they did not dare provoke them or even entertain the idea of snatching it. So, they returned to town to prepare to leave.

Seeing Chen Chao and the others, a cultivator noticed the girl's attractive looks and a strange look appeared in his eyes. However, before he could make any moves, Chen Chao narrowed his eyes at him.

The man suddenly felt a chill run down his spine. He finally noticed the young man in black with a saber. Quickly retracting his gaze, he dared not give rise to any thoughts.

Chen Chao was expressionless as they passed by those few people.

At this moment, Chen Chao was glad he made the right decision. If he had let the siblings leave alone, their corpses might have been abandoned in the wilderness not long after they left the town.

On the way to the commandery city, Chen Chao and the others followed the official road. However, this section of the road was far from smooth. Even a horse carriage would have to stop frequently too. Chen Chao had not thought of hiring a carriage because of this. Instead, he slowed his pace, deliberately waiting for the siblings who had never ventured far from home.

The girl was weak to begin with, and after walking for a while, she began to struggle. However, she bravely did not say a word, just toughing it out. Chen Chao saw through her stubbornness and suggested taking a short rest.

But the boy said worriedly, "Sir, spending the night outside..."

Chen Chao chuckled, "Do you think we can walk to the county city in just one day with our legs alone?"

The young man smiled awkwardly, almost forgetting about that.

Sitting on a large bluestone, the girl brought a water pouch to Chen Chao. He took it but did not lift his head up. Water rose from the pouch and flowed into his mouth.

The girl widened her eyes, never having seen such a sight before.

After showing off a bit of skill, Chen Chao handed the water pouch back to the girl, and said in a serious tone, "You're pretty. When you get to the Divine Capital, you need to be careful. There are plenty of lecherous individuals in the Divine Capital who would covet your beauty too."

The girl nodded silently. Over the years, she had hardly ever left the small courtyard, it was because she was born with pretty good looks. Beauty might be a blessing for girls born into influential families, but for minor characters like them, it might not bring good fortune, but disaster instead.

The girl suddenly gathered courage and asked, "Sir, where will you be staying in the Divine Capital? So that in the future, when you return to the Divine Capital, my brother and I can thank you?"

Chen Chao remained silent, just gazing into the distance.

As dusk fell, three figures appeared on the road ahead.

It was precisely the three brothers who had stayed at the inn before, all itinerant cultivators.

Chen Chao did not get up, just smiling and asking, "Fellow Daoists, what's this? Are you not killing the demon king anymore? Switched to robbery?"

The three of them remained expressionless, and one of them said calmly, "Hand over the demon antlers and we can spare your life."

Chen Chao pretended to be surprised, "Demon antler? What demon antler?"

Without mincing words, the man said bluntly, "I've seen the body of the deer demon and South Mountain Maitreya. It's not from sword wounds, but saber wounds."

Chen Chao gave an "oh", realizing his oversight. He did not think of this.

He jumped off the large bluestone, gesturing to the siblings not to be afraid, and took a step forward. Then, he smiled and said, "Have you ever thought about why Xu Bai didn't make a move to snatch the demon antler?"

"That Xu Bai that goody-two-shoes, he's clearly crawling in the mud himself, yet still believes in some sort of chivalrous spirit of the martial world. What a waste of his Sword Dao cultivation."

One of them said coldly, "But we are not Xu Bai."

Chen Chao said emotionally, "Yeah, that's why as long as he's alive, and you lot deserve to die."

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