Chapter 11: Departure from Honghe City
”A trip?” Xu Min furrowed his brows as he pondered over the reason as to why he had to go on a trip. He had done all that had been asked of him, his training was smoothly underway, and he had finally broken into the rank of Warrior. Now, his teacher wanted to throw him out?
“Yes,” Wang Li answered straightforwardly. “It is one thing to have a strong body, but unless you obtain experience outside of my protection, you will never be able to become strong and independent,” he continued, this was the first time in all the years that Xu Min had lived together with him that he sounded like a true teacher.
“I know that you had previously lived within a forest for two years, but the forest that you lived in was as dangerous as my grandmother’s home.” Wang Li mocked, “What I want you to do is to enter a forest infested with demon beasts; only then will you understand what true survival is.”
“But teacher,” Xu Min interrupted, with confusion evident in his expression, “You never taught me how to fight, nor did you teach me any martial arts. How am I supposed to survive in a fight against demon beasts?”
After hearing Xu Min’s question, Wang Li snorted and started searching for something in his bag again. After rummaging through the contents for some time, a long sword appeared in his hands, a sword that was clearly far larger than what the bag could possibly contain. Seeing this, Xu Min’s eyes grew large.
“Since you are going on a trip, of course this teacher of yours will give you some gifts,” Wang Li said magnanimously. “Not only will I give you this weapon, I’ll even give you one more martial art skill, since you know that Shattering Palm thing. You should be fine.”
Hearing his teacher say as much, Xu Min could do nothing but nod his head in return, and he quickly accepted the sword that was given to him.
The sword was incredibly beautiful. The blade was around ten centimeters wide and half a centimeter broad. The sword was about a meter and a half long. The shaft was made from bone and wrapped in leather.
The blade was incredibly sharp. Just touching it cut Xu Min’s finger, making him bleed. What was strange was that Xu Min’s blood, upon contact on the sword, disappeared. It was as though the sword was drinking the blood up directly. Suddenly, black runes that Xu Min had never seen before appeared on the sides of the blade.
Staring agape at the sword, Xu Min, who had never used a weapon before, could not help but feel completely flabbergasted as he held the heavy sword in his hand.
Although the sword was heavy, it fit in his hand perfectly. A strong desire to swing the sword and cut down his enemies arose in Xu Min. There was something about the sword that completely enveloped Xu Min, making him feel as though he had found a missing part of himself.
Seeing his reaction, Wang Li snickered. How could this sword be a simple item when it was pulled from his plethora of treasures? What he feared was that the young man in front of him would be incapable of holding himself back and start swinging the weapon inside their small room.
“Teacher, thank you!” Xu Min gave his heartfelt gratitude to his teacher. Although he had never used a weapon before, he already felt as though this sword was a part of his body. Although Xu Min had a lean body, his body was finely tempered through five years of hard work at the harbor, making his body as strong as that a Two-Star Warrior.
“Right,” Wang Li was as happy as Xu Min. Initially, he was worried that Xu Min would not be able to use the sword. Sometimes, an enchanted weapon such as the long sword would refuse to be used because of one’s lack of affinity with the weapon. However, the weapon had fully accepted the black-haired young man, putting Wang Li at ease.
“The martial art skill that I am giving you is the Radiant Jade Shower.” Hearing this, Xu Min’s eyes grew large, and a silly grin appeared on his face. He had never heard about this Radiant Jade
Shower before, but the name alone was so astonishing that it made him feel as though it had to be an amazing ability.
“Currently, you have the Shattering Palm for one-on-one fights,” Wang Li explained. “However, the Radiant Jade Shower is not a single target skill. As a result of this skill, your Qi will split into thousands upon thousands of small drops of rain that are as hard as jade and shower down upon your enemies. They will wreak massive destruction upon your enemies.”
Hearing an explanation of the skill, the young man could not help but be amazed. It would take him a long time to perfectly create and control that many drops of jade.
As Xu Min was deep in thought about this skill, Wang Li once more rummaged through his bag. He whipped out an old scroll of parchment and passed it to the young man in front of him.
“Good thing I taught you how to read,” he commented as he tossed the scroll towards Xu Min, who caught it on reflex. Looking at the scroll, Xu Min’s hands trembled slightly as he opened it. He slowly rolled out the text that explained the stance and energy flow needed to learn the Radiant Jade Shower.
“Being a One-Star Warrior makes you stronger than the average human within our Qin continent, but amongst cultivators, you are the weakest of the weak.” Wang Li warned him. “You are strong enough to deal with weak and young demon beasts, but if you face any thing big, run. Running to preserve your life is not shameful. Dying a silly death, on the other hand, will not enable you to get revenge. So forget about being stubborn and prideful; instead, do everything you can to stay alive.”
“Also, make sure that you don’t insult cultivators who are stronger than you. Although they normally won’t lower themselves to fight anyone weaker than themselves, if you are too arrogant, they certainly will make an exception.”
Wang Li had been living alone for a very long time, doing nothing other than his job and drinking quality wine whenever he felt like doing so. His life was easy, especially after having taken in Xu Min. The young man dealt with every chore that needed to be done, and he made sure that Wang Li got food and drink whenever he requested it while still working incredibly hard at his daily duties.
The old man had quickly gotten used to the life with the young boy who was so keen to improve himself on everything he possibly could. He never once complained about the chores he had to do, nor the hard work he was given at the docks.
At first, Wang Li did not expect that he would grow this attached to the young man. Now that they were about to part ways, the older man felt a bit apprehensive for some time, despite him being the perpetrator who ordered Xu Min to venture into the world.
Xu Min was, just like Wang Li, slightly apprehensive. However, his reason for being so was different. He could felt as though his speed in reaching the ranks of a Warrior was due to the help and guidance of Wang Li. To enter the wild and try to train on his own made him worried that he would take the wrong path.
Although he was slightly hesitant, he was filled with excitement. He understood that to temper himself, he would need to go somewhere other than at the docks working at carrying crates. He needed to experience life threatening situations where he could truly unleash his potential: kill or be killed.
“Enough of this,” Wang Li stopped with the warnings before he moved towards the fireplace, and for once he sat down and started to peel the potatoes and cut the onions. The old man ended up making the night’s dinner. The two of them sat there in silence. Both were somewhat melancholic as they reflected back on the last five years, but both were also excited about what lay ahead for him.
“After I go out traveling, when I return, you won’t be able to recognize me,” Xu Min said with a sly smile on his face. “I might even have grown stronger than you!” He continued, however, this time it was more jokingly than anything else. He had long since realized that although Wang Li refused to say how strong he was, he was somewhere in the advanced Warrior stage.
The rest of the evening was, for the first time, not spent on cultivating. Instead, Xun Min kept Wang Li company for a cup of wine. The two men spoke about a wide variety of topics ranging from how he had grown from a little brat to a young man to his dreams and aims for his life.
Wang Li did not speak much and listened to Xu Min about his dreams and his goals– dreams he already knew about, but to hear them again after five years, the young boy had not changed. He still wished for nothing more than to destroy the Zhong family, to kill both the young master and the Zhong Family Leader.
Every time Xu Min spoke about the Zhong family, a flame of hatred raged deep inside him. The difference now was that he could speak about the Zhong family without allowing the hate to show on his face. He learned how to keep his rage under control. He now knew what it meant to endure.
As he thought about his sister, the flame of hate would grow, but he was still able to remember the good times he had shared with Xu Wu. He had not blinded himself with hate. Every time he thought about her, he grew even more determined as the ferocity of his personality would increase, and the gaze of his eyes grew increasingly sharper.
Xu Min spent the entire night emptying himself to Wang Li as he told him about both the good and bad experiences that he had throughout his life. He talked about his escape, about his life in the forest, about Overseer Tian, and his training to become a Student Warrior. He talked about Xu Wu and her constant care for him, and how the young master and his friends would torment him.
Eventually, Xu Min told him about how his sister had spoke about the land on the other side of the sea, the land from where he and his sister originated. Hearing this, Wang Li’s eyes narrowed slightly, and his smile turned slightly rigid, but Xu Min never noticed. Instead, he carried on with the stories of his life, never once realizing that Wang Li seemed to be deep in thought.
“The sun is rising,” Wang Li suddenly noted, his eyes watching the purple sky visible through the open door of their small room.
Hearing his voice, Xu Min went quiet for some time. His eyes adopted a determined look and he nodded his head.
“I won’t tell you where to go,” Wang Li said with a tired voice that sounded desolate. “Go out and conquer the world on your own. Go wherever your legs take you and experience everything.”
“Should you, by chance, ever feel that you need a rest, then come back here. I will always be waiting. I am your teacher after all.”
Gratitude welled up inside the heart of Xu Min. With a nod and a final glance around the room in which he had lived for so long, the young black-haired young man stood up and left, not once looking back as he made his way towards the western city gate.