Chapter 2045 (Raw 2140): The Azure Mountain Is Still There
So, this little girl is called Qing Chen. Why was she chased out?
Even after being chased out, she still risked her life to pick herbs. How is this little girl going to survive in the future?
Seeing that the little girl looked to be about ten and was covered in dust, Xiao Chen felt some heartache. Life as an ordinary person in the Desolate Sea was truly tough.
“Don’t cry. I promise to bring the herb back. However, you have to tell me why you were chased out. Who chased you out? Where are your parents?”
Xiao Chen’s string of questions confused the little girl somewhat.
The little girl looked at Xiao Chen with watery eyes, hemming and hawing, not knowing which to answer first.
Xiao Chen realized that he had rushed it. He sighed softly and asked again with a warmer tone, “Where are your parents?”
“Qing Chen has no parents. They died when I was very young.”
What a pitiful child. So, she is an orphan. Xiao Chen then asked, “Who chased you away?”
“Grandpa Village Chief. Grandpa Village Chief told Little Qing Chen to go as far as possible. Sniffle…sniffle…sniffle… However, my younger brother is sick. If I don’t pick herbs to treat him, what is he going to do? Sniffle…sniffle…sniffle…”
The little girl seemed to have suffered a great wrong. Furthermore, she still worried about her younger brother, making her cry even harder.
Xiao Chen did not press the little girl. He waited for her to calm down before asking, “Where is your village?”
The little girl pointed to a particular direction. He infused his Spiritual Sense into his eyes, then looked into the distance. There was indeed a village about fifty kilometers away.
Xiao Chen picked up the little girl, carrying her as he set off.
“Big Brother, I cannot return. Grandpa Village Chief will get angry,” the little girl said fearfully. “Big Brother, just bring back the herb that I picked. Little Qing Chen cannot return…”
Xiao Chen looked at the distant setting sun. Then, he countered softly, “It is about to turn dark. Where can you go?”
Xiao Chen did not need much time to travel fifty kilometers.
Along the way, he ran into a gang of bandits riding mutated beasts.
Roving bandits were as plentiful as sand in the Desolate Sea; they were everywhere. This was a land where blood flowed, where righteousness could barely be found. Chaos and killing filled the place.
Xiao Chen did not speak with the bandits; he did not even give the other party a chance to speak. After feeling their baleful auras, he covered Qing Chen’s eyes with his left hand and punched with his right hand.
The one hundred bandits in front and the mutated beasts they rode turned into a bloody mist.
After Xiao Chen removed his left hand, Qing Chen blinked, wondering why those bandits from earlier suddenly disappeared.
As Qing Chen found the surroundings increasingly familiar, she felt some anticipation and some fear. However, she did not dare to say anything while Xiao Chen carried her.
Just as the sky turned dark, Xiao Chen arrived before the village.
The village had about one hundred families. A simple palisade of Thunder Subduing Wood surrounded the village and kept the unclean things away at night.
The Thunder Subduing Wood was a kind of wood that repelled the unclean in the Desolate Sea.
Places where people gathered, like villages, mostly had palisades made of this wood, lending them the appearance of strongholds.
As the sky slowly turned dark, several of the villagers who were maintaining the palisade became anxious when they saw the little girl in Xiao Chen’s arms.
“Quickly tell the village chief that Little Qing Chen is back!”
These villagers immediately put down what they were doing and ran off in a fluster. This puzzled Xiao Chen somewhat.
After Xiao Chen put Qing Chen down, she could not help crying again from heartache when she saw this scene.
Soon, the villagers escorted a skinny, hemp-robed old man over. This old man looked at Qing Chen before looking at Xiao Chen. Then, he sighed, “Take her back in. This young hero, it will be dark soon. Come in, and we can speak.”
The old man’s cultivation was not high. However, the people who grew up in the Desolate Sea were much stronger than the ordinary people outside.
If one could not adapt to the harsh environment here, one would not survive. This old man looked old but was still spirited.
Xiao Chen saw that this old man did not seem like a bad person. So, he said softly, “Village Chief, this is the herb that Little Qing Chen picked for her younger brother.”
Qing Chen teared up as she proffered the herb. She cried, “Grandpa Village Chief, Little Qing Chen won’t come in. Grandpa Village Chief, please help me sell it and take care of my younger brother. He is sick. I’m afraid that no one will take care of him.”
The village chief let out a drawn-out sigh. Sorrow flashed in his aged eyes; some tears welled up.
“Come in. It is almost dark. We can speak about this again when it is daytime. You should go and see your younger brother. Everyone has been taking care of him.”
Qing Chen blinked but still did not dare to enter.
Xiao Chen did not say anything. He picked her up and walked straight into the village.
Now that it was about to turn dark, the villagers closed the wooden gates and scattered a layer of black ashes at the side.
When Xiao Chen sent Qing Chen back to her home, she bowed to Xiao Chen and said, “Big Brother, thank you. I’ll go see my younger brother now.”
Xiao Chen did not enter this wood hut.
Then, the village chief sighed and drew Xiao Chen aside.
“Senior, how may I address you?”
The village chief said, “Due to my age and me being the seventh among my siblings, everyone in the village addresses me as Grandpa Seven.”
“In that case, I will address you as Grandpa Seven.”
The village chief quickly said, “No, no, that’s not acceptable. Little Brother is clearly not an ordinary person. You have delicate facial features and seem well-off. How could you address this rotten old man as Grandpa Seven?”
[TL Note: The Chinese for Grandpa Seven can also mean Lord Seven. However, it does not make sense for the villagers to address him as Lord Seven, as they are more likely to address him with something more intimate. This is most likely a case of the word having multiple meanings and making it inappropriate for Xiao Chen to use the same term.]
“It’s fine. Shall we speak?”
Grandpa Seven led Xiao Chen to his own house.
There were other people in that house. When they heard that Grandpa Seven brought an honored guest, they quickly took out wine to entertain Xiao Chen.
Unexpectedly, the wine poured from the boorish beast-skin wineskin tasted exceptionally good.
Xiao Chen drained his cup in one gulp. Then, he exclaimed in shock, “Great wine! Grandpa Seven, did you brew this yourself?”
Grandpa Seven revealed a smile on his wrinkled face. “Right. Just some insignificant skills passed down by my ancestors.”
A rather straightforward youth at the side interjected, “How can it be some insignificant skills? The wine that our Grandpa Seven makes is the best within five thousand kilometers. The wine that his ancestor made even appeared in the Heavenly Fragrance Banquet of Desolate City.”
Desolate City was the largest city in the Desolate Sea and could be considered a Holy City. It was extremely ancient, even older than some dragon cities in the Divine Dragon Empire.
All the factions gathered in this bright pearl in the Desolate Sea.
As for the Heavenly Fragrance Banquet, that was even more incredible.
The Heavenly Fragrance Holy Land would organize this banquet every one hundred years and send out invitations. The banquet could attract the factions of every region and was considered one of the rare grand occasions of the world.
Grandpa Seven sighed, “Those are all things of the past. The world now is very chaotic, and the ingredients are hard to find. The brewing skills have mostly been lost in my generation. What is the point of brewing wine these days?”
Grandpa Seven’s words were heavy with emotions, replete with great sorrow.
Xiao Chen changed the subject, saying, “Grandpa Seven, why did you chase Little Qing Chen out. I feel that you are not a vicious and merciless person. Is there any trouble?”
“The Great Roc soars with the wind, moving four thousand five hundred kilometers in one day. Little Brother, you show an extraordinary air and will rise sooner or later. Within this vast world, our insignificant village is not even equal to a teardrop in the Great Roc’s eyes. Little Brother, why worry yourself about this?”
The old man’s judgment was astute. He could tell that Xiao Chen was an extraordinary cultivator and had a great future before him.
Compared to Xiao Chen’s world, the minor matters of the village were nothing. There was no need for Xiao Chen to bother.
It was just like how the Great Roc would ignore the small fish leaping out of the waves as it flew by.
When the Great Roc flew, it moved vast distances in an instant. The scene around it changed instantly; it could only look forward and fly even higher, even farther.
Grandpa Seven’s words were a form of polite rejection. There was also some pride and a reluctance to ask a stranger for help. He could see that they were people from two different worlds.
“Grandpa Seven, it is not right to say that.” Xiao Chen wanted to say something more as he put down his wine cup, feeling it was somewhat strange.
However, Grandpa Seven interrupted Xiao Chen, “Blood flows every day in the Desolate Sea. Not a day passes without someone dying. Even the saints cannot solve this problem. Little Brother, there is really no need for you to concern yourself over it. Everyone has their own fate… You should rest well here tonight.”
When Xiao Chen saw the situation, he felt helpless. He knew he could not pursue this matter.
The night passed in silence.
When the sun rose, Xiao Chen walked out of the house and saw the villagers gathered together, worshiping a lone peak.
This lone peak was an azure mountain. It was completely jadish-azure, devoid of vegetation. It seemed like it was made of divine materials.
Xiao Chen observed for a while and frowned heavily. He could not help the suspicions sprouting in his heart.
This azure mountain appeared extraordinary. It rose steeply from level ground, as though it would soar. However, this feeling suddenly stopped at the summit.
The summit was a flat platform, tidy and smooth—like someone had chopped the top off.
After these people finished their worship, Xiao Chen sought out that straightforward youth in Grandpa Seven’s house the previous night to ask about it.
When that straightforward youth heard Xiao Chen’s question, he scratched his head and said, “I don’t know. What’s strange about it? I heard that everyone within five hundred thousand kilometers worships this azure mountain every morning. This is the instruction from the ancestors. I do not know what we are worshiping, either. However, after worshiping it, I do indeed feel peace of mind. It’s rather strange.”
“Has no one ever gone over to take a look?”
“That place is unclean. Even if one goes over in the day, it feels cold and sinister. We don’t dare to get closer than ten kilometers. Grandpa Seven always warns us not to get close.”
The questions in Xiao Chen’s heart deepened further.
Suddenly, that straightforward youth whispered, “I once heard from the elderly of the village that this mountain used to have a dragon head. It had been a dragon head mountain. After the dragon head was chopped off, it became unclean.”
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