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Chapter 16 – A Drawing on the Tree Root

Tian Ying

Everyone immediately offers their compliments, and a few girls are exceptionally excited. Ding Dang is initially happy, before the happiness turns into rage. She humphs and says, “Such sweet words!”

The youth shakes his head with a smile and passes over the drawing to Ding Dang. After smiling at her, he turns around to leave.

Looking at the figure of the leaving youth, she opens her mouth to speak but eventually closes it without saying anything. She suddenly hears a cold voice from the crowd, “You slut, flirting with guys again.”

The crowd immediately turns silent. Then, some people started to laugh. There are both males and females among those laughing. The males laugh lecherously whereas the females have a biting edge to their laughs. Theirs were significantly louder than the males.

Ding Dang’s mouth twitches and her face darkens. She turns around and leaves with large steps. Very quickly, she passes the rock bridge to the east bank. From the looks of it, she seems to be heading home.

Lu Chen stands behind the crowd and he stares plainly at this sight. Then, he turns to look at the scholar who is walking along another road on the west bank. Then, he mutters to himself, “How annoying. Why does the young beautiful pimps always do better?”


The one drawing and the one being drawn have left. Naturally, the spectators also disperse. As they leave, many of them are chatting, of which, most are discussing about the scholars as they praise his handsome looks and his outstanding drawing skills. There are also a few who are talking about Ding Dang, mocking how shameless she is for hooking up around. Then, they would start to express their worries for the scholar and hope that he would not fall for the tricks of the slut.

Lu Chen returns back to the east bank and yawns out of boredom. When he passes by the large scholar tree, he peeks at the fish cage by Old Yu’s side and it is still empty, as he expected.

He sits on the other side of the large stone and asks, “Old Yu, did you catch anything today?”

“Nothing.” The old fisherman doesn’t seem to notice the ill intentions in those words and replies his question honestly.

Lu Chen chuckles and says, “I think that you won’t catch a single thing even if you fish here for your entire life.”

The old fisherman is solemn for a moment before replying with the same calm and dazed voice, “There are fishes in the water here.”

“Tsk!” Lu Chen stares at him. After a split moment, he loses all interest and he thinks to himself that there are many weird people in the world. He says, “Anything that pleases you. If you say that there are fishes here, so be it. Serves you right to waste your entire life here. Eventually, wouldn’t it all end in naught!”

Normally, at this point, both of them would have nothing else left to say. However, today, for some unknown reason, Old Yu turns around to look at Lu Chen and replies slowly, “That’s not it. I seen a large fish with spirit marks on it. As long as I catch it and present it to the immortals of Thousand Autumn Sect, I would be able to start cultivating.”

“A fish with spirit mark…” Lu Chen couldn’t help but chuckle. He smiles, “Oh, if you really manage to catch it, then the fish wouldn’t be just worth a thousand Spirit Stones. It is definitely more than enough for you to cultivate at the Thousand Autumn Sect. However… Be careful not to get eaten by the fish.”

Old Yu stares at Lu Chen with a bizarre expression as he mutters, “Fish don’t eat human.”

Lu Chen leans over laughing as he pats Old Yu’s shoulder. Without saying anything else, he glances at the clear river stream before standing up to leave.

By this time, the sun has already risen and is shining on Clear Stream Village. The ray of the sun reflects off the clear stream. The shade of the chinese scholar tree does feel cooling, only small cracks of sun rays manage to fall through the dense tree crown.

Lu Chen walks out from the shadow of the tree and just as he is about leave, the sun rays under the shadow of the tree flickers. A shadow seems to have suddenly appeared at a certain corner of the chinese scholar tree.

Lu Chen stops.

He turns around to look at the direction of the flicker, only to see the root of the big chinese scholar tree. A part of the root tangles and protrudes out of the ground, grabbing tightly to the soil. There are many green grasses growing by the tree root.

A bizarre expression appears on Lu Chen’s face. His eyebrows knit together, as though he is thinking about something. He seems to be a little uncertain, a little nervous and even a little disgusted. However, he calms down very quickly and his expression returns back to normal. He walks casually to the root and kicks his leg around, then bending down to remove one of his shoes, as though he is trying to lean over to hit the mud off his shoes on the tree root. His gaze quickly shoots towards that region.

A shadow seems to tremor in front of him again.

This time, Lu Chen is able to see it clearly. That is a very peculiar picture. It is a little scrawled, just like meaningless vandalism carved onto the inconspicuous part of the tree root. In the picture, there are a few lines with differing thickness which conjugates together. Vaguely, it seems to look like a crude and eerie tree.

Looking at the wound on the bark, it is probably carved not too long ago, not exceeding a single day.

Lu Chen face chills. He puts his shoe back on and walks towards the giant rock. He glances at Old Yu who is quietly fishing and lies down.

He leans on Old Yu’s back and shuts his eyes. He listens to the swishing sound of the river flow and the rustling of the leaves. Everything seems to turn peaceful. Just like his life in this village, it has been peaceful for so many years.

Until he opens his mouth and breaks this silence. He asks, “Old Yu, allow me to ask you a question.”

“Oh…” The old fisherman replies dully.

“You have been sitting here for the past two days right?”

“Yes.” The old fisherman replies.

Lu Chen cushions the back of his head with both of his hands as he stares at the green tree crown on top. There are a few fragmented rays of sun through the leaves. He asks, “Is there anyone who came here?”

Old Yu responds, “No. You know it, other than you and Old Ma, no one in the village likes talking to me.”

“Oh”, Lu Chen responds. Then, he continues, “I thought that there were a few newcomers to the village. You might make some new friends.”

“Hehe…” Old Yu laughs deeply. It is just like those bubbles from the gray fishes in the stream, before it bursts.

Lu Chen sits up. Then, smacking away the dust on his bottom, he walks away without looking at Old Yu.

Walking away from the large chinese scholar tree, he first walks a few steps towards his straw cottage but he stops abruptly. After pondering for a moment, he turns around and walks back.

At this moment, another man comes face to face with him. Upon seeing Lu Chen, he politely cups his hands and asks, “This brother over here, may I ask if the mountain at the back is the tea mountain?”

Lu Chen looks at him. This man is also a young man. He is wearing a cloak and a sword hangs by his back. There seems to be traces of weariness from a journey on his face, as though he just rushed here from a very faraway location. Looking at his appearance, he does seem like those ordinary wandering cultivators who travel the world in pursuit of dao.

The author always uses a word to express that Ding Dang speaks in a feminine and coy manner (especially when she is angry), though coy isn’t very appropriate in the context, so I never used it.

Such sweet words -> Saying that the guy uses words just to please girl (It is kind of a derogatary term in the context)

I used slut, but the phrase is fox spirit, which in ancient China, they would disguise as beautiful ladies to attract guys.

“Hehe…” Old Yu laughs deeply. It is just like those bubbles from the gray fishes in the stream, before it bursts.
TL: The description should be describing his laughter, but I don’t really get how it is applied so I will leave it to be.

Just a basic explanation of Xianxia (at least for this story)
The goal of most people in xianxia is to cultivate to a point where they become immortals. Basically, the stronger you get, the longer you live.
So, in order to succeed in this, they pursue knowledge and enlightenment (dao is something like enlightenment as well)
In xianxia, there are often herbs and treasures nurtured by the energy of the world which when consumed/used, can boost their strength significantly.

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