Martial Cultivator

Chapter 479.1: Isn’t a Peaceful Life Good? - Part 1
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"How are you so quick?"

The Great Liang's imperial gazette always reached Xie Nandu at the fastest speed, so she was almost certain that Chen Chao would need at least another half month to return to the D. But unexpectedly, he had returned half a month early.

Xie Nandu retracted her gaze and took the short sword, then began to walk slowly toward her small courtyard. Chen Chao followed behind, quickly catching up to walk alongside her.

"That phrase can be misunderstood. I'd advise you not to say it again," Chen Chao glanced at the students, then smiled and said, "I wanted to see you sooner, so I hurried."

"You're very shameless."

Xie Nandu said calmly, "You're just like before; no change."

Chen Chao was accustomed to this girl's demeanor and did not mind, saying forwardly, "Who knew there would be so many people trying to kill me along the way? If I didn't hurry, I might not have made it back. In hindsight, I should have traveled with Eunuch Li."

His black robe was full of cuts and covered in dust, clearly indicating that his journey had not been easy.

"Don't worry, not many people can kill me now." Chen Chao stretched lazily, glancing at Xie Nandu beside him with a smile. "You've grown taller again, but still not as tall as me."

Chen Chao reached out to measure, his hand brushing past her hair.

Girls typically develop earlier than boys, so when they were young, they were often taller than their male peers. However, Chen Chao had been running around since childhood, resulting in a strong physique, and he had recently shot up in height too. He was still a head taller than Xie Nandu. Given her build, she was already taller than many women in the northern regions of the Great Liang Dynasty.

It was a well-known fact that the people in the north of the Great Liang Dynasty were generally taller than those in the south.

Xie Nandu asked softly, "That's lame?"

Chen Chao did not say anything, he just kept smiling.

A man's childish side would likely only appear in front of the woman he liked.

"Is your saber repaired? It wasn't a disappointment?"

As they walked slowly along the lakeside, leaving the academy students behind, Xie Nandu asked, "Besides forging the saber, what else did you do for the imperial court at Sword Qi Mountain?"

Chen Chao raised an eyebrow. "How do you know everything?"

Xie Nandu chuckled softly. "Probably because I have a brain."

Chen Chao frowned, pretending to be annoyed. "Why is your mouth more annoying than mine?"

Xie Nandu ignored him. After spending so much time together, she knew Chen Chao's temperament well enough not to be bothered by his words.

"The imperial court wants Sword Qi Mountain to forge weapons for Great Liang, to replace those made by the Ministry of Works. That way, fewer people will die in the North, and we'll have more confidence." Although this matter was supposed to be confidential, Chen Chao did not mind sharing it with Xie Nandu.

"But it's not easy to accomplish. At least openly, Sword Qi Mountain won't agree."

Before Chen Chao could ask, Xie Nandu continued bluntly, "Because Eunuch Li also went. Someone like him, who hasn't left the Divine Capital for many years, wouldn't personally deliver something to you without a reason."

Chen Chao said rather smugly, "You're right, but Eunuch Li didn't manage to get it done."

Xie Nandu replied calmly, "It was never going to succeed in the first place. This is just a smokescreen. If Sword Qi Mountain agreed so easily, their position in the foreign lands would become very awkward. So in the end, this task fell on you?"

Chen Chao sighed. The phrase 'brilliant to the point of being uncanny' must refer to the girl in front of him.

"I'm suddenly very worried about my future."

He considered himself quite clever, but in front of Xie Nandu, he always felt like he was being suppressed in all aspects. Though her current cultivation realm was not as high as his, in the future, it could very well change. Her talent in the way of the sword was extraordinary, possessing nine lifeblood flying swords, which was unique in the world today. She could become the world's only female sword immortal. If that happened, he would not be able to match her in combat, and she would see through all his thoughts...

Chen Chao shook his head, feeling that this was very terrifying.

"What are you worried about?"

Xie Nandu glanced at Chen Chao.

Chen Chao waved his hand, changing the topic. "In the end, Sword Qi Mountain agreed to send some swordsmiths to the Ministry of Works in the Divine Capital to teach the craftsmen, to improve their skills. It's a roundabout way of agreeing, but this is just the beginning. I think our emperor won't stop at just this."

"That's about what I thought. In the ten years since His Majesty ascended the throne, he has had many plans and has accomplished a lot. I admire him greatly."

Xie Nandu looked at Chen Chao and said, "Both of you are surnamed Chen, but you're far behind."

Chen Chao helplessly replied, "What can I do? Should I ask him to give up the throne for me?"

Xie Nandu did not dismiss the idea with a laugh. Instead, she asked seriously, "Do you want to be emperor?"

The sudden question startled Chen Chao. He asked curiously, "What? If I say yes, are you going to help me usurp the throne?"

Xie Nandu did not say anything.

Chen Chao's eyes widened. "Xie Nandu, are you crazy?! Aren't you afraid of losing your head?"

"You don't seem to have much guts, so you can't be the emperor."

The two arrived at the small courtyard's gate. Xie Nandu pushed the door open and casually said, "Go roast some sweet potatoes."

Chen Chao acknowledged and adeptly found the stove to start roasting the sweet potatoes.



After peeling the sweet potatoes, he handed one to Xie Nandu before peeling another for himself. Taking a bite, he looked at Xie Nandu. She ate the sweet potato in small bites, just as she had the first time she tried it. However, she no longer had the same youthful shyness on her face. She had fully matured, yet her face remained without makeup, like a pure pear blossom.

Chen Chao felt a bit sentimental. That demon girl he had encountered before was beautiful too, as was Yu Chu whom he had met in a brothel, and even Chunyue could be considered a beauty. But after comparing them all, he still found Xie Nandu to be the most beautiful.

"You've played the hero rescuing the damsel in distress quite a bit along the way. I suppose many young women want to marry you by now?"

Xie Nandu casually remarked while eating her sweet potato.

Although she was not precisely aware of everything that had happened to Chen Chao along the way, she had a general idea, especially regarding incidents like standing up for Yu Chu in the brothel and saving the brother and sister in that small town. She knew about those.

"You killed all the cultivators on Clearwater Mountain for that little girl. I remember you weren't like this before. So, why did you do it?"

Xie Nandu looked at Chen Chao. Of all the things that had happened, aside from the matters involving Sword Qi Mountain, this was the one she was most interested in.

"Then what kind of person was I before?"

Chen Chao was also very curious about how Xie Nandu saw him.

Xie Nandu calmly replied, "Self-serving, indifferent at heart, and you don't have much affection for the Great Liang."

These were frank words, without any embellishment.

Chen Chao smiled bitterly, "Why do you make me sound so bad?"

Xie Nandu did not answer.

Chen Chao reached into his pocket and took out the perfume sachet, handing it to Xie Nandu.

Xie Nandu took it and looked at it.

"A chance encounter, and accompanying her for a while was already going above and beyond. If I hadn't turned back, I might occasionally feel some regret. But I did turn back and saw the result I least wanted to see, which left me confused. I could have done more, but I didn't. At that time, I kept thinking if I had made a mistake, but I couldn't figure it out, so I became bedeviled."

Chen Chao still had not fully figured it out, and the heart demon had not been completely eradicated.

"Later on, going up the mountain to kill people was more about venting other than seeking revenge. If I hadn't killed all those cultivators on the mountain, I probably would have succumbed to my heart demon that night, with no way back."

Chen Chao asked, "In your view, was I doing it for her or for myself?"

Xie Nandu shook her head, "No one can answer that for you. You can only ask yourself."

Chen Chao smiled bitterly.

Xie Nandu looked at Chen Chao and, after some thought, decided to say something she usually would not, "Chen Chao, changes in one's state of mind can be both good and bad. No one can predict these things, but you must always be clear about what you want to do and how to do it. Otherwise, problems will occur one day and it will be too late for regrets."

Chen Chao clicked his tongue and said, "We're about the same age, so why do you always seem so old and wise? Other girls your age are thinking about makeup and romance every day."

“People are different from one another. Besides, it's not like you'd like those kind of girls anyway.” Xie Nandu picked up a book from the windowsill behind her, seemingly ready to end the conversation.

"That's not certain. After all, there are quite a few girls in this world who like me."

Chen Chao said with a mischievous smile, intending to provoke the girl in front of him.


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