Yang Kai was glad that he escaped the High Heaven Pavilion. It was worth it considering he's earned some benefits already.
"How many days has it been since I left?" Yang Kai asked.
"35 days," The Old Demon answered.
Although it has been over a month, Yang Kai felt like time barely passed. He would never expect his immersion to last so long. It was fortunate that his Dantian contained many drops of Yang Liquid, thanks to Xia Ning Chang's bottle of Medicine Pills. Otherwise, what he has achieved so far may not be possible.
[35 days have passed... I wonder how's Su Yan doing right now...]
(Silavin: What about Xia Ning Chang? D: )
Although Yang Kai was worried about Su Yan, he had faith in her. Su Yan was more resilient than regular women. The only reason for her inability to control herself previously was because of his presence in High Heaven Pavilion, causing the desires to well up in her heart. Now that Yang Kai was no longer there, she should have an opportunity to focus fully on resisting the Double Cultivation influence.
[I believe in her. She will definitely succeed, and the next time we meet, she will certainly be improved by leaps and bounds. After all, the Ice Heart Cultivation Technique requires her mental state, body and environment to cultivate efficiently. In the state she is in now, there is no doubt that her cultivation will be much faster...]
(Silavin: I repeat; this is not a going to be a netorare novel! Please put down the knives and guns!)
"Where am I?" Yang Kai looked around, unsure of his own location after 30 consecutive days of running. He could only guess that he was very far away, at least far enough from High Heaven Pavilion.
In his confused state, Yang Kai noticed creaking and rolling in the distance. His ear twitched in the source's direction as he turned to have a look.
Yang Kai calmly stood silently in place as he watched a group of carriages from afar appear in his sight. Altogether, there were 3 carriages being pulled by horses and accompanying the convoy was a group of men, riding tall and strong horses. These men were strongly built and each of them rested a hand on the hilts of the sheathed swords attached to their hips. It was obvious that they were Martial Artists that practised the art of the sword.
Standing on the roadside, Yang Kai caught the attention of the Martial Artist guards. They were all cautious of him, but Yang Kai showed little care for their wariness. He remained calm and stood there, still watching.
After a month of training, Yang Kai would not manage if he tried to restrain all the Yuan Qi within his body. Since these Martial Artists were not cultivators of the same or higher level than Yang Kai, it was impossible for them to understand the depth of his strength. A few minutes pass and the Martial Artists' worries faded.
Abruptly, a middle-aged man leading the group yelled out, "Little beggar, get out of the way now!"
The man's hostility immediately furrowed Yang Kai's brows. He reluctantly stepped back to clear their path. Yang Kai had actually wished to ask for directions, but such hostility repelled him from doing so. He decided that causing any further friction was unnecessary.
The horses neighed as the carriages passed. Intriguingly, Yang Kai noticed that the middle carriage left deeper tracks than the others; it seemed like the prime suspect as storage for the more expensive goods. Meanwhile, a pair of bright, feminine eyes, peeped at Yang Kai from the rear carriage. He realised that the last carriage probably contained women.
After the carriages passed, Yang Kai stepped back onto the main road and followed the convoy. It was certain that it would lead him to somewhere populated. Since he was currently unaware of his exact location, he figured that he might as well just follow the carriages to a place of inhabitance. Before he could even take several steps behind, his complexion sank. A familiar man split off from the group and galloped towards him. This man was the same middle-aged person who roared at Yang Kai just moments ago. [What is he planning to do? Make me go away by force?] Yang Kai sneered in his mind. He was confident in his strength and skill, thus he stopped on the spot, awaiting a clash.
The middle-aged man pulled the reins, restraining the horse from crashing into Yang Kai. The large hooves soared towards the sky as it uttered a loud neigh.
The middle-aged man expressed impatience in his voice, "Little beggar, you should thank your good luck and fortune. Our family's young lady is well-mannered and has a good heart. She said she was worried about the dangers of the wilderness, fearing robbers, bandits and other wild animals killing you off. Her worries have forced us to give you our protection as well."
The middle-aged man stepped off his horse and started searching Yang Kai's body. He then grabbed Yang Kai by the collar and lifted the youth up. Although Yang Kai wished to resist, he understood that the man's intent was not hostile, though he could definitely stand to be more well-mannered.
The veteran guard secured Yang Kai behind him on the horse. He then kicked the horse and they raced back to the group, where he threw Yang Kai into the air and smiled and yelled, "Old Man Wu, catch!"
At the front of the first carriage sat an old man; he was the cart driver, horsewhip curled in hand. He caught Yang Kai without looking and gently brought him down to the seat. It was amazing that the man's fluid movements all took place while the carriage was still in motion.
[This old man is at least a True Element Boundary Cultivator!] Yang Kai was shocked at Old Man Wu's sight. Although the True Element Boundary was nothing particularly special - especially in the High Heaven Pavilion with people like Su Yan and Xie Hongchen cultivating to that stage at a young age. It was possible due to their family background and influence. Outside of sects and clans, people in the Separation and Reunion Boundary had the power to rule over small towns. Naturally, cultivators in the True Element Boundary were highly regarded.
Old Man Wu was motionless. His eyes stared downwards and his face was filled with wrinkles as though he was almost meeting death. He took up a bottle from his side and conveniently passed it to Yang Kai.
"Many thanks, venerable," Yang Kai took a swig, but he immediately spurted it out.
The several Martial Artists riding on horses burst out laughing, "Old Man Wu, do you wish to kill him that drink of yours? Even we would never touch it!"
In reality, Yang Kai spat it out because this was his first experience with alcohol. He was taken aback by the burning sensation that the drink left in his throat. Knowing that he would never enjoy such a drink, Yang Kai returns the bottle of liquor to the Old Man, "I'll have to pass it back to you..."
Old Man Wu took a sip and his face seemed to fill with vigour. Glowing with health again, he drove even more skillfully.
(Silavin: I got to try me some of that...)
Given a free ride and shelter out of kindness, Yang Kai just tranquilly sat beside Old Man Wu. There was barely any conversation throughout the journey. Yang Kai only looked forward to getting off in a nearby town before separating from the group.
The carriage travelled slowly so as to ensure that the women do not get too weary from the trip. By dusk, they had covered about 35 to 40 kilometres.
Before the faint lingering light of the Sun disappeared beyond the horizon, the carriages stopped to find a suitable place for a fire. Once the campfire was set up, the crowd of more than 30 Martial Artists began to perform their respective roles. Some of them would scavenge for food and others would help with the fire. Very soon, the area was filled with a mouth-watering aroma from the meals they had prepared. Meanwhile, Yang Kai got down and performed a little exercise, appreciating and consolidating what he had learned from the 35-day trance.
Not long after, the third carriage door opened up and three people alighted. When Yang Kai turned to look, he saw a 30-year-old beauty with a bountiful chest; her thin stature and white jade skin further enhanced her infinitely graceful bearing. By this woman's side were two other young women, both of whom seemed to be 10 years younger than the older beauty. One of them was dressed up as a servant but had a pair of charming eyes. She was supporting the other young lady by the arm.
From the appearance of this young lady, she is definitely related to the middle-aged woman. Yang Kai imagined that she must be considered the family's treasure, with her graceful pose and beautiful appearance. Although she could not compare to the Su Yan or the Hu Sisters, she would still be considered gorgeous widely, especially in her exquisite flower-embroidered dress.
Yang Kai could sense the intense gazes of the Martial Artists from the fire directed at the three women.
(Silavin: ... come on... not that...)
The beautiful woman, the delicate and gorgeous young lady, accompanied by the charming maid... Those three was an extraordinary sight that easily captured the attention of men.
Noticing Yang Kai's insisting glare, the maid tenderly scolds, "What are you looking at? Avert your gaze or I will dig your eyes out!"
(Silavin: How is that being tender? MoMo, that's tender to you? ...)
Although her tone was fierce as she reprimanded so openly, it was not only targeted at Yang Kai. The Martial Artists retracted their invasive ogling. Meanwhile, Yang Kai coughed awkwardly and looked away as well.
"Cui'er," the young lady spoke with a soft voice.
Cui'er gave a discontented mumble as she held onto the young lady's arm, arriving with the middle-aged woman to their resting spot.
When the meal was served, the Martial Artists all crowded around while the three women continued sitting together. Only Yang Kai the bystander was left alone. The young boy sat on one side, seemingly pitiful. When the middle-aged woman and young lady noticed him, they whispered to Cui'er. The maid nodded and approach Yang Kai with food in her hands. "Little beggar, here's your food."
Yang Kai accepted the kind gesture and reached out his hand to receive the meal.
Cui'er's charming face broke out into a smile, a powerful contrast from the fierce devil she was before. She squatted down and mentioned softly, "Don't be angry. I wasn't scolding you just now."
Yang Kai's brows wrinkled, "Wait, what did you call me?"
(Silavin: kinda late to ask this question...)
He had felt strange that the middle-aged men called out a Little Beggar during the daytime. He thought it was merely a mistake but to hear it from Cui'er as well only poked his curiosity.
Cui'er pursed her lips as it curved upwards; her eyes wandered as she spoke, "Aren't you a young beggar?"
"Me, a beggar?" Yang Kai realised that their impression of him was more than a joke.
When Yang Kai looked down, he saw that his apparel was messy and tattered, smeared with dirt, scratches and tears. He would look like a little beggar to other people too.
Cui'er seemed happy as she fished out a small bronze mirror and passed it to Yang Kai, "Have a look at yourself. Don't you look like a beggar right now?"
Yang Kai took a glimpse and held his breath. [This is what I look like right now?] His hair looked like a chicken coop. Several strands were stuck together in a disorderly fashion. With the dirt all over his body including his clothes, he definitely looked like a beggar.
During his deep comprehension of the Step Technique, he could recall vaguely that he collided with many trees and fell into several ponds.
(Silavin: remind me how he was surprised in the first place?)
Cui'er took the mirror back with a delighted expression and asked a question out of the blue, "Little beggar, where did you come from? How did you manage to wander so far into the wilderness?"
Yang Kai ill-humouredly replied, "I actually travel around to beg. I don't really know where I came from."
"That's so sad..." Cui'er sighed woefully. Although she wished to help clean Yang Kai, she did not wish to smear her hand with dirt. Instead, she only frowned.