1579 Xu Ping"an
There was an old house on the edge of Tianhe City. The house was not large and was a little dilapidated.
Those who lived around them knew that the old house was occupied by a couple and their daughter. The couple was getting on in age and suffered from injuries that had not been fully healed for many years.
The couple only had a daughter named Xu Ping’an, which sounded like a man’s name. But judging from the name, it was clear that the couple wanted nothing more than to have their daughter be safe and sound.
At this moment, however, a battle was taking place outside the old house.
A group of people stood haughtily above the void and looked indifferently toward a woman who had been injured. The woman looked to be about 20-something and was of the realm of Noble Plane. Although she dressed plainly, her beauty still could not be hidden.
It was hard to imagine that the two older people in this old house had such a beautiful daughter.
But, at this time, Xu Ping’an didn’t seem to feel at ease. Her lips were stained red with blood, and her beautiful face was pale. However, she still held firmly in her hand a rusty iron sword that was without luster. It did not appear to have any power. It was difficult to imagine that such a sword could be used in combat.
“Xu Ping’an, are you going to return the thing that you borrowed from us?” the speaker was a burly noble figure, and he sounded cold. He was middle-aged and had cultivated for many years, but he was still of Noble Plane. Maybe this realm was considered adequate with mere mortals, but in Tianhe Citythe major city of Tianhe Realmit could only be regarded as being on the fringe, with no possibility to go higher at all.
He had been cultivating for many years but was still in Noble Plane, unable to break through the threshold of Sage Plane. He lacked in the areas of mental state and talent. But now, he had forgotten about all that, and just wanted to be able to exist in a corner of Tianhe Realm.
His eyes fixed upon Xu Ping’an, who was young, beautiful, and talented. He knew all the details about her, better than most. If it was many years ago, someone like Xu Ping’an was someone he wasn’t even qualified to look up to.
But now, she was at his mercy.
“You set me up?” Xu Ping’an said coldly.
“What do you mean ‘set-up’? If you borrowed something, don’t you think you have to return it?” the middle-aged man said coldly. Xu Ping’an’s eyes were cold, but there was perseverance in them.
“If you really can’t, then you will pay back with your person, how about that?” the middle-aged man said again, stepping forward, oppressing Xu Ping’an.
“Get out of here.” Xu Ping’an’s eyes were frosty. When the man heard her words, he narrowed his eyes slightly, then waved his hand. Immediately, a group of men stepped forward and approaching Xu Ping’an. The breath from their bodies shrouded her.
“Ping’an, give the sword to them.” At this time, an ancient voice was heard, and Xu Ping’an turned her head. Two elderly people were walking over. The one who spoke was her father, Xu Haoran, whose hair was white. His face was full of wrinkles, and even his eyes were slightly cloudy and not so bright.
However, looking at the outline of the old man’s face, one could still vaguely see the handsomeness of his youth, and even when he was this ancient, he still had an extraordinary temperament.
“Father.” Xu Ping’an turned her head to look at her father.
“Give it to them,” Xu Haoran said, and Xu Ping’an seemed a little reluctant.
“That broken sword in her hand?” the middle-aged man glanced at the rusty iron sword in Xu Ping’an’s hand, and a trace of doubt flashed through his eyes.
“Old man, who are you kidding?” another said coldly.
“That is the sword left by my father. Do you want it, or don’t you?” the old man said. Upon hearing his words, the pupils of the middle-aged man contracted slightly, and he nodded, “Yes.”
Moreover, his eyes were fixed at the sword with a strong sense of greed.
Compared to this sword, beauty meant nothing.
“Ping’an, give it to him,” the old man said. Xu Ping’an’s arm was trembling slightly, but after seeing her father’s eyes, she finally threw the sword out, which the man immediately caught. He glanced at the sword, though still with some confusion. He turned around decisively and said, “Let’s go.”
The group of people flickered away quickly, even intentionally avoiding others’ attention. However, he was reluctant to put away the sword, still holding it in his hand. He seemed to want to unlock the mystery within the sword.
“Who is it?” When they entered into an alley, suddenly, a sense of danger descended. As he raised his head to ask, when his voice faded, a sword qi directly pierced through his throat, leaving a bloody mark. It was not just him, but all the others also. The surrounding sword will slashed their throats, just like a silk sword.
All those in the group were wide-eyed, filled with fear and despair as if they had felt yet again the sorrow of being so insignificant that they didn’t even know how they had died.
A figure clads in simple clothes and wearing a hat came to the place where the sword had fallen and picked it up, holding it firmly in both hands. The person looked solemn, with reddened eyes. The hand holding the sword trembled slightly.
In another direction, Xu Ping’an and her parents returned to the old house. Xu Ping’an looked at her parents and said in a low voice, “I was useless.”
Xu Haoran turned around and held out his aged, quivering hands, stroking Xu Ping’an’s cheeks. “It’s me who should apologize. I had wanted to maintain a bloodline for your grandfather so that before your mother’s injury had a chance to completely deteriorate, she had you. This was a mistake, and it was me who brought you into this world to suffer.”
There was a strong sense of guilt in the eyes of the old man, and there was even a trace of tears at the corners of his eyes.
“Father and mother, why haven’t we left for so many years? Will they always keep tabs on us forever?” Xu Ping’an looked at her parents and said.
“Ping’ an, many things seem to be accidental, but were, in fact, inevitable. Some things we cannot escape. We only seek to survive in peace, but the troubles are endless, so there is no escape.”
Xu Ping’an bowed her head in disappointment. Indeed, all these years, their family had never been able to get out of trouble.
“Why not ask him for a favor,” Xu Ping’an whispered.
“It’s useless. We are all in a bind. If you go to see the old man, it will only get worse.” The old man shook his head. His heart was hurting as he watched his daughter helplessly.
Xu Ping’an’s beauty and talent were both outstanding. At this age, she should have been enjoying the most wonderful years of her life, but instead, all they could only think about day and night was about how to survive.
He had failed his daughter.
Xu Ping’an’s head was also hanging. There was none of the innocence in her beautiful eyes like those of her peers. There was only sadness and strengththe sadness that she could not change anything and could not protect her father and mother.
“Father, it doesn’t matter. No matter what we face, we are together as a family,” Xu Ping’an looked up and smiled, especially radiant.
“Mmm,” Xu Haoran nodded with emphasis. He held his daughter and looked up at the sky with a smile in his eyes.
Although it was such a bleak life, if you asked him whether or not he regretted the past, he would say no, because that was his father’s choice.
“Who is it?”
At this moment, coldness flashed through Xu Ping’an’s beautiful eyes. As she turned around, a figure had already stepped into the yard. Her face was slightly pale. She wasn’t even aware of the intruder until he had already come in.
She turned around and fully released the breath of the realm of Noble Plane. There was a hint of desperation in her eyes. Would they still refuse to let them go?
The man was wearing simple ordinary clothes and wearing a hat. He appeared extremely common. The rusty iron sword that was held in his hand was the sword that was relinquished by Xu Ping’an before.
“Who are you?” Xu Ping’an asked.
As the visitor removed his hat, He looked at Xu Ping’an, with a kind gentleness in his eyes, which surprised Xu Ping’an. This man did not seem to harbor malicious intent.
Old man Xu Haoran looked at the visitor, and his body shivered slightly. He wiped his eyes as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
The visitor was Qi Xuangang.
He looked away from Xu Ping’an, took a step forward, and came directly in front of the old man. He looked at that extremely weathered face in front of him, full of the wrinkles of the years, and there was the air of death already upon his body.
Qi Xuangang’s eyes were red. His hands stretched out to hold on to the old man’s shoulders, he shivered and said in a low cry, “Haoran.”
The old man also shivered slightly, and tears flowed out of his cloudy eyes. The old woman next to him also wept with her head lowered.
Xu Ping’an watched all this with a blank face.
Who was he?
“Uncle-Master,” the old man called out with a trembling voice.
“Uncle-Master,” the old woman next to him also looked on with teary eyes and said.
Tears flowed from Qi Xuangang’s eyes; he had thought that he would never cry again.
Once upon a time, these two were so on the top of their game. They were an envious couple. But now, they were so advanced in age. After all, their cultivation had been destroyed, so how else could they withstand the erosion of time?
“I thought you were all gone, that I had failed you all.” Qi Xuangang stepped forward and gently hugged the old man, only to feel the pain in his core.
He failed too many people. Too many people had perished because of things in the past that concerned him.
Although he did not wish it, he was the cause.
“Since Uncle Master is alive, why come back?” the old man asked. Qi Xuangang looked at him, and then looked at Xu Ping’an behind him.
“Some unfinished business that I must take care of.” He had thought he would stay in Dali all his life, but because of Ye Futian, his life path changed, and he went to the Supreme Realm.
Now, he should let go of everything.
Some things had to be done.
“Ping’an, come over and meet your Grand Uncle Master,” the old man said to Xu Ping’an, who then walked in front of Qi Xuangang. Qi Xuangang looked at her, his eyes full of kind love but also great sadness.
He thought of Feixue, whose life previously was extremely bleak. However, he didn’t think that Xu Ping’an was also living a miserable and bleak life here. She was still so young, yet she had shouldered unbearable weight.
“Grand Uncle-Master,” Xu Ping’an called.
Qi Xuangang noded with emphasis, and took Xu Ping’an’s hand to put the iron sword back in her palm. He whispered, “This is your grandfather’s sword. Your grandfather often said that only when all the artifices have been washed away could one be qualified to use the sword. Your grandfather was full of righteousness and was a gentleman of the sword. He was the number one swordsman in all of Tianhe Realm.”
After he put the sword in Xu Ping’an’s palm, Qi Xuangang turned to face the sky and knelt on the ground. His head touched the ground three times. It was as if there was a peerless swordsman that had appeared above the sky.
“Elder senior brother Master, I came back to see you.”
Qi Xuangang’s voice was full of sadness, and Xu Ping’an couldn’t help but shed tears when she witnessed this scene.
Xu Ping’an was humble all her life, but her grandfather was a gentleman in the sword, the indisputable and widely recognized gentleman sword emperor in Tianhe Realm, its number one swordsman.
Still, she had never seen her grandfather before!