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Bordertown Wanderer - Chapter 37

Chapter 37: The Prodigal Son Returns

The wind was howling. Who knows when it had become so impatient? The sound of the autumn wind suddenly seemed just as desolate and dreary as the sound of the wind over the plains.

Dawn was still very distant.

Fu Hongxue tightly gripped his sabre. Cold sweat filled the palm of his hand. The sweat came not from fear, but from pain; a pain which he had never before experienced.

The stranger no longer spoke.

No one spoke.

His enemy was seated in front of him, waiting. Waiting for death.

He had endured all sorts of unspeakable suffering, solely for the purpose of finding these people, one by one, and having them die by his sabre.

But now, as he stared at this man, whose face had long since become wrinkled and old from fear and pain, stared at his old, tired, and decrepit appearance, stared at his chopped off left leg…

He suddenly didn’t know if he should kill him.

“I made a mistake, and I’ve paid a price.”

These words weren’t wrong. If it wasn’t because he was still experiencing pain and terror caused by an old wound which was nonetheless still fresh, why would he be willing to chop off his own leg?

A person who had lived in that sort of nonstop torment for nineteen years had perhaps paid a greater price than death.

“All these years, I’ve whole-heartedly wanted to be a true gentleman.”

These words weren’t false either. All these past years, he truly had been being tolerant and showing restraint, never daring to make another mistake.

Was this because he already knew that he had been wrong? Was it because he was using all of his energy to repent for the past?

“Right now, you can kill him whenever you wish. He no longer has any power to resist you!”

“But right now, the question is not whether or not this person deserves to die.”

“But whether or not this person is worth killing.”

No one could answer this question for Fu Hongxue.

He had to choose for himself. Should he kill him, or should he not?

Everyone was watching Fu Hongxue. In their hearts, they were asking the same question.

Was he going to kill Yi Dajing, or wasn’t he?

The wind was still howling; it had grown even more frantic. Upon hearing the sound of the wind, the listeners couldn’t help but think of the boundlessly vast grasslands, the ceaseless, endless sandstorms. Think of the scent of blood in the wind…

But the border town’s moon was still beautiful. Beneath the desolate, dim moonlight, one could still reminisce about many happy memories. Within those memories, there were still many people worth missing.

Some people who were detestable, and yet lovable.

Could it be that every person had a detestable side to them, as well as a lovable side to them?

Right now, Ye Kai was thinking of Xiao Bieli.

He didn’t know why he suddenly thought of this person either. Perhaps it was because, all along, he had felt this person should not have died.

And yet, there were many people who deserved to die who still remained living.

“I am not going to kill you, because you are already no longer worth killing!”

“But I definitely will not spare Ma Kongqun! Not only was he my father’s friend, he was also my father’s brother. No matter what, he should not have done such a thing. I am definitely going to make sure he dies beneath my sabre!”

These were Fu Hongxue’s final words. This was also his final choice.

He did not kill Yi Dajing, nor did he spare anyone else a second glance. He slowly walked outside, taking one step with his left foot, then dragging his right foot along. His walking gait was strange and painful, just like himself.

But his sabre was still pitch-black.

Was he gripping the sabre, or was the sabre gripping his destiny?

“The only thing this sabre can bring people is death and ill fortune!”

Ye Kai seemed to once more hear Xiao Bieli’s voice, which seemed to be like a demonic incantation from the netherworld.

He watched as Fu Hongxue walked away, being swallowed up by the boundless, infinite darkness.

The wind outside was both cold and rushed. His disappearing back appeared so lonely, so cold…

A sheen of tears seemed to have appeared in Ye Kai’s eyes.

Ding Linglin was watching him. It seemed as though she would forever pay attention to just one person.

She suddenly asked quietly, “Why are you sad?”

Ye Kai said, “I’m not sad. I’m happy.”

Ding Linglin said, “Why are you happy?”

Ye Kai said, “Because he didn’t kill Yi Dajing.”

Just after he said this, the sound of Yi Dajing crying could be heard. Yi Dajing had collapsed to the ground, crying loudly.

Perhaps it had been a long, long time since he had truly cried. He wasn’t the type of person who would allow his true feelings to be shown.

“Sometimes, is living worse than dying?”

Right now, only Yi Dajing himself could answer this question.

The stranger glanced at him, then glanced at Lu Xiaojia.

Lu Xiaojia stood there like a stone statue, not moving and no longer peeling his peanuts. There was no expression on his face at all.

But perhaps showing no expression is, at times, an expression of the utmost pain.

The stranger suddenly sighed. “Now, you can take him back.”

The wine was in the cup.

The light shone in pulses. The wine was pale yellow in color. This wasn’t very good wine.

But the quality of wine lay not in the wine itself. Rather, it lay in whether or not you were in the mood to drink. If a person was filled with misery, even the finest wine in the world would taste bitter in his mouth.

The stranger suddenly said, “Today, I am very happy.”

Ye Kai said, “Was it because he did not kill Yi Dajing?”

The stranger nodded. He said something which Ye Kai would never forget throughout the rest of his life.

“It isn’t hard to kill someone. Sparing a hated enemy whom you can kill whenever you wish is what’s truly difficult.”

Ye Kai carefully mulled over these words. He felt as though his chest was filled with both bitterness and sweetness. He couldn’t resist draining his wine cup at one go.

The stranger drained his own cup as well. Smiling, he said, “It’s been a long time since I drank like this. My alcohol tolerance used to be very high, but afterwards…”

He no longer spoke.

Ye Kai didn’t ask either, because he had already noticed the emotions that had suddenly been revealed within those heartless eyes.

It was filled with a very complicated emotion. There was bitterness, there was sweetness, there was joy, and there was sorrow…

Although his sword was ruthless, the man himself was sentimental.

Naturally, he had many memories as well. Regardless of whether these memories were happy or sad, there were much deeper and much more profound than the memories of most people, and much more worth treasuring.

Ding Linglin was watching him the entire time.

This was the first time she had ever watched another person while Ye Kai was by her side.

She suddenly asked, “Are you really Ah-…”

The stranger chuckled, then said, “I really am Ah Fei. Everyone calls me Ah Fei, so you can call me Ah Fei as well.”

Ding Linglin blushed, then laughed. Lowering her head, she said, “Can I offer you a toast?”

The stranger said, “Of course you can.”

Ding Linglin rushed to drain her own cup of wine, her eyes shining. Anyone who had a chance to exchange toasts with Ah Fei would feel very proud and fortunate.

Seeing her youthful, shining eyes, the stranger couldn’t help but feel a little sorrow in his heart. He himself knew that he would never again be that Ah Fei.

That Ah Fei of the past, who travelled across the breadth of the martial world, had simply become an unknown man in the martial world. Even he himself was now unwilling to listen to others bringing up those past affairs, which were more than enough to stir up the blood and rouse the spirits of the listeners.

Ding Linglin naturally would not be able to understand these sorrowful sentiments right now. Thus, laughing, she said, “I’ve always heard that you are the fastest striker in the world. But only today do I believe it.”

Ah Fei chuckled dully. “You are wrong. I’ve never been the fastest striker in the world. There’s always been one faster.”

Ding Linglin’s eyes widened.

The stranger said, “Do you know who taught Lu Xiaojia to use that sword?”

Ding Linglin shook her head.

The stranger said, “This man has a very strange name. His name is Jin Wuming.”

Ding Linglin laughed. “Jin Wuming? He’s without life?” [Wuming literally means ‘without life’.]

The stranger said, “Everyone person has life. Of course he does as well. But he’s always felt that his life didn’t belong to himself.”

Ding Linglin said, “This name really is quite strange. This attitude is even stranger.”

The stranger said, “He’s always been a very strange person.”

Ding Linglin said, “His sword is also very fast?”

The stranger said, “From what I know, there’s no one in the martial world in this age whose sword is faster than his. In addition, he is equally fast with either hand. Only someone who has actually witnessed his speed can believe how fast he is.”

A cold, lonely shadow once more crossed Ding Linglin’s eyes. She slowly said, “I imagine he is a very proud person.”

The stranger said, “Not only is he conceited, he is also callous. He can kill others because of a single sentence they say. He can also kill himself for that sentence.”

Ding Linglin said, “I imagine others must fear him very much.”

The stranger nodded. A sorrowful look appeared in his eyes again, and he slowly said, “But right now, he’s just an unknown man in the martial world…”

Ding Linglin said, “What about Little Li’s Flying Dagger? Does he strike even more quickly than Jin Wuming?”

The stranger’s eyes suddenly brightened. “The word ‘quick’ can no longer be used to describe his strikes.”

Ding Linglin blinked. “I understand. Whether or not his attacks are quick no longer matters, because he has already reached that level of greatness in martial arts which you described earlier. Thus, there is already no one capable of defeating him.”

The stranger said, “There definitely is no one at all.”

Ding Linglin said, “Thus, even though Shangguan Jinhong had already reached an unbeatable, peerless level of martial arts, he was still defeated by him.”

The stranger smiled. “You really are very smart.”

Ding Linglin said, “Is he really still alive?”

The stranger laughed. “Am I really still alive?”

Ding Linglin said, “Of course you are alive.”

The stranger said, “Then he is still alive as well, of course.”

Ding Linglin said, “So if he were to die, you would die with him?”

The stranger said, “I might not die with him, but if he were to die, no one in the world would ever see me again.”

His voice was peaceful and natural, as though he were discussing something very ordinary. But anyone listening could tell how deep and great their friendship was.

Eyes shining, Ding Linglin sighed again. “I’ve also heard before that nothing can compare to the friendship between you two. Only now do I really understand.”

The stranger said, “Perhaps friendship is the most genuine, the most precious thing in the world. Therefore, no matter what type of person Bai Tianyu was, I will always believe that Ma Kongqun’s usage of such tactics to deal with him is an extremely shameful thing.”

Ding Linglin said, “Therefore, you are not necessarily against Fu Hongxue killing him.”

The stranger sighed. “But Li Xunhuan definitely wouldn’t feel the same way. He never holds any hatred towards others. All he knows how to do is forgive others and sympathize with others.”

Ding Linglin’s heart seemed to be filled with those grand emotions as well. After a long time, she quietly asked, “Have you seen him recently?”

The stranger said, “Every year, we meet at least once.”

Ding Linglin said, “Do you know where he is?”

They didn’t need to ask each other.

Friendship like theirs could penetrate everything, could be stopped by nothing. No matter where they went, it would be the same.

Even Ding Linglin could understand this sort of sentiment.

Her gaze seemed to be distant. She lightly sighed, “I really wish that I might meet him one day.”

The rooster was crowing already. Light slowly began to fall upon the great earth.

The stranger slowly stood up. Resting his hand on Ye Kai’s shoulder, he smiled. “I know that you have always respected him very much, and that you have always held him up as your role model. Therefore, I am very happy.”

Hot tears had already filled Ye Kai’s eyes to the brim. His heart was filled with excitement and gratitude.

The stranger gazed off into the distant sunrise to the east. “I am going to go to Jiangnan. At Jiangnan, I might meet up with him.”

Looking at Ding Linglin, he suddenly chuckled. “I will definitely tell him that a clever and beautiful girl hopes to meet him.”

Ding Linglin laughed. Her shining eyes were also filled with hope and gratitude.

She suddenly said, “Is some world-shaking event about to occur in Jiangnan, which is why you are all headed there?”

The stranger said, “Perhaps there will be, but we do not want others to know about the things we do. Therefore, no one will ever know.”

He slowly walked out past the door. Facing the new dawn, he let out a long sigh, then suddenly turned his head and laughed. “I’ve said more words today than I have ever spoken on any other day. Do you know why?”

Of course they didn’t know!

The stranger said, “Because I’ve grown old. Old people are always talkative.”

After saying these words, he walked away, greeting the rising sun. His stride was still that natural, still that stable.

A ray of light shot out just them from a gap within the clouds to the east. It just so happened to fall upon him, making him appear as though his entire body was glowing.

Ding Linglin lightly sighed. “Who says he’s old? He seems even younger than we are.”

Ye Kai smiled. “Of course he won’t grow old. Some people will never grow old…”

Some people really will never grow old, because their hearts will forever be filled with a deep love and great hopes for humanity.

So long as someone’s heart is filled with love and hope, he will never grow old.

The rising sun was also filled with deep love and great hope for humanity. Mother earth became resplendent and glorious. They stood beneath the sunlight.

Despite having passed through such a night, they didn’t seem the slightest bit weary. Because their hearts were filled with hope as well.

Ding Linglin’s face was shining as well. She sweetly said, “Did you hear the words he said earlier? He says I’m both clever and beautiful.”

Ye Kai was smiling.

Ding Linglin stared at him. “Why haven’t you ever said that?”

Ye Kai said, “Do you insist on me saying it?”

Ding Linglin laughed again. “Actually, it doesn’t matter whether or not you say it, so long as you feel it in your heart.”

Taking his hand, she walked towards the rising sun.

Ye Kai suddenly asked, “What is your third brother like?”

Ding Linglin rolled her eyes. Laughing, she said, “My third brother is much like you. He’s intelligent but naughty. Aside from giving birth, he seems to be able to do a little of everything. But he himself claims that his foremost skill is seducing women.”

Her face suddenly stiffened, and she loudly said, “No matter what, you’d best not learn that skill from him.”

Ye Kai chortled. “I have no need to learn.”

Ding Linglin glanced at him, then suddenly laughed again. “Even if you are very good at seducing women, so what? I’ll watch over you like a hawk, every single day. Even if you have godlike seducing skills, you won’t be able to put them to use.”

Ye Kai let out a sigh. “I’ve long heard that third master Ding is the most talented in letters and most dissolute. I really want to meet him.”

Ding Linglin sweetly said, “You should meet him and flatter him a bit as well. That way, he’ll say a few good words on your behalf at our home.”

Ye Kai said, “Aside from him, are all your other family members old-fashioned and conservative?”

Ding Linglin nodded. Sighing, she said, “Especially my father. It’s rare for him to laugh even once a year. I snuck out precisely because I’m afraid of how unpleasant he looks.”

Ye Kai said, “I know that he is a gentleman.”

Ding Linglin laughed. “But I can guarantee that he isn’t Yi Dajing’s type of ‘gentleman’.”

Ye Kai said, “Of course he isn’t.”

Ding Linglin said, “Ever since my mother passed away, he hasn’t ever spared other women so much as a glance. Based on this alone, very few people can match up to him.”

Ye Kai smiled. “At least, I definitely wouldn’t be able to.”

Ding Linglin angrily glared at him again. “So I definitely can’t die before you do.”

After some time, she suddenly asked, “Where do you want to go now? Do you want to go find Fu Hongxue?”

Ye Kai did not reply to this question.

Ding Linglin said, “Do you think he really will be able to find Ma Kongqun?”

Ye Kai was silent for some time, before slowly saying, “So long as you are determined, there’s nothing that cannot be accomplished.”

Underneath such a brilliant sun, it really did seem as though there is nothing which is impossible to do.

Just then, a sound of hoof steps could be heard beneath the brilliant sun.

The horse was a superb one, one in ten thousand, and was fitted with a bright saddle. The owner of such a fine horse couldn’t be too bad either.

The rider wore bright clothes and a pearl crown. There were innumerable precious gemstones sewn onto his jade belt. His sword was covered in bright pearls, and he lightly brandished a silk whip in his hands. He was a very noble, heroic, handsome-looking young hero.

Just as the fast horse reached Ye Kai and her, it suddenly came to a halt.

Ding Linglin immediately clapped her hands and shouted in delight, “Third brother, we were just thinking about you! I didn’t imagine that you would actually suddenly arrive!”

Third master Ding smiled. “I came specifically to meet with this good friend of yours. I hear he’s just like me, that he’s not a very good creature at all.”

As he spoke, his gleaming, bright gaze came to rest upon Ye Kai.

Ding Linglin blinked. “What do you think?”

Third master Ding smiled. “I’m not disappointed.”

Ye Kai laughed as well. He wasn’t disappointed either. Third master Ding truly was a talented, dissolute-looking, energetic young man of the mortal world.

Smiling, he said, “I’ve always wanted to meet you as well. I hear you’ve just won thirty or so jugs of aged Maiden’s Blush [Nu’er Hong] wine.”

Third master Ding laughed loudly. “Unfortunately, you’re a bit too late. That wine has long since entered the belly!”

Ye Kai said, “What about that group of young singers?”

Third master Ding said, “Those little girls all look like the famous clay idol figurines of Wuxi. You’d definitely like them if you saw them. Unfortunately, I definitely won’t let you see them.”

Ye Kai said, “Why’s that?”

Third master Ding said, “Even if you aren’t afraid that my little sister here will eat vinegar [ie be jealous], we’re all a bit afraid of her.”

Ding Linglin deliberately put a scowl on her face. “It’s a good thing that you’re smart. Otherwise, I really just might smash those clay idols of yours to pieces, one by one.”

Third master Ding laughed. “Did you hear that? Isn’t this lass quite nasty when jealous and riled up?”

Ding Linglin couldn’t resist letting out a peal of laughter as well.

Third master Ding said, “Where are you headed?”

Ding Linglin said, “How about you?”

Third master Ding sighed again. Forcing out a smile, he said, “I’m not as carefree as you are. If I don’t go back soon, my head is going to have a large opening chopped into it.”

Ding Linglin said, “How’s the old man?”

Third master Ding said, “Not bad. Last year, I actually saw him laugh. I think you need to be careful as well. Although your aunt protects you, if the old man really loses his temper, it’ll be hard for you to avoid misfortune as well.”

Ding Linglin wetted her lips. “I’m not afraid. If push comes to shove, I’ll just never go back.”

Third master Ding laughed. “That’s a good idea, and I’m not against it either. Only, I feel a bit apologetic towards him.”

Ye Kai said, “Towards me?”

Third master Ding nodded. “If this fierce, jealous, and ugly lass actually makes up her mind to watch over you like a hawk for the rest of your life, is there any more joy for you to have in living?”

He didn’t let Ding Linglin speak. Laughing, he had already spurred his horse to gallop away. From far away, his laughter could still be heard. “When you can sneak out by yourself, why don’t you come find me? Aside from the clay idols, I also have many sets of porcelain idols and candy idols…”

The sound of his laughter suddenly disappeared, along with the sound of the hoofsteps.

Ding Linglin stamped her feet. She angrily said, “Third brother really isn’t a good creature at all.”

Ye Kai said, “But at least the words he says are very reasonable.”

Ding Linglin said, “What did he say?”

Ye Kai laughed, “Didn’t you hear him say that somebody is a fierce and ugly vinegar pot?”

Ding Linglin wanted to scowl, but couldn’t resist laughing instead.

The two of them slowly strolled on the road, which shone with the golden rays of the sun. It seemed as though both of them suddenly had things on their mind.

Ye Kai suddenly said, “What are you thinking about?”

Ding Linglin said, “Nothing.”

Ye Kai said, “When girls claim to not be thinking about anything, they always have things on their mind.”

Ding Linglin couldn’t resist letting out a sigh.

Watching her, Ye Kai said, “You’re thinking about home?”

A look of longing suddenly appeared in Ding Linglin’s eyes. There was a hint of worry there as well.

Ye Kai also let out a sigh. “Of course you wouldn’t really ‘never go back’.”

Ding Linglin sighed again. “To tell you the truth, I’m not worried about much, but I am worried about that old-fashioned, inflexible father of mine.”

Ye Kai said, “You’re worried that he doesn’t want a son-in-law like me?”

Ding Linglin said, “If hypothetically you could become even just the slightest bit better behaved, things would be fine.”

Ye Kai chortled. “Maybe he just so happens to like my type of character.”

Ding Linglin shook her head.

Ye Kai said, “You think that’s impossible?”

Ding Linglin said, “Uh huh.”

Ye Kai said, “Your third brother is just like me. Doesn’t he love your third brother the best?”

Ding Linglin said, “How did you know that?”

Ye Kai said, “Because he is very strict with him. Besides, old people love their youngest son the most anyhow.”

Ding Linglin said, “That’s true enough. In all our family, the person he is the strictest with is third brother. But the one he likes the most is also third brother.”

Ye Kai laughed. “You’re getting jealous again, my little vinegar pot.”

Ding Linglin bit her lips. “I don’t want him to like me, I just want him to stop bothering me all the time.”

Ye Kai said, “Maybe he always bothers you because he likes you very much as well.”

Ding Linglin no longer spoke, but her eyes became a bit misty, as though she wanted to cry.

But Ye Kai seemed to be lost in thought, and did not notice the expression on her face. After a long time, he suddenly asked, “Does your father have any particularly close friends? Friends who can say a few good words on my behalf before him?”

Ding Linglin shook her head. “He usually almost never meets with other people. Even if he has one or two close friends, they are just as conservative and inflexible as that old antique. Bunch of old fogeys.”

Ye Kai’s eyes suddenly gleamed. “I heard that he used to be on very good terms with Xue Bin.”

Ding Linglin shook her head again. “He might not even have heard of Xue Bin.”

Ye Kai’s facial expression was very strange. He seemed both a bit gratified as well as a bit disappointed.

After a long time, he asked, “What about Yi Dajing? Isn’t he your father’s friend as well?”

Ding Linglin said, “Third brother must have only recently become acquainted with Yi Dajing. Even I didn’t know that he had made such a friend.”

Ye Kai asked, “Can it be that your father has never had any interactions with the people of the martial world?”

Ding Linglin said, “He’s often said that only two people in the martial world are worthy of being his friends.”

Ye Kai said, “Which two?”

Ding Linglin said, “Naturally, one of them is Li Tanhua. Even my father has always felt that he has been the most incredible figure of the martial world within these past three hundred years. In addition, the deeds he’s performed are all deeds which no one else can do.”

Ye Kai laughed. “Looks like he’s got pretty good taste.”

Ding Linglin suddenly chortled as well. “Why don’t you guess who the second is?”

Ye Kai said, “Ah Fei?”

Ding Linglin shook her head. “He’s always believed that Ah Fei is someone who will never be able to accomplish great things, because he is both too arrogant and too lonely.”

Ye Kai did not dispute this.

Because even he had to agree that there was a certain degree of truth to old Ding’s evaluation of Ah Fei.

“But if he feels that even Ah Fei is not worthy of being his friend, who else in the martial world might he think highly of?”

Ding Linglin said, “Bai Tianyu.”

Ye Kai felt very shocked. He hurriedly asked, “Bai Tianyu? Your father knew him?”

Ding Linglin continued, “He didn’t know him personally, but father has always considered Bai Tianyu to be an extraordinary person. He’s always wanted to meet with him. Sadly…”

She sighed again, and no longer spoke.

Bai Tianyu really did die too early. No matter what type of person he was, there were definitely many people in the martial world who felt that his death was an exceptionally tragic event.

Ding Linglin said, “Aside from these two, he looks down upon everyone else. He considers them to be either idiots or *******s.”

Ye Kai forced out a smile. “Unfortunately, these two would never say good things on my behalf.”

Glancing at him sideways, Ding Linglin said, “Right now, there is perhaps only one person from whom he would even let listen to a complete sentence.”

Ye Kai said, “Who?”

Ding Linglin said, “My aunt.”

Ye Kai said, “That would be his younger sister?”

Ding Linglin said, “She’s his only sibling. Ever since they were young, they were very close.”

Ye Kai said, “Your aunt hasn’t married yet?”

Ding Linglin laughed. “She’s even more picky than my father. She doesn’t have a good impression of any man in the world.”

Ye Kai flatly said, “Perhaps that’s because others don’t have a good impression of her either.”

Ding Linglin said, “You’re wrong. Even up to this very day, she can still be considered a beauty. When she was young, there were some men who were willing to travel thousands of li just to see her once.”

Ye Kai said, “But she wouldn’t even let a single one of them see her.”

Ding Linglin said, “Absolutely right. She often says that men are like pigs, dirty and foul-smelling. It’s as though she thinks that if a man’s gaze falls upon her, she will be sullied by it, and therefore…”

She looked at Ye Kai sideways. Biting her lips, she said, “She often encourages me to never marry, and that the only response I should give to any suitor is a sharp kick.”

Ye Kai emotionlessly said, “Isn’t she afraid that your foot will be sullied by the kicking?”

Ding Linglin sweetly said, “Unfortunately, I’m a good-for-nothing. Not only am I unable to bear the thought of kicking you, but even if you were to kick me, you wouldn’t be able to kick me away.”

Ye Kai couldn’t resist laughing.

Ding Linglin lightly sighed again. “So I don’t think that there’s a very high probability of her speaking on your behalf to father.”

Ye Kai sighed, “Looks like there’s not a single normal person in your family.”

Ding Linglin forced out a smile. “That’s absolutely true.”

Ye Kai said, “Of the three great familial clans in the martial world, I’m afraid that the weirdest one must be your Ding clan.”

Ding Linglin said, “The brothers of the aristocratic Nangong family often say that our family is like a nest of hedgehogs. Every single one of us is bristling with spikes.”

She giggled, then continued, “It’s a good thing that my father has never heard these words. Otherwise, it’d be a strange thing if those brats of the Nangong family didn’t run into some trouble.”

Ye Kai said, “Is your father really very proficient in martial arts?”

Ding Linglin said, “I personally have no idea. All I know is that all of my siblings were taught by him, but none of us have been able to totally master his skills.”

She couldn’t help but reveal an arrogant, self-satisfied look in her eyes. “My three older brothers can already be considered first-class masters of the martial world, but their skill in martial arts is still less than half of my father’s.”

Ye Kai said, “But it seems as though your father has never fought with others either.”

Ding Linglin said leisurely, “That’s only because no one has ever dared to make trouble for him.”

Ye Kai said, “And he’s never made trouble for anyone else?”

Ding Linglin said, “He’s never been willing to even listen to all of this nonsense which goes on in the martial world.”

Ye Kai’s gaze grew distant, as though he had been carried far away. After a long time, he slowly said, “No matter what, I must accompany you back to visit him.”

Ding Linglin’s eyes widened. “You’d dare?”

Ye Kai laughed. “What’s to be afraid of? At most, he’ll chop a big hole into my head.”

Ding Linglin jumped to her feet. “Great, let’s go right now!”

Ye Kai said, “I’m afraid now isn’t the time.”

Ding Linglin said, “Right now, you’re going to go find Fu Hongxue?”

Ye Kai let out a sigh. “His enemies are growing more and more numerous, while his friends are becoming fewer and fewer.”

Ding Linglin pursed her lips. “Do you know where he’s gone?”

Ye Kai’s expression suddenly became strange again. He slowly said, “This place isn’t very far from the Plum Blossom Convent.”

Ding Linglin’s looked shock. “That Plum Blossom Convent?”

Ye Kai slowly nodded. “I imagine that Fu Hongxue definitely must have gone there to take a look.”

A very strange expression appeared on Ding Linglin’s face as well. Sighing, she said, “Forget about Fu Hongxue. Even I want to go and take a look.”