The Nine Cauldrons


Chapter 13 Being Safe is a Blessing 

At the North Gate of Huyue County City in Qingzhou, a very long line was formed.
The speed was very slow because the search was too detailed.
At the side of the gate, Teng Qingshan was being watched by one of the guards.

Teng Qingshan humphed helplessly and began moving the two boxes to the ground. “Clang!” “Clang” Two sounds rang as the boxes were placed on the ground. Teng Qingshan could only smile helplessly, “My boxes are too heavy.” Teng Qingshan was opening one of the boxes while he was still talking, showing an organized array of tea bricks.
“Eh?” Seeing the tea bricks, the guards frowned.

“They are all tea bricks. It’s troublesome to take them out, and even more troublesome to put them back.” Brother, please help me. I am just trying to make a living here.” Teng Qingshan hastily said.
The guard cast a glance at the few people supervising in the distance and steeled himself.

“Shut up.” The guard roared and said, “Quick! Pour out everything in those two boxes!”

“Pour everything out?” Teng Qingshan glared.

With a cold facial expression, the guard said, “On the surface might be tea bricks, but who knows what’s at the bottom. Quickly pour everything out, otherwise, I will have to ask you to stay in the jail for a few days.”
Teng Qingshan hastily carried a box and held the box downwards, leaning the edge of the box on the ground. While he was moving, Teng Qingshan even muttered intentionally, “Brother, if I pour everything out, it will take a long time and many of my tea bricks will break.”  Acting very careful, Teng Qingshan swayed the box slowly as he started to pour the tea bricks out.
“Clang!” The empty box was placed aside.
The guard immediately checked the empty box and tea bricks while shouting, “The other one! Quick!”

“Yes, yes.” Teng Qingshan opened the second box and at the center of the box there was a luggage case. The others might not know, but Teng Qingshan knew clearly….that the things that could drive him to his death were in this luggage case! Whether it was the Reincarnation Spear or the Splitting Mountain Axe, these two were things that he himself must carry.

Teng Qingshan carried the other box

Walla~~A large amount of tea bricks and the luggage case flowed out. Teng Qingshan opened the luggage case in a very diligent manner, showing the clothes and some other stuff in the luggage case.
The guard glanced at them and pushed the pile of tea bricks to the side, afraid that the Splitting Mountain Axe and Reincarnation Spear could be hidden beneath the pile. As for the luggage case, he only poked it with his weapon. Yet, he did not notice anything unusual.

“Woman! The one carrying a big bundle! Bring your bag here!” The guard suddenly turned and stared at Madame Tan as he shouted.
Holding Little Tan He’s hand, Madame Tan was surprised. “Me?”
“Everyone has to be inspected.” The guard said coldly. Madame Tan could only untie the bundle she was carrying.

“Brother, I can put the tea bricks back now, right?” Teng Qingshan said with a sour facial expression.
The guard also understood the trouble of the merchant before his eyes. It is indeed very troublesome to put all those tea bricks back into the boxes. He simply checked Madame Tan’s bundle and simultaneously said, “Yeah. Put all the tea bricks back into boxes as soon as possible and leave. Don't block the city gate.”
After the inspection, the guard went to check on other people, leaving Teng Qingshan, who was putting the tea bricks back into the two boxes.
“Uncle Qin, I will help you.” Little Tan He started to help. When Madame Tan saw this, she hastily ran over to help too.
Although Teng Qingshan poured out the tea bricks carefully out of eight hundred tea bricks, a dozen of them still broke. At least the broken tea bricks could still be used to make tea. With help of two people, the two boxes were filled-up within minutes. Teng Qingshan then placed the luggage case into one of the big boxes and carried the two boxes on the Scarlet Flame Horse.
“Let's go.” Teng Qingshan led Madame Tan and her child out of the city gate, and this time no one stopped them.
He  was  only ten zhangs away from the the area outside the gate, but Teng Qingshan was feeling great.
“I am finally out.” There was a smile on Teng Qingshan’s face. “ If I was found out…...I am afraid I would have to carry the luggage, Little Tan He, and his mother, and escape.” With Teng Qingshan’s strength, carrying Madame Tan and the child wouldn’t affect his speed.

TLN: This image would be kinda funny.
The strength of the guards at the city gates posed were no threat to him. Teng Qingshan could charge out easily.

However, if he did that, the consequences would be very serious. Firstly, his identity would exposed. Secondly, Madame Tan and the boy would suffer an undeserved catastrophe.

“Old Man Zhou.” When Teng Qingshan already saw the caravan outside the city gates, he shouted with a smile.

“Oh. Brother Qin Wei.” Standing in front of the caravan was a muscular elder, who was dressed in a thick leather cloak and wearing a leather hat. The elder greeted him enthusiastically and said, “Xiao Yao Palace is looking for someone today and they were searching the entire city. It was really troublesome yo leave the city, especially for us merchants…...Brother Qin Wei, you also suffered, right?”

“You don't say?” Teng Qingshan shook his head and said helpless, “I had to pour out everything in my boxes and I had put everything back by myself.”

“That’s okay. You only have two boxes. Hu’s Merchant Company had ten carts of goods, yet those guards steeled their hearts and refused to do us a favor. They made us pour out all ten carts of goods.” Old Man Zhou who was the leader of this caravan, looked very angry while saying, “So many of our guards and merchants had to put everything back onto the carts, which took a long of time.”
Old Man Zhou suddenly saw that there were merchants coming out from the city gates and hastily said, “Brother Qin Wei, I can't continue to talk with you anymore. I have to go pick up someone.”

“Old Man Zhou, go ahead.” With Madame Tan and her son, Teng Qingshan joined the caravan.
This caravan was managed by the Hu’s Trading Company and many other free and leisure merchants also joined. Those free and leisure merchants brought along many guards and paid commision to  
After almost an hour, all the merchants assembled here.
“Alright. Everyone is here. The last destination of our caravan is Yuzhou Imperial City——Yu City. We are departing now!” As the leader of the caravan shouted, the caravan departed in a vigorous manner.
This caravan had almost three hundred merchants and over five hundred guards.
A caravan of eight hundred people! This caravan was a lot bigger than the caravan that Teng Qingshan joined previously.

Drip!Drop! Drip! Drop!
Teng Qingshan’s Scarlet Flame Horse was galloping leisurely. Since there were carts, the caravan couldn't travel too fast.
Even though it was still morning and there were piles of melting snow on the official road which causing the temperature to decrease.

“Xiao Yao Mountain!” Teng Qingshan gazed at the mountain before his eyes. Xiao Yao Mountain was a few Li away from the North Gate of Huyue County City. The sight of the mountain could be distinctly seen as soon as one leaved the city. Xiao Yao Mountain was slightly smaller than the Great Yan Mountain and had a circumference of around twenty to thirty li. However, because it was a place of beautiful scenery, the martial ancestor of Xiao Yao Palace chose it as the land to establish the sect.
As they advanced, an hour had passed.

“That Ma Jinxiao said that he would be around ten li away from the North Gate.” Teng Qingshan scrutinized the surroundings and said to himself, “It we travelled almost ten Li.”

Madame Tan and his son, who were arranged by Teng Qingshan to sit on the cart, were also looking  around.
A few minutes later——
Teng Qingshan had his eyes on a farmer,who was wearing a cotton-padded jacket and a tattered hat, and crouching on a ridge at the side of the official road. Because the farmer lowered his head, the tattered hat covered half of the farmer’s face. The eyes behind his unkempt hair would occasionally be seen.
“Little He. Madame Tan. Come here.” Teng Qingshan immediately dismounted and led the horse to the side if the official road.

Yan He and Madame Tan also knew that Ma Jinxiao would be waiting around ten li away from the North Gate. When they saw the ragged-looking farmer, they were also suspecting that he could be Ma Jinxiao. As soon as they heard Teng Qingshan voice,they hastily ran over.

“Brother Qin Wei.” The merchants at the side shouted, “What's wrong?”

“Just a trivial matter. No need to wait for me. I will catch up later.” Teng Qingshan shouted.
As those merchants saw that Teng Qingshan had  the Scarlet Flame Horse, which could gallop faster than a caravan, they didn't stop for Teng Qingshan, but continued advancing.  
Whew! The farmer squatting on a ridge stood up and walked towards them.

“Teacher!” Little he immediately saw the approaching person and ran over excitedly. Ma Jinxiao also grinned and held Little Tan He up.
With the child in his arms, Ma Jinxiao walked toward Teng Qingshan. He smiled as he looked at Teng Qingshan and said, “Brother Qin Wei, it's all thanks to you this time.”

“I almost didn't recognize you because of your disguise.” Teng Qingshan remarked emotionally.

“Haha. I was originally a mountaineer.” Ma Jinxiao laughed, “You didn't face any trouble when you were leaving the city, right?”

Teng Qingshan shook his head and said, “Not much. They were hunting for someone in the city. There were guards in every street and more guards searching at the city gates.” Little Tan He, who was being held by Ma Jinxiao hastily said, “Yes, the guards even tip over Uncle Qin’s cargo box.”

“Looks like they are searching very strictly.”  Ma Jinxiao couldn't help but felt anxious. “Did you guys see the portrait of the person that Xiao Yao Palace is catching?” Ma Jinxiao stared at Teng Qingshan as he asked.

“We saw it.” Teng Qingshan laughed and said, “Brother Ma, you left in such a hurry last night. I thought you caused great trouble and you were pursued by Xiao Yao Palace, but the portrait was nothing like you. I had guessed wrongly.”

Ma Jinxiao smiled and said, “I did cause some trouble yesterday, that was why I left overnight. However…..I didn't provoke Xiao Yao Palace.” Ma Jinxiao also realized that his disciple, Little Tan He and Madame Tan didn't show any expressions of surprise, thus, it was obvious that the portrait was nothing like him.
Ma Jinxiao let out a sigh of relief in his heart.
“Brother Ma, what do you plan to do in the future?” Teng Qingshan asked.

“Me?” Ma Jinxiao gaze at the mountains and shook his head with a smile, “I am planing to take Little He back to my hometown, Ma Jia Village! I can also teach the younger generations of Ma Clan. If nothing unexpected happens, I will be staying in Ma Jia Village for the rest of my life.”
Ma Jinxiao sighed, “I have been outside for too long…..I don't want to be away from my home anymore.”

“Brother Qin Wei, Ma Jia Village is thirty li north of here. If you ask around, you will know. If you want to find me or see Little He, just go there.” Ma Jinxiao smiled.

“Uncle Qin, you have to come in the future.” Little He hastily said.

With a smile, Teng Qingshan caressed Little He’s head and nodded as he said, “Don't worry. When I am done with my work and if there's a chance, I will come.”

“Brother Qin Wei, you should be on your way. I will take Little He and Madame Tan back to Ma Jia Village.” Ma Jinxiao bid farewell and left with the mother and child, following a narrow lane off the main road.

Teng Qingshan watched the three distancing backs and smiled.

“Stay in Ma Jia Village for the rest of his life? An innate expert who is not even forty years old is willing to stay at his home to teach and protect his clan members and to live a calm and peaceful life.” In the depth of Teng Qingshan’s heart, he was touched by Ma Jinxiao’s decision. Being safe is a blessing! If Teng Qingshan himself could live a peaceful life with his family, he would feel satisfied.

“However, my path is different from Ma Jinxiao’s!”
“Between Qing Hu Island and I, one of us  is destined for destruction.” Teng Qingshan leaped onto the Scarlet Flame Horse and shouted, “Jia!”

The Scarlet Flame Horse immediately galloped and pursued the caravan in front.

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