There were no printed copies, but this made sense.
Those sacred texts that regular people read naturally had printed copies. These books could be bought anywhere, from markets to bookstores. However, those were books for common folks. Where would a martial artist or a cultivator find printed books?
Among the books on the mountain, of course not all of them were handwritten, but eight out of ten were. These books… Alright, they couldn’t possibly be considered books at all. It was unknown who wrote them, but the written words came in all sizes. Many pages were covered in scrawls, making the words hard to discern. Xiaodong’s eyes were already about to pop out from staring at the words, yet he still found it hard to discern if the author had actually miswritten the words, or his experience with recognizing words was still a little lacking. His eyes began to blur from the staring, and it felt as if the words were little humans throwing their punches and kicks, desiring to break out of the paper. He couldn’t understand what every single word meant.
Let’s take the book that Xiaodong was presently reading as an example. It was preserved considerably well, and it was penned by Leisurely Traveller.
With just one glance, it was obvious that it was a fake name that the author came up with on the fly.
This book was actually Leisurely Traveller’s travel log. This person had visited several places and liked to make friends with the locals over alcohol. While being happily drunk, he would record all of the strange rumors and interesting stories that the locals told him…
Alright, since he was already drunk, should anyone expect this person to write neatly? There were no expectations of him having a clear mind, nor of him speaking clearly. Even if others wanted to transcribe this book, it was impossible to know which part of the word-filled pages to start copying from. Nor would there be anyone with a brain so fried they would take this book and reprint it.
Xiaodong had been looking at this book and digging out the words all day. Even when he had already resorted to making guesses at the content, he had only read one of the passages.
Senior Brother Ning was very generous. When he said he would lend books to Xiaodong, he immediately acted on it.
Xiaodong watched him take out two books from his flat sleeves, and another two, and another two…
Xiaodong stared with wide-open eyes.
Wwere Senior Brother Ning’s sleeves the legendary treasure bag? He was pulling out books over and over again, just how many books did he have?
Xiaodong’s expression had almost made Ning Yu smile with delight.
He suppressed his laughter and said, “These books are all rather interesting, you can take a look at them first. Tell me once you’re done, I still have some others.”
Ning Yu looked at Xiaodong staring straight at his sleeves, and his gaze suggested he would step forward to investigate them if he could. Ning Yu suddenly felt like this dark and rainy day was no longer as dull, and his breathing was not as ragged either. He whisked his sleeves with a smile and picked up the umbrella next to the door. “Then, enjoy them slowly. I’m going to head back first.”
Seeing that Ning Yu had already left, even if it felt like his heart was being scratched a hundred times, Xiaodong could not call Senior Brother Ning back to inquire about them.
But really, what kind of treasure were those sleeves!?
Xiaodong sat down, disheartened, and pushed away the book that looked like ghostly talisman sheets to the side.
He wondered if these tattered books actually had any use? Why did everything on them looked like drunk nonsense? They weren’t reliable at all.
The books that Ning Yu left were still placed on the desk. Xiaodong snappily picked them up and flipped through them.
A few of the books were similar to the ones that Xiaodong had on hand. Xiaodong even suspected that the books that Eldest Senior Brother brought him were possibly borrowed from Ning Yu.
He then reached out for the bottommost book. This book looked very old as well. The edges of the pages were torn and tattered, and the papers were uneven. The stitches binding the pages looked frail, as if they could break off at any moment.
Xiaodong did not even dare flip this book, as he hurriedly, yet carefully, placed it to the side.
This could not be taken as a joke.
Though all these books looked torn and tattered, XIaodong did not dare belittle them. Who knew what kind of history these books had? If they were actually books left behind by a certain senior of a sect, how would he pay for the books if he broke the papers by recklessly flipping through them? Furthermore, this would greatly harm relations.
Let’s put them aside neatly for now. Once the sky got better, he would return them to Senior Brother Ning.
When Mo Chen returned, he saw that there were a few more books on the desk. Without needing Xiaodong to explain, he knew where these books were from with just a glance.
“Ning Yu came?”
Xiaodong nodded. “Senior Brother Ning said he that he’s lending them to me…”
“Are there anything useful written inside them?”
Xiaodong’s head drooped down. “Nope.” The moment he said that, he hurriedly added, “I haven’t finished looking through them yet. The words inside are hard to recognize.”
Mo Chen flipped through them. Looking at pages filled with ink-dripping gibberish, he smiled understandingly.
The words were indeed a little hard to discern. It was no wonder Little Junior Brother was having so much trouble.
Actually, when he found these books for Little Junior Brother, he did not really expect anything to be discovered.
Because… Mo Chen had already read all of these books. With his aptitude, though he might not remember everything with a glance, he couldn’t easily forget the contents of the books that he had read either. Among the books in Returnflow Mountain, there wasn’t a single one that mentioned Little Junior Brother’s circumstances.
Mo Chen mainly wanted to give him something to do while staying in the room, so that he could at least kill some time.
“Senior Brother, umm…” Xiaodong wanted to say something, but he stopped.
Mo Chen instantly felt like teasing Xiaodong the moment he saw Xiaodong’s difficult expression. “Did Ning Yu cause you trouble?”
“N-n-no! It’s not like that.” Xiaodong hurriedly waved his hands. “I just have something I don’t understand.”
Xiaodong didn’t really have to consider much if it was his own senior brother. He had been frustrated over this question for two days. If he couldn’t get this answered soon, Xiaodong would most likely be broken from frustration.
“Senior Brother Ning’s sleeves don’t look that big, so how is he able to pull out things left and right? Just what is going on?”
Mo Chen did not expect that he would ask this. After being startled for a moment, he smiled.
Xiaodong stroked his nose. “I understand I have very limited experience…” Yesterday he was already curious to death, just that he couldn’t bring himself to ask.
“It’s not a problem. You can’t be blamed either.” Mo Chen said with a smile, “Actually, it’s nothing much. If you want a good-sounding name, it’s called Qiankun Undersleeves, while to put it bluntly, it’s just a pouch inside the sleeves. We have them on the mountain too. Though these pouches are small, they have considerably large capacity. Otherwise, how would I have been able to pack in all those things that I brought back from my previous trip?”
Only then did Xiaodong realize that when Eldest Senior Brother returned to the mountain previously, Eldest Senior Brother had given him such a huge and heavy warm wood. Other than the warm wood, Senior Brother had brought back a great many things. If they all had to be kept in a pouch, the capacity needed would probably be about half of this room. Eldest Senior Brother clearly could not carry such a huge pouch back.
“Different people have different locations to put the pouches. Some people like to place them in front of their chests, some like to keep them next to the waist, and then there’s people like Ning Yu who like to put them in the sleeves. In summary, as long as it’s convenient to take out items, opening up the stall anywhere is the same.”
Xiaodong understood now.
However… if a pouch was called Qiankun Undersleeves because of where Ning Yu placed them, then for those who placed theirs elsewhere, could they possibly be called Qiankun Waist or Qiankun Belly? These names did not sound that much… ahem, that pleasant to hear.
Putting aside the smiles and jokes, Xiaodong did not laze around today. Mo Chen was rather satisfied when he checked on Xiaodong’s revision and practices.