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Traversing the forested mountain was very easy for Tang Xiu, and he followed the trio closely as they carried the carcass of the fierce beast. After hurrying along on the path for more than an hour, they finally saw the outermost summit of the mountain range. At this moment, Tang Xiu could keenly see many lights shining halfway up the mountain range.

"STOP!" Tang Xiu sped up and blocked the path in front of the trio.

"What happened?" Asked Su Ben with a wondering look on his face.

"The four of us have been in the mountains for two days, and my car is still parked at the foot of the mountain," said Tang Xiu. "I'm afraid that the villagers should have already guessed that we are venturing into the mountains since I just found that many lights halfway up the mountain range at the opposite side. Those lights should be from the villagers who came to look for us. Anyways, you all must remember that you are not to tell anyone about the cultivation technique I taught you. You all now have the ability that far exceeds an ordinary person's and you must never expose it before them, unless… you're at a critical juncture and uses it as a last resort."

"Alright! (Got it!)"

The trio nodded.

"This leopard fierce beast was killed by all of you and I have nothing to do with it," said Tang Xiu once again. "Besides, you all are the ones who got injured, showing that you are the ones who took the action. I don't want to put myself in the limelight, so you all can take the credit."

"But Tang Xiu, that doesn't feel right, no?" Su Quan hesitated.

"What's not right about it? I don't think there's anything wrong with it." Tang Xiu waved his hand. "Just explain like that whenever the outsiders ask you. Furthermore, you must never tell anything about the stone forest and the Spirit Spring. Tell them that we spent two days searching for this leopard only. Otherwise, any ordinary person will only rush to their deaths if they accidentally enter that stone forest without my guidance."

"Got it!"

At this time, the way the trio looked at Tang Xiu was completely different from before. Such great merits, yet Tang Xiu actually pushed all the credit to them and did not even want to be mentioned in the slightest. Such a disposition really aroused their admiration.

Feelings of respect aroused inside Su Xiangfei's heart at this time. He suddenly remembered and compared Tang Xiu's state half a year ago to now. He felt that Tang Xiu was not really muddleheaded after he got into that car accident, but pretended to be crazy and played dumb because he wanted to keep a low profile. He should have been working hard, enduring hardships to accomplish some ambition he had, and preparing everything in secret back then.

It was amazingly great, and yet terrifying in and of itself!

The admiration Su Xiangfei had toward Tang Xiu at the same time also raised dread and fear in his heart.


With such a young age and yet keeping a low-profile character will require a wonderful mental strength. He… he's too terrifying. Su Xiangfei's complexion paled. He secretly glanced at Tang Xiu before immediately turning his head, suppressing the increasing fear growing in his heart.

As the quartet resumed their journey, it took them nearly 20 minutes to see the villagers who were currently searching for them, as well as the police and firemen from the Public Security Bureau.

"THEY ARE HERE…"

A pleasantly surprised shout instantly echoed in the mountains.

Instantly, about 100-200 people gathered around them. Everyone who looked at the quartet wore the same expression, that was, pleasantly surprised and disbelief. They were pleasantly surprised upon seeing that the quartet was safe and sound, and the disbelief was caused upon seeing Su Ben's group carrying that huge leopard's body.

"Tang Xiu, Su Ben, Su Quan, and you Su Xiangfei—You all… you all really damn reckless troublemaker!" Su Xiangjian went forward. Despite seeing that the group carried a leopard's carcass, he still angrily reprimanded them.

"How come we are reckless troublemakers, Uncle Xiangjian?" said Su Quan with a grin. "This leopard is so loathsome, so we ventured into the mountains to kill it. Isn't it to protect the safety of our own folks? Take a look at this leopard, we did it! We really killed it!"

Su Xiangjian shot a deep look at the carcass of the leopard. But he was still disgruntled and said, "Even though you wanted to kill the leopard and venture into the mountain, shouldn't you tell it to someone before you go? Do you know that many villagers have been looking for you over this mountain inside and out for the last two days? We would have gone deeper into the forested mountain if you still didn't show up tonight. Everybody was worried about you, you know that?!!"

Tang Xiu stepped forward and smilingly said, "This is indeed our fault, Uncle Xiangjian. We didn't expect that it would take so long, either. Back when we thought to venture into the mountain to look for it, we planned to go back if we couldn't find it. But then, who would've thought that we spotted this leopard, so we gave it a chase and then had a fight with it. At the end of the day, we spent two days to set up some traps to kill it. You can have a look at the three of them, they all fought with the leopard closely just to kill it."

Su Xiangjian saw the injuries as well as their clothes that had been stained red by blood. He hurriedly asked with a worried expression, "What about your injuries? Are you okay?"

"We're fine." Su Ben shook his head. "Tang Xiu has already stopped the bleeding and bandaged us."

Su Xiangjin sighed in relief and nodded without speaking more.

Zhao Donghe, with his policemen around him, came towards Tang Xiu's group of four. He shot a look at the dead, bull-sized leopard before shifting his vision to the quartet and saying, "You four are really great. Though it was kinda reckless and irresponsible of you to venture into the mountain, yet you only got injured and finally killed this damned beast. Anyways, I'm Zhao Donghe, the Chief of the County Public Security Bureau. I sincerely thank you for eliminating this thing that has threatened the public."

"You're too kind, Chief Zhao. This is what we should do, to begin with," said Tang Xiu with a smile.

With eyes fixed on Tang Xiu, Zhao Donghe smiled back and said, "Are you Tang Xiu? The famous miracle-working doctor, Tang Xiu? You're really brave and resourceful. What a promising young man!"

Tang Xiu talked some pleasantries before looking at everyone else and smilingly saying, "We've made all the fellow villagers worried, and we are really sorry for causing you all to climb the mountain to look for us, more so that we are about to celebrate the New Year. Brother Ben and them here have killed this leopard, so everyone can feel relieved after the New Year is over. After I go back, I'm going to the best restaurant in the county town to order dishes since all of you have gathered together. It's the New Year's Eve, thus let us arrange a feast to celebrate the New Year together."

"Hooray! That's great!!!"

The villagers of the Su Family village wore bright smiling faces and applauded.

After some conversation, everyone then began the journey back. It made Su Ben, Su Quan, and Su Xiangfei very excited, nevertheless, since they did not have to lift the carcass of the leopard again while hurrying back.

Returning to the Su Family Village, Tang Xiu drove his car and brought the trio. He then parked the car at his grandmother's house and then told the trio to move the carcass over. The quartet had yet to enter the courtyard as Tang Yunde, Su Lingyun, Zhang Shi, Chen Huiying, Mu Qingping, Su Yaning, and the others rushed out.

"Xiu'er!"

"Son!"

Su Lingyun and Chen Huiying separately bolted toward Tang Xiu and Su Ben.

While looking at his rushing mother, Tang Xiu embraced her and said, "I'm alright, Mom. We are alright. We climbed up the mountain to kill this leopard, who had many killed people. You can see that we've already returned now! You can rest your worries."

Su Lingyun slapped Tang Xiu's arm with tearful eyes and angrily said, "Who made you want to show off your ability, huh? If by any chance… something bad happened to the three of you, what would the two us do?"

Zhang Shi echoed, "That's right, Xiu'er. The mountain is fraught with dangers! You'd been there for two days, so we were worried that something bad had happened to you all. You must never do such a stupid thing again in the future."

Tang Xiu could only force a smile secretly and said a lot of comforting words to calm everyone's emotions. Originally, Tang Yunde and Su Lingyun planned to take Zhang Shi to Star City to celebrate the New Year, but the incident made them return to the Su Family Village, so everyone then decided to stay and celebrate the New Year here this year.

Immediately afterward, Tang Xiu made an excuse to take the trio to the county hospital to bandage their wounds. The quartet went to the county town by car, and then headed to the biggest restaurant in the county to order dozens of tables, foods, and wines, and paid double the price to make the restaurant deliver them to the Su Family Village.

Following that, Tang Xiu took the trio the hospital to have their injuries stitched and re-bandaged. Then, they knocked a store nearby selling firecrackers and fireworks and told the store owner to deliver a cart of fireworks to the Su Family Village as well.

Although the location of the Su Family Village was geographically remote, the road to the village was quite wide. Due to the help from the villagers, a large number of round tables and benches were rented from neighboring villages and were placed on the road at the main entrance to the village. Moreover, many more excited villagers pulled electrical wires and lighted the lamp bulbs outside. If one were to look at the Su Family Village from above, they would definitely find that most of the village was well-illuminated and brightly lit.

Gu Yin, who was still childish and had never had such a lively and busy New Year celebration in the past, was excitedly running around, and even played with a group of Su Family Village's folks that were older than her, and also played with children smaller than her.

As the food and wine from the biggest restaurant in the county town were sent to the tables, the villagers beamed with delight and began drinking and chatting. Even the two families who lost their loved ones smiled. However, what made everyone excited was that the County Police Chief, Zhao Donghe, even brought his whole family to gather with the Su Family Village's folks. He even made his whole family sit at the same table with Tang Yunde and Su Lingyun.

Furthermore, the event occurring in the Su Family Village at the New Year's Eve was passed to several neighboring villages. Some people from several villages nearby also came over to join in on the fun. The Village Chiefs from various villages who had kinship ties with the Su Family Village also came and as a result, added several more tables to the party.

At 12:00 sharp at night.

With the advent of the New Year, the firecrackers were ignited and roared along with the fireworks that painted the sky red.

This night for the villagers of the Su Family Village became an unforgettable event that they would never forget! The grand scene of celebrating the New Year's Eve with a banquet would be held every year in the future. This newly formed custom then became the most important custom of the Su Family Village in the future, something that never crossed their minds before.

The four young men—Tang Xiu, Su Ben, Su Quan, and Su Xiangfei also became the big heroes of the Su Family Village as well as the villages in the surroundings for their great merits.

The lively and joyful scene lasted until 1 o'clock in the early morning.

In the next morning, just as dawn came, Tang Xiu, Su Xiangfei, Su Yaning, and Gu Yin were called out by Zhang Shi from their beds. It was because of the custom to eat dumplings and to set off the firecrackers early in the morning—the custom that was rooted deep in the hearts of every villager.

"Xiangfei, get and set off the firecrackers."

Tang Xiu stood near a well in the courtyard. He washed his face with chilling cold water and then shouted at Su Xiangfei, who had already washed his face.

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