World’s Best Martial Artist - Chapter 24 - Testing the Waters
One should remain vigilant even in peaceful times.
Fang Ping knew it was okay to overthink. After all, one’s life was in their own hands.
Even if they worried too much and spooked themselves, it was better than losing their life.
An idiot that disregarded all the signs would not know death even if it stared him in the eye.
The best scenario would be if the person had no malicious intent.
If that person did, at least he would be ready. It was obviously better to have something than nothing.
In fact, it was quite easy for Fang Ping to determine whether that person was malicious or not.
If his opponent really was a martial artist, then the probability of him having malicious intent was greater!
The current lifetime was different from the olden days. At this point in time, martial artists were ranked higher in society.
Nobody stays in one place forever.
Not to mention, who was stupid enough to rent a place in such an old town?
That was why as long as he was able to make sure that the person was not a martial artist, he would be able to roughly deduce the situation.
Even if he guessed wrongly, so what?
After he had forced himself to calm down, he stopped overthinking and became less anxious than before. Hence, Fang Ping did not feel that he was at great risk anymore.
Whether or not the person really intended to do something to him, he had to observe first.
If not, there was no need to rent a room.
He was just an ordinary student. If a martial artist wanted him dead, he would at least make it harder for him.
Since there was no danger, for the time being, he could try and find out the identity of the person.
Just by relying on his observation of the number of bunsleft from the morning, it was not enough to confirm anything. It was true that some people just had big appetites.
Fang Ping stuck to his own knitting the whole day, writing and painting. He also met with Wu Zhihao and the rest to inquire about some things for a while.
When school ended in the afternoon, Fang Ping had a plan up his sleeves.
Although he was not a martial artist, he was also not a teenager but an almost 30-year-old man. At the very least, he was psychologically stronger than the rest of the high schoolers.
When school was over, Fang Ping immediately rushed back home.
He had not been dismissed early from school that day, therefore Fang Yuan got back earlier than him. As always, their mother was busy in the kitchen.
The moment he stepped foot in his house, the first place Fang Ping went was the toilet. After that, he went to his backyard and wandered around.
Yuan Fang who was in the midst of watching television noticed his behavior, and he was slightly surprised. ‘What happened to my brother?’
Whenever Fang Ping saw her throughout the past few days, he would always pinch her face.
She was prepared for it but when Fang Ping got back, he just turned around, minded his own business, and completely ignored her.
After waiting for Fang Ping to wander back into the living room, Fang Yuan asked curiously, “Fang Ping, what are you looking for? Did you lose your money?”
Fang Ping chuckled and said, “Your brother can’t lose money if he doesn’t have any.”
With a slightly louder tone, Fang Ping said, “Mom, is the uncle staying above us at home?”
Li Yuying asked curiously from the kitchen. “Why’s my son asking about the tenant upstairs?”
“I was in the bathroom and the ceiling seems to be leaking. Might the leakage be coming from upstairs when you weren’t paying attention while showering again?”
Li Yuying really did not seem to care at all. She casually replied, “If it isn’t serious just forget about it. That’s how it is with old houses…”
“Okay, but I’m just reminding you. I want to say hi to the uncle upstairs because he recently moved in, in case he’s still not familiar with the place.”
Li Yuying did not doubt his explanation and said, “He should be home. When I came back this afternoon, I saw him bringing something back but I didn’t hear his door open.”
The soundproofing between the two floors was not very good. One could hear when a door opened or closed. Moreover, any big movements were audible.
Fang Ping did not question further and proceeded to step out the door, he was ready to go upstairs to look for the old man.
When Fang Yuan realized Fang Ping was actually going upstairs to greet the uncle, she could not help but be a bit speechless. Previously, Fang Ping did not care about such things. However, he seemed to be getting weirder lately.
Fang Ping took a small breath and forced himself to calm down.
He reached out to knock the door grill.
The house sounded quiet inside as if there was no one home.
Fang Ping persisted and knocked on the door again. He asked, “Hello, anybody home?”
“I’m a tenant from downstairs. Is there anyone home?”
After he had knocked on the door several times, the door behind the grill finally opened. Huang Bin was then seen with a slight frown on his face but he soon showed a wide smile. He said, “I didn’t hear you just now. You are…”
“Nice to meet you, uncle. I live downstairs. Yesterday I heard from my mom saying that Aunt Chen’s place had been rented out…”
Fang Ping said a few words and meekly replied, “Uncle, it’s like this. In our small town, our house is considered to be quite old. Consequently, our pipeline has aged a lot. Moreover, Aunt Chen’s bathroom waterproofing wasn’t done well during her previous renovation.
“I realized that my bathroom was leaking a bit just now.
“Since you might not have known about it, I came up to check…”
Huang Bin raised his eyebrows and thought, ‘The landlord clarified about the issue with me yesterday. Plus, I didn’t care about it when I was showering last night. Would that be the reason that they are coming at me for it now?
However, it was just a small matter. Huang Bin did not want to make a big deal of it in order to avoid attracting unwanted attraction.
After hearing what Fang Ping said, he smiled and replied, “I’m sorry, I just moved in and wasn’t too sure about it. I’ll be more careful next time.”
“No worries, it’s an old house anyway.”
Fang Ping tried to speak in a more considerate tone after seeing that the guy was not going to open his doors anytime soon. He said, “You see uncle, would it be convenient for me to take a look at your bathroom?
“Who knows, the leak might not even be coming from your side. It could be the main pipe leaking.
“If the main pipe really is leaking, we will have to get someone to come and fix it. Or else after a few days, we won’t be able to see our house anymore.”
Huang Bin furrowed his brows slightly, but quickly changed his demeanor and nodded while saying, “Sure, come and take a look. If it’s from my side, I’ll get someone to come and fix it.”
“Sorry to intrude,”
Fang Ping said perfunctorily. Huang Bin proceeded to unlock his door grill and let Fang Ping into the house.
Fang Ping glanced cursorily at the insides of the house. In fact, he had been upstairs before. When Aunt Chen lived there previously, he would go there and play occasionally. It was not much different from what he had remembered. It might have been because Huang Bin only moved in the day before and therefore did not have the time to do any renovations anyway.
When he saw that the curtains at the balcony were half-drawn, Fang Ping did not say anything about it.
For an adult man to be cooped up all alone in his house and to have his his curtains drawn in the middle of the day, it was obvious something queer was going on.
Unwarily, Fang Ping walked toward the bathroom with a smile and said, “Uncle, you seem to have been allowed to get off work early today. Even I thought you weren’t back just now.”
Huang Bin gave a half-hearted explanation saying, “I wasn’t let off early. I just came to Sun City and I’m still looking for a job. I haven’t started working officially yet.”
He was cooped up in his house throughout the past few days and did not go out much. Naturally, he could not say that he returned from work early.
“Oh. Uncle, what is it that you do? My dad has been working in a ceramics factory on the outskirts of town for a few years now. Recently, the ceramics factory is looking to recruit some people. Do you want me to put in a word for you to my dad…”
“No it’s fine. I’ve already found a few places so don’t bother.”
Huang Bin was slightly impatient and thought, ‘This kid talks a lot.’
After grasping the situation, Fang Ping did not say anything else. However, he thought, ‘Isn’t this guy from Sun City?’
After entering the toilet, he took a three-sixty as he checked the pipes thoroughly.
After a while, Fang Ping sighed with relief and said, “There shouldn’t be a problem with the main pipes. Uncle, when you shower next time, it would be best if you collected the water with a tub. Sorry about the trouble.”
“No worries. I’ll definitely take note of that next time…”
Huang Bin went along with it even though he was feeling impatient. He still had a few things to do but the kid was there.
Fang Ping knew not to overstay his welcome. He glanced over Huang Bin’s hand and said with a smile, “Uncle, I’ll head back downstairs first. Since you only moved here recently, call for me or my dad when you need any help.”
“Sure, if I need any help I’ll tell you.”
The two of them exchanged a few words and Fang Ping proceeded to walk downstairs while Huang Bin watched him cautiously.
When Fang Ping was out of sight, Huang Bin closed his door and shook his head. He did not seem to mind too much about it.
Fang Ping wrinkled his brows. Even though it was only a normal conversation, he noticed quite a few things.
He was 80-90% sure that the guy was a martial artist.
Although martial artists were no different from ordinary people, one could tell if someone had the characteristics of a martial artist under watchful observation.
If Fang Ping had never seen a martial artist before, he would have missed out on a lot of those signs.
Even though he was only acquainted with Wan Jinyang not too long ago.
Wang Jinyang seemed like any other ordinary person. However, he possessed a pair of sharp eyes which was sort of a special trait.
In addition, Wang Jinyang’s palms were rough and hardened with callus.
Training in martial arts was unlike trying to reach a Zen-like stage. One could not get better at it by merely meditating. Training one’s physique required hard work. Therefore, it was the norm to get calluses and corns all over one’s hands and feet.
Additionally, the longer one trained in martial arts, the thicker the calluses got on one’s hands.
Lower-tiered martial artists could forget about things like reincarnations and tender smooth skin. However, Fang Ping was not too clear about how it was like for higher-tiered martial artists.
When he was chatting with Huang Bin previously, it seemed like he was only looking around casually. However, he was actually trying to look at Huang Bin’s palms.
Huang Bin probably did not think that a high schooler would come and probe him out as he did not try to conceal anything.
What Fang Ping saw were hardened calluses all over Huang Bin’s palms.
Evidently, they were not calluses formed due to laborious work. There was a difference between the two.
Calluses formed due to laborious work and from training as a martial artist were definitely different. Normally an ordinary student did not care about such things, but Fang Ping, on the other hand, did not dismiss such details.
In addition to his big appetite, Fang Ping knew that he could finally confirm his hypothesis.
The guy was indeed a martial artist!
Even if he was not a martial artist, he was at the very least experienced in martial arts training and have been practicing it for quite a few years.
He was unemployed and did not seem like he was looking for a job. Moreover, he was always cooped up and detached in his rented place…
Combining all the indications, it all pointed to the guy being problematic.
Determined with his guess, Fang Ping was sure that he had got it.
A guy who looked like he was up to no good was livinglived just above hims floor. He was determined that he was plotting a scheme. It was inevitable that Fang Pinghe would be planning had to prepare for the worst.
‘What should I do?’
Fang Ping fell into a deep thought,. ‘Should Ihe wait foruntil the guy to attacked first?
‘The longer I wait, the more likely my life willmight be taken away. This shouldn’t be the way.’
‘Should I tell the police?’
What was he going to tell the police if the guy haddid not even touched a single strand of his hair?
Should he look for a professional to help him? As if. He did not know where to begin to look for one.
The more he thought about it, the more he realized that the situation would be best if he just handled it himself.
‘Should I attack first to show dominance?’
When suchthese thoughts aroise in his heart, Fang Ping was shocked by themhis own thoughts. When haddid he become so bold?
The guy could be a martial artist!
Apart from the point of what he could or could not do to the guy, what if he had guessed wrongly? Would that not be illegal?
There was doubt in his heart at first, but soon after, Fang Ping decided to grit his teeth and just give it a try. It did not mean that he wanted him dead because, in truth, Fang Ping did would not have the guts to do so.
It did not matter whether he was a bad guy or a good guy. As long as he did not accidentally kill him, he wouldwas to report to the police after the situation had blown over.
If he was a good guy, then he could just explain himself. It seemed like there would not be much of a problem.
From the outside, he would only just seem like a hot-headed student who suspected someone wasto be a bad guy and wanted to help the police byto nabbing him. If he really did catch the wrong guy, at most he would just get a disciplinary punishment at most.
If he really was a bad guy, then itthat would be good for him. He would be seen as someone who had proactively fendeding off a crisis. It was better than him just passively waiting passively for danger to come to him.
As for how he would nab the guy, martial artists weare not immortal. As the saying goes iIn contemporary society, if there iswas a will, there iswould be away.
If Fang Ping was a martial artist, the guy would find a way to stop him.
Since Fang Ping was just an ordinary student, nobody would suspect him.
This probably did not even cross Huang Bin’s mind. He would not suspect in a million years that Fang Ping was looking for trouble. Hence, Fang Ping was prepared to look for it.