Wu Lin Wai Shi, LXF Book 3: The Duel, Tale of Refining the Sword Like Cleansing the Flower and Meteor, Butterfly, Sword.
Wu Lin Wai Shi, LXF Book 3: The Duel, Tale of Refining the Sword Like Cleansing the Flower and Meteor, Butterfly, Sword.
I've only read two of those. Wu Lin Wai Shi and LXF Book 3. They ARE very good. Though i like LXF Book 3 better. Chu Qi Qi from Wu Lin Wai Shi got on my nerves and Shen Lang, even though he was very smart, was not as smart as i expected (i got overhyped from all these people saying Shen Lan was the smartest character in the Gu Long universe). But it is a very good story to read.
Yeah! another update, I love the novel, keep up the good work.
You were gone for so long I didn't think you would continue with your translation. But we are grateful that you are.Originally Posted by Kara
I would also just like to add this is a great read! Thank you so much for bringing the translation to us.
Thanks for translating Kara...I'm still reading this translation...just a lil lazy in commenting at the moment but if this keeps you motivated, I'll be sure to comment after each chapter. Please continue!!!! Thanks again!
Thanks Kara .
Pls keep up the good work .
It is never too late to do anything.
Waiting for tne next update .
I know this sounds a little self centred and attention demanding but i really really appreciate these comments. It makes me really happy. Thank you so much everyone.
Trust me, there's a LOT of us who are reading your translation. Keep it up!!!
FYI, this book was previously translated to Chapter 18, using mostly (I believe) Vietnamese names; going forward, I will be using Chinese. I believe JadedWenEr is retranslating the earlier chapters using the Chinese text (and Chinese names), but this seems to have stalled; as I have no interest in retranslating previously done chapters, I will be going forward starting from Chapter 18.
Chapter 18: Placing Judgment On Two Men
Madame Han said, "He gains nothing at all."
Iron Tiger said, "Because even if he hadn't taken those sabre chops for you, you still would have treated him the same!"
Madame Han said, "He doesn't care at all how I treat him."
Iron Tiger said, "He is willing to risk his life and fight against the boss for the sake of the Miao siblings. What does he gain from this!"
Madame Han said, "He gains nothing at all!"
Iron Tiger said, "How could a person like him ever have done something which would cause himself to be so ashamed that he is unable to face anyone?"
Madame Han no longer spoke, because she had already recognized her error in judgment.
Iron Tiger said, "For him to act in such a way, he must have suffered some sort of severe blow that caused him to be downhearted and take no interest in anything. The reason he is willing to undergo pain and humiliation must be because his family and reputation are both extremely illustrious. Since he has now fallen so low, he absolutely must not let anyone know about who he once was."
These words were not necessarily meant for Madame Han. He was only musing aloud over Ah Ji's background.
But Madame Han heard every single word very clearly. She had always taken Iron Tiger for a crude, rash, and violent man. She had never seen him so calm, nor had she seen him consider things so deeply.
She had known Iron Tiger for many years. Only today did she discover that he had such a side to him. His violent, crude behavior was perhaps just a cover, meant to prevent others from seeing his intelligence and subtlety and making them underestimate him.
Gazing upon his calm face and sharp eyes, Madame Han suddenly felt an unspeakable terror in her heart. Only now did she really understand how terrifying this man was.
She was even beginning to secretly grow worried for Ah Ji. No matter who he was, the opponent he was now facing was certainly much more formidable than he could have anticipated.
This was very possibly his final battle. His former fame and glory would very possibly enter the grave with him.
Perhaps this was exactly the outcome he was hoping for.
The person who would die here would just be a useless Ah Ji. His reputation and fame in distant lands would endure forever.
Madame Han let out a sigh from the bottom of her heart. Raising her head, only now did she notice that Iron Tiger's eyes were fixed upon her. Her heart immediately went cold, a cold which penetrated to the soles of her feet.
Iron Tiger suddenly said, "Actually, there's no need for you to worry over him."
Madame Han said, "I..." Iron Tiger interrupted, "As soon as he made his move, he immediately killed Iron Head and ruined Iron Fist, without revealing even the slightest hint of the origins of his martial arts. I've been pondering it in my mind. I can only think of five people who have attained such an incredible level of martial arts. It's very possible that there is only one person who has reached such a high level at his young age!"
Madame Han couldn't help but ask, "Who?"
Iron Tiger said, "That person has already died. But I always believed that he would never die so young!"
Madame Han said, "You believe Ah Ji is that person!
Iron Tiger slowly nodded. "If Ah Ji really is that person, the person who will die in our battle will definitely be me!" Madame Han felt a sense of relief, but didn't reveal any of it in her expression. She was a very experienced courtesan. Naturally, she knew quite well about when and where and how to express her concern for someone else. She lightly held Iron Tiger's hand. "Then why must you go and risk your life for someone else? Why must you go seek him out?"
Iron Tiger looked at her pudgy, fat hand. He slowly said, "I don't necessarily need to seek him out."
This time, Madame Han really did let out a sigh of relief. Iron Tiger continued, "But someone else must go seek him out."
Madame Han said, "Who?"
Iron Tiger said, "You!"
Madame Han was startled. "You want me to go hunt down Ah Ji?"
Iron Tiger said, "Find him and bring him here to meet me!"
Madame Han wanted to force out a smile, but was unable to. "How should I know where he is?"
Iron Tiger's eyes were as sharp as a hawk's. Coldly staring at her, he said, "You should know, because right now, there's only one place for him to stay."
Madame Han said, "Where?"
Iron Tiger said, "Right here!"
Madame Han said, "Why would he come here?"
Iron Tiger said, "Because he has already made an agreement to meet the boss at this place, here tonight. Naturally, he will come in advance to scout the place out and see if the boss has set any traps or ambushes!"
He continued, "In this city, the place he is most familiar with is this place. It seems as though every person here treats him quite well. He can easily find a place to hide, and the boss's men definitely won't be able to find him. If I were him, I would definitely do the same thing!"
Madame Han sighed, "Unfortunately, he isn't Master Iron Tiger. He isn't as careful and discreet as you."
Iron Tiger sneered.
Madame Han said, "If you don't believe me, you can go search this entire place."
She forced out a smile. "You are quite familiar with this place as well!"
Iron Tiger stared at her. "He really hasn't come?"
Madame Han said, "If he came, how could I be unaware of it?..." Iron Tiger stared at her for a long time again. Suddenly, he rose to his feet and walked out.
The sun was now in the western side of the sky.
Madame Han sat there by herself for a long, long time, lost in thought. Only after she was certain that Iron Tiger had long departed did she slowly stand up. She sighed and mumbled to herself, "Ah Ji, Ah Ji...who are you? Haven't you already found enough trouble yourself? Why must you bring trouble upon others as well?"
There was a decrepit old wooden room behind the kitchen, with only a single bed, desk, and chair. This was the mute cook's home. Although it was filthy and crude, to them, it was no different from heaven.
After they had labored for an entire day, this was the only place where they could quietly lie down and do what they wanted to do. They had spent their golden years and happiest moments on this bed.
Although the husband was rough and boorish, and the wife was small, thin, and dry-looking, they were able to do their best to make each other happy. Because they knew that this, alone, was what they really possessed. Whatever they had, they would do their best to enjoy. They were very satisfied with their lives.
Right now, the two of them were seated on that bed. Their hands were still tightly clasped on top of the table.
Staring at them, Ah Ji heaved a sigh in his heart.
Why is it forever impossible for me to live a life such as theirs?
There were three small dishes of vegetables on the table. There was even wine. The mute pointed at the flask of wine, as his wife said, "This isn't good wine, but it is real wine. The mute knows that you like to drink wine!"
Ah Ji did not speak. His throat seemed to have locked up. He knew how hard and arduous their lives were. For the sake of these two bottles of wine, they very possibly were giving up a cotton coat for winter.
He was extremely grateful to them for their kindness, but today, he could not drink wine. Not even a single drop of wine could pass by his lips. He knew himself too well. If he began to drink, it would be very likely that he would be unable to control himself. He would keep drinking until he was totally drunk. If he became drunk today, without question, he would die at the boss's hands.
The mute was already frowning. His wife immediately said, "Why aren't you drinking? Although are wine isn't good, at least it wasn't stolen."
She looked like a sharp awl. Ah Ji didn't mind. He knew that she was just like her husband, that they were both filled with the same warmth and sympathy.
He also knew that to people like them, there were some things which could never be explained. Thus, he had no choice but to drink. He was never able to refuse the kind intentions of others.
After seeing him drink a cup, the mute smiled. He immediately poured another cup for him. Although he had many things he wanted to say, his throat was only capable of producing a hoarse neighing sound.
Fortunately, he had a wife who understood him and shared trials and tribulations with him. "The mute wants to tell you, by being willing to drink our wine, it shows that you don't look down on us. You consider him a good friend, a good brother!"
Ah Ji lifted up his head. He could tell that the mute's eyes were filled with a thirst for friendship. How could he reject this cup?
The mute drank a cup as well. Satisfied, he let out a sigh. To him, drinking wine was something of extreme luxury and rarity, just like making a friend.
He liked to drink, but rarely did. He also liked friends, but no one had ever treated him as a friend. Right now, he had both things before him. He had nothing else to ask of the world, and was filled with satisfaction and gratitude. He was grateful for everything life had given him.
Watching him, Ah Ji suddenly felt as though his throat had once more become blocked up. Only wine would be able to unblock it, many cups of wine.
Right at this moment, Madame Han suddenly entered. Snatching away the empty cup by his hand with a vulture-like grip, she said, "You are drinking again!"
Ah Ji said, "Just a little!"
Madame Han said, "You yourself should well know that you cannot drink today. Why are you still drinking?!"
Ah Ji said, "Because the mute is my friend."
Madame Han let out a sigh. "Friend. How much money is a friend worth, by the pound? Are they worth even more than your own life?" Ah Ji did not respond. He didn't need to respond. Anybody should be able to tell that he valued friendship far more than he did his own life.
Life itself was nothing more than a blank space. It must be filled up with many satisfying things of value. If friendship was missing, how much would the rest be worth? Madame Han was a drinker herself. She knew what it would be like when an alcoholic began to drink again after having abstained for many days. When preparing for a great battle with the likes of people such as the boss and Iron Tiger, drinking would result in self-destruction. She suddenly reached out with her hands, snatched up the bottles of wine on the table, and drank up all of the remaining wine.
Bad wine is usually very strong wine. Her eyes immediately became slightly tipsy. Staring at Ah Ji, she said, "Do you know who came looking for you just then?"
Ah Ji said, "Iron Tiger!"
Madame Han said, "Do you know what type of person he is?"
Ah Ji said, "A very formidable person!"
Madame Han sneered, "Not only is he formidable, he is far more formidable than you imagine!"
Ah Ji said, "Oh!"
Madame Han said, "Not only did he correctly guess that you would come here, he's even guessed who you really are!"
Ah Ji said, "Who am I!"
Madame Han said, "Someone who is supposedly already dead!"
Ah Ji's face did not change. He dully said, "I'm still alive!"
Madame Han said, "He doesn't believe that you're dead either, but I believe it!"
She loudly yelled, "I believe that he can definitely make you die again!"
Ah Ji said, "Since I'm already a dead man, what's the big deal if I die again?"
Madame Han could no longer yell.
She really had no way of dealing with such a person at all. She could only sigh. "To be honest, Iron Tiger himself admitted that if you really are that person, he won't be a match for you. But you insist on ruining yourself, insist on drinking wine!"
As she spoke, her temper began to rise again. She threw the bottles of wine heavily on the floor. "And the wine you drink is crap like this, which might make someone die of disgust!"
Ah Ji's face was still totally expressionless. He only said two words, in a cold voice. "Get out!"
Madame Han bound to her feet. "Do you realize who you are talking to? How dare you tell me to get out?"
Ah Ji said, "I don't care who you are. All I know is that this is my friend's home. No matter who is shouting and causing a ruckus in my friend's home, I will ask them to leave."
Madame Han said, "Do you know who gave them this home?"
Ah Ji slowly rose to his feet. Facing her, he said, "All I know is that I want you to leave. And that you are going to leave."
Madame Han stared at him in shock. One step at a time, she retreated. In that brief span of time, she realized that this useless Ah Ji had suddenly transformed into someone else, had become unspeakably calm and emotionless. The words he spoke had also transformed, into orders. No one would dare to refuse his orders. Because anyone could tell that if they dared to refuse his orders, they would regret it."
A person could never transform so quickly. Only someone very used to giving orders could have such an awe-inspiring aura.
After retreating from outside the door, Madame Han dared to speak the words in her heart. "You must be that person. You must be!"
Only to hear a voice say coldly from behind, "Wrong!"
Madame Han turned around. She saw Iron Tiger.
His face looked like weathered granite. Rough. Grim. Resolute.
But Madame Han's face had become contorted with fear. Trembling, she said, "You...you say he isn't?"
Iron Tiger said, "No matter who he used to be in the past, he's now changed, changed into a useless alcoholic." Madame Han said, "He isn't...isn't an alcoholic!"
Iron Tiger said, "No matter what his identity is, a person who is willing to drink alcohol before engaging in a life-and-death battle is an alcoholic!"
Madame Han said, "But I know that there are many 'drunken warriors' in the martial world who can only reveal their real powers when drunk!"
Iron Tiger sneered, "Those stories of 'drunken warriors' are only good for deceiving little kids!"
Madame Han said, "But every time I drink wine, I feel as though I am filled with courage."
Iron Tiger said, "Real men do not need wine to bolster their courage."
Madame Han said, "After I drink, my strength will increase as well."
Iron Tiger said, "When experts fight, they don't compete in mere brute strength."
Madame Han wasn't an inexperienced person. Of course she understood all of this.
She was just intentionally gossiping with Iron Tiger, with the purpose of distracting him in order to give Ah Ji an opportunity.
Regardless of whether he wanted to flee or to fight, she was willing to create this opportunity for Ah Ji. But Ah Ji didn't even move.
Iron Tiger continued, "But wine can slow down a person's reflexes, lead to errors in judgment. When experts compete, if they make even the slightest of mistakes, defeat is guaranteed."
These words weren't meant for Madame Han to hear either. His eyes were fixed upon Ah Ji's body. One word at a time, he continued, "When experts compete, if a single stance is executed improperly, then death will be certain!"
Ah Ji's face was still totally void of expression. He only dully asked, "You are an expert?"
Iron Tiger said, "Since I already know who you are, you should also know who I am!"
Ah Ji said, "All I know is that you are someone who once treated me to a bowl of beef noodles. Unfortunately, you didn't pay for it. The person who had to pay was still me."
He dully continued, "Although I'm not an expert, I'm not someone who eats without paying for his food."
Iron Tiger stared at him. All the bones in his body suddenly began to crackle without stopping, as though fireworks were going off.
This was one of the utmost advanced external martial arts techniques, called 'A String of Fireworks'. There were only two people in the world capable of practicing this technique.
Lei Zhentian, the 'Tiger of Wind, Clouds, and Thunder', who roamed across the distant north without ever having met a match.
Bai Yuncheng, the 'Jade Overlord', who had ruled over Mt. Qilian for over twenty years. The 'Jade Overlord', after making his reputation, was now very rarely seen in the martial world.
The 'Tiger of Wind, Clouds, and Thunder' had always been an extremely secretive man who left few traces of his passing. In recent years, all news of him had vanished. Some said that he had died beneath the sword of an extremely famous swordsman. Others said that both he and this swordsman had both perished.
The swordsman in this rumor was allegedly the peerless Yan Shisan.
There was another rumor also making the rounds. Lei Zhentian had entered an extremely secretive organization in the martial world, and became one of the eight heads of this organization.
It was said that they were even more secretive than the 'Black Dragon Society' of bygone days, with greater power as well.
After the sound of bones crackling, Iron Tiger's large body seemed to have grown still larger. He suddenly puffed out his chest and loudly shouted, "Do you still claim to not know who I am!"
Ah Ji sighed. "There's only one thing I do not realize."
Iron Tiger said, "What?"
Ah Ji said, "You should have died under Yan Shisan's sword. How is it that you came to this place to become someone's slave and running-dog."
Iron Tiger stared at him. He suddenly let out a long sigh. "It really is you. I wasn't wrong."
Ah Ji said, "Are you certain!"
Iron Tiger said, "In all the wide world, aside from you, who would dare to be so disrespectful to Lei Zhentian!"
Ah Ji said, "That boss of yours doesn't dare to be disrespectful either?"
Iron Tiger did not respond. He continued, "During the past seven years, I've always wanted to fight you in a duel to the death, but the person I have been the most unwilling to meet is also you, because I've never been certain of victory over you!"
Ah Ji said, "You had no chance at all!"
Iron Tiger said, "Today, my chance has come. Recently, you have drank too much wine, while trained too little."
Ah Ji could not dispute that.
Iron Tiger said, "Even if I die to your sword today, I will die with no complaints. Only..." A murderous look suddenly appeared in his eyes. "Only today, no matter who wins in our battle, no matter who lives or who dies, no one can be allowed to reveal our secret."
Ah Ji's expression changed.
Iron Tiger suddenly turned around. Striking out with a single fist, Madame Han was sent flying away. She definitely would no longer be able to sell out the youth and flesh of any more girls, nor would she be able to reveal anybody's secrets. Ah Ji's face turned white, but did not move to block.
Iron Tiger let out a sigh. Gathering another surge of strength, he said, "The chef and his wife, are they really your friends?"
Ah Ji said, "Yes!"
Iron Tiger said, "I do not wish to kill your friends, but these two absolutely must die!"
Ah Ji said, "Why!"
Iron Tiger coldly said, "How many people in this world are capable of defeating Lei Zhentian!"
Ah Ji said, "Not many." Iron Tiger said, "If you win, I imagine you, too, would not be willing for the results of this battle to be revealed."
Ah Ji could not deny it. If no one revealed their secrets, in the event of his victory, the person he defeated would have only been the boss's slave. If he were to be defeated, the person who died would only have been a useless Ah Ji.
So what if Ah Ji lived? So what if Ah Ji died?
Iron Tiger said, "Our lives and deaths are not a big deal. But our secrets must not be divulged."
Ah Ji shut his mouth. His face became even paler.
Iron Tiger said, "Then why haven't you personally taken care of them?"
Ah Ji was silent for a long time, before slowly saying, "I cannot. They are my friends."
Iron Tiger stared at him, then began laughing wildly. "When I think about the previous years, when your sword roamed across the martial world, a sword without peer which knew no defeat, whose life did you place any value on? For the sake of winning, was there anything which you would not do? But now, you aren't willing to kill even two people such as them?"
Thank you so much Ren for picking up this translation!!! I've been dying to read the rest of this novel. I'll have to find the old translation by Kara and refresh my memory. Once again, thank you!!!!!
Gasp, RWX, you're conducting two campaigns at once! My respects =)
Man is glue. You are man. How then can you step away from glue?
Thank you for the translation
Chapter 19: True Friends*
*literally, "the friendship of Guan [Qi Guanzhong] and Bao [Bao Shuya]"; close famous historical friends from the Warring States period.
Lifting his face to the heavens, he laughed wildly. "I know that you yourself once said, in order to be a peerless, undefeatable swordsman, one must be totally ruthless. And now? Now, you've changed. You are no longer that peerless, undefeatable swordsman. Without question, you will lose this battle!"
Ah Ji's fists suddenly clenched. The pupils of his eyes shrank as well.
Iron Tiger said, "To be honest, I really don't care if you will go kill them or not. If I can kill you, where can they possibly run to?"
Ah Ji was silent.
Iron Tiger said, "Although you as a person have changed, you are still here. What about your sword!"
Ah Ji silently bent down and picked up a dried twig.
Iron Tiger said, "This is your sword?"
Ah Ji dully said, "I've changed as a person. My sword has changed as well!"
Iron Tiger said, "Good!"
As soon as he said that word, 'good', all the bones of his body began to crackle once again. The technique he was using was, once again, that unique external technique of utmost advancement.
He really was Lei Zhentian, who had wandered throughout the world without meeting a match. His heart was filled with confidence. He seemed to be absolutely certain of victory in this match.
The setting sun was now red.
The blood had not yet begun to flow.
Ah Ji's sword was still in his hand. Although this wasn't a long sword, and was nothing more than a stick of dried firewood, once it entered his hand, it changed. It became an unimaginable tool for killing.
Just as Lei Zhentian began to use his 'A String of Firecrackers' technique, when his body was filled with strength and confidence, Ah Ji's sword shot out, striking on top of a bone with had just begun to crackle.
His movements were very light, and he pressed down very gently. The wooden branch trembled along with the crackling of the bone. It began from the second joint of the left hand's index finger and jumped all the way down, passing by the elbow, the shoulder, and the vertebrae. Whenever the 'String of Firecrackers' technique began, his branch was there, causing the technique to become unmanageable.
Iron Tiger's entire body seemed to have become 'glued to' by this wooden branch. He couldn't even move. After the wooden branch danced across his left shoulder, his face became totally devoid of blood. Cold sweat poured from his head like rain.
After every single bone in his body had crackled, the wooden branch, which had come to a rest on his pinky finger, suddenly crumbled into dust and dispersed into the air with the autumn wind. But he still stood there, unable to move, his head totally soaked with cold sweat. Even his mouth had become paralyzed, and his sharp eyes were totally bloodshot. After staring at Ah Ji for a long time, he finally was able to ask one question. His voice had also become low and hoarse? One word at a time, he asked, "What type of sword skill is this!"
Ah Ji said, "This is a sword skill designed to defeat the 'String of Firecrackers' technique."
Iron Tiger said, "Good. Good." Just after he finished saying the second 'good', this towering, mountain-like man suddenly felt his body go soft and weak in the blink of an eye. His sturdy, steel-like body seemed to have suddenly turned into mud.
The dust from the wooden branch was still dancing in the wind, but he had become paralyzed.
The setting son was beginning to darken as well. Ah Ji slowly opened his hand. The wooden twig in his palm had also been crushed into dust, and it too began to dance in the wind.
What a terrifying power was this. Not only had it shook the twig into dust, it had also numbed his hand. What's more, he himself hadn't used the slightest bit of force. All of the power came from Iron Tiger's joints. All he did was borrow that power by using the force released from Iron Tiger's first joint to shatter his second joint.
Right now, all the bones in his body had been shattered by his own force. If Ah Ji had used any force of his own, in all likelihood, this force would have counterattacked him, passing through the wooden branch, passing through his arm, and entering his heart.
But when experts compete, they do not compete in mere brute strength.
Iron Tiger understood this concept. Unfortunately, he had underestimated Ah Ji.
"You've changed. You are no longer that peerless, undefeatable swordsman. Without question, you will lose this battle!"
Wasn't arrogance just like wine? Not only could it lead to errors in judgment, it could also make someone drunk.
Ah Ji drank some wine, and also gave him a kettle...a kettle of arrogance.
Ah Ji was not drunk. But he became drunk.
"When experts compete, they don't merely compete in strength and skill. They also compete in wits."
No matter what, victory is better than defeat. For the sake of victory, doing anything is acceptable.
The wind blew by. Ah Ji quietly stood in the middle of the wind for a long time, before realizing that the mute's and his wife was standing in the doorway, staring at him.
A very strange look was in the mute's eyes. His wife was sneering.
Ah Ji didn't speak, because he too was asking himself that same question. "Who exactly am I?"
The mute's wife said, "You shouldn't have drank wine, but insisted on drinking, only because you had predicted long ago that Iron Tiger would come here. You also wanted to kill us, but refused to do so, only because you knew that there was no way for us to escape. Otherwise, why did you allow for Iron Tiger to kill Madame Han?"
Her words would always be sharper than that of awls. "You did this on purpose, for the sake of making Iron Tiger believe that you've changed, intentionally making him look down on you. Why don't you come over now and kill the two of us. Aren't you afraid that we'll reveal your secret?"
Ah Ji slowly walked over.
The mute's wife pulled out a piece of silver and forcefully threw it to the ground. "A piece of silver won't magically sprout from a rice bowl. We don't want your silver. Now, you don't owe us, and we don't owe you."
Ah Ji slowly stretched out his hand.
But he didn't pick up the piece of silver, nor did he kill them. All he did was gently grip the mute's hand.
The mute also gripped his own. Neither of them spoke. In this world, there are many things and many emotions between men which cannot be described in words, and which women can never understand. Even if a woman has experienced hardship and suffering with a man for many years, she will still be unable to fully understand that man's thoughts and feelings.
And how often do men truly understand women?
Ah Ji finally said, "Even though you cannot speak, I fully understand all the words in your heart."
The mute nodded, his eyes brimming with warm tears.
Ah Ji said, "I believe that you will never reveal my secret. I have absolute confidence in you."
He again tightly gripped the mute's hand, before walking away without looking back.
He couldn't bear to look back, because he knew that this ordinary couple would probably never again be able to live their simple and frugal, yet peaceful life like before. He was once again questioning himself.
What type of person am I? Why must I always bring people so much trouble? Am I right or wrong in acting in making this decision?
Seeing him walk away, the hot tears in the mute's eyes finally could no longer be restrained, as they fell down.
But his wife was whispering with misgivings. "The only thing he brought us was trouble. Why must you act this way towards him?"
The mute roared silently, "Because he did not look down upon me. Because he considers me his friend. Aside from him, nobody has ever truly treated me as a friend."
This time, his wife did not hear the words in his heart, because she would be forever incapable of understanding how much weight these two words held in a man's heart: "True Friendship". A true male. A true man.
Iron Tiger's body was carried back with a wooden plank. At this moment, it was lying within the six-sided pavilion of the flower garden. Dusk had fallen, and the lanterns in the pavilion had been lit.
Zhu Yeqing (Green Bamboo) clasped his hands behind his back. He quietly stared at the corpse on the wooden plank, without the slightest trace of emotion on his face. He didn't seem the slightest bit surprised about this matter. Only when the boss hurriedly ran over did he reveal a look of concern and sorrow on his face.
The boss had already jumped to his feet. As soon as he saw Iron Tiger's corpse, he had leapt up and loudly howled, "Once again, it was that Ah Ji who did this murderous deed!"
Zhu Yeqing nodded. He gloomily said, "I didn't expect him to find Ah Ji so quickly. Even less did I expect him to die such a gruesome death."
The boss couldn't see any wounds on his body, so Zhu Yeqing explained. "Before he died, every single bone in his body had been snapped."
"What were they snapped back?" "I can't tell." Zhu Yeqing was silent, lost in thought for a moment, before continuing, "All I can tell is that Ah Ji definitely did not use a sword, a sabre, or any sort of metal weapon."
The boss immediately asked, "On what basis do you make that claim?" Zhu Yeqing said, "Iron Tiger's clothes don't reveal any trace of weapon blows, nor are there any tears or openings. The only thing on him are some wooden chips."
The boss's eyes widened. "Are you telling me that all Ah Ji used was a wooden branch?"
Zhu Yeqing said, "Very possibly." The boss said, "Do you know what type of technique Iron Tiger used?"
Zhu Yeqing said, "It seems as though it was some sort of external skill, along the lines of the 'Golden Bell Cover' or the 'Iron Vest' technique?"
The boss asked, "Have you ever seen his real skills?"
Zhu Yeqing said, "No."
The boss said, "I have. It was precisely because his skills were so incredibly powerful that I accepted him immediately without even fully understanding his background or history. Only afterwards did I realize that he was the 'Diamond Within the Clouds' who once ran rampant in Liaobei, Third Master Cui.
Zhu Yeqing said, "I've heard you say that before, boss."
The boss said, "Although he was once defeated by Lei Zhentian, I can guarantee that his skill definitely was not all that inferior to that of Lei's, nor that of the 'Jade Overlord' of Mt. Qilian."
Zhu Yeqing didn't dare to disagree.
No one dared to dispute with the boss's judgments. Anything the boss was certain of was definitely not wrong.
The boss said, "But now, you are actually claiming that this useless Ah Ji has actually snapped all of his bones with a wooden branch!"
Zhu Yeqing didn't dare to speak.
The boss tightly clenched his fists. He asked, "Where was his corpse found?"
Zhu Yeqing said, "At Madame Han's place."
The boss said, "That place isn't a graveyard. There must have been some people who saw them fight."
Zhu Yeqing said, "They were fighting near a trash heap behind the kitchen. The girls rarely go there, so aside from Ah Ji and Iron Tiger, there were at most three people there." The boss asked, "Who!"
Zhu Yeqing said, "Madame Han, and a mute chef and his wife."
The boss said, "Have you already brought them here?"
Zhu Yeqing said, "No."
The boss said, "Why!"
Zhu Yeqing said, "Because they have already been silenced and killed by Ah Ji!"
The blue veins on the boss's forehead began to bulge. Grinding his teeth, he said, "Wonderful. Wonderful! I've fed all of you for so many years, and yet you can't even deal with a manure-carrying kid."
He suddenly jumped up and roared, "Why don't you all roll up your bedclothes and leave!" Only after his temper evened out slightly did Zhu Yeqing say in a low voice, "Because we are still waiting for some people."
The boss said, "Who!"
Zhu Yeqing's voice became even lower. "Some people who can deal with Ah Ji."
Light immediately shone from the boss's eyes. He lowered his own voice as well. "You are certain?"
Zhu Yeqing said, "Yes." The boss said, "First tell me a name."
Zhu Yeqing leaned over and quietly whispered two words into his ear.
The boss's eyes became even brighter.
Zhu Yeqing retrieved a piece of scrolled up paper from within his clothes. "This is the list of names he provided me with. He will take on the responsibility of bringing all these people here."
The boss took the scroll and immediately asked, "When can they arrive?"
Zhu Yeqing said, "Tomorrow afternoon at the latest."
The boss let out a long sigh. "Fine. Arrange things for me. We will meet Ah Ji tomorrow afternoon."
Zhu Yeqing said, "Understood."
The boss clapped him on the shoulders. "I knew all along that no matter what, you will make things work out for me."
A slight smile appeared on his face. "Tonight, you can take a good rest. It'll be alright if you come a bit later tomorrow as well. That woman..." Before he had a chance to finish, Zhu Yeqing bowed down and smiled as well. "I know. I definitely won't forget about how well boss has treated me!"
The boss laughed as well. "Good. Wonderful!"
Iron Tiger's corpse still lay there, but he didn't even give it a glance.
Just after the boss left, 'Iron Fist' Ah Yong rushed in. Kneeling in front of Iron Tiger's corpse, he began to weep bitterly.
Zhu Yeqing frowned. "Real men do not shed tears easily, and the dead cannot come back to life. What are you crying for?"
Ah Yong said, "I cry not for him, but for myself!"
Grinding his teeth, he balled his fists. "Because now, I finally see what the end is like for people who serve the boss."
Zhu Yeqing said, "The boss doesn't treat people poorly at all."
Ah Yong said, "But now that Iron Tiger has died, the boss should at least arrange for his funeral!" Zhu Yeqing interrupted him. "The boss knows that I will take care of this for him!"
Ah Yong said, "You? Did Iron Tiger die for the boss, or for you?" Zhu Yeqing immediately placed a hand over his mouth, but the expressions of the twenty or so burly men respectfully standing guard in the area had already changed.
Everyone knew how loyal Iron Tiger was to the boss. Nobody wanted to have the same fate.
But Zhu Yeqing only sighed. "I don't care who Iron Tiger died for. All I know is that if the boss wanted me to go die for him at this moment, I would go die immediately."
The night had come.
Zhu Yeqing walked past the six-sided pavilion and came out from a back door. He walked into a narrow alleyway. At the end of the alleyway, there was a small door.
He lightly knocked three times, then twice. The door opened. There was no light at all in the dark courtyard.
A hunchbacked old man closed the door and locked it.
Zhu Yeqing quietly asked, "Where are they?"
The hunchbacked old man did not speak. He only pulled away a vase of water at the corner of the courtyard and lifted up a stone slab. Neither the stone slab nor the vase were light, and yet when he lifted them up, he didn't seem to use any strength at all. A dim light could actually be seen coming from where the stone slab was, illuminating a few stone steps. Clasping his hands behind his back, Zhu Yeqing had already begun to slowly walk down the stone stairway.
The cellar was gloomy and downcast. There were two people placed here. It was the mute and his wife.
Although they had not yet died, and Ah Ji had not killed them to silence them, how was it that they had arrived here? Even they themselves did not know. They only recalled feeling a sudden pain in the back of their heads. When they woke up, here they were.
A look of anger was on the mute's face, because as soon as she woke up, his wife had begun to incessantly complain. "I knew all along that he brought us nothing but trouble and ill-fortune. I just knew that this time..." But she stopped speaking, because she had already seen someone walking down the stone steps. A small smile was on his lips, but here, the dim light caused his smile to have an indescribably sly look to it. She couldn't help but shudder a few times as she tightly clenched her husband's rough, broad hand.
Smiling, Zhu Yeqing stared at them as he said in a gentle voice, "Don't be afraid. I didn't come to harm you. I just want to ask you a few questions!"
He reached out and displayed a handful of golden leaves and two silver ingots. "As long as you are willing to honestly answer, all of this gold and silver is yours. It's more than enough to open a very respectable restaurant!"
The mute had shut his mouth, but a greedy look had appeared in his wife's eyes. All her life, she had never seen this much money...how many girls do not like gold?
Zhu Yeqing's smile became even warmer. He liked it when others exposed their own weaknesses in front of him. He could already tell that this method would definitely net him good results.
Thus he immediately asked, "Before they fought, did they speak?"
"Was Iron Tiger's original name Lei Zhentian? The 'Tiger of Wind, Cloud, and Thunder', Lei Zhentian?"
"It seems like it was!"
The mute's wife said, "I seem to recall having heard him say that in the martial world, there were only a few people capable of defeating Lei Zhentian!"
Zhu Yeqing smiled.
Although Iron Tiger had been able to deceive the boss on this matter, he hadn't been able to deceive Zhu Yeqing. No one could deceive him.
And thus he asked again, "Did Ah Ji reveal his own name?"
The mute's wife said, "But it seemed as though Iron Tiger had already recognized him." The mute had been staring at her this entire time, his eyes filled with rage. He suddenly struck her on the face with a heavy palm, so hard that her entire person toppled to the floor. The shrew shouted out, "I've suffered with you all my life! Now that we have an opportunity, why let it slip by? Why should I keep the secret of that damn friend of yours? What good does it do me?"
The mute was so furious that his entire body trembled. This woman was no longer his meek, mild wife. She was a greedy woman who would be willing to sell out anyone and anything for gold.
She wouldn't be the first woman who would be willing to discard even her husband for the sake of gold. And she definitely would not be the last.
He suddenly realized that the reason she had endured misery and poverty with him in the past was only because she never had a chance like this. Otherwise, she might have left him long ago.
This realization was like a needle stabbing at his heart.
She was still yelling!
"You won't let me talk, but I insist on talking. If you aren't willing to be rich, you can sod off! The farther away you scram, the better! I..." She didn't finish her words. The mute had already thrown himself towards her, tightly choking her by the throat, the blue veins on his arm bulging out.
Zhu Yeqing didn't have any intention to pull him off. Still smiling, he simply watched off to one side coolly.
By the time the mute realized that he had used too much force, and that his wife was no longer breathing, he let go. But by then, it was too late.
He stupidly stared at his two hands, then stared at his wife. Tears and cold sweat cascaded from his face.
Zhu Yeqing smiled. "Well done! Bold man! There aren't a lot of men in this world who can choke their wives to death in the blink of an eye. I admire you!"
A feral, beast-like gaze had entered the mute's eyes, and he turned around and threw himself forwards.
Zhu Yeqing's clothes fluttered as he flew back. He coldly said, "I didn't kill your wife. Why are you attacking me?"
Without even looking back, he turned and left. Just as he arrived at the top of the staircase, he heard a dull thudding sound.
Zhu Yeqing still didn't turn to look. He wasn't surprised, nor did he feel grieved. He had long ago predicted that this would be the outcome. More than that, he also held the fate of many other people in his hands as well. He felt immensely satisfied with himself. He decided that he absolutely needed to think of a good way to congratulate and reward himself.
He thought of Zi Ling.
Zi Ling's smooth, lithe torso writhed like the body of a rattlesnake. Only after he was fully satisfied did her shudders cease. Her lips were still icy cold. The beads of sweat on her nose, under the light, appeared like small crystals.
An experienced man, upon seeing the expression on her face, should easily be able to tell that she had been fully subdued and conquered.
Zhu Yeqing was an experienced man. This sort of feeling of conquest always made him feel proud and joyful.
He intentionally let out a sigh. "It seems as though the boss is still much superior to me!"
Zi Ling's delicate, silk-like eyebrows knit. "Why?"
Thanks for the update Ren!
Iron Tiger was all hyped up and got beaten by one move. Typical GL!
Zhu Yeqing is way too intelligent and evil. Wonder who he really is.