What’s Up Bro?
“Where are you three going? They’re here now.” Song Ou grabbed me with a grim expression: “Don’t even think about running away! Come with me to explain yourselves.”
Song Ou didn’t even give me a chance to speak. He just dragged me to the door. Su Xiao and Tang Ye were helpless so they just followed us.
You’re giving the Qilin Guards far too much respect by doing this, don’t you think?
Song Ou was anxious and panicked. He was very different compared to his usual calm demeanour and gentle behaviour.
I couldn’t help but feel that his expression was strange. He’s not usually this afraid of the Qilin Guards. While he can’t solidify his position because of Boss Shen, he is still the son of a reputable family. He should be courageous, resourceful and knowledgeable. He was always concerned with eloquence when talking about reviving Liu Shan Men’s reputation, and he was always laid back when discussing the Qilin Guards as well. What’s the deal with him today?
I soon got the answer to my question.
No wonder he was afraid. To be honest, even I was slightly scared.
There were hordes of them… They covered the entire area out front Liu Shan Men. There was a massive line all the way to the street next door.
A majestic unicorn was sewn onto every single one of their black uniforms. It looked awesome without looking angry, yet was full of killing intent. We don’t have enough room for that many people. No wonder why Song Ou had to meet them out front.
The Qilin Guards expanded and took most of Liu Shan Men’s resources and recruited new members during the years that Liu Shan Men fell from grace. A lot of people try to guess how big the power-gap between the two groups are. Some say three times while others say five times.
From what I can see, based on the difference in member-count, I’d say they’re more than twenty times larger than us. There are only around two hundred constables from Liu Shan Men in the capital. There were only fifty or sixty people in our main courtyard.
On the other hand, the Qilin Guards were here with more than three hundred men, easily surpassing Liu Shan Men’s total number of members fit for duty.
Of course, this is just the difference in members. If we were truly to compare who was more powerful, then based on just the number of martial arts experts alone, the Qilin Guards would be more than twenty times stronger.
On Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings, the top three are the strongest, and are also the imperial court’s strongest fighting force. One of them is a Qilin Guard, another is a member of the emperor’s security detail, and another is a wandering warrior. None of Liu Shan Men’s constables are ranked in the top three.
There used to be one from Liu Shan Men ranked in the top three. That was none other than Yan Shisan.
From fourth rank through to rank twenty, the seventeen in those ranks are called the imperial court’s main force, the Seventeen Hidden Dragons. Only two of Liu Shan Men’s members are ranked in said group. One of them is Boss Shen, the other is currently away from the capital. There are four wandering warriors ranked in the group, while the remaining eleven are either Qilin Guards or from the emperor’s security detail.
I won’t mention the others. Not even ten members from Liu Shan Men are ranked anywhere from rank twenty to rank one-hundred. Our fighting power is despairing. Thinking about it properly, Song Ou’s attitude isn’t all that strange. Not everybody can be like Boss Shen, thinking about reviving Liu Shan Men under these circumstances.
The Qilin Guards who came to find fault with us took up all the space. Only one spot in the middle was spacious. There was only one person standing there, while everybody else was standing some distance away like he just came out of a cesspit and none of them wanted to come within three inches of him.
Based on the situation, he must be the leader.
The guy’s facial features looked rough. His hands and feet all looked extremely sturdy, exactly like a martial artist. But he was such a show-off, copying Tang Bohu or something, dressed in pink while holding a fan with an autumn painting in his hand that he clearly didn’t use!!
Pink, for fuck sakes!
Tang Bohu for fuck sakes!
He revealed his teeth when he wore his big smile. The guy could move giants for sure. I mean, his breath smelt like garlic…
“What’s up bro, long time no see. You good?”
He actually dared to call Song Bastard, “bro”!
What’s this? You actually dare call him that? That’s our great Captain Song Bastard you’re talking to!
“What’s wrong with him?” Tang Ye couldn’t deal with it anymore. He frowned: “Captain, do you want me to teach him a lesson?”
“Lemme, lemme!” Beautiful Su Xiao giddily said: “I’m an expert at beating up people like him. Even the Orange Prince got bashed by me last time and nearly wet himself!”
I joined in: “Alright, place your bets. Once you’ve placed your bet, remove your hand. If Su Xiao wins, you win five times your bet, if Tang Ye wins, you win the equivalent of your bet.”
“Don’t cause trouble!” Song Ou recomposed himself, acted casual and clasped one hand with the other, bowed and said: “So it was you, Brother Long. How do you do?”
So this demented-looking pink Tang Bohu is the vice-captain, Long Zai Tian.
“Bro, you made me wait for ages.”
“I apologise, Brother Long.”
Hey, bro, he seems to have gotten your name wrong. Do something about it, damn it!
Song Ou revealed a “so what, you don’t know shit” look. He then smiled as he faced Long Zaitian and asked: “What might you be here for, Brother Long?”
“What am I here for?” Long Zaitian chuckled in a cold tone. His unscrupulous expression was filled with obscenity: “If I’m here looking for something, that’d be your unparalleled beauty of a wife. I’ll be straight with you, is Miss Shen here or not? If she’s here, ask her to come out.”
I called out again: “Alright, here we go. Place your bets and then remove your hands. If Vice-captain song assaults him, you’ll win three times your bet, if Captain Song attacks him, you’ll win ten times your bet.”
“Shut up! You’re the one who caused this mess!” Song Ou clenched his teeth, and he went completely pale in the face. He turned around and said to Long Zaitian: “My wife is out on business, so she cannot see you. I am the captain of Liu Shan Men. Is there some business you cannot share with me?”
Song Ou emphasised three parts in his speech: My wife. Business. And I, Song Ou.
First, he was warning Long Zaitian that while they had yet to perform the ceremony rites, she was his fiancée, so forget it.
Second, was to tell him that they could only talk business, and nothing else.
And third, was to tell him, I’m not “bro”!*
Uhm, Captain Song lives up to his reputation as the son of famous family. He sure knows how to talk.
Long Zaitian flicked his fan and then without a care replied: “Fine. I’ll see her at the imperial martial arts tournament anyway. I’ll greet her then.” While Long Zaitian is rough, his expression revealed an expression of admiration and yearning – aside from the perverted look part, which was unexpected.
Song Ou clenched his teeth and grinded them.
Oh, I get it! So besides being enemies at work, they’re rivals in love too!
“Since that’s the case, state your business.”
After confirming that Boss Shen wasn’t present, he wore a twisted look like an angry bull and scoffed: “I came here to ask what the issue with your people is. They came to my place, barged in and did whatever they wanted. They barged into our courtyard and hit our people. Are you mocking us? You think you’re above the rules? Huh?”
He grunted, pulled his pink sleeve up, and threw a punch over with his orangutan arms that looked rougher than a small tree.
Long Zaitian actually calls Song Ou, Brother Bird, which is the result of dropping the radical from the character “Ou”. But that doesn’t capture the joke in English, so I opted for “bro”, which sounds somewhat condescending given the context and their positions. That captures their dynamics and the joke better.
Tang Bohu was a famous artist in ancient China.