Liu Shan Men Has a Disease
Everybody present who was protecting Captain Song thought that Long Zaitian not only sported looks which were outside the boundaries of human imagination, but also thought his movements that resembled an orang-utan also couldn’t be explained with common sense. He just struck out before finishing his sentence.
Hey, aren’t you going to do anything, bro?
Song Ou on the other hand slipped and evaded to the side. His evasion looked embarrassing because Long Zaitian rushed him so quickly. Song Ou stood upright again and shouted: “Captain Long, don’t you push it! What do you want?”
Hey, are you still not going to counterattack, bro?
“My request is simple. Hand them over.” Long Zaitian kept his arms posed, not easing up in the least, “Hand over the three who stirred trouble at our place today, all three of them. Otherwise, even if I’m willing to forget the matter, I don’t think my three-hundred brothers here would be willing to forget the matter.”
The three-hundred Qilin Guards suddenly roared: “WE WON’T!!” Their voices were like waves, destroying the morality of Song Ou and the members of Liu Shan Men, even their legs went weak.
Everybody knows how three-hundred versus fifty would turn out. The faces of Liu Shan Men’s constables went pale. Not one of them dared to take a step forward, speak a word or even look at them.
I continued to fix my gaze on the ugly Tang Bohu. I caught the corner of his mouth creep up into a weird smirk and I knew what it meant.
The Qilin Guards lost five skilled fighters because of the Black Winds Thirteen Wings, while we didn’t even have any injured personnel, and that could potentially affect the outcome of the imperial martial arts tournament.
He certainly must have heard about Tang Ye challenging people all over the place and making a name for himself.
He’s taking advantage of the circumstances and trying to weaken Liu Shan Men’s fighting power. Him coming here while Boss Shen was absent wasn’t a coincidence then.
Song Ou looked at the three of us. He hesitated for a split second and then without any consideration said: “I-I’ll pass the blame onto you and we’ll call it even, how about it?”
What? You betraying me bro?!
“There’s nothing left to discuss then!” Before his voice faded out, Long Zaitian punched towards him again.
Long Zaitian’s punch packed all of his internal strength and strong as could be. If it were to hit Captain Song, he’d be crippled if not dead. Of course, with his Song family’s internal arts, he shouldn’t suffer any severe wounds, but he’ll definitely look bad.
Luckily for him, Tang Ye was with him today.
Tang Ye always wanted to teach Long Zaitian a lesson, so he had been churning up his internal energy in secret for a while. When Long Zaitian approached, he immediately extended his hand out to guard. Tang Ye is very skilled, but he was still far from someone of Long Zaitian’s calibre. When the two of them collided, Long Zaitian remained where he was while Tang Ye flew through the air.
Long Zaitian stopped his punch as well. His martial arts emphasise external power, so he’s an external martial arts style expert. His style relies on pure brute force. Since he had already sent Tang Ye flying with his punch, it should’ve been re-targeted towards Song Ou.
However, although Tang Ye wasn’t as powerful as him, when he collided with Tang Ye, the fiery Long Zaitian’s arm turned numb, and thus stopped.
Long Zaitian didn’t expect to find someone so young and skilled at Captain Song’s side. He asked: “Who are you?”
Tang Ye somersaulted in the air and shifted the force behind Long Zaitian’s punch away. He didn’t suffer any injuries. He gently landed on the ground, took a stance with his hand extended and said: “Liu Shan Men’s Tang Ye, bring it.”
“Oh? So you’re Tang Ye, the one who’s been challenging people everywhere?” Long Zaitian froze up for a brief moment and then laughed out loud and added: “Not bad, not bad. Your martial arts skills aren’t shabby. I haven’t seen someone with such talent at such a young age in a while.”
Long Zaitian laughed as he opened his fan. It didn’t look like he wanted to continue to fight. Of course, such a disgusting action was enough to be considered a provocation, and therefore a good enough reason for us to hand him an ass whooping. As such, Tang Ye stayed alert.
“Your martial arts skills aren’t bad. No, they’re really good actually. You’re at least at the Yi level… No, you’re at the Jia level already.” Long Zaitian fanned the air as he said: “I know you defeated our Yi Yixian. I promoted him to protect the rankings when those ranked higher than him were assassinated. His martial arts skills are only at the Yi level. If you participate in the imperial martial arts tournament, you could make the top thirty-five or thirty-six of Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings, or otherwise known as the Jia rank.”
Tang Ye asked with puzzlement: “What are you telling me that for?”
“Rank thirty on Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings.” Long Zaitian chuckled and continued: “I can bestow you with that rank if you agree to join us.”
Long Zaitian was poaching right in our presence. Song Ou angrily butt-in: “Brother Long, you were the one who attacked us as soon as you said you wanted to beat up our people, and now you’re saying this to our member. What are you playing at?! What are you taking me for?!”
“I take you for a piece of shit!” Long Zaitian shouted and then kicked towards him. Tang Ye immediately reached his hand over and blocked Long Zaitian’s flying king.
Song Ou was so angry his organs were ready to burst as he angrily shouted: “You and me, to the death! To the death!”
Meanwhile, Long Zaitian was even further impressed with Tang ye.
“Brother Tang! A fine fowl perches only on a fine tree. What’s so wrong about that?” Long Zaitian shamelessly fanned the air. He swept his mocking gaze over a group of constables who ran to Song Ou’s side. Civil servants and military attaché whom his gaze reached stayed quiet. They didn’t even have the courage to meet his gaze.
Long Zaitian was very satisfied as he continued with his mockery: “I really don’t understand why you want to stay at this shitty office, Brother Tang. What accomplishments could you achieve here?”
Song Ou’s expression looked terrible when he saw that none of his people dared to utter a word.
Hey bro, he’s insulting you, you know? Are you still not going to smash him?
Song Ou didn’t say anything. Tang Ye on the other hand replied earnestly: “I have my own agenda for joining Liu Shan Men. I won’t bother you with the details. If you want a fight, bring it.”
Long Zaitian shook his head as though he thought it was really unfortunate: “Since that’s the case, don’t blame me for being ruthless. Song Bastard, I asked you to hand them over but you disregarded me. Brothers! Beat anyone you see and smash anything you see!”
“It’s a bit too late to agree now, isn’t it?”
Song Ou gave it his all to stop the Qilin Guards who didn’t hear him.
Three hundred guards roared and rushed towards Liu Shan Men’s doors where they got entangled into fist fights. They sure smashed the place and beat the people. It only took a few moments before our people were beaten to the brink of death by the Qilin Gaurds. Even the madam who washes our clothes and the cook weren’t spared.
Just as the old geezer who sweeps our yard was about to run, a few crude Qilin Guards caught him, lifted him up by his collar and slammed him onto the ground. I think his bones shattered.
A fire was lit up in Tang Ye and Su Xiao’s eyes and they immediately charged into the heated fight.
“Don’t get involved.” I called them and pulled them behind so that they stayed away from the fighters at the doors.
I stopped two hot-blooded young men who let their blood get to their head. I know that Tang Ye in particular looks cold on the exterior, treats his comrades at Liu Shan Men quite well. But that’s precisely why he shouldn’t help.
“What are you doing, Big Brother Ming?! Let me go.”
“What’s wrong, big brother?”
To answer their question, I sincerely replied: “You can help them now, but you can’t help them forever. This is Liu Shan Men’s personal issue, so they need to overcome it themself.”
Su Xiao angrily said: “We are members of Liu Shan Men!”
“You’re different. You’re new members, so you don’t have their disease.”
“Disease? What disease? Jeez, let’s go help out, Big Brother Ming, otherwise they’ll reduce the place to pieces.”
“Even if Long Zaitian were to be more audacious, do you think he’ll actually destroy Liu Shan Men? Haven’t you noticed that they’ve only gone back and forth from the doors and not one has entered the yard? They’re just showing off their power. They want to suppress Liu Shan Men’s reputation. Look carefully, who’s fighting who?”
When Tang Ye and Su Xiao looked carefully, they finally realised that the new constables had let their anger get to their heads and thought that the Qilin Guards were going overboard.
They didn’t care how many the enemy numbered or how their skills compared. They just charged in. Their blood rushed to their head so they didn’t fear the Qilin Guards’ numbers. Meanwhile, the constables who had been at Liu Shan Men for longer, were more skilled and had the numerical advantage over the group before them didn’t engage with the Qilin Guards. They could only be considered punching bags. And because they didn’t help, the fight between the new recruits quickly turned into a one-sided beating, with Liu Shan Men’s constables being the punching bags.
I quietly said: “The current state of Liu Shan Men is very different to how it was in the old days. They must acknowledge and overcome their own problem. Liu Shan Men has no other way of restoring its former glory otherwise.”
All of Liu Shan Men’s members, particularly the ones who’ve always been in Liu Shan Men all these years have contracted a disease. And that disease is called cowardice. Their confidence as the number one martial group had been taken from them.
Song Ou wasn’t the only one who was afraid of the Qilin Guards. It was a feeling shared by all at Liu Shan Men. In the six years Yan Shisan was gone, Liu Shan Men lost its resources, standing, pride and confidence.
Liu Shan Men has become like a child that’s used to bullying. Even if you were to tell them they could put up a fight against the Qilin Guards who bully them on the daily, they wouldn’t believe you. They don’t believe in themselves, and so nobody can help them but themselves.
Boss Shen should be well aware of this problem already. I presume she wanted to raise their morale through the imperial martial arts tournament, and then overcome it slowly from there. Such a subtle methodology is quite unlike Boss Shen. She must be worried about her subordinates because she grew up at Liu Shan Men I guess.
But since I was never a member of Liu Shan Men, I couldn’t empathise with them.
Fear is a disease.
If Boss Shen truly wants to restore Liu Shan Men to its former glory, she’ll need to train them with through aggressive means.
After the trashing dished out from the Qilin Guards, Long Zaitian laughed and said: “Enough! That’s enough. Song Ou, you and I are both retainers of the imperial court. You’re ranked higher than I am, so I can’t force you to hand them over, but that’s fine. My band of brothers will come here and create a mess everyday if you don’t hand them over.”
He laughed out loud after he finished speaking and happily left with his men. Long Zaitian looks crude, but he’s one heck of a schemer. He was never after the three of us in the first place. He just wanted to dampen Liu Shan Men’s morale. Boss Shen had selected four other groups to participate in the imperial martial arts tournament besides the three of us. They were all now squirming on the ground. You can’t convince me that they’ll be able to recover before the imperial martial arts tournament even if you held a blade at my neck.
It was an embarrassing scene at Liu Shan Men’s front doors. Beaten constables were lying all around. Even Song Ou didn’t get off without a scratch. He tried his best to defend himself but his hair still got messed up, and he took a few punches and kicks too.
“Big Brother Ming!” Su Xiao looked at me with tears in his eyes. He suddenly punched me on my chest with his pink fist. His tears fell pit-pat. His voice carried a hint of sobs, “You… You’re too cruel!”
“I agree.” I lifted Su Xiao’s hand up: “Justice itself is crueller than evil. Those who pursue justice must be able to make crueller decisions than those who are evil.”