Long Zaitian and Tie Hanyi led another team to tackle those downstairs. Upon noticing the overwhelming and abnormal number of pugilistic world people in the town when they went out to investigate, they feared for the Emperor’s safety. Thus, they headed back to bodyguard the Emperor. When they returned to the inn, they saw two people behaving suspiciously outside the inn, discussing something, presumably. Thanks to their experience in the pugilistic world, it wasn’t difficult for them to decipher who the two outside were targeting.
Long Zaitian approached the two individuals to distract them, while Tie Hanyi summoned his subordinates to catch the enemy off guard. Long Zaitian suddenly belted and decided to execute a pre-emptive strike, sending one individual rolling across the ground with a punch! Tie Hanyi then raced out with their team on the first floor to jump the two enemies. Ordinary imperial court warriors weren’t permitted upstairs, leaving a dozen warriors on the first floor. Owing to the gap in skill, the twelve were able to defeat the forty enemies.
The enemies certainly didn’t appear to be a friendly bunch. There were two teams after the same target; their appearances and ages differed. They didn’t actually coordinate a joint operation. One was a group of mountain bandits, and the other was a gang of some sort.
Long Zaitian and Tie Hanyi went on punching frenzies, making quick work of the enemies. Tie Hanyi was invincible, which didn’t sit right with him. Su Xiao was able to win one-on-one fights – that broke his personal record! Su Xiao laughed as he swung his Ancient Cold sabre; he could be said to be the tiger among the sheep. It took them less than an hour to force the enemies to surrender. Also noteworthy was the imperial court’s forces didn’t suffer as much as a bruise. Despite that, Tie Hanyi wasn’t happy they fought a fight without knowing why. Almost an hour of fighting and they had no clue who they were fighting.
“Who are you?! Speak or suffer!”
The enemy leader brashly responded, “You sons of bitches, our Golden Coin Brotherhood was also on our way to Huzhou. We avoided you whenever we could in case you misunderstood! We had to spend the night in this town because it’s bloody bucketing outside! Does it bother you that much?! We might not be a famous orthodox sect, but I can’t think of one time we did something that left us with guilty consciences. I don’t care how strong you happen to be! Is that justification for you to be tyrants?!”
Golden Coin Brotherhood’s leader conversed with Long Zaitian cordially when the latter approached him. Out of nowhere, Long Zaitian punched him straight in the face, sending him rolling. The punch hampered his fighting abilities thereafter, so it was reasonable for him to be angry.
The other group leader fumed, “Say no more, Brother Qian! They claim to be upholders of justice, yet they’re more tyrannical than us. Luo Sword Manor treats our Jadeite Brotherhood and Golden Coin Brotherhoods as guests. We’re going to ask Master Luo to speak up for us!”
Tie Hanyi pulled his eyebrows together: “Jadeite Brotherhood? Golden Coin Brother? You are Jadeite Brotherhood and Golden Coin Brotherhood’s leaders Li Gu and Qian Dayou?”
Li Gu and Qian Dayou: “How do you know?”
As an agent, Tie Hanyi was familiar with groups in Jiangnan. According to his knowledge, neither brotherhood was considered a weak group. They could be considered among the top twenty groups in Jiangnan’s martial world. It was hard to classify them as orthodox or unorthodox sects because the orthodox sects wielded so much power and fervently targeted the unorthodox sects. The orthodox sects often looked down on them. Based on what they said, orthodox sects most likely ridiculed them on their journey and peeked on the imperial court’s group to see if the group was another group of bullies.
“That means… this is a misunderstand-.”
Before Tie Hanyi could finish, Long Zaitian had already vaulted upstairs. Long Zaitian raced to the Emperor’s room, shouting, “Worry not, Master. Ol’ Long is coming” and charged straight into the room…
Ming Feizhen, who was enjoying braised pork shoulders in the kitchen, heard the riot on the first and second floor. It was quite the spectacle to his ear after Ling Xuan promised to ensure the Emperor’s group would be safe.
Ling Xuan came back with the promised report on Evil Spirits hastily. He knocked himself on the head and reported, “Master Ming… we have a problem. Your esteemed team is fighting with people from the pugilistic world.”
“I was just going to ask you about that,” said Ming Feizhen, folding his arms. “Not even League of Assassins can stop them?”
Ling Xuan smiled helplessly: “As we are not operating publicly, we can only give warnings. We cannot afford to offend the guests today, though.”
Ming Feizhen had another listen then remarked, “They’re here, too? That sounds like… oh, we have some big names in the house.”
Ling Xuan was impressed Ming Feizhen could identify the groups without having to see them. After contemplating, Ming Feizhen asked, “Question for you: why are there so many people from the martial world in this town? I understand it’s absurd to travel in this rain, but I don’t think this is pure coincidence. There are more than a dozen factions in the town, ranging from orthodox to unorthodox. Why?”
The cat caught Ling Xuan’s tongue for a second: “Y-You must be a god. How do you know so much without having left the kitchen…?”
“Who cares? Answer me.”
“Right, right. The population in the town had always been small. In spite of this being a small town, the scale it functions at is comparable to a city. A month ago, Jiangnan’s orthodox warriors and unorthodox sects’ members came this way for a grand event. They had to pass by the town to reach their destination, therefore crowding the town. The townsfolk moved away due to fear.”
“Grand event? What exactly?”
Instead of answering, Ling Xuan asked, “Would you happen to be going to Huzhou to visit Luo Sword Manor via Lotus Path?”
“That would explain it, then. They, too, are taking the same path.” Smiling helplessly, Ling Xuan elaborated, “They, too, are visiting Luo Sword Manor.”
“Worry not, Master. Ol’ Long is coming!!” Ming Feizhen and Ling Xuan suddenly heard from the second floor.