The People of the Central Plain Are Crazy (Part 2)
Sharing the same duty as Tie Hanyi, Dugu also embodied the former’s astute and calm traits, evident from the results quickly produced thanks to his strategy.
The pursuers gradually gave up pursuit. The legs on the pursued eventually gave in. They weren’t adepts who could run for ages. Once the adrenaline wore off, they went limp on the ground.
Ye Luo climbed to higher ground and scouted out the leaders using her keen sight. Su Xiao demonstrated the power of his immense luck, locating Ma Jun and Chubby Qian in no time. The two were too weak to avoid more than three of Ye Luo’s shots.
Dugu brought the two leaders out to the plaza and announced the two leaders’ surrender, quickly quelling the riot. Horse Divine Association was a small group, but Tea Lake Manor and Qian Clan were recognisable factions in Jiangnan. As such, their subordinates were conscious of right and wrong. If they weren’t punched into stupidity, they probably wouldn’t even have fled. The two leaders had yet to explain what was going on, while the spark that triggered the fire was missing along with his dozen or so subordinates. Apparently, they ran helter skelter as soon as the riot broke out. Strangely, someone so tall and lanky should’ve been easy to spot, yet there was no sign of him.
The escort reported that peace had been restored. Glad to hear that, Emperor Yuansheng stated, “Let’s be on our way once Young Master comes back.”
Su Xiao: “Your M-, M-Master, Big Brother Ming had a pigeon deliver a notice, informing us he was going after the culprit behind the setup. He told us to go on ahead.”
“Oh?” The Emperor delightfully fiddled with his beard: “All right, then. He knows where we are heading, so let’s go.”
A big group was soon spotted coming toward the town.
In Dugu’s mind: “I thought they had another plan. I wonder who it is this time.”
Emperor Yuansheng exclaimed, “Huh? Imperial troops?!”
There were four teams. According to the dynasty’s laws, a town was only permitted to have one hundred imperial troops, which equated to one team. Four teams meant four hundred imperial troops were there.
Imperial troops weren’t fearsome fighters as individuals. The four hundred troops might’ve struggled against Emperor Yuansheng’s group of thirty; there were roughly a thousand more pugilists in the town. Though those in the pugilistic world could brush off civil servants’ systems, assaulting imperial troops spelt serious trouble. Nobody in Jiangnan would dare to offend the imperial court. Picking a fight with the imperial court was picking a fight with Qilin Guards and the Seven Champion White Princes.
“How dare you thugs vandalise my town?!” raged the bearded leader of the imperial troops.
The leader was dressed in a civil official’s uniform, yet he carried a military official’s broadsword at his waist. That indicated he was a civil and military official. It wasn’t a strange status to hold in the imperial court since the majority of civil officials did value martial arts. However, seldom was there ever one so far away from the capital. That was mainly because the dynasty’s military gear was light and simple. The bearded official was part of them.
There were only hundreds of troops within fifty kilometres of a county. Those troops rarely handled cases related to bandits, faction wars or the martial world’s conflicts. They focused on serving the people. Thus, it would’ve been a waste to assign military officials to said areas.
The official was leisurely treating his ears to music and relaxing at his office when he was told over a thousand people were embroiled in a massive fight at Bishui Town, scaring him. He raced over to the town, not even sparing a moment to call for the city’s pugilists to accompany him. If the riot got out of control in his territory, his boundless future would be cut short, hence the understandable concern.
“You pieces of dung! Did your peaceful lives at home bore you?! Who’s in charge here?! Show yourself!”
They didn’t want to fight with government officials, but the others were Night Fortress’ friends, so they took the initiative to own up to it.
“Get lost! You think I would believe someone so stupid could be the mastermind?!”
Noticing Emperor Yuansheng’s aura, the official went after him: “It was you, wasn’t it?! These thugs are your minions, aren’t they?!”
Su Xiao, in a soft voice, expounded, “Sir, we j-.”
“Shut up! Was I speaking to you?! A girl should be at home being a lady. How unbecoming for a maiden to be around these hooligans.”
Someone furtively watched the next round of chaos ensue. He was the one who concocted the big idea, and he was also the one who reported it to officials. Being the clever man he was, he made sure to study the Central Plain’s necessary knowledge. He knew Jiangnan as well as Beijiang’s martial world. Whether it was in the North or the Central Plains, those in the pugilistic world refrained from affronting officials, except it was more serious in Jiangnan. He also researched the bearded official and learnt the latter was a tyrant within a radius of two kilometres. He bought his official rank and was brash, so he was the type to get into a tussle with everyone.
The culprit thought to himself, “Night Fortress, see what the imperial court has to say before going to Huzhou, hahaha.”
The official glared: “Who are you? Come down here, and answer me!”
As the descendant of a reputable clan, Lyu Yaoqin didn’t fear local military officials. Still, it was intimidating due to her young age. Emperor Huasheng, on the other hand, was unfazed. The maiden, therefore, shifted over to the Emperor. He narrowed his eyes, and a smile came to his lips: “That’s quite the tone you have there. So, what rank are you?”
Emperor Yuansheng’s appearance, aura, behaviour and language were imposing enough to rustle the official. There was no way he could brush off the riot when the entire town bore witness to it. He was hoping to apprehend the culprit straight away to, at least, quickly settle the issue in time for his assessment. Alas, he was thrown off his game.
“I… I am Bishui Town, Qingshui, Liangshui and Kaishui’s county military official, company officer and official in charge of this riot. Who are you? Why did you cause this commotion?”
“Yeah? Given you are only a company officer at your age, you must not have done well in your end-of-year exam.”
“H-How do you know?”
Emperor Yuansheng grinned and shut his eyes.
The culprit thought, “Who is he? He’s no simpleton by the looks of it. Few in the pugilistic would be unfazed when facing a government official.”
“Heh, I thought the grand general came or something,” sneered Long Zaitian. “You are so amazing.”
The culprit thought, “Who is he now? Why are there so many big mouths in Night Fortress? They have no idea they are burying themselves.”
The others in the martial world, on the other hand, were thoroughly impressed with Night Fortress.
“What was that, impudent peasant!”
Long Zaitian smirked: “I would not be going along if it was not digging your hole a little deeper and wider for you.”
Angry that even a coach would pick a bone with him, the official fumed, “Watch your mouth! I am the official in ch-.”
“Yeah, whatever, piss off, you eye sore.”
The culprit’s eyes widened, thinking, “This is completely unlike what I had in mind.”
The official flinched in response to Long Zaitian’s remark. On second thought, he figured Long Zaitian’s martial skills were his anchor, so he threatened, “You think I’m scared because you know how to fight? You know who my uncle is? He’s the Qilin Guard’s Rank Seven Warrior and one of their company officers!”
The martial world’s groups certainly didn’t want a piece of the Qilin Guards. The culprit, meanwhile, smugly thought he had it in the bag. Of course, he checked the official’s family bakground beforehand, which was why he chose the official. Unexpectedly, Long Zaitian picked his nose: “Huh? Qilin Guards? Company officer? So what? You going to piss off or not?”
Ye Luo finally lost it and giggled as she pointed at the official. Su Xiao joined her: “Ol’ Tie, want to beat a Qilin Guard? I can take on five. You can take six!”
The culprit’s brain stuttered.
“The thugs rioted and harmed the civilians, yet are refusing to admit to their crimes! Men, arrest them!”
“You’re not arresting anybody.”
Long Zaitian grabbed the official by the collar, popping eyes out of heads. At that point, people thought Long Zaitian wasn’t brave but had a death wish! Instead of releasing the official, Long Zaitian posed his other arm and said, “I gave you multiple chances to get lost. You had it coming.”
Long Zaitian sent the official to the ground with four knuckles to the latter’s face and then added, “By the way, tell your Qilin Guard uncle to come see me. I need to have a word with him.”
In the culprit’s mind: “They’re crazy! They’re bloody crazy! The people in the Central Plains are certifiably crazy!”