I Journeyed a Thousand Miles for a Fight
“My respects, Third Grandpa, Third Grandma, uncles and aunties.”
Given Bai Zhiqing was Hong Jiu’s grandpa in martial arts seniority, the other disciples of Bai Clan were naturally his seniors. Hong Jiu wasn’t someone who cared about how others perceived him, and he certainly didn’t mind addressing people as seniors if customs dictated so. The guys didn’t care, but the many of the girls were amused.
“Thank you for attending my performance,” expressed Hong Jiu, holding his hands up in salute. He then turned to Vivianite and ranted, “Guy over there with the useless chunk of iron. We have a score to settle, so why are you going after someone else? I’m right here. Let’s play.”
Though Vivianite’s spirit took a hit from his failed assassination attempt, he was still as good as new. Hong Jiu challenged him knowing full well he wouldn’t accept the challenge because he wouldn’t kill for free. If Hong Jiu’s opponent wasn’t an assassin who never let his emotions dictate his actions, then Hong Jiu wouldn’t have been so brash.
Hai Yecha didn’t bite the bait, either. By his machinations, the imperial court should’ve locked up Hong Jiu and his friends already for colluding with Wondrous Warrior Manor. The fact that they weren’t could only mean that Nine-Lives Cat Fiend and Drought Demon failed to fulfil their roles.
“Who are you calling your family?!” Master Qi chased after Hong Jiu, only to blush when she noticed all the gazes on him. Thus, she kicked him hard enough to make him jolt to his feet.
The fact that Master Qi was present, as well, further supported Hai Yecha’s hypothesis. Nonetheless, he had been through enough in life to avoid the mistake of wearing his true emotions on his sleeve. Wearing a forced simper, he mocked, “Ten Thousand Miles Dragon Rider has become Calabash Rolling on the Ground.”
While he was busy rubbing his bottom and inwardly complaining, hearing Hai Yecha made Hong Jiu reply, “If the chicken that fled can be here, why can’t I?”
“Hmph, if anyone is unaware, he is Mount Daluo’s direct disciple, the renowned Ten Thousand Miles Dragon Rider, also known as Hidden Hero – Hong Jiu. We captured him a few days ago, and he was completely at our mercy, like a pig waiting to be slaughtered. Heh, the walking joke has run to Valley of Yearning with his tail between his legs to beg for help.”
Hong Jiu shook his head. “I’m standing here to tell you, you screwed up. You can’t stop me.”
“Hmph, why does a defeated general have so much to say? Haven’t you learnt anything from your tragic defeat?”
“Says the one who let a defeated general escape. What does that make you?”
Unaware that Hong Jiu was badly injured already, Hai Yecha was worried Hong Jiu would assist Bai Clan, making it impossible to confidently win. If he could’ve somehow talked Hong Jiu into staying out of the matter, then their chances were a lot better. Unfortunately for him, Hong Jiu was a special type of shameless person in the martial world. He didn’t care about crossdressing, let alone somebody calling him out for not having any shame.
“You lost to Vivianite in just one move, correct?”
“That day by the river shore, in our one-on-one match, I almost smashed your shell open, didn’t I, turtle?”
“You may be young, but you are formidable, Young Hero Hong.”
“Likewise, likewise, Elder Hai.”
Bai Zhiqing: “Are we fighting or not?”
Hong Jiu and Hai Yecha cleared their throats.
Hai Yecha: “Hong Jiu, your grudge with us can be settled another day. We have a score to settle with Bai Jerk over there. Why are you standing up for him?”
“I don’t care if you pummel him to death,” Hong Jiu responded.
Bai Zhiqing: “Hey, hey, hey!”
Hai Yecha smiled, so Hong Jiu wagged his hand as he continued, “However, he just saved my life. So, now that I’m witnessing this, I can’t just turn a blind eye.”
“You have chosen death, then. We never had and don’t have any grudge with Mount Daluo. You are the one who has incessantly meddled in our business. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Hai Yecha might’ve been conniving, but he did have a sense of honour.
“Hahaha, all right, if I die, it shall be considered my own issue; Mount Daluo will not hold you accountable. Listen up, everyone: if I die, tell my first brother and shifu not to avenge me.”
Lady Bai asked her husband, “Dear, his name is Hong Jiu, right? Is he not Ming Huayu’s disciple? How come he calls you ‘grandpa’?”
Bai Zhiqing shrugged as he sighed and smiled. “Some people, you treat them as a brother, and they marry your eldest nephew.”
Suffice to say, Hai Yecha was relieved to hear Hong Jiu’s oath. “Hmph, even if you wish to die, I need to make time. Bai Jerk, will you insist on hiding behind Mount Daluo like the coward you are?”
Bai Zhiqing: “Erm… There was an unusual flash of light a few days ago followed by uncharacteristic military activity in Jiangnan. Needless to say, I know you were behind it. Harassing the imperial court before attacking the White Princes, that’s very unlike your old style. Honourable men do not insinuate. State the purpose of your invasion.”
In spite of his peculiar character, Bai Zhiqing had the envy of many from twenty years ago for his scholastic and martial arts accomplishments. He didn’t know all the details. Nonetheless, he could form a skeleton of what happened based on what he heard and saw.
“Seeing as you’ve said that, this one shan’t lie to you. We did return and challenge the imperial court with a specific goal. The Seven Champion White Princes are our targets, not just your family. Now, show our guests.”
Hai Yecha’s subordinates pushed eight people, men and women of varying ages, to the front. Though their bodies were painted red and faces laden with dust, not one of them let themselves wobble or groan.
“Eh? Ya? What? How?” Bai Zhiqing recognised all the faces.
Hai Yecha waved his hand condescendingly. “It’s not your clan’s descendants who we have captured. Everyone here is from a clan of the Seven Champion White Princes!”
“Who are you calling your family” – If I used “wife” in the previous chapter, you can see how you’d have a “short circuit” trying to figure out how we went from a “fire in the backyard” to a “wife”.
Thousand Miles (in the title) – For the record, it’s not actually a thousand miles. It’s just an expression to indicate a long distance, like if I said “a tonne of primogems”.