The Fury of a Swordsman
The event – actually, the day as a whole – would go down in history books as Liu Shan Men’s darkest hour. Although banishing Shen Yiren caused a bit of disorder, Song Ou wasn’t willing to ask her to come back after tasting the sweetness of the nectar known as authority.
As Song Ou sat in his chair, revelling in all the attention he now had, someone started yelling instead of knocking, not to mention yelling out his name instead of addressing him as “Captain Song”. Therefore, it was hard to blame him for being absolutely livid. As soon as he opened his mouth to reason with Lei Bao, he was pieced up.
Lei Bao and Long Zaitian were the sort of buddies who wouldn’t hesitate to share underpants. Since Long Zaitian had crush on Song Ou’s fiancée, Lei Bao and Long Zaitian would frequently double team Song Ou just to vent.
Lei bao wasn’t aware Song Ou had come into power at Liu Shan Men, so the thought of sparing Song Ou some courtesy never crossed his mind. Song Ou wasn’t that much weaker than Lei Bao; problem was, he lacked combat experience. Whenever someone advanced aggressively, Song Ou would feel intimidated. Once he lost his confidence, he was considerably easier to pick apart.
Having honed his ability to kill without leaving any traces, Lei Bao left Song Ou with only had a bloody nose, but that, needless to say, wasn’t the only spot Song Ou was struck. Lei Bao was quite notorious for being the stereotypical bully in the capital. Now, he wouldn’t commit heinous crimes under the Emperor’s nose, so any assault could be swept under the rug. However, this was a task Yi Ya entrusted to him.
It was important to remember that Yi Ya wasn’t just one of the top fighters but also the face of the Qilin Guards. No one underneath him would say they didn’t view him as their grand commander. Moreover, he was virtually parading as the supreme general of the capital this time in the capital. Song Ou generally had no means of answering the questions he had no involvement in. With no retreat options, Lei Bao had to go all the way, assaulting Song Ou until the latter was crying for dear life. As a result, Song Chi had to make a stand for his brother.
Song Chi might’ve been a man of great composure, but in no shape or form did that imply he was a softy. As a matter of fact, fabricating excuses and scheming were two skills he had unshakeable confidence in. If he were to just let someone bully his brother on his turf, it wasn’t practicing patience for some grand scheme but cowardice.
Song Chi repaid the “favour” the same way it was given. Being significantly stronger than Lei Bao, he subdued Lei Bao to bash and sent Lei Bao’s companions home with their tails between their legs and hands on their heads.
In retaliation, Lei Bao called for reinforcements from every martial arts academy in the capital he was friends with and, of course, his brother from another mother – Long Zaitian. Long Zaitian was annoyed enough as it was when he heard Liu Shan Men took their captive, not to mention when Ming Feizhen, Shen Yiren, Su Xiao and Tang Ye were out. When he heard about Song Chi’s involvement, Long Zaitian rounded up his subordinates and a man who happened to be passing by – Yi Ya. The initial matter could’ve been resolved using the pugilistic world’s rules – an even score since both parties already beat each other once. Since Long Zaitian fanned the flames, though, Yi Ya’s involvement made the matter snowball into a complicated matter.
Everyone knew Wang Muren was tough on people and even tougher on himself, so anyone who survived under him wasn’t easy work. Song Chi always believed he’d likely have to fight Yi Ya one day. Yi Ya was designated a must-watch-target label years ago, and that hadn’t change. Howbeit, Song Chi never thought that day would come so soon, so abruptly and… from such a bizarre flow of events.
As soon as he rolled up, Yi Ya chose violence, forcing Song Chi to defend himself. Their fight was a sight to behold, although amateurs struggled to keep up with their pace. While those two were busy, Lei Bao and Long Zaitian took the honour of righteously challenging the man with the highest authority at Liu Shan Men – Song Ou.
Song Ou’s nose had just stopped bleeding, and he had yet to cry for help, when his second beating commenced.
The other Qilin Guards showed no mercy in vandalising anything that could be vandalised. The male constables, having undertaken Ming Feizhen’s hellish training, displayed their hare feet as soon as things were looking to head south. The female constables assembled in Shen Yiren’s former residence, though the Qilin Guards weren’t really out to pick a bone with them. The Qilin Guards who stooped low enough to pick fights with the female constables were easily dispatched.
Nevertheless, the mess still could’ve been reduced to a trivial conflict if a certain Prince didn’t happen to pass by.
Despite Red Prince’s duty as state proctor having been taken from him once Emperor Yuansheng returned, the experience, adulation and network he gained from his tenure would serve him handsomely. It was only a matter of having an opportunity before His Majesty would entrust important jobs to him again. While the streets were still in a state of anarchy, his group was united, planning and practicing. In fact, he went out to have wontons with Chu Yinghua a second time and headed back to Liu Shan Men the evening Liu Shan Men was raided.
Red Prince and Chu Yinghua met up for lunch. Because Chu Yinghua’s hobby was eating, they always went out to eat whenever they met up, not that Red Prince minded since he thought it was cute.
With her eyes narrowed, Chu Yinghua stole a glance at the man walking beside her and asked, “Your Highness, why do you always invite me out to eat wonton soup? Don’t you have friends?”
“W-well… I do have some,” answered Red Prince, scratching the back of his head. “I just… just… well… I have tea-drinking friends, swordplay friends but no wonton soup friends.”
“Hahaha, good one.”
Red Prince’s face went from red to very red, wondering if he said wrong to make Chu Yinghua laugh. “We can say we are wontonmates now.”
“I, I, I… I wasn’t taught how to defuse this…”
Chu Yinghua couldn’t resist chuckling at the panicking Prince’s demeanour, but he wasn’t too concerned for he could discern she wasn’t laughing at him.
“I’ve always been bad with words. I apologise for lacking grace.”
“No, you said it well… Puhahaha. Your Highness, you shouldn’t tell jokes again. I won’t be able to hold in my laughter, and it’s hard to even hold it in.”
“Ah? Oh, okay, I won’t.”
What joke did I just tell?
“Well, this is my stop.”
“Have a good rest. I shall take my leave now.”
Chu Yinghua cheerfully nodded. “Thank you for the treat. I’ll treat you to dumplings next time. The place isn’t a five-star eatery, though, so I hope you won’t mind.”
Given how tough it was to get a second “date” with Chu Yinghua, Red Prince was ready to cry tears of joy at how easy it was to score a third “date”, let alone wait to nod.
“Where shall we meet?”
Rumble! At the same time a gaping hole formed in Liu Shan Men’s outer wall, bricks and dust flew at the duo standing outside. They didn’t get hurt, but they were certainly startled.
Upon peering through the hole, Chu Yinghua beheld Qilin Guards tearing down their place. “Your Highness, I have some family issues to attend to, so let’s meet up there next time. Bye,” she said before diving through the hole.
“Eh? Where is ‘there’? … Where is ‘there’?”
What did I do wrong? I’ve done plenty of good deeds, haven’t I? Why don’t I feel like I am getting any good karma?
Red Prince carefully poked his head through the hole to see dust in every direction. At that point, he didn’t need to be told who was responsible for the hole in the wall.
A pillar of sword qi stretched into the ether above Liu Shan Men. Everybody there could sense the fury emanating from the pillar of qi.
“Every single one of you, get over here!”
Omitted joke – The “ton” in “wonton” is a homophone for “butt” in Mandarin. I couldn’t find any way to rewrite the joke without leaving you so confused that I just removed it.