Chapter 1171 – Army
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
The bell tower rang out urgently, and the dirty miners all looked up. That was a signal to gather. It had already been a very long time since the bell was last sounded.
There was a wooden platform located on the square in the centre of the town. It was a place for mass gatherings. During festivities, there would be shows available there, but it was currently completely illuminated by lantern light.
A row of people wrapped in ropes knelt on the platform with a group of silent swordsmen around them. Their shadows flickered in the firelight, giving off a sense of bleakness.
“You’re from the Mountain Manor of the Divine Ape. Why have you launched a sneak attack on us? Did the White Ape King tell you to do this?” a man in expensive robes raised his head and asked in surprise.
Earlier, he was enjoying a feast comfortably in his courtyard, but now, he had already become a prisoner. His cultivation at the second layer of the innate realm was more than enough to rule over these mines, but how could he stand a chance against over a dozen innate realm masters? He was even as familiar as he could get with some of these people’s titles. Even in Pegasus city, they would be important guests, so why had they suddenly attacked him?
“It’s not the White Ape King, but me!”
A voice rang out from the darkness. The man looked back in surprise. A pair of orangey-yellow specks glimmered in the darkness. The figure leapt onto the platform, and the swordsmen lowered their heads together. “My king!”
The man widened his eyes, but it was not the White Ape King that he was expecting. Instead, it was a burly man with arms that reached his knees, but he was unable to tell what cultivation he possessed. He made his way over and crouched down before him, tilting his head. “Are you in charge here?”
“W- who are you?”
Li Qingshan straightened himself out and yelled out from the platform, “Do you know who I am?”
No one dared to answer him. They were only miners of the lowest status. Even a mere foreman would whip them as they pleased, yet even the insurmountable mine leader Ma had to kneel there obediently.
“I am Li Qingshan…”
Li Qingshan’s voice was not particularly loud, but everyone heard him loudly and clearly. With each word he uttered and each gesture he made, the crowd gradually became heated up. Thousands of eyes were glued to the platform, to the strangely-shaped man in the firelight. It was as if he gave off a strange charm, pointing out a path to greatness for them.
Just as Gu Yanying had said, these people liked his ideas far more than the swordsmen, or in Li Qingshan’s words, Those with vested interests are much less likely to become revolutionaries compared to the oppressed, so we need to spur on the masses and depend on the masses, from the masses, to the masses.
TL: This is a reference to Mao Zedong’s “Mass Line” method, which you can read more about here.
The miners were strong and healthy, but most of them only possessed a very crude level of inner force. It was not even enough to save them when mines caved in. Everyday, they walked along the edge of death. On the other hand, death had never been something worthy of fearing in this world where martial arts were widespread. On top of that, the White Ape Sword Classic had always been a martial arts manual that even first-rate masters of the jianghu were willing to risk their lives to steal.
Towards the end, the cheers rose and fell like waves. Apart from Li Qingshan, the expressions of everyone on the platform changed. For the first time in their lives, they witnessed such an uproar.
“Are the nobles really born as nobles?” Li Qingshan spread his arms.
“Hero king! Hero king! Hero king!” The miners raised their arms and cheered.
Li Qingshan reached back and grabbed mine leader Ma, throwing him into the masses. “Now, I’ll leave him to you to handle!”
The crowd all stepped back, forming a ring. This was out of the reverence for the Ma family that had been established over the past two centuries. Mine leader Ma called out in fear and surprise, “If you even try… Pegasus city won’t spare any traitors!”
The miners were immediately angered. “Since when did those who bore the surname Ma ever spare us?”
“I was starving, so I caught a deer in the forest and was sent here. With no one to take care of my pitiful parents, they just starved to death like that!” “I didn’t do anything at all. I just said something wrong and offended someone who bore the surname Ma!” “Compared to working to our deaths here, we might as well just throw our lives away and try to achieve something!” “Throw our lives away and try to achieve something!”
The crowd swallowed the mine leader like waves. The miserable shrieks broke through the waves, ringing through the air before coming to a halt.
An innate realm master had died like that. Even the swordsmen shivered.
Li Qingshan laughed aloud before grabbing another person and throwing him into the crowd. The man shrieked in the air before being torn apart in the blink of an eye.
Shrieks rang out one by one as figures bloomed one by one as flowers of flesh and blood.
The atmosphere reached a climax. It was almost a frenzy. The tied-up prisoners shook violently, pleading for mercy loudly.
Li Qingshan spared no one. He was like a demon king from hell, feeding living people to a group of ghosts, yet he was also the embodiment of justice, breaking through the shackles and revolutionising the world!
Dawn broke. Only the traces of blood remained.
Over a dozen blacksmith furnaces were placed on the square, radiating with heat. Several thousand miners formed long queues.
Within the hisses, the smell of burnt flesh permeated the air.
Several dozen people took shifts, using scorching brands to imprint the word “World” on the chests of the miners as evidence of joining the society. Afterwards, they could collect a page of the White Ape Sword Classic. Those who were still waiting in line were all too eager, while those that had collected a page of the sword manual were brimming with joy. This was a supreme swordsmanship manual. Even if it was only a page, it was enough to send them on a skyrocketing rise and turn them into first-rate masters.
From today onwards, they did not have to work in the mines anymore. They could practise martial arts formally, and they would not be the only ones practising. It was said that they would even receive the personal guidance of the leader of the World’s society. That was something everyone here could only dream of. Many of them were illiterate, so they could not understand the sword manual. Not everyone possessed the talent to understand by themselves either.
On an empty plot of land outside the town, everyone gripped a standard-issue metal sword and stood in neat rows, swinging the sword move by move. The atmosphere was extremely fervent. A swordsman was responsible for demonstrating the moves, while the other swordsmen made their way around between the groups and gave guidance. In their eyes, these miners were extremely clumsy, basically wielding the swords as ploughs. Not a lot of them could catch their eyes, and they had passed the optimal age to learn martial arts too. If it were not for the two figures on the distant hill, they would have begun to slack off a long time ago.
However, there were also insightful people who thought, This is only the beginning. Out of all these people, there should be a few talented folk, and even if they can’t become great masters, their descendants will have plenty of opportunities!
On the hill, Gu Yanying looked back and asked, “Qingshan, how is it?”
She wore a silver hawk mask. This was forged overnight by the most skillful swordsmith in the town, used to hide her appearance that was the “greatest in the world” and make things more convenient.
“We’ve made an extremely good move. Our miner brothers are very disciplined and submissive.”
Li Qingshan nodded in commendation. Gu Yanying had not wasted the previous night. She drew up a large number of blueprints for armour and repeating crossbows and made the craftsman create them according to the blueprints. The crossbows were designed so practically and ingeniously that even the most experienced craftsmen were amazed. Instead, the issue appeared with the simplistic armour. Armour was not popular in this world, as it would only become a burden in the battles of the jianghu. Not only would it severely limit movement, but even their defences would be extremely limited. Any single master of internal martial arts could rupture organs through the armour.
However, unbeknownst to anyone, they were not trying to found a society. Instead, they were using the methods of the school of the Military and the school of Mohism to create an army. They were completely changing up the way they played the game!