Chapter 105 – Winning People Over with Force
Li Qingshan smiled silently. He neither confirmed nor denied it.
Yan Song said, “Did the Black Wolf guard Feng Zhang die to your hands as well?” Originally, he refused to consider such an absurd possibility. A Black Wolf guard, five first-rate masters, and a great group of second and third-rate masters would actually die to a little known kid. However, he believed it somewhat now.
Li Qingshan still did not answer.
Yan Song drew out his hand. He was not holding the talisman anymore.
Li Qingshan smiled, “We’re not continuing to fight?”
Yan Song said, “You’re dead already. There’s no point for me to waste something like that on a dead man.”
Li Qingshan said, “Oh? How come?”
Yan Song said, “You kill a Black Wolf guard. Do you think you can still live?”
Li Qingshan dodged the question. “That’s something you don’t have to worry about. Please return my items!”
Yan Song paled. Liu Hong pulled Li Qingshan to the side and pleaded, “Qingshan, I didn’t know you would return alive, which was why I dug up those things. If you want silver, I’ll give it to you, alright?”
Li Qingshan shrugged. “That’s what I was asking for in the first place.” He wanted to reason with Yan Song, but what could he do when Yan Song was unreasonable? He was forced to talk through his fists.
Liu Hong shot a glance, and the disciples of the Iron Fist school dispersed the crowd. The large martial arts platform emptied out.
At this moment, Ye Dachuan arrived in a carriage. After looking at everyone’s expressions and seeing the redness that had yet to fade from Yan Song’s face, he gained a rough understanding as to what had happened. He found it satisfying. In the past few days, he had been holding banquets and inviting Yan Song, but all this shitty protector did was look down on him. The protector finally knew what was what now!
He put on an act and coughed twice. “Protector Yan, do you have misunderstandings with sheriff Li? As they say, it’s better to resolve grievances than to deepen them. I’ll play the host for lunch and serve as a mediator for the two of you.”
Yan Song interrupted him. “There’s no need. I have nothing to say to a dead man!”
Li Qingshan said, “Why don’t you say that again!?” He had been defeated, yet he was still so arrogant. Do you really think I won’t kill you?
Yan Song sneered, but as expected, he was no longer bold enough to keep talking. There was nothing he could do given the current circumstances.
Ye Daochan asked in surprise, “What dead man?” After hearing the whole story, he began to worry for Li Qingshan as expected.
Li Long whispered, “Qingshan, you’d better go!” He received a cold glare from Yan Song.
Li Qingshan sneered inside, Do you really think I’m done for? He said nonchalantly, “I’m about to go to Jiaping city to join the Hawkwolf Guard.”
“What!” Everyone was shocked.
“What a joke! Just with- hmph!” Yan Song sneered. Originally, he wanted to say, “Just with you.” but then he remembered that Li Qingshan truly possessed the necessary strength, so he could only sneer in contempt.
Ye Dachuan asked, “And what’s that about?”
Li Qingshan said, “The Scarlet Hawk commander, old Wang, wants me to report to Zhuo Zhibo in Jiaping city.”
Yan Song cried out, “How is that possible? You killed Feng Zhang! You’re an enemy of the Hawkwolf Guard!”
Ye Dachuan asked, “I- is that true?”
Li Qingshan took out the Black Wolf tablet and waved it around. “Feng Zhang has already been expelled from the Hawkwolf Guard. I’m basically replacing him!”
Discreetness was a wild beast lying in ambush, waiting for a critical moment to kill its prey. It was not about allowing some scoundrel to despise and look down on him. It would only lead to trouble in the end. That was not called remaining discreet. That was called stupidity. If you lowered yourself all the way to the ground, you could not blame others for treading on you. Demonstrating enough strength and might was the only consistent method for reducing trouble.
Liu Hong and Li Long looked at each other. Both of them were speechless. What kind of luck was that? Half a year ago, Li Qingshan was just a kid from the country. All he could do was face off against some scoundrel from the street. Yet now, he had already joined the fearsome Hawkwolf Guard. He was basically rising through the world.
Li Qingshan remained calm. Yan Song refused to believe it, but he was forced to believe it. After arriving in Qingyang, he had made some investigations of his own. He also knew that the person who took away Li Qingshan that day in the restaurant was the Scarlet Wolf commander, Hua Chengzan, taking Feng Zhang and him to see Wang Pushi.
He simply could not understand why the two of them would come to such a horrible place. However, the outcome was very clear. In the end, Li Qingshan returned, while Feng Zhang died from an unnatural death. The two of them did not help their own subordinate, Feng Zhang. The reason for this was definitely thought-provoking, but it was very clear now.
Wang Pushi had actually expelled Feng Zhang on the spot, and Li Qingshan was actually bold enough to call Wang Pushi ‘old Wang’. Did he have some kind of relationship with Wang Pushi? When he looked at Li Qingshan, his gaze at him had already changed.
Originally, he thought that even if the Hawkwolf Guard would not search for Li Qingshan, he would still have to come up with a way to seek revenge. However, he could not help but dismiss this thought now. In this world, only the Hawkwolf Guard dealt retribution to others. There was no one bold enough to deal retribution to the Hawkwolf Guard.
After further thought, he regretted his rash actions. Li Qingshan was so young, yet he was already so strong. Moreover, he could survive in the face of such danger. There might have been someone backing him. How could he actually treat him as an ordinary kid?
“That’s fantastic!” Ye Dachuan was overjoyed. “I was originally worried that you couldn’t go to Jiaping, but we can go together now.”
Li Qingshan said, “I’m still considering whether to go or not.”
Ye Dachuan said, “Why wouldn’t you go? Joining the Hawkwolf Guard is awesome. You don’t even need to pay the entry fee when you go to brothels or gambling parlours.”
Li Qingshan sweated slightly. Is this the benefit that comes with joining the Hawkwolf Guard? If old Wang was present, he’d probably kill you with a swing of his baton.
Ye Dachuan said, “It’s not early. Come, come, come. Let’s talk and eat.”
Liu Hong would never let Ye Dachuan make the arrangements. He had already made his disciples prepare everything. Yan Song’s expression changed several times, but he eventually sat down as well. He no longer said anything along the lines of ‘I have nothing to say to a dead man.’
Afterwards, under the mediation of Ye Dachuan and Liu Hong, Yan Song drank a few cups of alcohol and used the tipsiness to set up a situation for himself. He clinked cups with Li Qingshan and said awkwardly, “Y- young hero Li…” He no longer pursued the matter regarding hall chief Wu. Even their main branch leader would scold him for offending a Hawkwolf Guard over a single hall chief.
Li QIngshan smiled. “Protector Yan, I’ve offended you earlier. I’ll drink three cups in atonement to you.” He finished off his current cup before drinking another three. There was no reason to, nor did he want to develop grievances with others. If he could resolve it, it would obviously be for the best.
There were a series of praises from the table, and Yan Song’s complexion improved drastically.
Liu Hong said, “We’re all people of the jianghu, and we all have short tempers. There’s nothing strange about getting into conflict, but it’s just like what they say, it’s better to resolve grievances than to develop them. You’ll never get to know each other unless there are disagreements, right? With an additional friend comes an additional path, while an additional foe leads to an additional wall. I’ve lived for so long. My martial arts are nothing special, but that’s what I’ve relied on to live until now.”
Ye Dachuan added, “Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s just like that!” He secretly praised Li Qingshan for knowing when to stop. He knew how to use his strength, but he did not harass those weaker than him. His conduct did not make him seem like a sixteen-year-old at all.
Both of them were experienced. They were both great at leading the atmosphere. With Li Qingshan’s apology, the atmosphere mellowed out as they talked to one another. Yan Song asked Li Qingshan about his relationship with Wang Pushi shamelessly. This was also something that everyone else was curious about, so they all fell quiet, only looking at Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan did not want to strut about in borrowed plumes. “So this old Wang is called Wang Pushi. I’m not close with him.”
Everyone became disappointed, but Yan Song refused to believe it. Wang Pushi doesn’t know you, yet he treated you like this, expelling Feng Zhang for you?
As a result, he asked again, “Even in the Clear River city, the two of them usually never show themselves, so what brought them to Qingyang city?”
Li Qingshan did not try to hide anything. He roughly explained the matter regarding Gu Yanying, but he avoided the topics of the Dark Queen and the cat daemon.
“White Hawk commander! Bodhi Brew!” Yan Song gulped. To him, that was a figure of the legends. Both her strength and authority had reached a level he could not even begin to imagine. And, there had been the renowned Bodhi Brew as well. Only their main branch leader was fortunate enough to drink a cup of it. Many of his suspicions were completely dispelled now. He could totally imagine just how furious he would be if he tried to suck up to the main branch leader, yet an insensible subordinate dragged him down instead.
“You’ve caught commander Gu’s attention! Qingshan, your future is limitless!” His resentment and discontent from being slapped in the face earlier immediately vanished. When he looked at Li Qingshan now, there was even some respect in his eyes.
He was like a small bureaucrat who had heard that a fellow bureaucrat had met the leader of the country and even conversed warmly with him. Consequently, he was unable to help himself but to develop feelings of respect and admiration. There was no point clinging to these small grievances anymore.
“Perhaps!” Li Qingshan discovered that the entire Iron Fist school, regardless of status, knew how to handle situations very well. However, his feelings were rather mixed. That extraordinarily carefree woman in clothes even whiter than snow had only invited him to a cup of alcohol, yet it could completely change how an innate master treated him. It also made him realise the difference that existed between the two of them.
Ye Dachuan gasped. “That’s the three major pillars of the Ruyi commandery!” He had spent most of his life in Clear River city. Although he possessed neither intellect nor martial might, he was very familiar with the rumors and gossip on the streets.
Li Qingshan asked out of curiosity, “What do you mean by the three major pillars of the Ruyi commandery?”
Yan Song said, “The Marquis of Ruyi Jiang Fu, the White Hawk commander Gu Yanying, and the great general Han Anguo. They come from the schools of Confucianism, Legalism, and the Military respectively. Jiang Fu handles the government affairs, leading the nine prefectures. Gu Yanying leads the Hawkwolf Guard, responsible for upholding the law. Han Anguo controls the army of the Han family and the military power. Every single one of them is a figure of utmost authority. On the streets, they’re known as the three pillars of the Ruyi commandery. I’ve heard that out of them, commander Gu is the most renowned.”
Ye Dachuan said, “Even if you ignore their backgrounds, the Hawkwolf Guard is responsible for monitoring the army and the officials. This commander Gu is also the last person that people are willing to offend. Li Qingshan, seeing how you received preferential treatment from her, you can rise up in a single stroke immediately.”
Li Qingshan silently remembered this information. As it turned out, the Hawkwolf Guard originated from the school of Legalism. The two from the schools of Confucianism and the Military probably were not a mere scholar or soldier either. How could they be ordinary if they stood on par with Gu Yanying? The depth of the world truly was unfathomable. But of course, most people would never get the chance to come into contact with any of these three in their entire lives.
At the same time, he felt like his decision to reconcile with Yan Song could not be more correct. Although an additional friend would not always lead to an additional path, he definitely knew many things that Li Qingshan did not since Yan Song came from the Clear River city. News was extremely important to Li Qingshan. It would even influence his decision on whether to go to Jiaping city or not.
Afterwards, he learnt from Ye Dachuan that aside from the three major pillars of the Ruyi commandery, the Clear River prefecture had three minor pillars as well. They were the prefect of Clear River, the Scarlet Hawk commander and the general of Clear River.