Chapter 122 – Splattering the Parlour of Clouds and Rain with Blood (One)
As for men, they all worshipped Furong like dogs. She would never even dream of a man giving her a slap across the face!
The procuress struck out in anger. Her chubby hands were filled with true qi as they struck towards Li Qingshan. Not only was Furong the head courtesan of the Parlour of Clouds and Rain, but she was also her disciple. But to her surprise, Ge Jian blocked her. The procuress forcefully pulled back her hands. “You!”
Ge Jian said coldly, “Are you trying to attack a Hawkwolf guard?” He was stuck between a wall and a hard place as well. As long as Li Qingshan was still a Hawkwolf guard, he could not afford to just stand by and watch. This was about the pride and dignity of the Hawkwolf Guard. Most importantly, he doubted the procuress could defeat Li Qingshan with her strength.
The Parlour of Clouds and Rain gifted a large number of pills to Zhuo Zhibo every year, as well as offering various types of women. He received a share of it as well as Zhuo Zhibo’s errand boy, so he obviously did not wish to see the Parlour of Clouds and Rain suffer.
The procuress’ breathing heaved a few times before she replied with, “Fine!” She pulled up the dazed Furong and made her way out.
Li Qingshan instead returned to his seat. He said, “Hurry up. I’m waiting for the next part. Your Parlour of Clouds and Rain must have more than someone like that, right? Brother Ge, I’m waiting!”
All he heard were shrill, hoarse screams from Furong. She had finally returned to her senses. “I want to kill him! I want to kill him!”
Ge Jian looked back, and the sunkenness on his face had vanished. He smiled helplessly. “Qingshan, if you don’t like her, then you don’t like her. Why must you hit her? There aren’t a lot of women skilled in the arts of charm. It’s not like you can’t try them from time to time.” He made it sound like Furong had been wronged that even Diao Fei wondered whether he had made this happen on purpose or not.
“She’s just a whore, so if she has been hit, then she has been hit! There’s nothing you can do about it!” Li Qingshan leaned onto a soft cushion without minding much at all. He raised his chin, and a female attendant to the side hurriedly picked up a grape, feeding it into his mouth carefully. He seemed just like a scoundrel.
This damned brothel was actually bold enough to work with Zhuo Zhibo against him, so he wanted to copy garrison major Lu, demanding five kilograms of lean meat, minced finely without a speck of fat in there, then demanding five kilograms of fat meat, also minced finely without a speck of lean meat in there, and finally, demanding five kilograms of cartilage, finely minced and without a speck of meat in there.1
Out of the women who came to serve him next, he would ask for well-endowed and plump ones if they were skinny, slapping the procuress across the face. If they were plump, he would ask for skinny and pretty ones, also slapping the procuress across the face. However, he did not seem like garrison major Lu. He seemed more like a part from a crosstalk?
“Let me go check on them!” Only after Ge Jian had stepped outside did he show his anger. He never thought these ultimate moves of the Parlour of Clouds and Rain would actually fail to conquer a country bumpkin of a kid from the mountains. However, it was still not time for him to fall out with Li Qingshan. As long as Zhuo Zhibo had yet to get to the bottom of Li Qingshan’s relationship with Gu Yanying, Zhuo Zhibo would never be bold enough to fall out with him, and as long as Zhuo Zhibo was afraid of turning against him, he would be afraid of turning against him.
Most importantly, he was worried that even if he did turn against Li Qingshan, he would not be the kid’s opponent. Ge Jian had leapt in fright from the slap earlier. Within a range of ten steps, Li Qingshan could move as swiftly as a tiger or a panther if he suddenly wanted to attack. Even he was uncertain as to whether he would suffer from something like that. Were Body Practitioners really that powerful?
In less than fifteen minutes, Ge Jian had returned. Behind him was the procuress, who smiled from ear to ear as if nothing had happened at all. Who knew what Ge Jian had said to her. She even brought seven or eight young women with him, every single one of them with a great figure regardless of their differences. The eldest was only sixteen or seventeen, while the youngest was only fourteen or fifteen.
“Little brother, it seems like you don’t like mature women. Here are some women we’ve recently groomed. They’re guaranteed to be clean, so why don’t you pick a few to take back with you as maidservants? Their price is very negotiable.” The procuress pinched the cheek of a young lady beside her as she introduced them to Li Qingshan.
The women all looked at Li Qingshan, and many of their gazes were eager. Being sold and taken away before they had received any guests was the good fortune they were all hoping for, not to mention that this was an upright and sturdy young man, not some pot-bellied merchant or some bony old man.
Ge Jian said, “I think you should have a person or two to serve you on the mountain. With how big your bed is, it’s a waste if it’s just for one person.” Seeing how he could not complete Zhuo Zhibo’s mission, he came up with another plan. He saw how this kid seemed like a person who placed great emphasis on his ties with people. As long as an additional burden appeared beside him, they could use it to threaten him.
Looking at the young women who were lined up and waiting to be chosen, just like livestock, Li Qingshan suddenly felt sadness. He looked at the fat procuress again and felt even more disgusted by her. He was really tempted to just cut her down right here. However, he also knew that in a day and age like this, brothels were proper businesses. Many people who had daughters and were reluctant to raise them due to favouring males, or were unable to raise them, would send them here. It was basically a path for them to survive.
Li Qingshan asked, “Did you get into all of this willingly?”
The young women looked at one another before finally lowering their heads and saying yes.
Li Qingshan lost his interest in them. He stood up. “That’s it for today. I want to go home and sleep!” He made his way out, but when he walked past one of the young women, she shoved a piece of paper into his hand.
Qing Xiu looked at that tall, wide figure with eagerness. Ever since she had been abducted and brought here, many years had passed already. She had sunken into despair a long time ago, but the slap from Li Qingshan earlier made her recover a ray of hope, enough for her to take such a great risk. He was different from other men. If it were him, perhaps he would report it to the authorities and save her, as well as her siblings. It was said that the district magistrate was a good official, the best of the best. He would definitely help them.
However, she saw Li Qingshan suddenly stop, just unfurling the piece of paper there. Afterwards, he asked her, “Did you give this to me?”
Everyone’s gazes immediately gathered on that one woman. In particular, the procuress managed to catch a glimpse of the words written on the paper. There was some killing intent in her eyes.
Qing Xiu lowered her head deeply as if someone was staring daggers at her. She thought about the fates of the sisters who had tried to escape or betray the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. Despair flooded her face. She was filled with deep regret. Inside, she wholeheartedly resented Li Qingshan. Are you an idiot? Don’t you know how powerful they are in the Parlour of Clouds and Rain? I’m done for because of you!
Li Qingshan stowed the piece of paper away as he patted the young lady’s shoulder with a smile. “I’m asking you. Why aren’t you answering me? You could have just mentioned it earlier.” I’ve bid my time for ten years! I’ve been filled with an urge to enforce and uphold justice a long time ago, just waiting for injustice!
He felt like he had spoken very amiably, but Qing Xiu only grew paler.
The procuress could already tell that Li Qingshan was a troublemaker. She immediately pulled Qing Xiu behind her. “She has lost her mind. Don’t take it seriously.” Qing Xiu had always been a clever and obedient girl. She never opposed anything that she was told to do, so the procuress thought she was just about done with her grooming, which was why she took her out to see Li Qingshan. However, she never thought that in such an important moment, she would actually do something like that. The procuress would definitely beat her to death later on and make an example out of her.
Li Qingshan said, “Didn’t you want me to choose someone? I’ll choose her!”
The procuress said, “Why don’t you take her away?” Then she turned to Li Qingshan and smiled. “There are plenty of girls in our parlour. It really would be wrong of us to let you choose one who has lost her mind!” She bickered in a babbling manner.
Immediately, two powerful guards took Qing Xiu away.
“Stop!” Li Qingshan raised his foot, about to chase them, but the procuress blocked him with her plump body in an agile manner. He wanted to make his way around her, but Ge Jian grabbed his hand. “Qingshan, where are you going? She’s just a whore, that’s all!”
This was what Li Qingshan had just said to Ge Jian, but Li Qingshan immediately turned around and answered. “You’re a whore! Let go of me!” He shook his arm. Ge Jian was no opponent of Li Qingshan’s great strength, so he was immediately forced to let go. His face changed. “What did you say?” He was a mighty Hawkwolf guard, yet he had just been labelled as a whore, so he could not help but lose his temper. He could not be bothered about holding back anymore.
The guards both possessed martial arts. They seemed like they were just walking, but they moved extremely quickly. In the blink of an eye, they had left the room, merging with the crowd.
Li Qingshan paid no attention to Ge Jian, taking a step forward, but what he ran into was a pile of fat. The procuress felt like she had just been struck by a rampaging elephant, smashing through the window and corridor railing behind her as she flew towards the hollow centre of the building. She directly fell down from the seventh floor.
She screamed out along the way down, “Stop him!” With a palm strike, true qi surged out, and her plump body moved horizontally, landing in the corridor of the third floor.
Li Qingshan had already rushed out using the path that had been cleared by the procuress. All he saw was a crowd of heads. He could not see Qing Xiu at all, but he sniffed with his nose and caught a smell.
Out of his senses, the one that exceeded ordinary people the most was his sense of smell. The vision and hearing of ordinary Qi Practitioners would become extremely sharp as long as they practised true qi and opened their meridians. They could see mosquitos and hear ants walking from hundreds of meters away. However, their sense of smell would not grow by much, not even becoming on par with a stray hound on the street. This was due to their innate restrictions.
However, Li Qingshan’s sense of smell had become much stronger than a dog’s a long time ago. He pursued as he followed the trail that the smell left behind.
“Where are you going, little brother?” A few beautifully dressed women of the brothel rushed over from somewhere, filling up the corridor and entangling with him, grabbing his arms and legs.
Li Qingshan said, “Piss off!” He did not have any intention to go soft on women at all. With a spurt of true qi, he sent the women flying.
As he quickly descended down to the sixth floor, a valiant guard in yellow seemed like he had heard the procuress’ cries, so he rushed out from his room. He immediately spotted Li Qingshan and blocked his way rigidly. From his aura, he seemed like a first-rate master.
The guard had just thrown a first-rate master out today, so he was quite full of himself. When he saw Li Qingshan stride over, he could tell that he was a Qi Practitioner, but only at the first layer. As such, he was confident that he could take him on or even defeat him. He had always looked down on these people who directly practised qi due to their better innate talent. With the same voice he used when he scolded customers, he yelled, “Stop!”
“If it’s just frail women, so be it. They’ve just been used by people. However, for a good man like you to help the bad, you deserve death!” Li Qingshan said. He continued without stopping, and he had already drawn out the Wind-entwining blade. The shiny blade flashed.
The guard in yellow was just about to attack him, but his neck felt a chill before flying up into the air. The world spun around him such that he almost saw his own body. A few more guards wanted to rush over, but when they saw their leader’s head knocked into the air by the spurt of blood from his neck, their legs immediately seemed to become rooted to the ground as they became afraid to even take a step forward.
1. This comes from a part in Water Margin where Lu Zhishen, or garrison major Lu Da in this part of the story, purposefully makes things difficult for a butcher who harasses people with over-the-top demands so that he could pick a fight with the butcher, who he ended up killing with three punches. This comes from chapter 6 of Water Margin.