Chapter 125 – Suing the Parlour of Clouds and Rain
Over these years, Zhou Wenbin had invested millions of taels of silver into Jiaping city, easing the burden that came with taxes and costs to help the city achieve its current prosperity. As the magistrate of the district, not only was he not greedy, refusing to take bribes, but he even spent much of his own money into this place, governing Jiaping to a point where there was not a single beggar on the streets.
It was exactly because of that that he had been received with such reverence as soon as he came to the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. Of course, he did not do this because of the doctrines of great scholarly sages, or because he wholeheartedly wanted to be a good official where the people came first. Instead, he had deeper concerns to consider as a Qi Practitioner.
However, it was exactly under these circumstances that very few people were willing to sell their daughters into this pit of suffering. To a brothel, if they did not have a fresh and abundant ‘supply’, they would obviously go to great lengths and do everything that they could.
The Parlour and Clouds and Rain had never been too worried about this district magistrate; they relied on their relationship with Zhuo Zhibo and their backing from the Sect of Clouds and Rain. They would just slight him from year to year. Zhou Wenbin had his worries as well, so he was reluctant to stir up trouble, ignoring the Parlour of Clouds and Rain that had been so popular with the people. However, now that someone had served as the vanguard for him, he obviously would use this opportunity to benefit himself in one way or another, placing some pressure on the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. Of course, he would just be applying some force to them. It was impossible for him to destroy them in a single stroke.
Li Qingshan frowned. He had been expecting this. If the Parlour of Clouds and Rain could be uprooted so easily, they would not be around still. Probably even the investigations at Fishes’ Gully would be pointless.
Anyways, a person saved was a person saved, while a criminal killed was a criminal dead. He did not plan on destroying the Parlour of Clouds and Rain in a single stroke either, but even if he could not destroy an evil organisation like this immediately, he wanted to deal a blow to them. However, it was still not enough right now.
Zhao Liangqing smiled with a sinister, complacent smile. “Sir Zhou, if there is nothing else, please punish Li Qingshan for murdering the innocent. And, please get him to release our head courtesan, Furong.”
What he said at the end actually led to a chorus of agreement from the entire crowd.
Li Qingshan said, “That’s a matter of our Hawkwolf Guard. An outsider like you has no right to butt in on this. Those guards blocked the Hawkwolf Guard from carrying out their business, so they only deserved death. As for the procuress, she directly attacked me. Many people can serve as witnesses. Big brother Zhuo has personally taught me before just how I should handle situations like this. I’ve only been complying with that.”
Zhuo Zhibo managed to force something out from his gritted teeth. “Master Zhao, these are all small matters, so it’s best if you don’t bicker over them anymore.” He had to bide his time until he got to the bottom of Li Qingshan’s backing. It was obvious just how he would erupt when he found out that Li Qingshan had no proper connection to Gu Yanying at all.
How could Li Qingshan waste such a perfect period of time? Obviously, he would screw him over whenever he had the chance. He would take advantage of him as much as possible first.
Zhou Wenbin said to Li Qingshan, “You should release that woman first!”
Li Qingshan called out, “Sir, we can’t release her! Here’s the evidence! I have grievances to settle! I want to sue the Parlour of Clouds and Rain!”
Veins popped out from Zhao Liangqing’s forehead, while Zhou Wenbin almost broke into laughter. You utterly crushed the Parlour of Clouds and Rain in a slaughter; you even killed off the procuress, yet now you actually have grievances, wanting to sue the Parlour of Clouds and Rain!
After coughing gently twice, he held back his smile. “For what do you want to sue the Parlour of Clouds and Rain?”
Li Qingshan lifted up Furong. “I want to sue the Parlour of Clouds and Rain for offering fake commodities. They’ve falsely labelled what they were offering, cheating the common people out of what they paid for. They’ve deeply hurt my feelings!”
Zhao Liangqing held back his intense urge to curse aloud. True qi surged from the centre of Li Qingshan’s palm, and Furong immediately fainted. Having fallen unconscious, she could no longer use her arts of charm. Even ordinary people could see her true appearance. Li Qingshan lifted her high up.
“Please look, everyone! This is the true appearance of the head courtesan, Furong. Why don’t you ask yourselves whether I was right earlier or not?”
Basically everyone rubbed their eyes at the same time before becoming stunned. Their dreams shattered. W- was this really Furong? Was this really the woman they dreamed of? Why had they gone as far as to spend every penny they had just to see her? They questioned themselves and realised that they really were idiots.
Regurgitation. Many people directly began vomiting This tremendous disparity between reality and their fantasies made them feel even sicker than eating a hundred flies. Filth poured and flowed through the magnificent Parlour of Clouds and Rain as if this was its original form.
There were also people who refused to believe it, perhaps due to falling too deeply into the arts of charm. They knelt on the ground as they wept bitterly while crying out, “That’s impossible! That’s not Furong! It’s all fake! It’s all a lie!”
Zhou Liangqing flew into a fury. He took a step forward, and true qi crushed down, A large part of the floor collapsed. However, two auras that were even stronger than his immediately locked onto him. One came from Zhuo Zhibo, while the other came from Zhou Wenbin. They were two sixth layer Qi Practitioners who had split open seas of qi.
Regardless of their reasons or intentions, they could not just stand down as Zhao Liangqing attacked Li Qingshan. The two of them were the symbols of law in Jiaping city, the presentation of the authority of the government. They could not allow the law and authority to be defied or broken. Li Qingshan seemed arrogant, but he stuck close to the word ‘reason’.
Li Qingshan did not even glance at Zhao Liangqing. All he said loudly was, “You spent astronomical sums of silver just to see this. Tell me, hasn’t it been unjust?” Afterwards, he casually tossed Furong to Zhao Liangqing, “You don’t need to ask for her. If it’s something like her, I don’t want her even if you’re giving her to me!”
Furong gradually woke up and saw how everyone’s gazes towards her were different now. She instinctively used her arts of charm, but it was very difficult for them to be enchanted again after the mental shock from earlier unless they possessed particularly weak willpower.
She screamed hysterically, “What’s wrong with you all? Don’t you like me? I’m Furong!” However, she was stopped by Zhao Liangqing, who ordered, “Send her to her room.”
Of course, as time went on, the memories of many people would blur, and perhap her arts of charm would regain the upper hand. However, who knows how long that would take. These techniques that could affect the minds of people did not just depend on the user, but also the environment. Since sounds and smells played a part, the verbal agreement of people could also affect it. When everyone said you were a great beauty, you would be a great beauty, but if the exact opposite happened, it would only make things more difficult.
Li Qingshan had basically destroyed the many years of painstaking effort from the head courtesan Furong and the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. It was no wonder why Zhao Liangqing would react so violently.
Zhou Wenbin smiled as he stroked his beard. “Well, you’ve basically agreed and accepted her out of your own free will with prior knowledge. It would be inappropriate for me to judge this.” If he agreed to Li Qingshan, probably half the men in all of Jiaping city would want to sue.
Afterwards, he said to Qing Xiu, “Lady, please return to my office with me. That’ll be the end of today!” He had already sent a guard of the government to travel through the night to Fishes’ Gully for investigations. Although it would probably lead to nothing, it was still worth a try.
In the end, he said to Li Qingshan, “You were involved in this case too, so you must pay a visit to my government office tomorrow.” Clearly, he had something he wanted to tell him, but it was inconvenient before the eyes of the public. As such, he reminded him again.
Li Qingshan said, “I understand, sir.”
Qing Xiu tidied up her clothes and thanked him, but Li Qingshan said, “You don’t need to thank me. I should be the one thanking you.” It made Qing Xiu’s eyes widen in confusion. However, at least she managed to escape from this abyss of misery, which was fantastic. Sir Zhou really is as rumored. He is a good official. I will definitely expose the Parlour of Clouds and Rain and save my suffering sisters.
Zhou Wenbin left with his guards and Qing Xiu, while Zhuo Zhibo departed with his Hawkwolf guards as well. Li Qingshan followed behind them obediently and even added, “Thank you for taking charge for me, commander Zhuo!”
The customers all dispersed as well. Many of them were utterly depressed or filled with indignation. They swore they would never come again.
But that was how matters were. They would be equal. Whenever there was someone unhappy, there would be someone happy. To the pleasant surprise of many dissatisfied housewives of Jiaping city, they discovered that their men had actually returned, no longer wallowing in the joyhouse constantly now. They were thankful that Li Qingshan had made a mess out of the Parlour of Clouds and Rain. The men also discovered that compared to Furong, their own wives were all the greatest of beauties. As a result, they reconciled with their wives, and what happened next would go without saying.
Li Qingshan was in a good mood as well, so as a result, in the exact opposite fashion, Zhao Liangqing stared at the empty parlour and roared inside, I will make you wish you were dead.
It was quite a coincidence, as Li Qingshan was thinking of the same thing as well. He witnessed injustice, and if this source of all of it was not eliminated, it would never be over. You resent me, but I haven’t forgotten about you either!
However, it was inconvenient for him to assume his original form and kill Zhao Liangqing. They had just fallen out with each other, so if Zhao Liangqing was dead the next day, people would probably suspect him. He still wanted to save this valuable opportunity for Zhuo Zhibo.
Trump cards would only demonstrate their greatest strength when hidden away, unleashed in the final moment. Unless he ran out of choices, he would never resort to it. Right now, increasing his apparent strength on the surface was his priority. Right now, he could try his luck even when he came across fourth layer Qi Practitioners, so he believed that as long as he made it to the second layer of Qi Practitioner, he could match them evenly.
Along the way, Zhuo Zhibo and the Black Wolf guards all remained silent. Their gazes towards Li Qingshan became more hostile.
Li Qingshan was delighted by the peace he received. He directly returned to his residence and said to Xiao An, “It was all thanks to your warning today, or I would have fallen for their trick. How did you know I had fallen for the charming technique?”
Xiao An used his finger to write on Li Qingshan’s palm.
As it turned out, he could see through the thin walls of the jar with his fiery eyes, seeing Furong. The so-called white bone and great beauty was about seeing through all illusions such that the mind was just as clear and pure as śarīra, unaffected by any illusions of appearance. Let alone these mere arts of charm, even impressive illusions would fail to fool his eyes.
The Path of White Bone and Great Beauty completely surpassed the cultivation methods of the Sect of Clouds and Rain. It even far surpassed most of the cultivation methods of this world. The remaining portion of cultivation methods were not equal to it either. They could only be said to be a little closer to the Path of White Bone and Great Beauty.
Li Qingshan spent an entire afternoon submerged in the library. He did not only look at the martial arts manuals, but he also gained a rough understanding of the cultivation methods of this world. There was no need for him to go to the second floor. There were plenty of informative books on the ground floor.
To the Qi Practitioners of orthodox clans and sects, the information was probably general knowledge, but to him, it was like opening the door to a brand new world. Every single bit of understanding was news to him.