Chapter 144 – The Vicious Tiger, the Venomous Snake and the Vulture
Li Qingshan did not have any backing at all. As a matter of fact, Wang Pushi had not even taken a liking to him, which was why he had directly sent him to Zhuo Zhibo’s command. If Gu Yanying really did take special note of this kid, Wang Pushi would obviously treat this kid carefully, just like how Zhuo Zhibo would carefully serve someone Wang Pushi cared about.
This was a principle that could not be more simple. Zhuo Zhibo had just been too cautious, constantly wondering, What if? The aspect that had affected him the most was still the kid’s attitude. He was just too haughty, to a point where Zhou Zhibo felt like he possessed a powerful backing.
With the cruel truth now revealed, Zhuo Zhibo only felt like he had been viciously played. His face reddened before darkening. His fury towards Li Qingshan immediately erupted.
“Please calm down, commander Zhuo,” Ge Jian persuaded in a sensible manner.
Zhuo Zhibo said frigidly, “As a Black Hawk Commander, I stand above millions. Who knows how many lives I have control over. It has been so many years since someone has been bold enough to play me like this! Li Qingshan, oh Li Qingshan, how very impressive of you!”
Ge Jian said, “Though, the kid probably won’t be able to return from Ancient Wind city. There’s no need to be angry over a dead person, commander.”
Zhuo Zhibo said, “It’s just a pity that I couldn’t kill him personally. And that Zhou Wenbin, he’s nothing good either.”
Ge Jian said, “He has been sent here all alone to serve as the district magistrate. He does not have a single Qi Practitioner under his command, so why does the commander have to put up with him? Our Hawkwolf Guard has the responsibility of monitoring the government. Why don’t we find some evidence of crimes and try to make him guilty?”
Zhuo Zhibo said, “Shut up. What evidence can you find? He comes from the Academy of the Hundred Schools. He has countless colleagues, and even the prefect appreciates him very much. If I fall out with him, I’ll only disappoint commander Wang.”
Ge Jian said, “Yes, sir. I’ve misspoken.”
Zhuo Zhibo said, “Let’s just wait for the news of this kid dying on duty!” Afterwards, he would immediately set off for Ancient Wind city and destroy the Qian family to avenge Li Qingshan, showing off the might of the Hawkwolf Guard. That old man Qian must have saved up quite a lot of things over all these years. It was time for harvesting.
This was Qian Rongzhi’s original scheme. They would kill two birds with one stone, destroying the Qian family and Li Qingshan, while Zhuo Zhibo would obtain some rich spoils of battle as well.
At dusk, Li Qingshan arrived at the open pit to the west of the mountain that the district magistrate had mentioned. The pit was not particularly large, but it was more than enough to hold the remains of over a thousand people.
There was a heavy rotting smell from the pit. Li Qingshan subconsciously held his breath. It had only been a day, but the corpses had rotted quite a lot. It was even more unbearable than the heavy smell of blood last night.
The recruited civilians were currently moving the corpses over, stripping them of their clothes and throwing it into a fire on the side before tossing the pale corpses into the open pit.
Every single person furrowed their brows as they covered their noses and mouths with moist cloth. If it were not for the hefty rewards from the district magistrate and the threat of a disease outbreak, none of them would have been willing to do this. Not only was it disgusting and unbearable, but they also felt like it would all lead to misfortune.
Black smoke rose up from the fire, floating directly into the sky. There was not the slightest breeze in the wilderness. The red sun that was about to set continued to produce a scorching heat, causing the foul air to shimmer.
Countless crows circled in the air as they cawed. They would dive down from time to time to feast on the eyes of the corpses.
All of this seemed even more ominous compared to the night before.
There probably was no other place more foul than this in the world.
The district magistrate originally maintained a wide berth from all of it, but when he heard that Li Qingshan had come as well, he rushed over in a hurry and said, “Sir, how do you find this? Is it sufficient?”
Li Qingshan nodded, but before he could even reply, the district magistrate glanced at the open pit and covered his mouth as he vomited. In the end, he scrambled away from there.
Once all the corpses were thrown into the pit, the civilians began filling up the pit with soil. This lasted until the sun had set and night had descended. Only then were they almost done.
Li Qingshan hesitated before throwing the jar in his hand into the centre of the open pit. He allowed the people to bury it together with the corpses.
Li Qingshan stood at the edge of the pit for quite a while. Even after quite some time, the stink did not disperse.
“Did you know that plants grow particularly well in places where corpses are buried? When I was young, I poisoned a dog to death. I buried it in the garden house, and from then on, the flowers that bloomed every year would be particularly beautiful.”
Li Qingshan turned around. Diao Fei and Qian Rongzhi stood nearby.
Qian Rongzhi made her way over and looked at the pit. “In under a year, this will become the place with the lushest vegetation.”
Li Qingshan had no interest in joining this conversation with her. Meanwhile, Diao Fei said, “The mission has been complete. It’s time for us to return, right?”
Li Qingshan said, “I still want to stay here for a while. I want to deal with the property and land under my name. You should return first.”
Qian Rongzhi sneered as she said, “Don’t tell me you’re thinking of running now? You don’t know Gu Yanying at all, do you? How is it possible for a bumpkin like you to know a woman like that? Zhuo Zhibo has probably already gotten to the bottom of this now. It will be your time to die when you return. However, how are you supposed to run away? There won’t be a single place in the world to shelter you if you bear the crime of betraying the Hawkwolf Guard.”
Li Qingshan grabbed Qian Rongzhi by the throat and said calmly, “Do you believe that I can kill you right now? And have you buried with those other people?”
“Stop, Li Qingshan!” Diao Fei wanted to go up and stop him, but Li Qingshan raised his left hand towards him, and he stopped.
Qian Rongzhi said with difficulty, “If you kill me, then you’ll have to silence Diao Fei as well. Can you really manage that?”
Diao Fei’s expression changed drastically. He could not help but take a few steps back as he raised his guard. After last night, he no longer believed that he was Li Qingshan’s opponent.
Li Qingshan was unfazed. His hand gradually tightened, and Qian Rongzhi’s face became bright red. Fear appeared in her eyes. Just when she felt that her neck was about to snap, the grip suddenly loosened, and she collapsed on the ground on her knees, gasping heavily.
Li Qingshan said, “Don’t piss me off.” He stared right into Qian Rongzhi’s hateful eyes. “Go back and tell Zhuo Zhibo that I’ll be returning to Jiaping very soon. If he’s sick of waiting, he can come to Ancient Wind city to find me. I welcome him at all times.”
Afterwards, he crouched down and said to Qian Rongzhi, “If you’re scheming to kill me, then you’d best be prepared. You’ll only have one chance. If you fail, I will use everything I have to kill you. Of course, it’s best if you forget about that, or perhaps one day when I’m in a bad mood, I’ll just kill you off to cheer myself up.”
Hatred was gradually replaced by fear. Qian Rongzhi felt an indescribable pressure from his calm voice. The suffocating feeling felt even more realistic than being choked earlier.
“W- what benefit would I get out of your death?” Qian Rongzhi dodged Li Qingshan’s gaze as she said stiffly.
Just like how people would always meet their match, once her vicious ‘wickedness’ was compared to Li Qingshan’s cruel and overpowering ‘wickedness’, it would naturally shy away in response.
Li Qingshan stood up and left the pit, making his way back to Ancient Wind city.
Qian Rongzhi stood up and flicked off the soil from her body. She tidied her clothes and recovered her smile. She stared at Li Qingshan’s back as she said to herself, “One… chance?”
Diao Fei shivered inside. He asked, “Are you going back?”
Qian Rongzhi said, “I’ve managed to return home after so much difficulty, so how I can leave so soon?”
Diao Fei was actually relieved by her reply. He was clearly the greatest cultivator out of the three of them, at the third layer of Qi Practitioner, and he was the oldest, so he was the most experienced in roaming the jianghu. As a matter of fact, he was even more widely-renowned compared to the two of them. His name of Diao Fei, or master Diao, was widespread in the jianghu. It was not something that a name like the Black Tiger could rival. He was known for his craftiness, coldness, and being difficult to handle.
However, he felt like he was standing between a venomous snake and a vicious tiger, constantly feeling like he could die at any time.
This was not a false impression. Whether it be Qian Rongzhi’s devilish schemes or Li Qingshan’s forceful methods, there was nothing ensuring Diao Fei’s personal safety. He faced the most amount of danger.
Qian Rongzhi wanted Qian Yannian to kill Li Qingshan, so Diao Fei would be finished off with him. When Li Qingshan directly confronted Qian Yannian, it was also very likely for Diao Fei to die if Qian Yannian unleashed his trump cards right from the beginning, summoning the Geng Metal Swords of Qi and using the Lightning Summoning talismans. Li Qingshan would not just sit by and watch this happen, but he would never expose his identity as a daemon just for him.
It had to be mentioned that Diao Fei had not gone through those life-threatening dangers when he roamed the jianghu for nothing. His senses were extremely sharp.
Earlier, when the black, vicious tiger pressed down on the colourful venomous snake and let out a threatening growl, the unrelated Diao Fei would involunatily become one of the venomous snake’s cards, which would make the vicious tiger consider whether it should show no mercy this time.
Diao Fei left in a hurry. In the end, he glanced at Qian Rongzhi from afar before vanishing into the darkness. He decided to never go on a mission with the two of them again, no, he would maintain his distance from them at all times.
The colourful venomous snake stood before the pit of a thousand corpses that she was personally responsible for as she silently produced new venom. She was even rather thankful for the threat from the black vicious tiger earlier. Once she showed her venomous fangs, that would be when she would die. Even if she succeeded, she would be ripped to shreds by a furious tiger.
However, she was not too worried. Patience had always been the best characteristic of a venomous snake. She could put up with the Qian family for over a dozen years, to the point where everyone believed she had already become docile, without any grievances towards the Qian family. It was even to the point where Qian Yannian let her go to Jiaping city to become a Hawkwolf guard.
She had already reached the second layer of Qi Practitioner three years ago. She possessed the ability to leave the Qian family. At that time, Qian Yannian had basically trusted her already, giving her as much freedom as she wanted. If she wanted to, it was completely at her discretion to flee, leaving the range of the Qian family’s influence so that Qian Yannian could not find her.
Ordinary people would have run out of patience a long time ago. They would have used the opportunity to break away from the clan, but she did not. She was willing to endure another three years of humiliation so that she seemed even more obedient, allowing her to win even more trust, just for a single opportunity to inject her venom into the throats of her enemies.
She would continue to wait patiently for a chance that would probably never appear. However, she felt like there was no need for her to do anything much at all. The figure of a vulture in the air had already enveloped the tiger. The tiger might have been startlingly fierce, but it was still too young at the end of the day.
Author’s Postscript: I really like this analogy. Hehe, how perfect! If you like it too, give me a monthly ticket in agreement! ^_^