Chapter 46 – The Weak are Impolite
I practise an ability that I’ve just gained a grasp over. Li Qingshan could not say that, so he answered politely, “It’s only a form of crude martial arts for enduring beatings. Then… old hero Liu, you punched me over a hundred times earlier, so I’ll just take a thousand taels of silver.”
His tone was much more polite compared to before; it was the politeness of a shopkeeper treating the customer as king.
The others were still submerged in shock. They suspected they were dreaming. “You-” Just when the first senior brother wanted to yell at Li Qingshan, Li Qingshan glanced at him, and he immediately shut up. Instead, he glared at Li Long, Didn’t you say he was a third-rate master?
Li Long also felt embarrassed and aggrieved. Back then, Li Qingshan truly was a third-rate master. Had he been hiding his strength? That was the only explanation now. He would never be able to believe that Li Qingshan had reached his current level from recent hard work.
Liu Hong waved his hand. “Bring the silver!”
“Shut your mouth!”
Liu Hong handed a silver note worth a thousand taels to Li Qingshan. “I was rude earlier. Young… hero Li, please forgive me. Please accept this money as my apology.”
Li Qingshan was stunned. He had never thought that Liu Hong’s tone would change so quickly; he was truly Li Long’s master after all. Originally, Li Qingshan had thought he would become enraged from the humiliation.
“Young hero, you are extraordinary and possess impressive martial arts. If you remain in the underbrush like this, wouldn’t that be a waste of your talent? Why don’t you join my Iron Fist school instead? You won’t be disappointed. As for the Black Wind stronghold, I’ll help you talk to them, and that Black Bear should respect what I say. Why wouldn’t people die when they’re roaming the jianghu? Why is it that only a boss of yours is allowed to kill people? As the saying goes, just mind your own business…”
Liu Hong rambled on. His mighty aura vanished completely, instead making him seem like a benevolent old man who was concerned for a junior.
The disciples had never even imagined that such a side to their master existed. All of their eyes widened.
Suddenly, Li Qingshan realised that he was now on equal footing to Liu Hong. He was even slightly higher than Liu Hong, unlike when he arrived here. At the time, Liu Hong had looked down on him. This change was all due to the impressive ‘martial arts’ he had displayed.
Liu Hong now treated him with courtesy, so he returned the courtesy. “I was the one who was rude earlier, having offended old hero Liu. The money was just a joke of mine, so please take it back!” Only after both of them tried to concede the money to the other did Li Qingshan accept it. Li Qingshan eased up.
“Thank you for old hero’s praise, but I have no plans to join any gang right now. I wasn’t hiding before but training. I will personally eliminate the plague called the Black Wind stronghold! I’m just investigating some information right now.”
Liu Hong said, “The Black Wind stronghold was established all those years ago, so how can they be uprooted so easily? I’m confident that I’m not weaker than the Black Bear, but if I took on the Black Wind stronghold alone, it would be certain doom for me. The battlefield is unlike individual matches. Just my stamina alone is insufficient.”
In the jianghu, not only did people fight with martial arts, but they also fought with influence. He recognised Li Qingshan’s martial prowess, but he was still just a loner with no influence.
Li Qingshan shook his head slightly, “I have my plans.”
Liu Hong could not persuade him otherwise, so he told him everything that had happened recently in the jianghu and near Qingyang city in detail.
Li Qingshan heard that the Black Wind stronghold had gone to make trouble for the Drawn Reins village. “Old hero Liu, I have a request. Please spread this piece of news as much as possible, that I, Li Qingshan, am in Qingyang city, and I haven’t run away. I will be responsible for my own actions. I will never get others involved.”
“Alright. It’s just like the saying, great men are made during their youth. I believe you won’t need to fear anyone if you remain in Qingyang city!” Liu Hong said, “Also, the Dragon’s Gate sect has sent many people to the Drawn Reins village in a bid to see hunting chief Huang. Who knows what they’re trying to do?”
Li Qingshan thought about it and understood it was for the spiritual ginseng, but he also remembered that he had an old debt to settle with the young master of the Dragon’s Gate sect. He could not help but sneer. “Thank you for the advice, old hero. I still have some matters to attend to, so I’ll take my leave.”
Liu Hong sent Li Long to accompany Li Qingshan. Afterwards, his face suddenly changed, and he smashed a wooden training dummy with a punch. “If anyone even says a word about what happened today outside, you better not blame my fists for showing no mercy!”
The first senior brother Wang Lei cried out, “Master!” But he said nothing else.
Liu Hong saw how the other disciples were all aggrieved; they refused to accept this. The disciples all felt ashamed from how Liu Hong transitioned from arrogance to humility.
Liu Hong sighed. “You all feel that I’ve tried to flatter and please him far too much earlier, don’t you? However, we really were rude to him in the first place.”
“But… didn’t you order us disciples to…”
“If he were just a third-rate master, I would never say we were in the wrong even if I killed him just then from how arrogant and rude he was. However, he’s not. We’re the ones who had underestimated him. To treat a master who is even beyond the second-rate like this, we’re the ones who were rude and offended him. This is why slaughter never stops in the jianghu.”
“Isn’t fighting and dying because of such foolishness? In the jianghu, the strong is respected. If I didn’t know that, I wouldn’t still be alive right now. You’ve all had it far too easily by staying in Qingyang city. Even when there are passing masters, I’m the one who comes forward and takes care of them, protecting you. That’s why you don’t even understand such a simple principle.”
If Li Qingshan were present, he would definitely burst out with laughter. As it turned out, the weak would always be impolite. Not only would they be impolite, they would also be unreasonable and powerless as well. Compared to attempting to discern the right from the wrong with everything in the world, this was much simpler and more practical.
However, this was the principle of an experienced member of the jianghu. He could not pride himself as a veteran. He had to yield whenever he needed to. It was exactly because of this principle that he managed to retire peacefully.
The disciples all lowered their heads and accepted the teachings. They also thought about the reason behind Li Qingshan’s renown. With his powerful martial arts and cruel methods, none of them were bold enough to say that they could make it out of this courtyard if they really did fall out.
Liu Hong nodded in satisfaction. He had protected the dignity of the school. In the end, he summarised, “Within the jianghu, no matter how great your martial arts are, you won’t make it far if you always try to act tough and abuse your strength. Someone is going to be out of luck this time.” He spoke ambiguously. Who knows whether he was talking about the Black Wind stronghold or Li Qingshan.
Under Li Long’s lead, Li Qingshan directly arrived at the Arsenal of Arms. With the silver on him, he was filled with confidence as well. As soon as he stepped through the door, he said, “Boss, I want to see the weapons!”
The shopkeeper was chubby and had a fair complexion. He was around forty years in age. He had a shrewd appearance. He glanced at Li Qingshan and then at Li Long, and his face immediately warmed up drastically. He placed down the book of accounts in his hands and clasped them. “So it’s young hero Li from the Iron Fist school. You’ve bought your friend to have a look at the weapons. Everything outside is inferior goods, so come in, come in, come in. Come inside!”
If he wanted to set up a shop and do business here, it was impossible for him to not deal with the local tyrant, the Iron Fist school. Li Long was someone of some prominence in the streets of Qingyang city such that even the shopkeeper had to treat him politely.
Stepping in, various weapons appeared in their sights. Whether it be blades, spears, swords, halberds, axes, battle axes, hooks, or tridents, all of them were present. It truly did live up to its name as a large armoury.
“May I ask what kind of weapon this young hero is skilled in? Is it the blade or the sword? We have fine blades and swords of folded steel, fitting to all sizes. If you aren’t satisfied with the selection, you can even have an item be made to order.” As the shopkeeper introduced the weapons to them, he ordered people to bring the superior weapons. Every single one of them gleamed brightly, possessing extraordinary exquisite design.
There was not a single weapon that did not fit men. Li Qingshan was itching to try them as well. These were not ornaments, but real tools for killing on the battlefield. He weighed some in his hands and played around with others before shaking his head in the end. “Do you have any heavier weapons?”