Chapter 50 – The Dragon’s Gate Sect Attacks
It was time, and all the guests were present. Ye Dachuan stood up to make a toast, starting off with a bunch of civilities like ‘It is my great honour for all of you to be here’. Afterwards, he cut to the chase and said with a face full of fury and sorrow,
“I’ve invited you all here today regarding an important matter that relates to the survival of our Qingyang city. That’s right, it’s the cancerous tumour of the Black Wind stronghold. The Black Wind bandits are vicious and have behaved outrageously, committing so many sins that cannot be forgiven. They’ve stolen so much money… Sigh, and who knows how many people they’ve killed.”
He did feel absolutely livid over the fact that these bandits were richer than him, the district magistrate. The advisor kicked him from underneath the table, so he quickly moved on after a gentle cough.
“Now, they want to massacre the Crouching Ox village. As the official of Qingyang city, if I tolerate this, they’ll basically be free to do whatever they want. You must all have heard about the person beside me, the Descended Tiger! Li Qingshan!”
He placed extra stress on the renowned nickname of Descended Tiger, which made the corner of Li Qingshan’s eye twitch.
“This young hero is also my sheriff of the entire Qingyang city now. Not only did he personally kill the third boss and several dozen bandits from the Black Wind stronghold, but he also wants to destroy the entire nest of bandits as well. I implore you all to contribute money and effort for this matter. Only then will it not go to waste, and only then can you live up to the kindness the world has shown to you.” With that, he drank the entire cup of alcohol.
Qingyang did not have a single soldier or general that the district magistrate could order around. Even the guards of the government office were the old, weak, sick, and disabled trying to earn a living. However, these larger clans all had huge courtyards wrapped in tall walls; they also had many guards. As a result, the peace of Qingyang city was actually mostly maintained by local gangs and organisations like the Iron Fist school. If he wanted to recruit people, he could only borrow people from these aristocrats. As long as every household sent four or five people, they would basically reach the number that magistrate Ye had been expecting.
However, none of the aristocrats could drink to that. They all looked at one another. The magistrate was going to be serious this time?!
It was normal for them to ask for money. Were there any previous magistrates who did not ask for money? However, asking for people was not normal.
Apart from the first few magistrates who would take a group of people into the mountains after receiving the money to put up an act, the later magistrates did not even try to put up an act. They would only say that the time was not right. As for when the time was right, only the heavens would know.
The restaurant was in a state of uproar. The aristocrats did not even want to give him money, let alone people. They would be the ones who would have to spend money to appease the injured and the dead. They would offend the Black Wind stronghold as well.
None of them knew where the Crouching Ox village was. What did its destruction have to do with them? It was not like the Black Wind stronghold was coming for them. Why would the deaths of other people affect them?
A seemingly influential aristocrat in his forties or fifties said, “Sir Ye, We all understand your care and concern for your people. We can’t just watch on either. We need to contribute as well. However, getting us to send you people will be impossible. Even if we agree, the guards won’t oblige.”
He explained his stance very indirectly. Considering how you have power right now, we can gather some money for you to make a gesture. But once you take the money, just stay put obediently. Don’t make trouble for us.
I’m actually going to receive money! Ye Dachuan found this rather difficult to believe in. He really wanted to pinch his thigh and see whether he was dreaming or not. Ever since he became the district magistrate, he had been asking around everywhere, but no one took him seriously. He had not even received a single tael of silver.
Success would always come suddenly. Ye Dachuan calmed himself down and glanced at Li Qingshan. He began to consider whether it was time to just accept this and pull back.
Li Qingshan frowned, but he could not blame these aristocrats for their selfishness. Ordinary people were all like that. Coupled with the actions of the previous district magistrates, it was already surprising that they were willing to contribute money. Since he could not borrow their strength, there was no need to force them. He said, “Then I must thank you all…”
“Father, don’t give him money!” A young man stormed up the stairs loudly, glaring at Li Qingshan viciously.
Li Qingshan immediately remembered him. He was the young man who had been drifting in the carriage before kneeling and giving his pouch of money to him. Why had he suddenly become so brave? Was he relying on the adults here?
“Don’t mess around. This isn’t a place you can come. Go back down!” A middle-aged aristocrat scolded.
The young man did not yield. Instead, he said with a face of arrogance and complacence. “My senior brothers have come!”
“The people of the Dragon’s Gate sect have come!” Another aristocrat called out in pure surprise and delight.
“My son learns martial arts there!”
“Yeah, so does mine!”
The aristocrats all beamed with joy as they whispered to one another. They were rejoicing over the fact that someone would stand up for them, and they would not have to pay the money.
However, Li Qingshan’s face suddenly became frigid. The insults he experienced on the mountain path that day crossed his head again.
A group of people rushed up the twisting stairs. There were young adults as well as teenagers, every single one of them in white clothes and carrying swords. They all gathered together. All of their faces were supercilious, truly giving off an austere aura.
Their leader was the young master of the Dragon’s Gate sect, Yang Jun.
“Sir district magistrate, you’ve invited everyone, so why have you only excluded the Dragon’s Gate sect? Do you look down on us?” Yang Jun’s gaze circled around the room. He nodded at Liu Hong as soon as he saw him, which barely formed as a greeting. When he saw Li Qingshan, his eyes lit up instead, before erupting with fury. “You really are here! You’ve really made us search!”
“You’ve been looking for me?” Li Qingshan instead found this perplexing. From Yang Jun’s expression, it seemed like he had deeply offended him. However, since Yang Jun had come knocking today, he would never just let him go so easily. It was a pity the great spear was not on him. Otherwise, who knows how many would be injured or dead from a sweep of the weapon.
“I only regret that I didn’t just cut you down back then. Today, I’ll make you spit out everything you’ve eaten.” Yang Jun looked at Li Qingshan like he was his arch nemesis. After learning that the spiritual ginseng had been taken away by Li Qingshan, he immediately burst out in anger.
The spiritual ginseng had brushed past him, ending up with this bumpkin instead. Although it was impossible to digest the spiritual ginseng that easily, a great amount of its potency would be depleted after such a long amount of time. Otherwise, how was this bumpkin supposed to possess enough strength to kill the third boss of the Black Wind stronghold? Moreover, the spiritual ginseng belonged to him in the first place.
In his eyes, Li Qingshan was an extremely despicable and wretched thief, stealing what belonged to him, so why wouldn’t he hate him to the very core? He wanted to cut Li Qingshan to pieces.
Ye Dachuan stood up in a hurry. “Young hero Yang, calm down. We can talk through this. Qingshan is my sheriff, so why must you confront him with such hostility?” He could tell that the Dragon’s Gate sect had come looking for trouble. Every single one of them were armed, so his confidence immediately dispersed. There was a saying that it was difficult to fight a battle outnumbered. If a stray sword came his way, how was Li Qingshan supposed to block it, no matter how great his martial arts were?
Yang Jun said with a sunken face, “Sir magistrate, this person has stolen an extremely important item to our Dragon’s Gate sect. We’ve come to apprehend him today, so please don’t get in the way. You have to be careful, considering the fact that swords can cut anyone.” Without even waiting for his reply, Yan Jun ordered, “Seize him!” He was as haughty as they came. Then he smiled viciously. “Don’t kill him. I will slowly interrogate him for its whereabouts.” Over a dozen people rushed over, and the aristocrats dodged to the sides quickly, while the magistrate and the advisor fled. Around the large, round table, only Liu Hong remained seated, leisurely drinking his alcohol.
Out of everyone present, only Liu Hong understood Li Qingshan’s strength. As for the relationship between the Iron Fist school and the Dragon’s Gate sect, Yang Jun’s attitude towards him had revealed quite a bit. The Iron Fist school mingled with the lower classes, freely accepting disciples from anywhere. However, the Dragon’s Gate sect mingled with the higher classes. All of their disciples came from wealthy and influential families.
They were not on utterly bad terms, but neither of them had ever found the other pleasing to the eyes. As a result, Liu Hong would never say anything as a warning. As a matter of fact, he could only wish that some more people from the Dragon’s Gate sect died here, that haughty Yang Jun who disrespected him in particular. However, he was also guessing at what this ‘important item’ was. He seemed to have heard of some things before.
At the very front was the tall, skinny swordsman with an unhealthy complexion. His gaze towards Li Qingshan was filled with resentment and hostility. He was Chi Da. After Li Qingshan destroyed his sword on the mountain path, he had been greatly ashamed among his fellow disciples. He had also been punished by the sect master after he returned, so he utterly hated Li Qingshan. He was eager to cut off Li Qingshan’s hand.