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Chapter 55 – Who Said I Have Nothing to Wear?1
Li Qingshan patted the three quivers on his waist and carried the Soaring Dragon sword and Stone Splitter bow on his back. Meanwhile, he had the frighteningly heavy and extraordinarily large Tyrant’s spear on his shoulder. He vanished into the snowy, windy darkness, leaving behind a long trail of deep footprints in the snow.
In the district government’s office, the advisor said to Ye Dachuan, “Sir, Li Qingshan is not listening to you. There’s nothing we can do!”
As it turned out, Ye Dachuan saw how none of the aristocrats were willing to help him anymore under the threat of the Black Wind stronghold and was certain one against two hundred would result in defeat, so he tried to convince Li Qingshan to remain behind and come up with a long-term plan instead. However, Li Qingshan would never listen to him. He forcefully demanded for the paperwork and left.
Ya Dachuan constantly paced around in the room before suddenly stopping. He stamped his foot. “Go gather men and horses for me!”
The advisor said with difficulty, “Do we have any men and horses?”
Ye Dachuan said frantically, “Those aristocrats were actually daring enough to attempt to get their descendants to kill me right in my face. The Dragon’s Gate sect is a great nest of bandits as well. Tell them that any clan that doesn’t send any people is a traitor to the city.” He had thought it through. If Li Qingshan died, then there was no point in him remaining as the district magistrate. It was even possible that the Black Wind stronghold and Dragon’s Gate sect would vent their anger on him.
The advisor said, “Please reconsider, sir!” If he did that, he would be offending all of the aristocrats of Qingyang.
Ye Chuan kicked him in the bottom with the sole of his foot. “Why aren’t you going!”
The advisor could only oblige. As soon as he made his way out of the hall, over a dozen pitch-black figures blocked his way. Who knows when they had entered the government office. The advisor was startled. He looked over using the weak lantern light from inside the hall and saw all of them carrying bows and arrows. “S- so it’s the- good men of the Drawn Reins village. M- may I ask you why you’ve come at such a late hour?”
Huang Binghu’s shoulders were wrapped in white cloth, but his bearing was as composed as before. He patted the advisor’s shoulder and said, “Sir Ye, Huang Binghu of the Drawn Reins village is willing to assist you.” After Li Qingshan left, Huang Binghu and the others had found an inn to rest in, but before they could even fall asleep, they received the news that Li Qingshan had left the city clad in armour.
Huang Binghu obviously did not believe that he was running away, so he stood up suddenly. “I’m going out. While I’m not here, Xiao Hei is in charge of everything.”
Everyone knew where he was going. Xiao Hei said, “Hunting chief, we’ll go with you!” After everything he had gone through today, much of the frivolous immaturity had vanished from his face, replaced by the level-headedness and seriousness of an adult.
“We must think for the village!”
Xiao Hei said, “The Drawn Horse village hasn’t gained its name through compromising. We’ve fallen out with the Black Wind stronghold, so there won’t be any long lasting peace. We can only gamble on this person. If I were in charge, that’s what I would do.
Huang Binghu said, “Good. Those two stabs today weren’t in vain!”
Qingyang city, which had just quietened down, became noisy once again.
In the Iron Fist school, Iron Lion Liu Hong had not slept either. Instead, he was pondering and thinking over everything that had happened today. Li Long stepped into the room and dropped to his knees with a thud. “Master!”
Liu Hong frowned. “What are you doing?”
Li Long said, “Please save the Crouching Ox village, master!” The Black Wind stronghold had not massacred the village because they wanted to capture Li Qingshan first, the main culprit behind it all, and also because of the village’s ties to the Iron Fist school. That was why they had not acted so quickly. However, they had all fallen out with one another after tonight, so the Black Wind stronghold would definitely madly seek revenge. They would definitely go forth with the massacre.
Liu Hong said, “You can go bring your father’s family and caretaker Liu’s family over!”
Li Long continued to kneel. “Please save the Crouching Ox village, master!”
“Didn’t you say you disliked it there?”
“But that’s still my hometown!”
Liu Hong sank into his thoughts for a while as if he was considering the various costs and benefits with his decision. Suddenly, he stood up afterwards. “Go, gather the disciples!” He had already considered Li Qingshan’s spiritual ginseng and the wealth of the Black Wind stronghold.
Li Long beamed. “Thank you, master!”
Ye Dachuan used his position as the district magistrate and borrowed Li Qingshan’s renown and the might of the Drawn Reins village to order the aristocrats to send people. However, there were still some aristocrats who refused to obey, reluctant to send any people.
Just as Huang Binghu frowned as he considered whether he should kill someone to set an example, Liu Hong strode over and clasped his hands. “Hunting chief Huang, I’ve heard many things about you.” Afterwards, he said to the resisting aristocrats. “Today, Liu Hong swears he will remove a great threat for Qingyang city. If you are willing to assist me, I will never forget it.” What he was implying was. “If you don’t assist me, I will never forget it.”
Given these circumstances, the aristocrats finally became afraid of resisting. They sent people over reluctantly. Although they were unwilling, they did send everyone they could spare. Xiong Xiangwu’s words lingered in their ears. If they did not eradicate them this time, what they faced would be vengeance, so they could only unleash everything that they had!
And, with the two masters, Huang Binghu and Liu Hong, watching over, they all felt that there really was a chance for them to destroy the Black Wind stronghold. In reality, the carnage that the Black Wind stronghold created did have something to do with them. Just like caretaker Liu’s nickname, Half-village Liu, most of the land in and around Qingyang city had been purchased up by them. When the Black Wind stronghold pillaged and plundered villages, most of it was their resources. As for the ransom money they had paid in the past, who knows how much it was really. Otherwise, they would have never paid taxes willingly to the previous few district magistrates for eradicating bandits.
Xiong Xiangwu would have never imagined that his threat would instead result in the aristocrats turning against him completely.
Ye Dachuan gazed at the mass of people gathered there in disbelief. It had completely exceeded his original expectations. There were actually four to five hundred people. With his identity as the district magistrate, he watched over in the centre as Huang Binghu and Liu Hong controlled and ordered the people around. He had never done something so heroic. The courage in his heart that had been blinded by fame and wealth was actually set ablaze as well.
The advisor was utterly stunned. He thought of a phrase mentioned in books that he was originally nowhere close to, ‘With a public call, followers converge, and the world is upheaved.’
Perhaps the world only needed a single warrior, a single hero to stand forward, and it could turn the impossible into the possible, leading the masses and completing a so-called miracle.
However, this leading hero would normally not meet a good end.
Old Knickers opened up the armoury with his trembling hands, removing sets and sets of armour and equipping this group that was setting out to eradicate bandits. With the clinking of armour, they set off on their journey.
Huang Binghu through to himself, I hope we can make it in time! They had wasted too much time gathering everyone.
Liu Hong thought, Kid, just last a little longer, but if you die, I’ll avenge you!
Li Qingshan advanced quickly through the darkness. He carried one to two hundred kilograms of equipment, but not only did it fail to tire him, but it instead made him feel delighted over being able to use his strength.
The metal armour was cold, but his blood became hotter and hotter. He walked faster and faster. In the end, he was basically sprinting through the wilderness. His heavy footsteps were like war drums, thumping out loud!
Who knows how long he had traveled for though the mountains and forests. He came to a sudden halt, and his gaze pierced through the wind and snow like a sword as he looked right into a gully. A stronghold stood in the darkness with a few lanterns vaguely lit.
The Black Wind stronghold was right before him.
Li Qingshan did not rush up. He removed the alcohol gourd from his waist and drank it all. His depleted strength immediately recovered, and a wave of heat rampaged through his body like a wild horse.
Suddenly, he thought of a part from a Chinese opera and called out, “Look at that black hole ahead, it must be that bandits’ nest. Once I head over there, I’ll slaughter them all!”
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1. The names of chapter 54 and 55 actually originate from the same poem. I’ve twisted it slightly to fit the context better (mainly just for chapter 54), but the title of chapter 55 actually comes before the title of 54 in the poem. Hopefully that makes more sense.