Chapter 73 – The Hawkwolf Guard
It was dark right now. The person was standing in the corner, and his black clothes seemed to fuse into the darkness. Liu Hong had paid much attention to him since the very beginning, as when he was not looking at him, he actually failed to sense his existence at all.
Hall chief Wu said, “Branch leader Liu, I’ll introduce you to an important figure.” He continued to refer to the much older Liu Hong arrogantly, directly calling his name. When he mentioned the person in black, his gaze immediately became more flattering and complacent. He felt delight over how he could establish ties with such an important figure. “This is sir Feng of the Hawkwolf Guard.”
The Hawkwolf Guard! Liu Hong’s heart skipped a beat, and he gulped. How couldn’t he have heard of the renowned hawks and hounds of the government? It was no wonder that hall chief Wu acted like this. Even the leader of the main branch of the Iron Fist school, Tie Buyi, had to entertain such a person cautiously. It was no wonder why branch chief Wu was so confident as well. Who would ever be bold enough to make him spit out something he had taken when a Hawkwolf guard had personally come forward?
Sir Feng said nonchalantly without even looking over, “You are too kind, hall chief Wu. Our commander has drunk with your master Tie in Jiaping city a few times, which was why he agreed to help you. I still have matters to attend to when I return to Jiaping city, so I can’t afford to spend too much time here.”
Jiaping was a large city over fifty kilometers away from Qingyang city. Not only did a major river pass through it, making it an extremely important port, but there were mines as well, so it was much more prosperous than a small mountain city like Qingyang. The Iron Locks hall that hall chief Wu came from was located there. The hall controlled seven branches, including Qingyang. An office of the Hawkwolf Guard was located there too.
Hall chief Wu said, “Yes, yes, yes. We won’t cause you any trouble at all. Branch leader Liu, why don’t you get that Li Qingshan to come over immediately?”
Liu Hong was afraid of ordering his disciples to handle this. He ordered Li Long to wait there as he personally went to go find Li Qingshan.
Li Long had heard Liu Hong mention the Hawkwolf Guard in the past before, but that was just far too distant from the world he dwelled in, so he did not pay too much attention to it. He never thought he would personally see a member of the Hawkwolf Guard today, so he could not help but worry for Li Qingshan, Qingshan is probably going to lose the spiritual ginseng this time. If he insists on keeping it, I need to try to persuade him otherwise.
He did not have any particularly close ties to Li Qingshan. Their relationship only originated from the simple ties of sharing the same homeplace. Moreover, Li Qingshan’s martial arts were much more powerful than his. If he joined the Iron Fist school, he could take care of him. Li Long suddenly recalled what Liu Hong had said in the restaurant that day, asking Li Qingshan to take good care of him. He probably anticipated this day. Li Long felt even more grateful towards Liu Hong.
Within the city, there was no one who was more informed than Liu Hong. He found Li Qingshan very soon and said, “Qingshan, hall chief Wu of our Iron Locks hall has arrived. He wants to meet you. He has something to discuss with you.” He thought rapidly as he spoke. He tried to come up with a way to tell Li Qingshan what would happen as smoothly as possible, but he was also afraid of making it too obvious and scaring away Li Qingshan.
Li Qingshan said, “But there’s no need for school master Liu to personally come fetch me.”
Liu Hong felt awkward. In the gang, the ranks were clearly divided. Hall chiefs were existences at a higher level than branch leaders. Every single person who could occupy a position like that were first-rate masters, so they obviously could order branch leaders like him around.
“Your nuisance of a hall chief must have come for the spiritual ginseng as well, right? I was just planning to make this clear in the Qingyang restaurant. You should get the hall chief to come take a listen too!” Li Qingshan did not stop. He crossed through streets and alleyways, travelling towards his destination.
Liu Hong followed beside him with quick strides. “You can’t do that, Qingshan. I’m doing this for your sake.”
The two of them passed through a narrow alleyway. Suddenly, a large monk with a black buddhist staff appeared at the alleyway entrance, looking at Li Qingshan and sniggering. He had a fierce look in the first place, and he had a vicious scar across his face, so he only seemed fiercer when he smiled.
Liu Hong cried out, “The Mad Monk, Void Butcherer!”
Li Qingshan looked at the shining buddhist staff. It was another spiritual artifact. As expected, the so-called spiritual artifacts were not particularly rare in this world.
Liu Hong was afraid of looking at Void Butcherer. He whispered, “This person was once ordained at the renowned Baolin temple of the jianghu, but due to his fondness for drinking and killing, he broke the rules of the temple and was expelled. Under the influence of his madness, he used the one hundred and eight forms of the Mad Demon staff style and slaughtered the entire temple. He changed his dharma name to Void Butcherer and roamed the lands, killing people and taking their possessions. No matter where he goes, he leaves none alive. It’s said that he has reached the level of first-rate masters a long time ago, and he’s only a step away from becoming an innate master.”
Many people of the jianghu paid attention to this secretly. They muttered to themselves, “It really is Void Butcherer. I never thought he would actually come.” “Sigh, looks like we all have no chance now.” “Shut up and go. If he discovers us, none of us will be left alive.” He was truly infamous.
Void Slaughterer said, “Kid, hand over the spiritual ginseng, and I’ll leave you with an intact corpse. I’ll expiate your dead soul and burn joss paper for you every year.” He was not wildly arrogant. As a peak first-rate master, he could sweep away anyone he came across as long as they were not innate masters.
“Regarding the spiritual ginseng, I will explain it in the restaurant. If you want it, then you better come listen.” Li Qingshan pinched his nose. He could clearly smell the odour of alcohol, oil, and blood from the monk. He continued on his way.
The staff suddenly swung down, and the metal rings produced a series of clangs.
Li Qingshan finally stopped. The staff paused right before his nose, only inches away. The gale swept up by the swing buffeted his hair.
“Master Liu, please go back first!” Li Qingshan’s voice seemed calm, but he was actually a volcano about to erupt. His blood that had settled down for quite some time now began to boil.
Li Qingshan’s disregarding attitude completely infuriated Void Butcherer. He unleashed the one hundred and eight forms of the Mad Demon staff style with his full strength. The black staff turned into a flurry of shadows as it whistled through the air before rushing over like waves.
The alleyway was narrow. There was no room to dodge at all. Li Qingshan clenched his fist, and his bones crackled and popped. He did not retreat at all against the flurry of staves. Instead, he advanced.
Liu Hong would never try to get involved in a battle between the two. He turned around and fled towards the other side of the alleyway. He heard the clashes and whistling of wind behind him. The two of them had begun an intense battle.
Li Qingshan weaved through the blurs. This was the first time he had witnessed the terrors of a first-rate master. Not only were the moves powerful and heavy, but they were ingenious and careful as well, without producing the slightest opening. Void Butcherer firmly stopped Li Qingshan from three steps away, giving him no advantage to approach.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
In the narrow alleyway, Li Qingshan’s space for dodging was highly limited. His fists collided with the staff, producing a string of metallic sounds.
Void Butcherer felt rather shocked inside. Just what martial arts did this kid practise to be able to block his Mad Demon staff with his body? However, it only roused his vicious nature. Pouring his entire body’s strength into it, he directly swung down with the staff from above. It caused an extremely shocking disturbance. Li Qingshan’s eyes lit up when he saw a slight opening, so he took advantage of it and rushed forward. He turned his fists into a claw, directly reaching towards the centre of Void Butcherer’s body. However, he suddenly saw a sly smile on Void Butcherer’s face that conflicted with his coarse appearance completely. He felt alarmed inside. Oh no!
Void Slaughterer suddenly changed his move. The staff went from a vertical swing to a horizontal sweep. The move before was actually a feint. The narrow alleyway restricted the move, but the staff moved anyway. Pieces of rock flew from the tall walls, unable to stop the staff in its path.
The staff sent Li Qingshan flying, slamming through a wall and falling into the courtyard on the other side, kicking up quite the dust. Li Qingshan had suffered in those clashes due to his insufficient battle experience.