Translator : Casualtranslator
Sry kinda late…..Last chapter of the day 🙂
~ Enjoy ~
Zhang Xiaohu replied in a matter-of-fact tone, “Of course, I have not learnt this before. This is my first time doing this fist martial art.”
Old sixth Li was slightly agitated; he said, “Incredible, even though you cannot be counted as a genius, your talent is rare enough. The sixth fist is a complicated set of martial arts stances, but you could remember sixty to seventy percent on your first try, this is indeed pretty rare.”
The spectators at the side were also calling out in praises.
All this made Zhang Xiaohu’s face red in embarrassment, while Zhang Xiaohua was also feeling happy for his second brother. However, the latter also felt worried inside, as he did not think that he could remember as much as his brother, and wondered if he could pass the test when it was his turn.
Old sixth Li laughed as he said to Zhang Xiaohu, “Come over, let me feel your bones and physical condition.”
Zhang Xiaohu obediently went over, while old sixth Li touched and knocked on different spots all over his body before saying in a satisfied tone, “Very good, this body is suitable to learn martial arts. If your age was not too old, you might have even entered Piaomiao sect.”
Zhang Xiaohu’s smile blossomed like a flower across his face and asked, “Does that mean that I have passed the test and can be assigned to be a delivery hand?”
Old sixth Li smiled and said, “Pass, of course you have passed. After training for half a year, you may even be qualified to become a bodyguard.”
He turned his head to fourth uncle Wen and said, “Fourth uncle has such a good eye to bring this talent into our escort station.”
Fourth uncle Wen replied humbly, “You praise me too much.”
Old sixth Li said to Zhang Xiaohu, “Alright, come along with me to register. From henceforth, you are part of our Lotus escort delivery division. The rest of you can disperse and continue with your own training.”
After finishing his sentence, he turned around to leave while the spectators began to scatter back to their respective trainings.
At that moment, a voice sounded out, “What is going on? Why don’t you test me as well?”
Everyone stopped in their tracks, old sixth Li turned and look, the voice came from Zhang Xiaohua. Zhang Xiaohu urgently continued, “Yes, my brother has not been tested yet, does he not need to be tested?”
Old sixth Li studied Zhang Xiaohua and asked, “How old are you?”
Zhang Xiaohua answered carefully, “Thirteen years old.”
Old sixth Li smiled while the other spectators burst into peals of laughter. Old sixth Li then asked, “Did you know that there is a minimum age requirement for Lotus escort personnel?”
Zhang Xiaohua shook his head.
Old sixth Li continued to explain, “Our Lotus escort has to run a business, so all our personnel have to be adults. Our youngest delivery hand has to be at least sixteen years old. Look at your surroundings, do you see any children your age?”
Zhang Xiaohua studied his surroundings and indeed, the people around were all at least twenty years old, Zhang Xiaohu and little monkey were the youngest of the bunch.
At that moment, Zhang Xiaohua could not help but lament at the heavens on playing a prank on him. The Piaomiao sect new recruits had to be around five to six years of age which he is too old for, and after finding the Lotus escort, they had a minimum age requirement of sixteen and above so he was too young. This, this, what should he do about him, why was it so difficult to learn martial arts?”
However, he did not extinguish his hope, he said loudly, “I may be young, but my strength is not small at all. Why don’t you let me lift the weights and see how much I can carry?”
Old sixth Li maintained his position and shook his head. He said, “It is not that I do not want you, but how can you contribute to our escort station if you are too young to even take care of yourself? Escort stations have our own rules, how can I break them just for you?”
After finishing his sentence, he turned around and continued to leave, but Zhang Xiaohu pulled him from the side and begged, “Old sixth Li, Xiaohua’s strength is really strong, why don’t you take a look first?”
Zhang Xiaohua was so anxious that he was close to tears, and he would have started crying if he had not sworn in front of his grandmother’s gravesite to not cry again.
Seeing that his second brother had held back old sixth Li, he immediately ran over towards the stone weights. He ran to beside the two hundred jin weight that his brother could not carry and said, “Look, I will try to carry this.”
Then, he lifted the weight single-handedly and in one motion lifted it to above his head.
Old sixth Li was initially displeased when he was pulled back by Zhang Xiaohu, and just as he was about to shake himself free, he saw Zhang Xiaohua lift the two hundred jin stone weight and was dumbstruck.
When Zhang Xiaohua saw the former remained quiet, he thought that the weight was probably too light so he quickly put the two hundred jin stone weight down and went over to the largest stone weight, gripped it, took a deep breath and shouted aloud, “Lift”. Then, he lifted up the largest stone weight with a single arm.
Right at that moment, the training field was as quiet as a graveyard, all the spectators were stunned to the spot, their eyes were scattered over the ground and their mouths were opened as if a large duck egg was in their mouth.
After half a bell of time, someone started asking, “That, that stone weight, isn’t it the five hundred jin stone weight?”
At that moment, a solemn voice rang from behind, “What are you all doing over there? Instead of practicing diligently, you have all crowded together to watch a show.”
At the same time, a female voice also rang, “Eh, Zhang Xiaohua? Why are you here?”
Everyone turned their heads to look, and an old man with a head full of white hair was walking on the corridor. The spectators muttered to each other, “Third master Qu is here, let’s go back.”
Thus, the surrounding spectators dispersed without hesitation, leaving behind the small lone body which was still lifting the stone weight, while the face had turned red.
The lady who was walking beside third master Qu turned out to be Qiu Tong whom they met in Pingyang city in the morning.
Third master Qu walked over to old sixth Li’s side, while old sixth Li and fourth uncle Wen immediately greeted the former and were greeted back in return. Then, he turned to Zhang Xiaohua who was still lifting the stone weight and wrinkled his brow. He said, “What are you doing, why have you not put it down?”
Zhang Xiaohua did not know who the speaker was and he did not dare to put it down. Instead, he looked at old sixth Li who urgently said, “Put it down, put it down quickly.”
Only then did Zhang Xiaohua loosened his grip and threw the stone weight onto the ground. The stone weight fell with a loud “Peng” sound and stirred up a large dump of dirt.
Third master Qu turned to Qiu Tong and asked, “You know them?”
Qiu Tong smiled as she replied, “Yes, remember what I just told you about a boy who got back my money pouch in the morning, he is called Zhang Xiaohua and his elder brother is Zhang Xiaohu.”
Third master Qu smiled and nodded, “Good boy.”
Then, he asked old sixth Li, “What is going on? Why are we letting a child lift weights?”
Old sixth Li respectfully explained the events from the beginning, and said at the end, “Zhang Xiaohua’s strength is truly abnormal. There are not many people in our Lotus escort who can lift this stone weight up. However, he is too young, and it is against the rules to accept him, so I would leave everything up to third master’s decision.”
When third master Qu heard that Zhang Xiaohua has lifted the five hundred jin stone weight, he was also astonished and he could not help but look at the stone weight which was thrown carelessly aside and the short child beside it.
Qiu Tong was also encouraging on the side, she said, “Xiaohua is a good boy. If not for him, my money pouch would have been stolen this morning, and although we could have gotten it back like third master has said, I still owe him a favor. So why don’t you make an exception, third master.”
Third master Qu smiled as he said, “Look at this lass, you are so muddleheaded. Despite knowing that the Piaomiao sect only accepts five to six year old children, you still brought them to the mountain entrance and left them there without caring. Our escort station only accepts delivery hands who are at least sixteen years old, aren’t you putting me in a difficult situation now?”
Qiu Tong smiled as she said, “They did not say that they wanted to learn martial arts then, so I thought they were visiting relatives from within the sect. Furthermore, isn’t everything in Lotus escort under your jurisdiction, your words is enough to change the rules.”
Third master Qu said, “Even if I am in charge, these rules were decided by the sect, how can I bend them so easily? Furthermore, a delivery hand has to face danger, how can a child do all that? Won’t I be harming him instead by putting him in danger?”
Qiu Tong lowered her head and pondered, the former’s words were true, so she could only look at Zhang Xiaohua pitifully.
Third master Qu continued, “However, I have the perfect solution, would you like to listen to it?”
Qiu Tong was surprised, “Perfect solution?”
Third master Qu said, “Didn’t you say that the person who looked after the medicinal fields on the mountain had a relative who passed away recently, and there is no one to apply the fertilizers onto the herbs so you wanted me to find someone who knows how to tend the fields and have good strength? Isn’t this boy in front of us the perfect candidate? Since all he wants is to learn martial arts, you can just find someone from the mountain villa to teach him right? At the very most, you can draw some time out for him to come over here and practice martial arts as well.”
Qiu Tong’s eye brightened as she agreed.
Qiu Tong then called Zhang Xiaohua over and explained the situation to him in detail. She asked if he knew how to work on the fields, and Zhang Xiaohua naturally nodded his head and agreed, it was a joke to be even asked since his profession was a farmer, how could he not know how to farm? Furthermore, what other choices did Zhang Xiaohua have? Piaomiao sect was unwilling to accept him, Lotus escort as well, since he could still learn martial arts on Huanxi mountain villa and his duty was to simply work in the fields, why would he not be agreeable?
After hearing that the pay to stay on Huanxi mountain villa was five coins per month, he immediately became overjoyed. Zhang Xiaohu could only earn six coins a month while risking his life, yet he was only working on the fields and was able to earn that much money, how could he not be happy?
The only thing he minded was that he would be in Huanxi mountain villa while his second brother would be in Lotus escort, so they could not see each other as often.
Zhang Xiaohu who was at a side also overheard the conversation and he asked Qiu Tong, “What kind of place is Huanxi mountain villa?”
Qiu Tong smiled as she replied, “It is right beside Piaomiao sect mountain, didn’t I say that sending you to Piaomiao sect was along the way?”
Zhang Xiaohu said to Zhang Xiaohua, “Xiaohua, you can see that the escort station is not too far from Huanxi mountain villa, I will come to visit you when I have the time. It is also not dangerous over there so our parents will be relieved, and when you grow older after a few years, you can come over to the escort station with me.”
Zhang Xiaohua saw that his second brother was agreeable as well so he agreed to the arrangements. Qiu Tong was happy as well, after crossing paths with Zhang Xiaohua in the morning, she felt as if she gained a younger brother who could even help her with her work, so it was the perfect outcome to her.
Thus, Zhang Xiaohu and Zhang Xiaohua separated at the escort station. On one side, old sixth Li took Zhang Xiaohu to his room to settle some administrative details and prepare his lodgings, while third master Qu requested him to pay special attention to Zhang Xiaohu after learning of the latter’s results from earlier. He said that perhaps in the future, Zhang Xiaohu could become a pillar of the escort station, so they should invest more in his training.
On the other side, Zhang Xiaohua took his knapsack and followed Qiu Tong up onto the carriage as they headed towards the east entrance of the city.