Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
On seeing the effectiveness of his offensive strategy, Zhang Xiaohua’s confidence got a huge boost as his steps became lighter and felt slightly pleased from his accomplishment.
When it came to Zhang Xiaohua’s fighting experience, the rainy night could be countered as his maiden fight but unfortunately, the situation was urgent and there was no opportunity to exchange kicks and punches. Furthermore, towards the black clothed elder, his victory was amazingly determined with a single sword thrust so when counting Zhang Xiaohua’s real fighting experience, it was actually close to zero.
Hence, his nerves became unsettled when the other party took out their daggers.
Now that he had successfully disarmed one of the opponents, Zhang Xiaohua seized the opportunity that he had turned the tides of the battle and began to display with martial arts earnestly. While fighting with the other four people, his footsteps meticulously demonstrated his own dipper heavenly fist’s prowess and as the saying goes, actual experience is the best lesson. Zhang Xiaohua’s spirit soared higher as he continued to fight, and his movements became better the more he fought. Those people were like fertilizers to Zhang Xiaohua, and the latter’s experience continued to soar upwards like a Kongming lantern.
How could those town trolls have learnt any proper martial art before? Their attacks had no depths and instead, they became a good stepping stone for Zhang Xiaohua who was taking his beginner steps in fighting. However, they did not know that their chops and thrusts could not reach Zhang Xiaohua’s clothes anymore.
After fighting for some while, the leader, elder brother Fan, realized that the situation had taken a turn for the worst. He initially though that this youth was from the village and would be able to obtain a good harvest just by giving him a scare, but how would he know that he would be ignored instead and his dignity would be trampled upon so easily? Instead, he gave up trying to coerce the boy but used force, but it was ineffective even after taking out their weapons, and the most frightening thing was that the boy became even more relaxed under the threat of their daggers. Such an outcome was far from what elder brother Fan could have predicted.
No matter what, elder brother Fan was the leader of the group so his observations were sharper than the rest. While the other youths were fighting passionately, he already stealthily retracted his attacks and distanced himself from the boy.
As for Zhang Xiaohua who had full control of the situation, he also noticed elder brother Fan’s intention but how could he let the latter with such evil intentions leave so easily? Furthermore, the reason he fought with these people was to increase his own fighting experience and warm up his muscles. Zhang Xiaohua was already feeling slightly annoyed and when he saw the other party’s unusual actions, he no longer extended the fight and with a fly of his body, his legs kicked the four men like they were hitting the air. His movement was just like a “the four killing corners” of the sixth fist martial art.
Zhang Xiaohua’s kicks were also imbued with the tight amount of force and the four men did not get back up after they fell onto the ground, leaving only elder brother Fan as the last standing survivor.
At that moment, clapping sounds could be heard suddenly from behind followed by a voice that said, “Good move!”
Zhang Xiaohua tilted his head and looked, and it was the heroes who were chatting at the table beside him in the restaurant!
Zhang Xiaohua wrinkled his brows and was about to speak up when the wretched elder brother Fan knelt on the ground and flung his dagger aside, he kowtowed onto the floor like he was pounding garlic and said, “Have mercy little master, have mercy on me little master. I have a mother who is in her eighties lying on the bed at home, as well as three youths who have yet to wean off milk. If you take my life today, they will not be able to live much longer, and you will claim three other lives along with mine.”
Zhang Xiaohua was surprised when he heard this, if what this person said was true, he would be at a loss of what to do. This man was so evil to rob him even with a weapon, and if he did not know any martial arts, wouldn’t he be the one who would be bullied instead?
But if he let them of, Zhang Xiaohua could not help but think back to the encounter his family had in Lu town, wouldn’t it be similar to that case? He felt disgruntled inside.
While Zhang Xiaohua was being torn on what to do, the few heroes who praised him walked over to his side.
The square-faced hero in the front cupped his fists and said, “This little brother, I, Yuan Changqing, greet you respectfully.”
Seeing the courteous behaviour of the other party, Zhang Xiaohua felt confused so he greeted back respectfully.
Yuan Changqing saw Zhang Xiaohua’s frown and guessed his dilemma, he smiled and said, “Little brother do not have to worry, I am rash at sometimes but am not related to this person in anyway, so please be at ease.”
Upon hearing these words, Zhang Xiaohua felt even more puzzled, if this person was acquaintances with elder brother Fan and asked him to let the latter off, he would do so willingly. But since he did not know the man, what had he come over for?
Thus, Yuan Changqing explained the reason why he went over.
It appeared that when Zhang Xiaohua was asking the waiter for the more information, the Yuan Changqing also overheard their conversation and also noticed the unsightly gaze elder brother Fan gave him. If it was someone else, Yuan Changqing might not have bothered but because he heard the youth mentioned Pingyang city, and since he came from there as well, he decided not to stand aside and lend a helping hand instead.
After Zhang Xiaohua left the restaurant, the other few men who have eaten and drunk their fill also settled their own bills and under the suggestion of Yuan Changqing, they followed Zhang Xiaohua from afar.
These men had also seen with their own eyes elder brother Fan colliding onto Zhang Xiaohua deliberately and the youths surrounding Zhang Xiaohua, but Yuan Changqing did not hurry over and pull the other men aside when they saw Zhang Xiaohua’s relaxed expression that contained no fear. They hid themselves up until they saw Zhang Xiaohua demonstrated the dipper heavenly fist and defeated his opponents, and could not help but call out their praises.
After listening to his explanation, Zhang Xiaohua then realized that there were still kind-hearted people in Jianghu, but his heart became puzzled on why they only helped him because he came from Pingyang city?
Thus, Zhang Xiaohua asked, “Elder brother Yuan, helping weak people on the road when they see them is what people from Jianghu should naturally do, so you should help me immediately after seeing that I was bullied by the town’s folk. So why did you say that you were not planning to help initially?”
Yuan Changqing and the others flushed slightly and said in an embarrassed tone, “Little brother does not know this but we are not from this city like you. As the saying goes, a dragon does not press on snake in its own home, so we would want to avoid any unnecessary trouble if possible.”
Zhang Xiaohua became enlightened and he asked again, “So why did you choose to help me?”
Yuan Changqing replied, “Haha, the reason is simple, because we are all from Pingyang city as well!”
Upon hearing this, Zhang Xiaohua became overjoyed and he said, “Really, that’s great. I was wondering how I should get back, but since you are here, we can journey together instead. Haha, at the very least, you can tell me where I am and how do I get back to Pingyang city from here.”
Yuan Changqing smiled and said, “That is for sure, as the saying goes, when people of the same hometown meet each other, their eyes become wet with tears, so how can we not help out? Oh right, I have not asked you yet but why did your last move looked so familiar? I seemed to have seen it somewhere before but cannot recall what it is, can you tell me what move it was?”
Zhang Xiaohua pondered and replied apologetically, “The last move you mentioned should be a stance of the sixth fist martial arts but I cannot remember its name, and I also did not manage to learn it fully so the way I performed it might be different from others. You may recall it if you think slightly harder.”
Yuan Changqing became enlightened, he said in a touched voice, “Little brother is absolutely right, now that you say it, I think I recall that this move is called “the four killing corners”, but this sixth fist martial art is indeed difficult to pick up, I am still not familiar even after training in it for so long. It seems that only our head Zhang knows this fist martial art the best.”
Zhang Xiaohua also did not mind and he smiled in reply, “At least you are better than me, I will forget almost every martial art I learnt, so you are much luckier.”
Yuan Changqing said in a curious tone, “But little brother executed it quite well just now, and I could see that your fist stances were exceptional before that as well.”
Zhang Xiaohua waved his hands and said, “Those are something I put together somehow, it is just a random assortment of martial arts. If these opponents knew real martial arts, I am afraid I would have lost terribly much earlier on.”
After finishing his sentence, Zhang Xiaohua turned his gaze severely towards elder brother Fan and the rest who were on the ground.
When elder brother Fan saw that these group of people knew each other, he became even more frightened and could only kneel down more honestly. Zhang Xiaohua ignored him and asked Yuan Changqing what he should do.
Yuan Changqing pondered before smiling and said, “Little brother, you do not have to consider what he had said, they are most likely just lies to gain your sympathy. From his age, it is unlikely for him to have an eighty-year old mother, and while having three children is still possible, I believe that he had exaggerated or lied so you do not need to think too much. As for these people, they seemed to be involved mainly in small petty crimes and should not dare to do anything too harmful.”
Elder brother Fan who was listening from a side quickly pleaded, “That’s right, little master, please have mercy. We have only done petty things, how would we dare to do anything bad for real?”
Zhang Xiaohua retorted, “Then why did you take out your daggers? Isn’t it to hurt other people? Do you dare to claim that you have not hurt anyone before?”
Elder brother Fan defended himself more desperately, “Little master, please reconsider, aren’t I prostrating on the ground right now? I did not imagine that you could discover our plot which is why we had to act instead, and you can see from our abilities that we are incapable of doing any serious criminal activities. My hands are clean, and I have not taken any lives before.”
Zhang Xiaohua was still not fully convinced and he turned towards Yuan Changqing who nodded his head to show that the man’s words were believable and whispered to his ear, “Even if he has done anything seriously bad, we are outsiders in this town and would not be aware of the real situation. And seeing how he looks right now, it would be meaningless even if we send him to the authorities and they will let him off with a light punishment.”
Zhang Xiaohua considered the advice seriously and kicked elder brother Fan again before saying, “I will believe your words for today, but if I ever catch you doing anything wrong to other people again, hehe, then you will not be let off as lightly as right now.”
Upon listening to this, the elder brother Fan became overjoyed and said, “I understand, I understand completely. Many thanks to little master for sparing my life, I will bring the rest back and lead a good and proper life in the future, and we will do not such things anymore.”
Zhang Xiaohua pursed his lips when he heard this and thought secretly, “His explanation sounds even better than singings, who would be dumb enough to believe you.”
At that moment, the other youths also regained their consciousness and were helping each other get up, and when they heard Zhang Xiaohua’s pardon, they supported each other and prepared to leave with elder brother Fan.
However, before they could even lift a single step, Zhang Xiaohua’s eyes suddenly rolled and he called out loudly, “You all wait for a moment, I have another matter.”
When elder brother Fan heard this, his face became as white as a sheet when he turned around and smiled obligingly, “Little master, what other matter is there?”
Zhang Xiaohua laughed “hehe” and said. “It will be too easy for you to go off so simply; I will have to give you some punishment at least. In order serve the other people in this town better, I will have to give you a lesson which you can remember so you will think twice before committing any crimes.”
The expression on elder brother Zhang’s face turned even uglier and he said, “Since young master has said so, I wonder what lesson you will be giving us?”
Zhang Xiaohua replied, “Since you all tried to rob me and take my money pouch, I naturally have to return the favour. Furthermore, sigh…, your behaviour has greatly frightened my heart and spoiled my beautiful impression of this town, this loss is no small matter so you cannot leave without any proper compensation. I have decided…”
Zhang Xiaohua took a deep breath and continued, “I have decided to confiscate all your money pouches so you all know how it feels to be robbed by someone else!”
Everyone almost fainted when they heard him, why bother giving so many reasons if he just wanted compensation.
The elder brother Fan naturally did not dare to voice his displeasure and he quickly instructed his subordinates to take out their measly money pouches and passed it over to Zhang Xiaohua, while Zhang Xiaohua accepted them happily and kept them into his breast.
Finally, the elder brother Fan also took out his money pouch which was slightly more filled than the rest. Zhang Xiaohua weighed it in his hands and said, “It is not that heavy either, it seems that business is not so good these days.”
The elder brother Fan smiled helplessly and said, “Little master likes to joke so much, we do not do these often so we are naturally not wealthy.”
Zhang Xiaohua smiled gleefully and said, “Is there nothing else in your breast?”
The elder brother Fan smiled and said, “There is really nothing.” After finishing his sentence, he used a hand a searched around his breast to display his sincerity.
However, his hand suddenly froze and he took out a pale green jade the size of a palm and offered it to Zhang Xiaohua’s hands, saying, “About this, I forgot about this little toy earlier!”
Zhang Xiaohua asked curiously, “Where did this come from? Why did you forget about it?”
The elder brother Fan replied apologetically, “I pickpocket this from a wealthy merchant yesterday and had already gone to the jade shop to check its value but it is not worth much, hehe, which is why I put it casually into my chest. If young master does not mind such a lousy item, please take it to appease your anger.”
Zhang Xiaohua did not stand on the ceremony and extended his hands to receive the piece of jade, saying, “If it helps to make the town a better place, I will accept it reluctantly to give you a good lesson.”
Thus, Zhang Xiaohua magnanimously stripped the six to seven men off their valuables like this before letting them go.
Yuan Changqing and the others stared dumbfounded at Zhang Xiaohua’s actions not knowing whether they should complement the latter or not. He had used logic and reasoning to defend his actions, since the other party wanted to rob me, I should give you a lesson, but since you are all injured so severely, I will not hurt you anymore and take your money pouches instead. Alright, I hope you remember this lesson with this punishment!
Zhang Xiaohua felt satisfied as he kept all the money pouches and the jade piece into his breast, his eyes smiled into a crescent as he said, “Fellow, why the shocked expressions? Where do you stay? Shall we head to Feichi carriage station together?”
Yuan Changqing and the others awoke from their daze and said, “It’s fine, we have our own accommodation, little brother can follow us instead.”
Zhang Xiaohua smiled as he replied, “Then I shall not stand on the ceremony.”
After finishing his sentence, he followed Yuan Changqing and the others as they walked on the snowy road.
Everyone was quiet while they were walking as though they had not recovered from the shock of the earlier events, but Zhang Xiaohua did not mind the stillness and he asked, “Elder brother Yuan, after talking so much, you have not mentioned where you guys are from.”
Yuan Changqing replied, “We are delivery hands from Pingyang city’s Lotus escort, and we went out for a job before the beginning of the year to this remote town. We should be returning back in a few days later.”
“Lotus escort? Delivery hand?” Zhang Xiaohua’s excitement went up by three levels causing everyone to be shocked.
Afterwards, Zhang Xiaohua pulled Yuan Changqing’s hands and asked, “In that case, elder brother Yuan, do you know someone called Zhang Xiaohu?”
“Zhang Xiaohu?” Yuan Changqing and the others were surprised, they replied in unison, “Of course we do, he is our head!”
Zhang Xiaohua became enlightened, no wonder they said that they were familiar with the sixth fist, was it not Zhang Xiaohu’s specialty fist martial art?
Yuan Changqing asked, “Little brother, do you know our head?”
Zhang Xiaohua smiled as he replied, “Not only do I know him, I have known him for thirteen years.”
Yuan Changqing asked in surprise, “Why so?”
Zhang Xiaohua answered, “Because I am his younger brother and am thirteen years old this year. Don’t you agree with my answer?
Yuan Changqing understood the situation and said, “Oh, I know this. I have heard that head Zhang has a younger brother with enormous strength, but what was his name again?”
Zhang Xiaohua replied, “Zhang Xiaohua! You have to remember such a handsome and cool name.”
Yuan Changqing smiled as he said, “That’s right, you are Zhang Xiaohua. I heard that you even lifted a five hundred stone weight last year when you followed head Zhang to the escort station for his recruitment test. Unfortunately, I was not there to see it personally or I would definitely have recognized you. I hope little brother is not offended.”
Zhang Xiaohua smiled and said, “Not offended, I am not offended at all. Look at me, don’t I look like my second elder brother?”
Yuan Changqing studied carefully and replied, “Mm, there are some similarities, but you are still small and skinny whereas head Zhang’s face is fleshier. However, your eyebrows are still similar, although it is hard to tell if I looked at you two separately.”
Since the other party was Zhang Xiaohu’s subordinate, he was naturally not an outsider, Zhang Xiaohua had also stayed in the escort station for a long period to nurse his injuries so he had already considered the escort station as his own home. Thus, he was more affectionate towards Yuan Changqing and the rest and had thrown all his wariness to the wind.
Indeed, not long after, the few men walked to a small alley in the east of the little town and entered a small courtyard that was half closed from the alley. Yuan Changqing opened the door and shouted, “Head Zhang, is head Zhang around?”
Even before hearing Zhang Xiaohu’s reply, another shrill voice sounded out, “Why are you shouting so loudly? So unruly, where did your usual training go to? Your head Zhang is not around, he went out to settle some matters so you can report the matter to me instead.”
Zhang Xiaohua followed Yuan Changqing and the rest into a courtyard that was neither large nor small and the owner of the shrill voice walked out of the main hall room. He was a bald man with a face full of lines, and when Yuan Changqing and the rest saw him they hurriedly greeted, “Station head Luo, you are here.”
Station head Luo walked towards them, snorted and wrinkled his brows before saying, “You all went out to drink again?”
Yuan Changqing smiled and said, “Station leader, we brothers were bored after staying in this desolated run-down place for such a long time, which is why we went out to drink a little.”
Station head Luo said, “Drinking is fine, but don’t you dare cause any trouble when you get drunk.”
He then saw Zhang Xiaohua and asked in an annoyed tone, “Who is this person? Why have you brought a stranger in?”