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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By May 27, 2024 2 Comments
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Chapter 10: One Against a Hundred

Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses(Part Ten)

The bandits of Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses were infamous for their debauchery. The bandits, driven by their base desires, were known for their unrestrained and lewd language.

Hearing them insult Qing Jiu like this, Yu’er felt a surge of anger in her chest, making her extremely uncomfortable. Ashamed and annoyed, her face turned red with anger. She hated that she had no skills to shut these people up. Even when she tried to scold them, her voice was drowned out by theirs, and she couldn’t even hear herself clearly.

Qing Jiu, on the other hand, was calm: “If you don’t believe me, you can ask your brave and mighty leader how I managed to capture him on his own fortress.”

The twelve of them looked at each other, obviously skeptical. They knew their boss well. Yin Lei was cautious by nature and skilled in martial arts. In the fortress, aside from the left and right protectors, his skills were the highest. Even if he looked down on women, it was unlikely that he would be captured without any noise.

“Boss, this…” Yin Lei’s face paled, his forehead marked with bulging veins, betraying his own uncertainty. He recalled the figures he had encountered: besides the bald monk and Qing Jiu, there was only a woman in black, a Taoist priestess, and a limping boy disguised as a bandit.

When Yin Lei had clashed with Qing Jiu, the monk and the limping boy had hidden inside, and the guards in the watchtowers had been mysteriously killed. Such a feat was beyond the capability of just a couple of individuals.

This realization darkened Yin Lei’s expression further, yet he defiantly exclaimed, “Don’t listen to her nonsense!”

His words brought a temporary reassurance to the twelve bandits. The second-in-command confidently added, “That’s right! Our fortress is heavily guarded, it’s not a place you can just walk into!”

Qing Jiu responded, “You’ve committed countless atrocities, and the wulin has long been outraged by your actions. Now you’ve crossed the line by capturing the young mistress of the Jun Family. Juxiao Manor has issued a call to arms, summoning heroes from across the land to join forces and eradicate this den of evil. They are working with me, both inside and out, to bring this fortress down!”

A wave of murmurs rippled through the hall. The bandits had dismissed Qing Jiu’s earlier claims as absurd, but now, doubt crept into their hearts. The sudden appearance of a group of wulin heroes surrounding the hall had seemed impossible, a blatant fabrication. But this new information was harder to ignore.

Juxiao Manor was renowned throughout the land, its reputation beyond reproach. The previous generation’s leader, Jun Dingtian, had been a revered figure in the wulin, capable of rallying heroes to his cause. The Jun family was known for their unwavering commitment to justice and had ample reason to target Fanyun Fuyuu Thirteen Fortresses, especially now that their young mistress was a captive.

A wave of panic swept through the bandits. Hu Ye muttered in a daze, “Jiuxiao Manor…”

Outside, the night wind wailed like a chorus of mournful spirits, rattling the window shutters as if mimicking the clash of wooden sticks. A gust snuffed out several candles on the table, plunging the room into shadows. The remaining flickering candlelight cast a dim, unsettling glow.

Qing Jiu’s eyebrows lifted in a smile, her grace and beauty blooming like an early spring flower, enchanting all who were there. “Well then, let’s have the heroes outside join us, shall we?”

No sooner had her words fallen than a dozen whooshing sounds came from two directions. Two projectiles shot through the rows of lanterns with such profound force and precision, striking the wicks and extinguishing them completely.

The remaining projectiles targeted the candles on the table. In an instant, the vast hall was left illuminated by only a handful of candles, casting a dim and shadowy light.

The second-in-command, startled, quickly warned, “Beware of hidden weapons, protect the candles!”

If the hall were to plunge into complete darkness, those with lesser martial skills would be as good as blind. An invasion under such conditions would leave them utterly vulnerable, a significant disadvantage.

Hearing this, everyone scrambled to shield the remaining candles. But it was too late. They didn’t know how many assailants there were; all they heard were the hissing sounds of the candles being snuffed out. The hall immediately descended into a deep darkness, where they could barely make out the figures before them.

Chaos ensued as people stumbled over each other, stepping on feet and bumping into waists, further adding to the disarray.

Yin Lei’s voice thundered in anger, “Don’t panic! If they are truly jianghu heroes, why do they sneak around? They’re just trying to scare us! Find some flint quickly, and light the candles!”

Everyone immediately started searching for flint. At that moment, a dreadful scream came from the direction of the main door, sending everyone’s hearts racing to their throats.

Long Ye barked, “What’s with that ghostly scream?”

A man’s voice, trembling with fear, replied, “Eighth… Eighth Brother… he tried to run outside, and then outside the door, outside…”

The man was stuttering, clearly terrified, made everyone even more anxious.

Long Ye, his anger burning hotter, demanded, “What about outside?”

The man, almost in tears, stammered, “Outside there’s a giant golden Buddha statue blocking the door. When Eighth Brother approached it, the statue raised its hand and struck him dead with a Buddhist staff.”

The door had been open before, and when Qing Jiu said the place was surrounded by heroes, the bandits near the door thought of sneaking out to check, but they were afraid of the real heroes outside. They hovered near the door, fearing they would be killed if they went out, so they didn’t dare move until the lights went out. Terrified, the bandits tried to flee but were killed instantly.

Long Ye exclaimed in disbelief, “Nonsense! What Buddha statue!”

Just as he finished speaking, an old voice suddenly emerged from their table, “The Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses’ Bandits have committed innumerable heinous crimes, angering both gods and men! Today, we will annihilate this evil fortress to rid the people of this menace!”

The twelve men were startled, wondering how and when someone had gotten so close without them noticing. Amidst their shock, a faint breeze carried another clear, valiant male voice from a distant table, “Today, we will destroy these bandits and rid the people of this menace!”

Shortly after, another refreshing voice rang out from a different location, “To rid the people of this menace!”

The more than six hundred bandits in the hall were terrified. The voices seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere, as if the enemy was right beside them.

Their nerves were like a bowstring pulled to its limit, unable to withstand any more stress. But at that very moment, a dreadful scream echoed through the hall.

The tension snapped, and someone shouted, “Kill them!”

In the ensuing panic, swords were drawn. Amidst the chaos, nobody knew whose foot they stepped on or whose waist they bumped into. In their heightened state of alert, even the slightest touch prompted a reflexive slash.

The situation quickly spiraled out of control. The bandits, unable to distinguish friend from foe, swung their blades wildly, turning the hall into a battlefield, a hellish scene of carnage and bloodshed.

Yin Lei shouted desperately, “Stop, Don’t Panic! Stop!” But his cries fell on deaf ears, like a stone sinking into the sea.

The more the people killed, the more frenzied they became, not stopping to think. Some tried to light the candles, but before they could ignite the fire, they were slashed by someone nearby. The fighting continued in the dark for a while until it gradually subsided.

Then, once again, they heard Qing Jiu’s voice, calm amidst the turmoil, “Hua Lian, Linzhi, light a few lanterns.”

The sound of fluttering clothes filled the air, and one by one, the lanterns hanging from the beams lit up. Although the light was not very bright, everyone had adapted to the dimness after being in the dark for so long, and their eyes could now distinguish between friend and foe.

In the meeting hall, less than fifty people remained, and it was like hell. Corpses littered the ground, sprawled across tables, hanging from railings, with severed limbs and rivers of blood everywhere. More than six hundred bandits had lost their lives in an instant, and ironically, not from an outside attack but from killing each other.

Yin Lei and the twelve leaders were among the survivors. Covered in blood, the twelve leaders had only sustained minor injuries, in contrast to many of the remaining bandits who were seriously wounded. Surviving the melee amongst over six hundred fighters indeed proved their prowess.

The second-in-command, seeing Hua Lian standing next to Qing Jiu, his face changed as he asked, “Old Thirteen, why are you standing there?”

Hua Lian, along with Mo Wen, removed their disguises, revealing their true faces. Tang Linzhi also descended from the beams to the stage.

Hua Lian, whose features were strikingly handsome, unfolded his fan and held it before his mouth, a playful smile gracing his lips. But the voice that emerged was that of a frail old man. “This humble one could never side with such vicious and cruel individuals,” he declared.

His vocal mimicry was so masterful that he sounded exactly like the elderly voice from the darkness. Realization dawned on the bandits. Those earlier pronouncements had come from this young man! They looked around, but apart from this small group, there was no sign of any ‘wulin heroes.’

Long Ye, pointing at Hua Lian and the others, trembled with rage, “It was you! All of you!”

“There is no Juxiao Manor, no army of heroes!” Yin Lei roared, his voice thick with fury. “It was all a trick!”

Hua Lian laughed heartily, closing his fan and pointing at Qing Jiu, “The Jiuxiao Manor was merely a fabrication, a bluff based on a few words overheard at an inn. We didn’t expect it to work so well, haha!”

Yin Lei, looking at the hundreds of his brothers now lying dead, his face flushed with fury and eyes bulging, exclaimed, “My fortress has stood for years, unyielding! No matter how strong their martial arts, they were nothing before us! And now, to be defeated by a woman! To have over six hundred of my men slaughtered, over six hundred, without her even breaking a sweat!”

He was so angry that he spat out blood.

“Don’t take it too hard,” Hua Lian said, arms crossed, a smirk playing on his lips. “She’s cunning, resourceful, practically a demon in disguise. It’s no shame to fall victim to her schemes.”

Tang Linzhi stood to the rear right of the stage, partially obscured by Hua Lian and Yin Lei. Dressed in black and her chin buried in her scarf, her sharp eyes missed nothing in the hall.

The remaining fifty or so bandits quietly spread out, forming a semi-circle around the stage. Tang Linzhi wasn’t concerned, her attention more on the door and various windows. “Why haven’t Yuan Wenliu and Meiren Gu returned yet? Weren’t they supposed to be back for the big wedding?”

Soon after Tang Linzhi spoke, two figures entered through the door. One of them was carrying another person. These were Qi Tianzhu and Yan Li, with Yan Li guarding the back door and Qi Tianzhu at the main entrance.

Qi Tianzhu, towering like an iron tower, stood outside the main gate, resembling a formidable wall. Earlier, in the darkness, Qi Tianzhu’s frown and wide eyes, coupled with his bald head, made him look somewhat like a deity or Buddha statue. The bandits, who had committed countless evils, were at their most fearful and superstitious, dreading divine punishment and eternal damnation. Therefore, seeing Qi Tianzhu’s appearance resembling a divine statue, they mistook him for a golden Vajra Buddha statue.

The bandits, upon seeing two more figures appear, braced themselves as if facing a formidable enemy.

Qi Tianzhu approached and flung the person he was carrying down at the steps before the stage. “Miss Qing Jiu,” he said, “this man was trying to get to the hall but attempted to flee when he sensed something was wrong. I caught him.”

Qing Jiu eyed him and inquired, “A messenger?”

The bandit, curled up on the ground, glanced nervously at Yin Lei and then at Qing Jiu and her companions, too frightened to speak.

Tang Linzhi, with a graceful flick of her foot, leapt to the man’s side. She twisted his right hand and searching his chest, retrieving two letters addressed to ‘Brother Yin’.

Tang Linzhi tore open the letters, glanced over the contents, and her expression darkened.

Hua Lian asked, “What does the letter say?”

Tang Linzhi, visibly upset, walked back to the stage and slapped the letter on the man’s body. “See for yourself!”

After reading the letter, Hua Lian relayed to Qing Jiu, “Yuan Wenliu and Meiren Gu say in the letter that they are delayed by some issue down the hill and cannot attend the wedding banquet.”

Tang Linzhi expressed her frustration, “After all this trouble, those two aren’t coming. Our caution was wasted.”

She continued, “There are five to six hundred people in this hall. Even though we’re skilled, battling all of them would be really exhausting. Yuan Wenliu and Meiren Gu aren’t just regular bandits; if they came back, we’d be at a big disadvantage. So, we came up with a simpler plan: first, take care of these bothersome bandits, and second, catch Yuan Wenliu and Meiren Gu off guard when they return. This might throw them off and give us a better chance in the fight.”

Qing Jiu mused, “Neither of them are coming.”

Yan Li speculated, “Could it be that they heard some rumors or got wind of something?”

Yin Lei, listening to this exchange, felt a heavy weight in his heart. “Our fortress has no grudge against you, yet you target us. Is it because of our protectors?”

Yin Lei noticed Qing Jiu and her group were well-prepared and skilled in martial arts, leading him to believe that Qing Jiu’s capture was part of a premeditated plan rather than a simple act of revenge. Observing that they did not fit the mold of typical righteous heroes, nor did they seem driven solely by a desire to “eliminate evil for the people,” he speculated. The specific mention of the left and right protectors, coupled with their evident frustration over these protectors’ absence, suggested to him that these protectors might be their true objective.

Hua Lian approached Yin Lei, his tall, slender figure nearly matching Yin Lei’s height. He extended a hand, lifting Yin Lei’s chin with his folding fan, his expression brimming with extreme contempt. “We indeed came for those two dogs, and destroying your dog fortress was just a convenient afterthought. Our leader’s moods are unpredictable and hard to figure out. It’s your bad luck that you annoyed her. Now you just have to accept your fate.”

Qing Jiu spoke indifferently, “If you have a problem with them, that’s your issue. Don’t drag me into it.”

Hua Lian had a deep-seated dislike for this bandit fortress, which treated women like cattle and fraternized with the likes of Yuan Wenliu and Meiren Gu, especially considering their brotherly bond with Meiren Gu. He was angry, but he had excellent self-control and usually didn’t show his emotions.

Tapping his forehead with his fan, Hua Lian chuckled, “After all, my wooden head could never have devised such a brilliant plan to kill over six hundred men without losing a single soldier.”

Qing Jiu, ignoring him, turned to Yin Lei, “If they’re not coming, we’ll have to continue our search. As the leader who calls them brothers, you must surely know their whereabouts quite well.”

Yin Lei retorted harshly, “Why should I tell you anything!”

The twelve leaders below, seething with fury, were choked with anger. Hearing phrases like ‘casually destroying your dog fortress’ and ‘easily killing over six hundred of your men’, and seeing the corpses of their brothers strewn about, they were almost exploding with rage. With bloodshot eyes, they longed to tear these intruders apart and stomp on them. One of them shouted, “Boss, why bother talking to her? It’s pointless. She’s a lowlife who relies on dirty tricks, causing the death of our brothers. This grudge is as deep as the sea. No matter their purpose, I must chop them into pieces and feed them to the dogs right now!”

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illieluvs
illieluvs
1 month ago

your death wish lmao

Khriss
Khriss
22 days ago

Funny plotting! And even funnier and revealing dialogue! Let’s see what happens!
Thanks for the chappie!