Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 22, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 50: Fame

Eleven Yanyu Pavilions (Part Four)

Qing Jiu led the group deeper into the alley, walking through a secluded and quiet path.

Along the way, Yang Chun recounted the events that had transpired after parting with Yu’er. It turned out that after the Aihong sword was thrown into the abyss, no one bothered him. He had originally intended to leave with Yu’er and the others, but seeing Qing Jiu cut off the rope bridge, he couldn’t cross over and could only return by the original route. Upon exiting the tomb, he searched all around but couldn’t find any trace of Yu’er and the others.

He didn’t know what kind of pill Yu’er had fed him, but if the poison took effect after a long delay, it definitely wouldn’t be anything good. Unable to find Yu’er anywhere, he couldn’t help but feel anxious and worried. Suddenly, he remembered that Yu’er had mentioned the Yanyu Pavilion when talking to Qing Jiu, so he decided to try his luck and seek a cure, making his way to Jiangnan.

Upon arriving, he met Liu Xiu. But Liu Xiu was a true merchant, through and through, living by the maxim that no merchant comes without cunning. Yang Chun couldn’t extract any information from Liu Xiu; instead, Liu Xiu managed to get everything out of him. Yang Chun couldn’t handle it, thinking that finding Yu’er and obtaining the antidote to save his life was more important, so he confessed everything. Only then did Liu Xiu inform him that Yu’er and the others had gone into the tomb for her sake, and once they completed the task, they would definitely return to the Yanyu Pavilion to claim their reward. Therefore, Yang Chun decided to stay in Jiangnan.

In the meantime, Yang Chun sought the expertise of several physicians, none of whom could pinpoint the cause of his ailment, leaving him in a perpetual state of fear until Qing Jiu’s arrival shed light on the situation. Only then did he learn from her that the medicine Yu’er had fed him was not some kind of poison but an ordinary pill to boost energy and nourish blood.

Upon hearing this, Yang Chun initially thought about the days of fear and anxiety he had endured over the past six months and flew into a rage. However, he then felt a sense of relief, as if he had survived a disaster, and suddenly let go of his worries. He had always been open-minded and carefree by nature. Having gone through the experience of fighting and getting to know Qing Jiu and Yu’er, he couldn’t help but laugh heartily when recalling Yu’er’s methods, finding this whole experience rather interesting.

Arriving at a courtyard-style pavilion’s rear entrance, Qing Jiu unveiled an expanse of architectural beauty, with the pavilion’s layout sprawling across five sections from east to south, west to north, and center.  She noted that the eastern and western wings were still under construction.

As soon as the group entered the door, they saw two people welcoming them on the left and right. Upon closer inspection, they realized it was Yu Hei and Yu Bai, who had led the way in the Cheng Wang Tomb. The two of them were indeed safe and sound.

Seeing the group, the two of them made a respectful bow. Hua Lian laughed, “You two really ran fast. In that situation, it was fortunate that you were able to lure away the people from Jile City and still return safely.”

Yu Hei, with a modest nod, replied, “All thanks to everyone’s blessings, Master Hua.”

   Leading the group along a stone path and through a flower-adorned wall, they made their way toward a courtyard. Approaching the veranda, they were greeted by the sight of a figure standing by the door, her dress fluttering gracefully, embodying elegance and charm.

Hua Lian turned his face away, opening his fan to shield his cheeks, and leaped behind Qing Jiu, exclaiming, “Oh Heavens! Why didn’t you tell me this is the new residence of the Yanyu Pavilion?” Seeing the extraordinary opulence of this place, he had already become suspicious. Now, upon seeing Liu Xiu, he realized that this was indeed the new home of the Yanyu Pavilion. After all, apart from the Yanyu Pavilion, there was no other place in Suzhou that was so extravagant.

Qing Jiu chuckled, “This is just a small courtyard in the back, only Liu Xiu comes here. Though she’s from the pleasure quarters, she’s still somewhat an acquaintance of yours. Meeting her won’t be considered breaking your oath.”

Liu Xiu greeted them with a slight bow, her smile radiating warmth, “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, everyone.”

The group returned the greeting one after another. Only Tang Linzhi, who was displeased upon seeing Liu Xiu, crossed her arms and huffed at Qing Jiu, “What kind of mischief are you two planning again?”

Qing Jiu responded with a laugh, “We haven’t had the chance yet. I just arrived in Suzhou yesterday, and it was only today that the young mistress invited me over.”

Liu Xiu led everyone into the house, where a feast was prepared to welcome and cleanse them of the dust from their journey. Yu Hei and Yu Bai waited outside. Liu Xiu invited everyone to sit, taking the last seat herself, warming the wine, and rinsing the cups, she laughed, “I’ve heard quite a lot about the heroic deeds of everyone on this journey.”

Touching the wine pot, now warm, Liu Xiu continued, “You conquered the Thirteen Fortresses, braved the dangers of King Cheng’s Tomb, captured the Divine Sword Aihong, and throwing it as if it meant nothing. Even in Jile City, where immortals struggle to enter, you moved freely. The tales of your deeds have spread far and wide across jianghu, earning you the title of the new Northern Dipper Lords. It’s said you can do anything, from soaring through the skies to burrowing into the depths of the earth.”

Liu Xiu’s voice, as always, was soft and seductive. She chuckled lightly, “At the beginning of last year, you were all but unknown, your origins a mystery to the world. But since the battle at the Thirteen Forts, your fame and reputation have soared, leading to widespread speculation about your identities. You’ve truly lived the saying, ‘If you don’t make a sound, no one will hear you. But when you do, it will shake the heavens and earth. If you don’t come out, no one will see you. But when you do, you will be taller than the sky.’”

Hua Lian, waving his fan and feigning ignorance, inquired, “Oh, where did this title come from?”

Liu Xiu, picking up the wine pot, personally filled a cup for Qing Jiu who was sitting to her left, “And that’s not all! There’s the Star Lord of Fate, Si Ming, who combines the strengths of Buddhism and Taoism, unmatched under the heavens. They say, ‘When the Star Lord commands your death at the third watch, who dares keep you alive till the fifth watch?'”

Hearing this title, Hua Lian and the others immediately recognized it as Qing Jiu’s and burst into uncontrollable laughter, pounding the table in laughter.

Qing Jiu shook her head in resignation, “Where did this come from? Who came up with this title?” If the title of the Seven Star Lord was a result of Hua Lian’s casual words, then this so-called ‘Star Lord of Fate, Si Ming was completely baseless.

Liu Xiu, always keen on reading people, knew that those who roam jianghu often seek fame. Many trained diligently in martial arts, dreaming of making a name for themselves. To be feared and admired, and to earn such a grandiose title would normally be a cause for celebration. Yet, she noticed this group laughing not out of pride for the title, but rather using it to tease Qing Jiu, showing no concern for this ‘fame’ whatsoever.

Liu Xiu mentioned, “We’re still looking into the source. Now, the title of Star Lord is quite prestigious, rivaling even those of the martial masters, yet the Star Lord seems not the least bit pleased.”

The laughter of Hua Lian and the others rose again. Hua Lian laughed the most, holding his stomach and slapping the table, making it shake.

Moving next to Hua Lian, Liu Xiu poured him wine, “Master Hua Lian shouldn’t just laugh at the Star Lord. The title ‘Elegant Scholar Leaving No Trace in the Snow’ carries its own dignity.”

At that, Hua Lian’s expression froze. Liu Xiu added, “The title of ‘Elegant Scholar’ something you already had before, and now you’ve added another. Congratulations.”

Hua Lian responded, “This couldn’t have been spread by you, could it?”

Liu Xiu simply smiled and moved on to Qi Tianzhu, but he raised his hand to stop her from pouring. She bowed, “The Pillar That Holds Up the Sky, Wrathful Vajra. For a hero of such stature to lift the heavens with one hand, it’s not surprising to receive such a title.”

Qi Tianzhu brought his hands together, “Worldly titles are meaningless. Why dwell on them?”

Liu Xiu then turned to Tang Linzhi, noticing her cold demeanor and evident displeasure. Deciding not to pour wine for her, she remarked, “I didn’t expect the ‘Shadow Marquis Who Kills with Ten Steps and Leaves No Trace for a Thousand Li of the Tang Sect to be a woman, and so young at that.”

Tang Linzhi retorted, “What’s wrong with being a woman?”

Liu Xiu remarked, “Perhaps the Yanyu Pavilion’s intelligence was incorrect. I always thought that this top-notch assassin, who even the Tang Sect Leader had to show respect to, was a man in his forties. No wonder there’s no woman’s name on the Tang Sect’s list. It turns out that the Tang Sect’s list isn’t even worthy of having a woman’s name. It seems I’ve failed to recognize a true master.”

Among those present, besides the seven, there was also Yang Chun. Yang Chun was not familiar with everyone, not even knowing much about Qing Jiu and Yu’er, but felt an instant connection, which led him not to mind the details too much. Now, hearing Liu Xiu recount the achievements of the group and realizing these seven were the much-talked-about Northern Dipper Lords of jianghu, he was both shocked and admiring. When he heard Liu Xiu say that Tang Linzhi was the Shadow Marquis, he found it even more unbelievable.

Yu’er had also heard Yang Chun mention the Shadow Marqis before. She had an excellent memory and hadn’t forgotten the phrase, “The Shadow Marquis of Sichuan, the Ghost of Jiangnan.” It seemed that these two people enjoyed a high reputation in the jianghu However, Yu’er felt that Tang Linzhi didn’t quite fit the image of the Shadow Marquis, a feeling that had developed over days of interaction.

Tang Linzhi neither confirmed nor denied the title, merely responding with a cold “Hmph!”

Liu Xiu didn’t press further with her and turned to Yan Li, offering a wry smile, “The Diviner without a missed prediction, truly divine. If I had taken to heart the divination you performed for me back then, perhaps today’s disaster at the Yanyu Pavilion could have been avoided.”

Yan Li inquired, “What happened within the pavilion that led to such a great establishment being destroyed?”

Liu Xiu sighed lightly, “The story starts at the end of last year, when the Yanyu Pavilion came into possession of a bow-sword…”

Qing Jiu frowned, “Is the bow-sword you mentioned known as Chini?”

Liu Xiu nodded. Qing Jiu scoffed, “That explains it.”

Yu’er looked at Qing Jiu, puzzled. Hua Lian explained, “A bow that can shoot the stars, a sword that can cut through mountains, that’s the bow-sword. Ah, yet another divine weapon causing trouble.”

Yan Li asked, “Has the Yanyu Pavilion fallen to such a state due to people from jianghu fighting over it?”

Qi Tianzhu wondered, “The Yanyu Pavilion has a deep foundation and is not some small sect. What kind of petty thief would dare to openly make an enemy of the Yanyu Pavilion?”

Hua Lian flicked his fan rapidly a few times, pondering deeply before he couldn’t help but meddle, asking Liu Xiu, “The small sects wouldn’t dare, but what about those hundred-year-old sects?” We passed by the old site of Yanyu Pavilion and found traces of Qixian Palace’s handiwork. Is Qixian Palace involved in this chaos?”

The mention of Qixian Palace made everyone realize the gravity of the situation. Yang Chun, listening from the side, quietly continued drinking, trying to make himself as inconspicuous as possible, knowing all too well that the more you know, the faster you die.

Liu Xiu shook her head at Hua Lian’s question, “Could it be they came to help?”

She looked troubled, her brows slightly furrowed, revealing, “It was the Ghost Sect, one of the Five Ghosts, Qin Gui.” It was no secret in the jianghu that Qin Gui originated from the Qixian Palace.

Qing Jiu’s hand subtly moved, lightly touching the porcelain cup, causing ripples in the wine.

Hua Lian mused, “It’s well-known in jianghu that the Ghost Sect collects divine weapons, so their attempt to steal it makes sense. sense. But they always follow their own rules. Even if they failed to obtain Chini, they would never set fire to the Yanyu Pavilion.”

Liu Xiu explained, “Qin Gui came to steal the bow-sword and challenged my mistress to a duel. Although Qin Gui was forced to retreat, my mistress was left with internal injuries from the sound of her Qin. While recovering, she was ambushed by a traitor within the pavilion. Despite all precautions, it’s hard to guard against a traitor within. Not only was my mistress poisoned, but Yanyu Pavilion was also set on fire. Fortunately, the bow-sword wasn’t stolen.”

Hua Lian asked, “Were you able to find out who the traitor was?”

Liu Xiu replied, “The traitor was a dead soldier who committed suicide as soon as he was caught, so his background remains unclear.”

Tang Linzhi remarked, “Yanyu Pavilion is known to have eyes and ears everywhere, yet a traitor emerged within its own ranks unnoticed.”

Liu Xiu’s patience thinned with Tang Linzhi, her tone carrying a hint of irritation, “There’s no such thing as an impenetrable wall under heaven. The Yanyu Pavilion operates openly, so naturally, while we investigate others, we can’t avoid being investigated ourselves.”

To prevent another argument, Yan Li changed the subject, “Were there many casualties or injuries within the pavilion?”

Liu Xiu’s voice softened, sighing, “Fortunately, no one lost their lives, but many of the pavilion’s girls were injured. The reason for inviting you here is to ask for your help with two matters.”

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21 days ago

She still asks for more? The audacity, but well tbf I think Hua Lian would probably want to help anyway lol