Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 27, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 58: You're not happy that I'm said to be from the Yu family?

Martial Arts Competition Under the Heavens (Part Three)

After the fight between the two groups, most of the tables in the teahouse were damaged, with table legs and wood shavings scattered everywhere. The group called out the attendants to clean up, they set up a new table at the center of the teahouse, carefully wiped down chairs with a cloth, and finally allowed the young master in white to take a seat, with about a dozen of his followers standing behind him.

The person who approached Yu’er’s table was also dressed in white with a golden crown, brandishing a long sword, and arrogantly demanded, “Hey! Leave at once!”

Hua Lian, with a flick of his folding fan, replied with a teasing smile, “And what if we don’t?”

The man raised his chin and sneered, “Don’t ask for trouble!”

The young master in white, hearing the commotion, glanced over casually at first, but his gaze unexpectedly lingered on Yu’er.

His eyes lit up, and he smiled brilliantly, calling out to the man holding the black staff beside him, “Xiu Dao.”

The man named Xiu Dao followed his gaze and understood his master’s intention. With a slight nod, he immediately walked towards Yu’er’s table.

The man who had drawn his sword halfway, seeing everyone at Yu’er’s table remaining seated, was about to act when Xiu Dao arrived from behind, patted his shoulder, and signaled him to step back. The man hesitated but then sheathed his sword and stood aside.

Xiu Dao walked up to Yu’er and bowed, saying, “May I ask where the lady comes from, and which sect’s esteemed disciple she is?”

Ignoring the rest at the table, he directed his question solely at Yu’er. Yu’er frowned, visibly displeased by the intrusion, and chose to ignore him entirely as if he weren’t there.

One of Xiu Dao’s followers behind him sharply said, “He’s talking to you!” But Xiu Dao raised his hand, signaling for silence.

Hua Lian, observing the young master in white’s interested glances towards their table, understood his intentions and scoffed inwardly, “What kind of scoundrel dares to set his sights on our little Yu’er? That arrogant young master nearly hurt her on the road earlier, and now he shamelessly approaches with more nonsense.” Hua Lian felt a surge of anger, like a dog or pig trying to snatch their family’s delicate and pure vegetable.

Initially, they didn’t take the young master and his entourage seriously, treating their earlier encounter as a mere spectacle. But now, with these people inquiring about Yu’er, despite jianghu’s usual disregard for formalities, the basic courtesy of introducing oneself before asking a lady about her origins was expected. Their approach was not only presumptuous but also smacked of ill intentions and arrogance.

Hua Lian retorted with a smile, “Shouldn’t one introduce themselves before inquiring about others?”

Xiu Dao glanced sideways at Hua Lian but spoke to Yu’er, “Our Young Master is the Young Master of the Ning family from Luoshui.”

Just as Hua Lian was about to retort with cold sarcasm, a serene voice intervened, proclaiming, “Oh, our miss is the Young Mistress of the Yu family from Yanshan.”

Everyone turned to see Qing Jiu, who had previously stood by the stage made of tables, now standing behind Yu’er.

During their earlier encounter outside the city, the Ning family’s young master and his party had passed quickly, paying little attention to other travelers. Moreover, Qing Jiu and Yu’er, along with their companions, were disheveled from the dust and debris raised by a falling tree, making them less noticeable despite their natural beauty. Thus, Xiu Dao did not recognize them as the group they had encountered earlier, unaware that they had already offended them.

When Xiu Dao heard Qing Jiu’s retort, he initially thought she was earnestly engaging in the conversation. However, only Hua Lian and the others knew that Qing Jiu was just spouting nonsense with a straight face.

Xiu Dao pondered for a moment; he had never heard of Yanshan, let alone the Yu family. He thought that this young lady, with her ethereal beauty and elegant demeanor, must be from a distinguished lineage. He was taken aback to find she was claiming an unheard-of background, leading him to slightly scorn her. After a brief hesitation, he suspected Qing Jiu was lying to conceal Yu’er’s true identity and declared, “What Yanshan Yu family? I’ve never heard of it!”

Qing Jiu retorted, “What Luoshui Ning family? I’ve never heard of it either!”

Xiu Dao’s thick eyebrows shot up as he declared arrogantly, “Our Ning family is the martial arts master of Luoshui for generations, respected by all. Our Pine Wave Palm is renowned throughout the world. Who doesn’t know about it? What kind of country bumpkin are you to have no knowledge at all!”

Qing Jiu countered, “Our Yu family is the martial arts master of Yanshan for generations, respected by all. Our Whirling Mist Technique is renowned throughout the world. Who doesn’t know about it? What kind of barbarian are you to have no knowledge at all?”

Yu’er couldn’t help but snicker as she watched Qing Jiu playfully mock Xiu Dao, her words unrestrained and filled with bluster. With a delicate glance that shyly yet charmingly veiled her amusement, her demeanor exuded a gentle charm.

The Ning family’s young master, watching from the sidelines, was captivated by her glance, his eyes intensifying with interest.

Yan Li and the others were also amused by Qing Jiu’s words. Yan Li managed to maintain her composure with a slight smile. Tang Linzhi and Hua Lian were already collapsing in laughter, leaning on the table and pounding it.

Xiu Dao, realizing too late that he was being made fun of, turned red with embarrassment and frustration, shouting, “You’re just mimicking what I say!”

Qing Jiu retorted, “You brute, mimicking my words!”

Xiu Dao’s forehead veins bulged in fury as he exclaimed, “You… you’re making a fool of me!”

Qing Jiu looked at him with disdain and smiled, “Not as dumb as I thought.”

In his fury, Xiu Dao gritted his teeth, holding back his anger, and sneered back at Qing Jiu, “Know your place, servant. Speak when your master speaks, not you.”

Xiu Dao observed that Yu’er, despite being the youngest, was seated at the head of the table, with the others arrayed deferentially around her, and Qing Jiu standing protectively behind her. He had assumed Yu’er to be the master of the group, not realizing that their casual seating arrangement bore no significance to their respect or manners. Qing Jiu’s standing posture was simply due to her whimsical preference to stand.

Seeing him say that, the corners of Qing Jiu’s mouth curved into a faint smile, and she said, “Well, your master hasn’t said a word, so how could a mere servant of yours presume to speak for my master?” Qing Jiu didn’t mind his sarcasm and just went along with his words. Hearing Qing Jiu refer to her as her master, Yu’er felt an indescribable strangeness and couldn’t help but blush.

Xiu Dao, provoked by Qing Jiu’s sharp tongue, fluctuated between red and pale, his right arm tensing as he almost resorted to violence.

The Ning family’s young master calmly stepped forward, using his fan to block Xiu Dao’s right hand. Xiu Dao huffed coldly, and with a thud of his staff on the ground, the confrontation was halted.

“My apologies for my companion’s rudeness. Please don’t take offense, miss,” said the Ning family’s young master as he approached Yu’er, his eyes intensely fixed on her. “You must be here for the World Martial Arts Competition. I have no other intentions. I merely wish to invite the young lady to accompany me to Mingjian Manor. Traveling together could be quite enjoyable.”

Yu’er frowned deeply. She disliked his gaze; it was too bold, too direct. His intense stare made her feel as though she were already his possession, as if her agreement was inevitable. His intrusive approach sparked an immediate repulsion in her.

Seeing that Yu’er remained silent, the Ning family’s young master tried to charm her with a smile, “Though I am but a novice in jianghu, my family has connections with Mingjian Manor. If the miss might consider…”

Yu’er’s expression darkened. She didn’t want to stay with him for a moment longer and immediately rejected, “No need!”

The Ning family’s young master’s face stiffened. He remained silent for a long time, seeming stunned. He hadn’t expected Yu’er to reject him so decisively.

Qing Jiu laughed, “Young master, didn’t you hear clearly? My Young Mistress said ‘No need.’”

His face darkened suddenly. Life had always gone smoothly for him, and he was unaccustomed to setbacks, which made him naturally arrogant. He had set his sights on Yu’er and was determined to have her. His pursuit had always been about inevitability rather than effort, bolstered by his inherent pride, and he had never contemplated the possibility of rejection.

Now, faced with Yu’er’s decisive refusal, he was enraged by both embarrassment and the frustration of not getting what he wanted. He was about to explode in anger when Qing Jiu interjected again with a mocking tone, which made him snap, “In the jianghu, a mere servant shouldn’t be so ignorant of what’s good for them…” The Ning family was indeed a formidable force in Luoshui, and this young master was used to being domineering. It was his first time venturing into the jianghu. Although he had heard the saying ‘There are always people better than you,’ he had never truly experienced it.

Qing Jiu’s eyes narrowed slightly, a cold glint in her pupils, but her face was adorned with a beaming smile, “That fan of yours is not bad.”

The Ning family’s young master was puzzled by her comment. He glanced around the table and saw seven smiling faces, all watching him intently.

Xiu Dao sensed something amiss and immediately used his staff to protect the Ning family’s young master behind him. The next moment, a gust of cold wind blew towards their faces.

The teahouse, just recovering from one altercation, plunged into another dispute. This skirmish was even shorter than the last, and in moments, several bodies were strewn across the floor.

Xiu Dao knelt on one knee, leaning on his staff. He stared blankly at his fallen comrades on the ground, then at the unconscious Ning family’s young master beside him, fresh blood smeared over his eyes. He looked again at the woman in front of him, her clothes fluttering in the wind. The smile on her face was so chilling.

Muttering under his breath, Xiu Dao asked, “Who are you people, exactly…”

With a slight smile, Qing Jiu responded, “The Yu family of Yanshan.”

As darkness overtook him, Xiu Dao collapsed to the ground. Qing Jiu stepped forward, picking up the young master’s fan and twirling it in her hand.

Yu’er said, “He’s fainted already, and you’re still mocking him.”

Turning around with a smile, Qing Jiu teased, “I said we are from the Yu family. Aren’t you pleased?”

Yu’er blushed and quickly moved away, pretending to be casual, not letting Qing Jiu see her flustered state.

The owner of the teahouse had been through ups and downs running a business in this place. As soon as he detected signs of trouble, he had already left to avoid the storm.

Mo Wen dragged the people from the Ning family and piled them together. She asked Qing Jiu, “Qing Jiu, what should we do with these people?” They hadn’t been harsh; the men had simply passed out. If left unattended, upon waking, they would surely seek retribution at Mingjian Manor, complicating matters.

Qing Jiu, fanning herself lightly, replied, “Fame breeds trouble, and strength invites challenges. We’re headed to Mingjian Manor and shouldn’t draw too much attention. It’s easier to act if we don’t show our true faces. Now that their identities have been conveniently delivered to us, it would be foolish not to use them.”

Everyone understood Qing Jiu’s plan to disguise themselves using the Ning family’s identities to enter Mingjian Manor, and they all agreed. This would certainly make their actions more discreet.

After deciding, Hua Lian pointed to the storyteller still sitting at his table and suggested, “Since we’ve decided, we can’t let this leak. We should knock him out too.”

Before Qing Jiu could respond, Hua Lian was already about to take action.

The storyteller waved his hands repeatedly and said, “Oh, dear sir, have mercy. We’re all one family. Striking your own family, what kind of talk is that?”

Hua Lian snorted, “Who’s your family?”

Qing Jiu said, “Hua Lian, hold on.”

Hua Lian, though confused, halted at Qing Jiu’s command. The storyteller quickly got down and gave a deep bow to everyone. They observed him: with his clean and delicate appearance, he looked more like a frail scholar than anything else. The storyteller introduced himself, “This humble storyteller’s courtesy name is Zhu Ji. If you don’t mind, you can call me Zhu Ji.”

Hua Lian leaned his folding fan against his chin, examining the storyteller from all angles. Qing Jiu walked over and said with a smile, “You don’t need to rack your brain. He’s from the Yanyu Pavilion.”

Hua Lian glanced at the folding fan in his hand and suddenly realized, “I thought there was a strange sense of familiarity.”

Zhu Ji clasped his hands again and said, “Lady Si Ming sees clearly.”

He then took out a jade flute from his robes and presented it to Qing Jiu with both hands, saying, “The Pavilion’s Master has finished using it and sent me to return it to Lady Si Ming, with a message: ‘Should you ever face difficulty, Yanyu Pavilion is at your disposal.’”

Qing Jiu took the jade flute and, seeing that it was intact, put it away immediately. She said, “My thanks to the Pavilion’s Master for their generous thought.”

Knowing that Zhu Ji was from the Yanyu Pavilion, everyone let down their guard and started to deal with the people from the Ning family.

They stripped the unconscious men of their clothes for disguises, administered a sleeping pill to ensure they slept for seven days and nights, tied them to horses, and released them outside the city gates at nightfall. The horses, familiar with the way home, would return on their own. By the time the Ning family members awoke, they would be far away, unable to return until the World Martial Arts Competition would have long been over.

Zhu Ji watched as the group, tied to the horses, disappeared into the distance. He said, “The Ning couple was famous in Luoshui for their Pine Wave Palm, true heroes of their generation. But with only one son born in their middle age, who they doted on excessively, they spoiled him into becoming this arrogant and unrestrained young master. Today’s setback at the hands of these formidable figures might just be the making of his character.”

The group then changed into their new disguises, with Hua Lian assuming the guise of the young master of the Ning family. Yu’er opted for a simple fox mask, while Zhu Ji maintained his usual appearance. The rest of them had altered their appearances. The next day at dawn, they set off towards Huxiao Mountain.

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20 days ago

New identities, but most importantly QJ stood up and said that Yu is her family heheh let’s goooo, albeit it was with QJ’s usual mischievous retorting lol.
Thanks for the chapter!
I’m sad to have caught up but now I guess it’s more exciting to read by the day 😀 let’s see what happens next. I’ll have to back track and add all the names from the past 4 chapters to my notes otherwise I’ll lose track of everyone 😭😭😭 there’s gotta be at least 20 new names from the past 5 chapters I swear.