Plundering the Dao of the Immortal Journey Chapter 57
It was late in the night, and a long black snake slithered through the woods. Upon closer inspection, it was actually 20 to 30 men wearing black, walking stealthily in a line.
When they were about a hundred steps away from Snail Village, the entire group froze. Under the moonlight, the shadow of a tree fell upon him, giving him a menacing look. He whispered, yet it was loud enough for everyone to hear him, "Fellow brothers, tonight we have a job to do. Our main enemy Metalhead Ge has been causing many problems for us on the pier. Tonight he's hiding inside Snail Village. We shall kill him off once and for all."
Once these words were spoken, the rest of the men seemed restless and filled with unease. A bald monk could be seen among the group of men, he had a bruise on his cheek, yet his body seemed tough, as if it was made of metal. Under the moonlight, he thought to himself, 'What bullshit. Metalhead Ge my arse. We're obviously here to kill the new Top Scorer, but do not have to guts to admit it.'
Obviously they would not dare to say that out loud. Although the men from the gang are mainly exiled criminals, they too have a family to raise and feed. They wouldn't dare to clash openly with a government official, especially not after the establishment of the new dynasty, as the officials have strict punishments for those who do not obey. Punishments that could implicate their family members as well.
Yang Kun was bitter about the fact that he was there with them. He should not have gotten aboard the boat, yet he was left with no choice. He feigned confidence and strength, gripping his weapon tightly. He was the gang leader. With some show of confidence, his men settled down as well.
"Metalhead Ge killed six of my brothers. We have to exact vengeance upon him. There are several villagers that would put up a fight, but they are not our targets. Anyway, they would not dare to fight us to death. Let's stick to our target, and kill him off, along with his entire family."
"As long as you kill boldly, we will succeed in our mission!"
"When we return, I will reward everyone with 10 taels of silver. This is for coming with me, and risking our lives. If we succeed in this mission, I shall give everyone 20 taels of silver!"
"Not only will there be monetary gains, but also promotions. There are two elder seats within the gang that are currently vacant and waiting for someone to snatch!"
"Oh yes, all of you remember this. We are fighting under the banners of the Black Wind Sect, and the reason we are fighting is to avenge our brothers who have died at our stronghold. Understood?"
"Hei, we understand!"
In a fraction of a second, all these exiled criminals have been psyched up and were thirsty for blood. Yang Kun looked at Zhang Jie Yu before nodding his head. In the dark, he gave the command, "Let's go!"
His men then trudged forward, toward the village.
Snail Village, Mudwall
A villager was atop the viewing post, on the mudwall. He sat down cross legged and bored. The Black Wind bandits were all dead, and they had an official, the Chief Patrol Officer in our village. This villager felt extremely safe in the village. He yawned and thought to himself, 'All of you are eating and drinking, and yet you wish for me to do sentry duty tonight. Bah!'
He then closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Just as this villager rolled to his side to feel more comfortable, he heard a buzzing sound in his ears. He scolded out loud, "Damned mosquitoes. It's already spring and you're still so unrelenting in your bites. Had I known that there would be mosquitoes I would've brought more wormwood along."
As he was complaining, he raised his head and looked at the moon. He then looked down. What he saw made his blood curdle. There was an entire group of men stealthily walking towards the village. He froze in panic, and wanted to sound the alarm.
Zhang Jie Yu looked up and saw the villager alerted by their movements. He waved his hands. Suddenly, a big monk appeared behind the villager. This monk was indeed an elder from Silver Dragon Temple. He grinned with evil intent, before holding the villager's head in his two huge hands.
A snapping sound could be heard as his neck twisted. He struggled for a short while, blood dripping from his mouth and nose. He fell on the wooden planks of the viewing post. Regret was visible on his face, his hands were still moving, as if he still wanted to sound the alarm. A foot stamped down hard on his hands, as a crack sound could be heard. His bones were clearly shattered.
"It's settled!" The big monk said is a soft voice.
"Hurry up!" All the men wearing black entered the village and scattered around in search for their target.
Under the moonlight, a man was punching the air, practising his martial art moves. His movements were rigorous as his hips matched the ferocity of his upper body, moving violently. He then switched his stance as if he was pulling on a bow, before switching to another flurry of punches. Over the past few weeks, he had been practising these movements faithfully even though he did not have any spiritual energy, and could not produce any energy from within his body. He had become extremely familiar with the steps, and was proficient at it.
However, today, after a few minutes of practicing his moves, there had been some changes. He could feel energy being generated from deep within, and coursing through his veins. Combining this energy with the movements from the Hundred Beasts Manual, he felt limitless powers within his fingertips. His blood and Qi were flowing, neither too quickly nor too slowly, but rather at a controlled pace. He continued his movements for sometime before reaching an abrupt stop.
It was not that he had finished his moves, but rather he had used all the Qi in his body, and thus was forced to stop. After he stopped, Pei Zi Yun realized that his footsteps were weak and unsteady. His entire body was drenched in sweat. His face, neck, chest, body and even legs were wet.
Even his clothes were soaked, almost as if he had just jumped into water.
Just after a few breaths, Pei Zi Yun felt threads of energy being generated within his body, in quick succession, without stopping. His entire body felt rejuvenated and comfortable.
"When Qi flows within your body, bones and muscles are no match!" Pei Zi Yun dug this out from the recesses of the original owner's memories. It can be said that since he had cultivated up to this level, the stage of inner strength would come rather quickly.
"In the discussions about Qi, there was a saying that went: 'if it hurts, it doesn't flow. And if it flows, it doesn't hurt.' And another that said: 'too far is as bad as not enough.'"
"Although I was very tired initially, I can feel the Qi spreading to every part of my body. Even my ears and my eyes senses have increased. I can even feel that my weight is much lighter than before."
"Threads of Qi can be like a huge wave, crashing down upon my entire body, and cause my internal body to be much stronger." Pei Zi Yun's heart was still trembling, "I did not have spiritual energy, and was stuck at the second step for so long. But I kept practising, and caused my foundation to be very strong. Now that I have obtained spiritual energy, I could immediately skip the third and fourth step. Now my inner strength is extremely strong!"
"Since I had the original owner's experience from cultivating, doing this all over again is such a different experience, and extremely fruitful. The original owner didn't lie to me in this regard!"
"Should a normal cultivator start practicing today, he will need at least five years to build his inner strength it. However based on my miraculous improvements, as long as I eat nourishing and replenishing food and drinks, I should be able to finish building my inner strength within the year."
In this life, Pei Zi Yun was faster in cultivation that in the previous life by five years. What's more, he still had the Plum Blossom with him, adding to the joy. He thought about how in his actual life, he had seen all the professional martial artists and their ways on television. He then jumped up, and was surprised at his strength. He landed on top of a tree, which was the same height as the roof of his house, scaring the birds into chipping noisily.
After Pei Zi Yun landed on the tree, he was satisfied and didn't bother testing his powers further. He rested on the tree and was very contented with himself. Suddenly, he heard a dog barking outside. It managed to let out a few barks before it whimpered in pain, no sound was heard.
Standing atop a tree, the moonlight shone down onto the pathway between the village entrance and his house. He could see several men wearing black stealthily edging their way towards his house. In a split second, his smile froze as he panicked, 'Not good, it's a bandit attack!'
Just as he was thinking about this, a small white plum blossom floated into his vision as it rapidly transformed into a transparent information interface. An urgent red message was flashing before him, as if it was warning him of something important. The red line words read, "Defend yourself against the bandits, enter Free Cloud Sect."
When Pei Zi Yun saw this, he could not help but muttered angrily under his breath, "Damn it. Bloody stupid system! You fire the gun only after the horses have started running*. Only after I've seen the intruding bandits do you warn me of their presence? Since I've already seen them why would I need you to warn me?"
*(TN : Chinese saying for belated action)
Pei Zi Yun turned around and slid off the tree, before running straight his house. He entered one of the rooms and kicked the soldier who was sleeping on the floor, "Hurry wake up, wake up!"
The soldier who was kicked jumped up in anger, but froze when he realized who it was, "Master Top Scorer?"
"Bandits are here, hurry get up!"
When he finished speaking Cao San had already woken up. Hearing Pei Zi Yun's words, he broke out in cold sweat before glaring at his soldiers, "Bastard, why aren't you up yet?"
Since the establishment of the new dynasty, half of the bowmen in the military were initially infantry soldiers. They hurriedly prepared themselves as they wore their clothes and readied their weapons. Pei Zi Yun was about to wake the Chief Patrol Officer up, when the Chief Patrol Officer sat up and said, "Cao San, hurry, something's happened!"
Pei Zi Yun was secretly in admiration of that. All he did was to say one line and the Chief Patrol Officer had started wearing his clothes. Although he was still somewhat drunk, his eyes were focused and immediately won the admiration and respect of his soldiers. Without a sound, he climbed up the stairs and took a look before whispering, "Master Top Scorer, these are bandits. Hurry run to the back and hide. As for killing bandits, leave it up to me."
This High Scholar was to be protected at all costs. Should something untoward happen to Pei Zi Yun, and a Chief Patrol Officer was in the village, he would be in deep trouble. Stripping of his rank would be the first of many problems to come.
Hearing these words by the Chief Patrol Officer, Pei Zi Yun backed down.
The Chief Patrol Officer looked out once more. In the time he took to talk to Pei Zi Yun, the bandits had gotten closer. With a wave of his hands and a face full of determination, he ordered, "Quick, Cao San, set up a defense perimeter around the wall. There are around 30 bandits."
He flipped all the tables back to the wall behind. The wall wasn't very high, just standing atop the tables would allow them to be attacked. Cao San climbed up the wall to take a look. It was clear that the sight of the oncoming bandits was terrifying and it made him tremble with fear. All the drunkenness had vanished from his body.
"Send a man to start making loud noises once the attack begins. He should be hitting the drums and making as much noise as possible, and gather all the villagers to resist the bandits."
There are so many bandits here, and yet he had to be trapped in this village. This was such a disaster. Even the Chief Patrol Officer was sweating cold sweat.
Seeing the Chief Patrol Officer commanding his men with authority, Pei Zi Yun stepped forward and said, "Patrol Officer your excellency, you stay near the wall and shoot arrows over. I shall take a bowman with me. The moment the fight starts, make as much noise as possible to alert the villagers. I will lead them."
A normal person would not be able to motivate the villagers into fighting. Hearing Pei Zi Yun's words, the Chief Patrol Officer had some doubts, "Master Top Scorer, why would you want to participate in the fight yourself?"
There was some danger involved in the situation. Although he wasn't an official yet, he was already a scholar, and thus was responsible for whatever happened around him.
Pei Zi Yun pulled out his sword and cut down a tree before him. He then took a big thick branch and snapped it into two. He smiled and said, "Patrol Officer, I am not a weak bookworm."
The moonlight shone brightly onto the ground in front of them. The Chief Patrol Officer looked on at the onslaught of bandits approaching them. He then looked at the 9 men he had in his command. Biting down on his teeth, he said, "Since master Top Scorer has such bravery in his blood, I shall follow his lead. That's how it shall be done."
There was determination and resolute within the eyes of the Chief Patrol Officer. He thought about how, sometime ago, this youth was just an Elementary Scholar, yet had led a troop to annihilate the Black Wind Sect. He then made up his mind to fight on.
Although this Patrol Officer had servants to wait on him, and thus was slightly fat now, he drew his sword menacingly. The sword gleamed in the dark, reflecting the moonlight. Killing aura radiated from him.
At this point, several men in black were already near. One of them was leading the rest. Just before the bowmen were going to shoot arrows, the Chief Patrol Officer stretched out his hand as if to ask them to pause, "Wait, wait for more of them to come."
After several other black clothed bandits approached the wall, the Chief Patrol Officer then shouted, "Shoot!"
The bowmen were already prepared for the command. Their bows were bent back and were ready to loose the arrows. Once they heard the order, they released the bowstrings. The sound of arrows hitting bodies could be heard. Several bandits were struck by the arrows, each of them being hit by more than 2 arrows at a time. They collapsed to the ground, but didn't die immediately and were crying out in pain.
"There're bandits, bandits are here!" Seeing that the action had begun, the bowman started sounding the alarm, using all his strength to hit the drums.
The dogs in the village were all alarmed and were barking in unison. Hearing all these noise, the villagers started to wake up. They were lighting the candles in their homes. Chickens were flying and dogs were jumping around in fear. The adults were placating their babies. Shadows lurked all around.
"Who is it, what's happening?" The Village Chief was up, yet slightly drunk from the previous night. He was extremely sensitive to noise and thus woke up once he heard some noise outside.
The Village Chief did not have enough time to get a good look at what was happening, all he saw was someone holding a torch walking towards him. The Village Chief noticed the person holding the torch was Pei Zi Yun who was wearing the robes of a High Scholar, his face was expressionless. Pei Zi Yun placed the torch down, and said, "Chief, the Black Wind bandits have attacked the village."