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Laughter of the Sword God Chapter 6

CSI

Chapter 6 – The nest the fake big robber fled to

(One)

Spring came late. Although spring has arrived in Jiangnan, it was unclear when the spring would arrive in this place. But at least the earth has more or less shown the beginning of spring.

From Sha Dahu’s mansion back to the Old Wang’s grocery store, was a long yellow sandy soil street. Due to the melting snow, the sandy soil became mud. People walking on mud, each step meant a foot full of mud.

Naturally this feeling was very unpleasant.

Lu Xiaofeng was unwilling to show off his qinggong. He really wished to have a taste of this somewhat desolate, barren spring scenery. The cool and crisp air would be helpful to his thinking.

Very quickly he found a way to get the best of both worlds.

He looked for two rather coarse twigs, and using a dagger, he turned the twigs onto some kind of short walking sticks, which he fastened onto his feet and used the sticks as stilts. Hence he was able to walk happily on the mud.

It was the first time he used the dagger.

Right now it must have been around noon [orig. ‘wu’ hour, between 11am-1pm]. The breeze blowing his body seemed a little warm. Although he had so many questions in his heart that he did not have the answer, he still felt very comfortable.

He was not the kind of person who held on to worldly riches. Not at all. He never bothered to hold on to it.

He often said, “Worries are just like wealth, it is best to scatter them as soon as possible.”

(Two)

A gust of wind blew, the row of stumps by the street had not sprouted any new leaves, the vegetation was still bare.

Lu Xiaofeng did not stop to look at all, he simply called out, “Jin Qiliang.”

“Lu Xiaofeng.”

Perched atop a barren tree, Jin Qiliang did indeed look like seven taels of cotton [See Chapter 5 for explanation on Jin Qiliang’s name].

He looked down on Lu Xiaofeng and giggled, “Actually, I shouldn’t call you ‘Lu Xiaofeng’, you don’t look like a bird at all.” [Reminder: ‘xiao feng’ means ‘little phoenix’.]

“You look like a little chicken,” Jin Qiliang said.

Lu Xiaofeng also laughed. He agreed that the pair of wooden sticks under his feet looked very much like chicken feet.

“Jin Qiliang, what are you doing here? Are you running after me?” Lu Xiaofeng asked with a laugh.

“If I want to run after something, I would have run after a hen; why would I want to run after a little rooster like you?” Jin Qiliang said, “I can’t help it, I was forced to run.”

“Who forced you?”

“People can’t force me, only temper can force me to leave.”

“Whose temper?”

“Of course it’s the Big Boss’.” Jin Qiliang said, “Only Big Boss’ temper can force people.”

“The Big Boss is mad?”

“Not only is he mad, he is extremely furious.”

“What made him mad?”

“Of course he is mad at you.” Jin Qiliang said, “He has already taken care of the kitchen, wine and dishes are prepared well, yet you absolutely refused to stay and eat with him. If you were him, wouldn’t you be mad as well?”

“I won’t be mad,” Lu Xiaofeng said, “Not only I won’t be mad, I would jump in joy instead.”

“In joy?”

“I did not stay in his place to eat, his wine would be saved a bit, his dish would also be saved a bit; why wouldn’t I jump in joy? Why would I be angry?”

Jin Qiliang let out a bitter laugh, “Probably because you are not him that you can say such things. That Big Boss of ours is someone who values his face more than his life. Since Lu Xiaofeng has already entered his territory, yet was not willing to eat a bowl of rice at his place, to him, it was practically an extraordinary shame and humiliation, it was practically worse than stealing away his wife. Therefore, I could not swallow my rice either.”

“Therefore, you had no choice but to sneak out and look for me?” Lu Xiaofeng asked, “Are you thinking of asking me to treat you for lunch?”

Jin Qiliang laughed, “Originally I was thinking of treating you, but since you insist, I cannot not give you any face.”

Lu Xiaofeng also laughed, “Originally I was seriously thinking of treating you; too bad there is not a single restaurant in this place, even if I wanted to treat you, I can do nothing.”

“There is a way,” Jin Qiliang quickly said, “As long as you are willing to pay, I have a way. If I can’t even spend other people’s money, then my name is not Jin Qiliang, but Jin Tugou [lit. dirt dog, a mole cricket/ Gryllotalpa].”

He did have a way. By handing over ten taels of silver to Wang Dayan, in less than two hours wine and dishes were set up on the table in Lu Xiaofeng’s room.

(Three)

Although there was nothing special with the wine, but the dishes were done very well, especially the simmer-fried chicken, the chicken was cooked very fresh, tender and tasty. Even Lu Xiaofeng, who was usually very picky with his food, was very satisfied, “I did not expect the lady boss actually has such a good culinary skill.”

“This is not the lady boss’ handiwork, it’s Boss Wang’s handiwork.”

With a warm, yet mysterious expression Jin Qiliang looked at Lu Xiaofeng, “What’s more, he seems to eat anything.”

Lu Xiaofeng had his eyes fixed on the chicken.

Jin Qiliang looked at him. At first he seemed to be nearly smiling, but in the end he sighed deliberately and said, “When others stole one egg in his shop, he could see it clearly, but when others stole his wife, he did not even notice.” Jin Qiliang went on, “Do you know that there is a very popular old joke in this town?”

Although Lu Xiaofeng really wished that he was deaf at the moment, he could not ignore him, “What joke?”

“Zhao Xiazi [lit. blind, see Chapter 3] has a pair of shifty eyes that can see everything, Wang Dayan [again, see Chapter 3] has a blind open-wide eye.”

Jin Qiliang deliberately laughed aloud again, as if he had just told the funniest joke on earth. Too bad before he could laugh too long, he already had to stop laughing. Because Lu Xiaofeng stuffed his mouth with a piece of chicken drumstick.

Whenever lady boss was mentioned, Lu Xiaofeng immediately wished to change the subject; to his dismay, however, this time the one changing the subject was not him, but Jin Qiliang.

“Lu Xiaofeng, let me be honest with you, although the number of times we met is not many, but I always regard you as my friend,” Jin Qiliang said, “Even if you don’t consider me as a friend, I still consider you as my friend.”

His drinking capacity did not seem to be too big, after drinking a few cups, he already appeared a bit tipsy.

“I know you must be wondering, you feel strange that I would flee to this place,” Jin Qiliang said, “The world is big, I, Jin Qiliang can go to any place, anywhere I go, people would treat me as honored guest, would regard me as a wealthy man; why would I want to come over here to take shelter under that arrogant and conceited alive mole cricket who would rather die than lose face?”

Several cups of wine entered his tummy, a burst of heroic spirit arose in his breast; all of a sudden the Big Boss became ‘alive mole cricket’. Lu Xiaofeng had heard about it many times before, Lu Xiaofeng had seen things like this too many times before.

However, the question Jin Qiliang had just asked him, even if he did not want to comment, he had to ask, “So why did you come here?”

“Because of a snake, a viper that is a hundred times more poisonous than scarlet-line serpent,” Jin Qiliang replied.

Obviously this snake was not a real snake, because there is simply no snake in the world that is a hundred times more poisonous than scarlet-line snake; therefore, Lu Xiaofeng immediately thought of something, “The snake you are talking about, most probably is not a real snake, but a person.” Lu Xiaofeng said, “The person you are talking about, most probably is the Snake Cavalier.”

(Four)

Snake Cavalier should not be young anymore, twenty-five years ago, seven southern and sixty-three northern provinces’ escort agency alliance’s Head Escort ‘Steady As Mount Tai’ Kong Taishan already issued a call to the wulin world to hunt and capture him, more than that, to kill him at all cost.

This matter was widely known around Jianghu. What they did not know was: why was Old Chief Kong so angry toward a young man who had just made his debut?

But people believed that someone like Old Chief Kong would not take any action without a strong reason. Anybody who managed to reach the ‘Old Chief’ position like him would not do anything without any strong reason. If he wanted to kill Snake Cavalier, it must be that Snake Cavalier really deserved to die.

“Not only this person is most venomous than snakes, he is even more slippery than snakes. I have been trying to track him down for seven, eight months, until finally I learned that he appeared on this road.” Jin Qiliang said, “I also heard that this place is Big Boss Sha’s territory, as long as it is a friend who has a bit of name in Jianghu, as long as he came here, it did not matter how big the criminal case against him, Big Boss Sha would definitely offer shelter.”

“Hence you deduced that that snake must be hiding is Sha Dahu’s place to seek refuge from the enemy.”

“Anybody would think the same thing.” Jin Qiliang said, “You must also be thinking that those two people, one man, one woman, must be fugitives who seek shelter under Big Boss Sha’s roof.”

“That’s right.”

“But you are wrong.”

Lu Xiaofeng immediately asked, “How did you know I was wrong? How did you know that the people I am looking for are not fugitives in that place?”

“Because they really believe that I killed Little Tian, they all believe that Eighth Grand Master Tian absolutely wanted my life; therefore, they did not conceal anything from me.” Jin Qiliang said, “They already consider me as one of them, nobody has any idea that it is just a front.”

“The one you want to kill is a b@stard, so you have to become a b@stard first. You want to sneak into a pile of turtles to pry into their secret, naturally you have to become a turtle first.”

“Big Boss Sha has always loved to be told about other people’s deepest secret, in his house he shelters a number of big robbers, fugitives of the Jianghu, occasionally he would pretend to be careless and leak out several names.” Jin Qiliang said, “The names he mentioned are indeed sensational.”

He continued, “Watching the reaction of other people when he mentioned those names, Big Boss Sha always feels very happy.”

Lu Xiaofeng laughed, “To be able to provide shelter to those big caliber criminals with impressive reputation in his house, it is indeed a serious matter.” Lu Xiaofeng said, “Not only he himself gets a kick out of it, other people would also feel that he has a serious face.”

Jin Qiliang sighed, “Big bosses always want a lot of face, it’s just that this Big Boss Sha’s craving for a face is a bit excessive.”

“How excessive?”

“The way he wants a face is almost as if he has no face.”

“Why?”

“Because those big caliber criminals he is harboring are all fake goods.” Jin Qiliang said, “Those people knew the Big Boss’ temper, therefore, they adapt to his taste. Some claimed they have run amuck around such-and-such places around Huai River, some said they killed people like scything flax under so-and-so’s banner.”

“And the truth is?”

With a wry smile Jin Qiliang said, “The truth is that they all are no more than some third-rate small-time thieves; not only there is no character of the Snake Cavalier’s caliber, basically there is no one with crime worth mentioning at all.” And then he asked Lu Xiaofeng, “Among those small sons of a b1tch who talk nonsense and eat and drink indolently, how could there be the persons you are looking for?”

Lu Xiaofeng was dumbstruck.

Hearing this kind of matters, of course he found it to be funny, yet right now he could not even laugh.

These fugitives were originally his biggest suspects, as well as his most important clue; but now it was broken.

The killer who murdered Liu Chengfeng seemed to have completely disappeared, so much so that they did not seem to exist at all.

Evidently Jin Qiliang understood his mood very well; he picked up the cup and downed the wine first, “Lu Xiaofeng, you don’t have to feel bad. Speaking about feeling bad, I feel worse than you do.” He poured a cup for Lu Xiaofeng, “We seem to be in the same boat, this time we tool a wasted trip; we’d better go home together now!”

Lu Xiaofeng suddenly laughed, “This place is so fun, how could I bear to leave?”

This time it was Jin Qiliang’s turn to be dumbstruck. “You said this place is fun?”

“Of course it is fun.” Lu Xiaofeng said, “It is very fun.”

He did not lie. The more dangerous the situation, the more fun it was for him. The more unexplainable the problem, the more interesting it was to Lu Xiaofeng.

It was Lu Xiaofeng’s usual style.

But when he said those words, perhaps even in his dream he would not expect that very soon he would die in that place.

By this time, however, Lu Xiaofeng did not know that he would die, and he had not given up all hope either.

“Other than those bunch of fake big bandits, others are born and bred in this place?”

“Seems like it.” Jin Qiliang thought for a moment before adding, “I think only one person is not.”

“Who? Who is not?”

“Gong Susu.”

This was the first time Lu Xiaofeng heard this name. The name was clearly a very noble, elegant and beautiful name, it can definitely arouse men’s interest, anybody would not associate this name with a lady who sells pork at the market. Therefore, Lu Xiaofeng immediately asked, “What kind of person is she?”

“She is a woman whose elegant demeanor is extraordinarily well, her scholarly knowledge is also unusually good, her view is distinct, her style of conversation is also very graceful. Not only that, she lacks none of the four arts of the Chinese Scholar [i.e. zither, Go, calligraphy, painting].” Jin Qiliang deliberately sighed, “Only in one area she is lacking.”

“Which area?” Lu Xiaofeng eagerly asked.

“She likes to drink,” Jin Qiliang slowly and deliberately said, “There was one time I saw it with my own eyes, during meal she drank a whole jar of white wine. Finished drinking, her face did not even change color.”

Lowering his voice, he continued spoke to Lu Xiaofeng very mysteriously, “If you ask me, someone like her, why would she want to live in this kind of place?” Jin Qiliang went on, “Well, I’ll tell you, she did not come here on her own account, rather, she can’t leave even if she wanted to.”

“Why?”

Jin Qiliang lowered his voice even more, “Because she was originally a beloved concubine of a prince of the reigning royal family; because she committed a crime, offending the Prince, she was banished to this place.”

Lu Xiaofeng’s four eyebrows started to droop. He sighed and said, “I know it, I know you are trying to harm me.”

“I’m harming you?” Jin Qiliang appeared to be deeply hurt, “How could I harm you?”

“You obviously know that when I found out that there is such woman in this place, if I don’t see her, I won’t be able to sleep well tonight.” Lu Xiaofeng said, “And now, what do you want me to do?”

“What to do? It’s very easy.” Jin Qiliang said, “You want to see her, I’ll take you there. Not only that, I’ll ask her to invite you for a drink.”

When they left the grocery store, the lady boss’ countenance looked like a piece of iron panel, she looked at Lu Xiaofeng with cold eyes, as if she wished to strangle him right then and there.

Lu Xiaofeng did not even look at her.

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