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The Thrush Chapter 13

CSI

Chapter 75 – Large and Influential Aristocratic Family

Amidst the sound of laughter, the limpid-autumn-waters long sword, its flickering light radiated all around, already entered his hand, he still held the tip of the sword with three fingers, but used the hilt to slam the slender man in black’s chest.

The man in black scolded lightly, “What a fast hand!”

In the time that the short sentence of just four words was completed, not only did he dodge Chu Liuxiang’s flashing sword, he already returned two moves.

Liu Wumei was still in shock, she appeared to still be in a daze. Seeing the sword formation was about to start, Li Yuhan stomped his feet, drew his sword and joined the fray.

Thereupon bursts of sword light flashed, cold wind suddenly arose.

The sword turned into a curtain of light, rolling toward Chu Liuxiang’s figure.

Liu Wumei staggered back, returning to the corner of the walls. Her face was devoid of any color of blood. Half a day later, drops of tears flowed down from the corners of her eyes.

Chu Liuxiang making his move, grabbing the sword, and launching his attack, Liu Wumei stepping back, Li Yuhan rushing out, and the sword formation was activated, all happened nearly at the same time.

Watching this, Hu Tiehua was emotionally affected, he was both shocked and happy, so that he nearly could not help shouting and cheering loudly. Chu Liuxiang’s skill was really worthy of applause.

Although the victory or defeat of this decisive battle was still unknown, Chu Liuxiang has at least grabbed the key moment, so that momentarily this sword formation could not unleash its greatest might.

Moreover, Li Yuhan was obviously not as familiar with this sword formation as Liu Wumei, and now that he took Liu Wumei’s position, this formation was bound to suffer deficiency.

At the moment of such a heart-pounding battle, Hu Tiehua was really reluctant to leave, he could not bear to leave Chu Liuxiang staking his life in here alone even more.

But he simply had to leave, because he knew that if Chu Liuxiang saw that he had not left, inevitably he would be distracted. Naturally he also knew that in such a fierce battle, no matter which side was distracted no matter how little, he might make the wrong move, and any mistake, no matter how small, could be fatal.

While admittedly in moving hands and exchanging strikes, the strength or weakness of martial art skill was the biggest key to victory or defeat, but whether one’s judgment in making the move was correct was the factor to decide fatality.

A window in the corner was open.

Hu Tiehua gritted his teeth and flew at an angle out.

The ground of the flower garden was completely covered in shade, it was quiet with no one in sight, except for the ‘whizzing’ noise of the sword wind coming from the hall. Although the sword wind was rapid, there was no sound of sword blades clashing against each other.

The coordination of this sword formation was so wonderful, it has indeed reached the pinnacle.

Hu Tiehua could not help glancing back, only to see that the light curtain formed by the sword light was getting denser and denser, with no loopholes to be seen.

He really could not think of a way that Chu Liuxiang could break out of this sword formation. With this one glance, his feet could no longer move half a step.

He tried to justify himself inwardly, “This courtyard manor is so vast, looking for three people is like looking for a needle in a haystack, I’m sure I won’t be able to find them anyway, I might as well stay here to help him. If he can’t withstand, maybe I can help him.”

The breeze blew, the leaves created rustling noise.

Evidently the rules in rich martial arts family were not a small matter. Although such a big thing was happening here, no one dared to come to watch the fun.

In the distance, a wisp of smoke from kitchen chimneys was rising, and there was a faint aroma of porridge in the breeze. Obviously it was time for hot breakfast.

No matter what big thing was happening, the people in this ‘Yong Cui Shanzhuang’ would not dare to change their daily routines, let alone to put down the work at their hands.

This kind of large and influential aristocratic family was as unshakable as a boulder.

Thinking of this, Hu Tiehua could not help sighing again, but this moment the aroma of porridge was getting stronger, making him realized that he was very hungry.

Also at this moment, a flash of inspiration suddenly appeared in his heart, “No matter what the circumstances are, people must eat.”

Emperors and kings have to eat, people of the lowest strata of community also have to eat. The people in ‘Yong Cui Shanzhuang’ could not be an exception, Su Rongrong and the others also had to eat.

If Li Yuhan, husband and wife wanted to use them to threaten Chu Liuxiang, they could not let them starve to death, at least they had to give them food.

The smoke from the kitchen chimneys rose from behind a shed of purple flowers on the east.

Hu Tiehua immediately unleashed his shenfa and swept over to that direction.

Behind the flower shed was the perimeter wall of the flower garden. Outside the wall, there were layer upon layer of small buildings. The courtyard was full of clothes drying poles, with a row of tile-roofed houses on either side. Obviously it was the residence of the servants and maids of the ‘Yong Cui Shanzhuang’. This moment, there were several people sharpening their sabers and polishing their spears, straightening out the red silk on the saber hilt and the head of the spear – under the eaves.

There were also several bare-chested big men practicing martial art in the open space in the yard, while muttering that there were too many clothes drying in the yard, so that they could not fully unleash their punching and kicking.

Further ahead, there was another row of single-story houses with several chimneys on the roof, three of which emitted smoke. This was obviously the kitchen of the Li Family.

Hu Tiehua was a little nervous at first, but immediately realized that although there were many people in the courtyard, their expressions were very relaxed, so much so that they were a bit lazy.

Because this was their world, they did not need to worry that their superiors would come for inspection, nor did they need to worry about robbers and thieves.

Even the stupidest robbers in the world would not dare to provoke them. Even if someone really dared to come to the ‘Yong Cui Shanzhuang’ to give them bad luck, they would never take them as targets. Therefore, each of them felt very reassured – thereupon Hu Tiehua also felt very reassured.

He rolled his eyes, and suddenly took off his clothes. With his upper body naked, he jumped out of the bushes, found a corner of the wall where the sun light could not reach, and sat down, stretching his limbs, breathing hard, putting an air of having just completed his martial art training. Inside and outside, surprisingly, no one paid him any attention.

He saw by the kitchen over yonder, there was a group of people sitting in the shade of a tree, both men and women. The men were trying to coax the women to talk, but the women pretended to ignore them.

All over the world, all crows are black, all over the world, all the servants are the same. Although the rules of ‘Yong Cui Shanzhuang’ were strict, as long as they departed from their master’s eyes, their guts would become bigger. To have servants not to fool around with the maids, perhaps it would be more difficult than getting a dog not to eat poop.

Seeing that, Hu Tiehua was secretly amused, but felt that although these little servant girls’ faces were so-so, their postures were still quite touching, two of them appeared to be not too bad.

Especially when the sun shone on them, the figure-hugging light silk clothes on their bodies seemed to become transparent, even the reddish dudou [undergarment covering the chest and abdomen, ancient Chinese bra] under their clothes was visible, so that watching it, all those big men with excess energy, each one’s eye wanted to pop out, they did not stop drooling.

After half a day, suddenly there was a clanking metal noise coming from the kitchen.

One after another the men and women under the tree stood up, a young man said with a giggle, “How come they are cooking quicker and quicker? I haven’t finished talking yet!”

The pretty servant girl pursed her lips and broke into a laugh, saying, “Today’s meal is over, don’t you need to eat tomorrow?”

The lad’s eyes lit up, he spoke quietly, “Tomorrow, will you be willing to …”

At this time, the other people already swarmed toward the kitchen, the sound of their footsteps drowned out their voices. A big man with a stuck-out chest and a bulging belly came out and stood at the door. Were it not for he was covered all over in grease, he would look like a giant. His arms akimbo, his eyes bulging, he roared, “Everyone has a share, what are you scrambling over for? Come one by one.”

A man with a horse face said loudly, “The men in our stable got up before dawn to care for the animals, every day we get up the earliest, we get hungry the quickest. Zhao Laoda [boss/chief, ‘number one’], do us a favor!”

That Zhao Laoda did not even look at him, he turned around and took out the food box, saying, “Have the ladies from the main building come yet?”

The man with the horse face was flushed with anger, he said, “You clearly know that as soon as Shao Zhuangzhu [young manor master] comes back, the ladies from the main building will eat their meal from the small kitchen, why do you still need to prepare food for them?”

Zhao Laoda still ignored him, but he laughed and said to the pretty servant girl, “The ladies from the main building are not coming, you get the benefit.”

The pretty servant girl sashayed over, grabbed the lid of the food box to take a glance, and then cast a glance at Zhao Laoda, she chuckled quietly and said, “The dishes are okay, but there are only so many buns, how could it be enough for eight people to eat?”

Zhao Laoda roared in laughter and said, “Little girls, you only know how to eat all day long, aren’t you afraid your belly will grow big and no one will want you?”

The pretty servant girl stomped her feet and said, “Okay, you eat my tofu, see if I don’t tell Cuifeng Jie [older sister] and ask her to punish you by kneeling with a chamber pot tonight.”

Zhao Laoda quickly said, “All right, all right! You little devil, just consider me afraid of you, will one more basket enough?”

Only then did the pretty servant girl laughed and said, “Now that is not bad.”

Thereupon she picked up the food box and sashayed away. Before leaving, she did not forget to throw a coquettish glance toward Zhao Laoda, naturally she also cast the young lad another one.

The other several servant girls also took the food boxes and left. Some of them were pinched by Zhao Laoda‘s greasy hand on their butts.

The man with horse face yelled, “It’s not the horse stable’s turn yet?”

Zhao Laoda acted as if he did not hear at all, exasperatingly slowly he picked up a food box, an old female servant with a few white pockmarks on her face rushed over immediately and said with a laugh, “The girls’ share is done, I know it’s our turn.”

She also grabbed the food box and looked at it, she laughed again and said, “The people in our building are doing heavy manual labor, unlike those pretty and delicate girls, this much food, how can it be enough? The dishes are all right, but the rice …”

Zhao Laoda calmly said, “Rice is only so much, you eat it or not, it’s up to you. If everyone in the Manor eats like you, the Li family would have gone bankrupt long ago.”

Still laughing apologetically, the old female servant said, “Yes, yes, yes, we indeed eat too much, but we are not heartless people. We all have already prepared a few bolts of cloth to make cotton-padded jackets for various Dage [big brothers] in the kitchen.”

“Humph,” Zhao Laoda grunted, his face indeed softened a lot. With just a wave of his hand, two ocean-size bowls were stuffed into the old female servant’s food box.

Hu Tiehua felt both annoyed and amused, he thought, “Even a cook is such a tyrannical bully. If he became a government official, what would happen then?”

He saw that building by building, all the food boxes were taken away, and finally it was the horse stable’s turn. The man with horse face held back his anger, took his share, lifted the lid and looked at it, immediately his countenance changed, he said, “There are five adults and four children in the building, you gave us only this pot of porridge and steamed buns?”

“That’s right,” Zhao Laoda said, “That’s all.”

The man with horse face was so angry that his hands trembled, he said, “The one surnamed Zhao, you … you bully too much.”

Zhao Laoda spoke coldly, “What do you want? You don’t want to eat this bowl of rice?”

The man with horse face roared wildly and said, “Laozi would rather not eat this bowl of rice, I will stake everything against you today.” He picked up the food box and threw it on Zhao Laoda’s head.

Who would have thought that unexpectedly this Zhao Laoda had a bit of skill? He spun around and slapped backhandedly, followed by a kick from below, and said sternly, “How dare you make trouble in the kitchen, are you tired of living?”

That man with horse face was hit by the kick, he crawled back up again, and wanted to stake his life, but seven or eight people were already pouring out of the kitchen, it looked like he was about to be beaten.

Hu Tiehua has been waiting for half a day, but he still did not see anyone delivering food for Su Rongrong and the others. He was anxious and thought, “Could it be that they are not in this Manor at all?” He had been waiting for half a day, unexpectedly he was waiting in vain. While thinking about looking elsewhere, he saw this man with horse face being bullied so much, his anger was really difficult to endure.

He also realized that this was not the time to meddle, to be outraged by an injustice, but he still could not help rushing over. Zhao Laoda was sending his bowl-sized fist to meet the man with horse face when he suddenly saw someone rushing over and slapped him in the face, sending him slamming into his second-in-command so that both of them tumbled down.

The other men immediately roared and surrounded him, some even had kitchen knives in their hands, but how could Hu Tiehua take these people seriously?

Even if it was inconvenient for him to use his real skills, but three punches and two kicks later, he had already knocked down four of the seven people.

Zhao Laoda was frightened that his face turned pale, he said, “You … you, this kid, are also from the horse stable?”

Laughing coldly, Hu Tiehua said, “That’s right, you think everyone in the horse stable is easy to bully?”

Zhao Laoda suddenly picked up a kitchen knife and slashed at his leg. Who would have thought that as soon as he lifted his foot Hu Tiehua kicked his knife away? And then with another kick he knocked his person down.

The man with horse face immediately straddled him and pummeled him with a dozen punches. Zhao Laoda, who just now was so mighty and considered himself unexcelled in the world, was unexpectedly beaten to the point of crying for help.

Hu Tiehua was fighting to his heart’s content when he suddenly heard someone yell, “Are you going to rebel? Stop completely for me.”

Some people were originally holding their rice bowls on the side, watching the fun, as soon as they heard this voice, immediately all of them slipped away. The man with horse face was also so scared that his face turned ashen, the fist that was already raised, unexpectedly he did not dare to continue pounding down.

But this person’s voice was tender and soft, also sharp and clear, not only it was not scary at all, but it was very pleasant to hear. Not only her voice was pleasant to the ears, her person was also very pleasant to the eyes.

He noticed her long, shapely eyebrows and almond eyes, and a pretty melon-seed face. Although she was angry at the moment, she still appeared to be so charming and moving.

Looking at her attire, she was more or less similar to the other servant girls. At most, she was just a servant girl with a comparably superior rank.

Hu Tiehua really did not understand why these people were so afraid of her. He could not help casting her a couple more glances.

The Da Guniang’s [big miss/lady, not ‘big’ as in size, but eldest/first/major/more respectable, you get the idea] eyes were also staring at him, she spoke sternly, “What’s going on? Why are you guys fighting?”

Rubbing his nose, Hu Tiehua said with a laugh, “We did not want to fight either, only this Zhao Laoda is bullying people too much, in the horse stable, we have nothing to show him filial respect, hence he gives us trouble and not give us enough food.”

Zhao Laoda hurriedly said, “Ping Guniang, you must not listen to him, he …”

Miss Ping’s face sank, she laughed coldly and said, “Whether I listen to him or not, it’s my business, no need for you to blab, I already know that you, kitchen people are getting more and more outrageous.”

Zhao Laoda pulled a long face, unexpectedly he really did not dare to open his mouth again.

Miss Ping looked up and down, she also looked at Hu Tiehua a few times, and spoke indifferently, “Your martial art is not bad, how come I have never seen you?”

Hu Tiehua laughed and said, “Xiaorenmen [lowly person (plural)] deal with horses all day, naturally Guniang did not see us.”

Miss Ping spoke coldly, “I did not expect people in the horse stable to have such good skills as you, looks like you are actually making little use of great skill.”

She suddenly turned her head to glare at the man with horse face, and spoke sternly, “Is he really from the horse stable?”

The man with horse face hung his head down but took a furtive glance at Hu Tiehua. Although Hu Tiehua was still wearing a smile on his face, he was ready to fight for real.

Only because he could already see through that although this Miss Ping looked very delicate, her eyes were shining with light, unexpectedly she was a martial art master with both internal and external cultivations, she did not look easy to deal with.

Who would have thought that the man with horse face unexpectedly nodded his head and said with an apologetic smile, “That’s right, he is Xiaoren’s Dajiuzi [wife’s older brother], he only came a few days ago to help.”

Miss Ping turned her gaze back to Hu Tiehua, her face softened greatly, she said, “You came to help, that’s all right, but helping him to fight, that’s a no-no, you understand?”

Hu Tiehua heaved a sigh of relief inwardly, he laughed and said, “Yes, Guniang’s order, Xiaoren will obey.”

With like a smile yet not a smile [idiom] Miss Ping looked at him, she spoke leisurely, “Looking at your skills, working at the stable, it would be a great pity. Come to me in two days, I will try to find a way to arrange a better position for you.”

The man with horse face pushed Hu Tiehua forward and said, “Ping Guniang speaks in front of Shao Zhuangzhu husband and wife, in the future, as long as Ping Guniang is willing to act as your sponsor, you will have good luck.”

Hu Tiehua could only laugh apologetically and said, “Thank you Ping Guniang, in two days, I will definitely call to pay my respects to Ping Guniang.”

He looked at this Miss Ping’s slender waist, long legs, and that pair of fair and tender small hands, inwardly he really wanted to ‘call to pay his respects’ to her.

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