Chapter 2 – Ingot
April Sixteen. Clear Skies.
The day started like any other day, the air clear and dry. Travelers streamed to and fro along the main road leading out of Jinan City.
But for some people, although the day started like any other day, the end of the day would be completely different.
Another way to put it would be to say that some people might look ordinary on the outside, but are actually anything but.
Wu Tao was one such person.
Wu Tao, an ordinary person, a businessman, appeared to be quite honest, yet wasn’t the slightest bit stupid.
Neither fat nor skinny, neither handsome nor ugly, he wore a set of clothing which, though not crafted from the finest material, appeared to be very durable. Covered with dust from time spent traveling, he rode a mule that seemed to be as hard working as himself. Not young, he looked like the kind of person who had some savings somewhere. He just wanted to provide for his wife and children, and maybe make his own life a bit more comfortable when he grew old.
Who knows how many people like this exist in the world. The only difference between him and them is that before sunset on April 15th, no one had ever seen him.
No one had ever seen him before, not even a single person.
You could even say—
This ordinary businessman Wu Tao didn’t appear in the world until after the death of the multi-millionaire Sun Jicheng.
Hadn’t appeared at all.
Outside of big cities are small towns, and small towns always have inns.
Liu Village outside of Jinan City had inns, and that was where Wu Tao was staying.  He’d arrived late in the night on April 15th.
At that time, the moon had already began to set, and the inn’s main gate had been closed. He’d called out for quite some time before they opened it.
He chose an inn in this village because at that hour, the city gates of Jinan Prefecture were all closed. As a traveler from another part of China, no matter how much you called out, they wouldn’t be opened. So he had no choice but to stay at an inn.
—But was he really traveling from another part of China to Jinan Prefecture? Or was he actually leaving Jinan?
Thankfully, the innkeeper and staff had no interest in asking such questions, neither did they notice whether his appearance on the second day was the same as his appearance upon his arrival.
The clerk who had woken up in the middle of the night to receive him hadn’t paid the slightest attention to what he looked like.
Similarly, no one paid any attention at all to what he did in his room that night.
The 16th was market day in Liu Village; early in the morning people flocked from everywhere to participate, bringing along their chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep, fruit, vegetables, seafood, flowers, rice, flour, and grain to barter for makeup materials, silk cloth, embroidery or pieces of silver to take back to their happy families.
Of course, pickpockets and beggars wouldn’t miss this chance to take advantage of all the commotion.
By the time the inn opened its main gate, the square and main street across from it was packed with people of all sorts. There were even two Jianghu theatrical troupes performing, so the village bustled even more than usual.
Wu Tao couldn’t help but go out to soak in the excitement.
And then he noticed something quite amazing. It seemed the beggars here were extremely organized; the quietly collected their gains into a specific area. If people didn’t give them anything, they didn’t ask for anything. If people gave a lot, they likewise did not call out, not even to say “thank you.”
In every group, an older beggar with a burlap sack on his back sat in the rear, dividing up their spoils evenly amongst the other members.
Who would have imagined that beggars would have such systemized rules. Everyone found it quite interesting.
But one of the beggars, a fellow with rather large eyes, didn’t seem to understand the rules.
This young man had a round face, and when he smiled, two dimples appeared. Whenever he caught someone’s attention he would smile and stretch out his hands. Perhaps because of his charming appearance, or perhaps because of his ability to judge people’s characters, when he stretched out his hands, they rarely came back empty.
And so he collected more and more money, all of which went into his own bag.
When his bag filled up, he began wandering amidst the crowd, and at one point he smacked into Wu Tao and sent him tumbling.
Wu Tao didn’t give him a single copper coin.
He wasn’t the type to give out charity. His money had been painstakingly earned, much more painstakingly than any money this beggar ever earned.
He knew that the young beggar had bumped into him on purpose. But he was more slippery than a loach , and immediately after hitting Wu Tao, he ran off, disappearing without a trace in a matter of seconds.
Wu Tao didn’t pursue him.
He also wasn’t the type of person to look for trouble or get angry about trifles. And yet, after getting smacked into, his excitement regarding the market disappeared.
He returned to the inn, mounted his mule, and headed straight for Jinan.
He really did head straight for Jinan.
Regardless of where he came from, this was a fact, and no lie. By noon, he had already arrived.
Gongs and drums clanged and clashed in the marketplace. A young girl, seventeen or eighteen years old, her hair combed into two braids, was performing a tumbling act. Her legs, long, straight, and strong, seemed to be ready at any moment to burst out of the trousers she wore, which were sewn together from multiple pieces of colorful cotton cloth.
This area of the market was much more lively than others, with many people gathering to watch the scene.
The young beggar slipped like a loach through the crowd, then squatted down, panting.
He knew that the stingy old man with the gray, pointed face wouldn’t pursue him. He probably still didn’t realize that his coin purse was no longer at his waist, but in the young beggar’s knapsack.
His coin purse was not light at all; there must be at least twenty or thirty shiny pieces of silver inside.
The young beggar, his large eyes drawn to the long legs of the girl with the braids, felt quite happy.
When she held out her copper gong and said, “Dear audience, please give a few coins,” the young beggar, who just now been begging others for alms, suddenly became generous. He pulled out a few coins and tossed them into the gong.
The braided girl smiled at him sweetly, and the beggar suddenly felt a bit dizzy. Just when he was thinking of giving a few more coins, he suddenly felt hands clamp down on his shoulders.
It was two beggars, one pock-marked, the other crippled, and the force of their grip was not light.
The young beggar might be as slippery as a loach, but in their grip he could barely move.
The only thing he could do was smile at them with his trademark specialty smile.
Unfortunately, these two fellow beggars did not seem to be the least bit moved by his round face, big eyes and dimples. Not only did they refuse to release him, the grabbed his arms and dragged him up from the ground and away from the crowd.
Everyone around was paying attention to the long legs, and not a one seemed to care about the affairs of these three stinking beggars.
The gongs and drums sounded out again, and a new show started.
The young beggar was not small. Looking at his face you might put him at between 14-16, although judging on his physique he was probably between 17-19. But in the hands of the pockmarked and crippled beggars, he was like a baby chick, his two feet not even touching the ground.
He wanted to laugh, but couldn’t.
He also wanted to cry out, but the pockmarked beggar had already scooped up a handful of mud from the ground. “If you cry out, I’ll stuff your mouth full of this.”
Getting your mouth filled up with a big handful of mud was no fun, so the young beggar could only make a bitter face and say, “Dear sirs, I didn’t do anything to offend you. My are you treating a poor kid like me in this way?”
“We didn’t want to have to deal with you,” said the crippled one. Though his face was stiff, his voice was mild. “But you need to come somewhere with us.”
“Go somewhere? Where?”
“To see Uncle.”
“Uncle? Ever since I was young, I never had a mom or dad, where could an Uncle come from?” The young beggar seemed on the verge of tears. “Sirs, I think you must have made some kind of mistake.”
They ignored him. The sound of drums and gongs from the marketplace grew more and more distant.
They had already reached a small hill outside the village.
On the hillside stood a large, bluish-green tree. Underneath the tree lay a bluish green slab of stone. And on the stone sat a man wearing a bluish green garment.
The garment, dilapidated, covered with patches, was nonetheless quite clean.
The man’s face too, was clean, but expressionless, seemingly without any color whatsoever, almost as if he were dead.
Thankfully it was the middle of the day; were it the middle of the night, anyone who saw him would either be scared to death or scared so bad they would jump three meters into the air.
It seemed as if the man in bluish-green hadn’t noticed them. He just sat there, his head tilted at an angle, staring off into the distance, seemingly lost in thought. Perhaps he was recalling some bittersweet memory, or perhaps some unforgettable person.
And yet his ashen face showed no expression, and his cold eyes truly looked like a corpse’s.
The pockmarked beggar and the crippled beggar stood in front of him, not daring to even breath.
The young beggar seemed to have lost his usual nerve, and was too scared to say anything.
Quite some time passed before the man in bluish-green garment spoke. And when he did, he only said three words: “Let him go.”
The two beggars immediately released their pincer-like grasp on the young beggar. Even as he let out a sigh of relief, he took a closer look and suddenly noticed that the right sleeve of the man’s bluish-green garment was empty. Completely empty and tucked into the waist of his garment. On his back he carried several large burlap sacks, all empty. It looked like there were at least five, and maybe even seven or eight. 
Another burlap sack lay on the bluish-green rock, and it seemed to be bulging with something, although who knew what.
Anyone with experience in Jianghu should be able to tell that the man with the bluish-green garment and missing arm was someone of immense power and influence, with countless disciples under his control. He was clearly one of the esteemed and venerated Elders of the great “Beggar Sect.”
But the young beggar didn’t seem to realize this.
He didn’t understand rules, and didn’t understand the ways of the world. And what’s worse, things that he shouldn’t understand, he seemed to know a lot about.
Other than stealing chickens and petting dogs, showing his dimples and feigning cuteness and innocence, and making off with other’s money, he also seemed to understand how to appreciate women’s legs.
The one-armed man continued to stare off into the distance for a while before suddenly saying, “Do you know who I am?”
The young beggar shook his head vigorously. And then, he suddenly started nodded his head.
“I know who you are,” he said. “These two sirs said they were going to take me to see Uncle. You must be him.”
The man didn’t reply.
The young beggar sighed. “Unfortunately, you aren’t my Uncle. I don’t even have an uncle. So whose Uncle are you?”
He suddenly clapped his hands. “I know. You aren’t anyone’s Uncle. People just call you that. It’s your nickname.”
The man didn’t reply.
The young beggar laughed, pleased to find himself so intelligent. Even a difficult question like this one was no problem for him.
Unfortunately, the next question wasn’t so easy.
“Do you know why I had them bring you to see me?”
“Why?” When unable to answer a question, the best thing to do is to ask a followup question, a trick often used by worldly-wise people.
And it turns out this little bastard knew the trick too.
At long last, the man in bluish-green turned his head, staring at the young beggar with cold eyes. In an icy voice he said ten words.
“It’s because you violated the rules of the our Sect.”
“Sect?” The young beggar didn’t seem to understand. “What Sect are you?”
“The Poor Family Sect.”
Everyone in Jianghu knows that the Poor Family Sect is none other than the Beggar Sect. But it seemed the young beggar didn’t know.
“You made a mistake. I’m not in the Poor Family Sect. I mean, I’m poor, but I don’t have a family. If I did, then maybe I wouldn’t be poor!”
“It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a member of our Sect.”
“Because our Sect governs everyone in the world who makes their living by begging.” His voice, though cold and detached, carried the feeling of frightening power.
The young beggar laughed again, a laugh of pure happiness. And then he said two words that no one could possibly have imagined he would say: “Good bye.”
Usually people only say good bye when the time has come to leave — sometimes when they truly must leave, or other times when they don’t at all want to. Sometimes it’s just for show, a way to cajole others in to urging you to stay.
But the young beggar really did mean to leave. As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he made to depart.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t.
Before he could move a meter, the two beggars with their pincer-like grasps grabbed him.
“What are you grabbing me for?” protested the young beggar. “There’s nothing here to do with me. I’m not in your Poor Family Sect, and I’m not a beggar.”
“Of course I’m not. I recently changed professions.”
“Changed professions to what?”
“I’m a thief.” The young beggar spoke with utmost confidence: “Even if you’re the ancestor of all the young beggars in the world, you aren’t in charge of me, because I’m a thief.”
What he said did make sense. Nobody could say it didn’t.
The armless man in the bluish-green garment again stared off into the distance. “Things that other people might not be in charge of,” he said coldly. “I take charge of.”
—“Because I’m not other people.” “Because I am stronger than other people.” “Because I am more powerful than other people.”
He didn’t say any of these things.
He neither wanted nor needed to. Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing to say.
He pointed to the bulging burlap sack which lay next to him on the bluish-green rock. “Take a look,” he said. “Take a look at what’s inside.”
The young beggar had wanted to look inside from the very beginning.
He knew that whatever was inside, it wasn’t anything nice, and it wouldn’t do him any good whatsoever to look. But curiosity crawled around inside his heart like a caterpillar.
Of course he wanted to look. He couldn’t not look.
And after he did, the crawling caterpillar of curiosity in his heart didn’t leave. Instead, it suddenly turned into a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand caterpillars. Wriggling not just in his heart, but also his stomach, his intestines, his pores, his blood vessels, and even in his bones.
Wherever caterpillars of curiosity could crawl in his body, they did, until he wanted to kick and curse and cry and vomit.
Actually, there wasn’t anything special about the things in the bag. They were things that everyone can see everyday, all the time.
The bag was filed with some noses, some ears, and some hands.
Human noses, human ears, and human hands.
It is a world of people
As long as you live in the world, and are not blind, then other than when you are sleeping, you will see these things all the time. It would be hard not to see them.
But things like this should not be packed into a burlap sack.
The man in bluish-green, his voice cold, said, “Threaten to blackmail, have ears and nose sliced off. Steal wealth, have hands cut off. Rape wives and daughters, be slaughtered without mercy. Regardless of whether you are a member of the Sect.”
“Who set this rule?”
“Did you ever stop to think that perhaps this rule of yours is a bit too ruthless?” said the young beggar. “Furthermore, you don’t have the authority to set such a rule!”
“No, I never thought about it.”
“And no one ever told you?”
The young beggar sighed. “Well, someone is telling you now. I advise you to change your rule as soon as possible.”
The man in bluish-green turned his head, looking at the young beggar with icy eyes. “Your luck is not bad,” he said suddenly.
“What do you mean?”
“Because you’re still a child. Otherwise you would already be dead by my palm.”
His gaze once again shifted to far in the distance. Ignoring the young beggar, he gave a cold order: “Chop off his left hand.”
The young beggar took to his heels immediately, running as fast as possible.
A young man like this would always be prepared to flee. He might not have any other abilities, but he sure could run away quickly.
As he ran, he shouted, “It’s because you’re missing your left hand, isn’t it! So you want to chop off other peoples’ left hands!”
He dared to shout this because he’d already checked to make sure no one was behind him following.
There wasn’t anyone behind him. But there was in front of him.
It was impossible to determine when it had happened, but the man in the bluish-green garment now stood in front of him. Not even looking at him, the man said, “From now on, you might only have one hand, but if you agree to be a good person, you can live on. And you might even have a better life than when you had two hands.”
The young beggar shook his head vigorously.
“No way. I’ll pass. Two hands is always better than one. There’s no way I’ll let you chop my hand off.”
As he shouted urgently, there suddenly could be heard the sound of someone dashing up the hillside. And then from behind him, two shiny, black braids appeared.
She ran quickly, mostly because of her long, strong legs.
As she ran, she shouted, “He’s just a poor little kid, please forgive him!”
The man in bluish-green frowned. “Who is he to you?” he asked her.
“I don’t even know him. I just know that I feel pity for him.”
“You pity him? Why don’t you pity the person whose coin purse he stole? Maybe that coin purse contained all his money in the world. And now his parents, wife and children will have no money to live on. Why don’t you pity them?”
The girl with braids seemed at a loss for words. “Maybe it is like that,” she stuttered. “But you should first try to find out the truth for yourself.”
“I don’t need to find out anything.” His eyes suddenly shone with an indescribable hatred. “I would rather kill a hundred in error, then let one go free.”
Before the girl could even finish her sentence, she felt herself pulled to the side. And then she felt a small knife at her neck. It was none other than the young beggar.
Pressing his knife against the girl’s throat, he said, “If you don’t let me go, I’ll kill her. And her death will be because of you. What is the punishment for harming innocents? I bet it’s to cut off all your limbs.”
The man in bluish green didn’t appear to be angry. His expression didn’t change. Without even thinking, he said, “You may go.”
And so the young beggar left with the braided-hair girl, his two hands still intact.
They descended the hillside and left Li Village. They walked a long way until they reached a dense forest out in the wilderness, and when the young beggar was sure they weren’t being followed he finally released the girl.
The girl with the braids instantly turned around, her beautiful eyes flashing angrily. “Are you human?” she asked furiously.
“Of course,” replied the young beggar with a chuckle. “From head to feet.”
“If you are, then how could you do such a thing? How could you treat me like that?”
She was clearly very upset, but the young beggar just laughed happily and retorted, “Didn’t you go there to rescue me?”
“Well, you rescued me. Your wish came true. What did I do wrong?”
She seemed to be stumped by his question, and had to admit that what he said did make a little bit of sense.
He asked her another question: “What are you going to do to express your thanks to me?”
“Express thanks to you?” cried the girl. “You want me to express thanks to you?”
“Of course you should express thanks,” said the young beggar assuredly. “The man in the bluish-green garment and one arm is the type of person who makes decisions quickly, and his martial arts are ridiculously high level. Furthermore, he’s some kind of eccentric freak. If I hadn’t used that method, how exactly were you going to get me away from him?”
The girl with the braids couldn’t think of anything to say.
The more the young beggar talked, the more he made sense. “You wouldn’t have rescued me, and then you would have been very sad. I gave you the chance to be happy, and for such a service, how could you not express thanks?”
The girl laughed, and as she laughed, she looked a lot like the blooming white flower buds that grew at the edge of the forest.
“You little bastard. You really are full of sneaky tricks.”
“If you have problems coming up with any, I’m happy to help you think of some.”
“What sneaky trick are you talking about now?”
“A way for you to express your thanks.”
“What way. Tell me,” she said with a wink. She wanted to hear what tricky plan this little bastard would come up with.
The young beggar coughed a couple times, then, with a completely deadpan expression, said, “If you just let me kiss your pretty lips, it will count as you thanking me, and I’ll call things even.”
The girl’s face turned scarlet. The young beggar seemed completely intent on this method.
“You dare! You dare to try to kiss me, I’ll…”
“What, what’s wrong?”
The only thing she could do was run, quickly, her braids flying back behind her. The two bows looked like two butterflies dancing in the air. 
The young beggar laughed heartily, so hard that he bent over laughing.
It was now April, and Spring had come to the world.
The mulberry grove was thick and dense, as thick and dense as the falling spring showers and the sorrows that come with them.
The young beggar didn’t chase after those two butterflies. He liked beautiful butterflies, but he had no desire to once again run into any pale, death-like faces.
The forest would be a much safer place.
He turned to head into the woods, hoping to find a lush tree to curl up under and sleep for a while.
Who would have thought that he couldn’t find such a tree, because someone else had already found him.
Actually, five people found him, and they surrounded him, making it impossible for him to flee.
Five large, scary-looking men, strong and fierce; they didn’t appear to be ultimate martial arts experts, but for them to kill a few kids like the young beggar obviously wouldn’t be a problem.
One of the men had a huge goiter on his neck and carried an enormous broadsword; he seemed to be the boss of the group. Grinning hideously at the young beggar, he said, “Hey kid, do ya understand the rules of the road? Us bros saw that fat little sheep first, why’d ya steal it away?”
“Fat little sheep? Where is there a fat little sheep?” The young beggar had an extremely strange expression on his face. “I haven’t run into any skinny little sheep, let alone any fat ones to steal.”
“If ya smell the sweet fragrance of money, ya half to split it in half. Do ya understand this rule?”
“Nope,” said the young beggar. “I haven’t bathed in at least fourteen or fifteen days and my body stinks to high heaven. I don’t smell any sweet fragrance.”
He pulled at his clothes and smelled them, then immediately plugged his nose and frowned. “Super stinky. So stinky it might kill you. If you don’t believe then come on over and take a whiff.”
“Look kid!” said Goiter-man angrily, “don’t pretend ta be stupid.”
He rotated his wrist, and his blade glittered. His comrades suddenly called out, “Let’s take care a this bastard, see if he wants ta give us his money or his life.”
The young beggar suddenly seemed to understand what was going on. “Oh, you guys are bandits, and you want my money.” He sighed. “Bandits out to steal money from a beggar. Bandits like this aren’t very common.”
Goiter-man let out a shout and began to swing his blade. The young beggar hastily waved his arms and said, “There’s absolutely no reason to get angry. If you get angry, your goiter is going to swell up. Who’s to say it might not get bigger than your head, and that wouldn’t be any fun.”
He put on a smile, and once again his dimples appeared, “As long as you don’t get angry, I’ll give you anything you want.”
“Us bros don’t want anything except shiny white silver! That’ll keep us from getting angry!”
“I don’t have any silver. But what if I give you an ingot?” 
“Ok.” Goiter-man’s anger changed into laughter. “Of course that’s okay.”
“Do you want a big one? Or a small one?”
“A big one, of course. The bigger the better.”
“Well, that’s easy,” said the young beggar with a laugh. “I don’t have any other kind. I just have one ingot, and it’s super big.”
He suddenly dropped to the ground and lay back, resting his head on his hands. “The ingot is right here. Come and get it.”
There was nothing that looked anything like an ingot anywhere to be seen. “Where is it?” they said eagerly.
“I’m the ingot. Because I’m an ingot.” He pointed at his nose. “Don’t you want to have an ingot this big?”
This time Goiter-man was really pissed off, and the goiter on his neck really did start to bulge and get bigger. “Ya little son of a b*tch!” he cursed, “Ya dare to mess with yer elders?”
This time, he really did attack with his sword, and as he raised the enormous blade, it was clear that if it landed on the young beggar, it would cleave his entire body in two.
Goiter-man’s comrades also rushed forward, awls, daggers, hatchets all seeking out the young beggar. Even though their attacks were not nimble, and the weapons they wielded were not the type used by high level experts of the martial world, they could still easily chop the young beggar into pieces in a matter of seconds.
The young beggar seemed scared out of his mind, so much so that his entire body trembled. And yet, deep in his eyes, no fear could be seen.
In that exact moment, what appeared to be four or five flashes of dazzling light shot out from the forest. Some of them, the brightest, shone with what seemed to be a silver light, although it was impossible to see clearly.
That was because they were just too fast, impossible for human eyes to track clearly.
The dazzling light shone, and then disappeared. Five strapping men fell to the ground.
They fell to the ground in an instant, never again to get up, never again to stand.
A flashing, dazzling light; a deadly concealed weapon.
Five men as strong as oxen, killed so quickly they had no chance to call out in pain or terror.
This type of concealed weapon is too fast, too accurate, too fearsome.
Whoever used such a weapon surely must be a top expert of the martial world. Only ten or so such experts existed in the world, and just now had appeared at least two.
This was evident because the dazzling light had actually shot out from two different directions, and the color they emitted had been different.
Why would two peak-level experts appear here, together?
Could it be that they came just to save the young beggar?
The dazzling light had disappeared; so had any trace of the two experts.
The young beggar hadn’t seen the flashes of light, nor had he seen anyone standing in the woods.
He had no idea who had saved him, but in any case, his life was back in his hands. Surely he should express thanks.
Wind blew through the leaves in the silent forest.
He suddenly stood up, seemingly without the slightest bit of thankfulness. In fact, he appeared to be extremely angry, his face flushed red.
“Who are you, you bastards?” he cursed. “Who asked you to save me? You think I can’t handle some eighth-rate bandits?!”
He gets saved, and then he curses his saviors.
If you had to pick a baffling bastard who doesn’t know what’s good and bad, you would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than this kid, don’t you agree?
Thankfully, his saviors were gone, otherwise they would most likely be furious.
Talking, singing or even cursing without an audience is really tiring and boring.
The more the young beggar cursed, the more pointless it seemed. He just wanted to find a tree and get some sleep, then think of a way to take care of the five bodies.
—Even though they were eighth-rate bandits, he couldn’t let them died without coffins.
This time, he found an appropriate tree, and prepared to lay down. Because he had turned around, he had no idea what had happened behind him, and would never have imagined that one of the five dead men had come back to life.
Dead people can’t come back to life. There weren’t five dead people, there were four.
Goiter-man wasn’t dead, and as soon as the young beggar turned around, his “corpse” started to move.
For some unknown reason, even though he had been injured, his movements were very dextrous, even more so that just a moment ago.
The young beggar had already reached the tree.
Goiter-man stared at him with bloodshot eyes. The goiter suddenly began to turn red, and then it changed from red to purple, and then it started glowing, glowing like a chunk of transparent amethyst.
And then, his body flew forward like a leopard, straight toward the young beggar.
His moves now were those that an eighth-rate bandit could only dream of doing. In fact even seventh-, sixth-, fifth-, fourth-, third-, and second-rate bandits couldn’t do them. His moves had suddenly become first-rate.
Despite being injured, but as he charged forward into attack, his speed, momentum, stances and power were all first-rate.
He’d dropped his huge broadsword upon being injured, but now it seemed his two fists were even more fearsome than the sword.
Blue veins pulsed on the backs of his hands, and then turned purple, and then started to glow.
Even someone with the poorest eyesight could see that this fist technique had been trained to the pinnacle of perfection.
Unfortunately, the young beggar couldn’t see, because his eyes were focused in the opposite direction.
The fortunate thing was that he had very sensitive ears, and he could hear the sound of the attacking fist as it sped through the air.
Then a cracking noise sounded out as Goiter-man’s fist collided into the thick tree trunk.
The young beggar stood there, scared half to death. He wasn’t hurt, not in the slightest. But his whole body dripped with cold sweat.
As of now, he knew that this man was not eighth-rate, but definitely first-rate. Before, he had been putting up an act.
A first-rate expert would never become close friends with eighth-rate men, so Goiter-man’s comrades must also have been first-rate.
To mistake first-rate martial arts for eighth-rate was a very dangerous thing; if someone hadn’t saved him just now, would he still be alive?
He now understood that he shouldn’t have cursed them.
But what he didn’t understand was why first-rate martial world experts would pretend to be clumsy fools in an effort to kill a young beggar. And why did they want his life in the first place?
** Liu is the character for Willow
 A loach is a type of fish http://tinyurl.com/lfbt9o9
 In case you’re not familiar with the Beggar Sect, I’ll explain the bags briefly. Ranking in the Beggar Sect is usually indicated by how many bags the beggar carries. The highest rank, held by Elders, is usually eight or nine.
 This simile sounds better in Chinese because the word for “bow” literally means “butterfly knot.”
 An ingot is a large, crescent-shaped gold piece. http://tinyurl.com/kyj9wu7
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