Chapter 401: Wrong and Right [V5C108 – A Distance Within Reach]
The middle-aged man flicked the butt of his cigarette away and revealed an evil grin. “The empire’s rewards this time are too generous. You’ll get scalded by this fortune if you keep it in hand! You’ll be able to get your fair share with Count Xiaoshan watching over you. Otherwise, no matter how much money you have, the fun is over if you lose your life.”
While speaking, the middle-aged man suddenly peered through the car windows and found two large, fully-stuffed bags sitting on the back seat. Most people coming to register military contributions had only one or two items on them. When had they ever seen two large bags stuffed full of them?
The middle-aged man immediately felt overwhelmed. His voice trembled as he asked, “Are all of these military contributions?”
“Correct,” Qianye replied calmly. It was as though he had never seen major beside him casting him meaningful glances.
The middle-aged man quietly signaled the men beside him before approaching Qianye with a face full of smiles. “Since this is the case, we can negotiate.”
It was at this time that a gust of chilly wind approached from behind Qianye’s back. The figure of a man had suddenly emerged therein, and the dagger in his hand thrust ruthlessly at Qianye’s waist.
The dagger was just about to enter his flesh when it suddenly froze mid-air and the assassin’s face turned pale. That was because the Twin Flowers were already aimed toward his face and the muzzle was almost pressed against his mouth.
“Don’t…” The assailant begged for mercy with a trembling voice.
“Goodbye,” Qianye said indifferently as he pulled on the trigger.
“Boom!” The assassin’s brain exploded into a shower of blood. The middle-aged man’s expression shifted rapidly. The man was just about to move when another handgun appeared in Qianye’s hand and was already pressed against his forehead.
The middle-aged man’s expression turned gloomy as he repeatedly said, “We’re Count Xiaoshan’s men. You’re dead if you dare touch us!”
The Twin Flowers rumbled once again. Qianye had no intention to even let him finish speaking.
“Charge together. Kill!” The private army soldiers came to only at this point and some of the more violent soldiers immediately pounced toward Qianye.
Qianye performed a small sidestep, skillfully traversed the two incoming fists, and put away the Twin Flowers in a leisurely manner. Following which, East Peak left its sheath and swept across in a dull fashion. Several of the soldiers leading the charge were cut into two along with their weapons.
Such ruthless methods finally managed to intimidate the habitually arrogant private soldiers. They shouted with their weapons tightly in hand, but none dared actually approach.
Qianye shot them an indifferent glance and was just about to return to the car. However, the commotion had alerted the soldiers at the imperial registration station. A lieutenant colonel ran over with a dozen or so fully-equipped imperial soldiers in tow.
The lieutenant colonel arrived just in time to see the corpses strewn all over the floor. Immediately infuriated, he shouted toward Qianye, “You dare stir up trouble and commit murder at an imperial office?! Men, seize him!”
The imperial soldiers rushed toward Qianye immediately. In terms of combat strength, these people were inferior to Count Xiaoshan’s private soldiers, but they were clad in imperial regular army uniforms—this represented a completely different identity. Touching them was akin to acting against the prestige of the imperial regular army.
Qianye said to the lieutenant colonel with a frosty voice, “Are you blind?”
“What did you say?!” The lieutenant colonel was infuriated. But his eyes turned blurry before he could react—Qianye had somehow arrived before him and smacked the man in the face with a certain object in his hand.
The lieutenant colonel was whipped into a spin and spat out several teeth. However, Qianye grabbed his shoulder and prevented him from falling down.
The man recovered from his dizziness with great difficulty and was just about to spew out abuses when a certain object appeared in front of his eyes. It was the same thing he had been slapped with just now.
“Take a good look at what this is.” Qianye’s voice was, just as before, flat and devoid of fluctuations, but it sounded like a sudden clap of thunder in the lieutenant colonel’s ears.
The left half of the man’s face had swollen up like a pig’s head, and his left eye could no longer see due to the congestion of blood. He tried hard to observe the steel token with his only functioning eye and was drenched in cold sweat at the sight of the word “Zhao” carved in its center.
“Which Zhao clan?” The lieutenant colonel wanted to slap himself after blurting these words out. The style and patterns upon the token were of noble make. Although Zhao was a big surname, there weren’t a lot of nobles among them—he was seven parts sure that the token belonged to the one he did not wish to hear.
The lieutenant colonel turned to glance at Qianye’s jeep and saw the expeditionary army flag depicting a crossed flintlock and bloody bayonet. However, a name that caused his entire body to shiver escaped from Qianye’s mouth. “The Swallow Cloud Zhao Clan.”
The imperial regular army soldiers had drawn their weapons at Qianye after seeing their officer suffer. But now, their expressions were also visibly different.
The lieutenant colonel’s attitude shifted rapidly. He assumed a completely different countenance and said shamelessly, “Please wait a moment while this lowly officer handles some official matters, sire. It won’t delay you for long.”
His face had already turned frosty by the time he turned back toward Count Xiaoshan’s private soldiers. As expected of someone born of the imperial military, his change in attitude was rapid. The lieutenant colonel pointed toward the private soldiers and shouted with surging killing intent, “Seize these scoundrels immediately! Kill whoever resists!”
A sincere smile was plastered onto the lieutenant colonel’s face as he turned back. “Did you come to turn in military contributions, sire? Please follow this lowly officer in and let the youngsters handle your car.”
Qianye made no comment and only gazed at the lieutenant colonel with narrowed eyes—this man was producing a smile as radiant as the spring wind with his half-swollen face. Qianye nodded and followed the lieutenant colonel toward the registration area. Only then did the man manage to breathe a sigh of relief and wipe away the cold sweat on his neck.
The registration area was rather lively with close to a hundred adventurers lining up to register their contributions. The officer brought Qianye through the main hall and directly to the third floor. His unctuous behavior shocked everyone in the hall for a moment.
After seating Qianye and instructing someone to deliver tea, the lieutenant colonel gave Qianye a brief introduction of the rules related to the registration process while they waited for the soldiers to carry his proof of contribution up. Qianye already knew the publicized rules; the ones being explained were the unwritten ones.
The nominal commander of this military contribution registration office was a certain colonel from the imperial military. Qian Liu was the lineal son of a marquis and a man of high stature. He didn’t dare come to the county capital to assume office since, after all, this place was under the Iron Curtain. He hid himself far away while leaving everything here to the lieutenant colonel’s management.
Count Xiaoshan was, in truth, in league with this Marquis Wu’an whose scope of profit this registration office fell within.
The lieutenant colonel’s words were vague, but Qianye understood the implications.
There was no emotion on Qianye’s countenance after the introduction, but there seemed to be no anger either. Only at this point did the lieutenant colonel manage to breathe a sigh of relief. He asked carefully while wiping off his cold sweat, “Sire Qianye, how do you want to deal with those who offended you?”
“Just handle it how you should,” Qianye replied calmly.
The lieutenant colonel immediately summoned an aide and whispered some instructions. He then performed a beheading gesture. The aide nodded and left swiftly.
The lieutenant colonel returned to Qianye’s side and said with a smile, “Please rest assured, sire, everything will be handled efficiently. There won’t be such a case here in the future.”
Qianye sighed lightly and said, “This is your area of jurisdiction, so just do what should be done. I won’t meddle in your business as long as I don’t see Count Xiaoshan’s men again next time.”
“Please rest assured, you definitely won’t! Why are those fellows so slow? I’ll go and rush them!” After placating Qianye, the lieutenant colonel discovered that his subordinates hadn’t yet brought up Qianye’s proof of contribution. He glanced about and decided he might as well run over to deal with it personally.
Qianye walked over to one of the windows along the corridor where he could see the main hall below. Perhaps the superior officers loved the feeling of looking down on the others, especially those who had clambered up from below.
The adventurers in the hall were full of smiles as they walked over to the point exchange list on the other side of the hall after receiving their vouchers. These people were badly exploited before being able to stand here, but there wasn’t the slightest trace of indignation in their expressions.
Qianye shook his head secretly after recalling that the extortions and blockades weren’t limited to this place. Similar things were happening everywhere—it was useless to stop them or defend against them. Even outside of the bloody battle period, the various departments of the expeditionary army would still more or less intercept the contributions and supplies.
Meanwhile, the lieutenant colonel’s change in attitude toward him was only born of a contrast in benefits behind each party. Count Xiaoshan’s men wanting to touch Qianye had, in truth, encroached upon the Zhao clan’s benefits. Since they were in the wrong, it was only natural that they were kicked out. Even though Qianye hadn’t revealed his identity in advance, it remained that Count Xiaoshan’s men were blind and handled matters inappropriately.
This was the standard for determining who was right and wrong.
But although Qianye could ask to have Count Xiaoshan’s men killed, he couldn’t change the entire game as breaking the rules would offend all the aristocratic families in the same league.
It was at this time that the doors to the main hall were suddenly opened amidst great clamor and in charged a squad of soldiers. They pushed away the queueing adventurers with great arrogance and shouted, “Make way! Everyone move aside! Our family’s young master is here to turn in contributions!”
A young man, escorted by ten or so soldiers, walked into the hall with his head held high. He proceeded to smash a rather large werewolf head onto the counter and shouted, “This one!”
The adventurers in the hall burst into a commotion after seeing the werewolf head. No small number of people cried out in surprise, “A viscount! That’s the head of a werewolf viscount!”
The well-dressed young man was extremely content. He knocked lightly on the counter and said to the charming female officers inside, “Please help me register this werewolf viscount under Li family’s Count Qingyi of the Clearsky County on Transcendent Continent.”
The adventurers’ glances toward the well-dressed youth was already a mixture of fear and respect. To them, a dark race viscount was a major character, from whom it would be impossible for them to escape with their lives. Now that a werewolf viscount head was being placed on the counter, everyone felt that it was like a dream.
Qianye activated his Eye of Truth from above. He scanned the well-dressed youth and found that he was a new champion who had just reached rank ten. But his origin power wasn’t very pure—unless he encountered some kind of fortune, chances of him reaching the sky in the future wasn’t very high. Killing a werewolf viscount at the same level would be rather difficult with this person’s combat strength. It seemed his luck wasn’t bad.
The lieutenant colonel pushed open the door at this point, followed by several soldiers carrying the two large bags. The lieutenant colonel’s gaze, as he looked toward Qianye, was now even more reverent.
The man’s eyes had almost popped out of their sockets when he saw the two bags just now. Regardless of whether these items were collected by Qianye alone or not, it was easy to judge Qianye’s strength and status merely from how the Zhao clan allowed him to roam the wilderness with so much loot.
The lieutenant colonel congratulated himself on handling Count Xiaoshan’s blind soldiers with ample decisiveness and efficiency.
After the soldiers put down the load, the lieutenant colonel charged over to the door and shouted, “All registration staff, come up immediately! Pause all registrations down there!”
At this moment, the well-dressed young man was chatting away quite happily with the female officers. He was momentarily astonished after hearing this order and shouted toward the upper floor with a clear voice, “Why must you pause the procedure? Do you know that I’m from the Li Family of the Transcendent Continent’s Green Sky County?”
The lieutenant colonel replied impatiently, “It’s no use whichever family you’re from! Don’t make this daddy wait!”
The numerous female officers flew toward the third floor like startled birds, leaving the well-dressed young man and his ten or so subordinates in the main hall.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I was really happy to receive all those encouraging comments yesterday, thanks guys ^_^ Let's forge on to chapter 500 together! I'll do my best.
Chapter 1/7 of the week. Wait a min... is that a cliche young master scene coming up?
TL: Legion ED: Moxie