Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Even though the ferghana horse was pulling a carriage, it was still very fast, and it outpaced a carriage pulled by a normal horse by far.
With the ferghana horse pulling the carriage at top speed, we should reach Ningping Town by tomorrow morning at the latest.
Zhou Donghuang had left on the afternoon of the previous day.
It was now was the afternoon of the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era.
A journey that originally could only be completed by the afternoon of the twenty-sixth day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era could now be completed earlier—the early morning of the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era when they would reach Ningping Town.
Previously, Zhou Donghuang’s carriage had traveled the road all by itself. But now, it was escorted by six bandits mounted on big horses.
The young bandit in command was mounted on a ferghana horse, and his imposing presence scared off any rag-tag groups of bandits that were waiting in ambush beside the road.
“It’s Freezing Wind, second-in-command of Green Wolf Bastion!”
Many bandits recognized Freezing Wind, who was riding ahead of the carriage.
“Perhaps the person in the cabin… could it be the commander of Green Wolf Bastion?”
“It probably is. Other than the commander of the Green Wolf Bastion, who else would Freezing Wind personally clear the way for?”
“I don’t recognize the four people beside the carriage… but that middle-aged man with the scar riding behind the carriage seems familiar; he’s You Hengkun of the Green Wolf Bastion.”
“You Hengkun? The third most powerful person in the Green Wolf Bastion? The one whose ability is second only to the commander and second-in-command of the Green Wolf Bastion?”
“That’s him. I heard that the commander of Green Wolf Bastion had long ago intended to appoint him third-in-command of Green Wolf Bastion to give him his own command, but You Hengkun rejected it out of his gratitude to Freezing Wind for saving his life, so he would rather serve Freezing Wind.
Zhou Donghuang was currently in the cabin devoting his full attention to practicing and had no idea that the bandits outside along the road had taken him to be the commander of Green Wolf Bastion.
And with the second-in-command of Green Wolf Bastion Freezing Wind escorting him through this leg of the journey, it was turning out to be very peaceful indeed. Occasionally, a ferocious wild beast would appear, but the other bandits would already have killed the beast with their swords without Freezing Wind himself having to lift a finger.
The bandits in Freezing Wind’s troop were all level-one adepts of Qi-gathering and were the elite among the troops of the Green Wolf Bastion. Although they were just six men, they were not any weaker compared to the ten bandits of Black Tiger Bastion who had been killed earlier by Zhou Donghuang.
I’ve finally broken through.
In the cabin, Zhou Donghuang opened his eyes just as night fell, a smile spreading over his face.
He had finally attained level-one of Qi-gathering. Now, he could exert the strength of one bull using only his qi.
Added to the thousand jin of force he could exert from the maximum strength of his muscles, he could kill a level-two adept with a single blow without using any martial arts!
After attaining level-one of Qi-gathering, Zhou Donghuang consumed a bottle of qi-gathering elixir and continued practicing The Lord of the Four Supremes.
It was only after practicing till the wee hours of the second day that he awoke from his practice.
By then, they had arrived at their destination, Ningping Town.
“Young Master, Ningping Town is just before us,” the middle-aged guard driving the carriage said to Zhou Donghuang, as the carriage came to a stop.
At the same time, the second-in-command of Green Wolf Bastion Freezing Wind stood off to one side with his five bandits and saluted towards the carriage.
“Young Master Donghuang, we are fortunate not to have disgraced ourselves. In the future, if Young Master Donghuang has any esteem for me, I, Freezing Wind, would like to visit Yunxuan Restaurant and raise a toast with you, Young Master Donghuang,” Freezing Wind said as he prepared to leave with the bandits under his command.
Just as Freezing Wind was turning his horse, a gust of wind emanated from the cabin, and with the gust of wind came a bounded scroll of paper, flying towards Freezing Wind.
Freezing Wind instinctively grabbed it, and frowning at the carriage, he asked in a serious voice, “Young Master Donghuang, do you have no esteem for me, Freezing Wind?”
“This is a record of a style of swiftness technique, you have probably seen it… when I killed the second-in-command of Black Tiger Bastion, Qian Tongtian that day, it was this swiftness technique that I used.”
Hearing Zhou Donghuang’s words, not only Freezing Wind, but the five bandits behind him too could not help their disbelief.
In the lands governed by the prefecture capital, swiftness techniques, and even the lowest grade of lesser-grade swiftness techniques, were possessed by only by the Zhao family that governed the prefecture capital.
And now, after escorting the person in the carriage for less than a day and night, was he actually giving away a style of swiftness technique?
Could this be real?!
This was the thought that rose in all their minds, but as soon as the thought arose, it was suppressed immediately.
Someone of this ability had no need to cheat them.
“Does Young Master Donghuang believe… that after knowing this is a swiftness technique, I will be overwhelmed with gratitude and accept it?”
After recovering from his shock, Freezing Wind shook his head, his gaze more resolute than ever.
“Young Master Donghuang, I, Freezing Wind have said that I would escort you to Ningping Town solely out of esteem for your ability, out of respect, and not for any reward. It is better that you keep this swiftness technique.”
As he finished, Freezing Wind threw the swiftness technique in his hand towards the window of the cabin under the reluctant gaze of the five bandits behind him, showing absolutely no hesitation in the process.
However, just as it hit the curtains hanging at the window, a force propelled it back out and returned it to Freezing Wind’s hand.
You really are full of surprises.
In the cabin, a look of surprise flashed across Zhou Donghuang’s eyes. “This really is a style of swiftness techniques, since you say you don’t want it, then don’t take it… but I, Zhou Donghuang, don’t like to owe any moral obligations, so you should just accept it. Don’t you want me to hold you in esteem? Take it, and I will have esteem for you… also, Yunxuan Restaurant welcomes you anytime.”
Zhou Donghuang instructed the middle-aged guard who was driving the carriage as he finished speaking, “Uncle, let’s enter the town.”
“Yes, Young Master.”
With a shake of the reins, the middle-aged guard sent the ferghana horse galloping towards the main gate of Ningping Town, pulling the carriage behind it and leaving Freezing Wind and his men behind them.
Freezing Wind held the swiftness technique in his hand, watching the receding figure of the carriage, a bitter smile on his face.
Given the way Zhou Donghuang had put it, he could not have refused to accept it.
“Second-In-Command, take a look… is there really a swiftness technique recorded there?” a bandit prompted with a gleam in his eyes.
The other bandits, including the knife-scarred man, You Hengkun, all turned to look at Freezing Wind with light in their eyes.
Hearing this, Freezing Wind unrolled the paper in his hand with an expression of excitement and curiosity and read it at a glance.
You Hengkun, and the others waited silently.
After roughly the time it would take for ten breaths, Freezing Wind’s expression changed completely, and moving his fingers rapidly, he tore the paper into countless bits.
A gust of wind blew, and the bits of paper were scattered through the air. Now, no one could piece them together again, even if they had wanted to.
“Second-In-Command, what are you doing?”
“Perhaps the swiftness technique was fake?”
With the exception of You Hengkun, the other four bandits were all looking at Freezing Wind with uncertainty and some suspicion.
Freezing Wind said with a downcast expression, “I never thought that the dignified owner of Yunxuan Restaurant would take pleasure in toying with people!”
As he spoke, Freezing Wind managed with some difficulty to cast a discreet glance at You Hengkun, who caught the meaning in his glance and immediately chimed in, “No matter how great his ability is, he is still a fifteen or sixteen-year-old boy, it’s normal for him to be a little childish.”
“That makes sense… how could he have so casually given away such a valuable thing as a swiftness technique.”
You Hengkun’s words had the other four bandits nodding their heads, the suspicion in their gaze dissipating.
However, there still remained a trace of suspicion.
It was no secret that the second-in-command of Green Wolf Bastion, Freezing Wind, had a photographic memory. If it had really been a swiftness technique, that span of ten breaths would have been enough for the second-in-command to memorize it completely.
But after thinking about it, the four bandits felt that the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant really had been making fun of them. The second-in-command of Green Wolf Bastion was not a man who was uncaring towards his brothers and not one who would keep a swiftness technique for himself.
“Let’s go back,” Freezing Wind commanded and led his men back to Green Wolf Bastion.
On the journey back, Freezing Wind could not hide the shock, surprise, and disbelief in the depths of his gaze.
When they arrived at Green Wolf Bastion, Freezing Wind called You Hengkun over once he saw that the other four bandits had returned to their quarters.
“Second-In-Command, that swiftness technique… it wasn’t a fake, was it?” You Hengkun asked in a low voice.
“Indeed, it wasn’t.” Freezing Wind smiled bitterly.
“If it wasn’t a fake, why did you lie to our brothers?”
You Hengkun’s eyes were full of incomprehension at receiving this confirmation from Freezing Wind. He knew the character of the second-in-command of Green Wolf Bastion, and he was not the kind of person who would keep a swiftness technique for himself.
“Scar, I lied to them for their own benefit.” Freezing Wind smiled even more bitterly.
Hearing this, You Hengkun was even more lost.
“Do you know what kind of swiftness technique it was that Young Master Donghuang gave us?” Freezing Wind sighed deeply.
“Wasn’t it that lesser-grade swiftness technique he used when he killed the second-in-command of Black Tiger Bastion, Qian Tongtian?” You Hengkun countered.
“It really was that swiftness technique…” Freezing Wind nodded, then continued with difficulty, “but, it was not a lesser-grade swiftness technique, it was a… third-grade swiftness technique!”
“Third… third-grade swiftness technique?”
You Hengkun was stunned speechless at this, and it seemed that he had been struck by lightning, leaving him frozen with a blank stare.
“Now, I think you understand why I said… I lied to them for their own benefit?”
“Second-in-command, you have really thought it over.”
You Hengkun finally regained his wits after a long while, a bitter smile on his face.
People talk, and word spreads, and the fewer people knew about this, the better.
Third-grade swiftness technique.
It was easy to imagine how the entire Green Wolf Bastion would have invited catastrophe upon themselves once it became known that they possessed such a swiftness technique!
“What kind of person is this new owner of Yunxuan Restaurant? Within the country of Yunyang, only the Imperial Court and the Royal family possess third-grade techniques, and yet he not only possesses it, but gives it away casually?”
As he muttered, You Hengkun’s expression was full of surprise and incomprehension.