Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Zhou Donghuang could not be bothered to reason with Li Rui, ignorant as she was. If not for the respect he had for Li Yun, he would have slapped Li Rui long ago and shut her up.
Li Rui tried to make conversation during the meal, but seeing Zhou Donghuang focus on helping himself to the food and showing no sign of entertaining her, she slowly fell silent.
However, she looked at Zhou Donghuang with a look of even greater disdain, because she thought that Zhou Donghuang would not answer her due to his guilty conscience.
“Aunty Yun, thank you for your hospitality.”
After they finished their lunch and left the restaurant, Zhou Donghuang sent the two ladies back to the main entrance of Qingyun Guild. After thanking Li Yun, he returned to the carriage.
Li Yun sighed as she watched the carriage grow smaller in the distance as it left a trail of dust behind it.
“Mother, why are you sighing? He’s only a martial invalid, we don’t really need to have any dealings with him,” Li Rui said.
“Rui’er, you are mistaken. Donghuang is a dragon among men, if you cross him, you’ll regret it later.”
“I’ll regret it? Impossible!” Li Rui said disdainfully. “As a man that even Chen Dandan did not want, naturally I, Li Rui, would not want him… The person that I Li Rui should marry should at least be a grandson of the eldest son from one of the preeminent families in the prefecture capital. Otherwise, won’t I have lost out to Chen Dandan? Zhou Donghuang, a martial invalid, is completely unworthy of me!”
It was completely unavoidable that the carriage being drawn by the ferghana horse would draw the attention of a group of passers-by as it passed through Ningping Tow. The ferghana horse was simply too eye-catching.
However, the middle-aged man driving the carriage was already accustomed to this because he had had the same experience that morning when he drove the carriage into Ningping Town.
“Young Master, the daughter of Guild Master Li Yun of Qingyun Guild is too short-sighted… why didn’t you demonstrate your abilities in front of her to shut her up?” the middle-aged guard couldn’t help asking Zhou Donghuang as they left Ningping Town.
Even he could not stand the manner in which Li Rui had spoken to Zhou Donghuang.
“Uncle, do you think… if a cat challenged a tiger to a fight, the tiger would entertain the cat?” Zhou Donghuang smiled indifferently.
“Of course not. Young Master, I understand, it was simply beneath you to nit-pick with her.”
As realization dawned on the middle-aged guard, he could not help thinking to himself how his Young Master was simply on a higher level. If he had been in his Young Master’s shoes, he would surely not have been able to suppress his temper.
“Uncle, we’ll do the same thing… if there’s a problem, throw the bell into the cabin. Otherwise, I will not rouse myself.”
After exchanging greetings with the middle-aged guard, Zhou Donghuang crossed his legs and resumed practicing of The Lord of the Four Supremes.
The journey back was uneventful, and no one made trouble for them.
The carriage drawn by the ferghana horse that Zhou Donghuang sat in was too eye-catching, and it was what the bandits waiting in ambush by the road assumed to be the carriage of the commander of Green Wolf Bastion.
Although there were many bandit camps between Qingshan Town and Ningping Town, only the Black Tiger Bastion could compare in strength to the Green Wolf Bastion.
The rest of the bandit camps were inferior to the Green Wolf Bastion in strength. Because of this, no one dared to antagonize the commander of the Green Wolf Bastion whom they assumed was in the carriage.
Occasionally, one or two wild beasts showed themselves and were beaten back or killed by the middle-aged guard.
Zhou Donghuang left Ningping Town on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era to return to Qingshan Town. He arrived at Qingshan Town and returned to Yunxuan Restaurant on the twenty-sixth day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era.
The entire return journey had taken him only three days and three nights.
If Zhou Donghuang did not have the ferghana horse to draw his carriage, he would only now have reached Ningping Town.
“Young Master, you’re… back so soon?”
Granny Lian was astounded when she saw Zhou Donghuang at the door, evidently not expecting him to have returned so soon.
Zhou Donghuang nodded as he handed the fees from delivering the gold bracelets to Qingyun Guild in Ningping Town over to Granny Lian.
“Someone gave me a ferghana horse along the way, and I let the ferghana horse draw the carriage, so there weren’t many delays along the way.
“Gave you a ferghana horse?”
Granny Lian wanted to ask who could have been so generous, but Zhou Donghuang had already turned and left.
Nevertheless, that night, Granny Lian pieced together the events that occurred on the way to Ningping Town from the conversations between some of the guards.
“Hearing it from Old He, our young master met a gang of ten bandits led by the second-in-command of Black Tiger Bastion, Qian Tongtian on his way to Ningping Town… in just one exchange, he managed to snatch Qian Tongtian’s saber and kill him, then he flung the saber out three times and killed the remaining bandits.
“Young Master was able to kill that bloody-handed butcher of the Wang family in just one exchange, and Qian Tongtian’s ability was inferior to the bloody-handed butcher’s. It’s not unexpected that he was killed by Young Master. Nevertheless, I never thought Young Master could fling a saber out and kill people with it.
“Don’t you think this is too far-fetched? Could Old He be exaggerating things?”
“Old He is well known for being straight as an arrow. I’ve known him for many years and understand him well, it’s not possible that he’s lying.”
Granny Lian could never have imagined that the ferghana horse the young master of her family said was given to him was actually a trophy that he claimed when he killed the second-in-command of Black Tiger Bastion, Qian Tongtian.
“Young Master he… is able to tame even a mature ferghana horse?”
Even though Granny Lian knew the young master of her family was immensely capable, she still could not avoid feeling a sense of shock when she became aware of this.
There was only one thought in her head: Was there anything in the world that the young master of her family could not do?
As he passed by the door of Lin Lan’s room, Zhou Donghuang noticed Lin Lan was practicing with the door closed, and he returned straight to his room without disturbing her.
“The seal within my body was broken and removed on the fifteenth day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era… and that was the time I started practicing in earnest. I attained level-one of Qi-gathering on the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth month of the year 1227 in the Ziyun Era, just as night fell. Which means… I managed to attain level-one of Qi-gathering in less than ten days.”
Sitting on the bed, Zhou Donghuang muttered to himself.
“Hmm, that’s still within expectations… next, to advance from level-one to level-two of Qi-gathering, I will need a longer time, perhaps about twenty days.”
Just as well that no one had overheard Zhou Donghuang, for if not, they would have been exasperated to death.
How could anyone complain that twenty days was a long time to advance from level-one to level-two of Qi-gathering?
For the people of the country of Yunyang, it was normal to begin practicing at eleven or twelve years of age not because they did not want to begin earlier, but because they could only practise after they had entered puberty.
Some people who attempted to practice before puberty not only advanced very slowly, but also adversely affected their puberty and development. They would establish the roots of an illness that was very difficult to treat.
It was said that outside the country of Yunyang, there was a miraculous panacea that once consumed would allow a person to start practicing from the age of three or four. Moreover, it would not affect you physically.
However, this miraculous panacea had never appeared before in the country of Yunyang and was nothing more than a legend to the people of Yunyang.
In the history of the country of Yunyang, the royal who holds the record for the fastest practice started practicing when he was eleven, and he attained level-one of Qi-gathering when he was thirteen, level-two when he was fourteen, level-three when he was sixteen, and level-four when he was twenty…
Beginning with nothing, it took him two years to attain level-one of Qi-gathering.
But from level-one to level-two of Qi-gathering, he only took a year… this is also because he got more familiar with practicing and was not feeling his way and trying to get accustomed to it like he was when he was trying to attain level-one of Qi-gathering. That had indeed caused him to waste a good deal of time.
An ordinary person would not find it entirely smooth sailing when they started practicing, even if they had some method to guide his practise.
After all, these methods were ultimately only a paper exercise, and one would definitely still encounter difficulty in turning it into a reality.
However, Zhou Donghuang was different.
With the thousand years of memories from his past life, he was like a fish in water when it came to practicing, and because of this, his rate of practice was extremely fast.
It seems that I’ll still need someone to visit the prefecture capital for me to help me buy some other herbs… with the ferghana horse, it should take at most two days and two nights for a return trip to the prefecture capital even with rest breaks.
The last time Lin Lan had visited the Lin family in the prefecture capital, the return journey had taken her seven days and seven nights, but that was because Lin Lan had used only an ordinary horse.
The speed of a ferghana horse far exceeded that of an ordinary horse.
I only require the herbs from the prefecture capital, and I will be fully capable of formulating an even better qi-gathering elixir… when that time comes, I might be able to smoothly attain level-two of Qi-gathering in half a month.
Although Zhou Donghuang could make the trip to the prefecture capital to buy herbs himself, he did not intend to. It would be too much of a waste of time if he made the trip personally. Galloping on a horse to the prefecture capital, there would be no way for him to practice during the journey.
Two days and two nights is enough for me to raise my level of practice considerably… but, if I’m to send someone to the prefecture capital to buy herbs, who should I send?
Zhou Donghuang muttered to himself as he considered for a moment before his eyes lit.
“It shall be him!”
The Qin family was one of the three great lesser families of Qingshan Town.
The mansion of the Qin family occupied a large plot of land, comparable to the land that the Wang family’s mansion stood on. Qin Xiaoyu had brought Zhou Donghuang to the Qin family mansion several times in the past, but the scene then was totally different from now.
Now, he had only just reached the main entrance of the Qin family mansion, and once the junior Qin family members guarding the door saw him, they immediately ran to report his arrival to the patriarch, Qin Long.
The patriarch of the Qin family, Qin Long, appeared shortly before Zhou Donghuang and welcomed him into the mansion personally.
“Young Master Donghuang, are you here to look for Xiaoyu?”
It was no secret in the Qin family that Zhou Donghuang and Qin Xiaoyu were close. Because of this, Qin Xiaoyu’s status in the Qin family had skyrocketed the day Zhou Donghuang had killed the patriarch of the Wang family, Wang Yukun.
With a big brother who could kill the bloody-handed butcher Wang Yukun with one blow, who in the entire Qin family, including the level-two adept in the Qin family, would dare offend Qin Xiaoyu?
Now, the first young master of the Qin family, Qin Fei did not dare pester Qin Xiaoyu like before, as he was terrified that this may offend Zhou Donghuang.
“I’m not here to look for Xiaoyu.” Zhou Donghuang shook his head. “I’m here to look for the grand patriarch of the Qin family.”