Nightfall - Chapter 49

Published at 9th of April 2018 09:20:14 AM

Chapter 49

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Gu Xiaoqiong became dumbfounded and replied, "Mr.Qi, how unethical you are! How can you raise prices in such a way?"

Mr. Qi then yelled. "D*mn unethical! You're poaching business from our elder brother. How can I be virtuous with you?"

That scolding made Gu Xiaoqiong blush. Then he bit his teeth and said to Ning Que, "500 taels of silver! No bargaining! All that I've earned in the trade of the previous two shops are offered, so I can't afford a higher price anymore."

Mr. Qi made a sarcastic face and mocked. "Look how stingy you are! Did Ironhead Song teach you flunkies in such a miserly way? Let me, your master, show you the way to offer a price."

He turned to Ning Que and said with pride, "Young boss, if you agree to continue your business on this street, no one would dare to collect rent from you so long as I'm still ali... "

Ning Que waved his hand to stop him before the last two letters, "ve", were uttered. He asked with a gentle smile, "Mr.Qi, previously you promised to exempt me of rent for one year?"

Mr. Qi stood stiffly, answering, "Yes."

"OK." Ning Que turned back and made a bow to Gu Xiaoqiong and the gang of brutes, apologizing with his consistent gentle smile. "Sorry, I have made up my mind to continue my business here. You may go back now."

Hearing his words, those bystanders surrounding the Old Brush Pen Shop were stunned, not because of the decision he had made, but because he should rush to adopt the previous condition before a new one was about to be uttered, under the condition that he was well aware of the sky-high price that Mr. Qi planned to offer, which meant he could use the shop for free.

Mr. Qi sank in shock for quite a while, seriousness gradually crawling over his face. He made a bow with great respect and said in a powerful way, "Young boss, you have a good sense of justice despite your young age. Just because of what you have said, you can mention my name whenever you're in trouble. And moreover, you can do anything you want at least in the scope of Eastern Area."

Gu Xiaoqiong also remained stunned for a long while, with his blank eyes alternating between Ning Que and Mr. Qi. Before leaving, thinking of the curses he would receive from the elder brother Ironhead Song, the traces of the slaps that would be on his face, and the deadline of the patron of the elder brother, he instinctively turned to those two local government runners under the tree.

Today, gangs gathered at Lin 47th Street. Although their verbal conflict didn't turn into a violent fight, it was obviously a breach of duty for the two government runners of Chang'an to take an indifferent attitude. Only after receiving the pitiful eyes of Gu Xiaoqiong did they slightly make some coughs and walk toward the Old Brush Pen Shop, tightly holding the official swords at their waists.

Catching sight of the two local government runners, Mr. Qi, not knowing that he appeared to think of something sad, suddenly showed cruelty and indignation. He then said to Ning Que with a cold voice, "Young boss, did I mention that you could do anything you want within the scope of Eastern Area?"

Nobody knew what had made Ning Que answer him at such a subtle moment. He just said, "Yes," with a smile. And then Mr. Qi responded with a grim smile, "Well, let me show you why I dare to make such a boast now."

"Why do you gather around here? You want to make trouble?" The two local government runners walked toward the crowd and harshly scolded them.

"Yes." Mr. Qi answered indifferently, and then waved his hand, saying, "I do want to make trouble, and even make big trouble. Hey brothers, go and greet these two officers."

On hearing his instructions, those man wearing indigo darted to besiege the local government runners, who then suffered from a storm of fists and kicks without even knowing who was the first to punch them. The two local government runners were at first scolding harshly and then intended to draw out their swords after showing their status, but were immediately kicked to the ground before they could take any action. After only a short moment, their heads were broken and bleeding. They could no longer spout out any scolding, but held their heads, rolling on the ground with painful groans. Even the swords representing their status were somehow thrown out from the crowd.

Previously, Ning Que just felt that the gangs in Chang'an tackled affairs with great discipline and impressive tolerance. However, looking at the two official swords that were thrown out, he realized that those gangsters of Chang'an were so ruthless that they were even so bold as to beat up government runners!

Dumbfounded at this confused fighting outside his shop and the two local government runners being whaled on, Ning Que felt unable to utter a word. And the facial expressions of Gu Xiaoqiong and those thugs a few paces off appeared to be more ridiculous.

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Because since being involved in this affair at Lin 47th Street, they had never really confronted that Big Owner and his forces, and they did not know that their opponents should behave in such an arrogant way until now!

"OK, stop!" Mr. Qi, who had been standing by indifferently with his two arms crossed in front, ordered. Following his words, those men in indigo scattered, and he walked to the two local government runners, coldly saying, "Now that you dare to play dirty tricks with my brother, you shouldn't blame me for my cruelty."

The younger government runner maliciously stared at him and said, "You dare to beat government servants! What can only be waiting for you now is to be beheaded. Maybe you can think of chopping my head off directly, which is beneficial to you at present."

Ning Que sighed with lament in his mind that people in Chang'an were really strong-minded. Even a minor government runner like him behaved so determinedly in such a situation.

Mr. Qi squatted and scornfully patted his face. "I'm not scared. We're all flunkies of our masters and the only difference is you guys wear official uniforms but we don't. I admit that the uniforms give you noble identity for which I have no courage to kill you. However, do you think those big shots will care about a fight between flunkies in the street?"

Finishing those words, Mr. Qi turned to Ning Que to make a bow and left with unrestrained arrogance, followed by his heelers. After a short while of negotiation, Gu Xiaoqiong and the thugs came to lift up the two government runners, and also walked away without even taking a glimpse at Ning Que and Sangsang. Now that Mr. Qi had shown his attitude in such a strong way, they were quite clear that it was meaningless to threaten Ning Que before they could beat Mr. Qi with overwhelming power or even kill him, and it had no other functions but to indicate their meanness by doing so at the moment.

The chaos at Lin 47th Street ended in such a way without any follow-up. Just as what Mr. Qi had said, the patrons behind the two sides had no interest in interfering in such a conflict between flunkies. But still, there was something that Ning Que could not understand.

Although those two government runners were minor in status, their official uniforms, as well as the official swords they held, stood for the dignity of the government and the empire. No matter how powerful the man behind Mr. Qi—that middle-aged man taking shelter from the rain in his shop that day—was, whaling on government runners publicly in the street was too arrogant to incur death. Not to mention the fact that Mr. Qi had chosen to beat government runners of Chang'an rather than those thugs from the Southern Area, which was unreasonable.

Unless deep enmity had just been incurred between them.

Then his eyebrows frowned at that conjecture as well as at the things which happened just now. But soon after, he felt relieved, for the purpose today was to visit the House of Red Sleeves, and meanwhile do some shopping to disperse the excitement he got from revenge. As for that newly incurred, troublesome hatred, which was not badly in need of elimination at present, let it remain unsolved until it was essential.

There was a far distance between Lin 47th Street and the House of Red Sleeves. Usually, Ning Que would take the horse carriage for two coins. Today, however, he chose to reach there on foot because Sangsang would be his companion along the way who could dispel the boredom for him. Neither of them kept that conflict in their hearts because Ning Que had already been accustomed to such bloody and fatal situations, while for Sangsang, her mind was occupied by important things, thus having no room for others. Therefore, they both enjoyed a good mood when passing through those streets and alleys.

They visited the Prosperity Clothing Shop, Smooth Commercial Street, and the bookstore. Later they bought the cheap Lotus Leaf Rice and ran across Vermilion Bird Avenue at their fastest speed, after which a boisterous place was found. Dozens of Chang'an residents were worshipping, facing towards an altar under the lead of an elder wearing a Taoist robe. Inquiring from an on-looker nearby, Ning Que realized that this was a prayer rite held by a Taoist temple under the South School of Haotian Taoism, wishing to transfer part of the spring rain in Chang'an to the drought at the northern border.

The elder Taoist beside the sacrificial altar had fair hair and a long beard with his robe drifting in the wind, which endowed him with a sense of an immortal. The wooden sword in his hand was vibrating furiously, and in the direction where the sword pointed, several talismans were waggling to show faint scarlet handwritings. After a while, with a sharp sound, the wooden sword flew high into the sky and inserted itself into the yellow sand in the sacrificial altar. And it was not noticed that those talismans were already burnt into ashes in the wind and scattered on the surface of the sand.

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