The Emperor Reigns Them All Chapter 130 Power And Intimidation
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Li Ye and Liu Zhiyan were at an inn, preparing to enjoy their freshly-laid meal on their table when a band of burly men, led by a few constables from the local magistrate stormed into the premises.
"This is an official business of the magistrate! Keep away at once!" The beefy leader of the constables barked loudly as soon as he had entered the inn.
No one dared say a word. At the sight of the constables in their uniform, the rest of the other patrons of the inn immediately scurried out of the door like frightened animals.
"d.a.m.n it! Who is this woman called Liu!" One of the constables bellowed, flipping over a table to intimidate Li Ye and Liu Zhiyan as he glared at them. He stepped on the fallen plates and cups, trampling on the shards and splinters to a.s.sert his threatening presence.
It was a rather pointless question, Li Ye mused. There was no one else in the inn save for Li Ye and Liu Zhiyan. Even the manager and the staff of the inn had hidden themselves under the counter.
"On your feet, both of you!" The constable barked again, slamming a fist on their table, craning over them menacingly with a vicious glare. "You are hereby arrested on grounds of suspicion as river bandits! You will now be brought to the magistrate at once! Surrender yourselves!"
Li Ye ignored him, pouring a cup of liquor and downing it in one gulp. He smacked his lips and sighed. "It a pity that the Imperial Court's name and reputation amongst the people are now in the gutters," he remarked to Liu Zhiyan, "Mostly thanks to these goons of the magistrate."
"I do meet such types regularly and I detest them." Liu Zhiyan nodding her head with approbation.
Li Ye emitted a surprised "oh" and began filling with interest. "So how do you deal with these people most of the time?"
"In the past, we could only tolerate with silence," Liu Zhiyan replied earnestly, "But nowadays..." She did not finish her sentence, but her eyes were glinting as she peered at Li Ye.
"Nowadays?" Li Ye prodded again, on the verge of giggling out loud.
"Nowadays, we let them kiss the soles of our boots," Liu Zhiyan replied curtly.
"Somehow, I'm inclined to agree with your method," Li Ye said, his head bobbing.
Liu Zhiyan stood up and faced the constable.
Li Ye stopped her. "Have a cup first, shall we? It would be a terrible waste of good wine if we were to knock over this flask later."
"We won't," Liu Zhiyan replied simply, looking back at him.
Li Ye threw his hands up in the air, and allowed them to fall helplessly to his side, as if saying have it your way to her.
The constable was already burning with rage at being ignored by them. His sabre was already drawn when Liu Zhiyan stood up. Angrily, he swung his sabre at Li Ye, howling, "How dare you disrespect me, you mangy cur! I'll send you down to h.e.l.l now! Let's see how you smirk then!"
Li Ye was hardly perturbed; he waved a hand dismissively. "Why pick me? She's already waiting for you! What? You look down on women?"
"I don't care..." the beefy constable replied, the blade of his sabre arcing down like a bolt of lightning.
But the blade did not even come down. Liu Zhiyan planted a fist into the chest of the constable before he could finish his blow. With a crack from her blow, the constable was thrown off his feet, careening into a tableful of food and dishes in a loud motley of splintering wood and porcelain before he blacked out.
"How dare you!"
"You dare strike a constable of the magistrate!"
"Take her down!"
Everyone behind yelled at Liu Zhiyan and charged at her with their weapons drawn.
Still, their voices and noises stopped abruptly in no time.
Liu Zhiyan leaped into the fold, unleas.h.i.+ng a successive series of blows on the remainder of the constables and the burly men with a cascade of thuds from her fists. Some crashed into tables and chairs, some through the windows and door, while another was stuck in a hole in the wall.
None of them were standing.
"How dare you lay a hand on a constable of the magistrate! You do not know the taste of Death!" Another voice rang suddenly. A figure lunged to the center of the inn. It was an old man wielding a spirit sword and he swung his weapon at Liu Zhiyan.
He was no way weaker than her. With that single stroke, winds were tossed up by the pressure of the Spiritual Qi imbued into his blow that the wooden beams of the inn began shaking as if ready to buckle at any time.
"I'll teach you a lesson!" The old man snarled at Liu Zhiyan.
"Just teach your own son," Li Ye's calm voice rang suddenly in his ears before a foot stomped into the old man's face. The kick sent the elder man flying out of the door and into the streets. There he lay unconscious, unable to get to his feet.
"I should have been able to deal with him, Young Master," said Liu Zhiyan with a note of indignance.
"I was afraid that he'd bring down the whole inn," Li Ye remarked in jest.
His arm stretched forward as he spoke, reaching towards the direction of the door.
Manager Zhang was just outside, still perplexed by what had happened, when a sudden and invisible force yanked him into the inn.
With a loud thud, he flew into Li Ye's grasp who immediately smashed him into the counter.
The wooden counter was immediately crushed into pieces, with Manager Zhang lying in its midst, barely conscious with his eyes rolling up into his head.
"I trust you'll take care of the remunerations, will you not?" Li Ye regarded the bloodied Manager Zhang briefly, "After all, it was you people who had damaged the properties of this good establishment, eh?"
Li Ye flicked his wrist and a cup, still full of liquor, levitated into his hand. He handed it to Liu Zhiyan with a smile. "You're right. The liquor was not knocked over. Let's enjoy it."
"My thanks, Young Master," Liu Zhiyan muttered, receiving the cup as she glanced Li Ye briefly with marvel as her head stooped to sip at the drink.
Li Ye summoned Manager Zhang's coin pouch into his hand and tossed it to the s.h.i.+vering proprietor of the inn, smiling warmly to him. "Take this for the damages incurred. Keep the rest. Rest a.s.sured that no one will come and cause you trouble again."
The proprietor received the pouch with both hands, still shaking from fright, as if the pouch weighed several times over.
Li Ye turned briskly and tugged at the collar of Manager Zhang, dragging him out the door. The poor man was merely a local official with hardly any cultivation of his own, although his mouth had the ferocity of a boar. "How dare you strike an official of the Imperial Court! You will never get away alive! Do you honestly think you can get away with this? I already have men sent to your s.h.i.+ps! Everything; your s.h.i.+ps, your goods, and your men are all finished!"
Manager Zhang jerked his neck aside to spit a gulp of blood before he continued venomously. "Release me at once! Your entire fleet is no more! Release me or you'll no longer see anything of your whole fortune!"
They were already near the docks when he finished. Li Ye threw him forward like a ragdoll. "Funny. See for yourself," he remarked candidly, "My fleet still looks fine and handsome!"
"What?!" Manager Zhang scrambled to his feet. His head lurched back and forth as he quickly surveyed the flotilla of s.h.i.+ps berthed at the piers. There was nothing wrong with the s.h.i.+ps of the Changhe Gang as if nothing had happened! Wu Zhenjiang and his men were still hanging from the mast and his men were still in ropes!
Manager Zhang could hardly believe his eyes. There were several pract.i.tioners of Qi techniques in the group which he had sent forth to sack the s.h.i.+ps! It was impossible that the rest of the Changhe Gang had such capabilities to defeat them even though Li Ye and Liu Zhiyan were undoubtedly formidable fighters in their own right!
Everything was peaceful and fine! Did a fight not occur here just not long ago? What of Ma Heizi and his gang? What had they been doing?!
But the keen eyes of Manager Zhang quickly picked out the incongruity of what he was seeing: there were noticeably more captives being detained in ropes! He peered intently in the distance. He was right; there were indeed more prisoners on the boats now!
Quickly he made out Hei Mazi and his men in bounds on the s.h.i.+ps! What was more, there were even some who were clad in uniforms of the constables of the local magistrate! They seemed to be unconscious, so Manager Zhang had failed to realize them earlier.
"How is this possible!?" Manager Zhang stammered. He spun on his heels and beheld Li Ye, who was just behind him, with a terrified look. "Wh-who, who are you?"
Li Ye made no attempt to answer. He trotted straight for the s.h.i.+p as Liu Zhiyan dragged the manager with them. She tossed him by the scruff of his neck to her men and muttered, "Here's one more. Tie him up as well."
Manager Zhang was reunited with Hei Mazi in captivity where they were left outside the s.h.i.+p's cabin. The humiliation of a local official being left out in the sun aboard the decks of a s.h.i.+p like dried sardines left him contemplating suicide to preserve whatever honor he has left.
He peered fearfully at Li Ye. Feeling more fear creeping into him as he began to realize when he regained his composure. This was a man not to be trifled with! He must command powerful authority himself, since he even dared lay a hand against servants of the law!
Before long, s.h.i.+ps set sail again, continuing their journey towards East into Qizhou.
Li Ye stood at the bow of his s.h.i.+p, enjoying the sceneries around him as the s.h.i.+ps sliced a path through the waves.
The number of captives only grew larger and larger; as the flotilla sailed deeper into Qizhou, they encountered more people who tried to rescue those being held on the s.h.i.+ps, only to have their efforts failed abysmally at the hands of Li Ye and his men and were instead captured themselves.
Twice they encountered pirates during their voyage who tried to stop them and thrice they encountered conflicts when the s.h.i.+ps were docked for resupply.
And there was but only one ending that awaited anyone who dared to launch an a.s.sault on Li Ye's fleet of s.h.i.+ps: admission into the ranks of captives already onboard. Slowly the number reached several hundred that from afar, the view of men huddling together in tight bounds was a sightly spectacle to behold.
Finally, the fleet reached the capital of Qizhou where the bustling crowd and buildings were several times denser than the rest of the towns and villages they had pa.s.sed by before. The skyline of the city, from either bank of the river to the low, picturesque cityscape that spanned towards the lumbering city walls that ringed the magnificent capital, looked enthralling and impressive. Fis.h.i.+ng trawlers, merchant vessels, and ferries swarmed the docks of the city like ants busying themselves at work.
The distinct sight of the captives...o...b..ard the s.h.i.+ps that made the fleet of s.h.i.+ps seemed more like a flotilla of prison s.h.i.+ps cruised lazily into the capital, attracting curious stares from both sides of the river banks. Boats immediately moored to the sides to give way and people stopped in their tracks to whisper with interest at the rare display of s.h.i.+ps parading their captives.
Li Ye wore a satisfied smile as if basking in the grandiose of being the center of attention. He found a paper fan which he waved at his chest, refres.h.i.+ng himself while nodding pompously to every face he saw, putting on the facade of a proud and pretentious egoist, hoping this would further fan the displeasure and anger of any a.s.sociates of the Wu family.
The Wu family was already informed of their coming, especially since the word that Wu Zhenjiang, the two young cohorts and those who had tried to save him during the s.h.i.+ps' journey into Qizhou, had been captured reached their ears. The news that they were hung outside the s.h.i.+ps like salted fishes to be dried did little to alleviate the flames as well.
The flames of anger now felt by Wu Huainan, the Master of the Wu family and the Inspector General of Qizhou. This made him the de facto overlord of the entire province.
He was circling in his room, his forehead creased into a heavy frown as he seethed.
Despite his aged, scholarly appearance, he has the stare of a hawk that could bore fear and submission into anyone he looked at.
He was not alone; being accompanied by a younger man at thirties standing not far from him.
"I have seen many fools in my life, Father! This is the first time I have met one so brazen and vulgar! How dare they come into Qizhou with our own kin hanging from the mast being paraded like some petty thief! Death shall be their sentence, Father, for humiliating us so! We will lose all face and respect if no proper retribution awaits them!"
The younger man, named Wu Jianghuai, the eldest son of Wu Huainan, spat with hatred and contempt, his nostrils flaring with rage.
Wu Huainan stopped pacing around and strode to his desk. He sat down and looked at his son, his face impa.s.sive and his voice stern as he spoke slowly, "This is the domain of the Wu family. Dragons bow to us and tigers cower in fear at our presence. It is by power and intimidation that we have always been able to rule these lands with complete authority. Do you understand?"
A wicked grin broke upon Wu Jianghuai's face as he understood his father's message! He was to lead a squad of able men and deliver a quick and decisive stroke to instantly incapacitate the Changhe Gang! This would let them know that Wu family were the Lord of Qizhou!
Wu Jianghuai took his leave and went off to make preparations. Wu Huainan watched his son leaving, remaining quietly in his seat for seconds that he hardly moved an inch.
Moments pa.s.sed before he suddenly spoke softly, "Guards."
"Your orders, my lord."
"Summon Spiritual Master Zhao."
The Emperor Reigns Them All Chapter 130 Power And Intimidation
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The Emperor Reigns Them All Chapter 130 Power And Intimidation summary
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