Chapter 47 - Promise
At this very moment, Xu Yi seemed to be more worried about moving into a bigger house, rather than about the fight. Even though, Xu Yi and Gao Pan were both in the peak state of a forged body, meaning that the fight could go either way.
“Ah, don’t forget to buy me a well-knit string, as thin as a fish wire. It should be more than three meters long. I’ll use it in today's fight.” Xu Yi glanced at Qinghua, as if he had just remembered an important thing.
Without uttering a single word, Qinghua turned away and flew off into the distance, disappearing in a mere second. Xu Yi was stunned by the speed of Qinghua, as he started to wonder if his lackey had actually reached the middle state of a forged body.
The truth was, under great mental pressure, the overwrought Qinghua was on the verge of madness. He was much more nervous than Xu Yi, as if he was the one who would be fighting in the arena later today. His impatient disposition drove him to run away like a flash of lightning.
A short while later, Qinghua returned with a string in his hand. “Boss, look what I’ve found. This is a Dragon-Binding String from the Gold Refinement Palace. It’s extremely firm and tenacious. You know, the senior ocean fishers will use this string to capture whales. However, the price is insanely high. You know how much it costs? It costs three gold coins for every 3.3 meters! Ha, ha… No wonder the Gold Refinement Palace is swimming in money...”
Qinghua demonstrated the string as he kept on gabbling. The string was as thin as a thread of hair, transparent and exquisite. To further convince Xu Yi, Qinghua took out a dagger from his chest pocket and struck at the string. Afterwards, he exerted all of his strength and jerked the string. Undoubtedly, however, all of his efforts proved to be in vain.
Xu Yi quickly snatched the string from Qinghua’s hands, because he couldn’t wait any longer to try it out himself. With a big grin, he tucked the string away into his pocket.
“Is anybody there?” Suddenly, the shouts from the doorway distracted their attention from the string. Qinghua immediately dashed to the front gate. Soon, he came back and informed Xu Yi that the government had dispatched an official, who came here to notify them, that in only two hours from now the fight would begin.
“I’ll change my clothes. Tell them, that I’ll be out soon.” Xu Yi instructed Qinghua.
On the way to his bedroom, Xu Yi bumped into Autumn, “Uncle, are you going to fight with someone?”
“Not exactly. I’m going to kick some bastard’s ass. Don’t worry, I’ll bring back some snacks for you tonight.” Xu Yi picked the little girl up, as his fingertips traced the porcelain-like cheeks. He kissed Autumn on her forehead, showing this tender affection for this naughty, yet adorable little girl.
At the same time, Autumn touched the beard of her uncle, as she sincerely said: ”Uncle, I wish you all the best. No matter how severe you get injured, please come back home. Promise me.”
“Silly girl. What are you talking about? Remember, your uncle is rivalless.” He slightly pinched her face, realising that Autumn had been worrying about him.
“Yes! My uncle is the best of the best!” Autumn nodded her head fiercely.
After changing his clothes, Xu Yi went to Elder Mu’s bedroom to bring him his medicine.
Soon, the carriage from the government arrived in front of his house and Xu Yi jumped on top of it. The cart-driver whipped the horse and guided it towards the direction of the Eastern City, where the arena was set up.
The moment the carriage went through the fortified gate of the Eastern City, Xu Yi was stunned by the horrifying tranquility. The last time he had entered Eastern City, which was several days ago, he had been greatly impressed by the hustle and bustle on the streets. In distinct contrast with the previous vibrancy, today’s Eastern City was almost like a ghost city, or a storm-stricken city, which still suffered from its aftermath – you could hardly encounter anyone on the street, not even a shadow; plus, most of the shops had hung out a plate that read “CLOSED”.
Several minutes later, they arrived at an egg-shaped building. Soon, the cart-driver fastened the reigns of the horse to a column, while a man in green clothing guided Xu Yi into that magnificent architecture.
Walking on the processional road (paved path leading to the main hall), they made their way into the spacious main hall. Oddly, there was no furniture in the hall, except for a iron-forged long desk that stood in the middle. Beside the desk, there sat an elder man with a hoary beard, fixing his eyes on an old and discolored book. Occasionally, he would take a sip from the cup of tea on the desk.
“Elder Ning, this is one of the candidates. I suggest, that we start the blood test.” The man in green clothing broke the silence.
Suddenly, Xu Yi realised, that the old man behind the table was the judge of the fight.
Consequently, Xu Yi dropped his thick and deep-colored blood on a piece of white rock. Instantly, a glow emerged on the rock – a mixture color of gold, purple, black, white and green. Soon, the colors all faded away, except for the green and white.
“I can confirm that Yi Xu is in the peak state of a forged body!” Elder Ning exclaimed, and made a stamp on a piece of paper, which he then quickly sealed.
Finishing his job, Elder Ning went back to his chair and continued reading his book.
When the man in green clothing was about to leave, another man, who was also wearing green clothing, entered and whispered something in the first man in green clothing’s ear.
Despite the low voice, Xu Yi could still clearly hear their words, “General Gao is waiting for Yi Xu.”
Afterwards, the man in green clothing led Xu Yi out of the main hall, and lead him to a private room.
Once they opened the door, General Gao stood up from a wicker chair, holding a goblet of fruit wine in his hands. He was in the middle of a cheerful conversation with three men in white clothing.
General Gao waved away the man in green clothing and smiled at Xu Yi, “You must be Yi Xu, the murderous maniac that killed a dozen man in the name of the ‘Laws and Decrees of Empire Yu’, correct?”
“Yes, I am. But to clear things up, I’m not a murderous maniac, I just killed those evil guys, who represent the destabilising elements of our society. As a guard, it’s my job to do so. You know, violence must be met by violence.” Xu Yi greeted General Gao’s gaze, behaving neither overbearing nor servile.
Teacher Zhou once told Xu Yi that General Gao was in favor of him. So Xu Yi guessed, that General Gao would do him no harm.
“Awesome! It seems we share the same values, my fellow man.” General Gao replied with sparkling eyes, “Theoretically, you should be rewarded for killing the mobs. However, the Guanan government is profit-driven, they won’t deny an invitation from the Black Dragon Palace, even though I did try several times to persuade them.”
“Don’t worry, General Gao. I’m not afraid of those filthy demons from the Black Dragon Palace!” Xu Yi’s voice was filled with overconfidence.
Since Xu Yi had become a guard in the Hibiscus Town, he had tasted the benefits of being a government official. And currently, he aspired to quickly climb high on the ladder to become a high-positioned government official.
At this point, General Gao was the right person to follow. Xu Yi anticipated that if he behaved politely, General Gao would look down on him. On the contrary, if he behaved unrestrainedly, General Gao would probably like him more.
As expected, General Gao laughed out loudly, “I howl and sing to the sky with wide joy, arrogantly and domineering! (我自狂歌向天啸，飞扬跋扈为谁雄). Bohan, Peilin, Zhongshu, what do you guys think of Yi Xu?”
“You’re a man of vision!”
“You’ve never failed in judging people.”
The men that sat next to General Gao flattered him with big smiles, except for Zhongshu.
“Zhongshu, you seem to have a different opinion, say it!” General Gao ordered.
“I don’t dare to hold an opposite opinion to you, General. I just wonder, er…I’m afraid that this glib-tongued young man doesn’t match his reputation. He talks big, even in front of an imminent fight.” Zhongshan blurted out.
Xu Yi shot a resentful look at Zhongshu, as it confused him where the hostility from Zhongshu came from, since this was the first time they met each other.