Chapter 27: More Strangers in the Little Shop
[บางคำ อาจจะต้องตัด -d, -ed, -s, -es ออกเสียก่อน
The thin man drank some wine, then said, "Hu Fei, Duan Kai Shan, Yang Cheng Zu, Hu Mei, and the Yang brothers!"
After he had said all six names, those brothers and the four people in the third group immediately got up, and started to scream at him. "Who the hell are you?" "How dare you say such lies in here?"
Today that drunkard seems to be a bit different. He's drinking extra slowly, eyes extra bright, no wood in his hand, and especially moved the candle on his table away.
His eyes kept staring at the door, as if waiting for someone.
But the hour has passed, with no customers.
Hunchback Sun yawned, "Looks like there won't be any more customers today, guess it's time to close shop."
That 'drunkard' laughed, said, "Don't be in such a hurry, I guarantee that your business will be exceptional tonight.
Hunchback Sun asked, "How do you know?"
That 'drunkard' answered, "Because I can foretell the future."
He really can tell the future, because within the next hour, several groups of people entered the place.
The first group has two people.
One is a white haired old man wearing a blue robe while holding a pipe.
The other looks to be his granddaughter, with two big, black, shiny ponytails, a pair of big eyes, brighter, shinier, and darker then even her ponytails.
The second group is also two people.
Both looked unclean and unorganized, but very muscular, wearing not only the same clothing, but also the same weapons, as if they're clones.
The third group had the most people, four.
One is tall, one is short, one is a purple-shirt youngster with a spear on his back, and one a green-clothed lady wearing lots of jewelry, twisting her waist while walking like a little girl, when she's old enough to be such a girl's mom.
The last group had only one person.
This person is ridiculously thin, with a soft saber on his waist.
This room only has five tables, so these four groups filled the room. Hunchback Sun became so busy he could only hope tomorrow's business is not nearly as good.
Only to see these four groups simply sitting here drinking wine, talking very little, with all words spoken at a whisper, as if afraid others might hear.
After a while, the youngster with the spear started to stare at the ponytailed girl. Strangely enough, the ponytailed girl apparently doesn't care.
The youngster suddenly laughed. "Is this girl a singer?"
The Ponytailed girl shook her head, her ponytails waving side to side, making her look even prettier.
The youngster said, "Even if you're not a singer, at least you can sing a bit, right? If you sing well, I will certainly reward you."
The Ponytailed girl said, "I can't sing, only talk."
"What can you talk about?"
"Talk about book, stories."
The youngster said, "That's even better, except I don't know what kind of stories do you tell. Scholar and Maiden Meet in the Garden? Minister's Daughter throwing Bouquet*?"
*Not really a bouquet, but a ball someone uses to find a husband. Chinese custom. Bouquet is the closest English word I can think of.
The Ponytailed girl shook her head, said, "Wrong. I tell stories about the newest exciting tales of the martial world."
The youngster clapped his hands, smiling. "Awesome. Awesome. I can guarantee that these are the stories people here most like to hear about. Hurry up and tell the stories.
The Ponytailed girl said, "But I don't know how to tell such stories, only my grandfather can."
The youngster looked at the old man, and then asked her, "Si what can you do?"
"I can only help out my grandpa."
The old man drank some wine, smoked his pipe, and then said slowly, "Have you heard of the name Li Xun Huan?"
Except for the youngster, no one else had taken notice of these two people, but once they heard the name Li Xun Huan, their ears perked up.
The Ponytailed girl said with a smile, "Of course I've heard of him, the heroic, famous Little Li Tan Hua, right?"
The old man said, "Correct."
The Ponytailed girl said, "I heard the saying that Little Li's Flying Dagger never misses, even to this day, no one has ever escaped from it. Is this really true?"
The old man said, "If you don't believe that, you can go ask the knowledgeable Bai Xiao Sheng, or the Five-Poison Kid, then you'd know if this saying is true or not."
The Ponytailed girl said, "Are you saying that Bai Xiao Sheng and Five-Poison Kid are both dead?"
"Yes. They died simply because they didn't believe this saying."
That tall thin man coughed a bit lightly, but everyone else had already been hooked by this story, so they did not take notice.
Only that drunkard lay on his table, as if already drunk.
The old man drank some tea, and then said, "Unfortunately, this Li Xun Huan is already dead."
The Ponytailed girl said, "Dead? Who is powerful enough to kill him?"
The old man said, "Himself!"
The Ponytailed girl looked at the old man for a moment, then smiled. "How could he kill himself? I bet he's still alive."
The old man sighed, said, "Even if he is still alive, he's pretty much like a dead man… so unfortunate… "
The Ponytailed girl also sighed, then asked, "Other than him, is there another person who can be considered a hero?"
The old man said, "Have you heard of Ah Fei?"
The Ponytailed girl said, "It does ring a bell."
Her eyes moved around, then said, "I heard that the speed of his sword is unmatched in the martial world, is this true?"
The old man said, "What do you think of Yi Ku's kung fu skills?"
The Ponytailed girl said, "In the Book of Weapons, the Green Devil Hand ranks ninth, so he's obviously very good."
The old man said, "What about Mr. Iron Flute, Reverend Xin Jian, Zhao Zheng Yi, and Tian Qi?"
The Ponytailed girl said, "These are all very famous people in the martial world. Everyone knows them."
The old man said, "If Ah Fei's sword wasn't very fast, how do you think all these people lost to him?"
The Ponytailed girl said, "What happened to this Ah Fei?"
The old man sighed again, "Like Little Li Tan Hua, he has disappeared. No one knows where he is, only that he disappeared the same time as Lin Xian Er."
"Lin Xian Er? You mean the girl considered the most beautiful woman in the world?"
The old man said, "That's right."
The Ponytailed girl said, "Oh, what is love? Why do people get trapped by love, and cannot escape…"
That youngster became impatient, said, "Don't get off-topic, and keep telling the story."
The old man shook his head and said, "People like Ah Fei and Li Xun Huan have already disappeared, what else is there to talk about in the martial world? That's all there is, folks."
That thin man coldly laughed. "You could be wrong."
The old man said, "Are you saying that your information is better than mine?"
That man looked around. "From what I know, something extraordinary will happen soon."
The old man said, "Where? When?"
The thin man hit the table, and then said loudly, "At this moment, at this place!"
When he said this, Those two look-alike brothers and the four-member group immediately turned pale, yet that green-robed lady, still smiling, said, "I certainly don't see anything extraordinary happening right now."
That thin man said, "From my understanding, at least six people will die here NOW!"
The green-robed lady asked, "Which six people?"
The thin man drank some wine, then said, "Hu Fei, Duan Kai Shan, Yang Cheng Zu, Hu Mei, and the Yang brothers!"
After he said all six names, those brothers and the four people in the third group immediately got up, and started to scream at him. "Who the hell are you?" "How dare you say such lies in here?"
The loudest voice was obviously that big, muscular man, Duan Kai Shan*.
*Note: Duan Kai Shan translates into 'slicing open mountain'.
This person towered over everyone once he stood, even the big Yang brothers are shorter by half a head.
He apparently wasn't finished with the insults, "I feel that you're the one with bad luck today, that you're not going to live past tonight…"
Before he could finish, that thin man lifted his leg, quickly appeared right before him, then slapped him seventeen times on the cheek.
Although Duan Kai Shan has two hands, he somehow couldn't block those slaps. Although he has two legs, he somehow couldn't evade those slaps. As if his head has been slapped silly, unable to move.
The others can only look on with amazement.
Only to hear this man say, "You think I'm here to kill you? You're not worthy of being killed by me! I just want to teach you a lesson, so you'll learn to speak in a more civilized manner."
As he spoke, he went back to his seat.
Yang Cheng Zu said, "Hold on. Tell us who is going to come kill us."
As he spoke, the spear on his hand immediately shot up.
The spear flew towards the thin man.
That man didn't even turn around, just said, "The person who'll kill you is almost here!"
Only to see his waist twist a bit, and the spear became stuck to the thin man's body, under the arm. No matter how hard he tried, Yang Cheng Zu could not pull out the spear, his face immediately turned pale.
That thin man said, "Since you won't escape anyway, you might as well just wait here."
The spear then broke.
Only to hear a swish sound, and the head of the spear stuck to the table, where the thin man poured another cup of wine, as if nothing had ever happened.
But the other six people weren't nearly as carefree as he, their faces without color.
They're all thinking, "Who's coming to kill us? Who…"
The wind outside became stronger, the lamps shaking, the thin man simply sitting there quietly.
Who is this man?
With his kung fu, he's obviously one of the top fighters in the world, how could we not know him?"
Why would he come here?
No one knows the answer, so how can they still have the heart to drink?
Some already want to run away, but this would really be cowardly. Besides, it's not like they could anyway.
Just as they're thinking, a cold laughter came from the outside.
The six people immediately frowned, their throats look like they have lumps in them, not just unable to speak, but also unable to breathe.
The Hunchback Sun was already terribly scared, but these six are even more scared.
Four people appeared at the door.
These four people all wore long, yellow robes, one has big eyes, one has pointy nose, the same people who dropped by in the morning.
Although they reached the front door, no one came in, only just standing there silently, not looking scary at all.
Hunchback Sun can't believe that these six people would be so terrified of them. From the looks of these six people, those four yellow-robed men aren't people, but devils.
They are now becoming envious of that drunkard, who can't see anything, hear anything, and therefore obviously not scared.
The strange thing is the behavior of the first group, the old man so old his teeth are nearly all gone, the girl so young and fragile a breeze can seemingly knock her to the ground.
These two people don't look scared at all, the old man still drinking wine.
Looking at those four men again, they just cleared a path.
A very young man, hands behind his back, walked in slowly.
This youngster also wore a long yellow robe. He looks very elegant, his attitude very refined, the only difference between him and the other four people is that his robe has gold streaks on the side.
However, his face is icy, without any emotions, his eyes focused on that tall, thin man.
The thin man didn't even bother to look at him, instead just kept drinking.
The yellow-robed youngster smiled, turned around, looking at the six people.
The yellow-robed youngster slowly walked over to them, taking out some gold coins, then put one on each of the six people's heads.
These six people seemingly all turned to wood, just staring at him while he put those coins on them, not even daring to fart.
The yellow-robed youngster still had some coins left in his hand, and walked over to the old man and the young girl.
The old man smiled. "If you want to drink some wine, go ahead. I'll pay."
He seemed a bit drunk, his cheek look like there's an egg in it, his lips swollen, his words almost impossible to understand.
The yellow-robed youngster kept a straight face, staring at him. Suddenly he hit the table, the peanuts on the plate jumped up, flying towards the old man's face.
That old man must be scared stiff, because he didn't even try to dodge the peanuts, just as the peanuts almost reached his face, the yellow-robed youngster held up his arm quickly, his sleeves swished, and the peanuts returned to the plate.
That ponytailed girl began to laugh heartily. "Wow. That's a really neat trick. I can't believe you know magic tricks. Can you do that again? If you do, my grandpa will surely buy you some wine."
The yellow-robed youngster had just shown a top-level hidden weapon technique, yet he just happened to meet two people who had no idea what it is, thinking that it was all just a parlor trick.
However, this yellow-robed youngster was not mad at all. He looked at the ponytailed girl for a while, smiled, and walked away.
But then the ponytailed girl said impatiently, "Why aren't you doing more tricks? I still want to see more."
The thin man suddenly laughed. "You really don't want to see too many of those kinds of tricks."
The thin man said, "If you knew kung fu, that little trick of his would've turned you into a dead person."
The ponytailed girl looked a bit at the yellow-robed youngster out of the corner of her eyes, as if she didn't believe the thin man, but doesn't dare to ask again.
The yellow-robed youngster wasn't listening to the conversation at all. He simply walked slowly to the drunkard's table, his coins clicking in his hands.
That drunkard had been drunk for a long time, simply sleeping there like a dead man.
The yellow-robed youngster laughed while picking him up by his hair, stared at his face for a second, then released his hand.
As he released his grip, the drunkards fell back onto the table, again asleep.
The thin man said, "Being drunk cures a thousand worries. This saying really is quite accurate, as the drunk man certain is better off than these sober people."
The yellow-robed youngster ignored him, and walked back out the door.
The funny thing is, the six people with coins on their head followed him out, as if they had a leash on them.
They all had gloom faces, looking straight ahead. While their feet moves forward, their upper body are straight as a stick, afraid the coins might drop.
Hunchback Sun has lived for many years, yet still have not seen such a strange sight.
Considering these people's kung fu, they should at least be able to give any enemy somewhat of a fight. Why would they look at this youngster like a mouse seeing a cat?
Hunchback Sun really couldn't understand.
He also doesn't care to understand, either, for a person as old as he is, some things are better off not known.
It's been a while since it rained, so there are a lot of dusts in the wind blowing outside.
Those four yellow-robed people drew a bunch of circles on the ground, each about the size of a soup bowl.
When those six people got outside, they didn't even wait for a command before stepping into the circles.
They then stood as still as wood.
The yellow-robed youngster walked back into the little shop, and sat down on the chair Duan Kai Shan vacated.
That face is still just as cold, and remained silent, as he had been since coming into the shop.
After a few minutes, another person with a yellow robe walked into the shop.
This people is older, with one ear cut off, one eye blinded, his face filled with rage.
He also has gold streaks on the side of his robe, also has some people following behind him, some tall, some short, some old, some young.
From their appearances, these are fairly important people, except their faces look just like Duan Kai Shan and the others, following the yellow-robed man to the door, then stood inside those circles.
One of them has a dark skin and is very skinny, his face looks terrible.
When the others saw him, they look at him in a weird way, as if wondering why he's here.
The one-eyed man looked at Duan Kai Shan and the others for a sec, chuckled, then went into the little shop, sitting across from the youngster.
They looked at each other, nodded, but stayed silent.
After a bit more time, another yellow-robed man came.
He's even older, his hair all white, his yellow robe also have streaks of gold, and behind are even more people.
From afar, he doesn't look too special, but up close, one can see that his face is green, which looks incredibly scary paired up with his white hair.
Not only is his face green, so are his hands.
Those people standing outside the door watched him as if watching a ghost. They all gasped for breath, some even shook.
Within an hour, all the circles outside the shop had been filled, all with stiff people who do not dare speak or move.
Four people with gold-streaked yellow robes arrived, the last one an old man who looked quite fragile, and even older than the last one, like he's too old to even walk. But the people he brought just happened to be the most.
These four people each sat on a side of the table, sitting there silently.
The people outside are just as silent, as one can only hear their breaths.
This little shop seemed to have turned into a graveyard. Even Hunchback Sun couldn't stand it! Yet that old man and his granddaughter still did not leave.
Can they still be waiting for more tricks?
This really is a trick to die for!