Chapter 9.2: Making Money! Let the Performance Begin!
… … …
Four hours passed and Shen Lang walked well over fifteen kilometers as he slowly approached Xuanwu City.
At this time, two men poised upright walked on the road ahead. They walked ever so slowly as they wallowed in anger and sorrow. They looked to be a father and son duo; one in his late forties and the other in their early twenties.
Tian Thirteen stepped forwards. “Brother Li, Uncle Li, long time no see! It’s been a while!”
The father and son duo turned their head, face suddenly paled in fear as they saw Tian Thirteen’s figure, but soon quickly reverted to an awkward smile.
“Ah, so it’s Brother Tian. It has been a while.” Said Brother Li.
Tian Thirteen smiled and waved his hand around. “Uncle, why aren’t you back home? Righteous Father misses you oh so dearly! Yesterday, he said you’d attend the party he held, but you never came. I mean… although you owe our Tian Family a little money, it should be alright! Father treats you like his own brother!”
“Ah, ha ha ha. We’ll go tomorrow! We’ll go tomorrow!” Uncle Li laughed light-heartedly.
Tian Thirteen, calm and happy, went up to the father and son duo and pulled them in a tight hug, leading the two deep towards the paddy fields and into the woods thereafter.
“I truly did not expect that I’d meet you two here today. I, truly, with all my heart believe you’d never come back again.” He sighed, somewhat saddened, but his mood brightened just as quick. “But it’s a good thing we’ve crossed paths again, uncle, brother. It must be fate!”
Leading the father and son duo into the woods, Tian Thirteen’s grew more intimate towards them as if they were his own blood. “Right, uncle, I have to tell you something.” He turned and face his uncle, lips curved to a deep smile. “Righteous Father said you don’t have to pay the money back you owe to our Tian Family.”
“Ha ha ha… this sure is embarrassing.” He chuckled. “I apologize.”
“It’s no big deal, really. You and Righteous Father have been friends, for how many years? Ten? Then what’s the use of money when it comes to the decade long friendship you have with Righteous Father? Rember, when I was little, I’d always go to your house every two or three days to play. Don’t you remember?”
“I remember.” The father smiled sincerely. “Well, I guess I’ll go ahead and chop a pig’s head tomorrow and see Brother Tian to drink wine together and speak of the past.”
“Good… but uncle, it won’t be the pig’s head that’ll be chopped…” Tian Thirteen pulled out a sharp dagger. It glinted under the sunshine boughs. “But yours…”
The dagger swiftly pierced the father and son’s heart. The murderous deed was done far too quick for what the human eye could see. There were no mouthfuls of gurgling screams or painful mourns for the two died long before they realized.
“Fourteen, stay here and wait for the rest of our brothers to come and deal with these two.”
“Yes, Brother Thirteen!”
“Until then. Be safe, Fourteen.” Tian Thirteen flicked his wrist and pulled out a white silk. He inhaled the scent of the stained dagger before wiping the dagger clean and sheathing it back to where it belonged. He then lowered his head and looked down both sleeves to check for any blood stains. “Right, Shen Lang, sorry. We’ve delayed the time. I’ve just somehow happened to cross paths with two acquaintances. Let us make our way now.”
Shen Lang nodded. “Alright.”
From the beginning to end, the expression on Tian Thirteen’s face changed. His lips drew a sneering smile as he murdered the two in cold blood. Then, the two continued their journey and headed towards the direction of Xuanwu City.
Curious, Shen Lang perked his head up. “Tian Thirteen, that guy, is he your uncle?”
Tian Thirteen nodded. “Yes. Before leaving with Righteous Father, they have been friends for more than ten years. I remember that he’d always hold me in his embrace when I was young. A shame he had to die.”
“How much did he owe?”
“Three gold coins.” He replied perfunctorily. “Because they were a close friend, the interest rate was much lower. In total, they owed twenty-five gold coins. Yesterday, they went to the gambling stall and owed several more gold coins. Soon after, they fell into a gambling debt.”
“……” Merely because of the twenty-five gold coins the father and son duo owed to Tian Heng, Tian Thirteen did not hesitate to murder the two whom they knew for more than ten years in cold blood, and he, Shen Lang, owed a thousand gold coins.
“Shen Lang, I know you’re only procrastinating. What you’re planning, it’s only but a foolish dream earning one thousand gold coins over the next two days. It’s completely idiotic. Tell me, how will you do it? I’ll allow you to do what you want, but be sure to please me.”
He pulled out the dagger from his sheat and wiped it over again as if an instinctual habit. If Shen Lang was unable to meet Tian Thirteen’s standards, he’d immediately go for the thrill of killing.
One thousand golds coin, it might be the savings for hundreds of families for over a decade. The total was big and it’d be impossible for a rural country boy like Shen Lang to earn a mere thousand gold coins in two day’s time.
Shen Lang raised his head and looked at Tian Thirteen, blind to his murderous aura. “Two days… there’s no need. I can do it today!”
Tian Thirteen scoffed, eyes widening. “Are you playing, Shen Lang?”
“No. I’ll earn one thousand gold coins in three hours.”
Tian Thirteen’s eyes widened further. “Three hours?”
Shen Lang nodded. “Yes.”
… … …
At last, Shen Lang and Tian Thirteen reached the borders of Xuanwu City.
Xuanwu City was one of the eight cities of Nujian County which had twenty-five cities under its jurisdiction and a total population of two hundred and fifty thousand.
Shen Lang looked at the city wall and noticed that it was more than twelve kilometers high and its circumference nearly five kilometers long. In Ancient China, many provincial cities had no walls which were over five kilometers high. If they did, then they were under the jurisdiction of a powerful dynasty. And in this world, the power of Xuanwu City was far mighter than that of an ancient dynasty in his past life.
Once inside, Shen Lang looked left and right. The city streets bustled with shops erected to the side as the crowd covered almost all the stalls.
Shen Lang stopped in front of a three-story pavilion. The signboard above said ‘Silk Pavilion’. His eyes twinkled in delight. Not only would his journey begin here, it’ll also be the starting point of his revenge against the Xu Family.
Takin a deep breath, Shen Lang walked inside Silk Pavilion.
Let’s begin! Time to milk some money!