Chapter 5 A Coward?
“How can that happen?” Zheng Longxing touched those three strands of long beard under his jaw lightly, seemed very surprised and said, “Isn’t Li Mu a weak scholar? How did he become a master of martial arts? Although the strength of the Joint-Forces is not much, it is still something in the world of heroes. But they were also killed within one second. Is there any chance that the news from the capital wrong?
Zheng Longxing had another role except being a Dian-shi janitor of Taibai County, that was, one of the four masters in Bloody-moon faction.
And it was he who organized and promoted the assassination of Li Mu.
He was a martial arts master himself.
Although Joint-force level was the primary level of martial art, it still contained Joint-qi level and Joint-thoughts level and so on. However, those who had entered the joint-force level obtained basic rough inner strength and could be called a third-rate martial art warrior in the underworld.
And Bloody-moon faction sent smart and alert martial art warriors to assassinated Li Mu. Those warriors were made of five third-rate joint-force level warriors and a leader of a joint-qi level fighter, who could be a master of third-rate warriors. And those people should be capable of killing a weak scholar under fifteen years old. However, they not only failed but also lost two people.
“Maybe because Li Mu hid his ability. I have never heard he knew martial arts.” one warrior in black bowed down and said.
Zheng Longxing thought of the moment when he saw Li Mu in the government office during the daytime.
The boy sat in the official chair, seemingly calm, but in fact, very nervous, and he pretended to be calm, and it was easy to see him through in terms of his behavior or his breath, which definitely showed he was a rookie. There was not any sign that he was a scholar or a martial arts master, so was it camouflage?
If he could really disguise like this, then he was too scary. And he absolutely was a sophisticated person.
This time, Zheng Longxing took the risk and pushed Bloody-moon faction to kill Li Mu on his way to Taibai. In fact, his intention was to get the magistrate’s position.
In the Western Qin Empire and even the whole mainland, the status of the martial art factions and clans was very special, which was close to being able to stand up against the government. Many of the great empire politicians were born in the martial art factions or clans. It was said that underworld and the government shared ruling power. Even according to the law, people from underworld were given some priorities. Zheng Longxing once was only an armed escort, but later he joined the Bloody-moon faction and made great achievements, so he was promoted as a master. Under the operation of Bloody-moon faction, Zheng Longxing became the envoy of Taibai County and mastered some military power.
Now, the Western Qin Empire’s political order was chaotic and government officials were corrupt, which were the signs that the empire was going to meet its doom.
Zheng Longxing had already planned everything. As long as the new county magistrate was assassinated, he would then quickly killed Zhou Wu, the deputy county magistrate. Afterward, he could use Bloody-moon faction’s power and definitely be the new county magistrate after some operation.
Zheng Longxing was very ambitious.
In his view, Taibai County was in an excellent position. If it was properly managed, it would become a wealthy paradise, which would give him an opportunity to slowly accumulate strength and recharge its batteries. And it would not be impossible for him to become an overlord sooner or later.
But now, at the early stage of this plan, there occurred some accidents.
In the secret room, he meditated for a long time, and finally, he showed a fierce look. “The plan must not change. I cannot wait anymore, and I will order stronger masters of our faction to assassinate Li Mu. I must kill him before he starts his career. There must be no delay in my plan.”
One night passed by quickly.
The Sun rose in the eastern sky.
There were two suns, one big and one small, one after the other.
It was sunny with an enjoyable breeze.
With a squeak, the door opened.
Li Mu walked out of the room, feeling never so energetic.
“Young Master, you…” the dullard little boy Mingyue stared at Li Mu, but after a while, he screamed, turned around and ran. “You smells so bad. You stink… Young Master, what’s that black thing around you? How can you smell like shit?”
Li Mu felt speechless.
He spent the whole night practicing Xiantian Skill last night and entered a state of immobility that he had never experienced before. One night was just like a moment to him, and Li Mu did not look carefully when he walked out of the room. Startled by Mingyue, he found out a layer of fine black dirt that was discharged from the pores of his skin.
A sour odor lingered around him.
Even he himself felt sour and smelly.
“Hello? Prepare the hot water… I want to take a bath…”
Li Mu screamed to attract attention.
There were miscellaneous servants in the county government. Soon hot water was ready and sent to Li Mu’s room with the bathtub.
After the shower, Li Mu felt refreshed.
He was surprised to find that after washing off the black dirt on his skin, his skin was much more smooth. Looking in the mirror, his hair grew a lot overnight. Last night the hair was very short and today some could be combed together. Even his height seemed to be higher.
“This Xiantian Skill is really amazing, and it also has a cosmetic effect.”
Li Mu was very surprised.
But he became worried soon.
Because he had nothing to wear except the official outfit.
He did not intend to wear his sneakers, sweatpants, and vests brought from the earth again. After all, They were incompatible with the world and wearing them would be too conspicuous and made people gossip. However, they could be kept as memorials and it might be useful when returning to Earth after twenty years.
Li Mu came up with an idea after those thoughts.
Li Mu vaguely remembered that when he finished touring around those offices, in the alchemy room of the former county magistrate, there seemed to be several boxes containing some clothes. Perhaps he could wear them temporarily. Once he got his salary and had enough money, he would ask those two attendants to buy some ready-to-wear clothes.
Damn. Being a county magistrate like this was surely miserable. He was seen as a joke even on the very first day, and now he did not have even one little penny.
Li Mu angrily walked crossed the corridor of back office and came to the alchemy room.
Location of alchemy room was very quiet. Li Mu had to pass through the secret door of the front exercise room in order to enter into. There were not only alchemy stove, grid cabinet, futons, leaf fans, medicine cabinets, and other necessities, but also a pile of neatly arranged hard firewood… Anyway, everything related to alchemy could be found in the room. Just at one glance, anyone could find the former owner did a lot of work to arrange the alchemy room.
All of those gave Li Mu a familiar feeling.
Because on Earth, the old faker’s Zen chamber had a similar layout style in Randeng Temple.
He just took a glance and came to the front of those black wooden boxes to open it.
He did not remember wrong and there were actually several sets of clothes in it.
However, when Li Mu took them out, he saw six different good-quality robes of different colors. All of them were actually stitched with fine gold silk. And the size and style of the different robes were slightly different with silver silk thread embroidered on the top of the pictures of sun, moon, stars, cranes, kylins, the eight diagrams, pagoda, dragon, phoenix and so on. Each of the six robes had its own inner shirts, trousers, and boots. They were not only extremely complete but also very clean.
“Oh, it seems that the former owner lives a delicate life.”
To be honest, Li Mu was really curious about his predecessor who resigned and went deep into the mountains to find his way.
He quickly put on the inner shirt and a blue robe, and he surprisingly felt very fit.
The material of the robe was very comfortable and seemed like pure cotton.
Li Mu walked out of the alchemy room and returned to his own room. He was very satisfied after looking into the bronze mirror.
The teenager in the mirror was slender, tall and vigorous. Wearing the blue golden silk robe, Li Mu had a unique temperament and just looked like a Taoist immortal.
Li Mu was very pleased with his look.
The only drawback of this outfit was that the sleeves were too big and a little longer.
He thought he had to pull up those sleeves first when fighting against an enemy.
Anyway, the problem of dressing was finally resolved temporarily.
Then, breakfast was sent by a servant.
Those two young fellows seemed not too surprised to see Li Mu dress like that when they had breakfast together.
“Young Master is finally normal.” Qingfeng seemed relieved and just looked like a hard-working old father who saw his stupid son returning to normal.
Mingyue was very joyful and cheered. “Young Master is very handsome.”
Later, Li Mu learned that the Western Qin Empire advocated Taoism. Many nobles, celebrities, and upper-class people often wore Taoist robes as their regular clothes, and they highly respected this kind of clothes. Besides, those robes were quite popular among ordinary people too. So it was not strange that Li Mu, the county magistrate, appeared in Taoist robes.
Not before they finished their breakfast, one servant reported to Li Mu that Zhou Wu, the deputy county magistrate, came and sought for governmental advice from Li Mu with others.
“I don’t see them. I don’t have time.” Li Mu was very capricious and simply refused.
He just did not want to see outsiders to avoid being found any flaws.
“Oh… Young Master, you have to be diligent…” Qingfeng seemed to regard Li Mu as a loser.
Li Mu waved his hand and immediately got up and went back.
Behind him, Mingyue burst into laughter heartlessly.
In a blink of an eye, three days passed.
At the front government office.
“He is still not willing to see us?”
Zhou Wu, the deputy county magistrate, looked at Mingyue who came to answer him, seemed difficult to understand and said, “Doesn’t the county magistrate want to know something about the county political affairs?”
Mingyue, this cute little girl, who had been eating and drinking in the county office for a few days, had pretty eyebrows and eyes, beautiful red lips and white teeth now, smiled, nodded and said: “My Young Master said that Mr. Zhou can be in charge of all the government issues. Yes, he is not interested at all.” After that, thinking that there were still a few pieces of braised pork that she had secretly hidden after lunch, she suddenly turned around and ran away.
Deputy county magistrate Zhou Wu and other government officials just looked at each other, lost and awkward.
In the past few days, they had already prepared a play to teach Li Mu some lessons. But who knew that this small county magistrate shrunk like a tortoise, hiding in the back office and did nothing. Nobody could see him. So, they did not know if he really had no interest in government power, or knew that he would be messed around and therefore hid.
Chapter 6 Unjust Treatment Leading to a Lawsuit
In the crowd, Zheng Longxing had a gloomy look.
He had made all kinds of plans to assassinate Li Mu. However, who knew that Li Mu hid in the office and did not come out? Although Bloody-moon faction was really powerful and had an official background, it was still risky to break into a county government and assassinate a ninth-ranked county magistrate. So he could only wait for the chance. But from where Zheng Longxing stood, Li Mu seemed to decide to hide in the county government office all the time, so when would he stop waiting for Li Mu and kill him?
“I have to find a way to lure Li Mu to go out.”
Zheng Longxing thought that and he could hardly wait to do.
Days passed by quickly.
In a blink of an eye, half a month passed by.
In the practice room of the county back office, Li Mu hit the granite which was more than one person tall with his bare hands.
A noisy bang spread.
The granite, which was hard to hurt by any sword, crumbled as if it was made of flour and became many little rubbles on the ground.
Such power was almost comparable to Superman.
“I don’t know how powerful this punch is.”
Li Mu satisfactorily blew the stone scraps on his fists.
These days, he practiced Zhenwu Boxing in the daytime, and finally, he could complete the first few steps of Zhenwu Boxing perfectly.
Meantime, although Li Mu could roughly perform the first move, Rocking-sky Hammer, he could not grasp the deep meaning of it, and therefore after each performance, his muscles were like torn. If he forced himself to complete this entire move, then his muscles would be torn. Even his organ could be injured.
Li Mu tried several times and then he quit.
Till now, he had a more clear understanding of Zhenwu Boxing and Xiantian Skill.
Zhenwu Boxing seemed to be a kind of body-forging technique.
Each move and each step had a magical effect of strengthening the body.
In this half-month period, Li Mu only practiced a first step and half of the first move of Rocking-sky Hammer. But that was enough for him to notice that his external skin became tough. If he scratched his skin with sharp gravel edges, nothing would be hurt except leaving a faint trace on his skin.
The function of Xiantian Skill was opposite to that of Zhenwu Boxing.
It could repair internal injuries and make one energetic.
Every night, Li Mu was practicing Xiantian Skill.
This kind of breathing method could make Li Mu vigorous. Even if he did not sleep all night long, he was still full of energy. Besides, it could also make Li Mu’s five senses ability become stronger, which meant his hearing, visional and reaction ability had been greatly enhanced.
And Xiantian Skill played a very strong role in the recovery of injuries. Several times, Li Mu used Xiantian Skill to cure those injured internal injuries and muscles caused by improper Zhenwu Boxing practicing.
When practicing Xiantian Skill, Li Mu absorbed Spiritual Qi from sky and earth by the strange breathing rhythm and method, and those qis would be transported into the body and washed his organ, then dirty stuff would be excreted through breathing, which was similar to a legend of shaving off one’s hair and washing all the bones. Those behaviors changed Li Mu little by little and he seemed to be reborn with a new body.
It seemed that Li Mu could understand the intentions of the old faker.
Xiantian Skill changed Li Mu’s inner organs, while Zhenwu Boxing exercised his body. Those two were complementary to each other, which could completely change a person’s body condition.
Li Mu had lived on the earth with serious environmental pollution for fourteen years. He breathed in those harmful air and ate harmful substances, which left many wounds and impurities in his body. Now, by practicing these two skills, he could gradually restore the most primitive natural congenital state. Only in this way could he step on the path of interstellar martial arts and compete with those heroes in all the planets.
The only thing that made Li Mu a little depressed was that it seemed neither Xiantian Skill nor Zhenwu Boxing could improve his actual combat power.
“Hack. Hack…” Li Mu thought for a moment, and couldn’t help coughing and spitting out a mouthful of sputum.
There were some dark red blood and black dirt in the sputum.
That was not the first time.
The first time he spat out sputum with blood, he was shocked and thought he might be infected with deadly diseases.
Soon, he realized it was because Xiantian Skill was washing his organs and expelling dirty stuff and inner wounds to come out from his body. So this scary bloody sputum spitting-out behaviour meant his lungs were strengthened and cleaned due to Xiantian Skill.
“I have hidden in the government office for twenty days. Now it is time for me to come out and breathe some fresh air.”
Li Mu stretched his body while coughing.
Li Mu was actually a lively and active teenager. If he was not afraid of being assassinated by warriors sent from Xue Yue Faction, he would already have hung out in the county streets.
Since his personal strength was slightly improved, which gave him some confidence, Li Mu decided to go to the county to breathe some new air after many thought.
Old faker once said to him that the taboo of practising martial art was to close oneself and not fight with others. Sometimes, it was more worthwhile to fight against others once rather than practice by yourself in a year. So, one time of a fierce and life-risking fight might equal to ten years of individual hard practice.
Li Mu definitely did not want to fight others at the price of a likely death, but it was still good for him to get more experience.
Now that he came to the world, he should try to integrate into it.
Li Mu was thinking like this. Before he could get the time to ask for those two children when suddenly——
From the direction of the gate of county government came the thunderous drumming, and the whole county government was shaken by the thunder-like sound.
Little boy Qingfeng rushed in breathlessly and said, “Childe, someone is beating the drum and complaining… ”
Li Mu’s attention was attracted by that.
“Beating the drum…Someone is filing a lawsuit.”
He remembered the scenes that a county magistrate was dealing with lawsuits in court from earth movies and TV plays.
Ha ha ha!
Li Mu laughed wildly in his heart.
Just take this great opportunity to experience the feeling to be a county magistrate and show off. Also, relax.
Li Mu could not remember how many times he saw Famous Forensic Pathologist in Song Dynasty andWitness to a Prosecution. Finally, it was time for him to use some knowledge from those TV serials.
It must be a serve lawsuit since they beat drums to show their innocence. Li Mu was very excited to think that just waited for me, an alien from earth, to give you inferior people of the martial arts world some lessons with our ancestors’ wisdom.
While practicing to enhance the fighting power, Li Mu made decisions to be a righteous official, who would serve people and be worshipped by the people.
Even thinking about it was enough to make him so happy.
“Come people. Hold court trial. Hold court trial!”
Official Li couldn’t wait to stride towards the court of the front office.
“Hey? Childe. Wait a minute. You seem to have forgotten to change to the official clothes…” Qingfeng chased him up and said breathlessly.
The little fellow was a little haggard.
Since they came to Taibai County, Qingfeng had a feeling of being both his childe’s father and mother.
At the backyard garden, the little girl Mingyue was holding a net to catch cicadas. She was stunned when she heard the thunderous drums. But she immediately became really excited because she realized that they were going to deal with a lawsuit if someone hit the drum. Wow-ha, Didn’t mean that there would be a good show?
She opened her mouth, swallowed a cicada lying on the trunk and chewed it with relish.
Her lighting-like behaviour was too fast to be observed by any human eyes.
It seemed that she was not a normal human being.
“Hold court trial… You Majesty…”
Six guards stood loosely on both sides, holding the baton to the ground, weakly shouting “your majesty”.
The courtroom seemed to become a little solemn and formal.
Li Mu was sitting on the courtyard in high spirits.
Li Mu hardly patted the gavel.
“Bring up the plaintiff.” Li Mu began to play the role of a judge quickly.
One of a government servant next to him hesitated for a moment, looking strange, then he walked towards Li Mu, coughed in a low voice and said, “Sir, the private adviser is not here, so nobody can record. We can not deal with the case now…”
“Then, where is the private adviser? Why is he not coming? ”
“Ah…The private adviser is not feeling well, and he called for sickness a few days before.”
“Why did not I know that?”
The servant’s look was even more strange, and he said, “the private adviser had come to you and asked for sick leave for three or four times in person. But Your Excellency refused to meet him.”
Li Mu felt embarrassed and blushed.
It turned out I should blame myself for this.
Then what could he do?
Just at that time, the little boy Qingfeng came here breathlessly to bring Li Mu his official outfit, which made Li Mu very excited, and Li Mu said, “Come here, little fellow, you will act as my private adviser for a while, and record the case over there…” Li Mu pointed out the position next to him.
“Ah? My childe…Is this inappropriate?” Qingfeng was very confused.
Li Muyi smiled and said: “Why is not appropriate? I am the only one who can decide whether it is suitable or not.”
“Oh.” the little boy surely could not argue with his childe, but Qingfeng held his official clothes up and said, “My childe. You’d better put on those clothes first.”
Li Mu said, “But I am wearing something now.”
“You should wear an official suit when dealing with a lawsuit.”
“Those clothes are not comfortable. I do not want to wear. I can decide because I am the county magistrate.”
In a moment, the plaintiff was led into the room.
Here came a ten-year-old girl wearing mourning dress with tears in her face, and she supported another seriously injured woman who also wore a mourning dress covered in blood stains. They stumbled into the lobby slowly, leaving bloody footprints behind them.
Why the plaintiff looked so miserable?
Was someone dead?
Li Mu was quite anxious.
“Please show mercy on us, my county magistrate…” The woman threw herself down on her knees, wailing, and some blood came from her mouth. Then she seemed she could not sit steadily, and spitting out more blood from her mouth.
The little girl on the other side was frightened to pale: “Mother. Mother. Please don’t frighten me. I don’t have grandpa, grandma and daddy any more. Please don’t…Mother. Qiner is afraid.”
Li Mu was also startled by this situation.
One servant handed him over the appeal with blood on it.
In the past twenty days, Li Mu had a rough understanding of the world’s characters, which were quite similar to traditional Chinese characters in ancient official books. After reading their appeal, he could basically know what had happened.
This bullying behaviour of gaining other’s legal property by cheating or by force was very common in the earth TVs and novels.
The badly-injured woman Zhang Li in front of the courtroom run a small pharmacy in Taibai County with her husband Zhang Sheng, her mother-in-law and father-in-law. Their business went really well because they did not cheat anyone and their products were inexpensive but with good quality, which was regarded as a fierce competitor by the No. one pharmaceutical company Shencao Tang, so they found a reason to purchase the small pharmacy by force but their given price was less than one-tenth its actual value. Therefore, her father-in-law refused their request and was beaten to death. Her husband and mother-in-law were so angered by their behaviour and also argued with them, but unfortunately, they were also beaten and seriously injured. Soon, both of them lost their lives. Then, the poor young woman Zhang Li and her daughter Xiao Qin had no one to rely on and were driven out of their drugstore…