Chapter 97 Regretting Being Too Kind in the Past“Save him, please. No matter what the price is, or what kind of herb you need, just tell me. I’ll sort it out.” Li Mu stated resolutely.
“Er… all I can promise is… I’ll do my best.” pledged the doctor through gritted teeth.
Li Mu heaved a sigh, aware of the bossiness in his tone.
Few things in the world were under the absolute control of human beings.
The doctor, after all, had no power of God, so he certainly could not guarantee a successful treatment.
Li Mu appreciatively patted the doctor on the shoulder and said in a softer tone, “Well then, you are the most excellent doctor in our Taibai County, and the folks call you the Living Buddha. I have faith in you. You definitely can bring him back. Just do the best you can. If it truly gets too… well, I won’t blame you. So, there is no pressure.”
The doctor nodded gratefully.
After Li Mu finished his words with the doctor, he stalked down to Li Bing, who was screaming at the top of his voice like a pig about to be slaughtered.
Li Mu looked down at this coward.
“Don-don-don’t! I’m sorry! Don’t kill me, please… I don’t want to die.” Li Bing stammered, convulsing with fear.
Li Mu scowled at him as if he just saw a piece of shit. Then, he said with deep loathing, “Relax, I’m not going to kill you…”
The terror on Li Bing’s face alleviated a little.
But Li Mu opened his mouth to speak again. This time, his voice was chilling as the Death. “I’ll keep you alive and let Feng Yuanxing, Ma Junwu, and Zhen Meng return the favor you did to them! When the role is reversed, you will have a taste of what is called TO LIVE IS NO BETTER THAN TO DIE!” He said slowly, emphasizing each syllable of the last words.
Li Bing instantly went turned petrified.
He began to foam at the mouth and then fainted due to fright.
“Guards, carry Secretary Feng and the other two to the Medical Center.” Li Mu commanded.
The guards quickly hoisted the three beds and started to head for the outside.
“Your Honor, Your… Hour…” Feng Yuanxing moaned weakly, who unexpectedly struggled to get up and gazed at Li Mu. “Let… let us come to the county office with you… We want to… face them together with you… We…”
Zhen Meng also pleaded, “If Your Honor is defeated, we… we have no reason to be spared. We shall come with you…”
Li Mu deliberated it for a moment and found it was a good idea.
He reckoned they might be consoled on the spiritual level if they witnessed how he bashed up the culprits with their own eyes.
But he shot a hesitant look at that doctor.
The doctor understood Li Mu’s concerns. After giving it a thought, he hinted, “We’ve applied some medicine on their cuts and stopped them from bleeding. They’re in no danger for now. Going to the county office won’t hurt.”
Li Mu turned and looked at Feng Yuanxing and Meng Zheng before saying, “Alright, let’s go together.”
He also pointed at the unconscious and ordered, “Take this scumbag playing dead over there, too.”
Thus, the crowd filed out of the prison.
But just as they arrived at the exit, Li Mu halted in his track.
The guards also stopped dead nervously and peeked at the outside with great horror.
On the other side of the door, lines of soldiers in black armor were waiting for them. Their arrows were fitted to the strings. Their spears already stuck forward and formed a forest of blades. Their broadswords were also drawn, revealing their chilling edge. In the cold sunrise of the twin suns, those cold metallic weapons were issuing a deadly aura. Everyone knew that once the soldiers attacked at the word of command, this place would instantly be filled with flying arrows stained by thick blood and broken limbs.
They felt the air suddenly frozen.
At the middle spot in front of all the black-armored soldiers stood a spindly young man who was flanked by two deputy generals.
The young man’s expression was rather bone-chilling. At the sight of the crowd appearing from behind the door, he squinted like a wolf ready to attack its prey. The official uniform he was wearing made Li Mu realize that he was the new Dianshi janitor the Chang’an government dispatched to Taibai County.
“Li Mu?” That young man sneered, “How dare you break into the county prison and attempted to release those on the death penalty? Do you plead guilty?”
Li Mu looked over his shoulder and asked a guard beside him, “Is it him that cut off Ma Junwu’s arm?”
He had already learned the rough story from those prison guards.
All the prison guards paled immediately. None of them answered because they were too afraid of getting involved in the conflicts between the high-level officials.
“Your Honor, I was told that… it is him, the new Dianshi janitor named Ning Zhongshan.”
A young prison guard, whose face turned red, replied out loud after a short period of hesitation. He was Zhen Meng ‘s brother-in-law, a trusted helper Zhen Meng positioned in the county prison. When he saw the miserable state Zhen Meng was in, he was infuriated. Therefore, he clenched his fists and chose to side with Li Mu, even though that was highly risky.
Li Mu nodded curtly.
“Hahaha, it’s said that Ma Junwu is your archery teacher?” The tall and lanky Ning Zhongshan showed a provoking smile on his face and continued, “Ma Junwu has tried to assassinate Mr. Zheng in the meeting hall of the county government. That’s an unforgivable crime. As the newly-appointed Dianshi janitor in Taibai County, I have every reason to punish him. Hacking off one of his arms is already a quite lenient gesture…”
But before he could finish that sentence, a flash of light zoomed through the crowd.
Everyone was momentarily dazzled.
Ning Zhongshan suddenly felt an overwhelming force flooded towards him. And then, his neck seemed to be cramped by a steel hoop, making him unable to breathe. Blasts of wind blew into his ears and his vision began to be blurred. However, a second later, the wind blows stopped and his vision gradually recovered.
The new Dianshi janitor widened his eyes and was astounded to find out that he was no longer standing on his original spot.
In fact, he had been grasped by the neck and dragged away from the two deputy generals and the black-armored soldiers down to the prison gate.
A hand strong as steel and iron had lifted him up by his neck. Now he looked like a helpless dog being hoisted up in the air.
The one who stuck out that hand was, not surprisingly, Li Mu.
Li Mu was staring at Ning Zhongshan with a pair of eyes as sharp as two blades, which almost pierced through the latter’s soul.
“You… you release me now. You…” choked Ning Zhongshan.
He flailed wildly in desperation.
Nevertheless, no matter how he strived to activate his internal qi with every ounce of power he could manage, he still could not shake off the hand tightly gripping his neck.
Ning Zhongshan had heard of Li Mu’s battle performance before.
He also had heard numerous rumors on Li Mu’s infinite strength.
But he sniffed at them all.
Combatants tended to be self-conceited. Ning Zhongshan was no exception to that.
He was fully confident that his strength was more than enough to defeat Li Mu.
After all, for all he knew, Li Mu was merely a halfwit in martial arts who had no internal qi yet.
However, now he felt a sharp stab of dread and helplessness.
He even had not realized how he was captured and hauled away despite the protection of all those black-armored soldiers. It happened in the blink of an eye, leaving him no time to react at all.
“Gosh, what kind of mighty strength he has!” Ning Zhongshan exclaimed inwardly.
Cold sweat trickled down his forehead immediately.
“Li Mu… No no no, Your Honor, don’t be rash. Put me down, I’m Dianshi janitor appointed by the empire…” Ning Zhongshan tried to talk some sense into Li Mu.
“Your Honor, we, we might have some misunderstanding with each other. Release me first and we can discuss…”
“I… I have been acting on the order of Mr. Zheng, the scholar in the Chang’an government. Even though your strength is amazing, could you possibly go against Mr. Zheng?”
“Or you… you do not want to be the county magistrate anymore? You…”
With everyone’s eyes fixed on him, Ning Zhongshan tried to defend himself in spite of his fear, humiliation, and awkwardness.
Still, Li Mu did not say a word. He merely gazed at Ning Zhongshan with a poker face, as if he was a clown doing his show.
That look deepened the humiliation Ning Zhongshan was feeling.
A million ideas flitted across his mind. He came up with tons of reasons to persuade Li Mu to release him.
However, being choked by the throat was a too horrible experience. As the overwhelming force was clamping his neck, Ning Zhongshan had no doubt that a little bit of twist would screw his head off and make it fall onto the ground like a ripe watermelon.
Ning Zhongshan never ever expected that one day he would be begging Li Mu for a pass in such a debasing and pitiful manner.
“What the fu*k, I was here to arrest Li Mu!”
But now, the tables were turned.
“Li Mu, your individual power is nonetheless limited. You’ve made a huge mistake… Release me, and I can plead with Mr. Zheng for some mercy on you. The man from Chang’an government is not an opponent you, a little county magistrate, can fight against. You…”
Ning Zhongshan offered with aggravation.
Li Mu, who had been silent during the whole time, finally made a reply.
“Cut it out.”
That was all he said.
Then, he threw Ning Zhongshan forcefully onto the ground as if getting rid of a pile of mud.
A human-shaped dent emerged on the ground.
Ning Zhongshan was lying in the dent. He spilled out a mouthful of blood and then his muscles went into a spasm. The fall shattered all his internal qi. Now, he could not mobilize any. All his limbs and bones were in excruciating pain. A lot of his ribs must have been broken because he had no strength to support himself and directly flopped down to the earth.
At that scene, no one dared utter a word.
“Li Mu, how dare you…” A deputy general broke the silence with a growl.
But before he could finish his words, something astonishing happened.
A figure charged at him in a flash.
The next second, that deputy general was no longer on his spot.
His body was tossed up, and he did all kinds of somersaults in the air as he sprayed his blood across the sky. Then, he fell heavily on the ground, limbs twitching uncontrollably as well.
At that moment, Li Mu reappeared in the place where that deputy general had been.
“Why butt in?”
He muttered to that deputy general and slowly withdrew his palms.
“It seems that I was too kind in the past. No wonder those scuzzballs all came to bully me, to harm my men…” Li Mu murmured to himself. His thoughtful look made everyone around him feel a suffocating pressure as if the Death was descending upon them.
Although his voice was small, all the people heard him clearly.
The other deputy general was only a step away from Li Mu.
But he did not dare utter a word.
His body was rigidly straightened up and slightly trembling.
But he actually did not need to be so afraid, because Li Mu did not even shoot a look at him.
“Phew… It’s time to teach some people a lesson.”
Li Mu added.
His remark was still rather intimidating.
“Carry this one to the county office as well. Don’t let him die so easily.” Li Mu pointed at Ning Zhongshan, who was sprawling on the ground.
He wanted to leave that man to Ma Junwu.
It would certainly be more thrilling if Ma Junwu could get back at the one who cut off his arm by himself.
So far, Ning Zhongshan was not severely injured, though he looked as if he was dying. In truth, he was still in shock after being thrown to the ground like that.
Since Li Mu had mastered the ‘Cracking the Sky’, the third movement of the Zhenwu Boxing Skill, his control over force was of a high degree of professional proficiency. That blow he made only smashed Ning Zhongshan’s internal qi and numbed his tendons and bones so that he was no longer able to launch a counter-attack. Although he seemed badly injured, the fact was not like that.
“You’d better pray for Ma Junwu.”
Li Mu glared at the spiteful-faced Ning Zhongshan.
His menacing tone chilled the latter to the bones and altered the resentment on his face to desperation.
Zhen Meng’s brother-in-law and several other bold prison guards put the cangue on Ning Zhongshan’s neck and dragged the janitor all the way to the county office by the chain attached to that cangue as if they were hauling a dead dog.
After he dealt with Ning Zhongshan, Li Mu slowly stepped towards those black-armored soldiers.
“Still unwilling to get out of my way?”
He demanded, his eyes swiftly sweeping across them.
A soldier armed with a spear panicked when he caught Li Mu’s eyes. As if stabbed by that look, he could not contain his expanding horror anymore. His wrist gave out and he dropped the steel spear he was clutching.
“Aaah…” He screeched, totally freaked out. And then, he turned tail while screaming.
In an instant, the troop was routed.
The formation of those black-armored soldiers caved in. They began to flee in all directions, tramping on one another in haste. Their majestic aura was long gone.
“Now, let’s go to the county office to meet that darn Mr. Zheng.”
Li Mu said quite casually.