Zhao Ye’s threats obviously lacked any real substance. If he wanted talk grudges, theirs had been set back when they’d first robbed Scarface. Zhao Ye was only saying all that to save a bit of face in front of all the townspeople watching.
Given the circumstances, Ye Zichen smiled and let it pass. Instead, it was actually Wu Di who retorted furiously, “you dare yell like that even now? Master, don’t stop me. See if I don’t crack his damn skull!”
Wu Di shouted and charged. Ye Zichen naturally understood what he was really up to, so he reached out and, seemingly with great effort, grabbed Wu Di’s arm and held him back.
Then he turned to Zhao Ye and the others and yelled, “why aren’t you leaving? Get out here!”
At that moment, Wu Di started struggling with all his might.
“Let go of me, master!” he shouted, “I’ve got to shatter their damn skulls! Don’t stop me. This temper of mine…..”
“Hurry up and run!”
If Ye Zichen was going to play the role of good guy, he’d see it through to the end. His expression was so realistic, it was a bit unfair that no one stepped up to hand him an Oscar.
Zhao Ye couldn’t quite figure out what the pair of them were up to, but he did know that if he really fought Wu Di in his current competition, the odds wouldn’t necessarily be in his favor.
Zhao Ye dared not hesitate any longer. He hurriedly turned to his subordinates and shouted, “let’s go!”
The townspeople watched with rapt attention as the entire grand procession fled before their very eyes. Scarface wanted to blend into the crowd and escape, but before he’d taken more than a few steps, he heard a voice straight of a nightmare calling him.
“You…… wait a moment…….”
Ye Zichen didn’t mention anyone by name, but Scarface knew in his bones that Ye Zichen was talking to him. Left with no other choice, he smiled bitterly and came to stop.
“Boss, please spare me just this once.”
Scarface was really on the verge of collapse. He never would have guessed Ye Zichen was so strong. Not even Zhao Ye could do anything against him!
Judging from Scarface’s tone, he was this close to bursting into tears. Ye Zichen drew in closer, a warm smile on his face.
“Don’t be nervous,” he said. “You gave me such a wonderful gift. How could I possibly harm you? You don’t think I’d do that, do you?”
Scarface knelt on the ground. There were truly no words sufficient to describe his bitterness. What on earth was happening? Getting robbed once was one thing, but even after all that effort to get back on his feet and convince a captain of the Axe Gang to help him get revenge, he’d just gotten robbed again.
It wasn’t just that his savings of many years disappeared in a puff of smoke; even Zhao Ye had been robbed for everything he had. He was currently somewhat worried about just how he was going to face his superiors after returning to the gang.
The more he thought about it, the more his heart trembled but first things first. For now, he had to get past this walking disaster.
“Sir, you’re absolutely right….. This humble one had eyes, but was truly blind. Please take this as nothing but youthful ignorance and spare me just this once. If you let me go, I’ll definitely burn incense and pray to Buddha on your behalf!”
Scarface’s tone was utterly sincere. If he’d pounded his chest and added two lines of tears, it might have been even more effective.
Ye Zichen shook his head and smiled wryly. “Burn incense and pray to Buddha? Forget it. Let’s do this instead….. Take off your pants.”
With that, this encounter with the Axe Gang was finally over. Scarface ran off, butt exposed, once more. However, this time there were countless people watching. Worse, quite a few townspeople recorded it onto jade slips.
When the townspeople looked at Ye Zichen, their gazes were full of worship and awe. In the Mortal Great District, only Ye Zichen dared provoke the axe gang like this.
Moreover, in their hearts, Ye Zichen was an expert who might very well have reached the immortal king level. Even in the Sky Great District, this sort of existence was as rare as phoenix feathers and qilin horns. To think he’d appear in their Mortal Great District! They couldn’t help but be astonished.
Little did they know, at that very moment, on the ancient path to Raging Flame City…….
Zhao Ye’s face was so dark, it was hard to see his expression. He was currently seated atop the jagged rocks lining the path. His subordinates were standing behind him.
Before long, bare-bottomed Scarface entered their line of sight.
Having his pants stolen wasn’t as devastating as it had been the first time. It seemed he’d actually grown somewhat accustomed to it. However, the humiliation was still rather hard to take.
Shockingly, he wasn’t currently plotting his revenge. Instead, his only concern was how to face Zhao Ye.
Against all expectations, Captain Zhao Ye, the very man he was currently worried about, had paused and was waiting for him not far in the distance.
Scarface seized up, but after a moment’s hesitation, he smacked himself on the face.
Then, smiling broadly, he jogged up to Zhao Ye. “Captain, am I worthy of making you wait for me?”
Zhao Ye cast a sidelong glance at him. When he saw Scarface’s bare bottom, he pointed at an ancient tree. Instantly, the tree shook. Shortly after, leaves came falling from above, then hovered in mid-air. A thread seems to pass right through them, sewing them up into a grass skirt.
Zhao Ye passed it to scarface. “Wear this; it’s better than nothing. We’ve all been robbed of everything we had, so we don’t have any pants to offer you.”
“Your Excellency…..” Scarface’s eyes welled with tears of gratitude. He buried his head in his hands, put on the grass skirt, and collapsed to the ground, choked with sobs. “Your Excellency, you’re far too good to me. This time, I’ve done you wrong. When we get back to the gang, I will definitely do everything in my power to compensate you for your losses.”
Zhao Ye really had borne a grudge against Scarface, but in the face of such sincerity, he could only sigh and let it slide.
“Forget it,” he said. “I wouldn’t have come if I didn’t want to. If I want to blame something, I can only blame my own weakness.”
“How could this possibly be your fault, Your Excellency? If you want to blame someone, blame that Ye whatshisname,” Scarface snorted. They’d found a common enemy. “He’s obviously a mighty expert. Why feign cowardice as part of some sick joke? That Ye guy led us into a trap; he’s the one to blame!”
“That’s right. He really was over the line.”
Zhao Ye’s gaze instantly darkened. He slammed his fist into the jagged rocks, instantly shattering them into countless fragments.
As Scarface and the others watched, their hearts trembled.
At the same time, Zhao Ye’s expression grew increasingly sinister. “We absolutely can’t just let this slide,” he snorted.”
“That’s right. We absolutely can’t just let this slide,” Scarface puffed up his chest and shouted back.
“You feel the same way, right?” Zhao Ye glanced at him, a proud glint in his eyes. “From the very start, our Axe Gang has only ever stolen from other people. No one has ever stolen from us! When we get back, let’s go directly to meet the base leader. Hmph….. We’ve got to teach that bastard a lesson!”
“We’ve got to teach him a lesson!” Scarface chimed in once more.
“We’ve got to teach him a lesson!”
The other gang members called out as well. Their cries were so loud, they seemed to shake the heavens themselves. Zhao Ye stood in front and nodded in satisfaction. Then, with a wave of his hands, he grunted, “let’s go! Return to the base!”
At that moment, Scarface finally sighed in relief. Life really was a stage; acting skills were of the utmost importance! If his performance hadn’t been up to par, he might very well have lost his life here.
Zhao Ye thought Ye Zichen was in for a world of hurt after provoking the Axe Gang, but Scarface thought the exact opposite…. Provoking Ye Zichen, that star of calamity, was the Axe Gang’s grave misfortune!
Getting revenge on Ye Zichen? Don’t kid yourself…..
Scarface roughly understood: getting revenge on Ye Zichen would be all but impossible. However…. Becoming Ye Zichen’s subordinate seemed far more promising than muddling around in the Axe Gang!
Especially since Ye Zichen currently only had Wu Di by his side. If he took this opportunity to give up his life of crime and live righteously, he would have seniority amongst Ye Zichen’s subordinates!
The more he considered this, the more reasonable it seemed. Besides, Ye Zichen didn’t seem to have any particular enmity for him.
It seemed he’d have to create an opportunity to switch sides!
After the Axe Gang members left, the townspeople all tactfully returned home. However, on their way back, their hearts brimmed with excitement.
That had been the frickin’ Axe Gang! Yet Ye Zichen had beaten them so soundly, they didn’t dare so much as fart. Although they hadn’t personally taken action, in their hearts, everyone who’d been robbed by the Axe Gang in the past felt deeply satisfied.
Before long, only Ye Zichen and Wu Di, master and apprentice, remained outside the city gates.
Once everyone else had left, Wu Di scratched his head in embarrassment. He’d said all that garbage to the Axe Gang, but it had been over ten years since he’d last talked like that. Now that they were alone, when he recalled everything he’d said, he really was a bit embarrassed.
“Just now, I…..”
“You did well just now,” Ye Zichen nodded in satisfaction and encouraged him. “Trash talk is sometimes very important. Even if you lose, you can’t let others look down on you. Who cares if you can beat them or not? You’ve got to say whatever you’ve got to say. In the future, speak as viciously as you can. Don’t worry! You’ve got your master supporting you, after all. Also, that combination we used earlier worked well. Going forward, we’ve got to use it often. Understood?”
“Your apprentice understands!” Wu Di cupped his hands respectfully, only to see Ye Zichen toss a couple of treasure bags and spatial rings at him.
“Those are all for you.”
Wu Di put them away, but just as he was about to say something, he noticed that Ye Zichen’s brows were tightly knit. “Master?”
Ye Zichen’s expression softened. These Axe Gang members really wouldn’t leave well enough alone. The next moment, he turned to Wu Di and said, “Apprentice, we won’t stay in Black Ox Town any longer. We’re going to Raging Flame City!”
Passively waiting for them to show up at his doorstep was obviously no good, and besides, it would be impolite not to return the favor.
Ye Zichen seemed to be saying…. This time, there’s no need for you to come looking for me. I’ll seek you out myself!
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