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Chapter 344: Use Your Mighty Strength to Prove That You’re Truly Inadequate!
Looking at the two grandmasters with their vigilant gazes, Night Fragrance felt anxious: “Two seniors, I am merely a small innate practitioner, with weak strength. Why must you seek to spar with me?”
The Sword Immortal’s battle intent was chilling: “Why else? I heard about the major battle a few days ago, where you instantly killed Tianmen’s Grandmaster, Leng Ruochen, who possessed grandmaster-level strength. Quite impressive! I’m itching for a fight, so I’ve come to spar with you!”
The Saber Saint shouted loudly: “Exactly! Show your weapons, and let’s compete!”
Night Fragrance’s heart was filled with frustration!
Damn it, why is it like this again?
That person clearly wasn’t killed by me, so why is everything being pinned on me?
Night Fragrance hurriedly explained: “Seniors, I think you’ve misunderstood. I really didn’t kill that person…”
“Enough of your excuses! At that time, under the watchful eyes of the public, tens of thousands saw you make a move! Are they all blind? You clearly have the strength, so why pretend to be modest and deceive me?” Sword Immortal sneered repeatedly.
“I’m not interested in wasting words with you. Let’s meet outside the city!”
Swoosh, swoosh! The two grandmasters swiftly displayed their light skills and ran outside the city.
Lin Beifan patted the stunned Night Fragrance’s shoulder and advised, “They’re going to stay here for several days. You can’t escape. Whether you fight or not, you’re still in for it. Use your formidable strength to prove you’re not as weak as they think. That way, they’ll think twice before bothering you again!”
Night Fragrance: “….”
“However, before the duel, I have something heartfelt to say to you!”
Night Fragrance turned his head dully, asking, “What is it?”
Lin Beifan looked grave: “Stay strong, accept your losses!”
Night Fragrance: “….”
In the end, following Lin Beifan’s advice, Night Fragrance engaged in a fierce battle with the two grandmasters outside the city.
It was a brutal fight. In less than 10 rounds, Night Fragrance was lying on the ground, battered and bruised, looking utterly dejected. In his hand, he still tightly held the little knife that Lin Beifan had given him.
He had thought that with this small knife, he could spar with the two young grandmasters for over a hundred rounds. However, the knife unexpectedly malfunctioned, its edge dulled, leaving Night Fragrance in a pitiable state.
“Why is it like this again? Why…”
He couldn’t comprehend it. This knife was incredibly effective against enemies, yet it always fell short during sparring.
The two grandmasters left in disappointment, while only Lin Beifan stayed behind, expressing sympathy: “Night Fragrance, just take it easy! It’s not the first or second time. You’ll get used to it!”
Night Fragrance clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, saying, “No! This time I won’t compromise. I must seek revenge! They beat me up, and I must strike back, not just to vent my anger!”
Lin Beifan exclaimed, “Good! That’s the spirit! I have a suggestion for you!”
Night Fragrance inquired eagerly, “What suggestion?”
Lin Beifan whispered, “Aren’t you eager for revenge? Bring your master here. Your master is powerful and can surely give them a good thrashing, helping you get back at them!”
Night Fragrance’s eyes lit up, “Yes, why didn’t I think of that? Thank you, Lord Prime Minister, for your guidance!”
Lin Beifan smiled, “We’re all comrades here, no need to be so formal!”
Not long after, in response to Night Fragrance’s fervent summons, the Spear God returned.
“My good disciple, I heard you killed Leng Ruochen with a single blow. I’m very pleased! I’ve come this time to assess your skills and see if you’ve improved!”
Night Fragrance’s face was filled with despair, “No!!!”
In the end, Night Fragrance was thrashed once again by the Spear God, and his spirit was crushed.
After dealing with Night Fragrance, the Spear God went to spar with the Saber Saint and the Sword Immortal.
They fought two or three times every day, seeking satisfaction in combat.
In the evenings, they would gather at Lin Mansion, drinking and discussing martial arts with Lin Beifan. This matter had become a popular story in the capital.
Inside the imperial palace, the commander of the Imperial Guards reported this situation to the Empress.
The Empress smiled and said, “I already know about this! They’re all close friends of Minister Lin, and with him around, they won’t cause any major trouble. As long as the capital remains stable, we need not worry about them.”
“Your Majesty, what I mean is that Minister Lin has already become the Prime Minister. A grandmaster resides in his mansion all year round. Now, he’s befriended three other grandmasters. Shouldn’t we be cautious about him…?” The commander of the Imperial Guards alluded discreetly.
The Empress understood his implication.
As the current Prime Minister, Lin Beifan held high status and power, and he had the ability to influence the court.
And now, being on good terms with four grandmasters, this strength is enough to threaten the court.
The court must be cautious!
The Empress shook her head and smiled, saying, “I understand your point, but no need to worry! Minister Lin has done so much for us and the court. His loyalty is beyond doubt, and I trust him completely!”
He’s already a grandmaster. If he wants to rebel, he could do it alone. Why would he need the support of other grandmasters?
Moreover, since he took office, he hasn’t been building a political faction. Instead, he has managed to alienate both civil and military officials. He hasn’t left any room for negotiation; he clearly doesn’t view power as a game!
With such audacity, he’s simply setting himself up for failure and escape in the end!
“By the way, stop having people watch Minister Lin. We don’t want to give him any misunderstandings,” the Empress added.
The commander of the Imperial Guards felt a shiver. The Empress trusts Lin Beifan even more than he had imagined!
It seems he needs to be even more polite to Prime Minister Lin in the future!
“I shall comply with your orders!”
Flowers bloom at both ends, each showing a different branch.
At this moment, Zhao Kuo had already been dumped into a cement factory.
“Where’s the alcohol? I want to drink…”
Zhao Kuo woke up groggily, finding himself in an unfamiliar place. There was no alcohol around. His cultivation had been sealed, rendering him as ordinary as anyone else. He had a splitting headache, a consequence of the alcohol.
Shaking his head slightly, he recalled what had happened before.
Previously, he had drunk himself into a stupor on the streets. He encountered Prime Minister Lin Beifan, who had provoked him with his words. Zhao Kuo had cried bitterly, his heart torn apart. Later, Prime Minister Lin Beifan had his uncle seal Zhao Kuo’s cultivation, cut off all economic ties, and sent him to the cement factory to earn a living through manual labor.
“It seems this is the cement factory!” he muttered to himself.
Since he was here, he might as well make the best of it.
Right now, he still wanted to drink alcohol to numb his heart. Since they wouldn’t provide him money or alcohol, he would earn money himself to buy alcohol and continue drowning his sorrows.
At this moment, a foreman walked in and shouted, “Who’s Zhao Kuo?”
Zhao Kuo staggered over, saying, “I am Zhao Kuo!”
The foreman frowned with distaste, “You’ve been drinking. You reek of alcohol. How can you work like this? If you hinder the work, can you bear the responsibility? If not for the higher-ups watching, I wouldn’t even bother with you!”
Zhao Kuo, feeling numb and unresponsive, just belched after hearing this, showing no other reaction.
With a slight tingling, he lowered his eyelids and murmured, “I understand!”
The foreman continued with his displeasure, “Let’s go. Come work with me. You’re also named Zhao Kuo, just like that useless guy who talks big on paper! I hope you won’t turn out to be as useless as him!”
Zhao Kuo felt slightly dizzy but still understood the foreman’s words.
Then, under the foreman’s guidance, Zhao Kuo began his work at the cement factory.
His job was to transport cement, moving it from the factory to air cushion boats, which would then transport the cement through rivers to various parts of the country.
The work was simple but physically demanding, a toil of hard labor.
Having the physique of a martial practitioner, after a day’s work, he felt sore and aching, even more than when practicing martial arts. Even lying down, he didn’t feel like moving.
The foreman walked over, a bit surprised, and said, “You’re something else, kid. You look drunk and unsteady, but you’re strong. You can handle the work of several people. Not bad! When it’s time to settle accounts at the end of the month, I’ll give you some extra pay.”
“Thanks, foreman! Can you…”
“Can you lend me some money first? I’ll pay you back at the end of the month?”
“Why do you need the money?”
“To buy alcohol and drink!”
The foreman looked at him differently, “Didn’t expect you to be a drunkard! I can lend you money to buy alcohol, but you better not delay your work. Otherwise, I won’t spare you!”
However, he suddenly felt extremely uncomfortable when the alcohol entered his mouth. It was the worst-tasting alcohol he had ever consumed, resembling horse urine.
It was the best alcohol he could afford, and he forced himself to finish it without complaint.
But the alcohol content was too low, and he didn’t get drunk after consuming it.
Zhao Kuo took a few coins and immediately went to buy alcohol.
However, this marked the end of his drinking spree as he found the alcohol intolerable. Furthermore, it failed to intoxicate him. In a somewhat dramatic fashion, he decided to quit drinking.
He could only numb himself by working more.
As a result, a peculiar figure appeared in the cement factory.
This person was extraordinarily capable of enduring hardships and labor. He could do several times the work of others. Yet, he remained silent, keeping to himself. He had no brothers, no friends, and no family.
After work, he wouldn’t return home but instead would find a spot to sleep or stare at the moon in the sky. It was truly strange behavior.
His fellow workers gathered around him, laughing with malicious intent.
At that moment, a few burly workers walked up to him. “Kid, we heard you’ve been making quite a bit of money lately. Can you lend us some money to spend?”
Zhao Kuo thought for a moment and immediately handed over all his money, saying, “Take it!”
Those workers were left dumbfounded, “Did you really give it when I just mentioned it?”
As they spoke, they handed the money back.
Then it was Zhao Kuo’s turn to be surprised, “Why don’t you want it?”
“We were just bored and fooling around with you! If we really took it and were found out, we’d end up in jail, and we might lose our jobs. We’re not willing to take that risk!”
Zhao Kuo nodded and continued to stare blankly.
At this moment, one worker sat down and said with a smile, “Brother, you’re so generous. Let’s become friends! My last name is Sun, and my name is Sun Er. It’s a name given by someone else, and they said it’s a cheap name that’s easy to support!”
Zhao Kuo’s mood sank…
“Yeah, you work diligently, but after work, you don’t go home. You spend the whole day here, lost in thought.”
Sun Er continued to speak, “Brother, you seem different. You work hard during the day, but after work, you don’t go home. You just stay here and look at the moon. I’m curious about you. How old are you? Maybe if you tell me, I can help you understand?”
Sun Er grinned and added, “You’re strange. You act so blank. What’s going on in your mind? Hey, I’m older than you by a few years. Tell me, maybe I can help you find some clarity!”
Zhao Kuo pondered for a moment and asked, “What’s the meaning of life?”
Sun Er burst into laughter, “Your thoughts are really interesting. What meaning can life have? Just being able to survive is good enough.”
Zhao Kuo was taken aback, “Why do you say that?”