Chapter 44: The Proud Man

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The aftermath of the battle took a long time to settle. After the incident, Cheng Dalei became famous in the Black Bulls Mountains area. People only talked about the Toad King, who was said to eat ten catties of human flesh and two catties of blood at every meal, and had a green face, fierce fangs, and a wide mouth.

Now that the Toad King had become notorious, Cheng Dalei planned to come up with a more sophisticated nickname for himself, such as “Gentle Axe,” “Charming Song Yu,” or something like that. However, everyone had already accepted the name Toad King, and he would lose his fan base if he changed his name now.

In return, Cheng Dalei also gained a certain amount of fear points, which had now reached 4,000, but he still had a long way to go before reaching the 10,000-point.

For the past few days, Cheng Dalei had been troubled by this matter. He couldn’t think of any way to quickly increase his fear points and obtain the authority to establish a point guard. He always ended up suddenly jumping in front of someone to try to scare them, which was quite ridiculous.

Three days after the incident, Cheng Dalei was cooling off under a big tree. It was a hot day.

“Boss, there’s someone coming from below the mountain. Looks like he wants to see you,” Xu Shenji and Huang Sanyuan came over.

“Let’s go, take me to see him.”

The three of them leaned over the wall of the mountain stronghold and looked down. They saw three horses below, with a man in black clothes leading them. He was looking at the gate of the Toad King’s stronghold with an inscrutable expression.

“What is he here for?” Cheng Dalei asked in confusion.

“I know him,” Huang Sanyuan suddenly said.

“Oh, tell me about it.” Cheng Dalei rested his hand on the cool shed and looked down. The man in charge had a solemn expression on his face.

“There’s a local gang in Blackstone City called the Wild Wolf Gang, with one or two hundred thugs. I know the man below, his name is Li Jia, he’s the boss of the Wild Wolf Gang. He’s been entrenched in Blackstone City for many years and is quite a character,” Huang Sanyuan said.

“The Wild Wolf Gang… the name sounds uncultured,” Cheng Dalei sneered.

Xu Shenji and Huang Sanyuan were speechless, as if the name Toad King wasn’t very cultured either. In fact, the stronghold and the gang were the same, both belonging to the underworld, but of course, in people’s minds, the gang was higher in status.

“We have nothing to do with the Wild Wolf Gang. We’ve never had any dealings with them before. Why do you think he’s here?” Xu Shenji asked.

“I think… he might be here to persuade Xue Banchuan,” Cheng Dalei said. “Xue Banchuan wants to buy back the gift he gave us.”

“This… it’s unlikely. We took their stuff, and if he doesn’t attack us, that’s it. Why would he cooperate with us? We are bandits,” Xu Shenji said in disbelief.

“He doesn’t want to attack us, he just doesn’t have the time,” Cheng Dalei said. “Xue Banchuan just took the position of city lord, and there are many forces in the city that need to be appeased. The birthday banquet of the Prince of Youzhou is approaching, and he doesn’t have so much time to waste on us. So buying back the gift is the best

“He doesn’t not want to fight us, but he doesn’t have time,” said Cheng Dalei. “Xue Banchuan just seized the position of the city lord, and there are many forces within the city that need to be pacified. The birthday banquet of the Prince of Youzhou is coming soon, and he doesn’t have so much time to waste on us. So the best way is to redeem the birthday gift. Of course, if Xue Banchuan has free time, he will definitely come after us.”

“The head of the family speaks reasonably,” praised Huang Sanyuan.

“But what I don’t understand is…” Cheng Dalei looked puzzled at Li Jia below the mountain, “He could come to negotiate, but why is he standing here on the mountain?”

“I heard…” Huang Sanyuan said, “This Li Jia has a huge ego. Once, when Han Hu was demanding to see him, he didn’t say a word for two hours. It was only after Han Hu spoke that he finally said something.”

“Oh, he turned out to be a proud person…” Cheng Dalei pursed his lips. “I just like proud people.”

“Do you want me to ask him up the mountain?” Huang Sanyuan asked.

“Ask him for what… since he likes to wait, let him wait,” Cheng Dalei raised his head to look at the sun in the sky. “It’s a beautiful day today.”

Indeed it was a beautiful day, which meant it was very hot. The environment in the mountains was even hotter and sweat dripped layer by layer. The coarse cloth clothes stuck to the body, and small insects from the dense forest flew onto them, including flies, mosquitoes, and stink bugs… Modern people who are used to air-conditioned rooms can’t imagine this kind of suffering.

Of course, people in this era had a strong ability to endure the heat. Li Jia was not pampered, so at first he could bear it.

However, the situation was different from what he had imagined. Cheng Dalei’s analysis was correct. Li Jia was indeed entrusted by Xue Banchuan to act as a mediator between the two sides. He was a member of the Green Forest Road and it was convenient for him to talk to both parties. However, Li Jia looked down on the mountain bandits. There was a hierarchy even within the Green Forest Road. The local gangs such as the Wild Wolf Gang were all in contact with the rich and powerful, engaged in gray business. We are civilized people. How could we be the same as the old-fashioned hat in the mountains? How did that saying go? “I hate you robbers the most, you don’t have any technical content at all…”

Indeed, Cheng Dalei defeated Lu Heng, and had a notorious reputation, but so what? It was nothing more than using some traps. Lu Heng’s combat power… wasn’t so magical.

So Li Jia had a feeling of going to the countryside to comfort the people. He came to the Toad Camp to talk to them about what he had seen in the city, and broaden their horizons. He also talked about his own purpose, such as “The city lord is very angry, and the consequences are very serious.”

“Fortunately, I gave you face because we are in the Green Forest Road. If not, you would be dead now.”

“Quickly take out the longevity gift, Lord Xue’s kindness, and reward you with some money… I begged for it with great difficulty…”

But things were different from what he had expected, very different. By the way, why was the weather so hot today? Clothes were wet and sticky on the body, as if ants were falling on them, itchy and painful. If he untied his clothes to take a look, would he ruin his own image?

He clearly saw several people sneaking around on the wall. Why haven’t they opened the door to greet him yet? Are they preparing for a welcoming ceremony… Ah, don’t bother, don’t bother…

But the preparation time was too long. It went on from morning until the sun was at its zenith, and the blazing sunlight fell on the ground, making the leaves and grass wither.

Li Jia was dizzy and swaying on the horse. Now he almost understood that this did not seem to be the rhythm of a welcoming ceremony.

Looking at the tightly closed village gate above his head, he took a deep breath and shouted as loudly as possible, “Wild Wolf Gang Li Jia… seeking an audience…”

Cheng Dalei took a nap and was washing his face with well water when Xu Shenji walked over. “Big boss, he has started shouting down there. Do you want to keep him waiting a little longer…”

Cheng Dalei took a nap and was washing his face with well water when Xu Shenji walked over: “Big boss, they’re starting to shout downstairs. Do you want to keep them waiting a bit longer?”

“What’s the point of waiting? We’ll get heat stroke if we do.” Cheng Dalei wiped his face and said, “Let them come up. You and Huang Sanyuan talk to them and see what price Xue Banchuan will offer.”

In Li Jia’s blurry vision, the gate of the toad gang’s fortress opened, and Huang Sanyuan appeared in his line of sight. Li Jia felt like he had seen a savior. He wanted to put on a show of strength, but he thought of what had just happened and dismissed the idea.

“Huang steward, long time no see!”


Song Yu (Chinese: 宋玉; Wade–Giles: Sung Yü; fl. 298–263 BC) was a Chinese poet from the late Warring States period, and is known as the traditional author of a number of poems in the Verses of Chu (Chu ci 楚辭). Among the Verses of Chu poems usually attributed to Song Yu are those in the Jiu Bian section. Also credited to Song Yu, somewhat improbably, are several fu collected in the 6th century literary anthology Wen Xuan.

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