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2. This is a fan work and the interpretation represents only the translator’s personal views without any input from the author.
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Liu Lin was sitting atop a tree, not far from Liu Changshi’s home. He suddenly gave a shout, “They’re here!” Then he scrambled off the branch like an agile monkey.
Everyone in the courtyard immediately tensed up. Liu Xu’er quickly yanked Liu Sen into the house, but Liu Sen protested, “I want to see! I want to see!”
“What’s there to see!” Liu Lin had already rushed back into the courtyard and bolted the door. Then he told an anxious He shi and He Ruyu, “I saw Second Uncle Yuan head over with a few people. Relax!”
But how could they relax!
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Gv vbl sze alpkeldnl, Zwyd Tys bye caswtbv y qlo rlsrzl vs pvyde yv vbl essaoyu sq Xze Yyd Nkw yde Nkw Qys pbk’p assx, obkzl y dkxczl uswvb bye tsdl sqq vs zssj qsa vbl Akzzytl Tlye. Llop nkanzle vbl hkzzytl zkjl vbl okde, yde rlsrzl pvyavle vs awpb shla. Nkw Ubydtik oydvle vs ts vs vbl nswavuyae essa, cwv Nkw Ubydttldt blze bkx cynj. “Fvyu clbkde! Psd’v awpb yblye – obyv kq vblu pll usw yde kxrwzpkhlzu pvyav vs qktbv okvb usw? Ls xyvvla obyv, ol pvkzz dlle vs vau yde alypsd okvb vblx qkapv, vkzz yzz sq swa qlzzso hkzzytlap nsxl!” Mbld bl rskdvle yv Nkw Ubydtpbk, obs oyp vaukdt vs awpb qsaoyae, “Gde usw! Qs yde pvyde okvb xwx yde eye! Yyjl pwal vs twyae vblx nzsplzu!”
Nkw Ubydttldt oldv cu bkxplzq vs vbl nswavuyae essa, okvb y esgld sa ps bsv-czssele uswvbp. Mbld vblu pyo y zyatl taswr sq pvwaeu qlzzsop! Mblal zssjle vs cl y bwdeale sq vblx! Mblka pbswvp alpswdele vbaswtb vbl hkzzytl!
Gzz sq Mysbwy Akzzytl pvyavle vs cskz shla! Ohlauoblal, vblal olal pbswvp sq “Cwknjzu nsxl! Mbl sze Nkw Wyxkzu kp byhkdt y qktbv! Xwvpkelap byhl nsxl vs cwzzu vblx!”
“Ebs es vblu vbkdj vblu yal! Ps vblu vbkdj vblu nyd fwpv cwzzu swa Mysbwy hkzzytlap?!”
G qlo uswdt xld pvyavle vs pbswv. Mblu rknjle wr vblka pryelp yde byxxlap yde awpble shla! Ebkzl vbyv taswr sq rlsrzl okvb vbl Yy qyxkzu bye yzalyeu alynble vblka essa!
Nkw Ubydttldt oyp pvkzz vaukdt vs alypsd okvb vblx. “Psd’v cl kd pwnb y bwaau! Nlv’p pll obyv vblu pyu qkapv!” Tl oyp tldwkdlzu dlahswp vbyv obld vbl vos pkelp xlv wr, vblu oswze fwpv pvyav vs qktbv! Mbld dsvbkdt oswze pvsr vblx, yde psxlsdl xktbv ekl!
Mbl sdlp aktbv kd qasdv olal Yy pbk’p casvblap. Mblal oyp vbl lzelpv psd, Yy Plnbydt, yde bkp qswa casvblap, yzsdt okvb bkp qswa nswpkdp – vblu olal bkp lapbw’p psdp. Ju hkzzytla pvydeyaep, vblu oswze cl yp nzspl yp casvblap.&dcpr;
Yy Plnbydt blze y pryel kd bkp byde. Wasx y ekpvydnl yoyu, bl nswze cl blyae pbswvkdt, “Nkw Ubydtik! Zsw q*njkdt vwavzl! Usxl swv! Rq ol esd’v clyv usw vs elyvb vseyu, oswze usw vbkdj vbyv ol yal rwpbshlap?!”
Liu Changgeng coldly sneered! “F*cker, why did you drag so many people over from your Majia Village! If you and your brothers had the guts, you should’ve come over by yourselves! Why did you call up so many people for a family matter? You know that you’ve no basis to stand on!”
Ma Changde was immediately baited. He raged, “Lies! Who has no basis to stand on?! My sister has been with your family for over 10 years. She’s given your family both sons and daughters! On what basis can he divorce her?!”
Liu Changgeng quietly let out a sigh of relief. So long as he managed to create space for discussion, and not have them immediately lunge at their throats, it was enough! He coldly smiled and said, “Why she was divorced – did your sister not say? The laws are clear – there are seven conditions! If she breaks any of the seven, why can’t she be divorced?!”
Ma Changde yelled out, “What f*cking lies! Which of the seven conditions has my sister broken!”
At the side, Ma Second, Ma Decheng, the most cunning of the brothers, called out, “Dage, why are you even trying to reason with him! We should smash everything in the Liu household before talking!”
At the back, everyone started to holler, “That’s right! Smash first before talking!”
“Drag Liu Changqi out for a beating! After we’ve vented our rage on him, then we can discuss matters!”
While they started to clamor, the other side started to counter, “If you want, you can just try it! Do you think there’s no one here in Taohua Village?!”
“If she’s broken one of the seven, why can’t she be divorced?! Are you going to be reasonable or not? Where is your Village Head?!” The Liu family was relatively small, and on seeing the sheer numbers the other side had brought, some people had started to feel nervous. The way they spoke had also subconsciously weakened. But in this kind of situation, you couldn’t do that! The instant you did, the other side would sense that you were afraid!
Ma Decheng immediately roared, “Smash! Smash everything!”
“That’s right, smash!”
The whole group of people started a warcry of “Smash!” The roar was so loud, it shook the heavens! It was probably heard all through Taohua Village, to say nothing of He Ruyu’s home nearby!
It was visibly clear that a few people were on the verge of losing control and rushing over. Then they heard an even louder sound! The sound of footsteps and a cacophony of voices. The sound was even louder than the earlier warcry!
Just like that, their momentum was disrupted. A few people turned around and called out, “Good fellow! Come! Let’s fight!”
Everyone in the crowd twisted their heads around to see what was going on. On the road was a wave of dark faced people coming over! At the front was an old man with a goatee – that was Taohua Village’s Village Head. Seeing all these people twisting around to look at him, he called out, “All of you stop! If someone dies because of a fight, none of you can escape staying in prison over the New Year!”
Ma Chengde stiffened his back and shouted, “Your village’s Village Head has no power over us! Smash! We will smash first and speak later!”
The Ma brothers immediately charged forward when they heard that. This time, they must make sure not to break their momentum! Ma Decheng was the first to rush to Liu Changgeng, and using the force of his charge, he swung his spade over at him!
That spade was sharp – it would be extremely bad if the spade managed to land. It might even slice off his head! Liu Changgeng had been in too much of a hurry earlier, and hadn’t managed to grab a weapon. He could only dodge backward! The few youths at the side had been stunned into stillness when Ma Decheng roared over!
But how could Liu Changshi be someone who could stand safely back! He had long ago found a wooden stick and came forward. The instant he saw Ma Decheng rush over, he cried out, “It’s good you’ve come forward!”
From the back, he rushed over. He raised the wooden stick up and started to swing it heavily onto Ma Decheng’s head! Ma Decheng couldn’t possibly leave his head unprotected! He could only swiftly retract his spade to block the blow!
Liu Changshi was fierce as a lion, not at all cowed. From the back, he rushed into the group of them! And was immediately surrounded by a few of them!
But that quickly changed! Because after that, a few of the youths drummed up their courage, raised their weapons and rushed over!
Liu Changgeng looked around, trying to find a weapon. But all of the weapons had been picked up by someone else, and it was clear that Ma Chengde was targeting him! He had somehow managed to shake Liu Changshi off, and was rushing over to Liu Changgeng with his spade!
It was then that Liu Changgeng suddenly recalled Liu Xu’ers’ favourite door bolt! He unexpectedly turned and ran toward the courtyard’s backdoor and grabbed the bolt out! But at this time, Ma Decheng had managed to rush over to him! He dodged to the side, and the spade sliced over his arm! Immediately pain started to run through Liu Changgeng! While his arm started to bleed!
Liu Changgeng’s eyes immediately turned red. Swinging the door bolt, he smashed it heavily onto Ma Decheng’s head!
Ma Decheng twisted his head to dodge, but the deadbolt was much easier to maneuver than a spade. He dodged, but Liu Changgeng’s door bolt continued to whistle! In an instant it had landed on his head, and immediately, he saw that he was bleeding!
Liu Changgeng had used his injured arm to swing, and as he swung, blood had dripped onto several of the surrounding people’s faces! The instant they saw the blood, their vision went red! And everyone started to join in on the fight in earnest!
Since everyone had started to fight around the entrance, there wasn’t much space, and the people at the back didn’t have room to move around. Everyone was just yelling and hollering. The Village Head was shouting instructions to pull people back. Yuan Hao’s eldest brother was there. Calmly, he also started to yell for others to help pull the fighters apart! Surely, they could reason this out with words? They hadn’t even started to discuss anything – was it so bad if they tried to calmly speak with one another? If they really couldn’t work it out, it wouldn’t be too late to fight then!
The people who came with the Ma family were all from the same village. There were those who were hot headed, but there were also those who felt that they should first sit down and try to talk it out. Was it so bad to try that first? Why were they just jumping headlong into a fight?
As such, quite a lot of people stood by. The Village Head had also brought along quite a few people, and in short order, had managed to pull apart the Ma and Liu family brothers off each other.
Liu Changgeng covered his bleeding arm, while Liu Changshi had to be forcibly prised off someone. He stood there, huffing, until someone reminded him to check on Liu Changgeng’s arm.
It was only now that Liu Changgeng saw that Liu Changqi had come out sometime during the madness, and was fighting with Ma Dechang. No one had gone over to stop them, so the two were still beating each other up!
People had probably figured that they needed to do that! After they had fought, then they could slowly discuss matters! As such, no one went over to pull them apart, opting to surround them and watch instead. Both of them exchanged blows until the Village Head finally called out, “What’s happening! Does nobody listen to my words anymore?! Quickly pull them apart, pull them apart!”
Yuan Hao’s eldest brother went over to pull Liu Changqi away, then he stopped Ma Dechang’s fist. The two people with him went over to hold Ma Dechang still.
Ma Dechang angrily roared, “Let me go! Let me go! If I don’t beat him to death today, I’m not a Ma!”
Liu Changqi taunted, “Then try it!”
The Village Head bellowed, “A life for a life! Are you all outlaws? Or do you think the law can’t reach you? You keep repeating that you want to beat them to death – all of you should cherish your heads! Or are you not citizens of the country? If I can’t manage you, do you think that the Hanzhong officials are unable to manage you?! All of you!” He angrily scolded.
Ma Decheng’s whole face was covered in blood, but he was still full of fight, “Less nonsense! Today, you need to give us an explanation! If not, we will flatten your Taohua Village!”
His words were very provocative, and immediately, the Taohua villagers reacted. A few of them lost their temper and rushed forward saying, “Just you try it! I will use my spade to flatten you first!”
Liu Changgeng called out loudly, “Are you here to fight, or to talk reason? If you’re just here to fight, then there’s no need to talk. Everyone! Fight! We’re not afraid! Since you’ve come onto our territory, we’re not so easy to provoke! After we’re done beating you up, tomorrow, our villagers will go over to your village to fight! Let’s see who gets frightened off first! But if you are here to discuss matters, then put down your weapons and we will talk! Why don’t you turn around and have a count. See who has more people here! We are here to talk reason, but you seem to be out to fight! If you don’t want to talk, then let’s not! You can all listen to Ma Decheng!”
Having been singled out, Ma Decheng couldn’t try to rouse the crowd against him again. If he were to try, there would be those who would be wary of him.
Liu Changgeng’s arm was still bleeding. When he lifted his arm to point this way and that, the blood dripped everywhere! It must be said that in the heat of the fight, many people hadn’t noticed it. But now that they could all see it, they could sense his determination and courage. Quite a few from the Ma village took a backward step.
This signalled their willingness to listen. A few of the people who had retreated were just behind the Ma brothers. Apart from a few close friends of the Ma family, everyone had retreated, forming a gap between them. Everyone noticed it, and understood what that meant.
Yuan Hao’s eldest brother nodded, “That’s right. Why don’t you count the numbers! Who has fewer people is actually very clear. We will give you an explanation, but if you insist, then we will fight first before talking! And if you want to smash things, you would need to go through all of us first!”
“That’s right! You will have to go through all of us first!” The group of them hollered.