Chapter 21: The Mighty Linbao
Henyee Translations Henyee Translations
When dusk arrived, the group of seven people took a speedboat to the small island in the center of Yangui Lake.
The island was only the size of a few football fields. However, it was filled to the brim with hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues. This was one of the most expensive places to spend the night in Chu Zhou City.
“Linbao had chosen a convenient spot for him to escape.” Master Guo looked around the island and then said.
“We have you with us this time; he won’t get away. Haha!” Zhou Tianhao laughed.
“Better, be prepared than sorry.” Guo Wei nodded, but the smug smile on his face had betrayed him. Being unchallenged for over ten years, Guo Wei had already gotten used to easy victories. Whether or not the opponent was really an Internal Force user was yet to be seen, and Guo Wei was not concerned about the clash with Linbao at all.
The place where they were supposed to meet was called the Egret House. Zhou Tianhao had rented the entire building for the night and had set up an ambush with hired bodyguards.
So shrewd was Zhou Tianhao that he would never put all of his eggs in one basket.
When they arrived on the third floor, Guo Wei sat down on a sofa. A waitress hurried to fill his teacup with tea. Her hands were trembling out of fear, nearly spilling the tea. The deadly quietness inside the Egret House was a stark contrast with the din outside.
Chen Fan sipped his tea and while appreciating the aesthetics of the traditional style tea house. If not for his duty, he would love to walk to the balcony and enjoy the view of the lake while savoring a cup of tea.
The group waited until midnight, and most people were getting impatient. Guo Wei suddenly announced with a deep, urgent voice:
“Someone is coming.”
Even before Guo Wei’s words receded, a wave of commotion rose from downstairs. Soon Chen Fan heard painful cries and howls, and a few seconds later, all the noise disappeared. Knowing their opponent was coming, the group on the third floor looked at each other uneasily.
They heard someone coming up the stairs; his footsteps were light but steady.
Zhou Tianhao swallowed hard. He had dispatched over a dozen capable bodyguards downstairs. Did they all get finished so quickly?
Finally, he realized that he had once again underestimated the strength of LinBao.
In a matter of seconds, the footsteps reached the landing on the third floor. Chen Fan looked to the entrance and saw a man in a black exercise suit and a pair of black kung-fu shoes. His face was disfigured by a large scar that ran across his face, which made him look all that much more terrifying.
“How are you doing, Boss Zhou? Why that face? Aren’t you happy to see your old friend?” Linbao came over to Zhou Tianhao and sat down on the sofa across Zhou Tianhao. All the while, his face held a cold sneer as he fixed his eyes on his prey.
Zhou Tianhao managed to gather himself and said, “Linbao, why did you come back? Haven’t you learned your lesson?”
“Oh, I have! Look at the scar on my face; I wore it like a badge of honor every day.” Linbao said pulled the skin on his face, making the disfigurement look even more morbid. That was why I went outside of the country and started learning kung-fu. ”
“Can’t we sit down and talk?” Zhou Tianhao said placatingly.
“Why yes! But you will have to go bankrupt first.” Lin Bao sneered.
“There is no other way around it?” Zhou Tianhao asked under his breath.”You know you can’t win every fight even if you have learned how to use Internal Force.”
“Oh? You know about the Internal Force as well?” Linbao looked at Zhou Tianhao surprised. He snorted and then continued, “Since you know of the Internal Forces, why don’t you tell your dogs to lay down their weapons? ”
“Haha, Linbao, do you think that you are the only one who could use the Internal Force?” Zhou Tianhao laughed. He slammed the table heavily and then said, “Master Guo, it’s all yours now.”
Guo Wei nodded and said to the young man standing next to him, “Dongshan, finish him.”
The young man in a tight-fitting training shirt nodded and came up to Linbao and saluted him.
“Dongshan is my senior disciple, and he has been learning by my side for over a decade. He should be more than enough to overcome Linbao.” Guo Wei said confidently.
“Haha, is this boy your cannon fodder?” Linbao laughed. He scanned Dongshan for a few seconds and then said: “Get out of my way, kid. You are still at the Entry level. I don’t want to kill you.”
“You are courting death!” Dongshan was a hotheaded young man, and he threw himself at his opponent.
Everything happened so fast that Zhou Tianhao saw only two shadows converging toward each other. At the moment of impact, one of the shadows bounced off of the other and was sent flying back until it hit the wall. The impact had shaken the traditional-style building.
“Dongshan!” Guo Wei shouted, and his face paled as soon as he saw the two collided.
It wasn’t until then that most people realized that the person who got sent flying was Dongshan.
As the young man collapsed lifelessly onto the ground, people noticed a fist-sized depression on his chest.
“Your apprentice has fainted, now it’s your turn.” Linbao grinned, his eyes held a dark luster that intended to kill.
Guo Wei felt his heart had sunken to his belly. This development had taken the wind out of his sails. Dongshan was the strongest of his disciples, but he couldn’t even take a single punch from the opponent. It was very likely that Linbao was much more powerful than him.
The die had been cast; with no way out, Guo Wei would have to face Linbao on his own.
Guo Wei slowly stood up and made his way to Linbao under many pairs of expectant eyes. The martial arts master said:
“I am the master of the Wei Shen martial arts school. Expert of the Xing Yi Fist. People call me Guo Wei the Xing Yi Master. May I have the honor of knowing who your teacher is?”
“Stopping wasting my time. All my teachers are outside of the country and have nothing to do with what’s going on here. Let’s just do it and get it over with!” Linbao said coldly.
“How arrogant!” Guo Wei flung back at Linbao as he started channeling his Internal Force. Even though Guo Wei knew that his opponent had an advantage in terms of power, Linbao’s arrogant remark riled him up.
When the two started fighting, the spectators could only see two black shadows that intertwined with each other into a fast-moving shadowy ball. Every punch and kick would stir up the air and send a powerful wave of energy out from the center of this chaos. In a blink, vases, tables, chairs, and even the sofas were shredded into pieces from collateral damage.
“This is the power of internal force? It is terrifying!” Zhou Tianhao felt cold sweat gliding down the middle of his back.
He finally knew how naive and arrogant he had been. The successful years in the Chu Zhou City had made him soft, and he grew distant from the real world. While he was convinced that no one would harm him, people with incredible power that could squash him like a bug were all around him.
“After this was over, I really need a bodyguard who knows Internal Force. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep at night ever again.” He told himself. Meanwhile, he wished that Master Guo would win the fight so that he could live to see tomorrow.
Suddenly, a loud noise jerked his mind out of his thoughts. The two fighters had disengaged from each other. One of them still stood unwavering, while the other seemed unsteady.
Everyone was shocked when they realized that the one who got the worst of the fight was Guo Wei.
Master Guo’s body trembled uncontrollably. There was a hint of blood at the corner of his mouth, but he didn’t wipe it away. Master Guo gave his opponent an ugly grin and then said, “I have underestimated your strength. You have already reached the state of Phenomenal Success. Congrats.”
Lin Bao was only slightly winded after the brutal battle. He stood haughtily and then said:
“You will never grow quickly if you keep on hiding under a rock. I have been fortunate enough to find a martial arts grandmaster outside of China, and I have studied under him for over a decade. Under his guidance, I practiced day and night, and I have finally reached the Phenomenal Success stage. City life makes you soft, and soft you are. You have claimed to have practiced Internal Force for so many years, yet, you have only achieved the Initial Success. Even if you could catch up on your training, I will still beat you in a battle.”
“You studied under a grandmaster? No wonder…” Guo Wei’s face paled, and he heaved a sigh of resignation.
Zhou Tianhao was devastated by the turn of events, seeing Linbao had turned his attention back on him, he shouted, “Now!”
The two bodyguards behind him were hired with a large sum of money. They were the elites among bodyguards and were also Zhou Tianhao’s last line of defense.
Both bodyguards reached for their guns; but before either of them had the change to aim at their enemy, Linbao picked up a pair of chopsticks and threw them at the two guns. The chopsticks struck home as they landed squarely at the gunner’s hands.
The two gunners let out pained cries as they dropped their weapons on the floor. Both of their hands were skewered by long chopsticks.
It had been less than ten minutes since Linbao had shown up, and he had already defeated most of Zhou Tianhao’s guards. The only two people who were unharmed by Linbao were the crippled A-Biao and Chen Fan who was still enjoying the expensive tea.
Linbao didn’t pay much attention to the two as he walked straight to Zhou Tianhao.
With every step Linbao took, more blood drained away from Zhou Tianhao’s face. His legs trembled, but he still resisted giving in.
“Brother Lin, let the past go. It was nothing personal, you know. I was just doing what’s best for the business. Well, look at yourself now. You have made yourself a master in martial arts! Why don’t you join me? I will give you half of my assets. What did you say?”
“Hehe, do you really think that I am after your money?” Lin Bao’s did not stop closing in.
A-Biao moved to protect Zhou Tianhao, and he was knocked to the ground by a lazy sweep of hand from Linbao.
“I have been overseas for so many years and have made no less money than you. Zhou Tianhao, you have been living under a rock all the while.” Linbao finally came up to him; he gently smacked Zhou Tianhao’s face the back of his hand.
“Brother Lin, Brother! I am sorry. I am SO sorry!” Zhou Tianhao was finally on his last leg, “You know that I work for the Wei family right? I-I work for Wei San-ye. If you kill me, Wei San-ye will not let you get away with it.”
“The Wei family? Wow, I am so scared.” Linbao said sarcastically. “If I beat you up right now and take the next flight out of China, what do you think the Wei Family could do to me?”
“Please, please, Brother Linbao! Let me live; I have learned my lesson. PLEASE.” Taken over by fear, Zhou Tianhao finally gave in. He dropped both knees to the ground and Kowtow to Linbao.
However powerful and ruthless Zhou Tianhao had been as a thuggish boss, he feared death more than anyone else. Having gotten used to the taste of comfort and pleasure, the thought of suffering was even more terrifying.
“Ha ha ha.” Linbao laughed. Seeing his rival had finally kneeled in front of him and begged him to spare his life like a wounded dog, he suddenly felt lighthearted and let the memories of the bad blood between him, and Zhou Tianhao evaporate.
Guo Wei cupped his chest with one hand and wanted to save his employer, but failed to gather enough strength to even stand up. He lamented in his mind: “It’s all my fault; we were defeated because of my oversight.”
A-Biao lay on his belly and struggled to get up but to no avail. Seeing that his boss got down on his knees and begged Linbao, he felt guilty for being unable to protect Zhou Tianhao. If he knew this was going to happen, he would have heeded his teacher’s words and learned to use internal force.
Suddenly, Zhou Tianhao heard a young voice coming behind him: “Zhou Tianhao, I will save you for 10 million yuan. Do we have a deal?”