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King-kong was a straightforward man who wasn’t very interested in the leadership, it was even more so with Wuyan. This man was very like the way he dressed. He preferred being in the dark. Master Hou knew it, so he asked Wuya to establish the Black Crow Army.
Xiao Bing knew that his goal was achieved when no one dared to object him anymore. He spoke placidly, “I was also shocked when Master Hou passed this title to me before he died. After all, I was only his partner. In terms of seniority, every one of you does have a better claim, because all of you helped Master Hou conquer this world.”
The Paint-face turned silent with his head down. He still held some hostility towards Xiao Bing. After all, Ye Xinyi lost to Xiao Bing. But he did not hate Xiao Bing for that. Though he was obsessed with Ye Xinyi’s beauty, he knew that Ye Xinyi was just taking advantage of him. There was no love between them. He was upset when he heard about the woman’s death. Yet he knew that if this woman was still alive, she would manipulate him to do things he could not even imagine. So it was just hostility and not hate that he felt towards Xiao Bing.
As for the others, they just felt reluctant to have an outsider as their leader. They didn’t have any feud with Xiao Bing. So after what Xiao Bing said, the expressions on their faces turned softer.
Xiao Bing continued, “However since Master Hou granted me such power, I will not flinch. It’s not only your war, but it’s also my war. We must destroy the Long Family!”
As he had expected, the present ones all saw Lord Long as their enemy. Mu Tingchuan discerned it and thought inwardly, “Master Hou did have eyes that could recognize heroes. Xiao Bing intimidated these people with a firm attitude first because he knew he could not win their respect by asking nicely. These blood-thirsty killers will only bend their knees for someone stronger than them. So Xiao Bing showed his unparalleled might first while giving them some space to think.”
Then Xiao Bing tried to soften his relationship with them, to let them know that it was Master Hou who asked him to be their leader. And since he promised Master Hou, he would not fail this dead man.
When these people started to understand him, Xiao Bing mentioned that the Long family was their common enemy at the moment. This was to divert their hostility towards the Long family. It would be easier for people to get along with each other when they had a common enemy.
Although it seemed very simple, it could hardly occur to normal people. In this matter, Xiao Bing was not inferior to Master Hou, who was a master at psychology.
After he incited their hatred towards the Long family, Xiao Bing continued, “Master Hou is dead because of Lord Long’s schemes. You all have been following him for a long time. I assume that your eagerness to avenge him is no less than mine. In the Song Dynasty, when heroes intended to join the rebellion, they needed to show proof of allegiance. And my proof will be Lord Long’s head.”
“If I can’t bring you his head within half a month, then you can choose someone else to sit on this chair in my stead!”
They all looked at him in astonishment. Lord Long had always been on the winning side. Even if Master Hou was still alive, the chance of defeating him was extremely small. After all, this was one province versus two provinces.
Besides, he said that the deed would be done within half a month!
Half a month! It was not merely a promise Xiao Bing made to these people. It was also a deadline Xiao Bing set for himself. After the devil was dead, sooner or later the followers of Buddhism would come for him. Half a month was too long!
Mu Tingchuan said in great disbelief, “Xiao Bing, you don’t have to make such a rash promise. We all understand. It’s Master Hou’s last wish. No one will disobey him.”
Mu Tingchuan could not understand why Xiao Bing made such a crazy promise. To destroy the Long family within a month? He thought it was hard enough for them to protect themselves. Their chances of defeating the Long family were no more than 30 percent. Yet Xiao Bing just promised them that he would bring them Lord Long’s head within a fortnight.
But Xiao Bing repeated gravely, “Half a month is enough.”
Xiao Bing slowly rose to his feet. He cast a sweeping glance at them and bellowed, “But during this half month, you will all need to obey every order I give you and get it done precisely. If I fail to bring you his head in 15 days, I’ll leave this place. Do you agree?”
They all thought Xiao Bing was a lunatic. But somehow, they admired his boldness. They all stood up. King-kong spoke first, “We won’t let you die. But if you can avenge Master Hou, I’ll do anything you say.”
The Snake Lord smiled, “I’m very curious as to where Mr. Xiao’s confidence comes from. However, no problem with me.”
Paint-face merely said, “I agree.”
Xiao Bing looked at Wuyan, who then said in a hoarse voice, “I have no problem with that either.”
“Alright. Give me all your numbers. I might assign you a mission at any time. The meeting is adjourned.”
After they took their leave, only Mu Tingchuan and Xiao Bing were left in the hall. Xiao Bing glanced at him and smiled, “Mr. Tingchuan, why don’t you go back and have some rest？Do you intend to have some drinks with me?”
“I don’t drink now. I merely want to know why are so confident. Lord Long may have some setbacks before, but their foundation was not shaken. At present, we’re still outnumbered. If we make it an attrition warfare using some tactics, we might defeat them in two or three years. And that’s just a 30 percent chance we have. So I wonder how you’re going to kill lord Long within a month?”
Xiao Bing smiled faintly, “It’s simple. I will kill him with my power.”
Xiao Bing answered with ease. His confidence was unusual, which made Mu Tinchuan even more uncertain. Lord Long was known as the strongest martial artist in the underground world in the south. How was Xiao Bing going to defeat him?
But he knew that more words could not change Xiao Bing’s decision. As a leader, the most important thing was being true to his word. Of course, there would be times when a leader breaks his promise, but he must never break his first promise.
Mu Tingchuan shook his head and sighed, “Whatever it is, just prepare yourself well. If you need anything, just tell me. I’ll do my best to serve you.”
“Of course. I need you to advise me.” Xiao Bing grabbed him by the arm and grinned, “Let’s go to a restaurant. We can talk while enjoying the food.”
“I don’t drink.”
“I think a little is okay… Tell me about the situation of the other two provinces. No need to talk about the province where the Long family started, though. I suppose there are still many who harbor hostility towards the Long family, who just conquered their homeland. There’s a lot for us to figure out…”
Mu Tingchuan was indeed a qualified adviser. He told Xiao Bing many things that were unknown to Xiao Bing before. Mu Tingchuan knew a great deal about the Long family and Xiao Bing exchanged information he acquired from the Poisonous Fox with Mu Tingchuan. Then they started discussing plans for the days to come.
After they had a few drinks, Xiao Bing immediately called Wuya and the others and gave them a list of tasks. Mu Tingchuan was more impressed by Xiao Bing now. He deemed Xiao Bing an effective man who took things seriously.
After the calls were made, Xiao Bing looked at Mu Tingchuan and said, “See, it’s simple. Outwardly, the Long family seems to hold power over two provinces. But one of them isn’t totally loyal to him. It will only take several tactics to turn them against the Long family.”
Mu Tingchuan said, “Actually I’ve discussed them with Master Hou. That’s what we planned to do next too. But I don’t think it’s enough. Lord Long has many top masters and he himself is the best of them.
Grinning, Xiao Bing said, “I will take care of Lord Long… Mr. Miyamoto and Gao Fei, one of my men, are all great masters. The Black Crow Army will be responsible for the backbone of the Long family, while Gao Fei and Mr. Miyamoto will take care of their top masters. This final war will decide our destiny!”
Mu Tingchuan smiled bitterly, “If Master Hou were still here, he would never do things without thinking about it. He would still use schemes to nibble away his enemy’s strength. He would never make a decision without being very sure of it. Looks like we are all old men now. Mr. Xiao does have the courage to seek fortune in a lion’s den. I can only pray for our success now.”
“Yes.” Xiao Bing smiled, “If we win in 15 days, we will be king of the underground world in the north. But if we lose, most of us will die. We will know our fate during this fortnight!”
Though he still felt that their chances of winning were small, Mu Tingchuan felt his adrenalin pumping. He picked up his glass and drained it.
Mu Tingchuan had not drunk for a long time, yet today it looks like many bottles will be emptied.
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