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Xiao Bing made the promise of bringing down Lord Long because he had the confidence.
During the next few days, Xiao Bing did two things: he held a proper funeral for Master Hou and buried him with Tang Xueyan. Judging from his final wish, Master Hou wanted to be buried with her not just because she looked like Jiang Qin but he did seem to have fallen in love with this woman.
The other thing he did was to help Ye Xiaoxi, Su Xiaoxiao and her mother move to the mansion, along with Lil Bei, Dumbass, Zhan Hongyan, Gao Fei and Maggie. Master Hou’s mansion was a big place with many chambers. It was a well-defended house, studded with many visible and invisible sentries. Besides, there was Miyamoto Shinji, an innate master whose strength was still unknown to others. With Lil Bei, Gao Fei, Dumbass and Zhan Hongyan around, it was fair to say that this mansion was impregnable now. There was no place in the whole of Hei Province that could be safer than that place because most of the top masters of this province lived there.
Xiao Bing especially verified the number of guards here. There were fifteen guards in the visible posts. Their captain was called Gao Shucheng, a decent-looking man who looked to be in his thirties. To Xiao Bing’s surprise, this man was a master of the early stage of Concealing-strength, which made him one of the best in Jiang City. Xiao Bing was told that he was a loyal and meticulous man.
The vice-captain was called Zhang Jinniu, a well-built master of the middle stage of clear-strength. He was also over thirty like Gao Shucheng.
From Xiao Bing’s observation, Zhang Jinniu was a brave and fearless man while Gao Shucheng was a man who seemed crude but was actually subtle on the inside, which made the two mutually supportive.
Except for them, though, the other 13 guards could not be called top masters. They all had reached the Bone-refining stage. Xiao Bing would teach them martial arts. Xiao Bing’s comprehension of martial arts had reached the pinnacle, so it would not take long for the gifted ones to reach the Clear-strength Stage. Then, the defense of the mansion would more solid.
But those were just the visible guards. Besides them, there were ten secret sentries. Five of them were inside the mansion and others were scattered around the walls. They were all under Gao Shucheng’s command. Though they were not at the Clear-strength either, every one of them was well-trained, armed and good at hiding themselves. Word had it that they were even not inferior to the marksmen in the police.
It was not until then that Miyamoto Shinji profoundly realized how mighty these two friends of Xiao Bing were. He could sense that they were no less powerful than him, especially Gao Fei. When he first saw Gao Fei, he felt a certain uneasiness, as if his life was threatened. He’d never felt this way ever since he started on the path of martial arts.
Miyamoto Shinji was also surprised by Xiao Bing’s progress. When he first saw Xiao Bing, this man was merely at the stage of Concealing-strength. But now he had reached the Elixir-strength, the level of the innate. His growth was so rapid that few men in history could be his match in terms of that.
Xiao Bing and Miyamoto Shinji sat abreast in the bush outside the mansion. Xiao Bing said, “Mr. Miyamoto, I’m curious as to why you came to this country to serve Master Hou? Because you are a top master even in the whole Country R.”
“Small favors should be returned in great measures, ” said Miyamoto Shinji quietly, “Eight years ago, Master Hou did me a favor.”
“I see.” Xiao Bing sighed, “It is said that people from your country are seldom grateful. Yet it seems that not everyone is the same. No matter which country, there is always a mix of bad and good people.”
“I know my country caused great pain to your country. I spent most of my childhood in China, so I do understand. I know there are a lot of people who deny the history of it. But it’s just the need of the politicians. Many of us won’t pretend it doesn’t exist. Some might even do things to prevent it from happening again.”
What he said made Xiao Bing start to like him. It was rare for someone from Country R to say such things. And he got the answer to what had been puzzling him all the while. Miyamoto Shinji grew up in China. No wonder he was so fluent in Chinese.
Miyamoto Shinji continued, “Actually you may not know this, but my mother is Chinese. My father was the one who was born in Country R.”
“I see. An international love affair. How romantic.”
“Alas, sometimes romantic things could be easily broken by cruel reality. Alright, let’s not talk about this.” Miyamoto Shinji gradually rose to his feet and said, “Xiao Bing, Lord Long’s might is unfathomable. Are you certain that you can kill Lord Long within a fortnight?”
Smiling, Xiao Bing replied, “Of course. I won’t do things without enough confidence.”
“Alright then… After seeing Gao Fei and Lil Bei, I have confidence in your promise. I should go back now if there’s nothing else.”
“Let’s go together.” Xiao Bing was about to stand up when the phone in his chest pocket suddenly rang. Xiao Bing took it out and saw Liu Kexin’s number on it. He thought it would be better to answer her call outside. So he said, “You go ahead. I need to talk to my friend.”
Miyamoto Shinji began heading towards the mansion. Xiao Bing answered and said smiling, “Kexin? You’re still awake at this time of the night?”
“Yes. Brother Bing, am I bothering you?” asked Liu Kexin prudently.
“No. I was just chatting with my friends. I’ve been too busy these days. A friend of mine passed away… That’s why I didn’t call you. So how are you lately? Is that guy still bothering you?”
“It’s nothing really…” Liu Kexin said with a tinge of sadness, “He’s a very courteous man. He didn’t ask my parents for my hand. He’s just been sending me flowers every day when I go to work. Now the whole hospital knows that he has a crush on me. Some even asked if you would be angry if you saw this…”
Liu Kexin’s voice grew faint as she spoke.
Xiao Bing guffawed, “I want to be angry. But it’s too bad that I’m not your boyfriend.”
Liu Kexin somehow sounded elated, “Brother Bing will be angry?”
“Yes.” Xiao Bing pondered for a moment and said, “But he’s quite a decent man. He didn’t make it hard for you. By the way, how long before the month is up?”
“20 days more…” Liu Kexin answered sadly. “I don’t even know what to answer when my colleagues ask me about it. Besides sending me flowers, he even comes to the hospital every day to pick me up after work. I didn’t go with him even once. My colleagues always had nice things to say about him. Maybe he bribed them.”
“That punk… He sure has his tactics.”
“He’s invited me to a movie with him tomorrow, saying that if I go with him, he won’t come to the hospital for the whole of next week.”
Xiao Bing smiled bitterly, “This is quite a cunning plan. But you can’t blame him. He only has a month. If he wasn’t aggressive about it, the 30 days will fly by in a flash. So did you agree?”
“Yes… But I want you to be there.”
“Me?” Xiao Bing found it somehow ridiculous. It was their date. What would it make him if he went? This kind of plot would not even appear in the wildest love triangle.
Liu Kexin pleaded, “Brother Bing, I don’t want him to come to the hospital next week, but I don’t want to go to the movies with him either. Can you be there for me?”
Xiao Bing smiled wryly, “Isn’t that a bit too much. I don’t care if the punk hates me for that. It’s just that… He has been doing everything to woo you and yet you ask me to be there. You’re not giving him even a tiny bit of leeway. Actually, I think this Yu Miao is a good guy. He was born into a good family yet doesn’t show the typical degeneration of kids who come from wealthy families. He’s very devoted to you. If you don’t have bad vibes about him, why not try and see if it’ll work out for both of you.”
“Really… You think I ought to try?” There was dismay in the girl’s voice, and it made Xiao Bing’s heart tremble.
“Do I really want her to try to be with that man? Won’t I be jealous? Won’t I regret this suggestion? It’s like I’m giving away something I love to another man. Will I really have no regrets?”
Suddenly they both went silent. Liu Kexin felt slightly scared, afraid that Xiao Bing would give her the answer she dreaded the most. Yet she was also worried about what Xiao Bing would say if he told her not to do it. But Xiao Bing had a girlfriend. How could she ever ruin a couple’s relationship?
Xiao Bing’s face seemed indecisive in the dark. He was just as hesitant as Liu Kexin. He wanted Liu Kexin to refuse Yu Miao firmly. But who was he to offer this suggestion?
He thought of Ye Xiaoxi. Xiao Bing could feel Liu Kexin’s affection for him grew stronger. He could not let it continue. The longer it was left unrestrained, the deeper his entanglement. One cannot make repeated blunders over matters of the heart, or people might get hurt.
“If you think he’s okay, you can give it a try.” They were just a few simple words, but it seemed to take all of his strength to utter them
“Okay, I understand.” The girl hung up the phone and burst into tears.
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