Chapter 3: Bandits
Translator: Translation Nation/chuchutrain Editor: - -
While in a daze, he remembered details of his own previous life. His name was also Pei Zi Yun, but compared to this trash, he was actually a legend of sorts.
After having a row with his family, he left home for Shenzhen1 at the age of seventeen, with only ten grand on him. He had to eat his meals from a styrofoam box and sleep in the basement of the stock office he worked in. Just after a year, he earned five hundred grand despite being self-taught. However, soon after, he lost everything in an unfortunate warehouse explosion.
He decided to return home and reflect for over a year. Fortunately, his glib tongue helped him make friends easily, and he managed to borrow fifty grand to re-invest in stocks. Even though the market was bearish2, he was able to earn a whopping three million-over thirty times his initial capital!
Due to his success and prominence in the stock market, he was threatened and had no choice but to work for a giant organization as a trader and to assist in money laundering operations. Although his interests were also aligned with the company's, he did all of these begrudgingly until-a car crashed into him, sending him flying in the air.
Before long, the youth's vision focused on the mission objectives before him, the message that was received and entered his vision.
"I was already dead, but the original owner devised a way to bring me into this world, and this Plum Blossom spiritual gift became a sort of system based on my own memories."
The youth opened his eyes and found himself in a bamboo forest, taking in all these memories and emotions.
"Has the mission failed, and the Plum Blossom been lost?"
"Just as well, the timing wasn't right, and the original owner had been a fool!"
"Fifty men of the village have been intimidated by three bandits into yielding, giving up money and handing over the women. The original owner had been a scholar yet did not have the wisdom to properly handle the situation!"
"Although this world is ruled by laws of the Dao, the laws of the court punishes fiercely too-who would dare defy them?"
"The forces of the capital are presently focused on cleaning up the important areas of the country and thus, have yet to suppress these bandits, but it's only a matter of time. The Black Wind Brigands will sooner or later meet their doom."
"The original owner was a scholar and a High Scholar, who was well versed in the arts of war, even if his arms had only the strength of chickens, he should've found a way out of this. Now the situation is such a mess-he truly is an idiot!"
"If I had been here three days earlier, I would've easily devised a way out of this critical situation. Now, I have to give my best, and it's still going to be tough."
Although he was just a stockbroker and not a general ready for battle, what he was truly good at was being swift and decisive. He tightened the straps of his robe and swung his knife; a bamboo shoot fell to the ground.
Nearby, the woman behind the door was still desperately thinking of a way out of this mess. She overcame her fear and decided to present herself as weak and pitiful to gain the sympathy of the mob. She didn't want to have good food or spicy drinks, so she begged, "Uncles and grandfathers, I beg you, let me go. If I were to go with them I would surely die!"
The sound of crying could be heard from inside.
The cries of the young woman could be heard all the way to the bamboo forest, where the youth was sharpening his newly made bamboo spear. "The villagers will be waiting till daybreak before handing over the goods and women because dealing with them at night causes them a fair bit of distress and uneasiness!"
"I still have some time left!"
The youth stilled his heart. Clutching the bamboo spear in one hand and the knife in the other, he walked straight into the forest.
Although the mud wall surrounding the village was effective in scaring off tigers and bandits, he knew that there were many holes in the wall. Climbing over it would not be difficult.
As Pei Zi Yun wriggled past the wall, his entire body, including his face, was covered in mud. Using the moon as his light source, he walked along the village stream, and stared at his reflection in the water. What he saw gave him a shock, as mud covered his entire face and served as a camouflage of sorts. Apart from those who were close to him, who else would be able to recognize him?
When he reached the outside, he heard the sound of merry laughter. The bandits were camped right outside the entrance of the village, intimidating the ten young men of the village-even managing to convince them to give up a few of their chickens. They were sitting by the fire, contentedly roasting the chickens.
The village was not big and with the moon looming overhead in the west, the wall on the northeastern side of the village casted a shadow. Using the shadow as a cover, he stealthily crept towards the village entrance, with a weapon in hand.
Right at the entrance of the village, the Black Wind bandits were currently cooking their meat over the fire. The chickens given by the villagers were not big. The feathers were all plucked and and their entrails were removed and thrown aside. Using their daggers, they made several incisions on the chickens, added pepper and salt and left it by the fire to cook. The fat from the chicken was dripping into the fire, issuing a sizzling sound.
At this point, up on the village's mud wall, Zhang Dashan viciously sharpened the wooden stick he was holding, accidentally shaving off the point of the stick. Watching those wretched bandits roasting their chickens made him go into a fury despite his fear.
Those were the mother hens reared by his family for laying eggs. However, the minute the bandits demanded for chickens someone took his egg-laying hens, tied their legs up and threw them over the wall.
Zhang Dashan raged with fury, taking his anger out on his wooden stick, incessantly sharpening it, cursing under his breath, "These imbeciles, these imbeciles!"
Pei Zi Yun inched closer towards the village entrance and looked at the three bandits. The moment he set his eyes upon them, memories of his previous life flooded back into him, instantly.
A middle-aged bandit was flanked by the two other bandits, who looked like they were trying to subtly protect him. He donned black robes and even when he laughed, his eyes maintained an icy-cold look. This man was the third elder of Black Wind Sect. In his memories, he recalled that it was he who took Ye Su'er away from the village, thus becoming a huge regret of his life.
Watching the bandits sitting by the fireplace, Pei Zi Yun caressed his bamboo spear, and stiffened his shoulder. This wasn't the most appropriate time to attack, and so, he stood still and hid himself from their view.
The chickens had been cooked and was ready for consumption, a yellowish gleam from the fats of the chickens was appetizing and clearly visible. The bandit who cooked it took it from the spitfire, tore a piece off and tasted it.
Upon tasting it, he realized it was delicious. The chickens reared in the village had been raised in a special way so that they tasted better. Not daring to have more than he should, he hurriedly brought the chicken to the middle aged bandit.
As the middle aged bandit took the chicken, he gave it a sniff, the aroma of such a well cooked piece of meat intoxicated him. He tore a chunk of meat and began tasting it. It was savoury and extremely pleasant. His appetite began to be whetted as he hungrily devoured his meal.
The middle aged bandit used both hands, working his way into the chicken, tearing apart a huge drumstick and gobbling it down. As if he was unable to resist the urge, he retrieved a flask from inside his coat, tilted his head back and drank his wine voraciously before shouting, "This is good!"
Pei Zi Yun crept into the bushes and used the immense foliage as his cover. The trees were tall and the shrubs were thick, providing adequate camouflage from the bandits. He hid below a tall tree, preparing himself for the kill. However, the distance between them was still considerable. While he was trying to close the gap, his grip on both the spear and knife clenched and relaxed several times, his palms sweating profusely.
The original owner had discovered the Plum Blossom only five years after acquiring it and finally gained entry into a sect, so he could begin his cultivation. The original owner had known some fighting Dao Arts, but he did not. Although the bandits were mortals made up of flesh and blood so a stab into their hearts could kill them, he was too.
The bandits were huddled together by the fire. Pei Zi Yun suppressed the almost uncontrollable urge to rush at them and kill them all together. He knew that he could kill at least one. Two would leave him with no chance to escape. As for three, he should be running for his life.
Since brute strength will not work in this situation, he would have to use his wisdom to gain the upper hand. Pei Zi Yun concentrated on his memories and thought hard about how he could destroy his enemies. All of a sudden, it came to him! A room in his heart lit up, and he knew deep down what he had to do.
In his previous life, he was weak and incapable. He had no way to overturn the decision of the mob and thus lost Ye Su'er when she was handed over to the bandits.
When the village chief brought the women and goods to the village entrance, the bandits came out from the nearby temple...
He could still remember the adjacent rooms in the temple that several people could sleep in. Although these bandits set a fire and cooked their meals in front of the village entrance as a show of dominance, he knew that sooner or later they'd to return to the temple to sleep.
Pei Zi Yun sniggered icily knowing he had a good plan. He went back to check on the bandits before swiftly returning to his hiding place to avoid possible detection.
Just then, the elder bandit who was busily gorging himself suddenly got startled and swiftly turned towards the direction of Pei Zi Yun, staring into the distance. He picked up his sword and stood up before walking towards the forest.
Third elder, what's the matter?" one of the bandits, who was still holding onto a piece of chicken, asked frantically, watching his elder walk briskly into the forest. Without a moment's hesitation, he hurriedly followed after his elder.
The trees in the forest were massive, each about four metres tall. The canopy of the trees almost blocked off the moonlight completely as big shadows were formed. The bandits stood at the edge of the forest and peered in. Without moonlight and hindered by the presence of shadows, they could not see anything.
The third elder of Black Wind Sect felt something was amiss. He was certain he had seen someone observing them from afar, yet at this point there was absolutely nothing. His heart felt deeply unsettled. Without another word, he plunged into the forest, making as little sound as possible as his feet threaded gently into the darkness.
When they took a closer look, there was still nothing. The middle aged bandit refused to relax and gripped his blade tightly. Considering how he had managed to survive decades as a bandit, he had enough experience to trust his gut feeling. As he crept up gradually, the bushes before him abruptly rustled.
"Someone wants to die?" the middle-aged man shouted as his expression turned stone-cold and he brought his sword down with a heavy swing. A dull thud like bones breaking could be heard. Blood splashed all over his face, making him look exceptionally sinister.
The bandit used his blood-stained blade to split open the shrubs and plants to get a better look at his victim. In a moment, the parted plants revealed a feral dog under the foliage, it's body was hacked into half and was twitching in its final moments.
"Wow, No wonder you're an elder in the sect. Your sword techniques are deadly-each stroke claims a life! The dog's neck had been severed from its body with a single cleave. Looks like another meal lies in store for us tonight!" exclaimed the bandit who had managed to finally catch up and decided to bootlick the elder. He sniggered excitedly as he lifted the dog carcass up as if to weigh it before dragging it back to the fire and skinning it. "Dog meat can't be prepared with just salt; we have to bring it back to the temple to prepare it."
The middle aged bandit was taken by surprise; he had expected it to be wandering person. Never would he have imagined it to be a wild dog. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant surprise. He sheathed his knife, wiped the blood off his face and drank deeply from his flask before looking up at the big full moon overhead.
Pei Zi Yun watched from afar, dripping with beads of cold sweat. This bandit was indeed fearsome. His sword techniques were far from flashy, and were instead simple and straightforward. It was clear he had learnt them over decades of fighting, through life and death struggles.
Pei Zi Yun thanked his lucky stars that he didn't advance further; for if he had, he was surely dead meat. He walked towards the temple door and looked up at the building.
This was a temple that belonged to the locals. The walls surrounding it were run-down, and had not been fixed in years. A few cracks and holes were visible, making for a good place to kill bandits. He further examined the terrain around him and noticed a few nooses lying around. All of a sudden, he heard fast-approaching footsteps and immediately stopped what he was doing. He pricked up and cupped his ears with his hands so he could listen better.
The voices of the bandits were coming from outside the temple. Pei Zi Yun was regretful as he spun around and hid under the cover of darkness, his figure completely disappearing from sight.
 A major city in Guangdong Province, China and one of the five largest and wealthiest cities of China.
 A bearish market or bearish economy refers to one that at the point of an economic downturn or recession-essentially an economy that isn't healthy.