Happy Heroes 29 Print
Friday, 11 July 2008 12:06

Chapter 28 – The Way to Making Money


“If that is the case, does that mean we are at a dead end?” Guo DaLu asked with a groan.

Yan Qi: “Who said that we are at a dead end? People have always made their own roads. As long as you have determination, as long as you are willing to make your way, there will certainly be a road.”

Guo DaLu: “I understand this principle, and I have said the same thing to others before. Right now, though…” He paused a moment before carrying on, “Right now, I only believe one thing.”

Yan Qi: “What is that?”

Guo DaLu: “If, today, we are not able to pay back the money that we owe to people, then today is the day that we are going to go hungry.”

The world has many good principles. Unfortunately, no matter how good the principle, it still cannot be sold for 9,999 liang of silver. It cannot even be sold for one liang.

A moment ago, it was one person staring off in thought. Now, there were two. Two people staring off at a loss is even harder to bear than one person. Guo DaLu really could not take it any longer. Jumping to his feet, he paced around in a circle seventeen, eighteen times, before crying out abruptly, “I just remembered a saying.”

Yan Qi glanced at him from the corner of his eye. “Which saying?”

Guo DaLu: “A very useful saying.”

Yan Qi: “What can it be used for?”

Guo DaLu: “At least it can be used to get us out of our crisis.”

Yan Qi: “If that is the case, then I want to hear it.”

Guo DaLu: “ ‘Friends have an honourable obligation to open up riches.’ I am certain you have heard this saying before.”

Yan Qi: “You want to go find someone to borrow money from them?”

Guo DaLu: “Not go find ‘someone.’ I want to go find a friend.”

Yan Qi: “One type of person will have the least friends in the world. Do you know which type of person that is?”

Guo DaLu: “Which type?”

Yan Qi: “The type who goes and asks their friends for money.”

Guo DaLu: “I do not intend on seeking out a lot of friends, just one.”

Yan Qi: “By the time you have found your friend and opened your mouth to ask for the money, you may discover that you do not even have one friend.”

Guo DaLu: “But if it were friends like us…”

Yan Qi: “If it were friends like us, it would not be necessary for you to even open your mouth and ask.”

Guo DaLu: “So you believe that there are no friends out there that you can ask to borrow money from?”

Yan Qi: “Not a single one.”

Guo Dalu: “But I believe that there is one.”

Yan Qi: “Who?”

Guo DaLu: “Sour Plum Soup.”

Yan Qi did not say anything, but his expression darkened.

Guo DaLu: “I am not saying that you should go ask. I can go. I can be considered to have have helped her before.”

With an icy smirk, Yan Qi scorned, “Only one type of person would ever ask to borrow money from a woman.”

Guo DaLu: “What type of person are you talking about?”

Yan Qi’s voice was frigid. “A fool. Only a fool would believe that a woman would be willing to lend him ten thousand liang.”

Guo DaLu: “I know that women are a little more petty and stingy than men, but in her eyes, ten thousand liang should not really be anything at all.”

Yan Qi: “Yes, truly not anything. It is just ten thousand liang, after all.”

Guo DaLu: “Plus she is not the least bit stingy.”

Yan Qi: “Even a more magnanimous woman would not lend money to a man.”

Guo DaLu: “Why?”

Yan Qi: “Because a woman’s way of thinking is different.”

Guo DaLu: “How so?”

In that chilly tone, Yan Qi stated, “Women always believe that any man who is willing to ask for money from a woman is absolutely pathetic. Therefore, a woman who is willing to lend money to a man is just as pathetic.”

Guo DaLu was speechless for a while. With an unexpected little chuckle, he said, “Really, only women are able to understand their own way of thinking. You are not even a woman.”

Yan Qi’s face grew stony. “Of course I’m not.”

Guo DaLu grinned. “So you really do not know either. That is why I still want to give it a try.”

Yan Qi: “And what if you are snubbed [literally, run into/bump into a nail]?”

Sighing, Guo DaLu answered, “Even if I do, it will be a stone nail. That is at least better than colliding with other people’s iron nails.” He gave an unexpected little chuckle and joked quietly, “If there were some gold or silver nails in the world, I would rather collide with them.”

All of a sudden, Yan Qi’s eyes lit up as he leapt to his feet and shouted, “You have finally said something that is actually useful.”

This time, though, Guo DaLu actually paused a moment in surprise before asking hesitantly, “What did I say? How is it useful?”

Yan Qi: “Not only is that sentence actually useful, it really is worth some money too.”

Guo DaLu was even more perplexed.

Scooping up seven or eight pebbles from the ground, Yan Qi asked him, “Were you aware that my skill with projectile weapons is not bad?”

Guo DaLu shook his head. “Nope. You have never used any projectile weapons on me.”

Yan Qi: “If I used projectile weapons against you, would you be able to catch them?”

Guo DaLu: “Not necessarily.”

Yan Qi: “Would you like to give it a try and see?”

Guo DaLu: “No.”

Yan Qi: “Well, even if you do not want to, you still have to. You have no choice.” Using the technique of “Rain of Blossoms Fills the Sky,” without warning, the pebbles in his hands were thrown straight at Guo DaLu. They were fired fiercely, without the least bit of civility.

In the art of projectile weapons, there was one technique, “Rain of Blossoms Fills the Sky,” that nearly everyone in jianghu knew about or had heard of. However, the number of people who had seen this technique was not many, and even less could actually execute it. Guo DaLu had now seen it. Not only was Yan Qi able to execute this technique, he was also really quite good.

Like a torrential rain, seven, eight pebbles went shooting over towards Guo DaLu. He spun his body and sidestepped, dodging two or three of the rocks and catching another three or four in his outstretched hand. Still, though, one or two of them managed to make contact with his body, hitting him so hard that he yelped loudly. Glaring at Yan Qi, he yelled, “What did you mean by that?”

Yan Qi grinned at him. “No real reason. I just want you to make a few thousand liang of silver and bring it back.”

Guo DaLu was taken aback for a minute. “How am I going to make all this money?”

“Your hands.” Yan Qi gave a little laugh before adding, “Your hands are already very agile. Not many people are even able to catch four of my projectile weapons. You only need to practice a few more times and then, making a few thousand silver liang will be as easy as turning over your palm.”

Guo DaLu stared at his own hands. The more he stared, the more confused he became. He honestly could not see how that pair of hands could bring in several thousand liang. Now, if someone wanted those hands to lose several thousand liang, that would truly be as easy as turning over his palm. He had lost a few thousand before in a single dice throw.

Yan Qi was picking up stones again, and Guo DaLu could not help asking, “So what do you actually want me to do? Throw dice and scam people’s money?”

Yan Qi guffawed, “Whose money do you think you could scam with your dice throwing? You are the King of Losers.”

Guo DaLu: “How are you expecting the King of Losers to win, then?”

Yan Qi: “As long as you are able to catch every one of my projectile weapons in one go, then I guarantee that you will be able to win.”

Guo DaLu: “What if I still lose? What do I have that I can lose to other people?”

Sighing, Yan Qi answered, “If you still lose this time, then I’m afraid you are going to have to lose your life.”

A cynical grin was on Guo DaLu’s face as he said, “It seems, anyways, that all I have to lose is my life.”

Yan Qi: “That is why you must find some way to catch all my weapons. If you cannot catch them with your hands and need to use your mouth, then make sure you bite onto them securely.”

To catch projectile weapons thrown using the “Rain of Blossoms Fills the Sky” technique was not an easy feat. Guo DaLu had already gone through three attempts, and his body had endured seven hits that, although they had not been too hard, still left his bones feeling sore.

This time, Yan Qi did not even show a hint of mercy as he picked up stones from all over on the ground. Guo DaLu could only stand off to the side and watch in amazement. Up until this point in time, he still could not figure out what it was that Yan Qi was plotting. If it had been any other person in his place, they probably would have quit already. But he trusted Yan Qi. He believed that, even if all the people in the world wanted to give him a hard time, in no way would Yan Qi support them. There were not many pebbles in the courtyard. Yan Qi was already holding a handful, but he still felt that it was not enough and jogged over to gather more along the wall. Rubbing the spot on his shoulder that was achy and tingling from being struck, Guo DaLu could not help exhaling a lengthy sigh. He really was not confident that he could catch all those projectile weapons at once.

The breeze carried with it the fragrance of flowers. The peach blossoms on the other side were ready to bloom soon. Guo DaLu lifted up his head. All of a sudden, he noticed Wang Dong sitting by the window and gesturing at him. Waiting until Yan Qi had turned his back to him to pick up some more pebbles, Guo DaLu dashed over. The two of them, one on the inside and the other on the outside of the window, gestured and waved with their arms and legs, all the while whispering away about something that no one else knew.

Yan Qi could only wait. After waiting for a long while, he finally saw Guo DaLu walk back over nonchalantly, his hands behind his back and a smug expression on his face. Wang Dong still sat by the window, facing over towards them. He was smiling, a very mysterious sort of smile. Unable to contain himself, Yan Qi called out, “Wei! What are you two talking about?”

“Which two are you referring to?” Guo DaLu asked.

Yan Qi: “You and Wang Dong.”

“Oh, you mean Wang Dong,” Guo DaLu said with a feigned realization. “He told me to tell you that he wants to eat spareribs simmered with turnips tonight.”

Anyone could tell that he was fibbing. It was as if there was a sign hanging from Guo DaLu’s face whenever he was lying. Yan Qi glowered at him and said icily, “The one who is lying should be careful that his teeth are going to get knocked out.”

Grinning, Guo DaLu invited, “Come try.”

Yan Qi: “Fine.”

This time, he not only threw a lot more stones, he also threw them a lot harder. The greater the strength behind the throw, the faster the stones hurtled toward Guo DaLu. With a spin of his body, two shiny silver objects that looked similar to the nets with handles that children used to catch tadpoles suddenly appeared in Guo DaLu’s hands. More than ten pebbles shot rapidly toward him, but nearly all of them got scooped like tadpoles into the nets. At most, only two or three managed to escape. Guo DaLu had easily dodged all of them.

This time, even Yan Qi’s eyes seemed to bulge out a bit in astonishment. Wide-eyed, he asked, “What sort of gadget are those?”

Guo DaLu beamed, “What do you think of these two devices? Are you awed or not?”

Yan Qi: “Did Wang Laoda teach this to you just now?”

With a look that showed he was immensely pleased with himself, Guo DaLu replied, “Even if he taught me, it still required someone smart and talented
like me to actually learn it.”

The corner of Yan Qi’s mouth twitched in amusement. “Since when did you become so smart?”

“I never was dense to begin with,” Guo DaLu chuckled. “As long as it is an amusing trick, I will learn it perfectly the instant I am taught.”

Yan Qi stretched out his palm. “Let me see.”

Guo DaLu quickly pulled his hands behind his back. “Can’t.”

Yan Qi: “Why can’t you?”

Guo DaLu: “Wang Laoda said that the secret must not be divulged.”

Yan Qi: “Fine. Let’s see you try again.” His motions were even faster and more remarkable this time. More than ten small stones suddenly seemed to come alive, like they had sprouted wings and grown eyes. They seemed to specifically seek out the weakest places on Guo DaLu’s body to hit.

But the two nets in Guo Dalu’s hands appeared to be waiting for them. This time, only one of the stones managed to slip by the nets. With loud laughs of delight, Guo DaLu shouted, “You should be in awe of me now.”

Yan Qi stared at him until, at last, his lips curled up into a smile also. “It seems you really are not dense.”

Even more proud of himself, Guo DaLu told him, “To be honest, I never really put much effort into practicing techniques for catching projectile weapons only because… only because… Can you guess what the reason is?”

Yan Qi: “Nope.”

Guo DaLu boasted, “It was because my pair of hands is naturally faster than other people’s and my eyes are sharper also, so I never really needed to learn.”

Yan Qi added nonchalantly, “And so that is why you suffered badly at the hands of Big Centipede.”

Guo DaLu’s face did not even turn pink. A smile was still on his lips as he replied, “That does not count. Tell him to come try now.” With a sparkle in his eyes, he chuckled, “I have heard that the brave men of jianghu all have a mighty-sounding title. I have thought of one now for myself that is rather befitting.”

Yan Qi: “What sort of title?”

Guo DaLu: “Thousand-Armed Buddha, Untouchable Phantom’s Shadow, the Swift-Handed Great Drunken Hero.”

Yan Qi could not stop himself from bursting out into giggles. “I have a title for you as well that is even more suitable.”

Guo DaLu: “Let’s hear it.”

Yan Qi: “Clumsy Hands, Clumsy Feet, Crawls Around Drunken, King of Losers, the Great Dim-Witted Bird. Don’t you think that this title is rather befitting?”

End of Chapter 28