Translator Comments: The answer to the NASCAR question lies within another question, which is: When was the last time you asked yourself if changing the way you shift gears, accelerate or approach the curb for example could improve your driving? As for the NASCAR teenager, he's constantly asking himself how he can improve by even 1% all the time. The take-away: If you want to improve at something, you have to demand more. Just going through the motions isn't enough. That's why your driving (or any other skill set) never improves. For this very reason, I continually try to read more literature works (and research studies because I like it) to improve my own literacy skills in hopes to bring you better translations. Being the best doesn't mean I've reached my limit, it just means I'm the toughest challenge I've got. You guys should definitely ask the same of yourselves too.
The One-of-a-kind Ruffian and The World's Number One Scumbag
Sui Tu Wan.
Three, two, one.
No matter how you read it, his name is pretty Westernised…
Su Xiao and I headed to the location of our first mission per Sir Sui's instructions.
It's said that there was someone bullying the kind yet cowering from the bigger bullies here in this village. The villagers cried saying that they reported the officials for ignoring the situation and reporting that person's bullying knew no bounds. It's also said that he's a pervert. He goes after old ladies up to seventy-eight, to as young as the hard worker next door from Uncle Niu's family. As long as they're a woman, he goes for them.
After hearing that, I almost thought my shifu was there. I was contemplating it was the right thing for me to do and go kill my own kin for the greater good.
Not long after, Su Xiao and I arrived at said person's little village called Peach Village. The village is close to the outskirts of Nan Jing, but is still under the jurisdiction of Nan Jing. And since they reported the matter to Liu Shan Men, we had an obligation to resolve it.
After listening to what Boss Shen said, Su Xiao's head was filled with nothing but thoughts of how to get listed in Liu Shan Men's Elites rankings. This troublesome kid just can't let me live in peace. If we got ranked, do you think we'd even have off-days? I retired so I could earn money without lifting a finger, not to slave away into old age.
I'm going to screw today's mission up no matter what.
After entering Peach Village, we made contact with the village chief who filed the report. The village chief was around seventy, but still looked energetic and healthy nonetheless.
"Greetings chief, we're from Liu Shan Men. I'm Su Xiao, this here is Ming…"
I waved my hand at him and said: "Whatever, cut to the chase. Gramps, we heard you were getting bullied by a bully around here."
"Yes, that's right!"
Su Xiao was stunned as soon as the village chief spoke. And he's supposed to be a local. Shame on him. Don't you know those from Peach Village are considered heroic individuals? When I came here in the past, I mistook it for being the Northeast…
The village chief evidently hated the bully. He stamped his feet, thumped his chest and said: "That thug has no respects for anything. I've never come across anybody so shameless. A few days ago, he messed with the daughter of the Wang family. When her family came knocking, he shamelessly apologised and even asked for her hand in marriage. The thug doesn't have any money for a wedding, so he pawned an ox for twenty silvers at Aunt Li's place, saying it was to hold a wedding banquet. In the end, he ran off with the money and the girl. I reported him at your place three times. You people came here three times and then told me you couldn't do anything about it. So what do I do?"
"Hmm, that's…" Su Xiao was completely lost. After juggling it in his head for a good while, he asked: "But why did he leave his ox behind?"
"Huh? What do you know? That ox was mine! He stole my ox!"
Now that is some fella. He's a master con-man…
"Old Wang has lost his daughter, Aunt Li has her lost money, and I lost my ox! What do you suggest we do?"
It was Su Xiao's first time dealing with a case, and he was at a loss for what to do, so he looked to me to ask for help. I put on a straight-face and said: "We will bring the girl and your ox and the money back." Is this a damn tongue twister?!*
The village chief's eyebrows turned upwards forming a smile as he said with eyes gleaming with hope: "That's great! I'll take you to him. Young people are so much easier to work with, so much better than those old geezers!"
I felt ashamed hearing him say that.
I bet the constables that came here the last three times didn't want to deal with it because it was troublesome. Liu Shan Men is responsible for monitoring the martial world and its influence on commoners in the first place, so these sorts of quarrels should be reported to the magistrate. These sorts of issues shouldn't be reported to Liu Shan Men.
But thanks to that, I won't have to screw the mission over.
I wouldn't make the elites ranking even if I completed three of these sorts of missions daily, so there's nothing to worry about.
I came to a sudden stop. Su Xiao almost bumped into me, and said in an annoyed tone: "Brother Ming, what's the matter?"
I focused on my listening. I could hear the sound of weapons clanging against each other to the East of the village. From the sounds I heard, I could discern that there were three swords, an iron rod and three single-edged swords. Why are there people fighting in this sort of place? And by the sounds of it, they're quite skilled…
"Village chief, are there martial artists in your village?"
The village chief blinked quickly several times.
"They're all people passing by. They said they come from Lan Zhu Tong or something. They get along quite well with that bully. They're bad people."
I listened in carefully to the sounds while mulling over what the village chief said and came up with a guess.
Su Xiao blinked and asked: "Lan Zhu Tong? What's Lan Zhu Tong?"
I helplessly explained: "It's Lan Jun Zhu Kong."
Isn't that the group that's ranked seventh in the Demon Sect?"
He then looked at me with suspicion and asked: "How did you know martial artists are here?"
I unleashed my talent for bullshitting and said: "Why else would the village chief have reported it to Liu Shan Men? Do you think he's an idiot or something?"
The village chief cooperated excellently. He puffed his chest out proudly, and I have to say, he did look pretty tough.
After being rebutted by me, Su Xiao apologetically said: "I'm sorry, Brother Ming. I thought you were spouting nonsense again…"
"I'm really hurt by the way you treat me as a comrade… Ha… I really miss the soy sauce pork from Dong Po Restaurant."
"…I don't think I've offended you that badly."
I sighed and said: "You must be thinking I'm trying to take advantage of you again. What I was trying to say was…" I was trying to exploit Su Xiao into buying me some soy sauce pork while walking backwards. Consequently, I bumped into someone behind me. I didn't feel any resistance.
I turned around and saw that he was already lying on the ground as if he was sent flying by a bull or something.
What the hell? Is he trying to scam me for money?
"Are you alright?"
"As if I'm alright!"
The guy lying on the ground had curly hair that looked like the aftermath of an explosion. He got up and made a scene to get me to compensate him. The brat had facial acne. He was evidently the usually energetic type and leaving a mess in his wake wherever he went. It certainly looked like he was trying to scam me.
Curly stared at me and shouted: "You tired of living? They call me the one-of-a-kind ruffian, and the world's number one scumbag, and here you are crossing me!" His muscle-less frame quivered after he was done talking. It looked like he was dead-set on sizing me up.
The village chief widened his eyes, stared at him, pointed at him and said: "That's him!"
I widened my eyes too. This curly-haired brat is the big bully in the village? I could sense the cunning aura exuding from him.
* All the 'ands' in there make it a pain to read or say in Chinese, and also why I wrote it like that.