Chapter 11: Rascal in the Tavern
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Wine” was written in huge letters on a white piece of cloth to serve as one tavern’s signboard. It fluttered in the wind above the government-made road outside Gusu City. There were a few simple rectangular tables and long benches placed by the road. A young waiter ran back and forth passionately while occasionally shouting, “Alright. Dear customer, please wait for a while, I will serve you in a moment.” Then, he would pour wine into the cups of the few customers in the shop, which made him look very busy.
Taverns were a major characteristic of the world of martial artists.
They were also the place where fights were most likely to happen.
A plump hand slammed against the table. The bowl, chopsticks, and wine all trembled, which showed just how great the man’s strength was.
With a drunken burp, a man whose chest was exposed and who had a fierce face lifted his wine pot. He stood up while taking a swig.
The shopkeeper was an honest middle-aged man. He was also on the thinner side, so he looked as if the wind could blow him off his feet at any moment. He smiled obsequiously and walked over. “Dear customer, what might you want?”
“Give me another… two pounds… of wine. Takeaway.”
There were a few empty wine pots on the table in front of the man. The side dishes were also in disorder. He seemed to have drunk quite a lot. The people beside him could already smell the unpleasant stench of alcohol on him.
“Alright, Young Zhuzi, give this customer another two pounds of Red Daughter . Dear customer, I will calculate the price. Your bill is a total of…” The shopkeeper was about to give the man the bill when the man cut in.
“Don’t need to make any calculations. It’s a total of one hundred taels of silver crumbs. I’m here for the monthly tribute.”
The man did not bring out any money. Instead, he extended his hand to the shopkeeper, who was now as pale as a sheet of paper, and looked down on him. His words had been spoken in a very straightforward and forceful manner.
“Ah… This is… you are…”
The shopkeeper was an honest man, and he did not understand what the huge man meant. From his shock, he even began to stutter.
“I forgot to tell you. My name is Li Shan, and this tavern of yours has to pay a monthly tribute. I showed you respect by eating your stuff just now. Hurry up and give me the money. I still have to go to the next place to collect its tribute.”
The drunk man, Li Shan, no longer looked drunk. His face grew fierce, like he was a rascal.
The shopkeeper and waiter trembled in fear. They no longer dared to ask the man to pay the bill, but they could not accept giving him their money either. In the face of the tyrant bullying them, they could only stand around like fools.
Li Shan’s face darkened!
“What now? Are you looking down on me?” A white sword made of refined steel appeared out of nowhere, and he placed it horizontally before the shopkeeper and the waiter without another word.
When they saw that the shopkeeper and the waiter were about to have their blood spilled in the tavern, the people sitting by the tables next to Li Shan’s could no longer continue watching.
A young man slammed his hand against the table and stood up!
His three companions, who were two boys and a girl, also stood up with surprise and delight on their faces. There was also righteous indignation mixed into that. They glared at Li Shan and moved, quickly forming a square formation to surround him.
In truth, the moment Li Shan drew his sword, they had received an unexpected notification!
[Will you receive a low-level World of Martial Arts quest: Encountering Injustice? Help the shopkeeper defeat Villain Li Shan, and you will complete the quest! Villain Li Shan, a local rascal. Qi Realm: None.]
In truth, the players had heard rumors about this a few days ago. It was said that a rascal was throwing his weight around the taverns on the government-made roads outside Gusu City. He came twice every day to collect protection money from innocent, middle-aged shopkeepers, and all the players who were near the area could trigger the quest to deal with him!
What had attracted the group of players the most was that once they completed this quest, they would receive the shopkeeper’s gratitude and get ten Jinchuang Ointments. If they could kill Villain Li Shan, their reward would be even greater. Not only would they be able to get Li Shan’s Refined Steel Sword—a weapon that cost more than five hundred taels of silver crumbs—they could even get one hundred taels of silver crumbs—which was the protection money Li Shan collected—and a sword manual.
Refined steel weapons were highly valuable, and coupled with the other rewards, it was enough to attract all the newbies. The three boys and the girl had deliberately rushed to a tavern on this side of the city and waited for more than an hour to see Li Shan act violently.
At that moment, the four of them did not hesitate to take the quest.
“Oh, you even have someone come forward to help you?”
Villain Li Shan looked down upon the four youngsters who only held normal iron swords and sabers in their hands. He shoved the shopkeeper and the waiter away. “Are you thinking about relying on your numbers?”
Before even finishing his speech, he executed Split Mount Hua and swung his sword down on the young man in the lead, making the latter unable to say the righteous speech he had scripted in his head.
The youth hastily brought up his sword to block the attack.
Despite being drunk, Villain Li Shan was still abnormally agile. With his mighty arm strength, he delivered a slash that the young man could barely hold against. He staggered, and then was kicked away by a Pierce-the-heart Kick, which resulted in him nearly crashing into another young customer.
Happy swiftly shot out from his seat.
The table and bench before him were instantly crushed by the person who had flown into it. The shattered cup and plates scattered all over the ground, creating a mess.
Happy tossed away the wine cup in his hand, but he was not angry. He did not help the four chivalrous people handle Li Shan. He searched for another clean table and sat down before continuing to drink as if nothing had happened.
In truth, the system had also given him the notification, but he did not take the quest.
Before Villain Li Shan even attacked, Happy had sized him up in secret, and the conclusion he came to was that he could not fight against him with brute strength.
Li Shan might have drunk a lot of wine and stank of alcohol, but his right arm remained extraordinarily steady when holding the Refined Steel Sword. There were thick calluses on his purlicue, which meant that he was a martial artist who had practiced for a long period of time and had reached a certain degree of skill. Based on this alone, not only would his Arm Strength be much higher than Happy’s, his skills with the sword might also be quite high.
While the system said that he was a normal local rascal who had no qi realm, this did not mean that he did not have qi or was not strong. He might be just one step away from Gate Realm, which was not uncommon in World of Martial Arts!
More importantly, however, Happy knew the local rascal’s strength setting very well.
There were plenty of quests such as this in the city, but the names for the quests were different. Even though Li Shan’s name might seem to have been carelessly given without any thought placed in it, the rascal’s strength was right below Gate Realm. He was also in possession of a martial art that was at least at the ninth realm. The rumors about the rascal dropping his Refined Steel Sword and manual were real and were indeed good rewards, but how many people could kill a martial artist who was just one step away from Gate Realm?
Hence, Happy did not speak. He swiftly made up his mind and refused to accept the quest, which was why trouble did not come for him, and he did not attract Li Shan’s attention.
Unlike him, the four enthusiastic and high-spirited youngsters only realized that something was off the moment they attacked!
Li Shan’s sword strikes might have been very steady, but they were also filled with violence. He used his hands and feet at the same time he attacked to kill and wound in the most efficient manner. With three sword strikes, he sent the three boys and girl flying, and he even beat up the two other players who had also taken up the quest but had not managed to attack to the point that they could only cry bitterly.
“Attack him together!”
The six players retreated until they stood together, and one of them came up with an idea.
The others nodded simultaneously. Then, they attacked from two different directions! This time, they decided to use their advantage in numbers to forcefully take down Li Shan.
Happy continued drinking wine while shaking his head repeatedly.
‘What are they thinking? Do they really think Villain Li Shan is a stupid wild beast?’
With a shocking and terrifying roar, Li Shan jumped back, easily avoiding the brunt of the six people’s united attack. It threw them into chaos, and he immediately turned his head around to crush them!
The six people failed in their quest, and they even had all their possessions stripped away by Li Shan. After that, they could only leave in anger…
The pitiful shopkeeper had no choice but to pay the protection money to send away the fiend.
Li Shan returned to his drunken state and was about to leave with the money in his pocket when the sound of the air roaring rose from behind him. The man came to an abrupt stop and drew his weapon again. His eyes, which were not fully open, burned in anger as he glared at the boy in front of him.
“Who are you?”
When he saw that Villain Li Shan was tipsy and could not even hold his sword steadily, the boy smiled faintly and flung the hero’s headband  from his chest behind himself.
“Pardon me, I’m here to rob you.”
 Red Daughter: Chinese wine.
 Hero’s headband: So I did some research for 英雄巾, and the only thing that showed up was the white piece of cloth placed over the faces of heroes in China, which is definitely NOT what is used here. So I believe that what is referred here is the martial arts headbands, but since the word 英雄 means hero, I kept it as hero’s headband. An image: https://www.birthdayinabox.com/pages/karate-party-ideas-games-martial-arts-headband-craft