Chapter 23 – Invasion
Dark Horse Hao Si and his many brothers were drinking wine and making merry as there was still more than an hour left before their appointment with Lin Qi, in which he would have to bring enough gold coins to the small alley behind the tavern to negotiate.
The Ironfist Brotherhood’s ten elite experts arrived outside the Sword and Pretty Ladies Tavern.
In addition to Lin Qi, who was the leader of the brotherhood, the remaining nine people were Yu Lian, Enzo, as well as seven swordsmen under Enzo’s leadership. These seven swordsmen also had some reputation in the Army Academy as Enzo’s diehard followers and a group of genuine fighting maniacs.
Different from the Knights of the Round Table, which consisted mainly of Army Academy students, the Ironfist Brotherhood was all-inclusive, where all kinds of people were mixed in together. Enzo and these seven people next to him made a group of the most elite military power, who had the title ‘Seven Bloodstained Swordsmen’ in the Army Academy.
The ten people were all dressed similarly. Their bodies were wrapped in a thick and warm cloak of animal skin. They crept close to the roadside and the wall to avoid the patrolling Dragon Cavalry and the Guardian Office’s Secret Police, who were easily distinguished by their copper hats. Cold wind whistled, snow swirled in the air. Regardless, the Dragon Cavalry and the Copper Hats both had to unwillingly stay outside for a long time. Their vigilant hearts had also been strained to the limit, and they didn’t discover the movements of Lin Qi’s group at all.
In a small alley to the side of the Sword and Pretty Ladies Tavern, Lin Qi, who had an extremely tall and sturdy figure, squatted next to the foot of the wall. Enzo, who had a similarly strong and vigorous figure, stepped on Lin Qi’s shoulder and jumped onto the top of the wall. Soon afterwards, the Seven Bloodstained Swordsmen also jumped onto the wall one after another. Then Enzo lied on his stomach on the top of the wall and pulled Lin Qi up.
Only after Lin Qi and the others had entered the tavern did Yu Lian swagger his body to the tavern’s gate, then strongly and noisily pounded the tavern gate’s knocker. Holding a cigar that had been extinguished by the wind and snow in his mouth, Yu Lian wiped the slight snow on his temple and started shouting curses.
Several servants in the taverns’ courtyard were caring for the horses in the stable by providing fodder and a screen to prevent the wind and snow from giving the horses frostbite. Suddenly, the sound of Yu Lian pounding the gate could be heard. The servants were dumbfounded, then simultaneously approach the tavern’s front gate.
They all knew that today, the tavern was taken over by the Knights of the Round Table as they wanted to settle some personal troubles here. Was it possible that the enemies of the Knights of the Round Table had come? The several servants carefully opened the door. Only one person trailed farthest behind so as to take precautions; once there was something wrong, then he would immediately burst into the tavern to report it.
Just when the several servants’ attention were drawn to the sound of knocking on the door, Lin Qi and Enzo rushed up like mad wild bears. Lin Qi, carrying a thick and hard oaken club in his hand, ruthlessly pounded on the back of the head of that servant who trailed farthest behind, making him lose consciousness.
Gales screamed, snow swirled in the air. The sound produced by Lin Qi’s club was perfectly covered up by the wind and snow. Enzo, along with the Seven Bloodstained Swordsmen, quickly rushed behind the other servants, striking them down to the ground with a fist. Enzo casually pulled the front gate open and Yu Lian swiftly entered with the cigar still in his mouth, before they shut the gate once more.
Lin Qi, Enzo, and the rest of the group approached the tavern with silent steps. Yu Lian swiftly approached the stable in the same way, then took out a clay bottle from underneath his cloak and spilled the liquid that had a thick smell of alcohol on the pile of straw inside the stable.
Before Yu Lian had even finished, Lin Qi already closed in on the tavern. He and Enzo looked at each other, then, along with the Seven Bloodstained Swordsmen, put on gloomy white colored ghost masks. Kicking open the tavern’s front door, Lin Qi forcefully threw the three bottles of vertigo medicine inside. The medicine bottles the size of an infant’s fist shattered into pieces. The black medicinal liquid was stimulated by the heat inside the room and rapidly transformed into a colorless and tasteless gas.
In an instant, dozens members of the Knights of the Round Table nearest to the three medicine bottles instinctively let out a curse. After their bodies twitched for a while, they collapsed on the ground. Soon afterwards, the other people inside the room also fell one after another. Everything was like a nightmare, as dozens of unconscious bodies tumbled to the floor with dull thuds.
Dozens members of the Knights of the Round Table closest to the front door shouted loudly. Then they simultaneously pulled their swords out and charged towards the front door.
The owner of the Sword and Pretty Ladies Tavern, Dajian Qiao, was dumbstruck. Once he saw that those who fell to the ground were all members of the Knights of the Round Table, he easily took out a sword over 134 centimeters long from under the bar, then rushed out of the bar while roaring loudly. The members of the Knights of the Round Table were his customers. He had an obligation to ensure their safety, especially Dark Horse Hao Si, who was the descendant of an aristocratic family. He had to consider, if Dark Horse Hao Si met with a mishap in his tavern, what sort of reprisals his tavern would suffer.
Lin Qi stuck out his chest and evaded the dozens members of the Knights of the Round Table who were charging over, then pulled out a single-edged battle-axe and made a precise jump to chop towards Dajian Qiao. Lin Qi acted ruthlessly and decisively. The axe merely flashed and it already chopped at Dajian Qiao’s head. His actions could simply be comparable with the most shrewd and ruthless soldier.
Dajian Qiao, who had left the battlefield for 30 years, was dumbstruck, then instinctively raised the big sword in his hand.
Lin Qi’s axe clashed with his big sword. Dajian Qiao, who hadn’t experienced a bloody one-on-one combat for 30 years, only felt a burst of irresistible and tremendous force pressing on his hand, before the big sword fell to the ground with a resounding sound. He was pushed backward by that tremendous force and fell back again and again. Soon afterwards, he blacked out, and his body fell to the ground just like everybody else’s.
Enzo, along with the Seven Bloodstained Swordsmen, pulled out their swords and directly collided with the dozens members of the Knights of the Round Table charging at them. The tavern’s doorway was originally not spacious. For eight people to block the way, those people were simply unable to rush out. With an ear-piercing sound, Enzo swung his sword unceasingly, using the ‘mutual destruction’ method to forcefully push three of his opponents back.
The Seven Bloodstained Swordsmen were the same. They thoroughly ignored the swords stabbing towards themselves, choosing to perish together with their enemies. Each of their swords was thrust into the heart of the opposite party.
They were only Army Academy students after all, so these members of the Knights of the Round Table still didn’t have the understanding of dying together with their enemies. Facing the dazzling gleams of swords, they instinctively chose to retreat. Once they retreated, they kept retreating until they reached the fallen Dajian Qiao. Soon afterwards, their bodies also helplessly fell to the ground in a flash.
Lin Qi, Enzo, and the others hastily retreated. They also felt the effects of the medicine. Only after breathing in fresh air for a while on the snow-covered ground could they barely recover their mind. Lin Qi coughed violently several times, then grabbed a rock and smashed several windows of the tavern into pieces. A gale violently burst into the tavern while carrying along some snow, making the diffused vertigo medicine in the air to be completely swept out.
After no less than 15 minutes, Lin Qi and the others carefully entered the tavern and rescued the unconscious Wei Ke, who was bound in tight knots, from inside a small booth. Lin Qi was also impolite and stole all of the belongings of Dark Horse Hao Si, Dajian Qiao, and the others. He then opened ten bottles of alcohol in a row and spilled the strong alcoholic drink on their bodies. After gathering the fragments of the medicine bottles from the ground, he rushed out of the tavern while carrying Wei Ke on his shoulder.
Not long after that, a fire broke out from inside the tavern’s stable, started by the bottle of flammable liquid Yu Lian sprinkled on the pile of straw.
The piercing sound of sirens rang from all directions. Numerous Dragon Cavalrymen and Copper Hats promptly rushed towards the tavern like flies drawn to the scent of blood.