After turning the corner, Yan Liqiang realized that his back had been completely drenched in cold sweat.
There was an air vent at this corner. The wind emitted from the vent chilled the cold sweat on his back, causing him to quiver involuntarily.
Although he didn’t appear uneasy from a distance away a moment ago, he was actually extremely nervous on the inside due to the fact that he could feel the ill and vengeful gaze on him. He wasn’t sure if the person who was hidden in the darkness would jump out unexpectedly and land a fatal blow on him, or shoot an arrow from the cornfield or Eucalyptus forest.
Had it been back then, Yan Liqiang certainly wouldn’t have been able to discover whether someone was spying on him, let alone sense the deep malice in their eyes. However, after practicing the Muscle Tendon Changing and Marrow Cleansing Manual, the restless feeling he had just now was exceptionally distinct. All of Yan Liqiang’s nerves tensed up from the stare and his consciousness was instinctively sending him warnings. Even Yan Liqiang himself didn’t even know how he had managed to calmly make his way over here.
Since an early age, he hardly had any enemies other than the Hong Clan. Although he used to have some conflicts with other children of a similar age in town, that was just their youthful spirit and it hardly meant anything. Perhaps he wasn’t really that likable, but he had never made any enemies either. At most, he lacked popularity. Hence, other than the Hong Clan, it was impossible that there would be anyone else that would chase after him from Qinghe County all the way to Huanglong County.
He knew that person hiding outside was not someone from the Hong Clan either as he knew that no one among the Hong Clan possessed a strong aura so strong that it could give him such a great sense of danger. Hence, the person hiding outside just now was a fighter... or perhaps an assassin hired by the Hong Clan....
There were many ways for a person to die. For assassins, they had a plethora of ways to covertly kill a person without making it seem as though it was homicide. Oftentimes, the government wouldn’t pay attention to the death of an average youth like him without any solid evidence.
His departure from Liuhe Town was no secret. A large number of people had witnessed him entering the boat at the dock of Qinghe County and exiting at the dock of Huanglong County. It wouldn’t be difficult for the Hong Clan if they had really intended to look for him.
However, Yan Liqiang didn’t expect that even though he had only left Liuhe Town for merely half a month, the people working for the Hong Clan had already chased after him all the way to this point.
This survival crisis had pressured Yan Liqiang to the extent that he felt slightly suffocated. He clenched his fist tightly in order to feel the strength within his fist before touching the packet of saltpeter in his arms. After feeling that his heart slightly calmed down, took a deep breath and continued walking towards Qian Su’s courtyard.
As Yan Liqiang had predicted, Qian Su had already been waiting for him in his courtyard in a seemingly displeased manner.
Qian Su dashed over as soon as Yan Liqiang walked in. He inspected Yan Liqiang from head to toe with a strange gaze before bluntly questioning him, "Lu Clan had their people coming over to inform me that you’ve visited the Lu Residence. Since when had your father formed ties with Lu Clan? Why didn’t you tell me? Before leaving the Weaponsmiths Quarter, why didn’t you inform me that you were going to the Lu Residence?"
Yan Liqiang knew that Lu Clan wouldn’t explain the situation in detail, thus causing Qian Su to misunderstand. Hence, he recounted the entire story of his encounter with the Lu Clan. Other than the part where he had gone to buy the saltpeter, he didn’t hide anything from him.
As expected, Qian Su’s displeased expression was immediately replaced with a dumbfounded one as he heard Yan Liqiang’s explanation. This was especially true upon hearing that Yan Liqiang had revived the child of Lu Clan who had left a number of physicians feeling helpless due to the fact that he had been drowned for six to seven hours. Amusingly, Qian Su’s face was a marvelous sight to behold. It was practically akin to the Sichuan opera’s unique Face Changing show; constantly displaying all sorts of different expressions.
"You aren’t lying to me, are you?"
Yan Liqiang immediately opened the chest in his hands right before Qian Su in order to show him the gold bars within. "This was given to me by Old Master Lu. A steward from Lu Clan had also personally escorted me here in Old Master Lu’s carriage just now. Do you think I’m lying to you, Uncle Qian?"
As he gazed at the gold in wide-eyed wonder, Qian Su was left so completely dumbfounded he lost his ability to speak. After a period of roughly ten seconds, Qian Su’s expression changed. Following this, he spoke to Yan Liqiang with an expression of pain and surprise, "Does performing moxibustion above the belly button really work?"
Yan Liqiang helplessly unfolded his arms, "I wasn’t sure either before I arrived at the Lu Residence. After all, there wasn’t a guaranteed success in saving a life even for an immortal. Luckily, it was a success this time around and someone’s life had been saved!"
"Had someone really informed you of this method in your dream?"
"Uncle Qian, I’ve practically never left Qinghe County my entire life. This method has also never appeared before. If this hadn’t come from my dream, how could I possibly have come up with such a thing just by racking my brains...?" Yan Liqiang sincerely looked at Qian Su. To him, the memories and experiences of his past life were just a dream. He reckoned that even if he were to claim that he had gained these experiences and knowledge from his dream, it wouldn’t be an issue even if he were to be inspected by the most advanced lie detector.
"That’s strange....." Qian Su circled around Yan Liqiang twice before reluctantly accepting Yan Liqiang’s explanation. "By the way, why had you only accepted half of the one thousand taels of gold bars that the Lu Clan had given you?? The other half that you hadn’t accepted was an entire five hundred taels of gold bars!"
"Could it be that Uncle Qian believes that the favor that Lu Clan owes me is worth more than five hundred taels of gold?" Yan Liqiang questioned.
"I really don’t understand how Yan Dechang has a son like you!" Qian Su sighed and eventually stopped talking, "If you trust me, you can leave these gold bars here with me. I’ll keep them safe for you!"
Yan Liqiang smiled, "Why wouldn’t I trust you? Even if Uncle Qian hadn’t mentioned it, I was planning to hand these gold bars to you for safekeeping anyways. It’s not very convenient to keep them in my courtyard. If Uncle Qian requires it, you can go ahead and spend it. Treat it as a token of appreciation from me to you!"
Qian Su shook his head and forced a smile. He closed the chest and murmured to himself before saying to Yan Liqiang, "You’ve abruptly gotten yourself involved in this incident at the Lu Residence today. I reckon that you’ll be known by the entire Huanglong County in less than two days. If you don’t wish to encounter any more trouble, you should stay within the quarter in these few days. Don’t wander around outside as you please! Oh, by the way, I’ve ordered someone to deliver two quivers of arrows to you. You can spend the following few days practicing archery in the Weaponsmiths Quarter if you have nothing else to do. It would be fantastic if you could master it..."
"I’ll listen to Uncle Qian. I won’t go out for the following few days!" Yan Liqiang replied in an obedient manner.
"Good! You have done enough today as well. Go back and have a good rest!"
"Uncle Qian, have a good rest too!"
After explaining to Qian Su and leaving behind the chest of gold bars, Yan Liqiang left for his own courtyard with empty hands.
The Horned Python Bow was too big of a target. Even if the Horned Python Bow was priceless, no one would be able to take it away from his courtyard. However, it was a totally different case for the gold bars due to the fact that it could easily be taken. His experiences from his past life had taught him not to trust the human nature and not to demand everyone to be like Lei Feng . He had recalled seeing statistics which had recorded the fact that more than twenty percent of murder cases occurred between acquaintances and friends.
Oftentimes, human nature wouldn’t be able to survive in the face of any tests. Humankind possessed a kind side, also known as their nature. However, it also possessed an ugly side, which was innate. They also possess a side that follows the flow, and this is called adaptation. The personalities of most people were a combination of these sides. The words and phrases that the old ancestors of China had created long ago had clearly illustrated the human nature. As Qian Su managed the Weaponsmiths Quarter, all financial transactions within the quarter would have to go through him. Thus, he had a secret compartment in his house, which was a safe box to store all these things. Hence, it would be the safest for Yan Liqiang to leave his money with Qian Su.
During the time when Yan Liqiang was not present, his courtyard had a small number of additions. Atop the pile of ashwood were three quivers of arrows which resided under the roof of the courtyard. Yan Liqiang saw them the moment he arrived.
Each quiver contained thirty-six arrows. Yan Liqiang glanced at it for a short period of time before bringing the three quivers upstairs and placed them next to the Horned Python Bow in his bedroom.
Yan Liqiang then retrieved the packet of saltpeter from his chest which he had bought earlier today and placed it in the adjacent room.
Yan Liqiang had been using research as an excuse in the past few days in order to obtain a large number of items, tools, as well as raw materials from each courtyard. Items such as iron ore, different types of wood paint, pieces of copper, horsetail, ox tendon, tie wire, silk paper, as well as lime could be seen in the adjacent room. Among these items were obviously sulfur and charcoal. These were the raw materials used in the Weaponsmiths Quarter.
Aside from these items, certain utensils such as mortar, graver, steelyard, file and so on could also be seen.
These items were obtained from various courtyards by Yan Liqiang as toys. The people from these courtyards didn’t take it seriously and believed that as Yan Liqiang was a teenager, he wanted to play around with them when he was bored. Thus, they also didn’t mind.
He opened the window of the room and allowed the moonlight to fill the room. The room was illuminated, to the extent where it was visible enough for him to do many things.
Yan Liqiang took a deep breath as he recalled the crisis he had just encountered at the entrance of the Weaponsmiths Quarter. Thus, he immediately began preparing the gunpowder the moment he entered the room. 𝚒𝒏𝓃𝓻e𝑎𝙙. 𝙘ｏ𝑚
He had already prepared the charcoal powder and sulfur powder a few days ago. Hence, the only item that was currently lacking was the saltpeter.
Yan Liqiang placed the purchased saltpeter into the mortar and ground it into a fine powder. He then poured it out, packed it, and then began to weigh it.
The ingredients of black gunpowder consisted of one part sulfur, two parts saltpeter, and three parts charcoal. The specific ratio was: two to fifteen to three. Following this, he began to mix them together. As long as there were raw materials, making gunpowder wouldn’t be harder than mixing a bowl of salad.
Yan Liqiang had managed to create half a jin of black gunpowder without much effort. Afterwards, he wrapped the black gunpowder into strings of wick with silk paper.
Due to the fact that he wasn’t allowed to light a fire in this courtyard, Yan Liqiang didn’t test it out in the courtyard. Furthermore, it was currently dark and the black gunpowder would cause a huge commotion if the experiment were to be successful. Hence, it would still be best to experiment it in the mountain the following day.
Yan Liqiang suppressed his excitement after the black gunpowder was produced and went to bed after practicing Muscle Tendon Changing and Marrow Cleansing...
He’d leave everything else until tomorrow...
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