The Plough – Chapter 15

Yue Dingtang's heart sank with it.
Ling Shu bent at the waist to avoid the attack, he turned and kicked his leg out. The other party was swept down, rolling away to the side, but then he leapt up, the wooden stick in his hand came again, fast and accurate, he knocked the flashlight out of Ling Shu’s hand.

The flashlight flew to the corner of the room. The faint light almost disappeared completely.

When he turned around, Ling Shu saw the other party vaguely, he was wearing an Anhui opera mask and a short jacket, his overall appearance was grotesque and exaggerated.

It’s someone who had training.

And his fighting skills weren’t bad.

Without waiting for Ling Shu’s eyes to get used to the darkness, the other party struck again.

The wooden stick generated a strong gust of wind, aiming directly at his vital parts.

And at this moment, there was another gunshot sound from the entrance of the noodle shop.

Ling Shu was a bit anxious.

The other party’s moves were fierce, he was clearly professionally trained, he was definitely not an ordinary attacker.

Everytime Ling Shu tried to reach for his gun, the other party would stop him. With one wooden stick, it was enough to keep him preoccupied there and not be able to see what was happening with Yue Dingtang.

Once you lose the first move1先手 comes from chinese chess – the player must take the initiative to make the first move to attack. you will be restricted in every way.

When his opponent kicked his leg over, Ling Shu seized the opportunity to roll to the side. He didn’t pay attention to the pain on his body made from rolling over broken stones and wood debris on the floor. He just seized the opportunity to pick up a random stick from the floor and launched it at the other party.

*Bang*, the two wooden sticks smashed into each other. The stick in Ling Shu’s hand exhibited a cracking sound and was split into two. The other person’s leg kicked towards Ling Shu’s waist, he groaned out loud and then fell backwards.

Two more gunshots sounded from outside.

At the same time there was also a sound of fighting.

It could be imagined that the scene outside was serious.

Ling Shu felt that maybe one of his ribs was broken. The rippling pain was bubbling up wave after wave.

But his opponent didn’t stop attacking, the other person was kicking and punching him. The wooden stick kept beating down, ferociously as if he wanted to turn Ling Shu into a cripple.

He just managed to grasp his gun but it was quickly kicked out of his hands. The other party stepped on Ling Shu’s wrist.

In that instant, he thought that his wrist was going to break.

Yue Dingtang knew that his situation was very dangerous.

He also knew that, before, if he hadn’t reacted quick enough, what would be bleeding now wouldn’t be his arm but his heart.

The gunman was very close to him, or perhaps he had been hiding at the entrance of the noodle shop, or perhaps he was against the wall. But as soon as Yue Dingtang showed his face, the gunshots would be aimed towards him.

Behind him was a light source, as long as there was light he’d be exposed.

But his opponent’s location was not exposed. Formally known as – He was hiding in the dark, while I am an easy target out there.2The expression is 敌暗我明

The only blessing was that the other party didn’t seem to have very good aim. At such a close distance, three shots were fired. One hit Yue Dingtang’s arm, the other two shots missed completely.

Yue Dingtang thought, this is either a newbie, or it’s his first time killing someone so he must be very nervous.

A fight could be heard from inside.

That meant there was more than one of them.
Which also meant that Hong Xiaoguang had an accomplice.   

He and Ling Shu hadn’t really undercovered anything yet, how come they were already sending assassins after them, surely it was a little too much?

Yue Dingtang wanted to help Ling Shu.

But if his figure emerged from behind the column, the shots would start firing again.

He felt his cheeks flushing with scorching compassion, Yue Ding Tang casually touched it, his hand was clammy.

He recognised that even if the other party’s aim was not particularly accurate, he only needed one bullet to kill him.

He needed to think of some other way.

Yue Dingtang looked at the rock beside his feet.

Ling Shu gasped for air, sidestepped a blow from the other side, and backhanded a punch towards the attacker’s heart.

Whilst he was attacking the other party, his head was whacked by the wooden stick!

He and his attacker, both involuntarily fell backwards.

Ears buzzing, like a million flies flying around, the dull pain was spreading throughout his body. His whole head was numb, he couldn’t even think, his body was screaming to pass out.

The attacker had not calculated that Ling Shu would be so fierce. He had been kicked hard on his chest, the pain was hard to bear. He could only hold his stomach whilst gasping for breath. He grabbed his wooden stick, trying to crawl back up.

He was familiar with all the weak spots of the human body, he knew that the hit he had just thrown out – Ling Shu would never have been able to avoid and there would also a short amount of time where he might even lose consciousness.

He didn’t want to kill Ling Shu, otherwise with his capabilities, Ling Shu would have been dead already, instead of fighting with him till now.

But he was also very irritated.

Irritated that the situation hadn’t been handled outside and also irritated at himself that he hadn’t been able to avoid Ling Shu’s attack.

The pain from the pit of his stomach added to this irritation.

The masked man staggered to his feet, took a deep breath and headed towards Ling Shu.

His pocket still had a flashlight, he fished it out from his pocket and then turned it on,shining it on to the spot where Ling Shu fell.

Ling Shu was lying on the ground, motionless, he must have passed out.

He bent over to take a closer look.

He must keep the one surnamed Ling alive for now but he couldn’t let him wake up too soon.

If the timing wasn’t right and there were some errors. This matter would not only not be fully resolved but would also create some new problems.

There had already been one careless mistake, there couldn’t be another slip up.

He put the flashlight to one side and reached out his hand towards Ling Shu’s neck.

There were more gunshots coming from outside.

The masked man couldn’t help scolding his comrade for being useless in his mind.

At that very moment, he felt that the body he touched seemed to tremble slightly and his muscles contracted subconsciously.

Alarm bells rang in the masked man’s head, he immediately swung the wooden stick at Ling Shu’s head!

He was too late!

Ling Shu caught it steadily and pushed him down with his other hand.

The masked man then saw that the other party was still holding half a wooden stick, which had just been hidden behind him, without letting him see it.

It was too late to back up, and he then felt a sharp pain coming from his abdomen!
He didn’t have to look down to feel what it’s like to have that broken stick stabbing into his body.

The shattered wood and splints pierced the fabric of his clothing at once, blending directly into the flesh and spouting out fresh blood.

Especially when this happened on his own body.

The face behind the mask showed an unbelievable expression. It was hard for him to imagine Ling Shu not only waking up after the heavy blow just now, but was also able to counterattack in time.

After half of the wooden stick was pierced into the body, the assailant’s footsteps were messy, and he involuntarily retreated, trying to find a balance that could support and rely on the body.

But in the blink of an eye, Ling Shu had already pulled out the wooden stick and kicked him.

The assailant grunted and fell backwards hard.

Ling Shu was not better off.

Normally, he should have passed out and be unconscious by now.

But he barely overcame human instinct, although he turned the situation around and temporarily suppressed the assailant. His head was getting heavy, just now he was hit hard on the side of the neck. It was almost too painful to touch, his limbs were also injured. He was wobbling about, if there was a light, the other party would immediately see his bluff, strong in appearance but weak in reality.

Warm hot liquid flowed out from his nostrils towards his mouth, a salty scent.

Ling Shu found his gun and advanced two steps forward.

The sound of the bullet being loaded alarmed the assailant, who scrambled to get up, stumbled into the darkness, and quickly disappeared out of the back door.

Perhaps after the other party came back to his senses, he would find that Ling Shu’s behaviour with the gun and not taking advantage of the victory was very strange. He might regret it and stamp his foot in anger, but in the moment, he was sure that Ling Shu had the chance to win, and he didn’t even dare to take the risk.

What the attacker didn’t know was that Ling Shu was already losing his grip on the gun, let alone being able to aim.

Another bullet hit the porch post.

The sound of gunfire echoed in all directions and never quietened down.

But the police were late to arrive. Perhaps because it was Lunar New Year’s Eve so they were all off-duty. Perhaps the surrounding people didn’t not want to be nosy. Now the good and bad people were mixed together all over Shanghai, so what was happening not unusual. Ordinary people do not want to lose their peaceful lives for a moment of curiosity.

How many rounds can a handgun hold?

Different models can have different capacities and volumes. If the other party had a spare on him, sooner or later there would be a round that could hit Yue Dingtang.

The sound of footsteps could be heard, very light footsteps but under absolute concentration, Yue Dingtang was able to hear it clearly.

He concentrated and held his breath, and suddenly threw the stone in his hand!

*Bang!*

The other side shot out in shock.

At the same time, Yue Dingtang lunged out!

In between shots, the gunman needed a second to react, plus his aim was not very accurate, indicating that he was a novice.

Yue Dingtang didn’t hesitate any longer, trusting in his own judgement, he launched himself at the other party.

The two of them rolled about in front of the noodle shop entrance. Yue Dingtang had one hand clutching his neck, the other trying to stop him from firing but the other person landed a punch on his face. Forcing him to pull back, the gunman seized the chance to get up and aimed the muzzle of the gun at him!

He was in imminent danger!

The gunman was kicked from behind, the gun flew out of his hand and the bullet flew past Yue Dingtang’s ear, ingraining itself in the wall behind him.
Even his gun carrier flung out, falling far across the ground.

The gunman immediately understood that his comrade had failed.

If he put up a fight now, perhaps he could kill Yue Dingtang, but he himself would be killed by Ling Shu.

A few seconds were enough for the gunman to make a choice.

Although he was greedy, he didn’t have a death wish.

He avoided Ling Shu’s kick again, got up in embarrassment, and hurriedly fled the scene.

“Where is he?”

Yue Dingtang was asking about the assailant who had attacked Ling Shu inside.

“He ran away.”

Ling Shu smiled.

He didn’t even know if he had actually spoken out loud or had he just mumbled to himself. His brain was now just responding instinctively, unable to actually think straight.

It was dark around them, Yue Dingtang had also been injured so he hadn’t noticed the difference in his companion, so he forced himself to get up.

“Come help me up.”

Ling Shu didn’t say a word.

Yue Dingtang turned his head and saw that the other party was still holding a gun in his hand, and he asked: “Why didn’t you shoot just now?”

After he spoke, the jade mountain crumbled, dark clouds engulfed the city3黑云压城 – This is the first line from the poem Song of Yanmen Governor by Li He – the imagery evoked by the dark clouds = the enemy attacking the gates during the war – so basically it is a very tense scene. Ling Shu’s entire body fell directly on top of him.

Including on top of his injured arm.

Yue Dingtang’s face changed drastically.

He didn’t know if it was from the pain, or he had been frightened by Ling Shu.

“Are you okay!” He reached with a hand to touch him, and all he felt was a handful of blood.

“……When you return, don’t tell my sister the truth, just tell her that I fell.” Ling Shu mumbled, it wasn’t clear if he could actually hear Yue Dingtang.

“Shut up!”

Yue Dingtang gritted his teeth, not caring about his own gunshot wound on his arm, he pulled Ling Shu up and on to his back.

The driver was parked a bit far from them, he probably hadn’t heard the noises or he would have hurried over already.

Tonight, they were careless. Originally they had just been looking for clues, they would never have thought that the other party had come prepared.

“I guess I won’t be able to have New Year’s dinner, my big chicken drumstick……”

“The takeaway dessert, you gave away as well.”

“My sister definitely won’t give me any auspicious money…”

Yue Dingtang had enough and cut off his nonsense.

“If you keep going on, I’ll throw you off and leave you to die here.”

Ling Shu seemed like he hadn’t heard and opened his mouth to speak.

“Just now there were two people, one wanted to kill you, one didn’t want to kill me.”

This sentence was a bit awkward.

Originally Yue Dingtang didn’t want to think about it, but then suddenly he furrowed his brow.

“Are you saying that the other person didn’t have a gun?”
Ling Shu mumbled: “He wanted me to pass out but he didn’t want me to die. Otherwise with his fighting skills, I would have never made it out alive to come save you.”

“But the person outside wanted to kill me.” Yue Dingtang was certain.

If that person didn’t have a good aim, he would already be dead by now. His corpse would have already been cold.

“To kill you and not to kill me, we are together, is that to frame me again, to make it seem like I have killed another person…”

Ling Shu murmured to himself without knowing whether he was awake, but Yue Dingtang felt like he was awakening from a dream, feeling lucky.

It was as if all those muddled critical clues had become clear.

“They don’t want us to carry on investigating this case, just like before when you were framed as the murderer, and now with my death, you would surely be executed, and the case would have been wrapped up just like that, and no one would go on trying to get to the bottom of it.”

“It also means that the direction that we are investigating is correct, otherwise why would they come out and make a move.”

“The Yuan family, Du Yunning, Hong Xiaoguang, it looks extremely likely that this man surnamed Hong is linked to Du Yunning’s death.

Yue Dingtang stopped talking but didn’t get a reply from Ling Shu.

“Hey!?”

The hand that was originally on his shoulder softly dropped to the side.

Yue Dingtang’s heart sank with it.
Translator Note:

We’ve already reached half-way through the first arc! (o^▽^o)
24/09/21.- Footnotes updated.

4 thoughts on “The Plough – Chapter 15”

  1. I love the way both were thinking of each other’s safety while facing danger themselves. Thank you for a wonderful translation as always!

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