April 17th. Before dusk.
Jinan City’s supposedly impregnable “Number One” cell block suddenly turned into dust. It had been constructed from specially imported stone blocks, each one weighing hundreds of kilograms. And yet, some mysterious, inexplicable force shattered it into rubble. Some of the pieces flew as far as twenty meters away. A few even damaged the wood shed in the back of the yamen as well as an ancient, three-hundred year old scholar tree. 
Over two hundred death-row inmates in the prison all suddenly died. Upon investigation, the local chief coroner, Ye Laoyan, determined that two of them had actually died the day before, prior to the destruction of the cell block.
No one could determine their cause of death, nor how the cell block had been destroyed.
The local authorities wanted to cover up the matter, but in less than an hour, everyone in Jinan was talking about it.
The girl with the braids might not have been the first person to hear about the prison, but she heard about it sooner than most.
The news was passed on to Old Master Tian as he took his afternoon nap. He immediately called Beggar Clan Torture Chamber Lord Xiao Jun, and his eldest son Frogboy, into a sitting room. They knew the reason for his call.
They hadn’t slept the previous night, and had been drinking during lunch. But Old Master Tian was completely sober.
“You heard the news already?”
Old Master Tian beckoned to a Sect disciple, who carried over a large chunk of stone and placed it into the table.
“The cell block was constructed from this type of stone. Originally, each piece weighed four or five hundred kilograms.”
The rough stone slab’s original size would have been roughly half a meter by half a meter.
Old Master Tian picked up a fragment of stone and crushed it between his fingers.
“This is not a common type of stone,” he said. “The quality is slightly lower than granite, but it is just as hard. If a blacksmith beat it with an iron hammer, it would probably take half a day to break.”
Frogboy started up with his questions. “Was this stone broken with a hammer?”
“Old Zhao from the prison said that today, a prison block suddenly collapsed, and the stone slabs flew apart in every direction.” He looked at Frogboy. “Is there any hammer under heaven that can do that?”
“There may not be one under heaven, but maybe in heaven there is.” Old Master Tian continued, “If I were a bastard, maybe I would think that the cell block was destroyed by a spirit.” He sighed. “But I’m not a bastard. Other than spirits, there is another power which could accomplish this.”
Of course, Frogboy had to ask: “What other power is that?”
“Manpower,” he said. “Manpower can exceed your imagination.”
“What person could have such power?” Frogboy always asked questions that aligned with his father’s topic of conversation.
“Not many people do. In fact, currently, there is only one.”
“Who is it?”
Old Master Tian flipped out again. Glaring at his son, he said, “Do you really not know who I’m talking about? Are you really such an idiot?”
Frogboy was no idiot. He knew exactly who Old Master Tian was talking about.
“People want to catch him and imprison him, so he goes to a prison.” Frogboy laughed wryly. “This guy really has a knack for things.”
“He’s not just a guy, he’s a general. The Laughing General,” said Old Master Tian, his face looking very serious. “And he doesn’t have a knack for things. At the very least he has seven or eight hundred knacks.” He pointed his finger at his son’s nose and angrily said, “You had best remember this, or else you’ll find yourself dead!”
“Remember it. Anyone who underestimates the Laughing General won’t live very long.”
“Ok,” said Frogboy. “I never forget anything father says to me.”
Xiao Jun finally spoke up. “Can Old Mas
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