Record of the Missing Sect Master Chapter 1-10

Chapter 1

“It’s already been this long, and there’s still no news from the Sect Master?”

“No news, and no idea where he went either… Ah…”

Qingshui County’s Xiaoqing Mountain1 was just like its name, the color of jade as far as the eye could see, with mountain springs winding down, their echoes ringing all the way. Although it didn’t have the fame of great mountains and rivers, it was still worthy of the word “beautiful”. However, not many people from the nearby village dared to come to this mountain.

Because Jianghu2’s most outstanding and famous demonic sect resided right here on this land.

This demonic sect had already been here for five to six years. At the very beginning, it was complete chaos. Murderous-looking Jianghu martial artists wielding staffs and swords rushed up the mountain, and immediately rushed back down the mountain after having peed their pants in fear. With this noisy disturbance, the common people knew then that a fearsome sect lived on Xiaoqing Mountain.

After asking around, they learned that this was a foreign sect, and that their followers looked different from the Central Plains3 martial artists. They were ferocious-looking and frightening, and maybe even had a penchant for eating human flesh. Everyone was scared out of

their wits, on edge for several days and nights. It was only when it looked like the sect didn’t have any intentions of bothering the villagers did they finally regain a little peace of mind.

But although the villagers still did not dare to get close, there were still playful children who ended up running up the mountain and, upon their return, said that they had met a young sir full of smiles, who was not just good-looking but also had a lot of delicious snacks. Some children instead said that the person was a young lady, as beautiful as a butterfly. The adults were shocked, scared that their children had fallen prey to a demonic technique, and for a time beseeched various deities for help. In the end, they spanked their children and warned them never to go back to the mountain.

As the years passed, less and less Jianghu martial artists dared come to Xiaoqing Mountain to fight, and even bandits knew to detour around this piece of land. Little by little, the common people started thinking that it wasn’t such a bad thing to have a demonic sect around. Of course, they were also aware that the demonic sect was simply far too terrifying, so others didn’t dare to provoke these people. And thus they gained a bit more awe towards these strange demonic characters on Xiaoqing Mountain.

Even now, these people labeled as a demonic sect by the outside world neither murdered nor ate any humans. Rather, they leisurely lived out their lives.

Some went out to do business and handle affairs, having not yet returned, and left behind some important members to take care of things. Others planted flowers, read books, changed into three different sets of clothes every day, researched poisonous insects, or occasionally went on strolls to see if there were any gifted children with good spiritual bones.

But as the days grew long, they all realized one thing. “The Sect Master still hasn’t returned?”

“No.”

“He didn’t say where he was going? And he hasn’t sent back any news?”

“No, he didn’t, and no, he hasn’t.” “Oh…”

At first, it was simply some idle conversation, but as the days passed, the number of questions steadily grew, and they started getting a bit worried. Their suspicions and unrest were like rain clouds before a storm, continuously increasing in weight, heavily pressing down on their hearts and minds, just waiting for the right time to burst.

Finally, one day, someone managed to ask, “I say… is it possible that something happened to the Sect Master?”

“Impossible,” another replied, “The Sect Master is so clever. How could he possibly suffer any losses?”

“That’s true…”

“He left with Elder Bai. Has there been any news from Elder Bai?”

“Already asked. Elder Bai said in his letter that he and the Sect Master separated early on. He’s also not sure where the Sect Master is. But the Sect Master has always liked to have a good time, maybe he happened upon something fun. If it’s at a far enough place, then he’ll need a month or two to return.”

“Yes, the most important thing is that if we end up disturbing his fun, we’ll be the unlucky ones. He definitely left to go see something entertaining. Let’s just wait.”

“You’re right!”

So after comforting each other, everyone steadfastly waited for the return of their Sect Master.

They waited and waited. Waited and waited.

Waited and waited… Waited until the rain came and went, came and went, washing Xiaoqing Mountain more than ten times, and yet there was still not a glimpse of the Sect Master’s shadow.

One Elder flipped a table. “My potted flowers are all about to wither! Why hasn’t he returned yet?”

Everyone else also started becoming concerned. Dragging her gorgeous dress behind her, Elder Mei paced back and forth in the study, full of worry. “Yes, the Sect Master is clever, but regarding his martial arts, in Jianghu, it’s only around upper middle- rank. If he happened to meet a high-ranking master… No, meeting a master still wouldn’t be that serious. I fear that he’s met a pervert.

That face of his brings too much disaster.”

Another Elder said, “No matter how good-looking, he’s still a man. I’m more afraid that he caught the eyes of the righteous faction. If he’s been captured…”

“That won’t happen. He usually has on a mask. How could the righteous faction know it’s him? And he frequently disguises himself when he goes out.”

“What if he accidentally dropped his mask?”

Elder Mei, “I still think that it’s more likely that he met a pervert and was locked up.”

“Oh…” In the same unhurried manner he used when examining poisonous insects, Elder Miao said, “Speaking of perverts, my hometown had one. He really liked to snatch the pretty ones home, cut off their tongues and noses, and break both their legs. He then tied them with a collar and leash and made them crawl as he led them around, giving people a show.”

The others, “…”

Elder Miao, “That’s right, I heard that the inner palace’s eunuchs must be good-looking. What if our Sect Master suffered at the hands of a villain and was sold to the inner palace.”

The others, “…”

Many of their minds flooded with images of their own Sect Master suffering abuses upon abuses, their countenances gradually growing more and more grave. Just as they were about to take action, the Elder Bai who had left to handle some affairs finally returned. They all moved to grab onto this life-saving herb, surrounding him as they scrambled to be the first to speak. Elder Bai’s disposition made him look as if he was never quite awake, and even his movements were as slow as molasses. Except when fighting, everything Elder Bai did was one step behind everyone else.

People hastily asked, “What about the Sect Master? Did he not say where he went?”

Elder Bai shook his head and asked, “He still hasn’t returned?”

“No, and there’s no news whatsoever either.” Many now thought that the Sect Master probably did have an accident, and quickly ran out, having decided to look for their master.

In a blink, Elder Bai was ruthlessly abandoned. Silently, he put the main threads together and said, “When the Sect Master left, he did say one thing.”

The people who had rushed ahead to the courtyard all skidded to a stop at once, almost falling over into a disordered heap. Even before they had the time to put themselves back in order, they once again returned together. “What did he say?”

Elder Bai said, “The Sect Master said he needed to do something world-shakingly important. And not to make a fuss.”

Everyone immediately gasped in awe. Angrily, they said, “Since it’s such an important thing, why didn’t you just say so earlier?”

Elder Bai slowly answered, “I thought he was just joking around.”

That also wasn’t impossible. For a moment, the group descended into silence.

Elder Bai looked here and there, from one person to another, and asked, “So what should we do now?”

They looked at each other. One mused, “Sect Master is from the Central Plains. What if he has enemies here?”

They also had a few others amongst them who were Han4, but having grown up with a foreign peoples from a young age, they were typically completely removed from the Central Plains’ martial arts circles. But the Sect Master was different. He grew up in the Central Plains, only later going outside.

One person said, “I’ve never heard him say anything like that.” “How could you possibly guess the Sect Master’s inner thoughts?”

“This… I still don’t think it sounds right. We’ve already moved here for a few years. If he really had enemies, we would have already helped him take revenge long before this.”

“Or maybe he has some grievances that we haven’t realized.”

“Or perhaps he really had been joking originally, but then actually ran into some problems?”

Elder Mei suddenly stood up. “No matter what it is, we must go find him!”

These people discussed for a bit, and then picked lots to determine who was going to leave and who was going to stay. Those who were leaving quickly packed their valuables and madly dashed off.

Left behind to watch the home, Elder Bai leisurely returned to his house. Only while unpacking did he remember something and ran to the doorway, shouting, “Sect Master left behind a silk brocade pouch!”

He used a bit of internal energy so those running down the mountain were naturally able to hear it. Once again, they skidded to a stop, hurried back in a rush, and, without a word, pushed down Elder Bai and beat him up.

They opened up the slip of paper and quickly skimmed through it, only to be completely baffled. They thoroughly ransacked all of Elder Bai’s luggage and clothes to make sure he didn’t forget yet another thing. Only then did they once again thunder back down the mountain. The breeze flowed gently, the mist-covered water extended far into the distance.

It was monsoon season, and heaven and earth were covered in a layer of white mist.

Ye You faintly heard the pitter-patter of the drizzling rain.

His thoughts had been immersed in dense fog, as if in a dream, drifting aimlessly without destination, and this rain was like a pair of hands, reaching out to wipe away the fog, clearing the path ahead.

He found himself standing on the hillside, with limestone slabs laid out in neat rows under his feet. The dewdrops atop the branched leaves were able to reflect an entire world, the cotton rain like gentle murmurs, softly ringing in the ear.

He felt a burst of joy, lifting his feet and moving to walk forwards.

At the end of the small road sat a pavilion with a stone table, atop which sat brush and ink. Fine writing paper had already been spread out. He took the brush and dabbed some ink, holding it in midair for some time as he remained lost in thought. Once his wrist started moving, he drew a tortoise in one go.

Suddenly, a person said, “Young sir.”

This sound seemed as if it was coming from the horizon. Ye You saw his own work instantly disappear together with the surrounding landscape. That light, untouchable, and indistinct vagueness was receding like the tide. The sound of the rain gradually increased in clarity, and on his face too a sharp, needle-like pain started.

He struggled free from the dream and opened his eyes.

The servant called out once more, standing outside the door. When he waited for a while and saw no movement within, he made to leave, but then heard a small creaking sound. He turned around in time to see Ye You, with his head wrapped in bandages, stepping out of the room. He immediately bowed and said, “Young sir, our Manor Lord has returned.” Ye You was just then contemplating the color of the sky, wondering if he had slept until dinner. Upon hearing those words, his eyes brightened and he quickly went to the front courtyard.

A fortnight ago, he had woken up from a coma and suddenly discovered that he had somehow wound up in this Xunliu5 Manor.

At that time, his body had suffered from many burns, with his internal energy useless, and even more disastrous was that his mind was a complete blank — he didn’t even remember his own name.

According to the servant, he had been rescued by the Manor Lord, but the Manor Lord had an important matter to attend to outside and could return only after several days. Thereupon, he lived in the manor, eating and drinking well until the present day. Finally, he had waited long enough for the man to return.

The drizzling rain had not yet stopped. And like gauze, the moist atmosphere mixed with the plants and soil, the scent welling up in his chest, slowly spreading out.

Ye You let out a breath, completely satisfied. The loss of his memories didn’t leave him feeling helpless at all. In fact, he thought it felt very refreshing, as if he was on the first leg of a journey to find some precious treasure, his heart filling with expectation.

The parents of Xunliu Manor’s Manor Lord had already passed away. This was the Manor Lord’s third year having taken over the duties of the manor, and it was said that he was very accomplished. Right now, he was drinking tea in the lounge with a similar-aged young sir next to him.

In these past few days, Ye You had already pieced together a rough picture of the Manor Lord’s general appearance, so he was able to distinguish between these two people very well. When he entered, Ye You noticed that the Manor Lord first shot a look in the direction of the young sir, and so he also snuck a look, and ended up meeting eyes with that young sir.

This person was extraordinarily handsome, with a demeanor that could easily make a young girl blush red with embarrassment with just a look. Although on the surface he appeared tranquil, he never made any excess movements. And just by sitting, he gave the impression that this seat was the master’s seat and that the Manor Lord was just a misplaced decoration.

Remaining calm and collected, Ye You moved his line of sight, thinking, This person is probably hard to handle.

Since he awoke, he had taken care not to reveal that he had lost his memories, and had planned to prevaricate slowly with the Manor Lord. Who knew that such a person would suddenly appear. If the other party didn’t like to pry, it wouldn’t be so bad, but if they liked to meddle in other people’s business, then he feared that his plans wouldn’t go smoothly.

“How is the young sir’s injury?” the Manor Lord asked in welcome. “Ah, at that time, it really was terribly dangerous. Good thing I and the young sir were coincidentally staying at the same inn. Young sir’s room suddenly caught on fire that night, and by the time I rushed in, young sir had already suffered those injuries and lost consciousness. If I had been slightly later, I shudder to think of what the consequences would’ve been.”

Ye You, “…”

Truly, he really didn’t have to expend any effort at all.

Having found out how he obtained his burns, Ye You was feeling very pleased towards the Manor Lord.

The Manor Lord continued speaking, “Young sir did not have any personal possessions on his body except for Sect Master Wenren’s jade pendant. Thinking that you were his close friend, I hurriedly returned that very night and left again after I had made sure young sir was settled down properly.”

As he spoke, the Manor Lord again snuck a look at his companion, making Ye You suspicious about why they weren’t directly conversing. Ye You couldn’t help but also sneak another glance and, upon seeing that the man was holding a jade pendant in his hand, guessed that this man was actually Sect Master Wenren. In other words, he had to confront this person directly. Tsk, his luck sure was bad.

Chapter 2

Xunliu Manor was uniquely constructed. It had engraved railings with inlaid jade and beautiful flowers of all varieties, with every single slab of stone placed with special care and diligence. At this moment, it was covered in a layer of misty rain, carrying with it a faint fragrance, full of elegance and charm.

Ye You was sitting in the corner of a pavilion, slowly caressing a teacup. Following the tenets of “the less said, the better” and “the first who moves loses”6, he patiently waited for the opposing Sect Master7 to speak first, all the while hoping that this person will provide some useful information.

However, those few expectations were quickly dashed — Wenren Heng acted as if the other was invisible, quietly lifting up his cup to drink his tea. His fingers, slender and pretty, were as white as scallions.

This Sect Master’s presence was impossible to ignore. Just by looking at him, it was clear that he was very refined, and with that handsome face, he was quite simply very pleasing to the eye. Even like this with “not a word spoken”, his presence didn’t make Ye You feel oppressed or embarrassed but rather an indescribable serenity.

So Ye You decided to also drink his tea little by little and, in a solemn and earnest manner, counted all the detritus from the tea leaves in his cup one by one. Just as he was about to count a second time in a fit of insanity, Sect Master Wenren finally finished drinking that cup of tea.

The cup was placed on the table with a small clink of sound.

Ye You shook himself to attention and slightly straightened his back, only to see this Sect Master calmly pick up the teapot and refill that cup once again.

Ye You: “…” Wenren Heng maintained his previous composure and proceeded to drink his second cup of tea.

Ye You wondered, was the relationship with this person so complicated that even while drinking two cups of tea, this person still didn’t know how to explain the situation?

— What if he himself spoke first?

Almost as soon as he had the thought, he ruthlessly crushed it. Ye You decided to follow the other’s example and waste time.

Xunliu Manor’s Manor Lord Qin Yuemian was peeking at the scene from a distant hiding place, laughing as he rubbed his chin.

His appearance wasn’t as striking as Wenren Heng’s, but he had a pair of tender, expressive eyes8. He smiled slightly, full of feeling, and said, “I knew there was something between those two.”

His trusted aide was by his side. Looking within the pavilion at those two people “as different as night and day”, he couldn’t help but say, “Manor Lord, It doesn’t look like it.”

Qin Yuemian asked, “Have you ever seen anyone else able to sit in silence with Wenren Heng for this long?”

The trusted aide stared blankly.

Qin Yuemian laughed meaningfully. “Not to mention that that person also had Wenren Heng’s jade pendant, and that’s not an ordinary jade pendant either.”

That was the reason why he had brought that man back, given orders to take good care of him so that he would stay, and actively sought to illuminate the relationship between Wenren Heng and that young sir today. The pendant was made of warm jade, not very high in quality, and with a strange decorative design. Nevertheless, he had seen Wenren Heng personally engrave it. It was a one-of-a-kind pendant. Although Wenren Heng gave the excuse that the engraving was just for fun, he had always thought it was meant to be a gift. And sure enough he had guessed right.

He and Wenren Heng have known one another for many years, and he understood Wenren Heng better than others. While this guy always liked to pretend to be a proper gentleman and acted cultured and refined towards everyone, there were perhaps very few in the entirety of Jianghu whom he would genuinely worry over. And suddenly one such person appeared. How out of the ordinary!

What’s even stranger was that, in all these years, he had never seen that injured young sir by Wenren Heng’s side. Where did that person pop out from, what was his name, and what was their exact relationship?

Qin Yuemian’s heart was unsettled9, and he became increasingly restless. So making up an excuse, he went to the pavilion himself.

Even before he could take a step inside, Wenren Heng had finished his second cup of tea and spoke a sentence that surprised both Ye You and Qin Yuemian.

In a deadpan tone without a hint of accusation, he asked, “How could you have my jade pendant?”

Qin Yuemian was astonished.

Ye You wanted to smile, but it aggravated the wound on his face, and he immediately stiffened. He tried covering it up by swallowing a mouthful of saliva and said, “This is Sect Master’s own jade, and yet you ask me.”

Wenren Heng said, “It’s because I don’t understand that I asked.”

Ye You remained calm and composed, mind shuffling through a whole pile of thoughts, before deciding to have a go at bluffing him. “Could it possibly be because of my current appearance that Sect Master doesn’t recognize me?”

Wenren Heng lifted his eyes to look at the other. Qin Yuemian organized his own thoughts and, upon entering the pavilion, also gave Ye You a look.

Ye You’s face was burned. The bandages didn’t completely cover his head, leaving behind a small, visible space, but to people not familiar with him, this bit was displayed in vain. Wenren Heng got up, walking halfway around the stone table and sitting down beside Ye You, before saying, “I don’t recognize you.”

He lifted his hand, and Ye You tilted his head away. He stopped in time, not forcing the other, only saying, “If you don’t let me look, I won’t know who you are.”

Ye You hesitated for only a moment before lifting up his own hand. However, he couldn’t unravel the bandages no matter how long he tried, even causing himself an immense amount of pain.

Wenren Heng respectfully asked, “Let me?”

Without a trace of discomfort, Ye You politely said, “My gratitude.”

Wenren Heng’s movements were very gentle, as if coddling him. This Sect Master’s thoughts could not be read at all from his eyes, but as someone who had been in a high-ranking position for a long time, he had a natural air of calm and composure, giving people the impression of warmth and tenderness.

The bandages were quickly removed. Nearly half of Ye You’s face was burned. His forehead, chin, and the other half of his face were thankfully intact. Qin Yuemian had already seen this sight before, but even so he couldn’t help but turn to look at Ye You.

This person’s appearance was exquisite, his facial features arranged just right, beautiful to the point of awe. But he wasn’t just beautiful, he had a transparently strong spirit. Now, half his face was beautiful and half was terrifying, and altogether the impact was huge. Whether from the front or the back, his face was one that could easily ensnare people’s hearts.

Just one look and this kind of person would be firmly remembered. Ye You surreptitiously observed Wenren Heng and saw that this Sect Master’s composed expression finally had a small change, looking first blankly and then in amazement. Qin Yuemian was also very curious about his old friend’s reaction, but before he could turn his attention away from Ye You, he heard a surprised exclamation from Wenren Heng, “…Junior Disciple-Brother?”

Qin Yuemian, “…”

So you actually had a junior disciple-brother!

Qin Yuemian almost choked on his own spit and hurriedly drank some tea to contain his shock.

Ye You was also blind-sided. He had already grasped that this situation wasn’t so simple. Notwithstanding anything else, the way that Wenren Heng remained silent for so long just a moment ago was already suspicious.

But this scene didn’t give Ye You any room to think. Wenren Heng was looking straight at the other, and although he made an effort to preserve his refined air, his tone of voice betrayed an obvious excitement. “It really is Junior Brother. Where have you been all these years? You actually aren’t stupid anymore? In the past, you were such a silly idiot. When you got lost, I thought you had already met with disaster.”

Ye You, “…”

Qin Yuemian, “…”

These words seemed to contain some extremely serious implications.

Displeased, Ye You didn’t respond, still trying with some difficulty to digest what he had just heard.

Just as he was about to ruminate on the main points of what was just said, the person in front of him dropped yet more bombshells.

This time Wenren Heng fixed his state of mind, returning to his previous noble and refined demeanor, but he couldn’t help grabbing Ye You’s hand. His concern was visible from his eyes, mixing with an impression of tenderness, altogether trapping Ye You. “After you got lost, I constantly searched for you, but never heard a single shred of information. How have you been living these past ten years? Who cured you? How did you suddenly get injured? Who hurt you? Who gave you my jade pendant?”

Ye You had his hand grabbed so suddenly that he subconsciously tried to pull away.

Wenren Heng very considerately let him go. Looking at his old friend, “His wounds seem to have been caused by a burning object.”

Qin Yuemian said, “Yes… When I entered his room, he was collapsed by the bedside, and a burnt pillar just happened to collapse, crashing right into him. Fortunately, I quickly pushed it aside, so he wasn’t burned as severely as he could’ve been. Applying the medicine from Miracle Doctor Ji several more times should lead to a complete recovery…”

He suddenly trailed off. “No, wait a minute. You also don’t know why your jade pendant was with your Junior Brother?”

“Yes, I lost the jade pendant a few days ago. You know that I usually keep that pendant on my person. To have it be stolen from right underneath my eyes, the person who did it was probably remarkable.” As Wenren Heng spoke, he once again rewrapped the bandages for Ye You. Seeing how quiet and obedient the other was, Wenren Heng was delighted and finished by tying a bow on top.

Qin Yuemian, “…”

Wenren Heng looked at Ye You and slowed his manner of speaking, “Why aren’t you speaking? Why do you not acknowledge your Senior Brother?” He paused. “If you don’t want to speak, this Senior Brother won’t force you. Just say who injured you like this, and Senior Brother will avenge you.”

Thinking that the person who took his jade pendant was remarkable, he decided to calmly drink tea and wait for the other party to speak first – that does seem to be plausible. Does this mean I’m really his Junior Brother? Ye You gave him a glance, letting out a faint sigh, giving off a feeling as if hesitant to speak, unsure of what to say.

Qin Yuemian quickly perked his ears, itching to get to the bottom of things. But then he simply heard this person say, “As it happens, I also don’t know. Ah, that’s right, Senior Brother, what was my name? Who was our master?”

Qin Yuemian, “…” Wenren Heng, “…”

Wenren Heng was the first to react. “You don’t remember?”

“After getting injured, I woke up having forgotten everything, and the only clue was the jade pendant,” Ye You said, “When was the last time Senior Brother saw this jade pendant? And who did you meet back then?”

Wenren Heng frowned. “I’ve also thought about this matter for a long time but have no leads.”

Ye You decided to drop the subject for now. Seeing as there’s an old servant standing outside the pavilion afraid to come in, he knew that it was time for his medicine. He gave the two other people in the pavilion a bow and, with the bowtie still on his head, walked away.

I’m this clever. Was I really an idiot for so many years?

Ye You narcissistically thought as he passed through the courtyard covered by a curtain of rain. He gloomily wondered whether this matter was true or if it was that… Wenren Heng already knew that he had amnesia and was simply trying to scare him.

He decided to observe carefully for a while. From now on, he can ask whatever he wanted, and it wouldn’t be too late to judge whether it was true or false.

Qin Yuemian also wanted to make this matter clear. Waiting until Ye You had walked far away, he asked, “Is that really your Junior Brother?”

Wenren Heng lips curled up. Although he still maintained his elegant demeanor, there was still something seeping out that was worth a second look. Qin Yuemian decided not to worry about these trivial things and continued asking, “In the end, is he or is he not… No, before, you didn’t even know about his circumstances, so you probably spoke the truth…”

He suddenly thought of something and sucked in a breath.

Putting himself in Ye You’s shoes, if he had lost his memory, then after he had woken up, he would’ve definitely impatiently wanted to know his own name, where his family were, and so on. But in the half-month that he has been in the manor, that injured young sir hadn’t let on about these circumstances. Moreover, even after learning that the jade pendant belonged to Wenren Heng, he could still appear nonchalant and even drink two cups of tea with Wenren Heng.

Qin Yuemian couldn’t help but mutter, “What kind of person is he?” Wenren Heng’s face didn’t change. “He’s my Junior Brother.”

Qin Yuemian wanted to spit blood. Seeing that Wenren Heng had stood up, he asked, “Where are you going?”

“It’s been ten years,” Wenren Heng walked out of the small pavilion, his voice carried a hint of joy, “I’ve finally been reunited with Junior Brother through much hardship, so of course I’m going to go take care of him for a bit.”

Chapter 3

Regarding not so urgent matters, Qin Yuemian liked to focus on the parts that he was most interested in before considering other things. This time was also the same.

After Wenren Heng left, he drank half a cup of tea by himself before realizing that there was a problem.

If the jade pendant really was lost — as Wenren Heng said, the one who could’ve taken it was definitely someone remarkable — then perhaps the matter at the inn was a trap. Otherwise, how could the lost jade pendant have just happened to make its way to the young sir’s body, how could he have just happened to be at the same inn, and how could something happen right as he just decided to stay?

This was all too coincidental.

Furthermore, that young sir had already lost consciousness by then. It would’ve been much more reliable if the assassin simply killed him. Why set a fire? Could it be that he was waiting to be saved so as to be brought back to Wenren Heng?

Qin Yuemian could no longer sit still and quickly left to look for them.

Other than his face, Ye You also had burns on other parts of his body. However, luckily, they were not that severe, and having been nursed by good food and good medicine for half a month, Ye You felt his pain had already largely dissipated, with none of the injuries affecting his movements.

He sat on the couch with familiar ease to wait for his medicine to be reapplied.

When Qin Yuemian entered, he saw that the young sir’s bandages had been undone and gown half-open. With the face half-beautiful and half-terrifying and his casual, laid-back attitude, anyone would be hard-pressed to find anyone else in the entirety of Jianghu with the same elegant bearing. Qin Yuemian let out a faint breath, sweeping his eyes to see Wenren Heng tenderly sitting on the side, with the air of a “good Senior Brother”, causing the corners of his own mouth to twitch a little.

Wenren Heng was currently studying a small porcelain bottle on top of a tray and saying, “Very good. This is Miracle Doctor Ji’s medicine.”

Qin Yuemian snapped out of his reverie and walked over, taking the opportunity to interject, “Yes, it’s Hundred-Grass Dew10.”

Ye You sniffed the faint fragrance in the air that let people feel at ease and, for clarity, asked, “So it’s a miracle medicine that can treat both injuries and scars?”

Wenren Heng and Qin Yuemian both immediately turned to look at him, with the latter sharply asking, “You know it?”

“I know it,” Ye You lifted a brow, “Could it be that normal people don’t?”

“…No, that’s not it. Most people in Jianghu know it.” Qin Yuemian pushed down the split second of doubt that had threatened to bubble up from within, and politely explained, “It’s simply that you just said you forgot everything, so I thought it was strange.”

Ye You was extremely clever.

His mind moved faster than Qin Yuemian’s. Whatever Qin Yuemian had considered, and even the things he hadn’t, Ye You had already considered, so now with only a look, he knew what this Manor Lord was thinking. Although he also thought that there were problems with the matters at the inn, he truly did lose his memory. Whether there’s truly a conspiracy or not, even he was not clear about it right now.

He stiffly bore the pain from pulling the wounds on his face as he directed a good-humored laugh at the Manor Lord. “I just don’t remember myself and my friends and family. About the common, everyday things, I still have some impressions of them.” “Oh…” Qin Yuemian originally wanted to sound out some answers, but he was instead met with this person’s smiling eyes.

Maybe it was that it was too dark, or the effect of the lighting, but it seemed that this person’s pupils were somewhat pale, his gaze penetrating, an aura of indifference seeping out through his easygoing demeanor, as if he was capable of piercing right through a person’s soul. Qin Yuemian forcibly swallowed back down the words he wanted to say, only one thought in his head — this person knew he was being suspected!

Qin Yuemian suddenly thought that the person in front of him was difficult to handle. This time, when their eyes met, he thought that whatever he said next, whatever he did next, this person would cleanly see through him.

Standing in this room in the height of summer, he suddenly got the shivers, chilled to the bone.

Oh heavens, how could it be that when he just wanted to have some fun with Wenren Heng, he managed to stumble into bringing this frightening person back home!

He stole a glance at Wenren Heng.

Wenren Heng didn’t seem to notice his old friend’s gaze. He returned the small porcelain bottle and asked, “How much do you remember regarding Miracle Doctor Ji?”

Ye You seriously thought for a bit. “I have only a very vague impression. Senior Brother, please tell me about him. Let me see if I can remember then.”

Wenren Heng then said, “He is an extraordinarily famous Miracle Doctor from Jianghu. He’s invented a number of incredible medicine, with Hundred-Grass Dew being only one. His name is Ji Zhaohen11. It’s said that this name is something he came up with himself later in life. The reason being that he has saved countless

lives with his high level of medical expertise, incurring hatred in King Yan12 as a result. How is that?” Ye You again seriously thought for a bit. He shook his head. “It’s still vague.”

In reality, he didn’t even remember the current year or the Emperor, much less a Miracle Doctor. Just now he had lied when he said that he had a “vague impression”.

He looked at the sky-blue-colored small porcelain bottle on the side and asked, “Is this Miracle Doctor Ji still alive?”

Wenren Heng replied, “Still alive. Although his years are long, his bones are very strong.”

Ye You looked at him. “Then Senior Brother, do you think he can take a look at my amnesia?”

“He can. I was also thinking about this. In a few days, let’s go on a journey.” Wenren Heng swept his eyes over to the servant bringing the medicine for Ye You, pressed down on the servant’s hand, and very naturally sat down on the couch. “I’ll do it. In the past, I was also the one who applied the medicine whenever you were injured.”

Their conversation was a rapid back-and-forth. Qin Yuemian was still stuck on the thought of whether or not someone was trying to entrap his close friend. But, before he even knew what was going on, Wenren Heng had sat down, leaving Qin Yuemian’s eyes to widen in astonishment. This man was said to be polite to everyone, but that was usually just on the surface. This was the first time that he’s seen Wenren Heng choosing to help someone himself!

— Are the skies going to start raining blood?

Qin Yuemian thought the sight so strange that he stole a glance out the window, turning his head back only when he saw that it was still the previous drizzling rain. He stared Wenren Heng up and down, wondering if this man had taken a fancy to Ye You.

Or perhaps… These two really were fellow disciple-brothers?

He had been standing for a while before he suddenly got the idea that he was a third wheel. Rubbing his nose, he said, “What do you two want to eat for dinner? I’ll go instruct the kitchen to make it.” Wenren Heng said, “Just something light would be good.”

Qin Yuemian felt like his head was made of mush and, shaking his head, left.

The soft couch had been placed beside the window, and outside the window, a small row of bamboo was growing along the right wall. A rustling sound echoed every time the rain hit the bamboo, and a thin layer of water vapor floated into the guest room, seeping into the fresh fragrance of the Hundred-Grass Dew. Ye You thought that it was either that Wenren Heng’s movements were too gentle or that the atmosphere was too peaceful, but even his strained nerves couldn’t help but relax little by little.

He opened his mouth to say, “Senior Brother.” Wenren Heng, “Yes?”

Ye You said, “It doesn’t seem like you’ve told me my name yet.”

Wenren Heng lifted his head to look at him. “Ah-Xiao. You’re called Ah-Xiao.13”

Ye You asked, “Family name?”

“I don’t know,” Wenren Heng said, “That year when Master brought you back, you told us only that you were Ah-Xiao. Regarding everything else, you were completely ignorant. So Master and I just called you Ah-Xiao.” He let out a small breath, and, forcing a smile, said, “At that time, you were an idiot14. The fact that you were able to

remember your own name was already very impressive.” Ye You, “…”

Wenren Heng poured some more medicine and using his fingers, tenderly rubbed it on Ye You’s face. Looking at his pale pupils, Wenren Heng softly said, “While Master was alive, he always told me to be a good disciple and take good care of you. These years after you went missing, I always blamed myself. Now I’ve finally found you.

From now on, remain by your Senior Brother’s side, all right?” Ye You asked, “Did Master pass away?”

Wenren Heng nodded. “He passed ten years ago. After we leave Miracle Doctor Ji’s place, let’s go light a stick of incense for Master. Knowing that you’ve returned, he’ll definitely be very happy.”

Ye You especially did not want to think of a past where he was an idiot who got lost. After a moment of silence, he asked, “You aren’t worried that I’ve returned because I have bad intentions?”

Wenren Heng’s hands stopped, looking at him.

Ye You said, “I have your lost jade pendant, and I was even coincidentally saved by your friend. You aren’t afraid that I’m actually the instigator and that my amnesia is all a pretense? And even if it’s not a pretense, what if I decide to harm you after I regain all my memories?”

Since Qin Yuemian could think of these things, of course Wenren Heng also could. Ye You’s conscience was clear, so he might as well just open up the conversation.

Wenren Heng wiped his hands and got some brand new bandages, carefully and attentively wrapping it around Ye You’s head. “I did think of this possibility, but I believe that, no matter what you do, you’d never hurt me.”

Ye You lifted his head to look at him face to face. Wenren Heng’s expression was very calm, and he looked straight into Ye You’s eyes. In that split second, Ye You could practically see his sincerity, and he lapsed back into silence.

“Don’t worry so much. Maybe it’s truly all a coincidence. Maybe you just happened to find my jade and then got hurt by a villain. Let’s first investigate who exactly injured you,” Wenren Heng said, as he considered tying yet another bow. His fingers itched to move but he contained the impulse.

Ye You nodded. He also could only just take it as it comes right now.

“That’s right,” he said, “which Sect is Senior Brother the Sect Master of?” Wenren Heng was just about to reply when Qin Yuemian returned with news that those pack of scoundrels had come, so he had to bring his Junior Brother with him from the room.

Those scoundrels didn’t have the manners to stay politely in the reception room and had already gone to the Manor’s small lakeside pavilion. When Ye You arrived, he found them all standing and sitting haphazardly conversing.

Those people immediately saw Ye You.

They had originally been traveling together with Qin Yuemian and Wenren Heng, but midway through, Qin Yuemian had mysteriously grabbed Wenren Heng and left. They thought that there was definitely some kind of problem, so they chased the two back.

Wenren Heng knew these people’s thoughts like the back of his hand. He glanced around the circle and asked, “Why didn’t Shao Yuan come?”

“He’s infatuated with someone new and forgot about us,” one person said, laughing, “Halfway down the road, we met Lady Tao. The moment he saw her, Shao Yuan was frozen solid. He just had to stay behind to see if he could get her to dance the Fengqi Dance15. Just wait a bit. He’ll definitely be rejected. He fancies himself like Sect

Leader Ye. Does he think he’s able to make someone dance with just a few words?”

“Actually, I also want to see the Fengqi Dance.” Another person couldn’t help but ruefully click his tongue. “I just don’t know how Sect Leader Ye does it.”

“Who knows? But let me say this, he’s capable of anything,” the earlier person said, “Think about it, that year at Yushan16 stage, so many righteous faction members surrounded him, but he easily made the entire group choke with fury until their faces turned blue,

thoroughly embarrassing them, before he finally left without losing a single hair on his head. In the whole of Jianghu, how could you possibly find anyone else like him?” Ye You was curious after hearing this and stole a look at Wenren Heng.

Wenren Heng didn’t wait for him to ask and gently said, “They’re talking about the Demonic Sect’s Sect Master. Surname Ye, first name You. He wears a mask year-round, and his martial arts is unfathomable. A truly tremendous person.” He couldn’t help but pause. “Do you have any impression of him?”

Chapter 4

Right now, Ye You didn’t remember a single person. Of course he had no impression of the Demonic Sect’s Sect Leader, but he wasn’t just going to admit that honestly, so he merely said, “He sounds somewhat familiar. I’ll have to think about it.”

Wenren Heng didn’t pressure him at all and just sat down on a stone bench.

From the start, the people within the pavilion have been curious about Ye You. After having chattered for a bit, they all turned their attention to Ye You. One of them asked, “And this is?”

Having found his Junior Brother, Wenren Heng was obviously very happy. Hearing them ask, he replied, voice filled with delight, “My Junior Brother, Ah-Xiao.”

“…” Those people were blindsided. “What?”

Their reactions were the same as Qin Yuemian. Everyone’s first thought was how shocking it was that Wenren Heng had a Junior Brother.

They asked, “Why have we never heard you mention him?”

Wenren Heng said, “We’ve been separated for many years, and only just now reunited.”

“Oh… So it’s like that…” As they spoke, they remembered the face of Qin Yuemian as he left, as if he was preparing to watch a very entertaining play, causing them to suspect something was wrong.

Rolling their eyes and laughing, they said, “That’s good news. Ah- Mian was acting so mysterious earlier that we thought you two were going to cheat someone.”

Wenren Heng knew this group of people very well and so, in simple terms, explained what had happened, saying, “My Junior Brother and I each had one piece of that jade pendant. Ah-Mian saw the jade pendant on my Junior Brother and thought I had gifted my own to him.” The two people who knew the truth silently looked at him for a moment.

What Qin Yuemian thought was, Your Junior Brother is this frightening, and yet you dare to tell such a bald-faced lie in front of his face. Aren’t you afraid he’ll suspect that everything you told him before was also a lie?

Ye You’s thoughts were deeper than that. He understood that Wenren Heng didn’t want these people to suspect him like Qin Yuemian did, and he might’ve even been afraid that they would cause a ruckus resulting in an accident, so he simply skipped over the entire matter of losing the jade pendant.

As expected, these people’s curiosities were fully satisfied. Seeing that, Wenren Heng seized the opportunity to change the subject, and they tactfully followed his new train of conversation.

Ye You sat quietly and found that Wenren Heng’s standing amongst these people was fairly high, most likely occupying a “leader” position. His curiosity about the other’s identity rose even more. At this time, he saw a person from the other side pick up a jug of wine from a desk and place it on the stone table with a slight clunk.

The entire wine jug was a milky white, with an elaborate calligraphic “Wind17” printed in gold on its body, drawn with bold and confident strokes, as if it could fly away at any moment.

In the blink of an eye, a name flashed through Ye You’s mind, and he said, “Fengzui18.”

Almost at the same time, Qin Yuemian also shouted, “Fengzui!”

The person who grabbed the wine jug laughed, raising his eyebrows. “I especially brought it here to drink. Generous, right?”

In his heart, Qin Yuemian laughed a bit. He was very aware of these scoundrels’ habit of counting chickens before they hatch.

This entertaining play of Wenren Heng’s would be hard to come by even with eight hundred years. Just like how Qin Yuemian wanted to see it, these people would definitely also not want to miss it. Wenren Heng could never resist alcohol, so in order to bypass his defenses, they brought the “Fengzui” that’s more valuable than gold, in order to bribe him.

These people were all rich young masters, willingly prodigal children. Qin Yuemian obviously wasn’t going to stand on ceremony, and immediately instructed a servant to fetch wine cups, itching to pour out a round.

The mellow and rich scent of the wine quickly wafted through the air, stirring up the nerves. Ye You twitched his nose and, lifting up his cup, took a small sip of the wine. Closing his eyes in satisfaction, he said, “It’s the ‘Thirteen Beauties'19.”

The group gaped in astonishment. The person who brought the wine quickly said, “Very good, this really is Fengzui’s ‘Thirteen Beauties’. So Junior Brother Ah-Xiao also likes drinking wine?”

Ye You didn’t remember if he liked it or not, so he simply said, “Sometimes. The taste of the ‘Thirteen Beauties’ is very distinctive.”

“That’s true. Within Fengzui, ‘Thirteen Beauties’ is in a league of its own,” the wine-bringing lad said as he laughed, “Many say that the ‘Thirteen Beauties’ and ‘Earth’s Karma’20 are similar. But let me say that the two are very different. Using Sect Leader Ye’s words, only when there are more than two people will it be hard to tell the two

apart.”

Hearing how he kept bringing up Sect Leader Ye, Ye You thought it strange and gave him a look.

Upon seeing this, the group said, “Junior Brother Ah-Xiao is laughing at us. If Young Master Li doesn’t talk about Sect Leader Ye for several times a day, his whole body starts feeling unwell. And as soon as he can bring up anything even remotely related to Sect Leader Ye, he’ll miraculously get better.”

Young Master Li groaned. “I just like him, so what?” Ye You thought it very strange. He’d already heard from the servants these past few days that Xunliu Manor was part of the righteous faction. These people were the Manor Lord’s friends, so they should also be part of the righteous faction. Weren’t the righteous faction and the demonic faction like oil and water? And so, plainly speaking, wasn’t he afraid that he’d be seen as part of the demonic faction by others?

He pushed down his questions and drank another mouthful of wine, not continuing the conversation.

From there, Young Master Li certainly opened up the floodgates. Whining and groaning, he complained about how difficult it was to see Sect Master Ye. Other than the time at Yushan stage, these past few years, he’d seen Sect Master Ye’s shadow only twice, so he might as well actually join the Demonic Sect at this point. The pack of scoundrels weren’t the least bit surprised, and simply spoke a few sentences to heckle Young Master Li, which quickly devolved into a group brawl, with some good-natured ribbing. It was obvious that they were all very close.

Qin Yuemian hadn’t even heard the joke. He silently squeezed his wine cup, no longer in the mood for wine.

Miracle Doctor Ji’s Hundred-Grass Dew was incredibly well-known, so Ah-Xiao remembering it wasn’t out of the ordinary. However, “Fengzui” wasn’t something any ordinary person could drink, so it’s clear that Ah-Xiao previously had a very good livelihood.

His inner suspicions reached their peak.

This person had both intelligence and wealth, and had a face that could move people’s hearts, so how could this man remain so obscure and unknown? How could he have never heard of such a person before?

He couldn’t help but glance at Wenren Heng.

At this moment, Wenren Heng was looking at his Junior Brother, his handsome eyebrows knitted in a faint line. Qin Yuemian immediately felt relieved, thinking that this Lord Sect Master had finally started realizing the significance of this information, only to then see Wenren Heng reach out his hands to stop his Junior Brother before switching out the wine cup for tea.

Wenren Heng urged, “Your body is injured, so you shouldn’t drink alcohol for now. Wait until you’re fully recovered.”

“…” Stupefied, Qin Yuemian diverted his line of sight, gloomily thinking that this Wenren Heng was really good at acting like a concerned Senior Brother… Ah, jeez, you’re really not afraid that this person will hurt you?!

Ye You graciously took the tea.

His previous phrase “Thirteen Beauties” wasn’t just said without thought. After confirming that he hadn’t spoken wrong, he couldn’t help but remember the matter with the Hundred-Grass Dew, and so he turned over the vast sea of his mind for information regarding “Fengzui” before finally digging up the name.

He remembered that the Hundred-Grass Dew was famous and expensive, but he didn’t have a single clue about the identity of the person who made the medicine. If the person wasn’t as well-known as the Hundred-Dew Grass, then that would be understandable, but that wasn’t the case. This situation was the same. He remembered “Fengzui” and could even pick out that it was the “Thirteen Beauties”, but regarding the actual people who made the wine, he had not a single impression.

In other words, he remembered what he heard, what he saw, and what he used in the past, but he didn’t remember any people.

Why?

He unhurriedly drank his tea and started considering the possibility that it was after taking some drug that he had started forgetting.

The pitter-patter of the rain slowly came to a stop. The rain had washed the courtyard bright and shining, and a sweet scent lingered in the air after it ceased. This group of people only stopped talking after drinking three cups of wine. Qin Yuemian had originally wanted to invite the group to stay for dinner, but after realizing that they weren’t able to have fun at Wenren Heng’s expense, the group decided to return quickly to see the disgraced face of Shao Yuan as he’s rejected by Lady Tao and so ran away as fast as could be.

Qin Yuemian speechlessly looked at the two people next to him for a moment before picking up the wine jug and leaving.

It’s only now that Wenren Heng had the opportunity to tell his Junior Brother his Sect.

He was the Sect Master of Shuangji Sect, a sect that he himself built from the ground up. It had been established for about seven or eight years now.

Ye You asked, “Was it difficult?”

Wenren Heng laughed. “This is something you’ll slowly understand in the future. Even if I say it’s difficult, you still won’t fully take it to heart.”

Ye You subconsciously wanted to retort, but seeing the tender smile in his Senior Brother’s eyes and that he hadn’t meant it badly, Ye You ended up tacitly agreeing to his words. He then asked, “Does the name ‘Shuangji’ have any special meaning?”

“Yes. In the past, Master and Martial Uncle21’s reputation in Jianghu was well-known, and they were called ‘Shuangji’. Since I was brought up by them, I decided to name it that.” Wenren Heng looked at him. “Martial Uncle is still alive. In the future when we have the time, I’ll bring you to the capital to visit him.”

Ye You asked, “He lives in the capital?”

“He lives in the residence for high-ranking military officials22.” Seeing a flash of amazement in Ye You’s eyes, Wenren Heng explained, “Uncle had a thirst for battle, and he had already enlisted in the army much earlier. Ten years ago when Master passed away and you went missing, Martial Uncle rushed over when he heard the news of Master’s passing and brought me back. Aren’t you very curious why that Young Master Li just now was so open with his admiration for Sect Master Ye? He’s actually the son of a prince from the palace and he just came to Jianghu to play. I got to know him at the capital.”

Although his curiosity was actually satisfied, Ye You instead said, “Senior Brother, you guessed wrong. I wasn’t the least bit curious.”

With this retort, Wenren Heng’s mood got even better. “Yes, I guessed wrong.”

Ye You didn’t understand why he was so happy.

Seeing that a servant had come to call them to dinner, Wenren Heng brought his Junior Brother with him out of the pavilion. Speaking not only to Ye You but also to himself, Wenren Heng said, “Back when you were an idiot, you always loved to say that I was wrong.

Your Senior Brother found it so nostalgic.” Ye You, “…”

And right as he had stopped thinking about that problem.

Since Ye You was injured, after eating dinner, he went to rest early. This entire afternoon, Qin Yuemian had nearly sustained some deep emotional wounds, and upon seeing them separate, he immediately called Wenren Heng into his study and asked solemnly, “Tell me the truth. Did you really lose the jade pendant?”

Wenren Heng said, “Really. And for quite a few days already.”

Qin Yuemian inwardly drew a breath. The entire foundation for his speculations was based on the loss of that jade pendant. Since it really was lost, then his concerns weren’t wrong. He thus plainly laid out the entirety of his suspicions and remorsefully said, “I’m afraid I fell into someone else’s trap.”

He originally wanted to discuss countermeasures to deal with the situation but was instead met with the quiet laughing of this hypocrite who then went on to placate him with, “There’s no problem. Everything is a coincidence.” Qin Yuemian almost couldn’t take another breath, feeling like Wenren Heng had stomped all over his good intentions.

Returning to his usual calm and collected demeanor, Wenren Heng said, “Let’s go over that day’s events together.”

With some difficulty, Qin Yuemian let him off and related the entire day’s events all the way through. But the exact details he could remember were few. At the time, the first thing he saw as he entered was the young sir’s face, everything else was a blur. Later, when he saw the pillar fall down, he hastily saved the man and dashed outside, with no time to pay attention to other things.

Frowning, he asked, “What have you decided?”

Wenren Heng said, “I’m going to first bring my Junior Brother to Miracle Doctor Ji to cure his wounds. We’re leaving tomorrow.”

“…” Qin Yuemian asked doubtfully, “He’s really your Junior Brother?”

Wenren Heng said, laughing, “Of course.”

Qin Yuemian still maintained an aura of skepticism. When Wenren Heng stood to return to his room, Qin Yuemian couldn’t help but call out, “Can you tell me something else that’s true? Anything will do as long as it’s about this matter.”

Wenren Heng said, “I can.”

Qin Yuemian perked up. No matter what was done, if Wenren Heng did not want to talk about something, he would never talk about it. So for Qin Yuemian the next best thing was being able to pry even the smallest bit of information from him. Everything else, he’d carefully consider on his own.

But he had underestimated this man. After Wenren Heng spoke, Qin Yuemian still could not guess a single thing, because what Wenren Heng said was, “I especially enjoy hearing him call me Senior Brother. This is the truth.”

Qin Yuemian, “…” Bullshit! What Disciple-Brothers! You’ve definitely fallen for him!

Wenren Heng knew that his good friend was worried about him, so before he left, he left a few words of comfort, “Don’t worry, you know I’ve suffered before.”

When morning came and Ye You heard that they were going to look for Miracle Doctor Ji, he didn’t protest one bit. He’d been living here for half a month and had already been itching to go outside for a walk. Besides, the more people there were, the more news there would be.

In high spirits, he got on the carriage and was pleased throughout the entire slow and steady journey. However, when night came, it felt like a bucket of cold water had been dumped on him when he heard a certain someone asking for only one room.

“We still haven’t found out who injured you, and the outside isn’t as safe as within the Manor. Your Senior Brother wouldn’t feel at ease letting you stay in your own room,” Wenren Heng explained to him with deadly earnestness, “So let’s sleep in one room.”

“…” Ye You lifted up the corners of his mouth and replied, all smiles, “We can, we can. But Senior Brother, I now faintly remember that I prefer men. Senior Brother is so handsome. If, in the middle of the night, I couldn’t restrain myself and did something to you, I’d have to beg for Senior Brother’s forgiveness.”

Chapter 5

The bandages on Ye You’s head were wrapped by Wenren Heng extremely attentively, leaving only his eyes and nose visible and everything else tightly covered up. Every time he moved, it looked like he had a snow-white lantern on his head. So the moment he entered, he attracted the attention of everyone in the establishment.

This kind of attention actually felt faintly familiar to Ye You and so he paid it no mind. Perfectly composed, he calmly looked at his Senior Brother.

The innkeeper was the closest to them and so heard the “lantern” say that at night he was going to bed the young sir next to him, the one who was as beautiful as jade and half-a-head taller. Thinking that, regardless, since this tableau was coming from the willpower of a disabled man, it was still somewhat touching, the innkeeper silently stepped back, not daring to disturb them.

“Innkeeper,” Wenren Heng’s voice didn’t change a bit and repeated what he said when he entered, “Give us one room.”

“…Yes.” The innkeeper’s mind was awash with speculation, though on his face he simply agreed and took out a key, motioning for a waiter to show them their room. Only when they had walked far enough away did the innkeeper drop his gaze with a sigh.

The staircase was a dark black, and with each step, muffled sounds echoed from it. Wenren Heng walked in the front and, upon seeing the edges of the steps painted with a thin layer of copper, lifted up the corners of his mouth.

Was that to disgust me?

No, he should also be trying to sound me out. He wanted to see what kind of reaction I would have. What is he suspecting?

Wenren Heng’s thoughts rapidly turned in his mind. Walking slowly into the guest room, he surveyed the arrangements and found them mostly satisfactory. He instructed the waiter to bring up food and then took out a towel and the Hundred-Grass Dew. Ye You understood at once and immediately untied his belt, waiting for the other to unravel his bandages.

Sitting by the side, Wenren Heng patiently applied the medicine. Sensing that Ye You was constantly looking at him, he finally looked up and said, “Tonight, you sleep on the inside, and I’ll sleep on the outside.”

Ye You laughed. “Senior Brother shouldn’t pretend that he didn’t hear all the things I said before.”

A series of complicated expressions flashed across Wenren Heng’s face, and Ye You took the opportunity to push him down. Calmly, Wenren Heng asked, “So what you said about liking men is true?”

Ye You said, “Naturally.”

Wenren Heng didn’t fall for the trap. “Naturally it’s true or naturally it isn’t true?”

Ye You raised a brow. “Which one does Senior Brother want it to be?”

Wenren Heng sternly said, “Whichever one doesn’t matter. You’re still my Junior Brother. Don’t have such wild flights of fancy, just sleep easily tonight.” Seeing that his Junior Brother still wanted to talk, he sighed. Patting his Junior Brother’s shoulder in a “there, there” gesture as if to placate a rowdy child, he said, “Don’t worry, your Senior Brother is highly skilled in martial arts; you won’t be able to defeat me. If something really does happen, I can easily and accurately hit your acupuncture point and put you to sleep.”

Ye You, “…”

Wenren Heng carried the bearing of a “good Senior Brother” and earnestly educated him, “Right now you’re covered in wounds.

Remember not to indulge in your desires, and also drink less alcohol. Everything can wait until after you have recovered.”

Ye You played the lovable child, with even his voice sweeter than usual. “I understand, Senior Brother.” Wenren Heng made a soothing sound in acknowledgement and, after he had finished taking care of his Junior Brother’s wounds, said, “Put your clothes back on. I’ll go hurry the waiter along and also ask for some hot water on the way.”

He stood up and left. It was only when he had gone downstairs and turned a corner that he finally put his head down and laughed.

It was at this moment that the waiter was carrying the food upstairs. Upon seeing Wenren Heng approaching, the waiter could not help but stop in his tracks.

When Wenren Heng heard the waiter, he immediately contained his laughter. As he cheerfully passed the waiter, he also relieved the tray of its contents, leaving it empty. Right as the waiter was about to explain the delay with their food, this young sir suddenly pressed a significant tip into his hands. He stared and stared, and was immediately touched. What luck, to have encountered such a noble client, with not only a good temperament but also a generous disposition! Definitely a world apart from the usual stingy and coarse clients!

Wenren Heng unhurriedly walked back to the room to eat with his Junior Brother. His Junior Brother’s attitude was the same as before, but as he couldn’t see the smallest spark of qi from the other, he concluded that he definitely could hold out once it was dark.

The sky quickly darkened. Candlelight flickered. A pale light filtered into the room through the window screens. And the surroundings also gradually turned quiet. While taking off his clothes, Wenren Heng saw the jade pendant and immediately paused to give it to his Junior Brother.

That jade pendant was immaculately pure-white, with a black rope tying it. The moment it was held by Wenren Heng, it looked luxuriously beautiful. Ye You had wanted to see this jade pendant that had apparently been found on his body for a long time now.

When it was brought over, he asked, “What?”

“Take it,” Wenren Heng said quietly, “I originally carved it for you.” Ye You asked, “You don’t think I’m too ill-omened?”

Of course Ye You was simply asking for the sake of appearances. If this little problem could stump Wenren Heng, then he wouldn’t be Wenren Heng.

As expected, in the next moment Wenren Heng was explaining, in an unchanging tone, that he had previously seen a pair of Disciple Brothers who were especially intimate which, in turn, reminded him of his own Junior Brother. Thus, he wanted to carve a jade pendant and mournfully and desolately climb up the mountain by himself

during the coming year’s Grave-sweeping23 to bury it in front of the gravestone.

“…” Ye You made a small sigh. This was his second time thinking that meeting this kind of person after he lost his memory was a sign that his luck was bad, and it also seemed all too easy to forget the good things in his life, truly senseless.

Ye You had no sooner asked his Senior Brother if the other had erected a cenotaph for him, then he began examining the jade pendant. The design of the jade pendant was really strange. He searched his mind for it, not remembering exactly which jade pendant he had seen with the same design. After he couldn’t help but rub it a bit, he suddenly had an epiphany, saying, “An angelica flower?”

Wenren Heng turned his eyes, a flame of warmth in their depths, his bearing becoming even gentler. But although his appearance warmed the heart, Ye You nevertheless felt that there was something deliberately unspoken and indistinct that Wenren Heng was keeping within himself. He hadn’t had the chance to speak before hearing Wenren Heng say, smiling, “Yes, an angelica.”

Ye You completely didn’t bother to investigate his suspicions, not even lifting an inquiring brow. He simply stored the jade pendant away in his clothes and then calmly went to bed to rest. It was monsoon season, and while it was still clear skies during the day, at night, the pitter-patter rain ran down again. Wenren Heng silently opened his eyes, listening to the long and steady breathing of the person beside him, smelling the faint scent of Hundred-Grass Dew that had permeated in the air. He turned over to look at his Junior Brother, waiting for a number of breaths to determine that his Junior Brother was really asleep before letting out a sigh of relief and pressing on the other’s sleep acupoint.

Ye You’s head turned, and he sank into a deeper sleep.

Sitting up, Wenren Heng first checked Ye You’s internal energy. After, he simply sat on the bed and looked.

The bandages on Ye You’s head had been removed before going to bed. His half-beautiful face gave off an indistinct silhouette. Wenren Heng stared at him and reached out his hand, wanting to touch.

Right before he could do so, a thought seemed to flit through his mind, making him hesitate, and he ground to a halt.

The night air seemed to be weighed down with a certain heaviness, everything flowing exceedingly slowly. Wenren Heng’s hand seemed to suspend for half an eternity before he finally moved, using only his index finger to rub his cheek and gently kneed his forehead for a brief moment.

It’s only when he’s asleep that he’s well-behaved… Wenren Heng thought in his heart. He tucked him in before getting off the bed.

A soft creaking sound could be heard from the door before everything once again returned to peaceful silence.

The two eyes that Ye You had tightly closed suddenly opened, and he patiently laid on the bed for a while longer before unhurriedly getting up — if Wenren Heng had seen this all happening, then his usual calm appearance would’ve definitely taken a darker shade. After all, he had definitely pressed this person’s acupuncture point and, by all rights, Ye You shouldn’t be awake at all.

In fact, Ye You himself was also very baffled. He had been awoken by a burst of qi, but upon seeing that it had hit his sleep acupoint, he immediately feigned sleep so as to see what Wenren Heng was up to, and so he had been pretending up until this moment.

He rubbed the cheek that Wenren Heng had rubbed and considered for a moment whether or not he wanted to chase after him. After some time, he thought of a good idea and cheerfully put on his clothes and opened the door.

Outside was standing a man in black clothes who, upon hearing movement, had hastily turned around, which then led to Ye You bashing him in the face with the door.

Ye You, “…”

The man in black, “…”

When did this man come up? Was it when he fell asleep or just now?

Since he was so silent, could he possibly be Wenren Heng’s

bodyguard? Ye You’s thoughts spun in circles as he stood silently staring.

The man in black had his head smacked blank by Ye You and so, for a while, simply stood waiting with a foolish look on his face. Only when it became apparent that Ye You wasn’t speaking did the man pull himself together and took the initiative to issue a greeting. “Is the young sir awake? Our Sect Master had business to take care of outside, but he’ll return as soon as he’s done. Young sir should sleep first.”

As if he hadn’t heard him, Ye You continued to stare.

The man in black quickly figured out that there was something wrong with the person in front of him. Right as he was about to ask, however, he suddenly remembered the phenomenon of “sleepwalking” and was stunned. Very carefully, he stammered out the question, “Young sir, y-you… can you hear what I’m saying?”

Ye You didn’t answer and simply walked away. The inn was arranged with verandas, and a fence laid a few steps ahead. The man in black stared blankly as the other stared down below before jumping in fright and quickly running over to his side, afraid that Ye You will fall. But he didn’t call out because he had heard never to wake someone forcefully from sleepwalking or else that person will become an idiot.

Ye You turned his head to look at him. “Do you know me?”

The man in black was pleasantly surprised. “No, I don’t. Young sir, you’re awake?”

Ye You’s tone didn’t change and he asked again, “Do you know me?”

“…” The man in black wanted to cry. Awake, my ass! He was still sleepwalking!

He silently shook his head.

Ye You approached and examined him from up close. The man in black could only back away, back almost hitting the bright red wooden pillars behind. Looking at his face, the man in black was so nervous he almost forgot to breathe. However, right at this moment, Ye You suddenly showed his hand and rapidly hit several of the other’s acupoints.

The man in black, “…”

The man in black couldn’t speak and could only stare with his eyes wide. His first reaction was that he had been betrayed. However, when he looked closely and saw that Ye You’s face still looked the same as before, he immediately felt a profound sense of guilt for suspecting such things.

Ye You didn’t want to waste any more time, so he turned around and headed back into the room. Thinking that the other was finally going back to bed, the man in black felt his heart grow lighter in relief before remembering his own predicament. He started worrying if something would happen to him during this time, but he didn’t have to worry for long because a certain someone quickly returned, carrying Wenren Heng’s dagger and pulling it out with a swish. The man in black, “…”

While the man was staring at him witless with fear, Ye You used the dagger to pat his shoulder and, strangely, asked, “Why haven’t you left yet?”

The man in black, “…”

If I could’ve moved, I would’ve already run far away by now!

“Not leaving is also fine…” Ye You lifted his head, showing a bloodthirsty smile. In an instant, his whole body overflowed with a dense aura. Holding the dagger in his hand, he slowly brought it up to the other’s neck and repeated, “Not leaving is also fine…”

The man in black, “…”

Fucking hell, save me, Sect Master!

Of course, Ye You wasn’t really going to kill him. After scaring him for a bit, Ye You dragged him away, preparing to mess with Wenren Heng a bit.

Chapter 6

After Wenren Heng left the inn, carrying his umbrella, he went to another inn on the same street.

Compared to the other inn, this one hadn’t lit the lanterns outside and even upstairs was pitch black. If there hadn’t been a small, sad candle lighting the lobby, the whole inn would’ve appeared as if it’d been swallowed by the night. Standing amidst the falling rain, the building seemed to exude an aura of lonely suffering.

He looked at it for a moment and then went inside.

All his subordinates were waiting and immediately came out to welcome him. The one leading them was a man around thirty, with extremely ordinary features. Ordinarily, he would’ve been the kind of person who was immediately forgotten after introducing himself, if not for the scar lining the left side of his face, adding a somewhat fierce air, allowing him to be easily remembered.

When the scarred man reached Wenren Heng’s side, he said in a quiet voice, “Sect Master, that room that had been set on fire has long since been repaired. When we went upstairs, we didn’t find anything that was left behind.”

To Wenren Heng, this was not unexpected. Even if they had searched for clues on the day of the incident, there was a high chance everything would’ve already been burned away.

He put away his umbrella and looked at the people in the lobby.

He had brought only five men with him when he left, two of whom he had left with his Junior Brother, with the remainder having been sent here. Although the men were few, they were all from Jianghu, bodies full of killing intent. The moment the innkeeper saw them, he was so scared he lost control of his bladder.

The innkeeper had been woken up in the middle of the night by the men and had hastily put on only his inner robes. His face deathly pale with legs trembling, he sat on the bench in fearful anticipation as he looked outside. But who could’ve guessed that who should come but a cultured and refined young sir. He stared foolishly for a moment before calling out, “Noble sir, please spare my life. This lowly creature really doesn’t know who set the fire!”

“There’s no need to be afraid. I have only a few things I want to ask, and I’ll leave after I’m done,” Wenren Heng said. “I should’ve come in the morning, but there were some things I couldn’t put off, so I could only come and disturb you at night.”

The way he spoke wasn’t bad, and he was refined and courteous. The innkeeper’s heart which had been high up in his throat slowly calmed back down, and he stood up after conversing for a while. Wenren Heng delicately asked the other about that day’s events.

Unfortunately, much to his dismay, the innkeeper had not seen any suspicious people or occurrences at the time.

Seeing the other becoming silent, the innkeeper swore, “It’s true! The room suddenly caught on fire! And other than that injured young sir, I saw no one else ever enter or leave that room. Besides, my inn has been burned so badly that I can’t even do any business. If I knew who had actually set the fire, I wouldn’t let them off!”

Wenren Heng rubbed his head and walked around the inn once before deciding that there was no need to stay any longer. Leaving some coin, he took his men and left.

In the past few days, the rain had been falling in long and continuous bursts and the pavements had already accumulated some water.

From the rainfall came soft and light ripples in the water. Since it was already very late at night, there was not another soul in sight on the streets other than them. Listening to the sound of rain pattering on his umbrella, Wenren Heng asked, “These past few days, there hasn’t been anyone following?”

The scarred man replied, “No, only our men.”

“No one’s been following…” Wenren Heng muttered.

The scarred man asked, “Do you want some subordinates to go ask some common people tomorrow, see if they remember anything from that day?” Wenren Heng said, “No need. I just thought it somewhat strange.”

It was strange that someone was able to injure his Junior Brother. Even more strange was that after injuring him, the perpetrator didn’t stay to make sure he was dead and simply set everything on fire. And even after his Junior Brother was rescued, there was not a trace of the other person, as if the instigator just decided to let him go.

He wrinkled his brows.

“For these next few days, take care to pay more attention to movements behind you, see if there’s anyone following. And send some people to ask after Miracle Doctor Ji’s whereabouts. I…” As Wenren Heng was speaking, a familiar figure appeared ahead. The moment he saw the person, he went forward and asked, “What’s wrong with you?”

“This subordinate is incapable.” Rushing over, the man in black kneeled on one leg. Not daring to delay, he let out everything in a rush.

After the Sect Master left, they had received orders to guard the young sir. He had gone to the bathroom for barely the length of time it took to finish half a cup of tea, only to return and discover the door to the young sir’s room wide open and that the young sir and his colleague had both disappeared. He had already searched everywhere but had seen neither hide nor hair of either party, not even a signal that his colleague could have left behind.

Wenren Heng had already had the man stand up long ago, walking and talking, and before long, they had returned to the inn. Looking at the room which bore no trace of a struggle, Wenren Heng’s expression did not change, but a trace of heaviness could be detected within his eyes.

The two men he had left behind were relatively skillful. To be able to steal away his Junior Brother in such a short amount of time must mean that the perpetrator was someone with very high martial arts. The perpetrator either was able to defeat his subordinate in a move or two or had captured the man sometime in the past day and replaced him, waiting for exactly this opportunity to steal a person away.

If it was the first, his subordinate’s martial skill was good enough that he should’ve at least left behind some clue. Thus, it was more likely to be the second possibility.

The fact that the disguise was able to fool his eyes must mean the person’s technique had already reached a certain degree of perfection. With such a bold and daring move, they wouldn’t recklessly leave town out of anxiety. And his Junior Brother had been hit in his sleep acupoint, with no ability to fight back. If the perpetrator had decided to steal him away alive, his life shouldn’t be in danger at the moment.

In a flash, Wenren Heng made his decision and said, “Bring some men to search nearby carefully for any signs. If none can be found, immediately return.”

The scarred man gave a, “Yes,” and immediately left to give the order.

Wenren Heng walked around the room and discovered that his dagger was missing. Thinking of his Junior Brother in someone else’s hands, his face turned pitch-black.

A short while later, the scarred man returned with the others and told him that nothing had been found.

Wenren Heng then called over one of his men and muttered a few words in his ear. After the man left, Wenren Heng indicated to the others to leave and guard the door, leaving only the scarred man by his side.

The scarred man wasn’t stupid, and after the others left, he said, “Xiao-Jia was replaced?”

Wenren Heng said, “It’s possible. Later, return to the road we came from to search.”

The scarred man’s expression was dark, privately thinking that the only things they’ll find are likely to be corpses. The man couldn’t hold in his amazement. They had all spent nearly the entire day together, and the perpetrator had the skill to not let the mask slip for a single moment. He wrinkled his brows and asked, “In Jianghu, who has this much strength?”

“Who knows who exactly he offended…” Wenren Heng muttered. After a pause, he asked, “Has there been movement recently from the Demonic Sect?”

The scarred man said, “No.”

Wenren Heng nodded and poured himself a cup of tea but didn’t drink it for a long time.

Seeing this, the scarred man didn’t dare to disturb him and wisely shut his mouth.

At the same moment, separated by a mere wall in an empty room, Xiao-Jia was sitting tied to a chair by Ye You, feeling completely miserable. He desperately wanted to leave the room, grab onto the Sect Master’s legs, and weep. But seeing as that young sir had already fallen back asleep and his own acupoint had been hit, he probably wouldn’t be released until tomorrow morning.

Naturally, Ye You wasn’t actually asleep. Using the dagger, he had poked a small hole in the wall and had been lying curled up on the bed looking through it. He had listened to Wenren Heng’s back-and- forth with rapt attention. And only after waiting for a while to confirm that they weren’t going to speak any further did he decide to give up.

If his guess wasn’t wrong, then Wenren Heng’s next step was to search the inn. Ye You tsk’d in his heart, and, carrying the dagger, he lazily sat up.

From the conversation and Wenren Heng’s attitude, Ye You at least knew that Wenren Heng harbored no ill intentions towards him.

Perhaps this guy was aware of his identity, seeing as he mentioned the Demonic Sect at this critical moment, presumably it has something to do with Ye You.

Yes… Although the information wasn’t much, at least he managed to drag out something useful, so Ye You was relatively satisfied.

Seeing the other getting up, Xiao-Jia immediately blanched, fearing that he was coming for another round.

Ye You didn’t pay him any mind and left the room without a word. Meeting the frightening gaze of the black-clothed men, Ye You sauntered over and kicked the Sect Master’s door open.

The two men inside vigilantly stood up, immediately looking to see who’s stepping inside with his collar open and bandages peeking out

— thankfully, this article was visible, or else the black-clothed men outside wouldn’t have dared recognize him.

A visible flash of surprise passed through Wenren Heng’s face. He had thought of countless possibilities but never did he think that this person would just walk back on his own.

While he had previously looked calm, his heart had felt an extraordinary sense of urgency. At this moment, all his previous anxiety seemed to have returned to his chest all at once, truly leaving him a bit sore.

He hoarsely said, “You…”

Without waiting for him to finish speaking, Ye You haphazardly threw the dagger onto the table in front of him and then shamelessly climbed onto bed, closed his eyes, and went to sleep.

Wenren Heng, “…” The subordinates, “…”

For an instant, the room was deathly still. The black-clothed men outside cautiously clung to the doorframe and looked inside. Seeing the Sect Master looking at them, they pointed at the room next door, indicating that that was where this person had come from. Wenren Heng brought some men over and used the light outside to see the situation inside, only to see Xiao-Jia wearing clothes that had been cut into strips, tied web-like to a chair. He seemed to have been tied with a lot of consideration, with the ropes occasionally showing some skin, leaving a strange kind of beauty.

Wenren Heng, “…” The subordinates, “…”

After a while, Wenren Heng finally learned the entire sequence of events from Xiao-Jia’s trembling voice. His fellow colleague broke out in cold sweat, relieved beyond words that he had decided to go to the bathroom, or else he might have ended up in the exact same situation!

Xiao Jia was traumatized and still hadn’t recovered. At that time, while sitting in the pitch-black darkness, that young sir laughed maniacally as he cut apart his clothes, almost cutting into skin. Xiao- Jia almost peed his pants, so afraid was he that this man’s hand would tremble and cut him into tiny little pieces.

Wenren Heng asked, “Sleepwalking?”

Xiao-Jia nodded violently. “It was truly horrifying. Sect Master, you better sleep in a different room.”

It was at this time that the subordinate who had previously left on a different mission returned. Flabbergasted, he looked at Xiao-Jia.

Pulling out the drug that the Sect Master had asked him to prepare, he asked, “Sect Master, do you still need this?”

Wenren Heng slowly let out a breath.

He had previously thought that the time had been so short, the perpetrator so bold, that the person had probably never left the inn. He was afraid that the person would use the confusion caused by an inquiry to escape, so he had planned to render everyone in the inn unconscious before starting to search. He didn’t think that…

“No, I don’t. You can all go rest.” He stood up and, to Xiao-Jia’s admiration, returned to the other guest room. Ye You remained in his previous position, and it wasn’t clear whether he was really asleep or not.

As he took off his clothes, Wenren Heng helplessly thought of his Junior Brother’s previous attempts to discover his intentions. Having called his bluff, Wenren Heng had thought that the other would behave a little better tonight. Who would’ve thought that he would pull something like this. He truly hasn’t stopped since he got amnesia.

He privately wished that he could give this kid a good spanking. But he knew that since getting amnesia, this person had not trusted anyone, which is why he had the audacity to do such a thing. If the same thing had happened to Wenren Heng himself, then he might’ve done even worse. So the only thing he could do was swallow his frustrations.

Wenren Heng finally looked at the person beside him, but even after much thought, he didn’t understand. He had definitely pressed his Junior Brother’s sleep acupoint, so how did this person undo it?

The next day, after having his medicine applied by his Senior Brother and sporting a “lantern”, Ye You left the room. Upon seeing the five men who suddenly appeared, he acted as if it was all a happy coincidence. “Who are they?”

Wenren Heng said, “They are my subordinates. They’ll be coming with us to find Miracle Doctor Ji.”

Ye You went, “Oh,” and guilelessly finished eating before following his Junior Brother as they once again set out.

Having received the orders, the scarred man began searching for Miracle Doctor Ji’s whereabouts. He didn’t expect an incident to happen so quickly. It wasn’t even noon before he received the news. And with his face grim, he found the Sect Master and said, “Miracle Doctor Ji’s at the residence of Suzhou’s Wang family. Reportedly, the Wang Patriarch has fallen prey to the Lantern-Extinguishing

Poison24.” Ye You felt a sudden prick in his heart from out of nowhere. He lifted his head and nonchalantly asked, “Lantern-Extinguishing Poison?”

Chapter 7

Suzhou’s Wang family wasn’t a Jianghu Sect.

Or one could say, that they used to be, but they weren’t anymore.

Since the time that Ye You learned that his Senior Brother was the Sect Master of Shuangji Sect, he realized that he had forgotten not only people but also the various Jianghu sects. The only thing he could do was sit lovably on the cart and wait for his Senior Brother to feed him information. Fortunately, although Wenren Heng was full of tricks, on the surface he still had to practice his martial arts. Not to mention that the other was his Junior Brother, so naturally he was also willing to explain things to Ye You.

“At this time, I’ve also heard this only from other people,” Wenren Heng said, “Around twenty years ago, a monster emerged in Jianghu. For the sake of a rare martial arts book, he slaughtered three entire clans. The Wang Patriarch’s eldest son happened to be friends with the head of one of those clans, so he happened to be present that day and was also killed at the hands of that villain. The righteous factions were infuriated, so they came together to eliminate that monster. In Jianghu, this became known as the ‘Demon Slaughter’ incident. The Wang family also participated, but after they got their revenge, they gradually withdrew from Jianghu. Standing aloof and isolated in these past few years, the family has passed their days smoothly and steadily.”

Ye You then asked, “Then is the one who gave the Wang Patriarch the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison an old enemy?”

Wenren Heng looked at him very tenderly, using an “even though you have amnesia, Senior Brother still loves you” expression to tell him that he had missed the main point. He said, “Lantern- Extinguishing Poison is precisely that monster’s specialty poison. When that monster died, this poison also vanished without a trace.”

Ye You, “…” Wenren Heng personally poured him a cup of tea and added, “So that’s why now that the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison has reemerged, there’s an enormous fuss and people are alarmed.”

Ye You lowered his head to drink his tea, not wanting to look at the other.

The corners of Wenren Heng’s mouth lifted, before disappearing almost as soon as it appeared. He then finished explaining with, “Reportedly, many died during the ‘Demon Slaughter’ incident, so no one wants that monster to have a successor or there to be another.

Right now there must be many people from Jianghu going to the Wang family. Remember to stay closely by my side, and don’t cause too much trouble.”

Ye You very sincerely said, “Yes.”

Wenren Heng looked at him. He knew that that time at the inn, his Junior Brother had definitely heard him mention the Demonic Sect. Now that he was unexpectedly not taking this opportunity to ask if the demonic factions would sneak in to search for information, Wenren Heng was afraid that, when the conversation did turn to the Demonic Sect, the other would decide to investigate privately by himself.

Never mind, in any case, it was impossible for those from the Demonic Sect to never come searching for their Sect Master. It was only a matter of time. Right now, all he could do was delay it by even one more day.

Seeing the other’s silence, Ye You didn’t want to let the conversation simply end here, so he continued asking, “How does Elder Wang act towards other people?”

Wenren Heng said, “He’s very good-natured. I’ve never heard of him having any major conflicts with anyone.”

Ye You meaningfully said, “Then this is a bit strange.” Wenren Heng nodded. For those with ordinary vendettas, there were obviously some who would want to draw more attention. But even then, they wouldn’t stupidly use the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison, which would likely involve all of Jianghu, this would be the so-called two fists couldn’t defeat four hands25. And it’s precisely because they had a grudge that

the people would be able to think of a way to track them down and kill them on the spot.

But the simple motive of fame also didn’t make sense. As long as they simply had the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison, they could easily become famous. Why would they go to such great pains to sneak into the Wang family and poison an old man?

The way that the perpetrator was acting, it seemed like they were deliberately drawing people over.

Nevertheless, regardless of the reason, someone else would definitely take care of this matter, so Wenren Heng wasn’t at all concerned.

Right now, all he cared about was quickly finding Miracle Doctor Ji and getting to the bottom of how his Junior Brother’s internal energy and memory were damaged.

Contrary to Wenren Heng’s thoughts, Ye You’s interest in this matter was especially large.

Because this was the first time since losing his memory that Ye You had a reaction to something. Even though it was only a split-second pinprick feeling in his heart, it was still enough for Ye You to attach some importance to this occurrence.

He had a feeling that this Lantern-Extinguishing Poison had a deep connection to him.

After turning it over in his head, he actually barely managed to remember something.

The Lantern-Extinguishing Poison had “people die like extinguished lanterns”. If used like a regular poison, it actually wasn’t very strong, but if the Lantern-Extinguishing Skill26 was used to hit someone’s body with the poison, all of their bones and internal organs would instantly rot, their dying shapes becoming chillingly wretched, so terrifying that even an Immortal wouldn’t be able to save them.

But this poison had already been gone from this world for twenty years, so why was he so clear on the details?

Unless this was also common knowledge?

Ye You asked, “Senior Brother, what happens to those who fall prey to the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison?”

Wenren Heng said, “It’s said that they die miserably.” Ye You refused to let it go, “How miserably?”

Wenren Heng shook his head. Everything happened twenty years ago and had already been settled for a long time. He had no interest in investigating further and said, “It’s not clear. Why?”

“I was just a bit curious,” Ye You replied, while thinking in his heart that, seeing as how not everyone knew this information, he probably did have a connection with this Lantern-Extinguishing Poison.

Either he knew some inner workings or he actually owned the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison himself. If so, then would he be able to discover some useful information on this trip?

He was immediately filled with excitement.

The Wang family was a prominent clan in Suzhou. Back in the days when Elder Wang was traveling throughout Jianghu, he was a famous adventurer27, upholding justice for others, kind and charitable, and with many friends. After he left Jianghu, he began cultivating and became a famous calligraphy expert in Suzhou. Now,

he was a person of prestige and virtue, respected by both the martial artists of Jianghu and the common people of Suzhou, and invited to every event of significance.

Thus, knowing that he was poisoned, everyone was ceaselessly worried. Naturally, those in Jianghu who knew something about poison were showing some keen eagerness.

This was all an affair from twenty years ago, so a majority of the unseasoned youth couldn’t personally understand from experience the previous generation’s heavy hearts. They all wanted to cut down this new villain so as to make a name for themselves.

When Wenren Heng and Ye You arrived, they successfully managed to attract the attention of the surrounding group of people.

The reason was very simple — Ye You was wearing a “lantern” above his neck, looking extremely extraordinary, and also walking together with Wenren Heng. Upon seeing this, everyone couldn’t hold in their stares.

Ye You remained unperturbed, following his Senior Brother’s instructions to walk unhurriedly by the other’s side. After Wenren Heng finished greeting the man from the Wang family who came out to welcome them, they went inside to the reception room together.

The room was already occupied by eight or nine people. The seats on the right and left of the head of the table were both occupied by a man around fifty to sixty years old, with one fat and one thin, one short and one tall. The fat and short man wore some magnificent, colorful clothing, squeezed into his chair like a ball, but still sitting very properly. The thin and tall man wore a set of somber, black clothes, like an unadorned sword, with a faint feeling of sharpness.

Both men’s expressions were somewhat grave. The short, fat man had been knitting his brows, but when he saw Wenren Heng appear, his expression eased by no small amount. Although he wasn’t actually smiling, he gave off the feeling that he had smiled.

Ordinarily, he was probably an extremely friendly man. “Xiao-Heng also came.”

Wenren Heng first politely called, “Uncle Wei,” before saying, “This young one heard about what happened to Elder Wang and came over to see.” The short, fat man nodded. Looking at the person at Wenren Heng’s side, he asked, “And this is?”

Wenren Heng said, “My Junior Brother. Uncle Wei has met him before, but I don’t know if you still have any impression of him.”

The short, fat man was startled, and after taking a moment to think through his astonishment, he asked, “So he’s actually the one from that time… Didn’t he wander off and get lost? You found him?”

“Yes. I recently found him, and his illness has been cured, but he’s been injured again by who knows what and now doesn’t recognize anyone.” Wenren Heng spoke as he looked at his Junior Brother, “This is Fengxian28 Manor’s Manor Lord Wei. Come, call him Uncle Wei.”

Ye You said, “Hello, Uncle Wei.”

“Good, good.” Smelling the scent of Hundred-Grass Dew on him and seeing the bandages he was wearing, Manor Lord Wei asked, “Are the injuries very serious?”

Wenren Heng answered, “He’s been burned. Miracle Doctor Ji’s Hundred-Grass Dew has been applied.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “Luckily Miracle Doctor Ji’s also here. Let him reexamine those wounds.”

“Really?” Wenren Heng’s manner had just the right tone of mild surprise, as if he hadn’t come entirely for Miracle Doctor Ji and had come only to inquire after Elder Wang’s circumstances. He said, with fake courtesy, “That’s good. Let’s wait for an opportunity in these next few days.”

Manor Lord Wei nodded and glanced at Ye You once more. Sighing, he said, “It’s good that you’ve returned. That year when you were ill and couldn’t even eat by yourself, it was your Senior Brother who fed you spoon by spoon. For you, he never stops worrying.”

Ye You, “…” Could it be that Wenren Heng wasn’t lying and that he had really turned into an idiot before?

However, investigating these things right now would obviously be untimely. Just looking at the atmosphere in this lobby, one could see that the circumstances were not optimistic. Being able to have even a few exchanges of idle conversation was already not bad. Wenren Heng naturally could also read the mood. And after he gave some simple greetings to the others who were seated, he prepared to leave first in order to find a place to stay for the night, only to be stopped by Manor Lord Wei’s words, “Stay behind, Xiao-Heng.”

Wenren Heng didn’t decline and, in a familiar manner, found a place to sit down.

Ye You looked around, finding that most everyone was older, with his Senior Brother being the youngest in the room. This meant that Wenren Heng’s position in Jianghu was fairly high. Ye You stood for a moment, and after hearing nothing interesting, he lowered his voice to ask, “Senior Brother, I want to go to the toilet.”

Wenren Heng gave him a look. “Go then. And hurry back.”

Ye You decided to play nice, at least on the surface, and said a word of agreement. He turned around to leave, only who would have thought that the moment he raised his head, a man dressed like a servant would madly rush into the room, almost causing a collision. He moved to the side, eyes following this man running to the head of the Wang family, hands gripping a few sheets of paper and shouting, “Master, it isn’t good!”

“Why so flustered!” The Wang family head asked, “What happened? What’s that in your hands?”

The servant ran to the point that he was sweating, and, as he’s panting for breath, he spoke a single, earth-shattering sentence, “It’s… it’s something left, left behind by the poisoner.”

Everyone was startled. “What?” The Wang family head grabbed the papers over, and as soon as he finished reading, his entire face turned red with even the veins on his forehead popping out. He was Elder Wang’s second son, and his temperament was very similar to Elder Wang’s. With how exceedingly angry he was at this moment, everyone thought that it would not be surprising if, in the next, he went outside to spit blood.

The Wang family head gripped the papers tightly, voice trembling, “Ridiculous, just ridiculous…”

Ye You raised a brow and again returned to Wenren Heng’s side. As long as it was about the poisoner, Ye You was willing to first listen a bit before leaving.

Wenren Heng was very satisfied with his return. Although he knew that the other was simply curious about this matter, he still could not help but ask quietly, “Didn’t you need to go to the toilet?”

Ye You answered, “It’s not too urgent.”

Wenren Heng held back his laughter. He swept his eyes over the people presently reading and passing on those sheets of paper before turning his gaze back, patiently waiting, mouth saying, “In a moment, go quickly so you can quickly return, and don’t cause trouble. Whatever you want to know, how could I possibly not tell you?”

Ye You wasn’t the least bit surprised that this man was able to guess that he wanted to ferret out some information. He asked, “For instance?”

“At least for everything I’ve told you, nine-tenths of it is true.” Ye You asked, “What’s the one-tenths that isn’t true?” Wenren Heng said, “That you were an idiot for many years.”

Ye You immediately felt thoroughly relieved and thought these words were definitely trustworthy.

Wenren Heng immediately continued with, “You were only an idiot for a little over a month.” Ye You, “…”

Saying this and that, but he had still been an idiot!

Chapter 8

The contents of those sheets of paper were all the same.

The main gist of it was that the shitty old man surnamed Wang was sanctimonious, with his actual personality not what it seemed on the surface, and that, behind people’s backs, he was utterly heartless in his dealings, yet he still somehow managed to win a good reputation. The poisoner couldn’t bear to allow the heroes of this land to continue being deceived, and so to enforce Heaven’s justice, he found the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison to let Old Wang taste the suffering from that year. And he’s soon going to reveal Old Wang’s true colors to the people, so just wait and see!

The Wang family head was so angry he was trembling, and even his eyes were red. He asked, “Who left this? Did you see the person?

Catch whoever it was!”

“No,” the servant said, “These papers were all found stuck in secluded alleyways, and we also don’t know when they were put up. Many alleyways have them, and this lowly one has already sent people to tear them down.”

The Wang family head’s chest moved violently up and down. In a rough tone, he said, “Send even more people to search!”

Having received the order, the servant turned to leave, only to be called back by another seated person who keenly asked, “If the alleyways were so secluded, how did you learn that these were there?”

The servant’s lip trembled, wanting to speak but hesitant. The Wang family head glared at him. “Speak!”

The servant could only brace himself and said, “Responding to Master, I knew because these places all had people crowding around to look.”

The Wang family head asked, “Then who did they hear about this from? Go ask, there should be a person who incited them to go.” “That isn’t certain,” Wenren Heng interjected to say, “The perpetrator chose those places to put these up so as not to be seen, so even if we go ask now, we probably won’t learn anything useful. After he finished sticking these papers up, all he had to do was pretend to be a passerby and carelessly drop a sentence or two. Those who hear would naturally go and look, and from there, one person naturally becomes ten, and ten naturally becomes one hundred.”

The Wang family head felt his breaths get stuck in his throat. Realizing that the entire city was probably all now gossiping about his father, he especially felt like breaking some things, but knowing that the elders of renowned martial art circles were sitting in this lobby, he managed to hold in the impulse in the end. He hastily called for the steward to inform the rest of the household to hold their tongues so as to keep the matter from his father’s ears.

Wenren Heng spoke once more, “But we can’t eliminate the possibility that the person who placed these notices and the poisoner are different people. Perhaps someone wanted to borrow this sudden windfall to stir up some trouble. For the Wang family and those who are close to them, we should be more mindful of these things.”

In response, the Wang family head called over the servant again and added a few more commands before finally looking at those seated. After attempting to calm his anger, he hoarsely spoke, “These elders should be aware of how much my father has done for others. These accusations are complete slander.”

Manor Lord Wei took the initiative to answer, “Naturally. We’ve had a good relationship with your father for so many years, we couldn’t possibly distrust him, so there’s no need to get so angry.”

Looking tired beyond his years, the Wang family head nodded.

Manor Lord Wei looked at him. “It looks like the day is almost over. Other than this, I’m sure you have other business to take care of. You should go take care of those first, and everything else we can discuss on another day.”

The Wang family head gratefully said a, “Yes,” and respectfully showed them out. 

Wenren Heng and Ye You couldn’t help but give each other a look.

Despite what Wenren Heng previously said, they were both mostly convinced that this matter had been done by the poisoner.

They wasted over ten days hurrying over to the Wang family residence. And by the time they arrived, news about the Lantern- Extinguishing Poison had already spread, so those from Jianghu who arrived in Suzhou earlier have definitely been waiting for even longer. With this many days without any new information, there were probably many who had already become impatient. However, right as their patience ran out, this announcement began widely circulating. So those who were about to leave inevitably had to stay, and those who had already left inevitably had to return.

They initially thought that the poisoner’s intent was to draw people over, and this occurrence seemed to further confirm that.

But what is he planning, doing something like this?

And what reason does he have to expose the Wang Patriarch? Is it really for the sake of enforcing Heaven’s justice, or for some other scheme?

Ye You quietly said, “Senior Brother.” Wenren Heng said, “Yes.”

Ye You said, “I’m going to the bathroom. You can just find a random place to wait for me.”

Wenren Heng, “…”

For lack of better options, Wenren Heng was just about to say, “Senior Brother will go with you,” when he heard Manor Lord Wei calling him from outside the room. Pulling Junior Brother with him, he heard Manor Lord Wei, not unexpectedly, mention going to look for Miracle Doctor Ji to treat his Junior Brother. He said insincerely, “Isn’t Miracle Doctor Ji trying to detoxify Elder Wang? Let’s just continue waiting for a while.” “The overall treatment is just about done.” After serious matters were over, Manor Lord Wei went back to wearing his customary Buddha-like smile. “He’s skilled with handling veins and arteries, so this matter won’t cause any delays. I’m also happy that you finally found your Junior Brother after such hardship. I’ll go talk to Miracle Doctor Ji, let him find some time to see you.”

This was precisely what Wenren Heng wanted. “Then, apologies for inconveniencing Uncle Wei.”

Manor Lord Wei said, laughing, “There’s no need to be so polite with me.”

Ye You followed behind them obediently, once again giving up the idea of going to the bathroom.

He looked at Wenren Heng’s profile and felt a slight loosening in his heart. He was finally somewhat convinced that they were Disciple- Brothers. After all, Manor Lord Wei had met Wenren Heng’s Junior Brother before, and while he’s being examined, he’ll most likely have to unravel his bandages. With how unperturbed Wenren Heng was about this situation, in all likelihood, he wasn’t lying.

Naturally, there was also the possibility that Wenren Heng’s sect members had gone ahead and warned Manor Lord Wei ahead of time in order to have him corroborate the story. However, Ye You felt that if this really was true, Wenren Heng would’ve found countless numbers of people as corroborators, all singing the same tune, so that he wouldn’t be able to tell what was true or not.

So he was still willing to believe Wenren Heng.

The group walked and talked, eventually reaching the rear garden.

Now that the announcement had gone out, Elder Wang couldn’t easily go anywhere, so Manor Lord Wei brought them to Miracle Doctor Ji’s residence. Even before they reached the courtyard, the group could already smell the faint scent of medicine in the air. By lucky coincidence, Miracle Doctor Ji had not yet gone to Elder Wang’s and was currently reading a medical text. As Wenren Heng said, although this man was old, he had a robust appearance, and even the wrinkles on his face seemed to show signs of the three energies29. He wore white clothes, and his beard went past his chest.

Like a pure-white flower, he looked like an Immortal down to his bones.

Wenren Heng simply explained their reasons for coming. Miracle Doctor Ji stroked his beard. “Which sect is he from?”

Wenren Heng said, “Speaking honestly to this elder, this young one30 has been separated from Junior Brother for more than ten years, and we only recently reunited. He was injured and now no longer remembers anything. On this matter, even this young one isn’t clear, but since he has been found, from now on, he will certainly stay by this young one’s side from now on.”

Manor Lord Wei also chimed in with, “Exactly. From now on, with Xiao-Heng watching him, how could anything possibly happen?”

Miracle Doctor Ji unhappily gave Manor Lord Wei a look. And before saying anything else, he began feeling Ye You’s pulse, telling the other to unravel his bandages so he could take a look. He said, “The burns aren’t serious. Just continue applying Hundred-Grass Dew and it should be fine.”

Wenren Heng made a noise in affirmation, and upon seeing that the doctor was still checking the pulse, he continued waiting patiently.

“His internal energy is certainly strange. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it isn’t, but I can’t find any signs of internal injuries,” Miracle Doctor Ji said, “You say he doesn’t remember anything. Did he hit his head?”

Wenren Heng said, “When this young one found him, he already couldn’t remember anything.”

The implications behind his words were unclear. Miracle Doctor Ji also thoroughly examined the arteries and veins for a while, eventually reaching the verdict that there was not much harm done to the body, and there was no internal injuries and no poisoning. Although there were some external injuries, nothing else was wrong. As for the internal energy and memory loss, he could first prescribe some medicine as a test.

He said, “Drink this for five days. After he finishes drinking it all, then come back and let me reexamine him.”

Manor Lord Wei had many affairs to attend to, so he saw only until halfway before he was called away by his subordinates. After Wenren Heng had rewrapped his Junior Brother’s bandages, he politely got up and took his leave, slowly walking the path they took originally to get here. He asked, “These days, with your internal energy so low, have you felt unwell?”

“No,” Ye You said, “Didn’t the Miracle Doctor also say that there was nothing wrong with me?”

Wenren Heng nodded and didn’t continue asking, but in his heart, he grew even more worried.

In these past few years, he had exchanged some blows with his Junior Brother, so he knew how frightening it was that the other’s internal energy was this low. Previously, when he had surreptitiously checked, he also didn’t think it was internal injuries, and he originally thought that Miracle Doctor Ji would have some remedy.

He didn’t expect that even the doctor wouldn’t be able to find out the reason behind it. Now it’s become an actual problem.

His Junior Brother had a willful personality, and he easily offended others. Could it be that he had courted disaster while he was outside31, which resulted in someone chasing him all the way to the Central Plains?

What a headache. Ye You had no idea of his Senior Brother’s thoughts. He asked, “Just now, why did Miracle Doctor Ji ask about my sect?”

“Miracle Doctor Ji has a set of rules for practicing medicine, and if the rules are followed, there is no injury he won’t treat,” Wenren Heng said, “One of the rules is, ‘Without exception, nobody from the demonic faction will be treated.’ That’s why he asked you that question.”

Ye You raised his brow. “Then…”

He was originally going to ask about the Demonic Sect but after turning the words around in his head, he ended up changing his question. “Am I part of the righteous or demonic faction?”

“Who knows,” Wenren Heng’s tone was helpless, almost as if his words really were true, “Senior Brother also wants to know which faction you’re from. So isn’t there nothing to be done? Since we’re not clear on this, then for now let’s count you as part of my Shuangji Sect.”

More and more, Ye You felt like this Senior Brother of his was not only difficult to deal with but also extremely shameless. Seeing Senior Brother like this, the other seemed much more likely to be part of the demonic faction. But is he himself part of the demonic faction or does he hold a grudge against the Demonic Sect?

Spoken another way, would he really join the demonic faction? Wenren Heng shot him a glance. “What are you thinking of?”

Ye You earnestly said, “I think that since I’m this honest and kindhearted, there’s no way I’m part of the demonic faction.”

“…” Wenren Heng looked at him. “Yes.”

The two arrived rather late, and many people were already staying at the Wang family residence. However, just in case, the family head had set aside a few guest rooms in reserve. Wenren Heng was naturally considered one of those people who qualified for these rooms, so he brought his Junior Brother with him to stay in one. His first priority following that was to send someone to decoct the medicine.

After being decocted, the medicine looked pitch-black. Ye You took a small sip to test it out. His brows wrinkled but his face didn’t change, though he immediately drank the entire thing in one breath.

Wenren Heng promptly poured him a cup of water. “Bitter?” Ye You was reluctant to admit his mistakes. “It’s all right.”

Wenren Heng said, “In the past, you were especially afraid of bitterness. That year you turned into an idiot, every time you drank medicine, you would get so angry you’d smash the bowl and then roll around on the floor, crying and yelling for half a day.”

“…” Ye You was silent for a moment before deciding to face this thing head on.

He let out a sigh and was just about to ask specific details about that year when he heard knocks at the door and the scarred man entered, telling them that Manor Lord Wei had sent people over to invite them to dinner.

Wenren Heng didn’t have an opinion, but just as he got up, he felt the person beside him grab his hand.

Ye You said, “Senior Brother, in all honesty, it really is bitter.”

Wenren Heng silently stared at him, already having an inkling of what will be said next.

Sure enough, Ye You said, “It’s so bitter that I don’t have an appetite. Why don’t you go by yourself?” After he finished speaking, he let go of Wenren Heng’s hand and shakily crawled to bed, acting as if he was extremely weak.

Wenren Heng was speechless, and only after indicating to his subordinate to take care of the other did he leave. The moment Wenren Heng left, Ye You got up and unhurriedly stepped out the doors. He looked at the scarred man following him and asked, “So my Senior Brother and Manor Lord Wei have a good relationship?”

“It’s been fairly good these past few years. Apparently previously when Sect Master’s Master had an accident, it was Manor Lord Wei who helped out.” Having received the Sect Master’s order, the scarred man would answer most general questions. “Another thing is that Manor Lord Wei’s daughter has special feelings for the Sect Master, and even Manor Lord Wei wants the Sect Master to be his son-in-law.”

Having heard this, Ye You felt that his warm interest in Manor Lord Wei wasn’t surprising. Curiously, he asked, “And my Senior Brother?”

The scarred man answered, “It’s not clear. They haven’t discussed this topic yet…” He paused. “That’s right, about half a year ago, Manor Lord Wei asked Sect Master why he hasn’t started a family yet.”

Ye You asked, “And what did my Senior Brother say?”

The scarred man gave him a look and honestly said, “Sect Master said that he hasn’t found his Junior Brother yet, so he has no inclination to get married.”

When Ye You heard this, he thought that the other was simply using him as an excuse. He said, “So in the future when my Senior Brother does get married, you Shuangji Sect members better not forget to give me a big red envelope.”

The scarred man, “…”

Chapter 9

The matter with the announcement hadn’t occurred for even half a day before everywhere in Suzhou, from teahouses to restaurants, had people gathering together to gossip over it. On the street, Ye You even heard people questioning whether Elder Wang had truly been involved in some shameful business. If the Wang family head ever heard any of this, he would definitely vomit blood.

But presently there was no need for the Wang family head to worry, as people’s conversations ground to a halt the moment they saw a “lantern” walking about.

As the sun was setting, Ye You walked past three different restaurants, eventually stopping at the finest one in the city. The moment he stepped inside, he already thought that the place was quite good.

The restaurant had three seating areas and two floors. Two of the seating areas on the second floor were connected with a bridge walkway, with private rooms built on the walkway, separated from the outside by a hanging curtain. On the walls hung paintings, and even artistic potted plants32 were arranged in the lobby. Everything

was very carefully chosen.

Laughing, Ye You said, “As expected, going out is much more interesting and fun than eating with my Senior Brother and his friends, right?”

The scarred man silently offered up a tear of sympathy for their Sect Master.

Ye You didn’t want a private room and instead opted for individual seating. He ordered some side dishes and two jugs of good wine and unhurriedly started eating. Seeing him about to pour the wine, the scarred man hastily stopped him. “Sect Master said that while your injuries aren’t healed, you33 shouldn’t drink.”

“Then wouldn’t this opened wine jug just go to waste?” Ye You said, “Or else are you going to drink all of it?” The scarred man shook his head. After the “sleepwalking” incident and several days interacting with this man, he could tell that this person was difficult to handle. Besides, after this many years, this was still the first time that they saw the Sect Master waiting on one person. Seeing how important Young Master Xiao was to the Sect Master, he naturally could not allow any mistakes to happen and so said, “Bringing it back with us for later will be good.”

Ye You said, “That isn’t good at all.”

The scarred man immediately wanted to say, “I’ll carry it so you definitely won’t be tired,” but was stopped by the other’s next words, “It was so difficult to go out this one time, so it’d be shameful to bring back only two jugs of wine. We should at least buy a few barrels worth.”

“…” The scarred man swallowed the words he previously wanted to say and instead said, “All right, I’ll go call a horse carriage to come pull it.”

“Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I was also thinking that.” Ye You sighed. “But it’s such a pity, I brought enough money only for my meal, so I can’t bring back anything for my Senior Brother. So let’s just drink these two jugs of wine here.”

The scarred man, “…”

He suddenly desperately missed his Sect Master. It’s probably only the Sect Master who could manage this person.

“I’m injured so I can’t drink, and you’re unwilling to drink, so let’s just gift it to someone else.” Ye You looked in all directions and very sincerely made the invitation.

Although the people didn’t recognize him, they did recognize the scarred man, so they were already secretly observing the situation. Now all of them who have since caught a glimpse of him immediately stood up. This young sir had ordered the finest wine from this restaurant, and it also seemed like he had a relationship with Sect Master Wenren, so how could these people not be curious. The scarred man had time to blink only once before the entire table was surrounded by people, with all of them from Jianghu. It felt like a large mountain was pressing down on him. He suddenly felt that it was not enough with only him watching Young Master Xiao.

His nerves were tense, afraid that someone might start something, but he really was overthinking it, as Ye You was simply looking for someone to chat with.

Some mutually announced their own clans. When they learned that Ye You’s identity was “Sect Master Wenren’s Junior Brother”, everyone was astonished. They thought even more that their decision to come over was the right one, and saying it like that helped them save some face.

The flow of conversation gradually opened and quickly turned to the current incident.

Ye You said, “Could it be the demonic factions who did it?”

“Speaking like that isn’t good,” a thin, tall man carrying a monk’s spade34 said, “Perhaps it’s truly an enemy, or perhaps it’s a demonic faction member acting like a demon.”

“I heard this Lantern-Extinguishing Poison was truly terrible, and that if they catch the poisoner, they definitely wouldn’t let that person off easy,” Ye You said, “So to have the guts to do such a thing in front of the righteous factions, their strength must be really great. If it really is the demonic factions’ doing, do we have an idea which Sect has this much power?”

Everyone said, “Yes, if it’s power, Wuwang Temple and the Demonic Sect definitely has it.”

Ye You asked, “Wuwang Temple?”

Everyone was surprised. “Young sir doesn’t know?”

“Yes, this little brother’s body is weak and so has been sick at home all these years. Today’s my first day leaving the house,” Ye You said, “Other than Senior Brother, this little brother recognizes no one and knows about nothing from Jianghu, so is seeking some guidance from all the heroes here.”

From being gifted the epithet of “Hero” by this Junior Brother of Sect Master Wenren, everyone felt happy from head to toe, and immediately fell over themselves to relay all that they knew without exception.

“Wuwang Temple’s Temple Master is called Xie Junming, and he’s very strong. Wuwang35 Temple came from the Western Regions36, and they’ve been in the Central Plains longer than the Demonic Sect. Before the Demonic Sect arrived, most people called Wuwang Temple the demonic sect.”

Ye You asked, “So they changed it later because the Demonic Sect’s strength was greater?”

“No, I think Wuwang Temple is even more incredible.”

“Says who? The Demonic Sect had been in Jianghu for not even half a year before they got a firm footing, so they’re much stronger than Wuwang Temple. Sect Master Ye’s martial arts is even more unfathomable.”

“They still don’t know their place.”

Ye You patiently listened, and only once they finished arguing did he pour them a round of wine.

Everyone remembered that the previous question hadn’t been answered, so they now said, “They switched the name to this Demonic Sect because of the incident at Yushan stage.”

Yushan stage.

This was the second time Ye You has heard this name. Curious, he asked, “What happened at Yushan stage?”

“This is a long story. That year when the Demonic Sect arrived in the Central Plains, they were very aggressive and looked especially nefarious so that many people started calling them a demonic sect…” In the crowd, an adventurer about thirty years old began speaking. He outlined the main points, and from there continued with, “But those were all small things. The real cause was that the Demonic Sect began fighting with one sect from the seven sects of Lake Tai37 and taught them a lesson. Those seven sects were as close as family and so murdered right back as revenge, but they were again taught a

lesson. They called for more help, and still they were beaten. But before they could make any further moves, Sect Master Ye single- handedly found the Alliance Leader. Or, to say it another way, the two happened to meet at Yushan stage.

“At that time, there was a terrible fuss. The righteous faction was afraid that the Demonic Sect had set a trap, so nearly all of them went. Who could have guessed that Sect Master Ye brought only five people with him, only five people.” The adventurer couldn’t help

but tsk, with a faint note of yearning in his tone, but he didn’t give voice to it in the end, and instead simply raised his head and took a drink.

He continued with, “That day, Sect Master Ye’s first words were said to be the same words that certain righteous faction members would say when they couldn’t win against their enemy, ‘Against this kind of villain, there’s no need to speak of the righteousness of Jianghu; everyone, come up all at once.’ The Alliance Leader had always been a person of virtue and prestige, and he never imagined that the other would be this deliberately provocative.”

Ye You gave a laugh, thinking that if it was him, he would also do the same thing. He asked, “And then?”

The adventurer said, “Naturally there’s no need to speak of the Alliance Leader’s character; he definitely wouldn’t do such a thing. So afterwards Sect Master Ye began lecturing them.”

Another interrupted with, “That’s right, when Sect Master Ye opened his mouth, he was really incredible. He said that they were all people from the Central Plains and were simply returning with some foreign friends, but that not only were they not welcomed but also were pointed at every day and called a demonic sect. These were exactly the actions of a bully, and even mad dogs weren’t this shameless. He even said that they never stole anyone’s food or burned anyone’s house, yet they continued to be accused of crimes without any evidence. The seven sects of Lake Tai then claimed that they’ve exterminated entire families, but, in response, Sect Master Ye laughingly asked a few sentences and immediately found a lot of contradictions. At that time, those sect members’ faces were ashen.”

Ye You asked, “How long ago was this?”

“Five or six years ago now. It happened right during that first year they arrived.”

Ye You’s interest was piqued, and, feigning admiration, he said, “Then you heroes certainly have good memories, even remembering something from that long ago.”

Everyone waved it off. “Mostly, we’ve heard this part so many times from crowds of storytellers that we naturally memorized it. However, reportedly… just reportedly, at the time, what Sect Master Ye actually said was even more infuriating than this. And those righteous faction members who previously believed the seven sects’ excuses, and who chimed in with agreement, were also soundly derided by Sect Master Ye, and their faces turned very ugly.”

Ye You understood clearly.

“And then, Sect Master Ye said that this matter needed a resolution, and that he couldn’t just accept being ridiculed by the righteous faction for so long without recompense. Thus, he set up a martial arts competition, best out of five. If they lose, they’ll apologize, but if the righteous faction lost, they could no longer act like mad dogs, picking fights for no reason. The Demonic Sect had five elders who came, and it turned out to be a complete and total victory.”

Ye You asked, “Sect Master Ye didn’t participate?”

“Yes, originally there were some who wanted to exchange blows with Sect Master Ye, but Sect Master Ye said that the strongest in their sect was sect master, so if any one of his subordinates were defeated in a match, he would personally participate in the next.

Unfortunately…” “But I’ve heard that after the five matches were over, a swordsman was adamant about exchanging blows with Sect Master Ye. At that time, an entire crowd of people couldn’t see how Sect Master Ye moved. By the time anyone realized what was happening, Sect Master Ye had already appeared behind the other’s back and injured him.”

“Ah, that’s right! I do remember something like this happening. Luckily, Sect Master Ye didn’t intend to kill, or else no one would’ve known how that swordsman died. And everyone else who saw this no longer dared to act without thinking.”

“So they just walked away?” Ye You asked. “But they really did win, so why does the righteous faction still call them a demonic sect?

Didn’t they say they haven’t done any evil deeds? It couldn’t be that Sect Master Ye actually changed the sect’s name to the Demonic Sect, right?”

Everyone laughed. “Young sir guessed right. During the competition, one of the Demonic Sect elders accidentally injured someone. Feeling remorseful, Sect Master Ye said that, to make amends, he’ll change the sect’s name to the Demonic Sect in the hopes that that person will feel a bit better.”

Ye You laughed, thinking in his heart that this Sect Master’s temperament was somewhat similar to his own. Senior Brother had said he was missing for many years. He couldn’t possibly be this Sect Master Ye, right?

Everyone said, “In all honesty, the Demonic Sect sounds pretty good. At least, it sounds better than the previous name.”

Ye You asked, “What was the previous name?” Everyone said, “Gold Sect38.”

“…” Ye You immediately took back his previous thoughts. There was

no way he could’ve come up with such a name. Even if he was just playing around, he wouldn’t pick this name. Was it that his temperament and Sect Master Ye’s was similar so he joined the Demonic Sect?

Is he the type of person to follow someone else’s lead?

Yes… If this Sect Master Ye was really as charismatic as people say, then there’s definitely a possibility.

Everyone drank more and more and became even more talkative. They started saying that Sect Master Ye was over two meters39 tall, as strong as an ox, and can stab someone to death with just a single finger. Listening to this, Ye You felt very rueful and ordered more

jugs of wine. He began asking more questions, and whatever he asked, they answered. Seeing this, Ye You was happy enough to also drink two cups of wine. He’d done so quickly enough that the scarred man wasn’t able to stop him and could only just take away his cup afterwards.

The party drank until the sky darkened before they finally stopped and, one by one, bid their goodbyes.

Lanterns hung throughout the streets, with people coming and going every which way, so the atmosphere remained fairly lively.

Ye You stepped on a stone bridge and saw a full moon reflected on the surface of the river. He was just about to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful scenery when he heard a large crash of water from nearby. He looked over and found three men underneath the bridge, all dressed like scholars, along with one man splashing about in the water.

“This time, we’re giving you the chance to learn from your mistakes. Next time we catch you speaking badly of Elder Wang, this uncle will cut out your tongue.” The scholar’s tone of voice was completely inconsistent with the way he dressed, and his temper seemed violent.

The scarred man also gave the scene a look and said, “That man is from Dingtian Academy40.” Ye You asked, “Dingtian Academy?”

The scarred man said, “It’s a Jianghu sect, established here in Suzhou, located very close to the Wang family. Their Academy Master41 Ge and the Wang Patriarch are very good friends.”

Ye You thought back to that morning in the lobby with all those people. He somewhat remembered hearing his Senior Brother call an Academy Master Ge. He nodded and asked, “How close is very close?”

“They’re separated only by a river.” As he spoke, the scarred man pointed it out.

Ye You turned his head to look across the river at an impressive- looking academy. A different idea flashed through his head, and he made a sound in acknowledgement.

By the time they returned to the Wang family residence, Wenren Heng had already returned from his meal with Manor Lord Wei and was speaking to someone. Before Ye You had even entered the room, he heard his Senior Brother let out a faint sigh, “Found is found, but with my Junior Brother currently looking like this, how could I possibly think of anything else? Let’s set aside talks of marriage for now.”

Ye You, “…”

The scarred man, “…” 

The author has something to say:

LOLOL Speaking of, I saw that, in the last chapter, there was a lot of people worried about Youyou's issues in going to the bathroom. Don't worry, that was just an excuse for the sake of slipping away in secret.

Chapter 10

The person speaking with Wenren Heng was a youthful young sir, with the bearing of a martial artist, and a faint air of arrogance on his face.

When he saw Ye You enter the room, he looked the other up and down and said, “This is your Junior Brother?”

Wenren Heng nodded, looking at his Junior Brother while smiling. “You’ve returned?”

Ye You made a sound in acknowledgement, and hearing his Senior Brother introduce this man as Sir Wei, he politely gave a greeting. Sir Wei nodded his head and didn’t continue intruding, immediately taking his leave. Ye You poured himself a cup of water, and when his Senior Brother returned from seeing the man off, he asked, “He’s Manor Lord Wei’s son?”

“Yes, he’s the family’s second young master.” Wenren Heng walked to his side and sat down. Nose twitching, he said, “You drank wine?”

Ye You didn’t even blink. “No, I didn’t.” Wenren Heng looked at him.

“The person sitting next to me drank a lot of wine, so that’s why there’s the smell of alcohol on me.” Ye You randomly brought out an excuse to placate the other before hastily changing the subject, “Did Sir Wei come to look for you because of his younger sister? It probably wasn’t Manor Lord Wei’s idea, right?”

Wenren Heng wasn’t the least bit curious where the other had heard about this situation. In agreement, he said, “Yes, it’s most likely he himself who wanted to ask.”

Ye You knew he was right. Manor Lord Wei looked sly and cunning; he wouldn’t have supported being so impetuous.

He also wanted to say to not use him as an excuse, but then remembered that his Senior Brother and the Wei family have had years of good relations, so the other probably couldn’t speak too openly or reject too adamantly and could only drag things on. If the opposing party was smart and discrete enough, they probably wouldn’t bring up this matter again.

He thought of the scarred man’s words and asked, “How did Senior Brother and Manor Lord Wei meet?”

Wenren Heng was silent for a moment before saying, “Ten years ago, when Master suffered a fatal injury, it was him who led men to kill the assassin. And, afterwards, he also helped me arrange Master’s funeral.”

Ye You suddenly felt a brief ache in his heart and a stuffy feeling throughout his chest. These feelings were similar to the last time. They came quickly and also left quickly. He let out a breath before asking, “Master was fatally injured? By who?”

“It was an incredibly strong swordsman known as ‘Boundless Line'42. He was obsessed with practicing his martial skill, and his internal energy increased rapidly, though as a result, he murdered many people. A wounded adventurer from Jianghu escaped to Master’s house to plead for help. Who knew that the moment he arrived would also be the moment he was caught…” Wenren Heng’s voice was very serene.

It had already been ten years. At the time, he had held a youth’s piercing grief and a hard stone of blank helplessness. But as the river of time flowed, so too did the hard stone turn into fine sand, and even the great waves of pain and hatred would gradually calm and abate. The only thing that remained was a disappointed sigh, an ordinary lingering spider thread in his mind.

Wenren Heng said, “At that time, Manor Lord Wei and some others just happened to be in pursuit, and because Master occupied the swordsman for a while, Manor Lord Wei’s party successfully caught up and surrounded that swordsman. That was how they managed to capture him. But Master’s injuries were serious, and we didn’t manage to save him.”

He paused for a moment. “You were also there at the time.” Ye You was startled. “Me?”

“When I arrived… Master had only one breath left in him, and after he finished telling me to take care of you, he was gone.” Wenren Heng softly said, “Manor Lord Wei’s party all sustained injuries. The swordsman died about twenty steps away from Master, and the adventurer who begged for Master’s help was dead in the same

direction, about seventeen meters43 out, with his heart’s arteries shattered in pieces. And you were just kneeling there in front of him, covered in blood from head to toe, with a hit acupoint, already completely blank. No matter how much I shouted your name, you never seemed like you could hear me.”

Ye You frowned.

Ten years ago, Senior Brother was just a youth of nineteen. Suddenly facing such big changes, he shouldn’t have been able to pay attention to anything else. The fact that he was able to remember so clearly must mean that he must’ve turned the events over and over in his head afterwards, probably even returning to the scene of the battle.

But it must’ve been incredibly painful. What could’ve pushed such a person to ruminate over those events in such detail?

With his head wrapped in bandages, Wenren Heng couldn’t see him frown, simply thinking that the other was listening attentively, and so continued with, “I asked Manor Lord Wei’s group, and they said that you were already like that by the time they got there. Afterwards, when I thought it over, I believed that it was probably Master who wanted you to flee, but since you weren’t willing, he had the adventurer hit your acupoint and take you with him. But that adventurer wasn’t able to escape and ended up dying. And maybe that madman even wanted to kill you at some point, but he was stopped by Master and the others.”

Ye You carefully tried to look through his memories but still found that his mind was a complete blank, unable to remember a single thing. He could only ask, “Is that how I got sick?”

Wenren Heng said, “Yes.”

Ye You then asked, “How did I later get better?” Wenren Heng lifted his cup and drank a mouthful of tea. It was the first time that he didn’t answer the other’s questions, not even a, “You got better after drinking medicine,” or a, “I don’t know.”

He put down the tea cup and looked at his Junior Brother. In a soft voice, he said, “It’s getting late, go wash your face, and I’ll help you apply the medicine.”

Ye You’s internal musings was again cut off abruptly, leaving him off- balance. He silently looked at his Senior Brother. After seeing that his Senior Brother really wasn’t going to continue speaking, he got up to wash his face, all the while pondering over the reasons why.

The scarred man entered the room soon after and meticulously relayed all that had happened during the day. When Wenren Heng heard that his Junior Brother drank two cups of wine, he let out a small, “As expected.” The scarred man recalled what the group of drunk men had said and did not know whether to laugh or cry. “Most of what they said was hearsay. A complete mess.”

“He also wouldn’t truly believe it,” Wenren Heng said, thinking that his Junior Brother would probably figure out for sure only two things. One being that the Demonic Sect wasn’t actually an evil sect, and two being that Sect Master Ye didn’t often show his face, or else having been in the Central Plains all these years, everyone’s descriptions about his appearance wouldn’t be so fantastical.

Naturally, his Junior Brother would consider the possibility that he and Sect Master Ye were the same person, but… that name “Gold Sect” should probably allow his Junior Brother to let go of many of his suspicions.

He lifted the corners of his mouth.

In all honesty, he also wanted to know why his Junior Brother would pick such a name.

It wasn’t until Ye You had returned, sat down, and finished having medicine applied that he suddenly remembered something. “Where am I sleeping tonight?”

Wenren Heng spoke as if it was a matter of course, as dictated by heaven and earth, “You’ll be sleeping in the same room with me.”

Ye You reminded him, “Senior Brother, right now, we aren’t outside.”

Wenren Heng lectured, “The poisoner has neither shown themselves nor left any clues until now. We can’t be careless.”

Ye You was actually eager to meet the poisoner and ask about matters relating to the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison, but he knew that the other had no reason to appear in this room, so the only thing he could be was resigned. In a practiced manner, he laid on the inside of the bed, leaving the outside for his Senior Brother.

The candle was blown out, and the entire bedroom suddenly descended into stillness.

Having heard a whole pile of things, Ye You was not in the least bit sleepy. After lying for a while, he opened his mouth and asked, “Today I heard that Fengxian Manor and Lingjian Pavilion44 are really incredible. Is Lingjian Pavilion’s Pavilion Master the thin, tall man sitting across from Manor Lord Wei this morning?”

Wenren Heng had also not slept and answered, “Yes, Pavilion Master Ding.”

Ye You asked, “I also heard the martial arts circles’ Alliance Leader was chosen because of them. Why?”

Wenren Heng quietly laughed. “You conveniently didn’t ask for the reason why?”

Ye You said, “I wanted to, but the man was already drunk. I couldn’t get an answer out of him.”

Wenren Heng said, “It’s because Manor Lord Wei and Pavilion Master Ding have never gotten along, and it’s said that they’ve been this way since they were young…” Fengxian Manor and Lingjian Pavilion, the two big powers of Jianghu.

Manor Lord Wei’s character was sly and cunning, and he was polite and amiable to everyone he meets. He was really good at winning over people’s hearts, and so managed to gather many skilled and famous adventurers. In contrast, Pavilion Master Ding had an honest disposition and a solemn character. Many swordsmen who disliked Manor Lord Wei ended up gathering around him instead.

The two men had been in conflict for over twenty to thirty years, and there was even friction between their sects. Although they haven’t gone to war, every time they started arguing, many in Jianghu broke out in cold sweat, afraid that these two would eventually end up disrupting the current peace.

In the past, during this time, it would be Shaolin and Wudang45 who would come and help them reconcile, but as time went on, they both began to feel physically and mentally exhausted since neither side was willing to compromise. Finally, they decided to choose an Alliance Leader for the martial arts circles. His martial arts skill didn’t need to be high; he just needed to have patience and a good temper, able to appease the people.

To speak plainly, they were just looking for someone capable of stopping fights.

The Alliance Leader was chosen by Shaolin, Wudang, and a few other long-established sects. At first, he just stopped fights, but then he started taking care of some trivial matters too. He was extremely patient while also being completely evenhanded. As the years passed, he steadily gained more and more respect from the men in Jianghu.

So right now in Jianghu, Fengxian Manor and Lingjian Pavilion have both been controlled. The Alliance Leader, who had been randomly chosen from one sect, had managed to achieve a certain balance. As long as there wasn’t a big incident, the two won’t fight.

Ye You closed his eyes, gradually feeling more and more sleepy. At the end, his words sounded almost like subconscious mutterings, “When one family alone gets big, it becomes a target for the masses.” Wenren Heng was surprised.

That year when his Junior Brother first moved back to the Central Plains, they happened to meet one day. After hearing him talk about the situation in Jianghu, the other had said the same sentence as he did just now. Sure enough, even though he’s lost his memory, his way of thinking was still the same. Wenren Heng naturally knew that these long years of peace and harmony was only possible because of those two men’s restraint, or else there would’ve been a bloodbath long before this.

Looking at the indistinct silhouette in the darkness, he had a mind to touch, but after lifting his hand up a little, he ended up lowering it again.

After going through a night of disturbances, the Wang family’s mood the next day had clearly turned more grave. All the servants walked around with their heads down, talking only when absolutely necessary, as if they wanted to turn invisible.

Although Ye You somewhat wanted to avoid his Senior Brother, he actually had a fairly good night’s sleep, and so unhurriedly followed after his Senior Brother to eat breakfast. After, he prepared to walk further through the city so as to listen to more of those incidents from Jianghu.

The scarred man quickly looked at his Sect Master. Wenren Heng wanted to laugh on the inside, but on the outside, he slowly caught up to his Junior Brother and said, “Senior Brother will go with you.”

Ye You said, as if touched, “Senior Brother, I just knew you were especially good to me.”

“Yes, but I’ll be even better, and I won’t let you go out alone today,” Wenren Heng quickly cut off the next words the other wanted to say and earnestly followed with, “The outside is so chaotic, and I finally found you after such hardship, so of course I have to protect you.” The words that Ye You wanted to say next died in his throat. Thinking about how utterly shameless his Senior Brother was, Ye You gave up resisting.

Yesterday, he had made many friends, so right as he stepped on the street, he met some who had been coming to greet him. Wenren Heng stood on the side smiling, until he heard the men saying that they wanted to invite his Junior Brother to Fengchun House46 at night to sit for a bit. Hearing that, he furrowed his brows and

prepared to step forward to change the subject, but at this time, he suddenly felt a set of eyes probing in his direction and couldn’t help but raise his head.

Only to be met with the closed window of the neighboring inn’s second floor. Nothing could be seen.

He gave another look before retracting his gaze.

A certain someone in the second-floor guest room had closed the window, letting out a breath of relief. “Oh heavens, how terrifying.”

The room’s other occupants asked, “Who was it?” The person said, “Wenren Heng.”

“He’s also here?”

“Yes. He also seemed to have someone by his side, but the shed downstairs blocked my view, so I didn’t see who it was.” That man walked to the front of the table and sat down. “All of you really think that the Sect Master is at the Wang family residence? The Sect Master’s been missing for a while.”

Some said, “What if he had snuck into the Wang family residence beforehand, making secret arrangements this whole time, and only now decided to show his hand?”

“That’s definitely possible. But with the whole matter with the Wang family blowing up, how are we supposed to get in?” Elder Miao said, “Oh… Sell ourselves?”

The remaining people looked at him. Elder Mei said, “Right now, even a fly can’t enter the Wang family residence. Would they buy people now?”

Elder Miao sat in silence for a moment. “Yes.” The group stared.

Elder Miao said, “For instance, if it’s for the Patriarch to accumulate virtue47.”

The group, “…”

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05 Februari 2023] Pengelana Rimba Persilatan

24 Januari 2023] Pedang KIRI Pedang KANAN

14 Januari 2023] Manusia Aneh Dialas Pegunungan

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