Record of the Missing Sect Master Chapter 91-100

Chapter 91

There were a total of six people from “Heaven’s Firmament” who had remained behind, and along with Sir Yang’s bodyguard, the roof immediately seemed somewhat crowded. Ding Xilai couldn’t help but mutter, “Six. This silly little girl is even more precious and valuable than me.”

Ye You said, “Manor Lord Wei’s always doted on her. It’s not like you didn’t already know this.”

Ding Xilai still wanted to say more, such as, ‘This place was already the farthest away from the crowd, so it was extremely safe, and giving this many people to Wei Jiangrou was practically a waste,’ but at this time, Wei Jiangrou and Sir Yang moved towards the middle where they were, and he thereupon swallowed back the words.

Wenren Heng, Xie Junming, and the others were still dealing with those drugged men who were dead set on killing them and, at this moment, were already no longer on the rooftop. Wei Jiangrou spent a while searching, first looking at the Manor Lord Wei who was faraway and then, upon seeing that he was unhindered, turning to cast her gaze upon Wenren Heng.

After receiving nary a sound from her after speaking several times, Sir Yang turned around and quickly discovered that she was watching Wenren Heng. He couldn’t help but let out a sigh in his heart. It was only when he touched her arm that she regained her senses and looked back at him. He said, “Don’t worry. Nothing will happen to him.”

Wei Jiangrou made a low sound in agreement. After a moment, with red eyes, she asked, “Brother, do you also think that there’s no hope for me anymore?”

Sir Yang really wanted to tell her that, over these years, they’ve never once thought that she and Wenren Heng were actually possible, since after all, Wenren Heng’s attitude had always been very clear, but when faced with her pitiful appearance, the only thing he could do was pat her on the head. Xiao-Rou had been pampered since young, and other than the matter with Wenren Heng, up until now, she had never encountered any setbacks. Alas, even if he spoke the truth, he didn’t know if Xiao-Rou would be able to accept it.

Although he hadn’t said it, Wei Jiangrou was faintly able to understand his meaning, and holding back her tears, she once again looked at Wenren Heng.

Since the first time she saw Wenren Heng, she had liked him. This person was exceedingly handsome, with great martial arts and a good temper, who also treated people well, and he had even established Shuangji Sect at a young age. Even her incredible second brother couldn’t compare to him.

He and her father were also old acquaintances, and over these long years, his relationship with her family had always been fairly good. She had thought that he was already practically indistinguishable from family. She had originally believed that their wedding was a matter of course, and that it would naturally happen eventually, but now everything was no longer the same.

She looked at the figure below and couldn’t stop her eyes from heating up.

She would truly never be able to give up on this person, as it was impossible for her to meet a second Wenren Heng in this lifetime. If she wasn’t able to be together with him and had to marry another man, then she’d be utterly incapable of accepting it.

Everything had clearly been fine, so why did an Ah-Xiao suddenly appear?

Why did Ah-Xiao come back?

Why would Wenren Heng treat him so well?

Wei Jiangrou couldn’t help but look towards the person over there, and upon seeing that he seemed to have noticed her gaze, she turned back, hastily averting her eyes.

Ye You gave her a look but, not paying her any particular attention, turned back his line of sight. The fishing village’s houses were laid out row-by-row, and there were some places that were covered up from view so that, even if they were standing on the rooftop, they wouldn’t be able to see it. Luckily, the village chief and them were still on the small path, having not yet left their lines of sight.

At this moment, Elder Bai had already caught up to the village chief, and it was likely that the village chief wouldn’t be able to escape in this short period of time. Although the drugged men still had not stopped, Elder Bai and them had received orders beforehand to focus their attacks specifically on the flute players. So every time the flute sounded, it didn’t echo for long before it was cut short. Thus, the drugged men gradually began losing direction, resulting in the righteous faction members easily knocking these men unconscious.

Ding Xilai watched for a while and felt that the righteous faction was now gaining the upper end.

He wanted to ask Sir Xiao’s thoughts, but when he turned his head, he saw that this person seemed to be smiling faintly. He asked, “What is it?”

Ye You looked at him. “What do you mean what is it?”

“I saw that you were smiling, so I wanted to ask if you had discovered something.” As Ding Xilai spoke, his eyes shone, and he impatiently asked, “Or could you have some kind of plan?”

“No.” Ye You narrowed his eyes as he looked forward. “It’s just that every time the righteous faction members work together, my mood is always better.”

Ding Xilai didn’t understand. “Why?”

Ye You said, smiling, “Because those elders’ gazes are all vicious, so the white piece wouldn’t dare to act carelessly while under their eyes and so anything that needs doing must be done with quite a bit of effort. And since the white piece is of high rank and great authority, he needs to protect his own position and image, so while trying to accomplish his own plans on one hand, he also has to strike down his own subordinates on the other. Right now, the white piece is definitely raging mad. Since the white piece is unhappy, I’m naturally very happy.”

The moment Ding Xilai thought about this, he thought that it made quite a lot of sense and nodded in agreement.

After a while, he asked in a low voice, “You really don’t have a plan?” Ye You said, “Perhaps I do, perhaps I don’t.”

Ding Xilai immediately felt that he did have one and was just about to ask when Wenren Heng returned.

Wenren Heng was able to be accepted by Elder Yu as a disciple because his talent was high, and so taking care of some drugged men didn’t count as much of an issue.

He had returned so late because he had to create a cover for Elder Baili. After all, within Jianghu, it was rumored that Sect Master Ye’s martial skill was deep and unfathomable. Although Elder Baili’s martial skill was very good, it was still a fair distance away from the words “deep and unfathomable”. He couldn’t let other people see through this, so he had provided a bit of help.

He walked to his Junior Brother’s side and took the other’s hand. “Cold?”

Ye You said, “No.”

Wenren Heng stroked his ice-cold fingertips a bit in order to help him warm up.

Seeing her beloved standing not faraway, Wei Jiangrou wasn’t able to resist this temptation and moved forward to say, “Brother Heng.”

Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgment but, from the start, didn’t even look at her, his tone so indifferent that even Sir Yang could hear it.

Sir Yang felt his heart ache for his little sister and so wanted to pull this person back. Wei Jiangrou stood there, unmoving, stubbornly looking at Wenren Heng. Seeing that he was practically treating her like empty air, she felt her tears immediately rush out. Choked with sobs, she asked, “Brother Heng, have you still not forgiven me?”

Wenren Heng insipidly said, “Ah-Xiao said that he wouldn’t blame you.”

“That’s right, Xiao-Rou,” Sir Yang said, placating, “Besides, all you did was hurt Sir Xiao a little, and Sir Xiao also said that it was all right. How could Sect Master Wenren blame you?”

“Oh?” Ye You naturally could hear that this person felt that his Senior Brother was taking things too seriously which was why the other had brought up this matter again. Smiling, he looked towards the other. “Did Lady Xiao-Rou explain things to you like this?”

Sir Yang said, “Is that not the truth?”

Ye You said, “Well, it’s certainly not wrong, but do you know the specific details of what happened?”

Wei Jiangrou’s expression changed slightly.

After that incident happened, her second brother had begun to dislike her, so she was truly afraid that this person would also begin to hate her.

She couldn’t help pulling at Sir Yang’s sleeve and saying, in a low voice, “Brother, let’s go back.”

If Sir Yang wasn’t able to hear the ulterior motives behind this, then he’d be a fool.

But they were, in the end, a family, and so he wouldn’t interrogate Xiao-Rou in public. It was only that he felt somewhat upset that

Xiao-Rou had actually not told him the truth. With a nod, he brought her back to where they were previously.

Ye You didn’t have any interest in chasing after them to explain in detail. Upon seeing Lady Tao standing up, he asked, “How do you feel?” Lady Tao said, “All right.”

Ye You was just about to tell her to rest a bit longer when he saw her prepare her qin and once again begin battle with those pitiful little flute players faraway. He immediately felt helpless and internally thought that this person was as strong-minded as always.

But the effect of the qin playing was clearly evident.

The people of Shuangji Sect, Wuwang Temple, and the Demonic Sect had already put the flute players in disarray, with their flute playing constantly being interrupted. Now with the sound of the qin added in, their situation worsened like hail atop snow, and they were quickly completely defeated.

Likewise, the village chief had been hit by a palm strike from Elder Bai, and at this time, his face had turned pale, his expression gloomy to no end.

He fiercely ran a distance away but saw that he still couldn’t escape from them. Knowing that there was a possibility that he’d be finished here, he said in a harsh voice, “Open the cage!”

That subordinate received a fright. “What?”

The village chief said, “What are you standing around staring for? I told you to open the cage!”

That person didn’t dare to disobey, turning around to run towards a nearby place.

The scarred man was able to hear all this very clearly. Feeling deeply that this wasn’t a good thing, he immediately broke rank to give chase while simultaneously telling his companions to stop that person. But they were still slow by a step, and the village chief had also most likely shouted when close to the location itself, because that person hadn’t run very far at all before he then threw himself towards an unremarkable little side-room.

In the next moment, only the continuous clashing of metals could be heard, and the entire ground faintly began to shake. Everyone couldn’t help but stop, looking bewildered at their feet. Very quickly, someone shouted, “What is that?”

Everyone raised their heads and saw that a piece of this small, ordinary road had been raised up ahead, exposing a pitch-black cave entrance. Immediately following, there was an ear-splitting howl, completely unlike the sound any human being would make.

The scarred man bore the brunt of it and hastily retreated backwards. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the person who had entered the house run outside and, without a word, flashed over to capture that person. He then sealed the other’s acupoint and kicked this person’s chest, directly kicking the person towards that entrance.

“No——” that person immediately called out in a fright. He hadn’t even finished getting out a, “Save me,” before he was grabbed by a black shadow that had darted out from the inside. In an instant, he was torn into two. His flesh and organs rained down, crashing into the ground, falling every which way.

Everyone collectively sucked in a cold breath, and when they looked over, they saw that what had come out was actually a person.

This person’s face and clothing were obscured with dust, and there was no way to see any of his specific facial features clearly.

He didn’t pause at all even after tearing apart a person, and upon seeing someone nearby, he rushed forward to continue tearing. That someone was a drugged man, currently doing the utmost to attack the righteous faction. When this person was suddenly grabbed, he hadn’t even had the time to understand what was going on before he very quickly knew no more.

There was practically no distinguishing between enemies and allies!

Everyone in the righteous faction felt their hearts tremble, and before they could even think of a countermeasure, they saw that two more people had come out from the cave entrance. And then a fourth came, and a fifth… After a short period of time, more than twenty had come out, and there was no telling how many more there were still below.

These people were the same as the person before them, moving to tear whoever entered their lines of sight. They not only had extraordinary strength and no rationality but also didn’t have any perceptions of pain, with vicious methods. Very quickly, quite a few people met with calamity.

Ding Xilai was scared to death upon seeing this. “W-w-what is this?” Ye You said, “Possibly failed products from the past.”

Ding Xilai said, “What?”

Ye you said, “Before the finished product was successfully made, there were definitely a portion of people who were used to test the drug. Although those drugged men’s internal energy rose substantially, they weren’t able to be controlled, so in the end, they were locked up. There’s also the other possibility that, after the finished product was made, the white piece had the mind to raise a troop of drugged men like this.”

Ding Xilai shouted, “But they also can’t control these people, so what’s the use of keeping them? Mutual self-destruction with the enemy?”

Ye You said, “Not necessarily. These people are still alive, so it’s proof that there was someone providing them meals every day.”

Ding Xilai said, “So what?”

“So maybe they’ll listen to the people who feed them…” Ye You had spoken only halfway when he heard the sound of a whistle suddenly ring out.

That troop of drugged men who were just about to tear into someone collectively stopped in their tracks and turned towards the source of the sound.

The village chief had blood on his lips, having appeared on a rooftop who-knew-when. Behind him was Elder Bai who had just caught up and was just about to strike, but the village chief acted as if he didn’t even notice, not even trying to dodge. With all his might, he pointed at the rooftop that Ye You was on.

In the next moment, Elder Bai’s palm struck the village chief, and the latter spat out a mouthful of blood, falling off the roof, life and death unknown.

The drugged men let out an earth-shattering roar and ferociously rushed towards the rooftop ahead.

Ye You continued with, “Because they don’t have any rationality, they can understand only the most basic of orders, and they’d also definitely execute these orders. If they aren’t able to kill the person, then they most likely won’t stop.”

Ding Xilai’s face turned deathly pale. “They’re r-r-rushing over here. W-w-what do we do?”

Chapter 92

Ye You’s speculation was quickly confirmed.

After the order was issued, that crowd of drugged men appeared as if they were no longer able to see anyone else, and no matter what provocations there were from the people nearby, they never changed their lines of sight.

Their internal energies were powerful, and they didn’t feel any pain, so even if both their legs were cut off, they’d still continue howling and crawling forwards. Unless they died, no one would be able to stop them. The most frightening thing was that they still knew lightness skills, and so they weren’t confined only to rushing forward on the small road. If it wasn’t for the people of “Moon’s Shadow” and “Heaven’s Firmament” who had blocked their way mid-route, then these people would’ve long already rushed onto the rooftop.

At this time, the drugged men were already within three hundred meters242, with scenes of bloody carnage all around, the people in a pitiful state of defeat. Everyone in the righteous faction was practically helpless in the face of this calamity.

Ding Xilai watched, absolutely terrified, feeling as if that desire to kill even up until their last breaths, mingled with that mad and ghastly atmosphere, was ramming into him head-on. There was a split second where he even felt as if he was able to smell the thick stench of blood.

His face paled even further, and he looked at Sir Xiao. Ye You was standing there, unmoving.

His face was bound with bandages, and his eyes were slightly narrowed; there was not the slightest way to see through his thoughts..

Wenren Heng was next to him, expression still as calm as usual, appearing almost as if the drugged men below weren’t even there. Ding Xilai endured for a moment as he watched the drugged men get even closer, with two of them even breaking through the righteous faction’s blockade, rushing to within thirty meters243 in one go before once again being intercepted. He saw that Sir Xiao and Wenren Heng were still not moving from their places and deeply felt

that he could never even hope to become like these two. In a trembling voice, he asked, “We… aren’t moving away?”

Ye You said, “We’ll move.”

As he finished speaking, he turned his gaze and saw that the people of “Heaven’s Firmament” wanted to leave with Wei Jiangrou and Sir Yang for their protection. He then said, “Lady Xiao-Rou, if I was you, at this kind of time, I wouldn’t leave alone.”

Wei Jiangrou had long been scared silly and asked, pale-faced, “Why?”

Ye You said, “Because right now they’re no different from wild beasts, and we’re just like their prey. Has Lady Xiao-Rou ever raised a dog before? For a dog that’s very aggressive over its food, if you put a large pile of food together and a person takes away a small portion of that food, the dog would definitely cast his line of sight upon that small portion. Now that all of you want to leave right underneath their eyes, if that troop of drugged men become enraged, then there’s no telling whether they’d chase after all of you.”

Wei Jiangrou was frightened into trembling.

Ye You continued with, “If, at that time, all of you are too far away, me and my Senior Brother won’t have any way to save you.”

Sir Yang asked, “What does Sir Xiao mean?”

Ye You said, “I mean that if you want to leave, we should leave together.”

Wei Jiangrou actually also didn’t want to be separated from Wenren Heng, and she practically didn’t hesitate before agreeing. Sir Yang likewise thought that what Sir Xiao said wasn’t without reason and so also didn’t object. He asked, “What do you want to do?” Ye You said, “Find a few with good lightness skills to jump back and forth from these rooftops. While they’re jumping, we’ll take the opportunity to hurry and leave.”

Sir Yang immediately understood.

Moving first was far better than being targeted as prey, and within a short period of time, the drugged men would definitely turn towards them, allowing the people who had remained an opportunity to flee.

Right now, of those on the rooftop, Wenren Heng needed to take care of his Junior Brother and so would definitely not act as bait. Qin Yuemian was a profligate wastrel and wasn’t reliable. Lady Tao had just been injured and so was also clearly not suitable. As for Ding Xilai… Fengxian Manor and Lingjian Pavilion had always been on bad terms, and Sir Yang was also unable to order the other party. In other words, the only people who could be pulled out were those from “Heaven’s Firmament”.

He gave them a simple look and chose two from “Heaven’s Firmament”, leaving four for his little sister, before then having his own bodyguard remain behind, preparing to follow them on his own.

The bodyguard from the Yang family was concerned and said, “Young Master…”

Sir Yang said, “There’s no need to mind me. The people of ‘Heaven’s Firmament’ will protect me.”

That bodyguard also thought that was true and so didn’t speak any further, going along with those two people from “Heaven’s Firmament” to leap onto a nearby rooftop before then immediately changing to another location. Ye You gave all this a glance and, upon seeing that the drugged men were watching them as expected, said, “Right now, let’s go.”

The group swiftly left the rooftop, and without waiting for them to ask, Ye You took the initiative to say, “Run along the riverside.”

Sir Yang said, “Why?” Ding Xilai didn’t want to wait a moment longer and so couldn’t help but lecture, “If he wants you to run, just run. Would Sir Xiao harm you two? Quick, hurry, stop holding us back.”

Sir Yang didn’t want to argue with the other and, hearing the bursts of snarls behind him, hastily stowed away his own thoughts and followed them in fleeing for their lives. Everyone thereupon hurriedly rushed towards the river basin and then followed the river’s flow to walk for a while before discovering that a few small boats were docked at the shore.

Ye You said, “Get on the boats.”

“Get on?” Sir Yang was somewhat unable to understand.

After concealing themselves from the drugged men’s sights to escape, they should only need to find a safe place to hide for a while and wait for the drugged men to be taken care of before then coming out. Why did they still need to get on these boats?

Ye You understood what he meant and explained, “It’s not that every single drugged man didn’t notice us. Some definitely saw us leave. I guessed previously that it was possible that the white piece could have this kind of drugged men, and so I talked it over with Temple Master Xie and Sect Master Ye. Now, they’ve most likely already incited the elders to let those drugged men pass, so…”

He hadn’t yet finished speaking when Sir Yang and the others heard a few familiar howls echo from not faraway, coming closer and closer.

Ye You said, “So the drugged men would probably come chasing.” The group, “…”

Ding Xilai’s face turned pale in an instant.

Sir Yang had the profound feeling that he had been tricked, and Wei Jiangrou was also provoked, almost letting out a shriek. In fury, she looked at the main culprit, “Why did you want to let them pass? Are you purposely trying to lead us to our deaths?” Ye You amiably said, “That’s not it, Lady Xiao-Rou.” Wei Jiangrou said, “Then why?”

“Because the drugged men are not easy to deal with. Do you want to let the righteous faction adventurers throw away their lives for the sake of trying to save us?” Wenren Heng spoke, and while his tone wasn’t harsh, his cold gaze still made Wei Jiangrou instantly pale.

Wenren Heng said, “If we’re capable of saving ourselves, why don’t we choose to do so?”

With red eyes, Wei Jiangrou bit her lips, not saying anything else.

Ye You said, “In short, we should hurry on the boats. The ladies should sit on one boat. Lady Tao, please protect Lady Xiao-Rou well.”

Lady Tao nodded and pulled Wei Jiangrou over. The latter didn’t resist, though after she was pulled onto the boat, she looked towards Sir Xiao and Wenren Heng, wanting them to also come along. Lady Tao reminded her, “This boat won’t fit that many people.”

The boat was very small, and it could seat only five people.

On this boat, other than Lady Tao and Wei Jiangrou, there were also three people from “Heaven’s Firmament”. The remaining person from Heaven’s Firmament then personally went to Sir Yang’s side, preparing to sit in the same boat with him so as to better protect him.

Ye You looked at Ding Xilai. “All of you also get on a boat.” Ding Xilai said hesitantly, “Why don’t I follow you…”

Ye You interrupted him, “Go, the drugged men are almost here.”

Ding Xilai no longer hesitated, turning around and running onto the boat.

Wei Jin and Ren Shaotian followed closely behind. That person from “Heaven’s Firmament” originally wanted to also bring Sir Yang on, but Qin Yuemian was faster than them, jumping onto the boat before patting his own chest in order to suppress his fear. He asked, “Do any of you still have people who want to come on? If not, we’ll go first.”

The person from “Heaven’s Firmament” could only give up, following Sir Yang to get on the third boat with Wenren Heng and Ye You.

Sir Yang looked at the remaining boats and asked, uneasy, “We don’t need to destroy those?”

“No,” Ye You said, “The drugged men have a one-track mind. Do you think they’ll think to get on boats?”

Sir Yang startled and thereupon understood Sir Xiao’s intentions.

The drugged men wouldn’t use the boats. When those men saw them, their first reaction would probably be to rush through the water directly, and there might even be some who tried to use lightness skills, but if they were far enough away from the shore, then the other party wouldn’t be able to do anything to them.

But… these boats appearing seemed to be a little too coincidental. Were they boats that one could see anywhere in these fishing villages, or… did a certain person prepare them beforehand?

Sir Yang looked at Sir Xiao, but before he could even open his mouth, he saw a drugged man had caught up.

There was blood splattered all over that drugged man’s body, and upon seeing them, he loudly yelled out and rushed forward. And then, he was gradually submerged by the river until not a shadow could be seen.

The group, “…” Foolish, really foolish.

Ding Xilai’s heart was originally suspended in anxiety, but upon seeing this, he became aware of the advantage of being on a boat and patted his thigh in excitement. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Wei Jin look at him and instantly stowed away this expression. With hands behind his back, he said insipidly, “Sir Xiao is truly incredible.” Ren Shaotian contained his laughter and said, “Young master, sit properly.”

Ding Xilai said, “Oh.”

That drugged man was the first, and two more very quickly arrived. The first also entered the water and drowned, while the second actually used lightness skills. At this point, Wei Jiangrou and Ding Xilai’s boats were already far away from the shore, but since Ye You’s boat was the last to set out, it had not yet traveled too far, and so the drugged man just so happened to catch up.

Wenren Heng and the person from “Heaven’s Firmament” moved together, immediately meeting him head-on.

Although these drugged men didn’t have any rationality, they still had their ingrained fighting habits, and along with their rapidly- increased internal energy, they were thus not easy to dispatch. When Wenren Heng struck out, he was inattentive enough to be forced into retreating a step by an attack, crashing into the caught-off-guard Ye You, who was standing right alongside. Ye You fell back and ended up himself crashing into Sir Yang.

Sir Yang was also caught off guard and suddenly staggered for a moment. Right as he was about to make an attempt to regain steady footing, he felt as if someone had tripped his feet, and he immediately fell towards the river. And having also experienced a fierce collision, Ye You practically fell at the same time as him.

“Sir Xiao!” “Sir Yang!” “Ah-Xiao!” “Brother!”

In this brief moment, Sir Yang seemed to hear everyone’s alarmed cries before falling into the river with a loud crash.

He suppressed his own panic and tried to swim towards the surface, but at this time, he felt some resistance acting upon his body, as if someone was pressing down on him. He unconsciously began struggling before then feeling a pain in his neck and knowing no more.

After knocking the person unconscious, Ye You quickly swam forward following the flow of the river. It was only after a long moment that he cautiously surfaced a little.

They were already far away from the small boats, and from here, only distant shadows could be seen. He saw that there was a bend nearby and was immediately pleased, swimming over with the person and slowly stepping onto the shore.

He lifted the person into his arms and entered the forest near the shore. He walked for several minutes244 before he finally blew on a whistle. After a while, a swishing sound could be heard from faraway, and very quickly, Elder Mei and a few shadow guards dropped down from above.

Elder Mei said, “Sect Master.”

Ye You nodded and instructed, “Send him to Shaolin and hand him over to Miaomiao.”

Elder Mei watched as the shadow guards accepted the person and asked, “Do we still need to pretend to be water ghosts?”

Ye You laughed and said, “No, we were quite lucky today.”

After hearing this, Elder Mei knew that the Sect Master had wanted to grab Sir Yang from the beginning. If today the Sect Master had failed in attracting the drugged men, then they’d subsequently have to pretend to be water ghosts and flip over those boats. In short, no matter what, they were to make certain that those people took a bit of a fall.

She gave the pale-faced Sir Yang a look and was somewhat curious. “What did the Sect Master capture him for?”

Ye You said, “To get rid of the drugs in his body.” Elder Mei said, curious, “He has drugs in his body?” Ye You made a sound in affirmation and indicated that they could go.

Elder Mei then didn’t ask any further, taking the people to enter the forest, very quickly disappearing within.

As Ye You unhurriedly walked back, he considered where he should wait now for his Senior Brother whose “heart was burning with anxiety”. At this time, he heard the sound of footsteps resounding from afar and getting ever closer, and he couldn’t help but stop.

In the next moment, he saw Ren Shaotian, who was wet from head to toe, appear in his line of sight.

Chapter 93

For an instant, the thought of silencing the other flashed through Ye You’s mind.

But, immediately following, he pushed down this vicious thought.

He knew that Ren Shaotian’s martial skill was high, and he wasn’t sure whether this person had heard the conversation between him and Elder Mei, or if the person had realized that there had been people here just a moment ago, so for now, he didn’t open his mouth.

Ren Shaotian examined him. “Sir Xiao, are you all right?” Ye You said, “Yes.”

Ren Shaotian said, “The young master is very worried about you. Let’s go back.”

Ye You nodded and slowly walked over to his side, standing shoulder-to-shoulder. Looking at him, Ye You said, “You don’t have anything you want to ask?”

Ren Shaotian smiled a faint, indistinct smile.

Most likely because of his disposition, no matter what smile he bore, it carried a faint whiff of impropriety. He said, “Everyone more or less has some secrets. With Sir Xiao and the white piece that much at odds, your secrets must be all the greater. If you’re willing to

speak, this one245 would naturally listen respectfully. If you’re not willing, then we can simply forget it. This one also isn’t in any position to question you.”

Ye You didn’t reply instead asking, “Ever since the last time I returned, you’ve paid more attention to me. Why?”

Ren Shaotian said, “The young master values you very highly. He was extremely miserable while you were missing over those few days.

This one was afraid that something else would happen to you and so would occasionally pay a bit more attention.” Ye You said, “If you say so, then so be it.”

Ren Shaotian fell silent, walking with him for a while before suddenly asking, “Sir Xiao wants to return just like this?”

“Of course not,” Ye You said, smiling. According to his usual veneer, after he fell into the water, he would have to be unconscious for at least half a day in order to display his extremely delicate constitution. He said, “It looks like I have to trouble you to carry me.”

Ren Shaotian then squatted down, back to him, as if not in the least bit uneasy about the possibility of a sneak attack. Ye You gave this person a look. Pressing down on the myriad doubts in his mind, he climbed up, closed his eyes, and said, “Did you see Sir Yang?”

Ren Shaotian lifted him up and returned with a question, “Should I have seen him?”

Ye You laughed. “I sure do like speaking with intelligent people.”

The fact that he was able to swim so far while following the current, and that he was able to get to the depths of this forest in such a short period of time, must have made Ren Shaotian aware that there was something fishy going on. Even if the other hadn’t perceived that Elder Mei had been there, the person would still be able to guess that he had purposely fallen into the water. And when the fall happened, other than him, the only other one to fall was Sir Yang, so it’d be extremely easy to infer that his goal had been Sir Yang all along. This was why this person had replied with that question.

Ren Shaotian asked, “What do you want me to say?” Ye You said, “Just say that you didn’t see him.”

Ren Shaotian said a ‘yes’ before then not speaking any further.

Ye You thought for a moment before saying honestly, “I ordered some people to send Sir Yang to Shaolin.”

Ren Shaotian was somewhat surprised, but he quickly found what the main issue was, “You suspect that he has drugs in his body?” Ye You said, “Yes.”

Ren Shaotian narrowed his eyes. “Then, that’s to say, the white piece is…”

Ye You once again said a, “Yes,” and gave a simple account of what happened to his master. In a low voice, he said, “It was written on a slip of paper that the adventurer gave me that Manor Lord Wei was the owner of that villa and was capturing people to test drugs. I suspect that the swordsman who murdered my master at that time had been fed the drug and then silenced by the Manor Lord Wei who had hurriedly arrived afterwards. All this even ended up involving my master. Since Master had always raised me with such deep affection, I definitely have to take revenge for him.”

Ren Shaotian said, “Are you the black piece?” Ye You said, “I am.”

Ren Shaotian couldn’t help but say, “You know who the white piece is, and with things having grown to this degree, if you simply say it directly…”

Ye You said, “Words alone are not evidence. I don’t have any proof, since I’ve already long destroyed that slip of paper.”

Ren Shaotian had also spoken only halfway before he realized that Manor Lord Wei’s position was too high and toppling that person would definitely not be an easy task.

Even now, with the white piece repeatedly suffering defeat, the righteous faction still had not found the least bit of evidence, which just went to show how cautious the white piece was. And Abbot Ciyuan, Sect Leader Xuanyang, and the others all had upright and plainspoken dispositions, and even his Pavilion Master who had always been at odds with Manor Lord Wei wouldn’t so easily accuse a purportedly good person. Without any evidence in his hands, those elders wouldn’t so easily listen to Sir Xiao’s one-sided account of the story.

He asked, “What have you decided to do next?” Ye You said, “See if we’re able to find any evidence at the fishing village. If we still can’t, then I can only start thinking of other methods.”

Ren Shaotian said, “Why don’t you speak of these matters to our Pavilion Master?”

Ye You said, “He wouldn’t believe it.”

Ren Shaotian said, “But he understands Manor Lord Wei. Perhaps he’ll be able to find Manor Lord Wei’s weakness.”

Ye You said, “Hasn’t Pavilion Master Ding always hated these matters because they relied on tricks and deception? He had been disgusted by the black piece from the beginning, and then later, because of what happened, he had to delay celebrating Elder Madam Ding’s birthday. If I really spoke the truth, then he might actually reveal it directly and take people to search Fengxian Manor.”

Ren Shaotian laughed and said, “That’s very possible.”

Ye You said, “At that time, Fengxian Manor and Lingjian Pavilion might really start fighting.”

Ren Shaotian indicated that he agreed.

Ye You asked, “How did you get here so quickly?”

Ren Shaotian reminded, “People are coming over ahead.”

Ye You still had his eyes closed, and he said, “How does that stop you from answering?”

Ren Shaotian stilled for a moment before saying, “Right as you fell into the water, I jumped in. I knew that your health wasn’t good, so I simply followed the current to swim forward, as I wanted to cut you off from the front. My luck was also good, and I suddenly discovered traces of water near the shore, so I managed to follow that here.”

Ye You’s thoughts turned quickly while he said only a simple, “Mn,” not asking anything else. Ren Shaotian walked following the riverside and, after a moment, saw the people in front running over. Wenren Heng was in the lead, and he asked, “How is he?”

Ren Shaotian was certain that since Sir Xiao had purposely fallen into the water, then Wenren Heng had also definitely been pretending to be no match for the drugged men on the boat previously in order to stumble purposely into Sir Xiao. But he still answered with, “He’s fallen unconscious, but there shouldn’t be anything serious.”

As Ren Shaotian spoke, Wenren Heng had moved to recover the person, pulling the other into an embrace. He then said a word of thanks to Ren Shaotian before beginning to carry his Junior Brother back. The people from “Heaven’s Firmament” who had been following after him conversely asked about Sir Yang’s whereabouts. Ren Shaotian was true to his words and told them that he hadn’t seen the person.

The people of “Heaven’s Firmament” turned grave and anxiously went to conduct a search.

Ren Shaotian said, “Where’s our young master?” Wenren Heng said, “With Pavilion Master Ding.” Ren Shaotian thereupon relaxed.

After a short time, Xie Junming and Elder Baili also hurried over with their own people.

Wenren Heng looked over before his gaze passed them to look at the many righteous faction members standing not faraway, with even the people of “Moon’s Shadow” and “Heaven’s Firmament” among the group. He then knew that today’s matter was almost over.

Xie Junming said, “He’s all right?”

Wenren Heng said, “Yes, I need to hurry and change his clothes.”

It was almost winter now, so the river water was piercingly cold, and with Sir Xiao’s weak body, without even any internal energy to bolster it, they naturally mustn’t be careless. After becoming aware of his situation, everyone hurriedly found a fairly good house in the village for them.

Wenren Heng instructed his subordinates to boil some sweet ginger water before then closing the door. Sitting down next to his Junior Brother on the bed, he began taking off those clothes and, upon seeing the other let out a faint smile, leaned over to drop down a kiss. He asked, “Did you send the person away?”

Ye You said, “Yes. Ren Shaotian also already knows that I’m the black piece.”

Wenren Heng said, “He accidentally saw all of you together?” Ye You said, “I’m not sure if he actually saw it or not.”

He recounted the course of events and asked his Senior Brother about the other’s thoughts.

Wenren Heng grasped the most important point, “You said that he’s been paying more attention to you lately?”

Ye You said, “When I asked him, he didn’t deny it.”

Wenren Heng thought back for a moment, completely unable to pinpoint anything suspicious regarding Ren Shaotian. Internally, he thought that perhaps it had been too-well concealed, and only as sharp a person as his Junior Brother would be able to detect it. If it had been anyone else, then the person would probably never have been able to notice any issues.

He said, “Right as you fell into the water, he jumped in immediately afterwards.”

Ye You could hear the implications and said, smiling, “You’re not saying that he was that anxious because he likes me, right?”

Wenren Heng said, “That’s the most ordinary explanation.”

So-called “ordinary”. Because they knew nothing about matters regarding Ren Shaotian, and they didn’t know if he was also someone who carried secrets in his heart, the only thing they could do was make a guess based on an ordinary explanation. Ye You said in agreement, “Looks like we have to investigate him.”

Wenren Heng said, “Yes.”

Ye You changed the topic. “How are things now?”

Wenren Heng said, “I was focused solely on searching for you, so how could I have the mind to do anything else. You go to sleep first, and I’ll go out to look.”

As he spoke, he finished taking off his Junior Brother’s clothes completely. While taking off the other’s undergarments, he also gave a little teasing touch along the way. Upon hearing this disaster give a seductive moan, he helplessly smiled and kissed his Junior Brother on the lips before then finally getting up and going outside.

The village chief had been gravely injured by Elder Bai and was still unconscious even now.

Three of those flute players died, and two had been captured alive. Meanwhile, the drugged men had long already been knocked unconscious by the righteous faction and were currently lying in dense clusters upon the ground.

Regarding that troop of drugged men who had lost their rationality, there was one portion that had their attentions diverted by the proffered bait jumping from rooftop to rooftop and so had been tied up with iron chains by some elders who had seized the opportunity. Conversely, the other portion that had chased Ye You and the others to the riverside had mostly all jumped into the river itself, and the righteous faction members were currently organizing people to go fish them out. For now, of those who had been fished out already, two had already drowned, and the rest had long lost consciousness. The righteous faction members had thus chained these people up and carried them back.

In this battle, both sides had suffered casualties, and the ground was still littered with flesh that had been torn apart by the drugged men, looking extremely dreadful and wretched. When Wenren Heng went outside, the righteous faction was currently at work busily cleaning up the battlefield while also searching the fishing village to see if there were any important letters or hiding places. Wei Jiangrou and them had also already returned to the fishing village. At this moment, upon seeing him, Wei Jiangrou hastily ran over, “Brother Heng, has Ah-Xiao woken up yet?”

Wenren Heng said, “No.”

Wei Jiangrou said, choked with sobs, “About when will he wake up? Nothing will happen to my brother, right?”

Her second brother had been kidnapped, and while they still had yet to learn about his life or death, misfortune had now also befallen Sir Yang. That person had grown up in her house, no different from an actual blood-related sibling, and had also always taken extremely good care of her. She was practically worried to no end.

Wenren Heng didn’t console her, simply saying, “Ah-Xiao’s body is weak. Falling into the river would’ve rendered him incapable of knowing anything. Even if you ask him, he won’t know Sir Yang’s whereabouts. Why don’t you go wait by the riverside? Aren’t they currently searching right now?”

Wei Jiangrou internally thought that’s true and asked, “Where are you going?”

Wenren Heng said, “I’m going to see if the ginger soup is ready yet.”

With reddened eyes, Wei Jiangrou watched him walk far away and, after a moment of deliberation, finally decided to run towards the riverside.

After having succeeded at taking care of the white piece’s drugged men, those elders decided to remain here for the next little while, intending to finish investigating this area before departing. The adventurers were also tired after having gone through a big battle and so, upon finishing up their business, they sat down to rest in twos and threes. At this time, they saw a baby-faced young boy in an embroidered robe walking in from the village entrance, and they couldn’t help but go on the alert, standing up to surround him. They blocked off this person’s path. “Child, what did you come here to do?”

The young boy wasn’t very tall and had to raise his head to look at them. With an unbelievably adorable face, he said, “I came to find my older brother.”

The adventurers became even more vigilant. “Your brother is one of the people in this village?”

The young boy said, “No, my brother said that he might come here and wanted me to come find him.”

The adventurers guessed that he might be a relative of one of the families here and their tone of voice relaxed. “Who’s your brother?”

The young boy said, “He’s called Xie Junming.” The adventurers, “…”

The scene turned deathly still in an instant.

Immediately following, those adventurers erupted, “Are you joking?! Does Xie Junming have a little brother?!”

The young boy said, “He does, I’m his little brother.”

As every single one of them had been involved with Xie Junming in one way or another, the righteous faction members then all moved to a respectful distance, at once no longer blocking his way, letting the person enter.

The young boy thereupon walked into the fishing village under thousands of staring eyes. From a distance, he saw Xie Junming talking with “Sect Master Ye” and immediately ran over in excitement. “Hey, big bro, I came to welcome246 you!”

Xie Junming turned back to give him a look and, laughing, said, “Cut it out with the ‘big bro’. I definitely don’t have a little brother as big as you.” The young boy didn’t dare to act too impudent to the other’s face and restrained himself a bit. Abbot Ciyuan and the others were all nearby and, upon seeing this, couldn’t help but look over. Xie Junming explained to them, “This is Chenhong Fort’s Fort Master.”

Everyone, “…”

Is this for real? Isn’t it said that Chenhong Fort’s Fort Master is almost thirty?

The “young boy” looked at them and first said a word of greeting before then explaining his reason for coming — to welcome them to come stay at the fort.

Those elders startled.

The Fort Master continued with, “If it wasn’t for Elder Mei coming to inform me this time, I would’ve been completely ignorant of the fact that there were problems with Beiyan Village. They’ve lived here for more than ten years so it’s likely that there’s a secret passage around here. If you decide to stay in their territory, will all of you be able to sleep steadily through the night?”

Then are you saying that we’d be able to sleep steadily in that demonic faction sect of yours?

Everyone was speechless.

But which was the lesser of two evils was still clearly obvious. Although those elders had never lived at a sect of the demonic faction before, after having tolerated and allowed the participation of the two vexing scoundrels Xie Junming and Ye You in their matters all this while, breaking decorum once more was of little matter. The most important part was that they had many who were injured, and there were doctors at the fort who would luckily be able to examine the wounded.

Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang looked at one another and sealed the decision with, “Then apologies for the intrusion.”

Chapter 94

Chenhong Fort was built near a mountain.

Behind the fort was a vast and flourishing mountain, while in front was expansive and boundless water, with countless boats lined along it, giving off a majestic and grand loftiness. Everyone in the righteous faction stared as they got close and couldn’t help turning inwardly speechless at the sight.

The Elder Mei whom those Sect Masters had been concerned about had already been kept waiting for a long time and, upon seeing the Sect Master, went over to welcome him.

She was wearing a flowing mist butterfly dress247, carrying a face that was beautiful beyond compare, moving across the walkway step- by-step, a breeze blowing the hem of her dress like mist billowing in the wind, making her look like an immortal descended, so beautiful that it made people practically unable to look away.

Even though everyone in the righteous faction knew her identity, they were still unable to stop themselves from staring for a long while, having no choice but to concede that she truly was a beautiful person. And that, within the righteous faction, only Lady Tao was able to even compare to her.

Elder Mei walked to Elder Baili’s side. Only after first shooting a glance at the Sect Master did she then ask with a smile, “How is it? Am I beautiful?”

Ye You had still not “awoken” and, at this moment, was currently being carried by his Senior Brother.

Since he was currently acting as a vital “injured person”, he needed to rest well.

So this time on the way to the fort, for his sake, his Senior Brother didn’t refuse the Fort Master’s generosity and agreed to ride on the carriage that the Fort Master had left near the village entrance. Thus, when they got off the carriage, his Senior Brother, Xie Junming, and them ended up walking in the foremost row. Next to them, other than Xie Junming and Elder Baili, there was only the Fort Master, who had learned the truth of the matter from Elder Mei. He was thereby feeling quite at ease and, upon hearing this, opened his eyes slightly to look at Elder Mei, giving her a faint smile to indicate that, yes, she was very beautiful.

Elder Mei was immediately satisfied and secretly gave him a coquettish look.

Ye You smiled again before then immediately perceiving that his Senior Brother was currently looking at him extremely gently, and he immediately closed his eyes, having a clear view of things.

Wenren Heng held him tighter and shot a glance at these two scoundrels.

Without batting an eyelid, Elder Mei moved her gaze away to look at her colleague. Elder Baili hastily tried affecting the Sect Master’s usual tone to say a word of ‘beautiful’ and, after a pause, asked, “You aren’t cold?”

Elder Mei lifted her head. “For the sake of beauty, what does a little cold matter?”

Elder Baili was speechless, and upon seeing her unhurriedly moving to walk behind him, he then took the lead to enter the fort.

Chenhong Fort wasn’t a large place, though it was able to house everyone, with some difficulty.

The Fort Master first called for the doctors to look at those adventurers’ injuries before then instructing his subordinates to sail over to Beiyan Village in order to bring back both the drugged men and the adventurers who had stayed behind as guards.

Everyone stared at that extremely deceptive baby face of his, still feeling somewhat skeptical that he was the Fort Master. It was only when they heard the people of the fort respectfully and reverently refer to him as Fort Master that they finally believed it, mouths twitching. The Fort Master was already used to such stares and did not pay the least attention to them. He arranged a first-rate room for Ye You and invited Wenren Heng over while also taking the opportunity to watch these two people, inwardly trying to guess at the two’s relationship.

Ye You was carried onto the bed by his Senior Brother, and without even opening his eyes, he said, smiling, “There’s no need to guess. This is my Senior Brother.”

The Fort Master was extremely surprised and, after connecting it with the major events that had been happening lately, ran over to sit at the bedside. “Big bro, can you talk about what’s going on this time?”

Ye You opened his eyes to look at the other. “You’ll learn about it.”

The Fort Master said, “Don’t tell me that I’ll learn about it only at the very end.”

Ye You said, “Not necessarily.”

The Fort Master then no longer continued asking and instead helped to tuck him in.

He and Sect Master Ye’s relationship was better than he and Xie Junming’s, and it was originally due to this person that he and Xie Junming even became familiar with one another in the first place. Although now he was able to guess that the reason Sect Master Ye had originally taken the initiative to get on good terms with him was perhaps due to the nearby Beiyan Village, the three of them had shared a deep friendship for many years already, and as he was still capable of discerning true sincerity from base hypocrisy, he remained willing to continue recognizing this person as a friend.

“Then you should first sleep a while.” The Fort Master stood up and said, “What do you want to eat tonight?”

Ye You didn’t stand on courtesy. “The fish soup that your cooks make.”

The Fort Master smiled and said, “Can do.” Wenren Heng watched the other leave before looking at his Junior Brother. “How long have you two known each other?”

Ye You said, “Over three years now… Don’t look at me like that. I said before that I did a lot of things over these years.”

Wenren Heng declined to comment, instead pulling over one of his hands to play with. Ye You laid there for a while before he stopped being so well-behaved. Supporting his head with a hand, he narrowed his eyes to stare at the other. Wenren Heng raised a brow, “What?”

Ye You said, deadly earnest, “You’re too handsome by far, so I’m taking the time to look.”

Wenren Heng said, “How do I compare to that Elder Mei of yours?” Ye You immediately laughed out loud. “Jealous?”

Wenren Heng was extremely calm. “No.” This was the truth.

He had actually been jealous before, a long time ago.

Because he had once seen Elder Mei wearing a vivid and beautiful dress and asking his Junior Brother if she was beautiful. Thinking of cases of women dressing up for the sake of their beloveds, he naturally overthought it. But now he already had his Junior Brother in his hands, and he believed in his Junior Brother’s integrity, so even upon seeing his Junior Brother making flirtatious glances with another person right in front of his eyes, he wouldn’t get jealous. He simply wanted to give this scoundrel a bit of tidying up, that’s all.

Ye You didn’t know what he was thinking but still gave an explanation, “She’s suffered much hardship in the past, so she likes wearing beautiful dresses, and she also likes hearing others praise her. Every time she switches to a new dress, she’ll seek out someone to ask about it.”

Wenren Heng said, “Oh?” “It’s a long story,” Ye You said, “They all more or less have their own stories to tell. Some are quite amusing, while others, if made into a play, would definitely leave many people in tears. I’ll slowly tell you about them in the future.

Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgment. “Do you want to sleep a while?”

Ye You said, “Sleep with me?”

Wenren Heng was naturally willing and turned over to get on the bed, pulling the person into an embrace.

At this time, those elders were still busily taking care of the matters of Beiyan Village.

They had found two letters while searching the village chief’s house, and Bodhi Prison, the hidden villa, and Ghost Gentleman and them were all implicated within. There were also a few mentions about a certain master, though it was a pity that the specific identity of this master was not explicitly written. They couldn’t help but let out a sigh of disappointment in their hearts.

Academy Master Ge said, “Could anything useful already have been burned?”

Xie Junming said, “These are useful.” Academy Master Ge said, “How do you know?”

“A guess,” Xie Junming said, “Until now, none of you have managed to grasp the white piece’s tail, so it’s clear that he’s quite cautious.

Thus, it’s highly improbable that the white piece’s name would come up in their letters, and it’s even possible that the village chief himself doesn’t know who the white piece is and is aware only that this person exists. The village chief probably left these two letters as a just-in-case measure.”

Everyone startled, understanding dawning. So it turned out that the village chief had hidden some insurance. After all, if the black piece didn’t exist, then no one in the world would know what the white piece had done. At that time, no matter who the village chief gave these two letters to, it’d be able to stir up quite the commotion.

Academy Master Ge said, “Then do we still want to search one more time?”

Everyone discussed for a moment and decided that it was necessary to search carefully at least once more, but this wasn’t the most urgent matter currently; the most urgent matter was how to handle those drugged men. The number this time was quite large, and there was even a troop of drugged men who had completely lost all rationality. If they really sent all of these men to Shaolin, they’d need to also send many people as escorts, and they wouldn’t even be able to guarantee that nothing would happen en route.

Those elders’ brows furrowed deeply, and none of them had any good ideas.

At this time, a person from “Heaven’s Firmament” walked in and stooped down to whisper a few words in Manor Lord Wei’s ear.

Manor Lord Wei’s brows then immediately furrowed even deeper. Pavilion Master Ding gave him a look, “What?”

Manor Lord Wei said, “They still haven’t found him.” He stood up and said, “I need to go out for a moment.” Everyone indicated that they understood.

Sir Yang had been personally raised to adulthood by Manor Lord Wei, and their relationship was practically like father and son. Now with Sir Yang’s life and death unknown, and Second Young Master Wei’s matters still unresolved, it was naturally difficult for Manor Lord Wei to take.

Ren Shaotian stood behind his young master, watching Manor Lord Wei’s disappearing back, feeling astonished in his heart. Sir Xiao had stirred up the fishing village this much, and yet that person didn’t appear to care about the aftermath at all, actually going as far as to stay in his room and not appear. What exactly did he want to do?

But these thoughts of his hadn’t persisted for long before he pushed them back down. Because his young master needed to use the toilet, he and Wei Jin thereupon conscientiously followed as protection.

Upon seeing the young master enter the restroom, Wei Jin immediately turned to look at Ren Shaotian. “Why did you jump into the river today?”

Ren Shaotian said, “Since the young master is that concerned about Sir Xiao, naturally I have to save him.”

Wei Jin examined him closely.

As the Head of “Moon’s Shadow”, Wei Jin’s imposing manner was strong. However, carrying a smile, Ren Shaotian simply stared calmly back, meeting the other’s gaze, unmoved. Wei Jin said insipidly, “When you jumped, you weren’t taking the young master into consideration.”

“No,” Ren Shaotian refuted, “It’s because you were there that I jumped.”

Wei Jin said, “You didn’t think of the possibility that an even more dangerous situation could occur after you jumped in and that I wouldn’t be able to handle it by myself?”

This time, Ren Shaotian fell silent.

Wei Jin added some more weight to his tone, “The Pavilion Master wanted you to follow the young master in order to protect the young master from harm, not to protect Sir Xiao. You lost control today, right?”

Ren Shaotian was at a loss for words. Wei Jin said, “Give me a reason.” Ren Shaotian twisted his mouth and was just about to speak when he saw his young master come out.

“Done, let’s go back…” Ding Xilai spoke and then paused.

Wei Jin’s expression was far too grave, and even as careless a person as Ding Xilai was able to perceive that there was something wrong about the atmosphere between these two. He asked, “What is it?”

Wei Jin simply said the truth outright, “This subordinate was asking him why he jumped into the river.”

“Naturally it was for the sake of saving Sir Xiao.” Ding Xilai straightened, hands behind his back, and insipidly said, “Is this something that still needs to be asked? Brother Wei, what Shaotian did today was especially beautiful. If it wasn’t for him, then Sir Xiao might have been in danger.”

Wei Jin said, “But at the time, the young master was still on the boat.”

Ding Xilai said, “Didn’t I still have you, Brother Wei?”

Wei Jin fell silent for a moment, feeling a sense of deja vu abounding in this conversation. He then steadied his patience and explained once again about Ren Shaotian’s severe recklessness. Ding Xilai fell silent, taking a while to react, before saying, “I understand now!”

The two simultaneously looked at him.

Wei Jin asked, “What did the young master understand?”

“I remembered that, last time when Sir Xiao went missing, Shaotin was also extremely worried.” Ding Xilai looked at Ren Shaotian, and seemingly having no qualm at all about Wei Jin’s presence, he quickly threw aside his calm and grave image in order to grab Ren Shaotian’s hands with his own. “Shaotian, speak the truth then. Have you fallen for Sir Xiao?”

Ren Shaotian, “…” Wei Jin, “…” Ding Xilai looked left and right before pulling Ren Shaotian to fast walk to the stairs nearby and squatted down. He patted the other’s arm and said, sighing, “Sir Xiao is together with Wenren Heng right now, and you’re unlikely to win if you fight with Wenren Heng over this person. I know you’re probably finding this difficult to take, so if you have anything in your heart that you want to talk about, feel free to tell me, your young master. Do you want to go drinking? I can go with you.”

Ren Shaotian, “…” Wei Jin, “…”

Ding Xilai felt quite a bit of pity and once again reached out a hand to pat Ren Shaotian’s arm. He advised, “I understand. With the way Sir Xiao is, that person is really capable of moving people’s hearts.

Didn’t you see that even Wei Jiangyue has fallen? But there’s plenty of other fish in the sea, ah, Shaotian…”

Shaotian couldn’t endure it anymore, “Young master, I’m not…”

“There’s no need to speak. I understand.” Ding Xilai said, in deep remorse, “Let’s go, we’ll go drinking.”

Ren Shaotian twisted his lips. “I haven’t fallen for him.” Ding Xilai said, “Then why did you jump into the river?”

Ren Shaotian fell silent for a moment before saying three words, “I don’t know.”

Ding Xilai said, “See? It looks to me like you really have fallen for him! Or else why would you jump into the river? Because you couldn’t restrain your emotions! Isn’t that right?”

Ren Shaotian, “…”

Chapter 95

Ren Shaotian was pulled into being consoled by his young master for a long while, and at the very end, even he himself started doubting his own life.

At last, when the young master once again proposed accompanying him to go drinking, he interrupted with, “Young master, let me think about this some more.”

Ding Xilai said, “Then all right. But you definitely can’t do anything foolish!”

Ren Shaotian said, “…Don’t worry, young master, I won’t.”

Ding Xilai then stood up and returned to Wei Jin’s side, wanting to pull Wei Jin away and leave.

Wei Jin had been thrown aside by them and neglected. Seeing them squatting there, nonsensically talking about this and that, he even became somewhat unable to maintain his usual grave expression. He gave the young master a look and said, “Young master, we can’t simply just let this matter go like this.”

Ding Xilai was very shocked. “Shaotian’s already this miserable, what else do you want to do?”

Wei Jin said, “You really believe that he’s fallen for Sir Xiao?”

Ding Xilai said, “Or else what could it be? As is commonly said, ‘the bystander sees more clearly than the one involved’. Perhaps he himself is unaware of it, but think about how obvious his actions are. This whole thing is as clear as day.”

Wei Jin said, “If that’s truly so, then he’s not suited to accompany you.”

Ding Xilai was even more shocked, but before he was even able to object, Ren Shaotian had walked over.

The person earnestly looked at Wei Jin, “Captain, I won’t be impulsive again.” Wei Jin said, “This isn’t something that I can believe just from spoken promises alone.”

Ding Xilai couldn’t take it anymore, “I believe in Shaotian. And what’s more, Sir Xiao is great, so even if Shaotian still goes to save him in the future, I wouldn’t object.”

Wei Jin said, “What if it was a life or death situation?” Ren Shaotian said, “I wouldn’t leave the young master.”

Ding Xilai nodded. “Shaotian wouldn’t leave me, I know this.” Wei Jin silently looked at them and didn’t speak.

Ding Xilai had always been somewhat afraid of the other, but when he thought of the possibility that Ren Shaotian could be sent away and perhaps replaced by this person in the future, he then steadied his convictions, raising his head to meet Wei Jin’s gaze, unwilling to retreat even a step. Wei Jin thereupon looked at Ren Shaotian and said, “I’ll give you time to think this through. Give me a suitable explanation tonight.”

Ren Shaotian said, “I understand.”

Wei Jin then retracted his gaze and stood aside, waiting for the young master to start heading back.

Ding Xilai felt as if the atmosphere was somewhat stiff and did a little thinking. After returning with them back to the lobby, he told his old man that he wanted to return to his room to sleep before then pulling Ren Shaotian into the room. As for Wei Jin… if he enjoyed standing guard outside so much, then just let him stand guard.

Ding Xilai snuck a peek out of the slit between the doors before then pulling Ren Shaotian to hurry and sit on the bed. “Do you think he’ll tell my dad about what happened?”

Ren Shaotian said, “Since he’s willing to give me some time, for now he won’t tell the Pavilion Master.” He slightly paused and, upon seeing that the young master still looked somewhat unhappy, explained, “The young master shouldn’t blame him. Something happened to the Captain in the past, so now he’s always strict with the people of ‘Moon’s Shadow’.”

Ding Xilai startled. “What happened?”

“It’s something from six to seven years ago,” Ren Shaotian said, “At that time, I still hadn’t yet started accompanying the young master.”

Ding Xilai made a sound in acknowledgment.

At that time, he was only a teenager and still hadn’t started “making his way” in Jianghu with Xiao-Zhong, while Ren Shaotian seemed to have been around twenty and still hadn’t become the second-in- command of “Moon’s Shadow”. Of course, at that time, Wei Jin also wasn’t the captain yet. From what he remembered, the captain had been someone else, but later, upon growing too old, the person had vacated the position and went on to do other things.

He asked, “Then what exactly happened to Brother Wei?”

Ren Shaotian thought back and said, “At that time, a demonic sect emerged in Jianghu which specialized in poison, harming many ordinary people. The Pavilion Master thus had the Captain and them go to investigate the actual situation, but who could’ve known that our colleague’s friend was one of the people kidnapped by that demonic sect. The Captain and them thereby wanted to rescue him, but in the end, an unforeseen event occurred during the operation, and they were all trapped inside.”

Ding Xilai’s expression changed slightly. “Ah?”

Ren Shaotian said, “In the end, the only person who survived was the Captain. He suffered from severe injuries and managed to return only after three months, but before he returned, he single-handed infiltrated that demonic sect and patiently waited for five days before finally seizing the opportunity to kill their sect master.”

Ding Xilai’s entire face immediately filled with admiration.

“His actual disposition isn’t truly like this. In the past, he used to be very brash and was very similar to Temple Master Xie.” As Ren Shaotian spoke, he saw the young master’s face twist and, laughing, added, “But he definitely didn’t incite as much hatred as Temple Master Xie. I was referring to their brash tempers.”

Ding Xilai patted his frightened chest, feeling somewhat better.

“That time, he was the captain of that squad, and if he hadn’t let emotions get the better of them in order to rescue someone, then nothing would’ve gone wrong.” Ren Shaotian retracted his smile. “Thus, the Captain has always blamed himself and, from then on, he slowly changed, becoming even more steady and reliable, eventually turning into the Captain he is now. That’s why he’s so concerned about my matters this time.”

Since he said it like this, even Ding Xilai was able to understand.

Ding Xilai said, “But it’s not as if people can control their own feelings. What’s more, the one you fancy is Sir Xiao. If I liked men, perhaps I’d also start to fancy him.”

Ren Shaotian wanted to object but also felt that the end result would be the same as before, so he could only tacitly agree and ask, “Young master, you aren’t sleeping?”

Ding Xilai said, “I’m sleeping. You can go think about it on your own then. I won’t disturb you.”

When he finished speaking, he crawled onto the bed to lie down, leaving only his small back to face the other, and unwittingly actually fell asleep.

Ren Shaotian listened to his breathing as it turned long and even, quietly sitting there for a while, before then opening the door to go stand beside Wei Jin. After a moment of silence, Ren Shaotian said, “I admit it. I do somewhat care about Sir Xiao.”

Wei Jin turned his head to look at the other.

Ren Shaotian said, “But this isn’t the most important thing I wanted to say. Today, I actually discovered something.”

Keeping silent about the major revelations while focusing on the minor ones, he relayed the fact that Sir Xiao suspected Manor Lord Wei and asked, “Should we tell the Pavilion Master about this?”

Wei Jin said, “Was what happened to Sir Yang also something that he did?”

Ren Shaotian said, “I don’t know. I didn’t see that person.”

This was the truth, as he really didn’t see Sir Yang, though he did feel that it should have something to do with Sir Xiao. But he had promised Sir Xiao not to speak of it, so he wouldn’t.

Wei Jin muttered to himself for a while before saying, “We need to tell the Pavilion Master about this. I’ll go do it.”

Ren Shaotian nodded.

Ding Xilai didn’t know what they had discussed.

He simply felt that, after he woke up, these two people’s relationship was already not as stiff as before. Ren Shaotian said that he had promised to stow away any unnecessary thoughts in the future and wholeheartedly focus on protecting the young master. Ding Xilai wasn’t clear on how he managed to persuade Wei Jin but didn’t ask further, simply patting his shoulder and saying, “You really don’t want to go drinking?”

Ren Shaotian felt helpless. “I really don’t. Why doesn’t the young master sleep for a while longer? It’s not even been two hours yet.”

Ding Xilai said, “No need.”

Today was his first time experiencing such a wretched spectacle, and his dreams were filled with drugged men surrounding him, wanting to tear him apart, so right now he had not the least bit desire to sleep. He said, “We also don’t know how Sir Xiao is. Why don’t we go look in on him?”

Ren Shaotian said, “If the young master wants to go, then let’s go.”

Ding Xilai took these words to mean that Shaotian also wanted to go and so went. 

At this time, Ye You had already long woken up.

He hadn’t been tired originally and so had awoken after resting for only a short while, but for the sake of acting weak, he continued lying in bed, not getting up. Wenren Heng also didn’t get up, and the two of them laid there speaking for a while, mutually teasing each other for a bit, before they quickly became unable to hold back.

When Ding Xilai arrived, Wenren Heng had just pulled open his Junior Brother’s clothes and, upon hearing those sounds, immediately furrowed his brows in dissatisfaction.

Ye You steadied his breathing and, smiling, pushed at the other.

Despite wishing to continue, Wenren Heng retracted his hands, straightening out both of their clothes before then finally allowing Ding Xilai inside.

Ding Xilai was completely unaware of the good thing he had interrupted, only feeling as if Wenren Heng was smiling even more handsomely than usual in a way that was also somewhat terrifying, and he immediately didn’t dare to look further. He walked over to Sir Xiao’s side and asked, “Sir Xiao, how are you?”

Ye You did his best to use a soft voice while also coughing out twice. “Much better.”

Seeing him cough, Ding Xilai was worried to no end. “Did you catch a cold? You need to drink more ginger soup.”

“I know.” Ye You chatted with him for a sentence or two, asking about what was happening outside. When he learned that the righteous faction members had found only two letters in that fishing village, he didn’t find it in the least surprising.

Ding Xilai said, “They said they wanted to search one more time.”

Ye You knew that the white piece had always been cautious and that, even if they searched once more, they most likely wouldn’t find anything useful. He thus decided to ask something else and said, “Oh? Those elders were really concerned about those drugged men?”

Ding Xilai said, “Yes. In the end, they’ll have to order people to send them to Shaolin, right? Leaving them here is too dangerous.”

Ye You said, “Perhaps. But no matter what, there shouldn’t be any delay, since we still have to hurry and rescue Sir Wei.”

Ding Xilai made a sound in agreement and said, “But with Sir Yang still missing… Nothing could’ve happened to him, right?”

Ye You gave a soft sigh. “Hopefully nothing has. The matter with Sir Wei has already caused Manor Lord Wei enough worry. If something has happened to Sir Yang, then it’d definitely be even harder for Manor Lord Wei to take.” When he finished speaking, he again coughed a few more times, looking delicate enough to be blown away by a mere gust of wind.

Ren Shaotian endured, trying not to let his lips twitch in the slightest. Turning his head, he acted as if he hadn’t seen anything.

At this time, Ding Xilai couldn’t help it anymore and had coincidentally shot Ren Shaotian a glance. Upon seeing that this person wasn’t looking at Sir Xiao, Ding Xilai profoundly believed that the other simply didn’t have the heart to do so and thereupon didn’t stay any longer. He wished Sir Xiao a good rest and then went outside.

He consoled with, “Shaotian, Sir Xiao will be all right.”

Ren Shaotian had stopped struggling and simply said, “…Yes.”

The sky darkened, and dinnertime quickly arrived.

The Fort Master had obediently ordered people to stew some fish soup, but in the end, since Ye You’s “health was poor”, the person didn’t make an appearance at all, and so he had to send someone to carry it in. Conversely, Wenren Heng didn’t remain behind to accompany his Junior Brother this time and had appeared at the dinner table.

The Fort Master knew his and Ye You’s relationship and so was very courteous towards him, but while waiting for him and another person to finish speaking, the Fort Master suddenly heard Xie Junming refer to “Sect Master Ye” as darling and had to turn around for a violent coughing fit upon almost spitting out a mouthful of wine. He had heard about the recent rumors, and also knew that Xie Junming had always liked to play, but he hadn’t imagined that Xie Junming actually dared to play at Ye You’s expense.

Xie Junming smiled and said, “Little bro, what’s wrong?”

The Fort Master instantly straightened out his thoughts and said, “This little brother just learned that big bro has received his heartfelt desires and so was overcome in a fit of happiness.”

Xie Junming was very satisfied, “Mn, in the future, remember to call out Sister-in-Law.”

The Fort Master then looked at Elder Baili and said, readily following the other’s directions, “Greetings, Sister-in-Law.”

Elder Baili, “…”

The righteous faction elders saw that they had changed this matter into something so harmonious, and their expressions all subtly changed. Pavilion Master Ding was even more decisive, not even lifting his eyes in the slightest to look over in their direction.

Elder Baili was the one who felt the most aggrieved and indignant deep down, and he tried to ignore that scoundrel Xie Junming, doing his utmost to turn the topic of conversation to proper business. He said, “Speaking of the drugged men, this lord actually has an idea.”

This one sentence attracted everyone’s attention.

Elder Baili said, “From here, Xiaoqing Mountain is much closer than Shaolin. If everyone can accept it, why not have them escorted to the Demonic Sect and locked up there. And when Miracle Doctor Ji manages to formulate an antidote, we can then just cure them all at once.”

This… Those elders hesitated for a moment. Wenren Heng said, “I think it’s a decent idea.” Pavilion Master Ding said, “Why?”

“Right now, rescuing that person is more important, so we can’t delay much longer. What’s more, as long as the white piece has the drug, there’d be no lack of drugged men. It doesn’t matter whether or not the white piece will steal back those people because, regardless, there are already enough drugged men over at Miracle Doctor Ji’s side, enough to make the antidote,” Wenren Heng said, “If there’s another place that’s closer than Xiaoqing Mountain and is willing to accept these drugged men, I’d similarly have no objections.”

Everyone went silent.

Among them, some naturally had estates nearby, but who would so easily accept those people?

Everyone discussed it for a while and came to the decision to hand the drugged men over to the Demonic Sect. Then, on the next day, they’d search through the fishing village once again before then hurrying onward to Wuyun City. Wei Jiangrou was able to hear all this very clearly and looked at her dad, “What about brother248?”

Manor Lord Wei said, “I’ll leave behind some people to continue searching.”

Wei Jiangrou asked worriedly, “Nothing will happen to him, right?”

Manor Lord Wei placated with, “No, I’ve already sent out the people of ‘Heaven’s Firmament’. He’ll be found.”

Although he said these words, his brows still remained deeply furrowed.

Wei Jiangrou was able to see this and, biting her lips, didn’t ask any further, beginning to eat obediently. 

The people of “Heaven’s Firmament” had split into teams and taken turns searching this way and that, not resting for an entire day and night.

As the sunset slowly faded away, they had already followed the river current to search three villages and spoken to many people, but they had learned nothing at all. They were just about to continue searching further ahead when they saw two people walking towards them from faraway, and they couldn’t help but stop.

After a while, someone sad, “That person… kind of looks like the Alliance Leader?”

The rest of them focused their stares and found that the person really did look like the Alliance Leader, but everyone also knew, more or less, that there were problems with the Alliance Leader.

They mutually looked at each other, and immediately someone prepared to return and report. At this time, they saw a person’s figure flash, and the person who had just now been far away had actually come chasing after. They hastily moved to block this person, but before they could even skim the hem of this person’s clothes, they were bypassed, and immediately after, they saw him stopping their colleague.

This was an elderly man, with a very ordinary appearance but a deep, imposing manner. When he stood in front of them, they all felt themselves breaking out in goosebumps.

The Alliance Leader walked over and gave them a look. He said, “Yes, it’s the people of ‘Heaven’s Firmament’.”

The elderly man said, “Where’s your master?”

A person from “Heaven’s Firmament” asked, “Who are you? For what reason are you looking for our Manor Lord…”

Before these words could be finished, that elderly man’s figure flashed, and he struck at the person who had spoken with a palm. Without even being able to let out a sound, the other party took a final breath and perished. The surroundings instantly descended into a moment of deathly stillness.

The elderly man asked a second time, “Where’s your master?”

Chapter 96

When Wenren Heng returned, Ye You was currently unhurriedly drinking the fish soup.

He gave the food on the table a glance and said, smiling, “You’re eating far more sumptuously than I.”

Ye You said, all smiles, “Who allowed me to be ill.”

Wenren Heng walked to his side to sit down and, upon glimpsing that he had some food residue on the corner of his lips, pulled over his chin to help him wipe his mouth clean. Ye You unconsciously licked his lips, but who could’ve known that his Senior Brother hadn’t yet retracted that hand and so was coincidentally licked as well. Wenren Heng’s expression slightly darkened, and the person pressed him down to kiss for a while before letting him go in satisfaction, praising, “The fish soup’s not bad.”

Ye You said, “Want a bowl?” Wenren Heng said, “All right.”

The two thereupon sat around the table of food, drinking and talking.

With the other around, Wenren Heng’s mood was quite good, so he followed along to eat a bit. He then discovered that although the ingredients were the same, the taste was completely different from what he had just eaten, and he said, “He’s certainly quite meticulous in his care for you.”

Ye You silently took a moment to react before immediately letting out a laugh.

Wenren Heng said, “What?”

Ye You said, “If I doubled back to taste the food at Xie Junming and them’s table, I’d know that it’d be exactly the same as the ones on this table. That food definitely didn’t come from the same pot or the same people as the food all the rest of you ate.” As Wenren Heng startled, he suddenly remembered that the Fort Master seemed to have a somewhat strange expression upon seeing him appear at the dining hall.

He had originally thought that the person had been astonished that he hadn’t decided to accompany his Junior Brother, but now… He looked at the food on this table and immediately understood that this had been prepared for the two of them. And when he entered the dining hall, the food had already been set out, so the Fort Master would’ve exposed himself if the person had made people change it, which also explained the strange reaction at the time.

Wenren Heng wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.

Those righteous faction elders most likely would never think to imagine that the master of this place would actually secretly maneuver against them right underneath their noses, especially when they had come as guests.

Ye You said, “This time, he welcomed the righteous faction into the fort entirely out of respect for me. Actually, from the start, he never liked these people, and so he’d naturally not be serious about acting as a good host. This temperament quite suits me.”

Upon hearing this, Wenren Heng thought of something and asked, “After matters are over, you won’t return to the righteous faction?”

Ye You said, “I won’t return. The demonic faction is quite good, and I also like the way the Demonic Sect sounds.”

Wenren Heng knew that his Junior Brother had originally changed that name into “Demonic Sect” to show an unwillingness to enter the righteous faction, though he had originally thought that it was related to the matter of the white piece, but who knew that this person would be unwilling to return even after taking care of the white piece. He thus nodded, with no desire to force the other.

Ye You laughed and asked, “Do you want to join our demonic faction? There’s quite a bit of interesting people.”

Wenren Heng said, “No thanks.” His growth in the righteous faction wasn’t bad, and in the future, if something ever happened to his Junior Brother, he could also act as a bit of protection, so it was quite suited for him.

Ye You similarly didn’t force him. After finishing the meal, Ye You returned to the bed to lie down, while also considering if he should send someone to simmer some traditional medicine for him as a show of his “delicate weakness”. But then, before he could make a decision, Pavilion Master Ding came.

Pavilion Master Ding was still the type of person to get right to the point. He went to sit by the side of the bed and said, “I heard that you’re suspicious of that fatty.”

He didn’t say who he heard it from, but Ye You was well aware and said resolutely, “That’s right.”

Pavilion Master Ding said, “Evidence.”

Ye You said, “Pavilion Master, if this young one had evidence, then it’d definitely have been given to all of you a long time ago, or else why would we be playing this cat-and-mouse game with him?”

Pavilion Master Ding fell silent for a while before saying slowly, “Although I’m at odds with him, I’ve seen what he has done for Jianghu over these years. That won’t simply disappear just because you said that you were suspicious.”

Ye You said, “I know.”

Pavilion Master Ding looked at him. “What exactly is your relationship with the black piece?”

Ye You stilled for a moment before speaking the truth, “I’m the black piece.”

Pavilion Master Ding’s expression turned cold. “You?”

Ye You’s attitude was very sincere, “I know that elder doesn’t like this young one’s methods, but this young one also had no other choice.” Wenren Heng personally brought over a cup of tea to hand over to Pavilion Master Ding, interrupting with, “Pavilion Master is perhaps the one who is most clear on that person’s position within Jianghu. If it had been someone else, would me and my Junior Brother have had to do this?”

Pavilion Master Ding didn’t reply, and his expression remained very cold, clearly still resenting their style of doing things.

Ye You sighed and said, “Pavilion Master…”

Pavilion Master Ding raised a hand to interrupt him and coldly said, “There’s no need to be so talkative. Without hard evidence, I won’t believe your words, and I also don’t want to know what you two are planning to do next, but if I learn that you two are hurting innocents…” He suddenly appeared to have thought of something and asked, in a heavy voice, “Said like so, are Jiangyue and Xiao- Zhong both in your hands?”

“No…” Ye You hadn’t even finished speaking when a noisy racket began echoing in from outside. Afterwards, he heard Wei Jin knock on the door and enter.

Pavilion Master Ding said, “What?”

Wei Jin’s expression was grave. “Pavilion Master, the Alliance Leader has come, and an elderly man has come along with him whom all the elders say is that monster.

Pavilion Master Ding’s expression changed, and he stood up and left.

Wei Jin hastily followed him, rushing out with large strides. With the room door having been left open, the noisy din outside had become even clearer.

Wenren Heng’s heart also gave out a loud thump, and upon seeing his Junior Brother suddenly throwing off the blanket, he pressed the other down. “What do you want to do?”

“What can I do?” Ye You’s eyes were full of cold intent. “Such an esteemed personage has come, so I naturally have to go take a look.” Wenren Heng said, “You…”

“Don’t worry, Senior Brother, I won’t be reckless.” Ye You closed his eyes for a moment, and when he opened them again, he had already regained his calm.

He had most likely already long gotten used to acting like this, and Wenren Heng was unable to see the least bit of killing intent or flaws in his behavior; he even exuded a kind of easygoing air. But the more he was like this, the more he made Wenren Heng’s heart ache.

Wenren Heng couldn’t help but pull the person into an embrace, hugging the other tightly. He walked outside holding his Junior Brother’s hand. “It’s also all right if you’re really unable to endure it anymore. No matter what happens, I’ll accompany you.”

Ye You held his hand tightly and made a sound in acknowledgment. At this moment, all the elders had already run to the front of the fort.

They saw two people standing outside the gates, one of them was their familiar Alliance Leader, while the other was around sixty, carrying an apathetic expression, with an extremely powerful imposing air. Three corpses already laid on the ground over there; all of them had been hot-blooded adventurers, and it was said that they each suffered from only one palm strike before expiring on the spot.

Those elders looked at that face from their memories, and their expressions turned extremely unsightly.

Twenty years ago, their righteous faction expended an enormous amount of effort before they finally managed to eliminate this monster, but as it turned out, all their efforts had been in vain!

That elderly man swept a gaze over them and actually exchanged words of greeting, using a mostly flat tone to say, “Long time no see.”

Those elders stared at him, unable to speak a single word.

These many years had passed, yet that monster had evidently been well cared for, and other than the wrinkles around his eyes, he still looked the same as he had before. But the imposing atmosphere around him was even more terrifying than it was previously, looking like his martial arts had progressed yet again.

With such a large disturbance, the Fort Master naturally couldn’t simply sit on the sidelines.

When he managed to run over, he coincidentally heard that phrase, “Long time no see,” and saw those elders staring at the other party, not saying a word in response. The scene was somewhat cold, but there were also some strange things mixed into it. After looking at both parties, he finally turned his gaze to the elderly man and felt a kind of faint misperception — as if, since this person was standing over there, no one dared to move even a step forward.

He walked to Xie Junming’s side and asked, in a low voice, “Big bro, who is this?”

In a rare moment, Xie Junming’s expression turned serious. “That monster.”

The Fort Master startled. “Which monster?” Xie Junming said, “Which do you think?”

The Fort Master connected the dots to recent events, and his pupils abruptly contracted. Immediately following, he forced out some tears, pulled at his collar, and bit his lips with some force.

Xie Junming bluntly said, “There’s no use pretending to be pitiful. Think about the influential families that were massacred that year, neither the elderly nor the children were able to escape.”

“…” The Fort Master instantly returned to his usual appearance, and when he spoke again, his voice was tense, “Then… then will our fort be ruined today? I still haven’t taken a wife.”

Xie Junming gave him a look. “With this appearance of yours, there’s no use thinking of taking a wife. Tidying up a little and marrying yourself off would be better.”

The nearby elders, “…” Goddammit, how could this rascal have the heart to make jokes at a time like this!

The Fort Master faintly said, “I sometimes think so too, but who would take me? I’m already thirty years old.”

The nearby elders, “…”

As expected, everyone from the demonic faction was just as bad as the other!

Upon seeing that they were all not speaking, that elderly man moved forward a step.

That one step caused those elders to pull back suddenly one after the other, making preparations to begin fighting at any time.

“Wait! First, wait a moment!” The Alliance Leader stopped the elderly man and walked to his side to look at everyone. “There’s some things that we have to clear up today.”

“That’s right.” Manor Lord Wei’s face was stern, and he was the first to go forth to meet them. “Just as well, we also have things to ask you.”

Wei Jiangrou was standing right by his side and, upon seeing this, couldn’t help but worry. In a small voice, she cried, “Dad.”

Upon hearing this, the elderly man looked at her, his gaze suddenly halting.

Wei Jiangrou was practically unable to parse what was happening at all.

She felt only the start of a violent breeze before the surroundings suddenly changed. When she regained her senses, she discovered that she had actually been pulled over by that old man, and the two of them were currently standing facing one another.

She was immediately so frightened that her face paled, yelling out an, “Ah!” No one had expected this turn of events, and those elders were all startled.

Manor Lord Wei shouted, “What do you want to do?”

That elderly man didn’t even grant them a single look, pulling along Wei Jiangrou to leave. In an instant, he had stepped across the water and was already on the river’s opposite side. Manor Lord Wei was naturally unresigned and hastily chased after, while the Alliance Leader had also regained his senses and hurried to follow close behind them.

When Pavilion Master Ding, Ye You, and them came out, one in front and the others behind, this was the tableau that they were met with. The former coldly asked, “That was the monster?”

Abbot Ciyuan said, “It was.”

With a clang, Pavilion Master Ding pulled his sword out of its sheath and, without another word, chased after with intent to kill.

Those elders had just been wondering if they should give chase, and upon seeing this, they all followed in a rush. Their numbers were many, and since that monster still wasn’t dead, no matter what, they needed to send that person to the underworld once again, or else he might truly harm that person.

The front of the gates quickly emptied.

Ye You walked to Xie Junming’s side and, after inquiring about the course of events, immediately narrowed his eyes. “You say it was Wei Jiangrou?”

Xie Junming said, “Yes.”

Ye You said, “I understand now.”

The Fort Master said, “Understand what?”

Ye You didn’t answer, indistinctly staring at the river surface that had long already become void of people. He had been continuously pondering recently — why was the white piece able to remain so calm even knowing that the Alliance Leader had gone to find that monster? Why did Manor Lord Wei not drive away his beloved Wei Jiangrou? So it turned out that Manor Lord Wei had even foreseen Wei Jiangrou’s arrival. It was only that Wei Jiangyue had coincidentally gone missing at the same time, so Manor Lord Wei was somewhat irritable.

At that time, Manor Lord Wei perhaps had some hesitations but, in the end, didn’t send Wei Jiangrou away because Wei Jiangrou actually looked like Manor Lord Wei’s late sister!

Ye You was unclear what entanglements were between Manor Lord Wei’s older sister and that monster, but just from how certain Manor Lord Wei was about being able to use Wei Jiangrou to control that monster, one could see that these entanglements were definitely advantageous to Manor Lord Wei!

It looked like when he had originally tried to drive a wedge into the relationship between the Alliance Leader and the white piece at Shaolin by finding a way to bring that monster over, he had not only failed to create any trouble for the white piece but also ended up allowing the white piece to counterattack — as long as the monster didn’t murder Wei Jiangrou, the one to suffer would be him!

After all, the person who Wei Jiangrou hated the most was him.

Chapter 97

Ye You’s first reaction was to leave the fort.

But right before he went, he left behind some instructions, saying, “If the monster returns in a while, all of you tell him that me and my Senior Brother took a troop of people to circle around to the front to cut them off.”

The Fort Master was shocked. “He’d still come back?” Ye You said, “He’ll inevitably come back.”

The Fort Master said, “Why?” Ye You said, “Because I’m here.”

The Fort Master was even more shocked. “Ah?”

Ding Xilai and that crowd of Junior Sect Masters were all huddled near the entrance to the gates, and upon hearing this, they ran over to look at him, all of them wanting to know what was going to happen later.

Ye You gave them a look. “All of you just have to stay in your rooms without coming out, and he won’t touch you.” As he spoke, he looked at the Fort Master, “You as well. It’ll be fine if you just send someone to answer his questions. Don’t go tempting fate for no reason, in case he ends up killing someone on a whim in a fit of anger.”

For now, the Fort Master didn’t respond and instead looked towards Xie Junming, “Big bro, what about you?”

Xie Junming said, “Of course I’m going with them.” The Fort Master said, “Then I’ll go too.”

Ye You said, “Fort Master…”

“Sir Xiao, I just want to be with my big bro; I’m not going because of you.” The Fort Master had interrupted him while still looking at Xie Junming, but those who knew the truth could tell that he was speaking to both Ye You and Xie Junming. “Brothers should naturally share in both their blessings and their hardships together, so since I’ve learned of these matters, I can’t just sit on the sidelines. In other words, do you think of me as a brother?”

I’ll allow it, though Ye You didn’t bother to say it.

Xie Junming said, smiling, “I think of you as a brother, but what will you do with these subordinates of yours?”

The Fort Master said, “I’ll listen to you. If you let me bring them, I’ll bring them all.”

Xie Junming said, “No need. Let’s go then.”

Ye You also didn’t want to waste too much time. In the end, he shot that crowd of people near the entrance a glance, “Remember, great plans can be ruined by just a touch of impatience.”

When he finished speaking, he went to his Senior Brother’s side.

Wenren Heng held him firmly by the waist and, along with Xie Junming and the others, used some lightness skills to travel a fair distance, following the current and flying over the river surface until everyone had reached the opposite shore. Their figures quickly disappeared into the forest.

Ding Xilai and the others watched as they got far away and then began walking back one after the other.

“What did Sir Xiao’s final words mean?”

“‘Great plans can be ruined by a touch of impatience.’ You don’t even know what this means?”

“I meant that he seems perfectly fine right now so why would he suddenly say those words to us? Could he be worried that we’d come out? How could we?”

“Ah, that’s certainly true…” The group looked at Ding Xilai, feeling as if the words were spoken to him. After all, Ding Xilai was often together with Sir Xiao, and this fact was well known to everyone.

Under their stares, Ding Xilai felt completely at a loss, but he didn’t show it on his face, appearing unfazed as he returned to his room to drink a cup of tea. Only then did he sluggishly think of a possibility and hastily looked at Ren Shaotian.

Ren Shaotian said, “What is it, young master?”

Ding Xilai pulled him over to a small corner to squat down and asked, in a low voice, “Do you think that Sir Xiao has guessed that you like him?”

Ren Shaotian’s lips twitched. “…No.”

Ding Xilai said, “Or else why would he say that? In the past, when he went out to handle business, he’s never spoken like this, but he’s starting to say such things now, after you rescued him. It’s obvious that he’s afraid that you’d do something in a moment of recklessness, isn’t that right?”

Ren Shaotian, “…”

The Wei Jin who was standing behind them, “…”

In the end, sunset shining bright across the horizon gradually faded, and the forest turned dark.

The cries of nameless birds echoed through the skies, sounding one after another, distant and desolate.

Manor Lord Wei did not know how far away he had rushed, and when those in front stopped, they were already in the deepest depths of the forest.

The trees towered high above, reaching towards the clouds, and the light was dimmer than outside. The elderly man was standing in front of a tree, pursuing his lips, and looking at the person he had grabbed. Half his face was hidden within the shadows and couldn’t clearly be seen. Wei Jiangrou was practically about to faint from fright, and her whole body trembled as she said, crying, “Dad, save me!”

Manor Lord Wei walked over, wanting to pull the person back, but upon noticing that the other had on a tight hold, said in a low voice, “Brother249, you’re scaring her.”

The elderly man’s expression moved slightly, and only then did he let go.

Wei Jiangrou ran to hide behind Manor Lord Wei at once, not daring to come out. Manor Lord Wei patted his daughter’s hand in a show of comfort as it gripped his own. He introduced, “He’s your aunt’s friend.”

Wei Jiangrou immediately startled. “My aunt?” Manor Lord Wei said, “Yes.”

Wei Jiangrou was somewhat dazed, but before she could speak, she heard the Alliance Leader scoff.

The Alliance Leader’s skill was ordinary, and his level of martial arts was unable to match either the elderly man’s or Manor Lord Wei’s.

If he had relied on his own strength to follow them, then he’d definitely have been left behind a fair distance, even possibly caught by that crowd of people from the righteous faction. So, previously, the elderly man had doubled back once and taken both him and Wei Jiangrou onward, only throwing him down when they reached the forest. The Alliance Leader thus had to hurry to catch up alone for a portion of the way, and only now did he manage to reconvene with them.

He mockingly looked at Manor Lord Wei. “I really never thought that you’d even be able to sell your own daughter.”

Manor Lord Wei sighed and said, “Jiangyue was kidnapped.” The Alliance Leader startled. “What?” “You still don’t understand?” Manor Lord Wei said, “We never kidnapped Xiao-Zhong. It’s clear that Ah-Xiao was trying to drive a wedge between us, and now even Jiangyue has been kidnapped.”

The Alliance Leader said, with a cold voice, “Then even if I’ve misunderstood on that front, how would you explain wanting to turn my master into a drugged man?”

Manor Lord Wei said, “That’s completely them trying to mislead you.”

The Alliance Leader said, “But Cong Yun keeps adding to the efficacy of the drug. Why didn’t I know about this fact before?”

Manor Lord Wei said, “I also didn’t know.”

The Alliance Leader said, “Who are you trying to fool?”

“I’m telling the truth. Why don’t we go confront Cong Yun together,” Manor Lord Wei said, “It’s not like you don’t know Cong Yun’s personality. He’s always been attached to those drugged men; who knows how far he wants to take it. What’s more, if I really wanted to move against Brother, I could just directly let Cong Yun pass over some drugs to knock Brother unconscious and lock him up. Then I’d be able to drug him however I want, right?”

The Alliance Leader examined him and, after a moment, said, “Then Xiao-Zhong…”

Manor Lord Wei said, “He’s definitely in Ah-Xiao’s hands.”

Wei Jiangrou became even more stunned upon hearing their words, and she looked at them in alarm. “Dad, what… what are all of you talking about?”

Manor Lord Wei regained his senses and studied his daughter’s pale face. He patted her head, consoling, before then signaling to these two and taking Wei Jiangrou a bit further away. The elderly man’s gaze continuously remained on Wei Jiangrou, and only now did he ask, “Who’s Ah-Xiao?” The Alliance Leader said, “He’s Wenren Heng’s Junior Brother. We suspect that he’s the mastermind of these recent events.”

The elderly man said, “Then I’ll go capture and question him.”

The Alliance Leader said, “Let’s discuss it a bit first. Anyway, it’s not like the person can run away while he’s over there.”

The elderly man’s face was still expressionless, and after nodding, he returned to looking at Wei Jiangrou. Upon seeing this, the Alliance Leader’s mood was complicated, though, in the end, he didn’t disturb the other, retreating half-a-step to stand quietly behind.

Wei Jiangrou was supported into sitting on a dead tree trunk by Manor Lord Wei.

Upon seeing that Manor Lord Wei was about to stand back up, she hastily grabbed his sleeve in anxiety. Manor Lord Wei paused slightly and then decided that he might as well sit down next to her.

Immediately following, he heard protesting snaps echoing out in succession, as if the seat would break apart at any moment.

Manor Lord Wei, “…” Wei Jiangrou, “…”

Wei Jiangrou was the first who was unable to endure and smiled through her tears.

Manor Lord Wei helplessly stood up. “I should just stand then. I’m too fat.”

Wei Jiangrou raised her head to look at him. “Dad…”

“He’s someone who was rescued by your aunt a long time ago.” Manor Lord Wei knew what she wanted to ask and so carefully explained to her, “At that time, his family lived at a village where our family’s old residence was. He’s had no mother or father since young and didn’t get on well with others. Because of certain reasons, that year your aunt went to that manor and saw him being chased and beaten up by a crowd of kids, so she saved him and brought him back to the manor to heal for a time.” Wei Jiangrou nodded. “Oh.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “He has a cold disposition and is completely engrossed in learning martial arts, without any concept of right or wrong. The only one able to appear in his eyes is your aunt; your Uncle Zhong and us all need to stand to the side. As for other people, to him, there’s no difference between them and mere plants and animals.”

Wei Jiangrou said, “Towards my aunt, he…”

“Nobody knows, but I don’t think it’s like that. When your aunt got married, he didn’t react at all,” Manor Lord Wei said, “So he also won’t treat you like that. For him, you’re just like your aunt’s child. Perhaps he’ll even look after you in the future. If you want something, he’ll give it to you, and if you want someone to disappear from the world, he’ll make whoever it is disappear.”

Wei Jiangrou’s gaze flashed for a moment, but she quickly hid it. Manor Lord Wei looked at her. “Xiao-Rou, what do you want to do?”

Wei Jiangrou bit her lips and, after a moment of hesitation, said in a small voice, “I want Brother Heng.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “I know you do. But he doesn’t like you.” Wei Jiangrou said, “Then what if…”

Manor Lord Wei gently interrupted her, “‘What if’ what?” Wei Jiangrou shook her head. “No… I-it’s nothing.”

Manor Lord Wei lowered his eyes to look at her, internally guessing that this little girl wanted Ah-Xiao to disappear or to be captured in order to blackmail Wenren Heng.

He had watched Xiao-Rou grow up, and sometimes he couldn’t help but concede — of his blood, the good portion had been entirely inherited by Wei Jiangyue, while the remaining cold portions had all gone to Wei Jiangrou. Thus, whenever she met any obstacles, the first thought in her mind was always how to eliminate the other party.

Although he felt that, with this temperament, she wouldn’t suffer from any hardships when she was married off, he actually didn’t wish for his own daughter to be too vicious.

For his daughter, it’d be fine if she was able to find someone sincere to take care of her, who’d pamper her just like him, and live a simple and easy life.

From the start until now, he had raised Xiao-Rou with this goal in mind, and he’d never let her encounter any impediments. However, now, he had no choice but to allow Xiao-Rou contact with that monster, and when she realized how useful that monster could be, he really didn’t know what kind of things she’d do.

He said, “Xiao-Rou, I also don’t like Ah-Xiao, and I’m looking forward to someone being able to get rid of him, but there’s a principle that you should know — the melon that is forcefully broken from the vine will not be sweet250.”

Wei Jiangrou said, in a low voice, “I know.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “If you know, then give up on Xiao-Heng.”

Wei Jiangrou said, “But I like him. I believe that as long as I try hard enough, he’ll definitely like me back.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “What if that still doesn’t work?”

Then he still needs to be mine, Wei Jiangrou bit her lips and, in the end, didn’t dare to say those words out loud, instead changing the topic, “Dad, are you the white piece?”

Manor Lord Wei stilled for a moment and said, “Yes.” Wei Jiangrou said, “Why?”

“I have my own hidden hardships. I’ll explain all of it to you in the future,” Manor Lord Wei said, “You only need to know that your dad is still your dad, and that Fengxian Manor also won’t change.” Wei Jiangrou said, “Oh.”

Manor Lord Wei watched as his daughter didn’t change her attitude in the slightest and let out a sigh in his heart before again patting his daughter on the head.

If it was possible, he truly wished that Xiao-Rou could change dispositions with Wei Jiangyue for a moment. If it had been Wei Jiangyue who was here, the other would’ve definitely started fighting with him. He said, “Let’s go, we’re going back.”

Wei Jiangrou held his hand dependently as they walked back. She looked at the elderly man far away and suddenly became aware of one thing. She asked, “Dad, then are we still returning to the fort?”

Manor Lord Wei said, “We’re not going back there for now. I need to resolve this first.”

Wei Jiangrou said, “Then Brother Heng…” Manor Lord Wei said, “Xiao-Rou.”

Wei Jiangrou lowered her head and didn’t continue speaking.

In another part of the forest, the Fort Master finally learned the entire sequence of events.

“Then you’re saying that… the Zhong family’s kid is actually in your hands, since all of you were trying to drive a wedge between them before, and now they’ll come look for you when they’ve finished talking it out?”

Ye You said, “Yes. What’s more, they’ve always wanted to kill me. Right now, with that monster here, there’s no better opportunity. If that monster kills Wei Jiangrou, then his relationship with Manor Lord Wei will collapse, and if he doesn’t, I’ll be the one out of luck, as both Wei Jiangrou and Manor Lord Wei want me dead.”

The Fort Master felt crazed. “Then what’re you going to do?” Ye You narrowed his eyes. “I have an idea, but it’ll be a little risky.” The Fort Master said, “Let’s hear it and see.”

Ye You was silent for countless moments before licking the corners of his lips and explaining his idea. He ended with a look towards his Senior Brother.

Wenren Heng’s expression didn’t change, and he asked, “How certain are you?”

Ye You said, “More than half. And my martial arts are still here, so I can deal with it.”

Wenren Heng leaned back against a tree and fell silent, not speaking. Ye You looked at the surrounding people.

Xie Junming looked at him and took the lead to turn around and leave. The rest stared blankly for a moment before they suddenly understood and also left, one after the other, leaving the space to the two of them.

Ye You said, “Senior Brother.”

Wenren Heng said, “I’m not convinced.” Ye You said, “I know. I’ll be careful.”

Wenren Heng looked at him with lowered eyes. Ye You considered for a moment before turning back to check that those people all had backs facing the two of them. He then took the initiative to approach his Senior Brother and kiss the other on the lips. Wenren Heng used a hand to grab his waist, turning around to press him against the tree, deepening the kiss, and taking the chance to use another hand to reach inside his clothes.

Ye You slightly startled. “Senior Brother.”

Wenren Heng pressed him down, continuing to kiss him despite it all.

For a while, Ye You was stiff before slowly relaxing his body. Xie Junming and the others waited and waited and very quickly heard a muffled sound. Elder Baili and the Fort Master looked at one another, both somewhat hesitant. Xie Junming conversely didn’t have any misgivings and was the first to turn around. He then actually saw Wenren Heng coming out while carrying Ye You.

Immediately, he understood that that muffled sound was Wenren Heng taking the opportunity to knock the person unconscious and raised a brow. “You…”

Wenren Heng said, “I’d be crazy if I agree to let him go.”

He handed the person over to them and said, “Look after him. I’ll go.”

Chapter 98

Ye You wasn’t unconscious for long and quickly woke up.

Xie Junming was smiling next to him and said, “Did you have a good sleep?”

Ye You opened his eyes and discovered that they were currently on a tree.

And both his hands were tied behind his back, with his back to the tree trunk, and his lips had even been sealed with some cloth — since he became a Sect Master, this was the first time he’s ended up this miserable. He unconsciously tried to move his body but realized that he had his acupoints sealed and was completely unable to move a single step. Immediately dumbfounded, he looked at Xie Junming.

Xie Junming reached out a hand to grab his jaw. “Want me to let you go?”

Ye You blinked.

Xie Junming said, “But your wife says that you’ve always had a honeyed tongue, which easily allows you to do wicked things, and so before he left, he told us that it’s best to not let you open your mouth so readily.”

Ye You, “…”

Ye You’s first reaction was to look towards Elder Baili, but he then immediately thought that his Senior Brother had definitely included this factor in these calculations. As expected, when he looked, he saw that Elder Baili and them hadn’t been present from the start, and he couldn’t help once again becoming dumbfounded.

Xie Junming was sitting across from him, watching him with chin in hand, looking extremely pleased.

Ye You gave him a look.

Xie Junming laughed and said, “Ah-You, why don’t you come with me then? If you decide to follow me, whenever you do wicked things in the future, I’ll do them with you. I definitely won’t tie you up like this.”

Upon hearing this, the Fort Master nearby said, “Big bro, you’re even trying to poach your own brothers?”

Xie Junming turned back to look at him. “What does it matter? You want me to poach you too while I’m at it?”

The Fort Master immediately shut up, wholeheartedly not wanting this person to turn that attention over to him. Xie Junming thereupon returned to watching Ye You. Seeing the other helplessly look at him, he laughed before untying the ropes and unsealing the acupoints, having not intended to obey Wenren Heng’s instructions from the beginning.

Ye You pulled away the cloth in his mouth and asked, “Where is he?”

“Aren’t you asking something you already know the answer to?” Xie Junming assessed him, tone somewhat meaningful, “I originally thought that you’d be able to guess that your Senior Brother wouldn’t be willing to let you go.”

Ye You said, “I did guess it.”

Xie Junming didn’t understand. “Oh?” Ye You had no desire to speak further.

Although he practiced Pursued Until Scattered, it wasn’t completely without flaws.

He had told only his Senior Brother about this flaw before.

In case, in the future, he was ever inattentive enough to end up being controlled by the white piece’s drug, then his Senior Brother would know how to stop him. Before, when his Senior Brother kissed him, he had been continuously on guard in case his Senior Brother suddenly struck, and later, when his Senior Brother’s hands reached down into his clothes, his guard became even heavier. So when his Senior Brother was about to touch his death acupoint, he had stopped the other, but who could’ve expected that his Senior Brother’s other hand had long already moved to the nape of his neck who-knew-when.

At that light tap, he had originally wanted to pretend to faint, but practically at the same time he was pretending to faint, his Senior Brother had pressed down on his death acupoint, and so in the end, he had actually fallen.

Even if he didn’t speak, Xie Junming could guess.

For a while, a certain person looked at him using the gaze that would cause all of Jianghu’s righteous faction into gnashing their teeth. The person then laughed and asked, “Oh, so you and your Senior Brother participated in some mutual scheming, and in the end, you lost?”

Ye You, “…”

Xie Junming said, smiling, “The respectable Madam is quite good. Why don’t both of you come with me then?”

The Fort Master felt his vision go black and once again came forward. “Big bro, you’re even willing to try poaching there?”

Xie Junming didn’t reply, looking at the other with a smile. Upon perceiving a sort of bloodthirsty atmosphere from this person, the Fort Master once again retreated back to the corner. Only then was Xie Junming satisfied, and out of the corners of his eyes, he saw Ye You massaging those wrists and standing up. He finally stowed away his joking expression and asked, “Where do you want to go?”

The Fort Master interrupted with, “Big bro, Sister-in-Law has probably already arrived by now. You shouldn’t go.”

Ye You said, “I know.”

As he spoke, he unraveled the bandages on his face and jumped down while carrying that disastrous face.

The Fort Master received a fright before hurriedly following behind, while also shooting an inquiring glance at Xie Junming. Xie Junming said in a low voice, “Don’t worry, he won’t do anything foolish.”

Ye You said, “I can hear you.”

Xie Junming laughed and skipped over this topic to say, “Those two Elders of yours left you some signs.”

Ye You made a sound in acknowledgment and, following those signs, quickly found their positions.

At this time, the party of Elder Baili, Elder Mei, and the scarred man were currently hiding on a tree. Upon seeing him arrive, all of them startled, and afterwards, two of them guiltily called out a ‘Sect Master’ in greeting. Ye You didn’t see his Senior Brother in their midst and, pressing down on the unease in his heart, asked, “He was taken away by that monster?”

Elder Baili said, “That’s right.”

Ye You lifted his head to look ahead and discovered that a number of the righteous faction elders were at the riverside, with even Manor Lord Wei was among them. He immediately narrowed his eyes.

Elder Baili said, “What should we do now?” Ye You said, “First let me watch.”

Elder Baili then no longer spoke, similarly turning to look at that crowd of people ahead. After only a moment, Pavilion Master Ding’s sword was suddenly pointed right at Manor Lord Wei.

This unforeseen occurrence caused all the nearby elders alarm, and they practically shouted out at the same time.

“Pavilion Master Ding!”

“Calm down, Pavilion Master Ding!” “Benefactor Ding, you…”

Pavilion Master Ding turned a deaf year, coldly looking at Manor Lord Wei, his tone unsympathetic, sporting a hard-to-ignore intensity, “Tell me, why is he still alive? Why would he suddenly take away your daughter? And why would the black piece kidnap Jiangyue?”

Manor Lord Wei said, “If I said there has been a misunderstanding, would you believe me?”

Pavilion Master Ding said, “I’m listening to your explanation now.”

Manor Lord Wei fell silent for a moment before shaking his head and saying, “Right now, I can’t say.”

Pavilion Master Ding said, “You can come back with us, and we can slowly talk it over.”

Manor Lord Wei said, bitter, “For now, I can’t return with all of you.”

Pavilion Master Ding’s expression suddenly sank, and without another word, he stabbed forward with his sword. Manor Lord Wei nimbly dodged, and upon seeing the other’s second move immediately follow, with sword intent dense enough that it seemed capable of piercing him straight through, he drew out his internal energy at once and, with a low yell, met that sword with a fist.

“Bang!”

The two were both forced to retreat a step by the violent inborn energy, though they then rapidly began fighting again, leaping away several meters in the blink of an eye.

Those elders’ expressions turned grave, and they hastily followed, fearing that one of them would end with their blood splattered everywhere.

Lingjian Pavilion, Fengxian Manor. Pavilion Master Ding, Manor Lord Wei.

Jianghu’s two great powers, two great experts, and twenty years of grievances instantly erupting between them. Neither of them seemed to bother holding back, going right at it with their full strength. But the two had fought for this many years, so they both understood the other extremely well, and even after a time, there was no telling who would win.

The sky darkened further, and the two figures remained crossed in combat.

The river water pounded against the rocks, waves bubbling forth, while the night air rustled the trees, bringing with it the desolate sound of a crash.

Pavilion Master Ding’s voice had never been this cold. “Surnamed Wei, are you the white piece?”

Manor Lord Wei said, “I’m not.”

Pavilion Master Ding said, “If you aren’t, then return with us.” Manor Lord Wei said, “I can’t.”

Pavilion Master Ding’s attacks immediately became more severe, as if he wanted to cut this person’s head down underneath his blade.

However, at this time, a person half-ran, half-staggered over and and shouted, “N-not good! That monster wants to take… take Sir Xiao!”

Those Elders’ expressions simultaneously changed. “What?”

Pavilion Master Ding also slightly paused, and Manor Lord Wei took the opportunity to knock him down with a fist before hastily leaping into the forest, saying, “I’ll definitely give everyone an explanation one day.”

“Pavilion Master Ding!” Those elders hadn’t even regained their senses from the previous news when they saw this person taking a fall, and all of them hastily rushed forward.

Pavilion Master Ding adjusted his position midair and landed with both feet on the ground. With an ashen face, he said, “I’m fine.” He looked at the person who had come, “What did you say? What happened to Sir Xiao?” That adventurer then obediently explained.

They had chased after the elders but had unfortunately gotten lost. Right as they were about to split up to search for people, they encountered that monster, and the other party questioned them about Sir Xiao’s whereabouts. Naturally, they wouldn’t speak of it, but that monster appeared to know to go to the fort and so had thrown them aside and left. They then also hurried back to the fort but, in the end, learned that Sir Xiao and Sect Master Wenren had already taken some people to go block that monster’s path.

In other words, at this moment, Sir Xiao was also in this forest!

The adventurer said, “What do we do? Could Sir Xiao and them have already met that monster?”

None of those elders’ expressions were very good. Pavilion Master Ding sheathed his sword. “Search.”

Ye You stood on that tree and looked at them. Having guessed a possibility, he said, “All of you go down. Tell them that me and Senior Brother lured that monster into the forest and are currently contending with him. Ask them not to carelessly get involved and instead return to the fort to wait.”

Elder Baili said, “What about you, Sect Master?” Ye You said, “I’ll wait for Senior Brother.”

Elder Baili was immediately ill at ease, but when the Sect Master looked over at him meaningfully, he could only swallow his words back down. Upon seeing this, Elder Mei also closed her mouth and didn’t speak.

Xie Junming said, “All of you go down. I’ll stay with him.” The Fort Master said, “I’ll…”

Xie Junming interrupted, “You also go down.” His tone clearly implied that he’d brook no questions, and the Fort Master knew that he was serious upon hearing it. With one final look at them, the Fort Master took the lead to jump off the tree. Elder Baili, Elder Mei, and them looked beseechingly at Xie Junming before then also following close behind and jumping off.

Ye You looked at them reconvening with those elders. He watched as the group spoke a few words before then all walking back towards the fort before then slowly sitting down. Only when everyone had left entirely did he say, “Don’t worry, I won’t go find my Senior Brother.”

Xie Junming said, “I know. You’re also not a fool. If you go looking, wouldn’t you just be delivering yourself to death?”

“Who says…”

Who says that the one dying would definitely be him. Ye You narrowed his eyes for a moment.

Xie Junming hadn’t heard clearly. “What?”

“Nothing. There’s just some things I haven’t tried yet. It’s not easy to explain,” Ye You said. Although he practiced Pursued Until Scattered, and the miraculous skill was even completed now, before he’d exchanged blows with that monster, even he himself couldn’t say who would be the one to die.

Xie Junming didn’t investigate further and instead lectured, “It’s far more advantageous for your Senior Brother to go than for you. Think about what you’ve done over these ten years, and think about if you were them. No matter what, they’d do their utmost to find a way to kill you. What’s more, Manor Lord Wei knows exactly how strong your Senior Brother’s Shuangji Sect is, but he doesn’t know what tricks you’re keeping behind your back. So your remaining behind is a stronger deterrence than your Senior Brother remaining behind.”

Ye You said, “I understand.”

Xie Junming said, “If you understand, then just wait.” Ye You didn’t reply. Xie Junming sat with the other for a while. He watched as their surroundings turned darker by degrees. When sporadic pieces of moonlight began piercing through, he said, “Ah-You.”

Ye You said, “Hm?”

Xie Junming said, “If…”

“That doesn’t matter.” Ye You knew what he wanted to say and responded in a soft voice, “If something really does happen to my Senior Brother, none of them should hope to live any longer. I definitely won’t have the patience to try reasoning with them anymore.”

Xie Junming said, “But what about after that?”

Ye You looked over at the faraway river surface full of the glimmer of stars and said, “I also don’t know.”

Xie Junming then fell silent.

Chapter 99

Wenren Heng was quite cooperative, not resisting from beginning to end, having been carried by that monster the entire way into the depths of the forest.

After regaining steady footing, he calmly straightened out his lapel before lifting his head to look at them

Wei Jiangrou and the Alliance Leader simultaneously startled.

Wenren Heng didn’t wait for them to speak. Completely ignoring Wei Jiangrou, he actually took the initiative to greet the other person politely with, “Alliance Leader, have you been well since we last met?”

The Alliance Leader blurted out, “Wenren Heng!”

The elderly man’s footsteps paused, and he asked, “What? This isn’t the Ah-Xiao all of you were speaking about?”

The Alliance Leader shook his head and said, “No, he’s Wenren Heng, the Sect Master of Shuangji Sect.”

The elderly man’s expression darkened, and he looked towards Wenren Heng. “You dare to trick me?”

“This young one knows all about the matters that elder wants to ask about. What difference does it make to have this young one here instead of someone else?” Wenren Heng unhurriedly unraveled the bandages on his face, revealing an eminently handsome face, while smiling at that monster.

The elderly man’s figure flashed, and in an instant, he arrived in front of the other.

Wenren Heng had long already prepared some surreptitious defenses, and at practically the same instant the other moved, he jumped backwards, quickly dodging the attack. He asked, “Elder doesn’t want to ask any questions?”

The elderly man said coldly, “No one dares to trick me.” “Then elder wants to kill this young one and then go capture that person?” Wenren Heng looked at him and asked, calm and tranquil, “How will elder be able to confirm that the next person captured will definitely be my Junior Brother?”

The elderly man said, “I can just continue to capturing people.”

Wenren Heng laughed and said, “Naturally that can be done, but this young one can guarantee that when elder captures the second person, there won’t even be corpses left of the people all of you want to save.”

The elderly man said, “You’re threatening me?”

“No,” Wenren Heng said, “This young one is simply speaking the truth.”

The two’s conversation proceeded very rapidly, and it was only now that the Alliance Leader and Wei Jiangrou managed to react. The former hastily went over to advise that monster, while the latter didn’t dare to move forward but still opened her mouth to say in a trembling voice, “Don’t… don’t hurt Brother Heng.”

The elderly man’s expression changed minutely, and after a glance at Wei Jiangrou, he indeed stopped his attacks. At this time, Manor Lord Wei had also doubled back and, upon seeing the person standing here, said in astonishment, “Xiao-Heng?”

Towards the fact that the other had returned only just now, Wenren Heng wasn’t the least bit surprised.

They had long already analyzed the situation.

Although the monster didn’t recognize his Junior Brother, everyone knew that his Junior Brother’s face was wrapped with bandages, so the person was extremely easy to identify. Thus, that monster was entirely capable of going to capture the person alone. But since everyone in the righteous faction wanted to attack this monster, if the Alliance Leader and them were feeling uneasy, then one of them would definitely follow along. And since the Alliance Leader’s martial skill wasn’t high, Manor Lord Wei then became the most suitable choice, and the person would also be able to attract the righteous faction’s attention — so when he saw that Manor Lord Wei wasn’t around just now, Wenren Heng didn’t even need to guess to know where the other had gone.

Manor Lord Wei glimpsed the bandages on the ground and said with certainty, “You disguised yourself as Ah-Xiao.”

Wenren Heng said, “It’s simply asking a few questions anyway. Isn’t it the same no matter who answers.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “Spoken like that, so Jiangyue really is in your hands?”

Wenren Heng said, “He is. Sir Zhong is as well.”

The Alliance Leader thought of how he had originally fled in panic, like a bird easily frightened by the sound of a bow, and his expression immediately turned unsightly, but he had no choice but to suppress his anger and ask a word about how his son was. The corners of Wenren Heng’s lips slightly rose, and he didn’t reply. Manor Lord Wei understood his temperament quite well and said, sighing, “Xiao- Heng, just say outright — what will make you let them go.”

Wenren Heng said, “Let me go back today, and then we’ll decide on a time and place to return those two to you.”

The Alliance Leader said, “But I think that kidnapping you, and using your life to force your Junior Brother to do a hostage exchange, would be far more reliable.”

Wenren Heng laughed and said, “Alliance Leader, before I came, I already spoke about this with my Junior Brother. If I don’t return within two hours, his side will immediately make a move, so you’d just end up waiting to receive corpses back then.

The elderly man interrupted in a flat voice, “Two hours is enough time for me to also capture your Junior Brother.”

“Did elder forget what this young one said earlier? Why is elder so sure that the next one he captures will be my Junior Brother?” Wenren Heng gently looked at him. “Even if you let me return, how will anyone be certain that, in the following days, the one beside me will definitely be my Junior Brother?”

Manor Lord Wei and the Alliance Leader both fell silent.

Wenren Heng’s words could be the truth and a hint to them that Ah- Xiao had long already gone into hiding, with the one left behind a body double. But these words were also likely to be a ploy to mislead them on purpose. However, with two lives in the balance, if they acted blindly without thinking, the other party would perhaps truly kill those people, so they really couldn’t gamble on this.

The elderly man didn’t think too deeply, and he didn’t harbor as many cunning plans besides.

He simply felt unhappy looking at this appearance of Wenren Heng’s

— since he became famous, he had never seen a youth this calm and collected in front of him before, and he couldn’t help but ask, “Brat, speaking to me like this, you aren’t afraid of death?”

Wenren Heng said, “My one life in exchange for two people’s lives. What would I be afraid of?”

The elderly man narrowed his eyes. “You’re threatening me again?”

Wenren Heng said, “This isn’t a threat, elder. Why don’t you simply ask the Alliance Leader and Manor Lord Wei if they’d be able to find a reason that ‘after I die, my Junior Brother won’t kill Sir Wei and them.’”

The elderly man swept his eyes over to the two people nearby, and upon seeing the two completely silent, not speaking a word, he then became aware that this person was speaking the truth.

“Oh, I misspoke. It’s not only two people’s lives,” Wenren Heng said cheerfully, “Whenever my Junior Brother gets angry, he doesn’t much like reasoning with other people. When the time comes, the death count will be even greater, and he’s definitely capable of doing so.”

There was no need to ask. One of the first targets would definitely be the Wei family. Manor Lord Wei inwardly sucked in a breath.

He had long been able to judge that Ah-Xiao had faked madness that year, most likely for the sake of not going with him to Fengxian Manor. And after he left, Ah-Xiao had left on his own, disappearing for ten years. Over these ten years, they were utterly ignorant of what this person had done or where this person had gone.

Having lived until now, he dared to do both good and wicked things in equal measure, and he had always believed that he’d experienced much in his life, bearing knowledge of countless different types of people, but this was still actually his first time seeing someone’s innate ability reach Ah-Xiao’s level.

Ten years ago, he had been unable to see through Ah-Xiao’s scheme, and ten years later, they had even fallen into this person’s hands.

This person Ah-Xiao was capable of enduring, was exceptionally intelligent with a ruthless heart, and, most of all, was still this young, making the person formidable indeed.

He was silent for a while before saying to the elderly man, “Let him go then.”

He added, “We’ll decide the time and place.”

Wenren Heng knew that this sentence was spoken to him, and the heaviness in his heart lifted. He said a word of, ‘all right,’ before turning around and leaving.

Manor Lord Wei said, “Xiao-Heng.” Wenren Heng stopped.

Manor Lord Wei stilled for a moment before saying, “There are many things that aren’t like what they appear on the surface.”

Wenren Heng looked back. “For instance?”

Manor Lord Wei waved a hand, indicating that he could leave. Wenren Heng looked at him and didn’t ask any further, walking forward once again. Wei Jiangrou couldn’t help but chase two steps after him. “Brother Heng…”

Wenren Heng’s footfalls didn’t stop, as if he hadn’t heard her.

Wei Jiangrou’s eyes reddened, and she unconsciously moved forward another step. Before she could even open her mouth, she saw a person’s figure flash by, and the elderly man had already moved in front of Wenren Heng to stop him.

The elderly man felt even more displeased looking at him and coldly said, “She’s calling you. Are you deaf?”

“Naturally I’m not,” Wenren Heng said, “But there’s nothing I can say to her.”

The elderly man shot a glance at Wei Jiangrou. The latter had run over in this interval of time. Biting her lips and looking at Wenren Heng, she said in a low voice, “Brother Heng, could I speak with you?”

“Are there still things to talk about between us?” Wenren Heng lowered his eyes to look at her. “That matter with Ah-Xiao, he said that he wouldn’t blame you, so I didn’t inquire about it further. Right now, you should know that your father is the white piece, so I’ll tell you one more thing — me and Ah-Xiao are the black piece, and your second brother was kidnapped by us.”

Wei Jiangrou’s eyes turned even redder. “My dad has some hidden hardships.”

Wenren Heng asked, “What hidden hardships?”

“I don’t know, but he still… he still has hidden hardships,” Wei Jiangrou said, choked with sobs, “Brother Heng, towards… towards you, I…”

“I know,” Wenren Heng interrupted her, “but I’ve never thought of you in that way.”

Wei Jiangrou turned blank, and her tears immediately slid out uncontrollably. The elderly man’s expression chilled, and with a hand, he grabbed Wenren Heng’s neck and pressed the other against a tree. “You dare to make her cry!”

Wenren Heng frowned for a moment before his expression immediately cleared, fading back to normal — if he was able to feel threatened from such a thing as this, then he wouldn’t be Wenren Heng. Calmly, he asked, “So elder means that he wants me to lie to her?”

The chilly atmosphere around the elderly man deepened.

At this time, Wei Jiangrou regained her senses and frantically had him let go. Upon seeing Wenren Heng covering that neck with a hand, she hastily asked, “Brother Heng, how are you?”

Wenren Heng didn’t answer and instead asked, “Is there anything else?”

“You… you’re this unwilling to speak to me?” Wei Jiangrou asked, crying, “Is it because of Ah-Xiao? If he wasn’t here…”

“Even if he wasn’t here, it’s still impossible between us,” Wenren Heng once again interrupted her, his tone still as gentle as usual. Wei Jiangrou had always liked this about him, but today was the first time she realized that this kind of gentleness could actually be so ruthless.

She ferociously shook her head. “N-no. We just didn’t have the opportunity to interact.” She bit her lips and, making a firm resolution, said, “Then what about if I become your concubine? I won’t beg you for an official marriage, so is it all right to just become your concubine?”

Wenren Heng felt as if he was practically listening to a fantasy and asked, “You want to become my concubine?”

Wei Jiangrou nodded.

Wenren Heng laughed. “The kind who forever lives in the side courtyard, who gets only enough money from accounts to live every month, who’ll never see me for an entire lifetime, and who’ll come out only once a year during new years’ celebrations to kowtow251 at the main house? That kind of concubine?”

Wei Jiangrou’s face instantly turned deathly pale. “…What?”

“Not every house is as harmonious as yours,” Wenren Heng said, “Return to your dad and have him show you how those unfavored concubines live their lives.”

Wei Jiangrou collapsed. “Why?” Why is he treating me this way? Why does he not like me?

Which part of me can’t compare to Ah-Xiao? Why!

Wenren Heng didn’t hear her unspoken words, but he was able to see the frenzy suppressed in her eyes. Stowing away some of his smile, he turned resolute. “I’m saying these things for your sake. If you can’t appreciate this kindness, then just forget it.” He walked forward a step. “Xiao-Rou, I’ll say one last thing. If Ah-Xiao lives, I live; if he dies, then my life will also lose all meaning.”

Wei Jiangrou’s entire body trembled, and the pain in her heart felt like a sword slicing her in pieces. Almost vacantly, she looked at him, “What do you mean by that? I’ve never thought of harming him. I was just scared last time.”

Wenren Heng assessed her for a while before once again laughing. “It’s my fault for avoiding you all these years, so that only now do I see…”

As he finished speaking, he looked at that monster and said sincerely, “Elder, you should pay a bit more attention. Other than this face that looks like your dearly departed person, where else does she resemble that person, and how is she deserving of your protection.”

Manor Lord Wei’s heart skipped a beat. He hadn’t interrupted for such a long time solely because he wanted to let Wenren Heng say a few more vicious things so as to let Xiao- Rou thoroughly give up. But Wenren Heng was still Wenren Heng after all. While he had reached this conclusion only after many years of observation, Wenren Heng conversely had seen through Xiao- Rou’s true nature this quickly.

He said, “That’s enough, Xiao-Rou. Let him go.”

He walked over to hold back his daughter, and Wei Jiangrou, no longer able to endure it, leaned against his arm to cry violently.

Glancing at that monster who was sporting a cold face and clearly barely restraining himself from moving, Wenren Heng then turned around and left, not giving them another look.

When he returned, it was already nightfall. The fort was still brightly lit, and there were even a few people pacing back and forth in front of the gates, seemingly on guard, but also seemingly waiting for someone. He walked slowly to the riverside and was just about to use his lightness skill to cross the river when he saw two people standing nearby. Then, upon seeing who they were under the weak light of the moon, he immediately went over.

Ye You and Xie Junming weren’t clear on where he would return, so they simply decided to keep watch nearby. At this moment, upon seeing him, the two simultaneously let out a sigh of relief in their hearts.

After walking a few steps, Wenren Heng held out a hand to his Junior Brother.

Ye You didn’t even think before he was running over, throwing himself into the other’s embrace.

Wenren Heng smiled while hugging him. “They’ll decide the time and place.”

“That’s fine. Let’s think of a way to delay it for a month, and that’ll be enough time to prepare.” As Ye You spoke, he straightened himself up in the other’s arms and immediately saw the marks on the other’s neck. His expression immediately darkened. “Who did this?”

Chapter 100

Ye You didn’t sleep very soundly.

Perhaps because he had thought of too many things in the evening, he once again dreamed of what happened during his childhood, with voices continuously rising and falling, waxing and waning like the tides, bubbling forth to tear incessantly into his heart. The great flames behind him blotted out the sky, leaving nowhere untouched. He could only endure the piercing chill of the wind as he ran forward desperately into the long night.

After an unknown amount of time, the scene changed. He watched as Master was pierced through the chest with that swordsman’s sword, blood spilling out and covering the ground, and then Senior Brother was running towards him, grabbing him by both shoulders and shouting his name unceasingly.

He foolishly stared at the person in front of him, not moving in the slightest.

You’re the only one I have left, he thought, you’re really the only one I have left.

Wenren Heng was still calling him, “Ah-You, Ah-You, wake up…” Ye You abruptly opened his eyes.

Wenren Heng held his chin. “Had a nightmare?”

Ye You relaxed his breathing, feeling his soul returning to him little by little after having been submerged in that wintry night. His gaze calmed and cleared, and he leaned against his Senior Brother’s chest, making a sound in acknowledgment. Wenren Heng wiped away the sweat on his forehead and asked him what he had dreamed about. Ye You didn’t want to discuss it and said, “Nothing really.”

Wenren Heng saw this person staring at his neck and reached out a hand to hold the other tight. “Don’t look anymore. It’ll disappear after applying medicine for one more day.” Ye You was silent.

Wenren Heng said, “Still unhappy?” Ye You said, “No.”

Wenren Heng didn’t expose him, telling him to sleep again for a while. Ye You didn’t feel like sleeping at all, instead simply closing those eyes and leaning against him. Wenren Heng lowered his eyes to look at his Junior Brother, moving over to drop a kiss on the other’s forehead.

He was actually aware in his heart.

Since the moment they learned that the monster had reappeared, his Junior Brother had wanted to kill that person. Later, when his Junior Brother had proposed taking the initiative to find that monster, the person had also likely been scheming how to murder the enemy personally. If he hadn’t stopped the other last night, his Junior Brother most likely would have already rushed over.

He supported his Junior Brother’s revenge, but that monster had gone through twenty years of intensive study, with martial arts that might be even a level higher. Although his Junior Brother practiced Jianghu’s number one Pursued Until Scattered, no one could be sure how it would match up against that monster. So rather than recklessly taking risks, he was even more inclined to make some proper preparations before making a move.

“I know you want to kill him,” he said in a low voice, “We’ve already come this far. A few more days of waiting will make little difference.”

Ye You again made a sound in acknowledgment and, fearing that his Senior Brother would continue to placate him, added a few more words, “I know. It’s not because of this.”

Wenren Heng said, “Then what is it?”

Ye You opened his eyes to look at the other, not replying.

He didn’t want his Senior Brother to continue following him into danger, especially now that it was confirmed that the monster was still alive. There was no telling what things would happen next, and it was causing him to want to steal his Senior Brother away and lock the other up somewhere, letting the person out only when matters were concluded.

Although he didn’t speak it out loud, Wenren Heng was able to read his expression and was practically angered into laughter. Pressing him down, Wenren Heng said, “Don’t you even dare think about it. It’d be better if you get rid of all those unnecessary thoughts now.”

Ye You was helpless.

Neither of them wanted to continue sleeping and so they ended up getting intimate on the bed for a time.

Wenren Heng managed to take quite a bit of advantage as he pressed down his Junior Brother, teasing this person all the while. Only when he was certain that the other didn’t have a mind to think about other things did he reluctantly let the person go — because the sky had finally brightened.

On this night, the majority of people hadn’t been able to sleep well.

The elders had woken up even earlier and were now sitting in the dining hall, not speaking even after a long while. The grave mood seeming to take physical form to press them all down, practically not allowing anyone room to breathe.

Ding Xilai stopped there for only a few breaths before slipping away, deciding to enter the room only when it was time to eat.

He found a place to sit and thought about what had happened last night.

Last night, after Sir Xiao and Wenren Heng returned, because Sir Xiao was injured in spirit from contending with the monster, he first returned to his room to rest. Wenren Heng had remained behind and explained to them the entire course of events, including the identity of the black piece as well as the fact that the white piece was going to set a time and place in order to do a hostage exchange. Ding Xilai couldn’t help but be deeply moved. “I never thought that Sir Xiao was actually the black piece. How incredible!”

Ren Shaotian and Wei Jin were behind him, both not speaking a word, speechless.

Now that it had turned out that the monster hadn’t died, and Manor Lord Wei was also very possibly the white piece, the black piece’s identity had become the least of their worries, and only their young master would care so much about it.

Ding Xilai didn’t know their thoughts. He silently went through this entire event, and upon remembering that this chessboard had been set up many years ago, his admiration for Sir Xiao immediately increased. He was also certain that there was no way another person like this could ever be found.

He felt anguished. “Ah, Shaotian…”

Ren Shaotian felt slightly alarmed by his tone of voice. “What is it, young master?”

Ding Xilai wanted to say a few words of comfort but was also afraid of invoking too much grief in him. After all, there was only one Sir Xiao, and this person already belonged to another, so Shaotian was doomed to suffer for a time; there was no need for Ding Xilai to open old wounds. Thus, this person could only say, “Nothing. I just felt like saying your name.”

Ren Shaotian saw the young master’s compassionate appearance and immediately decided not to ask.

Ding Xilai stretched out a hand to pat his arm and let out a long sigh. “Alas.”

Ren Shaotian, “…” Wei Jin, “…”

When Wenren Heng pulled his Junior Brother over, he saw this scene, with these three people standing around looking at each other, the atmosphere somewhat strange. Thus, he ended up asking, “What are all of you doing?”

“Nothing, we’re just chatting about whatever…” As Ding Xilai spoke, he suddenly realized something and asked, “Wait, how’s Xiao- Zhong? He must be in your hands, right?”

The group, “…”

It took you until now to realize?

“Y-y-you…” Ding Xilai unconsciously wanted to throw himself over and grab Wenren Heng by the lapel to ask about Xiao-Zhong, but upon meeting that gentle face, he immediately became terrified.

“Don’t worry, your friend is fine,” Wenren Heng said before taking his Junior Brother to enter the dining hall.

At this moment, the meal hadn’t started, but all the elders were already present, and upon seeing the two enter, they all turned to look. Their appearances were all very calm, and they appeared not to be concerned at all that these two were the black piece, because right now they had an even thornier problem pressing down on them.

One was the monster, while the other was that, if Manor Lord Wei truly was the white piece, then Fengxian Manor’s position would definitely be over and the balance in Jianghu that had been maintained for over twenty years would also be broken. No one could say whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.

The Fort Master, Xie Junming, and them had also entered the hall at this time and, lifting their heads, saw countless brows tightly furrowed, with only a few among them bearing the same expressions as before. The entire dining hall was so grave that it almost seemed like a funeral. The Fort Master asked, “Everyone… are you going to eat?”

The group raised their heads to look at him.

The Fort Master blinked his watery eyes and stared back at them. “…” The group immediately turned away, unable to endure looking right at him.

Abbot Ciyuan placed both palms together and responded in everyone’s place. Only then was the Fort Master satisfied and instructed people to bring up the meal. The dishes were still made from two different pots, looking alike but tasting completely different.

The Fort Master politely said, “After you.”

The elders didn’t have much of an appetite, but they still took up their chopsticks.

The dining hall was very quiet the whole time, and after a while, Academy Master Ge became the first one unable to endure it.

After he put down his chopsticks, he couldn’t help saying, “I still can’t quite believe that Manor Lord Wei is the white piece. All of you think about what kind of position Fengxian Manor has in Jianghu.

Does he have any reason to do these things? I’ll say something that might not be so pleasant to hear — even if he finds himself at a disadvantage in a fight against Pavilion Master Ding, he could simply let the monster take care of it, why would he need to dirty his own reputation?”

The rest of them nodded their heads one after the other before looking at Sir Xiao and Wenren Heng.

Ye You didn’t speak, his head lowered as he unhurriedly ate his meal.

Wenren Heng said, “I’ve already said everything that should be said last night. At that time, right before that adventurer died, he gave my Junior Brother a piece of paper that truly said that Manor Lord Wei was the owner of that secret villa.”

Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “What if there’s some other motive which led that adventurer to hold false information?”

Wenren Heng returned with the question, “Then why doesn’t Manor Lord Wei explain himself?” Sect Leader Xuanyang startled. “This…”

Wenren Heng said, “Or is the Sect Leader’s meaning that there’s still another white piece among us, and that he and Manor Lord Wei are partners? And that for the sake of protecting him, Manor Lord Wei is willing to take responsibility for everything?”

This was practically even more terrible than the information that Manor Lord Wei was the white piece!

Everyone immediately fell silent.

Academy Master Ge looked at Pavilion Master Ding and asked, “What does Pavilion Master Ding think?”

Since he had exchanged blows with Manor Lord Wei yesterday, Pavilion Master Ding’s expression remained extremely cold the entire time. He said, “We can’t stay in the dark about this. We need to capture him and clearly ask him about it.”

Academy Master Ge sighed and said, “It seems like this is the only option. Let’s first eat then.”

The group then ate breakfast in a heavy mood before returning to discussions of official business, very quickly moving to the most recent predicament. They all wondered whether that monster would also follow along when that day came. Especially since the other party was the one choosing the meeting place, if the white piece set up traps in advance, then they would be relegated to an extremely passive position.

Academy Master Ge said, “What do we do? Does Sir Xiao have any ideas?”

Ye You shook his head. “We can only wait for their news first.”

Wenren Heng added, “Or we can turn this event into something big. The white piece shouldn’t have many people remaining that he can use. On that day, it’ll be more advantageous if the righteous faction had more people.”

Now that was an idea. Everyone nodded. Upon hearing someone inquire about changing locations, they couldn’t help startling. “Changing locations?”

“Yes, this place is somewhat remote, so doing anything is very inconvenient. What’s more, we were originally planning on going to Wuyun City, and those we sent to probe for information would also be there, so we can reconvene with them.” That Sect Master looked outside. “Besides, it wouldn’t be good to continue intruding on this fort…”

Everyone noticed that he had continued staring out the doors from beginning to end and so also turned to look. They saw only that the Chenhong Fort’s Fort Master, who looked sixteen despite being actually thirty, was standing there, with a small, warm, yellow dress stuffed into his hands who-knew-when. He was currently biting his lips, tears at the corners of his eyes, mournfully pretending to be pitiful to the Xie Junming and Elder Mei in front of him. It was clear that those two people wanted him to wear that dress.

Those elders retracted their gazes and said in unison, “Let’s go to Wuyun City.”

The farther away we are from these vexing demonic faction rascals, the better!

In the end, the Fort Master surrendered under Xie Junming and Elder Mei’s tyranny and wore the dress, brushing his hair up into two cute buns, pinching the hem of his skirt the entire way as he followed the elders out.

Those elders fiercely closed their eyes.

One person turned back and courteously said, “There’s no need to see us out, Fort Master. The wind is strong outside, so you should hurry back.”

The Fort Master said, “I’m not going back. I want to go with all of you to Wuyun City, or else I’d be wearing this dress for nothing.”

That Sect Master asked, “…What does this have to do with the dress?” The Fort Master said, “My big bro said that if I wore the dress for him, he’ll let me come along.”

“…” That Sect Master immediately shut up, speeding up his steps to catch up to the Abbot and the others, preparing to hurry as quickly as possible to the place where they had previously parked the carriages, thoroughly acting as if he wouldn’t be hurt by what he couldn’t see.

Ye You found this very funny and the corners of his mouth lifted as he slowly walked forward with his Senior Brother. At this time, he suddenly saw a few villagers burning paper money252 at the side of the road and so gave this scene a few more glances.

Wenren Heng also saw it and said, “It’s time for the Winter Clothing Festival253.”

Ye You slightly startled and said, in a soft voice, “Is that so.” Weren Heng held his hand. “Do you want to go?”

Ye You knew where he was referring to and fell silent for a moment before saying, “Let’s go.”

Wenren Heng tightened his hold. “I’ll go with you.”

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