Ye You hadn’t lost consciousness too thoroughly.
At least, he knew that he had been sent back to Shaolin by his Senior Brother, and in the midst of it, he suddenly seemed to have heard Miaomiao’s voice, as if the other was guarding his side, moving restlessly to and fro. He wanted this person to shut up, but before he could open his mouth, he stopped being aware of anything at all.
When he awoke, he didn’t know how long it had been, and right as he moved, he felt himself being pulled into a tight embrace. A familiar warmth enveloped him, and he felt his own heart warm up along with it, so comfortable that it made one simply want to drown in it.
He shifted over to that side before reaching up to feel the bandages on his face, but his hand was immediately grabbed.
Wenren Heng said, “Don’t fiddle with it.” Ye You said, “How long was I asleep?” Wenren Heng said, “A day.”
Ye You said, “Where’s Cong Yun?”
“Ran away,” Wenren Heng said, “After he was hit by your palm strike, he threw out two concealed weapons. Their men coincidentally caught up and so took him away. I had people chase him, but they weren’t able to catch up.”
Ye You made a sound in acknowledgment and asked, “What happened afterwards?”
Wenren Heng held the other’s hand and slowly played with it as he recounted the events.
After the incident happened, he had carried his Junior Brother back to Shaolin. During this process, he had also passed down an order to the shadow guards, telling them to continue acting out their play and let people believe that the beauty had gone missing. Although the possibility wasn’t high that Cong Yun could still be tricked after all that had happened, they still needed to at least somewhat try.
And then afterwards all that was left was taking care of those injuries.
Wenren Heng sighed. “Thankfully you had taken that medicine that made you immune to poisons ahead of time.”
Ye You laughed. “They were the opponents, so naturally I’d be more careful.”
Wenren Heng said, “Miracle Doctor Ji said that if you hadn’t taken the medicine, you wouldn’t have fallen unconscious, but your eyes will hurt for a few more days. They need to be taken care of for more than a month. If you had accidentally breathed it in, your internal organs would’ve suffered damage.”
Ye You startled before then lightly letting out a breath. “Difficult to deal with, sure enough.”
With Cong Yun’s concealed weapon, if someone unprepared happened across it, then the person would definitely cover his eyes and roll around on the ground, but even if someone was prepared, the person would still be knocked unconscious, and so wouldn’t have been able to run all the same. If Cong Yun had not suffered from a palm strike, and if his Senior Brother hadn’t been coincidentally by his side, then he’d have been the one who was out of luck in the end.
He said, “I really hope that palm strike will be able to kill him.”
Wenren Heng knew that his Junior Brother had definitely used full strength, and it was truly difficult to say whether or not Cong Yun would actually survive. He said, “Miracle Doctor Ji said that he’ll try to make some other antidotes. If Cong Yun really survived out of sheer luck, then take Miracle Doctor Ji’s medicine when facing him in the future.”
Ye You made a sound in agreement and couldn’t help wanting to touch the bandages on his eyes once again.
Wenren Heng grabbed him and asked, “Do your eyes still hurt?” Ye You said, “They don’t.”
Wenren Heng said, “Leave it. We’ll take it off after a few more days, to let them heal.”
Ye You once again made a sound in agreement and asked, “Where is this? Are we still at Shaolin?”
Wenren Heng said, “Yes, I was afraid that something else would happen, so decided to have us stay.” He tucked his Junior Brother’s hair behind the other’s ears and leaned over to drop down a kiss. “Are you still tired? If you are, you can continue sleeping. The sky hasn’t brightened yet.”
Ye You said, “You woke this early?” Wenren Heng said, “I slept early.”
Ye You guessed that his Senior Brother had always been by his side, and upon feeling that the breathing in front of him had gotten a bit closer, he wanted to take the initiative to approach and request for a kiss. At this time, something suddenly flashed through his mind, and he abruptly sat up.
Wenren Heng hastily embraced him. “What is it?”
“…Demonic Medicine King.” Ye You’s expression was somewhat subtle, as if he wanted to smile but was refraining. “If Cong Yun and those people left quickly enough, then right now, Demonic Medicine King should still be hanging on a tree, wearing only a pair of underwear.”
Wenren Heng was speechless. He said, “Let’s talk about it when the sky brightens.”
Ye You nodded and once again laid down before then telling his Senior Brother why he had spared Demonic Medicine King’s life. Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgment before lowering his eyes and looking at the other, reaching out his thumb to stroke the other’s face slowly for a moment. Now that Ye You couldn’t see, his other senses had become sharper than before, and his heart quickly became itchy from this small, indistinct ambiguity. He said in a soft voice, “Senior Brother mn…”
His words disappeared as another’s lips pressed against his, and he raised his head slightly, beginning to respond. Wenren Heng lingered in that kiss for a moment, and when they separated, he saw the other lick those lips and his own eyes turned slightly dark. He pinched the other’s chin and kissed deep, while his hands slid downwards to untie the other’s waistband.
Ye You’s breathing quickly turned chaotic. Gasping for breath, he smiled and said, “I seemed to have heard your voice earlier.”
Wenren Heng said, voice hoarse, “What?”
Ye You said, “Be good and take me, or somesuch.”
Wenren Heng let out a laugh, grabbing the other’s waist and pulling the person even closer. With a soft voice, he asked, “Beauty, will you take me then, hm?”
Ye You hugged his neck but said out loud, “I don’t want to.” Wenren Heng said, “Even if you don’t want to, you have to.”
When he finished speaking, he pressed the person down and began kissing once again.
The sky brightened.
Wenren Heng let go of the person who was once again asleep and went outside to call for the Demonic Sect members. He told them to go look for Demonic Medicine King in the back mountains.
Elder Hei asked, “Which tree?” Wenren Heng said, “Don’t know.”
Elder Hei said, “…Madam, there are a lot of trees in the back mountains.” Wenren Heng said, “Then why don’t you send some people to search first, and I’ll ask Ah-You when he wakes up.”
Elder Hei also knew that it was best not to delay, so he obediently left. But, in the end, while Demonic Medicine King hadn’t been found, they wound up finding a few of the white piece’s subordinates who had also been hung up on trees by the Sect Master. They then tied these people up and went in the direction that these people had offered up in order to continue searching, but they still wound up empty-handed. It was only when the Sect Master’s information was sent over that they managed to turn towards the right direction.
But since the Sect Master’s eyes had been injured, the Sect Master wasn’t able to help and could give them only a general idea of the area. Thus, it still took them until the afternoon to find Demonic Medicine King. They silently gave that person a look, their gazes traveling up and down his body.
Even with the many years that he’d been the scourge of Jianghu, Demonic Medicine King had never been this miserable before.
After autumn arrived, the weather had become colder. With his internal energy sealed, unable to be used, he had been stuck stiff here, freezing for an entire night as well as for most of the day today. He truly felt that, in the next instant, he would’ve definitely slowly started turning into a mummified corpse.
Elder Hei already knew this person’s identity and politely said, “Demonic Medicine King, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.
Demonic Medicine King could neither speak nor move, and could only maintain that somewhat pitiful position while silently looking at him.
Elder Hei also didn’t expect that the other would be able to talk. As soon as he finished speaking, he took out an already prepared mask of fake skin and put it on the person’s face before then also taking out a skirt.
Demonic Medicine King, “…”
The setting sun dyed the mountain roads a layer of warm red, and after the common people finished lighting incense, in twos and threes, they went down the mountain in their own groups. At this time, when they raised their heads, they saw a sincere, considerate, and robust man pushing a wooden cart while madly rushing up the mountain, his entire face full of anxiety.
An old lady with her eyes closed was lying on the wooden cart. Her face was as pale as snow, looking full of some deathly illness, as if at any moment she would leave her mortal frame.
The man was shouting without pause, “Move aside, move aside,” kicking up rolls of dust in his wake, leaving a trail of dirt under the eyes of everyone’s curious and sympathetic expressions. When he entered Shaolin, he tore open his mouth to roar, “Is the Master here? My old lady almost can’t hold on anymore! Her last wish on her deathbed is to meet a senior monk of Shaolin! Someone, come quickly! Come quickly! Someone——!”
In an instant, all of Shaolin was startled.
Upon receiving the news, Master Cihui hurried over. Looking at the old woman who was beyond help, he sighed and let out an, “Amitabha,” his heart full of unending sorrow as he promptly took them to a quiet place. He was just about to read some scripture for the old woman when he saw that man walk over to him.
The man said, in a low voice, “There’s no need to be so moved, Master. Take us to see Miracle Doctor Ji. This is Demonic Medicine King. The Sect Master had us bring him over.”
Master Cihui, “…”
Why were all the Demonic Sect’s people like this?
Ever since learning that those household servants were people Sir Xiao had found from the Demonic Sect, Master Cihui had retained a deep impression of the Demonic Sect. And now that this matter had come out, he felt even more that the Demonic Sect’s people were very improper and, in his heart, thought that no wonder the righteous faction members would feel their heads ache whenever they even mention the Demonic Sect. With all the Demonic Sect members like this, he wanted to know even more how terrible that Sect Master Ye was, to make the righteous faction members grind their teeth whenever they talked about the person.
That man raised a hand and waved it in front of his face. “Master? Master? Still there?”
Master Cihui didn’t want to lower himself to the other’s level and brought the person to Miracle Doctor Ji’s residence.
Wenren Heng and Miracle Doctor Ji’s people had already received the news earlier and were currently waiting for them.
Wenren Heng didn’t want to expose his identity and so had disguised himself. Even seeing Demonic Medicine King’s amusing appearance didn’t make his expression change at all, and he instructed, “First open his jaw. See if he has any tricks or poison in his mouth.”
Demonic Medicine King knew that this would’ve happened sooner or later, so he wasn’t the least bit surprised at this turn of events. He instead examined Wenren Heng but couldn’t quite grasp this person’s real identity.
Wenren Heng didn’t look at him and simply said, “Then look at his fingernails.”
Demonic Medicine King didn’t speak.
Elder Miao and Miracle Doctor Ji were both members of the same profession, and they were naturally clear on where would be the best place to hide poison. They thus went forward to indicate which places to check.
The Demonic Sect members didn’t question them, obediently searching the person from head to toe. And Demonic Medicine King was finally no longer able to keep his underwear. Of course, after they finished investigating, they put it back on him again. Wenren Heng sat on a nearby stone bench. He shot that side a glance before waving a hand at Elder Miao.
Elder Miao expressionlessly looked at him. After hesitating for a while, the person finally scooted over to that direction very slowly.
Wenren Heng muttered a few words to him before saying, “Memorized it?”
Elder Miao made a sound in acknowledgment and suddenly felt that Wenren Heng becoming their Madam might not be such a bad thing after all. Wenren Heng was polite to everyone, always elegant and refined, and actually called him Elder Miao, not at all like Xie Junming and the Sect Master always calling him Miaomiao230. This
person was quite sensible!
He thereupon turned back after walking forward only two steps in order to add, with a very solemn tone, “I understand, Madam.”
Wenren Heng didn’t know what this person had suddenly thought of, but he didn’t have any desire to investigate further. He watched them finish feeding Demonic Medicine King drugs and setting poisonous insects, and after he was certain that this person wouldn’t be able to pull any tricks, only then did he unseal those acupoints and leave with peace of mind.
Just as he entered the small courtyard, he stopped.
Ye You had come out of the room who-knew-when and was currently standing in the small courtyard. Bandages covered those eyes, covering up the sharpness from days past, contrasting against that delicate face, seemingly bringing out a rare sort of helplessness, leaving people wanting to pull the person into an embrace and tenderly dote on him.
Wenren Heng couldn’t help but slow his footsteps. Ye You sharply inclined his head. “Who?”
Wenren Heng didn’t speak and continued walking forward. Ye You retreated half a step and called out for Elder Hei. Upon hearing the other’s answering response, with the same tone as always, he could then guess that this was probably his Senior Brother and thus relaxed his nerves. He waited for a short moment before he perceived that his Senior Brother had arrived at his side. Wenren Heng pulled the person into an embrace, “Why did you come out?”
Ye You said, “Wanted to get some fresh air.” Wenren Heng said, “I’ll take you on a walk?” Ye You said, “No need.”
“Then let’s go eat.” Wenren Heng then pulled his Junior Brother into the room and, after eating, even helped the other take a bath. Taking the opportunity while the other couldn’t see, he also took quite a few liberties.
Ye You said, all smiles, “Ah, I couldn’t tell at all, Senior Brother. I never imagined that you’d quite like me like this.”
“I’ll like you no matter what you turn into.” As Wenren Heng spoke, he wiped the water off the other’s body and carried the person over to the bed.
Since Demonic Medicine King had now gone missing, and Cong Yun’s life and death was unknown, Ye You figured that the white people’s people probably wouldn’t easily make a move. Thus, they stayed behind at Shaolin for two days. He then left together with his Senior Brother, hurrying to reconvene with the righteous faction crowd.
When the two reached a small county town and went to a restaurant to eat in the evening, they heard people in the lobby saying, “Have you heard? There’s no more hope for Sect Master Ye and Lady Tao.”
“The two have always said they were just friends.”
“How would friends act like they did? I definitely think there had been something there, but it’s only that Temple Master Xie ruined it.” “That’s true… I never would’ve thought that those two monsters would actually develop that kind of relationship. It’s possible that Temple Master Xie had his eyes on Sect Master Ye since a long time ago, and it was only now that he finally managed to win the person over.”
“That’s right, or else why would he have gone to the Demonic Sect so many times before?”
“But Temple Master Xie is also really incredible. Right as he succeeded in his pursuit, he even let Sect Master Ye love him until he was in that state, and it’s also a mystery how exactly that person managed it.
“Wasn’t it…” Ye You, “…”
Wenren Heng, “…”
Wenren Heng said, “Does Xie Junming start feeling unwell if he doesn’t cause some trouble every day?”
Ye You let out a laugh and lowered his head to eat the food that his Senior Brother had grabbed for him.
The bandages on his eyes hadn’t yet been removed, and he was completely unable to see anything he grabbed. Fortunately, Wenren Heng knew his tastes and, even without his having to open his mouth, would place food in his bowl — actually, Wenren Heng had originally wanted to feed him personally, but Ye You had refused, and so Wenren Heng also didn’t try and force him.
But that face truly caused too much disaster, so before leaving, Wenren Heng helped disguise him, and now he was simply an ordinary blind man. Those nearby immediately lost interest the moment they saw him and returned to discussing the big Jianghu matters.
Ye You listened to all that with interest, and after swallowing down the things in his mouth, he said, “He was originally someone who didn’t like being idle. Now that he’s spending the whole day with a bunch of righteous faction members, if he wasn’t finding something to interest him, then he wouldn’t be himself.”
Wenren Heng said, “In the future, when the matters between you and me come out, who knows what they’ll say about it, since in a short few months, you’ll appear to have changed partners three times.”
Ye You laughed and said, “Does what other people say have anything to do with me?”
Wenren Heng helplessly shook his head. He had just known that it would be like this.
With deeds as equally infamous as Xie Junming, his Junior Brother, Sect Master Ye, had calmly taken to being cursed by the righteous faction for this many years, truly a completely unconcerned party. Ye You said, “If you don’t like hearing other people ridicule me, then why don’t we just let them change how they’d talk about it.”
Wenren Heng was coincidentally also thinking about this point.
Since Xie Junming dared to make the first move, he’d certainly dare to make the next fifteen. He would definitely dig a pit for Xie Junming, letting other people know that it was Xie Junming who didn’t know how to treasure someone, and that it wasn’t Sect Master Ye who was frivolous or half-hearted with affections.
Ye You didn’t wait for his Senior Brother to reply and asked, “Thinking about what to do when the time comes?”
“No.” Wenren Heng internally thought that if he wasn’t able to take care of a single Xie Junming, then he might as well give up on accomplishing anything else. He stroked his Junior Brother’s hand and tenderly said, “You don’t need to worry about these matters.
After the meal, the two rested for a night, and when the next morning arrived, they waited for an hour before the scarred man hurriedly arrived.
Previously, when Wenren Heng threw aside the white piece’s people and hurried to Shaolin, the scarred man had remained behind to impede the other party, and it wasn’t until now that the person had managed to reunite with his Sect Master. Upon seeing the Sect Master supporting a person out the door, he felt his expression change immediately.
Although this person had changed faces, he could tell with one glance that this was Young Master Xiao.
Young Master Xiao was that incredible so how did he get blinded? Was it real or not? Wasn’t the previous ‘going missing after falling into the river’ all an act? How did he become like this after not meeting for a few days? Or could this be also an act? The person opened and closed his mouth as he looked at them in shock.
Wenren Heng gave him a look. The scarred man hastily regained his senses and helped them pull open the carriage curtains.
Wenren Heng supported his Junior Brother onto the carriage before turning around and asking his subordinate, “What movements have there been recently?”
The scarred man said, “There haven’t been much. It’s only that Abbot Ciyuan’s group and Sir Wei and Sir Ding have all sent letters these past few days, inquiring whether we’ve found Young Master Xiao yet…” He paused for a moment and finally couldn’t help saying, “Sect Master, Young Master Xiao is?”
Wenren Heng said, “He’s been injured a little. He’ll be fine after a few days. Don’t let outsiders hear of this.”
The scarred man was thus relieved and went to find the Shuangji Sect members, making preparations to set out. Meanwhile, Wenren Heng entered the carriage and saw his Junior Brother already sitting down. He then moved over to pull the person into an embrace.
Ye You leaned against him, relaxed, and, upon feeling him link their hands together, said, laughing, “Admit it then. You like the way I am right now.”
Wenren Heng said, “I just think that you’re quite well-behaved right now.”
Ye You said, “I’ve always been very well-behaved.” Wenren Heng declined to comment.
What he liked was actually this image of his Junior Brother relying on him.
In the past, when they hadn’t yet opened up and spoken about things clearly, every time he had been furiously angered by his Junior Brother, he had wanted to kidnap this person and lock the other up, allowing his Junior Brother to see only him. And whenever the person decided to be more honest and well-behaved was whenever he would release the person. Now that this person had become temporarily blind, the other had to rely on him for everything, leaving him especially satisfied.
He looked at his Junior Brother’s profile and moved over to drop a kiss on the other’s lips.
Ye You’s injuries weren’t serious, and after two more days of care, the bandages were removed.
The party rushed to reunite with the righteous faction, and they received news mid-journey. Abbot Ciyuan and the others had been slow by a step, and when they hurriedly arrived at Shengyin City, the Alliance Leader’s house had already been burned. They had walked around the ruins and rubble but hadn’t found the slightest clue.
Ye You wasn’t the least surprised at this development.
Even if burning the house would let the righteous faction members consider the possibility of the Alliance Leader having accomplices, the white piece still had to walk this path, or else they’d definitely be exposed.
He said, “Reply to the letter then. Say that you’ve found me, and let them first wait for us at Shengyin City.”
Wenren Heng had the same thought and sent people to deliver the letter. He then instructed the scarred man to bring more bandages and carefully wrapped them for his Junior Brother.
It was coincidentally evening when they arrived at Shengyin City.
Abbot Ciyuan’s party was currently eating, and upon suddenly seeing them enter, the group stood up one after the other. Ding Xilai and Wei Jiangyue along with the Junior Sect Masters simply ran over directly. Both of Ding Xilai’s eyes were red as he said, “Sir Xiao, it’s great that nothing happened to you!”
Ye You said, “I must have worried all of you.”
Academy Master Ge walked over and asked, “How’s your health? Were you injured?” Ye You said, “All right. At that time, I was washed away by the water and lost consciousness, waking up only after a few days.”
Wenren Heng added, “Afterwards, he also suffered from a fever for three continuous days. He’s only just somewhat recovered.”
The moment everyone heard, they supported him at once to a seat, afraid that he’d injure himself once again.
Previously, with Sir Xiao’s life and death unknown, the righteous faction’s morale had lowered by no small amount, and there were even quite a few people in their midst sporting grave expressions. Now that this person was revealed to be still alive, even if he did really turn out to the black piece’s man, they all thought that it wasn’t bad to have him on their side, and that he was quite reliable.
Xie Junming was sitting nearby and watching the righteous faction look all doting while tsking in his heart. He internally thought that if Ye You’s identity was ever revealed one day, then the righteous faction members would probably grow extremely indignant and ashamed before grabbing their blades to cut this person into pieces.
He laughed and said, “It’s good that Sir Xiao has returned. These past few days, all I heard was them harping on about you.” When he finished speaking, he looked at the person next to him. “Darling, this is the Sir Xiao I’ve mentioned to you before. Weren’t you quite curious previously. Hurry and look.”
“…” Elder Baili was wearing the Sect Master’s mask, and his mouth was pulled into a “Sect Master-esque” shallow smile, as he silently looked at his own Sect Master.
In his innermost heart, he was deeply anguished to no end.
If he had known early on that he’d have to pay such a bitter price later on, then from the start, he wouldn’t have tried to pursue such petty comeuppance in a moment of indignant anger. Over these past few days, if he hadn’t known that Xie Junming had no interest in men, then he really would’ve started suspecting that this monster had started fancying him. But thinking of these things right now was useless. Since he still had to put on an act, he let out a faint smile. “Sir Xiao, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”
Ye You said, “You flatter me. It’s nice to meet you, Sect Master Ye.”
Elder Baili lazily made a sound in acknowledgment. Out of the corners of his eyes, he saw Xie Junming grab some dishes for him that he hated, even putting on a face full of indulgent pampering while doing so, and he couldn’t help but sink into grief once again. He endured the impulse to walk down the path of mutual destruction with this rascal and instead picked up this food to eat.
Xie Junming had about had his fill of this kind of fun over the past few days and so had grabbed only those few dishes before changing his line of sight. He waved a hand at Ye You. “Has Sir Xiao eaten yet? If you haven’t, come over and let’s eat together.”
Ye You said, “No thanks. I’ll eat with my Senior Brother.”
Xie Junming said, “Ah, that’s easy to accommodate. Sect Master Wenren can also come over.”
Ye You politely refused, using the excuse of his ill health, and indicated for the waiter to have the food brought upstairs before then leaving.
The room they entered had been set aside for them by the righteous faction, and after sitting for only a short while, Ding Xilai and Wei Jiangyue both came to knock at the door. Ren Shaotian was actually carrying the food, following after to place the dishes neatly on the table, before then giving Sir Xiao an assessing look. Upon seeing that the other was in decent spirits, he retreated to the side, relieved.
Ye You looked at them. “Have something to say?” Ding Xilai said, “No, I just want to eat with you.” Ye You looked at Wei Jiangyue. “How about you?” Wei Jiangyue really had things he wanted to say. On one hand, he had lost his gamble to Sir Xiao, and he wanted to hear Sir Xiao say something, anything would do.
On the other hand, he had been extremely miserable these past few days. Every time he thought that this person might have already landed in the white piece’s hands, he felt himself incapable of eating or sleeping, and during the time when there hadn’t been any news, he had continuous nightmares. Now that he was able to see the person, he felt as if he was practically about to break into tears, and there was an instant when he truly wanted to pull this person into a fierce embrace and tell the other about all his thoughts these past few days.
However, right now was clearly not an opportune moment, whether it was that Ding Xilai and Wenren Heng were both nearby or his current precarious situation, so he could only say, voice hoarse, “I also don’t have anything.”
Ye You naturally didn’t believe him and gave him a look but didn’t investigate further.
Ding Xilai quietly accompanied him for a while before asking, “Since Uncle Zhong’s house has been burned, is there a possibility that he’s been wrongly accused? For instance, his house originally didn’t have anything, and so the white piece burned it to let people purposely believe that his house had something.”
Ye You was very surprised. “You can actually think of something like this.”
Ding Xilai scratched his head, embarrassed. “Ren Shaotian was the one who told me.”
Ye You looked at Ren Shaotian and praised, “Quite good at coaxing people.”
Ren Shaotian laughed, still giving off that same sort of wicked intent like in days past. Conversely, Ding Xilai was struck dumb and, looking at them, asked what they meant by this. Ye You then said, “Mr. Xiao is the Alliance Leader’s man. How would you explain that?” Ding Xilai, “…”
“Also, if he was truly innocent, why would the black piece be dead set on him?” Ye You looked at his expression and said, “No matter what it is, the Alliance Leader isn’t clean. This point is true. The question is, to what level has he immersed himself in the dirt.”
Ding Xilai’s shoulders collapsed, and he was sure now that, since he had received several shocks over these past few days in quick succession, Ren Shaotian had purposefully used those words to placate him. He then became gloomy for a time, asking, “Then where could Uncle Zhong have gone?”
Ye You said, “Yes, this is something that we would do well to think about.”
His thoughts hadn’t changed; he still felt that the Alliance Leader had gone to find that monster.
If that monster learned that the white piece wanted to make him into a drugged person, then he would probably come to find the white piece for payback, and at that time, everyone would know the white piece’s identity. The white piece would also be able to guess this turn of events, but the strange thing was that the white piece’s reaction was very calm. The white piece not only had kept anxiety at bay but also had the mind to plan a move when they were all leaving Shaolin.
Thus, he imagined that either they had something to rely on or there were some other secrets regarding the place that the monster was hidden and they were confident that the Alliance Leader wouldn’t be able to enter. Regardless of which of these two it was, both of them were worth considering.
Ding Xilai asked, “Do you have any ideas?”
Ye You said, “No. Did the black piece make any moves these past few days?”
Ding Xilai said, “No.”
Ye You laughed and said, “Then the suspicions of my being the black piece have grown even bigger.” Ding Xilai startled. “Are you saying that the black piece wants to throw the white piece’s suspicions on you instead?”
Ye You said, “Yes. Anyway, regardless of what I want to do right now, the white piece still wants to kill me.”
“Shameless.” Ding Xilai was furious. “I can’t believe that I had thought that the black piece was all right. How could he do
this? Boss231, after we catch the white piece, let’s also catch the black piece. We’ll get them both here and let them see who’s truly the incredible one.”
Ye You repeated, “Boss?”
Ding Xilai took a moment to react before explaining, “I misspoke.” Ye You raised a brow.
“…All right then,” Ding Xilai said, “During those days you were missing, I once got drunk because I was in a bad mood and told them that you were my boss, so now they all know.” He couldn’t help but grab Ye You’s hand. “Boss, you should just accept me. If you want me to go east, I definitely won’t go west. If you want me to jump into a river, I definitely won’t jump off a cliff. I’ll be your man alive, and I’ll be your man dead too… Oh, wait, that won’t do. If I die, I’ll probably still be buried in the Ding family’s tombs. I won’t have any control over this.”
The group, “…”
In the end, Ye You didn’t agree to Ding Xilai’s request.
He patiently said, “You’re Lingjian Pavilion’s Junior Pavilion Master, and I’m not anything at all, so on what basis would I be capable of becoming your boss?”
Ding Xilai said, “Sir Xiao definitely shouldn’t talk like this. If you aren’t anything, then what am I?”
Ye You said, “Lingjian Pavilion’s Junior Pavilion Master.” Ding Xilai, “…”
Ding Xilai felt unwell all over, feeling as if this matter was finished.
He knew that, at this time, he should think up a convincing argument, but he was too stupid. The messy, chaotic thought that flashed through his mind actually turned out to be the idea to cut open his palm heroically, pour that blood out into a bowl, and drink it. But immediately after, he realized that that would be too messed up, as even if he wanted to drink blood, it shouldn’t be done like that. Then what exactly should he do?
Wenren Heng gave him a look and then interrupted, telling them that his Junior Brother’s health still hadn’t recovered and so the person needed to rest, before then politely chasing them out.
Ding Xilai didn’t dare to act impudent to the other’s face, while Wei Jiangyue was full of thoughts and knew that this wasn’t an appropriate time to speak and so left with Ding Xilai. Wei Jiangyue then entered his room, without even turning back. The Ding Xilai who had been thrown aside fell silent for an instant before turning to look at Ren Shaotian, seemingly crying without tears.
Ren Shaotian brought his young master back to the room and said, “What he said makes sense.”
Ding Xilai said, “What?” Ren Shaotian said, “Young Master is Lingjian Pavilion’s Junior Pavilion Master.”
Ding Xilai wept. “I didn’t choose how I was born, so why discriminate against me?”
Ren Shaotian felt helpless. He told the young master that it wasn’t discrimination but rather that Lingjian Pavilion was one of Jianghu’s two great powers, which was no small matter. The young master was the Pavilion Master’s only son and so, in the future, would definitely succeed Lingjian Pavilion.
Ding Xilai didn’t understand. “So what?”
Ren Shaotian asked, “If the Pavilion Master suddenly found a boss and wanted to become that person’s younger brother, what would Young Master think?”
Ding Xilai didn’t even need to think to say, “I’d think the old man was crazy.”
Ren Shaotian said, smiling, “It’s the same for the young master.”
“Stop joking around. Me and my dad are the same?” Ding Xilai said, “If I had my dad’s ability, I’d long have become more assertive.”
Ren Shaotian said, “It’s not too late if the young master starts putting in effort now.”
“But your young master is stupid.” Ding Xilai was especially anguished and, seeing the other wanting to speak again, patted his shoulder. “I understand what you’re saying. You want to tell me that I represent Lingjian Pavilion so I can’t easily recognize someone else as my boss. Then what do you think I should do? I can certainly continue being a prodigal son, but Xiao-Zhong isn’t here, so in the future, there will no longer be anyone going along with me to play.”
When he thought of Xiao-Zhong, he also thought of what kind of situation might occur the next time they met, and he let out a sigh before slowly lying down on the bed. Ren Shaotian looked at his small back and said, “Then why doesn’t the young master ask what the Pavilion Master thinks. If the Pavilion Master agrees, Sir Xiao most likely won’t refuse again.”
Ding Xilai asked, ill at ease, “Will my dad kill me?” Ren Shaotian laughed and didn’t respond.
This time, Ding Xilai was thoroughly enlightened. In his heart, even he knew that his old man would be angry, so it was no wonder that Sir Xiao wouldn’t accept him; this truly was somewhat negligent of him. He considered for a moment before turning to get off the bed. After wiping his face, he rushed out, full of righteous devotion, to push open his old man’s door.
At this time, Pavilion Master Ding had just gone upstairs and, upon hearing these movements, coldly gave him a look.
Ding Xilai instantly fixed his attitude. “Father, have you finished eating?”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “Yes.”
Ding Xilai calmly entered the room and, seeing the other give him another look, swiftly poured out a cup of tea. “Father, have some tea.”
This tea had been steeped at noon, and only the very bottom of the pot was left. It had also long gone cold, and once poured in the teacup, the only things left were the dregs. Ding Xilai’s entire mind was on the matter with Sir Xiao, and it wasn’t until he was handing the cup over that he realized how terrible it was. At this time, both of their gazes were on this teacup.
Pavilion Master Ding, “…” Ding Xilai, “…”
Ding Xilai was about to remedy the situation when Pavilion Master Ding accepted the cup and drank a sip, tone still as cold as ever, “Speak then. What is it.” “What, that is… cough,” Ding Xilai said, “I believe that Sir Xiao’s a clever person.”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “So you want to follow him?” Ding Xilai was caught off guard. “…What?”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “You thought I didn’t know?” Ding Xilai’s heart rose. “That…”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “No.”
Ding Xilai was extremely anxious. “He’s that clever…”
Pavilion Master Ding interrupted, “If you can think of a way to let him accept you as a sworn brother, then I won’t object.”
Ding Xilai startled before asking, “What if I can’t?”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “If you can’t even do this one thing, then in the future, you also don’t even need to think of inheriting Lingjian Pavilion.”
Ding Xilai immediately felt as if an entire mountain was pressing down on him, but he also felt that this idea of his old man’s was better than his original one of being the person’s younger brother. He sucked in a deep breath and left with a heavy head and swaying feet. Ren Shaotian noticed the Pavilion Master’s gaze and so didn’t follow after, standing there without moving.
Pavilion Master Ding muttered to himself for a while before asking, “How do you think Sir Xiao treats him?”
“Not bad, but it also can’t be said to be particularly good. He only mentions a word or two, but for the young master, his advice helps greatly,” Ren Shaotian said, “What’s rare is that the young master is willing to listen to him. This subordinate believes that if Sir Xiao is truly willing to take in the young master, then the young master would definitely become even more outstanding.” Pavilion Master Ding was silent for a moment before making a sound in acknowledgment. “Look after him some more. Make sure he does less silly things.”
Ren Shaotian suppressed his laughter and said a word of ‘understood’ before retreating outside.
The sky quickly turned dark, but within Shengyin City, it was still as lively as before.
Sir Xiao had been returned safely, and everyone felt much steadier, so those who decided to visit taverns and brothels also increased.
The adventurers drank and chatted, never leaving the topic of Sir Xiao, truly leaving bystanders endlessly curious whenever they overheard.
At this time, the person in question had already taken off the bandages on his face and was currently lying lazily on his Senior Brother’s lap while holding a book, though he hadn’t turned a page in a long while. Wenren Heng stroked his hair, picking up a strand to play with. “What are you thinking about?”
Ye You said, “Thinking about what they’re currently thinking about.”
The white piece had made a rare chess move, but it had ended up being overturned by him. Miracle Doctor Ji and the others were safe and sound, while Demonic Medicine King and a group of subordinates had gone missing, and Cong Yun’s life and death was unknown. All these things had most likely already reached the white piece’s ears, so what kind of reaction would the white piece have?
Wenren Heng said, “Perhaps we can take a bit of initiative.” Ye You lifted his eyes to look at the other.
Wenren Heng said, “Follow up our victory with an attack.”
Ye You instantly understood his Senior Brother’s meaning and seriously thought about it for a moment. Right as he was about to speak, he noticed that his Senior Brother was staring at him without wavering and thus, having a clear view of things, swallowed back down the words he wanted to say. He nodded and said, “All right.”
Wenren Heng gave him a kiss in satisfaction, saying against his lips, “Not bad, I was even thinking that if you dared to say that you should be the one to do these things, then I’d definitely not be able to forgive you.”
Ye You lied through his teeth, “How could I possibly think like that. Of course, I’ll call for you no matter what it is.”
Wenren Heng pressed on his jaw for a moment before letting him go for now.
The next day, everyone woke up very early.
This time, Ye You sat at the same table as the others, unhurriedly eating breakfast, doing his utmost to use his movements to create the impression of extreme weakness.
Abbot Ciyuan and the others all didn’t disturb him. It was only upon seeing that he had almost finished eating did Academy Master Ge finally open his mouth, “Now that the Alliance Leader’s house has truly been burned down, what should we do?”
Ye You asked, “What do these elders think?”
Academy Master Ge said, “I think that the Alliance Leader is perhaps not the real white piece, and that the white piece is someone else, but it’s also possible that the Alliance Leader is purposely trying to make us suspicious of each other and so purposely burned his own house. What do you think?”
Ye You said, “My thoughts haven’t changed. I still think that the Alliance Leader has partners.”
Academy Master Ge said, “Other than that his son’s kidnapping was suspicious and that Mr. Xiao and Fuping might not have the same master, are there other pieces of evidence?” Ye You said, “No, but the black piece hasn’t made a move in this many days, and now that we’ve reached a deadlock, we don’t know if he’ll make another move now. It wouldn’t hurt for us to wait.”
Everyone immediately fell silent.
Many people wanted to grab him and shake him a few times to ask if he actually was the black piece. If he really was, then he should quickly pick out who the white piece was, so that they could take care of the other party and go home!
Although Academy Master Ge was also somewhat suspicious, but at the root of it, he felt that it didn’t matter, since this person had, from beginning to end, stood in opposition to the white piece. If the person truly was the black piece, he wouldn’t be surprised.
Ye You looked at them and asked, despite already knowing the answer, “What is it?”
Everyone averted their gazes and told him that it was nothing.
Ye You asked, “All of you are thinking about whether or not I’m the black piece?”
Everyone hurried to wave their hands, not admitting to it.
Xie Junming didn’t have such misgivings and asked, “Then are you or are you not?”
Everyone’s spirits shook, and it was the first time that they thought that Xie Junming looked quite pleasing to the eye.
Ye You said, “I don’t know. I lost my memories.” Everyone, “…”
Xie Junming said, “Who knows if you really lost them or you’re simply pretending.”
You’re doing good!
Everyone felt more and more that a certain person was pleasing to the eye. Under this nervous, deathly stillness, Ye You repeated again, “I really lost them.”
Xie Junming said, “Oh.”
Without a word or change in expression, everyone looked at Xie Junming. Upon seeing this rascal drinking a sip of tea before then staring sternly at the other party, they all thought that he was about to press his advantage step by step, but in the end, they simply heard this person say, “I think you’re quite nice to look at. Since you’re not clear on your origins, why don’t you come serve at my Wuwang Temple?”
Ye You said, “Many thanks for Temple Master Xie’s consideration, but I still want to follow my Senior Brother.”
Xie Junming said, “In the future, if you ever change your mind, you can come find me anytime. Come, Darling, let’s go and listen to some music.”
“…” Elder Baili forced himself to let out a laugh and silently left with the other.
It looked like this matter was thoroughly finished this time, and everyone felt as if they were choking on air, very much wanting to cut this rascal into pieces.
They should’ve never placed any hopes on this scoundrel!
The table once again fell into deathly silence. Ye You finished drinking his porridge, wiped his mouth, and stood up underneath their collective gazes, calmly leaving the table together with his Senior Brother. But always staying in the room was truly too dull, and it wasn’t even noon when Wenren Heng pulled his Junior Brother out the door.
Wei Jiangyue had always been paying attention to their movements, and upon seeing this, he followed after, finally entering a teahouse. He stepped onto the second floor and knocked on the door to the private room. When he entered, he discovered that three cups of tea were actually set out on the table and knew then that they had been waiting for him. He walked over and sat down before asking, “Why didn’t you explain this morning?”
Ye You said, “Because I also think that I’m the black piece.”
Wei Jiangyue shook his head. “It’s possible that the black piece found that you were able to control the situation, so he wanted to use you to attract the white piece’s attention.”
Ye You said, “My memories have actually returned.”
Wei Jiangyue wasn’t able to react for a time. He said, “What?” Ye You didn’t answer, quietly looking at him.
Wei Jiangyue understood then that the other was fulfilling the terms of their bet, and he sucked in a deep breath. When he opened his mouth again, his voice contained a tremble that even he wasn’t able to detect, “Then are you?”
Ye You said, in a light voice, “Perhaps.”
Wei Jiangyue didn’t want to acknowledge it. “That’s not right. If you know who the white piece is, why don’t you say it?”
Because rather than seeing the white piece fall out with them, he desired even more to see the white piece forced into an endless struggle before finally having all movements completely sealed, forced into a dead end with no way out.
Ye You thoughts turned before saying, “I don’t have any evidence.” Wei Jiangyue said with difficulty, “You still think…”
Ye You said, “That’s right, I still think that your father is suspicious.”
He didn’t wait for this person to ask and continued speaking, “I presume you know how my master died, but what you don’t know is that the adventurer who had been hunted down gave me a note before he died. On it was written all kinds of things that your father did, but I didn’t have any evidence. Sir Wei, I know you want to make the truth clear. I also want to know if the things that the adventurer investigated are true or not. Now, this is something only you can do, so I’ll point you on a path. Go search your father’s study, look a bit more carefully. It’s possible that there’s a hidden room within.”
Every sentence that was spoken caused Wei Jiangyue to stiffen by a degree, and in the end, the person practically became incapable of finding his voice.
Ye You said, “I know this really isn’t easy. You can decide whether to go or not after you think on it some more.”
Wei Jiangyue closed his eyes. “No need. I will go.”
He wasn’t an irresolute person. This matter had left him dangling, unable to find solid ground and rife with apprehension, for far too many days; he had just about had enough.
After Wei Jiangyue left, the private room turned quiet.
Ye You very much enjoyed the times he spent alone with his Senior Brother and was unhurriedly drinking his tea when he saw that his Senior Brother wasn’t speaking. He asked, “Thinking about the matter with Wei Jiangyue?”
Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgment.
Ye You said, “From your understanding of him, will he go?” Wenren Heng said with certainty, “He will.”
Ye You said, “What will he do if he really finds something useful?” Wenren Heng shook his head.
He paused for a moment before saying, “You’re also clear on how Manor Lord Wei usually handles matters, and the way that he conducts himself leaves others practically unable to find any faults in him. He’s also like that at home. The Wei family’s assets are large, with many branch families, but the family itself has always been harmonious, and there’s never been any major upheavals. Wei Jiangyue has been by Manor Lord Wei’s side since young and truly respects him. Their father-son relationship has always been quite good.”
Ye You said, “I know.”
Wenren Heng said, “Although Wei Jiangyue has always set clear lines between right and wrong, that is still his blood-related father after all. If he really is able to find some evidence, I can’t guarantee that he’ll immediately fall out with his father, but at least he won’t continue to turn a blind eye.” He gave the person next to him a look. “What’s more, since you’re here, he also won’t pretend that he doesn’t know. We’ll just have to see what choice he makes.”
Ye You was diligently listening, but when he heard those last words, he couldn’t help but look at his Senior Brother. Wenren Heng said, voice mild, “Don’t tell me that you didn’t notice that he had a bit of those kinds of intentions towards you.”
Ye You said, “He does seem to have a bit, but I thought that it was ultimately just out of guilt.”
“There’s definitely guilt,” Wenren Heng said, “He’s the second young master of Fengxian Manor, with power and authority along with upright conduct and some decent martial skill, so he’s quite popular with the people. Since he started traveling through Jianghu, anytime he encountered something, he’s always dealt with it equitably. You are perhaps the first person whom he has ever felt that he owed.
Actually, he had already been somewhat curious about you before, and then later, the matter with Wei Jiangrou happened, so now you need only to appear and he’ll take more notice of you. As time went on, he naturally began having those kinds of thoughts.”
Of course, there was still something else he hadn’t said, which was that his Junior Brother truly caused too much disaster.
He thought that, even if Wei Jiangrou hadn’t interfered, Wei Jiangyue would’ve become interested in his Junior Brother sooner or later. Because Wei Jiangyue was somewhat arrogant, those that were able to catch that person’s eye were all incredible people. There was no need to talk about how outstanding his Junior Brother was, and the other was also often in control of the situation. As they interacted more and more, Wei Jiangyue’s heart would have definitely moved.
But right now his Junior Brother was also carefully stowing away that temper, so if one day the other regained Sect Master Ye’s identity, there was no telling whether Wei Jiangyue would receive a fright. Wenren Heng thought all of this in his heart before finally adding, “If this was like in the past, and I told him that there were problems with Manor Lord Wei, he would’ve most likely started a fight with me already. Now that there’s also you, everything’s different.”
Ye You considered his Senior Brother’s normal tone of voice for a moment before giving the other a look. “What? You thought I’d be jealous?” Wenren Heng gave a slight smile. “I’ve long gotten used to it.”
He had indeed already become used to it.
Over these past few years, his Junior Brother had been far too ostentatious, and while the righteous faction were infuriated to the point of grinding their teeth whenever they thought of the other, there were still many people who very much admired this person, and there were even more men and women who were filled with adoration in their hearts. Just counting those he knew of personally, there were already ten — all this was quite understandable, as a person with such wanton confidence always had a charm outside of the ordinary.
His only consolation was that his Junior Brother hadn’t exposed that face, or else the people provoked would’ve definitely grown even more. But he also hadn’t attached any real importance to those ordinary pieces of trash. Those who could worry him were only a few, like Xie Junming and Lady Tao.
He looked at the two eyes exposed on his Junior Brother’s face and pinched the other’s chin, scooting slightly closer. “Anyway, right now you’re mine. Others can’t steal you away.”
Ye You’s heart trembled slightly, and he couldn’t help saying some cheap words, “What’ll you do if another person steals me away, or I run away with someone else?”
Wenren Heng said, “I won’t give you that opportunity.” Ye You said, “Will you be able to stop me?”
“I won’t.” Wenren Heng let him go. “Never mind. If that day really comes, I won’t stop you. I’ll just find someone else who suits me and get married. At that time, remember to come drink at your Senior Brother’s wedding feast.”
Ye You let out a laugh. “Who will you look for? Lady Xiao-Rou?”
Wenren Heng didn’t answer, instead replying with a question, “Speaking of her, you seem to have found her quite pleasing to the eye when your memories were missing? So much so that you even wanted to play matchmaker for us?”
Ye You reminded, “…Senior Brother, you’ve already collected on those past debts.”
Wenren Heng said, “I can collect them again. Who let you insist on saying these things that I don’t like to hear.”
Having a clear view of things, Ye You thereupon stopped speaking and waited for the other to finish drinking that cup of tea before returning to the previous topic and asking, “Over these years, you seemed to have a good relationship with Wei Jiangyue?”
Wenren Heng understood what his Junior Brother was implying the moment he heard this.
He and the Wei family had been friendly for about ten years, and he and Wei Jiangyue had also known each other for almost ten years.
They’d practically never had any major disputes, and their relationship was also not bad. Now with Wei Jiangyue having entered this kind of situation, his Junior Brother wanted to ask him what he thought about it.
Ye You looked at him. “Hm?”
Wenren Heng pulled over the other’s hand and slowly played with it. He said, “Over these years, I’ve never opened my heart to him.”
Ye You said, “Why is that?”
Wenren Heng said, “Because of you.”
From that sudden parting ten years ago, he had always been thinking of his Junior Brother’s matters.
He remembered that, at the time, after Manor Lord Wei had finished helping them handle Master’s funeral arrangements, the other had invited them to Fengxian Manor while also offering to get a doctor to look at his Junior Brother. But his Junior Brother had suffered too much shock and would insist on sitting by Master’s gravestone every day for a long while. He thus pushed off those matters and patiently accompanied his Junior Brother. Later, when his Junior Brother returned to the Central Plains, he felt even more that his Junior Brother was concealing something from him and so had meticulously maintained his distance from the Wei family. Although he had known the family for a long time, he conversely had a better relationship with Qin Yuemian than with Wei Jiangyue and them.
Ye You startled slightly, internally thinking that Senior Brother truly is difficult to deceive, before asking, “You weren’t afraid that you had misunderstood?”
Wenren Heng said, “My relationship with them also wasn’t bad. By the time I’m able to get you to open your mouth, if it truly turned out to be a misunderstanding, it still wouldn’t have been too late to become truly close to them.”
Ye You was left unable to respond. At this time, he heard the echo of footsteps from outside, which appeared to be rushing towards them. He thus waited for a short moment and, sure enough, ended up hearing two knocks upon their room door. Immediately following, Qin Yuemian and Lady Tao entered.
Wenren Heng looked at his good friend.
Qin Yuemian still maintained that prodigal son appearance of days past and, laughing, explained, “I was dying of boredom, so I came out with Lady Tao to drink some tea. When I came upstairs, I saw your Shuangji Sect’s people and so came over.”
Ye You laughed and said, “You came at just the right time. In a while, let’s eat together.”
Qin Yuemian said, “What is it?”
Ye You said, deadly earnest, “Nothing much. It’s simply eating a meal together. This time, I narrowly escaped from death, and I can now finally put the past few days to rest. It’s certainly worth celebrating.”
Qin Yuemian didn’t say a word in response, but since this person spoke like that, he just took those words as a pretext and so stayed behind. The group chatted until noon before changing locations to the largest restaurant in the city. As a result, they ended up meeting Xie Junming.
Xie Junming just knew that a certain person wouldn’t neglect feeding the stomach, so when he didn’t see the person at the inn, he then left for the restaurant to try his luck. And, right now, with matters proving that his luck was quite good, he said, smiling, “What a coincidence, are all of you also here to eat?”
Wenren Heng said, “Temple Master Xie also?”
“Yes, why don’t we eat together then.” Xie Junming looked at the Elder Baili next to him. “What do you say, Darling?”
Elder Baili stared at his Sect Master’s gaze, which seemed deep in thought, and obediently continued to put on the act, saying with a smile, “All right. This lord just so happens to want to get to know Sir Xiao. Let’s go.”
The adventurers in the lobby all followed these people upstairs with their gazes, and then immediately boiled over.
They couldn’t help but whisper to each other, the topic of conversation practically all revolving around Qin Yuemian, Lady Tao, Xie Junming, and Ye You. The reason being, at Shaolin, Qin Yuemian was always with Lady Tao, and later when Xie Junming came and saw these two people together, that person had made no mention of his own opinion, and even later, when Ye You brought people over, that person had then quickly taken up with Xie Junming.
They felt that, within these events, there were definitely some secret entanglements unknown to anyone!
“I feel that Xie Junming insisted on eating with them because he saw that Lady Tao was there.”
“That couldn’t be, right? If I managed to get a wife, and I met that wife’s old lover on the road, I’d definitely try to think up a way to have them stay as far apart as possible.” “Yes, I’ve always felt that it was because Ye You wasn’t able to win over Lady Tao that he’s together with Xie Junming, just to see if Lady Tao would be jealous.”
“Sect Master Ye doesn’t seem to be that childish…”
Everyone’s opinions differed, and they finally slowly turned onto the topic of Xie Junming and Ye You. They felt that if these two people were truly together, then in the future, they’d probably often have to see these two scoundrels, who were both in need of beatings, come together to harass people. But, very quickly, there was someone who said that Sect Master Ye’s tongue didn’t seem to be so poisonous anymore, that he seemed to have restrained his temper by no small amount, and that perhaps it was all due to finding a lover; looking at it like this, he and Xie Junming’s matter wasn’t as terrible as they all feared.
The rest of them were very hesitant. “…If only that could be true.”
The people who were being discussed naturally didn’t pay attention to the gazes of others.
These people ate this one meal all the way until dinnertime, and in that time, they also found a waiter to bring in a mahjong table, huddling together to begin playing mahjong. This waiter originally thought that they were also going to eat here at night, but in the end, when the time came for dinner, he saw them leaving and immediately became speechless.
Xie Junming asked, “Sir Xiao has just recovered from a major illness. Are you planning on returning to rest?”
Ye You laughed and said, “I feel that the day is still early. Why don’t we go listen to some music?”
Xie Junming and Qin Yuemian and the others had already accompanied him in wasting an entire afternoon, and upon seeing this, they felt more and more that there was something fishy, deciding to play accompaniment until the end, and so followed the two to an opera house. Shengyin City was a bustling town, and now that there was even a contingent of people from Jianghu, the opera house’s business was extremely prosperous.
Under the curious gazes of an entire crowd of people, the group asked for seats on the second floor. They ate as they listened to the songs, leaving only when the business was just about to close. Xie Junming and Qin Yuemian collectively turned to look at a certain person.
Ye You feebly said, “Senior Brother, I’m tired.” The group, “…”
Wenren Heng considerately supported him. “Then let’s return to the inn.”
Ye You said, “All right.”
“Wait,” Xie Junming said, “What was the act we were putting on today?”
Wenren Heng was very calm. “My Junior Brother just escaped from a crisis, and I wanted to accompany him. Many thanks to everyone for honoring us with their presence.”
The group suspiciously stared at them. Wenren Heng said, “Let’s go back.”
Xie Junming immediately laughed handsomely. Grabbing a certain person’s hand in one move, he said, with deep emotion, “Ah-You, then let’s go back. Just now, I was so enchanted with the opera that I forgot to say a few words to you. Don’t worry, I’ll make up for all of that tonight.”
Elder Baili, “…”
What does that have to do with me! Can you not pour out your
anger on me when you failed to glean anything interesting from the Sect Master and the Madam’s side? I’m also completely and utterly baffled, all right! He couldn’t help but give the Sect Master a look full of grievances.
Ye You laughed inwardly and finally found a bit of conscience, enough to say, using a voice that only they could hear, “Sleep earlier today. All of you will know at either midnight tonight or tomorrow morning.”
Only then was Xie Junming and the others satisfied, thus turning towards home.
When they returned, a crowd of Junior Sect Masters, with arms around each other’s shoulders, had also returned to the inn. With one look, Ding Xilai saw Sir Xiao and so scooted over. He was just about to speak when he discovered that the other was being supported by Wenren Heng and so asked, worried, “What’s wrong with Sir Xiao?”
Wenren Heng said, “He played a bit later than usual, so he’s now tired.”
Ding Xilai said, “Then you should hurry and go upstairs.” Wenren Heng nodded and took his Junior Brother away.
Putting on an image of weakness, Ye You obediently followed his Senior Brother. At a corner of the staircase, he suddenly felt something and turned his head back to look, coincidentally meeting Ren Shaotian’s line of sight. Seeing the other nonchalantly avert those eyes, he felt somewhat perplexed in his heart.
Wenren Heng said, “What?”
Ye You said, “When something happened to me last time, did there seem to be anything wrong with Ren Shaotian?”
“Ren Shaotian?” Wenren Heng thought back. “No, he simply said that if there was any news about you, to tell them. What is it?”
Ye You said, “It’s nothing. I’m just randomly asking.” Wenren Heng gave him a look. Ye You continued leaning against him. “Senior Brother, tired.”
Wenren Heng was speechless, and when he saw that there were only a few more steps before they reached their destination, he simply decided to carry the person into the room.
The next morning, Ye You was awoken by a spate of clamorous noise.
At this time, the sky had not yet brightened, and he couldn’t help but burrow his head into his Senior Brother’s neck, refusing to open his eyes.
Wenren Heng laughed and held the other in his arms. “Not going out?”
Ye You said, “My body is weak. It’s normal for me to sleep a bit longer.”
Wenren Heng naturally acceded to him and laid there with him for a while, as the movements outside became noisier and noisier. Upon seeing that his Junior Brother still had no intentions of getting up, Wenren Heng could only drop a kiss down on the other’s forehead and leave the bed alone to go outside.
Right as he had just stepped downstairs, he heard Ding Xilai and a crowd of Junior Sect Masters say, “Brother Wei and Brother Han and them got drunk last night, and they said they weren’t coming back, so we left.”
Manor Lord Wei said, “Were there others around?” Ding Xilai said, “I wasn’t paying attention to that.”
Pavilion Master Ding said coldly, “Didn’t I tell you to be more well- behaved? Why did you run out to go drinking?”
Ding Xilai tensed up his expression. “Understood, Father, I won’t go in the future.” He was also feeling very wronged. Although he knew that he had to do his best to get Sir Xiao to accept him as a sworn brother, he didn’t actually know what he should do. Right as he was getting frustrated, Wei Jiangyue had coincidentally returned from going out, appearing to be very unhappy. They thus decided that they might as well go out to drink. Who could’ve known that something would happen when they did?
Wenren Heng walked over. Standing next to Academy Master Ge, he asked, “What happened?”
Academy Master Ge sighed and said, “Last night, Jiangyue was kidnapped by someone. There were traces of a fight at the scene. No one knows who did it.”
Last night, Wei Jiangyue had gone missing in a brothel.
After Sir Xiao encountered that incident, the Junior Sect Masters began following their elders to Shengyin City, moving as fast as possible, without relaxing even the slightest practically the entire way there, and along with Sir Xiao’s life or death being unknown, they also weren’t in the mood for anything. Now that Sir Xiao had safely been returned, and the Abbot and the others also weren’t in a hurry to get on the road, they had thus wanted to go out and play.
Of course, Ding Xilai and Wei Jiangyue were the exceptions; those two had purely wanted to drink some alcohol.
And the problem arose precisely because of that alcohol.
The moment Wei Jiangyue sat down, he began downing alcohol without a word, practically taking no notice of anyone else. Seeing that he appeared to be in low spirits, they gave him a few words of advice. Wei Jiangyue maintained a cold face through it all, and it wasn’t apparent whether he was actually listening or not. After a time, most likely because he thought that they were too annoying, he saw that the lead entertainer was next to him pouring wine and pulled this person towards him before then leaving to change rooms, all without looking back. He told them that there was no need to wait for him.
Everyone looked at each other in dismay, and someone said, “Let’s just leave it. He’ll feel better after he vents.”
The rest said, “…Yes.” Why did they do that?
Because it was very likely that matters between Wenren Heng and Sir Xiao had borne fruit, while Wei Jiangyue himself appeared to have some intentions towards Sir Xiao, so they thought that Wei Jiangyue was simply jealous. The most important point was that Wenren Heng was not easy to contend with, and although Wei Jiangyue was outstanding, he was still a far cry from Wenren Heng’s level, so there was basically no hope for him.
They sighed as they drank and, upon seeing that Ding Xilai also seemed absent-minded, quickly turned their gazes to this person instead. After a single question, they learned that he wanted to become sworn brothers with Sir Xiao, and so they also generously provided quite a few ideas, including some truly ridiculous ones, angering Ding Xilai to the point that he rolled up his sleeves and started a brawl with them.
This group of people ate and drank and played until very late into the night. Some of them remained behind with pleasing beauties on their arms, while the remainder returned to the inn with arms around each other’s shoulders. But, as a result, after this night was over, Wei Jiangyue had disappeared.
Manor Lord Wei and Pavilion Master Ding had already sent people to search throughout the city, while the Junior Sect Masters had taken the responsibility to remain behind to recall the events from last night, honestly replying to all of the elders’ questions.
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “All of you said that his mood wasn’t good?”
The Junior Sect Masters said, “It seemed like it. We didn’t dare ask too much.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “Then do all of you know the reason?” The Junior Sect Masters said, “We don’t.”
What a joke! At this time, even if they were beaten to death, they couldn’t reveal the matter of Brother Wei liking Sir Xiao, or else how awkward would it be in the future.
Wenren Heng was listening to this conversation on the side and once again looked at the Academy Master Ge next to him, asking, “Didn’t they say that Wei Jiangyue called for someone? What about that lead entertainer? Did she see anything?” “She fell unconscious,” Academy Master Ge said, “She said that they drank for a while after entering the room, and then Wei Jiangyue suddenly turned towards the window and asked who it was. After that, she fell unconscious, and she’s completely unaware of what actually happened.”
Wenren Heng wordlessly muttered to himself. Academy Master Ge said, “Where’s Sir Xiao?”
Wenren Heng said, “His health still hasn’t quite recovered, so he’s still sleeping.”
Academ Master Ge nodded and once again looked at the scene in front, letting out a soft sigh. “Ah, this matter…”
Wenren Heng didn’t follow up on that sentence, but he did understand what the other was worried about.
He actually didn’t just understand Academy Master Ge; he also could just about guess what the rest of the people here were all thinking.
After all, not long ago, the previous incident with the Alliance Leader father-son pair had already taught them a painful lesson, and those here were all of high-ranks and so would definitely think a layer deeper. For instance, why was the person who was lost Wei Jiangyue of all people? And also… wasn’t this very similar to what happened to Sir Zhong?
Everyone was thinking their own thoughts. Some saw Wenren Heng and also asked after Sir Xiao.
Wenren Heng gently explained again and, taking the opportunity, said that he was going to go upstairs to look in on that person.
However, right at this time, a certain familiar voice, that seemed to be just begging for a beating, carried over, “What kind of thing has made everyone so lively?”
Everyone turned around and saw Xie Junming unhurriedly stepping down the stairs, with even the great Sect Master Ye following beside him. Someone from the lobby replied, “Something has happened.” Xie Junming said, “And so I asked what kind of thing it was.” He actually already knew.
It wasn’t only him, but the Qin Yuemian who had followed behind them downstairs also already knew.
Yesterday, they had accompanied a certain person to waste quite a bit of time, and so they were all clear that something was probably going to happen. When the ruckus began, they were naturally curious, but they forced themselves to dawdle for a while upstairs, in accordance with their temperaments, or else it’d have looked far too deliberate. But even though they didn’t come downstairs, they had people make some inquiries, and so they all knew about what happened to Wei Jiangyue.
The two weren’t fools. After stepping downstairs, they secretly shot Wenren Heng a glance, finally understanding what kind of medicine this person and Ye You were selling232.
The white piece had always been cautious around Ye You. Yesterday, when they were together with Ye You, the white piece wouldn’t have been sure whether or not they were conspiring with each other and so all the attention must have been on their persons, thus relaxing vigilance in other places. Thus, Wei Jiangyue went missing — this showed that these disciple-brothers had been deliberately trying to create a diversion.
So Wei Jiangyue was kidnapped by this pair of disciple-brothers? What was the goal?
The two flipped through their thoughts as they found a good place to sit, appearing as if they were idle people simply interested in listening to the progress of events.
However, the current clues were far too few.
Even after discussing for a long while, no one was able to come up with a solution. They could only do their best to search. If they couldn’t find him in the city, then that would be truly terrible.
Manor Lord Wei’s always amiable expression had been replaced by a grave one, and he paced back and forth with furrowed brows. He suddenly looked at Wenren Heng and asked, “What do you think, Xiao-Heng?”
Wenren Heng shook his head. “I still can’t be sure who it was that made this move.”
Manor Lord Wei said, “What about Ah-Xiao?” Wenren Heng said, “I’ll go look.”
He went upstairs the moment he finished speaking. Pushing open the door, he saw that his Junior Brother still hadn’t gotten up and so sat at the bedside, slowly stroking his Junior Brother’s cheeks. “Still sleeping?”
Ye You opened his eyes, lazily reaching out his hands towards the other party, and was then pulled up by his Senior Brother. After washing up, he also had the bandages wound around himself, and only then did he unhurriedly go downstairs.
Everyone had split into several tables and was just about to eat. Upon seeing them arrive, the group waved at the two, pointing at the seats that had been left open for them. Ye You walked over and said apologetically, “Since the days are cold, I overslept a bit. Sorry for leaving these elders waiting.”
Everyone knew about his ill health and so naturally waved it off and said it was of no consequence, indicating for them to sit before then starting the meal.
Manor Lord Wei didn’t have an appetite. He made no move to touch his chopsticks, and only a single cup of tea was placed in front of him. He looked at Ye You and asked, “Have you heard about what happened with Jiangyue?”
Ye You nodded. “I heard my Senior Brother talk about it.” Manor Lord Wei said, “Do you have any thoughts?” “The other party should be a martial arts expert, and might also be skilled in using drugs,” Ye You said, “Sir Wei’s martial skill is fairly high. Although that place was somewhat noisy at the time, Ren Shaotian and the others were all still around, so if Sir Wei was able to delay the intruder even slightly or find an opportunity to retreat, with Ren Shaotian’s skill, the other would’ve definitely been able to hear those movements and would go to help. But unfortunately, even they didn’t notice anything wrong, so I think that the other party managed to suppress the person in a very short period of time.”
Everyone made noises in agreement, basically all of one mind. Academy Master Ge asked, “Then which side do you think did it?”
Ye You said, “It’s hard to say. Let’s wait until I go there in a bit and look around, see if I can find any clues.”
He didn’t delay his efforts, going over to the brothel with his Senior Brother as soon as he finished eating.
The people of “Heaven’s Firmament” had actually already turned over the place once but had found absolutely nothing useful, so when Ye You and them arrived, that room had already long been tidied up by the brothel.
The proprietress already knew of the identity of the young sir who had gone missing, so she was especially attentive, cautiously trying to read their attitudes as she explained, “I really didn’t know that room would still be useful, so I let them clean it up. I still need to run this business after all…”
Ye You said, “No harm done. I’m just taking a quick look.”
The proprietress examined their expressions, and only upon discovering that they didn’t seem to be angry did she let out a breath of relief.
Ye You looked around the room very simply, even opening the window to take two glances outside, before going to look around the nearby surroundings of the brothel. He appeared in deep thought, speaking not a word. Ding Xilai had followed them from beginning to end and, upon seeing this, asked him what he thought. Ye You faintly sighed. “No clues. The other party did things very cleanly.”
Ding Xilai said, “Can we still get that person back?” Ye You said, “It’s unclear. Let’s go back.”
At this time, “Heaven’s Firmament” and “Moon’s Shadow” were still searching the city.
No one had any clues so could only wait for these two groups’ news. Unfortunately, even when they waited until nightfall, “Heaven’s Firmament” and “Moon’s Shadow” were both unable to find Wei Jiangyue, and were also unable to find any suspicious persons as well.
Many Sect Masters thought that it was possible that the person had already been brought outside the city.
Manor Lord Wei furrowed his brows even deeper as he sat, completely motionless.
Seeing that he had not eaten much for an entire day, everyone couldn’t help but give some words of comfort, such as this child Wei Jiangyue had always been trustworthy and had never caused any trouble and, even more, didn’t have any enemies, so the kidnapper should have some other goal and definitely wouldn’t take his life.
Manor Lord Wei gave a bitter smile and asked, “And what if he’s turned into a drugged man?”
This really was… Everyone immediately knew they shouldn’t have tried any attempt at consolation.
Manor Lord Wei also didn’t much want to hear their attempts to console and waved his hand to indicate that he was all right before continuing to wait for news from “Heaven’s Firmament”. Only very late into the night did he return to his room, mind layered with worry. The day passed by in the blink of an eye.
The next morning, Ye You was once again woken up by the noise. He let out a sigh and retreated back into the blankets.
Wenren Heng was looking at this person from the side.
It truly did appear to be the effects of the weather, and now that mornings came later, his Junior Brother seemed to enjoy lazily sleeping in. He held the person in his arms and asked, “Do you still want to sleep a while longer?”
Ye You lazily made a sound in acknowledgment.
Wenren Heng laid with him for a moment before letting him go and preparing to go downstairs. At this time, Wenren Heng saw the person on the bed also follow to get up and asked, laughing, “Not sleeping anymore?”
Ye You said, “Since I already know that something happened to Wei Jiangyue, of course I need to take things a bit more seriously.”
Wenren Heng said, “I could say that you were worrying so much over Wei Jiangyue’s safety last night that you didn’t sleep well and so I lit some calming incense.”
Ye You laughed and said, “We can use this excuse next time.”
The two went downstairs and quickly learned that the person who kidnapped Wei Jiangyue had sent a letter, telling them that he’d meet them at Sifang Fortress233 in ten days. Ye You asked, “It didn’t say anything else?”
Academy Master Ge said, “No, it also didn’t mention what’s needed to trade for the hostage; it only said to meet there, but…”
Ye You said, “But what?”
Academy Master Ge lowered his voice, “Sifang Fortress is the old name for the place. It’s long already received a different name.” “Is that so?” Ye You was very curious and looked at his Senior Brother out of habit.
Wenren Heng then explained, “Sifang Fortress used to be the Hua family’s domain. Since the Hua family was massacred by that monster twenty years ago, the influential family who developed there afterwards thought that this name was too ill-omened, so they changed it. Now it’s called Wuyun City234.”
Ye You looked at Academy Master Ge. “I understand now.” Academy Master Ge didn’t continue speaking.
Because this matter was too obvious. Previously, the Lantern- Extinguishing Poison had reappeared, along with the very likely possibility that the Alliance Leader was that monster’s retainer. With the Hua family of Sifang Fortress as a sect that had been extinguished precisely by that monster, now that the other party had kidnapped Wei Jiangyue and requested that they meet in that place, there was no need to say who it was that he was challenging, right?
Those present thereupon looked at Manor Lord Wei and waited for him to speak.
Manor Lord Wei didn’t have the slightest bit of hesitation and said, “I’m going to Wuyun City. Everyone…”
Everyone said, “We’re naturally also coming along.”
Manor Lord Wei nodded and went upstairs to pack his luggage. Those remaining looked at each other, none saying a word.
Academy Master Ge hesitated for a moment before being the first to speak, “There’s something I need to repeat again. Although this letter is not written in the same style as the previous letters from the black piece, from looking carefully at the details, I can say with certainty that it wasn’t the same person who wrote this.”
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “You mean that this perhaps wasn’t done by the black piece?” Academy Master Ge said, “I’m not certain. Perhaps it was inconvenient for the usual person to write the letters so they switched to someone else.”
Pavilion Master Ding looked at Sir Xiao. “What do you think?”
“It’s not easy for me to say.” Ye You looked around the room. “But if it really isn’t the black piece, would these elders still keep this appointment?”
Everyone fell silent. There was no need to ask, of course they definitely needed to go.
All right, time to go pack then.
They indicated for the proprietor to prepare some meals before then returning to their own rooms for this period of time.
From Shengyin City to Wuyun City, if they hurried, it’d require only seven days.
Towards the fact that the letter was written by a different person, everyone more or less had some thoughts about it and so weren’t too anxious to hurry along the way. Instead, they first sent a portion of people to Wuyun City to probe some information while also taking the chance to send a letter to the influential family there.
After the Hua family suffered that massacre, the family that replaced them was the Sheng family.
The Sheng family had originally lived in Wuyun City, and they were even somewhat related to the Hua family, so after what happened to the Hua family, the Sheng family then slowly expanded in influence. And because of the prior disastrous example of the Hua family, the Sheng family felt some lingering fear towards Jianghu and gradually made moves intending to distance themselves from that world. Now, some of their younger generations had already become government officials, and these youths generally maintained a neutral attitude towards Jianghu.
But the family was, when all was said and done, still part of Jianghu, and the old family head still had many friends, though the most interaction he usually had with them was a greeting or two during the holidays. He had completely not imagined that such an important matter of Jianghu could involve the family.
So when he received the news, the Sheng Patriarch’s vision immediately went black, and he almost took a fall.
He had lived through that experience with the Hua family.
That such a prestigious and influential family could disappear overnight had let him come to the deep realization of how truly frightening the experts of the martial arts circles were. To this day, he still had those same lingering fears, and so upon hearing that those experts were coming here, his face turned pale, fearing that a fight would break out.
The Sheng family head also furrowed his brows deeply.
Recently, Fengxian Manor, Lingjian Pavilion, and the other sects of the righteous faction were investigating the degenerate who had burrowed into their righteous faction. This matter had not simply disturbed Shaolin and Wudang, but even the demonic faction’s Wuwang Temple and Demonic Sect were participating. Matters had become so big that it wouldn’t be too much to say that it had become known to everyone. Although the Sheng family did not take much interest in the affairs of Jianghu, they still paid attention to certain major upheavals, with the most recent being that the Alliance Leader’s house had been burned. It just went to show how truly big things had gotten.
The Sheng family head knew that this matter had started from the time when the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison reappeared in Jianghu, and then later there was even the appearance of Pursued Until
Scattered. Now, those people had actually turned to their Wuyun City. It really made people unable to help but overthink.
He asked, “Could it be that there were people who survived from the Hua family?”
“How could that be?” The Sheng Patriarch said, “Your mother was cousin235 to the Hua family. When that matter happened that
year, it wasn’t only the righteous faction, but we also followed along
to search for a very long while. If there had been any survivors, I would’ve long taken them back home.”
The Sheng family head said, “Dad, think about the matter this time. What if that year the person had some other motives, and didn’t want to be exposed, so he stayed hidden for twenty years before coming back to take revenge?”
The Sheng Patriarch startled. “That is also…”
If that’s truly the case, then their Sheng family inevitably couldn’t simply watch from the sidelines. What he feared was that this was someone purposely placing matters onto the Hua family, in an attempt to obscure the facts.
While they were on tenterhooks, the righteous faction party had conversely already set out, going towards Wuyun City neither too slow nor too fast.
As usual, Ye You was sitting in the same carriage as his Senior Brother, holding his Senior Brother’s book and slowly flipping through it.
Wenren Heng was sitting alongside watching him, occasionally exchanging a few words, while also teasing this disaster a bit. Seeing him take the initiative to offer himself, Wenren Heng cheerfully pulled this person into an embrace.
The two originally thought that they could continue to stay like this during the whole journey. Unfortunately, when they stopped to rest midway, they saw the carriage curtains being pulled open and Xie Junming and Elder Baili, with one in front and the other behind, both stepping on, indicating that the two wanted to sit in the same carriage as them.
Ye You faintly sighed. “Temple Master Xie, Sect Master Ye, you two have matters to discuss?”
Xie Junming said, “No.”
Elder Baili said, “We were simply bored.”
One was Wuwang Temple’s Temple Master, while the other was the Demonic Sect’s Sect Master. Everyone knew that these two people had always done as they pleased, and none of those nearby who heard this exchange thought that there was anything strange about it, though if the two had been changed to Pavilion Master Ding and Manor Lord Wei, then within ten people, eight would have never believed it.
Xie Junming was also clear on this point, so he had no misgivings at all. He even unhurriedly added a few more words, “Why don’t I have someone bring over some mahjong and we can play a few rounds?”
Ye You reminded, “Once we leave the official roads, it’ll become bumpy. The tiles will fall off.”
“What are you afraid of…” Xie Junming had still wanted to continue speaking, but at this time, he heard footsteps echo from outside the carriage. At first, it slowly came closer and closer, and then it picked up speed, rushing two steps towards them, before the carriage curtains were pulled open. Everyone looked over and discovered that it turned out to be Ding Xilai, who had probably started out hesitant just now before finally making a firm resolution.
Underneath a multitude of stares, Ding Xilai climbed up.
He had heard the rumors about Xie Junming and Ye You, and since he wanted to become sworn brothers with Sir Xiao, now that he had seen these two incredible people get on Sir Xiao’s carriage, how could he simply watch from the sidelines?
He tensed his face and bolstered his courage to walk to their sides to sit down, feeling as if he had done something tremendous, and that he had done extremely well!
Xie Junming looked at him askance, “You have business?” Ding Xilai straightened his back and said insipidly, “…No.” Xie Junming said, “Then why did you come up here?” Ding Xilai said, “…To play.”
Xie Junming said, “There’s nothing for you to play with here. Get out.”
Ding Xilai instantly wanted to run, but he endured it and silently continued sitting.
Xie Junming reached out two fingers to grab his face and, with narrowed eyes, said, “Did you hear me?” Ding Xilai was about to be frightened into tears and looked beseechingly for help at Sir Xiao. Ye You could only divert a bit of attention by asking him if he had any business. Ding Xilai said, “No, I just wanted to sit with you in the same carriage.”
At this time, everyone was luckily about to continue hurrying on the road. The scarred man pulled open the carriage curtains and asked the Sect Master if they should also go.
Wenren Heng looked at them and said, “Let’s go.”
The scarred man made a sound in agreement and began driving the carriage.
Ren Shaotian was actually sitting next to him, acting as a guard to the young master.
Ye You had just “recovered from a major illness”, so Wenren Heng had gotten a large and spacious carriage when he came. Now, even with five people seated within, it still didn’t appear crowded. It was only that the atmosphere was somewhat strange, because Xie Junming didn’t speak a single word, simply leaning against “Sect Master Ye” as he stared fixedly at Ding Xilai, smiling in an especially frightening way.
Ding Xilai couldn’t endure it. “Temple… Temple Master Xie, why do you keep looking at me?”
Xie Junming said tenderly, “I’m admiring you.” Ding Xilai, “…”
Ren Shaotian was able to hear everything clearly from outside and so couldn’t help but open the carriage curtains slightly to take a look at his unfortunate young master. As expected, he saw the other’s face turn completely pale and immediately felt helpless. He had already long advised the young master that it’d be useless to come, and it wasn’t as if Sir Xiao and Wenren Heng were easy to handle so there was no way they’d be at a disadvantage, but to no avail, as the young master refused to listen. See, intimidated now, right? He unconsciously directed his gaze towards Sir Xiao and upon seeing that the other party was coincidentally also looking at him, once again returned his gaze to his young master’s person. Seeing that the young master didn’t seem to have any intention of leaving, he then finally put down the curtains.
Ye You looked at Ding Xilai and asked, “Drink some tea?”
Ding Xilai finally found something to do and immediately said, “Drink!”
Ye You then poured him a cup of tea.
Ding Xilai thereupon held that cup of tea and, under Xie Junming’s gaze, silently downed it. In one sitting, he drank three to four cups before hastily calling for a stop since he now needed to use the toilet. Ye You personally saw him off the carriage and walked two steps with him to the nearby forest before asking, “Do you have something you want to say?”
Ding Xilai’s expression somewhat wavered. “…No.”
For better or worse, he was Lingjian Pavilion’s Junior Pavilion Master, and he had originally wanted to provide Sir Xiao some support, but in the end, he was scared half-to-death by Xie Junming and it was even Sir Xiao who helped resolve the situation. This was far too embarrassing, so now he couldn’t say anything.
Ye You gave him a few glances, indicating that he should hurry and do his business, before turning to look at Ren Shaotian.
Ren Shaotian said, smiling, “The young master saw Temple Master Xie and them enter so was afraid that you’d be at a disadvantage.”
Ye You was slightly startled. He hadn’t thought that this was the actual reason.
“Ah, that’s right,” Ren Shaotian asked, “How’s Sir Xiao’s injuries?”
Ye You said, “They’re already mostly recovered. In a while, you should take your young master back. Don’t let him truly offend Xie Junming.” Ren Shaotian nodded.
Ye You gave him one final look before turning around and returning to the carriage. Before he had fully entered, he turned his head once again to look and, finding that Ren Shaotian was currently watching Ding Xilai, retrieved his gaze.
Xie Junming saw him return and asked, “Where’s the other one?” Ye You said, “He won’t come back.”
Xie Junming was somewhat satisfied. “Tactful of him, at least.”
Ye You laughed and said, “If you want to say something, just say it. Right now’s the perfect opportunity.”
The so-called perfect opportunity was referring to the fact that, now that they’ve stopped, they were currently some distance away from the other carriages in front, and those who had a mind to probe were naturally not on guard nearby. Xie Junming was aware of this reasoning, but just in case, he still used his internal energy to suppress his voice, “Is the person in your hands?”
Ye You said, “No.”
Xie Junming said, “Oh?”
Ye You said, “The person left himself.”
Xie Junming was quite clever and immediately understood after connecting the clues up until now. He internally thought that so as it turned out, Wei Jiangyue had lost his head after being so
enraptured by Ye You that the person dared to put on a show of being a kidnapping victim and scare his own dad this much.
He asked, “What about the letter?”
Ye You said, “He arranged for someone to write that.”
Xie Junming practically wanted to give his good friend a round of applause and said in praise, “How did you buy him off?” Ye You said, “He simply wanted to know the truth. The letter was also just to find the righteous faction something to do so as to cause a few days delay, leaving enough time for him to return.”
Xie Junming asked, “Where did he go?”
Ye You simply laughed and didn’t respond.
Xie Junming gave him a few more looks before saying, smiling, “Then let me change the question. You letting him write Sifang Fortress really wasn’t for the sake of another goal?
Ye You very honestly said, “Naturally there is another goal. From here to there, we’ll have to pass by Wanping Weir on the way.”
Xie Junming thought for a while and said, “It’s not quite on the way.” Ye You said, “But at least we can be somewhat close to it.”
Xie Junming said, “The reason?”
Ye You said, “If my guess is right, then the white piece’s drugged men are there.”
So the so-called going to Sifang Fortress to save someone was a complete pretense, and halfway there, Ye You was planning to find an opportunity to go to Wanping Weir and directly take care of that lot of drugged men. Xie Junming immediately laughed out loud. “The white piece truly is an idiot since he so insisted on provoking you.”
Ye You smiled slightly, calmly accepting his praise.
Xie Junming went over to hold him and said, with deep emotion, “Ah-You, I really do like you more and more. Why don’t you come with me? This brother is truly willing to try it with you once.”
Wenren Heng threw the other’s hand off and pulled his Junior Brother into his embrace. “Temple Master Xie, watch your conduct. He already has someone.” Xie Junming somewhat unhappily tsked and lazily sat back down before then suddenly tilting his head to look at Elder Baili.
Elder Baili, “…”
What kind of expression is that? You can’t be wanting to vent your anger on me again, right? Why? What did I do wrong?!
“Darling,” Xie Junming laid down on the other. “Your husband’s mood isn’t good. Give me a shoulder massage.”
Having already had countless thoughts of cutting this rascal into pieces, Elder Baili resigned himself as he began giving the other a massage. Sluggishly, he gradually became aware of precisely where he had gone wrong; he shouldn’t have gone to draw those damn lots in the first place!
For the next stretch of the journey, Ding Xilai didn’t come looking to be abused again.
Everyone continued in fits and bursts, stopping and going, and when night fell, they arrived at a small town to rest. The people of “Heaven’s Firmament” hadn’t had a moment of idleness the whole day and were still attempting to find the person, but it was unfortunate that there was no news whatsoever.
Manor Lord Wei was sitting at the inn listening to his subordinate’s report. Furrowing his brows, he was about to give some words of instruction when he heard a familiar voice echo from the outside, “My dad is here, right?”
He started slightly and hastily stood up to open the door.
Wei Jiangrou had just walked over and, upon seeing him, smiled as she threw herself over. “Dad.”
After sitting in a carriage for an entire day, Ye You’s first thought upon entering the inn was to soak in a hot bath.
But then, right as the water was carried inside, a noisy clamor suddenly started up outside. Hearing that familiar voice, he raised a brow slightly and looked at his Senior Brother.
Wenren Heng had also heard it and said, “I’ll go look. You can just focus on taking your bath.”
Ye You refocused his thoughts. “I should also go. I can’t very well lower myself to the little lady’s level.”
Wenren Heng gave him a rather meaningful look before leaving the room together with him. They then heard Wei Jiangrou’s tone of voice suddenly change, turning away from the previous deliberately cute tone into one of shock, “——What?”
Ye You pensively sighed. “Lady Xiao-Rou’s voice is still as pleasant as ever, I see.”
The moment those words fell, Wei Jiangrou followed with the question, “Second Brother’s martial arts are that good, how could he have been kidnapped?”
Manor Lord Wei said, “He still doesn’t count as an expert. You need to hurry on home.”
“I’m not going,” Wei Jiangrou said, “Second Brother’s been kidnapped, so how could I leave. I want to wait here for news.
Manor Lord Wei raised a brow as he silently looked at her.
Wei Jiangrou rarely saw her dad like this and immediately felt wronged. Sounding as if she was about to cry, she said, “I know that Dad still blames me, but what I did that time really wasn’t on purpose. In a while, I’ll go and apologize to Ah-Xiao, all right?
Anyway, even if I do go home, what if I also get kidnapped on the road back?” “That’s right, Uncle.” The Sir Yang who had accompanied Wei Jiangrou here tried to urge, “Xiao-Rou’s also just worried about you. You don’t know about this, but when she just returned, she cried every day.”
“I haven’t even gotten to you yet. Why did you also come?” Manor Lord Wei looked at him. “You also need to go back. Don’t participate in this.”
Sir Yang said, “How could I feel at ease letting Xiao-Rou go out by herself.”
As Ye You and his Senior Brother listened, they also slowly began walking over.
Many people were standing there.
There were some who had heard the noise and came out to investigate but, upon finding that it was a family matter, were already turning around to leave. There were others who were Junior Sect Masters on good terms with Sir Yang and so had probably ran over when they saw him but were now hesitating over whether they should retreat. The rest were dressed as bodyguards and were probably brought over by Sir Yang.
At this moment, Manor Lord Wei, Wei Jiangrou, and Sir Yang were standing right in the middle of this crowd of people.
Manor Lord Wei was standing at the door of the guest room while Sir Yang and Wei Jiangrou were on either side of him. What’s more, Wei Jiangrou currently had a death grip on the room door, and three people from “Heaven’s Firmament” were standing behind her, not daring to move.
Ye You quickly sized up the situation and guessed that Manor Lord Wei wanted to send Wei Jiangrou away but Wei Jiangrou refused, which was why there was now a deadlock at the door.
At this time, Sir Yang said, “Uncle, I’ve already heard about what happened with Sir Xiao. Xiao-Rou has been extremely guilty this whole time. Isn’t there a good saying for this? There’s nothing better than acknowledging and correcting a wrong that has been done. You should at least first let her acknowledge her wrong.”
“You two…” As Manor Lord Wei spoke, he discovered that Wenren Heng and Ye You had arrived out of the corners of his eyes.
Wei Jiangrou just happened to be standing in the direction facing towards them, and at this moment, when she saw her father looking elsewhere, she lifted her head to look and almost instantly saw Wenren Heng. Her eyes reddened and tears began sliding down uncontrollably. “Brother Heng…”
She startled for only this brief moment before she immediately let go of the room door and ran towards them. Biting her lips, she looked at Sir Xiao and said, choked with emotion, “Ah-Xiao, before, I really didn’t do it on purpose. I was just too scared. Can… can you forgive me?”
“I never blamed you in the first place,” Ye You was especially polite and gently placated her, “You’re this young, and you’re also a girl, it couldn’t be helped that you were scared. Don’t take it to heart. Aren’t I still alive and well right now?”
Wei Jiangrou was startled, and felt somewhat disbelieving. “Re… really?”
Ye You earnestly said, “Really. You refer to my Senior Brother as Brother Heng, so you also count as my little sister. As an older brother, I should naturally give way to my little sister.”
Although Wei Jiangrou wasn’t particularly fond of him, she still felt very grateful and sincerely said, “Ah-Xiao, thank you.”
She couldn’t help but very cautiously look at Wenren Heng, saying, with red eyes, “Brother Heng…”
Wenren Heng indifferently said, “Mn.”
Although at the time his Junior Brother recovered those memories from being involved with Wei Jiangrou, but since his Junior Brother had set the chessboard, the Elders could’ve most certainly picked an even more reliable method to hit the person’s death acupoint, rather than being forced into such a situation without any alternatives. At that time, if they had been slow by a step, his Junior Brother would’ve died. He had only to think about this, and he’d feel a bout of fear.
So he had not the least bit of good feeling left for Wei Jiangrou. His previous, minuscule amount of brotherly feeling towards her had also been thoroughly dispersed by that incident.
Wei Jiangrou couldn’t tell if he was happy or unhappy and asked in a small voice, “Will you forgive me?”
“Since Ah-Xiao says that he won’t blame you, then you won’t be blamed.” As Wenren Heng spoke, he looked at the person next to him.
In actuality, he knew that, with his Junior Brother’s cleverness and those Elders’ degree of loyalty, his Junior Brother definitely could’ve told them the reality of the situation and simply ordered them to grab their sect master in order to hit that acupoint. But his Junior Brother deciding to create this type of situation was also out of love for him, because the other feared accidentally exposing the truth in front of him which was why such a desperate risk had been taken and he had been given this person’s amnesiac self.
He was somewhat angry that this person had bargained life and limb in this battle, but he also felt his heart ache at the thought. He couldn’t help but hold his Junior Brother’s hand, tightening his fingers around the other’s.
Wei Jiangrou had originally wanted to say some more words to Wenren Heng, but at this time, she saw that movement of his and her expression instantly froze.
From the start, Wenren Heng had not bothered paying attention to her expressions and said to his Junior Brother, “Let’s go back.”
Ye You gave him a glance. “All right.”
The two people were too close, and Wenren Heng clearly saw some unclear, ambiguous implications in the depths of his Junior Brother’s eyes, somewhat akin to teasing. Not knowing why, he unconsciously understood what this person wanted to say, All right, Brother Heng.
This disaster was once again teasing him without fear of death.
He gave a slight pinch to his Junior Brother’s hand and considered taking a bath with his Junior Brother once they return to the room. Right as he was about to turn around, he heard Manor Lord Wei call them to a stop.
Manor Lord Wei had a somewhat complicated expression, a mix of gratitude and guilt as well as a multitude of other feelings, but all this was quickly covered up. Unhappily, he said to his daughter and Sir Yang, “We’ll talk about this tomorrow. All of you go.”
After he sent those people off, he looked at the two in front of him, “Xiao-Heng, Ah-Xiao, accompany me for a walk outside.”
The sky had darkened early, and along with the fact that the town was small, the moment night fell, the streets had already slowly turned quiet.
The three slowly walked along the limestone path, with the people of “Heaven’s Firmament” and Shuangji Sect following behind, maintaining a distance that was just right, faraway enough not to bother them while also close enough to rush forward to protect them at any time; these people were wholeheartedly focused on doing their duty.
Manor Lord Wei was silent for a while before saying, “That matter with Xiao-Rou… Ah, it’s certainly our Wei family who has done Ah- Xiao wrong.”
Wenren Heng said, “Ah-Xiao has already said that it’s all right.”
Manor Lord Wei waved a hand, looking as if he still wanted to provide an explanation. Wenren Heng declined to comment and patiently followed the other. Ye You was even more thorough and had stowed away all the sharp edges of his personality, directly returning to that obedient appearance from when he had lost his memories. He quietly acted as a “good Junior Brother”, not opening his mouth unless he needed to.
The three walked forward for another ten steps under this slightly strange atmosphere before the smooth and slick Manor Lord Wei and the refined and proper Wenren Heng finally began engaging in some idle chatter to find a topic of conversation. After politely and amiably exchanging a few sentences, Wenren Heng felt that it was far better to go back and accompany his Junior Brother, free and unrestrained, and so took the initiative to bring up the subject, “Did you have something you wished to ask since you called us both out here?”
Manor Lord Wei stilled for a moment before asking, “On the morning of his kidnapping, Jiangyue said that he wanted to go find you two. Did he say anything?”
Wenren Heng said, “He asked how Junior Brother’s injuries were, and I said that they were relatively healed. He drank one cup of tea and then left.”
Manor Lord Wei said, ‘He didn’t say anything else?” Wenren Heng said, “No, he didn’t.”
“Xiao-Heng, over these past few years, you know the way that I’ve treated you, and you also know the way I’ve treated other people.” Manor Lord Wei looked at him. “Tell me the truth. Do you really know nothing about what happened to Jiangyue?”
Wenren Heng was especially calm, “I really don’t know.”
He even returned with the question, “Why would you suddenly ask something like this?”
Manor Lord Wei sighed and said, “Because last time when Ghost Gentleman brought people to surround Shaolin, Jiangyue asked me if I was the white piece.”
Wenren Heng showed some surprise. “Why did he think that?”
Manor Lord Wei revealed a layer of exhaustion between his brows, waving his hands and letting out another sigh. “Xiao-Heng, we’ve been on friendly terms for this many years, so I don’t want to talk around in circles with you. I know the two of you suspect me, and that’s all right. I also won’t force you two to confront me right now. No matter what kind of misunderstanding there is between us, in the end, it’ll be fine as long as we resolve it. I won’t beg you two to tell me where Jiangyue is either. I just want to know if he’s safe.”
Wenren Heng said, “I truly don’t know where he is right now.”
At this time, Ye You stopped putting on the act of a good child and once again brought out a bit of sharpness. He interrupted with, “Manor Lord Wei, this matter has nothing to do with my Senior Brother. It was me who first started being suspicious.”
Manor Lord Wei immediately looked at him.
Wenren Heng also looked at his Junior Brother and, upon meeting the other’s eyes, tacitly understood the other’s intentions. “Stop talking nonsense. Your health still hasn’t recovered completely. Go back first.”
“You should at least let me speak,” Ye You said, “Senior Brother, you’ve always said that the Wei family has treated you well. I don’t want to make things difficult for you.” As he spoke, he switched positions with his Senior Brother, standing next to Manor Lord Wei, shoulder-to-shoulder.
The people of “Heaven’s Firmament” and Shuangji Sect couldn’t hear what was said and so reacted with a look at this movement. Upon finding that the person had simply switched positions, they diligently went back to their places.
Ye You said, “You know that, since I’ve lost my memories, I’ve had to rely on what other people say to learn about certain things. That year, the swordsman called ‘Boundless Line’ underwent a qi deviation and killed my master… this fact should be true, right?”
Manor Lord Wei said, “That’s right.”
Ye You said, “Twenty years ago, all of you elders had the opportunity to come into contact with the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison and that monster, so I don’t want to focus on this. Regardless, it simply means that everyone is suspicious. But the matter with ‘Boundless Line’ that year, the only one present was you236. Because I suspect that he
hadn’t actually been going through a qi deviation but had instead been fed that drug. You appearing there might be a sort of coincidence or it might have been intentional. I simply had some suspicions.”
He paused for a moment and, upon seeing that this person didn’t seem angry, said, “Last time, when I guessed that the white piece would surround the mountain, Sir Wei’s stature just so happened to be somewhat similar to mine, so I switched identities with him, while also mentioning a word or two about my suspicions of you in passing. That’s why that incident happened afterwards.”
Manor Lord Wei said, “Then what about the incident this time?”
“This time, me and my Senior Brother are truly not clear on where he is,” Ye You said, “That day while we were drinking tea, before he left, he said only that he wanted to go find someone. Me and my Senior Brother couldn’t tell if this had anything to do with his disappearance, so we didn’t mention it.”
Manor Lord Wei said, “To find someone?” Ye You said, “Yes, he didn’t say who it was, but I felt that it might have something to do with you. Because ever since I began suspecting you, he’s always wanted to find some evidence to prove that you aren’t the white piece.”
Manor Lord Wei shot a glance at Wenren Heng.
Wenren Heng nodded, indicating that what his Junior Brother said was true.
Manor Lord Wei furrowed his brows.
These people again chatted for a while longer, but Ye You and Wenren Heng knew nothing further. The sky darkened ever deeper, and the late autumn wind swept through the alleyways, bringing with it a moist, cold chill. Manor Lord Wei looked at the color of the sky and, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to receive any other answers, then turned to go back with them.
Ye You slowed his steps to look at the lanterns on either side of the street while listening to the two people in front intermittently making casual conversation. When they were about to reach the inn, he once again opened his mouth, “Oh, that’s right, there was one more thing.”
He stepped forward between the two and turned his head to look at Manor Lord Wei, “I vaguely remember that, at that time, the adventurer whom Master protected had stuffed a slip of paper into my clothes before he died.”
The three people had just walked into an unlit area, and so the expression in Manor Lord Wei’s eyes was difficult to parse as the person said, astonished, “A slip of paper? What did it say?”
“Who knows. I can’t remember. Besides, at the time, I was even ill,” Ye You carelessly said, “But perhaps a few days after my memories return, I’ll be able to remember it.”
Having finished saying that, he then took the initiative to enter the inn first. When he returned to the room, the waiter was just carrying in the hot water. Wenren Heng also happened to be coming upstairs and, upon seeing this, gave the waiter a look.
They had been gone for a long while, and the hot water must’ve turned cold already, but he didn’t remember instructing the waiter before leaving to replenish the water, and he didn’t believe for a moment that the inn’s proprietor would be this considerate, so someone had probably come calling.
Upon seeing this master looking at him, the waiter put on a fawning smile to say, “Esteemed guest, previously when both of you weren’t here, a young sir came by and said he was your friend. When he saw that both of you had left, he had this lowly one carry the hot water away for his own use. This lowly one didn’t dare to refuse and so hurriedly reheated some new water for you.”
Ye You laughed. “It was definitely Xie Junming. No one else would do such a thing.”
Wenren Heng also thought the same. After seeing the waiter put down the water, he gave the person a tip, before then pulling his Junior Brother behind the screen, helping his Junior Brother unravel those bandages on the face.
Ye You obediently stood there until he saw the other reaching to untie his waistband. He laughed and said, “What?”
“I’m accompanying you to bathe.” Wenren Heng kissed him on the lips and said, “That slip of paper you talked about just now…”
Ye You said, “I was just going along with what you said about following up on our victory with an attack.”
Wenren Heng raised a brow. “Then the ‘looking for someone’?” Ye You said, “We’ll just have to see what he takes that to mean.” Wenren Heng said, “That monster?”
Ye You said, “Who cares what he thinks. I was simply saying some random nonsense.” Wenren Heng made a sound in agreement. He took off his Junior Brother’s clothes and indicated for the other to enter the bath. Ye You then slowly submerged himself in the warm water, leaning against the side of the basin as he watched his Senior Brother undress, eyes narrowed, his gaze completely undisguised. Wenren Heng enjoyed being stared at like this and, upon entering, he pulled the person over and dropped yet another kiss.
Ye You looked at the other and, not knowing what thought prompted him, lengthened his words, tone playful, to call out ‘Brother Heng’.
Wenren Heng laughed and said, “Let me hear you call me husband.” Ye You said, all smiles, “Wife.”
Wenren Heng looked at him with a smile, expression especially tender. Ye You unconsciously wanted to duck out of the way but was pressed down by this person.
The inn couldn’t be considered particularly good, and those living here were also experts, so Wenren Heng knew that he couldn’t make too much noise. He simply grabbed the other’s waist and teased, only stopping his hands when this disaster softened in his arms. He lowered his head to kiss the other’s shoulder.
Ye You did his best to steady his breathing, lazily leaning against his Senior Brother, not speaking for a time.
Wenren Heng gave his reddened ears a look before asking, “What are you thinking about?”
Ye You said, “Thinking about your extremely delicate, tender and lovable…”
As he spoke, he suddenly perceived his Senior Brother’s hand sliding downwards and immediately changed his words, “Thinking about Wei Jiangrou.”
Wenren Heng let him go for now and asked again, “What about her?”
Ye You felt that the area where the other’s hand had stopped was too dangerous and so couldn’t help moving a little, but he was immediately pressed down again. After gasping out a breath, he could only say, “Thinking about why she’s able to remain here.”
Wenren Heng paused slightly.
Ye You said, “An incredibly important person to you was just kidnapped, and an even more important person arrived right afterwards. In these kinds of circumstances, if it was you, what would you do?”
Wenren Heng didn’t even need to think about it. “While other people still haven’t found out about it, send or hide the person away.”
Ye You said, “Yes. What’s more, her martial skill isn’t high, so suppressing her would be very easy.”
Wenren Heng said, “Perhaps when she came, there had already been some movement?”
Ye You said, “Who knows. It’s also possible that I’m just overthinking it.”
Wenren Heng said, “Let’s wait and see then.”
Ye You made a sound in acknowledgment, and upon perceiving that his Senior Brother’s hand had finally moved away, he thus felt more at ease and began truly enjoying his bath, before then slowly and steadily falling asleep.
The next morning, everyone left the inn to continue hurrying on the road.
Ye You observed for a moment and discovered that Wei Jiangrou and Sir Yang had gotten on Manor Lord Wei’s carriage. Evidently, the two were going along with them for now, though it wasn’t known if Manor Lord Wei would once again try to send them away later down the road.
He was just about to get on the carriage when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw “Sect Master Ye” arrive. He asked, smiling, “Is Sect Master Ye very bored today as well?” Elder Baili said, smiling, “That’s right, this lord is very bored.”
When he finished speaking, he took the initiative to enter the carriage first, his back revealing a sense of firm resolution.
Because if he didn’t sit in the same carriage as them, then he’d have to sit with Xie Junming, and the two would simply be left staring at one another in the carriage, with no way out. And the moment Xie Junming became bored, he would then be the only one around for the other to play with. But if he was with the Sect Master, Xie Junming’s attention would mostly fall upon the Sect Master, and he would be able to have space to breathe.
Ye You watched as his subordinate’s figure disappeared within before then turning to see the Xie Junming who was unhurriedly walking over. He said, in a low voice, “Don’t overdo it.”
Xie Junming said, smiling, “Feeling soft-hearted?”
Ye You said, “If you’re really that bored, why don’t you first go somewhere else to find some fun, and wait until I’m almost done here before coming back.”
Xie Junming said, “That won’t do. I obviously have to participate in something this interesting from beginning to end. Besides, we haven’t finished our talk from last time. I still have a lot of other things I want to ask you.”
The so-called ‘last time’ was referring to the time at Shaolin Temple when Ye You had gone out at night to find him.
At the beginning, Ye You had promised Xie Junming that if Xie Junming managed to uncover the Alliance Leader’s background, then he’d tell this person what he was doing. Although Xie Junming had offered only a possibility, Ye You was still satisfied all the same, as the other was able to uncover the connection between the Alliance Leader and that monster. But at that time, he had been worried about the situation and so hadn’t spoken in too much detail, simply telling Xie Junming about the white piece’s identity before leaving.
He said, “We’ll talk about this matter again in the future.” “As long as you remember.” Once Xie Junming spoke, he also entered the carriage. Giving Elder Baili a look, he sighed and said, “Darling, I’m truly heartbroken that you’ve been trying to avoid me this much.”
Who cares about you!
Elder Baili decisively turned his head.
Xie Junming thought about how his good friend had spoken up in a rare moment and decided to show that person some respect, so he didn’t continue bothering the other.
The party maintained yesterday’s speed, continuing forward neither too slow nor too fast, and once again entered a small town before the sky turned dark. Ye You noticed that Wei Jiangrou and Sir Yang were still around and gave a quick glance before stowing away his gaze and obediently eating a meal with his Senior Brother. A day thus passed, just like usual.
The next day, those two people still had not left, looking as if they were going to continue following along. Ye You gave them a look before then not paying them any further attention, obediently hurrying along the road, with occasional bouts of weakness to maintain the impression of his own ill health.
Time passed by in an instant on this fourth day.
As the day approached noon, Wenren Heng signaled for his subordinate to pick up speed, quickly overtaking two carriages.
With a sweeping glance, he saw that the front was packed too tightly together to squeeze through, so he then grabbed his Junior Brother by the waist and tread over the remaining carriages with ease, before finally jumping onto the foremost carriage and saying, “Stop.”
The entire party immediately came to a stop.
Abbot Ciyuan, Sect Leader Xuanyang, Manor Lord Wei, Pavilion Master Ding, and the others all came out of the carriages, collectively looking at the two. Abbot Ciyuan asked, “Benefactor Wenren, this is?” Wenren Heng didn’t reply as he let go of his Junior Brother.
Ye You straightened his clothes and said, “Abbot, we all know that the white piece is among the people here, so there was one thing that I didn’t say for fear of alerting the enemy.”
Everyone asked, “What is it?”
Ye You said, “At the time when Ghost Gentleman surrounded the mountain, Mr. Xiao was captured by Sect Master Ye. Other than revealing his connection with the Alliance Leader he also said where the drugged men were supposedly located. At that time, Sect Master Ye didn’t write that on the letter and instead actually found an opportunity to tell me about it afterwards.”
Everyone inwardly sucked in a breath. “Where is it?”
“At Wanping Weir.” Elder Baili used his lightness skill to jump to the Sect Master’s side with confident ease, standing at the top of the carriage to look down upon them from up high. He did his utmost to display the Sect Master’s usual easy confidence, lifting up the corners of his mouth to say, “From what this lord sees, it’s not even a two hour walk from here to Wanping Weir, so it won’t delay your travels. Those with enough courage can come with me to end them.”
Wanping Weir was an incredibly large body of water, and there was an abundance of fishing villages in the surroundings, more than ten.
There was a fort on the weir. Its size wasn’t particularly big, but it was quite strong and shouldn’t be underestimated.
The most important thing was that it was home to a sect from the demonic faction.
Thus, after “Sect Master Ye” had spoken, someone immediately followed with the question, “What if nothing’s there?”
Elder Baili said, “Then it’s also not a long delay.”
The person asked again, “Then what if you’re colluding with the people of Chenhong Fort237 and have set a trap for us?”
“Compare how many people from the righteous faction are here right now to how many people the fort has. Can you count?” Without waiting for Elder Baili to speak, Xie Junming had unhurriedly walked over and, looking at that person, said, “If you don’t have the guts to go, just say it outright. It’s not like I’m going to laugh at you, isn’t that right, darling?”
Elder Baili said, “Mn.”
Xie Junming gave him a look and couldn’t help but grab his hand. “Darling, right now, you’re really like a wife who obediently listens to whomever she marries238. No matter what I say, you always agree. It really makes me feel so moved.”
“…” Elder Baili’s lips twitched.
He can hear it! This is Xie Junming looking down on him because he doesn’t have the Sect Master’s poisonous tongue, so he can’t follow
along with the other to mock people — goddammit, does this guy
think that just by wanting to, he can just automatically know how to do it! Wenren Heng and Ye You weren’t listening to this confrontation and were instead looking at those elders.
“As long as we’re fast enough, the white piece won’t have the time to pass on the news,” Wenren Heng said, “We could completely catch them by surprise. And if there really isn’t anything there, we’d cause only a half-a-day’s delay. How about it?”
Academy Master Ge was the first to speak. “I agree with going.”
Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang looked at one another; they also thought there was a need to investigate this. The rest of the elders mostly thought the same thing. Pavilion Master Ding asked, “Wanping Weir is that big, so how are we going to search?”
Ye You said, “Sect Master Ye says he knows the location.”
The moment the words ‘Sect Master Ye’ came out, those elders who were in agreement immediately felt their hearts jump, afraid that they were about to be tricked.
And then, before they could express their thoughts, at this time, Xie Junming suddenly jumped onto the carriage due to something-or- other that the other side had said. With his back to Wenren Heng and the others, he looked arrogantly down at everyone in the righteous faction below and delivered the first blow, “Do you know why I never thought much of you righteous faction people? Because all of you think too much, and so you don’t man up when you need to.”
Everyone grew angry. The second blow.
Xie Junming said, “All the high and mighty personages of the martial arts circles are here, but all of you still don’t dare to go. So doesn’t this mean that, in normal circumstances, you’d piss your pants in fear? On this trip, all of you martial heroes have really opened my eyes to the ways of the world.” Everyone became even more angry. The third blow.
Xie Junming said, “Forget it. There’s no use counting on all of you. I’ve said before that I came this time to help out, so as for those drugged men, we of the demonic faction will tidy them up for you. There’s no need to thank us.”
Everyone’s eyes seemed to shoot flames. “There’s no need for you to participate in the matters of our righteous faction!”
“Let’s go, Ah-You.” Xie Junming turned a deaf ear to their words and delivered the final blow, “Let them experience for themselves the strength of our demonic faction. The earlier we finish, the earlier we can leave. It’s really meaningless to keep staying with this group of cowards.”
Elder Baili said, smiling, “That’s right.”
Xie Junming jumped off the carriage. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Lady Tao and Qin Yuemian coming over and said, “I don’t know if Lady Tao is willing to provide some help?”
Lady Tao didn’t reply, but carrying her qin, she followed after them, evidently agreeing. There were some in the crowd of people who couldn’t take it and threw out Xie Junming’s words just now in an attempt to thwart him, “Didn’t Temple Master Xie say that he didn’t need the righteous faction?”
“It’s true that I don’t need all of you,” Xie Junming said, “But Lady Tao is neutral. What relationship does she have with all of you?”
Those people looked at Lady Tao and, upon seeing that she didn’t deny it, immediately didn’t know what to say.
Within the adventurers were many who were forthright, relying on only their hot-blooded nature and a sword in hand to travel the reaches of the world. Having been repeatedly provoked by Xie Junming, these people had long already become unable to endure it and, at this time, without any regard for the elders’ eventual decision, roared out a, “Stop looking down on us of the righteous faction.” And, with this clamorous shout, they rushed forward, having decided to wage battle.
“Aren’t they just drugged men! This elder will teach them how to behave!”
“That’s right, at least we can’t let the demonic faction do it, or else where would all our respect go!”
“Absolutely! We need to remind them that we of the righteous faction are more incredible than the demonic faction!”
In the blink of an eye, the crowd of people had already caught up halfway with their running. The rest originally wanted to ask the elders about their intentions, but at this time, the group saw Wenren Heng grab Sir Xiao and nimbly leap down, before then leaving to follow behind Xie Junming and the others.
Everyone stared blankly.
During this journey, Sir Xiao’s fame had almost eclipsed that of some of the elders, and to some of the adventurers, he was even placed slightly higher than the elders in his position on this chessboard.
Thus, at this time, a portion of the people also followed in leaving, including Ding Xilai and that group of Junior Sect Masters.
Those elders no longer hesitated and took those who remained to leave as well.
As Wenren Heng listened to the colorful curses of the adventurers who had come from all parts of the world, while the people behind them had yet to catch up, he took the opportunity to use a voice that only he and his Junior Brother could hear in order to ask, “There’s something I’ve always been curious about. You and Xie Junming have always liked to taunt people, for what purpose?”
Ye You smiled and said, “A sense of satisfaction.” Wenren Heng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Ye You said, “You don’t like me like this?” Wenren Heng said, “That’s not it.”
Ye You’s tone carried some playfulness. “Then you actually really like me like this?”
Wenren Heng felt as if this disaster seemed to be enticing him with those eyes and nodded, saying, “I do quite like it, but what I like even more…”
As he spoke, he leaned slightly closer to his Junior Brother and said a few, low words in the other’s ear, using his usual elegant and proper tone. Ye You’s ears immediately turned half-numb, and the person faintly ducked out of the way. Wenren Heng straightened his back, still carrying that gentle appearance, completely not looking like the type of person who was capable of saying those roguish words just now.
Ye You loved this appearance of his Senior Brother’s the most, but for the sake of preventing disaster from befalling him later and having a clear view of things, he didn’t continue teasing the other.
The two’s exchange was done very quickly, and when it was finished, Ding Xilai had also coincidentally caught up. The person diligently ran to Sir Xiao’s side and said, “Are we going to make a move?”
Ye You said, “Yes. In a while, you should stay further away.”
Ding Xilai said, “I’ll just follow you. I definitely won’t randomly run off.”
Ye You said, “The white piece wholeheartedly wants to kill me and so would perhaps take the opportunity when things are chaotic to try.
You aren’t afraid that you’ll become involved because of me?”
Ding Xilai puffed out his chest. “Not afraid. With Shaotian here, he’ll definitely protect us.”
Ye You glanced at Ren Shaotian, but upon seeing a certain silhouette, his gaze then passed by the other to look at the person behind. At almost the same time that he looked past, Ren Shaotian also heard the sound of footsteps and, upon turning back for a glance, said, “Captain?” Ding Xilai also turned around upon hearing this and, almost on instinct, fixed up his attitude, tensing up his face to ask insipidly, “Why did Brother Wei come?”
The person who had come was none other than Wei Jin,
the Captain239 of “Moon’s Shadow”. He followed by Pavilion Master Ding’s side year-round and, like Pavilion Master Ding, was someone who wasn’t prone to levity.
Wei Jin said, “The Pavilion Master wished for this subordinate to protect you.”
Ding Xilai said, “What about over at my dad’s side?”
Wei Jin said, “There’s still the people of ‘Moon’s Shadow’ around.”
Ding Xilai naturally believed in the strength of “Moon’s Shadow” and, after remembering Sir Xiao’s words just now, thought that it’d be even more reliable to have Wei Jin here. Thus, he nodded, accepting the other’s presence for the very first time, and said, “Then that’s good.”
From here to Wanping Weir, they needed to pass through a forest.
The forest was on a hill, and once one walks over it, one could see the expansive waterfront. At this time, they were going uphill, so with no need to conceal themselves, everyone was walking quite fast. It wasn’t until they started going downhill that they began to be more cautious. There were some who remembered that they didn’t know the exact location and so somewhat unwillingly stopped to wait for those two rascals in need of a beating, who had long been overtaken by them, to catch up.
At this time, Xie Junming had already reconvened with Ye You and them and was now walking over, neither too fast nor too slow.
It wasn’t only him; the elders were also all present. Academy Master Ge asked, “Where are the drugged men?” Elder Baili said, “At a fishing village.” Academy Master Ge said, astonished, “Aren’t there villagers living in these fishing villages? How did they not notice anything wrong after all these years?”
“What if the entire village was filled with the white piece’s people?” Elder Baili spoke according to the Sect Master’s speculations, “Bodhi Prison was built fifteen years ago, so the white piece has been scheming for at least over ten years. Using a ten year time frame to establish a village, or letting the people of a village slowly disappear and then exchanging them with one’s own people, wouldn’t be so difficult, right?”
The nearby Ding Xilai and the Junior Sect Masters were speechless when they heard this, thinking in the depths of their hearts that this was truly too deranged.
Academy Master Ge also had the same thought, and he couldn’t help but say, “For over ten years, the drug had already been completed, and many drugged men had also been created. I really don’t understand what exactly he wants to do when he’s schemed for this long but still has yet to make a move.”
Everyone fell silent, none able to think of a reasonable explanation, internally thinking that the only thing they could do was wait for
that person to be captured in order to know.
Pavilion Master Ding looked at “Sect Master Ye” and asked, “There are quite a few fishing villages at Wanping Weir. Which fishing village is it?”
Elder Baili said, “If this lord has guessed correctly, then it should be Beiyan Village240.”
Pavilion Master Ding said sharply, “Should?”
Elder Baili said, “That surnamed Xiao said only an approximate location, and he didn’t even wait for this lord to ask in more detail before he breathed his last. What else could this lord do?”
Since you weren’t completely certain, why in the world did you get everyone to come over here! Everyone silently stared at him.
Elder Baili stood there calmly under their gazes.
Everyone was speechless, and it was only after a short moment did someone ask, “Then do we… take a moment to plan?”
Xie Junming said, “What good is there to plan. It’ll only waste time. What Ah-You said is definitely correct. We’ll directly surround them.”
Surround? Surround what? If they really picked the wrong place, what if they ended up alerting the enemy and getting surrounded themselves in retaliation?
Everyone silently thought it over, feeling as if they shouldn’t have allowed themselves to be led astray by these two rascals; they truly were unreliable.
Academy Master Ge went to find Sir Xiao to ask, “What do you think?”
Ye You said, “Let’s surround them.”
Academy Master Ge said, “What if we’re wrong?”
“No matter if we’re right or wrong, once we arrive at Wanping Weir, we’ll have alerted the enemy regardless,” Ye You said, “Don’t forget that the white piece is right here with us. If we give him time to pass on the news, our situation would become terrible, so it’d be better just to surround them straightaway.”
The group muttered to themselves for a time, feeling that, as matters stood, this was the only option they had, but they hoped that this rascal Ye You could be slightly more reliable.
They quickened their footsteps to reunite with those adventurers waiting in front. Indicating for them to keep calm and curb their impatience, the group brought them down the hill to arrive at Wanping Weir. However, they were then met with a new problem. The elders looked at everyone and, after giving a dry cough, asked, “Does anyone know where Beiyan Village is?”
“Why don’t you ask this lord about this?” As Elder Baili spoke, he pulled out a map and threw it over. “Here, no need to thank me.”
Although those elders wanted to give him a beating, they still endured and opened up the map to examine it for a moment before then taking the people to head quickly for Beiyan Village.
There were some quick-witted people who noticed that Sect Master Ye seemed to have prepared the map ahead of time, as if he already had this idea since long ago, but he also shouldn’t have known that they’d be able to pass by Wanping Weir, so was this a coincidence? Or… was it a trap?
There was one Sect Master who, after glancing at Sect Master Ye’s back, suddenly asked, “Sect Master Ye, your Demonic Sect’s Elder Mei doesn’t seem to have followed along?”
Elder Baili said, “Mn.”
That Sect Master asked, “Where did she go?”
Elder Baili said, “This lord also wants to know, but this lord had been sitting in Sir Xiao’s carriage previously, so this lord isn’t clear on the reason. Our Xiao-Bai might know. Xiao-Bai, come, come, come and say it.”
Was it possible that someone in the position of Sect Master would not know when a sect’s Elder left?
That Sect Master felt more and more that there was a problem, and it wasn’t only him. The people nearby had also turned all their attentions toward them, watching as Elder Bai walked over upon being called.
All year round, this person carried an expression as if he was not quite awake, and just now in the forest, they had wondered many a time if this person would actually fall asleep right then and there. In regard to the younger adventurers, Elder Bai had not the least bit of presence, but those who had experienced the events at Yushan Stage would definitely not overlook him, because this person was the most savage Elder within the Demonic Sect. That year, it was also him who had injured someone too heavily, resulting in Ye You’s moment of guilt and the Gold Sect changing its name to the Demonic Sect.
That Sect Master naturally counted as one of those who wouldn’t underestimate him and asked, “Does Elder Bai know why Elder Mei hasn’t followed along?”
Elder Bai slowly gave him a glance and said, “She left.” That Sect Master asked, “Where to?”
Elder Bai thought for a while, then thought for another while, before saying, “I don’t know.”
Those nearby couldn’t help but interrupt, “She didn’t say anything before she left?”
Elder Bai sank into silence. Those in the surroundings collectively stared at him and waited. Right as they started pondering that perhaps this person wouldn’t speak at all, they heard him slowly say, “Xiao-Mei said she wants to go change her clothes.”
Those people’s spirits shook. “Where’s she going to change her clothes?”
Elder Bai once again fell silent for a while before saying, “I don’t know.”
“…” Those people silently swallowed back a mouthful of blood. Struggling for a moment, they finally decided that they’d never feel reassured if they weren’t able to clear this up, so they continued to ask, “Other than changing clothes, did she say anything else?”
“Oh…” This time, Elder Bai’s period of silence was even longer, and right as the people had gotten so anxious that they were about to get internal injuries, he said, “Xiao-Mei seems to have said that the braised fish at lunch was a bit burnt.” Who the hell asked you about this!
Fumes of anger rushed straight into these people’s heads, and they stiffly forced themselves to press it all back down little-by-little.
Elder Bai felt none of this tension and, after walking for a while, looked at them.
Those people had just about almost finished suppressing their anger and, upon seeing this, felt that this person had perhaps thought of something. They thus immediately turned to look at him in anticipation, only to hear him ask, “Why did all of you ask me those things just now?”
These people, “…”
Are you just fucking reacting to this now? Ye You sending you out here to take responsibility was definitely on purpose——!
Ye You grabbed his Senior Brother’s arm and said weakly, “Senior Brother, my legs hurt a bit.”
Wenren Heng immediately stopped. Upon seeing that his Junior Brother appeared to have a sprain and had begun to fall over in the next moment, he hastily held the other back.
Ye You buried his head into the other’s embrace, softly letting out a laugh. Ah, it’s no good, their Xiao-Bai was way too cute.
Wenren Heng then knew that his Junior Brother simply couldn’t take it anymore and couldn’t help feeling helpless.
He thought back to how, while on the carriage, this person had advised Elder Baili on what scene to make and internally thought that really, what a bellyful of rotten tricks, and even as Sir Xiao right now, this disaster can still find the time to incite hatred for himself.
He didn’t know how many times he had wondered where his Junior Brother had found that group of Elders. Looking at the person in his embrace, he asked, “Does it hurt a lot? Want me to carry you?” “No need. It’s better.” Ye You quickly restrained himself, straightened his back, and continued walking. At this time, he perceived something and turned his head back to look, instantly meeting Wei Jiangrou’s barely-concealed, jealous gaze.
Both of Wei Jiangrou’s eyes had reddened and, upon seeing him look at her, decisively turned her head.
The road to Wanping Weir was something that Ye You had planned in advance.
Previously, Wenren Heng had also made sure of their current position before he went to stop the procession of carriages, and so when the elders passed over the hill and then looked at the map, they discovered that Beiyan Village was actually nearby.
Those sect leaders were still more concerned about Elder Mei’s departure.
The reason being that they had, more or less, all suffered under those two rascals before, so much so that when Xie Junming first started participating in this matter, they even originally suspected that Xie Junming was partners with the white piece. Although they were later able to see that these two parties were most likely in opposition, this still didn’t change their impression of how terrible these two rascals were.
As such, at this time, their entire minds were filled with, “could these two scoundrels have been too bored on the road so decided to concoct something,” “could these two be resentful of them for moving too slowly so had Elder Mei secretly set up a trap to capture them all at once and then interrogate them one by one to see who was the white piece,” “could the two have suddenly decided that they didn’t like the demonic faction’s current status and so wanted to wait for this group and the drugged men to destroy each another, like the
oriole stalking its prey241,” and so on and so forth.
However, before they were able to straighten out their thoughts or try and get some more answers out of Elder Bai’s mouth, the group at the very front of the party had already begun rushing into Beiyan Village.
Beiyan Village’s houses were built close to each other, and the layout was also very carefully chosen. If one looked from the sky above, one would discover that this entire village was one enormous fortification.
Mostly likely because they had heard the noise, when the party of righteous faction members arrived, looking ferociously murderous, there were already many villagers gathered in the empty space in front of the village. The person at the head was comparatively old, wearing a shabby gown, with a cane in hand.
“I’m the village chief…” The elderly man looked at them in fear and trepidation. Gaze turning to Abbot Ciyuan, he asked, swaying and shaking, “Master, what business do all of you have here?”
How do any of them look like the white piece’s people.
Everyone looked at these guileless villagers, the same doubt flashing through all their minds.
Abbot Ciyuan said his customary, “Amitabha,” before then realizing that he didn’t know what he should say.
Ask if there were any drugged men here?
If there were, the villagers definitely wouldn’t admit to it. If there weren’t, then even more so, they’d have come to the wrong place.
Could it be that they’d just have to break through?
This thought had just flashed through Abbot Ciyuan’s mind when, before he could even start hesitating, he saw some shadows quickly flashing out from behind him, jumping past these villagers to make straight for the houses in front.
Everyone was startled, and when they looked, they discovered that it was the people of Shuangji Sect, Wuwang Temple, and the Demonic Sect.
The village chief was also startled and hastily said, “What do all of you want to do?”
The villagers were even more determined to stop them, their hands even holding shovels, harpoons, clubs, and other similar tools. The three sects had the scarred man, the left protector, and Elder Bai leading the charge and, from the beginning, had not paid the least attention to the movements behind them. They gave a cursory glance at the completely empty houses before then rushing towards the back of the village.
Everyone in the righteous faction was staring fixedly at this scene and, very quickly, heard a shout, “They’re going to run!”
The moment this was spoken, sounds of fighting followed in quick succession, with even the indistinct sounds of a flute faintly mixed in.
At the same moment, the village chief and the villagers also tore off their disguises. A few quickly leapt up to pull a distance away from the Abbot and the others before then turning around to rush towards the people from those three sects. It appeared that every one of them knew martial arts, and these skills didn’t appear to be weak at all.
Since things had developed to this degree, there was nothing else left to say, especially for those adventurers of the righteous faction, who definitely didn’t want to hear Xie Junming say, after everything was over, that they had no guts. They thereupon unsheathed their swords and rushed forward.
The village roads were very narrow.
The white piece’s people hadn’t received any news from their master, and it wasn’t until the Abbot and them had gotten close that they had perceived that something wasn’t right. As such, it was evident that they hadn’t had the time to evacuate the drugged men, as at this time, the drugged men were all crammed into the roads. Although the flute was playing, in this short period of time, it was difficult for these men to do anything.
In this period of time, the adventurers had gotten close. The two parties immediately began exchanging blows.
The flute changed melodies, beginning to turn urgent and harsh. The drugged men suddenly let out an earth-shaking howl, their internal energy increasing sharply, and with irrepressible force, they began ramming outwards.
Those adventurers closest to the drugged men were caught off guard and sent flying by this ramming, with blood streaming down their noses and mouths, ferociously slamming back into the crowd. At this time, they saw a flash of white clothing and the shadow of a familiar person jumping onto the roof. With a stroke of the qin, a chilly sound immediately spilled outwards, beginning to fight with the sound of the flute.
With the pressure lessened, those adventurers knew that these drugged men were innocent and so began specifically looking for those with unclouded minds to beat up.
With narrowed eyes, the village chief looked at the Lady Tao on high and was just about to think up a plan to kill that person when he saw a few people jump up. It was precisely Wenren Heng, Sir Xiao, Qin Yuemian, Sect Master Ye, and Xie Junming, clearly looking as if they were prepared to act as protection.
Ding Xilai looked at this scene and, after a brief period of struggle, also followed them up. Although his martial arts were weak, he was at least still able to get up onto a roof. He then stood next to Sir Xiao, with Ren Shaotian and Wei Jin following closely behind, guarding him on the left and the right.
Ye You asked, “Not afraid?”
Ding Xilai was currently somewhat speechless as he watched the drugged men going crazy down below. Upon hearing that, he swallowed a mouthful of saliva and said, “Not… not afraid.”
Ye You smiled and said, “You should go to Pavilion Master Ding’s side.”
Ding Xilai said, “I won’t go. He definitely doesn’t have the time to pay me any mind.”
Ye You declined to comment, lifting his head to look at the battle. Ding Xilai also looked over once again.
While the matter with the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison had been brewing all the way until now, this was still the first time that the righteous faction was actually directly crossing swords with the white piece’s people. Although last time Ghost Gentleman had brought people to surround Shaolin, everything was successfully resolved by Sir Xiao, and there were no casualties. Today was going to be very different.
Ding Xilai looked fearfully at the two groups of people fighting in close quarters. Seeing that the person next to him was standing still, unmoving, he couldn’t help but look over. Subconsciously, he thought that Sir Xiao was the type of person who wouldn’t need to expend much troops in order to get rid of the other party. He didn’t know if this time Sir Xiao also had another trick up his sleeve.
Ye You perceived his gaze and asked, “What?”
Ding Xilai was about to speak when he suddenly heard the echoes of another flute, and he hastily looked downwards, beginning to look haphazardly every which way.
Ye You pointed in one direction. “There.”
Ding Xilai looked over and, sure enough, saw an unremarkable person standing in a corner; this person was actually that village chief from before. The flute in this person’s hand seemed somewhat strange, and it took Ding Xilai many looks before he realized that it had probably been pulled out from that cane.
The village chief’s first task was to oppose Lady Tao.
His internal energy was high, so he didn’t suffer much of the effects and could concentrate on exchanging blows with Lady Tao.
The earlier flute player received some room to breathe and so continued to direct the drugged men to attack. After a moment, there was yet another flute player who found an empty space within the righteous faction’s siege in order to add himself to the fray, attacking Lady Tao together with the village chief. This place was the drugged men’s headquarters, and they had many flute players, but Lady Tao was only one person.
There were many in the righteous faction who realized this fact, and their hearts couldn’t help but sink. Following that, they collectively headed to attack those flute players, but between them were layers upon layers of drugged men, so getting there was easier said than done.
Lady Tao’s expression didn’t change, but sweat gradually seeped out of her forehead and her face also began turning pale. She furrowed her brows and was just about to add more strength when the person next to her grabbed her hand.
She sucked in a deep breath. “What?”
Ye You let her go. “Stop trying to act brave.” Lady Tao said, “But down there…”
Ye You said, “It’s all right.”
Lady Tao was used to trusting him and so let go of her qin strings, dropping down to sit cross-legged on the roof in order to adjust her internal energy. Qin Yuemian hurriedly pulled out some healing medicine to hand to her. Lady Tao said a word of thanks and, after eating it, closed her eyes, truly no longer paying attention to what was happening down below.
The moment the qin’s sounds stopped, the flute players were essentially back in their element.
The drugged men once again collectively roared and madly attacked the people of the righteous faction. Some of them were adventurers that had disappeared long ago, while others were disciples of famous sects. The righteous faction members knew that they weren’t in control of themselves and so couldn’t really murder these people.
Thus, the righteous faction was full of hesitation every time a move was made and so quickly fell into a disadvantage.
The village chief’s gaze turned, and he changed to another melody. At once, with reddened eyes, the drugged men holding swords in front of him changed directions, pulling out their swords and leaping upwards, rushing towards the people up on the rooftop.
The chilly sword energy mixed with a killing intent that made straight for the face, along with the drugged men’s crazed eyes, frightened people to no end. Ding Xilai had never encountered such a thing happening in his entire life, and whether he had been scared silly or simply wasn’t able to react in time, he just stood there, motionless and straight-backed, staring blankly.
Ye You naturally also wouldn’t move and watched all this calmly.
Wenren Heng shifted forward a step to protect him and, when a drugged man almost reached the roof, threw out a palm to strike the person away. At the same time, Xie Junming, Elder Baili, Ren Shaotian, and them had also simultaneously moved, meeting those drugged men head on.
Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang and those elders had long already arrived, and with only a quick look, they could tell that suppressing those flute players was pivotal. Pavilion Master Ding’s sword rang out with a clang, and without a word, he led the people of “Moon’s Shadow” over. Manor Lord Wei didn’t fall behind and moved at practically the same moment.
The two of them were the most outstanding personages in the righteous faction, while “Moon’s Shadow” and “Heaven’s Firmament” were even more famous to the outside and were the elites of elites. Their strength was no small matter, and in the blink of an eye, they had torn open a path through the chaos.
At once, the righteous faction’s morale greatly rose, and immediately after, the people behind them rushed forward into the fray.
The village chief had never thought to fight to the death, and when he had previously gained the upper head, he had already begun carefully retreating as he fought. Now, he was even less keen on remaining and, at once, began retreating even more zealously. But just as he had turned around, he saw that a few people were coming around from behind the houses. These people were headed by a youth in white clothes, bearing no facial expression but absolutely filled with killing intent. This person was precisely the Demonic Faction’s Elder Bai, the Elder who was the strongest within the Demonic Sect.
In a short-lived moment, the village chief realized that, in the interval when the adventurers were exchanging blows with the drugged men, these people had noiselessly detoured around them to come up from behind, and his expression changed. “All of you…”
From the beginning, Elder Bai wasn’t interested in speaking, reaching out a hand and striking.
The village chief urgently sidestepped.
Although he had stayed in this fishing village all these years, he was still very familiar with the characters outside, and within the demonic faction, Xie Junming and Ye You along with their subordinates were important to keep track of. So he knew that while this Demonic Sect Elder always wore an expression as if not quite awake, this person would become extremely savage upon making a move, completely not retaining that usual slow reaction speed.
Seeing him sidestep, Elder Bai didn’t bother being picky and simply followed up with making straight for the person behind him. The latter didn’t have time to dodge and was immediately hit hard enough to spit blood, falling instantly unconscious.
The scarred man and the people of Wuwang Temple had also detoured around via separate places, and they split up to take care of the remaining flute players. The village chief hurriedly took all this in at a glance and shouted, “Retreat! Retreat!”
When he finished speaking, he dodged Elder Bai’s murderous chase while also playing the flute to order the drugged men to act as a blockade, taking the lead to retreat with people through the back of the village. The righteous faction naturally didn’t want to let these people run away so easily and so continued to give chase, but having received the orders, the drugged men still gave their all to attack, and the people of the righteous faction had to expend quite a bit of effort to stop them. Ye You looked at this scene of battle and, without moving his gaze, glanced at the two people directly below them who were currently being protected by the people of “Heaven’s Firmament”. The corners of his mouth lifted, and he amiably said, “Lady Xiao-Rou, Sir Yang, the sword-fighting down there is truly too dangerous. Why not come up?”
Wei Jiangrou and Sir Yang simultaneously looked at him.
Ye You said, “And everything also looks much clearer up here.”
Wei Jiangrou gave him a look and, after a moment of hesitation, nodded her head.