In order to prevent anyone from discovering that they had found a trail, the next morning, after Ye You and the other young sirs had eaten a Buddhist meal, they patiently sat for over two hours before using the excuse that they were “going out as a group at noon” to prepare and leave Shaolin.
There were some Junior Sect Masters who didn’t quite understand and asked, “You aren’t afraid that, in delaying for a while, the white piece would’ve made some preparations?”
Ye You said, “If the white piece was able to get the information, then he’d definitely have sent someone last night, so there’s no difference. It’s still better to do it like this so as to appear more sensible.”
Everyone internally thought that this made sense and obediently listened.
Before they left, they didn’t forget to bring some well-known subordinates. But if they brought too many, it’d still appear similarly suspicious, so in the end, every person brought only two bodyguards and then left it to Wei Jiangyue and Ding Xilai to pick a few more people from “Heaven’s Firmament” and “Moon’s Shadow”.
Regarding this matter, the Wei Jiangyue who had never caused any trouble since he was young was able to pick people from “Moon’s Shadow” directly without even notifying Manor Lord Wei. But Ding Xilai was unable to do the same, and he had to summon up the courage to find his old man.
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “Why do you want more people?”
Ding Xilai stood ramrod straight and said indifferently, “Answering Father. Having not seen Second Brother Wei and the others for so long, we wish to go out for a meal together. Since the recent situation is still unclear, and with his martial arts gone, Sir Xiao needs some protection, so it’s better if we had some more manpower around.”
Pavilion Master Ding turned a deaf ear and said, “The truth.” Ding Xilai was silent for a moment before saying, “Yesterday, this son wasn’t able to ask anything useful from the flute player but still knows where she lives. Although Abbot Ciyuan already sent people to search, Sir Xiao said that we might as well go take a look after we finish eating, and perhaps there will be a hidden chamber or somesuch place to be found. This son is afraid of the dangers so wants to bring some more people.”
Of course, this was also something that had been decided beforehand. If the elders began to suspect, they’d all answer in this way. Pavilion Master Ding looked at him, but wasn’t able to see much of anything from his tense face, so said, “Let Wei Jin and Shaotian and them go with you.”
Ding Xilai’s expression immediately showed some cracks. “Ah?” Pavilion Master Ding asked, “What?”
Ding Xilai quickly stowed away his emotions and urged, “We’re simply going to have a meal, and then just walk around for a bit. With Shaolin’s situation so complicated, it’s better to have Brother Wei168 stay behind to help you.”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “No need.”
Seeing that his old man was already set on the idea, Ding Xilai was afraid that he’d make even more mistakes if he continued speaking, so the only thing he could do was agree in resignation.
At this time, Ye You had also just about tidied up. He unhurriedly stood up and said his goodbyes to his Senior Brother.
Since he was simply going out to eat, it wouldn’t look good if Wenren Heng saw him out, so the other could only sit there. But upon seeing him about to go outside, Wenren Heng unconsciously reached out and grabbed his hand.
Ye You looked back. “What?”
Wenren Heng looked at him. “Remember what I said yesterday.” Ye You was about to nod when he suddenly remembered something and asked, “Senior Brother, didn’t you want to get married quickly? If I really get injured and you decide to keep me strictly by your side, aren’t you afraid of making Sister-in-law angry?”
“I promised to try with you, so I won’t go back on my words,” Wenren Heng said, “If you think it’s all right, then perhaps I’ll just marry you.”
These words were said particularly calmly, and like before, there wasn’t the slightest sense of ambiguous or teasing implication, as if it had been specially said to refute those words he said just now. Ye You’s words were stuck in his mouth for a while, but he ultimately couldn’t help following along with the other’s words. “Then since I’m going out on a trip, isn’t Senior Brother going to show his feelings a little?”
Wenren Heng, “…”
Ye You looked at him and laughed, saying, “I’m just playing around. I’m going.”
The door let out a creak before everything fell into stillness. Wenren Heng wanted to put a hand on his head.
He didn’t really understand what exactly it was that this Junior Brother of his wanted to do.
Ever since they had spoken plainly, and aired everything out, his Junior Brother had calmed down by quite a bit, but over this recent period of time, he didn’t know why the other had redoubled his efforts again, especially when his Junior Brother already knew about the unclear and ambiguous relationship between Sect Master Ye and Lady Tao. Why was the other still trying to sound him out from time to time?
The other couldn’t actually be trying to provoke him, right?
Wenren Heng poured a cup of tea and continued muttering to himself.
When Ye You arrived, Wei Jiangyue and those Junior Sect Masters were all already present.
They waited for a short while before seeing the Junior Alliance Leader and Ding Xilai appear in their fields of view. The former had his lips pursed, looking as if he wanted to smile but was enduring it, while the latter was no longer carrying the philandering air from previous days, expression tense, looking steady and reliable.
The Junior Sect Masters were first extremely surprised before they clearly saw who was behind the two, and they immediately couldn’t help but let out a pfftt. Even Wei Jiangyue’s eyes seemed to contain a bit of laughter.
Ye You gave them a glance and recognized that the one following Ding Xilai was the Head of “Moon’s Shadow”, Wei Jin. At that time, when Pavilion Master Ding had drawn the first piece of the map and tossed it aside, it was this person that had taken it and then led the way. Next to him there was another person wearing a mask that covered the upper half of the face. The mouth that was visible was raised slightly, revealing a somewhat wicked smile.
He asked, “That is?”
Wei Jiangyue said, “He’s the captain of the second squad of ‘Moon’s Shadow’, Ren Shaotian. Most of the time, his responsibility is to protect the family’s Young Master Ding. He should’ve just arrived at Shaolin with them yesterday, so you haven’t met him before.”
Ye You nodded, and when they got close enough, everyone then left Shaolin Temple together.
The carriages had long since been prepared, and everyone divided themselves up for them.
Wei Jiangyue, the Junior Alliance Leader, and Ding Xilai were naturally sitting in one carriage, and since Ye You was their main supporting pillar, he was also invited over. The moment Ye You sat down, the Junior Alliance Leader, who had been enduring all this time, finally broke down and, under the murderous gaze of Ding Xilai, soundlessly laughed until he fell over, his entire body twitching.
Ye You asked, “What?”
“I… I’ll explain. This story is a classic.” The Junior Alliance Leader crawled back up, and relying on the fact that Ding Xilai wasn’t able to beat him up, he laughingly explained, “Because Wei Jin is also coming along.”
Ye You raised a brow. “Oh?”
“Wei Jin has an honest character, and a solemn disposition. No matter what his young master does, as long as Pavilion Master Ding asks, he’ll always straightforwardly answer. Like that time…” The Junior Alliance Leader lowered his voice, and while laughing, he told the other about an old matter that all the Junior Sect Masters knew.
One time, Ding Xilai left the house with Pavilion Master Ding, and since he really didn’t want to fill up seats, he searched and found an excuse to slip away.
At that time, Ren Shaotian wasn’t around, so Pavilion Master Ding sent Wei Jin to look after him, and to stop him from going to any wild places. Ding Xilai naively thought that everyone in “Moon’s Shadow” was easy to talk to, so he swore Wei Jin to secrecy before turning around and going to a brothel. Wei Jin naturally notified Pavilion Master Ding, and when Pavilion Master Ding murderously arrived, Ding Xilai was just about to do it. Upon seeing his dad, Ding Xilai instinctively stood up in a grave manner, while he was still completely naked from head to toe, and his bottom half was still stiff as a rod. He angered Pavilion Master Ding so badly that he was almost chopped to pieces.
Ye You let out a laugh.
Ding Xilai’s entire face was full of indignation. “Have you finished talking? How many years are you going to laugh about this?” “It’s enough to keep me laughing until halfway through my next life,” the Junior Alliance Leader mocked. Looking at Sir Xiao, he finished the story, “Since then, Ah-Lai feels nervous every time he sees Wei Jin, and he doesn’t dare to mess around in front of the other.”
Ye You was enlightened. “I understand.”
Ding Xilai muttered and groaned, but in the interest of not going overboard, he ignored them.
After Ye You’s party left, Wenren Heng sat for only a short while before Shaolin’s people came to call him away.
The reason being that Miracle Doctor Ji and Young Miracle Doctor Fang found a letter amidst all those random knickknacks, and after investigating, they learned about a frightening matter. Thus, the Abbot sent people to call them all over.
Right now, it was almost noon, so the Abbot had set the meeting place to the dining hall, having planned to also have a meal in passing.
Qin Yuemian felt his head ache the moment he heard and, waving his hand, said, “If I keep eating vegetables, I’ll actually start turning into a vegetable. Don’t mind me. You should go by yourself. I’m going to find some people to go out and drink with me.”
Wenren Heng naturally didn’t care what he did and so entered the dining hall alone. He saw Miracle Doctor Ji standing in the center of the room and noted that the other’s usual benevolent face was sporting a rare grave expression. He then guessed that the situation had probably taken a turn for the worse.
People arrived little by little, and upon seeing them all looking at him, Miracle Doctor Ji slowly relayed the situation.
As everyone already knew, he and his disciple unintentionally found a letter, and on the letter was recorded some things related to the drug. After an investigation, they came to the conclusion that the final product of the drug had actually been successfully completely several years earlier.
Many people’s expressions changed. “What?”
Startled, Academy Master Ge said, “But if it had already long been completed, why did the white piece still take the risk of keeping Bodhi Prison?”
“He was continuing to add efficacy.” Miracle Doctor Ji softly sighed and said, “The first finished product was originally effective against only ordinary people. Later, it began to be capable of controlling martial artists, but if the internal energy was too high, it’d still be ineffective.”
The remaining words no longer needed to be said.
The white piece kept the prison in order to manufacture an even more effective drug and control even more powerful martial artists.
“There’s one more thing,” Miracle Doctor Ji said, “The spirit devouring powder169 in the drugs is something that he manufactured after testing the drug many times. The letter has some records of this. The main gist is that if given to a young child, and this child is
then carefully told of an entirely new identity and background while he’s in a confused state, then this drug can muddle his previous memories, and under this imperceptible influence, he’ll become a complete different person. The white piece has probably already tested this on people before.”
Everyone immediately sucked in a cold breath, but before they had the time to speak their thoughts, they saw a Shaolin disciple run in and tell them that yet another letter had been sent.
They hastily rose and left, and after confirming the handwriting on the letter, they found that it had again been sent by the black piece. It was still the same as the previous times, and those that brought the letter were all hired by someone else for this job. Abbot Ciyuan let those people go before opening it up to take a look. On the letter, the first sentence was, Weren’t able to ask anything, right? “…” Everyone’s faces turned red.
They continued downwards, and the second sentence was, If you managed to ask something, pretend I didn’t write those words
“…” Everyone no longer knew how many times they’d thought that this person needed a beating. They silently continued reading and saw the black piece saying that he was writing this letter to remind everyone about one thing, that those who have died could still be alive.
Manor Lord Wei read it aloud, “Those who have died could still be alive?”
One after the other, the rest of the group sunk into contemplation, wanting to know who the black piece was referring to.
Wenren Heng speculated, “Could it be someone like Blood-sucking Ghost? The drugs made at Bodhi Prison are already enough to control a martial artist like Single-eyed Li. If the white piece is still not satisfied, then the one he wants to control must be one of the finest experts like Blood-sucking Ghost. The black piece could be either referring to an expert whose death has been faked or pointing to a certain pivotal character. If we can find out who’s faking their death, then maybe we can discover the white piece’s identity.”
The Alliance Leader habitually furrowed his brows. “But in these ten- plus years, there’s been far too many people who have died in Jianghu.”
“That’s right…” Everyone’s heads hurt. Guessing a dead person was like finding a needle in a haystack.
Academy Master Ge suddenly said, “This ink was just used recently.”
Everyone looked at him and saw that he was pointing at the letter in Abbot Ciyuan’s hand and repeating, “Ink was just used.”
Pavilion Master Ding was the first to react. “So you’re saying that he wrote this very recently, and that after he wrote it, he found someone outside to bring it over. Who left Shaolin Temple today?” A light shone in everyone’s eyes, and they hastily sent subordinates to ask.
But in the end, this matter led to great disappointment. As the adventurers had been holed up in Shaolin Temple for many days, those who left today were many. Not even speaking of anyone else, if one counted only the group of Junior Sect Masters, then that was already a great crowd.
“Make a list,” Pavilion Master Ding said, “At least we can limit the scope.”
No one argued. Even if the one who wrote the letter wasn’t the black piece himself, it must still be a subordinate, and the fact that he was able to write to them over and over meant that he most likely knew the black piece’s identity. If they could find the black piece, then they needed simply to ask about the identity of the white piece, and then everything could be understood.
Upon returning to the dining hall, they saw Miracle Doctor Ji and remembered what happened just now. Following that, they remembered the flute player’s young age when she first met Master Deru.
Abbot Ciyuan asked, “Is it possible that she was given drugs?”
Miracle Doctor Ji shook his head. “I can’t say. Even if she was given drugs, because it’s been so long, I also don’t know if the effects could be undone.”
Abbot Ciyuan said an, “Amitabha,” and after discussing it with everyone, they agreed to let Miracle Doctor Ji try, before they finally sat down to eat.
After Ye You’s party went down the mountain, they truly first went to eat a noon meal before making straight for Xiangxing City.
Seeing this route, Wei Jin found Ren Shaotian, and when they stopped midway to rest, the two went to see their young master, who had been conveniently relieving himself, and silently stared at him.
Ding Xilai slowly said, “…There’s a reason for this.”
Wei Jin didn’t open his mouth, but he looked as if he was waiting for the other to speak.
Ding Xilai then calmly fastened his waistband and, standing straight with his hands clasped behind his back, used a tone similar to the one he used with his old man to say, “Last time I went to Xiangxing City and ate some of their local delicacies. Since it was extremely delicious, I mentioned it to everyone else yesterday, and they all wanted to try these delicacies. Thus, I decided to bring them to eat it.” He looked at Ren Shaotian. “Isn’t that right, Brother Shaotian?”
The corners of Ren Shaotian’s mouth lifted up, bringing out a somewhat wicked smile.
He wanted to laugh every time he saw this young master of his putting on these airs. He said, “It was quite good. We should let them go.”
Those last words were clearly said for Wei Jin to hear. Wei Jin nodded, still not speaking. Ding Xilai thought that when they returned and the old man asked, this person would doubtless repeat everything word for word, but by that time, they would have already distinguished themselves with their contribution, and the old man would definitely praise him.
His heart suddenly moved, and he insipidly said, “If Brother Wei is afraid that Father would object, then why not first go and inform him about this.” Ren Shaotian laughed, knowing that this was the young master’s attempt at sending Wei Jin back to Shaolin. However, Wei Jin wasn’t a fool, and since the Pavilion Master had directed him to protect the young master, he naturally wouldn’t leave.
Ding Xilai resigned himself to fate and, while still putting on the same airs, climbed into the carriage. Just as he was about to grab his good friend to complain, he saw the other staring blankly at a person on the side. He couldn’t help but look over and was completely caught off-guard when he saw a devastatingly bewitching face, one that could even bring a country to its knees. His mind immediately went blank and, tongue-tied, he said, “You… you…”
Ye You lazily raised a brow. “What about me?”
Ding Xilai fiercely shook his head and stared at the other in shock. Wei Jiangyue was also watching from the side.
Hundred-Grass Dew was a very good medicine, and Wenren Heng had diligently applied it for the other every day. Now, unless one looked very carefully, it was almost impossible to see any traces of scars, and even those last traces would probably thoroughly disappear after a little while longer. When he first met this person, this person had only half of the face intact, and now that he was seeing it again this time, the effect was even stronger, leaving people feeling somewhat restless.
And so it went without saying for Ding Xilai, as he took a long while to regain his senses. Seeing the other covering up with a fake appearance, he was even more puzzled and asked, “Why do you need to disguise a perfectly good face?”
Ye You returned with a question, “You mean that I should use this face to visit a male brothel?”
That makes sense. When the time comes, if some of those customers sees him… The group fell silent.
Ding Xilai and his good friend looked at one another, and with tacit agreement, both thought in their hearts: He looks like this, and Wenren Heng still isn’t into men? Is that true or false? Is he Liuxia Hui170?
An entire day was required to go from the small county town at the foot of Shaolin Temple’s mountain to Xiangxing City, but their luck wasn’t bad, and there was a night market at Xiangxing City tonight, so they successfully managed to arrive before the gates of the city closed. At this time, the streets were still filled with many people, so the carriage’s movements were restricted and its speed became very slow. Ye You then decided simply to get off the carriage and unhurriedly followed the crowd forward.
Wei Jiangyue didn’t know what he wanted to do and followed along.
Ye You looked around and then walked towards a peddler hawking his wares and asked, smiling, “Mister, the gates are about to close, so why aren’t you heading home yet?”
“My home is within the city, so it doesn’t matter.” The peddler asked, “Does young sir want some osmanthus tea? It’s very fragrant.”
Ye You said, delighted, “All right, give me a bag.”
“Very good.” The peddler was very happy and swiftly moved to prepare a bag for him. Since the peddler was about to pack up, a little more than usual was added into the bag too.
After accepting it, Ye You handed over a few silver, and when the peddler was about to count out the change, Ye You stopped him, telling that it was their first time in Xiangxing City and asking about whether there were any fun places to go. The peddler thought for a moment, and carrying his load, he began walking and talking.
Wei Jiangyue was following along and listened to them talk about inns, food stalls, and plays before a certain someone pointed at him and said, “That’s right, Mister, my friend here has a certain interest, and he needs to sample the delicacies of every place he goes to or else his body will feel unwell. Does this Xiangxing City have a male brothel?”
Wei Jiangyue, “…” The peddler said an, “Oh,” in understanding and first looked at Wei Jiangyue with some deep meaning before continuing to speak. Ye You carefully listened and emphatically asked about the most famous establishment. It wasn’t until he thought that he had just about gotten everything did he say a word of thanks and take his leave from the other.
Wei Jiangyue said, “If I don’t taste those delicacies, I’ll feel unwell?”
Ye You looked at Wei Jiangyue, and Wei Jiangyue looked back at him. Seeing that he seemed to have a sliver of hesitation in his eyes, Wei Jiangyue thought that he was about to give a sentence or two of explanation, only to hear him ask, “Could it be that I guessed correctly?”
Wei Jiangyue, “…”
“Sir Wei, you’re much too serious. You’ll sometimes miss out on a lot of fun things,” Ye You half-seriously and half-frivolously lectured.
Upon seeing the place where the carriage had stopped, he walked over.
Under the city lanterns, Wei Jiangyue watched him go, thinking that even just this person’s simple silhouette bore a sense of confident ease, while also revealing nothing. No one was able to see through it, to grasp it, leaving everyone unclear on what exactly he was thinking or what he wanted to do.
Ding Xilai and the others were all waiting for them, and upon seeing that everyone was present, they entered the male brothel.
The boss’s gaze was calculating, and with one look, he could see that these were a crowd of noble young masters. At once, he plastered a smile on his face and welcomed them in. Ye You was about to open his mouth when he felt the Junior Alliance Leader tug on his sleeve. Upon seeing the other continuously shooting glances at Ding Xilai, he stopped moving and simply stood there. The boss quickly discovered that all of them were looking at one person and also followed suit. In his heart, Ding Xilai cursed this group of scoundrels. Under Wei Jin’s gaze, he continued carrying an appearance similar to Pavilion Master Ding’s and said, with stiff solemnity, “Boss, give us a
The boss stared for a moment, as if it was the first time he’d seen such an upright person patronize his business.
The Junior Alliance Leader and the others seemed like they were practically going wild with laughter, and they all thought that it seemed as if they were watching Pavilion Master Ding visit a brothel. Even Ren Shaotian was laughing nonstop.
The boss also counted as quite seasoned and experienced and quickly regained his senses. He said, “All right, please come inside, masters. We have all kinds here, and we guarantee your satisfaction.”
Ye You asked, “Is your lead entertainer here?”
The boss smiled and said, “He’s here. But seeing that these masters look unfamiliar and so it’s perhaps your first time at our Tingzhu Courtyard171, I must first inform you of a certain matter. Our lead entertainer’s services include only his skills and not his body.”
“I know,” Ye You said, “I’ve long heard that your lead entertainer is skilled at playing the qin, so today I specially came to hear him play. Since he’s not selling his body, he shouldn’t have other guests at this hour, right?”
The boss said, “Indeed, he doesn’t.”
Ye You pulled out a banknote for him. “Give me a separate private room, and also give them another private room. Invite some tactful and discreet entertainers to accompany them for some conversation.”
The boss’s smile immediately blossomed, and he said a word of agreement before personally bringing them upstairs and preparing two private rooms for them. He then went out to call for some people so as to let these young masters have an easy time choosing a few. The moment he left, the crowd of people all turned to look at Sir Xiao.
Wei Jiangyue asked, “You want a private room to yourself?”
Ye You spoke as if it was a matter of course, “With my martial arts gone, all of you can’t always rely on the fact that I’ll be with you to find clues, right? So for this matter, I’ll be depending on all you martial heroes. I’m going to go listen to some songs. If there’s any issues, feel free to call for me any time.”
“All of you talk a bit more with the entertainers and ask about anything suspicious, and when necessary, find the time to walk around every corner of this place. I believe in all of you.” As Ye You finished speaking, he saw the boss returning with a group of people. He took the liberty to pinch the face of the entertainer closest to him before tossing the others aside and leaving.
The scarred man faithfully and loyally followed after. When Ye You had just finished pouring a cup of tea, the room’s door opened.
The recent arrival was wearing a green garment, his black hair thick and straight, falling softly down his back. His eyes were long and narrow, unusually handsome and clear, and his mouth was carrying a slight smile. In general, his temperament appeared to be quite good. Looking at this seemingly ordinary-looking young sir, he said, “Hello, young sir.”
Ye You smiled and said, “Hello.”
This lead entertainer sat in the front and asked, “What song does the young sir want to hear?”
Ye You’s tone was tender. “Anything will do. I’d love listening to anything, so long as you’re the one playing.”
The scarred man, “…” He was starting to suspect that Sir Xiao’s main reason for going outside this time was just for the sake of visiting a brothel.
The lead entertainer’s name was Fuping172. He was most likely used to hearing such things, so he simply smiled at the other, set up his qin, and began softly playing. Ye You drank a sip of wine and narrowed his eyes in satisfaction. During this time, Wei Jiangyue came twice and saw this person staring straight at the lead entertainer, as if truly unconcerned about the current progress of things. He fell silent for a moment before wordlessly leaving.
Ye You joyfully listened for a while, and upon hearing some chaos coming from outside, he said, “Go and see what’s happening.”
The scarred man hesitated for a moment, but upon seeing this person look at him again, he finally nodded, stood up, and left.
A creak softly echoed, and then the room was left with only Ye You and the lead entertainer. The sounds of the qin was sinuous and melodious, as if it was a string of touching and tender words of love. Ye You set down the wine cup and stood up, walking over to the lead entertainer. He reached across the qin and pinched the other’s chin, asking, “Beauty, you really don’t sell your body?”
Fuping raised his head and freed himself from the other’s hand. “Yes, if young sir wants, you can find someone else. You’ll definitely be able to pick someone you like.”
“But I just want you. What should I do?” Ye You walked around and sat next to him, running hands through the strings of the qin for a brief moment. “Right when I arrived at Xiangxing City, I heard that Sir Fuping’s skills with the qin were outstanding. I didn’t think that even the person himself was this beautiful, truly making me fall in love at first sight. I won’t be at ease until I’ve obtained him.”
Fuping lowered his eyes. “But young sir…”
“Don’t worry, I have a constant heart. I definitely don’t get tired of the old and enamored with the new,” Ye You interrupted him and said, “And one can’t do this kind of occupation for long; eventually one must find a place to return to call home. My Senior Brother is the Sect Master of Shuangji Sect. Have you heard of Shuangji Sect? It’s an incredibly powerful sect in Jianghu. If you go with me, you definitely won’t suffer.”
Fuping looked at him.
Ye You faced this person, and the emotions in his eyes seemed almost as if they would spill over. After a while, he pressed the other’s shoulder and lightly pushed, pushing the person down onto the soft mat below, his other hand placed on the other’s cheek.
In the same moment, the scarred man and Wei Jiangyue pushed open the door and stepped in. Upon seeing these two’s positions, the two were uniformly dumbfounded.
Ye You didn’t turn around, and for a while, his thumb caressed Fuping’s face. Fuping bit his lips and moved his head slightly, but he didn’t resist. Ye You let out a soft laugh before finally turning to look at the two people at the doorway. “Still not leaving? Wanting to see some live-action erotica?”
The scarred man and Wei Jiangyue backed up, stupefied, and once again closed the door.
Ye You was very satisfied and made to open Fuping’s waistband, but he was stopped by this person.
Fuping asked, “Not returning to a room, young sir?”
Ye You said, “Return to what room? I want to do it right here.”
As he finished speaking, he pushed aside this person’s hands and returned to untying the waistband. Fuping’s expression deepened slightly, and he quickly moved to hit Ye You’s acupoints. Ye You easily blocked him and then let out a wave of inborn energy, directly sealing his main acupoint.
“You…” Fuping’s expression finally changed, and his long and narrow eyes were dyed with a cold light. He immediately showed an unwilling expression, completely at odds with his silent patience just now. “What about me?” Ye You approached him, all smiles, and asked in his place, “My footsteps are empty of any force, so why do I know martial arts?”
Fuping said, “So you were just pretending?”
Ye You didn’t answer. He pulled out a medicinal pill and forcefully stuffed it into the other’s mouth. Under this murderous gaze, he stood up and went to get the wine jug. He listened to the slight noises from the roof beams before calmly walking back.
Just as he stepped forward, a black shadow soundlessly dropped down.
The shadow held a sword and, upon touching the ground, directly rushed at Ye You but wasn’t able to touch even a thread of clothing. The only thing he saw was this person’s figure flashing, and then a sharp pain on the nape of his neck, before he knew no more.
Ye You didn’t even look down, grabbing him by the clothes and tossing him bodily out the window.
Fuping was also unable to see through the other’s skill, and his expression changed once again. “Who exactly are you?”
Ye You returned to his side and, pinching his chin, forced him to drink a mouthful of wine. After confirming that he had also swallowed the pill, Ye You used a hand to pinch his neck, squeezing down forcefully. Fuping’s expression gradually distorted, and even with his acupoints sealed, he still struggled slightly under the choking force. The corners of Ye You’s mouth lifted, and he softly said, “I’ll count to three. If you still won’t withdraw, then all of you will only be able to bring back a corpse. One, two…”
It was only when the sounds from the roof beams grew distant did Ye You retract his hand. Seeing the other quietly coughing, he said, “Didn’t I tell you before, I’m the Junior Brother of Shuangji Sect’s Sect Master. If you want to know more, then follow me to Shaolin. Li Hua definitely also really misses you. That’s right, she’s already been caught and detained at Shaolin. Did you know this?” Fuping did his utmost to recover his breath, and just as he was about to speak, a hand came and covered his mouth.
Looking at this person’s eyes, he felt that these pale pupils were sharp and deep, as if clearly able to see through others.
Ye You laughed and said, “If I was you, I’d probably make a big call for help right now.”
“You should give up. The person I’ve chosen, how can I so easily just let him go.” Ye You gave the other a smile, but his eyes weren’t smiling at all. Fuping hadn’t even carefully parsed through this when he was picked up by this person and then knocked unconscious.
The next moment, the door was pushed open by a determined- looking scarred man.
Looking at these two people, he saw that Young Master Xiao was currently holding the other and that the lead entertainer’s face was red, carrying the appearance of someone who had been ravaged. He immediately saw black and felt extremely apologetic towards the Sect Master. With a trembling voice, he said, “You… him…”
Ye You put the person down and looked at Fuping’s face, which had been choked into its current miserable appearance. He unhurriedly straightened his clothes and regretfully said, “Oh, him? He was teased too much by me just now, so he fainted.”
The scarred man hastily grabbed onto this last shred of hope. “You didn’t… didn’t do it?”
Ye You raised a brow. “You think I’d be this fast?”
“…” The scarred man didn’t want to talk about this subject with him and was about to advise him to step back only to hear this person say, “He promised to follow me. I want to bring him with me.”
The scarred man, “…”
The private room’s door was open, so a man’s voice could clearly be heard from within, shouting himself hoarse, “What coming into the wrong room bullshit! All of you definitely did it on purpose, you little bastards!”
“Who are you cursing? Even my old man has never cursed at me like this. We’ve already compensated you but you still want…” Halfway through this sentence, Ding Xilai stiffened and changed his words, resuming his previous solemn tone before insipidly saying, “Yes, this matter certainly is our fault. Not being able to get it up because of other people, anyone would be displeased. I understand you.”
“Hahahahahaha…” The Junior Sect Leaders couldn’t stand it anymore, and they suddenly erupted in laughter.
“Shut up! What’s so funny about this!” The man flew into a humiliated rage and continued roaring, “It’s all because I was disturbed by all of you!”
“All right, all right, Uncle, if saying it like this will make you feel better, then, sure, let’s take it as our fault for disturbing you,” the Junior Alliance Leader interrupted with these words, and then he turned the conversation around, “But I know a pretty good doctor. You173 really don’t want to get it checked out?”
“Hahahahahaha…” The Junior Sect Masters once again laughed themselves into a heap.
The man’s voice suddenly rose by another volume, and he seemed angry enough to start spitting blood. “Who are you calling ‘Uncle’! I’m not that old!”
The Junior Alliance Leader said in astonishment, “Really? But you look like it.”
“Nonsense, all of you little…”
After listening to these words, Ye You looked inquiringly at the scarred man. The scarred man gave a bitter smile and simply explained, “They asked the entertainers if this place had any frequent guests, strange people, or peculiar incidents. From someone, they learned that there was a guest who would come here every month on the fifteenth.
Since today was coincidentally the fifteenth, and they thought this suspicious, they decided to steal close to that person’s room. But in the end they made some noise and gave that person a fright, so it ended up in this argument.”
“Hm, not bad.” Ye You let out a laugh, and his tone seemed to carry a bit of contemplation.
It was because of this ruckus that those outside didn’t hear the movements within this room.
The scarred man was flabbergasted. “Not bad?”
Ye You laughed and said, “Young people should be enthusiastic, so even if they did something wrong, they still deserve to be given a ‘not bad’, isn’t that right?”
The scarred man felt that Young Master Xiao had a different sort of meaning, but even if he spoke now, it’d be useless, especially since the two parties had already started fighting. Right now, there was an even more important matter to take care of. He was currently carrying the idea that, “I’d rather offend the great Sect Master Ye rather than let our Sect Master be broken-hearted,” and was preparing to enter and take this person away.
He looked at that upsetting lead entertainer and found a reasonable excuse, “Young Master Xiao, if we want to redeem this entertainer, the price will definitely be high. We didn’t bring much money when we left, so why not first let him wait here while we return to Shaolin and have the Sect Master send people to take him back.”
Ye You said, “Don’t you know that this lead entertainer is very special? He sells only his art, not his body. If, in the future, he met someone he wanted to go with, then he’d go with them without needing a single coin. Don’t worry, we won’t need to spend money.”
The scarred man, “…” Where on earth would you ever find so generous a boss!
At this time, Wei Jiangyue had also walked inside.
He had been afraid of seeing something he shouldn’t be seeing, so he had been standing hesitantly near the doorway all this while. It was only when he saw that the man from Shuangji Sect still hadn’t come out that he finally couldn’t take it anymore and went inside to investigate. He looked at the person on the ground and asked, “What happened?”
Ye You played down the situation and gave the other the same answer. He then also joyfully said that this lead entertainer had decided to accompany him.
Just as Wei Jiangyue had the thought that “Sir Xiao perhaps had some other goal”, it was immediately dispelled. He knitted his brows and stared at the unconscious Fuping, not knowing what it was about this person that had interested Sir Xiao.
Without paying the least bit attention to the other’s examination, Ye You pulled up the person on the ground and carried him over to the soft couch on the side, even helping him straighten out his hair. The scarred man felt his heart turning cold as he watched this.
At this time, the Ding Xilai outside had finally used up all of his patience, and he said, simply, “Shaotian.”
Ren Shaotian laughed and lightly poked a red pillar nearby. His entire finger went straight in, as if he was simply poking tofu.
That man, “…”
With a face full of righteousness, Ding Xilai said, “Uncle, you see that we’ve already compensated you already. And now since the time is quite late already, why not go to bed a bit earlier?”
That man looked at the pillar and, with one last breath of arrogance, resentfully walked away.
The Junior Sect Masters saw that Sir Xiao’s private room was open and so walked over. Just now, the boss had been busy trying to stop the fight, and upon thinking of his lead entertainer, he also hurriedly followed them into the room. When he immediately saw the unconscious Fuping, his expression changed slightly. “What happened to him?”
Ye You carried a smile on his face and, with great patience, repeated his words a third time.
The boss said, startled, “How could this be?”
Ye You said, “Whether it is or not, you can clearly just ask him.”
The boss choked, and internally thinking that this made sense, he said, “Then why don’t all of you return to your rooms.”
Ye You said, “No need. I’ve taken a liking to this room, so I’ll just sleep here for tonight.”
The boss hesitated for a moment, but in the end, he didn’t object and instructed people to bring over a bed before leaving. Ye You waved his hand at the remaining people, indicating that they could also leave.
There was one Junior Sect Master who couldn’t help but say, “We didn’t find out anything useful. Does Sir Xiao have any ideas?”
Ye You was silent for a moment before indistinctly letting out a sigh and saying, “Then go and search Fuping’s room and see if there’s any hidden rooms, hidden paths, and so on in there.”
Everyone was startled.
The scarred man saw a trace of hope. “Young Master Xiao thinks there’s a problem with him?”
“No, I’m just thinking that in this male brothel, only Fuping’s situation is special. Just now, he so happily agreed to go with me, so I don’t know if it’s that he wants to use me to infiltrate Shaolin.” Ye You paused and then softly said, “Since my martial arts was lost, I’ve been wanting to find a person to spend my days with quietly and steadily, and now that I’ve finally met someone I like with much difficulty. But he didn’t lie to me.” As soon as everyone heard, all of them no longer really felt like searching.
The scarred man grimly decided to go take a good look, even thinking that he might as well dig a secret passage himself in order to frame Fuping.
“You should go. There’s no need to worry about me. Under the righteous causes of Jianghu, what does passionate love matter.” Ye You spoke very earnestly, and in the end, he implored, “If he really has a problem, the boss probably also isn’t clean. When you search, don’t let the boss know. With all of you and this one boss, you should know how to keep an eye on him, right?”
Everyone nodded and then turned and left. The scarred man naturally also followed along. As he was leaving, he called for the Shuangji Sect members to come and instructed them to guard Young Master Xiao carefully so as to not let any accidents happen. Those people said a word of, “Understood,” and were originally planning on entering the room but was then kicked out by Young Master Xiao with a few sentences. So the only thing they could do was keep their ears open and stand outside at the door.
The room was once again quiet. Ye You pushed aside Fuping’s long hair and shot a glance at the two shallow thumbprints on his neck. Pulling out the Hundred-Grass Dew, Ye You applied a layer and thought that the marks could probably disappear overnight.
He returned to his seat, tidying up his thoughts as he waited for news. When he had drunk his third cup, the scarred man returned to report back, full of joy and expectation.
Ye You asked in a low voice, “So there’s a problem?”
Seeing Young Master Xiao’s bearing, the scarred man tried to let his tone appear somewhat perplexed and said, “Yes, there’s a secret passage. Sir Ding and the others originally wanted to discuss how to use it, but they were stopped by Ren Shaotian and them.”
Ye You was not in the least bit surprised. His people had already been watching Li Hua for a long time, and he had known that Li Hua had a residence in Xiangxing City. Every once in a while, she’d come for a visit, so it was very possible that the residence had a secret passage. The only thing was that it was unclear where it lead to. That residence was located in the east of the city, while the male brothel was located in the west; the distance between them was too large. His people had certainly heard the lead entertainer’s name before, but after inquiring, they learned that he had some kind of familial relationship with the boss, so they had never thought to look in this location.
What’s more, the fact that the person sent by the white piece to oversee Bodhi Prison was a male entertainer was truly something that left people somewhat skeptical. It was also only because he had heard what Ding Xilai said that he had finally become conscious of this situation and then brought people to come here.
He closed his eyes. “Yes, I know.” The scarred man said, “Then him…”
“Let’s treat it as beating them at their own game,” Ye You said, “Since he wants to go to Shaolin, I’ll take him there. It’d be fine if we then just tie him up.”
The scarred man finally felt as if he had some peace of mind and advised, “Young Master Xiao should sleep earlier.”
Ye You said, “You should go. I want to stay here and accompany him.”
What was so good about this entertainer? How could he possibly be better than our Sect Master?
The scarred man completely didn’t understand, but he still calmly stayed on the side as a guard, only changing shifts when dawn was about to break. He prepared to rest for a while, so as to hurry on the road during the day.
As usual, Ye You made the person guard outside the room. He walked over to sit on the soft couch and then picked up a strand of Fuping’s hair to play with before saying, “If you still won’t wake up, I’m no longer going to be so polite.”
Fuping opened his eyes. “What did you feed me?”
“Do I still need to say it? Of course it was poison. If you don’t eat the antidote within three days, you’ll die.” Ye You amiably asked, “Like this, every time you use your internal energy, don’t you feel a sharp pain in your stomach that’s hard to endure?”
Fuping didn’t speak.
When he awoke, the reason why he didn’t raise his voice to call for help was that he had felt that something wasn’t quite right with his body. Thus, he didn’t dare to act rashly. He asked, “What do you want to do?”
Ye You said, “I’m inviting you to Shaolin. Abbot Ciyuan has always treated people quite well, so he most likely won’t want your life.”
Fuping stared at him. “What about the antidote?”
Ye You said, “In a while, tell your boss that you’re willing to leave with me. When we leave the city, I’ll give it to you. It’s a deal.”
Fuping said, “How can I believe you?”
Ye You laughed. He put down the other’s hair and rather tenderly stroked the other’s face. “Darling, right now you don’t have the right to choose anything, so the only thing you can do is believe me.”
Fuping fell silent.
Ye You unsealed his acupoint and then threw him aside, uncaring.
The next morning, Ding Xilai’s party saw the lead entertainer look at the boss and say that he had fallen in love with Sir Xiao, that he believed that Sir Xiao was his predestined love, and that he forever wanted to follow the other to the ends of the earth, to live out their lives together happily. The boss opened and closed his mouth but didn’t try to stop the other. “Then that’s good.”
From yesterday night’s events, Ding Xilai and the others knew that Fuping was just using Sir Xiao, but for the sake of the bigger picture, they didn’t expose him. The only thing they could do was to put on a mask of ignorance while they prepared to bring Fuping to Shaolin.
Anyway, this person was the white piece’s subordinate, so it still counted as them having done a great service.
But… They couldn’t help but look at Sir Xiao, and their gazes carried a certain amount of sympathy.
Ye You calmly looked at Fuping, his gaze complex, and there was even some faint traces of anguish.
Everyone immediately felt their hearts ache for him and, one after the other, motioned for him to get on the carriage first.
Ye You said, “No need. I’ll sit in the same carriage as him.”
Ah, no, how painful could that be!
Everyone couldn’t help but try and advise him otherwise, but Ye You had already made his decision. Disregarding their attempts at obstruction, he climbed onto the carriage that the boss had prepared for Fuping.
Fuping coldly and indifferently looked at him. “What did you say to them?”
Ye You laughed and asked, “Why don’t you guess?”
Fuping didn’t care to pay the other any more attention and decided simply to turn away. It was only when the carriage had left the city did he once again look at this person. Ye You understood and took out a medicinal pill for him. Fuping hesitated for only a short moment before eating it. After a while, having found that he indeed felt better, he asked, “Since you exposed yourself yesterday, you aren’t afraid that my people have already sent that information back to Shaolin?” Ye You gave a slight smile and didn’t reply.
The people at Shaolin Temple were all of the same mind to capture the white piece, and those Sect Masters were all mutually watching each other. The white piece was blocked from every direction and naturally wouldn’t dare to receive information carelessly. Meanwhile, the commander in Xiangxing City had been captured, so they were currently a group without a leader. For now, they most likely wouldn’t act recklessly without thought. What’s more, the city gates were already closed last night, so even if they wanted to hand over information to the outside, the only thing they could do was send a letter via pigeon. But he also had many subordinates within Xiangxing City, and they definitely wouldn’t allow a single pigeon to escape.
The most important thing was that Fuping said himself this morning that he wanted to leave with them. The boss would definitely think that Fuping wanted to infiltrate Shaolin so was even less likely to rush to act.
Fuping waited for a long while but didn’t receive a reply. He shot several glances at the other before changing the way he asked, “Since you captured me back, aren’t you afraid that I’ll reveal that you’re the black piece? You…”
Ye You suddenly reached out a hand and hit his acupoint. Fuping was again unable to avoid it this time, and knowing that it was due to this person’s martial arts being far too high, he couldn’t help but close his mouth, wanting to know what this person wanted to do. Ye You once again smiled at him and then pulled him into an embrace, making to take off his clothes.
Fuping stared, eyes wide.
“No need to be so tense,” Ye You said, “I’m just checking if you’re keeping anything useful on your person. If I’m able to pull out a jade pendant, then it’d be just the thing to take to draw out Li Hua. She’s far easier to trick than you.”
“…” If Fuping was able to move, then he’d definitely be struggling for his life right now. When the two spoke, they both used their internal energy to suppress their voices, so the scarred man sitting outside wasn’t able to hear anything at all.
He simply felt that it was too quiet and couldn’t help but turn back to open the window curtains and secretly take a peek. Upon seeing Sir Xiao holding this person in an embrace, he immediately felt aggrieved.
Ye You shot a glance outside.
The scarred man bitterly let go of the curtains.
At the same time, the boss found a symbol calling for help on Fuping’s qin. His expression changed, and at once, he sent people in pursuit, ordering them to save and bring back Fuping at any cost.
Those shadows immediately made like the wind and, from the direction where the Junior Sect Masters had left, followed in pursuit.
The scarred man was practically sitting on pins and needles.
He carefully listened for movements in the carriage. In the end, he was again unable to endure it and pulled open a small slit so he could secretly sneak a peek inside. He discovered that Young Master Xiao’s hand seemed to be inside the other person’s clothes, and he was immediately shocked. Inwardly, he wondered if Young Master Xiao wasn’t thinking that Fuping would immediately be locked up upon reaching Shaolin and so wanted to take some advantage now, right?
It couldn’t be, right?
Was Young Master Xiao this kind of person? Or did he lose all rationality because of his feelings?
He again looked over a few more times and saw those two people sitting together very closely, giving off the feeling that they had a very close relationship. From the corners of his eyes, he saw the person driving the carriage next to them looking at him, so he put down the curtains and sat back, stupefied. His heart was feeling particularly aggrieved.
After this many years, their Sect Master was finally able to find someone he liked, but who could’ve known it was a case of one-sided love174. Even if the other person no longer liked this entertainer after regaining his memories, he still had an intimate friend by the name
of Lady Tao. What could their Sect Master possibly do… Wait, if one was speaking of the similarities between Fuping and Lady Tao, then they were both skilled at playing the qin. Could it be that Sect Master Ye liked those who could play the qin?
He suddenly felt as if he had discovered a sliver of truth and decided to tell the Sect Master to learn how to play the qin when he returned.
At this time, Ye You had already pulled out a command token175 and a jade pendant from Fuping’s person. He gave them a simple glance before returning the token and keeping the jade pendant. Fuping’s heart sunk slightly.
He occupied a high position and had already long considered the possibility of being captured. Thus, he purposely made a command token to carry around, using it as a means to communicate the news that he was in danger. Because the usual person, upon seeing these two things, would always think the command token was more useful and wouldn’t pay attention to an ordinary jade pendant. As such, if he had truly been captured and the assailant took the command token to find his people, the latter would know that he was in trouble and wouldn’t easily fall for any tricks.
But this person actually directly chose the jade pendant. It definitely wasn’t a coincidence.
He unconsciously asked, “You’ve placed a person into our ranks? No, that can’t be…”
Without waiting for this person to answer, he went ahead and refuted himself, saying, “That can’t be, or else you would’ve long come to visit me at my place… You must have captured one of ours before, and managed to get some information out of him?”
Ye You placed him back and helped him tidy up his clothes very simply. “Oh?”
Fuping asked, “Last time, we found that someone was following Li Hua. Was it your man?”
Ye You asked, all smiles, “Is it, or is it not?”
“I’ll just take him to be your man,” Fuping said.
Since he had become tangled with this person, he had never denied that they had caught the wrong person, because that would be too stupid, but a few things still had to be made clear. He asked, “How did all of you come to suspect me? Did Li Hua talk?”
“No, this matter was thanks to those young masters.” This time, Ye You was very generous and told him the entire sequence of events. Seeing his eyes flash with cold intent, Ye You laughed and asked, “Li Hua thought too much, so she didn’t dare tell you about this matter, right?”
Fuping didn’t answer and instead asked, “Then why did you absolutely insist on me?”
Ye You tenderly said, “Because I fell in love with you at first sight. Even if you weren’t, I would still want to obtain you.”
Fuping had been taken liberties with so many times that he thought he might as well follow along with the other’s words and say, “If you actually like me, then let me see your true face. Perhaps I’ll also fall in love with you at first sight and throw aside everything so as to wander the world with you.”
“All right.” Ye You was true to his words and immediately lifted his disguise. Fuping had not anticipated that he’d be this easy to convince and had further not anticipated that the face underneath that fake skin would be so devastatingly attractive. At once, Fuping turned blank.
Ye You pinched the other’s chin and moved closer. “How is it? Did I obtain your favor?”
Fuping quickly regained his senses, pushed down the astonishment in his heart, and sincerely said, “It’s very good.”
Ye You asked, “Then are you willing to come with me?” Fuping said, “I’ll think about it.”
“All right. No matter how long, I’ll wait for you,” Ye You said with deep feeling. Putting the other down and sitting back, he carelessly asked, “Where do you live? Do you still have any relatives? In the event that your people are completely annihilated, I’ll help you take care of them.”
Fuping said, “There’s no need to trouble yourself over this.”
Ye You said, “Do you not want to tell me, do you simply not remember clearly, or have you never returned home before?” Hearing this, Fuping became apprehensive. Could this person be trying to sound out if he had eaten that kind of memory-changing drug in his childhood? Could it be? How could the other even know about this kind of thing?
Ye You looked at the expression in his eyes and immediately knew that Fuping was aware that that kind of drug existed. Such a clever person like Fuping would definitely think of a way to verify that his own memory was real, so he had probably never eaten the drug.
Ye You made a sound of regret in his heart and said, “I was able to determine that there was a problem with you because I could hear that there were many people guarding you in the surroundings, so I could guess that your identity was definitely not ordinary.”
Fuping took a while to react before he realized that this was a response to his previous question. But those that were guarding him were mostly experts who had been fed the drug. If this person truly could hear them, then how high was this person’s martial arts?
He couldn’t help reassessing this person’s strength all over again.
Ye You calmly allowed the other’s examination. He picked up the fake skin on the side and was preparing to wear it when he heard impatient hoofbeats echoing from behind, gradually coalescing into one. It was clear that there were many people.
The scarred man pulled open the window curtains with one hand. “Young Master Xiao, there’s people in pursuit…”
He suddenly saw this person’s face, and upon seeing that Young Master Xiao had even taken off his disguise, his first reaction was that in an attempt to win Fuping’s love, Young Master Xiao was even willing to use a honey trap!
Ye You put on the fake skin and said, “This isn’t good.”
The scarred man felt his heart shiver, and he no longer thought of those pointless things, hastily moving to guard them. To prepare for any eventualities, he also hit Fuping’s acupoint. Seeing the other not even avoiding it, and even acting very cooperative, he felt a certain unsatisfactory astonishment.
“…” Right now, Fuping wasn’t even able to let out a sound, so he was unable to tell the other that he already had his acupoint sealed.
Silently, he turned his gaze away.
At this time, the people of “Moon’s Shadow” and “Heaven’s Firmament” had already engaged in combat with the shadows.
They almost immediately realized that the other party’s strength was not small, and their expressions couldn’t help turning grave.
Promptly, they separated a portion of people to impede these shadows, while the rest were responsible for escorting the young masters quickly back. They had already left for one day and one night, so Shaolin’s people would probably send people to search for them. They simply had to meet up, and there would no longer be any reason to worry.
Wei Jiangyue grabbed his sword and wanted to step outside, but he was vigilantly and swiftly stopped by a member of “Heaven’s Firmament.” He coldly said, “I’ll remain behind. All of you protect them and go.”
The person from “Heaven’s Firmament” said, “That’s out of the question, Second Young Master. All of our pursuers are experts.”
Ding Xilai was also next to them and was nodding his head.
The moment he became nervous, he also became more talkative, and he said, “You should listen to him. Hurry and rest, don’t follow along and cause trouble.”
Wei Jiangyue said, “You think that I’m you?”
Ding Xilai was unhappy. “What kind of talk is this? If it wasn’t for me, how could you have known about Xiangxing City?”
Wei Jiangyue didn’t want to argue with the other. He pulled open the window curtains and took a look. He saw that these black-clothed men seemed as if they were set on Fuping’s carriage, and after breaking through two attempts at obstructing them, they rushed straight for that carriage. His expression couldn’t help but change. “Let me go out!”
The Junior Alliance Leader and Ding Xilai said in unison, “Don’t go seeking death!”
Wei Jiangyue turned a deaf ear and hastily moved towards the outside.
“Moon’s Shadow” and “Heaven’s Firmament” had a limited amount of people, while the black-clothed men were many. The latter weren’t planning on fighting to the last, and thus soon enough, there were another few black-clothed men who rushed past the defenses in rapid pursuit of Fuping’s carriage. Although Shuangji Sect had people trying to block the way, but as the other party’s men grew more and more, they gradually became unable to sustain it.
The scarred man’s thoughts flew through his head.
If Fuping had actually agreed to follow them, then Xiangxing City’s people wouldn’t have pursued them. Even if it was the black piece’s people, they still wouldn’t want Fuping’s life. So were these pursuers from Xiangxing City’s side who ended up regretting the decision and wanting to rescue this person? Or was it the black piece who wanted to capture this person personally and bring him to Shaolin? Or could it be yet another party?
His expression turned heavy. He was just thinking that he might as well gamble on using a knife to threaten Fuping and get these people to retreat when two black-clothed people suddenly flew out from the neighboring forest. In a surprise attack, they started fighting with a row of concealed weapons, hitting the horses’ backs, and the two horses immediately started shrieking and wildly attempting to escape.
The horse driver hadn’t been holding on properly and so had been thrown off in a moment of inattention.
The scarred man was afraid that these two horses had run onto a dead-end road and hastily pulled on the reins. He had immediately stopped thinking of the ‘using a hostage to confront them’ idea. Hearing the movements outside, Fuping sized up the person next to him, and seeing the other remain calm from beginning to end, he still didn’t know what the other was thinking. Ye You felt his gaze and helped him unseal an acupoint. Once Fuping was able to speak, he asked, “You aren’t worried?”
“Worried?” Ye You said, “Didn’t you see that I hadn’t spoken for a while? I’m thinking of a countermeasure.”
Fuping didn’t quite believe him and was about to say a few more things only to hear the sound of swords clashing. It was clear that the scarred man had begun fighting someone else.
The black-clothed men’s lightness skills were high, and it wasn’t long after the scarred man had regained control of the horses that they had caught up, so the only thing he could do was hurriedly meet the attack. Out of the corners of his eyes, he saw that one of the black- clothed men was approaching the carriage. His expression changed, and clenching his teeth, he pulled out a dagger and threw it, forcefully hitting the horses’ behinds. Seeing the carriage wildly rushing forward, he could only pray that it’d end up in a safe place.
The panicked, wild horses didn’t even pick a road and directly entered the forest. The carriage immediately started jolting and shaking. Ye You supported Fuping for a moment, and the two finally managed to sit down somewhat. Fuping asked, “What are you going to do now?”
Ye You opened the window curtains and gave the way ahead a glance before also looking behind at the black-clothed men in relentless pursuit. He let out a faint sigh. “My martial arts are gone, so naturally I’m not their opponent. But people need to have courage. If we’re caught, we’ll still die, so it’d be better to take one’s beloved and jump off a cliff together instead. Dying together like this would also count as dying without regrets.”
Fuping’s heart jumped. Before he could even parse if what the other said was true or not, a sharp neigh sounded, and the carriage stopped at the edge of the cliff. But Ye You didn’t stop. Pulling along the person beside him, he jumped down, his resolution able to be seen clearly from his back.
The black-clothed men who had chased them up to this point, along with the scarred man and Wei Jiangyue who had hurried over from afar to provide assistance, all collectively sucked in a cold breath, and their minds immediately went blank. They fought to go over to the cliff’s edge, and upon seeing its height, their hearts sunk deeply down.
This messy and disorderly situation swiftly reached its conclusion.
Both sides no longer had the heart to continue fighting as zealously as before. After fighting for a while, they hurried to those people’s rescue. At this time, the people from Shaolin Temple conveniently found them in the vicinity. Worried about his Junior Brother’s safety, Wenren Heng had also come along. Upon hearing the course of events, his steps came to a halt, and he slowly turned to look at his subordinate. His voice sounded as if it had been soaked in an icy abyss. “Say that again.”
The mountain wind rolled through, sharp as a blade, scraping persistently upon a certain face.
Fuping had been staring down throughout the entirety of the fall.
He felt his blood freeze and his limbs stiffen. Every plot and scheme in his mind had turned into a vast, white blankness. It was only when he saw the ground getting closer and closer did he forcefully rouse his muddled rationality.
With this height, even if his martial arts weren’t sealed, he wouldn’t have dared to jump downward so carelessly. A certain person was most definitely crazy!
He did his best to look at the person beside him, only to see a white shadow spreading out in the middle of the air.
Upon finding the right moment, Ye You had thrown out a strand of white silk that was about seven meters long.
He had stamped on the silk twice and then, with a palm, hit it towards the surface of the river at the bottom of the cliff. Upon hearing the sound of it crashing into the water, he used the momentum to bounce off of it for a third time and finally stopped, steadily and securely, on a large stone next to the shore.
Fuping tried to calm down his frightened spirits, gasping for breath, now that they had already reached the bottom without trouble. He asked, “Have you long calculated this already?”
Ye You tossed him to the ground and jumped off the stone. He carefully retrieved the white silk before replying with, “I was simply making things up as I went.”
Fuping said, “But you prepared the white silk.”
“It was a lucky coincidence,” Ye You said, “This isn’t an ordinary white silk. It’s something I can use to save my life.” Fuping considered the white silk’s texture and asked, “It can defend against fire and water?”
Ye You said, “No, it’s even more precious. If one day I’m wretched and destitute and hungry beyond reason, then I can trade this for money.”
“…” Fuping felt as if he’d have to lose his mind completely to believe the other’s previous words.
With his acupoint sealed, he couldn’t move a single step. And as he watched this person walk back, he felt completely incapable of seeing through this person’s thoughts. It was his first time meeting such an intractable person.
Ye You supported him rather tenderly and sat down next to him. Fuping waited but couldn’t see that the other had any intentions to leave. His thoughts turned, and he asked, “Are you waiting for someone?”
“No, I’m waiting for you to talk to me,” Ye You said, “Since there’s only the two of us here, it should be easy to talk about your true feelings, right?”
Fuping said, “Then you first tell me who exactly you are?”
Ye You said, “I’m Wenren Heng’s Junior Brother. Those words weren’t a lie.”
“What about apart from that?” Fuping’s head was fixed in place, so he could look only at this small river at the bottom of the cliff, and he couldn’t see the other’s expression. He said, “A person like you, in the past, you definitely weren’t obscure and unknown.”
Ye You laughed and said, “You aren’t afraid that when you get the answer, I’d want your life?”
Fuping said, “If you wanted to kill me, you’d already have killed me.”
Ye You said, “That’s because earlier there were people around. Now, there’s finally no one here.” Fuping’s heart trembled, and he didn’t know if those words were true or not. But jumping off a cliff truly was an easy way to kill someone, especially since there’s a river at the bottom, so it’d be especially easy to turn him into a missing person. He said, “Weren’t all of you still hoping that I’d identify the white piece?”
Ye You said, “You’d talk?”
Fuping said, “This will depend on what kind of deal Shaolin’s people are willing to give me.”
Ye You let out a laugh and didn’t comment.
Fuping waited for a while for the other to speak, and not knowing why he suddenly felt somewhat cold, he asked, “What, you don’t believe me?”
“Of course I believe you.” Ye You finally turned his body, allowing him to see the other party. Unhurriedly, Ye You fished out the jade pendant that had been taken from his person and, while playing with it, said, “When the time comes, I just don’t know who exactly you’ll identify. What if all of you had already created some evidence and found a scapegoat. If I brought you back, wouldn’t I be wronging a perfectly innocent person?”
Fuping forcefully tried to push down his irregular heartbeat. “I wouldn’t be told about this kind of thing.”
“Darling, you undervalue yourself too much. The information I received was that the person with the command token had a high position,” Ye You said, “The white piece has a high and weighty position, so there’s many instances where it’d be inconvenient for him to appear. So I guessed that the white piece has a trusted advisor who specialized in taking care of sudden troubling outbursts. If met with a thorny problem, and it was inconvenient for the white piece to relay orders, then the advisor would take care of it independently. I don’t know if you’re their advisor?”
Fuping said, “I…” “Shhh…” Ye You reached out a finger and placed it on his lips, movements still as tender as before. “No need to explain. Actually, it doesn’t matter if you are or not. The most important thing is that I have long already known who the white piece is, and I also know that even if the white piece’s identity is exposed, he still has other backing. Isn’t that right?”
Fuping’s pupils abruptly contracted.
At this moment, he was thinking back to what happened just now. If this person truly knew the white piece’s identity, then the other had long calculated that there would be pursuers, and so had also long decided to jump off the cliff. Along with the fact that he already had his jade pendant taken from him, that meant that this person had never wanted to worm facts out of his mouth but had always truly wanted to kill him!
He controlled his breathing with difficulty and said, as calmly as possible, “Oh? You know who the white piece is?”
“I know. I don’t want to listen to you trying to sound me out, so let’s talk about something else. Anyway, there’s no one else around, so I’ll ask about this,” Ye You said, “Three years ago, Xunliu Manor’s old Manor Lord passed away from illness. Whose idea was this?”
Fuping was immediately suspicious. “You’re one of Xunliu Manor’s people?”
Ye You said, “No, but Qin Yuemian is a friend of my Senior Brother, so I wanted to ask.”
“I’m not clear on this matter.” As he spoke, Fuping saw the corners of the other’s mouth twitch, so he added, “But it’s true that he didn’t die because of illness.”
Ye You said, “Was it that miracle doctor’s drug?”
Fuping said, “Yes, Manor Lord Qin’s ambition was too big and so he’d started becoming faintly aware of some of our operations. We couldn’t let him go, so we found someone to give him the drug.”
Ye You praised, “This time, you’re being quite cooperative.” Fuping said, “In any case, you know quite a lot already, though who knows whether or not you’re simply pretending to know when you’re actually confused in order to sound me out.”
This person was too unfathomable, so it was better to follow along with this talk. What’s more, compared to the matter of Bodhi Prison, the murder of Xunliu Manor’s Manor Lord wasn’t even worth mentioning, so saying it out loud wasn’t any cause for concern. He must say some useful things in order to buy some time for his people to find him, and also as a way to gain some reprieve from death.
Ye You said, “When the Manor Lord died, the one in control of the manor became the womanizing young master Qin Yuemian, and so all of you felt at ease. But there’s one thing that you actually didn’t know.”
Fuping asked, “What is it?”
Ye You said, “That is… Qin Yuemian is completely not like the playboy young master that he appears to be. You still aren’t coming out?”
Fuping was startled and quickly realized that these words weren’t being said to him. His eyes darted every which way, and he finally saw a person walking slowly out from the forest beside the lake.
When this person got close, he found that it was a youthful young sir, and he said, “You’re Qin Yuemian?”
Qin Yuemian didn’t reply and silently stared at him.
Ye You gave him a word of certainty and then asked, “You’re this clever, so it’d be a pity to give your life away for the sake of the white piece when even Jianghu doesn’t know that you exist. Why not follow me?”
Fuping asked, “What benefits would you give me?”
Ye You said, all smiles, “Actually thinking about it, I think it might be better just to forget it. Let’s stop our joyful conversation here then.”
Fuping’s expression changed; he had completely not anticipated the conversation jumping this fast. He wasn’t clear on what the problem was with those words he said earlier, and he was just about to beg for his life when his neck was grabbed.
“I won’t let you stall for time.” Ye You looked at him. “If I really brought you back to Shaolin, it’d just cause me endless trouble with no benefits. Truthfully, I quite like you; you play the qin beautifully.”
As he said the last word, he suddenly increased the force of his grip.
In a flash, Fuping heard a clear snapping sound and, following that, was immediately swallowed by the darkness.
Qin Yuemian looked at the corpse and then watched the other take off Fuping’s shoes, throwing one into the lake. He finally opened his mouth, “Are you the black piece, or is it the person who’s been contacting me this whole time?”
“At the beginning, it was me who found you, but the last few times has been someone else. But what does it matter who it is.” Ye You smiled and looked at him. “There were no problems with you coming out like this?”
“I’ve already thought of a countermeasure. I won’t let anyone suspect me.” Qin Yuemian watched the other stand up and remembered that he had originally suspected the other of approaching Wenren Heng for another goal. He felt somewhat speechless at this.
Three years ago, his father passed away and left behind only one sentence, ‘Don’t show off your ability.’
Although he felt that there were problems with his father’s death, he didn’t know who he should find to pay this debt. It was also at that time that a mysterious person appeared, telling him that if he wanted to know everything, then he should patiently wait.
Over these three years, he hadn’t been idle. He had moved the location of his father’s shadow guards and trained them in secret.
At first, he had been in contact with that mysterious person a few times, and when the other party learned that he could write with both hands, that person had let him write a letter about Bodhi Prison. When he heard the details of what to write, he started realizing that these matters had been even more serious than he had thought. And when the matter with the secret book came out, that mysterious person gave him a group of people on the Bodhi Prison side and told him that he’d know what to do when the time came.
He thus understood that the chess game was about to start and followed Young Master Li and the others to meet up with Wenren Heng. From that mysterious manor, then to Bodhi Prison. When he saw that letter he had written being used, and then thought about what he could do, along with the information he had gathered in these three years, he thereby sent people to capture that flute player and bring the person to Shaolin. Afterwards, he received a small note from that mysterious person, so he once again wrote a letter to remind them that dead people could still be alive… All the way until now, when he had finally learned the truth about his father’s death.
And Wenren Heng’s Junior Brother that he had inadvertently picked up turned out to be at the center of this game.
Ye You gave him a look. “What are you thinking about?”
Qin Yuemian said, “Thinking about who could be your other accomplice.”
Ah-Xiao had been treated like a precious treasure by Wenren Heng, and everywhere the other went, people followed, so there had been no opportunity to send him that small note. And since the other accomplice needed to send this note, it meant that the person’s identity was special and so couldn’t make any special moves, thus having to rely on the help of this prodigal son. So… who could it be?
Ye You laughed and said, “When the time comes, you’ll know.”
Qin Yuemian asked, “Do I also have to wait until the time comes to know your identity?”
“There’s no need to go as far as that.” As Ye You spoke, he waved his hand at the forest. Those Elders, who had already been waiting for a long time, then scuttled out simultaneously and encircled him, itching to throw themselves over to hug him. Ye You smiled at them and pointed at the corpse. “Go, find a hidden place to bury him.” Those Elders looked at him, aggrieved, before lifting up that person and leaving.
Qin Yuemian looked at them and remembered that he had also received his information at this place. He then knew that this person had long planned to jump off the cliff and so asked, “Does Ah-Heng know about your matters?”
“He only knows my identity. He doesn’t know that I’ve regained my memories.” Ye You laughed and said, “You’ll have to help this lord keep this secret.”
This way of addressing oneself startled Qin Yuemian immediately. After making a connection to the various Jianghu sects, he faintly sucked in a breath. “You’re actually the Demonic Sect’s…”
He hadn’t even finished speaking when he saw Ye You look back and then jump into the river.
Qin Yuemian, “…”
Having heard the noise, one of the Elders ran back and, upon not even seeing a shadow of the Sect Master, was immediately startled to anger, “What did you say to him!”
Qin Yuemian quickly regained his senses and said, “Hurry and finish burying. After you’re done, leave. Those on top are coming down.”
Sure enough, not long after, those on top arrived and found that there was a river at the bottom of the cliff. They felt somewhat more relieved and began searching along the river. In the end, they found only Fuping’s single shoe, unaware of whether or not he had been rescued by the black-clothed men.
They continued searching forward and finally saw Sir Xiao at one of the shallows.
Pale-faced, the scarred man ran forward and reached out a trembling hand to check. Feeling his heart smashing back into place, he said, “Sect Master, Young Master Xiao is still alive!” Wenren Heng made only a sound in acknowledgement. Walking over, he stooped down and lifted his Junior Brother.
The scarred man looked at the Sect Master. He didn’t know if it was a misperception, but he felt as if the Sect Master didn’t appear to be very happy. He said, placating, “Young Master Xiao is favored by the heavens, so he should be all right.”
Wenren Heng once again made only a sound in acknowledgement, and with some seemingly deep meaning, he looked at the person in his embrace before leaving.
Ye You’s disguise had already been washed away by the river. With his head leaning on Wenren Heng, his entire face was visible.
The people of “Moon’s Shadow” were also searching in the same place, with Ren Shaotian leading. Upon seeing them, he walked quickly over to greet them before immediately startling upon seeing a certain person’s face. He couldn’t help but shoot Sir Xiao a few more looks before asking, “How is he?”
Wenren Heng said, “We still don’t know.”
Ren Shaotian asked, “Has Sect Master Wenren seen Fuping?” Wenren Heng said, “No.”
Ren Shaotian thought of his young master’s pitiful face and internally hoped that since the young master had finally done something good and proper for once, that it wouldn’t end up a wasted effort, with everything coming to nothing. Since Sir Xiao had already been found, he separated with Wenren Heng and took people to search for Fuping.
This time, those who had come to search were many. Other than Ding Xilai and the Junior Alliance Leader, who had been kept behind by their old mans for a lecture, the remaining participants in this matter had practically all come. Upon seeing Wenren Heng approaching from afar with a person in his arms, the expressions of Wei Jiangyue and the Junior Sect Masters all changed, and they hastily ran over.
When Wei Jiangyue saw Sir Xiao motionless, with eyes closed, he felt somewhat afraid to ask. In a hoarse voice, he said, “He…”
Wenren Heng weren’t interested in speaking, and he passed by them and continued walking.
The scarred man remained behind and carefully answered them, telling them that Sir Xiao was still alive, but it was unknown whether he was injured, so they had to hurry and bring him to a doctor to check.
Wei Jiangyue immediately let out a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, the Junior Sect Masters were stupefied for a long while. Their first question following that was, “That was Sir Xiao’s true appearance?”
The scarred man nodded, understanding their inner thoughts, because he also thought that Young Master Xiao looked quite capable of bringing disaster on people.
The Junior Sect Masters were shocked, and they thought almost the same thing as Ding Xilai and the others: Sir Xiao looks like this, and Wenren Heng eats with him, lives with him, and sleeps with him;
who would believe it if anyone says that Wenren Heng isn’t into men!
Wei Jiangyue didn’t join in on this, and with quick steps, he chased after Wenren Heng. Looking at the person in the other’s arms, he felt the heart tightly gripped by fear gradually ease, and it was no longer difficult to bear. He said, in a low voice, “He should be fine, right.”
Wenren Heng replied with only a simple sound of acknowledgment.
Wei Jiangyue could see that the other’s mood was bad and so didn’t speak any further, going along with him through the forest and onto the small road leading upwards.
Since the two people’s situation at the bottom of the cliff wasn’t clear, the scarred man had made the most serious decision and had instructed the people of Shuangji Sect to bring a carriage. No matter whether it was used for a person or a corpse, it’d still be used. Right now, this carriage was stopped at the side of the road.
Wenren Heng gave it a glance and, with the person in his arms, stepped into it. He saw Wei Jiangyue following behind and told the other that he was going to change his Junior Brother’s clothes, politely keeping the other on the outside. He then told his subordinate to start driving. At once, the scarred man pulled the horses to turn around, deciding to go directly to Shaolin to find the miracle doctor. But, at this time, he heard the Sect Master say to first go to the small county town.
With a word of acknowledgment, he drove the carriage off. The inside of the carriage was quiet.
Wenren Heng pulled his Junior Brother into an embrace, untying the other’s waistband and quickly undressing this person. He also took off his own outer robes that had been soaked in water. Looking at the cloth-wrapped bundle on the seat, he knew that it contained the clothes and medicine that his subordinate had brought.
For now, he didn’t use it. He reached out a hand to grab his Junior Brother’s ankle and, little by little, gently rubbed and kneaded upwards. He stroked all the way up until the inner thigh, the entire process looking quite erotic, completely full of seductive meaning.
He stared at the person in his arms, and again felt up a bit more. He observed for a short while before finally letting go.
It looks like he’s really unconscious, Wenren Heng thought.
He pulled out some clothes and put it on his Junior Brother before then feeling for the other’s internal energy and finding it was also truly empty. Placing the person down evenly, he opened the carriage curtains and went out to sit next to his subordinate.
The scarred man was very astonished. “Sect Master isn’t going to guard Young Master Xiao?”
“In a while,” Wenren Heng said, “Let our people continue searching and find that Fuping. My Junior Brother finally fell for someone, so no matter what, I need to capture and send this person over for him.”
Are these his true feelings?
The scarred man looked at his Sect Master. Feeling as if the other’s smile was quite frightening, he didn’t dare to ask too much and said, “Understood.” “Other than that…” Wenren Heng lowered his voice and told him a few sentences. The scarred man completely didn’t understand but still said a word of, “Understood.” Wenren Heng then said, “Say everything one more time, beginning from when all of you left Shaolin Temple. You must not leave out a single detail.”
The scarred man still didn’t understand, because he had already said it once before while they were on the way to find Young Master Xiao. But since the Sect Master wanted to ask about it again, he then also repeated it again. Last time, they didn’t know what terrible things had happened to Young Master Xiao, so he hadn’t said anything extraneous. This time, he tactfully told the Sect Master to consider learning the qin, and that maybe Young Master Xiao liked qin players.
Wenren Heng calmly listened to the whole thing before standing up and going back inside the carriage.
While Junior Sect Masters had been unaccounted for, everyone had been worried to no end.
Shaolin’s people had been split into two groups. One group was headed by Abbot Ciyuan, Sect Leader Xuanyang, and Manor Lord Wei, and left behind to guard Shaolin. The other group was lead by the Alliance Leader and Pavilion Master Ding, and went down the mountain to search for these people. After hearing the entire story from beginning to end, Ding Xilai and the Junior Alliance Leader were both severely reprimanded by their old mans, and right now they really seemed like quails huddled together.
They were both very concerned about Sir Xiao’s safety. Upon seeing the carriage at this moment, they immediately turned, mouth dry, to look at the scarred man.
The Alliance Leader and Pavilion Master Ding similarly noticed this person from Shuangji Sect and walked over with quick steps. After inquiring about the situation, the two hurriedly let them bring Sir Xiao to heal his injuries before continuing their search, while also going to investigate that male brothel that their good-for-nothing sons told them about.
When Ye You awoke, the sky had already darkened, and night appeared to have just fallen.
He wanted to get up but felt too stiff because, as he discovered, he was being held by someone. This wouldn’t normally count as anything big, but the alarming thing was that he wasn’t wearing a single thread of clothing on his body.
Wenren Heng said, “Awake?”
Ye You lifted his head and silently looked at his Senior Brother’s face. If this person hadn’t been wearing clothes, he really would’ve thought that they had done something.
Wenren Heng said, “How do you feel?”
“All right. My body just feels slightly sore,” Ye You said, “Where are my clothes?”
Wenren Heng said, “They got wet.”
“…” Ye You said, “It couldn’t be that Shuangji Sect is too poor to even afford a set of clothes, right?”
Wenren Heng calmly said, “I can afford it, but I don’t want to let you wear it.”
Ye You immediately wanted to ask the reason, but then he suddenly felt that there was something wrong.
According to common sense, even if he’d just fallen off a cliff, he still should ask about the person who had been with him, or else it’d mean that he already knew where that person was and so wasn’t in a hurry to ask. Internally, he thought that he had almost fallen into a trap, and he hastily moved to save the situation. “Where’s Fuping?”
“He hasn’t been found yet.” Feeling that he wanted to move away, Wenren Heng grabbed his waist and moved him even closer into an embrace, even stroking a thumb slowly down his bare back for a while.
Ye You’s breathing slowed. He couldn’t tell what his Senior Brother’s goal was. Fighting to remain calm, he said, “He could be someone very important to the white piece. Don’t let him fall into someone else’s hands.” He paused, and finally couldn’t help it, “Senior Brother, you doing this…”
“I don’t want to let you leave me again.” Wenren Heng looked at him, unblinking, the profound emotions in that gaze seemed as if they were about to envelop him in their entirety, and in a low voice, “When I heard something happened to you, I almost wanted to jump down right after you.”
Ye You’s thoughts flew very fast, and he wasn’t so pleasantly surprised that he completely lost his head.
The slips he had made during this journey were many, and his Senior Brother had always understood him, so there was no way that the other wouldn’t ask anything and would simply jump right into murmuring sweet nothings. He decided that he might as well take the initiative to say, “You aren’t asking about the matter with Fuping?”
Wenren Heng said, “Before all of you left, I already promised you that I would try with you. You aren’t a frivolous kind of person, so you must have known that there were problems with Fuping when you decided to get entangled with him.”
Ye You nodded. “Senior Brother, I really am the black piece.” Wenren Heng said, “Why would you say that?”
Ye You said, “When I was eating at the small county town, my subordinates came to find me, and they gave me a small note while telling me that Xiangxing City’s side had already been prepared and so was ready to move anytime. They also said that they’ve been watching over there for a long time already.” Wenren Heng said, “So then you knew that there was a problem with Fuping?”
Ye You said, “Yes, I looked at that note and it was my handwriting.” Wenren Heng said, “Where’s the note?”
Ye You said, “I already destroyed it.”
Wenren Heng asked, “Did it say who the white piece is?”
“It didn’t say the whole sequence of events; it only said that I should capture Fuping.” Ye You had given an explanation for every possible question and then said, “Later, at the male brothel, I also had the help of my subordinates when I knocked out Fuping. Fuping was willing to come back with me because I fed him poison.”
Wenren Heng said, “Then was jumping off the cliff also something you calculated?”
Ye You shook his head. “That wasn’t. At that time, the horses were injured, and when I saw that there was a cliff in front, I originally wanted to pull Fuping along and jump off the carriage. But we had just gotten out when the carriage stopped. We were unsteady, so we fell directly down from there.”
Wenren Heng pulled him closer. “Luckily nothing happened to you.” Did this mean his Senior Brother believed him or didn’t believe him?
Ye You was hugged and didn’t dare to think of superfluous things. He said, “Senior Brother, is there anything to eat?”
“Yes, I’ll have people prepare some.” Wenren Heng let him go and stood up from the bed, handing over some clothes to him. “Can you wear them by yourself?”
Ye You said, “I can.”
Wenren Heng told him to wait and then went outside.
Ye You began to put on the clothes, and halfway through, he slowly started going through his thoughts. Reasonably, if his Senior Brother had truly been frightened by this event, then the other would definitely want to stay and guard him for the next long while. So when he awoke, shouldn’t the other have first been a bit more tender and affectionate? Why would the other so calmly listen to him fabricating the entire story from beginning to end?
So it turned out that his Senior Brother was suspicious of him, and the other taking off his clothes was most likely to sound him out?
Then was his Senior Brother’s words about never wanting him to leave the other’s side true or not?
As Ye You pondered this, he also put on a facade of weakness to walk over and sit in front of the table. Upon discovering that this place wasn’t Shaolin, he was about to get up when he saw his Senior Brother return with a bowl of noodles in hand and place it in front of him.
He asked, “Where are we?”
Wenren Heng said, “The county town.”
Ye You said, “Why didn’t we return to Shaolin?”
Wenren Heng said, “Since you were unconscious and wouldn’t wake at the time, I was very frantic, and so first came here to find a doctor to look at you. After hearing from him that it wasn’t serious, I decided to stay. It’s more convenient to buy things in the county town. I’ll help you recover.”
Ye You said, “No need, there’s nothing wrong with me. Let’s return to Shaolin tomorrow… That’s right, where are my things?”
Wenren Heng said, “I put them away.”
Ye You said, “Did you see a jade pendant?”
Wenren Heng pulled out two pendants for him, one was precisely the one that Wenren Heng had originally gifted him, while the other was new, probably the one found during this incident. Ye You took both back and felt more at ease. Wenren Heng looked at him from the side and waited until he had finished the bowl of noodles before asking, “Do you truly have nothing else to say to me about this matter?”
Ye You thought for a moment before saying, “There’s nothing.” Wenren Heng lifted the other and carried him over to the bed. Ye You, “…”
Wenren Heng had one hand on the bed, the other on his face, and slowly said, “While you were unconscious, they all came to see you and said that you fell in love with that Fuping at first sight.”
Ye You raised a brow. “Senior Brother, are you jealous?”
“I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m jealous. I’m only somewhat curious about what that Fuping looks like, so I let my people go along with Shaolin’s to help find him. I told them that the most important thing is to search in all the small nooks and corners, in case he was buried by someone. And then it turned out that there really was an area that had seemingly been dug up before.” Wenren Heng stared at him and then asked, extremely tenderly, “Do you want to go with me to try and dig right now, and see if that darling of yours really is buried under there?”
Ye You, “…”
Wenren Heng asked, “Do you not want to say anything?”
His hand slid down, and his finger softly rubbed against his Junior Brother’s cheek. “If you don’t want to talk, I’ll talk for you. No matter what kind of method you used to kidnap Fuping, Fuping would’ve eventually realized that there were some problems with you. Since bringing him to Shaolin would be of no benefit to you, the only thing you could do was kill him on the road. Look me in the eyes and then try saying these words to me: jumping off the cliff wasn’t something you calculated.”
Ye You calmly reminded, “Senior Brother, at that time, the horses were injured and ran to the edge of the cliff. It has nothing to do with me.”
Wenren Heng said, “Those aren’t the words I’m allowing you to say.”
“All right, jumping off the cliff wasn’t something…” As Ye You spoke, he saw his Senior Brother moving the hand that was on his face onto the pillow beside his head, and the other’s gaze seemed to darken. He keenly felt the anger in the air and, understanding the situation, stopped speaking.
“No matter if the horses were frightened or not, that place’s terrain wouldn’t have changed. You also aren’t stupid. There are many ways to get to the edge of that cliff,” Wenren Heng said, “Or else you explain how your people could be faster than anyone in getting to the bottom of the cliff, and was even able to bury Fuping first?”
Ye You was silent.
Wenren Heng said, “You fainted because you ate some drugs?”
Ye You spoke the truth, “Yes, the moment I saw people coming I ate it.”
Wenren Heng felt a bit more satisfied and continued with, “Since you lost your martial arts, you changed from someone who looked like they were watching a play into an active participant, and you also stopped wanting to contact the people from the Demonic Sect. I’m asking if hitting your death acupoint was something you had arranged beforehand. This isn’t like you.”
Ye You wanted to save this situation by saying that ‘he had actually asked his subordinates about the matter with the death acupoint at the hidden villa and had simply never mentioned it until now’, but looking at Senior Brother’s expression, he felt as if this final struggle would be useless. When his Senior Brother was pushing someone, the other wouldn’t simply push them off a cliff in one go but would leisurely let the other party walk themselves right into a dead end.
He once again remained silent.
Wenren Heng asked, “Have your memories long since returned?” Ye You daringly said, “They haven’t.”
Wenren Heng inwardly thought you sure have guts but, with an unchanging expression, helped him straighten the hair next to his ear. “Then you learned about the entire course of events from that note and arranged all of this on the fly?”
“If I didn’t come up with this scheme on the fly, I wouldn’t have made so many slip-ups in front of you right now.” Ye You looked at the other. “Senior Brother, are you really very angry?”
“Yes, but I’m not angry because you took unnecessary risks, and I’m not even angry about whether you’ve really regained your memories and are simply unwilling to tell me,” Wenren Heng said, “I’m angry that you’d rather find other people to help you but not me, your Senior Brother, and you merely want me only as a participant in this game.”
Ye You was speechless.
He had already long expected this. When everything was revealed, Senior Brother would definitely be angry.
Wenren Heng leaned closer to him and softly asked, “Because I wasn’t clear on your plans, did you know what I felt when I first heard that you had fallen off that cliff?” Ye You’s breathing constricted. This time, he truly was feeling how furious his Senior Brother was. Even during that time his Senior Brother had wanted to kidnap him, the other’s anger wasn’t this big. When he saw this person truly was moving to stand up, he unconsciously called out a, “Senior Brother.”
Wenren Heng made a sound in response and asked, “You really don’t have anything you want to say to me? Anything will do.”
Ye You hesitantly asked, “For instance, honestly admitting my wrongs?”
Wenren Heng looked at him for a while before nodding and taking off his outer robes to lie down next to him. Ye You’s entire body was tense, and he stared at his Senior Brother without a word or a sound. Wenren Heng reached out a hand to pat him. “Let’s sleep then.
Regardless of whether you decided to jump down the cliff or not, didn’t you just say your body was sore?”
Although Ye You knew that his Senior Brother was probably giving him a way out, he still said some truthful words, “It doesn’t count as too sore. The truth is that I still have my martial arts.”
Wenren Heng let out only a simple sound of acknowledgement and didn’t even ask any further.
The other being so easy to convince actually made Ye You uneasy, and he continued to stare. He didn’t think that his Senior Brother would so easily let him go after realizing that there was a problem with him.
Wenren Heng pulled down the bed curtains and closed his eyes, looking for all the world as if he was going to sleep as well. Ye You observed for a long while and was about to say something when he felt his hand being held. And then his entire person was being pulled over by the other into an embrace.
He stopped, and didn’t move for now.
Warm breaths brushed past his ear, making him suddenly think of the matters from ten years ago. Ten years ago, when his Master passed away, he purposely pretended to be mad. Senior Brother was afraid that he’d run where he shouldn’t go at night and so had held him this same way every night, softly patting his back, coaxing him to sleep in a warm voice. At that time, he had been carrying a deep sea of hatred, with nowhere to vent it, and the road in front of him was rough and perilous. The only
one left at his side was this one person176.
His family, his teacher, and the friends who had helped him over these ten years, one after another, he had already seen too many of them die, and he had experienced too much separation and suffering. This whole road, he had felt as if he was walking on thin ice, as if he was teetering on the edge of an abyss. The only consolation he had was that this person was still alive.
The only one I have is you, he thought.
Ten years ago, it had been so, and while ten years later, he had gotten a group of subordinates and friends, there was still only one person that remained in the deepest part of his heart. If this person actually fell in front of his eyes, he felt as if he’d definitely go completely mad then.
Ye You couldn’t help but lean towards his Senior Brother.
He didn’t wish for much. The only thing he wanted was for this person to live. Even if Senior Brother hated him, he wouldn’t mind.
Wenren Heng tightened his arms around the other and laid there quietly for a while before saying, “In the past, no matter what method I used, you were never willing to talk. This time, you handed the amnesiac you over to me, so I was very happy, since I originally thought you were finally willing to talk to me.”
Ye You faintly felt that his Senior Brother was planning on using the gentle and tender method, inwardly thinking that as expected,
Senior Brother wasn’t planning on just letting this go tonight.
Wenren Heng said, “Since you’re still unwilling to talk, then I won’t force you. I’ll just watch.” Ye You was immediately suspicious.
“I’m speaking the truth.” Wenren Heng looked at him, unblinking, and said, extremely earnestly, “I’ll just watch over you. If you succeed, I’ll be happy for you. If you fail, I’ll follow you in life or death.”
Ye You was suddenly unable to move. “You…”
Wenren Heng didn’t miss his small changes in expression and pinched his chin, moving closer step by step. “Give me another true statement. You keeping these things from me, is it because you still blame me for what happened that year?”
Ye You didn’t even need to think to say, “No, I…”
“You really don’t blame me?” Wenren Heng tyrannically pushed him down and used a hand to untie his waistband.
Ye You’s entire chest was hurting because of that one sentence, “I’ll follow you in life or death”, and by the time he returned to his senses, his clothes had already been entirely opened. Wenren Heng’s lowered eyes looked at him while the other’s hand was moving forward in exploration. Ye You used a hand to stop the other’s and warned in a low voice, “Wenren Heng.”
“Want to push me aside? Then you need to use more strength.” Wenren Heng tightly observed his expression and then said in a low voice, “Or are you saying you want to repeat what happened ten years ago? That’s also all right. You wait for me to finish, then you can say another ‘disgusting’ for me to hear. That year, you left because of this reason. Right now, you can still keep using it.”
This time, even Ye You’s complexion changed.
Up until now, in his life, there had been three things that pained him beyond imagining.
The first was the massacre of his clan. The second was the murder of his teacher. The third was that, during the time he was feigning madness, he had realized that his Senior Brother liked him and so had found an opportunity to get his Senior Brother drunk before then seducing the other. After the deed was done, he had then pretended to have turned “sober” after suffering from the shock and left his Senior Brother with only the word disgusting. To this day, he still remembered his Senior Brother’s expression that day.
Wenren Heng looked at the pain that had quickly flashed through those eyes and didn’t move any closer. Letting out a sigh, he softened his voice, “That year, right as you left, Martial Uncle came. I remember telling you before that Martial Uncle was coming. You had counted the days, right? At that time, was it because you didn’t want me to take any risks that you weren’t willing to tell me anything?”
Ye You grit his teeth and didn’t say a word.
Wenren Heng said, “Right now, do you want to go at me again, and then leave me so you can return to Shaolin alone? In any case, all those righteous faction members now know the name of Sir Xiao, and Academy Master Ge even seeks your insight. If you seek shelter with him, then you can still move the chessboard forward. If this game ends up with the worst ending, then will you also think of a way out for me? Don’t arrange that for me. I don’t care.”
Ye You closed his eyes.
“I said that I’ll stay on the sidelines and watch this game. No matter what, I’ll stay by your side. Sleep now.” Wenren Heng finally let him go and silently helped him tidy his clothes, tucking him in and then turning around to get off the bed.
Ye You reached out and grabbed the other’s hand.
Wenren Heng turned back to look at him, practically about to stop breathing.
Ye You was silent for a while before saying, in a low voice, “Senior Brother, I’m not called Ah-Xiao, and I’m not even called Ye You. Twenty years ago, of those three clans that had been slaughtered because of a Pursued Until Scattered, one of them was my family.”
Wenren Heng’s pupils contracted. Ye You sat up and leaned against the bed. In reminiscence, he said, “That night, my mom pushed me out of a dog hole in the backyard. She told me to go to Heji Mountain to find Master. I wasn’t picked up by Master on accident; I had wanted to find him from the beginning, to beg him to take me in…”
Wenren Heng had always been clever, and he had to think only a bit about the locations of those three clans to understand that, no matter which one it was, they were all still quite far from Heji Mountain.
What’s more, at that time, it was winter, so by himself, Junior Brother… He tightened his grip on his Junior Brother’s hand and suddenly felt his heart ache. “If you don’t want to talk about your past, you don’t have to say it.”
“No need. It’s already been so long since it happened.” Ye You said, “What I’m practicing now is Pursued Until Scattered. That year, before my dad burned it to ash, he forced me to memorize the whole thing.”
Wenren Heng sat back on the bed. “Isn’t this something only a pure- hearted person could…” He halted mid-sentence and, after going through his thoughts, said, “Practicing it up to a certain level will cause memory loss?”
Ye You mouth twisted. “Yes, and what’s more, before and after losing those memories, you can’t get angry or excited, or else after spitting out blood three times, you’ll die. After the memory loss, you have to hit your death acupoint in order to successfully learn those skills. Do you think a clever person, even if they left a note from before losing their memories that explained everything to themselves, would actually hit their own death acupoint once they wake up? In any case, I wouldn’t so easily believe it.”
Wenren Heng was speechless for a moment. He felt somewhat sympathetic to those Demonic Sect Elders who had to act, guessing that they had probably been frightened out of their minds at the time. He said, “Continue.”
“I…” Ye You suddenly stopped and looked towards the door. Wenren Heng waited and also heard footsteps. Then, a set of knocks sounded.
From the outside, the scarred man said, “Sect Master, something has happened.”
Wenren Heng went over to open the door. “What?”
The scarred man didn’t dare to look inside the room and said, in a low voice, “Young Master Zhong has been kidnapped by someone.”
Young Master Zhong was the Junior Alliance Leader. Wenren Heng lifted a brow and turned back to look at his Junior Brother.
Ye You looked back at him with a face full of innocence. Wenren Heng couldn’t help but narrow his eyes.
“…” Ye You was speechless.
This time, he truly was innocent. This matter had absolutely nothing to do with him.
Junior Alliance Leader Zhong had been lost at a tavern.
Today, the Alliance Leader and Pavilion Master Ding weren’t able to find Fuping at the bottom of the cliff, so they decided to go to Xiangxing City together to look at that male brothel. Before they left, they also grabbed those two good-for-nothing quails and gave them some more physical reprimands, telling them to be more honest.
Ding Xilai and the Junior Alliance Leader had finally done something unprecedentedly big, but they ended up tripping at the finish line. Feeling no end of dejection, neither of the two felt any desire to return to Shaolin for now, while those Junior Sect Masters also didn’t want to return to suffer under their old mans’ scolding, so all of them simply sent some people to report that they were safe before then remaining behind.
Those people saw how Ding Xilai and the Junior Alliance Leader looked, and they couldn’t help but placate them with, ‘If it wasn’t for you two, then no one would’ve known there was anything wrong with the male brothel, and what’s more, it wasn’t their fault that they lost the person in the end, it was the fault of those black-clothed men who suddenly appeared out of nowhere; no matter what, they still contributed a lot to the situation.’
The two were very receptive to this manner of coaxing and thought deep down that it made sense. These quails immediately became fighting cocks and, with renewed heroic spirits, went with the group to drink. Unconsciously, they ended up drinking too much, and it was when Junior Alliance Leader Zhong went to the bathroom that he was kidnapped. When they realized that he hadn’t returned and went to search for him, he had already disappeared, and no one even knew how long he had been missing.
That crowd of people didn’t have any leadership. Although Sir Wei was reliable, they all knew that Sect Master Wenren was in the small county town, and thinking that two were better than one, they naturally ran over to find Wenren Heng. Ye You wasn’t clear on who exactly did this, so he also came along, not forgetting to ask, “There’s still no news about Fuping?”
The Junior Sect Masters said, “No, perhaps he’s been rescued by his people.”
Ye You said, in a low voice, “But his acupoint was hit, so he was unable to move, and he also fell down from such a height… If I had been able to hold on tightly enough to him at that time, I…”
The fake skin he used for his disguise had long been lost, left behind by Wenren Heng at the bottom of the cliff, and his bandages had also already been thrown away, so he had come out with his true appearance. When he lowered his eyes like this, even a person with a heart of stone wouldn’t be able to defend against it, and this crowd of people hastily moved to console him.
Wei Jiangyue said, “The whole river was searched and he still wasn’t found. He’s the white piece’s subordinate. If he’s truly still alive, then he has probably long since left.”
The Junior Sect Masters said, “That’s right, Sir Xiao, he’s one of those people, so he’s destined not to walk the same path as us.”
The scarred man couldn’t help but say a word in agreement, “Yes!”
Ye You let out a faint sigh. “I know. When we learned that there was a problem with him, I already knew that we were doomed to be apart. It’s only that hearing there was no news on whether he was alive or dead, I still couldn’t help but worry for a bit.”
Wenren Heng gave him a rather tender look.
Ye You continued playing at sadness and didn’t look at that Senior Brother of his.
He had already acted out this play partway, so he definitely couldn’t leave it unfinished. He had to at least complete this play in its entirety.
Wenren Heng stowed away his gaze and brought the people to the tavern. Ding Xilai and the people from “Moon’s Shadow” were currently on guard there. Upon seeing them come in, Ding Xilai hastily ran over and looked imploringly at Wenren Heng, hoping that the other could rescue his good friend.
Wenren Heng said, “I heard all of you saw a mark. Where is it?”
“It’s carved in the backyard.” A few people led the way, and they quickly arrived at the backyard which led from the tavern to the bathroom.
Here, a large tree was planted. Although Junior Alliance Leader Zhong had been lost, a handkerchief and a shoe had been left behind at the bottom of this tree. After these things had been moved away, they saw that there was a mark carved at the roots of the tree.
Ren Shaotian lifted the lantern over to let them see more clearly.
This was a very simple design, and it was drawn with only three strokes. In the middle was a winding and crooked curve and there was also two additional small curves drawn below it, making it impossible for anyone to recognize what it was. Wenren Heng thought back to the sects of Jianghu, feeling as if it didn’t fit any of them. He unconsciously looked at his Junior Brother and saw the other with lowered eyes, staring right at the design, expression hidden in the dark so no one could parse it clearly.
Ye You muttered to himself for a while before saying, “Let’s go back to Shaolin right now.”
That one sentence attracted everyone’s gazes. Ding Xilai asked, “Why? Do you recognize this?”
Ye You said, “Do all of you see that it looks like the smoke left behind after a lantern has been extinguished?”
Some of those Junior Sect Masters took a while to react, but for Wenren Heng, Wei Jiangyue, and some others with quicker minds, they understood immediately and asked, “This represents the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison?” “No,” Ye You said, “This was the mark of that monster from twenty years ago. No matter whether he was killing people or handling his affairs, after he was done, he usually enjoyed drawing one of these things. The older generation all recognize it. Before, at the Wang family residence, I once asked Miracle Doctor Ji about the matters pertaining to that monster because I was curious, so this was something he told me.”
After these words were said, Wei Jiangyue and the others didn’t feel anything strange about them, but Wenren Heng’s expression changed slightly upon hearing it, and one sentence flashed through his mind — those who have died could still be alive.
His Junior Brother was the black piece and was also related to the matter from twenty years ago, so who exactly was the dead person in this reminder?
Wei Jiangyue and the others weren’t clear on the fact that the black piece had sent a letter and asked, “The Lantern-Extinguishing Poison was something the white piece pulled out, so was this done by the white piece? Or was it something the black piece purposely drew?”
“I don’t know,” Ye You said, “But I have a way to draw out one of the white piece’s people. Let’s immediately return to Shaolin.”
The matter was urgent, so everyone didn’t ask any further and hastily got on carriages to hurry back to Shaolin.
Ding Xilai was completely distracted and so had instinctively followed Sir Xiao, climbing into the carriage and sitting alongside the other, not even noticing Wenren Heng giving him several mild looks.
Ding Xilai asked, “Do you think anything will happen to him?” Ye You said, “Has he had any grudges with anyone?”
Ding Xilai said, “No, the most we’ve done is argue with people. We’ve never caused anything big.”
Ye You said, “Then nothing will happen.” Ding Xilai uneasily thought for a bit and gradually started feeling that that made sense. The other party most likely captured the person for the sake of opposing the Alliance Leader, so since there was a goal, that person probably wouldn’t resort to murder. He felt just slightly more at ease and couldn’t help but say, “How despicable, to actually kidnap someone!”
Wenren Heng used that same old elegant tone from the past to respond unhurriedly with, “He hasn’t cut anything off from Sir Zhong’s body yet, so it’s already not too bad.”
Ding Xilai was frightened into trembling and lifted his head to look at the other in alarm.
Wenren Heng didn’t look at the other and simply pulled his Junior Brother over to his side, taking out the Hundred-Grass Dew and helping his Junior Brother apply the medicine. Then he made the white silk that the scarred man had bought into bandages, carefully wrapping up his Junior Brother. Out of the corners of his eyes, he saw the hindrance that was Ding Xilai and shot the other a look.
This time, Ding Xilai noticed his gaze, and he sluggishly thought back, internally thinking that if Wenren Heng wasn’t into men, then he’d change his surname to Wenren!
He looked at the distance between himself and Sir Xiao and wordlessly scooted over to the door. He asked, “Shaotian, is there still room outside?”
Ren Shaotian and the scarred man were sitting side-by-side and driving the carriage. When Ren Shaotian heard, he responded, “No, what is it?”
Ding Xilai said, “I want to get some fresh air.”
Ren Shaotian said, “It’s cold at night. Maybe another day.”
Ding Xilai said, “Then you come in and talk with me a bit. I feel a little unwell.”
Ren Shaotian quickly guessed the reason and let out a laugh before going inside. When Ding Xilai was far enough away, Wenren Heng finally had the opportunity, and he lowered his voice to ask, “Is Miracle Doctor Ji one of your people?”
Ye You said, “No.”
Wenren Heng said, “Then you still…?”
When they had been at the Wang family residence, every time his Junior Brother went to see Miracle Doctor Ji, he also went along, so he naturally knew that his Junior Brother had never asked Miracle Doctor Ji about that monster. And the elders at Shaolin all more or less had their own thoughts on this matter, so there were some who definitely suspected that his Junior Brother was the black piece, especially the one who was the white piece. If they decided to change tactics and find Miracle Doctor Ji for proof, then his Junior Brother would definitely be exposed.
Ye You said, “Last time he took my pulse, he should have already realized that I still had my martial arts, but for some unknown reason, he didn’t expose me, and he even helped me conceal it, purposely telling me that it’d be difficult for me to practice martial arts in the future. This time, he most likely also won’t expose me. I think that the issue lies with his oldest disciple. Either this disciple had been driven to his death or he is still alive…”
At this time, Ding Xilai and Ren Shaotian finished their conversation, and Ren Shaotian opened the carriage curtains with a smile.
Ye You’s words came to a halt.
Ren Shaotian was a person with considerable talent, and his martial skill was even one level higher than Wei Jin’s. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was frivolous in temperament, then the Head of “Moon’s Shadow” would’ve been him. It was also for this reason that Pavilion Master Ding had ordered him to accompany Ding Xilai year-round. While Ye You and his Senior Brother could talk by using their internal energy to suppress their voices in front of Ding Xilai, they couldn’t easily do so when Ren Shaotian was added to the mix. After all, right now, his “martial skill was gone”, so if he didn’t want to be seen through, then he needed to be a bit more well-behaved.
Wenren Heng finished the last bit of wrapping and tied a knot. As he watched his Junior Brother sit back in place, he unconsciously wanted to pull this person into his embrace.
He had been thinking about these matters for ten years, and now he had finally succeeded in opening his Junior Brother’s mouth.
He was impatient to know exactly what was going on with everything. He was impatient to know who his Junior Brother’s enemy was. And he was most impatient to know, when this person had given himself away at that time, what exactly this person had thought while lying under him, and if the other really had been trying to provoke him recently.
He felt a faint expectation in his heart.
He wanted to hear this person say that his bitter longing over these ten years hadn’t been only his one-sided wishful thinking.
However, now truly wasn’t a good time.
He moved his fingers slightly and pressed down all the irritation in his heart.
The mountain road was difficult to traverse, and they could follow only the hazy moonlight in their hurry. By the time they reached Shaolin Temple, everyone had already gone to sleep. But since the matter was urgent, they still dragged Abbot Ciyuan and the others from their beds and told them that the Junior Alliance Leader had been kidnapped, with the mark of that monster left nearby.
Those elders’ expressions all changed.
The black piece had just sent a reminder that those dead could still be alive and then this matter occurred immediately afterwards. They all thought the same thing as Wenren Heng, that monster had died in the prime of his life, so if he was still alive, then with twenty years having gone by, his martial arts definitely would’ve progressed even further. Who could then oppose him? Academy Master Ge gravely said, “It couldn’t be that he isn’t dead?”
“This isn’t possible,” Manor Lord Wei said, “At the time, we saw him take his last breath with our own eyes.”
Sect Master Han said, “I was also there. He truly was dead.”
There were also other Sect Masters who nodded their heads, all saying that they saw that monster die.
Academy Master Ge let out a breath of relief and looked towards Sir Xiao. “So there’s someone playing tricks? Which party did this?”
“He left only this one mark, so I really can’t say at this point,” Ye You said, “But right now I can draw out one of the white piece’s people.
There’s a good possibility that this person is at the small county town. We can ask him if this is something the white piece did.”
Academy Master Ge said, “What are you saying?”
“We’ll need to start from when we went to Xiangxing City…” For the sake of saving time, Ye You gave only a simple explanation of the problem with Fuping before pulling out a jade pendant and telling them that he had taken this from Fuping’s person.
He said, “The white piece is too cautious, so ordinary subordinates couldn’t possibly know his identity. This time, something happened to Fuping, so if the people on that side wanted to give information to this side, they wouldn’t directly give it to the white piece; there definitely is a reliable person receiving these kinds of information. Li Hua doesn’t seem like the kind of person who can conceal information, but it’s possible that she knows who this person is.”
Ye You looked at them. “I’ll go and try to cheat her a little.” Everyone immediately felt that it was feasible.
Since there was no time to lose, they quickly made the arrangements. Luckily, the discipline rooms included several rooms next to each other, and with their internal energy, from next door, they could hear everything. Cheating someone was an art.
First, Ye You went with some Junior Sect Masters to interrogate Li Hua, vaguely letting her understand that they hadn’t had any success in Xiangxing City and so wanted to pull some words from her mouth. Li Hua naturally wouldn’t talk, pretending to be pitiful and telling them that she had been wronged.
Those young masters’ faces sunk, and they threw down a few threatening words before angrily leaving.
Li Hua curled up, but she felt relieved in her heart. She was just about to continue sleeping when she heard some words filter in from the outside.
“Excuse me, I dropped something, so you’ll have to let me go in again. I’ll come out right away.”
A Junior Sect Master said, “Sir Xiao, do you need us to help you look?”
“No need. All of you just wait a while and I’ll succeed.”
The moment these words were spoken, the doors opened, and Ye You closed the doors behind him, walking up to Li Hua, holding out the jade pendant.
Li Hua’s expression changed.
Ye You lowered his voice to say, “Long story short, there’s nothing wrong on Fuping’s side. They weren’t able to see through anything.
He wanted me to tell you that the Shaolin Abbot has always been merciful and compassionate177, so if you pretend to know
nothing, they wouldn’t do anything to you. You just have to endure
for a few days; he’ll think of a way to save you.”
Li Hua almost immediately believe it, and her eyes heated up as she nodded her head.
Ye You said, “He told me to say some things to the higher-ups, but I’ve never been to this area before, and this time, I also came here after following all these people, so I don’t know who’s in charge of this side. Who should I look for?”
Before Li Hua could open her mouth, the Junior Sect Masters outside said, “Sir Xiao, have you found it?”
Ye You raised his voice to say, “Found it. I’m coming out now.” He looked at Li Hua. “Quickly.”
Li Hua said, “Go to the county town’s Fulai Inn178 and look for a Mr. Xiao179.”
Ye You said, “All right, just endure, and we’ll rescue you.” Li Hua fiercely nodded her head, eyes glistening with tears.
Ye You gave her a last look of encouragement before turning around and leaving.
When Ye You came out, those elders had also already left the discipline room next door, and upon seeing him, as one, they immediately looked over — at the end, Li Hua’s voice had been too small, so none of them had been able to hear it.
Ye You said, “Fulai Inn, Mr. Xiao.”
Those elders instantly revealed happy expressions on their faces and hurried to arrange for this person’s capture.
Sect Leader Xuanyang was uneasy and asked, “Could she be lying to you?”
Ye You confidently said, “No.”
Fuping had too many people as guards, and along with the dual protections of his identity as a male entertainer and that command token, he didn’t believe that Fuping would do more than was required and add anything else like a password or whatnot. What’s more, many of those black-clothed men have never had an education, and some have even been fed the drug, so if these coarse and rugged men forgot the password, then wouldn’t it simply serve to delay matters?
So only he and the white piece’s people knew how truly hefty that jade pendant was.
And to Li Hua, she probably also thought that even if they had captured Fuping, they wouldn’t have been able to make the other talk in such a short amount of time, so she immediately believed the lie.
He said, “I was looking at her eyes the whole time, and I don’t think she was lying. If the elders trust me, then there’s no harm in trying.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang nodded and discussed a few words with Abbot Ciyuan before deciding to send people from Wudang and Shaolin to capture that mister who was surnamed Xiao. Bodhi Prison had encountered a tragedy right underneath their eyes, so for the sake of obtaining justice, they were determined to participate in this chess game until the very end.
Ye You said, “Let me go along.” Everyone looked at him.
Ye You explained, “If Sir Zhong truly was kidnapped by them, they might transfer him to somewhere else this very night. We can only wait until the time comes to know the exact situation.”
“Yes, let Sir Xiao go along. He’s very quick-witted.” Academy Master Ge appreciated this youth very much, and he couldn’t help but give him a helping hand.
Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang had long heard about Sir Xiao’s deeds, and since this matter was also something he ferreted out, they didn’t oppose him. They even chose people for him, deciding that they might as well just let him lead the team.
Ye You gave his Senior Brother a glance. Wenren Heng understood his meaning and chose to remain behind.
The white piece still had not been found, so Shaolin and Wudang’s way of doing things right now was clearly to prevent anyone from meddling. And although Wenren Heng’s Shuangji Sect could not be considered long-established, in the end, it had still belonged to the Jianghu sects for ten years. As a Sect Master, at this time, the only thing he could do was not participate like the other elders.
Wei Jiangyue looked at Sir Xiao. “I’ll go with you.”
Ye You made a sound in acknowledgement and took the initiative to head outside. Midway, he saw Ding Xilai and carelessly asked, “How about you? Coming?”
Ding Xilai was dumbfounded, and didn’t react for a while.
Ye You said, “I saw how worried you were about Sir Zhong before, so I thought you really wanted to know about his safety.”
Ding Xilai immediately said, “Yes, I’ll go with you!” Ye You stepped onto the carriage. “Let’s go. When the time comes, don’t run around too much. Listen to my instructions.”
“Don’t worry. I understand the situation.” Ding Xilai had a lot of confidence.
They had this many people just to catch one person; no matter what happened, they’d succeed! This time, he definitely wouldn’t mess up!
Seeing that he was again full of that fighting cock spirit, Wei Jiangyue didn’t care to pay the other any attention. They quickly went down the mountain, and when they arrived at the small county town, it was already past midnight180.
The streets were devoid of people, and the majority of the shops were immersed in darkness. Only the inns and taverns still had bright red lanterns hung outside their doors, and with the autumn moonlight, they looked distinctly and endlessly cold.
Ye You brought them to steal slowly near the inn, stopping at a corner and immediately not going any further.
Ding Xilai said, “Why aren’t you directly surrounding it?”
“How rude would it be if we make too much noise and disturb other people’s sleep. We need to surround them stealthily.” As Ye You spoke, he indicated for Shaolin and Wudang’s people to detour quietly, little by little, to surround the inn, while also noting that they shouldn’t appear yet and should simply remain on guard, hidden in the dark. If they saw a person jumping out the window or running outside, they should immediately capture whoever it was.
He waited for them to finish getting into their positions before finally coming out of that corner, preparing to knock on the door of the inn.
Wei Jiangyue was worried about him so chased after him in order to go together. Ding Xilai remained nestled in that hidden place, and when he looked left and right, he saw that only Ren Shaotian was left to accompany him. Looking at those two in front of him, he felt as if he was acting far too timid, so even with his heart suspended in the air, he decided to also follow along, doing his best to puff out his chest.
Wei Jiangyue gave him a look, and Ding Xilai puffed up his chest even more, bearing a grave and tense face. Wei Jiangyue coldly ignored him. Upon seeing the inn getting closer and closer, Wei Jiangyue couldn’t help but look towards the Sir Xiao next to them, examining what was visible of the other’s eyes, and asked, “You aren’t worried that he has left already?”
“I don’t think he’d leave quite yet,” Ye You said, “Fuping was around nearby to oversee Bodhi Prison, while the small county town had Li Hua, and within Bodhi Prison was also the miracle doctor and his people. These subordinates arranged by the white piece should have been enough, so I’m guessing that every time Fuping sent information down the line, he directly gave it to Li Hua. And since this Mr. Xiao knows the white piece’s identity, his position is definitely very high. Most likely, he had just hurried over when we headed towards Bodhi Prison or changed locations to Shaolin Temple.”
Wei Jiangyue sorted through these relationships and made a sound in acknowledgement.
Ye You said, “When he reached the small county town, he definitely needed a way to connect with Fuping so as to let Fuping know where to hand over information to him. We went to Xiangxing City the second day after capturing Li Hua. In this short amount of time, if he wanted to continue receiving information, he most likely wouldn’t move locations. Furthermore, he’s familiar with Li Hua’s temper so he probably wouldn’t think that, right after being captured, Li Hua would be cheated into revealing where he’s been staying, right?”
Wei Jiangyue said, “That’s true.”
Ye You said, “But if Sir Zhong really was captured by them, then the white piece must have some unknown scheme, so if he’s not here, then no matter what we did, we would’ve been too late regardless.”
Wei Jiangyue nodded and then saw the other calling Ding Xilai over and couldn’t help but be astonished. Ding Xilai was even more astonished than him and walked over without understanding why. Ye You muttered a few sentences to him before smiling and patting his shoulder. Ding Xilai then quickly changed into the airs he used to talk to his old man to indicate that he understood.
Wei Jiangyue was very curious and was about to ask when he saw Sir Xiao pushing open the door and entering the inn, so he instead switched to being more on guard.
With a yawn, the waiter drifted over, but when his gaze was met with that frightening “white lantern”, he was immediately startled awake. He stared for a moment to ascertain that it wasn’t a ghost before then finally asking if they were planning on staying at the inn.
Ding Xilai took the initiative to walk in front and insipidly asked, “Is the best room here still available?”
The waiter looked at their bearings and the clothes they were wearing and knew they had quite a bit of money. His smile immediately became brilliant. “We have only two rooms left, but the beds are very big. If these masters aren’t opposed, then you can squeeze in together.”
Ding Xilai said, “How many rooms were there originally?” The waiter was startled and cautiously said, “Five rooms.”
Ding Xilai gave him a hefty tip and asked, “Who is staying in the remaining three rooms? I’m meeting an old friend here. If he’s already arrived, then I’ll go squeeze in with him, and the remaining two rooms can go to these two.”
Wei Jiangyue knew that this had been taught by Sir Xiao and thought it strange that the other had to find Ding Xilai to do this.
Ad since matters were urgent, this thought was in his head for only a moment before he moved past it. The waiter said that, of those three rooms, a husband and wife was staying in one, a young Jianghu adventurer was staying in another, and a merchant who was over forty-years-old was staying in the last. The waiter didn’t know which one could be Ding Xilai’s friend.
Ding Xilai said, “I already know. You just tell me where each of those last two people are living, and I’ll go find him myself. I want to give him a nice surprise.”
The waiter said, “The adventurer is in the first room181, while the merchant is in the third room.”
Ding Xilai said a calm, “Yes,” and brought them upstairs, preparing to first go and reminisce with his old friend first before later coming to find them in their own two rooms.
Wei Jiangyue suddenly gained some free time, and approaching Sir Xiao, he asked, “Just now, was this the only thing you taught him?”
“You’re asking why I looked for him, right? It’s simple. My current indecent and improper appearance would too easily frighten someone, and your entirely cold face is also quite scary.” Ye You pointed at Ding Xilai, all smiles. “Look at him, so reliable with his righteous airs. It’ll easily cause other people to lower their guards.”
Wei Jiangyue, “…”
This was the first time in Ding Xilai’s life that he had ever heard someone call him reliable, and he was almost moved to tears. He especially wanted to grab Sir Xiao’s hand and ask the other if there was any other place where he could be of use, but before he could put these thoughts into action, he heard Ren Shaotian suddenly say, “There’s movement.”
Ye You also had long already heard it and hastily quickened his steps up the stairs, not forgetting to shoot Ren Shaotian a glance. The latter didn’t need him to speak and made straight for the corner room. Upon going through the door, the other saw two black-clothed men appearing in a flash from the roof beams, holding swords and rushing right at them.
Ren Shaotian’s lips raised slightly, and he waved his sword and, with a clang of metals, stopped them in their tracks, managing to block two people with only a single person’s force.
Wei Jiangyue gave this scene a look and also entered the fray. These four people fought from the door to the window, and when Ren Shaotian forced those two people out the window, he returned to Sir Xiao and Ding Xilai’s side as a guard, in case there were other people lurking in the surroundings.
Ding Xilai followed Sir Xiao and entered the room extremely cautiously, asking, “Not chasing? This is the merchant’s room, so where is he?”
Ye You said, “If you listen carefully, you’ll know.”
Ding Xilai immediately remembered the arrangements made downstairs and ran over to look out the window, seeing Shaolin and Wudang’s people already fighting with those trying to escape.
Ye You unhurriedly walked over and looked down, and his gaze quickly found a certain person in the crowd who was wearing long robes. He let out a laugh and said, in a bright voice, “As expected, the moment they saw us, they ran. It’s truly simple and predictable, without a single spark of originality.”
That person bit his lips, not having the time to rebut, continuing to contend with those people.
Ding Xilai asked, curious, “You knew he’d run?”
Ye You said, “Yes. Li Hua was captured first, and then an incident happened in Xiangxing City. With things happening one after another, it definitely caught these people unawares. His identity was also special, and he needed to stay in touch with the white piece.
While he hasn’t yet sussed out our strength, he’d definitely regard preserving his life as the most important. So if he truly was still living here, he wouldn’t recklessly fight us without regard for the consequences.”
“Ah, that’s right…” Ding Xilai was enlightened, inwardly thinking that this was clearly something simple yet he wasn’t able to think of it himself, and he couldn’t help but look admiringly at Sir Xiao. He sincerely and earnestly praised, “You’re truly clever.”
Ye You said, “If you earnestly try and learn, you can also be this clever.”
He looked towards the fight.
Those black-clothed men were all the cream of the crop and were truly incredible, but it was a pity that they were lacking in people. Wudang and Shaolin also sent a group of elites this time, so those people were probably not able to endure for much longer.
He looked for a while longer before bringing them downstairs.
By this time, that waiter had realized that they hadn’t come here for any good reason and so was hiding behind the counter, not daring to show his face. Ye You also didn’t deliberately frighten the other, but it was probably that Ding Xilai was too used to doing good and so actually couldn’t help but run over to apologize before finally leaving.
The fight had already finished. That person had also been captured, and even the black-clothed men were all tied up. Upon seeing that they’ve tightly bound that person, Ding Xilai ran over to ask, “Where is Xiao-Zhong? Where did you guys take him?”
That person originally didn’t have the desire to pay him any attention, but upon hearing what he said, the person frowned. “What?”
Ding Xilai urgently asked, “Wasn’t he kidnapped by you guys? Stop pretending. Where exactly is he? How is he right now?”
“It wasn’t me.” As that person spoke, he looked towards a person standing nearby with a face covered in bandages. “Who are you?”
Ye You gave him a distant smile, although it wasn’t very clear in the dark of the night, and said, “You’ll know once you get to Shaolin.”
As Ye You finished speaking, he turned around and got on the carriage, indicating for them to go back to report. Ding Xilai was still worried and ran over to ask him what to do about Xiao-Zhong. Ye You said, “Right now, it’s still unclear if it was him who sent people as kidnappers. If it really is him, he’s currently in our grasp, so are you still afraid that he’d harm Sir Zhong?”
Ding Xilai asked, “Then what if they use Xiao-Zhong’s life to threaten us?”
Ye You said, “That also doesn’t matter. He knows who the white piece is. We can first capture the white piece and then use the white piece to exchange prisoners. Right now, they wouldn’t dare to touch Sir Zhong since Sir Zhong is only useful to them while he’s still alive.”
Ding Xilai inwardly thought that that made sense and became more well-behaved.
When they returned to Shaolin, the horizon had already turned gray and misty, and the sun was about to rise. Abbot Ciyuan and the others had spent a sleepless night waiting for them. Upon seeing that they had succeeded in capturing the person back, everyone felt their faces loosen.
Wenren Heng walked towards his Junior Brother, and with the reasoning that his Junior Brother’s health wasn’t good, he wanted to first take the other back to rest.
Before leaving, Ye You looked at the Abbot. “It’s extremely possible that he knows who’s the white piece, so you must absolutely not allow him to be silenced.”
Abbot Ciyuan said an, “Amitabha,” and nodded. “Don’t worry, Benefactor Xiao.”
Ye You made a sound in response and only then did he obediently followed his Senior Brother back to the small courtyard.
Wenren Heng asked, “Are you tired?”
Ye You raised the corners of his mouth. “I’m not tired.”
In his heart, Wenren Heng thought of course. This person had succeeded in learning a miraculous martial art and had sat in the carriage the whole way, while also not having to lift a finger to fight, so naturally wouldn’t be tired. He brought the other into the room and used a hand to close the door before asking, “Want to sleep for a while?”
The moment he entered the room, Ye You poured a cup of water for himself and happily took a sip. When he heard those words, he looked over and slowly remembered the time when he had been pressured by the other. He said, “I’m all right either way. Senior Brother has been sitting around waiting for us for half the night, so do you want to sleep for a while?”
“Then let’s lie down for a while. Maintaining a healthy spirit will make it easier to do the next steps,” Wenren Heng gently said and walked forward to help him unravel the bandages, ordering subordinates to bring water so as to give his face a simple wipe, before finally getting on the bed with him. Then, Wenren Heng reached out a hand and pulled the person into an embrace.
Ye You lifted his head to look at him and instantly met his gentle gaze.
The two looked at one another for a moment. Ye You saw him lean slightly forward and couldn’t help scooting backwards a bit.
Wenren Heng stopped, and upon glimpsing that the other had on a faint, indistinct smile, he moved forward, neither quickly nor slowly, to trap the person against a wall. He pushed down the other’s wrist, pressing the other down, and asked, “Before, I promised you that I’d try with you. Why are you running away?”
Ye You let out a light laugh and used his free hand to pull at his collar, dragging out the sound. With a languid and lazy tone, he asked, “Senior Brother, this is a place where Buddhists cultivate spirituality. Isn’t it not good… to be like this?”
Wenren Heng’s breathing became tight, and almost immediately, he was able to see that his Junior Brother was trying to provoke him.
That previous obedient and tender youth had already grown up, with features that had become even more delicate and dazzling. And within this bright and splendid flower182 was a certain amount of sharpness, dyed by a languid expression. And it seemed almost as if every strand of those eyelashes bore an attractive force. Even a saint
couldn’t help but feel moved upon seeing this person.
Since his Junior Brother had returned to the Central Plains, the other hadn’t tried to restrain his temper or disposition in front of him. At that time, he had already thought that this appearance of his Junior Brother’s was particularly attractive, but he hadn’t thought that this person would be even more deadly when he was willing.
He went over the matters that followed after his Junior Brother was hit in the death acupoint, and upon finding many instances of exploratory provocation, he couldn’t help but close his eyes for a bit.
In his heart, he felt as if the thick fog that had been obscuring the rocky path forward had suddenly been blown away by a spring wind. The place that had trapped him for ten years had finally regained its original form, and in front of his eyes was a smooth, flat road and vastness as far as the eyes could see. The plants and flowers that had been awoken by the wind were unfurling their leaves and spreading their roots outwards, currently quietly waiting for the traveler to arrive.
This bitter road had finally reached its end.
Ye You saw him open his eyes, with the habitual tenderness covered by some dense emotion, and startled. “Senior Brother…”
Before those words had even finished being spoken, he felt a softness on his lips, and immediately fell silent.
Wenren Heng had given him a kiss on the lips, not at all deep, and once again looked at him, letting go of his hand to touch his face, thumb softly caressing his skin. Wenren Heng had peeled back the layers of his heart’s firm outer shell, putting the most defenseless and most softly sincere inner core on display.
He said, in a low voice, “I truly like you.”
I truly like you.
He couldn’t help but repeat it in his mind.
At that time, after that night was over, the immature him had held those words he had most wanted to say from the bottom of his heart, but he had been unable to say them. After having been soaked in all these years of longing, worry, and silent forbearance over this unobtainable wish, he finally felt as if the bitterness had ended and the sweetness had arrived, and his feelings were overflowing like water that had finally made it through a canal.
How truly great, he thought.
You’re finally mine.
Ye You’s heart trembled.
With blood steeped full of vengeance, calculating an elaborate plot, entrenching himself in every step… In these twenty years, the ten peaceful years he spent on Heji Mountain were always the most vivid and colorful in his memories, a constant companion as he traversed this thorny path, continually moving against the wind.
After returning to the Central Plains, they had faced one another with hostility countless times, and Senior Brother always bore a face of unhurried calm, estranged and difficult to fathom. In that year, the thing that he had reluctantly given up, that he had thought he’d lost forever, had now finally returned to his side.
— I truly like you.
In this life, other than his desire for revenge, the only other thing he ever wanted was these four words. He closed his eyes and then looked at this person in front of him. And, doing his best to keep his voice steady, he said, “Yes, me too.”
Wenren Heng fiercely pulled him over and hugged him in satisfaction for a while before asking in confirmation, “That year, you never turned into an idiot?”
Ye You didn’t know if the other wanted to get back at him and so cautiously gave only a single, “Yes,” as an answer.
Wenren Heng made a sound in confirmation and laid back down, continuing to hold him, before patting him on the back. “Let’s sleep.”
It’s over just like this?
Ye You silently looked at him.
Wenren Heng met his gaze and reminded, “This is a place where Buddhists cultivate spirituality.”
Ye You speechlessly leaned against him and laid down for a spell before weakly saying, “Senior Brother, my chest hurts, help me massage it.”
Wenren Heng pressed down on the urge to laugh that had bubbled up from his throat and, carrying his usual elegant appearance, asked rather gently, “Does it hurt below too? Do you need your Senior Brother to massage both of them for you?”
Ye You was roused into trembling.
He had found that since this Senior Brother of his had learned last night that he had recovered his memories, the other had seemed to be tearing off that fake guise of gentle nobility little by little and exposing some overbearing impropriety.
Right as he was hesitating, not knowing how exactly he should reply, he suddenly felt that his waistband had been untied, and a certain person’s hand had directly entered in exploration, truly looking as if it was sliding downwards. His breathing couldn’t help but stop — while he was provoking Senior Brother, he was extremely interested, but when he had truly managed to provoke the person into action, he ended up feeling somewhat anxious. He coughed, dry, and said, “Senior Brother…”
Wenren Heng stopped those hands above his waist and made a sound in acknowledgement before forcefully pulling the person into an embrace, giving him a kiss.
Their lips and tongues intertwined, their breaths mingled together, and, in the blink of an eye, managed to send a rush of heat through the entire body. Wenren Heng couldn’t help but kiss deep, his two hands unconsciously stroking along the other’s body, and it was only when he almost couldn’t control himself that he stopped.
Ye You’s clothes had already been thoroughly spread open, his entire chest exposed. He urgently gasped for breath and struggled to say, “I think it really isn’t that good to do something like this at Shaolin.”
Wenren Heng again made a sound in acknowledgement, but his hand didn’t leave the other’s body.
Ye You couldn’t quite tell what his intentions were and added, “But if you really want to… um, be gentle.”
Wenren Heng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and, pressing down on his arousal, said in a hoarse voice, “You aren’t paying attention to what time it is right now. Your Senior Brother isn’t that fast.”
Ye You thought about it a bit before understanding his meaning.
When they returned, the sky was just about to brighten, and it’d probably turn completely bright within two hours. Although the Abbot and the others also hadn’t slept for a night, they probably wouldn’t make up for the lost sleep, since with surnamed Xiao in custody, there were too many things that they wanted to ask.
Wenren Heng gave him a look. “Your mood is quite good today because you captured that person?”
Ye You honestly said, “Yes.” Wenren Heng knew then that if this matter hadn’t gone smoothly, his Junior Brother wouldn’t have been in the mood to provoke him. He asked, “Xiangxing City’s matters didn’t reach his ears?”
“It probably did reach him. After he was captured, he asked who I was,” Ye You said, “He had hurried over to do some work for the white piece. At the first opportunity, he would’ve gotten to know the situation, so he’s definitely heard about my existence before. Last night, he probably asked on purpose, wanting to mislead me and dispel my misgivings. He also didn’t open his mouth this whole way. I think that he most likely wanted to reach Shaolin before exposing that I still had martial arts.”
Wenren Heng asked, “How exactly did you capture Fuping?”
Ye You said, “I captured him with my own hands right under their eyes, and I even injured one of their people.”
Wenren Heng asked, extremely tenderly, “Before, weren’t you still saying that it was your subordinates that helped you capture him?”
“…” Ye You moved his eyes away and didn’t look at the other.
Wenren Heng pinched his chin and moved a bit closer, deciding to save each and every one of these things for the future, and have him pay them all back then, before asking, “What have you decided to do about this?”
Ye You was very calm. “I have my own methods to deal with it.”
Wenren Heng naturally believed him and, after helping him tidy up his clothes, told him to sleep for a while, as the day was about to start. Ye You was once again pulled into an embrace and stayed quietly for a while before making some more exploratory movements in the other’s arms. Wenren Heng’s hold immediately tightened, and the other said, in a low voice, next to his ear, “You better think this through. If you continue to provoke me, then I really won’t be able to restrain myself, and then we won’t even have to go over for breakfast.”
Ye You thereupon became well-behaved. The two people were not at all sleepy.
Ye You felt as if he had only closed his eyes for a while to recover some energy before he heard some intermittent noise echoing from the outside. He knew that they were indications of people waking up one after the other and so opened his eyes.
Wenren Heng also opened his eyes at practically the same time, and upon meeting his Junior Brother’s gaze, he said, “Let’s go.”
Thinking that this person whom he had spent ten years longing for was in his arms, and that they had mutually revealed their innermost feelings already, he felt that if they continued lying down, then he’d be the first to become unable to endure, so he didn’t wait for his Junior Brother to reply before dropping a kiss on this person’s forehead and getting up.
It was just as the proverb said, ‘When people meet a happy occasion, their spirits will also be high.’ Although these two had not slept the whole night, they definitely still had an ample amount of energy. Ye You turned around and, leaning his head against his hands, watched his Senior Brother put on clothes. It was only when the other party looked over did he pull off the blanket and get out of bed, taking the clothes on the side and putting them on.
Wenren Heng guessed that after breakfast was over, his Junior Brother was probably going to confront that surnamed Xiao, so he asked about what was currently the most urgent matter, “Who’s the white piece?”
The hands that Ye You was using to tidy up his clothes paused slightly, and he turned to look at the other meaningfully. “I’ve actually mentioned it to you before, but you didn’t think much of it then.”
Wenren Heng raised his brows, and quickly looked through his memories.
Over the years, his Junior Brother had lived with much noise and excitement and had always intentionally avoided him, so the times they met were not many, while the matter with the missing memories had dragged on until it was finally exposed by him yesterday. Between them, they also had not said much regarding their evaluations of those elders of the martial arts circles, so he could remember every single detail. The moment his mind started searching, he remembered a certain line of conversation.
Before, he had truly not thought much of it, but at this moment, he felt a kind of extremely overwhelming shock at the implications. It caused even his usual calmness to falter and his expression to change uncontrollably. “You mean that…”
Ye You said, “I mean exactly that.”
Wenren Heng took a deep breath, finally understanding why this person would rather endure alone without searching him out. If it wasn’t for his words yesterday stating his willingness to die together which forced the other’s hand, his Junior Brother probably would’ve really gotten into another fight with him before finding a suitable excuse to seek shelter with Academy Master Ge.
Ye You was silent for a moment.
Wenren Heng looked at him. “That year, you knew that Martial Uncle would come and so had felt reassured leaving me with him before leaving. What about this time? Do you still want me to seek shelter with Martial Uncle?”
Ye You said, “Martial Uncle is already getting on in years, so I don’t dare to disturb him too much. But you and Prince Li are friends.”
Wenren Heng understood. It looked like, over these years, his Junior Brother hadn’t been completely ignorant to the worshipful attitude that Prince Li had towards him. Jianghu and the imperial court had always kept to themselves, each minding their own business, and with Prince Li being blood-related to the emperor, the white piece definitely would have some misgivings.
He walked forward two steps. “You didn’t think that I wouldn’t agree with your intentions when the time came?” “I’ve thought about it, but Senior Brother, you can’t forget that I also have a Demonic Sect,” Ye You said, “My Demonic Sect’s foundation was established on the outside, and at the moment, even the Central Plains’ martial arts circles can’t reach that far.”
Wenren Heng nodded, thinking that if it had truly gone in the worst direction, then those Demonic Sect members might have actually followed their Sect Master’s orders and kidnapped him out of the Central Plains. He looked at this person for a while and, lifting up the corners of his mouth, said, “To be this considerate, Senior Brother is truly moved.”
Ye You looked at him and modestly said, fearless in the face of death, “I’m not bad, huh.”
Wenren Heng was just about to be angered into laughing, and he once again took two more steps towards the other. Ye You calmly stood there, waiting for him to get close before quickly ducking out of the way, sliding next to his ear and ambiguously puffing out a breath of warm air. When he reached over with a hand, Ye You once again ducked away, lifting a brow and laughing at him, before opening the room door.
The scarred man had also already gotten up and had coincidentally just walked to the door. Upon instantly meeting Sir Xiao’s dazzling, smiling face, he became dumbfounded.
Ye You restrained himself a little and amiably said, “Good morning.”
“…Good morning,” the scarred man answered unconsciously while he thought through this matter.
Yesterday, Sir Xiao had just suffered from the pain of losing his beloved and had even been carrying a face full of melancholy. How was he already completely fine today? Could it be that their Sect Master had finally made a move? That’s right, it definitely happened like this. He just knew it! Their Sect Master was this outstanding and, other than not knowing how to play the qin, was better in every way compared to that Fuping! Wenren Heng didn’t take notice of the excitement in his subordinate’s eyes and helplessly walked over to pull that walking disaster back, pressing him down on the chair and letting him wash his face, before helping him apply a layer of medicine and carefully wrapping on the bandages.
Only halfway through the wrapping, they heard a series of footsteps echoing from outside the courtyard before immediately hearing Ding Xilai’s voice also echoing over, “Sir Xiao, it isn’t good!”
Ye You laughed for a moment and, upon seeing him push open the door and walk in, shot him a glance. “What is it?”
Ding Xilai said, “Early this morning, the Abbot and the others went to ask some questions. That surnamed Xiao kept insisting that you were the one who kidnapped Xiao-Zhong, and even said that you were the one who hid Fuping. He also said that you still have your martial arts, that you are a tiger pretending to be a pig, and that you definitely want to take opportunity of this mess to concoct some conspiracy!”