They’d stayed in that desolate place where even birds won’t poop for several days, and now that they were finally back in human civilization, after eating their fill, everyone couldn’t help but remember their lust. Thus, even though the sky had not yet darkened, the inside of the male brothel was abuzz with activity.
Quite a few people from Jianghu were gathered together, drinking with a male prostitute in hand on one side, while spiritedly gossiping on the other. All the discussions were about the things heard outside the restaurant that day, about the black piece and the white piece and the chessboard and so on. They all thought this was an extremely serious matter.
“Saying that the white piece was a person of prestige and virtue and is also the person who used the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison, is it true or not?”
“If you ask me, we should get some people over there to ask. How can we not know anything like this?”
“That’s right, right now we’re just wandering around blind. Even now, I still don’t understand the whole deal about the secret book incident.”
“And also Bodhi Prison. Saying it’s the black piece’s move, why exactly is that…”
That person spoke only halfway before suddenly stopping.
Those in the surroundings also turned quiet, and they collectively turned to see a “lantern” stepping inside, all sounds stowed away.
Everyone looked at each other, and their expressions were all somewhat strange.
Just a moment ago, Sir Xiao could barely even stand up, and now he had come to a brothel? Wasn’t he afraid that he’d die right in the middle of doing it? And why wasn’t Sect Master Wenren keeping him under control? The proprietor and the prostitutes also saw him enter. Seeing this person look so miserable yet still choose to patronize their business, they all felt moved. The proprietor smiled in greeting and said, “Please come inside, young sir.”
Ye You said, “I want a private room and a jug of your best wine. I want to drink by myself for a while.”
The proprietor asked, “Young sir doesn’t want a singer?”
Ye You laughed and said, “Wait until I’ve drank a few cups before calling for one.”
“Yes.” The proprietor’s face was full of smiles, and he called a waiter over and told the other to take the young sir upstairs.
This male brothel was the city’s best, and within the private rooms hung landscape paintings with artfully arranged potted plants, all very tastefully chosen.
Ye You found a good place to sit and, upon hearing the creak of the door closing, poured a cup of wine for himself, though he simply held the cup in his hand, not drinking, until he heard faint movement outside the window. Only then did he shallowly take a sip and say, “It’s not as good as the ‘Thirteen Beauties’.”
The person outside the window said, “You can get your Senior Brother to buy you a barrel. This whole way, I saw that he treated you quite well.”
Ye You laughed. “I’m injured, so he definitely wouldn’t buy it for me.”
The person outside the window didn’t respond, and Ye You also didn’t speak for a time.
After waiting for a while and seeing that the other wasn’t going to say anything else, that person asked, “What are you thinking about?”
Ye You looked at the wine cup and quietly said, “I was thinking that, ‘I didn’t kill Boren, yet Boren died because of me.’141” That person said, “Are you talking about the matter with the Wang Patriarch?”
Ye You said, “Yes.”
That person said, “It really is a pity about the Patriarch, but regardless, you aren’t going to feel softhearted and pull back.”
The corners of Ye You’s mouth lifted, and a sliver of sharpness flashed across his half-covered pupils. “Is it even possible to pull back?”
He didn’t wait for the other to respond and continued with, “Even if I really pulled back, who knows how many people there are like you and me on this earth.”
That person was silent. After a moment, he asked, “We definitely can’t keep Bodhi Prison this time. What’s the next step?”
“Dig out the one who manufactured the drug.” Ye You took another sip of wine. “Even if our luck is bad and nothing can be dug out right now, it doesn’t matter. The white piece wants to end this matter quickly and is definitely looking for a scapegoat. And an ordinary scapegoat wouldn’t be useful, so some things still need to be cut down first for it to be all right. There’s another thing you need to pay more attention to.”
That person said, “What?”
“The fact that Blood-sucking Ghost was willing to commit suicide has left me with some suspicions,” Ye You said, “I don’t believe that that sinister of a person could be swayed into serving another with such loyalty simply by being kept well-fed for a few years. Since he was willing to die, he definitely died because there was some benefit to him. And since that person is already dead, then the benefit has been left to someone living.”
That person was blank. “By the time that old ghost started making his way in Jianghu, he recognized no father and no mother. Since it’s unlikely to be his parents, and he never had a wife, are you saying he left behind a child?” Ye You said, “That’s the most possible.”
That person said, “Yes, I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Be careful not to give the game away,” Ye You unhurriedly said, drawing out every word, “If you die, I’ll abide by our agreement and bury you in your hometown.”
The person outside the window let out a low sigh. “You also be careful. Today, you were too conspicuous; it’ll easily invite people’s suspicions.”
Ye You said, “I know.”
That person copied his previous tone and said, “If you die, I’ll also abide by our agreement and separate your ashes into three and bury them in three different places…” He seemed to have thought of something and couldn’t maintain the same mood, “As long as I can steal your body from the hands of your Senior Brother. I just realized that I got the short end of the stick when I initially agreed to this.”
Ye You gave a faint laugh. “That isn’t so difficult. It’ll be all right if you wait until he buries me and then just secretly dig me up after. Don’t worry, if I’m aware in the afterlife, I definitely won’t blame you, and I won’t jump out and scare you as a corpse either.”
The person outside the window was about to leave but thought that there was a demented air about those words just now and said, “If Wenren Heng heard those words, he’d definitely peel off your skin…”
By the time the last word was said, the voice was already drifting away into the distance.
The private room was once again quiet. Within the small building, the faint sounds of cheery conversation mixed with music floated over. The room felt as if it was in another world.
Ye You drank two cups of wine and waited for the many thoughts in his heart to settle down. Then, he found the proprietor and asked for a companion. Contented, he listened to the other’s singing while unhurriedly drinking half the jug of wine. When the man had already sung three songs and Ye You was about to pour another cup of wine, the door to the room was suddenly pushed open without the slightest warning. Wenren Heng’s face, along with a hard to describe expression in his eyes, appeared together in the field of view.
He raised his brows.
Wenren Heng was able to see the situation in the room clearly, and the heart that had been suspended on high returned to its place.
It wasn’t that he hadn’t thought that his Junior Brother was once again testing him, but he didn’t dare to gamble on it.
Now in this situation, he had already been scared and uneasy letting his Junior Brother leave for this short while, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that the other came to this kind of place. He feared that his Junior Brother was in a bad mood and wanted to vent, so he hastily rushed over.
“I heard you were drinking, so I came over to see.” Wenren Heng walked over to his side to sit down and took the wine cup in his hand. “Your body still isn’t well, so you should drink less.”
“It’s only one jug,” Ye You said, “You could’ve just let someone warn me.”
Wenren Heng calmly gave him a rational excuse, “I’m afraid you wouldn’t heed someone else’s warnings.”
Ye You looked at that face which was close enough to touch. That gentle gaze remained the same as the one in his memories of long ago, never changing in the slightest. He moved his tongue, suddenly feeling compelled to ask his Senior Brother, plainly and directly, if the other still liked him.
That matter had happened so many years ago, so right now, was the other treating him like this because of guilt or love?
Or was it simply because of their relationship as fellow disciples? If Senior Brother knew that matter that year was because of his schemes, what would he think?
The words turned in Ye You’s mouth, but in the end, he swallowed it back down.
Forget it, he thought.
The moment he asked, his Senior Brother would undoubtedly know that he had regained his memories and would definitely start acting the same as every time they had met before. Even if he wanted to pry some words out of the other’s mouth, there was no way it’d be as nice as the easy and tranquil way things were now.
He restrained the emotions in his eyes and, looking at the person who had finished singing, considerately asked, “Thirsty? Want to drink some water before singing again?”
“All right.” The singer wasn’t shy and stepped forward to pour tea, taking the opportunity to give Wenren Heng quite a few glances.
Ye You asked, all smiles, “My Senior Brother is good-looking, right?”
The singer trembled slightly and wasn’t able to grasp whether these two had more to their relationship. He had half-a-mind to say some sweet, coaxing words such as, “Not as good-looking as young sir,” but looking at the other’s appearance, even he himself felt like the words spoken aloud would be too fake. So the only thing he could do was give a short laugh and hurriedly back away.
Ye You regretfully said, “I also feel that he’s quite good-looking, but it’s a pity that he’s not interested in such things. Come, continue singing. If you sing well, this one has a reward.”
The singer didn’t dare to look at the young sir again and concentrated on singing a popular song.
Wenren Heng observed for a while and saw that his Junior Brother was simply saying whatever comes to mind as the other’s attention seemed to be entirely on the singer’s person. The other truly didn’t seem to have any intentions of testing him and had simply wanted to come to the male brothel. His expression once again turned black, and he thought that it was fortunate that he had come, or else this scoundrel might have actually decided to do something.
He said, “Bodhi Prison being overtaken is a big issue, so this time, the Alliance Leader and the others won’t stay long. They’ll set out tomorrow morning, so let’s go back in a while and sleep early tonight.”
Ye You smiled and said, “Then let me finish drinking this jug of wine.”
Wenren Heng said, “No.”
Ye You tried settling for second best, “What about you drink with me?”
Wenren Heng didn’t try any further persuasion. In the end, most of the wine ended up in his stomach, and he poured only a small cup for his Junior Brother.
Ye You had some grievances, but he endured.
When they came out, the sky was already dark, and on both sides of the street, lanterns were lit, extending outwards like a fiery dragon. A light drizzle was still raining down, indistinct and hazy, carrying with it a faint chill.
Holding the umbrella, Wenren Heng had to stand shoulder-to- shoulder to fit under it with his Junior Brother. After walking for a few steps, he felt that the mood was quite good and said, “Since it’s still early, do you want me to take you around on a stroll?”
Ye You naturally wouldn’t refuse; wherever his Senior Brother went, he also went along. The Demonic Sect Elders secretly observed for a while, and seeing that the two were simply taking a walk, they couldn’t help but look at each other.
“Is it my imagination? I feel as if those two people are getting along quite well.”
“Yes…” Elder Miao said gravely, “Could it be like this: the Sect Master wants to do a big thing, and because of certain goals, he pretended to lose his memories to approach Wenren Heng. Wenren Heng has some designs on the Sect Master and so lied and said he was his Senior Brother. After lots of tender pampering, the Sect Master started feeling somewhat moved and suspected that he might like men. With much struggle in his heart, he decided to go to a male brothel to try it out, while Wenren Heng uneasily chased him there. And then the Sect Master thought that the male brothel wasn’t as good as Wenren Heng, so he ended up following him out?”
The group, “…”
After a moment of deathly silence, Elder Mei said, “Although I don’t want to admit it…”
Elder Baili and Elder Ji said, “But what you said also isn’t impossible…”
The group once again looked at each other. Thinking of the image of calling Wenren Heng the Sect Master’s wife, they all suddenly felt a sinister chill; they’d still rather cut him up to dispel their anger!
Wenren Heng was completely unaware that those people had started bearing even more grudges against him.
He took his Junior Brother to see the usual picturesque places present in cities, and they spoke of inconsequential things. The calculations and the desires in his heart, along with worries about the future, all quieted down along with the sound of the rain. Although he wished that it could always be like this, after walking for a while, he couldn’t help but ask about the matters which occurred today. He told his Junior Brother to stop being so ostentatious, and that he was still there to take care of everything.
Ye You said, “I’ve already restrained myself.”
Wenren Heng had some words that he wanted to say — Qin Yuemian and the Young Miracle Doctor had been present while they were eating, and just now, there had been that singer, unpleasant to the eye, so it had never been convenient. But right now, with no one around, it was a good time.
He stopped and looked at his Junior Brother. “Have you ever thought that you could actually be the black piece?”
Ye You honestly said, “I’ve thought about it.”
He had long known that he couldn’t conceal it from his Senior Brother, so he was especially accommodating and took the initiative to voice his analysis, “After I was injured and lost my memories, the person who harmed me never appeared even up until now. And right as something happened to me, the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison appeared. This is too coincidental. So there’s the possibility I caused my own amnesia deliberately for the sake of participating in this incident. There’s only one thing I don’t understand.”
Wenren Heng said, “You could actually have just pretended to lose your memories.”
Ye You made a sound in agreement and pretended as if he didn’t know anything, showing just the right amount of bewilderment. “Yes, I originally could have just pretended to lose my memories. Why would I really lose them? Is it this easy to induce amnesia?”
This was also the same thing that Wenren Heng didn’t understand.
Exactly what method did his Junior Brother use to induce amnesia? And how did his internal energy become such a mess? And not to mention the burns on his body. If his Junior Brother really did do all that, then he truly was too ferocious.
Wenren Heng let out a sigh in his heart and, in a quiet voice, said, “It looks like we have to wait for you to regain your memories in order to know exactly what happened. Since it looks like there’s a distinct possibility that you were the one who orchestrated this matter, you should practice a little more restraint.”
Ye You said, “Senior Brother, it’s because I’ve guessed that this situation has something to do with me that I want to hurry up and resolve it.”
“I understand.” Wenren Heng’s tone didn’t contain a single trace of blame or disapproval, as if it’d be fine even if the other pierced the heavens. He said, “As long as I’m here, no matter what happens, I will protect you.”
Ye You lowered his eyes slightly, covering up his complicated mood, and said, “All right.”
Wenren Heng looked at his docile Junior Brother and said, “Then first promise me one thing.”
Ye You lifted his head.
Wenren Heng looked into his eyes. “If this truly is your doing, then when you recover your memories, tell me everything from beginning to end. Whatever I ask, you answer.”
“…” Ye You said, “Senior Brother, you’re asking an amnesiac person to make such a promise?” Isn’t that a bit shameless?
Wenren Heng calmly said, “In that case, the chess game will already be over. It wouldn’t matter if everything was revealed then.”
Ye You said, “Then I’ll consider such things once I regain my memories.”
Wenren Heng pressed on the umbrella and moved slightly closer, saying, calmly and evenly, “Since you’re unwilling to agree right now, does that mean you don’t trust me?”
Ye You felt faintly nostalgic at this feeling of being pressured by his Senior Brother, though this method already counted as being quite mild in comparison to before. Previously, they had even traded blows with one another — since the time he returned to the Central Plains and his identity was seen through by his Senior Brother, this Senior Brother of his had wanted to uncover the truth behind his departure that year and had, at one point, almost kidnapped him; although he hadn’t actually been kidnapped, he clearly saw the desire to do so.
He tactfully replied, “My subordinates said that our relationship wasn’t good.”
Without a change in expression, Wenren Heng said, “That’s because our factions were in conflict, and I always wanted to bring you home, so they disapproved of me and spoke nonsense in retaliation.” Ye You, “…”
Fortunately his memories had returned, or else if he hadn’t been prepared, he really would’ve almost believed that.
Ye You turned his eyes and said, “Then all right, I promise you.”
With one look, Wenren Heng could tell that his Junior Brother was simply appeasing him and that, when the time came, the other would purposely say, “I promised you that I’d talk, but not when I would actually do so.” But he actually didn’t care and said warmly, “Yes, it’s fine as long as you remember.”
What does that mean?
Ye You suspiciously sized him up. It couldn’t be that Senior Brother is planning on forcing it out of him?
The dark mood that Wenren Heng had been in because of the singer had made a complete turnaround. Feeling some desire to stroke his Junior Brother’s head, after seeing the distance between them, he also started feeling the desire to hug his Junior Brother. He tried enduring for a while, but he ultimately failed to endure and ended up “copping a feel”, moving the bandages on his Junior Brother’s forehead aside slightly in order to reach out his hand to feel if there was any sweat. He considerately asked, “Tired?”
Ye You said, “Not really.”
“Then let’s walk a bit more before going back.” Wenren Heng paused. “That’s right, there’s one thing we haven’t let the Young Miracle Doctor look at.”
Ye You was just about to ask a question when he saw his Senior Brother quickly moving to hit his chest acupoint. He immediately turned rigid, unable to move.
Wenren Heng was carrying a somewhat concerned expression, as if he was truly surprised at this outcome. “How is it? Before, hitting your acupoint was always useless, so I was worried that a problem would arise. How about now?
Ye You didn’t want to answer, but he also couldn’t not answer, so he said, “It’s very effective.”
Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgment and helped him undo it. “That’s good. It looks like we won’t have to bother the Young Miracle Doctor then.”
“…” Standing in the autumn rain, Ye You was silent, feeling a layer of cold sweat appear.
He was willing to bet that his Senior Brother hitting his acupoint had nothing to do with the Young Miracle Doctor. It must be entirely because he had just made a promise which led to the other suddenly thinking of this matter and wanting to try it out.
It looked like his premonitions were right; when his Senior Brother realized that his memories had returned, the other was definitely planning on using force.
How would the other force him? It couldn’t possibly be that the other was planning to hit his acupoint and take him to bed, right?
Was he imagining his Senior Brother as too unhinged?
There were many taverns within the city, and the fragrance of wine floated ambiguously through the air, capable of seducing the spirits of many. Even the falling rain couldn’t stop the rush of excitement from the people.
Wei Jiangyue and a few other Junior Sect Masters were sitting in a private room in one such tavern.
They were different from the other customers in that they weren’t there to drink tea, but rather, they were purely there for a place to sit for a while. The white piece was a person of prestige and virtue, and their fathers all so happened to be right in this category.
At dinnertime, their fathers were all sitting at one table and, on the face of it, were very amiable; no issues could be seen. These young ones were seated at a table on the side, and they were completely unable to control themselves to such a degree, so their minds had been a collective mess while eating, and they all hastily ran out the moment they finished.
These people looked at each other, none of them knowing what to say. The only things they wanted to do was to give a bitter laugh and heave a sigh.
After a while, one of them proposed, “I say… let’s not think of such things today and just drink some wine.”
“That’s right, let’s drink!”
Wei Jiangyue said, “If we don’t think of it, will the matter just go away?”
“Then what can we do. We can’t just sit here and fight and scheme against each other… Wenren Heng!”
The turn of this conversation was too strange, so it took everyone a while to react and realize that he had seen Wenren Heng. At once, they rushed to the window to look out and indeed saw Wenren Heng and Sir Xiao diagonally across from them. Wenren Heng was holding up an umbrella and speaking to his Junior Brother. The umbrella covered up most of their faces, so if it wasn’t for that half-visible “lantern”, they wouldn’t have been certain about who they were seeing. Right now, those two people were very close, and they had stopped under the hazy, gentle light of the lanterns; the air seemed laced with ambiguity.
They sneaked only a few glances before backing up, afraid that they’d be discovered by Wenren Heng.
Although Wenren Heng was also young, he was different from them. Frankly speaking, Wenren Heng was someone who could sit at the same table as their fathers, while they were able to sit only at the accompanying table. Tonight, Wenren Heng was even able to request for a separate private room with his Junior Brother without even a word of notice, while they wouldn’t have dared to do such a thing.
In this group, only Wei Jiangyue’s relationship with Wenren Heng was not bad, and they were able to interact as friends of the same generation. The others didn’t dare to act presumptuous in front of Wenren Heng, even if Wenren Heng’s temperament was quite good.
These past few years, their fathers had always criticized them by comparing them to Wenren Heng, resulting in them all feeling somewhat wronged by Wenren Heng. At first, they still felt unconvinced, but as time passed, Shuangji Sect became better and better, and Wenren Heng’s position also rose higher and higher, so if they still remained unconvinced, they would’ve just been inviting unnecessary trouble.
But misapprehensions were one thing, saying a word or two behind the back was another, and they still dared to do the latter.
Especially since Wenren Heng had always lived like an immortal, but recently even he had been splattered with human emotion142 and unexpectedly fell to earth, making them all very excited at this turn of events.
“Does he like that Sir Xiao?” “Anyone with eyes can see that.”
“No, all of you haven’t been looking carefully. I’ve been paying attention, and he hasn’t done anything too intimate.”
“Stop joking around, Young Master Han. If they had been intimate, would they have let you see it?”
“I’m referring to that sort of feeling. There’s none of that between them. What do you think, Second Brother Wei?”
Wei Jiangyue indifferently said, “I don’t know.” He also thought that Wenren Heng liked Sir Xiao, but looking at the two’s appearances, he had a feeling that Wenren Heng hadn’t made his inner thoughts known.
“It looks like Sir Xiao is quite clever, and is probably hard to handle too. Do you think it’s possible that Wenren Heng actually doesn’t dare… Ah, he hit Sir Xiao’s acupoint!”
The others’ eyes immediately shone with light, and they felt
their blood boiling143, feeling as if they were about to see something interesting.
Wei Jiangyue’s expression changed slightly, and his hands suddenly clenched into fists, a trace of anger bubbling up in his heart.
With no martial skill, Sir Xiao wouldn’t have been able to dodge at all. Wasn’t this just Wenren Heng taking advantage of this person’s weakness?
However, before he could decide if he was going to rush over, he saw Wenren Heng undoing the hit acupoint for Sir Xiao. His expression loosened, and as he watched them walk away, his line of sight couldn’t help but be drawn to Sir Xiao’s person.
Those beside him sighed, disappointed. “Why are they just walking away like this, I thought that… Ugh, all of you understand.”
“I understand, but why didn’t he do it? Was it something Sir Xiao said?
“Actually, compared to this, I’m more curious about what Sir Xiao looks like. Since he’s able to get Wenren Heng acting like this, he must look quite good, right?”
“I don’t know. Second Brother Wei, have you seen it before?”
Wei Jiangyue came back to his senses, and while an image flashed by in his mind of a face so beautiful it shook him to the core, he unconsciously said out loud that he had never seen it. Upon hearing them follow that with their desire to find an opportunity to see it, he immediately said, voice cold, “Stop making trouble!” The group was startled by his demeanor, and they quickly remembered the matter with Wei Jiangrou.
Having associated with this person for a long time now, they all knew that this Second Brother Wei set clear lines between right and wrong. Since Wei Jiangrou had caused the other party to lose all internal energy, he was surely finding it hard to take. Thus, they tactfully didn’t bring it up again and instead turned to a new topic of conversation, the atmosphere turning lively once again.
Wei Jiangyue wasn’t in much of a mood to listen to them talk and was instead thinking that Sir Xiao looked far too remarkable. Now that he had ended up like this, no matter how clever, he probably wouldn’t be able to handle all the troubles that came his way. It was still all right with Wenren Heng protecting him, but the two’s relationship was unclear. In the end, if the two weren’t able to be together, would Wenren Heng still take care of him day and night?
The group looked at him in surprise. “Second Brother?”
Wei Jiangyue lifted his head and saw that they had all lifted their cups and were waiting on him. He thereupon also lifted his cup and gave them a toast, feeling stuffy all the while, all the wine in his mouth tasting bitter.
Full of thoughts, he unconsciously drank quite a bit, and dazed and confused, he was supported back to the inn. He looked at the door to his dad’s room before brazenly opening it and stepping inside.
Manor Lord Wei smelled the alcohol on his body and was somewhat surprised.
His son had always known how to behave properly and so, no matter what, shouldn’t have gotten drunk at a time like this. He asked, “Why did you drink until you were like this?”
Wei Jiangyue silently looked at him.
Manor Lord Wei said, “What exactly happened?”
Wei Jiangyue said, “What have you decided to do about the matter with Sir Xiao?” Oh, so it was actually about this matter, but it also shouldn’t warrant getting drunk. Although Manor Lord Wei didn’t understand, he still sat down beside his son, poured two cups of tea, and said, “I’ll think of ways in the future to make it up to him.”
Wei Jiangyue said, “No matter how much you make it up to him, his martial arts are never coming back.”
Manor Lord Wei lifted his teacup to drink tea and said, sighing, “I know, we can only make it up as much as we can. Or else what can we do? In the end, we can’t have your little sister pay with her life.”
Wei Jiangyue said, “I want to take care of him in the future.”
Manor Lord Wei was caught off guard and that mouthful of tea was spat out. He looked at his son. “What do you mean by taking care of him?”
Wei Jiangyue was so stupefied that it took him a while to realize that his dad had choked on water. He wanted to go over and pat his dad’s back, but just as he stood up, he immediately fell down like a plank of wood. He laid there on the floor and fell right asleep.
Manor Lord Wei, “…”
Manor Lord Wei felt his mouth twitch, and after he sent his son back to the other room, he returned to ponder over the matter carefully.
The next morning, he continued pressing his son for the other’s intentions.
Wei Jiangyue asked, baffled, “Yesterday night’s words? What did I say?”
The moment Manor Lord Wei heard this, he knew the matter had been forgotten. He guessed that because the incident had occurred recently, his son had made the decision recklessly, and perhaps after some time had passed, the other would also change his mind.
After thinking this through, he consoled with a careless, ‘It was nothing,’ and took the other downstairs. The Alliance Leader and the others were already awake. After eating a simple meal, they began hurrying towards Bodhi Prison.
Bodhi Prison was built fifteen years ago and locked within were who- knows-how-many notorious villains, so now that word had gotten out that something had happened to it, the entirety of Jianghu was nervous. Those who had lost their patience because of the map and had previously left midway were once again returning, and those who had always looked at the matter of the secret book with a detached eye were also finding themselves unable to help but pay some attention to this incident, afraid that those people would really escape.
At this time, the culprit behind this public outcry of alarm was leisurely sitting in a carriage, obediently listening to his Senior Brother telling him about the two people in the rumors.
“‘Colorless Blood’ and ‘Lone Wolf’ were both people who were locked up in Bodhi Prison because they had done too much harm,” Wenren Heng said, “It’s been five, six years, and Jianghu still has not forgotten them.”
He gave his Junior Brother a considerably profound look, internally thinking that you’re quite good at choosing people. Ye You innocently met the other’s eyes, indicating that he didn’t know anything since he lost his memories.
Sitting beside them, Qin Yuemian didn’t notice them ambiguously “making eyes at one another” and interrupted with, “I’m somewhat curious. The black piece wants to attract people to Bodhi Prison, so he found people to pretend to be those two to provoke the populace; this much I understand. But what of the possibility that the white piece’s place for manufacturing drugs is well-concealed, the clean-up done well, so once people arrive, nothing can be found? Then how can this play continue to go on?”
Wenren Heng also wanted to know how much this Junior Brother of his had planned in advance and said, “When the time comes, we’ll understand when we see it. He’s been setting this up for so long, he probably already made preparations.” “I hope he has, or else it’ll be too boring.” As he spoke, Qin Yuemian couldn’t help but tsk. “I really want to know who this black piece is. Seeing one move after the other, I think this person really isn’t anyone ordinary.”
Wenren Heng said, “It’s probably an incredibly clever person.”
Although Ye You himself knew that he was clever, he still felt very happy hearing his Senior Brother praise him.
He was about to lift up the corners of his mouth when he heard his Senior Brother say, “But he’s too good at tormenting people. Really just asking to be spanked.”
Ye You looked out the window, pretending that he hadn’t heard that.
Bodhi Prison was built on Lianhua Mountain144. Outside the prison cells was a small courtyard for the guards to live in, and Shaolin and Wudang would switch duties once a month. On the side of the small courtyard closest to the rear mountain hung a large bell, so if anything ever happened, they needed only to ring this copper bell and the nearby Shaolin would be alerted, allowing them to send people over quickly.
Lianhua Mountain had only one road for going up and down the mountain, though it counted as quite wide, as a carriage could still pass through it.
When they arrived, Shaolin and Wudang’s people were already there, and there were many people congregated in the vicinity. Upon seeing them now, those in the surroundings all collectively turned to look in their direction.
Ye You followed his Senior Brother off the carriage and calmly and unhurriedly entered the small courtyard.
The Shaolin Abbot145 and Wudang Sect Leader came out together to welcome them, and behind each of these two was a row of people. Ye You swept his eyes over them and quickly realized that there were quite a few injured in the Wudang row. He sized them up while keeping an ear open. Upon hearing the Alliance Leader asking if “Colorless Blood” and “Lone Wolf” truly escaped or not, he turned back his line of sight.
The Shaolin Abbot put his hands together and let out a breath of Amitabha.
The Wudang Sect Leader said, “A few ran away.”
The Alliance Leader frowned. “Their cages were all made of black iron146. How did they escape?”
The Wudang Sect Leader said, “I heard it was Single-eyed Li147 who had been practicing who-knows-what kind of sinister martial arts over these years. When they were delivering meals, he sucked a person over to the prison door and threatened to kill if the key wasn’t handed over. When they brought the keys over, they originally wanted to stall for time, but who knew that the keys would also be sucked away into the cell. When Single-eyed Li came out, he knocked them all unconscious and threw the keys away randomly to someone else. This was also how ‘Colorless Blood’ and ‘Lone Wolf’ escaped.”
The Alliance Leader said, “We’ll go in and look.”
The Wudang Sect Leader nodded and indicated to one of the injured disciples behind him to take them inside. The disciple gave an affirmative, taking the keys and leading the way. He spoke as he walked and relayed the entire night’s thrilling events once through.
Pavilion Master Ding couldn’t suppress his temper and directly asked, “Is there anyone taking people to test drugs here?”
“Test drugs?” That disciple was shocked and said, “How could that be? Oh, well, there have been those who had been locked up here with prior injuries, and over the years, if these old injuries festered, we invited doctors to come and prescribe them drugs. There’s also one who has been drinking nothing but medicine these past few days. But in the past, whenever we had someone not make it, we would always inform the Sect Leader and Shaolin Temple of who died. They’ve all left behind a criminal record, and what’s more, these prisoners also have close friends and family, so after a while, they’d also have visitors coming for them. We always keep a record, so who would dare to test drugs here?”
That indeed made sense. Everyone turned quiet and unconsciously looked towards Sir Xiao.
Bodhi Prison was a mountain cave that had been dug out with human hands.
The cave was long and winding. One side of it contained prison cells, while the other side was decorated with small oil lamps every few steps, making it very brightly lit.
When one entered, there was first a seventeen meter148 path, and only after passing a turn could the first prison cell be seen. Because the prison cells were entirely built around this winding path, one would have to turn every so often after walking past just a few cells. When they came in from this way, the initial prison cells were all completely undamaged, and most still had people locked within. It was only after they passed five turns that they started seeing many empty cells.
The Wudang disciple leading the way stopped after the sixth turn and pointed at the prison cell in the middle, saying, “Single-eyed Li was locked up here.”
In the surroundings, there remained traces of a fight, with the lantern across having been knocked askew, looking as if it was about to fall, and the floor even stained with dried blood. Everyone examined the scene for a while, and they all thought that there wasn’t much of a problem, once again turning to look in question at Sir Xiao.
Ye You stood next to his Senior Brother and pretended he didn’t notice their collective gazes.
Seeing that he still wasn’t responding to them, Academy Master Ge couldn’t help but scurry over and ask in a low voice, “Didn’t you say they were testing drugs?”
Ye You innocently said, “I was only making a guess.”
Academy Master Ge was dumbfounded. “Then this, this… Wasn’t the black piece trying to lure people over here? It looks like there’s nothing wrong.” Ye You said, “Academy Master Ge, there’s no harm walking through this place once before talking it over.”
Academy Master Ge made a sound in agreement; he had originally planned to walk through it once.
The Alliance Leader and the others were all experienced in such matters, so they also weren’t liable to look only at this area; they similarly wanted to go through the entire place from beginning to end first. The Wudang disciple obediently led the way, taking them into the depths of Bodhi Prison.
The farther back they went, the more empty prisons there were. Manor Lord Wei asked, “Why are there so many empty cells?”
The Wudang disciple said, “Ah, usually we lock them up on the outside first before moving inward. But if the crime they committed is big enough, we also lock them up deeper in. Some of these cells have never had anyone living in them, while others are empty because the prisoners were too old and passed away due to either age or old festering injuries.”
Wenren Heng asked, “Do you have records of who lived in which cell?”
The Wudang disciple said, “Yes, it’s all written on the register outside.”
Wenren Heng signaled for his subordinates to go and retrieve it, telling them to bring the visitors’ register as well, before continuing to follow the group. After a while, the row of lit oil lamps broke off, and the prison cells in front of them were submerged in a pitch-black darkness.
The Wudang disciple said, “The cells in front are all empty, so no lights have been lit. But at the very end, there are two who are sick. They originally lived farther outside, but there were those who didn’t like the smell of medicine and complained about it day and night, so for the sake of peace and quiet, Martial Uncle instructed us to move them farther inward.” The Alliance Leader said, “We’re going to take a look.”
The Wudang disciple said a, “Yes,” and lifted a lantern that had been hanging on the wall. Before he could light it, Wenren Heng said, “There’s no need for the lantern. Just light all the oil lamps along this wall. We all want to look.”
“But there’s no oil in any of these lamps; we’ll have to add some first.” The Wudang disciple looked at him, awkward and embarrassed, “I didn’t bring any.”
Ye You considerately said, “Then forget it. We’ll just go like this.”
The Wudang disciple didn’t recognize this person and so turned to look at Wenren Heng and the other elders. Seeing that none of them had any objections, he inevitably began feeling somewhat curious about this young sir’s identity as he took them farther inward.
The prison didn’t have much farther to go, and after passing a few more turns, they reached the end.
On the wall hung three lit lamps, shining upon two prison cells across the way. The people laid on the bed, not moving even as the group approached. It was only the slight movements of the chest that certified that they were still alive.
The smell of medicine permeated the air, so it was clear that they had drank medicine, but there was nothing that indicated the presence of any drug dispensaries on the way there. The Alliance Leader looked at them. “What do all of you think?”
Academy Master Ge said, “First, let’s have Young Miracle Doctor Fang see what kind of illness they have and then let’s see if there’s anything strange about the smell of this medicine.”
The Alliance Leader nodded and then turned to look at the crowd, only to hear from Sir Xiao that, upon learning that Wudang had injured people, the Young Miracle Doctor had rushed over to examine their injuries and had never entered the prison to begin with.
Wenren Heng said, “There’s no need to go through all that trouble.” The moment he finished speaking, the scarred man coincidentally returned with the two register volumes and handed it over to the Sect Master. Wenren Heng opened a book and examined it for a while before walking back to the prison cell of “Colorless Blood”. He gave a simple glance inside before politely saying, “Key.”
The Wudang disciple was startled.
Ye You explained with a smile, “What my Senior Brother means is to unlock it for us to take a look.”
The Wudang disciple was extremely confused. “But the person already escaped, so what use would unlocking it be?”
Ye You said, all smiles, “Maybe he escaped in too much of a hurry and left behind something precious.”
The Wudang disciple said, “Young sir must be joking. They were all searched when they came in. They couldn’t possibly be hiding anything.”
Ye You said, “But I can’t let this go, I just have to do a search. If I really find something, how about I split half with you?”
The Wudang disciple hadn’t even opened his mouth when Pavilion Master Ding shot over a cold stare, and after a while, the Alliance Leader and the others also turned to look at him. The Wudang disciple suddenly felt an intangible pressure, and he didn’t dare to delay any longer. With shaking hands, he unlocked the cell for Wenren Heng.
Wenren Heng pulled off an oil lamp from the opposite wall and took it inside, looking through the entire area.
Academy Master Ge asked, “What are you looking for?”
“The black piece wanted to lure people to Bodhi Prison and so used ‘Colorless Blood’ and ‘Lone Wolf’. If they were still here, when people rushed over, Bodhi Prison would’ve been fine just revealing that these two were present, and informing everyone that the rumors were untrue, simply a display of what could’ve happened. But coincidentally something truly did happen in Bodhi Prison.” Wenren Heng walked towards the wooden bed and said, “So I think that the black piece used these two people for another, deeper reason.
Perhaps he already knew that they weren’t here.”
He lifted up the messy blanket and shone the light on the bed. He randomly wiped a hand down the middle of the bed before returning to face the Wudang disciple. Showing a hand full of dust, he asked, “Didn’t he just run away recently? Why would the bed be full of dust? This blanket must be something placed recently, right?”
The Wudang disciple’s expression changed. When he opened his mouth again, even his tone of voice was tense. “He… he doesn’t usually sleep on the bed.”
Wenren Heng’s tone was very gentle. “Then he likes wrapping himself in a blanket to sleep while sitting on the stool?”
The Wudang disciple ferociously nodded his head.
“In these types of situations, usually the blanket would often rub against the floor, so the sides of it would definitely be filthy.” Wenren Heng asked, “Do you want to go inside and look to see whether that blanket is clean or not?”
The Wudang disciple opened his mouth to say another line of explanation, prepared to struggle to the last, when he heard Wenren ask, good-naturedly, “Following that, did you want to say that this blanket had just been cleaned?”
From beginning to end, he was extremely courteous, calm and even- tempered, but it was precisely this composed quality that made people feel oppressed, as if unable to take a breath. The Wudang disciple’s words were stuffed back into his mouth, and he felt himself dripping layers of cold sweat, liable to soak his clothes clean through. At this time, speaking neither slowly nor quickly, Wenren Heng added another sentence, “It looks like we’ll have to go look for Priest Xuanyang.”
The Wudang disciple completely collapsed; his knees went weak, and he sunk to the floor, crying, “Spare me, Sect Master Wenren! It, it, it has nothing to do with me!” Wenren Heng asked, “What about ‘Colorless Blood’? Where are they?”
The Wudang disciple shook his head, so scared that he didn’t dare to say a single word.
Wenren Heng said, “Then let me change my question. The fact that people escaped from Bodhi Prison was something all of you purposely executed after hearing the rumors, right?”
The Wudang disciple’s face turned deathly pale, and he trembled even more fiercely.
The Alliance Leader and the others’ expressions turned ugly.
Pavilion Master Ding coldly let out a snort, and not even bothering to listen to the other’s nonsense, he instructed his subordinates to tie up the man. Holding his sword, he made right for the prison exit, clearly going to confront Wudang’s Sect Leader, Priest Xuanyang.
Ye You unhurriedly followed after them. When they reached the prison cells that were still undamaged, he found a person to ask, “Do all of you know something happened here a few days ago?”
The Alliance Leader’s group stopped and, with a glance into the cell, saw a large man.
The large man, “Of course I know. It was such a large commotion.” Ye You asked, “What did you hear?”
“I heard someone yelling something about ‘letting him go’ or whatever, and then it seemed that they started fighting. And after that, a fucking swarm of people came running out!” The large man’s entire face was full of indignation, as if he also wanted to run out, but he didn’t say the thought out loud, instead asking, “Can they still be caught and brought back? If they’re caught back, does that mean they’ll get a few more years added? I think they definitely need to be locked up for a while longer, in case they ever dare to run again!”
Ye You smiled. “Then did you clearly see who they were? Was Single- eyed Li there?” The large man said, “Yes, the first one who ran out was him. The rest of them were all crowded together, and I didn’t recognize many of them.”
Ye You asked, “You didn’t recognize a single one?”
The large man thought for a bit and was about to reply when he had a realization. “Ah, if I say it, doesn’t that mean you should take a few years off my sentence?”
Ye You said, all smiles, “I’m not very clear on this, but if you continue to keep quiet, then maybe they’ll increase your sentence by a few more years.”
The large man glared.
Ye You said, “Bodhi Prison has a register. Even if you don’t talk, we can still find out ourselves.”
The large man was immediately scornful. “Let’s drop it, since it’s just you guys…”
As he spoke, he suddenly stopped and then changed his words. “I’ll tell you guys this, I recognized another person, called ‘Long Sisal‘149. I didn’t recognize any of the others, since they ran too fast. I didn’t even have time to look closely when they threw over the keys, so how could I have the heart to look at anything else.”
Manor Lord Wei asked, surprised, “Then why didn’t you run?”
What came out of the large man’s mouth was, “I’m this obedient so how could I just escape!”
Everyone collectively stared at him with suspicion.
The large man was able to recognize most of these people’s unparalleled, exalted identities, and so when faced with their looks, he felt somewhat as if he was suffering from qi deficiency, and let out a sigh to say, “If I had been able to get the key, I would’ve also ran.” Remembering the events of that night, he angrily pointed at the cell next door and said, pained, “But the keys fell on her side, and she could’ve gotten it just by reaching out a hand, but she refused to reach for it!”
Everyone immediately looked over and saw a woman locked up in the cell next door. She was already leaning charmingly against the bars, and seeing them look over, she stroked her hair with a smile. “Do you want to ask why I didn’t run? It’s simple, because this servant had only two months until her sentence was over. Only a fool would run then. Also, what would this young sir like to be called by?”
She looked at Wenren Heng, full of tender feelings. “Young sir truly looks quite handsome. Are you married?”
Wenren Heng said, voice mild, “No, but I’m soon to be.”
Everyone was extremely shocked and collectively turned to look at Wenren Heng before turning to look at the Sir Xiao beside him, all with different feelings in their hearts. The woman let out a faint sigh. “What a pity.”
The others weren’t able to ask anything else and so didn’t remain behind, promptly heading towards the exit.
Ye You looked at that Senior Brother of his.
Wenren Heng said, “Do you want to ask about what happened just now?”
Ye You looked closely at him. “It doesn’t seem like you’re joking.”
As if he was sighing, Wenren Heng said, “Yes, these past few years, I was constantly worried about you, so I never thought about marriage. Since you’ve finally returned now, and your injuries seem to be almost healed, one of my major anxieties has been put to rest. So I think I should also start a family now.”
Beside them, Qin Yuemian and the scarred man both independently felt their mouths lift up, and neither believed a single word out of this person’s mouth. Unless he was referring to marrying his Junior Brother. That, they could believe. Ye You’s thoughts ran around in circles. He didn’t know what the other meant, and so the only thing that was able to come out of his mouth was, “What kind of person does Senior Brother want to find?”
Wenren Heng said, “Somewhat pleasing to the eye, somewhat obedient, someone who doesn’t always rouse my anger would be good.”
Ye You said, “When the time comes, don’t forget to invite me to drink at your wedding.”
Wenren Heng smiled. “Don’t worry, it can’t happen without you.”
As they spoke, they entered the small courtyard, and seeing Pavilion Master Ding already confronting Sect Leader Xuanyang, Ye You suppressed his messy and disorderly thoughts and looked in that direction. He saw the Sect Leader’s expression turn hard as someone is sent to invite over Priest Hezhen.
Priest Hezhen was in charge of guarding Bodhi Prison for Wudang Sect, and every other month, he would bring people over to switch duties.
He was more than forty years old, with a pair of drooping eyes150, a short, orderly beard151 on his chin, and an extremely pale
complexion. He also had some injuries from the ruckus152 a few days previous.
He originally thought that his Senior Brother, the Sect Leader, had wanted to inquire about the sequence of events, but upon seeing that tied-up Wudang disciple, he couldn’t help but change his expression.
Sect Leader Xuanyang told Priest Hezhen everything that the Alliance Leader’s party had discovered and asked, “How did this happen? Where are ‘Colorless Blood’ and ‘Lone Wolf’? Previously, Shaolin didn’t hear all of you ringing the bell. Was it because of this?”
“It wasn’t,” Priest Hezhen hastily moved to explain, “The incident with Single-eyed Li is true. We originally wanted to run outside and ring the bell, but we were all knocked unconscious by him.” Sect Leader Xuanyang asked, “Then what about ‘Colorless Blood’ and ‘Lone Wolf’?”
Priest Hezhen stiffened before he kneeled and said, with difficulty, “Answering Sect Leader, they… already died.”
He let out a breath and quickly explained, “At that time, they had just been locked up, and refused to accept discipline, constantly jeering at the disciples outside, always speaking extremely rudely, cursing both Shaolin and Wudang to die. I… I was unable to control my temper at one point and physically punished them.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang stared at him with an unclear expression. Suppressing his anger, he asked, “Are your words true?”
“It’s true. I never dared to tell you.” Priest Hezhen said, “When Single-eyed Li’s incident happened a few days ago, as if possessed, I just counted these two as part of the escapees.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang asked, “Then why did those impostors choose these two to impersonate?”
Priest Hezhen eagerly shook his head. “I really don’t know about this!”
Sect Leader Xuanyang’s face moved, but he managed to suppress his anger. He called over all the disciples who had been on guard duty.
Wenren Heng knew he wanted to ask some questions and so interrupted with a suggestion to separate everyone before asking each of them the questions one-by-one. This way, it would be obvious at a glance which statements were true and which were false.
Sect Leader Xuanyang gave him a glance and agreed.
Priest Hezhen suddenly looked at Wenren Heng; his face was as pale as a ghost.
Wenren Heng gave the priest a faint smile before turning to look at Sect Leader Xuanyang calling those people away separately. Taking his Junior Brother, he was prepared to follow and listen in. Seeing Shaolin’s people standing nearby, he said, “Shaolin and Wudang switch duties only once a month, while Bodhi Prison has already been operating for fifteen years, with apparently no other incidents having happened in all these years. Shaolin probably also isn’t blameless, right?”
Ye You said, “Who knows, but no person is perfect. Any person will have desires, whether big or small, whether towards someone or something.”
“Yes, we just don’t know what they sold themselves for…” Wenren Heng paused mid-sentence and then suddenly asked, “Any person will have desires. What about you?”
Ye You looked at him. “Of course I do too.” Wenren Heng said, “Oh?”
Ye You said, “For instance, right now, my desire is to quickly regain my memories. What about you, Senior Brother?”
Wenren Heng said, deadly earnest, “I wish to get married soon.” Ye You, “…”
By asking separately, the group quickly garnered results.
Those Wudang disciples were far from as calm and collected as Priest Hezhen. Just by kneeling on their own, they were already caught off guard. After being scared by the Sect Leader’s imposing presence and stared at by these unparalleled, exalted greats of the martial arts circle and then pierced by the gentle yet sharp questions asked by Wenren Heng, they were quickly and utterly defeated, spilling the beans about everything they knew had happened.
The first thing was that the time wasn’t correct.
Single-eyed Li escaped only after the news had spread of something happening at Bodhi Prison. At that time, Shaolin and Wudang had already been hurrying over. Shaolin was also situated too close to this place, so in order to cover up what had happened to “Colorless Blood” and “Lone Wolf”, they didn’t dare to ring the bell.
The second thing was that the number of people wasn’t correct.
Over the years, some other people have actually died, but they weren’t clear on the reason why. They were all disciples of Priest Hezhen, and their master had said that it wouldn’t be easy to explain why so many criminals have died under their watch, and that others would suspect that they personally acted against these criminals, so they should first conceal it. Thus, none of them dared to speak about it.
And of those people who died, if their sentences were almost up, the pretense would be that they’d already been released, and if they were getting on in years, they would slowly be allowed to “die”. So if this incident had never happened, then after a few more years, in Shaolin and Wudang’s records, “Colorless Blood” and “Lone Wolf” would have been written off as having died from either illness or age.
Regarding the matter of testing drugs, they were truly baffled.
Because every time they came, they practically always stood guard outside, and even the one who brought the meals was a designated person. None of them knew what was happening inside the prison, though they did have a vague sense that something was wrong, and occasionally they would hear something like a commotion, and so on.
Finally, they truly did not have anything to do with the matter of Single-eyed Li’s escape, and they simply felt that it had something to do with Priest Hezhen, though they had no evidence. At that time, they were truly caught off guard by Single-eyed Li and were knocked unconscious.
After hearing all this, Sect Leader Xuanyang’s entire face was blue, and the steam coming from his nose seemed liable to set the air aflame. He pressed down his anger with great difficulty and forced the words out from between his teeth, “Wudang will definitely provide an explanation to Jianghu about this matter!”
He let out a breath and said, furious, “Bring over Hezhen!”
Priest Hezhen walked in, pale-faced, and before he even had a chance to parse their body language, Sect Leader Xuanyang simply threw all of the disciples’ written confessions at him directly. He hastily caught it and skimmed through the words, and by the time he finished, even more color had drained from his face.
In a low voice, Sect Leader Xuanyang asked, “What words do you still have left to say?”
With a thud, Elder Hezhen fell to his knees.
Sect Leader Xuanyang asked, “Did you purposely free Single-eyed Li and the others?”
“No.” Seeing the Sect Leader look as if he was about to unsheathe his sword, Priest Hezhen hurriedly said, “It was Single-eyed Li who heard that things had been leaked, so he didn’t want to stay in Bodhi Prison any longer. Since he took the drug, his internal energy grew exponentially, so fearing that he’d be blamed, he fled.”
The moment these words were said, everyone’s spirits were rattled. Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “What do you mean by ‘take the drug’?” Priest Hezhen swallowed a mouthful of saliva and said, with difficulty, “A miracle doctor said that he could make a drug to greatly increase someone’s internal energy, but it was still unstable, and right now, using it would cause a person to lose their rationality, so he needed… to find more people to test it. If he could successfully make it, then he’d give me a bottle…”
Sect Leader Xuanyang’s expression turned abruptly cold.
Priest Hezhen lowered his head, not daring to speak any further. Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “Where is he?”
Priest Hezhen said, “Since the rumors about an incident at Bodhi Prison got out, he hasn’t come again.”
“Is it that he hasn’t come, or that he originally always lived within the prison itself?” Wenren Heng said, “It’s not convenient to come and go all the time, so if I was him, I’d find a place to stay.”
Priest Hezhen grit his teeth, but before he had the time to refute, he heard a commotion coming from outside. The Wudang disciples guarding the door quickly rushed in and told them that a beggar had come bearing a letter. The beggar said that every dirty deed that’s ever happened at Bodhi Prison over these past few years had been written down on that letter, and to have the Shaolin Abbot and Wudang Sect Leader please accept it.
That beggar had shouted as he walked and didn’t even enter the area, simply standing before the gates. Quite a few people have already gathered outside.
In a flash, the Alliance Leader and the others were silent, all thinking the same thing.
Academy Master Ge asked, “Is this the black piece’s next move?”
“It’s very possible,” Manor Lord Wei said, “Look, didn’t he purposely pick the day that we arrived to deliver this letter?”
Academy Master Ge said, “Let’s go and see what it says this time.” Sect Leader Xuanyang and the Shaolin Abbot stood up, prepared to go outside and look. The former turned to look at them, “Black piece?”
The Alliance Leader bitterly smiled. “We’ve been here so long yet we still haven’t found the time to explain. Let’s walk and talk.”
Priest Hezhen turned around and looked at them in bewilderment. Wenren Heng swept his eyes over before giving his subordinates a look. The scarred man understood implicitly and moved forward to explain to the priest. In this time, a Wudang disciple ran over and said that the Sect Leader and the others needed to go somewhere and that Priest Hezhen also needed to follow along. Those two then also left.
At this time, the Alliance Leader and the others were already able to confirm that this letter had indeed been sent by the black piece because the letter instructed them to go to a certain place. It was written in the style of, “After exiting, walk two hundred steps south, turn southwest and walk five hundred steps,” and so on, just like the map instructions.
Priest Hezhen had originally thought that if he absolutely refused to admit his deeds, then the Sect Leader and the others would never know the truth, but he had never anticipated the existence of a black piece and a white piece.
After hearing from the scarred man about the entire sequence of events, he was immediately fearful and alarmed, and it was only then that he understood why there was suddenly a ruckus about “Colorless Blood” and “Lone Wolf” during a period of peace and quiet. He followed, dazed, for a while. When he saw where they were going, he immediately felt his sight darken. He felt as if his blood and energy were churning and that he was no longer able to support his own injured body. Before he could even say half a word, he had fainted.
The scarred man expressionlessly looked at this scene of Wudang disciples rushing chaotically over to support this man. He thought that he had said everything that needed to be said and so returned to the Sect Master’s side.
Following the information in the letter, everyone slowly made their way into a forest. They saw that a circle had been once again drawn out for them, and the letter said that if they wanted to know the truth, then they should start digging.
The Alliance Leader and the others thought back to their previous disastrous experience, and their expressions all turned funny, fearing that they’d once again dig up more map pieces.
With aching heads, they assigned some subordinates and waited on the side, prepared to wait for a long while. But who knew that before an incense stick had even finished burning153, they’d hear someone say, startled, “We dug it up!”
They were all somewhat disbelieving and were about to look over when, in the next moment, a person shouted, “Ah, it’s a dead body!”
This entire area had dead bodies, many, many dead bodies. The majority of them had already turned to bone.
And from some of them, it could be seen that a new hole had been dug right on top of the old hole, with the original bones broken by metal shovels and mixed in with the new bones. It unveiled a ghastly and desolate meaning.
Everyone dug from midday until nightfall, and the more they dug, the more cold their hearts became. At the end, they almost couldn’t believe their own eyes.
Was this the truth about Bodhi Prison?
In these fifteen years, what happened in Bodhi Prison?
The corpses were pulled out one-by-one and set down neatly, forming no less than five entire rows, and it was unknown whether even more remained beneath. Everyone looked at them, expressions blank, as one, two, three… More and more people turned to look at Shaolin and Wudang.
In this moment when a sound couldn’t be heard, an elderly voice suddenly came from behind, “Wh-what is this?”
Everyone turned their heads and saw that it was Lady Tao who had arrived.
She was supporting an old woman, and it was this old woman who had asked the previous question.
Ye You couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows.
Lady Tao first discovered him amidst the crowd, and although it was hard to see his face clearly under the layers of bandages, she nevertheless noticed his question and so turned towards everyone to explain, “I heard that something happened at Bodhi Prison, so I came over to look. This grandmother also wanted to climb up this mountain, and seeing her having difficulty walking, I supported her so that we could come together. All of you…”
Before she even finished speaking, she narrowed her eyes and saw the corpses beyond the crowd. Her expression changed, and her first reaction was to try and block the old woman’s line of sight, but in the end, she was too late. The old woman evidently also saw it and suddenly staggered forward a step, uncaring of any obstructions, to stand next to the hole.
The old woman’s cloudy eyes opened wide, and as if she couldn’t stand upright, she had to reach out a wrinkled hand to lean against the neighboring tree. Moving her chapped lips, she spoke in a hoarse voice after a long while, “My Ah-Sheng, he… Since he was small, he was clever, but unfortunately he never used it in the right place. As a youth, he said he wanted to leave home and travel around Jianghu, and later I heard people say that he caused trouble and was locked up. Since he feared our anger, he didn’t dare tell home. We were angry, but no matter what he did, a child is still his parents’ own flesh and blood, and that relationship is unbreakable.” Her throat was choked with sobs. “Me and his father were afraid that he was suffering in prison, so we hurried over to see him, but every time we came, the officers told us that he was too ashamed to face us. We waited a year, then another year, and his father couldn’t wait any longer and so left first. I brought him news, but he was still unwilling to see me. A month ago, his sentence was up, so I came to pick him up, but the officer said that he had already left. I thought that he ought to see his own mother… But to this day, I still haven’t seen him come home. When I heard that something happened in this place, I wondered if he had actually never left and had decided to stay behind to do more misdeeds, so I came to persuade him…”
She stared vacantly at these people, her cloudy eyes seemed to be mixed with a flash of tearful hope. She asked softly, “Is he still here?”
— Is he still here?
Everyone was speechless.
In fifteen years, those who should’ve left have remained behind eternally. Those who shouldn’t have left were lifted up with the roll of a grass mat154, buried in the soil, and mixed in with other bones, so that now there was no way to differentiate who was who.
The evening autumn wind pricked the air, and tree leaves rustled down, covering the ground.
After a countless number of breaths, a single chilling wail pierced through the heavens.
It could be that she already had a premonition over these years, or that all her countless uneasy feelings were bursting out. The old woman sat on the ground, paralyzed, and looked towards those piles of white bones, crying out in despair and mourning.
The Shaolin Abbot sat cross-legged, his palms pressed together, chanting sutras for the souls of the departed. Following that, more and more Shaolin disciples joined in, and the spiraling sounds of sanskrit quickly twisted into a single entity, fluttering away in the gloomy and cold forest.
Ye You moved slightly to lean against a tree and looked up at the darkening sky.
Wenren Heng said, “What are you thinking about?” Ye You, “I’m wondering if they’re able to hear it.”
Wenren Heng said, “If they were still here, then they will definitely hear it. If they have already been taken away by ghost messengers, then they probably can’t hear it.”
Ye You nodded.
Shaolin’s Abbot Ciyuan finished reading the last part of the scripture and stood up, turning to look at Sect Leader Xuanyang. Both understood the other’s meaning — Shaolin and Wudang’s hundred years of righteous reputation definitely couldn’t be destroyed just because of this.
No matter who the white piece was, they would definitely investigate this matter until the end.
In the letter, other than the map, it also said that it was best to verify how many bones there were, and to check the number of escapees with the convict register; perhaps then one would discover some anomaly. The two finished arranging the matters here and then prepared to go back personally to check. Seeing everyone also paying extremely close attention, they decided that they might as well compare the numbers in front of them.
During this process, Priest Hezhen woke up. Sect Leader Xuanyang then promptly paused the proceedings to instruct the disciples to pull that person outside.
The first things Priest Hezhen saw were those white bones, and he immediately started to tremble with cold. Then he turned to look at the Sect Leader, and seeing the other looking liable to kill him, he once again returned to trembling. Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “This letter has mentioned all the matters regarding Bodhi Prison. Everything we should know, we’ll eventually know in the end. If you still won’t say exactly what happened, then you’ll never have to worry about talking again.”
Everything that Priest Hezhen obtained by luck had thoroughly collapsed. He said, with difficulty, “…If I speak, would Sect Leader spare my life?”
A spark of severity flashed through Sect Leader Xuanyang’s eyes, and he could no longer contain it. He pulled out his sword and pressed it against the other’s throat. This person caused the deaths of so many people, yet he still had the audacity to beg them for a way out!
Priest Hezhen’s cold sweat dripped down in waves.
Since things have already reached this point, there was no use struggling any further.
Resigned, Priest Hezhen carefully relayed everything once through. His previous words weren’t entirely false; there truly had been a miracle doctor who claimed to be able to make a drug that’d exponentially increase one’s martial skill. He had always believed that he had lost the seat of Sect Leader because his martial skill was weaker than his Senior Brother’s, so he couldn’t contain his greedy desires. Thus, he started colluding with them.
After those convicts entered the prison, they always asked whether the prisoners had close friends and family. Their excuse was that they needed to find convenient times to allow for visitations, and that it was for their records, but the truth was that they just wanted to know if there would be people looking for these prisoners afterwards.
If there was, they would arrange for a cell near the front of the prison, and they wouldn’t move the person back. If there wasn’t, they’d arrange for a cell in the back and then use the person to test drugs. Besides that, if the person’s sentence was long, they would also consider using that person to test drugs.
Those in the surroundings sunk into silence, all thinking of the old woman just now. Her son was afraid of his parents’ anger, so at the time, he probably said that he would have no visitors, and it was precisely this one sentence that cost him his life.
Sect Leader Xuanyang suppressed his desire to stab this scoundrel to death with his sword and asked, “What did they want to do? What about that ruthless doctor?”
“The miracle doctor came with a rich lord. That lord said he wanted to perform an experiment in Jianghu. Using the miracle doctor’s drugs, he was going to create a group of obedient, drugged people…” As Priest Hezhen said this, he finally collapsed. That lord had promised him that, after this matter was completed, a disturbance would be created in Jianghu. When his Senior Brother, the Sect Leader, went to settle down the disorder, the lord would seize the opportunity to kill the other party, so from then on, Wudang would be his.
He wallowed in regret. “I also only learned today that they originally had a white piece behind them.”
From the start, he had been tricked by them, and he had been only an ignorant chess piece.
The Alliance Leader frowned. “You don’t know who the white piece is?”
Priest Hezhen shook his head.
Sect Leader Xuanyang stabbed his sword forward once.
Priest Hezhen’s face turned white, and he shouted, “Sect Leader, I’m telling the truth! I truly don’t know!”
“It’s most likely true. The white piece was able to hide for so many years, so he’s clearly extremely cautious. I’m afraid that he won’t easily reveal his identity to others.” Ye You said, “The important thing is that miracle doctor. Did he use to live in the prison? I saw that the letter said to compare the number of people. I think that other than the miracle doctor, it’s possible that other people also lived here, and they all ran away together that night.” Priest Hezhen closed his eyes. “That’s right, those that escaped that night were mostly their people.”
Ye You said, “The rumors about ‘Colorless Blood’ and ‘Lone Wolf’ injuring people were first spread near here, and Shaolin came the moment they heard. At that time, all of you still haven’t learned about the confrontation between the black piece and the white piece, and you also weren’t clear that everything was known by the black piece. So you wanted to cope with it for a while and wait for everything to blow over, right?”
Priest Hezhen didn’t open his mouth, tacitly agreeing.
Ye You continued with, “I’m guessing that the black piece’s plan was to block off their escape route, but Shaolin was slow by a step and so they were luckily able to run. But in this short period of time, the drug dispensary couldn’t have disappeared into thin air, so where is it?”
Priest Hezhen had originally believed that he had already turned entirely numb, but upon hearing this, he couldn’t help but tremble once again.
Ye You said, “Is there a hidden chamber inside?” Priest Hezhen said, “Yes…”
Everyone’s expressions changed. At the time, Bodhi Prison was built through the funds of many large sects, and the items and people were also all found together. When exactly did the white piece start making his move?
Sect Leader Xuanyang asked in a heavy voice, “Who was it that found the people that built Bodhi Prison? And who was it that provided the blueprints?”
Qingcheng Sect’s Sect Master Han’s eyes flew fiercely open.
He stood there stiffly for a moment, watching them discuss for a time before their lines of sight began falling on him, one by one.
Sect Master Han felt that he had been very wronged.
But at this time, he couldn’t just yell, “I’ve been wrongly accused.”
He said, “I did find the people, but the layout of Bodhi Prison wasn’t something I decided by myself. Wasn’t it something that we all discussed together?”
“It seems like it.” A Sect Master that had a good relationship with Sect Master Han said, “I remember that we didn’t want them to pass on information, and that we were probably also going to imprison women, so we decided on a single entrance with a winding path?”
With some hesitation, the rest nodded their heads.
But it was, after all, something that had happened fifteen years ago, so they could only roughly recall the reason behind this style of construction. As for who was the one who originally proposed it, they could not remember at all clearly.
The feeling of misfortune that had bubbled up in a split second in Sect Master Han’s heart had completely disappeared. With his thoughts clear, he said, “Sir Xiao also said that the white piece was very cautious. If I was really the white piece, I would definitely consider what to do if my misdeeds were exposed, so I wouldn’t have been willing to get involved with such things. And what’s more, at that time, the only thing I did back then was to help find some people. Afterwards, I never even went to look in on them. Who knows why they would build a hidden chamber.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang muttered to himself for a while before once again looking at the person kneeling on the ground.
Thinking that the other was suspicious of him, Priest Hezhen ferociously shook his head. “It’s also not me. Newly building a hidden chamber would make too obvious a commotion, so I wouldn’t do this. At the time, the miracle doctor had been planning on picking out a prison cell to live in, but then he inadvertently discovered a hidden chamber. I also thought originally that it was something built to lock up important prisoners…”
The more he talked, the more bitter he became, and he became unable to speak any further.
At the time, he had thought that their luck was good, but who could have imagined that that person had known about it all along. Why was he so stupid? Why hadn’t he been the least bit suspicious?
The Alliance Leader said, “It looks like the hidden chamber had been built back when Bodhi Prison was originally being built.”
The others turned silent.
Since it was like this, every single one of them had suspicions.
Manor Lord Wei suddenly looked at Priest Hezhen. “When the incident occurred, all of you were prepared to cope with it and simply wait for the rumors to die down before returning, so that miracle doctor and those others probably haven’t gone far. They should know who the white piece is, right?”
A light flashed through everyone’s eyes, and they heard Priest Hezhen say that he couldn’t be sure, but that he did know to which direction those people fled. Thus, they immediately sent people to search, striving to capture and bring back that miracle doctor.
After they finished relaying their instructions, Sect Leader Xuanyang again began asking about other matters.
The remaining issues were all various odds and ends, such as that Single-eyed Li was still alive but, having been fed drugs by that miracle doctor, had already become an obedient killing puppet, and that the previously mentioned “Long Sissal” was already long dead, and that one of the miracle doctor’s people had been disguised as that man, wanting to put forth the impression that the other had fled.
During the day, when he heard Ye You wanting to verify the number of people, that large man had started sneering before changing his tune halfway. He had probably seen too many corpses lifted out of here over the years and so feared also being out of luck, thus he stiffly stopped his own mouth.
Seeing that there was no longer anything else to ask, Sect Leader Xuanyang escorted Priest Hezhen into Bodhi Prison, indicating for the other to open up the hidden chamber.
That rotten, black-hearted doctor had left in a hurry, and so many items reminded behind in the room, with quite a few bottles and pots lying around.
The Young Miracle Doctor looked around and wanted to stay to investigate. But there was no telling when the black piece and the white piece would make their next moves, and it was also unknown if there were further secrets in this hidden chamber, so remaining behind would be too dangerous. Thus, they let him carry away only a portion of the items and had him wait until tomorrow to return.
The Young Miracle Doctor listened well to the advice and picked and chose the items, carrying them out.
The day was already late, but neither Wudang nor Shaolin’s people rested, continuing to check the numbers.
When those white bones were still living, no one paid them any mind, and even when they died, no one was aware of it. Even if they had done wrong before, now that they were already dust to dust, ashes to ashes, those living should at least erect a grave and allow them to rest in peace.
Sect Leader Xuanyang was going to deal with the matter of Priest Hezhen and the Wudang disciples personally, and none from the Alliance Leader’s group was planning on interfering.
And since Bodhi Prison was able to come out unscathed for fifteen years, then it was possible that even Shaolin wasn’t blameless. Abbot Ciyuan also didn’t need anyone to remind him and had already locked up all the disciples involved, already making preparations to question them after they finished counting the numbers.
Ye You didn’t much care about these matters. He had been pulled back to the room by his Senior Brother, and upon seeing the other look at him thoughtfully, he asked, “What?”
Wenren Heng said, “I’m just wondering, how exactly did the black piece learn about these matters at Bodhi Prison?”
Ye You really wanted to know if his Senior Brother would be able to guess it, so he went along with the other’s analysis and said, “Yes, that’s really a crucial point. Could it be the black piece has another accomplice?”
“And that accomplice has been to Bodhi Prison before. Either it’s someone beside the miracle doctor who suddenly had regrets, or it’s some prisoner who was fed the drug but luckily survived, managing to escape and meet the black piece,” Wenren Heng continued, “Of these two options, both of them carry the sense of having to be extraordinarily lucky, so I don’t think either possibility is very high.”
Ye You raised a brow. “Oh?”
“That secret book was written eight, nine years ago. While the black piece was waiting over these years, he most likely did some other things as well.” Wenren Heng looked at this Junior Brother of his and, after thinking it over, said, “He knew who the white piece was, and he also knew that the other wasn’t easy to oppose, so for the sake of the white piece’s downfall, he must have tracked everything that had ever involved the white piece, and so Bodhi Prison naturally fell under his purview.”
Ye You nodded approvingly. “And then?”
Wenren Heng reached out a hand and unraveled his Junior Brother’s bandages. He said, “At first, he probably sent only one person to keep watch, and only after finding out that there was actually a problem did he send more subordinates over. He knew that the white piece couldn’t simply do whatever he pleased at Bodhi Prison, so for the sake of confirming his suspicions, he probably sent people inside to probe into the truth. Just now, I flipped through the visitors’ register, and right away I found that that woman who is about to be released has a younger brother. That brother would come and bring his sister snacks every month, and out of all the visitors, he’s the one who visits the most frequently. What do you think, is it possible that they were sent by the black piece?”
Ye You felt a shudder in delight go down his back in a flash.
Wenren Heng continued with, “That woman’s crime doesn’t seem to be too serious, and her sentence was four and a half years, so the time matches up.”
The so-called ‘time matches up’ was referring to the time it took for the Demonic Sect to stand on steady footing after moving to the Central Plains, and then for Ye You to send subordinates to Bodhi Prison, and then to discover something fishy, and then for him to send people to spy in the prison; the time matches up just right.
Ye You really wanted to give his Senior Brother some applause.
But his Senior Brother was incorrect about one thing; that woman wasn’t one of his, but that so-called younger brother was.
At the time, when he had guessed that they were choosing people to test drugs at Bodhi Prison, he still had the option of backing out, and while he was hesitating over whether he should send someone inside, he coincidentally heard about a woman about to be locked up after committing a crime. He saw that she didn’t look too stupid, so while she was being escorted to the prison, he secretly sent the information, telling her that, if she didn’t want to die, to say that she had a younger brother on the outside and that every month he’ll come to see her. Luckily, the woman was somewhat clever and listened to what he said, so he was saved from having to send someone else.
By and large, it was a mutually beneficial exchange, and in these four and a half years, the woman had told his subordinate of many matters that had happened inside. But because she was imprisoned, the woman was not sure about where the miracle doctor was. It was also only after walking through the prison today that he guessed that there was a secret chamber.
But his Senior Brother knew none of these things and was still able to deduce his train of thought so accurately and even saw that there was an issue with the woman and her “younger brother” at a glance; all of this made him very happy.
Ye You suppressed his inner feelings and gave the other a confirmation, “If I was the black piece, I probably would’ve acted like that.”
Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgement and said, “I also want to know how the black piece guessed that they were testing drugs and that it wasn’t something like excessive corporal punishments and so on. Did he send people to dig up those corpses, or did he have some idea from the beginning?”
“I also want to clear that up.” Ye You looked quite put out as he let out a sigh. “Let’s hope my memories return quickly.”
Wenren Heng said, “Yes.”
He unhurriedly stroked the bottle containing the Hundred-Grass Dew, leaving it unopened for the time being.
He remembered Priest Hezhen’s words, that those who took the drug would have their internal energy grow exponentially while losing their rationality. Then did the swordsman “Boundless Line” who murdered his Master that year really have a qi deviation, or was he fed this kind of drug?
For ten years, he had been thinking about why his Junior Brother had left him. Sometimes, he would think that it really was due to that wrong he had committed, and other times, he’d think that his Junior Brother must have had some unspoken troubles of his own. It was only today that he had finally grasped a hint regarding what truly happened that year.
Ye You said, “Senior Brother?”
Wenren Heng returned to himself and looked at the person in front of him before stroking his Junior Brother’s head extremely tenderly. That was also his Master, and what’s more, he was also the eldest disciple. If his Junior Brother had truly concealed such matters from him and decided to carry the burden alone, he definitely had to give this person a good tidying up at some point.
Ye You had a sudden sense of foreboding and ducked out of the way. “…Senior Brother?”
With a gentle voice, Wenren Heng said, “Come here, I’ll put on the medicine for you.”
Ye You didn’t move from his seat, feeling as if his back was very cold. Wenren Heng then decided that he might as well move forward himself, and he then applied the medicine with the same expression as always. Ye You observed for a while, and just like how his Senior Brother couldn’t always see through his thoughts, he also couldn’t always understand this person’s way of thinking, so the only thing he could do was sit still and quietly observe.
After being angered by those white bones, many Jianghu adventurers voluntarily joined the search parties for the miracle doctor. But after an entire night, they still had not captured him. Everyone guessed that either he had been hidden too deeply or he had fled faraway at the first signs of trouble.
Everyone was immediately furious, internally thinking that he better not let them know who he was or else they’d really humiliate him!
At this time, the Demonic Sect Elders were currently swearing alongside this crowd of people. When they found that it was about done, they let out a large sigh and, with arms around each other’s shoulders, went down the mountain to find something to eat. And then, after walking some ways, they pulled out a youth who had been hidden in the underbrush and glared at him maliciously.
That youth was precisely that “younger brother” who always brought food for his “dear sister”. When an incident happened at Bodhi Prison, this impostor “younger brother” had felt it natural to come take a look. Today, other than giving that woman some cooked chicken, his main goal was to find these Demonic Sect Elders.
Looking at their ruthless expressions, he felt cold sweat appear. “Elders, I have s-s-something to tell you… Elder H-H-Hei is still w- w-waiting for you…”
Those Elders coldly snorted and indicated for him to lead the way before following behind him all the way to the small county town.
Elder Baili said, “Why is he staying this far away? He couldn’t have been scared by those search parties last night, right?”
“No,” the youth said, “We just returned not long ago.” Elder Mei asked, “Why were you gone?”
The youth said, “We went to chase those people. The Sect Master wanted us to do our best to block their way, but their skills were too formidable. When we couldn’t stop them, only then did we return.”
The Elders said an, “Oh,” and their expressions turned even more sinister.
The youth was so scared that he started to quiver, and he didn’t dare to say whatever he pleased anymore. Trembling with fear, he brought them into a small courtyard.
At this moment, Elder Hei was eating some noodles.
His surname wasn’t Hei, and he wasn’t dark-skinned155, but he was in charge of the Demonic Sect’s shadow guards and so he often wore pitch-black clothes, which was where he got this name. But although he often worked as a shadow guard, his appearance wasn’t frightening, and he couldn’t put on a mask of killing intent to scare a child with one look. On the contrary, he had been born looking delicate, and if he changed his clothes and picked up a folding fan, he’d look just like those weak and sickly young masters. Seeing him eating those appetizing noodles, those Elders eagerly hurried over for a fight.
Upon seeing them, Elder Hei hastily greeted them warmly, “Have you eaten? If you haven’t, let’s eat together. The kitchens made extra… Ow!”
Without a word, those Elders had pressed him down and ruthlessly began giving him a beating.
“What did I do? Why are you hitting me?” Elder Hei did his best to dodge. “Wasn’t I just eating a bowl of noodles? I wasn’t even eating your noodles, ow! Are we really doing this? Don’t think that this older brother wouldn’t dare to beat you back… Stop, my body has injuries, injuries, injuries… Ah, we’re on the same side, so why are we being so violent to each other… If I’m going to die, at least let me know what I’m dying for, ahhhh…”
The grievances and anger in those Elders’ hearts were enough to overflow the Yellow River.
“So it turned out that you knew everything from the beginning! If you already knew, why didn’t you say so earlier!”
“That’s right! Leaving us scared and frightened for that many days, that many days——!”
“These past few weeks we’ve traversed mountains and waded through rivers, even climbing through mountain ranges right after crossing actual mountain peaks! We couldn’t eat till we were full and sleep until we were rested! It’s all your fault!”
“That’s absolutely right! It’s all your fault!”
Elder Hei struggled and shouted, “I also didn’t know anything!” Those Elders stopped. “Then what are you doing here?”
Elder Hei said, “The Sect Leader only told me to keep watch on Bodhi Prison, and if someone runs away from there to not let them run. He also said that once he gets here he’ll probably already be secretly watched by someone and that his every move would be followed by that person. He told me to find someone to send a letter over there and also told me to tell all of you not to contact him for now and just to wait for him to take the initiative to find you. He never told me about anything else. What did you mean when you said you traversed mountains and waded through rivers?”
Those Elders were silent for a moment before throwing him away and moving to sit at the table. They picked up the bowl, grabbed some noodles, and started eating.
“These noodles are pretty delicious.”
“I think if we add an egg, it’d taste even better.” “Yes, this soup also tastes pretty good.”
“It’s very flavorful, I like it. Hey, whoever, you should go heat up some water; I want to take a bath in a bit.”
“…” Elder Hei finally exploded. “Why don’t all of you say something? You just beat me up for nothing——?!”
At this time, the Alliance Leader and the others had also received the results of the search, and everyone collectively let out a sigh.
Right now, the white piece had yet to be captured, and the black piece was still hiding in secret, so there was no telling where things would develop from here.
The group couldn’t help but look at Sir Xiao. Academy Master Ge asked, “Does Sir Xiao have any thoughts? What do you think their next steps will be?”
“This, I don’t know.” Ye You paused. “But…” Everyone’s hearts also paused with him.
They were always endlessly flabbergasted every time this person turned the conversation around; they didn’t know what he’d say this time. Ye You threw out the words his Senior Brother said last night, “Don’t you think something is strange? Bodhi Prison’s matters are guarded so strictly, so how did the black piece learn of it? And to also know everything in such detail, including clear ideas of where they buried the bodies and who exactly died?”
“There’s no meaning in guessing what’s odd about only the white piece. The black piece also contributed to this board. Let’s all guess at the black piece’s identity this time.” Ye You said, “I’ve felt that it was strange since earlier on. The villa was built to be so well-hidden, yet the black piece was still able to find its location so accurately. It’s quite inconceivable. And if you include this current incident, do you think that the black piece could have long since been familiar with the white piece? Is it possible that he’s the white piece’s partner or trusted confidant and, unable to abide by the white piece’s deeds anymore, wanted to expose him?”
Everyone thought for a bit. “It’s not impossible.”
Wenren Heng internally thought a simple ferocious; his Junior Brother was trying to make the white piece suspicious of his own people.
But the board that his Junior Brother laid out was so vast that there could actually be someone by the white piece’s side who was a traitor. So he wasn’t afraid of harming that person by saying these words?
Academy Master Ge couldn’t help but say, “If this is really the case, what if after hearing this, the white piece secretly deals with the black piece, then what?”
Ye You returned with a question, “If the black piece feels it’s too dangerous, then he should take the initiative to escape and reveal the truth to the world, wouldn’t this be even better?”
This was also true. Everyone turned silent. The Alliance Leader pinched his brows and brought everyone’s attentions back to the current incident. He said, “We probably can’t get anything more useful from Wudang’s side. From Shaolin’s side…”
Before he could finish speaking, an earsplitting Buddha came from the backyard, piercing right through people’s souls.
Everyone was immediately alarmed and hastily began rushing over.
Ye You unhurriedly followed behind. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw yesterday’s old woman sitting on the steps. She looked as if she had aged overnight, and Lady Tao was currently holding her hand, patiently accompanying her.
Wenren Heng asked, “What are you looking at?” Ye You honestly said, “I’m looking at Lady Tao.”
Wenren Heng was extremely dissatisfied, but he asked, even- tempered, “Beautiful to look at?”
Ye You laughed and was even more honest, “The most beautiful woman in Jiangnan is naturally also beautiful to look at. It’s not only her appearance that’s beautiful but also her heart as well.”
Wenren Heng felt his anger peak, but before he could open his mouth, someone beside them interjected with an indifferent, “In Jianghu, everyone says that Lady Tao and Sect Master Ye are already a harmonious couple, and Lady Tao even danced the Fengqi Dance for Sect Master Ye, so perhaps we’ll hear about their marriage not long from now.”
The two turned their heads and found that it was Wei Jiangyue who had come.
Ye You said, “Since Sect Master Ye was able to earn Lady Tao’s favor, he must be an outstanding person.”
Wei Jiangyue, who set clear lines between right and wrong, coldly said, “He’s only a monster. Nothing good about him.” What I said just now wasn’t a question, I was simply making a statement, Ye You silently shot the other a glance and didn’t respond. The corners of Wenren Heng’s mouth lifted up, but he quickly stowed it away when his Junior Brother turned to look at him, holding his smile in.
In the time that Wei Jiangyue took to speak, he had walked over to them and was now walking alongside them. He looked at Sir Xiao, and while he hesitated for a while, he ultimately couldn’t hold it in and reminded in a low voice, “It’s too dangerous for you to always be like this.”
Ye You laughed and asked, “Like what? Looking at beautiful people?”
“…No,” Wei Jiangyue said, “I’m talking about how you’re able to see through the white piece and the black piece’s moves. Before, it was guessing the white piece’s misdeeds, and today, it’s guessing who the black piece is.”
Ye You understood. “So I could be silenced?”
Wei Jiangyue nodded. “Right now, you… don’t have the ability to protect yourself after all. It’s better to investigate secretly. I’ll help you.”
Ye You said, “But I’ve already shown off my ability. Even if I stop speaking from now on, they still won’t be reassured… We’re here.”
The two people next to him lifted their heads and saw seven, eight Shaolin disciples lying on the ground, looking as if they were no longer breathing. Master156 Deru, who was in charge of guarding Bodhi Prison, had red eyes. His acupoints had been hit, and he was currently pressed down on the ground, with veins visible on his
Abbot Ciyuan was currently using his internal energy to suppress his disciple. The Buddha just now was also something that he had shouted.
Ye You quietly stood there, pressing his emotions down into the depths of his heart. He looked for a long while before asking, “What happened?”
Academy Master Ge’s expression was grave. “I heard that they suddenly went mad out of nowhere. Their internal energy rose, and they all wanted to commit suicide. Those people couldn’t be saved, and the only one left now is Master Deru.”
Master Deru was Abbot Ciyuan’s youngest disciple.
It’s said that, for the entire year, in every season, other than practicing martial arts, he knew only how to read scripture.
If there was no work to do, he could stay indoors for an entire day, without even changing position. If no one looked after him, then he himself wouldn’t go look for food and would probably simply starve to death like that.
Although the Abbot did want his disciples to be fascinated by scripture, the Abbot also thought that it wasn’t good for him to always be like this and so tried teaching him to play chess, but he couldn’t learn it at all. The Abbot then tried teaching him tea ceremony, yet he still wasn’t able to learn. The Abbot thus gave up on teaching him about matters related to cultivating mental refinement and started teaching him the basics of preserving his own life.
Regardless of anything else, if this disciple ever decided to go down the mountain alone one day, then at the barest minimum, he should know how to ask for alms.
The matter of asking for alms was at least something Master Deru still knew how to do.
But unfortunately his form was too rough and burly, his eyes too large, so he always gave people a fiendish and demonic impression. Moreover, he had a slow-witted disposition, so when he knocked on people’s doors, he’d stand there with the alms bowl, staring at the person unblinkingly when the door opened, scaring the other party until their faces paled and the door was slammed in his face. While watching this scene from afar, the Abbot even felt his usual pleasant and amiable countenance start to crack.
Later, the Abbot patiently taught him again a few more times, telling him that he must maintain a gentle atmosphere, before this disciple finally succeeded in learning it. The Abbot felt as if he had just accomplished something momentous, and even had the sudden feeling that it was probably fine even if this was the only thing his disciple ever learned in a lifetime. He then brought this person back to Shaolin.
And even later, when Bodhi Prison was built, and Shaolin and Wudang needed to take turns sending people over as guards, the Abbot once again turned this idea over to his disciple.
Although this disciple was foolish, his martial arts was quite good, and it would be a pity for someone with such a suitable appearance as a guard not to be sent over to watch the prison. Moreover, being able to go every other month and hone his character could perhaps be a good thing.
The Abbot certainly had some unspoken expectations. Because no one could be sure about what the future held, if there ever came a day when he himself and the other disciples weren’t around and there was need for Deru to appear, then he hoped that this person would be able to shoulder some responsibility.
But it wasn’t until today that he felt some remorse, in a time far too late for regrets. His disciple was so foolish that he didn’t even know that he had been drugged!
Sweat slowly seeped out of Abbot Ciyuan’s forehead, and feeling his disciple about to break through those sealed acupoints, he once again increased his internal energy to press the other down.
Upon seeing this, the Masters standing on the side hastily moved, surrounding the two of them in a circle and adding in their own internal energy. Like fighting against a long, torrential river, they finally managed to to hold Deru thoroughly in place. But his consciousness remained muddled, and he was unable to recognize anyone, only able to howl incessantly in a hoarse voice.
With an aching heart, Abbot Ciyuan knocked him unconscious. The Alliance Leader’s party hadn’t dared to disturb them just now,
and after asking the nearby young Buddhist monk a few questions in
a low voice, they had stood aside watching quietly. And because of Abbot Ciyuan’s haste after the incident happened, he was not clear on what had been the cause. After entrusting his disciple to others, he once again looked in grief at the mass of Wudang disciples laid out upon the ground before finally inquiring about the course of events.
The Shaolin disciple who had been in charge of guarding Deru and the others had been caught completely unprepared by the tragic deaths of his fellow sect members and had already long had tears streaming down his cheeks. He said, choked with sobs, “This disciple also doesn’t know what happened, but when bringing over the meals, this disciple seemed to have heard the sound of a flute.”
Abbot Ciyuan asked, “The sound of a flute?”
The Shaolin disciple said, crying, “Yes, it sounded for a very short moment. And then Martial Uncle and the Senior Brothers suddenly went mad. This disciple doesn’t know if it has anything to do with that.”
Everyone turned silent.
With Master Deru’s appearance, it was clear that he had been given drugs, but it was unclear when exactly the drugs were given.
One possibility was that the reason why Bodhi Prison was able to remain safe and unscathed under the watch of Shaolin was related to these drugs. Another possibility was that Shaolin had participated in these matters, and so they had been silenced.
Regarding to what degree the drug had spread, what exactly its efficacy was, and what relationship it had with the sound of the flute, they did not know any of these things. The only “clue” they had already lost consciousness, and they didn’t know if he could ever regain his rationality.
Wenren Heng said, “Let's send him over for the Young Miracle Doctor to take a look.”
Abbot Ciyuan had also decided on that. He instructed the disciples to carry Deru and then, after making some inquiries, went into Bodhi Prison.
Yesterday, the Young Miracle Doctor had taken away only a few bottles of drugs and had investigated them for most of the night. The next morning, he had hurriedly rushed over to enter the hidden pavilion. When Wenren Heng heard, he internally said a
single fool before sending all his subordinates over to guard the other so as to avoid any mishaps from happening.
When they arrived, the Young Miracle Doctor was currently focusing his full attention on investigating the drug powder. Upon seeing them bring in a live person, he received quite a scare. After inquiring about the situation, he hurriedly had them bring the person over to the stone bed in the room before doing a careful examination. He then started sifting through the pile of small bottles on the side.
Everyone didn’t dare to disturb him and so said not a word. Even when he stopped moving and simply sat there frowning, they still didn’t dare to open their mouths.
It was only after he had inserted a row of needles in Master Deru and had lifted his head to look at them did someone ask, “How is it?”
The Young Miracle Doctor placed a small bottle on the table. “This should be the finished product.”
Academy Master Ge asked, “What’s it used for? Consuming it will cause the internal energy to grow like this?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Yes, inside also contains herbs to confuse people’s reason. After consumption, one will become very obedient. The flute sound all of you mentioned should be one of those… one of those…”
Ye You understood. “Like one of those flutes snake charmers use?” The Young Miracle Doctor nodded. “It should be about the same.” Everyone’s hearts turned heavy.
The drug had already been completed. Like this, it was very possible that the white piece already had an entire herd of drugged people with excess internal energy at his beck and call. What would he use these people to do?
Academy Master Ge’s heart felt very cold, and he couldn’t help but ask, “Is there an antidote?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “I’ll try and see if I can make an antidote.”
Ye You laughed and said, “Don’t just say whatever comes to mind right now. If I was the white piece, then right now I’d definitely really want to kill you.”
The Young Miracle Doctor stared blankly.
Everyone didn’t wait for him to react; they had all understood Sir Xiao’s meaning and immediately felt that the Young Miracle Doctor was incomparably more precious than gold. They started discussing how many people would be suitable to guard him when they heard Sir Xiao saying that it was probably best to bring everything outside. They couldn’t help but look at him.
Pavilion Master Ding said, “There are various people outside. Anyone could easily find an opening to make a move.”
The Alliance Leader said, “Yes, if there’s no tricks in this hidden chamber, then it’s safer here than outside. There’s only one path, and we can send people to guard both inside and outside, and have only those we trust inside here.”
Manor Lord Wei sighed. “Those we trust? Right now, at this critical juncture, those people are not easy to find.”
That one sentence turned everyone silent.
At this time, they all had suspicions, those without morals look reliable but could in actuality be murderers. And what’s more, what could be done if the white piece wanted to shift the blame and frame someone and so took this opportunity to find a scapegoat? Sect Master Han said, “I was the one who found the people to build Bodhi Prison. Since my involvement is unclear, I won’t participate in this matter regarding the Young Miracle Doctor.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “If everyone can believe in my Wudang one more time, Wudang is willing to send people to protect Miracle Doctor Fang.”
Abbot Ciyuan placed his palms together and said an, “Amitabha,” also willing to be bound to the duty.
These two’s statuses were extremely high, and although these two sects had encountered setbacks when guarding Bodhi Prison, while the white piece had yet to be revealed, it might truly be better to just entrust this person to them.
Seeing that matters had been decided, Ye You once again proposed moving everything outside. Upon seeing their hesitation, he said, “Can any of you guarantee that this miracle doctor has truly left? If one or two people had been left behind just in case, then when the time came, they need only to hear the sound of the flute before rushing out to start killing every which way. Bodhi Prison has this many turns, and only one path, so if something actually happens, even if the Young Miracle Doctor shouts for help, there’s no guarantee that anyone outside will hear him.”
Academy Master Ge said, “But these prison cells are made of black iron…”
He paused mid-speech, remembering that if there were people left behind who had been working with the miracle doctor, then it was possible that they would have the keys and the flute. If the Young Miracle Doctor did decide to stay inside this prison, then it truly would be quite dangerous.
Sluggishly, the Young Miracle Doctor reacted and turned to look at them. “I also want to stay outside. It’s far too stifling in here.”
Thus, everyone no longer had any further complaints. In a short while, the Shaolin and Wudang disciples had come, file- by-file, and set about helping the Young Miracle Doctor move everything. They then heard a certain “lantern” talking to the Young Miracle Doctor, “In a while, have them find a chain made of black iron and use it to chain up Master Deru.”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
Ye You said, “Do you have any drugs that can temporarily block internal energy on hand? If you don’t, make some now and give it to Master Deru.”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
Ye You said, “And it’s best to also give him some Muscle-Weakening Powder.”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.” All the disciples, “…”
This tone of speech didn’t even carry any hint of a reaction! Wasn’t he a miracle doctor!
The disciples peeked at them in suspense. They saw that the Young Miracle Doctor had currently lowered his head and was fiddling with the herbs while that young sir was standing beside, looking down at him. At this moment, they sensed those two moving to look in their direction.
They retracted their lines of sight and promptly fled.
Ye You once again looked at a certain someone and asked, “Did you hear what I said?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
Ye You pulled away what was in his hand.
The Young Miracle Doctor immediately raised his head and stared at the other, at a loss. “What is it?” Ye You laughed and let out a sigh. “You need to change this bad habit of yours, or else if you end up getting sold, you might even help the seller count their money.”
The Young Miracle Doctor was even more at a loss.
Wenren Heng also felt somewhat helpless, and he signaled for the scarred man to do all the things that his Junior Brother had directed. The scarred man’s way of handling affairs was swift, and he quickly found a chain in the prison. Thereupon, when the Shaolin disciples returned, they were met with the sight of their Martial Uncle being bound with one line of chains after another, and they immediately felt a bitter pain well-up in their hearts.
The hidden chamber was very spacious, and there were quite a few things in there, enough to fill up half a room.
Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang looked at this pile of knickknacks and then looked at the small courtyard before remembering that there was also an unconscious and burly Deru by the Young Miracle Doctor’s side. They then began considering where exactly to arrange a place for them, and together, the two turned silent.
This courtyard had originally been intended only for the guards to stay, so space was limited, and it had already long been overcrowded. There were truly too many openings to exploit. After a short discussion, the two walked over to the nearby Alliance Leader.
Right now, those piles of white bones hadn’t yet been re-interred, and Shaolin Temple had even added more corpses, causing no small amount of talk along with some hard-to-distinguish sobbing. There was no telling when the black piece and the white piece’s next moves would come, so people didn’t even have the will to let out a breath.
The Alliance Leader’s group was standing within the courtyard, and they had never before felt so physically and mentally drained.
So when Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang made the suggestion to move to Shaolin, they immediately agreed. Shaolin Temple was good, both safe and quiet.
Right now, they especially needed some peace and quiet.
Bodhi Prison wasn’t far from Shaolin. From here, it wouldn’t even take two hours to get there. Everyone quickly arranged things for those who would stay behind, and after tidying up, they majestically set off.
Wenren Heng’s carriage wasn’t very big, so after the carriage was filled with his Junior Brother, the Young Miracle Doctor, Master Deru, and a pile of random items, he and Qin Yuemian couldn’t step a single foot inside, so resigned, they remained outside.
After going halfway down the mountain, they saw a carriage directly ahead, coming up from the bottom.
After the carriage caught up with them, it stopped. The curtains were opened, and out stepped an elegant and sagelike old man; this was precisely the famous and renowned Miracle Doctor Ji. He had originally promised Wenren Heng that he would come find them after finishing his business with the Wang family. Who could’ve known that when he was midway, the Wang Patriarch would be poisoned once again. He had to delay for a while, and only now was he finally meeting up with them.
Everyone’s spirits shook, and they immediately welcomed him.
Upon hearing the commotion, Ye You prepared to go out and look, but at this time, from somewhere in the mountains came the melodious sound of a flute. Ye You’s heart turned cold, and he quickly looked back.
He saw Master Deru, who had both eyes tightly closed, move slightly before suddenly opening those blood-red eyes.
If Ye You wanted to leave the carriage, he had to pass the place where Master Deru was lying.
The two were barely a third of a meter157 away from one another.
When Ye You looked over, the other party had also quickly turned to look at him, eyes visibly bloodshot, expression frightening and malevolent.
Master Deru glared at him, unwavering, pulling back his legs and straightening his back, as if shoring up enough energy to attack. This completely didn’t look like the appearance of someone prepared to commit suicide, and Ye You immediately instructed the Young Miracle Doctor, “Sit there and don’t move!”
As he spoke, he used a hand to open the carriage curtains and, upon seeing Deru’s movements, hastily moved for the outside.
Wenren Heng had also heard the sound of the flute and was, at this moment, about to jump onto the carriage. Ye You saw the other out of the corner of his eyes and, without even needing to think, threw himself over, directly falling into the other’s chest. Wenren Heng instinctively caught the person in his embrace, but before he even had the time to open his mouth, he saw the flash of a shadow behind his Junior Brother, practically flying out right at the heels of his Junior Brother, falling onto the floor with a bang, and stirring up a cloud of dust.
Startled, he broke out in cold sweat and held the person in his arms even more tightly, asking, “How are you?”
“I’m not injured,” Ye You said as he turned back to look.
Master Deru had been tied with iron chains, so neither of his arms was able to move and only his legs could be used to exert any force. It was as if he couldn’t feel pain, as right after he fell on the ground, he immediately leapt up again, making to move towards Ye You. The moment his foot touched the ground, he once again rushed forward. Wenren Heng moved to the side and easily evaded.
Those nearby were caught off-guard by this unforeseen event and had only just now snapped out of their surprise. Abbot Ciyuan also urgently hurried back, wanting to stop his disciple. With quick steps, Qin Yuemian moved over to the carriage and pulled open the curtains. He found that the Young Miracle Doctor had already moved towards the door, and the two’s eyes coincidentally met.
The Young Miracle Doctor pulled open the door and looked outside. “How is he?”
Qin Yuemian looked him up and down and asked, “All right?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Yes, just now he had me sit and not move, so I didn’t dare move.”
Qin Yuemian reached out a hand and pushed him back by the forehead. “Listen to him.”
The Young Miracle Doctor fell back with a thud and asked again, “How is he?”
“Rest easy, there’s so many people outside.” Qin Yuemian pulled down the curtains and looked towards the scuffle currently taking place.
During the time while these two were talking, Wenren Heng had already brought his Junior Brother to an empty area nearby. Master Deru rushed over, following close behind, before being surrounded by those who had been waiting here on standby, as per Wenren Heng’s arrangements.
Only after seeing the people Abbot Ciyuan had brought from Shaolin moving in did Wenren Heng finally turn to look carefully at the person in his arms. As he felt the other’s warmth seeping through and smelled the faint scent of herbs, Wenren Heng was, for the time being, reluctant to let go. He asked, “Are you really all right?”
Ye You said a, “Yes,” and made to turn. Wenren Heng made a sound of regret in his heart before considerately loosening his hold. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Wei Jiangyue running over and was somewhat unhappy. That rascal had been treating his Junior Brother quite earnestly recently, and it wasn’t clear whether it was due to guilt or something else entirely.
Wei Jiangyue’s usual arrogant and indifferent face was carrying a rare sliver of anxiety. He looked at Sir Xiao. “Did you get injured?”
Ye You said, “I didn’t.”
Wei Jiangyue let out a breath of relief. Upon seeing that Master Deru had been staring in Sir Xiao’s direction all this time, looking for all the world as if he must kill this person or die trying, Wei Jiangyue asked, “The one he wants to kill is you?”
“It looks like it.” Ye You could guess that he wanted to once again advise some restraint and said, “But he isn’t targeting me in particular. The order was given out via the flute, so it’s unlikely to be this specific. The order was probably to kill the person closest to him, and at that time, I was nearby. The only thing is that we don’t know if he’ll commit suicide after killing me.”
Wei Jiangyue frowned. “You and the Young Miracle Doctor were both by his side. From the white piece’s perspective, he’d probably be happy if either one of you dies.”
Ye You lifted the corners of his mouth and didn’t refute those words. Seeing the sharpness in the corners of his eyes, Wei Jiangyue had a mind to give some more words of advice, but then upon noticing that even the incredible Wenren Heng wasn’t saying anything, Wei Jiangyue realized that it was very possible that any advice he gave would go unheeded, so the only thing he could do was swallow his words back down.
Wenren Heng looked forward. “I remember that Abbot Ciyuan had sealed his internal energy before sending him over?”
Ye You’s gaze was profound. “Yes, it looks like it’s not having any use.” They had left in a hurry, so the Young Miracle Doctor didn’t have time to make any drugs and even Muscle-Weakening Powder hadn’t been used. The only thing they did was tie up Master Deru with a few chains before coming out. Now that they had evidence that sealing internal energy was useless against these drugged men, who knew whether feeding some Muscle-Weakening Powder would’ve actually worked.
The sound of the flute had not yet stopped before it suddenly turned sharp.
Abbot Ciyuan and a few Shaolin Masters had just pressed Deru down only to find that his internal energy seemed like it was growing once again. The chains wound around his body were aggravated by his inborn energy, and the clang of metals could be heard, as if they could be broken at any time.
Everyone’s expressions changed, and they hurriedly increased their internal energy.
At this time, they saw only a flash of white, and then Lady Tao had landed nimbly onto the closest carriage’s roof. She took down the qin on her back and plucked the notes with ease; a harsh song rapidly spilled out, aiming straight for the hidden flute player.
This move brought instant results. The faraway sounds of the flute immediately turned into a mess, and one could hear a clear sense of haste. It persevered for a moment before the sound finally died off.
The bloody energy mixed with killing intent that had suffused Master Deru’s eyes gradually dissipated, and he calmed down. Abbot Ciyuan took the opportunity to approach and knock his disciple unconscious. Everyone’s expressions relaxed, and they all turned to look at Lady Tao.
Lady Tao still remained locked in confrontation with that faraway enemy, and it was only when the sound of the flute had completely faded away that she herself stopped, but her fingers remained on the qin’s strings and her entire attention was on the mountain forests, not at all relaxing. The mountain winds stirred up the hem of her skirt slightly, making her look graceful and elegant, like an ascending immortal.
Many people present were pulled in by the sight.
Ye You was also looking at that figure, and his eyes contained admiration mixed with a sliver of some other feeling, leaving people unable to discern it.
Wenren Heng shot him a glance and said, “Let’s return. Fortunately Miracle Doctor Ji also came by carriage, so you and the Young Miracle Doctor can go sit with him and leave Master Deru alone in the other carriage.”
Ye You softly agreed and followed him back, saying, “Find someone to remind Lady Tao to be a bit more careful.”
Wenren Heng gave him only one short reply, “Yes.”
Ye You couldn’t help but ask, “Senior Brother, what do you think of her?”
Wenren Heng concealed his true feelings and gently said, “She’s quite good.”
Ye You looked at the other’s face for a long while but withdrew his probing when the other turned to look back at him. He lifted his head and saw Shaolin’s people carrying Master Deru and stuffing the man into the carriage. His heart moved, and he asked, “Senior Brother, do you have that dagger on you?”
Wenren Heng said, “No.”
After the “sleepwalking” incident, to prevent his Junior Brother from coming up with new torments, he didn’t carry many sharp objects around anymore.
Ye You settled for the next best thing. “Anything else would be fine too.”
Before Wenren Heng could ask what the other was planning on doing, the Wei Jiangyue who had returned with them actually responded and said that he had one, taking out a delicate dagger and handing it over. When Ye You received it, he swished it out of its sheath and, with it in hand, stepped into Master Deru’s carriage.
Shaolin’s people, “…” Wei Jiangyue, “…”
Abbot Ciyuan’s expression changed, and fearing that the other was going to stab his disciple a few times, he hurriedly followed onto the carriage. “Benefactor, you…”
Before he finished speaking, he saw this young sir cutting into his disciple’s sleeve a few times, tearing off two strips, and lumping them into balls to stuff them into his disciple’s ears.
Startled, he asked, “Will this work?” “Let’s try it,” Ye You said.
The sound of the flute was able to influence internal energy, so even he wasn’t able to guarantee that these strips would actually work to block it out.
Abbot Ciyuan also didn’t have any other ideas, so he nodded, and together, they went back outside.
At this time, the Young Miracle Doctor had already earnestly run over to Miracle Doctor Ji’s side and was currently telling the other about what happened just now. He told his Master that it was all thanks to Sir Xiao, or else he’d definitely be dead right now.
Listening to this, Miracle Doctor Ji was also startled enough to break out in cold sweat, and when he looked over, he saw that Sir Xiao’s eyes even looked slightly different than before. Seeing the other coming over with Wenren Heng, he gave his genuine and sincere gratitude before asking, “How are your injuries?”
Ye You said, “All better.”
“All better?” Miracle Doctor Ji was first dumbfounded before he started thinking that they might’ve been cured by his disciple. He immediately turned to look at his disciple, gratified, only to hear in the next moment his disciple saying, “His internal energy is gone.”
“…” Miracle Doctor Ji asked, “What happened?”
Ye You said, “A small incident happened. Let’s talk on the way.”
Miracle Doctor Ji nodded and brought them to his carriage, once again following everyone to Shaolin. After hearing his young disciple talk about the course of events on the way, he indicated for Sir Xiao to extend an arm and took the other’s pulse. His expression changed slightly, and he lifted up his head to look at the other.
Ye You asked, “How is it?”
Miracle Doctor Ji stroked his beard and, after a moment of silence, said, “Your martial arts are entirely gone. It’ll be very difficult to even try to relearn it, so it’ll be dangerous for you in the future. Do you understand?”
Ye You looked at him. “I understand. Elder, I’ll be careful.”
Wenren Heng, Qin Yuemian, and Wei Jiangyue were near the carriage, so all of them had heard the words extremely clearly, and they all stopped in their tracks. Wenren Heng closed his eyes, and when he finally opened them, all his emotions had been pushed under a placid expression, untouched by any waves. Qin Yuemian shot him several looks but was still not able to see anything of significance and so simply decided to retract this attempt at figuring him out.
Wei Jiangyue pursed his lips, and his heart grew even heavier, as if a stone was weighing down on his chest.
Those in the carriage didn’t notice any of this tension at all.
The Young Miracle Doctor had finally reunited with his Master, so he had pulled out the small porcelain bottle and started a discussion about matters pertaining to the drug powder. Since it was convenient, he then also asked some questions about the books he had been reading during this journey. Miracle Doctor Ji benevolently patted his disciple’s head and patiently answered the other’s questions, and the two quickly got deep into conversation.
Listening to all this made Ye You’s head spin, so he simply found an excuse to go outside and look for his Senior Brother. Only when he saw his Senior Brother’s handsome face did he start feeling more at ease.
Miracle Doctor Ji looked in the direction of his departure and let out an extremely light sigh.
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Master?”
Miracle Doctor Ji said, “It’s nothing. Let’s continue talking.” The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
The only reason Wenren Heng was following the carriage was due to his Junior Brother. When he saw the other come out, he slowed his steps and asked, “Why aren’t you sitting in the carriage?”
Ye You said, deadly earnest, “That master and disciple rarely meet, so how could I have the heart to disturb them.”
Wenren Heng didn’t expose his lie and said, “Miracle Doctor Ji has only this one disciple left, so he’s naturally valued.”
Despite knowing the answer, Ye You asked, “What about the other disciples?”
Wenren Heng said, “His oldest disciple was also said to be extremely exceptional, but he unfortunately passed many years ago. After finishing his studies, his second disciple left for an official position, and now he’s already become an imperial court physician. His third disciple is Young Miracle Doctor Fang.”
Ye You asked, “How did he lose his oldest disciple?”
Wenren Heng said, “It’s unclear. It’s something that happened over twenty years ago.”
Ye You nodded. The sound of the flute didn’t appear again for the remainder of the journey.
Those sent by the Alliance Leader’s party to search the mountains returned one by one, and they told the others that they didn’t see a trace of that person’s shadow. Everyone knew then that the other party had once again escaped and let out a sigh. Afterwards, they quickly reached Shaolin Temple.
After Abbot Ciyuan made arrangements for everyone, the party separated into their respective rooms to rest. They decided to wait for the black piece or the white piece’s next move, but they waited until the next morning without anything happening, causing them all to feel somewhat unsettled.
Academy Master Ge and Wenren Heng were residing close to one another, so Academy Master Ge couldn’t help but run over to find Sir Xiao so as to ask him about his thoughts.
“This, I don’t know.” Ye You speculated, “But since the black piece painstakingly revealed the matters about Bodhi Prison, he definitely wouldn’t just count on the righteous faction to investigate. He should also be making some moves of his own.”
The moment his voice faded, a clamor came from outside, and immediately afterwards, a person from Dingtian Academy ran into the small courtyard, saying, “Academy Master, the black piece caught the flute player, and he had someone send that person over!”
Academy Master Ge looked at Sir Xiao in shock and appeared as if he was practically going to leap off his chair.
Ye You laughed and said, “Elder, don’t look at me like that. It’s just a lucky coincidence. It’s not guaranteed to be the black piece’s move.”
“…It’s not that.” Academy Master Ge returned to his senses and earnestly asked, “Sir Xiao, do you have any plans for the future? If you haven’t decided yet, why not consider my Dingtian Academy?”
Ye You silently looked behind the other’s back. Academy Master Ge took a moment to react before he seemed to feel something and hastily turned around, only to see Wenren Heng stepping outside the room and taking special attention to look amiably at them.
Academy Master Ge, “…”
Academy Master Ge didn’t neglect the words that Ye You had carelessly said, and the first thing he did when he rushed over to the front courtyard was to confirm if it truly had been the black piece’s move. The white piece had been forced into a corner again and again, and for the sake of obtaining a moment to breathe, he could have, more likely than not, sent over a random person pretending it was from the black piece in order to mislead them.
But right after he asked, he found that he had overthought it.
A letter was also delivered along with the flute player, and the handwriting on the letter was exactly the same as the one brought by the beggar to Bodhi Prison; they definitely came from the same person. As the Academy Master of Dingtian Academy, he could at least guarantee this much. But this letter was not written in the same style as the words on the secret book or the map, and after an interval of eight to nine years, they certainly wouldn’t be easy to compare.
Manor Lord Wei asked, “You’re sure?”
Academy Master Ge returned the letter to Abbot Ciyuan and said, “Completely sure.”
And because he was sure, he was even more capable of recognizing how clever Sir Xiao was; it was practically as if he could see through all schemes without fail.
He couldn’t help but look at Sir Xiao, thinking about how good it’d be if this person would just enter their Academy. It was only that Wenren Heng would definitely not let this person go. Although Wenren Heng hadn’t said anything just now, he was still able to sense it.
He felt a bout of regret and snuck a glance at Wenren Heng.
Wenren Heng was calmly standing there, not in the least worried that the other could drag away his Junior Brother. This Junior Brother of his was the majestic Sect Master of the Demonic Sect, so it was impossible to join another sect. And what’s more, at that time on Yushan Stage, his Junior Brother
had infuriated158 so many righteous faction members, so if Academy Master Ge ever got wind of his Junior Brother’s true identity, then even if beaten to death, the other would never act on this idea.
What made him feel helpless was that even with amnesia, even with no martial arts, even with a covered-up face, his Junior Brother was inadvertently still able to attract many people, leaving him not knowing what exactly to say.
Ye You was standing next to him and, in a low voice, asked, “This seems like a woman?”
Wenren Heng returned to his senses and looked at the person on the ground.
The person whom the black piece had tied up and sent over was very young and appeared quite delicate, looking to be in the early twenties and wearing a light-blue gown. Although the style of dress was masculine, but as long as one looked carefully, one could see that it was a woman.
The person on the ground wasn’t deeply unconscious, and the noisy surroundings disturbed her into frowning and opening her eyes.
Upon seeing everyone’s gazes, and then looking at the situation she was in, she was immediately alarmed.
Abbot Ciyuan asked, “Are you the flute player?”
The person on the ground seemed somewhat lost as well as afraid, huddling in fear. “What flute player? Why did you kidnap me?
Today, I just wanted to go out for a stroll and, for the sake of convenience, dressed like a man, but I’m actually a woman. Master, aren’t you confusing me for someone else?”
Abbot Ciyuan was still holding onto that letter, and together with the others in the vicinity, they looked at the last line — this is a woman, and her heart is vicious, so when awoken, she will pretend to be pathetic and innocent, take heed. They collectively fell silent.
On the ground, that person’s voice was filled with sobs. “Quickly let me go. I need to go home, or else my parents will worry.”
Wordlessly, Abbot Ciyuan placed the letter in front of her eyes.
The person on the ground skimmed through the letter, and when she reached the end, her expression turned rigid before she hurriedly adjusted it back. But unfortunately for her, everyone there was experienced in the ways of Jianghu, gazes unforgiving, and so naturally wouldn’t have missed her slight change in expression.
Abbot Ciyuan said an, “Amitabha,” and indicated for his disciples to have this person stay behind, and then looked at the three people who had brought her here.
These three people hadn’t anticipated that Shaolin would be so full of Jianghu practitioners, and they had long been on edge, anxious and frightened, so even without being asked, they relayed the entire matter, from beginning to end. They were the same as the beggar from last time; they had received someone’s money to complete this task. The person who gave them money was average-looking, not the least bit strange, and there was nothing of note that they could recall about this person.
Abbot Ciyuan could not get any other answers, so the only thing he could do was let these people go before going to interrogate the flute player.
Ye You turned around to follow, only to see that his Senior Brother seemed to be lost in thought, causing him to call out, “Senior Brother?”
Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgement and looked over at him.
This somewhat probing gaze made Ye You’s heart rise slightly.
He quickly flipped through his memories and thought that he had been quite obedient recently. And since he’s lost his martial arts, it certainly wasn’t out of the ordinary to have some sharpness about him, so there shouldn’t have been any cause for suspicion, right?
He asked, “What?”
Wenren Heng said, “I’m wondering who it was that captured this person.”
No matter how clever his Junior Brother was, not everything could be predicted, and there’d always be times when things would have to be decided on the fly. This time’s incident could probably be counted among that number. So if his Junior Brother was really the black piece, then the other party being able to capture this person so quickly must mean that his Junior Brother had an accomplice.
Ye You said, “Hasn’t it already been confirmed that it was done by the black piece?”
Wenren Heng stowed away his train of thought and said a, “Yes,” in agreement.
This chess move was played quite well, he thought.
After suddenly reappearing after being missing for ten years, his Junior Brother first saw through the secret book’s mysteries, then captured Blood-sucking Ghost, and then spoke of the chess match between the black piece and the white piece. If he was the white piece, then he’d definitely suspect that his Junior Brother was the black piece, and he’d definitely send people to keep an eye on them in secret.
And, in these past few days, his Junior Brother had basically no contact with anyone else, but today the black piece suddenly made another move. Even if it wouldn’t completely dispel the white piece’s misgivings over his Junior Brother, it could still divert some attention.
The question was, who was the person that was hiding in secret?
This person had to have been following them this whole time so as to know of any progress in these events and had to be at least clever, with a team of people in hand to send out. Could it really be Wuwang Temple’s Xie Junming?
But Xie Junming didn’t seem like the type of person to disappear like this. Could it be for the sake of his Junior Brother?
Wenren Heng became unhappy.
At this time, the Demonic Sect Elders were also similarly unhappy.
After the four Elders and Elder Hei exchanged information, they all felt that the Sect Master’s chessboard was a bit too big and so hastily hurried back to the crowd of people in worry. Every day, they bantered with third-rate adventurers, while also taking the opportunity to try and guess what the Sect Master wanted to do, taking care to keep their gazes from wandering to the Sect Master.
Thus, when they heard that someone had captured the flute player, those four Elders all collectively turned to look at Elder Hei without a word, once again wanting to pull up their sleeves and give him another beating.
Elder Hei’s back turned cold, and he immediately said, “Don’t look at me. I don’t know anything.”
Elder Baili said, “I heard that this letter and the last letter were both written by the same person.”
“It really isn’t me,” Elder Hei said miserably, “The letter last time was given to me by the Sect Master before he left. How could I know who wrote it!”
Elder Mei narrowed her eyes. “Then other than you, there must be someone else running errands for the Sect Master.”
Elder Hei fiercely nodded his head. “I think so too.”
As they spoke, they used internal energy to suppress their voices, so bystanders couldn’t hear them. When seeing them crouched down in a circle like this, a bystander lifted his head to look at them curiously and, upon finding that they were surrounding a caterpillar, unconsciously moved the corners of his mouth before then walking away without a word. At this time, a young adventurer passed by and, appearing to also have an interest in such things, went over to crouch down with them.
As someone else nearby walked around them, he clearly saw one of the group using a stick to poke at the caterpillar. Again, wordlessly, this bystander had an expression on his face that said, “Do you guys have some fucking problems,” before putting some distance between them in distaste.
Upon seeing Elder Miao poke at the caterpillar with a grave expression, the newly arrived adventurer also couldn’t control the corners of his mouth from moving before he finally pulled out a letter and said, “A letter from Elder Bai.”
Elder Hei opened and read it, turning silent for a moment, before handing it over to them.
The remaining four Elders quickly read through it and also turned silent.
These matters of Jianghu happening one after another had caused too big a commotion, and no matter how slow, even Elder Bai could sense that something wasn’t right.
And since Elder Mei and the others had spread information every which way and had subordinates disseminate various rumors, when the Hall Masters159 learned of such things, they became concerned before suddenly realizing that they hadn’t seen the Sect Master for a long time. Recently, they had arrived together on Xiaoqing
Mountain, wanting to get clarification from Elder Bai, since in case the Sect Master encountered a mishap after creating a mess in Jianghu, they wouldn’t have been clear on what exactly happened.
At first, Elder Bai originally simply wanted to wait for more news, but unfortunately at that time, Wuwang Temple’s Temple Master Xie Junming also came to Xiaoqing Mountain, absolutely insistent on meeting their Sect Master. Since the Sect Master wasn’t there, Temple Master Xie thought he might as well just stay at Xiaoqing Mountain, devising new styles of torments everyday.
Elder Bai definitely couldn’t withstand such things, and he was also worried about the Sect Master, so he had come down the mountain together with Temple Master Xie, prepared to go look in the noisiest place, and would arrive in a few days.
Those Elders mutually looked at each other, feeling as if their heads were too big.
Xiao-Bai’s martial arts were outstanding, so there was no problem there, but Xie Junming had always been an unbridled master and definitely would be unable to conceal his identity; no one knew what he’d be like when he arrives!
The Demonic Sect member who delivered the letter saw that they weren’t speaking and gave a dry cough before saying, “Other than this letter, Elder Bai also wrote one for the Hall Master.”
The Hall Master he was referring to was the Hall Master of Elder Hei’s Shadow Hall.
Elder Hei asked in astonishment, “What did he write?”
The subordinate said, “Elder Bai said that there are three Hall Masters from whom we don’t currently have news. Temple Master Xie suspects that they are participating in the Sect Master’s matters. When Elder Bai heard that you were here, he thought that the Hall Master should also be here, so he sent a letter over.”
Shadow Hall’s Hall Master certainly did participate in the Bodhi Prison incident along with Elder Hei. Then the remaining two… Those Elders thought of the matter with the captured person today, and they were filled with energy, light shining from their eyes. “What about those two people?”
The subordinate said, “I don’t know. I haven’t been able to contact them.”
Those Elders were immediately doused with a pot of cold water. Elder Miao exerted more force, and the caterpillar was poked through, twisting this way and that.
“…” That subordinate looked at their gazes, thinking deep down that these people had been heavily agitated by the Sect Master. He didn’t dare to stay any further and hastily asked for permission to leave.
At this time, Abbot Ciyuan and the others had already asked their questions.
But no matter what they asked, the flute player begged ignorance and continued to insist that they got the wrong person. Since she was a young woman, they also didn’t feel right torturing her, so the situation remained at an impasse.
“It really isn’t me.” The flute player sobbed and sniffled, looking more pitiful the more she cried. “I do have martial arts; I learned some basic martial arts suitable for all situations from a Jianghu adventurer. I’ve been using it only to protect myself. I also don’t know what the adventurer’s name was.”
Abbot Ciyuan said, “Even if benefactor160 doesn’t know anything else, one should at least know one’s own name and where one lives. This old monk will investigate that name and identity. If the benefactor truly has not committed any wrongs, then we’ll naturally let you go.”
The flute player said, choked with sobs, “All right. This young one is called Li Hua, and my home is at the foot of the mountain…”
Before she could finish speaking, the Master standing next to Abbot Ciyuan startled and said, “You’re Xiao-Hua?”
Li Hua immediately closed her mouth and looked at him, bewildered.
Seeing the others also turn to look at him, that Master suppressed the surprise in his heart and explained in a hoarse voice, “If I’m remembering correctly, Deru has said before that there was a young servant girl called Xiao-Hua who used to like going to hear them read scripture. Perhaps her Buddhist karma161 was deep, and I even suggested that he might as well gift her a string of prayer beads. This was already a matter from long ago…”
Li Hua’s expression changed slightly, as if she hadn’t thought that Deru would’ve talked about her with someone else and as if she hadn’t anticipated that someone would still remember something from so many years ago.
Abbot Ciyuan knew that although his young disciple looked fiendish and demonic, in actuality he had a good heart, but unfortunately with his slow-witted disposition, there were few people willing to talk to him. So when there was suddenly a small servant girl who didn’t avoid him, he naturally would be happy, and when he was happy, he couldn’t help but talk about it to someone else. His disciple definitely hadn’t thought that this servant girl, who had been willing to converse with him, was also a murderer.
Everyone was speechless.
Before, when they saw that this person looked quite young, they had thought that maybe she was responsible only for playing the flute.
Who could’ve known that she had been participating in these matters since long ago. More than ten years ago, she couldn’t have been even ten-years-old yet, right? And her heart was already this vicious?
Li Hua once again changed her expression back quickly and, with sobs, said she wasn’t clear on this matter, that it was probably just a matter of similar names, but everyone no longer believed her.
Abbot Ciyuan’s entire heart was aggrieved, and he tried asking two more sentences. Seeing her still pretending at ignorance, and that the matter was about to be dragged out until mealtime, he could only instruct his disciples to take her away and watch after her carefully.
At Shaolin Temple, they inevitably had to eat a Buddhist meal162.
Those willing to eat stayed behind, while those unwilling went down the mountain to the small county town to look for food, returning only after they had eaten. Ye You counted as one of those who weren’t picky and, under the eyes of his Senior Brother, unhurriedly finished his meal. Seeing that his Senior Brother wanted to return to take care of some Shuangji Sect business, he slipped away from the small courtyard by himself and went nearby to walk around.
The scarred man brought a few people to follow behind. Upon seeing the other pausing when passing by a pavilion on the way, he couldn’t help but also glance that way, finding that Pavilion Master Ding was also sitting there and drinking tea alone.
Ye You walked over and politely said a greeting.
Pavilion Master Ding nodded and indicated for the other to sit.
Following his suggestion, Ye You sat across from him and asked, “Pavilion Master Ding was thinking of matters just now?”
Pavilion Master Ding was very direct and indifferently said, “No, I was here waiting for you.”
Ye You’s head was covered with bandages, so slight changes in expression were tightly hidden, leaving only his eyes open to peer into. Pavilion Master Ding had always thought he’d known countless people, but even so, he couldn’t read anything of note from these two eyes. He simply saw this youth lift up the corners of his mouth and then laughingly ask, “How did Pavilion Master Ding know that he could definitely see this young one?”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “I didn’t know. I was relying purely on luck.”
Ye You chose not to comment on that. “Then for what reason is Pavilion Master Ding looking for this young one?”
Pavilion Master Ding was even more direct in his words this time. “I wanted to ask you exactly how much you know so as to quickly resolve these matters. My mother’s birthday is almost here, so I have to hurry back to celebrate with her.”
Although Pavilion Master Ding was already over fifty, his mother was still around, and every year they’d spend her birthday together, sometimes big and sometimes small. If one counted the days, then it certainly was almost time. Seeing that he already had a cup of tea poured for him, Ye You took it and said, “I know the same things as everyone else.”
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “You don’t have any ideas?”
“If I say that I don’t, I’m afraid that the Pavilion Master won’t believe me,” Ye You said, “At this point in time, I have only some speculations, but as for who it is, I’m still not clear yet. First, let’s talk about the white piece. The white piece already has virtue and prestige, power and money, so he could clearly live quite well. But then why does he still need to create a herd of drugged people? His actions must have some kind of end goal.”
Pavilion Master Ding nodded. Ye You said, “This usually has three possibilities, that he’s not satisfied with the current situation, that he has an enemy but can’t openly resolve the dispute with this enemy and so can use only dirty tricks, or that final possibility which is the most complicated kind.”
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “What is it?”
“The human heart,” Ye You said, “This is usually the hardest to guess. He could be doing it for the sake of a small issue, or he could be doing evil for the sake of evil, or even more extreme, he wants to create a Jianghu made entirely of drugged people.”
Seeing that this person wasn’t going to refute, he continued with, “But on this earth, every matter leaves behind traces that can be followed. Right now, nearly all of Jianghu’s prestigious and virtuous elders are here, and the Pavilion Master has been acquainted with them for many years and so can try and recall their past movements. Perhaps, you can find some clues in your memories, or you’ll be able to sense from some small issue that something isn’t right. What’s more, the Pavilion Master himself is of high-standing, so your way of looking at things is probably even more reliable…”
He paused slightly and then curiously asked, “If the Pavilion Master was this kind of person, would you ordinarily have some expectations or feel some discontent?”
“I would,” Pavilion Master Ding indifferently said, “One that everyone knows. I want to see a certain fatty out of luck.”
Ye You laughed.
The scarred man and the Shuangji Sect members behind him were all entirely speechless. Lingjian Pavilion and Fengxian Manor had already been at odds for many years, so the fatty that Pavilion Master Ding mentioned couldn’t be anyone else but Manor Lord Wei. This truly was something that everyone knew.
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “Regarding the black piece, what thoughts do you have?” Ye You said, “Without exception, there are two kinds. First is a grudge. He spent many years seeping into the white piece’s sphere of influence and searching out the white piece’s movements. The second is just like I said before. It’s possible that the black piece is the white piece’s partner or trusted confidant. He could’ve felt a conflict in views arising between him and the white piece, or he’s doing it for the benefits he could obtain after getting rid of the white piece.
Pavilion Master Ding reminded, “But the words on the book were written many years ago.”
Ye You laughed and said, “Elder, the human heart is hard to fathom. Maybe he already had these kind of thoughts many years go, or maybe a conflict arose that led to him having an urge to destroy the white piece, and he decided to make the book at that time but waited until now to actually make a move.”
Pavilion Master Ding muttered to himself for a moment before saying, “But once the white piece’s matters are exposed, won’t the black piece also be implicated?”
“This, I don’t know,” Ye You said, “Perhaps he has a method of escape, perhaps he has a way to shut the white piece up before the other can implicate him, or perhaps he doesn’t care about himself since he’s alone, who can really say. At this moment, the one most worried about these things is the white piece. Right now, he’s successful in his endeavors and his family life is blissful, so if the black piece really manages to tear off his mask, all of these things would go up in smoke.”
Pavilion Master Ding made a sound in acknowledgement and changed the subject, “How’s your health?”
Ye You said, “Much better. The only thing is that I still can’t remember anything.”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “What did Miracle Doctor Ji say?”
Ye You said, “He said that even if I want to learn martial arts again in the future, it’ll be very difficult. He didn’t ask much about my lost memories, though he’s said previously that I probably hit my head.”
Pavilion Master Ding wasn’t a man of many words and, after saying a few more words with him, got up and left. After seeing the person out of the small pavilion, Ye You once again went back inside to sit. His slender fingers tapped on the lid of the cup, looking like he had no intentions of leaving.
The scarred man couldn’t see through his intentions and directly asked, “Not going back, Young Master Xiao?”
“Not going back.” Ye You considerately said, “Senior Brother is definitely still busy, so how could I go back and disturb him.”
The scarred man especially wanted to say that, no matter when you look for the Sect Master, the Sect Master will never be annoyed with you, but he didn’t have the guts, and could only stay nearby as a guard. It was only up until the cup of tea was almost completely cold did he see this person turn his head and look towards a group of young sirs walking close by, coming towards them.
He gave them a glance and said, “It’s the young sirs from the Alliance Leader and Pavilion Master Ding’s families. The others are all those who typically accompany them to play.”
Ye You said, “It seems I’ve never met them before. Did they just arrive?”
“Most likely.” The scarred man remembered his Sect Master’s usual patient air and added a few more sentences, “The Alliance Leader and Pavilion Master Ding aren’t like Manor Lord Wei with that many children; both of them have only one son. Because they’re too busy to pay sufficient attention to discipline, those two usually like going every which way to play around. Although they don’t go as far as to commit any real offenses, up until now, they still have yet to make any actual contributions.”
Ye You said, “Manor Lord Wei is also quite busy, but why isn’t Sir Wei like this?” “It’s unclear, maybe it’s his innate disposition.” After making this conjecture, the scarred man said, “Since young, the second young master has always been no trouble, sparing people from worrying, and Manor Lord Wei has often flaunted this in front of Pavilion Master Ding. But even so, Fengxian Manor still has only this second young master, since the other young masters and young lady are…”
He suddenly realized that he had mentioned Wei Jiangrou and couldn’t help but stop talking.
Ye You amiably continued the conversation, “For instance, Lady Xiao-Rou?”
The scarred man didn’t know why he was trembling because of the words, “Lady Xiao-Rou,” but he could think only of Sect Master Ye’s style of handling matters in the past, and he didn’t think at all that this master would be able to swallow back the anger. And anyway, some missing memories wouldn’t cause one’s temperament to change, right?
His expression tensed as he made a sound in agreement, and he waited for Sir Xiao’s next words.
However, Ye You didn’t make any comments about the matter with Wei Jiangrou. Instead, as he saw those young sirs walking closer and closer, he stood up.
This “lantern” head of his was far too eye-catching, and he had only just stepped outside the small pavilion when he was immediately noticed by the young sirs.
They didn’t recognize him, but they recognized the scarred man behind him and were all collectively shocked. Their first reaction was, how did such an incredible Sect Master Wenren end up in this miserable state? In unison, they said, “Hello, Sect Master Wenren.”
The scarred man, “…”
Ye You said, all smiles, “My Senior Brother is still busy. I’ll help convey these words to him.” “…” These people took a while to digest these words before asking, “Young sir, you are?”
Ye You said, “I’m his Junior Brother. Everyone can just call me Ah- Xiao.”
So it turned out that even Wenren Heng had a Junior Brother.
These people found this inconceivable but quickly changed their words, “Hello, Sir Ah-Xiao.”
Ye You nodded and then heard footsteps echoing behind him. When he turned around to look, he found that it was Wei Jiangyue and the other Junior Sect Masters who had come, probably because they had heard the news about these people’s arrival.
These young masters were all of the same generation, so ordinarily they were relatively friendly. Some of the Junior Sect Masters who enjoyed carousing had an even better relationship with the Junior Alliance Leader and Sir Ding than with Wei Jiangyue. When they got close enough, one of them said, with good-natured mocking, “Things have gotten this big, so why are you arriving only just now?”
Sir Ding tsked. “Even if we come, we wouldn’t be able to help at all. If we didn’t have our fathers, who in Jianghu would recognize us?
Coming over now will just leave us running errands and filling up seats at mealtimes.”
Those Junior Sect Masters immediately felt distressed.
They really didn’t want to fill up seats either, especially when it was unclear who was the white piece so that, every time they ate, they saw their elders being polite and amiable on the surface while also mutually sounding each other out on the side, all of which was quite scary to witness.
They sighed and said, “That’s true. It’s only because of our fathers.”
“Exactly.” Sir Ding had on an ‘what I said wasn’t wrong‘ expression and loosened his shoulders. “Actually all of you are still all right,” Ye You inserted himself into the conversation and said, “Seeing how everyone looks so talented, I think that when all of you inherit the family estate and take charge in the future, you’ll definitely have some accomplishments. But that’s not possible for me. I have such an incredible Senior Brother above me, so no matter what I do, I can’t win against my Senior Brother.
Who in Jianghu would acknowledge me?” The scarred man, “…”
Wei Jiangyue, “…”
The Junior Sect Masters, “…”
Quickly stop joking around! Just on that brain of yours alone, you definitely won’t remain obscure and unknown!
Sir Ding’s group had always known only how to play around, and now they weren’t even clear on the whole matter’s sequence of events, so they were even more unaware of Sir Xiao’s incredible feats on the way. Thus, after those words, they looked at him in sympathy and even said a few kind, comforting words about not getting discouraged. Sir Ding even patted his arm in encouragement and said, “Jianghu is so big, so as long as you work hard, your efforts will bear fruit one day.”
Wei Jiangyue’s crowd stood on the side, expressions all somewhat stiff.
Ye You said, “Yes, I will.”
Sir Ding then turned to the others and asked, “First, tell us about what’s happened recently, or else in a while that old man will blame me for not caring enough about the matters of Jianghu.”
These Junior Sect Masters agreed and entered the pavilion with them. Seeing Sir Xiao also following behind them, Wei Jiangyue slowed his steps to walk alongside the other and asked, “Are you thinking of doing something?”
Ye You asked, astonished, “What are you referring to?” Wei Jiangyue said, “Those words just now.”
Ye You said, “I was simply speaking the truth… What’s with your expression? You don’t believe me? What was not right about what I said? If I go outside with Senior Brother, bystanders will definitely see my Senior Brother and say that this is Sect Master Wenren, while they’ll just say that this is Sect Master Wenren’s Junior Brother when they see me, isn’t that right?”
Wei Jiangyue thought for a while and ended up discovering that he had no way to refute.
And upon hearing this person sigh, even as he didn’t know if it was real or fake, he still said, “In the future, you definitely won’t remain obscure and unknown.”
Ye You said, “One can hope.”
As the two finished speaking, they stepped into the small pavilion. The Junior Sect Masters were currently relaying all the events in detail to Sir Ding’s group. And of course, for the sake of not undermining Sir Xiao, they played down a little of what this person had done.
Sir Ding’s party had never anticipated that this matter would get so big, and hearing about the black piece and the white piece’s game, they also felt somewhat alarmed and frightened. They asked, “Who is the white piece? Are there any clues right now?”
“The black piece sent people over with the flute player, so if we can get some useful information from her mouth, then perhaps we’ll be able to uncover the white piece. But that servant girl keeps crying out about being wronged, and it’s also not easy for the Abbot to punish her.” After the Junior Sect Masters finished speaking, they looked towards a certain person and humbly asked for advice, “Does Sir Xiao have any ideas?”
“I do have one, but I can’t do it. If you think you can, then you might as well try it out,” Ye You said, “That’s a young lady, and if any of you are good at dealing with young ladies, then you can try and talk her into revealing some of the truth.” At these words, both the scarred man and Wei Jiangyue had a sudden flash of understanding.
They guessed that Sir Xiao suddenly deciding to chat with Sir Ding was most likely for this reason, and that his real motive was to have these young masters meet that young lady. Since the white piece has committed these crimes over numerous years, it’s possible that his son had met his subordinates before. When the flute player was sent over, all the Junior Sect Masters present had already seen her, and none of them had shown any strangeness in their expressions. Right now, the only ones who hadn’t seen her were these remaining people and the Junior Academy Master Ge who had hurried back to Suzhou with the Wang family head.
So Sir Xiao wants these people to go and take a look?
The two people internally speculated.
The Junior Sect Masters then said, “There’s no need for modesty, Sir Xiao. How can you not do this?”
Although this person’s face was injured, his intelligence was evident for all to see, and even just his eloquence was enough to leave all of them in his dust.
Sir Ding’s group looked in amazement at their good friends, thinking that this person was wrapped up like a zongzi163. Wasn’t asking such things purely making the other person look bad? Or could it be that they have some sort of conflict with him?
They couldn’t help but look at this young sir only to hear this person let out a faint sigh. “To tell the truth, I like men. Although that flute player is a woman dressed like a man, she’s still a woman, and I’m not good at dealing with women.”
Everyone fell silent. These Junior Sect Masters immediately thought of his ambiguous relationship with Sect Master Wenren.
Wei Jiangyue had recently been paying him a lot of attention and had not seen any indication that he and Wenren Heng had crossed the line in their relationship as disciple-brothers, so right now with these words, Wei Jiangyue’s first reaction wasn’t to wonder whether he and Wenren Heng had something between them but rather to think this strange thought, Since you actually like men, back at
Suzhou City, why did you even visit Fengchun House that time?
Before these people could even voice their thoughts, they heard this person unhurriedly add some more words, “Even if it was a man, if he’s not as good-looking as my Senior Brother, then I still won’t be interested. I’m very picky with people. I’m only all right with those that, at the very least, look like my Senior Brother.”
Quickly stop talking!
Ye You continued, as if he hadn’t finished expressing himself, “To tell the truth, I’ve always felt that it was a pity that my Senior Brother and I aren’t the same kind of people.”
Sir Ding’s group wordlessly looked in his direction, doing their utmost to convey their thoughts to him.
The rest were simply shocked.
Wait, Wenren Heng isn’t into men? Really isn’t? That must be a lie, right?
Not a sound could be heard. And then a gentle voice continued the conversation, “Oh, is that so?”
Ye You turned to look and saw that his Senior Brother was standing behind him, calmly looking in his direction.
He stared, blank, for a moment, pretending as if he just became aware of his Senior Brother’s presence. And as if he wasn’t the one who had just been talking about his Senior Brother, he stood up in surprise. “Senior Brother, when did you arrive?”
Wenren Heng said, “Since you said ‘even if it was a man’.”
“Don’t take it seriously. I was just joking around.” Ye You restrained his smile and said, deadly earnest, “We were actually discussing how to resolve this big Jianghu matter. Isn’t that right, everyone?” Everyone silently nodded their heads.
They really did seem like they were talking proper business just now; no one knew how it became like this.
Wenren Heng had always indulged his Junior Brother, so after hearing their decision, he gave them his affirmation.
The Junior Sect Masters were originally already somewhat aware of Sir Xiao’s capabilities, and upon hearing Wenren Heng also saying such things now, they felt even more certain that the idea could work. As for Sir Ding and the Junior Alliance Leader, more than the Sir Xiao who suddenly appeared out of nowhere, they were more willing to listen to Wenren Heng’s judgment, and they became excited the moment they heard this. Although they loved to play around, they also had the desire to “live up to their old mans”. They hadn’t anticipated that there would be a turning point the moment that they arrived; this was practically the will of the heavens!
Full of anticipation, they wanted to go meet the flute player at once.
Ye You reminded, “She’s being watched by Shaolin. Normal people can’t get in.”
Sir Ding assertively waved his hand. “No problem. It’ll be fine if I just say a word to my dad.”
Ye You laughed and asked, “What has Sir Ding prepared to say?”
“I’ll just say that I…” Sir Ding suddenly stopped and quickly thought back.
That’s right, what should he say? It couldn’t be that he’d have to say, “Old man, I’m good at coaxing young ladies, so let me try and coax her with some flirting”? With his old man’s temper, it’d be strange if he wasn’t killed on the spot!
The Junior Alliance Leader had also thought of this point. He first met the gazes of his good friends before cautiously looking again at Wenren Heng, hoping that this incredible Sect Master could propose a solution.
Ye You laughed and said, “Let me go and ask.” “You?” The two young sirs’ expressions were skeptical.
“Yes, I have a way. Let’s go,” Ye You said, placating, before turning around and leaving the small pavilion.
Wenren Heng naturally followed his Junior Brother, and Wei Jiangyue and the Junior Sect Masters also followed close behind. Sir Ding and the Junior Alliance Leader were still half in disbelief, but they decided that desperate times called for desperate measures, and followed the procession.
At this time, those who had left to eat outside had not yet returned, but the Abbot, the Alliance Leader, and other illustrious personages were all present. And, fortuitously, they were currently together discussing business and, upon seeing everyone entering, looked over.
Upon seeing his own wastrel of a son, the first thing Pavilion Master Ding did was frown. “Why did it take you this long to arrive?”
Sir Ding had cleanly stowed away his own philandering air and had changed into a seemingly steady and reliable young man.
He was dressed plainly and standing perfectly straight, and with his face tense, he seemed somewhat similar to Pavilion Master Ding, with his dignified air the same as his dad’s usual appearance.
He said, “Replying to Father. There were some urgent matters on the road, so I was delayed.”
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “What kind of urgent matters could you have?”
Sir Ding didn’t miss a beat and said, “Halfway here, I met an aunt who twisted her ankle, so I carried her back to town for medical attention. And afterwards, I also met an uncle who had his money stolen, so I helped him look for his things for many days, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find anything. Seeing him look quite pitiful as he cried, I gave him my own travel expenses. And after that, I and…”
“That’s enough.” Pavilion Master Ding gestured for him to stop, completely disinclined to listen any further. “Yes, Father,” Sir Ding said insipidly and obediently stopped speaking.
Everyone acted as if this appearance of his wasn’t strange at all, and their expressions showed not the slightest change. As an “amnesiac”, Ye You first looked at him in slight astonishment before turning and asking the Abbot if it was possible to meet the flute player to try and uncover some more information.
The Abbot naturally didn’t have any objections and made to take the other over.
Ye You said, “No need. If the elder is also present, I’m afraid that she’d be scared. Why not just let some of these young sirs accompany me.”
Although the Abbot, Pavilion Master Ding, and the others weren’t clear on his intentions, none of them opposed him, causing both Sir Ding and the Junior Alliance Leader to be dumbfounded. They thought that these unreasonable people aren’t even asking him what he wants to do before simply agreeing? Their old mans really liked playing favorites!
With disbelieving faces, these two followed the others out, and it was only after taking a few steps did they realize what they were about to do. It might possibly even be the turning point in their lives, and in the future, their old mans might actually have to treat them much more pleasantly. They couldn’t help taking in a breath, and they were so anxious that their hands were even shaking a little.
Shaolin had always treated people generously. After her internal energy had been sealed, Li Hua had her bindings loosened and had even been given a meal.
She had been locked in Shaolin’s discipline room, and only a small window was visible high up on the wall. It certainly counted as a place where one had to reflect on one’s misdeeds. When Ye You brought everyone inside, she was currently leaning against the wall, hugging her legs, huddled on the bed. Upon hearing the sound of the door opening, she vigilantly turned to look at them, and after she clearly saw who was in their midst, something briefly flashed through her eyes.
Sir Ding and the Junior Alliance Leader quickly entered the fray and walked forward, using a soft voice to say, “Young lady, did we scare you? Don’t be afraid, we’re not bad people. If you feel wronged, tell us, and we’ll definitely seek justice for you.”
“That’s right, we’re…” The Junior Alliance Leader suddenly paused and hesitantly stared at her. “Have I met you somewhere before?”
The moment these words were said, everyone was startled. Even Ye You was somewhat surprised.
He knew that the white piece had been keeping an eye on him recently, so he originally called these young sirs over simply to obscure the facts while conveniently finding something for these young sirs to do. Ordinarily, if he brought them over here a few times, no matter what else happened, he’d still be able to divert the white piece’s attention for a bit. He hadn’t thought that he’d get some actual results.
The Junior Alliance Leader was slowly reminiscing, and upon seeing everyone stare at him in bewilderment, he fiercely waved his hands. “It’s not what all of you think; it has nothing to do with my old man. I’ve seen her somewhere else. What about you, Ah-Lai?
Sir Ding was blank, and he wanted to take a closer look, but Li Hua lowered her head, refusing to acknowledge them. Sir Ding didn’t pay much attention to such things, and he also didn’t care about ‘the propriety between men and women‘164. He simply pinched her chin and lifted up her head.
Li Hua, “…” Everyone, “…” Sir Ding sized her up for a while and said in surprise, “Hey, it really does seem like it.”
Wei Jiangyue asked, “Where was it? She said she lives at the small county town at the foot of the mountain.”
“It’s not here. Somewhere so close to Shaolin, we wouldn’t come if we didn’t have business here.” Sir Ding dropped his hand and, after thinking deeply, said, “Where was it…”
Li Hua shyly said, “This young one has never been outside the county town. Hasn’t young sir recognized the wrong person?”
Sir Ding stroked his chin. “I feel as if you’re more and more familiar. Say a few more words.”
“…” Li Hua immediately stopped speaking.
At this time, the Junior Alliance Leader remembered and said, “At Xiangxing City165, the male brothel!”
Xiangxing City wasn’t considered too far from the small county town at the foot of the mountain. If one was fast enough, then one could get there in a day. If this woman really did live in the small county town year-round, then it was indeed possible to go there to look around. But the Junior Sect Masters’ first reaction was to stare strangely at these two young masters, thinking in their hearts
that weren’t you two always going to those spring houses166? Did you change your tastes recently?
“What Xiangxing City? I’ve never been…” Li Hua hurriedly denied the statement, but before she could finish, Sir Ding had patted his forehead and said, “That’s right, it was there. When we passed by the entrance, she was just coming out. There seemed to be a guest inside, looking and chasing after her from behind. The two even pushed and pulled for a while, and I also helped out a bit. At that time, she was also wearing masculine clothing, so I truly didn’t recognize that she was a woman.”
“Oh…” Everyone was enlightened. Apparently, they had simply passed by. Ye You said, “Since she went to a male brothel, she must have had a goal.”
Everyone’s expressions changed, and they also felt their hearts beating wildly.
This flute player was one of the white piece’s subordinates, so if they followed this trail, perhaps they’d be able to uncover the white piece, and bring to justice Bodhi Prison’s ten-plus years of tragedy! And henceforth their names would rise in Jianghu!
Wei Jiangyue also lacked a certain amount of calm, but his reason remained. He asked, “Are we going to tell the Abbot and the others?”
“Tell them for what?” Sir Ding and the Junior Alliance Leader were immediately unwilling. It was only after much difficulty that they had finally been able to feel this proud and accomplished.
The Junior Alliance Leader said, “The white piece is still in hiding. If we speak, isn’t that just like alerting the enemy to our intentions?”
Sir Ding skeptically said, “Second Brother Wei, are you afraid that your dad is the white piece and so want to leak some information?”
Wei Jiangyue coldly said, “What nonsense are you saying?” “Then why are you in such a hurry to tell them?” Sir Ding asked.
Lingjian Pavilion and Fengxian Manor had always been at odds. While he and this person’s relationship hadn’t deteriorated to the point that they were constantly in opposition, over the years, he had been criticized many times by his old man because of this person, and just thinking of it gave him a bellyful of anger. Now that he’s finally found an opportunity to give this person a taste of his own medicine, he was so excited that light shone from his eyes.
Wei Jiangyue said, “I’m afraid that it’d be dangerous.”
Sir Ding said, “What is there. I’ll just say that I’m going out to play, and I’ll get my old man to lend me some people from ‘Moon’s Shadow’. My old man has that kind of face every day, and I always hear about how I need to do good, so he definitely couldn’t be the white piece.” After he spoke, he looked towards Wenren Heng and Sir Xiao and asked, “We can’t speak of this matter, right?”
Ye You said, “It’ll definitely alert the enemy to our intentions.”
Sir Ding then looked at Wei Jiangyue, pleased to death with himself. “You see!”
Wei Jiangyue had a mind to argue with him but also felt it would be too childish and so simply shot him a look, refusing to respond.
Seeing the other falling silent, Sir Ding felt that if he was a peacock, then he’d definitely be happy enough to display his train right now. This time, Wei Jiangyue was too lazy to even give him a glance and instead looked towards Sir Xiao. “Want to go to Xiangxing City?”
Ye You asked, “Which of you have been to a male brothel?” Wei Jiangyue said, “I haven’t.”
Sir Ding and the Junior Alliance Leader also hadn’t, and the majority of the Junior Sect Masters hadn’t either; only a few had gone before.
Wenren Heng was listening on the side and had already guessed what his Junior Brother wanted to say. The only thing he felt was a burst of helplessness.
Sure enough, in the next moment, he heard Ye You say, all smiles, “I’ve been before. Let’s go, I’ll take all of you there.”
Sir Ding asked, “Isn’t it the same as going to a regular brothel?”
Ye You spoke complete nonsense with a deadly earnest face, “There’s still some differences, so it’s better to be a bit more careful. We’re going to investigate something, so it’d be bad if we accidentally misstep.”
Sir Ding and the Junior Alliance Leader fiercely nodded their heads. “Yes!”
Even if all of you were going in without any prior knowledge, it wouldn’t matter, since in any case, male brothels have had these kinds of people enter before, Wenren Heng thought in his heart. Seeing his Junior Brother look at him, he then said, “I’ll go with you.”
Ye You sincerely advised, “Senior Brother, just now I wanted to say that since you’re not interested in such things, you don’t need to come, truly.”
Wenren Heng looked at him tenderly. “Hm?”
“We can discuss this matter when we get back.” After these words, Ye You confirmed the particulars with Sir Ding and the others, explaining to them what they should say to their family members, while also conveniently going to say a word to the Abbot that they didn’t learn anything useful. Then, they scattered.
Wenren Heng patiently accompanied the other up until they returned to their room. He closed the door and turned to look at this Junior Brother of his.
Ye You asked, curious, “Sir Ding is always like that when he’s in front of Pavilion Master Ding?”
Wenren Heng pretended that he couldn’t tell that this was an obvious ploy to divert the conversation and gave the other an explanation.
Pavilion Master Ding had been married for many years before he had this one son, so the entire family spoiled this child rotten.
The old madam was so happy that she named him Ding Xilai167, and as a filial son, Pavilion Master Ding didn’t object. And although Pavilion Master Ding usually rarely looked after him, he was still harshly disciplined whenever the other found the time. At first, Ding Xilai would still go and find the old madam to complain, but in the end, it not only didn’t do any good, it also made his dad even harsher in teaching. And so after all this time passed, Ding Xilai simply got into the habit of putting on this kind of appearance in front of his dad.
Ye You understood. Wenren Heng asked, “Why aren’t you letting me come along?” Ye You considerately said, “Aren’t I doing it for your sake?”
Wenren Heng returned with another question, “When did I say that I wasn’t interested in such things?”
Ye You was immediately surprised. “Senior Brother, could it be that you also like men?”
Wenren Heng used his previous words against him and calmly said, “If all of them looked like you, I wouldn’t mind trying it out.”
Ye You carefully turned these words over in his head twice, and he indeed couldn’t hear any teasing ridicule from them. He thus smoothly followed with, “Then why not try considering me?”
Wenren Heng said, “All right.”
Ye You looked at him closely, wanting to see if he was simply joking, only to hear him follow immediately with, “Since it’s like this, from today onwards, don’t go visit brothels right under my eyes. I’ll go with you.”
So you talking in circles was really just for this reason? Ye You said, “It’d still be better if you stayed behind.”
Wenren Heng said, “Reason.”
“Since the matter with Bodhi Prison was exposed, the white piece should’ve made his next move, but we haven’t received any news up until now,” Ye You said, “I have a sort of premonition that that move is almost here. And since the black piece sent that person over, he’s definitely considered the possibility of us not being able to get any information from her. Right now, I’ve lost my memories, so I’m not clear on what my accomplice will do. And even more, I don’t know to what degree I’m involved with this matter. So during the time I’m gone, you can stay here and watch the righteous faction and help restrict them for a while so as to not let the white piece find out that we’re investigating Xiangxing City’s male brothel.” Wenren Heng looked at him. “The white piece currently has his eye on you. You can’t conceal that you’re going to Xiangxing City from him.”
Ye You said, “I understand, but Xiangxing City isn’t far from here, so when the person who’s following me realizes where I want to go and finds a method to notify the white piece, by the time the white piece is able to relay instructions to those in Xiangxing City, it’ll already be too late.”
Wenren Heng said, “You aren’t afraid that he’ll take the opportunity to move against you?”
“You can send people to protect me in secret,” Ye You said, “And what’s more, you can’t forget that I still have some subordinates here. When I leave, they’ll definitely follow me.”
Wenren Heng looked at him, and was not at all reassured. Ye You said, “How about it?”
Absolutely not, Wenren Heng thought.
But he understood this person too well, and even a physical obstruction would be of no use.
Ye You raised a brow. “Senior Brother?”
Wenren Heng was silent for a long while before finally saying, “Stay safe.”
Ye You lifted up the corners of his mouth and was obediently about to answer that he knew when he heard this Senior Brother of his add another sentence, “If you get even the slightest injury, you can’t expect me to ever let you leave from now on.”
Ye You, “…”
Then should he hope to get injured, or to not get injured?