Record of the Missing Sect Master Chapter 61-70

Chapter 61

The moment the words ‘trade people for people’ came out, Abbot Ciyuan understood the other’s intentions.

It wasn’t just him that understood. The remaining elders also instantly guessed the white piece’s purpose.

Having been a part of Jianghu for this many years, the white piece had a certain degree of certainty and would definitely not make the foolish mistake of bringing some minor characters to trade for the major players. The people the white piece wanted should be the ones whom they were still able to bear losing, but that’d still make them feel that it was somewhat a pity to lose.

For instance, of those deeply involved in this matter: Li Hua, Mr. Xiao, and even Miracle Doctor Ji.

The first two were still not an issue, but if Miracle Doctor Ji really was included, when the time came, the only thing they could do was ask Miracle Doctor Ji himself if he was willing.

Abbot Ciyuan asked, “Who does Benefactor want?” Ghost Gentleman said, “First, I want Deru.”

Abbot Ciyuan’s expression stiffened.

The crowd loudly boiled over. “You want Master Deru? Are you dreaming!”

“And even first? How many people do all of you want?”

“Don’t get carried away with your delusions, and don’t think that you can just grab some random people to exchange for others. I’m telling you, we…”

Before these words had finished being said, Ghost Gentleman raised a hand behind his back, and the concealed weapon in his sleeve whistled right into an adventurer’s shoulder in an instant, embedded only a few centimeters away from the neck. The adventurer let out a muffled groan, and the blood rapidly overflowed, dying his front lapel red.

The crowd couldn’t help but still.

“Next time he won’t be so lucky.” Ghost Gentleman looked at the crowd. “I don’t want to waste time squabbling. I’ll count to three. If you don’t hand the person over, I’ll kill someone. If you still won’t do it, I’ll kill someone else. Once I kill all these people here, then I really won’t be so polite. Do all of you want to test the drugged men’s strength?”

No one answered, and everyone’s gazes were entirely on those elders in the front row.

But Ghost Gentleman didn’t even give them any leeway to consider. When he finished speaking, he really did go straight into counting, “One, two, three!”

Upon seeing his arm shake and a fine dagger sliding into his palm, Abbot Ciyuan hastily moved to say a word to stop him. Ghost Gentleman carried that dagger and walked towards the hostages, not even looking at the Abbot. Abbot Ciyuan closed his eyes. “Stop, Benefactor, this monk… will hand that person over.”

Ghost Gentleman said, “Give that person to me right now.”

Abbot Ciyuan then motioned for his disciple to bring over Deru. The disciple opened his mouth and wanted to advise his Abbot otherwise, but upon seeing the other looking firm and resolute in the face of this decision, he could only leave, deeply worried and sick at heart.

Academy Master Ge frowned and asked, “You’re really handing him over?”

Abbot Ciyuan did not reply. He had his eyes lowered, counting his prayer beads.

Those features were dyed by the jumping torchlight and the silvery moonlight, looking like they were partially frozen, truly appearing as if he was just about to become a true honored Buddha, without worries or desires. The remaining elders also didn’t speak.

Some of them had some disciples within that group who were currently bound up and captured. Although they knew that they had no basis for requesting another person to exchange his life for these people, they still hoped that their own disciples could be saved. Right now, having heard the Abbot’s willingness to do the exchange, they had sensibly decided to maintain the silence.

The others were bystanders who saw more clearly than those involved, and bad premonitions all flashed through their hearts.

If this was during ordinary times, they wouldn’t even blink at this threat because it’d be just like if a destitute thief ran to the gates of your house and shouted, “If you don’t give me money, I’ll burn down your neighbor’s house.” The kind of nonsense trouble that’d leave people not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

If, at this moment, there was no one else in the surroundings, and they were able to take care of this thing alone, then they’d probably pull out their swords and directly rush over. If they were able to save the people, then good. If they weren’t, then at least they’d be able to get rid of a great evil for the martial arts circle. They’d at least still be in a stronger position than exchanging their own people’s lives for another’s. And those even more ferocious could even watch the other party cleanly slaughter all the hostages so as to be able to curse the other’s viciousness and cruelty, call the other a lawbreaker and evildoer, before then getting rid of this evil for the martial arts circle, all without causing any damage to themselves.

But the most wicked thing about this was that this wickedness happened right in front of the gates of Shaolin Temple, and the one whom they wanted first was Master Deru.

As everyone knew, Shaolin had always adhered to the rules of mercy and compassion, not to mention there was even the story of ‘cutting one’s flesh to feed the hawk’204, thus they were duty-bound to save the people.

If Ghost Gentleman had requested someone else from the Abbot, the Abbot simply had to say that he couldn’t make the decision. But, the other party had wanted Master Deru from the very first. Even if the Abbot didn’t want to in his heart, he still had to agree, since he couldn’t simply wait for Ghost Gentleman to sneer and say that Shaolin sure was good at feigning righteousness and pride, smashing Shaolin’s beautiful hundred-year reputation into pieces on the ground, all because he refused to do the exchange.

And right now was the so-called ‘it’s always the hardest at the beginning’.

With Master Deru acting as an example, when Ghost Gentleman named others later, if the party who was named acted indifferent under these countless staring eyes, then he’d definitely lose much standing. Especially since the righteous faction had always pursued virtue and justice, with this many people present, if the party who was named really bit his lips, doubled down, and refused to hand the person over, someone in the crowd might be provoked into resentfully shouting out a few words, and it’d definitely draw many people into agreeing.

But that still wasn’t the main issue. The most urgent was that, in the worst case scenario, Ghost Gentleman might actually move that troop of drugged men to massacre all of Shaolin, and with the resentment of the masses, the loss that would be incurred would definitely be counted onto the head of that person who refused to hand over someone.

No matter who the white piece was digging this trap for, this move was truly far too vicious!

Academy Master Ge also wasn’t a fool. Upon seeing them not answering he thought about it himself and sluggishly thought the matter through. He then hastily approached Sir Xiao to ask if the other had a countermeasure.

Wei Jiangyue was silent.

Academy Master Ge asked in a low voice, “You really don’t have an idea?” Wenren Heng said, “Academy Master Ge, Ah-Xiao felt unwell for an entire day, and he even had a small fever for a while…”

The implication was that, My Junior Brother isn’t well and so doesn’t have the heart to think of anything.

Only then did Academy Master Ge remember that he hadn’t seen this person for an entire day, leading him to advise the other to go rest.

Wei Jiangyue shook his head and continued standing there. Academy Master Ge felt worried in his heart and decided that he might as well remain to stand guard.

As both sides were waiting, those elders finally turned their attentions to Ghost Gentleman himself.

Manor Lord Wei asked, in a low voice, “How did he die originally?”

“Fell off a cliff,” Pavilion Master Ding said, “It was me who brought people to chase him off.”

Sect Master Han said, “I was also present. I remember at that time we were just passing by, and we coincidentally saw him doing evil…”

As he spoke, he fell silent, and the rest of them also made the association with the matter of Blood-sucking Ghost, internally thinking maybe at the time Ghost Gentleman was purposely doing evil, for the sake of luring them to the edge of the cliff so as to feign death by jumping off.

Sect Leader Xuanyang asked, “Who searched the body?” Pavilion Master Ding didn’t open his mouth.

Sect Master Han hesitated for a moment before saying, “…It was the Alliance Leader.”

Everyone almost simultaneously remembered that the Alliance Leader had also searched the corpse during that incident with Blood- sucking Ghost. Their minds all independently flashed to those words of conjecture made by Xie Junming, that “the Alliance Leader is the white piece,” and they all couldn’t help but give him a look. At this time, from the crowd came the echoes of, “Make way, make way.” And thinking that it was probably Master Deru being carried over, they all turned to look.

Ghost Gentleman and those in the surroundings also looked towards the source of the sound. After waiting for a moment, what everyone ended up seeing was the people of Wuwang Temple carrying over a chair to place behind their own Temple Master, even bringing along a low table and placing some melon seeds and hot tea on top.

The righteous faction, “…” Ghost Gentleman, “…”

Xie Junming sat down in satisfaction and unhurriedly drank a mouthful of tea. He said, “Even if I look this attractive, all of you don’t need to keep staring at me like this, right?”

Instantly, the monster who had murdered countless people and the heroes of the righteous faction who had always been at odds with that monster came to an unusual, unprecedented agreement in their hearts: This rascal is really just asking for a beating!

Ghost Gentleman moved away his line of sight and again waited for a while before finally seeing the person he wanted.

Master Deru’s body was still fettered with iron chains. At dinner, he had been fed drugs by Miracle Doctor Ji and so was still unconscious right now, remaining asleep even as he was carried to the front gates by the Shaolin disciples.

Abbot Ciyuan saw his youngest disciple. The hands that were holding the prayer beads trembled faintly, and the frozen face showed a sliver of overflowing grief.

He stroked his disciple’s forehead and, in a low voice, recited a small bit of scripture.

The Shaolin disciples’ eyes reddened, but they hadn’t yet opened their mouths to sob when they heard a muffled groan from nearby. The crowd also subsequently cried out in alarm because Ghost Gentleman had again stabbed another wound into the adventurer’s body. Ghost Gentleman pulled out the dagger and looked at the Abbot. “Stop dawdling. Hand the person over.”

Abbot Ciyuan moved his lips and asked, “When will benefactor release the people?”

Ghost Gentleman then cut the ropes that had bound the adventurer who had been stabbed twice. While still holding onto this person’s shoulder, he brought the hostage forward. “Immediately.”

Abbot Ciyuan frowned. “Benefactor is releasing only one person?”

“I want only four people,” Ghost Gentleman said, “Just in case, we’ll trade one for one for the first three. When the last one comes over, I’ll release everyone who remains. All of you won’t suffer a loss.”

Pavilion Master Ding asked, in a cold voice, “Who’s the remaining three?”

Ghost Gentleman said, “You think I’m a fool? If I say it right now, what’ll I do if he runs away out of cowardice? Hurry it up, stop talking nonsense and hand the person over!”

“Isn’t this so troublesome?” Xie Junming cracked a melon seed and interrupted with, “I think it’d be better to just trade them all in one go. You can just directly call out the names of those four people, and when they go over, you let people go on your end. It’ll save you time calling them out one by one.”

Ghost Gentleman sneered. “I’m just happier calling them out one by one. What’s it to you?”

Xie Junming said, “It’s nothing to me. I just thought that you seemed a bit foolish, so I couldn’t help but sympathize with you a bit.”

“…” Ghost Gentleman internally thought that if he didn’t have proper business to conduct, then he’d definitely give this person a beating.

He was so angry that his face sunk, and he looked towards the Abbot. He put some force into his hand, and beneath him, the adventurer’s face immediately twisted. Abbot Ciyuan recited an, “Amitabha,” and lowering his eyes, said, “Carry the person over then.”

Those Shaolin disciples hesitated, wanting to speak, but in the end, they didn’t dare to go against the Abbot’s intentions and so, with reddened eyes, carried that person over. Ghost Gentleman was true to his words and kicked that adventurer forward, returning the hostage to them.

Ghost Gentleman said, “Second, I want Mr. Xiao.”

Mr. Xiao was the only person they captured who knew the identity of the white piece.

Those elders were silent for a time.

But even as Ghost Gentleman clearly knew that this matter needed to be discussed, he ordered some disciples from the major sects to be brought out, carrying the impression that he was simply going to kill off these people if that person wasn’t handed over. From those sects, the involved sect leaders’ faces immediately turned ashen.

Those sect leaders also couldn’t easily say anything. They could only say that the person had been captured by Wudang and Shaolin, so whether to hand the person over was all up to those two sects.

Abbot Ciyuan said, “Although the person was captured by us, it was still largely thanks to Sir Xiao…”

The group finally looked at that disciple-brother pair.

Wenren Heng was very straightforward. “Let’s hand him over. My Junior Brother was able to capture him once so should be able to capture him a second time.”

Those sect leaders let out a breath of relief in their hearts and gave Wenren Heng a look of gratitude. Upon seeing this, Abbot Ciyuan instructed his disciples to escort the person over, and they exchanged people once more.

Ghost Gentleman said, “Third, I want Miracle Doctor Ji.” Everyone startled and once again boiled over, one after the other cursing in your dreams! And then before they had yet to see Ghost Gentleman start chopping people up, they saw Miracle Doctor Ji stepping forward, walking towards the other party without consulting anyone. This time, not only everyone in the righteous faction but also Ghost Gentleman all startled.

Miracle Doctor Ji said, “Still not letting someone go?”

Ghost Gentleman regained his senses and gave Miracle Doctor Ji a careful look. Only after being certain that it wasn’t just someone in disguise did he let someone go. He said, “Fourth, I want Sir Xiao.”

Wenren Heng slowly stepped forward a few steps, walking to the empty space in front of the gates.

Ghost Gentleman said, “I wanted a Sir Xiao, not a Wenren Heng.”

“I know. Ah-Xiao is my Junior Brother, so I’m originally supposed to be the one responsible for his matters, but this time, I don’t want to be responsible.” Weren Heng looked back at the righteous faction which had been silent ever since Miracle Doctor Ji had walked over. He said, gently, “Some of you might not know who that earlier Mr.

Xiao was, so let me tell you.”

Ghost Gentleman said, “Stop trying to stall for time, or else I’ll…”

“Kill people?” Wenren Heng looked at him and calmly said, “Then kill. If you don’t let me finish speaking, then even if you kill everyone, I still won’t hand the person over.”

As he finished speaking, he didn’t even wait to see if Ghost Gentleman was going to start slaughtering people before he once again looked at the people behind them. “When has our righteous faction ever been bullied by someone to this degree? Especially when it’s a situation where even our most mighty and illustrious figures are present? Isn’t this embarrassing and shameful?”

Ever since the third person had gone over, everyone had gradually started feeling somewhat vexed, and upon hearing this, their anger immediately rose. Following the Sect Master’s instructions, the scarred man had secretly planted a person within the crowd, and at this moment, this person raised his voice to lead the fervor, “That’s right! At worst, we’ll just risk our lives! This elder can’t stand this disgrace! Who does he think he is!”

The moment these words were said, a few young and hotheaded adventurers chimed in with agreement, “Let’s risk it!”

“That’s right, let’s risk it! Damnit!”

Ghost Gentleman wasn’t a fool. He knew that if he really killed someone at this moment, he wouldn’t be able to threaten them at all and would simply incur the opposite effect. He couldn’t help but grit his teeth in anger and look at Wenren Heng. “What do you want to say?”

Wenren Heng said, “I want to tell them about this incident in its entirety, from beginning to end, and let them know to what degree it has developed.”

Up until now, matters had always been discussed between some high-ranked and important elders, and nothing much was said to the outside. Outsiders knew only that the righteous faction had a traitor, while the rest of their information was complete guesswork. Now, upon hearing that Wenren Heng wanted to speak, they immediately raised their spirits.

Wenren Heng then explained, very simply, everything about the matters of the secret book, the map, the villa, the black and white piece, Bodhi Prison, and all that had happened since coming to Shaolin. He said, “Now all of you should know the reason why he wants these few people. The white piece is reliant on the drug. As long as they have the drug, then they’ll be able to make drugged people any time. In the past, the only drugged person we had was Master Deru. If they take away Master Deru, and then take away Miracle Doctor Ji, then the antidote can no longer be made.

Although the remaining Young Miracle Doctor Fang has talent, with his Master in the other party’s hands, he wouldn’t dare to make any reckless moves. Afterwards, they also want to take away the Mr. Xiao who knows the white piece’s identity. And now it’s my Junior Brother.”

He pointed at “his Junior Brother” and said, “I won’t be the one responsible for this matter. I’ll leave it to all of you. If you say hand him over, I’ll hand him over.”

Everyone’s expressions turned grave.

They had always thought that Sir Xiao was just Wenren Heng’s Junior Brother and had never imagined this person would be so clever. If he wasn’t around to oppose the white piece, then what would happen to them after today?

Ghost Gentleman’s face turned cold.

Rejoicing in others’ misfortunes, Xie Junming said, “Feeling like a fool yet? I already told you that you should ask for them together. See how easy those first three were to call over. If you had wanted them all at once, the people also wouldn’t be feeling so vexed. But you still insisted on asking separately. Serves you right.”

Ghost Gentleman, “…”

Ghost Gentleman’s face turned even colder. “I’ll ask one last time. Are you handing him over or not? If you aren’t, I’ll no longer be so polite.”

He raised his hand, and the sound of the flute once again rang out. That crowd of drugged men then uniformly moved to a fighting stance. Although there was no light in their eyes, they were full of ferocious killing intent.

The blood in everyone’s chest had not yet cooled off, and they pulled out their swords, muttering as if they were prepared to risk their lives. But the white piece also had someone in the crowd, and he shouted, in a loud voice, for Wenren Heng to hand the person over.

Those nearby immediately cursed in anger, “Hand over shit! You can’t hand him over! Sir Xiao is such an important person!” That person, “But did all of you forget that there’s still the black piece! If the black piece is around, the white piece won’t be able to bounce around for long!”

Another person joined in on the scolding, “Talking shit! Who knows who the black piece is! Our righteous faction obviously needs to investigate ourselves!”

The two groups quickly got into a heated argument, and it turned into complete chaos.

Wei Jiangyue knew it was time. He sucked in a deep breath and took the initiative to walk forward.

Everyone instantly stilled. Immediately following, someone shouted, “Sir Xiao, you can’t go over!”

Wei Jiangyue didn’t listen, and he passed by Wenren Heng, walking right towards Ghost Gentleman.

Manor Lord Wei was watching from the back, and his heart fell with a loud thud.

Just now, it was too dark, and this person had been quietly standing still the whole time, appearing very inconspicuous. It was only now, upon seeing the way this person walked, that he discovered that this was his son!

Chapter 62

Manor Lord Wei felt his vision go black, and almost without thinking, he shouted, “You, stop moving!”

Wei Jiangyue turned a deaf ear and walked forward another step.

After this one step, he was only a half-step away from Ghost Gentleman. Without saying another word, Ghost Gentleman grabbed this person, the stone in his heart settling, and with a wave of his hand, set the remaining people free.

The crowd’s tension didn’t ease, and they shouted, “Don’t let them leave! Let’s do our utmost against them!”

“Yes, do our utmost!”

“That’s right, we can’t just leave tonight’s matters like this!” Ghost Gentleman sneered, “That’s enough. Let’s leave.”

The moment these words were spoken, the black-clothed men who were guarding in front turned their blades around, each dropping them onto the necks of Master Deru and Miracle Doctor Ji. And although Ghost Gentleman was simply holding the shoulder of “Sir Xiao”, his martial skill was high, and so it’d be the ease of a moment for him to take this person’s life.

The angry crowd immediately stiffened.

Ghost Gentleman continued to sneer, “If you can’t accept this, come up. It just so happens that I’ve gone some time without killing anyone, and I’m just itching to do so.”

No one dared to move recklessly, and one after the other, they looked at the mighty and esteemed personages in the very front row.

Someone raised a voice to say, “Are we really going to just let them go like this?”

“Hey, all you sect leaders, at least say something!” “This matter definitely can’t just end here. Sect Master Wenren is right. When has our righteous faction ever been bullied by someone like this!”

Xie Junming wanted to laugh upon hearing this. Internally, he thought actually there have been, but all of you just forgot.

At the time, on Yushan stage, all the mighty and esteemed personages from the martial arts circle were also present, but only six people, including the Sect Master, came from the Demonic Sect. And in the end, Ye You had mocked an entire group of people with a smile on his face, while his Demonic Sect Elders gave them all a beating, before then swaggering off without a thought.

But at a time like this, he definitely wouldn’t say too much. He simply found a comfortable position and prepared to watch the show with interest.

Hearing the crowd’s noisy ruckus, Ghost Gentleman also looked at those in the front row, and his mouth suddenly twitched into the shape of a strange smile. Abbot Ciyuan and the others felt their hearts shiver, and before they could even try parsing what he wanted to do, he rapidly made a hand gesture.

The next moment, they heard the sounds of blood-curdling screams suddenly echo through the air, and then streaks of extremely fast shadows scuttled out from the crowd, all holding blades dripping with blood, to stand behind him.

“You think I have only these drugged men?” While they were still dazed by these events, Ghost Gentleman started speaking, “I’ll tell all of you the truth. Over these past few days, we’ve sent quite a few of our people to mix in with all of you, and these are only a fraction of them, so when we fight, remember to be careful of your surroundings.”

Everyone’s hearts turned cold, and they unconsciously turned to look left and right.

Many even put some distance between themselves and those next to them, secretly taking precautions. Ghost Gentleman saw the growing fear in the righteous faction members who had, only just now, been eager to fight him as if their lives depended and, feeling as if the imposing atmosphere and the situation itself was once again firmly on his own side, began feeling slightly happier. He somewhat proudly looked at Xie Junming, and upon finding that this rascal was still cracking melon seeds, he felt his smile stiffen. And then, he swept his eyes away and saw that Wenren Heng was still standing in that same exact spot, all without the slightest change in expression. All his years of experience in Jianghu led to a sort of bad premonition flashing through his heart.

In truth, they had secretly arranged these people as preparations for the exchange.

According to the original plans, he would slowly threaten the righteous faction. Wanting Master Deru and Mr. Xiao didn’t count as too difficult, and it was only when he wanted Miracle Doctor Ji that he’d start using this group of people to coerce the other party. In this way, one after another, when it reached Sir Xiao’s turn, the pressure would be the heaviest, since after all, even Miracle Doctor Ji gave in, and Sir Xiao would be exchanged for the most people. If the person was unwilling to come over, their people would secretly act as instigators, and then they’d definitely be able to incite the crowd’s displeasure.

But who could’ve known that the first few would’ve been handed over so easily, especially Miracle Doctor Ji… His heart skipped a beat, and he suddenly gave Miracle Doctor Ji a look, seeing this person looking as calm as ever, from start to finish, and feeling more and more as if there was something wrong.

His first reaction was to take this opportunity to hurry and retreat while the righteous faction was still restrained by fear.

At this time, Xie Junming once again opened his mouth and, with a slightly condescending tone, said, “Hey, are all of you fighting or not? If you want to fight, just fight, stop making all this needless noise. If you’re not going to fight, just admit defeat and let these people go, so I can go back to sleep. This play has really been too boring to watch, and only you righteous faction members could’ve mangled it this badly. If it was me and Ah-You making the decisions, I guarantee that we’d already have had this guy return home lying down.”

Those words stabbed right to the heart, and it didn’t function as just some menacing talk, it also served to pour oil on the fire.

Although everyone didn’t want to admit it, they still had no way to refute.

Because over these years, as long as those two great demonic faction leaders were together, then they never suffered any losses whatsoever. If Ghost Gentleman really went against those two, then it was likely that even he wouldn’t end up unscathed.

But why exactly would their righteous faction become like this?

Everyone’s anger immediately burned from their chests all the way up to their heads, causing them all to seethe, almost literally, with anger.

They collectively turned their heads and looked indignantly at those in the front row.

Those elders felt practically helpless.

Matters had developed too quickly, from the crowd beginning to murmur, to the white piece’s secretly-deployed men moving to injure the people, and finally to the irritating words of that rascal Xie Junming who’s constantly just asking for a beating. There hadn’t been even the slightest pause in the middle of these proceedings, so they never even had the time to open their mouths to speak.

After being unable to stop Sir Xiao, Academy Master Ge had returned to the Abbot’s side and was just about to speak when he saw Pavilion Master Ding’s entire face frosting over before the other walked out, sword in hand.

Wei Jing, as the Head of “Moon’s Shadow”, loyally and faithfully followed behind. Hearing the other call for “Moon’s Shadow”, he waved his hand towards the back, and in an instant, countless shadows jumped out to stand uniformly behind them. And since Manor Lord Wei was worried about his son’s safety, he had made a move at practically the same time as Pavilion Master Ding, with “Heaven’s Firmament” closely following behind, and they came forward together.

“Moon’s Shadow” and “Heaven’s Firmament” were both elite troops, the experts among experts.

Just seeing them lifted the righteous faction’s spirits, and the crowd became fired up at once, with overflowing vigor. Even Xie Junming couldn’t help but let out an, “Oh!”

“So it looks like you don’t want to let me go?” Ghost Gentleman narrowed his eyes. “You don’t even care about their lives and deaths anymore?”

The moment he spoke, the black-clothed men applied some pressure to their swords, and the necks of Miracle Doctor Ji and Master Deru immediately trickled blood. If the wounds were even a little deeper, then their lives were forfeit.

Pavilion Master Ding and Manor Lord Wei’s expressions were both dark.

At exactly this moment, the Wei Jiangyue who had been quiet up until now turned his head to look at Ghost Gentleman and said, “I’m Wei Jiangyue.”

Ghost Gentleman startled, but before he had the time to confirm this information, he felt a sliver of internal energy strike the palm of his hand. Wei Jiangyue had taken the opportunity to knock loose the other’s hand that had been gripping his shoulder. He then shook his sleeves, grabbing onto the dagger that slid out, before fiercely turning his hand to stab towards the other. Caught off guard, Ghost Gentleman dodged on instinct.

Wei Jiangyue had thoroughly thrown off the other’s grip. Using his other hand, he fished out the concealed weapon that Wenren Heng had given him and tossed it. He heard only a thud before thick smoke began billowing out erratically. Upon seeing that the time was right, Wenren Heng, Xie Junming, Abbot Ciyuan, and Sect Leader Xuanyang simultaneously acted, throwing out concealed weapons of inborn energy, one after the other, and accurately hitting the knife-wielding, black-clothed men, freeing Miracle Doctor Ji and Master Deru from their predicaments. Miracle Doctor Ji didn’t wait for the other party to bend and retrieve their weapons. With a shot of a silver needle, those men immediately became unable to move a single step.

The scene turned into complete chaos in an instant.

Without saying a single word, Pavilion Master Ding and Manor Lord Wei rushed into the thick fog.

Wenren Heng and Abbot Ciyuan also brought people to rush over.

The faraway flute player was apparently able to see that an unforeseen incident had occurred, and the sound of the flute quickly began echoing. However, it echoed for only a moment before, in the next, it was covered by the chilly sound of a qin, collapsing in utter defeat.

At this time, Wei Jiangyue had already pressed close to Ghost Gentleman. In this thick fog, he first spoke some words to preserve his life, saying, in a low voice, “I know where Sir Xiao is. He isn’t at Shaolin.”

Ghost Gentleman stopped the other’s dagger and, upon seeing the next attack following immediately after, dodged to the side, asking, “Where is he?”

Wei Jiangyue changed his methods and continued attacking. “My father said he’s at a tavern in the small county town.”

“Tavern?” Ghost Gentleman had time to say only this one word before he heard the sounds of other people arriving. At once, he used a palm strike to shake the other off, leaping backwards into the dark night. He then fished out a delicate bamboo pipe and raised it to the sky, transmitting the order to retreat. Wei Jiangyue subconsciously wanted to give chase, but he was stopped, his shoulder grabbed by those who had chased after him.

The thick fog was gradually dissipating, and Manor Lord was able to recognize his own son. He asked, “How are you? Where is that person?”

Wei Jiangyue said, “Ran away.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “Which way did he run?” Wei Jiangyue pointed in one direction.

“You’ve made enough trouble. Go back.” Manor Lord Wei threw down these words and, without even a backwards glance, went along with Pavilion Master Ding to give chase. At the same time, the thick smoke once again exploded outwards, this time seemingly set off on the black-clothed men’s side.

Upon seeing the first wave of thick smoke about to dissipate, those in the surroundings were originally planning to rush over to help, but then they saw that side once again being covered up and so could only stop and stare, doing their best to distinguish events by sound. “What exactly is happening?”

“Ah, I don’t know.”

“Why don’t all of us together…”

Xie Junming said, “I’m advising all of you not to go and cause trouble.”

Everyone shot him a glance, extremely unhappy.

Xie Junming said, “You should learn from the example of that ghost just now. If he had listened to me, he would’ve already been long done. Do you want to be as big a fool as he is?”

If Ghost Gentleman was around, then he probably would’ve been angered once more by this rascal. Everyone fell silent. Right as they were hesitating over whether they should listen to him or not, they heard this rascal unhurriedly add some more words, “Well, you can go if you want, just don’t go as a big group. Or else, if you’re not careful, the one beside you might be someone sent by the white piece, someone who’ll give you a stab in a moment of happy inattention.”

“…” Everyone thereupon gave up on the idea of rushing into the fray.

They stood on tiptoes to look every which way. After waiting for a short while, they saw Wenren Heng and Abbot Ciyuan bringing people out, with even Miracle Doctor Ji and the still unconscious Master Deru alongside. They sucked in a deep breath and fiercely clenched their hands into fists. “That’s great!”

“That’s right, where’s Sir Xiao and that Mr. Xiao?”

“That shouldn’t be Sir Xiao, right? Wasn’t Sir Xiao’s martial arts… He also came out!”

Everyone hastily looked over and saw that “Sir Xiao” was pulling off the bandages on his face as he walked, slowly exposing the face of Wei Jiangyue. They were first dumbfounded before then finding it inconceivable. “Could this thing have been planned?”

But the white piece was hidden within the elders of the martial arts circle, and basically everyone was suspect, so if there truly was a plan, then it was possible that they simply didn’t notify those sect leaders… Everyone looked at the calm Wenren Heng and remembered this person relating the entire story just now. They all thought that this matter had most likely been planned by that Sir Xiao who was able to see through the moves of that white piece, and perhaps Sect Master Wenren also offered some ideas. Immediately, they felt as if they should be prostrating out of respect for this pair of disciple-brothers.

Wenren Heng gave Wei Jiangyue a glance. “Not injured?”

Wei Jiangyue insipidly made a sound in acknowledgement and returned the two remaining concealed weapons to him before asking, “Just now that was?” “Perhaps it was something the white piece threw, wanting to retreat,” Wenren Heng said, “Or perhaps…”

Wei Jiangyue waited and waited but wasn’t able to hear the next words and so couldn’t help but turn to look at him.

The corners of Wenren Heng’s mouth raised, but he didn’t respond.

Ghost Gentleman had been traversing Jianghu for many years, all the while being chased to the death by both “Moon’s Shadow” and “Heaven’s Firmament,” so he had not the slightest bit of fear on his face. He pulled and threw out a concealed weapon and successfully managed to retreat, breaking from their encirclement, disappearing without a trace.

He quickly hurried towards the previously decided-upon meeting place and saw that his partner was already there. He looked at the miserable flute player. “It was that surnamed Tao girl again?”

Under the moonlight, the flute player’s face was deathly pale, and the person had to be supported by the nearby black-clothed men as he nodded and said, “There was also Xunliu Manor’s Qin Yuemian.”

“Weren’t they both at Shaolin…” As Ghost Gentleman spoke, he thought of the events tonight and said, “We’ve been tricked. Our plans were definitely seen through.”

The flute player nodded once again and, after waiting for a moment, saw some subordinates and the already freed Mr. Xiao catch up but, upon looking behind them, asked, “Where are those drugged men?”

Those people shook their heads. “We didn’t see them.”

“That’s impossible!” The flute player had spoken too urgently and ended up coughing out a mouthful of blood, speaking again only after a long moment, “When I saw the signal, I immediately sent the order to retreat. Why did they not come back?”

Just now, he had used the last bit of his strength to play that flute, and that was the reason why he was so heavily injured! Ghost Gentleman frowned. “Let’s wait a while longer.”

“No need to wait.” A sharp tone of voice, carrying the sound of a smile suddenly echoed from the nearby forest. “It’s currently nighttime, so perhaps they were too tired and fell asleep. You shouldn’t disturb someone’s beautiful dreams.”

Ghost Gentleman’s expression changed slightly. He had always boasted of his strong martial arts, but he had actually not been able to perceive that anyone was nearby.

He hastily turned his head, shouting, “Who? Come out!”

The remaining people also turned, one after the other, to look at the source of the sound, secretly making preparations.

The only thing they heard were the echoes of footsteps, walking neither too slow nor too fast, before seeing a person quickly step out of the dusky forest, appearing underneath the moonlight. He was wearing a set of black robes, with a mask on his face and a faint smile on his lips, carrying a vaguely wicked atmosphere.

They practically blurted out, “The Demonic Sect’s Sect Master!”

“Yes, it’s me. This night is quite long, so why not…” Ye You smiled, dragging out the words, before his figure flashed. Ghost Gentleman had not yet even clearly registered these movements when he felt a pain in the chest, and his entire person was sent flying, smashing into the ground with a bang.

Those in the surroundings instantly felt cold from head to toe.

This was the Ghost Gentleman who had made all of Jianghu uneasy even in mere discussion, and he had actually been unable to exchange even one blow with Sect Master Ye!

Ghost Gentleman spat out a mouthful of blood and, holding onto his chest, stood up, the depths of his eyes carrying a trace of dread.

This was the first time in his life that he had met such a fearsome person, especially as Sect Master Ye was still quite young. What martial art was this person actually practicing? Within this deathly stillness, Ye You slowly finished his words, saying, with all smiles, “Why not all of you keep me company?”

With the light breeze blowing, the thick smoke in front of Shaolin had thoroughly dispersed.

Everyone stared, and all of them immediately couldn’t help but suck in a cold breath.

Under the moonlight, the drugged men were lying, askew every which way, over a vast expanse.

Two people, one black and one white, were standing in the middle of the “sea of corpses”. The white-clothed person even seemed to have a sort of white, thread-like object hanging from both hands and, with a flick of the wrist, the entire thing was stowed away.

When they were able to see these two’s appearances clearly, they shouted at once, “The Demonic Sect’s Elders!”

“What are you two doing here?”

“That’s right, why did you two come to Shaolin? What did you two do to them!”

Elder Hei said, “We came to help clean up your mess. Remember to be grateful.”

“What shit, you two…” As everyone spoke, they regained their senses and anxiously ran over, shouting out the names of their dearly beloved friends and family members.

They turned the people over one-by-one in their search and then held the person in their arms, their expressions of apprehension replaced with expressions of joy, saying, choked with emotion, “They’re still alive!”

“Yes, my Senior Brother is also still breathing!” “What exactly is going on here…” Someone spoke, stopping midway into the sentence upon feeling someone nearby pulling on his sleeve. He couldn’t help but turn his head and saw his companion pulling up a strand of thread from the clothes of the drugged men.

The remaining people also slowly discovered this point and silently turned their gazes to Elder Miao, realizing that this was his doing, but… From when the fog came to when it dissipated was such a short window of time, yet this person was actually able to make this enormous troop of drugged men collapse. What terrifying ability!

There was a portion of the crowd who didn’t go over, and upon seeing this scene, someone muttered, “Ah, it’s Miao Wang…”

Xie Junming heard this very clearly, and he immediately stopped cracking melon seeds. He looked at that person. “Miao what?”

That adventurer didn’t think that Temple Master Xie would pay attention to him and was somewhat shocked. He said, “Wang.”

Xie Junming said, “What? Miao what?” The adventurer said, “Wang!”

Xie Junming nodded in satisfaction. “Yes, my last bit of sleepiness is finally gone now.”

The adventurer was baffled, and it took him a while to react and realize that he had shouted “Wang” twice205, meaning that this surnamed Xie had played him!

He felt his face cracking. Why was this rascal Xie Junming still not dead! Still not dead! Still not dead!

Chapter 63

Miracle Doctor Ji’s injury wasn’t deep, and the bleeding had already stopped, so it was fine after his young disciple helped him apply some medicine. He then went over to start directing them to carry the drugged men into Shaolin while also instructing his young disciple to feed these men a certain medicine.

Someone asked, “This is?”

Miracle Doctor Ji said, “It’ll let them sleep even more deeply.”

Everyone understood and, one after the other, went up to help, receiving the medicinal pill from the Young Miracle Doctor’s hands.

Miracle Doctor Ji looked at this great expanse of drugged men and felt somewhat amused in his heart.

The white piece had wanted to catch them off-guard by leaving with Deru, himself, and Sir Xiao, and in the end, those two youngsters had beaten these people at their own game. They not only didn’t get the people they wanted but also had to pay with an entire troop of drugged men, making it even easier for him and his disciple to formulate the antidote, so they must now be angry enough to cough up blood. The only thing was that he never imagined that the Demonic Sect’s people would actually come to lend a hand.

There were people within the crowd, especially those elders, who had long started ruminating over this matter.

But those elders were all capable of keeping their composure, while those adventurers — in particular, those who had been previously messed with by those two monsters — were utterly incapable of enduring it and asked, “What matters made the Demonic Sect Elders come to Shaolin?”

Elder Hei said, “We came to find Temple Master Xie. This incident in the righteous faction has made too much noise, so our Sect Master had us come along to look.”

Then that meant that Sect Master Ye didn’t come along? Everyone collectively let out a breath. However, there were some who still felt uneasy and asked, in confirmation, “Then Sect Master Ye didn’t come?”

Elder Hei said, “Ah, he came.” Everyone, “…”

Elder Hei said, “Our Sect Master heard the sound of the qin midway and so went to find Lady Tao.”

Everyone felt oppressed with worry, internally thinking that Lady Tao would definitely return, and Sect Master Ye would probably

also follow along to come look at Shaolin, perhaps even deciding to stay behind like Xie Junming, so how could they live through these days now?

Having heard this, Xie Junming thought about it for a moment but felt that a certain someone most likely wouldn’t expose his identity right now. Upon seeing Elder Miao and Elder Hei walking over to him, he smiled and praised, “As always, Miaomiao’s ability with poisonous insects is still as incredible as ever.”

“…” Elder Miao looked at him expressionlessly and didn’t speak a word.

Xie Junming asked, “Your Sect Master didn’t order anything else?”

Elder Miao said, “He did. The Sect Master wanted us to follow you and also wanted me to study the drugged men a bit to see if there was any way to undo the effects.”

Elder Hei nodded on the side.

This was the order that the Sect Master had relayed in that small courtyard, and it truly was a good thing. Other than the fact that Xie Junming enjoyed tormenting the people around him, there was really nothing bad about it. The most important thing was that they were now able to use their identities as the Demonic Sect Elders to appear out in the open, and they finally didn’t have to hide among the piles of people, poking at bugs for fun. The moment Elder Hei was happy, he couldn’t help but want to exchange pleasantries, “These next few days, us two will be staying with Temple Master Xie’s people. Please excuse the trouble, and I hope Temple Master Xie won’t take offense.”

Xie Junming laughed and said, “It’s no matter, we’re all practically family.”

Elder Hei continued to be happy. “Yes!”

Xie Junming looked at this noble, young sir-like face of his and, just like countless times before, thought that he didn’t match his identity as a shadow guard, and so carelessly threw out some teasing words, “Then tonight, you should just sleep in the same room as me.”

Elder Hei’s smiling face stiffened. “…That doesn’t seem very good.”

“I think it’s quite good. Then, it’s decided,” Xie Junming said, before standing up and walking towards Wenren Heng, wanting to be clear on what their next step was going to be.

“…” Elder Hei followed the other’s departure with his eyes before silently looking in the direction of Wuwang Temple’s people, wanting to know if their Temple Master was for real or not. Those people collectively turned their eyes up towards the sky; their Temple Master’s words have always been dependent on the mood, so maybe it was for real, and maybe it wasn’t.

Elder Miao pulled Elder Hei to the side and said, in a low voice, “See, as I said, he’s not normal. Temple Master Xie doesn’t care about who he sleeps with. Previously, Xiao-Bai said he agreed to come down the mountain precisely because, the moment he opened his eyes one day, he saw Temple Master Xie lying right next to him. Such a slow- natured person as him was even instantly frightened awake.”

Elder Hei, “…”

The scene was deathly still for a moment before Elder Hei thought back and said, “Wait, Xiao-Bai’s martial skill is that high, yet he didn’t discover that Temple Master Xie was lying next to him?” Elder Miao said, “It seems like he was drugged by Temple Master Xie.”

Elder Hei immediately had some sympathy for Elder Bai. After all, it wasn’t just anyone on this earth that was able to withstand Xie Junming’s intentional torments, and Elder Bai was able to endure it for that many days before he finally yielded. It must’ve been truly difficult!

He hesitantly said, “Then you’re saying that I…”

Elder Miao patted his shoulder and said, “Give up on struggling now. You should just go.”

Elder Hei, “…”

At this time, Xie Junming had already reached Wenren Heng’s side, but before he had time to open his mouth, he saw several people run out from Shaolin Temple, noisily clamoring that they had discovered three black-clothed men tied together, hanging on a large tree, with a letter stuffed into the front lapel of the middle one. The letter said that these were the people whom the white piece had sent to assassinate Lady Tao.

The crowd immediately burst out into an uproar.

“Lady Tao? Wasn’t Lady Tao outside? Since I just heard the sound of the qin.”

“I also heard it… Hold on, I think I saw Lady Tao this evening. When did she go outside?”

“That’s right, when did she go outside?”

Wenren Heng perceived that those elders were all turning to look at him, so he walked forward and simply explained that the “Lady Tao” who had remained at Shaolin was someone else he had found to disguise as her. Although he didn’t explain in detail, the people were able to fill in the blanks themselves, and they couldn’t help wanting to prostrate in admiration.

Some couldn’t help but ask, “Sect Master Wenren, did you two already know that the white piece was going to surround this place?”

Wenren Heng said, “Yes, my Junior Brother guessed it.”

Everyone then collectively began to venerate Sir Xiao. Upon seeing Abbot Ciyuan and the others leaving to go see those black-clothed men, they hurried, slipping and sliding, to follow. Xie Junming stood, unmoving, and looked towards Wenren Heng. “Where is he?”

Wenren Heng said, “Still outside.”

Xie Junming asked, “Is he coming back tonight?”

“Perhaps,” Wenren Heng said, “It’s also quite late. Temple Master Xie still isn’t going to rest?”

The moment he heard this, Xie Junming could tell that nothing else important was going to happen and so nodded, waving goodbye to his subordinates before deciding to go to sleep. Elder Hei was crouched at the stairs in front of the gates of Shaolin Temple, silently watching his figure moving far away, before innocently saying to his colleague, “I’ll stay outside and wait for the Sect Master tonight, so I won’t need to go find Temple Master Xie, right?”

Elder Miao considered for a moment before saying, with extreme gravity, “If he’s unhappy and thinks up an even more perverted idea, what would you do?”

“…” Elder Hei thought about Xie Junming’s temperament before then following behind them, resigned to his fate. Hugging his blanket, he dilly-dallied for a bit before finally knocking on the great Temple Master Xie’s door.

Xie Junming reached out a hand to open the door, looked him up and down, and laughed with eyebrows raised. “You actually want to sleep with me?” “…No, I went the wrong way.” Elder Hei turned around and left.

If the heavens gave him a second chance to choose, he’d

definitely give the winning stick he drew to someone else206 — it was obviously still much more fun to poke bugs!

Elder Miao saw his colleague leave and then come back and so asked, “What happened?”

Elder Hei had a mind to give him a beating but then remembered that he had poisonous insects all over his body so simply crouched down and said, “…For now, don’t talk to me.”

In the empty space in front of the gates were a few torches still lying scattered about the ground, many of which still remained lit. Under the night wind, the flames swayed faintly to and fro, before then being extinguished by Shaolin disciples. The moonlight appeared to grow fuller with time, and its faint radiance followed the mountain road, spreading itself faraway, reaching its end with not a soul in sight, endlessly still and tranquil.

Manor Lord Wei and Pavilion Master Ding had taken people to chase after Ghost Gentleman, and they still had yet to return.

Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang sent Shaolin and Wudang’s people to provide support, and there were still no news as of yet.

Of the adventurers, one portion was waiting for them, and another portion wanted to know if, after going to help Lady Tao, Sect Master Ye would capture and bring back that flute player, while yet another portion had discovered that Sect Master Wenren had yet to leave and so had also stayed behind, wanting to see if something else was going to happen. Thus, there still remained many people nearby.

Wenren Heng didn’t pay attention to all the gazes on him and simply walked to where Wei Jiangyue was standing, stiff and straight. He asked, “You’re suspicious?”

Wei Jiangyue’s entire body was rigid, and he said, “What?” “You used only one concealed weapon, and you came back without even a single strand of hair out of place. So you’re suspicious,” Wenren Heng said, “If you truly didn’t feel that anything was wrong, you’d definitely impatiently tell me that there’s nothing suspicious about your father.”

Wei Jiangyue was silent for a long while before saying, “I said exactly what you told me to say, but time was too short…”

Wenren Heng interrupted him, “There’s no need to tell me in detail.”

Wei Jiangyue also knew that, no matter how much he said, the suspicions on his father also couldn’t be washed clean, so he could only once again fall silent. He then saw Wenren Heng walking over to say a few words to those Demonic Sect Elders, before the group began heading towards the mountain road together, and he couldn’t help but ask, “Where are you going?”

Wenren Heng said, “I’m going to find my Junior Brother.”

Wei Jiangyue was worried about Sir Xiao’s safety, and he unconsciously wanted to follow, but before he could even lift a leg, he was frozen rigidly in place by an intangible force.

If… if his father truly was the white piece, then Sir Xiao’s Master was murdered personally by his father, and Sir Xiao losing his martial arts would’ve also been caused by his father.

He felt as if the surrounding moonlight had been turned into a bitter and pervasive chill, little by little soaking into his entire being, so cold that he was about to lose all feeling.

He thought, if all of this is true, then how can he ever face that person again?

The mountain road was still quiet.

Elder Miao and Elder Hei unhappily followed Wenren Heng and, after a few more steps, said, “The Sect Master didn’t say that we should go find him. What if other people start suspecting his identity because we followed you? What’ll we do if this ends up compromising his plans?”

Wenren Heng smiled. “My Junior Brother is with Lady Tao, while your Sect Master also went to find Lady Tao midway. I’m worried about my Junior Brother, while you’re worried about your Sect Master. We’ve simply decided to go together to look for them. What’s wrong with that?”

The two Elders internally thought that’s true, but they were still very hesitant. “That…”

Wenren Heng considerately said, “If you’re afraid, you two can turn back right now.”

Those two Elders said, “We’re not afraid!” Wenren Heng smiled and said, “Yes.”

Elder Miao walked a few more steps before thinking that this was an opportunity and said, “Also, don’t think that just because you believe that our Sect Master doesn’t have his memories right now that you can trick him however you please.”

Elder Hei said, “That’s right!”

Wenren Heng said, in surprise, “Since you had to have followed his instructions in order to come to Shaolin, why would you two think that I still believe that he’s missing his memories?”

Those two Elders, “…”

Ah, that’s right. They were thinking only of their desire to give Wenren Heng a beating, and they had completely forgotten about that.

Wenren Heng looked at them. “He still hasn’t told you about what’s between us?”

Those two Elders immediately got goosebumps. Elder Miao gravely asked, “What’s between you two? Could it be that you’ve really done something to him before?”

Elder Hei said, “I’m telling you, Wenren Heng, even though my temper has always been pretty good, if you ever dare to take advantage of our Sect Master, I won’t ever forgive you!”

From start to finish, the scarred man had been following behind them, and his cold sweat had already started dripping down, layer by layer.

A part of him was thinking that Sect Master Ye actually already having regained those memories was a truly unexpected occurrence, while another part of him was thinking about how clever Sect Master Ye was, and that the other would definitely be able to see through the Sect Master's intentions. Looking at these Demonic Sect Elders' reactions, he wondered if they would start fighting?

Wenren Heng sized them up with a glance and said, “First of all, me and him are truly disciple-brothers.”

Those two Elders said in unison, “You’re a lying cheat!”

Chapter 64

The night deepened yet again.

With passing of midnight207, the air was gradually turning cold, feeling as if it could thread itself under the skin and penetrate straight into the heart.

The autumn insects were startled by the sound of footsteps, and the tireless chirping of the birds stopped; the mountain forest rapidly turned quiet, a blanket of deathly stillness.

The flute player ran forward, pale-faced, fearfully looking left and right, like a bird that had been startled by the twang of a bow, looking as if a blood-sucking beast would suddenly jump out from the dark of the night.

A few subordinates were following him, and all of their expressions were panicked.

After an unknown amount of time, the flute player stumbled and had to support himself with a nearby tree. Feeling as if his insides were churning, he opened his mouth and spat out a mouthful of blood.

The subordinates were startled, and they hastily encircled him.

With the worsening of internal injuries, the flute player no longer had any color to his face, looking exactly like a ghost when reflected underneath the frigid moonlight. He felt as if he could hear the push and pull of his chest as he breathed, and sluggishly, he asked in a hoarse voice, “Is there anyone chasing?”

The subordinates looked behind themselves in alarm before saying, “No one.”

The flute player’s tense nerves eased slightly, and he collapsed, supported back up by the hand of a subordinate.

He muttered in a low voice, “I don’t understand. Why would he so easily let us go?” The subordinate also thought that they had escaped from a lion’s den today, and the cold sweat on his forehead had yet to dry. He said, “Sect Master Ye’s heart is difficult to fathom. Maybe… maybe he’s in a good mood?”

The flute player didn’t bother to comment. Remembering the situation just now, he felt some lingering fear. “They all said that Sect Master Ye’s martial arts were deep and immeasurable, and it turned out to be true.”

The subordinate said, “Then the matter today…”

The flute player said, “We’ll tell the truth when we return.”

Supporting himself with the tree, he stood up, wanting to continue walking, but it seemed that this one small move had exhausted all his strength. His vision wavered, and he fell straight over, sinking deeply and thoroughly unconscious.

At this time, the place where Ghost Gentleman’s party had just stopped had long become void of people.

After Ye You had beaten Ghost Gentleman to ruin, he had sealed the acupoints of both this person and the Mr. Xiao who clearly wished to flee, before then sending away the rest.

He called for his subordinates to take these two people away, and then brought them unhurriedly into the forest. He walked for a long while before he saw a place that seemed pleasing enough to the eyes and indicated for his subordinates to throw the people down here and then go guard the surroundings, telling them to notify him immediately if they saw any movements whatsoever.

Those subordinates said a word of understood before noiselessly flitting into the forest.

The surroundings fell into stillness, and Ye You looked at the two people on the ground. “This lord has a few things he wishes to ask you two.”

Mr. Xiao didn’t utter a word. While Ghost Gentleman was very afraid, he had always scorned all of Jianghu and so didn’t want to admit to his terror so easily. Thus, he sneered, “What if I refuse to talk?”

Ye You said, “If it was the one next to you, then this lord would’ve simply killed the moment he was unhappy, but you… This lord heard that, during that year you were traversing Jianghu, you had caused an entire crowd of people to be so muddled that they became confused and disoriented, so much so that it was a matter of life and death?”

Ghost Gentleman stiffened slightly, “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that it’d be a pity to kill you,” Ye You said, laughing, “This lord has always cherished talent. Rather than killing you, it’d be better to destroy your martial skill, cut the tendons in your arms and legs, tidy you up a little, and then sell you for some good money.”

Ghost Gentleman felt as if all the blood was rushing to his head, and he almost spat blood again. “Stop trying to scare me!”

“Where do you get the confidence that this lord is simply trying to scare you?” The corners of Ye You’s mouth lifted, and his mask was dyed a shadowy silver by the moonlight, the wicked air increasing. “Why doesn’t this lord just destroy your martial skill right now. If you want to live a bit easier in the following half of your life, then you should honestly answer my next questions. If you don’t want to, then just forget it. This lord’s heart is benevolent and so won’t force you.”

Ghost Gentleman saw him take a step in this direction as he spoke, and the man’s expression changed. “…Wait a moment!”

Ye You looked at him with narrowed eyes, his expression difficult to fathom.

Ghost Gentleman was scared stiff by the other’s stare, feeling as if a wave of cold air was crawling up his spine, all the way up to his head. He had a mind to say ‘stop messing around’ or to ask the other ‘what exactly do you want to do’, but he felt again that this person was much too frightening. If he ended up saying something that’d provoke the other into anger, then he might truly be completely ruined.

He didn’t dare to speak so carelessly any longer and vigilantly looked at the person in front of him, internally thinking that no wonder

everyone in Jianghu all fear this person.

Only when Ye You saw this did he finally speak, his voice still carrying the sliver of a smile as he lectured, “You should’ve shut up a long time ago. Learn from this Mr. Xiao, look at how able he is at judging the situation. This kind of person usually manages to live a bit longer.”

Ghost Gentleman had placed his entire attention onto the other party and completely didn’t have the time to think about these words in any depth. It was only when he saw that the other didn’t seem to have any intentions to make a move that he somewhat composed himself and, immediately following, started feeling that something wasn’t right. How did this person know that this was Mr. Xiao? And he had also especially captured Mr. Xiao, as if he had known from

the beginning that Mr. Xiao was useful.

He quickly thought of Xie Junming’s moments of rudely inserted jests tonight and then thought of the fact that their plan had already been seen through. His breathing tightened — this person hadn’t just bumped into them incidentally and this wasn’t a newly arisen interest; he had come specially to stop them!

Could the Demonic Sect, Wuwang Temple, and Shuangji Sect have joined hands?

His expression changed multiple times, and upon meeting this person’s gaze, he asked, with difficulty, “What do you want to know?”

Ye You said, “First question, where is your miracle doctor right now?”

Ghost Gentleman said, “I don’t know.” Ye You said, “This lord isn’t too happy.” Although his tone hadn’t changed much, Ghost Gentleman still felt his heart tighten, and he hastily said, “I really don’t know.”

Ye You said, “Yes, and this lord was simply telling you that I wasn’t too happy, that’s it.”

Ghost Gentleman didn’t know if what he said was true or not, simply hearing him add on the words, beaming from ear to ear, “But if you let this lord feel unhappy a few more times, I’ll end up feeling very dissatisfied with you.”

Ghost Gentleman said “…What else do you want to know?” Ye You said, “I want to know where you usually stay.”

Ghost Gentleman said, “Just at that villa that the righteous faction discovered a while back. I just happened not to be there that day.”

Ye You said, “Other than you and Blood-sucking Ghost, who else lived there?”

Ghost Gentleman fell silent.

Ye You said, “That’s right, does Blood-sucking Ghost have a child?”

Ghost Gentleman’s heart trembled, and he was startled enough to blurt out, “How did you know?”

“This lord knows quite a lot, or else did you think that this lord is participating in this matter only for fun?” Ye You unhurriedly said, “Demonic Medicine King208, the Three Demons of Evil

Island209, Madam Chen210, the Fan family’s two lunatics… Of these people, whom have you met?”

Ghost Gentleman felt utter disbelief. “You…”

Ye You said, “It’s best if you stop making this lord unhappy.”

Ghost Gentleman looked at him, somewhat unable to parse how much he knew exactly, but after struggling for a while, gave in and said, “I’ve met Madam Chen but not Demonic Medicine King. Of the Three Demons of Evil Island, I’ve met only the youngest of the three. I’ve heard of the Fan family’s two lunatics, but I’ve never met them. It’s said that they’re already long dead.”

“Yes, those two from the Fan family aren’t easy to control. This lord also thought that it wasn’t very possible that they were involved,” Ye You said, in conjecture, “But I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they’re dead. It’s possible that they’ll be made into drugged people.”

Ghost Gentleman asked, “How exactly did you learn that Blood- sucking Ghost had a son?”

Ye You said, “Oh, so it turned out to be a son.”

“…” Ghost Gentleman said, “Didn’t you know already?”

Ye You said, “I didn’t, this lord was completely guessing. This lord only felt that the possibility of a son was high but didn’t think that it was actually true.”

Ghost Gentleman’s expression distorted, carrying the appearance as if he wanted to curse at the person yet stiffly holding himself back.

He forced his tone to remain normal and asked, “How did you guess?”

Ye You said, smiling, “Right now is it this lord asking you questions or are you asking this lord questions?”

“…” Ghost Gentleman sullenly shut his mouth.

In Jianghu, he had been the outstanding and infamous Ghost Gentleman, and now he had actually fallen to this level. Even if others heard this tale, no one would be likely to believe it.

Ye You said, “Where does your master usually hide his troops of drugged people?”

Ghost Gentleman said, “I don’t know.” Ye You stared at him.

Ghost Gentleman added, “…I just know that there should be water nearby, because I’ve seen fish scales on their bodies before on many occasions.”

Ye You pondered this for a moment before saying, “Ah, it’s at Wanping Weir211.”

The moment these words were spoken, while Ghost Gentleman didn’t react, the Mr. Xiao next to him stiffened. Ye You had originally been speaking for Mr. Xiao to hear and now he gave the person a look, feeling satisfied in his heart. He said, “Last question, do you two know where that monster from twenty years ago is now?”

Ghost Gentleman and Mr. Xiao’s expressions changed almost simultaneously. “——What?”

Ye You looked at them and said, “It’s nothing. Looks like you two don’t know.”

Even though he had just been warned, Ghost Gentleman was still unable to endure it and asked, “Who exactly are you?”

Ye You said, baffled, “You and this lord have exchanged so many words, yet could it be that you don’t know that this lord is the Demonic Sect’s Sect Master?”

“…” Ghost Gentleman said, “Of course I know this.”

Ye You said, “Then why are you still asking? Do you want to make this lord unhappy and then have me cut some things off from your body?”

Ghost Gentleman, “…” Was this a threat?

Ye You didn’t care to look at the other’s expression and simply gave his subordinates an order, telling them to take away Ghost Gentleman. He also told them that Ghost Gentleman was already reliant on the Demonic Sect, so in the future, this person would be a Demonic Sect Elder and so needs to be shown some hospitality, including having these wounds treated. Ghost Gentleman had completely not imagined that this person would’ve let him go and, even further, given him the position of Elder, so he was immediately shocked. Having a clear view of things, he didn’t speak, simply following them away.

The forest once again turned quiet.

Ye You restrained his superior and imposing manner for a moment, returning to that tender and easygoing youth, with even his tone missing most of its sharpness. He politely asked, “Mr. Xiao, you aren’t injured, are you?”

Seeing this transformation, Mr. Xiao felt his hair standing on end.

Even while locked in Shaolin, he hadn’t been very afraid, but right now, alone with this person, he felt as if all the blood in his body was about to freeze.

“Why aren’t you speaking, Mr. Xiao?” Ye You looked at him. “You still think it’s me who kidnapped Fuping?”

Mr. Xiao said, in a hoarse voice, “I don’t understand Sect Master Ye’s meaning.”

Ye You let out a laugh and stopped suppressing his natural instincts. He said, “I’ve always liked clever people. Before, you already clearly saw through my identity, yet you sensibly didn’t make a fuss about it so that I wouldn’t come and eliminate you. That quality is a good one. But right now there’s only the two of us here. If you continue acting confused while clearly knowing the truth, then you’re really being somewhat foolish.”

Mr. Xiao internally sucked in a breath and hoarsely asked, “What do you want to do?”

“Nothing much,” Ye You said, “I just want to ask you if you’ve seen the Alliance Leader tonight?”

Mr. Xiao trembled.

Ye You said, “Before, when I said that Fuping might have been using you as a throwaway piece, there was something wrong with your expression. Let me try guessing. You’re actually the Alliance Leader’s man, responsible for sending him information, and you also know that he has allies. So with Sir Zhong kidnapped, and Fuping missing, you then thought that they had been taken care of by the Alliance Leader’s allies. Is that right?”

Mr. Xiao said, “Is Fuping really missing?”

Ye You said, “Regardless, he isn’t in my hands.”

Mr. Xiao said, “Then what did you do to the Alliance Leader?”

“With that many people at Shaolin, what exactly could I do with him?” Ye You said, “He slipped away by himself at night. I’m guessing that he’s afraid that the white piece will make him bear the blame. You probably don’t know, but the assassins whom the white piece sent tonight to kill Lady Tao were the Alliance Leader’s men.

The reason goes without saying.”

Mr. Xiao’s face immediately turned ashen.

At this time, Wenren Heng had already entered the forest.

He knew what his Junior Brother wanted to do, but he wasn’t clear on the other’s exact position, which was why he had pulled along the Demonic Sect Elders. After all, Elder Hei was in charge of the Demonic Sect’s shadow guards, so it’d be extremely easy to contact those subordinates.

He asked, “Still not there?”

“It’s still further in.” Elder Hei gave him a look and hesitantly said, “Then why… cough, then why did you…”

Wenren Heng said, smiling, “Why did I what?” Elder Hei said, “No, it’s nothing.”

He and Elder Miao looked at each other for a moment, both thinking that the matter of “Wenren Heng being disciple-brothers with the Sect Master” was unbelievable, but they couldn’t completely deny it. The questions that Wenren Heng had just asked also seemed to hit the nail on the head.

For instance, the Sect Master and Wenren Heng’s relationship hadn’t been good, but when designing this plan, the Sect Master had felt at ease leaving his amnesiac self with Wenren Heng. Why was that?

And, in another instance, with the Sect Master’s temperament, once he regained his memories, if he truly didn’t want to sleep in the same room with someone he hated, he’d definitely be able to think of hundreds of thousands of ways out, so why would he continue to live together?

And, and, in yet another instance, the Sect Master wanted to do something big, and it was definitely because he had some grudge against someone. He had also clearly said that he used to be involved in the Central Plains’ martial arts circle, and his age was also similar to Wenren Heng’s, so perhaps these two had truly grown up together.

Wenren Heng looked at them. “You two still don’t believe it?” Those two Elders said, “…No.”

Wenren Heng said, “If you still don’t believe it, then in a while, you can just ask your Sect Master.”

Elder Miao said a, “Yes,” and after a while, couldn’t help but say, “Wenren… cough, Sect Master Wenren, tell us the truth, do you have some other intentions towards our Sect Master?”

Wenren Heng said, “Ah, this…”

Those two Elders immediately stared at him, unblinking.

Wenren Heng smiled. “I won’t tell you two. If you want to know, ask your Sect Master.”

Those two Elders, “…” If we hadn’t acknowledged the possibility that you were the Sect Master’s Senior Brother, then we’d have long given you a beating!

The group walked for a while before Elder Hei finally saw his subordinates.

At this time, the Demonic Sect was currently digging a pit in order to bury Ghost Gentleman. Elder Hei looked at the corpse on the ground and said, “The Sect Master let you kill him?”

The subordinates confirmed with, “Sect Master said that he was an Elder from now on.”

Elder Hei and Elder Miao then understood.

Wenren Heng didn’t understand and gave them a look. Those two Elders said in retaliation, “Not telling you.” Wenren Heng said, smiling, “Did I ask?”

“…” The two didn’t want to pay him any attention and, after asking for the Sect Master’s position, ran over to find the Sect Master instead.

Wenren Heng slowly followed behind them before suddenly hearing a crisp snapping sound, and he couldn’t help but lift his head.

In the forest, a short distance away, he saw a person in black robes loosen his hold on Mr. Xiao’s neck before then lazily throwing away the corpse, straightening up, and looking towards them.

With the moonlight shining down on that mask, his entire person seemed to carry a mysterious and dangerous flavor, making people desire to get close, yet at the same time, too overwhelmed to approach, as if he was seated on high, untouchable.

The scarred man saw this clearly, and his heart trembled.

That Demonic Sect’s Sect Master truly had returned. Hopefully, his Sect Master and that person really were disciple-brothers. Ye You saw his Senior Brother narrowing his eyes to stare at him, gaze even carrying a certain amount of heat, and he lifted up the corners of his mouth, lengthening out his words, “Sect Master Wenren, it’s been a long time. I trust you’ve been well?”

Those two Elders took a moment to react before collectively turning to glare at Wenren Heng.

You scoundrel! You see the Sect Master completely isn’t familiar with you! And you actually dare to trick us!

Wenren Heng, “…” 

The author has something to say:

Speaking of, a lot of people have been asking what Elder Hei looks like. Please refer to chapter 35 for that.

Another thing, the Elders aren’t necessarily old, ah, so why do all of you keep imagining them as old people LOLOLOL

As someone who puts a lot of stock in appearances, I’ll very responsibly tell all of you that the Demonic Sect Elders are all very young, and they’re all very beautiful!

Chapter 65

When Mr. Xiao died, his face carried evident shock and incredulity, with both his eyes opened wide, and it’s this appearance that had been forever frozen in time. Ye You didn’t even spare this corpse a glance, simply calling for his subordinates and telling them to also have this thing buried.

The scarred man was practically heartsick with worry.

The great Sect Master Ye’s existence right now was too powerful, completely like a person seated on high, and completely unlike the usual, good-natured Sir Xiao. He was truly afraid that his Sect Master would be hurt by Sect Master Ye’s poison tongue.

Wenren Heng was well acquainted with his Junior Brother’s temperament and asked in understanding, “What did you say to him?”

Ye You said, “I didn’t say much of anything. I only set up a trap for him, and I waited for him to happily answer all of my questions before I told him that I’ve actually been lying to him all along.”

No wonder he had such an expression, and he probably even almost had a seizure at the time, right?

The scarred man fell silent.

Wenren Heng was not in the least surprised. He had guessed that it had probably happened like this.

His Junior Brother had suspected that Mr. Xiao was possibly the Alliance Leader’s man and presumably had first wanted to confirm it, before then finding a way to convince Mr. Xiao that the white piece intended to harm the Alliance Leader. Perhaps, the other had even proposed a willingness to partner with the Alliance Leader in order to kill the white piece and rescue Young Master Zhong.

And once Mr. Xiao’s trust was obtained, and all the information handed over, his Junior Brother would then tell the person that Fuping had already been buried and hadn’t gone so-called missing on purpose, and that the Alliance Leader’s son had been kidnapped by Xie Junming — if Mr. Xiao hadn’t been murdered on the spot, then the person probably would’ve spat out a mouthful of blood.

He looked at his Junior Brother. “Where do you want to return to?”

“Of course it’s to return to our Demonic Sect’s headquarters.” Ye You smiled and said, “If Sect Master Wenren isn’t busy, would you do me the honor of accompanying me for a cup of wine?”

Wenren Heng said, “Let’s go.”

Ye You gave those two Elders beside him a glance, indicating that they could return to Shaolin. The two had continuously been observing him and Wenren Heng, feeling as if their relationship didn’t appear to be too bad, and so they did their utmost to blink meaningfully at him. Ye You lifted his brows slightly and took them to the side, asking, “What is it?”

Elder Miao said, “Sect Master, Wenren Heng said you were disciple- brothers.”

Elder Hei added, “He had even unfathomably used a, ‘first of all,’ as if there were even more things to talk about.”

Ye You said, “He really is my Senior Brother.”

“…” Elder Miao thought that luckily he hadn’t beaten the guy up and asked, “Then what was Sect Master doing just now, pretending not to be familiar with him?”

Elder Hei said, “And you even called him Sect Master Wenren, saying that ‘it’s been a long time’. Didn’t you two just separate from one another this morning? Do you not want to recognize him? We can help you make him leave?”

Ye You naturally couldn’t tell them that he saw that his Senior Brother had liked his current appearance and so had wanted to tease the other a bit, so he said only, “I have my own reasons.”

The two showed that they didn’t understand. Ye You intimately and benevolently looked at them. “Go back and spend some more time thinking it over. Perhaps you’ll be able to acquire a daughter-in-law early.”

The two, “…”

What does this have to do with a daughter-in-law? Wait, that’s not right!

Elder Hei asked, probing, “Sect Master, since Sect Master Wenren first used a, ‘first of all,’ was there really something more after that?”

Ye You said, “There was.”

The two waited with bated breath for his next words.

Ye You cheerfully said, “Second, he’s your Sect Master’s wife.” The two, “…”

“That’s enough, you two should return to Shaolin.” After Ye You said these words, he instructed them on what to say when they returned before then going to find his Senior Brother.

Those two Elders’ eyes were empty, their expressions sluggish. They followed him back, with no strength in their footsteps, and silently gave Wenren Heng a look, before slithering right past the other, immediately hitting a tree with a thud right afterwards.

Wenren Heng, “…” The scarred man, “…”

The two found a way around the tree extremely slowly and continued walking, all the while turning back to look at Wenren Heng every few steps. In the end, this was the disheveled way with which they left.

Wenren Heng said, “What exactly did you say to them?”

Ye You laughed and returned with a question, “What does Sect Master Wenren think this lord would’ve said?” “How could I know.” Wenren Heng didn’t put the matter to heart and walked shoulder-to-shoulder with the other out of the forest. Midway, there were still many of the Demonic Sect sparing no effort to dig the pit, and so he thoughtlessly asked why the Demonic Sect’s people simply killed the person upon hearing that “Ghost Gentleman was now an Elder” and if it was a secret signal.

Ye You said, “Yes, it’s a secret signal.” Wenren Heng said, “Oh?”

Ye You explained, all smiles, “This was an idea that my sect’s Elders thought up. Just saying in front of outsiders that someone was to be an Elder means that person was to die. I think their original intention was to tell me, in an obscure way, about how their usual lives were full of suffering and wanted me to restrain myself a little. I thought this idea was a pretty good one, so I used it.”

Wenren Heng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and asked, “Then what if you really encounter a situation where you want to add a new Elder?”

Ye You said, “That would be a big affair, and the remaining Elders must all be at the scene in order to make the announcement.”

Wenren Heng nodded and, after a moment, thought of another thing. “In the past, how did that Gold Sect came to be?”

Ye You unconsciously wanted to reply, but when the words reached his mouth, he stopped, and he simply smiled and looked at the other. “It seems that Sect Master Wenren is very interested in my Demonic Sect?”

Wenren Heng honestly said, “Yes.”

Ye You made a guess, “You couldn’t have sent people to watch our Demonic Sect’s movements before, right?”

The scarred man’s cold sweat once again dripped down in waves.

Wenren Heng’s tone didn’t change at all, and he once again gave the other a simple, “Yes.” Seeing the other’s smile deepen, he asked, “In the past, Sect Master Ye didn’t send people to watch Shuangji Sect?”

“Naturally, this matter…” Ye You smiled and drew his words out, waiting for when his Senior Brother couldn’t help but look at him before shamelessly saying, “Never happened.”

Wenren Heng felt that this disaster really needed to be tidied up.

At this time, Shaolin Temple was still brightly lit.

Other than the drugged people and the arrogant and despotic man who left people itching to take off their shoes and give him a sound thrashing known as Xie Junming, who had returned to his room to sleep, none of the remaining people had any intentions of sleeping. But Xie Junming not being around was a good thing; after all, what was out of sight was out of mind.

Wenren Heng and the Demonic Sect Elders hadn’t left for long when Manor Lord Wei, Pavilion Master Ding, and the people from Shaolin and Wudang who had left to provide support all returned. They had searched many places, but with the high level of Ghost Gentleman’s lightness skill, along with the fact that it was nighttime, they all ended up not seeing even the slightest bit of that person’s shadow.

Manor Lord Wei looked around the circle. “Where’s Xiao-Heng and the others?”

Abbot Ciyuan said, “Benefactor Wenren went to look for Benefactor Xiao.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “Then let’s wait for them.”

Abbot Ciyuan’s party wanted to know the entire sequence of events and so had already decided to do so, but before this, there was still another matter that they needed to take care of. Because, of the three assassins caught tonight who had been sent to assassinate Lady Tao, one of them was the Alliance Leader’s man, while the other two were strangers.

Pavilion Master Ding furrowed his brows. “You’re sure?” Academy Master Ge said, “Yes.”

Although the Alliance Leader had left the mountain, he had left a portion of his people at Shaolin Temple. While they themselves didn’t have any recollection of that assassin, there was someone who recognized him and had said so right at the scene.

The group walked and talked, entering the study that was used to discuss official business.

Manor Lord Wei’s usual amiable expression had been replaced by a grave one, and he asked, “What does everyone think about this matter?”

What to think? everyone thought, this matter was much too simple.

Sir Zhong had been kidnapped just that night, and the Alliance Leader left merely a day later. Following that, the white piece’s people surrounded Shaolin, and the assassin sent to assassinate Lady Tao was even the Alliance Leader’s subordinate. Everything was extremely clear-cut.

But precisely because it was too simple, it led people to feel as if they dared not believe it.

Academy Master Ge said, “It also isn’t definite that it’s the Alliance Leader, right? That day when he heard that his son was kidnapped, his expression didn’t look faked.”

“Could it be that the white piece found the Alliance Leader?” Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “The white piece kidnapped the Alliance Leader’s son and threatened him to leave this place and then used his people to kill Lady Tao so as to shift the blame to him.”

The moment these words were said, some sect leaders immediately raised their voices in agreement, feeling as if this was very possible.

But there was still another group of people who were concerned about Xie Junming’s words. Although this rascal Xie Junming was constantly inviting people’s hatred, his brain was still quite good. Perhaps the Alliance Leader really was the white piece and had been cornered by the black piece so that he had no other option except to escape. In particular, regarding the reason why the Alliance Leader did these things — although he was the Alliance Leader, in the most truthful terms, he was only there as a mediator, without much power and influence, and so if he felt dissatisfied, it wasn’t impossible that he’d secretly conspire to do these things.

Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “Let’s wait until Sir Xiao returns and ask him.”

Abbot Ciyuan said an, “Amitabha,” and lowered his eyes to count his prayer beads, evidently agreeing with those words.

They were the two who hoped the most that the Alliance Leader didn’t have any problems because, after all, they were the ones who had chosen him. And, at Bodhi Prison, they had already made a grave mistake, so if there was another issue this time, then even they would become suspected.

The group waited for a while, but while they weren’t able to wait until Sir Xiao’s return, they were able to wait until Lady Tao’s, and so they went out to welcome her.

When the adventurers heard the news, their hearts thumped, and they looked over in the direction of the sound, preparing to watch the irritating Sect Master Ye enter the gates. And then, as they stared, they actually saw that the one who was standing beside Lady Tao was Qin Yuemian, and they were all immediately astonished.

Abbot Ciyuan’s party had also just arrived and, upon seeing this, asked, “Sir Xiao isn’t together with you two?”

“He was,” Qin Yuemian said, “But he was worried about those Junior Sect Masters’ safety and so returned to the small county town. He said that since he had brought those people out, he had to bring them back healthy and safe.”

Those nearby were deeply moved, internally thinking that Sir Xiao was truly kindhearted and heroic, and especially with him being

that smart, he’d definitely become an important person; if he hadn’t been around tonight, then they’d have had a bloodbath on their hands! Qin Yuemian saw the crowd’s reaction, and he couldn’t help but think in his heart that a certain person sure was shameless, obviously wanting to stay outside to wait for Wenren Heng but then purposely finding a grandiose excuse to do so.

Academy Master Ge asked, “Wasn’t it said that Sect Master Ye also came?”

Lady Tao said, “Yes, we met him while we were chasing that flute player. At the time, we had already lost the person’s trail, so he went ahead instead.”

Qin Yuemian added, “I followed for a stretch, but then I heard him say that Ghost Gentleman was among them and that I should return. I saw that he seemed quite interested in Ghost Gentleman, so I don’t know if he’d still come back to Shaolin.”

The adventurers’ spirits shook.

It was the first time that they thought that Ghost Gentleman was so pleasing to the eye, thinking that it’d be good if he could lure Sect Master Ye all the way to the ends of the earth!

Abbot Ciyuan and the others couldn’t meet Sir Xiao and so simply invited these two people into the study and asked them exactly what had happened.

Qin Yuemian hastily waved his hand. “I don’t know about this thing at all. Ah-Heng only told me that I need to go down the mountain with Lady Tao, and to look after her for a bit. It was only later that I heard from Lady Tao that the white piece might surround the mountain tonight.”

One after another, everyone looked at Lady Tao.

Lady Tao said, “I also only knew that the white piece would surround the mountain. They didn’t tell me the rest.”

Everyone then fell silent.

Those they were waiting for didn’t return, and the assassins refused to say anything useful, so after discussing for a moment, the only thing they could do was return to their respective rooms.

Manor Lord Wei returned to his small courtyard, and right as he pushed open the door, he became dumbfounded. He saw Wei Jiangyue currently sitting in his room, back tense and ramrod straight, appearing to have waited for a long while. He had originally thought that this person had gone down the mountain with Wenren Heng.

He closed the door and walked over. “Coming to admit your wrongs?”

Wei Jiangyue was silent for a moment before saying, “I have something to ask. Let the people of ‘Heaven’s Firmament’ move further away to guard the surroundings and don’t let anyone approach.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “What do you want to ask?” Wei Jiangyue didn’t reply.

Manor Lord Wei gave him a look before going out and giving the order to his subordinates. Upon his return, he said, “Talk then.”

This time, Wei Jiangyue was silent for even longer. It was only when Manor Lord Wei was once again about to speak that he lifted his head to meet the other’s gaze, asking, one word at a time, “Father, are you212 the white piece?”

Chapter 66

Manor Lord Wei practically couldn’t believe his ears. “What did you say?”

The tea in front of Wei Jiangyue had long gone cold. He hadn’t drank even a sip since he’d poured it.

He felt as if the myriad emotions in his heart were just like the tea leaves, slowly sinking beneath the surface. He looked at his respected father, who had been proud of him countless times before, and resolutely asked a second time, “Are you the white piece?”

“How could I possibly be the white piece?” Manor Lord Wei was in even more disbelief. “Who told you this? Was it Xiao-Heng or Ah- Xiao?”

Wei Jiangyue had already thought of a pretext and shook his head, saying, “It’s not them. It’s that everyone knows that the white piece is a person of virtue and prestige, and that he’s right in the midst of these people.”

Manor Lord Wei was about to be angered into laughter. “So you started suspecting me?”

“I also don’t want to suspect you.” Since he had asked that first question, Wei Jiangyue felt as if his spirit had separated from his body. His body was numb and cold, yet his spirit continued to push him to move forward.

He heard himself say, extremely calmly, “But you had the opportunity to obtain the Lantern-Extinguishing Poison, you were also the one who forced Blood-sucking Ghost off the cliff at the time, and you even have the strength to get involved with Bodhi Prison… Let’s not rush into talking about all this. I know that those other elders also have the means to do these things. First, wait for me to finish.”

The room did not have any lanterns lit, and there was only a small, faint beam of light slanting in through the window lattices. It was dim and quiet, and even the emotions that felt as if they were filling out all the empty spaces seemed able to be suppressed here and now.

Manor Lord Wei looked at him underneath the moonlight and nodded before then going to light a lantern.

The room instantly brightened, and Wei Jiangyue was able to see his father’s face even more clearly.

He thought of all the little details from those past events, and his gaze slightly faltered, though he quickly pressed down that sliver of struggle and continued with, “Yesterday morning, I went to find Sir Xiao and heard him say that the white piece would perhaps surround the mountain. At that time, I wanted to tell you.”

Manor Lord Wei rebuked with, “You should have told me. What would you have done if something really happened?”

“If I told you, you definitely wouldn’t have agreed,” Wei Jiangyue answered, very simply, and then resumed his speech, “Sir Xiao’s martial skill is gone, and so he has no means of self-defense. I thus exchanged identities with him. Wenren Heng also gave me three concealed weapons and thought up a good way for me to retreat so that nothing would happen to me. But this matter was too big, and at the time, I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to succeed only by relying on ourselves. But they said that they weren’t sure who the white piece was, so they had to keep this between themselves. I thought that if there were no longer any suspicions on you, then in the future, if something else happens, I can discuss it with you. So upon confronting Ghost Gentleman, I purposely probed him with a few words.”

Manor Lord Wei asked, “What did you probe with?”

“According to the original plan, I should’ve used Sir Xiao as an excuse to lure them to a previously agreed upon place, and we’d capture them when they took the bait. But I changed a few words on the spot and told him that it was you who said that Sir Xiao was at the small county town.” Wei Jiangyue looked at him. “Father, can you tell me, at a time when things had already turned hostile between our two parties, and Ghost Gentleman already knew the issue with my identity, why he didn’t capture me and use me to threaten all of you? Why did he believe me right after I spoke? And why didn’t he injure me at all? Even easily letting me go?”

Manor Lord Wei asked, “He believed it?” Wei Jiangyue said, “That’s right.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “Then what exactly did he say?” Wei Jiangyue stilled for a moment.

Actually, at the time, Ghost Gentleman had replied with only a question and hadn’t said anything more. He also couldn’t tell if the other believed it or not, but because there were other suspicious points, this issue wasn’t that important.

He thereupon said some deceitful words, “He said, ‘I understand.'”

“I understand?” Manor Lord Wei didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and asked, “Xiao-Yue, how long have you spent in Jianghu? Even if he says that he understands, you don’t know what he’s actually thinking deep down.”

Wei Jiangyue said, “Then why didn’t he capture me?”

“Why would he want to capture you?” Manor Lord Wei said, “At that time, me and Old Ding had brought people to surround him. Nothing good would’ve happened to him if he remained any longer, and if he brought you along, then he definitely wouldn’t be able to run away.”

Wei Jiangyue said, “He could use me to threaten all of you.”

Manor Lord Wei said, “Previously, he had Miracle Doctor Ji and the others in his hands, yet weren’t the end results the same?”

Wei Jiangyue paused for a moment before asking, “Then why didn’t he injure me?”

“How could I know? Maybe he didn’t have the time, or maybe he realized that you were trying to probe him and purposely misled you in an attempt to make us father-and-son fall out with one another.” Manor Lord Wei saw that he wanted to speak further and waved a hand to interrupt him. “You’ve already asked so much, let me ask you some questions. As everyone says, no one understands the son better than the father, and you couldn’t possibly have started suspecting me without any reason.”

Wei Jiangyue said, “I simply wanted to try probing a bit.

“You think I’d believe that?” Manor Lord Wei said, “Let’s not talk about me. You also know about Xiao-Heng’s temperament. Even if he had personally heard Ghost Gentleman’s words, he wouldn’t so easily believe it. Do you think just by testing out a word or two and going back to tell him the results that he’d believe it?”

Wei Jiangyue took the initiative to admit his faults. “I was negligent.”

“This isn’t negligence, my son. I know negligence when I see it.” Manor Lord Wei looked at him. “You’re simply realizing that your excuse is inadequate. Speak then. Was it Xiao-Heng and them who said something to you that led you to suspect me?”

Wei Jiangyue said, “No.”

Manor Lord Wei looked at him for a while before saying, “Fine, if it’s not, it’s not. Then let me ask another question. Over these many years, are you not aware of what kind of person your father is, and how exactly he’s treated other people? Your sixth brother was murdered by precisely that Blood-sucking Ghost. In your heart, is your father the kind of person who’d be willing to murder his own blood-related son for the sake of power?”

Wei Jiangyue suddenly stiffened. “That’s not…”

“You suspect me, but I’m not angry with you. You’ve decided to take this burden upon yourself, and you won’t let me blame Xiao-Heng and his Junior Brother, so I also won’t blame you. On the contrary, I’ll even praise you for your loyalty.” Since entering the room, Manor Lord Wei’s tone had been devoid of any anger, and it was only now that it darkened. “What I’m angry about is that you put yourself in danger for no reason, and you were even unwilling to say a word about it to me. This time, if you’d been careless for even one moment and something really happened, what would you have had me and your mother do?”

Wei Jiangyue stiffened even more, and he felt as if he couldn’t move even a finger.

His chest felt as if a hand had broken into it, exploring the deepest depths of his lake of emotions, rudely and unreasonably stirring them up with fierce fervor, instantly causing those dense feelings to overflow, spilling over with the joys and sorrows of life, and all the complexity of human emotions.

Manor Lord Wei saw that he had fallen silent, not speaking a word, and said, sighing, “Ah, you… That’s enough. It’s also quite late now, so go back and sleep. If there’s anything else, wait until it’s bright and early to say it.

With a heavy heart, Wei Jiangyue stood up and started walking out, but after two steps, he suddenly stopped and looked back. “Dad, your son is at fault in this matter.”

Manor Lord Wei said a, “Yes,” sounding somewhat pleased. “Don’t be like this next time. Go then.”

Wei Jiangyue didn’t move, still looking back at him. “I, more than anyone, hope that you aren’t the white piece. I…”

He stopped for a moment before saying, in a hoarse voice, “I really like Sir Xiao. Since he’s been harmed to this degree by Xiao-Rou, right now, what I want to do the most is to help him find the main culprit behind all of this. So I don’t want you to have anything to do with this matter, or else I’ll feel that even if I hand my life over to him, it still won’t be enough.”

Manor Lord Wei startled, heart trembling, and almost didn’t even hear the rest of those words as he asked, “You like him? What kind of like?”

“…I don’t know.” Wei Jiangyue said. Actually, he had never dared to think too deeply on this question and said, “I just can’t stand it when he’s not all right.” Manor Lord Wei looked at this appearance of his and reminded, “Anyone with eyes can see Xiao-Heng’s intentions towards him. You’re also clear on what kind of person Xiao-Heng is. He won’t step aside for others when he’s made up his mind, and not to mention that thing with Xiao-Rou…”

“I know.” Remembering Xiao-Rou, Wei Jiangyue couldn’t help furrowing his brows and interrupting with, “I know… I’ve never thought in that direction before.”

I’m just afraid that by the time you do think of it, you’ll find that you’ve already fallen deep and can’t get out.

Manor Lord Wei couldn’t say those words out loud and watched his son leave without looking back again.

It was almost the final hours of darkness213, and this long and thrilling night was on the verge of ending.

Wei Jiangyue’s face was expressionless, and he walked aimlessly forward. By the time he regained his senses, he found that he had unknowingly walked up to the boundaries of Sir Xiao’s courtyard. That courtyard was a picture of stillness, and it wasn’t clear whether the people inside were asleep or simply had not returned.

He lifted his head to look at that round, full moon. This was the first time in his life that he had felt so perplexed and uneasy.

If, half-a-year ago, someone had told him his father had perpetuated outrages and was a sanctimonious monster, he’d definitely act completely indifferent, and when the other party became dissatisfied and wanted to take even further advantage, he’d give that person a fierce tidying up. But right now, the ones suspecting his father were Wenren Heng and Sir Xiao, so he couldn’t ignore it, and he couldn’t find a way to ignore it.

He silently stood for a while, and he suddenly felt an uncontrollable desire to see Sir Xiao.

He wanted to hear that person’s thoughts and then he wanted to tell that person about what he and his father had spoken about and listen to that person’s judgment.

He closed his eyes, feeling as if he couldn’t wait another moment, so he went forward to knock on the door. In the end, he saw that there was actually no one around. Upon thinking that Ding Xilai and the others were still at the small county town, he thereupon left Shaolin, making straight for the foot of the mountain.

As night entered its fifth period, the moonlight slowly faded away, and the horizon also gradually became layered with gray-white.

While the sky was brightening, Ye You and Wenren Heng had finally returned to the Demonic Sect’s headquarters in the small county town.

Although it was said to be a headquarters, in actuality, it was just a not-too-big and not-too-small courtyard. But because it had been bought early, it was even older than other, bigger headquarters, and so Ye You had always taken it as his headquarters.

The scarred man had already been waiting for a long time.

The reason was that, midway, they had met Elder Bai and Elder Mei who had arrived to reconvene with Sect Master Ye. Those two Elders’ reactions upon seeing his Sect Master had been about the same as the previous Elder Miao and Elder Hei.

But this time there was no time for those two Elders to open their mouths, as Sect Master Ye immediately indicated for them to first return and notify the subordinates to boil some hot water. Originally, Elder Mei didn’t want to leave, but she was eventually persuaded by Sect Master Ye’s light, “Taking a warm bath and then having a good sleep is good for the skin.” And then he was also similarly sent away by his Sect Master, so he had come together with those two people.

This whole way, Elder Bai looked as if he was half-awake and didn’t say much at all.

In contrast, Elder Mei asked, “Does your Sect Master have some shameful intentions towards our Sect Master?” The scarred man said, “I don’t know.”

Elder Mei pulled at her hair, her incomparably beautiful face bore a slight smile, and her gaze seemed as if it had been soaked in bloody water. “Little brother, don’t be like this, say something.”

“…” The scarred man said, “I really don’t know.”

Elder Mei smiled even more beautifully. “See, you’re already wrong to talk like this. Hurry and talk, don’t make this sister mad.”

“…” The scarred man endured such suffering the entire way, and he had originally thought that it’d get better once they reached the headquarters, but he quickly realized that he had been too naive, because headquarters still had Elder Baili and Elder Ji present. The two of them surrounded him, and he immediately wanted to cry.

Now that the Sect Master had finally reached the headquarters, he was practically crying tears of joy, and he hastily welcomed them. And then, immediately following, his footsteps stopped, as he found that his Sect Master’s smile seemed to be somewhat frightening.

Feeling as if the other had probably been upset by Sect Master Ye, he then moved a bit further away, having a clear view of things.

At this time, those Elders had also reached Ye You’s side. “Sect Master.”

Ye You answered with all smiles, “Has the water been heated?”

Elder Baili said, “It has. When we heard you’ve returned, we had them carry it into your room.”

Ye You was very satisfied and returned to his room to bathe. Wenren Heng didn’t wait for their greetings and followed closely behind, right into the room. Ye You heard the sound of footsteps and turned around to give the other a look. Smiling, he stretched out his words, “Sect Master Wenren wants to see this lord take a bath?”

Wenren Heng looked at his smile rather warmly and walked forward a step, pinching his chin and kissing him. On the way back, Wenren Heng had been teased by this disaster so many times that, for the sake of his sanity, he had to tidy the other up a bit.

Ye You let a light laugh spill from his lips and ducked slightly out of the way, accidentally bumping into the table behind him. Wenren Heng naturally wouldn’t let him escape, seizing the opportunity to press the person down on the table and kiss even deeper, while also simultaneously opening up his black robes.

Those Elders and the scarred man were currently standing around, dumbfounded by Wenren Heng suddenly following so closely behind. It was only when they heard the sound of something knocking against the table that they regained their senses. Their first reaction was that a fight had broken out, and without thinking, they uniformly ran into the room. In the end, what they saw was Wenren Heng pressing Ye You down, even tearing his clothes, and all of them immediately stared, eyes wide.

Ye You, “…” Wenren Heng, “…”

The scarred man, “…” The Elders, “…”

The room was deathly still for a instant before those Elders rolled up their sleeves, making to grab that rascal, rushing over as one and angrily saying, “We’ll beat you to death, you loathsome rogue! Let go of the Sect Master!”

The author has something to say:

There should be some slow motion here.

The group madly rushes to enter the room, while Wenren Heng kisses Ye You, slipping and ripping his clothes.

First Step

Scarred Man: =⼝= Those Elders: =⼝= Elder Bai: =_=

Second Step

Scarred Man: ~~o(>_<)o~~ Those  Elders:  (◟_◞)# Elder Bai: (⊙_⊙?)

Third Step

Scarred Man: ~~o(>_<)o~~ the Sect Master is going to die Those Elders: (╯‵□´)╯⌒┻━┻

Elder Bai: =⼝= 

Chapter 67

When the Demonic Sect woke up the next morning, they discovered that the Elders were silently sitting around in a circle, with a somewhat strange atmosphere.

Elder Mei had even carelessly worn a masculine robe and had actually foregone her usual beautiful long skirt, even occasionally letting out faint sighs. The other three Elders were actually sporting appearances as if their spirits had left their bodies, and Elder Bai in particular looked even more terrible than the others, as if he’d fall down with a single poke.

They gave these people several glances as they discussed, in a low voice.

“What happened here?”

“I don’t know, but the only one able to turn the Elders into this is the Sect Master.”

“What did the Sect Master do this time?”

“I also don’t know. Was there anyone nearby last night? Did you hear any movements?”

“Yes, I was there, but I only heard the Elders shout a single, ‘let go of the Sect Master’, and by the time I rushed over to look, they had already come out… Oh, that’s right, there was also that person from Shuangji Sect. Don’t know where he went.”

Everyone felt as if they had discovered the pivotal point, and they were about to go look for that person when they raised their heads and saw the scarred man enter the small courtyard.

Last night, the scarred man had heard Sect Master Ye personally recognize that he and the Sect Master had a disciple-brothers relationship, and he had also seen that Sect Master Ye didn’t seem unhappy about his clothes being torn. The heavy stone had hence fallen from his heart, and he had slept steadily for the entire night. Thus, he had come in high spirits to wait for his Sect Master to awaken.

Those Elders saw his arrival and immediately looked over as one, their eyes glowing with green light.

“…” The scarred man said, “Elders, good morning.” Those Elders said, “Not good. We didn’t sleep.”

The scarred man said, “…Then why not first go rest for a bit?” Those Elders said, “No, it’s about time to eat.”

The scarred man hastily nodded and was just about to change the topic to food when he saw that they were still staring fixedly at him. He didn’t know why he suddenly had the misperception that they looked as if they wanted to roast him alive, so he then shut his mouth and silently moved a bit further away.

When Ye You and Wenren Heng came out, this was the tableau they saw, and the former asked, despite already knowing the answer, “What?”

Those Elders looked accusingly at Wenren Heng and said to the Sect Master, “We’re waiting for you to eat.”

Ye You laughed and said a word in response before bringing them to the dining hall. Sitting down, he then began to drink some porridge. Last night, he had basically foregone sleep, as he had been pressed down and tossed around for a spell by his Senior Brother. At this time, he had just gotten hungry.

Wenren Heng sat next to him and helped him take some side dishes.

Those Elders immediately moved as one to give him a look, and even the always slow-natured Elder Bai managed to perform the rarely witnessed feat of matching his colleagues’ speed this time. But seeing this intimate action from Wenren Heng caused them no end of shock. If Wenren Heng was able to be affected by this, then he wouldn’t be Wenren Heng. He calmly looked back and mildly asked, “Is there something on my face?”

Those Elders tried enduring, but in the end, they couldn’t endure and collectively looked at the Sect Master.

Elder Baili said, “Sect Master, you aren’t saying anything?

Ye You unhurriedly swallowed the food in his mouth. “Didn’t I say yesterday that he’s my Senior Brother?”

Would a regular Senior Brother press you down and do this and that! those Elders immediately roared in their hearts.

Elder Mei asked, “There’s nothing else?”

“If I said there wasn’t, all of you wouldn’t believe me.” Ye You put down his chopsticks and held his Senior Brother’s hand. Looking at them, he said, “It’s like this, from today onwards, he’s your Sect Master’s wife. From now on, remember to call him ‘Madam’.”

Those Elders, “…” Wenren Heng, “…” The scarred man, “…”

Ye You let go of his Senior Brother’s hand before the other could hold him back and cheerfully ignored the strange atmosphere that was on the verge of erupting. He grabbed his chopsticks and resumed eating.

The Demonic Sect quickly discovered that ever since those Elders had breakfast, they had become even more absent-minded. On the way back to their rooms, there was a small step, and they had almost ran right into it, nearly colliding together so that they were all jumbled up in a heap. Everyone was very worried watching them, fearing that the Sect Master had contracted some incurable disease.

Those Elders didn’t pay attention to all those gazes. They returned to the room and closed the door, sitting down in front of the table to look at each other. Elder Ji said, “Actually… it’s not too bad. Although Wenren Heng’s really frightening, the Sect Master has always been incredible, so he definitely won’t suffer. And what’s more, our Sect Master is getting married; he isn’t being married off214.”

Elder Mei said, “But why does he have to marry someone from the righteous faction? Can’t he marry someone from the demonic faction? Or else marrying me would also be all right.”

The remaining people silently looked at her.

Elder Mei did her best to puff out her chest, looking askance at them.

Elder Baili found it somewhat difficult to look directly at her and said, “I think that the Sect Master might not like women, or else he’d long already have something with Lady Tao.”

Elder Mei said, “Then let’s change to someone else. Our demonic faction definitely has other people around.”

Elder Bai said, extremely slowly, “Oh… In the demonic faction, a man who can match the Sect Master… there’s really only Temple Master Xie.”

The remaining group, “…”

These words ended up overpowering their internal city walls, and they immediately felt as if Wenren Heng was incomparably pleasing to the eye. After that short moment of deathly stillness, they said, almost in unison, “Ah, Wenren Heng’s actually quite nice.”

“And Wenren Heng also treats people elegantly and courteously; he doesn’t just torment people as he pleases!”

“Yes, he’s also quite incredible, and Shuangji Sect’s position is pretty high.”

“The most important thing is that, in the future, if the Sect Master ever tosses out some new idea, maybe we won’t even have to attend to it, since Wenren Heng will have already cleaned up the aftermath.” “Hey, that’s right!”

Thereupon, when Wenren Heng had finished wrapping his Junior Brother’s bandages in order to change the other back into Sir Xiao’s appearance, and they made to leave together, he found that those Elders were suddenly acting extremely amiable towards him. And it wasn’t just Wenren Heng, even the scarred man who had come along felt that they seemed to be emitting a dense air of enthusiasm from head to toe, and he was so scared that he felt his hair standing on end.

Wenren Heng gave them a look.

Those Elders immediately said, “Madam, take care.” Wenren Heng smiled. “Yes, let’s all go back.”

Those Elders, “…”

Why was this smile so frightening? Did they say something wrong?

Wenren Heng entered the carriage and looked at the main culprit who currently had lips raised in a wicked smile. He internally thought that he had gone too lightly with yesterday’s tidying up.

Deciding to settle some accounts later, he moved over there to sit. “Where are Ding Xilai and the others?”

Ye You said, “Brothel.”

It wasn’t far from the headquarters to the brothel. By the time they arrived, the Junior Sect Masters still had yet to get up, the reason being that the group had drank too much last night. Only Ding Xilai was carrying a heart full of worry and anxiety, and he and Ren Shaotian had guarded this crowd of drunkards, going without practically any sleep for the entire night.

After asking around for a bit, Wei Jiangyue had also already long found this place and, seeing that Ding Xilai was also not clear on where Sir Xiao went, completely disregarded the other’s enormous pile of questions, waiting together with him for their arrival. Now, upon seeing Wenren Heng bringing Sir Xiao inside, the two simultaneously went over to welcome them. Ding Xilai said, “How… how was it?”

Ye You said, “Nothing happened. What about all of you?”

The heart that had been suspended for an entire night fell back down into Ding Xilai’s chest with a splash and a crash, and he felt as if he was almost unable to go on, saying, “They’re all still here.”

Ye You patted his shoulder. “You did very well.” Ding Xilai felt his nose abruptly ache.

Although yesterday night had been peaceful and tranquil, it was his first time experiencing this kind of important matter that shook one to the core, and it was also his first time carrying the fates of this many lives on his shoulders. That heavy responsible even now still lingered in his heart. Now, upon hearing Sir Xiao’s words of recognition, he immediately felt moved to tears, and afterwards, he felt as if bands of warm blood were spreading through his body. He thought that this one night had been more valuable than all the countless nights before it.

He strove to keep his voice from trembling and asked, “What do we do now?”

Ye You said, “Call them all up. Let’s go back.”

Ding Xilai said a word of agreement and turned around to go upstairs.

As was customary, Ren Shaotian followed behind. Looking at his young master’s back, he felt as if the other had grown up quite a bit over this night, and the depths of his eyes couldn’t help but reveal the sliver of a smile.

Wei Jiangyue stood there, unmoving.

When he wasn’t able to meet this person, he had an entire stomach full of words to say to Sir Xiao, even having already thought of the order with which he’d say them. But now that he had actually met the person, he was unable to get out a single word. He was afraid that what he’d ask would destroy the small bit of friendship between them that had been so difficult to maintain until now.

Wenren Heng didn’t like how the other continued to stare at his Junior Brother and asked, “How did you get here?”

Wei Jiangyue said, “I couldn’t sleep, so I came out to find you two. You…” He looked at Sir Xiao. “Nothing happened to you last night, right?”

Ye You said, “Yes.”

Wei Jiangyue stood around with them for a while. He was just about to summon up his courage to ask when he saw those Junior Sect Masters come downstairs one after the other, yawing while waving at them in greeting.

Wenren Heng said, “Take a moment to get ready. We’re returning to Shaolin.”

“Ah?” The Junior Sect Masters said, “We’re not eating breakfast?” Wenren Heng said, “We’ll eat when we return.”

Those Junior Sect Masters didn’t dare to go against him and listened obediently. Following that, they quickly remembered the information that they had learned last night and collectively turned to look at him in encouragement and fervor. They internally thought that compared to Fuping, you’re still much more reliable, and with Sir Xiao having been hurt this badly, you definitely have to succeed at winning him

over and take good care of him!

Wenren Heng raised his brows. “What?”

“Nothing.” The Junior Sect Masters once again looked at him in encouragement before finally going to their own carriages. One of them saw that Wei Jiangyue was going to enter Sir Xiao’s carriage and pulled him back, dragging him away.

Wei Jiangyue said, “Let go.” “Shhh—— Don’t bother them,” the Junior Sect Master lowered his voice and said mysteriously, “Sect Master Wenren has confessed his feelings to Sir Xiao, so we should let them be alone for now.”

Wei Jiangyue abruptly stiffened. “What?”

“You didn’t know, right? We heard this from Ding Xilai last night. Sir Xiao had just come down the mountain with us when Sect Master Wenren chased after him and brought the person away,” the Junior Sect Master said, “But at that time, Sir Xiao still hadn’t replied to Sect Master Wenren, and we don’t know if they’ve made progress over this night or not. Speaking of which, why did you suddenly come down? Did you come together with Sect Master Wenren? But hasn’t the white piece been keeping an eye on Sir Xiao?”

Wei Jiangyue’s thoughts were a complete mess. A part of him thought that this was probably the excuse that Sir Xiao used to leave, but he didn’t know whether this excuse was actually true or not; perhaps Wenren Heng had truly lifted the veil on that open secret.

Another part of him thought that with Wenren Heng’s temperament, this would’ve happened sooner or later, so why was he worrying about it now?

Those Junior Sect Masters looked at him in astonishment. “Brother Wei?”

Wei Jiangyue regained his senses and bluntly said, “Yesterday night, the white piece brought a troop of drugged people to surround Shaolin.”

Those Junior Sect Masters blinked and, after a moment, with the same exact tone of voice, said, “——Hah?!”

Right as this crowd of people had been so startled that half their souls were about to fly off, Wenren Heng had already entered the carriage. Thoughtfully considering the gazes that that crowd of people had used to look at him, he looked at a certain disaster. “Did you say something to them?”

Ye You said, extremely innocently, “What could I possibly say?” Wenren Heng examined him.

Ye You said weakly, “Senior Brother, I’m tired.”

Wenren Heng could only helplessly let this disaster off, pulling the other over and letting this person lean against him. “Sleep then.”

Ye You wordlessly laughed and found a comfortable position in the other’s embrace, closing his eyes with peace of mind.

The carriage shook and swayed as it followed the mountain road upwards. Right as it entered Shaolin, it attracted the gazes of countless people.

Everyone simultaneously turned to look, wanting to see Sir Xiao, but what they ended up seeing was Wenren Heng carrying him off the carriage. They couldn’t help but suck in a deep breath, running over to ask, “He…”

Wenren Heng said, in a soft voice, “He was too tired and fell asleep.”

When the adventurers and the Junior Sect Masters who had learned about the entire sequence of events heard these words, all their eyes began heating up. They internally thought that Sir Xiao had dragged his sickly body and exhausted his ingenuity, all for the sake of their safety, scarcely realizing that this person had worn a beaming smile to give the white piece’s people a great scare just last night, before then murdering two of them. He had even teased his Senior Brother for a while, then went to soak in a hot water bath, passing the time wonderfully.

At this time, Xie Junming had also already received the news that a certain person had returned. Upon hearing this crowd of people’s effusive and moving praise, he felt two words flash through his heart: absolutely shameless.

And while Abbot Ciyuan’s party had originally thought that they’d finally be able to get some answers, upon hearing this, they had to give up their ideas and return to waiting. But they didn’t have to wait for long, as they soon heard a Shaolin disciple come and say that the Demonic Sect’s people had sent a letter addressed to Lady Tao. They felt intuitively that it had something to do with what happened last night, so they then invited Lady Tao to the study.

Lady Tao knew their intentions and opened the letter in front of their eyes. As she read, her expression changed.

Everyone asked, “What is it?”

Lady Tao handed the letter over to them and said, “He said that he managed to intercept Mr. Xiao last night, and he managed to get this information out of Mr. Xiao’s own mouth, that Mr. Xiao is the Alliance Leader’s man.”

Everyone startled and brought the letter over, quickly reading it over from beginning to end.

Someone couldn’t help but ask, “Where’s Mr. Xiao himself? We’re hearing only one side of the story…”

As he spoke, he saw the last lines of the letter, and what was written was simply, The person has already been killed by this lord. All these words are true, but if the righteous faction is unwilling to believe me, then let Xie Junming say a few words on this lord’s behalf: you can believe what you like.

Everyone, “…”

Sure enough, he and Xie Junming were each just as bad as the other. They practically didn’t know what they should say.

Pavilion Master Ding wrinkled his brows and was about to speak when he heard a sudden clamor echoing in from the outside. The reason being that the black piece had once again hired someone to deliver a letter, and the letter was even given to Xie Junming.

With a face full of questions, they went outside and saw that Xie Junming was currently calmly reading the letter while under the gazes of an entire circle of people. When he saw them, he held out the letter and said, smiling, “This time, it’s clear what the deal was with that person who told Ah-You’s fortune.” Abbot Ciyuan received the letter, reading it together with the people behind him, and their faces all changed. Because on it was written that the monster from twenty years ago once had a retainer, and that retainer had an injury on his shoulder. They didn’t know if Temple Master Xie had seen that on the Alliance Leader’s shoulder or not.

The meaning of these words was truly too obvious.

Everyone looked at each other, and even those who had always thought that the Alliance Leader had some unmentionable troubles, such as Sect Leader Xuanyang’s group, all had some doubts.

With evidence coming to light one after the other, the Alliance Leader being the white piece seemed a foregone conclusion, and this was simply the final nail in the coffin. There was no running from it now.

Chapter 68

Ye You had woken up when they arrived at Shaolin.

He had already successfully learned his miraculous martial skill, and not even the slightest sounds of the wind or the movements of the grass could escape his ears, not to mention that so many people had come over to surround him just now — if he hadn’t felt so at peace while leaning on his Senior Brother on the way back, then he wouldn’t have ever been able to sleep at all.

But although he had woken up, he didn’t move.

Having always indulged him, Wenren Heng ended up carrying this person all the way back to the small courtyard and lightly placing him on the bed.

Ye You still kept his eyes closed and lazily found a comfortable position to lie in.

Wenren Heng said, “Going back to sleep for a while?” Ye You said, “No need, I’m not tired.”

Wenren Heng didn’t ask him why he didn’t get up and instead went to pour a cup of tea and grab a book, accompanying him while reading. Ye You heard the sound of pages turning, and only then was he willing to open his eyes. He leaned his head against his hands and quietly looked.

Wenren Heng said, “What?”

Ye You smiled and said, “When I was missing my memories, I did say one thing that was true.”

Wenren Heng gave him a look. “Only one?”

Ye You earnestly said, “Only this one came from the bottom of my heart.”

Wenren Heng could guess what he most likely wanted to say so waited, calm and unruffled, for him to speak. Ye You said, “Senior Brother, you truly do look quite pleasing to the eye.”

Wenren Heng’s voice was very tender. “So that’s why I’m to be your wife?”

Ye You laughed and said, unafraid of death, “Yes, wait until I pick an auspicious day on the calendar215…”

He had gotten only halfway through these words when Wenren Heng put down the book and walked over.

Ye You promptly shut up and made to hide further into the bed, beaming as he stretched out his index finger to place it next to his mouth. Wenren Heng laughed good-naturedly and held his hand for a moment before returning to sit on the round stool.

The next moment, he heard the echoing of noisy footsteps coming from outside the courtyard, with even some low mutterings mixed in

— Miracle Doctor Ji had been urged by the adventurers to come give the “extremely gravely ill, about to collapse at any moment” Sir Xiao an examination.

Ever since last night, the adventurers were now aware of the importance of Sir Xiao, and so upon seeing his body that weak, they became worried to no end. Thus, when they scrupulously brought up finding Miracle Doctor Ji, they immediately garnered everyone’s agreement.

Since they had good intentions, Wenren Heng thereby didn’t refuse and invited Miracle Doctor Ji inside.

The adventurers didn’t want to disturb Sir Xiao, so they retreated from the small courtyard to wait outside.

Conversely, since Shaolin’s people still had to guard Miracle Doctor Ji, they thus conscientiously followed, also entering the room.

Miracle Doctor Ji gave the patient on the bed a look and went over to take his pulse, finding it strong and robust, to the point that the doctor felt his own head throb. If this kind of person was considered to be so sick that he could go at any time, then those people outside would barely count as being alive.

Ye You was coincidentally “slowly awakening” and said weakly, “Miracle Doctor Ji, you’ve come?”

Miracle Doctor Ji said a mild, “Yes,” before asking, “Where do you feel unwell this time?”

Ye You said, “My chest hurts.”

Miracle Doctor Ji was somewhat exasperated with him and said, “I can’t cure this illness of yours.”

Ye You lightly coughed a few times. “Yes, my health, I… cough, I myself understand…”

Wenren Heng walked quickly over to support him, patting his back to allow him to breathe easier, all the while sporting a completely solemn face.

Miracle Doctor Ji silently stared at them.

Ye You “caught his breath” and said, “Right now, I just want to catch the white piece early and get some justice for Jianghu. That’s right, how are those drugged men?”

Miracle Doctor Ji said, “Still sleeping.”

Ye You said, “I heard that last night the Demonic Sect Elders also came, and since he had the means to topple the drugged men, perhaps he’ll be able to provide some help.”

Miracle Doctor Ji declined to comment, but he did end up taking the other’s words to heart, and with some amount of surprise, he wondered how this person had established a relationship with the Demonic Sect. After telling them that they should continue to follow the prescription he made last time to get new medicine, he left.

When he returned, an entire crowd of people were congregated at his place. Miracle Doctor Ji pulled apart the human crowd and saw that a white-clothed man was standing at the door.

The outline of this person’s facial features was very rich, and one was able to see that he had some foreign blood, with pretty and delicate features. This was precisely the Demonic Sect’s Elder Miao. It was unknown when exactly he arrived, but he was currently standing at the doorway and talking to the youngest disciple.

The adventurers and the Shaolin disciples were afraid that the foolish Young Miracle Doctor wouldn’t be able to contend against the hidden barbs of the Demonic Sect and thus would incur some kind of cruelty. They therefore had treated this place as akin to enemy territory, standing on the side as guards. Now upon seeing Miracle Doctor Ji’s return, they simultaneously let out a breath of relief.

Miracle Doctor Ji asked, “Does Elder Miao have some business?”

Elder Miao nodded and told the other that he wanted to see the drugged men to see if he was able to cure them.

The implication was that he wanted to stick his hand into these matters.

Those nearby immediately started gossiping. Some thought that a try wouldn’t hurt, while others felt uneasy towards all of the Demonic Sect. If it wasn’t done well, and if it was even done poorly enough, the people might even be turned into puppets who wouldn’t even blink at killing someone; then what could be done.

Of course, what they said didn’t matter, as it all depended on the thoughts of Miracle Doctor Ji and those elders. And although Miracle Doctor Ji had set the rule of “not treating those of the demonic faction”, it also wasn’t like he would stand in cold opposition every time he met someone of the demonic faction outside; the most he’d do was pretend he didn’t see them. But no one knew if he’d actually agree to work together with a person of the demonic faction.

Miracle Doctor Ji gave him a few looks before taking the lead to enter the courtyard and say, “Come in then.” Elder Miao thereupon also entered.

At this time, the elders were currently reading the letter that the Demonic Sect’s Sect Master had sent someone to give Lady Tao. And since the Shaolin disciples were responsible only for ensuring those two miracle doctors’ safety and would not question their decisions, they simply followed the two into the small courtyard. While those standing watch nearby originally wanted to inform the others, right when they had just returned to the human pile, they heard that the black piece had sent another letter, and so immediately forgot about this matter.

So it wasn’t until noon that those elders learned of this occurrence.

The catalyst was their discovery that Xie Junming had only an Elder Hei beside him. Since they could see neither hide nor tail of the other Elder, they ended up inquiring about it without much thought.

Xie Junming told them, “Miaomiao went to help Miracle Doctor Ji find a cure for those drugged men.”

Those elders startled. “He went to Miracle Doctor Ji’s place?”

Xie Junming nodded and said some rare words on another’s behalf, “Miaomiao might sometimes be unreliable, but he’s still quite incredible.”

Abbot Ciyuan and the others exchanged some mutual looks, all feeling somewhat strange.

After this many years, the righteous faction and the demonic faction had never worked together on anything, but now not only did they have a Xie Junming but also Miracle Doctor Ji’s side had added an Elder Miao. The Demonic Sect’s people had always been somewhat frivolous, and they didn’t know if having Elder Miao participate would have some unfortunate consequences.

Pavilion Master Ding didn’t like the demonic faction, and his expression was terrible.

The rest of them managed to keep the changes in their expressions subtle, and none of them spoke up. As Xie Junming ate the delicious meal that his subordinates had gotten for him, he also found the time to look at them. Sneering, he asked, “What? You feel uncomfortable hearing that the Demonic Sect’s people are going to help out? Ah, I’m really mystified. Your own Alliance Leader has problems, yet you still have the audacity to suspect other people.”

The group, “…”

Pavilion Master Ding coldly said, “There’s no definite evidence, so we still can’t judge if he’s really the white piece.”

Xie Junming said, “Did I say that he’s the white piece? I said only that he has problems.”

Right now, there were most likely very few people who didn’t think that the Alliance Leader was the most suspicious, so Pavilion Master Ding was disinclined to argue with him over this thing, simply shooting him a glance before turning away.

Xie Junming continued with, “Also, allow me to give a kind reminder. Yesterday night, if it wasn’t for Miaomiao’s handiwork, then you wouldn’t have been able to keep this many drugged men behind. All of you of the righteous faction don’t even know how to be grateful, not even saying a single word of thanks. It’s been really eye- opening.”

The group, “…”

“I heard that Elder Miao went down the mountain yesterday to search for Sect Master Ye. I think that the elders had wanted to give their thanks but they simply didn’t have the time to.”

A warm voice floated in from the outside of the hall, neither fast nor slow, like the blowing of the springtime breeze, leaving those elders who had heard it feeling extremely at ease. Academy Master Ge, Abbot Ciyuan, and the others felt their spirits shake at once, and they internally thought that Sir Xiao has finally come.

Xie Junming turned his head to look at the door, watching as a certain shameless someone walked inside. Academy Master Ge took the lead to stand. “How’s your health?” Ye You said, “Much better now that I’ve slept.”

As was his habit, Academy Master Ge also wanted to examine the other, but this person had a head full of bandages, making it entirely impossible to see the face underneath, so in the end, the only thing he could do was tell this person to rest more as he watched the other slowly sit down at a seat nearby.

Elder Hei was finally able to eat under the same roof as the Sect Master once again and was incredibly overjoyed, but this joy vanished like smoke the instant he saw Wenren Heng alongside. He really wanted to run down the mountain and tell his colleagues that the Sect Master wanted to marry Wenren Heng. How terribly frightening!

Wenren Heng felt his gaze and signaled for him to move his line of sight.

Elder Hei turned his eyes away in profound grief and continued eating while listening to the Sect Master say, “I already heard about the matter with the Alliance Leader.”

Academy Master Ge said, “What do you think about it?”

Wei Jiangyue raised his head and stared, unblinking, at Sir Xiao and Wenren Heng.

After receiving the letter, he actually felt somewhat relieved because this meant that the suspicions on his father had been washed clean, so he urgently wanted to hear these two people’s thoughts.

Ye You said, “If the evidence is real, then the suspicions on the Alliance Leader truly is very great, but…”

The group’s hearts slightly rose.

Wei Jiangyue actually directly held his breath.

Ye You said, “I’m thinking that if the Alliance Leader is the white piece, and he decided to leave Shaolin, he could’ve actually chosen an excuse at random and left during the time when he and Pavilion Master Ding went to Xiangxing City. Why did he have to return at all, and then be forced to think of a way to slip away under these many people’s eyes?”

Xie Junming said, “Maybe it’s that, when he got back, he discovered that you kidnapped Mr. Xiao and was afraid that the other would confess.”

Ye You said, “But this contradicts the matter of his son’s kidnapping. If he had also planned his son’s kidnapping, then that would mean that he must’ve long already decided to leave.”

Xie Junming said, “If the matter with his son wasn’t something that he arranged, then who could it be? The black piece?”

Ye You gave the other a word of praise in his heart and said, “But if it was the black piece, then the Alliance Leader should’ve stayed behind to wait for the black piece to get in contact so as to discuss terms. And it couldn’t be the black piece that let him leave. Temple Master Xie, if you were the black piece, what would you do after capturing the Alliance Leader’s son?”

Xie Junming said, “I’d definitely make him take the initiative to confess all his wrongdoings to all the heroes in the land, or else I’d cut something off from his son’s body and gift it to him.”

Ye You said, “Yes, so I think it’s not very possible that Sir Zhong’s matter was something done by the black piece.”

These two people’s question-and-answer session went by very quickly, and there was scarcely even a pause in the middle of it.

Everyone’s thoughts quickly turned as they followed the two’s conversation, and when they heard these words, they paused slightly. Immediately following, there was a Sect Master who asked, “Then if it wasn’t the black piece, who could it be? The white piece? If it’s really the white piece, then what’s going on with the Alliance Leader?” Ye You said, “About that Mr. Xiao, I don’t know if all of you noticed or not, but that day, when I guessed that Fuping had purposely went into hiding in order to make him a throwaway piece, his expression somewhat changed, but his first reaction wasn’t to look at the Alliance Leader. Under normal circumstances, when someone suddenly realizes that he’s about to be abandoned by his master, he’d definitely give his master a look.”

Academy Master Ge asked, “What do you mean?”

Xie Junming said, “I think he means that Fuping’s master and Mr. Xiao’s master are probably not the same person.”

The moment these words were spoken, everyone startled. And Wei Jiangyue’s heart, not knowing why, suddenly sank. Ye You said, “Yes, there’s this kind of possibility.”

Academy Master Ge was speechless. “Is this… possible?”

“There’s a really simple method to determine whether it is or not.” Ye You looked at him. “Although the Alliance Leader’s whereabouts are unknown, his family residence wouldn’t have simply disappeared into thin air. Let’s go and search his study and look at the letters he’s received, then we’ll know everything.”

Chapter 69

Ding Xilai had just woken up when he heard from his old man that they were going to leave Shaolin.

He, like Sir Xiao, had also similarly started sleeping midway through the journey back, but the difference was that the other party had actually slept for only a short while without any further issues, while because his martial skill was low, along with the fact that he had spent an entire night on edge, he immediately slept the day away now that his spirits were relieved.

In consideration of how his young master had finally managed to be bold and assertive for once, Ren Shaotian temporarily didn’t leave the carriage, waiting for everyone to go look in on Sir Xiao before then pulling the person out and sending him to his room.

After Ding Xilai awoke, he chastised, “You should’ve carried me out right then and there and told them that we had a battle of wits and valor with the white piece, and for the sake of protecting those young masters, we didn’t close our eyes for an entire night.”

Ren Shaotian said, “Young Master, we weren’t the only ones on guard last night. There were also other guards from other sects, and the entire night was peaceful and tranquil. If we speak like that, no one would believe us. The only thing we did was not sleep for a night, but Sir Xiao truly had to contend with the white piece.”

Ding Xilai silently compared himself to Sir Xiao.

One of them had their martial arts, and sat in a brothel an entire night. The other didn’t have their martial arts, and went to fight personally with the white piece in the dead of the night in order to protect Shaolin… And in the end, the two had both fallen asleep. It really did seem like he was the one who was somewhat delicate.

But yesterday, no matter what movements there were, or whether there was someone entering or leaving the room, he was always especially anxious, and he had unceasingly pondered all sorts of possibilities and countermeasures. He truly was really tired, all right?

He was silent for a moment, having half a mind to refute by saying that perhaps there truly had been the white piece’s men there among those who sent the food or who sang or who played the qin, but at this time, he saw that his old man had returned, and he immediately tensed up his face, insipidly saying, “Father.”

Pavilion Master Ding made a sound in acknowledgment and then told them to tidy up and prepare to leave Shaolin.

He paused slightly and added, “Shaotian, protect him on the way home. If there’s nothing, don’t let him carelessly go running around outside.”

“Why?” Ding Xilai was shocked deep down, but because of his training, his tone didn’t change, and he quickly reacted. “You’re afraid that I’ll also be kidnapped like Xiao-Zhong? There’s no need to be so uneasy, Dad, I won’t go to places with too few people. Right now, I’m following Sir Xiao, and every day, I’m able to learn many things. This time, it was me who protected those people, isn’t that right, Shaotian?”

Ren Shaotian nodded.

Pavilion Master Ding remained unmoved and coldly said, “Return home.”

Ding Xilai urgently continued, “See, have I been making trouble at all these past few times? If I hadn’t been here, would it have been possible to capture Mr. Xiao so easily?”

Pavilion Master Ding didn’t hesitate to pour cold water on his enthusiasm. “It would have been.”

“…Then… Then I also can’t leave! It was also largely due to me and Xiao-Zhong that Fuping’s existence was dug out.” Ding Xilai stood up with his hands clasped behind his back and said, as sensibly solemn as possible, “What’s more, with my status as the Junior Pavilion Master of Lingjian Pavilion, how could I be so craven and cowardly as to fear death? I’m already an adult, and I can’t always be living under someone else’s protection, Dad! An overly indulgent father will lead to a useless son216!”

He puffed up his chest, his entire face full of gravity and earnestness, speaking as if he was capable of carrying every burden.

Pavilion Master Ding, “…” Ren Shaotian, “…”

Ding Xilai looked at his old man’s expression and sensibly changed the subject, “Has Sir Xiao woken up yet?”

“He has.” While speaking, Pavilion Master Ding saw that he wanted to slip away and forced him to stand still, once again telling him to pack up his things, because everyone was going to leave.

Ding Xilai was dumbfounded. “Where to?” Pavilion Master Ding said, “Shengyin City217.”

Shengyin City was the place where the Alliance Leader lived.

Right as Sir Xiao voiced his suggestion in the dining hall, he received everyone’s agreement. They had been pulled onto this incomprehensible chessboard, with no idea what the future would hold. Now that they had a hard-to-come-by clue, they naturally would go out to investigate.

Ding Xilai still did not know the actual facts and made a guess, “We’re going to look for Uncle Zhong?”

Pavilion Master Ding said, “No.”

Ding Xilai asked, “Then what are we going there to do?”

Pavilion Master Ding didn’t reply, simply walking to the table and pouring himself some tea. Ding Xilai stared at him, uncomprehending, before then looking at Ren Shaotian out of habit. The latter lowered his voice to tell the other about what had occurred in the morning, with emphasis on those two letters. Ding Xilai instantly felt as if he had wandered into a fantasy after hearing that, and he even became incapable of maintaining his always tense expression. “——What?”

Ren Shaotian quietly looked at him.

Ding Xilai opened and closed his mouth. “Then… then is Uncle Zhong the white piece? How about Xiao-Zhong? Where exactly is he?”

Ren Shaotian quietly said, “He still hasn’t been found. Perhaps he’s already been taken away by the Alliance Leader.”

Ding Xilai stood, stupefied, in place.

He felt as if a cruel reality had just raised its arm and given him a huge slap in the face, slapping him to the point that he was completely helpless and at a loss. There was even an instant where he felt as if his spirit had left his body, and only after a while did it slowly return to its proper place. All those times that he and Xiao- Zhong had ventured forth to drink and play and all those days that they’d gone out to admire the scenery and amuse themselves bubbled up in his mind, and with a crash, they all shattered into pieces.

He had often heard others mention that people change, even as things stayed the same, and that the people of Jianghu didn’t have lives that were solely their own, and so on.

Back then, he and Xiao-Zhong had both thought that, when they had nothing to do after eating their fill, they might as well find some beauties to drink some wine and watch some dancing, without a single thing that they had to be responsible for. But, right now, he had finally realized that it truly wasn’t as simple as that.

In this world, there were some things that one truly couldn’t change back to their original shapes, no matter how hard they tried.

He suddenly quieted down, just like this, scaring Ren Shaotian more than a bit, and even Pavilion Master Ding couldn’t help but give his foolish son a look, saying, “Xilai?” Ding Xilai foolishly looked at him. “Can I still play together with Xiao-Zhong in the future?”

Pavilion Master Ding was silent for a while before saying, “Xiao- Zhong doesn’t have a bad heart. If you’re willing, you can go find him.”

Ding Xilai didn’t speak for a time.

His and Xiao-Zhong’s circumstances were very similar. They were both pampered young masters who loved to play around, they both had a grudge against Wei Jiangyue, and they both had fathers who were of high-standing with strict morals. Most of all, they both had hearts that wanted to do better but didn’t actually have the patience or the brains to do so and could only mutually commiserate while continuing to be completely thoughtless. Throughout the years, they had always been together.

This sudden, unexpected reality had created a suffocating feeling in his chest, and he asked, “Then… then do you think that he’ll still be willing to see me?”

Pavilion Master Ding fell silent.

Ding Xilai lowered his voice to say, “If it was me, I definitely wouldn’t be willing to see him…”

Pavilion Master Ding looked at him and still didn’t speak.

Ding Xilai didn’t appear to expect his father say anything anyway and asked, “Dad, if Uncle Zhong really is the white piece and, in the end, is judged and executed by the people, what will happen to Xiao- Zhong? Will he also be chased down and killed? He definitely doesn’t know anything.”

He was very uneasy. “Do you think I’ll be able to see him again in the future?”

Pavilion Master Ding had no way of replying to this kind of question, and the only thing he could say was that, if fate willed it, then naturally they’d meet again. Ding Xilai left, head aching, and sat down on the stairs.

Pavilion Master Ding and Ren Shaotian looked at one another in dismay before both giving a glance outside.

Ding Xilai’s tense back was completely straight, and he sat there completely motionless, with absolutely no intention of standing up again even after a long while. Pavilion Master Ding was unable to sit still. Although this foolish son of his had occasionally lived life in complete disarray, leaving people troubled to no end, his son had still lived up to now relatively smoothly, and this was the first time this person was encountering a big change in life — that of a close friend becoming a stranger.

Pavilion Master Ding went out and circled around to stand in front of his son, looking down at the other from up high.

Ding Xilai’s expression was unprecedentedly serene, and he met Pavilion Master Ding’s gaze before asking, “I don’t understand why Uncle Zhong would do this kind of thing. He’s the Alliance Leader, and the righteous faction practically all listen to his words. He has no need to worry about food or clothing, and he even has a high position. What else is he dissatisfied with? Did he never think of what Xiao-Zhong would do if he ever got exposed in the future?”

Pavilion Master Ding said, “We’ll need to find him first before we can know the answer to that.”

Ding Xilai silently crawled up before turning around and entering the room.

Pavilion Master Ding said, “What?”

Ding Xilai said, “I’m going to tidy up my things and then I’ll go with all of you to Shengyin City. If I’m able to meet Xiao-Zhong, I want to have a talk with him.”

Pavilion Master Ding frowned. He instinctively wanted the other to return home, but upon seeing his foolish son’s back, he thought that this was the first time his child had ever been so resolute and figured that his words would probably be of no use, so he could only give up on his own thoughts for now.

At this time, everyone at Shaolin had also received the news that they were leaving, and no one had any objections. Conversely, Elder Miao seemed to have been hit by a sudden bolt of lightning, and he asked in confirmation, “We’re going to Shengyin City?”

Miracle Doctor Ji said, “We don’t need to go.”

It’s precisely because there’s no need to go that I feel so unwell, Elder Miao thought in his heart.

He had finally managed, with much difficulty, to see the Sect Master without having to be so secretive, but in the end, it hadn’t even been a day and already the Sect Master was about to leave. Those colleagues of his would definitely also leave together, and they’d leave only him behind.

Miracle Doctor Ji saw that he was staring foolishly at the big tree in the courtyard and asked, “What?”

Elder Miao stared at the small leaves swaying in the autumn wind and expressionlessly said, “At this time, in this season, I should compose a poem.”

Miracle Doctor Ji said, “Compose it then.”

Elder Miao sunk into contemplation for a while and then, taking the other seriously, composed a poem.

But for a person who hadn’t even finished memorizing Sanzi Jing, the poem he composed could use only the most appalling metaphors, almost too miserable to endure. Miracle Doctor Ji had listened only halfway when he already wanted to roll his eyes. When the person finished composing it and looked at him, he stroked his beard and asked, “In the past, was it you who named that ‘Gold Sect’ of yours?”

His intentions were to express tactfully that this person’s poem was absolutely terrible, but who could’ve known that Elder Miao would nod right after being asked this, completely not discerning that there was anything wrong and even saying in acknowledgment, “It was.”

Miracle Doctor Ji, “…”

Elder Miao asked, “What do you think of the poem?”

Miracle Doctor Ji didn’t want to think of anything and turned his head and left.

Elder Miao looked at the other leave without comprehension before turning his gaze back to continue his lamentations.

He had originally thought that he’d be left all on his lonesome, but who knew that, upon leaving, the Sect Master would also leave behind Elder Hei. Because the Demonic Sect’s headquarters was right nearby and Elder Hei was also familiar with this stretch of land, if the white piece took the opportunity to capture someone and move against Shaolin, then Elder Hei and the Demonic Sect’s shadow guards would be able to come out and help resolve the matter.

Elder Miao became immediately more comfortable.

After making the arrangements, Ye You got on the carriage and followed the crowd setting out slowly for Shengyin City. In the evening, they arrived at another small county town, one that had been adjacent to the previous small county town, and the streets were awash with the color of brightly-lit lanterns, extremely lively.

He observed for a moment before saying, “Ah, it’s the Mid-Autumn Festival218.”

Wenren Heng said, “Want to eat mooncakes219?” Ye You said, “If you make it yourself, I’ll eat it.”

Wenren Heng remembered an old matter and warmly said a word of agreement. He helped the person off the carriage and brought the other upstairs, helping to put things in order for a bit, before then really going downstairs to make some mooncakes. Ye You sat for a while and felt a bit like going downstairs to look when, at this time, he heard a knock at the door. When he opened it to take a look, he found Wei Jiangyue standing outside and so welcomed the person into the room.

Wei Jiangyue looked around before asking, “Where is he?”

Ye You said, “Senior Brother said that he’ll make me mooncakes.”

Wei Jiangyue subconsciously remembered what Ding Xilai told him today and knew then that Wenren Heng had truly confessed to Sir Xiao. He couldn’t help but fall silent for a moment.

Ye You looked at him. “You came because you wanted to ask about what happened recently?”

Wei Jiangyue said, “Yes.”

Ye You said, “I don’t have any evidence, so why don’t we make a bet.” Wei Jiangyue said, “What do you want to bet?”

Ye You said in a slow voice, “Let’s bet that, by the time we get to Shengyin City, the Alliance Leader’s residence will already have been burned.”

Wei Jiangyue startled. “What?”

“If the Alliance Leader is the white piece, then his escaping like this means that he definitely isn’t trying to cover up his identity any longer. Even if there are some letters that are unfit to be seen and that he still needs to take care of, he also wouldn’t need to go as far as to burn his own residence down. On the contrary, following the white piece’s usual mode of operation, he’d more likely place some fake letters for people to find and mislead us to go somewhere else,” Ye You said, “So if, by the time we get there, the house really has burned down, then we can be sure about one thing.”

Wei Jiangyue said, with difficulty, “We’ll be sure that there’s still someone hidden in this group of people, that this person is the Alliance Leader’s partner, and that he was the one who kidnapped Sir Zhong to force the Alliance Leader away so as to place all of the blame on the Alliance Leader.”

Ye You said, “Not bad. He doesn’t know where the Alliance Leader puts letters which is why he’d set everything on fire, impatiently wanting to destroy all the evidence. Will you bet?”

Wei Jiangyue was silent for a while before lifting his head to look at the other. “I’ll bet. If you win, and it’s clear that there’s really still the white piece within this group of people, then at that time, could you… tell me some more things? Anything will do.”

Ye You looked at him for a time before saying, “All right.”

Chapter 70

Qin Yuemian and the scarred man had known Wenren Heng for this long yet had never seen him personally cook anything, not to mention even making mooncakes. This was practically more thrilling than when they witnessed him losing his jade pendant.

Similarly, the inn’s head chef and companions also found this image very thrilling.

This noble and handsome young sir had suddenly come over to their place to make something. None of them knew where exactly they should stand.

After Wenren Heng had sent away the miscellaneous idlers, out of the corners of his eyes, he saw two someones staring blankly at him. Without even lifting his head, he said, “What?”

Qin Yuemian doubtfully asked, “You really know how to make mooncakes?”

Wenren Heng said, “I do.”

In the past, when they lived on Heji Mountain, they were far from any major cities. During Mid-Autumn, they either went down to the county town at the foot of the mountain or bought the necessary items early and cooked things themselves. The master and two disciples would then pass an auspicious and peaceful Mid-Autumn Festival.

He suddenly remembered that, during the first few years of his Junior Brother’s arrival, the other would always get very quiet whenever Mid-Autumn or any other big holidays arrived. His heart suddenly ached at the thought.

That person’s entire clan was exterminated, and while unable to express anything, the person even had to accompany him and Master in celebrating the holidays. At that time, what exactly had his Junior Brother been thinking?

Qin Yuemian was asking on the side, “What else can you make?” Wenren Heng regained his senses and said, “Many things. I just haven’t made them in a long time.”

Qin Yuemian was extremely curious, and he especially wanted to know how Wenren Heng’s mooncakes tasted.

He thus stood there on the side, maintaining this curiosity as he stared at this whole process from beginning to end. When Wenren Heng finished by placing the mooncakes on the plate piece by piece, he then followed this person upstairs.

The small county town wasn’t actually very big, but because it was the Mid-Autumn Festival, many from nearby villages had come to town. The main road had already long hung up streetlights, and peddlers had also already set out their wares, while children were gathering in groups to frolic and play, running all over with smiles on their faces.

Ye You was standing in front of the window, eyes lowered, to look at the lively streets below. He asked, “You’re not going back to spend the Mid-Autumn Festival with Manor Lord Wei?”

Wei Jiangyue didn’t know how to reply.

Normally, he would go and find his father, but since he began having doubts, every time he saw his father, he feared that the other would suddenly turn into a completely unrecognizable stranger right before his eyes one day. And if he returned alone to his room, his imaginations would just run wild. It was only by staying with Sir Xiao that he could quiet down his heart — even if this person was currently suspecting his father.

Ye You gave him a look and was about to say some more things when he heard footsteps getting close. He waited and, after only a short moment, heard the sound of knocking at the door. Having been close by, Wei Jiangyue stood up to open it and instantly met with the gloomy face of Ding Xilai.

Ding Xilai looked at him, gaze drifting. “You’re also here, huh.” “Yes, I came to find Sir Xiao.” Wei Jiangyue let him into the room and gave his expression a once over. “What’s wrong with you?”

Ding Xilai didn’t reply. Upon seeing Sir Xiao walk over from the window to sit down, he also obediently sat and then told them that he had already heard about the matter with the Alliance Leader. He asked, heart filled with hope, “Do the two of you think… it’s possible that Uncle Zhong has been wrongly accused?”

Ye You slowly stroked the teacup in front of him and didn’t respond. Wei Jiangyue conversely avoided the question by averting his eyes.

Of him and Ding Xilai, one wished that the Alliance Leader was the white piece, while the other wished that the Alliance Leader had been framed. They were just like two people trapped on opposite ends of an ice floe, and rupturing cracks had already started sounding from below; whichever side was split open would be whichever side would sink into the depths.

Ding Xilai looked at them and asked, unwilling to give up, “Isn’t there the slightest possibility?”

Ye You said, “Maybe.”

Ding Xilai also knew that this possibility was extremely small, so he wasn’t happy at all. The room than fell into silence for a time, and right when he sluggishly began to realize that the silence was turning awkward, he heard Xie Junming’s voice floating in from the outside.

“Oh, have these really been made by Sect Master Wenren with his own hands? They aren’t freshly bought?”

Wenren Heng said, “They naturally aren’t.”

Xie Junming said, “Come, come, come, then I have to try one.”

Wenren Heng said, “As long as Temple Master Xie has no reservations.”

Xie Junming said, “Yes, no reservations.” As the two spoke, they pushed open the door, with Xie Junming having already bitten into a mooncake. The scarred man silently stared at him, not very happy. This was something that their Sect Master had made for Young Master Xiao; Young Master Xiao hadn’t even eaten any yet, but this scoundrel had already stolen a taste. Did he have any sense of shame?

If Xie Junming had any shame, then he wouldn’t be Xie Junming.

He unhurriedly chewed and swallowed and then faced his good friend to say wholeheartedly, “The noble madam’s craftsmanship is quite good. With such an exemplary wife, Sir Xiao is truly very blessed.”

The group, “…” Wenren Heng, “…”

The room’s previous oppressive atmosphere immediately vanished like smoke, having been slapped by Xie Junming’s words all the way into the clouds. Ding Xilai and Wei Jiangyue took a while to react, and they both looked at Wenren Heng and Sir Xiao at practically the same time.

Wenren Heng and Ye You were both very clear that Xie Junming had said such words without any rhyme or reason because he had definitely heard some things from those Elders’ mouths. The former’s expression still remained the same, and he decided to put matters aside slowly for his Junior Brother, while the latter contained his own delighted mood and said, “Temple Master Xie has misunderstood. Our relationship is only that of disciple-brothers.”

Xie Junming asked in astonishment, “Hm? You two aren’t husband and wife?”

Ye You said, “We aren’t.”

Xie Junming said, “Is that so. I saw that you two lived in one room and thought that Sect Master Wenren was your wife.”

Ding Xilai, “…” Wei Jiangyue, “…”

What exactly were you thinking?!

Xie Junming was roughly able to guess what they were thinking and unhurriedly added, “Oh, no wonder. Before, I had wondered why you still went to find Fuping to be your concubine when you already had Sect Master Wenren as a first wife. Ah, so it turned out that you two weren’t husband and wife.”

Ding Xilai and Wei Jiangyue had been felled into silence by this strong logic.

After all… the one who looked for concubines was the husband, as wives normally wouldn’t be able to do such things. Yes, there wasn’t any fault in this logic.

Those in the surroundings didn’t open their mouths, and the atmosphere in the room immediately started developing in a strange direction. Wenren Heng ignored these people and carried the mooncakes over, placing them in front of his Junior Brother. “Eat it while it’s still warm.”

Ye You didn’t look at his Senior Brother’s tender gaze and focused all his attention on eating the mooncakes.

Wenren Heng asked, “Are they good?” Ye You said, “Yes.”

Wenren Heng said, “Then I’ll make them for you again in the future.”

With this kind of atmosphere and scene, those present all knew that they should make a slight retreat. Even Wei Jiangyue, whose heart was somewhat unwilling, also felt that remaining behind would render himself superfluous. And so everyone took their leave. Having had his fun, Xie Junming also didn’t continue disturbing them and left, perfectly satisfied.

With a creak, the door was closed. Ye You swallowed what was in his mouth and, before his Senior Brother could erupt, said, “Want to go out for a walk?”

Wenren Heng said, “Today’s the Mid-Autumn Festival, so we probably all need to eat together.”

Ye You said, “We can go for a walk after we finish eating.” Wenren Heng said, “All right.”

Ye You observed the other for a moment, and not seeing his Senior Brother show any signs of dissatisfaction, he ended up sitting with the other for a while. Upon hearing someone outside calling them to eat, he thereupon went with his Senior Brother downstairs to meet that crowd of elders, with a tacit understanding between everyone not to mention any matters relating to the black or white piece.

Together, they amiably ate a meal together and also chatted for a time before then dispersing.

At this time, the sky was already dark, and outside had gotten even more lively, with throngs of people crowding around each other, all in a hubbub of conversation.

Ye You sported a “lantern” and slowly walked with his Senior Brother onto the street.

The two walked a few steps before Ye You said, “I remember during the Mid-Autumn Festival in the past, you really liked going into town to play.”

Wenren Heng made a sound in acknowledgment.

At that time, he had still been young and carefree with no worries, never having encountered any big life changes, so he naturally liked playing around. What did his Junior Brother think of him back then? Perhaps it was about the same way as how he now looked at Ding Xilai’s crowd of Junior Sect Masters.

He asked, “At the time, did you think I was very foolish?” Ye You laughed and said, “No, just normally foolish.” Wenren Heng, “…”

Ye You said, “I’m just playing with you. Actually, I was quite envious of you. These words are the truth.”

Wenren Heng couldn’t help but hold his hand tight, covering the grip with sleeves, pulling him into the light that flowed through the night landscape, and saying, “If something else happens in the future, don’t conceal it from me.”

Ye You said, “Yes.”

The small county town wasn’t big, and the two didn’t walk for long before they reached the end of the main road.

Wenren Heng saw that many people were heading for outside the town and, after asking, learned that there was a river nearby where people were going to release river lanterns. He saw that the time was still early and so also went over.

The river had a stone bridge, and many people were already standing on it.

Ye You found an empty place to stand and, leaning against the stone railings, surveyed the area. He saw that the river surface was completely covered with the warm, yellow glow of lanterns, like stars in the night sky spreading ever outwards, reflecting the full moon up above, beautiful to the point that it enticed people to remain watching here forever.

He swept his eyes over and saw a man and woman lighting a lantern together by the riverside. Midway, the two’s gazes met, and they didn’t turn away for a long time, simply staring at one another while separated by a lantern. The beautiful feelings between this man and woman overflowed, and those feelings appeared as if they could reach even this bridge.

He smiled slightly and was somewhat tempted to pull his Senior Brother over to also release a lantern when, in that instant, he heard a minute sound piercing the air. His heart trembled, and without thinking, he urgently stepped towards his Senior Brother, saying out loud, “Look at how beautiful those lanterns are.”

From behind, the concealed weapon brushed past him and hit the stone bridge’s railings with a light, echoing clink.

Wenren Heng had also perceived the danger at practically the same time as when Ye You had moved over. His pupils darkened, and holding onto the other’s waist, he jumped back half-a-step, lifting his head to look around. He saw two, three people coming on both ends of the stone bridge, along with the nearby person who had just thrown the concealed weapon, and they quickly surrounded the two of them.

Wenren Heng said, “Since they failed in surrounding the mountain, are they in a hurry?”

Ye You said, pensive, “Must be. I’ve already messed up their plans three times. If I was them, the first thing I’d want to do right now is find a way to kill me.”

Wenren Heng corrected him, “It’s us.”

As the two spoke, those people had rushed forward, getting close, and Wenren Heng was no long able to manage a conversation. He pushed his Junior Brother behind him and, in an instant, exchanged blows with them. In the surroundings, cries of alarm sprang up every which way, and immediately the scene turned into complete chaos.

At this time, Ding Xilai had just been walking to the riverside, saying, “Shaotian, let me tell you, if releasing a lantern and saying a few wishes actually worked, then there’d long already be no poor or ugly people in this world.”

Ren Shaotian naturally also didn’t believe in this kind of thing.

He had simply seen that his young master had been much too gloomy today and so had decided to find something for this person to do. He said, “Perhaps it’s that their fate with good fortune is too shallow, so their prayers were ineffective.” Ding Xilai said, “My fate with good fortune is also shallow, or else I would’ve already become a martial hero a long time ago.”

Ren Shaotian said, “Young Master will profit sooner or later.” Ding Xilai stroked his chin. “That’s a given.”

Ren Shaotian, “…”

Ding Xilai said, “I only have to hang around Sir Xiao, and I’d definitely be able to…”

He had spoken only halfway when he heard the continuous shouts, rising and falling, from up ahead. He intuitively felt that there was something lively to see and so couldn’t help but walk quicker. When he grabbed a person to ask, he learned that the noise was from people fighting, and that there was even someone who had fallen into the water.

Already used to doing good things out of habit, he immediately rolled up his sleeves. “Don’t worry, I’ll save them!”
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