Ding Xilai’s opportunity to pretend to be a martial hero quickly fell through.
He had originally thought that the fight was between simple commoners, and since he knew martial arts, he would definitely be able to set them to rights and nimbly resolve the dispute, all the while receiving countless amounts of gratitude and adoration. But he had just rolled up his sleeves when someone nearby hurriedly stopped him.
“Little young sir, you better not go over. Those are Jianghu people, flying hither and thither, and even carrying blades!”
Ding Xilai blinked. “Jianghu people?” The bystander said, “That’s right!”
Ding Xilai immediately felt somewhat terrified and silently pulled his sleeves back into their original positions. Thinking that he was after all the Junior Pavilion Master of Lingjian Pavilion, he stood up straight, clasping his hands behind his back, and said, with an air of righteousness, “Then I need to go take a look even more. It’s the Mid- Autumn Festival, so how could they cause such a disturbance among the common people? Uncle, don’t worry, I’m also a person of Jianghu. It’s fine to leave this to me. You should go hide a bit further away.”
That person sized him up in surprise. “Then… then I’ll leave it to you, martial hero.”
Ding Xilai calmly nodded his head and walked forward with Ren Shaotian. Only after a moment did he start walking slower and stop pretending. He hesitantly asked, “Shaotian, do you think… if the ones fighting are those of the righteous faction, will they show me some respect? If I go to stop the fight, they wouldn’t also beat me up, right?”
Ren Shaotian smiled and said, “They won’t. Young Master can definitely try to persuade them.” Ding Xilai thereupon became filled with confidence and, following the sounds, made his way over to the riverside extremely slowly.
Under the white light of the moon, he discovered that there was one person fighting with three or four on the bridge, and that person’s back seemed somewhat familiar.
He was just about to move even closer when Ren Shaotian spoke up, “That’s Sect Master Wenren.”
“Ah?” Ding Xilai was shocked, and then immediately thought of something, expression changing. “Then what about Sir Xiao? Sir Xiao was definitely together with him. Where is he? Who did they say it was that fell into the water?”
Ren Shaotian didn’t reply. He waved his hand and indicated that the people of “Moon’s Shadow” who had been following them in secret should protect the young master before then pulling out his sword and rushing forward onto the stone bridge.
With just one exchange of blows, he was able to determine that these were all martial art experts, and his heart sank. Sir Xiao couldn’t use martial arts, and if the person had really been together with Wenren Heng, then it boded ill.
Wenren Heng used a palm to force the people surrounding to retreat, taking this interval of time to say, “Don’t mind me, go look for Ah- Xiao. He fell into the water.”
Ren Shaotian said, “Young Master will go.”
Wenren Heng said, “They have a few people who’ve given chase.” Ren Shaotian said, “Moon’s Shadow.”
The two’s conversation was exchanged very quickly and concisely, but it still allowed those people to understand their meaning very clearly. Those who had originally wanted to move forward to encircle them couldn’t help but hesitate.
Wenren Heng’s martial skill was quite high, and they had just barely managed to stall him with the three of them, while two people were already lying on the ground, having been knocked unconscious by him. Now that that side had added Ren Shaotian and the experts of “Moon’s Shadow”, their situation had become increasingly unfavorable.
One person made the prompt decision to jump backwards and blow a whistle. The remaining two then followed and also jumped backwards.
Wenren Heng saw that they wanted to run and said, “Stop them!”
Ren Shaotian’s figure flashed, and in the blink of an eye, he pressed forward. The sword in his hands was a magnificent cold light, sweeping down with threatening intent, straight towards the leader who blew that flute. The latter felt his pupils contract and, with difficulty, managed to deflect that move partially. Knowing that he wasn’t the other’s opponent, in a moment of desperation, he could only escape through the river. When he suddenly crashed into the river surface, a loud splash echoed.
At this moment, Ding Xilai was currently anxiously staring at this same river as he conducted the search. When he heard that noise, he startled, frightened, and raised his head. “Who? Who was that?”
A person from “Moon’s Shadow” said, “It wasn’t Brother Shaotian or Sect Master Wenren.”
Ding Xilai felt relieved and said, “Keep watch. If you see him come out, grab him.”
Ding Xilai then continued to search for that person.
This river was about ten meters220 wide, and the flow of the water wasn’t very fast. With the lanterns released by the people gliding down the river, the river surface was currently completely covered with glittering, star-like lights. Although the river got deeper as one went on, with the help of the river lanterns floating on top, they would be able to see any slight movements beneath the surface quickly thanks to the light from these lanterns. Ding Xilai had originally thought that finding a person would be really easy. However, he was startled to discover that, even after a long time, he saw not a glimpse of that person’s shadow. After checking the river surface, he felt his heart squeeze with anxiety and couldn’t stop his mouth from saying, “It’s not possible that the water had originally flowed in that direction, but when we rushed over, it started flowing in this direction, right?”
The person from “Moon’s Shadow” said, “…It’s not possible.” Ding Xilai said, “Then where is he? Where is he?”
The person from “Moon’s Shadow” guessed, “Maybe Sir Xiao never actually fell into the river, or maybe he already went ashore and hid himself?”
Ding Xilai said, “That’s not impossible…”
They thereupon began searching by following the shore, and even retraced their steps to search through all the underbrush.
This time, when they still hadn’t found the person, Ding Xilai refused to start thinking of certain worst case scenarios and continued searching, unwilling to give up. And he even began indulging in fantasy, wondering if Sir Xiao could have found a way in a short amount of time to dig a large enough pit to hide inside, or if the other had broken off a reed and used it to breathe underwater so as to hide in the river.
The person from “Moon’s Shadow” then submerged into the river, searching its bottom once, then twice, before crawling back on shore, dripping wet, to see their trouble-making, jinx of a young master. He felt as if he somewhat understood why their Pavilion Master always wanted to give him a beating.
Ding Xilai asked, “Anything?”
The person from “Moon’s Shadow” said, remorseful, “Nothing.” Ding Xilai foolishly stared at him, completely at wit’s end. The person from “Moon’s Shadow” examined this expression and, feeling as if their young master was about to faint on the spot in the very next moment, immediately got a fright. He was about to roll up his sleeves and pinch the person when he saw Ren Shaotian and Wenren Heng hurrying over.
Ding Xilai instantly stopped looking as if his spirit had left his body and looked towards Wenren Heng. “Where’s Sir Xiao?”
Wenren Heng’s pupils had sunk deep, and he said in a hoarse voice, “He fell into the river. You didn’t find him?”
Ding Xilai opened and closed his mouth. “No.”
Wenren Heng closed his eyes for a moment before then walking forward without a word, clearly meaning to continue searching himself.
Upon seeing this, Ding Xilai brought people to follow and help.
He had already passed his most anxious stage, and after accompanying Wenren Heng to search for a while and seeing Wenren Heng’s frantic energy, he felt that it wouldn’t be good to continue like this and said, “Shaotian, why don’t we let someone go back to pass on a letter?”
He waited for a moment before raising his head in surprise. “Shaotian?”
Ren Shaotian came back to his senses. “…Yes?”
Ding Xilai saw he was looking up ahead and promptly asked, “Did you discover something?”
Ren Shaotian retracted his examination of the river surface and said, “No, what is it?”
Ding Xilai said, “I asked if we should send someone back to the inn to give word.”
Ren Shaotian stilled for a moment. Ding Xilai saw that he seemed to have sucked in a deep breath, without any indications as to why, and unconsciously felt that he was trying to calm down, seemingly also extremely anxious deep down about Sir Xiao’s disappearance.
“You…” As Ding Xilai spoke, he thought of how he usually would mention Sir Xiao whenever the mood struck. Reckoning that Shaotian was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to stand the shock, he immediately felt moved and unprecedentedly pulled out the proper appearance of a young master to say in earnest, “Shaotian, don’t worry, I definitely feel that such a clever person as Sir Xiao will certainly be all right. Even in the case that something happens… I won’t collapse just from this, and I’d even look for the culprit to avenge him. On this, I swear.”
Ren Shaotian said, “It’s good that Young Master can think like this.”
After going through that apprehensive night at the brothel, Ding Xilai was now able to endure at least some things. He returned to the previous topic, “Then do you think we should send someone back?”
Ren Shaotian said, “Yes, me and Wenren Heng have captured a few of their people. Let’s send some more people to bring all of them back.”
Ding Xilai said, “But there’s only a few of us remaining here. What if those people decide to double back?”
Ren Shaotian said, “They probably won’t. They’ve already sounded the alert with their actions, so they most likely won’t take any more risks. And now that we haven’t seen even a shadow of Sir Xiao, it’s possible that he was captured by them. If it’s really like this, then they’d definitely not return.”
Ding Xilai pressed down his uneasy thoughts and nodded, deciding to listen to the other.
The people of “Moon’s Shadow” thus went as per orders to deliver the news of, “Sect Master Wenren and Sir Xiao were attacked by assassins, and Sir Xiao fell into the river, current whereabouts unknown,” to those elders. The inn immediately boiled over. Regardless of whether it was those currently appreciating the moon or those who’ve already went to rest, they all were, without exception, alarmed enough to run downstairs one after the other.
Everyone looked at the captured black-clothed men before then walking forward to tear off their masks, only to see that the first was a person from Qingcheng Sect. And this person’s position in Qingcheng Sect was even quite high; he was Qingcheng Sect’s Sect Master Han’s second disciple.
Sect Master Han’s eyelids twitched.
Everyone looked at him. He had been the one to find those who built Bodhi Prison that year, and now it was also his people who had tried to assassinate Sir Xiao. This was a bit too coincidental, right?
Sect Master Han completely regretted not lighting more incense at Shaolin Temple to pray for better luck. He said, “I didn’t order this.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang gave him a glance before unmasking the second person and discovering that he was once again a person from Qingcheng Sect.
Sect Master Han felt his heart sink as he watched, and a thick feeling of crisis suddenly bubbled forth. Using a solemn tone, he said, “No matter if all of you believe me or not, it really wasn’t me who ordered this.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang unmasked the third person and discovered that it was actually their Wudang Sect’s disciple, causing his own eyelids to twitch.
Manor Lord Wei said, “Could it be that the other party purposely found a few of our sect’s people so as to play at getting us to mutually suspect each other? If I was him, I’d also add in people from ‘Heaven’s Firmament’ and ‘Moon’s Shadow’.”
The moment he finished talking, Sect Leader Xuanyang tore off the last black-clothed man’s mask and discovered that, while it wasn’t a person from “Moon’s Shadow”, it truly was a person from “Heaven’t Firmament”. Everyone, “…” Manor Lord Wei, “…”
Manor Lord Wei immediately wrinkled his brows. “Splash them awake.”
There was no need for him to speak, as Sect Master Han had already long instructed his subordinates to do so. After a few basins of cold water was splashed on them, those people slowly came into awareness and looked at everyone, completely at a loss.
“Master, why are all of you… Wait, what happened here? Why have I been tied up? Master?”
Sect Master Han asked, “None of you remember anything?”
Qingcheng Sect’s second disciple shook his head. “No, what exactly happened? Didn’t we just finish eating?”
Sect Master Han asked, “And then what?”
Qingcheng Sect’s disciple said, “And then I left together with Xiao- Wang, wanting to take a walk around. And after that… and then after that, I don’t remember anything. What did I do? Why am I so sore?”
Sect Master Han felt his heart falling back into place. At this time, Sect Leader Xuanyang and Manor Lord Wei had also finished their own questioning, and their situation was the same as his. None of these men knew what had happened and had simply woken up to find themselves bound.
Abbot Ciyuan waited for everyone to discuss their suggestions for a moment, guessing that these people had probably been drugged.
Afraid that they’d continue to be controlled by the white piece, he didn’t undo their bindings for now, deciding to first send them to Shaolin to be examined by Miracle Doctor Ji.
But according to the people from “Moon’s Shadow”, there was a whistle-blower among them who had fled by way of the river, and there were also some people who had chased after Sir Xiao. There was no knowing if those people had been drugged, and there was even less knowing whose sects those subordinates belonged to.
Pavilion Master Ding said, “Searching for the person is more urgent.”
Everyone voiced their agreement one after the other and hastily hurried over to the riverside.
After the people of Shuangji Sect received the news, with the scarred man leading the way, they had gone directly to find the Sect Master. When everyone arrived, they had already doubled back and was about to start again from the village near the shore, but it was unfortunate that they still hadn’t found the person.
Wenren Heng’s gaze was very cold, and his entire body emitted a dense air that stopped anyone from getting close, completely belying his usual elegant appearance. It was evident how terrible his mood was.
Xie Junming gave the other a look and was about to approach to ask about the truth when he heard cries of alarm from nearby. Unable to help turning his head, he found a familiar figure appearing in his line of sight.
“I was wondering why there was no one at the inn, and it turned out that everyone was here. What is everyone looking for? Do you need this lord to help all of you search?”
The person at the head was wearing a set of black robes, bearing the iconic mask on his face and carrying a shallow smile, unhurriedly walking over.
In addition, there was even some Demonic Sect Elders following behind him, and just like this, he was using some kind of incomprehensible gaze to look at the surroundings. He calmly walked over to Xie Junming’s side and said, smiling, “It’s rare that you’re also participating. I originally thought that you were all coming here to release river lanterns together.” Xie Junming said, “Ah-You, if you’re willing, I’ll go release a lantern with you. Come.”
As he spoke, he pulled the person away and really left.
Everyone rolled their eyes and ignored those two annoying rascals, returning to help with the search.
Xie Junming continued to hold a certain person’s hand. He asked, “Ah-You, you also want to participate in this matter?”
That person wanted to pull his hand out of that grip but after trying for a while and continually failing, could only say, “Yes.”
“Is that so. Then in the future, we can again be together all day, from morning ’til night.” Xie Junming said, with deep emotion, “Ah-You, let’s sleep together tonight.”
Those Elders walking behind silently looked at the sky.
That person couldn’t take it anymore. “…Temple Master Xie, first release my hand.”
Xie Junming tightened his grip, and his smile looked bloodthirsty. He asked, “Where’s your Sect Master? What act does he and Wenren Heng want to put on this time?”
Elder Baili’s face carried the Sect Master’s mask as he struggled to extricate his hand. He replied, “The Sect Master didn’t say. He only told me to come out to keep watch.”
Xie Junming asked, “Then where’d he go?”
Elder Baili said, “He and the Madam are going to do something else. He’ll meet up with us again after a few days.”
Only now did Xie Junming let go of him.
Elder Baili let out a breath of relief. Seeing the other still walking forward, he asked, “Where are you going?”
“To release a river lantern, didn’t I just say so. No matter what, we should at least do it for appearances’ sake.” Xie Junming spoke as if it was a matter of course. Seeing two people from the righteous faction pass by, he then once again held a certain person’s hand. “Come, Ah-You, let’s go light a lantern together.”
Elder Baili, “…”
The righteous faction people, “…”
The two righteous faction people were practically horrified, thinking in their hearts that, so it turned out that those two disasters had this kind of relationship, while also running away in disarray.
Elder Baili turned back to look at his colleagues in grief and indignation.
Those Elders behind once again turned to look at the sky, collectively thinking in their hearts, Thank the heavens that it wasn’t me who pulled the losing stick.
From late into the night until the break of dawn, everyone searched the surroundings of the stone bridge many times, and though they were still unable to find even a hint of Sir Xiao’s shadow, they were able to find the other two black-clothed men, completely unconscious. These two people were the same as the ones previously captured; they were completely unclear on what exactly happened and could only be sent to Shaolin to be handed over to Miracle Doctor Ji.
As the sky gradually brightened, the small county town, which had been noisy for an entire night, slowly turned quiet.
Wenren Heng silently stared at the river surface, his back perfectly straight and tense, having practically not said a word since last night.
Abbot Ciyuan’s party had long already thought of the worst case scenario, and now after an entire night of fruitless searching, they couldn’t help but let out a sigh in their hearts, fearing that nothing good had happened to Sir Xiao.
Academy Master Ge didn’t want to think of the worst possibility happening and said, “He’s that clever, so even if he’s been kidnapped, he should still be able to think of a way to escape.”
Wenren Heng shook his head, his voice hoarse as he said, “Those who surrounded us last night all carried strong killing intent. They truly meant to kill us on the spot.”
“But those people were all drugged and so they couldn’t control themselves. Perhaps the white piece changed his plans at the last moment and didn’t kill him…” Even as he spoke, Academy Master Ge felt somewhat unable to continue.
They weren’t fools. Even if the white piece let Sir Xiao keep his life, it would definitely solely be for the sake of forcing out information about the black piece, regardless of whether Sir Xiao actually knew anything or not, and whether he’d be willing to talk or not. Even if they were able to rely solely on this good move from the terribly wicked white piece, Sir Xiao might still be subjected to a beating, and with his health originally being poor, it was very possible that he wouldn’t be able to endure.
Wenren Heng closed his eyes and didn’t reply.
Academy Master Ge also knew that this person had probably thought it through and said, “Then this… we’ve already stayed for an entire night and searched every place that could be searched. Let’s still return to the inn first. Maybe he’s been saved by someone.”
Wenren Heng stayed silent, not speaking a word.
Abbot Ciyuan’s party all followed along in offering some advice. If Sir Xiao was truly in the white piece’s hands, then it’d be useless to waste any more time here; it’d be better to use the time wisely to find ways to uncover the white piece. Perhaps with the white piece afraid, the other party would then not do anything to Sir Xiao for now.
Wenren Heng was still for a while. Finally, after giving a look to the gleaming, crystalline river surface, he then followed them back to the small county town.
Upon seeing this, the adventurers knew that they were going to give up the search, and their moods immediately became heavy.
The white piece had already hidden for so many years and, other than personal influence, also possessed frightening drugs and drugged people. Before, with Sir Xiao around, they weren’t at a disadvantage, but now with Sir Xiao’s life-or-death unknown, in the case that they didn’t have anyone who could see through the white piece’s next moves, if the white piece once again laid siege with intentions to kill, what would they be able to do?
Everyone furrowed their brows and let out a long sigh before returning together to the small county town with chests full of thick unease.
From the group, those who were hungry went to eat, those who were tired went to rest, and those who were worried huddled together to bemoan the situation. Those who lived in the same inn as those elders followed them all the way to the inn’s lobby.
Right as they entered, they saw Sect Master Ye and Xie Junming currently eating breakfast.
Just like last time when the white piece surrounded the mountain, Xie Junming was interested only in looking in on the fun, and after he finished watching, he would then leave to rest. Last night, upon seeing that the righteous faction were simply looking for someone, he had felt too lazy to stay any longer and thereupon left, pulling Sect Master Ye along.
At this time, Xie Junming saw that they had returned and, looking as if he was concerned, asked, “Did you find him?”
Abbot Ciyuan, who was in the lead, replied for everyone when he shook his head.
Xie Junming said an, “Oh,” before lowering his head to continue eating, while also helping the person beside him to grab some side dishes in passing, considerately telling the other to eat some more. Elder Baili maintained his smile, completely resigned to accompanying the great Temple Master Xie in eating this meal.
Everyone supposed that Sect Master Ye was also going to follow along with them from now on. In ordinary circumstances, they’d definitely feel their head ache for a bit, but right now, with Sir Xiao’s matter as a point of comparison, they contrarily felt that this matter wasn’t a big deal. They numbly looked at those two annoying rascals before turning around and leaving.
Xie Junming said, “Ah-You, I told you a long time ago that you should go out and walk more. See how they don’t seem to keep you in their minds when they see you.”
Elder Baili was left speechless.
With their Sect Master already having gone through and tossed these people around, it’d be strange if those people were actually capable of paying attention to him. Xie Junming raised a brow. “You don’t have any thoughts?”
Elder Baili thought for a moment, and then thought for some more moments. And underneath his deeply ruminating gaze, he suddenly felt so angry that he almost lost his temper. Dragging on his Sect Master’s usual careless attitude, he said, “What kind of thoughts could I have. You should focus on eating. Weren’t you miserable enough last night after I took care of you?”
Those Elders, “…”
Great work, we respect your manliness!
Xie Junming immediately laughed handsomely.
Elder Baili silently grabbed a vegetable and placed it in his mouth, feeling as if he was done for.
At this time, Abbot Ciyuan’s party had already stepped onto the staircase. Upon hearing these words, some of them almost missed the next step and stumbled clean off.
They endured the impulse to turn back, forcing themselves not to think too crookedly. After all, Ye You still had Lady Tao, and it wasn’t that possible that he’d be so devoid of morals as to also have a dalliance with Xie Junming. Those words definitely didn’t mean what they thought it meant.
Wenren Heng conversely had nothing to say, and his head also didn’t turn as he walked forward and entered his room.
The scarred man followed behind and hesitantly looked at his Sect Master.
Last night, when he heard the news, he was almost scared to death. As he began searching for the person at once, the more he searched, the more anxious he became. It wasn’t until he saw “Sect Master Ye” appear that he realized that there was some kind of problem, because that clearly wasn’t Sect Master Ye. Other people couldn’t tell because they weren’t familiar with Sect Master Ye, but he was able to discern the difference, so… Where’s Sect Master Ye? He asked, “Sect Master, do you want to eat something?”
Wenren Heng said, “Something has happened to Ah-Xiao, so how could I have an appetite?”
The scarred man blinked. “Then…”
Wenren Heng said, “You should go out. If anyone comes to find me, say I want to be alone for a while.”
The scarred man made a sound in agreement and, with a head full of doubt, made to leave. When he reached the door, he couldn’t help but give the Sect Master another glance. Seeing the Sect Master lying on the bed after having taken off those outer robes, he guessed that the other was about to sleep and immediately removed his gaze, thoroughly convinced that there was nothing wrong with Sect Master Ye. He then left, relieved.
On this early morning day, the entire inn’s atmosphere had almost sunk entirely into deep melancholy.
Neither Wei Jiangyue nor Ding Xilai had any intentions of sleeping, and the two sat together, with heavy expressions. Wei Jiangyue said, “Tell me carefully what exactly the situation was yesterday.”
Ding Xilai told him the story and said, “In short, I didn’t find him. Do you think he could be…”
“No,” Wei Jiangyue interrupted him, “Nothing will happen to him.” Ding Xilai didn’t speak again.
He naturally also hoped that nothing would happen to Sir Xiao, but from the results of a night of searching, it was very possible that Sir Xiao had already fallen into the white piece’s hands. Even he could understand this kind of thing, so there was no reason why Wei Jiangyue wouldn’t.
Wei Jiangyue’s head was a complete mess, and he especially wanted to ask his father if the other was the one who had captured that person, but they had already confronted one another once. Even if they tried again, there’d still be no conclusions; instead, it’d simply hurt their relationship even more. What’s more, before there was any definite evidence, he still couldn’t rashly conclude that his father was the white piece.
The two were similarly speechless, and in the end, the only thing they could do was return to their respective rooms.
After resting for a while, the party came downstairs when it was almost noon, preparing to eat something. They originally thought that they wouldn’t be able to see Wenren Heng, but what surprised them was that they saw Wenren Heng take the initiative to come downstairs himself, and they all couldn’t help but look at him.
Wenren Heng’s gaze was extremely tranquil.
He appeared as if he had suppressed all strong emotions, with only a penetrating ice-cold sharpness remaining in his eyes and an imposing air that pressured people, leaving them not daring to underestimate him.
He said, “After eating, all of you should hurry and get back on the road.”
Academy Master Ge said, “What about you?”
Wenren Heng said, “I’ll stay behind and continue searching.”
Academy Master Ge knew that he couldn’t persuade the other and said, “Then I’ll stay with you to search.”
Wei Jiangyue and Ding Xilai opened their mouths at practically the same time, “Me too.”
“No need,” Wenren Heng said, “All of you should hurry to Shengyin City. Both me and Ah-Xiao think that, if Fuping and Mr. Xiao’s masters are different people, the other person might send people to burn down the Alliance Leader’s house.”
The group quickly sorted through the reasoning behind that statement, and all agreed that it was a possibility. Wenren Heng said, “The Alliance Leader’s place has guards. Even if that person wanted to burn down that house, he’d still need to expend some effort. All of you need to hurry to the Alliance Leader’s residence before he can make a move.”
The group understood that matters were urgent and didn’t continue to delay. After eating, they hastily packed their things again, preparing to set out.
Wei Jiangyue found Wenren Heng, still wanting to stay behind.
Wenren Heng gave him a look. “I heard Ah-Xiao say that he and you made a bet. You should go see the conclusion that he’s now unable to see. See if the Alliance Leader’s place has been burned by someone or not, and also keep an eye on your people from ‘Heaven’s Firmament’ on the way.”
The meaning behind those words were clearly evident, and it also coincidentally hit on Wei Jiangyue’s fatal weakness. The gigantic pile of excuses that Wei Jiangyue had thought up beforehand all died prematurely. After a while of silence, he asked, “You really think…”
Wenren Heng said, “That’s right. Did you think of why the white piece moved to kill right as we just stopped to rest? He used people from several major sects, and the risks inherent were enormous. If even the slightest thing went wrong, then everything would’ve been revealed, but he still used them. Why? Because he’s angry. Do you need me to explain to you why he’s angry?”
Wei Jiangyue said, “Perhaps it’s because of the matter with surrounding the mountain.”
Wenren Heng said, “You can think what you like. Regardless, me and my Junior Brother still hold to our positions.”
Wei Jiangyue felt as if the earlier feelings of dejection were once again drowning him. He stood rigidly for a moment before saying, with difficulty, “If it really is… I definitely won’t let anything happen to him.”
Wenren Heng didn’t reply and quietly watched him leave. After Wei Jiangyue left, the one who came immediately afterwards was Ding Xilai. Wenren Heng also didn’t agree to him staying and said, “This time they weren’t able to kill me, so perhaps they’ll try once more. It’d be too dangerous for you to stay here.”
Ding Xilai said, “No problem, I have ‘Moon’s Shadow’.”
Wenren Heng said, “But if the people of ‘Moon’s Shadow’ aren’t attentive enough, then I’d have to save you.”
Ding Xilai said, “That won’t happen.” Wenren Heng said, “What if it does?”
Ding Xilai said, “I promise I won’t leave the side of ‘Moon’s Shadow’. That should be fine then, right?”
Wenren Heng silently stared at him.
Ding Xilai unconsciously wanted to make a vow but quickly discovered that this person’s imposing atmosphere was too strong. From the beginning, this person hadn’t intended to wait for his vow but was purely using this type of method to tell him that there was nothing to discuss.
He had never quite dared to act too impudent to Wenren Heng’s face. Immediately terrified, he could only walk away, looking back every once in a while.
Ren Shaotian hesitated for a moment and, for now, didn’t follow his young master. He said, in a low voice, “If there’s any news of Sir Xiao, could Sect Master Wenren send us a letter?”
Wenren Heng said a simple, “Yes.”
Only then did Ren Shaotian leave to go look for his young master.
Now that everyone had been sent off, Wenren Heng once again returned to the riverside.
He wasn’t sure if the white piece would send people to watch him in secret, and so he wasted two days at the small county town before finding an opportunity to get away. In disguise, he reached the meeting place that had been prearranged to reunite with his Junior Brother.
Presently, it was already nighttime. He pushed open the room door and heard the sound of water drifting out from behind a screen. His footsteps paused, and he used a hand to push close the door.
Ye You said, “Senior Brother?”
Wenren Heng made an answering sound and slowly walked around the screen. Sure enough, he saw that his Junior Brother was currently taking a bath. He said, smiling, “You sure know how to enjoy life.”
“I’ve always been like this.” Ye You lazily leaned against the edge of the bathtub. Staring at that face that could turn the world upside down, he laughed and crooked his fingers. “Together?”
Wenren Heng naturally wouldn’t refuse, shedding his clothes and entering before pulling the person into an embrace.
Ye You asked, all smiles, “Did you cry when you couldn’t find me?” Wenren Heng said, “No.”
Ye You faintly said, “Ah, you really do have a heart of stone, Senior Brother. With my life-or-death unknown like that, you actually didn’t even cry.”
Wenren Heng said, “You’ve said these words before too, back when you lost your memories.”
Ye You remembered a certain tableau regarding Lady Xiao-Rou and made a sound in agreement. And then he suddenly felt that something wasn’t right. Why did his Senior Brother mention this thing for no reason? He felt like the other was trying to collect on old debts.
He hastily turned his head, only to realize that he had been pulled into a very tight embrace. Wenren Heng dropped a kiss on his shoulder, warm breathing brushing outwards. “I indeed was unable to cry. Why don’t you cry first to show me, and teach me how to do it? Hm?”
Ye You, “…”
Sure enough, Senior Brother was trying to collect on old debts!
Ye You thought of recent matters and, after thinking it over, pulled out a new subject, “Were those people sent to Shaolin?”
Wenren Heng said, “Yes.”
Ye You felt the other’s hand sliding downwards and dodged out of the way slightly, saying, “Senior Brother, you aren’t going to ask why I’m doubling back to Shaolin?”
Wenren Heng pressed him down and once again pulled him into an embrace, saying, “All those black-clothed men were their respective sects’ experts and elites, so it’s impossible that they’d be put under someone else’s control in the middle of the city without even making a single sound. What’s more, I’ve exchanged blows with them, and they didn’t appear to have lost their rationality. So I think that they were originally people secretly planted by the white piece. And for the sake of diverting suspicions, after the matter was over, they told everyone that they didn’t remember anything. That’s the first thing.”
Ye You wanted to give some words of praise, but before he could speak, he had to let out a gasp.
Wenren Heng said, “The second thing. If they pretended to be drugged, then they’d be sent back to Shaolin, and if they were in close proximity to Miracle Doctor Ji, then they could more easily move against him, isn’t that right?”
Ye You said, “Enough…”
This “enough” obviously wasn’t directed at Wenren Heng’s reasoning but was directed at his wicked hand. Wenren Heng looked at his Junior Brother’s appearance and his pupils darkened. He pressed the person down and kissed deep.
At this time, those people had long already arrived at Shaolin.
Miracle Doctor Ji examined them for a long while before saying, “That’s strange, it doesn’t seem like any of you were drugged.”
Those people were very afraid. “Could it be a different drug than the one used on those drugged men?”
Miracle Doctor Ji said, “It’s unclear. It’s late now, so sleep first. We’ll talk again tomorrow.”
Those people said, “All right. Thank you for the trouble, Miracle Doctor Ji.”
Miracle Doctor Ji nodded and indicated for his young disciple to give them some medicine to let them sleep more steadily.
Young Miracle Doctor Fang obediently said a word in agreement, taking out a small porcelain bottle and walking towards them.
Those people saw them slowly closing the distance and, with a concealed weapon in hand, moved to surround the Young Miracle Doctor.
Mid-Autumn had already passed, but the moonlight was still very full, and the entire mountain was layered with that faint white light.
A party of people was hidden in a place close to Shaolin, waiting quietly for any news. After an unknown amount of time, the leader wrinkled his brows. “What time is it, why are there still no movements?”
“According to the plan, they should be moving right about now.” The person next to him guessed, “I heard that, while leaving, Shaolin and Wudang sent many people to protect Miracle Doctor Ji. Maybe they haven’t been able to find an opportunity?”
The leader fell silent, not speaking.
The person next to him said, “Before, they were sent in while still tied up, so perhaps they haven’t been freed yet. Or it could be that Shaolin’s watching too closely and they couldn’t find a way to approach Miracle Doctor Ji.”
The leader nodded.
The person next him said, “Why don’t we forcefully break through ourselves?”
“We can’t. When we’re not sure about the actual situation inside, any rash moves we make will simply alert the enemy,” the leader said, “unless we have complete certainty.”
The person next to him said, “Then we…?”
The leader said, “Continue waiting. If we still can’t, then retreat.”
The person next to him made a sound in acknowledgment and continued patiently waiting.
At this moment, Elder Hei had also brought a crowd of people to guard nearby. A shadow guard noiselessly returned to tell him that the other side of the forest appeared to have some people’s silhouettes.
Elder Hei said, “Ah, sure enough, they’re here.”
Their Sect Master had returned two days prior and had said speculatively that the white piece would definitely surround Shaolin once more. Thus, he had them prepare the stage and wait. For two days, Elder Hei had waited, and finally the people had come.
He instructed, “Keep a good watch on them.” The shadow guard said, “Understood.”
Elder Hei said, “It’s very possible that they have experts in their midst. If they retreat, follow them if you’re able; if you’re not, just return. Remember to not keep too close and also to not let them hear any movements. The Sect Master says that he wants to catch some big fish this time.”
The shadow guard once again said a word of understood before ducking back into the forest.
The night gradually stilled. The white piece’s men waited for a long while but never saw the signal to move, and so the only thing they could do was retreat.
The Demonic Sect’s shadow guard tried following for a period of time, until he saw someone turn back with eyes sweeping in his direction. Although it wasn’t certain whether the other party had perceived his presence or not, just in case, he didn’t continue following in light of the circumstances, instead returning to report.
Elder Hei stood up and said, “Since they’ve retreated, let’s also retreat.”
As he finished speaking, he looked towards the sky above Shaolin, remembering that his Sect Master had said that even if the white piece’s men had come, they weren’t likely to make any moves. He immediately felt immense respect. Their Sect Master had, as always, seen through every scheme, truly incredible! At this moment, their truly incredible Sect Master had already been carried out of the bathtub and brought to the bed.
This was the Demonic Sect’s headquarters at the small county town. Everyone in the surroundings were on their side, and there was no white piece, so there was no need to plan and scheme, and there was also no important matters waiting to be done. Time was in abundance, so Wenren Heng had collected on all the debts accumulated over the years, as well as some earned recently. In happy fulfillment, he saw that moisture had started seeping out of the corners of his Junior Brother’s eyes.
He looked at this person’s aroused appearance and leaned over to bestow a kiss, saying in a rough voice, “Ah-You.”
Ye You’s face heated up, and he couldn’t stop himself from gasping out a breath, even more moisture coming out of the corners of his eyes.
Wenren Heng pulled the person into an embrace. “You like that?” Ye You honestly said, “Yes.”
He had originally been called Ah-You, and Ah-Xiao was something he had simply picked at random.
Truthfully, since a long time ago, he had especially wanted to hear his Senior Brother call him by this name, but at the time, he had decided not to tell his Senior Brother about his wish for vengeance, and he had also been deliberately avoiding his Senior Brother. And as his Senior Brother couldn’t comprehend his feelings, while also having been fiercely angered by him, the other would politely call him only Sect Master Ye, making him feel regretful to no end.
But right now, at long last, he heard it.
Wenren Heng held the person even tighter, murmuring right beside his ear, “Ah-You, I like you.”
Ye You asked, “Spoken from the heart?” Wenren Heng said, “Spoken from the heart.” Ye You asked, “If you like me this much, then let me rest for a while?”
Wenren Heng looked at him, smiling.
Ye You intuitively felt that this wasn’t good, and before he could even struggle, he was pressed down once again. His Senior Brother understood him too well and was far too clever. None of his tricks were at all useful, and while at first he had wanted to think up some schemes, afterwards, he ended up not wanting to think of anything at all.
The next morning, at the breakfast table, Elder Hei carefully relayed all that had happened the night before. Seeing how lazy his Sect Master was, he asked, “Sect Master didn’t rest well?”
Wenren Heng was listening on the side, joyfully ladling a bowl of porridge and handing it to his Junior Brother.
Ye You took it and said, “I slept quite well.”
Elder Hei examined him for a moment and, not doubting him at all, asked him what the next step was.
Ye You said, “Continue keeping watch.” Elder Hei asked, “Will they make a move?”
Ye You said, “I won’t give them the opportunity.”
Hearing this, Elder Hei felt his spirits rise, and he focused on eating his meal. Midway, he saw the Madam grabbing side dishes for the Sect Master. Suddenly feeling as if he was superfluous, he hurriedly finished eating and left. Wenren Heng looked at his Junior Brother, “In a while, do you want to rest for a bit?”
Ye You said, “There’s no need, Madam.”
Having received some material benefits, Wenren Heng didn’t bother to argue over terms of address at this kind of time and changed the topic to proper business. “Going to Shaolin?” Ye You also turned serious and said, “Yes, I’m going to take a look.” Wenren Heng said, “I’ll go with you.”
Ye You didn’t have any objections. After eating, he disguised himself as Elder Hei and got on the carriage with his Senior Brother who was disguised as a shadow guard. They went up the mountain, neither too quickly nor too slowly.
Because of Elder Miao’s presence, the people of Shaolin all recognized Elder Hei and so easily let the person in.
With practiced ease, Ye You arrived at Miracle Doctor Ji’s small courtyard. Before he had even entered, he heard some people trying to justify themselves by saying that they had no recollections of what happened last night and so had no idea about what exactly they did. With a beaming smile, he thereupon interrupted with, “These words sound quite familiar.”
The people in the small courtyard simultaneously looked over and saw Elder Hei along with a shadow guard enter the room.
Ye You hadn’t bothered to disguise his voice, so Miracle Doctor Ji, Young Miracle Doctor Fang, and Elder Miao instantly knew his identity.
Those other people’s positions weren’t low, and they had been in contact with Sir Xiao a few times before. At first, they simply thought he sounded familiar before slowly managing to react, their expressions immediately changing. Only a few of them were unaware of the reason and asked, with faces filled with astonishment, “What do you mean by this, Elder Hei?”
“What Elder Hei, he isn’t Elder Hei,” one person said, looking closely at the person who just entered, “You’re Sir Xiao?”
Ye You said, smiling, “Adventurer Zhang has a good memory. You only had to try killing me once and you already remember.”
Adventurer Zhang was the second disciple of Qingcheng Sect’s Sect Master Han and had listened to Sir Xiao’s countless loud and arrogant proclamations while following behind his Master; as such, he had been able to recognize this person. He said, “Sir Xiao has misunderstood. That night, we had been drugged.”
Ye You looked at Miracle Doctor Ji. “Were they drugged?” Miracle Doctor Ji said, “The examinations didn’t yield anything.”
Adventurer Zhang hastily moved to explain, “Perhaps it was a different drug than the one used on those drugged men.”
“That’s right, Sir Xiao.”
“This is all purely a misunderstanding. It was also only after we awoke that we knew what we had done. It’s fortunate that nothing happened to you.”
Wenren Heng sized them up.
These people had their hands tied behind their backs as they sat on the floor, and although there were no ropes on their feet, none of them stood up. After a careful examination, it became apparent that they actually had no way to move at all, and presently, they were most likely able to move only their lips and eyelids.
He guessed that this was most likely Elder Miao’s work. Taking off his disguise, he walked over to sit down at the stone table.
Those people had not looked in his direction at all, and it was only now that they suddenly saw him, resulting in all of them sucking in a deep breath.
Wenren Heng waved a hand at a nearby small monk who looked to have been startled to foolishness by the proceedings, indicating for the other to search these people’s bodies. The latter still remained staring vacantly for a moment before finally regaining his senses when he heard a second call. He obediently walked over, quickly finding a delicate concealed weapon on their bodies and handing it over to Wenren Heng.
A Wudang Sect member was also among those captured, and the Wudang disciples who had been left behind by Sect Leader Xuanyang to guard Miracle Doctor Ji couldn’t endure it upon seeing this, asking, “Sect Master Wenren, Sir Xiao, what is the meaning of this?”
“This needs to be explained starting from the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival…” Ye You was very patient and recounted all the events of that night to them. Smiling, he said, “Afterwards, Senior Brother told me that they didn’t remember anything, and I didn’t think that I’d hear these kinds of words again when I had just arrived today. What did they do last night?”
Miracle Doctor Ji said, “They almost kidnapped my disciple. Fortunately, Elder Miao had drugged them beforehand. The moment they used their internal energy, they all fell unconscious.”
Elder Miao was currently fiddling with some herbs and, upon hearing these words, silently looked at the Sect Master.
Ye You sincerely said, “Worthy of being a Demonic Sect Elder, how incredible.”
Elder Miao felt very content upon hearing this praise, feeling as if the pain from being left behind by the Sect Master had received the slightest bit of comfort. With a tense face, he said a simple, ‘you flatter me,’ before once again immersing himself in his work.
Ye You laughed and turned back his gaze, looking at the people on the floor. “The thing the white piece relies on most is the drug.
Miracle Doctor Ji and the drugged men are all at Shaolin, so to him, this place must feel like a fish bone stuck in his throat. He’d truly be expending a lot of capital by moving all of you, who had long been secretly planted in all the major sects, but the end result would also be very good for him. If it had been successful, he would be able to not only kill me but also obtain Shaolin on the way. And after burning down the Alliance Leader’s house and destroying all the evidence, he’d be able to find a scapegoat, and then everything would be over. Did I guess correctly?”
Adventurer Zhang pressed down the fear in his heart and said, “Sir Xiao, you misunderstood. We’ve truly been wronged!” “That’s right, Sir Xiao. Besides, with only the few of us, how could we possibly succeed at doing anything?”
“If we really were trying to do something here, then we’d definitely not be able to get out of it alive.”
“How about if there are people on the outside to provide support?” Wenren Heng spun the concealed weapon in his hand. “This is the signal that all of you are using to get in contact, right?”
Adventurer Zhang said, “It really isn’t.”
Wenren Heng said, “Then don’t tell me it’s all a coincidence?” Adventurer Zhang fiercely shook his head.
Wenren Heng said gently, “So yesterday night, that troop of people appearing outside of Shaolin Temple was also a coincidence?”
Adventurer Zhang felt his heart suddenly tremble, feeling as if all the cold air was crawling directly to his head. He controlled himself, forcing his voice not to shiver, “That troop of people?”
Wenren Heng said, “Yes, last night, we and the Demonic Sect’s Elder Hei were guarding outside Shaolin and saw a troop of people.
Immediately, we brought people to surround them. If you want to meet them, I can let all of you see them.”
All the color immediately drained out of Adventurer Zhang’s face. The remaining people also startled. “That’s impossible!”
Ye You added, “It was during the second night period221.”
Even more color drained from the faces of those on the ground. No matter how foolish the people of Shaolin and Wudang were, at this moment, they were also able to see that those people’s expressions weren’t right, and all of them looked over in disbelief.
Ye You said, “There’s no need to report this matter to Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang for now, in case the white piece also receives the news and has a backup plan.” The people of Shaolin and Wudang had almost unknowingly entered the gates of hell last night, and so they naturally had no objections towards the words of their life-saving benefactor, agreeing one after the other.
Ye You said, “Let’s first lock them up, and when things are over, let’s hand them all over for the elders to handle in one fell swoop.”
The people of Shaolin and Wudang nodded and pulled those people away.
Taking the opportunity while the people of Shaolin were off keeping busy, Ye You went to sit in front of Miracle Doctor Ji and asked in a low voice, “Elder, what was your relationship with your oldest disciple?”
Miracle Doctor Ji gave him a look. “What?”
Ye You said, “I think that he might come here personally.” Miracle Doctor Ji furrowed his brows.
Ye You looked at him. “Elder, I think…”
Miracle Doctor Ji returned the gaze, unconsciously thinking that he’d say some insightful words, but who could have guessed that he’d say, “I think that the people of Shaolin are about to return.”
Miracle Doctor Ji immediately didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and said, helplessly, “Our relationship is still all right.”
Ye You smiled and made a sound in acknowledgment before saying, “I just knew it. If he had really been expelled as your disciple, then he would’ve never needed to fake his death. He probably also understood that you wouldn’t be able to accept the things he did, and he was afraid that you’d be angry after you heard about them.”
Miracle Doctor Ji closed his eyes and said, “When he died that year, I took it as if he really died.”
Ye You didn’t comfort him. Miracle Doctor Ji had lived this many years and so had long been able to see through many things. There was no need for him to give any comfort, and no comfort given would be at all helpful.
Sure enough, Miracle Doctor Ji quickly calmed and asked, “What do you want to do?”
Ye You stroked the disguise on his face and asked, all smiles, “What does this elder think of using a honey trap222?”
Miracle Doctor Ji, “…”
The Wenren Heng who had been drinking tea on the side, “…”
Ye You’s talk of a honey trap was referring to the usual meaning of a honey trap, and he also wanted to use it immediately. The only issue was that he had some hesitations about choosing the location and so had needed to ponder over it some more.
This time, other than taking care of those people of the white piece, he had come to find Miracle Doctor Ji mainly to ask more things regarding the other’s oldest disciple. Now that he had finished asking, he left with his Senior Brother.
Wenren Heng saw him sitting in the carriage in deep contemplation, not speaking a word, and asked, “Thinking about how to set a honey trap?”
Ye You laughed. “Am I hearing things? Why do these words sound kind of sour to me?”
Wenren Heng ignored his teasing and continued asking, “Where do you want to set it?”
Ye You considered for a moment before saying, “Senior Brother, do you think that he’ll come to see his master?”
Wenren Heng fell silent for a time.
The human heart was the hardest to predict.
If they had a general understanding of that person’s character, then perhaps they’d be able to make a somewhat accurate judgment, but they had never even seen the other party. The only information they had was from Miracle Doctor Ji’s scant few words, and even that was Miracle Doctor Ji’s recollections from over twenty years ago; who knew whether that person’s disposition had changed.
He said, thinking it over, “Seeing how Miracle Doctor Ji was acting, I think he’s probably already somewhat aware of what the white piece has done over these years, but he’s never suffered any harm probably because of the influence of his oldest disciple.” Ye You made a sound in agreement and, following that train of thought, said, “And now those drugged men whom that miracle doctor has spent many years researching has ended up in the hands of his master, and there’s also an extremely talented youngest disciple as well as a Demonic Sect Elder who could, in a short period of time, topple those drugged men. The possibility that he’ll definitely personally come to oversee things is extremely likely. I just don’t know if he’ll enter Shaolin. Senior Brother, where do you wish me to be?”
Wenren Heng said, “Shaolin.”
Ye You said, “Other than the fact that it’ll be dangerous in the small county town, do you have any other reasons?”
Wenren Heng returned with a question, “That still isn’t reason enough?”
Ye You laughed and was about to speak further when he saw the other take out the concealed weapon that had been taken from Adventurer Zhang. He then thought of the possibility of using this item to lure those accomplices over to Shaolin so as to get rid of them but quickly gave up on the idea. For one, with the white piece ruthlessly desiring to obtain Shaolin this time, he wasn’t clear on what kind of people would come. For two, the majority of the righteous faction members had left, and those who currently remained at Shaolin weren’t guaranteed to listen to his directions; if he did that, he’d be taking too many risks.
Wenren Heng had also wanted to use this item as bait just now, but when he thought that there wasn’t sufficient enough guarantee, he dismissed the idea and said, “Endure for a few days. When they’re late in receiving the information, they might enter Shaolin to investigate. First try it. If it doesn’t work, then go down to the small county town.”
Ye You soothed their relationship and nodded. “Then let’s first start with Shaolin.”
Wenren Heng reminded, “Don’t forget Miracle Doctor Ji’s words.” Ye You said, “I know.”
He was true to his words. When they returned to headquarters, he sent someone out to prepare a new carriage, specifically a clearly expensive one, while he himself changed into some magnificent clothing and put on on a top quality jade pendant. Afterwards, he picked and chose from his shadow guards for a while before ordering them to put on some servants’ clothing and tidy up the luggage.
Then, he was ready to set out.
Elder Hei saw that he wore neither his mask nor a disguise and was immediately startled. “Sect Master, where are you going?”
Ye You said, “To seduce someone.” Elder Hei said, “…What?”
Ye You didn’t explain further, simply patting him on the shoulder, indicating that he take good care of the Madam, before leaving without turning back.
Elder Hei’s entire body felt unwell, and he saw that, at some unknown point in time, the Madam had come out and was currently standing at the doorway, looking in the direction where the Sect Master had just left. His train of thought veered in a strange direction and somehow ended up in the same place as Xie Junming’s. He asked, “The Sect Master wants to find a concubine?”
Wenren Heng gave him a look, remaining silent and not speaking a word.
Elder Hei felt as if the Madam’s silhouette appeared somewhat desolate, and he couldn’t help but add some words of comfort, “These matters, the Madam should understand…”
He was originally going to say “should understand that all men are like this”, but then he immediately remembered that this was their truly incredible Sect Master and thereupon hastily changed his words, “Our Sect Master isn’t an inconstant person. The Madam and the Sect Master have had such a great relationship as fellow disciples for so many years that, no matter what happens, the Sect Master’s heart will definitely remain yours.”
Wenren Heng smiled in a way that was nothing like a smile and didn’t take notice of any of that, instead saying, “Don’t forget to continue guarding Shaolin at night.”
Elder Hei made a sound in agreement. And after a while, he truly couldn’t endure it and asked, “Where exactly did the Sect Master go?”
Wenren Heng said, “Shaolin.”
Elder Hei was caught off guard. “What? The one he’s interested in is a monk?”
No wonder he had to set out so ostentatiously, so it turned out the other party was a monk! But the other party’s a monk, how was
Wenren Heng, “…”
Elder Hei said, “Can he succeed?”
Wenren Heng let out a soft sigh. “Over these years, it’s also been quite hard on your Sect Master.”
“Says who, it’s been us who’s had it quite hard…” As Elder Hei spoke, he passed his initial shock and, thinking it over, hesitantly said, “Ah, that’s not right, Madam. At this critical juncture, would the Sect Master really have the mind to seduce someone?”
Wenren Heng was somewhat gratified but that form of address slightly marred his satisfaction.
Elder Hei asked, “Is the Sect Master thinking of doing something?”
Wenren Heng looked at the color of the sky, and while they still had time, he took the person into the room and said, “We suspect that the white piece’s miracle doctor is Miracle Doctor Ji’s oldest disciple.”
Elder Hei was very shocked. “Didn’t his oldest disciple die?” “It’s likely he faked his death,” Wenren Heng said, “Miracle Doctor Ji said that he originally had some kind of superiority complex and that he had always wanted to try using drugs to control people. For this reason, Miracle Doctor Ji had also scolded him before. He most likely didn’t want to break with Miracle Doctor Ji completely and so he faked his death. In the past, he had liked a person, and that person was your Sect Master’s maternal uncle. Unfortunately, the other party died of illness.”
Elder Hei sucked in a breath. “Then the Sect Master…”
Wenren Heng said, “According to what Miracle Doctor Ji said, Ah- You looks a lot like his uncle.”
Elder Hei finally understood the truth behind the honey trap and asked, uneasily, “Is that oldest disciple strong? Nothing will happen to the Sect Master, right?”
Wenren Heng said, “It’s unclear.”
After all, it had already been over twenty years, and even Miracle Doctor Ji had no way of confirming how much space the dead still held in his oldest disciple’s heart, and there was even less knowing whether his disciple would be disgusted or curious or wild with joy upon seeing someone that looked a lot like an old memory.
But that still wasn’t the most important thing to be worried about. The most important thing was that that oldest disciple was an expert at making drugs and most likely kept many live-saving items on his person. And Miracle Doctor Ji also said that the position of his heart was incorrect, having grown in strangely, and that, since he had also gone through a qi deviation before, even his acupoints had deviated, so there was definitely no way to seal his acupoints. Although Ah- You’s martial skill was high, if he was unable to control even one move from the other party, then he might be immediately detected, and at that time, there was also no telling what would happen.
This was also the reason why he let Ah-You choose Shaolin.
Originally, of the places they had considered, other than Shaolin, there was also the small county town. If it was the small county town, the news of the sudden appearance of a beauty would travel even faster to the other party’s ears, but in the small county town, innocent fishes were also mixed in with the vicious dragons and so it would be even easier to drug someone. The danger was too high, so in comparison, Shaolin was still more dependable.
He said, “For the next few days, send people in disguise to Shaolin to light some incense and keep watch on the movements inside.”
Elder Hei hastily said an ‘understood’ and went out to prepare.
Ye You had used an ordinary speed to travel, and when the carriage entered Shaolin, shaking and swaying, it was already late evening.
The autumn sunset warmed up half the sky, and all of Shaolin was immersed in its halo.
He stepped off the carriage and raised his head to take the measure of the building in front of him. He slowly walked through the doors before then piously entering the main hall to light a stick of incense. Upon seeing the attending monk on the side, he amiably said that he wanted to have a discussion with the Abbot.
The attending monk put his palms together and told him that the Abbot had left the mountain on business.
Ye You asked, “Then right now who’s in charge of Shaolin?”
The attending monk asked, “What kind of business does Benefactor have?”
Ye You said, “My younger brother’s health has been especially bad for the past month. Thus, I’ve come to recite some scripture and pray for blessings for the next seven days, so I want to stay here. Would this be convenient?”
The attending monk had some hesitations.
Their Shaolin did have residences specifically set aside for pilgrims to live, but Miracle Doctor Ji was currently at the temple and the Abbot had also instructed, before he left, to be more cautious in this respect, or else they might be infiltrated by someone.
Ye You asked, “What, is it too inconvenient?”
The attending monk didn’t dare to make the decision alone and so asked him to wait for a moment before going to find his Martial Uncle.
In a short while, a Master entered through the door; it was Abbot Ciyuan’s Junior Brother, Master Cihui.
Ye You had spent several days specially observing the people of Shaolin and so naturally recognized this Master, and along with the fact that he’d also investigated the people of Shaolin and Wudang beforehand, he thought that this person would probably be reliable, so he didn’t try to hide himself and politely greeted the other.
Master Cihui startled upon recognizing this person’s voice.
Ye You said, “Master, I want to stay here. I don’t know if there are still rooms available?”
Master Cihui regained his senses and inquired after his circumstances only to hear him say, as if deeply worried and sick at heart, about how miserable his younger brother was, how this younger brother almost couldn’t make it, and the Master’s always steady expression nearly couldn’t be maintained. The person faintly rolled his eyes and couldn’t endure listening further, saying an, “Amitabha,” before agreeing and then personally bringing the other to the guest room. On the way, Master Cihui took the opportunity to ask, “Benefactor Xiao, this is…”
Ye You said, “Master, this one is surnamed Ye.” Master Cihui said, “Benefactor Ye.”
Ye You made a sound in agreement and said, “I suspect that the white piece will surround Shaolin once more.”
Master Cihui’s expression changed. “What?” “Shhh——” Ye You interrupted him. “Master, keep calm, no need to get flustered. It’s only a suspicion. Besides, haven’t I returned?”
Master Cihui practically didn’t know what to reply and asked, “Does the Abbot and the others know?”
Ye You said, “They don’t. The white piece wants to burn the Alliance Leader’s house and, midway, even sent people to assassinate me, so I faked my death. Right now, the Abbot and the others are all hurrying to stop the white piece from burning that house.”
“…” Master Cihui slowly digested this news.
Ye You said, “In short, for the next few days, I’ll stay here at Shaolin first, and if there’s nothing wrong, then I’ll go find them.”
The sky quickly turned dark.
Elder Hei obediently brought people to guard outside. Upon hearing his subordinate say that he had once again found people’s shadows within the forest, he told them to keep an eye on them just like last night.
Those people were completely unaware that Adventurer Zhang had already been taken care of, and that the concealed weapon used to send out signals had also been confiscated. They waited for a long while and once again retreated without any success. Having received the news, Elder Hei also left.
In this way, a day passed, and the next night, that troop of people waited again, before once again helplessly withdrawing.
Elder Hei returned to report and asked the Madam how many times they’d try.
Wenren Heng said, “I don’t think that they have that much patience. Send people to light some incense again tomorrow.”
Elder Hei nodded and returned to his room to sleep. Over these two days, Ye You had truly been reciting scripture, and he was especially devout. He had also even discussed the matter of his pitiful and out-of-luck younger brother with Master Cihui, even pulling out an entire birth date for Master Cihui to divine with223.
Master Cihui was helpless. “Benefactor Ye, this monk is not an expert at divination.”
Ye You said, “No matter, there’s no harm in trying.”
Thus, Master Cihui could only use his scant knowledge to divine for a bit and, in the end, found it surprisingly easy, saying, “This benefactor has a life gifted with riches and honor, with no worries in regard to food and clothing.”
Ye You said, smiling, “The Master is deserving of the title of Master. Your divining is quite accurate.”
Master Cihui was unclear whose birth date this was, but he knew that it was definitely not Wenren Heng’s because this person’s age was younger than Wenren Heng’s. Could it actually be Benefactor Xiao’s younger brother? But wasn’t he Elder Yu’s disciple? Hadn’t he been missing for ten years? Wasn’t it even said that he’d lost his memories? Where exactly did this younger brother come from?”
Ye You pretended that he didn’t see the questions in the other’s eyes and continued chatting with the other for a bit longer before then going to walk around Shaolin. He even specifically picked places where there were more fellow pilgrims.
His looks were able to shake one’s heart to the core, and the shock he gave was similarly powerful, so everyone immediately started upon seeing him. Following that, there were people who approached to start a conversation, and Ye You held his temper to deal with them.
Not perceiving anything wrong, he internally thought that that oldest disciple’s truly good at remaining composed, before then walking away disappointed.
Just as he turned around, a sound echoed from behind him. “Xiao-Fang, don’t run around everywhere, stop right there!” Upon hearing chaotic footsteps sounding from behind him, Ye You turned his head to look, seeing a fifteen or sixteen-year-old little girl currently running forwards, absolutely seething, and right about to pass him. At this moment, she met his face and, caught off guard, couldn’t help but let out a cry, stopping in her tracks.
The person behind her had also coincidentally caught up and also stopped upon seeing him.
Ye You thought that it was an ordinary father and daughter having an argument and was about to leave when he heard an extremely soft murmur, “Ah-Cheng…”
His heart turned cold, but as if nothing had ever happened, he continued walking. He then heard the person behind him running over and, following that, felt his hand being grabbed, as he’s suddenly pulled into turning around.
That father closely stared at him, expression clearly in disbelief, seeping with pain, as if about to break into tears. “Ah-Cheng?”
Ye You internally thought that the person has finally arrived, but before he could even open his mouth, he keenly discovered that the anguish in this person’s eyes had quickly dissipated and a boiling heat and thread of danger had replaced it. In his heart, he was immediately somewhat astonished.
It looked like this face of his was even more useful than he had imagined.
Miracle Doctor Ji’s oldest disciple was called Cong Yun.
Ye You could discover only that this person had been picked up by Miracle Doctor Ji, and he didn’t know where this name had come from. The only thing he was certain about was that this person was discriminatory and cold-blooded, not very suited to such a picturesque name as “Cong Yun”224.
Cong Yun had become famous at a young age, and when he faked his death, he had still been a youth of only sixteen or seventeen. Even after over twenty years, he still had yet to reach the age of forty.
He looked very upright, and perhaps owing to his exquisite medical expertise or perhaps owing to having lived too well these past several years, he didn’t look even a bit old. If he said he was twenty-eight or twenty-nine, people would probably still believe him.
The pink-clothed little girl on the side had been startled for a moment by Cong Yun’s abrupt movement and, afterwards, didn’t run around anymore, obediently walking over to his side to stand. With wide, bright eyes, she curiously looked at them.
At Ye You’s current level, he was able to determine a person’s strength through just their breathing, footsteps, or other minutely subtle things. Now that this little girl had suddenly calmed down and wasn’t deliberately making her footsteps chaotic, she was no longer able to escape Ye You’s eyes even though she walked only a few steps.
This girl’s martial skill isn’t weak, he thought.
He didn’t know whether it had anything to do with the drug, only that when he and his Senior Brother were this age, they didn’t have as much strength as her. As time went on, this girl would definitely become an expert.
He looked at Cong Yun and attempted to free himself, politely saying, “I believe this gentleman has recognized the wrong person. This one is surnamed Ye.” Cong Yun loosened his hand, though his eyes still stared at the other, unblinking, but he carefully suppressed his burning mood until it wasn’t so clearly forceful. He said, “Young sir looks very much like one of my friends. Apologies for my rudeness.”
Ye You said, smiling, “No harm done. With so many people in this word, it’s not surprising that some would look alike.”
Cong Yun asked, “Young sir also came to light some incense?”
Ye You said, “Yes, my younger brother’s health is not good. For his sake, I came to recite some scripture and pray for blessings.”
“Do you know how exactly he’s unwell?” Seeing the other’s eyes carry a hint of question, Cong Yun explained, “If the young sir does not take offense, then there’s no harm in talking about it. I’m a doctor, so perhaps I can provide some help.”
Ye You sighed. “He was born prematurely. Since he was small, he’s been weak and prone to illness. In the past month, he’s always saying that he’s tired, and there’s also no color on his face. He even faints with the slightest movement. Our family has invited doctors before, and he’s also tried many different kinds of medicine, but there’s never been any improvement.”
Cong Yun said, “If the young sir allows, why don’t I go for an examination?”
Ye You said, “All right, but I’ve already made a vow to Buddha to recite scripture for seven days. Right now, it’s been only two days, so I still need to stay for five more.”
Cong Yun could tell that this “all right” was said without much sincerity, and thinking that the other didn’t trust his skill, he smiled and didn’t speak further. In contrast, the little girl standing on the side wasn’t so polite and said, “My daddy’s medical skill is very incredible. He’s definitely more useful than you reciting scripture.”
Ye You smiled as he teased, “Oh? Just now I saw you stomping around all angry, and now you’re helping to speak up for your dad?” The little girl suddenly remembered what happened just now
and hmph’d out a ‘don’t overstep’, not looking at her dad, wearing a face as if she was still in an argument. She was fairly good-looking, and she looked even cuter with a bit of additional arrogance, leaving people unable to muster even the slightest feeling of annoyance.
Those in the surroundings had already been looking over because of Ye You’s presence, and at this moment, they also couldn’t help but look at her.
Ye You also looked at her with a slight smile.
Seeing that this young sir didn’t want to continue the previous subject, Cong Yun didn’t mention his medical expertise again. Rubbing the little girl on the head, he said, “Young sir is mocking us.”
Ye You said, “I wouldn’t.”
Deep down, he understood it all very clearly. They had originally wanted to have this little girl run every which way while Cong Yun chased behind, taking the opportunity to look at Shaolin’s layout. If, by happenstance, she was able to run to Miracle Doctor Ji’s place, then it’d be even better. But this method was a little too simple and rough, so these two people couldn’t be the only ones who were here.
During the time he was considering this, another man came up to them.
This person was just a little over thirty, with deeply outlined facial features. With a taut face, this person seemed to give off a detached coldness as if he was a thousand miles away from everyone else, but when he walked close enough, he let out a faint smile, which instantly let people feel near and dear to his heart. And, what’s more, this was an expert martial artist.
Who could this be?
Ye You wondered in his heart.
The man was also currently looking at him and asked, “And this is?” “A young sir who we met just now, surnamed Ye.” As Cong Yun spoke, he also introduced this person to Ye You, “This is my friend, surnamed Liu. He’s also a doctor.”
Doctor? Ye You’s heart skipped a beat. Is it Demonic Medicine King?
But according to what Ghost Gentleman said, Demonic Medicine King wasn’t included in that group of monsters. Could it be that Demonic Medicine King had never been sent to the villa and had always been by Cong Yun’s side? Or could he simply be thinking too much, and this was another expert that the white piece had found?
Ye You politely gave a word of greeting and, while looking at the Cong Yun who was well within his reach, moved his fingertips slightly.
The white piece had always relied on Cong Yun, and killing Cong Yun would be equivalent to cutting off one of the white piece’s arms. This was something that he had wanted to do since a long time ago. It didn’t matter even if Demonic Medicine King was standing right there. Killing Cong Yun right under Demonic Medicine King’s eyes was something he should still be able to do. With a strike of a palm, even if Cong Yun didn’t die, he’d still be heavily wounded.
But the problem was, exactly how many people did the white piece send here?
In case the first time didn’t succeed, and Cong Yun was saved by Demonic Medicine King and the others, it’d be even more difficult if he wanted to try a second time.
What’s more, this was Shaolin, and Miracle Doctor Ji and the drugged men were all here. If Cong Yun truly died, then would Demonic Medicine King be angered enough to take his subordinates and launch an immediate counterattack?
He muttered indistinctly to himself for a while, thinking that, regardless, it seemed that it wasn’t worth it to make a move right now. He needed to find a more dependable method to kill this person. After he finished thinking, he tucked away that bit of killing intent in his heart and smiled, just as friendly as before.
Since Cong Yun had met this person, he had never removed his gaze.
As he looked at this young sir, his mind was full of that person from his memories, and he was completely unaware of this person’s schemes to kill him. He said, “This meeting must have been fate.
Why don’t we go together down the mountain to drink?”
Changing the direction of his thoughts, Ye You said mildly, “I can’t. For these seven days, I must abstain from meat and recite scripture.”
Cong Yun said, “We could drink tea.”
Ye You smiled and said, “But I still need to recite scripture. Let’s pick a different day.”
When he finished speaking, he looked at the little girl and told her that this was a place where Buddhists cultivate spirituality, so she should listen to her daddy’s words and not run everywhere. And then he took his leave.
In the instant when he turned around, out of the corners of his eyes, he saw Cong Yun moving an arm slightly. In a flash, he tensed his muscles, bracing himself to intercept it, only to see the man suspected of being Demonic Medicine King grabbing Cong Yun’s wrist. Only then did he feel at ease enough to leave.
From the first glance, Cong Yun’s eyes had held a flash of danger, with the other even willing to toss away the business at Shaolin to invite him off the mountain, and combined with that small movement right as he left… All these various indicators made it clear that his guess was correct: Cong Yun wanted to kidnap him.
If it hadn’t been for that man’s obstruction, Cong Yun might have actually kidnapped him in full view of everyone.
But this madman should’ve already been able to tell that he wasn’t his uncle. He was somewhat curious. What exactly did Cong Yun want to do after kidnapping him? The Demonic Sect’s shadow guards were right nearby, and upon seeing this, caught up with him, saying in a low voice, “Young Master, that person just now seemed like he wanted to make a move.”
“I know, I saw it,” Ye You said, “I’m going to recite scripture. All of you go walk around nearby, and try your best to find out how many people they have.”
The shadow guards said, “Understood.”
These shadow guards were those that Ye You had picked as servants on his way out, and they all looked very ordinary, counted among the category of people who could be thrown into a pile of people to ask a few questions and be forgotten immediately after a blink. After they saw off their young master, they then became like the common folk, finding a place to rest and chat. Subsequently, there were two people who, as if bored by this state of affairs, went to walk around a bit before returning.
In this period of time, there was a person who had come to find these shadow guards to chat, both explicitly and implicitly trying to probe into the young master’s affairs.
The shadow guards had already prepared their words, and they puffed out their chest, saying arrogantly, “Our young master is from the north, from a great family. Young Master really dotes on the Second Young Master, so with our Second Young Master recently ill, the Young Master decided to come to Shaolin. Let me tell you, these two brothers’ relationship would move even the heavens! You need to know that our Young Master is usually extremely busy! Extremely, extremely busy!”
The person who had come nodded in agreement and asked, “From the north, is it the capital?”
The shadow guards feigned mystery. “There’s no need to worry about this. I can tell you only that it’s a great family, a great family.”
That person was amazed. “Could it be a family of government officials?” The shadow guards chuckled. “If I say it, it’ll scare you to death.” That person indicated that he was all ears.
The shadow guards said, “So for your sake, we won’t say it.” That person, “…”
Those shadow guards laughed, and no matter what the person asked, they didn’t answer. After a few more times, this person realized that they were tight-lipped and could only give up. After chatting a bit more, they then returned to report.
These past few days, Elder Hei had also sent subordinates to light some incense. These subordinates had agreed to pay attention to the Sect Master’s movements and so had honestly told Elder Hei about what had happened.
Elder Hei thereupon went directly to find the Madam. Wenren Heng said, “Two men, one woman?”
Elder Hei said, “Yes, they and the Sect Master exchanged a few words, and it’s said that when the Sect Master was leaving, one of the men seemed like he wanted to block the Sect Master, but he was stopped by the other one. Afterwards, that person began inquiring about the Sect Master’s matters. Madam, do you think he’s that oldest disciple, or is he simply a regular pilgrim who’s become captivated with the Sect Master?”
Wenren Heng returned with a question, “Is there any difference?”
Elder Hei silently thought for a moment and, after thinking about it, internally thought that’s right, no matter who it is, the other party’s still attracted only to the Sect Master’s face!
He asked, “What do we do now?”
Wenren Heng said, “Wait. If Ah-You has some ideas, he’ll inform us.” Elder Hei said, “What if he doesn’t have the time to inform us?” Wenren Heng said, “Then he’ll tell me.”
Elder Hei said, “Wait, no, if he already doesn’t have time, how will he tell us?”
Wenren Heng said, “He’ll tell me after the fact. He wouldn’t walk into danger alone.”
Elder Hei thought of the Sect Master’s disposition and expressed, very doubtfully, “Re… really?”
Really, as long as a certain person still wanted to get out of bed.
Wenren Heng thought in his heart, as he made a sound in acknowledgment and said, “Tonight, I want to eat Tianzhai House’s seasonal delicacy, Yipin Hot Pot225.
Elder Hei, “…”
Were these two things at all related?!
Wenren Heng raised a brow.
Elder Hei dared to be angry deep down but didn’t dare to actually say it out loud and went out to buy this ridiculous seasonal delicacy of Yipin Hot Pot.
A day passed by quite quickly.
Ye You truly had held his temper and sat in the main hall for an entire day.
The small monk had already observed him for two days and was extremely curious.
This young sir was holding a string of prayer beads, sitting cross- legged on the prayer mat, head lowered slightly, with the scriptures spread out before him, staring so blankly that not even one page had been turned. Rather than saying that he was reciting scripture, it was more accurate to say that he was completely lost in thought. The glimmers of light in front of the Buddha were shining down on his eyelashes, making him appear as if he had sunk deep into another world entirely.
Ye You perceived his gaze and looked towards him, with smiling eyes that seemed to carry some profound contemplation, especially bewitching.
The small monk received a fright and didn’t dare to look again.
Ye You smiled and said, “Does the little master have some business?”
The small monk hesitated for a moment before saying, “Benefactor, reciting scripture needs to be sincere.”
Ye You said, “I’m very sincere.”
The small monk said, “But I haven’t heard you recite.”
Ye You said, deadly earnest, “I’m reciting it in my heart. There’s only one person in my heart, and everything I think is for the sake of wishing him well.” If you count letting him die a little easier as wishing him well.
The small monk said, “If Buddha hears, then they’d definitely bless Benefactor.”
“It’d be great if so.” Ye You smiled and stood up.
The things he wanted to do would definitely save many people. If Buddha could hear him, then they’d definitely bless him. But he didn’t believe in these kinds of things. He believed only in the human capacity to prevail against all odds.
He held his impulse to stretch and unhurriedly exited the main hall, preparing to eat the unpalatable Buddhist meals again.
The shadow guards followed him, saying in a low voice, “Young Master, they left, and they seemed to have gotten into an argument right before they left.”
Ye You said, “Oh?” The shadow guards said, “Those two men looked like they were both quite angry. These subordinates didn’t dare to approach, so we don’t know what they argued about.”
Ye You considered for a moment before asking, “Did any of you bring sleeping drugs?”
The shadow guards didn’t understand his intentions but still told him that they had brought some.
Ye You said, “Lend me some to use tonight.”
The shadow guards said, “Who does Young Master want to knock unconscious? These subordinates will do it for you.”
Ye You said, “I want to knock all of you unconscious.” The shadow guards, “…”
Ye You said, “Remember not to resist.”
The shadow guards tried to endure it but couldn’t, “Young Master, are you being serious?”
Ye You said, “I am. All of you could simply pretend to be unconscious. The most important thing is that I want people to be able to smell the sleeping drug in the room the next day. Just remember this…”
The shadow guards silently finished listening and understood.
Thus, that night, when they smelled the drug, they really didn’t try to resist. They simply held their breaths and then went somewhere else to stay for a while, only returning once the smell of the drug had diminished in the room. They then slept with the remnants of the drug still in the air.
The next morning, they ran out of the small courtyard, as if panicked to no end, to find Master Cihui, telling him that their young master had disappeared.
Master Cihui’s expression changed. “What?” The shadow guards said in anguish, “What do we do, Master? Yesterday night, our young master was kidnapped by someone!”
Wenren Heng didn’t know when his Junior Brother would send him some news.
Right now, he was living at the Demonic Sect’s headquarters, and with people guarding every which way, when he went to sleep, he also didn’t bolt the doors, so when he was woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of the door opening, his first reaction was astonishment.
This was headquarters, so this couldn’t possibly be a thief sneaking in.
What’s more, even if his Junior Brother had sent someone to pass on some information, the other party wouldn’t just come in without even a word of greeting.
As he listened to the footsteps that were neither too fast nor too slow, he didn’t move for the time being, prepared to see what this person wanted to do. He then perceived that this person was making straight for him, the flavor of it as if the other was approaching without the slightest pause.
He immediately raised a hand to stop the other party, but upon hearing a familiar soft laugh by his ear, he immediately loosened his hold. “Ah-You?”
Ye You said a, “Yes,” and lowered his head to drop a kiss on the other’s lips.
Wenren Heng smelled the faint scent of fragrant water on this person’s body and knew that the other had gone to take a bath before entering the room. He then brought the person onto the bed and asked, “What happened?”
Ye You said, “I pretended to go missing.”
Wenren Heng understood the moment he heard this and asked, “Cong Yun was very interested in you?” Ye You said, “He wanted to kidnap me the moment he saw me, what do you think?”
Wenren Heng said, “And then?”
Ye You said, “The person next to him was very likely Demonic Medicine King. My men saw that they had a disagreement today, and I’m guessing that Cong Yun either wanted to stay over at Shaolin or wanted to make a move tonight, but Demonic Medicine King didn’t agree. In any case, I’m probably not wrong in thinking that that madman wants me in his hands.”
Wenren Heng then understood why the other had ran off after meeting that person for the first time, and he also knew that, since the outside of Shaolin was guarded by both Elder Hei and the white piece’s men, his Junior Brother had definitely used some lightness skill to sneak away via the back mountains. Embracing the other, he said, “Sleep first. We’ll talk again tomorrow.”
Ye You obediently laid down, and with that familiar warmth by his side, he quickly fell into a deep sleep.
Thus, the next morning, when Elder Hei came over to inquire about what the Madam wanted to eat for breakfast, he ended up seeing their Sect Master walking out of the room. He reflexively said, “Good morning, Sect Master.”
Ye You nodded. “Good morning.”
Right as Elder Hei prepared to return to looking for the Madam, he regained his senses, suddenly turning his head and saying in shock, “S-S-Sect Master?!”
Ye You laughed and said, “Very surprised?”
This also wasn’t the first, or even the second, time that Elder Hei had been frightened by the Sect Master, so after shouting out those words, on account of his experience, he regained his usual calm and asked, “Wasn’t Sect Master staying at Shaolin?”
Ye You said, deadly earnest, “I was missing the Madam far too much, so I came back the very night.” Wenren Heng, “…”
Elder Hei opened and closed his mouth, deeply moved.
This was their truly incredible, truly clever Sect Master, and even when doing such a big thing, he didn’t forget to come look in on the Madam. How deeply was he in love? Was he telling the truth or not?
He couldn’t help but steal a glance at Wenren Heng, feeling as if this was his first time realizing that this rascal was actually such a formidable, tempting beauty. Damnit, the Sect Master likes you this much, so if you dare hurt him in the future, no one from the
Demonic Sect will ever let you go!
After he thought this through, he went over to ask, “Madam, what kind of porridge do you want for breakfast?”
Wenren Heng said, “Just choose according to your Sect Master’s tastes.”
At least you’re conscientious!
Elder Hei said a word of ‘yes’ and then turned around to leave only to hear the Sect Master call for him. At that, he looked over.
Ye You said, “Yesterday, I chatted with a certain person. Did all of you notice?”
Elder Hei said, “The two men, one woman?”
Ye You said, “Yes, that little girl’s father will definitely come again today. Keep an eye on him, and tell me how he reacts.”
Elder Hei said, “Understood.”
At this time, Shaolin had already boiled over.
Master Cihui went to Sir Xiao’s room to look around and quickly reached a conclusion: the room had traces of a sleeping drug, so Sir Xiao had been drugged and kidnapped by someone. The shadow guards were worried to no end, “How can we make this right, Master. Let’s report this to the authorities!”
Master Cihui almost thought he had misheard. “Report to the authorities?”
The shadow guards said, “We need to report to the authorities! How savage is it to drug and kidnap someone! How could we not report this!”
Master Cihui was about to say that matters in the martial arts circle weren’t for the courts to decide, but before he opened his mouth, he suddenly realized that Sir Xiao’s identity now wasn’t one of a person of Jianghu; the other was simply a rich family’s son. According to common sense, they had to report to the authorities. But Sir Xiao’s subordinates couldn’t possibly be ordinary commoners. Could they have other intentions?
He couldn’t help but carefully examine their expressions.
The shadow guards’ eyes were red, and they looked at him pitifully. Master Cihui fell silent.
He began considering whether these people were people from Shuangji Sect, or if they were people that Sir Xiao had temporarily hired from who-knew-where, or could it be… this group of people were simply putting on an act?
“Master, do you have a way to find our young master? If you don’t, then let’s not delay. We need to hurry and report to the authorities.” The shadow guards said, choked with emotion, “Our young master’s health isn’t good, and he also looks like that, so who knows what’ll happen to him after he’s kidnapped…”
“That’s right, Master, ah sob…”
Master Cihui finally decided that they weren’t acting, and he also grew anxious in his heart. What’s more, Sir Xiao’s worth right now was incredibly high, and he absolutely couldn’t allow the the other to encounter a mishap right under his eyes, but reporting to the authorities was… He said, “The other party could come and leave from Shaolin without leaving a trace, and without making a sound, so it’s definitely an expert. It’s not guaranteed that the authorities will be able to catch this person.”
One of the shadow guards said, crying, “Then what could we do?”
Another person said, “Master, how about this, why don’t we search nearby? No matter what, it’d still be better than waiting around here.”
Master Cihui internally thought that’s true and agreed on the spot.
Since Miracle Doctor Ji and the others were still here, he didn’t call for too many people, leaving behind a large portion to be prepared for any eventualities, before going to search the mountains.
The shadow guards followed behind, and one of them still remained extremely worried, his eyes gleaming with tears.
His colleague endured for a while before saying, in a low voice, “You’re overdoing it a little.”
That person looked at his colleague, his tears sliding down without stopping.
The colleague went silent for a moment before asking, “You used too much of the hot peppers?”
That person nodded and continued crying.
These colleagues let out a sigh, bemoaning the fate of humanity, and one after another, reached out a hand to pat that person’s head.
Naturally, there wouldn’t be any results from searching the mountains, and Master Cihui, helpless, could only bring the people back. At this time, one of the shadow guards had already cried so much that his eyes swelled, appearing endlessly tragic. Upon seeing this, even Master Cihui didn’t dare to tell this person that he didn’t have any ideas whatsoever, simply saying, in an attempt at comfort, that he’d do his utmost to continue searching. The shadow guard said, “Master, why don’t we report to the authorities after all…”
He had gotten only mid-sentence when he suddenly looked towards the nearby crowd.
The pilgrims were currently coming up the mountain one after the other, stepping into the front courtyard in twos and threes, walking and talking, looking very joyful and harmonious. Master Cihui saw that the other’s bearing wasn’t quite right and was about to ask when he saw them rushing toward one of the people. He hurriedly followed after.
The shadow guard found the person who had asked him about the young master yesterday and quickly blocked the man’s way.
After receiving such a sudden fright, that person saw that it was them and unconsciously wanted to laugh, but then he quickly saw that their expressions weren’t quite right, and he couldn’t help but retreat half-a-step, internally raising some defenses.
The shadow guards stared at him closely. “Yesterday, you asked about our young master. Did you have some other intentions?”
That person said, “No, it was purely out of curiosity.”
The shadow guards said, “Speak the truth. Was it someone who prompted you to do that?”
That person looked at the state that they were in and asked, “Did something happen?”
“As if you don’t know! Our young master was kidnapped yesterday!” The shadow guard with his eyes swelling from tears used both hands to grab this person’s collar. Although this abrupt action really did have some strength to it, those nearby saw his eyes and felt that he actually looked quite fragile. He said, “If you know something, tell me! Such a good person as our young master, if he’s harmed, we… we won’t let you go even if we die and become ghosts!”
The remaining shadow guards simultaneously nodded. “Yes!” That person’s heart startled, and before he was able to say that it had nothing to do with him, Cong Yun had walked over. “What did all of you say?”
The shadow guard gave him a look. “Who are you?”
One of them immediately followed with, “I recognize you. You talked with our young master yesterday.”
Cong Yun nodded and asked, “What happened to him?”
The shadow guards said, “Young master was kidnapped yesterday.” Cong Yun said, “Yesterday?”
The shadow guards said, “It was probably during the night. The room smells like sleeping drugs.”
Cong Yun immediately said, “Bring me to his room to see.” The shadow guards looked at him doubtfully.
Cong Yun said, “I’ll be able to smell what kind of sleeping drug it is. Perhaps we can find out who used it.”
“Then quickly come with us!” The shadow guards didn’t even ask whether he was telling the truth or not, as if they were desperate enough to try anything. They dragged him with them as they ran to the young master’s living quarters.
With Cong Yun having left like that, the white piece’s men who had been guarding in secret all moved cautiously towards that direction, so as to protect him at any time. Demonic Medicine King also naturally saw these movements and followed after at once. Right as he entered the room, he heard Cong Yun say, “It’s Layered Fog.”
The shadow guards asked, with red eyes, “Then… can you tell who used it?”
Cong Yun said, “I can’t, but it’s definitely someone from Jianghu. This drug is used quite a bit by those in Jianghu.”
Demonic Medicine King walked to his side. “What happened?” Cong Yun looked at the other. “Sir Ye was kidnapped.”
Upon seeing that his expression was cold, Demonic Medicine King’s breathing immediately tightened. But before the other could even speak, he had retracted his gaze while also taking the opportunity to stow away his mood.
The shadow guards didn’t miss those minute changes of his, internally thinking that as expected, the person that Sect Master wanted us to keep an eye on wasn’t someone ordinary. They then
continued to act out the play with, “Then… then would reporting to the authorities be of any use?”
Cong Yun said, “Unlikely.”
The shadow guard with the swollen eyes once again cried in anguish, “Then what can we do. If our young master meets with an unfortunate accident… Ah…”
As he spoke, he couldn’t even choke out a breath, directly fainting on the spot. His colleague hastily caught him and, before Cong Yun could come over to feel his pulse, hurriedly pinched this
person’s philtrum226 to “wake him”, expression also turning into one of anguished grief.
Cong Yun didn’t comfort them, simply turning around and leaving, incredibly neat and efficient.
The shadow guards’ nervous hearts were beating as fast as drums, and they simply nodded in response to Master Cihui’s attempts to placate them on the side. Upon seeing all these people leave, they couldn’t help but look at each other in dismay. One of them asked, in a small voice, “We couldn’t have been seen through, right?”
“It doesn’t seem like it. When you fainted, he didn’t even bother to look at you.”
“So we did end up getting seen through, then?”
“I don’t think so. Did you see his expression just now? Particularly cold and indifferent, as if it didn’t matter if you died or not.” “Oh…”
The shadow guards discussed for a time and decided to continue acting out the play, running out to chase after Master Cihui to cry some more.
When Cong Yun left, Demonic Medicine King also followed after and finally found an opportunity to explain, “It wasn’t me. If I really had the ability to kidnap him, I’d have already given him to you. I wouldn’t hide him and leave you distracted.”
Cong Yun said, “I know this.”
Demonic Medicine King let out a small breath of relief.
Cong Yun said, “I should’ve stayed here yesterday. If I had stayed here, no one would’ve been able to take this opportunity.”
Demonic Medicine King said, guiltily, “Who knew that he would be kidnapped overnight.”
Cong Yun said, “I want to find him.”
Demonic Medicine King said, “But you can’t forget that we came out this time…”
Cong Yun didn’t wait for him to finish before looking at him, saying, one word at a time, “I said that I want to find him. No matter the cost.”
Demonic Medicine King saw that the other’s eyes were somewhat red and felt his own heart turn cold, knowing that the other was truly furious. At this time, it’d be useless even if he raised the reminder to think of the big picture, the drugged men, or Miracle Doctor Ji. If the person truly couldn’t be found, then this madman might actually just burn down all of Shaolin.
He asked, “How do you want to look?”
Cong Yun didn’t answer. After he walked around once nearby, he then directly left Shaolin. These matters were quickly relayed to the Demonic Sect’s headquarters.
Ye You was currently playing a game with his Senior Brother. He held a piece in his hands and said, all smiles, “Now this is interesting.”
Elder Hei didn’t understand. “What?”
Ye You said, “A person who, for the sake of researching some drugged men, refused to return to his teacher, even going as far as to fake his death in order to do so. I originally thought that, compared to a stranger who looked like someone from his old memories, his great undertaking would still take precedent. But who could’ve known that it wouldn’t.”
Elder Hei said, “Then what should we do?”
Ye You put down the piece and said, smiling, “Tempt him out, and kill him.”
Ye You’s words were said easily, but actually carrying out those words was somewhat troublesome.
Because according to common sense, with a person kidnapping another, and this person’s own strength being quite strong, the kidnapper would be unlikely to expose any mistakes or clues for others to find. What’s more, Cong Yun and them also weren’t idiots. If he made even one misstep, then it’d be just like telling them that this matter was suspicious.
The chessboard had long been taken away.
With Elder Hei gone to continue keeping watch on Shaolin, they were once again the only two people left in the room. Wenren Heng unhurriedly prepared a pot of tea and poured a cup for his Junior Brother.
Ye You accepted it but didn’t drink it for now.
The faint smell of tea mixed into the air, spreading out into spirals with the steam. This fragrance was something that only his Senior Brother could prepare, and his spirits slowed and relaxed as he leaned against the soft couch, before looking at his Senior Brother.
Wenren Heng asked, “You’re finally willing to look at me?” Ye You beamed as he crooked a finger at the other.
Wenren Heng resisted the temptation to kiss and simply smiled before taking a seat on the chair next to him.
Ye You asked, “Senior Brother, if you kidnapped someone, what would you do?”
In contrast to that elegant appearance he was carrying, Wenren Heng said, “If that someone is like you, then I’d definitely be impatient to enjoy him first.”
Ye You let out a laugh. Although he knew that his Senior Brother’s words had some elements of impropriety, he was also able to hear the actual implications. Following his Senior Brother’s train of thought, he considered and then asked, “Is there a type of drug in this world that, after being eaten, would make the person unable to be touched by others?”
Wenren Heng returned with a question, “Whether there is or not, does it matter?”
Ye You raised a brow. “Wouldn’t something this obvious arouse suspicion?”
“Anxiety will lead to confusion.” Wenren Heng said, “If the person I desired was kidnapped by someone, I’d definitely be worried, and at this time, if there was even one thing that I could believe in, then I’d definitely try believing in it.”
Ye You thoughtfully repeated, “As long as there’s one thing…”
Wenren Heng added, “On the premise that those subordinates of yours would be able to continue with this charade. If they get seen through, then this whole enterprise would fail.”
Ye You said, “Our Demonic Sect’s shadow guards are also responsible for collecting information, so their acting should definitely not have any issues.”
Wenren Heng considered for a moment before offering an idea, “Or you could simply not let them know, and simply lend a hand by turning the whole board over to Cong Yun to determine.”
Ye You immediately understood his Senior Brother’s meaning. Thinking that that could work, he said a simple, “Yes.”
Wenren Heng asked, “Let me?”
Ye You gave him a look, his expression somewhat evasive, with some faint signs of having decided to burn the bridge after crossing it.
Wenren Heng smiled very handsomely, taking the other’s teacup and putting it on the side. Ye You ducked back a bit, explaining with a laugh, “Senior Brother, I really do want to let you help, but your stature is different from mine.” Wenren Heng paused slightly, able to hear his Junior Brother’s decision in those words. He said, “Doing it like this…”
Ye You said, “It’s truly troublesome, but it’s reliable.”
Wenren Heng nodded and began discussing with him the exact details of this plan.
When Elder Hei came to invite them to eat dinner, he saw that these two people had pulled out a map who-knew-when and had spread it out before them, even drawing a few circles on it. Seeing how focused they were, he refrained from speaking for the moment. He instead stood on the side to listen and discovered that they were discussing how to murder someone. Silently, he considered replacing that person with himself and felt that, if it was him, then he’d definitely be unable to avoid it. He thereupon immediately felt no end of admiration towards the Sect Master and the Madam.
Ye You looked at him. “Time to eat?” Elder Hei said, “Yes.”
Ye You put away the map, his mood cheerful. “Let’s go then.”
When night arrived, as usual, he had Elder Hei go and guard Shaolin, eventually receiving the news that the white piece’s people had not come. He was now thoroughly certain that Cong Yun wanted to find him first before moving against Shaolin. Thus, he changed into some night-walking clothes and took a trip to Shaolin.
On his way back, he discovered that there were people following him, and after thinking it over, he ran to the back mountains and jumped off. In a flash, he saw several people nearby. With a slight smile, he purposely created some subtle movements for them to detect, and only when they started following did he shake them off, finally returning to the small county town.
The next morning, the shadow guards once again went to look for Master Cihui, holding a strip of paper in their hands. “Master, this was found stuffed into the slit of the door today. What do we do?” Master Cihui quickly read the note and asked, “Do you know of the things written on this?”
The shadow guards uniformly shook their heads. “No!”
Master Cihui internally thought that this should be Sir Xiao’s escape plan and immediately began considering what should be done in order to seize an opportunity to rescue this person, though he quickly began feeling his head ache. He was good only at reading scripture.
Although he could somehow manage to handle affairs while the Abbot was gone, in a battle of wits and valor, he definitely fell somewhat short. If he really ended up making a poor decision, then everything would be over.
He finally couldn’t endure it and called them all over to the side to ask, in a low voice, “Something this big has happened. Are none of you going to tell Benefactor Wenren about it?”
The shadow guards all said in unison, “Who’s that?” Master Cihui, “…”
The shadow guards looked at him, their expressions especially sincere.
Could they be men that Sir Xiao hired? But that also wasn’t right, how could hired men cry themselves into this kind of state? Or it could be that Sir Xiao’s skill with disguise was extraordinarily high, and he had kidnapped another family’s young master in order to disguise himself with the other’s appearance?
The shadow guards said, “Master?”
Master Cihui was truly unable to be sure of what their relationship was with Sir Xiao, so he didn’t continue speaking in case he was wrong. He simply said, “It’s nothing. This poor monk is thinking…”
The shadow guards were very worried and continued staring at him.
Master Cihui looked at their gazes full of expectation and, in his heart, felt a deep longing for the Abbot and Wenren Heng. It was at this time that the attending monk entered the room and told him that yesterday’s doctor had come once again, wanting to discuss the matter of Sir Ye with him. Since he was currently bereft of any ideas, he hastily said, “Hurry and invite him in!”
Accepting the order, the attending monk left.
While Master Cihui originally retained quite a bit of hope, he slowly began to come to a realization. At this time, it was just about the hour to eat breakfast, and since that Benefactor was actually coming by this early, then there must be some kind of reason?
Cong Yun had actually arrived at Shaolin during the period before dawn227.
He had first made a trip to the back mountains but in the end found no clues. Only then did he turn back to go through the main gates.
When he entered the room, the first thing he did was look at the shadow guards and ask, “Did the other party have any movements?”
The shadow guards were greatly alarmed. “How did you know?”
One of them quickly reacted, “Were you the one who captured our young master, and now you’re helping us investigate in order to throw us off your trail?”
Cong Yun said, “If it was me, why would I do something so unnecessary. I would’ve been fine simply walking away.”
The shadow guards started. “That’s true. Then how are you so clear on these things?”
Cong Yun said, “Since I don’t know if that person who captured Sir Ye was doing it for the sake of money or for the sake of his life, I instructed people to stay behind in Shaolin last night…”
“What?” Master Cihui now felt that this person was perhaps somewhat suspect, and upon hearing this, he couldn’t help but interrupt. “But this poor monk didn’t allow any pilgrims to remain yesterday.” With that matter happening yesterday, and him also not knowing if it had anything to do with the white piece, he naturally exercised more caution and refused any pilgrims’ requests to stay overnight.
Cong Yun calmly shot him a glance and asked, “Finding a pilgrim who had already been staying and then giving him a handful of money before then disguising as one of his relatives to stay in his room for a night… None of that is particularly difficult to do.”
Master Cihui, “…”
The attending monk, “…”
Ouch, how pitiful! They’ve now learned how vicious people’s hearts can be, huh?
The shadow guards looked at the pure Shaolin monks and decided to throw them a bone. Maintaining their anxious bearing, they asked, “Let’s put these things aside for now. Could those people you left behind have seen someone?”
Cong Yun said, “Yes, they saw a person in black clothes. My people followed for a while and, in the end, saw him jumping down from the back mountains.”
Everyone was astonished. “What?”
“This means that his lightness skill is very high,” Cong Yun said, “My people were unable to follow him, but I also sent people to one part of the back mountains last night. They also saw this same person in black clothes. Unfortunately, they also lost him. So I thought that, since he took so many risks to come to Shaolin, he most likely left behind a strip of paper.”
The shadow guards agreed at once, “That’s right. This is it.”
Cong Yun took the paper and opened it, seeing that only a few words were written on it.
The general gist was to hand over the antidote for the drug on your young master’s person. The antidote should be placed in a wooden basin and then placed in the small creek in the back mountains. No one must follow, or else if he saw even a single person, he would simply kill this beauty. If he wasn’t able to have the person, the no one else could either.
Cong Yun raised his head. “What antidote?” The shadow guards said, “Don’t know.”
They truly were at a loss this time, because last night the Sect Master had simply told them to say that they didn’t know and then to voice a few rumors, that was it.
One of them said, “Speaking of drugs, I seem to have heard people mention that the young master had some drugs in his body, leaving others unable to touch him. If they did, then they’d die.”
“Oh, right, but could such a fantastic thing be true? We all think that the master concocted the lie upon seeing the young master’s appearance as he grew up.”
“Yes, I also think so. Even if it’s true, we still don’t have the antidote! How could we do this?”
When they finished, they looked towards Cong Yun and Master Cihui in a plea for help.
Cong Yun instantly deduced a number of things.
First, that person captured Sir Ye in order to ravage him. Second, that so-called drug didn’t exist from the start, or at least he had never heard of such a mystical thing existing before. However, since Sir Ye’s family had always passed on this rumor, it meant that other people had probably been attracted before. Thus, Sir Ye was now capable of stopping that person for the time being.
This was an opportunity!
He immediately said, “Write a letter and place it in the wooden basin. Say that ingredients must be bought first before the antidote can be made and have him extend the deadline by a few days.”
The shadow guards, “And then?” Cong Yun said, “And then come find me. I’ll give all of you a prescription, and then all of you can put up an act to make some medicine before then going to the mountains to pluck some random herbs. First delay him. I’ll help all of you rescue Sir Ye.”
Grabbing onto this last hope, the shadow guards looked at him simultaneously. “Truly?
Cong Yun said, “Truly.”
In contrast, Master Ciyuan felt his suspicions over this person’s identity growing, especially after hearing that the other still had subordinates. He asked, “What would this benefactor like to be called?”
Cong Yun said, “My surname is Zhang.”
Master Cihui said, “What is the benefactor’s usual occupation?” Cong Yun said, “I’m a simple doctor.”
Master Ciyuan fell silent for a time, wanting to ask further, but Cong Yun clearly didn’t have the patience to continue dealing with him, simply throwing down a few words for the shadow guards, telling them to follow these instructions, before then leaving without even looking back. Upon seeing that the shadow guards truly were going to do those things, he moved to stop them, “All of you are prepared to listen to him?”
The shadow guards turned blank before light suddenly shone out of their eyes. “Could the Master have an even better idea?”
Master Cihui, “…”
The shadow guards continued to look at him.
Master Cihui thought of this matter several times over and finally said, “…let’s first try following his method.”
The shadow guards then obediently wrote a letter, found a small wooden basin and placed it in the river, before then running over to the small county town to make up a prescription and then running up to the mountain to pick herbs. After they had done all these and returned, Cong Yun had already long left Shaolin, leaving behind only one subordinate.
They asked, “Where’s your master?”
The subordinate said, “He went to the back mountains to lie low. Don’t worry, he’ll be able to capture that pervert.”
The shadow guards had an instant of anxiety, but when they thought of their Sect Master’s strength, they then calmed down.
Cong Yun had those shadow guards delay that person because he wanted to manufacture more chances to come into contact with the other party.
With the other coming and going, they’d then be able to find even more opportunities to make a move. Today was the first time, and if luck was on his side, he’d be able to catch this person on the first try.
The white piece’s people had already listened to the arrangements and hidden themselves in the forest, prepared to rush out as one to surround and besiege as soon as the order was given. Cong Yun himself had leapt onto a large tree, looking from on high down at the wooden basin flowing down the stream. But it was a pity that, even up until the basin disappeared from his sight, he never saw a single person fish it up.
Standing beside him, Demonic Medicine King said, “There’s none of our people watching from lower downstream. If he really does pick it up, you also won’t be able to give chase.”
Cong Yun said, “Yes, how regrettable.”
Despite those words, he actually displayed not a single indication of any regret whatsoever, still staring at that crystalline, gleaming stream.
Demonic Medicine King raised his head and looked at the current situation.
Last night, their people had lost that person at the opposite shore of this small river.
Following from that, one could make the guess that the other party’s arrival point was very possibly somewhere on the opposite shore, and if he truly showed himself, then he’d also come from that direction. Thus, Cong Yun had arranged everyone to be on this side and with some distance from the river itself so that the person wouldn’t be able to detect them. All of this seemed quite reliable, but the other party had definitely discovered that people were tracking him previously, so if he decided to take a bit more caution, he might first check out the surroundings first before moving. In that case, their ambush here would be useless, and might even run the danger of offending the other party.
But to everyone’s surprise, Cong Yun still insisted on doing it like this.
Demonic Medicine King knew that this madman was very clever when he wasn’t mad and, after a moment of consideration, asked, “Will you use the Heart Devourer?”
Cong Yun said, “What are you talking about?”
Demonic Medicine King continued asking, “You aren’t afraid of a fight to the death?”
“If he really wasn’t afraid of dying, then why would he care about Sir Ye’s threat?” Cong Yun said, “And it’s only when one knows that they’re about to die soon that they’ll start acting without restraint.
Besides, it’s not like your Heart Devourer will kill him dead on the spot.”
That’s true, Demonic Medicine King thought.
The Heart Devourer was a poison that he made himself, and just a touch would allow it entrance to the veins, before then flowing into the organs, causing irreparable damage little by little, with the other organs going first before finally reaching the heart, such that in the end, even an unfettered immortal would be beyond saving.
It was from this that the name Heart Devourer came to be. When Cong Yun left the mountain, he had asked for the Heart
Devourer. Before, as Sir Ye’s household servants were placing the
wooden basin in the river, Cong Yun had stopped nearby for a while, and now it was clear that he had most likely been applying the poison. So, from the beginning, Cong Yun had wanted the other party to pick up the letter and, upon discovering the poisoning, helplessly take the initiative to find them to discuss terms. But even so, wouldn’t this kind of incompetent and lackluster guarding leave the other party suspicious?
Demonic Medicine King shot Cong Yun a glance, but before he could ask, he saw the person next to him leap down, and he internally thought the words, sure enough.
Cong Yun hadn’t obstinately continued to stand around watching and had called out towards the forest before then taking people to go downstream, displaying a “wanting to take the opportunity to capture someone but still somewhat cautious and naive” attitude — if the other party really saw them, then he’d probably think a
single moron disdainfully in his heart before then simply taking the letter and leaving.
But the reality also wasn’t as expected.
When they finally reached downstream after walking neither too fast nor too slow, the wooden basin had already been thrown onto the shore, and the letter inside had already long disappeared without a trace.
Cong Yun let out a sneer and brought the people back to Shaolin.
Upon seeing that he had returned unscathed, the shadow guards’ hearts startled, and they quickly ran over to surround the group. “Where’s our young master?”
Cong Yun said, “Didn’t see him.”
The shadow guards said, “Then what about that person?” Cong Yun said, “Let him go.”
Going was good!
But wait, this usage of the word “go” didn’t seem very aggressive.
The shadow guards fell silent for an instant before discovering the exact same reaction and asking in concern, “Then what… what should we do about this?” Cong Yun said, “He’ll take the initiative to contact us.” The shadow guards said, “Ah?”
Someone quickly thought of something and hastily asked, “Did he notice all of you? Didn’t he say that there couldn’t be anyone there? And that if there was anyone, then he’d kill our young master!”
Cong Yun said, “He wouldn’t. I’ve smeared poison on the wooden basin and the letter. If he wants to live, he won’t touch your young master.”
The shadow guards’ expressions changed. “——What?!”
They were practically about to fall into a rage. “How could you apply poison!”
“That’s exactly right! If he’s a madman, what can be done if he takes his anger out on our young master?!”
This time, they were truly anxious, and they were truly worried for their master. After all, even though the Sect Master’s lightness skill was good, if he was truly the one who appeared to take the letter, then right now he had probably already been poisoned.
Cong Yun had of course thought of the possibility that the other party would perhaps inflict trouble upon Sir Ye, but he didn’t care.
For him, it’d be all right as long as Sir Ye’s face was untouched and the person was still alive; nothing else mattered. But he wouldn’t actually say that and instead simply told them with confidence, “That won’t happen.”
The shadow guards asked, “What basis do you have for that?” Cong Yun calmly said, “Just wait and you’ll see.”
The shadow guards were anxious to no end. They especially wanted to roll up their sleeves, give this person a beating, and then capture him as a gift for the Sect Master, but they were also afraid that they’d mess up the Sect Master’s plans, so they could only endure, anxiously gathering to huddle together in a heap.
Waiting like this, they ended up waiting all the way until dusk.
After dinner, Cong Yun’s subordinates went to the back mountains to take a look, bringing back a bloodied garment and a letter.
Upon seeing the blood on those clothes, the shadow guards immediately wanted to faint.
Of course, they wouldn’t really faint; their bodies simply swayed to and fro before they immediately began howling, “Ah, this is the young master’s!”
“Didn’t you say that nothing would happen to our young master? Then what is this? What is this——?!”
“If the young master meets with an unfortunate accident, then I also don’t want to live anymore…”
Master Cihui was naturally also paying close attention to this matter’s progress, and upon seeing this, he immediately turned grave.
Even if these people might not know about Sir Xiao’s position in the righteous faction, he actually knew! This won’t do, Sect Master
Wenren must be told about this matter. Letting this strange doctor take care of it was leaving him far too uneasy.
After he finished thinking, he gave the doctor a look and saw that this person wasn’t displaying a single shred of emotion, simply looking at this piece of clothing and motionlessly standing there.
Demonic Medicine King then personally went up to investigate, turning around to say succinctly, “It’s human blood. Fresh, from not long ago. There’s no poison on this letter.”
Cong Yun made a sound in acknowledgment, accepting the letter and opening it. Seeing that certain people were still howling, Demonic Medicine King said, placating, “This blood is also just from cutting open a finger and rubbing it wherever. It’s not a big wound.”
“Cutting a finger counts as a small wound?” The shadow guards weren’t placated and solemnly told him that their young master was extremely noble and precious and, with their usual guarding, had never suffered an injury before. Demonic Medicine King was disinclined to have this discussion with them, and he walked over to Cong Yun’s side to read that letter.
At this time, Master Cihui had also walked over and similarly began to read.
The letter’s contents were very simple. It told them to send the antidote over tomorrow night, using the same method as before, and also warned them not to play any tricks. Trying to make him fall for such a trifling poison, they were really taking him to be a tender newborn.
After reading those final few words, Demonic Medicine King secretly observed Cong Yun’s expression. Seeing the person’s eyes close, he knew that the other was not happy.
He sensibly didn’t interrupt and quietly stood watching on the side. While at first he expressed disapproval at Cong Yun’s interfering in this matter, he actually felt that it wasn’t so bad right now, because they were able to remain openly at Shaolin, which would be beneficial to matters later on.
Cong Yun handed the letter over to the shadow guards and said, “Send back a letter saying that the antidote can be given to him, but since the clothes are bloodied, you need to first see Sir Ye and confirm that he’s all right before handing the antidote over.”
The shadow guards were very hesitant. “Will he be willing?”
Cong Yun said, “As long as he doesn’t have the antidote, he’ll continue dealing with us. None of you want to see your young master?” The shadow guards said, “Of course we do.” Cong Yun said, “Then just do what I say.”
Master Cihui also wanted to see Sir Xiao, hoping that when Sir Xiao arrived, the other could provide some helpful suggestions. Thus, this time, he didn’t try to question the doctor. Distracted, the shadow guards looked at them and could only obediently leave.
The sky had thoroughly turned dark.
Elder Hei pulled open the Sect Master’s door and saw that the Sect Master was playing a game with the Madam. Walking over, he said, “Sect Master, we weren’t able to tell what kind of poison it was.”
Ye You said, “Then put it away carefully. Later, I’ll give it to Miracle Doctor Ji to take a look.”
Elder Hei made a sound in agreement and then said, with some lingering fear, “Luckily, Sect Master didn’t directly touch the things with your hands, or else the consequences would’ve been too horrible to imagine.”
Ye You laughed and said, “With one being Miracle Doctor Ji’s oldest disciple and the other presumably Demonic Medicine King, it’s obvious that nothing that has passed through their hands should be touched.”
Elder Hei said, “Then tomorrow…?”
Ye You said, “We’ll talk later tonight about tomorrow.”
Elder Hei said an ‘understood’ and didn’t continue disturbing them, leaving with seasoned tact.
The next day, after the shadow guards finished placing the letter, they personally watched as the wooden basin floated away, not giving Cong Yun the chance to apply poison. From the start, Cong Yun hadn’t intended to apply poison a second time. After the wooden basin floated out of sight, he picked a few experts to watch in secret, hoping to see from where that person would arrive, and also from where the person would leave.
However, even as an entire morning passed, that place didn’t have even the slightest bit of movement. The person was simply adamant about not taking the letter, as if the other party knew that there were people hiding in secret. After Cong Yun realized, the only thing he could do was have the people retreat. When the sky turned dark, and he sent people back to look, only then did he discover that the letter was gone.
After two confrontations, the other person still entirely had the upper hand.
Demonic Medicine King stroked his chin. “Looks like he’s quite clever. Not easy to deal with at all.”
Cong Yun said, “I’m already starting to anticipate what’ll happen after he falls into my hands.”
Demonic Medicine King was deeply familiar with the sort of research that he does and, declining to comment, waited together with him for the other party’s return letter. In the end, the person replied in the middle of the night and told them to meet tomorrow at the forest in the back mountains, even providing a map. Demonic Medicine King gave it a look and pointed at a nearby position. “There’s a steep cliff right here. With how good his lightness skill is, we need to be careful that he won’t just jump off the cliff and escape.”
“Yes, we’ll first send people to the bottom to lay an ambush,” Cong Yun said, “Also, bring along the antidote for the Heart Devourer.”
Demonic Medicine King startled before quickly reacting, “He replied so cheerfully, but could it be that he was actually poisoned?”
Cong Yun said, “We can’t eliminate this possibility.” Demonic Medicine King nodded. The letter said that only those household servants were allowed to come and the rest weren’t.
Thereupon, when the day changed, and it was time to keep the appointment, only a few shadow guards showed themselves. Master Cihui and Cong Yun and the others were instead keeping watch while secretly hidden. They waited for a while before seeing a black-clothed person unhurriedly enter the forest, actually coming out this generously.
He had a person in his grasp, and this person was precisely Sir Ye.
The shadow guards shouted immediately upon seeing this, “Young Master!”
In the instant that they cried out, the black-clothed person moved, taking the person in his embrace and rushing forward. Master Cihui and Cong Yun and the others were just wondering whether they should surround that person and were caught off guard upon seeing this. The group thus hastily moved to give chase, all the while taking care to keep concealed, to avoid being discovered.
The shadow guards had already long started giving chase and, in the end, actually reached the edge of the cliff.
They received a fright. “What do you want to do?”
“All of you don’t need to worry about what I do.” As the black-clothed person spoke, he grabbed the chin of the person in his embrace and let them see that face head-on, before then stroking his thumb from the neck all the way to the cheeks. “Look well, there’s no disguise.
This is the real thing, your young master.”
The shadow guards’ backs were to Cong Yun’s party, and their faces were to the cliff, so they didn’t need to continue pretending. They thus unloaded all their worries and looked at their colleague with faces full of admiration. You actually dare to touch the Sect Master’s face like this, be careful not to be murdered by the Madam!
The black-clothed person, “…”
Could all of you please take this more seriously!
In the face of important business, the shadow guards relaxed their guards for only a short moment. They returned to proper form soon enough.
Underneath his mask, the black-clothed person had also been carrying a slight smile, before then adjusting back his mood and saying, “Now that you’ve already seen the person, where’s the antidote I wanted?”
The shadow guards didn’t answer, first looking at the Sect Master and asking in worry, “Young Master, are you all right?”
“…I’m all right.” Ye You’s voice was weak as he strove to escape from the black-clothed person’s hands.
The black-clothed person sneered and roughly confined him, thumb still remaining on his face. Ye You couldn’t help but furrow his brows and tilt his head slightly, as if unwilling to be humiliated.
A beauty needed only to furrow his brows to provoke a sufficient amount of tender feelings, and many people secretly felt their hearts ache at the sight.
Demonic Medicine King originally didn’t have any good feelings towards Sir Ye, but now he finally somewhat understood why Cong Yun wanted this person in hand, because the other truly was too beautiful, beautiful to the point that even he felt some desire.
He shot a glance at Cong Yun, and upon seeing this person’s expression so cold that it was scary, he was immediately surprised.
How could there be much affection after knowing a person for a mere day?
From the beginning, he had believed that, and afterwards, when he learned that Cong Yun had applied the Heart Devourer without the slightest misgivings, he had believed even more firmly in this way of thinking. But it wasn’t until now that he discovered that it didn’t appear to be as he thought, or at least, seeing Sir Ye like this, Cong Yun was unhappy, and extremely so.
But why was that?
Sir Ye had already been kidnapped for several days. Although that person had been temporarily obstructed from touching by the “drug” in Sir Ye’s body, if that person wanted to take advantage, then he would’ve long already taken advantage. Cong Yun also wasn’t a fool, so the other should’ve been able to guess this. Right now, Sir Ye had simply been stroked a bit on the face, so why would Cong Yun be so angry?
Could it be that it didn’t matter when the person was out of sight, but when actually witnessing it, it became difficult to bear? Or could Cong Yun have also felt his heart ache at the other furrowing those brows? Was that possible? Even after much thought, Demonic Medicine King was well and truly baffled.
Cong Yun was able to perceive the other’s short examination and calmly allowed his measure, not even giving him a single look.
Even if this person thought so much his brain collapsed, the other would never be able to guess that Cong Yun was unhappy because he didn’t want to see another person touch that face.
Besides Demonic Medicine King, the others were also similarly confused. In this world, only his master knew about that short-lived and heartbreaking love in his youth.
It was precisely the impossible, unobtainable nature of that time that led to the feeling becoming carved into his bones and engraved in his memory.
Cong Yun repeated in his heart as he stared at that face, unblinking.
At this time, the black-clothed person began feeling dissatisfied with their sluggish reactions. He suddenly grabbed Ye You’s neck and narrowed his eyes. “Stop talking nonsense! Hand over the antidote!”
The shadow guards startled and once again began howling, “Young Master!”
“What are you planning on doing? Hurry and let go of our young master!”
“If you dare to hurt our young master, we won’t let you go even if we become ghosts!”
“Are you freaking blind, do you know who our young master is?!”
“This elder doesn’t care who he is. Are you handing it over or not? If not, just wait to receive his corpse then!” As the black-clothed person spoke, he raised his head to look at the forest behind the shadow guards. “Who are the ones in there? Come out, all of you, stop hiding!”
Demonic Medicine King and Cong Yun almost simultaneously looked at Master Cihui and said, “You, go.”
At this moment, Master Cihui’s mind was full of doubts.
Sir Xiao’s face didn’t have a disguise, so his guess of “kidnapped another family’s young master and acted as a substitute” had been debunked. Then what exactly were these household servants doing? And how could they not know who Wenren Heng was? Was this matter purposely constructed by Sir Xiao, or was he really being suppressed by someone? If it was the former, what was the reason for all this?
Confusion had practically swallowed him completely, and upon hearing their words now, he wasn’t able to make his mind return to its proper place to react in time and so ended up saying, “What?”
Cong Yun said, “Go delay him for a while.”
Master Cihui asked, “Then what about all of you?” Cong Yun said, “We’re leaving.” He didn’t say where they were going, simply turning around and leaving with Demonic Medicine King.
Yesterday, they had speculated that the other party might rely on the edge of the cliff in order to retreat, but they hadn’t been entirely certain. Now, with one look, they were thoroughly able to confirm that guess and so they naturally wanted to hurry down there first to make preparations.
The other important reason was that, from the start, Cong Yun had not wanted to return Sir Ye to the others and had already made the decision to directly take the person away once he rescued Sir Ye.
Thus, right now, he clearly needed to extricate himself from these people in order to handle these affairs separately.
The two’s martial arts were high, and in the blink of an eye, they had already distanced themselves well over thirty meters228.
When Master Cihui saw this, he was astonished, growing even more suspicious of their identities, but before he could sort out his thoughts, he heard the black-clothed person’s shouts and so could only take the few people that the doctor had left behind and show himself. He walked to the household servants’ sides and looked at the black-clothed person before advising, “Benefactor, the sea of
bitterness is boundless, so turn back to the shore229 while you…”
“Less damn nonsense,” the black-clothed person interrupted him, “I’ll ask one last time. Where’s the antidote?”
Master Cihui looked at Sir Xiao, eyes unblinking.
Ye You also looked at them, and with his neck grabbed, his expression looked particularly pained.
Master Cihui stared for a long moment, trying with all his might, but he wasn’t able to see any suggestions coming from Sir Xiao’s direction and felt that the other might have truly been suppressed.
He internally thought how terrible! and was just thinking about whether he should bring out Wenren Heng’s name to scare this man when he heard the people beside him asking what to do so that the other would let the person go. He then righted his senses and said, “Benefactor, we can give you the antidote, but you can’t harm this person.”
The black-clothed person chuckled. “Of course I won’t harm him. This hard-to-come-by beauty, I’m still itching to take care of him.”
The shadow guards were furious. “What? Shameless!” “Beast!”
The black-clothed person’s voice turned cold, “All of you try saying that again!”
The shadow guards uniformly shut their mouths.
The black clothed person said, “It looks like all of you won’t understand until you see a coffin.”
When he finished speaking, his hand exerted some strength, and Ye You immediately let out a muffled groan, the suffocating sound making him appear even more pained. Upon seeing their colleague use such vicious force against the Sect Master, those shadow guards practically fell into shock, but they didn’t show it on their faces and continued to persist in shouting at him to stop.
Master Cihui also hurriedly said, “Benefactor, hurry and stop!”
“…Don’t…give…” Ye You suddenly opened his mouth and said with difficulty, “Not allowed to give…”
Before he could finish speaking, the black-clothed person let out a curse and knocked him unconscious, before turning to look at them and saying, “Don’t listen to him. He’s simply throwing a little tantrum. All of you prepare the antidote. Wait for me to put him in a nice place first, and then I’ll come back to get it.”
As he finished, he leapt up and, under everyone’s eyes, jumped off the cliff with the hostage.
The shadow guards, “…” Master Cihui, “…”
The scene was deathly still for an instant. Then, those people’s expressions changed, and they staggered over to throw themselves down at the edge of the cliff. They caught sight of that person easily stepping into the forest down below and quickly lost sight of his figure. Master Cihui’s heart immediately turned cold. Upon seeing the people beside him break out in tears, he asked, without any hope, “All of you really don’t know Sect Master Wenren?”
The shadow guards shot him a glance and hesitated.
They of course didn’t dare to make the decision personally, but the Sect Master had mentioned before that, if they were able to find a suitable time, they could remind Master Cihui a bit. Did right now count as a suitable time?
They thought for a moment and asked, “Where are the doctor and the others?”
Master Cihui said, “They went who-knows-where.”
The shadow guards looked towards the back and saw that the subordinates Cong Yun had left behind were already rushing into the forest. They then knew that Cong Yun had long already given the order, and that these people were most likely all hurrying towards the bottom of the cliff. And now that the Sect Master had lured them down below, he should be able to take care of them all, right?
The group didn’t have any misgivings and replied with, “We know him.”
Master Cihui had not expected that the situation could still take a turn for the better, and he hastily asked, “Then why did all of you say earlier that you didn’t know him? So is this matter something that your young master is doing on purpose? What does he want to do?”
The shadow guards said, “We don’t know.” Master Cihui, “…” The shadow guards said, “Master, don’t look at us like that. We really don’t know. The only thing we can guess is why the young master didn’t tell you ahead of time.”
Hearing the implication that Sir Xiao had truly done this all on purpose, Master Cihui immediately felt more steady and asked, “Oh, why?”
The shadow guards said, “Master, you’re too honest.” Master Cihui, “…”
How is being honest a bad thing?
The shadow guards didn’t continue to delay their efforts. They rubbed their faces, eyes turning blank as some tears slowly seeped out, before then turning their heads and rushing over crazily, shouting out in anguish, “Young Master, ahhhhh——!”
Master Cihui, “…”
After Ye You and his subordinate had fallen into the forest, it began to be his turn to take control of the situation. He took his subordinate through a simple series of leaps and jumps before steadily landing at the bottom of the cliff. From beginning to end, the two had been continually stuck together, and Ye You’s mastery over his fine control was excellent. Even if there were witnesses, they wouldn’t be able to discover that he was really the one who was using the lightness skill.
He looked around and, upon seeing the mark that his Senior Brother left, then hurried to reconvene with the other.
At this time, Wenren Heng was also wearing a set of black clothes. Seeing them return, he concisely said, “People are all around. Be careful.”
Ye You made a sound in acknowledgment as he took off his outer garments, revealing the black clothes underneath. The black-clothed person who had seized him was also taking off clothes and putting on the Sect Master’s outer garments. After taking off the mask, the person’s facial features were astonishingly revealed to be the same as the Sect Master’s; it was clearly a disguise.
The two swiftly exchanged their identities while Wenren Heng relayed the white piece’s rough positions to them.
Ye You and Wenren Heng had already guessed that Cong Yun would lay an ambush at the foot of the mountain when they sent over that map.
Since they did have a hostage in their hands, they presumed that Cong Yun would definitely not send too many people. For the sake of grasping that decisive moment, Wenren Heng had taken people to the bottom of the cliff extremely early in the morning, and while Ye You and Cong Yun were having a confrontation, he had slowly ascertained the other party’s tendencies, so as to allow his Junior Brother more ease of movement later.
Ye You carefully finished listening and nodded before ducking into the forest.
There were three paths at the bottom of the cliff. The top path was not easy to traverse, and no one would choose it even while running for their lives because it was a dead end and it’d just lead to being surrounded the moment one entered. The white piece’s people also didn’t have enough numbers to bother with that path. In contrast, the paths left and right were about the same. Ye You suspected that Cong Yun and Demonic Medicine King had already most likely split up, with one person guarding in each direction, wanting to enclose him in their trap together.
As for who was on which side, he didn’t actually know.
He examined the surroundings for a moment and chose the left path. After walking for a while, he quickly detected that there was someone in the trees. He thus continued walking forward, coldly saying, “What kind of attitude is all this scurrying and hiding. If you’re man enough, come out!” Just as he finished speaking, the person in the trees leapt down. The outline of this person’s facial features was very deep; it was precisely the person suspected of being Demonic Medicine King. What’s more, there were even several people following behind, and they all simultaneously looked at him.
Ye You sneered. “Oh! What numbers.”
He had chosen that specific subordinate not only because their statures were similar but also because the two’s tones were markedly similar when they meticulously changed their voices. Thus, Demonic Medicine King was clearly unable to hear any distinguishable difference, and believing that he was still that pervert, the person asked, “Where’s Sir Ye?”
Ye You said, “Naturally I’ve hidden that treasure well.”
Demonic Medicine King said, “Do you think that you’ll be able to escape from our hands?”
Ye You said, “How could I know if I don’t try? Are you that Sir Liu?”
Demonic Medicine King startled before then remembering that when Cong Yun had originally introduced him to Sir Ye, the other had in fact said that his surname was Liu. He said, “That’s me, so what?”
Ye You said disdainfully, “That darling dreams about Sir Liu this and Sir Liu that every day. You don’t actually look like much, and of course I’m much better looking. Quickly, come at me. Once I take care of you, he’ll become dead set on following me in the future.”
Demonic Medicine King, “…”
Wait, what’s the meaning of this? Could that beauty have fallen in love with him at first sight? This won’t do, Cong Yun must absolutely never learn about this matter!
He calmly said, “There’s so many people surnamed Liu under the heavens. It doesn’t necessarily have to be me.”
Ye You said, “You haven’t been to Shaolin before?” Demonic Medicine King said, “I have.”
Ye You said, “Then I’m right, that darling said…”
His figure flashed, and he suddenly unleashed his strength. Demonic Medicine King was preparing to listen to those next words but, in the blink of an eye, saw the other flash in front of him. Afterwards, he felt only a pain in his chest before his entire person was blown away.
It wasn’t easy to seal Cong Yun’s acupoints, but Demonic Medicine King’s was fair game. With one palm strike, Ye You had sent the person flying and, immediately following, had chased after and sealed the person’s major front acupoints. Grabbing the person’s neck, he said to the subordinates who were still in a state of stupefied confusion, “Stand there and don’t move.”
Demonic Medicine King suddenly spat out a mouthful of blood and, with an expression full of shock, said, in a hoarse voice, “Who… exactly are you…”
The back mountains were secluded, and other than the nearby villagers who’d occasionally come to hunt, the area was usually devoid of people.
The growth rings on each tree signified that all of them had already passed a hundred years of age. With flourishing branches and luxurious leaves, these trees covered the sky and blanketed the earth, making the area so quiet that only birdsong could be heard.
Right at this time, a sharp animal cry suddenly exploded in the air, the sound neither too high nor too low, coincidentally allowed the people in the surroundings to hear it. Wenren Heng lifted his head to parse it for a moment before saying, “Go over and look.”
The black-clothed person asked uneasily, “Nothing could have happened to the Sect Master, right?”
Wenren Heng said, “If this was something he did, there shouldn’t be anything wrong.”
The black-clothed person didn’t quite understand.
Right now, since the white piece’s men were currently on watch throughout the forest, with this sound, wouldn’t those people all go over to surround the Sect Master?
Wenren Heng didn’t explain. After walking for a while, he suddenly seemed to have remembered something. Giving the other a look, he asked, “Before, when you two were on the cliff, how did you trick them?”
The expressions that those colleagues gave him just now flashed through the black-clothed person’s mind, and the person decided that he’d rather die than talk, replying with, “That is… I j-just tricked them like that.”
Wenren Heng said, “Hm?” “…” The black-clothed person silently turned his head, not daring to look at the Madam.
Wenren Heng gave him another look but didn’t continue wasting time, simply reminding the others that had followed along to be careful before cautiously stealing over.
Wenren Heng’s guess wasn’t wrong. That action really was done by Ye You.
After he had suppressed Demonic Medicine King, during the interval when he had shouted out to the white piece’s men, he had also quickly pulled out a handful of previously prepared copper coins and accurately threw them out to hit those people’s acupoints.
Afterwards, he had pulled out the instrument used to send signals from their persons and hung the people on trees before then taking Demonic Medicine King and leaving.
Although Demonic Medicine King’s expression had already recovered, the shock in his heart still remained.
High lightness skill, lecherous, cautious… These were the impressions that the one who kidnapped Sir Ye had given them. When matters came to light, he and Cong Yun had thought about who could be the one making a move and had gone through all the people of Jianghu once. They had chosen one or two people from the selection, all of whom had high lightness skills but ordinary martial arts. They had made such a guess because that person had never dared to confront them directly.
They had originally thought that when they surrounded this pervert, they’d definitely be able to retrieve the hostage. Even if the other party used Sir Ye’s life as a threat, it’d be useless because, after all, if that person killed Sir Ye, then his own life would definitely also be forfeit here, so the choice he would’ve had to make in the end was readily apparent. But who could’ve known that this originally supposedly simple and easy matter would turn out like this.
Although he never boasted about being the highest of experts, he was still able to be considered an expert of some kind! But in that instant just now, he had actually not even seen this person’s movements at all clearly. This person truly had some terrifying skill!
In Jianghu, who exactly had this level of strength? He didn’t understand.
Ye You carried Demonic Medicine King far away from the previous location. Upon finding a large, attractive-looking tree, he jumped onto it and threw the person down before saying, “Is that friend of yours also in this forest?”
Right now, the only thing Demonic Medicine King was able to move was his mouth, and he silently looked at the other, not replying.
Ye You maintained his distance, having no apparent desire not to approach. He said, “Regardless of whether or not you have some concealed weapons in your mouth, for now, I don’t want to remove your jaw, so you’d best stop testing with my tolerance, Demonic Medicine King.”
Demonic Medicine King had originally calmed down, but upon hearing that, his expression changed once again. “You recognize me?”
Ye You said, “No, but now I’m certain.” Demonic Medicine King, “…”
Ye You asked, “I’m quite curious. According to your strength, you wouldn’t have any problems even if you cause some trouble in Jianghu. Why would you be so willing and happy to throw your lot in with someone else?”
Demonic Medicine King still didn’t reply, though cold sweat began trickling down his body. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to speak; he was simply too shocked and so had lost his voice for a time.
He felt that this person was very likely to be the Demonic Sect’s Sect Master Ye You. Rumors were that Sect Master Ye’s martial arts were deep and unfathomable, and it looked like the rumors were true.
One after another, Fuping, Ghost Gentleman, and Mr. Xiao had all disappeared, their lives and deaths unknown. Along with the matter this time, he quickly came to an understanding: Shuangji Sect, Wuwang Temple, and the Demonic Sect had joined hands!
And that group had even done the same thing as their boss, appearing to leave on the surface but actually secretly leaving a move to be played — Wenren Heng, Sir Xiao, and Xie Junming had left for the Alliance Leader’s residence with the righteous faction, but Ye You had actually remained behind!
So this matter had never been an ordinary kidnapping; it was a trap.
But there was one thing that he couldn’t understand. How was the Demonic Sect so certain that their honey trap would definitely work on Cong Yun?
Ye You said, “You don’t want to speak, hm?”
This “hm” was full of hidden subtleties, and Demonic Medicine King immediately regained his senses.
After straightening out his train of thought, he actually turned tranquil.
He became famous through his creation of poisons, and even his body contained poison. Now, whether it was his sweat or his blood, as long as he used some internal energy, he would be able to kill someone on the spot. But this person had clearly long already suspected his identity and so had directly sealed his internal energy. No matter what he said, there was most likely no way that this person would undo it.
Thus, he became resigned and said, “Can I ask something?” Ye You said, “Speak.”
Demonic Medicine King said, “Are Fuping and Ghost Gentleman and them dead or alive?” Ye You laughed. “You aren’t afraid that once you learn this, I’ll simply kill you directly?”
Demonic Medicine King returned with a question, “Even if I don’t learn of it, would you still leave me alive?”
“It’ll depend on my mood,” Ye You said, “So speak then. Why did you put your lot in with someone else? At the time, the righteous faction also didn’t say that they were going to kill you. When you suddenly disappeared that year, I actually thought that you had been captured by your master and them to make drugs.”
Demonic Medicine King said, “Because of the drugged men.”
He liked all different kinds of bizarre and fantastic drugs. Cong Yun’s invention interested him. It was just that simple.
Ye You said, “This kind of answer really isn’t original at all.”
Demonic Medicine King looked at him. “You don’t have any interest in those drugged men?”
Ye You laughed and said, “What, can you make the drug on your own?”
Demonic Medicine King said, “Of course. I wasn’t simply doing nothing all these years, after all.”
Ye You said, “What about undoing it?” Demonic Medicine King said, “I can try.”
Ye You lowered his eyes to examine the other. From his mask only his eyes were exposed, with an indecipherable expression within them, making one incapable of parsing even the least bit of his mood.
Demonic Medicine King held his breath.
This was his only opportunity to save his own life. If this person ignored it, then it’d be useless for him to even try struggling; he’d definitely be unable to live to see tomorrow.
Ye You said, “Why should I believe you?” Demonic Medicine King felt his mind relax, and he said, “Why don’t you first give me a drugged person and I’ll try?”
Ye You said, “I’ll consider it.”
Demonic Medicine King thought for a moment and was just about to continue this struggle some more when he was suddenly hit in his mute acupoint, immediately throwing him into silence.
Ye You pulled out a pair of silvery white gloves and pinched his jaw, pushing his mouth closed, before starting to take off his clothes.
Demonic Medicine King immediately knew that he had managed to preserve his own life for now and so didn’t complain about the other’s actions. It was only when he saw this person taking off even his inner garments that he began staring, wide-eyed.
After Ye You threw away the other’s inner garments, he stared at the person’s last remaining piece of clothing, the underwear.
Demonic Medicine King, “…”
Ye You asked, “Do you have a habit of putting poison here?”
Sect Master Ye, do I look like I have that kind of habit to you? Demonic Medicine King silently stared at him.
Ye You looked at his expression and, in the end, left him that last piece of clothing. With one final glance at him, Ye You threw this person on the tree before turning around and leaving. Demonic Medicine King waited for a long while but didn’t see the other return, and right when he began considering the possibility that he had been left for dead, he saw the person return carrying someone. Or, it’d be more accurate to say, he saw the person return carrying a corpse that had already had its face disguised.
He looked at that face and then looked at the person in front.
Ye You ignored him and changed the corpse into Demonic Medicine King’s clothes. He then indicated for Demonic Medicine King to be a bit more well-behaved before once again swiftly leaping away.
Afterwards, he found an empty space and faced the sky to let out a piercing signal. Cong Yun had already been searching in the forest for half a day but in the end still wound up empty-handed.
He internally thought that the person had probably gone over to Demonic Medicine King’s side and was about to take people over there when, at this time, he heard the sound of the signal, which neatly confirmed that his guess had been right. He hastily sped up
his footsteps, but when they arrived, they didn’t see the person at all. He observed the surroundings and said, “Go look nearby.”
The subordinates said, “Understood.” “Hah? What is that?”
In the instant they opened their mouths, Cong Yun had detected movement, and after raising his head to look, he immediately retreated three steps. Immediately after, he heard only a muffled thump as a corpse fiercely crashed down from above.
— Demonic Medicine King!
An expert who had once been scorned by all of Jianghu had now become a cold corpse.
The impact was too strong, and the scene turned deathly still in a flash. Every single person’s face was full of appalled shock.
Ye You stood on the tree, his voice very ugly. “This elder said over and over that people weren’t allowed to follow. Did you all think I was joking? Look closely, this is the result of refusing to listen!”
Cong Yun’s expression changed multiple times, but when he looked at the Demonic Medicine King in front of him, he discovered that the other had a bit of skin curling up near the ears and couldn’t help but carefully examine the corpse for a moment. Heart pounding, he turned towards the person above him and asked, “Where are they?”
Ye You said, “Naturally they’re dead. You thought that this elder didn’t have any helpers?”
Cong Yun asked, “Then where’s Sir Ye?” Ye You said, “You don’t need to know this. If you don’t want to end up like him, then hurry and scram. I’ll tell you the truth, all the helpers I’ve invited are all more incredible than me.”
Cong Yun’s thoughts turned extremely fast.
First, this corpse definitely wasn’t Demonic Medicine King, but the clothes were certainly real. It’s unknown whether it had been prepared ahead of time or it had truly been taken off of Demonic Medicine King himself. Otherwise, with the signal having sounded for quite a while, why hadn’t Demonic Medicine King and those other men come over?
Ye You said, “Still not leaving!”
Cong Yun said, “Do you know who I am?” Ye You said, “What do I care who you are!”
Cong Yun said, “You don’t know who I am, yet you still dare to challenge me?”
Ye You snorted. “Stop talking nonsense, hurry and scram, or else I won’t be so polite.”
Cong Yun said, “Come then. Let me see how impolite you’ll be with me!”
Ye You stilled. “Boy, you aren’t afraid of death?”
Cong Yun said, “I’m afraid that you’ll be the one dying.”
Ye You chuckled. “Not bad. How wild. I like this. Seeing as how you and I have some affinity, I’ll spare your life today. Take your people and scram.”
Cong Yun was more and more certain that this person was putting on an act, or else the other wouldn’t have used a disguised corpse to scare them. Could it be that Demonic Medicine King hadn’t come after so long because that person had also been played with like this? He raised his head and shot this person a glance before suddenly pushing himself off the ground, jumping onto the branch that the other party was currently standing on.
Ye You hastily retreated, and his tone was no longer as arrogant as before as he said, “Little boy, you really want to fight with me?”
Cong Yun said, “Not fight, no, I’m going to kill you.”
Seeing that he was about to attack, Ye You swiftly dodged onto the next tree over. Upon witnessing his fruitless strike, Ye You said, “You can’t even touch me, yet you’re still trying to play hero? Right now this elder is being generous, so you best be more tactful.”
Cong Yun didn’t reply, chasing immediately after. Ye You once again dodged, jumping away into the depths of the trees. Cong Yun naturally wouldn’t let the person go, continuing to give chase from behind, before then keenly discovering that this figure seemed somewhat unsteady. He thus began to guess at the possibility that this rogue had been poisoned. After a short while, upon seeing the other’s shadow once again becoming unsteady, he asked, “Do you want the antidote?”
Ye You stopped and asked, “Antidote? The beauty’s antidote?” Cong Yun said, “The one for yourself.”
Ye You calmly said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Cong Yun said, “It’s called the Heart Devourer. A drug that Demonic Medicine King made. If you don’t take the antidote, within half a month, the poison will spread, and you will die.”
Ye You fell silent.
Cong Yun let out a sneer in his heart and said, “Give the person to me, and you can take the antidote. I’ll let you keep your life.”
Ye You angrily said, “Little boy, what kind of attitude is this?”
At this time, Wenren Heng was coincidentally hidden nearby and, upon seeing the current situation, looked at the black-clothed person, “Do you know how to call out? Shout a few things.” The black-clothed person didn’t understand. “Shout what?” Wenren Heng said, “Haven’t you gone to brothels before?”
The black-clothed person blinked and finally understood. His first reaction was, “Madam, whenever I go to those places, the people always shouted things like, ‘Daddy, no more.’ Can we skip those bits?”
Wenren Heng gently replied with a question, “What do you think?”
The black-clothed person felt himself tremble from that look. After a moment of thought, he messed up his hair, tore open his clothes, and rolled around on the ground before saying, in a low voice, “No… don’t be like this… mn, oh, no… ah…”
The colleagues who had followed along, “…”
Wenren Heng silently looked at him, feeling a sharp desire to tear off that face of his.
Ye You and Cong Yun were both experts, and they quickly heard the moaning from nearby. Cong Yun appeared to have a certain thought, and his expression immediately sank as he threw aside Ye You and hastily flew towards that direction. Ye You had also gotten a grasp of what was happening and, knowing that this was an opportunity that his Senior Brother had found for him, hastily made as if he was intending to obstruct Cong Yun, as he headed directly for the other.
Wenren Heng saw that they were coming and pressed the person down onto the ground, tearing open his clothes with a rip. “Stop struggling, take us obediently.”
The black-clothed person tried to block his chest with both hands, saying in a choked voice, “No… I have drugs in my body, all of you can’t touch me…”
With one look, Cong Yun saw that familiar silhouette along with the tattered remnants of clothing, and burning rage immediately coursed through his body. Out of the corners of his eyes, he saw that the pervert had also hurried over, and he immediately let out killing intent, raising his hand to strike.
Ye You stopped him and immediately returned with a strike.
Cong Yun was completely caught off guard, and blood sprayed out wildly from his mouth as he flew back.
Ye You didn’t hesitate at all and chased after, wanting to add another strike, when he saw Cong Yun throw out something. He heard only
a bang explode outwards before thick smoke frantically bubbled forth. He held his breath, wanting to continue moving forward, only to feel a sharp pain in his eyes. He then hurriedly leapt backwards to throw off the mist.
Upon seeing his Junior Brother rushing in, Wenren Heng had hurried over, and when he saw the other coming out this time, he hastily walked to the other’s side. “How is it?”
Ye You said, “Nothing’s wrong, I didn’t breathe it in, but it’s only that…”
He wasn’t even able to finish speaking before he felt a spell of dizziness and collapsed.