In which there’s a lot of talking, and apparently flutes are evil.
Master Deru was Abbot Ciyuan’s youngest disciple.
It’s said that, for the entire year, in every season, other than practicing martial arts, he knew only how to read scripture.
If there was no work to do, he could stay indoors for an entire day, without even changing position. If no one looked after him, then he himself wouldn’t go look for food and would probably simply starve to death like that.
Although the Abbot did want his disciples to be fascinated by scripture, the Abbot also thought that it wasn’t good for him to always be like this and so tried teaching him to play chess, but he couldn’t learn it at all. The Abbot then tried teaching him tea ceremony, yet he still wasn’t able to learn. The Abbot thus gave up on teaching him about matters related to cultivating mental refinement and started teaching him the basics of preserving his own life. Regardless of anything else, if this disciple ever decided to go down the mountain alone one day, then at the barest minimum, he should know how to ask for alms.
The matter of asking for alms was at least something Master Deru still knew how to do.
But unfortunately his form was too rough and burly, his eyes too large, so he always gave people a fiendish and demonic impression. Moreover, he had a slow-witted disposition, so when he knocked on people’s doors, he’d stand there with the alms bowl, staring at the person unblinkingly when the door opened, scaring the other party until their faces paled and the door was slammed in his face. While watching this scene from afar, the Abbot even felt his usual pleasant and amiable countenance start to crack.
Later, the Abbot patiently taught him again a few more times, telling him that he must maintain a gentle atmosphere, before this disciple finally succeeded in learning it.
The Abbot felt as if he had just accomplished something momentous, and even had the sudden feeling that it was probably fine even if this was the only thing his disciple ever learned in a lifetime. He then brought this person back to Shaolin.
And even later, when Bodhi Prison was built, and Shaolin and Wudang needed to take turns sending people over as guards, the Abbot once again turned this idea over to his disciple.
Although this disciple was foolish, his martial arts was quite good, and it would be a pity for someone with such a suitable appearance as a guard not to be sent over to watch the prison. Moreover, being able to go every other month and hone his character could perhaps be a good thing.
The Abbot certainly had some unspoken expectations. Because no one could be sure about what the future held, if there ever came a day when he himself and the other disciples weren’t around and there was need for Deru to appear, then he hoped that this person would be able to shoulder some responsibility.
But it wasn’t until today that he felt some remorse, in a time far too late for regrets. His disciple was so foolish that he didn’t even know that he had been drugged!
Sweat slowly seeped out of Abbot Ciyuan’s forehead, and feeling his disciple about to break through those sealed acupoints, he once again increased his internal energy to press the other down.
Upon seeing this, the Masters standing on the side hastily moved, surrounding the two of them in a circle and adding in their own internal energy. Like fighting against a long, torrential river, they finally managed to to hold Deru thoroughly in place. But his consciousness remained muddled, and he was unable to recognize anyone, only able to howl incessantly in a hoarse voice.
With an aching heart, Abbot Ciyuan knocked him unconscious.
The Alliance Leader’s party hadn’t dared to disturb them just now, and after asking the nearby young Buddhist monk a few questions in a low voice, they had stood aside watching quietly. And because of Abbot Ciyuan’s haste after the incident happened, he was not clear on what had been the cause. After entrusting his disciple to others, he once again looked in grief at the mass of Wudang disciples laid out upon the ground before finally inquiring about the course of events.
The Shaolin disciple who had been in charge of guarding Deru and the others had been caught completely unprepared by the tragic deaths of his fellow sect members and had already long had tears streaming down his cheeks. He said, choked with sobs, “This disciple also doesn’t know what happened, but when bringing over the meals, this disciple seemed to have heard the sound of a flute.”
Abbot Ciyuan asked, “The sound of a flute?”
The Shaolin disciple said, crying, “Yes, it sounded for a very short moment. And then Marital Uncle and the Senior Brothers suddenly went mad. This disciple doesn’t know if it has anything to do with that.”
Everyone turned silent.
With Master Deru’s appearance, it was clear that he had been given drugs, but it was unclear when exactly the drugs were given.
One possibility was that the reason why Bodhi Prison was able to remain safe and unscathed under the watch of Shaolin was related to these drugs. Another possibility was that Shaolin had participated in these matters, and so they had been silenced.
Regarding to what degree the drug had spread, what exactly its efficacy was, and what relationship it had with the sound of the flute, they did not know any of these things. The only “clue” they had already lost consciousness, and they didn’t know if he could ever regain his rationality.
Wenren Heng said, “Let’s send him over for the Young Miracle Doctor to take a look.”
Abbot Ciyuan had also decided on that. He instructed the disciples to carry Deru and then, after making some inquiries, went into Bodhi Prison.
Yesterday, the Young Miracle Doctor had taken away only a few bottles of drugs and had investigated them for most of the night. The next morning, he had hurriedly rushed over to enter the hidden pavilion. When Wenren Heng heard, he internally said a single fool before sending all his subordinates over to guard the other so as to avoid any mishaps from happening.
When they arrived, the Young Miracle Doctor was currently focusing his full attention on investigating the drug powder. Upon seeing them bring in a live person, he received quite a scare. After inquiring about the situation, he hurriedly had them bring the person over to the stone bed in the room before doing a careful examination. He then started sifting through the pile of small bottles on the side.
Everyone didn’t dare to disturb him and so said not a word. Even when he stopped moving and simply sat there frowning, they still didn’t dare to open their mouths.
It was only after he had inserted a row of needles in Master Deru and had lifted his head to look at them did someone ask, “How is it?”
The Young Miracle Doctor placed a small bottle on the table. “This should be the finished product.”
Academy Master Ge asked, “What’s it used for? Consuming it will cause the internal energy to grow like this?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Yes, inside also contains herbs to confuse people’s reason. After consumption, one will become very obedient. The flute sound all of you mentioned should be one of those… one of those…”
Ye You understood. “Like one of those flutes snake charmers use?”
The Young Miracle Doctor nodded. “It should be about the same.”
Everyone’s hearts turned heavy.
The drug had already been completed.
Like this, it was very possible that the white piece already had an entire herd of drugged people with excess internal energy at his beck and call. What would he use these people to do?
Academy Master Ge’s heart felt very cold, and he couldn’t help but ask, “Is there an antidote?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “I’ll try and see if I can make an antidote.”
Ye You laughed and said, “Don’t just say whatever comes to mind right now. If I was the white piece, then right now I’d definitely really want to kill you.”
The Young Miracle Doctor stared blankly.
Everyone didn’t wait for him to react; they had all understood Sir Xiao’s meaning and immediately felt that the Young Miracle Doctor was incomparably more precious than gold. They started discussing how many people would be suitable to guard him when they heard Sir Xiao saying that it was probably best to bring everything outside. They couldn’t help but look at him.
Pavilion Master Ding said, “There’s various people outside. Anyone could easily find an opening to make a move.”
The Alliance Leader said, “Yes, if there’s no tricks in this hidden chamber, then it’s safer here than outside. There’s only one path, and we can send people to guard both inside and outside, and have only those we trust inside here.”
Manor Lord Wei sighed. “Those we trust? Right now, at this critical juncture, those people are not easy to find.”
That one sentence turned everyone silent.
At this time, they all had suspicions, those without morals look reliable but could in actuality be murderers. And what’s more, what could be done if the white piece wanted to shift the blame and frame someone and so took this opportunity to find a scapegoat?
Sect Master Han said, “I was the one who found the people to build Bodhi Prison. Since my involvement is unclear, I won’t participate in this matter regarding the Young Miracle Doctor.”
Sect Leader Xuanyang said, “If everyone can believe in my Wudang one more time, Wudang is willing to send people to protect Miracle Doctor Fang.”
Abbot Ciyuan placed his palms together and said an, “Amitabha,” also willing to be bound to the duty.
These two’s statuses were extremely high, and although these two sects had encountered setbacks when guarding Bodhi Prison, while the white piece had yet to be revealed, it might truly be better to just entrust this person to them.
Seeing that matters had been decided, Ye You once again proposed moving everything outside. Upon seeing their hesitation, he said, “Can any of you guarantee that this miracle doctor has truly left? If one or two people had been left behind just in case, then when the time came, they need only to hear the sound of the flute before rushing out to start killing every which way. Bodhi Prison has this many turns, and only one path, so if something actually happens, even if the Young Miracle Doctor shouts for help, there’s no guarantee that anyone outside will hear him.”
Academy Master Ge said, “But these prison cells are made of black iron…”
He paused mid-speech, remembering that if there were people left behind who had been working with the miracle doctor, then it was possible that they would have the keys and the flute. If the Young Miracle Doctor did decide to stay inside this prison, then it truly would be quite dangerous.
Sluggishly, the Young Miracle Doctor reacted and turned to look at them. “I also want to stay outside. It’s far too stifling in here.”
Thus, everyone no longer had any further complaints.
In a short while, the Shaolin and Wudang disciples had come, file-by-file, and set about helping the Young Miracle Doctor move everything. They then heard a certain “lantern” talking to the Young Miracle Doctor, “In a while, have them find a chain made of black iron and use it to chain up Master Deru.”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
Ye You said, “Do you have any drugs that can temporarily block internal energy on hand? If you don’t, make some now and give it to Master Deru.”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
Ye You said, “And it’s best to also give him some Muscle-Weakening Powder.”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
All the disciples, “…”
This tone of speech didn’t even carry any hint of a reaction! Wasn’t he a miracle doctor!
The disciples peeked at them in suspense. They saw that the Young Miracle Doctor had currently lowered his head and was fiddling with the herbs while that young sir was standing beside, looking down at him. At this moment, they sensed those two moving to look in their direction.
They retracted their lines of sight and promptly fled.
Ye You once again looked at a certain someone and asked, “Did you hear what I said?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
Ye You pulled away what was in his hand.
The Young Miracle Doctor immediately raised his head and stared at the other, at a loss. “What is it?”
Ye You laughed and let out a sigh. “You need to change this bad habit of yours, or else if you end up getting sold, you might even help the seller count their money.”
The Young Miracle Doctor was even more at a loss.
Wenren Heng also felt somewhat helpless, and he signaled for the scarred man to do all the things that his Junior Brother had directed. The scarred man’s way of handling affairs was swift, and he quickly found a chain in the prison. Thereupon, when the Shaolin disciples returned, they were met with the sight of their Martial Uncle being bound with one line of chains after another, and they immediately felt a bitter pain well-up in their hearts.
The hidden chamber was very spacious, and there were quite a few things in there, enough to fill up half a room.
Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang looked at this pile of knickknacks and then looked at the small courtyard before remembering that there was also an unconscious and burly Deru by the Young Miracle Doctor’s side. They then began considering where exactly to arrange a place for them, and together, the two turned silent.
This courtyard had originally been intended only for the guards to stay, so space was limited, and it had already long been overcrowded. There were truly too many openings to exploit. After a short discussion, the two walked over to the nearby Alliance Leader.
Right now, those piles of white bones hadn’t yet been re-interred, and Shaolin Temple had even added more corpses, causing no small amount of talk along with some hard-to-distinguish sobbing. There was no telling when the black piece and the white piece’s next moves would come, so people didn’t even have the will to let out a breath.
The Alliance Leader’s group was standing within the courtyard, and they had never before felt so physically and mentally drained.
So when Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang made the suggestion to move to Shaolin, they immediately agreed.
Shaolin Temple was good, both safe and quiet.
Right now, they especially needed some peace and quiet.
Bodhi Prison wasn’t far from Shaolin. From here, it wouldn’t even take two hours to get there. Everyone quickly arranged things for those who would stay behind, and after tidying up, they majestically set off.
Wenren Heng’s carriage wasn’t very big, so after the carriage was filled with his Junior Brother, the Young Miracle Doctor, Master Deru, and a pile of random items, he and Qin Yuemian couldn’t step a single foot inside, so resigned, they remained outside.
After going halfway down the mountain, they saw a carriage directly ahead, coming up from the bottom.
After the carriage caught up with them, it stopped. The curtains were opened, and out stepped an elegant and sagelike old man; this was precisely the famous and renowned Miracle Doctor Ji. He had originally promised Wenren Heng that he would come find them after finishing his business with the Wang family. Who could’ve known that when he was midway, the Wang Patriarch would be poisoned once again. He had to delay for a while, and only now was he finally meeting up with them.
Everyone’s spirits shook, and they immediately welcomed him.
Upon hearing the commotion, Ye You prepared to go out and look, but at this time, from somewhere in the mountains came the melodious sound of a flute. Ye You’s heart turned cold, and he quickly looked back.
He saw Master Deru, who had both eyes tightly closed, move slightly before suddenly opening those blood-red eyes.
?? No footnotes?? [surprised pikachu face]
Anyway, when they said they were going to Shaolin Temple, I got legit excited. For those who grew up on wuxia, Shaolin Temple is like the place to be. I’m excited to see how author will describe it (if, uh, they ever get there).
Also, since I just got a comment about this: I don’t mind if people ask me about translation status if I drop the ball for, like, a month or something, but asking me about new releases only a few days after I released the last one… Well, any future comments in this vein will be deleted. Just a heads up!
Oh, and I changed the “secret guards” from last chapter to “shadow guards” because that’s apparently the common translation — and it sounds much nicer than what I half-assedly threw together too!