In which an instrument battle happens. Briefly.
If Ye You wanted to leave the carriage, he had to pass the place where Master Deru was lying.
The two were barely a third of a meter away from one another.
When Ye You looked over, the other party had also quickly turned to look at him, eyes visibly bloodshot, expression frightening and malevolent.
Master Deru glared at him, unwavering, pulling back his legs and straightening his back, as if shoring up enough energy to attack. This completely didn’t look like the appearance of someone prepared to commit suicide, and Ye You immediately instructed the Young Miracle Doctor, “Sit there and don’t move!”
As he spoke, he used a hand to open the carriage curtains and, upon seeing Deru’s movements, hastily moved for the outside.
Wenren Heng had also heard the sound of the flute and was, at this moment, about to jump onto the carriage. Ye You saw the other out of the corner of his eyes and, without even needing to think, threw himself over, directly falling into the other’s chest. Wenren Heng instinctively caught the person in his embrace, but before he even had the time to open his mouth, he saw the flash of a shadow behind his Junior Brother, practically flying out right at the heels of his Junior Brother, falling onto the floor with a bang, and stirring up a cloud of dust.
Startled, he broke out in cold sweat and held the person in his arms even more tightly, asking, “How are you?”
“I’m not injured,” Ye You said as he turned back to look.
Master Deru had been tied with iron chains, so neither of his arms was able to move and only his legs could be used to exert any force. It was as if he couldn’t feel pain, as right after he fell on the ground, he immediately leapt up again, making to move towards Ye You. The moment his foot touched the ground, he once again rushed forward.
Wenren Heng moved to the side and easily evaded.
Those nearby were caught off-guard by this unforeseen event and had only just now snapped out of their surprise. Abbot Ciyuan also urgently hurried back, wanting to stop his disciple. With quick steps, Qin Yuemian moved over to the carriage and pulled open the curtains. He found that the Young Miracle Doctor had already moved towards the door, and the two’s eyes coincidentally met.
The Young Miracle Doctor pulled open the door and looked outside. “How is he?”
Qin Yuemian looked him up and down and asked, “All right?”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Yes, just now he had me sit and not move, so I didn’t dare move.”
Qin Yuemian reached out a hand and pushed him back by the forehead. “Listen to him.”
The Young Miracle Doctor fell back with a thud and asked again, “How is he?”
“Rest easy, there’s so many people outside.” Qin Yuemian pulled down the curtains and looked towards the scuffle currently taking place.
During the time while these two were talking, Wenren Heng had already brought his Junior Brother to an empty area nearby. Master Deru rushed over, following close behind, before being surrounded by those who had been waiting here on standby, as per Wenren Heng’s arrangements.
Only after seeing the people Abbot Ciyuan had brought from Shaolin moving in did Wenren Heng finally turn to look carefully at the person in his arms. As he felt the other’s warmth seeping through and smelled the faint scent of herbs, Wenren Heng was, for the time being, reluctant to let go. He asked, “Are you really all right?”
Ye You said a, “Yes,” and made to turn.
Wenren Heng made a sound of regret in his heart before considerately loosening his hold. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Wei Jiangyue running over and was somewhat unhappy. That rascal had been treating his Junior Brother quite earnestly recently, and it wasn’t clear whether it was due to guilt or something else entirely.
Wei Jiangyue’s usual arrogant and indifferent face was carrying a rare sliver of anxiety. He looked at Sir Xiao. “Did you get injured?”
Ye You said, “I didn’t.”
Wei Jiangyue let out a breath of relief. Upon seeing that Master Deru had been staring in Sir Xiao’s direction all this time, looking for all the world as if he must kill this person or die trying, Wei Jiangyue asked, “The one he wants to kill is you?”
“It looks like it.” Ye You could guess that he wanted to once again advise some restraint and said, “But he isn’t targeting me in particular. The order was given out via the flute, so it’s unlikely to be this specific. The order was probably to kill the person closest to him, and at that time, I was nearby. The only thing is that we don’t know if he’ll commit suicide after killing me.”
Wei Jiangyue frowned. “You and the Young Miracle Doctor were both by his side. From the white piece’s perspective, he’d probably be happy if either one of you dies.”
Ye You lifted the corners of his mouth and didn’t refute those words. Seeing the sharpness in the corners of his eyes, Wei Jiangyue had a mind to give some more words of advice, but then upon noticing that even the incredible Wenren Heng wasn’t saying anything, Wei Jiangyue realized that it was very possible that any advice he gave would go unheeded, so the only thing he could do was swallow his words back down.
Wenren Heng looked forward. “I remember that Abbot Ciyuan had sealed his internal energy before sending him over?”
Ye You’s gaze was profound. “Yes, it looks like it’s not having any use.”
They had left in a hurry, so the Young Miracle Doctor didn’t have time to make any drugs and even Muscle-Weakening Powder hadn’t been used. The only thing they did was tie up Master Deru with a few chains before coming out. Now that they had evidence that sealing internal energy was useless against these drugged men, who knew whether feeding some Muscle-Weakening Powder would’ve actually worked.
The sound of the flute had not yet stopped before it suddenly turned sharp.
Abbot Ciyuan and a few Shaolin Masters had just pressed Deru down only to find that his internal energy seemed like it was growing once again. The chains wound around his body were aggravated by his inborn energy, and the clang of metals could be heard, as if they could be broken at any time.
Everyone’s expressions changed, and they hurriedly increased their internal energy.
At this time, they saw only a flash of white, and then Lady Tao had landed nimbly onto the closest carriage’s roof. She took down the qin on her back and plucked the notes with ease; a harsh song rapidly spilled out, aiming straight for the hidden flute player.
This move brought instant results. The faraway sounds of the flute immediately turned into a mess, and one could hear a clear sense of haste. It persevered for a moment before the sound finally died off.
The bloody energy mixed with killing intent that had suffused Master Deru’s eyes gradually dissipated, and he calmed down. Abbot Ciyuan took the opportunity to approach and knock his disciple unconscious. Everyone’s expressions relaxed, and they all turned to look at Lady Tao.
Lady Tao still remained locked in confrontation with that faraway enemy, and it was only when the sound of the flute had completely faded away that she herself stopped, but her fingers remained on the qin’s strings and her entire attention was on the mountain forests, not at all relaxing. The mountain winds stirred up the hem of her skirt slightly, making her look graceful and elegant, like an ascending immortal.
Many people present were pulled in by the sight.
Ye You was also looking at that figure, and his eyes contained admiration mixed with a sliver of some other feeling, leaving people unable to discern it.
Wenren Heng shot him a glance and said, “Let’s return. Fortunately Miracle Doctor Ji also came by carriage, so you and the Young Miracle Doctor can go sit with him and leave Master Deru alone in the other carriage.”
Ye You softly agreed and followed him back, saying, “Find someone to remind Lady Tao to be a bit more careful.”
Wenren Heng gave him only one short reply, “Yes.”
Ye You couldn’t help but ask, “Senior Brother, what do you think of her?”
Wenren Heng concealed his true feelings and gently said, “She’s quite good.”
Ye You looked at the other’s face for a long while but withdrew his probing when the other turned to look back at him. He lifted his head and saw Shaolin’s people carrying Master Deru and stuffing the man into the carriage. His heart moved, and he asked, “Senior Brother, do you have that dagger on you?”
Wenren Heng said, “No.”
After the “sleepwalking” incident, to prevent his Junior Brother from coming up with new torments, he didn’t carry many sharp objects around anymore.
Ye You settled for the next best thing. “Anything else would be fine too.”
Before Wenren Heng could ask what the other was planning on doing, the Wei Jiangyue who had returned with them actually responded and said that he had one, taking out a delicate dagger and handing it over. When Ye You received it, he swished it out of its sheath and, with it in hand, stepped into Master Deru’s carriage.
Shaolin’s people, “…”
Wei Jiangyue, “…”
Abbot Ciyuan’s expression changed, and fearing that the other was going to stab his disciple a few times, he hurriedly followed onto the carriage. “Benefactor, you…”
Before he finished speaking, he saw this young sir cutting into his disciple’s sleeve a few times, tearing off two strips, and lumping them into balls to stuff them into his disciple’s ears.
Startled, he asked, “Will this work?”
“Let’s try it,” Ye You said.
The sound of the flute was able to influence internal energy, so even he wasn’t able to guarantee that these strips would actually work to block it out.
Abbot Ciyuan also didn’t have any other ideas, so he nodded, and together, they went back outside.
At this time, the Young Miracle Doctor had already earnestly run over to Miracle Doctor Ji’s side and was currently telling the other about what happened just now. He told his Master that it was all thanks to Sir Xiao, or else he’d definitely be dead right now. Listening to this, Miracle Doctor Ji was also startled enough to break out in cold sweat, and when he looked over, he saw that Sir Xiao’s eyes even looked slightly different than before. Seeing the other coming over with Wenren Heng, he gave his genuine and sincere gratitude before asking, “How are your injuries?”
Ye You said, “All better.”
“All better?” Miracle Doctor Ji was first dumbfounded before he started thinking that they might’ve been cured by his disciple. He immediately turned to look at his disciple, gratified, only to hear in the next moment his disciple saying, “His internal energy is gone.”
“…” Miracle Doctor Ji asked, “What happened?”
Ye You said, “A small incident happened. Let’s talk on the way.”
Miracle Doctor Ji nodded and brought them to his carriage, once again following everyone to Shaolin. After hearing his young disciple talk about the course of events on the way, he indicated for Sir Xiao to extend an arm and took the other’s pulse. His expression changed slightly, and he lifted up his head to look at the other.
Ye You asked, “How is it?”
Miracle Doctor Ji stroked his beard and, after a moment of silence, said, “Your martial arts are entirely gone. It’ll be very difficult to even try to relearn it, so it’ll be dangerous for you in the future. Do you understand?”
Ye You looked at him. “I understand. Elder, I’ll be careful.”
Wenren Heng, Qin Yuemian, and Wei Jiangyue were near the carriage, so all of them had heard the words extremely clearly, and they all stopped in their tracks. Wenren Heng closed his eyes, and when he finally opened them, all his emotions had been pushed under a placid expression, untouched by any waves. Qin Yuemian shot him several looks but was still not able to see anything of significance and so simply decided to retract this attempt at figuring him out.
Wei Jiangyue pursed his lips, and his heart grew even heavier, as if a stone was weighing down on his chest.
Those in the carriage didn’t notice any of this tension at all.
The Young Miracle Doctor had finally reunited with his Master, so he had pulled out the small porcelain bottle and started a discussion about matters pertaining to the drug powder. Since it was convenient, he then also asked some questions about the books he had been reading during this journey. Miracle Doctor Ji benevolently patted his disciple’s head and patiently answered the other’s questions, and the two quickly got deep into conversation.
Listening to all this made Ye You’s head spin, so he simply found an excuse to go outside and look for his Senior Brother. Only when he saw his Senior Brother’s handsome face did he start feeling more at ease.
Miracle Doctor Ji looked in the direction of his departure and let out an extremely light sigh.
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Master?”
Miracle Doctor Ji said, “It’s nothing. Let’s continue talking.”
The Young Miracle Doctor said, “Oh.”
The only reason Wenren Heng was following the carriage was due to his Junior Brother. When he saw the other come out, he slowed his steps and asked, “Why aren’t you sitting in the carriage?”
Ye You said, deadly earnest, “That master and disciple rarely meet, so how could I have the heart to disturb them.”
Wenren Heng didn’t expose his lie and said, “Miracle Doctor Ji has only this one disciple left, so he’s naturally valued.”
Despite knowing the answer, Ye You asked, “What about the other disciples?”
Wenren Heng said, “His oldest disciple was also said to be extremely exceptional, but he unfortunately passed many years ago. After finishing his studies, his second disciple left for an official position, and now he’s already become an imperial court physician. His third disciple is Young Miracle Doctor Fang.”
Ye You asked, “How did he lose his oldest disciple?”
Wenren Heng said, “It’s unclear. It’s something that happened over twenty years ago.”
Ye You nodded.
The sound of the flute didn’t appear again for the remainder of the journey.
Those sent by the Alliance Leader’s party to search the mountains returned one by one, and they told the others that they didn’t see a trace of that person’s shadow. Everyone knew then that the other party had once again escaped and let out a sigh. Afterwards, they quickly reached Shaolin Temple.
After Abbot Ciyuan made arrangements for everyone, the party separated into their respective rooms to rest. They decided to wait for the black piece or the white piece’s next move, but they waited until the next morning without anything happening, causing them all to feel somewhat unsettled.
Academy Master Ge and Wenren Heng were residing close to one another, so Academy Master Ge couldn’t help but run over to find Sir Xiao so as to ask him about his thoughts.
“This, I don’t know.” Ye You speculated, “But since the black piece painstakingly revealed the matters about Bodhi Prison, he definitely wouldn’t just count on the righteous faction to investigate. He should also be making some moves of his own.”
The moment his voice faded, a clamor came from outside, and immediately afterwards, a person from Dingtian Academy ran into the small courtyard, saying, “Academy Master, the black piece caught the flute player, and he had someone send that person over!”
Academy Master Ge looked at Sir Xiao in shock and appeared as if he was practically going to leap off his chair.
Ye You laughed and said, “Elder, don’t look at me like that. It’s just a lucky coincidence. It’s not guaranteed to be the black piece’s move.”
“…It’s not that.” Academy Master Ge returned to his senses and earnestly asked, “Sir Xiao, do you have any plans for the future? If you haven’t decided yet, why not consider my Dingtian Academy?”
Ye You silently looked behind the other’s back.
Academy Master Ge took a moment to react before he seemed to feel something and hastily turned around, only to see Wenren Heng stepping outside the room and taking special attention to look amiably at them.
Academy Master Ge, “…”
 1尺. Was really tempted to use “a foot” here, since that’s basically what it meant, but I’m not that much of a heathen to use imperial measurements!
I honestly can’t believe Academy Master Ge hasn’t figured it out yet, since Ye You’s not even trying to hide it properly lmao. Honestly, this kind of clueless, naive, ridiculously trusting character is just my type… Academy Master Ge is winning me over…