In which Ding Xilai proves that he’s even sillier than previously imagined. Also, Wenren Heng gets teased (or flirted with? who knows, he sure doesn’t).
In order to prevent anyone from discovering that they had found a trail, the next morning, after Ye You and the other young sirs had eaten a Buddhist meal, they patiently sat for over two hours before using the excuse that they were “going out as a group at noon” to prepare and leave Shaolin.
There were some Junior Sect Masters who didn’t quite understand and asked, “You aren’t afraid that, in delaying for a while, the white piece would’ve made some preparations?”
Ye You said, “If the white piece was able to get the information, then he’d definitely have sent someone last night, so there’s no difference. It’s still better to do it like this so as to appear more sensible.”
Everyone internally thought that this made sense and obediently listened.
Before they left, they didn’t forget to bring some well-known subordinates. But if they brought too many, it’d still appear similarly suspicious, so in the end, every person brought only two bodyguards and then left it to Wei Jiangyue and Ding Xilai to pick a few more people from “Heaven’s Firmament” and “Moon’s Shadow”.
Regarding this matter, the Wei Jiangyue who had never caused any trouble since he was young was able to pick people from “Moon’s Shadow” directly without even notifying Manor Lord Wei. But Ding Xilai was unable to do the same, and he had to summon up the courage to find his old man.
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “Why do you want more people?”
Ding Xilai stood ramrod straight and said indifferently, “Answering Father. Having not seen Second Brother Wei and the others for so long, we wish to go out for a meal together. Since the recent situation is still unclear, and with his martial arts gone, Sir Xiao needs some protection, so it’s better if we had some more manpower around.”
Pavilion Master Ding turned a deaf ear and said, “The truth.”
Ding Xilai was silent for a moment before saying, “Yesterday, this son wasn’t able to ask anything useful from the flute player but still knows where she lives. Although Abbot Ciyuan already sent people to search, Sir Xiao said that we might as well go take a look after we finish eating, and perhaps there will be a hidden chamber or somesuch place to be found. This son is afraid of the dangers so wants to bring some more people.”
Of course, this was also something that had been decided beforehand. If the elders began to suspect, they’d all answer in this way. Pavilion Master Ding looked at him, but wasn’t able to see much of anything from his tense face, so said, “Let Wei Jin and Shaotian and them go with you.”
Ding Xilai’s expression immediately showed some cracks. “Ah?”
Pavilion Master Ding asked, “What?”
Ding Xilai quickly stowed away his emotions and urged, “We’re simply going to have a meal, and then just walk around for a bit. With Shaolin’s situation so complicated, it’s better to have Brother Wei stay behind to help you.”
Pavilion Master Ding said, “No need.”
Seeing that his old man was already set on the idea, Ding Xilai was afraid that he’d make even more mistakes if he continued speaking, so the only thing he could do was agree in resignation.
At this time, Ye You had also just about tidied up. He unhurriedly stood up and said his goodbyes to his Senior Brother.
Since he was simply going out to eat, it wouldn’t look good if Wenren Heng saw him out, so the other could only sit there. But upon seeing him about to go outside, Wenren Heng unconsciously reached out and grabbed his hand.
Ye You looked back. “What?”
Wenren Heng looked at him. “Remember what I said yesterday.”
Ye You was about to nod when he suddenly remembered something and asked, “Senior Brother, didn’t you want to get married quickly? If I really get injured and you decide to keep me strictly by your side, aren’t you afraid of making Sister-in-law angry?”
“I promised to try with you, so I won’t go back on my words,” Wenren Heng said, “If you think it’s all right, then perhaps I’ll just marry you.”
These words were said particularly calmly, and like before, there wasn’t the slightest sense of ambiguous or teasing implication, as if it had been specially said to refute those words he said just now. Ye You’s words were stuck in his mouth for a while, but he ultimately couldn’t help following along with the other’s words. “Then since I’m going out on a trip, isn’t Senior Brother going to show his feelings a little?”
Wenren Heng, “…”
Ye You looked at him and laughed, saying, “I’m just playing around. I’m going.”
The door let out a creak before everything fell into stillness.
Wenren Heng wanted to put a hand on his head.
He didn’t really understand what exactly it was that this Junior Brother of his wanted to do.
Ever since they had spoken plainly, and aired everything out, his Junior Brother had calmed down by quite a bit, but over this recent period of time, he didn’t know why the other had redoubled his efforts again, especially when his Junior Brother already knew about the unclear and ambiguous relationship between Sect Master Ye and Lady Tao. Why was the other still trying to sound him out from time to time?
The other couldn’t actually be trying to provoke him, right?
Wenren Heng poured a cup of tea and continued muttering to himself.
When Ye You arrived, Wei Jiangyue and those Junior Sect Masters were all already present.
They waited for a short while before seeing the Junior Alliance Leader and Ding Xilai appear in their fields of view. The former had his lips pursed, looking as if he wanted to smile but was enduring it, while the latter was no longer carrying the philandering air from previous days, expression tense, looking steady and reliable.
The Junior Sect Masters were first extremely surprised before they clearly saw who was behind the two, and they immediately couldn’t help but let out a pfftt. Even Wei Jiangyue’s eyes seemed to contain a bit of laughter.
Ye You gave them a glance and recognized that the one following Ding Xilai was the Head of “Moon’s Shadow”, Wei Jin. At that time, when Pavilion Master Ding had drawn the first piece of the map and tossed it aside, it was this person that had taken it and then led the way. Next to him there was another person wearing a mask that covered the upper half of the face. The mouth that was visible was raised slightly, revealing a somewhat wicked smile.
He asked, “That is?”
Wei Jiangyue said, “He’s the captain of the second squad of ‘Moon’s Shadow’, Ren Shaotian. Most of the time, his responsibility is to protect the family’s Young Master Ding. He should’ve just arrived at Shaolin with them yesterday, so you haven’t met him before.”
Ye You nodded, and when they got close enough, everyone then left Shaolin Temple together.
The carriages had long since been prepared, and everyone divided themselves up for them.
Wei Jiangyue, the Junior Alliance Leader, and Ding Xilai were naturally sitting in one carriage, and since Ye You was their main supporting pillar, he was also invited over.
The moment Ye You sat down, the Junior Alliance Leader, who had been enduring all this time, finally broke down and, under the murderous gaze of Ding Xilai, soundlessly laughed until he fell over, his entire body twitching.
Ye You asked, “What?”
“I… I’ll explain. This story is a classic.” The Junior Alliance Leader crawled back up, and relying on the fact that Ding Xilai wasn’t able to beat him up, he laughingly explained, “Because Wei Jin is also coming along.”
Ye You raised a brow. “Oh?”
“Wei Jin has an honest character, and a solemn disposition. No matter what his young master does, as long as Pavilion Master Ding asks, he’ll always straightforwardly answer. Like that time…” The Junior Alliance Leader lowered his voice, and while laughing, he told the other about an old matter that all the Junior Sect Masters knew.
One time, Ding Xilai left the house with Pavilion Master Ding, and since he really didn’t want to fill up seats, he searched and found an excuse to slip away.
At that time, Ren Shaotian wasn’t around, so Pavilion Master Ding sent Wei Jin to look after him, and to stop him from going to any wild places. Ding Xilai naively thought that everyone in “Moon’s Shadow” was easy to talk to, so he swore Wei Jin to secrecy before turning around and going to a brothel. Wei Jin naturally notified Pavilion Master Ding, and when Pavilion Master Ding murderously arrived, Ding Xilai was just about to do it. Upon seeing his dad, Ding Xilai instinctively stood up in a grave manner, while he was still completely naked from head to toe, and his bottom half was still stiff as a rod. He angered Pavilion Master Ding so badly that he was almost chopped to pieces.
Ye You let out a laugh.
Ding Xilai’s entire face was full of indignation. “Have you finished talking? How many years are you going to laugh about this?”
“It’s enough to keep me laughing until halfway through my next life,” the Junior Alliance Leader mocked. Looking at Sir Xiao, he finished the story, “Since then, Ah-Lai feels nervous every time he sees Wei Jin, and he doesn’t dare to mess around in front of the other.”
Ye You was enlightened. “I understand.”
Ding Xilai muttered and groaned, but in the interest of not going overboard, he ignored them.
After Ye You’s party left, Wenren Heng sat for only a short while before Shaolin’s people came to call him away.
The reason being that Miracle Doctor Ji and Young Miracle Doctor Fang found a letter amidst all those random knickknacks, and after investigating, they learned about a frightening matter. Thus, the Abbot sent people to call them all over.
Right now, it was almost noon, so the Abbot had set the meeting place to the dining hall, having planned to also have a meal in passing.
Qin Yuemian felt his head ache the moment he heard and, waving his hand, said, “If I keep eating vegetables, I’ll actually start turning into a vegetable. Don’t mind me. You should go by yourself. I’m going to find some people to go out and drink with me.”
Wenren Heng naturally didn’t care what he did and so entered the dining hall alone. He saw Miracle Doctor Ji standing in the center of the room and noted that the other’s usual benevolent face was sporting a rare grave expression. He then guessed that the situation had probably taken a turn for the worse.
People arrived little by little, and upon seeing them all looking at him, Miracle Doctor Ji slowly relayed the situation.
As everyone already knew, he and his disciple unintentionally found a letter, and on the letter was recorded some things related to the drug. After an investigation, they came to the conclusion that the final product of the drug had actually been successfully completely several years earlier.
Many people’s expressions changed. “What?”
Startled, Academy Master Ge said, “But if it had already long been completed, why did the white piece still take the risk of keeping Bodhi Prison?”
“He was continuing to add efficacy.” Miracle Doctor Ji softly sighed and said, “The first finished product was originally effective against only ordinary people. Later, it began to be capable of controlling martial artists, but if the internal energy was too high, it’d still be ineffective.”
The remaining words no longer needed to be said.
The white piece kept the prison in order to manufacture an even more effective drug and control even more powerful martial artists.
“There’s one more thing,” Miracle Doctor Ji said, “The spirit devouring powder in the drugs is something that he manufactured after testing the drug many times. The letter has some records of this. The main gist is that if given to a young child, and this child is then carefully told of an entirely new identity and background while he’s in a confused state, then this drug can muddle his previous memories, and under this imperceptible influence, he’ll become a complete different person. The white piece has probably already tested this on people before.”
Everyone immediately sucked in a cold breath, but before they had the time to speak their thoughts, they saw a Shaolin disciple run in and tell them that yet another letter had been sent.
They hastily rose and left, and after confirming the handwriting on the letter, they found that it had again been sent by the black piece. It was still the same as the previous times, and those that brought the letter were all hired by someone else for this job. Abbot Ciyuan let those people go before opening it up to take a look. On the letter, the first sentence was, Weren’t able to ask anything, right?
“…” Everyone’s faces turned red.
They continued downwards, and the second sentence was, If you managed to ask something, pretend I didn’t write those words above.
“…” Everyone no longer knew how many times they’d thought that this person needed a beating. They silently continued reading and saw the black piece saying that he was writing this letter to remind everyone about one thing, that those who have died could still be alive.
Manor Lord Wei read it aloud, “Those who have died could still be alive?”
One after the other, the rest of the group sunk into contemplation, wanting to know who the black piece was referring to.
Wenren Heng speculated, “Could it be someone like Blood-sucking Ghost? The drugs made at Bodhi Prison are already enough to control a martial artist like Single-eyed Li. If the white piece is still not satisfied, then the one he wants to control must be one of the finest experts like Blood-sucking Ghost. The black piece could be either referring to an expert whose death has been faked or pointing to a certain pivotal character. If we can find out who’s faking their death, then maybe we can discover the white piece’s identity.”
The Alliance Leader habitually furrowed his brows. “But in these ten-plus years, there’s been far too many people who have died in Jianghu.”
“That’s right…” Everyone’s heads hurt. Guessing a dead person was like finding a needle in a haystack.
Academy Master Ge suddenly said, “This ink was just used recently.”
Everyone looked at him and saw that he was pointing at the letter in Abbot Ciyuan’s hand and repeating, “Ink was just used.”
Pavilion Master Ding was the first to react. “So you’re saying that he wrote this very recently, and that after he wrote it, he found someone outside to bring it over. Who left Shaolin Temple today?”
A light shone in everyone’s eyes, and they hastily sent subordinates to ask.
But in the end, this matter led to great disappointment. As the adventurers had been holed up in Shaolin Temple for many days, those who left today were many. Not even speaking of anyone else, if one counted only the group of Junior Sect Masters, then that was already a great crowd.
“Make a list,” Pavilion Master Ding said, “At least we can limit the scope.”
No one argued. Even if the one who wrote the letter wasn’t the black piece himself, it must still be a subordinate, and the fact that he was able to write to them over and over meant that he most likely knew the black piece’s identity. If they could find the black piece, then they needed simply to ask about the identity of the white piece, and then everything could be understood.
Upon returning to the dining hall, they saw Miracle Doctor Ji and remembered what happened just now. Following that, they remembered the flute player’s young age when she first met Master Deru.
Abbot Ciyuan asked, “Is it possible that she was given drugs?”
Miracle Doctor Ji shook his head. “I can’t say. Even if she was given drugs, because it’s been so long, I also don’t know if the effects could be undone.”
Abbot Ciyuan said an, “Amitabha,” and after discussing it with everyone, they agreed to let Miracle Doctor Ji try, before they finally sat down to eat.
 衛大哥 lit. oldest brother Wei. The Wei here is a different Wei than Wei Jiangyue’s surname, but it’s pronounced the same. Also, while referring to a person by nickname usually implies some sort of closeness, here, with the stiff way Ding Xilai has been talking to his father the whole time, this address more implies that Wei Jin is close to the family itself rather than Ding Xilai in particular.
 攝魂的粉末 I translated this literally, but the way it’s written makes me think that the “spirit devouring” part is a euphemism for something else, but I have no idea what. Baidu just tells me it means “spirit devouring” in the literal sense, while Moedict says it refers to a particularly frightening situation, neither of which really fits with the fact that it’s explicitly describing some drug powder. If anyone knows for sure, please tell me.
I legit wanted to shake Wenren Heng while I was translating this and go, “Bro, your Junior Brother loves you!!” …But, also, your Junior Brother is a little shit who’s 100% lying about his lost memories
, so kick his ass before confessing your love, please and thank you. Nah, JK, this blog does not support corporal punishment of any form. Consensual spanking is ok though. We don’t shame legitimate kinks here.
And, I’ve been rereading some of my earliest translations, and boy was I terrible. 90% of my notes were me going, “This chapter was too hard QQ.” Just reading them makes me want to TLC those chapters since I sounded like I completely didn’t know what I was doing lmao.