In which we find out who’s the real kidnapper.
After Mr. Xiao was captured, he was similarly locked in a discipline room.
The outside was watched by Shaolin and Wudang’s elite troops, and without Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Wudang’s approval, no one was allowed inside.
After arranging all of this, everyone went back to their respective rooms to rest, but perhaps because they were approaching the truth, none of them slept very steadily, and they all woke quite early. Upon seeing this, Abbot Ciyuan called them over to Dehui Hall and brought Mr. Xiao over to be questioned. They originally thought that they’d have to put forth quite a bit of effort to force his mouth open, but who could’ve known that he’d take the initiative himself to speak, but what he confessed was a completely different story.
Ding Xilai couldn’t remain calm and so had run over to notify them.
He looked at the two people standing calmly in front of him and said, “You two should at least give me some kind of reaction!”
“What are you panicking for. Those there are all elders, so they wouldn’t simply believe whatever someone says,” Ye You said, “If he doesn’t have proof, then Abbot Ciyuan and the others won’t believe him.”
Ding Xilai said, “But that surnamed Xiao said it was best to tie you up and question you, and also said that your thoughts are too deep, so you’re definitely secretly plotting something. He wants the Abbot and the others to be more careful around you. If they start suspecting you because of this, then what do we do if, in the future, you won’t be able to take us out to play?”
Wenren Heng finished tying the bandages and gave him a look.
Ye You also looked at him and repeated, “Us?”
Ding Xilai let out a dry cough, stiffened his face, and insipidly said, “Yes, regarding the matter yesterday night, this one truly benefited from…”
Ye You interrupted him. “Speak like a human being.”
Ding Xilai then approached, looking as if he wanted to grab the other’s hand, but quickly retracted his claws when he saw Wenren Heng lightly brush a gaze over. In the end, the only thing he dared to do was sit down next to the other. He solemnly said, “Sir Xiao, I think you’re especially clever, so from now on, I’ll be following you!”
This statement truly was from the heart. Even though he had expended only a bit of effort yesterday night, he was able to regain some respect in front of his crowd of peers for the first time in his life. And it was also due to this person’s idea last time that they went to question Li Hua, which allowed them to turn to Xiangxing City.
He felt that if he were to follow by this person’s side, he’d definitely profit sooner or later; it’d practically be more reliable than if he did good deeds every day!
Ye You laughed and asked, “I don’t know how to do anything, so what use is it for you to follow me?”
“Sir Xiao, if you don’t know how to do anything, doesn’t that mean I’m practically completely worthless?” Ding Xilai looked at him, sincerity extremely evident. “So there’s no need to be so humble. You should just accept me!”
Ye You was about to reply when he saw a monk sent by Shaolin coming to call him.
He immediately understood and stood up, preparing to go with the small monk to confront Mr. Xiao.
It was currently early morning, and adventurers were waking up one after the other. A portion of them had heard about the commotion yesterday and couldn’t help but discuss it in a low voice, while another portion had slept too deeply and completely didn’t know that anything had happened, simply staring at the others in complete bafflement, and there was still yet another portion who hadn’t been able to stand how dull Shaolin was and had gone out to seek entertainment, still having not yet returned.
Qin Yuemian was considered to be in that third group of people.
But right as Wenren Heng stepped out of the small courtyard, he saw the other and, after a moment of examination, asked in surprised, “You only just returned?”
Qin Yuemian said, “Yes.”
Wenren Heng asked, “You came from the small county town?”
Qin Yuemian once again said another simple, “Yes,” and understanding his meaning, said, laughing, “I crawled out of bed during the night’s fifth period for the sake of eating breakfast here.”
Wenren Heng didn’t believe that he’d be interested in Shaolin’s breakfast but understood after a moment of thought and asked, “You know about what happened last night?”
“More than know about it, I saw the whole thing myself.” Carrying that air of a prodigal son, Qin Yuemian yawned as he walked with them to the hall. “I was staying right at a corner of that inn and was woken up in the middle of the night by all the sounds of fighting. Anyway, since I wasn’t able to fall back asleep, I thought that I might as well return to watch this play.”
Ding Xilai was enlightened. “Ah, so it turns out that you were the person who was staying in the other room the waiter pointed out. What a coincidence.”
Qin Yuemian said, “Exactly.”
Ye You gave Qin Yuemian a look and guessed that this matter wasn’t so much a coincidence.
Part of the people he had here was led by Elder Hei, while the other part had been given to Qin Yuemian. Qin Yuemian had probably realized that that surnamed Xiao had something wrong with him and so had chosen to stay at the same inn. It was a pity that there was no time for the other’s careful probing before they had gone and carried that person off.
Ye You joyfully narrowed his eyes, thinking that he had chosen quite a good accomplice here. It was only that if his Senior Brother ever found out that even Qin Yuemian was participating in this matter, while he wasn’t willing to search out the other, then his Senior Brother’s expression would definitely be a sight to see.
The group walked and talked, and they quickly arrived on the path to Dehui Hall.
Ye You lifted his head and saw Pavilion Master Ding and the Alliance Leader coming up from another road. The fact that these two people had been able to return to Shaolin this morning, after having gone to Xiangxing City last night, meant that they had definitely hurried back overnight.
Ding Xilai saw his old man and instantly stiffened his expression, taking the initiative to move forward and greet the other, before asking after the Alliance Leader and then hesitantly saying, “Uncle Zhong, the matter with Xiao-Zhong… Do you know about it?”
The two immediately stopped.
Although these two good-for-nothing sons loved to play around, they had never done anything too terrible. The moment the Alliance Leader saw Ding Xilai’s grave expression, his heart skipped a beat, and he hastily asked, “What happened to him?”
Ding Xilai thereupon relayed what happened yesterday. In the meantime, Ye You and Wenren Heng had also walked into the vicinity and added a few more sentences of clarification. Upon seeing the Alliance Leader’s anxiety, Ding Xilai said, “Uncle Zhong, me and Sir Xiao and them have already captured and brought back the white piece’s subordinate last night. He might’ve been the one who kidnapped Xiao-Zhong.”
The Alliance Leader was worried without end, and when he heard those words, he was dumbfounded. “Them?”
“Sir Wei was also there,” Ye You said, “Last night was all thanks to them, especially Sir Ding. It was him who got the information out of the waiter’s mouth, or else we would’ve had to expend much more effort to find the white piece’s subordinate.”
Pavilion Master Ding couldn’t help but give his son a glance, with a healthy dose of disbelief.
Ding Xilai was embarrassed to be praised so well, and he did his best to maintain his stiff expression, straightening his back in front of his old man, while also sneaking a peek out from the corners of his eyes, hoping that his old man would praise him. Pavilion Master Ding then understood why this little rascal had been so uncharacteristically eager to take the initiative to approach him today. He looked at the Alliance Leader, “Don’t worry. Let’s first go in and look at that subordinate of the white piece.”
The Alliance Leader deeply wrinkled his brows and hurriedly entered the large hall, walking right up to the prisoner and asking, “Is my son in your hands?”
Mr. Xiao lifted his head to look at the other. “I already said that this thing has nothing to do with me. If all of you still don’t believe me, then I’m willing to make a blood oath. I’m speaking the truth. Rather than wasting your time on me, you’re better off finding and questioning that Sir Xiao.”
The Alliance Leader then turned to look at those people who had entered the hall right behind him.
Ye You said, neither fast nor slow, “I heard someone is slandering me?”
Mr. Xiao turned back to look at him and said, sneering, “Am I not speaking the truth? You dare to say that Sir Zhong and Fuping aren’t in your hands?”
“Mr. Xiao is willing to make a blood oath, so naturally I’m also willing.” Ye You walked to his side. “I’m just somewhat baffled. I have no former grudges and no present grievances with Sir Zhong. When Mr. Xiao heard he was kidnapped, why was his first reaction that I did it? What use would it be for me to kidnap Sir Zhong? Am I looking to get a ransom from the Alliance Leader?”
Those words had some deeper meaning.
Those present were all people with much experience, and whether or not Sir Xiao was the black piece’s man hadn’t been said yet, but it was clear that he wasn’t on the side of the white piece. Now the white piece’s man was asserting that he had kidnapped that person, and the only use for kidnapping Sir Zhong would be to restrict the Alliance Leader, so… the white piece’s man believed that he wanted to restrict the Alliance Leader? Why would he want to restrict the Alliance Leader? Unless the Alliance Leader was precisely the white piece!
The Alliance Leader didn’t open his mouth, but his brows wrinkled even more.
Mr. Xiao sneered and said, “No matter what you say, Fuping’s matter was something you did. Who knows whether you’d have a moment of impulse and kidnap someone to muddy the waters?”
Ye You showed some faint bewilderment before swiftly falling silent. After a while, he said, “So it was like this. I understand now.”
Everyone collectively turned to look at him, thinking that he was about to say something earth-shattering, but after waiting a while, they simply heard him say, agonized, “So it turns out that this matter was something Fuping had you do. He… does this mean he hates me?”
Everyone was dumbfounded.
Mr. Xiao was also caught off-guard. “What are you saying?”
Ye You said, “Did I guess correctly?”
Mr. Xiao angrily said, “Nonsense! Fuping is clearly in your hands! You still have your martial arts! Fuping was captured and taken away by you!”
“Captured and taken away by me?” Ye You shook his head, letting out a laugh, and said, sounding cold and dismal, “Was that what he said to you?”
Mr. Xiao said, “Don’t say that it isn’t true!”
“Of course it isn’t!” Without even waiting for Ye You to respond, Ding Xilai couldn’t help but shout out these words. Feeling his old man shoot him a glance, he quickly adjusted back into a solemn bearing and coldly said, “At that time, we were all present and heard with our own ears Fuping speaking of an infatuation with Sir Xiao and of a willingness to dedicate a lifetime to following him.”
Those Junior Sect Masters who had been present all nodded one after the other, indicating that Fuping truly had said that with his own mouth.
The information that Mr. Xiao received said only that Fuping had been captured and then had fallen down a cliff, so he didn’t know the actual details of the event. He couldn’t help startling before regaining his senses and saying, “Then you definitely forced him to say it!”
“I’ve never once forced him…” Ye You said faintly and, upon seeing that Mr. Xiao wanted to continue, interrupted him with, “I don’t want to argue with you about him. Since you’re so insistent that it’s me, then let’s go over everything from the beginning. First of all, you say that I kidnapped Sir Zhong. But when I fell down the cliff myself, I lost consciousness, and it wasn’t until night fell that I awoke. Senior Brother said that Sir Wei and Sir Ding and the others all came to see me.”
Wei Jiangyue saw him look over at them as he spoke and said, “Yes, we went after we ate dinner. At that time, you still hadn’t woken.”
Ye You said, “At that time, Senior Brother was continually guarding me. I didn’t have the opportunity to order a kidnapping.”
Mr. Xiao said, “Then it could be that…”
“You want to say that Senior Brother and I are perhaps working together?” Ye You once again interrupted him. “Neither of us have definite evidence that can stand on firm footing on this matter, so it won’t be easy to discern which is the truth. So I’ll say something that’d be easy to discern. For instance, you saying that I still have my martial arts.”
The moment he finished speaking, he turned around and walked towards Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang, confidently holding out his arm and saying to them, “Whether or not I still have my internal energy, you can find out with a single examination.”
Abbot Ciyuan said an, “Amitabha,” and examined for a moment before shaking his head.
After that was Sect Leader Xuanyang, who also shook his head after examining for a moment.
Mr. Xiao was stunned and said, “You definitely ate some drugs before coming here!”
Ye You returned with a question, “What kind of miracle drug is able to completely hide one’s internal energy? Why have I never heard of one? That’s right, other than them, Miracle Doctor Ji and Young Miracle Doctor Fang have both also taken my pulse before. Do you want to say that I’ve also bribed them?”
Mr. Xiao choked.
“Third, you say that Fuping is in my hands. When I was rescued while unconscious, there was only my Senior Brother nearby. Sir Wei and the others all saw it. Fuping wasn’t at my side at all.” Ye You looked at the Alliance Leader. “Did the Alliance Leader find Fuping at Xiangxing City?”
The Alliance Leader shook his head.
“Sure enough…” Ye You closed his eyes before once again looking at Mr. Xiao. “Either your people were the ones who rescued Fuping and so you purposely got captured in order to slander me as a reminder to the white piece to eliminate me, or this was actually something Fuping did, and he went along with me under false intentions, while instructing people to abduct him on our way back and taking the opportunity to go missing. He then pushed you out to act as a scapegoat, and not knowing anything, you similarly wanted to slander me. This would also let me feel as if kidnapping Sir Zhong had some hidden meaning and thus suspect that there’s a problem with the Alliance Leader. Like this, he’s treating you like a throwaway chess piece.”
Mr. Xiao took a moment to react. As if he’s thought of a certain thing, his expression changed. He then fervently insisted, despite his clear weakness, “Bullshit!”
“I don’t have anything else to say. No matter which it is, he still wants the white piece to kill me. He actually… hates me this much.” Ye You sighed bitterly and took out Fuping’s jade pendant to show him. “This was something I took from his person. It was because of this jade pendant that we managed to get information from Li Hua and capture you. That time, I saw him really treasure this jade pendant which is why I took it, but right now, I already don’t know if he was doing that on purpose for me to see. But…”
He changed his tone of voice, and as if he was enduring a great deal of pain, he spoke after a long while, “But if you truly had been sent by him, if this time you somehow luckily manage not to die and you get to meet him again, you tell him this. Tell him that I will personally get back the emotional debt that he owes me with my own two hands.”
When he finished speaking, he didn’t even look at the others, simply turning around and walking out. After walking two steps, he even faintly swayed, looking as if he could barely support himself.
Wenren Heng, “…”
Qin Yuemian, “…”
The scarred man was practically in the throes of grief and lamentation, itching to give this scoundrel surnamed Xiao a sound beating. Their Sect Master had finally managed to coax Sir Xiao after much difficulty, but now his scars had once again reopened, but what could be done?
He unconsciously looked at the Sect Master, and he saw that this person didn’t disappoint, turning around to pursue. He immediately felt extremely gratified and followed along, also leaving.
In the blink of an eye, Qin Yuemian had been tossed aside by them. He hesitated for a while before deciding to stay behind to watch the aftermath.
Ding Xilai still wanted to beg Sir Xiao to accept him so had hastily run after to comfort the other. This time, Wei Jiangyue also left. The Junior Sect Masters looked at each other and then similarly went to look for Sir Xiao.
The great hall was very quiet for a moment.
But in a flash, Academy Master Ge said, “Emotional debt?”
Everyone looked at him.
Nearly all of them had heard the entire matter from their own sons’ mouths. The only ones who didn’t know right now was the one whose son wasn’t by his side, Academy Master Ge, as well as the Shaolin Abbot and Sect Leader Xuanyang.
Academy Master Ge looked at them. “All of you aren’t curious?”
Everyone said, “We already know.”
“…Why don’t I know?” As he spoke, Academy Master Ge thought back and then followed by asking, “Why didn’t all of you tell me about it?”
Everyone said, “This is someone else’s personal affairs.”
Academy Master Ge didn’t care and was anxious to ask for a thorough retelling. Putting on a righteous air, he said, “This matter seems to be quite involved, so it’s better if all of you talk about it.”
Although Abbot Ciyuan and Sect Leader Xuanyang weren’t brash and inquisitive people, but they also indicated their agreement. Helpless to refute, everyone could only tell them the story about how Sir Xiao fell in love with Fuping at first sight.
At this time, Ding Xilai and the others had already caught up to Ye You. Upon hearing their insistence that they take him out to play, he shook his head to indicate that he wasn’t in the mood and that, since he hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet, he needed to politely decline their good intentions.
When Wenren Heng saw that they still haven’t moved, he held them off and told them that he’d watch his Junior Brother and so easily sent those people away. He indicated for his subordinate to get some food and slowly walked back with his Junior Brother. He said, “I don’t think that he was acting.”
Ye You looked thoughtful. “Yes, so if the person wasn’t kidnapped by the white piece, and he also wasn’t kidnapped by me, who exactly did it?”
Wenren Heng asked, “You don’t have any ideas?”
Ye You thought for a bit. Out of the corners of his eyes, he suddenly saw a person nearby, and he couldn’t help but look over. Wenren Heng followed his line of sight, finding that it was one of the Demonic Sect Elders in disguise, but that it wasn’t one of the earlier four Elders, and asked, “He’s also here?”
“Before, I thought that he was probably looking after the sect at home. Perhaps he heard that matters were serious so he came down the mountain to find me.” Ye You paused slightly and then said, “Or… there’s another possibility.”
Wenren Heng said, “What is it?”
The corners of Ye You’s mouth lifted. “If it really is the other possibility, I do have an idea of who the person is. The matter with Sir Zhong might be something he did.”
Wenren Heng said, “Who?”
Ye You simply smiled, not speaking.
Wenren Heng was very patient and decided to return before interrogating him.
At this moment, the newly arrived Elder Bai had already successfully reconvened with the other Elders. They were crammed together in a circle. Someone nearby was very curious and was about to approach to investigate further only to hear another person say, “There’s no need to look. They’re definitely just poking at worms.”
That person didn’t believe it and took a look, telling the other that that wasn’t it. The earlier person was flabbergasted and also went over to look, discovering that this time they had switched to a grasshopper. His mouth twitched, and he silently distanced himself from them.
Upon seeing the people in the surroundings leave, those Elders looked at Elder Bai and said, “Where’s Temple Master Xie? Weren’t you two going to come together?”
Elder Mei said, “You two came somewhat quickly.”
Elder Bai said, “The letter was written when we were midway here.”
Those people thought of his slow nature and understood, asking yet again, “Then where’s Temple Master Xie?”
Elder Bai said, “He said his people had already been gathered, so he wanted to first go look for them before making a grand entrance.”
Those Elders, “…”
As expected, he had guts, daring to come so openly!
Elder Baili was speechless. “This certainly does sound like something he would do, but isn’t he afraid of being surrounded by the righteous faction?”
Elder Mei frowned. “Temple Master Xie isn’t someone without any brains. Does he have something to rely on?”
Elder Hei said, “What kind of thing does he have to dare come here?”
Elder Baili said, “Exactly!”
Elder Bai waited for them to finish speaking their minds before very slowly saying, “He has one. He sent people to kidnap the Alliance Leader’s son.”
 德慧殿 lit. virtue and intelligence hall, or something. So now you know the real reason why I don’t translate place names — I am absolute shit with names.
 在下 Ding Xilai uses the humble “I” here lmao.
 五更 3-5am. Meaning, right before dawn. See chapter 49 for (long) explanation on this old timey way of counting time.
 您 polite ‘you’. Man, Ding Xilai is pulling out the big guns here.
 毒誓 lit. poison(ous) oath. I didn’t know how else to translate this, but according to folks on Baidu answers, it’s a term to refer to a very, very serious oath, ie. ‘if I’m lying, then my life is forfeit’ or ‘If this isn’t true, then let lightning strike me in retribution’ etc. etc.
 棄子 Specifically a Go term referring to the pieces you give up in order to better seize victory. Debated with using “pawn” here, but again, they’re playing Go, not chess!
Ding Xilai is best boy. I’m taking no criticism on this Absolutely True Fact™. I like how he’s so foolishly confident and gullible.
Remember when I said I wasn’t doing any more chapter-per-day updates? Well, apparently I am a lying liar who lies. This chapter was super funny, so I ended up finishing it ahead of time. I also skimmed the next chapter, and it features one of my favorite things, so… another update incoming. [/flops]
Also, I found out that 宮 (the “Temple” in Wuwang Temple) is apparently translated as “Temple” in English only when it’s referring to an actual religious building. Otherwise, it’s commonly translated into “Palace”, even if it’s not referring to the actual, you know, imperial palace. Do you think I should change Wuwang Temple to Wuwang Palace and Temple Master Xie to Palace Master Xie? I feel kind of weird doing it when the actual imperial palace is occasionally mentioned, but that’s the technically correct way of translating it, I guess? IDK, what do y’all think?
(For the record, the “Temple” in Shaolin Temple is actually a different character entirely. 寺 is specifically used for Buddhist temples and mosques. 宮 is usually used for Daoist temples, I believe?)