In which Ye You asks some questions.
The night deepened yet again.
With the fourth period of the night, the air was gradually turning cold, feeling as if it could thread itself under the skin and penetrate straight into the heart.
The autumn insects were startled by the sound of footsteps, and the tireless chirping of the birds stopped; the mountain forest rapidly turned quiet, a blanket of deathly stillness.
The flute player ran forward, pale-faced, fearfully looking left and right, like a bird that had been startled by the twang of a bow, looking as if a blood-sucking beast would suddenly jump out from the dark of the night.
A few subordinates were following him, and all of their expressions were panicked.
After an unknown amount of time, the flute player stumbled and had to support himself with a nearby tree. Feeling as if his insides were churning, he opened his mouth and spat out a mouthful of blood.
The subordinates were startled, and they hastily encircled him.
With the worsening of internal injuries, the flute player no longer had any color to his face, looking exactly like a ghost when reflected underneath the frigid moonlight. He felt as if he could hear the push and pull of his chest as he breathed, and sluggishly, he asked in a hoarse voice, “Is there anyone chasing?”
The subordinates looked behind themselves in alarm before saying, “No one.”
The flute player’s tense nerves eased slightly, and he collapsed, supported back up by the hand of a subordiante.
He muttered in a low voice, “I don’t understand. Why would he so easily let us go?”
The subordinate also thought that they had escaped from a lion’s den today, and the cold sweat on his forehead had yet to dry. He said, “Sect Master Ye’s heart is difficult to fathom. Maybe… maybe he’s in a good mood?”
The flute player didn’t bother to comment. Remembering the situation just now, he felt some lingering fear. “They all said that Sect Master Ye’s martial arts were deep and immeasurable, and it turned out to be true.”
The subordinate said, “Then the matter today…”
The flute player said, “We’ll tell the truth when we return.”
Supporting himself with the tree, he stood up, wanting to continue walking, but it seemed that this one small move had exhausted all his strength. His vision wavered, and he fell straight over, sinking deeply and thoroughly unconscious.
At this time, the place where Ghost Gentleman’s party had just stopped had long become void of people.
After Ye You had beaten Ghost Gentleman to ruin, he had sealed the acupoints of both this person and the Mr. Xiao who clearly wished to flee, before then sending away the rest.
He called for his subordinates to take these two people away, and then brought them unhurriedly into the forest. He walked for a long while before he saw a place that seemed pleasing enough to the eyes and indicated for his subordinates to throw the people down here and then go guard the surroundings, telling them to notify him immediately if they saw any movements whatsoever.
Those subordinates said a word of understood before noiselessly flitting into the forest.
The surroundings fell into stillness, and Ye You looked at the two people on the ground. “This lord has a few things he wishes to ask you two.”
Mr. Xiao didn’t utter a word.
While Ghost Gentleman was very afraid, he had always scorned all of Jianghu and so didn’t want to admit to his terror so easily. Thus, he sneered, “What if I refuse to talk?”
Ye You said, “If it was the one next to you, then this lord would’ve simply killed the moment he was unhappy, but you… This lord heard that, during that year you were traversing Jianghu, you had caused an entire crowd of people to be so muddled that they became confused and disoriented, so much so that it was a matter of life and death?”
Ghost Gentleman stiffened slightly, “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that it’d be a pity to kill you,” Ye You said, laughing, “This lord has always cherished talent. Rather than killing you, it’d be better to destroy your martial skill, cut the tendons in your arms and legs, tidy you up a little, and then sell you for some good money.”
Ghost Gentleman felt as if all the blood was rushing to his head, and he almost spat blood again. “Stop trying to scare me!”
“Where do you get the confidence that this lord is simply trying to scare you?” The corners of Ye You’s mouth lifted, and his mask was dyed a shadowy silver by the moonlight, the wicked air increasing. “Why doesn’t this lord just destroy your martial skill right now. If you want to live a bit easier in the following half of your life, then you should honestly answer my next questions. If you don’t want to, then just forget it. This lord’s heart is benevolent and so won’t force you.”
Ghost Gentleman saw him take a step in this direction as he spoke, and the man’s expression changed. “…Wait a moment!”
Ye You looked at him with narrowed eyes, his expression difficult to fathom.
Ghost Gentleman was scared stiff by the other’s stare, feeling as if a wave of cold air was crawling up his spine, all the way up to his head. He had a mind to say ‘stop messing around’ or to ask the other ‘what exactly do you want to do’, but he felt again that this person was much too frightening. If he ended up saying something that’d provoke the other into anger, then he might truly be completely ruined.
He didn’t dare to speak so carelessly any longer and vigilantly looked at the person in front of him, internally thinking that no wonder everyone in Jianghu all fear this person.
Only when Ye You saw this did he finally speak, his voice still carrying the sliver of a smile as he lectured, “You should’ve shut up a long time ago. Learn from this Mr. Xiao, look at how able he is at judging the situation. This kind of person usually manages to live a bit longer.”
Ghost Gentleman had placed his entire attention onto the other party and completely didn’t have the time to think about these words in any depth. It was only when he saw that the other didn’t seem to have any intentions to make a move that he somewhat composed himself and, immediately following, started feeling that something wasn’t right. How did this person know that this was Mr. Xiao? And he had also especially captured Mr. Xiao, as if he had known from the beginning that Mr. Xiao was useful.
He quickly thought of Xie Junming’s moments of rudely inserted jests tonight and then thought of the fact that their plan had already been seen through. His breathing tightened — this person hadn’t just bumped into them incidentally and this wasn’t a newly arisen interest; he had come specially to stop them!
Could the Demonic Sect, Wuwang Temple, and Shuangji Sect have joined hands?
His expression changed multiple times, and upon meeting this person’s gaze, he asked, with difficulty, “What do you want to know?”
Ye You said, “First question, where is your miracle doctor right now?”
Ghost Gentleman said, “I don’t know.”
Ye You said, “This lord isn’t too happy.”
Although his tone hadn’t changed much, Ghost Gentleman still felt his heart tighten, and he hastily said, “I really don’t know.”
Ye You said, “Yes, and this lord was simply telling you that I wasn’t too happy, that’s it.”
Ghost Gentleman didn’t know if what he said was true or not, simply hearing him add on the words, beaming from ear to ear, “But if you let this lord feel unhappy a few more times, I’ll end up feeling very dissatisfied with you.”
Ghost Gentleman said “…What else do you want to know?”
Ye You said, “I want to know where you usually stay.”
Ghost Gentleman said, “Just at that villa that the righteous faction discovered a while back. I just happened not to be there that day.”
Ye You said, “Other than you and Blood-sucking Ghost, who else lived there?”
Ghost Gentleman fell silent.
Ye You said, “That’s right, does Blood-sucking Ghost have a child?”
Ghost Gentleman’s heart trembled, and he was startled enough to blurt out, “How did you know?”
“This lord knows quite a lot, or else did you think that this lord is participating in this matter only for fun?” Ye You unhurriedly said, “Demonic Medicine King, the Three Demons of Evil Island, Madam Chen, the Fan family’s two lunatics… Of these people, whom have you met?”
Ghost Gentleman felt utter disbelief. “You…”
Ye You said, “It’s best if you stop making this lord unhappy.”
Ghost Gentleman looked at him, somewhat unable to parse how much he knew exactly, but after struggling for a while, gave in and said, “I’ve met Madam Chen but not Demonic Medicine King. Of the Three Demons of Evil Island, I’ve met only the youngest of the three. I’ve heard of the Fan family’s two lunatics, but I’ve never met them. It’s said that they’re already long dead.”
“Yes, those two from the Fan family aren’t easy to control. This lord also thought that it wasn’t very possible that they were involved,” Ye You said, in conjecture, “But I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they’re dead. It’s possible that they’ll be made into drugged people.”
Ghost Gentleman asked, “How exactly did you learn that Blood-sucking Ghost had a son?”
Ye You said, “Oh, so it turned out to be a son.”
“…” Ghost Gentleman said, “Didn’t you know already?”
Ye You said, “I didn’t, this lord was completely guessing. This lord only felt that the possibility of a son was high but didn’t think that it was actually true.”
Ghost Gentleman’s expression distorted, carrying the appearance as if he wanted to curse at the person yet stiffly holding himself back. He forced his tone to remain normal and asked, “How did you guess?”
Ye You said, smiling, “Right now is it this lord asking you questions or are you asking this lord questions?”
“…” Ghost Gentleman sullenly shut his mouth.
In Jianghu, he had been the outstanding and infamous Ghost Gentleman, and now he had actually fallen to this level. Even if others heard this tale, no one would be likely to believe it.
Ye You said, “Where does your master usually hide his troops of drugged people?”
Ghost Gentleman said, “I don’t know.”
Ye You stared at him.
Ghost Gentleman added, “…I just know that there should be water nearby, because I’ve seen fish scales on their bodies before on many occasions.”
Ye You pondered this for a moment before saying, “Ah, it’s at Wanping Weir.”
The moment these words were spoken, while Ghost Gentleman didn’t react, the Mr. Xiao next to him stiffened. Ye You had originally been speaking for Mr. Xiao to hear and now he gave the person a look, feeling satisfied in his heart. He said, “Last question, do you two know where that monster from twenty years ago is now?”
Ghost Gentleman and Mr. Xiao’s expressions changed almost simultaneously. “—-What?”
Ye You looked at them and said, “It’s nothing. Looks like you two don’t know.”
Even though he had just been warned, Ghost Gentleman was still unable to endure it and asked, “Who exactly are you?”
Ye You said, baffled, “You and this lord have exchanged so many words, yet could it be that you don’t know that this lord is the Demonic Sect’s Sect Master?”
“…” Ghost Gentleman said, “Of course I know this.”
Ye You said, “Then why are you still asking? Do you want to make this lord unhappy and then have me cut some things off from your body?”
Ghost Gentleman, “…”
Was this a threat?
Ye You didn’t care to look at the other’s expression and simply gave his subordinates an order, telling them to take away Ghost Gentleman. He also told them that Ghost Gentleman was already reliant on the Demonic Sect, so in the future, this person would be a Demonic Sect Elder and so needs to be shown some hospitality, including having these wounds treated.
Ghost Gentleman had completely not imagined that this person would’ve let him go and, even further, given him the position of Elder, so he was immediately shocked. Having a clear view of things, he didn’t speak, simply following them away.
The forest once again turned quiet.
Ye You restrained his superior and imposing manner for a moment, returning to that tender and easygoing youth, with even his tone missing most of its sharpness. He politely asked, “Mr. Xiao, you aren’t injured, are you?”
Seeing this transformation, Mr. Xiao felt his hair standing on end.
Even while locked in Shaolin, he hadn’t been very afraid, but right now, alone with this person, he felt as if all the blood in his body was about to freeze.
“Why aren’t you speaking, Mr. Xiao?” Ye You looked at him. “You still think it’s me who kidnapped Fuping?”
Mr. Xiao said, in a hoarse voice, “I don’t understand Sect Master Ye’s meaning.”
Ye You let out a laugh and stopped suppressing his natural instincts. He said, “I’ve always liked clever people. Before, you already clearly saw through my identity, yet you sensibly didn’t make a fuss about it so that I wouldn’t come and eliminate you. That quality is a good one. But right now there’s only the two of us here. If you continue acting confused while clearly knowing the truth, then you’re really being somewhat foolish.”
Mr. Xiao internally sucked in a breath and hoarsely asked, “What do you want to do?”
“Nothing much,” Ye You said, “I just want to ask you if you’ve seen the Alliance Leader tonight?”
Mr. Xiao trembled.
Ye You said, “Before, when I said that Fuping might have been using you as a throwaway piece, there was something wrong with your expression. Let me try guessing. You’re actually the Alliance Leader’s man, responsible for sending him information, and you also know that he has allies. So with Sir Zhong kidnapped, and Fuping missing, you then thought that they had been taken care of by the Alliance Leader’s allies. Is that right?”
Mr. Xiao said, “Is Fuping really missing?”
Ye You said, “Regardless, he isn’t in my hands.”
Mr. Xiao said, “Then what did you do to the Alliance Leader?”
“With that many people at Shaolin, what exactly could I do with him?” Ye You said, “He slipped away by himself at night. I’m guessing that he’s afraid that the white piece will make him bear the blame. You probably don’t know, but the assassins whom the white piece sent tonight to kill Lady Tao were the Alliance Leader’s men. The reason goes without saying.”
Mr. Xiao’s face immediately turned ashen.
At this time, Wenren Heng had already entered the forest.
He knew what his Junior Brother wanted to do, but he wasn’t clear on the other’s exact position, which was why he had pulled along the Demonic Sect Elders. After all, Elder Hei was in charge of the Demonic Sect’s shadow guards, so it’d be extremely easy to contact those subordinates.
He asked, “Still not there?”
“It’s still further in.” Elder Hei gave him a look and hesitantly said, “Then why… cough, then why did you…”
Wenren Heng said, smiling, “Why did I what?”
Elder Hei said, “No, it’s nothing.”
He and Elder Miao looked at each other for a moment, both thinking that the matter of “Wenren Heng being disciple-brothers with the Sect Master” was unbelievable, but they couldn’t completely deny it. The questions that Wenren Heng had just asked also seemed to hit the nail on the head.
For instance, the Sect Master and Wenren Heng’s relationship hadn’t been good, but when designing this plan, the Sect Master had felt at ease leaving his amnesiac self with Wenren Heng. Why was that?
And, in another instance, with the Sect Master’s temperament, once he regained his memories, if he truly didn’t want to sleep in the same room with someone he hated, he’d definitely be able to think of hundreds of thousands of ways out, so why would he continue to live together?
And, and, in yet another instance, the Sect Master wanted to do something big, and it was definitely because he had some grudge against someone. He had also clearly said that he used to be involved in the Central Plains’ martial arts circle, and his age was also similar to Wenren Heng’s, so perhaps these two had truly grown up together.
Wenren Heng looked at them. “You two still don’t believe it?”
Those two Elders said, “…No.”
Wenren Heng said, “If you still don’t believe it, then in a while, you can just ask your Sect Master.”
Elder Miao said a, “Yes,” and after a while, couldn’t help but say, “Wenren… cough, Sect Master Wenren, tell us the truth, do you have some other intentions towards our Sect Master?”
Wenren Heng said, “Ah, this…”
Those two Elders immediately stared at him, unblinking.
Wenren Heng smiled. “I won’t tell you two. If you want to know, ask your Sect Master.”
Those two Elders, “…”
If we hadn’t acknowledged the possibility that you were the Sect Master’s Senior Brother, then we’d have long given you a beating!
The group walked for a while before Elder Hei finally saw his subordinates.
At this time, the Demonic Sect was currently digging a pit in order to bury Ghost Gentleman. Elder Hei looked at the corpse on the ground and said, “The Sect Master let you kill him?”
The subordinates confirmed with, “Sect Master said that he was an Elder from now on.”
Elder Hei and Elder Miao then understood.
Wenren Heng didn’t understand and gave them a look.
Those two Elders said in retaliation, “Not telling you.”
Wenren Heng said, smiling, “Did I ask?”
“…” The two didn’t want to pay him any attention and, after asking for the Sect Master’s position, ran over to find the Sect Master instead.
Wenren Heng slowly followed behind them before suddenly hearing a crisp snapping sound, and he couldn’t help but lift his head.
In the forest, a short distance away, he saw a person in black robes loosen his hold on Mr. Xiao’s neck before then lazily throwing away the corpse, straightening up, and looking towards them.
With the moonlight shining down on that mask, his entire person seemed to carry a mysterious and dangerous flavor, making people desire to get close, yet at the same time, too overwhelmed to approach, as if he was seated on high, untouchable.
The scarred man saw this clearly, and his heart trembled.
That Demonic Sect’s Sect Master truly had returned. Hopefully, his Sect Master and that person really were disciple-brothers.
Ye You saw his Senior Brother narrowing his eyes to stare at him, gaze even carrying a certain amount of heat, and he lifted up the corners of his mouth, lengthening out his words, “Sect Master Wenren, it’s been a long time. I trust you’ve been well?”
Those two Elders took a moment to react before collectively turning to glare at Wenren Heng.
You scoundrel! You see the Sect Master completely isn’t familiar with you! And you actually dare to trick us!
Wenren Heng, “…”
The author has something to say:
Speaking of, a lot of people have been asking what Elder Hei looks like. Please refer to chapter 35 for that.
Another thing, the Elders aren’t necessarily old, ah, so why do all of you keep imagining them as old people LOLOLOL
As someone who puts a lot of stock in appearances, I’ll very responsibly tell all of you that the Demonic Sect Elders are all very young, and they’re all very beautiful!
 邪藥王 The 邪 here is the character in 邪派 (“demonic faction”), though it can also mean evil/sinister and all that jazz.
 惡島三魔 Translated quite literally. I have no idea if Evil Island is a real place or not, but this is an even more chuuni name than Wuwang Temple, I’ll give you that. (I was just going to pinyin it, but 惡 is just “e” in pinyin, so…)
 塵娘子 The 塵 here means “dust, dirt, ash,” etc. 娘子 is an old-timey way to refer to one’s wife.
 晚萍堰 Night + duckweed + weir. If I had to translate this, I’d have no idea what to translate it to. Anyway, in case you didn’t know (I sure didn’t), a weir is a low dam to control water levels apparently.
An author’s note! I’ve been skipping them mostly because the author actually doesn’t write much of them, and when she does, they’re usually time specific. (e.g. “Next chapter will be early because I’m going to the beach later,” or “I’m sick right now so I need to take a break,” etc.) But this one was a semi-relevant one, so I translated it.
Also, those titles Ye You threw out halfway in this… Why do you do this to me, author…
Double update today, since the first half of the next chapter is really funny. Expect the next chapter up… soonish.