In which Wenren Heng gains a new title.
When the Demonic Sect woke up the next morning, they discovered that the Elders were silently sitting around in a circle, with a somewhat strange atmosphere.
Elder Mei had even carelessly worn a masculine robe and had actually foregone her usual beautiful long skirt, even occasionally letting out faint sighs. The other three Elders were actually sporting appearances as if their spirits had left their bodies, and Elder Bai in particular looked even more terrible than the others, as if he’d fall down with a single poke.
They gave these people several glances as they discussed, in a low voice.
“What happened here?”
“I don’t know, but the only one able to turn the Elders into this is the Sect Master.”
“What did the Sect Master do this time?”
“I also don’t know. Was there anyone nearby last night? Did you hear any movements?”
“Yes, I was there, but I only heard the Elders shout a single, ‘let go of the Sect Master’, and by the time I rushed over to look, they had already come out… Oh, that’s right, there was also that person from Shuangji Sect. Don’t know where he went.”
Everyone felt as if they had discovered the pivotal point, and they were about to go look for that person when they raised their heads and saw the scarred man enter the small courtyard.
Last night, the scarred man had heard Sect Master Ye personally recognize that he and the Sect Master had a disciple-brothers relationship, and he had also seen that Sect Master Ye didn’t seem unhappy about his clothes being torn. The heavy stone had hence fallen from his heart, and he had slept steadily for the entire night. Thus, he had come in high spirits to wait for his Sect Master to awaken.
Those Elders saw his arrival and immediately looked over as one, their eyes glowing with green light.
“…” The scarred man said, “Elders, good morning.”
Those Elders said, “Not good. We didn’t sleep.”
The scarred man said, “…Then why not first go rest for a bit?”
Those Elders said, “No, it’s about time to eat.”
The scarred man hastily nodded and was just about to change the topic to food when he saw that they were still staring fixedly at him. He didn’t know why he suddenly had the misperception that they looked as if they wanted to roast him alive, so he then shut his mouth and silently moved a bit further away.
When Ye You and Wenren Heng came out, this was the tableau they saw, and the former asked, despite already knowing the answer, “What?”
Those Elders looked accusingly at Wenren Heng and said to the Sect Master, “We’re waiting for you to eat.”
Ye You laughed and said a word in response before bringing them to the dining hall. Sitting down, he then began to drink some porridge. Last night, he had basically foregone sleep, as he had been pressed down and tossed around for a spell by his Senior Brother. At this time, he had just gotten hungry.
Wenren Heng sat next to him and helped him take some side dishes.
Those Elders immediately moved as one to give him a look, and even the always slow-natured Elder Bai managed to perform the rarely witnessed feat of matching his colleagues’ speed this time. But seeing this intimate action from Wenren Heng caused them no end of shock.
If Wenren Heng was able to be affected by this, then he wouldn’t be Wenren Heng. He calmly looked back and mildly asked, “Is there something on my face?”
Those Elders tried enduring, but in the end, they couldn’t endure and collectively looked at the Sect Master.
Elder Baili said, “Sect Master, you aren’t saying anything?
Ye You unhurriedly swallowed the food in his mouth. “Didn’t I say yesterday that he’s my Senior Brother?”
Would a regular Senior Brother press you down and do this and that! those Elders immediately roared in their hearts.
Elder Mei asked, “There’s nothing else?”
“If I said there wasn’t, all of you wouldn’t believe me.” Ye You put down his chopsticks and held his Senior Brother’s hand. Looking at them, he said, “It’s like this, from today onwards, he’s your Sect Master’s wife. From now on, remember to call him ‘Madam’.”
Those Elders, “…”
Wenren Heng, “…”
The scarred man, “…”
Ye You let go of his Senior Brother’s hand before the other could hold him back and cheerfully ignored the strange atmosphere that was on the verge of erupting. He grabbed his chopsticks and resumed eating.
The Demonic Sect quickly discovered that ever since those Elders had breakfast, they had become even more absent-minded. On the way back to their rooms, there was a small step, and they had almost ran right into it, nearly colliding together so that they were all jumbled up in a heap. Everyone was very worried watching them, fearing that the Sect Master had contracted some incurable disease.
Those Elders didn’t pay attention to all those gazes. They returned to the room and closed the door, sitting down in front of the table to look at each other.
Elder Ji said, “Actually… it’s not too bad. Although Wenren Heng’s really frightening, the Sect Master has always been incredible, so he definitely won’t suffer. And what’s more, our Sect Master is getting married; he isn’t being married off.”
Elder Mei said, “But why does he have to marry someone from the righteous faction? Can’t he marry someone from the demonic faction? Or else marrying me would also be all right.”
The remaining people silently looked at her.
Elder Mei did her best to puff out her chest, looking askance at them.
Elder Baili found it somewhat difficult to look directly at her and said, “I think that the Sect Master might not like women, or else he’d long already have something with Lady Tao.”
Elder Mei said, “Then let’s change to someone else. Our demonic faction definitely has other people around.”
Elder Bai said, extremely slowly, “Oh… In the demonic faction, a man who can match the Sect Master… there’s really only Temple Master Xie.”
The remaining group, “…”
These words ended up overpowering their internal city walls, and they immediately felt as if Wenren Heng was incomparably pleasing to the eye. After that short moment of deathly stillness, they said, almost in unison, “Ah, Wenren Heng’s actually quite nice.”
“And Wenren Heng also treats people elegantly and courteously; he doesn’t just torment people as he pleases!”
“Yes, he’s also quite incredible, and Shuangji Sect’s position is pretty high.”
“The most important thing is that, in the future, if the Sect Master ever tosses out some new idea, maybe we won’t even have to attend to it, since Wenren Heng will have already cleaned up the aftermath.”
“Hey, that’s right!”
Thereupon, when Wenren Heng had finished wrapping his Junior Brother’s bandages in order to change the other back into Sir Xiao’s appearance, and they made to leave together, he found that those Elders were suddenly acting extremely amiable towards him. And it wasn’t just Wenren Heng, even the scarred man who had come along felt that they seemed to be emitting a dense air of enthusiasm from head to toe, and he was so scared that he felt his hair standing on end.
Wenren Heng gave them a look.
Those Elders immediately said, “Madam, take care.”
Wenren Heng smiled. “Yes, let’s all go back.”
Those Elders, “…”
Why was this smile so frightening? Did they say something wrong?
Wenren Heng entered the carriage and looked at the main culprit who currently had lips raised in a wicked smile. He internally thought that he had gone too lightly with yesterday’s tidying up. Deciding to settle some accounts later, he moved over there to sit. “Where are Ding Xilai and the others?”
Ye You said, “Brothel.”
It wasn’t far from the headquarters to the brothel. By the time they arrived, the Junior Sect Masters still had yet to get up, the reason being that the group had drank too much last night. Only Ding Xilai was carrying a heart full of worry and anxiety, and he and Ren Shaotian had guarded this crowd of drunkards, going without practically any sleep for the entire night.
After asking around for a bit, Wei Jiangyue had also already long found this place and, seeing that Ding Xilai was also not clear on where Sir Xiao went, completely disregarded the other’s enormous pile of questions, waiting together with him for their arrival. Now, upon seeing Wenren Heng bringing Sir Xiao inside, the two simultaneously went over to welcome them.
Ding Xilai said, “How… how was it?”
Ye You said, “Nothing happened. What about all of you?”
The heart that had been suspended for an entire night fell back down into Ding Xilai’s chest with a splash and a crash, and he felt as if he was almost unable to go on, saying, “They’re all still here.”
Ye You patted his shoulder. “You did very well.”
Ding Xilai felt his nose abruptly ache.
Although yesterday night had been peaceful and tranquil, it was his first time experiencing this kind of important matter that shook one to the core, and it was also his first time carrying the fates of this many lives on his shoulders. That heavy responsible even now still lingered in his heart. Now, upon hearing Sir Xiao’s words of recognition, he immediately felt moved to tears, and afterwards, he felt as if bands of warm blood were spreading through his body. He thought that this one night had been more valuable than all the countless nights before it.
He strove to keep his voice from trembling and asked, “What do we do now?”
Ye You said, “Call them all up. Let’s go back.”
Ding Xilai said a word of agreement and turned around to go upstairs.
As was customary, Ren Shaotian followed behind. Looking at his young master’s back, he felt as if the other had grown up quite a bit over this night, and the depths of his eyes couldn’t help but reveal the sliver of a smile.
Wei Jiangyue stood there, unmoving.
When he wasn’t able to meet this person, he had an entire stomach full of words to say to Sir Xiao, even having already thought of the order with which he’d say them. But now that he had actually met the person, he was unable to get out a single word. He was afraid that what he’d ask would destroy the small bit of friendship between them that had been so difficult to maintain until now.
Wenren Heng didn’t like how the other continued to stare at his Junior Brother and asked, “How did you get here?”
Wei Jiangyue said, “I couldn’t sleep, so I came out to find you two. You…” He looked at Sir Xiao. “Nothing happened to you last night, right?”
Ye You said, “Yes.”
Wei Jiangyue stood around with them for a while. He was just about to summon up his courage to ask when he saw those Junior Sect Masters come downstairs one after the other, yawing while waving at them in greeting.
Wenren Heng said, “Take a moment to get ready. We’re returning to Shaolin.”
“Ah?” The Junior Sect Masters said, “We’re not eating breakfast?”
Wenren Heng said, “We’ll eat when we return.”
Those Junior Sect Masters didn’t dare to go against him and listened obediently. Following that, they quickly remembered the information that they had learned last night and collectively turned to look at him in encouragement and fervor. They internally thought that compared to Fuping, you’re still much more reliable, and with Sir Xiao having been hurt this badly, you definitely have to succeed at winning him over and take good care of him!
Wenren Heng raised his brows. “What?”
“Nothing.” The Junior Sect Masters once again looked at him in encouragement before finally going to their own carriages. One of them saw that Wei Jiangyue was going to enter Sir Xiao’s carriage and pulled him back, dragging him away.
Wei Jiangyue said, “Let go.”
“Shhh—- Don’t bother them,” the Junior Sect Master lowered his voice and said mysteriously, “Sect Master Wenren has confessed his feelings to Sir Xiao, so we should let them be alone for now.”
Wei Jiangyue abruptly stiffened. “What?”
“You didn’t know, right? We heard this from Ding Xilai last night. Sir Xiao had just come down the mountain with us when Sect Master Wenren chased after him and brought the person away,” the Junior Sect Master said, “But at that time, Sir Xiao still hadn’t replied to Sect Master Wenren, and we don’t know if they’ve made progress over this night or not. Speaking of which, why did you suddenly come down? Did you come together with Sect Master Wenren? But hasn’t the white piece been keeping an eye on Sir Xiao?”
Wei Jiangyue’s thoughts were a complete mess. A part of him thought that this was probably the excuse that Sir Xiao used to leave, but he didn’t know whether this excuse was actually true or not; perhaps Wenren Heng had truly lifted the veil on that open secret. Another part of him thought that with Wenren Heng’s temperament, this would’ve happened sooner or later, so why was he worrying about it now?
Those Junior Sect Masters looked at him in astonishment. “Brother Wei?”
Wei Jiangyue regained his senses and bluntly said, “Yesterday night, the white piece brought a troop of drugged people to surround Shaolin.”
Those Junior Sect Masters blinked and, after a moment, with the same exact tone of voice, said, “—-Hah?!”
Right as this crowd of people had been so startled that half their souls were about to fly off, Wenren Heng had already entered the carriage. Thoughtfully considering the gazes that that crowd of people had used to look at him, he looked at a certain disaster. “Did you say something to them?”
Ye You said, extremely innocently, “What could I possibly say?”
Wenren Heng examined him.
Ye You said weakly, “Senior Brother, I’m tired.”
Wenren Heng could only helplessly let this disaster off, pulling the other over and letting this person lean against him. “Sleep then.”
Ye You wordlessly laughed and found a comfortable position in the other’s embrace, closing his eyes with peace of mind.
The carriage shook and swayed as it followed the mountain road upwards. Right as it entered Shaolin, it attracted the gazes of countless people.
Everyone simultaneously turned to look, wanting to see Sir Xiao, but what they ended up seeing was Wenren Heng carrying him off the carriage. They couldn’t help but suck in a deep breath, running over to ask, “He…”
Wenren Heng said, in a soft voice, “He was too tired and fell asleep.”
When the adventurers and the Junior Sect Masters who had learned about the entire sequence of events heard these words, all their eyes began heating up. They internally thought that Sir Xiao had dragged his sickly body and exhausted his ingenuity, all for the sake of their safety, scarcely realizing that this person had worn a beaming smile to give the white piece’s people a great scare just last night, before then murdering two of them. He had even teased his Senior Brother for a while, then went to soak in a hot water bath, passing the time wonderfully.
At this time, Xie Junming had also already received the news that a certain person had returned. Upon hearing this crowd of people’s effusive and moving praise, he felt two words flash through his heart: absolutely shameless.
And while Abbot Ciyuan’s party had originally thought that they’d finally be able to get some answers, upon hearing this, they had to give up their ideas and return to waiting. But they didn’t have to wait for long, as they soon heard a Shaolin disciple come and say that the Demonic Sect’s people had sent a letter addressed to Lady Tao.
They felt intuitively that it had something to do with what happened last night, so they then invited Lady Tao to the study.
Lady Tao knew their intentions and opened the letter in front of their eyes. As she read, her expression changed.
Everyone asked, “What is it?”
Lady Tao handed the letter over to them and said, “He said that he managed to intercept Mr. Xiao last night, and he managed to get this information out of Mr. Xiao’s own mouth, that Mr. Xiao is the Alliance Leader’s man.”
Everyone startled and brought the letter over, quickly reading it over from beginning to end.
Someone couldn’t help but ask, “Where’s Mr. Xiao himself? We’re hearing only one side of the story…”
As he spoke, he saw the last lines of the letter, and what was written was simply, The person has already been killed by this lord. All these words are true, but if the righteous faction is unwilling to believe me, then let Xie Junming say a few words on this lord’s behalf: you can believe what you like.
Sure enough, he and Xie Junming were each just as bad as the other.
They practically didn’t know what they should say.
Pavilion Master Ding wrinkled his brows and was about to speak when he heard a sudden clamor echoing in from the outside. The reason being that the black piece had once again hired someone to deliver a letter, and the letter was even given to Xie Junming.
With a face full of questions, they went outside and saw that Xie Junming was currently calmly reading the letter while under the gazes of an entire circle of people. When he saw them, he held out the letter and said, smiling, “This time, it’s clear what the deal was with that person who told Ah-You’s fortune.”
Abbot Ciyuan received the letter, reading it together with the people behind him, and their faces all changed. Because on it was written that the monster from twenty years ago once had a retainer, and that retainer had an injury on his shoulder. They didn’t know if Temple Master Xie had seen that on the Alliance Leader’s shoulder or not.
The meaning of these words was truly too obvious.
Everyone looked at each other, and even those who had always thought that the Alliance Leader had some unmentionable troubles, such as Sect Leader Xuanyang’s group, all had some doubts.
With evidence coming to light one after the other, the Alliance Leader being the white piece seemed a foregone conclusion, and this was simply the final nail in the coffin. There was no running from it now.
 So Chinese actually has two different words for “getting married”, one for men and one for women. This has to do with how familial structures work in Chinese culture, where multiple generations live in the same household, and so different “marriage” words are used to indicate who stays in which household. So, sons 娶 (marry) a wife because sons stay in his own household, while daughters are 嫁 (married off) because daughters enter her husband’s household. (This is also why sons are traditionally more valued in Chinese families, by the way, since sons are the ones who remain in the household to take care of parents in their old age.) Since Ye You referred to Wenren Heng as his wife (夫人), Ye You’s actually obliquely saying that Wenren Heng is marrying in and entering his household, rather than the other way around.
Kind of heterosexist imo, but in a slightly different way than western conceptions of marriage/family.
So 99% of the reason the chapters have been so fast this week is because of this chapter, especially the bit where the Elders decided that Wenren Heng was acceptable on the sole reason that he wasn’t Xie Junming lmao.
I also back-added an author’s note in chapter 9, though it’s not super important, but I felt since I’ve started translating non-time relevant author’s notes that I might as well do that for previous chapters too. I’ll double-check if there’s any more I’ve missed, though I don’t think so.