Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jun 21, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 49: Disciple

Eleven Yanyu Pavilions (Part Three)

Qi Tianzhu and the other three returned, having caught a lot of fish in the winter river and hunted a deer that was out foraging. They gave some to Jie Qianchou and left the rest for Qing Jiu to cook.

When the lights were lit and the food was on the table, there were ten bowls of fresh fish and tofu longevity noodles. Mo Wen had three bowls, Qi Tianzhu had two, and the remaining five each had one. The table was filled with rising steam and enticing aromas. The seven of them, accustomed to being carefree, didn’t bother with formalities and sat down casually.

Although it was the same seven people around the table as usual, it was New Year’s Eve after all, and the atmosphere was different, filled with joy and liveliness.

As the seven of them were eating their noodles, Jie Qianchou walked in. Originally imposing, as he approached the table, his footsteps suddenly halted, and his intimidating aura, like the raised fur of a fierce beast, fell away.

Jie Qianchou’s nostrils flared, but his expression remained unchanged, his gaze fixed on the bowls of noodles in the hands of the seven.

Qing Jiu, setting aside her chopsticks, inquired, “Does Elder have something to discuss?”

Hua Lian spoke up, “Elder, have you eaten? If not, go and eat quickly. On New Year’s Eve, how can you stay hungry?” Jie Qianchou’s poorly concealed gaze was immediately noticed by everyone. Hua Lian, feeling mischievous, couldn’t help but tease him a bit, even though Jie Qianchou was his elder.

Jie Qianchou had naturally eaten, as his disciple Changsi always took care of his daily needs. However, Changsi’s culinary skills were mediocre and couldn’t compare to Qing Jiu’s. Although the ingredients were the same, the taste and appearance were vastly different. Jie Qianchou was a person who valued his appetite, and on New Year’s Eve, he thought that if he couldn’t have a taste of something good, so be it. But having someone display such delicacies in front of him to tantalize him was truly detestable.

However, Jie Qianchou was the host, and Qing Jiu and the others were guests. There was no reason for him as the host to freeload from their meal. But he was, after all, an elder, respected by everyone in jianghu. When he walked up to their table, instead of inviting him to sit, they were trying to send him away. Jie Qianchou felt a bit sullen and began to doubt his status in wulin.

Qing Jiu responded with a smile, “You’ve come at an unfortunate time, elder. If you had come earlier, I would have cooked more. But now, there’s only just enough.”

Jie Qianchou let out a cold snort, not taking it to heart. He clearly saw that the girl had three bowls in front of her, so how could there be too little? But at this moment, he wasn’t here to dwell on this matter. He directly said, “I’m here to discuss the matter of the wine recipe with you.”

Qing Jiu asked, “Has Elder agreed?” She was not surprised or flustered, her reaction calm, only carrying a faint smile, as if she had anticipated it long ago.

Jie Qianchou, slightly irritated, stated, “I won’t pass my cultivation to outsiders,” which everyone initially interpreted as another refusal.

Yu’er pondered for a moment, and suddenly understanding dawned on her. Qing Jiu had already smiled at her and said, “Yu’er, why don’t you offer your respects to your new master?” The implication of not passing it to outsiders meant only passing it to his own. He had the intention of accepting Yu’er as his disciple. This was naturally an even better opportunity than they had hoped for.

Along the way, Qi Tianzhu had also told Yu’er about Jie Qianchou’s heroic deeds and accomplishments, painting him as a pinnacle figure in the wulin. Being able to acknowledge such a person as her master naturally filled her with surprise and joy. However, Yu’er still looked towards Qing Jiu and the others. They had taught and guided her, and although they didn’t admit it, there was indeed a bond of master and disciple between them. Now, if she were to acknowledge Jie Qianchou as her master without the approval of Qing Jiu and the others, even though she yearned for it in her heart, she would never do so.

The others realized Jie Qianchou’s intention and immediately urged with delight, “What are you still standing there for?”

Seeing everyone so happy for her that she had gained a renowned master, Yu’er’s heart was even more joyful. As she walked up to Jie Qianchou and was about to kneel, Jie Qianchou’s mouth corners turned down, and he said, “You’re going to acknowledge me as your master empty-handed like this?”

Yu’er paused, understanding his point. With a chuckle in her heart, she looked to Qing Jiu, who passed her a bowl of longevity noodles from Mo Wen.

Jie Qianchou’s expression immediately softened. Yu’er knelt and respectfully bowed, “Master, please accept your disciple’s bow.” She formally acknowledged her first master in true traditional fashion.

Jie Qianchou instructed her to rise, declaring, “Rise. From now on, you are the second disciple of my sect. Although our sect’s rules are not strict, if you commit evil deeds or use your strength for wrongdoing in the future, I will not let you off lightly.”

Yu’er took the bowl of longevity noodles from Qing Jiu and offered it to Jie Qianchou, “Disciple will remember your teachings.” The tradition of offering tea to one’s master has been long-standing, but offering noodles was an unprecedented break from tradition.

Yu’er wanted to go and greet her senior brother, but Jie Qianchou, delighted to receive the noodles, pushed it to the next day. He himself didn’t like all those formalities. He did as he pleased, and without any reservations, he sat at the same table as everyone to eat noodles, not bothering with seating arrangements based on seniority.

Tang Linzhi was sitting to Jie Qianchou’s left. Her bowl was different from the others, with a layer of chili oil floating on top. When Jie Qianchou saw her, he recalled her martial arts skills from the previous night when she appeared at the door. Seeing her attire, he asked, “Are you a disciple of the Tang Sect?”

Tang Linzhi didn’t expect Jie Qianchou to suddenly strike up a conversation with her. Startled, she put down her chopsticks and clasped her hands in salute, “Junior Tang Linzhi of the Tang Sect.”

Jie Qianchou sized her up and asked, “Do you know Tang Biao?”

“He is my master,” Tang Linzhi responded.

Jie Qianchou burst into laughter, exclaiming, “Fate! So, you are his disciple. That old fool hasn’t come to see me in a hundred and eighty years. Heaven has sent his disciple instead. Linzhi girl, next time you go back to the Tang sect, bring him a message from me. Tell him, if he doesn’t bring good wine and food to see me next time, I’ll beat him up when I see him.”

Tang Linzhi didn’t know that her master and Jie Qianchou had a history together. Hearing him say that, she hadn’t yet processed it and could only respond in a dazed manner.

Everyone happily enjoyed the New Year’s Eve dinner. The mountains were quiet, lacking the liveliness of the city’s fireworks and firecrackers, so everyone went to bed early.

The next day, Qing Jiu got up early and bid farewell to everyone, intending to head south to Hangzhou.

Yu’er didn’t understand why, assumed Qing Jiu was returning to Yanyu Pavilion and began to pack her belongings to accompany her. However, Qing Jiu clarified that she would be traveling alone, indicating that neither Yu’er nor the rest of their companions would join her.

Yu’er learned from Hua Lian and the others that Qing Jiu made it a point to visit Hangzhou at the start of each year, though the purpose of these trips remained a mystery to them all.

Yu’er accompanied her to the mountain pass where Qing Jiu, with a smile, joked, “If you keep following, you’ll end up in Hangzhou. Hurry back.”

Along the way, this was the first time Yu’er had to part with Qing Jiu at such a distance. She suddenly felt an inexplicable sense of unease, her heart feeling empty, unable to settle, “Be careful,” she advised, “Keep the medicine Mo Wen gave you safe, and don’t forget to take it regularly…”

Qing Jiu reassured her, “This isn’t the first time I’ve gone alone.”

Yu’er tightly grasped the prayer beads in her hand, remaining silent. Qing Jiu walked over and brushed the snow off the top of her head, saying, “Focus on learning martial arts from Elder Jie.”

Yu’er softly acknowledged with a nod.

Qing Jiu said, “I’m going.”

With that, Qing Jiu turned and walked away, her figure blending into the snowy landscape, gradually moving further away. Yu’er watched until suddenly, feeling a warmth in her heart, she shouted, “After master has passed on his skills to me, I’ll come to Jiangnan to find you.”

From afar, Qing Jiu waved back, prompting Yu’er to wave in return. After a long moment, Yu’er finally made her way back to where they were staying.

Yu’er’s sole desire was for her master to quickly finish passing on his cultivation so that she could go to Jiangnan to see Qing Jiu. However, this wait lasted until the following spring.

Although Yu’er had a good aptitude, it was still a bit risky for her to bear Jie Qianchou’s profound cultivation. Therefore, Jie Qianchou first began teaching Yu’er martial arts. Yu’er already had a foundation, and with her quick comprehension, along with the internal cultivation techniques of the Yin and Yang Boundless Dao harmonizing and complementing each other, and the Great Freedom Mind Method accommodating all things, having these two heart methods, learning Jie Qianchou’s internal cultivation was twice as effective. Even so, solidifying one’s own cultivation was not something that could be achieved in a day.

By the time Jie Qianchou had finished imparting his skills, the winter’s snow had melted away, giving rise to a spring filled with warmth and blooming flowers.

In May, the Jiangnan region was blessed with gentle winds breezes and the soft sway of willows. Suzhou’s cityscape remained as bustling and vibrant as ever.

A group of six people stood by the lake where the luxurious and flourishing Yanyu Pavilion should have been, staring at the charred ruins on the ground, their hearts filled with shock and disbelief.

These six people were none other than Yu’er and her companions who had come in search of Qing Jiu. Tang Linzhi folded her arms and sneered, “Did the Heavenly Lord find this place displeasing and struck it with lightning?”

Yan Li sighed, “Where do we go to claim our reward from Yanyu Pavilion now?”

Yu’er stepped into the ruins and said, “There are traces of a battle.”

“Could it be that enemies took the opportunity to seek revenge? But which group of forces would dare to target the Yanyu Pavilion and even burn down such a massive establishment…” The traces Yu’er mentioned were left on the unburned remnants of wooden stakes. Hua Lian walked over to take a look, tapping his folding fan against his chin, pondering, “This is the technique of the Qixian Palace. Their martial arts use sound as a weapon, and only the sound produced by their zithers and flutes can create such marks.”

The marks on a nanmu pillar looked as though they were sliced by a sharp weapon, yet the edges of the marks resembled waves.

Hua Lian frowned, “But the Qixian Palace and the Yanyu Pavilion don’t have any deep hatred or enmity. Why would they openly attack the Yanyu Pavilion like this?”

Yan Li suggested, “The presence of Qixian Palace’s technique doesn’t necessarily mean they’re responsible. We should find Qing Jiu first. She arrived earlier and might know something.”

Everyone agreed. Before their departure, Qing Jiu had sent a message saying she was in Suzhou. After Jie Qianchou finished passing on his cultivation to Yu’er, knowing that Yu’er had a deep bond with the others, he didn’t keep her and let her accompany the others on their journey south.

The group searched for the location mentioned in the letter. Before they had gone far from the Yanyu Pavilion, they encountered a person wearing an ugly mask and dressed in green, walking as if drunk, swaying left and right.

At first, the group didn’t pay much attention until the person came up to them, or more precisely, to Yu’er. As if tripping, the person lost balance and bumped into Yu’er.

Yu’er’s footsteps were nimble, and she turned to the side, letting the person brush past her. Suddenly, Yu’er’s expression froze, and she turned around to grab the person’s hand.

Yu’er was not the same as before. With Yang Chun’s previous example and having obtained a layer of Jie Qianchou’s cultivation, although she hadn’t fully refined it, her own skills had greatly improved over the past few months. In an instant, she realized that the person had stolen her dagger.

The thief was skilled, their body shifted, and their sleeve flowed out of Yu’er’s hand like a cloud, darting away with a light tap of the foot. Yu’er gave chase immediately, not falling behind. Seeing this, the rest of the group guessed what happened and followed.

After a series of twists and turns, the thief slipped into a narrow alley where a figure in white stood gracefully. The person who had stolen Yu’er’s dagger stopped beside her.

Yu’er followed into the alley, stopping at one end, and upon seeing the face of the person in white, her face broke into a smile. She started walking slowly at first, then ran towards them, disregarding everything else and hugging her tightly.

Qing Jiu smiled, “It’s been a few months, and you’ve grown taller again.”

As Yu’er’s excitement gradually cooled down, she realized that hugging Qing Jiu like this was inappropriate. Her face turned shy, and she let go, asking, “Why are you here?”

Hua Lian and the others arrived, leisurely making their way forward. Hua Lian joked, “We were just saying we needed to find you, and here you appear before us. Do you have clairvoyance or super hearing?”

Qing Jiu looked at the person beside her, replying, “Neither clairvoyance nor super hearing, but I do have a carrier pigeon.”

The person who had stolen Yu’er’s dagger removed their mask, revealing their true face, full of smiles. They said to Yu’er, “Miss Yu’er, long time no see. Since we parted in the tomb, I’ve been living in fear. You’ve really made me suffer.”

Yu’er exclaimed in surprise, “It’s you, Yang Chun!”

Yang Chun respectfully returned the dagger to Yu’er, who couldn’t help but laugh, “You’ve stolen from me twice now.”

Yang Chun remarked, “Miss Yu’er, your martial arts have improved rapidly. I won’t be able to steal from you next time.”

Yu’er inquired, “Why are you here?”

Qing Jiu responded, “It’s a long story. Let’s find a place to settle down first, and I have more to tell you.”

Hua Lian asked, “Is it about Yanyu Pavilion? We saw the ruins on our way here. It was a terrible sight.”

Qing Jiu confirmed, “Exactly.”

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21 days ago

Goddamn how are they gonna track down meiren gu??!