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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jul 03, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 68: Entanglement

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Thirteen)

Qing Jiu bowed again to Master Kongming and said with a smile, “There’s also a disciple here who wants to acknowledge his master.”

Naturally, Master Kongming looked at Qi Tianzhu. He had noticed Qi Tianzhu at first glance because his stature was truly different from ordinary people, so he couldn’t help but take a few more glances. Thinking of his disciple Lu Chen, although their appearances were vastly different, now that Qing Jiu had mentioned it, he understood.

Qi Tianzhu stepped forward, knelt on one knee, and joined his palms together, “Master, disciple Lu Chen has only come to pay respects now. Please forgive this disciple’s transgressions.”

Master Kongming smiled and said, “Although you have already returned to secular life and are no longer my disciple, your heart is with the Buddha, so you are still a disciple of the Buddhism. This humble monk is able to meet you again, which is also a matter of fate. I feel deeply delighted. Please stand up.”

“Yes.” Seeing Master Kongming say this, the concern in Qi Tianzhu’s heart about his master not acknowledging him completely vanished, and his face was full of joy as he stood up.

Qing Jiu and the others made room for the master and his disciples to reunite. After saying their goodbyes, they headed towards Ningqing Garden, and surprisingly, Jie Qianchou also followed them there instead of going elsewhere.

Yan Li shared with her sect members the heartfelt tales of parting. From them, she learned of Mo Chenggui’s death and Wei Ran’s injury.

It turned out that shortly after Yan Li left Wuwei Palace, incidents of Gu poisoning in Miaojiang became frequent. Even the Gu Emperor could not suppress them. The common people suffered greatly. After discussions among the various sects, they sent disciples to form a team and enter the Miaojiang to eliminate the threat in the name of righteousness.

This was the first time jianghu united to fight evil and protect the path of righteousness, but unfortunately, the results were disappointing. Mo Chenggui died in that battle, Wei Ran was poisoned by Gu and could no longer stand, and many from the sects were killed or injured without being able to capture the mastermind. The only consolation was that the operation significantly reduced the incidents of Gu experimentation on people.

Hearing this, Yan Li couldn’t help but feel distressed, frowning, “We also encountered Gu poisoning last year when we passed by the border between Miaojiang and Yunmeng.”

Wei Ran asked, “What kind of people were they?”

Yan Li shook her head, “I didn’t see the ones who set the Gu. By the time we got there, an entire village had already been poisoned. The Gu could consume human flesh and blood, turning people into walking corpses. Disciples from Xuhuai Valley and a friend of mine had previously cured them of the Gu; they might know more, as they arrived before us. I’ll ask my friend and tell you more details later.”

Wei Ran nodded, “The Wuwei Palace and Xuhuai Valley have some ties. Shishu and I will inquire about it from the Xuhuai Valley side.”

Jian Mobei, holding his teacup, suddenly paused as if he remembered something. He asked Yan Li, “Speaking of which, who exactly is that lady who was with you? Is she really not a disciple accepted by Grandmaster? She said it was just guidance, but how could the Grandmaster pass on the sect’s secret skills to an outsider?”

Yan Li smiled faintly, “She didn’t conceal anything. She is indeed not a disciple of Grandmaster or Venerable Kuyuan. As for her background, I know little. When I arrived at Canglong Mountain, she was already there. According to Grandmaster and Venerable Kuyuan, they wanted to guide and enlighten her. In any case, she is a trustworthy person.”

Jian Mobei asked, “Have you been recovering from your injuries at Canglong Mountain all these years?”

Yan Li replied, “Three years ago, I left Canglong Mountain with her to travel jianghu, where we made many friends along the way.”

Jian Mobei tapped the lid of his teacup and nodded repeatedly, sighing, “That’s good too. I see that you’re much more open and clear-minded than before.” He smiled again, “With your personality, being able to blend in with that group, I imagine they must all be exceptional talents, each remarkable in their own right. Shishu also wants to get to know them. When there’s time, please invite them to visit the Wuwei Palace. Shishu wants to thank them personally.”

“Alright.”

The conversation flowed freely, and before they knew it, they had talked until the moon hung high in the sky.

Qi Tianzhu had already returned to Ningqing Garden. After bidding farewell to her fellow sect members, Yan Li also made her way there.

It was deep autumn. Clouds drifted across the moon, casting alternating shadows and bursts of light, and the cool night air carried a hint of fragrance.

Just as Yan Li stepped through the archway of the flower wall, a shadow flashed from beneath a tree nearby.

Yan Li’s heart chilled, and she quickly stepped back, but in her panic, she did not watch her path and collided with the flower wall behind her, trapping herself.

In an instant, the figure had closed in, one hand pressing against the wall, blocking her path.

The autumn night was devoid of cicadas’ chirping, eerily quiet, so even the soft breathing of the figure seemed loud and intrusive.

Yan Li’s expression returned to normal in an instant, and she spoke calmly, “City Lord, what business do you have stopping me here in the middle of the night?”

Wu Yu, dressed in long black robes, blended into the night. As the clouds cleared, moonlight shone down on her, casting a silver glow in her dark eyes—an enchanting and mesmerizing light.

Yan Li averted her gaze inconspicuously.

Wu Yu’s lips curved up slightly as she picked up a strand of Yan Li’s white hair by her temple, bringing it close as if to smell it, perhaps even to kiss it: “I smelled your scent earlier. I knew you were here.”

Yan Li said, “So what?”

“That’s why I came looking for you.” Wu Yu’s voice was soft and low, a silky, tingling whisper in Yan Li’s ear, “You know I won’t let you go easily.”

Yan Li remained unmoved and calmly said, “You and I have no more ties. If you behave properly, we can barely be considered nodding acquaintances. But if you insist on this, remember, this is Wuwei Palace, and no one here will let you do as you please.”

Wu Yu leaned even closer, her waist as supple as if boneless, pressing against Yan Li. Her thumb gently brushed Yan Li’s lips as she spoke, “Just days ago, we shared a bed in affection, and now you speak such heartless words of no connection. Is your heart really that cold?”

Yan Li used her whisk to block Wu Yu’s hand that was caressing her lips and pushed her away with her other hand.

Wu Yu laughed, “Aren’t you afraid I’ll spread this matter and ruin your reputation?”

Yan Li laughed dismissively. Confused, Wu Yu watched her lower her head in a mix of resignation and pain, “What reputation does Yan Li even have?”

Wu Yu’s face stiffened, and a part of her heart tightened. For a moment, she was at a loss for words.

At that moment, footsteps approached from the other side of the flower wall. It turned out to be Jiang Ying, who had followed them. Upon noticing people near the flower wall and fearing she might disturb them, she peeked and saw Yan Li. When she realized the other person was Wu Yu, her expression changed dramatically, and she exclaimed angrily, “What are you doing here?!”

Jiang Ying positioned herself in front of Yan Li, creating a barrier between her and Wu Yu.

Wu Yu was unfazed and took two steps back, smiling, “Nothing much, just catching up with your senior sister.”

Yan Li said, “You’ve said what you needed to say. Go back.”

Wu Yu tilted her head to look past Jiang Ying at Yan Li, her soft hair falling gracefully around her face, her dark eyes filled with a gentle moonlit glow: “Then… see you tomorrow.”

Surprised by her swift retreat, Yan Li pressed her brows together without speaking. Jiang Ying retorted, “You woman, my senior sister will never see you again!”

Wu Yu played with her hair, gently tucking it behind her ear. Her movements were graceful and deliberate, “Little girl, this is between me and your senior sister. It’s best if outsiders don’t interfere.”

Jiang Ying’s expression darkened, and she said coldly, “Wu Yu, don’t get too arrogant. When you killed my shishu, the sect leader spared your life because he saw it as a private matter between father and daughter, and acknowledged that my shishu was initially at fault. He chose not to pursue the matter further. But don’t mistake our leader’s leniency for fear from Wuwei Palace.”

“But you exploited my senior sister, burdening her with years of guilt. What did she ever do to offend or hurt you? The fault is yours, and Wuwei Palace never planned to let you off; it was only because my senior sister pleaded on your behalf that you were spared. Yet you continue shamelessly, pestering her incessantly! What more do you plan to take from her? How else do you intend to hurt her?”

Jiang Ying’s voice was full of accusation. Wu Yu crossed her arms, and the finger that had previously caressed Yan Li’s lips now rubbed her own tender, reddish lower lip. Her eyes gazed deeply at Yan Li, unhurried, “What am I after?” Her smile was profound, her voice husky and lingering: “Her heart.”

Jiang Ying’s face flushed with anger, she scolded, “You shameless woman, don’t you know what decency is!”

Jiang Ying grabbed Yan Li’s hand and said, “Senior Sister, let’s go. Don’t bother with this madwoman!”

Jiang Ying pulled Yan Li back to the courtyard of Wuwei Palace, and as they left, she warned Wu Yu, “If you come within half a step of Senior Sister again, the disciples of the Wuwei Palace will not let you off so easily!”

Wu Yu did not follow them; she simply stood there, watching them disappear into the deepening night, her silhouette as still and somber as a dark, cold swallowtail butterfly.

Yan Li glanced at her sideways and withdrew her gaze, asking Jiang Ying, “Why are you out so late?”

Jiang Ying stopped and took out two bottles of medicinal pills to give to Yan Li, saying, “The sect has found several spiritual medicines for treating meridians. I forgot to give them to you earlier. I was just about to bring them to you, hoping they might help your legs.”

Yan Li said, “Thank you for the trouble.”

Jiang Ying hesitated and stammered, finally saying, “Senior Sister, that woman is no good. From now on… from now on, please keep your distance from her.”

Yan Li lowered her eyes, sighing very softly, “I know.”

That night, Yan Li slept at the Wuwei Palace.

Meanwhile, Qing Jiu and the others accompanied Jie Qianchou back to Ningqing Garden. The servants from Mingjian Manor had already arrived to attend to them and brought many gifts, truly making a generous apology.

Hua Lian, flipping through the gifts, remarked, “Mingjian Manor really doesn’t hold back, true to their word when they promise a compensation.”

Most of the group disliked being served by outsiders, so they dismissed the servants. Yu’er had Jie Qianchou take the main seat and poured him tea, asking, “Master, are you really here to participate in the martial arts competition?”

Jie Qianchou gave a noncommittal grunt, his mustache fluttering as he pointed at Qing Jiu and said, “You, girl, are truly mischievous! Scheming against this old man, one trick after another! Just like Yiye!”

Yu’er was surprised and thought to herself, “Qing Jiu has been away from Xiaoqing Mountain for more than half a year. When did she offend Master again?” Her eyes shifted towards Qing Jiu, seeking an explanation for Jie Qianchou’s anger.

Qing Jiu pretended not to know and asked, “Where did this junior offend you, elder, to make you so furious?”

Jie Qianchou didn’t beat around the bush with her, “You, girl, stop acting dumb in front of this old man! You knew I would come, didn’t you? Tell me! Is there something missing in the wine recipe you gave me? The taste of the wine I brew is always a bit different from the one in your gourd!”

“If you don’t tell me! If you don’t tell me!” Jie Qianchou stood up and looked around, like an elder trying to find a stick to discipline an unruly junior. Yu’er quickly came forward to hold him back, afraid that her master, in his haste, might accidentally hurt Qing Jiu.

Qing Jiu stood calmly and said with a smile, “Is that the issue? Let me think… Ah, perhaps it’s because the wine elder brewed is new, so the flavor isn’t rich enough. After all, this junior’s wine has been brewing for five or six years.”

Jie Qianchou paused, considering it for a moment. Indeed, new wine has a fresher taste and lacks some richness. Being a perfectionist when it comes to wine, having tasted something superior, he couldn’t help but be dissatisfied with anything less perfect. So, when he used Qing Jiu’s wine recipe to brew wine and tasted quite a few batches, he felt that the taste was off. Without much thought, he came to demand an explanation.

Seeing that he had misunderstood the situation, Jie Qianchou said, “Oh, so that’s how it is, then…”

Jie Qianchou’s eyes darted towards the wine gourd at Qing Jiu’s waist, “Then…”

Qing Jiu and Yu’er understood his intention. Yu’er didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, knowing her master’s temperament well and not knowing how to persuade him. She simply remained silent.

Qing Jiu said, “Elder Jie, this junior’s five or six-year-old wine is only this much. Surely, as an elder, you wouldn’t take even that from a junior.”

Jie Qianchou couldn’t keep up appearances and turned his head away, saying, “Hmph! What kind of person do you take this old man for, to steal from a junior!” He had completely forgotten about the incident of stealing wine at Xiaoqing Mountain.

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Khriss
Khriss
21 days ago

Hahahaha. I wonder what the author intends for YL and WY, considering it does seem pretty messed up. Let’s rafo!
Thanks for the chapter!