Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jul 05, 2024 1 Comment
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Chapter 71: Don't Ask

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Sixteen)

Mo Wen was dragged over, and just as she was about to express her dissatisfaction, saying, “Qing Jiu…”

Then, Bai Sang, the master of Xuhuai Valley, and Yan Beili, came out of the room one after the other. Mo Wen quickly changed her demeanor, squeezing herself between Qi Tianzhu and Qing Jiu, effectively being shielded by their bodies.

Upon seeing Jie Qianchou in the courtyard, Bai Sang and Yan Beili approached him.

Yan Beili bowed to Jie Qianchou and said, “This junior has failed in his duty to protect the manor, even disturbing the esteemed elder with this incident.”

Jie Qianchou chuckled and waved his hand, “My disciple and I were practicing martial arts in the forest when we heard something unusual had happened at the manor. We merely came to see what the commotion was about.”

Yan Beili took the opportunity to glance at Yu’er, his eyes gentle. Unfortunately, Yu’er had something on her mind and wasn’t paying attention at all.

Yan Beili’s sons were shocked to see a rare smile on their father’s usually stern and cold face.

In their memory, Yan Beili was always serious and strict. Seeing him smile warmly at an outsider was unexpected.

Yan Beili’s eldest son, Yan Siguo, leaned close to Yan Jianyu’s ear and asked, “Second Brother, is that girl the one who caused the dispute between Senior Jun, Ren Qingkuang, and Father?”

Yan Jianyu had been observing the martial arts competition for the past two days.

Perhaps because Yu’er was associated with the prestigious ‘Ning family young master,’ Yan Jianyu had initially looked down on her.

He thought she was just another arrogant figure, flaunting her family’s influence without restraint. This initial distaste only grew when he learned she was Jie Qianchou’s disciple and had attracted the attention of several major sects because of her mere appearance. Yan Beili’s evident concern and praise for her only fueled Yan Jianyu’s disdain.

He was aware of his feelings but refused to admit they stemmed from jealousy; he convinced himself it was contempt for how her beauty seemed to bewitch his father and everyone else.

Yan Jianyu frowned and took two steps back, scoffing, “What, is Eldest Brother also interested in her?”

Yan Siguo chuckled softly without saying a word, quietly observing Yu’er.

Jie Qianchou asked Bai Sang, “Valley Master Bai, have you found anything?”

Bai Sang nodded and said, “There are some clues. I need to inspect a few more locations where others have disappeared to finalize my findings before informing you.” Her voice was calm and melodious, very pleasing to the ear.

Yan Beili then asked Jie Qianchou, “Most of those who disappeared were staying on the outskirts of the manor. Elder Jie, have you noticed anything unusual in Ningqing Garden?”

Jie Qianchou stroked his beard, “This old man slept very well last night and didn’t notice anything unusual.”

Yan Beili said with concern, “Although Elder Jie has profound cultivation and no evil spirits dare to approach you, it’s easy to dodge a visible spear but difficult to guard against an arrow in the dark. With people disappearing in this manor and the truth still unknown, Elder Jie should still be cautious.”

Jie Qianchou said, “Of course I know this. You don’t need to worry.”

Yan Beili glanced at Yu’er, opening his mouth as if to say something more, but in the end, he only sighed softly, thinking, “With Elder Jie by her side, she is safer than with any other guardian. Perhaps I shouldn’t be overly attentive to avoid making her feel uncomfortable.”

Bai Sang and Yan Beili then took their leave. As they passed by Qing Jiu and the others, Bai Sang’s gaze inadvertently swept over Mo Wen. She remembered this traveler because on the first day, Zelan had excitedly run towards this group, catching her eye.

After Zelan returned that day, she had inquired about the identities of these people, but Zelan was unwilling to say, so she had let the matter rest.

However, judging from Zelan’s delighted appearance that day, she felt a curious interest in these travelers.

Bai Sang’s gaze swept past Mo Wen unintentionally but stopped on her face. She even took a step to the side to get a clearer look at Mo Wen.

Bai Sang’s casual glance lingered on Mo Wen’s face, pausing her steps and even shifting to get a clearer view. She noticed something off about Mo Wen’s face, which was extremely peculiar, waxen, and motionless, resembling a face of the dead. Suddenly, she remembered someone else, and her expression turned cold.

Just as she was about to approach Mo Wen, Yan Beili, noticing Bai Sang had stopped and wasn’t moving, turned back and called out, “Valley Master Bai?”

At this moment, Zelan and Zizhi also caught up and asked, “Master, what’s wrong?”

Bai Sang snapped out of her thoughts. She forced a smile and apologetically said to Yan Beili, “I apologize, Manor Master Yan. I was momentarily lost in past memories.”

Bai Sang glanced in Mo Wen’s direction once more, but she found her completely hidden behind others, making it difficult to see her.

She had other matters to attend to and couldn’t linger over a suspicion. With a slight frown, she decided to leave with Yan Beili for now.

As soon as Bai Sang left, Mo Wen grabbed Qing Jiu’s shoulders, her voice filled with panic, “What should I do, Qing Jiu? She definitely recognized me. I told you I didn’t want to come, but you insisted on making me come! What do we do now? She recognized me! She definitely recognized me!”

Mo Wen’s words were incoherent. It was the first time Yu’er had seen her like this. Although she had guessed early on that Mo Wen had a connection with Xuhuai Valley, now that it was confirmed, she found herself even more curious about the relationship between Mo Wen and Valley Master Bai.

Qing Jiu gently removed Mo Wen’s hands with a laugh, “It was Hua Lian who asked for you to come, not me. Go talk to him.”

Mo Wen, on the verge of tears, protested, “How can you say that? I… I’m leaving the mountain!”

With that, she really turned around and started walking away.

Yu’er was genuinely worried that Mo Wen would run off to who knows where, just like last time. She quickly grabbed Mo Wen’s arm and pulled her back, saying to Mo Wen, “She’s a bad person, let’s just ignore her.”

These words, spoken by Yu’er at that moment, sounded partly like a playful scold directed at Qing Jiu and partly like she was comforting a child, trying to soothe Mo Wen.

Qing Jiu couldn’t help but laugh, “Let’s not worry about whether Valley Master Bai recognized you or not. Even if she did, at worst we avoid her for a few days. If we do encounter her, the most she might do is try to strike you with her sword, and it’s not like you can’t handle yourself. Once the martial arts competition is over, we can make our escape, and she won’t be able to do anything about it.”

Mo Wen lowered her eyes, “She doesn’t want to see me…”

Qing Jiu spoke in a low voice, “With people mysteriously disappearing from Mingjian Manor, whether it’s due to personal vendettas or someone’s deliberate actions, those from Xuhuai Valley trying to uncover the truth will become targets for those behind the scenes. The martial skills of those from Xuhuai Valley aren’t the best, and if Mingjian Manor doesn’t provide adequate protection, and we’re not around, if something happens to them…”

Before she could finish, Mo Wen had already quietly turned and walked back into the house to check for any clues.

Qing Jiu smiled. Hua Lian, who was behind her, shook his head and clicked his tongue, pointing his folding fan at Qing Jiu, “You and your tongue are really something else.”

Hearing Qing Jiu mention earlier about drawing swords and striking people, Yu’er wondered, “Did I misunderstand? Is Mo Wen not a disciple of the valley but rather an enemy?”

She tugged on Hua Lian’s sleeve and asked in a low voice, “Hua Lian, did Mo Wen and Valley Master Bai have some kind of grudge?”

Hua Lian, arms crossed and fan pointed at his chin, responded, “There’s some history of conflict, but the details aren’t clear to me. If you really want to know, well… it’s not a good time to ask Mo Wen herself; Qing Jiu would know better. You should ask her.”

Yu’er’s expression changed in a very subtle way. Hua Lian narrowed his eyes and exclaimed, “Oh!” His eyes lit up as he stared at Yu’er, “Did you have a fight with Qing Jiu?”

Yu’er replied coldly, “No.”

After saying this, Yu’er walked straight into the house, leaving behind Hua Lian’s hearty laughter. He then called out to Qing Jiu, “Qing Jiu, did you really have a fight with little Yu’er?”

Inside the room, Mo Wen was half-kneeling beside the bed, her fingers tracing over the wood exposed at the headboard.

Yu’er asked, “Mo Wen, did you notice anything wrong?”

Mo Wen beckoned Yu’er over and said, “Come and take a look.”

Yu’er walked over and observed a very faint, nearly transparent trace on the exposed wooden board, which was extremely hard to notice.

The trace, starting from the center of the bed, meandered its way to the headboard

Mo Wen said, “This is the trail of a Gu. Master…”

Mo Wen paused for a moment before continuing, “Valley Master Bai and the others must have noticed it too.”

Qing Jiu and the others had just entered the room when they heard her words. They asked, “Can you tell what kind of Gu it is?”

Mo Wen replied, “No.”

After a thorough search of the room, the group only managed to find traces indicating the crawling of Gu worms but nothing else suspicious.

As they came out of the room, Hao Yun and Jie Qianchou were in the middle of a heated struggle over a jug of wine. They had started fighting, their moves going back and forth, and they were so engrossed that they couldn’t stop for a while.

Leaving these two behind, the group decided to check other places, and as they passed Wuwei Palace’s residence, they happened to meet several members of the Palace.

These members were initially out to ask Zelan and Zizhi about the Gu situation in the mountain village. They had learned of the disappearances in the manor while inspecting the rooms of the missing individuals.

From a distance, Jiang Ying saw Yan Li’s group and waved, shouting, “Senior Sister!”

The group walked over and greeted Jian Mobei, “Senior.”

Since their last conversation, Jian Mobei had taken a liking to Qing Jiu, Yu’er, and their companions. He greeted them with a warm smile and concern, “I heard about the disappearances in the manor. Li’er, your place is quite secluded; has anything happened there?”

Yan Li shook her head, “Shishu, you learned about this matter so quickly.”

Jian Mobei said, “We just came from Valley Master Bai’s place. We initially wanted to inquire about the Gu situation. It’s ironic, isn’t it? Just when you think of something, it comes up. We heard that the rooms of those who disappeared had traces of Gu.”

At this point, Jian Mobei said fiercely, “I don’t know if it’s those evil people from Miaojiang causing trouble again. If this old man encounters them, I won’t rest until they are completely destroyed!”

Remembering his two beloved disciples, one dead and one injured, his anger flared up. Realizing it was inappropriate to show such anger in front of everyone, he quickly softened his demeanor and smiled, “Why don’t we all sit down in the courtyard and have some tea.”

Considering it was a good moment for Mo Wen to discuss the Gu situation in the village, Yan Li invited everyone into the courtyard.

Qing Jiu and her group of nine, some standing, some seated, with Qing Jiu on the left and Yu’er at the far right. After three young disciples of the Wuwei Palace brought in tea, they quietly stood behind Yu’er, curiously observing her.

Because they believed Yu’er was an honorary disciple of Wuxia Palace and saw her exceptional sword skills, which far surpassed their own despite her younger age, they felt both admiration and envy.

Mo Wen, Yan Li, and Qing Jiu sat at the front, discussing the events in the mountain village. After Mo Wen recounted everything in detail, Jian Mobei compared her account with what the Xuhuai Valley disciples had said. Everything matched up and was even more comprehensive. He also described the situation from a few years ago when a group of people had extensively experimented with Gu on living humans in Miaojiang

Mo Wen mused, “This must be a type of Gu, only the effects of the Gu worms used later were more mature.”

Jian Mobei said, “Indeed, the people who experimented with Gu in the village and those who were rampantly using live humans for Gu trials in Miaojiang a few years ago must be connected!”

Jian Mobei slammed his palm on the table, causing the teacups to jump, “They still dare to show their faces! They dare to experiment with Gu on living people again. If this old man doesn’t drag them out and skin them alive this time, I’ll write my name backward!”

Wei Ran was also filled with anger, but his temperament was more gentle and patient. He softly advised, “Shishu, there are still guests present.”

Jian Mobei quickly coughed twice, trying to control his temper, and politely said to everyone, “My apologies for the discourtesy.”

While Wei Ran was speaking, Mo Wen noticed him and looked at him intently for a long while, pondering before asking, “This young master…”

Wei Ran was quite surprised by her sudden address, but he still smiled gracefully and said, “Since you are a friend of Yan Li, if you don’t mind, you can call me Brother Wei.”

Mo Wen said, “Can I take your pulse for a moment?”

Yan Li suddenly realized something. Even her usual detachment gave way to a surge of excitement as she stood up and urged, “Senior Brother, let Mo Wen take your pulse!”

Everyone found her uncharacteristic behavior strange, including Jian Mobei and Wei Ran. Wei Ran obediently extended his wrist and said, “Please.”

Mo Wen placed her fingers on his pulse and, after a while, switched to his left hand. The members of the Wuwei Palace unconsciously held their breath, though they didn’t know why.

After a moment, Mo Wen withdrew her hand and said, “As I thought, you were poisoned by Gu, which caused your legs to be paralyzed and unable to stand.” During the martial arts competition, Mo Wen had stayed in the Ningqing Garden and had never been this close to Wei Ran. Today, when she approached him, Mo Wen sensed the presence of Gu on him, sparking her curiosity and leading her to verify her suspicion through his pulse.

Yan Li asked, “Do you have a way to cure him?”

Mo Wen pondered for a while and then said with certainty, “There’s a 70-80% chance.”

Jian Mobei suddenly stood up and walked over, even stumbling a few steps and nearly losing his balance. His usually steady voice trembled, “Miss, this… this is not something to joke about!”

Hearing Mo Wen’s words, Yan Li felt as if a heavy burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She wept with joy, “Shishu, she never jokes.”

Jian Mobei’s expression was a mix of amusement and concern, “But Valley Master Bai said that Ran’er only has a 30% chance, and if it fails, he will lose his life. She… she is still young. How could she be more skilled than Valley Master Bai? This…”

Yan Li said, “Shishu, trust her. In terms of acupuncture and medicine, she is not as skilled as Valley Master Bai, but when it comes to controlling Gu poison, she surpasses Valley Master Bai.”

After saying that, Yan Li still felt a bit uneasy and asked Mo Wen, “Will your method endanger his life?”

Mo Wen replied, “In the past, if it failed, he would definitely die. But now, with the Jin Gu obtained by Yang Chun, even if there’s a slim chance of failure, it won’t take his life.”

“Really?” Jian Mobei walked over, and the tremor in his voice was clearly audible.

Jian Mobei grasped Mo Wen’s arms with both hands, his grip so strong that the veins on the back of his hands bulged. He stared intently at Mo Wen, “Miss, if you can cure Ran’er, you… you will be a benefactor of our Wuwei Palace! I, Jian Mobei, will owe you a lifetime of gratitude!”

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11 days ago

Thanks for the chapter!