Menu

Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jul 07, 2024 1 Comment
Table of Contents

Chapter 73: She Remembers Everything

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Eighteen)

Yu’er felt a bit uneasy, perhaps because she was facing Jun Lin alone, or perhaps due to something else. She chose a nearby chair and sat down.

Jun Lin did not take the main seat but instead turned to sit directly opposite Yu’er, softly instructing the gentle-voiced lady beside him, “Ruyu.”

Jun Ruyu nodded and turned to leave.

Jun Lin said, “I’ve been wanting to invite Miss Yu’er over since the day before yesterday, but the chaos caused by the sect leader disrupted the martial arts competition. I hope it didn’t frighten you…” Jun Lin kept his voice soft and gentle, as if he was afraid of scaring her.

Yu’er shook her head. Jun Lin smiled, “That’s good. Later, when Elder Jie suddenly appeared and wanted to reunite with you as master and disciple, it got delayed until today.”

As he spoke, Jun Ruyu returned with tea, first approaching Yu’er.

Yu’er was still holding the chestnuts and didn’t have a free hand, feeling somewhat awkward. Jun Ruyu smiled faintly, unbothered, and placed the tea cup on the small table next to Yu’er, then handed the other cup to Jun Lin.

Jun Lin held the tea, his gaze constantly fixated on Yu’er. He observed her small movements, like gently furrowing her brows or the shifting of her eyes. When their eyes met unintentionally, the light in her eyes whenever she focused on something evoked a sense of familiarity in him. His eyes grew even more affectionate, “I know that Elder Jie accepted a disciple named Changsi many years ago and they lived in seclusion together on Xiaoqing Mountain.”

Yu’er said, “He is my senior brother.”

Jun Lin pondered, “Then may I ask when Miss Yu’er became Elder Jie’s disciple?”

Yu’er thought for a moment, realizing that it wouldn’t matter whether she answered or not. However, she still had some reservations, so she gave a vague response, “Not long ago.”

Jun Lin asked, “May I ask where Miss Yu’er is from? Are you by chance from Yunmeng Marsh?”

Yu’er glanced at Jun Lin. Holding his tea cup with one hand on the lid, he hadn’t drunk a sip yet, just holding it. He smiled, “I always thought you were raised by Master Jie. It seems I was mistaken. How are your parents?”

Yu’er said, “They passed away.”

Jun Lin was stunned for a moment, then said in a hoarse voice, “I apologize.”

After a while, Yu’er smiled faintly and shook her head to indicate it was alright.

In the past, such memories would have plunged her into sorrow, but now she could face them calmly because she was no longer alone. Yu’er shared, “I used to live below Yan Ling Mountain. In fact, Second Miss Jun, you’ve met me before.”

Jun Sixue was completely clueless and asked, “Me?” She was still searching through her mind but couldn’t recall at the moment.

Yu’er smiled, “At the Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses, I was the one who unlocked Second Miss Jun’s cell.”

Jun Sixue suddenly remembered and exclaimed in shock, “Ah! It was you!”

Jun Ruyu gently scolded her, “Sixue,” reminding her to be more composed in front of guests.

Jun Sixue paid no heed. She stared at Jun Lin and Jun Ruyu with her bright eyes and said, “Third Uncle, Eldest Sister, this person is the one I mentioned last year, the little girl in the prison who couldn’t even tie up a chicken.”

Last year, when the Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses were destroyed, Jun Sixue was freed from her shackles. On the way, she encountered the Jun family members who were rushing to her aid.

Only then did the Jun family learn that the fortress had been taken down. When they asked for details, Jun Sixue naturally recounted everything that had happened, including how Yu’er had obtained the key and released everyone.

Initially, everyone had greatly admired and respected this young girl. Now, realizing she was the very person before them, Jun Lin felt an even greater sense of surprise and affection.

Jun Sixue pondered aloud, “You’ve changed so much, that’s why I didn’t recognize you. So that’s it! You’ve grown taller, your limp is gone, and you’ve filled out, not skinny like before, and you’ve become prettier too.”

Jun Sixue was straightforward and didn’t think about hiding anything. She expressed what she felt without considering whether her words would trigger unpleasant memories for Yu’er.

Fortunately, Yu’er didn’t mind those things. Even recalling her past self, who looked like she could be blown away by the wind yet dared to charge into the fortress alone, rushing anxiously to the room where Qing Jiu was being held captive, only to find that the person was the hunter in sheep’s clothing, and she, the prey, was thinking of rescuing the hunter, she found it amusing. No wonder Qing Jiu often said that she was interesting.

However, as Jun Lin listened to Jun Sixue’s narration, his heart tightened with each sentence, and his face turned paler with each detail. When he looked at Yu’er, he couldn’t find any traces of the miserable and wretched past that Jun Sixue had described.

Jun Sixue said, “No wonder I felt a strange familiarity with you back then. It turns out it was because…”

Jun Ruyu suddenly called out, “Sixue!” and shot her a warning glance. Jun Sixue was caught off guard, promptly held back her words.

Seeing that Jun Lin’s grief was difficult to conceal, Jun Ruyu knew that he couldn’t bear to ask further questions and took it upon herself to inquire, “Miss Yu’er, may I ask what your surname is?”

Yu’er paused, clearly not expecting such a question, and momentarily felt lost. What was her surname?

Her mother had always called her “Yu’er, Yu’er” and had never given her a formal name. A long time ago, her mother had told her her father’s name and her mother’s name, but it was too long ago. Her memory was blurry, and she couldn’t remember anymore.

With a blank expression, she looked up, seeing Jun Lin leaning on the arm of his chair, his face stricken and not looking directly at her, while Jun Ruyu showed concern and attentiveness.

After arriving at the World Martial Arts Competition, Yu’er always found herself pondering over the events that unfolded. There was a part of her that was hesitant to delve too deeply into those thoughts. Now, as Jun Ruyu asked her, inexplicably, those memories surfaced.

Her heart was inexplicably uneasy.

The more she tried not to think about it, the more her thoughts gravitated towards it. Cold sweat appeared on Yu’er’s forehead. Desperate to escape these troubling thoughts, she suddenly remembered something and blurted out, “Lin, my surname is Lin!”

Jun Ruyu frowned slightly and said, “Lin? This surname is quite uncommon.”

Yu’er let out a long sigh of relief and looked at the chestnuts wrapped in cloth in her arms. She asked, “Manor Master Jun, it’s getting late. If there’s nothing else, this junior will take her leave.”

Jun Lin was silent for a while, then mustered up his energy and said in a gentle voice, “I’ve kept you here for so long. Ruyu, go see her off.”

Yu’er bowed to bid farewell. At the courtyard gate, she stopped Jun Ruyu and said goodbye to her before hurriedly leaving.

After Yu’er left, Jun Sixue asked with confusion, “Why didn’t you just tell her directly?”

Jun Ruyu said, “How would you feel if a stranger suddenly came up to you and started saying all those things? Besides, she believes she has both parents. We should take it slow—didn’t you say she had a hard life before?”

Jun Lin stood up, clutching his chest. His eyebrows were tightly furrowed as he asked Jun Sixue, “Sixue, is what you said earlier true?”

Seeing this situation, Jun Sixue became a bit hesitant and replied ambiguously, “Back in the prison, I wasn’t locked up with her. I only caught a glimpse of her a few times. Actually, I’m not very clear about it either, Third Uncle…”

However, her words did little to console Jun Lin. He stumbled a few steps and fell to his knees. They rushed to help him, only to see his eyes brimming with tears as he shook his head in despair, “I let her wander alone in the world for sixteen years, suffering all kinds of hardships. I’ve failed her, and I’ve failed Yue’er!”

Jun Sixue attempted to alleviate his guilt, “Third Uncle, how can you blame yourself for this? It was all Ren Qingkuang’s fault.”

Jun Ruyu also comforted him, “Third Uncle, the past cannot be changed, but now that we’ve found her, it’s not too late to make amends.”

After leaving the residence of the Jiuxiao Manor, Yu’er went straight back to Ningqing Garden.

A fine drizzle filled the air, casting a cold mist that seemed to cool her troubled thoughts.

The pebbles on the path were washed smooth by the rainwater, reflecting a faint glow. Yu’er walked on the pebbled path, her mind drifting the entire way until she reached Ningqing Garden.

As Yu’er approached the garden wall, she saw two figures emerge from the gate one after the other. Upon closer inspection, she recognized them as Qing Jiu and Hao Yun.

Qing Jiu held an umbrella over Hao Yun, chatting and laughing as she saw him off. Soon, Hao Yun departed, leaving Yu’er feeling inexplicably hollow inside.

Yu’er’s heart suddenly felt empty.

It was a common enough scene—Qing Jiu seeing someone off—but it stirred an irrational melancholy in Yu’er. She laughed at the silliness of her feelings, but the laughter soon gave way to a profound sense of helplessness.

Yu’er wanted to avoid them temporarily. Just as she turned around, Qing Jiu spotted her and called out, “Yu’er.”

Yu’er still wanted to pretend she hadn’t heard and was about to leave when she heard a faint coughing sound. Her steps faltered, and she couldn’t move forward.

Turning around, she saw Qing Jiu approaching slowly through the misty rain.

The fog made the white-clad figure of Qing Jiu seem almost ethereal.

Qing Jiu said, “I haven’t seen you for a while. Where have you been?”

As Qing Jiu drew nearer, Yu’er noticed her pale face and the weariness in her eyes. Qing Jiu moved the oil-paper umbrella forward, sheltering Yu’er’s head, and remarked, “You didn’t even think to carry an umbrella. You’re all wet.”

Qing Jiu then took out a handkerchief to wipe the raindrops from Yu’er’s face. The cloth carried her scent and warmth, evoking a deep sense of longing in Yu’er. So much so that when Qing Jiu withdrew her hand, Yu’er felt a void she didn’t know how to fill.

Yu’er lowered her eyes, unable to meet Qing Jiu’s gaze for fear of revealing her turmoil. “I saw a chestnut tree outside the manor, so I went to pick some.”

Qing Jiu’s eyes landed on the bundle in Yu’er’s arms, “You were about to walk out just now. Where were you going?”

“I…” Yu’er wasn’t very good at lying, especially when facing Qing Jiu. She said, “I saw you talking with Hao Yun and didn’t want to interrupt.”

Qing Jiu smiled and said, “Silly Yu’er.”

She took Yu’er’s wrist and said, “Alright, let’s go back.”

Yu’er allowed herself to be led back to the room by Qing Jiu.

Qing Jiu stood by the door, closing the umbrella, and said to Yu’er, “Go change your clothes.”

Yu’er placed the chestnuts on the table and took clean clothes behind the screen, her mind swirling with thoughts and one question she couldn’t suppress. When she emerged, dressed in fresh clothes, Qing Jiu was facing away from her, busying herself with peeling the chestnuts, her black hair adorned with two strands of white tassels swaying in the breeze.

Yu’er couldn’t hold back any longer and asked the question, “Qing Jiu.”

“Hmm?”

“Will you… will you leave with Hao Yun?” Then leave us behind…

Qing Jiu raised her head, looking confused, “Why would I leave with Hao Yun?”

Yu’er bit her lip before suddenly smiling, “Master has some history with Hao Yun’s father. He said he wanted to find Hao Yun a suitable match on behalf of his father and help him settle down. Master asked me if you were married or not.”

Qing Jiu stared at Yu’er, letting out a meaningful “oh.” Resting her cheek in her hand, she fell silent for a moment before smiling, “I’m not the type to stay for anyone in this lifetime. Elder Jie will be disappointed. Besides, Hao Yun and I are sworn siblings. Marriage between us is out of the question.”

Yu’er felt a mix of relief and a heaviness in her heart. Qing Jiu had no romantic feelings for Hao Yun, but her statement about not staying for anyone lingered unsettlingly in Yu’er’s mind.

With her own feelings muddled, she perceived Qing Jiu’s words as possibly having another meaning.

The more she let her imagination run wild, the more she believed it to be true, almost sinking into despair.

Yu’er forced a smile and asked, “Not even for us?” Here, “us” naturally referred to their group of six. Saying “me” was something Yu’er didn’t dare to do.

Qing Jiu smiled and said, “Hm? Didn’t you say you wanted to come with me?”

Yu’er looked at her, stunned. Qing Jiu continued to smile, “What was it you said? That one day you’d catch up to me so we could walk side by side, right?”

She remembered, remembered it all.

Yu’er laughed, feeling a sudden warmth in her cheeks and moisture in her eyes. She bowed her head, avoiding Qing Jiu’s gaze, and her lips curled up uncontrollably as she added, “It’s not just you; there’s Yan Lie and the others too…”

Table of Contents
Author

4.3 4 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Khriss
Khriss
11 days ago

Yu’er just wants her family to stick together, but it’s already unraveling apart with the unearthing of the past ;-;
Thanks for the TL!