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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By Jul 11, 2024 6 Comments
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Chapter 79: Interrogation

Martial Arts Competition Under The Heavens (Part Twenty Four)

Yan Siguo invited Qing Jiu, Gong Shang, Hua Lian, Tang Linzhi, and Yang Chun to accompany him.

Qing Jiu and the others pondered, suspecting they were being summoned for an interrogation.

They were led into an elegant room with bamboo curtains half-drawn, where smoke wafted from an animal-head incense burner. Seating was already occupied on both sides of the room.

On the left was the Shaolin monk, Master Kongming. He was wise and perceptive, and although Qing Jiu’s appearance had changed, he could still recognize her from her demeanor. As soon as Yan Siguo brought them in, he stood up and bowed to Qing Jiu.

Qing Jiu reciprocated the bow with her hands clasped together.

Master Kongming, who held a revered position in wulin, surprised everyone with his respectful greeting to Qing Jiu.

A scroll hung in the center of the room, bearing the characters — “The Righteous Qi of Heaven and Earth.”

Qing Jiu glanced at it before turning her gaze to Yan Beili.

Seeing that everyone had arrived, Yan Beili stepped forward and said, “Thank you all for coming. Please, have a seat.”

Yan Beili waved his hand to the side, indicating for them to sit.

Qing Jiu remained standing and said, “I’ll pass on sitting. My condition makes it difficult. Manor Master Yan, please get straight to the point.” Qing Jiu’s voice was lazy, heavy with fatigue. The sudden intrusion by Qin Gui the previous night, her rush to the forest to save someone, Yu’er’s injuries, and her vigil until dawn at the Qixian Palace meant she had not had a moment’s rest.

Seeing Qing Jiu looking unwell and remembering Yu’er’s condition, Yan Beili asked anxiously. “Miss, were you injured in the confrontation? How are Miss Yu’er’s injuries?”

Gong Shang said, “The young lady suffered internal injuries from Qing Gui’s zither. The injuries are severe, but with careful treatment, she can recover.”

Only then did Yan Beili feel slightly relieved. Turning back, he saw Qing Jiu frowning slightly, looking impatient. He coughed and said solemnly, “The reason I invited you all here today is mainly to inquire about the thief who entered the manor last night. Your rooms are in the Ningqing Garden, which is on the outskirts of the Mingjian Manor. How did you end up in the central garden in the middle of the night, getting into a fight?”

“Manor Master Yan, are you suspecting us?” Before Yan Beili could speak, Qing Jiu said, “Indeed, it’s understandable.”

Before Yan Beili could speak, Qing Jiu said, “Indeed, it’s understandable.”

“The appearance of my friends in the central garden is actually related to your esteemed manor. There have been several disappearances of martial artists within your manor, including a disciple of the Qixian Palace, whose whereabouts remain unexplained.”

“We are staying in the Ningqing Garden, located on the outskirts, so naturally, we cannot rest easy. That’s why we have someone keep watch every night. Last night, we noticed some unusual activity, and my three friends here, who are skilled in lightness techniques, went to investigate. Surprisingly, we encountered no guards along the way. It just so happened that two thieves were attempting to steal the Fenghou Sword. My three friends, acting out of a sense of righteousness, intervened, but unfortunately, they were no match for the thieves, who managed to escape.”

With her account, Qing Jiu deftly shifted the blame towards lapses in Mingjian Manor’s security.

Throughout her explanation, Qing Jiu maintained a composed and serious demeanor, making her account seem quite plausible.

Hua Lian and Tang Linzhi were accustomed to such situations, and Yang Chun had seen it before, so the three of them maintained a normal expression, appearing unfazed, as if to say, “This is exactly how it happened.”

Upon mentioning the disappearance of the two disciples from the Qixian Palace, the leader of the Beggars’ Sect, Lei Gong, suddenly shouted, “Palace Master Gong Shang, what are Qin Gui’s intentions towards you?”

Gong Shang’s gaze shifted to him. Lei Gong laughed awkwardly and said, “I’m not one to gossip, but could it be that Qin Gui kidnapped your disciples to get your attention?”

Gong Shang shook his head and said, “No, she came for the Fenghou Sword.”

Lei Gong pondered, “Well, it’s no secret that the Ghost Sect are after divine weapons…”

Qing Jiu said, “Manor Master Yan, this all started because of the Fenghou Sword.”

Qing Jiu glanced lazily at Yan Beili and said, “The Fenghou Sword’s fame is well-known. I’m sure you, Manor Master Yan, have heard about the bloodshed it has caused in the past. Now that you’ve obtained the Fenghou Sword, not only do you not fear others knowing about it, you’ve instead announced it to the world, inviting heroes to appraise the sword.”

“Manor Master Yan must have anticipated what kind of people this would attract. But the defenses of Mingjian Manor seem quite lax; anyone can come and go as they please. I wonder, is this a lapse on Manor Master Yan’s part, or does someone have great powers, knowing the manor’s defenses inside out?” With these words, she effectively turned the tables, directing the blame towards Yan Beili.

If it were anyone else, they would be wary of offending Yan Beili and would not speak so bluntly, but Qing Jiu was not one to concern herself with such things.

Already feeling guilty about the disappearances within his manor, Yan Beili had been silent earlier due to Qing Jiu’s plausible excuses. Now, with Qing Jiu insinuating that the recent events might just be a spectacle orchestrated by his own manor, it was almost as if she directly accused him of staging a drama.

Yan Beili, his chest swelling with righteous indignation, raised his brows and declared, “It is as you say, Miss. The Fenghou Sword’s reputation is known to all! Throughout history, there have been countless open and secret battles for it, and this one certainly aware of this! The reason this one dares to openly present this sword for the appraisal of the heroes under heaven, without fear of people’s schemes, is because this one have never thought of keeping the Fenghou Sword for himself!”

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Yan Beili’s words rang with conviction, his tiger-like eyes gleaming with righteousness, allowing no room for the slightest disrespect. “This sword should belong to one of virtue, one of great benevolence and righteousness, capable of suppressing the sword’s bloody aura! This one’s intention in holding the World Martial Arts Competition is to have the heroes under heaven jointly select a sage of virtue to safeguard this sword.”

“With the heroes under heaven as witnesses, should any bandit scheme for this sword in the future, the heroes shall jointly execute them! This can prevent countless conflicts. The disappearance of martial artists within the manor and allowing the thieves to come and go freely is indeed this one’s inescapable responsibility.”

“This one will quickly capture the mastermind behind this and provide an explanation to everyone! But the original intention of the sword appreciation at the World Martial Arts Competition is one of openness and honesty!”

Qing Jiu quietly observed Yan Beili for a moment. As they locked gazes, his face stern with authority. Sighing, Qing Jiu commented, “Although your intentions are good, not everyone can be trusted. Many may agree to your face but scheme in the shadows.”

Yan Beili said solemnly, “This one believes that there are more loyal and righteous people in this world.”

Upon hearing these words, Qing Jiu couldn’t help but smile sadly. After a long silence, she said, “Manor Master Yan, here is one thing this junior doesn’t understand and would like to seek your guidance on.”

Seeing Qing Jiu’s tone was not as cold as before, though unsure why her attitude softened, Yan Beili responded, “Please ask your question.”

“It is said that the Fenghou Sword had been lost for many years. Where did you find this sword, Manor Master Yan?”

” My son, Yan Siguo, intercepted it from a group of bandits while he was in Miaojiang.”

Qing Jiu pondered inwardly, thinking to herself, “The Miaojiang…”

Yan Beili asked, “May I also ask you a question, Miss?”

Qing Jiu casually replied, “Please ask.”

“Why did the Miss disguise herself to come here, unwilling to show her true face?”

This question caused everyone in the elegant room to focus on Qing Jiu. Some, like Master Kongming and Ye Sheng, had already realized that Qing Jiu was in disguise. Others, like the Beggar Sect leader Lei Gong, had just figured it out. Lei Gong slapped his thigh and exclaimed, “Ah, it’s that fierce girl!”

Qing Jiu smiled faintly and said, “A pretty face can sometimes be a nuisance. I simply wanted to avoid unnecessary troubles. You are not a woman, Manor Master Yan, so you may not fully understand.”

Yan Beili was left speechless…

Not long after Qing Jiu left with Yan Siguo, Yu’er regained consciousness. Her mind was in a haze, and there was always a sense of empty sadness lingering in her heart, leaving her feeling stifled and uneasy. Moreover, whenever she made a big movement, she would hear a burst of noise in her ears, and her chest would ache unbearably.

Mo Wen advised her to rest quietly and not dwell on her worries. While Mo Wen’s treatment could restore much of her health, complete healing would require the mystical sounds of Qixian Manor.

After tending to her duties, Mo Wen quickly returned to Wuwei Palace. Today was the day she needed to perform acupuncture on Wei Ran, hence her rush.

Qi Tianzhu stayed by Yu’er’s side to take care of her. The disciples of the Qixian Palace, seeing that she was brought by the Palace Master, were also extremely attentive and considerate.

By the next day, as the sky brightened towards noon, Yu’er, feeling sore from lying down too long, got up to walk around and sat in the courtyard.

Before long, two people were brought over by the disciples of Qixian Palace. They said to Yu’er, “Miss Yu’er, the two young ladies from the Jiuxiao Manor wish to see you.”

Although it sounded like a polite request, the two had already followed them over, making it difficult for Yu’er to refuse even if she wanted to.

Jun Sixue placed the box in her hand on the stone table and sat down beside it, examining Yu’er’s face. She said, “You look even worse than before. What’s going on?”

Jun Ruyu gently chided, “Sixue, how can you be so rude?”

Yu’er smiled faintly and asked, “What brings Second Miss Jun and Eldest Miss Jun here today?”

Jun Ruyu smiled and said, “We heard about your injury yesterday and brought some medicines, hoping they might aid in your recovery.” The two were unaware that Yu’er had suffered further internal injuries the previous night. Seeing her poor complexion, they assumed it was due to Yan Jianyu’s attack and that she was simply hiding the severity of her condition. This only made them more displeased with the Yan family.

Yu’er said, “We’ve only met a few times and hardly know each other; it doesn’t feel right accepting such a gift.”

Seeing Yu’er’s detachment, Jun Ruyu understood it was inevitable but still felt a pang of sadness. After their mother passed away early, their stepmother Yun Zheyue, who married their father Jun Lin, treated them as her own, and they grew very attached to her.

When Yun Zheyue was pregnant, Jun Ruyu was already twelve years old and remembered everything vividly, so she felt even more regretful about Yu’er’s disappearance.

Reminiscing about the past made Jun Ruyu somewhat melancholic. She said, “Miss Yu’er, please don’t refuse. We mean no harm. It’s just that… we felt an instant connection with you and are concerned about your injuries. We only hope for your swift recovery.”

Jun Ruyu opened the box, revealing the fluffy, flower-like medicinal herbs inside. Yu’er glanced at it and paused.

Mo Wen had been teaching her to identify herbs, and by now, she could recognize many of them.

She immediately recognized the contents of this box. It was a precious medicinal ingredient called Bairong, known for its efficacy in treating internal injuries and not easily obtained.

Mo Wen had been searching for heavenly treasures to refine a divine pill that could cure a hundred poisons and heal a hundred injuries. Recently, she had acquired the gallbladder of a thousand-year-old python, but she still lacked a sacred herb among the required ingredients. This Bairong was perfect.

Yu’er frowned slightly and hesitated for a moment before saying, “My internal injuries are not severe. With some rest, I should recover fully. I appreciate your concern, Miss Jun’da, but this gift is too precious, and I feel unworthy to accept it…”

Jun Sixue interrupted, “Oh, enough with the guilt. If you keep refusing, it means you look down on my eldest sister, and I’ll get angry. If you insist on talking about favors, consider it a token of gratitude for saving me at the Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses.”

Jun Sixue spoke bluntly and straightforwardly. Yu’er felt that further refusal would be overly pretentious. Moreover, she genuinely wanted this precious herb for Mo Wen to refine the pill. So, she accepted it and said, “Then, I sincerely thank you both for your kindness.”

Just then, Qi Tianzhu came out with the medicine. Yu’er asked him to deliver the Bairong to Mo Wen.

Qi Tianzhu said, “If the Misses have no other plans, why not stay for lunch? We have a friend who is an excellent cook who will be back soon. She’ll want to thank you herself for the gifts.”

The two were happy to have more time to spend with Yu’er, so they gladly agreed.

Qi Tianzhu took the Bairong and bid farewell to the three. He was about to go find Mo Wen when he had just left the courtyard and saw Mo Wen rushing towards him, shouting anxiously, “Qing… Qing Jiu!”

Qi Tianzhu didn’t know what had happened. He looked behind Mo Wen and saw another person following her. It was none other than the Valley Master Bai Sang, holding a shining sword, chasing after Mo Wen.

Translation note:

Regarding Yan Beili referring to himself as ‘this one’ – In the original text, he uses Yan Mou (某). The practice of adding ‘mou’ (某) after one’s surname is a traditional, humble way of referring to oneself in ancient China, mostly used in formal settings.

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dweeb
dweeb
7 days ago

I know mo wen hints to a very messed up story, but the way she gets when people recognize her is just so funny 😭

Khriss
Khriss
6 days ago

> Before Yan Beili could speak, Qing Jiu said, “Indeed, it’s understandable.”
Small bug, this line is repeated ^^
Thanks for the TL!
I wonder if that’s the Fenghou sword…?

Anon
Anon
6 days ago

I forgot who Bai Sang is, wasn’t she the master Mo Wen was trying to avoid ?

The Meralda
The Meralda
6 days ago
Reply to  Anon

Yes, Bai Sang is the head of the healing sect and Mo Wen especially didn’t want to be noticed by her

Anon
Anon
6 days ago
Reply to  The Meralda

Ty!

The Meralda
The Meralda
6 days ago

Thank you for the translation, you’ve chosen such fantastic stories. I’m really grateful 🙏🏽