Let Go of that Shou Chapter 12

Chapter 12

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You Mengzhe, accompanied by Sun Bin, walked on land for half a day, then switched to a boat and sailed upstream to return to the meeting point on the waterway in Yangzhou City, where they had initially departed.

The boats by the river were heading to Ting County, and You Mengzhe had no specific destination in mind, so he went with the flow, riding boats along the way. Going to Ting County was an option as well. Their previous base was in Yangzhou, so there was a chance they might encounter the Thunderbolt Hall there again. While Yu Wenhong was capable of taking on an entire group by himself, Sun Bin’s condition seemed somewhat unstable, so it was better to avoid trouble.

The following evening, the passenger boat docked at the Ting County pier. You Mengzhe carried Sun Bin off the boat and found a medical shop for him to receive treatment. 

Sun Bin had stopped coughing up blood but continued to keep his eyes open and remained silent.

In the Jiangnan region, most people in Ting County shared the surname “Ting.” Centuries ago, the Ting family was the wealthiest in Jiangnan. However, one legitimate son from the family moved to the capital and became a high-ranking official, leading to their rapid rise. Over the years, the officials and their associated families had accumulated considerable influence, and Ting County had grown to be a major city in southern Jiangnan, rivaling Yangzhou.

As the evening approached, the main street was bustling with people. You Mengzhe inquired about the location and found that there was an old doctor who specialized in treating injuries from falls and internal trauma in Ba Guye Lane. He decided to take Sun Bin there.

This part of town served as a market with stalls selling vegetables, meat, fish, and various other goods. Pedestrians moved about, and the ground was muddy and dirty. You Mengzhe knocked on the door of the Medicine Hall. There was only one elderly doctor with white hair, sitting inside the hall.

Sun Bin had a vacant look in his eyes and hadn’t spoken a word all day.

When You Mengzhe tried to offer him water, he didn’t drink it; the water just dribbled down when the bowl was brought to his lips.

You Mengzhe placed Sun Bin in a chair, and Sun Bin stared out of the window at the setting sun while the elderly doctor came over to check his pulse.

Worried, You Mengzhe said, “He was hit in a martial arts competition before, which resulted in internal injuries.”

The old doctor examined Sun Bin’s pulse and lifted his eyelids, then said, “It’s nothing serious, just some trauma to the meridians. I’ll prescribe a formula to harmonize his lung and abdomen. If you follow the instructions for brewing and taking it, he should recover in three days.”

You Mengzhe asked, “Then why is he not speaking? Could it be a brain injury?”

You Mengzhe tried waving his hand in front of Sun Bin, but Sun Bin’s gaze remained unfocused, and he showed no reaction.

The old doctor replied, “His brain isn’t affected.”

You Mengzhe said, “This doesn’t seem right; look at his condition.”

You Mengzhe lifted Sun Bin’s head, but there was no response. He even turned Sun Bin’s head upside down, but there was still no reaction. The old doctor asked, “This seems to be a psychological issue. Did something happen to him before?”

You Mengzhe furrowed his brow and asked, “Hey, Grass Sea Roaming Cloud.”

Sun Bin didn’t answer. The doctor went to prepare a prescription and fetch some medicine. You Mengzhe observed and gradually understood that Sun Bin likely wasn’t speaking because he had been defeated and didn’t want to talk.

You Mengzhe said, “Can you at least move a bit? It’s fine if we lost. My father used to say that a gentleman takes revenge whenever he can, even if it takes ten years.”

Sun Bin remained silent. You Mengzhe casually gave Sun Bin a slap across the face, making a loud sound. This startled the attending doctor, who, upon realizing what happened, couldn’t help but stroke his beard and smile in resignation.

Despite receiving the slap, Sun Bin remained unresponsive. You Mengzhe decided to take a more forceful approach. He delivered several hard slaps, both left and right, repeatedly smacking Sun Bin’s face. After dozens of slaps, Sun Bin’s handsome face had become red and swollen, resembling a pig’s head.

You Mengzhe realized he couldn’t slap Sun Bin any further, as his mouth might start bleeding, and that would be disastrous for his appearance.

You Mengzhe stopped and then, feeling a bit unsatisfied, delivered a few more slaps, causing Sun Bin’s entire face to become highly swollen.

Now, what to do? The old doctor finished preparing the medicine and came over to see Sun Bin’s condition, his expression turning pale.

“Do you want some ointment to treat the swelling, young sir?” the doctor asked. “It’s one silver coin per box.”

You Mengzhe inquired, “Does it work?”

The doctor replied, “The county magistrate of Ting County is often slapped by his feisty wife, and he uses the ointment from our shop.”

You Mengzhe said, “Alright, give me a box then.”

The old doctor brought the ointment, and You Mengzhe smeared it generously on his hands. He casually delivered a couple of slaps to Sun Bin, perfectly applying the ointment in the process. He inspected Sun Bin, realizing that the current situation was untenable. He couldn’t continue like this, especially considering the need for basic bodily functions like urination and defecation. It wasn’t practical to carry Sun Bin around everywhere.

You Mengzhe hatched a plan and asked, “How much for a chicken feather duster?”

The doctor replied, “A chicken feather duster? You can have it if you need it.” He handed one over, thinking You Mengzhe was going to use it to strike him. However, You Mengzhe brought a small stool, took off Sun Bin’s boots, and plucked a chicken feather. He began to scratch the soles of Sun Bin’s feet.

Sun Bin: “…”

Finally encountering something effective, You Mengzhe started with gentle scratching, then applied firmer pressure. After a few rounds of scratching, Sun Bin couldn’t take it any longer. He kicked Mengzhe You away, shouting, “Go to hell!”

“Wow,” You Mengzhe exclaimed, “He’s finally talking! Wait, wait, don’t beat him.” He quickly stopped Yu Wenhong from rushing in.

With a swollen face resembling a pig’s head, Sun Bin jumped around and put on his boots. You Mengzhe paid the doctor, pocketed the medicine, and rushed out of the door, shouting, “Sun Bin!”

“Mind your own business!” Sun Bin stubbornly replied, his eyes red. “Go away! The farther, the better!”

Sun Bin turned and ran through the bustling street. People on the street began to gossip. You Mengzhe called out, “Hey! You still need to take your medicine! Why are you so irritable?”

Sun Bin ran out of the market and into the open, running wildly without any direction. You Mengzhe caught up with him and called out, “If we lost, we lost. Let’s go! We can do some dual cultivation. We’ll spend three days and nights practicing, then we can go challenge him again!”

Sun Bin leaned against a tree, catching his breath. You Mengzhe knew that Sun Bin was struggling internally at this moment. He patted his back and said, “Hey, I just saved you. Don’t…”

But as soon as he brought up the matter, Sun Bin turned and said, “Go away. Who told you to save me? Don’t cry and whine, bothering me.”

You Mengzhe chuckled, noticing a glimmer in Sun Bin’s eyes. He said, “Who’s crying and whining?”

Sun Bin responded, “Get lost. Don’t let me see you again. We’re not close!”

With that, Sun Bin turned and ran again. You Mengzhe called out, “Your medicine!”

Sun Bin flashed at a street corner and disappeared. You Mengzhe considered throwing away the medicine, but he began to understand Sun Bin’s feelings. If it were You Gutian who had been killed, he would be determined to train harder and seek revenge. However, if his enemy acted indifferently, it would make revenge seem hopeless.

Sun Bin seemed to find everything uninteresting and lacked motivation, likely because thoughts of deep-seated hatred weighed on him, preventing him from finding joy in anything.

“This guy’s fast,” You Mengzhe said. “What should we do, Uncle? Can you find him?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “I can. You want me to give him the medicine?”

You Mengzhe said, “Catch up to him and give him the medicine. Make sure he takes it. Don’t let him give up on himself.”

Yu Wenhong thought for a moment and said, “Okay.”

You Mengzhe asked, “Should I wait here for you?”

Yu Wenhong said, “You can go anywhere. I can find you even at the ends of the earth.”

You Mengzhe agreed and felt relieved. He remembered that when he and Yu Wenhong practiced dual cultivation earlier, he had received some of Yu Wenhong’s true qi and enhanced Yu Wenhong’s power in return. He also used Sun Bin’s Flowing Cloud True Qi within him, resulting in a mutual fusion.

In essence, Sun Bin’s bottleneck wasn’t that significant. Returning to Sun Bin and practicing dual cultivation with him could likely help Sun Bin acquire some of Yu Wenhong’s true qi once again.

True qi was like a seed, residing within the body, and with diligent practice, it would yield benefits in due time.

You Mengzhe returned to the market, and it was already dinner time. He thought about grabbing a meal and finding an inn to stay the night. What should he do next? Alliance Master Zhao Feihong had ordered the destruction of the Demonic Sect’s operations in different regions. He needed to inform his people of this plan to ensure they were prepared. However, he wasn’t sure where the Demonic Sect’s operations were located or who to contact.

He wandered around the street and spotted a shop called “Teng Long Weapons Store.” He thought that perhaps the shop might have some information about the martial world, so he entered. The shop was dimly lit, and the store assistants were busy sharpening blades behind the counter.

You Mengzhe noticed a variety of weapons, including plum blossom darts and coffin nails, and suspected that this place also dealt in hidden weapons. It seemed to be run by people from Jianghu.

He called out, “Shopkeeper.”

The shopkeeper, a man in his fifties, quickly responded, “Here I am. Young sir, you seem like someone from Jianghu. Are you looking to buy a suitable weapon, stock up on hidden weapons, or perhaps purchase a set of chainmail armor?”

You Mengzhe replied, “I’ll discuss purchases later. Do you know about the Demonic Sect?”

The shopkeeper nodded and said, “I’m aware. Is there something you need?”

You Mengzhe asked, “I’m willing to pay five taels of silver for information. Do you know which shops in Ting County are associated with the Demonic Sect?”

The shopkeeper responded, “Our establishment is connected to the Demonic Sect. What brings you here, young sir?”

You Mengzhe said, “This place is connected to the Demonic Sect! That’s great; it turns out you’re one of us. Do you recognize this?” He placed the jade pendant on the counter. The shopkeeper’s reaction was immediate; he panicked and exclaimed, “Oh, it’s Young Master! Young Master has come in person!”

You Mengzhe sighed, “I wish I had known you were one of us…”

Shopkeeper: “Madam, come out quickly! Prepare tea inside! The Young Master has arrived! Oh, why did the Young Master come in person… This is remarkable! Young Master, please give our shop a plaque…”

Before You Mengzhe could react, the shopkeeper and a group of assistants welcomed him into the inner room. Immediately, everyone started serving tea, pouring water, fetching towels, and the shopkeeper brought paper and a pen, saying, “Young Master, please give our shop a plaque; it’s truly a blessing in this lifetime!”

You Mengzhe casually wrote a few words like “crooked melons and cracked dates.” The shopkeeper’s wife hurried out to find someone to make the plaque, and the shopkeeper ordered the cleaning of guest rooms and sent someone to buy food and wine for hospitality. You Mengzhe said, “No rush, no rush. Do you know about the Martial Arts Conferencet?”

The shopkeeper quickly replied, “The one held by Mirror Lake, right? I know!”

You Mengzhe still cared about the affairs at home to some extent, and he said, “The orthodox faction wants to eradicate our Demonic Sec. You all need to be cautious.”

The shopkeeper replied, “Ah, they won’t succeed! Young Master, rest assured. The orthodox sects are busy fighting amongst themselves every day. A few tricks from us can easily keep them in chaos. Don’t worry!”

You Mengzhe thought that these people had been doing business for a long time and probably had some strategies in place, so he stopped worrying. He said, “We can buy the food and drinks later. How many of our Demonic Sect members are there in Ting County? Make a list for me… Wait, who are all these people? Why did so many of them suddenly come?”

As he spoke, he hadn’t noticed that there was a large crowd of people gathered outside Teng Long Weapons Store, with some even peering in from the streets.

The shopkeeper replied, “They are all members of our Demonic Sect. When they heard that the Young Master had graced us with his presence, they all came to pay their respects and bask in the Young Master’s aura!”

You Mengzhe asked, “These are all… our people?”

The people outside chimed in, “Yes, yes, absolutely. Hello, Young Master! Ah, this must be the Young Master… truly majestic…”

You Mengzhe said, “All of them are…..”

The shopkeeper continued, “All the businesses on this street belong to our sect! Old Wu, who sells buns next door, Old Zhu, who sells candied haws across the street, Old Yu, who runs the mixed grocery store diagonally, Madam Lin, who sells seafood, Mr. Xun, who writes letters for people, Master Qu, who reads fortunes… even Doctor Bai in Ba Guye Lane, and even the clerk at the county office and the magistrate’s wife are all members of our sect!”

You Mengzhe asked, “Do they all have martial arts skills?”

The crowd assured him, “Yes, yes! Young Master, don’t worry!”

The woman who sold fish, Madam Lin, said, “Young Master, rest assured. I can easily poison the fish, enough to wipe out an entire martial arts sect. The clerk is still one of us, so what’s there to fear, right?”

The crowd burst into laughter again. Old Wu chimed in, “I might as well put some arsenic in the buns and sell them to the Gold Blade Sect!”

The people responded with agreement.

The shopkeeper, wide-eyed, turned to You Mengzhe and said, “Young Master, the magistrate’s wife practices the Deadly Love Palm. It’s quite formidable. Just a gentle strike can swell the magistrate’s face to an alarming size…”

You Mengzhe said, “Alright, everyone can disperse for now. I’m no longer worried about the orthodox sects’ siege.”

The crowd agreed and yet no one left, all looking curiously at him. You Mengzhe felt a bit uneasy and added, “Go back to your businesses. I’ll come by your stalls later!”

The people crowded at the door dispersed in an instant, returning to their respective places. You Mengzhe said, “I… want to take a stroll outside. Oh, can you replenish these Heavenly Jedi Bone Piercing Needle for me?”

The shopkeeper said, “Of course, we can! Aren’t these our sect’s signature concealed weapons? I’ll refill them for you, Young Master. What kind of poison would you like?”

You Mengzhe asked, “What poisons do you have?”

The shopkeeper replied, “We have the Fierce Snake Saliva, which paralyzes and silences upon contact, the Bewitching Scorpion Venom, causing unbearable itching, the Fire Begonia, which turns a woman into a harlot, and the Grinning Stiffness, which leaves the victim completely paralyzed…”

You Mengzhe said, “Uh… let’s go with the Bewitching Scorpion Venom.”

The shopkeeper added, “If someone is poisoned with Bewitching Scorpion Venom, they’ll experience severe itching all over their body, with no antidote. They will bleed from all seven orifices and die after seven days and nights.”

You Mengzhe said, “Really? I’ve used it before, and it just caused itching, but it didn’t kill!”

The shopkeeper clarified, “Oh, the one you used was the ‘Minor Bewitching Scorpion.’ In that case, let’s go with the ‘Minor Bewitching Scorpion,’ fully loaded.”

The shopkeeper brought a large iron box filled with rows of needles made from ox hair and filled the needles for You Mengzhe. He also said, “The top restaurant on the main street in town is also one of our Demonic Sect’s businesses. You can go there if you get hungry. There’s the Cloud Traveler Inn for rest if you’re tired. And the Green Fragrance Pavilion for entertainment, where you can listen to music and have a few young ladies and lads accompany you. Our Demonic Sect’s businesses span from north to south and are part of a nationwide chain.”

You Mengzhe exclaimed, “That’s fantastic! I won’t have to worry about anything when traveling the world from now on.”

Reluctantly, the shopkeeper packed the Heavenly Jedi Bone Piercing Needle and said, “Please come back often, Young Master.”

You Mengzhe assured him, “I will, I will.”

As You Mengzhe thought about how much more at ease he felt now, he walked out onto the bustling main street. The market was still lively and vibrant, and the setting sun bathed the entire alley in a warm glow, making the faces of the busy people appear friendly.

Suddenly, You Mengzhe saw a figure from behind that seemed familiar, and his heart skipped a beat.

“How much is the meat today?” Zhao Feihong, dressed in a gray robe, inquired about the price of the meat at a stall.

The fact that the Alliance Master was out buying pork was so surreal to You Mengzhe. He discreetly made his way to a vegetable stall, sneaking behind it.

“Hehe, Young Master,” the cheerful middle-aged woman selling vegetables nodded and greeted him.

Shushing her, You Mengzhe gestured for her not to speak and kept a watchful eye on Zhao Feihong across the street at the meat stall.

“It’s eight coins per pound,” the meat seller said.

Zhao Feihong inquired, “How much for the pork belly here?”

“That’s more expensive, fifteen coins per pound,” the meat seller replied.

Zhao Feihong countered, “That’s too pricey; give me a little less. I come here every day.”

You Mengzhe: “…”

Zhao Feihong haggled with the vendor, eventually buying a pound and a half of cheaper meat for twelve coins. He paid the money, and it seemed like he was going to head over to buy vegetables. In a hurry, You Mengzhe moved to the shop next door, taking cover behind the cages of a shop selling live chickens. He discreetly slipped away while keeping an eye on Zhao Feihong.

“Hehe, Young Master…” the chicken stall owner nodded and bowed, but You Mengzhe gestured for him to remain silent and slipped him a few silver coins as a reward. He signaled that he would share half with the vegetable seller later and tapped the heads of the chickens in the cage, which were clucking loudly. Through the small grid openings, he continued to spy on Zhao Feihong.

“How much is cabbage per catty?” Zhao Feihong crouched down to pick out some cabbage.

The vegetable seller said, “Two catties for one coin.”

Zhao Feihong inspected the cabbage, selecting a few that weren’t wilted. The vegetable seller held up her scale, and Zhao Feihong carefully examined it, saying, “Your scale is inaccurate.”

“It’s accurate,” the vegetable seller replied with a smile. “This is one of the most honest stalls in town…”

Zhao Feihong said, “Weigh the pork from the stall across the street for me.”

You Mengzhe thought that this man in his thirties still had a sharp mind! The vegetable seller weighed it, and it turned out to be exactly one and a half catty. Only then did Zhao Feihong feel comfortable paying.

“The scales on our street,” the chicken seller whispered to You Mengzhe, “are all set to underweigh by three to five coins, even the one used by Doctor Bai in Ba Guye Lane.”

You Mengzhe remarked, “You guys are really something! No wonder you’re from our sect.”

After Zhao Feihong purchased cabbage and carried it in a string, You Mengzhe quickly dodged into a miscellaneous shop and pretended to be examining salted eggs and pickled vegetables. The shop owner came out, wearing a big smile, and said, “Hello, Young Master. What would you like to eat?”

You Mengzhe raised a finger to his lips and pointed towards the shop’s interior, signaling the owner to go back, which the owner understood and left.

You Mengzhe turned his head to glance outside, and he saw that Zhao Feihong was walking in their direction. You Mengzhe hurriedly turned his attention to a jar, opened it, stirred it with a spoon, pretending to be looking at chili sauce. After a moment, he covered it again, then moved the lid of another jar and looked inside.

As Zhao Feihong passed by, You Mengzhe looked back, and to his shock, Zhao Feihong was standing right behind him!

“What are you doing?” Zhao Feihong asked.

You Mengzhe quickly glanced at the jar, which contained soy sauce, and replied, “I came… to buy soy sauce.”

Zhao Feihong placed a hand on You Mengzhe’s shoulder and casually said, “When guests come from afar, it’s only polite to extend hospitality. Young Master You, do me the honor of having dinner at my place.”

You Mengzhe: “!!!”

With that casual touch, You Mengzhe felt his body’s acupoints sealed by a strong inner energy, rendering him immobile. He had no choice but to let Zhao Feihong lead him away while protesting, “I really came to buy soy sauce! Hey!”

Huge shoutout to @_nyanmaru_ on Discord for commissioning this! The chapter will be posted regularly, show your support for Ciacia at Kofi.

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