Let Go of that Shou Chapter 22

Chapter 22

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You Mengzhe was carefree, spending the entire afternoon fishing in the pavilion, while Zhang Yuanshan sat behind the table, sipping tea. With the spring breeze on his face, You Mengzhe fished and chatted with Zhang Yuanshan.

Zhang Yuanshan watched him attentively, quietly listening. In the afternoon, the two set up a chessboard. With You Mengzhe holding the fishing rod in one hand and placing black chess pieces with the other, they played chess.

Zhang Yuanshan was a master at chess, while You Mengzhe’s chess skills were rather poor, learned from Zhao Feihong. He lost several games in a row, but Zhang Yuanshan remained patient. When You Mengzhe made a move, Zhang Yuanshan occasionally guided his fingers to the right spot on the chessboard.

Unbeknownst to them, the time had slipped into dusk. Zhang Yuanshan removed the silver needle from the Hegu acupoint on You Mengzhe’s hand. With a slight circulation of energy, You Mengzhe felt his meridians blocked, anticipating that in a few days, all his meridians would be sealed by Zhang Yuanshan’s unique technique. His true energy would return to his Dantian, ready for further cultivation.

As the sun set, You Mengzhe lifted the bamboo fishing rod and pulled up a golden object.


Even Zhang Yuanshan couldn’t help but be moved. He signaled You Mengzhe not to rush and took the fishing line to have a look. He smiled helplessly.

It was a golden turtle! Zhang Yuanshan was actually keeping such a thing in the pond?

You Mengzhe said, “Aren’t golden turtles supposed to come in pairs?”  

Zhang Yuanshan called for someone, and shortly after, Zhang Bo hurriedly arrived. He, too, was startled, saying, “Isn’t this the golden turtle raised by the Empress Dowager? Young Master, you’ve really done a great favor this time.”

You Mengzhe asked, “The Empress Dowager’s? How did it end up here?”

Zhang Bo chuckled, “Our pond is connected to the Taiye Pond. We can send it back to the palace.”

Zhang Yuanshan frowned slightly, and Zhang Bo quickly said, “I’m sorry, I haven’t asked Young Master’s opinion yet.”

You Mengzhe hurriedly said, “No problem. Take it back. I was just fishing for fun. It’s useless to keep it.”

Zhang Bo sighed in relief, carrying the golden turtle to return it. Zhang Yuanshan accompanied You Mengzhe outside. The two walked through the corridor, and a servant reported that dinner was ready. The sky was getting dark, and there was a bit of chill in the air. You Mengzhe, feeling hungry, decided to return to his room to add some layers before having dinner.

As the lanterns were lit, lights adorned every corner of the Zhang residence, even in places where Zhang Yuanshan didn’t usually go. The garden was aglow with the warmth of candlelight, creating a cozy atmosphere on this chilly early spring night. Suddenly, You Mengzhe remembered that tomorrow was the Lantern Festival. He wondered how Zhang Yuanshan usually celebrated it and if he would go out for festivities.

You Mengzhe put on his coat and went out to look for Zhang Yuanshan. As he passed by Zhang Yuanshan’s room, a sudden thought struck him, and he stopped in his tracks.

Zhang Yuanshan stood in front of the room’s wall, holding a piece of paper. He glanced down at it for a moment, his hands slightly trembling, then lifted his head to look at the portrait on the wall.

Was it a letter? You Mengzhe recalled the letter his mother left for him. Could it be that the person You Mengzhe was supposed to find was Zhang Yuanshan? He had only seen the painting and hadn’t noticed another letter within it.

The large envelope contained a smaller one, and the smaller one was the letter from his birth mother.

Back when You Mengzhe was captured by Zhao Feihong, the letters were likely confiscated. Zhao Feihong had mentioned that the package, including the letter, had been sent to Yuheng Mountain a few days ago. Surprisingly, his mother’s letter was left behind.

Had Zhang Yuanshan opened it? What did the letter say?

You Mengzhe entered the room, and Zhang Yuanshan was suddenly struck as if by lightning. He sidestepped, accidentally knocking over the wind-listening vase on the shelf, causing it to shatter into pieces on the floor.

You Mengzhe: “…”

Zhang Yuanshan’s face looked a bit off, his lips moved, and then he calmed down. People outside heard the noise and rushed in to clean up. Everyone exchanged glances, and Zhang Yuanshan gestured that everything was fine.

You Mengzhe: “My mother… It’s okay, don’t be nervous, Uncle. If it’s opened, it’s opened. It’s nothing.”

Zhang Yuanshan nodded. You Mengzhe leaned over to take a look and curiously asked, “What does the letter say? The letter doesn’t have a name on it, and I don’t know who it’s for.”

Zhang Yuanshan waved his hand, and You Mengzhe said, “Let me see.”

Zhang Yuanshan frowned, and You Mengzhe said, “Don’t want me to see?”

Zhang Yuanshan nodded, his eyes showing a hint of unease. He squinted, avoiding You Mengzhe’s gaze.

You Mengzhe shrugged and said, “Fine, if you don’t want me to see.”

Zhang Yuanshan put away the letter, took a deep breath, and didn’t say anything more. He let You Mengzhe leave and followed suit. You Mengzhe thought it might be a love letter from his mother, and it would be useless to read it. However, he couldn’t suppress his curiosity. He said, “Uncle, how come you didn’t ask and just opened my mother’s letter?”

Zhang Yuanshan: “…”

Zhang Yuanshan stopped, remained silent for a long time. You Mengzhe felt confused. What was written in that letter? He asked again, “Did my master open it?”

 Zhang Yuanshan shook his head, leaving You Mengzhe utterly confused. He exclaimed, “What’s written in the letter? Something’s not right! Come on, let me see…”

A dark expression crossed Zhang Yuanshan’s face, and You Mengzhe had to relent, saying, “Alright, I’m hungry anyway.”

Zhang Yuanshan nodded slowly, gazing at You Mengzhe with a complex expression. He then gestured for a servant to approach and used a series of hand signals.

The servant nervously explained, “Young Master You, Master apologizes… Master says… sorry.”

You Mengzhe raised an eyebrow, puzzled. Zhang Yuanshan’s sign language, done with his left hand only and seeming a bit urgent, carried a sense of excitement. The gestures, however, were remarkably graceful, with a fluidity in the opening and closing of his fingers.

The servant continued, “It was wrong not to ask you before opening the letter. Master wants to apologize and make amends…”  

After a prolonged silence, Zhang Yuanshan seemed to be carefully choosing his words. However, You Mengzhe quickly interjected with a smile, “It’s okay, I was just curious. I don’t really care about that stuff. My father said it’s not meant for me…”

Zhang Yuanshan halted You Mengzhe’s words and then gestured with a single hand. The servant explained, “I… I… It wasn’t right to look, but I was momentarily confused and, thinking of your mother, I couldn’t resist opening it. There’s nothing crucial inside; you’ll know eventually…”

While speaking, Zhang Yuanshan ceased his hand gestures. Both the servant and You Mengzhe fell silent; no one dared to speak.

It was because Zhang Yuanshan’s eye sockets turned slightly red, as if something were shimmering in his eyes. However, it was just a fleeting moment of losing composure. Zhang Yuanshan swiftly turned around, his robe fluttering as he entered the dining room.

You Mengzhe and the servant exchanged glances, unsure of what to say. It was the first time the servant had witnessed such behavior from their master, leaving him momentarily stunned.

As the lamps were lit, the dining room was brightly illuminated, showcasing an abundant feast on the large table.

“Young Master You,” Zhang Bo bowed, “Master invites you to sit closer.”

You Mengzhe brought a round stool and moved closer. Zhang Yuanshan gestured again, signaling him to come even closer. So, You Mengzhe sat very near Zhang Yuanshan.

After washing his hands, Zhang Yuanshan personally served dishes to You Mengzhe. The steward and the servant all watched You Mengzhe closely, but he was gazing outside.

A few servants entered carrying lanterns, hung them around the room, and You Mengzhe smiled, “Is it time for the Lantern Festival already?”

The steward explained, “Master used to never celebrate festivals. This time, it’s prepared for Young Master You.”

Zhang Yuanshan slightly frowned, expressing some displeasure. The steward decided not to say more. He had conveyed what needed to be said. You Mengzhe felt grateful and smiled at Zhang Yuanshan.

Zhang Yuanshan gestured to start eating, and You Mengzhe began to enjoy his meal. Rice grains flew as he casually complimented the delicious dishes at Zhang’s residence, mentioning that such exquisite cuisine couldn’t even be found on Mount Yuheng. Zhang Yuanshan ate intermittently, finishing only a small portion of his bowl. Most of the time, he observed You Mengzhe.

“Uncle, are you… not feeling well?” You Mengzhe asked cautiously. “Can’t eat or feeling upset?”

Considering Zhang Yuanshan’s minimal intake at breakfast, skipping lunch, and eating so little for dinner, You Mengzhe wondered if he was okay.

Zhang Yuanshan quickly waved his hand, pointing gently at his chest, and smiled reassuringly.  

You Mengzhe almost immediately understood; Zhang Yuanshan was saying, “I am very happy.”

Finding it a bit inexplicable, You Mengzhe asked Zhang Bo, “How many bowls does he usually eat?”

Zhang Bo replied, “Young Master, there’s no need to worry. Master usually eats two bowls, but today, he seems happy because of Young Master’s visit.”

You Mengzhe felt a bit uncertain and casually remarked, “You should eat more.”

This unintentional comment made it seem like You Mengzhe was advising Zhang Yuanshan, who just nodded in response. After dinner, as You Mengzhe looked around, he increasingly felt that something was off with Zhang Yuanshan. However, it was his first time interacting with a mute person, and he wasn’t sure if this was Zhang Yuanshan’s usual behavior. After dinner, as the servants set up a warm brazier, casting a red glow on You Mengzhe’s face, he was about to leave when Zhang Yuanshan signaled for him to stay.

So, You Mengzhe stayed in Zhang Yuanshan’s room. The winter night was long with nothing to do, so he took a chess manual and half-lay, half-slept beside the low couch. While You Mengzhe read the chess manual, Zhang Yuanshan watched him.

“Uncle, what are you thinking?” You Mengzhe suddenly raised his head. Zhang Yuanshan’s expression seemed somewhat unnatural, avoiding direct eye contact, and his fingers were trembling slightly.

The corners of You Mengzhe’s mouth twitched. He was used to being spoiled and arrogant. If Zhang Yuanshan had maintained the same demeanor as in the afternoon, You Mengzhe wouldn’t dare to be too presumptuous. However, Zhang Yuanshan seemed a bit abnormal from the afternoon to the evening, You Mengzhe couldn’t resist teasing him.

Resting his hands on Zhang Yuanshan’s shoulders, both wearing warm fur jackets, they huddled together. You Mengzhe asked, “Tell me, I’ve said so much already.”  

Zhang Yuanshan gazed at You Mengzhe, and after a moment, he extended his left arm to embrace him, using his right hand to touch You Mengzhe’s forehead.

You Mengzhe lifted his head, feeling a bit dazed. Then, he nestled against Zhang Yuanshan’s legs. Outside, a fine rain began to fall like silk, and the two of them, wrapped in fur jackets, sat on the couch, creating a sense of peaceful tranquility.

“My master doesn’t hold me like this,” You Mengzhe said, looking at the snow outside.

Zhang Yuanshan’s fingers lightly pressed against You Mengzhe’s ear, infusing a pure and clear true qi into his spiritual platform. You Mengzhe immediately felt clear-headed and extremely comfortable.

“When I was a child, my father didn’t hold me either,” You Mengzhe said. “My uncle did, only once, though. You haven’t met him.”

Zhang Yuanshan tapped on You Mengzhe’s ear, indicating that he understood.

Outside, the spring rain was fine, and inside the room, the warming brazier emitted a comfortable heat. The chess manual was cast aside, and You Mengzhe’s eyelids gradually grew heavy until he yawned and fell asleep.

After some time, Zhang Yuanshan carried him to his own bed and covered him with a blanket.

In the middle of the night, You Mengzhe, still in a daze, heard the sound of the door closing. It seemed like someone came in, checking if the blanket was kicked off. A large hand touched his face, but You Mengzhe turned over, patting away the hand, and continued to sleep.

The next day, upon waking up to loud voices outside, You Mengzhe became alert. He got up, barefoot, and went to the window to see a eunuch announcing decrees outside, with several people carrying imperial gifts of gold, silver, silk, and fabric.

Zhang Yuanshan hadn’t yet combed his hair, his long hair was disheveled. It was evident that he had just awakened, standing and listening to the imperial decree.

“By imperial decree—” the eunuch proclaimed with fluctuations in his tone.

“We thank the emperor for his grace!” The people in the courtyard all knelt down, but Zhang Yuanshan remained standing. He casually arched his hand, turned around, and went back to his room. Obviously, his mind was not on the imperial decree. Just as he entered, he almost collided with You Mengzhe.

You Mengzhe had slept in Zhang Yuanshan’s room last night. At this moment, he stood barefoot on the mat. Zhang Yuanshan pointed to the ground, indicating the chilly weather, and gestured for him to go back and put on shoes.

“Uncle, good morning,” You Mengzhe said.

Zhang Yuanshan nodded, and the servants came over to assist with brushing teeth and washing faces. Zhang Bo brought in a plate with items bestowed by the imperial palace, then smiled and said, “Upon hearing that Young Master You has arrived, His Majesty even searched for the Empress Dowager’s golden turtle and specially bestowed it.”

You Mengzhe didn’t know how to respond, seeing the plate filled with silver and gold utensils, golden pastries, jade bowls, and ivory chopsticks. However, he didn’t show much interest.

Zhang Yuanshan and You Mengzhe were in the same room for grooming. After a while, You Mengzhe thought it was time for breakfast, but Zhang Yuanshan pointed to the soft couch, indicating for him to wait a moment, and then left.

After last night’s spring rain, the courtyard was covered in fallen petals. You Mengzhe went outside, practiced his staff techniques, worked up a sweat, and wondered why breakfast was so late today. Zhang Yuanshan seemed to have gone somewhere, and when You Mengzhe inquired, a maid laughed and said, “The master is cooking personally today. Young Master is in for a treat.”

Surprised, You Mengzhe wondered how good Zhang Yuanshan could be at cooking. Shortly after, another servant approached, bowed, and said, “Young Master You, there is a person surnamed Yu from the city who wishes to meet you today.”

You Mengzhe immediately knew it was Yu Changqing. He followed the servant through the backyard. Yu Changqing had arrived early, waiting first outside the main gate. The gatekeeper told him that the young master was still asleep, and they didn’t let him in. Later, when the imperial decree was announced, the gatekeeper instructed him to wait at the back door. Yu Changqing waited for a full hour before You Mengzhe finally woke up.

You Mengzhe felt very embarrassed and quickly said, “If it’s Brother Yu in the future, just let him in. How can he wait outside?”

The servant nodded apologetically. In fact, it was the rule in Zhang’s residence. Zhang Yuanshan never met with external guests. Even when high-ranking officials came to visit, the doors remained closed. What could a mere constable do?  

Yu Changqing was sitting by the stone lion outside. When You Mengzhe arrived, he stood up and chuckled, “Finally awake?”

You Mengzhe replied, “Spring makes me sleepy. I didn’t realize it was so late. Come inside. Have you had breakfast?”

Yu Changqing said, “No worries, I’ve eaten. I wrote a letter yesterday, settling things with the Zhen family.”

You Mengzhe nodded, “That’s good.”

After these exchanges, You Mengzhe suddenly felt a bit awkward. They seemed to be searching for a topic and couldn’t find common ground. You Mengzhe kept insisting that Yu Changqing come inside, but Yu Changqing waved it off, saying there was no need to be so formal. Then he asked, “Today is the Lantern Festival, isn’t it?”

You Mengzhe nodded, uncertain of Yu Changqing’s intentions. Yu Changqing continued, “If you have nothing to do tonight, would you like to come to the city with me? There’s a banquet in the imperial palace, and the Emperor sent an invitation to my eldest brother. He can bring one person along…”

You Mengzhe thought about the bustling capital during festivals, much livelier than the town they were in. However, he suddenly remembered that Zhang Yuanshan would be alone at home. Hesitating for a moment, he said, “Let find another day, I’ll go with my uncle.”

Understanding, Yu Changqing nodded and said, “Spend more time with him.”

After a brief silence, Yu Changqing added, “Let’s settle for that. We’ll make plans another day. I also want to invite you for a drink.”

You Mengzhe chuckled, “Alright, next time, don’t wait yourself. Send a message, and that’ll be enough.” Yu Changqing nodded, then left. You Mengzhe stood there for a moment, feeling a bit empty suddenly.

The servant who accompanied You Mengzhe back said, “Young Master, forgive me if I speak out of turn. Yu Changqing is quite a libertine. Given our young master’s status, it’s not suitable to associate with him casually.”

You Mengzhe responded, “You’re not speaking out of turn at all. You’re quite eloquent.” The servant continued with a smirk, “I heard that Yu Changqing once spent a fortune at the Spring Blossom Tower, squandering all the family wealth left by his father. He even wanted to redeem a certain person…”

 You Mengzhe looked at him expressionlessly, and the servant chuckled awkwardly, not continuing with the conversation.

At noon, the meal was served. Zhang Yuanshan wiped his hands with a cotton cloth, gesturing for You Mengzhe to sit. In the room, a small dining table was set with three dishes: steamed chicken seasoned with ginger, chicken broth with stewed winter bamboo shoots, steamed perch, and stir-fried greens.

With only four simple dishes, You Mengzhe was already hungry. The rice was crystal clear, and this time Zhang Yuanshan ate more. He served dishes to You Mengzhe while also eating himself.   

Having avoided oily flavors for several consecutive days, You Mengzhe felt that this meal was exceptionally delicious. The steamed chicken was tender with smooth skin, carrying a faint aroma of Huadiao wine. The dipping sauce was savory and delicious, and the chicken soup had the refreshing fragrance of winter bamboo shoots. You Mengzhe, forgetting everything else, devoured the chicken entirely.

“Uncle, you cooked this meal so well,” You Mengzhe said. “I don’t even want to eat anything else.”

Zhang Yuanshan grinned, indicating that You Mengzhe should continue eating.

“I finally understand why you can’t eat the food at home. How can you manage to eat anything? Tell me! How am I supposed to eat in the future?” You Mengzhe exclaimed with a mix of sadness and indignation.

Zhang Yuanshan laughed and gently patted You Mengzhe’s head, expressing a subtle sense of understanding without words. While You Mengzhe continued eating, Zhang Yuanshan made a few gestures, signaling the steward to come in. The steward bowed and acknowledged the instructions, then turned to You Mengzhe, saying, “If Young Master You wishes to go to the Lantern Festival with friends, we can prepare a carriage for the evening. We can go to Wanding Bridge in the west street, where…”

You Mengzhe waved his hand, “No need. I just turned him down.”

 The steward was puzzled, unaware that You Mengzhe had already declined the invitation from Yu Changqing. He glanced at Zhang Yuanshan, attempting to gauge his response.

Zhang Yuanshan, seemingly indifferent to the steward’s curiosity, continued to serve dishes for You Mengzhe, signaling that the matter with the steward was settled, and they could leave.

You Mengzhe asked, “Aren’t you going out for the Lantern Festival?”

Zhang Yuanshan waved his hand, and You Mengzhe nodded. He intended to stay home with Zhang Yuanshan, as being alone on such occasions felt somewhat pitiful. After lunch, Zhang Yuanshan had a brazier brought into the room, and he took a needle to cut the pulse for You Mengzhe. This time, he aimed for the Xuehai acupoint under the ribs. Zhang Yuanshan gestured for You Mengzhe to place his hand on his shoulder, with his fingers reaching into the rib area.

 “Hahaha…” You Mengzhe chuckled, feeling Zhang Yuanshan’s fingers were a bit cool. As Zhang Yuanshan continued with the needle, You Mengzhe suddenly went limp. His left side felt numb, and he slumped against Zhang Yuanshan. The flow of qi and blood seemed obstructed, creating a tingling sensation from the left ribs, left leg, along the arm to the tailbone. Even the Ren Meridian in the perineum area was vaguely numb, rendering him speechless for a while.

Zhang Yuanshan fastened You Mengzhe’s belt, then held him sideways, letting him lean against his chest.

You Mengzhe asked, “Is it… Is it going to stay sealed like this?”

You Mengzhe attempted to circulate his qi several times, but his entire body’s true qi remained obstructed. The left side of his body was completely numb, and he could only manage to raise his right hand weakly and wave it. Zhang Yuanshan turned to the side, holding You Mengzhe in front of him, allowing him to rest on his shoulder. He embraced him, took out a book, and spread it out in front of him.

Glancing at the book, You Mengzhe saw it contained a set of verses and asked, “Can I practice this?”

Facing outward, You Mengzhe couldn’t see Zhang Yuanshan’s expression, but he could feel his fingertips touching his hand back, indicating a positive response.

You Mengzhe inquired, “Is it a secret martial arts technique?”

Zhang Yuanshan lightly tapped his fingers, signaling “no.”

You Mengzhe asked again, “Should I practice it now?”   

 Zhang Yuanshan affirmed, and You Mengzhe turned his head to take a look. The verses above seemed ambiguous, resembling scripture with its own profound meaning. It broadly conveyed the concept of the universe’s creation, the self-formation of all things in the world, merging one’s heart with the heavens, and soaring freely between heaven and earth, expressing a sense of the vastness of life.

The secret verses appeared to be written in a specific musical notation, and as You Mengzhe repeated them in his mind, he felt a sudden clarity in his heart. Closing his eyes, he experienced a profound sense of being a wanderer in the vastness of the world.

Flipping through the pages, he saw a number written on the book cover: “Eagle Martial Arts Manual.” It seemed to be Zhang Yuanshan’s exclusive martial arts technique.

You Mengzhe casually flipped through more pages and threw the book aside. Zhang Yuanshan carefully put it away, indicating its importance. The two of them spent the entire afternoon embracing each other, gazing at the scenery outside the room in a contemplative silence.

 Suddenly, You Mengzhe felt that this kind of life was quite enjoyable. The surroundings were quiet, not a servant in sight, only the rustling sound of the spring breeze passing through the bamboo forest.

After clearing his mind of distractions, he realized that the hustle and bustle of the world had all drifted away. The verses from the Eagle Martial Arts Manual further purified his inner self.

“This mute person’s heart must be very pure,” You Mengzhe thought. Feeling a bit numb from sitting for too long, he leaned backward and sensed a certain part of Zhang Yuanshan pressing against him.

You Mengzhe: “…”

Zhang Yuanshan remained motionless, his face showing a hint of awkwardness, but he continued to embrace You Mengzhe.

They sat like this for quite a while. Zhang Yuanshan removed the silver needle, and You Mengzhe, who had held it in all afternoon, nearly had an accident, rushing off to relieve himself.

After dinner, they often gathered around the stove to read or daydream. However, on this occasion, You Mengzhe saw Zhang Yuanshan entering with a dark cyan scholar’s robe adorned with silver fox fur, urging him to put it on.

Once the long robe draped over him, You Mengzhe instantly looked handsome and refined. Zhang Yuanshan, in his own black cloud dragon brocade robe embellished with thin layers of sable fur on the collar, cuffs, and hem, was truly elegant.

“Are we going out for dinner and drinks?” You Mengzhe asked eagerly. “Where are we going to eat?”

Without answering, Zhang Yuanshan extended his hand, and You Mengzhe placed his hand in Zhang Yuanshan’s palm. Hand in hand, they left the residence. A small carriage awaited them in front of the main gate, with the steward Zhang Bo personally driving them to the bustling West Street in the capital.  

The people of Dayu were known for their open-mindedness. Four years ago, the Emperor of Dayu married the daughter of the Xiongnu king, bringing a large quantity of sable fur and fox pelts to the capital as part of the dowry. This sparked a trend in the capital, with everyone eager to wear the newly modified fur coats. Among them, the fur coats worn by Zhang Yuanshan and You Mengzhe were particularly eye-catching. As they alighted from their carriage near the Wandeng Bridge, they were greeted by a spectacular sight of countless lanterns, lively performances, and the festive atmosphere of the Lantern Festival. Numerous gazes were cast in their direction.

“Wow!” exclaimed You Mengzhe. “This place is so lively. I’m glad you brought me here.”

Zhang Yuanshan smiled gently, his fingers slightly tightening as he walked with You Mengzhe towards the Wandeng Bridge. With half of his meridians sealed, You Mengzhe’s vitality was limited, and he walked with a bit of a stagger. Zhang Yuanshan decided to embrace him, letting him lean against his side as they proceeded.

Wandeng Bridge was divided into twenty-four sections, with myriad lanterns creating a dazzling spectacle. The Lantern Festival attracted couples and lovers, and there were lantern riddles, street performances, fire-breathers, wine vendors, candy sellers, and even fireworks. It felt like stepping into a dream, where the distinction between lights and water became blurred.

As they walked, fireworks erupted from a nearby tree, eliciting laughter and cheers from children. You Mengzhe leaned against Zhang Yuanshan, marveling at the scene.

“Let’s go over there,” You Mengzhe suggested. “To see the fish vendors?”

Zhang Yuanshan embraced You Mengzhe and squeezed through the crowd to reach the stall. The vendor called out, “Three coins for ten fish! Come and get them!”

The wooden trough was filled with fish fry, and children were playing around the area. You Mengzhe rolled up his sleeves and crouched down, saying, “Let’s catch some fish fry and bring them home.”

Zhang Yuanshan nodded and crouched down beside him, watching You Mengzhe with a childlike curiosity. As You Mengzhe scooped up the fish, it seemed like they were two playful children.

Suddenly, You Mengzhe felt a pinch on his buttocks.

You Mengzhe: “?”

When he quickly turned around, there was no one behind him, and the crowded street was filled with pedestrians. Zhang Yuanshan sensed something, furrowing his brows slightly as he looked at You Mengzhe. You Mengzhe reassured, “It’s nothing, just a golden…”

Before he could finish speaking, his buttocks were pinched again.

You Mengzhe immediately turned around and angrily exclaimed, “Damn it! Who pinched my ass!”

Zhang Yuanshan understood the situation. In a swift motion, he turned and smoothly drew the Judge’s Pen from his waist. Just as You Mengzhe was about to stop him, Zhang Yuanshan’s figure flashed, and he shot forward rapidly.

“What the hell! You slut!” Sun Bin’s voice rang out, cursing loudly. “What’s wrong with pinching your ass a few times!”

You Mengzhe shouted, “Sun Bin! Uncle! Wait!”

As soon as Zhang Yuanshan took action, chaos erupted on the street. Vendors hurriedly packed up their things and moved away, thinking there was a fight. In the open space, Sun Bin revealed his position. In a few quick moves, he countered Zhang Yuanshan’s Judge’s Pen, but Zhang Yuanshan managed to strike Sun Bin on the shoulder, causing him to cry out in pain.

In the next moment, the two exchanged a palm strike, and their figures soared into the air. Sun Bin took a few steps and stepped onto the walls of the buildings along the street, leaping onto the second floor with agility. Zhang Yuanshan swiftly rotated on the ground, his robe billowing, and then made a graceful leap, landing steadily on the rooftop.

The people along the street cheered loudly, and Zhang Yuanshan displayed an air of ease, evidently surpassing Sun Bin in martial arts. Sun Bin, relying only on lightness skills, found it increasingly challenging after receiving these two strikes. Zhang Yuanshan’s Judge’s Pen was also a unique weapon, so he dared not linger in the fight. With a retreat, he shouted, “You dumbass! Grandpa will reward you with money!”

Sun Bin scattered a shower of copper coins with a flourish.

Zhang Yuanshan flicked his sleeve, and with a wave of his five fingers, golden lights sparkled as he used the same technique, scattering countless golden eagle feathers into the air. The entire street went wild with excitement, and the sound of coins clinking echoed. Sun Bin’s copper coins were all knocked to the ground.

Following this, a gold ingot, the size of three or two taels, swiftly flew through the gaps between the copper coins, hitting Sun Bin’s chest and knocking him into the courtyard of a house.

The entire street went crazy as people clamored to grab Zhang Yuanshan’s hidden weapons. When You Mengzhe chased into a dark alley, Sun Bin had already disappeared.

“Don’t chase.” You Mengzhe quickly said to Zhang Yuanshan, “I know him, he means no harm, just… playing around.”

Zhang Yuanshan nodded, embraced You Mengzhe, and walked out. You Mengzhe thought it was quite strange to encounter Sun Bin again in this place. Whenever he encountered Zhang Yuanshan, Sun Bin was completely suppressed, losing both money and momentum. With Zhang Yuanshan’s skills, facing the copper coin darts against the pure gold eagle feathers, Sun Bin probably wouldn’t dare to lift his head in front of Zhang Yuanshan for the rest of his life.

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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