Let Go of that Shou Chapter 3

Chapter 3

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Yu Changqing haggled in the Western Market, using five taels of silver to buy a night-bright pearl, which was then placed into a box. You Mengzhe initially intended to buy the entire stall, but was decisively stopped by Yu Changqing.

“We are not wealthy,” Yu Changqing said. “A little token of our affection, it’s enough as long as it’s presentable.”

According to You Mengzhe’s preferences, it’s likely he would want to buy an elephant as a congratulatory gift. His father, the sect leader of the Demonic Sect, had earnestly instructed that anyone claiming to be Orthodox is our mortal enemy from the Demonic Sect. Regardless of You Mengzhe’s good moral standard and reputation, it would be impressive to bring in a twelve-foot-tall elephant and have it parade a few rounds in front of Senior Long’s residence.

Unfortunately, Yu Changqing had come to apprehend the thief, so this grandiose idea had to be abandoned.

At night, the entire city of Jiangzhou was illuminated, as bright as an endless night, with lights shimmering like stars. Yu Changqing, accompanied by You Mengzhe, arrived at the entrance of the Long Residence in a carriage. Longevity lanterns adorned the long corridor, and the entire mansion was decorated with a profusion of flowers, lively and vibrant with lanterns aglow and wine flowing.

“A Wanderer for Thousands of Miles, Yu Changqing has arrived—” announced a young servant boy at the entrance with a loud greeting.

Yu Changqing gestured for You Mengzhe to follow suit and led the way inside. He entered with a respectful bow. The venerable Senior Long didn’t personally receive guests, instead delegating the task to younger generations in the side hall. After presenting the congratulatory gift, Yu Changqing was approached by a disciple named Lei Jiutian. They exchanged a few casual words before Lei Jiutian casually set the gift aside without even looking at it. He called over a servant to serve tea and then left Yu Changqing and You Mengzhe to themselves.

You Mengzhe’s eyes darted around, observing his surroundings. A young servant approached him with a plate of mung bean cakes and placed it on a table beside him, giving him a wink.

You Mengzhe: “?”

Inside the hall, the attendees were all martial artists, engaging in loud conversations. Some wore snake-patterned cloaks with eyes as sharp as bronze bells, while others had oiled hair and powdered faces, making it hard to distinguish their genders. Some had bluish faces and white lips, exuding an eerie aura, while others had bulging muscles and a fierce disposition that showed through. There was a diverse assortment, each with their unique characteristics, truly showcasing the variety of figures from the martial world. It was a lively scene indeed!

Despite the multitude of people, strangely, not a single one came to exchange pleasantries with Yu Changqing.

As You Mengzhe munched on the mung bean cake, he felt something was amiss and loudly said, “Looking down on—”

Before he could finish the sentence, his mouth was quickly covered by Yu Changqing’s hand. Yu Changqing whispered, “Don’t talk nonsense.”

Jianghu guests usually don’t interact with officials from the court, but Yu Changqing’s identity as the number one officer in the capital city made Senior Long granted him access. Yu Changqing didn’t bother explaining the situation. He simply whispered briefly to You Mengzhe. After another round of tea, a senior disciple of Senior Long emerged and exchanged a few polite words, inviting the guests to the main hall to appreciate treasures. Following that, the people from Jianghu entered in an orderly manner. The scene indicated that nearly two hundred individuals had gathered tonight.

You Mengzhe’s eyes swept around, but he couldn’t find a suitable partner for dual cultivation. Looking here and there, his gaze finally returned to Yu Changqing.

Yu Changqing and You Mengzhe walked at the end of the group of guests. Up ahead, someone with a loud voice spoke, “Senior Long actually deals with the court’s lackeys!”

Several people gestured for him to stop speaking recklessly. Yu Changqing simply chuckled at the comment, not taking it to heart.

The gift table was adorned with splendid jewels and treasures, except for Yu Changqing’s congratulatory gift, which appeared lackluster in comparison. People were discussing and comparing the gifts, debating whose was the finest and most exceptional. Eventually, two disciples jointly carried out a golden Buddha statue, prompting the crowd to express their amazement with murmurs of admiration.

Someone remarked, “This must be a gift from the Sage of Shifting Mountains, Mr. Huang.”

The old man’s voice rang out with hearty laughter as he said, “Indeed, it’s our friend Huang.” With the conclusion of his words, an elderly gentleman appeared, dressed in a robe adorned with motifs symbolizing a hundred years of longevity. He exuded a sprightly energy, his face flushed with health, and his eyes shining with vitality. His countenance had the radiance of good health, and he held a bronze staff in his hand. The crowd respectfully saluted. This elderly man was none other than today’s birthday celebrant, Senior Long.

“We have a much larger golden Buddha at home,” You Mengzhe whispered softly. ‘It’s much bigger than this one.'”

Yu Changqing: “Shh.”

You Mengzhe: “Back at home, our maid Jiu’er uses this thing to press pickled vegetables. If I had known, I would have taken one too.”

Yu Changqing: ‘…'”    

“Speaking of the origin of this golden Buddha,” Senior Long’s voice was accompanied by tears, “Ten years ago, something significant happened in Huang’s (referring to the Sage of Shifting Mountains) sect. This golden Buddha originally had a large and a small version. The larger one was the treasure of a foreign kingdom. Unfortunately, that year, Huang’s master, the venerable Monk Wanquan reached the age of eighty years old that year when he was decived by the Demonic Sect Leader into visiting the Demonic Sect ….”

“Is he talking about your dad?” Yu Changqing interjected.

“Perhaps,” You Mengzhe replied.

“…with a single palm strike, it caused him to cough up blood and died. The grand golden Buddha was also seized. The entire sect suffered this immense shame and humiliation!” Senior Long struck his staff heavily on the ground, and the guests fell silent like a chorus of sparrows hushing.

“In his lifetime, he couldn’t obtain justice for this grievance. Thus, the golden Buddha was eventually entrusted to me.”

The guests let out sighs and wiped away tears, and Senior Long continued, “By using the pretext of my birthday celebration, I’ve invited you all here today because there’s an important matter to discuss. Please, everyone.”

The guests began to disperse, with tables set up in the garden for feasting, wine, and entertainment.

The singers sang with high-pitched voices, and Yu Changqing kept his eyes on the main entrance of the hall where the treasures were displayed. You Mengzhe listened to the singing for a while, but couldn’t make much sense of it. Yu Changqing said, “Young brother, enjoy your food and drink here. I’ll go for a walk.”

Yu Changqing left his seat, and after a while, You Mengzhe needed to relieve himself. He got up, drank some tea, and urgently looked for a restroom. There were about thirty tables set up in the garden, and as the estate was vast, he became disoriented. After wandering for a bit, he headed towards a darker area, thinking he would find a spot to relieve himself.

In that dim area behind the stage, where You Mengzhe was about to undo his belt, he suddenly noticed a young servant and was startled.

The servant locked eyes with him and said, “If you need to pee, then go ahead. It’s not like I’m stopping you.”

You Mengzhe relieved himself at a peony flowerbed and asked, “What are you doing here?”

The servant held a dagger, and while pulling at the ropes tied to the makeshift stage, he replied, “Cutting ropes.”

You Mengzhe asked, “Why are you cutting ropes?”

The servant replied, “You’ll know soon enough.”

You Mengzhe: “?”

After finishing relieving himself and returning, just as he sat down, the entire canopy above the stage collapsed with a loud crash.

Immediately, chaos erupted in the garden, and someone shouted, “What’s going on?”

As the singers were halfway through their performance, the four ropes snapped, causing the stage to collapse. Everyone was covered in red fabric, and in an instant, even the lanterns hanging from the ropes fell down. Chaos ensued as the garden was filled with fire and people from Jianghu hurriedly lifted the fabric, revealing the situation in a state of confusion.

“Don’t panic!” The Long Family’s eldest son, Long Batian, shouted as he directed his men to lift the fabric. From the corner where he was sitting, You Mengzhe emerged after a few moments under the fabric. Senior Long had three sons: Long Batian managed the scene, Long Badi immediately led people to assist the guests, and Long Bahai shouted, “It caught on fire! Bring the water buckets quickly!”

A well-organized birthday celebration had turned into chaos. While they were busy putting out the fire, a woman in front of the hall screamed, “Catch—there’s a thief—ah—!”

Now everyone understood what was happening.

“Thief, halt!” Yu Changqing’s furious shout echoed. At that moment, a shadow darted out of the front courtyard, swiftly heading towards the western wing. Yu Changqing, dressed in his crimson officer’s robe, chased after the thief as swisftly as the arrow. A man and a saber, as they turned, a flash of his blade sent flower pots flying with a resounding buzz, the force of his strike explosive.

The shadow leaped over the courtyard wall at a tricky angle, and Yu Changqing followed suit, springing out of the Long Residence.

You Mengzhe thought, catch the thief, catch the thief! He immediately gave chase. He leaped against the courtyard wall but found himself unable to climb it despite his efforts. Feeling anxious, he retreated and looked around. He then fetched a chair, used it as a foothold, and managed to cross the wall.

“Chase the thief!” Chaos reigned within the courtyard, with the voices of residence guards and disciples faintly audible.

You Mengzhe leapt down from the wall and caught sight of a red robe flashing in the depths of the alley—it must be Yu Changqing, without a doubt. He immediately accelerated to pursue, calling out, “Wait, brother Yu!”

Yu Changqing retorted, “Go back to the inn! It’s none of your concern!” With that, he vanished at the end of the alley.

You Mengzhe dashed out of the narrow alley, only to find the end of it leading to countless well-lit houses. The streets of Jiangzhou interconnected with alleys, and these alleys were connected to residential areas. In no time, he lost his sense of direction. Walking and looking around, he had no idea where he was. Suddenly, a stone was thrown, hitting him on the head. When he looked up, he saw a person crouched in a corner—it was that young servant.

“Come in,” the young servant beckoned, gesturing for You Mengzhe to follow, and then he turned and entered a residential courtyard.

You Mengzhe leaped up and clung to the wall, putting all his strength into climbing upwards. This time, without a chair to stand on, he had to put in extra effort. Struggling to ascend the wall, he suddenly felt a hand beneath his buttocks, giving him a boost. He toppled over the wall and into the courtyard.

You Mengzhe: “?”

The young servant had been waiting in the residential courtyard. When You Mengzhe fell down, he immediately covered his mouth and dragged him into a ground-floor room.

“Get in.” The servant pushed You Mengzhe under the bed, then swiftly entered himself. He pulled the curtain that hung in front of the bed and squeezed in beside You Mengzhe.

“I get it now! You’re the thief!” You Mengzhe suddenly realized.

The servant replied, “You’re just figured that out?”

The servant hastily handed over a pile of gold, silver, and jewelry, while simultaneously taking out an item and asking, “This belongs to you, right?”

You Mengzhe snatched the book and said, “So you were the one who stole it. What’s your name, brother thief?”

The servant replied, “Brother thief? I’m grandpa thief! Call me Sun Bin, remember that.”

You Mengzhe tucked the book into his embrace and said, “Brother Yu has been looking for you. What did you steal from him?”

Sun Bin snorted, ignoring You Mengzhe’s question, and asked, “Have you cultivated the techniques in this book? Are they reliable?”

You Mengzhe stared at the disheveled Sun Bin, contemplating whether to invite him for dual cultivation. His martial skills seemed average, so there shouldn’t be anything particularly suspicious. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been chased all over the place by Yu Changqing. Forget it.

“You should leave quickly. I’m going back to find brother Yu,” You Mengzhe said as he prepared to leave, but Sun Bin stopped him.

“Don’t joke around!” Sun Bin said in a deep voice. “If you let him have his way with you a few times, I might not be able to defeat him anymore. You can’t leave, so behave!”

You Mengzhe asked, “Then do you want to…”

“Shh,” Sun Bin immediately covered You Mengzhe’s mouth again, both of them hid under the bed.

Outside, the voice of Long Batian came, asking, “Has anyone come in?”

A woman’s alluring laughter followed, “Yes.”

Long Batian questioned, “Where are they? Hand them over quickly!”

The woman said, “Young Master Long, isn’t the person who came in is you? How come you have the time to come to our Yifang Courtyard?”

Long Batian shouted, “Stop pretending! Are there or aren’t there people here?”

A chorus of female voices started teasing, and finally, Long Batian commanded, “You few, go search over there.”

The voices from outside gradually grew distant, and Sun Bin warned, “Behave yourself, or I’ll kill you.”

You Mengzhe said, “You should leave quickly…”

Sun Bin rolled out from under the bed, grabbing You Mengzhe’s hand and pulling him close. He held You Mengzhe in his arms, carrying him horizontally. He glanced left and right outside, then leaped from the edge of a flowerbed, holding You Mengzhe as they jumped out of the courtyard and into another alley. They started running at full speed.

You Mengzhe: “!!!”

This guy’s Qigong skill is quite impressive! They can dual cultivate!

“Hey, I say,” You Mengzhe said, “Wait!”

Sun Bin was displaying his extraordinary agility, leaping off eaves, running along walls, and occasionally vaulting over wooden fences or dropping down where there were few pedestrians on the street. His erratic movements left You Mengzhe feeling utterly miserable.

“At that spot! Someone was carrying a person there just now!” A voice immediately rang out on the street.

After several leaps and turns, when they landed once more, Sun Bin had managed to leave the pursuers from the Long Residence nearly a mile behind. He vaulted onto the city wall of Jiangzhou and kicked over a water bucket on the tower, then jumped out.

“Ahhhhh—” You Mengzhe shouted in fear.

“Shh—” Sun Bin signaled him not to panic.

Sun Bin carried You Mengzhe and, simultaneously with the barrel, flew out from the city wall, landing from a height of about fifteen feet. As they touched the ground, Sun Bin’s foot lightly tapped on the barrel, giving them an extra push. They shot forward like an arrow, the barrel shattered into pieces from the tremendous force upon landing.

Both of them landed steadily. Sun Bin then started running again, vanishing into the darkness of the night.

In the darkness of the night, the lights and music of Jiangzhou faded into the distance. Sun Bin’s pace gradually slowed, and the terrain became more level. You Mengzhe, who had been jolted around, was finally able to catch his breath and speak.

“Hey, brother,” You Mengzhe said.

Sun Bin: “What?”

You Mengzhe: “Why did you bring me along? Aren’t you bothered by how slow I am?”

Sun Bin continued moving without stopping, using the moonlight to study You Mengzhe. He retorted, “If I didn’t bring you along, should I have left you for Yu Changqing to cultivate his skills on? If he surpasses me in Qigong, won’t he catch up eventually?”

You Mengzhe replied, “But running like this isn’t a solution either.”

While Sun Bin’s Qigong skill allowed him to carry an extra person without difficulty, if Yu Changqing caught up, their pace would ultimately be slower. Sun Bin’s expression showed his frustration.

You Mengzhe wasn’t particularly interested in Sun Bin as a person, but his Qigong skill intrigued him. Thus, he suggested, “How about we find a place for dual cultivation? Once you’re done cultivating, you can continue running, and I’ll head back to Jiangzhou.”

Sun Bin agreed, “Sure.”

You Mengzhe suggested, “I think the woods over there would be a good spot.”

Sun Bin replied, “Sure, your call.” With that, he lifted You Mengzhe and slipped into the woods.

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

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Leave a comment