Let Go of that Shou Chapter 34

Chapter 34

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 “Last night, at the third watch of the night,” someone rubbed their neck and complained, “Who was making such a racket with drums and gongs, disturbing our sleep?”

“Yeah, that’s right,” several others agreed as they stepped onto the gangplank, “Couldn’t get a wink of sleep all night.”

While everyone was discussing, You Mengzhe was still observing, and since Yu Wenhong was indecisive, he didn’t bother to consult him. Instead, he flipped a coin and decided to board the ship belonging to the righteous faction.

As the morning dawned, someone suddenly shouted, “Look! Quick, look! Whose ship is that?”

A magnificent vessel glided into view from the southern end of the cold river mouth, slowly approaching the harbor of Donghai County. The enormous ship, towering ten zhang high, its sails billowing in the sea breeze, and its prow pointing straight towards the sky, gleamed with golden brilliance under the first light of dawn.

As the ship approached the dock, You Mengzhe faintly heard the majestic music.

“This one looks good,” You Mengzhe said, “Let’s find a way to board this one.”

“Dang! Dang dang!” The sound of chimes resonated through the clouds, instantly silencing all the martial artists. On the deck were two rows of six chime racks, each with a woman in light gauzy attire kneeling before them, striking the chimes with hammers.

The grand ship emanated another piece of music, radiating unparalleled splendor and extravagance.

Zhang Yuanshan stood with his hands behind his back, his black robe fluttering in the morning breeze as he looked down at the densely packed martial artists on the dock.

“I heard that the Mute Hero is the son-in-law of the Canghai Sect,” Tang Hui shook his folding fan, smiling lightly. “What does the Alliance Master think?”

Zhao Feihong’s face turned ashen, but he remained silent.

The steward came down from the ship and bowed, saying, “Noble Warrior Zhao, my master invites you aboard to journey together to Qinglong Mountain.”

Zhao Feihong snorted coldly, his voice low, “Go back and tell him to disembark. After years of brotherhood, today we shall settle this!”

The steward went back to report, and You Mengzhe quietly slipped through the crowd with Yu Wenhong’s hand in tow. As Zhang Yuanshan disembarked, Yu Wenhong carried You Mengzhe, using Qigong skills to leap onto the ship. With a single hand gripping the edge of the ship, he gracefully flipped up onto the deck and swiftly subdued a guard at the side of the ship. Together, they slipped down into the hold of the ship.

On the second deck of the hold, there were hardly any people. You Mengzhe pushed open doors one by one, peeking inside. They found Zhang Yuanshan’s bedroom, while the other rooms were meticulously cleaned, truly luxurious cabins.

Going down three more levels, they reached the storage area. Two guards were stationed outside one of the storage rooms. You Mengzhe swaggered over.

“Who goes there!”

“Where did you come from!”    

The guards approached and questioned them, but Yu Wenhong flicked his fingers twice, knocking the guards down. You Mengzhe, curious, asked, “What place is this? Are we just hiding here?”

The door was locked, but You Mengzhe lightly scratched it with the Nine Yin Celestial Sword, and the door swung open. Inside, there were piles of golden coins, the legendary reward of ten thousand taels of gold… Zhang Yuanshan actually brought the reward with him.

This place was not suitable for staying. You Mengzhe tossed the guards inside and locked the door. Then, he headed down to the lower deck. The last level was where they stored water and grains, along with plenty of preserved meats. Beyond that was the stable, which was suitable. You Mengzhe found a clean small shed and prepared to hide there.

Behind the stable was a small window, and the noise from outside could be heard.

The two peeked out of the window and saw that the dispute between Zhao Feihong and Zhang Yuanshan on the dock had escalated to a heated stage.

Zhao Feihong yelled uncontrollably, showing that he was unable to contain his anger.

Zhang Yuanshan remained calm and silent, standing still without making any gestures, allowing the other to vent his frustrations.

The dock fell into silence, and You Gutian’s lips curled into a smile. After observing for a while, he instructed his men, “Bring a mat for Noble Warrior Zhao.”

So, a member of the demonic sect brought a straw mat and handed it over. Zhao Feihong took his sword and cut the mat in two!


The dock erupted into chaos, with everyone excitedly shouting, “Cutting the mat and severing ties! Cutting the mat and severing ties!”

Zhang Yuanshan’s face turned extremely ugly. He brushed his sleeve and boarded the ship as the sound of chimes resonated heroically, with tens of thousands of martial artists watching him embark.

As the large ship set sail, Zhang Yuanshan kicked one of the chimes into the water, sighing deeply.

The chime fell from the ship’s railing, passing in front of You Mengzhe with a loud splash into the sea. You Mengzhe shook his head with a sigh, feeling a sense of sadness. “That’s the end of the friendship.”

Yu Wenhong echoed, “That’s why they say, ‘Better to forget each other in the world than to endure together.'”

You Mengzhe nodded sadly, admitting it was his fault, although in reality, it had nothing to do with him. Such is life, unpredictable and ever-changing.

So they settled down in the stable. Whenever the stable boy came twice a day to groom the horses, they would hide to avoid making any noise that might alert Zhang Yuanshan. They would sneak up to steal food three times a day, and Yu Wenhong, being skilled, managed to do so without being noticed.

After satisfying their hunger and thirst, at night, Yu Wenhong held You Mengzhe as they sat by the stable, looking at the scenery outside. Over the past few days, the moon had become fuller and fuller.

“How does he know which way to go?” You Mengzhe asked.

“Didn’t your mother mention it?” Yu Wenhong thought for a moment before answering, “In the first month, the wind blows from the north to the south, and in August, it blows from the south to the north.”

They looked at the moon, resembling a cake, in the tranquil sea. Yu Wenhong reached out his large hand, playing with You Mengzhe’s fingers, pinching his hand, and then his face, while Yu Wenhong couldn’t stop kissing him.

You Mengzhe asked, “Will we return to the Central Plains in the future?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “It depends on you. Wherever you go, I’ll follow you. It’s okay.”

You Mengzhe nodded and said, “That’s good.”

Yu Wenhong added, “After meeting the Sect Master, let’s hurry down while the tide is still low. Do you want to go to Sichuan? I’ll take you to play at Maple Mountain. It’s beautiful there in autumn…”

You Mengzhe exclaimed, “That sounds wonderful.”

He suddenly glanced at Yu Wenhong and felt that he was now more talkative and had some ideas. Unlike before, when he would answer whatever was asked, these days it seemed like he was making an effort to change, trying to find things to do with You Mengzhe. However, Yu Wenhong didn’t have Zhao Feihong’s intelligence, nor did he come from a prestigious family like Zhang Yuanshan. He seemed to be racking his brains to come up with things, but ultimately it was just ordinary activities, at most steamed buns and vegetables.

However, in this world, finding someone who is good to oneself and completely obedient is too difficult. Zhang Yuanshan was one, but one’s father couldn’t possibly spend his days with him. So, it was just Yu Wenhong left. You Mengzhe was quite content; having such a skilled companion was already satisfying enough.

“Let’s do that thing,” You Mengzhe said.

“What thing?” Yu Wenhong asked.

You Mengzhe chuckled, “Of course, that thing…”

Yu Wenhong laughed too, and the two embraced each other, stripping off their clothes in the cabin. You Mengzhe loosely draped his robe, exposing his naked body, as he straddled Yu Wenhong. Then, they began their intimate encounter.

Yu Wenhong lay back for a while, then got up to hold You Mengzhe against the wall from behind. They leaned against the window, with Yu Wenhong gently thrusting from behind, while You Mengzhe moaned in pleasure, gazing at the bright moon in the sky.

After they finished, both of them were tired and fell asleep in the cabin.

The next day, You Mengzhe was awakened by a drop of water. As he opened his eyes, he saw that it was pouring rain outside. Yu Wenhong was closing the window, and as You Mengzhe sat up, he felt the boat shake beneath him with a loud rumble.   

“Is it grounded?” You Mengzhe asked.

Yu Wenhong wasn’t sure either. He opened the window to take a look, and the howling wind carried rain pouring in. He quickly closed it again.

“I’ll go up and check,” Yu Wenhong said as he climbed the stairs. Footsteps from the third floor could be heard, and You Mengzhe hurriedly gestured for them to hide behind the staircase.

“Hurry, prepare the horses!”

“The master is waiting!”

“The rain outside is too heavy!”

“It won’t work, we must land now!”

Five or six people came down to the lower deck, leading out the horses. They pushed open a cleverly designed hatch, and the sea breeze was so strong that it pushed people backward. A massive wooden board was pushed out, landing on the rocky beach, forming a gangplank.

As the servants led the horses out, You Mengzhe and Yu Wenhong took advantage of the gangplank to disembark. The horizon was engulfed in dark clouds, and a hurricane raged, obscuring everything in a gray haze. The island seemed enveloped in lightning and thunder.

Yu Wenhong shielded You Mengzhe from the rain. “This way! Follow me!”

Ships were docking everywhere, but the dim darkness made it difficult to navigate. Both the righteous and the demonic ships collided with the rocky shore one after another, some grounded and some capsized. Waves crashed onto the island, and amidst the howling wind, Zhao Feihong’s voice could be faintly heard, urging everyone not to panic.  

On the contrary, the disciples of the Demonic Sect were very obedient, and even the martial arts sects affiliated with the Demonic Sect acted in unison.

“Come this way!” Yu Wenhong grabbed You Mengzhe’s hand and leaped through the chaotic reef. Eventually, he simply lifted You Mengzhe horizontally and jumped over the rocky formation, entering the area of the island amidst thunder and lightning.

You Mengzhe asked, “Is this the place?”

Yu Wenhong, his face covered in water, replied, “No! Mengzhe, take a deep breath!”

With waves crashing all around them, as soon as You Mengzhe took a breath, Yu Wenhong covered his mouth and nose, diving underwater from the rocky formation.

You Mengzhe: “…”

The sea water was murky, then turned into a dark blue hue. Yu Wenhong kicked his feet to swim, taking You Mengzhe deeper underwater. They found a dark cave entrance among the rocks, and Yu Wenhong led them inside. After swimming underwater for a while, You Mengzhe surfaced, gasping for air.

It was a distant underwater cave. Both of them, soaked, came ashore. Yu Wenhong rummaged under the rocks and found flint and tinder, starting a fire.

“No one can find this place if we take this route,” You Mengzhe remarked.

Yu Wenhong took off You Mengzhe’s clothes and helped him wring them dry, smiling. “All the rocks outside look the same. No one can find this place. If it weren’t for the low tide, the rocky shore wouldn’t even be visible. Ships would sink from hitting the reef before reaching here.”

You Mengzhe understood. It was at least five or six miles from where the ship ran aground. It seemed that this place was usually inaccessible.

“Don’t roast anymore,” You Mengzhe said. “Let’s go.”

Yu Wenhong replied, “We still have two days’ journey ahead. Don’t catch a cold.”

You Mengzhe was moved. “It’s that far?”

Yu Wenhong stood naked, while You Mengzhe sat bare-skinned. Both of them were completely exposed, and Yu Wenhong smiled awkwardly. The firelight illuminated their handsome faces and well-proportioned bodies. You Mengzhe immediately noticed Yu Wenhong’s arousal and teased him, “It’s not like I haven’t seen it before. Why are you blushing?”

Ignoring him, Yu Wenhong continued to wring out his clothes. You Mengzhe couldn’t resist pushing him, and their hardened members pressed against each other. Yu Wenhong hung up the clothes, and the two rubbed their bodies against each other in the cave, their naked forms intertwining. Yu Wenhong felt parched and, embracing You Mengzhe, they engaged in intimacy. Afterward, they held each other silently by the fire. You Mengzhe felt that sometimes, silence said more than words.

Yu Wenhong wasn’t one for sweet words, so whenever he felt affectionate, he expressed it through kissing You Mengzhe. They couldn’t resist making love again, but You Mengzhe was starting to feel exhausted and joked about Yu Wenhong’s stamina, urging him to take a break.

Responding with a mumble of agreement, Yu Wenhong continued to kiss You Mengzhe. Time didn’t matter to them, but they knew they couldn’t stay in the cave forever. Yu Wenhong helped You Mengzhe put on their clothes and carried him on his back, walking barefoot through the tunnel.

“It’s really far,” You Mengzhe remarked.

“Yeah, I heard it was dug out by a sea serpent,” Yu Wenhong explained vividly, as if he had witnessed it firsthand. You Mengzhe found it amusing and chuckled, and they shared another kiss as they walked.

After walking for a long time, they gradually saw light at the end of the underwater tunnel. The tunnel turned out to be twenty miles long, and it took them over two hours to traverse it, from noon until dusk. Finally, they emerged to the sight of birds chirping, flowers blooming, and fallen petals and leaves scattered on the ground. The hurricane-like storm had come and gone quickly, leaving behind a crimson-red sky at twilight.

Green mountains stretched for thousands of miles, with blooming hibiscus flowers lining the slopes from the foot of the mountain to halfway up. In the distance, smoke rose from chimneys, indicating the presence of a village.

“I’m hungry!” You Mengzhe exclaimed. “People live here?!”

“Yes,” Yu Wenhong chuckled. “This place is called Qinglong Town, and quite a few people live here. I’ll take you to the market later. Let’s go this way…”

The area was filled with exotic plants and flowers that You Mengzhe couldn’t name. Ahead, there was a maple forest, with leaves tinged with a hint of frost. In the depths of the maple forest, they spotted a stone table, and the distant sound of a man’s voice reached their ears.

The man in white robes said, “You’re about to lose.”

The sound of chess pieces hitting the board echoed.

“Maybe not,” replied the man clad in black armor.

“Hey, you two!” Yu Wenhong called out with a smile.

Both men turned their gaze towards Yu Wenhong and then looked at You Mengzhe, their expressions filled with surprise. The man in white robes stood up and smiled, “Is this Qing’er’s child?”

“You’re back already?” remarked the man in black armor. “We thought it would take three or five more years.”

Yu Wenhong placed a hand on You Mengzhe’s shoulder, and the man in white robes approached, scrutinizing You Mengzhe, making him feel quite uncomfortable.

“You’re really something. You two look exactly alike!” You Mengzhe remarked.  

The man in white robes: “…”

The man in black armor: “…”

Yu Wenhong burst into laughter. The man in white robes smiled and said, “Not only do you look alike, but your temperament is also similar. Your mother must be Qing’er without a doubt.”

You Mengzhe asked, “Who are you?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “This is Tian Zun, and the one with the stern face over there is Ming Zun.”

Surprisingly, they were twins. You Mengzhe sighed in amazement at such talent in the world. Tian Zun, dressed in white robes, had a handsome appearance, while Ming Zun in black armor had a more cold and stern demeanor. Yu Wenhong led You Mengzhe over to sit down, and both Tian Zun and Ming Zun reached out their hands.

You Mengzhe was startled, but Yu Wenhong gestured to reassure him. Tian Zun reached out to pat You Mengzhe’s head, while Ming Zun placed a hand on his shoulder, as if greeting him.

Yu Wenhong, seeing that You Mengzhe was not speaking much, understood that it was his first time meeting the two, so he didn’t dare to speak rashly, fearing he might have a bad temper.

Tian Zun replied, “We heard that people from the Central Plains had arrived, so the Sect Master sent us down to take a look.”

You Mengzhe remembered and quickly asked, “Have you engaged in combat? Please go easy; don’t kill anyone. One of them might be my father.”

Ming Zun asked calmly, “Which one is your father?”

You Mengzhe honestly replied, “I don’t know.”

Tian Zun chuckled, “You can’t even recognize your own father.”

You Mengzhe said, “I was actually planning to ask my grandmother to help me with a blood test to confirm the relationship… Now that you’re all here, it saves me another trip.” As he spoke, he glanced at Ming Zun and Tian Zun, feeling both admiration and awe for the twin brothers, who were truly flawless gems. He had never seen such talent before, and he felt a mix of envy and admiration.

But for some reason, he couldn’t muster any other thoughts; he just felt very good looking, extremely good looking.

Yu Wenhong chuckled, “Don’t worry, Mengzhe, both of them are paper tigers. Especially this black guy.”

You Mengzhe nodded and looked at Yu Wenhong again. Yu Wenhong was also handsome, but compared to them, he fell a bit short in terms of temperament. However, when You Mengzhe looked at Yu Wenhong, he felt a sense of attraction, which he didn’t feel when looking at Ming Zun and Tian Zun.

Tian Zun was more cheerful, while Ming Zun seemed a bit gloomy. You Mengzhe felt that Tian Zun was easier to talk to and joke with.

Ming Zun, however, said, “A hero’s origins are not important. Not knowing who your father is doesn’t matter much. They are still below, and they won’t be able to come up here anytime soon. We’ve overestimated the skills of those from the Central Plains.”

You Mengzhe stood up, and Tian Zun said, “It’s just outside. From here, you can see the stone forest.”

You Mengzhe walked to the edge of the forest and couldn’t help but exclaim, “Wow.”

This was already at the foot of the mountain. From the edge of the forest, you could see the vicinity of the beach below the mountain. Qinglong Mountain formed a character “叵,” with its terrain surrounding a vast expanse of giant stone forests. Both the members of the Demonic Sect and the righteous sects had entered the stone forest, searching for a way out.

The stone forests were interconnected, forming a vast maze spanning hundreds of square miles. At the end of the maze was a staircase of thousands of steps, leading to the maple forest where they were standing.

And Ming Zun and Tian Zun were sitting on the path that everyone had to pass through, playing chess.

“You mean we took a shortcut,” You Mengzhe said.

“Yeah,” explained Yu Wenhong, “It’s troublesome to go through the stone forest. It would take quite a detour.”

“Don’t go down there,” Ming Zun reminded, “The paths in the maze are very difficult to navigate. They were designed according to the River Diagram and the Luo Book, using the divination.”

“How long will they take?” You Mengzhe asked.

Tian Zun lazily replied, “Hard to say, judging by the situation, it might take a while. It looks like there will be three waves of conflicts.”

A disordered group of people, led by Zhao Feihong’s righteous sect, entered the maze from the west, while another team, formed like a long dragon, was led by You Gutian and his men.

“There’s one more person—just one, a small dot, coming alone from the southeast,” Ming Zun’s voice was cold but carried a hint of admiration, “That guy has some guts. Venturing alone into the fray?”

“He… might be my dad,” You Mengzhe said.

“Who do you hope is your real dad?” Tian Zun asked.

You Mengzhe thought for a moment, feeling a bit stuck. It seemed like everyone was a bit unreliable. Just then, Yu Wenhong returned with some buns and said, “Let’s fill our stomachs first.”

“Him,” You Mengzhe pointed to Yu Wenhong.

Both Tian Zun and Ming Zun laughed. You Mengzhe looked down the mountain worriedly and said, “What if they start fighting?”

Ming Zun casually remarked, “The Sect Leader has already made arrangements.”

Tian Zun patted his sleeve and said, “Just now, we placed many treasure chests in the maze, filled with stamina-replenishing pills, inner energy supplements, and even golden wound medicine, to help them when they’re tired.”

You Mengzhe: “…”

Ming Zun continued, “We also left a lot of equipment like swords and knives. Let them kill as they please.”

You Mengzhe: “Isn’t that too harsh?”

“Treasures—” came the ecstatic shouts from the maze below, followed by a chaotic uproar of self-inflicted harm and painful cries.

Mingzun said, “Let’s head back to the mountain. The martial arts of the Central Plains folks are mediocre, and they haven’t made any progress in these years.”

You Mengzhe: “We’re leaving just like that?”

Tian Zun chuckled, “We’ll leave it to the people in the village. Let’s go.”

Yu Wenhong: “Let’s go together.”

Ming Zun turned and said, “Why don’t you wait until daytime and take him for a walk along the mountain path to see the scenery? It’s rare to come back.”

Yu Wenhong thought for a moment and said, “That’s a good idea. Let’s stay in the village for the night first.”

You Mengzhe didn’t get a chance to say anything and could only bid farewell to them and enter the village with Yu Wenhong.

“Yu Wenhong, you’re back!” The villagers greeted him enthusiastically.

Yu Wenhong pointed to the top of You Mengzhe’s head with his finger and said with a smile, “This is my wife.”

You Mengzhe’s mouth twitched as he greeted the townsfolk. That night, they stayed in a local residence and feasted on ducks raised with spiritual grass, fish caught from the immortal spring, and vegetables grown on the immortal mountain. You Mengzhe ate until he was almost bursting. After dinner, he took a stroll and glanced at the maze, where the fighting was still going on below.

“Treasure—” voices echoed from afar, “Treasure chest!”

“That’s just some hemostatic grass! Don’t fight over it! Ah—!”

You Mengzhe heard a dismal sound echoing through the night sky. He sighed heavily and climbed up the tree to look towards the northeast corner. A solitary torch swayed in the sea breeze. You Mengzhe felt a bit worried about Zhang Yuanshan being alone and asked Yu Wenhong, “Do you know the way?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “Yes, I do. Shall I go down and show him the way?”

You Mengzhe said, “Let’s go down together. I’ll follow you.”

Yu Wenhong seemed a bit hesitant. You Mengzhe asked, “Are you afraid of taking the wrong path?”

Yu Wenhong waved his hand, “No, what if he really is your father? Will you go with him?”

Understanding the concern, You Mengzhe replied, “I guess not. I’ll stick with you and occasionally check on him.”

Yu Wenhong chuckled, “That works. Follow me.” With that, he led You Mengzhe down the steps and into the maze. The sounds of battle grew louder as they navigated the labyrinth, twisting and turning, obstructed by stone pillars. The night sky was shrouded in dark clouds, and everyone had completely lost their direction. At times it seemed like they were making progress, only to find themselves far off course again.

Yu Wenhong looked around, muttering incantations under his breath, guiding You Mengzhe left and right.

“There’s a treasure chest!” Another person crazily shouted.

You Mengzhe couldn’t bear to watch and said, “It’s just some medicinal herbs! Worthless! Don’t rob them!”

Despite his words, many people rushed forward, eager to grab a treasure. Suddenly, behind a stone pillar, Zhao Feihong’s voice rang out.


“Mengzhe!!!” Zhao Feihong shouted.

You Mengzhe paused briefly, feeling a mix of emotions, his lips moved.

In the next moment, You Mengzhe yelled, “Come catch me! Come catch me!” and hastily ran away.

 “…” Zhao Feihong.

“Wait!” Zhao Feihong called out, “Mengzhe, I have something to tell you!”

Chasing behind the stone wall, Zhao Feihong found that You Mengzhe had already vanished.

You Mengzhe ran until he was exhausted, stopping at the end of a fork in the road, bent over gasping for air. Something seemed to be pricking at his heart — in this pitch-black night, the distant sound of waves crashing against the shore.

You Mengzhe straightened up suddenly, realizing he was lost, and exclaimed in panic, “Hey!”

Someone gently embraced him from behind, and You Mengzhe’s heart skipped a beat. As he turned his head, he found himself kissing the familiar soft corner of Yu Wenhong’s lips, and he sighed with relief.

“I was scared to death,” You Mengzhe said, reaching out to touch Yu Wenhong’s large hand, finding his palm warm and secure.

Yu Wenhong reassured him, “Don’t be afraid, I’ve been here all along.”

The dark clouds dispersed, revealing a full moon in the sky. The two walked forward in the moonlight, navigating through several forks in the road until they finally found the solitary figure. However, it wasn’t Zhang Yuanshan but You Gutian.

The sound of weapons clashing echoed, as You Gutian, with one hand protecting an urn of ashes and wielding a sword, forced back the attackers who surrounded him. His hair was disheveled, and his body covered in blood.

You Mengzhe was taken aback, and even Yu Wenhong hadn’t expected to find You Gutian here.


A tiger’s roar echoed, and You Gutian let out a long breath. He leaned on his sword with his left hand, while his right arm cradled the urn of ashes, his whole body swaying precariously.

You Gutian murmured softly, “Mengzhe.”

A pool of blood spread from under You Gutian’s feet as he looked up at You Mengzhe, as if waiting for something.

“Dad,” You Mengzhe couldn’t help but blurt out.

“Dad!” You Mengzhe rushed over and hugged You Gutian tightly.

You Gutian closed his eyes, staggered, and fell into the pool of blood.

“Dad!” You Mengzhe exclaimed as he noticed two huge blood holes behind You Gutian, his robes soaked in blood.

You Gutian’s face turned pale, and You Mengzhe then realized the severed hands and feet scattered around, along with abandoned swords.

“What… what is this! Is it poisonous?” You Mengzhe exclaimed in shock.

A giant snake hissed threateningly at You Mengzhe.

Yu Wenhong quickly reassured, “Don’t worry, it’s not poisonous. Sometimes it accidentally bites its own tongue too.”

Yu Wenhong reached out cautiously, extending his hand slightly forward, squinting his eyes and tilting his head to avoid the giant snake’s gaze. Its hissing sounded like a specter in the moonlit night. Even more terrifyingly, its swollen belly indicated it had consumed numerous victims.

Yu Wenhong took another step forward, and then another.

“What kind of monster is this…” You Gutian muttered, “I, the esteemed leader of the Demonic Sect… can’t even… defeat a mere… insect…”

“Stop talking,” Yu Wenhong whispered softly.

Just the sight of it filled You Mengzhe with indescribable fear. That giant snake was no ordinary creature; its aura of danger made people tremble uncontrollably.

Yu Wenhong whispered, “Xing Jun, it’s me, Hong’er.”

He gently placed his hand on the serpent’s forehead, and the giant snake calmed down, squinting its eyes and coiling its body, ceasing its attack on them.

Yu Wenhong breathed a sigh of relief and explained to You Mengzhe, “This is the Azure Dragon Xing Jun, the sacred beast guarding our Canghai Sect. It has lived for over a thousand years, seen all kinds of martial arts. Mengzhe, don’t be afraid.”

The serpent’s body was covered in scales, reflecting a cold blue light under the moonlight. Its scales were tougher than armor, and it moved with incredible agility, making it impossible for anyone to harm it. From afar, a whistle sounded from the mountain, summoning the guardian serpent. It opened its eyes, which shone with a golden light like lanterns, then turned and slithered out of the maze, making its way up the mountain.    

You Mengzhe asked, “What about my dad?”

Yu Wenhong replied, “I… I don’t know. We need to go up and find the healer.”

“I’m not poisoned,” You Gutian’s voice was low and hoarse.

Yu Wenhong crouched down to examine him, nodding, “Hmm, no poison. Look at his blood, it’s red, not black.”

You Mengzhe asked, “Do we have any healing herbs… can you get some?”

“They’re wrapped in the town,” Yu Wenhong said.

You Mengzhe: “…..”

“Carry him up,” You Mengzhe bent down to lift You Gutian, who said, “No… Mengzhe… listen to me.”

You Mengzhe cried out in distress, “Get up! Come with me!”

“I can’t hold on anymore…” You Gutian said, “Listen to me, Mengzhe… I… *cough* *cough*”

Tears filled You Mengzhe’s eyes as he held onto You Gutian.

“You… take this… up the mountain,” You Gutian said intermittently, “This is your mother… I promised… to take her… home.”

You Mengzhe burst into loud sobs, and from afar came a shout, “Over here! Come this way!”  

“Go now,” You Gutian said, “Quickly… hurry, Mengzhe.”

You Mengzhe shouted, “But what about you!”

You Gutian held You Mengzhe’s hand, his breath weakening, and whispered softly, “Call me ‘dad’ once more…”

“Dad!” You Mengzhe cried out sorrowfully.


Long ago, a young You Mengzhe ran around the Qinghua Hall, poking his head out and calling.

You Gutian smiled, closed his eyes, and peach blossoms scattered in the spring breeze.

You Gutian’s hand fell limp, dropping to the ground.

“Mengzhe!” Zhao Feihong’s voice shouted from afar, “Are you alright!”

“Let’s go,” Yu Wenhong said.

He lifted You Gutian’s lifeless body onto his back, while You Mengzhe carried the urn of ashes ahead. They returned to the maple forest, tears streaming down You Mengzhe’s face as he said, “What do we do?”  

Yu Wenhong’s expression also turned somewhat somber as he said, “Let’s find a place to hide him first. Tomorrow, we’ll ask the old sect master for advice.”

Yu Wenhong placed You Gutian’s body back into the cave they came from. You Mengzhe walked in a daze, then couldn’t help but burst into tears.

As the two walked away, inside the cave, You Gutian’s “corpse” moved slightly, then sat up, dusted off his robe, glanced around, and dashed out of the cave, disappearing in a flash.

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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