Chapter 95 Gifts
The wind blew on the bells on the door, and bamboo rustled in the distance.
He Lanze: “In this trial of the Law Enforcement Hall, Rong Ran murdered his fellow disciples and tried to blame his crimes on Martial Nephew Shen. Senior Brother will fairly hear the case and severely punish him. Junior Brother, you can be assured with Senior Brother in charge.”
Senior Brother He Lanze wielded the punishment sword. Therefore, he was the chief among the Law Enforcement Hall disciples.
His words and attitude practically determined the crime’s attribution.
Ye Yunlan wasn’t affected. He didn’t even show the slight happiness He Lanze had imagined.
His face was still pale, and his eyes seemed to look far away.
“If you hold the punishment sword, the weight of the sect disciples will burden you. Since that’s the case, Senior Brother, you shouldn’t have come to my residence today if you really want a fair trial without bias.”
He Lanze heard this and thought that he made Ye Yunlan worry. He explained hurriedly: “The evidence of what Rong Ran did has been confirmed and will be heard in court. No one will help his schemes, the trial has been settled, and the wicked will be punished. There will be no suspicion toward my present visit. But why is Junior Brother…” Why was there no joy in his eyes? Why was he indifferent?
“The wicked will be punished…” Ye Yunlan murmured, the fatigue among his features deepening.
He said, “Senior Brother, I’m a little tired. I’ll see you in the Law Enforcement Hall in nine days.”
He Lanze wanted to say something, but he suddenly heard a rush of footsteps. A disciple shouted, “Senior Brother Ye? Is Senior Brother Ye there?” He Lanze looked back, discovering the person who came was wearing a law enforcement robe; his subordinate.
“Yutang, why are you so anxious?” He Lanze asked solemnly.
As soon as Xue Yutang walked over, he saw Senior Brother’s respectful face. His heart shook.
Everyone in the Law Enforcement Hall knew this Senior Brother’s personality was clean and upright. He was merciless toward disciples who’ve made mistakes. When one entered the Law Enforcement Hall, very few could come out. Just the mention of his name was frightening.
Xue Yutang quickly bowed his head and saluted, “Greetings to Senior brother.” After hesitating momentarily, he continued, “There’s a problem with the water prison. The guy surnamed Rong has been clamoring to meet Senior Brother Ye, saying he has something serious to tell him.”
He Lanze coldly asked, “Why didn’t you report this to me first?”
Xue Yutang: “The guy surnamed Rong said he’s the Sect Lord’s direct disciple and wasn’t convicted yet, so he has the right to invite Senior Brother Ye…”
He Lanze snorted coldly, “No matter who he is, he should abide by the Law Enforcement Hall rules when entering the Law Enforcement Hall.” Thinking of the other person beside him, he turned his head and asked for Ye Yunlan’s opinion, “Junior Brother, are you going to see him?”
Ye Yunlan: “No.”
He Lanze nodded slightly, then said to Xue Yutang: “Did you hear that? Go back, and don’t bother Junior Brother’s rest again.”
Xue Yutang didn’t dare to continue speaking. When he got the order, he turned and left. He Lanze looked at Ye Yunlan’s pale complexion and sighed softly, “Senior Brother will not delay Junior Brother from resting. Your injury…”
Ye Yunlan: “It’s okay. Senior Brother doesn’t have to worry.”
He Lanze had no choice but to leave.
When Shen Shu came back, he heard the sound of qin from the bamboo building.
The qin’s sound was ethereal and distant, making one feel peaceful. But now that Shen Shu had gradually deepened his cultivation, he could slowly perceive that the qin’s sound was seemingly missing something.
He couldn’t tell what was missing.
He just felt that the sound of the qin was moving, but it was too lonely and cold.
Even with his company, this was still the case.
Shen Shu’s eyes were deep.
In fact, in recent days, Ye Yunlan had suddenly indulged him. It wasn’t that he didn’t notice it.
Probably after he exposed his filthy abilities, Ye Yunlan showed some tolerance for him instead of fearing and reprimanding him.
He thought of the previous Daoist that his master once mentioned. According to the description, that guy seemed to be a demonic cultivator. Even if he wasn’t a demonic cultivator, it wasn’t far off. Did his master see something on his body identical to his predecessor? The similarities between his dao companion, that’s why…
When he thought of this possibility, Shen Shu couldn’t restrain his mood. The shadows swayed from left to right, very unhappy.
But after stepping into the bamboo building, Shen Shu changed his expression, and the shadows returned to normal.
He walked into the study, leaned against the wall, and listened to the song before smiling at Ye Yunlan, who was cross-legged before the piano case. “I haven’t listened to Master playing the qin for a long time. It still sounds so beautiful.”
Ye Yunlan caressed the qin with one hand. The sun outside the window caught his eyes and made his silhouette appear soft and illusory.
He said, “You just came back from the Internal Affairs Hall?”
Shen Shu nodded, “I got a big red sandalwood bed with very exquisite carpentry. I think Master will like it. I also coincidently met Deputy Sect Master Cheng when I got the bed. The Deputy Sect Master seemed a little unhappy and asked me why I needed a new bed for no reason.”
Ye Yunlan asked: “How did you answer? ”
Shen Shu: “I said I like to cultivate in bed and accidentally collapsed the bed. Deputy Sect Master Cheng expressed that he understood that very well, so he didn’t need to pursue the bed issue anymore.”
Ye Yunlan: “…Next time, don’t say misleading words.”
Shen Shu blinked: “There’s a next time?”
Ye Yunlan pursed his lips and turned his head to stop looking at him.
“Set up the bed, then go out and practice your swordsmanship. Cultivation is not a day’s work, especially in sword dao.”
“After nine days, follow me to the Law Enforcement Hall to participate in the trial.”
Law Enforcement Hall, in the water dungeon.
The water dungeon was built in the Law Enforcement Hall’s underground with biting cold water covering it.
It was dark. The only light was a narrow skylight at the very high point of the wall.
A chain hung down in the middle of the dungeon, locking a person with scattered clothes and hair. The water reached his jaw. Rong Ran’s cultivation base was sealed, and the cold air entered his limbs. He was in pain and thirsty, but he couldn’t lower his head to drink because the water prison was full of saltwater. It would only make him more thirsty as he drinks.
He could only stare at the door on the stairs in the distance, waiting for the person he wanted to see.
The Hehuan Gu was moving in his body. It felt even more heartbreaking because his spiritual energy supply was cut off. His only choice was to seize the last chance to plant the Hehuan Gu so that Ye Yunlan would fall in love with him completely and stand by his side to testify for him, giving him a chance to escape.
He didn’t know how long he waited, but the iron gate made a harsh sound.
A young law enforcement disciple walked in.
Rong Ran waited patiently for a while, but when the law enforcement disciple went down the stairs, there was no second person at the door.
Where is Ye Yunlan? Ye Yunlan!
He shook the chains frantically and made a violent clattering noise.
The salty water surged and splashed on his face. The ulcerated wound on one half of his face tingled, but Rong Ran had no intention of caring. He just yelled hoarsely: “I told you to call Ah Lan, where is Ah Lan?”
Xue Yutang: “Senior Brother Rong, this may be the last time I call you Senior Brother. I did go according to your request, but Senior Brother Ye didn’t want to come, so why should Senior Brother Rong force it? Not to mention the Law Enforcement Hall has its rules. Senior Brother Helan is very dissatisfied with your behavior. This is the last time I will see you. After nine days, the trial will begin. I hope you take care of yourself.”
Xue Yutang finished speaking and left.
The iron gate was closed again, and the water prison plunged into darkness.
Rong Ran was already going crazy with anger – he was a direct disciple of the Sect Master, who had always been aloof in the sect. His status was almost equal to that of He Lanze. Now, a small disciple of the Law Enforcement Hall dared to speak to him like this?
And Ye Yunlan…Why didn’t he want to see him? It was okay to blame him or hate him. It was okay to come and scold him to see his pitiful appearance, but why didn’t he come to see him? Their friendship had lasted for more than two decades. The memories of them getting along with each other, has the other party really forgotten them?
Rong Ran shook the chain and let out one unwilling roar after another, tears streaming from his beautiful eye sockets. He felt his heart beating sharply, and the Hehuan Gu was beating frantically. Suddenly, he felt nauseous, and a vermilion worm crawled out of his lips uncontrollably.
His pupils widened–this was the Child Gu of the Hehuan Gu. His heart’s blood was feeding it, so he should control it. Even without spiritual power, it would not take the initiative to crawl out of his body.
However, something that frightened him even more happened after.
The scarlet Gu worm fell from his mouth into the water, and without struggling, it melted away like blood and disappeared without a trace.
In his body, Mother Hehuan Gu felt Child Gu’s death and suddenly beat more frantically. Rong Ran only felt that his heart was hurting like being sawed by a knife, but what made him more pained was the unprovoked death of the Child Gu—how could it be!? How?!
It took him several years to cultivate the Hehuan Gu. He had suffered from the backlash of the Gu worms every day, but now it was gone?
He didn’t believe it!
Rong Ran began to think in agony.
His father gave him the refining method, and absolutely no problem was there.
And the materials, he had collected all the materials, were all flawless.
No, that wasn’t right.
Rong Ran suddenly widened his eyes.
The most important material for refining the Hehuan Gu. He participated in the Tianchi Mountain dao conference and wanted to pass the ranking. However, Shen Shu defeated him, and he missed the material—the only material that didn’t go into his hands directly. Chen Weiyuan himself sent the materials.
At that time, he was fortunate to meet a man with such good manners and demeanor, the young patriarch of the Chen Clan. Not only did he heal his injuries, but he also gave him such a precious thing. If he hadn’t already admired Ye Yunlan, he feared the man would really tempt him.
Rong Ran finally realized. His eyes were red.
“It’s you, Chen Weiyuan–!”
Chen Weiyuan, who was far away in Tianji Pavilion of the Northern Territory, didn’t hear his roar.
There was a water mirror beside him.
That water mirror had stood there many years ago. What Rong Ran saw and heard were reflected here. It was just that the water mirror disappeared the moment Hehuan Gu died in Rong Ran’s body.
Chen Weiyuan slowly took a sip from the wine glass at the table.
There was a faint blush on his face. He seemed to be slightly drowsy with his long hair loose. There was a lazy look on his face.
“The world isn’t benevolent, and everything is just cannon fodder. All things live on their own, and karma goes back and forth.” He shook his glass of wine, his eyes blurred, “People are always born by chance and greedy for what they get. But they don’t know that all the gifts of fate have a corresponding price to be paid.”
He stretched out his hand and pushed the chess piece on the chessboard on the table one more square.
On February 29th, the Law Enforcement Hall.
Many disciples gathered in the Law Enforcement Hall on this day.
The disciple that the dignified sect master personally took in had killed his fellow disciples because of a treasure. He even pushed the blame on another fellow disciple. It was a sensational scandal regardless of which sect this situation took place.
When Rong Ran was escorted out of the water cell with his whole body drenched. His face was paper-pale, and his hair was soggy and sticking to his body. He looked extremely haggard.
But no one felt sorry for him.
The disciple onlookers only hissed at him. The angry ones had already picked up stones on the ground, throwing them at Rong Ran.
Amidst the noise, the law enforcement disciples entered orderly. Ye Yunlan and Shen Shu also arrived. Law enforcement disciples greeted them, and they sat in the seats toward the back for the hearing.
The remaining disciples were stopped outside the hall. Although they could see the movement and hear the sounds inside, they could not interfere with the order of the Law Enforcement Hall.
Several serious law enforcement elders were in the Law Enforcement Hall while He Lanze stood in the high position holding the punishment sword in hand, presiding over this trial.
With his nod, the trial officially began.
The disciples who’d experienced the things together in Fuyou Palace came out in succession to testify.
The disciples who body-searched Rong Ran had already found the Huan Youling, and it was now placed on the high platform as physical evidence. As for “Dark Incense Sparse Shadow”, because it had recognized Rong Ran as its Master, Rong Ran would rather die than surrender this item. They couldn’t forcibly erase his soul imprint without trial, so Rong Ran was still wearing it.
After the disciples’ testimony ended, an elder stepped forward to check the Huan Youling, confirming its efficacy. He nodded to He Lanze.
He Lanze raised the punishment sword in his hand and pointed at Rong Ran.
“Junior Brother Rong, the evidence is undeniable, what else do you want to say?”
Rong Ran knelt on the ground. His body was constantly twitching because of the backlash of He Huan Gu, the Mother Gu. It was having incessant seizures.
Moreover, he couldn’t cover up his face’s distortion and haggardness even with the concealment of “Dark Incense Sparse Shadow.”
His voice seemed hoarse and extremely ugly because of his excessive roaring.
Rong Ran raised his head. Hatred distorted his face for who knows who: “I’m the Sect Master’s direct disciple. The Sect Master should judge me regardless of the mistakes I made. When could it be your turn… to interrogate me.”
“I want to meet the Sect Lord.”