The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 14

Chapter 14

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After leaving the crowd, Fu Nian quickly rushed in the direction of his room.

A reward of the death penalty wasn’t something Fu Nian wanted to get involved in.

Back in his room, Fu Nian hurriedly retrieved the Fuguang Blade from under the bed and fashioned a simple brace using clean gauze. Similar to how he used to hide concealed weapons, he secured it to his severed right arm and then pulled his sleeve back down.

It wouldn’t hinder his movements or combat, unless someone suddenly embraced him…

Thinking of this, Fu Nian took a quick glance at the mirror.

While his bone structure was good, the deep stitching scars on his flesh and the traces of dried blood, despite not being ugly, had nothing to do with being “affable.”

Lack of affability was just fine.

Glancing at the direction of the sun, Fu Nian grabbed some documents and headed towards the training ground.

Finding the guard instructor, Fu Nian explained his purpose and handed over the documents and waist token.

“You’re the one from a few days ago… You were appointed by His Majesty to enter the palace, but you refused, then on the night of the royal wedding, you not only abducted Xi Wangfei but also injured Xi Wang and all the guards in his residence. You attempted to elope with Xi Wangfei, but your escape was foiled, and you accidentally lost your limbs. They say you were even rewarded with prosthetics?” The guard instructor glanced at the documents and then at the young man standing before him, his face marred with wounds. He asked, skeptical, “Lian Nian?”

“Yes.” Fu Nian wasn’t quite sure how the information had reached the palace. “The rumors of injuring all the guards are false.”

“That’s still quite impressive. A few days ago, some young rascals were talking about this matter. I thought even novels wouldn’t dare write such things, is it true?”

“Yes.” Fu Nian replied somberly. “It’s all in the past now.”

“Let’s talk about idle gossip another day. You’re new to the palace, and there are many rules here that differ from the Wang Mansion. So, we’ve arranged for you to train with the new recruits for a period of time. The instructor for the new recruits is General Dou’s senior disciple, he’s also surnamed Dou. They’ll be back for dinner later, and after that, you’ll join them for night training.” The head instructor finished speaking and handed back the waist token.

Fu Nian: “Alright. Do I only need to bring the waist token? Do I need any other form of identification…”

“Just the waist token is enough. He’ll recognize you; he’s the one who introduced your deeds into the palace back then.”

Fu Nian: …

He only remembered that General Dou had been a loyal servant under Chu Zhaoyi from the beginning. Although he was a military officer, his knowledge and manners exuded an air of scholarly refinement.

He hadn’t expected his senior disciple to be such a good one too.

After having dinner, Fu Nian quickly found the group of new guards.

After standing in formation, Instructor Dou hadn’t arrived yet, and many people were whispering to each other.

“You’re new here. What’s your name, and where are you from?”

Fu Nian had originally been standing quietly at the end of the line, but he didn’t anticipate someone coming over to strike up a conversation. Upon closer inspection, he noticed it was a young boy who seemed a bit shorter than the others.

“I’m called Rendong, I’m from the Southern Seas—”

Before he could finish his sentence, Fu Nian saw the person in front of him get struck on the head by a stone thrown from not too far away.

The clear sound of impact made Fu Nian wince as if it were his own head.

“Rendong! If there’s a new recruit, you don’t have to wash our clothes tonight. Let the new guy do it! Go look for the reward-posted blade, and if you find it, give it to me.”

Rendong rubbed his sore head from the impact. “Understood.”

Fu Nian didn’t say a word; he stood still in his place.

He wasn’t the kind of person to intervene in matters of justice or morality, and given the numerous intrigues within the palace, Fu Nian had always remained a detached observer.

However, in the next moment, Fu Nian felt a brief pang of pain on his shoulder.

Fu Nian couldn’t help but frown.

“Hey, new guy, what’s your name? You’ll be doing laundry tonight!” The shouting was rather unpleasant to Fu Nian’s ears, so he pretended not to hear it.

He wasn’t the type to fly off the handle easily. Even in his previous life, when faced with impolite individuals, as long as it didn’t threaten his master, Fu Nian couldn’t be bothered to engage.

“Can’t you hear me?”

The guy’s yelling was really obnoxious, so Fu Nian finally lifted his head. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but you’ve got the wrong person. I don’t know how to do that.”

“You can’t even wash clothes? Don’t you have hands?”

Fu Nian glanced at the cocky teenager in front of him and slowly raised his right arm.

The dark prosthetic limb, crafted from stone, looked like a charred skeletal frame at first glance, giving it a blackened appearance. Coupled with Fu Nian’s fierce countenance, the boy who had just been boasting suddenly became considerably quieter.

“I indeed have no hands.” Fu Nian calmly regarded his prosthetic limb. After a moment, he looked at the strong arm of the youth in front of him, gingerly lifted the prosthetic, and carefully examined it. “Your hands are quite attractive, and they seem well-suited for doing laundry—”


Fu Nian hadn’t finished speaking when the person across from him interrupted, exclaiming with irritation. Immediately, the hand from the prosthetic was roughly pulled away.

Faced with inexplicable accusations, Fu Nian blinked. “I apologize; I only knew that you shouldn’t grab unwed girls, but I didn’t realize you were also—”

Before he could finish, Fu Nian heard the dull sound of a ruler striking someone.

The young man before him winced in pain, looking like he wanted to scream but dared not. He could only grimace and blink.

“Stand still! You haven’t improved in your martial arts for days, and you keep resorting to such underhanded tactics!” Finished speaking, the instructor wielded the ruler again, delivering another forceful strike.

Fu Nian looked up at the man holding the ruler, a man full of vigor and youthful exuberance, clad in lightweight armor that accentuated his physique. He exuded strength and vitality.

“Following the usual routine, start with a run and then review the blade techniques taught this morning a hundred times,” As he spoke, Fu Nian noticed the person in front of him holding a ruler shift their gaze. “Rendong, continue practicing your blade technique. And the newcomer, stay behind.”

“Sure.” Fu Nian responded in a calm tone.

After the formation had jogged away, Fu Nian contemplated whether or not he should proactively present his waist token.

Before he could decide, the person in front of him spoke first. “I’m Dou Shen. Today, I have the honor of meeting you. Are you the extraordinary individual who wounded Xi Wang and all the palace guards, attempted to elope with Xi Wangfei, and received both the favor of Ze Wang and the reward from His Majesty?”

Fu Nian:…

Seeing the curiosity sparkling in the other person’s eyes, Fu Nian was momentarily at a loss for words. “Yes, that’s me. However, the claim that I wounded all the guards in the palace is false. Subordinate Lian Nian greets the instructor.”

Having said that, Fu Nian decided to take the initiative and handed over his waist token.

Almost forgotten, this person was the one who brought him into the palace with his “illustrious deeds.”

Just as he put away his waist token, he heard Dou Shen speak again. “Since you were previously a guard in the Wang Residence, I’m sure your martial arts skill doesn’t need my guidance. Later, I’ll brief you on the basic rules within the palace.”

Fu Nian nodded to indicate his understanding.

Fu Nian had a thorough understanding of the palace’s rules from his previous life. Yet, he had never followed them for even a day. Nevertheless, it was still essential to listen now.

Apart from the training and rest schedules, bathing times, leave regulations, basic etiquette, and designated activity areas, there wasn’t much more to it.

Fu Nian assured Dou Shen that he had remembered everything.

“By the way, that child who threw the stone earlier, surnamed Jiang… I’m sorry to say, he was acting on behalf of Lord Jiang…”

“Being an official’s child, it’s not easy to discipline him. I understand.” Fu Nian intervened at the right moment, sparing the other person any embarrassment.

Just like in the previous life when he found fault with Xi Wang at every turn, but Chu Zhaoyi would not hit or reprimand his younger brother.

“Haha… My apologies, I will stand in for him to say that. During your next month here at Doumou Camp, you might find yourself needing to rely on the guards more.” Dou Shen finished speaking and offered a couple of apologetic smiles. “Also, did you happen to see the announcement today?”

“That notice offering a reward of fifty taels?” Fu Nian was quite impressed by that.

Thieves would be executed, but now… the stolen item was in his possession.

“Yes, a very valuable blade. It has the characters ‘Fuguang’ engraved on the back and is known as the Fuguang Blade. If you find it, just go to the Chengyuan Hall and request an audience with Li Gonggong. His Majesty has always been clear with rewards and punishments, so you needn’t worry about facing consequences. However, remember not to conceal it. If it’s discovered… you probably saw the scene where the Shadow Chief Guard Chu was publicly flogged earlier. He’s been with His Majesty for many years, and this time, he barely escaped death. For anyone else, they’d have been executed as a deterrent. Now, the eunuchs from the Chengyuan Hall have begun searching the residences of all palace maids, eunuchs, and guards. If they happen to reach your room, let them complete their search.”

Fu Nian calmly responded, “Understood.”

After replying, Fu Nian contemplated for a moment and continued, “However, I’d like to ask Instructor Dou to describe the specific features of the blade. I came across a similar-looking short knife a few days ago at the marketplace. It appeared to be made of gold and seemed to resemble something from the palace…”

“The issue with the Fuguang Blade is that it looks too ordinary. It might even be more plain than the common small blades. Most people who find it might mistake it for a disposable knife. That’s why the reward is so substantial. If it looked more luxurious, the holder would be executed right away. It’s said to be an item left behind by an important figure close to His Majesty. As for the details of past events, I’ve only heard bits and pieces, and I can’t explain it clearly.”

It was confirmed that it was the Fuguang Blade.

Fu Nian wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it.

To outsiders, Chu Zhaoyi appeared to have a deep and affectionate relationship, reflecting a devotion to a loyal minister. But the specifics were known best by Fu Nian alone.

Fu Nian exchanged a few more words with Dou Shen.

Most of the questions were about his legendary tale of eloping with Xi Wangfei. Fu Nian casually made up a few lines to respond, then he saw Dou Shen, looking spirited, continuing to practice the blade technique.

Fu Nian didn’t remain idle either. The new prosthetic limb wasn’t a perfect fit, and there were many aspects that needed adjustment. Especially the grip strength and throwing accuracy.

Before the target, he practiced the accuracy of various throwing knife techniques over and over again, as well as his control over the new prosthetic.

To achieve perfect integration with his body, there was still some way to go.

It wasn’t until the training ground was empty and the night watchman arrived that Fu Nian left the training ground and returned to his lodging.

Fu Nian remembered that the living quarters of the guards would usually be lively deep into the night, especially for the younger guards who were full of energy. Despite the prohibition on alcohol and certain restricted items, some people always managed to sneak them into the palace through various means.

But today, it was unusually quiet.

Fu Nian recalled what the instructor had mentioned earlier – that there would be searches conducted. He quickly abandoned the idea of leaving through the main entrance, sneaking out through a side door, hoping to return unnoticed.

However, as soon as he entered the outer courtyard, Fu Nian heard a shrill voice coming from the inner chambers of the living quarters, “His Majesty has ordered that besides searching the rooms, a thorough body search must also be conducted. In order to prevent framing or collusion, the eunuchs will conduct the body search for the guards, and the palace maids and matrons in the kitchen will be searched by the aunts in the north room.”

Another body search?

Upon hearing this, Fu Nian withdrew his foot that was about to cross the threshold.

Maybe it’s better to avoid the situation for now.

However, just as he was about to retreat stealthily, he caught sight of a few guards carrying swords not far away.

… It seems like they’re serious about finding this blade.

Since Chu Zhaoyi was so fond of this blade, Fu Nian couldn’t help but wonder why he had given it away in the first place.

Leaving wasn’t a viable option; he would definitely be investigated. The guards with their swords were present, and there might even be shadow guards on the rooftops or other corners. If he tried to escape over the rooftop and ran into them… then entering to undergo a body search…

Taking advantage of the cover of darkness, Fu Nian quickly surveyed the surroundings of the outer courtyard.

There was a toilet and a bathhouse, as well as a water well.

Hiding in the water well was probably the first option Fu Nian ruled out; his prosthetic limb hadn’t fully adjusted yet, and if he slipped and fell into the water, there would definitely be noise.

The toilet…

Fu Nian thought it over and decided to sneak into the bathhouse, crouching low.

By now, the bathhouse was empty. Fu Nian tiptoed behind the large water tank and carefully crouched down.

The bathhouse was semi-open, with a narrow gap to the open sky. While not very large, it was enough for someone to squeeze through. Fu Nian calculated that even if someone entered through the main entrance of the bathhouse, he could escape from there into the night sky.

Separated by the wooden panels, Fu Nian listened to the sounds outside.

Why is the search taking so long…

As he listened, Fu Nian suddenly heard a commotion from outside.

Listening carefully, it sounded like the sound of people bowing, followed by a brief disturbance, and then silence.

Just as Fu Nian was starting to think it might be safe to come out, he heard the sound of footsteps that were both sharp and familiar, shaking the wooden boards.

“You claimed to have encountered a ghost, and then said an unfamiliar guard stole it. Now that I’ve put you down, let’s see you identify who stole it.”

Hearing this familiar voice, Fu Nian’s hair stood on end.

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