The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 80

Chapter 80

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Hearing this answer, Fu Nian’s trembling hand, which had rested on his senior brother’s robe, shook for a moment and slowly withdrew, forming a tight fist.

In this life, he had searched tirelessly for this benefactor, observed Ze Wang, stolen information from the library, and even once mistakenly considered his enemy as the benefactor… only to discover that the person he had been searching for was right beside him all along.

“Have you been searching for the person who bore the gu for you all this time?” Fu Nineteen noticed the change in Fu Nian’s gaze when it left his clothing and became more intense and eager.

“Yes.” Fu Nian made no effort to conceal it.

“Remembering this…” After pondering for a while, Fu Nineteen finally retrieved this memory from the fragments.

Back then, he had threatened Chu Zhaoyi, who had planted the gu, making him a hostage with the gu’s life essence in his hands. According to his original plan, when Fu Nian died, the person bearing the gu for him would also die. However, if the gu’s bearer died first, there was still hope for Fu Nian. Based on the side effects of the Life-Link Gu, the unfortunate person bearing the gu for Fu Nian would likely die before him.

But now, it appeared that the emperor’s position and authority had remained unchanged.

“What do you remember, senior brother?” Fu Nian asked anxiously.

“Nothing.” Fu Nineteen lowered his gaze and glanced at Fu Nian’s luxurious clothing, which was clearly not suitable for someone with the status of a Shadow Guard, unless the Emperor held him in exceptionally high regard. With that thought, the softness in his eyes suddenly sharpened, lingering on Fu Nian’s conspicuous attire.

“By the way, they said that during the time I was half-alive and half-dead, Master often impersonated me to enter and leave the palace. Is that true?”

“It’s true,” Fu Nian replied with a trace of disgust. If it weren’t for that old coot impersonating him, he wouldn’t have been so easily deceived.

Fu Nineteen remained silent, his gaze still fixed on Fu Nian, dark and contemplative.

Fu Nian still carried the blade called “Fuguang Blade” on his person, which had been given to him by the fox-like Chu surnamed individual.

“By the way, senior brother—”

“Tomorrow, they will continue questioning me about some things. I want to get some rest.”

The two of them spoke almost simultaneously.

Fu Nian withdrew his gaze first.

Fu Nineteen replied, “Many memories take time to recall. I’m sorry, Little Nian.”

“It’s alright. Senior brother stabbed me with that sword back then to protect our sect; senior brother did nothing wrong. It’s late now, senior brother should rest well.”

With that, Fu Nian added a few more instructions before leaving the room. He walked out of the Ministry of Punishments alongside the prison guards.

Seeing Fu Nian depart, Fu Nineteen fished out the pouch that Fu Nian had secretly placed in his sleeve earlier. It contained some silver coins and a small bottle of medicinal ointment.

Fu Nineteen shifted the weight of the pouch in his hand and wore an unpleasant expression. He muttered to himself, “Fu Nineteen, you’ve become foolish enough to make bridal attire for others and even count money for them. Truly, you’ve become utterly foolish.”

Upon reaching the entrance of the Ministry of Punishments, Fu Nian halted his steps.

“Why aren’t you leaving, my lord?”

“May I ask which official will be interrogating Fu Nineteen tomorrow?” Fu Nian inquired.

“We’re not sure of the specifics, my lord, but we know that officials from the Ministry of Punishments will come to question him in person. Rest assured, they are unlikely to employ torture; it will just be a simple interrogation.”

Fu Nian didn’t press for more details.

Just now, looking at the blood on Fu Nineteen’s body, not using torture devices must be a joke.

Seeing that he couldn’t extract further information, Fu Nian fell into thought for a moment and then spoke, “In that case, please take good care of him, at least when it comes to his meals and medications. I don’t intend to trouble you, but I would appreciate some generosity.”

The prison guard initially had a troubled expression but, after receiving the weighty money pouch, quickly changed to a smiling countenance. “Of course, of course, it’s the least I can do to serve such a distinguished lord.”

Fu Nian didn’t smile and took his leave from the Ministry of Punishments with large strides.

On his way back, Fu Nian continued to digest the shocking revelation. How could it be Chu Zhaoyi?

Fu Nian couldn’t comprehend it. 

In his previous life, he had always thought that his devotion had been one-sided, and Chu Zhaoyi had merely bestowed upon him his loyalty and affection as a reward. His final plea for him to stay was because he couldn’t find a more loyal and suitable dog than him, nothing more.

In his rebirth, although Fu Nian had reassessed his own position somewhat, it was still just a slight adjustment. 

At most, he had transitioned from being a one-sidedly loyal and humble dog to a faithful dog cherished and trusted by his master. It was still far from reaching the point where Chu Zhaoyi would willingly accompany him to their deaths.

As he arrived at Chengyuan Hall, Fu Nian changed out of the elaborate attire in a side chamber and headed towards the sleeping palace.

Inside the room, the incense burner was burning brightly, and Chu Zhaoyi was still reading books at the desk. Occasionally, he would pick up a brush and write something on paper, coughing from time to time. He was dressed only in a single-layer garment.

Although the underfloor heating system was warm, wearing only one layer of clothing was still insufficient.

Fu Nian silently fetched the neatly ironed outer robe and quietly approached Chu Zhaoyi from behind.

The moment he draped the outer robe over Chu Zhaoyi’s shoulders, Fu Nian felt Chu Zhaoyi’s brief pause. Then, Chu Zhaoyi turned around with an incredulous look, seemingly astonished by this action.

“It’s cold,” Fu Nian said calmly.

Clearly, this kind of action had been something Chu Zhaoyi had grown accustomed to enjoying in his previous life. He would have criticized Fu Nian for only realizing it was cold so late.

Chu Zhaoyi pulled the outer robe around him and looked at Fu Nian, nodding with a puzzled expression. “Thank you.”

Fu Nian wanted to ask Chu Zhaoyi about the matter of the life-link gu, whether it was true or not. However, before he could find the right words, Chu Zhaoyi had already turned away, continuing to write on the paper.

He didn’t disturb Chu Zhaoyi’s reading and quietly walked over to the dragon bed. He used a hot water bottle to warm the bedding for a while before making the bed.

Normally, these bedtime preparations would have been handled by eunuchs. However, Fu Nian was exceptionally light-handed and silent in his actions, which was why Chu Zhaoyi preferred to call him to take care of these tasks more often.

After preparing the bed, Fu Nian waited for a while and then heard footsteps approaching.

“Why so attentive today?”

As Fu Nian helped Chu Zhaoyi remove his boots, he received a questioning look.

Indeed, in the past, even when Fu Nian was forced to stay overnight in the sleeping palace, he would pretend to be asleep as soon as possible to avoid too much interaction before sleep.

“I have something I’d like to ask you,” Fu Nian said quietly after feeding Chu Zhaoyi the calming soup.

“Mmm,” Chu Zhaoyi didn’t find it surprising and gestured for him to continue.

“According to Senior Brother… No, according to Fu Nineteen—”

“No need to speak for him.” Chu Zhaoyi interrupted when he heard that name. He turned around and covered himself with the blanket, facing away from Fu Nian, remaining silent.

Fu Nian hurriedly continued, “He said that it was you who planted the life-link gu for your subordinate.”

After saying this, he noticed Chu Zhaoyi’s pause in covering himself.

Without a word, Chu Zhaoyi continued to maintain his position, facing away from Fu Nian.

Unable to see his facial expression, Fu Nian continued hesitantly, “Is it true? Did you plant the life-link gu for your subordinate?”


A deathly silence.

“What? I didn’t catch that,” Chu Zhaoyi asked without turning around.

“The life-link heart-connecting gu. The ‘high-level sorcerer’ you mentioned before should be Fu Nineteen. And the one who planted this subordinate’s life-link gu is you.” Fu Nian thought Chu Zhaoyi might not have heard clearly, so he raised his voice slightly.

“…,” Chu Zhaoyi didn’t reply.

“Your Majesty?” Seeing Chu Zhaoyi’s lack of response, Fu Nian’s tone couldn’t help but sound anxious. “Is it really you? I won’t hide it from you; I’ve been searching for this benefactor who planted the gu for me. In this life, I was able to return because I promised in front of the Yama that I would find the benefactor who planted the gu, in order to repay the favor of sharing my life and to atone for the sins of killing innocent spirits.”

You could hear a pin drop.

It wasn’t clear how much time had passed before Fu Nian finally heard a sigh.

“Mm,” there was a low hum in response, without any additional words, just silent affirmation.

It was really Chu Zhaoyi…

Fu Nian moved his lips, trying to say something.

All the words were stuck in his throat, fighting to come out, but in the end, not a single one escaped.

For years, Chu Zhaoyi had undoubtedly endured immense pain, frequently suffering from the torment of the gu. Especially when he had died with the mother gu inside him, even with timely rescue, it would have severely affected the host of the child gu.

But he had never heard Chu Zhaoyi complain or vent his frustrations. Whenever he had asked, there was always a simple “a relapse of an old ailment, nothing serious.”

After being anxious for a while, Fu Nian finally trembled as he asked, “Then… why didn’t you say anything before?”

Fu Nian had experienced the excruciating pain of the gu. Even though he had been trained in martial arts since childhood and had an assassin’s background, he couldn’t withstand the intense pain of the gu.

How had Chu Zhaoyi endured it for so many years?

“What I mean is, even if you were cautious and didn’t tell others, why didn’t you tell me?” 

“Because when I asked you who poisoned you, you refused to tell me, didn’t you?” Chu Zhaoyi sat up from his bed and stared straight at Fu Nian.

“That’s because… it was a personal grudge from my previous martial sect, and my own affairs should be resolved by me, not burdening you with them or seeking revenge. It would only waste your time and potentially make you dislike me,” Fu Nian stood at the edge of the bed awkwardly, avoiding eye contact with Chu Zhaoyi. “If I had told you, you would surely have intervened…”

Before being poisoned, because of various past events, there had already been some animosity between them. However, Fu Nian had maintained his usual obedient demeanor, and on the surface, they never argued.

After hearing Fu Nian’s explanation, Chu Zhaoyi remained silent for a while, then sat up from the bed and looked directly into Fu Nian’s eyes. “Trust should be mutual. You didn’t tell me about the source of this poison, and you said it was your own matter, something you could handle yourself. Perhaps you didn’t want to worry me, but what I felt was… you found me meddlesome and annoying, which is why you didn’t want to tell me.”

“….” Fu Nian never expected that Chu Zhaoyi would interpret things this way.

Fu Nian recalled a long time ago when Chu Zhaoyi had complained, either intentionally or unintentionally, about why he only reported good news and never troubled others with his problems.

…Yes, Fu Nian remembered that when he was a child, whenever he fell during martial arts practice and dared to complain about pain, he would be met with a whip. The only way to earn affection was to endure the pain and remain silent to please his master.

He wanted to reach out and hug Chu Zhaoyi, but halfway there, he lost the courage to touch him.

“But the gu is painful, and during the times when the poison flares up, you endured it alone…” After a long silence, Fu Nian’s voice sounded a bit hoarse, and he stumbled halfway through his sentence, unable to continue.

“When you were here, it never flared up, but I could feel the presence and activity of the gu. After you left, every time it flared up, although it was painful, the more intense the pain, the more it felt like… as if you were still here, still living in the palace, and tormenting me. In reality, the pain from the flare-ups is quite enjoyable; at least it briefly relieves the pain of longing.”

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