The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 89

Chapter 89

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Fu Nian immediately realized that this was likely his senior brother’s childhood perspective, replaying past experiences.

He remained quiet within the body, waiting for what would happen next.

“It’s not just about not offering tributes and incense. Some families, when building their houses, even stole a few bricks from the temple.”

“Let’s pray this doesn’t spread to our village. Our village hasn’t done such wicked deeds…”

The voices of the villagers were noisy and chaotic, but he didn’t join in the commotion. He simply lowered his head and continued to watch the water’s surface silently.

The water was clear, and the moss on the rocks was visible to the naked eye. He bent down, using small hands to stir the water.

The creek’s coolness relieved the summer heat.

While playing with the water, suddenly, there came an urgent call from behind.

“Zhu Er, I told you not to play in the water. Last time, you fell in, and it was so dangerous. Your dad is coming back today; don’t stay outside.”

The voice was full of worry but still gentle. After arriving, she didn’t scold him. She just said, “Dad is coming back?” Upon hearing this, he couldn’t help but feel delighted.

“Yeah, the letter said that things about his reinstatement have been settled.” As the woman spoke, she held his hand and walked toward their home, “This time he’s coming back to take the two of us away. When the time comes, I’ll send you to a private school. You have to study hard, grow up, and achieve something…”


He didn’t quite understand what his mother was saying and could only nod vaguely.

As the sky darkened, he followed his mother back to their dim thatched hut. By the light of the kitchen firewood, he watched his mother prepare dinner.

The mice beneath the stove could also smell the enticing aroma.

The last time they had meat was months ago, so upon catching the scent of meat, he couldn’t help but perk up his nose and take a few more sniffs.

“Smells so good.”

“Are you hungry? Today, I went to Wang’s place and exchanged some of the cloth used for your clothes last time for meat. I also exchanged for some other food. It should improve our meals for a while,” his mother said. She scooped out a small piece of greasy residue from the pot and broke off some hardened miscellaneous grain cakes, offering them to him. “Have this to fill your stomach for now.”

He took the bun, holding it in his hands, staring at it in a daze, not eating.

“Mother is not hungry, you can eat first,” his mother added.

Only then did Zhu Er dare to start nibbling on the bun, taking small bites.

Even though it was greasy and smelled delicious, the bun was still hard and crunchy.

“Mom, they said many people suddenly died in the neighboring village. What happened?”

“You’re still young; you don’t need to worry about this.” Hearing this question, the previously kind-looking woman suddenly turned serious and gave him a stern look.

“I’m almost four years old! They said many people suddenly died for no reason, as if it was because they didn’t make offerings to the temple and incurred divine punishment.”

“Silly child, how could it be divine punishment? You’re still young; you’ll understand when you grow up. In any case, once your dad comes back, we’ll have a reunion meal, and tomorrow morning we’ll prepare to leave here.”

“So we’re leaving so soon?” Upon hearing this, he suddenly lost his appetite for the bun.

He hadn’t even had a chance to say goodbye to the sparrows he used to feed on the hillside…

The altar they buried by the creek during the New Year’s hadn’t been dug up yet.

Fortunately, the village children didn’t like to play with him, so he didn’t have to say goodbye to them.

After asking, he saw his mother silently continue cooking and didn’t inquire further.

At night, he yawned and laid on the kang, his head nodding up and down.

The dishes had gone cold, and his father still hadn’t returned.

In the deep of the night, while half asleep, he heard coughing outside and his mother talking to someone.

“Cough, cough, cough, cough, cough…”

“What’s wrong? Did you catch a chill on the way or were you exposed to the night air?”


“Zhu Er has already fallen asleep, and we haven’t had our reunion meal yet. Oh dear, why are you running a fever? Could it be the epidemic from the neighboring village…”

“Cough, cough, cough, cough… I’m afraid it will infect Zhu Er. Let’s go to the northern room first…”

Hearing his father’s voice, he tried to open his eyes.

However, he was too tired. Just as he opened his eyes, before he could climb down from the kang, he fell back onto the blanket.

He slept until dawn, even past the crowing of the roosters. When he finally opened his eyes, both his parents were gone.

He put on his shoes and went outside. There was no sign of his mother in the kitchen either. Usually at this hour, she would be up lighting the fire and preparing breakfast.

Zhu Er didn’t think much of it. He took a ladle and a small bucket, then walked to the creek to wash up, minding his steps so as not to fall into the turbulent water.

While he was washing, something seemed to block his view in the distance.

He raised his head and saw a woman.

She was completely black, covered in sores, with fresh pus and blood still oozing from her body. She only wore a loincloth, her hair disheveled, her eyes still moving, and her mouth gaping, as if she were begging for help.

“Mom—Mom—! Mom—” He had never seen such a scene before, and he was suddenly scared, his legs going weak. He dropped the ladle and bucket and ran back toward the house.

He hadn’t even made it back home when the acrid smell of burning reached him from nearby. 

Looking up, he saw wisps of black smoke rising from the direction of the village. 

It wasn’t cooking smoke… 

He stood frozen for a moment and then urgently shouted, “Fire! Fire!” 

Even though the houses were right next to each other, it was as if nobody could hear his cries; there was no sign of movement. 

He continued running toward his own home. 

Regardless, he had to wake his parents up. 

Breathless, he reached home and shouted, “Dad! Mom! Wake up! Something’s wrong!” 

But there was no response. 

He rushed into the kitchen and found that the food was exactly as it had been the day before, untouched on the stove. 

The main house was empty. 

Then he remembered that his father had said something about sleeping in the northern room last night. 

So, he stumbled his way towards the north room. He pushed open the door.

On the grass mat laid a pair of people, both completely black, with grotesque faces and gaping mouths, clearly struggling to breathe.

Their bodies emitted a foul stench, and many rats had gathered around, chattering and discussing something, as if they were deliberating how to dispose of these two massive pieces of food.

This scene was almost identical to the woman he had seen in the creek earlier.

Just yesterday, his mother had been perfectly fine…

He stared in disbelief at his parents lying there, his hands hanging stiffly by his sides, motionless.

“Zhu Er…”

Hearing his mother’s hoarse voice, he hurriedly tried to approach.

“Don’t come closer… Get away quickly,” the woman on the ground tried to shout hoarsely, her breath heavy with every word. “Zhu Er, run.”

After saying this, the woman’s hand fell weakly, and her labored breathing ceased. The rats that had gathered around scattered in an instant.

Both his parents were lying here, how could he possibly run? For a moment, he could do nothing but stand there in shock.


In this deadlock, he smelled the scent of burning flames behind him growing closer and closer, choking him, making him want to cough.

Suddenly, without warning, a frivolous voice sounded from behind him, accompanied by the metallic sound of sharpening blades, approaching step by step. “I didn’t expect to find someone alive here.”

Immediately after, there was the sound of flint striking.

He turned around and saw a tall man dressed in black, his face tightly concealed, casually tossing a firestarter toward his family’s thatched house.

In an instant, the house began to burn from the roof.

“What are you doing? You’re burning my house—” He hadn’t even finished shouting before the man picked him up.

As he was lifted off the ground, he finally noticed the long sword the man held in his hand, covered in a mixture of black and red pus. The smell of blood was nothing like the common scent of poultry.

It was the smell of human blood.

He froze for a moment, then screamed in fear, “Mom! Mom!”

“Do you still have parents? Are they dead?”

“What’s it to you?! Let me go! They’re still inside, you can’t touch them!” 

“Inside…?” The man, holding a sword in one hand and a small horn in the other, said calmly as he walked toward the north room. 

“Dad! Mom! Run! There is a bad person!” 

The man ignored his cries, used the sword to break down the door, and then looked at the lifeless man and woman on the floor. 

After a few seconds of assessing the situation, he spoke softly, “They’re dead. They can’t run or be saved anymore. No need to finish them off.” 

After speaking, the man turned to look at the approaching flames behind him. 

“Let me go! Dad! Mom!” He felt the man silently carrying him in the opposite direction and couldn’t help but scream. 

After yelling for a while, he was finally allowed to stand on his own feet, but he was still immobilized in place and couldn’t move. 

Before he could scream loudly, the man spoke first, “Kid, everyone in the village is dead.” 

The man looked into his clear eyes and said slowly. 

Everyone… everyone is dead… 

In other words, Dad and Mom are both dead. Everyone else in the village is dead. 

Upon hearing this, his mind went blank, and he even forgot to scream.

“I’m not a bad person, I’m just helping them end their suffering. Technically, not a single survivor should be left, but you look pretty, and it would be a shame to burn you here. I’ve decided to make an exception for you. Later, I’ll find a nice, clean place to kill you, and I’ll try not to make it too painful. But for now, you can live a little longer.”

“K-kill…” He was so scared that he couldn’t even speak.

Although he was young, he had a basic concept of death. He remembered when he was not even two years old, an old man from the southern village had died, and his family had cried for a long time.

How could someone talk about death so casually?

“Right. To prevent the spread of the epidemic, even if someone appears healthy for the time being, they have to be killed here. Especially your parents, who had already died from the disease before I arrived. I didn’t harm them,” the man explained in a friendly tone, “You also carry the disease, so you can’t be allowed to live. I’m just doing a job for money, sorry. The authorities ordered me to kill everyone in your village and burn it down to prevent the spread.”


He was shocked to hear that.

He remembered how the officials in the county had always treated them with indifference, even being rude when collecting taxes.

“I-I’m not sick,” he stammered in a panic.

But the man didn’t pay any attention to his protest and, once again, picked him up with one hand and started walking briskly in the direction of the village exit.

When they reached the town, he saw the man carrying him directly toward the direction of the government office.

It was then that he realized that his death was imminent and started to struggle. “Let me go! I’m not—”

But before he could finish his sentence, his mouth was covered.

“Stay quiet, and you can live a little longer. If you don’t, I’ll kill you right now.”

He remained motionless, his eyes filled with fear.

“I make a living by killing people for money,” the man said softly, lightly tracing a line on his neck with his finger. “Today, I’m in a rare good mood, so I’ll let you live a bit longer. If you don’t appreciate it, then so be it.”

As he scolded him, suddenly, a sharp-eyed peddler on the street noticed them.

“Sir, your son is so handsome. With such a good-looking son, how could you bear to scold him? Buy him a toy to comfort him,” the peddler said.

The man then stood up, his eyes filled with a smile. “This is my youngest brother. Indeed, he’s loved by everyone.”

“Oh, I see, your youngest brother… My apologies, my apologies,” the peddler laughed.

The man didn’t mind, taking the toy drum from the peddler’s hand and paying for it.

He watched in astonishment as this person, who had just threatened him with harsh words, instantly changed his demeanor to be polite and courteous to others, leaving him speechless.

As he was staring blankly, a toy drum suddenly appeared in front of him.

He hesitated for a moment and didn’t dare to reach out and take it.

“Go on, take it. I’m an adult, I don’t play with these things. You kids like them, right?”

Only then did he reach out and take it.

The toy drum was very exquisite. His childhood toys were always old and tattered, and he had never seen such a brand new toy before.

“Don’t make a fuss now, okay? If you don’t cause trouble, we can leave.”

He didn’t say anything, just played with the new toy drum in his hand.

Despite the fact that this man was going to kill him later, he was now giving him a new toy.

His fear of death seemed to have diminished slightly.

As they approached the government office, he was still playing with the toy drum in his hand.

It wasn’t until the man told him to be quiet that he obediently stopped.

Before long, a man in light armor with a sneaky look came running out from behind the closed door. “Master Fu.”

“Money,” the man said, extending his hand, which still had traces of blood on it, with disdain.

So, his surname was Fu.

Being addressed as “Master” at such a young age indicated that he was indeed a formidable figure.

He looked up at the man who had threatened to kill him earlier.

“Here, Master Fu, take it.” The man with the sneaky look smiled and bent over to hand over a bag of money.

The man shook the bag of money, and his previously concealed brows furrowed. “Why isn’t it enough?”

“Well… the master said it’s a deduction for taxes, a deduction for the time you wasted on the road, and a deduction for not being discreet in your actions—”

The man didn’t let him finish; he simply threw the money bag in the man’s face.

“Master Fu, you—”

“If I had known that the officials were this despicable, I would have let the epidemic spread and let your master taste the bitter experience of losing his whole family, with their official hats falling to the ground.”

“But you’ve already finished the job. If you want to blame someone, blame Master Fu for being too efficient—”

“There’s one more,” the man said, raising the child holding a drum in his hand, “Recognize this face? I brought a living soul from the plague-ridden village. If you don’t pay up enough, I’ll release this child. He spent the whole day running in the market. How many people do you think will contract the disease and die?” After speaking, the man sneered twice, sending shivers down one’s spine. 

Zhu Er, holding the drum, dared not make a sound, and with wide eyes, looked at the two adults in front of him, trying hard to hold back tears and snot. 

Suddenly, his throat was irritated by the mucus, and he couldn’t help but start coughing. 

“It’s only been a few hours. When I found him, he wasn’t sick yet,” the man said slowly, looking at him with pity and then at the drum in his hand. “Go and report to your master, and tell him to pay up within half an hour. Otherwise, this child will appear in your yard later, playing with your young master and miss.”

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