The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 90

Chapter 90

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“Come on, let’s find a place to rest for now,” the man didn’t give the servant time to respond, pulling him along as they walked briskly toward the street outside the government office. As they walked, he shouted at the servant behind him, “The usual place! I advise you not to delay in payment; otherwise, I can’t guarantee the consequences!”

Holding the toy drum in his hand, he obediently followed the man.

They ended up at an inn.

After being taken to a room, he sat obediently in the corner without moving.

Before long, a waiter brought in some food and wine. Only then did he hear the man speak again.

“Hey, kid, this is for you. Come over and eat.”

He doubted whether he had misheard.

Just a moment ago, this man had said he was going to kill him.

“Come over and eat. There’s no poison,” the man said impatiently when he didn’t move.

Only then did he cautiously walk to the table, climbing onto a stool with difficulty.

The table was filled with a variety of dishes, and the roasted chicken, in particular, emitted a tantalizing aroma. “Didn’t you say you were going to kill me?”

“Not yet. Even if I were to kill you, I wouldn’t let you starve to death. What if you came back to haunt me?”

“…” He didn’t say anything more and, gaining courage, leaned over the table, breaking off a chicken leg and taking a big bite.

The mixture of fat and savory meat was enough to alleviate his fear of death.

“What’s your name? So that we can burn some paper for you after you die.”

He put down the chicken leg in his hand, swallowed the food in his mouth, and said, “Zhu Er.”

“Your full name. What’s your last name?”

He thought for a moment and shook his head.

He vaguely remembered that his father had given him a name, three characters, both first and last name. But he couldn’t recognize those densely written characters, and his mother didn’t know how to read either, so she just called him “Zhu Er.”

“Surname… can’t read it. Anyway, it’s a very complicated character.”

Seeing the man fall into silence, he picked up the half-eaten chicken leg and took another big bite.

After a moment of silence, the man spoke again, “There’s a way. Call me your master, and I’ll give you a name that’s easy to write and remember. That way, when you die, we can still burn paper for you.”

Call, call him master?

In his understanding, a master was almost equivalent to a father. The neighbor’s Er Cao had taken a scholar as his master and had been taken out of the village, never returning, with very few letters sent back.

“Come on, don’t hesitate. After all, you’re an orphan, and it won’t go against your usual talk about virtue and morality or anything like that. I don’t want to see your ghost bothering me after you die.”

He was frightened at the thought that the man in front of him made a living by killing, but he still summoned up the courage to call him, “Master.”

“That’s right,” upon hearing the term “master,” a faint smile appeared in the eyes that had barely been visible. “From now on, you are now Fu Nineteen.”


This name was quite arbitrarily chosen.

But he didn’t dare to object, simply nodded obediently.

“Take it”

He looked up, and in front of him appeared an iron stamp with a totem engraved on it.

“Later, when the waiter brings a charcoal brazier, you’ll heat this iron stamp until it’s red-hot and then find a spot on your body to brand it,” the man explained. “Your senior brothers and sisters did it when they became adults, and I did it myself. But you’re in a hurry to be reincarnated, so you’ll have to do the ritual in advance. And since you’re a source of the epidemic, I won’t help you. You’ll have to do it yourself. Of course, you can refuse, but if you do, you might have to go to the afterlife…”

Fu Nineteen nodded, looking at the iron stamp in his hand.

Getting burnt by the iron could buy him a little more time to live, which was quite worthwhile.

Before long, a waiter brought a charcoal brazier, and he began heating the iron stamp by the window on his own.

He didn’t hesitate until the dark-colored iron turned slightly red. Then he gritted his teeth and pressed it firmly against the tender skin on the inside of his arm.

His skin was already naturally delicate, so when the iron touched it, a wisp of white smoke immediately rose from the snow-white skin, accompanied by the smell of burnt flesh.

He couldn’t help but grit his teeth and hastily dropped the branding iron. His small fists clenched tightly, and tears welled up in his eyes, but he dared not let them fall.

When he heard the sound of the branding iron hitting the ground, the man finally stood up from his chair, walked straight to the window, and grabbed the child’s arm. He looked at the scar on the pale skin with satisfaction.

The area where the iron had been applied was no longer emitting smoke, but instead, it was oozing blood mixed with necrotic flesh, dripping down.

He couldn’t cry, so he let the man pull his arm and admired his wound.

“You did well,” the man praised with delight. “However, judging from the color of your blood, it doesn’t seem like you’re infected. If your blood remains crimson for the next twelve hours… then I might consider not killing you.” As he said this, the man couldn’t help but raise the tone of his voice slightly and became more focused on examining the glaring red wound.

Consider… not killing him?

Fu Nineteen felt a glimmer of hope as if he had heard something incredible.

After staring at it for a while, the man let go of his arm.

The child’s skin was naturally smooth, but after being grabbed like this, two more blood-red marks appeared. He felt the man examining the marks on his wrist, quickly hiding his hand in his sleeve.

Then, he heard a faint chuckle from above.

He didn’t dare to raise his head.

“Alright, go and rest. I don’t need you for now. When it’s time to kill you, I’ll call you,” the man ordered again, seeing his fear.

Fu Nineteen returned to the corner once again, curling up his small body.

He had experienced too many shocks today. After eating and drinking his fill, he soon succumbed to drowsiness.

In a half-awake state, he vaguely heard the man opening the door once.

It seemed like he had argued with someone outside, but in the end, the person outside left in a subdued manner.

When he woke up, it was already daylight.

He opened his eyes and saw the man standing by the window, counting the silver and gold coins in front of him.

So much money…

The entire village might not pay as much in taxes in a year as this.

“Oh, you’re awake?”

Fu Nineteen was momentarily stunned.

“I’m not killing you, so don’t be so nervous. Those damn officials still haven’t settled the money,” the man said with a cheerful smile. “Let me see… Not bad, it’s been six hours already. If those b*stards delay their payment, you might just survive…”

He didn’t pay attention to the man’s mutterings.

He just hoped that these officials would take their time paying.

He anxiously waited from morning until night, his spirit alert.

When night fell, and the night watchman began banging the gong, he immediately perked up.

Stumbling over, he ran to the man and said, “I, I’ve made it past twelve hours.” After saying that, Fu Nineteen seemed to remember something and quickly pinched himself hard.

Instantly, fresh red blood slowly dripped from his fingertips. “My blood is still red, I haven’t been infected with the disease!”

The man turned his head to glance and offered a faint compliment, “Not bad.”

“So, you won’t kill me now, right?”

“Mm. I taught you yesterday, what should you call me?”

“Master,” Fu Nineteen hastily corrected himself.

After saying that, he finally breathed a sigh of relief.

He didn’t have to die.

As he basked in the joy of surviving, suddenly, there was a knocking at the door.

He saw the man get out of bed and leisurely open the door.

“Master Fu, the money is all here. Please count it.”

“You paid up early. Haven’t we had enough trouble recently? Even in business, you should maintain some basic honesty. Regardless of one’s status, there are certain principles in trade that must be followed,” the man counted the money while lazily speaking, “Finally, you got it right this time.”

“Since you’ve received the payment, can we take care of this child now? Or would you like us to take his head back with us?”

Hearing that someone wanted his head, Fu Nineteen quickly shrunk back into the corner.

The man didn’t rush to respond.

After leaving the servant hanging for quite a while, he finally spoke nonchalantly, “I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to kill him anymore.”

“Master Fu, are you joking? He’s the source of the epidemic. If we don’t kill him, everyone will suffer. Moreover, you promised earlier that once we paid in full, you would kill him on the spot or allow us to take care of him.”

The man remained unperturbed.

“I’ve taken him as my disciple. Not only will I not kill him, but if you lay a finger on him in the future, I’ll have to protect him. Don’t believe me? You can try.”

The servant delivering the message outside was getting anxious.

Without waiting for the man to speak, he was about to enter the room.

Fu Nineteen, seeing that the man was coming toward him, hastily stood up from the corner, preparing to hide under the bed.

However, he was still a young child, and his short legs couldn’t carry him fast enough.

Just as he was about to be caught, a cold flash suddenly crossed his vision.

He instinctively raised his hand to shield his eyes.

However, the strength of an adult’s hand did not come as expected.

There was only scorching hot blood, splattering all over his face and body.

The smell of blood was unpleasant, and Fu Nineteen was so scared that he only dared to open his eyes slightly after a while.

He saw the man holding a longsword with a fierce gaze.

On the sword, there was still the servant who had tried to grab him. The person hadn’t died yet, and their eyes flashed with unwillingness and confusion, as if they had something to say.

The man, still holding the sword with the servant hanging from it, glanced at them for a moment, then contemptuously threw the hanging person out of the door. “I’ll spare your life this time. You can crawl back to report to your master. Tell him to taste the flavor of betrayal and see if he likes it.”

After saying this, Fu Nineteen felt the man approaching him. He lifted the blood-stained sword with one hand, picked him up, and escaped from the inn through the window.

The blood on his face dried up as the wind blew.

He was still trembling from the recent events.

It turned out there were people who could kill without blinking an eye, treating taking a life as child’s play.

But strangely enough, this ruthless person had brought him out of the plague-ridden village, accepted him as a disciple, and protected his life.

Since that day, when he woke up without parents and a home, he had been in a canyon called the “Distant Moon Sect,” practicing martial arts and learning to read with his senior martial brothers and sisters.

His senior martial brother had problems with his legs, and most of the time, he was in a wheelchair.

Nearly two years had passed since then, and the master who had picked him up from the plague-ridden village rarely returned. Even when he did, he spent most of his time with his senior martial brother. Besides occasionally checking their martial arts progress, there was hardly any communication.

“Nineteen, please help us wash our clothes today. It’s so cold; our hands are almost frozen.”

“Nineteen, Master will be back tomorrow to inspect our memorization. Since you’re good at it, remind me…”


In the morning, Fu Nineteen, as usual, got up and was called and ordered around by his older senior martial brothers and sisters.

Fu Nineteen dressed himself indifferently. “If your hands freeze to death, just cut them off. If you can’t look for Master for punishment, what do you want from me?” he snapped back without hesitation.

From the moment he joined, he had been at the beck and call of others.

However, at first, he was physically weak and young, unable to resist. Gradually, as his martial talent shone through, he became more stubborn.

But even when he became more stubborn, none of his senior martial brothers and sisters liked him.

“Tsk, Master is coming back tomorrow anyway. We’ve counted how many fights you’ve started, and today, you can do better to earn our leniency…”

Fu Nineteen didn’t bother to listen to their nonsense and walked to the training ground on his own, silently picking up a wooden sword to practice the moves he had learned the day before.

He had heard that once you became an adult, fighting among fellow disciples was allowed. Even killing the other person was permissible.

Thinking of this, he clenched the small fists on his wooden sword and continued to swing it.

The next morning, he was awakened by the noise of his fellow disciples.

Curious, he went out and saw a tall, gentle-looking young man standing at the door, holding a very young child in his arms.

Even from a distance, Fu Nineteen could see that the child had no right arm and right leg, making him stand out among the others.

The child looked very timid and stayed close to the man.

Seeing the man’s figure, Fu Nineteen was reminded of the time when he himself had been brought back by the Master.

Curiosity got the better of him, and he followed his fellow disciples to take a closer look.

“This is your new junior martial brother, named Nian,” the man explained to the group of children. Then he called out to the man in the wheelchair, “A Di, go and fetch the old prosthetic leg for this child. He’ll need a new one in a couple of days.”

The “A Di” mentioned by the Master was their senior martial brother.

Fu Nineteen only knew that when their senior martial brother grew up, he changed the way he addressed the Master to that of sworn brother. Although they were sworn brothers, whenever the Master came back, he would stick to his senior martial brother. The two of them were even closer than real brothers.

But the good times didn’t last long. Before the morning training began, someone reported to the Master about all the things Fu Nineteen had done since joining the sect, such as getting into fights, sabotaging their fellow disciples by putting spiders in their water, and hiding stones in their food, among other “crimes.”

“It was them who bullied me first! They ordered me to help them wash clothes! They even made me wash their feet and polish their shoes!” Fu Nineteen was dragged by the ear from the front yard to the back yard.

“Even if they did these things, they didn’t leave any evidence. Only you left evidence, so naturally, you need to be reprimanded,” the man replied, still holding onto his ear.

“This isn’t fair!” Fu Nineteen protested.

The man ignored him and continued to pull on his ear. “If there were fairness, I wouldn’t be in the business of killing people to make a living. I teach you the art of killing and the way of survival, not to ask innocent questions like whether it’s fair or not.”

Fu Nineteen endured the throbbing pain in his ear.

Being ostracized by his fellow disciples was one thing, but now even his Master was siding with others to bully him.

The more he thought about it, the more aggrieved he felt. Clearly, he had always been passive, so why was he the one getting beaten?

As he endured the reprimand and the beating, Fu Nineteen couldn’t help but think back to his childhood.

Although his family was poor back then, and their living conditions were a hundred times worse than they were now, his mother was kind to him. Even when he made mistakes, she patiently explained things to him and taught him to treat others with respect.

He wished he had known back then; he should have died with his parents in that plague.

After the scolding and beating, Fu Nineteen worked in the kitchen, splitting firewood.

When his fellow disciples ordered him around, he dared to talk back or even pour hot oil on them. But when it was his Master who ordered him to work and shoulder the blame, he had no choice but to accept.

After finally cooking the meal, he could only watch as his fellow disciples sat around a table, with his Master and senior martial brother in the middle, chatting and laughing from time to time.

Fu Nineteen clenched his fists.

Just when he had no way to vent his frustration, he suddenly heard a low, hoarse voice from behind.


Fu Nineteen thought he had misheard and quickly turned around.

He saw a child of roughly the same height as him, with a skinny frame. Despite the severe winter, one of his legs was exposed.

Fu Nineteen wondered if the child was feeling cold, but upon closer inspection, he noticed that the right leg was a prosthetic. The sleeve of the right arm was also empty. With his left hand, the child held a plate and stood firmly in front of him.

“I just asked Master. He said it’s Senior Brother Nineteen who made the meal for everyone, so Senior Brother Nineteen should eat first.” 

Fu Nineteen hesitated for a moment.

The person who cooked should start eating first… It seemed like a long time ago, back at home, his mother had taught him that. So he always waited for the adults to start eating before he would eat.

But since coming here, he often had to do manual labor in the kitchen, and everyone had gotten used to it. They would even complain that he worked slowly and that the food he cooked wasn’t good, but no one had ever thought about leaving him a share of the meal, let alone letting him eat first.

“I was punished by Master. Master didn’t allow me to eat…” Fu Nineteen hadn’t finished speaking when the bread, soaked in soup, was stuffed into his mouth.

Only the left-handed child remained serious, watching Fu Nineteen eat. When he saw that Fu Nineteen had finished, he sighed in relief, placed the plate on the ground, and wolfed down another piece of bread along with the meat and vegetables.

Fu Nineteen felt a bit more courageous now and continued to eat the food that his new junior Brother had secretly provided him.

In the evening, the new junior Brother moved into the same room as them.

His bed was right next to Fu Nineteen’s.

Fu Nineteen saw him silently taking off his boots and, before even climbing onto the kang , someone issued an order.

“Little Nian, help us refill the oil in the oil lamp.”

Little Nian paused for a moment, neither obedient nor resistant. He just looked up at the person who had spoken, puzzled.

After a long while, he asked in confusion, “What’s an oil lamp?”

“It’s the lamp that gives off light,” came the impatient voice from across the room, tinged with a hint of mischief. “Go touch the wick and see if it needs more oil!”

Little Nian didn’t respond to the command. Instead, he put on his boots again and walked over to the flickering lamp.

He couldn’t understand the structure of the oil lamp, and with only one hand, he thought for a long time. Eventually, he obediently reached out to touch the flame, which immediately caused him to inhale sharply as he was burned.

Fu Nineteen, who was busy making the bed, heard the sharp intake of breath behind him. He quickly climbed down from the kang and pulled the new junior brother back.

“They told me to refill the oil lamp,” Little Nian’s voice was extremely monotonous. He allowed himself to be pulled without resistance and explained.

“Don’t pay attention to them. How could you touch the flame with your hand? If you use your smart little brain, you should know they’re just messing with you. Next time they order you, just pour the oil lamp on their faces.”

Little Nian: …

While lying on the kang, Fu Nineteen asked in a low voice, “In the first few days after joining, you would usually live with the Master. How come you started living with us as soon as you entered the sect?”

“Senior brother fell ill. It seems that Master came to see him, and he happened to pick me up along the way,” Little Nian’s voice was indifferent. After explaining, he added, “Thank you for speaking up for me just now Senior Brother. It’s the first time in many years that someone didn’t tell me to endure humiliation and hardship when I was being bullied…”

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