The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 92

Chapter 92

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Since his Master mentioned teaching him the longsword technique, Fu Nineteen had been training tirelessly day and night for the past two months. Even when he woke up in the middle of the night, his mind was filled with swordsmanship techniques. He wished he could jump out of bed right away and practice in the courtyard before going back to sleep.

In late winter and early spring, the wooden sword he wielded had started to show some semblance of skill.

“I overheard that Master is planning to come down the mountain again around early spring and go to the capital.”

In the evening, while Fu Nineteen was practicing his swordsmanship in the courtyard, he heard his junior brother’s voice.

He put down the stone sword and wiped the sweat from his forehead.

Fu Nineteen said, “It’s almost spring. I need to learn the remaining sword techniques as soon as possible. I’ll practice them slowly later. Tomorrow, I have to get up early to collect herbs for Eldest Senior Brother…”

“I’ll go with you, Senior Brother.” Little Nian didn’t let Fu Nineteen finish his sentence and hurriedly offered.

“On such a cold day, why would you want to suffer with me? Enduring the cold, hunger, worrying about snakebites or encountering wild animals… I’d rather sleep more…” Fu Nineteen hadn’t finished speaking when he suddenly noticed the scars on his junior brother’s left wrist. They weren’t from martial arts practice, nor were they from being punished for poor handwriting. “What happened to your hand?”

“It’s nothing…”

Fu Nineteen didn’t wait for his junior brother to finish speaking; he immediately grabbed his left hand and rolled up his sleeve.

On the originally skinny and bony arm, there were contusions, knife wounds, and other unidentified injuries mixed together, with some still oozing pus.

“Who did this?” Fu Nineteen asked and picked up the stone sword from the ground, holding it tightly.

Ever since this junior brother joined, perhaps due to his congenital disability, he had received special attention from Master and Eldest Senior Brother. In particular, Eldest Senior Brother was exceptionally fond of this junior brother. When Eldest Senior Brother found out that Little Nian had stolen pattied from him, he not only didn’t scold him but also gave him more sweets and meats every day, encouraging him to eat more and grow taller.

Out of gratitude for the food, much of which ended up in his own belly, Fu Nineteen couldn’t just sit by and ignore his junior brother.

“If you don’t tell me, I’ll go ask right now!”

“No, no, no, please don’t,” Little Nian quickly intervened, “If you cause trouble again, Master will not only make you collect herbs every day but also clean the latrine. Remember last time when you fell into it… You spent half a day washing, and we wasted two jars of rose-scented lotion on you. Have you forgotten? I didn’t want to tell you because I was afraid you would stand up for me again.” After saying this, Little Nian couldn’t help but frown.

The incident from not too long ago was still vivid in his memory. Although he was deeply moved that Senior Brother had stood up for him, having to bathe his senior brother who had fallen into a pit filled with excrement… If he had to choose between the two, Little Nian would rather be bullied by his fellow disciples.

Fu Nineteen said, “Then I won’t act impulsively. You tell me who bullied you, and I’ll take note of it. In less than half a month, Master will come down from the mountain, and since Eldest Senior Brother has difficulty moving, he won’t be able to stop me. Whatever punishment Master gives me, I won’t do it.”

“Last time, you also said you wouldn’t act impulsively.”

Fu Nineteen:…

“Following Senior Brother in the early morning to collect herbs should be fine. I happened to receive some money from Eldest Senior Brother these days. Tomorrow, while we’re in town collecting herbs, we can eat some sweet treats and buy the medical book and storybook that Eldest Senior Brother mentioned he wanted.”

Medical book and storybook.

Hearing this offer, Fu Nineteen couldn’t help but be tempted, momentarily forgetting about seeking revenge for his junior brother.

Fu Nineteen was about to agree when suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his back.

Startled by the sudden blow, Fu Nineteen gritted his teeth and shouted, “Who is it? Are you blind?”

After shouting, he turned around.

In the darkness, he saw a tall figure of a man, holding a sword with solemn expression.

“Master.” In an instant, his arrogance dissipated, and he knelt on the ground with a loud “thump.” While on his knees, Fu Nineteen glanced at his junior brother who had also been struck but remained silent, struggling to get up from the ground.

“You’re quite strong, huh? You think Ah Di’s leg condition makes it impossible for him to discipline you?” The man’s voice was cold and indifferent. After speaking, he glanced at Little Nian, who was still on the ground. “What is the first rule of the Distant Moon Sect? You haven’t been here long, so you shouldn’t have forgotten it.”

Little Nian gritted his teeth, massaging his shoulder, and whispered, “Among sect siblings, we should be polite and respectful but not overly familiar. We are not allowed to form cliques privately, protect each other, or hide anything from Master. Before going on missions, we should not possess private wealth…”

After saying this, he saw his Master extending his hand.

Without saying a word, Little Nian obediently handed over the silk purse from his body.

“Ah Di has treated you so well. I hope you remember the sect rules,” the man said, shaking the purse and tucking it into his sleeve. Then, he shifted his gaze back to Fu Nineteen. “Weren’t you acting quite arrogantly just now?”

Fu Nineteen:…

He could feel the anger in the man’s eyes, ready to reduce him to ashes at any moment.

Just as he was breaking out in a cold sweat, a gentle voice came from the inner courtyard, accompanied by the squeaking of a wheelchair. “Brother Fu? Did those little rascals cause trouble again?”

In an instant, Fu Nineteen felt the furious gaze above him subside.

“Those kids can’t cause any trouble. I’ll go back now.” The man’s voice softened considerably in an instant, and he chuckled before yelling at Fu Nineteen again, “Today is your last night of good sleep. Tomorrow, after collecting herbs, come to the study for your punishment.” After saying that, he lifted Little Nian, who was still on the ground. “Later, have Aunt Ya help you pack your things and move to the inner courtyard. No one will bully you there. Let’s go.”

The man then walked briskly toward the inner courtyard, carrying a sword in one hand and Little Nian in the other. “Ah Di, it’s cold at night. What are you doing out here…?”


“…Tell me to go push the wheelchair back. Why do it yourself?”


Watching the inner courtyard’s gate close, Fu Nineteen expressionlessly slammed his fist against a tree trunk.

Most of the time, he was pleased to receive his Master’s attention. But occasionally, like now, he resented this man.

The next morning, Fu Nineteen deliberately dawdled while strapping on his herb basket, sauntering out slowly.

After all, if he collected the herbs late, it would be his Master and Eldest Senior Brother who would be anxious, and he would be punished either way. So, he decided to be reckless.

As soon as he left the living quarters’ courtyard, he heard footsteps behind him, running softly.

The steps were light, clearly belonging to a child of about his own size.

He turned around and saw his junior brother, dragging his prosthetic limb, stumbling after him. “Little Nian?” Yesterday evening, Little Nian hadn’t stayed in the same room as them and should have moved to the inner courtyard where his Master and Eldest Senior Brother resided.

“Senior Brother Nineteen!” Little Nian’s voice was still hoarse, but there was a hint of excitement in it. After speaking, he handed a silk purse to Fu Nineteen. “Take this!”

“What?” Fu Nineteen accepted it and opened it, instantly dumbfounded.

This amount of silver… Even their family’s entire year’s harvest couldn’t compare to half of this.

Little Nian quickly explained, “Master didn’t take it all yesterday. Eldest Senior Brother secretly gave this back to me. I’m about to go out, and I won’t need this silver. So, take it, Senior Brother.”

Fu Nineteen asked, “Going out?”

Little Nian replied, “I overheard Master talking about it yesterday. This time, when he goes to the capital, he’s going to meet the Emperor in the palace, and he needs to bring a disciple along. He thinks older disciples might cause trouble, so he chose me since I don’t have a right leg and right hand, which limits my mobility.”

The latter part of Little Nian’s explanation extinguished the envy that had started to flare up within Fu Nineteen.

“All of that was what he told Eldest Senior Brother. He told me it’s because he likes me and sees potential in me, which is why he’s taking me to the capital,” Little Nian continued, lowering his head. “Even though Master is very kind to me, I… I don’t like him very much, and I don’t want to go.” He added, “I know I can’t let Master hear this, so I only told Senior Brother.”

Fu Nineteen hastily reassured him, “I definitely won’t tell anyone.”

Ever since his family was destroyed and he arrived at the Distant Moon Sect, he didn’t trust anyone, not even his Master, whom he held back from completely trusting. Naturally, he didn’t have any trust in his fellow sect members.

Little Nian was an exception.

After thinking for a while, Fu Nineteen asked, “I have a bad temper normally. Does Little Nian not like me, too?”

“No, I like Senior Brother the most,” Little Nian replied without hesitation. “Master is kind to me, but he’s also kind to the other sect members. Senior Brother is different. Senior Brother is only kind to me, so that’s why I like Senior Brother the most.”

Even though his words sounded childish, Fu Nineteen faintly understood the dependency in his junior brother’s tone.

Little Nian continued, “We’re probably leaving the day after tomorrow. These two days, assuming nothing unexpected happens, Master should be taking care of Eldest Senior Brother. Even if he wants to punish you, he won’t have the time to supervise you. And who knows when we’ll be back. I heard there are many interesting things in the capital. I’ll bring something back for Senior Brother when I return…”

On the way to collect herbs, he listened to his junior brother chatter away.

He seemed to understand why his Master didn’t allow them to form cliques, prohibited any private interactions, and even forbade secret gatherings.

With fellow sect members licking each other’s wounds and comforting each other, the sparse care their Master gave them didn’t seem as appealing.

“That’s right, I’ve made some progress in swordsmanship. It’s about time for me to take on missions.”

As the final move landed, Fu Nineteen heard Eldest Senior Brother’s approval from beside the wheelchair.

He sheathed his sword and respectfully clasped his fists. “Thank you for your guidance, Eldest Senior Brother.”

After bowing, he stood upright again.

It was early spring once more, and he had grown into a young gentleman. His facial features had fully developed, even more stunning than when he was younger. Even with a stern face, his eyes and eyebrows held a hint of a smile. If he didn’t draw his sword, one might think he was the offspring of some scholarly family. There was no sign of a rough martial artist, and one would never guess he made a living by taking lives.

“Next time when Little Twelve goes on a mission, you should go with him. We’ll set off the day after tomorrow to the Northern Frontier. The target of your covert mission, Little Twelve will explain it to you. You must listen carefully and learn. There will come a day when you have to go out on your own.” Eldest Senior Brother spoke in his usual calm manner. After finishing, he adjusted his wheelchair and began moving toward the inner courtyard, signaling for Fu Nineteen to follow.

Fu Nineteen knew that he was being asked to carry the medicines.

Over the years, he had gained some understanding of medical texts. Coupled with the occasional lessons Eldest Senior Brother gave him in the sect’s unique poison and medicinal techniques, he had noticed that not all the medicines Eldest Senior Brother frequently took were for treating his leg.

One particular medicine was exceptionally sinister. Records in books described it as having both pain-relieving and sedative effects, but prolonged usage could lead to memory confusion and even partial memory loss.

Although Eldest Senior Brother often suffered from leg pain, he never needed such a potent painkiller.

Carefully holding the medicines, Fu Nineteen entered the study and casually asked, “Eldest Senior Brother, may I ask you a question?”

After receiving permission, Fu Nineteen cautiously inquired, “What’s the story behind your legs? Over the years, I’ve read many medical texts, and I believe that to find a cure, one must understand the cause. I hope this question isn’t too offensive.”

He vaguely remembered that a long time ago, Little Nian had mentioned to him that he had overheard Eldest Senior Brother yelling at Master, accusing him of causing the leg problems.

“My legs? They can’t be cured. There were congenital factors involved, and Master has been my benefactor since childhood, raising me until my illness, and never abandoning me,” Eldest Senior Brother explained with a calm expression, showing no hesitation.

Fu Nineteen asked, “But weren’t you poisoned by someone?”

“What are you talking about, Little Nineteen?” Eldest Senior Brother asked, looking confused.

Fu Nineteen remained silent. His memory couldn’t be mistaken. Even if what Little Nian had told him was false, many years ago, he had read Eldest Senior Brother’s diary, and it clearly indicated that he had been poisoned.

“Didn’t you… fall in love with a woman before, and when your affection was unrequited, you…” 

“How is that possible? I have always been loyal to you, Brother Fu. No one is more important to me than him. How could I have unrequited love for a woman? Nineteen, are you feeling okay?” 

“I have a fever,” Fu Nineteen replied, touching his forehead to disguise his embarrassment.

After some casual conversation, Fu Nineteen found a clumsy excuse to leave Eldest Senior Brother.

On the day of their mission, Fu Nineteen was forced to travel with the Senior Brother who used to bully him every day when he first joined the sect.

Although he had grown significantly taller since his early days in the sect, his small frame still seemed fragile in front of his Senior Brother.

To avoid drawing attention on the road, they both changed into plain clothing.

Fu Nineteen looked at his moon-white robe and examined himself in the mirror.

With this appearance and his current features, no one would suspect his true profession.

“You’ve improved, Little Nineteen. Back in the day, you used to wash our clothes and fetch water for us every day, then hide in your blanket and cry. You’d even pretend to be deaf and mute when we asked you to add more charcoal to the stove, making it seem like we were bullying you.” 

Hearing the unfriendly tone, Fu Nineteen didn’t retort as he used to. Instead, he smiled faintly and replied, “It’s quite something that Senior Brother Twelve still remembers those old stories.”

“Later on, sharpen the blades, prepare food and water, and tomorrow, we’ll reach the Northern Frontier. Stick close to me then. If anything happens and you jeopardize the mission by screaming or acting out of fear, don’t blame me if I prioritize the mission over you. At most, I’ll bring your head back and bury it behind the sect,” 

Facing the contemptuous remarks, Fu Nineteen simply smiled and said, “I appreciate Senior Brother’s guidance.”

“There’s nothing to teach. Bringing a Junior Brother along on a mission is basically like bringing a servant to do chores. Over the years, the first-timers on missions with their Senior Brothers have died too many times… Oh, and by the way, if it’s your first time killing someone, and you make a fuss or mess up the plan because you’re scared, don’t blame me for resorting to necessary measures.”

Fu Nineteen remained silent after that.

They were all picked up, and some of them were indeed once prominent young masters whose families had fallen from grace. Despite their decline, their pride remained intact.

Fu Nineteen didn’t know about Senior Brother Twelve’s original family background, and he didn’t care. He just remained silent, willingly playing the role of a “servant.”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, it’s my fault, I slowed us down, causing Senior Brother Twelve…” When they returned to the sect, it was already autumn, and for the first time in a long while, their Master was present. Seeing Master and Eldest Senior Brother, Fu Nineteen couldn’t hold back anymore and burst into tears. “The journey was long, and I was incompetent. I could only bury Senior Brother on the spot… because Senior Brother mentioned before his death that he wanted his soul to return to the Distant Moon Sect, so I cut off his hand…” He couldn’t continue, as his sobs replaced his words.

Fu Nineteen placed the severed hand on the ground and wiped away his tears with his dirty sleeve.

The bloodstains on his body had already dried and hardened. He was naturally good-looking, and even when crying, he looked pitiable.

“The mission is complete. The merchant’s ears and heart are in the box…” After crying for a while, Fu Nineteen finally spoke in fragments.

The man who had been standing by the wheelchair with a stern face heard “the mission is complete,” and his tense expression softened slightly. “You did well. Come, let Master help you wash off the blood, have a good rest, and I’ll stew a duck for you. Little Twelve… he was a naturally talented child, a pity, but it’s not your fault.”

Hearing his Master’s unusually gentle consolation, Fu Nineteen managed to suppress his crying a bit.

As he sat in the bathtub, allowing his Master to clean the bloodstains from him, he held his breath.

The burn marks on his arm were quite visible, a result of when he had branded himself when he first joined the sect.

“From now on, my Zhu Er will become an outstanding young man who stands on his own. You can’t cry like this anymore when things go wrong, understand?” The man also noticed the marks on Fu Nineteen’s arm.

When he was a child, he had tender skin, but now his body was covered in bruises and scars.

After Fu Nineteen put on his inner clothes, he sat on the bed with his Master, who carefully applied medicine. “Seeing you return from a mission and knowing that you’re safe, Master is truly delighted. But seeing you injured like this, it hurts Master’s heart. When I picked you up back then, taught you swordsmanship, taught you how to read, I didn’t do anything wrong. Finally, there’s a response. In the future, my Zhu Er will become even more formidable…”

Zhu Er…

Hearing this long-forgotten nickname, Fu Nineteen hesitated for a moment.

This was his original name, mentioned only once when he first met his Master.

Even though he didn’t spend much time with his Master throughout the year, his Master always seemed to remember many small details, making him feel that he had always been on his Master’s mind.

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