The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 93

Chapter 93

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Fu Nineteen drew his long sword from the tree trunk and looked back at the village consumed by flames.

The plague that had struck over a decade ago had returned once more, and this time, the authorities seemed to have determined it was caused by a rat infestation. The officials ordered them to burn down all the infected villages, and as for those still suffering from the disease, they were to be swiftly put out of their misery.

The government naturally wouldn’t carry out the gruesome task of killing and burning, so they entrusted it to the Distant Moon Sect.

Even though more than a decade had passed, Fu Nineteen still remembered the day from his childhood when he had seen corpses all over the village, his parents dying right before him, the shock, and the panic.

“Senior Brother!”

As Fu Nineteen was lost in thought, he felt a figure leaping down beside him. The sound from the wooden limb was crisp, almost as if it would shatter.

“What’s wrong? Senior Brother, who usually never looks back after killing someone, is now staring at the scene of the crime.” 

“Nothing,” Fu Nineteen sheathed his sword.

His childhood memories had always cast a shadow on his psyche, and he had never spoken about them to anyone. Except for his Master, who had saved him, nobody in the sect knew where he had come from. Even his closest Twentieth Junior Brother had no idea. Most of his fellow disciples had speculated that he was a fallen young nobleman from a scholarly family, judging by his behavior and his fondness for books.

“The villages in the east have also been dealt with. There are no survivors. The poultry and livestock were buried in a pit, and the graves of the villagers were marked, making it easier for the officials to come and erect monuments later,” Twentieth Junior Brother said, adjusting his prosthetic limb, which had turned black from the smoke and flames.

Prosthetic limbs made of wood were prone to issues in a fiery environment.

“All right. Let’s clean our weapons and prepare to enter the city,” Fu Nineteen replied without noticing anything unusual about his junior’s prosthetic.

They both washed their bodies and weapons with the prepared medicinal soup before setting off together.

On the way, Fu Nineteen remembered that his Master had mentioned a palace assignment for Twentieth Junior Brother not too long ago.

The details were vague, and Master didn’t allow them to inquire further.

Today, as they were out, Fu Nineteen finally asked, “By the way, a few days ago, Master mentioned that he was sending you to the capital? Something about royal duties?”

“Yes,” Twentieth Junior Brother didn’t hide anything. “It seems to be for the Fifth Prince’s residence. His name is… Yi, something. According to Master, I’m supposed to join the Shadow Guards and monitor his movements, reporting to the Emperor when necessary. There might be a need to take action.” He quickly added, realizing something, “When I first joined the sect, Master took me to the palace, and I met him. Compared to strangers, I have an easier time getting close to him. Besides, it’s a thankless task, or they wouldn’t have assigned it to me.”

Fu Nineteen: “Does that mean we won’t be able to see each other often from now on—”

Before Fu Nineteen could finish his sentence, his junior, who had been standing fine just moments ago, suddenly collapsed, his right leg buckling, causing him to lose balance.

“Twentieth Junior Brother!” Fu Nineteen didn’t have time to say anything as he quickly grabbed the back of his junior’s collar, lifting him up. “Are you feeling unwell?”

“My prosthetic, my prosthetic broke…” Little Nian, though not in danger of falling thanks to Fu Nineteen’s grip, still felt choked. “Release me, Senior Brother, I’m fine as long as you let go.”

Fu Nineteen quickly crouched down.

Sure enough, the previously well-crafted wooden limb had been charred black and snapped in half.

Looking at the broken limb, Little Nian felt somewhat embarrassed but had no choice but to speak softly, “I can hop along, and once we get to the city, I can find a carpenter to fix it. It’s getting dark soon, and our horses were put down in the plague-ridden village…”

“I’ll carry you,” Fu Nineteen interrupted before his junior brother could finish his sentence.

Hearing this, Little Nian was momentarily stunned.

“Come up. Hopping will be slow and exhausting,” Fu Nineteen, noticing his junior brother’s hesitation, added, “Hurry up. Didn’t I carry you around often when we were kids? Come up.”

“My weight was lighter when I was a child—”

Fu Nineteen didn’t let him finish and forcefully pulled his left arm over his back.

The weight on his back was actually quite light, as he was missing one arm and one leg, and even though he had grown up, he still wasn’t heavy at all.

Seeing that his senior brother didn’t show any signs of disdain, Little Nian felt somewhat relieved and relaxed his body, lying on his senior brother’s back.

He remembered the last time he had been on his senior brother’s back; they were both children at the time. In the blink of an eye, his senior brother had grown close to adulthood, with only a slightly immature face.

He, on the other hand, still looked like a child, standing only half as tall as his senior brother.

“Little Nian, if you go to the capital like this, will we not see each other for a long time?” Fu Nineteen remained silent for a moment before speaking.

“Yeah,” Little Nian’s voice sounded muffled, as if he wasn’t happy about it either. “I don’t want to leave Senior Brother. And they say that the young lord there has a bad temper, even when he was a child… But I’ll try to write to Senior Brother as often as possible, hoping to complete the mission early and return to reunite with Senior Brother.”

Fu Nineteen said, “Make sure to leave your address with me. Whenever I have a chance, I’ll visit you.”

He and Little Nian had grown up together from a young age, supporting each other all the way. Their bond was as strong as that of real brothers. The emotions Little Nian provided filled the void in Fu Nineteen’s heart, replacing the emptiness of having no family and offering solace amid the numbness of his blood-stained hands.

Having witnessed his parents’ death and the deaths of many fellow disciples during assassinations, he couldn’t bear to think of such things happening to Little Nian.

“If you ever get mistreated or your life is in danger, don’t endure it. Tell me immediately. Don’t hesitate, even if it’s the Emperor himself. I’ll cut off his head first and report it later. Whether Master agrees or not, even if it’s against Master, I’ll do it. You mustn’t come to harm.”

Hearing this, Little Nian smiled briefly. “I won’t get into trouble. Ordinary people can’t kill me, at most, I’ll just have a hard time surviving. When you come to visit me in jail, remember to bring some sweet treats and snacks.”

“Trying to swindle me for food and drink,” Fu Nineteen teased with a glance.

Little Nian didn’t deny it, just laughed a few times.

The night breeze was not particularly gentle, and it stung their faces a bit.

As they entered the city, Fu Nineteen felt that his junior, who was on his back, had already fallen asleep.

He was now a full nineteen years old, looking forward to his future with boundless expectations. In fact, he had envied the close relationship between his Master and Eldest Senior Brother for a long time. Although their Master had a volatile temper, Eldest Senior Brother had always been gentle as water, never losing his temper.

After coming of age and gaining the freedom to come and go from the sect, he wanted to officially recognize Little Nian as his sworn brother. Once Little Nian came of age and left the sect, they would live together, just like Master and Senior Brother, sharing their lives.

After dealing with the plague, Fu Nineteen escorted Little Nian to the outskirts of the capital before returning to the sect to report.

Having just parted ways, Fu Nineteen was already thinking about how to find opportunities to secretly visit this poor guy who had become a Shadow Guard for a temperamental prince.

Upon returning to the sect, he asked the new Junior Brothers and junior sisters. They all said that their Master was in the sect, but the gates were tightly closed, and they were not allowed to come and go freely.

Fu Nineteen naturally wouldn’t pay attention to that prohibition.

Reporting on the mission was more important than anything else; that’s what his master had taught him.

He crossed the gate to the inner courtyard and headed straight for the study.

After knocking on the door, there was no response. Fu Nineteen approached and noticed the sounds of a struggle and low growls coming from inside. He suddenly became alert.

Could it be… that his master had been ambushed?

With this thought in mind, Fu Nineteen urgently attempted to force the door open.

However, the door wasn’t locked at all. With a gentle push, it swung open.

The sounds seemed to be coming from underground.

Lifting a hidden door behind a wall painting, Fu Nineteen followed the noises step by step underground.

“Go ahead and kill me… Kill me…” The voice of his eldest senior brother was tearful, occasionally choked with sobs. “Why do you harm me like this?”

“Ah Di, how could I bear to harm you? Other than you, I have nothing left, no family, no master. I had no choice but to…”

Before the words were finished, there was another unsettling sound of water.

Fu Nineteen vaguely realized that his master was not the one being harmed.

Driven by curiosity, he continued to move forward step by step.

Seeing his eldest senior brother on the bed, trembling while crying, his legs limp, hanging over his master’s shoulder, covered in injuries, his fists weakly falling onto his master’s chest with curses in his mouth.

“Be good, drink the medicine, you won’t be sad anymore.”

“I won’t drink…” His eldest senior brother didn’t finish his sentence before a small-mouthed bottle was stuffed into his mouth.

Even though the bottle caused him to gag, some of the medicine was still forced down.

Fu Nineteen didn’t dare to watch any further and quietly left that place of conflict.

Once he was out of the inner courtyard, Fu Nineteen sat in a corner, pretending as if he hadn’t gone in, staring blankly at the ground, his thoughts in turmoil.

Master and senior brother, weren’t they as close as brothers?

Is this what it’s like between brothers?

In his anxiety, Fu Nineteen suddenly remembered the image of Little Nian.

Little Nian had always been resilient, even when crying as a child. But if he were to cry with a slight tremble due to being mistreated… Fu Nineteen didn’t dare to continue that thought. Suddenly, a bamboo ball came crashing down onto his head.

He reached back and grabbed the ball, then without a second thought, he threw it back at his junior brother’s head. “Does the ball not have eyes, and neither do you?”

Seeing his junior brother topple to the ground after being hit, Fu Nineteen finally relaxed and withdrew his gaze.

Not long after, he saw the gate of the inner courtyard open, and their master’s tall figure stood in the doorway.

“Nineteen, the ground is dirty. The clothes I just had made for you…” The man saw Fu Nineteen sitting on the ground and gently reminded him, “A few days ago when you went out, I received some satin from the capital. There are several pieces of moon-white and light aqua blue for you. Later, I’ll have the mute aunt bring them to you.”

“Thank you, Master,” Fu Nineteen got up. “The government mission has been completed, and they said the reward will be sent here. I dropped off Little Nian in the outskirts of the capital before returning.”

“Come in to speak.” 

Fu Nineteen followed his master into the room.

As he grew older, Fu Nineteen felt that his master’s attitude toward him had become increasingly gentle, whether it was a misconception or due to the influence of his eldest senior brother.

While reporting on the mission, Fu Nineteen noticed that his master had been furrowing his brows the whole time and drinking tea.

He didn’t ask too many questions. After finishing his report, he sat quietly.

After sitting for a while, Fu Nineteen noticed his master setting down the tea cup and realized that he had something to say.

“Nineteen, there’s something… I’m not sure whether I should tell you,” the man hesitated for a long time before finally speaking.

“Please, Master, go ahead,” Fu Nineteen quickly responded.

“In these coming days, you should spend more time with Mr. Zhang, our accountant. Learn how to keep the accounts and handle the internal affairs of the sect. For now, you won’t need to go on missions,” the man spoke with a heavy tone.

Fu Nineteen realized that his master’s unusual behavior was not something to be taken lightly and asked, “What’s going on?”

Since the day he was brought here, he had been told that one day he would have to kill to survive. As for reading, it was merely to teach him to recognize characters. The medical books he read were all bought secretly with money he took from Little Nian.

“In case one day your eldest senior brother leaves, you might have to take care of the affairs of the Distant Moon Sect.”

Eldest Senior brother… leaving?

In Fu Nineteen’s memory, his senior brother’s legs had long been immobile. He instantly realized that his master was implying that his senior brother might not have much time left.

“What do you mean?” Fu Nineteen panicked. “Even if Eldest Senior Brother’s health isn’t perfect, as long as you’re here, how can you talk about passing on the sect to me?”

The man didn’t respond immediately but sighed and rubbed his temples.

“Master, if you have any worries, please share them with your disciple. Don’t make any hasty decisions,” Fu Nineteen, seeing his master sigh, became even more anxious.

The scene of how this man had rescued him and raised him was still vivid in his mind. 

Back then, that man had been full of vigor, untouched by the world. Yet, within that ruthless and cold demeanor, there was a hint of tenderness that had made him his savior.

Now, that same man, who had saved him and raised him, was burdened by something to the point of contemplating death. How could he not stop him?


“As expected, I forgot that you never wanted to inherit the sect,” the man said. “After you come of age, you intend to leave the Distant Moon Sect and live independently with Little Twenty, right?”

Feeling that his thoughts had been exposed, Fu Nineteen hesitated for a moment.

How did his master know?

“I guessed correctly. Indeed, Zhu Er, like when you were young, you can’t hide things from me,” the man said with a bitter smile. “Over these years, most disciples eventually spread their wings and fly. I just didn’t expect this day to come so soon.”

“Master, I never intended to leave you,” Fu Nineteen quickly refuted. 

After that, he immediately changed to a kneeling position and devoutly placed his head at the man’s feet. “It’s thanks to you, Master, who found me and raised me, I’ve been able to survive to this day. Although I’ve grown up with Little Nian, my gratitude and admiration for you are greater than any brotherly bond. If you need me to stay in the sect, I’ll stay. I just hope that you won’t have any thoughts that can’t be resolved…”

Afterward, Fu Nineteen added, “I will do my best to heal Eldest Senior Brother’s leg, to try and prevent Master from feeling sad.”

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