The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 96

Chapter 96

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“Why did Senior Brother summon me today?” Little Nian received a letter that said Senior Brother Nineteen wanted to meet him at the tavern. It had been a long time since they saw each other, so he came secretly to the appointment at night.

The late autumn night was cold, and besides them, there were only a few half-drunk patrons in the tavern.

The oil lamp on the table was dim, and Fu Nineteen took a look at his Junior Brother, who had been away for so long. His complexion had improved since he left the Distant Moon Sect, and his voice wasn’t as hoarse.

Before inviting his Junior Brother out, Fu Nineteen had investigated the Wang Residence.

His usually reserved Junior Brother, during their sword practice, kept his eyes fixed on a man in luxurious attire not far away. Presumably, that man was the owner of the Wang Residence. The joy in his eyes couldn’t be concealed, and he even made mistakes in the sword techniques. Finally, inexplicably, his Junior Brother started teaching the nobleman how to use a short sword, getting very close to him.

“Senior Brother?” Fu Nian called out to Fu Nineteen when he noticed his silence.

Fu Nineteen only snapped out of his thoughts then.

His hand was hidden under the table, quietly gripping the sword hilt.

After a long pause, Fu Nineteen finally spoke, “You concealed the mobilization of troops for that treacherous prince, deceiving the emperor, and implicating the entire Distant Moon Sect…”

“Since the last Double Ninth Festival when I returned to the sect, I’ve already severed my ties with the Fu family. My actions are my own responsibility, and there’s no shame brought upon the Distant Moon Sect…” Little Nian hadn’t finished speaking when he suddenly realized that Fu Nineteen was tightly gripping the sword hilt. He instantly understood what was happening. “Is it that man who sent you to take my life?”

After saying that, Little Nian lowered his gaze, continued speaking to himself, “It makes sense. He can’t tolerate anyone more important in his disciple’s heart than himself, so he sent you to test your loyalty. I suppose you’ve long replaced Eldest Senior Brother and are now working for that man. It’s only natural.”

“It’s still better than being a lapdog for someone surnamed Chu.”

After Fu Nineteen finished speaking, his hand remained on the hilt of his sword, ready to draw it at any moment. 

“Indeed, you’re right. I am, in fact, his dog.” 

Fu Nineteen: “….”

“Though I no longer consider him my master, my senior brother has always been good to me since childhood, and I…” 

He didn’t get a chance to finish his sentence as Fu Nineteen drew his sword and stood up. 

Almost simultaneously, Little Nian also stood up and pulled out a blade he had with him, ready to defend himself, but not actively initiating an attack. 

After dozens of exchanges, the two of them confronted each other in the alley outside the tavern, locked in a tense standoff. 

Fu Nineteen could feel his hand trembling.

All along the way, his Junior Brother’s moves were full of openings, and if he had the intention to strike, his Junior Brother would have fallen into a pool of blood long ago.

In a moment of hesitation, Fu Nineteen felt a cold touch on his hand.

Immediately after, he heard a faint, relaxed voice.

“Autumn is here, Senior Brother, remember to dress warmly. Suffering from frostbite again would be a hardship. Regarding the sect’s betrayal… there’s some unresolved conflict between me and the Fu family, and it could be said there were reasons behind my actions. I don’t expect Senior Brother to understand. I know that Senior Brother has to follow Master’s orders and I won’t make things difficult for Senior Brother. But for now, I haven’t fully assisted the prince yet—”

Fu Nineteen didn’t let his Junior Brother finish speaking.

He thrust his sword downward.

In an instant, blood sprayed from the heart, and the dim crimson blurred his vision. Besides the labored gasps his Junior Brother struggled to make, he couldn’t hear anything else.

“Senior Brother Nineteen, Senior Brother Nineteen, can you demonstrate the techniques Master was explaining earlier?”

Hearing the tender voice of his junior sister, Fu Nineteen was still lost in thought.

He remembered that he regretted his actions immediately after stabbing his Junior Brother with that sword.

But when he regained his senses, before he could make amends, a group of people had come chasing after him. One of them, dressed in brocade and with a remarkable demeanor, had picked up his bleeding Junior Brother with an anxious expression and hurried away. The rest of them pursued him for half the city before he managed to shake them off.

“Senior… Brother… Nineteen!” Fu Nineteen’s junior sister called out louder when she saw that he wasn’t paying attention.

“I heard you,” Fu Nineteen replied absentmindedly, unable to snap out of his reverie.

It had been many years since that incident.

He picked up his long sword, slowed down his movements, and demonstrated the techniques again in front of his junior sister.

“Do you understand now?”

“I didn’t understand, Senior Brother Nineteen, can you do it again?”

Fu Nineteen:…

He could see that his junior sister was trying to get close to him, so he didn’t expose her intentions. Instead, he patiently demonstrated the techniques once more.

This time, he hadn’t even completed a full set of sword techniques when he saw a messenger rushing into the courtyard in a great hurry.

With his sword in hand and without paying attention to his junior sister, Fu Nineteen quickly went to meet the messenger. “What message is so urgent?”

“While on a mission outside, a disciple received news that the former traitor, Fu Twenty…”

Fu Nineteen leaned in to listen closely as the messenger spoke.

With each word he heard, the red bloodshot veins in Fu Nineteen’s round eyes seemed to multiply.

“Is it a lie?” After hearing everything, Fu Nineteen numbly muttered.

With a loud clang, his long sword fell to the ground.

After a long moment of shock, he seemed to go mad and grabbed the messenger’s shoulder. “What about that cunning old fox? Why isn’t he dead? The gu worm inside Little Nian are a mother-child pair. When the mother gu’s host dies, the mother gu should die as well, and the child gu’s host will undoubtedly die. I was afraid that the old fox might change his mind and harm Little Nian, so I deliberately left this link! Why is he fine?”

“….” The messenger looked troubled.

“Why is he fine? How could he possibly survive?” Fu Nineteen shouted hysterically.

His junior sister, who was standing by, quickly retreated into the house, no longer bothering him to teach her swordsmanship.

“Normally, the host of the child gu will take their place!”

“Fu Twenty… Before he died, he surgically removed the gu worm from his heart, saying that he wanted to save the life of the person who had the gu worm implanted for him and didn’t want to involve innocent people. When the mother gu was removed, it was still alive.”

Fu Nineteen let go of the messenger, his hand that had been clutching him falling away.

He stared blankly at the ground, his mind in a haze, and even his vision was becoming blurred.

How could this be?

His original plan was to have that man surnamed Chu give his life to Little Nian and die in his place.

He never expected Little Nian to be able to surgically remove the gu worm from his heart.

Even though they had been ruthless when it came to killing people in the past, they had never resorted to such a cruel method as cutting out a living person’s heart. He never expected Little Nian to be so ruthless to himself.

After standing blankly in the courtyard for who knew how long, Fu Nineteen slowly made his way back to his own room.

In the room, in addition to his own belongings, there were also some small items that Little Nian had left behind before leaving the sect.

They were all unimportant and old items, but the memories embedded in these objects included countless seasons they had spent together.

Fu Nineteen sat on the floor, staring blankly at the items in front of him.

There was a half-burnt piece of wood still hanging on the wall.

It was a part of a prosthetic limb.

At the time, he had said that he would help Little Nian repair his first prosthetic limb, but he had spent a long time trying and failed. However, he couldn’t bear to throw it away, so he had kept it hanging here.


Fu Nineteen still couldn’t believe it.

But the tears that welled up in his eyes before he could react already believed the news of his death. He didn’t cry out loud, just hung his head and let the tears fall onto his body, staining a large piece of fabric.

Unconsciously, he sat like this for most of the day.

In the courtyard, the cooking smoke wafted through, carrying the scent of the meal through the window. Fu Nineteen remained motionless, still sitting on the floor with vacant eyes.

“Squeak!” The door creaked.

Fu Nineteen, who had been dazed for a long time, slowly realized that someone had entered. He mechanically turned his head to look.

After looking for a long time, he finally uttered two words in a daze, “Master…”

The man’s face showed little expression, as cold and aloof as ever, without any hint of warmth or a smile.

Fu Nineteen was dragged up from the ground and pushed into a bathtub, where he was cleaned of the tears and dirt on his body.

“I have a way to bring your Junior Brother Twenty, back, but…”

“Little Nineteen, don’t cry anymore.”

“Zhu Er…”

The man’s voice seemed like a bewitching spell in Fu Nineteen’s ears. He couldn’t make out the words clearly but kept responding mechanically.

His final gaze lingered on his master’s face, covered in sweat, breathing heavily. As his body went numb, Fu Nineteen finally closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.

The eerie scent of the death spirit incense gradually faded away.

Fu Nian blinked his eyes, and his perspective returned to his own body. He could no longer see through Fu Nineteen’s eyes or experience his past.

When he opened his eyes, the incense burner had burned out completely, leaving behind no traces of smoke, only a faint lingering scent in the room.

Fu Nian looked at his own body, the loose-fitting clothes, and the slightly bulging abdomen.

Then, he glanced at the time.

Only one incense stick’s worth of time had passed.

In the span of one incense stick’s time, he had experienced nearly half of Fu Nineteen’s lifetime through the death incense.

Fu Nian thought back and realized that he had never heard Fu Nineteen express his likes or dislikes. However, when he saw Fu Nineteen’s deep regret after stabbing him, and how he secretly left an ambush inside Chu Zhaoyi’s body to watch over him after his death, this unspoken affection was even more bitter than spoken words.

There were also the complex emotions entangled with their master.

After a moment of daze, Fu Nian got up from the bed.

He opened the incense burner and carefully swept the ashes back into a small porcelain box.

As he was sweeping the ashes, Fu Nian suddenly remembered a detail.

Wait… Eldest Senior Brother had also given Fu Nineteen a small box of death spirit incense at that time, saying it was obtained through a trade of his own lifespan. At the time, Fu Nineteen had thought that Eldest Senior Brother was just trying to scare him and didn’t ask much about it. But in just a few days, Eldest Senior Brother…

Thinking of this, Fu Nian grabbed the porcelain box and rushed out the door.

He didn’t dare to run around randomly but walked as quickly as possible.

While the servant who had given him the porcelain box hadn’t gone too far, while his senior brother hadn’t left the palace for too long, he might still be able to catch up!

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