Internal Conflict Within the Evil Sect

Su Yang blurted out his first reaction, “How did you find me? How do you know that I was here?”

Lan Wu replied, “The Orchid Hall is responsible for our Sect’s intelligence. This subordinate knows all the movements in this town. It’s just…Now that you’re here, not only this subordinate, soon, the Wujiang Sect and the E’Luo Gui Faction will also learn your whereabouts in this town.”

Before Su Yang could react, Gu Feidi frowned and asked, “The Wujiang Sect and the E’Luo Gui Faction?”

Lan Wu glanced at Gu Feidi. Instead of answering, he looked up at Su Yang. “Young Master, with how constant the news travelling around the Jianghu is, once they know your location, I fear that they will come after you for disrupting the sword sage’s inheritance. Why don’t you come with this subordinate to another place to stay? We can protect you from every corner.”

But Su Yang didn’t want to be separated from Gu Feidi. Without considering that option, he flat out refused. “I’m fine here. They are from the House of Jade, how could they not have the capability of protecting me? Please be at ease.”

After a moment’s silence, Lan Wu advised, “Young Master…it’s not proper for you to associate yourself with the Young Lord from day to night. Many people in the Sect are very dissatisfied with this. Many of them pleaded with the Sect Leader to bring you back to the Sect.”

“What’s wrong with me to be with him?” Su Yang asked, frowning. “He followed me back to the Sanctuary. Our Sect Leader met him and didn’t disapprove of our journey together.”

Lan Wu glanced back at Gu Feidi again. “Now the Tengyun Pavilion is gathering forces to besiege our Sect…The situation is no longer the same as before.”

Gu Feidi raised an eyebrow. “I have already turned traitor to my pavilion. Shouldn’t you, as an informant in the Orchid Hall, know this?”

Lan Wu sneered and said, “It’s precisely because you betrayed the Tengyun Pavilion. When people from your pavilion learn of you being here, they will surely come to find you. Our Young Master is in danger of being captured by your pavilion as long as he is with you. Therefore, we request the Young Master to come back.”

Gu Feidi was still in doubt. “But you just said that you feared the Wujiang Sect and the E’Luo Gui Faction will come after him for disrupting the fake sword sage’s inheritance?”

Lan Wu insisted, “Now the situation is chaotic, everywhere that’s outside of our control is dangerous to our Young Master. No matter what the reason, he shouldn’t be involved with you or your pavilion!”

Gu Feidi still felt something was wrong. He narrowed his eyes, glanced at Su Yang and said toward the petal retainer, “Since you don’t trust me, why put yourself in danger instead of persuading Su Yang in private? You don’t think that we’ll silence you here?”

Lan Wu didn’t respond.

The room remained quiet for a long time. Making the faint fragrance of wine emitted from Lan Wu’s wine pot more appealing, which lingered in the room. The scent of perfectly aged wine.

Then Lan Wu raised his head to Gu Feidi. An eerie smile gently appeared on the corner of his lips.

He suddenly raised his wrist, and a mechanical crossbow 機弩 There’s not really a proper translation for this (Baidu wiki called it crossbar). But it’s an ancient, automatic, one handed crossbow with a preloaded shot that could be released upon a trigger, like an ancient gun. Here is the best image that I can find. hidden in his sleeve gave a clear ‘click’, and a quick bolt was released from the bowstring—its target wasn’t Gu Feidi, it was flying straight toward Su Yang!

Gu Feidi’s pupils dilated as he raised his hand to draw his sword to cut the projection, but somehow, he lost the strength in his arm and couldn’t pull his sword out.

Fortunately, when Lan Wu raised his head, Su Yang was on full alert from a gut feeling, as he used Cherished Flower Steps to avoid the incoming bolt.

It brushed through the loose hair by his ear and inserted deeply into the window frame. Then he smelled the light but pungent scent—the bolt was poisoned!

Anger burst out from his eyes as he drew his thin sword from his waist and ruthlessly stabbed Lan Wu in the chest. Not stopping his momentum, he skewed the person and nailed his sword into the wall.

Lan Wu spewed out a mouthful of blood, slumped forward bonelessly, and held upward by Su Yang’s sword.

Without checking if Lan Wu was really dead, Su Yang quickly turned back and held Gu Feidi’s hand, asking in alarm, “Any scratch?”

Gu Feidi shook his head and tried to fight against the dizziness. He clenched his fists, gazed toward Su Yang and informed, “There’s something strange with the wine jar. Deal with it first…”

Being protected by the Half-Withered Crimson, Su Yang didn’t notice the odd effect from the wine. After hearing this, he turned toward the other two in the room. Like Gu Feidi, they also didn’t react in time due to the poison in the air.

He immediately walked forward, grabbed the pot, opened the window forcefully and tossed the wine jar outside. Then, using his internal energy, he created wind with the palm of his hands and dispersed the lingering sweet scent in the room.

Then he bent over and grabbed Gu Feidi’s palm, using his Half-Withered Crimson to help the other man dispel the poisonous gas he had inhaled.

Gu Feidi gently patted him on the back of his hand. “It’s fine. I can slowly dissolve the poison myself. There’s no need for you to use your internal energy…”

Su Yang stubbornly dispelled all the remaining poison in the younger man’s system and whispered, “I’m fine, but I didn’t expect he came here to assassinate me…Tsk, I shouldn’t have believed in the integrity of the people from my Sect! Just because I ran away with you, they can’t just stop treating me as their Young Master!”

Gu Feidi was silent. Su Yang couldn’t tell what was on his mind. 

Thinking Gu Feidi was feeling weak from the effect of the poison, Su Yang left him alone and went to help Chi Tong and Luo Yin drive out the poison. He was relieved when he saw that the poison wasn’t life-threatening.

“The Evil Sect must have an ulterior motive for your assassination.” Gu Feidi warned. “We need to search him for any possible clues…”

Su Yang agreed with Gu Feidi and nodded.

Gu Feidi turned toward the body but was held back by Su Yang.

“Don’t move, I’ll go search.” He said. “There was poison on the bolt, not to mention the wine. I don’t know whether there is anything else poisonous on him like powder…Best if I go, it’s safer.”

As he was about to reach Lan Wu, who was still hung against the wall by his thin sword, a voice by the door stopped him.

“Step away!” Luo Yu shouted. “He hasn’t breathed his final breath…A-Yue, seize him!”

During these short two warnings, Lan Wu, who was originally hanging by the wall motionlessly, suddenly moved. He pulled out the thin sword, raised a handful of fine powder and tossed it to the ground, before fleeing to the window. 

Qin Jianyue displayed his unfathomable skills for the first time as he blew away the dust with a single wave and pressed Lan Wu to the ground in the blink of an eye. Next, he dislocated the assassin’s jaw, pulled out a fake molar with poison stored inside, and searched out two packs of poison powder plus a token from the Village of Mount Qianfeng.

With his jaw dislocated, Lan Wu couldn’t speak. Seeing that the token was pulled out from his robe, he burst out in a hoarse laughter and ridiculously stared at Su Yang, as if waiting for his reaction.

When the Village of Mount Qianfeng’s token came to light, everyone was stunned silent. 

The next moment, they turned their attention to Gu Feidi and Su Yang.

Gu Feidi’s eyes were on Su Yang as he said firmly, “...No matter what, my pavilion and Yunzhan’s village  would never plant spies in your Sect, let alone assassinate you by such means.”

Su Yang has a good relationship with the two. Of course, he knew the Tengyun Pavilion and the Village of Mount Qianfeng’s style of handling things. He smiled and reassured, “Don’t worry, I won't be so easily provoked. We should properly interrogate Lan Wu about who planted him in my Sect.”

Qin Jianyue laughed at Su Yang’s words, grabbed Lan Wu and said with a raised eyebrow, “If that’s the case, I’ll take him for interrogation…You’re welcome to spectate if you don’t believe me.”

Su Yang immediately thought of ancient interrogations shown on a TV drama he watched and quickly shook his head. “Go ahead and ask your questions, I believe you!”

Qin Jianyue chuckled again from his expression and jumped out of the window with the powerless Lan Wu.

Silence returned to the room.

Luo Yu surveyed the young people in the room and sighed, “Every one of you is the top of your generation. How could you let your guards down? Almost fell into that assassin’s plot…When Lan Wu entered the room, did none of you find it strange? Or respond promptly?”

Faced with this question, none of them could refute. They could only glance at each other, lower their heads in disappointment and listen to the senior’s lecture. 

After a moment of silence, Su Yang uttered, “I put too much trust into the people of my Sect…The day I left the House of Jade, I met Lan Wu. He took care of me during my stay in his inn. I really thought he was one of my own…”

Luo Yu looked at him and snorted. “Are you ageing backwards? I don’t know how you grew this big in a place like the Evil Sect?”

Su Yang flattened his lips and had nothing to say.

Gu Feidi reached out and hooked Su Yang’s little finger with his hand, rubbing it gently for comfort. 

Seeing that the distress expressed still remained, Gu Feidi coughed softly. “Senior, don’t blame him. He came from the Evil Sect and was bound to have a close relationship with his subordinates…None of us noticed that there was something wrong with the wine Lan Wu brought in. At first, I only thought that his goal here was to take Shixiong back by force by provoking my relationship with him…”

So Luo Yu started to scold Gu Feidi again, “You’re too careless as well! The first moment you inhaled the poison scent, you should have noticed the difference. What were you thinking? When Gu Ruohai was your age, he was dependable and could remain calm under pressure. Why didn’t you learn anything from him?”

Gu Feidi lowered his eyes. “It was my negligence. In the future…I’ll remember the senior’s teachings.”

It was not until the juniors promised that they would be more cautious in the future that Luo Yu nodded and went back to the topic he’d come to speak about. “Just now, A-Yue and I went around to inquire about news and learned that the Wulin Alliance Leader Gu and the Tengyun Pavilion members have reached the wasteland border. They should be in the west of Qing Wu County currently. If we leave early tomorrow morning, we can cross paths with them in the wasteland in two days.”

He informed Gu Feidi, “Luo Yin and I’ll leave a signal for you. You’ll keep at a distance with Su Yang. Try to hide your presence and don’t be found by your pavilion…”

During mid-sentence, Qin Jianyue pushed open the door to enter, and Lan Wu was nowhere to be seen. 

Luo Yu turned to look at him, saw the frown and asked, “That was too quick. What did he spill?”

Qin Jianyue shook his head. “He is just a soldier pieceEquivalent of a pawn in chess.. I won’t learn anything useful from him. However, I can make a guess from his performance...Now there may be elders in the Evil Sect who are trying to start a rebellion and seize power, but there is no conclusive evidence.”

Luo Yu pondered. “Internal conflict within the Evil Sect? I wonder if this is related to Gu Ruohai’s attack on the Evil Sect...Unless they have met privately…”

Hearing this, Gu Feidi glanced at Su Yang, before saying, “Senior, the Sect Leader of the Evil Sect asked me to hand over a letter to my father, asking if the invitation from that year still stands...They may have really met in secret.”

Luo Yu was surprised to hear this. “That’s true?”

Gu Feidi nodded with Su Yang.

Qin Jianyue rubbed his chin and narrowed his eyes. “...I probably understand the purpose of this war then. It’s just…why is he making this so complicated? With his means and skills, it wouldn’t be hard to stifle some annoying old men. Isn’t it as simple as manipulating his own power?”

He turned his head and gave Luo Yu a look, who frowned and shook his head. “They might have other plans. I can’t think of any for the time being.”

There was no easy answer to their doubts as they pondered in silence. 

Su Yang gazed at the blood splashes left on the wall, and back at Qin Jianyue, whose clothes seemed to be perfectly spotless.

Gu Feidi saw Su Yang’s concern, stretched out his hand and patted the other on the back for comfort, and asked Qin Jianyue on Su Yang’s behalf, “Senior, how did you deal with Lan Wu? Was there any reaction from the workers in the inn Su Yang mentioned?”

Qin Jianyue glanced at Su Yang and said with a smile, “I won’t be telling you where Lan Wu will be going. I did check on the inn. The gate was locked and there was no one inside. Before Lan Wu executed his plan, he must have arranged for his men to evacuate.”

Seeing that Su Yang was still obviously worried, he added, “Don’t be nervous, I’ll stay on watch today. You juniors just have a good rest for the early journey tomorrow. We will be going to the wasteland, and once we are separated, your journey will become more difficult. You may encounter more assassinations and conflict along the way, you must be fully prepared.”

After the failed assassination, the younger generation was no longer interested in chatting. 

Luo Yu and Qin Jianyue took the initiative to change rooms. They would be staying in the bloodstained guest room while the juniors went to the other two rooms to start an early rest.


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