FRS: Chapter 11 – Unknown Truth (2)
Translator: Momoe Pom
Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Ainushi.
Hua HuaiXiu teased, “The way you reacted makes me feel like I’m molesting a lady from a good family.”
“Cousin.” Fan JiJing stuttered, “Don’t act like this.”
“Like this?” Hua HuaiXiu was intrigued by his reaction. He could not restrain himself from stepping forward and lifting Fan JiJing’s chin like a lecher. “Or like this?”
Fan JiJing raised his head, and surprisingly his eyes were glimmering with some watery shimmers. In addition to that juicy, apple-like red face, he looked absolutely adorable.
Hua HuaiXiu felt like he had taken a heavy punch to his chest. He wanted to throw himself at Fan JiJing and take a large bite of him.
Fan JiJing suddenly turned his head and looked in the direction they were coming from, saying, “Someone is coming. Cousin.”
Hua HuaiXiu shifted away his eyes uneasily. “We both still have our clothes on. Who are you afraid of?”
Fan JiJing looked down at the distance between the tip of Hua HuaiXiu’s shoes to that of his and then took two steps backward. “You are standing too close.”
“You and I are both men. Why is there a need to keep the distance?” Hua HuaiXiu looked at him innocently.
Fan JiJing murmured, “But you were just…”
“Just what?” Hua HuaiXiu raised his eyebrows in an attempt to look evil.
All of a sudden, Fan JiJing’s face became serious. He turned around.
A disciple from the Jiuhua Sect was hurrying over from where they had come from.
Hua HuaiXiu glanced at him in surprise.
They had been talking for a while, yet he was able to hear the footsteps coming from a distance that far away?
The disciple walked to them and said respectfully, “Fan Shixiong. Master wants to invite you over.”
Fan JiJing recognized that he was a disciple of Song BoLin. He thanked him at once and followed him to the residence in the back.
Although Hua HuaiXiu was angry at the disciple for not reading the mood and interrupting their good moment, he was unable to hold back his curiosity towards Song BoLin’s plan and therefore followed after them all the way.
Upon their arrival at the main hall of the residence, they found Song BoLin, Wu ChangBo, Guan Xing, Zhu LiaoDa, ShangGuan DingNing and Shi JiZhong all sitting there already.
Seeing Hua HuaiXiu entering together with him, Song BoLin’s sulky face darkened even more. “Hua Gongzi, What we are about to discuss is an internal affair of the Jiuhua Sect, so please excuse us for a moment.”
In fact, when Hua HuaiXiu saw the situation from afar, he already had a presentiment that what they were going to discuss was probably not an ordinary matter. What he had not expected was how straightforwardly Song BoLin had said it. In spite of his proud and arrogant personality, he knew how offensive the presence of an outsider was when it came to the discussion of internal affairs of a sect. Therefore, he cupped his hands and simply returned to his room.
After he left, Fan JiJing took the seat next to Shi JiZhong.
Seeing that everyone was looking at him, Song BoLin slowly said, “We can’t keep shixiong’s remains like this anymore.”
They all gazed at one another, then lowered their heads in silence.
The rotten stench from the dead body had been spreading gradually across the mourning hall. Burying the remains was something that had been hovering over everyone’s minds, but no one dared to be the first to bring up the topic. Since the murderer who killed Bu LouLian was still at large, burying him now would be equal to stopping him from resting in peace.
Wu ChangBo said thoughtfully, “Maybe we should wait a little longer? Since the murderer hasn’t been found yet.”
“There’s no time,” said Song BoLin as he pulled out a letter from his sleeve. “The Longxu Sect has sent over a letter about forming an alliance with us against the demonic sect.”
Wu ChangBo wrinkled his brows: “The demonic sect has been keeping their business to themselves ever since they returned to Mount Pini, and there was no news of their misdeeds recently. Moreover, didn’t the government just encircle them not long ago? Why do they want to form another joint attack?”
Song BoLin replied, “There was never a right or wrong when it comes to the martial world, only different standpoints. While the demonic sect was expanding their business, quite a few sects that were affected have been complaining everywhere. Nowadays its strength has been greatly reduced due to the encirclement from the government, so of course those sects would rush over to kick the one who is down.”
Wu ChangBo said, “Our Jiuhua Sect has always been self-sufficient. Why should it concern us?”
Song BoLin said meaningfully, “Whether it concerns us or not is not for you and me to decide. Only zhangmen has a say.”
“Zhangmen? Isn’t zhangmen shixiong already…” Wu ChangBo slightly stiffened and asked, “You want to substitute him?”
Song BoLin said, “Using someone as a substitute is merely a back door solution. It’s not the way to solve the problem.”
Hearing him calling his guess a back door solution, Wu ChangBo unhappily humphed, “Then what good suggestions do you have?”
Song BoLin replied, “Who can stay immune from death? The succession of the position of zhangmen is something that is natural and normal.”
Wu ChangBo said, “But we haven’t caught the murderer yet!”
“If we don’t say a word, who would know zhangmen was indeed murdered?” Song BoLin stared at him coldly.
Wu ChangBo frowned. “Why are you staring at me?”
“Nothing. I’m just worried that someone may have a hard time keeping their mouth shut.”
Wu ChangBo exploded with anger: “Keeping their mouth shut? I hang out all day long around Mount Jiuhua only, to whom do I need to keep my mouth shut?”
His angry words actually set Song BoLin’s heart at rest. “That’s right. Remember to not leave Mount Jiuhua then.”
Just as Wu ChangBo was about to start an arguement, Song BoLin had already turned to Guan Xing. “You are the eldest disciple in the sect, so I leave you in charge of zhangmen shixiong’s final duties.”
Guan Xing stood up and replied reverently. “Yes.”
Zhu LiaoDa glanced at him, his eyes revealing quite a bit discontent.
Song BoLin then asked Fan JiJing, “Any progress on the case?”
Fan JiJing shook his head, looking defeated.
Guan Xing glanced at him with implicit meanings.
Wu ChangBo finally found an opportunity to sneer at him: “The one month limit is not up yet. Why are you in such a hurry?”
Song BoLin said, “The sooner we find out who the murderer is, the sooner we can decide on the successor for the position of zhangmen.”
“That’s…” Wu ChangBo gave Guan Xing a quick glance. His lips moved without continuing.
Song BoLin’s eyes ran through everyone in the hall as he said, “Despite this great misfortune that has fallen upon our sect, all of you should keep up your spirits.”
“Yes.” Everyone complied.
After Fan JiJing came out from the hall, he immediately saw Hua HuaiXiu leaning against the wall with a roasted chicken in one hand and chopsticks in the other, shredding the chicken into his mouth. The speed he was eating indicated that he was obviously starving, but his movement was as elegant and natural as the floating clouds and flowing waters.
Seeing him staring at his roast chicken, Hua HuaiXiu laughed, “Grabbing a roast chicken while your shishu wasn’t there wouldn’t count as stealing, would it?”
Fan JiJing asked, “Eating chicken on an empty stomach, aren’t you afraid of the greasiness?”
“Better than dying from starvation at least.” He threw a quick glance behind him and saw Guan Xing, Zhu LiaoDa, and the others come out one by one.
It was necessary to pass through here in order to reach Leyi Residence. Although it seemed like Song BoLin wanted to make peace with them, everyone was aware in their hearts that this was merely temporary. If Fan JiJing could not find the murderer, or if the murderer he found belonged to either party, then the flames of war would burn once again.
Zhu LiaoDa came over and patted Fan JiJing a few times on his shoulder. “As for the investigation, you need to hurry up.”
Fan JiJing nodded: “Yes, second shixiong.”
Zhu LiaoDa sighed, “Back then when Master was still alive, I remember how amiable shishu looked.”
What he meant was he looked utterly repulsive right now.
Shi JiZhong said, ”Shishu just wants to handle it fairly.”
Zhu LiaoDa glanced at him and the corner of his mouth twitched in disdain, with some tacit references under his words: “That’s right, since shishu intends to choose the next successor.”
Shi JiZhong’s expression changed abruptly. Just as he was about to lose his temper, Guan Xing gave him a light pull, which successfully reminded him to restrain himself.
Zhu LiaoDa was still not satisfied as he continued with Fan JiJing, “Who was not present on the day of the crime and who was lying are both important clues to solve the case.” He clearly knew already that Shi JiZhong and Guan Xing were not in their rooms at that time but the garden instead.
Shi JiZhong almost turned crimson.
Guan Xing drily said, “There could be more than one person who refuses to tell the truth.”
Obviously, he was referring to how Zhu LiaoDa simply would not tell where he was back then.
Zhu LiaoDa courted a rebuff and thus looked a bit resentful.
The sky was getting darker. Even everyone’s shadows at the door started to turn vague.
Guan Xing suddenly said, “Third shidi, I need to talk to you about something.”
Fan JiJing turned his head and glanced at Hua HuaiXiu.
Hua HuaiXiu shrugged and said, “Your Jiuhua Sect is loaded with internal affairs.”
“If Hua Gongzi is interested, you can come together with us,” said Guan Xing. Just as he was about to turn around, he heard Zhu LiaoDa’s voice: “Eldest shixiong, what if I’m also interested?”
Guan Xing said indifferently, “If you are able to eavesdrop, then go ahead.”
Zhu LiaoDa’s face suddenly turned extremely sulky. But since it was too dark at night, no one had noticed other than ShangGuan DingNing who was right next to him.
Fan JiJing and Hua HuaiXiu followed Guan Xing all the way to his room.
“Please have a seat.” Guan Xing lit up the lamp, then gestured for them to sit down.
Fan JiJing and Hua HuaiXiu took their seats.
Guan Xing said, “I know for sure that there are still doubts in your minds.”
Hua HuaiXiu raised his eyebrows and asked, “Are you willing to tell us?”
“Since Master is already dead, for some of the things, there was no need to keep them in my mind anymore.” Guan Xing paused for a second, then slowly said, “You were asking why Master kept the last move of each set of skills from second shidi and fifth shidi, right?”
Hua HuaiXiu asked, “Why is it?”
“To prevent them from fighting over the position of zhangmen with me.”
The answer Guan Xing gave was nothing like they had expected.
“In fact, part of what second shidi said was right. If you were not traveling outside back then, then you probably would also have taken part in the learning Xianlian Sword.” Guan Xing’s expression was always emotionless. Even when he was talking about a news so controversial such as a master victimizing his disciples, he still looked unmoved.
Hua HuaiXiu frowned, “Bu LouLian was the leader of a sect. He could pass the position to whoever he wanted. Are you saying that Zhu LiaoDa and Shi JiZhong had the ability to change his decision?”
Guan Xing shook his head: “What he was afraid of was not that second shidi and fifth shidi could change his decision, but rather they would influence mine.”
Hua HuaiXiu said, “I don’t get it.”
Guan Xing said, “Second shidi has been coveting the position of zhangmen since a long time ago. Master said that he often enumerated my wrongs to him in private.“
Even though Huai HuaiXiu didn’t hear what Zhu LiaoDa said himself, from their interactions these past couple days, he could pretty much guess it.
“Then what about fifth shidi?” asked Fan JiJing suddenly.
Guan Xing’s eyebrows furrowed.
Fan JiJing said, “Fifth shidi has always showed great respects to eldest shixiong.”
“It was not fifth shidi’s fault. It was mine.” Guan Xing slowly let out a sentence which made Hua HuaiXiu and Fan JiJing stare tongue-tied: “It was me having improper desires for him.”