Published at 14th of October 2018 06:38:14 PM

Chapter 73

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Chapter 73: Recklessness—Part Two

Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

On that night, an extreme crisis flooded the cultivational world.

At midnight, in the Golden Pavilion on Koi Tower sat over fifty sect leaders from sects of all sizes. Jin GuangShan sat in the foremost seat. Jin ZiXuan was away, while Jin ZiXun didn’t have enough experience, so Jin GuangYao was the only one who stood beside him. In the front row sat sect leaders and famed cultivators like Nie MingJue, Jiang Cheng, Lan XiChen, and Lan WangJi. All of their expressions were solemn. The next row sat sect leaders of lesser importance.

They seemed as if they were confronted with a formidable enemy, at times whispering things like, “I knew it.”

“It would’ve been like this sooner or later.”

“Let’s see how they intend on dealing with this.”

Jiang Cheng was the center of everyone’s gaze. Sitting in the front, his face was clouded. Along with the others, he was listening to Jin GuangYao explaining things, his expression respectful and his tone soft.

“… Four inspectors were harmed. Around fifty of the remaining Wen Sect members escaped. After Wei WuXian led them into Burial Mound, he summoned hundreds of fierce corpses to patrol the base of the mountain. Our people still can’t get any further.”

When he finished, silence filled Golden Pavilion.

Jiang Cheng only spoke after a few moments, “What he did was indeed a bit too much. Sect Leader Jin, I apologize to you in place of him. If there’s any way at all to help the situation, please let me know. I’ll definitely compensate for things however I can.”

What Jin GuangShan wanted, however, wasn’t his apology or his compensation, “Sect Leader Jiang, at first, for your sake, the LanlingJin Sect didn’t intend on saying anything. However, some of these inspectors weren’t from the Jin Sect. There were a few from other sects as well. This makes it…”

Jiang Cheng’s brows were knitted. He rubbed the vein that throbbed at his temple and soundlessly took in a deep breath, “… I apologize to all of the Sect Leaders. Everyone, I’m afraid you don’t know that the Wen cultivator whom Wei WuXian wanted to save was called Wen Ning. We owe him and his sister Wen Qing gratitude for what happened during the Sunshot Campaign.”

Nie MingJue, “You owe them gratitude? Isn’t the QishanWen Sect the ones who caused the YunmengJiang Sect’s annihilation?”

Within these few years, Jiang Cheng insisted on working late into the night every day. That day, just as he decided to rest early, he had to rush to Koi Tower overnight because of the thundering news. He’d been suppressing some anger under his fatigue since the beginning. With his natural competitiveness, he was already quite agitated since he had to apologize to other people. When he heard Nie MingJue mention the incident of his sect again, hatred sprouted within him.

The hatred was directed at not only everyone who was seated in this room, but also Wei WuXian.

Lan XiChen responded a moment later, “I have heard of Wen Qing’s name a few of times. I do not remember her having participated in any of the Sunshot Campaign’s crimes.”

Nie MingJue, “But she’s never stopped them either.”

Lan XiChen, “Wen Qing was one of Wen RuoHan’s most trusted people. How could she have stopped them?”

Nie MingJue spoke coldly, “If she responded with only silence and not opposition when the Wen Sect was causing mayhem, it’s the same as indifference. She shouldn’t have been so disillusioned as to hope that she could be treated with respect when the Wen Sect was doing evil and be unwilling to suffer the consequences and pay the price when the Wen Sect was wiped out.”

Lan XiChen knew that because of what happened to his father, Nie MingJue abhorred Wen-dogs more than anything, especially with how intolerable he was toward evil. Lan XiChen didn’t say anything else.

One of the sect leaders spoke up, “What Sect Leader Nie said is quite right. Besides, Wen Qing is one of Wen RuoHan’s most trusted people. You’re telling me she never participated? Well I don’t buy it. Is there any Wen-dog without a single drop of blood on their hands? Maybe it’s just that we haven’t found out about it yet!”

As soon as the Wen Sect’s past cruelties were mentioned, the crowd boiled over, surging and chattering. Jin GuangShan wanted to talk, but he grew displeased, seeing this.

Jin GuangYao noticed his change in expression and raised his voice at once, “Everyone, please calm down. This isn’t the focus of what we’re discussing today.” As he spoke, he let the servants carry out chilled slices of fruits to divert the people’s attention. Eventually, Golden Pavilion managed to quiet down.

Taking this opportunity, Jin GuangShan spoke, “Sect Leader Jiang, this was supposed to be a matter of your sect. It wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to barge in. But now that things are like this, I’ll have to caution you on the topic of Wei Ying.”

Jiang Cheng, “Sect Leader Jin, go ahead.”

Jin GuangShan, “Sect Leader Jiang, Wei Ying is your right-hand man. You value him a lot. All of us know this. However, on the other hand, it’s hard to tell whether or not he actually respects you. In any case, I’ve been a sect leader for so many years and I’ve never seen the servant of any sect dare be so arrogant, so proud. Have you heard what they say outside? Things like how during the Sunshot Campaign the victories of the YunmengJiang Sect were all because of Wei WuXian alone—what nonsense!”

Hearing this, Jiang Cheng’s face was already quite dark. Jin GuangShan shook his head, “In an event as important as the Flower Banquet, he dared throw a fit right in front of you, leaving however he pleased. He even dared say something like ‘I don’t care about the sect leader Jiang WanYin at all!’ Everyone who was there heard it with their own ears…”

Suddenly, an indifferent voice spoke up, “No.”

Jin GuangShan was in the middle of his fabrication. Hearing this, he paused in surprise, turning along with the crowd to see who it was.

Lan WangJi sat with his back straight, speaking in a tone of absolute tranquility, “I did not hear Wei Ying say this. I did not hear him express the slightest disrespect towards Sect Leader Jiang either.”

Lan WangJi rarely spoke when he was outside. Even when they debated cultivation techniques during Discussion Conferences, he only answered when others questioned or challenged him. With utmost concision, he overcame, without fault, the lengthy arguments of others. Apart from this, he almost never spoke up. And thus, when Jin GuangShan was interrupted by him, he experienced a far greater shock than annoyance. But after all, his fabrication was exposed right in front of so many. He felt a bit awkward.

The good thing was that, not long after he felt awkward, Jin GuangYao came to save the day, exclaiming, “Really? That day, Young Master Wei busted into Koi Tower with such force. He said too many things, one more shocking than the next. Perhaps he said a few things that were along those lines. I can’t remember them either.”

His memory could only be equal to Lan WangJi’s, if not better. As soon as he heard it, Nie MingJue knew that he was fibbing on purpose, frowning slightly.

Jin GuangShan followed the transition, “That’s right. Anyhow, his attitude has always been arrogant.”

One of the sect leaders added, “To be honest, I’ve wanted to say this since a long time ago. Although Wei WuXian did a few things during the Sunshot Campaign, there are many guest cultivators who did more than him. I’ve never seen anyone as full of themselves as him. Excuse my bluntness, but he’s the son of a servant. How could the son of a servant be so arrogant?”

With him having brought up the ‘son of a servant’, naturally there’d be some who connected it to the ‘son of a prostitute’ standing in the hall. Jin GuangYao clearly noticed the unkind stares. Yet, his smile remained perfect, not at all faltering. The crowd went with the flow and voiced their complaints.

“In the beginning, Sect Leader Jin asked Wei Ying for the Tiger Seal with nothing but good intentions, worried that he wouldn’t be able to control it and lead to a disaster. He, however, used his own yardstick to measure another’s intents. Did he think that everyone is after his treasure? What a joke. In terms of treasures, is there any sect that doesn’t hold a few treasures?”

“I knew that something would eventually happen if he continued on the ghostly path—look! His killing intents are being revealed already. Killing indiscriminately those from our side just because of a few Wen-dogs…”

Suddenly, a careful voice interjected, “It’s not killing indiscriminately, is it?”

Lan WangJi seemed to have entered a realm of zen that blocked all of his senses. Hearing this, however, he moved, looking over. The one who spoke was a young woman with a fair space, standing beside one of the sect leaders. Her out-of-place comment immediately became the target of the other cultivators nearby, “What do you mean?”

The woman seemed as if she was scared. She was even more careful, “No… I don’t mean anything more. There’s no need to be so agitated, everyone. I just feel that the words ‘killing indiscriminately’ isn’t really suitable.”

Someone else spat, “How is it unsuitable? Wei WuXian has been killing indiscriminately ever since the Sunshot Campaign. Can you disprove this?”

The woman tried hard to protest, “The Sunshot Campaign is a battlefield. In the battlefield, would it mean that everyone is killing indiscriminately? Let’s consider this as it stands. I really don’t think it’s right to say that he killed indiscriminately. After all, there is a reason. If the inspectors really abused the prisoners and killed Wen Ning, it wouldn’t be called killing indiscriminately anymore, but rather revenge…”

One of them raged, “You’re almost laughable! Don’t tell me you think he’s right to have killed our people! Don’t tell me you’re going to praise that it was an act of justice!”

Another one of them mocked, “We still don’t know whether or not the inspectors really did those things. It’s not like anybody saw it with their own eyes.”

“That’s right. All of the inspectors who lived said that they definitely didn’t abuse the prisoners. Wen Ning died because he himself accidentally fell from a cliff. They even went so far as to take back his corpse and bury him, yet they received such revenge. How disappointing!”

The woman said, “The other inspectors are scared that they’d be responsible for abusing the prisoners and killing people. Of course they’d insist that he fell off on his own…”

Suddenly, someone sneered, “You can stop arguing. We don’t want to hear the comments of someone who has other motives.”

The woman’s face flushed. She raised her voice, “Explain things. What do you mean I have other motives?”

The person replied, “There’s no need for me to say anything. You know, deep down, and we know too. You fell for him back in the cave of the Xuanwu just because he flirted with you? You’re still arguing for him, calling white black no matter how irrational it is. Ha, women will always be women.”

The incident of Wei WuXian saving a damsel in distress in the cave of the Xuanwu was indeed once a topic of conversation. Thus, many people realized immediately that this young woman was ‘MianMian’.

At once, somebody murmured, “So that’s why. Explains how she’s so desperate as to speak up for Wei WuXian…”

MianMian fumed, “Irrational? Calling white black? I’m just being considerate it as it stands. What does it have to do with the fact that I’m a woman? You can’t be rational with me so you’re attacking me with other things?”

Someone jeered, “Tsk, tsk tsk. Look at how innocent you make yourself to be. Even your heart has grown sideways—how could you consider things as they stand?”

“Stop wasting your time on her. How could someone like her be from our sect? And she even found her way into Golden Pavilion. I’m embarrassed just standing beside her.”

Many of those who spoke against her were from the same sect as her. MianMian was so enraged that her eyes grew red. Holding in her tears, she shouted a moment later, “Fine! Your voices are louder! Fine! You’re the rational ones!”

She clenched her teeth and took off the crested robe she wore with force, slamming it onto the table with a loud bang. Even the sect leaders in the front rows, who weren’t paying attention to this side, turned around to see what happened. The ones beside her were indeed surprised. What she did meant that she was ‘leaving the sect’?

Saying nothing, MianMian turned around and left. A while later, someone laughed, “If you’re taking it off, then don’t put it on again, if you’re so capable!”

“Who does she think she is… leaving as she pleases? Who cares? What’s she doing this to prove?”

Soon, some began to agree, “Women will always be women. They quit just after you say a few harsh words. She’ll definitely come back on her own, a couple of days later.”

“There’s no doubt. After all, she finally managed to turn from the daughter of a servant to a disciple, haha…”

Ignoring the rioting voices behind him, Lan WangJi stood up as well and exited. After Lan XiChen understood what happened a few moments ago, hearing how the direction of their discussion worsened, he spoke up, “Everyone, she is gone already. Let us settle down.”

Now that ZeWu-Jun had spoken, of course the people had to give him some face. In Golden Pavilion, one after another, they began to denounce Wei WuXian and the Wen-dogs again. They all spoke with passionate hatred, letting their indiscriminate, irrefutable loathing dance in the air. Using the atmosphere, Jin GuangShan turned to Jiang Cheng, “He’s been plotting for a while to go to Burial Mound, hasn’t he? After all, with his skills, it wouldn’t be too hard to set up a sect of his own. And so, he used this as a chance to leave the Jiang Sect, intending to do whatever he pleases in the bright skies outside. You rebuilt the YunmengJiang Sect with so much work. He’s got a few controversial traits in him to begin with, and still he doesn’t restrain himself, stirring up so much trouble for you. He doesn’t care about you at all.”

Jiang Cheng pretended to stand his ground, “That probably isn’t that case. Wei WuXian has been like this ever since he was young. Even my father couldn’t do anything about him.”

Jin GuangYao, “Even FengMian-xiong couldn’t do anything about him, huh?” He chuckled a few times, “FengMian-xiong just favors him.”

Hearing the words ‘favors him’, the muscles beside the corners of Jiang Cheng’s mouth twitched.

Jin GuangShan continued, “Sect Leader Jiang, you’re not like your father. It’s just been a couple of years since the reestablishment of the YunmengJiang Sect, precisely when you should be displaying your power. And he doesn’t even know to avoid suspicions. What would the Jiang Sect’s new disciples think if they saw him? Don’t tell me you’d let them see him as their role model and look down on you?”

He spoke one sentence after another, striking the iron while it was still hot. Jiang Cheng spoke slowly, “Sect Leader Jin, that’s enough. I’ll go to Burial Mound and deal with this.”

Jin GuangShan felt satisfied, speaking in a sincere tone, “That’s the spirit. Sect Leader Jiang, there are some things, some people that you shouldn’t put up with.”

After the gathering ended, all of the sect leaders felt that they received a terrific topic for conversation. They walked quickly as they discussed with all their might, their passionate hatred still burning bright.

Behind the sea of Sparks Amidst Snow, the Venerated Trio gathered. Lan XiChen spoke, “Brother, you have worked hard.”

Jin GuangYao grinned, “It wasn’t hard work. Who had to work hard was Sect Leader Jiang’s table. He clenched a few of its parts to crumbles. Looks like he really was angered.”

Nie MingJue walked over, “All clever talk—hard work indeed.”

Hearing this, Lan XiChen smiled but said nothing. Jin GuangYao knew that Nie MingJue would teach him a lesson whenever he found the chance. Quite helpless, he tried to change the subject, “Huh, Brother, where is WangJi? I saw him leave early.”

Lan XiChen gestured to the front. Jin GuangYao and Nie MingJue turned to look. Amid the ocean of Sparks Amidst Snow, Lan WangJi and the woman who left her sect in Golden Pavilion stood facing each other. The woman’s eyes were still tearing up while Lan WangJi’s expression was solemn. The two seemed to be conversing.

A moment later, Lan WangJi bowed slightly, saluting her.

The salute held gravity amid respect. The woman returned him an even graver solute. Wearing the uncrested gauze coat, she drifted down Koi Tower.

Nie MingJue, “The woman has much more backbone than the mob of her sect.”

Jin GuangYao smiled cheerily, “That’s right.”

Two days later, bringing with him around thirty disciples, Jiang Cheng left for Yiling.

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Under Burial Mound, before the walls that were torn down, hundreds of fierce corpses really did roam. Jiang Cheng went forward. They did nothing at all. But if the disciples behind Jiang Cheng approached, they’d make low roars of warning. Jiang Cheng told the disciples to wait down the mountain. He went up alone, walking amid the dark forest. After he walked for a long time, human voices finally came from ahead of him.

A few round stumps were beside the mountain path, a large one, like a table, and a few smaller ones, like chairs. A red-clothed woman sat with Wei WuXian on two of the stumps. A man who seemed to be honest and simple was turning over the soil of the field nearby.

Wei WuXian was shaking his leg, “How about potatoes?”

The woman’s tone was resolute, “Radishes. Radishes are easy to grow. They don’t die as often. Potatoes are hard to look after.”

Wei WuXian, “Radishes are disgusting.”

Jiang Cheng snorted. Wei WuXian and Wen Qing finally turned around. They weren’t surprised when they saw him. Wei WuXian stood up. When he walked over, he said nothing and continued to walk up the mountain, hands behind his back. Jiang Cheng didn’t ask either, he just followed behind him.

Soon later, a group of men appeared beside the path, busying themselves before a rack made of wood. They were probably all cultivators of the Wen Sect. Yet, having taken off their robes of sun and flames and put on clothes made of coarse cloth with hammers and saws in their hands, timber and straws on their shoulders, they climbed up and down, worked inside and out; they were not at all different from ordinary farmers and hunters. When they saw Jiang Cheng, they could tell by his clothes and sword that he was a prominent sect leader. As though they still felt some fear, they all stopped what they were doing, looking over with hesitation, not even daring to let out a breath.

Wei WuXian waved his hand, “Just continue.”

As soon as he spoke, the people all went back to their work, feeling relieved. Jiang Cheng asked, “What are they doing?”

Wei WuXian, “Can’t you tell? Building houses.”

Jiang Cheng, “Building houses? Then what were the ones we saw turning over the dirt when we came up here doing? Don’t tell me you’re really going to start farming.”

Wei WuXian, “Didn’t you hear everything? We are farming.”

Jiang Cheng, “You’re farming on a mountain of corpses? Will the things that grow here be edible?”

Wei WuXian, “Believe me. When people really are hungry, they’ll eat whatever they can.”

Jiang Cheng, “You really intend on stationing yourself here in the long run? Can people even live in such a damned place?”

Wei WuXian, “I lived three months in here.”

After a moment of silence, Jiang Cheng asked, “You’re not coming back to Lotus Pier?”

Wei WuXian replied in a relaxed tone, “Yunmeng is so close to Yiling. I’ll sneak back whenever I feel like it.”

Jiang Cheng snorted, “You wish.”

As he was about to speak again, he felt something heavy on his leg. He looked down. He didn’t know when, but a child about one or two years old crept over and hugged his leg. Raising his chubby chin, he looked up at him with his dark, round eyes.

He was quite a fine, lovable child. Unfortunately, Jiang Cheng had no love in him at all. He turned to Wei WuXian, “Where did the kid come from? Get him away from me.”

Wei WuXian bent down and picked up the child, letting him sit on his arm, “What do you mean get him away? Can’t you talk properly? A-Yuan, why do you hug the leg of everyone you meet? Off you go! Don’t bite your nails right after you play with mud. Do you know what the mud is made of? Move your hand! Don’t touch my face either. Where’s Granny?”

An old woman with sparse, white hair staggered over, holding a wooden walking stick in her hand. When she saw Jiang Cheng, she realized that he was an important character as well. She seemed to be a bit scared, her stooping figure stooped even lower.

Wei WuXian placed the child named A-Yuan by her leg, “Go play on the side.”

Limping, the old woman held her grandson’s hand and left. The little child stumbled as he walked, looking back at them.

Jiang Cheng mocked, “Those sect leaders thought you gathered some leftover forces and crowned yourself king of the hill. So it’s only the old, the weak, the women, and the children.”

Wei WuXian grinned, mocking himself as well. Jiang Cheng continued, “Where’s Wen Ning?”

Wei WuXian, “Why are you asking about him?”

Jiang Cheng replied coldly, “These days countless people have asked me about him, but who could I ask? Seemed like I could only come ask you.”

Wei WuXian pointed to the front. The two walked shoulder to shoulder. A chilling gust of air surged toward them as they saw the large mouth of a cave. After they entered, for a while they had been walking straight before Jiang Cheng knocked something over with his feet. He looked down to find half a compass.

Wei WuXian quickly stopped him, “Don’t kick it. I haven’t finished this one yet. It’s useful.”

Just as he picked it up, Jiang Cheng stepped on something else. It was a crumpled-up flag. Wei WuXian stopped him again, “Don’t break it! This one is useful as well. It’s almost finished.”

Jiang Cheng, “You’re the one who littered them on the ground. It’s not anyone’s fault if they break them.”

Wei WuXian, “I live here alone, so what if I litter a few things around?”

They walked deeper into the cave. All along the path were talismans, stuck to the walls or tossed onto the ground, scrunched into balls or ripped to pieces. It seemed as though somebody lost their marbles and threw a tantrum here. On top of that, the deeper they went, the messier it got.

Jiang Cheng felt like he was suffocating, “You dare mess with Lotus Pier like this, then you can just watch as I burn all of these things!”

After they entered the main area of the cave, there was a person lying on the ground. From head to toe, he was covered entirely in talismans. Only a pair of eye whites could be seen from the outside. This was Wen Ning.

Jiang Cheng glanced at him, “You live here? Where do you sleep?”

Wei WuXian tossed the things he just picked up into a corner. He answered by pointing at a crumpled pile of blankets at another corner, “With those, I can sleep anywhere.”

Jiang Cheng didn’t want to talk about such a thing with him any longer. Looking down with condescension, he examined Wen Ning, who lay motionlessly, “What happened to him?”

Wei WuXian, “He’s a bit too fierce. I’m worried he’ll do something, so I sealed him up so that he can’t move at the moment.”

Jiang Cheng, “Wasn’t he a shy stutterer when he was alive? How’s he so fierce after he died?”

His tone couldn’t be called friendly at all. Wei WuXian glanced at him, “Wen Ning was indeed quite a timid person. But precisely because of this, he hid all of his feelings within him. Hatred, anger, fear, anxiety, pain—these were pent-up for too long, which is why the exploded after he died. You can’t even imagine how powerful they are. It’s the same as how the more nice-tempered someone is, the scarier they are after they lose their temper. The more he was like this, the fiercer he’d be after death.”

Jiang Cheng, “Haven’t you always said the fiercer the better? The heavier the resentful energy is, the greater the hatred is, and the stronger the power is.”

Wei WuXian, “That’s right. But I don’t want to make Wen Ning into this kind of corpse.”

Jiang Cheng, “Then what do you want to make him into?”

Wei WuXian, “I want to awaken his consciousness.”

Jiang Cheng sneered, “Dreaming again, aren’t you? Awaken his consciousness? What’d be the difference between a fierce corpse like this and a human being? In my opinion, if you really succeeded, nobody would need to be a human and nobody would need to cultivate. They could just come to you and ask to be made into a fierce corpse.”

Wei WuXian laughed, “That’s right. I’ve realized as well that it’s too fucking hard. But I’ve already boasted about it a couple of times in front of his sister. Now all of them believe that I can do it. I’ll have to succeed, or else what’ll I do with my face…”

Before he even finished, Jiang Cheng unsheathed Sandu and went straight for Wen Ning’s neck. He seemed as if he wanted to cut his head off in one go. Wei WuXian’s reaction was quicker than most. He struck his arm to move the direction of the sword, shouting, “What are you doing?!”

His words echoed through the Demon-Slaughtering Cave, vibrating incessantly. Jiang Cheng refused to sheathe his sword. His voice was harsh, “What am I doing? I’d like to ask you what you are doing. Wei WuXian, you’ve been quite full of yourself these couple of days, haven’t you?!”

Long before Jiang Cheng came up Burial Mound, Wei WuXian knew that he definitely didn’t come to have a nice, calm chat with him. During their way up, there was a string that had been wound up tightly, connecting both of their hearts. Having chatted as though nothing had happened and suppressed things for so long as though both were at ease, the strings finally snapped.

Wei WuXian, “If not because I’ve got no choice with Wen Qing and the others forcing me, do you think I’d like to be so full of myself?”

Jiang Cheng, “You’ve got no choice because they were forcing you? Well now, I’ve got not choice because you’re forcing me! A few days ago at Koi Tower, countless sects surrounded me, forcing me to give an explanation to this, and so I could only come!”

Wei WuXian, “An explanation? We’re even already. The inspectors beat Wen Ning to death; Wen Ning became a corpse and killed them. A tooth for a tooth, a life for a life—all that is over.”

Jiang Cheng, “All that is over? How could it be possible?! Don’t you know how many eyes are watching you right now? How many are watching your Seal? If this opportunity is in their hands, you wouldn’t be in the right even if you are!”

Wei WuXian, “You said it already. I wouldn’t be in the right even if I am. What else could I do except for jailing myself here?”

Jiang Cheng, “What else? Of course there’s something.”

With Sandu, he pointed at Wen Ning who lay on the ground, “The only way of making up for things is for us to end things before they get the chance to!”

Wei WuXian, “End what?”

Jiang Cheng, “You burn this corpse right now and return to them all these leftovers of the Wen Sect. That’s the only way to make the subject die!” As he spoke, he raised his sword again, preparing to attack.

However, Wei WuXian clenched his wrist, “Are you joking?! If we return Wen Qing and the others to them, they’d meet nothing but a dead end!”

Jiang Cheng, “I doubt you’ll even return all of them. Why do you care what kind of end they meet? A dead end it is, then—what does it have to do with you?!”

Wei WuXian finally lost his temper, “Jiang Cheng! What- What do you think you’re talking about?! Take it back—don’t make me give you a thrashing! Don’t forget. Who was the one that helped us burn Uncle Jiang’s and Madam Yu’s corpses? Who returned to us the ashes that are in Lotus Pier right now? And who took us in when we were chased after by Wen Chao?!”

Jiang Cheng, “I’m the one who fucking wants to give you a thrashing! Yes, they helped us before, but why in the world don’t you understand that right now any remnant of the Wen Sect is a target of criticism! No matter who they are, with a surname of Wen they have committed a most heinous crime! And those who protect the Wen are at risk of being condemned by everyone! All the people loathe the Wen-dogs so badly that the worse they die the better. Whoever protects them is against the entire world. Nobody would speak for them, and nobody would speak for you either!”

Wei WuXian, “I don’t need anyone to speak for me.”

Jiang Cheng exploded, “Just what are you being so stubborn about? If you can’t do it then move over—I’ll do it!”

Wei WuXian gripped him even tighter, his fingers as tight as iron, “Jiang WanYin!”

Jiang Cheng, “Wei WuXian! Don’t you understand? When you’re standing on their side, you’re the bizarre genius, the miraculous hero, the force of the rebellion, the flower that blooms alone. But the second your voice differs from theirs, you’ve lost your mind, you’ve ignored morality, you’ve walked the crooked path. You think you can be immune to all those condemnations as you stay outside of the world and do whatever you want? No such precedent has happened before!”

Wei WuXian shouted, “If there’s been no precedent, then I’ll be the precedent!”

Swords unsheathed, the two stared at each other for a while. Neither was willing to take a single step back. A while later, Jiang Cheng spoke, “Wei WuXian, have you still not realized what the situation at hand is like? Do you really need me to say it out loud? If you insist on protecting them, then I won’t be able to protect you.”

Wei WuXian, “There’s no need to protect me. Just let go.”

Jiang Cheng’s face twisted.

Wei WuXian, “Just let go. Tell the world that I defected. From now on, no matter what Wei WuXian does, it’d have nothing to do with the YunmengJiang Sect.”

Jiang Cheng, “… All for the Wen Sect…? Wei WuXian, do you have a savior complex? Is it that you’ll die if you don’t stand up for someone and stir up some trouble?”

Wei WuXian stayed quiet. A while later, he answered, “So that’s why we should cut ties right now, in case anything I do affects the YunmengJiang Sect in the future.”

Or else, he really couldn’t make any guarantees on what he’d do in the future.

“…” Jiang Cheng murmured, “My mom said that you do nothing but bring our sect trouble. It’s true indeed.” He laughed coldly, talking to himself, “‘To attempt the impossible’? Fine. You understand the YunmengJiang Sect’s motto. Better than I do. Better than all of us do.”

He sheathed Sandu. The sword returned to its sheath with a clang. Jiang Cheng’s tone was indifferent, “Then let’s arrange for a duel.”

Three days later, the leader of the YunmengJiang Sect, Jiang Cheng, arranged for a duel with Wei WuXian.

They fought quite a fight in Yiling. Negotiations failed. Both resorted to violence.

Under Wei WuXian’s command, the fierce corpse Wen Ning struck Jiang Cheng once, breaking one of his arms. Jiang Cheng stabbed Wei WuXian once. Both sides suffered losses. Each spat out a mouthful of blood and left cursing the other. They had finally fallen out with each other.

After the fight, Jiang Cheng told the outside that Wei WuXian defected from the sect and was an enemy to the entire cultivation world. The YunmengJiang Sect had already cast him out. From then on, no ties remained between them—a clear line was drawn. Henceforth, no matter what he did, they’d have nothing to do with the YunmengJiang Sect!

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