Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword - Chapter 24
Chapter 24: Catching the Traitor
Li Xun Huan sighed. “Then you’re really quite lucky. Because it’s hardly a pretty sight.”
Obviously, anyone who dies from poison must look pretty bad.
Li Xun Huan closed his eyes, then said slowly, “A few years ago, I saw a person who died from his poison. In a few seconds, his whole face turned black, and soon after, his whole body decayed.”
Xin Shu stared at Xin Mei’s body, then yelled, “But second brother has been dead for several days...”
Li Xun Huan opened his eyes again. “That’s right. He’s been poisoned for several days, yet his body still hasn’t decayed, do you know why?”
Xin Shu shook his head.
Li Xun Huan said, “Because he was given another type of poison!”
Xin Shu said, “You... you mean...”
Li Xun Huan said, “Although he was poisoned by the Five-Poison Kid, it’s not too severe, and was held in check by his inner power. So the poison had not acted when he came to Shaolin.”
Li Xun Huan said, “The killer must’ve been afraid that he’d divulge the secret. Wishing he’d die quickly, he added another type of poison.”
Xin Shu said, “There are many ways to kill a person. Why use poison?”
“Because no matter which method he uses, there will be evidence. But since Reverend Xin Mei was already deeply poisoned, this method will leave no traces.”
Xin Shu said, “That’s true. This way, everyone would think that he’s killed by the Five-Poison Kid.”
Li Xun Huan said, “This person is very calculating, but he forgot one thing.”
“He forgot that poisons can counteract one another. It’s only because he put in heavy doses of his lethal poison, that it prevented Five-Poison Kid’s poison from acting. So Xin Mei’s body remained in such good condition even after all this time!”
Li Xun Huan’s eyes glowed, “After Reverend Xin Mei came back, did he eat anything?”
Xin Shu said, “Just a cup of medicine.”
“Who gave him the medicine?”
“The medicine was made by seventh brother Xin Jian. But the person who fed him the medicine are fourth brother Xin Zhu and sixth brother Xin Deng.”
He sighed again. “So all three are suspects.”
Li Xun Huan said, “There are two famous types of poisons in this world. The first tends to be odorless and tasteless, but can make a person die in a horrific way, so it would not just kill someone, but also horrify those watching.”
Xin Shu said, “The Five-Poison Kid’s poison is obviously in this category.”
Li Xun Huan continued, “The second kind might be more easy to detect, but can make someone die without showing any symptom, sometimes so that no one would even think he had died from poison.”
“You’re saying that the killer used this type?”
Li Xun Huan nodded. “It’s only due to their opposite nature that these two poisons would clash. Although the first type of poison is horrifying, this second type of poison might be more deadly. Very few people can mix this type of poison.”
He stared closely at Xin Shu and asked, “How many people in Shaolin knows how to use this?”
Xin Shu took a deep breath. “This...”
Li Xun Huan said, “Shaolin is the head of the martial world. It’s disciples would obviously not learn something as despicable as this, right?”
Xin Shu said in a sure tone, “There’s absolutely nothing like this taught at Shaolin!”
Li Xun Huan said, “Reverend Xin Zhu and Xin Deng...”
Xin Shu cut him off. “Xin Zhu became a monk at the age of nine. Xin Deng was a monk while he was a baby. I bet none of them had even seen any poisons in their life.”
Li Xun Huan chuckled. “Well, in that case, who would the killer be?”
“You’re saying it’s seventh brother Xin Jian?”
Li Xun Huan did not speak.
Xin Jian became a monk late in his life. Before he entered Shaolin, he was already famous in the martial world, an expert at using poison!
A game of Go is being played in the pavillion.
Bai Xiao Sheng lightly held his piece, snowflakes fell along with his piece, into the snow on the ground.
The scenery is indeed beautiful, but everywhere is filled with hint of murder, and everyone felt extremely uptight.
Reverend Xin Hu, Xin Zhu, Xin Deng, and Xin Jian are all here.
Ah Fei knelt by the side of the pavilion, not even bothering to raise his head.
Xin Hu looked at him, then asked, “Do you think Li Xun Huan will come?”
Bai Xiao Sheng smiled. “Of course.”
Xin Hu said, “He’s the type of person who’d sacrifice himself for a friend?”
“This is because even thieves have their own codes.”
Xin Hu sighed. “Hopefully, you’re right...”
His voice suddenly stopped.
He already saw Xin Shu.
Xin Shu has entered the pavilion, but by himself.
Xin Hu stood up to welcome him, and asked, “How are you?”
He didn’t ask anything else, simply greeted Xin Shu, really is something only an abbot of Shaolin can do.
Xin Shu said, “Thank you, brother. Thankfully I was spared.”
Xin Shu continued, “He went to get the scriptures.”
Xin Jian asked, “Scriptures? What scriptures?”
Xin Shu said, “The missing scriptures from the library.”
Xin Jian’s mouth twitched, then laughed coldly. “So it was him after all! Then why would you let him go?”
Xin Shu said, “Because he’s not the thief!”
Xin Jian said, “Then who is it?”
Xin Shu said, “It’s you!”
Xin Jian’s mouth twitched again, but immediately calmed down. “Fifth brother, how could you say these things? I don’t understand.”
Xin Shu said, “If you don’t understand, then who does?”
Xin Jian turned to Xin Hu, then said, “Please say something, big brother. I have certainly have nothing more to say.”
Xin Hu’s expression also changed. “Second brother was obviously killed by Li Xun Huan. Why are you helping him now?”
Bai Xiao Sheng became a little angry. “If I remember correctly, brother Xin Shu and Li Xun Huan both passed the imperial examinations the same year.”
Xin Jian said coldly, “Fifth brother had obviously also taken Li Xun Huan’s poison.”
Xin Shu ignored them, and said, “The poison that killed second brother was not Five-Poison Kid’s.”
Xin Jian cut in. “How would you know?”
Xin Shu laughed coldly. “Do you really think no one knows of what you did? Or did you forget that second brother left something before he died.”
He pulled out Xin Mei’s diary.
Xin Hu said, “What is this?”
Xin Shu said, “Before second brother left, he already knew who the traitorous thief was. But since he didn’t want to do anything before getting all the evidence, Xin Mei wrote down the name on this book, so that in case he died, there would be some evidence.
Xin Hu said with a shock, “Really?”
Xin Jian cut in again. “If there really is my name in that book, I’ll...”
Xin Shu said, “What will you do? Although you tore up the last page, how could you know if he didn’t also write your name elsewhere?”
Xin Jian’s body shook, yelling, “Fifth brother is conspiring with an outsider to frame me. Please look into this, big brother.”
Xin Hu still just stood there, looking at Bai Xiao Sheng.
Bai Xiao Sheng said, “Anyone can write those words.”
Xin Jian said, “That’s right.. Even if my name is in the book, it doesn’t prove that second brother wrote it.”
Bai Xiao Sheng said, “From what I know, Little Li Tan Hua is a fine scholar. He’s skilled in the art of writing.”
Xin Jian added, “That’s right. If he wants to copy someone’s handwriting, it should be very easy.”
Xin Hu looked at Xin Shu. “You tend to be a very cautious person, brother. Why are you being so impulsive right now?”
Xin Shu’s expression remains unchanged, staring at Xin Jian. “If you don’t think this isn’t enough, I have another piece of evidence.”
Xin Hu said, “Oh? Please say it.”
Xin Shu said, “The ‘Da Muo Yi Jin Jing’ hidden in second brother’s room is gone.”
Xin Shu said, “Li Tan Hua calculated that the thief hasn’t had a chance to send away this book, so it must still be in Xin Jian’s room. He has went with my students to get it now.”
Xin Jian suddenly jumped up and began to yell, “Big brother, don’t listen to him. He wants to frame me!”
As he said this, his body is already outside.
Xin Hu raised his eyebrows, got up, and followed behind him.
In an instant, they all arrived at Xin Jian’s room.
The door is already open.
Xin Jian rushed inside, sliced open a closet, and revealed a hidden compartment.
The ‘Yi Jin Jing’ scripture is inside.
Xin Jian said loudly, “This book was originally in the second brother’s room. It’s because they want to frame me that they put it here, but this trick has been used hundreds of times in the past. How could someone as smart as the big brother be duped by your petty tricks?”
When he finished, Xin Shu said, “Even if we did try to frame you, how could you know we put this scripture inside that closet? Why didn’t you look elsewhere first?”
Xin Jian suddenly froze, his head full of sweat.
Xin Shu let out a sigh of relief. “Li Tan Hua already calculated that only this method can make you admit your guilt.”
Only to hear someone laugh, “But this method really is quite risky. If he doesn’t fall for it, then there really is no way for us to catch him!”
In the midst of the laughter, Li Xun Huan appeared.
Xin Hu sighed deeply, then bowed to greet him.
Li Xun Huan returned the gesture.
Xin Jian back-tracked slowly, but Xin Zhu and Xin Deng already blocked his path. The expression on their faces are deadly.
Xin Hu said, Dan E, Shaolin treated you so well, how could you do something like this?”
Dan E is Xin Jian’s name before becoming a monk.
Dan E, sweating profusely, said, “I... I admit my mistake.”
He suddenly dropped on his knees and said, “But I was being manipulated by someone else.”
Xin Hu said loudly, “Who?”
Bai Xiao Sheng suddenly cut in, “Actually, I think I know.”
Xin Hu said, “Please, do tell.”
Bai Xiao Shen said, “Him!”
Everyone immediately turned towards where Bai Xiao Sheng was pointing at, but they didn’t see anyone.
By the time they turned back, Xin Hu’s expression changed greatly.
Bai Xiao Sheng’s hand is already on his back, his fingers controlled Xin Hu’s four major pressure points.
Xin Shu’s expression also changed. “It’s you!”
Bai Xiao Sheng said, “I simply wanted to borrow some books. Who’d have thought you people are so stingy.”
Xin Hu said, “We’ve been friends for over ten years. I’d never thought you’d do something like this to me.”
Bai Xiao Sheng sighed, “I didn’t want to do this either. But since Dan E wants to drag me down with him, I have to do this.”
Dan E immediately jumped up, picking up the ‘Yi Jin Jing’ scripture, and laughed. “That’s right. You’ll have to escort us down the mountain. If any of you want to see your abbot alive, then you better not make any sudden moves.”
Despite his immense anger, Xin Shu could not help but simply watch.
Xin Hu said, “If you people value Shaolin, then forget about me. Capture this traitor right now!”
Bai Xiao Sheng said, “It doesn’t matter what you say. They won’t play around with your life. The life of the Shaolin abbot is way too important.”
As his last word came out, his smile suddenly stopped!
The dagger shined!
Little Li’s Flying Dagger is out of the hand!
The dagger has flown into his throat!
No one saw how the dagger came out.
Bai Xiao Sheng had kept Xin Hu as his shield, his throat behind Xin Hu’s throat. He only left a tiny bit of his throat out.
It can hide behind Xin Hu’s throat at any time.
In this situation, no one would dare to make a move.
But as the dagger shines, faster than lightning, Little Li’s Flying Dagger reached his throat!
Xin Shu, Xin Zhu, Xin Deng, all immediately went over to protect Xin Hu.
Bai Xiao Sheng’s eyes filled with hate, staring at Li Xun Huan. His whole body showed immense disbelief and shock.
Even in death, he could not believe that Li Xun Huan’s dagger is in his throat.
His mouth is still trying to say something, except he couldn’t say it. But everyone can see that he was trying to say, “I’m wrong... I’m wrong...”
That’s right. Bai Xiao Sheng knows all, sees all, but was wrong about one thing.
Little Li’s Flying Dagger is much more faster then even he had ever imagined!
Bai Xiao Sheng fell.
Li Xun Huan sighed. “Bai Xiao Sheng wrote a ‘Book of Weaponry’, ranking the top weapons in the world. It’s unfortunate that he’d die from one of the weapons that he ranked.”
Xin Hu bowed several times, then said, “I was wrong too.”
His expression suddenly changed. “Where’s that traitor?”
Dan E had taken advantage of the confusion and fled.
A person like him would never miss an opportunity like this. In an instant, he had left the courtyard.
The disciples don’t know about this event yet, so even if they see him, they wouldn’t stop him.
As he reached the pavilion, Ah Fei was just about to get up.
Although Bai Xiao Sheng sealed his pressure points very tightly, it still loosened after all this time.
When Dan E saw him, hate filled his eyes. He wanted to take out all his frustration on Ah Fei.
After going through so much torture, how could Ah Fei defend himself?
So to kill Ah Fei can’t possibly take long.
Without saying a word, Dan E attacked, Shaolin’s fist is world-renowned, and Dan E has been in Shaolin for over ten years, so he’s obviously quite good at it.
This punch contained all his power, fast and deadly, can easily kill. Dan E realized that he has plenty of time to escape even after killing Ah Fei.
But who’d have thought that as this instant, Ah Fei’s hand suddenly shot out.
He moved later, but struck first!
Dan E only felt his throat icy cold, with sharp pain along with the coldness, his breathing stopped, as if he was being suffocated.
His face is filled with disbelief... he knew this youngster is very fast, but what did the youngster use to penetrate his throat?
He’ll never know the answer.
Dan E also fell.
Ah Fei got up, catching his breath.
Xin Hu and the others have caught up by now, and also were shocked, because no one thought that this youngster in this condition could possibly kill Dan E!
A stick of ice stuck in Dan E’s throat.
The ice has begun to melt.
This youngster only needed a stick of ice to kill one of the top seven reverends of Shaolin.
Xin Hu looked at that pale white face, not knowing what to say.
Ah Fei didn’t even look at them, only walked towards Li Xun Huan, then he immediately smiled.
Li Xun Huan also smiled.
Xin Hu’s voice is still weak, “Why don’t you two come to my...”
Ah Fei cut him off, “Is Li Xun Huan the Plum Flower Bandit?”
Xin Hu said, “No.”
“Am I the Plum Flower Bandit?”
Ah Fei said, “If we’re both not, then we can now, right?”
Xin Hu forced a smiled. “Of course, but I think perhaps you should rest up here....”
Ah Fei cut him off again. “Don’t worry about that. Forget that I can actually walk out, even if I have to crawl out, I’d still crawl down the mountain this instant.”
Xin Zhu, Xin Deng both dropped their heads. No one had ever been so disrespectful to a Shaolin abbot in hundreds of years. But they can only swallow this.
Ah Fei had already grabbed Li Xun Huan’s hands, and started to walk out of Shaolin.
Li Xun Huan turned around and said, “Today we part, if we meet again someday, forgive this lack of respect.”
Xin Shu said, “I’ll escort you out.”
Li Xun Huan said, “Escort like not escort. Not escorting like escort. Why would reverend need to make the distinction?”
When they’re out of eyesight, Xin Hu took a long deep breath. He didn’t say anything, but the silence is much more painful than any words.
Xin Zhu suddenly said, “Brother you shouldn’t have let him go.”
Xin Hu said, “Why?”
“Although Li Xun Huan did not steal our scriptures nor killed second brother, we still can’t prove that he’s not the Plum Flower Bandit.”
Xin Hu said, “So how can he prove that?”
Xin Zhu said, “He can do so by finding the real Plum Flower Bandit.”
Xin Hu sighed again. “I know he’ll find out, and then escort him here. This isn’t important. It’s just those six scriptures...”
Although the thief has been caught, the scriptures are still not found, who did he give these to?
Who’s really behind all this?
Li Xun Huan doesn’t like to walk, especially in the snow, but he has no choice now, with the icy wind cut like knives, there are no carriages.
But Ah Fei is quite accustomed to walking. In other people’s minds, walking is tedious, but for him, it’s relaxation. The more he walks, the more energy he recovers.
They shared their stories with each other, and Li Xun Huan began to think, then said, “You’re not the Plum Flower Bandit, neither am I. So who is it?”
Ah Fei stared into the distance. “He’s already dead.”
Li Xun Huan said, “Did he really die? Did you really kill the Plum Flower Bandit?
Ah Fei did not speak.
Li Xun Huan suddenly chuckled. “Have you ever thought that perhaps the Plum Flower Bandit might not be a man?”
“If he’s not a man, then who is he?”
Li Xun Huan smiled, “If he’s not a man, then he’s obviously a woman.”