Chapter 106: Hatred (Part Nine)
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lan XiChen, “What letter?”
Jin GuangYao, “A letter of threat. The letter said… those things would be publicized for the world to see in seven days. They wanted me to either turn myself in and apologize, or… wait for the day of my death.”
Everyone understood. Of course, Jin GuangYao couldn’t just wait for his death to come. Instead of having his name be ruined and his sect be overthrown by the mockery of all the sects, he’d be the one to strike first. At that time, even if the opponent really spread the rumors of all his past deeds everywhere, after the siege, the sects would be drained of the energy to bother him.
Unfortunately, it was all wrecked by Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi.
Lan XiChen, “Even so, you cannot go the entire way and settle on murder! Like this, you…”
He didn’t even give Lan XiChen a reason to speak in favor of him! Jin GuangYao, “Or else what could I do? Wait until everything’s been exposed, wait until the rumors soar above the cities, wait until I’ve become the laughing stock of all the world of cultivation before I kneel down and apologize, begging for their pardon by placing my face under their feet for them to step on? Brother! There is no third path. It is either their death or mine.”
Anger began to appear over Lan XiChen’s face. He stepped away, “Is this not all because you… because you did the things in the letter?! If you never did those things, how could anyone come across the evidence to hold against you?”
Jin GuangYao, “Brother, listen to me. I don’t deny that I did those things…”
Lan XiChen, “How could you deny them? There are both witnesses and proof!”
Jin GuangYao, “And so I said I don’t deny them! But to have killed my father, my wife, my son, my brother—if not because I had no other choice, why would I have done those things? Could it be that I’m really so out of my mind in your eyes?!”
Lan XiChen’s expression calmed somewhat, “Fine. I will ask you a few questions. You can explain one by one.”
Lan WangJi, “Brother!”
He unsheathed Bichen. Seeing how he seemed like he was about to end Jin GuangYao right there, Lan XiChen hurried, “Do not worry. He is injured, and his weapon is confiscated as well. He is at a great disadvantage. With so many people here, he cannot do anything.” On the other side, Wei WuXian gave Su She a kick, stopping his intention to move in secrecy. Lan XiChen, “Go deal with things over there. I will stay here.”
Hearing Su She’s enraged roar, Lan WangJi walked over. Wei WuXian knew that Lan XiChen still had some feelings towards this sworn brother of his. He had some inexplicable expectations of him and just had to give him this chance to speak. Similarly, Wei WuXian wanted to hear a few words from Jin GuangYao’s perspective as well, and so he listened. Lan XiChen, “First, your father, Former Sect Leader Jin, did you really use such a method to…”
Jin GuangYao spoke carefully, “I’d like to answer this question last.”
Lan XiChen shook his head before continuing, “Second, your… wife…” As though he couldn’t say it, he immediately changed his phrasing, “Your sister, Qin Su, did you really marry her while knowing what blood relationship you had with her?”
Jin GuangYao stared blankly at him. Suddenly, tears rolled down his eyes. He answered with pain, “… Yes.” Lan XiChen took in a deep breath. His face was almost ashen. Jin GuangYao whispered, “But I really had no choice.”
Lan XiChen scolded, “How could you have no choice?! It was your marriage! Would it not have been fine as long as you chose not to marry her? Even if you hurt Qin Su’s heart because of it, it would have been better than destroying a woman who loved you and respected you with all her heart. A woman who had never treated you badly!”
Jin GuangYao, “Did I not love her with all my heart?! But I had no choice, that’s all there is to it! Yes! It was my marriage, but could I really not have married her with just my word?! Brother, there has to be a bottom line to your naivety—I spent so much effort, went through such lengths for Qin CangYe to answer my proposal, and as the wedding day approached, I finally satisfied both Qin CangYe and Jin GuangShan, but now you’re telling me I should have called off the wedding just like that? What reason should I have used? What should I have told the two of them?!
“Brother, do you know how I felt when Madam Qin came to me to secretly reveal the truth, just as I thought everything was perfect?! It wouldn’t have scared me more if a streak of lighting sliced through my skull! Do you know why she didn’t go to Jin GuangShan and instead begged me in secrecy? It was because she was raped by Jin GuangShan! That good father of mine, he didn’t even let the wife of the a subordinate who’s been with him for so long go. He didn’t even remember he had a new daughter! For so many years, she didn’t dare tell this to her husband, Qin CangYe. If I suddenly broke off the engagement, they would have noticed what was going on and Jin GuangShan and Qin CangYe would have fallen out with each other. Who do you think would be the one that was shunned by both sides and met the worst end?!”
Although it wasn’t the first time they heard of Jin GuangShan’s shameless acts in this realm, the people present still felt some disgusted chills, whichever emotion was greater. Lan XiChen, “Then… Then even though you married Qin Su with no choice, you could have treated her coldly. Why did you… And why did you have to kill your own son with your own hands, after A-Song was born?!”
Jin GuangYao hugged his head, his voice bitter, “… I never touched A-Su again after our marriage. A-Song… we had him before we married. Back then, I was afraid of further delay and additional issues…”
So he and Qin Su consummated their marriage beforehand. If not because of this, he wouldn’t have somehow ended up engaging in incest with his younger sister. At this point, he didn’t know which to detest more—his father who wasn’t like a father at all or himself who was so suspicious of others!
With a sigh, Lan XiChen continued, “Third, do not try to avoid it and answer me—did you plan the death of Jin ZiXuan on purpose?!”
Hearing his father’s name, Jin Ling, who’d been holding Jiang Cheng, widened his eyes.
Lan WangJi raised his voice somewhat, “Brother, you believe him?”
Lan XiChen’s expression was complicated, “Of course I do not believe that Jin ZiXuan ran into the attack at Qiongqi Path by accident, but… let him speak first.”
Jin GuangYao knew he wouldn’t be believed if he denied it no matter what. He clenched his teeth, “… I indeed didn’t run into Jin ZiXuan by accident.”
Jin Ling immediately clenched his fists.
Jin GuangYao continued, “But I’ve never thought of planning everything that happened afterward either. You don’t have to think of me as so clever and faultless. Many things can’t be controlled at all. How could I have known that he’d definitely die by Wei WuXian’s hands together with Jin ZiXun? How could I have predicted that Wei WuXian would definitely lose control and the Ghost General would definitely run riot?”
Wei WuXian’s voice was harsh, “And you said you didn’t run into him by accident? Isn’t that self-contradiction?!”
Jin GuangYao, “I don’t deny that I told him about the attack at Qiongqi Path on purpose, but I only thought that he’d encounter some difficulties if he ran into you when you were being troubled by his cousin since he’d never been on good terms with you. How could I have known that you would simply kill everyone present, Mr. Wei?”
Wei WuXian laughed, enraged, “You’re really…”
Suddenly, Jin Ling screamed, “Why?!” He stood up from beside Jiang Cheng. Eyes red, he rushed toward Jin GuangYao as he shouted, “Why did you have to do this?!”
Nie HuaiSang hurried to pull back Jin Ling, who seemed as though he wanted to fight with Jin GuangYao. Jin GuangYao returned the question, “Why?” He turned to Jin Ling, “A-Ling, then could you tell me why? Why is it that even if I face everyone with a smile, I might not even receive the lowest form of respect, while even though your father was extremely arrogant, people flocked to him? Could you tell me why we were born from the same person but your father could relax at home with the love of his life playing with his child, while I never even dared be alone for long with my wife, shivering out of fright at first glance of my son? And I was ordered to do such a thing by my father as if it was natural—to kill an extremely dangerous figure who could flip out and conjure up a bloody massacre with his corpses anytime!
“Why is it that even though we were born on the same day, Jin GuangShan could host a grand banquet for one son, and watch with his own eyes how his subordinate kicked his other son down Koi Tower, from the first stair to the last!”
He finally revealed the hatred hidden deep within him. It wasn’t directed at neither Jin ZiXuan nor Wei WuXian, but rather his own father.
Wei WuXian, “Stop making excuses! Kill whomever you want dead—why touch Jin ZiXuan?!”
Jin GuangYao responded calmly, “As you’ve seen, I killed all of them.”
Lan XiChen, “And even in such a way.”
Tears rested at the corners of Jin GuangYao’s eyes. He kneeled on the ground, back straight as he smiled, “Yes. An old stallion that gets in a rut wherever it goes really deserves such a death, doesn’t it?”
Lan XiChen shouted, “A-Yao!”
Only after the word came out did he remember that he’d already one-sidedly broke off with Jin GuangYao, and thus he shouldn’t call him like this. However, Jin GuangYao seemed as if he didn’t notice it, his expression collected, “Brother, don’t be surprised that I can call him such dirty things. To this father of mine, I once had hopes as well. In the past, as long as it was his command, whether it be to betray Sect Leader Wen or protect Xue Yang or remove anyone who disagreed, no matter how foolish it was, how hated I’d be, I’d obey regardlessly. But do you know what it was that made me lose hope completely? I’ll answer your first question now. It wasn’t that I’d never be worth a single hair on Jin ZiXuan or one of the holes in Jin ZiXun, it wasn’t that he took back Mo XuanYu, it wasn’t that he tried every possible way to make me a mere figurehead either. It was the truth he once told the maid beside me when he was out indulging himself again.
“Why was a sect leader who spent money like water unwilling to do the smallest favor and buy my mother’s freedom? Simple—it was too much trouble. My mother waited for so many years, weaving together so many difficult circumstances when she talked to me, imagining for his sake so many hardships. And the real reason was only a single word: trouble.
“This is what he said, ‘It’s especially women who’ve read some books who think they’re a level higher than other women. They’re the most troublesome, with so many demands and unrealistic thoughts. If I bought her freedom and took her back to Lanling, who knows how much fuss she’d make. It was best that I let her stay where she was just like that. With her conditions, she’d probably be popular for a few more years. She wouldn’t have to worry about her spendings for the rest of her life.’
“‘Son? Oh, forget it.’”
Jin GuangYao’s memory was extraordinary. With such a word-by-word repetition, one could even imagine that drunk expression of Jin GuangShan’s when he said these words, “Brother, look, these three words are all that I’m worth to my father, ‘Oh, forget it.’ Hahahaha…”
Pain flashed before Lan XiChen’s face, “Even if your father… you…” He still couldn’t find an appropriate comment and gave up, sighing instead, “What is the use of saying all this now?”
Jin GuangYao shrugged as he smiled, “I can’t help it. To seek pity even after doing all the bad things—that’s the kind of person I am.”
At the word ‘pity’, he suddenly flipped his wrist. A red guqin string wrapped around Jin Ling’s neck.
Tears still hung at the corners of Jin GuangYao’s eyes as he spoke, voice low, “Don’t move!”
This was a surprise indeed. Jiang Cheng roared, “Wei WuXian! Didn’t you confiscate his weapons already?!”
Under such circumstances, he somehow directly shouted at Wei WuXian, his voice the same as how it was when he was a boy. Wei WuXian shouted as well, “I did confiscate all his strings!”
It couldn’t be that Jin GuangYao’s cultivation was so high that he could pull things out of thin air, could it?!
Lan WangJi saw it through at one glance, “He hid it inside his body.”
The rest of the people followed his words to see a slowly expanding cluster of red on the white cloth at the side of Jin GuangYao’s waist. The string was red because it was covered in blood. Of course Wei WuXian couldn’t find it earlier on. Jin GuangYao didn’t hide it on him, but instead hid it within his body. With the conversation, Lan XiChen’s emotions were affected while other people’s attention was diverted as well, and Jin Ling even rushed forward to approach him. The time was ripe, and so he caught everyone off guard as he quickly pierced his abdomen with his finger to dig it outside his body.
Who knew that Jin GuangYao could do such a thing to himself in order to keep such a move? Although the string was as thin as possible, it was a piece of metal swimming around in his blood and flesh, after all, so it wouldn’t have felt too pleasant.
Jiang Cheng cried, “A-Ling!” Wei WuXian couldn’t help from moving as well, but immediately someone grabbed him. As he turned around to see that it was Lan WangJi, he finally managed to steady himself and remain collected.
With Jin Ling under control, Jin GuangYao stood up, “Sect Leader Jiang, there’s no need to be so agitated. I watched A-Ling grow up, after all. Same as before, after we walk our own paths for a while, you’ll see a perfectly unharmed A-Ling in some time.”
Jiang Cheng, “A-Ling, don’t move! Jin GuangYao, if you want hostage, it’s the same if it’s me!”
Jin GuangYao answered in all honesty, “No, it isn’t. Sect Leader Jiang, you’re injured. It’s difficult for you to move. You’ll hold me back.”
Wei WuXian felt sweat at his palms, “Sect Leader Jin, didn’t you forget to take something with you? Your loyal subject is still here.”
Jin GuangYao looked towards Su She, who was still being held back with Bichen by Lan WangJi. Su She immediately called, throat hoarse, “Sect Leader, there’s no need to care about me!”
Jin GuangYao immediately replied, “Thank you.”
Lan XiChen spoke slowly, “Sect Leader Jin, you lied again.”
Jin GuangYao, “Just this once. There’ll be no next time.”
Lan XiChen, “This was what you said last time. I can no longer tell which of your words are true.”
Just as Jin GuangYao was about to speak, a thunder of unprecedented volume roared. It was far in the distance, but sounded almost as if it was right next to one’s ear. He couldn’t help but shiver and swallow what he was about to say. Immediately after, three strange thumps bellowed outside the temple’s doors.
Compared to the act of ‘knocking on the door, it had a greater resemblance to ‘crashing into the door.’ It didn’t sound like the slaps of a man’s arm, more like someone held another’s head and smashed it against the door again and again. The thumps got louder as the crack in the door bolt grew in size. The expression on Jin GuangYao’s face became more twisted by each moment.
At the fourth strike, the door bolt finally broke. Dense strands of rain as well as a pitch-black figure whirled through the door.
Jin GuangYao’s figure trembled, as though he wanted to dodge, but soon he stopped the urge. The figure didn’t fly in his direction, but instead in Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi’s. Calmly, the two parted for an instant before naturally standing side-by-side again. Turning around, Wei WuXian called, “Wen Ning?”
Wen Ning crashed into the Guanyin statue within the temple. With his feet above his head, he hung for a while before he plopped down and answered, “… Young Master.”
Seeing him, both Jiang Cheng and Jin Ling grew darkish in their faces. On the other hand, Nie HuaiSang cried, “Brother!!!”
Apart from Wen Ning who flew inside, a taller silhouette stood before the the temple’s doors. His figure was firm, while two blank eyes rested on his ashen face.
It was ChiFeng-Zun, Nie MingJue!
Like a tower of steel, he stood in front of the Guanyin Temple amid the storm, blocking the paths of everyone. His head sat level on his neck. Black, closely-packed stitches could be seen at his throat. Somebody had somehow used a long thread to sew together the head and the headless body!
Lan XiChen, “… Brother.”
Jin GuangYao also murmured, “… Brother.”
Within the temple, three people called Nie MingJue’s corpse ‘Brother’ but the three tones were drastically different. Jin GuangYao’s face was full of a drowning fear. His entire body began to shiver. No matter dead or alive, the person Jin GuangYao was most scared of was none but this sworn brother of his whose temper tolerated no evil. As his body shivered, his hands shivered as well, and the bloody guqin string he clutched tightly in his hand also began to shiver. At this instant, Lan WangJi suddenly unsheathed Bichen and slashed.
In the blink of an eye, he’d flashed before Jin Ling while holding something. While Jin GuangYao felt his arm lighten. With a short pause, he looked down only to finally discover that his right hand was gone. His right hand was cut off from his forearm. What Lan WangJi held was the palm he’d been using to grip the guqin string.
At once, blood spilled everywhere. Jin GuangYao’s face paled in pain. He didn’t even have the energy to scream and only staggered backwards a couple of steps. Unable to hold himself up, he collapsed onto the ground. Su She, on the other hand, began to scream. Lan XiChen seemed as though he wanted to help him for an instant, but in the end he dared not.
Lan WangJi peeled open the fingers of the severed palm. The guqin string loosened, and Jin Ling was finally out of danger. Just as Jiang Cheng was about to rush over to see if he was hurt or not, Wei WuXian moved faster than him and grabbed Jin Ling’s shoulders, examining carefully. After he’d determined that the skin on his neck was unscathed, without a single scratch, he finally let out a sigh of relief.
In the past, whenever Lan WangJi attacked, he always left a few degrees of lenience. But right then, the situation was dangerous indeed. The guqin string was extremely sharp. In the hands of someone who knew the chord assassination technique, it could cut through meat and bone as if through vegetables. On top of that, Jin GuangYao’s hands were shaking. If he shook just a bit more or, with a more frightening possibility, if he forgot that he still had someone on his leash, and ended up making a run for it while holding the string… If Lan WangJi didn’t sever the right hand with which he held the string so decisively, blood might’ve already spewed out of Jin Ling’s severed head and body!
The blood that came from where Jin GuangYao’s hand broke off splashed right onto Jin Ling, drenching over half of his body and a portion of his face. He was still muddled, having not realized what happened yet. Wei WuXian, however, pulled him into a tight hug, “Stand farther away from dangerous people next time, you brat, why did you go so close?!”
If the only son of Jiang YanLi and Jin ZiXuan died in front of his eyes, Wei WuXian would truly be at a loss as to what to do.
Jin Ling wasn’t used to being hugged by someone like this. Blood immediately flushed to his pale face as he pushed away from Wei WuXian’s chest. Grabbing him, Wei WuXian hugged a couple more times, with more force, slapping his shoulder hard before he shoved him towards Jiang Cheng, “Go! Don’t run around anymore. Go to your uncle!”
Jiang Cheng caught Jin Ling, who still felt a bit dizzy. Looking across at Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi standing together, he hesitated for a moment before he turned to Lan WangJi, lowering his voice, “Thank you.” Although his voice was low, there was no vagueness.
Jin Ling said as well, “Thank you for saving my life, HanGuang-Jun.”
Lan WangJi nodded and said nothing. Bichen pointed at the ground with a slant. No drops of blood clung to the bright, crystalline blade as they all rolled onto the ground. He turned the blade to point at Nie MingJue, who stood at the doorway.
Wen Ning slowly crawled up and attached a broken arm, “Be careful… His resentful energy is abnormally strong.”