The temple would have been abandoned decades ago if it had not been restored by the imperial court. Very few people come to offer incense.

When Yin Hanjiang returned to Wen Renhe he asked: “Do you come here often?”

Yin Hanjiang’s ears slightly reddened but he kept a cold expression as he answered honestly: “If I am not in seclusion, I come once a year.”

But it was the first time he could come with Devil Venerable.

“I don’t cultivate the path of virtue nor do I eat offered incense. I am right beside you, so why do you worship a statue?” Wen Renhe was puzzled.

Yin Hanjiang followed him since he was a child. So he always thought he knew Yin Hanjiang, but after reading the book he learned that he saw only one side of Yin Hanjiang. Since then, he focused more on him and discovered many details that he had not noticed before.

For example, the temple was more than 80 years old, but the statue looked new. Part of this must be attributed to Yin Hanjiang. He came here once a year, but he had never noticed it even once before.

Just as Yin Hanjiang was about to answer, a man dressed as an official came over to them. He looked like was 50 or 60 years old and when he saw Yin Hanjiang, he took the initiative to say: “Is this young warrior surnamed Yin?”

Unlike his indifference to  others, Yin Hanjiang politely replied bowing his head: “Exactly.”

The old official looked at Yin Hanjiang with a nostalgic expression and sighted: “I have been guarding the Martyrs’ Shrine since I was sixteen years old. Over the last forty years I have seen fewer and fewer people coming to pay their respects. In the past eleven years, I haven’t seen you Young Master so I thought you had forgotten about him.”

“My father, who has been unable to come to pay his respects in recent years due to his disability, asked me to come for the first time this year. He told me that my great-grandfather was saved by General Wen 80 years ago. The Yin Clan will not forget about this for generations, even if I grow old, my children and grandchildren will come. “

Yin Hanjiang seldom spoke at such length so he was not good at expressing his thoughts. The first time he saw this official he was disguised as his great grandfather, and gradually took up the roles of his own grandfather and father. He might even pretend to be his own son and grandson in the future.

In the past eleven years, he has not come saying it was because of his father’s disability but it was thanks to the Massive Demonic War that Yin Hanjiang couldn’t come.

“The old official took a wet cloth and wiped the Martyrs statue in front of Martyrs’ Shrine, revealing every name. “He kept saying that if it weren’t for General Wen, the town might have changed hands 80 years ago during the war.”

After wiping each name with a damp cloth, the old official gazed at a name “Zhang Ergu” and proudly said: “This is my grandfather, who left my father behind to die in the battlefield. My father said that the peace in the frontier town now is the result of the flesh and blood of my grandfather and countless soldiers. Although my grandfather died, he is very proud of him.”

As the autumn wind became stronger, the old man wrapped his clothes tighter and said to Yin Hanjiang with a smile: “Young people are strong and not afraid of the wind and cold. But you should wear more clothes in the winter, otherwise it will be unbearable when you grow old.”

He put away his scrubbing cloth and left the Martyr’s Shrine with a small bucket in hand.

Only when he was far away, Yin Hanjiang turned back and earnestly answered: “it’s not the same.”

This time, Wen Renhe understood.

Wen Renhe, Devil Venerable of Demonic Path was different from the general Wen from the Frontier Town Martyr Shrine. Just like the Protector Yin from Xuanyuan sect, was different from the young warrior Yin who came to pay respects every year.

He walked up to the Martyr statue, touching every name with his fingertips as he smiled in relief: “I can actually match each name with the face in my memory. 

It was no longer Devil Venerable but General Wen Ren 

The people from names of the monument were probably already reincarnated and some of them may have already reincarnated several times. But in this town, in the hearts of countless people, they lived vividly in memory of town residents. 

Together, these names were called “Guardians.”.

The wind in the frontier fortress was strong and every autumn wind was like a knife piercing people cotton-padded clothes. Seeing that the wind was getting stronger people who set roadside stalls packed away their stalls as pedestrians rushed to their warm houses. In flesh only Wen Renhe and Yin Hanjiang were left on the road. 

The cold, knife-like wind blew off a strand of Yin Hanjiang’s long hair that was hanging on the side of his face. His usual hairstyle did not reveal much of his face so although his face was young, there was a sense of teenage sophistication. The wind disordered his hair and in Wen Renhe’s eyes Yin Hanjiang unexpectedly gave a pure youthful feeling. 

As a matter of fact, Yin Hanjiang had always been like this and had not changed for many years. It was just that Wen Renhe’s eyes rarely fell on him. 

Wen Renhe laughed and took out 《Abusive Love Affair: You are the only one I will never change》from his sleeve and said: “It’s all thanks to this book, if it wasn’t for her I might have missed out on Yin Hanjiang.”

When Yin Hanjiang saw the familiar book he was puzzled he could not understand why Venerable kept this book. 

It seemed that today, his lord saw a different side of him and it seemed like Venerable was different from the past. Yin Hanjiang only thought that the man in front of him was the general Wen rather than Devil Venerable so he dared to ask: “What is the mystery of this book?”

He still remembered that it was after he got this book that Venerable left Xuanyuan Sect and started paying  special attention to a righteous disciple named Baili Qingmiao and started to take extra care of him. 

Devil Venerable only treated Baili Qingmiao as a junior, and Yin Hanjiang also unconsciously paid attention to this woman who only had love in her heart. He was fond of her talent and said that he had cause and effect relationships from her previous life but had no intention of accepting her as an apprentice. Baili Qingmiao only wanted to live together with He Wenchao, but He Wenchao…. 

Even though Yin Hanjiang seldom had his own opinions and views on people other than Devil Venerable, he had to admit that He Wenchao was not worth it.

Baili Qingmiao was only a pure and kind-hearted righteous disciple, but He Wenchao was really a little disgusting.

Yin Hanjiang was a person who believed that one person cannot be with several people, so how could he be accustomed to He Wenchao’s behavior of saying that he loved Baili Qingmiao but still slept with Protector Shu whenever he got a chance? 

“This book tells a story about love,” Wen Renhe briefed the summary and added: “This book gives me a new understanding of Protector Yin.”

Yin Hanjiang was dumbfounded again. 

  “The wind is strong,” Wen Renhe said as he put the book away: “What other secrets does Protector Yin have in this town? Why don’t you take this opportunity to tell me.”

‘This subordinate… often go to taverns to listen to plays and books, “Yin Hanjiang said ‘In these plays and stories,  storytellers change the stories outrageously, but it still sounds good.”

“Then take me to hear them too.” Wen Renhe said.

Yin Hanjiang obediently led Wen Renhe to the tavern. After the wind rose there were fewer people outside but more customers in the restaurant. The first floor was full as Yin Hanjiang asked for an expensive table on the second floor.

The tea house at the foot of the Shangqing sect bought good tea that was full of spiritual energy so guests liked to visit and drink tea, eat exquisite cakes and listen to poetry. But it was different in frontier fortress, when guests sat at their seats, the waiter brought up a steaming pot, a large plate of cut beef, a large plate of mutton, a jar of soju, and two bowls of goat milk tea.

 Unlike the delicate tea cups from Shangqing’s area, the cups in the frontier restaurant were bigger and the waiter poured two large cups of soju for the two without saying a word.

Yin Hanjiang was slightly embarrassed by this unceremonious scene and was just about to ask the waiter to change to a smaller cup when he heard Wen Renhe say: “Why do you need a cup for this, shouldn’t you drink the soju directly from the jar?”

The bartender slapped his palm and said: “I see that the guest knows what he is talking about, I will bring another jar!” 

Wen Renhe picked up the jar with one hand and took a sip of wine. The wine stained the corners of his mouth before dissipating as he drank. For the first time, Yin Hanjiang saw such a bold appearance of Devil Venerable and could not help gulping. He also felt that the wine aroma was mellow, as he lifted the jar he drank fiercely, his eyes turning red as he stared at Wen Renhe as if he was wronged. 

Wen Renhe laughed loudly “Hahahahahaha! It turns out that Protector Yin really does not know how to drink wine. You are a cultivator at Void realm but you turned so pitiful by some spices as if it was a burning knife. ” 

“You have a good taste of alcohol.” Yin Hanjiang said.

Wen Renhe shook his head: “The first time I drank it, I followed my father’s and brother’s example and nearly killed myself. At that time, I didn’t understand why the wine had to be so strong. My mother told me then that the wounded frontier warriors depended on this strong wine to save their lives.”

Until the Wen Clan’s nine generations were killed, Wen Renhe had not learned to drink. But a hundred years ago, in this town he got along with frontier soldiers and learned to drink and eat. At that time, he still had a physical body. and even though he was mostly doing Bigu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigu_(grain_avoidance) it didn’t matter if he ate and drank occasionally.

Now….

 

Edited by: Ninja

Proofread by: Mari

 

Support translation:

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