Chapter 218 (Part 1): Perplexed After 0 Thought 
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
“Back to life? So, Lord Long did not die?” Su Nuan Nuan was surprised too.
Duan Tingxuan snarled, “Pingzhang very narrowly escaped from calamity after so much effort only to… to… he was found out by Lu Feng Yu who sent Su Dong Lou to permanently silence him. Who… who would have thought that this bastard actually did it! You bastard, for the murder of an Imperial Censor, do you realize the level of crime you have committed?”
The little marquis was so aggrieved that even his eyes were bloodshot. Su Nuan Nuan quickly said, “Wait, wait, wait, Su Dong Lou. You better tell me everything. Just what is going on? How did Lord Long escape death? How did Lu Feng Yu found out? And why did you kill him for real? You do realize he must be holding some important secret for these guys to go after him?”
Su Dong Lou finally managed to tell the whole story from the beginning. In the end, he held out his hands helplessly, “In truth, I don’t have a choice. As Lu Feng Yu said, this is the first mission he entrusted to me after gaining their trust. Do you think they’d actually let me complete this mission without close observation? When I was there, I could feel there were people not far from the area.
Who knows how many eyes were looking in my direction then? You tell me now, what choice do I have? Do you think I’d hesitate if there was even a single shred of chance to save him? Since it was absolutely impossible, I had to make a quick decision. Can you imagine what the consequences would be if I had shown even the slightest hesitation?”
“But… but you should have discussed with me first.” Duan Tingxuan understood that Su Dong Lou had spoken the truth, however, his heart still could not let go of this slight chance to rescue his friend.
Su Dong Lou sneered, “Discuss with you? Are you saying that you’d have come up with some brilliant idea to fix this sorry situation? When the time comes, you’d have wavered. Your reasoning tells you that Long Pingzhang must die, but your heart would never allow you to give me the orders to kill him. This was why I decided not to inform you and saved you from your torment.
Now that I have killed the man, whatever crime committed then is all mine to bear. My decision had nothing to do with you. You can remain the pure and spotless An Ping heir, a faultless man of justice who values his friend while I remained the heartless Jianghu scum who kills people without mercy.”
“You…” Blood choked up Duan Tingxuan’s throat. Su Dong Lou’s sarcasm was too cruel, the most terrible thing was that it was all true. In life, there are times when we have to make a decision between a bad and worse decision.
“Enough with that. Duan Tingxuan, Su Dong Lou could not have avoided making this decision. You of all people should understand this, so stop blaming him. As for that Lord Long… Aih! We can only say that it is his fate…” Su Nuan Nuan’s voice trailed off, a spark of something lit up inside her brain. She looked over at Su Dong Lou and said, “You said, when Lord Long escaped from his near-death situation, he’d been living around Immortal’s Range? That he had been looking for the people hidden there all this while?”
“Yes, I suspected as much from what I overheard him speaking to himself. So, it should be correct. The location I was given was most likely the temporary estate he had been living at, which is why I concluded that he must have been staying there all this while.” Seeing that Duan Tingxuan was no longer brandishing flags of battle at him, he sincerely answered Su Nuan Nuan’s question.
“That can’t be right.” Su Nuan Nuan frowned. “According to you, there is no one inside the bamboo hut, and you saw no one with Lord Long. But, Tingxuan, Lord Long is just a weak scholar, right? Moreover, he’s from a noble family, so he’s grown up as a pampered young master all his life. Everything else aside, how did he manage to build himself a bamboo hut, no matter how crude or shabby? Could he really do it?
Also, though it is not that far from the foot of the mountains, that’s still a forested area with snakes, rats, ants and other wild insects. Even though the species living around Jiang Nan are relatively mild, did Lord Long actually have any survival skills? How many days do you think a weak scholar could live in the mountains with nothing but the clothes on his back? After falling down a cliff?”
The moment Su Nuan Nuan ventured this thought, Su Dong Lou and Duan Tingxuan were stunned… (゜ロ゜) (☉｡☉)
After a long time, Su Dong Lou muttered, “Surviving? Not just surviving, I’d say he was living very well. Though he was dressed in a plain cotton scholar’s outfit that was neither silk nor satin, it was completely intact and clean. That’s right, after escaping death, would he have gone shopping for clothes and supplies at the market district? To openly go shopping and not catch the eyes of Lu Feng Yu and King Xiangyang… surely that’s too farfetched?”
At this, he slapped his own thigh and began to curse, “F*ck, f*ck, to think I was actually tricked by such a simple tactic. For shame, this is too shameful, ah. Sister-in-law, you must never let anyone know of this, otherwise I’d never be able to lift my head in society.”
“So, you’re saying that that Pingzhang is a… fake? Pingzhang… never escaped death?” Duan Tingxuan finally said, his tone still a little sad.
Su Nuan Nuan tried to comfort him, “Isn’t this good? It’s better to die in the line of duty than to somehow claw back to life and then die miserably at your own comrade’s hand, right? This way, you don’t have to be angry at Dong Lou anymore. You two are still buddies!”
Duan Tingxuan, “… …”
Now that they have finally seen through the trick, that Long Pingzhang did not tragically die again at the hands of comrades, they concluded that Su Dong Lou must have killed one of Lu Feng Yu’s own people. To that, Duan Tingxuan wished to say ‘Good killing’, but then, when he thought about how he had just raged against this good friend, he could not bring himself to say these words and ended up maintaining a stoic silence.
For a moment, nothing was said as the room sank into contemplative silence. Finally, Su Nuan Nuan yawned and grumbled, “Well? Is there anything else? If there’s nothing I’m going to sleep.”
Duan Tingxuan finally lifted his head, coughed into his hand and said, “Ah, yes… you mentioned there are three things you need to convey, and one thing to consult with me. What’s the third thing and what is it you want to consult with me?”
Su Dong Lou said mulishly, “I’ve forgotten it all. After all, I am merely a venomous, hateful, simple-minded nitwit with no sense of justice. It’s no surprise that I also have a bad memory on top of all that.”
[Gumihou: Woah, Su Dong Lou is vicious… a nice match with a certain venomous scholar…]
[Gumihou: Hmm, Su Nuan Nuan brought up a good argument, I’m not sure how this reflects the IQ of the two (or three) supposed geniuses in this world, but I’m going to give it a pass as a plot thing, or them being too close to the situation to see the truth. Their faces though… (゜ロ゜) (☉｡☉), and maybe Lu Feng Yu ✿ ⁰ o ⁰ ✿]
 Perplexed After 0 Thoughts is a play on the idiom Perplexed After a Hundred Thoughts – which meant still puzzled after thinking the matter through. Of course, idiots who paid 0 thoughts are still perplexed…
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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