Chapter 107 Task
If Gu Shenwei knew that it was Meng Fifth Gongzi who wanted to avenge Big Belly Buddha, then he definitely would not have stood up from the flowering shrubs no matter what.
The Tenth Gongzi of the Shangguan family and Fifth Gongzi of the Meng family had ruined the last day's grand banquet of the flower viewing party, which caused a laughter that lasted for a long time. Some residents of Jade City still remembered it years later.
Shangguan Ru hit Meng Mingshi who had evil intentions to the ground with one punch, but she still hadn't vented all of her anger and continued chasing and beating him. Shangguan Yushi who went to fetch wine had happened to come back. Without a word, she threw the wine pot away and started beating those teenagers who were watching for fun in the distance.
Meng Mingshi's martial arts were showy but not practical, and he already lost his bearings after rolling down to the rockery. How could he be the two female Gongzis' match? Naturally he was beaten until he was crying Mama. At first, he was stubborn and refused to admit fault, but he was soon begging for forgiveness with his hands on his head.
His footmen ran around and came back to kowtow and ask for mercy from the two 'girls', but that only provoked the two gongzis more. They became more furious and beat them all even more ruthlessly, drove the group of teenagers to stumble to the pond at the centre of Bodhi Garden and kicked all of them in. They then attacked them with pebbles and refused to let them get back on land.
The ladies at the opposite of the pond thought this was an arranged show and all applauded while laughing. The whole site immediately fell into chaos after they found out that surprisingly, Meng Fifth Gongzi was one of the faces that was bobbing in the water.
Those two teenage girls who were intoxicated by the pleasure of hitting them eventually stopped when Madam Meng of Golden Roc Castle personally came out to shout at them. The servants hurriedly went to bail out Meng Fifth Gongzi who was completely wet. Meng Mingshi was holding onto his grandma, howling and rolling on the ground. In one moment he claimed that a person with a sabre wanted to kill him, and in another, he claimed that people of the Shangguan family had plotted against him, which made the grandma of the Meng family think that her cherished grandson was possessed by evil spirits. She followed suit in a rage, threatening people with death.
The banquet broke up in discord. Madam Meng led the scions of the Shangguan family to go up the mountain on the same night and didn't return to her parents' home for several years.
Gu Shenwei was luckily not implicated in this gigantic mess. He retreated to the flowering shrubs as soon as Shangguan Ru woke up, and quickly left without staying to watch the great fun later on.
Shangguan Ru didn't know that there was a protector behind her. Meng Fifth Gongzi, instead, clamoured around about the 'sabre-wielding kid'. But he was scared out of his wits and was saying lots of nonsense, so no one took it seriously at that time.
It wasn't until several days later when both Meng Mingshi's trauma and wound were cured that people of the Meng family started to believe his claim that there really was a brown-belted teenager who had threatened Fifth Gongzi with a wooden sabre.
But the best time for retaliation had been missed. As soon as Madam Meng climbed up the mountain, Unique King sent off a special envoy to communicate with Meng Yuzun, the patriarch of the Meng family. This matter was already decided and neither side wanted to cause more trouble.
'Tenth Gongzi beating up Fifth Gongzi' had been a hot topic of the castle in those days. Gu Shenwei heard many incredible rumours and also learnt lots of valuable information.
Although Shangguan Ru's mother was from the Meng family, she was not descended from the direct line. She shared a common ancestor with Meng Yuzun from three or four generations ago. If calculated seriously, she and Meng Mingshi were of the same generation. Madam Meng's parents died when she was little, so she was adopted by the eldest branch without much favour. This was also the reason why she seldom returned to her parents' home.
Madam Meng was delicate and charming when she was young and was famous for her beauty in Jade City. Shangguan Fa decided to marry again after his wife's death, and at first sight, picked her out from amongst the many women of the Meng family.
Madam Meng stood on her daughter's side and steadfastly refused to apologize, resulting in the Meng family only able to swallow their anger and accept the Golden Roc Castle envoy's interference, eventually suppressing the whole matter.
The matter of the 'sabre-wielding kid' was gradually spread, and Gu Shenwei thought that no one would find out that it was him. However, Tie Hanfeng asked him about it one day, and he had no choice but to admit to it.
Tie Hanfeng's expression was strange, it wasn't clear whether he was feeling funny or annoyed, "Kid, you always love to cause trouble and sooner or later, you'll die because of this. So stupid, so stupid."
Tie Hanfeng found his disciple again the next day, though this time his face appeared to be serious, "I have a task for you, take a long trip."
"What happened? "Gu Shenwei read the worry from his Master's expression.
"Fuck your mother, you're so meddlesome. That was Meng Fifth Gongzi, don't you know?"
Gu Shenwei wanted to shake his head and say no, but he held it back in the end. Lame Tie was angry right now, and even one more word would attract piles of dirty words.
"He already wanted to kill you after you killed that Big Belly Buddha, and it already wasn't easy to suppress that matter, so why did you have to pop up again? Isn't your shell already big enough? Mind your own turtle's head; do not stick it out to scare others, it's enough for you to know how to grip the sabre, understood?"
"Yes, Master." Gu Shenwei's hand was actually gripping the sabre right now.
Tie Hanfeng panted breathlessly for a while, then said, "Go out and hide for while. Those rich Gongzi's hatred can't last for too long. The drunkenness and debauchery of southern Jade City will empty his mind after several days. Actually this is not to hide. The task had been decided long time ago, and you'll have a big reward if all of you performed well."
"All of us?"
"Hmm, you, Lotus, Wild Horse, Liuhua, and White Camel. The five of you."
These five people were well-known as the most powerful disciples amongst the Jia Chen disciples. Gu Shenwei immediately became interested, thinking that this task might be really not that simple.
The result disappointed him.
This task had nothing to do with assassination, but instead was escorting a shipment of goods.
The Iron Mountain didn't have a definite residence. Big Head God missed his daughter and also wanted to maintain his friendship with Unique King, so he would send a lot of presents every winter. In return, Golden Roc Castle would also send back treasures every summer. The escorting task was usually done by the killers, but this year it was assigned to the small flag battalion.
This task was not difficult or dangerous at all, since the goods flew the flags of both Golden Roc Castle and the Iron Mountain. Even a quick peek would make even the most daring roving bandits startled and retreat.
But this job was well-paying. The escorts would not only be rewarded by Golden Roc Castle, but Big Head God was also well-known for his generosity and the escorts could bring back a large fortune every time.
Such a task surprisingly fell into five brown-belted killers' hands, which made many formal killers jealous. Gu Shenwei guessed that the one played a decisive role was probably not his Master Tie Hanfeng, but Miss Luo Ningcha.
It turned out that he was right. Servant Huan and Lotus were summoned to the eighth young lord's courtyard three days before they moved out. Miss wanted to say several words to her two 'confidants' in person and also 'entrust' a person to them.
The Miss sent her maidservant Little Sui to her father as a concubine, so she would be sent to the Iron Mountain along with the gifts of Golden Roc Castle.
A daughter sending her father a concubine was probably a practice that only people from the robbers' gang of the Iron Mountain took it as normal.
Luo Ningcha wrote a letter and asked Servant Huan to personally deliver it. After several more words, she ordered the others to leave.
In that room specially made by Shangguan Nu, separated by the wooden wall with lattices, Miss asked her 'plotting teacher', "I begged my husband to let you escort this year's presents. You know what I mean, don't you?"
Gu Shenwei knew, but he still shook his head, "Please enlighten me, Miss. Servant Huan doesn't dare to speculate."
The Miss's tone was flat. After learning so many truths about scheming, she was better at concealing her real emotions than before, "You forgot, it was you who taught me that a woman's status relies on her husband and parents. I can't rely on my husband, so I put all my hope on my father. Go and persuade Big Head God. Beg, convince, lure, do whatever you can. Let him know that I want him to attack the caravans of the Meng family immediately, and let the Meng family lose everything."
In fact, after these past days, Gu Shenwei had found out that Madam Meng's relationship with her parents' family wasn't as close as he had imagined, which meant that there must be other reasons for her to be favoured by Unique King. But it was still a good thing for him to make those two allies of Golden Roc Castle turn against each other, so he naturally would not refuse it.
"Servant Huan understands Miss's meaning, but Servant Huan is humble and perhaps has no way to let Big Head God believe I'm Miss's messenger."
"Take this, Big Head God naturally will believe everything you say after you show him this."
Miss raised her hand and put an item in one of the lattice holes. Gu Shenwei walked sideways towards the lattice. He saw a green jade ring and carefully placed it in the palm of his hand. Out of the corner of his eye, he glimpsed the Miss's silhouette behind the wooden wall with lattices. Even with a strict separation measure, she was still wearing a veil.
Gu Shenwei now had one more expectation for the escorting task. It would be a heavy blow to Golden Roc Castle if he could provoke the contradiction between the Iron Mountain and the Meng family.
The escorting task wasn't as simple as expected. There were many things that needed to be prepared. Those five brown-belted killers needed a leader and Servant Huan was appointed to the position on the last day. This almost caused a mass annihilation in the small flag battalion, but five killer Masters carefully monitored the movements of the teenagers and stopped the riot by nipping it in the bud.
Those killer Masters took turns lecturing the brown-belted killers who were selected for the task, making them understand that the killer disciples' training period was over and that their old feuds must be ended. The Golden Roc killers' hatred was targeted towards outsiders only. From now on, what they needed were trust and cooperation, and in Tie Hanfeng's words, "It's time to set up the rule, puppies. Those days of biting each other are over, and now you have to learn to bite the wolf outside together."
Gu Shenwei didn't hold onto any hope for this. Apparently these five people had been deliberately chosen. Servant Huan and Lotus belonged to the former Bi Nu gang; Wild Horse and White Camel came from the former Snow Mountain gang; Liuhua was alone and hadn't joined any gangs. The power was balanced but the hate couldn't be easily erased.
Servant Huan still had the sabre cut made by Wild Horse, of which the scar was clearly visible. Lotus also didn't forget about Mouth Sealing Liuhua's two arrow shots and had been thinking about vengeance. Liuhua would always remember that Servant Huan had knocked him out once.
It would be a miracle if they could safely return, Gu Shenwei thought. But he was the leader and he would be blamed for any problems, so he must find a way to resolve the hidden trouble in the team.
Gu Shenwei personally went to see Wild Horse on the last night before they moved out, and made a deal with this tongueless teenager: the two would wholeheartedly work together to complete this escorting task. As for the old grudges, they would be left to be resolved later.
Wild Horse was a reasonable 'leader' who understood the overall situation. On the other hand, Gu Shenwei's real headache was Liuhua.
Liuhua became more and more unsociable. Even at the small flag battalion, those teenagers seldom saw his figure. He was like a slippery and venomous snake who was always coiled in a dark corner, so no one knew when the venom strike.
No one liked Liuhua, no one trusted Liuhua, and no one wanted to be Liuhua's friend. He didn't even have anyone even a bit close to him, so Gu Shenwei couldn’t find him and also couldn't find anyone to pass words along to him.
It would be an extra bonus for this journey if he could safely remove this venomous snake who always made people feel uneasy. Gu Shenwei felt excited about this opportunity.