Editors: Nyxnox, Cypress Venus Trap
Chapter 158 Stab the Ground
Gu Shenwei had become a very suspicious person during his two years' working as a killer. He, particularly, didn't trust anything that was presented to him, so he simply dismissed the slip of paper.
"This is a trap."
"Shall we not go and have a look? Maybe someone really wants to reveal some secrets?"
"If someone wanted to snitch, he would have come to us directly."
Gu Shenwei recalled that he had once been asked to go a prostitute's house, but what he had found turned out to be a corpse.
"Let's go and take a peek. We can act accordingly without showing up."
Shangguan Ru liked taking risks and the mysterious slip of paper only aroused her enthusiasm, and Gu Shenwei could only agree with her. Fortunately, the Blacksmith Village was the Kun Society's territory and there were sabremen stationed there, who could help should it come to that.
The rice and flour alley wasn't far away from the Blacksmith Village. To get there, they had to pass through a deserted village, where the homeless gathered along with stray cats and dogs. Gu Shenwei was alert the whole way through. He thought that the trap was in the Blacksmith Village and didn't expect for the attack to come from above a courtyard wall.
The wall was high, so the courtyard must have belonged to a wealthy and influential family.
The attackers shot three arrows; two were aimed at Gu Shenwei, and one at Shangguan Ru.
The two drew their sabres at the same time and blocked the arrows. From his experience, Gu Shenwei judged that the enemy would shoot two or three rounds, but he miscalculated this time. The ambushers on the wall only shot one round before they jumped off the wall to run away.
"Stop!" Shangguan Ru shouted. She leaped forward and landed on the wall with her toes. Her lightness skill had always been very good, and now it was even more outstanding.
"Don't chase!" Gu Shenwei wasn't able to drag her back in time, and he knew that it was useless even if he tried to dissuade her. He roughly calculated in his heart and felt that he couldn't jump that high, so he quickly ran forward, hoping to find a low wall which he could jump over.
There was a broken wall a few dozen steps away, and Gu Shenwei jumped over but found nothing.
There was no Shangguan Ru, no ambushers, no trees, and no houses. There was nothing there.
The place was covered with thick snow, but it was clearly a vegetable garden that had been abandoned in the winter. There were several dilapidated cottages in the distance, but there were no signs of anything alive.
At first, Gu Shenwei thought that Shangguan Ru had leaped over another wall, but he immediately felt that couldn't be right after a second thought. Although the sky was a bit dark now, it wasn't pitch black yet and he hadn't run too far. Also, Shangguan Ru would have called out if she had changed her route.
The vegetable garden seemed like it was frequently visited, as there was a bunch of footprints of various depths in the snow. Gu Shenwei found two shallow footprints at the root of the wall that Shangguan Ru had most likely left. She probably jumped forward and landed in someone else's footprints as there were no more footprints that could have been hers.
There were no swordsman or traps in the Blacksmith Village, so the trap set by the enemy was actually here.
Gu Shenwei was fooled by a simple trick. If not for Tenth Gongzi … Gu Shenwei didn't want to think any more. No matter how good Shangguan Ru's kung fu was, or how gallant she was, she had experienced too little things and lacked the deep-rooted instinct of a killer.
If the ambushers were from the Qiu Society, they would not dare to play hard with Shangguan Ru. But Gu Shenwei couldn't afford that risk of Shangguan Ru being injured a bit or disappearing for a day or two.
He searched the snowy ground carefully with the last few rays of the sun, but could only give up when he totally lost track of the jumbled footprints.
'Shangguan Ru would not disappear to nowhere,' Gu Shenwei thought. 'She was either kidnapped by an expert, or … hidden underground.'
He began to stamp around in circles from the place where Shangguan Ru had landed, hoping to hear some hollow sounds. But the vegetable garden was too big and he could only check a small area before the sun had set, leaving him with nothing except numb feet.
He also ran into the little room that guarded the vegetable garden, but saw nothing except for cobwebs and tatters, which proved that no one had lived here for a long time.
He should call the sabremen to help him check, but Shangguan Ru would be moved away even if he only left for a short while.
There were countless possibilities, but the only thing Gu Shenwei could do was wait and kept stamping around aimlessly. And what he feared the most was that Shangguan Ru was not underground at all. Perhaps there was a secret tunnel underground and she had already been taken out of vegetable garden. If so, what he was doing would not only be foolish, but also a waste of precious time. He could have actually used this time to order his subordinates to seek information all over Southern Jade City.
It was getting darker and darker, and Shangguan Ru had disappeared for almost two hours by now and all he had succeeded in was jumping up and down like a maniac. In the end, he stopped, knelt down on one leg, sheathed his sabre, and drew out his sword. With his eyes closed, he tried to put himself into battle mode.
He wanted to see if he could sense any 'Life Qi' nearby.
Death Sutra was a kind of martial arts that could not be rehearsed; Gu Shenwei must imagine that his enemy was really standing in front of him.
Right, he had an enemy, an enemy who was very powerful and standing right before him. It was tall and cast a long shadow, while also holding a sword in its hand …
After about two quarters of an hour, Gu Shenwei could finally feel some vague Qi. Because of the thick barrier, the Qi was very faint, like an enshrouding mist at dusk, shapeless and flickering. It was mixed and Gu Shenwei couldn't distinguish one from another.
Gu Shenwei's next action was a reckless adventure, but he had already put himself into a thoughtless, emotionless, and heartless killing state and could no longer care about anything else. He captured a strand of Qi, found its weak point, and concentrated all his mind onto the sword in his hand. He didn't even see the barrier between the two.
No worries, no hesitation. He stabbed out at the target.
If someone had been watching nearby, they would be astonished because the teenager had suddenly jumped into the air and flipped his body upside down. He held his sword with one hand, and stabbed straight into the snow, as if the sword was the initiator of the move and he was just a puppet firmly tied onto the sword, uncontrollably moving with the sword.
The target was hit.
Someone counterattacked. Gu Shenwei stabbed out casually without even thinking about it and ended the fight. Then he opened his eyes and looked into the darkness in amazement.
He had surprisingly stabbed into a half foot wide hole on the ground, which was over a dozen meters from the position he had knelt at. The depth of the hole was about one feet high and the snow on the ground was also about the same height. Although he had mastered the Balanced Power with the shortcut manual, it was impossible for him to strike such a hole under normal circumstances.
He had once thought that the weakness of the Death Sutra Swordsmanship was that it could not pierce through chainmail armor. Now he realized that his worry was unnecessary. The swordsmanship was unstoppable as long as one fully trusted the sword in one's hand and committed one's whole body and mind to it, which was exactly the state of 'killing oneself'.
If Lotus was standing beside him, Gu Shenwei would explain to her right away that his interpretation of the sutra was correct.
Beside him lay three corpses, who still held onto their sabres but were stabbed in the neck. Obviously they had died with their eyes wide open. They had been looking out at the direction of the passage and never imagined that the attack would suddenly come from above and it was so fierce that they were killed in one shot.
Shangguan Ru was leaning against the wall, sitting besides the corpses with her head tilting to one side. She was still in a coma-like state.
They were in a crypt of about ten square feet, which was a bit taller than an average adult. It was connected to a narrow passageway that allowed only one person to pass through. Shangguan Ru fell into the trap from the other side and was dragged here by the ambushers, as could be seen by the amount of dirt on her body.
Gu Shenwei didn't even know how he had passed through that hole and stood up. It looked incredible because not only was the entrance of the hole too small, but the cave was also not high enough.
The swordsmanship is a bit wicked, Gu Shenwei thought from a normal person's point of view. But he accepted it calmly. Even if the Death Sutra really turned him into a walking ghoul or a bloodthirsty devil, he was still willing to wholeheartedly accept it.
Gu Shenwei put his sword away and broke the sword wounds on the corpses with his sabre. Then he tried his best to enlarge the hole. The frozen ground was so hard that he broke his sabre in expanding only a few inches.
Gu Shenwei stuck his head out and took a glance before he held Shangguan Ru and lifted her up bit by bit while avoiding scratching her head. Then he himself climbed out.
Shangguan Ru was still not awake, but she was breathing smoothly, so she was fine.
Gu Shenwei carefully searched along the direction of the passage and finally found the trick about a dozen meters away. It was a wooden trap door with thick ice on both sides. It was also covered with snow on top and there were no traces at all when it fell to ground level.
The trap was supposed to be temporarily made because the exit passage hadn't been dug out yet. The designers had probably expected that Gu Shenwei would run away for help, so the ambushers could then take the hostage away.
Gu Shenwei carried Shangguan Ru on his back and left the vegetable garden in a hurry. There might still be enemies around, but he didn't have time to look for them at the moment.
Shangguan Ru woke up on the way. She had been drugged by some common knockout drugs, which would lose their effect with time, so she didn't need any antidotes. She was very angry. The knockout drugs were one of the unique skills of Golden Roc Castle, and it was really humiliating for her to be knocked out in such a manner.
As she laid on Servant Huan's back, she indignantly vowed that she would seek revenge with the Qiu Society. She believed that the one who set the trap must be Meng Fifth Gongzi.
It was already the second night watch period when they returned to the house of outer hall in Southern Jade City. Shangguan Yushi had long been waiting anxiously in the yard. When she saw Tenth Gongzi being carried back by Servant Huan with her body covered in mud, Shangguan Yushi immediately made a fuss and wanted to take over. Shangguan Ru got on the ground, stretched her arms and legs, and said she had no problems at all.
With regards to the attack, they discussed for a long time and all concluded that it was the Qiu Society's trick. So their focus naturally turned to who to retaliate against and how to do it.
The most difficult part was that Meng Mingshi was hiding in Northern Jade City and was not going to come out. Shangguan Ru almost decided to start a war in Northern Jade City before she was dissuaded by everyone else.
Gu Shenwei didn't speak much. He was observing carefully, hoping to find out who was the mole.
The trap was very special. The designer obviously knew Shangguan Ru's lightness skill was very high while Servant Huan's lightness skill was still mediocre. If not because of Gu Shenwei insistence on staying there, the enemy's plan would have worked and the leader of the Kun Society would have become a hostage.
This kind of information wasn't something that could be leaked by anyone ordinary.
Gu Shenwei couldn't find any clues, but he didn't trust anyone.
The group discussed several plans of retaliation but all of them took time, so they could only divide up the plans to slowly carry them out.
Gu Shenwei secretly ordered Tuo Nengya to strengthen the guard, and he himself guarded outside Shangguan Ru's room, thinking about sending her back as soon as it was bright outside.
On the third of the five night watch periods, an unexpected visitor came.
Xu Xiaoyi, panting, ran up and smashed the door, not only calling Brother Huan out, but also waking Tenth Gongzi up.
He had brought news that he thought was very important, "Shopkeeper Mi is going to run away! I knew there was a problem with this guy."
On the same night of the attack on Tenth Gongzi, a big shield who had just taken over the job was about to run away. Everyone heard the information immediately made a connection between the two matters.