Editors: Nyxnox, Cypress Venus Trap
Chapter 161 Servant Yuan
The Sword Offering Ye Silang had actually been ambushed in the Rouge Forest, which elicited two distinct reactions amongst the residents of Jade City.
Some people stood on the side of the Qiu Society, thinking that the means of the Kun Society were too low. They had surprisingly sent out two killers to deal with Ye Silang and turned an above board duel into a dirty and ugly secret plot.
The Kun Society was also not short of supporters, who believed that this was another typical story between the killer and the swordsman. The swordsman was arrogant and conceited and finally fell into the killer's plot. Two versus one, so what? They were killers, not martial heroes, and they should do whatever they had to to achieve their purpose. Ye Silang had been living in Jade City and he should have known this long time ago.
Only, very few people cared about the truth.
The secret plot occured the moment Ye Silang found a trace of his enemy. At that time, Gu Shenwei already had no way to escape. His lightness skill was not as good as his opponent's, so the only choice left for him was to stand up and fight his opponent face to face, which wiped out the advantage of waiting. Ye Silang didn't even show any traces of impatience; his patience was better than Gu Shenwei had imagined.
Ye Silang held his sword by the hilt and challenged his enemy who was crouching under the tree. He was very sure that he would win again as usual.
Ye Silang had never expected that there was another person hiding in the forest. He had hid on the tree, even more patient than either of the two duelists. He attacked when Ye Silang had focused all of his attention on his opponent.
He was also using a sword.
It was incredibly fast, as if the green-faced assassin had suddenly appeared from nowhere before the sword was thrust in front of the target.
Gu Shenwei had no assurance of dodging the sword if it had been thrust at him. In fact, he was completely stunned during the initial moment.
Ye Silang avoided getting hit in the vitals at the crucial moment and was even able to fight back.
The assassination came to an instant end. The assassin in a white cloak didn't even land on the ground. He had struck out with a single blow, leaped back onto the tree with the rebounding force, and disappeared after several jumps. His lightness skill seemed to be even better than Ye Silang.
Ye Silang had been stabbed in the chest and quickly crumpled into the snowy ground, but the assassin's arm seemed to have been struck.
Gu Shenwei ran up to Ye Silang, drew out his sabre, and looked at the swordsman lying on his back.
"You won." Ye Silang was still gripping his sword in his hand, but he knew that the game was as good as lost and that he was not this teenager's match.
Gu Shenwei did win. As long as he cut down his enemy and walked out of the Rouge Forest with the head, no one would have any doubts about his victory. "I did not win."
The fact that Gu Shenwei carried Ye Silang out of the forest surprised everyone.
The first person who questioned his actions was Shangguan Ru, "Why didn't you kill him? Why save him?"
"I want to know who the assassin was. Ye Silang had exchanged a move with him and will be helpful in the future."
"I don't care who that assassin is. After all, he's helping us." Shangguan Ru was even more perplexed.
"This is exactly what I'm worried about." Gu Shenwei became more and more paranoid. He didn't believe that anyone would help him without a reason and he just wanted to know the truth, saying, "We're the killers. The ones hiding in the dark should be you and me, but this assassin …"
"Could it be someone sent out from the castle?" Shangguan Ru frowned. What she hated most was her parents helping her secretly, as she wanted to wander around and make a living on her own.
Gu Shenwei shook his head firmly. If it was someone from the castle, he would only protect Tenth Gongzi and would not interfere in the duel between the killer and the swordsman.
There was another reason why Gu Shenwei didn't kill Ye Silang, which he only told Lotus. "Ye Silang was a rare expert, and killing him like that would have been a waste."
And only Lotus could understand the meaning of his words. The Death Sutra Swordsmanship forced one to rely on one fight after another to ascend. A rare kung fu expert like Ye Silang would be the most helpful for their practice of the swordsmanship.
In short, Ye Silang didn't die and the duel was postponed indefinitely.
Those who thought the duel would end the fight between the Kun and Qiu Society would soon be disappointed. Due to the endless argument about the win or loss, being clean or shameless, the war between the two societies resumed the day after the duel. The sabremen of the two societies fought in the street in broad daylight, and by night the two parties both sent out killers to assassinate the other's members.
Because Gu Shenwei was not able to take the opportunity and kill Ye Silang, Shangguan Ru was a bit dissatisfied. So Gu Shenwei decided to plot an important assassination to regain Tenth Gongzi's trust.
The assassination target was the Sabre God who had been drafted after half a month's competition and was known as the treasure of the Qiu Society.
The Sabre God's name was Huang Shian, an unknown promising young man that came from the military garrison village. He had been at Jade City for more than half a year and hadn't met anyone who appreciated him until he amazed the crowd with a single brilliant feat at the Sabre God Convention.
Huang Shian's sabresmanship was very good. Instead of showing fancy moves and tricks, he focused on defense and often concealed his real ability at the beginning of the competition. He would pretend to be incompetent and retreat step by step until he found an opening in his opponents and finished them in a single cut.
Gu Shenwei had seen this Sabre God's performance in the finals and thought that this person was actually worthy of his fame. Tuo Nengya, who stood by his side at that time, however, held a different view, "The sabresmanship has no problem, but the person has a problem."
Huang Shian's problem was that he wasn't ruthless enough. He didn't kill even once in those competitions to be the Sabre God. He always dealt with his opponents appropriately without injuring them, and there were several times where he only knocked out his opponents' weapons.
This was a handsome, good-natured young man. His outgoing personality made him even more popular than the Sword Offering Ye Silang. If it was before Gu Shenwei had entered the castle, he would treat Huang Shian as an idol like most people, but now he would only take him as an assassination target.
Huang Shian was the treasure of the Qiu Society, so he seldom took part in the fight between the two societies. At first, he even stayed at Northern Jade City, and it was not until the assassination of Duke Gao that the Qiu Society sent him to Southern Jade City to personally attend to the garrison duty at the base camp of the sabremen.
The Sabre God was the symbol of the Qiu Society, so killing him would naturally deal a heavy blow to the Kun Society's opponent.
The base camp of the Qiu Society at Southern Jade City was located in the eastern area, next to which was the border river across Jade City. If one stood on the roof of the house, one could see the clean and tidy streets of Northern Jade City on the opposite side. Over one hundred sabremen guarded the house, and even more sabremen lived in the surrounding streets and alleys. The defence was impenetrable to the point of no one from the Kun Society being able to enter it alive.
This was an assassination, and not a face to face fight. So Gu Shenwei only selected five killers to perform the mission which were himself, Lotus, Liuhua and two others. Gu Shenwei actually did not want to choose Liuhua, but he had no other choice because Liuhua was good at the bow and crossbow, and the assassination team needed someone with those skills.
It was a typical assassination mission of Golden Roc Castle. Taking advantage of the ties of countrymen, Tuo Nengya first sent a sabreman to buy over a sabreman of the Qiu Society to obtain the layout of the courtyard, the situation of the guards, and the living habits of Huang Shian.
The spy was then assigned another task to try to bribe the cook to put poison in the food.
Poison had never been the first choice for the methods used by the assassins of the castle because the results were often very unpredictable. Gu Shenwei's purpose was to confuse the opponent. If the Qiu Society found the spy, they would think that the assassination was still in the preparatory stage.
On the third day after the duel was interrupted, the eleventh night of the first lunar month, five killers were already fully armed and on their way while the poisoning plan was still in progress. No one else knew the real situation.
The five of them moved out at the second night watch period and finally arrived at the base camp of the Qiu Society at the fourth night watch period. They didn't disturb anyone along the way. Two killers looked out on the periphery; Lotus was the one to make the first move, Liu Hua worked as a backup, and Gu Shenwei would take care of the whole situation.
The night sky was clouded and only lit by dim moonlight, the killer's favourite night. There was no sign of failure in the cold air.
But Gu Shenwei suddenly had an ominous feeling when Lotus was just about to jump off the roof and sneak into Huang Shian's bedroom.
Something wasn't right. The yard was too quiet, there were no guards, and the ground was very clean. Although Gu Shenwei couldn't see it clearly, he was sure that there were no everyday items in the yard.
Gu Shenwei recalled the Sabre God Huang Shian he remembered, that young man was always surrounded by a band of sabremen, talking and laughing. In short, he didn't seem like a quiet man. The owner of this yard, however, was more like a monk with no desire for anything.
This wasn't the first time Gu Shenwei had acted based on his instinct. He believed in his instinct, so he lightly shook his head, signalling that the assassination was cancelled.
Lotus was very surprised, but she still followed the order to retreat. Liuhua stayed put, and only followed to guard the rear after the two passed him.
The first one on the lookout was called Servant Jing, who was guarding on a roof. When his three partners passed, he became the one to guard the rear.
The second one on the lookout was Servant Yuan, who was hiding on the yard wall. These two used to be the members of the Bi Nu Gang and were also people Gu Shenwei trusted.
Servant Yuan was dead.
He was crouched on the top of the wall same as when he was alive, but Gu Shenwei knew that he was dead when he passed by.
The fatal wound was in the back of the head. It was very small and didn't bleed much. Servant Yuan had died without feeling much pain.
They carried the corpse in turn and brought Servant Yuan back to the stronghold. The four teenagers lit the candles before they surrounded the corpse, silent and filled with confusion and fear.
It was a sword wound, again.
It was as if all the assassins in the whole Jade City had changed to swordsmanship overnight.
Servant Yuan wasn't mediocre; otherwise, he would not have survived the slaughter amongst the disciples, and nor would he have been chosen by Shangguan Ru.
The one who killed him was not only a top expert, but also good a superb assassin. The worst part of his death was that Servant Yuan didn't know that someone had approached him even until he died.
Gu Shenwei was still masked, and so were the other three. No one said anything.
Once someone had 'helped' Yang Huan stab and injure Ye Silang, and now someone had 'helped' the Qiu Society get rid of one killer. Things were getting more and more complicated.
Servant Yuan died quietly, and very few people in Southern Jade City knew of it. But on the second morning of the assassination mission, a head was placed at the gate of the courtyard of the Kun Society. It was the spy Tuo Nengya had bought over.
The killer image Gu Shenwei had worked so hard to create was destroyed overnight. A killer's life was lower than an ant in Golden Roc Castle, but was more precious than a hundred sabremen once they were out of the castle. The mission Servant Huan had plotted ended up with nothing except the loss of a partner, which was a huge loss.
Gu Shenwei could only go to Northern Jade City alone to ask for punishment.
Shangguan Yushi wanted to follow the rule of the castle and cut off one of Servant Huan's fingers, but was stopped by Shangguan Ru.
Shangguan Ru was also very unhappy. She only had ten killers in total and now there were only nine left after one had died, two fewer than her elder brother Shangguan Fei. But she didn't blame Servant Huan. Instead, she ordered the others to leave and kept him alone behind to have a secret talk.
Shangguan Yushi looked bad when she left. She even turned around at the door and said, "Tenth Gongzi, being soft-hearted now will cause you a heartache in the future. You'd better think it over twice."
Shangguan Ru nodded. When there were only the two of them left, she looked at Servant Huan with her pair of dark eyes, "You've been saying half of what you want to say lately. I want to know what's exactly on your mind."
"There's a spy." Gu Shenwei didn't intend to say this because it sounded like he was shirking his responsibility, but Shangguan Ru had seen through his thoughts, so he had to be honest, "And it's one of the killers under Tenth Gongzi."
Next, Gu Shenwei didn't know how to prove it to Shangguan Ru that he believed the spy was Shangguan Yushi.