Editors: Nyxnox, Cypress Venus Trap
Chapter 182 Means
The forces of Jade City could be divided into several unique classes.
The first class consisted of Golden Roc Castle and the Meng family. Only a few people and merchants could enjoy the direct protection of these two forces, and to enjoy this protection, they had to hand in tens of thousands of taels of silver every month.
The second class contained over a dozen forces which were attached to the castle and the Meng family. All the young lords of the Shangguan family belonged to this class, as they were masters of most of the territory and personnel in Jade City.
The third class was those big and small shields that controlled the various trades of the different streets and alleys. Their clientele were scattered businessmen who pooled funds in search of a better protector of the higher classes.
The fourth and last class was those 'capable men' who acted alone such as Tie Hanfeng and Tuo Nengya. They didn't have any direct resources in their hands, but they were connected with the higher classes and were adept at solving unexpected problems.
Gu Shenwei spent several days figuring out the complicated relations between the major powers in Southern Jade City, with the siblings of the Xu family playing the important roles as his close advisors. In the end, it turned out that 'robbing' other young lords' territory wasn't at all as easy as Madam Meng had made it out to be.
According to Golden Roc Castle's tradition, the young lords would leave for one year of experiencing the world and toughening themselves in Southern Jade City. Then they would go back to the castle and follow their father for more advanced training, during which they would begin to take part in real assassination missions. The length of this period wasn't fixed, as the young lords who had outstanding performances could become independent in two or three years, while those who failed to live up to the King Lord's expectations might be kept in the castle for their entire life.
Those independent young lords would then usually be stationed in various capital cities in the Western Regions with their own killer's forces. There, they would provide services like escorts, assassinations, mercenaries, and other similar businesses that were the main sources of money for Golden Roc Castle.
Golden Roc Castle was good at the assassination business back then, but their most well-known service now was protecting those nobles from assassination. Actually, many powerful people would not be able to sleep soundly without the Golden Roc flag and killers standing guard outside of their bedrooms.
The young lords' forces were usually founded during their first year outside. Compared to their future career, the profits they gained were actually insignificant, but none of those young lords wanted to abandon these trivial profits.
These young lords were eager to be stationed in other countries, but they all clearly knew at heart that their power lay with the Unique King. The further they strayed from the castle, the more vulnerable the line of trust that connected them to their father became. They had to place some loyal forces within the castle and Jade City as important nodes on that thin line.
Perhaps Madam Meng didn't know the importance of Southern Jade City, or perhaps she wanted to test Servant Huan. Either way, the task she had casually assigned to Servant Huan through the maidservant was actually beset with difficulties.
But enlarging the existing cracks in the castle was exactly what Gu Shenwei wanted to do.
The biggest difficulty actually came from Shangguan Ru, who was heartbroken from Yu Gongzi's betrayal, losing all interest in dominating Southern Jade City and wandering the world. She was behaving like a child who played high-spiritedly with her best friend, but lost interest in the game as soon as her friend left.
Gu Shenwei could think up all sorts of tricks, but he didn't know how to change the mood of a little girl and rekindle her ambitions.
Lotus took up this important task. She had already gained the trust of Shangguan Ru, and now she spent lots of time with her, even to the point of living and eating together with her.
Gu Shenwei couldn't help suspect that Lotus had become the second Yu Gongzi.
Lotus taught Servant Huan, who didn't understand a girl's mind, a lesson. "What makes Tenth Gongzi sad is neither the dissolution of the Kun Society nor the fact that Yu Gongzi fell in love with Meng Fifth Gongzi. What she can't accept is that Yu Gongzi lied to her."
"You mean that Yu Gongzi betrayed Tenth Gongzi?"
Lotus shook her head and smiled helplessly. Servant Huan was very smart but he was as naive as a child in some areas. She explained, "Yu Gongzi didn't tell Tenth Gongzi the secrets closest to her heart. This means that she was a little afraid of Tenth Gongzi. What makes Tenth Gongzi sad is exactly this. She had always treated Yu Gongzi whole-heartedly and never regarded her as an inferior poor relative. She hoped that Yu Gongzi would have also treated her like this. If Yu Gongzi had told her the truth from the beginning, Tenth Gongzi might have been angry but also might have been happy. Perhaps she would have even helped Yu Gongzi marry Meng Fifth Gongzi because she had her best friend's trust."
Gu Shenwei didn't seem to fully understand what Lotus said, but he remembered that when he was cornered by the disciples of the Great Desolate Sect, he had spoken openly to Shangguan Ru and asked for her help. Shangguan Ru had taken him seriously and trusted him more from then on.
Gu Shenwei was a bit surprised that Lotus could understand Tenth Gongzi so thoroughly.
"We are both women."
Lotus's explanation made Gu Shenwei more puzzled but at the same time, his heart flipped a bit. In his mind, 'women' were all like Xu Yanwei, and he had never thought of Lotus and Shangguan Ru as 'women' as well.
Learning Shangguan Ru's heart was one thing, but untying the knot was another thing. Gu Shenwei couldn't do anything about it, and neither could Lotus. The two of them could only wait for Tenth Gongzi to come to her senses on her own.
In the end, the one who revived Shangguan Ru was actually Wild Horse, whom Gu Shenwei hadn't expected. But later on, he would agree that this silent killer was the only one qualified to do it.
Wild Horse was loyal to Shangguan Yushi. He had done many things for her and had deep feelings towards her. To some extent, he knew more about the teenage girl than anyone else.
Shangguan Ru didn't understand the sign language of the Snow Mountain gang, so Wild Horse could only ask for Lotus's help. He was a deep and responsible killer, so the first thing he did was to apologize to Lotus because Black Snake, who had tried to assassinate Lotus, was indeed sent by him. He respected Lotus, but for the sake of Yu Gongzi's benefits, he could only do this.
Lotus accepted Wild Horse's apology, and acted as an interpreter for him and had a cordial conversation with Shangguan Ru.
Gu Shenwei felt a bit disappointed. Deep in his heart, he thought that he would become the only person Shangguan Ru trusted after Yu Gongzi's death, but it turned out that he, like all the others, was kept away by Shangguan Ru.
Lotus repeated all of Wild Horse's words. Wild Horse knew that Lotus and Servant Huan's relationship was unbreakable, so he didn't demand for her to keep it a secret.
Shangguan Yushi had started paying attention to Wild Horse a long time ago. At that time the slaughter among the disciples had not yet begun and Wild Horse was only an ordinary member of the Snow Mountain gang. So naturally, he was surprised by Yu Gongzi's greetings, but he wasn't complacent because he wasn't the only disciple Yu Gongzi cared about.
The duel between Wild Horse and Servant Huan, which was called off at the last moment, was more influential than the two had expected. Since then, Shangguan Yushi had spent a lot of effort trying to buy over Wild Horse before finally winning the loyalty of the tongueless teenager.
Wild Horse didn't explain why he had pledged allegiance to Yu Gongzi.
Wild Horse, therefore, became Yu Gongzi's most trusted helper, but he never did anything for her until Tenth Gongzi went down the mountain and founded the Kun Society. Then, Duke Gao was killed personally by him; Zhou Huan and Servant Yuan were killed by someone he sent out, and Servant Jing was drawn into the crowd by him.
Their hatred towards the Bi Nu gang had brought the two closer.
The kidnapping of Tenth Gongzi was also Yu Gongzi's idea and the purpose was to let Servant Huan take responsibility. But she had also asked Meng Mingshi to swear that he would not harm a hair of Shangguan Ru before performing the task.
Wild Horse confessed everything and was willing to accept the death penalty, which added credibility to the following words he said.
Meng Fifth Gongzi had fallen in love with Shangguan Yushi a long time ago. No one knew the specific reason, but it was probably because Yu Gongzi was different from any other women he met. In short, to pursue her, Meng Fifth Gongzi had spent a lot of effort. The purpose of the trip to the Iron Mountain was actually to bring the two closer, but the result was only contempt from Yu Gongzi.
Yu Gongzi had never loved Meng Mingshi. This was what Wild Horse said through Lotus.
Shangguan Yushi had in motion a complex plan. If she succeeded, she would have killed Servant Huan, swindled a huge sum of money from the Meng family, and made the Kun Society the most powerful force in Southern Jade City.
The fact that the kid of the Meng family loved Yu Gongzi was just his own wishful thinking; he had actually not even touched her clothes. He was a guy who appeared fierce but was a coward at heart. How could Shangguan Yushi love such a man?
The killer should seek victory through unscrupulous means, so Shangguan Yushi didn't feel ashamed of her cheating behaviour. Unfortunately, the plan was only carried out halfway, and she never noticed that Shangguan Fei had gotten involved.
As Yu Gongzi died, her original purpose could never be achieved, so the means themselves had become the purpose in the others' eyes.
Yu Gongzi would never marry a man like Meng Mingshi because she had made a plan to extricate herself. Wild Horse was very sure about this.
Meng Mingshi was promiscuous and lustful. He would pursue a woman at no cost, but once he got them, he would abandon them easily after the initial interest wore off. After she was finished using him, Shangguan Yushi had planned to hire an attractive prostitute to seduce him and then she would catch the adulterers on the scene and cut her relationship with him.
Only then would she tell Tenth Gongzi the whole plan.
Yu Gongzi's only loyalty lay with Tenth Gongzi. Wild Horse was even surer about this.
It was not like Meng Mingshi had said that Yu Gongzi wanted to make Tenth Gongzi a mere figurehead, which was just a trick to deceive the idiot of the Meng family. As for why she didn't say a word about her plan, it was because she didn't want Tenth Gongzi to get involved in a dirty deal.
In Yu Gongzi's mind, Tenth Gongzi was the only clean person in the castle. She would accept the dirty water from all parties so that Shangguan Ru could hide behind her.
Gu Shenwei felt that the credibility of Wild Horse's words was less than twenty percentage, but Shangguan Ru believed them all and even forgave Wild Horse's crimes of assassinating their own men.
Gu Shenwei had never been close to Shangguan Yushi, but he believed that he was the one who knew that little devil best.
Like all the people who were humble but hadn't lost hope, Shangguan Yushi was always panicky and afraid that she would fall to the bottom one day. Of course she would not fall in love with Meng Fifth Gongzi, but her deeds were also not completely to show her loyalty to Shangguan Ru.
Under some circumstances, it was not a shame to help the noble lord block the dirty water, but a privilege. The fact that Shangguan Yushi wanted to keep Shangguan Ru clean held the same meaning of wanting to make her a mere figurehead.
Gu Shenwei believed his own judgement, and Lotus thought the same. But it was useless since Shangguan Yushi was dead, and her true purpose would never be known. Perhaps what she had said to others was all true, so that she could gain the best benefits for herself, and when she had to show her attitude, she would act according to the situation.
No matter what, Shangguan Ru had finally eliminated the dark clouds in her heart. And luckily, Gu Shenwei had already drawn up a plan to reclaim the Kun Society's hegemony.