Chapter 195 Fight in the Grove
The sun was setting and the peach grove was busy this evening.
Hordes of sabremen passed by the two killers and the little swordsman and continued moving forward with their sabres as if they hadn't seen them.
"What are you doing here?" Someone big and tall asked in a low voice, blocking the last few rays of the sun.
"Collecting information." Gu Shenwei recognized that Guan Houlin.
"There's no need anymore. The Essence Pavilion will be burnt to ashes soon. City View Alley will no longer be a paradise, it has to pay monthly fees from now on."
Guan Houlin still remembered the contempt he had suffered in the Essence Pavilion. The only person he feared was Immortal Peng, and now he would take the opportunity to avenge himself.
Gu Shenwei walked out of the way and didn't say his real thoughts. If he could place a bet on the raid, he would choose the Essence Pavilion. Although the Essence Pavilion had been split, it still had more than thirty disciples, all of whom were kung fu experts. The two hundred or so sabremen who had come for money perhaps weren't their match.
Guan Houlin didn't think of this. What he saw was only a group of tea drinkers who sat around and waited to die, never knowing that those people were also kung fu practitioners. He was sure that he would win this battle and with it make a great contribution to the ninth young lord again.
"You're welcome to watch the fun. Tuo Nengya will not be able to escape this time."
Gu Shenwei naturally would not tell the other party that the old sabremen had already left the Essence Pavilion. "Congratulations to your Excellency for making a marvellous contribution. Ninth young lord will rely on you even more from now on."
"Heh Heh, I'm not bragging, ninth young lord depends on me for a lot of things. By the way, how were you able to kill Immortal Peng?"
"He's too old. The others didn't see through him, and I was just lucky enough to seize the moment."
"Just as I thought." Guan Houlin believed the killer's words and even felt a bit regretful that if he was a bit more daring, he could have finished that old dog himself. "It's really a pity that the killer can't change their lords. Otherwise, I would have the ninth young lord take you all in. It's not that I despise Tenth Gongzi, as a woman is a woman after all. Now, the Kun Society is as good as dead, isn't it?"
Gu Shenwei smiled slightly but didn't argue a single word; both Lotus and Chu Nanping were unresponsive. One was indifferent, and the other emotionless. The two didn't care about what others said. Chu Nanping didn't even care about the safety of the Essence Pavilion as he was still considering the killer's suggestion.
The sabremen had all entered the peach grove and Guan Houlin was ready to commence the battle. "Hey, I'm going to visit the girl of the Xu family tomorrow. You won't have any dead people at her house again, right?"
"No, I won't."
"That's good, a brothel is a brothel. Do not make it a coffin shop."
Guan Houlin treated the killer as his underling. He had about two hundred sabremen near him, so he had nothing to be afraid of.
Shangguan Fei's 'strategist' went to command the attack, and Gu Shenwei followed far behind him.
It was a battle that began with a surprise attack, which meant that Guan Houlin wasn't a completely ignorant person. Fifty sabremen, armed with bows and crossbows, lit their arrows on the order of the 'strategist', and shot them out together.
The arrows swished as they left the bowstring and the whizzing sound quieted as they flew high in the sky like shooting stars and fell towards the Essence Pavilion.
There was a lone lamp on inside the Essence Pavilion, as if the people in the building were unaware of the sneak attack.
"Get the ladder ready."
Guan Houlin issued the second order when the burning arrows were still in flight, ready to start the slaughter and clean up the mess.
But something unexpected happened. Those fifty burning arrows seemed to crash into a large invisible net right as they flew over the wall, all of them falling onto the ground one after another.
A large crowd of odd-looking people leapt to the top of the wall with all kinds of weapons and flew upon the sabremen, who were carrying the ladders and about to attack, all without saying a word.
It was indeed a massacre, but the slaughterers and the ones being slaughtered were reversed. The sabremen immediately became confused after a few screams, as they were told that it would be an effortless attack and they weren't prepared for a tough fight, let alone risked their lives. They began to flee as soon as the battle started and the Essence Pavilion showed its power.
Guan Houlin was struck dumb by the retaliation of the Essence Pavilion, and became furious after some time. He drew his broadsabre to block the fleeing sabremen. "Stop, you idiot! They are few, and we are many …"
The voice of the 'strategist' was drowned out by the constant screams.
In less than time than it takes for an incense stick to burn, the neat formation of the sabremen had been broken. They started to compete with each other, not for whose sabresmanship was better but for who could run faster.
It was such a thorough defeat that Guan Houlin also panicked and lost his mind. The first thing he did after regaining his sanity was to turn and flee. He ran forward at full pace and even threw away his sabre.
The Essence Pavilion carried out a slaughter for the first time in many years. The disciples behaved as if they had at long last drunk fragrant wine after many years of abstinence, all of them falling into a state of fanaticism. Even if the real Immortal Peng were revived and used the most powerful hypnosis, he might not be able to stop these people.
The peach grove became a slaughterhouse, and only the lucky and quick-witted could escape.
Guan Houlin was clearly not one of the latter, but he was lucky enough to have two killers that watched this surprise attack which started out well but ended poorly.
Gu Shenwei and Lotus rushed to Guan Houlin's side, each of them grabbing an arm of Guan Houlin to carry him and run towards the outside of the grove.
The sabremen either died or fled alone. No one followed the 'strategist'.
The fanatical disciples of the Essence Pavilion calmed down on the edge of the peach grove. They were not killers, and they didn't have the principle of cutting off the weeds and digging up the roots.
Guan Houlin was almost kneeling on the ground. Looking at the dark peach grove, where he should have made a great contribution, he kept muttering, "How could this happen?"
Gu Shenwei did not show a gloating look, but he had to remind Guan Houlin of an important matter, "The ninth young lord will probably not be happy."
What scared Guan Houlin the most was exactly this. He forgot that the killer was his saviour, stood erect, and scolded the killer in a condescending tone, "It's all your fault, you knew it would go like this, didn't you? I'll tell the ninth young lord that you did this on purpose."
"Do you think the ninth young lord is a fool?" Gu Shenwei's voice grew icy cold.
Of course Guan Houlin clearly knew that he shouldn't blame the killer for this and couldn't fool the cunning Shangguan Fei, as the main reason for the attack's failure was that he hadn't expected the Essence Pavilion to be full of kung fu experts.
"He will kill me!" Frightened, Guan Houlin covered his face and sobbed like a child.
"Someone can protect you." The fact that Gu Shenwei would spend time watching a destined killing was because he was actually waiting for this chance.
Guan Houlin lowered his hands while his thick eyebrows raised, as if he were angry or confused. Then he understood. "Are you trying to buy me off? No way. I, Guan Houlin, am not that kind of sabreman that would betray his lord."
Gu Shenwei had learnt a truth from Immortal Peng that there was no need for a lengthy persuasion because everyone would find a reason to convince themselves. So he didn't argue, explain, or refute. He only coldly stared at the big sabreman.
"I will not betray!" Guan Houlin repeated it with every step back, his voice getting lower and less confident. There were not too many loyal sabremen. People like Tuo Nengya were outdated and uncivilized old fogeys.
"Tenth Gongzi, can she really protect me?
"I didn't mention Tenth Gongzi."
Guan Houlin was stunned. He glanced at the killer, the female killer nearby, and the kid carrying a sword, and felt baffled by how strange and ridiculous the three looked together. Then he turned to focus and said, "I owe a great debt of gratitude to the ninth young lord. I'll never turn against him."
"I'm a killer of the castle; I'll certainly not put my hands on the lord, and neither will Tenth Gongzi. They are brothers and sisters, twins. It's just a game for them to fight over each other.
Guan Houlin's eyes flicked back and forth, considering the killer's words. Then he suddenly looked serious as if he had figured out everything, "I won't betray my lord. I'll go to the ninth young lord to ask for punishment. He will forgive me. I'm not like the others. He will forgive me."
Guan Houlin didn't want to spend any more time staying with Tenth Gongzi's killers. He stumbled to make a detour, ran towards Southern Jade City, and quickly disappeared into the dark night.
"He will go to the ninth young lord to complain about you." Lotus wanted to kill Guan Houlin to silence him.
But Gu Shenwei thought otherwise, "The ninth young lord isn't that gullible, I'll go see him myself."
As it had turned out, the one who came up with ideas for Shangguan Fei wasn't Guan Houlin. That little gongzi who used to follow his younger sister had really grown up into a sinister and vicious young lord of Golden Roc Castle.
Gu Shenwei was even more unwilling to leave his secrets in Shangguan Fei's hands. If he couldn't kill this young lord of the Shangguan family, he at least had to figure out a counter-measure.
It was too late to go into Northern Jade City now, so Gu Shenwei went to visit the ninth young lord alone the next afternoon while Lotus returned to the Kun Society to report to Shangguan Ru. Chu Nanping neither intended to go back to the Essence Pavilion nor had decided to become the killer's 'protector'. So he went to see his 'friend', hoping to get some guidance. Gu Shenwei was really curious that if Xu Xiaoyi, who was frightened, would dare to meet this strange kid or not.
The news that the Qiu Society was defeated by the Essence Pavilion had spread all over Jade City. Many people realized for the first time that there were kung fu experts in City View Alley. Immortal Peng became more like an 'immortal' now and his death appeared even more mysterious.
It was under this situation that the 'reviving' of the white-robed Immortal Peng was widely acknowledged.
Gu Shenwei openly entered City View Alley at noon and attended the ceremony of Immortal Peng's ascent to heaven as agreed upon. The dwarf's body was set afire on the woodpile in front of the Essence Pavilion.
Many residents outside City View Alley participated in the ceremony and even joined the scramble for the remains of the immortal.
The killer got along well with the white-robed immortal Peng, and everyone who saw this scene with their own eyes went back to assure their relatives and friends that the killer hadn't killed Immortal Peng at all and he had only helped the immortal to transmigrate. Then they explained to those people who didn't understand what transmigration meant, "Transmigration, you know, you think he's dead but he actually didn't die but instead ascended to heaven as an immortal. Immortal Peng is unwilling to leave Jade City so he borrows another body. In fact, the one destined to die didn't die and the one that shouldn't die also didn't die …"
The Essence Pavilion became famous because of this, while the Qiu Society was the poor loser. They had made an ambitious attempt without a sense of their pitiable limitation, which ended in a deserved failure, only becoming proof of the immortal's existence.
So, when Gu Shenwei went to see Shangguan Fei that afternoon, he knew that the ninth young lord would definitely be unhappy and he wouldn't even be surprised if Shangguan Fei had killed his 'strategist' because of this.
And the 'strategist' would definitely do everything possible to shift the responsibility to others, especially the killer Yang Huan who had happened to be there and tried to persuade him to betray his lord.
"You two-faced dog slave!" Sure enough, as soon as Shangguan Fei saw Servant Huan, he became red-faced and scolded him, "I will let everyone know your true face. Even if my sister doesn't kill you, the castle will kill you."
Gu Shenwei followed the etiquette and knelt down on one leg, wondering whether the information at his disposal could suppress this ninth young lord that had a fierce face but a faint heart.