Chapter 206 The Wei Family
Shangguan Ru left her three killers to act on their own under the banner of Tenth Gongzi.
Gu Shenwei found that his decision to not kill her was wise after all, because there would never again be such a good opportunity for him to act as he wished without needing to shoulder much responsibility.
From an outsider's point of view, the tenth gongzi of the castle had become more mysterious, tough, and vicious, as she lived in seclusion and seemed to want to swallow all of Southern Jade City. But only the three killers knew the truth, that the little girl was in a state of great bewilderment. In one moment she wanted to stay away from all killings, and in another she was ambitious and wanted to do something big and outrageous. This was why she stayed in Southern Jade City but didn't do anything.
The killers had a clear division of labour. Lotus stayed close to Shangguan Ru and made sure that Tenth Gongzi's depression would not be noticed by the other servants and cutters. Liuhua played the role of a 'shadow guard', hiding in the dark to protect the lord at any time. And Servant Huan tried his best to expand the power and influence of the Kun Society.
The three of them agreed that since their lord was becoming weak, they had to create an illusion of being tough. Gu Shenwei didn't trust Liuhua much, but same as Lotus, he just simply raised his vigilance. He didn't want to deliberately create new problems for the time being.
Wild Horse's strategy worked very well. Gu Shenwei revisited those influential old sabremen, especially those who had a family in Southern Jade City. Through them Gu Shenwei recruited some lower levelled sabremen, whose loyalty was guaranteed by the old sabremen. He didn't take any stragglers. In this way, the whole organization would be more stable as well as consist of many small forces instead of a single monopoly.
The Kun Society's behaviour aroused many people's attention after Gu Shenwei recruited ten teams with nearly three hundred sabremen. Some people praised them, some grew wary, and others became puzzled. The first person to stop by was the patrol commandant Zhong Heng.
As usual, Zhong Heng talked in a roundabout way for a long while before he finally hinted that in half a month would be the day for handing over the 'peace talisman' and that they should pay the entire sum of 1,150,000 taels of silver. But he felt that the Kun Society had spent a lot of money in the last few days and didn't seem to have any spare money.
"Don't worry, Lord Zhong. Please go back and reassure the Governor that everyone will be satisfied and happy."
Zhong Heng left, relieved. Since then he visited every two or three days purely for a chat, and sometimes he went to Xu Yanwei's place to spend the night, like a dodgy overseer.
Gu Shenwei spent some time investigating the origin of the Governor but it turned out that very few residents of Southern Jade City knew this lord. It was from Northern Jade City that he finally found some information.
The current governor came from the Central Plains, and was named Wei Song. He was said to be a relative of the imperial family and had come to the Western Regions to earn some experience. Unlike Zhong Heng, who would stay in the Western Regions after leaving the office, Lord Wei would return to the Central Plains as soon as he completed his three-year term of office, and naturally be promoted later.
At first, Gu Shenwei didn't pay special attention to it. A few days later he suddenly felt that the name Wei Song was a bit familiar.
He had lived in the Central Plains for twelve years, but was too young at that time and could only remember a few surnames of his good friends', amongst which there was no surname Wei. He thought that since Wei Song was a relative of the imperial family, he might have had a connection with his father Gu Lun and it was normal that he had an impression of the name.
That impression wasn't a good one. Wei Song took office exactly one or two months after the extermination of the Gu family, but he had never heard of this Lord Wei avenging the wrongs of his colleagues of the Central Plains. He wasn't even as righteous and gallant as that Marshal Yang.
He had to rely on himself to accomplish his goals, especially revenge. Gu Shenwei only regarded the Governor as a force, the kind of force that might be used to suppress Golden Roc Castle.
It was less than ten days to the 'peace talisman' deadline when a prominent figure came to Jade City, bringing a lot of trouble to Gu Shenwei but also reminding him of many things.
This big shot was the gongzi of the Governor Wei Song. His name was Wei Lingmiao, which sounded a little feminine, but he was a prominent, flirtatious figure of romantic deeds.
He was even more famous than his father, especially in Southern Jade City.
Gu Shenwei had heard of his detailed story for the first time from Xu Yanwei.
At the mention of this Wei Lingmiao or Wei Gongzi, Xu Yanwei was extremely excited as if they had known each other for a long time. However, they had never met each other before. "I was still too young to know anything when he came to Jade City last time. Big Belly Buddha actually wanted to offer me up, but had no connections with him. Ai, that was the most regrettable thing in my life. If Wei Gongzi had taken a fancy to me, I would be living in the Central Plains now."
Gu Shenwei couldn't help but snort. A lecherous person like Wei Lingmiao would not pamper a single woman for long. "You would probably be living in a brothel in the Central Plains."
"So what, I'm a whore anyway. I just think that anywhere else is better than this muddy city."
Xu Yanwei was full of anger whenever she mentioned Southern Jade City. She had to release all her anger before she could continue the previous topic. "Right, we were talking about Wei Gongzi. I heard that he was young, handsome, easy-going, loving, and caring, and very rich and generous. Compared to him, those sabremen dressed in tattered fur coat are just like pigs."
Gu Shenwei hummed again. Of course the Wei family was rich. Just the Kun Society had to pay more than a million taels of bribes. The whole of Jade City probably had to spend four or five million taels of silver to safely send this Governor away.
"If you are so capable, you should let Wei Gongzi spend a million taels of silver on you."
"Pffft, why do you think I'm not worth the price? Your crippled Master said that if I could control my temper, I could become the best whore in Retention Alley. Of course I can control myself in front of such a gentle gongzi. Well, I just don't know if I'll have the luck to see him."
"I might as well offer you to him."
"Seriously?" Xu Yanwei's eyes lightened up. She abruptly rose to her feet and almost embraced this killer lord.
"But I'm afraid that you'll go back to the Central Plains with him. Our three-year agreement hasn't ended yet."
"It's all right. I'll pay for it. Besides, Xiaoyi can stay."
Xu Xiaoyi was listening attentively nearby. Upon hearing this, his eyebrows suddenly drooped. "Sister, you are so heartless. How can you go away and leave me alone here?"
"You can come to find me in the Central Plains three years later. I'll buy you a big house in advance and choose several wives for you."
Xu Xiaoyi laughed. "Get the big house ready but forget about the wives. I'll choose them myself. I'd feel uneasy if you chose for me."
The more the sister and brother thought about it, the happier they were. Xu Xiaoyi didn't forget his best friend. "Xiao Chu, come with me then. You have nothing to hold onto here."
Chu Nanping had been listening, but he looked to be indifferent and no one knew if he understood or not. "No, I'll follow him and practise the emotionless swordsmanship."
"What if I leave?"
"You won't leave, or I'll kill you first."
Seeing the conversation go off topic, Gu Shenwei could only interrupt. "I didn't say I'd have to send you to him."
Xu Yanwei twitched her eyebrows and seemed to get angry before she quickly put on a sweet and greasy smile. "Lord Huan, please don't tease me. I know you have the terms. Just say it, I'll agree."
In fact, Xu Yanwei had already been selected. Wei Lingmiao hadn't arrived yet, but the ones who were in charge of the reception of this esteemed gongzi had already started catering to his pleasure by finding the best prostitutes in Southern Jade City. Xu Yanwei had received many recommendations, especially from Meng Fifth Gongzi and the patrol commandant Zhong Heng, who had praised her profusely.
"It's easy. I want all the information about Wei Gongzi. His temper, hobbies, what he eats, what he plays, and what he does every day."
Xu Yanwei's face turned red. She tilted her head slightly and glanced to the side with her big eyes, half-loath and half-consenting, half-shamefaced and half-bold. This was her unique secret trick in seducing a man. Then she said in a low voice, "Do I have to report everything? What can he do with a girl like me?"
Gu Shenwei left with Chu Nanping at once. Actually, he wasn't interested in Wei Lingmiao. The reason he wanted to approach this noble gongzi was to find a way to not pay the bribe. Like most conservative killers, he despised those who were too fond of women and drinks. Killers like Tie Hanfeng were absolutely offbeat and were not respected by the killer.
One of the leading figures of Northern Jade City in charge of welcoming Wei Lingmiao was the fifth gongzi of the Meng family. He had finally recovered from the grief of Yu Gongzi's death, and ever since half a month ago he had begun his dissipated life in Southern Jade City again.
Gu Shenwei went to visit the enemy who had been trying to kill him, and agreed to let Xu Yanwei serve Wei Gongzi.
Meng Mingshi had changed a bit. He appeared more sly and slicker than he used to be. He didn't have too much arrogance on his face and even the only infatuation he had felt in his lifetime had vanished. "Ah, Wei Gongzi is a funny man. I was young when he came here last time. The man who received him was my elder brother …"
This was the second time Gu Shenwei had heard such a remark, and he couldn't help but become a bit curious about what this esteemed gongzi, who was popular amongst both men and women, would be like.
"It was two or three years ago. Wei Gongzi had played many tricks and had a great time in the city. By the way, do you still remember the eighth young lord's marriage? He came just before that. Heh heh, I heard that Wei Gongzi had devised a plan to see what Big Head God's daughter looked like and whether she was really as beautiful as the legends said. I don't know if he succeeded or not in the end. It's a pity that Duke Gao is dead, they used to be best friends."
Gu Shenwei was sure that Wei Gongzi did not succeed. If he really had seen the daughter of Big Head God, that woman's scream would have certainly spread throughout all of Golden Roc Castle.
Meng Mingshi courteously and warmly welcomed Servant Huan, and even sent him out of the house in person. He seemed ready to eliminate the resentment between them with a smile. "Servant Huan, we've known each other for such a long time. You won't care about the past, will you?"
"How dare I, Fifth Gongzi thought highly of me."
"Heh heh, no discord, no concord. Now you are almost half the lord of Southern Jade City. We, as brothers, have to work together to prepare well and plan carefully for the reception of Wei Gongzi."
Meng Fifth Gongzi had actually called a servant as his brother. Gu Shenwei was quite flattered. "All this will be at the behest of Fifth Gongzi. I'll be of service at your disposal."
The meeting was supposed to be over by now, but Gu Shenwei felt that he had overlooked something very important. Then he recalled, and asked, "By the way, the Governor was not yet in office when the eighth young lord got married, so why did Wei Gongzi come to Jade City?"
The question was a bit abrupt. Meng Mingshi paused and thought for a while before he said, "I don't know, perhaps he came as a sentry for his father. Oh, actually I remember something now. I heard that he had come here to marry someone, but I didn't see him take the bride away in the end. Instead, he took away many beauties and charming concubines, haha."
Gu Shenwei also smiled and took his leave. Now he understood why he was familiar with the names of Wei Song and Wei Lingmiao. The Wei family was obviously his elder sister Tsuilan's husband's family, and that Wei Lingmiao had almost become his brother-in-law.