Editors: Cypress Venus Trap, Xu Xian
Chapter 24 Reappearance of the White Silk
They soon got to the bottom of Golden Roc Castle's killer Han Shiqi's death, but dealing with the people involved in it had become a headache for many.
The eighth young lord Shangguan Nu had really bad luck this year; he had already experienced too many unhappy things; why did Han Shiqi have to be a killer in his yard, why did the two murderers have to be the servants brought by his newly married wife.
Based on his own analysis of all the rumours, Gu Shenwei was finally able to figure out most of what had happened in the past three suffocating days.
After Servant Qi was caught, the other six teenagers were immediately sent back to Ji Xin Yuan. They were imprisoned once again, with no news at all, and were served only one meal per day. The two corpses could not be dealt with and had began to rot. The smell gradually spread throughout the entire yard, and permeated into the room where the teenagers lived.
For three days in a row, they all lived in fear. The whiplash wounds healed and they helped each other remove the scabs while waiting silently for the final decree. This was the last time these 'sworn brothers' trusted and helped each other.
Gu Shenwei was particularly nervous as he didn't know what Servant Qi would confess.
Servant Qi's glimpse at the underground torture chamber of Xi Xin Yuan had startled him. With their various cruel torture methods, even people older and tougher than Servant Qi would confess to everything, let alone Servant Qi.
The west yard door finally opened at noon on the fourth day and Ji Xin Yuan had a new overseer.
The first thing the newly selected overseer did was to open the east yard door and the disposal of the two corpses.
The corpses already had maggots growing on them and were disgusting to look at, but, the teenagers were elated to carry them. For them, the work given was a sign of forgiveness.
As expected, after the room for storing corpses had been thoroughly cleaned, the new overseer declared that Ji Xin Yuan would be reopened and the teenagers would continue with their previous duties. Everything would remain the same.
But in fact, everything had changed.
The new overseer refused to live in Ji Xin Yuan. He came early, left late, and would lock the yard door when he was away. The teenagers' actions were more limited than before, even bowing to respect the Miss every morning had been cancelled. Inside the castle, the guard at the water pool had been strengthened, the temporarily unused, empty casks had all been moved away.
After the Ji Xin Yuan had reopened, the previous overseer, Servant Ji was amongst the first inmates to be delivered. He had suffered far crueler torture than the teenagers, but was still alive. The other wounded had been thrown off the Groaning Ghost Cliff one by one, only he, surprisingly, recovered slowly.
Servant Ji, however, became more withdrawn and remained quiet throughout most of the day. He had lost his backer, his status, and his future remained unpredictable. One night, when he was able to stand and walk, he hung himself using his belt. The corpse was found the next day, dangling on the frame of the west yard door.
His death was no surprise, no one asked anything about it. The teenagers dropped his corpse off the cliff, one of them even complained that the previous overseer was inconsiderate, why couldn't he just jump off the cliff if he had decided to commit suicide?
A day later, the teenagers saw Servant Qi's beheaded corpse being carried straight to Groaning Ghost Cliff by two men in black.
Although Gu Shewei had already gotten used to the dead, he still couldn't help but vomit. The other teenagers had all of their backs turned with pale faces and they had no appetite for the rest of the day.
Within two days, Servant Xie was also caught, but he had resisted so fiercely that the killers had no choice but to kill him there and then, his corpse was thrown into the wilderness, his confession was already unnecessary by then.
Servant Qi took all blame for what had transpired when he was in Xi Xin Yuan, he didn't mention anybody else except his young brother.
He confessed that he had planned the assassination and that the sharp knife had been nailed under the bed. When that man was dragged by Servant Xie, he had jumped off, crawled underneath the bed and killed his enemy who was enjoying himself.
All the details matched, and moreover, they had found several items belonging to Han Shiqi on Servant Qi's body.
Besides, they had also discovered that Servant Qi and Servant Xie were orphans of Big Snow Mountain. Their parents had died due to fights between the different peaks, so they had escaped, but were sold as slaves. Long Feidu, who had Soaring Eagle gang destroyed at the T-junction, was actually a clan member of the brothers, but they had belonged to different peaks.
Big Snow Mountain had always been fighting with Golden Roc Castle, they were sworn enemies.
Gu Shenwei was very confused about the people from Big Snow Mountain, how could they still kill each other while they had a powerful external enemy?
The origins of the brothers added a trace of conspiracy to Han Shiqi's death. The six teenagers from Ji Xin Yuan were once again questioned about their origins.
Even though they were not escorted to Xi Xin Yuan, they were already frightened, and once they were questioned, they immediately confessed everything about their past experiences – from the day they were born.
Obviously, Gu Shenwei could not tell the truth, but it was too difficult to make up his past, so he borrowed Servant Yao's origin. In this way, he became a servant of a businessman in the Western Regions who had encountered robbers while traveling and was captured as a slave.
At the time, the dying Servant Yao spoke without making any sense, so Gu Shenwei had to rearrange what he had said and add more words. It proved to be successful. In the end, even he came to believe that he went through such an experience.
The only problem was that he could not afford his words to be testified, he clearly looked different from the triangle-faced Servant Yao.
However, no one would go thousands of miles away to check with a businessman. After he had secretly worried about it for a dozen days, Gu Shenwei finally confirmed that he had successfully turned the corner.
The storm gradually subsided, and no one suspected that there was a third accomplice. Moreover, there were people who had secretly hoped that the case would end there so the consequences would be reduced.
Gu Shenwei was right about the contradiction he had observed in the torture chamber. The thin, tall Sabrelord Shen's name was Shen Liang. He was the head of Xi Xin Yuan and also the eighth young lord Shangguan Nu's maternal uncle. He represented his nephew's interests and used his power to make big things small.
The thin, short Mr. Guo came from White Clothes Yard of the east castle. Although he was not a relative of any of the young lords, he was commonly known for his close relationship with the fifth young lord. He wholeheartedly wanted to blow up the case and fight against the eighth young lord's power.
It was well known that the fifth and eighth young lords were not on good terms. It was said that the two young lords' mothers were enemies when they were still alive and their hatred was passed down to their sons after their death.
On the surface, the eighth young lord had won this time, but in fact, it was the Unique King Shangguan Fa who didn't want the case to get out of control. It would be a big scandal if the news that a killer had been assassinated by two teenagers inside Golden Roc Castle leaked outside.
The lord of Golden Roc Castle didn't want to investigate more, so, naturally, no one dared to deliberately complicate the issue.
However, Shangguan Nu's position hit rock bottom in his father's heart. Not only was the eighth son unable to take charge of a killer team, but he was also incapable of managing the internal affairs of his own yard, which made Unique King extremely disappointed.
Understanding that Golden Roc Castle was not monolithic did not help Gu Shenwei much. He was trapped in Ji Xin Yuan now, dealing with the dead everyday. There were only five dead-quiet companions around, who talked very little between themselves.
In the beginning, there were ten teengers brought along during the Miss's marriage but after just one month, 4 of them were dead. Even in the ‘deadly’ Golden Roc Castle, it was a scarily high proportion. As a result, the teenagers became highly pessimistic.
It was under this situation that Gu Shenwei realized that he was ostracized.
The other five teenagers always hid from him and secretly talked behind his back. To Servant Huan, they showed a trace of fear.
This utterly baffled Gu Shenwei. He hadn't bullied anyone, neither did he betray anyone. They all lived at the lowest level of Golden Roc Castle and did the most humble work; he didn't understand why he was out of the ordinary.
Many days latter, he finally understood his differences from others.
His behavior, though concealed, was still different from the kids from the mountains. He would not casually sit on the ground, he frequently washed his hand out of habit, he could read, and he always walked with his back straight……
He also knew kung fu, though he was not as good as the killers in the castle, none of the teenagers were his match.
While the others avoided coming to Groaning Ghost Cliff and would not set foot near it except to dispose corpses, he was not afraid of Groaning Ghost Cliff. He often went there alone, sometimes to practise kung fu, sometimes to meditate.
Servant Yao got infected with evil Qi and had died while he was the only one around, Servant Qi and Servant Xie had wanted to drive away his evil Qi but ended up being 'bewitched' and had decided to assassinate someone. If one thought carefully, even Servant Xiao, who had died the earliest, had a connection with Servant Huan: they used to be together a lot.
All of the five teenagers thought this way. Gu Shenwei was angry in the beginning, but he was soon relieved. It wasn't bad like this, at least he could practise kung fu without any disturbances.
This period of time in Golden Roc Castle, which was over a month, was the hardest he had trained in his entire life. Since the shortcut manual went missing, he had to place all his hope in the normal method.
Revenge was a dish best served cold. He had already discarded the idea of revenge in this short time.
As long as no one recognized the young lord of Gu family, he could wait patiently until he had totally mastered balanced power. If 10 years were not enough, then he would spend 20 years. His enemy, Shangguan Nu, was still young and could live until that day.
On the tenth day after Ji Xin Yuan was reopened, the teenagers who obviously and increasingly feared Servant Huan, 'sent' him a happy surprise.
That day, the yard hadn't accepted any new wounded people and the new overseer had locked the east yard door and left. Gu Shenwei took this chance to practise kung fu at Groaning Ghost Cliff and only returned to the yard at noon to have lunch.
Usually, the other teenagers always hid from him and he would go back to his room and eat alone. Today was no exception, but this time, there was one more thing on his bed.
A piece of white silk with characters written on it.
Gu Shenwei almost dropped his bowl on the ground.
He dashed forward, put the bowl down, and picked up the white silk. After just seeing the first row of characters, he knew that it was the shortcut manual for balanced power.
He read greedily, no time to eat, and no time to think about the origin of white silk.
After reading it, Gu Shenwei became very disappointed.
That was indeed the shortcut manual, but it was not as 'quick' as he had imagined it to be. If one followed the normal method for practising balanced power, the yin and yang energy could only be fused once they reached level 9. While, if one followed the shortcut method, the yin and yang energy could be fused at any level, but the power was incomparable.
The characters on the white silk had explained it very clearly: balanced power could only be powerful after both yin and yang energy reached the third level. And it would be very powerful after the fifth level, if one wanted to be invincible, one must practise and reach at least level 7.
Although it was called a shortcut, its' speed was actually limited.
Even after several decades of harsh training, his father's yin and yang energy had only reached the fifth level. Gu Shenwei had only mastered the first level, he didn't know how long it would take to train before he could really achieve something.
Nevertheless, Gu Shenwei still hid the white silk carefully. After reconsidering, he took it out and spent the whole afternoon memorizing the characters on the manual. Then he tore the white silk and threw it off the cliff.
From then on, the unique skill of the Gu family had no written records, and only existed in the mind of their sole descendant.
Gu Shenwei now had time to consider who had returned the white silk.
Obviously, it was one of the other five teenagers. He had helped Servant Yao hide important items and didn't confess even when he was suffering from the cruel tortures in Xi Xin Yuan.
Gu Shenwei had to find that person.
As to whether he would show gratitude or get rid of him, Gu Shenwei could only suspend those decisions for now.