Editor: Xu Xian
Chapter 36 The deceased
For the sake of avenging his family, Gu Shenwei felt like he had possessed a murderous heart for a long time. He had just been trying to conceal it the whole time, not letting it wake up.
But he found that it wasn't easy to turn his murderous heart into a murderous aura now, especially when he want to transform it to his sabre and used it on his opponent. He couldn't even treat the twins of Shangguan family as enemies, not to mention Servant Qian who had once lived with him.
Contrary to what one might expect, his enmity was ready to be called upon. It rudely swallowed his internal organs, harming its owner but was unwilling to turn to work on its owner’s enemy.
Gu Shenwei held the wooden sabre with both his hands, in order to have a murderous heart, he had to treat Servant Qian like he was the person he hated most.
Shangguan Fa was the one who ordered the slaughter of the Gu family. Gu Shenwei had never seen Unique King, so he couldn’t imagine how he was like.
Shangguan Nu, the principle culprit who personally killed his parents and brothers, was the enemy he had seen and approached. But whether Gu Shenwei wanted to admit it or not, the eighth young lord’s figure brought him more fear than hatred.
Han Shiqi, the one who snuck into the Gu family manor and worked as a spy, had probably joined in on killing his family. But Gu Shenwei had already stabbed the killer and he was now dead, so he only had hatred and no fear towards him.
Gu Shenwei had a strange feeling, the wooden sabre was not a wooden sabre anymore, but part of his body. Although it was the first time he gripped it, he was full of confidence. Servant Qian who stood opposite him was not Servant Qian anymore, but ‘Han Shiqi’ who now moved stiffly and could be easily hit.
He heard a drifting voice say start. It was like a hand had released the bowstring and Gu Shenwei was the sharp arrow notched onto the bow.
The two teenagers moved at the same time. Compared to their speed, their moves were bland, one came cutting down from above, the other hit at his opponent's lower abdomen with a flat cut.
The competition was finished within one move. If they were famous or adults, the onlookers would assume it was a typical fight between high-level masters; but they were only teenagers, one of whom was a servant with a bruised face, and the other was the weakest disciple amongst his peers. So such a scene appeared to be very funny.
“Ehh, what is this? Why did they stop fighting? Who won?” Shangguan Fei cried, the vast majority of people had similar thoughts as him.
Out on the field, Gu Shenwei kneeled down on one knee, his wooden sabre lay across Servant Qian’s abdomen. Servant Qian was standing, his body bent forward and his wooden sabre pressed against Servant Huan’s left shoulder.
If it was a real sabre, then one of them would have a broken abdomen, the other’s body would be cut in half. Both of them were fatal blows, the key was who had been hit first. The one who was hit first wouldn't have any strength to move and, of course, would be the loser.
The two separated and retreated. Neither of them were brash and would not claim the victory for themselves, so everyone turned to look at Hu Shining. He was an experienced kung fu instructor and had a sharp eye, he would not make a mistake.
Hu Shining looked serious, as if the two teenagers made a big mistake. He went to face Servant Qian, took away his wooden sabre and raised it high in the air without a word. Then, in front of everyone, he forcefully broke the wooden sabre with his hands.
Next, under everyone’s surprised gaze, he held the two wooden sabre pieces, walked to face Gu Shenwei. and presented the pieces silently.
Gu Shenwei panicked a little, his murderous heart was long gone. But Han Shining looked insistently at him, so he picked up the wooden sabre pieces as he glanced at his opponent Servant Qian.
Servant Qian’s face flushed, he stared at his toes, he felt as if he was naked under the others’ stares and dared not cover himself.
“Brilliant disciple of Peng Yue Sect won.”
With Hu Shining’s declaration, Shangguan Ru and the others jumped up cheering.
Shangguan Yushi urged, but Hu Shining shook his head., “There’s no need to compete, none of the disciples in Diao Mu Yuan are his match.”
Everyone was confused by how much the kung fu instructor valued the servant. The twins had fought with Servant Huan before, they thought he was roughly the same as themselves, so they were puzzled that they didn’t get the same comment from Hu Shining.
“Humph, forget it, if you don’t want to compete let’s go.” Shangguan Ru thought the other side was finding excuses and turned to leave.
Gu Shenwei gripped one wooden sabre in his hand, he also held those two pieces of the broken sabre, but he didn’t know where to put it, so he walked over to Hu Shining and handed them back to him with reverence.
Hu Shining took them casually, and finally couldn’t help but voice his misgivings. “What’s your name, why didn’t you enter east castle?”
“I’m Servant Huan, I have learnt internal energy.”
Hu Shining shook his head with regret, what a pity, he has already mastered an aura of death at such a young age. He’s really a born killer.
Gu Shenwei turned to run after his lord, Hu Shining was still shaking his head as he stared at his back. Suddenly, his heart stirred, this teenager is extraordinary, the two gongzis may be in danger with him around.
But this thought passed in a flash, he didn’t have any evidence. It’s better not to cause trouble.
Behind him, the defeated Servant Qian suddenly held his stomach and started vomiting.
Outside Diao Mu Yuan, when Shangguan Ru saw that Servant Huan had come out, she stepped forward to punch him and smiled. “So you’re good at sabresmanship, you’ve been hiding this from us.”
Gu Shenwei knew she was not hitting him seriously, so he took the hit and smiled as well. He had a sudden flash of inspiration, he kneeled heavily. “Master, how is it possible for a disciple's kung fu to be comparable to yours.”
“Who is your master?” Shangguan Ru replied loudly, but her smiling face was like a flower, obviously she didn’t hate this title.
“When I represented our Peng Yue Sect to fight, Ninth Gongzi accepted me as a disciple.”
Shangguan Ru tilted her head and looked at Servant Huan seriously, sizing him up. She suddenly couldn’t help but smile again. “Considering you didn’t lose me any face today, I’ll accept you as my disciple, but I’m a very harsh master, the disciple will be punished if he doesn’t follow my orders or work hard.”
“Of course, a harsh master is like a father, this disciple’s life is in master’s hands.”
If it was a few months ago, Gu Shenwei would blush even after just listening to others saying such flattering words, but now he could blurt them out with a straight face.
This was how suffering and hatred transformed a man.
Seeing how Shangguan Ru had a disciple, Shangguan Fei was not happy, he argued, ” I’m the deputy sect leader, I’m also Servant Huan’s master.”
“There should be only one master for a disciple, if you want to be a master you can take the others. Hmm, you two, bow to him as your master.”
The two bookkeepers were clever. With Shangguan Ru’s order, they immediately kneeled in front of the little gongzi, saying master. Their calls were more sincere and friendlier than Gu Shenwei’s, so Shangguan Fei was proud and happy again.
Shangguan Yushi was looking on coldly from the sidelines, she couldn’t bear it anymore. “Humph, they deliberately let you win, what are you proud of.”
She was still happy when Gu Shenwei won inside the yard, but she felt bitter after seeing how insatiable he acted as he spared no effort in pleasing Shangguan Ru.
Shangguan Ru was still in a good mood, she held her cousin’s hand, “This is your Aunt-master Yu, greet her now.”
Gu Shenwei turned to Shangguan Yushi. “Disciple greets Aunt-master Yu.”
Shangguan Yushi wanted to avoid him, but she was firmly dragged by Shangguan Ru and had to accept Servant Huan’s many bows.
Although Shangguan Ru was depressed in the morning because of Marshal Yang’s death, she had a much better mood after the foundation of a sect. “Oh, the ceremony for accepting new disciples is too simple. Diao Mu Yuan has its own territory, we should have one as well, where should we go?”
Everyone tried to brainstorm ideas, some suggested Peng Yue Yuan, others proposed Zhai Xing Yuan, someone even recommended an unused empty room in Golden Roc Castle. Shangguan Ru was unsatisfied with all of them, she felt they weren't unique enough and didn’t have the feel of a ‘territory’.
In the end, it was still Shangguan Yushi who had the best ideas, she came up with a brilliant idea. She whispered a few words into Shangguan Ru’s ear, and Shangguan Ru’s eyes lit up. She blurted out, “Great, it will be there then.”
Then, together with her cousin, she ran deeper into east castle. Baffled, the other four teenagers followed behind, Shangguan Fei asked while running, “Where? Where?”
It seemed as though Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi didn't know exactly where that place was either. They ran around randomly in the alleys and frequently went around in circles, They ignored Shangguan Fei’s question, which made him anxiously jump up and down and kick his two ‘disciples’ several times to vent his anger.
The six teenagers ran further and further, and the yards they passed on either sides became less and less. Finally, they saw a cliff at the end of an alley.
Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi’s spirits lifted, they continued running forward. But Shangguan Fei stopped in his tracks, the colour of his face changed slightly. “I know where you're going, I'm not going.”
The two bookkeepers were still running, but they suddenly recalled something upon hearing the little gongzi‘s slightly changed voice. They quickly stopped and scrambled to return to Shangguan Fei’s side.
Only Gu Shenwei, who knew nothing, ran to the two teenage girls' side.
Shangguan Ru glanced back at Shangguan Fei and said disdainfully, “Coward, you’re not qualified to be a killer.” Then she sped up, in a short time, the three of them reached the end of the alley.
It turned out that this was still not the cliff. A stone stage extended down at a slant until it reached a large fan-shaped platform several zhangs down. The end of it was the real cliff, which didn’t have even the slightest shred of protection against falling.
“It must be here.” Shangguan Yushi said mysteriously.
Other than the landform, Gu Shenwei didn’t find anything special there. But what surprised him was the familiar smell of something in the air, but he couldn't figure out what it was at the moment.
“Hey, come back quickly, that's Afterlife Cliff, let’s go play somewhere else.”
Shangguan Fei shouted at them from behind, but the two teenage girls ignored him and smiled at each other. Shangguan Yushi turned to look at Servant Huan. “Do you know Afterlife Cliff?”
Gu Shenwei shook his head.
“This is the place a Golden Roc killer goes to to ascend to heaven, the dead are dropped off here.”
Shangguan Yushi waited to see Servant Huan panic, but he only cried ah to show that he finally understood what the place was. When he looked around he was not afraid at all, he was only curious.
Gu Shenwei used to tend the wounded in Ji Xin Yuan, and nobody knew how many corpses he had dropped off the Groaning Ghost Cliff. He was once confused, the fatally wounded people of Golden Roc Castle would be sent to Ji Xin Yuan, but what about the ones that had already died? Now he finally understood.
West castle had a place similar to Afterlife Cliff, Gu Shenwei was careful not to mention it. After all, his experience in Ji Xin Yuan was not great.
Shangguan Yushi was surprised at Servant Huan’s fearlessness. Even Shangguan Ru admired him a bit, she only dared to come here when she was brave enough.
It seemed to welcome the group of intruders. The sound of clanking metal came from far away, then two men in black came out from the alley holding a corpse. They walked silently towards Afterlife Cliff.
Shangguan Fei and the two bookkeepers’ faces turned as pallid as ash. They hastily gave way to the men and pressed themselves against the wall.
The ones carrying the corpse didn’t bow to the little lord and continued moving forward with their heads held low.
Shangguan Yushi and Shangguan Ru’s faces were also a bit pale. But they only retreated a few steps and stood to the side, their eyes followed the two men who passed by and walked down the stone steps.
The two men continuously recited some words. Gu Shenwei also heard someone reciting it when Marshal Yang had killed several killers in a row. He didn’t listen carefully at that time, but he finally heard them clearly now:
"The soul rises to the nine heavens, the spirit falls to the nine abysses. The living suffers in grief, the dead settle in peace."
There were only 16 Chinese characters, those two recited it over and over again in a low voice, as if it was a mantra to drive away evil spirits.
All of a sudden, Gu Shenwei was deeply touched, he couldn't help but ask, “What are they reciting?”
Shangguan Yushi continued reciting the words. Shangguan Ru kept her voice low, as if she were afraid of disturbing someone, she whispered: