Editor: Cypress Venus Trap
Chapter 41 Lose or Win
Although the bet was decided to be ‘Servant Huan defeating Yu Gongzi in three moves’, Shangguan Yushi attacked first. And her first move itself was misjudged by Gu Shenwei.
She had lowered her left shoulder, which caused Gu Shenwei to think she was going to use the Thundering Wind Sweep. For this move, the fist attacks were feints, and the real attack came with the kick, which he would counter attack by leaning his upper body backward and use his hand to hold the foot, and throw his opponent away.
It turned out that Shangguan Yushi used the Twisting Left Brushing Right, and both of her palms were real moves. She attacked as fast as lightning, Gu Shenwei made the mistake of misjudging one move and almost lost the whole fight because of it.
Fortunately, because he had practised with Lotus for more than ten days, his reaction was much faster than before. He grabbed the chance to retreat immediately. Although he didn’t get hit, his actions seemed rather hasty.
This time the onlookers were not startled, but confused instead. Servant Huan had claimed insolently before, so everyone believed that he had some hidden skills and hadn't expected him to be so vulnerable. For those who were fast-thinkers, they couldn’t help but think that Servant Huan had deliberately tried to please Shangguan Yushi after he had been humiliated.
Shangguan Fei turned his head and angrily glanced at Shangguan Hongye. Shangguan Hongye was also dumbfounded, his fists were clenched and his face was red with anger. Others didn't know whether he was going to cheer for Servant Huan, or, dash forward to beat him black and blue.
Shangguan Yushi didn’t give her opponent any chance to retaliate, she was burning with anger now. She was determined to defeat her opponent in three strokes, even maim him. Before she finished her palm moves, she leaped abruptly in the air, spinned her body and kicked back at Servant Huan.
This move was called Overturning the Heaven Grasping the Sun, which was one of the five moves speculated by Xue Niang. Gu Shenwei had already mastered the countermove, the only problem was that he had lost the advantage in the first move and his body was still unstabilized which made it very hard for him to react easily.
He was supposed to squat and lunge forward, let his opponent fly over his head and then take the chance to push over her body.
If he had used this solution precisely, then Shangguan Yushi would fly over the crowd and fall onto the ground. But Gu Shenwei was a bit behind in his actions that, when he made the move, his posture was not exactly right and he had missed his opponent and got his arm grabbed by the opponent instead.
The crowd cried in alarm, as they all thought Servant Huan was in big trouble. Shangguan Yushi had always fought fiercely, and had never saved face for anybody. She would definitely strike heavily to either split or twist Servant Huan’s bone.
What followed continued to change constantly as Servant Huan’s movements were scattered. He swung his hands randomly, and just when the crowd believed that he was going to fall and get injured, Yu Gongzi, who, till then had the upper hand, was the one to fall.
Gu Shenwei pressed against Shangguan Yushi’s arm for a while, after which, he released her without any of the lord's order and retreated three steps with his hands at his sides, indicating that the competition was over.
Shangguan Fei and several others immediately jumped excitedly. “We won, we won!”
Although Shangguan Yushi fell, she was not hurt at all. She pushed against the ground with her hands and jumped up quickly with her face was so red, as if it was going to bleed, and said sternly: “You cheated, let’s fight again.”
Shangguan Fei dashed forward before Gu Shenwei could open his mouth, “All’s fair in war. A win, is a win, you’d better not deny it.”
Shangguan Yushi was so angry that she had moved forward with her fists sticking out wanting to fight with Shangguan Fei, but, Shangguan Ru rushed forward to separate the two. “Wait, wait, the win or lose hasn’t been decided yet.”
“Why isn't decided? Didn’t she fall?”
“But in how many moves?”
Shangguan Ru’s question silenced the onlookers. Those two fought too fast that no one could count the number of the attacks.
Shangguan Fei dragged Servant Huan from behind him, “Isn’t it the third move? Say it, isn’t it?”
“No, I made Yu Gongzi fall at the fourth move, I lost.”
Gu Shenwei was telling the truth.
When Shangguan Yushi had held his arm, she used a move called Gold-splitting Palm, where she put forth her strength with her catenate hands.The result of that move would be that, Gu Shenwei’s arm would become damaged forever.
The Gold-splitting Palm was very vicious but it was precisely one of the five moves that was selected by Xue Niang. Gu Shenwei didn’t even have to think about it twice and, he ducked under his arm and took a step forward before spinning his arm out of her grip, thus neutralising Shangguan Yushi’s catenated force, which also enabled him to pose himself in front of her, so he used another hand to grasp her breast.
It was not easy to break Golden Roc Castle’s martial arts. Shangguan Yushi was a teenage girl, no matter how her attire and personality resembled a boy's, her mentality was still a girl's in the end, and thus, based on this, Xue Niang had created several ‘dirty moves’ as countermeasures.
This move, Breast Attack had made Lotus frantic when they were practising it. Lotus would retreat when he had used this move, so Gu Shenwei had always stopped the move halfway, causing Xue Niang to seriously scold them.
Shangguan Yushi, however, was not Lotus, and she knew nothing about this move. Her mind was already in a disorder when she had realised that Servant Huan was able to neutralize her Gold Splitting Palm, so when Gu Shenwei had made a grabbing motion towards her breast, she wasn't able to think clearly and leap backward like Lotus had done!
This time it was Gu Shenwei who was unprepared. Like a lightning, he had pulled back his hand and latched onto her arm instead, and all that while, Shangguan Yushi remained stunned.
Shangguan Yushi moved carelessly for once and had almost payed the price of humiliation; this realisation made her very annoyed. By the time, she had registered about what had occurred, not only did she had not retreated, instead, she had moved forward and used a ruthless move called Ladder-breaking Foot which was used for short-range attacks.
This move envisioned opponent’s body as a wooden ladder. One would grip the opponent’s wrist and with this strength, one could kick the opponent's body across its length continuously. It may result in the combatant breaking his bones, if enough strength was applied.
Although this move was vicious, the likelihood that it would be utilised was low. Xue Niang had
put it as one of the five moves after long consideration.
Gu Shenwei had speculated she would use this move as soon as she exerted strength with her hand, and hence got a head start, he was determined not to be humble again. Taking advantage of the fact that her first foot hadn’t kicked out and her lower body was not stable, he had dragged her arm with force and the two of them exchanged their positions. Gu Shenwei had already turned back and pushed her to the ground before she could fix her stance.
These moves had happened too fast and, during the entire fight, those two were entangled. For the onlookers it was just one move, but in reality it was already the fourth move and only Shangguan Ru saw through the whole set of moves.
The winner and loser reversed instantly, causing a big commotion. Gu Shenwei was just a servant, it was enough if he had just confessed to his defeat, but Shangguan Fei shot him a stare, and pushed him to the side. “No, they are not separated, so it should still be considered as one move.”
“Four moves are four moves, this has nothing to do with being separated or not.”
The twins stood out and argued for their own sides. Shangguan Ru even forgot that she was on her brother’s side regarding the bet, and argued whole-heartedly for Shangguan Yushi.
The two protagonists of the competition were separated by a group of noisy school kids, but, They continued to stare at each other, one with a stiff look and the other trying to restrain the anger.
Gu Shenwei’s main purpose, however, had been achieved; and as such, winning or losing the bet did not matter to him as much as realising his purpose: he had defeated Shangguan Yushi thereby impressing everybody that was present. Even though Shangguan Ru was providing support to her cousin at the moment, it was without a doubt that, she would have a deeper impression of this Servant Huan.
The two sides continued their argument endlessly such that the old teacher had to wave his ruler for them to disperse. Following that, the ones who should have entered the school, entered, and the ones who should leave the yard, left, and the order was finally restored.
Servant Qing’s face darkened. “You’re really not afraid of death! Good! Your bone is tough, Yu Gongzi spared your life last time, I want to see if you have that luck this time.”
Gu Shenwei kept his head low and didn’t say anything. There was no point in arguing with Servant Qing, who was not even on top of his revenge list.
“Go away, go to your bandit’s lair!”
Servant Qing was angry to the point that he did not even realise that he had shamed the eighth young mistress.
Gu Shenwei left 'obediently‘. Both, Shangguan Yushi and Servant Qing, didn’t want him approaching Ninth Gongzi, but he had the confidence that Shangguan Ru would ask of him again.
He returned to the stone hut, laid on the bed and thought about what had happened. He had retaliated against Shangguan Yushi, but it was far from enough. He had a grave hatred buried in his heart, one day, he would kill that little devil all by himself, along with that pair of twins.
Thinking of killing Shangguan Ru, he suddenly became a bit hesitant, but the next moment, he steeled his heart right away. His heart was full of hatred and didn’t have more room for kindness and sympathy.
The competition that had happened had caused a series of fallout, the first person who had got mad was Shangguan Hongye. He ran to the stone hut before the class was over; not only had he lost all that he had gambled, but had also offended Shangguan Fei. He wanted to vent all his anger on Servant Huan.
“You dog slave! Stinky kid! You dare to cheat me? I’m going to fucking kill you now!.”
Shangguan Hongye rolled up his sleeves and got ready to fight. He didn’t care how powerful this servant’s kung fu was, a servant was just a servant and the lord could beat him anytime he wanted to.
To fight against a person like Shangguan Hongye, Gu Shenwei didn’t need Xue Niang to teach him, he didn't even have to predict the opponent’s moves. Shangguan Hongye thus cut a sad figure with his face attached to the edge of the brick bed, with only a push to his stomach.
It was a huge mistake on Shangguan Hongye's part that he didn’t bring his little bookkeeper.
“You, you, you, let me go!”
Gu Shenwei released him, retreated two steps, and looked icily at this kid who always appeared to be fierce but was a coward at heart. He had already gotten an idea on how to deal with him.
“You dare to beat me?”, Shangguan Hongye said as he turned back to look at him, with his arms laid out on the edge of the brick bed, sitting in a half squat and looking panic-stricken.
Gu Shenwei pulled a bag from his bedding roll and threw it at Shangguan Hongye. “How much have you lost, I’ll make up for you.”
Shangguan Hongye opened the bag and took a glimpse. It was filled with objects, glowing white and gold colour, enough to pay off his debts as well as gamble even some more. But the money was offered by a servant and he didn't know how to respond.
“It, it isn't about money. The little gongzi has said that he would punish me severely. And you – he will not let you go.” Shangguan Hongye grabbed the bag tightly as he using a less angrier tone.
Gu Shenwei didn’t care about the little gongzi. Shangguan Fei would forget about matters in less than three days.
“Someone in the yard knows that they have lost something, and they are investigating about it strictly.”
Shangguan Hongye became astonished. He was Unique King’s own nephew, if someone knew he had taken stolen silverwares from a servant, he would lose all his face.
Even though he had started regretting getting involved with Servant Huan, he was still reluctant to leave the bag in his hand.
“These items will be stored at your place, you can use them as you wish, but you have to save some for me.”
Shangguan Hongye stuffed the bag close to his chest, without minding that it was bulging. “Don’t worry, after I pay off my gambling debts, I’ll split the remainings equally.”
Shangguan Hongye felt that Servant Huan wasn't as hateful as he thought him to be, once matters regarding money had cropped up, on the contrary, he was afraid of him being regretful. So, without being ordered to leave, he took it upon himself to stumble outside, and almost knocked down Elder Zhang who was entering the hut.
Elder Zhang stared surprisedly at the teenager who ran away higgledy-piggledy. “Isn’t this…isn’t that…”, but then remembering the rule of prudence that he had followed so many years, he shut his mouth in time. He set down the lunch box, removed his portions, and left to have his lunch with his treasured horses in the stables, without enquiring anything.
Even though Gu Shenwei had dealt with Shangguan Hongye, he still felt ill at ease. He was aware that Shangguan Yushi was a person who held grudges, and those matters between them could not be easily settled; if not today, then tomorrow, he was sure that she would come to settle the scores.