Editor: Xu Xian
Chapter 54 Inner Chamber
Gu Shenwei had actually thought about it carefully before Servant Qian’s warning.
Xue Niang must have an ambitious goal if she dared to scheme in Golden Roc Castle, she might also have a strong, firm backer behind her. Gu Shenwei thought he should ally himself with her and even reveal to her the truth.
He had considered all kinds of possibilities and finally decided to drop this plan. The reason was simple, the strength difference between them was too large. If he told her the truth, he would achieve nothing except giving Xue Niang one more handle to control him by.
He was only 15 years-old, his kung fu was average, but he wanted to slaughter the Shangguan family, who would ally themselves with him?
Once he lost his usefulness, Xue Niang would definitely kill him to keep his mouth shut.
He didn’t have a choice now, and he was also eager to know the secret of the wooden sabre at Liu Sha Dian. It could be Golden Roc Castle’s unique martial arts manual, or perhaps a huge collection of treasures. In short, it could be very helpful for his revenge.
This would be a wire-walking game. No matter whether he advanced or retreated, he would fail completely if he made one wrong step.
Servant Huan was finally sent to the inner chamber the next afternoon. The ones who led him were not Xue Niang, but two unfamiliar middle-aged housemaids.
Those two housemaids kept looking him up and down all the way, making him very embarrassed. He couldn’t help but let out a long sigh once he was left stationed alone in a small hall.
There were a lot of rooms and yards at Golden Roc Castle, but only the gate of the inner chamber was red-colored. There was no big difference between the inside and outside of the inner chamber, except that there were more flowers and the houses were renovated to be much nicer. Unlike the east and west castles, which showed signs of dilapidation over the passing years, the interior decorations of the inner chamber were more beautiful and the furnished tables and chairs were relatively new.
Gu Shenwei felt a little bit weird. When he was alone and could think calmly, he suddenly realized that the style of the inner chamber was totally different from what he had imagined. It was not like an Assassin King’s living place, it was more like… a warm, tender village for a wealthy businessman's concubines.
In contrast, the flaking stone walls and tenaciously growing weeds at the east and west castles appeared to have more killing aura and were more like places a killer should live in.
Gu Shenwei waited for a long time. He didn't dare sit so continued standing. He had to bow to show his respect every time someone went inside. It wasn't until the lanterns were lit that two young maidservants finally came to call him in.
The maidservants behaved similarly to the housemaids and blatantly sized him up as they came in, as if he were a foreign, exotic animal.
One of them covered her mouth and laughed, “Look at him…no wonder Ninth Gongzi...”
Gu Shenwei flushed. Everybody believed Shangguan Ru liked him, it was actually a misunderstanding. Shangguan Ru was not only too young, but she also didn’t treat herself like a girl. Her head was always filled with dreams about Jianghu, fighting and competition, she was even more like a boy than the little gongzi Shangguan Fei.
The maidservants led him through a series of paths and verandas before they finally entered a slightly larger room. The floor was covered with thick carpets; a strong aroma wafted in the air; huge candles burned and lit the room to look as if it were day, a group of women crowded together and laughed presumptuously.
Gu Shenwei immediately knew who he was going to bow to. So he lowered his head, walked several steps forward, and kneeled down without the maidservant’s order.
“Madam, this is the servant.”
“Little servant bows to Madam and wishes Madam will be forever young and live forever.”
Laughter rang in the room, the woman opposite him said, “Look at this kid, he knows how to talk, raise your head and let me have a look.”
Gu Shenwei straightened up but still looked down. He had already seen Unique King’s wife, the twins’ mother, as soon as he had entered the room.
This Madam Meng was in her 30s and still looked young. She looked very pretty and the twins took after her a lot. The customs of the Western Regions was different from the Central Plains, the Mother Lord didn’t cover herself even in front of a male servant. Gu Shenwei, therefore, came to understand why Miss Luo Ningcha, who stubbornly refused to show her face in front of others, couldn’t gain her mother-in-law’s favour.
“Looks a bit handsome, no wonder Ru’er would take you to wander around in Jianghu.”
The madam’s words were obviously meant to ridicule him, the group of women laughed again. Gu Shenwei had never seen so many women gathered together, he felt very uncomfortable and didn’t dare move even a little bit.
“Traitor! I would not take him.”
It was Shangguan Ru’s voice. She sat by her mother’s side and held her mother’s arm. She appeared to be angry and turned her head away from Servant Huan so she wouldn't have to look at him.
On the other side of the Madam sat Shangguan Fei. He laughed happily and winked at his little sister.
“Don’t casually blame others, you were already discovered before you left the inner chamber, everybody just kept quiet. He's just a kid, he already proved his loyalty by leaving the castle with you. What more do you want to ask from him?”
“Well, well, anyhow he had carried you for over half the night, all things considered he was loyal, put away your temper.”
This was the only word that she spat out. The madam comforted her softly as Shangguan Ru's face became taut. The ‘disciple’ surprisingly didn’t listened to the ‘master’ and secretly sent the ‘master’ back to the castle, which really pissed her off.
Gu Shenwei kneeled there silently. He originally thought the twins had inherited their unruliness from their father Shangguan Fa, now he realized it was their mother that had spoiled them to be like this. It was said that the sons and daughters would become noble because of their mother, this madam must have the exclusive love of Unique King.
Big Head God's daughter trying to compete with her was like an egg trying to crush a stone. Gu Shenwei felt more and more that Miss was extremely foolish.
“So do you want him to be your footboy or not? If you don’t like him. I’ll drive him out.”
“No, he’s a traitor,” Shangguan Ru replied directly.
“If sister doesn't want him, I want him. Servant Huan’s kung fu is good, he can be my confidant from now on,” Shangguan Fei interrupted. Servant Huan was a servant sent to him by eighth brother Shangguan Nu but was robbed away by Shangguan Ru, he wanted to get him back now.
Once her brother opened his mouth, Shangguan Ru didn’t agree, she grabbed her mother’s hand. “No. Hmm, let him stay, I’ll punish this dog slave myself.”
“Okay, okay. You can do whatever you want to your own servant.”
The mother and daughter chatted with each other without taking the kneeling Servant Huan seriously, as if he were just a pet that didn’t understand human speech.
Gu Shenwei retreated and was led to a small room. Those two maidservants laughed incessantly and also did not take him seriously.
As a servant who made a contribution, Gu Shenwei’s reward was several plates of pastries. The maidservant poured the pastries on the brick bed and took the plates away.
There was another teenager who was about 14 or 15 years-old in the room. He respectfully said hi when those two maidservants came in. He continued packing his luggage after the maidservants left and completely ignored Servant Huan.
Gu Shenwei recognized him. The teenager was called Servant Ling, one of the twins’ bookkeepers. Gu Shenwei once stood on his shoulders to let Shangguan Ru stand on the top and peek at the killer disciples’ training.
Gu Shenwei also kept quiet. He had seen lots of open and private disputes between the servants, so he naturally acted carefully around them. When he was still the young lord of Gu family, he never knew these kinds of things. At that time he thought a servant was just a servant, other than their appearances, they had the same temper and same personality.
Servant Ling finished packing his luggage, he sat on the edge of the brick bed with his head lowered, as if he were thinking about his own matters. After a while, he turned to Servant Huan and said, “I’m very glad you come.”
Gu Shenwei faintly replied hmm, Servant Ling’s face actually didn’t show the slightest sign of being happy.
“I can go now since you’ve come. From now on I don’t have to practise kung fu hard, don’t have to fight back and forth. I’ll find a normal lord, suck his ass, bear his beatings and keep to the conventional way of doing things. Sigh, I’ve been so tired all these years.”
“Normal lord?” Gu Shenwei repeated, he had been a ‘lord’ for 14 years, but he never knew what a ‘normal lord’ should be like.
Servant Ling’s facial color changed, “I didn’t mean that, I just said it casually. For the lord, I’m…”
“I would not spread gossip.”
“Hey, I knew you’re different from other kids, you’re…you’re… you know, unique.”
Gu Shenwei revealed a faint smile. Many people said he was unique, and most of the time it was derogatory. If they really knew how unique he was, they would probably be scared half to death.
“I’m leaving, there are several rules I want to tell you.”
“First, do not walk around randomly in the inner chamber. If you don’t know where you're allowed to go, then don’t go anywhere. But your legs and feet should be swift, when the lords stretch out their hands, you should fly over like a dog chasing a rabbit.”
“Hmm.” Gu Shenwei thought at heart that he had run even faster than a dog in the past several months.
“Second, do not look around randomly. Your eyeballs are used to serve the lord, you’re not coming here to feast your eyes. But you’d better have a sharp eye and should not expect the lord to open their mouth for everything. You have to observe and look for the hints.
“Hmm.” Gu Shenwei had a higher requirement for himself, he had to instill a new idea into the lord’s mind.
“Third, do not talk randomly. As for what I have just said, you should slap my face immediately and then report it to the lord.”
“Hmm, I know it now and I will do it from now on.”
“Heh Heh, there are too many rules, remember these three first.”
Someone was calling Servant Ling’s name outside, so he carried his luggage and was about to leave before he lowered his head and thought for a while. “Sometimes I feel like you’re a madman, but I still want to advise you to not bother Yu Gongzi.”
Now that Servant Ling left, Gu Shenwei owned this room. He had been thinking about the task Xue Niang ordered him to do and totally forgot Shangguan Yushi was still there. That jealous girl probably was thinking about how to punish him right now.
Gu Shenwei was left alone and the first thing he did was break the first of the three rules told by Servant Ling: go out and ‘walk around randomly’.
The place he lived in was the corner of a garden. In total there were more than 10 small rooms built here where a group of wild animal trainers and the twins’ footmen lived.
Gu Shenwei had met almost all of these footmen before, but they ignored each other and appeared to not recognize each other. There were more than 20 animal trainers, all of whom had thick, powerful backs and shoulders. With naked arms, they walked up and down and showed a cold shoulder to the teenage footmen.
The smell of animals’ urine hung in the air, and roars like thunder came every now and then.
Gu Shenwei didn’t go to see those beasts. He followed the path and made several turns. The more he looked, the more he felt it wasn't much of a garden: there were almost no exotic flowers, but there were many rugged rockeries, withered pine and cypress trees and broken toys. The grass was trampled into a terrible mess, as if those beasts had wandered in here before.
Gu Shenwei’s first impression of the Unique King’s inner chamber was that there was too much rouge, he didn't expect that the inner chamber’s garden would be so messy. It was similar to the shepherds’ grassland of the North, and a destroyed version of the grassland.
Before walking too far in the northwest direction, Gu Shenwei saw a small courtyard with a snecked low wall which seemed like decadent rockery. Behind it were a few, scarcely decorated stone houses. They were totally out of tune with the inner chamber and were more like those hard, cold buildings outside the inner chamber.
A teenager Gu Shenwei had never seen before suddenly came out from behind the trees by the road, his palm was stretched out, silently forbidding the intruder from moving forward.
Gu Shenwei followed the order and turned back. That teenager was armed with a sabre, a real sabre.
Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi always wore men’s attire, Gu Shenwei thought it was for the sake of school, but now he had a different opinion: Many people in the castle spared no effort to nurture the two girls' manliness.