Chapter 55 Instigation
It was a dark and windy night, the atmosphere of conspiracy mixed with the fragrance of summer flowers, which made people unconsciously nervous.
It was at the third of five night watch periods, Gu Shenwei quietly left his small living room, he avoided the paths and walked towards the small courtyard he saw during the day.
Servant Ling had reminded him of not running randomly and not bothering Yu Gongzi. But he decided to disobey these two suggestions on the first night he entered the inner chamber.
The stars and moon were dim. Gu Shenwei held his breath and moved forward carefully, he almost encountered the night watchman twice but he finally made it through successfully and came to outside wall of the small courtyard.
He climbed over the low wall and waited patiently for a while. After making sure nobody was hiding in the dark, he crept to be under the cherry-apple tree at the middle of the yard. He picked a small stone and threw at the window of the room at the middle.
Although Golden Roc Castle’s architecture style was very different from those of the Central Plains, he still could easily determine which room lived the lord. The only thing Gu Shenwei unsure about was which one of the twins lived in that room.
Gu Shenwei picked another stone and threw out. This time he used more strength so the collision sound was bigger.
There was still no response from inside the room, as if there was no one living there. But outside the room someone reacted.
All of a sudden Gu Shenwei’s hair stood on end. He had the same feeling before when Shangguan Yushi tried to assassinate him. So he threw himself forward and quickly turned his body, seeing that the teenager he saw during daytime was gripping a sabre and ready for a second attack.
The teenager was serious, full of killing aura. This was not a game.
Gu Shenwei was at a disadvantage, there was not too much room for him to twist and dodge. And this teenager’s kung fu was much better than Shangguan Yushi’s.
The narrow sabre’s tip was pointing at the intruders’ chest, the teenager decided to end the fight with one cut. This was his responsibility and also his glory.
A window was squeaked to push up. The teenager holding a sabre seemed to be a ghost which had heard the sound of talisman, retreated and quickly disappeared in the dark air.
Gu Shenwei’s blood froze, he didn’t know who was this mysterious teenager.
“Who is it?”
“It’s me, uhh, the disciple follows the order to visit his master.”
“Follow the order? Follow whose order?”
“It’s you, master.”
“Haven’t you pointed three fingers at me during daytime, suggesting me to visit at the third of five night watch periods?”
“Nonsense, I didn’t point three fingers. You’re a traitor, I’ll punish you tomorrow.”
“Master, disciple realized his fault, so he came for the punishment in advance.”
Gu Shenwei walked to the window and kneeled down. Shangguan Ru only exposed her little head and yawned.
Someone lit the lamp on both sides of the room, the lights were off after Shangguan Ru shouted ‘all go to sleep, do not get up’.
“You came too early, I haven’t thought of how to punish you.” Shangguan Ru said, a bit annoyed.
“There’s an existing method. ‘Expel from the castle, hack the body with 100 sabres’, this is our old rule.” Shangguan Yushi’s head also stuck out.
Gu Shenwei really wanted to say Shangguan Yushi was a bigger traitor by not escaping with Ninth Gongzi two nights before, but the words came out of his mouth was: “Master, we ‘Peng Yue sect‘ seemed to have a different rule.”
“Hmm, I haven’t decided our sect’s rule yet.”
“It must be different from all other sects.”
Shangguan Yushi interrupted again, “It’s easier to throw him directly off the cliff.”
“Aunt-master Yu, you want to kick me off again.”
Shangguan Yushi’s eyebrows tilted up. The failure of the assassination made her very annoyed. Although she forbore it under Shangguan Ru’s force, she still wanted to break out when hearing this servant mention it.
“Yes, disciple listened to his master.” Gu Shenwei immediately said.
Shangguan Yushi snorted and turned around, showing Servant Huan the back of her head.
“If you want to return to the sect, you have to find a way to take me out and wander in Jianghu.”
“Wandering in Jianghu doesn’t have to go out of the castle, we have countless masters in the castle, we may not encounter so many even if we wander more than 10 years outside the castle.”
“Boot-licker.” Shangguan Yushi grunted.
“How can it be the same. People at the castle will not take it seriously, they all hoax me like a child.”
“Hey hey, disciple has an idea, we can play it like real.”
“Say it.” Shangguan Ru’s eyes lightened up.
“Liar.” Shangguan Yushi said without turning her head back.
“I have to tell a story before I say it.”
“It’s better to be interesting, I feel sleepy now.” Shangguan Ru held his jaw with her elbow. She liked stories, especially a story told at midnight.
It was pitch-dark around and only the sounds of insects and frogs were heard. There was no more sabre-wielding teenager jumped out to disturb, Gu Shenwei directly sat on the ground and told slowly about the story he suddenly recalled.
“Remember I have told you many jianghu rules that night, actually there are also people who don’t follow the rules. One of them even deliberately break the rules.”
“Killers, killers also have rules, we have our own rules, they are just different from the outsiders.” Shangguan Yushi said disdainfully and still didn’t turn her head back.
“No, I’m not talking about the killer, I’m talking about jianghu of the Central Plains. There are no sects like Golden Roc Castle there.”
“Who are they?” Shangguan Ru became a bit curious.
“Ahh ha, like Big Head God, you probably heard the story from your mistress.” Shangguan Yushi interrupted again, she just didn’t want the story to continue.
“Neither, Big Head God is a famous bandit, he robs openly. What I’m talking about is a great thief. He leaps onto roofs and vaults over walls, comes and goes alone at night. Everyone knows him but nobody sees him. Hmm, this is similar to the top-leveled killers, but what he interests in is not head, but the priceless treasure.”
Shangguan Yushi couldn’t think of any famous great thieves in the Western Regions so she just snorted.
“The person I’m talking about is the No.1 great thief in the Central Plains. He was well-known and called ‘Miracle Hand Dragon‘. This man had a special hobby. He liked to show off after he stole the items, which made the owner very embarrassed. He was very bold, his target was not only those famous sects, but also the nobles. He even stole at the heaven in the end.”
“You’re boasting.” Shangguan Yushi couldn’t help but criticize.
“I’m not boasting. ‘Miracle Hand Dragon’ had done more than a dozen cases that shocked the world. He still felt it was not fun enough, so he even stole at the palace later. The emperor of the Central Plains is known as Tian Zi. “Miracle Hand Dragon dared to steal the emperor’s things, doesn’t it mean that he stole at the heaven?” 1
“There’s no big deal about the palace, it can not be comparable to Golden Roc Castle no matter how heavily it guards.”
“Hush, let him continue, what had ‘Miracle Hand Dragon’ stolen?”
Shangguan Ru’s interest was aroused. Although she was born at Western Regions, she knew the Tian Zi of Central Plains was different from the kings at the Western Regions. And Golden Roc Castle could not be comparable to the palace.
“Miracle Hand Dragon had stolen several millions liang of gold and silver at Da Cang Fu. Think about it, it would even take several days to move away those gold and silver with carts, but it was not found out several days after they were stolen. The guards finally knew it when those gold and silver was spread among the folks and rumors were widespread. Many people lost their job and lives because of this.” 2
“This great thief likes money.” Shangguan Ru said.
“Hmm, Miracle Hand Dragon liked stealing money, but he also spent it quickly, he spent those several millions liang of gold and silver in less than a month. In fact it sounds nothing if he only stole money, what shocked the imperial court was that the imperial jade seal was gone.”
“Imperial jade seal? Why he needed this?” Shangguan Ru smiled.
“How come it took several days to find that the imperial jade seal was gone? The emperor of the Central Plains must be very lazy.” Shangguan Yushi also got a bit interested.
“They found out what had happened on the next morning, but everyone believed it was done by a inside thief, they didn’t expect it was stolen by a great thief. After Miracle Hand Dragon stole the imperial jade seal, he used it to publish more than a hundred of imperial edicts, and released a group of serious criminals. He even published an imperial edict for the emperor himself, saying ‘Zhen’s virtues are still low and Zhen is not qualified for being an emperor.” 3
Shangguan Ru laughed loudly, she started loving the career as a great thief.
“So you can imagine how confused the officers of the imperial court was. They didn’t know which imperial edict was trustable, they dared not to accept it and also dared not to reject it. Because of this, Miracle Hand Dragon had another nickname – ‘Disciple of Tian Zi‘, he was even called ‘Overlord’ among the folks.4
“He really knew how to play and break the rules. What happened later? What else he had stolen?” Shangguan Ru’s eyes were shining, full of envy.
“Miracle Hand Dragon died later.”
“Ehh?” The two teenage girl puzzledly cried out. Shangguan Yushi finally turned her head, nobody told a story like this, the story had just began interesting but the MC was dead.
“The palace guards were completely exhausted those days. They put a tight encirclement, spent five months, caught more than ten thousands of people, and finally found the whereabouts of Miracle Hand Dragon. More than three hundred high-leveled masters went out and ten thousand soldiers were waiting for the order.”
Gu Shenwei silenced for a while after he said this.
“He was killed?” Shangguan Ru asked.
“No, Miracle Hand Dragon suicided himself and hadn’t left any confessions. So many people thought the real great thief didn’t die but hid himself. And they created another nickname – ‘Hong Fu Nü’.” 5
“Hah, you’re lying. Everyone knows ‘Hong Fu Nü‘ is a character of ‘Romance of Red Dust’, she is not a great thief at all.” Shangguan Yushi seized the loophole and argued immediately.6
“They’re not the same person. The Fu I’m talking about is the bat (Fu), when Miracle Hand Dragon suicided herself she wore red clothes. Like a bat, she also liked hiding by day and coming out by night, so she was called Red Bat.”
“Miracle Hand Dragon is a woman?” Shangguan Ru asked surprisingly.
“You made up the story, poor story.” Shangguan Yushi curled her lips. She disbelieved anything Servant Huan said.
“I’m not lying, you can ask anyone who had been to the Central Plains before. They all knew it, I was told by someone who had witnessed the Red Bat’s corpse.”
The imperial court had things stolen was the biggest and last case Gu Lun dealt with before he retired, even the imperial jade seal was robbed back personally by him. So Gu Shenwei had a deep impression on it, but in order to attract the listeners, he added more details.
This story didn’t have too many twists and turns and the outcome was not perfect. But the two girls had listened to it, and all perched on the windowsill with a longing heart.
“You meant this when you said you could play it real in the castle at the beginning.” Shangguan Ru suddenly recalled Servant Huan’s promise.
“We can’t really kill someone but we can seriously steal something.” Shangguan Yushi also awakened.
“And steal something special, surprise everyone.” Gu Shenwei instigated, and thought it was best if they decided to steal at Liu Sha Dian.Translator’s note: Literally Tian Zi means heaven’s son. ↩ Translator’s note: Literally Da Cang Fu means big hidden mansion, it is a place for storing the empire’s annual revenue. ↩ Translator’s note: Zhen is a call that can only be used by the emperor, it means ‘I’. ↩ Translator’s note: Overlord is a title for retired emperor who is the current emperor’s father. ↩ Translator’s note: Literally Hong Fu Nü means red bat woman. I will simply use Red Bat from now on. ↩ Translator’s note: Romance of Red Dust is a wuxia story. One can search in google for more information. ↩