Editors: J3000, Xu Xian
Chapter 57 Plan
Amongst the four of them, only Shangguan Fei had entered Liu Sha Dian before. It was a sacred temple where the Shangguan family worshipped their ancestors, and women were forbidden to enter. Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi felt aggrieved because of this and became more determined to steal something from it.
Shangguan Fei drew the inside and outside outline of the temple based on his memory: the temple’s north side was a cliff, it was built on top of a tall and expansive stone foundation and could be seen from many places of Golden Roc Castle with a proper viewing angle. A curved, tall, stone wall was built about 100 steps away from the temple and separated the temple and inner chamber completely.
It was very different from traditional temples as it had a rectangular shape that faced North and South. Aside from the North side, half of the East and West sides were close to the cliff. On the walls there many windows that were about three and half meters high. Two rows of windows offset one another, so when the sun rose in the east and set in the west, rays of sunlight would shoot through the windows onto the opposite wall, illuminating the murals of the ancient ancestors.
Over a dozen people, similar to priests, were worshipped at Liu Sha Dian. There were many mysterious rumors about them; it was said that these people had been killers with high-leveled martial arts skills, they voluntarily gave up killing for various reasons, vowed to protect the sacred temple, and never stepped foot outside of the stone wall again in their lifetime. These people were referred to as ‘spiritual masters’ at Golden Roc Castle.
“I've seen several of them, they are all old folks, there’s nothing to be afraid of," Shangguan Fei said easily, he didn’t believe these rumors. But the other three weren't convinced, especially Shangguan Yushi. Although they had never entered Liu Sha Dian before, they had heard more than the little gongzi.
“No more nonsense, they were very formidable. Isn’t master Liu‘s teacher a spiritual master? Teacher Liu said his master was one of the best killers in the castle before, the number of people he had killed could rank in the top 10 in the last 100 years.
Shangguan Yushi’s argument was unassailable. Master Liu was that little bearded kung fu instructor, his words were trustworthy.
Golden Roc Castle judged a killer's ability by their number of kills. If that ‘old folk’ could rank top 10, it meant that he was a top level killer. Even if these kind of people were old and not at their prime, they were not somebody the teenagers could easily deal with.
“That Red Bat, how did she sneak into the palace? If she was forced to commit suicide, her kung fu was obviously not the best," Shangguan Ru asked.
Gu Shenwei didn’t know how to answer. At that time, the Gu family members were more concerned about Lord Gu Lun’s future and they didn’t know too many of the details. He thought for a while and said, “I think she used knockout drugs, it was heard that people slept sounder than usual every time she made a move.”
“Knockout drugs!” The three teenagers of the Shangguan family cried out at the same time, their eyes brightened. Knockout drugs were one of Golden Roc Castle’s unique skills, they had learnt about it since childhood.
Gu Shenwei recalled that swordsman from Big Snow Mountain who had died confused. Long Feidu hadn’t figured out whether his opponent used ‘mercy powder’ or not, even as he died.
“It would be good if we had some mercy powder," Gu Shenwei said. But the other three were puzzled, “What is mercy powder?” Shangguan Fei asked.
Gu Shenwei was speechless because he also didn’t know what mercy powder was. He speculated that it was a particular type of knockout drug owned by Golden Roc Castle once and was forbidden to use later on. Seeing the three teenagers’ reaction, Golden Roc Castle had surprisingly obeyed the ban, which didn't seem like the style of Golden Roc Castle.
“Well, it's a type of knockout drug, it's said to be very effective.”
“We don’t have mercy powder, but we can get some of ‘that'," Shangguan Yush blinked and said.
Golden Roc Castle had made a substitute for mercy powder and, from top to bottom, no one at the castle mentioned its name. Gu Shenwei pretended that he also knew; he only nodded and didn’t ask what ‘that’ was.
The task of ‘getting that’ was assigned to Shangguan Fei. His kung fu was the worst, so he was assigned to do something easy.
It was still far from enough to only have knockout drugs. Liu Sha Dian‘s gate was usually locked, no one could enter it without a spiritual master leading them. The biggest problem was how to get the key. The four of them had no answers after a long discussion, so they had no choice but to temporarily pause that topic and turn to discuss what to steal after they got inside.
There were many treasures in Liu Sha Dian, Shangguan Fei talked about them one by one but he didn’t mention any wooden sabres. Gu Shenwei felt it was inappropriate to ask more, thinking that Xue Niang might know some secrets that even the younger generation of Shangguan family didn’t know.
It was almost dusk and Shangguan Ru finally decided what she wanted to steal: a palm made of pure black jade.
There was no particular reason to steal the black jade palm. Shangguan Ru had heard of this worshipped treasure at Liu Sha Dian a long time ago, but couldn’t see it because she was a girl, so she made up her mind to have a look at it.
In the end, Shangguan Ru required everyone to swear to secrecy.
She wanted this mission to be completely real, and not like the assassination attempts they did before which were half-true, half-fake and finally became the adults way to play along with the kids.
The oath Gu Shenwei had sworn was: ‘If I reveal it, my whole family will die an unnatural death, and I myself will be hacked into pieces and die without a burial place’.
The Gu family had already died 'unnaturally’. As for himself, he didn’t care about how he would die, he just wanted revenge.
The discussion was over and they were going to leave Kun Hua Yuan. Shangguan Yushi suddenly recalled an important matter, “Ahh, I almost forgot, you two have a burden, it’s not easy to get rid of him. Especially when we want to enter Liu Sha Dian, we must pass through the inner chamber.”
“That ‘shadow guard’.” Shangguan Ru gritted her teeth, as if she had the same deep hatred as Gu Shenwei.
Gu Shenwei didn’t know what a ‘shadow guard’ was, Shangguan Ru explained to him, “Father arranged a bodyguard for little gongzi and I, his age is similar to yours. He always hides in the dark and doesn’t show himself easily. He is really annoying, he knows everything we do and reports it. Our escape failed because he snitched on us.”
Gu Shenwei knew who the ‘shadow guard’ was now. It was that teenager with a real sabre. He had stopped him from entering Shangguan Ru’s living place in the day and sneakily attacked him at night. Gu Shenwei finally understood why Shangguan Ru would easily forgive his ‘betrayal’: because she had found a scapegoat.
“He may be hiding somewhere nearby now,” Shangguan Fei said with a low voice.
“No, I have told mother, he must stay 100 steps away from me or I will kill him. He is definitely not in this yard now.”
Seeing Shangguan Ru’s expression, it seemed that she would really kill someone over this.
Shangguan Yushi held Shangguan Ru’s hand. “I’ll solve it, I assure you.”
The gathering dissolved before she mentioned her solution.
The four of them had been discussing the details for two days in a row. Many things seemed to be very easy at first, but when they actually started planning them it became very difficult. Their own advantage was that the three gongzis were born in the castle and were familiar with the environment, so they could avoid the step of scouting the location in advance.
Shangguan Ru, however, didn’t like this. She thought it was still not real enough, “How did Red Bat learn detailed information about the palace? She couldn't have run around and asked people randomly after she entered it?”
“No, of course not, hmm…there must have been a snitch to help her,” said Gu Shenwei
“Hah, you’re the snitch we’ve bribed!” Shangguan Ru pointed at her brother and smiled.
Shangguan Fei’s face flushed with shame, he anxiously refuted it and pointed his fingers to the two teenage girls but they were finally left pointing at Servant Huan. “He’s the snitch, let him be the snitch.”
So, Servant Huan, who was least familiar with Golden Roc Castle, became the ‘snitch’.
The twins finally decided to go to school on the following day, Gu Shenwei took this chance to hurriedly meet Xue Niang.
Xue Niang restored her cold, stiff expression and didn’t show any of her emotions. But Gu Shenwei felt she was a bit anxious because she immediately offered many ideas after listening to his report.
“The twins are very familiar with the guards of the castle and can easily get away from them. Even if they were found, it's probable no one would utter a sound. So all these things are easy, the key is how to enter Liu Sha Dian. Hmmm, you can do it like this…”
Concerning the layout of Liu Sha Dian, Xue Niang seemed to be even more familiar than Shangguan Fei. And she was a woman, she should have no chances, by right, to approach the temple.
Gu Shenwei felt Xue Niang’s idea was too risky, but he couldn’t find a better way. The group of four once thought of using knockout drugs to steal the key, but they were unsure who had the key and they couldn’t drug the more than ten spiritual masters.
That afternoon, Gu Shenwei blurted out Xue Niang’s idea and got warm responses. Especially from Shangguan Ru, she repeatedly praised Servant Huan, and wondered how she hadn’t thought of it earlier.
There was a raised sharp corner not far from the East side of Liu Sha Dian, it was exactly opposite to the window on the East wall of Liu Sha Dian. If they could connect the two with a rope, those with good lightness skills could climb along the rope.
Gu Shenwei attributed the idea of the ‘raised sharp corner’ to Shangguan Fei and didn’t arouse any doubts.
The twins had ordered someone to bring some tools and items. Amongst those tools, there were two flying claws, with ropes about 10 meters long. They extended the ropes just in case they were not long enough.
The task of throwing the flying claw was handed over to Servant Huan. He practised hard for the whole afternoon and was finally able to throw the flying claw accurately from a long distance.
According to Shangguan Ru’s idea, she wanted to act that very night. After Shangguan Yushi’s persuasion, she reluctantly agreed to wait for one more day.
When he got back to the stone hut, he mulled over the whole plan in his mind. What occupied him was not how to steal the sabre, but what to do after he got it.The whole thing would be scary but without danger if he followed the twins. Even if they were found, no one would attack them ruthlessly.
Xue Niang, Xue Niang, Gu Shenwei quietly repeated her name. He wanted to kill her immediately, but also wanted to dig out the secret in her mind. If the wooden sabre was so important to Xue Niang, it might also be very helpful for his grand cause of revenge.
But both of these ideas were as difficult as learning to fly.
The next day, the four of them gathered together and talked endlessly about the details until they all felt it was perfect.
“Don't you see it? Being a great thief is similar to being a killer," Shangguan Yushi suddenly said while they were taking a rest.
“Yeah, the preparation is about the same, but the final target differs: one aims for treasure, another for people.” Shangguan Ru felt quite the same way, and became more convinced that this game was meaningful.
That midnight, as planned, Gu Shenwei snuck into Shangguan Ru’s small yard and gently knocked once on the window. Someone inside immediately shoved open the window, and three people jumped out. They were all in black, with their faces masked.
The tallest, Shangguan Yushi, frowned beneath her mask because Servant Huan was still dressed in Servant’s clothes. They had forgotten to prepare an outfit for him.
Gu Shenwei brought several sabres and distributed them to everyone. Since they wanted it to be real, they should bring a sabre for self-defense. The sabre also held another purpose for him: to sneak it into Liu Sha Dian and replace the target wooden sabre with it.
And he had gotten another idea – to use this opportunity to find Xue Niang’s secret. This would be a very dangerous game, 100 times more real than the game played by the three gongzis of the Shangguan family. Once exposed, no one would show mercy.