Editor: Xu Xian
Chapter 069 Master
Tie Hanfeng’s face became unavoidably redder and redder when he was not even 20 years-old. At first this made him look friendly. But, as the red became darker and darker and the wrinkles on his face became more and more clear over time, the middle-aged Tie Hanfeng came to look constantly aggressive, as if he would draw his sabre and fight all out at any time. It was from then on that he deliberately chose to start using a pleasant smile to conceal his true face.
How could a man become a killer if he caught others’ attention after just meeting them for the first time? This was Tie Hanfeng’s reason for ‘changing face’.
Twenty years went by quickly, but the smile was fixed onto his face, as if it were a mask that had fused with his skin.
People had already accepted his new appearance. But in fact if one observed carefully, one would discover that the hostility and killing aura behind that ‘smiling face’ became denser and denser. A flash of light in his eyes occasionally revealed killing intent, of which he had almost lost control.
Gu Shenwei observed him carefully, but couldn't see any signs of him losing control, he just saw a crippled old man with a blazing murderous heart, similar to Marshal Yang who had died at Golden Roc Castle's gates. He thought, if he himself was an overseer, he would never show even the slightest bit of impoliteness to this man, not to mention offend him.
“I’m willing to be his disciple,” Gu Shenwei said.
Tie Hanfeng smiled more flatteringly, he glanced at his future disciple and approached the yellow-belted overseer. “See, someone picked me, I think he’s good too.”
The overseer frowned. It was okay to send a disciple to Lame Tie, but this disciple was brave enough to carry corpses alone and was his greatest ‘helper’. He really didn’t want to let him go so easily only to be wasted on a poor Master.
Tie Hanfeng just smiled at the overseer, trying to persuade him in this way. Gu Shenwei managed to guess the overseer’s thoughts, since he had his own motives, he said: “I’ll be his disciple, but I’ll also come carry the corpses everyday.”
“Right, right, my disciple looks like a good corpse-carrier.”
Tie Hanfeng patted on the back of Servant Huan’s head, the strength he used almost knocked him over.
“Well, you don’t have to come everyday, just every three days. You don’t have to come once we have enough helpers.”
The overseer finally agreed to let Servant Huan go. He formally introduced them to each other and called a scribe to document everything, then the acknowledgement of a Master was over. Golden Roc Castle didn’t like false pretences, there were no complicated ceremonies for these kinds of matters.
Tie Hanfeng led his new disciple to his living place, which was a shabby small yard in the South of east castle. It wasn't too far away from the ‘wooden sabre alley’ where Xue Niang had died.
There were many small and broken houses in this area, they were where Masters taught their disciples. Each courtyard was square with 1 to 6 small rooms, the bigger yards were about a dozen steps wide whereas the smaller ones were only a few steps.The walls, however, were all so tall that when Gu Shenwei looked up, he felt like he was living in a deep well.
Tie Hanfeng’s yard was a big mess, as if some drunks had fought and spat all over the place.
A small table and a deck chair were placed near the door, scattered on the table were dishes and empty wine bottles; A broken weapons rack stood by the yard wall, but there were no weapons on it. Six or seven narrow sabres lay on the ground, their sheaths nowhere to be seen.
This wasn’t like a killer’s living place at all, Gu Shenwei couldn’t help but doubt about his initial judgement. This Tie Hanfeng wasn’t a real killer at all, the attitudes of those yellow-belts clearly shows that they didn’t believe this cripple was qualified to teach a disciple.
His doubts soon received an answer.
As soon as Tie Hanfeng stepped inside the yard, he rushed straight to the deck chair and threw himself onto it as if he were a weary traveler returning home after crossing mountains and rivers and just wanted to sleep.
Tie Hanfeng didn’t sleep, he grabbed a pot of wine and tried to pour it, rising it high but found that it was empty. He slammed it onto the table, smacked his lips, then swallowed his saliva to sate his thirst for alcohol. Then he looked at his disciple as if it were the first time seeing him, suddenly with a cold face. “Little bastard, you want to be a killer?”
Tie Hanfeng, who had replaced his smiling face with hostility, had become more unlike a cold-blooded killer.
“Has your throat been blocked by shit? Holding back like this? Speak fully when you talk with me.”
This was the killer Tie Hanfeng’s other hobby – foul language. When he wasn't faced with those he had to flatter, his mouth was full of foul words, as if he couldn’t express himself without them.
“Yes, disciple wants to be a killer, Master.”
“Mmm, come and kill me, there’re sabres over there.”
Gu Shenwei had seen indifferent people, ferocious people, and insidious people, but he had never seen someone like this red-faced man who could change his face like magic.
Seeing his disciple at a loss for words, Tie Hanfeng grabbed a wine cup and threw it at him. He was not the ferocious but vulnerable Miss, the wine cup accurately hit Gu Shenwei’s forehead, making him bleed at once.
“Motherfucker, I asked you to kill me, didn't you hear? Are your ears on your ass or been eaten by dogs?”
Gu Shenwei was so furious that he couldn’t even think of a retort. He just silently walked to the wall and picked the sharpest looking narrow sabre before returning to his Master. When he was maybe five steps away from him, Gu Shenwei made a sudden, merciless attack using all of his strength.
Tie Hanfeng, who was lying on the deck chair comfortably, quickly drew a similar sabre from under the chair just when Gu Shenwei’s narrow sabre almost reached him. His speed was scary.
A flash of light reflected off of his sabre, it came and disappeared suddenly. The red face behind the light was like the God of Death who came to reap the souls of the human.
Gu Shenwei fell to the ground like a pile of rags, motionless. Not long after, red blood flowed from beneath his body.
“Dummy.” Tie Hanfeng spat out the word through clenched teeth, he laid the sabre on his knee and grabbed the empty wine pot for the second time. Then, annoyed, he threw it. The wine pot hit the stone wall and bounced back onto the ground, adding a new rubbish to the yard.
Not knowing how much time had gone, Gu Shenwei woke up from darkness. He felt a sharp pain in his chest, but his brain was numb. He was going to kill me, this was the first idea on the teenager’s mind, the next idea was, why I didn’t die.
He groaned, and then stiffly stood up, as if he were a robotic wooden man.
The clothes on his chest were dyed red with blood. A ragged, ugly cut went straight across from his left shoulder to his right rib and was over one foot long.
Tie Hanfeng was still lying on the chair, but the wine cup was now filled with an aged, mellow liquid.
“Are you dead?”
“No.” Gu Shenwei replied, grinding his teeth.
“Then go bandage yourself, you have too much fucking blood.”
Politeness and courtesy were redundant in this small yard. Gu Shenwei didn’t answer, he walked straight inside the only room to find styptic powder and bandages; he didn’t even try to cover his wound and simply let the blood drip. He was busy racking his brains on how to kill his Master, even the pain wasn't as sharp now.
It was cleaner in the room than outside, but only because it had been uninhabited for a long time. The bedding was stacked neatly, but it was covered with dust. Tie Hanfeng lived on that deck chair from morning to night.
Things like medicine box and bandages were placed in the most accessible place, showing that the owner was indeed the type to live life on a sabre's edge.
At the time, Gu Shenwei was unskilled at cleaning, applying medicine, and binding wounds so he took a long time. A permanent scar, his first, was left because of this. Not long after this, he would get used to all kinds of wounds and could bind them quickest by himself.
Gu Shenwei walked out of the room. Seeing the nape of Tie Hanfeng’s neck, he really wanted to sneak attack him from his back.
“This is not a good time for assassination,” Tie Hanfeng said without turning around. He tipped back the wine cup. His voice was gentle and mildly confused, like a sage lost in thought.
Gu Shenwei would soon understand that this was another of his Master’s many ‘faces’. For others, the more one drunk, the more one became bad tempered, but he was the exact opposite. His mouth was full of dirty words, as if everyone were his sworn enemies. But with several cups of wine, he immediately changed in appearance, he became more reasonable and talked in a low, soft tone, behaving like a naive child.
Gu Shenwei finally knew why those overseers at Lian Huo Yuan viewed this killer Master unfavourably. Tie Hanfeng was an alcoholic, every drop of wine dampened a bit of his killing aura. In the end, he would be dead drunk, leaving a pile of peaceful body in a heap. Not mentioning killing someone, he didn’t even have the ability to defend himself.
It was indeed difficult for a Master like this to help his disciple become a good killer .
“Elder Hu said you’re a good candidate, it’s a pity no one appreciates you.”
This was the second time someone said Servant Huan was a ‘good candidate’ in the past half month, Gu Shenwei finally knew who saved him and Lotus, surprisingly it was the kung fu instructor Han Shining at Diao Mu Yuan, the one he had treated coldly.
“I didn’t even clearly see how you made that move.” Gu Shenwei said hoarsely. He thought he could fight a killer once his balanced power reached the third level of yin and yang energy, it turned out that he was still so weak.
“Such a thing like killing, you’ll see how it works if you keep chopping. Come, do it again.”
This was the way Tie Hanfeng taught his disciple, no verbal instructions, no teaching of unique moves. To him, it was enough to only master two or three sets of sabresmanship, what remained was to gain experience and enlighten oneself from it.
His first requirement for Servant Huan was simple, “Force me out of this chair in 10 days, if you can do it, we can still be Master and disciple, if you can’t do it, I’ll kill you myself.”
Tie Hanfeng was already half drunk when he said this, so his tone was not strong at all. But Gu Shenwei knew his threat was real, he immediately picked up the sabre and tried to ‘kill’ his Master using all means necessary, regardless of how painful the wound on his chest was.
There was a reason for the 10-day deadline, Servant Huan’s monthly test was in 10 days.
“I don’t want the fucking loss, or the fucking win, I want you to kill your opponent. No matter how many moves you use to fight, when you kill, it should be one move. Where’s your pitiful killing aura? Don’t hide it, bring it all out, use your strength like how your mother did when gave birth to you.”
Tie Hanfeng taught his disciple like this when he wasn't drunk. Gu Shenwei knew it was to kindle his fighting spirit, but he was still furious. All the people he had dealt with before he was 14 years-old were polite, even the vulgar people he met after the extermination of his family didn’t speak as rudely as this cripple.
Gu Shenwei imagined his Master were people like Han Shiqi, Shangguan Yushi and Shangguan Nu to evoke, his hidden killing aura into a frenzy. On the ninth day after he acknowledged Tie Hanfeng as his Master, he successfully forced Tie Hanfeng to jump up and cut the rattan deck chair, which was treated as a treasure by his Master, into pieces.