Chapter 093 Guest
Editors: CYpress Venus Trap, Nyxnox
There was one area in southern Jade City that was unique from all other areas in that it was not heavily occupied with brothels and taverns. Although the alley and street were still narrow and winding, dirty and dilapidated, the residents and pedestrians were more normal. They woke up early, didn't carry a sabre around, and were all people doing normal business. It was them who silently controlled all the basic life necessities of Jade City.
Gu Shenwei pressed the sabre against his thigh, in case he drew too much attention. The appointment site was a private house located deep in an alley, next to the city wall. Its location made it a very elusive place.
Twenty killer's disciples lived here and they were all waiting for the detective's arrival.
Gu Shenwei saw Wild Horse, who had a peculiar appearance. He was staying with his companion and symbolically nodded at Servant Huan, as if he were a King receiving a minor courtier.
Lotus and several others sat at the other end of the house. They were carefully wiping their sabres and all stood up when they saw Servant Huan. They nodded but didn't speak.
They were all unqualified to speak casually here; the only one who could do this was the killing lord Shangguan Yushi.
"Call me Killing Lord."
Gu Shenwei bowed, knowing that it was not going to be easy to pass this hurdle.
Shangguan Yushi knew the true identity of the detective and she had been waiting for this moment. Gu Shenwei reported all of the information he had collected about the Ten Dragons Gang, which included subjects like the terrain of the gathering place, number of members, members with high kung fu levels, people who were actually in charge, and how many people remained in the yard after the drunkards scatter.
Shangguan Yushi listened until he had finished, then coldly said, "This is all of the information you've collected in past three days?"
"Yes." It was actually only two days but Gu Shenwei didn’t want to argue.
Shangguan Yushi took out a paper and then recited: "Tian Shan Sect has seven leaders who gather on the fifteenth day of every lunar month. They don't treat normal members. They have twelve guardsmen patrolling in three shifts. The best time for an attack is between the third and fourth night watch periods." She folded the paper, "It seems that you haven't gotten any valuable information."
"Yes." Gu Shenwei held back his anger and didn't refute her. He hadn't received any formal training in information collection and no one had helped him during it either.
"Tomorrow is the fifteenth day. You can stay here to guard the items. After we succeed, you will not get any contributions, but you will be credited for your labour work."
Someone laughed. Not all of the disciples were Gu Shenwei's friends.
"Yes, but please let me go there once again tonight."
"For what? You still want to dig out a peerless expert from Tian Shan Sect?"
"I think … something doesn't feel right."
Gu Shenwei suddenly found that he had run out of words to put in his mouth. All of his doubts were based on ambiguous words in the document. Was there really a conspiracy? What was the conspiracy? What was the purpose of the conspiracy? He didn’t know any of them. The only suspect he had was Mr. Guo, but the one Mr. Guo disliked was Servant Huan, and Servant Huan was not exactly one of the assassination group members.
Everything was based on his intuition and while Gu Shenwei believed in his own intuitions, it was not worth telling to outsiders.
"Well, it's okay no matter how many credits you want to earn for your hard work, but you have to come back here to clean up all the rooms by tomorrow morning. Right, this was your old job, you must be used to it."
"Yes." Gu Shenwei swallowed the insult and humiliation silently.
Shangguan Yushi's mouth corner lifted a bit. This Servant Huan thought that he could scare her by killing some people, but now he should have been reminded who the lord is and who the servant is. She would get revenge sooner or later. Not for her older brother who was a good-for-nothing and deserved death, but for tenth Gongzi Shangguan Ru.
Gu Shenwei temporarily abandoned his resentment towards Shangguan Yushi. On the way back, he had been thinking about what methods the weak Ten Dragons Gang could use to defeat Golden Roc Castle's assassination attempt. Amongst those twenty disciples, there were some allies that he had barely secured, as he couldn’t let Lotus and several others die because of a conspiracy.
When he arrived at Xu Yanwei's living place, he found a guest waiting for him.
Old Dragon Head sat alone by the brazier. He wore a thick coat and didn't reveal his Azure Dragon tattoo.
"They are upstairs, very safe."
Old Dragon Head opened his mouth first. Gu Shenwei glanced upstairs and put the sabre down at the door. He walked over and sat down on the other side of the brazier.
"You beat my son last night."
"He deserved it."
"But if you dare to show up in the Ten Dragons Gang again, I'll kill you."
The conversation ended, but Old Dragon Head didn’t mean to leave.
Something wasn't right, so Gu Shenwei asked, "Are you ready?"
Old Dragon Head's bulging eyes became even bigger and his body stiffened for a moment but immediately returned to normal, "What did you say?"
"Wine, I saw lots of wine prepared there every night."
Old Dragon Head's eyes revealed a trace of killing intent, but it disappeared in a blink of an eye. He stuck out his hand.
Gu Shenwei produced the black metal piece distributed by the Ten Dragons Gang and put it in Old Dragon Head's hand. Old Dragon Head flipped his hand and the metal piece fell into the charcoal fire.
Old Dragon Head walked to the door and glanced at the sabre left by his son although he didn't touch it. After a moment, he pushed the door open and walked into the chilly wind outside.
Xu Xiaoyi quietly went downstairs, "You're going there again tonight?"
"Then … I don't have to come with you?"
"Oh, that's terrific. You see, I don't know kung fu. It might work if you ask me to steal something, but if I tried to fight, I would be courting death."
"I don't need you to steal anything at the moment."
"Hey hey, let's go to eat something. It's still early now. You know, my elder sister sometimes even has a guest during day time …"
"You go alone and I'll leave after a short while. I still have something to do."
"Oh, then I'll also stay for a while, it's too cold outside, I really don't want to go out."
A quarter of an hour later, Gu Shenwei left with the sabre. He hid at a street corner and stared at the door of the Xu family. Half an hour later, a tall cloaked man walked out of the Xu family's abode. The hood covered his face completely and as soon as he entered the street, he looked around before quickly walking away.
This type of clothing that hid one's true identity was not strange in southern Jade City and it was even more common to appear like this in a prostitute's home.
Gu Shenwei waited for some time before he couldn't bear the cold anymore and walked towards southwall tavern.
The fatties at the door searched his body as usual and asked him to leave his sabre behind.
Gu Shenwei didn't find the person he wanted to meet at the tavern; even Zhang Ji was not here yet. He sat by the table his Master used to stay at and ordered a cup of red wine, which he put on Tie Hanfeng's tab. Then he stared at the red liquid in the white jade cup until sunset.
Tie Hanfeng didn't come. Gu Shenwei was eager to ask his Master a few questions, but he couldn't find him at all.
When it was time, Gu Shenwei left the tavern. He got his sabre back at the door and the fatty didn't trick him this time. It was still the same sabre.
It began to snow outside. At first it was neither fast nor slow, but when Gu Shenwei reached the gathering place of the Ten Dragons Gang snow was falling heavily and one couldn't even see clearly from ten steps away.
Inside, the drunkards numbered less than usual. Gu Shenwei walked around the yard several times; he even jumped inside, but no one came out to stop him.
Lights and noises all reminded this teenager how cold the snow was outside. But he insisted on not entering the house, not because he was afraid of Old Dragon Head but because he wanted to find out the truth.
This time 'finding out the truth' was almost the same as 'solving the problem'.
A lot of wine jars were piled in front of the door of the thatched cottage, which were covered with snow and looked like a small mountain. Gu Shenwei cleaned the snow and knocked them down one by one. All of them were empty.
Someone finally found the sneaky teenager. Dragon Teeth carried his long sabre, followed by Old Dragon Head's son and several other sabre-wielding large men.
"What did Old Dragon Head say?"
Gu Shenwei tightly gripped the sabre hilt. This sabre had nothing in common with the narrow sabre of Golden Roc Castle, but it was still more handy than a short sword. "He said he wanted to ask me for drinks and thanked me for beating up his son. I said the wine was too awful here; it was mixed with water and I didn't want to drink it."
Those big guys roared, but Dragon Teeth waved his long sabre, saying, "You only have one chance. Leave now."
Gu Shenwei looked at Dragon Teeth for a while, before starting to retreat and soon disappeared into the wind and snow. The sneers of Dragon Teeth and several others came from the opposite side. They were probably laughing that the teenager was a coward.
They were the killer disciples' prey, and Gu Shenwei wouldn't rob them of their delicious meal, especially when Shangguan Yushi was acting as the killing lord.
Gu Shenwei went back to the southwall tavern again, but Tie Hanfeng still wasn't there so he could only return to the Xu family.
Xu Yanwei had already rested upstairs and Xu Xiaoyi had also lain down. Seeing Gu Shenwei, he murmured, "Latch the door."
Gu Shenwei sat by the brazier alone. He closed his eyes, trying to imagine that there was a paper in front of him. He 'wrote' the document again and then started writing those twenty killer disciples' names. He put some of the names into a pile on one side and rest of them on the other side like what he had seen about the disciples at the hidden site today. When he wrote the name 'Liuhua', he suddenly recalled that he hadn't seen him this morning.
The whole matter suddenly became clear.
Gu Shenwei woke the soundly asleep Xu Xiaoyi up, "Who offered you this job?"
"Ah? What? Liu Waizui. Don't you know him?"
Gu Shenwei didn't know anyone called 'Waizui', and he grabbed Xu Xiaoyi's shoulder and shook him forcefully until he was completely awake and had sat up.
"What are you doing?"
Who was the man who came today morning?"
"Old Dragon Head."
"Not him, the one who was hidden upstairs."
Xu Xiaoyi smiled awkwardly. He rolled his eyes, seemingly wanting to deny it, but changed his mind in the end, "You found out?"
"Who was he?"
"He's a guest of my elder sister, a normal one. As soon as he entered the house, Old Dragon Head came, so he hid upstairs. I didn't mean to hide it from you, but you had beaten the guest away yesterday. My elder sister and I were a bit worried."
Sounds legitimate but it isn't, Gu Shenwei thought. "Do not play tricks with me. You two can't afford to play with your heads."
Xu Xiaoyi touched his head, making sure that it was still there, "Don't worry, who am I? When I was wandering in southern Jade City, you probably hadn't even heard about it."
Gu Shenwei went back to the brazier. If the siblings of Xu family had also joined the conspiracy, they would be silenced after tomorrow and he didn't have the ability to protect them. Since Xu Xiaoyi refused to tell the truth, it exempted Gu Shenwei from the responsibility that he thought he had.
Xu Xiaoyi sat on the makeshift bed, blankly looking at the teenager near the brazier. He tried to say something but stopped, and pretended to fall asleep, making an exaggerated snore.
Gu Shenwei gripped the sabre tightly. His stomach roiled at the sight and smell of blood, but his heart was longing to kill. He knew which one played a dominant role in his heart.