Everyone thought that the Ninth Young Master of Golden Roc Fort was a coward, and even Shangguan Fei himself admits it. Because of this, he had hesitated for a few days before he agreed to pretend to be his sister in order to deceive Slave Huan.
The brother and sister duo originally looked very similar to each other. Add on some crafty disguise, and they would be almost flawlessly identical to each other. All he had to do was to suppress his voice and try not to stand up because he was taller than his sister.
Shangguan Fei had a hidden dagger, but Slave Huan did not have any weapons.
This should have been a low-risk operation which should have went smoothly, but he didn't understand how he still fell into the hands of Slave Huan with his neck being pressed against the deadly and sharp weapon.
"Let's talk it out," Shangguan Fei said in his own voice. He was no longer able to keep his cool. In fact, it happened so quickly that he didn't have the time to feel fear.
Gu Shenwei stared at Shangguan Fei's fragile skin. Even though he only had sharpened chopsticks in his hand, he could still easily kill the enemy in front of him.
"Call your black-masked assassin to come out."
"What black-masked assassin? I do not have... "
"Lying is no way to 'talk it out', but no matter. It will be the black-masked assassin's funeral anyway once you're dead." After their first year of experience, each young master would be assigned a black-masked assassin to serve as their personal guard. Gu Shenwei believed that someone like Shangguan Fei, who was as timid as a mouse, was no exception.
"Kill, kill me, and you'll die here as well," Shangguan Fei threatened while trembling. After the initial calm, his instincts of fear was gradually increasing. His brain became numb, and the dagger in his hand dropped to the ground.
Gu Shenwei applied a little force and the chopsticks pricked into the skin. A drop of ruby-like blood dripped out.
"Black-masked assassin! Black-masked assassin!" Shangguan Fei immediately screamed once he felt pain. It was unclear whether he was ordering the black-masked assassin to reveal himself, or summoning the black-masked assassin to save him.
Gu Shenwei felt a chill behind him and said, "Walk to the front."
Guan Shang came out from behind the two. She was holding a saber in her right hand and the Dragon King's saber in the other.
This was the first time that Gu Shenwei had ever seen a female black-masked assassin. "Prove it to me."
Guan Shang turned her head, but a stiff mask appeared on her face when she turned around. At that moment, the female killer, with both a name and a surname, has become a ruthless assassin.
Gu Shenwei believed that she was the black-masked assassin. The proof was not the mask, but the rising tension in his heart.
"Okay, let's go back above ground now." Gu Shenwei had many doubts in his heart, but he did not intend to do an interrogation here.
"The exit is behind here." Shangguan Fei was as eager to return above ground as Slave Huan was. He never liked the underground chambers. It was like a complicated prison that was sealed from the inside, but it did not provide any sense of security.
Gu Shenwei held on to Shangguan Fei's neck, and turned a quarter of a circle around. He used his peripheral vision and saw that there was indeed a "door." There was a curtain, and its colors were mixed in with the surrounding walls. This was where Guan Shang had sneaked in from.
"You go in front," Gu Shenwei ordered. No one wanted an expert such as a black-masked assassin behind them.
Guan Shang nodded, her mask disappeared into thin air. "Dragon King, it is not so easy to fool you..."
"Let's go outside before we speak." Gu Shenwei knew what Guan Shang wanted to do. She was merely buying time to rescue the Ninth Young Master.
Guan Shang paused for a second and finally realized that she was unable to deceive the Dragon King. She took the lead and walked in front, and tore off the curtain before passing through. This move showed that she had completely given up on saving her master.
There was a long and tortuous narrow passage behind the curtained door, which was interlaced with other small roads. Some road sections did not even have a light and were pitch black. The only advantage was that you didn't need to worry about threats from either side, only what's behind you.
Following this passage, the three quickly came to a spacious stone room that was another exit out of the Bodhi Garden underground chambers, and it was connected by two passages.
A small wooden frame stood on the doorway and there was a copper plaque hanging from it.
In order to reassure the Dragon King, every move that Guan Shang made was very slow. She raised her saber and gently tapped on the gong with the handle.
The sound echoed throughout the walls and passed toward the depths of the underground chambers.
"The gatekeeper has the key. He will be here soon," Guan Shang explained.
"You won't kill me right?" Shangguan Fei knew that these words were useless nonsense, but he still couldn't help but ask. He hated being controlled by others. He was willing to do anything as long as he could get rid of the weapon on his neck.
"It's hard to say. I can't let you go unless I feel safe."
"No, no, you will be safe. I promise, for... my sister's sake, don't kill me. Otherwise, she will hate you forever. She would also hate me if I killed you."
"Hey, do you think I really care?" Gu Shenwei said. The people of Golden Roc Fort always habitually regard him as a slave, and couldn't understand his ambition to slaughter the Shangguan family.
"You do not care? Because of you, my sister hadn't said anything to her own mother for three years. She doesn't talk to anyone, she would rather be mute. Even so, you don't care?"
Killers should not say too much nonsense. Gu Shenwei answered Shangguan Fei's question with two words, "Shut up."
Shangguan Fei didn't want to shut up. He suddenly understood that his life was not in Slave Huan's hands, but his sister's. "Do you remember? My sister said that she will never kill me."
In the Gui Garden peach forest, Shangguan Ru once had a chance to kill her brother to avenge Master Yu. She had said this sentence out of grief, but Shangguan Fei had forgotten it and Gu Shenwei was not present at the time.
He mentioned Shangguan Ru again and again, which only made Gu Shenwei angry and anxious. Then he applied more force into the chopsticks in his hand.
Suddenly, there was a series of "Ho Ho" sounds coming from Shangguan Fei's throat, as if he was choking on something. Two hands pulled against Slave Huan's iron arms in vain.
"Have mercy, have mercy," someone shouted while gasping.
Gu Shenwei suddenly woke up. If he killed Shangguan Fei, then he would be trapped and would die in the underground palace. The chopsticks moved a little away, but Shangguan Fei was still struggling. He had unexpectedly used a substantial amount of strength.
Then, a fatty came running from another passage. His body was thick and fat, and it looked bigger than the narrow passage. It was a miracle that he could fit inside.
"Dragon King, have mercy," The fatty said it again as he waved his hand to wipe the sweat from his face. Two machetemen were behind him. Those two standing together were almost as wide as this fatty was.
"Old Meng, save me!" Shangguan Fei gave up his struggle and shouted at this new savior to save him.
Gu Shenwei knew who this fat man was. He was Meng Yuzun, the patriarch of the Meng family of North City. Although he had never met this man, Gu Shenwei has long heard of his "fat" name.
Meng Yuzun was Lady Meng's elder, but they were not close relatives. Shangguan Fei normally called him "Old Meng."
"Open the door." Gu Shenwei only wanted to leave the underground chambers as soon as possible. It doesn't matter what was the name of the fat man. As for Shangguan Fei, since he had fallen into his hands, he couldn't just let him go so easily.
Meng Yuzun was really obese, and running this passage had exceeded his stamina. He was hunched over with both hands on his knees, panting like a wild ox. He straightened himself up after catching his breath and said, "No, we cannot open the door."
It was not Gu Shenwei that was surprised by his words, but Shangguan Fei. His hatred for Slave Huan was diverted to the fatty. "Old Meng, Slave Huan wants to, wants to kill me. Hurry and open the door for him."
Meng Yuzun took out a silk handkerchief and wiped the sweat off of his face. "Even if we open the door, the Dragon King may not let you go. Moreover, it was not easy to invite the Dragon King into Tianji Society. It would be unfortunate to let him go so easily."
Shangguan Fei was stunned and couldn't speak.
Gu Shenwei knew that he has encountered another problem. "Unfortunate indeed, that's what Lady Meng would probably say if she saw her son's corpse."
Slave Huan's words caused Shangguan Fei's heart to sink. "Old Meng, my mother will not spare you if I die."
Meng Yuzun laughed a few times. The people in the Shangguan family were always like this: They think that killing people can make everyone afraid. "Don't worry, Ninth Young Master, the Dragon King will let you go."
Meng Yuzun then gave the Dragon King a proposal, "Dragon King, I am a businessman who will never be willing to trade at a loss. The Ninth Young Master is in your hands. You want to exchange his freedom for us to open the exit, sure, but you have to provide a guarantee to us of your good faith. Otherwise, if you leave and decide to not let him go, won't you keep using him to make more demands? Won't I be at a loss then?"
"Good faith? Do you want his ear or finger?"
Shangguan Fei's face paled. He didn't want to be missing any parts of himself.
Meng Yuzun laughed again, "It's best to keep the Ninth Young Master in one piece. What I meant by 'in good faith' was that the Dragon King has to give us something."
Gu Shenwei already guessed the other party's purpose, so he did not say anything and waited for him to continue.
"The Dragon King has seen it too. Tianji Society has raised a group of female killers. These women cost me a lot of money and effort, but they are still not quite as skilled they should be. Experts have said that the training methods were not the problem. It was their level of kung fu which made it impossible for them to ever become masters. I heard that, when Dragon King left Stone Castle, he had taken away a lot of secret kung fu manuscripts. Hand over one or two, and give Tianji Society some hope. This is what I mean by 'good faith', hehe."
"You also want the Dajue Book of Swordcraft?" Shangguan Fei screamed in even more surprise than Slave Huan.
"Is it called 'Dajue Book of Swordcraft'? I don't have any knowledge about it. Golden Roc Fort has a lot of high-level kung fu and this was one of them, right?"
"You, you don't even practice martial arts, why do you want this?" Shangguan Fei still couldn't understand Old Meng's intentions.
"Hehe, this, the Ninth Young Master should understand. Your mother thinks that the reason why you are such a coward was because of your low kung fu level. Thus, I hope to cheat the Dajue Book of Swordcraft out from the Dragon King with this proposal. As for me, I don't know kung fu. I was more afraid than you are when I saw the chaos occurring in the Western Region. It's too late for me to learn kung fu, but I had always wanted to train a few masters to block a few blades for me and whatnot."
"Dajue Book of Swordcraft" was another name for "Death Scripture." Gu Shenwei was amazed. He couldn't figure out how his secret was leaked. It was reasonable to say that only Maid Lotus has ever read this book in this world.
"How about it, Dragon King? I will immediately let you go as long as you hand over the scripture. From then on, I will become friends with the Dragon King. You could even kill my son, and I would not blink. I would even fully support Great Snowmountain's negotiations."
Meng Yuzun chattered on and on. No one could have thought of how he issued a secret order. The two guards by his side suddenly made their move and put out the torch in the stone room.
Next, an even more unexpected thing happened.
Meng Yuzun, who in everyone's eyes was not a kung fu practitioner, swiftly attacked the Dragon King. His speed was completely inconsistent with his obesity. His attacks were so ruthless that he seemed to completely disregard whether Shangguan Fei lived or died.
At the same time, the black-masked assassin, Guan Shang, also attacked. Although she was holding three swords in two hands, that did not affect her skills at all.
Surprisingly the target of her attacks turned out to be Meng Yuzun.
Gu Shenwei flew up and killed the two guards.
When the stone room fell into darkness, it became confusing to tell apart friend from foe.