Chapter 853 – Group Assault
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The assassins caused the old Guardian to feel a hint of regret.
He had already guessed at the identity of the mute servant, so how could he not recall that these assassins were all once part of the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets, had all been this man's subordinates?
The Guardian took a deep breath and then shouted at the mute servant, "Liu Qing, come fight me!"
Even though he was heavily injured from the ambush, his voice was still thunderous and intimidating to the extreme, proof that he was an expert of the previous generation already half a step into the Divine.
The cold winter winds blew his hair into disarray.
Indeed, the mute servant was Liu Qing, once the head of the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets' assassin organization.
With the departure of Su Li and the mysterious assassin, he was the most frightening assassin on the continent.
Only he could successfully ambush such a powerful individual, and even he had paid a very heavy price.
Tang Thirty-Six stood up and asked Liu Qing, "Are you still okay?"
Liu Qing said nothing, only impassively nodded.
"Fight your ass!"
Tang Thirty-Six brushed the snow off his body and said to the blood-covered old Guardian, "Now it's our turn for all of us to fight you."
Saying this, he energetically waved his hand.
Liu Qing and the seven assassins attacked.
At the same time, the gate to the ancestral hall opened and even more people poured inside.
Forceful and frightening sword intent would occasionally leave a mark on the walls of the ancestral hall.
Crossbow bolts and secret weapons hissed through the air.
Blood was everywhere. It seemed like the white walls would need to be painted again.
After some time, all noise died down and the ancestral hall became calm once more.
It was extremely quiet. One could hear the snowflakes striking the ground, the rapid breathing of the people in the courtyard.
The surroundings were splattered in blood. Everyone was injured, and Tang Thirty-Six was no exception. Two of his ribs were broken.
In order to attract the old Guardian's attention, he had not permitted himself to retreat to the back.
The facts proved that his method was effective. Not a single one of the attackers had died.
The old Guardian was dead. His body leaned against the incense table within the ancestral hall, covered in wounds and drained of blood, his end extremely miserable.
His eyes were still open, a faint regret and confusion still visible within them.
The people who had come to assist were all people from the Tang clan's chief branch.
In this half a year, no more rocks were thrown over the wall, no kites flown in the sky, but since the mute servant was Liu Qing, Tang Thirty-Six had naturally been able to maintain close communications with the chief branch. The residences around the ancestral hall had long since been secretly seized by the chief branch. They were just waiting for their moment to move.
But Tang Thirty-Six had truly not expected that the old Guardian would become Second Uncle's man.
If Liu Qing had not been here, he would have assuredly died.
Tang Thirty-Six had the people of the chief branch retreat out of the ancestral hall, then said to Liu Qing, "My idol, I've troubled you for this half a year."
He had met the legendary assassin for the first time during the Boiling Stone Summit held at Mount Han.
At the time, Liu Qing had wanted Chen Changsheng to become the new leader of his assassin organization. Chen Changsheng naturally did not agree.
Tang Thirty-Six wanted to do it, and wanted to establish a method of communication with Liu Qing.
Chen Changsheng was well aware of his intentions and so refused.
But when Tang Thirty-Six was imprisoned in the ancestral hall, circumstances changed, so Chen Changsheng naturally thought differently.
Thus, Tang Thirty-Six established communications with Liu Qing.
Liu Qing expressionlessly said, "It's just performing services for remuneration."
Tang Thirty-Six suddenly asked, "Have you ever thought about being my Tang clan's Guardian?"
Liu Qing glanced at him and then replied, "We'll discuss it when you become clan head."
In order to protect Tang Thirty-Six for half a year, Liu Qing had pretended to be a mute servant in the ancestral hall, so he naturally couldn't speak.
Whether it was before or behind people, in the front or rear courtyard, or even when sleeping alone in the darkroom, he did not speak a single word.
This was an incredibly difficult feat.
It was also from that day forward that Tang Thirty-Six no longer spoke.
Some people in the Tang clan believed that this was out of despair, while others thought that this was a silent protest.
No one knew that he just wanted some quiet time for self-examination while also accompanying Liu Qing.
Tang Thirty-Six looked to those injured assassins and said, "When I become clan head, I'll support all of you for the rest of your lives."
These assassins had originally belonged to the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets and were now subordinates to the Imperial Court. Today, they had followed Liu Qing's orders, which was no different than betrayal. They would assuredly have to confront the Imperial Court's wholehearted pursuit. They were used to living in the darkness, but who would be willing to be a lonely ghost for the rest of their life?
Tang Thirty-Six's words were very straightforward. Although it seemed somewhat distant, it was still a promise.
The assassins nodded at him, used their eyes to seek instruction from Liu Qing, then vanished into the snowstorm.
Liu Qing asked Tang Thirty-Six, "What should be done next?"
Tang Thirty-Six looked at the now-shut gate of the ancestral hall in silence, then said, "Wait."
Liu Qing glanced at him, saying nothing, then left the ancestral hall.
Everyone had dispersed.
The ancestral hall contained only him and a floor littered with corpses.
He walked to the stone steps, pushed the old Guardian's corpse off the incense table, and laid down a new prayer mat.
The snow silently fell in the courtyard.
He sat on the prayer mat, looking at the snow beyond the door, calmly waiting for the final conclusion.
The events of the ancestral hall were very quickly relayed to the old estate.
Chen Changsheng looked at the snow outside, the expression on his face gradually relaxing, just like the winter plums shaking off the thick snow. It was bright and pleasing.
The old estate's steward looked at the Tang Second Master and lowered his head, saying, "Young Master had some words for Second Master."
The Tang Second Master said nothing. He looked at the scattered tiles on the table, seemingly lost in thought.
The Tang Old Master asked, "What wisecracks does this child have to say?"
Hearing this, Chen Changsheng turned around and glanced at the Tang Old Master.
From this form of address, one could clearly tell that the Tang Old Master's attitude towards Tang Thirty-Six had already changed.
No one knew the specific details of the assassination in the ancestral hall, but it had assuredly been gory and cruel.
Everyone, including the Tang Old Master, believed that Tang Thirty-Six would be killed by the Tang Second Master. Although Chen Changsheng knew that Liu Qing was always by Tang Thirty-Six's side, he still felt the situation to be incredibly dangerous.
But the result of the assassination was completely different from what everyone had expected.
The steward said in a soft voice, "Young Master said, 'Assassins are best when raised by yourself. Those given by others aren't yours in the end, and the same goes for one's capabilities.'"
These words were somewhat messy. Which capability was being referred to?
Other people couldn't understand, but the Tang Second Master could.
After learning of the events in the ancestral hall, he was still able to maintain a calm appearance, no matter how inwardly shocked he was.
Now, however, upon hearing Tang Thirty-Six's words, he could no longer keep it up, and his complexion instantly paled.
No matter how excessively intelligent one was, how skilled at scheming, if one's strength was not enough, if one always had to resort to acting through other people, problems would crop up sooner or later.
He recalled the words Wang Po had said to him three years ago on the snowy street, the words Zhexiu had said to him two days ago in the Daoist church, and he couldn't help but feel a little absent-minded. Was I really wrong for all these years?
Minister Wei did not come. The ones who came were the bashful youths from the torture chamber.
The Tang Second Master was brought away.
No one knew where he would be imprisoned, when he would be seen in public again, or whether he might die tonight.
It was just like those words the old Guardian recalled when he was gazing at Tang Thirty-Six in the ancestral hall.
The Tang clan walked the path of merchants. The winner would feast while the loser would be left with nothing. So it goes.
And it was like Tang Thirty-Six's message to the Tang Old Master. Everything was up to his discretion. No evidence was needed, nor was there any need to truly discuss reason.
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