Chapter 885: A Burial
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
In winter, the Bodhi Garden seemed to be in a state of dilapidation. Numerous servants, as well as the descendants of the Meng family, used to live here, and it used to flourish. But now, only a master and twenty plus servants lived here, and they couldn’t even clear the courtyard of snow, leaving this place powerless to defend against the invasion of winter.
Meng Mingshu felt desolate. There were three charcoal braziers in the room, but he could still feel the piercing cold enter his body.
When Gu Shenwei appeared, he was emptily staring at those fiery red charcoal mounds, fantasizing about Xiao Fengchai’s features and body. It was only after quite a while that he discovered that there was another person in the room. He abruptly raised his head, and his body started trembling violently. “Dra–Dragon King… You came here yourself?”
“Um. It’s me. Did you find it?”
Meng Mingshu was transfixed in shock. He had found the paperwork related to Wei Song, but he didn’t expect that the Dragon King would come here to get it himself. It was not until he hurriedly handed the package over to him that he suddenly realized that what was in the package might be very important. However, it was too late to get it back now, so he could only say, “I went to the old mansion. Madam Meng… seldom returns to the stone castle, and she hasn’t met the Unique King for months. I tried to get some intelligence but I didn’t get any. Please give me more time, Dragon King.”
“There’s no hurry. Take your time. Just keep this issue in mind.”
“I’ll keep this in mind. I’ve lodged this firmly in my mind.”
By the lamplight, Gu Shenwei briefly thumbed through those papers in the package and tossed the distinctly useless ones into the brazier, leaving only thirty plus pieces. He packed them up and put the package into his inside pocket. “Well done,” he said.
“Dragon King, no offence, but I want to know how my money-”
Before he could ask anything else, the Dragon King had disappeared. Meng Mingshu rubbed his eyes and found that the package beside him was gone, and he finally confirmed that what had just happened was not illusion.
He felt even colder.
As Xiao Fengchai had expected, Meng Mingshu was indeed on the verge of mentally breaking down and perhaps he had even started to a little bit. Gu Shenwei was positive that this Second Young Master had lied when he mentioned Madam Meng.
But Gu Shenwei was indeed in no hurry because the Meng family’s money was under his control.
Shangguan Hong had been waiting outside the Bodhi Garden. He didn’t flee, but his face never returned to normal. He still felt horrified about the Dragon King’s unusual trust in him.
“Have you made up your mind?” asked Gu Shenwei.
He wanted to meet Lotus tonight. At first, Shangguan Hong denied that he was in contact with Lotus, but soon, he was unable to keep hiding behind the lie and said that he needed some time to think about it. Then, Gu Shenwei had taken him to northern Jade City.
They were the only two people here. Shangguan Hong looked over his shoulder several times and didn’t find any hidden stalkers. When he had been outside the garden, he had checked the nearby areas carefully, and eventually, he had confirmed that there were no guards of the Dragon King around.
Shangguan Hong nodded. “Yes. I can take to you a place, but I can’t promise that the Master Commander is there.”
This was the first time that Shangguan Hong had mentioned Lotus, and the address he used was ” Master Commander.”
“You joined the Waning Moon Hall?” asked Gu Shenwei casually.
His lips clamped tightly shut, Shangguan Hong turned around and walked into a deep alley. This time, he was the one walking in front and the Dragon King was following.
A killers’ routes were different from those of common people. Sometimes, they walked on the ground, but they climbed over walls and houses more often. Shangguan Hong didn’t take any unusual routes. He just retraced his steps towards southern Jade City. But after walking over a hundred steps, he made an attempt to be creative.
Shangguan Hong jumped from the top of a wall onto the ground, and when the Dragon King followed along, he drew a sword and soundlessly stabbed at him in the dark.
His hands had always been empty and when he had been leaping upwards or downwards, he didn’t seem like he was carrying a weapon on him at all. So, this move of his was indeed a surprise to his opponent.
He intended to finish all the scores between him and the Dragon King. The Dragon King had once saved him, used him, and also shown extreme disdain for him. The trust the Dragon King had placed in him lately couldn’t make up for his previously bullying of him.
After every meeting with the Dragon King, Shangguan Hong would replay a scene of many years ago in his mind: followed by his only attendant, he had walked towards home after school. Then, he had been intercepted by Servant Huan and accepted a deal without hesitation.
Shangguan Hong’s heart was full of regret. He believed that he had sown the seeds of his miserable destiny at that very moment. He had been the master, but he had forgotten his identity and how he should have behaved. He had actually worked for a cheap servant. And ever since then, he had been caught in an increasingly unfavorable situation, and gradually, he himself had become a mere servant while the Dragon King’s status had climbed ever higher. It was as if they had swapped souls after that incident.
If he could turn the clock back, he would spit hard in Servant Huan’s face and utter only two words in response. “Fuck off.”
It was a pity that the mistakes he had made in the past were irreversible, and the only thing he could do was bury them at a heavier cost. This saber attack was how he was going to bury them.
‘The Dragon King didn’t know how good my kung fu is.’ Shangguan Hong had been encouraging himself with this thought again and again as he had formulated this plan. The Dragon King’s disdain for him was deep-rooted, and this was his biggest flaw, as a true killer would never underestimate anybody.
Shangguan Hong let out this sword jab, which was made with his own life as well as all of his luck and courage as the stake.
In Gu Shenwei’s eyes, Shangguan Hong had never been a smart person. Although he had been through strict training, he still couldn’t be a good killer. Maybe this was disdain, but it was very real.
Before Shangguan Hong jumped off the wall, Gu Shenwei had guessed that Shangguan Hong would blindside him. This opponent of his was too impatient. He should have chosen to make his move after they walked a bit further, instead of launching an attack when they had barely walked a hundred steps.
But this sword blow still startled Gu Shenwei. He was not surprised at the sword that had suddenly popped into Shangguan Hong’s hand. What surprised him was the swordsmanship that Shangguan Hong was using. It was actually the Death Scripture that he couldn’t be more familiar with.
The killing aura instantly flared up. It was almost as intense as that of Lotus.
The Death Scripture used to be a secret between him and Lotus, and Gu Shenwei didn’t expect that Lotus would impart it to other people.
Shangguan Hong had made a mistake. His Death Scripture swordsmanship was only at the elementary level. After a couple of successful assassinations, he had overestimated himself, and he had forgotten the fact that the Dragon King had been practicing this swordsmanship for the longest time.
There were no defensive moves in the Death Scripture swordsmanship, only offensive ones. Thus, the best way to deal with this swordsmanship was to fight back head-on.
The moment Gu Shenwei jumped off the wall, he pounced squarely at Shangguan Hong. After brushing against the sharp blade, he threw a palm strike at the inexperienced assassin and threw him backwards.
Standing in the street, Gu Shenwei felt a little lost. The most important connection between him and Lotus had just broken. He walked up to Shangguan Hong and looked at him coldly, his right hand tightly holding the hilt of the saber.
Shangguan Hong was trembling, and his teeth were chattering, but there was an evil smile on his face, which was the madness caused by the miserable failure of a desperate attempt. “Ha-ha, you won, Servant Huan. You’ve always been the winner, and I’ve always been the loser. I’m such an idiot. I haven’t even killed Shangguan Fei yet, but I attempted to use the Dragon King to practice. Ha-ha, I’m a fucking idiot.”
Gu Shenwei loosened his grip on the hilt of the saber, stretched out his left hand, picked Shangguan Hong up, and then snatched his sword with his right hand.
It was a thin and short soft sword, less than two feet in length from the tip of the blade to the end of the hilt. When he held it in his hand, the blade drooped down. One had to possess decent internal energy to be able to use a sword like this.
Shangguan Hong had indeed gone through a lot of time and effort. He had been practicing his kung fu day and night and he snatched at every chance to assassinate strange sabersmen in the city. He had never worked so hard in the stone castle before.
“Don’t give up so soon.” Gu Shenwei returned the soft sword to its owner.
Shangguan Hong took his weapon, transfixed with shock. Meanwhile, a stream of warm Qi came into his body from the Dragon King’s palm, which soon expelled the coldness from him. “You… You… Dragon King… ”
He had switched addresses from “Servant Huan” to ” Dragon King.” Shangguan Hong had lost all his luck and courage. Perplexity and horror were all he had left. “The Dragon King won’t kill me?”
“Not now. I need you to take me to Lotus.”
Suddenly it dawned on Shangguan Hong that the reason why the Dragon King hadn’t killed him was not because the Dragon King was merciful but because he was still useful. “You’re no match for the Master Commander now, Dragon King.”
“Maybe I’m not, so you should have nothing to worry about in that case. Just take me to her.”
Servant Huan was still so haughty. Anger rose in Shangguan Hong again. He put the soft sword away, which was longer than half of his girth, by wrapping it around his waist, so that he could whip it out conveniently. “I have to remind you, Dragon King. The Waning Moon Hall is different now. There are many kung fu experts in it.”
“So the Waning Moon Hall has really started to recruit male disciples?”
Shangguan Hong stayed silent for a while before replying, “No. We’re disciples of the Essence Pavilion.”
Gu Shenwei immediately recalled another one-armed man –Wild Horse. It turned out that Lotus had also established her own peripheral organization.
“Why did the Essence Pavilion want to kill the envoy of the Central Plains?”
The Dragon King’s tone changed so abruptly that Shangguan Hong was startled. He shook his head repeatedly. “No… It’s not… The Essence Pavilion didn’t kill the envoy of the Central Plains… ”
“What about the wound in your waist?”
“I… That’s… I cut myself.” Shangguan Hong lost the will to keep his secrets. “The Master Commander imparted an amazing cultivation method to me… ”
“The Seven Rotations Skill.”
“Yes. Together with the Daoless Divine Power, it improved my internal energy quickly, but… it also caused my blood to increase dramatically. Thys, I have to let out blood frequently, and I also have to ingest the pills that the Master Commander gave me.”
This was the Seven Rotations Skill’s influence on Shangguan Hong. His bones didn’t contract. Instead, the changes had been internal. Although they didn’t seem that horrible, there would be lethal consequences.
‘What a high price one is willing to pay to get revenge.’ Gu Shenwei seemed to have seen himself in Shanguan Hong.
“Lead the way.”
Shangguan Hong went first and didn’t try to play any more tricks. He already knew that his swordsmanship was nowhere close to that of the Dragon King, which was the very reason that failed sword strike didn’t bring too much harm to himself.
As expected, Shangguan Hong took the Dragon King to City View Alley, which was the most eccentric street both inside and outside of Jade City. This street was full of weird residents, more than half of whom were eunuchs. Some of them were in the lowest profession, and some others were top-notch craftsmen.
Gu Shenwei had spent some time here before. Back then, he had been involved in a confusing situation concerning Immortal Peng and the Essence of Perceiving Passion, and he had only narrowly escaped.
The busiest time of the night had passed by now. The City View Alley was occupied by quietness just as all the other areas were. Shangguan Hong pointed at a rough door. “I was supposed to come here to get my pills three days later. The one who’ll send the pills here might be the Master Commander, but it also might not be her. As for now, I don’t know who’s in there.”
“Go inside,” Gu Shenwei ordered.
After taking a deep breath, Shangguan Hong took two steps forward and gave the door a gentle push. The door squeaked and then opened soundlessly, as if it had verified the visitor’s identity.
Like most of the houses in City View Alley, there was a room behind the door, and there wasn’t a courtyard. It was totally dark inside, like a giant toothless mouth waiting for prey to enter.
Gu Shenwei whipped out his saber and walked inside without hesitation.
Standing at the doorway, Shangguan Hong was amazed by the Dragon King’s boldness and recklessness.