Chapter 37: Reincarnation Cliff
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
To avenge his family, Gu Shenwei felt like he had possessed the killing desire for a long time. He had just been trying to keep it hidden and avoid stirring it up.
But he found it hard to convert his killing desire into killing intent, especially when he had to use a wooden saber against his opponent. He could not even treat the twins of the Shangguan family as his enemies, let alone Slave Qian, who had once lived together with him.
However, the feeling of hatred was on call at any time. It mercilessly devoured its owner's viscera, hurting its owner, but it was unwilling to work on its owner's enemy.
Gripping the wooden saber with both hands, Gu Shenwei realized that he had to regard Slave Qian as the person he hated the most before stirring up the killing desire.
Shangguan Fa was the one who ordered the slaughter of the Gu family. Unfortunately, Gu Shenwei could not imagine what he looked like because he had never seen the Supreme King.
Shangguan Nu, the principal villain who killed his parents and elder brothers, was the enemy he had seen and approached. Nevertheless, regardless of whether Gu Shenwei wanted to admit it or not, his fear of the Eighth Young Master's figure had overwhelmed his hatred.
As for Han Shiqi, the traitor that lurked in the Gu's manor, Gu Shenwei had already stabbed him to death. His heart had no fear as it only held hatred for the dead man.
A strange feeling arose in Gu Shenwei's heart. Suddenly, he felt as if the wooden saber was turning into a part of his body. Although it was the first time he used it, he was very confident of his victory. In his eyes, Slave Qian became "Han Shiqi", who moved stiffly and could easily be defeated.
A drifting voice said, "Start." He felt that the order was like a hand releasing a fully-bent bow and he was the sharp arrow that was notched on the string.
The two teenagers simultaneously launched their strikes. Compared to their speed, their movements were rather bland. One approached by cutting down from above and the other chopped at the opponent's lower abdomen with a flat cut.
The contest ended after only one strike. If they were two famous people or adults, the onlookers would have regarded it as a typical duel between masters. However, they were teenagers. One was a heavily injured slave and the other was the weakest apprentice in his own sect. Therefore, the scene seemed quite ridiculous.
"Oh, what happened? Why did they stop fighting? Who's the winner?" Shangguan Fei shouted. He was confused like the majority of the people.
In the arena, Gu Shenwei was kneeling on one knee, his wooden saber was resting horizontally on Slave Qian's lower abdomen. Slave Qian was standing with a bent back, his weapon was pressing on Slave Huan's left shoulder.
If those were real sabers, one of them would have his abdomen cut through and the other would have his body cleaved in half. Both were fatal blows, so the key was who had been hit first. The one who was struck first would not have been able to move and, of course, would be the loser.
The two separated and retreated. Since neither of them was arrogant, they would not claim the victory for themselves. Therefore, everyone turned their eyes to Hu Shining. As the training tutor, he was experienced and had a sharp eye, so he would not misjudge the result.
Hu Shining kept a poker face, as if the two teenagers had made a big mistake. He walked toward Slave Qian, grabbed his wooden saber, and raised it high without saying a word. Suddenly, he forcibly broke the wooden saber with his bare hands.
Then, under everyone's surprised gaze, he approached Gu Shenwei with the two pieces of the wooden saber in both hands, silently presenting them to him.
Now that his killing desire had already disappeared, Gu Shenwei felt unsure of what was happening. Under Hu Shining's persistent gaze, he felt pressured into having to take the broken saber. He glanced at his opponent, Slave Qian.
Slave Qian flushed with shame. He stared at his own toes, as if he were naked under the watchful eyes of everyone but not daring to cover himself.
"Moonhold School wins."
As Hu Shining announced the result, Shangguan Ru and her fellows jumped with joy.
"One more round, one more round."
Shangguan Yushi urged, but Hu Shining declined while shaking his head. "There's no need for one more round. No apprentice in Carvewood Academy is a match for him."
The crowd was confused as to why the training tutor thought so highly of a slave. The twins had fought with Slave Huan once, and they felt that he was almost on par with them. They had never heard of such a compliment from Hu Shining.
"Humph! Never mind, let's go." Shangguan Ru thought the training tutor was just making excuses, so she turned to leave.
Gu Shenwei gripped his own wooden saber in one hand while the other two broken saber pieces were in his other hand. Since he did not know where to put them, he walked over to Hu Shining and, with great respect, handed them back to him.
Hu Shining casually took them back, and could not help asking, "What's your name? Why aren't you in East Castle?"
"I'm Slave Huan, I practice Internal Strength."
Hu Shining shook his head in regret. From the killing intent he felt within him, he had thought that Gu Shenwei was a natural killer. It was a pity that he was not a killer in East Castle.
Gu Shenwei turned to catch up with his masters. Hu Shining stared at his back with regret. Suddenly, he thought that it might be risky for the two young masters to keep being around such a special teenager.
The idea just now flashed across his mind but he could not prove that the boy was dangerous. He had better not ask for trouble.
Behind him, the defeated Slave Qian suddenly held his abdomen and began to vomit violently.
When she saw Slave Huan coming out of Carvewood Academy, Shangguan Ru stepped forward and gave him a punch. She said with a smile, "You're good at saberplay, you've been hiding your strength from us."
Gu Shenwei knew she did not really mean anything by the punch, so he accepted the hit with a smile. Suddenly, he knelt down and said with inspiration, "Master Shifu, my Kung Fu isn't worth mentioning compared to yours."
"Who's your Master Shifu?" Shangguan Ru asked in a loud voice, but her smiling face was as beautiful as a flower. Obviously, she did not hate that title.
"When I stepped onto the arena, you recognized me as your apprentice on behalf of our Moonhold School."
With a serious expression on her face, Shangguan Ru sized Slave Huan up with her head tilted to one side. Suddenly, she burst into laughter and said, "Well, since you did quite well today, I'll take you as my apprentice. But remember, I'm strict. If you aren't obedient or don't work hard, I'll punish you."
"Of course. A strict teacher is as important as a father. My humble life is in your hands."
A few months ago, Gu Shenwei would have felt embarrassed just by watching others use such flattery. But now, he could do the same without any difficulty.
This was exactly how hardships and hatred would transform a person.
Shangguan Fei became unhappy about Shangguan Ru having an apprentice. He interjected, "Since I'm the deputy head of our school, I should be Slave Huan's mentor, too."
"Every apprentice should only have one mentor. If you really want to be a mentor, you could find other students to be your apprentice. Well, you two, pay respects to your Master Shifu."
The two young personal attendants were clever. On hearing Shangguan Ru's order, they immediately knelt in front of Shangguan Fei, calling him Master Shifu. They sounded even more sincere and friendlier than Gu Shenwei, so Shangguan Fei became proud and happy again.
Shangguan Yushi had been watching with a critical eye, and she could not bear it anymore. "Humph! They deliberately let you win. What makes you so proud?"
Originally, she was happy when Gu Shenwei won in the arena, but when she saw that he was taking the initiative and sparing no effort to please Shangguan Ru, she felt uncomfortable.
Shangguan Ru was in high spirits. She pulled her cousin's hand and said to Gu Shenwei, "Come and meet your Master Uncle Yu."
Gu Shenwei turned to Shangguan Yushi and said, "Nice to meet you, Master Uncle Yu."
Shangguan Yushi wanted to turn away, but she was firmly held tight by Shangguan Ru and had to receive Gu Shenwei's respects.
In the morning, Shangguan Ru was depressed about Marshal Yang's death. However, now she was cheerful because she had just set up a new sect and had received an apprentice. "Alas. This ceremony is too simple. Since Carvewood Academy has their own base, we should also have a base of our own. Where should we go?"
Everyone offered advice. Some proposed Moonhold Academy, some recommended Star Picking Academy, and some suggested a vacant house in Golden Roc Fort. However, Shangguan Ru did not like any of them, since they were not special enough to be a "base".
In the end, the smart Shangguan Yushi came up with a brilliant idea. She whispered in Shangguan Ru's ear, and the latter blurted out with excitement, "That's great! Let's go there."
With these words, she ran into the depths of East Castle with her cousin, followed by the other four teenagers, who were at a loss. Shangguan Fei asked while running, "Where are you going? Where are we going?"
It seemed that Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi did not know exactly where that place was either. They ran around in the alleys and frequently returned to the starting point. They ignored Shangguan Fei's questions, which made him so anxious that he jumped up and down and kicked his two "disciples" several times so that he could vent his anger.
As the six teenagers ran further and further, the yards they passed on both sides became less numerous. Finally, they saw a cliff at the end of an alley.
Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi felt refreshed. They kept running forward, while Shangguan Fei stopped chasing them, the color of his face paling. "I know where you're going. I'm not going."
The two young personal attendants were still running, but they suddenly realized something upon hearing Shangguan Fei's slightly changed voice. They immediately stopped and rushed back to their master's side.
Being the only one who was totally ignorant about the place, Gu Shenwei ran to the two ladies' side.
Shangguan Ru glanced back at Shangguan Fei and said disdainfully, "What a coward! You're not qualified to be a killer." Then she sped up. Shortly, the three of them arrived at the end of the alley.
It turned out the cliff was not there. A stone staircase slanted down until it reached a large fan-shaped platform dozens of feet down. The real cliff was situated right at its end, where there was no protection against falling.
"It must be here," Shangguan Yushi said mysteriously.
Gu Shenwei did not see anything special about that place except the landform. What surprised him was the familiar smell in the air, but he could not, at that moment, figure out what it was exactly.
"Hey, come back! That's Reincarnation Cliff. Let's go play somewhere else."
Shangguan Fei shouted from behind. The two ladies shrugged off his warning and smiled at each other. Shangguan Yushi turned to look at Slave Huan and asked, "Do you know about Reincarnation Cliff?"
Gu Shenwei nodded.
"This is where killers of Golden Roc Fort go up to heaven. The dead are dropped here."
Shangguan Yushi was waiting to see Slave Huan become panicked. To her disappointment, he only replied, "Ah," to show he finally knew what the place was, and he looked around out of curiosity instead of fear.
Gu Shenwei used to care for the wounded in Firewood Yard, and he had dropped many corpses off Ghost Cliff. He once wondered, now that the severely wounded were sent to Firewood Yard, what happened to those that had already died? Now he finally understood.
There was a similar place to Reincarnation Cliff in West Castle, and Gu Shenwei was cautious not to mention it. After all, his experience in Firewood Yard was not a good one.
Shangguan Yushi was astounded by Slave Huan's fearlessness. Even Shangguan Ru admired him a bit, since she had to pluck up her courage to come here.
Suddenly, they heard a sound of clanking metal coming from far away, like a bell that sounded in a welcoming ceremony. Next, they saw two men in black silently walk out of the alley carrying a corpse and heading for Reincarnation Cliff.
Shangguan Fei and the two young personal attendants turned pale. They hurriedly gave way to the men and pressed themselves against the wall.
The men carrying the corpse did not salute Shangguan Fei and continued moving forward with their heads down.
Shangguan Yushi's and Shangguan Ru's faces were a bit pale as well. But they only retreated a few steps and stood by the road. They watched the two men pass by and walk down the stone stairs.
The two men kept reciting some words. Gu Shenwei had also heard others mumbling them after Marshal Yang had killed several killers in a row. He did not listen carefully back then, but he finally heard them clearly this time.
"The soul rises to the Ninth Heaven, and the spirit falls to the Ninth Abyss.
"The living suffer in grief, and the dead settle in peace."
There were merely 16 Chinese characters, and the two kept reciting them in a low voice, as if it was a mantra to drive away evil spirits.
Gu Shenwei was so deeply touched that he could not help asking, "What are they reciting?"
Shangguan Yushi continued reciting the words, while Shangguan Ru, as if she was afraid of disturbing someone, whispered,