Chapter 43: The truth
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
It was Shangguan Hongye who had encouraged the little master to organize the betting, and Gu Shenwei was very humble during the fight with Shangguan Yushi, even yeilding by himself. This could make Shangguan Yushi feel contempt toward him, thinking he must still be the slave who was humiliated before the Spring Festival and dared not to fight back.
Gu Shenwei hoped that this was the case.
If Master Yu asked her attendants to avenge her, it could leave him no choice but to submit himself as he had a month ago. If their contradiction was open to the public, the master would only lose her face, while the slave could lose his life.
Shangguan Yushi came in the afternoon. She had to be accompanied by Shangguan Ru at all times, so it was a little difficult to get out without anyone noticing.
She did not come in aggressively as Shangguan Hongye did. Instead, she ducked into the room like a ghost. She stood silently at the door alone, practically invisible, gazing at Slave Huan, who was sitting on the Kang.
Slave Huan, who was waiting for her, was shocked when he looked up.
No one would doubt Shangguan Yushi's anger. Her face was so rigid that it looked almost like the stone cabin, and a furious devil seemed hidden in her long, narrow eyes, ready to rush out and attack at any moment.
Gu Shenwei thought she might say something, so he kept silent and concentrated, not expecting her to fight without saying anything.
Shangguan Yushi's eyesight exposed the path of her feet before she made her move. Gu Shenwei rose up, jumped off of the Kang, landing to meet her first move.
Master Yu was a clever girl, who was smarter than most of the teenagers in the fort. But she had the same weakness as they did: She learned the best Kung Fu, but lacked any real fighting experience.
She used "Fierce Thunder", the move Gu Shenwei had misjudged in the hall, but had no trouble with this time.
He had already seized the optimal position. He caught her foot lightly in his right hand, and threw Shangguan Yushi backward by the borrowed force.
Mama Xue had thought of a great way to break the move, and in fact she overestimated Shangguan Yushi. This girl, who was a year younger than Gu Shenwei, did not learn the ever-changing character of the martial arts. She did use her moves correctly, but did not adjust the moves according to the condition.
Shangguan Yushi hit the wall, falling down. And then she stumbled to stand up.
Gu Shenwei had not used too much strength, and she was not hurt. But this could not cover up her failure. Though it seemed like she had won the bet, the truth that she lost after four moves was far more concerning.
She was not someone who could admit failure easily. As soon as she stood up, she attacked immediately. Move after a move, she swung swiftly and violently. But this time she learned the lesson: swiftness and violence were not ends unto themselves. She attacked steadily and surely, and the next several moves were not in the five moves.
Gu Shenwei dealt with her cautiously, not wanting to finish it quickly either.
The two teenagers crossed fist and foot in this narrowly cabined room. They kept silent, neither wanting to admit to being the weaker opponent.
Gu Shenwei did not have so many breaking moves, and he gradually became the weaker one. Fists and feet were always not the strong points of Gu family's Kung Fu. During the first dozen years of his life, he did not practice it well, either. Hence he was less forceful than Shangguan Yushi who trained herself hard in the Moonhold Academy.
And so the saying was right that Master Yu's Kung Fu was even better than Shangguan Ru, which normally she hid very well. But now she showed them off, trying her utmost to kick the nasty slave down.
Holding the advantage, Shangguan Yushi was growing fiercer by the moment, which increased the odds that she used one of the five moves. As expected, she exerted "Heaven Spinning Stroke" after about thirty moves, but Gu Shenwei did not get the chance to resolve it.
After several moves more, Shangguan Yushi used "Intensifying Billows and Waves", which was also one of the chosen five moves.
Among several of those who practice Kung Fu in Golden Roc Fort, this move was trivial. Using two palms to push forward, it came and went straightly. Bur Mama Xue had underlined it, and explained its profoundness to Slave Huan and Maid Lotus.
"Why does one become the superior and another remains a commoner, even if they have learned the same move? The difference is that one uses it 'flexibly', while another uses it 'mechanically'. Every move in Kung Fu has its own settled pattern, which suggests the enemy is in a specific position. For example, if you use 'Black Tiger Heart Prising Movement', you suggest the enemy is on the opposite side, with his weakness exposed and without any defense. What if the enemy is not there? It will be useless. That's what using it 'mechanically' means. No matter where the enemy is, or how he defends himself, one only moves continuously without thinking effectively. It's the same as using a treasured sword to cut the beef, sooner or later, the sword will be broken. However, if you use it flexibly, which means focusing on the momentum, taking the advantage, seducing the enemy to step into the position where you want him to be, and kill him instantly. If you want to use the 'Intensifying Billows and Waves' well, you shall disturb the enemy by a series of tricks, and take the chance when she is in a muddle and cannot keep her lower body steady, to kick her with all your effort. Golden Roc Fort's Kung Fu is both offensive and defensive. This move is the only one which has no defense, and for this reason you shall make every effort.
Therefore, when Shangguan Yushi showed a series of tricks, Gu Shenwei guessed she would use the "Intensifying Billows and Waves", which could be divided into two parts, the lower part focusing on the enemy's body, while the upper one attacking the important acupoint in the breast. No matter which part it was, if Gu Shenwei predicted it correctly, the breaking move was the same.
If Shangguan Yushi was an experienced superior, then Gu Shenwei could appear as though he were unsteady and fall down, and then she should know there must be something afoot. But she could only see Gu Shenwei attack faintly, which accorded with the timing of using the "Intensifying Billows and Waves", so she kicked at once.
This move meant exerting all her strength, which Shangguan Yushi did. Therefore she could not change in half way through.
By the time her palms' gesture had formed, Gu Shenwei had already gotten down on one knee, waiting for her. After she pulled out her palms and found out he had gone, Gu Shenwei's right elbow was in the middle of pressing into her underbelly.
There was no need to show mercy. If they kept brawling in this way, he might lose.
Shangguan Yushi's body bent like an arch and flew backward, hitting the wall again and dropping down. This time she failed to keep herself steady, and suddenly sat down.
Gu Shenwei was shocked. He thought he had kicked her too hard, so he stepped up, wanting to check it out. But he retreated back immediately, knowing he must make hay while the sun shines and not appear flabby.
"You want to compete again?"
He deliberately made his voice cold and tough, causing Shangguan Yushi to sit on the ground and stare at him with fright in her eyes. She wiped her mouth and immediately put on a ruthless face. "The Eighth Brother will tear you into pieces."
In this final moment, Shangguan Yushi showed her nature as a prima donna. She would find a more powerful and more influential people to defeat him.
Gu Shenwei squatted, and gazed into her in the eye. He was going to tell her the "truth", which mostly came from the rumors among the slaves of the learning hall, and a little from his own speculation. The answer would reveal itself as to whether the little devil could be awed.
"Of course the Eighth Brother will tear me into pieces, but before that, he may want to know one thing—something that is bad for our two masters."
"What are you driveling on about?"
"Someone in school organized the gambling event to defraud the Shangguan family's children, in the name of the Ninth Master."
"That was simply for fun, and no one was defrauding anyone!"
Gu Shenwei ignored Shangguan Yushi's disputation and carried on. Hereafter, all that came from his lips was all his speculation.
"This person obtains her money, but shares it with no one. The Ninth Childe is so kind and pure that she is unaffected by this. What she doesn't know is that this person is not gambling for fun, but for her family."
Gu Shenwei stared at the girl opposite him, unblinking, and observed every tiny change in her face.
Shangguan Yushi kept silent at first, her cheeks blushing and her shoulders lowered. She seemed ready to attack at anytime. But after keeping this posture for a long time, she suddenly broke.
"It wasn't me, it was my brother... my mother forced me to get the money... I had no choice..."
She spread her feet and cried aloud.
Gu Shenwei felt shamed. He had relied on his superior, Mama Xue, to help him mercilessly bully a girl who was a year younger than him. Right now this girl did not look like "Master Yu" after all.
"I understand. We're all in between a rock and hard place."
Gu Shenwei used a gentle tone while Shangguan Yushi raised her head up stubbornly, trying to stare at him furiously. She felt tears forcing themselves up behind her eyes, so she lowered her head and suppressed her crying, but found it was no use. All she could do was sobbing, without saying anything.
"I'm just a slave who was trying to please my master, and I'll always be a slave however hard I work. It's my destiny. And your family name is Shangguan, which is also your fate. We won't interfere with each other's business. Isn't that right?"
Gu Shenwei spoke cautiously. Shangguan Yushi's character was just like her name. Her name, "Yushi," meant "Time of the rain", but no one knew just when that time would come, and when it did, whether it would sprinkle or storm.
The crying girl stood up and forcefully wiped her face, concealing her inappropriate emotion at last. "I'll come back."
Hearing these threatening words, Gu Shenwei was actually relaxed. Such an empty threat usually meant an armistice, at least temporarily.
"Slave Huan's life is in your hand," Gu Shenwei answered humbly. He could never achieve a clear contract with Shangguan Yushi, but this was enough.
Shangguan Yushi grunted and left the room. Then she turned around at the door and said, "What happened today..."
"...will remain a secret. If I leak a single word, may I be struck by lightning, and never reincarnate."
Gu Shenwei completed her thought before she could. There was nothing easier than making a pledge.
Shangguan Yushi was not very satisfied. Things had not ended her way. But still, she left, saying nothing.
Gu Shenwei exhaled deeply. It was too tiring dealing with this little devil. Compared to her, Shangguan Hongye was truly an idiot.
He had won in this round, but he knew it was clear that this would not be the final round. He had to prepare for her revenge, which would certainly be more vicious next time.
But during this armistice, he could make Shangguan Ru fall in love with being a killer again. Only when he hid behind this energetic girl could he reach the core secret of Golden Roc Fort.