Chapter 46: Assassination
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Shangguan Ru wanted to hold an "assassination" in Golden Roc Fort, but she had not decided on the target.
The plan sounded childish and impractical. Except for Shangguan Yushi, who supported Shangguan Ru without reservation, the others were somewhat inclined to give up on her plan.
Shangguan Ru widened her eyes and said aggressively, "No retreat for killers. If they don't move forward, they die."
It sounded scary. Though everyone knew that Shangguan Ru would not kill anyone, they also knew that great suffering would come if they disobeyed her. Therefore, they all pretended to be cheerful and began to discuss the first target for assassination.
Gu Shenwei kept silent, as he did not want to aggravate Shangguan Yushi. The jealous girl would not easily forgive him. Therefore, the only thing he could do was to not offer her any excuse.
The first victim of the "assassination" game was Slave Qing. Nobody knew who originated the proposal, but all of them agreed with it. Shangguan Yushi intentionally warned her three "killers". "If you dare to report our plan, you'll be labeled a traitor. How shall we punish the traitor?"
"Expel them from the fort and hack their body with 100 blades." Shangguan Fei scrambled to answer. It was the family motto of Golden Roc Fort, and he was quite familiar with it.
"Right. Don't show mercy to the traitors." Shangguan Ru stressed her tone.
They were not afraid that their bodies would be "hacked with 100 blades". It would be more miserable for them simply to be banished from the fort. The three "killers" immediately swore to heaven that they would not divulge the secret. Gu Shenwei was good at making such pledges, as he only needed to slightly change the pledge he had made to Luo Ningcha.
By dawn on the fourth day, it was proved that no one had divulged the secret.
Slave Qing lived on the periphery of West Castle, where most of the adult servants' houses were gathered. He would go out at dawn, walk through a deep alley, and meet his two lackeys at the alley entrance to head for the school together.
The six people were divided into three teams, led by the twins and Shangguan Yushi respectively. They had tailed Slave Qing for three days and learned his daily routine.
Gu Shenwei still followed Shangguan Yushi.
Though Master Yu was absent-minded in training others, she did not neglect her own kung fu practice. With the great improvement in her lightness skill, she intended to compete with Slave Huan. Gu Shenwei had to maintain his mindfulness at all times so that he could catch up with her in the chaos of the curving alleys.
Slave Qing did not find himself being "spied on". As a family servant of Golden Roc Fort, he had lived in this place full of killers since he was a child. The advantage of living in Golden Roc Fort was that he did not need to be worried about the assassination, because attacking sneakily in Golden Roc Fort was like showing off incompetence before experts. It was impossible no matter how they planned.
Shangguan Ru composed the plan for the "assassination". Shangguan Fei would lead the three "killers" to ambush at the entrance to the alley, lest Slave Qing's two lackeys ruin their plan. Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi would be responsible for the assassination.
Although it was just a game, the teenagers felt nervous and excited from the bottoms of their hearts. Shangguan Fei almost ruined the plan by chirping with excitement.
The "assassination" went smoothly. The four of them at the entrance could not see the situation inside, but heard a heartrending cry. The two lackeys, who came to meet with Slave Qing every morning, also heard it. The two lackeys trembled with fear and almost fell to the ground. Then they ran towards the alley, but just ran two or three steps before they looked at each other and changed their minds. They eventually ran back to their homes in panic and no longer showed up for the rest of the day.
The two girls, having succeeded in the "assassination", jumped and rushed out of the alley, like two little deer who had just learned how to run. They glowed with joy, with the corners of their mouths jiggling, as if they were suppressing crazy laughter with all their strength.
The others retreated at full speed and returned to their own identity.
Slave Qing was frightened indeed. Though the saber lain on his neck was wooden, he felt as though he was standing before the gates of hell. His face was green for the next three days and, he became paranoid. If he heard a voice behind his back, he would jump in fright.
Slave Qing became a laughingstock in the fort. However, three days later, when things went back to normal, he was even proud of himself, as it seemed an honor for him to become the first target of the assassination. He thought it was a miracle that he could survive.
Slave Qing vividly described the sneak attack, as if he had kept his composure at that moment and had watched the whole process from the back. "She made a deft move, like a celestial being who showed up. When the saber slashed down, I froze up. I had felt that something was wrong, but I was still stunned when I saw the saber. You can't imagine such swordsmanship could be displayed by a child of little more than 10 years old."
Slave Qing severely punished his two lackeys who had not come to save him. He intended to dispatch the two lackeys to do the most unpleasant work, such as looking after the dead in Firewood Yard. However, he was persuaded by the teenager's parents to forgive them.
The twins became famous for their assassination. They expanded the range of their "assassination" targets, including even blademasters and young masters of Golden Roc Fort.
Only the first "assassination" caused an unexpected effect. Later operations were like games in which the two sides cooperated with each other. Their targets, who had their ways of knowing the twins' plan in advance, would pretend to have no idea of it. Some of them would intentionally walk alone to give them the chance.
Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi speculated there was a hidden traitor in their team, but they could not find the evidence. Gu Shenwei knew that Master Yu was eager to frame him for betrayal. Therefore, he became more careful. He just reported what had already happened and would not speak more, even to Mama Xue.
Mama Xue, of course, did not care about the children's game and even showed a little contempt. Nevertheless, she was satisfied that Slave Huan had become the core of the organization built by the twins, so she continued to help him improve his Internal Strength.
Mama Xue's Iron Finger was still stiff. Gu Shenwei understood clearly that every Internal Breath she transferred was not only a good medicine for improving Internal Strength, but was also a poison that caused qigong deviation. Nevertheless, he enjoyed it, as his Internal Strength increased rapidly.
The next "assassination" was in full swing. With Supreme King's acquiescence, no one dared to call the game off. But not every target was as kind as Slave Qing. The twins were chased by the old teacher at school for a dozen days, and after that, they did not dare to go to school for a long time.
Several blademasters with high status would not behave like humble servants. They could find those teenagers' tricks without any warning. Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi were almost caught several times, while Shangguan Fei and the other two "killers" were not spared from capture. Gu Shenwei did not get caught, with the help of the kung fu Mama Xue had taught him. Even so, there were two times that he barely escaped.
Though they hardly realized it, the six teenagers' kung fu was improving substantially. The "assassination" game seemed more effective than the traditional teaching.
However, Shangguan Ru became increasingly demanding. After a month, she "fired" the two "killers" who always dragged their feet. Now four people were left, with Gu Shenwei as the only servant.
Shangguan Fei could not meet Shangguan Ru's requirements, but it was difficult for Shuangguan Ru to "fire" her elder brother. Each time Shangguan Fei used their mother as the shield, Shangguan Ru could only compromise with him.
Nevertheless, Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi began to add a new part to the game. They tried their best to shake off Shangguan Fei, as they became more confident and no longer needed helpers.
Shangguan Fei's kung fu was weaker than the two of them, so they could easily shake him off. Gu Shenwei had lost their tracks several times. He even suspected that it was Shangguan Yushi who came up with this idea to deal with him.
In fact, this was an opportunity for Gu Shenwei to obtain Shangguan Fei's trust by using their common experience, but he made up his mind to follow the two girls.
Gu Shenwei made this decision because of his competitive mentality. The more tricks Shangguan Yushi played, the more he wanted to defeat her. The decision also had a utilitarian purpose. Obviously, Shangguan Ru had higher status than Shangguan Fei, so to gain her favor would be helpful, not only for Mama Xue's mysterious plan, but also for his future revenge.
Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi always shook the other two off unexpectedly. They had their own way of communicating, which the others could not understand. One moment, they would be walking and then suddenly take to their heels. It was hard for the other two to catch up with them, because the two girls were adept at lightness skills.
Gu Shenwei treated it as a test and kept his eye on the two girl's every movement. After several attempts, he had a basic grasp on the two girls' non-verbal code. An eye contact, a flick of a finger or a random pause would be the signs for "shaking their partners off".
Gu Shenwei practiced lightness skills day and night. After several embarrassing failures, he finally could catch up with the two girls, and entered their firm coterie. No matter how hard Shangguan Yushi tried, she could not shake him off.
Shangguan Ru was glad for his participation. Shangguan Yushi was her close friend, sister, and adviser, but the distinctive servant was her opponent. With her competitive personality, she liked to have an equal opponent.
The three of them spent lots of time visiting almost half of Golden Roc Fort, searching for the best places for "assassinations". Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi knew quite a few killer skills. Half in practice and half showing off, they taught them all to the sticky little servant.
Gu Shenwei took this chance to probe into every cranny of the fort. Finally, he ascertained that his missing elder sister was not within those walls.
They became bolder and bolder. One time, they even tried to "assassinate" the Eighth Young Master, Shangguan Nu.
At that time, Gu Shenwei was roughly familiar with his enemy's kung fu. Shangguan Nu was able to detect the intentions of the three tricksters, but he did not show it until they made the first move. Then he captured all of them.
This was a crushing defeat. It was the first time that none of the three "killers" had escaped since the assassination game started.
As the Eighth Young Master's servant, Gu Shenwei had to kneel down and kowtow for mercy, while the two girls behaved in a spoiled manner and asked their target to apologize to them instead.
Shangguan Nu sincerely seemed to like his youngest sister and even showed a different side. He not only apologized to his sister, but even offered a rare smile while displaying his iron hook to please the two girls.
The severed right hand was Shangguan Nu's greatest shame. Usually, if someone so much as casts it a glance, they might be killed by him.
Gu Shenwei became a bit anxious. He wanted to maintain his hatred for Shangguan Nu. In his mind, this man with one hand was the most evil creature in the world. Therefore, he did not want to see the Eighth Young Master's softhearted side.
After they failed to "assassinate" Shangguan Nu, Shangguan Ru called the game off for a while and went back to school.
Several days later, after the "assassination" restarted, Gu Shenwei unexpectedly found himself as the "target". This time, however, they did not just play for fun.