Chapter 105 Unjust Execution
Luo Ningcha’s world was turned upside down after she had married into Golden Roc Castle.
The manners she had learnt and accepted from childhood during which she never saw a man except for her now husband had suddenly become a bad custom which she was mocked for by others. The power to take anything she wanted and decide others’ lives was something she had always taken for granted. But now, it was suddenly and rudely stripped away and she found herself to be the one who couldn’t live or die as she wished.
She remembered every humiliation she had suffered in the inner chamber, tossing and turning every night from the agonizing feeling of her desire to avenge herself gnawing at her heart like thousands of ants. She wasn’t stupid. She was actually much smarter than Gu Shenwei had imagined. What she lacked was the vision and the strategy, which had been missing from her education since she was little.
“Go on.” Luo Ningcha ordered.
Gu Shenwei could hear the eagerness and expectation in her tone.
“The Meng family’s foundation is its large commercial network. It completely relied on the protection of Golden Roc Castle to successfully spread out, and because of this the Meng family earns a large amount of money everyday. Big Head God follows the agreement and never touches caravans with a Golden Roc flag, but look at what is happening now. His own daughter is being bullied by someone surnamed Meng. Since they’re not part of Golden Roc Castle, people from the Meng family can’t see the might of Big Head God. You need to teach them a lesson and let them know the power of Iron Mountain …”
“No need to say anything more.” Miss’s voice suddenly grew very harsh as if Servant Huan had said something wrong, but Gu Shenwei knew that his words had already touched her.
“Sinister and ruthless.” Miss added, but her voice was vague and insubstantial, as if those words had automatically ‘jumped out’ from her mouth and didn’t mean anything.
“Exactly the one Miss wants,” Gu Shenwei added. Both of them thought of the comment Xue Niang had made about Servant Huan.
“You’re not allowed to talk about this randomly from now on.”
“Yes, Miss.” Gu Shenwei knew that he should shut up now. The Miss’s comprehension was better than he had expected.
“For that Liu Xuan, I don’t know how to kill him.”
“I’ve already thought of a way.” Gu Shenwei was waiting for this. He then explained the whole plan he and Lotus had created.
“Sinister and ruthless,” Miss repeated, her tone having no meaning of looking down upon Servant Huan. Instead she appeared to be enlightened, “Wait for the news.”
Before Gu Shenwei left, he asked the Miss to tell eighth young lord that he had pledged to be loyal to her. Afterall although Shangguan Nu would find out sooner or later, it was better to say it out by himself.
Gu Shenwei returned to East Castle, secretly feeling grateful towards teacher Zhang Ji. It was during the month of study at the library chamber that he learned about many new principles. Sabres and killers could only kill people one by one, but money and strategists could kill people in droves.
Both Gu Shenwei and Lotus felt worried as they waited for the news. They didn’t trust the Miss because she might ruin the plan if she lost her temper again.
The matter that Lotus was slipping out of East Castle at night to meet a killer was gradually heard by others. Because of this, she lost many friends and received many judging looks. Gu Shenwei was partially relieved because no one believed anymore that he had an affair with Lotus, but his status as a ‘leader’ was once again in jeopardy.
Gu Shenwei had been anxiously waiting for too long, so he acted immediately at dusk when the news finally came. He first kidnapped the puzzled Servant Zi, cut off ten of his fingers, and interrogated all the information out of him, making sure that he had accidentally discovered and told only Liu Xuan about the information of them grinding the narrow sabre.
Gu Shenwei then killed Servant Zi and discarded the corpse. He assassinated another three Yi Si disciples who were close with Servant Zi on the same night.
Meanwhile, a group of Jia Chen disciples were instigated and launched the last large-scale action of this year’s slaughter. They killed over a dozen of disciples and covered Servant Huan’s assassinations.
Since there had been no powerful figures appearing amongst the Yi Si disciples, Golden Roc Castle took this chance and stopped the meaningless slaughter. More than half of the Yi Si disciples were sent out of the castle to be mercenaries, spies, and servants in various cities of countries in the Western Regions.
After the generation of most outstanding Jia Chen disciples, Yi Si disciples were considered to be the weakest generation.
The news that Liu Xuan was flogged to death spread across the castle several days later. Except for the insiders, nobody thought that it was related with two teenage disciples.
Rumours said that Liu Xuan was driven by passion and intended to rape the eighth mistress’s maidservant. After being caught by the eighth mistress, he surprisingly took off his clothes, tore off her veil and almost humiliated the mistress. With the help of those maidservants’ desperate resistance, the eighth young mistress’s innocence was finally kept.
The eighth young lord returned home as soon as he heard the news, and immediately ordered someone to flog Liu Xuan to death. The flogging started from the toe, Liu Xuan was beaten three hundred times in total. His skull was finally broken when his lower body was smashed.
It was heard that before the flogging, the eighth young mistress had already followed the rule of the Iron Mountain and had dug out Liu Xuan’s eyes and cut off his tongue.
Thus, there was no confession from Liu Xuan in this case. But it was unimportant because the maidservant who almost got raped, the eighth young mistress, the maidservants who helped save their lord, as well as the first wave of guarding killers who came after hearing the shout, all verified that Liu Xuan was naked at that time, making his evil intentions obvious.
The eighth young mistress’s reputation was damaged even further, but she finally gained back some reputation after she tried to commit suicide for several days. She also took this chance to claim that she was too frightened and would not go to the inner chamber to show her respects from now on. Shangguan Nu felt both ashamed and angry, so he arranged for two female killers to guard the backyard and forbade male killers from stepping into the backyard anymore.
That maidservant almost being raped was arranged by Lotus, who was also one of the ten virgin girls brought by the Miss as the dowry. She seduced Liu Xuan into the room and yelled after he took off his pants. In the eighth young lord’s courtyard, she and the mistress were the only insiders.
The Miss’s performance was unexpectedly good. Gu Shenwei began to seriously consider helping her defeat Madam Meng. If she was successful, it was not only a victory of Luo Ningcha’s, but also very helpful in cutting off one of the important sources of income of Golden Roc Castle.
On the third day after Liu Xuan was flogged to death and the second day after the end of the slaughter, Servant Huan and Lotus were anxiously summoned by the eighth young lord.
The meeting place was at the front yard of the great hall.
The eighth young lord seemed to be completely exhausted. He was the lord of killers, but his backyard was always on fire and he was always caught up with family chores. He didn’t expect that the two teenagers who were behaving respectfully in front of him were the masterminds that had caused Liu Xuan’s death. There was another reason why he had summoned the two.
“She only trusts those who came with her.”
This ‘she’ meant the eighth mistress. Shangguan Nu’s tone was filled with exasperation, his sunken eyes flickering with suppressed sparks. If his wife was not the daughter of Big Head God, if she didn’t possess an appearance like she had, he would really want to kill her to get rid of the disaster forever.
“You two will now work as guards in turn, changing shift every ten days. You can ask for a leave when having a monthly test.”
This wasn’t part of the plan Gu Shenwei had told the Miss, but the two still agreed right away, and thanked the lord and mistress for their favour.
Shangguan Nu paid more attention to Servant Huan. He didn’t trust any men now, not even a sixteen years old teenager. Besides, Servant Huan had grown tall and handsome now without even a trace of the childishness of a teenager.
“You made an oath to the mistress.”
“Yes, please forgive me, my lord. This little servant was greatly favoured at the Iron Mountain and swore to Big Head God that this little servant would protect Miss.”
Shangguan Nu clearly didn’t know the information of those servants at the Iron Mountain so he temporarily suppressed his suspicion. Although his wife had caused countless troubles, it was impossible for her to seduce a man on her own initiative.
“Behave yourselves; you two have a good future,”
At first, those two teenagers thought that this was just the eighth young lord’s banal remarks, but when the hot summer came, they finally knew that Shangguan Nu had meant something. Jia Chen disciples were destined to be a group of uncommon killers, and Golden Roc Castle had already arranged a different destiny for them.
Shangguan Nu kept Servant Huan alone, implying that he had to report all the suspicious behaviours in the backyard when working as a guard, “No matter who you had or will pledge to, you have to remember that your real lord is me.”
As he crouched on the ground, Gu Shenwei almost wailed and whined. He showed his loyalty to Shangguan Nu again, repeating that he had already learnt everything from his Master. If his lord didn’t secretly support him, he would have lost his life for many times. Now his whole life belonged to his lord. He would only be used by others when it didn’t affect his lord’s benefits and even so he would let the lord know about it.
This was an act with a high difficulty. Gu Shenwei had to ‘dress up’ his real emotions and ‘paste them with rouge’ to the extent that even he himself couldn’t recognize them. Only through this way could he emotionally blurt out those words against his own will. He should be grateful for those days he stayed with Servant Yao.
Shangguan Nu behaved like a king and accepted his subordinate’s pledge of being loyal for the second time: cold but frank, honourable but amiable. This was part of the education he had received since he was little, and he had also imitated it from his father and brothers and strengthened it.
After this matter, he believed that he was already tightly gripping this teenager in his hands. Although there were many killers at Golden Roc Castle, only a few of them were worthy of attention. Servant Huan was one of them.
Gu Shenwei had taken a large step on his road towards revenge, but what he needed most now was time. However, his time left to live by Xue Niang was becoming less and less.
When it was Gu Shenwei’s turn to be the guard at the back yard, he also had to play the role of ‘plot teacher’.
Shangguan Nu asked someone to specially modify one room. A wooden wall with a lattice was placed in the center of the room, and a gateway on the other side of the wall was connected to the side rooms. In this way, the outsiders could be separated from the Miss to avoid rumours and gossips.
Gu Shenwei transferred all of the knowledge he had learnt from Tie Hanfeng and Zhang Ji to the Miss without reservation, and also helped her to analyse the disputes between women in the inner chamber.
“Miss needs an alliance. Observe those who are scolded and hated by Madam Meng, especially the ones whose identities don’t match their statuses. They must have bottled up a lot of resentment inside but don’t dare to show it outside. Also pay attention to those who have already gained lots of favour. In order to be favoured, they must have paid a big price. If they don’t receive an appropriate payment, they can also become seeds of betrayal. But do not act rashly, just observe. Miss will have the capital to draw allies only after Big Head God makes a move.”
The Miss told him many things about the inner chamber. So much so that Gu Shenwei felt dizzy just by listening to it. He didn’t expect that the fighting between women of the inner chamber was so complicated. It wasn’t any easier to understand than the jianghu at southern Jade City.
The lord and servant obviously couldn’t always have private talks, and Luo Ningcha’s most trusted maidservants were usually nearby. They were responsible for making up some reasonable lies to report to the eighth young lord. Gu Shenwei himself also had to report to the lord, the contents of which were exactly the same as the maidservants’.
Shangguan Nu never suspected a thing as he believed in his wife’s loyalty. The requirements he had for reporting the details was just a test of his subordinate’s instinct in collecting information as a killer.
Fortunately, Gu Shenwei only worked for ten days as a guard, and Lotus for twenty days. At the end of the month, both of them were out of the Miss’s control. They joined a new organization and gained the title of ‘brown-belted killer’.
Gu Shenwei secretly instigated Miss and plotted the confrontations between the Iron Mountain and Meng family, but he didn’t expect that he himself had a contradiction with the Meng family before Miss passed those plans to to Big Head God.