Editor: Xu Xian
Chapter 106 Private Talk
Because of the Jia Chen disciples’ outstanding performance, Golden Roc Castle couldn’t bear for them to kill each other in the monthly tests anymore. Therefore, fifty teenagers were carefully selected to form a ‘small flag battalion’ that was located in the Southern three courtyards of wooden sabre alley. Tie Hanfeng was one of five experienced killer Masters managing the battalion.
The teenagers in the small flag battalion were neither disciples nor formal killers, they were called ‘brown-belted killer’. They could wear a brown belt and black clothes embroidered with a golden roc. Most importantly, they would receive a salary of one hundred silver liangs each month with an extra bonus when they carried out tasks.
They still needed to be tested, only those who passed could formally acquire the title of killer.
The teenagers who were selected were very excited, but their excitement soon disappeared. As brown-belted killers, their tasks weren’t challenging at all for the first few days. It was nothing but errands, like sending letters and sentry duty, which was even more boring than staying at Lian Huo Yuan.
The first relatively important task for the small flag battalion was to serve as perimeter guards at a flower viewing party.
The Meng family had a garden called Bodhi Garden in Northern Jade City. In it was a pond where four-coloured lotuses grew. These were the only four-coloured lotuses in existence within a thousand mile radius, so were very famous. When the lotuses blossomed, they showed the four colours green, blue, yellow, and white at the same time.
The lotuses this year were particularly good, so the Meng family invited many friends and relatives to view them. Madam Meng rarely returned to her parents’ home, so naturally the entourage was not small. But she didn’t like being near those killers with heavy killing auras, so she designated those fifty brown-belted killers from the small flag battalion to be her guards. From her point of view, the killing aura of kids should be weaker.
This task wasn’t difficult for them, the teenagers were even only armed with wooden sabres. Their only benefit was that they could enter the city and might have a chance to see some rare lotuses.
The flower viewing party lasted several days. All the distinguished families prepared a feast, feeling honoured that Golden Roc Castle’s hostess had arrived. Under the instruction of killer Masters, the teenagers checked the surrounding environment and blocked some freeloaders. When they had nothing else to do, they would hide behind a tree or rock to act as hidden guards.
Gu Shenwei didn’t have a chance to see the four-coloured lotuses. His responsibility was to carefully patrol an assigned area until someone took over his shift. Then he would return to a small dark room and stay with a group of reticent teenagers who hated each other. Occasionally, he would whisper to those he knew.
The shadow of the slaughter hadn’t completely disappeared, the discord sowed by Golden Roc Castle had already rooted and sprouted, only the sharp narrow sabre could suppress it.
On the seventh day of the flower viewing party, Madam Meng returned the favour by treating her parents’ relatives and some distinguished families at the famous Bodhi Garden. She would return to the castle the next day.
Not only was Gu Shenwei unable to see the lotuses, he was also unable to see any people. He was responsible for guarding a rockery located at the outskirts of the garden. There were many other types of flowers blossoming on the rockery. He hid amongst the rocks, standing guard against an enemy that would never come.
This was Northern Jade City, one of the safest places under heaven.
And yet, there was a small incident that day.
Two teenage girls had escaped from the endlessly long party to wander around. They strolled along rockery and sat on a stone bench to rest. The bench was less than one zhang’s distance from the teenage guard hiding in the flowering shrubs.
Gu Shenwei already knew that Tenth Gongzi Shangguan Ru had followed her mother down the mountain to appreciate the lotuses, but he didn’t expect that she would be nearby him.
He was a brown-belted killer, so he held his breath and stayed motionless so he wouldn’t disturb the lords. In fact, he should’ve quietly retreated and patrolled somewhere a bit further away. Surprisingly, he didn’t move away, inappropriately became involved in the conflict between the lords and made himself an enemy.
Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi seemed to have drunk a lot. They chuckled, completely unaware of someone hiding in the flowering shrubs behind them.
The two’s voices were light and soft, they sounded no different from ordinary teenage girls’ voices and were nothing like the voices of Tenth Gongzi and Yu Gongzi Gu Shenwei remembered. He was even slightly curious if they were still wearing men’s attire or not.
The two didn’t have a fixed topic, they chattered casually about things, from the bushes and flowers along the way, to daily, trivial matters of the castle. Slowly they talked about something private and their voices became lower and lower. Gu Shenwei suddenly realized that he was in an awkward situation and it was very improper of him to continue listening, it would be very hard to explain himself once he was found out.
“Yu Gongzi, that kid surnamed Meng kept peeping at you.”
“Hum, I was sitting next to you, obviously he was looking at you.”
The two teenage girls laughed merrily together, as if they had tickled each other. “I hate that kid, Yu Gongzi, could you please ignore him too?”
“I will definitely stay away from him, he’s so old but still fawns over his grandma like a child, it’s disgusting.”
“Hee hee, old grandma treats him like lifeblood, even my mother has to coax him.”
“He hasn’t fallen in my hands. If he dares to grin cheekily at me, I … “
“What will you do?”
“I will use a sheath to hit his butt, let his grandma massage it for him.”
Shangguan Ru couldn’t stop laughing as she said, “You wouldn’t dare, you wouldn’t dare.”
“What’s there to be afraid of, there’s nothing I wouldn’t dare do in this world.”
Gu Shenwei couldn’t help but snort at heart. Shangguan Yushi was boasting. When Mr. Guo blocked the group of ‘great thieves’ in the room, she didn’t dare say one word.
“Yohh, you’re so daring, how can your husband’s family stand you once you get married in the future?”
“I’m not going to get married.”
“I heard that seventh aunt already asked a matchmaker to find a husband for you.”
Gu Shenwei remembered Shangguan Yushi was one year older than him, it would be a good thing if she got married and left the castle.
“Don’t believe such nonsense, I’m not going to marry anybody. Ru Gongzi, do you want me to get married?”
“Ai, it doesn’t depend on me. Mother says every girl will get married after she grows up.”
“No, I know someone will not get married in a lifetime. Just say the word, so long as you do, I’ll stay with you forever. If you marry someone, I’ll accompany you there. If your husband dares to bully you, I’ll hunt him down to the ends of the earth, even his great grandma can’t save him.”
Shangguan Ru laughed more, “I’m so young yet you’re telling me this?”
“It goes by very fast, you’re twelve years old now, you can get married in two years.”
“Hush, don’t talk nonsense. I’m Tenth Gongzi, I’ll have my own yard and be the leader of a group of killers. If someone dares to marry me, I’ll kill his whole family first.”
Shangguan Yushi also laughed, she was very happy, “That’s better. I can be your strategist, I’ll help you command the killers and help you become Unique King.”
The two ‘ambitious’ teenage girls talked about more and more random topics, Shangguan Ru suddenly felt something was missing. “We don’t have wine here, it will be much more interesting to view the flowers while enjoying wine.”
“You still want to drink? You face is already red.”
“There’s a sweet type of wine, it isn’t strong at all.”
“Wait here, I’ll go fetch some.”
“No no, I was just saying. We’d better rest here.”
No one knew what Shangguan Yushi said, Shangguan Ru chuckled and didn’t stop her. Shangguan Yushi quickly walked down the rockery, Shangguan Ru hummed a tuneless song. Her voice became quieter and quieter until, finally, only her slow, soft breathing was left. She had fallen asleep.
Gu Shenwei let out a breath inwardly, he decided it was better to leave right away. If he was found, not only would Yu Gongzi not forgive him, Shangguan Ru would probably be annoyed. He slowly stepped through the flowering shrubs and quietly walked towards the foot of the rockery.
He was a little disappointed that he hadn’t heard the words ‘Servant Huan’ in the girls’ private talk. In fact, with Shangguan Yushi’s continuous efforts, Shangguan Ru must have already forgotten the servant who used to play with her.
Before he reached the foot of the rockery, Gu Shenwei saw a group of teenagers walking towards it. Heading the group was an esteemed gongzi about seventeen or eighteen years old.
“They walked over here, I saw them.”
“Over there, over there. One or two people are lying on the bench.”
The rockery was very short, the teenagers could see Shangguan Ru through the gaps between flowering shrubs.
“It’s Tenth Gongzi, look at the colour of her clothes. She wears black, the other wears blue.”
“Right right, people of the castle all like wearing black and only those with high statuses are qualified to wear it,” the teenagers whispered.
The esteemed gongzi said in disdain, “What gongzi and lord, she’s obviously a little girl. She dared to laugh at me in front of so many people, look at how I’ll teach her a lesson.”
“My lord, we just said it for fun, don’t go bother her, people of the castle kill without batting an eye.”
“Others are afraid of her, am I afraid of her? Go away, you coward, don’t follow me from now on.”
The ‘coward’ shamefacedly retreated, the other teenagers catered to the lord’s whims, but no one dared to follow him up the rockery. In the end, one teenager suggested, “Little ancestor, you don’t have to do anything serious, we’ll all be convinced if can kiss her once. This way, you can show everyone who the real ‘gongzi’ is.”
The teenager they called ‘my lord’ and ‘little ancestor’ stretched his body before throwing back the words ‘watch and learn’ and walked up the rockery.
Gu Shenwei quietly went back to his original position. He thought that he wouldn’t have to make a move since Yu Gongzi would be back soon and Shangguan Ru would wake up after hearing the footsteps. That esteemed gongzi was obviously a young lord of the Meng family so was probably a relative, like a cousin, of Shangguan Ru, so it was even more unnecessary for a brown-belted killer to meddle in the matter.
He thought this way, but the matter didn’t happen like this.
The esteemed gongzi had some martial arts roots, he walked with light steps. Shangguan Ru slept soundly after drinking a lot so, surprisingly, hadn’t woken up. Shangguan Yushi was slow and didn’t show up for a long time.
Gu Shenwei gripped the wooden sabre. He had a hundred excuses for not meddling in this matter. There wasn’t life-threatening for relatives to play a little joke on each other, he would only cause trouble if he rashly showed up.
There’s already too much trouble, he thought, but his feet moved on their own. He walked out of the flowering shrubs and stood behind Shangguan Ru, his wooden sabre ready to attack.
The esteemed gongzi opposite him stood in front of the stone bench, his body was already half bent before he suddenly felt a chill. He raised his head and saw a sabre-wielding teenager whose face was as cold as ice. Nobody would doubt the truth of his fierce killing aura.
The esteemed gongzi was frightened. This was the garden of his family, he had no reason to be afraid, but he was still scared stiff. His face paled, beads of sweat formed on his forehead, then merged into a drop and fell to the ground.
Shangguan Ru opened her eyes and saw that twisted and frightened face. Startled, she swung her arm and fiercely punched him.
Meng Fifth Gongzi fell and rolled down the rockery.