Chapter 117 Discussion of the Situation
“The Tenth Gongzi of Golden Roc Castle fought with a thousand bandits.” This was the only statement all people had about the escape process several days later.
One of the killer’s principles was to not seek illusory fame, so they were willing to be the Tenth Gongzi’s silent and unknown murdering tools.
At first, Shangguan Ru was still at pains to explain to others that she was not the main commander, but this only earned her the reputation of ‘modesty’. In the end she had no choice but smile without saying anything, gradually learning to accept the praise. She was the tenth gongzi of the Shangguan family. Leading dozens of sabremen and even more supply servants to march day and night, killing countless enemies with her own hands when they broke through the enemy’s camp, and being drenched in blood when she was rescued all qualified her to receive tons of praise.
She had never known, and would never know, that the cameleer who didn’t seem able to wield a sabre was an expert appointed by her father himself, and was someone who served his duty faithfully and died at the hands of several black-robed women.
Servant Qing came to his senses now. He started making friends in the Iron Mountain bandits’ camp, telling everyone how perfect the young lord was when she ‘assassinated’ him, and how calm and brave when repelling those ‘thousands’ of wandering bandits. He talked with great intensity and vitality, as if he had been following by Tenth Gongzi’s side and killing with her the whole time.
As a result, Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi found themselves extremely popular with the camps. From Big Head God to the ordinary pawns, they all treated those two girls in men’s attire as heroes and top killers. The two enjoyed it immensely and were willing to attend parties from morning to night, exchanging drinks with a group of vulgar men and calling them brothers, thinking that it was really worth the trip.
On the night of slaughtering the wandering bandits to offer sacrifice to the flag, Big Head God held a grand banquet and invited all the survivors including the supply servants to the main tent. They enjoyed countless wines and meats and watched with amazement as Big Head God’s men engaged in drinking wildly and fist fighting after getting drunk.
Those brown-belted killers were accompanied by the main chiefs. Regardless of their gender or their alcohol tolerance, they had to drink one bowl after another. The banquet was just half way through when all four of them fell unconscious. From this, a joke started to circulate that the killers had killed their ability to drink liquor as well!
Those two gongzis, however, were thirsty for wine and accepted everything they were offered. They surprisingly weren’t inferior to the Iron Mountain bandits and were able to earn back some face for Golden Roc Castle. Big Head God praised them ceaselessly and expressed all of his admiration for Unique King in these words. “If I have another daughter, I will definitely let her serve Tenth Gongzi, it would be worthy for her even as a maidservant!”
Before Gu Shenwei was completely intoxicated, he heard Big Head God furiously announce that the wandering bandits in the desert who had dared to harass Tenth Gongzi of Golden Roc Castle while she was escorting the gifts had caused the Iron Mountain to lose face. He would go on a crusade to avenge Shangguan Ru by killing all the ugly and sinister ‘black lizards’ and would even dig up all the sand in the desert if there was even one soldier left!
Encouraged by the Big Head God’s behavior, chiefs of all levels spilled their wine in their hurry to swear, shouting ‘kill the lizard, kill the lizard’. The tumult nearly toppled the top of the tent.
Early the next morning, Gu Shenwei woke up in a daze, disgusted with the feeling of a hangover.
A servant brought breakfast and a letter over.
The letter was written by Fang Wenshi. There were only a few words such as, ‘thanks young hero for saving his life, he had to continue his way, etc.’
Gu Shenwei had almost forgotten about the poor scholar, but he suddenly remembered that he still had a few questions to ask Fang Wenshi. So he left the tent, borrowed a horse, asked the guards at the camp gate where the scholar was going, and rode after him.
Fang Wenshi thought that he finally had a chance to meet Big Head God and that this would be a turning point in his life. It had turned out to be a great disappointment. He didn’t know kung fu, couldn’t drink much alcohol, talked in a roundabout and useless way, and was not a man of Golden Roc Castle. He was totally incompatible with the camp. Not to mention meeting with Big Head God, even the pawns often ridiculed him.
He had also joined that banquet last night. He had a well-prepared rhetoric in his mind that could startle the universe and move the gods, and finally managed to get to the main table. He tried to propose a toast but he stepped on a piece of fat meat and fell on his back. He got a big bump on his head, and made both the host and the guests laugh.
Fang Wenshi felt that he had lost all of his grace and become a lowly crown. To make matters worse, when he got up and before he could speak, one sub-chief pulled him to compete in drinking, and the next morning, he found himself lying in a mass of filth, surrounded by stinking feet.
Fang Wenshi felt sadness welling up from deep inside. For the first time, he doubted what he had studied hard for ten years as useless. Although the world was large and there were numerous heroes, there was no chance for him to show himself anymore. So, he wrote a letter and asked someone to send it to that unknown ‘young hero’. Then he took a bundle and left the camp by himself. He was so depressed that he even wanted to commit suicide right there and then.
When Gu Shenwei caught up on horseback, Fang Wenshi was still possessed by sadness and disappointment. He stood on the road, howling at the prairie, and bursting into tears. He didn’t even hear the hooves behind him.
“Fang Xiansheng, why are you leaving without saying good-bye?” 1
Fang Wenshi was startled. He turned around and saw Gu Shenwei. Thinking that it was really a shame to howl and cry as a grown-up, he wiped away his tears, cupped his fists and said, “Young hero, don’t try to persuade me. The Iron Mountain is full of reckless men and can’t tolerate a strategist like me. No matter what, I won’t go back to see Big Head God.”
“Big Head God doesn’t want to see you, he doesn’t even know who you are.”
Fang Wenshi let out a long sigh and felt that he had no strength to even walk.
Looking at this scholar who seemed to have lost his soul, Gu Shenwei could not help but wonder if his judgement was wrong. Killing him with a single blow seemed to be good for both sides. “Fang Xiansheng, I have a few small gifts for you, please kindly accept them as travelling expenses.”
Gu Shenwei took out a small packet of gold, silver, and jewellery, which was a gift awarded by Big Head God.
Fang Wenshi was greatly surprised. For the first time since he met him, he carefully looked at the teenager in front of him. He had seen countless unknown or famous figures in recent years, but no one had ever been interested in his way of thinking, “You… think I’m talented?”
“Well, since we’ve been through danger together…”
‘Hah!’ Fang Wenshi snatched the bundle, looked up at the sky and laughed, “Father, mother, what your child learned is not useless, this is the first payback!”
Fang Wenshi was crying and laughing while jumping. Gu Shenwei waited for him to calm down, then said, “The reason I ran after Xiansheng is that, first I wanted to send some travelling expenses and second, I have some questions to ask.”
Fang Fangshi put away the bundle and dressed up his collar, “Go ahead, I’ll tell what I know without reserve.”
“Xiansheng once said, ‘Thirty years ago, Golden Roc Castle rose. ‘ What does that mean?”
Fang Wenshi didn’t expect the teenager was interested in this question, he looked Gu Shenwei up and down again, “You are a killer disciple of Golden Roc Castle?”
Gu Shenwei nodded.
“No wonder. When you were born, Golden Roc Castle had already been dominant in the Western Regions, claiming that it had seven generations of Unique Kings and had lasted for over a hundred years. In actuality, it was only one of many killer gangs thirty years ago. The first and second generation of Unique Kings were conferred on by later generations. The third, fourth and fifth generation of Unique Kings did exist, but were only jianghu titles. It was the sixth generation of Unique King who took advantage of the chaos and provided his killers with the opportunity to participate in various countries’ disputes while exterminating the other killer gangs. In five or six years’ time, Golden Roc Castle rose up to prominence and became one of the most important forces after the Western Regions settled down.”
“Rose up in five or six years?”
“The times make the hero, and without the chaotic situation of different forces contending for supremacy in the Western Regions at that time, the Golden Roc Castle might still be a small gang right now. By the way, Golden Roc Castle was not always called Golden Roc Castle; it used to be called Golden Roc Hall. Although the castle is indeed hundreds of years old, it was also only thirty years ago that it became a property of the Shangguan family. “
Even Zhang Ji had not mentioned this history to Gu Shenwei. Although Zhang Ji was familiar with the history of the castle and had some misgivings about the present, he remained loyal to Golden Roc Castle, perhaps more loyal than most people. So he did not want to mention Golden Roc Castle’s humble past. In his heart, Golden Roc Castle was the king of killers from the moment of its birth.
And the materials Gu Shenwei had read would obviously not record this kind of thing.
Gu Shenwei sat down by Fang Wenshi’s side. One listened while another spoke. Fang Wenshi poured out all the words that he had prepared in the past several days, so it was worthy of the ‘gift money’ he received.
Fang Wenshi pointed out the current situation and analysed the forces of the Western Regions one by one. In the end he mentioned the Iron Mountain bandits’ gang, “Other people all regard Big Head God as a bloodthirsty person, but I think that this person is quite thoughtful. Look at the Western Regions over the years. Besides the Iron Mountain, have there been any big gangs more than one thousand strong? All the other gangs have been eliminated, but the power of Big Head God is getting stronger and stronger, to the point that even some small countries do not dare provoke him. Do you think he is foolhardy?”
Not long ago, Fang Wenshi also said that the Iron Mountain was full of reckless men. Gu Shenwei shook his head with an expression of disapproval.
Fang Wenshi saw the other party did not seem to believe his words, so he felt a bit anxious, “Hey, I said Big Head God is a wise man, so you’d better believe it. Take the matter now as an example. The people of Golden Roc Castle were robbed. Although the gifts were given to him, it was unnecessary for him to made such a huge occasion from it. Under the pretext of revenge, the bandits now set up camp at the mountain pass. The Iron Mountain had an agreement with the Western Regions that it wouldn’t be stationed anywhere for more than six months. Now, the Big Head God is occupying the land and can claim to fight the people in the desert. He can fight for a day or a year, and I’m afraid that no one will ever be able to get rid of him again. Golden Roc Castle, nine times out of ten, even has to support Big Head God and help him lubricate relationships with the other forces. “
Upon hearing this, Gu Shenwei suddenly understood and was unknowingly covered in cold sweat. He thought that he was clever enough to use Miss Luo Ningcha to persuade and make use of Big Head God, but now he understood that all fierce and powerful people who survived and grew in the Western Regions, a land full of complicated forces, were not easy to deal with.”
The profit driven alliance could only be moved by profit; the feelings between a father and daughter would not confuse people like Big Head God.
As the sun was setting, the two cupped their fists and said farewell. Fang Wenshi decided to go back to his hometown, though he left his address to the ‘young hero’. “In a few years’ time, if you’ll have more than five thousands men under your command, you can find me and I’ll advise you.”
Gu Shenwei also gave his horse to Fang Wenshi, not knowing if he would have a chance to use this strategist.
“By the way, I haven’t learned of your name, young hero.” Fang Wenshi already walked a few steps before he suddenly turned around to ask.
Fang Wenshi nodded and repeated it several times. He patted the horse and left. He forgot the name in less than three days.
Gu Shenwei returned to the camp on foot, thinking of all the forces related to Golden Roc Castle and wondering if he might be able to use it one day.
As soon as he entered the camp, a sub-chief came and asked him to meet Big Head God.
- Wikipedia: Xian Sheng or Sensei is a honorific term shared in Chinese honorific and Japanese honorific that is literally translated as “person born before another” or “one who comes before”. It is also used as a title to refer to or address other professionals or persons of authority, such as clergy, accountants, lawyers, physicians, and politicians. Or one can use it to show respect to someone who has achieved a certain level of mastery in an art form or some other skill, e.g., accomplished novelists, musicians, artists and martial artists. For example, Guo Xiansheng (Mr. Guo). ↩