Chapter 170 Last Words
Lotus used many of the assassination techniques she learned at the Carving Wood Yard (Diao Mu Yuan), all of which were things Gu Shenwei had missed and could never again have the opportunity to learn.
The Carving Wood Yard not only imparted martial arts skills, but also had over a dozen courses in special techniques such as disguise, tracking, interrogation, ventriloquism, and more. The disciples could choose to take a few of them depending on their interests and abilities. No one could master all of them, but neither was anyone stupid enough to study none of them.
Lotus didn’t use the disguise techniques, and had only put on heavy make-up. Even so, no one could recognize her. Gu Shenwei couldn’t even believe his eyes when he saw the red-robed Lotus for the first time.
What had changed was not only her appearance but also her temperament. Lotus seemed like a different person from inside to outside. With seductive and fascinating eyes, her demeanour was as tender and soft as water, not like a killer at all.
Perhaps this was also one of the special tricks taught at the Carving Wood Yard. Gu Shenwei had to admit that this trick was very useful. Who would have thought such a beautiful woman had a murderous sword hidden under her robe?
The inconsiderate big man Song Laosan had nearly ruined the whole assassination plan, but it also made Lotus an even more authentic prostitute.
As soon as she entered the small room upstairs, Lotus had produced a dagger from her sleeve and killed Song Laosan. Then she made all of the sounds herself.
There was something in the Sabre God Huang Shian’s eyes that convinced Lotus that this man would come to the rescue for sure, something called chivalry, or dignity, or pure masculine power. It was whatever compelled the male beasts to fight to win over the females.
Lotus had played a one-man show, waiting for the prey to take the bait. If the ‘hero’ who came upstairs was not Huang Shian but another person, she could only kill another innocent person and then retreat quickly.
It was the longest quarter of an hour Lotus had ever spent. Like Servant Huan, she was a killer who had just begun to develop her talent. They knew they had great power, but they didn’t know how much better they were than their rivals. They still had to consolidate their confidence with multiple successes.
The Sabre God Huang Shian went upstairs, pushed open the door, and found that there was no light in the room. He couldn’t help but be stunned.
“Close the door,” the woman on the opposite side ordered softly.
Huang Shian closed the door, but also drew his sabre. He was a top sabreman who could sense the danger, but he was also an arrogant sabreman who was not afraid of killers, especially female killers.
“I hope you’ll still have the energy to do something else after.”
Those were Huang Shian’s last words. In the darkness, a tidal wave-like murderous killing aura burst out, suffocating him and turning his hands and feet weak.
But the Sabre God still made a move, and he cut down on the avalanche-like killing aura pressing on him, trying to make a hole for himself to breathe.
Then he no longer needed to breathe.
He felt a slight pain in his chest like an acupuncture needle, and then nothing. He knew he was going to die soon, and suddenly two thoughts flashed in his mind; I don’t even know who this woman is; I won’t have to pay the debt anymore.
Lotus was only a little faster than the Sabre God Huang Shian. When her sword struck the target, Huang Shian’s sabre was only about an inch away from her before it suddenly lost its strength at the last moment and fell at an oblique angle close to her arm.
Lotus had not made full use of her assassination tactics as she needed the Sabre God to be in his best state, so she could improve her swordsmanship through the killing.
Lotus wore her red robe inside out and turned into a mysterious black-robed and hooded figure. She cut off the head, walked out of the room, went slowly downstairs, and quietly left the house while no one was looking downstairs.
She was dressed in a style common to Southern Jade City, which didn’t arouse anyone’s suspicion. It took a long while before a few drops of blood on the ground was discovered later.
The red-robed female killer quickly rose to fame, but the glory didn’t fall to Lotus because very few people knew of her existence in Jade City. The female killers everyone knew so far were the two female ‘gongzis’ of the Shangguan family.
Shangguan Yushi was the first to be thought as that gorgeous female killer. But since she was obviously much taller, many people began to speculate about Shangguan Ru.
Shangguan Ru didn’t mind at all and even felt that it was interesting. Yu Gongzi, however, was a bit unhappy, “Would I be disguised as that kind of woman? I …”
This was all she could say. She could no longer express her displeasure, for all the means used by Lotus had been imparted by Golden Roc Castle. Seeking unscrupulous means was actually one of the Golden Roc killer’s commandments. How could one become a good killer if one was too concerned about things like status and appearance?
The female gongzi of the Shangguan family had unconsciously shown that she was not a genuine killer.
Many people felt that a storm was coming, but the expected fight for hegemony between the Kun and Qiu Society didn’t immediately take place.
The Qiu Society regretted designating the Sabre God as their unique treasure, but they had no choice but to swallow the bitter fruit of their own labour. Although Huang Shian seldom took part in battles, he was still the psychological core of all the sabremen in the Qiu Society. His death left many appalled, and they no longer dared to go out in parties smaller than five.
Ye Silang refused to fight in the name of the Qiu Society. Followed by a crowd looking to watch something fun, he went to the Kun Society several times alone with his sword, but was told each time that the killer Yang Huan was not there.
The Qiu Society was making great efforts to find the whereabouts of Servant Huan. They used all kinds of means such as investigations and bribes. Many people who had some relationship with Servant Huan made a small fortune and were threatened at the same time. All the action only proved one fact, that Servant Huan was indeed not at the Kun Society and also not in Northern Jade City.
In order to avoid the fight, Gu Shenwei and Lotus were hiding outside of the Kun Society. Shopkeeper Mi, the shield of the rice and flour trade, had rented a small house at the periphery of the city in another’s name. The two had been hiding there while planning their next move.
Gu Shenwei had made up his mind that no matter what others might think about him, he would act in secret and never accept the open challenge. There was no glory in a duel with Ye Silang at all. That man was just doing business by removing a thorn in Meng Fifth Gongzi’s flesh.
Yang Huan, the killer whose reputation had been reduced to nothing, was now a wretched coward who lived by hiding in dark corners.
Gu Shenwei didn’t explain his motives to anyone, and he didn’t even go to Northern Jade City to greet Tenth Gongzi. What he did was discuss swordsmanship with Lotus every day and take turns watching Ye Silang’s living place at night.
Gu Shenwei speculated that there must be a hidden protector behind Ye Silang, and his speculation was verified after several days of continuous observation.
“His lightness skill is very good.” Lotus found a trace of Chu Yangjun first and only had a short comment about him.
“You’ll lose if you compete in swordsmanship, but you’ll win if you compete in killing.” Gu Shenwei muttered these words in a low voice, becoming interested in the unknown Immortal Peng whom he had never met before.
The swordsman is always too proud. The fact that Ye Silang let Chu Yangjun protect him is already the biggest concession he has made with regards to his own safety. If the assassin doesn’t show up, Chu Yangjun will not show up either. The two disdained playing tricks, so they will never work with the Qiu Society to set up a trap by using Ye Silang.
Gu Shenwei felt that he and Lotus had already won.
All of Southern Jade City was feeling the strain caused by the fight between the Kun and Qiu Society that had yet to take place. Every night, there was someone in almost every tavern who predicted with certainty that the war would break out that night.
Amongst these taverns, there was one small and dirty tavern which was about half a street away from Ye Silang’s living place. It was huddled between a crowd of grand brothels and gambling houses; it was completely unremarkable. There were not many guests, especially during the day. In recent days, however, there was a frequent guest.
The returning guest showed up every morning. The tavern keeper would personally bring him a pot of homemade rice wine, a plate of marinated peanuts, and a plate of cooked beef. The style never changed and the guest would spend lots of time eating the few dishes. Then he would take a nap in the inner room of the tavern, which was very clean and had nothing except a bed. He usually left in the evening, stayed out all night, and occasionally disappeared for some time during the day.
The guest was draped in a black robe and even at meals, his face was hidden in the hood. He never talked to anyone. The tavern keeper also never made any attempt to accost the guest except to serve the drinks and dishes.
This guest was Chu Yangjun, who guarded Ye Silang every night. When Ye Silang went out during the day, he would mingle with the crowd and follow behind, observing the traces and never letting an assassin succeed again.
It never occurred to him that he was actually the target of the assassination.
On the evening of the fifth day of the second lunar month, the streets were crowded, and Southern Jade City stretched itself out like a living beast, issuing a continuous roar. As usual, Chu Yangjun walked over to Ye Silang’s house to perform his duty, which he had gladly and even happily undertaken.
Everyone had a face that could change into another at any time. Apathy could turn into passion, joy anger, and love hatred. And all of a sudden, one of the faces could become a killer’s face.
The steel dart was shot out from a distance of several people. It tore a man’s clothes and flew past a woman’s raised arm. Neither of them noticed and walked on.
Chu Yangjun slightly tilted his body. The steel dart hit the sword scabbard below the cloak.
He saw the assassin, someone who was also in black cloak and revealed a piece of bright red dress at the moment of throwing the dart. It was a woman.
Chu Yangjun deftly squeezed his way through the crowd and followed the woman in red from ten steps away. He would not readily concede defeat if anyone wanted to compete in lightness skills with him.
The woman in red dodged with all means but couldn’t shake off the tail behind her, so she made a series of twists and turns and entered a deserted alley.
This perfectly met Chu Yangjun’s desires. He quickened his speed and planned to capture the assassin alive within twenty steps.
The woman in red seemed to flee to any path she could without heeding which she chose and ended up walked into a dead end alley. When she saw that she had no more places to hide, she jumped onto the roof, ready to continue her escape. Chu Yangjun jumped at the same time, but what awaited him was a sword thrust from hell.
He was only three feet above from the ground, but Chu Yangjun knew that he had been trapped. He leaped up three feet more while drawing out his sword, calm and undaunted. When he was halfway over the roof, he had already stabbed at the target. It would be a great mistake for anyone to think that Chu Yangjun could not draw his sword at any moment.
The long sword hit the enemy. The tremor of the target’s muscles coming from the tip of his sword was like the last withered leaf in the late autumn falling on the surface of a still lake, causing invisible waves that could ripple all the way to the other side.
A swordsman would not let his sword stay in the enemy’s body. Pulling back the sword was as important as stabbing it out.
Chu Yangjun suddenly felt sour in his heart, as if his favourite red flower was wilting away, bringing him a moment of loss and sorrow. Without pulling back his long sword, he let go of the hilt, and fell, falling into the dirty snow of Southern Jade City, one of the things he despised the most.
When he looked up, the killer in black stood on the roof and also looked down with the long sword swaying on his chest. Chu Yangjun recognized the killer’s identity and revealed a trace of a smile, his feminine and demure face showing no traces of resentment at all.
“Tell Silang to bury me under the peach tree.”
Gu Shenwei only heard the last words of the swordsman and did not see his smile or face.