Chapter 194 Deal
The dwarf’s death was still vivid in his mind, so Gu Shenwei was not frightened by Ugly Face’s mysterious words. And he didn’t feel like he was still influenced by Immortal Peng. “Let him come to the window.”
Gu Shenwei wasn’t that silly to walk right into a trap.
No one answered on the third floor. The disciples drinking on the first floor, however, came out and looked up at the two killers on the high wall, some carrying weapons in their hands.
Gu Shenwei didn’t want to be outnumbered. He exchanged a glance with Lotus, and both of them readied themselves to flee into the peach grove.
Another face showed up on the third floor, which was that white-robed old man with long beard, who had insisted on avenging Immortal Peng. “Retreat.”
He was ordering his own men to leave. The disciples obediently went back to the teahouse. Before long, a hunchbacked disciple with a pockmarked face walked out. He was holding a lacquer tray with tea on it, and he jumped onto the wall, about ten steps away from the killer. None of the tea splashed out. Then he turned to face towards the Essence Pavilion and held the tray high with both hands before he knelt down.
The white-robed old man leapt out of the window on the third floor and landed next to the hunchbacked man. His lightness skills were very good. What surprised Gu Shenwei was that his speed was very slow, as if he was ‘floating’ rather than ‘jumping’, his body seemingly weightless.
“Please have some tea.”
Gu Shenwei shook his head and refused. He was fully alert and still thought about running away. He had come to negotiate but had prepared for the worst.
The old man pretended to not have seen the killer’s movement, and he raised his hand and flicked a teacup. The teacup flew out, made an arc around Gu Shenwei, and went to Lotus.
Lotus reached out and caught it, her body swaying a bit.
The old man flicked the second teacup, which flew straight at Gu Shenwei.
Gu Shenwei also caught it with his hand. His body didn’t move, but his heart thumped. The old man’s internal energy was very powerful, and he would be a formidable opponent.
“It’s good tea, made from the snow water of the Heavenly Mountain. There isn’t much left, please.”
“I’m not here to drink tea.” Gu Shenwei didn’t know how to flick away the teacup, so he released it directly to let it fall. When it was several inches from the wall, he gently raised the tip of his foot, caught it, and put it on top of the wall. The tea in the cup didn’t shake.
“You really are a tea master.” The white-robed man smiled and took a sip of the tea.
“You know why I came.”
“I was waiting for you.”
The white-robed man once had the intent to kill, but now he seemed to have thought it through.
“Let’s get to the point. I don’t want anyone to suspect that I’ve taken any ‘treasure’ from Immortal Peng.” Gu Shenwei never believed in coincidence in his personal affairs; there was always an initiator behind every rumour, and the Essence Pavilion was not innocent regarding this matter.
“I don’t want anyone to say that the immortal was killed; the immortal never died,” The old man put forth his demand with tit for tat.
In order to stop a rumour, one must tell another lie. Gu Shenwei couldn’t help but snort. “So, you’ve made another Immortal Peng?”
“No. The immortal transmigrated, abandoned his old body, and entered a new body.”
“So, you’re the new Immortal Peng.”
“There’s no new or old; I am Immortal Peng.”
The white-robed old man appeared very calm as he spoke the words, and Gu Shenwei even admired him a bit now. This was the patrol commandant Zhong Heng’s so-called ‘solving the problem’. “So, I was just a little nobody, temporarily borrowed by Immortal Peng — that is you — to complete the transmigration?”
“So, ‘your’ treasure couldn’t have been taken away by me?”
It seemed that this was a good deal for both sides. Gu Shenwei smiled. “The immortal’s foresight is remarkable, I’m inferior compared to you.”
“Your Excellency’s swordsmanship is fantastic, the immortal is also inferior compared to you.”
“The Essence Pavilion is still the Essence Pavilion.”
The new Immortal Peng nodded. “Tomorrow at noon the immortal’s body will ascend to heaven. Be sure to come to witness it, your Excellency.”
The white-robed Immortal Peng didn’t do anything. The hunchbacked man stood up, walked to Gu Shenwei and picked up the teacup before his body swayed and circumvented the killer and came to Lotus.
Lotus didn’t show off her kung fu, and she honestly put the teacup on the tray.
The white-robed Immortal Peng ‘floated’ back to the third floor. This time Gu Shenwei clearly saw that the immortal was holding a long, nearly transparent rope.
“See you tomorrow.”
Since there was no danger of being killed now, Gu Shenwei didn’t want to leave so soon. “I want to meet Tang Ji.”
Tang Ji was the head of the teahouse on the first floor. With his very poor kung fu skills, he could only work as the head of the servants in the Essence Pavilion. As a fortune-teller, the white-robed Immortal Peng obviously hadn’t ‘thought’ of the killer’s request. He paused a bit without saying anything, then turned around, and disappeared. No long after, Tang Ji walked out from the back door.
Compared to the disciples of the Essence Pavilion, Tang Ji, whose face was covered with make-up powder, seemed to be much sadder about Immortal Peng’s death. There were still tears on his face, and his animosity toward the killer on the wall was even more evident, his eyes staring at the killer with anger and his mouth tightly shut.
“I will ask you one thing.”
“I won’t tell you anything.”
“That isn’t good.” As he spoke, Gu Shenwei jumped off the wall and walked in front of Tang Ji. “I’ve just made a deal with Immortal Peng, and don’t want to attach more terms so quickly.”
Tang Ji got the killer’s meaning. The Essence Pavilion had just changed its lord, and he didn’t want to cause trouble. He thought for a while before saying stiffly, “Just ask, I may not know.”
“Is there anyone in City View Alley who’s particularly familiar with the ninth young lord?”
“What do you mean?” Tang Ji suddenly changed his expression. “Who do you think I am?”
“A man who’s very familiar with City View Alley.”
“Go ask the ninth young lord yourself.”
“A servant never inquires about his lord’s matters.”
“Heh, are you a servant, too?”
Gu Shenwei didn’t answer. Tang Ji also no longer spoke, and the two looked at each other for a moment.
Lotus also jumped off the wall, her right hand holding the hilt of her narrow sabre. Tang Ji suddenly shivered and his body uncontrollably lowered and leaned towards Gu Shenwei, as if he was trying to seek his protection. “No, there’s no one in City View Alley who’s familiar with the ninth young lord. The ninth young lord doesn’t like people like us.”
Although Tang Ji’s kung fu was very poor, it was enough for him to sense the killing aura. The frightening disposition revealed by that indifferent, pretty teenage girl had scared him. He turned and ran back to the pavilion after he finished talking, grabbed a cup of bitter tea from the table, and poured into his mouth. It took a long while before he was back to his normal state.
Shangguan Fei usually acted cautiously and would not let his scandal leak easily. Gu Shenwei believed that Tang Ji had told the truth.
As the two of them walked through the peach grove, Lotus, who had just threatened Tang Ji with her killing aura said a completely random sentence, “Look, the flowers are falling.”
The pink peach blossoms had covered the ground. Gu Shenwei looked at it blankly. He didn’t notice it when the flowers had bloomed, so naturally he had no feelings when they faded.
He saw a small figure standing in front of two bulging mounds of earth.
Those were Ye Silang and Chu Yangjun’s tombs.
Gu Shenwei was a little surprised. In the past few months, he had practised martial arts with Chu Nanping in the peach grove almost every day, but he had never seen this child interested in his elder brother’s tomb. He usually turned a blind eye to it when they occasionally passed by.
Holding a badly proportioned long sword, Chu Nanping turned his head and looked at the killer with the same blank expression and said, “Someone is trying to kill you.”
A gentle breeze rose and blew away the peach blossoms. Disdainful of seeking assassination techniques, the naive assassins walked out from behind the trees and barricaded the path in front of the two killers.
With a pitted and pockmarked face, outward folded eyelids, and half missing nostrils, two ugly people with almost the exact same appearance showed up with four short swords in their hands.
“Immortal Peng sent you here?” Gu Shenwei and Lotus gripped their sword hilts. The ones in front of them were experts at kung fu and were the right targets for practising their sword techniques.
“He’s not the immortal.”
“The immortal was killed by you.”
“And you took a roll of paper away from the immortal’s robes.”
“We’ll avenge the immortal and take back his treasure.”
The two ugly men took turns talking, but they conveyed their views clearly.
The Essence Pavilion had split into two parts. Some were willing to accept the new Immortal Peng and continue their illusionary life, while others decided to take their fate into their own hands.
There was nothing more to say, all that was left was to kill or be killed.
Chu Nanping walked over, stood between the two rivals, and drew out his long sword, facing the ugly men. “You can’t kill him.”
The ugly men’s surprised expression made them even uglier.
“Chu Nanping, what the hell are you doing? You said you would kill Yang Huan.”
“I will kill him, but you two can’t.”
“Nonsense, get out of the way!”
Chu Nanping answered with his long sword that he didn’t know what ‘nonsense’ was.
The sixty-four training methods of the Essence of Perceiving Passion were nonsense, but the martial art itself was true and wasn’t weak. Chu Nanping immediately fell into a weak position when the four short swords attacked. If not for the two ugly men showing mercy, he would never be able to look for Xu Xiaoyi to ‘play’ with again.
Gu Shenwei rushed forward and one ugly man immediately abandoned Chu Nanping to accept the killer’s challenge.
Gu Shenwei’s advancement was quick, and so was his retreat. The ugly man followed closely but was only able to run fewer than five steps before he suddenly fell forward heavily as if he had stumbled over a rock. He would never rise again.
Lotus appeared in front of Gu Shenwei.
The other ugly man roared, forcing Chu Nanping back in two moves, and then waved his swords at the female killer.
Lotus also retreated, and the second ugly man fell forward like his partner.
Lotus’s sword also tasted blood.
In Chu Nanping’s view, the two killers’ swordsmanship was incredible and the killing was so easy, as if the ugly men were boors who didn’t know martial arts at all and had run into the tip of the sword themselves.
Even as an ‘emotionless man’ who rarely showed his feelings, he was staggered with the scene. In his mind, the killer Yang Huan’s swordsmanship was just as good as he was, and he had often asked advice from him.
The Death Sutra wasn’t an easy swordsmanship at all, and Gu Shenwei and Lotus had exerted their full strength. If the two ugly men hadn’t been disturbed by Chu Nanping and thrown into confusion, they were likely to leave some wounds on the killer, perhaps even some fatal ones.
The gap between kung fu experts was only a tiny bit, but the outcome was the difference between life and death.
This was the first time that an outsider had seen Lotus using the swordsmanship. She looked at Servant Huan, wanting to know his suggestion.
“My swordsmanship is better than you.” Gu Shenwei stared at Chu Nanping and suddenly had an idea.
“It’s really strange and it doesn’t look like the emotionless swordsmanship.” Chu Nanping was still obsessed with the ‘invincible’ swordsmanship he had practised.
“So, are you still going to protect me from being assassinated?”
Chu Nanping solemnly nodded. “Immortal Peng will die, and so will you. I have to make sure that I’m the one who kills you.”
“Well, then follow me. There are too many people who want to kill me. You can also try to kill me when you’re willing to.”
Gu Shenwei already had Lotus supporting him, but he didn’t mind having another protector behind him.
Chu Nanping wasn’t a martial arts expert yet, but he would grow into one.
The two killers marked the wounds with their narrow sabres as usual and then walked towards the outside of the grove. Chu Nanping didn’t respond to the killer’s advice, but hesitantly followed behind, as if he hadn’t figured out the role he would play.
When they came to the edge of the peach grove, they found themselves surrounded. Hundreds of sabremen had lined up in small groups and neatly walked into the peach grove, flashes of light reflecting off of their sabres while giving off a vigorous killing aura.