Chapter 210 Collecting Lotus Flowers
Wei Lingmiao had indeed been thoroughly washed, but it was hard to say whether he was really cleaner or not.
The guards were so desperate that they even wanted to jump into the river finally found the Governor’s son in the river. Wei Lingmiao’s hands were tied to a log while his body bobbed up and down in the river. His eyes were blindfolded and his mouth was stuffed so he was unable to see or cry for help. He did not know where he was, and felt that the current was so strong that he might be washed off the cliff at any moment.
Wei Lingmiao was extremely frightened, but after he returned to Northern Jade City to get properly dressed and his mood had calmed down, he took this adventure as a romantic affair. “While the dropping flowers pine for love, the heartless brook babbles on to unrequited love. This is really true.”
Those who originally wanted to laugh at him were convinced and thought that Wei Gongzi was really an honest lover and that Tenth Gongzi of the castle had really spoiled the fun.
Everyone knew who had done it. Although Wei Gongzi hadn’t seen the kidnappers’ faces and Xiao Fengchai claimed that the intruders had nothing to do with her, all the residents of Jade City knew well what had happened at heart.
Wei Lingmiao forgave Tenth Gongzi, but severely punished his guards. It was really a dereliction of duty that dozens of people had actually let their lord be kidnapped unknowingly.
Both to protect himself and to get close to Tenth Gongzi, Wei Lingmiao used all of his connections, even the force of the castle, and made a demand that he hoped to have a killer around and even called out the killer Yang Huan’s name.
Shangguan Ru didn’t want to let go of Servant Huan. “He knows that you participated in the kidnapping; he’s taking advantage of the opportunity to retaliate against you.”
“He won’t do anything to me until he gets that million or so taels of silver.” Gu Shenwei was willing to accept this task because he still had a lot of things to learn from Wei Gongzi.
The first sentence Wei Lingmiao said when he met the killer was, “Who else better than a killer to defend against a killer?”
“Identity and status work better than a killer,” Gu Shenwei replied in a neither passive nor offensive manner. If Wei Lingmiao wasn’t the Governor’s son, he would probably have sunk into the bottom of the river.
Wei Lingmiao didn’t care because he had his own purpose. By keeping Tenth Gongzi’s most trusted killer nearby, that little girl would most likely no longer dare to play tricks again so easily.
Gu Shenwei had become Wei Lingmiao’s temporary bodyguard and thus accompanied him to visit the big shots of Northern Jade City. Wei Gongzi was courteous and elegant in the daytime, but in the evening he would go to Southern Jade City to fool around, breaking into brothels, throwing guests out, and forcing the bitch to sleep with him. And he still insistently went to the Kun Society to send gifts every day.
Throughout all this time, Gu Shenwei had only figured out one thing. Wei Lingmiao didn’t have a fixed type of women he liked. He was more like a collector of women, always looking for unusual treasures whether it be tall, short, fat, thin, beautiful, ugly, rich, or poor. He wanted to explore them all.
Gu Shenwei became more and more disgusted at the man who had almost become his brother-in-law.
He never got a chance to explore the past, and didn’t expect that Wei Lingmiao would take the initiative to mention it.
It was now only a few days before Wei Lingmiao would leave Jade City. He hadn’t been able to meet Tenth Gongzi, so he planned to burn incense and worship Buddha to make a wish at the Four Noble Truths Temple. Wei Gongzi had stopped drinking and sleeping with women for a whole day in preparation, and also took shower and used incense several times. His whole temperament changed because of this, appearing a bit listless, but more serious, and even seemed a bit otherworldly.
That night, Wei Lingmiao stayed and enjoyed the moon at a pavilion in Bodhi Garden, taking only the killer Yang Huan with him. He didn’t speak for a long time, but when he opened his mouth, he asked a rather obtrusive question. “I heard that you have a sword with a woman’s name carved on the hilt.”
“It doesn’t mean anything,” Gu Shenwei said as he slightly bowed. His sword did have the character ‘Yun’, which was Lotus’s name before she became a servant. The two used this method to cover other’s eyes and ears, and none of them had other ideas.
“Heh, every behavior has a special meaning. It’s just that you don’t want to admit it or don’t know it yet.” Wei Gongzi was more active when it came to love and women. “For example you think you like someone, and after lots of efforts you finally get her, but then you suddenly feel uninterested. Conversely, the one you try your best to forget always floats in front of you and wakes you up at night; you can’t even tell whether she is real or not.”
Gu Shenwei didn’t understand Wei Lingmiao’s speech. He didn’t have such ambivalent feelings. Love was love, and hate was hate. It was crystal clear to him. “Tenth Gongzi probably doesn’t like hearing such words.”
“Heh heh, you really are a loyal killer, I’m not talking about her, but think about it and you’ll know it is true. Tenth Gongzi is really forthright now, fierce and aggressive. But she may become a timid and lovable little woman after she gets married. No one understands women.”
Gu Shenwei didn’t answer, merely looking across the lake.
But Wei Lingmiao kept staring at him. “Did you know? I should hate you.”
“I was just following orders.” Gu Shenwei thought Wei Gongzi was still upset about him being kidnapped.
“Well, that was just a harmless joke. Were you born in Golden Roc Castle?”
“No, I entered the castle several years ago.”
“Then you may know that Golden Roc Castle killed a family surnamed Gu.”
“I kind of remember.” Gu Shenwei felt his throat instantly turn dry and nearly lost control of himself.
“The daughter of the Gu family was my fiancée, and we were to be married in a few months. I always wonder that if she hadn’t died, if I would be completely different from what I am now. I’m not saying that I would not chase other women anymore, but maybe I’d be more responsible and know what I want better. She was a good girl. She had been demure, calm, and good-hearted since she was little. I’ve never met anyone like her.”
Wei Lingmiao confided in a killer he wasn’t even familiar with. He seemed to have held those words in his heart for a long time and became sadder after he said them. Or perhaps he was a bit angry because his eyes sharpened as he looked at the killer. “Golden Roc Castle killed my woman. Not only did I not get revenge but I also played with them. You must despise me, don’t you? The killer’s law is an eye for an eye.”
“The killer only kills, with no thoughts of revenge.” Gu Shenwei forced himself to calm down and said an old saying of the castle. Like all the other old sayings, it could only be used to deceive those outsiders who knew nothing.
Wei Lingmiao repeated the sentence twice and seemed to find some inspiration, and then he smiled. “Revenge is to make the enemy feel pain, but being killed itself has no pain, right?”
“Yes.” Gu Shenwei’s heart was stirring more and more violently. If not for the several years he had spent in the castle making him very suspicious, then he would have spilled the truth by now.
The Wei family had the will to seek revenge. Gu Shenwei understood Wei Lingmiao’s overtones, but didn’t understand why the other side would tell him. Because, as a Golden Roc killer, he was exactly the revenge ‘target’ of Wei Gongzi.
“You are a special killer,” Wei Lingmiao seemed to still want to buy over the killer, and he was getting closer to the topic, “Lord Zhong said a lot of things about you.”
“Lord Zhong flattered me. I can’t even put together the ‘peace talisman’.”
“It’s a trivial matter,” Wei Lingmiao shook his head. “You have your own ideas and always insist on realizing them without being strung along by others. That’s real ability. People like you should show your talent in a wider space.”
Gu Shenwei suddenly realized that Wei Gongzi’s purpose to win over him was not only to approach Tenth Gongzi, but also to tempt the killer into defecting from the castle. Had the Wei family really been quietly preparing to avenge the Gu family? “The castle is big enough to include a killer like me.”
Gu Shenwei pretended to be confused and Wei Lingmiao also didn’t point it out. Instead, he changed the subject and talked randomly for a while before he mentioned tomorrow’s trip to the Four Noble Truths Temple. “Killer, gather for me some lotus flowers. I want to give them to my fiancée. Her cremated remains are in the temple, and that’s the only thing I could do at this time.”
Gu Shenwei didn’t like the mocking tone Wei Lingmiao had, but his heart still trembled to discover the whereabouts of his elder sister’s remains. “You should take her back to the Central Plains.”
“Then she won’t be able to see what I’m going to do in Jade City.”
This was the end of the conversation. Gu Shenwei didn’t ask anymore, and Wei Lingmiao also didn’t explain.
Wei Gongzi wasn’t quite the same person as the killer had first thought. This man still loved his elder sister and hadn’t forgotten her for nearly three years. He had been plotting revenge all this time.
Although the Central Plains was powerful, Jade City was beyond the reach of its power. There were only a hundred or so soldiers symbolically garrisoned in the city, and there were no more soldiers in a thousand mile radius. Gu Shenwei could understand the difficulties of the father and son of the Wei family. As the governor, Wei Song naturally couldn’t act emotionally, just like how Gu Shenwei himself could only change his name and bear the humiliation before he had the strength to seek revenge.
What kind of method would Wei Lingmiao use to seek revenge? He doesn’t know kung fu, so he could only rely on the Central Plains. If the Central Plains send troops … Gu Shenwei thought further and further and even became a bit excited. He planned to clear up this matter before Wei Gongzi left.
The next day, Wei Lingmiao led a large team, including the patrol commandant Zhong Heng, out of the city to the Four Noble Truths Temple. The Patrol Commandant was probably requested to approach the killer on purpose, who strongly suggested that they should have a good talk in private.
Gu Shenwei’s enthusiasm was dampened a lot by his suspicion. The Governor Wei Song was about to leave his post for home, and it wasn’t simple for Wei Gongzi to buy over a killer of the castle at this critical period. He had to deal with it carefully so as to avoid the revenge of the Wei family falling on himself.
Very few people could enter the Four Noble Truths Temple. Gu Shenwei handed the four-colored lotus flowers he had collected by himself and guarded outside the gate with the other guards. Wei Gongzi’s words kept flashing through his mind.
“Amitabha, benefactor. Here you are at last.”
Gu Shenwei turned around and saw a tall monk, then recognized that it was Monk Lian Ye who had extraordinary martial arts skills, and who always stayed with his senior brother Lian Hua and rarely appeared alone.
“Hey Monk, how are you?”
“Not good, not good. Senior brother is completely bedridden, how can I be fine?”
“Master Lian Hua is sick?” Gu Shenwei had asked the monk to help interpret the Death Sutra, and then he forgot about it. He didn’t expect that the monk was going to die soon. If that happened, no one in the whole world could understand the scripture from now on.
“Yes, benefactor. Come with me, worship my senior brother as your Master, learn the Essay of Severing Obsession to get rid of your murderous heart, and fulfill the two masters’ wish.”
“Sorry, but I can’t go with you. I have something important to do.”
Lian Ye roared with anger, startling the guards around him. They thought he was a senior monk of the temple, so no one dared moving forward to appease him.
“People are dying! There’s nothing more important than this! Come with me.”
Lian Ye suddenly made a move. Gu Shenwei had prepared for this, but he didn’t bring the sabre and sword he usually used this time. He was a bit unfamiliar with the narrow sabre he had temporarily borrowed, so his counterattack was a bit slow. But the monk’s kung fu was still beyond his imagination, who flicked a finger and actually hit his acupoint without even touching his body.
Gu Shenwei’s body softened and the next moment he was carried off on the monk’s shoulder. Lian Ye stepped out to his full pace, pushed away the crowd, and ran towards one side of the mountainside of the temple.
All the guards were speechless, but no one came forward to interfere. Instead, they whispered, thinking that the Golden Roc killer was nothing more than this.