Editors: Cypress Venus Trap, Xu Xian
Chapter 22 Discarding the Corpse
When the sharp knife pierced upwards, Gu Shenwei immediately moved his body to the side.
Although Gu Shenwei had practised this move countless times, he still felt the urgency in his heart when it really happened. His muscles became stiff and he moved slowly, like he was in a nightmare, and he had really gotten infected with evil Qi.
Blood rose uncontrollably to his head, and he realised that his arms and legs were much weaker than he expected.
At last, he crawled out from under the bed, and saw that Servant Xie had fallen on the ground and curled himself into a ball. His face was hidden deeply in his arms, while his thin naked body shivered.
Instead of being affected by Servant Xie’s fear, Gu Shenwei quickly calmed down. As soon as he shook off the nightmare binding him, he stood up and turned back to jump on the bed. He moved as agile as an experienced master with great lightness skills.
He then used all his strength in pressing the pillow, the person under it seemed to be struggling, but at the same time seemed to have no response at all.
It had been a long time before Gu Shenwei realized that someone else was also pressing the pillow along with him.
Servant Qi was also naked, because every part of his body muscles were engaged, his face distorted, and his eyeballs bulged out to their maximum extent; his lower lip was being bitten mercilessly with his teeth and started bleeding.
Gu Shenwei suddenly became a little frightened, he gently pushed Servant Qi once, “Well, he’s dead.”
Servant Qi had already been exhausted and was not that firm and stable as he appeared to be. With just a slight touch, he sat down on the bed. He was blankly, continuously repeating a word in his mother-tongue which Gu Shunwei did not understand.
Han Shiqi was dead.
Gu Shenwei put the pillow away, his enemy’s eyes were still open but couldn’t recognize anybody.
Han Shiqi was also naked, that dirty thing between his legs was tilting weakly to the side. Servant Xie, with sudden vigour, picked up a narrow sabre and rushed to cut that thing.
Gu Shenwei hurriedly jumped off the bed and blocked the hotheaded Servant Xie, “Watch out, don’t let it bleed too much.”
Gu Shenwei crawled under the bed again to dismount the knife handle. Servant Qi and Servant Xie regained their senses,and helped in slowly pulling the corpse up until the sharp knife was completely brought out from the plank gap, then they flipped the corpse over.
Although there were many accidents, the assassination went better than they had expected it to be.
The knife was aimed directly at Han Shiqi’s heart and he had died without much struggle. He had not even bled much, leaving only a small stain on the bed.
The candlelight flickered and the three teenagers stared at the dead body silently. It seemed as if they were mourning, or enjoying a masterpiece.
After a while, they finally carried out the tasks they had agreed on and worked separately.
Servant Qi and Servant Xie got dressed up, whilst one of them went out to snoop on others, the other stayed behind and worked with Gu Shenwei to pack Han Shiqi’s remains: several pieces of clothes, a sabre, a dagger, a killer’s yao pai, several small bottles, a handkerchief and other sundries. 1
The killer’s yao pai was a faint yellow jade, oval-like and engraved with a simple bird and the character ‘jue’.
With this yao pai, one could visit many places in Golden Roc Castle. Gu Shenwei really wanted to keep it, but he renounced it after hesitating for a while. He was only a teenager, showing the killer’s yao pai would cause more doubts.
“You can take these trophies away.”
Servant Qi put the dagger and small bottles close to his chest. Following the tradition of their family, the dead’s items all belonged to the murderer.
Gu Shenwei shook his head, he put the yao pai under the clothes and rolled them into a ball, “It is too dangerous, it’s better throw them away.”
“It is dangerous to stay here but it will be safe if we run away.”
Servant Qi’s tone was very confident, it seemed that he had already made plans without informing him before. Before Gu Shenwei was about to ask more, Servant Xie entered the room, he nodded to them and informed them that everything was fine and that they should get rid of the corpse.
The three of them carried the corpse together, the brothers each holding a foot and Gu Shenwei holding the head. They walked quietly towards Groaning Ghost Cliff which was located outside the west door and the sundry items were put on top of the corpse.
Servant Xie had already opened the yard door, and assured them that they could go through unhindered.
Gu Shenwei was mostly worried about the mysterious night watchman, but they were lucky tonight. They didn’t come across any of those watchmen even after they had carried the corpse outside the door. Groaning Ghost Cliff was a precipice and no guards were needed here, so they were temporarily safe.
Teenagers from Ji Xin Yuan had all carried corpses before, but Han Shiqi was heavier than all the previous ones. It was only a dozen steps from the cliff, but Servant Xie lost his strength to hold up the corpse any more and his body uncontrollably bent down.
Servant Qi and Gu Shenwei exchanged a glance and slowly dropped the corpse. They also felt exhausted and couldn’t finish the final few steps.
The corpse’s back faced upwards, the sharp knife remained in the body; the exposed part was small and one, almost, couldn’t see it in the moonlight.
It is a mistake to stop and rest, Gu Shenwei thought, the corpse should be discarded as soon as possible. Just as he was bending over to carry the corpse, the corpse suddenly stretched out his hand and seized his ankle!
The strength was strong, like an iron clamp.
Gu Shenwei’s blood chilled, at that moment, he even felt his spirit leave his body
Servant Qi and Servant Xie was stunned for a while, and then flung themselves on Han Shiqi, the elder brother pulled out the sharp knife and stabbed with his full strength.
The corpse had no resistance.
Gu Shenwei pushed Servant Qi aside, forcefully opened the hand holding his ankle and flipped the corpse over to check carefully.
It was still a corpse, but its mouth began to exude smudges of blood. As to why it caught the murderer’s ankle or if it was alive when it made the move, Gu Shenwei couldn’t deduce at all.
His soul had returned to the body, and it seemed to have been purified while it was away as Gu Shenwei now behaved as calm as a coroner.
Gu Shenwei checked the corpse’s breath and touched it’s chest for a while; he had kind of hoped that Han Shiqi would still be alive so he could ask him the whereabouts of his elder sister and also why Golden Roc Castle slaughtered the Gu Family.
“Is he really dead?” Servant Xie asked with a low voice, his face was pale, which was even whiter than moonlight.
The three of them didn’t have the strength to carry the corpse anymore, so they rolled it along the last dozen steps and then pushed the corpse and sundry items off the cliff.
Regardless whether Han Shiqi was dead or alive, he couldn’t come back anymore.
“What should we do next?”
Gu Shenwei asked. Obviously Servant Qi and Servant Xie had thought more than him and already made a plan for after the assassination.
Servant Qi’s hands had already been stained with blood. He looked both panicked and irritated, as if he would lash out immediately if someone provoked him.
“Hum？Next? Next we’ll run away, do you want to come with us?.”
“Run away? How? This is Golden Roc Castle.”
Servant Qi took a deep breath and calmed himself down, his face was looking much better, “It is like this, we have to carry water every morning, there are many casks. Water is sent from the outside, as long as there’s an opportunity, we can hide in a cask and escape.
Gu Shenwei had also carried water before, so he understood Servant Qi right away. Golden Roc Castle was located on a mountain peak and there was no source of water. Daily drinking water was moved from the foot of the mountain, the people delivering water were not allowed to enter the castle. Water was poured into a stone pool, then servants from Golden Roc Castle would carry water to different yards. Many empty casks were piled up near the pool and would be carried away the next day by people who delivered water.
Although there was a overseer at the water pool, it didn’t mean that there were no chances to take advantage of. Sometimes, when there were too many servants carrying water, the overseer would be too busy to check carefully, so one might have a chance to hide in an empty cask and wait for the people who delivered water.
This seemed to be a plausible plan.
But Gu Shenwei still shook his head, this was the second time he refused the invitation to escape, Servant Qi curiously looked at him.
“I have to stay, I still have enemies here, I want to get my revenge.”
That’s all Gu Shenwei could say. Even if the person was someone who had helped him kill a person, he still couldn’t disclose all his thoughts, not only because of caution, but also because of lacking self-confidence. He wanted to use the Shangguan family’s lives to avenge his parents and brothers. It was a wild idea and, perhaps, no one could understand.
But Servant Qi and Servant Xie believed what he had said, in their eyes, revenge was more important than anything else. They had postponed their plan just because they wanted to kill the person who humiliated them.
The three teenagers returned to Ji Xin Yuan. Gu Shenwei returned to his own room. Servant Qi and Servant Xie first went to clean Servant Ji’s bed and tried their best to make the smudge less conspicuous. Then they returned to their own room to sleep; the other five teenagers were sleeping soundly and no one envied the brothers’ treatment this time.
Gu Shenwei closed his eyes. He had killed his first enemy, the boulder in his heart cracked a little, and a glimmer of light shone through. He had a lot of things to think about, but sleepiness followed the glimmer of light; he had already fallen asleep before he had sorted out his thoughts.
It was a sweet dream that he had never had before.
Gu Shenwei almost forgot what took place last night after he woke up in the morning. As time passed, the joy of revenge gradually rose and filled all of his pores, even the sun seemed to be brighter than usual.
He had already passed the three days’ of exorcism, and had to bow to the Miss with the other teenagers. However, he was still puzzled: why did Xue Niang confess that it was her who had taught internal energy to Servant Yao?
But Xue Niang seemed to have forgotten this matter, he hadn’t seen any clues from her unfeeling, stiff face.
After they had returned back to Ji Xin Yuan, they found that Servant Ji appeared to be fretful. He kept asking Servant Qi and Servant Xie where the third brother was and why he had left without saying goodbye to him。
Servant Qi and Servant Xie were very calm, it made Gu Shenwei admire them very much. The brothers explained casually that third brother had left that night. It was them who had opened and locked the yard door because the overseer was already asleep and they didn’t want to disturb him.
Servant Ji believed the explanation because Han Shiqi did not stay every time. However, he didn’t know why, but he was worried and kept thinking about it all day.
In the afternoon, Servant Ji seemed to be more distracted, and was absent-minded even when overseeing the teenagers work. He didn’t even count the names at dusk and locked the yard door later than usual. He kept the candle lit even after returning to his room and finally fell asleep after midnight.
Therefore, Servant Ji didn’t notice the disappear of Servant Qi and Servant Xie. The brothers kept carrying water in the afternoon, they came back once but didn’t return the second time. For a overseer, this was a serious dereliction of duty.
Gu Shenwei was relieved for the brothers, their escape plan went smoothly in their first step.
The other five teenagers noticed the abnormality, but no one paid special attention to it. They were new and didn’t know how to deal with it. They also didn’t dare to remind Servant Ji because the overseer was obviously not in a good mood.
Gu Shenwei secretly prayed that those two brothers could escape successfully.
For Golden Roc Castle, it was a quiet and normal night. The next morning however, everything was exposed and caused a big disturbance.
- Translator’s note: yao pai – a name tag hanging by one’s waist; In East Asian ancient official system, it was used to prove the identity of the holder, which was engraved with their name and position and often used as access to the palace or barracks for inspection pass. It could also be used as ornaments and was usually made of wood or copper, its shape and texture was related to the holder’s level. ↩