Chapter 245 Arrow Tower
Servant Yao was the first person in the castle to die because of Servant Huan. Gu Shenwei had never forgotten that triangle-faced teenager, especially the scene of when he died from Qi deviation.
The dying Servant Yao had been lying on a brick bed and staring at Servant Huan in a daze. His face flushed red and then faded back to white as his chest heaved and his two arms swung violently. The brick bed was knocked so hard that it banged loudly. Then he laughed hoarsely again.
Servant Yao fell unconscious after that. The flush on his face came and went, disappearing and appearing again. When he was able to accumulate a little bit of strength, he wasted it on chatter. What he said was full of nonsense, as if he had forgotten about Golden Roc Castle. The things and people he mentioned were from his past. He would boast for a while, then curse, and then be begging the next, as if he was in a one-man show where he played all the roles.
“Servant Huan, you can’t escape. I’ll wait for you in Hell.” Servant Yao momentarily recovered his consciousness just before death and said a sentence which seemed to be both a threat and an expectation.
Gu Shenwei didn’t expect that the messenger from Hell sent by Servant Yao would be Lotus.
In fact, there had been some traces and signs, but Gu Shenwei had never noticed them.
Servant Yao was a person who liked boasting and showing off and was very proud that he was going to be a killer disciple. Every time he came from Xue Niang’s place he would boast about it, but he had never mentioned Lotus who had been practicing kung fu with him. The teenager who was at the onset of puberty treated her as his own secret and wouldn’t share it with others.
Although Lotus wasn’t an enthusiastic person, she was born to have an attractive side. She had made many friends in the Carving Wood Yard and the original Bi Nu gang was mainly based on her association with disciples of various backgrounds. But she had shown her hatred towards Servant Huan when they first met. Gu Shenwei had thought that it was because she wanted to be Xue Niang’s only disciple, but now he understood everything.
All of a sudden, Gu Shenwei’s jealousy, disappointment, resentment, and grief were all gone.
Revenge was one of the most legitimate rights in the world. He took revenge on Golden Roc Castle and killed countless people. Naturally, some people would take revenge on him. Lotus was the first and perhaps the last one.
“He must have been very agreeable to you.” After the shock, Gu Shenwei calmed down. As long as Servant Yao was willing to, he had the ability to please anyone. For Lotus who had just entered the castle and lived under the double oppression of Luo Ningcha and Xue Niang, Servant Yao must have been her only comfort.
“Perhaps. I’ve forgotten almost all of it. I don’t even remember what he looked like.” Lotus didn’t seem to be lying and there was no need to lie about this. She frowned and tried to recall, but then shook her head. “Now that I think of it, he didn’t seem to be that good. Even if he hadn’t been murdered by you, he wouldn’t last for even a month in Carving Wood Yard.”
“But you still want to avenge him.” Gu Shenwei, who thought that he had understood everything, became confused again. And for the first time, he had the thought that every mature man would have someday, that no one could understand a woman’s mind.
“People die and are forgotten, but the hatred will stay forever.” Lotus put her hand over her heart. “This is the true meaning of the Death Sutra. You should know this.”
Of course, Gu Shenwei knew it. He himself had had that experience. The biggest enemy of hatred was time. Time could wash away anyone’s face until it was beyond their own recognition. Hatred was nothing more than a giant boulder in one’s heart, so it was also no match for the never-ending grind of time. Lotus didn’t remember Servant Yao, so how could he remember his family clearly? Within less than three years, the look of his parents, brothers, and sister had long since become blurred and transformed into purely a symbol that fueled the hatred in his heart increasingly weaker as time passed.
But his hatred had almost never faded away but grew and prospered. It was all because of the Death Sutra. It stopped the attack of time and let him kill without hesitation. Only when he dispersed his internal energy and couldn’t practice the Death Sutra anymore did the hatred in his heart momentarily weaken.
When the two unwitting teenagers made up their mind to practice the Death Sutra, they had already solidified the hatred in their hearts and could no longer dissolve it anymore.
Lotus saw through it earlier than Gu Shenwei, and therefore felt more struggle and conflict at heart.
As he looked at the girl in front of him, Gu Shenwei suddenly had a tacit understanding with her. The two had always had a deep understanding of each other, and even after they became enemies, they could still understand each other’s feelings.
The two stayed silent for a moment. Lotus jumped onto the ballista facing the crenel, sat with her arms around her knees, and looked at the dark night outside as if she had forgotten about Servant Huan who was about ten steps away.
“You’ve really gone through a lot to make me have Qi deviation,” Gu Shenwei praised from the bottom of his heart. He had masterminded many plots of his own, but none of them could be compared with this one.
“It’s nothing. Without your Death Sutra, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with anything that causes you to undergo Qi deviation based on my little understanding of internal energy.”
“So the Daoless Scroll is all fake?”
“I’ve only made some slight modifications to the last chapter. Everything else is true. Obtaining the Daoless Scroll is my most important task, and I can’t change it randomly.”
“You secretly brought an extra board with you and rewrote the seventh chapter?”
Lotus nodded. She had hidden the correct chapter seven under her robe which no one had noticed. “Luo Ningcha really scared me, as that stupid woman took the board away and almost ruined my plan.”
“I didn’t expect that she actually almost saved my life by accident. The funny thing was, I took back that board myself.”
Lotus seemed not want to talk about it. But after a while, she produced a ring from her robe and shook it in the moonlight. “She asked me to cut off your head.”
Gu Shenwei laughed and even felt better. “That woman, I knew she would do that.”
“But you still … slept with her.”
Lotus still appeared calm, but her voice changed slightly, which made Gu Shenwei suddenly feel that this was a lovely teenage girl instead of a cold-blooded killer. “You’re jealous?”
“I didn’t … “ Lotus denied it so quickly that even she herself felt that her words were ingenuine. With a sneer, she simply admitted it. “I’m jealous, but so what? I will still kill you.”
“So you chose the toughest and slowest way to kill me.” Gu Shenwei didn’t say ‘most painful’. Although the chillness was getting worse, he pretended to be indifferent. “So you are still reluctant to kill me. You said that it was the Death Sutra that made it so that you can’t forget the hate. But you didn’t follow the Death Sutra and kill me with a single blow.”
“Neither did you. There were many times that you had the chance to kill Tenth Gongzi, but you made excuses and missed all of them.”
The tacit understanding they had just gained vanished. The two fell into silence together, and no one said anything for a long while.
“My real name is Gu Shenwei.”
Gu Shenwei had gotten injured once and babbled a lot when he was in a coma. Lotus had looked after him all night and heard almost everything.
“This is the sword Shangguan Ru gave me.” Gu Shenwei took out the shortsword from his bundle nearby. “But it used to be mine. It was a gift from my father. Shangguan Nu killed my family, took it away, and gave it to Shangguan Ru.”
Gu Shenwei told the story to show that he couldn’t possibly fall in love with Shangguan Ru. Lotus got the meaning but wasn’t moved. “There’s nothing wrong with loving someone. As long as you can harden your heart to kill the one you love, you are the final winner. You have failed, but I will not.”
For a moment, Gu Shenwei wanted to beg her. He even felt that the reason why Lotus had resorted to such a troublesome method to kill him was because she was waiting for him to lower his head, plead for her forgiveness and express his love. But he didn’t open his mouth in the end. He had endured years of humiliation and didn’t want to lose the dignity he had left at the last moment.
“Waning Moon Hall will destroy Golden Roc Castle?”
“If possible, tell them my real name when killing Shangguan Fa and Shangguan Nu. And the Governor Wei Song. He’s also my enemy, but I don’t know who is the mastermind behind the scene.”
Lotus turned to look at Gu Shenwei, her voice suddenly becoming as gentle as ever. “I will kill all of your enemies, and even find out who was behind it. For each one I kill, I will tell them that Servant Huan is the son of the Gu family of the Central Plains and that he has asked me to avenge him.”
“No, I should thank you. After you die, I have to find a new hatred so that the Death Sutra swordsmanship will not be affected.”
Gu Shenwei thought of Chu Nanping, who was eleven years old. That kid was so intent on practicing the emotionless swordsmanship, but couldn’t even bear to kill a friend he had just made. The girl in front of him was actually the best candidate for practicing that set of swordsmanship.
They stopped talking, and neither of them moved, letting the night grew thicker and thicker between them, like an iron wall that separating them from one another.
The chill had penetrated into his bone marrow, but Gu Shenwei bore all of it calmly and kept his composure. Lotus wanted to see him die of Qi deviation, but he didn’t want to lose control like Servant Yao.
The early morning sunray flitted over Lotus’s head and shot onto Gu Shenwei’s body. He felt no warmth but was touched by what he saw. He couldn’t help but blurt out, “You really are beautiful.”
Lotus was covered in the ethereal rays like a being birthed by heaven and earth, untainted with even the air that she breathed becoming fresh.
Lotus turned her head in amazement. As the angle of the light changed, she regained her usual appearance, which was still pretty but had lost that admirable sanctity. And her expression was a bit different as if she had … cried.
There was no better chance than now. The estrangement between the two had completely disappeared. Perhaps with only a word of the teenage boy, it could defeat the magic of the Death Sutra and turned hatred into love.
A dark cloud flew over and the shadows immediately obscured the crenel. Lotus seemed to be taken by surprise, as she jumped off the ballista and pulled the string all by herself, fully on guard. It was a long time before she let out a breath of relief. She had reached a state of extreme nervousness.
The chance was gone just like that. Gu Shenwei still didn’t open his mouth. The Death Sutra had almost no influence on him right now, so he could follow his heart to think. He was tired of the endless killing and would much rather hand over this difficult task to others.
He was going to die of Qi deviation but was full of sympathy and gratitude towards the plotter Lotus.
Lotus clutched at her sword hilt and suppressed her feelings which were at the edge of collapse. She understood all of the teenage boy’s thoughts now as if he were a transparent person, so she felt very proud. She would not only kill the one she loved, but also avenge him.
It was this pride that made her blame the source of her hatred on the Death Sutra. She carefully avoided the truest thought in her heart, that it was Servant Huan’s delay in returning her love that had created the pent-up hatred.
A small group of killers walked towards the Afterlife Cliff in the morning sunshine. Lotus’s expression changed. “Stupid Liuhua, he was tracked.”
Liuhua’s whereabouts had been exposed, but the killers that discovered him hadn’t fully understood the importance of the matter yet.