Editors: Xu Xian, J3000
Chapter 058 In the Air
Before Shangguan Yushi could close the window, Gu Shenwei happened to peek inside the room and see how she had ‘solved’ that shadow guard: the teenager was tied up with his mouth stuffed, stuck motionless.
Shangguan Yushi quickly closed the window, her sharp eyes behind her black mask warned Servant Huan that this was the two girls’ ‘personal affairs’ and none of his business.
The four of them were divided into two groups. Shangguan Ru and Shangguan Yushi took the lead, Shangguan Fei and Gu Shenwei followed behind. They were over 10 steps apart and were just able to see each other in the hazy moonlight.
The inner chamber was not as heavily guarded as east and west castle, they arrived at the outer wall of Liu Sha Dian smoothly. The two teenage girls jumped onto the wall and let down a thin rope. Their lightness skills had improved a lot in the past few months and the wall here was not as high as the wall of the castle.
The ‘great thieves’ had already entered the territory of Liu Sha Dian. From now on, they had to be very careful for every step they took. The girls continued to walk in front, only gesturing that it was safe for the other two to follow after making sure everything was fine.
Many torches were lit outside Liu Sha Dian, the flickering fires cast distorted shadows every now and then. The light of the moon and stars immediately dimmed.
More than 10 spiritual masters were protecting the Shangguan family’s sacred temple day and night, and they could never have imagined several ‘unworthy descendants’ would come to steal from it.
The only way to approach the temple was by climbing the steps of the official pathway, but built below the steps were many stone huts housing the spiritual masters. It seemed impossible to proceed without being noticed.
The four of them quickly ran up without encountering anyone, this place was far from as heavily guarded as they’d imagined it would be.
To the left of the steps was a stele about 1 to 2 meters high. Beside the stele was a stone pillar that hung a string of lanterns from top to bottom, their flickering light clearly revealed the characters carved on the stele: ‘Endless killing along the six paths of reincarnation.’1
Gu Shenwei was only able to have a glimpse, but his heart quaked. It turned out the name Liu Sha Dian came from the words written on the stele. Those words reminded him of an idea he’d had on his mind, but he didn’t have time to think carefully about it now, Shangguan Fei had led them to the raised sharp corner.
The sharp corner was mostly occupied by a large bronze tripod, it was cramped and those four barely found a place to stand. Now it was time for Gu Shenwei, the strongest, to take action.
Gu Shenwei took the extended flying claw from Shangguan Fei, he looked carefully at the East wall of Liu Sha Dian opposite them.
He had never been here before and had only heard a rough description from Shangguan Fei, so he didn’t know the exact position of the window. Little gongzi was not a cautious person, he couldn’t recall detailed information about the window such as the size or height. So Gu Shenwei could only rely on his instinct and take the relatively darker area as the target.
Behind him, Shangguan Yushi kept poking his waist, urging him to do it quickly. Gu Shenwei even suspected this teenage girl wanted to destroy the plan and put all the blame on him.
Gu Shenwei used his yang energy to throw the flying claw, to soften its impact and sound when it landed, he also infused some yin energy before throwing it.
Although his internal energy was unable to improve since it was controlled by Xue Niang, he’d become more experienced in using both yang and yin energy.
The thin rope quickly flew out of Gu Shenwei’s hand like a slippery snake. They had planned for several days, but the whole plan was still seriously flawed. If Liu Sha Dian‘s windows were closed at night and the flying claw couldn’t grip anything, they would only be able to gaze at the temple and sigh.
Finally, with a low click sound, the flying claw landed. The windows were open.
The four kept still and listened quietly for a long time. If the spiritual masters were alerted by the sound, the whole robbery would be ruined.
There was only the sound of the wind and the occasional strange noise from the bottomless abyss, which sounded like the golden rocs pecking beasts’ eyeballs.
Maybe there are still some more golden rocs living out there, Gu Shenwei thought. He pulled the rope harder until he couldn’t pull any more.
The other three also joined in to help, they tied the rope’s end firmly to one of the bronze tripod’s legs.
Shangguan Yushi also pulled hard on the rope and nodded to Shangguan Ru after making sure it was firm enough.
Shangguan Ru took a deep breath, she held the rope using both her hands and feet and climbed to Liu Sha Dian like an agile monkey.
This was no joke. Although the cliff was Golden Roc Castle’s most powerful ‘defense’, it was different from people and would treat everyone fairly, all things were equal before nature. It wouldn’t show mercy simply because the challenger was Unique King’s daughter. If she made the slightest mistake, or if the flying claw was carelessly fixed, Shangguan Ru would fall and be smashed to pieces on the rocks far below.
If such a tragedy occurred, Servant Huan must die to pay for his fault, even Shangguan Yushi would probably not be able to escape death. So, these two were truly worried.
Shangguan Ru’s small figure dashed into the night, finally, she disappeared into the darkest shadow.
Over on Liu Shan Dian’s side, the rope shook in a burst, the other three on the sharp corner were all relieved. Shangguan Ru had arrived safely.
Next was Shangguan Yushi. She held the rope with one hand and pointed at Shangguan Fei with the other, waving it and then pointing it far away, indicating he should stay and keep watch.
Shangguan Fei was very active when practising, but at that time, the rope was only several feet above the ground. Now there was a bottomless abyss below the rope that scared him stiff. So he immediately nodded to agree to the job his cousin assigned him, thinking it was only too right.
Shangguan Yushi then turned to Servant Huan and also waved her hand.
Gu Shenwei was startled. He couldn’t stay, if he couldn’t enter Liu Sha Dian, he couldn’t steal the wooden sabre Xue Niang needed. Then all his hard work racking his brains in instigating the twins to be ‘great thieves’ would be wasted and it would really be a game.
He shook his head.
But Shangguan Yushi’s look was very firm, so Gu Shenwei had no choice but to nod his head. This was not the place for an argument.
He knew Yu Gongzi‘s little trick, what could be better than becoming “partners in crime” to enhance their friendship? She only wanted Shangguan Ru and herself to steal the black jade palm, so she made Servant Huan the collaborating outsider.
Shangguan Yushi climbed along the rope. She was taller, but her lightness skills were even better, the rope barely shook at all.
Gu Shenwei pressed one of his hands onto the rope. Shangguan Yushi would definitely fall off if he used his balanced power and shook the rope a bit. It would look like an accident, and he would get rid of a big headache.
That teenage girl had once tried to assassinate him, Gu Shenwei had never forgotten it.
But it was not the right time, the most urgent task for him right now was to steal the wooden sabre.
He regretfully let the rope go. Nobody knew when the next perfect opportunity would be.
Shangguan Fei was diligently looking at those torches far away and didn’t notice the servant’s little trick at all.
Shangguan Yushi also went inside, Gu Shenwei waited for a while and climbed the rope too. Anyway, he had already offended Yu Gongzi, the hatred between them could never be solved, so he did not care about offending her again.
Shangguan Fei finally discovered what was going on after Gu Shenwei had climbed several feet. He stomped his feet in anger, but he was also a bit afraid. He didn’t dare stand between the cliff and the huge tripod alone, but couldn’t shout out either; he could only helplessly watch as the night swallowed up the disobedient servant.
Gu Shenwei had climbed half of the distance and there was only about 8 or 9 feet left, the dark window was just in front of him. The rope suddenly slackened and the person on the rope dropped instantly.
Gu Shenwei was so scared that he was covered in cold sweat. The rope became stable again after falling about 1 foot, but he didn’t dare to move. He just hung there, below him was an abyss that seemed able to swallow the whole world, the wind on the mountain peak blew and swayed the rope from side to side.
Let it go and everything will be over. This idea tempted the teenager in danger. However, in just a moment, he discarded any thought of escape and quickly climbed the remaining distance.
The flying claw had left its original place, Gu Shenwei would have definitely died if it hadn’t fell snugly into a hollow beneath the window ledge.
It must be her, Gu Shenwei instantly thought of Shangguan Yushi. She must have loosened the flying claw and wanted to create an ‘accident’ of her own.
Gu Shenwei pulled hard on the flying claw, fixed it firmly back where it landed, and started looking around inside Liu Sha Dian.
Liu Sha Dian was long and narrow, there was a row of columns on each side to support the roof. From the middle of each stone column extended a metal hoop that supported a small silver plate. Placed upon it was a candle that shed light on the murals between the windows.
All those murals depicted lifelike men with sabres. These were the ancestors of the Shangguan family. There were also many places left blank, which were reserved for future generations.
Enshrined deep inside the temple was not the ancestor tablets, but a huge, unsheathed sabre. That sabre was even longer than a common long spear, the snow-white blade flashed a terrifying stream of light, out-shining the soft glow from the candles that created it.
On the floor in front of the huge sabre, two masked girls were tying an old man with grizzled hair. The old man’s mouth was stuffed, obviously he was paralyzed by Shangguan Ru’s knockout powder and couldn’t resist at all. He hadn’t fainted, he’d just lost his strength, but didn’t seem to be panicked.
The girls glanced up at Servant Huan and then continued working. The lights were dim and far away, so Gu Shenwei couldn’t see Shangguan Yushi’s expression clearly.
This was not the right time for revenge, he looked around, searching for the wooden sabre.
The temple was vast and empty, the only items that could be seen were under the huge sabre. Gu Shenwei walked closer, he saw the black jade palm, the altar, an incense burner, porcelain bottles, and all kinds of sacrifices. There were also unique things which wouldn’t be seen in the ancestral halls of ordinary families. For example, a pile of human skeletons that could be real or fake, and many pieces of battered armor. But there were no wooden sabres that could be seen everywhere else in Golden Roc Castle.
The huge sabre was the only sabre, but it definitely was not made of wood.
But Xue Niang had said clearly that ‘there is a wooden sabre’. Gu Shenwei regretted not asking Xue Niang clearly about it, for example, where was the wooden sabre hidden?
Shangguan Ru jumped onto the altar, first, she thoroughly admired the huge sabre and skeleton. This was the her first time entering Liu Sha Dian, and probably the first time for all women of the Shangguan family, so she was interested in everything.
Shangguan Yushi was looking after the old man below. Gu Shenwei took this chance to sweep over the great hall again, but everywhere he looked was barren and simple, there was no place to hide a sabre at all.
Shangguan Ru picked up the black jade palm, which was the size of a real palm, and stored it within the bag she’d prepared, then jumped off the altar and nodded at the other two, indicating they should leave now.
Shangguan Yushi shot a sharp look at Gu Shenwei when she passed by, but he didn’t mind at all. This was his only chance, if he couldn’t find the sabre, he would probably follow in Servant Qian’s footsteps.
Bound and lying on the floor, the old man looked at the roof peacefully, showing not a care towards the three thieves breaking into the temple.
Gu Shenwei also looked up at the roof, no, there was nothing there. Even if the wooden sabre was really hidden there, he’d have no way of reaching it.
Shangguan Ru hushed, she and Shangguan Yushi had walked to the window with the claw and was calling for him to leave right away.
Gu Shenwei had no choice but to walk over quickly.
Shangguan Ru went first again and left the pair of enemies who ignored each other.
Shangguan Yushi turned her head abruptly, and lowered her voice, “Why do I always feel like you’re plotting something?”
Gu Shenwei didn’t answer, he suddenly thought of where the wooden sabre might be hidden.
- Translator’s note: According to Buddhism, the six paths of incarnations include the Gods realm, Demon, Anti-god or Demi-god realm, Human realm, Animal realm, Hungry ghost realm, and Hell realm. ↩