Editors : Moonclipse, Savage Bunny
Chapter 7 The Triangle Face
He must have lost the white silk when he had been fighting with the big bearded man. Gu Shenwei grabbed a wooden bar of the cage trolley and looked back. He could only see a string of ox carts, and after a while, when the group made a turn, he was able to look further.
The T-junction was out of sight, the group having already moved far away.
Gu Shenwei’s hands clenched so hard that his fingers became ghostly pale. He kept staring back. He couldn’t believe that his family’s secret manual was simply gone.
“Is……there anyone of you who has seen a white piece of cloth?”
With one last glimmer of hope, Gu Shenwei turned around and looked at the other kids in the cage.
He didn’t know if it was because they couldn’t understand the language of the Central Plains or if they were not willing to speak, but all the kids didn’t answer. In fact, nobody even raised their head to glance at the newcomer.
“A piece of white……”
Gu Shenwei tried to describe the size of the white silk with his hands, but he gradually lost his confidence. All the kids in the cage looked skinny and wore ragged clothes. They definitely would not be interested in a piece of cloth.
“They don’t understand what you are saying.”
After the ox cart moved for a while, one teenage boy at the corner finally spoke up.
This teenager was around Gu Shenwei’s age. He had a delicate and sharp face. Compared to the other kids, the clothes he wore were clean. The cage was small, but he could occupy a corner as his own. Now he was playing with a grass stick in his hands and staring at the new teenager with judging looks.
“White silk, a piece of white cloth, have you seen it?” Gu Shenwei asked eagerly.
The triangle-faced teenager thought for a while, then shook his head. “No. Is it very important?”
Gu Shenwei sat down heavily, his mind was blank.
“Where are we going?” He asked unconsciously after a while.
Gu Shenwei knew this city. It was a very important city in the Western Regions. As a transport hub, it connected with other cities and lots of traveling merchants gathered here. It was a paradise for the befuddled life and a hell for making living with the sword and sabre. He had stayed there for one night once, and ——-he suddenly recalled, isn’t Golden Roc Castle outside of Jade City?
Gu Shenwei raised his head just in time to catch the triangle-faced teenager’s looks. It seemed that there was something strange about him that could continually attract the teenager’s attention.
“You know me?” Gu Shenwei felt a bit annoyed and asked. Only the two of them in the cage could speak the language of the Central Plains, but he had fallen to become a slave, and had also lost the critical secret manual of the Gu family. Therefore, he really wasn’t in the mood to make a new friend.
“A kid from a rich family.” The triangle-faced teenager said with a sneer. His tone was frivolous, full of irony and disdain.
“So what?” Gu Shenwei grew angry, even though the anger going to his head mostly had nothing to do with the triangle-faced teenager.
“Nothing, when we arrive at the Jade City we’ll be sold, but nobody will buy you to be a son or young lord. I’m just kindly reminding you, it’s not easy to change from a young lord to be a servant. The servants have their own rules and ways of living, do you want to listen to my advice?”
The triangle-faced teenager’s words made sense, so Gu Shenwei nodded.
“Wash your ass clean.”
The triangle-faced teenager said seriously, his face showed a smile, the smile became bigger and bigger and finally became an insane laughter.
Gu Shenwei didn’t understand those words for a long time, he was just annoyed by the triangle-faced teenager’s unrestrained laughter. Then he gradually felt the indecency meaning of those words, but the best time to fight back was gone. In his limited luxurious lifetime, he had never learnt how to cope with this kind of situation.
The triangle-faced teenager had used his words to win and became more unrivaled. After he had calmed down, he pretended to be serious and said,
“Don’t worry, a young lord like you, grows to look quite clean. When we arrive at the Jade City, someone will certainly rush to buy you. You will have a prosperous future, haha, and your ass will not be idle.”
These words were clearly an insult.
Gu Shenwei leaped up and punched the triangle-faced teenager, but he was blocked by the kids in the middle. They rolled up into balls, and the screams of pain resounded in the cage finally caught a guard’s attention. The guard didn’t say anything. He merely extended a stick and poked randomly in the cage.
The kids quickly separated. Each of them had been poked, even Gu Shenwei, but the triangle-faced teenager in the corner still had not been hurt.
The triangle-faced teenager suppressed his laughter until the guard left. Then he let go, holding his stomach as he laughed to to the point of being breathless.
Gu Shenwei couldn’t imagine that there was such an annoying person in the world. The triangle-faced teenager once replaced the killer of Golden Roc Castle and became his most hated person.
Gu Shenwei was not the only target of the triangle-faced teenager’s teasing. He would always be silent for a while, and then suddenly start talking unceasingly, either subtly or openly. His words were all about the miserable experience of being a servant. He would not stop until the audience was either irritated or frightened into crying.
Unfortunately, he had a talent of speaking several languages. The kids in the cage came from different places, yet he could talk with almost every one of them. To match up with the astonishing rumors, he also made rich expressions and actions.
“Some lords like eating kids, especially the ones as young as us. Every year, these slave traders will pick some kids with plump meat and sell them to the lords that have a particular appetite. The new lord will openly declare that you are not obedient, not obeying the lord’s orders and wanting to escape. He will then tie you up and wash your ass clean. Then he will torture you while he cuts your flesh to eat, piece by piece. Fry, boil, and use all kinds of methods. You would be alive watching him eat you.”
The triangle-faced teenager bared his two rows of white teeth, stuck his tongue out and licked in a circle. “Wash your ass clean” was his favorite catchphrase.
Only when an eight or nine year-old kid cried out, was he finally satisfied and shut his mouth to rest for a while.
It was not long until Gu Shenwei got used to the triangle-faced teenager’s sarcastic ridicules and endless chanter. His mood was like a patient who had a fatal illness and already knew the ending, therefore had no will to live. If there was any hope, it would be when death would be near.
The trade caravan moved very slowly, night after day. The slaves would occasionally be released to excrete their body. Gu Shenwei was like a walking dead, nonresistant, didn’t even try to escape; he had completely lost his confidence. Even heaven’s will had abandoned him, not even giving him a tiny hint.
The environment of the trade caravan became increasingly cheerful as Jade City was just ahead. What was waiting for them would be wealthy buyers, flowing wine and the ecstasy of the gentle town. Most importantly, the trade caravan had already crossed into the Golden Roc Castle’s territory, and it would not come across any danger.
The last thought had been shattered at noon of the third day. At that time, there was only one more day left of the journey to reach Jade City. The journey had become smoother, there were abundant green plants and there were lively villages ahead, in addition the villages were not type of places where robbers would show up.
At that moment, a group of robbers stood in front of the trade caravan. The people at the back couldn’t see the situation, but the bad news was passed on one by one.
“Some robbers are blocking the way.”
“How come there are robbers here?”
“Where is the killer from the Golden Roc Castle? Isn’t he leading the way?”
“Don’t be afraid. We have more people and the robbers only have several tens of men.”
“Big Head God? It’s the Big Head God, oh my god.”
Gu Shenwei had some impressions about the Big Head God. This guy had always incurred some frightening stories. Those stories were unusual so Gu Shenwei had always taken him to be one of the characters in a myth but he hadn’t expected that he was real.
“We are doomed, Big Head God likes eating kids the most, no matter you wash your ass clean or not, he will still eat you.”
The triangle-faced teenager’s face was ghastly pale. He said the same words in four or five different languages. His expression was not as frivolous as usual, and his voice was also trembling, making his words seem more true.
The story of Iron Mountain Big Head God was heard by all the children in the Western Regions. Once reminded, they all started panicking. Some of the timid kids curled in the haystack, trembling, not daring to raise their heads.
At first, it was not the Big Head God himself that negotiated with the trade caravan. When the whole trade caravan was still on tenterhooks, a big scary voice said,
“You don’t have to be scared, I’m a friend of the Unique King, I will not do business on his territory. I’m here to buy something, not rob.”
The Big Head God from the Iron Mountain was surprisingly going to ‘buy’ something. The merchants were even more frightened. Nobody dared to respond, fearing that this was the code word of the robbers. What if they cheerfully approached close to the robbers, but what waited for them was a sabre cut?
It was only when the Big Head God’s men threw two bags of gleaming silver on the ground, did the leader of the trade caravan ventured to ask,
“May I ask my lord, what would you like to buy? We have……”
With this statement, the people from the trade caravan all retreated three steps, huddling together. They were all puzzled, who exactly dared to offend this big malicious star, to even make the Big Head God buy him?
It was unexpected that the Big Head God really bought some slaves normally. A skinny middle-aged women came out of the robbers’ group and led a small team to check every cage that held slaves.The one that got pointed at would be pulled out.
The merchant’s hanging heart finally calmed down, but those slaves who heard the news were freaked out. The triangle-faced teenager was stupefied at first, then his hands were fumbling in the haystack. He grasped ashes with both hands and started smearing it on his face.
His move awakened everybody. Even Gu Shenwei who had lost his heart joined the group to grasp the ashes, trying his best to make him look ugly and unattractive.
However, the skinny woman seemed to have a special ability. She could find their true look no matter how thick the ashes were. In this cage, her eyes swept across and picked two kids.
Gu Shenwei steeled his heart and jumped out by himself. The triangle-faced teenager was paralyzed in the corner, still holding onto hope. The result was that he was pulled out roughly by one of the robbers.
The skinny woman picked very fast. In the end, she picked a total of ten boys and ten girls, all around the ages of more than ten years-old. The two teenagers who were chased by the swordsman Long Feidu from Big Snow Mountain were also selected.
“Virgin boys’ and girls’ flesh are most fresh, now we really are going to wash our ass and be eaten.”
The triangle-faced teenager only said this in the language of the Central Plains. With a sad face, he followed behind Gu Shenwei and walked towards the new owner.
The Big Head God was at the forefront of the trade caravan. Gu Shenwei only heard his voice, but hadn’t seen him. Now, he boldly looked up and glanced at him. Although he had already prepared, he was still shocked, thinking how was it possible to have such a scary person in the world.
Big Head God was on a black horse. His exposed upper body was almost as tall as a normal person. He deserved his name; he had a giant head with loose hair, which made his head look even more bigger. It was like a large, ancient tripod carved with taotie. 1
His eyes, nose, and mouth were big, as if a statue of Buddha had stepped out of the temple.
His naked upper body had tight muscles, shining in the sunshine.
His black horse was also extraordinary. It was a full circle larger than an ordinary horse and had dense teeth and fierce eyes. It was more like a beast that ate meat.
Gu Shenwei somehow began to believe the legend of the Big Head God. The triangle-faced teenager behind him staggered, almost falling onto him.
Big Head God’s band had plenty of horses, someone immediately brought out more than 10 horses. The newly bought virgin boys and girls either rode solo or rode double. All of them were forced to ride on horses.
The triangle-faced teenager followed Gu Shenwei and climbed on the same horse and held Gu Shenwei’s waist from behind. No matter how hard Gu Shenwei tried to shake him off, he wouldn’t let it go.
The robbers from Iron Mountain bought the people, then turned around to rush towards the east. The silver left on the ground was more than ten thousand, enough to buy another dozen slaves, but the merchants had still not recovered from the shock, even though Big Head God had already left, no one dared to touch the silver.
- Translator’s note: Taotie is a mythical ferocious beast which enjoys eating and drinking in large amounts. ↩