Chapter 083 Prostitute
Gu Shenwei reminded himself that he was in the southern Jade City. It might have been a common thing for a teenager to murder someone by hiring a killer, but he didn’t want to show his ignorance so he kept his composure calm. However,he also didn’t want to accept the offer as his purpose for being a killer was not for money.
“You’re looking for the wrong person. I’m not a killer.”
Xu Xiaoyi’s eager eyes revealed a trace of disappointment, which immediately exposed his naivety.
“You name a price, I pay you the money. I have lots of money, seriously, I can pay you half in advance.”
“I already told you. I’m not a killer.”
Xu Xiaoyi hung his head in dismay like a kid who never received his new year gift.
“I thought you could help, you know. This was probably the only chance for me and my sister to escape from the misery.”
“You have a sister?”
“Yes, I have an elder sister. To tell you the truth, I’m a thief, and my sister is a … prostitute. We didn’t choose these jobs out of our free will. That man forces us into desperate measures by beating us if we can’t hand in some silver everyday. If I had a choice, I would learn and do anything else, whether it be civil or military. My elder sister should be living in the northern Jade City like a rich family’s miss, learning some needlework and not doing what she is now. Honestly, even if I continue working as a thief, she should be able to marry a good guy, like an exiled noble. She has such a good personality, and is also pretty and gentle. I don’t understand why the heavens are so unfair to her.”
Xu Xiaoyi reminded Gu Shenwei of his own sister Gu Tsuilan. However, he knew that the heavens were even more unfair to her.
“How much money do you have?”
“Err, I don’t know. This is my first time hiring a killer. What’s the usual price for this?”
Gu Shenwei had experienced the cruellest slaughter at Golden Roc Castle and could deduce possible ambushes from a single blade of grass. He had also schemed against adults with evil intentions and was deeply suspicious towards everyone. But, he had never dealt with a street rat before, especially one as pathetic as this hooligan, who was desperately seeking help.
“One hundred liang.”
Lotus once offered 100 liang to bribe the overseer at Lian Huo Yuan to arrange Liuhua as Servant Huan’s opponent. Going off of that, Gu Shenwei guessed that this would be the price of someone’s life.
Xu Xiaoyi revealed a reluctant expression but he didn’t bargain.
“OK, I’ll pay you 50 liang now, give you another 50 after it’s done.”
“Tell me about that man.”
“The one who forced you and your sister into your current state.”
“This is not a good place to talk, follow me.”
Gu Shenwei himself didn’t understand why he accepted this inexplicable ‘business’. His matter with his Master was not done yet, so no matter what, it was better not to cause trouble. Additionally, this teenager appeared to be too scheming to be dependable.
The only reason why Gu Shenwei agreed to do the job was because he was moved by the bit of emotion Xu Xiaoyi had shown when he mentioned his sister.
He stood up and followed the teenager to leave the tavern, thinking about Tie Hanfeng and how he would treat this matter. Since his Master hadn’t revealed his true intentions yet, Gu Shenwei decided that he might as well try to provoke a reaction out of his Master.
It was still early dawn so luckily for them, almost nobody was walking on the street. Xu Xiaoyi led the way ahead and after they entered the city wall, they passed through many small alleys. Xu Xiaoyi was like a small rat running in its own maze-like nest, quickly running down the fastest and most deserted route to their destination..
They soon arrived at a small house on the streetside. There was no courtyard, with the first floor being the living room, and the second floor the bedroom. It was not a large place, but the decorations were extremely extravagant. Thick carpets lined the floor with vessels crafted from gold, silver, and jade displayed everywhere. There were also unknown silk strings scattered on the ground, obviously revealing that a banquet just ended moments ago.
Gu Shenwei suddenly realized that he was in a small brothel. He immediately became a bit nervous and felt suspicious of Xu Xiaoyi again, thinking this might all be his Master’s trick and what might welcome him around the corner would be his master’s red face.
Xu Xiaoyi quickly verified that Gu Shenwei’s suspicion was unnecessary by walking up the stairs and calling his elder sister to come down. A girl with a tender and petite appearance appeared, whose rouge cheeks and white makeup couldn’t cover up the look of dismay and innocence on her face.
That teenage girl was Xu Yanwei, Xu Xiaoyi’s elder sister. She was only 17 years old and was the first prostitute Gu Shenwei had ever met.
If Gu Lun were still alive and saw that his son had met a prostitute at such a young age, he would have definitely moved the Gu family 10 thousand miles away again.
Xu Yanwei was indeed as gentle and quiet as her brother had said. Xu Xiaoyi did all the talking as she just hung her head and wrung her handkerchief lightly with her hands. It looked like she was scared about the idea of hiring a killer as her face drained of color with the slightest sound outside.
The one who had forced the sister and brother into their current predicament was an old rogue. His name was unknown and everyone called him ‘Big Belly Buddha’, and the kids under him called him ‘Big Daddy’.
“Big Daddy buys kids from different places and enslaves them after they grow up. The boys are forced to be thieves and robbers and girls are forced to… do this.” Xu Xiaoyi said indignantly, appearing to be very resentful about Big Daddy, “As long as the guest wants to watch and is willing to pay, he will kill openly, not to mention beating. See, the wounds on my sister’s body still haven’t recovered.”
As he said this, Xu Xiaoyi lifted his sister’s sleeve, exposing a slender childlike arm with several shocking blood stains crisscrossing on the tender white skin.
Xu Yanwei anxiously put down her sleeve, turned around and wept silently.
Gu Shenwei was completely moved by the two’s show as the chivalry fostered by his father slowly rekindled. The outburst of emotions made him overlook many important details. The most obvious was that since the Big Belly Buddha could control so many children and manage a prostitution and robbery ring at the same time, he must be a man with power and backing. He might even be connected with Golden Roc Castle and his murder would cause Gu Shenwei countless troubles.
The world Gu Shenwei had accidentally entered was another world, a world different from the martial arts families of the Central Plains and Killer’s castle of the Western Regions. In this world, there was no concept of truth or lies because, everything revolved around money.
Only those who knew how important money was could see through the mist ahead and survive. Unfortunately for Gu Shenwei, this was a lesson that he learnt later on in life.
After listening to Xu Xiaoyi for a long time, Gu Shenwei finally said “Give me the silver, and a sabre.”
The preparations for the assassination proceeded normally. Gu Shenwei checked the indoor and outdoor environment, determined the optimal retreat route and asked about Big Belly Buddha’s personal information in detail.
Big Belly Buddha used to be a kung fu expert when he was young. Back then, he fought and killed wantonly, using his skills to establish his current job in southern Jade City. However, as his wallet grew heavier, so too did his stomach. Eventually, his martial arts were left behind and now just climbing a few flight of stairs would leave him panting heavily.
He was always followed by a bodyguard, though the bodyguard was always a random sabreman that could have been found in any of the taverns in southern Jade City.
According to the regular routine, the Big Belly Buddha would come to collect Xu Yanwei’s ‘tax’ in less than two hours by taking away all of the silver she earned over night. Usually he would go upstairs to finish the ‘business’ in the bedroom.
An elderly woman servant used to stay around Xu Yanwei, but she had already been sent away.
This wasn’t out of the normal. The only thing different today was the sabre brought by Xu Xiaoyi.
The sheath was brand new and black-lacquered, what was inside was a counterfeit sabre in the style of Golden Roc Castle.The sabre was roughly built as it was slightly lighter, and the tip of the blade was curved.
Gu Shenwei gave back the sheath to Xu Xiaoyi and let him take it away. He himself held the copy sabre and walked upstairs with Xu Yanwei.
The bedroom was decorated the same as downstairs. The door was hung with a curtain, which Gu Shenwei pulled aside and hid behind. If everything worked as planned, this bodyguard would stand in the doorway and be the target Gu Shenwei attacked first.
After the preparation was done, the two in the bedroom suddenly felt very embarrassed.
Although Gu Shenwei was only 15 years-old, he had a serious and gloomy disposition and looked 3 or 4 years older than his real age.Combined with the fact that the only teenagers Xu Yanwei had ever interacted with were her little brother, and brothel guests, she became very embarrassed. She appeared to be fidgety, glancing at Gu Shenwei’s position now and then, then quickly lowering her head, pretending to flatten her hemline which was already very tidy.
Gu Shenwei also felt uneasy. He didn’t know what a prostitute should be like, but he definitely didn’t expect one to be so shy and timid. Xu Yanwei’s eyes were tearful and evasive, and totally incompatible with the word ‘prostitute’.
“You should pretend that I’m not here. Otherwise, they’ll become suspicious,” Gu Shenwei reminded.
He still had to hide for a while here and couldn’t bear the prying eyes anymore.
Xu Yanwei quietly agreed and did what she normally did when she was alone in the bedroom: take off all her clothes.
Clothes in the sense that she was just wearing a gorgeous robe with nothing on inside.
Although they were separated by a curtain and Gu Shenwei could only see a vague figure, he still immediately turned around as his heart thumped. He also felt for the first time that perhaps this Xu Yanwei wasn’t as gentle and timid as she seemed to be.
Xu Yanwei had already got on the bed and slept before Gu Shenwei turned around again as daytime was her resting time.
He wiped the sweat as it oozed from his palms, gripping the hilt again and staring into the empty space at the doorway from behind the curtain, quickly calming himself down.
Xu Yanwei’s breath was quiet and long, as if she had really fallen asleep and as if even 100 men hiding in the room would not disturb her rest.
Big Belly Buddha pounded upstairs to declare his arrival. He was still outside the door but his loud voice already rang, “My girl, what presents have you prepared for Big Daddy?”
Big Belly Buddha came inside. He was like a oversized ball and frequently wiped his sweat off with a scarf as if it was still summer time. Behind him followed a middle-aged man in his early 30s. Tall and unshaven, he gave off a similar feel to the robbers that Gu Shenwei had seen before with his unwashed face.
Big Belly Buddha directly walked to the bed while the bodyguard leaned against the doorframe and looked at the woman in the bed with obscene eyes. Between him and the hidden killer was just a curtain.
Xu Yanwei woke up as soon as she heard the steps. She sat on the bed and pulled the quilt corner up to cover her body. Pale-faced, she tried to squeeze a smile, “Big Daddy, the guest of last night sent over 1000 liang, it’s all over there.”
A low table was placed on the carpet and covered with red silk. Big Belly Buddha lifted the silk and nodded satisfactorily after seeing a pile of silver.
Gu Shenwei was startled and suddenly felt cheated. What kinds of guest sent 1000 liang of silver for one night? He only got 100 liang for killing two people, it seemed he was worth less than a night in bed.
But this was not the time to bargain over the price. He held his breath and waited for the best chance to take action. The middle-aged bodyguard didn’t look like an expert, but Gu Shenwei still followed the commandment of Golden Roc killer – one must spare no effort even in killing an old beggar; never underestimate the enemy.
The bodyguard’s eyes greedily settled on the woman’s white arms. As he did so, his body unconsciously bent forward, causing his back to press against the curtain and stop less than one inch from the tip of the sabre.