Editors: Lygnaw, Moonclipse
Chapter 10 Bridegroom
Although everyone had only halfheartedly sworn to be brothers, the 10 teenagers became closer after that night, as if they really had found some sense of belonging.
Gu Shenwei also thought that the idea of being sworn brothers was not bad. He didn’t have anyone to rely on at the moment, and he also had no martial arts manuals. To obtain his revenge through open means was impossible, so he could only use underhanded means. Having a group of brothers, ultimately, was not a bad thing.
Of course, he would not tell his secrets to the others. In this small group of hidden schemes and exploits, one should never tell the truth.
The following days were the honeymoon period for the 10 sworn brothers. They helped each other, learnt to speak each other’s language, and sometimes even made little jokes. No one could foresee the future life after going to Golden Roc Castle .
On the morning of the Miss’s wedding day, the whole camp was arranged to look brand-new. From Big Head God to the lowest level minions, they were all dressed up nicely for the first time and reminding themselves not to exhibit bandit-like behaviour.
Nearly a thousand gangsters, regardless of their rank, crowded on either side of the road, wanting to see what the bridegroom looked like. He was the son of the Unique King, who had always kept a low-profile. Even for the biggest gang of robbers in the Western Regions, it was rare to see his appearance.
Gu Shenwei in particular wanted to have a look at him.
The fact that Golden Roc Castle had exterminated the Gu family from Central Plains had been spread; the Shangguan family deliberately did not conceal this. The details of what had happened, the before, the after, they were all gradually revealed to the teenager.
This business——the Iron Mountain robbers’ gang called killing ‘business’——had been led by Shangguan Nu, the eighth son of the Unique King. The power he possessed comprised of 20 killers and 70 sabremen. It was also said that he also had a ‘green faced’ assassin.
The sabremen, killer, and assassin were members of different levels in Golden Roc Castle; a sabreman was at an elementary level. They were usually hired from different places of the Western Regions. A killer was a person trained by the Golden Roc Castle itself; their martial arts skills would be significantly higher than the sabremen, and therefore they were considered as the key of the Golden Roc Castle. The assassin was one of the most mysterious group of people, their existence itself controversial. A legendary assassin had the highest martial arts skill. Their identities were hidden, they often wore a black mask, and were called ‘green faced’.
20 killers and 70 sabremen were a force to be reckoned with. Some people even thought that this was using a hammer to crack nuts.
In accordance with the rules of Golden Roc Castle, the sabremen was in charge of reconnaissance and other matters. They only killed when necessary. Only killers took the most important assassination task.
It was these sabremen who had peeked at the manor from the mountain back and broken into the manor to find the actual situation and escaped, and it was them who were killed by old servant Yang Zheng in the end.
20 killers, and perhaps the young lord Shangguan Nu and the mysterious ‘green faced’, had sneaked into the Gu family manor after everything had been prepared. They had killed the patrolling guardsmen quietly, then the lords of the manor, before finally killing the servants who were still soundly asleep.
The entire operation had been planned out very well, so its execution had been exceedingly smooth, and weren’t faced with any resistance. Following the rules of Golden Roc Castle, fighting the enemy face-to-face was the last resort. It was best if the assassination was carried out with no resistance.
Sweep away the gold, silver and other treasures then burn it down with fire, this was the standard procedure of Golden Roc Castle. For those objects that were not easy to move, they were all left to the bandits who had a sensitive smell.
If everything had gone smoothly, this would have brought a prosperous future to the eighth young lord Shangguan Nu.
That was the first time he had carried out a task by himself. He would have been eligible to stand on his own after being successful and cultivate his own strength. He would also marry the daughter of Big Head God, the leader of the largest robbers’ gang in the Western Regions, a rare strength that could be used to consolidate his family’s forces and his own status.
And all because of the disappearance of a 14-year-old teenager, these became nothing more than an illusion.
There were various opinions about how the teenager named Gu Shenwei escaped. It seemed that Gu Lun, the lord of the manor, had been a sly old fish. He had sent a series of troops out that night, scattering the attention of the sabremen outside and hence helping his daughter and youngest son escape.
Shangguan Nu had made a poor judgment at that time. He had only sent the sabremen to chase, with the result of the three sabremen who left not returning. After the extermination of the Gu family, it was found that two young lords had been missing. Shangguan Nu had sent the killer in time, and the killer had brought back the head he had wanted.
But it was the wrong head.
The head that was thought to be the young lord of the Gu family actually belonged to somebody unknown.
Because of this unforgivable fault, the Unique King had amputated his eighth son’s hand, and Shangguan Nu had chopped off several sabremen and killers’ hands.
Shangguan Nu’s good future had ended just before it had started. Although the Unique King hadn’t declared anything, and maybe would not even declare it in the future, everyone was sure that Shangguan Nu would not be able to stand on his own for a long time. The marriage with Big Head God’s daughter, however, was not cancelled; instead, it became a pure family marriage as the Unique King and Big Head God needed such a marriage. Furthermore, the two of them temporarily had no other children at the right age.
What made Gu Shenwei disappointed was that the rumors rarely mentioned the outcome of the Gu family’s Miss Gu Tsuilan. People either took it for granted that she was dead, or she was not mentioned at all.
As for the true cause of the extermination of the Gu family by Golden Roc Castle, there were many rumours, each indistinguishable from the truth or lies, reasons included for money, for treasures, for hatred, for resentment, for others’ revenge, and so on. Anyway, this was not the first time the Golden Roc Castle had exterminated a family, and could even be regarded as an ordinary action by Golden Roc Castle. If not because it was related to the leader’s daughter, the robbers’ gang of the Iron Mountain would not even have an interest in it.
The most incredible part of the whole story was the final outcome. It was said that the Unique King issued a ruthless order, requiring Shangguan Nu to bring back the correct head within seven days.
Shanguan Nu had made it. In relation to this point, all the people casually mentioned, a 14-year-old child, how far could he run in the desert of the Western Regions? There was no doubt that he would be caught under the hunt of the Golden Roc Castle.
Only Gu Shenwei himself was sure that he was not dead.
As for how he unexpectedly lived to the present, he could only guess a general outline; first, it was Yang Zheng’s strategy. He let the small bookkeeper Ming Xiang pose as the young master, and also found another child to pose as the bookkeeper. Only this was not enough, there were a series of contingencies after that; Gu Shenwei had gone the wrong way, he had travelled back to the manor and been captured by a robber who didn’t know him. Later, the robber had died under the swordsman from the Big Snow Mountain, and Big Head God had accidentally bought him among those many slaves.
These accidents made it impossible for Shangguan Nu to find any clues of the whereabouts of the missing person in time, so he was forced to use someone else’s head instead.
Shangguan Nu had brought back the wrong head to Golden Roc Castle, but why had nobody pointed it out this time?
Gu Shenwei racked his brains, but still couldn’t figure it out.
The escort group from Golden Roc Castle arrived.
Dozens of riders were dressed up brightly as they walked in two rows in the front. Although their numbers were small, they all looked dignified. The horses were all red and well-trained, moving in concert. The momentum had already overwhelmed the scattered crowd of onlookers that were the robbers’ gang.
Behind them was a sedan chair lifted by eight people. Riding alongside the sedan was the bridegroom, Shangguan Nu.
Shanguan Nu was indeed dressed as a standard bridegroom, but his face did not have the happy smile of a bridegroom. It was still the same as usual, ruthless. He turned a blind eye to the gestures and praises of the thousands of people.
He was like a newly-appointed general who was inspecting his useless army.
A sabre was still hanging by his waist, the black sheath exceptionally garish and unfitting with the whole escort group.
It was known that men from the Shangguan family would not take their sabre away from their body until they died. The crowd passed along these words; they all understood and forgave the bridegroom’s rude behavior.
Actually, the people were more curious about the bridegroom’s right hand, the hand that was chopped off by the Unique King.
Without a hand to carry the sabre, even for a man of the Shangguan family, it was like a tiger without teeth.
Shangguan Nu’s right arm was completely hidden inside his long sleeves. The reins were also inside the sleeves and held by something unknown. It looked no different from normal people.
Even a person who knew nothing about politeness would not deliberately stare at the disability of others, but unfortunately, in the robbers’ camp of the Iron Mountain, courtesy was rarer than kindness. Thousands of eyes were all staring at that hidden crippled hand after they had glanced at the escort team and the bridegroom.
Shangguan Nu’s face became colder and stiffer, as if he was part of the Iron Mountain.
Big Head God had seen Shangguan Nu from far away. The smile on his face grew bigger and bigger, the dark clouds hovering in his heart swept away. The one coming in from the opposite direction was a real son of the Unique King, and now in this way, who could find out that he was crippled slightly? The young man was worthy of his own daughter, and he opened his arms widely, waiting to meet his son-in-law.
Gu Shenwei saw his enemy too. The 10 pairs of virgin boys and girls, together with a group of sub-chiefs were standing behind Big Head God, could all clearly see as the bridegroom dismounted and kneeled down to meet his father-in-law. They even saw a length of hook exposed from the cuffs when Big Head God lifted his son-in-law up and gave him a warm embrace.
The hook flashed.
Gu Shenwei found that he was surprisingly very calm and didn’t have the expected nervousness.
This was the enemy of the Gu family. It may even had been this young man who had personally killed his parents with his own hands and cut off their heads.
Gu Shenwei was holding a red gift box and only a few steps away from Shanguan Nu. Suddenly, from within his heart emerged the impulse to move forward. His body involuntarily leaned forward.
A stern look was shot at him.
Xue Niang was looking at him, her eyes warning him not to make a fool of himself in front of the groom.
Gu Shenwei suddenly woke up, and immediately resumed standing. His life was saved by his father who did everything possible to help him survive. This was also exchanged with the voluntary sacrifice of his master, Yang Zheng, as well as his elder sister. He should not waste his life so easily.
He wanted revenge, but his goal for revenge was no longer Shangguan Nu alone. The enmity of extermination must be returned with another extermination.
He had heaven’s will, and would definitely succeed.
The groom Shangguan Nu stood up, his eyes randomly sweeping the people behind his father-in-law. Although Big Head God’s giant body hid a lot of people, he still saw a group of giggling bandits, with vulgar faces. The new clothes could not conceal the dirt on their whole body.
Shangguan Nu was a little disappointed. Was this the power he had strived for? How did his father take a fancy to such a crowd?
Gu Shenwei bravely met the sweep of his eyes, but he did not get a shred of concern.
When he had made the decision to enter the Golden Roc Castle, he had also determined to take a huge risk; someone in the Golden Roc Castle must have already known him, and maybe Shangguan Nu had already inquired about his appearance.
Just now, Shangguan Nu hadn’t recognize him; he had passed the first hurdle. However, when he arrived at the Castle, how long could he hide?
Gu Shenwei knew that the duration for revenge left by heaven’s will was not long, so he had to move as soon as possible.