Chapter 227 Servant Xin
Luo Ningcha thought long and hard for a whole night before offering Madam Meng three terms in exchange for the board. First, she wanted both Servant Huan and Lotus to be returned to her. The two were dowries brought into the castle by her, and there was no reason for them to be another person’s servants. Secondly, she requested a bigger house and to no longer visit her mother-in-law. Finally, she wanted the eighth young lord to work at the castle again. She didn’t want to be a ‘widow’ anymore.
The first two conditions weren’t a big deal because Madam Meng could grant them right away. What baffled her was the third one. All the young lords wanted to act independently and expand their forces outside the castle. Actually, she herself wanted to summon the eighth young lord back to the castle, but the biggest obstacle was exactly Shangguan Nu himself.
Gu Shenwei pointed this out to Miss Luo Ningcha but instead of accepting it, she became furious. “My father is Big Head God, and he will naturally leave the Iron Mountain Chief’s position to my husband in the future. What does Shangguan Nu need to strive for? Staying by my side and returning to the Iron Mountain with me in a few years is what he should strive to do.”
Gu Shenwei worked as a messenger for both sides while Lotus kept asking the maidservants around the Miss about the whereabouts of the board. But she found no clue. No one had seen the board after they came back home; Luo Ningcha had hidden it very well.
Madam Meng finally received Servant Huan. She didn’t mention any of the grudges of the past and also didn’t let the maidservant pass any words, but instead talked with him in private for a long time. In the end, she asked him, “You’ve been with Ru’er all this time and you’re her most trusted killer. Now that she is in trouble, what can you do for her?”
Madam Meng’s attitude made Gu Shenwei wary. Instead of following the Madam’s instruction to ease the twins’ relationship, he had done a great deal to inflame the situation. The Madam must have known this clearly, and the more amiable she seemed, the more resentful she was likely to be at heart.
“As a killer, I’m always at the lord’s service. Even if it’s an abyss in front of me, I will jump off without hesitation.”
“I’m not asking you to jump into the abyss, but rather asking you for advice.” Madam Meng was not like Luo Ningcha who would be easily touched by oaths.
Madam Meng didn’t give any hints, so Gu Shenwei had no idea what to say even as an attempt to figure out her intention. “Madam, please forgive me for being dull. In my opinion, eighth young mistress doesn’t have a particular purpose by taking away the board. It’s better to accept her requests for the time being and bring back the board as curing Tenth Gongzi’s illness is the most important thing right now.”
Madam Meng sighed and said in a very disappointed tone, “Ever since Yushi died, Ru’er has changed a lot. I’m still counting on you to keep a clear mind and help her out, but I didn’t expect you to be so foolish. Is there any room for a compromise in the castle? Old Eighth’s wife is always insatiable, and the more she gets, the more she’ll want. If this continues, we mother and children will die in her hand sooner or later.”
The hint was already very obvious. Gu Shenwei immediately knelt down on one leg. “I am Tenth Gongzi’s killer, and I’ll protect my lord at all costs. If anyone wants to go against Tenth Gongzi, please allow me to strike first.”
Madam Meng wasn’t very satisfied with the killer’s reluctant promise, so she sighed again. “Ai, my children always make me worried, especially Fei’er. He didn’t know what to do without his mother. He asked me for advice on everything and said many things about you. I found it funny to read his letters. He blamed all his failures on you, but I wrote back and told him that he was the lord and shouldn’t blame his losses on the killer and servant for his own laziness. If Servant Huan was so capable, why would he have let Ru’er be bullied by others? What good would do to him? Servant Huan, I don’t care who your original lord is; I think you know very well who is right for you to follow.”
Madam Meng’s words were almost tantamount to a direct threat, but Gu Shenwei was not afraid. The fact that Madam Meng regarded Servant Huan’s behavior of following two lords as slick opportunism meant that she was far from being able to see his true nature.
As long as he got the Daoless Scroll and removed the Desolate Finger Energy in his body, Gu Shenwei could start avenging himself without any scruples. Madam Meng could never imagine that this servant’s ambition was to kill all the people of the Shangguan family.
Madam Meng wanted Servant Huan to kill Luo Ningcha, but refused to say it, Gu Shenwei could only help ‘share her cares and burdens’. “Please give me a few days, Madam. I will return to Madam and Tenth Gongzi with a satisfactory result.”
Gu Shenwei already had a general idea about what would happen in the next few days.
Servant Huan and Lotus were nominally ‘returned’ to the eighth young mistress, and the big house requested was also being prepared. The only tricky matter was summoning the eighth young lord back to the castle. Madam Meng claimed that it was still under progress, to stabilize her daughter-in-law.
Luo Ningcha thought that she had won a great victory and didn’t care about the consequences of her blatant provocation. She ordered the two killers to take turns acting as bodyguards day and night not because she was afraid of being assassinated, but because she wanted to show off.
But she had more or less realized the importance of buying over people. So, to show her attitude, she assigned a servant to each of the two killers. It was this new servant who brought Gu Shenwei much trouble.
The new servant was actually acquainted with Gu Shenwei, and his name was Servant Xin. As one of the ten teenagers who had come to the castle as part of the dowry, Servant Xin had been carrying the dead in Adding Wood Yard before he finally strengthened his resolve and left that hellhole.
As soon as Servant Xin saw Servant Huan, he bent over and called out ‘Lord Yang’, his face revealing a strange smile as if he was reuniting with an old friend.
The ten teenagers had once been sworn brothers, but time had changed and no one would take that half-hearted and self-interested ritual seriously. Gu Shenwei was a bit puzzled but didn’t say anything.
Servant Xin nervously rubbed his hands. He first vigorously praised Servant Huan’s progress in all these years, then sighed about his own misery, always trying to reminisce about the past.
Gu Shenwei had no choice but to interrupt him, saying, “Servant Xin, do you have something to tell me?”
Servant Xin’s eyes sparkled as if he was moved to tears. This wasn’t the Servant Xin that Gu Shenwei remembered. He couldn’t help but feel a bit disgusted, but also an immediate relief. It wasn’t easy to make a living in the castle, so Servant Xin’s change was actually very normal.
“Lord Yang, actually … I should not say it.”
“There’s nothing you shouldn’t say. Although you were sent to me by Miss, we used to be friends, so there’s no need to care much about etiquette.”
Servant Xin repeatedly said ‘yes’ while rubbing his hands harder. “It’s not that I want to ask for credit, but I just think that I should tell you this. You know, I’ve done a big favour for you.”
“Oh?” Gu Shenwei casually answered, though he still remembered how he was isolated in Adding Wood Yard.
“Do you still remember … a piece of white silk?”
Gu Shenwei stopped wiping his sabre and sword, and looked at Servant Xin seriously for the first time. “So it was you.”
The shortcut manual of the Gu family Balanced Power was written on the white silk. In order to find it, Gu Shenwei had gone through lots of difficulties and even had to murder Servant Yao. Later, the white silk quietly reappeared. Gu Shenwei always thought it was returned by the dead Servant Qian, and didn’t expect that it would be Servant Xin who was the timidest.
“Heh heh, it was me. But I’ve been keeping it a secret and never told anyone else.”
Servant Xin couldn’t read and the white silk had been thrown off the cliff. Gu Shenwei wasn’t worried that he would tell others, so he continued to wipe the sword. “It wasn’t a big secret, just a little souvenir left by my family. I don’t even know where it is now.”
Servant Xin was stunned. He had encouraged himself to reveal the secret in the hope of getting a little gratitude. Disappointed, he abandoned his last bit of dignity, plopped down on his knees and said with a sobbing voice, “Servant Huan, no, Lord Yang, let me make a blood oath. I will be loyal to you all my life.”
Servant Xin’s move was very abrupt. The blood oath was a ritual of the killer, which was unnecessary for the servant, not to mention that this was the first day of their reunion and it was much too early to talk about loyalty.
Gu Shenwei put down his sword and said, “What happened? Get up, and cut to the point.”
Servant Xin didn’t stand up, but decided to ‘cut to the point’. “I, I don’t want to die.”
“Who’s going to kill you?” If it were Luo Ningcha who wanted to act ruthlessly, Gu Shenwei thought that he might be able to ask a favour for him.
“No … it’s not that someone will kill me, but … whoever offends you will die. Servant Xiao, Servant Yao, and Servant Qian, they all died. And Servant San and several others, who used to speak ill of you behind your back. After you left, they either couldn’t bear the torture and committed suicide themselves or were killed by the giant bird. Of the ten people who came in with Miss, I am the only one left now. No no, Lord Yang still lives as well.”
Gu Shenwei was once believed to be possessed by evil’, so he didn’t expect that Servant Xin was still worrying about this kind of matter. “You didn’t provoke me, so there’s nothing to worry about.”
Servant Xin, however, was frightened. He kowtowed a few times until his forehead started bruising. “Who else did you tell about the white silk,” Gu Shenwei asked, his face cold.
“I had no choice. I wanted to leave Adding Wood Yard so when he came to ask me, I could only tell him. I didn’t even confess when I was tortured, but Adding Wood Yard, you know, it’s really not a place for people to stay …”
“Who?” Gu Shenwei harshly interrupted.
“The Sabrelord of Washing Heart Yard, surnamed Shen.”
Servant Xin tried to hide the truth, but after seeing his partners die one by one with every death seemingly related to Servant Huan, he became scared. He was too afraid of that ‘evil Qi’, and couldn’t help but tremble at the sight of Servant Huan. He could only stammer out everything.
Shen Liang had started investigating Servant Huan and Lotus after the death of the big young lord Shangguan Chui. Lotus’s background was simple and clear, but Servant Huan appeared to be a mysterious figure. Although the past life he had confessed looked normal, it couldn’t hold up to a close examination. And the incident of the white silk Servant Xin had told only perplexed Shen Liang more. Unfortunately, Servant Xin couldn’t read, and couldn’t tell what was written on the white silk.
No wonder Shen Liang would watch him so closely. Gu Shenwei finally understood. “Then?”
“Then? That’s it. I just left Adding Wood Yard and came over to work for Miss and didn’t expect that Miss would assign me to you.”
“Sabrelord Shen didn’t ask you to spy for him?”
Servant Xin anxiously kowtowed again. “I was forced to. Sabrelord wanted to learn about your background from Miss, but I wasn’t able to find out any information. I didn’t even have a chance to meet Miss, it’s all true.”
Luo Ningcha knew that Servant Huan had sneaked into Golden Roc Castle to avenge the Gu family. If this matter were known by Shen Lian, it would be enough to put Servant Huan to death.
“Well, I forgive you,” Gu Shenwei said. Originally he had planned to wait for the robber gang of Iron Mountain to collapse itself, so the problems of Luo Ningcha and the Daoless Scroll would be automatically solved. But now the situation had changed, and he had to make a move before Shen Liang discovered the truth.