Chapter 238 The Shortsword
There were two different versions of the seventh chapter of the Daoless Scroll? Gu Shenwei’s heart thumped. Pretending to be concern about Shangguan Ru’ safety, he anxiously asked where she got it.
“Well, I might as well tell you.” Shangguan Ru gave in and told the truth, saying, “The board taken away by eighth sister-in-law records the contents of the seventh chapter, which was not long, and was exactly the part recited by the fifteenth spiritual master, but my mother exerted a little pressure …”
Gu Shenwei now came to understand. The Daoless Scroll was kept in a special way. Only the guardian of the temple remembered all the contents. There were also fifteen spiritual masters who memorized different parts and checked with the guardian once a year, just in case of error and forgetfulness. The guardian would never open his mouth unless it was necessary. And It was very difficult to force the spiritual masters to tell all the contents, but it was possible to force one of them, especially the last spiritual master to reveal the secret. The ‘little pressure’ exerted by Madam Meng turned out to be very effective.
“So you heard these characters from the spiritual master?”
“No, my mother got it and gave it to me.” As she stared at the other side with her black eyes, Shangguan Ru felt a bit puzzled. Servant Huan should have been very happy to get the contents of the last chapter.
Gu Shenwei revealed a cheerful smile, “Great, I finally got rid of Miss’s control. Let her keep that board to herself.”
Shangguan Ru also smiled, as this was the effect she had expected. “Eighth sister-in-law is too stingy, she wants to grip everything in her hand.” After a pause, she asked, “Was father really in … her room that night?”
“It’s better if you don’t know about this type of thing.”
Shangguan Ru kicked the boulder in both anger and frustration, revealing a painful look. The Unique King’s image varied greatly in different people’s eyes. In her eyes, father was just a father, dignified and loving. Few people dared to tell her those gossips, but suddenly her father seemed to have completely changed. First her third brother told her about an unacceptable father, and then it was the matter of her eighth sister-in-law.
Ever since Yu Gongzi had died, her world had been falling apart, and it was far from over.
“Killers are always like this.” Gu Shenwei didn’t know how to comfort her. He suddenly thought of Tie Hanfeng, so he started telling the story of that crippled killer, and at last, he said, “Being unruffled by emotion is a kind of ruthlessness, and being promiscuous is also a kind of ruthlessness.”
Shangguan Ru always thought that killing was the extreme of ugliness and felt that she could accept it with ease. She had never expected that it was just the tip of the iceberg and that the ugliness was intense beyond her wildest imagination. She couldn’t help but become gloomy, although she soon adjusted herself. After all, she was only fourteen years old and couldn’t bear so many thoughts.
“Hey, teach me the swordsmanship?” Shangguan Ru forced herself to forget about those meaningless ideas. Though surrounded by a sea of ugliness, she could choose to stand on an isolated island and preferred to go on like this forever.
“Swordsmanship?” Shangguan Ru changed the topic too abruptly, so Gu Shenwei wasn’t able to follow her.
“Didn’t you learn the sword techniques from the Essence Pavilion?”
“Those things,” Gu Shenwei said scornfully. “Well, I can teach you.”
There were conflicts between the emotionless swordsmanship and the Death Sutra swordsmanship, so Gu Shenwei hadn’t practiced the former for a long time. Now he picked it up again, used the wooden saber as a sword, and taught Shangguan Ru the sword moves one by one.
Without the Essence of Perceiving Passion, the emotionless swordsmanship was flashy but impractical. One taught and the other learned, and the two practiced it simply for fun and didn’t take it seriously.
That night, Gu Shenwei didn’t practice the Daoless Divine Power, but instead carefully compared the two versions of chapter seven of the Daoless Scroll.
It was indeed different. Although most of the parts were the same, the meaning of some keywords was the direct opposite. One wrote ‘condensing Qi’, the other was ‘dissipating Qi’; One said ‘changing from yang to yin’, the other was ‘changing from yin to yang. Obviously, this was not a momentary oversight, but a deliberate forgery.
Although Gu Shenwei already had a suspect in his mind, he still calmly analyzed all the possibilities.
First, it was the guardian and the spiritual masters. They didn’t have to fake it. If they found out that someone was eavesdropping, they could simply kill them. They didn’t have to make it so complicated.
Second, it could be Lotus. But she also didn’t have to do so. If she wanted to kill Servant Huan, she had had countless opportunities and ways and there was no need for her to make up a fake set of internal energy manual. Besides, she was hanging over the cliff and listening attentively while recording the characters, and it seemed very difficult to change the words.
The next suspect was Shangguan Ru. But she knew that Servant Huan had lost his internal energy, and she also didn’t need to play any tricks if she wanted to kill him.
And finally, it could be Madam Meng and the fifteenth spiritual master, one of whom was a forger. If it were Madam Meng, she would harm her daughter as well as Servant Huan, which was also unlikely. As for that spiritual master, he probably would have had to speak out under pressure, but he didn’t want to break his oath, so he made the fake chapter seven.
In this way, the victim could only be Shangguan Ru.
Gu Shenwei hid the two versions of chapter seven and didn’t mention it to Lotus. He was hesitant about telling Shangguan Ru the truth. By this time, he hadn’t yet realized the hidden meaning behind his hesitation, and he could only find the changes he unconsciously made a few days later.
The two continued to practice the swordsmanship at Giant Boulder Cliff. They clearly knew that the set of sword techniques wasn’t powerful at all, but still put a lot of effort into it.
The coolness of early autumn sped up the falling of the last few pieces of leaves. That afternoon, Shangguan Ru trained herself a bit too hard and her cheeks were flushed but her mood was better than any other day. Wearing a mischievous and effusive smile, she seemed about to hum a tune at any time.
It was at this moment that Gu Shenwei suddenly had a strong impulse to tell Shangguan Ru that the Daoless Divine Power she practiced had a problem.
“What happened to you?” Shangguan Ru concernedly asked, feeling that Servant Huan didn’t look good.
She’s the daughter of the enemy, Gu Shenwei reminded himself, but the hate in his heart was like the ebbing tide. No matter how hard he tried to call for it, it wouldn’t come back. “Just a bit tired.”
“Oh, I always forget that you have no more internal energy now. That’ll be it for today then. How long have you dispersed your internal energy for? How come you still haven’t recovered?”
“It’s been half a month, and I think it’s almost over.”
The two left together. Shangguan Ru jumped up and down along the way back, as if she had changed back to the former Tenth Gongzi. And before they parted, she whispered, “I’ll send you a gift tomorrow.”
Gu Shenwei became more and more terrified and didn’t even have supper. He locked himself alone in his room and forbade Servant Xin from coming in, wondering what had happened to him and why he would feel sorry for Shangguan Ru.
It wasn’t the first time he had felt like this. Ever since he received that fake chapter seven, guilt had taken root in his heart and grew rapidly. Often in a moment of thought, he found himself arguing for Shangguan Ru, trying to justify that she wasn’t his enemy.
Indeed, what had Shangguan Ru done to harm him? No, nothing. Shangguan Nu had slaughtered the Gu family, but what did that have to do with Shangguan Ru? She had neither participated in nor planned the matter.
Even the whole Golden Roc Castle appeared to be innocent. This was a killer organization and their job was to kill. It now seemed likely that the hirer was the Wei family, the Gu family’s relatives by marriage. The castle was no different from the narrow saber used for killing.
It was exactly these ideas that made Gu Shenwei feel terrified.
Time was like water and hatred was the towering rock. After being washed over and over again, the hard rock ultimately lost. For the first time in the past three years, Gu Shenwei felt that his hatred was weakening. It used to be all of his support, but now it felt increasingly strange and was drifting further and further away.
Since long ago, no one had ever said the name ‘Gu Shenwei’ except he himself in the heart. The killer began to worry whether he was about to completely change to Servant Huan now.
Early the next morning, Lotus came to visit him. Gu Shenwei, who hadn’t slept all night couldn’t bear it anymore and poured out part of his worries to her. But he didn’t mention the enmity of extermination. “The killers need hatred to support themselves, but I seem to be unable to hate anything.”
Lotus thought for a moment and reached out with her hand to press against his forehead. She was a cold person, but her palm was as warm and soft as the spring breeze. Gu Shenwei’s heart trembled, realizing that he had not only begun to forget the hatred but also become emotional. He had worked with Lotus for a long time and seldom had any special feelings, but now he had to suppress the impulse to hug her.
Lotus didn’t notice anything unusual about Servant Huan. “I guess it’s because you haven’t practiced the Death Sutra after you dispersed your internal energy.”
“What do you mean?” Gu Shenwei was anxious for an explanation, hoping that his change was the result of external forces.
“I heard a killer master once say that the murderous heart was not only the heart but also a martial arts skill,” Lotus said slowly while recalling what she had heard. “Weak people do not have a murderous heart, and the stronger the person, the more vigorous the murderous heart. One’s power and murderous heart are the same thing most of the time. Although he was talking about the murderous heart, I think it’s appropriate to use it to explain your current situation.”
Gu Shenwei understood a little but suddenly had another fear. Lotus’s words sounded like the Death Sutra was controlling him, not that he was practicing the Death Sutra. If so, then what was the difference between this and Immortal Peng’s trick?
Gu Shenwei once had a pure emotional hatred, which was fierce but also made him lose his mind and try to take revenge at all costs, even dying with the enemy. As his kung fu improved, his hatred stabilized and gradually became a controllable force, which Gu Shenwei often relied on.
When he temporarily lost his kung fu, his hatred and murderous heart had correspondingly weakened and that emotional hatred, the purest hatred he had was almost all gone.
After Lotus left, Gu Shenwei was still mired in the marshes of bewilderment and perplexity, unable to extricate himself. He had tried every means of stirring up the hatred in his heart but always gave up halfway, until Shangguan Ru arrived and brought him the gift as promised.
“My eighth brother sent it to me a few years ago. I liked it very much and have kept it as a treasure. You happen to know how to use the sword, so … I’ll give it to you.” Shangguan Ru reluctantly handed a shortsword to Servant Huan.
Gu Shenwei took it over and pull it out to have a look before saying, “It’s a good sword, but I don’t have anything to give back to you.”
“Maybe you can also give me a sword, with a name carving on it or something?” Shangguan Ru winked at him, laughing out loud.
Gu Shenwei also laughed, but inside his heart, he felt like he had been cut deeply. And what was bleeding was not blood, but hatred like the eruption of volcano. He thought that his hatred had been eroded by time, but it had suddenly broken out, ferocious and relentless, no weaker than it used to be.
No matter who the hirer was behind the scene, Golden Roc Castle was the enemy that had wiped out his family. Hadn’t Shangguan Ru hurt him? Those two rocs were betrayed by her.
Gu Shenwei tightly gripped the sword, his sympathy and bewilderment shivered and retreated like leaves being swept away by the autumn wind. Telling the truth? What a ridiculous idea. He would watch Shangguan Ru practice the fake Daoless Divine Power until she died in agony.
The shortsword was a gift from Gu Lun to his youngest son, which had been left to the little bookkeeper. When the bookkeeper was killed as the young lord of the Gu family, the shortsword had naturally fallen into Shangguan Nu’s hands and had been sent to his sister Shangguan Ru later.
The Heaven’s Will no longer wanted the killer to be weak any longer and had Shangguan Ru bring his most familiar shortsword back to him by a curious coincidence.