Chapter 147 Kill the Lord
Shangguan Hongye’s capture should not be blamed on Miss Luo Ningcha’s incompetence.
In fact, Luo Ningcha spared no effort in doing anything that could ruin Madam Meng’s mood. As soon as Servant Huan left, she sent a close maidservant to Shangguan Hongye’s home to bring the mother and son to her place. Meanwhile, she ordered someone to prepare gold and silver. As soon as Shangguan Hongye arrived, she ordered him to take the travelling expenses and leave for Big Head God right away.
Shangguan Hongye actually didn’t know anything about the Yang’s secret plot. When he heard that his life was at risk, he was so frightened that he felt his legs turn soft. The horsekeeper Elder Zhang helped him climb on the horse and led him out of the castle.
Fortunately, the guard system of the castle was disabled, and Shangguan Hongye was able to leave the castle smoothly. What was unfortunate was that he was still too scared. He wandered down the mountain alone and didn’t go too far away even by dawn.
Only when the grim-looking brown-belted killers arrived did Shangguan Hongye finally understand the severity of the situation, but by then it was already too late to run away.
Shangguan Hongye’s arrest made Gu Shenwei very nervous. If Madam Meng found out it was Servant Huan who had passed on that information, she definitely would not spare him.
Shangguan Hongye confessed everything before Madam Meng even opened her mouth. But he neither knew his real identity, nor the role Servant Huan had played. Luo Ningcha also kept her mouth shut at the critical moment and didn’t make things worse.
The way Madam Meng dealt with Shangguan Hongye surprised everyone, especially Gu Shenwei. Gu Shenwei thought that he had never underestimated this woman, but now he understood that he had. Even all of the Unique King’s sons combined together might not be her match.
Madam Meng didn’t kill Shangguan Hongye, but instead personally went to help the terrified teenager get up as if he was her own son. She held his hand and announced to all of the people in the hall, “From now on, he will be called Shangguan Hong.”
The people in the hall had more or less heard that Madam Meng broke with the big young lord was because of this illegitimate son of King Lord, so they were all puzzled about Madam Meng’s attitude towards this kid. But they were not foolish, and they immediately rushed to show their support by congratulating that King Lord had found his real son and praising the madam’s great generosity.
Shangguan Hong, who had lost the ‘ye’ character in his name, couldn’t make sense of what had happened to him and felt dizzy. He wanted to laugh but couldn’t; he wanted to speak but could only mutter meaningless ‘Oh oh’ sounds. 1
Madam Meng produced a written order of the King Lord from her sleeve, and took a narrow sabre with red scabbard from Shangguan Ru. She said while handing the two items to the Sabrelord Shen Liang of Washing Heart Yard, “Go. The two gongzis’ sword awarding ceremony will start on time at noon.”
This was the last killing order issued by Madam Meng. She selected several confidants, including Servant Huan and Lotus, to guard the twins to perform a task together with Sabrelord Shen Liang.
It was only just now that the smarter people began to understand Madam Meng’s intention behind lifting up the Unique King’s illegitimate son. Shangguan Chui and Guo Xiansheng wanted to use Shangguan Hong to make up for the number of ten sons to exclude Shangguan Ru, but Madam Meng decided to pay them back in the same coin, but the one would be excluded now would be the big young lord.
Gu Shenwei had misjudged the whole situation from the beginning. Madam Meng didn’t want to kill Shangguan Hong at all. She wanted to hold this unexpected ‘young lord’ in her hands to strengthen her power, which was much better than silencing him.
Gu Shenwei couldn’t admire Madam Meng any more. He felt lucky that Madam Meng had focused all of her enmity onto Luo Ningcha and made him escape.
Madam Meng had never put Luo Ningcha in her eyes. She was just a bit afraid of the Big Head God’s influence on the Unique King and didn’t want to have any more side-issues in Shangguan Hong’s case, but the conflict between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law became deeper.
Before leaving, Madam Meng pulled Servant Huan aside and whispered, “Let the Ninth Gongzi do it.”
Gu Shenwei felt that the reason he could gain Madam Meng’s trust was probably due to the killing of his Master. Madam Meng hoped that Servant Huan’s cruelty could affect her somewhat cowardly son.
Sabrelord Shen Liang led forty killers in black, ten yellow-belted executioners, and ten teenage killers to escort the twins. They quickly left the inner chamber and went to the big young lord’s courtyard to perform the final task.
Shangguan Chui had undergone rigorous training as a killer before, but in times of crisis, he had suddenly broken down, angrily waving his sabre to drive the killers under him to assassinate Madam Meng and the twins. So when the execution team arrived, there were only a dozen or so half-hearted guardsmen around him.
“No one can kill me!” Shangguan Chui pointed his narrow sabre at the sky, his heavy eye bags dark red with blood. “I’m Unique King’s oldest son, and no one can kill me except for my father.”
Shen Liang sympathized with the big young lord, but despised his panic. He held the narrow sabre with a red scabbard high, saying, “This is the Unique King’s Liu Sha Sabre. We’re following the King Lord’s order to put the rebellious son to death.”
The guardsmen around Shangguan Chui hesitantly lowered their narrow sabres. They were not killers and didn’t have to die with their lord.
Shangguan Chui raised his narrow sabre and cut off the head of the nearest guardsman, which frightened all the other guardsmen away. “It’s fake. It’s all that bitch’s conspiracy. Sabrelord Shen, why aren’t you going after her? Are you also attracted by that old woman?”
Shangguan Ru stood out, “Big brother, don’t forget. My mother is also your mother.”
Shangguan Chui pointed at the twins and laughed as if he had seen the funniest person in the world, shouting, “What a good Tenth Gongzi. You really have the blood of the Shangguan family. Come, kill me. People of the Shangguan family are born to slaughter each other; hasn’t King Lord killed several of his brothers? I’m the first of my generation. Come, kill me, and father will spoil you more. Haha, keep my eyes. I want to see which one of you will be the second to be killed.”
Shangguan Chui was still waving his narrow sabre and didn’t have any intentions of waiting for death with tied hands. Shen Liang beckoned to the killers in black, and two killers drew out their sabre and went forward to accept the challenge.
Although Shangguan Chui had taken charge of killers for over a dozen years, he still didn’t understand the nature of killers. He roared, rushed out to fight, and completely missed another two killers that had circled to his back and drawn out their sabres to slash at the big young lord’s leg.
Gu Shenwei gripped his sabre, waiting. He had prepared for this moment for a long time. He wanted to prove how powerful his ‘sabresmanship’ was.
There was a green-faced assassin behind each lord. The sole purpose of their existence was to protect their lord. They would still follow the lord no matter if the lord was declared an unfilial son, traitor, or even if he wanted to kill his father and seize the throne. They would always hide in an unknown place and suddenly appear.
But in Gu Shenwei’s eyes, the green-faced assassin was no longer a monster jumping out from nowhere. He saw a glint of cold light in the guardsmen before the green-faced assassin appeared behind the killers’ back and cut off a head. Shangguan Chui himself didn’t even notice it.
Shen Liang had prepared for this. The remaining killers drew out their sabres one after another, ready to win through numerical superiority.
But they were too slow in drawing their sabres.
The green-faced assassin was only able to kill one person before he fell from the air, his arms and legs outstretched and his hand still gripping the narrow sabre.
Gu Shenwei and Lotus attacked at the same time, one stabbing at the neck, and the other stabbing at the heart.
It was always a bit slower to perform the Death Sutra Swordsmanship with a sabre. A mediocre kung fu practitioner could hardly feel this small delay, as only the real experts knew how much could be done in one breath.
The green-faced assassin’s sabre scratched Gu Shenwei’s neck, but he himself was stabbed twice and died for his lord.
Gu Shenwei was a bit shocked. Although he and Lotus killed the green-faced assassin together, he was clearer than all the onlookers how close their win was. If the green-faced hadn’t kept a close watch on the killers behind Shangguan Chui, it would be hard to predict who would have died.
Gu Shenwei’s neck was still bleeding, and Shangguan Ru took out a silk scarf and bandaged it for him.
The Sabrelord Shen Liang glanced at the two teenagers with surprise. He knew very well the extent of the green-faced assassin’s kung fu, so he was very surprised that the two teenagers’ sneak attack was successful. It was from this day on that he paid special attention to Servant Huan and Lotus. But at this moment, he was more concerned with Shangguan Chui’s condition.
Shangguan Chui had been slashed in the thigh by the killers behind him. He stumbled forward a few steps and fell to the ground. Looking back at the green-faced assassin’s corpse, he knew that his days of glory were gone and that his defeat was inevitable, lamenting, “Who is going to kill me?”
All of a sudden, the Unique King’s eldest son calmed down miraculously. He supported himself with his elbows against the ground and held his head high like a fallen king, calm and proud.
No one uttered a sound.
Shen Liang pulled out the Liu Sha sabre from the red sheath like drawing a sharp blade from a pool of blood. It was a blood-colored narrow sabre, with the same color of the scabbard.
Shangguan Fei had already learnt the instructions from his mother. He took the Liu Sha sabre from Shen Liang and walked up to his big brother.
Shangguan Chui’s eyes looked through his youngest brother and fell on Shen Liang, “I have a wife, two sons, and a daughter.”
“They will live well,” said Shen Liang. This was the tradition of Golden Roc Castle, where the hatred of a generation would not affect the next. In fact, although the tragedy of slaughter between brothers had frequently occurred over the past century, a descendant had never avenged his father. The victor wielded all the power, and the loser, though still lived, had lost the resources to rebel.
Shangguan Chui now looked at Shangguan Fei and even revealed a smile on his face, “One is not qualified to be the Unique King unless he stabs his brother. Look, I’m not even qualified. Come, ninth brother, dye yourself red with my blood just like that sabre, and then you will gain the King Lord’s favour. Remember, watch out for women. Do not provoke them if you can’t be more ruthless than they are. Well, you probably will never know how many people your mother has killed, how many people who had not even opened their eyes.” 2
The sabre in Shangguan Fei’s hand was trembling.
Gu Shenwei hadn’t seen this little lord for a long time. Since then, he had grown taller and become more and more different compared to his twin sister. His eye sockets had begun to sink in, and his face had become longer. He was 100 percent a scion of the Shangguan family.
But he didn’t have the killer’s decisiveness and cruelty in his eyes.
Gu Shenwei also knew why Madam Meng had insisted that Shangguan Fei kill his big brother himself. Because Shangguan Ru was a girl, no matter what, she could only gain the identity as a young lord, but she could never become the Unique King. Only Shangguan Fei could inherit his father’s throne.
Shangguan Chui was right. Almost every generation of the Unique King had killed their own brothers, and some of them had even killed their own father. If Shangguan Fei wanted to gain his father’s favour, he must cross this threshold.
Shangguan Fei stabbed his big brother in the chest, but the sabre only sank an inch in. Blood immediately gushed out, but he trembled more and his hands lost strength. He could no longer pierce any more.
Shangguan Chui let out a groan and opened his mouth, wanting to say something.
This whole time, Gu Shenwei had been calmly standing by Shangguan Fei’s side. He approached him now, took his hand and helped him thrust the sabre down.
Just like this, the Unique King’s eldest son died.
- Translator’s note: The author is playing a word game with Shangguan Hongye’s name. ‘Ye’ means ‘job or career’. Losing the character ‘Ye’ means losing the job, and it shows that Shangguan Hongye is jobless. ↩
- Translator’s note: By saying ‘how many people who had not even opened their eyes, the big young lord meant that Madam Meng had killed many babies. ↩