Chapter 191 The Immortal Slaughterer
Shangguan Ru wasn’t specially waiting for Servant Huan to return. She had actually tried many times to lure Shangguan Fei into coming to Southern Jade City.
The first person she thought of was Xu Yanwei. She had won Shangguan Fei’s favour and was under the protection of Servant Huan. So she should be able to persuade Shangguan Fei.
But this plan soon proved impossible. “Ninth young lord left me and found somebody new,” Xu Yanwei said, feeling very sad. She had always dreamed of firmly clinging to a noble gongzi, but always failed.
Shangguan Ru had once tried to buy over Servant Qing who was around Shangguan Fei now, but Servant Qing behaved even more like a dissatisfied housewife than Xu Yanwei, saying things like, “I haven’t seen the lord for five days now. Ai, Tenth Gongzi, I’ve watched you two grow up, but he doesn’t even trust me now.”
The only person who had gained the ninth young lord’s trust was Guan Houlin. This tall and strong ‘strategist’ with mediocre kung fu often glorified himself in Southern Jade City, but since his value had just been recognized and been rapidly promoted to a high position, he would not be as easily bribed by others.
Shangguan Ru had considered kidnapping Guan Houlin, but this move might not lure Shangguan Fei out. Instead, it might frighten him and make him hide even deeper.
Shangguan Ru had regained control of the Kun Society and shown the white feather, but Shangguan Fei had never relaxed his vigilance. What he was worried about was not only his younger sister, but also Tuo Nengya. As long as the old sabreman was not dead, the ninth young lord would never be at ease.
The last thing Shangguan Ru could try was the same old trick again, making a move in Northern Jade City and kidnapping Shangguan Fei like what they had done with Meng Fifth Gongzi. But Shangguan Fei was much more cautious than Meng Fifth Gongzi. His house was full of guardsmen and the guards of Northern Jade City also kept a close eye on Tenth Gongzi, who would be publicly watched every time she entered Northern Jade City.
This being the case, Shangguan Ru had rarely been patient, and Yu Gongzi’s death and the Kun Society’s defeat had affected her a lot. She not only wanted revenge, but also wanted to cleanly strike a fatal blow to her elder brother.
“How about Meng Fifth Gongzi? Doesn’t he want revenge? Maybe we can ally with him.”
Gu Shenwei made this suggestion purely from the perspective of revenge. To his surprise, Shangguan Ru didn’t get angry. In fact, she had already tried it. “No, The Meng family won’t allow him to get involved … This is the Shangguan family’s business.”
The Meng family’s injunction is correct, Gu Shenwei thought. With Meng Mingshi’s wisdom, no matter which side he helped, he couldn’t escape the fate of being exploited. No matter who won the fight between the twins, it would not do any good to the Meng family.
There seemed to be no way out.
“Tuo Nengya said he was still loyal to you.”
Shangguan Ru didn’t comment on the news; she knew how to hide her true feelings now. “Speaking without acting is useless, and it may be more beneficial to the Kun Society if he dies now.”
At least Shangguan Fei might not be so alert if Tuo Nengya is dead. Gu Shenwei glanced at the little girl’s eyes for a moment, wondering if she was joking or talking about something else, replying, “It’s not impossible to let him die.”
“Do you know where he’s hiding?’
“He used to hide in the Essence Pavilion, but now he can only hide in the place where the sabremen are the most common.”
Shangguan Ru understood what Servant Huan was saying, smiled and said, “Let him hide for now. He may be useful, but it’s better not to use him.”
Tuo Nengya wanted to avenge Shangguan Chui. It would no longer be merely a dispute between the twins if they allied with him, which might arouse the sensitivities of many people in the castle, including the twins’ mother, Madam Meng.
In the end, Gu Shenwei told Shangguan Ru that he had killed Immortal Peng. The Kun Society had been well-informed, so Shangguan Ru had already heard about it. “You’d better hide for a while. I heard that many people wanted to avenge this living immortal. I thought that he was really something, but it turned out that he was also mortal.”
‘Mortals’ can also create miracles. Gu Shenwei stayed at the Kun Society and had a sound sleep that night. In many other places of Jade City, however, the name ‘Killer Yang Huan’ was being frequently mentioned by different people.
Fame actually wasn’t a good thing for a killer. By the time Gu Shenwei woke up, he would find out that he was far too famous.
Early the next morning, Gu Shenwei carefully went through the notes Immortal Peng had made on the manuscripts of Death Sutra before burning most of it, only keeping several pages that he thought might be valuable.
In terms of the notes Immortal Peng had written down, they showed that not only did he know about the existence of Death Sutra, which he called the Maha Bodhi or the Grand Enlightenment Sword Sutra, but he also had a deep understanding about the scripture itself.
Gu Shenwei and Lotus had verified that there were many different training methods of Death Sutra. Immortal Peng had actually been inspired by Death Sutra and made up the story that the Essence of Perceiving Feelings had sixty-four training methods from it.
Immortal Peng was obviously very excited and wrote many tips in the white space on the manuscripts. He was completely absorbed in it and even wrote out some of his worries, noting, “There seems to be a flaw, how can I solve it? How do I solve it?”
Gu Shenwei knew very well that the Death Sutra swordsmanship could only be improved through killing. Immortal Peng was dead before he realized this so how could he understand the essence of it? Gu Shenwei also used to think that there was a major flaw in the sutra too, but it turned out that this worry was superfluous.
Immortal Peng had become a meaningless past in Gu Shenwei’s mind now. People of the Essence Pavilion would soon wake up completely and realize that they had been living an illusion and that the teenage killer was their benefactor.
What preoccupied Gu Shenwei’s mind was how to deal with Shangguan Fei. Tenth Gongzi seemed to be serious. Although killing the ninth young lord might have incurred the wrath of Madam Meng, Gu Shenwei still decided to take the risk. He didn’t like his enemy having blackmail material on him. Xue Niang, whether alive or dead, had been a nightmare to him. He wouldn’t allow it to happen again.
Shangguan Ru didn’t give him any specific orders, but Gu Shenwei believed he knew what was on her mind, so he decided to take initiative.
He first went to southwall tavern. Lotus had been waiting for him in the backyard. She was following orders to spy on the movements of the Qiu Society and had just completed her mission.
The two hadn’t talked much before Lotus reminded Servant Huan that although City View Alley had little connections with the rest of Southern Jade City, Immortal Peng wasn’t a recluse without any connections to the outside world. “Be careful, I’ve heard many rumours that there are people outside City View Alley who worshipped that fake immortal. You’ve got a new title now, the ‘Immortal Slaughterer’, and that’s probably not a good thing.”
Everyone recognized the ‘Immortal Slaughterer’ at the tavern and their reactions were a bit strange, which was either panic or hatred. Some people even looked up to him, as if they had transferred their worship of Immortal Peng to the killer.
Killing Immortal Peng was done on an impulse, though he had planned it for a long time. But according to his plan, he should have done it in secret with no one knowing about it.
Tavernkeeper Lü looked very nervous. It seemed that he had long heard of Immortal Peng’s death. “Hall Leader Yang, Lord Huan, can I talk to you for a moment?”
In the room full of weapons, Tavernkeeper Lü brought out a plate of silver, which was about three or four hundred taels, saying, “This is specially for you.”
Gu Shenwei didn’t take it. Under his gaze, Tavernkeeper Lü’s face turned paler and paler, he had thought of what to say, but he was so nervous that he faltered for a long time trying to explain why he was offering the money before recovering and saying, “Could you please not drink in the backyard? Since you have your own room there, I can send a waiter to serve you.”
“Let’s be straightforward, you’re afraid someone will come after me and destroy your tavern?”
Tavernkeeper Lü scratched his ears and cheeks and awkwardly smiled for a while before he said again, “No no, who dares to take revenge on you in Southern Jade City now, but, but …”
“But people of Southern Jade City all believe this and that. Well, I don’t believe it, but the guests believe that you killed the immortal …”
Gu Shenwei understood the meaning of Tavernkeeper Lü and replied, “Ok, I’ll not interfere with your business. You look after my money.”
Tie Hanfeng still had over 100,000 taels of silver deposited here. Tavernkeeper Lü finally relaxed and kept saying ‘rest assured’.
Gu Shenwei was a cautious and suspicious man. Although he had killed the immortal and there was no use in regretting it, he still went to the backyard and found a cloak to cover himself before he went out.
He went for a walk on the street and came to Retention Alley.
Xu Xiaoyi thought it was a guest. When he saw it was ‘Brother Huan’, whom he hadn’t seen for a long time, he was frightened at first, then delighted. He quickly let the lord in, and latched the door, apparently not planning to let his elder sister take anymore guests.
“Did you really kill the immortal?”
“He’s not an immortal.”
“But he told fortunes … They were really accurate.”
“He didn’t foretell that he would die in my hands.”
“Well, well … The immortal never told his own fortune, or he did and knew he would die, but you know, he was an immortal. So he must have calmly accepted it and used you to deceive the public. He’s dead on the surface, but in fact, he has gone up to heaven to be an official.”
Immortal Peng didn’t die calmly at all. Gu Shenwei had seen it with his own eyes. “Leave it, call your sister down.”
Xu Yanwei had already been standing upstairs, stretching and yawning. Ever since she had come to understand the truth that her new lord ‘Lord Huan’ would not sleep with her, she had given up putting on an act in front of him and revealed her true dispositions — usually the aspects the guests disliked.
“I’m too lazy to go downstairs. Just say it, I can hear you.”
The sister and brother once had hired some maidservants and old biddies, but sent all of them away within a few days. The two decided to not squander their money. They had made a three-year contract with the killer, hoping to save up enough money to get of this hellhole in three years’ time.
“What’s going on with the ninth young lord?”
“It’s not my fault. I used all my tricks, but he just doesn’t like it. What can I do?”
“Then, who’s the ninth young lord’s new lover?”
Wearing a flickering smile, Xu Yanwei put her elbows on the railing and made long humming sound, “I don’t know who he loves now, but there’s one thing I didn’t tell Tenth Gongzi. She’s a little girl and not good to hear such a thing, the ninth young lord —”
Xu Yanwei’s tone dragged on, as if she were trying to create a dramatic effect. When she saw that the killer was not interested, she said the rest of the words right away, “He has changed his taste. He doesn’t like women, he likes … You know.”
“Are you sure?” Gu Shenwei was really a bit shocked. He immediately thought of that ‘strategist’, but it didn’t look right. Guan Houlin was tall and strong and wasn’t like that kind of person.
“What kind of men I haven’t met? I knew it the first time I had sex with him. Heh heh, the ninth young lord should thank me. If I didn’t teach him how to make love and help him completely relax, he would not have realized what he really liked. You don’t have to be surprised, because nine times out of ten, the scions of the rich families in Northern Jade City have this sexual preference. Ai, now you know how tough it is to do business in this trade. I not only have to compete with women, but also men.”
Gu Shenwei was very sure that Madam Meng would not thank this prostitute.