Chapter 242 Farewell
Shangguan Ru was very surprised that Servant Huan would request to see Madam Meng. She knew that her mother was very dissatisfied with the killer and even had intentions of killing him, and she also believed that Servant Huan was also aware of it. But she still listened to his suggestion to talk with her mother.
When there were only the two of them, Gu Shenwei, who was lying in bed, said to Lotus, “I know this is very abrupt, but I have to get away from the castle and I never plan to come back. This place is no longer one where I belong.”
“This place has never been where I belong,” Lotus spoke as flatly as usual as if Servant Huan had just casually said something and as always, she chose to support him.
That was enough. Gu Shenwei knew that Lotus could be trusted, and she was the only one he had ever trusted in the castle. He would tell her the whole truth after they escaped from the castle. He already had a grand plan, and he needed this able assistant.
Lotus didn’t know the true thoughts of Servant Huan but felt that this was their closest moment ever since they had met each other.
The world around Shangguan Ru was collapsing, and so was Gu Shenwei’s entire hideout plan, which crumbled at a much faster rate. He had been hiding behind the twins and Luo Ningcha and had very little direct conflict with the big shot in the castle. Hiding in the most vulnerable parts of the castle had made him neglect the airtight net hanging over his head.
When he began to bypass his protector and act on his own will, the net immediately tightened. Gu Shenwei finally realized that he couldn’t break the castle all by himself. Yes, he had seen the huge cracks and also used the cracks to achieve something, but the base of Golden Roc Castle had been undamaged.
The Unique King had lost several sons, but he could make more, and the foundation of the castle had not wavered. The killer who had been obsessed with revenge had even unwittingly become the cleaner of the castle and the tool to eliminate the weak.
It was time to end it, and Gu Shenwei decided to use the cracks of the stone for the last time. Then he had to find another way to hit it more directly and violently from the outside, and that was his future plan.
Shangguan Ru returned. Gu Shenwei barely managed to get up and drag his broken body to see Madam Meng.
Madam Meng, like her daughter, was very surprised at Servant Huan’s request to meet her. She thought that this two-faced kid would stay far away from her. Because of the riot a month ago, she was temporarily out of power, but she would rise again sooner or later. And by that time, there would be no one she couldn’t kill.
In the face of the mother and daughter, Gu Shenwei calmly told the facts Shen Liang already knew: He was the son of Yang Zheng, the old servant of the Gu family from the Central Plains, and had sneaked into the castle to get revenge.
He said that he had avenged himself, but Shen Liang was not only unwilling to let him go but also wanted to follow the clues to get Tenth Gongzi and even Madam Meng involved.
There were very few lies in Servant Huan’s speech. Madam Meng silently listened to him, and apparently, she had already known a great deal of it.
Shangguan Ru was astonished. Servant Huan used to be a minion she had grabbed from her brother, but he was like a highly-skilled face-changing master, who always had a new mask after taking off the old one. The pillars of her world had already fallen one by one, and only Servant Huan’s was barely standing. She suddenly felt terrified, fearing that it would be another collapse of heaven and earth.
Gu Shenwei didn’t have the time to care about Shangguan Ru’s feelings for the time being, as he had to try his best to win Madam Meng’s support.
“Someone told me that all you have done is take advantage of my Ru’er and Fei’er to kill the scions of the Shangguan family.” Madam Meng held a similar view as Shen Liang.
Gu Shenwei had long thought that Madam Meng would have such a question. “I have been around Tenth Gongzi all this time, but have I ever touched a hair of hers?”
“And he saved my life a couple of times. If he wanted to kill me to avenge himself, he could have just sat back and done nothing,” Shangguan Ru interrupted. No matter how many masks Servant Huan had, he had never hurt her.
Madam Meng sighed. She didn’t expect that her daughter, who had been raised as a boy since little, was so simple. Rescuing people might not be out of kindness, and sometimes the intentions could be much more malicious. But her daughter had been trapped and could not be pulled out easily by a few words.
“This Shen Liang is really daring.” Although Madam Meng didn’t believe in Servant Huan’s loyalty, she believed what he just said because she had already been aware of many things.
“Sabrelord Shen must have found a new backer.” Gu Shenwei knew very well at heart that Shen Liang would not dare to challenge Tenth Gongzi and Madam Meng alone.
“A new backer? The young lords have fallen apart, either dead or imprisoned. Old Eighth even abandoned his wife and would rather die outside than come back to the castle. What new backer could he find?”
“Whoever gains most from Madam’s loss is his new backer.”
Looking at Servant Huan, Madam Meng suddenly felt a bit jealous. If her son had been as smart as this servant, she would not have fallen into the current situation and had to do everything all by herself.
“Old Second, Old Third, and Old Fifth. There are only three young lords left in the castle and all of them are in prison now. Old Second is on my side and has been hit hardest this time. Old Third was groundless, so there’s only Old Fifth left.”
Gu Shenwei thought of Zhang Ji’s comment about the fifth young lord, ‘reckless’. He almost blurted out Shangguan Hong’s name but shut his mouth at the last moment. There was no need to cause too much confusion, as all he wanted was a chance to escape.
“Madam is right.”
Madam Meng’s face hardened. The struggle in the castle was incessant, and there was not even a moment of time for her to relax. No matter if she was at the peak of being greatly favored or at the valley of being disfavoured, she was always ready to attack.
Gu Shenwei knew that it was time to ask for his leave. Madam Meng would not tell him the detailed plan, but whatever she thought, Shen Liang would be the first to bear the brunt, which was enough for him.
“Do not live in Ru’er’s place anymore. It’s not proper.” Madam Meng didn’t overlook the details at the critical moment. “Go to find Hong Gongzi and hide there.”
“Yes, Madam.” Gu Shenwei retreated to the door and for the third time Shangguan Hong’s name popped up in his mind, and he suddenly realized that he and Madam Meng might have made a common mistake. “Maybe it isn’t the fifth young lord.”
“Sabrelord Shen might not have joined the fifth young lord.”
“Who do you think it is then?” Madam Meng became a bit interested.
“Madam lost power, but the most beneficial person is not the fifth young lord. He has always been Madam’s opponent, and King Lord doesn’t like him. Shen Liang won’t choose him as a backer.”
“Shangguan Tian.” Madam Meng said the name of the second young lord and suddenly became clear about many things. Servant Huan’s reminder was right. Old Second was the biggest beneficiary. Although he had been supporting her, he must hate her for not helping him out when he was in a hard time.
“Wasn’t second brother arrested by Shen Liang? Shen Liang has blamed everything regarding father’s assassination on second brother.” Shangguan Ru still didn’t get the meaning of her mother and Servant Huan.
Gu Shenwei retreated out of the room, leaving the mother and daughter to talk privately. In fact, everything was clear. Shen Liang framed Shangguan Tian and then went to pledge allegiance to him. In the simple process of depriving and bestowing, Shen Liang could easily grip the second young lord in his hand. Zhang Ji had said that the second young lord was not talented, which was exactly the favorite puppet of ambitious schemers like Shen Liang.
The place where Shangguan Hong lived was not far away from Madam Meng. On the surface, he was well taken care of, but in fact, he was under surveillance.
It was a very small courtyard, in front of which was a rockery and a small grove of trees. As one walked on the road, it was impossible to see what was going on inside, which matched well with Madam Meng’s arrangements for Shangguan Hong.
The maid said a few words and left. Shangguan Hong appeared to be on tenterhooks as if his plot were about to come to light. After the maid left, he kept asking Servant Huan about what Madam Meng had said and whether it had any special hints. When he heard that he only had to offer shelter without any other responsibility, he heaved a long sigh of relief and treated Servant Huan with a little more enthusiasm.
Gu Shenwei was still confused about Zhang Ji’s idea. Although Shangguan Hong was easy to control, he was really useless. Even a person a hundred times wiser than Zhang Ji could barely teach this son of the Unique King anything.
Gu Shenwei decided to stay out of other people’s business and focus on his own escape plan. But there was not much that he could do. He could only wait, as for whether his plan would work or not relied on Lotus. She had to keep an eye on the castle’s situation, get the name tags needed, and choose the best moment to run away with Servant Huan.
The faster the better, Gu Shenwei thought. His words were full of loopholes. Apart from Shangguan Ru, no one would believe him. Madam Meng would definitely not let go of him after getting rid of Shen Liang. He only hoped that his rank was a bit lower on the kill list.
This was the outcome of having no power. He made the plan, but couldn’t control the direction of the plan, and could only wait on the whim of chance.
This time, however, ‘chance’ was not on Gu Shenwei’s side like before.
The next day, everything went on as usual throughout the day. Madam Meng didn’t take the initiative to strike Shen Liang and the second young lord, and Shen Liang also didn’t search for the escaped prisoner everywhere. All the plots were being carried out in secret.
As night fell, the plots began to surface, opening its giant mouth, ready to feast.
Shangguan Ru and Lotus didn’t show up all day but came together in the evening.
Shangguan Hong flatteringly greeted Tenth Gongzi but wavered in the title. If he called her ‘Tenth Gongzi’, he felt that he was losing face as the Unique King’s son, but if he called her ‘sister’, it appeared to be too casual. No one knew what he was thinking, but what he blurted out in the end was ‘gongzi sister’.
Shangguan Ru pushed Shangguan Hong, who had suddenly become her brother, out of the door. “Do not eavesdrop on us while we speak.”
Shangguan Hong was often bullied by Shangguan Ru and Yu Gongzi in school, so he took the harsh words lightheartedly and obediently went out to wander around. Zhang Ji had once told him to stay as far away from the conspiracy as possible on the surface. So if possible, he would rather hide in Jade City at the foot of the mountain.
Shangguan Ru brought the name tags for leaving the castle, a narrow saber, and two swords, all of which belonged to Servant Huan. And what she wanted to say was simple, “Go, run away. Mother wants to betray you. She has gone to see father, to prove that everything you have done is under the direction of eighth brother and that Shen Liang is actually the accomplice. I overheard all of it.”
What Gu Shenwei was worried about the most had happened. Madam Meng had not only pushed him to the top of the kill list but also used him to sweep up her enemies.
As he stared at Shangguan Ru’s black eyes, Gu Shenwei tried to look into it, but was afraid of what he might find; he wanted to look away, but afraid that he might miss something. He suddenly realized that this was a farewell.
He hadn’t made up a perfect lie to explain the whole lot of things to her, but she still chose to trust him unconditionally.
“Everybody only has one chance to fully trust another person, and I give my chance to you.” This was what Shangguan Ru had once said to Servant Huan. Gu Shenwei felt an upsurge of emotion and suddenly had an irresistible impulse to tell her the truth, especially that the seventh chapter of the Daoless Divine Power she had was fake.