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Chapter 204 Rematch
Shangguan Ru didn't understand what was wrong with her.
She had seen countless scenes of murder back at the castle and had never felt scared. She was even interested in it. Even before she could speak, she had clapped her hands while being embraced in her mother's arms, laughing at the murder. She, therefore, gained great favour with her father, who claimed that she was a real son of the Unique King.
She had killed someone by herself before. That time she was indifferent and had not hesitated as she stood on the pavilion watching the burning of Qiu Society and the slaying of the sabremen across the river.
But now she couldn't even kill a strange swordsman from Big Snow Mountain.
Her sabre moves always deviated from the enemy's vital parts, and her sabre often slid by her target. She could not bear to see a living face instantly lose its life.
Yu Gongzi was dead. What she had taken with her to the afterlife was not only the friendship between the two, but also the warmest and most heartless part of Shangguan Ru as well.
Her elder brother Shangguan Fei's unexpected appearance in the rubble made her even more fl.u.s.tered. He was the last person she wanted to see, especially when she was making life and death decisions. She could feel the pressure of the expectations the killers had for their lord, but she didn't know if she could satisfy them.
Many people were killed and wounded by the rocks falling from the cliff, and the rest of the swordsmen were thrown into panic after half of them died. They no longer pursued the killers in circles, and the killers also didn't move to pursue them, allowing the five or six men to flee towards the west.
It was almost dawn and Shangguan Fei's screams continued. "Sister, is that you? Come help me, I'm pinned down. My leg …"
Shangguan Ru put away her sabre, her mood complicated. She was faced with choosing between killing and not killing again, which she was extremely disgusted about. If she had not been affected by a mood swing, she would have found the danger behind her earlier.
When she finally realized that something wasn't right and tried to quickly turn around, she happened to see one of her masked killers running and slashing at her with a narrow sabre.
It was her trusted subordinate, a man who used to protect her back, but now just wanted to kill his disappointing lord.
The terror in Shangguan Ru's heart, dragged her into the abyss like a heavy stone. She could still draw her sabre, but her hands became stiff.
At that moment, she didn't think of her parents, Yu Gongzi, Servant Huan, or the happy and painful times of her lifetime. She only had one thought: Death was so terrible.
Death brushed past her like her sabre past an enemy.
The killer, who had decided to kill his lord, raised his narrow sabre high before suddenly stiffening and directly falling onto the ground, an arrow in his back.
Liuhua emerged from a distance, with a bow and arrow in his hand.
Her brother's cries for help were still ringing in her ears, but she could hear nothing now. The scenes that had just taken place in front of her were too hard to understand. She could only watch without reacting.
Servant Huan rushed over and said something she also couldn't understand. "Wild Horse wants to kill you."
Had Wild Horse really betrayed her? Shangguan Ru turned to look at that strange-looking killer who had once been loyal to Yu Gongzi after being forgiven by his lord for the crime of killing his peers. Did he really want to kill his lord?
Wild Horse tore off his mask, his face full of anger and confusion. With the sabre gripped in his hand, he glanced at Liuhua and Shangguan Ru.
What made him angry was that he had been betrayed by Servant Huan. The original plan was to use the opportunity to kill Shangguan Ru and then frame it on the swordsmen of Big Snow Mountain, so they had spared several people as future revenge targets. As for the unexpected arrival of Shangguan Fei, it was a surprise reward. Yes, he had planned to get rid of Servant Huan afterwards, but he hadn't expected that Servant Huan would make a move first.
What puzzled him was why Liuhua had turned to Servant Huan's side. He was a natural killer leader and his force was also stronger than his rival. Liuhua had personally promised to help him at the last moment, but it turned out to be a lie. He had never been betrayed before and all the ones he had chosen would pledge to the death, so betrayal was especially painful to him.
He could pretend that he didn't know anything, but his look had revealed everything.
As he was hesitating, Lotus killed another killer, leaving only one other left, who tried to escape but was shot by Liuhua and fell into the pile of corpses.
Wild Horse was left to Servant Huan. They still had an unfinished duel.
Wild Horse raised his head. He didn't flinch, feel fear, or feel ashamed of the revelation of his scheme. He had never regarded anyone as his lord in his heart, not even Yu Gongzi.
Even if he could speak, he would not unmask the true face of Servant Huan. This servant-born killer had betrayed everyone, and the only thing Wild Horse wanted to do was to kill Servant Huan.
He once had a chance to in the monthly test and had cut Servant Huan. If he had been more ruthless at that time, he could have added one more cut. But Wild Horse didn't regret it. He gripped his sabre tightly and walked towards his enemy.
As a result of his discussion with Lotus, Wild Horse's threat was much greater than Shangguan Ru. The 'Snow Mountain gang' had never changed their plan to wipe out the 'Bi Nu gang'. No matter how many times Wild Horse had apologized, he would continue to try sooner or later.
On the surface, the two didn't blame him, as it was because they had decided to strike first.
Liuhua was an unpredictable variable. This marksman would be a great help to anyone he turned to. The reason why Lotus could win over him was simple. The 'Snow Mountain gang' was already very strong, and he could only play a very small role by joining it. But if he joined the broken 'Bi Nu gang', he would be treated as an important ally.
Gu Shenwei also pulled down his mask and gripped the sword. There was no need to disguise his martial arts now. Although Wild Horse wasn't the enemy who had exterminated his family, he still longed for this duel. The scar caused by Wild Horse was still on his chest. It was the deepest wound he had ever received and it would not heal for the rest of his life.
Shangguan Ru looked at her two most powerful killers approaching each other, her face impa.s.sive but not callous. The shadow of death still hung over the little girl, who had lost her decisiveness. This was not to mention the two walking towards each other casually, as if they were strangers pa.s.sing each other by instead of enemies entering a duel of life and death.
This all took place in a blink of an eye, from the a.s.sa.s.sin's fall to now. Shangguan Fei, who had been hit by falling rocks, was completely unconscious of the surrounding matters, and just kept calling out 'sister'.
Shangguan Ru suddenly came to her senses. She had to save her brother. As soon as she got this idea, Servant Huan and Wild Horse made a move at the same time.
Although they had learnt the same martial arts of Golden Roc Castle, Wild Horse's sabresmanship made Tenth Gongzi feel ashamed of her inferiority.
Kung fu was dead but people were alive. One hundred pract.i.tioners of the same martial arts might have one hundred different levels of expertise, Wild Horse obviously belonged to the top-level ones. There was no special change in this move; it was just incredibly fast.
Servant Huan's swordsmanship baffled Shangguan Ru. The sword didn't seem to have moved at all. It was as if there was a gap in her memory, leaving only two extreme scenes of one holding the sword and hitting the enemy.
The two killers immediately separated after exchanging one move.
Shangguan Ru wasn't able to catch the moves of the two, but she knew who had won.
Servant Huan turned his head to look at the cut on his shoulder. There was blood oozing from it, but the wound was nothing compared to the last one caused by Wild Horse.
Wild Horse patted his neck. He wasn't dead but felt like he had been 'stung' by something. It hardly bled. But he felt strange, as if something very important in his body that had hung by a thin thread, had been lost with a snap of the thread.
Wild Horse took a step back and exhaled. Accompanied with his breath that left his body was also part of his internal Qi. He began to panic at heart. What kind of wicked swordsmanship was this? How could it even destroy the opponent's internal energy?
Gu Shenwei was also a bit fl.u.s.tered. He only had one swordsmanship move. Being unable to kill Wild Horse meant that he might die in the next move. He didn't know that he had broken Wild Horse's internal Qi because all of his opponents were killed by a single blow under his sword.
Shangguan Ru ignored her elder brother's cry for help at the moment. She walked to the middle of the two killers, faced Wild Horse, and stared into his eyes for a while before saying, "You can go now."
"No," Liuhua shouted out, still holding the bow and arrow. He was adamant about killing the best killer amongst the Jia Chen disciples. Cutting off the weeds and digging up the roots was one of the most important principles he had learned.
Shangguan Ru was still staring at Wild Horse, "I will decide. Spare the traitor's life, I don't want to kill anymore."
She was like a kid who had gotten tired of a game and decided to quit without hesitation, regardless of other people's interests.
She was just a kid.
Looking at her from the back, Gu Shenwei sighed for no reason. At the age of fourteen, Shangguan Ru could still return to her status as a kid, but the disciples of the castle only had one way to go, the end of death.
Wild Horse couldn't speak. Even if he could speak, he would not show grat.i.tude. He was a traitor, but he had also been betrayed by others. The lord was weak and foolish, and couldn't see that all the people around her had ulterior motives. Silence would be the greatest punishment for her. As for Servant Huan, their duel wasn't over yet.
Wild Horse turned north and walked towards the prairie. Sheathed and defenceless, his internal energy was still weakening with every breath. And if anyone came after him right now, he had no strength to strike back.
Wild Horse went further and further.
Lotus glanced at Gu Shenwei. This was a great opportunity. After getting rid of the twins, they still had time to hunt down Wild Horse. Later, they could turn to Shangguan Nu for help. The eighth young lord would probably offer protection because he had already lost faith in his former ally, Madam Meng.
Gu Shenwei shook his head slightly. The twins had been completely destroyed and would be easier to be controlled. With the trust gained from the incident, he might be able to continue climbing up and approach the Unique King through Madam Meng, who was the biggest culprit of the extermination of the Gu family.
Neither the brother nor sister had smelled the treachery floating in the surrounding air.
Shangguan Fei's voice was almost hoa.r.s.e before Shangguan Ru came to him. "Sister, good sister. Help me, I'll give everything to you and never compete with you again.
A huge rock was right on Shangguan Fei's right leg. But it was not life-threatening for the time being.
"What brings you here?" Shangguan Ru knew that she would save her brother in the end, but at heart she was still hesitating.
"I, I wanted to do something for everyone to see. Everyone looks down on me and says that I am a wimp. Even the killers are whispering behind my back. Sister, they are all wolves. If the lord is not a tiger, they will swallow you in one gulp. I'm scared, sister, I'm scared. I'll go back to the castle …"
Shangguan Fei only cared about his own pain and didn't notice the scene that had just happened. Shangguan Ru, however, was touched by her elder brother's words. She trusted Wild Horse so much, but she was almost 'bitten' to death.
The killers were wolves and would be lured to bite the lords as soon as they showed weakness. Shangguan Ru couldn't help but look back at the remaining three killers. At that moment, she couldn't tell whether they were human or wolves.
Shangguan Fei held his leg and tried to pull it out from under the rock, but he was too afraid of pain, his tears spilling over. "Sister, help, hurry up. We have to get out of here. The one who set the trap was fourth brother, he's still in that village and will catch up soon."