The only place to exploit an opening...
Gu Zuo looked up and stared at the wall that was no less than ten meters tall, and silently pulled his gaze away.
The other Gongyi estate was Tianhengs private quarters. And this perimeter wall stood between him and the patron he so desperately needed to find.
It was such a pity that this wall was like a natural moat; he absolutely could not cross it.
...At this critical juncture, why did it have to become so difficult!
After hiding for a while in the bushes beside the wall, Gu Zuo reluctantly retreated and walked back to the hilly crags behind him.
He was at an impa.s.se. His funds were now lacking; after buying some steamed buns, he traveled to this desolate place using the local gossip.
Although, he didnt know why Gongyi Tianhengs residence was so remote. Though these crags didnt offer any places one could call home, there were still places that were somewhat suitable.
In fact, he found a cave to temporarily live in.
However, no matter how Tianheng selected his guards, their numbers patrolling the estate were not small. Gu Zuo currently had a good for nothing body; were he to infiltrate the estate to hastily recommend himself, he would be instantly treated like a troublemaker and arrested — he didnt have extravagant hopes for discussing human rights with those guards.
So Gu Zuo had been wandering around for two days and hadnt found an opportunity.
Similarly, that night he habitually looked for a dog hole in the area around the wall, and still came up empty handed.
Gu Zuo couldnt help but complain in his mind: Why had this system always issued tasks, but never gave rewards If you gave me an invisibility pill or a wall penetrating pill, would I still have to exert myself to such an extent
The systems reply was as straightforward as ever.
[This system only provides a channel for technical learning, which is a form of “early rewards and late fees.” The prop books obtained by the host are listed here to prevent the host from becoming lazy and spoiled , and walking down the wrong path in life.]
Gu Zuo: “...”
He asked one question and the system retorted with a hundred. Why not simply state that the inventory was empty
Fine, that was reasonable.
Going back to the cave, he sat down cross-legged and his expression was a bit bleak.
In this month, ten days had speedily pa.s.sed...Now, apart from practicing the three hand arts and developing his proficiency, he couldnt do anything else.
Even after ten years of living , Gu Zuo never experienced so much hardship. But thinking about his goal made him clench his teeth and endure. Fortunately, during this time his comprehension of his cultivation method unexpectedly deepened. The qi energy of heaven and earth smooth entered his body and his perceptions sharpened a little bit. He knew that his practice with the hand arts would gradually improve.
Somehow his fumbling actions slowly bore fruit and through it all, he had a small hope.
After half an hour, Gu Zuo steadily spat out dark gases — those were the impurities extracted from his body after cultivating. He now knew the profound power of the > Within just a few days, he could already sense that his body had gradually lightened... It seemed like his body was slowly purifying; this process was truly mysterious. Whats more, when he practiced those arts, the cultivation method automatically operated. By mult.i.tasking, he saved a lot of time.
Afterwards, Gu Zuo continued to practice his hand arts.
At this moment, his fingers began to rapidly flutter and his concentrated expression turned focused. Unexpectedly, it gave him a dignified appearance. His smooth and beautiful motions seemed like clouds and water. If he had some medicinal ingredients on hand, he couldve given onlookers quite the impression.
The sky gradually darkened.
After Gu Zuo practiced for a couple rounds, he felt that something was suddenly amiss. Why was it so noisy
He took an account of his surroundings and swiftly discovered people outside of Tianhengs courtyard causing a ruckus.
Someone had come to a.s.sa.s.sinate Tianheng and the guards were blocking the way!
Gu Zuo shot up.
This was a good time to fish in troubled waters! 
No time to lose! While being as quiet as possible, he dashed to his destination.
When he got closer, he slowed down and hid between the trees to observe the situation.
Indeed, there were a good deal of martial artists dashing about around the courtyard.
They kept fighting each other with ma.s.sively strong blows, and it didnt look like the fight would be over any time soon.
So at this moment, if he was careful...
Gu Zuo detoured and, under the cover of night, avoided the attentions of both sides. He quickly circled around the wall for cover.
He held a long rope with a stone tied to the end. If he used enough force, he could tether the rope like a grappling hook to a tree in the rear courtyard. Then he could take this chance to infiltrate.
But as Gu Zuo stationed himself at the base of this tree, he suddenly discovered something hidden beneath the shrubs around the tree. He glanced down to peak and saw — he understood in an instant!
He said hed never found a dog hole, but it was here under the tree all along. It was already blocked up... Well, there was no need to brave dangers with that other option.
Gu Zuo quickly brushed pa.s.sed the gra.s.s and plunged in.
He was very excited because for days — days! — hed finally entered the inner compound.
Next, he should search for traces of Gongyi Tianheng...
Gu Zuo carefully hid while sneaking around.
Outside, the fighting continued; those a.s.sa.s.sins were all over the place. He listened closely and heard that the guards pursued any signs of activity. Apparently, Gongyi Tianheng was within the innermost courtyard and was peacefully admiring the full moon, even if outside was still full of chaos. The guards wouldnt let any a.s.sa.s.sin enter and disrupt the young masters quiet... Plus, it was said that Tianheng preferred solitude. So, didnt that mean that he was the only one in there right now
Wasnt this a great opportunity Or rather, wasnt this the only opportunity
Gu Zuo became resolute; his fast movements were very quiet.
His search went smoothly as the guards were preoccupied fighting on the periphery, far away, since they absolutely didnt want to disturb Gongyi Tianheng. At this time, Gu Zuo found an open s.p.a.ce that had a clear view of the night sky.
Time flew by neither slow nor fast . He took in the view of this sole courtyard and when he saw a man sitting away from him, bathed in moonlight, his heart began to throb.
Stay calm, stay calm...
Gu Zuo took out a dagger hidden in his boot and slowly approached.
Then, he suddenly leaped ahead with his fastest speed. He rushed against the figures back and used one hand to restrain his shoulder and the other to grip the dagger against his neck!
At that time, Gu Zuo discovered he was holding his own breath.
His voice trembled: “Young master Gongyi, dont think about moving! I, I wont hurt you. I only want to make a deal with you.”
After that, a rather low and magnetic voice spoke: “Oh”
This tone was very steady.
“What deal do you want to make”
The voice of this terribly attractive man distracted Gu Zuo. Yet, he quickly regained his bearings and said: “Ill cure your illness and you provide me medicinal ingredients!”
He said this and felt that it was a little unyielding. He supportingly added: “En . How about it”
The person in front leisurely opened his mouth: “So, youve come just to recommend yourself.”
Gu Zuo: “...You could say that.”
There was some doubt in the mans voice: “Since youve recommended yourself, why choose this method”
Gu Zuo sucked in a breath.
After he muttered: “I am too young...”
Yes, age was also a big problem. Who could be convinced that such a young teenager had any skill Whats more, he only started studying recently, and had a huge secret.
He could only think of underhanded methods like this.
After a moment of silence, Gu Zuos heart began beating faster and faster.
In the end, is this okay Really, is it good or not Say something! Dont just hem and haw like an old grandma!
Finally, the man spoke again, and his speed was slow and measured: “If I refuse, do you want to kill me”
Gu Zuo blurted out without thinking: “How could I”
Business was not a matter of righteousness, but it was disadvantageous to harm this persons life. He couldnt do it. Moreover, if he dared to do this, he wouldnt be able to escape and would certainly be beaten to death!
Gu Zuo took a deep breath: “...Then I can only ask young master Gongyi to accompany me for a little trip to ensure my safe escape and let you return home.”
After hearing this, the man smiled.
He seemed so happy that he trembled a little bit, but then he coughed softly.
Between his laughter, he intermittently said: “Then, I accept.”
He gasped for a few mouthfuls, “Lets make a deal.”
Gu Zuo took a breath.
Your mother!  He really agreed! Excellent, this young master was really awesome. He had such an open heart!
With great difficultly, that person slowly reigned in his laughter and tranquilly said: “Since I agreed, wont you lay down your weapon When we hash out this deal, shouldnt we do it face to face”
Gu Zuo knew that this persons reputation was as good as gold. His impression of Gongyi Tianheng was likewise impeccable. But his secret was too important, so he firmly spoke: “First, well set a contract.”
The person in front paused: “You dont trust me”
Gu Zuo did not hesitate : “I will trust you more in the future!”
He knew that Tianheng also held some doubts and quickly explained, “Rest a.s.sured, this is to give both of us safeguards. This contract is definitely one thatll benefit both of us. This one would prevent us from harming the other and is very simple to sign.”
After, he didnt wait for his response. His left hand lifted in front of Tianhengs face and performed a complex gesture. It was so fast that faint ripples of air flowed through his fingers. In the wake of this gesture, a mysterious and obscure power gathered.
To avoid Tianhengs refusal, Gu Zuos mouth was not idle: “Through this testimony on this day — you, Gongyi Tianheng, shall become my, Gu Zuos, guardian. To our respective partner in this contract, we shall do no harm, and we shall administer aid...”
After that quick oath, there was still a trace of shame in his heart. “If you agree, then place a drop of your blood in my hand.”
The person in front moved and extended his hand. He slowly grasped the dagger being held at his throat and gave himself a small nick.
Blood flowed into Gu Zuos outstretched hand, and Gu Zuo cut his own finger to drip blood into the same place, mixing together thoroughly.
At last, the contract was sealed!
Gu Zuo immediately withdrew his dagger and pivoted around the man to face him. In a cheerful mood, he spoke: “Now we can properly discuss —”
When he got a clear view of Gongyi Tianhengs face, his mind blanked.
Long, slender eyebrows that extended under his fringe. Pupils that shone like twinkling stars . A strong nose that hinted at a courageous figure ... Thin lips that were slightly pursed.
Although he was sickly, his skin was a l.u.s.tered white, like pearls or jade. Beneath the moonlight, his whole body seemed to glow.
After Gu Zuos reaction, he blinked a few times.
Simply put, this newly appointed patrons handsome features were out of this world.
If you were a literati, you could say his beauty was divine. If you were an average guy, youd shout out that this was just the public enemy of all men!
 不勞而獲 - Bu lao er huo, idiom for reaping without sowing, to achieve success without effort.
 This part of the text refers to Gu Zuos difficult life in modern times. He is currently fifteen years old, and the ten years are the most recent ten years of his life.
 渾水摸魚 - Hun shui mo yu, idiom to take advantage of a crisis for personal gain.
 Had some trouble getting the correct tone across, even if this translation holds the opposite modifier: it should be both fast and slow — but it sounded better using a negative instead.
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 嗯 - En, a nonverbal grunt used as an affirmation. An interjection indicating approval.
 尼瑪 - Ni ma, meaningless by themselves, together they are h.o.m.ophones for 你媽. This is slang for: come on!, what!, or really!
 斬釘截鐵 - Zhan ding jie tie, to chop nails and slice iron, an idiom.
 寒星 - Han xing, seems to have several meanings, including the kind of flickering star that resembles glittering snow. Ive seen some correlations to Venus, but Im doubtful.
 懸膽 - Xuan dan, a Grecian (nose).
T/N: Whew, back on track. Please see for my updating schedule.
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