(Random Xi Family guard)
I am Guo Shi, an Enforcer for the Xi Family.
I had grown up in one of Jin city's slum orphanages ever since I could remember. I did not know if I was abandoned by my parents or they were deceased from my birth, nor did I ever care to find out.
When one lives in the slums, you learn to care very little about 'tomorrow' when your 'today' was uncertain.
All of us slum dwellers learned the world was a cruel place really quickly if we wanted to survive, there was no space for compassion nor hesitation in this little game of survival.
I was considered one of the lucky ones too.
I was blessed with an abnormally strong physique, allowing me to establish dominance over the weaker kids within the orphanage even when I was their junior.
When we got into fights with the other kids in the slums, we seldom lost a fight unless we were vastly outnumbered thanks to my strength.
Over the years, my name became respected and feared within my little corner of the slums.
Thus, when the Xi Family Enforcers came here looking for new recruits, I was one of the lucky few that caught their attention.
They took me away to the main branch where I was trained alongside another group of kids. Even there, my talent showed and I was quickly brought into another training programme of theirs.
There, I learnt of the sinister nature behind the Xi Family's merchant facade and what they did to the other kids who did not show as much promise as I did.
I honestly felt nothing for them, neither the kids nor the Family.
This was all just for survival.
So when they promoted me to join their ranks as one of the Family's Enforcers, I eagerly leapt at the chance. Even when the first task they gave me was to train a new batch of kids to become catalysts for a Dark Sect ritual, I barely batted an eyelid and did as I was told.
Life was good for me ever since then. I had good food, a warm bed and even underlings I could order around as I pleased.
All I had to do was keep my mouth shut about the Xi Family's activities and go out into the slums to get a few children once or twice a month, nothing could be more simpler than that.
When news of a new group that called themselves "Master's Church" began springing up in the slums, we saw it as nothing more than a group of squatters attempting to band together to survive. The topic might come up from time to time so we had grown accustomed to just calling it 'The Church'.
But once the syndicates stopped responding to us and disappeared entirely, we started to investigate.
The people sent to the syndicate dens returned to report them all empty, everything had been cleared out and not a single soul could be found. Even the drugs we had been distributing through them were gone.
News then began circulating about the slum dwellers being relocated all around and most of the infighting within had stopped. But since the men that we had left inside the slums continued to send messages that everything was fine, we hadn't paid much attention to it.
When it was time for me to visit the slums to get a few kids again, I was turned away at the gates of all the orphanages.
I had tried to intimidate them with violence but they hadn't even budged in the slightest, shutting the doors in my face.
Unsure of what to do, I returned with news of the squatters' uprising and a team of swordsmen led by another Enforcer was sent to teach them a lesson.
They never returned.
This time a larger group was sent and I was tasked to join them.
We had reached one of the orphanages to find it devoid of life, with both the swordsmen and the Enforcer that were sent there hung from the ceiling using their own entrails. The other orphanages had also cleared out, with no one left behind.
Our Family Head was enraged that such weak commoners could even think about rising up in defiance, much less overpower one of the Family's Enforcers who were stronger than the average man.
We scoured through the slums in search of where they could have went but that only gave more questions than answers.
The entire population within the slums had mysteriously disappeared.
Even the elderly and children were gone.
It was then that there were whispers of an underground church that worshipped an absolute divine being reached our ears.
Naturally, we dismissed it as hearsay and ignored it, though a team was still sent to investigate it on the off chance it held merit.
That team of four men returned in a single basket that was left at our doorstep, all their heads neatly chopped off with their eyes, ears and tongues removed.
That was also the time I realised that the young master had been acting rather strange lately.
I heard he had dismissed his usual guards and called them incompetent, replacing them with a group of strangers that we barely knew. He even had most of the servants and retainers fired and replaced.
Though this wasn't exactly new with him, the speed at which he found the replacements for them were a little surprising.
But the fact that the replacements did their job better than the former ones did was indisputable so we hadn't thought of it much back then.
While the top brass were starting to take the underground church news more seriously, the two Masters who had joined the Xi Family in the pursuit of power gave away our Family's involvement with the Dark Sect during Heaven Sect's celebration.
Investigators began probing our Family and the main Family Head ordered all the branch Houses to close and relocate back to the main branch to deal with this predicament.
By then, 'The Church' had also begun increasing their activities. Almost every other day we would receive news that a certain branch House would have lost all contact or its members missing.
The phrase "All for Master" became taboo within our Family and it was already an open secret that 'The Church' was responsible behind our degradation.
That should have been my cue to leave.
But I had been so accustomed to the Xi Family's power that I had grown arrogant alongside them, thinking that nothing could topple them.
While the Family heads were still on lockdown, I realised there were a number of servants and guards that went missing one day.
A quick inspection revealed that they had applied for leave to visit relatives or called in sick.
Further digging showed that all of these people were the ones that the young master had replaced the old staff with. Coincidence? I think not.
I took that as my cue to leave but I was too late.
The very next day while I was packing my bags, a nine tailed fox youkai had showed up at our doorstep telling us to die.
And of course she had said the taboo phrase.
"Ufufufu~ All for Master!"
I knew I should have ran