The First Arc: Blood Rain Reaching Towards a Flower
Chapter 24 (II): Obscure Hua Lian Fall Into the Sinners’ Pit at Night
Although everyone else didn’t understand what Ke Mo had said, they could probably roughly guess what the soldiers were intending to do. As a result, their complexions simultaneously turned white.
When Xie Lian saw how they were all scared to the point they could barely remain standing, he moved a step forward and softly said, “Don’t be nervous. If something happens, I’ll face it first.”
If by chance, someone had to be thrown in later, then Xie Lian would just brace himself and go down to take a look first. In any case, only the stereotypical vipers, ferocious beasts, malicious spirits or demons would be at the bottom of the pit. Since Xie Lian wouldn’t die from the fall, or die from being beaten, or die from being bitten or poisoned, as long as there wasn’t any lava and raging flames, or Corpse Transformed Poisoned Water1, then he wouldn’t become too unsightly even if he jumped down.
In addition, Xie Lian still had Ruoye. Even if the spiritual array hindered him from using Ruoye to climb back up, if these Ban Yue soldiers threw someone else down, he would still be able to catch them.
Ke Mo had said ‘bring the others away and keep an eye on them’. That meant the other people would be relatively safe for the time being. After all, catching live people in the Gobi desert wasn’t an easy thing to do. They couldn’t just let them be all eaten at once, so the soldiers probably wanted to hoard them and let them be eaten one at a time.
Xie Lian had thought things through. However, who would have thought that there would be someone in their group who couldn’t keep their cool.
Other than Xie Lian and San Lang whose expressions hadn’t changed, everyone else were all trembling with fear ever since they had climbed to the top of the Sinners’ Pit——especially A-Zhao.
Perhaps it was because he thought death was certain and that it would be better to try and desperately fight, A-Zhao fisted his hands and suddenly revolted. With a bowed head, he charged at Ke Mo!
It appeared that A-Zhao had the determination to take down Ke Mo with him to death. In other words, he was charging at him in hopes of knocking Ke Mo down into the pit with himself. And despite Ke Mo’s tall stature that could be likened to an iron tower, even he retreated three steps in the face of a collision that encompassed one’s last resolution before death.
Since Ke Mo nearly lost his footing, he was immediately angered. After roaring once, he flipped over a hand and pushed A-Zhao down.
When they saw the youth fall down into the dark and deep pit, everyone screamed. Xie Lian also yelled, “A-Zhao!”
At this moment, a burst of cheers distantly resonated from the bottom of the dark pit, along with some extremely cruel tearing noises. Those sounds could be likened to the result of evil spirits falling over each other in their eagerness to savagely feed. One knew just by hearing this that the youth named A-Zhao didn’t have a chance to return alive.
Even Xie Lian didn’t expect things to develop like this. He was extremely stunned.
Originally, he had been suspecting that A-Zhao was precisely that Ban Yue Grand Tutor’s subordinate, and that he was specifically enticing passers-by into entering the ancient Ban Yue Kingdom. He had also harboured suspicions that the one the half-buried face had mentioned when he claimed to have ‘saw someone among them fifty years ago’ was also A-Zhao. However, Xie Lian hadn’t anticipated that this youth would be the first one among them to be killed. After jumping down like this, how could there be a possibility for A-Zhao to survive?
Was it possible that he was just feigning his death? However, Xie Lian and the others were already all captives of the Ban Yue soldiers. If A-Zhao truly had been the Ban Yue Grand Tutor’s subordinate, he would be completely capable of tearing down his disguise now that they had the upper hand. A-Zhao could have acted high and mighty, so why would he have to do something as superfluous as feigning his death in front of them? There would be absolutely no meaning in doing something like that.
But why did A-Zhao charge at Ke Mo? Wasn’t this also the same as him meaninglessly throwing his life away?
As Xie Lian pondered over these theories one after another in confusion, the Ban Yue soldiers began once again looking for the next live person to push down. Ke Mo raised a hand and pointed at TianSheng.
A Ban Yue soldier extended his large palm as he came forth to grab him. TianSheng was immediately scared into yelling, “AH! SAVE ME! Don’t grab me! I’m……”
Xie Lian had no time to continue thinking. He stepped forward and said, “General, wait a moment.”
When he heard Xie Lian open his mouth and speak Ban Yue Kingdom’s language, a shocked expression appeared on Ke Mo’s dark face. He waved his hand and stopped that soldier before he asked, “You know how to speak our language? Where are you from?”
Xie Lian gently replied, “I come from the Central Plains.”
He actually didn’t mind lying and saying he was from Ban Yue Kingdom, but this lie wouldn’t be that feasible. Xie Lian wasn’t sure how fluent his Ban Yue language was or how much he had picked back up, so he would inevitably expose his secret while conversing with Ke Mo. In addition, his appearance made it obvious just where he had hailed from. The people of Ban Yue Kingdom extremely disliked those who lied and deceived others. If they saw through his lie, the consequences would be even more severe.
Ke Mo said, “The Central Plains? You’re a Yong’an descendant?”
Xie Lian replied, “No. Yong’an Kingdom has long been wiped out. There are no longer any more Yong’an people.”
However, in the eyes of the people from Ban Yue Kingdom, as long as someone was from the Central Plains, they were more or less the relative or descendant of the Yong’an people.
Ban Yue Kingdom had been destroyed by Yong’an Kingdom’s army. The moment he was told where Xie Lian came from, Ke Mo’s dark face instantly turned furious. The crowd of soldiers also began clamoring about. Their yells were completely composed of curses and belittling words.
Xie Lian listened to them. They only said things like ‘despicable’, ‘liar’, ‘throw him down’——superficial things that didn’t hurt nor tickle.
Ke Mo said, “Our kingdom has already faded away two hundred years ago in the Gobi desert. You are not from our kingdom, but you know our language. Who the hell are you?”
Xie Lian couldn’t help but glance at the calm and composed young man standing beside him. He thought, if worst came to worst and he became unable to continue explaining, he would just have to brace himself and yell ‘San Lang, save me’.
Xie Lian prepared himself to begin talking rubbish. However, at that very moment, another earth-shattering roar came from the bottom of the pitch-dark pit.
It appeared that whatever was down there had already finished feeding on A-Zhao’s corpse. However, they were still hungry, and thus they used this sound to convey their craving for fresh flesh. Ke Mo waved his hand, looking as if he was about to grab TianSheng again. Xie Lian said, “General, let me go first.”
Ke Mo definitely had never heard someone ask to go first in this place. His eyes widened and looked like bells as he asked in astonishment, “You want to go first? For what reason??”
Xie Lian naturally couldn’t reply and say it was because he wasn’t scared. Thus, he chose an answer that conformed with the norms of society. “General, these are merely innocent merchants just passing through. They even have a child amongst them.”
When Ke Mo heard this, he sneered and said, “When your Yong’an army massacred my kingdom, did you never think about how there were also many innocent merchants and children here?”
It had already been two hundred years since Ban Yue Kingdom was destroyed. Nowadays, both sides had long transitioned into a new dynasty. However, these soldiers were the dead whose time had long came to a halt. Their hatred would not weaken following the start of a new regime.
Ke Mo spoke again, “You are very suspicious. I want to ask you some questions, so you cannot go down. Throw someone else in!”
In that case, there was nothing to be done. Xie Lian was prepared to see things through to the end and make it his priority to jump first, when he saw San Lang walk forward a step. Heart jumping, he turned his head.
That young man had crossed his arms. With an indifferent gaze, he thoughtfully sized up the deep Sinners’ Pit.
A bad premonition sprung up unbidden in Xie Lian’s heart. “San Lang?”
When he heard Xie Lian call him, San Lang turned his head. He smiled faintly and said, “Everything’s fine.”
Once again, the youth took another step forward. He was already standing at an extremely dangerous place. Both Xie Lian’s heart and his eyelids were jumping about wildly. “Wait. San Lang, stop moving.”
At the very edge of the Sinners’ Pit, the hem of the youth’s red clothes flew about vigorously in the wind. San Lang gave Xie Lian a glance before smiling once. He said, “Don’t be afraid.”
Xie Lian said, “You……retreat first and come back. If you come back, then I will stop being scared.”
San Lang replied, “There’s no need to be worried. I’ll leave for a bit first. We’ll be able to see each again very soon.”
Xie Lian said, “Don’t……”
He had yet to finish talking when that youth once again took another step forward. While maintaining his posture with his crossed arms, he made a gentle leap and instantly disappeared into the unfathomable depths of the darkness.
The split second San Lang had jumped, Ruoye had flown off Xie Lian’s wrist. It turned into a streak of white2 in hopes of coiling around that young man’s figure. However, the speed of San Lang’s fall was too quick, so much that the white silk hadn’t even been able to grab a corner of San Lang’s clothes before it dimmed down and returned to Xie Lian.
Xie Lian immediately knelt beside the tall walls and yelled into the Sinners’ Pit, “SAN LANG!!!”
No response could be heard.
After that youth jumped down, nothing could be heard!
On the tall wall beside him, many Ban Yue soldiers began shouting one after the other. All of them sounded extremely shocked.
What was happening today? In the past, one had to capture someone and throw them down to make them actually fall down. But today, everyone was taking turns and fighting over the chance to jump down. And if you didn’t let them jump, they would actually jump down themselves?
General Ke Mo shouted loudly at his soldiers and told them to calm down. And when Xie Lian saw how Ruoye hadn’t been able to grab onto San Lang, he didn’t have enough time to think everything through. Instead, he merely recalled Ruoye before he threw himself into a leap toward the Sinners’ Pit.
But who would have thought that although his body was already flying through the air, the back of his collar would suddenly tighten? Xie Lian ended up being suspended in midair.
He turned his head to take a look. It turned out that when General Ke Mo saw how he had also wanted to jump down, the General unexpectedly reached out and grabbed Xie Lian to prevent him from falling!
Xie Lian thought to himself, “It’s fine if you want to come. In fact, it’s better if we go down together.”
This idea prompted him into action. Like a white snake, Ruoye suddenly coiled around Ke Mo’s arm and climbed up. With a ‘swish’, it wrapped itself around the General’s entire body.
Ke Mo saw how this thin white silk was strange and unfathomable, and even appeared to have cultivated its own consciousness. In response, the black veins on his forehead bulged, while the flesh of his muscles also grew a few times bigger. It seemed as if he had wanted to forcibly snap Ruoye, who was coiled around him.
Xie Lian was stuck in this deadlock with Ke Mo when suddenly, he saw something exceedingly strange out of the corner of his eye.
The corpse that had been hanging from that long pole suddenly moved and slightly raised its head.
The crowd of Ban Yue soldiers also noticed how the corpse had moved. One after another, they started to yell before they waved their teeth-embedded cudgels to strike the corpse.
But after that black-clothed girl had moved, she somehow managed to untie the string that had been hanging her from the pole. Suddenly, she jumped off the pole and then rapidly rushed over.
She could be likened to a black breeze that blew over from the top of the tall wall. Both rapid yet demonic, all the soldiers were instantly tormented by this nefarious wind until they were swaying from side to side. Accompanied by miserable shrieks, many soldiers fell down from the tall wall.
When he saw how his soldiers were swept down from the wall and into the Sinners’ Pit, Ke Mo began furiously cursing. His curses were extremely vulgar, and probably used a decent amount of street slang. Xie Lian hadn’t understood everything he said, but he did understand one sentence.
What Ke Mo had been cursing was, “It’s this slut again!”
The next moment, Ke Mo was unable to continue cursing, because Xie Lian had suddenly exerted some strength to drag the General down into the Sinners’ Pit with him.
The Sinners’ Pit—the one you can never climb out of after falling into it!
As they fell, Ke Mo released a bellow that nearly shattered Xie Lian’s eardrums. Xie Lian had no other choice but to recall Ruoye, before he casually gave Ke Mo a kick so that the distance between them would be a bit greater and his ears could be protected.
Following that, he compelled Ruoye to glide up, in hopes that it could grab something Xie Lian could use as a cushion. At least then, he wouldn’t land in an extremely miserable fashion.
However, this Sinners’ Pit was built in a way that was difficult to deal with, and that spiritual array was also very powerful. Not only was Ruoye unable to climb somewhere high, there was also nothing it could grab onto inside the four tall walls. Just when Xie Lian thought he was once again going to become a human pancake—the kind that won’t get scrapped off of the ground for at least a couple days—like how he did countless times in the past, suddenly, amidst the darkness, a silvery light flashed past.
The next moment, a pair of hands gently caught him.
With incomparable precision, that person had caught him head-on. It was practically as if this person had been guarding this place and was specifically waiting there to catch him. One hand had wound around Xie Lian’s back, hugging his shoulders, while the person’s other hand supported his knees. In a relaxed and easy manner, the person had managed to completely disperse the fierce momentum that had been created during Xie Lian’s fall.
Xie Lian had just fallen from a great height before coming to a sudden stop, so he still felt a bit faint and a little dizzy. He subconsciously lifted his hand and then tightly embraced the other person’s shoulders. “San Lang?”
Darkness surrounded them, and it was impossible to see anything. So of course, there was also no way for him to see who this person was. However, Xie Lian still blurted out those two words.
The other person did not reply. Xie Lian touched that person’s shoulders and chest a few times. Wanting to verify this person’s identity, he asked again, “San Lang, is that you?”
He didn’t know whether it was because they had arrived at the bottom of the pit, but the smell of blood in the air here was strong enough to make people swoon. Xie Lian didn’t know what possessed him either, because he actually began to casually feel up that person. It was only until he had touched the person’s hard Adam’s apple did he suddenly snap out of his daze.
Xie Lian thought, ‘I’ve sinned, I’ve sinned, what am I doing?’ He immediately retracted his hand before asking, “It’s San Lang, right? Are you alright? Were you wounded?”
After quite a while, he finally heard that young man’s reply. From a place extremely close to him, the youth’s deep voice resonated over. “I’m fine.”
Xie Lian didn’t know why, but he felt that compared to San Lang’s usual tone, there was a subtle difference in his current voice.
- 化尸毒水: According to https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%8C%96%E5%B0%B8%E6%B0%B4, its a substance that can directly turn corpses into poisoned water.
- What the raws said was 白虹, which is the white line you see here. Don’t know if it’ll really affect your reading experience, but I thought I might footnote it just in case people were curious!