The First Arc: Blood Rain Reaching Towards a Flower
Chapter 25: Obscure Hua Lian Fall Into the Sinners’ Pit at Night 2
Xie Lian said, “San Lang, are you really alright? You should let me down.”
However, San Lang replied, “Don’t come down.”
Startled, Xie Lian thought, “What’s the matter? Could something be on the ground?”
Regardless, that same pair of hands still held him tightly, without the slightest intention of letting go. Xie Lian had originally wanted to lift his hand to lightly push against San Lang’s chest. However, just as he placed his hand there, he remembered how he had mindlessly groped and felt around when San Lang had first caught him after his fall. He even accidentally brushed over the swell of this young man’s Adam’s apple. Consequently, Xie Lian then quietly withdrew his hands.
For all the centuries he’s lived, Xie Lian wouldn’t have known for the life of him how to spell the word ‘awkward’. Yet for some reason and in this moment, there was a voice inside him that cautioned him to cease his random movements and better behave himself.
Suddenly, a thunderous howl filled with sorrow and fury was heard. From the other side of the pit came another mournful roar, “What happened to you guys?!”
This was spoken in Ban Yue tongue. Judging by the sound of this voice, this was in fact General Ke Mo, who was dragged down together with Xie Lian. Since he was already dead, he naturally wouldn’t have died from the fall. It was just that this fall had been particularly violent, so Xie Lian reckoned he must have created a human-shaped crater which he got stuck in. As soon as General Ke Mo got up, he started to yell, “What’s wrong? My Soldiers! My brotherens ah, what happened to you?!”
Earlier, when Ke Mo shouted downward from atop the high walls, there were clearly hundreds and thousands of voices that yelled back in response from within the depths below——as if the bottom of the pit was full of violent, evil spirits waiting to be fed. Nonetheless, in this moment, apart from Ke Mo’s grieving roar of enraged fury, the only thing that Xie Lian could hear was deathly silence. He couldn’t even hear the sound of San Lang’s breathing, or his heartbeat despite the close proximity.
Suddenly, Xie Lian noticed something was wrong, which made him hold his breath. .
That’s right, he was clearly pressed tightly against San Lang. However, he couldn’t hear a single sound of the youth’s heartbeat or breathing!
Ke Mo howled, “Who killed you all, who was the one that killed you guys?!”
When A-Zhao fell down, he was still able to hear the terrifying sounds of him being devoured alive. But after San Lang jumped down, not a sound could be heard anymore. Who else could have killed them?
Presumably, Ke Mo also realized this and said, “You killed my soldiers, you ought to die. You all must die!”
Although he couldn’t see, Xie Lian could sense something dangerous charging towards them. Shifting his body, he said, “San Lang, be careful!”
Yet, San Lang replied, “Don’t mind him.”
Still carrying Xie Lian, he took a slight step and turned around.
Within the darkness, Xie Lian heard a very delicate “ding ding,” tinkling sound. It was very pleasant to the ear; clear yet intense and fleeting. Ke Mo rushed towards them and missed, but immediately attacked them again. Just as he had done so before, San Lang swiftly and skillfully turned to dodge, avoiding the attack. Xie Lian’s hands once again involuntarily slid upwards to tightly hug San Lang. He subconsciously gripped onto the material around his shoulders.
Xie Lian’s hands held on very firmly, regardless of how much San Lang dodged and moved, his hands still held on with a tight grip. Other than that fact, Xie Lian occasionally felt a cold, hard object pressing uncomfortably against his hands. He was unable to stop himself from feeling startled. Amid the boundless darkness, a sliver of silver flashed by. From all directions came the sound of sharp blades clashing, amidst Ke Mo’s repeated enraged cries.
The Ban Yue general seemed to have suffered heavy injuries, yet he forged forward with bravery, unyielding. When he charged forward again with a speed like violent wind, Xie Lian called, “Ruoye!”
The white silk flew out in response. With a bang, it whipped Ke Mo so hard, the man somersaulted in mid air before he fell to the ground. With this fall, Ke Mo began screaming again, “The two of you are fighting two against one, that’s despicable!”
Xie Lian thought to himself, “You already planned on killing us, so what’s it to you if it was two against however many people versus two against one, and whether it’s despicable or not? Staying alive matters the most. We can think about it after we kill you.”
Laughing without humour, San Lang snorted and said, “Even if it was one on one, you’d still have no chance of winning. You don’t need to do anything.”
The second sentence was directed at Xie Lian. His voice became a little deeper, and the mocking tone from before vanished.
Xie Lian replied, “Alright.”
Having said that, he reminded him again, “San Lang, why don’t you put me down first. Otherwise, I’d get in your way.”
However, San Lang said, “You won’t. Don’t come down.”
Xie Lian couldn’t help but ask, “Why can’t I come down?”
It can’t be that this young man liked holding people while fighting? He wouldn’t have gone this far to slight his opponents, would he?
That youth responded with only two words, “It’s dirty.”
Xie Lian would never have thought this would be his reason. For him to say it in such a natural and earnest manner, it was rather funny and inexplicably bizarre. It made him feel a certain, indescribable warmth that slowly blossomed within his chest. He said, “You can’t keep on holding me like this forever, you know.”
San Lang replied, “I don’t see why I can’t.”
Xie Lian only asked his question as a joke, but San Lang’s reply was devoid of any humor, making him unsure of how to follow up. During their quick exchange, Ke Mo once again attacked from the dark, unyielding. San Lang clearly had both his hands around Xie Lian, yet by using some unknown source of power, he was still able to force Ke Mo to retreat. As he withdrew, Ke Mo yelled, “That bitch made you—”
Before he could even finish screaming his sentence, a thunderous “boom” was heard. A large body crashed loudly against the ground and it was hit so hard, it laid still against the ground.
Hearing this, Xie Lian exclaimed, “San Lang, don’t kill him yet. If we want to leave, we would most likely need to ask him some questions.”
Sure enough, San Lang didn’t make another move . “I hadn’t planned on killing him. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have lasted this long.”
The bottom of the sinner’s pit once again sank back into a deathly silence.
After a moment, Xie Lian asked, “San Lang, were you the one who did all of this down here?”
Even if nothing could be seen within the darkness, the overwhelming scent of blood, the murderous aura, in addition to Ke Mo’s maddening grief and fury just now, were enough to outline what had occured. After a quiet pause, Xie Lian finally heard San Lang reply.
He said, “Yes”
His answer was expected. After a while, Xie Lian sighed and said, “How should I put this……”
He thought for a moment, before he finally said earnestly, “San Lang ah, the next time you see a pit like this, you must never jump carelessly into it again. I couldn’t stop you, I truly didn’t know what else to do.”
Not expecting this response from Xie Lian, San Lang choked up a bit.
When he spoke again, his tone seemed a little weird, “Is there nothing more you’d like to ask me?”
Xie Lian replied, “What else do you want me to ask?”
San Lang: “For example, whether I’m human or not.”
Xie Lian massaged the space between his brows. “For that, I don’t think there’s a need to ask.”
San Lang said, “Mm? There’s no need?”
Xie Lian said, “Yeah. Is there a need? Whether you’re human or not doesn’t really matter.”
San Lang said, “Oh?”
Xie Lian crossed his arms and said, “For interactions between people, what’s important is their congeniality, their characteristics and not their status. If I liked you, even if you were a beggar, I would still have liked you. If I hated you, even if you were the emperor, I’d have still hated you. Isn’t that how it works? This principle is simple enough, so there’s no need to ask.”
San Lang laughed out loud, “Yeah, what you said makes a lot of sense.”
Xie Lian said, “Right?” and laughed along with him. As he laughed, he kept feeling like something was wrong, then suddenly, Xie Lian finally realized what it was.
He was still being held by San Lang this entire time, and the most frightening part was, somewhere along the line, he had grown accustomed to it!
This was seriously going to take his life. Xie Lian lightly coughed once, “Um, about that, San Lang ah, we can discuss these small matters later. Why don’t you put me down first?”
San Lang appeared to have laughed a little. He said, “Wait a second.”
While holding Xie Lian in his arms, he appeared to have walked a little further before gently setting him down. As Xie Lian landed on solid ground, he said, “Thank you very much.”
San Lang didn’t react. After giving his thanks, Xie Lian raised his head to look upwards.
A bright full moon hung high up in the navy blue sky. It was extremely beautiful. But with how the sky was framed within a square, it was reminiscent of a frog in a well gazing up at the full moon.
He tried to send Ruoye upward again. Unsurprisingly, Ruoye launched and weaved into the air, but was blocked midway by something invisible. Ricocheting, Ruoye couldn’t proceed any further.
San Lang said, “This sinner’s pit seems to have barriers.”
Xie Lian replied, “I know. I was just trying it out. If I didn’t try, I wouldn’t have wanted to give up. I wonder how the others are doing above. Could the girl in black have swept them all down here too?”
He told San Lang about how the girl who was hung on the pole suddenly launched an attack and swept all the soldiers above to the pit below. After he’d spoken for a while, Xie Lian wanted to take a few steps forward, but he suddenly stepped on something.
Xie Lian tripped over an object that appeared to be an arm, but he was able to steady himself almost immediately. However, San Lang still reached out to support him and said, “Be careful.”
The youth continued in a light tone, “Like I said earlier, the ground is very filthy.”
Xie Lian also understood what he meant by ‘filthy’. He said, “It’s alright. I want to cast a Palm Flame and see what this place looks like before making further plans.”
San Lang didn’t say anything. Just then, from afar, Ke Mo’s voice rang out once again, “All of you working for that bitch, the thousands of spirits from our kingdom who died so unjustly shall lay a curse upon you!”
Xie Lian turned his head around and said in Ban Yue language, “General Ke Mo, the one you spoke of…..just exactly who are they?”
Ke Mo spoke with hatred in his voice, “Why pretend? It’s that demonic cultivator!”
Xie Lian replied, “Was it that woman roaming around the city?”
Ke Mo only spat angrily. By the looks of it, it must have been. Xie Lian asked, “Aren’t you loyal to the Ban Yue Grand Tutor?”
Ke Mo was infuriated by his words, “I will never be loyal to her again! I will never forgive that bitch!”
What followed suite were a string of incomprehensible curses and profanity. Ke Mo was emotionally agitated, thus affected the speed of his speech. He spoke so fast that towards the end, Xie Lian was utterly dumbfounded, completely unable to understand him. He could only whisper quietly and say, “San Lang, San Lang.”
San Lang explained, “He’s cursing at people. He said the Grand Tutor betrayed his kingdom and opened the city gates to let in the army of the Central Plains before pushing his brothers into this accursed hell pit. He wants to hang her a thousand times again, ten thousand times.”
Xie Lian hurriedly exclaimed, “Wait!”
How could this be? There were two things that were completely incorrect!
First of all, when Xie Lian mentioned the “woman roaming around the city” just now, he meant the woman in white. But currently, Ke Mo is repeatedly claiming that the Ban Yue Grand Tutor is a “bitch”, along with how the Grand Tutor had shoved his brothers into this accursed pit.
And just earlier, when the young woman wearing black swept the soldiers off the high wall, he had also heard Ke Mo swear at her. In addition, with his last words of “wanting to hang her a thousand times”, Xie Lian suddenly realized that the people they were talking about were entirely different individuals.
Secondly, Ban Yue Kingdom was betrayed by the Ban Yue Grand Tutor?!
Xie Lian cut him off and said, “General, the Ban Yue Grand Tutor you spoke of, was it the young woman wearing black who was hanging on a pole above the sinner’s pit?”
Ke Mo said, “If not her, then who else could it be?!”
The young girl dressed in black that hung on the pole like a corpse was actually the Ban Yue Grand Tutor!
But if this was the case, then the woman dressed in all white, the one idly strolling through the middle of Ban Yue City and who had said she’d kill them all, along with the woman dressed in all black accompanying her, who could they be?
That young woman in black, with her strange martial arts skills that could—in the blink of an eye—sweep more than ten fierce and powerful Ban Yue soldiers off the wall, why had she been hung above the sinner’s pit?