Chapter 2: The Dungeon
In this world, what would be the predicament that would make you lose all hope?
Would it be Yunmeng Ze1 falling into a miasma field, poisons and toxins forever plaguing the river? Maybe it would be meeting a hurricane on top of an ocean, one that rolled up waves as high as the heavens? Or perhaps it would be the awakening of terrible beasts, ones previously slumbering in the depths of the Shi Wan1 Mountain?
Although everything mentioned above were all extremely dangerous, if one’s cultivation was profound and they were equipped with strong spiritual treasures, it wouldn’t necessarily be a death sentence. Escaping from their troubles was still a possibility.
However, Cang Ya Mountain’s dungeon was different.
Hidden beneath a huge mountain, within the depths of the forest and in a lush valley, the dungeon was filled with an air of mystery.
In a long and narrow corridor that stretched until the end was too far away to see, a copper oil lamp was placed every five chi2. The flickering candle flames looked like the pupils of beasts at night. There wasn’t any leftover blood from cruel torture sessions, nor any cursing or wailing. There was only a heavy silence as deep and dark as ink. The only sound one could hear was the unending echo of the water clock used to mark night watches.
It’s wheel turned unceasingly, thousands of times without exceptions.
Even the guards who changed shifts every three shichen3 had expressionless faces, lips sealed and silent.
In this world, loneliness could force someone to death.
No daytime, no night. No cold, no warmth. The emptiness and silence were magnified to the extreme.
Tricky people with power as strong as the heavens, extremely violent and evil murderers who kill for fun, genius youths who made unforgivable mistakes, and demonic cultivators were all merely prisoners when they were kept in this dungeon.
If one truly wished to differentiate these prisoners, there was a way: you could separate them into ones who had already attended their trials and ones who didn’t, or ones who had visitors and ones who didn’t.
However, it was rarer for a prisoner to receive visitors than it was for them to see daylight once more.
Besides the fact that this dungeon was an important place for Cang Ya Mountain, and how only extremely significant people had the qualifications to even request entry, this dungeon was unique because of it’s mountain range. The lower one went, the heavier it became.
Martial art cultivators would feel as if their bones were pressured and their muscles were tightened. Spiritual cultivators felt like their spiritual energy was blocked. For a normal cultivator, being suppressed like this was the same as being an ordinary mortal.
Even the guards, ones who were experts in a martial art that would allow them to resist the mountain range’s ability, could only withstand staying there for half a day. After that, they would feel their bones and their muscles ache horribly.
However, this dungeon’s usual silence was disrupted today.
The almost solidifying atmosphere was broken. Within the stillness of the corridor, the sound of footsteps began echoing. They were steady and powerful, and even their strong aura was maintained.
These footsteps were neither rapid nor unhurried. Although they echoed in a dungeon that would never receive light, it was like they were walking on a big road under the sunshine.
When the figure that created those footsteps walked past the lofty copper oil lamp, the jumping flame illuminated the person’s face. Unexpectedly, it was a woman!
She wore a dark red, sturdy dress, and her ink-black hair was combed up high. In addition, she had eyebrows that looked similar to thin swords, a straight nose, and a heroic presence that made others feel suffocation. Although there wasn’t a single weapon on her body, her fighting spirit was practically overflowing.
However, Liu QiShuang’s calm facade belied her inner turmoil.
She had no idea how she was supposed to face her junior-apprentice brother, the one that had committed such a huge mistake.
Liu QiShuang was devoted to cultivating, and from the beginning to the end, she was never that good at interacting with other people. She was even worse at being eloquent. However, this time, she had no other choice but to come.
Their Xi Hua Peak was unlike the other peaks. Although their Master had an extremely famous reputation, he traveled the world all year round.
If she thought back, ever since their eldest senior-apprentice brother had substituted their Master and accepted disciples for him, this junior-apprentice brother of hers had never met their Master.
On top of that, they didn’t have many disciples on this peak. The place was vast, but it was sparsely populated. In addition, every disciple cultivated by themselves. Thus, they sometimes only saw each other once or twice every year.
But in any case, even if their mutual affection wasn’t deep, they were all apprenticed under the same Master. Liu QiShuang was unwilling to see the other’s journey stop here.
Her impression of this junior-apprentice brother was someone who had matured too young. He was a person who was reticent and a bit gloomy, but she could also vaguely remember that he had a lot of talent. When he had entered the peak, he was the student who had received the top marks in the Academy’s final exam……
As her train of thought drifted about, the guard leading the way in front of her had already stopped walking. Silently cupping his hands and giving her a salute, the guard made an inviting gesture before retreating.
Liu QiShuang took two steps forward. Black iron bars separated her from the other person. Under the weak light, she strained her eyes to see the person in the prison cell.
This was the second time she had so carefully examined her junior-apprentice brother. The first time had been three years ago, during the ceremony in which this brother formally became their Master’s disciple.
At that time, he had been a teenager who hadn’t even fully matured, one who had been slightly bowing his head. When they read his name, his eyes swept the room. His expression had been very gloomy and cold, almost as if he was a viper waiting for an opportunity to attack.
Liu QiShuang hadn’t understood why eldest senior-apprentice brother would suddenly accept a disciple under their Master’s name. However, eldest senior-apprentice brother always had a reason for his actions.
She had once tried to express the concern she had as a senior-apprentice sister, but this teenager didn’t seem to need it. The teenager’s cultivating also never met some kind of barrier, and thus he never interacted with anybody.
Over time, the people who wanted to talk to him lessened.
The person in the prison cell had originally been sitting in a lotus position. At that moment, as if he had felt another presence, he slowly stood up.
His figure was skeletal and his skin tone was deathly pale. As he shifted, the shackles on his wrists and ankles jingled like unpleasant bells.
He took two steps forward and gave her a faint nod. “Second senior-apprentice sister.”
Then, he fell silent and did not speak any more.
Liu QiShuang suddenly discovered that the boy in front of her was still a teenager, only a bit older than when he had fist arrived. He was not yet twenty years old. Even the space between his brows and eyes had a childish feel that had not fully disappeared.
With regards to a cultivator’s practically endless lifespan, he really couldn’t be considered an adult.
Even if he lived in the secular world, he was only at the age where his parents made him wake up early to go to the academy, an age where youths loved to have fun.
However, today, this boy was standing in the world’s most unbearable dungeon.
Liu QiShuang suddenly didn’t know how to begin start talking. Without any other alternatives, she could only speak the words she had thought up before.
“The Sect Leader said you attempted to murder Luo MingChuan and thirty-two other disciples within the Violet Heaven Secret Realm. Is this true?”
The teenager suddenly raised his head. His eyes flashed with deep disbelief and shock, mixed with a bone-aching pain. Those kind of strong emotions seemed as if they would ignite into a blaze.
However, like a candle flame in a breeze, those emotions were quickly extinguished.
After a moment, the teenager lowered his head again. A deep and rough voice replied, “Yes, it was me.”
A faintly discernible sigh reverberated within the prison cell. The person in front of her was shrouded in a deep, desolate feeling. It was like he had built an invisible and intangible high wall, isolating himself from the world.
The teenager refused to explain more. It was clear that he didn’t think anyone could help him.
Liu QiShuang felt deeply shaken. She couldn’t suppress the huge doubt and immense bitterness rising in her heart. Could it be possible that someone was hiding secrets regarding this matter? However, the Sect Leader wasn’t a dishonest person.
Still, Liu QiShuang couldn’t help but voice her concerns and growing suspicions.
“Junior-apprentice brother, if you’ve received unjust treatment, tell me. Even if our Master is not here, my Peak’s disciples cannot be easily bullied by others! And even if I cannot protect you, there is still eldest senior-apprentice brother. He will surely be able to help you seek justice!”
The young man’s thin, bloodless lips opened slightly as if he had wanted to say something, but he immediately changed the topic, as if he had suddenly thought of something else.
“I only have myself to blame. This matter does not concern anyone else.”
When he finished speaking, the boy turned around and began walking into the depths of the dark prison cell, the rattling of his shackles and chains sounding ear-piercing in the silence.
“Second senior-apprentice sister, please return.”
Liu QiShuang protested, “Junior-apprentice brother!”
Unfortunately, the guard with a portable lantern had already returned. He gestured at her to leave, silently informing her that her time was up.
Cang Ya Mountain’s dungeon had its own rules. Even with her identity and her high cultivation level, she had to follow those rules.
In the end, Liu QiShuang took another deep look at the person inside the prison cell. His back was thin but straight, as if it wouldn’t break no matter what kind of darkness tried to destroy him.
Mister Villain watched the figure in the narrow corridor slowly disappear before he heaved a heavy sigh.
No, now his name should be Yin BiYue.
Cang Ya Mountain’s Xi Hua Peak’s fourth disciple, Yin BiYue.
The moment he woke up, he found himself in this pitch-dark place. In addition, his head was pounding with a mess of jingling and tinkling sounds, to the point he wished he could just throw his brain away.
“Welcome. We’re certified goods. Inspecting the goods is fine with us, however, we just don’t do returns——”
“The testing is completed and the conditions are met. The Halo can now take effect……”
“Do you wish to download the certified Halo installation package?”
“The installation package is now being downloaded……please wait patiently.”
Fortunately, the moment Yin BiYue saw Liu QiShuang’s figure, the original body’s memories had immediately told him that she was his ‘second senior-apprentice sister’.
The other memories that flashed past in his mind also made Yin BiYue very satisfied.
It couldn’t be wrong! This was the body of a standard, golden villainous character!
This definitely wasn’t a minor character who only had three and a half lines before they ended up dying naturally in a short scene!
To be capable of being imprisoned into this kind of place, this had to be the body of the future, successful BOSS, ah!
When he met Liu QiShuang, that installation package had begun downloading. Thus, he tried to talk as little as possible to prevent himself from exposing any clues about his transmigration.
Now that she had left, he could finally calm his heart and begin carefully organizing his thoughts.
This was a xuanhuan4 world.
The major powers in this world could roughly be divided into the ‘Three Mountain Sects’, the ‘Double Buddha Temples’, and the ‘Twelve Demonic Sects’.
One of those Mountain Sects was exactly the place he was currently at: Cang Ya Mountain, completely deserving of being called the most powerful.
The original Yin BiYue had been imprisoned in the Cang Ya Mountain dungeon because of the following reason: ‘he intended to slaughter the disciples of his own Sect. His scheming mind is no longer upright’. On an auspicious date, the Sect would convene for his public trial.
Yin BiYue’s true essence had been sealed to prevent him from trying to break out of jail. If he tried to lift the seal by force, he wouldn’t meet a good end.
And since he did attempt that, the original Yin BiYue should have successfully exploded himself. However, he had also chanced upon a fluctuation in the plane of existence. Some kind of mishap must have occurred then, because the original Yin BiYue transmigrated to who knows where. And then coincidentally, Mister Villain managed to transmigrate and take Yin BiYue’s place.
When Liu QiShuang said the words ‘murder Luo MingChuan and thirty-two other disciples’, the corresponding memory began flooding Yin BiYue’s mind. It had been so sudden that it caught him unprepared, so Yin BiYue was unsure if he made some kind of an odd expression during the conversation.
However, he understood the story now. The path Yin BiYue was walking on was the ‘genius villain who got counterattacked and slapped in the face’.
This villain had extremely excellent qualifications. Thus, after he was counterattacked, resentment began bubbling forth in his heart. He tried to slaughter the protagonist and his little companions, but the protagonist had a golden thigh and managed to lead everyone to safety. The villain not only failed to kill the protagonist, but he also fell into a pit himself.
Just taking a single glance at this cliché script was enough for Yin BiYue to compose the rest of the story.
Suddenly, Yin BiYue remembered the white-clothed teenager he saw on the bright screen before he transmigrated. Yup, that was probably the protagonist. He couldn’t go wrong with him.
According to the routine, now he ought to successfully escape from this dungeon. In reality, however, he completely didn’t know how to escape.
Thus, he could only wait for the public trial.
For the serious crime of trying to slaughter the disciples from his own Sect, abolishing his cultivation and expelling him out of the Sect was unavoidable. And as for if there were any possibilities of chancing upon a miracle and re-cultivating after that, if one wasn’t the protagonist, how could they dare to gamble for something like that to occur?
According to the original Yin BiYue’s memories, his Peak only had five disciples including him. Other than third senior-apprentice brother who was out travelling, everyone else had already came to visit him. However, they were all driven away by his cold and completely uncooperative manner. Liu QiShuang was the last to come see him.
On one hand, Yin BiYue regretted how he had tried too hard to act OP5. On the other hand, he carefully combed through his memories, trying to guess if there was the possibility of someone else visiting him. If someone else did come, he might be able to use them as a chess piece in his public trial, one that just might help him turn the tides.
Tut, with the original Yin BuYue’s relationships, it was already pretty good if no one came to kill him.
Don’t tell him he should just hope that the protagonist was a brainless Holy Mother type of character, one who would come and visit the chief culprit of his murder attempt?! And then listen to that culprit fabricate stories?!
In addition, with his ‘Fiend Halo’, the possibility of others believing that he was innocent was even lower.
It was still alright if he didn’t activate it. However, if it activated, he would be able to receive every living organism’s hatred within a couple of minutes.
Furthermore, after he carefully recalled everything, Yin BiYue realized that he only had a scattered and fragmented version of the original Yin BiYue’s memories. For some unknown reason, the fragment about ‘harming the disciples of his own Sect’ was the most fuzzy and blurry.
With things like this, he couldn’t randomly say things during his trial hearing. He also needed to maintain a gloomy attitude to prevent exposing any more evidence.
“Ding——The installation package is completely downloaded! Congratulations to the respected customer! Please enjoy using it no matter the time or place!”
Faceplant! ……In this kind of situation, how the heck would this Halo be of any use?!
What a rotten hand of cards.
Yin BiYue made an effort to calm down. There had to be something he overlooked. There surely was still a chance of things turning for the better…….
Right, the protagonist Luo MingChuan seemed to really be the Holy Mother type!
Yin BiYue crouched beside the wall and began to carefully think.
Meanwhile, on the twenty-fourth floor at the Rebirth Company, an angered scream rang out.
“Liu XiaoDai, get your butt over here!! That Halo I literally just debugged! Where did the White! Lotus6! Halo! Go!!??”
1. Yunmeng Ze is a very huge lake in a legend. Some say it is Dongting Lake.↩
2. A chi is the Chinese foot. Three chi would equal one meter.↩
3. One shichen is equal to 2 hours.↩
4. Xuanhuan means ‘mysterious fantasy’, it is a type of genre in China.↩
5. OP stands for overpowered. It’s slang for describing a character who is too powerful.↩
6. White Lotus is also slang for a character type who is completely pure.↩