As long as Ning Cheng was willing to cooperate, Jun Yixie would agree to any of his terms. He was already mentally preparing himself to make concessions as long as the man helped him. He didn’t even mind splitting half the world with him in the future. As he saw it, the only reason Ning Cheng hadn’t betrayed Han Yunxi yet was because he was afraid he’d gain no advantages with their alliance. What “I don’t want the world, I only want Han Yunxi?” That was just rubbish!
For men, the kingdom reigned supreme! What did beauties count for?
Jun Yixie’s lips drew into a self-mocking smirk as his back faced Ning Cheng. He had no idea why he’d been a fool to believe Ning Cheng’s declaration back then! He waited for the man’s terms, but Ning Cheng asked for an unexpected request.
He said, “If you want to work with me, then help me punish the Di Clan’s first ever traitor!”
Chained on the sidelines, Uncle Cheng’s head whipped up at the remark. “Master Ning…”
Jun Yixie gave a start before he laughed out loud and turned around to look at Uncle Cheng. “Him?”
“Yes,” Ning Cheng’s eyes were hooded as he gazed coldly at the traitor. Seeing the shock, pleading, and fear in the other man’s eyes, he remained indifferent.
“Master Ning, everything this old servant did was for your own good! Master Ning, this old servant has worked hard even without earning merit for my service! You can’t treat me this way! Master Ning!” Uncle Cheng began to shout.
Jun Yixie strode over step by step with a grin. “But for this lord...hehe, he’s rendered extraordinary services!”
“A traitor is a traitor, no excuses. Even if he’s rendered meritorious service, he can’t be used again!” Ning Cheng declared icily.
Jun Yixie naturally wanted to spare Uncle Cheng because he was an elder of the Di Clan that could give him extra intel on its inner workings. However, he’d hardly started his request when Ning Cheng looked up at him. In the darkness, his icy gaze was like a wolf in the night, casting dread and causing Jun Yixie to involuntarily back away.
“Jun Yixie, are you planning to cooperate with him or me? Looks like you haven’t thought things through. Talk to your lordship after you have!” Ning Cheng still maintained his lofty air despite being chained up to a torture rack.
Although he told Jun Yixie to think twice, he was actually cutting off all avenues of choice. If Jun Yixie hesitated even slightly, Ning Cheng would call the deal off!
In the end, even the mightiest servant was no more than a mere vassal. Jun Yixie laughed and said, “Ning Cheng, this lord will be happy to punish him however you’d like!”
“Master Ning, you can’t do this to me!”
“Master Ning, this old servant has served you for over 20 years. You can’t treat this old servant like this, you can’t!”
“Master Ning, this old servant was wrong! I know my wrongs now, Master Ning, I’m begging you to spare me, please! Spare this old servant!”
Uncle Cheng begged and struggled against his chains, rattling them loudly in the cold, dark cell. But Ning Cheng simply declared his punishment while remaining unmoved.
He said, “Snip off his fingernails and toenails.”
Uncle Cheng’s pleas stopped as he looked on in horror, while Jun Yixie pursed his lips. This fellow Ning Cheng’s vicious, alright!
Ning Cheng wasn’t talking about just cutting nails, but a type of nail torture! It didn’t even need any special tools beyond a pair of very sharp nail scissors.
“Someone come, tie him up for this lord!” Jun Yixie immediately ordered.
“No! Master Ning, spare me! Spare me, ah!”
“This subordinate knows my wrongs! I know my wrongs! Master Ning, this subordinate doesn’t dare anymore, never again!” Uncle Cheng’s cries were heartrending as he finally regretted his actions and began to feel fear. Unfortunately, it was all too late.
Even if he risked everything down to his life, Ning Cheng would never allow himself to betray the clan, much less someone else like Uncle Cheng. Leaving him alive would only be a convenience for Jun Yixie. He had long planned to kill Uncle Cheng because he deserved death. He deserved to die by the most fitting punishment for his acts!
Ning Cheng didn’t even think he could make it out of here alive, so why would he spare Uncle Cheng?
The soldiers quickly tied Uncle Cheng against a wooden platform and restrained his head and four limbs. Even his palms and the soles of his feet were secured in place, leaving nothing but his frozen toes and fingers.
“What a racket, gag his mouth!” Jun Yixie was already annoyed and Uncle Cheng’s screaming only irritated him further.
As soon as the gag was stuffed into Uncle Cheng’s mouth, the little cell quieted down. A soldier delivered exceedingly sharp nail scissors into the cell, which Jun Yixie handed off to one of his subordinates. In a stern voice, he ordered, “Serve him well!”
(Torture Description Starts Here)
At these words, Uncle Cheng’s eyes widened as he struggled fiercely, but nothing budged his bonds. The subordinate simply knelt on one knee before taking Uncle Cheng’s big toenail. The next second, he had jammed the tip of the scissors under the nail and straight to its base!
All of the pores on Uncle Cheng’s body opened wide at the intense agony. He tried to scream, but couldn’t make a sound. Meanwhile, the subordinate didn’t stop as he ruthlessly ripped the scissor blade back out. Following that, he began to work along the vertical length of the nail as he steadily pried it from the flesh of the fingers.
So much for nail “cutting!” This was simply tearing off the entire nail!
As the blade burrowed deeper into the flesh, the pain increased. At first it was easy cutting, but when the scissors hit the place where flesh and nail met as one, it was harder to tear them apart. The subordinate began to work the blades to cut through the connecting nail and flesh until it split into halves.
Uncle Chen was in such excruciating pain that he could only stare straight ahead with bloodshot eyes. But this wasn’t the most painful part yet. Everything had just begun. After successfully cutting a vertical slit in the thumbnail, the subordinate began to cut left and right along its base until he got the whole thing off, leaving only a mangled, bloody mess behind.
And this was just the first nail! There were 19 others left to go!
The subordinate never gave Uncle Cheng time to rest as he cut through one nail after the other. By the time he reached the third nail on his foot, Uncle Cheng finally turned to face Ning Cheng.
(Torture Description Ends Here)
Uncle Cheng’s eyes were wide as he gazed towards Ning Cheng. There was no pleading, hatred, or resentment in his pupils, only a dead stare. Ning Cheng allowed him to look without changing his expression. It wasn’t until the subordinate finished his toenails and moved onto his fingers that Uncle Cheng’s eyes finally gave way to tears. Unfortunately, Ning Cheng was unrepentant and didn’t say a word.
The veins of the ten fingers were connected to the heart, ah. Cutting through them was multiple times more painful than the toenails. Uncle Cheng’s body began shuddering from the intense agony as his face flooded with tears.
Jun Yixie simply watched the whole thing as an interested observer. He had discovered today just how venomous and vicious Ning Cheng could be, how unfeeling and cold-blooded. He was even feeling rather regretful for not getting to meet the man earlier. Perhaps their relationship wouldn’t have soured to this point--perhaps they might even have become allies long ago.
After all of his nails were cut off, Uncle Cheng almost lost consciousness from all the pain. With a muddled head, he remained lying on the torture rack in utter despair. Jun Yixie sat up lazily from his chair and said with a grin, “Ning Cheng, the good show’s over. Shall we talk about the alliance now?”
“I want to kill him with my own hands!” Ning Cheng said as he stared at the befuddled Uncle Cheng with eyes of loathing.
Jun Yixie shrugged and said generously, “Of course you can.”
With a glance, he had the soldiers releasing Ning Cheng from his fetters. Ning Cheng looked around as he searched for a suitable weapon.
“Here, use this lord’s sword!” Jun Yixie offered heroically. It was his proof of sincerity towards their future alliance.
Expressionlessly, Ning Cheng walked over and took the sword before turning towards Uncle Cheng again.
“Those who deserve death will all die sooner or later,” he said frostily.
Abruptly, he raised his weapon, but unexpectedly slashed towards Jun Yixie instead! Caught off guard, Jun Yixie could only dodge, but the cell was so tiny and his sword so lengthy that he couldn’t avoid the blow at all. In a flash, the weapon had reached Jun Yixie’s stomach. Seconds before a fatal stab, soldiers swarmed in to grab Ning Cheng’s hand while Jun Yixie kicked the man away!
All of the soldiers gathered into a human wall in front of Jun Yixie while Ning Jing was left kneeling on one foot by Uncle Cheng’s side, supporting himself on Jun Yixie’s sword.
Jun Yixie placed pressure against his bleeding stomach while he cursed. “Ning Cheng, you’re courting death! You’ve disappointed this lord once again! This lord will definitely make you pay!”
Ning Cheng only regarded him coldly with his eye before killing his way through the crowds. He had sounded out Jun Yixie multiple times throughout the past days as well as asked Uncle Cheng plenty of questions. Although he had no idea who took Ning Jing and the others away, or whether they were kidnapped or rescued, he was certain of one thing: Jun Yixie had lost all of his hostages except for him and couldn’t track the rest down.
In other words, he was the only hostage left.
As far back at Skyriver City, he had made preparations to die together with Jun Yixie. If the northern expedition hadn’t been delayed, he might have stabbed this man much earlier. As long as he was dead, Jun Yixie would have no way to threaten the princess and the rest. He was destined to lose! Perhaps his death would cause internal strife within the Di Clan, but that was better than him being used as blackmail against the princess. The current conditions at Northern Li meant it was impossible for either Jun Yixie or the Northern Li emperor to spare troops and resources on another war. East Qin’s army was enough to head the expedition alone.
If the Di Clan was going to fall into chaos, then let it go! At least--at least it would have followed the rules, obeyed its mission, and never betrayed West Qin while he was still alive and commanding its members.
At least he could die with a clear conscience!
In the end, the handful of soldiers was no match for Ning Cheng, while Jun Yixie was too heavily wounded to fight back. A few soldiers shielded Jun Yixie as they helped him out of the cell while the guards outside came in as reinforcements. Soon enough, poison guards had surrounded the prison cell tightly on all sides.
Ning Cheng quickly slaughtered his way out through the normal guards. Even so, he wouldn’t last long against their poison counterparts!
Oof I'm tired~ Anyways, fun updates to the little visual novel I was coding last chapter.
- Here's a joke ending you get if you choose to run away from your sect's problems (lol)
- And here's some actual progress with the plot, including my artist license take on Sect Leader Hua, hurhur.
We don't snu snu sect at PGC for nothin' folks!
Okay, that's all for now so good night and goodbye! Zzzz...