“I’m telling the truth, stop hitting me….” Who knew what kind of dark shadow Yang Jian’s whip had left on Bai Yulong’s heart? Still, one look at his eyes, and it was clear that he was trembling from the very core of his being.
Ye Zichen stopped the whip before it landed. Yang Jian raised it, then knit his brows. “Should I keep hitting him? Or not?”
Ye Zichen waved his finger at him, and Yang Jian put the whip down, but he kept staring intently at Bai Yulong.
“The God Emperor,” Ye Zichen murmured to himself. He pulled up a chair and sat down cross-legged, then took out a cigarette. He started puffing away, then tossed two others to his friends.
Finally, he tossed Bai Yulong a cigarette as well. “Want a taste?”
Bai Yulong didn’t dare refuse. Hands quivering, he reached out and accepted the cigarette. Yang Jian snorted but lit it for him. Before long, Bai Yulong was imitating Ye Zichen and his friends, breathing out puffs of smoke.
A lengthy silence followed.
There were no sounds throughout the pavilion save for the occasional deep puff of smoke. All was silent until Ye Zichen finished his cigarette. He tossed the butt onto the floor, then extinguished it beneath his feet.
“You say the God Emperor put you to it? Including torturing Xue Mo?”
“Can I have another cigarette?” asked Bai Yulong cautiously. Right now, he had no desires; all he wanted was death. Still, if at all possible, he wanted to enjoy a few last simple pleasures before he died.
Ye Zichen said nothing. He simply passed Bai Yulong a cigarette, and he even lit it personally.
Bai Yulong let out a puff of smoke, then nodded. “It was the God Emperor. I wasn’t originally supposed to participate in the Battle of Geniuses since the God Emperor didn’t want outsiders to know the full extent of the Bai Family’s power. We lived a secluded life, rarely appearing on the outside. But then, out of the blue, the God Emperor showed up at the Bai Family and asked to see my uncle.”
“The God Emperor sensed that the Sea of Innocence was threatening his position and that they were on good terms with some of the other Divine Mountains. In order to strengthen his grip on the throne, he had to find out exactly who Great Emperor Xue Yang’s allies were. That’s why he ordered me to participate in the Battle of Geniuses and investigate the Xue Family. Targeting the second daughter of the Xue Family was the easiest way to do just that.”
Ye Zichen clenched his fist. Bai Yulong was still immersed in his own little world as he recounted the truth of what had transpired. “Although the Bai Family served the God Emperor, we also considered our own advantages. When he heard that this plan involved offending the Xue Family, my uncle refused. However, the God Emperor used the full weight of his authority to push the matter, and we didn’t dare disobey. I was sent to carry out this mission.”
“From entering the pocket dimension to the final battle, as well as how I broke Xue Mo’s bloodline power and triggered a backlash, all of it was at the God Emperor’s orders. He made all the necessary arrangements. I was just following orders! Really, please believe me. I really was just following orders. Without the God Emperor’s direct orders, I would never in a million years even consider harming the second princess of the Xue Family!”
Bai Yulong had lost control over his emotions completely.
Ye Zichen, meanwhile, was overflowing with murderous intent.
He simply sat silently in his chair, staring at Bai Yulong. The young man had been beaten until his features were distorted, and with every word he begged to death. Finally, he rose from his chair, and the scenery changed around them. Soon, the four of them were no longer in the Yao-Sealing Pagoda. Instead, they reappeared in the cell Ye Zichen had prepared.
The other prisoners all glanced over. Bai Yulong, meanwhile, surveyed his new surroundings in a daze. “This….”
“This is the new home I found for you: the Xue Family dungeons. What do you think? Quite suitable, right?” laughed Ye Zichen.
“The Xue Family?” Bai Yulong’s pupils widened. He crawled on the floor and wrapped his arms around Ye Zichen’s leg. “I beg you, I beg you, please, kill me! I beg of you!”
“Why are you so determined to die? It can’t have been easy to reach your current cultivation; you ought to treasure it and live on, right?” Ye Zichen gently removed Bai Yulong’s hands and smiled. The next moment, however, his expression changed dramatically. “I’m going to take excellent care of you until Xue Mo wakes up. Then, she can ‘take care of you’ herself. Until then, I solemnly swear that whatever tortures you inflicted upon her, I, Ye Zichen, will repay one hundred times over. You want to die? Let me say this up front: don’t even think about it!”
“It was the God Emperor, it was all the God Emperor….”
Another crack of the whip cut into Bai Yulong’s flesh. Ye Zichen turned back around to look at him. “Don’t talk nonsense. What’s all this about the God Emperor? How dare someone like you insult or accuse the peerless ruler of our entire god race. There is no grudge between the Sea of Innocence and the God Emperor at all. Your Bai Family provoked this entire incident. Don’t you realize I know that? I can’t believe you’re trying to trick me into pointing my spear at the God Emperor. You’re crafty and vicious indeed.”
“Don’t you believe me? But you clearly just….” He started to object, only to receive another vicious lash of the whip. This time, he seemed to have learned his lesson. He no longer dared shout.
Ye Zichen smiled, then took another cigarette from his spatial ring, as well as a lighter. He tossed them both to Bai Yulong. “Since you seem to like them, I’ll leave you this. Take your time and savor it. Remember, you have to live on for me. If you try and kill yourself, I’ll find out about it, and I won’t be happy.”
Bai Yulong gnashed his teeth, but he didn’t dare speak. Yang Jian’s whip hovered menacingly over his head; he was terrified.
He reached out with trembling hands and picked up the cigarette. Right now, he had no hope of living on, but he could die even if he wanted to. That single cigarette was his only comfort.
After leaving the cell, Ye Zichen used the talisman to lock the door.
Yang Jian still held his whip. He knit his brows and asked, “Are you really leaving him just like that? Aren’t you letting him off a bit too easily? You even gave him a cigarette! You’re spoiling him!”
“Who said I’m just letting him go? In a bit, I’ll have someone ask around and see if anyone in the dungeons prefers men. Then, we can let them show our dear Young Master Bai Yulong a good time.” Ye Zichen and the others laughed and turned to leave.
Bai Yulong had just lit his cigarette, but when he heard that, it fell from his mouth and landed on the ground. They soon heard him let out a piteous cry. “Ye Zichen, you won’t die a good death! You won’t die a good death….”
Ye Zichen had just left the dungeons. He turned back around. Even outside, he could faintly hear Bai Yulong’s desperate wails.
“Is he cursing you, Ye-zi?” asked the Great Sage.
“Dammit, I think he needs another beating. See if I don’t teach him another lesson!” Yang Jian re-summoned his whip, but Ye Zichen stopped him.
“Let him curse me. What difference does it make? It won’t hurt me in any way. If he wants to curse me, just let him.”
“Brother Ye.” At that moment, Ye Zichen noticed a group waiting outside the dungeons. It was the other members of the Anti-Upheaval Society, as well as Murong Xue and the other student society heads. They’d all received word of Ye Zichen’s return from Xue Beibei, and they were all here waiting for him.
“You’re all here.” Ye Zichen smiled in greeting.
When the other Skyspan Academy students saw the scarred left half of his face and ruined eye, their jaws dropped. None of them could speak.
Ye Zichen laughed, then diverted their attention. “Don’t look at me like that! I captured Bai Yulong. He’s in the first-floor dungeons. You can go take a look, but whatever you do, don’t kill him. I want to leave him until Xue Mo recovers so she can finish him off herself.”
“Bai Yulong!” All the Skyspan Academy students, including Xue Beibei, glowered. Their eyes blazed with fury as they dashed into the dungeons.
Before long, the sound of Bai Yulong’s desperate screams filled the air once more. Ye Zichen merely smiled in response. It was only after he turned away that his smile faded. His eyes glinted with cold light. “Zhou Wu, just you wait!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter