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Jianghu Demolition Squad

Jianghu By May 24, 2024 2 Comments
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Chapter 6: Hell

Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses(Part Six)

Trigger Warning: Rape.

High above the Nine Heavens, the scorching sun blazed, yet not a whisper of warmth could be felt.

Yu’er gripped the icy iron bars before her, her wrists once again shackled, a wooden tag with numbers hung from the chains, attached to the bottom of the iron cage like an animal confined within.

This place was surrounded by towering, pitch-black cliffs over twenty meters high, forming a natural prison with only a narrow path about a meter wide leading out.

Not just Yu’er, but hundreds were imprisoned here. Over ten people crammed into each iron cage, with tall stakes around, from which many men, their bodies marred with scars, were suspended.

Beside Yu’er’s cage stood a man with broad shoulders and a bare, muscular chest covered in bloody whip marks, standing tall and formidable like a small mountain. He had a resolute face, a bald head, and the bearing of a monk.

When Yu’er looked at him, his stern gaze softened, filled with sorrow and compassion. He sighed deeply, for reasons unknown. Yu’er glanced at him briefly before turning her gaze to the other cages, searching for her companions among the imprisoned.

Blocked by the iron bars, her vision was limited, and she wished she could tear out her eyes to see further. Circling the cage, she found little of use, only to be jerked back by the short chain when she moved too hastily.

Looking at the shackles on her wrists, anger welled up in Yu’er. For three years she had been confined, the post fixed in her family’s yard, the chain long enough to allow her movements to the kitchen, yard, hall, and storeroom, but never into the bandit’s room. The bandit had become cunning and cautious, fearing she might sneak into his room at night to kill him or escape in his absence. Thus, he devised this strategy, binding her like livestock for three years.

The night they unlocked her chains, she was beaten nearly to death. She despaired at the injustice of the heavens, allowing the wicked to roam free while the good suffered. It was when all hope seemed lost that her companion arrived, like an answer from the heavens to her resentment…

Suddenly, Yu’er’s expression hardened, and she yanked fiercely at the chains on her wrists, determined to break free, even if it meant peeling off a layer of skin.

The clanging of the chains against the bars startled the others in her cage. When someone finally reacted, they rushed to hold her back, their voice trembling with fear, “What are you doing?”

“I need to escape!”

This woman, her body marked with bruises, even on her face, her clothes torn, barely covering her pale chest, spoke in terror, constantly looking outside, “You’re new here, you don’t understand. In this place, you need to keep quiet, behave! Only then can you avoid some suffering! Do you understand?”

The woman who had spoken to Yu’er earlier, her expression emotionless, scoffed. “You want to escape? What can a frail girl like you do? You’ll just get beaten and thrown back in. And if we’re unlucky, we all might suffer the bandits’ wrath because of you.”

Yu’er paused, her hand dropping weakly from the bars. The woman was right. What could she do even if she got out? She knew no martial arts, unlike the skilled warriors who were captured and suspended. She would be beaten half to death.

This realization left Yu’er utterly dejected. She knelt on the ground, gazing blankly at the women in the cages. Most of them were beautiful, who in their homes would have been cherished by fathers, adored by brothers, wed into good families, loved by husbands – a blissful and happy life filled with hope. But these women in the cages, with their despairing faces, lifeless eyes, and not just physical but deep emotional scars, had abandoned all hope, resigned to being slaves, traded and toyed with by bandits, wishing only for lesser beatings.

When they could do nothing else, the only option left for them was to comply. Yu’er understood their feelings, and didn’t despise them, but felt pity, for she knew this was a lesson learned through countless beatings and endless despair. Yet, she couldn’t help but feel disheartened `and miserable. Would she, too, eventually become like them?

Yu’er sat slumped against the iron bars, her spirit flagging. She recalls how she and Qing Jiu fainted in the room, and now she found herself captured by the bandits of the Fanyun Fuyu Thirteen Fortresses. Qing Jiu must have been captured too. She wonders about the situation of Yan Li and Tang Linzhi, whether they are safe, and if Hua Lian and Mo Wen have entered the fortress…

At dusk, a fire is lit in the cold prison, and three bandits come with a bucket of food. One in coarse cloth, another in chestnut-colored hemp, and the third with a scar across his nose.

The scar-faced man carried a bucket of steamed buns, placing one in front of each cage. When he reached a particular cage, Yu’er noticed he held a plate of steaming food. He opens the cage and places the food inside, showing much more respect than he does to the women in the other cages: “Eat up!”

Yu’er looked and saw the cage contained just one person. That person stretched out a leg, kicked the food towards the scar-faced man, and scolded, “Get lost! Stop bothering me!”

The scar-faced man wiped his face, now splattered with food, his eyes flashing with ferocity, yet he didn’t retaliate, only cursing under his breath, “Acting like a princess! Do you think you’re still at Jiuxiao Manor? You’re in our hands now!”

Yu’er thought back to the conversations she had overheard in the inn, remembering the mention of Jiuxiao Manor and its influential figures.

The scar-faced man, still angry, continued distributing steamed buns to the next cage. Without waiting for them to take it, he opens the cage and kicks whoever he sees, “Ungrateful! I’m giving you food, and you can’t even take it properly!”

His brutality was evident, venting his anger from Jiuxiao Manor on these innocent women. Their cries and moans filled the air, but no one dared approach. The scar-faced man’s cruelty knew no bounds, treating the women as less than human.

Among those suspended, a man shouted in anger, “You’re nothing but a coward! Only brave enough to bully women!”

The scar-faced man looked up, his eyes dark and menacing. He grabbed an iron rod and marched towards the man, striking him mercilessly on the chest.

Inside the cage, fearful sobs and suppressed breathing filled the air. Yu’er sighed deeply, hearing someone beside her quietly chanting a prayer. She looked up to see the monk.

The other two bandits were distributing food from the other end of the cages, chatting idly, oblivious to the chaos.

The one in coarse cloth said, “Hey, Liuliu, did you hear? A few days ago, the boss caught a celestial beauty!”

The hemp-clad bandit replied, “I saw her with my own eyes. Just one look and I was mesmerized. No wonder the boss hid her in the small attic behind the hall, planning to take her as his wife.”

“I didn’t know that. If she becomes his wife, what will happen to the others he captured? Do you think… he might share them with us?”

“Wishfull Thinking! The boss wants both. He’s planning a wedding night with both of them together!”

“Speaking of wedding nights, the boss was furious when Shu Ye went down the mountain for supplies. He said they were attacked by martial artists, losing half the goods, including the wedding candles…”

Yu’er’s attention was drawn to the conversation of the two men, and for some reason, upon hearing their discussion, she immediately concluded that the ‘celestial beauty’ they referred to was Qing Jiu.

The thought that Qing Jiu had also been captured filled her with concern. Was she hurt? Did Hua Lian and the others know Qing Jiu was here?

Yu’er’s mind was restless, the white steamed buns laid out in front of the cage unappealing to her. She sat in a corner, staring at the iron chains on her wrists, feeling lost.

She was still powerless…

At night, under a bright crescent moon casting its cold, icy-like glow, the desolate prison seemed even more mournful.

The people in the cages curled up to rest, but Yu’er couldn’t sleep. Suddenly, the sound of bandits laughing and talking echoed from the path outside.

“Guarding this place every day is so boring.”

“The only fun thing here is toying with the women.”

The scar-faced man stood in the center of the cages, eyeing the women like merchandise. Suddenly, he stepped towards Yu’er’s cage. He opened it, grabbed a woman from inside, and pulled her out, unlocking her chains without closing the cage door. He dragged the staggering woman towards the path.

Yu’er watched all this with a sinking feeling.

The monk, who was hanging, suddenly opened his eyes and glared at the scar-faced man, shouting angrily, “Monster!”

From the cage holding the people of Jiuxiao Manor, a voice cried out, “Beast!”

The scar-faced man pulled out a whip from his waist and lashed it at the monk, who didn’t utter a sound. Finding no amusement, the man dragged the woman away. Down the path, he threw her to the ground and began to unbuckle his pants.

Yu’er’s cage directly faced the path, and her gaze was involuntarily captured by the scene, unable to look away. The back of the scar-faced man seemed to morph into the bandit who had tormented her mother. A chill ran through Yu’er, her breathing erratic and labored.

She hunched over, a low, suppressed moan escaping her throat. The images in her mind – the blood-stained floor, the grotesque moans – circled relentlessly, suffocating her. She wished she could tear her brain apart, to extract those images, but it was impossible. The groans only became clearer.

The hanging monk noticed Yu’er’s distress and shouted, “Girl, don’t look! Close your eyes, cover your ears, don’t watch, don’t listen!”

Yu’er covered her ears with her hands, but the sounds were inescapable. Closing her eyes, the images became even more vivid, and suddenly, Qing Jiu appeared in her mind, lying in a pool of blood.

Yu’er’s heart twisted painfully, her breath hitched. She abruptly opened her eyes, glaring fiercely at the figure on the path, her eyes bloodshot.

She violently yanked at the chains on her wrists, this time with resolute determination. Already frail, her arms were little more than bones. The handcuffs, though small, had some gaps. With all her strength, Yu’er managed to pull her hands free.

The back of both her thumbs were rubbed raw, blood beads quickly forming.

Ignoring the pain, Yu’er grabbed an iron rod beside the cage, stealthily moving and holding her breath, she cautiously approached the path.

In that instant, the prison fell into a terrifying silence, broken only by the gasps and low sobs of the scar-faced man and the woman. The people in the cages watched, stunned, as this frail-looking girl, who seemed like she might fall over with a mere gust of wind, approached the bandit stealthily, iron rod in hand, forgetting even to breathe.

They couldn’t believe that someone had managed to break free from their chains, especially a frail girl who seemed like she could be knocked over by a mere gust of wind.

Yu’er approached the scar-faced man from behind. He was utterly oblivious, lost in his vile act. With all her might, she swung the rod down on the back of his head. A dull thud echoed as he slumped lifelessly over the woman, motionless.

The woman stared at Yu’er, her expression filled with shock, mirroring the astonishment on the faces of everyone else in the prison. Yu’er, as if jolted from a trance, had red eyes and her body was shaking uncontrollably. She felt a rush of weakness and pain originating from her hands. Biting her lips tightly, she tasted blood. After taking deep breaths to compose herself, she gripped the iron rod more firmly, gradually calming the tremors in her body.

A commotion arose in the prison. Someone shouted, “Girl, he has keys on his waist! Get them and unlock our chains!”

The martial artists imprisoned here had been humiliated and tormented, their internal energy sealed and burdened with shackles. They could only endure abuse. The sight of a young girl offering a chance of escape ignited a fiery hope in them.

Yet, a woman’s voice, filled with despair and terror, cried out, “Look what you’ve done! You’ve angered the bandits; you’re going to get us all killed!”

Those who had lost all hope trembled at the thought of the bandits’ cruelty, unable to muster any will to resist. They viewed Yu’er’s actions as alien and dangerous.

Their voices grew louder, creating a clamor in the otherwise silent night.

Suddenly, the monk who was hanging shouted in a deep voice, “Quiet down! What are you making noise for? Do you want to draw the guards here?”

His voice, though low, was clear to everyone. Whether it was his imposing presence or fear of attracting the bandits, they all fell silent. The prison once again returned to its usual stillness.

Yu’er was about to take the keys from the scar-faced man when she heard footsteps. Her ears, sharpened by the need to be alert for the bandit who had killed her mother, picked up the sound.

The monk whispered urgently, “Someone’s coming! Hide quickly!”

Instead of hiding, Yu’er spoke to the woman pinned under the scar-faced man, “You, keep screaming.”

The woman, initially paralyzed with fear from the sudden turn of events, was still too dazed to react.

Yu’er gritted her teeth, “If you don’t want to die, start screaming, like you were before!”

The footsteps were rapidly approaching the entrance of the path. A voice grumbled, “Who’s itching for a beating now, making such a racket in the middle of the night?”

Yu’er, holding the iron rod, swiftly moved away from the path, hiding behind a wooden board, her back pressed against the cold mountain wall, her heart pounding heavily and rapidly.

Everyone held their breath in anticipation. If the bandits discovered what had transpired, the young girl’s fate could range from immediate execution to a brutal beating.

At that moment, the woman under the bandit began to scream. Her first few cries were low and stiff, but as desperation set in, shame was cast aside in favor of survival.

The narrow path, flanked by mountain walls, echoed with the woman’s labored breaths and piercing screams. Everyone was too preoccupied with the newly arrived bandit’s actions to be embarrassed.

Typically, three bandits rotated to guard the prison, with two on watch at any given time.

The bandit in the coarse cloth shirt reached the entrance, a large sword slung over his shoulder. He peered from a distance at the scar-faced man lying atop the half-naked woman, hearing her continuous screams, and scoffed, “He’s really got some stamina.”

The coarse-clothed bandit shouted, “Hey! Hurry up, I haven’t had my turn yet!” Laughing, he yawned and turned back.

Yu’er waited until the footsteps faded before emerging from her hiding place to retrieve the keys from the bandit’s waist.

The monk spoke up, “Girl, come here, unlock my chains first.”

Yu’er trusted the monk, as he had spoken up for her several times and even scolded the bandit. Believing him to be a good person due to his compassionate nature, she unlocked his chains first.

Once freed, the monk descended from the wooden post, landing with a thud that kicked up dust. Standing tall and imposing, his broad shoulders seemed like an impenetrable wall.

The monk brought his hands together in a respectful gesture towards Yu’er, bowing slightly, “First, help the others unlock their chains.”

“What about you?”

The monk smiled at her, his stern face softening with kindness and approachability, “I’ll take care of the other two guards.”

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anazu
anazu
1 month ago

FIRE UPPP!! she did so well

Khriss
Khriss
22 days ago

She’s so clever, we love our little protagonist, yu.
Thank you for the translation!