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The Dragon

The Dragon By Dec 07, 2023 5 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 100

Chapter 101

The palace was shrouded in silence. After a long silence, Seven called from outside the hall, “My Lady.”

His voice, echoing softly and distantly, reached the depths of the hall, yet it was met with no response.

“About the people in the courtyard…” Seven, hesitant to make decisions on his own, sought direction from Gu Fuyou.

Suddenly, Gu Fuyou stood up. Her eyes turned sharp, sweeping away her previous expression of melancholy and sorrow. Her demeanor hardened.

As if out of revenge, or perhaps to vent her anger, she was now determined to kill all those people, leaving none alive. It seemed that only in this way could she feel some relief. She quickly headed towards the courtyard, with Seven following closely behind.

Scholar Zhai watched her retreating figure, shook her head, instructed Twenty Three to keep an eye on Yi’er and prevent her from heading to the courtyard. She then hurriedly followed Gu Fuyou and Seven.

When she arrived at the courtyard, Gu Fuyou was already standing in front of the captives, walking back and forth as if sizing up these people of the Zuo family.

Gu Fuyou was selecting someone to execute personally, but the remaining members of the Zuo family were quite numerous.

She chose a woman. This woman was petite, her head bowed and shrinking, surrounded by robust men who, whether intentionally or not, shielded her with their bodies, making her difficult to notice without closer observation.

Gu Fuyou thought, “This must be a woman of some status in the Zuo family.”

Gu Fuyou signaled for the woman to be brought forward. With a summoning motion, she had her weapon, Yinhen, in her hand.

Seven moved to bring the woman out. As he approached, the men around her intervened, blocking Seven. Though their spiritual powers were sealed, they clung desperately to his waist. Seven could easily overpower them, but without Gu Fuyou’s command, he was not to kill them, so he merely knocked them unconscious and pulled them aside.

In the middle of the struggle, the cries of a young child were heard.

Hearing the cries, Gu Fuyou paused and turned towards the commotion where Slave Sixteen was in the middle of dragging a little girl by the collar of her dress. The girl, who seemed barely older than Yi’er at around six or seven, was being held with surprising ease by Sixteen, a man of robust build, as if she were no heavier than a small chick. The girl was both terrified and scared, grasping at Sixteen’s hand from behind, crying all the way, “Mother.”

Gu Fuyou asked Sixteen, “Who is this?”

Sixteen replied, “My Lady, she’s one of the captives. You ordered them to be brought out from the dungeon. I found one missing during the count and later found this girl in a box in the cell.”

As he released his grip, the little girl tumbled to the ground. She quickly scrambled to her feet, her eyes lifting to meet Gu Fuyou’s gaze. In that moment, her fear overtook her, silencing her cries. Gu Fuyou observed her intently, reflecting on how, from Bailu City to this realm of the Thirty-Three Skies, she hadn’t come across any other children.

Partly, it might be because they had been captured by her slaves. Another reason is that it’s rare for cultivators to have children, so encountering young children was not common.

She felt unsettled, suddenly realizing she had never thought about how to deal with children. She had not anticipated facing this dilemma, or perhaps, deep down, she had chosen to avoid it.

Her feelings towards the children of the Zuo family were different from her feelings towards the adult cultivators of the same family.

She disliked this difference.

When arguing with Zhong Michu, it was easy to say, “spare none,” as those people were just numbers. But now, facing this little girl, she found herself unable to act as decisively.

Her hesitation was fleeting as memories of Yi’er, who had passed away at a similar age to the girl before her, quickly resurfaced. These recollections caused her heart to grow cold once more, anchoring her back to the present.

Raising her sword, she pointed it at the little girl, the blade reflecting a deep, chilling light.

The woman she had previously pointed at ran out screaming, only to be restrained by Sixteen. The little girl, as if snapping back to reality, finally reacted, rushing into the woman’s arms, crying, “Mother, I’m scared.”

The woman held her tightly, her eyes brimming with tears, facing Gu Fuyou, adopting a defensive posture like a protective animal, but this time, she did not lower her head, staring straight at Gu Fuyou.

Gu Fuyou suddenly laughed, “Don’t look at me like that. It’s clearly your Zuo family who committed many evils, leading to this fate. Yet, you make it seem as if I am the great villain.”

Her eyes filled with malice, Gu Fuyou continued in a menacing tone, “It is your Zuo family’s insatiable greed, your massacres, your countless sins…”

“It’s your Zuo family that brought this upon yourselves; you owe it to my Gu family!” As Gu Fuyou’s anger intensified, she suddenly thrust her sword forward, aiming at the little girl’s back.

With enough force, one strike could pierce both the mother and daughter.

The woman wrapped her arms around the little girl’s back, the sword’s tip stopping at her wrist, its edge cutting her skin, a trail of blood winding its way down.

But it could not advance any further.

— You’ve always despised injustice, and you hated the Zuo family for their complete lack of fairness.

Ah Man, the ones who deserved to die are already dead. Killing more innocent people won’t make you feel better. The only one to be tormented will be you.

Aunt.

Aunt, I miss you so much.

What do you mean alright? To be treated like cattle in exchange for my survival, how is that alright, Gu Fuyou!

— Si Miao, why aren’t you speaking?

If the heavens are just, they will ensure the Zuo family suffers consequences, their future ruined, their lineage ended. Dreaming of becoming immortals? Just a dream.

Countless voices echoed in her mind, along with numerous images, pulling at her, almost tearing her apart.

Yinhen trembled in her trembling hand.

Gu Fuyou gritted her teeth, her eyes bloodshot as she stared at the mother and daughter. Her inability to strike made her restless and uncomfortable.

Sixteen, worried and surprised, asked, “My Lady?”

Gu Fuyou looked up, and as her gaze swept around, she realized everyone was watching her. She suddenly detested the many eyes on her, feeling a surge of violent anger in her heart, and for a moment, the impulse to go on a killing spree flashed through her mind.

She knew she wasn’t insane enough to act on every fleeting whim. As the thought dissipated, a wave of shock overcame her, giving way to the chilling realization of the potential consequences had she succumbed to that sinister impulse. Standing beside her, Sixteen remained unaware, just as Seven and Scholar Zhai, not far to her right, continued in their oblivion. She understood that, had she acted on her impulse, they would have been the ones to face the immediate repercussions.

Her hand trembled even more violently, her self-loathing for her inability to act overwhelmed by fear of herself.

She couldn’t believe she had such an impulse; it felt too alien.

She suddenly turned and hurriedly left for Zhuling Platform, leaving the puzzled crowd behind.

Seven, watching Gu Fuyou’s retreating figure, said, “Scholar Zhai, this…” He found himself increasingly unable to understand his master’s thoughts.

Zhai Xueshin replied, “I’ll go check on her.” She told Seven to keep an eye on the people here and departed, gently fanning herself.

As she arrived at Zhuling Platform, she saw Gu Fuyou in a solemn pose, kneeling on the top step and leaning on her sword. Scholar Zhai, standing with her back to Gu Fuyou, couldn’t glimpse her expression, yet the unease in the air was unmistakable. She sensed the turmoil within Gu Fuyou, whose mood had grown increasingly erratic of late.

Scholar Zhai slowly said, “To spare these people, you’re not content; to kill them, you can’t bear it. You can’t fully be a good person, nor can you fully be a bad person. By being this kind of half-hearted villain, you will only end up hurting yourself.”

Gu Fuyou laughed, “Scholar Zhai, I’m going mad. When I finally lose it, nobody will be spared.”

Scholar Zhai shook her fan, not doubting Gu Fuyou’s words, but also not alarmed, simply saying, “Oh, there’s a certain freedom in madness.” she remarked. “Whatever you do then, you won’t feel any remorse.”

Gu Fuyou paused, She felt trapped in darkness, with no way out, only able to keep moving towards the abyss. Zhong Michu’s words echoed in her mind, making her now feel a sense of self-pity and sorrow. When she turned back to look at Scholar Zhai, a single tear fell.

Scholar Zhai said with a smile, “Ah Man is dead, the one alive is Gu Fuyou. Those who follow me prosper; those who oppose me perish. Is it not so?” She had overheard a good part of the conversation between Gu Fuyou and Zhong Michu.

Upon hearing this, Gu Fuyou remarked, “You’re siding with Zhong Michu.”

Scholar Zhai, dropping her jesting tone, said seriously, “Both she and I are on your side.”

Upon thinking of Zhong Michu, a mix of pain and resentment filled Gu Fuyou’s heart. “She’s on my side? She constantly pleads for the Zuo family. She doesn’t understand me, doesn’t support me. She probably loathes me now, laughing at the blood-stained hands of the cruel and merciless Gu Fuyou!”

Scholar Zhai raised an eyebrow, teasingly said, “Oh, pleading for the Zuo family? Does she have a lover in the Zuo family, coming to plead for them?”

Tapping her ear with her fan, Scholar Zhai continued, “Or did I miss something? Did Miss Zhong say she loathes you, that you’re now ‘like an evil spirit, with an ugly heart and mind’?”

“It won’t be long. If I go mad, it won’t be long at all.”

The group of captives was locked up in the dungeon once again. Gu Fuyou did not want to let them go, but for the moment, she had lost the urge to deal with them herself.

She returned to the Wankong Hall, where the broken bowls and plates had already been cleaned up.

She gazed at where her table had been, lost in thought for a long time, then went straight to the inner hall.

She was exhausted. This day had been more tiring than the draining battles of wits with the Zuo family. Right now, she didn’t want to speak or think about anything. As soon as she lay down on her bed, memories of Zhong Michu and the words they exchanged began replaying in her mind.

As she thought about it, she unknowingly fell asleep.

In her dream, the Thirty-Three Skies had been reduced to ashes, and the ground was a river of blood. Standing at the edge of an island, she watched the blood flowing off the edge, like a red satin ribbon hanging down.

Turning around, she saw two people hanging from the city walls. Looking closer, she realized they were Yi’er and her sister-in-law.

Her heart tightened in panic, and she rushed over, shouting, “Yi’er! Sister-in-law!”

Overwhelmed with pain, tears instantly streamed down her face. She was too scared to look up again, fearing that the two above were dead bodies.

All she could do was bow her head and quickly head in that direction.

Suddenly, the river of blood beneath her feet came alive, writhing as if it had a life of its own. With each step, she sank deeper, and eventually, she could hardly move, her whole body about to be swallowed by the river of blood.

Reaching out desperately, fear overwhelming her, she wished for someone to save her.

“Zhong Michu!”

She jolted awake from the dream, drenched in sweat.

Her heart still raced, the terror from her dream spilling into reality. Sweat-soaked strands of hair clung to her pale skin. She stood up, gasping for breath, and called out, “Zhong Michu.”

“Zhong Michu.” She was delirious, thinking she was in Bailu City, where Zhong Michu slept outside and would come in if she called.

But no one answered.

It took her a long time to realize that this was not Bailu City, and Zhong Michu had already left.

In the silent hall, a sense of emptiness enveloped her heart. She moved back to her bed with slow, deliberate steps and sat down. Her gaze, fixed on the glass lamp, gradually blurred as she started humming a lullaby to herself. The echoes of the dream lingered, convincing her that sleep would elude her now, and part of her didn’t even yearn for it anymore.

But somehow, she fell asleep again.

This time, the dream was not as frightening.

In the dream, she was like a spectator, watching a play. The protagonist of the play was herself, or rather, the body she inhabited.

The Azure Phoenix approached a palace, and the guards there, upon seeing her, were on high alert.

“I am here to see Di Yi. Tell Di Yi to come out!”

The guards did not go in to report her arrival, nor did they intend to let her enter.

As the Azure Phoenix prepared to force her way in, a group of armored soldiers emerged from the palace. The leader approached and said, “The two clans have already ceased hostilities. Now is the critical battle against Zhuyan. Do you really want to create trouble at this time?”

Seeing him, the Azure Phoenix’s eyes lit up, and she grabbed his wrist, her demeanor soft and pitiable: “You cannot go.”

“The Golden Dragon royal family is destroyed. Only my brother and I are left in the Divine Dragon royal family. As the elder brother and the Emperor, he has to manage the four seas, so I must go.”

“You might not return.”

“The great war between the two clans has caused this disaster. We must resolve it ourselves, whatever the cost.”

“Di Yi!”

As Gu Fuyou opened her eyes again, daylight had already filled the room. Her deep, serene-pool-like eyes, strikingly contrasted with the bright red at their corners, captured the room’s morning light. She realized she was sitting up and smoothly got off the bed, stretching her body while murmuring softly, “This girl, she’s really ruining my body.”

Stepping outside the hall, the sun shone brightly. She squinted against the sunlight, raising a hand to shield her eyes and muttered, “What time is it?”

Sixteen, standing at a distance, heard her and replied, “My Lady, it’s the end of the Chen hour.”

She shot a playful glance at Sixteen, her eyes twinkling mischievously. Sixteen blushed and lowered his head.

“Go, call Scholar Zhai for me.”

“Yes.”

She stood outside, squinting in the sun.

When Scholar Zhai arrived, she saw the person who was frantic yesterday now standing leisurely in the sunlight, relaxed and comfortable.

Qing Jun tilted her eyes, giving Scholar Zhai a teasing look, and said with a smile, “Scholar Zhai.”

Zhai Xueshin internally grumbled, finding it odd. It was the same face, yet it felt like she was looking at a completely different person.

“Scholar Zhai, take me to Xuan Miao Sect.”

Scholar Zhai couldn’t keep up with her pace and said in surprise, “Xuan Miao Sect? Now?”

Looking at Qing Jun’s expression, it was clear she didn’t want to repeat herself.

“… I’m not familiar with the way either. Yinhe and Xinghan should know the route. I’ll go get them.”

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Previous: Chapter 100

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter…

dadin
dadin
7 months ago

michu is in xuan miao sect

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

The emotional climax of the story, so good. Definitely one of the best I’ve read.

Kat
Kat
1 month ago

I understand her dilemma. She’s going mad. If my family were massacred, I would go crazy as well 🙁

Hatimo
Hatimo
19 days ago

I’m glad Fuyou can’t do it..
Now..will Qing jun permanently take over…and what will she doin in Xuan miao sect…