The Dragon

The Dragon By Dec 21, 2023 9 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 123

Chapter 124

After straightening her clothes, Gu Fuyou stepped outside where a group of people had already gathered. They were among the highest-ranking slaves, like Feng Sui who was always by her side, and others seen less often, like Sixteen. Among the slaves, these dozen or so individuals commanded great respect among the slaves, always ready to respond to Gu Fuyou’s summons.

With thousands of slaves, it was impossible for Gu Fuyou to manage them all directly. Typically, her commands were conveyed through these key individuals, acting as a bridge between Gu Fuyou and the rest of the slaves.

The last time this group gathered so completely was during the assault on the Thirty-Three Skies. Seeing this assembly, they all thought something significant was about to happen. Having received no prior information, they all looked towards Feng Sui, Seven, and Twenty-Three for answers. Usually, these three were the most informed.

Feng Sui, with natural leadership qualities, lifted his chin and, even with a smile, looked especially serious to the crowd, “What, are you scared?”

The former slaves would never have dared to ask so many questions. They were used to simply following orders without hesitation.

The group pushed Sixteen forward. Scratching his head and laughing, he said, “Brother Feng, it’s not like that. We’ve just grown accustomed to peace recently, and everyone’s a bit lazy. If there’s something big coming, we need to start training in advance, so we don’t mess up and let down our leader.”

Indeed, they had grown comfortable without strict orders or harsh training, they were no longer treated like beasts forced to fight each other for amusement. Under Gu Fuyou’s more lenient rule, their days in the Thirty-Three Skies were like a dream, unimaginably peaceful as if soaked in wine, their bones softened with relaxation.

Seven added, “The worst-case scenario is a conflict with the Beizhou and Xizhou. Whatever the leader commands, we will follow.”

As they were speaking, Gu Fuyou came out, and everyone greeted her, “Leader.”

Following her was Zhong Michu. They weren’t surprised, knowing she had been staying in the Thirty-Three Skies recently, and were aware that Gu Fuyou and Zhong Michu were inseparable, their presence wasn’t startling. They greeted her too, “Your Majesty.”

Only Feng Sui struggled to hide his conflicted expression and inquisitive gaze, he eventually looking away silently.

Everyone assumed that a big battle was imminent. They straightened their postures and put on serious expressions, waiting for Gu Fuyou’s orders.

Gu Fuyou looked tired, her eyes half-closed, as if she hadn’t fully woken up. “I called all of you here to ask…” She paused for a while.

Feng Sui speculated, “Master, are you worried about the situation with Beizhou and Xizhou continents?” He was aware that Zhong Michu had gone for negotiations, but he was unsure of the specifics and assumed they hadn’t gone well.

As soon as Feng Sui finished, the group became agitated. “Leader, there’s no need to worry. Those ungrateful people don’t scare us. Even if we have to bleed dry or grind our bones to dust, we will fight for you!”

“Yes, if there’s a fight, let us lead the charge!”

Gu Fuyou rubbed her forehead, signaling them to stop. “I want to dissolve the slave contracts binding you. Where do you wish for this to take place?”

There was sudden silence.

Everyone exchanged glances, seeking confirmation in each other’s eyes about what they had just heard. But all they found were faces filled with shock.

Seeing no immediate response, Gu Fuyou looked at them in confusion. “Hmm?”

Feng Sui, feeling a tickle in his throat, managed to croak out, “What do you mean by this, Master?”

“What else could I mean?” Gu Fuyou wondered if she hadn’t been clear enough. “By dissolving the slave contracts, you will be free, just like ordinary people. No one will be able to force you to do anything. You can go wherever you want, the whole world is yours to explore freely.”

“Dissolving a contract is a serious matter. You can choose to do it here, at the Thirty-Three Skies, or select another suitable location.”

Gu Fuyou had made herself clear.

Everyone now understood, but they were overwhelmed and hesitant.

Dissolving the slave contracts should have been every slave’s lifelong dream. But in reality, they wouldn’t even dare to dream of it.

They had been slaves for thousands of years. Throughout this time, they were never rescued from their plight. Perhaps a few fortunate ones had met kind-hearted masters who didn’t treat them as slaves, but the mark of slavery was never removed from their backs; fundamentally, they remained slaves.

Slaves were just too useful. Human loyalty is fickle and hard to control. No one can guarantee lifelong loyalty from those around them, but slaves, bound by their contracts, were absolutely obedient. Even if a slave reaches the Soul Splitting stage in cultivation, while the master is just beginning their cultivation journey, they can’t defy an order as long as the contract is in effect.

Gu Fuyou had thousands of slaves, some as powerful as Feng Sui and Seven, already reaching advanced levels of cultivation, or like Twenty-Three, who, though young, had unlimited potential. They were a massive asset. As long as the contracts were in place, these beings that were capable of moving mountains and seas would do anything for her, even sacrificing their lives in her service.

Who would willingly give up such power? No one!

Even if – by some unfathomable chance – Gu Fuyou decided to release them, no one in these thousands of years had ever dissolved a slave contract. Probably even the Zuo family didn’t know how to do it.

That’s why the group was so puzzled upon hearing her proposal. Even though they understood each word, they couldn’t comprehend the meaning when put together.

Seeing their disbelief, Gu Fuyou, perhaps empathizing with them, felt a twinge of pain. When she was first marked with the contract, it felt like the end of the world for her. So, when she later gained the complete secrets of Qimen, the first thing she did was figure out the secret behind the slave contract.

Perhaps she truly was the nemesis of the Zuo family. Having been branded by the contract, she had an in-depth understanding of it, which allowed her to figure out how to dissolve it.

Gu Fuyou’s voice softened as she spoke to Seven and Liu Niang, “Don’t you want to be free from the contract? Surely, you wouldn’t want your children to suffer humiliation just because their parents were once slaves.”

Gu Fuyou’s words brought tears to Liu Niang’s eyes as she leaned into Lao Qi’s embrace. Their daughter had already been born, and the offspring of a slave would also inherit the slave contract. When their child was born, they had grieved over this fact.

The love of parents for their children is deep and far-reaching.

They had resigned themselves to their fate as slaves and even grown accustomed to it. But when they looked at their lovely newborn daughter, the thought of her being born into a life of servitude was heartbreaking. The only consolation was that their master was Gu Fuyou, which ensured their child wouldn’t endure the suffering they had in their younger years.

Never had they imagined such an opportunity would arise – their daughter might avoid the fate of slavery, and even their own bonds could be broken. How could they not be emotionally stirred, how could they not hope? Yet the dream seemed too beautiful, too sweet, too unreal.

Gu Fuyou turned to Feng Sui and said with a smile, “When I first asked you to become my disciple, the condition was to teach you how to dissolve the slave contract. There have been so many things happening that it got delayed, and you never mentioned it.”

Feng Sui lowered his head, chuckling bitterly to himself. He did remember, but with everything that had happened and a lingering disbelief that Gu Fuyou would ever truly release her slaves, he delayed the topic. Gu Fuyou had already treated slaves far more kindly than most, and he didn’t want to ruin their relationship over it. He always thought there would be a better time, a better way to approach her about it.

But Gu Fuyou had not let him down.

She looked at everyone and asked, “Don’t you want to walk out with your heads held high, standing tall and respected by others?”

Everyone held their breath. If this had been the past, they wouldn’t have dared to hope. But after gaining freedom in the Thirty-Three Skies, they yearned for even more.

They were not blind to the disdain in the eyes of the family heads, except for Xiao Zhongting. They genuinely felt inferior.

Initially, they wouldn’t have cared about such things; they didn’t think they deserved to. But perhaps after being with Gu Fuyou for so long, they developed a rebellious streak, only submitting to her and defiant towards those family heads. They didn’t want to be treated as inferiors anymore.

Gu Fuyou asked, puzzled, “You don’t want this?”

“No!” Before Gu Fuyou could finish, an anxious voice interrupted.

Everyone turned to see Liu Niang, one hand over her heart, eyes red. She was the one who had hastily responded, thinking of her daughter’s future. “I want it,” she declared.

A soft smile formed on Gu Fuyou’s lips.

It was then that everyone realized she was serious about dissolving the slave contracts.

Their hearts raced, blood coursing fervently through their veins, itching down to their bones. They swallowed hard, clutching their fists, feeling a weakness in their grip.

Sixteen, with tears in his eyes, stuttered, “Then, what do we do after our contracts are dissolved?”

Gu Fuyou responded, “Whatever you want.”

Another person eagerly asked, “Will the mark on our backs disappear?”

“Will we be no different from ordinary people?”

Blushing, someone else asked, “Can we… marry ordinary women?”

The group was bustling with excitement and anticipation, their questions reminiscent of students asking their teacher for permission to fly kites during a spring outing.

Gu Fuyou affirmed their hopes.

News spread rapidly among these individuals. The slaves went through a range of emotions, from skepticism and confusion to elation, and finally, to anxiety.

Having been slaves for decades, or even centuries, the idea of suddenly adopting a new identity and gaining complete freedom, a new life, was both bewildering and frightening to them.

After much chaos, they chose Bailu City as the place to dissolve their contracts.

Bailu City held special meaning for all slaves. It was where they were first shackled, and now, it would be where they would be reborn, free to spread their wings and soar.

Meanwhile, Zhong Michu had asked Qing Zhe to relay a message to the immortal sect, proposing an exchange using Du Pan for Gu Fuyou’s release of authority. After some ambiguous remarks from Li Mingjing, the proposition was eventually accepted.

As plans to capture Du Pan were being made, the lavishly dressed Yuan Shan made a quiet return to both the Beizhou and Xizhou continents. This stirred up excitement in both lands, leaving the two sects too preoccupied to notice anything else. By the time they came to their senses, the news of Gu Fuyou freeing the slaves in Bailu City had spread far and wide. But that’s a story for another time.

On this day, the slaves journeyed east to Bailu City. Since their departure, the once empty city had never been as lively as it was today.

The crowd surged towards the eastern square. The maple leaves outside the city glowed red-hot, as if igniting their spirits. Some slaves were so nervous that their limbs went numb, talking non-stop with their companions, while others were too tense to utter a single word.

Aside from the slaves, Gu Fuyou only brought Zhong Michu and Scholar Zhai along.

After the collapse of the eastern square, the area had become even more spacious, large enough to accommodate all the slaves. In the center of the square, Gu Fuyou stood on an open space, surrounded by the slaves.

Scholar Zhai, holding a thick name list in one hand and shielding her face from the sun with a folding fan in the other, asked, “Can Gu Fuyou really handle releasing all the slave contracts at once?”

Zhong Michu, standing next to her, seemed not to hear, simply gazing serenely at Gu Fuyou’s figure.

The slaves spoke in hushed tones upon arrival. The voices of thousands resembled that of a buzzing swarm of bees. At this moment, a hush fell over the crowd. Despite not being able to see Gu Fuyou, all eyes were intently focused in her direction.

Gu Fuyou sliced open her arm. Her blood poured out like a pillar, landing on the white stone bricks below. It moved on its own, forming a complicated pattern.

The heartbeat of the crowd reached a new peak. A flurry of thoughts rushed through their minds: Maybe this won’t work, perhaps our hopes will be dashed. How could the contracts truly be broken, something that hasn’t happened for a thousand years?  What will life be like once the contract is broken? How different will it be from before?

The red light began to bloom.

Gu Fuyou said, “This will feel as if your skin is being peeled and your bones are being pulled.” Despite the vast number of people present, even those in the furthest corners could hear her voice clearly.

Someone shouted, “Leader, this is nothing!”

Echoes of agreement reverberated throughout the crowd. The resonant shouts steadied the hearts of all present.

Gu Fuyou smiled. From the pattern beneath her, blood-red threads sprouted, hundreds, thousands of them, moving north and south, entering the bodies of the people.

Those within the square couldn’t see clearly, but Scholar Zhai and Zhong Michu saw everything. The thousands of blood threads in the air unfolded like a pair of blood-red wings, ready to take flight.

As the threads entered their bodies, the people’s faces turned pale, gritting their teeth. The pain was just as Gu Fuyou described – like skin being peeled off and bones being yanked out. Their backs felt as if they were being scorched by flames.

Half of them couldn’t bear it and fell to their knees, screaming in pain. Their necks turned red, veins bulging, and muscles twitching.

With the sky painted in blood and people’s screams, it seemed like hell.

Gu Fuyou stood firmly in the center, her blood still flowing Initially, the slave contracts were sealed with the blood from the tip of the slave’s finger, merged into the master’s body. That drop of blood maintained the contract, which had passed through several hands of the Zuo family before reaching her. Now, she intended to return it all.

Her face, already pale, took on a sinister red hue due to the blood light in the sky.

Zhong Michu, watching from a distance, remained silent, her brows furrowed.

The ordeal lasted the time it takes to drink a cup of tea, short for some but felt like centuries for the slaves. They were drenched in sweat, like they had been pulled out of water.

As the red light faded, the slaves who had collapsed struggled to their feet.

Feng Sui, unable to wait, took off his shirt and turned around.

Seven stared wide-eyed, his throat moving, unable to hold back tears. He suddenly shouted, “Brother, it’s gone, it’s gone!”

People began to took off their shirts one by one to verify. Those more impatient, finding it difficult to undo their clothing, ripped it open, baring their chests. They checked each other, unable to believe what they were seeing. Feeling their skin, the eternal mark that they expected to see was truly gone.

Gu Fuyou took a staggering step back before regaining her balance. She had lost a lot of blood, and her head felt light. Yet, in a surprising twist of emotions, she felt unexpectedly invigorated. Pointing to the sky, she proclaimed, “From now on, reborn as humans!”

Her words unleashed a floodgate of emotions. Many broke down crying, while others laughed wildly.

Thousands of people, each with their own complex feelings, unsure why they cried or laughed.

Zhong Michu raised her hand, summoning a rain shower.

The pouring rain washed away all traces of the past, allowing their unrestrained cries to echo freely.

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Previous: Chapter 123


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6 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

6 months ago

They’re free at least! Perhaps this will help balance out her more villainous deeds in terms of karma.

Thanks for the translation!

6 months ago

the rain by the end is a nice touch

6 months ago

This was so beautiful T^T slavery shouldn’t exist whatsoever, I’m so damn glad Gu Fuyou freed them as they all deserve so

6 months ago

Hopefully foyou will rule long, because knowing humans if something exists and allows one complete dominance, someone will reach to use it. :’)) Freedom is bittersweet, now be freeee

4 months ago

I can feel their elation! Freedom is amazing!

1 month ago

Fuyou of house Gu, First of her name, The Reborned, Queen of the Thirty Three Skies, Breaker of Chains and Mother (👀) of dragons! Hahaha

18 days ago

What’s with fengshui expression again whenever she saw michufuyou together? It’s like the third time I saw author point it out so this is quite…

18 days ago

Oh gosh I’m cryin 😭 so proud of fuyou