Menu

The Dragon

The Dragon By Nov 14, 2023 12 Comments
Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 59

Chapter 60

This is a Knife

She was going mad inside. The barrier prevented anyone from entering or exiting but didn’t stop the sounds. The guards outside, hearing her harrowing screams, were unsure what was happening. They exchanged looks and decided to inform the Protector.

To them, she was, in a way, the most valuable prisoner of the Xu Ling Sect. A mistake on their part was unacceptable.

One guard left to report the incident, barely stepping down a staircase when a group descended. He greeted them, “Protector, Master Du, Young Master.”

Leading the group was Zuo Yuezhi, followed by Du Pan and Zuo Tianlang. Behind them were two women holding something in their hands.

The guard reported Gu Fuyou’s distress to Zuo Yuezhi, though the reason was unclear.

With his hands behind his back, Zuo Yuezhi led the group to the room. He ordered the guards to disable the barrier and open the door. Du Pan instructed, “Keep watch outside.”

“Understood.”

Upon entering, they saw Gu Fuyou kneeling on the ground, in agony. Zuo Tianlang commented, “She was fine earlier; what’s with this sudden breakdown?”

Zuo Yuezhi shot him a look. Zuo Tianlang, playing with his fan, fell silent. Zuo Yuezhi watched Gu Fuyou intently and nodded slightly. The women handed the items to Du Pan and helped Gu Fuyou up.

Gu Fuyou, numb, let them control her. They pressed her down, forcing her to kneel. Du Pan approached, fumbling with something, then poured liquid on her back. The unbearable pain made Gu Fuyou scream.

The liquid, like molten lava, seemed to ignite upon touching her skin, searing through to her bones. It felt as if it was flowing towards her heart, forming a fine mesh that made every heartbeat an unbearable inferno.

A sudden, unknown fear overcame her, not from the pain but something else. “What are you doing to me?” she trembled, sounding panicked, and began to struggle.

It was futile. Looking up, she saw Du Pan forming a seal, a dreadful premonition growing. Defenseless, she could only cry out, “Stop!”

Perhaps the seal was complete, her back felt as if skinned and flayed, consciousness briefly wavering, her mind blanking. Du Pan pricked her hand, drawing a drop of blood, and let it fall into Zuo Yuezhi’s palm, where it transformed into a red line and merged into his body.

Zuo Yuezhi’s deep voice commanded, “Stand up.”

The two women released her. In her dazed state, Gu Fuyou instinctively followed his command and stood upright in front of Zuo Yuezhi. She looked around, bewildered, feeling a cold, chilling sensation spreading from her lungs to her heart.

Only when Zuo Yue said, “Sit at the table,” did she move to the table and sit, then regained her senses, her face pale, her hands trembling.

Realizing what had been done to her, her chest felt like it had been struck hard. “You’ve bound me with a slave contract, you…” Her voice trembled, trying not to show weakness, but it contained a hint of bitterness. She had lost her freedom, but dignity was all she had left.

Proud by nature, she always resented being looked down upon, which drove her to forge a sword and prove herself. She could forsake life and freedom, but not her dignity. Without it, she would be nothing.

She was a person, the third daughter of the Gu family of Xiaoyao City, Gu Wanpeng’s daughter, not a slave. How dare they treat her like this!

A bitter smile crossed her heart. It was her powerlessness, her inability to fight back, that reduced her to nothing.

Zuo Yuezhi said, “The contract is new, you might feel discomfort, but it will pass in a few days.” He had already decided to completely control Gu Fuyou, binding her as a slave, ensuring she could never escape the Zuo family’s grasp, wherever she went.

This slave contract was developed by the Zuo family and isn’t something that can be casually imposed. It requires specific medicinal ingredients and the formation of a branding matrix, which is why it couldn’t be activated immediately on the road.

The Zuo family doesn’t indiscriminately bind people with slave contracts. The world fears this power, dreading that they might abuse it to subjugate the weak and eventually enslave all. Yet, there’s also a reluctance to relinquish the undying loyalty of a slave.

Thus, the Zuo family made a pact with the world, agreeing to only bind those who have committed heinous crimes, strayed into evil paths, and the children of slaves.

Gu Fuyou doesn’t seem to fit any of these categories, but Zuo Yuezhi has his own way of explaining this to outsiders.

Now that the contract is complete, he feels relieved of a worry.

Zuo Tianlang was there for the entertainment and said, “Father, pass that contract to me for a bit of fun. The Gu family is known for their stubbornness, and it’s unlikely they would bow to anyone. Now that there is a slave from the Gu family, I am eager to test if they can withstand the contract’s terms.”

Zuo Yuezhi scolded, “Is this something to be played with? Get out!”

The slave contract evolved from the spirit beast contract. They are similar in that neither can disobey their master. However, they differ in that once a spirit beast contract is made, it cannot be transferred, and it ends only with the death of one party; whereas a slave contract can be transferred at will, and even if the master dies, the contract remains, condemning the slave for life. In the current times, slaves are even lower in status than spirit beasts.

To this day, no one has found a way to break either type of contract.

Du Pan took a small knife and a porcelain bottle, made a cut on Gu Fuyou’s wrist, collected her blood, and then applied a spiritual medicine that healed the wound as if it had never been.

Gu Fuyou didn’t move, allowing him to draw her blood. Zuo Yuezhi, seeing her obedience, said with a smile, “If you cooperate, the Xu Ling Sect will provide for you generously without me having to command you through the contract. This would spare you a lot of suffering, and it’s more comfortable for both of us. If you become compliant and behave appropriately in the future, we might even let you leave and resume your cultivation.”

Gu Fuyou remained silent. Once their business was concluded, they left, leaving the room locked and sealed with a barrier.

Gu Fuyou stood up, stumbled, and fell onto the carpet. She simply lay there, not bothering to get up.

Anger and self-pity were futile; all that was left in her heart was emptiness.

The pain on her back was still intense. Her resentment and anguish felt like the ultimate humiliation by the Zuo family, as they stripped her of her human dignity and crushed it beneath their feet.

She suddenly thought of Zhong Michu, recalling their own contract and how she had bound her in the beginning. She wondered if Zhong Michu had felt the same way, perhaps even worse.

She had even fantasized about binding Zhong Michu for a lifetime.

Was this retribution?

An immense guilt and self-loathing swirled into a dark despair, tears falling as she curled up, hugging herself, constantly whispering, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”

Curled up on the floor, she eventually fell asleep, her face still streaked with tears, feeling the burning pain in her dreams.

The room was brightly lit, with no sense of time passing, unclear whether it was dark or light outside. Gu Fuyou woke up to the sensation of someone entering the room, she opened her eyes to see the woman from yesterday carrying in a meal.

She hadn’t reached the stage where she could abstain from food, so naturally, she needed to eat. Yet, she just lay there, silent and still.

The woman said, “I’ll come back for the dishes later. If you don’t eat, the Protector Zuo will have to personally ensure you do.”

With that, the woman left. Gu Fuyou still lay on the floor, now attentively surveying her surroundings. The room was fully furnished, with tables, chairs, a bed, and a dresser, all complete but devoid of sharp objects. Presumably, they were worried she might attempt suicide; currently, she wouldn’t starve to death, and as a cultivator, bashing her head against the wall would only leave her half-dead and inevitably saved.

Now even death seemed out of reach.

Her fingers aimlessly traced the patterns on the floorboards.

During her struggle yesterday, she had kicked the carpet askew, revealing the stone-engraved patterns beneath.

Her fingers moved without thinking, tracing the designs for a moment until she sensed something was off. She stood up, pulled back the carpet completely, and a pattern of auspicious clouds was revealed – a common decoration throughout the buildings of Lihen Tian, but here it concealed something else.

Gu Fuyou’s search eventually led to a discovery. The pattern was a simple decoy, not even a full formation, just an ancient mechanism.

After searching for a while, she found the key mechanism under the bed, gave it a push, and was initially disappointed when nothing happened. But when she turned around, she saw a hole had silently appeared in the center of the room. This mechanism was exquisitely crafted, opening without a sound. The hole had stairs leading downward into the darkness, emitting a cold and damp chill as if leading to the netherworld.

Her heart racing, fearing the woman might return and see, Gu Fuyou quickly closed the mechanism. Moments later, the woman returned, glancing at the untouched food on the table.

Gu Fuyou followed her gaze and frowned. Despite despising the control Zuo Yuezhi had over her and lacking appetite, she still went over and ate the food.

After the woman had taken away the dishes, Gu Fuyou sat for a while, wondering why such a mechanism would be in the lowest level of the dungeon, in a solitary room likely meant for a very important prisoner.

Zuo Yuezhi had placed her there to ensure complete isolation; it made no sense to put her in a cell connected to a deep cave.

Could it be he didn’t know of this cave? It was possible – if it were an formation, someone of his cultivation would notice immediately, but a mechanical trap, devoid of spiritual energy flow, was just an ordinary object. If she hadn’t read extensively, she wouldn’t have recognized it either.

But this was the Zuo family’s territory in the Thirty-Three Skies; how could they not know of such a mechanism?

She considered her options and decided to investigate further. She checked the room’s door – all was quiet. She opened the mechanism again, stood at the entrance of the cave, took a deep breath, and descended the stairs.

The first few steps required her to stoop because the ground was about half a meter thick, but the further down she went, the more spacious it became. The winding stairs finally led to a level ground.

Before her lay a vast open space with a domed ceiling. The ground was studded with sharp stones, dark and cold as if it were indeed the underworld.

Holding her night pearl forward for light, she continued on. In the dim glow, suddenly, a pair of huge golden orbs appeared in the air ahead.

Her breath caught, and she involuntarily stepped back – they weren’t orbs but the eyes of a beast. Hesitantly, she moved to the side, and the light revealed only a fraction of the creature’s shadow, indicating its immense size. Hidden in the darkness, it was massive as a mountain, and she was as insignificant as a grain of sand in comparison.

The creature lay prone, humanoid in appearance with a body covered in long hair, resembling a great ape. It lay still because steel spikes had pierced through its shoulder bones into the ground.

Gu Fuyou gasped at the sight of sixteen steel spikes in its arms, suspecting there might be more in its body.

A thought flashed through her mind, recalling an entry from “Records of the Azure Emperor.” Where there is Yin, there is Yang; where there is good, there is evil. For every auspicious beast like the Dragon and the Azure Phoenix, there is a fierce beast.

This fierce beast, known as Zhuyan, appears only during times of great chaos, possessing the power to destroy heaven and earth.

The first sighting was tens of thousands of years ago during the war between the Dragon and Phoenix clans. In that war, the Azure Phoenixes were decimated, and the royal house of the Golden Dragons was destroyed. The appearance of Zhuyan stopped the war between the two clans. Immortal, Zhuyan could only be sealed. After great losses, the two clans managed to seal it away.

Since then, both clans were greatly weakened, needing time to recover, giving the human race an opportunity to rise.

Over ten thousand years, the Four Immortal Sects established their foundation and humanity’s path of cultivation progressively flourished. It was during this time that rumors of the fearsome beast Zhuyan began to circulate, suggesting that it had broken free from the seal imposed by the Dragon and Azure Phoenix Clans.

Back then, although the human cultivation sects were plentiful, the real power was consolidated only within the Four Immortal Sects.

Humans, having established themselves, were no longer willing to demean themselves by seeking protection from the Azure Phoenix and Dragon clans. They even blamed the two clans for waging wars that unleashed such a monstrous beast, yet failed to contain it. This resentment gradually diminished the faith and fear people held towards these clans.

In the end, the various sects united and chose a leader, hoping that solidarity would amplify their strength to confront Zhuyan.

In such times, power equated to one’s voice. From that period on, the influence of the Four Immortal Sects slowly infiltrated other sects, and a trend emerged where weaker sects started offering resources to the stronger ones in exchange for protection.

It was not until Zhuyan was captured and sealed that the unshakeable status of the Four Immortal Sects was established.

How the Four Immortal Sects battled Zhuyan is a tale of heroism recorded in history, but the details of where Zhuyan was finally sealed by the united force of the sects remain unclear.

However, the “Records of the Azure Emperor” written by the Qing Emperor offered an intriguing claim—that the Zhuyan that the Dragon and Azure Phoenix Clans supposedly resealed never actually escaped. It alleges that the Zhuyan terrorizing the people was a charade played by the Four Immortal Sects.

The real Zhuyan was not the one sealed away; it was merely a pawn used by the Four Immortal Sects to dominate.

As the leader of the Azure Phoenix Clan who had lived through the great battle between the Dragons and Azure Phoenixes, the Qing Emperor was intimately familiar with Zhuyan and its seal, giving her statements considerable credibility.

When people finally realized what had happened, the Four Immortal Sects had gradually taken control of the four continents, reinforcing the belief in this narrative. Hence, people whispered that the Four Immortal Sects had resorted to dishonorable means to gain control over the four continents; and thus, the Qing Emperor had belittled the Four Immortal Sects in her Records of the Azure Emperor. Eventually, as the Four Immortal Sects grew more confident, they banned the book.

To this day, few are aware of these events.

As Gu Fuyou moved forward, her heart couldn’t help but race. Could this creature before her truly be the notorious Zhuyan, a fierce beast known for its power to destroy heavens and earth, equal to the Dragons and Azure Phoenix?

Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 59

Author

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
jules
jules
8 months ago

I hope she escapes and the slave contract is taken over by zhong Michu binding them equally

Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
8 months ago
Reply to  jules

Like marriage contract. Hehehehee

Nann
Nann
8 months ago

I hope this is the ancient dragon helps gu fuyou destroy the slave contract and helps her grow stronger. I’m tired of watching her be beaten all the time. I know she’s strong however it talking a bit too long for her power to show.

Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
8 months ago

Interesting!
One thing I noticed about Fuyou is she is a clever nerd. She reads books, has a good memory, can find answers from the books, and is able to connect the dots always. That is one of her top qualities.

Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
8 months ago

How about Fuyou feeds some of her blood to Zhuyan? That would enable Zhuyan break free, and escape with Fuyou together.

Otaku046
Otaku046
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex POTUS

I also thought about that but at the same time I’m worried she’ll get caught up in the chaos and suffer even more. Ah and her remaining family too might get caught up……

Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
8 months ago
Reply to  Otaku046

She is already deep in chaos, isn’t she? Everything and everyone she belongs to were destroyed and killed by war. There is the bloody dictatorship already. Along with her family and friends, she is now obviously the exploited and oppressed. The only way out is to fight back against the oppressor, and be liberated.

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
8 months ago

Thanks for the chapter…

Anon
Anon
8 months ago

This is painful to read

dadin
dadin
8 months ago

fuyou being maple again ..

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

That slave contract hurt holy sh*t dog

Hatimo
Hatimo
27 days ago

She become a slave…gosh, author why… Pls don’t make her go through what michu’s mother went through, I’ll stop reading if it happen.
I miss michufuyou together… Where is michu..