Chapter 243: Boiled and Eaten?
A contingent of workers Lan Jue had had Director Wu prepare beforehand came rushing onto the field. Three levitating medical vehicles came with them.
The paralyzed students were loaded on to the cars and removed from the area.
The flashing green aura around Tan Lingyun shimmered and dissipated. She had recovered from Lan Jue’s assault, requiring a few minutes’ rest before she was able to rise to her feet.
Zhou Qianlin was still gasping for breath a short distance away. She was in and out of consciousness, lying on the floor.
“What else are you planning?” Tan Lingyun stared at Lan Jue with glassy eyes.
“Come with me,” he replied. With that Lan Jue, Hua Li, Chu Cheng and Tan Lingyun followed one of the workers as he led them from the training grounds.
Tan Lingyun, her teeth clenched, walked behind them best she can. Her gait would sometimes suffer from a stagger, and her knees threatened to give, but she continued on. Pride alone pushed her to keep up.
They followed the worker in to the training base.
Under Lan Jue’s instruction, the flat-bed cars bearing the unconscious students were separated according to gender. The boys were placed in one big room, and the girls in another. The center of each of these rooms was dominated by a boiling pond.
“W-what’s going on?” Tan Lingyun asked again, peering at Lan Jue in curiosity.
Lan Jue’s response was quiet. “Boil them. Get everyone in the water and watch them. No one is permitted to leave until an hour has passed. You are to join them. Understand?”
“Boil…” The Savage Goddess looked at him with wide eyes. She was slowly becoming convinced the man in front of her truly was a devil in disguise.
“But… why?” She asked dumbly.
“I’m going to eat them,” Lan Jue replied.
“Ah!” Chu Cheng and Hua Li couldn’t help but snicker at Tan Lingyun’s reaction.
The students were efficiently set up in their respective rooms. Lan Jue had several of the female staff accompany Tan Lingyun to the female section.
“Remember, no one gets out till time’s up, yourself included! Disobey at your own risk.” She could hear Lan Jue call after her as she left.
The two rooms were entirely segregated for privacy. Hua Li left with Tan Lingyun, while Lan Jue began dropping pouches of some unknown material in to the pool.
As the contents of the bags boiled in the intense heat, the pool’s waters changed to many different colors. Eventually the colors combined, and the water adopted a dark brown tinge, almost like a coffee.
Lan Jue infused the water with a jolt of electricity to keep the contents churning.
Lan Jue stepped back, and with an indication of his hand the workers began to strip the male students of their flight suits. One by one they were placed in the pool with only their heads above water.
Chu Cheng watched from Lan Jue’s side. “You know, I really should be on the female side. I’m positive I could do a better job than Hua Li.”
“You?” Lan Jue said, his irritated tone clearly delineating his opinion on the matter. “If you went it’d be for the sole purpose of getting us all arrested. So long as you’re in my sight I can relax. But if any of the young men catch your fancy far be it from me to interfere.”
Chu Cheng’s middle finger relayed the fiery young man’s response.
The boiling pool was now a boiling potion of herbs and medicines. Once everyone was in, it was clear Lan Jue had not been exaggerating. They were all to be boiled alive.
On the other side of the partition, Hua Li was filling the relatively smaller female pool with medicine. Once he was finished, he left and returned to Lan Jue.
Soon the girls were also submerged in the mixture. Tan Lingyun was the only one conscious, and hesitation was clear in her posture as she looked upon the furiously boiling waters.
Could a person even handle it, she thought? She watched as the young women’s fair complexion quickly became beat red from the heat. Still they remained asleep.
With a determined snarl, Tan Lingyun removed her clothes and jumped in.
She didn’t ease her way in – to her, a short spell of suffering beat long and drawn-out any day. It was only hot water, she told herself. It couldn’t do anything to her she hadn’t already suffered.
It was only a few moments later that she started screaming. She was just about to leap out when a strange began to gush forth and diffuse some of the scalding heat.
Ey? This power…
It wasn’t long before she found the heart of the issue. This energy wasn’t her own. In fact, it was a property in the water, brought about by the Drillmaster’s electric stimulation.
The energy somehow regulated the heat, and though ‘anguish’ was a suitable description for how she felt, it was still just within the realm of bearable. Her mind went to the pouches of medicine floating along the water’s surface. She sunk in to the water, jaw clenched.
They were in fact being boiled alive!
Surely, any outsider who could see this would be horrified. Even the workers looked on with pale faces and doubt in their eyes. They had been commanded to prepare the water earlier, so they knew precisely how hot it was! They were convinced putting the students in there was a danger to their health.
Like were like fleshy hard-boiled eggs.
However, their misgivings were squelched. The school had made it very clear the Drillmaster was to get whatever he wanted. Every order, no matter how strange or unpalatable, was to be carried out to the letter. The school treated them well here, and none of the workers were keen on looking for other work. They comforted themselves with the assurance that the NEU wouldn’t do anything to really hurt their students.
Ten minutes later
A scream rang out.
“Aaaaahhh!” The noise was shrill, forlorn, as though someone were being murdered. Like a ding swine.
A large and fleshy figure leaped out from the water, throwing boiling droplets in every which direction. His whole body was bright pink like a boiled shrimp’s.
Before the bulky silhouette could entirely escape from the hellish waters, a bolt of electricity struck them right back down.
Splash. The stout body belly-flopped back in to the scalding water. Their pitiful cries abruptly fell silent.
A few seconds later, like a cresting wale, the fat body returned to the surface screaming bloody murder. Another blast, and again he was submerged.
“Ahhh! I’m boiling to death!” The screams were given words, this time, but they were no less tragic. The fat student made no further attempts to extricate themselves from the pool, but writhed pitifully beneath the roiling waters.
Tang Xiao’s fat head bobbed on the surface, contorted in pain.
Tang Xiao wasn’t the strongest of those who were electrocuted and injected today. Wang Hongyuan, the seventh-ranked adept that he was, took that title. What he did possess, however, was better endurance than the rest of them, and a faster recovery speed.
Part of this was due to his metalmorphosis Discipline, certainly. But more than that, his resistance was a result of the terrible beatings he was receiving daily from Mika.
He’d been knocked out a few dozen times at least by this point, so he was the first to pop out of it today.
Of course Tang Xiao desperately wished that wasn’t the case. If he were unconscious, he at least couldn’t feel this excruciating pain.
The scalding waters caused him to scream over and over. His small, pitiful-looking eyes glistened with tears. He glared through the burning drops at the stoic, golden-masked Lan Jue.
Steam filled the room, making it difficult to see anything clearly. Lan Jue’s lithe figure seemed to undulate in the mist, disappearing and reappearing through the cloud of pain like a true demon.
“Teacher… save me please! Why are you doing this?” Tang Xiao howled, gasping desperately for breath through the screams and choking steam.
Chu Cheng’s gloating voice was the one that responded. “He’s the one that put your fat ass in there. You think he’s going to save you? It’s best to suck it up and learn to live in there, pig-boy. It’d be better for you.”
“Ahh! It’s too much, I’m dying!” The poor child whined and writhes incessantly, but Lan Jue made no move to save him. He had no desire to make it stop just yet.
“It’s too much,” Tang Xiao whined at his Master. “Professor, I can’t handle it!”
Finally, Lan Jue responded, though his voice was chilly and dismissive. “If you can’t handle this slight discomfort, how are you going to survive through the rest of the training? Keep shouting, but it’ll only waste energy. Where I you, I’d be focusing on the changes in my body instead of complaining. Pain is the best way to temper oneself. Enjoy it.”
Tang Xiao said nothing further, after all he understood his Master on some level. He knew the type of person that he was. If there was one thing he knew absolutely, it was that nothing he could say would make this situation better. Behave, and endure. That’s all he could do.
With his determination made, Tang Xiao quit his woeful cries, grit his teeth, and focused on the pain. What he discovered was that, somehow, the needle his teacher had inserted within him was somehow sealing away his Discipline. No matter how he tried to pull it forth, to protect him from the terrible waters, no power would answer. He truly had no choice but to bear it on his own.
Lan Jue’s voice rang in his ears, over and over. This is your last chance. You can’t back out. Last chance. Tang Xiao understood, now, why he’d said it so many times.
The needles and lightning were just the beginning, and now the hot pool. This was the training! They were there for one purpose – to experience the torment of all eighteen levels of hell.
But despite the terrible situation he found himself in, Tang Xiao would do it again. If given the opportunity to change his mind, he wouldn’t. That didn’t mean, though, that he wouldn’t hesitate.
One phrase from his master rolled in his mind over and over again. If you decide to come, don’t even dream of leaving. Once this two-month training starts, there’s no going back.
The thoughts helped solidify Tang Xiao’s resolve. He knew there was nothing he could do. He wasn’t alone, there were others at his side suffering the same fate. He had to change his attitude. He narrowed his eyes, and learned to love the pain.
Another piercing scream filled the thick air. This time, it was from Wang Hongyuan. The dance teacher, like Tang Xiao before him, instinctively pounced from the water to try and distance himself from the agony. Like Tang Xiao, a blast of lightning sent him tumbling back in.
The silver mask hid his face, though his figure gave him away.
This second blast was terrifically more powerful than the last, and before Wang Hongyuan could inadvertently scream the Prince of Devil’s name, he was frozen solid.