Although Pi Batian was in no danger of losing his life after the silver dragon elder’s treatment, the loss of an arm was a major injury. In addition, his overuse of spiritual energy had caused an instability to form in his spiritual vortex, and he had spent all his time recuperating in his rooms.
His rooms were guarded very closely. Two swordsmen stood outside of Pi Batian’s door, but this was no trouble for Li Mo.
The skies finally darkened. Just as Li Mo was about to make use of the darkness to avoid the patrolling guards and to deal with the guards standing outside Pi Batian’s door, someone walked in from outside.
“Second Young Master,” the guards bowed. It was Pi Yang who had appeared.
“Rise,” Pi Yang murmured. “How’s my brother?”
“He’s not gravely injured, Young Master Pi, but there are still wounds that he has to deal with.” one of the guards, who was part of Pi Batian’s personal retinue, replied.
“Let me have a look.” Pi Yang made his way into his brother’s room.
Li Mo made use of the opportunity to scale the wall and then the roof of Pi Batian’s house. Once he was there, he propped himself against the roof, removed one of the clay tiles, and began looking into the rooms.
“Brother, how are you?” Pi Yang asked, standing in front of Pi Batian’s bed.
“My life is saved, but my arm…” Pi Batian’s voice had a hint of resignation and defeat: after all, the loss of an arm would be a major blow for any cultivator’s martial prowess. However, the main emotions he expressed were anger and hatred. “I wonder if that Qin Feng was shocked to death by Father’s lightning? I hope he hasn’t, or it would have been far too easy and painless a death for him. I’ll skin him alive, him and Li Mo and Yun Ruoyan! I won’t spare any of them!”
“Those who hurt you to this extent surely have to be dealt with,” Pi Yang acquiesced. “I heard that you brought two captives back this time. Were they Li Mo and Yun Ruoyan? If so, I’ll talk to them now and make them pay for what they’ve done to you.”
At this point, Li Mo couldn’t help peering more closely at the hole in the roof to more closely examine the conversation.
“I did bring two people back, but neither were Li Mo,” Pi Batian replied.
“If not Li Mo, then who was it?”
“Zhuo Yifeng and Yun Ruoyan. It was because we were trying to catch Yun Ruoyan that I ended up in my current state. If you get the opportunity to do so, I’m counting on you to deal with her on my behalf,” Pi Batian grit out.
Pi Yang talked a little more with Pi Batian before turning to leave. From Pi Batian’s tone, Li Mo could tell that Yun Ruoyan wasn’t with him, so he gave up on trying to infiltrate Pi Batian’s secret prison. Instead, he skulked behind Pi Yang.
“Housekeeper Hu, you can leave me now,” Pi Yang instructed, then headed inside his rooms.
“Guard all entrances well. These next few days, make sure to increase security around the manor at large,” Housekeeper Hu instructed the guards outside, then left.
As Pi Yang lit up the lamp on his table, a black shadow suddenly appeared opposite him. “Who is it?” he wanted to call out, but a vice-like grip by his throat prevented him from speaking.
Li Mo brought his face closer to the flame. When Pi Yang saw Li Mo, he gaped, but was still unable to speak. His face turned redder and redder as Li Mo’s grip constricted. “Don’t shout, or I’ll kill you on the spot,” Li Mo whispered, then loosened his grip.
“Dark robe!” Pi Yang wheezed. “Are you here to save Yun Ruoyan?”
Li Mo peered at Pi Yang. “Yes. Do you know where she’s being kept?”
“In that case, I’m sorry to have to inconvenience you to be my captive until I can get my Yan’er back.” Li Mo was certain that Yun Ruoyan had been kept somewhere so secret that he wouldn’t find her in time, so he suddenly decided to use Pi Yang as a hostage.
However, Pi Yang only chuckled blithely.
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m just laughing at how you’re about to commit the same mistake that Yun Ruoyan did.” Pi Yang then told Li Mo about what had happened when Yun Ruoyan tried to use him as a hostage to get out of Peak Darkness safely. “I might be a young master of the Pi family, but I’m nothing compared to my brother. My brother lost an arm trying to capture Yun Ruoyan, so there’s no way Father would let her go for me. Give up.”
In Peak Darkness, Yun Ruoyan had tried to bewitch Pi Yang with intoxicating fog, but what she didn’t know was that scions of the seven families had been trained specifically against such poisons at a young age as a safety precaution. Yun Ruoyan’s poison had been useless; the reason Pi Yang had pretended to be bewitched was to help Yun Ruoyan escape safely.
What surprised him was that his father, who had always doted on him, was willing to sacrifice him to capture Yun Ruoyan. This was a traumatic blow to Pi Yang. Furthermore, when his father and brother had returned to the manor in haste, Pi Yang had seen how anxious his father had been. Even after the critical period, he had even stood guard over his bedside for an entire day and night until Pi Batian woke up.
His father had been willing to sacrifice him, but clearly not his elder brother.
“However, I can help you save Yun Ruoyan,” Pi Yang finally stated, taking a deep breath.
“You’re willing to help me?” Li Mo frowned. “Why?”
“Because—” Pi Yang was about to tell Li Mo the truth, that he loved her, when he saw Li Mo’s icy stare. “If I say it, you’ll probably kill me right now. When we free Yun Ruoyan, you can ask her yourself. She knows why.”
Li Mo didn’t want to waste time on what he viewed to be a minor detail. Despite his distrust for Pi Yang, he didn’t see any other way of saving Yun Ruoyan.
“If you’re lying to me, I’ll kill you,” Li Mo threatened, before pulling his hand from Pi Yang’s throat.
Pi Yang rubbed his neck. “I don’t know where Yun Ruoyan’s being imprisoned, but if it’s not in my brother’s prison, then it must be in my father’s secret chambers.”
“A secret chamber in Pi Yan’s rooms?” Li Mo’s eyes gleamed.
“Yes, there’s a secret chamber in my father’s bedroom, but I only know of its existence, not how to get inside.” Pi Yang glanced warily at Li Mo’s flashing eyes. “We can’t just head to my father’s rooms now. If we don’t find the secret chamber and get caught, it’ll endanger both of us, as well as Yun Ruoyan.”
“Do you have a strategy, then?”
Pi Yang thought for a moment. “I do. My brother hates you to the core now that he’s lost an arm. Since he can’t catch you, he’ll try to take his anger out on someone else.”
“I’ll prod at my brother over the next two days to try to rile him up. When he tries to take his anger out on Yun Ruoyan, we’ll follow him,” Pi Yang proposed.
Li Mo’s time in the Pi family had allowed him to gain an understanding of Pi Batian’s personality, and Pi Yang’s suggestion would undoubtedly work on someone like him.
“Let’s do as you say,” Li Mo agreed.
In his study, Pi Yan quickly wrote three letters, which he handed to three different swordsmen. “Hand these to Lords Wu, Lie, and Chen as quickly as you can.”
“Lord Pi, are you sure you want to do this?” Master Shade asked from the side. Pi Yan’s three letters asked for an alliance between the Pi family and each of the recipients of the letter; he was planning on waging war against the Feng family with the support of the three other noble families.
On the other hand, the Hua and Zheng families were allies of the Fengs, so Pi Yan naturally treated them as his enemy. In his letters, he stated his plan to eradicate the Feng, Hua, and Zheng families, and then to split the spoils of war between the four remaining families.
Pi Yan had even emphasized that he was willing to take the smallest cut of the profit, as long as he was given the opportunity to kill Li Mo and Qin Feng, his sworn enemies who had dared to lay a hand against his son, and wipe out the Fengs.
“The Feng family’s trying to usurp my power. If I don’t do anything about it, there won’t be a foothold for the Pi family on the Mingyuan continent any longer,” Pi Yan exclaimed. The straw that broke the camel’s neck was Pi Batian’s dismemberment.
“There have been seven cities on the Mingyuan continent for centuries. If you wreak such havoc, won’t the highlanders be displeased?” Master Shade asked.
“Twenty years ago, when the all-seeing mirror broke, we lost contact with the highlanders of the Jiyuan continent. The only one on the continent who can still communicate with the highlanders is me.” Pi Yan didn’t seem particularly worried. “I established some merit for capturing Yun Ruoyan, so as long as I keep working loyally for the silver dragon clan, I’m sure the elders won’t mind.”
“If that’s the case, then it’s certainly a plan worth pursuing,” Master Shade replied. He left Pi Yan and headed to a dungeon not far from his room, where Zhuo Yifeng was being kept. In the cold, damp cell, Zhuo Yifeng was strung up in the air by a series of metal chains. His skin was criss-crossed by whip marks, his body stained red by blood. His head was lolled in merciful unconsciousness.
“Well? Has he still not decided to submit?” Master Shade asked a mustached swordsman wielding a metal whip as he entered the dungeon.Previous Chapter Next Chapter