Chapter 396: Zhuo Yifeng and the Demonic Spirit

Pi Yang motioned for the servant girl to step back. Having dealt with Pi Batian for so long, she was very good at reading people, and immediately understood that the second young master was trying to save her. Silently, she crept up and left the room.

Pi Yang continued, “Brother, I think you need to vent your anger.”

“Vent? How?” Pi Batian was forced to remain in his rooms to recuperate, and his hatred toward Li Mo and Qin Feng was burgeoning. 

“Isn’t it easy? Just inflict pain on someone else! Why haven’t you thought of such a simple solution already?”

Pi Batian’s eyes flashed. “That’s true. Why haven’t I…?” Pi Batian mumbled to himself.

“Brother, let me arrange things for you. Do you want to hunt men or beasts?”

Pi Batian shook his head. “I’m a little tired at the moment. We’ll do it another day.” Then, he lay back in bed and turned away from Pi Yang, as though he didn’t want to talk with him any longer.

“In that case, Brother, rest well. I’ll visit you again when I have time.” Pi Yang left Pi Batian’s rooms and returned to his own.

“Well?” Li Mo asked, the moment Pi Yang entered.

“Everything went as expected. Tonight, snoop around my brother’s house. I bet he’ll head to where Yun Ruoyan’s being kept.” Pi Yang sat down by the table. His face was expressionless, and even Li Mo couldn’t tell whether he was happy or not. 

To lie to his brother, to betray his own family—these were actions so preposterous that he had never contemplated their possibility.

“You’re certain?” Li Mo asked, still somewhat worried. “What if he doesn’t? Do you have a backup plan?”

“I should think I understand my own brother better than you do.” Pi Yang chuckled bitterly. “When I was young, he brought me horseback riding. However, his own mount knocked him off, wounding his leg. When he returned to the manor, he was so angry that he rushed back and killed that horse before quelling the fury in his heart. This time, for his permanent loss of an arm, I’m sure you can imagine how much angrier he is. Since he can’t find you and hurt you, he’ll definitely try to make your woman pay the price.”

When he heard these words, Li Mo immediately stood up from his seat, his fists clenched tightly. “I won’t give him the opportunity to do so!”

“Well? Did he submit?” Master Shade asked the mustached swordsman from outside the dungeon.

“No, not yet.” The swordsman wiped the sweat from his forehead. “Master Shade, would you like to take a look at the situation for yourself?”

“No, there’s no need. Once he submits to me, have someone send word.” Master Shade left as the mustached swordsman again began to sweat. He gritted his teeth, then walked back inside the dungeon.

Zhuo Yifeng, still chained up, had been tortured to the brink of death. Initially, he would scream and thrash about in pain, but he seemed to have gotten used to it. Now, he would occasionally open his eyes and stare at the swordsman. Frighteningly, Zhuo Yifeng’s eyes were almost pitch black, as though his sclera had somehow been taken over by some form of darkness. His stare, like that of a malicious specter, made the swordsman shudder just thinking about it.

“Well? Do you still refuse to give in?” The swordsman slowly walked closer toward Zhuo Yifeng, then prodded his head with the whip in his hands. Zhuo Yifeng’s head was swollen and engorged; although his eyes were closed, it looked as though his eyeballs were about to pop out of their sockets.

Zhuo Yifeng was in a chaotic, muddled state of mind. His body was in pain, but his consciousness seemed to be slowly separating from his body. Was he about to die? No, he still had so much he needed to accomplish!

He hadn’t yet killed Li Mo to avenge his family. Although he had multiple opportunities to do so, he hadn’t taken advantage of them: what he wanted to do was to kill Li Mo with his own strength, or to make him submit and repent for his wrongdoings.

He hadn’t yet seen the true face of his mysterious master. His master had promised to take him in as an official disciple if he managed to survive entering the Mingyuan continent.

He hadn’t yet seen his sister, Zhuo Lin’er, mature into a woman.

The most pressing issue on his mind, however, was Yun Ruoyan. She had been caught alongside him, and if he was suffering such torture, then she couldn’t have been in much better straits. Zhuo Yifeng’s body ached, his brain ached, his spirit ached, and his heart ached.

But alongside this pain came a malicious voice in his brain. “Zhuo Yifeng, I can save you, but you have to hand me control of your spirit and body.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m the demonic spirit within your whip,” the malicious voice responded. “You awoke me after infusing spiritual energy into the whip, and now, I’m the only one who can save you.”

“You… how will you save me?”

“Are you willing to hand me your spirit and body?”

“No, not unless it’s worth my doing so.”

“Very well.” The demonic spirit chuckled. “I like people as obstinate and intelligent as you. I’m willing to share this body with you, then merge with your spirit to raise your cultivation. Not only can I allow you to escape, I can even help you finish your lifelong goals.”

“Really?” Zhuo Yifeng was hesitant to believe the spirit’s words. Was it a coincidence that the spirit was only speaking to him now? Zhuo Yifeng, who had been used to this sort of setback, refused to trust the spirit blindly.

“You’re almost dead, aren’t you? What do you have to lose? Rather than sell your body to your enemy, why not hand it to me? I’m willing to share it with you, after all.”

Zhuo Yifeng mulled it over for a moment before finally deciding to agree. Rather than die a miserable death, having accomplished nothing of note, he would stake his life on this gamble.

“I accept. What do I need to do?”

“That’s easy. Just imagine merging with my body, but make sure you’re not having second thoughts when you do so,” the malicious voice replied impatiently. “Once we’re together, you’ll possess my strength. You’ll be able to raze this manor to the ground, let alone escape!”

For Yun Ruoyan, for my unfinished responsibilities, for my life…! Zhuo Yifeng shut his eyes and signalled that he was ready. 

The swordsman stared at Zhuo Yifeng for quite some time. Zhuo Yifeng didn’t react, so he drummed up his courage, raised a bucket of icy water from the ground, and was just about to upend it over his head.

Just then, Zhuo Yifeng’s eyes opened wide as he stared at the mustached swordsman, his eyes so dark they were like the manifestation of void itself. The swordsman couldn’t help being absorbed in the darkness of his pupils, until two beams of light emanated from them and seemed to scorch his soul itself.

“Argh!” the swordsman screamed, then stumbled a few steps back. The bucket he was holding fell on top of him, and the icy water drenched his body. As though he had turned to ice, the mustached swordsman stood as still as a statue.

With a crack, the manacles on Zhuo Yifeng’s wrists seemed to break of their own accord. He fell from mid-air, then landed gracefully on the ground.

“You!” Zhuo Yifeng pointed at the mustached swordsman, who immediately knelt on the ground. The malicious, evil aura coming from Zhuo Yifeng’s body manifested like a physical weight on the mustached swordsman’s body.

“Please, Master, spare my life!” the swordsman begged. Zhuo Yifeng seemed to revel in his fear and begging, raising his head and starting to cackle.

“You want your life to be spared? Very well, I’ll spare your life.” Zhuo Yifeng walked toward the swordsman and put his hand on his head. Then, he extracted what seemed to be an immaterial shadow from the swordsman’s brain.

The swordsman’s eyes immediately lost any sign of life, and his expression turned wooden.

“I’ll just take your soul away, how about that? You can be a walking corpse.” Zhuo Yifeng began to cackle again, but it was interrupted midway through. 

As though he were speaking to himself, Zhuo Yifeng said, “This is only a weakling. The people I need to deal with are outside.” This time, his voice had returned to normal. “I need to leave this dungeon immediately and raze this manor to the ground!”

“Wait, wait, hold on,” the malicious voice interjected. “I’ve just awoken, so I haven’t yet recovered all my power.”

“In that case, then we’ll kill Master Shade first.”

“Hold it!” the malicious voice shouted again. “I can’t waste what little power I’ve recovered to date. There’s a better way to go about this.”

Master Shade was cultivating in his rooms when someone suddenly knocked on the door.

“Master Shade,” the mustached swordsman called out. “He’s willing to submit! Zhuo Yifeng’s ready to sign the contract with you.”

Master Shade’s thin lips broke out into a gruesome smile. As expected, no one can hold out against the soul-gnawing maggot for long. He left his rooms and followed the mustached swordsman to the dungeon. Because he was overly excited, he didn’t notice the swordsman’s peculiar behavior...

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