The astonishing discovery shocked Jadeface. For a time, he could hardly believe his own senses.
He tested the looseness in the restriction; it was indeed there. Not enough for him to escape from it, but it was a chance at life.
Late at night, when everyone else was asleep, Jadeface threw all of his efforts at the restriction. He used every last ounce of his strength.
“That Jiang Chen told me he was going to bring me to see Forefather Evilshadow,” he encouraged himself. “If he hasn’t come to get me yet, he hasn’t moved against the forefather yet. He’s twice as clever as he looks… that means he’s not done preparing. Maybe he lacks the manpower needed to do so.”
Jadeface had his own ideas.
Since Jiang Chen only had a certain amount of people on hand, defense of the three nodes meant that he couldn’t possibly send out a force worthy of attacking Forefather Evilshadow.
This gave Jadeface more motivation.
“I have to inform the forefather before Jiang Chen gets to him. Even if I die, I will die at the forefather’s side. I am no traitor!” he gritted his teeth.
As he grunted against his binds, his consciousness heard murmuring outside the secret room.
“We have to be careful tonight. The young lord has ordered us to bring this person to the next node tomorrow. Let us not err in the final moments of our responsibility.”
“Heh, the repairs on this node are already complete. I don’t want to stay here any longer anyways. The young lord and the others have headed to the next one already. The only reason we’re here is so we can hand off to those who are coming here.”
“Indeed. I hear that Divines Lan and Yu are coming to take charge of this place.”
“The change of guard is tomorrow. We must remain vigilant tonight. Apparently the yin demons are on the prowl. Their mastery over evil spirits make them formidable foes.”
“Damn, I’d rather fight literally any other kind of demon than those yin demons and their walking corpses. The mere thought of it makes my hair stand on end.”
Jadeface managed to hear some snippets of the two men’s conversation.
He realized what had happened. No wonder the restriction on my consciousness loosened. If Jiang Chen left this place and went to another node, why wouldn’t it? That kid is clever, but he can overlook things too.
The demon was overjoyed by this discovery.
For Jiang Chen, repairing and reactivating the formation was his top priority. Jadeface was a mere prisoner who didn’t have much worth, so it was understandable that he didn’t occupy the young man’s thoughts.
“Ah, Jiang Chen, if I manage to escape and bring back Forefather Evilshadow, I will repay this humiliation tenfold!”
Jadeface gnashed his teeth. He’d never lost so completely before. The death of several of his shadow demon comrades was his fault.
The fires of hatred seared his mind, filling it with a heady desire for revenge. He’d thought his disguise as Elder Yuan Chi perfect, but it had all been part of that kid’s trap!
As a superb actor and disguiser, Jadeface was especially ashamed. He had lost completely in their duel of acting skills. More than anything, he wanted vengeance!
The thought motivated him to crash against the restriction with his all.
The second day, the change of guard happened just as predicted. Jadeface was locked into a prison cart, escorted by several demigods.
He looked around for a moment: no gods in sight.
This time however, he was more careful. He suspected the sacred beasts were waiting in the wings, such that he didn’t dare cast out his consciousness to look for them.
His consciousness had gradually struggled free of the restriction to a certain extent already. He had some autonomy of his own.
He only needed another half-day before he could break free.
This remaining time was key. Jadeface was especially careful, feigning resignation to his fate by closing his eyes and making a glum face.
Now was the time where acting mattered.
In the afternoon, the demon finally struggled free of the last strand of the energies that imprisoned him. He was as free as a bird!
If he fled now, even if there were sacred beasts waiting in the wings, they wouldn’t necessarily be able to catch him. Shadow demons specialized in concealment and escape among all their kind, after all.
However, choosing to do so would only unnecessarily alert the enemy. There would be countermeasures taken despite his success.
Jadeface decided to leave a decoy to avoid suspicion.
He deployed his abilities in secret. Shadow demons were geniuses in this department, and he managed to turn a piece of wood into the likeness of his body very quickly. His actual body flew through the air as an ungraspable shadow.
He could barely believe that he was free once more. In fact, a lingering, rather absurd thought popped into his head.
“That Jiang Chen couldn’t be up to no good again, could he? Is someone following me?”
Given this doubt, he didn’t leave the scene immediately. Instead, he stayed nearby for quite a while.
Absolute silence greeted him.
“Am I thinking too much?” Jadeface wondered.
He was so badly frightened that everything seemed dubious. He was happy to be alive, but what if Jiang Chen was letting him go for some ulterior motive?
Almost an hour later, he still couldn’t sense any pursuers.
As a shadow demon, Jadeface was also an expert in countering any would-be trackers.
After repeatedly ascertaining that he was being followed by no one, the demon exhaled with relief. “It seems I’ve been unnecessarily suspicious. Having fallen for a trap once before, this is only understandable. The change of guard will take one or two days, and I’ll be long gone when they discover my ruse. Hmm, they will need even more time to prepare a sortie against Forefather Evilshadow in their haste. I have at least a week available to me.”
Jadeface began to get excited.
The shadow demons’ natural wile prevented him from getting too uppity. He made several feints as he traveled to ensure that there was no tail behind him.
The lack of his discoveries relieved him as time went on.
Jiang Chen was supposed to be repairing the formation at one of the other nodes, anyway. What time did he have to play with a prisoner like this?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I wonder... just how is Jiang Chen following the demon?