Chapter 64 - The Valley of Crooks
Valley of Crooks!
Under the whipping of the black-robed men, all the bronze-masked men reluctantly stepped into the mountain valley called the Valley of Crooks!
Just like Chen Tianshan, almost everyone had heard of the infamous Valley of Crooks.
"This place imprisons criminals from all over the Thousand Island Seas, who are then eventually sent to the Colosseum to have a life and death battle!" Chen Tianshan's face looked extremely ugly.
"Throne… My Lord, what are we gonna do?" asked Chen Tianshan, clearly worried.
"Be patient, since we have come here, let us stay and enjoy it! Now, we don't have the qualifications to say or do anything, let's size up the situation first!" answered Gu Hai in a low voice.
"Yes!" said an agonized Chen Tianshan.
At this moment, had it not been for Gu Hai here, Chen Tianshan would have been completely discouraged. Chen Tianshan knew the fate of the bronze-masked men; if they did not quickly die in the Colosseum, they would have fight endlessly until they did.
Stepping into the mountain valley, Gu Hai suddenly sensed he was being stared at by someone.
Taking a closer look, the mountain valley looked rather gloomy and huge, and was surrounded by small mounds with bunkers at the back them. It also appeared that the bronze-masked men had hunkered down everywhere in groups of twos and threes, staring at the them.
Although he couldn't see their appearances, from the look in their eyes, it was quite clear that they had nothing but malicious intentions.
Is this where the previous outlaws lived?
Gu Hai and the others entered the mountain valley. A majority of them gloomily looked all around with an aggressive look in their eyes, they did not seem to be that much afraid; apparently, all of them were outlaws and ruthless characters.
The Golden Tong member dressed in black robe swung his whip as he shouted, "Everyone, assemble quickly!"
Swash! Swash! Swash!
The crooks inside the valley looked extremely obedient as they assembled quickly, very quickly!
The group of black-robed men swept their gazes all around with a cold look in their eyes.
In the blink of an eye, four thousand criminals had assembled. Their movements were very quick and neat. After having come here, they immediately fell into formation in a very orderly manner.
But, there were ten who were relatively slower.
"Humph, so slow? Very well, you ten are going to the Colosseum!" the leader of the black-robed men announced, staring at them.
"Senior, please no, I had a stomach ache!"
"Senior, I just went to the Colosseum. Luckily, I returned alive, but I have suffered grievous injuries, that's why I was slow!"
"Senior, I am also the same, my whole body is in pain!"...
The ten criminals immediately begged for mercy.
"Humph, cuff them!" The black-robed men leader just stared, he simply didn't heed their reasons.
In the twinkling of an eye, the other black-robed men quickly stepped forward and cuffed the ten men. The ten, on the other hand, didn't dare to resist them..
"Remove the handcuffs and leg irons of these hundred newcomers!" ordered the leading black-robed man.
"Yes, sir!" The group of black-robed men quickly uncuffed Gu Hai and the others.
Suddenly, everyone felt a lot lighter.
Staring at Gu Hai and the others coldly, the black-robed leader said, "I don't care what you've done, but, as long as you are in my Golden Tong, you will be obedient like a dog. Otherwise, I will take your life at anytime!"
The abuse of black-robed leader made the hundred newcomers immediately scowl in anger.
"Who are you calling dogs?" one of the newcomer disobediently shouted.
A sliver of a cold smile showed up on the faces of the older criminals.
That man was lashed at once; what's more was that the whip was also infused with dense True Qi. The whip immediately tore that man into two down his waist, splattering his blood and guts all around.
Seeing this, all the newcomers' faces changed as they clenched their fists, but they no longer dared to contradict him defiantly.
"I said you are a dog, that's me praising you. You guys are impertinent!" the black-robed leader spat coldly.
Nobody contradicted him anymore.
"Everyone is assigned a number. Just live here in peace until your number is called. At that time, you will come with me!" stated the black-robed leader icily.
Turning his head, that black-robed man looked at the group of older criminals and said coldly, "I am assigning you lot to teach them the rules!"
None of the criminals dared to talk back.
"Let's go!" the black-robed leader ordered coldly.
Bringing the group of black-robed men and those ten unlucky criminals with him, he quickly left the valley.
A hundred newcomers looked at those four thousand criminals, there wasn't an ounce of fear on their faces; they believed that a conflict would arise between the old and the new.
However, all four thousand criminals who were standing in formation a moment ago gradually left. They just glanced fiercely at the newcomers, and then... completely ignored them.
Teach them the rules? Everybody was too lazy to teach them anything.
The hundred glanced at one another, but they didn't have much to say. One by one, they dispersed, looking for a place to rest.
Naturally, Gu Hai's party remained together and sat down under a secluded rock.
"Those old criminals are not going to give us trouble?" Chen Tianshan was a bit confused.
"Why would they give us trouble?" said Gu Hai, shaking his head.
"If there isn't any conflict of interest and as long as anyone has a bit of brain, no one is going to ask for trouble. Furthermore, everyone's cultivation is sealed, we are just mortals. Fighting to the death in here isn't worthwhile!" explained Gao Xianzhi.
"Oh!" Chen Tianshan nodded.
Sitting down in a secluded place, Gu Hai and the two sized up the criminals all around. And the criminals also sized them up in return as well. None of them had any good intentions in their eyes, their eyes were filled with malicious intent.
"It's indeed the Valley of Crooks!" Gu Hai said coldly, narrowing his eyes.
"Gao Xianzhi, is the Earth Throne Master token still there?" asked Gu Hai heavily.
"Yes, My Lord. They searched our bodies, finding everything out. Only the soles weren't searched, so, the token is still there!" explained Gao Xianzhi.
Gu Hai nodded, "Put it away for now!"
"My Lord, I have heard that anyone who enters the Valley of Crooks can forget about escaping, ever. Everyone's cultivation is sealed. What are we going to do?" said Chen Tianshan, distressed.
"Let me take a look at this seal!" Gu Hai answered grimly.
Closing his eyes, Gu Hai's consciousness sank into his dantian.
A gray energy seemed to be isolating his dantian, Gu Hai was simply unable to probe anything there. He was utterly unable to mobilize the True Qi within his dantian.
"Throne Master, even I, who is at the Golden Core Stage, am unable to dispel the seal!" Chen Tianshan told him with an ugly look.
"Presently, we are facing two major problems. One is the seal, and the other is the bronze mask on our face!" said Gao Xianzhi as a horrid expression appeared on his face.
"Look, someone wants to escape!?" Chen Tianshan blurted out, as his eyes shone with a bright gleam.
Turning their gaze, they saw a newcomer in the distance, who was trying to climb the cliff at this moment. Although his cultivation was sealed, he was extremely agile. Bit by bit, he climbed towards the peak of a mountain as if he would climb over the peak and escape from the Valley of Crooks.
That man was escaping, but no one among the criminals tried to block him.
Four thousand older criminals just looked at him coldly, occasionally a sliver of a sneer would flash past their eyes.
Very soon, that man had climbed halfway over the mountain.
However, just as he climbed a bit further...
A blue ripple suddenly appeared in the sky; apparently, a transparent barrier was covering the entire valley. And the blue light would obviously only appear when someone came in contact with it.
That man didn't even have the time to scream before the bronze mask on his face exploded, blasting his head completely apart in the blink of an eye.
That headless corpse crashed into the ground soon after.
"Hiss!" Seeing this, all the new criminals drew in a cold breath of air.
"Once this bronze mask is put on, it cannot be removed, if removed forcibly, it will explode; if we ran and touched that array, it will explode! We cannot escape, we simply cannot escape!" A horrified look shrouded Chen Tianshan's face.
"Calm down!" said Gu Hai coldly.
"My Lord!?" Chen Tianshan looked at Gu Hai, his expression agonized.
"It the mask can be put on, it can be removed, as well. Calm down a bit, nothing is impossible! If you are alive, you will always have a chance, but if you are dead, you will never have any chance!" Gu Hai said in a somber tone.
"Yes!" Chen Tianshan and Gao Xianzhi answered together.
In the silent night, Gu Hai, Chen Tianshan, and Gao Xianzhi tried their best to connect with their True Qi in their corner. However, that seal was extremely strange, nothing affected it.
At night when all was still, Gu Hai took out some food from the space in the token as the three ate vigilantly.
After all, their cultivation was sealed, they were no different than a mortal. Although they had a strong constitution, they could not go on for a long time without eating. Gu Hai didn't want to weaken himself.
At the crack of dawn...
Suddenly, a lot of rats came raining down from the sky; apparently, they were thrown down from above the mountain valley.
Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!...
The rats squeaked miserably in the air. In contrast, in the mountain valley, the older criminals' eyes immediately shone ever so brightly.
All the older criminals quickly charged towards the thrown rats in a hurry.
The first person who grabbed a rat immediately opened his mouth, put the rat inside, and started chewing.
Chen Tianshan's face changed. "This is the food given to the criminals? Rats?"
"Catch them quickly!" Gu Hai said, a serious look on his face.
"Ah? My Lord, are we going to eat rats?" Chen Tianshan's countenance changed.
"Whether we are going to eat them or not is one thing, and catching them is another thing!" Gu Hai responded coldly.
Following Gu Hai's order at once, Gao Xianzhi quickly left to catch some rats.
Gu Hai also jumped into the center of the square and started catching the falling rats. Chen Tianshan followed him closely, but there was an extremely ugly look on his face.
Perhaps after a long time, the criminals no longer hold any aversion towards the rats. More importantly, eating one would allow them to keep their strength, allowing them to live longer. If they were alive, they would have an opportunity to leave here. The dead were not entitled to anything.
In the blink of an eye, Gao Xianzhi had already caught a bunch of rats.
Suddenly, a man with a knife scar on his face launched an attack at Gao Xianzhi.
Gao Xianzhi was struck, staggered, and suddenly fell down, dropping the dead rats in his hand as well. A hideously eager look showed up on the scar-faced man as he rushed for the dead rats at once.
"Do you want to die!?" Gu Hai suddenly appeared and punched at the scar-faced man.
"En?" A firm resolve immediately appeared on the scar-faced man's face as he decided to clash with Gu Hai's punch.
The two collided head-on with a loud crash. Gu Hai fiercely stomped on a rock, stabilizing himself, but the scar-faced man immediately retreated seven or eight steps back.
After all, Gu Hai was an external strength cultivator. In terms of physical strength, it was difficult to find an adversary for him.
"Kid, do you want to die?" challenged the scar-faced man in a ruthless voice.
"It doesn't belong to you, it was never yours! How should I call Your Excellency?" replied Gu Hai coldly.
Seeing Gu Hai's punch from a moment ago, every criminal who was there to catch the rats immediately refocused cold gazes on Gu Hai.
A cold smile crept up on the scar-faced man's lips. "Remember, I am Scar! Kid, I will remember you!"
Gu Hai smiled coldly and ignored him.
Gu Hai returned to one side with Chen Tianshan, Gao Xianzhi, and ten dead rats. However, he could feel the distant Scar constantly turning his head to look at Gu Hai. That cold gaze was like being chosen as prey to eat.
All around them, anyone who caught the rats opened their mouths and started eating them in a bloody manner. All the criminals only had one thought in their minds: Live! Go on living!