Chapter 75 - Prisoner
The flames of the burning mountain and the wet trees caused billowing, dense smoke to spread everywhere in the Golden Tong.
In a flash, numerous Golden Tong disciples hurriedly fought the fire; everything was in chaos. With dense smoke rising everywhere, everything in sight was shrouded, and many cultivators were running around covering their noses.
The endless rain added much to the chaos, causing countless cultivators to be even more alarmed and fidgety.
Meanwhile, Gu Hai swaggered his way into the deeper regions of the Golden Tong.
At this moment, although some Golden Tong disciples noticed Gu Hai in the hat, they were too lazy to pursue this matter.
After all, many people were wearing a hat in this rain.
While Gu Hai shuttled through the inner section of the Golden Tong, no one came to block him; everything was extremely smooth, actually.
In the VIP area, looking at the faraway clouds of thick smoke, Shangguan Hen narrowed his eyes.
"What a chaotic mess! Even if the fire is extinguished, the smoke will still be there for some time. With the mountain on fire, it won't be that easy to restore everything.
"With the Golden Tong inner section in chaos because of this fire, sneaking in by taking advantage of this chaos will be more effective than by using the token for everything.
"My Lord, who on earth are you?" Shangguan Hen took a deep breath as he watched the smoke spread to his position.
As Gu Hai's cultivation was sealed, he was unable to use spirit stones to arrange an array, but sometimes there was no need for cultivators to create confusion.
Following the landscape directions they’d learned through torture all the way, Gu Hai slowly arrived outside a residential area.
It was an entrance to a grand hall.
At this moment, the Song Jia Sect Chief was watching the faraway fire in some surprise. Next to him stood a group of black-robed people, led by a person leaning on a walking stick whose face was hooded, obviously so that the other people could not see them clearly. But looking at the figure, it should be an old woman.
"What happened?" the black-robed old woman asked in a heavy voice.
"I am not sure. This Li Wei is truly looking for trouble. He knows Throng Master Ding has arrived, but still made such a big commotion!?" replied the Song Jia Sect Chief, smiling coldly.
Having looked from afar, Gu Hai, rather than turning around and leave, quickly made his way towards them.
"Hmm?" The congregation of black-robed people turned their gazes towards the approaching Gu Hai.
Gu Hai also had a black robe for his dress and had his face covered. As a matter of fact, not everyone in the Golden Tong wore black clothes. This man actually has his face covered even when coming to meet us!?
"Reporting to Song Jia Sect Chief and seniors, Boss sent This Lowly One to inform the seniors that this fire is not a problem, it was just an accident and there is no need to worry!" Gu Hai took a respectful stance.
"Accident? Hahaha, the Golden Tong is still full of surprises!" replied the Song Jia Sect Chief coldly.
"Seniors, please pardon our mistakes!" apologized Gu Hai respectfully.
"Very well, go and inform Li Wei that I will not wait for tomorrow. He should get everything ready, I want to go immediately!" said the old woman with the walking stick calmly.
Go immediately? Where? Gu Hai was surprised, but there was no change in his voice or expression.
"But, Boss already has made plans, seniors, please wait until tomorrow!" stated Gu Hai respectfully.
"Didn't you hear what I just said?" rebuked the old lady coldly.
"I dare not, I dare not, it just that an agreement was already made before, if I suddenly ask Boss to change the plan, I am afraid Boss won't believe me, I beg senior to grant me a token so that Your Subordinate can surely pass it on to Boss!" said Gu Hai solemnly.
The old woman threw him a token. "This is the token that Li Wei gave me, it's a transfer token that can mobilize all Golden Tong disciples. Give it to him, he will believe you!"
"Yes!" answered Gu Hai.
Carefully picking up the token, Gu Hai gave a bow to everyone and slowly withdrew.
After exiting the small courtyard, Gu Hai took a few deep breaths before looking at the token in his hand. The token was made of black-iron, there was “Golden” in large characters engraved on top, and a turtle design on its back.
"Should I go or not?" Gu Hai took a deep breath and went silent for a good long while.
Only after having pondered for a good long while did Gu Hai steel his heart. Obviously, this matter was extremely dangerous.
Suppressing his emotions, Gu Hai slowly made his way towards Boss Li's residence.
As he approached Boss Li's residence, the number of guards present gradually increased.
"Who are you? Remove your hat!" a guard shouted at him suddenly.
Gu Hai remained silent and slowly took out that black-iron token.
"En?" Seeing that, the guard's expression immediately changed.
"Take me to Boss Li!" ordered Gu Hai calmly.
"Yes, sir!" answered the guard respectfully.
Immediately, two guards led the way, while Gu Hai strode along aloofly behind them to the inner section.
Although everything was going very easy, Gu Hai knew that this road was filled with danger. Just a moment of carelessness would expose him.
The deeper they went, the more guards there were. There were layers upon layers of inspections. However, the black-iron token was a clearance pass. No one dared to speak out of turn. Very soon, Gu Hai was led to the outside of a grand hall.
Outside the grand hall, a group of Golden Tong disciples was respectfully reporting to their boss inside.
"Boss, everything has been checked out. Someone used kerosene to set the mountain on fire!" reported a disciple respectfully.
"Did you find anything?" the unseen Li Wei's cold voice came out from the hall.
"Wastrels, why are you still here? Go and investigate thoroughly!" said Li Wei coldly.
"Also, send someone to the Song Jia Sect Chief to notify him that everything is fine, it was just an accident!" ordered Li Wei in a cold tone.
"No need!" suddenly, someone's voice rang out.
"En?" a cold harrumph immediately came from inside the hall.
The people outside the hall turned their gazes towards that black-robed speaker.
Gu Hai immediately threw the black-iron token into the grand hall.
The token made a clatter as it bounced across the grand hall.
"En?" Li Wei's suddenly voice rose up.
Very soon, Li Wei, still cuddling Yue Yao, walked out of the grand hall.
This was the second time Gu Hai had seen Yue Yao. There was a scar on Yue Yao's chin, making her look particularly hideous. However, Li Wei seemed to be extremely in love with this woman; he never moved more than a foot away from her.
"Martial aunt asked me to inform you that there is no need to wait for tomorrow, we should go immediately!" said Gu Hai in a heavy voice.
"Oh? Throne Master Ding is your martial aunt?" Li Wei's brows twitched as he inquired.
"Don't ask what you shouldn't!" Gu Hai replied calmly.
Li Wei's facial muscles twitched as he gave Gu Hai a cold eye. However, he did not lose his temper.
"Go and inform Throne Master Ding that I am coming immediately!" said Li Wei in a heavy voice.
"Immediately? How long is that immediately? Martial Aunt doesn't like it when someone keeps her waiting, I will wait for you here!" said Gu Hai unenthusiastically.
"Humph!" Li Wel let out a cold grunt.
Li Wei looked at Yue Yao with a turn of his head. "Darling, wait for me, I will return very soon!"
"I...I!" Yue Yao looked at Li Wei. Her eyes were filled with love, fear, and a complex set of emotions.
"You better look after my darling. If even a single strand of her hair is missing, I will take your life!" stated Li Wei coldly.
"Yes, Boss!" the group of Golden Tong subordinates answered immediately.
Li Wei grabbed another six subordinates who followed him together to the residential place of the Song Jia Sect Chief.
Gu Hai followed close behind them.
In the party, only Gu Hai wore a hat, but no one pursued this matter.
Very soon, the group arrived at the residence of the Song Jia Sect Chief. The Song Jia Sect Chief and Throne Master Ding's party were waiting inside, and saw Li Wei and his seven people come in.
Gu Hai was the last to enter. However, when both sides met with each other, Gu Hai separated a bit from Li Wei's group intentionally.
"Throne Master, the fire was just an accident; that's all!" Li Wei spoke at once, smiling obsequiously.
"I know it already, you don't need to repeat it!" stated Throne Master Ding calmly.
Throne Master Ding thought that as Gu Hai had conveyed the very same thing a while ago, why are you repeating it again…? It was not worth talking about.
While Li Wei just believed Throne Master Ding was just angry.
"Throne Master Ding, please calm your anger, we will go now!" said Li Wei at once.
"En!" nodded Throne Master Ding in acknowledgment.
Throne Master Ding, the Song Jia Sect Chief, and Li Wei slowly walked out in front, while the congregation of subordinates followed behind them. Most of Throne Master Ding's subordinates were wearing black clothes, and although the black robes that Gu Hai wore were different, at this moment, no one asked anything.
Throne Master Ding and her group believed that Gu Hai was a Golden Tong disciple, while Li Wei believed Gu Hai was Throne Master Ding's martial nephew. Furthermore, he had also received a rebuff from Gu Hai earlier, and naturally didn't wish to mention him anymore.
The party shuttled through the residential area slowly.
Throne Master Ding, Song Jia Sect Chief, and Li Wei, all had extremely high cultivation. The rain was pouring down heavily, but it didn't fall on anyone's body. Besides, everyone was feeling irritated with the smoke rising everywhere, who would be in any mood to pay attention to Gu Hai who was walking last?
After a confusing and winding walk, the group arrived at a mountain valley. There were a large number of guards inside the mountain valley, guarding a cave. The cave was sealed by a Beheading Dragon Rock, rendering it impossible for anyone to see the inside clearly.
"Boss!" the group of guards greeted Li Wei respectfully.
"Open the entrance!" ordered Li Wei in a heavy voice.
The group of guards immediately activated a strange contraption.
The device made some grating sounds before the Beheading Dragon Rock gradually opened, revealing a long cave filled with rattan. Walking into an entire cave filled with countless rattan gave them the impression of walking into a hole under a big tree.
The rattan was green and vibrant, but had poisonous thorns protruding all over them.
Furthermore, luminous pearls were hanging everywhere.
The group slowly walked into the cave. Gu Hai looked around, surprised.
There was only rattan; many, many, rattan.
The cave was very deep. However, very soon everyone arrived at the end of the cave. There was a huge space there, which was covered in dense poisonous rattan, just like before.
In the center, there was a shabbily dressed man who was hanging in the air by the rattan. There were a large number of wounds on his body, apparently from the rattan. He looked like a tortured prisoner.
The imprisoned man's entire body was black, as if he had been poisoned.
"Throne Master Ding, how about we wait until tomorrow, as the poison in his body still hasn't been cleared? He won't wake up until tomorrow!" explained Li Wei.
"Wake him up!" ordered Throne Master Ding coldly.
"Throne Master Ding, if we wake him forcefully, his mind will be injured, therefore...!" replied Li Wei, troubled.
"I said, wake him up!" repeated Throne Master Ding coldly.
"Yes!" Li Wei obliged helplessly.
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!...
Under Li Wei orders, the prisoner was whipped again and again. After he had been whipped for the time it takes for a joss stick to burn, the prisoner quivered, seemingly waking up from his stupor.
Spewing out a mouthful of black blood, the prisoner glanced about at everyone in the cave with his eyes wide open.
"You are here again? Li Wei, you must be dreaming!? Just kill me, kill me!" the prisoner cried out, convulsing as the poison had not dissipated yet.
"If you want to free yourself, just tell us what you know quickly, okay? Wood restricts earth, do you know how much it costs me to find this rattan cage just to imprison you? It won't be that easy for you to die!" said Li Wei. There was a cold smile on his face.
"Kill me, just kill me!" the prisoner cried painfully.
"Throne Master Ding is here to see you!" stated Li Wei, smiling coldly.
Throne Master Ding slowly stepped forwards and lifted her hat, revealing an old woman's face that leveled a deadly stare at the prisoner immediately.
Seeing that old woman, the convulsing prisoner suddenly seemed to become wide awake. His eyes went wide as he said in a cold tone, "Ding Rui, you old witch, you old witch, if you have the ability, kill me, just kill me, ah!?"
Ding Rui, on the other hand, slightly pursed her lips as a sliver of a cold smile appeared on her lips. She said, "Two decades, two decades... Meng Tai, you sure can endure!"
Meng Tai? At the back of the crowd, Gu Hai's countenance changed upon hearing this.
Ascendant Hall Earth Throne Master, Meng Tai? Didn't I kill him in the Xiantian Endgame World? That's not right, this man indeed looks somewhat similar to that Meng Tai. But they are two different people!
 The Beheading Dragon Rock was introduced by Jin Yong in the Return of the Condor Heroes. It's purely fictional.
According to legend, the Beheading Dragon Rock is the wall protecting ancient imperial mausoleums, or the tombs of high ranking soldiers. Once the tomb owner is buried, someone would lay down the Beheading Dragon Rock. The Beheading Dragon Rock weighs a thousand pounds. Once it is placed, the tomb will be closed, and henceforth, separate yin and yang.
Generally, it is used to stop grave robbers.