(translated by anniaxx)
(edited by xia0xiao1mei)
The Prison of Chaos
The full moon on the fifteenth always become rounder on the sixteenth of the month, on this sixteenth day’s full moon night, Mei Ya Xiang has enjoyed some wine and is now walking into the Prison of Chaos with lively steps.
“Is Hall Master Mei here to see the prey?” The guard by the gates gives her a flattering smile.
Mei Ya Xiang does not answer, and only arrogantly commands him with a wave of her scallion-white hand.
The guard opens up the prison gates, a wave of freezing air strongly blows out toward their faces.
“The evil air in the prison is too strong, Hall Master has a body of a thousand gold’s worth, it is better for you to not come frequently.” The guard shows caring concerns to her.
Yet this flattering slap that was meant to land on the horse’s behind instead ended up on the thigh, Mei Ya Xiang has been practicing martial arts for more than thirty years, not afraid of heaven or hell, believing that no matter how scary the Prison of Chaos is, it is not scarier than her own sword.
“Thanks.” So she only smiles at that guard, then handsomely leaps down.
The Prison of Chaos is called the Prison of Chaos, because it has a unique geographical location —— it is built within an enormous burrow that contains thousands of caves inside, diffused with poisonous air, environed by scalding lava running all around, with many rarely seen viscous and exotic beasts, it is the most naturally formed prison, holding unduplicatable and impregnable barriers.
Those that fall from the sixth level will be imprisoned in the east side of the Prison of Chaos, which is also the darkest and the most dangerous place in the burrow. Mei Ya Xiang stands on the steep rock face and sounds a loud whistle, immediately, the guards hang a ladder down from the opening of the cave.
Reaching the ground along with the ladder, Mei Ya Xiang lights a torch, going forward along the crooked trail that has been made previously.
To be honest, she is not someone who cares about preys, nor has she been coming to the Prison of Chaos often, but the prey this time is indeed special, was able to break through five levels and arrive at her hall without any wounds.
It has already been over ten years, in which she has not seen such a ferocious person from the younger generation.
Recalling the process of that prey falling into the prison, she is very sure in her heart, if it was not for her impromptu decision to change the path of the hidden weapon to that young lady, who was showing weak spots all over her body, that prey definitely wouldn’t have been in a panic, trying all he could to save that girl, but fails to notice the secret path that suddenly appeared below his feet.
Even though it can be said that she won in an unfair way, Mei Ya Xiang doesn’t think it’s a big deal, maybe a little bit unsatisfied at most.
From her personal will, she still wishes to fight with this youth properly once more.
When she is about to approach the cave’s opening, her eyesight is suddenly attracted by a gigantic black shadow in front.
Focusing her eyes, she finds it is actually a two-headed green python with a body as thick as a water bucket.
“Ci Gu?” Mei Ya Xiang unconsciously calls out, this is the fierce creature that Palace Master had specifically ordered to be placed at the cave’s opening as guard.
Yet she sees that enormous two-headed python quietly lying on the ground, not even moving a little.
Mei Ya Xiang finds it weird, she tightly clutches her sword, approaching the python step by a step.
——this is not right, usually whenever this creature senses the smell of human flesh, its two green eyes the size of two big lanterns would have brightened up already, why does it not react even when she is this near her?
“Ci Gu?” She calls again, planning to poke it with the hilt of her sword.
In this moment, a strange shadow flies out from the cave, and clutches onto Mei Ya Xiang’s neck.
All that can be heard is a “ka-cha” sound of sharp object cutting into skin and flesh, crimson red blood gushing out, and Mei Ya Xiang, who has always thought of her sword skill as the best in the world, did not even have a chance to sound a scream before she passes out due to extreme pain.
Not long after that, yet another cold and lifeless corpse lies at the cave’s opening.
Finding two corpses of a human and a snake in the Prison of Chaos, is certainly a shocking event that has never happened before, the prison guards reported this in the night, alarming the hall masters of the Seventh Hall and Eighth Hall. Seventh Hall’s Hall Master Tu Su always acts carefully in daily life; Eighth Hall’s Hall Master Guan Zhong is also an intelligent person; these two set out a plan during the night and decided to go to the prison to probe the situation themselves, so when the Palace Master asks of this in the future, they won’t be unable to answer anything.
Everyone watches these two hall masters of extraordinary martial art skills jumping into the burrow, and waited until the east sky started to reveal fish-belly white, then finally saw the blood-covered Guan Zhong crawling out from the burrow.
“Hurry, hurry and report to Young Palace Master, say a monster has come to the prison……” He could not catch his breath and discontinuously spits out this sentence, then two big areas of the skin on his face started to fall off, hideous and terrifying.
It seemed like everywhere on Guan Zhong’s body had been sliced by countless sharp blades, not a single spot of normal skin could be found on him, truly like a bloody zongzi (sticky rice dumpling). Everyone realized that this problem is far more severe than imagined, and immediately rushes to the Twelfth Hall to report this.
As He Qing Lu listens to the subordinates’ report, his face turns more serious.
The guard finishes reporting and feels very worried, doesn’t know how will Young Palace Master react.
——although Young Palace Master and Palace Master are uncle and nephew under the same sect, their personalities are not very similar, Palace Master has a warm face, Young Palace Master has a cold face. Palace Master indulges in seeking sensual pleasure, but Young Palace Master resents common entertainment. Usually, all the affairs in the palace are mostly taken care of by Palace Master himself, Young Palace Master has always been engaged in mechanic research, with this kind of big problem occurring today, don’t know if he will be able to handle it?
Yet He Qing Lu’s eyelashes can be seen lowered for a moment, then he lifts up his eyes and looks at the guard, “You said Mei Ya Xiang died from blood loss?”
The guard immediately nods, “That is correct, only one wound could be found on Hall Master Mei’s body, which is far from enough to cause her death.”
“Other than Ci Gu, were there any other animal’s traces around that place?” asks He Qing Lu again.
“No other traces were found.” Responds the guard carefully.
He Qing Lu shakes his head, “With so many rare and precious beasts living in the prison, which one of them doesn’t jump three zhangs (1 zhang=3.33 meters) when it smells blood? A person and a snake lost so much blood there, yet not even half a beast was attracted, don’t you feel something is wrong?”
The guard looks up shocked, his face completely pale, “Could it be that the monster that Hall Master Guan was talking about is?”
He Qing Lu has already stood up from the chair, tossing back his sleeves, “The truth cannot be found just by hearing about it, I will go see that monster.”
These words are said too naturally, as if he is talking about going to see the weather.
Indeed, no matter how terrifying or creepy things are, in He Qing Lu’s eyes they are all categorized into two groups —— interesting, and not interesting. If he is interested, he doesn’t mind making an effort to study it; if he is not interested, even if thousands or ten thousands of people have died for it, it still does not matter to him.
This indifferent emotion has already been fused into his bones and blood, so no matter what he encounters, he is always unperturbed.
Pang Wan has been listening for a long time, when she sees He Qing Lu is about to leave, she couldn’t resist speaking up, “Gentlemen, please wait!”
He Qing Lu remembers that Pang Wan is still sleeping in bed, so he stops his steps and looks back at her.
“What?” He emotionlessly stands by the door, the sunshine elongates his shadow into a slender shape, very charming and handsome.
“……could you bring me with you to go see?” Affected by He Qing Lu’s verve, her voice couldn’t resist from being somewhat shaky. But thinking that Nan Yi is also imprisoned in that place, no matter what, her emotions could not be calmed.
He Qing Lu’s chilling eyes sweep past her legs.
Pang Wan becomes nervous in her heart, just when she is about to plead, He Qing Lu turns back to order the guard, “Bring the wheelchair that I have made here.”
The guard follows the order and hurriedly runs out.
“Wah! Did you do something you should be sorry towards me for?”
Pang Wan thinks that He Qing Lu is just not normal throughout today, so she unconsciously shouts out.
——why is this fellow suddenly so easy to talk to?
The one who said it didn’t mean what she said, but the one who heard it took it to his heart; He Qing Lu has been hesitating how he should tell Pang Wan the fact that she cannot practice martial arts in future. He has always been proud, and has always disdained the act of lying; however, deep down he is even more aware that what ‘not being able to practice martial arts’ means to people in the Jiang Hu, it means a sudden break-off of life.
When he hesitates, his facial expression becomes somewhat hard to tell.
“Could it be that you did something to my senior brother?” Seeing his brows furrowing, Pang Wan is frightened and her mental process starts to grow wild, “You took him to do human body research? Forced him into organ transplantation? Or you simply made him into a doll for display?”
He Qing Lu hears that all the things that she has said have to do with Nan Yi, and couldn’t resist feeling irritated, “Alive or dead, won’t you find that out when you go see yourself?”
Pang Wan gives him a glare, purses her lips and does not say anymore.
These two sat there in silence for a moment, then the sweaty guard finally returned with the wheelchair.
Being slow is not his fault, Young Palace Master has invented a lot of things and now suddenly wants the wheelchair, so he had to search in the warehouse for a long time.
“……may I bother you to push it in a little bit further?” The young lady sees the wheelchair and struggles to climb to her bedside.
Her legs just started to gain some senses, but is not yet able to be controlled right now, her every move appear extremely pitiful. The guard sees the situation and goes up to help her, but suddenly sees a pair of slender hands reach out in front of him.
Only seeing Young Palace Master contemptuously scold with a straight face, reaching out to pick up that young lady into his arms and lifts her up, then walks in big steps to place her into the wheelchair.
The hands of the guard freezes in the air, he is struck dumb.
But the young lady does not appreciate this, right now in her heart, she is planning her first task after recovering her martial art skills, which is to tear the mouth of this young palace master into pieces, then burn him into a skull that can never ever talk again.
 “this flattering slap that was meant to land on the horse’s behind instead ended up on the thigh”/拍马屁拍到了大腿上: this means a flattering act is not done properly, so it instead annoyed or angered the other person. “Slap on the horse’s behind/拍马屁” is a very common saying in China that means fawn or flatter. It started a very long time ago in Yuan Dynasty, in which China was ruled by the Mongolian ethnic group. Mongolians often walked with their horses on the streets. So when people meet each other, they would give a slap on the other horse’ behind, and praise “such a good horse!”. Some praise the horse no matter the true quality of it, so it became a representation of flattering.
Translator’s Note: Hmmm, wonder what happened in that prison??