The wooden box couldn’t bear the weight and creaked loudly.
With his bare feet entwined by the dragon’s tail, they tensed like lotus flowers in a torrential downpour, narrowly balanced on the edge of the wooden box. His long hair swept over the sparkling gold, silver, and jewels, drawing even more attention than the treasures themselves.
The Black Dragon’s beastly pupils gleamed with greed as it brazenly left a series of purple marks on the person beneath it. Despite appearing extremely cautious, it felt like a violent storm.
Pei Yunshu’s eyebrows furrowed, sweat beading on his forehead. His fingers clutched the wooden box, his knuckles strained.
After a breath, he gasped, “That’s enough!”
The Black Dragon responded with a sudden burst of force. He emitted a muffled groan, his neck arching, forming a graceful curve.
The Black Dragon thought that having a pair of hands would be wonderful.
It grumbled in dissatisfaction.
Pei Yunshu felt more wronged than it. Who would have thought that this time, the Black Dragon would somehow open up his brain. Instead of just seeking his own satisfaction, it continuously tried to please Pei Yunshu.
Pei Yunshu had never been treated this way before. He realized that such intimacy could bring such an unexpected kind of thrill. He clenched his teeth, but his legs felt weak. This was too terrifying; the feeling was so intense that he began to lose his composure. He resisted this sensation.
Pei Yunshu gazed upwards, sweat dripped from his hairline. He summoned all his strength and attempted to kick the Black Dragon.
But his ankle was suddenly gripped by a hand.
The Black Dragon abruptly transformed into a human form. It displayed an excited and thrilled expression in its blood-red eyes. Holding Pei Yunshu’s ankle, it began greedily swallowing the pronounced bone and lightly caressed his fingers.
Pei Yunshu watched the humanized Black Dragon and suddenly felt a sharp tinge in his chest. Before he could kick him away, the Black Dragon bent down, lifted Pei Yunshu, and placed him atop the golden and silver jewels.
Golden colors filled his jet-black hair, creating an illusion where it was difficult to distinguish whether he was being presented on a bed of gold and silver or gold and silver were serving as his background.
“Zhuyou,” Pei Yunshu inadvertently called out the name. “This is far enough.”
The Black Dragon, upon hearing his name, gazed deeper into Pei Yunshu’s eyes.
Pei Yunshu suddenly realized his mistake. He wanted to leave this place as soon as possible, but he couldn’t just run away after failing to keep his promise as a Nascent Soul cultivator. It would be very embarrassing.
After pondering for a while, he finally managed to say, “I’m tired.”
From now on, he wouldn’t utter such words, even in the face of danger!
Despite his apparent “I can’t understand anything you’re saying” appearance, it had heard him clearly.
The black dragon lowered its head, looking at Pei Yunshu’s face. Its long hair scattered over Pei Yunshu’s face, causing an itching sensation. However, Pei Yunshu couldn’t move; he knew that the black dragon was checking whether he was really tired. Pei Yunshu racked his brains, making an effort to appear sleepy.
The black dragon roared and transformed back into a dragon, leaving a final red mark on Pei Yunshu’s neck.
Pei Yunshu grunted, his body as tense as a fully drawn bow. He dared not move at all. After a while, the black dragon slid underneath him and lifted him into the air.
As they left the dazzling treasure trove, Pei Yunshu secretly breathed a sigh of relief. He pretended to squint his eyes as Zhuyou led him through the long corridor.
However, midway through, a small ring suddenly flew out of the dark river. The ring directly penetrated Pei Yunshu’s finger, its movement as swift as a gust of wind.
Feeling a cool sensation on his hand, Pei Yunshu looked down and exclaimed in surprise.
A ring had appeared on his finger at some point, adorned with a blood-red gem. Within the gem, faint black streams flowed, giving it an ominous appearance.
He attempted to remove the ring, but it clung firmly to his finger and resisted all his efforts.
As they approached the cave’s exit, Pei Yunshu decided to wait until he returned to his physical body to examine the ring further. The Black Dragon had been quite cooperative and obedient, and it escorted him back to his physical form before sitting nearby to watch over him.
Pei Yunshu opened his eyes, his thoughts fixated on the mysterious ring. Unable to feign sleep any longer, he examined the ring on his finger. It had somehow reappeared on his physical hand.
“What is this?”
Young Master Qingfeng, who had been glancing at him occasionally, saw the ring on Pei Yunshu’s hand. His face turned pale, and he approached, clutching Pei Yunshu’s hand tightly while gazing at the ring. This expression was unusual for him, and it seemed to hint at something ominous.
He appeared to recognize what the ring was, and his reaction indicated that it wasn’t something good.
Pei Yunshu felt a sense of unease. “I don’t know what it is. It appeared on my hand by itself.”
Young Master Qingfeng’s face twisted slightly, and he clenched his teeth, his dark eyes almost spewing fire. He forcefully attempted to remove the ring with one hand, but the ring clung to Pei Yunshu’s finger relentlessly, refusing to budge.
Pei Yunshu remained silent, although his hand had become swollen, making the slender, delicate fingers appear ghastly. The swelling was painful, and Young Master Qingfeng realized the severity of the situation. He released his grip on Pei Yunshu’s hand and hurried to a nearby alchemical furnace. He retrieved a jar of ointment from his storage pouch.
He sat in silence and reached for Pei Yunshu’s hand. However, Pei Yunshu withdrew his hand, saying, “You don’t need to do this, Young Master Qingfeng. I can apply the ointment myself.”
Pei Yunshu knew that Young Master Qingfeng didn’t like him, and they both felt conflicted about this situation.
Young Master Qingfeng’s expression displayed a hint of displeasure. He didn’t speak but extended his hand, determined to proceed.
Pei Yunshu said, “Why not Young Master Qingfeng give me the medicine? These are just minor injuries, and I can handle them myself. Young Master Qingfeng still needs to refine pills and should not be distracted.”
“It’s just a small Pulse-Continuation Pill,” Young Master Qingfeng said, reaching out.
Pei Yunshu looked at him for a while, and only after not detecting any reluctance on his part did he extend his hand, placing it in Young Master Qingfeng’s hand. The finger that had just swollen now had a tinge of blue. Young Master Qingfeng thought to himself that this person was truly delicate. He handled it with great care, applying ointment with the softest part of his fingertips.
Pei Yunshu was indeed a mysterious person. If you were to describe delicacy, his temperament wouldn’t be considered delicate. However, his skin easily turned green or purple with just a bit of force, and it was as delicate as a cicada’s wing, requiring a thousand precautions.
Pei Yunshu asked, “Young Master Qingfeng, do you know what this ring is for?”
Young Master Qingfeng finished applying the ointment, wiped the residue off his fingertips with a cloth, and looked at Pei Yunshu. He replied, “I mentioned before that I went to various secret realms as a member of the Flower Brocade Sect.”
Pei Yunshu nodded.
Young Master Qingfeng continued, “I went to these secret realms to search for things.”
Pei Yunshu asked, “What kind of things?”
“I can’t say,” Young Master Qingfeng shook his head. Then, in a seemingly casual manner, he added, “If I did, I would explode. Even if you want me dead, do you really want to extract that secret from my mouth?”
Pei Yunshu was bewildered. “Why are you saying this? Since you can’t say, there’s no need to tell me. I’m not the type to relentlessly pursue something at the expense of others’ wishes.”
He meant every word of it, and Young Master Qingfeng nodded in response. When he saw the ring on Pei Yunshu’s hand, he frowned.
“Just remember, this is not a good thing,” Young Master Qingfeng said slowly. “Whatever it says, don’t believe it.”
Pei Yunshu looked at his hand and furrowed his brow, acknowledging Young Master Qingfeng’s warning.
That night, Pei Yunshu understood why Young Master Qingfeng had cautioned him not to listen to the ring.
In his dream, he once again found himself in front of the long, dark corridor.
He took slow steps along the corridor, but suddenly halted. A pair of pale hands, with pitch-black fingernails and a sinister, bluish back, materialized around his waist.
The hands clung to his waist, and Pei Yunshu felt a mysterious force in his right hand. It seemed to have acquired the Qingyue Sword.
The hands at his waist released one of his hands and used it to grip the Qingyue Sword, pointing it at the figure that had suddenly appeared in front of them.
It was his senior brother, wearing a dark expression. Blood-red, with an undertone of sorrow and a hint of a malevolent aura, he said, “Junior Brother Yunshu.”
A low, sinister laughter, as if veiled in mist, filled with malice, resonated in Pei Yunshu’s ears. “Shall we kill him?”
The hand tinged with blue grasped Pei Yunshu’s hand, lifting a sharp sword and swinging it in the air. Senior Brother had been cleanly cut in half at the waist, and blood spurted out, flowing into the underground stream along the corridor.
Someone pushed Pei Yunshu forward.
The next person to appear was Second Senior Brother. He smiled with a face full of warmth, his deep black eyes obscure and unclear. Approaching, as if intending to brush away the stray hair from Pei Yunshu’s temples, he said, “Junior Brother, you left so cleanly; no matter what I do, I can’t find a trace of you.”
A voice near his ear added, “He broke your leg; how about we break his as well?”
Pei Yunshu was taken aback, only to see the sword in his hand turn into a scabbard. The person holding his hand swung it, forcefully striking Second Senior Brother’s knee.
Pei Yunshu felt as if his entire body was frozen, unable to move. It was as if he were a piece of wood, only able to follow those hands, pounding on Second Senior Brother’s kneecap one after another.
Second Senior Brother fell, and the hand around his waist carried him past Second Senior Brother. The next step was Third Senior Brother, who was waving a folding fan.
Third Senior Brother smiled charmingly, with a playful look in his deep black eyes. He lightly waved the folding fan, and the strands of hair at his temples fluttered. “Love across mountains and seas, mountains and seas are all conquerable.”
He smiled faintly, raised an eyebrow, and said teasingly, “Junior Brother, has Senior Brother been on your mind?”
“I don’t like him,” the voice beside him said, “Should we kill him too?”
Third Senior Brother fell to the ground, and Pei Yunshu’s face was splattered with blood.
Blood droplets slid down his side face, and he lowered his head to see that the Qingyue Sword had already consumed blood, gleaming with a cold light.
What’s going on? Who is this person?
“Who’s next?” the voice chuckled softly, “There are so many people you want to kill; going one by one seems a bit slow.”
Pei Yunshu’s fingers curled, watching the suddenly appearing Junior Brother in front of him.
“But no hurry,” the entity said, “You and I have a night’s time; we can kill them one by one.”
Finally, Pei Yunshu could speak. Hoarsely, he asked, “Who are you?”
The voice by his ear laughed, “I am your…”
A chilling breath, as cold as bones, hovered over his ears, alluring and enchanting. The voice in the darkness spoke like malevolence from the abyss.
“—I am your master.”
The smiling Junior Brother also fell under the sword in an instant.
The sound of dripping blood filled the air, the sensation of blades piercing flesh tangible.
Bodies laid scattered on the ground. The next one to appear before him was Ling Qing Daoist Spiritual Master.
Pei Yunshu’s breath became heavy.
“He seems to have a place in your heart,” the entity said, “That makes me unhappy.”
“Now that I’m unhappy, let’s torture him properly.”
“Let’s each make a hundred cuts on him, seal his mouth and nose, push him into the dark river, and see if he dies, shall we?”