Chapter 37 – Labyrinth Water Prison
“Elder Shen, please wear this.”
When Shen Qingqiu bowed his head, a strip of black cloth covered his eyes.
Actually, this was purely superfluous. Given the myriad mysterious patterns in Huan Hua Palace’s labyrinth formation, even if Shen Qingqiu recorded the entire journey with a video camera, he would still have trouble remembering how to enter and exit.
The water prison was humid, the ground somewhat slippery. With both eyes blindfolded, he could only rely on the escorting disciples to lead the way.
Shen Qingqiu said: “Gongyi Xiao.”
Gongyi Xiao had been continuously following behind him, and hastened to answer: “Elder Shen?”
Shen Qingqiu said: “While waiting for the trial held by the four factions, can I contact people from the outside world?”
Gongyi Xiao said: “Only those who hold the Huan Hua Palace passage waist card can enter the water prison unobstructed.”
In this case, it would be a bit of a hassle for Shang Qinghua to visit him in prison to discuss the use of the Dew Seed. Shen Qingqiu thought for a bit and asked: “How were those sowers dealt with?”
Gongyi Xiao answered all his questions: “After they were incinerated, the great masters of Zhaohua Temple took the remains back to perform ceremonies for their souls1.”
From the side came a dissatisfied voice: “Senior brother, why are you talking to him so much? After entering the water prison, does he actually want to try to leave?”
This familiar voice, it was yet again that pocked-face disciple with a grudge against him!
Gongyi Xiao scolded: “Don’t be rude!”
Shen Qingqiu smiled and said: “At this moment, I am indeed a prisoner. There is no need to reproach him. You may all do as you please.”
Just as he said this, they arrived at the location where he was to be temporarily held in custody. The black cloth strip was removed from his eyes and his line of sight faintly lit up, only to see they were standing in front of a huge stone cave.
Below was the surface of a dark lake. Dim yellow torches were placed at irregular intervals on the four walls. The firelight was reflected on the water’s surface, dancing wildly in the rippling waves. A man-made white stone platform rose from the center of the lake, glittering and translucent in its jade-like color2—it was definitely made from a special material.
Gongyi Xiao took out a string of keys and touched an area of the stone. After performing some operation, the mechanical sound of rolling gears came from the bottom of the lake. A stone path rose up that led to the stone platform in the lake’s center.
Gongyi Xiao said: “Elder Shen, please.”
The pocked-face disciple picked up an ordinary stone and said: “Watch!”
He threw the pebble into the lake water, which actually floated on the water’s surface instead of sinking. After a moment, numerous bubbles rose to the water’s surface, sizzling like a piece of fried meat on a hot iron grill. The pebble was swiftly corroded and dissolved without a trace.
The pocked-face disciple proudly said: “This water prison doesn’t get to be used often. Whoever wants to escape or abduct someone kept inside is deluding themselves with wishful thinking!”
Shen Qingqiu was shocked by the destructiveness of this liquid.
If someone rolled into this lake, even their bones probably wouldn’t leave a trace.
Isn’t the Huan Hua Palace a famous righteous sect?! Where did they get so much of this obviously illegal destructive liquid?!
Shen Qingqiu followed the stone path, walking extraordinarily carefully. If he slipped on the stone, what happened next would not be fun. When he reached the stone platform in the center of the lake, Gongyi Xiao turned the key once again, and the small path sank back into the lakebed.
Shen Qingqiu sat on the ground of the stone platform. He took in his surroundings, secretly debating with himself if he would be able to fly over the water with his sword, which would make the corrosive water pointless. He was just thinking this over when he saw Gongyi Xiao turn a mechanism next to the keyhole.
After that, the sound of flowing water came from overhead. Shen Qingqiu looked up and saw dark and cloudy water descending from the sky in all directions, forming an air-tight curtain of water that encircled him on the 20 meter3 square stone platform.
……I was wrong! Don’t mention humans, even a fly wouldn’t be able to escape!
The Huan Hua Palace Water Prison really does deserve its reputation. No wonder all the sects unanimously elected it as the public jail!
Shen Qingqiu knew there would definitely be people coming to trouble him, but he did not expect it to happen so fast.
He was awakened from being splashed by a basin of cold water.
The freezing cold made Shen Qingqiu shiver, and at first, he thought that he had somehow dozed off and fallen into the lake. He shook his head and labored to blink against the extremely uncomfortable sensation of ice-cold water in his eyes. Only then did he confirm it was only normal water.
The 108 Immortal-Binding Cables wrapped around his body were extremely thin, but still firmly locked down his spiritual veins and even restricted his blood flow. With his ability to resist cold greatly reduced, he could not help but shiver.
The water curtain on all sides was cut off, and the path connecting the stone platform to the outside world also rose.
His line of sight gradually became clear. Looking up, he first saw a pair of exquisitely embroidered shoes. Looking up even further, he saw a pink skirt.
Standing there was a young girl dressed entirely in pink, richly bejeweled. She arched her willowy eyebrows and glared at him with almond-shaped eyes, as she held a metal whip.
Shen Qingqiu secretly rolled his eyes.
Luo Binghe was of course far too good at tormenting people, and these wives of his were truly enough to test anyone’s limits. They kept rapidly appearing one after another, like glancing at flowers while on horseback, and one after another they all gave him trouble. Don’t show up anymore—this Shen Qingqiu is not the original goods and simply has no interest in lewd beautiful women, okay?!
The little girl’s whip pointed directly at him: “If you’re awake, stop pretending to be dead. This palace master has something to ask you!”
Given her (lack of) generation and strength, no matter how discomposed Shen Qingqiu was right now, it still wasn’t her place to come interrogate him.
Shen Qingqiu said: “This does not seem to be the kind of matter the little palace mistress should be handling.”
This apple of the old palace master’s eye4, this belligerent head of Luo Binghe’s harem, said without a trace of politeness: “Cease your chatter! Since you know who I am, then you should know the purpose of my visit!”
Her eyes reddened and she gnashed her teeth: “You are such a despicable villain, colluding with the Demon world and betraying your fellows! You will get your comeuppance! Today you have fallen into this palace master’s hands—I’m going to teach you a lesson!”
Shen Qingqiu: “I don’t seem to remember admitting to colluding with the Demon world.”
The little palace mistress stomped her feet: “You think just because you won’t admit it, I can’t punish you? You’re so unjust, you’ve long been a famous senior but you treated Big Brother Luo with such heartlessness and viciousness—naturally, you’d do things like colluding with the Demon race.”
The power of heredity is indeed really strong, this logic is absolutely trueborn from the old palace master!
Shen Qingqiu was speechless for a moment before he said: “He truly said that I treated him heartlessly and viciously?”
The little palace mistress spoke with a beautiful song and deep feeling: “Big Brother Luo is such a good person, of course, he would not say so. The injuries he suffered are all hidden deep within his heart. He will not let anyone touch them, he will not let anyone see… But did you think that just because he did not say anything out loud, I cannot see the wounds on his soul? Are you saying I have no eyes and no heart?”
These true feelings and honest emotions……. Shen Qingqiu’s entire person didn’t feel good!
Is this a f***ing poetry recitation contest?!
He really didn’t know whether to thump the ground and laugh hysterically or to let his eyes brim over with warm tears. I’m sorry! I know that it’s really rude to laugh at a sister who is sincerely revealing her deep love! But this is truly too humiliating! Simply erotically humiliating!
Although Luo Binghe’s harem was immense, it really was a tremendous mess, with all possible types. This was the result of him biting off more than he could chew, going for quantity over quality. It was also the result of Airplane Towards the Sky insisting on writing a stallion novel despite being an eternal virgin who had barely touched a woman’s hand a few times—serves you right hahaha!
The little palace mistress was suddenly suspicious: “What’s that expression on your face?”
Shen Qingqiu at once curbed his mirth, checking whether his face had just been stretched. Offending this girl would not lead to a happy ending. Sure enough, the little palace mistress flew into an agitated rage: “Were you laughing at me just now?!”
The little palace mistress was originally enamored with her childhood friend Gongyi Xiao. After Luo Binghe’s appearance, all her ardent love surged towards the male protagonist. There was nothing that could be done. From ancient times to the present, whenever the childhood friend battles the newly appeared fated love rival5, the fated rival always wins without a doubt. This kind of “shifting one’s affections to fall in love with someone else” set-up is actually very common in stallion novels, because there are always many NTR6 enthusiasts in the world. Whether NTRing someone else or being NTRed, they can all obtain peculiar pleasure from this kind of story.
The one who shifts their affections, of course, thinks they are pursuing their true love and haven’t done anything wrong, but in the end, they possess a guilty conscience. If they see another person looking at them with a strange expression, they will feel that the other person is laughing at themselves. The little palace mistress thus became furious from embarrassment, and with a wave of her arm, the long whip came cracking over!
The whip surged over menacingly, piercing the air with an extremely shrill sound. The Immortal-Binding Cables restricted Shen Qingqiu’s circulation of spiritual power, but his physical skill had not degraded. He rolled to the side just as the whip smashed down not a meter7 from his feet.
When the stone platform was smashed, stone chips and shattered dust flew everywhere. Shen Qingqiu knelt on one knee and steadied his body.
What the f***, why is a young girl using this kind of barbed iron whip!!! This style is just wrong!!!
What’s even more wrong is that in the original book, the little palace mistress’s fine iron whip was especially used to hit love rivals!!! An equipment used for tearing clothes while fighting over a man! It’s only ever hit beautiful women who Luo Binghe stared at for a little too long, so why is it now being used to hit a man?!!! It’s weeping, can’t you hear?!
I’ve really had enough, can you stop shoving this kind of script onto me?!!!
After the little palace mistress missed this blow, her rage grew stronger. With a whip crack sound, the whip returned with more force. No matter the size of the stone platform or the speed of Shen Qingqiu’s reaction time, he had still been tied up, so he was inevitably scraped by the whip wind. His clothes ripped in a few places, though his flesh was still unharmed.
But as he continued to dodge and evade, he soon retreated to the edge of the stone platform. Seeing he could not retreat any further, he could only harshly receive the next lash. Shen Qingqiu resolved to grit his teeth and close his eyes, awaiting the painful strike!
But despite waiting for a long while, he still didn’t feel any pain stinging his flesh.
He abruptly opened his eyes, and his heart immediately sank.
Luo Binghe grasped the whiplash with his bare hands. There seemed to be two pitch-black ghost fires burning in his eyes, cold and terrifying.
He spoke one word at a time, his voice cold enough to freeze one’s heart: “What are you doing?”
The little palace mistress did not know when he had arrived and was frightened by his sudden appearance. But what truly frightened her was the frigid expression on his face that she had never seen before. She couldn’t help but shiver.
Ever since they became acquainted, Luo Binghe had always been sincerely gentle and soft, very good at cheering others up. When had he ever looked at her with this violent and murderous gaze? The little palace mistress could not help but take several steps back, and hesitantly said: “I… I… I asked Dad for a waist card to come and interrogate him…”
Luo Binghe said coldly: “The joint trial of the four sects is after one month.”
The little palace mistress suddenly felt wronged. She shouted: “He has hurt so many of my disciple-brothers and sisters, so many! And he treated you badly! What’s wrong with me teaching him a lesson?!”
Luo Binghe snatched the entirety of her whip, disregarding the sharp barbs like they did not exist. His hand did not appear to use any force, but when his five fingers loosened, the segmented fine iron whip had actually turned into a pile of broken and crushed iron.
Luo Binghe indifferently said: “Go back.”
The little palace mistress watched with wide eyes as her beloved weapon turned into a pile of slag just like that. She let out an “Ah” in sheer disbelief.
She tearfully pointed at Shen Qingqiu, then pointed at Luo Binghe: “You, you are treating me like this? I am venting your anger for you, but you are not letting me touch him?”
Luo Binghe did not say anything, only threw the iron whip debris in his hand into the lake. The sizzling and hissing sound of corrosion lingered in their ears.
Watching this, the little palace mistress’s lips trembled.
In that instant, she suddenly felt that what Luo Binghe wanted to crush inch by inch and then throw into the corrosive lake… was her. That wasn’t a joke at all.
Full of grief and indignation, the little palace mistress yelled: “I am obviously doing this for your own good!” After yelling this, she turned around, crying as she darted away.
Shen Qingqiu roared in his heart: “This script is not right, f***——where did it go wrong——”
He hadn’t finished roaring when Luo Binghe’s gaze shifted to him.
Shen Qingqiu’s entire body began to ache. At this time, he would rather the little palace mistress whipped him with one hundred and eighty lashes. At most that would be just pain in the flesh, far better than having pain all over his body from being alone with Luo Binghe in a confined space!
The two of them faced each other in silence for a long time. Luo Binghe took one step closer.
Shen Qingqiu subconsciously preserved the distance between them.
Luo Binghe’s extended hand froze in the air for a while and withdrew back.
He humphed: “Why does Shizun need to be this vigilant? If I wanted to do anything to you, I wouldn’t need to touch you at all.”
That was a great truth. Even one drop of Heavenly Demon blood entering the abdomen was akin to burying a ticking time bomb in the body, with infinite possibilities for suffering. All Luo Binghe had to do was think, and a hook of his finger could make Shen Qingqiu’s intestines rearrange and his stomach rot, so excruciating as to make him beg for death.
Shen Qingqiu sat back into the posture of meditation, raising his eyes to meet Luo Binghe’s gaze.
No matter what, he had to hold on for one month. After holding on, he would be as free as a fish in the ocean, as liberated as a bird in the sky.8 I9 won’t have to care about all these stupid things!!!
The two of them were silent for a while. Shen Qingqiu considered for a moment and said: “If you wish to do anything to me, there is no need to rush. After the end of the four sects’ joint trial, I will be completely disgraced and my reputation ruined, with utterly no hope of salvation. Wouldn’t settling the ledger at that time give you just cause to be even more overjoyed?”
These words of his were entirely based on the original Luo Binghe’s type of mindset. Reasonably speaking, they should fit Luo Binghe’s taste exceedingly well. What was unexpected was that Luo Binghe’s expression did not clear up, but instead became even more chilly and ice-cold.
He narrowed his eyes: “Why is Shizun so certain that the joint trial will find you guilty?”
Shen Qingqiu: “I should be asking you this, shouldn’t I?”
Luo Binghe repeated back: “Asking me?”
He sneered: “Me again.”
Shen Qingqiu was speechless.
- This chapter was translated by Attica.
- I’m so annoyed at that girl! The prisoner hasn’t even been judged guilty yet she wants to punish him already?
- 超度 = perform religious ceremonies to help the soul find peace
- Most likely referring to white jade, not green jade.
- 丈 = ten Chinese feet, or about 3.3 meters (10 feet). This platform is six 丈 on each side, or about 20m (60 feet).
- The original saying was 掌上明珠 [the bright pearl in one’s palm], but it has pretty much the exact same meaning as the English phrase “apple of one’s eye”
- 天降 = term in Chinese NTR culture, referring to the newly appeared love rival who almost always gets the girl compared to the childhood friend. Literally translates to “descending from the heavens”
- NTR = “netorare”, a term borrowed from Japanese referring to the fetish of having one’s girl stolen.
- 尺 = unit of length equal to ⅓ of a meter (a little less than a foot). In this case, 三尺 = 1 meter or 3.3 feet
- 海阔天高任鸟飞 = long saying that means something like “Boundless is the sea for fish to dive at will, unlimited is the sky for birds to fly at ease.”
- 老子 = arrogant and informal way for young men to refer to themselves. (One of its alternate meanings is “daddy”, so if you say it to someone else, it’s kind of like saying “Who’s your daddy? I’m your daddy”)