Yao Ming had fallen quiet a while ago, his eyes completely empty and any sign of an expression on his face vanished. Xie Yi hesitated for half a second, blocking the weak hit, and quickly twisted his body.
Cultivator or not - a single press on the other’s aorta placed on his neck and Yao Ming began to slump down as any other human.1Responsible people don't try this at home. Yes, the other person will slump down instantly, but press a bit too long and they're basically dead. Don't do it.
His head twisted a bit, looking at Xie Yi, and the black-haired cultivator looked into his eyes.
The flash of discomfort and relief did not escape him. It was only for the shortest time, but it was the only hint of emotions he had seen in Yao Ming’s eyes today.
Looking at the body lying on the ground, Xie Yi sheathed his sword and bit his lips.
...No, this was not a choice he wanted to make. This wasn’t his choice alone and he wasn’t going to go back to deciding things without thinking about those involved.
With a groan, he picked up the unconscious person and threw him over his shoulder. Yao Ming was tall and heavy, making Xie Yi frown for a second. Turning towards the exit, he only planned to throw Yao Ming to Mingtian before returning back to Shi Yue.
He hesitated. Could he walk out with Yao Ming like this?
After a couple of seconds standing still, he set Yao Ming down again. He drew a couple of shallow but nicely bleeding cuts over both himself and Yao Ming, then grabbed him by the collar and dragged him over the ground.
He sniffled and blinked until his eyes were reddish and pursed his lips.
People watched him with interest as he dragged a person down the street. Some recognized him - he had been walking around with Shi Yue not too long ago, looking like a lovely couple, but now he was bloody and clearly aggrieved.
The same prostitute from before stood outside the door and whistled at him when he passed by. Xie Yi stopped, looked over to her with an expression of holding back tears, and pulled up his nose.
“What are you planning to do with that guy, Honey?”, she asked, curious.
“Throw him to the beasts in the forest!” Xie Yi cursed in return and paused, then corrected his answer. “...Find aphrodisiac and then throw him to the beasts in the forest!”
“Oh my.” The woman clicked her tongue. “All alone? Where’s your darling?”
“I don’t know! I don’t care!” Xie Yi shrieked back and ended in a choked sob. He rubbed his sleeve over his eyes and left with trembling lips. The prostitute sighed at the heartbreaking sight.
Alas, that’s what a guy gets for playing around. Well, the little beauty was probably only throwing a fit and would return soon enough.
Xie Yi did not find it hard to get into the act. Yao Ming was someone who coveted his master, and the mindset of the demonic side was not hard for Xie Yi to pick up again.
No one would sell out a love rival down here in the black market. That could result in their love rival catching the interest of someone more powerful and coming back for revenge. It was better to throw them to beasts.
To avoid their pets getting sick from eating weird stuff or getting involved, the black market would not allow people to randomly throw bodies into their beasts’ cages.
The forest was a good place to do it instead.
Xie Yi dragged Yao Ming all the way out of the market and into the alley before he switched to carrying the guy piggyback.
Half a bottle of precious alcohol poured over him and all bloody areas neatly covered up left behind a pair of drunken cultivators staggering towards the gate.
After considering a bit, he wondered if it would look too weird bringing Yao Ming out and returning on his own.
“‘Scuse me”, he said with a slight slur. “I just need to find my friend, then we’re leaving. Mind if I settle him down here for a couple of minutes?”
“Why don’t you bring him into an inn, like any normal person?” The guard replied in a grumpy mood, looking Xie Yi up and down. The youth pulled out a gold coin from within his robe and threw it over, causing the guard to give him a bright smile. “Always willing to help! Just place him down in the corner. I’m not responsible if he causes trouble, though.”
...Xie Yi thought that if the people here simply cared a bit more about what was happening around them, the Demonic Sect wouldn’t have settled so easily.
He placed Yao Ming down at the side, covering him up with an outer robe from his storage space, and turned him so that people wouldn’t see his face. After pressing a couple of acu points, he was sure that Yao Ming wouldn’t wake up in the next hour, at least. That should hopefully be enough.
He smiled at the guard who bit on the coin to make sure that it was real gold and dashed all the way back.
Seeing his pouty face again, the prostitute from before - who was much too interested in the scene to take a customer - waved him closer. “Over there, Honey. Near the slave market.”
“Slave market?” Xie Yi blew his cheeks up larger.
“He’s found a wee little one. You can train her well so that she will obey you, then you won’t have to worry.” Although the prostitute was no older than Xie Yi, she held the mature charm of a woman who had gone through a lot. She rubbed Xie Yi’s head, thinking that the angrily flushed face was just too cute.
“Thank you”, Xie Yi mumbled back.
“If you want to thank me, come by some time and leave money here. Or call me. We can have a different sort of fun than you and your hubby.” She chuckled lasciviously and licked her lips.
Xie Yi blushed brighter and hurried towards the slave market.
He ended up finding the same trader as before; this time, trying to convince Shi Yue.
Shi Yue was rejecting him while looking around. On his hand he held a little girl, dirty from head to toe and covered in bruises. She was clenching her hand around a dirty rag and had her head lowered.
“What, are you abandoning me?” Xie Yi spoke in the voice of an indignant wife and placed his hands on his hips.
Heads poked out curiously from everywhere, the bored traders as interested in the show as the prostitute. Since they were weaker than the other visitors, they enjoyed the plays that happened. Especially if it involved a beautiful young man like Xie Yi.
“Not at all. Come here.” Shi Yue's face barely changed, although there was a gap of half a second in his reaction.
Xie Yi stopped several steps away from him. “And that girl?”
“She can wash your clothes, massage your back and serve me when you’re tired. Think of her… as a pet.”
“Fine.” Xie Yi humpfed and dragged Shi Yue’s arm. He threw an annoyed and calculating gaze at the “slave girl” and went back to complaining. “I wanna leave. I’m angry.”
The most natural way to convey information was if you didn’t give it to anyone. They simply talked, allowing those that wanted to hear, to hear.
“What did you do with-”
“Your little mistress?”
“He is not.”
“You sure cared a lot about him. And he sure knew you well.”
“An old acquaintance, that’s all.”
“Then you won’t care if he’s eaten by animals, right?”
“I don’t. Whatever makes you happy.”
“Best way to get rid of annoying flies”, a trader mumbled appreciatively in passing.
There were only minutes from the slave market to the exit, but Xie Yi felt the sweat on his and Shi Yue’s hands. All of this, every single bit, was reliant on the fact that the Demonic Sect felt safe. On the fact that without the impossible memories Xie Yi had, this wouldn’t work out.
They had to stay within this realm of impossibility, and nothing would go wrong.
With every passing minute, Xie Yi praised Xiao Zai more inside his head.
The girl was a few years old and yet she had the kind of self-control that even adults often didn’t have. She played the role of the slave girl without a single complaint, dragging her bare feet over the uneven ground.
In the short moment Xie Yi had seen her in the room, she had looked well. That meant that Shi Yue had had to change her clothes to rags, get her dirty, and even cause her a couple of injuries, but the girl did not complain.
He led Shi Yue the same way he had led Qiang Ren. He half ripped the mask off his face, squatted down hurriedly and tilted Xiao Zai’s head up to look at him. Her eyes were wide and, looking at Xie Yi’s face, turned misty. Her lips trembled.
“Well done”, Xie Yi could only say. He pulled her into a hug. “You’ve done very, very well. We’re taking you home now.”
Xiao Zai only nodded. She did not dare speak and continued to bite her lips even as she was roughly washed, changed back into normal clothes and carried towards the gate.
The guard only gave a glance at Xie Yi, nothing more. He was the most irresponsible type. He waved at them blindly.