“I have done all of this, Ming-Ge. I have also hunted and hung up the women for their potions. I have eaten their cores and even their flesh, after they were turned into living medicine. I have helped gather the materials for these machines, built them, and used them.” He choked down a sob. “I knew I was a terrible monster, I really did. But now I’m seeing that there’s no end to what I thought was the limit of my sins.”
He tightly held onto the beast.
“I don’t care! I don’t give a fuck! So what if you did!” Mingtian was growling. He wrapped the smaller man tightly into his arms and kept him safe. “Even if you eat unborn children for breakfast, I’ll go and get them for you! If the world doesn’t like you, you can stay with me.”
Angry, he reverted back to a very animalistic voice.
“Why are you allowing yourself to suffer over something that did not happen? Anyone would think like that, why not you! Were you Shi Yue’s disciple the last time?”
“No”, he said as he shook his head.
“So does that mean that because you weren’t it the last time, you’re not truly his disciple now? Or am I not allowed to be together with Xue Hua, because in our last life, I hurt him?
“You love each other, why wouldn’t you be together”, Xie Yi denied, looking up.
“See? If I have the right to be together with him, you have the right to live normally”, Mingtian whispered.
He placed his face against Xie Yi’s, almost as if kissing his cheek.
The cultivator recognized the gesture from watching it on a pack of Snow Wolves in his last life.
A soothing, loving gesture.
Because their fur was thick, the other wolves would nuzzle their noses through the fluff on their faces and share a bit of their warmth.
“I was thinking that I wanted to keep you away from this as much as possible, but now I think I’m wrong. We will destroy this place. Once you’re an adult and can go out more often, we will go through these places, one by one, and destroy them all. We will continue as your strength grows. They won’t get rid of us for a lifetime.”
“What about Xue Hua? Can you leave him alone that long?”
“He understands”, the beast shrugged kindly. “It’s an important issue. We will get destroy the whole sect. That will weigh up your sins, right? Every single person of them killed is hundreds of victims less. You are paying back everything that you did.”
He did not think it was necessary in any way, but Xie Yi’s shoulders lowered as if a heavy burden was off his shoulders
“You’re right”, he said, a bit of his childishness returning. “I’m not strong enough yet, but I could go after the smaller outposts with your help. Like this.”
“I still smell a lot of people. Come, we will hunt.” Mingtian forced a smile and pushed Xie Yi forward.
If his mood would lift when bathed in blood, sure. The kid liked fighting. Maybe he should take care of the victims and destroy the rooms while Xie Yi could focus solely on hunting.
With a doting expression, he helped Xie Yi in this manner.
The gruesome sight of his little brother covered in blood was nothing that affected him in any way. Rather, didn’t his little brother look cute with his relieved expression?
No one could blame Mingtian for thinking that way. Compared to what he had seen before, the bit of blood and guts was a minor thing.
Xie Yi did not look into the side rooms at all. If there were cultivators in hiding, Mingtian would throw them out. Otherwise, the beast fully took over the job of destroying the machinery.
Most of the victims were dead already.
The ones that were still alive were quickly relieved of their suffering.
A bit uncertain, he stopped at a person on a long table.
They had cut him open completely, his chest cavity, arms and legs, everywhere. Bone was taken out, leaving a mass of flesh and muscles in human form.
He wasn’t alive, exactly - his heart wasn’t beating. But his soul could not escape, which was almost worse. Mingtian reached out, then pulled his hand back and thoughtfully cocked his head.
The man was a flower bed. The roots were growing out of his body, probably being what kept the man in his state. The thing was, would his soul be freed if he ripped those out or would it scatter?
Sheesh. What trouble.
“I don’t think I want to know what you are used for”, he said to the flowers and tried crushing a leaf.
The soul did not react, so he experimentally crushed a whole stalk. It stunk terribly.
“I don’t think I want any of this to be around for anyone to find”, he whispered to himself, proceeding to destroy them one by one before he dared to burn the body.
There were more than a few things around like that. Mingtian sighed over the powders of cores and bones and the potions made of blood.
The whole dungeon was hell for his nose and he had a hard time focusing on separating the stench from the smells he actually wanted to follow.
Sticking out his tongue in disgust, he walked from one chamber to the next, humming alongside the screams of agony.
Xie Yi did not touch Juxian. He did not want to dirty the sword with this blood and preferred to use the other one he owned. It was no spiritual sword, since those did not like him, but it worked well enough.
“There is only the lowest floor left. I imagine that the strongest ones should be there”, Xie Yi said as he looked at the door. He placed a hand on the door but Mingtian pulled it away and pushed him behind himself.
“I am going first. We don’t know how strong the people down there are and I am not risking you”, he declared with finality. “You will only fight the ones you can fight.”
“I will listen to you”, Xie Yi obediently agreed. “I will not be rash, I know that they might have things that are dangerous. I underestimated Yao Ming in this regard, I won’t underestimate these people.”
Mingtian rubbed his head with an unbloodied hand and opened the door.
A stench wafted towards them.
It wasn’t anything specific and if you tried to pin it down, you would not be able to say what it smelled like exactly.
It was the smell of looming death. Not a rotting corpse or anything like it. It was the smell that would be left behind even after everything else was neatly cleaned out.
He stuck out his tongue in distaste and stepped on the stairs.
The walls were laced with contact poison that was starting to seep into the air, so Mingtian bluntly picked up Xie Yi and pushed his face into his shoulder.
“Don’t touch the walls and try not to stick out your nose too much. Later, drink some of my blood, that should neutralize the rest”, he hummed gently and Xie Yi gave a nod as he hid his face in the other’s clothes, filling it with the smell of blood and the more bitter stench of guts.
“Ming-Ge”, Xie Yi mumbled with a muffled voice. “How about we go into the bathhouse after all of this? I didn’t remember it feeling so dirty.”
“Oh that sounds great”, the beast sighed. “We could wash up roughly somewhere around here, then go take a swim in the lake and clean up in the bathhouse. That sounds like heaven right now.”
“All the more reason to hurry up and get this done. How many people are down there?”
“Two”, Mingtian said with a sniff. His eyes lowered and after moments, dark horns grew out of his forehead. The furry ears that were exchanged for the human ones flickered. “They’ve noticed us and will be waiting. Don’t touch the man, only fight with the woman.”
“She is weaker?”, Xie Yi asked. He did not like fighting women.
Their body structure was different. Tendentially, they were more slender, had less muscles, but were much more flexible. Their style of fighting reflected that.
Even if they did lack in strength on average, they made it up with cunning strategies and in most cases, Xie Yi had more trouble expecting the movements of those bodies he was not familiar with.
Well, it was normal to prefer fighting with the types you were used to.1A/N: Whoever expected my reasoning to be that it's because he doesn't want to hit women, shame on you for thinking XY would have any problems with that xD
“She is about the same as the man, but she has recently taken in some potion that is making her weak. It should be the one that was brewing in the other room.”
“I understand. I will not interfere with your fight”, Xie Yi promised, stretching out his feet once Mingtian slowed to a halt.
Back on the ground, he looked around. There was a second, thick door that would keep out unwanted intruders.
Mingtian waited for Xie Yi to draw Juxian before he lowered his stance.
The wall cracked a bit when the door flew into the room, completely bent in the middle. Mingtian grinned. “Knock knock.”
“Who is there?”, came the smooth, relaxed voice. Behind the wall of dust, two figures were moving.
“The last people you’ll ever see.”
Soft laughter. “Do you hear that? It looks like we are about to ascend and join the ranks of Immortals and deities? What an unexpected but joyful surprise.”
“I don’t like this kind of talk”, Xie Yi groaned. “Can we please not do the mindgames?”
“Sorry, kid”, Mingtian laughed. “You hear it, vermin. My little brother doesn’t like it.”
“What a cutie”, the voice said. “I’d say we do stop then. Such a pretty face, all scrunched up. Can I have him? I like the young ones better.”
“Judging from how they’re walking, they have no complaints. Go ahead, but don’t keep him down here later, you hear me? I don’t want your pets in our shared areas”, a man grunted.
The dust slowly settled.