Translator: Silavin & Ashish
Editor and Proofreader: Leo of Zion Mountain & Dhael Ligerkeys
“Jiang Family!?” Yang Kai coldly snorted. “No, I came here to find someone.”
“Senior is really not a member of the Jiang Family!?” Zhou Kang’s voice suddenly rose a little as if he couldn’t believe it. All of a sudden, the other cultivators turned their gazes at Yang Kai as their faces beamed with joy. Their dull and listless eyes immediately started shining brightly as if they saw hope in the darkness.
“What would I get for deceiving you?” Yang Kai impatiently shouted.
“I believe you, Senior!” Zhou Land didn’t dare to suspect anymore and shouted, “Senior, since you aren’t a Jiang Family member, I beg Senior to save us from this sea of suffering.”
“Senior, please save us!”
“Free us, please!”
Suddenly, cries of help rang everywhere. All the handcuffed people pleadingly looked at Yang Kai.
Zhou Kang explained, “To tell Senior the truth, most of us are loose cultivators with no friends or families. People related to some small families have also been caught by the Jiang Family and brought here for mining. We would be punished if we resisted even a bit. Some of my brothers have even died. We can’t take it anymore. It’s really unbearable!”
“What are you mining here?” Yang Kai furrowed his brow.
“It’s this. Senior, please take a look!” Zhou Kan hurriedly took out something from the nearby basket and respectfully handed it to Yang Kai.
As Yang Kai took it and checked it out, he immediately cried in surprise, “Pure Heart Jade!?”
He recognized it at once. It was an extremely rare jade that could help the cultivator cleanse his heart and Soul. It had a special effect. If a cultivator in retreat was cultivating the Secret Art or was about to break through, and was wearing a piece of this jade, it had a great chance of offsetting the danger of the heart demon.
And if it was worn year-round, it had some hidden benefits as well.
Because of these reasons, this jade was very expensive. Just a thumbnail-sized piece cost 2000 – 3000 Source Crystals. And the piece Zhou Kang had picked up had the size of a palm. It was at least worth 10,000 Source Crystals!
Not to mention that the basket was filled with more Pure Heart Jade!
[This is actually a Pure Heart Jade mine!]
[No wonder the Jiang Family were trying to be so secretive and didn’t want to be discovered. If the other great forces came to learn about this, the Jiang Family alone would not be able to block them. As for the City Lord’s Mansion, they would certainly intervene to have a share!]
However, some labour was definitely needed to mine this kind of thing, and the Jiang Family didn’t have enough, so they could only target others!
And these cultivators of Saint King Realm and lower realms, with no friends and families, or backing, were the best candidates.
Even though Maplewood City couldn’t be considered big in the entire Southern Territory and the overall realm of the cultivators wasn’t that high, many people come and go every day, like carps moving down the stream. No one would notice a few Saint King and lower realm cultivators going missing from time to time.
People like Zhou Kang were captured as labour for mining.
Obviously, the same was true for Zhang Ruo Xi!
Yang Kai understood the crux of the matter in a short time. He finally realized why the Jiang Family didn’t want to disclose the whereabouts of Zhang Ruo Xi, instead pretending to be ignorant and remaining unmoved even when he gave them the right conditions.
[So, they were afraid of exposing the secret of this mine!]
Having understood this, Yang Kai’s eyes flickered with a cold gleam.
“Senior…” Zhou Kang gingerly looked at Yang Kai. He had no idea what was going on in Yang Kai’s mind.
“Leave the things and go.” Yang Kai waved his hand.
“Huh!?” Zhou Kang was taken aback, a little confused.
Right then, Yang Kai raised his hand as golden light flickered in the mine. One after another, Golden Blood Threats shot out Yang Kai’s fingertips, cutting the handcuffs and anklets binding the hands and feet of Zhou Kang and the others into two.
“I said you can leave, or do you want to stay here?” Yang Kai glanced at Zhou Kang. Not waiting for any response from him, he collected all the mined Pure Heart Jade on the ground into his Space Ring before flying toward the front right away.
Suddenly, cheers of joy and excitement rang not long after Yang Kai left. Seeing the cuffs on their wrists and ankles cut off, why would those cultivators doubt Yang Kai? The impatient prisoners were already running toward the exit.
“By the way, Senior, don’t go too deep. There is something weird about the innermost region!” Zhou Kang was also overjoyed. But he suddenly shouted a warning at Yang Kai as if he had thought of something.
But Yang Kai could not be found. Heaven knows how deep he had already gone!
“Senior should have heard it, right?” Zhou Kang tilted his head, thinking. But soon, he threw it to the back of his mind. It had already been two years since he was captured by the Jiang Family. He originally believed that he would be unable to escape this place in his life and would ultimately die here. Thankfully, a noble man had come out of nowhere today to help them and he could see the sun again.
An excited Zhou Kang dashed straight toward the exit, shouting in joy all the while.
In a short while, the entire mine was seething. Countless cultivators who had been brought here to mine rushed out in desperation, venting their joy of regaining freedom.
Meanwhile, Yang Kai followed the little bat to the depth of the mine. Along the way, he freed all the miners he encountered and took all the mined Pure Heart Jade into his Space Ring at the same time.
At the same time, somewhere in the depths of the mine, a delicate figure was rushing inward.
Clattering noises could be heard every time she moved, which happened to be the sound made by the clashing of cuffs on her wrists and ankles.
Her small figure was dressed in miserable rags and tatters while her hair was a mess and even her face covered in black dust, making it hard to discern her original appearance. However, from her panicking eyes and face that kept looking back, a bit of Zhang Ruo Xi’s image could still be discerned.
Surviving in the mine had not been easy. For the month since she was brought to this mine, Zhang Ruo Xi had been exposed to darkness and fear that she had never experienced in her teenage life.
Not to mention the harsh requirements set by the Jiang Family; she was required to mine a certain amount every day, or else she would be punished. What’s more, every miner here wasn’t that good to provoke. Having been captured and tortured here, these miners’ temperament had completely changed. When they saw a weak and lonely little girl, many would naturally be interested in her.
Fortunately, Zhang Ruo Xi’s cultivation had reached the peak of the Second-Order Saint King Realm. Otherwise, it would be impossible for her to gain a foothold here. If that was not the case, she might have been gnawed to the point that not even a single bone remained.
After she had given a beating to a few ignorant fools who were coveting her beauty and wanted to take advantage of her, no one dared to cause trouble for her anymore.
And in order to avoid similar trouble, she had deliberately made herself unsightly. As expected, no one was interested in her anymore. She had gained peace for a while.
However, the daily mining was extremely difficult. The Pure Heart Jade was embedded deep in the rocks and it took a lot of effort to mine it.
In just one month, her hands and feet had lost a few layers of skin. Her figure, which was already lean, had grown thinner, and after every day of tiresome mining, she would go to sleep in tears and pain before waking up again to continue enduring the painful life.
Since childhood, she had been spoiled in the Zhang Family. She was the apple of Zhang Family Matriarch’s eye. How could Zhang Ruo Xi have ever thought that she would have to live in such a dark place?
She missed her great grandmother, her grandmother, and everyone in the Zhang Family.
Every now and then, another face would flash before her eyes.
Naturally, it was her Sir Yang, who had the grace of giving a new lease to her Zhang Family and had not returned since he left half a year ago!
She didn’t have much contact with Sir. Although she had been with him for a while, Sir had never asked her for anything; hadn’t even asked her to serve him. All she was asked was to stay in the cave mansion and focus on cultivation. Sir even gifted her a precious pill.
She could tell that Sir was a good man and cared for her a lot.
Therefore, she did her best to cultivate and never slacked off, because Sir had said that he might need her help in the future. She wanted to improve her cultivation as much as possible to repay Sir’s kindness.
“Sir… where are you?” Zhang Ruo Xi cried in her heart as she staggered around in the mine tunnels. She was using her familiarity with the mine to escape from her pursuer.
At the most dangerous juncture of her life, there was only one person in her mind. She was hoping that he would descend before her like a god and shelter her from the oncoming storm, providing her with absolute safety.
But she knew that it was impossible. The mine was so hidden that no one would be able to discover it.
“You are so dead! Escape! Just try to escape! Once I catch you, you will taste a world of torture!” a devil-like roar came from behind.
Zhang Ruo Xi’s tender body fiercely trembled. Her heart was gripped with panic. She found her feet a little harder to move as if they were cast from lead.
Her shoes had already been lost during the escape. She just kept running through the cold and wet mine, even when her feet started bleeding from the sharp rocks. Her feet had already gone numb to the pain. Zhang Ruo Xi mechanically moved her feet toward a nearby tunnel.
When she tumbled and got up again, her eyes suddenly blurred; she almost passed out.
She immediately bit the tip of her tongue and the sharp pain jolted Zhang Ruo Xi’s mind awake. After instantly determining her bearing, she grit her teeth as she rushed toward a direction.
All the miners dared not go deeper in that direction.
Several miners had once run in that direction but they never came back. Since then, no one dared to step there.
Unfortunately, that dead zone had become her only hope of escape.
Zhang Ruo Xi’s rapid breathing could be heard loud and clear in the silent mine tunnel. She could even hear her pounding heart. Her heart was pounding like a drum as if it would break out of her body.
After escaping for a long time, Zhang Ruo Xi’s figure suddenly came to a stop as she stared forward in a daze. A sliver of despair could be found on her face.
To her dismay, she had come to a dead end. There was no way ahead!
And at this time, sounds of footsteps also came from behind.
Every step sounded like the whispers of the God of Death. Zhang Ruo Xi turned pale, and her pretty eyes seemed to have been blocked by darkness. They were full of despair. She was unable to see even a ray of light.