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AIP - Chapter 122: Box

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

Gu Bai was dead.

Gu Changqing had seized and killed him in one blow.

Gu Changqing would rather have him die than let one of his subordinates live on as an imbecile.

He gently closed Gu Bai's eyes and then turned to Tang Jie. "You've killed another one of my brothers."

"It has nothing to do with me. The secret art I possess can only resist Soulscour, but it doesn't go as far as triggering a backlash on the caster. In the end, he only ended up this way because his cultivation was lacking," Tang Jie replied without hesitation, denying responsibility.

This was despite the fact that he had just said that he didn’t threaten people.

"You could have at least warned him!" a Hawk Hall subordinate angrily said.

Tang Jie looked at him like he was an idiot.

He didn't make fun of the man for being so stupid. He simply said, "Even if I said anything, would you have believed me?"

Indeed.

Would they have believed him?

There were some things that people had to test for themselves before they believed.

Gu Changqing chuckled. "Good, very good. Tang Jie, you've truly prepared well. It now seems like you intentionally let yourself be captured."

"If I said that this really wasn't the case, that I'm really not Tang Jiye and that I only learned this spell art due to a lucky encounter, you definitely wouldn't believe me," Tang Jie said with a smile.

"Then you truly would have had enough lucky encounters."

Tang Jie spread apart his arms and shamelessly replied, "Yes. Perhaps the heavens favor me."

"A pity, then, that the heavens still had you fall into our hands. I will definitely make sure that you will be begging for death!" Zhao Xinguo viciously said, seizing Tang Jie.

Just when he was about to punch him, Tang Jie lazily said, "The third."

Zhao Xinguo trembled and didn't follow through with the punch.

Gu Changqing laughed again.

His laughter grew louder and louder until he had raised his head and was madly laughing, all of the wilderness resounding with his laughter.

Finally, the laughter stopped.

He turned to Tang Jie and nodded. "Good! Excellent! Tang Jie, you have guts for messing around with us. But if you think we can't do anything to you just because we can't Soulscour or kill you, then you are gravely mistaken!"

Hatred seethed within his eyes. "Just because we can't kill you doesn't mean that we can't do anything to you. For each day you don't hand over the Martial Mirror, I will have a part of your body cut off. This is the first time, so let's take your five fingers!"

Gu Changqing's saber flashed as he cut at Tang Jie's fingers. One slash wasn't enough, causing Gu Changqing to gasp in surprise. With another swing, the fingers finally fell off.

"Aagh…" Tang Jie grunted in pain. The fingers were connected to the heart, and this sudden loss of five fingers almost made him fall unconscious.

Gu Changqing harshly said, "Tomorrow, I will cut off a hand, and the day after that, a foot, and the day after that, an eye. If you still won't hand it over, I'll castrate you. In at most seven days, you will be made into a human stick, crippled for the rest of your life!"

Until one reached Hundred Refinement, crippling injuries, if not healed at the first moment, were extremely difficult to recover from.

Even if a Titan took action, they would only barely be able to heal the damage, but one's cultivation progress would come to a standstill, and it would be difficult to make any more progress.

Five fingers was alright, but if the entire arm were cut off, the Lesser Sea Grotto Metal Mantra would be finished. As for castration, not only would it end one's chances at offspring, it would also bring an end to one's cultivation path!

Thus, Gu Changqing's threat carried a lot of force, and his resolute action proved that this was no bluff.

Lying in a pool of blood, Tang Jie chuckled. "Good! You're also pretty good! Carving up a person until they're just a stick… Not even when the six major sects worked together to fend off the Calamity of the Primordial Fog did they resort to such cruel methods, but it seems the Hawk Hall can! Excellent! Excellent! So this is the style of Godhead Palace. Seven days… Gu Changqing, I'm afraid you won't get that luxury!"

"What did you say?" Everyone angrily glared at Tang Jie.

No one had expected Tang Jie to have the guts to say such words at a time like this.

Gu Changqing snorted. "You have a tracking spell on you, right? Though I don't know what the method used was, I'm sure it must be some secret guiding art or a bloodline tracker. If it's a secret art, a concealment spell will do. We were careless before and didn't use one. If it's bloodline…"

Gu Changqing grabbed the five fingers. "Isn't this a part of your bloodline? Qiao Liu, catch a few birds."

"Understood!" A Hawk Hall subordinate placed his fingers in his mouth and whistled.

A few moments later, a bird flew out and landed on that Qiao Liu's shoulder.

Gu Changqing tied a finger to the bird, and with a whistle from Qiao Liu, the bird flapped its wings and flew away.

In this fashion, five fingers were sent off to different parts of the world.

Tang Jie looked admiringly at Gu Changqing. "That's a pretty good idea. Since you can't hide, just give your opponent more choices, muddying their vision and weakening your pursuers."

"So you're saying that the Basking Moon Sect really did use a bloodline tracking art on you?" Gu Changqing quickly picked up what Tang Jie had implied with his words.

Tang Jie froze for a moment, and then he bitterly smiled. "You really are something else. I only misspoke a little and you managed to realize."

"But I can't relax just because of this. Who can say that you didn't intentionally misspeak?"

Gu Changqing thrust his finger at several points on Tang Jie's body, sealing any possible secret arts on his body.

"This is the problem," Tang Jie said, laughing. "Gu Changqing, you're a smart person, and the biggest problem smart people have is that they overthink things. Because they overthink things, they don't know what to choose. Even if I told you the truth, you would think that I was setting some sort of trap. So… even if I told you where the Martial Mirror was, would you believe me?"

Gu Changqing froze.

He suddenly realized that even though Tang Jie was in his hands, the initiative had always been with Tang Jie.

This wasn't a good feeling at all!

Tang Jie was like a bronze pea: uncookable, unchewable, and uncrushable. He couldn't be killed and couldn't be searched, and he didn't even fear torture. Even his words were a mix of truth and fiction that were difficult to discern between.

His self-assured look made every piece of information he gave a potential trap that you didn't dare to believe, meaning that there was no point in having it.

He was this way because he had never once showed the slightest tinge of fear.

Fear was the foundation of an interrogation's success!

All interrogation methods, regardless of era, were established on this fact. Thousands of years of history had proved that when the one being interrogated did not fear pain or death, the vast majority of interrogations would fail.

Tang Jie was undoubtedly this sort of person.

Unlike other people who were being interrogated, he didn't display intense emotions that were normally needed to resist interrogation, such as madness, anger, or resolve. Instead, he was one of those extremely rare people who were calm and assured, who seemed to have everything under control. These people were also the most frustrating to deal with.

What he didn't know was that this was the greatest harvest Tang Jie had gained from that standoff with the fiend tiger on Tiger Roar Peak.

If not for that direct experience with death, Tang Jie wouldn't have been able to remain so calm and composed. That precious experience had made him completely put aside concerns about life and death and bravely confront all he faced.

As Gu Changqing understood this, the way he looked at Tang Jie slowly changed.

He suddenly chuckled. "You are an interesting opponent, but you're too naive if you think these tricks are enough to deal with me."

Gu Changqing sat down.

He sat down on a large rock and stared at Tang Jie. It was a while before he spoke again.

"You didn't bring a saber."

"Mm?" Tang Jie was startled.

Gu Changqing clarified, "The Heartbreak Saber. You didn't bring it."

Tang Jie answered by coldly staring at Gu Changqing.

Gu Changqing continued, "You didn't bring the Heartbreak Saber, the Silver Cloud Needles, the talisman papers, or even a single coin. When we captured you, you had nothing of value on you. You've learned a secret art to resist Soulscour, had a bloodline tracking spell used on you, and even understand how to make back-up plans. But as you have absolutely nothing on you, it means that you knew that we would move against you before leaving the academy."

"What about it?" Tang Jie asked.

"The dead do not need to worry about their property," Gu Changqing replied. "You made all the preparations to be captured, so you presumably made a meticulous plan for your escape, yes? I should have realized this already. A person might be unafraid of dying not because they don't fear death, but because they know that they won't die!"

Tang Jie's complexion began to change.

Gu Changqing had put the matter of the Martial Mirror to the side and instead begun to focus on Tang Jie!

Gu Changqing coldly said, "Your arrogance, daring, confidence, and your schemes against us are all because you are confident that you can escape. This is precisely why you helped us leave when the Basking Moon Sect attacked. Perhaps your lies are not completely lies. Falling into the Basking Moon Sect's hands at this time truly does you no benefit. On the contrary, in our hands, we can't kill you or do anything to you, which gives you a chance to escape."

Tang Jie's face darkened, that gentle smile vanishing.

Gu Changqing continued, "So we just need to keep a close eye on you and cut off any hope you have of escaping. You'll become much more obedient then."

Tang Jie scoffed and ignored him.

"But…" Gu Changqing suddenly changed the topic. "From this incident, I can tell that the Martial Mirror definitely isn't in the Carefree House."

Tang Jie was astonished. "How do you know that?"

"Because you wouldn't be so relaxed about it. Just as you said, the Basking Moon Sect has presumably determined that you are Tang Jiye. That being the case, they would definitely search the Carefree House. You were able to realize that nothing good would happen to you if you ended up with the Basking Moon Sect, so you naturally wouldn't be so foolish as to leave the Martial Mirror in the Carefree House… They wouldn't be as polite as my men and would probably turn the entire place over and dig up the foundations if necessary."

Gu Changqing chuckled again. "If it's not at the Carefree House, you must have moved it somewhere else. I was wondering where you had it moved to when I suddenly thought of something."

Tang Jie grimaced and quickly reached into his bosom.

"There's no need to look," Gu Changqing said, producing a receipt. It was the one that Tang Jie had received when sending off his box this morning.

Gu Changqing went on, "I was wondering what you had sent out, but now, it looks like it was probably the Martial Mirror that was in the box. Perhaps not just the Martial Mirror, but the Heartbreak Saber and your other possessions as well. Lin Dongsheng, that fool, just watched as you sent out the Martial Mirror. But this was a good idea. Without stepping out of the academy, you were able to silently move away the treasure. Once we captured you, you would execute your escape plan, after which you would pick up the Martial Mirror and flee, and no one would be able to do anything to you."

Tang Jie suddenly clutched his belly and laughed.

A Hawk Hall subordinate kicked him. "What are you laughing about?"

Tang Jie pointed at Gu Changqing and laughed. "I'm laughing at how confident you are! I really did send out that box, but there was no Martial Mirror inside. If you try and look for that box, I'm afraid all you will be doing is trying to draw water with a bamboo basket!"

"I have to see for myself before I can know the truth. Even if it's not, it must be something very important. Perhaps it might be the clue we need."

Gu Changqing ordered, "Have Lin Dongsheng go and investigate which trading caravans are responsible for shipping Basking Moon Academy's goods, and where they are going." 

A Hawk Hall disciple burned up a message talisman and began to communicate with Lin Dongsheng.

Tang Jie coldly looked at Gu Changqing and said, "You had best be careful. This might be another trap, you know?"

Gu Changqing was startled at first, but he then shook his head and laughed. "I must admit that you are the weakest yet most troublesome opponent I have faced since entering the Hawk Hall. No one has ever been like you, dealing so much damage to the Hawk Hall and making me wary with every one of your empty words and false threats… Whether it's a trap or not, I won't try to run. You are in my hands, so everything you have will inevitably become mine!"

"But it might not be what you want," Tang Jie indifferently replied.

hypersheep325's Notes:

Gu Changqing goes after the box that Tang Jie shipped off before leaving school. Does it contain Tang Jie's treasures, or is Gu Changqing going on a wild goose chase?

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.