AIP - Chapter 119: Interrogation
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
When Tang Jie woke up, he found himself in a little room.
It was a simple room that had been cleaned up.
Looking out from the open window, he could see a bamboo forest. This was probably some hut hidden in the woods.
Tang Jie was lying on a bed in the room. He tried to move and found that his entire body was lacking in strength.
Looking down, he discovered a talisman flashing on his chest.
Whenever he tried to circulate energy, his spiritual power would flow into the talisman on his chest and cause it to flash.
"The New Rain on Barren Mountain Curse," Tang Jie muttered.
"Correct. New rain on a barren mountain is like spring water running over the rocks. Anyone suffering from this curse will have their spiritual power become like water flowing atop rocks, leaving behind no marks and unable to gather, so it naturally becomes useless."
Gu Changqing entered the room, and with him were Gao Fei and that Hawk Hall subordinate called Qi Ming.
Gu Changqing said, "The New Rain on Barren Mountain Curse is primarily used on prisoners. Students like you have little experience in the world, and few of them know of it. It's rare to see someone like you that knows about it."
Tang Jie indifferently replied, "I got first place in the exam."
This reply caused Gu Changqing to burst out in laughter.
He shook his head. "Did you know? Purely through your attitude now, I can already confirm that you are Tang Jiye. No one has ever been captured by my Hawk Hall before and remained so composed."
Tang Jie chuckled. "From your tone, I guess that Hawk Hall doesn't have a good reputation?"
Gu Changqing took the comment in stride. "The Hawk Hall mostly deals with fiendish and blackhearted people. Extraordinary methods are naturally required to deal with extraordinary people."
"Before today, I had no idea I was some fiendish and blackhearted person."
"You're naturally not blackhearted, but you're extremely cunning. Do you have any idea how much manpower and resources my Godhead Palace invested into searching for you in the last few years?"
Tang Jie sighed. "Rather than wasting it all, you could have just given it to me, and then what would have been the harm in admitting that I was Tang Jiye?"
"If you had been willing to hand over the Martial Mirror back then, do you really think my Godhead Palace would be stingy about its reward?"
"What a pity that I don't have it, then, nor am I the Tang Jiye you think I am," Tang Jie sighed.
"You still dare to lie!" Qi Ming shouted. "The people from Anyang have already identified you! If you have some sense, you will hand over the item and spare yourself the torture!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
Gao Fei spoke up. "What? You still need us to remind you? People saw you when you lived and worked in Anyang Prefecture. They've already pointed you out as Tang Jiye."
"Then they got the wrong person."
"All of them were wrong?"
"They're framing me."
"Why do you think they're framing you?"
"Who knows…? Maybe someone bribed them."
"Who would bribe them into framing you?"
"The real Tang Jiye, of course."
"How do you know that I'm saying nonsense? Did you investigate those witnesses?" Tang Jie countered.
These words made the hearts of Gu Changqing and Gao Fei leap.
Could it be… At this moment, Qi Ming sneered, "How amusing! Why would Tang Jiye choose to frame you of all people?"
"How would I know that? Maybe… maybe he was among the students, and maybe he heard that declaration of mine. Maybe for him, this was a chance to distract you."
"That's impossible!" Qi Ming shouted. "You're just making things up now!"
Tang Jie asked, "Why is it impossible? If you were Tang Jiye and hiding among the students, wouldn't you use that opportunity when you saw it?"
Qi Ming coldly laughed. "The problem is that all of this is too much of a coincidence!"
"Maybe it's not a coincidence," Tang Jie casually replied.
"What?" Qi Ming didn't get what he meant.
Unfortunately, Tang Jie didn't explain.
He scornfully glanced at Qi Ming and then closed his eyes, ignoring them.
"Bastard…" Qi Ming was enraged by his disdain and said, "It seems like we'll have to work on you a little before you're willing to talk."
He walked over to Tang Jie and extended a clawed hand toward him. The hand turned black and began to emit a sinister energy.
Tang Jie coldly watched, his expression unperturbed.
Gao Fei frowned and wanted to stop Qi Ming, but Gu Changqing pulled him back.
Gu Changqing shook his head and walked out of the hut.
Gao Fei looked back at Tang Jie before following.
As he walked up behind Gu Changqing, he saw that Gu Changqing's face was sullen, and he was seemingly pondering something. Gao Fei didn't dare to speak, so he simply stood on the side. Tang Jie's grunts of pain could be heard from the hut. The torture had begun.
All of the subordinates of the Hawk Hall were skilled torturers, able to put a person in so much pain that they would beg for death. People who went through their hands would often have their skin flayed off while still being alive.
This was precisely why an extremely small number of people could endure the interrogation of the Hawk Hall. At times, they wouldn't even want to live anymore, would hand over all their secrets for the sake of a swift death.
But Gu Changqing didn't appear to have any hint of anticipation on his face.
His face was dark as he listened to the groans of pain from the hut and Qi Ming's shouts of "Talk! Where is the Martial Mirror?"
Suddenly, he said, "Gao Fei, do you think Tang Jie was telling the truth?"
"Eagle Master is referring to…"
"Those people from Anyang."
"Eagle Master still feels some doubt over whether Tang Jie is Tang Jiye?"
"No!" Gu Changqing shook his head. "There is no doubt that Tang Jie is Tang Jiye. You can tell that from how he's acted today alone. Such composure is not something an ordinary student could have. This means that he's already psychologically prepared himself… and perhaps even more than that."
Gao Fei was taken aback. "Then why…"
"Because it isn't normal! A young man that is being unjustly accused, even if he's not going to wail to the heavens about his misfortune, would at least be somewhat agitated. Do you remember what I said before? If Tang Jie is Tang Jiye, then his mind is far greater than we can imagine! He's fallen into our hands, yet he doesn't even try to put up a perfunctory disguise. All he says is that he isn't Tang Jiye, but his attitude and his tone all scream that he's Tang Jiye… This is too contradictory! Too abnormal!"
"It truly is rather abnormal, but regardless, he's in our hands now. No matter what ideas he has, we'll slowly get them out of him."
"What I fear is that we won't get anything at all. There are always some tough bones in this world," Gu Changqing said with a sigh.
"Even the toughest bone will be useless against the Soulscour spell."
Gu Changqing coldly said, "If he came prepared, I fear that not even the Soulscour spell will work."
Gao Fei was stunned.
Gu Changqing said, "I have a bad feeling. Gao Fei, where are those people from Anyang now?"
"I've already had them leave."
"Go after them and investigate. See if they took money or not."
"Since we've already confirmed that he's Tang Jiye, why even investigate?"
"For many things, without a definite answer, all speculation is pointless. In the end, you have to find out the truth to understand. In addition, once you're done investigating, there's no need to hurry back. Wait outside for further news."
"No need to hurry back?"
"Yes. I feel that this operation has gone too smoothly, abnormally smoothly, and Tang Jie's behavior is strange. There might be a trap, and I have this extremely worrying feeling that bad news might show up at our doorstep at any moment. Having you go is leaving behind a back-up plan, a sliver of hope."
"Eagle Master!" Gao Fei shouted in agitation.
Gu Changqing stopped him. "I did an injustice to you over the Zhuang Shen affair, and it is time for me to compensate you. Just wait outside, and no matter what happens, don't make a move. In short, if nothing happens, then everything will be fine, but if something does happen, you put your own safety first. Am I understood?"
Gao Fei stared in shock at Gu Changqing, and Gu Changqing pointed out and harshly said, "Go! Now! This is an order!"
Gao Fei stared at Gu Changqing before finally bowing and departing.
Gu Changqing watched Gao Fei vanish from his field of vision, and then he pondered for a little while longer before heading back into the hut.
In the hut, Tang Jie was still enduring Qi Ming's torture. His body was covered in wounds, with barely a single place on his body having been left intact. But the true pain came from inside his body.
Berserk energy rampaged inside his body, prodding into him like innumerable needles and causing so much pain that his body spasmed like he was being electrocuted. And then these "needles" exploded throughout his body, as if every cell in his body was exploding. Tang Jie felt like he was being blasted into tiny bits. His breathing halted as he felt like he was being sent to the heavens. At that moment, even his heart had stopped.
His blood vessels bulged, his eyes stuck out, and he truly appeared like a person standing on the precipice between life and death but never falling… It was an indescribable pain.
Only when Qi Ming drew back his hand did Tang Jie feel that heart-rending power disappear. He breathed a sigh of relief as he returned from the heavens to the mortal world.
HIs forehead was caked in sweat.
"Heheh…" Qi Ming chortled. "Did you like my Thousand Carnage Hand? Obediently tell us where the Martial Mirror is and you won't have to endure this pain anymore."
Tang Jie squeezed out a smile.
Perhaps because the pain had robbed him of too much of his strength, this smile was particularly ugly.
He weakly said, "Are you thirty?"
"Mm?" Qi Ming was startled.
"I'm guessing that you're not that old," Tang Jie muttered. "You're about to die soon, and at such a young age. What a pity."
"Bastard!" Enraged, Qi Ming once more applied his Thousand Carnage Hand.
"Urrgh!" Tang Jie grunted in pain.
But he clenched his teeth and didn't yell.
Those eyes that were about to pop out of their sockets stared hard at the ceiling, his consciousness floating up and down in the sea of pain while sweat mixed with the blood flowing out of his body and dyed his body red.
The session ended.
Tang Jie's body flopped like a fish, and it took a while for his spasms to finally stop.
Qi Ming grabbed him by the collar. "Talk!"
He sent a stream of spiritual energy into Tang Jie's body to bring back his mind.
A little life came back to Tang Jie.
He looked at Qi Ming and softly chuckled. "You should cherish the little time you have left."
The Thousand Carnage Hand again.
When Gu Changqing came in, Tang Jie was still twitching in pain on the ground.
When Qi Ming saw Gu Changqing come in, he awkwardly stood up and said, "Eagle Master, this kid's tough. He's received the Thousand Carnage Hand five times and still won't talk."
"Understood." Gu Changqing didn't find this strange.
In truth, he would have found it far stranger if Tang Jie had broken now.
Glancing at Tang Jie, Gu Changqing walked over and sat down next to him. "I've already sent Gao Fei to investigate those people from Anyang. Is that what you wanted?"
Tang Jie looked at him and said nothing.
Gu Changqing muttered, "If my guess is right, you must have given those Anyang people some silver. After being paid off, those Anyang people can't be trusted no matter what they say. It's a good way of cleaning yourself, even if killing them would be better. But it seems that you're not too willing to kill the innocent."
Tang Jie continued to ignore him.
Gu Changqing continued, "But there's one thing I don't understand. Since you wanted to fabricate evidence to show that you weren't Tang Jiye, why do you not even try to act like it in front of us?"
Tang Jie finally spoke.
He said, "How long have I been here?"
Gu Changqing was taken aback by the question, but he still replied, "An hour."
Tang Jie nodded. "It's about time. Prepare yourselves. You still have a chance."
The two of them were puzzled by this. Gu Changqing frowned. "What are you saying?"
Tang Jie simply laughed at Gu Changqing.
…Like he was looking at a dead man.
Gu Changqing felt a chill in his heart.
He suddenly realized something and blurted out, "The Basking Moon Sect! You're waiting for the Basking Moon Sect to save you?"
Qi Ming was flabbergasted. "How could the Basking Moon Sect find this place?"
They had naturally prepared to deal with the Basking Moon Sect for this kidnapping.
It had to be understood that the greatest difference from their previous attempts was that they had acted out in the open!
The Basking Moon Sect could not tolerate such a thing.
Thus, the Hawk Hall had never hoped about the Basking Moon Sect letting them go. This place that Tang Jie had been brought to was a secret base that Godhead Palace had been operating for a long time that existed precisely for this day.
But from Tang Jie's tone, it seemed that what they had believed to be a sure thing wasn't so certain at all.
Gu Changqing wasn't in the mood to think about this problem. He took out a talisman and swiftly burned it. "All people, increase the alarm perimeter and prepare to withdraw!"
"Eagle Master, isn't this being too cautious?" Qi Ming anxiously said. "If the Basking Moon Sect really is coming to save him, he has no reason to warn us."
Looking at Tang Jie's confident eyes, Gu Changqing felt an inexplicable fear. "Better to believe that there is a threat than to believe that there's nothing."
Suddenly, a sharp whistle shattered the calm of the bamboo grove.
And then the voice was cut off!