Plop. Plop. Plop.
Droplets of crimson blood fell without end on the cold ceramic tiled floor of the hall. A ghastly silence overtook the night filled atmosphere.
A body, a male corpse, laid on the floor. He was sprawled on the floor, holding his own throat with both hands, and eyes as wide as full moons. The chaotic blood lines in his eyes were filled with malicious hatred and disbelief, as if unable to accept that he had died like this.
The droplets of blood originated from an object with a particularly pure silver sheen. A saber. Holding this saber was a young man.
His hair was as black as an unlit night with a unique pair of contrasting silver eyes that gleamed with an unexpected purity. He was without clothes, holding only a saber, and stood upright while looking at the corpse before him. On his face was a light smile, gentle and pure.
A bloody smell flowed into his nostrils, but it couldn't affect him in any manner. In fact, he looked down towards the only other warm body in the room. A young girl who was on her knees, also without clothes, just a few inches away from his body. Her mouth wide and dripping with obscene liquid.
Her eyes were wide and in shock with tears seemingly ready to burst into existence. She obviously couldn't believe the events that had transpired. It was like a nightmare where one could only wish to awake from.
"S-senior br-brother…Yu..." her words were filled with disbelief and sadness. Her mental faculties went haywire as her mind could barely make sense of what lay before her. A wave of despair surged into her mind as she recalled early memories and recent events.
Their first meeting. On that autumn morning during their sect selections. He was unassuming but contained a unique hidden quality that attracted her. He had relied on himself, progressing through cultivation with a fierce momentum until he captured her heart and mind.
It was as if all things were meant to be. When she was in his embrace, she was enlivened and happy. Then, the nightmare began.
The tragedy of the cultivation world. A rival sect, stronger than hers, used various reasons to justify war. Without suspense, the sect's resources were taken and her fellow junior and senior brothers and sisters were killed, captured, or escaped for their lives.
She and her senior brother Yu Jin, her love, escaped after the collapse of their sect. He had claimed several enemy lives, escaped the pursuit of many, and survived. Until…
Her eyes traced towards the young man. His black hair was spiky, full, and long. He had glistening silver eyes that beat back the worldly darkness. This young man was a core disciple of the enemy sect, and he had captured her after hunting them down with other members of his sect.
With her captured, her fate was no longer in her hands. A tragedy of an enemy, a tragedy of a weakling, and she knew she would suffer the tragedy of being a woman. However, she trusted with all her heart, all her soul, that Yu Jin would arrive and save her.
She believed him.
She believed in him.
And just like she had thought, her senior brother Yu Jin had arrived with heroic fanfare and deadly killing intent. Just moments ago, despite her current actions and position, she felt a blossoming strand of warmth and happiness.
Then, hell descended with a swipe of a saber.
The young man slightly smiled, looking towards her as if he had not claimed her lover's life.
"You can continue."
His words caused her to shiver as the taste in her mouth she'd forgotten returned. The rancid memories rushed into her mind like a flood.
To survive, she had to buy as much time as possible. Even doing unsavory things in hopes to buy enough time. Her eyes revealed hatred, dense and uncontrollable. They burned with an ardent killing intent. A will to fight to the death for revenge, for vengeance, for her senior brother, was born.
However, when the sheen of the saber met her gaze, her courage deflated like a popped balloon. Reality set in immediately. With her cultivation base, her strength, the most she could do was lunge and be beheaded at this distance.
Like a light at the end of the tunnel, her eyes glistened as she looked at the young man's manhood. It was beyond the norm in dimensions, an organ of god-crafted quality, and sufficient for any man to be proud of.
She knew that her life would come to an end, either in terms of freedom or her actual life, so how could she allow this man to live peacefully?! With haste, she intended to use her jaws and rip off the only thing that would ensure the most amount of pain.
"Sigh…" a soft exhale sounded like a whisper of a death god. The young girl panicked, lunging forward, but a brilliant silver light slid swiftly across her neck. Before she could continue, her head slid off her shoulders and with a heavy thud, landed on the ceramic floor.
It rolled slowly due to the momentum and stopped only when the crazed eyes faced the corpse of Yu Jin.
"At least in death, you two will be together." A swishing sound echoed as the young man with silver eyes, black hair, and a slim frame waved the saber in his hand about. The loose blood shot away and left only the silver blade clean.
"Wei Wuyin, are you decent?" A soft, melodious voice echoed and entered the hall. A masculine figure appeared, filled to the brim with muscles, a bronze skin, and dressed in scarlet animal fur.
The young man named Wei Wuyin turned his gaze impatiently towards this voice. Despite the softness and feminine characteristics of his voice, his body was brimming with a unique sense of masculinity.
Coldly snorting, "It seems your Yin Echo Method has reached a new peak." Wei Wuyin waved his right hand and a scarlet robe appeared from his storage ring. He wasn't quick or slow as he dressed himself up.
The set of clothing, including the scarlet robe, originated from his sect and held not only its colors but its insignia. On his back was a black dire wolf of legend atop a mountain, with its claws lunging forth in a frightening pounce. Its eyes were beyond fierce and filled with killing intent.
"Indeed it has, jealous?" The masculine bearing yet feminine sounding man jeered, a peal of hearty laughter echoing out.
"Jealous?" Wei Wuyin laughingly responded, as if he heard the funniest joke in the world. Then, as if he recalled something, he looked at the young man whose throat was sliced and held no sign of life. "Chu Yan, did you need to lure him here? It's not as if he could've killed me."
Chu Yan frowned. A faint light of disappointment surged in his eyes, but he quickly covered it up with a trace of indifference. "I have no idea what you mean. This young man bypassed our defenses using some unique methods and entered your impromptu palace, how was I to know? Only the surge of Qi allowed me to realize my mistake."
Those words were said without a hint of truthfulness. His very words and reactions alluded to his involvement, but he obviously didn't care.
Wei Wuyin didn't even feel the need to look at Chu Yan's expression, as if it was irrelevant. "You'll receive the appropriate reprimand for negligence. Clean this up." After commanding such, he started to walk towards the entrance to which Chu Yan entered.
"Of course," Chu Yan said with false respect. The punishment for negligence was just a subtraction of resources, nothing too serious. He wanted to get this over with, so he walked over.
As Wei Wuyin walked past Chu Yan, his eyes turned sharp, flashing a murderously dreadful light.
Chu Yan felt an abrupt sense of deadly crisis, not expecting Wei Wuyin to make a move at this moment. When he wanted to react, a blade had already entered his temple and pierced into his brain. He had many words, regrets, and memories that flowed through his brain as it was punctured and subsequently destroyed. Unfortunately, they would never see the light of day.
As Chu Yan's corpse fell, his head in a bloody, unrecognizable mess, Wei Wuyin strongly sniffed, gathering a wad of saliva, and coldly spat on his corpse. "You ruined my fun, so do you even need to live? Piece of trash."
With a carefree gait, Wei Wuyin walked outside and met the guards who were stationed outside of his quarters' doors. His eyes casually swept these men, remembering their faces. "Lieutenant Chu Yan died from a sneak attack of an intruder. I killed the intruder as a result. Clean up the mess, I will report it to the sect."
The guards were shocked hearing this, their mouth agape. While they did not expect Wei Wuyin to die to the intruder, they didn't expect Chu Yan to fall to his own scheme. Their hearts grew cold. They felt a shade of calamity loom over.
It was in autumn. The tree leaves were transitioning into a beautiful color, flowing about wildly in the wind like dancing fays. Littered about were a tart smell and colors ranging from red, yellow, purple, black, blue, orange, magenta, and brown.
Sitting atop a tall, thick tree branch, Wei Wuyin looked quietly at the surroundings. A camp was set not too far away from him. This camp held various young, old, and strong men and women. They all adorned purple outfits with a patch on various parts of their clothing depicting a crescent moon.
No one in the camp had noticed his arrival or his gaze as it swept about wildly in thought.
"The last camp…" his words were soft and filled with disdain. His sect, the Scarlet Solaris Sect, which held the Legendary Dire Wolf as its symbol, had declared war on this Violet Moon Sect. It was without much pretense, and while there were many established reasons for the war, he knew the truth.
It was for a woman.
A particular, yet an extraordinary woman.
She was the Violet Moon Sect's Sect Leader's descendant, unsure if she was a sister or niece or granddaughter, but they were related. Born with great natural talent, a countenance reminiscent of a fallen immortal fairy, and a powerful faction, she was beyond blessed. However, in a world of cultivation where the strong take from the weak, beauty and talent of such level was guaranteed to attract envy and lust.
Her fate now?
He knew for a fact that she had already been captured, given to the young lord of their sect as a present. Her fate was now to be seen as a toy, a prisoner, restricted and used as one pleased.
Looking towards the clear skies that held a light blue hue, Wei Wuyin shook his head. He lamented with pity in his eyes, "She's wasted on that fool. If she was with me…" a cold, callous smile couldn't help but tug at his lips. The glint in his eyes was dark, cruel, and lascivious. Licking his lips, he held out his palm.
A faint surge of qi and a perfect red apple appeared in his hands.
Taking a harsh bite, he chewed loudly and without care. The people within the camp grew alert. A few guards vigilantly looked in his direction and their eyes shrunk to their limits. That scarlet garb that haunted their dreams and made them hellish nightmares was glaringly obvious.
He smiled, a strand of fruit juice flowing down his lips.
"Enemy! ENEMY! ENEMY!!!" The guard with the quickest of mind shouted at the top of his lungs. He was already running, attempting to take a predetermined escape route. It seemed that his only job was to alert and the lives of others weren't his responsibility. No wonder he reacted quickly.
"Smart," Wei Wuyin admired the man's actions. Decisiveness in the cultivation world was truly lacking. "Kill those who resist. Capture the rest." Unlike the loud exclamations of the guard, Wei Wuyin was much more moderate in the volume of his voice. Even his tone contained a hint of casual activity.
Swish! Swish! Swish!
Streaks of scarlet shot out from the surroundings and encircled the camp. The members of his sect pounced like ancient Dire Wolves towards their prey. They wielded sabers and swords, weapons of war and death, and struck out with deadly force.
Those who even looked remotely like a threat was slain, their blood staining the autumn leaves endlessly.
Wei Wuyin's gaze reflected the gushes of blood, horrific screams of agony and pain, and the despair in the air. It looked somewhat...beautiful.
An abnormality caught his eye. A cubical, five by five-meter cage was situated at the far end of the camp. It seemed that the cage was carried by these weak, pathetic cultivators to this location. As a core disciple and commander of this team, he didn't feel the need to pay too close attention to the slaughter.
Therefore, he threw the half-eaten apple in his hand aside and leapt forward. His movements were casual as he walked upon the chaotic battlefield of death and agony. His subordinates were skillful, bypassing their leader and hunting down the remnant forces diligently.
"Help me!" A young woman, in her early twenties, caught sight of Wei Wuyin's casual stride and knew her only chance was here. Without hesitation, she didn't run away, knowing her legs and cultivation would not get her far. Instead, she hoped to seek a way of survival.
She lunged to Wei Wuyin's feet, halting his steps. Before the girl could say another sentence, several trained blades had already attempted to pierce through her body with dense killing intent.
Frowning, Wei Wuyin waved his hand at the last second. Truly, as the furthest blade was already piercing the girl's backside by a millimeter. The wielder of this blade was a woman as well. Her eyes were cold and indifferent. The others stopped as well. They looked to Wei Wuyin's tall figure, handsome visage, and powerful aura.
Wei Wuyin looked at this young woman and smiled at her. He squatted down. Bringing forth his right hand, he turned his palm upside down, and a ripe red apple appeared in his palm.
"Hungry?" He asked.
Startled, the young woman's mind lapsed briefly before a sudden scream and its abrupt ending snapped her back to reality. A head of a middle-aged man rolled just a few feet from her, prompting her gaze to shift. Her heart constricted as if a ruthless viper had seized it.
Was that going to be her fate?
She was unwilling!
Decisively, she nodded towards Wei Wuyin, despair and hope in her eyes stronger than ever before. She reached out and grabbed the apple, grasped her hope, only after receiving it did she take a bite.
"Mn. Keep her alive," Wei Wuyin ordered. The others nodded. The cold, indifferent woman struck the back of the young woman's head before she could thank the heavens for her survival, and rendered her unconscious. With a heft, she carried the young woman by the shoulder and left.
The others gave a small bow and started capturing or killing the others. Wei Wuyin ignored it all, continuing his walk towards that cubical cage.
The cage was rusted with a single sliding entrance and a window the size of a baseball. It was this window that provided the small amount of sunlight and oxygen. He touched the cage, feeling its coldness on his fingers. He was startled.
"Froststeel?" Wei Wuyin knew that froststeel was a very particular and tortuous piece of material. Regardless of whether it was summer or autumn, froststeel remained at a constant low temperature. Even if you threw it into a normal fire, it would remain the same. Only by using a fire several times stronger than the melting point of normal steel could one even think of forging something from it.
He frowned. It must be an icy hell within a cage made of it.
However, his curiosity was abounding. What could a group of stragglers running and hiding for their lives need a cage like this for and what was inside?
Without pause, he gripped the handle of the cage and slide open the entrance. A darkness seemed to linger in the icy cage. As he breathed, a frosty white air emerged.
"Cold…" commenting, he waved his hand and a silver saber emerged in his hand. Walking inside, he looked around with curiosity. This cage was small, barely capable of fitting him, but it felt oddly spacious.
"Aaah!" A piercing scream shocked him, his body turning around as his blade slashed out. However, his blade sliced through nothing but cold air and scraped nothing but froststeel.
Before he could react, he felt a presence behind him. A piercing pain emerged from his neck and his eyes widened. With a roar, a burst of qi flowed from his qi bodily points and exploded from his body.
A black shadow smashed heavily into the cage. A sickening crushing of bones sound echoed, but no cry of agony. A searing feeling emerged at his neck as he winced slightly. It only served to give birth to violent urges.
Holding his neck, Wei Wuyin turned and pointed his saber. A rage flowed endlessly through his eyes, and killing intent surged.
However, what was left was maniacal laughter.
Getting a good look at the figure, Wei Wuyin realized it was a male. It was a young man, not much older than him, in his early twenties. However, his body was malnourished and scrawny to the limits. His dark eyes were sunken and his silver hair was long, unkempt, and dirty.
He wore no clothes, taking the cold temperature of the froststeel with only his fleshy body. His coarse skin looked shriveled and frostbitten. Wei Wuyin could tell that this young man was tortured as well, marks, cuts, and bruises left like a series of roads on his flesh.
The laughter broke Wei Wuyin out of his murderous rage and curiosity abounded instead. Pressing heavily on the wound at his neck, his eyes narrowed.
"Why are you here?" He asked.
"Why are you here?" A rough, gruffly voice filled with endless insanity asked in response. It sounded crazy.
Wei Wuyin kicked out. His legs were like the wind as it whipped at the head of the young man. A sickening sound of flesh and bone meeting force resounded. The head of the young man violently recoiled and smashed heavily on the cage froststeel constructed walls.
"Why are you here?" Wei Wuyin asked again.
The young man, rattled and barely conscious, couldn't even respond.
Wei Wuyin kicked again.
"Why are you here?"
This time, after the young man regained his balance and the blood flowed heavily from his skull with a noticeable indent within it, he looked at Wei Wuyin with clear, sane eyes. It was the eyes of a scholar who'd traveled a thousand miles and read countless books.
"Oh?" His interest was piqued. Did this fellow regain some sense with that blow?
"Are you good or are you evil?" The young man spoke, his voice was soft yet powerful. It was completely different from before. Wei Wuyin frowned but replied without hesitation.
"Good or evil? Are you a child?" Such a nonsensical question belonged to those philosophical scholars and children's stories, it had no place in the cultivation world. He was about to kick out once more in hopes another blow would help but the young man smiled and nodded randomly, prompting him to halt.
"Good. Evil. Morale. Immoral. In our world, the Good gain karmic luck. In our world, the Evil gain infernal sin. The moral is just. The immoral are condemned. This world is one where the strong preys on the weak, the weak are evil and immoral, the strong are good and moral."
"In my life, I have done no wrong, yet I was deemed wrong. In my life, was I good or evil?" A deep unwillingness surged from his words.
Wei Wuyin shook his head. This prisoner had clearly lost his mind, so why did he need to stay alive. With his saber, he pointed it towards the young man. He felt merciful today, so he decided to make it only slightly painful.
"No!" The young man shouted fiercely. "I was simply weak. That is the greatest source of sin, but also, the greatest source of luck!"
Wei Wuyin ignored him, jabbing his saber into the emaciated shoulder of the young man. A bloody mist and crimson liquid exploded, but the young man didn't react or scream in pain. His eyes were clear and strong, and his expression stable.
"Be reborn in sin, steal karmic luck. I will be karmic cause, you will be karmic effect!" The young man strongly claimed. What greeted him was a stab into his abdomen that pierced out of his back. Wei Wuyin had fiercely penetrated the man with his saber.
"Nonsense," Wei Wuyin coldly spat. "If you want to be reborn, I'll send you off to reincarnate a little sooner. Say hello to Old Lady Meng Po for me." He removed his blade and placed it on the young man's neck, his eyes indifferent to the man's insanity.
"I. Have seen my sin. I. Have seen my karma. You...Be rebor-" A bloody line appeared at his throat to seal his voice. A soft thud occurred as the young man's head smashed into the floor of the cage.
"Useless," Wei Wuyin coldly spat in disdain. With that, he walked out and was greeted by the blazing sun of autumn. His eyes squinted. He held his neck as a trickle of blood seeped through his fingers. He watched the slaughter before him unfold.
He knew the situation was reaching its climax, and felt oddly relieved. For some reason, he felt abnormally tired and wanted to return to the sect in haste.
Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath and exhaled.
A faint crimson light, brighter than blood, flickered briefly from his neck wound.