“Ah, a true man!” Yet again, Bai Xiaochun was moved by how Zhou Yixing was still refusing to give in after things had gone so far. In Bai Xiaochun’s estimation, there were few true men like this in the world, other than himself of course.
It was quite a shock to find another true man, and yet that was exactly what was happening right now. Sighing, he couldn’t help but feel that he and Zhou Yixing were actually quite similar in certain ways.
Sighing deeply, he said, “It pains me to put a true man into a situation like this. However, in order to respect your wishes, I will comply with your request. Furthermore, I will look away so that I don’t see your ignominy.”
After all, he simply couldn’t bear to watch a true man shed tears.
“If you can endure what happens next, then I won’t ask you any questions!” Gritting his teeth, Bai Xiaochun looked at Zhou Yixing one last time, fully convinced that he deserved to be called a true man. With that, he held the powder of the crushed pill out in front of the pig-creature’s snout....
After consuming the powder, the pig-creature began to tremble, and much more quickly than Zhou Yixing had. Then its eyes turned red, and it began to squeal over and over again, as if in arousal. And then it began to look around.
In response, Zhou Yixing shivered, and no matter how stiff he tried to keep his upper lip, it didn’t stop him from letting out a shriek.
Even more terrifying was how the pig-creature suddenly turned and looked at him, it eyes shining with madness and fire. It began to stamp its hooves into the ground and squeal even louder, the sound of which intensified Zhou Yixing’s shaking.
Were it not for the fact that Bai Xiaochun had placed his hand restrainingly onto the pig-creatures’ back, it would have already pounced....
Because of the horrifying nature of the situation, Zhou Yixing’s shriek was filled with incomparable terror. By this point, he was completely devolving into fear, to the point where he was losing control....
He could very clearly imagine what would be happening in the moments to come, and knew that he wouldn’t last for very long....
Meanwhile, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes shone with both determination and admiration as he slowly removed his hand from the pig-creature’s back, then turned and walked toward the mouth of the cave.
He truly did admire Zhou Yixing, and was determined to keep his promise. Considering how much he respected him, if he said he wouldn’t watch the outcome, then he definitely wouldn’t. He sighed again, a sigh filled with no small amount of grief.
“I really can’t bear to watch a true man cry.... Why did you have to push me into doing this?” Shaking his head, he walked out of the cage. As he did, he heard the pig-creature squeal loudly, and heard the miserable shrieks of Zhou Yixing as he tried to dodge the thing.
“Lord Bai, I’m sorry!” he shouted, “Stop this! Ask me whatever you want, I’ll tell you anything you need to know!!” Zhou Yixing was using every scrap of energy he had to dodge back and forth, completely cognizant of the fate in store for him if the pig-creature managed to pin him. By this point, he had completely abandoned any attempt to look brave, and was shrieking miserably.
In response to his words, Bai Xiaochun stopped in place, a look of pride flashing through his eyes. Face lighting up, he turned to look at the scrambling Zhou Yixing.
“You agree to answer my questions?”
Zhou Yixing was so terrified that tears were already leaking out of his eyes. Scrambling backward, he shrieked, “I’ll talk! I’ll tell you anything you want to know. Just make it stop!”
Pleased and yet somewhat disillusioned, Bai Xiaochun shook his head at the sadness of the world’s loss of another true man.
“It seems that I really am the only true man in this heaven and earth. Ah, whatever.” Sighing, he stepped forward and grabbed the pig-creature, then gave it to one of his clones to take back to the jungle.
After the pig-creature left, Zhou Yixing leaned up against the cave wall and then slumped down to the ground, panting, his face completely ashen. His clothing dripped with sweat as he looked up at Bai Xiaochun, feeling very much like he had just sidestepped an utter catastrophe.
As of this moment, Bai Xiaochun didn’t even seem human to him, but rather, like one of the most evil and wicked beings in existence....
Squatting in front of Zhou Yixing, Bai Xiaochun put a look of complete sincerity on his face as he placatingly said, “See, Zhou Yixing? I never had any ill intentions. I just wanted to ask you some questions, that's all. Come, come, be a good boy and tell me all of the flame formulas you know. Let’s start with one-colored flame.”
Zhou Yixing’s eyes went wide with shock.
“Th-that’s... that's all you wanted to ask me?” Zhou Yixing almost couldn’t believe that he had heard correctly.
Bai Xiaochun shot to his feet and angrily barked, “Of course that’s all I wanted to know! What, don’t tell me you’re going to go back on your word, are you?! That pig-creature can’t have gone very far....”
“I’ll tell you! Of course I’ll tell you!!” Zhou Yixing looked up at the cave ceiling and forced the tears of frustration and anger back into his eyes. He felt like he was going crazy, to the point where his heart was palpitating. He had assumed this necromancer wanted to ask him about top secret information, and never even considered that he would simply want to know some flame formulas. Virtually all the aristocratic necromancer clans had formulas for everything from one- to eleven-colored flame. Furthermore, such formulas were available for purchase at the cost of soul medicine in all of the cities of the kings....
If he had known that these were the questions he was to be asked, he would never have held out for so long. When he thought back to the pain he had endured, he felt like the entire world was spinning around him.
But then, his mind suddenly trembled as he realized that something about the situation seemed off. If this Necromancer Bai was from one of the necromancer clans, then it would be impossible for him to be unaware of the formulas for various multicolored flames. The fact that he was asking questions about the formulas meant that he wasn’t telling the complete truth about what he wanted.
Obviously, he was simply playing games!!
Zhou Yixing’s eyes flashed as he became more and more convinced that his analysis was correct. Glaring at Bai Xiaochun, he contemplated resisting, but the mere thought of the pig-creature’s blazing eyes caused his heart to tremble. Gritting his teeth, he began with the formula for one-colored flame, and explained everything up to fourteen-colored flame.
Bai Xiaochun was in very high spirits as he took out a jade slip and took notes about everything. After Zhou Yixing finished, he even had quite a few detailed follow-up questions. Zhou Yixing’s explanations seemed quite satisfactory, and in the end, Bai Xiaochun was beaming with joy.
Of course, this caused Zhou Yixing to curse inwardly. All of the formulas he had explained were genuine; he didn’t dare to give any false information. After all, this was a necromancer he was dealing with. And yet, this Bai fellow seemed completely immersed in his little act.
“Fudge, this guy sure can put on a good show!” Zhou Yixing thought, grinding his teeth. The humiliation he was enduring had him completely seething with anger.
Bai Xiaochun happily put the jade slip away and asked a few more questions, each of which further convinced Zhou Yixing that he was being cruelly toyed with....
After all, many of the questions seemed completely random and superfluous, to the point where Zhou Yixing couldn’t even imagine why they were being asked. His humiliation continued to fester.
Finally, Bai Xiaochun asked, “Hey, wait a second, Zhou Yixing. What about the formula for fifteen-colored flame? Spit it out.”
With that, he stared expectantly at Zhou Yixing.
At this point, Zhou Yixing couldn’t take it anymore. Eyes burning with flames of anger, he shouted, “Enough with the act, Bai! What’s going on here?!?!?! You expect me to believe you don’t know we’re in Giant Ghost City territory?! You really don’t know that the giant ghost king is one of the four great kings!?!? You really don’t know that the teleportation portal is in the city itself!?!?
“Is this some kind of game to you?!?! I can’t believe you asked me how old I am and how many Daoist partners I have. What’s the point!?!
“You’re a necromancer, but you don’t know that only the great clans have the formula for fifteen-colored flame? Dammit! How long are you going to keep toying with me!?!?!?” Zhou Yixing was so angry he was weeping.
His outburst left Bai Xiaochun feeling a bit embarrassed. Many of the questions he had asked were just things he was randomly curious about, with others being completely inane and pointless. Seeing how angry Zhou Yixing was, Bai Xiaochun chuckled and then smacked the back of his head, rendering him unconscious.
Ignoring him, he walked to the entrance of the cave and stood there, looking solemnly out at the lands in front of him.
“At long last I understand how the Wildlands’ forces are organized,” he murmured. “Strange. Why didn’t the information back at the Great Wall make this clear? A lot of these things are obviously not secret. I wonder if someone intentionally got rid of some of the details....”