Bai Xiaochun couldn’t stop sighing in his heart about how humiliating it was for a spectacular major general like himself to be in this situation. However, considering the circumstances, he knew that he simply had to come to terms with it....
“Ah, whatever. Considering that I, Bai Xiaochun, am so outstanding and awesome, it doesn’t matter where I end up, I always earn a new level of respect!” As he tried to pump himself up, he looked at the man who had just stepped out of the whirlpool. By this point, he realized that Li Xu must be the leader of Devil Penitentiary, and also his own future superior. Furthermore, this man here must be an assistant of some sort to Li Xu.
“Get moving,” the man said, “otherwise you’ll have to wait outside for another day.”
Bai Xiaochun already didn’t like this guy.
“I didn't do anything to offend him!” he complained inwardly. However, there was no other option for him than to bow his head and hurry into the whirlpool.
They disappeared, and began to sink down toward the bottom of the moat. Considering that this man was Li Xu’s assistant, it was no surprise that he had an extraordinary cultivation base. He also had a command medallion that emanated a soft light, protecting both himself and Bai Xiaochun from the deadly black moat water around them.
Bai Xiaochun was a bit nervous as he looked out at the inky blackness. Not only could he not see anything, but he felt a sensation of profound danger just looking at the black water, as if terrifying beasts lurked within it.
He kept his guard up as they pierced their way downward. Eventually, he realized that he could see two green points of light up ahead in the black water.
They seemed to pulse with a netherworldly aura, and almost looked like eyes. Merely looking at them caused his hair to stand on end.
However, the man escorting him didn’t seem to have any reaction whatsoever, so Bai Xiaochun merely followed along, maintaining full vigilance. As they proceeded forward, the two green lights grew larger and larger.
The closer they got, the clearer things became, until Bai Xiaochun’s heart leapt; there at the bottom of the moat was an enormous stone statue!
The statue depicted a gigantic xuanwu turtle that pulsed with spatial distortions. The two green lights that Bai Xiaochun had spotted earlier were actually the turtle’s eyes.
It also seethed with a profoundly murderous aura that seemed to be contained in the area with magical seals. Were it not for those sealing marks, the aura would have seeped out and caused drastic transformations in heaven and earth.
Bai Xiaochun was already shaken, but then he realized that, for some reason, the turtle actually looked familiar. After studying it closely for another moment, his eyes went as wide as saucers, and his heart began to pound in his chest.
“That statue looks a lot like the little turtle....” The little turtle had been missing for a long time now. Bai Xiaochun had searched his bag of holding thoroughly on a few occasions looking for him, but couldn’t find him. Even still, Bai Xiaochun had the feeling that he was there inside, somewhere.
Even as Bai Xiaochun hesitated about what it all meant, the man led him toward the turtle statue's left eye. Nervous about everything, Bai Xiaochun followed along, and soon they entered the eye itself.
A diaphanous barrier kept the black water out, which the man's command medallion allowed them to pass through.
Bai Xiaochun soon found himself in a large stone cavern filled with criss-crossed stalactites and stalagmites that looked almost like vicious fangs. There were four soul cultivators waiting there, who clasped hands and bowed deeply as soon as they saw the man leading Bai Xiaochun.
“Greetings, Left Dharma Protector!”
Their voices weren’t loud and booming, but rather, bone-chillingly cold. They seemed like people who lived on the border between life and death, whose mere gazes could pierce to the heart. After looking at them for a moment, Bai Xiaochun determined that all four were Nascent Soul cultivators.
“This Devil Penitentiary isn’t some ordinary prison!” he thought. As he continued to look around, he noticed four tunnels leading off in four directions, with a fifth tunnel-like opening in the ceiling.
“Sun Peng, this is one of the new guards the warden just assigned to Cellblock D. You arrange everything for him.” After issuing his orders, the man clasped his hands behind his back and flew up into the fifth tunnel overhead.
The group of four soul cultivators clasped hands to him as he left, then dispersed into the four corridors, with the exception of an old man. Frowning, he looked at Bai Xiaochun and said, “If Li Xu personally handed you over to the Left Dharma Protector to arrange things, then logically speaking, you should have been assigned to Cellblock A, not my Cellblock D.”
The old man seemed to think something was a bit strange about the situation, but still smiled at Bai Xiaochun.
Although it was a friendly smile, it looked ghastly to Bai Xiaochun. Coupled with the old man’s sinister aura, it caused a chill to run down Bai Xiaochun’s back.
“May I ask your name, Fellow Daoist?” the old man asked.
Bai Xiaochun blinked a few times, and then carefully answered, “I'm Bai Hao.”
“Bai Hao. Bai Hao... Bai...?” After thinking for a moment, the man’s eyes went wide. “Bai Hao from the Bai Clan?”
Pleased at the man’s reaction, Bai Xiaochun proudly said, “Yeah, that’s right. I’m none other than Bai Hao from the Bai Clan.”
The old man sucked in a breath. Now he understood why Li Xu had assigned this person to Cellblock D.
“Well aren’t you a hot potato,” he thought. “The fact that Li Xu handed you off to the Left Dharma Protector means that the original orders came from higher up. And the only person with a status high enough to give orders like that would be Duke Deathcrier. And the only person who can order Duke Deathcrier around is the heavenly king himself.
“The Bai Clan has a bounty on this kid’s head, but the heavenly king sent him here....” The old man didn’t dare to ponder the matter any more deeply. Sighing, he realized that he couldn’t afford to offend this newcomer. After all, according to the rumors, he had reviled his own clan, and even gone so far as to kidnap his own father.
Not only did he have profound levels of patience, but he was completely and utterly vicious....
“Welcome to Cellblock D of Devil Penitentiary, Fellow Daoist Bai Hao. Come, come, let me show you around.” Forcing a smile onto his face, he led Bai Xiaochun toward the northernmost of the four tunnels. “Although Devil Penitentiary exists inside of a stone turtle statue, it's actually very large inside. Five unique dimensions exist here, namely Cellblocks A, B, C, D, and the Supermax Cellblock.
“The Supermax Cellblock is run by the exalted warden himself, and is the core of Devil Penitentiary. Normally, no one ever gets inside without being summoned.
“As far as the other cellblocks go, the prisoners get locked up in them depending on how important or dangerous they are. The most important prisoners go to Cellblock A. All of the prisoners here are dangerous and vicious people, but the prisoners in Cellblock D are almost like children compared to the others.
“Every cellblock has a group of roughly a hundred guards, with ten captains and a deputy warden. I'm the deputy warden of Cellblock D.
“Of course, Warden Li Xu is in charge of the the four deputy wardens....”
Sun Peng led him directly to Cellblock D and began to show him around. He had already decided that since Bai Hao had been delivered to him, and he couldn’t get rid of him, that he might as well treat him well. After all, with so many people in Cellblock D, having an extra guard around wouldn’t hurt anything.
Of course, he wouldn’t go beyond what was necessary.
Eventually, Sun Peng led Bai Xiaochun to an area in the middle of the Cellblock D part of the prison, a sprawling square, in the middle of which was a glowing door.
The door emanated intense pressure, and occasional rumbling sounds.
Surrounding it were ten areas that Sun Peng explained were the barracks where the ten teams of guards resided. As for the glowing door, it was the actual entrance to the cellblock.
The ten barracks all looked exactly the same, constructed from green limestone, but decorated in colorful fashion. However, perhaps because they were located in the middle of Devil Penitentiary, Bai Xiaochun found them particularly sinister.
Still depressed over the matter of the teleportation portal, Bai Xiaochun sighed and thought to himself, “Ai. I can’t believe I'm actually becoming a prison guard.”