“Prisoners....” Bai Xiaochun got nervously to his feet and walked out of his room. The captain was waiting there outside, a smile on his face.
Bai Xiaochun knew that he needed to develop a good relationship with the squad, but that wasn’t very difficult. He just needed to stop thinking about how he was a Core Formation expert with four deva soul clones, and that he could even kill lofty Nascent Soul cultivators. He just needed to act like an unimportant person. Therefore, he put a look of both respect and cheer on his face as he clasped hands and bowed, then said, “Captain, you really didn’t need to come in person. If you have orders for me, just send a message.”
Actually, Bai Xiaochun already liked the captain to begin with, so it was easy to give him a particularly deep bow.
The captain seemed a bit surprised. The truth was that he had no other choice than to come get Bai Xiaochun. According to the rules of Devil Penitentiary, all guards had to participate in patrol duty. If Bai Xiaochun knew about that and chose not to join, then he would be to blame. But if the captain didn’t personally notify him, then he would be held responsible.
The other guards might be keeping their distance, but when the captain thought about all the rumors he’d heard, he really felt he had no other choice.
However, to his surprise, the reportedly vicious, family-killing fiend who had turned traitor against his clan and kidnapped his own father, Bai Hao, was actually being very polite.
The captain laughed heartily. “Oh, no problem at all! You’re part of Squad 9 now, and since you just arrived, how could I not come to give you the news personally! Listen, Bai Hao. To people on the outside, everything about Devil Penitentiary is a big secret. After all, only two types of people can actually go into the cellblock: the prisoners, and us guards!”
Although he didn’t yet have a very good impression of Bai Xiaochun, the captain seemed a bit more sincere than before, and he even began to explain more information as they walked along.
After following the captain for a bit, Bai Xiaochun couldn’t help but ask, “Captain, what kind of cultivation bases do all the prisoners have?”
“It doesn’t matter!” the captain replied proudly. “Everyone who comes to Devil Penitentiary has to submit. Even dragons!” Before long, they were approaching the huge glowing door in the middle of the square.
Bai Xiaochun’s curiosity was growing. He had experienced a lot of things in his life, but had never been inside of a prison. The idea of descending into the depths of Devil Penitentiary had him filled with anticipation.
The other soul cultivators who were part of Squad 9 were all waiting impatiently by the doorway, and many of them seemed to get even more irritated when they saw Bai Xiaochun.
Bai Xiaochun could see that, and considering that he had no idea how long he would be serving as a guard, he hurried forward and said, “Hello, brothers! I'm new here and don’t know the rules. I'm terribly sorry for keeping all of you waiting.”
Currently, he looked like Bai Hao, young, pure and fair, even delicate. Furthermore, he spoke in a very pleasing fashion; almost immediately, some of the irritation in the eyes of the other guards faded.
After all, Bai Hao’s reputation was that of a vicious beast. But here he was politely and passionately offering an explanation and apology. The other guards were surprised, and weren’t quite sure what to say. In any case, Bai Xiaochun’s smiling face made it hard for them to stay angry.
Beyond that, the way he rushed forward and treated them all like older brothers caused strange feelings to rise up in their hearts. Almost immediately, the coldness that many of them felt toward him began to fade.
The only exception was one long-faced young man who responded with a cold snort. Apparently, he had a rather high standing in Squad 9. When the other guards saw his reaction, their expressions went back to being icy.
Bai Xiaochun was not very happy about that.
“I never offended this guy!” he thought.
The captain pretended not to notice what had happened. Laughing, he said, “Alright, everyone’s here, let’s head in!”
Swishing his sleeve, he produced a command medallion, which he extended toward the glowing door. Almost immediately, a rift opened up in the middle of it.
The captain went in first, and everyone else followed behind, with Bai Xiaochun taking up the final spot.
As soon as he entered the light, a feeling like that of teleportation swept through him. It was like heaven and earth crushing down on him, and was a very unpleasant sensation. However, it only lasted for a moment before fading away. Then, Bai Xiaochun’s vision cleared, and he found himself looking at... a very peculiar dimension!
There was no sky or land, only a black void. Hanging down from the vast, seemingly never-ending darkness above were countless chains made of bones.
Hanging at the end of the bone chains were enormous skulls, each one several dozens of meters tall. They were vicious-looking things that had clearly been hanging there in this void for tens upon tens of thousands of years.
They seemed to be arranged in some sort of pattern, almost as if to form some enormous, densely-packed spell formation.
Of course, none of them were located too close to any of the others.
Those skulls were the prison cells!
In terms of color, they weren’t white. In fact, they seemed to be constantly flickering with random colors, almost as if there were some type of magic at work inside of them. In addition, it was possible to hear the occasional bitter scream coming from inside.
Those screams came from the prisoners!
The prisoners in the skulls all wore ragged clothing, and some of them were even naked. There were men and women, and even the occasional savage giant, forced to shrink down in size to fit in the skull cages.
Quite a few were soul cultivators, and there were also necromancers present. All of them were gaunt and emaciated, and yet, each and every one burst with a murderous aura and an air of brutality.
In addition to the prisoners in the skull cages, there were also soul cultivators roaming around in gray robes, their hands and legs in shackles. They were also prisoners, but weren’t dangerous enough to keep in cages, and were free to roam about among the cells.
Quite a few of the prisoners were female, and many of them were extremely beautiful.
When the gray-robed soul cultivator prisoners saw the guards of Squad 9, they rushed over, trembling, to kowtow. Flattering, fawning expressions could be seen on their faces, and as for the beautiful female prisoners, they made sure to reveal their ample cleavage as they bent over. When Bai Xiaochun saw that, he was quite shocked.
At this point, the captain bellowed, “Alright, we’ll be on patrol for three days. For the first six hours, we’ll do things like usual. Go have some fun and don't cause any trouble! When the six hours are up, we’ll meet at Old Devil Zhou’s cell. Let’s see if we can finally get him to spill the beans.”
After the captain finished speaking, Bai Xiaochun watched as the smiling guards dispersed in various directions.
When that happened, Bai Xiaochun’s eyes went wide with shock as he saw many of the gray-robed prisoners flocking around the guards as if they were old friends. Some of them even began to massage the guards’ shoulders and lean down to whisper things in their ears. Furthermore, even more fawning expressions than before could be seen on the prisoners’ faces.
When the captain saw how befuddled Bai Xiaochun looked, he smiled, lowered his voice, and said, “Those people are like stewards here in Devil Penitentiary. None of them committed particularly serious crimes, and they tend to behave well. As for how easy or difficult their lives are, that's up to our whim.
“The prisoners in the skulls are the really important ones.” He pointed at one nearby skull, within which was an old man with a red birthmark on his face. He looked particularly ferocious, but currently had his eyes closed, as if he didn’t care at all about the world around him. “For example, that guy. He pissed off his highness the king two hundred years ago, and has been locked up ever since. He doesn’t have any secrets worth extracting, so he’ll probably just die of natural causes eventually.
“Alright, well go have some fun. As guards, we’re like gods here. The lives of the prisoners are in our hands, and therefore... as long as you don’t do anything too excessive, you can pretty much do anything you please.”
“Anything we please?” Bai Xiaochun thought incredulously, his mind spinning at how different Devil Penitentiary was than he’d imagined.
Even more shocking was how the long-faced youth from moments ago was surrounded by a group of eight beautiful female prisoners, who were pulling him off into the distance with flirtatious looks on their faces.
He couldn’t help but blink a few times and even lick his lips when he saw that. His heart actually started to beat as well. After all, there were a couple of female prisoners in that group who he found particularly attractive. Pointing in their direction, he said, “Captain, what exactly are they going off to do?”