'Never did anything to me?'
The corner of his mouth twitched; he could not be bothered to argue with these Tuhao. According to their choplogic, they were muddled when they attacked others, but any attack on them was always so merciless and cruel; when they set someone up but the plot backfired, they would be the wrongly treated party, but when the same thing happened to another man, he totally deserved it.
He hated quarrels and wrangles, for they would yield nothing.
Therefore, after He Zun shouted out those words at the top of his voice, a brief moment of awkward silence fell over the room. Gu Yu sat unmoved on the chair and made no effort to respond--he even yawned.
Seeing his reaction, He Zun felt his every internal organ explode with rage, even his voice was shaking, "Fine, I see you've got some nerves! You'd better keep that tough look till the end and don't beg on your knees later!"
Granny Zeng shuddered with fear. She was about to mediate, but decided to remain silent after turning the idea over in her head. As fond of that young man as she was, she could not offend the He and Li families for him.
Despite her age and experience, the old lady still felt completely at a loss in the current situation. Thanks to her quick-witted nanny, Granny Zeng was dragged back to the back room as soon as the nanny smelt trouble in the air.
"Mr. He, Mr. Li!"
It was Old Priest Mo's turn to feel unsettled. He said to them, "The two young gentlemen must have misbehaved in some way and the layman was only disciplining them as a warning. Moreover, I am fairly confident in treating their symptoms. How about you give this poor Taoist some face and just let it go?"
He Zun was surprised by his standpoint. Why was he suddenly on that guy's side? However, he had no time to ponder over the question and only waved his hand. At his beckon, Sun Baosheng and the other two approached them.
Li Yan also stood up and said coldly, "Boy, I don't care why you did it. You've whacked my son's legs and I'm taking away yours today… A Yang!"
A man walked out at his command. He had a square face, keen-witted features and was missing half an ear. The man was Li Yan's bodyguard. Although he was only one man, when it came to fighting, he was more than Sun Baosheng and his hatchet men put together.
These four experienced thugs each took up a corner with quite some tacit understanding, surrounding their prey from all sides. Gu Yu, on the other hand, remained slouching in the middle, acting all silent and resigned, resembling a lamb destined for slaughter.
Sun Baosheng reached into his chest pocket and was the first one to draw out a dagger. He approached Gu Yu slowly, yet could not help but feel weird. He had "taken care" of quite a few people over the years, but had never met someone as calm as this guy.
This type of person was either really stupid or had something or someone to back him up. Having encountered various people and circumstances over the years, being cautious had become his instinct. Although he was marching forward, he had left enough room for himself to maneuver, in case that man made any sudden movements.
"Boy, you're such a goddamn poser!"
As the most impatient one, Wu Xiaoshan could no longer hold himself in check and walked to Gu Yu's side with a few strides. He yelled, "No one is going to save you today. You're not going anywhere after offending Chairman He!"
Wu Xiaoshan had barely finished the sentence when he heard a long sigh. He winced and looked up at once.
The young man's face was obscured, as if a thin fog had been blown over him by the wind. As the fog got thicker, Wu Xiaoshan blinked and that man had disappeared completely in front of his eyes!
Wu Xiaoshan was getting goosebumps all over his body as his looked around like a headless chicken.
"Where is he?"
"Where did he go?"
"Find him, damn it!"
The others also saw it clearly, sending the room into chaos. Yu Tao even ran into the courtyard and returned soon afterwards anxiously. He was panting with fear. "No one… no one is outside… our, our men are all gone!"
He Zun and Li Yan exchanged a look, detecting a trace of fear in each other's eyes. Li Yang was the first to react. He ordered hastily, "A Yang, come here quickly!"
A Yang ran back to the two bosses and took a defensive position. He even drew out a pistol. It took Li Yan a great effort to obtain that weapon--not a powerful one, but useful enough to solve a lot of problems.
"What? What's going on?"
Right at that moment, Wu Xiaoshan screamed and collapsed to the floor with a thump. On his right leg was a strange-looking black snake, which was biting deep into his flesh.
"Snake! There's a snake!"
In the split of a second, crying and shouting rang out one after another. A crazy number of strange snakes covered with tiny scales was flooding in from everywhere--from under the sofa, through the crack in the door, from outside the courtyard, or even some unknown place… they squeezed, crushed, twisted and twined, blotting out the sky and covering the ground. Together, they reminded one of an undulating black carpet.
As they stuck out their two-pronged tongues and made the usual hissing sounds, those in the room felt something slimy and sticky was crawling across their heart.
"Don't bite me!"
Almost instantaneously, Sun Baosheng and the other two were swallowed by the sea of snakes. Squirming black meat strips were draping down from all three of them who were crying their lungs out.
"A, A Yang…"
Huddling up in a corner, He Zun and Li Yan were smitten with fear and scared out of their wits. Their usual arrogance and bossiness were nowhere to be found.
It had taken every bit of A Yang's willpower to keep him from collapsing. Seeing several strange snakes coming their way, he managed to level the pistol in his hands, ready to fire with his shaking hands.
The next second, he was consumed by horror. The pistol seemed to have melted down and transformed into a thin, long and strange snake with black scales--its tail wrapped tightly around his wrist as it turned its head swiftly and bit into the back of his hand.
He pitched headlong to the ground and rolled around a couple of times, then the only movement left was the instinctive twitching of his muscles.
The strange snake fell to the ground right in front of He Zun and Li Yan. It kept it upper body straight and upright and stared at the two men coldly with those vertical pupils inside the dark yellow eyes. Behind it, the nest of snakes was closing in, ready to surround them and attack.
He Zun and Li Yan tried to run to the back, but their legs had gone limp and their feet had gone to sleep. They stumbled to the ground together and could not move. The only thing they could do was to watch the snakes rush near and devour them.
The two men were covered by black snakes and would like nothing more than passing out at this instant. However, they had remained conscious, which made them lucid enough to feel the sharp venomous fangs biting into their flesh, breaking through the thin skin, blood vessels and muscles until they penetrated into their bones.
Travelling along their blood vessels, the venom reached their limbs, hearts and brains. Every nerve felt numb, painful and was wearing away… it was as if they were watching themselves die little by little.
They did not know how much time had passed. Just as the feeling was fading away, both men felt their consciousness dimmed, then a thin streak of light slanted in. As the intensity of the light gradually increased, they were slowly regaining their conscious...
He Zun opened his eyes in a sudden and sat there with glazed eyes for half a minute before fumbling over himself frantically.
He suddenly realized that he was still in the Zeng manor, every bit of his body intact. Shortly after that, there was another "clank". This time, it was Li Yan who slipped down the sofa. His face was drained of all color as he sat there, panting.
It took them quite a while to put themselves together, but the fear had been rooted so deep into their minds that they could not tell whether they had returned to the real world or not. Both Granny Zeng, who was sitting across them, and the hatchet men standing around were watching them with weird looks.
Just then, a clear and penetrating voice called out. Hearing that, both men shuddered and turned towards it cautiously.
It was from that young man. He was still slouching on that chair and staring at them with those nice eyes—they were the same as he first came in, as calm as a smooth sea.