Jiang Tong is quite the whipping post. Yin Hongxue's frenzied lashes landed nonstop on her victim, but the latter made not a single noise of protest, as if his body didn't belong to him.
He only hoped she'd show some compassion and accede to his request once her anger abated. However, he'd overestimated her benevolence. Blows fell one after another as if he were a beast of burden.
Why don't you make a sound? Why don't you beg for mercy? His stoic attitude fed her rage. What pleasure was there if her victim didn't cry in pain? How could she ease her foul mood then?
"Yin Hongxue, stop!" An anxious shout suddenly interrupted the flogging. The next moment, a figure shot up from below.
Jiang Tong blanched.
Naturally, the newcomer was Jiang Yu. His father's expression had been fishy before departing. Suspicious, he'd followed behind. When he arrived, his blood had run cold at the scene. No man could tolerate his father taking a beating. Seeing red, he'd lunged forward.
Yin Hongxue snorted. "Did you come for your share of the thrashing?"
She aimed her whip at him. He wasn't weak, but they weren't on the same level. He tried to grab the leather, but with a shake of the hand, the young miss landed a burning blow on his face, drawing a long bloody mark.
Disregarding the pain, Jiang Yu yelled at his father, "Hurry up and leave!"
Jiang Tong was covered in bruises. He'd have died already if not for the strong constitution of a cultivator. He made no move to leave. Instead, he pounced on Yin Hongxue and tried to wrest away her whip.
"Yu'er, go, go!" he shouted hysterically.
The young lady lifted her whip high in the air and looked mockingly at the pair. "You good-for-nothings are surprisingly brave. Very well. I'm in a good mood today, so I'll give you a chance. As long as one of you dies under my flogging, I'll let the other one go."
Jiang Tong shouted without hesitation. "Me! I won't resist, just let Yu'er leave!"
Jiang Yu bellowed, "You demon, hit me if you dare! Do you think a real man like me is afraid of you?"
Yin Hongxue smiled coldly. For her, they were nothing but bugs, toys to lighten her mood.
Jiang Tong implored, "Miss Hongxue, please think of your past friendship with Yu'er. You can hit me or kill me, you won't hear any complaint from me."
The miss' face was indifferent as she brandished her whip. "You have ten breaths. Decide before then, or else it means both of you want to die together!"
Jiang Yu roared, his eyes bloodshot, "Yin Hongxue, you crazy witch! Why did you force me to come here? Why are you torturing us now? Are you deranged?"
The girl giggled. "You're right, I'm deranged. You see, I like teasing ants like you and giving you some hope before I crush you beneath my foot. Kid, did you think you're special? That I'd fall for your charms?" She beamed widely.
Jiang Yu erupted, "You monster! Demon, insane harlot!"
Ying Hongxue seemed to enjoy her victim's agitation. Far from becoming angry, she laughed even more cheerfully.
"Kid, you're no better at swearing after all these years." Her face suddenly darkened. "Your ten breaths are almost over. Since you haven't chosen, it's time to bid both of you farewell."
Jiang Tong paled with horror. "We've chosen! I'll stay, Yu'er will leave."
"I'll stay. Spare my father. Yin Hongxue, didn't you capture me to embarrass and torment me? It has nothing to do with my father. I don't care how you torture me, just let him leave!"
The back-and-forth irritated the miss to no end. For some reason, their resolve to sacrifice themselves for the other was unbearable.
"In that case, both of you can die!" She clenched her teeth and lashed her whip at the pair.
Just then, an earth-shattering sound boomed outside the mountain gates. Almost at the same time, the entire sect shook down to its foundations, as if a god had shaken the mountains, spreading shockwaves to the surrounding terrain.
Yin Hongxue had never experienced such a phenomenon. Jumping in fright, she wrapped her whip around a thick pillar and tried to steady herself.
Taking advantage of the situation, Jiang Yu rolled next to his father and took the man in his arms. He choked back his grief when he saw the man's wounds. "Father, my ineptitude has harmed you."
Jiang Tong shook his head, shouting, "Yu'er, why didn't you leave? Your freedom is well worth my lousy life!"
On the verge of tears, Jing Yu shook his head. "During all these years, we've only had each other to depend on. I love you more than anything. If you die, what meaning would there be to my survival? I might as well also die…"
"Idiot! You could look for your cousin Jiang Chen after you leave. With such a genius, our clan will never die!"
Jiang Tong held a strong sense of belonging toward his clan. He didn't want to see the death of his son. House Jiang had to live on!
The shaking became more and more violent.
Carrying his father, Jiang Yu tried to sneak away, but she spotted him and shouted, "Kid, if you dare run away, I'll tear both of you to shreds!"
Jiang Yu trembled. How can she be so ruthless!
Just then, another sound exploded in the air, so loud it could rip a man's heart apart. Filled with doubt and even some panic, Yin Hongxue gazed into the distance. She didn't know what had transpired, but such frightening vibrations didn't bode well.
Was a powerful enemy invading them?
In Phoenix Cry, very few were strong enough to be dubbed a strong enemy for the Purple Smoke Sect. Although bewildered, she didn't lose her composure.
"Listen up, people of Purple Smoke Sect!" A voice rumbled in the air like rolling thunder, creating a frightening sound wave that engulfed the entire sect. "This great emperor came to fetch some people. Know your place and bring them out. Otherwise, I might create a bloodbath today!"
All the cultivators in the sect blanched in fright, as if they'd suddenly fallen into an endless abyss. The person called himself "this great emperor." What did it mean? The enemy was a great emperor!
Heavens! There wasn't a single great emperor in the entire Purple Smoke Sect!
In fact, there wasn't any in the entire Phoenix Cry Lower Region. But one had suddenly come today. This would've been an unprecedented event, but it clearly wasn't a courtesy call. His tone was nothing if not belligerent!
The sect's hidden forefather could also feel the great emperor's formidable pressure and the clear difference between them. However, he was the highest power in the sect. If he didn't step forward, who else would?
He rushed out and cupped his fist. "Dare I ask which senior is gracing us with his presence? What brings you here?"
He was merely ninth level emperor realm. This sort of cultivation made him a colossus in Phoenix Cry, but he could only lower himself in front of this sudden guest, like a junior paying homage to a senior.
"What brings me here?" The newcomer laughed coldly. "Am I to repeat myself? Be thankful for my good mood today, or I'd dye your sect in blood!"
The forefather stiffened. He hurried to say, "Yes, I remember, the senior is looking for some people. Who might they be? As long as they're in the sect, we'll respectfully bring them forward!"
He stood on the Purple Smoke Sect's domain, with the force of the entire sect behind him. But what of it? He still deferred to the newcomer like the great emperor's grandson. As the saying went, might makes right!