266 Piercer's Past
The black fog obscured my vision before I felt myself falling into an abyss.
"Don't fall asleep now, it's too early for that." The voice from the lady clad in purple rang in my ears again and again.
The feeling of not being to do anything about myself was rather uncomfortable.
"Don't wake up…"
As I heard this ghostly voice, I snapped my eyes open and found myself in nothing but darkness. Rubbing my eyes, I saw a tiny fire burning somewhere far away.
"Who's there?" I asked.
There was no answer.
That tiny fire seemed to flicker as I stepped forward.
Though I was covered in cold sweat, I forced myself to walk towards it.
I felt a chill behind me and all my hairs stood on ends. A hand suddenly appeared out of nowhere and tapped me on the shoulder.
"Ah." Terrified, I jumped and turned around to look.
"Look how timid you are." It was actually Jiao S behind me.
Jiao S had a smile on her usually emotionless face. "Ah Shen, do you have to be this afraid of me? I'm not some ghost. And you've been in the Split Zone for so long now. Are you still afraid of ghosts and monsters?"
Though there was nothing wrong with her tone and whatever she said, that weird smile ratted her out.
Jiao S would never smile this easily since she'd rather let others think that she was cruel and ruthless.
Keeping my eyes on the fake Jiao S, I retreated. "Who are you? Stop pretending. You're not Jiao S."
The fake Jiao S laughed. "Oh, how did you tell?"
"No need to wonder about that. I just know you're a fake."
The smile on the fake Jiao S turned cruel immediately as she reached out towards me with both hands.
Just when I was preparing to dodge, I realized that I did not have an ounce of MF left in me. I had no choice but to simply turn around and run as quickly as I could.
I was actually trying my best to escape.
I ran as fast as my legs could take me and I could even feel the wind blowing past my ears.
It was already a miracle that I could escape without MF, so I didn't expect to be able to put up a strong defense. I didn't bother turning back to look either.
My mind was solely focused on running away and I didn't know whether she was chasing me or not. I ran until I was exhausted, until I felt like vomiting. It was then that I realized that there was actually no one behind me.
Panting hard, I looked around.
"You can really be hard on yourself." The lady in purple appeared right in front of me.
"I, you… I… Who are you exactly? What do you want…" I used up a lot of my strength just to run away, causing me to stutter as I spoke.
"What do I want?
"I just want someone to listen to my story…" The lady in purple spoke in a sorrowful voice. It was totally different from that cruel and merciless tone she usually had.
Still panting, I remained silent. I didn't show fear either.
The lady in purple circled around me before hugging her knees and squatting in front of me.
She buried her head in between her knees and said, "Are you willing to listen to my story?"
I pondered for a moment before answering, "Yes."
She seemed to be taken by surprise by how calm I was as she looked up in what looked like shocked silence.
"Ay…" She produced a long and sad sigh.
"It's like this. I was just a girl living a happy life. There wasn't anything much that frustrated me, until I fell in love with a boy who appeared in my dreams.
"He was so lively when he appeared in my dreams that I was sure he existed. I know this might sound ridiculous, but those dreams were clear as day and they seemed to continue in chronological order. I couldn't help but believe that he really existed, to the point that even my family thought I was crazy.
"I didn't care though. It was fine for me as long as there was someone who believed me. I believed that he would always be waiting for me in my dreams.
"I kept meeting him in my dreams, and as time passed, I became greedy. To be able to spend more time with him, I wanted to sleep all day, every day. Everyone thought I had gone mad since I was acting like an insane person who had given up on life. I was talking about how I wanted to fall asleep and dream all day.
"As for him, he began to look at me with eyes that were filled with sorrow. It was as if he was blaming himself for affecting my life.
"For some reason, those eyes scared me. I was afraid that he'd leave me one day."
It was a squarish pit which measured about five meters on each side. It was about three meters deep and there were bloodstains on all sides of it.
The stains looked filthy, as if they had been there for years.
Residents of Bronze Sparrow Village surrounded the pit. Towards the east, a few of the villagers were holding a girl dressed in red. The girl's hair fell across her face, and she looked to be about seventeen or eighteen.
A white-haired granny kneeled beside the girl, kowtowing towards the pit as she mumbled, "Spirit of Curses, the residents of Bronze Sparrow Village offers this demon. Please accept her flesh and bones as an offering. Please keep all 3,601 residents of the Bronze Sparrow Village safe."
"I pray that the Spirit of Curses will keep us safe." Everyone standing around the pit then began kowtowing.
As the moonlight was slowly obscured by the clouds, the scene seemed to be casted in an eerie gray light.
Looking into the pit, there seemed to be starry, white lights reflected from inside it. As the villagers raised their torches, she realized what it was in the pit.
It was filled with poisonous creatures of all sorts.
There were poisonous snakes, centipedes, toads, worms, giant green caterpillars, spiders, praying mantises, huge black ants, cicadas, maggots, poisonous scorpions, and creatures of all sorts in it.
These creatures were attacking one another, and a carcass would go flying at times, but everything was still trapped in that three-meter deep pit.
There were also bits and pieces of flesh, strips of skin, dried blood and other disgusting things that were mixed with those poisonous creatures. Apart from these, one could also see the colorful but poisonous worms in different shapes and sizes found in the Miao Village that was situated quite a few mountains away.
Whoever looks into the well would probably end up feeling their hair stand on ends.
This was the secret of the Bronze Sparrow Village. This was the pit of poison they used for offerings.
Because of all the hatred that was accumulated in this pit, and no one was allowed to be within a 100-meter radius of it.
When the time for offerings came about, the chief of Bronze Sparrow Village, Granny Poison, would get the villagers to put in all sorts of poisonous creatures and newfound poisons into the pit.
For thirty years, thousands and thousands of poisonous creatures had been thrown in there. No humans had been thrown in before, but on this day, Granny Poison led the villagers during the early noon to start preparations for throwing her into this poisonous pit as an offering.
Granny Poison took out a yellowish amulet from her pocket and read from it. "Gu Qing, born in the hour of Hai, eighteen years of age. Let the ceremony begin."
After Granny Poison spoke, a few sturdy-looking villagers dragged the girl beside the pit.
She opened her eyes to look as she heard the sounds coming from within the pit.
Her expression was calm as she looked at all the poisonous creatures. Her face was streaked with dirt, but there were no traces of tears on it.
It was at this moment that a couple came out of nowhere.
The couple was crying as they struggled free from the crowd of villagers and dropped themselves at the girl's feet.
"Please let our daughter go. She's only eighteen, a child!" The woman was bawling as she hugged the girl tightly. The man was kneeling beside the girl as he kowtowed.
Granny Poison hit the woman with her staff. "How can you shield her like this when this demon had harmed so many in Bronze Sparrow Village and brought so many curses upon us. This wouldn't have happened if you didn't bring this demon to our village years before."
Seeing the granny hit his wife, the man rushed forward to shield both his wife and daughter. In tears, he said, "Granny Poison, my wife and I were without child for forty years. Qing'er is our child, she's no demon. If you insist on using her as an offering, you'll have to kill us first."
Granny Poison grunted in anger and signaled for the group of sturdy-looking villagers to pull the couple away from the girl.
The girl finally lifted her head to look at the couple, tears falling down her cheeks. "Father, Mother, leave me. They're cruel. Even if I'm made an offering, the Spirit of Curses would not accept me. The Bronze Sparrow Village will never be safe."
"How dare a demon be this audacious." Granny Poison was about to hit the girl with her staff.
"No, don't hurt my Qing'er." Seeing the staff that was about to land on her daughter, the wife freed herself from the villagers holding her down and rushed forward to shield her daughter from the blow.
The man then struggled free and ran up to his wife to grab her before they both jumped into the pit.
He said, "We, the Lus, offer ourselves to the Spirit of Curses. The curse would be lifted after this. Granny Poison, please let Qing'er go."
There were shocked screams as everyone witnessed the scene.