The Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon had already driven off and vanished at the end of the road, only leaving Chen Xi alone on the spot, and he looked around into his surroundings, yet was unable to find anything related to Firecrow Town.
The surroundings of this place were covered in luxuriant bushes and yellow and green weeds that swayed with the wind, it was a vast wilderness, and he was entirely unable to see where exactly Firecrow Town was.
Fortunately, his Divine Sense was sufficiently strong. After searching for a while in the nearby area of a few thousand kilometers, he finally noticed a wooden plaque concealed within a bush.
The wooden plaque was utterly decayed and hung on a rotten tree branch, and it was of similar color as the weeds in the surroundings, causing it to be really difficult to notice unless one searched carefully.
Only two crooked and twisted words were written on the wooden plaque — Firecrow Town.
Chen Xi leaped over to arrive before the wooden plaque and after looking at it for a good while, he swung his hand to chop out before him. A fierce wind that was like a sharp blade shot out from his palm and swept out horizontally, and the thick weeds nearby that were as tall as a man were chopped into half.
A winding little path appeared before his eyes.
As time flows by, plants grow and wither. These weeds have instead concealed the road that leads to Firecrow Town. Actually, if I looked down from the sky, I ought to be able to find the location of Firecrow Town, but in this way, my tracks would be exposed, and it’s extremely not worth it… Chen Xi thought for a moment, and then he didn’t hesitate in the slightest to move forward along the path.
The sun set and dusk arose, and cold winds rose abruptly. Chen Xi dashed for almost ten minutes before faintly noticing a small town appearing on the horizon.
To his astonishment, the sky above the small town actually surged with a layer of thick pitch black mist that seemed like the baleful qi of vengeful spirits that were condensed there without dispersing, and it emitted a strong sanguinary and ghastly aura.
Supposedly, numerous wicked and vicious people are hiding in Firecrow Town, and they’ve committed monstrous crimes that caused widespread indignation, so they were pursued and wanted by the cultivation world of the entire Darchu Dynasty. At this moment, just from the baleful qi that’s coiling around it without dispersing, this rumor should be true. Chen Xi flashed over as he pondered.
Wu~ Wu~ Wu~
Night descended and cold winds whistled, and the airflow contained ghastly coldness that was gloomy and terrifying. It was like vengeful spirits that were wailing on the ground, causing the distant Firecrow Town to seem like a ghost town.
Chen Xi suddenly stopped because he noticed an emaciated figure flashing out from Firecrow Town towards him.
This was an extremely thin young man that was thin and weak to the point he seemed like a gust of wind would be able to blow him away, but his head was huge, and his black hair was disheveled like a bird’s nest.
“Distinguished guest, welcome to Firecrow Town. I’m the attendant of the Firecrow Tavern, and you may call me Qiao Sheng. I presume it’s your first time to Firecrow Town, may I know if you need a guide?” This emaciated young man called Qiao Sheng smiled brilliantly and revealed a row of snow white teeth, and it very easily caused one to have a good impression of him.
“A guide?” Chen Xi asked with interest. He’d already discerned that Qiao Sheng’s cultivation was only at the Golden Hall Realm and couldn’t pose any threat to him.
Qian Sheng grinned as he said, “Right, a guide. I can help you get familiar with the environment of Firecrow Town. What you should pay attention to, what you can disregard, the rules of Firecrow Town, and so on and so forth. I can help explain all of it for you.”
Chen Xi asked. “What’s the price?”
Qian Sheng stretched out three fingers. “30,000 Nascent Condensation Pills.”
Chen Xi nodded and said, “Alright, deal.”
The entire Firecrow Town revealed strangeness, and he felt there was really a need to find a guide to quickly get familiar with the environment. As for the shocking price, he didn’t mind it.
“Great. So long as nothing unexpected happens, a straightforward guest like you will entirely be able to live in Firecrow Town.” Qian Sheng smiled broadly as he spoke, and then he started leading the way forward.
Chen Xi sized up the surrounding environment as he followed silently behind Qiao Sheng, and he very quickly entered Firecrow Town.
Strictly speaking, Firecrow Town was actually more like a village with muddy roads and tattered houses, and every single area of it was filled with a desolate and poor aura.
Under the envelopment of the night, only a few scattered lanterns were lit up in Firecrow Town, and the flames of the lanterns flickered as the cold winds blew. When looked at from afar, they were like flickered ghostly flames with oppressive gloominess.
As he walked and walked, Chen Xi abruptly stopped moving, and then he turned to look towards his right side.
Over 10 completely bare round wooden pillars stood towering over 30m away from the main road. Every single wooden pillar had a corpse hanging on it, fresh and naked corpses of young women. These naked corpses were tied tightly at the neck by an extremely fine rope, their arms bound behind their backs, and only their legs fluttered about in midair. The eyes of the naked corpses were opened wide like saucers and were suffused with a deathly sheen.
A gust of cold wind blew on these corpses, and they were like numerous lifeless scarecrows.
A middle aged man stood at the last round wooden pillar. He wore embroidered clothes and a marten cloak with a round hat on his head, and his expression was warm and amiable like a great philanthropist that was frequently seen in the world, yet he was rubbing his chin as he sized up the female corpses that had been freshly hung up.
Chen Xi’s eyes narrowed slightly. The wealthy looking middle aged man’s body surged with dense killing intent, and it even faintly formed a layer of a black and misty glow around him, and it was an aura of ‘sin’ that could only be formed from torturing countless people to death and having one’s hands tainted with countless souls of those who’d died an unjust death.
“That’s Scarecrow Zhang, one of the five great villains of Firecrow Town.” Qiao Sheng swiftly explained from the side. “This person’s greatest addiction is to gather female corpses and refine them into human dolls with a secret technique. Every time he gathers 100 corpses, he would light them up with phosphorus flames, causing them to look like numerous bright lanterns that are flying up into the sky from afar, and it’s an extremely magnificent sight.”
Chen Xi said calmly, “Scarecrow Zhang?”
Qiao Sheng nodded and said, “Right, in Firecrow Town, almost everyone possesses a nickname, and very few people use their real names.”
Chen Xi didn’t ask any further, and his gaze stopped on the female corpses that were swaying with the cold wind for a short moment before continuing to move forward.
Not long after, the sound of flowing water was carried by the wind, and it contained a dense and pungent bloody smell within it.
Chen Xi raised his eyes to look over, and he saw a bald man who bared his upper body was sitting at the side of the road. An enormous wooden basin was placed before him, and within it was a thick layer of dark red blood and a snow white and clean human skull floating in the blood.
“This is Skull Li, and just like Scarecrow Zhang, he’s one of the five great villains of Firecrow Town. He likes to refine the skulls of others into a bone pearl that’s the size of a thumb before wearing it.” Qiao Sheng pointed at Skull Li’s neck and said, “Look, he wears a string of white bones formed into a necklace on his neck. There’re a total of 108 bones, and all of them were refined from human skulls. Isn’t it extremely beautiful?”
Chen Xi focused his gaze over. Sure enough, he saw a string necklace with numerous bone pearls that were like human skulls that had been shrunk countless times. They possessed empty eyes and bright teeth, and they seemed to be laughing savagely.
Similarly, a layer of black and mist glow of ‘sin’ coiled around Skull Li.
Qiao Sheng greeted Skull Li before bringing Chen Xi along to continue forward.
On the way, Chen Xi couldn’t help but ask. “Scarecrow Zhang, Skull Li, who’re the other three villains?”
Qiao Sheng said with a smile, “I knew you’d surely ask. Besides them, there’s also Crimson Matthiola. She’s a woman that’s addicted to planting Crimson Matthiola flowers, but the Crimson Matthiolas she plants require using live people as fertilizer. She buries the entire person alive in the ground before opening up a bloody hole at the top of the person’s head, and then she plants the Crimson Matthiola within it.”
“Besides Crimson Matthiola, there’s also Wu Fuzi. This old man’s hobbies can still be considered to be normal. But he likes to hear the sounds of crying and shouting as he goes to sleep. So he dug a large hole in his bedroom and rears a group of living people within it. Every time he goes to sleep, he pours some vicious spirit flames into the hole, burning these people to the point that they emit shrill weeping and shouts, and only then would he fall asleep peacefully.”
“The final one is Qi Yin. His temperament is icy cold and indifferent, and he very rarely appears in Firecrow Town. Most of the time, he’s moving about in Gloom Forest and taking pleasure in fighting and killing ferocious demon beasts.”
Chen Xi nodded and said, “Scarecrow Zhang, Skull Li, Crimson Matthiola, Wu Fuzi, and Qi Yin. Amongst these five great villains, it looks to me that Qi Yin is the only one that can still be considered to be normal.”
Qiao Sheng grinned and said, “Once you’ve stayed here for long, you’ll be accustomed to anything.
Chen Xi frowned and said, “Could it be that no one governs this place?”
Qiao Sheng was stunned, and then he shook his head and said, “That’s impossible. This is a place of crime. At this place, whose hands haven’t been tainted with a few lives? If it wasn’t for them being driven into a corner, there would probably be no one that was willing to come here and suffer.”
When he spoke up to here, Qiao Sheng seemed to have realized something, and he reminded with a stern expression. “Guest, I have to warn you. You must not poke your nose into other’s business. Even though Scarecrow Zhang and the others have killed many people and are criminals that have fled into Firecrow Town and deserve death, if you poke your nose into their business, then I’m afraid you’ll end up just like those dead people.”
Chen Xi went silent. He recalled how the people on the Crimsonscale Treasured Wagon called him a ‘demon’ when he left. Aren’t these villains in Firecrow Town exactly like demons?
This place was indeed a place of exile for evil.
All along the way, Chen Xi asked Qiao Sheng a few other things, and he obtained a rough understanding of the situation in Firecrow Town.
There were over a thousand people residing in Firecrow Town now, there were bandits, murderers, thieves… The only common point amongst them was that these people were wanted and pursued by the entire Darchu Dynasty, and they chose to stay here because they were driven into a corner.
The reason the Darchu Dynasty didn’t exterminate all of them was extremely simple. The Firecrow Town had its back to Gloom Forest, and demon beasts roamed freely in the forest, causing every step taken within the forest to be filled with killing intent. Even though it was extremely dangerous, it contained various spirit materials and spirit ores. If the villains in Firecrow Town wanted to survive, then they had to pay sufficient amounts of the various materials every single month. Otherwise, they would encounter the siege of the Darchu Dynasty’s Darchu Soulguard.
In other words, Firecrow Town was like a prison, and these villains served as laborers in the prison.
As for wanting to flee this place, it was utterly impossible. Qiao Sheng didn’t give specific details, but he guaranteed solemnly that every single villain that fled Firecrow Town was captured and brought back in less than three days. But when they were captured and brought back, they’d already become corpses.
Of course, Chen Xi had asked about Qiao Sheng as well. Yet never had he imagined that this fellow was actually a member of the Darchu Soulguard.
This place is really too strange.
Up until now, Chen Xi still hadn’t wrap his head around the situation before him.
But in next to no time, he put down this load on his mind. He didn’t intend to stay for long in Firecrow Town. He instead wanted to go through Firecrow Town to enter the Gloom Forest before heading towards Thunder City and all the way until he arrived at Silken City.
Not long after, a spacious area appeared ahead. There were crumbled walls and ruins everywhere, and only a single simple and crude tavern stood alone there.
Not only was the tavern simple and crude, it was extremely run-down. The walls in its surroundings were covered in mottled black colored dust and half the roof already had numerous cracks split open on it, and it seemed as if it might crumble down at any moment.
A wooden plaque that was crooked and unsteady hung at the entrance to the tavern. Atop the wooden plaque was a dim and lusterless Firecrow and two words — Firecrow Tavern.
The night sky was like ink and waves of loud laughter that rumbled like thunder sounded out from the tavern from time to time. In this gloomy small town, it seemed to be bustling and lively.