After listening to Yang Kai’s inquiry, the Madame could only give a pitiful smile as she explained. “When I wished to find out about the reasons why Miao Hua Cheng treated me, a poor widowed mother, in such a way, I tried every means that I could think of. In the end, it came down to the thing my husband and that man obtained years ago.”
“A piece of a tortoise shell!” The Madame replied, “My husband and Miao Hua Cheng once, in the past, travelled around Sea City for leisure. They happened to stumble upon a strangle tortoise shell which displayed some kind of map. At that time, the two looked around the nearby islands in hopes to find a match with the map. Unfortunately, the place did not seem to tally with the map so they assumed that the shell must have been a fake. However, just to ensure that the other party remained discreet about their find, they split the shell into two and shared it.”
The Madame gently gasped for breath before continuing on. “After their adventures here, my husband went back to the Tong Province and started to build up his own school. Meanwhile, Miao Hua Cheng settled down in Sea City. He most likely continued to study and research the tortoise shell. It was only in recent years that he had managed to obtain some form of clue. Being unwilling to share with my husband, he chose to murder him; even going as far as to trick my whole family to migrate to Sea City. I personally had once seen the half of the tortoise shell owned by my husband. Since I knew it was a precious, I took it along with me.”
“Young Hero, do you remember the late guard Zhang Ding? The one who rebelled against me?”
“His actions were puppeteered by Miao Hua Cheng!” Yang Kai’s eyes narrowed.
“Exactly!” The Madame’s head sank down. “I believe that since Miao Hua Cheng was considered to be my husband’s best friend, he did not wish to personally begin with us. Thus, he made use of Zhang Ding, inciting him to make the first move. Without you Young Hero, I believe all of us, Huan Er Cui Er and I, would have been sent to accompany my husband in the afterlife.”
“Certainly a best friend!” Yang Kai gave a smile of ridicule. However, there was still some doubt in his mind that he wished to clarify. “Madame, all three of you are average human beings. After you entered the Miao Family, if Miao Hua Cheng truly wanted to obtain that shell from you, it would be such a simple task. How is it possible that it was only later that he revealed his true colours?”
The Madame bitterly grinned. “At the beginning, even I did not understand why that was the case. However, after a while, I managed to figure it out; and it was all thanks to you.”
*Em* the Madame nods and resumed her explanation. “When Miao Hua Cheng greeted us, I followed your instructions and told him that a powerful cultivator had assisted us to kill Zhang Ding; allowing us to survive his rebellion. Since Miao Hua Cheng is a discreet person, he first waited to check and see if the person we had mentioned was hiding around us. Thus, he did not dare to begin. When he had finally realized that there was no one there to protect us, he then revealed his true colours.”
Yang Kai nodded in agreement, as he found her logic sound.
“So, what happened next?”
“The nightmare started.” The Madame’s voice mellowed down, as though she was about to break down into tears to cry but she persisted to speak. “To save our lives, I handed the other half of the tortoise shell. But, I would not have thought that Miao Hua Cheng would have been cruel enough to continue his torture.” While she spoke, the woman’s body shivered incessantly as she subconsciously tightened her fist. “On that very night, after I passed him the tortoise shell, Miao Hua Cheng brought a group of people to take Huan Er away… He said that she must be wed to his son. When Huan Er was unwilling to comply, Cui Er stood up to aid her. But… But… I never would have thought Miao Hua Cheng would be so heartless as to order his men to beat her to death.”
Hearing about such a vicious scene, Yang Kai’s whole body could not be controlled as he trembled in anguish and anger.
The Madame continued to sob as she spoke. “On the next day, Miao Hua Cheng told me that my precious daughter… My Huan Er, had been raped! Unable to bear it… She bit her tongue to commit suicide!”
Yang Kai felt his whole body turn cold as the rage within him welled up without any possible way to control it. He would have never expected for the cheeky but charming young house maid to be so brutally killed while the shy and gentle young lady would commit suicide. In just two months after travelling with them, he would never be able to meet these beauties ever again.
“Miao Hua Cheng also wanted to humiliate me!” The Madame sobbed while stuttering. “But… learning from his mistake with Huan Er and Cui Er… He no longer dared to go too far. After detaining me for several days, without being able to bend my will, he got angry out of shame and sold me to a place called Thousand Gold Wine House.”
Yang Kai does not need to inquire about the building as he knew that it was a brothel.
“Forcing me to submit, I was beaten and tortured… Without any hope of rescue, I sliced my face using a pair of scissors! *He… Hee…* Having such an appearance, no man would ever dare touch me.” The Madame pitifully ridiculed herself. “Afterwards, I was sold to the Red Cloud Sect with a smile plastered on my face…”
“I should have died. With my husband gone, along with my daughter and Cui Er; what is the point of me being alive? However, I cannot allow myself to die. Not now. If I die, no one would know about the horrendous treatment they have unjustly suffered. I must live! Live till I can finally seek for them the revenge they deserve. Although I am just a weak woman, this is something that I must do.”
Yang Kai’s heart cramped up as he could feel a piercing sensation overwhelm every fiber of his being, causing his heart to bleed out. Taking a deep breath, he comforted the woman, “Madame, you are the world’s most beautiful wife and the world’s strongest mother!”
[It was easy to choose death but living in such a state, unbearable to say the least.]
“Young Hero, can I ask of you to help me one last time?” The Madame lifted her head with tearful eyes, staring at Yang Kai with a look of hope.
Standing at the mountain top, with the howling of the wind, Yang Kai’s whole face remained solemn as he sighed. “It regrettable but my strength is too low!”
The Madame immediately turned gloomy.
“But, I will continue to grow stronger. I might take several years to finally be able to pay the Miao Family in Sea City a visit.”
Yang Kai’s decision was not only based on the Madame’s request but also the debt he felt towards Cui Er for the food that she had given him while they were travelling together.
The Madame’s facial expression changed to that of overwhelming joy as she kneeled to the ground and kowtowed. “Thank you… Thank you Young Hero!”
It was only after a long time, did she finally straighten up her body to speak. “Young Hero, although you already know that Miao Hua Cheng was the mastermind behind all of this, there is something else that you need to know. The ones that are backing Miao Hua Cheng is the Red Clouds Sect!”
*Em?!* Yang Kai’s brows wrinkled.
“Miao Hua Cheng’s son, Miao Lin is a Red Clouds Sect Disciple. Due to his son’s low status, Miao Hua Cheng plans on giving away the tortoise shell to the Red Clouds Sect as a form of contribution; in hopes to make sure that his son has a higher standing within the Sect. It was all because of that rotten child, who had no hope of gaining recognition within the Red Clouds Sect. He pinned everything on the tortoise shell and instigated his father to be so treacherous to my Jiang Family!”
“Red Clouds Sect! I knew it!” Yang Kai nods.
“Young Hero!” Madame Cheng pursed her lips as he hung her head down. With a shivering voice, she spoke. “Although I know that you are just enough to seek retribution for my Jiang Family, and humane enough to not forget the benevolence Cui Er had showed you, there is nothing my family can do to thank you.”
“You don’t need to care about that.”
“Young Hero, please listen to me…” The Madame insisted, causing Yang Kai to nod.
“In actuality, after my husband had obtained the other half of the tortoise shell, he too had spent years studying and researching it. Similar to Miao Hua Cheng, he also obtained the other portion of the map. Inferring from what my husband had shared with me before, one of the tortoise shell is a map routing to the location of the island. Meanwhile, the other half of the map that he had obtained contained the interior route within the island.
“What?” Yang Kai was caught in surprise. “So, where is this map?”
“It’s on me.” The woman replied with an unnatural voice.
Yang Kai had his doubts immediately after the Madame spoke. [How was it possible for a normal woman to be able to defend against Miao Hua Cheng’s search for that crucial map piece?]
After staying silent for a long time, the Madame finally affirmed her resolve and opened her mouth to speak. “Young Hero, since I am unable to repay the debt of gratitude that my family has owed you, please accept this map as your reward!” Using her hands, the Madame grabbed her pants and ripped it open, to reveal a large section of her snow-white thighs.
(Silavin: I’m amazed that she had the strength to rip her clothes open in one go! What? Did you guys expect me to write some perverted comments? Sorry, I have changed for the better! *Halo*)
“The map has been embroidered onto my skin by myself!” Hanging her head down, with her shivering body, the Madame roused up all her courage to do the deed.
Yang Kai’s complexion quickly dyed red as his eyes quickly avoided in the other direction, gulping down his saliva. After several days of promoting his cultivation level and overall strength, the Yin-Yang Joyous Unification Art had a stronger influence over him. It was a common occurrence for Su Yan’s face to flash in his mind. If not for the strength of meditation, he would definitely not be able to overcome his desires. Now, with the Madame’s display, Yang Kai could feel that he was about to lose himself.
“Madame…” Yang Kai frowned.
“Young Hero…” The Madame’s complexion was also red. “This is something my husband has died for. I do not want to bury it nor let it fall into the enemy’s hands. Please, consider this a reward that I deliver to you, Young Hero. Please accept it.”
Yang Kai sighed. [If I reject it, she will definitely be hurt…] “Ah! I’m sorry to offend you then Madame!”
(Silavin: Kinda confusing for this part, in terms of translating – he is apologising for seeing her skin. =.= yeah, it’s a cultural thing…)
Squatting down, Yang Kai took a good look at the Madame’s thigh. There was a place with high mountain ridges, which formed out the shape of the island. Many areas on the map were specially labelled in great detail. What’s more, there was an obvious winding pathway that was meant to be taken.
[This map… it was embroidered using a heated needle, inked with coloured pigment… To think that the Madame’s entire thigh, from the knee to her groin area has been painted with this. I can’t begin to imagine how formidable her will must be for her to endure such torture. She is just a normal woman yet, just how many times did she pierce herself to form out this map of rivers and mountains? Although the map is probably inaccurate and most likely different from the original map, I can’t say anything…]
Yang Kai tried to maintain his calm and composed self as he sized up the map carefully; not allowing the least bit of his shock and awe to be shown. Meanwhile, the Madame was still shaking. As both her eyes were kept shut, her tears keep flowing.
After the time to heat up a cup of tea, Yang Kai had memorised the entire map and took up the torn cloth to hide her thigh.
“Young Hero, thank you for all your hard work.” The Madame sat on the ground sideways while speaking with a soft voice.
After she said her piece, it was as if all the burdens in her heart had been relinquished. Yang Kai could tell from her facial expression that she currently only sought death. [Her heart has died. She lived for revenge and now that I am here, her desires have been passed on to me. So… she no longer has the will to live…]
After looking at her facial expression, Yang Kai no longer spoke.
After one day, Yang Kai descended the mountain, he took the basket that the Madame brought with her, with a Profound Black Fruit inside. He walked towards the seashore step by step and looked back to the mountain top.
At the mountain top, sat the Madame with a face drained of tears. She was looking out into the ocean, in a daze; motionless.
Yang Kai did not lead her to leave. Instead, he left her there, knowing that letting her live was far more torturous than allowing her to choose her death. [Now… all she wished for was to be extricated…]
After several hours, Yang Kai arrived at the seashore recovery point and patiently waited for the Red Clouds Sect steamship to pick him up.
Many people were gathered here, waiting for the steamship to arrive. When they first caught sight of the steamship, everyone cried out with cheers.
At the side of the ship, a Red Clouds Sect cultivator was blocking their paths into the ship. He was inspecting everyone’s harvest and was given the duty of taking away everyone’s baskets while tossing anyone with less than 1.5kg of Profound Black Fruit out of the ship. Those that were unfortunate enough to be thrown to sea would be food for the Monster Beasts living in the sea.
Dozens of individuals, with only 34 that had not completed the task were tossed out of the ship. As they fell into the treacherous sea, pitiful yells could be heard. Dreadfully, the end of their voices also signalled a meal for the Monster Beasts.
Yang Kai mingled among the crowd unnoticed as these people were all normal. With those forced to pick Profound Black Fruit being average people, none of the Red Clouds Sect disciples paid them any heed.
After half an hour, the steamship finally started and left the island; leaving behind those that did not gather, and those that acted as feed for the Monster Beasts.
Silavin: There was a slight miscommunication on my part. I am not dropping Martial Peak but I am hoping for luffy to come back. In the meantime, I will try to pump out more chapters but at a later date, if no help comes back, there will be a duration of hiatus. At that point, it is probable that this novel would be getting translated by someone else (ie treated that I dropped it).