Zhanxian - Chapter 3
People were still commenting on the new executioner's skill, while Yang Chen was feeling that warm flow within his body. Old devil Yi's method really was correct, at least so far there still hadn't been a problem, he just didn't know what the result would be.
Returning to his little courtyard, Yang Chen took out a five colored stone from under a millstone. Even if people saw it, they definitely wouldn't know what it was. Only Yang Chen knew that this five colored rock was something used in the immortal sects of his old life to test a disciple's postnatal spiritual roots. Innate spiritual roots were set from birth, only postnatal spiritual roots could change.
Holding it on either side, the five colored rock practically didn't change at all, but when carefully looking, there was a trace of faint, almost imperceptible, red light. This also meant that his postnatal spiritual roots had made an extremely minute change. After all, he had only killed one person, it was really too trivial to truly change his spiritual roots. Only, at least it proved that this method worked.
With Yang Chen's ten thousand years of cultivation experience, he still hadn't discovered any injuries when using the method, nor had he found any hidden dangers. In other words, for the moment there really wasn't any problem with using this method. Most miraculous was that, one, this method didn't raise his spiritual or magic power, and two, didn't forge his soul essence. Even if he practiced it, he would still be an ordinary person and wouldn't violate the taboo of the heavenly court, he still had the chance to enter the Immortal Execution Stage.
Starting half a year later, bandits sprang up like weeds all over the nation, always more being arrested. Under such vexing circumstances, the court issued a hard-line decree, all bandits arrested would be executed! Under such an unprecedentedly harsh decree, many bandits were arrested practically every day all over the nation. At the start it was a few, afterwards it became more than ten or twenty, and within several days, they were arrested by forties and fifties.
In the county town, besides the supposedly ill old executioner, the only headsman was Yang Chen, who was in charge of cutting off several dozen heads each day. At the start, people still excitedly went to the execution grounds to watch, but after seeing it, nobody was in the mood for such entertainment any longer.
’’For every debt there is a debtor, I have no past grudges with everyone, nor recent hatred, this is my place of duty, following orders, please pardon me!’’ Before each time he carried out the sentence, Yang Chen would say these words. Saying it was to make clear that he should not be affected by karma. Having said it for several days, Yang Chen was already exceptionally familiar with it.
Snap, Yang Chen swung the blade and lopped off a head, blood rushing from the headless neck, but Yang Chen wasn't dirtied by even a drop. This was the result of his meticulous training, cutting off more than a hundred heads had given him confidence in his skill not to be hit by a single drop of blood after decapitating.
Sss, Yang Chen drew a deep breath, inhaling the breath of life seemingly contained within the corpse into his own body. Having already circulated the method more than a hundred times, he immediately circulated it once again, swiftly storing the qiwithin his four limbs and hundred bones, nourishing his body, changing his spiritual roots.
His hands didn't hesitate in the slightest, Yang Chen skillfully went down the line as fluent as running water, walking over in front of the second convict, decapitating, inhaling, circulating, followed by the third, fourth......
On that day there were forty five bandits to be beheaded, and after Yang Chen beheaded the last one, his body was already brimming with power. Carefully sensing the changes in his body, Yang Chen still faintly shook his head. The life essence of mundane people, no matter how many were absorbed, were apparently not very useful. There wouldn't be a clear effect unless he killed maybe tens or hundreds of thousands.
Only, what Yang Chen thought of as completely useless, in the eyes of others, was an entirely different matter. Perhaps it was because of that method, but after each time he killed people, Yang Chen would be wrapped in a dense bloody aura that didn't scatter for a long time afterwards. His whole body felt as if he had climbed out of a sea of blood, vicious qi overflowing in all directions. Let alone ordinary people, even the soldiers stationed at the execution grounds would turn their heads when they saw Yang Chen, avoiding his eyes.
When walking down the streets in town, the residents didn't even dare glance at him, for fear they couldn't look away in time. Yang Chen only needed to appear for the streets to empty out. This also saved Yang Chen a lot of trouble, at least nobody dared come over to make trouble. No matter how much they loathed Yang Chen, in his presence they didn't dare say half an improper word.
Resting in the morning, decapitating at noon, training in the afternoon, the regular days continued for a month. Yang Chen had also absorbed the life essence of a lot of convicts. Even if it wasn't enough for him to reach the goal he hoped for, just the bloody qi of his body was enough to let his martial arts rise to the next level.
On this day, when Yang Chen was finished at the execution grounds and on his way home, he saw the sky filled with red clouds. Today was extremely strange, sunset clouds had appeared just at noon, and filled the entire sky, their color as red as blood.
Seeing this scene, Yang Chen's face finally revealed a smile. The moment he had waited for so long was just this day. The sky filling with blood, this was the day he had learned of after ascending to the immortal world in his previous life, the day the heavenly court changed.
After eating dinner, Yang Chen went to sleep early. Strangely, this night, no matter who it was, all would fall asleep early. Even if they weren't in bed, they would still suddenly be attacked by weariness and immediately find some place to completely fall asleep.
’’Yang Chen, you are an executioner?’’ In the dream, Yang Chen heard the shout of a judge.
’’Yes, lord!’’ On hearing this voice, Yang Chen swiftly rose from his bed, answering towards the emptiness. Yang Chen now discovered that he was no longer in his room.
’’As long as they are convicts, do you dare behead? Can you behead?’’ The voice asked another question.
’’As long as they are convicts, I dare behead, and I can behead!’’ Yang Chen replied without the slightest arrogance.
’’Follow me!’’ The owner of the dignified voice didn't reveal itself, only reaching him from one direction: ’’On the execution ground, behead the convicts!’’ The voice was filled with the aggressiveness of a lord, basically leaving people without any thoughts of resistance.
’’Yes, lord!’’ Yang Chen didn't think about it, only answered and followed the path suddenly appearing before him, only walking up with large strides. Soon, he saw an execution ground crowded with people.
At some unknown point, Yang Chen had already been changed into the executioner's dress he wore on the execution grounds. A soldier with unclear appearance, clasping an executioner's blade in both hands, held it in front of Yang Chen. Yang Chen reached out and took it, raising the blade with practiced ease, and running a finger along the edge. Before beheading, at least he had to make sure the blade was sharp.
’’Little brother, I'll borrow this chance to speak!’’ Just testing the sharpness of the blade, Yang Chen's belt was softly pulled by someone, followed by a very fawning voice.
Yang Chen turned his head, discovering a robust and prosperous fatty, dressed in fine silks, one hand softly pulling at his belt, the other hand quietly stretching towards Yang Chen, holding an ingot of gold of at least ten tael.
’’Little brother, can't you do me a favor?’’ The fatty's face had a kind of intimate smile, reaching out and pressing that gold ingot into Yang Chen's belt: ’’I've already bribed the others, as long as little brother lets my son off at the execution grounds, only cutting a superficial wound when decapitating, not taking his life, and hiding it from the presiding official, other people definitely won't notice. Afterwards I will thank you considerably!’’
’’I'm only an executioner, in charge of carrying out the sentence, I have no understanding of other things!’’ Yang Chen only pushed away the fat hand, then turned and walked onto the execution grounds.
’’Brat, refusing a toast only to be forced to drink the forfeit, I'm a highly ranked court official, if you fail to appreciate kindness, you won't be able to take the consequences!’’ When the fatty saw Yang Chen's refusal, his expression changed immediately, fiercely shooting a low shout at Yang Chen's back.
’’You may be a high ranking court official, but how is that related to a headsman like me?’’ Yang Chen sneered and climbed directly onto the stage, holding the blood red executioner's blade to his chest, quietly standing there, waiting for the order to begin.
This time it wasn't just Yang Chen carrying out the executions alone, there was a long line of executioners holding blood red blades. Yang Chen couldn't even clearly see how many there were. This scene really was shocking, what kind of execution grounds would cut off so many heads?
Dong dong dong, three drum beats, the sun seemed to have already reached its zenith. Yang Chen only heard an order: ’’Behead!’’ Immediately afterwards, a death sentence plate was thrown out.
’’For every debt there is a debtor, you and I have no past grudges, nor recent hatred, this is my place of duty, carrying out orders, please pardon me!’’ Yang Chen spoke his customary working phrase, then soon after grabbed the death sentence board stuck in the prisoner's clothes, throwing it aside, with a loud shout, the executioner's blade rose up high, and fell with a snap. One head immediately rolled away, and the headless body slowly fell over, blood gushing out.
Finished with all this, Yang Chen didn't absorb the life essence like usual, but rather quietly held the blade in place, waiting for the dispatch.
’’Nineteen thousand three hundred seventy two executioners, beheaded three thousand eight hundred forty three people.’’ In the void, a voice seemed to both calculate the statistics and making a report.
Suddenly a gale rose, soon dispersing all the dust. Yang Chen was still in the execution grounds, but the just decapitated convict was gone without a trace. The only thing in the wide open space before him was a delicate and charming beauty, kneeling in the dust, flashing perfect white jade features, surpassing the beauty of flowers, face contrasting the red clouds, beautiful in a hundred ways, unlimited grace.
The beauty knelt in the open space, but standing around were several dozen executioners like Yang Chen, seemingly all waiting for the death sentence.
’’Behead!’’ Another shout, and a death sentence plate landed in front of an executioner. That executioner immediately stepped forward, but just as he was about to swing his blade, the beauty spoke up: ’’I'm innocent, please general have pity.’’
That executioner saw her beauty, and already pitied her, further adding her sweetness, calling him general, directly made this executioner's bones soften and tendons go limp, mouth and eyes wide open, but unable to move.
The supervising official grew angry, shouting at another executioner: ’’You, behead!’’ The death sentence plate seemed to have grown eyes, flying over in front of another executioner. This executioner stepped forward, and was equally entreated by the beauty, immediately captivated and unable to move.
The following several dozen executioners were all the same. The supervising official was already unable to restrain the anger in his voice, and finally, the plate appeared in front of Yang Chen, the official's fury incomparably clear in his shout: ’’You, behead!’’
Yang Chen stepped forward, standing next to the beauty. When the beauty raised her head, exposing her devastating charm, her sweet voice: ’’General, I'm unjustly accused!’’ Just one soft call, but it already revealed a bone softening charm, even steel refined a hundred times would turn soft enough to wind around your fingers.
But unfortunately, Yang Chen seemed to have a heart of stone, looking at that delicate beauty as if he didn't see her, only shouting: ’’Every debt has a debtor, you and I have no past grudges, no recent hatred, this is my place of duty, executing orders, please pardon me!’’
Words finished, no matter how heartbreaking the lamentations of the beauty, the great blade rose up high, and with one cut, snap, the beauty's begging voice stopped, her beautiful head flying far away, no different from any ordinary convict sentenced to death.
’’Good!’’ Yang Chen swung down the blade, and heard a cheering voice by his ear. Yang Chen didn't even glance sideways, but there was a cold smile in his heart.
’’Three thousand eight hundred forty three people, only one hundred fifteen beheaded.’’ The voice still reported the statistics in the void.
’’Yang Chen, over here!’’ Someone called out behind him, and Yang Chen followed without thinking twice. The other executioners who were unable to behead the beautiful woman still stood there stupidly as if not understanding anything.
Soon reaching another execution ground, but here Yang Chen was the only executioner, and the convict was a middle aged man with disheveled hair wearing dragon robes. Strangely, he didn't have any restraints, and there were no sergeants attending. Standing in place, with prestige rather than fury, he looked coldly at the approaching Yang Chen.
The soldier guiding him had already disappeared somewhere, and only Yang Chen confronted this middle aged man by himself. But Yang Chen didn't say anything, only quietly standing in place.
’’Yang Chen, behead!’’ The supervising official's voice resounded once again, and a death sentence plate landed in front of Yang Chen.
Yang Chen raised the executioner's blade and stepped forward without a second word. When the middle aged man saw the circumstances, his eyes opened wide, his expression displaying the aura of a ruler, shouting at Yang Chen: ’’I am the reigning son of Heaven, the king of yesterday and tomorrow, you dare be rude?’’
This voice was like the clang of metal, like gold and jade, deafening to the ears. Cowardly people might go limp and unconsciously kneel when shouted at by this voice.
Boom, Yang Chen didn't care, walking up and kicking. How would the soul of a great primary golden immortal care about a tiny human emperor? Kicking the middle aged man to the ground with one foot, firmly stepping on him, he swung the blood colored executioner's blade.
’’Every debt has a debtor, you and I have no past grudges, nor recent hatred, this is my place of duty, executing orders, please pardon me!’’ Speaking his catchphrase, Yang Chen's large blade cut down, and the head of that fellow who called himself emperor rolled away.
Ding, with a brittle sound, a tiny white jade pendant was revealed under the emperor's corpse. The jade was rich and smooth, and one could tell it was a quality item with a glance.
Yang Chen looked around him, there was nobody there, laughing coldly in his heart, he reached out and grabbed the pendant, putting it in his belt. He stood quietly, waiting for the next instructions.
’’Two people beheaded, one did not glance sideways, one took the jade pendant.’’ Yang Chen couldn't hear the voice in the void recounting the final statistics.
’’Good! Yang Chen, the heavenly court's immortal execution stage needs an executioner like you, are you willing?’’ This time the never seen supervising official stood in front of Yang Chen, asking kindly, holding a white ring in his hand, slowly offering it.