Chapter 331: The Origins of the Human-faced Peach King
"I didn't say anything about doing Dual Cultivation. I brought you here to find something precious." Zi Shang summoned the Treasure-hunting Scorpion when he saw that Yun Jiuge did not believe him.
The Treasure-hunting Scorpion twisted its fat body as it climbed out from Yun Jiuge's rag sack. It asked Zi Shang, "Does the King have any orders for me?"
"Tell your master what treasure is here," said Zi Shang to the Treasure-hunting Scorpion.
"Yes." The treasure-hunting scorpion landed on the ground, went around inside and outside the cave several times, finally saying, "Why can't I smell any treasure here?"
"What do you have to say about this?" Yun Jiuge looked at Zi Shang despisingly, thinking that she had exposed his scheme.
"Smell it again." Zi Shang condensed a beam of purple light from his finger and shot a hole in the ground right down to underneath it.
The Treasure-hunting Scorpion crept over for a sniff, and immediately waved its claw excitedly saying, "Treasure! There really is treasure."
"See what I mean?" Zi Shang was very satisfied with the performance of the Treasure-hunting Scorpion.
"Then how are we going to get down?" Yun Jiuge's eyes shone immediately. She couldn't wait and went searching for the secret door in the cave wall.
"Come with me." Zi Shang took Yun Jiuge's hand, and then stomped his foot.
There was a great rumbling sound, and a big hole opened in the ground.
Yun Jiuge and Zi Shang fell in downwards. She could hear the swooshing sound of wind by her ears. Her hair was blown stiff.
The Treasure-hunting Scorpion held onto Yun Jiuge's sleeve nimbly, making a safe landing with Yun Jiuge.
"Next time could you warn me in advance?" Yun Jiuge's hair fell back to its position but she was still reeling in shock.
"Sure." If he remembered to.
"Master — treasure!" The Treasure-hunting scorpion waved its big claws and shouted excitedly.
Yun Jiuge took out the Bloodthirsty Bone Spur and looked in front with the help of the dim red light. She was suddenly startled.
It was a spacious cavern, and right in the middle of it grew a huge peach tree with a man's face on its taupe-colored top. It had very defined facial features and was handsome looking. His eyes were closed, just like the man on the Human Face Mountain.
"What the hell is this?" asked Yun Jiuge with her eyes open wide.
"This is the Human-faced Peach King." Zi Shang looked at the peach tree and could not help licking his lips. This fruit could give him a lot of energy.
The Human-faced Peach King seemed to sense danger. The branches on the tree started swaying.
"Peach King, but there are no peaches on his tree!" Yun Jiuge looked carefully at the bare branches. There weren't even leaves, not to mention peaches.
"It will bear some soon. Where's the Magical Bottomless Bag I gave you?" asked Zi Shang.
Yun Jiuge handed the Magical Bottomless Bag to Zi Shang.
Zi Shang poured the contents of the Magical Bottomless Bag in front of the Human-faced Peach King. A strong bloody smell rushed into their noses.
In the Magical Bottomless Bag were the corpses of the Blood Earthworms, Armored Crocodiles, tigers, leopards, bears, lions and monkeys…
There were corpses of all kinds, piled up like a small hill, more than what Lang Ya and the Han brothers had killed.
"When did you get all of these?" A disbelieving expression showed up on Yun Jiuge's face.
All the time they were together she did not see him making a move!
"After investigating, I found out that this fella was getting ripe. So I went on some rounds to help him collect food," said Zi Shang to Yun Jiuge. Then he whispered to the Human-faced Peach King in a tone as if talking to a kid, "Come, good child, eat these quickly."
The Human-faced Peach King did not open his mouth. He knew that if he ate the food, he himself would become others' food.
"If you cooperate well, I can spare your life. If not…" Zi Shang changed his expression into a bullying look. It was a frightening sight.
The branches on the tree trembled, but he still did not move.
Zi Shang squinted his gray eyes. His stare was now glistening in purple. Light purple fog drifted out from his pale fingers and transformed gradually into five long sharp blades.
The Peach King was trembling all over like a timid lamb before Zi Shang.
Yun Jiuge did not want to interfere, but suddenly she seemed to receive a subconscious message from the Peach King pleading, "Please save me."
"Wait!" Yun Jiuge was moved. She hurriedly pulled Zi Shang's hand away and persuaded him saying, "Melons that are twisted and plucked by force will not be sweet. Why should you force him when he doesn't want to?"
"It must be sweet if I want it to." Zi Shang was very domineering.
The Human-faced Peach King made a pained expression. His thin branch spread over, wanting to pull Yun Jiuge's sleeve pitifully.
Before he could do so, the branch was trampled on by Zi Shang.
"How dare you touch my woman — do you want to die?!" The Human-faced Peach King was becoming more and more displeasing in Zi Shang's eyes.
Yun Jiuge felt that the Human-faced Peach tree was spiritual. Then she continued to persuade Zi Shang, "Fair trade is the norm these days. If you want it to bear fruit for you, give it something in exchange! A good talk will then achieve a win-win result!"
The Peach King lifted up a branch and nodded after hearing what Yun Jiuge said.
"Ok, let's see what your conditions are." For the first time in his many years of traipsing, a food item dared to bargain with him. He wanted to see what benefits this annoying peach could give.
"Save me…" The Peach King immediately sent yet another wave of consciousness to Yun Jiuge.
A hum sounded in Yun Jiuge's brain and the scene in front of her changed.
It was still a dark cavern, but the Human-faced Peach King was now a short tree.
Above it was a tender and loving boy's face.
He was the source of the Spiritual Power in this Secret Realm and had spent countless lonely years in this cavern.
One day, he tried to grow further and spread his branches on the barren hilltop.
These branches and leaves slowly grew into a lush peach garden.
All the Human-faced Peaches there were of beautiful boys' faces, staring at the strange and beautiful world with wide, curious eyes.
Until one day the Secret Realm was discovered by a group of humans.
They were greedy and vicious, attacking its branches and trying to find its origins to take it away.
In a fit of anger, he killed many of them.
Because of the loss of Spiritual Power, he subconsciously absorbed the human corpses as nutrients.
Soon, some peaches became overripe and fell to the ground. They were carried away by the remaining living humans.
From then on, his nightmare started. Thousands of humans would attack him every year.
Each time he fought back, he would absorb the dead bodies after for nourishment. They again took away the ripe peaches.
Just like that, the humans used him as a medium for flesh and blood exchange, feeding him with human life and taking away the fruit.
Days passed. After absorbing a great deal of blood, his branches became greedy and vicious and affected his origin.
He was forced to grow up fast, and the day he finally matured would be the day that he and the Secret Realm would be destroyed together.
He wanted to escape from this miserable fate and continue to protect the Secret Realm.
Yun Jiuge felt the pain of the Human-faced Peach King. She couldn't help shedding tears for him.
At the same time, she heard a call from Zi Shang, and slowly opened her eyes.