The room suddenly fell silent.
Qin Ye withdrew his gaze and cast a complex gaze around the room. "Is immortality really the ultimate gift? Zombies are immortal, but so are some species of jellyfish in theory . However, they have no sentience or intelligence and are doomed to forever wallow in pain and despair for one lifetime after another... Meanwhile, you're further compounding their pain while denouncing them as lowly and ungrateful."
A cold look appeared in Bu Wantian's eyes. "It looks like we're not the same type of people after all."
Qin Ye ignored him and continued, "So this is why you turned your own son, daughter-in-law, and grandson into the Taisui Crossbred Karmamudrā?"
"They should be honored," Bu Wantian exclaimed. "It's thanks to me that he was even able to survive at all, let alone live for all of eternity! The purpose of his life should be to serve me! I love him very much."
He sighed before sitting back down onto the couch and assessing Qin Ye's duo with a cold expression. It was such a surprise to hear the word "love" coming out of Bu Wantian's mouth that Qin Ye couldn't help but burst into incredulous laughter. "You love him, so you dissected his beloved and his unborn son right in front of him as he begged you to spare his family. You sheared through his skin and flesh with your scissors and plucked out his bones one by one; is that how you express your 'love'?"
"You know nothing!" Bu Wantian scoffed. "I kept him alive until the very end so he could live a little longer. Before I dissected him, I went all over the county asking if anyone could sell me some anesthetics. I couldn't find any private sources, and the hospitals in the county wouldn't sell any anesthetics to me. Do you think I enjoyed seeing my own son's suffering?"
Oh, you most definitely enjoyed it. In fact, you relished it...
Thinking back to the footage of the dissection he had watched, a cold smile appeared on Qin Ye's face as he continued, "So after you became aware of the existence of the Peach Blossom Spring, you made it your lifelong goal to reach it. For that purpose, you even went as far as to employ a forbidden art to transform the entire village's residents into mindless zombies."
"Why do you insist on making things difficult for me when we're the same type of people?" Bu Wantian suddenly leaned in close to Qin Ye's face as he spoke. It was quite apparent that he would've been at least in his thirties when he consumed the Taisui fungus, as evidenced by the clear wrinkles on his face.
He gnashed his teeth together as he looked directly into Qin Ye's eyes. "Let me say this again: I saved them. Without the Taisui fungus, they wouldn't even have survived until the authorities released emergency rations for areas affected by the famine! What crime did I commit? I saved over 100 lives, yet I don't even ask to be recorded as a saint in the annals of history, all I ask for is peace of mind. Your insults and accusations are downright preposterous!"
"If you truly wanted to save them, then you could've fed them the true Taisui fungus!" Qin Ye interrupted in a cold voice.
A derisive smile appeared on Bu Wantian's face as if he had just heard a hilarious joke, and he sat back onto the couch before leaning back into its soft cushions. "So I don't even have the right to take interest from them?"
Lee Jung-sook set down her teacup and spoke for the second time thus far. "The interest you're referring to is locking them up in a den for zombies for over 1,000 years? They didn't even have the right to end their own lives during this time!"
The room fell silent again.
After a long while, Bu Wantian sighed in a forlorn voice, "I thought that you would be able to understand me. I thought that if anyone could understand me, it would be fellow immortals like you, but it seems I was wrong. I've lived for several centuries and watched the rise and fall of several dynasties. I've seen everything there is to be seen in life and nothing matters to me anymore. I am the only thing that will exist for all of eternity. My wives and children will eventually pass away, but similarly, I'll always be able to get new wives and children. Everyone is bound to pass away someday, while I'll continue to live forever and beyond. What point is there to anything in the face of my eternal life? The things that other people cherish and view as valuable beyond all else are nothing more than worthless trash in my eyes, yet here you are, trying to level accusations against me over the lives of 100 maggots? We are the ones chosen by the heavens, yet you're turning on me just to stand up for these mere insects?"
An incredulous look appeared on his face as he spoke.
Qin Ye was truly flabbergasted as he appraised Bu Wantian, and Lee Jung-sook also remained silent. Countless thoughts and emotions flashed through both of their minds at the same time.
Indeed, life was like a tavern, and customers would eventually check out, only to be replaced by new ones. However, they were permanent residents in this tavern.
In order to cope with the cursed side of an immortal existence, the strategy that Qin Ye employed was to maintain the heart of a child. It made him appear a little immature at times, but it really was effective, and even to this day, he was still true to himself and full of vitality. It was like the more he lived, the more he came to love and cherish life.
He didn't know whether what he was doing was right or not, but at the very least, he led a happy life.
In contrast, Lee Jung-sook employed the strategy of pursuing goals in her career and accruing wealth. As a result, the several centuries of her existence had been very fulfilling. Initially, she was only an ordinary woman in a small village, yet several centuries later, she became the owner of one of the top 100 businesses in the world, and she was still constantly searching for opportunities to further her career and wealth.
She had chosen to live her entire life engaging in competition with other people in the business sphere, and competition with other humans was a source of endless fun and joy for those who relished the fight. If she were to continue like this, she would most likely also be able to preserve her vitality and purity for a very long time.
However, what Bu Wantian had chosen was belief.
That was an understandable choice. During his era, the Southern Song Dynasty was on a steep decline, and its people were barely able to feed themselves. He was just an uneducated fisherman without a base of sophisticated knowledge or a sound moral framework, so it was natural that he turned to believing in the abstract and arcane. However, as a result of his belief, he viewed himself as a supreme being, while everyone else were mere maggots. He killed his own wives and children and imprisoned the people who had taken him in, biting the very hand that had fed him.
He continued to live, but he led a deranged existence, and he was the epitome of evil.
Qin Ye rose to his feet as he sized Bu Wantian with a calm expression. "I'm not the one levying accusations against you. Instead, it's my conscience, the Heavenly Dao, and karma!"
His voice grew louder and louder as he spoke, and he spread his hands open before Bu Wantian as he asked, "So what about Chu Renmei? Why did you kill her? She was your wife, so why couldn't you spare her and live out the rest of her life in peace?"
Bu Wantian appraised Qin Ye with a cold expression as he replied, "Do I need to have an excuse to kill a dog? Do I need to have an excuse to kill a pig? What a joke of a question! I didn't like her anymore, she pissed me off, I got sick of her, so I killed her! It's as simple as that!"
"I understand now," Qin Ye sighed as he stood in front of Bu Wantian, and wisps of Yin energy began to emanate from his entire body. "I still have two more questions that I would like you to answer. How are you able to kill the zombies who consumed the contaminated Taisui fungus?"
Bu Wantian replied in a cold voice, "That's a simple task. They didn't consume the true Taisui fungus, so there's a limited number of times that they can be resurrected."
Qin Ye nodded in response. "Last question: why did you try to forcibly relocate the Huang Clan's earthen building?"
A derisive sneer appeared on Bu Wantian's face. "The light tower in the mortal coil was already complete. The evil Taisui fungus had already matured, so why would I leave those maggots behind? So that they can continue to plot against me?"
A cold chuckle escaped Lee Jung-sook's lips as she said in a cold voice, "So you were going to deprive them of their final sanctuary? You were the one who made them like this!"
This was why they had resisted with all their might during the forced relocation.
The Huang Clan's earthen building was their only home in this world. If the building were to be demolished, then there would be nowhere else in this entire world that could house them. This was the only place where they could continue to survive.
The special investigation divisions of each dynasty had given them an opportunity to continue living, but the one who had forced them into limbo in the first place didn't want them to survive.
Perhaps it was because this was the only place that contained records and memories of the heinous existence that was Bu Wantian.
Perhaps it was because even he didn't want to think of that place, the cursed earthen building that was constructed on a foundation of evil and sin.
"For the sake of an unsubstantiated dream, a legend that even you had never seen before, a rumor that you heard from a complete stranger, you horrifically abused over 100 people for over 1,000 years! You regarded your closest loved ones as mere tools, as means to an end. You watched with glee and contempt as the very people who had taken you in and fed you slowly went insane in a prison of your creation. Have you ever felt remorse? Have you ever woken up from a nightmare in the middle of the night and wept under the weight of the demons in your heart?"
"Never!" A cold smile suddenly appeared on Bu Wantian's face as he appraised Qin Ye. "So what? Are you passing judgment on me? What right do you have to do that? I'm immortal, so what can you do to me anyway?"
In response, countless chains shot out of Qin Ye's palm and instantly pierced through his entire body!
"It's time for you to come with me. There are many people who are eagerly awaiting a reunion with you..."
Bu Wantian's expression stiffened before an incredulous look appeared on his face. He could sense that the chains hadn't inflicted any harm upon his physical body, but they had bound his soul!
"H... How is this possible?!" He looked up with a stunned expression at Qin Ye. "Who are you?!"
Lee Jung-sook smiled and replied in Qin Ye's stead, "I forgot to tell you. This is the current King Yanluo. No matter who you are, as soon as you die, your soul has to undergo his judgment."
She stood up and made her way over to Bu Wantian before looking directly into his astonished eyes. "Bu Wantian, your time is up. The Cold Suit Festival is upon us, and countless lost souls are eagerly awaiting you in the Huang Clan's earthen building. Why don't you pay them a visit?"
As soon as her voice trailed off, Qin Ye swept a sleeve through the air, and the three of them instantly vanished.
It was currently 12 AM.
The Cold Suit Festival had already arrived, and countless wandering Yin spirits could be seen roaming the streets. They did so completely aimlessly, having no home to return to.
However, Bu Wantian barely noticed them at all. What truly horrified him was that they were currently speeding directly toward the Huang Clan's earthen building!
The entire earthen building was brightly lit, and countless wails of anguish, heartbroken sobs, and howls of despair could be heard echoing within its walls, as if all of its residents were venting the pain of the past 1,000 years. Countless lanterns constructed from cold suits were already hanging down from the top of the earthen building, and they were burning with crimson netherflames.
"Stop... Stop!!!" Bu Wantian suddenly screamed. He was currently trapped in a net formed by Soul Shackles, and Qin Ye was dragging the net along with one hand as he rapidly approached the Huang Clan's earthen building. From this distance, he could already clearly see a long-haired woman in a blue robe and a man in a fisherman's get-up waiting respectfully for him beside the entrance.
They were Chu Renmei and Huang Jiansen.
Even if one's actions are hidden from the world, heaven and earth will bear witness to everything. If evil-doers are not punished by others, then the heavens will deliver their retribution.
Over 1,000 years had passed, and the Heavenly Dao hadn't seen the atrocities committed here, but King Yanluo had uncovered the truth!
Those who humans couldn't punish would be punished by him, those who couldn't be judged by the Heavenly Dao would be judged by him; this was the purpose of his existence!
Retribution would always arrive, it was just a matter of sooner or later!
The closer they drew to the earthen building, the clearer everything became. All of the fine hairs on Bu Wantian's entire body were standing up on end, and a sense of extreme fear welled up in his heart. He knew that during the Cold Suit Festival, everyone would recover their memories. On this day, the balance of Yin and Yang would be tipped far in the former's favor, and the equilibrium talismans wouldn't be able to do anything.
They were going to remember him, and they were currently waiting for him, staring intently as he approached them, wanting nothing more than to dine on his blood, flesh, and bones!
"We're the same type of people!!" His voice was already cracking as he screamed, "There are so few of us in this world, we are the ones chosen by the heavens! How can you do this to me?! Let me go and I'll tell you the truth behind the Peach Blossom Spring! No... Don't take me there!!!"
Qin Ye didn't even turn around as he asked in an indifferent voice, "Did you respond when your son and daughter-in-law pleaded with you in the same fashion?"
"Who gives a damn about them?!" Bu Wantian's eyes were completely bloodshot as he frantically clawed at the chains that bound him. "With our eternal lives, we can have all the women and children we want!! Why make such a big deal out of something so insignificant? How could you turn on one of your own for these mere maggots?! You... you're not fit to be human! You don't deserve to be alive!!"
 [Immortal jellyfish is actually a thing, although probably not in the way you imagine it. If you're interested, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii]Previous Chapter Next Chapter