Chapter 298: I didn't mean it
Mu Linger had been locked up by Long Feiye in a small, secret, dark little room. The inside was completely black without a hint of sunlight. There was only a single, square opening where she was delivered her meals. It was scary enough being locked up in such a dark room for a day, but she'd been there for a month. Long Feiye was a cruel master. More than simply locking Mu Linger up, he had expressly forbidden any of the people delivering her meals to talk to her. For a girl who was naturally vivacious and lively, this was the most horrifying torture of all. Being stuck in a dark room like this, completely cut off from the rest of the world, was enough to make her fall apart.
Mu Linger had tried countless times to scream and shout like a lunatic, but nobody paid her any attention. The only thing she could do within the past month was listen to the sound of footsteps. Currently, some were heading her way even though it wasn't mealtime yet. Delighted, she rushed to the square-shaped opening and cried, "Who is it? Who's come?"
The footsteps stopped at her voice, making Mu Linger grow anxious enough to shout. "Who's over there? Come out!"
"Speak! Are you a mute?"
"Just what do you want to do? Say something, ah!"
"Long Feiye, you can kill or torture me as much as you like! I, Mu Linger, am not afraid!"
"All I did was push Han Yunxi out, so what? If you have any skills, don't lock up me! Kill me instead!"
Very quickly, the footsteps resumed their walking. This time Mu Linger fell silent to wait, perched by the window of her cell door. She was extremely nervous, afraid that the footsteps would disappear if she was even slightly careless. She'd already been suffocated here for a month without being able to see a thing. All she could hear was the sound of footsteps. It was enough to drive her mad!
Even death row convicts had an execution date, right? But she was locked up with seemingly no end in sight. She had no idea when they would pass her sentence. Her bright eyes stared, round and wide, at the darkness before her. As the footsteps drew closer, light approached as well. Very soon, she saw who had arrived.
"Han Yunxi!" Mu Linger was stunned.
Han Yunxi drew closer step by step to look indifferently at Mu Linger. There were plenty of people who wanted her life for no reason, so she was long used to it. But this girl was different. She had risked her own life to save her at the Xuan gold door, pulling her away from the hordes of man-eating rats. But not long later, this girl had shoved her towards those same man-eating rats.
Just what was up with that?!
If her inner convictions weren't so strong, she might have started doubting human capacity for kindness. Mu Linger immediately recovered her senses and smiled coldly. "Han Yunxi, so you're not dead yet!"
Didn't Jun Yixie kidnap this woman? She was rescued that quickly?
Han Yunxi crossed her arms over her chest and looked at Mu Linger with interest through the window in the door. This girl had fallen to the pits, but still dared to provoke her? Pretty gutsy! And yet, Mu Linger simply spoke up again. "What are you looking at? Kill me if you have the guts, otherwise, go scram!"
Han Yunxi sucked in a cold breath. This girl wasn't simply stubborn, but pure obstinance. "I saved you, but you still repaid kindness with enmity!" she accused angrily.
"It's not like I wanted you to save me! I don't need it, your hypocritical ways!" Mu Linger immediately rebutted.
Han Yunxi narrowed her eyes and suddenly turned severe. "Someone come, give her a heavy punishment!"
Mu Linger grit her teeth and looked away, refusing to say a word. Very soon, an attendant arrived and asked, "Esteemed wangfei, which punishment shall it be?"
Han Yunxi wore a cold smile. "Since she didn't need me to save her, use the rat torture. Let her taste the flavor of being chewed by rats."
At these words, Mu Linger silently broke out into cold sweat. The so-called rat torture was done by placing a caged rat over the stomach of the victim. Then the cage would be cooked with flames, agitating the rat to escape for its life by burrowing through the victim's stomach and internal organs to the other side. This was one of the top ten cruelest tortures in Cloud Realm Continent. Naturally, Mu Linger knew of it as well. She clenched her fists. Though she was afraid, she refused to lower her head and maintained her haughty expression.
Very soon, the implements of torture were brought over. The huge rat inside the cage had been starved for so long that it kept chittering nonstop. Mu Linger furrowed her brows. The noise sounded like raw claws scratching against her heart. Scary!
"Mu Linger, do or don't you need me to save your life?" Han Yunxi was quite willing to give her another chance before the torture.
Finally, Mu Linger looked over. She glanced over the rat torture tools before resting her gaze on Han Yunxi's face. Everyone along with Han Yunxi assumed that she'd admit her wrongs, but Mu Linger only said word by word, "I. Don't. Need. It!"
A few of the attendants broke into an uproar, but Han Yunxi simply licked her lips in amusement. This was her first time seeing such a bullheaded girl. She didn't believe that she couldn't bring her into submission. Thus, she ordered without the slightest hesitation, "Someone come, start the torture!"
The attendants retreated to both sides to make way for two black-robed guards, who unlocked the cell door. After all, Mu Linger knew martial arts, so they had to make sure she wouldn't escape. Mu Linger simply smiled icily at the guards. "Don't you worry, I'm not thinking of escaping. Since I fell into your hands, I never thought of leaving this place alive."
As Mu Linger spoke, she raised her chin and strode out with large steps. She felt goosebumps on her skin as soon as she saw the large rat in the cage, but she didn't show her fear. Gritting her teeth, she went towards the punishment bed and lay down on it in one quick motion. She knew that she was an idiot for pushing Han Yunxi out like that, but she'd do it again if she had the choice. Ever since she was young, she would always say and do whatever was on her mind. Since she'd already done the deed, she'd admit it. There was no right or wrong about that.
The other attendants all gaped at Mu Linger lying there. His Highness Duke of Qin's little black room had imprisoned all sorts of spies, killers, and traitors. They'd used rat torture on many different people as well, but this was their first time seeing someone so fearless in the face of death. More than that, she was only a 16 to 17 year old girl.
Han Yunxi thought the girl would be a mess of tears and snot by now and begging her for mercy, so this scene caught her unawares. As she stared at the straight silhouette lying on the bed, a flash of admiration passed through her eyes. Though they were on hostile terms, she had to admit that this girl was plucky!
"Han Yunxi, if Qi gege comes to find me...just pretend you never saw me. Come on, let's get it over with." Mu Linger said before closing her eyes. She knew that Qi gege would definitely try to find her, if only to curse up a storm in her face. He might even start to hate her and think she was a bad girl. She could accept all that, but she didn't want Qi gege to know that she'd died so wretchedly.
The room was full of silence. Everyone looked at the unyielding girl, including Han Yunxi. Actually, she hadn't planned to use torture at all. She only wanted them to talk. When hurting people, aiming for their hearts was more effective than their bodies. She could tell that this young girl extremely liked Gu Qishao. She was going to pass on Gu Qishao's words to her onto Mu Linger. What were the original words?
'Han Yunxi, I'll avenge you as soon as I find that lass! We can whip her or tear her to pieces, whatever you like.'
If you heard your favorite person say those things about you, it'd be the saddest thing of all, right?
And yet, Han Yunxi suddenly lost all desire to say anything after hearing Mu Linger speak. Only someone who'd loved before would understand how nothing hurt more than feelings of the heart. She walked and said softly, "Damned girl, why you do hate me? So much that you want my life?"
Mu Linger's eyes flew open. She never expected Han Yunxi to come over. While preparing for the rat torture, she'd been mentally telling herself to be strong, don't fear, you can do it!
Han Yunxi purposely bent over and narrowed her eyes dangerously. "Speak! Why do you hate me? I have no grudge with you!"
Mu Linger clenched her jaw and stared at her without a word.
"Because of Gu Qishao?" Han Yunxi asked next. She could tell that Mu Linger had eatened vinegar, but that shouldn't be enough to take her life, right?
"Because, you hurt Qi gege's heart!" Mu Linger suddenly shouted. "Han Yunxi, because of you, Qi gege was sad! He likes you so much! Your crime is unforgivable!"
"I... How did I hurt his heart? He likes me? Heheh...he..." Han Yunxi felt extremely helpless. Could Gu Qishao's 'like' be counted as truly liking someone? What a joke. To put it more seriously, he'd be taking liberties with a married woman! But Han Yunxi hadn't finished speaking before Mu Linger cut her off angrily.
"When you and Long Feiye were together, you didn't even notice the disappointment in his eyes. Have you ever paid any attention to him?"
Han Yunxi didn't want to continue the topic and said impatiently, "Girl, you've eaten vinegar, haven't you? You're so young but you're willing to kill just because of jealousy. How did your father and mother teach you?"
Willing to kill because of jealousy? Was she really that terrible?
Mu Linger turned agitated. "That's not it! I didn't mean it, I was just really mad at the time so I..." It was only after she spoke that she realized she'd admitted to the mistake she refused to acknowledge before. Extremely annoyed, she immediately shut her mouth.
Han Yunxi stood up with her arms crossed to look down disdainfully at Mu Linger. Suddenly, she burst out into laughter. This girl, she's rather cute. Compared to Duanmu Yao, she's much more simple and innocent. There's no tricks or artificiality to her at all. She was a good and guileless girl to begin with, so why did she paint herself as such a villain?
When Mu Linger saw Han Yunxi laugh, she panicked even more. "Han Yunxi, if you don't like Qi gege, then stop teasing him! Qi gege's really had it rough, so I don't want to see him suffer."
"How has he had it rough?" Han Yunxi was very curious to know.
Now, Mu Linger turned earnest. "He's been an orphan since he was young and grew up begging for his meals. There was no one to support him, and he always got bullied. It wasn't easy for him to get to where he was today. I won't allow anyone to hurt him!"
Han Yunxi's mouth kept twitching. She really couldn't keep on listening anymore, so she cut Mu Linger off. "Enough about him, let's talk about Mute Granny instead."
Han Yunxi knew she'd never be able to truly torture the girl. That was all well since Mu Linger had admitted her wrongs just then. Her second motive for coming here today was Mute Granny.
As soon as Mu Linger heard the name, she sat up. "How do you know about Mute Granny? What's going on?"