Chapter 19: I Surrender
Translator: Translation Nation/chuchutrain Editor: - -
Basement, a small room
Pei Zi Yun observed his surroundings and noticed that the walls around him were solid concrete. He used his hands and knocked the wall, it did not sound hollow. These walls were true and unbreakable. He then sighed in despair.
Pei Zi Yun raised his head and noticed that there was a metal fence acting as a jail cell entrance. The only opening in the entire room was a small window right on top of the ceiling. The window could fit only the size of a person. Apart from that opening, everything else was solid walls and the sole metal fence.
He sighed and sat down. He could not help but think of what had just happened prior to being caught, and realised that something was not quite right.
Outside the jail cell, there was a fireplace with firewood burning, illuminating the entire room. In the middle stood a wooden table and a few chairs. On the table were some pig trotters, chicken meat and a flask of wine. A few wine bowls were on the table as well.
The dishes on the table had just been served and was still steaming. The few monks around the table began to help themselves to the dishes. A monk with bronze skin picked up the wine and put it before his nostrils, sniffing it, "This smells good, really good."
He then picked up the wine bowls and poured wine till it reached the brim and proceeded to drink it. He felt a spicy heat engulfing his throat and nostrils, "Good wine, this is good wine."
Following this, he distributed the bowls to everyone and filled them to the brim as well. As he was pouring, some wine spilt on the table, but he did not seem to mind. The smell of wine perforated the entire place, as the monks salivated with greed.
"Come, everyone drink!" they raised their wine bowls..
"Cheers" the monk knocked their bowls together as wine spilt all over before they emptied their bowls.
When the big monk had finished drinking, he used his sleeve to wipe his mouth before picking up a pig trotter and took huge bites after huge bites.
"Eat, eat, eat." the rest of the monk started eating as well, grease staining all their lips.
"Big brother, why have we captured all these students and not killed them? Should the students escape and reveal our secrets, we will not be able to hold Silver Dragon Temple for much longer."
"That's right. The donations that we get every month is plenty, we get to eat good food and expensive wine. We even have many pretty girls around for us to have fun with. Times like these are much better than what the scriptures have said about the pure Buddhist land." The monks all agreed with this.
"Idiots, these are all scholars. Chances are very high that some of them here will become Elementary Scholars. If one or two die, it can be passed off as an accident. But if ten of them die, a full scale investigation will be launched. The Imperial Court will send their patrols here and keep watchful eyes."
"Don't you be meddlesome, if not, nobody will be able to save you." The senior monk looked coldly at his junior and stared right at him, "With your useless fighting skills, may the patrolling soldiers kill you!"
Seeing his senior monk talking to him so fiercely, this monk was scared out of his wits.
As the junior monk retreated and looked on afraid, the senior monk then placed his bowl on the table before speaking more gently, "And these scholars are wanted by the higher ranking sect members. Speak less, care less, listen less. Should anything happen, you know our sect methods."
He looked again at his own disciple and smiled. The disciple received his senior's gaze and was terrified.
"Come, let's all drink the wine" Another monk said, sensing the tense mood, pouring more wine and encouraging everyone to drink.
"That's right, let's all drink" The monks then held all their wine bowls together and knocked it as they continued drinking.
The captured students had not eaten anything nor drank anything. Seeing the monks consuming such a lavish meal, they were all hungry. Tang Zhen was in a cell next door and he said, "Teacher is wise, and student is respectful."
The monks ignored this. Tang Zhen then continued, "I am a student who had just taken the Imperial examinations and was here to relax and have some fun. We did not mean to interrupt you, and hope that teacher would let us all go. You can be assured that we will not speak a word of this to anyone, what do you think?"
Zhu Hao then began his tactless tirade once more saying, "These monks are supposed to uphold the integrity of their teachings. But they hide behind the shadows of the temples and keep women around. Do you know how this offends the heaven? If you let us out today, we will not mention this to anyone. If not, may the Imperial Courts find you guilty."
A sensible monk would be scared stiff after hearing this. Who would have expected the monk to say, "You bunch of wretched scholars. There is a righteous path to heaven for you to walk, but you chose to come into hell and get captured by us. I will deal with you later."
He laughed manically as he spoke. Hearing this, all the students turned pale with fright. Once this matter was leaked out, these monks will be executed by the Imperial Court, why would they release the students and leave a possibility of that happening? Understanding this, all their faces were cast with fear as their bravery fled. They all remained silent.
Tang Zhen started scolding and blaming Zhang Jie Yu for their current predicament. Seeing Zhang Jie Yu being unremorseful, everyone sighed.
The senior monk looked across his captives and observed them before clapping his hands.
He walked down the corridor and a noise grew louder. A door opened and an entire group of women entered. In that moment, the scent of their perfume strongly diffused across the room.
These ladies had a cloaked draped over their shoulders and were all dancing with the monks. They all wore a mask on their faces and dressed in button blouses, with different colours that radiated all across the entire room.
The monks were drinking their wines and eating meat. A few of them were touching the women as they scattered and started having fun. Some of these women removed their masks. Even though the situation was serious, the students could not help but stare at the women.
Tang Zhen's face turned white as sheet and spoke in hushed tones, "I recognize a few of these women. They are famous and reputable women of the city. At this point, it will be hard for us to escape."
He was trembling with fear. He knew that if the masks remained on their faces, concealing their identity, there was still a chance that they could leave. Now that their masks were off, they had no reason to release the students for fear of jeopardising their reputation.
The senior monk was then roused and said loudly, "My fellow Buddhists, we were taught to be merciful. But these students have discovered our secrets, and thus we cannot let them go. Dear students, what do you think we should do?"
"You wretched monks, release us immediately. When I go to court I will plead for them to give you another chance, if not, nobody else can save you."
Pei Zi Yun looked across and found that the person who said this was the tactless Zhu Hao.
The senior monk's expression sank as he pointed at Zhu Hao in anger and said, "Take him out and beat him."
A monk beside the senior acknowledged and used a key to open the metal gates. He walked up to Zhu Hao and slapped him across his cheeks.
"Pow!" Zhu Hao fell down.
The monk then dragged him out from the cell by his hair, causing him to scream out in pain. The monk did not seem to care and continued pulling him with one hand and dragged him to the side. He retrieved a whip and started lashing him."
Whoop whoop whoop!
All that could be heard was the sounds of Zhu Hao screams and cries. In a second, flesh and blood were indiscernible. He was rolling on the ground in pain as the lashes continued.
The senior monk looked at him with scorn and walked over with a fierce expression, "This establishment does not want to make enemies with you scholars, and thus I have an idea. These ladies here are all reputable women from the county and cities. They have sprayed scents on them and entered the temple to have fun"
"All you have to do is enjoy these women along with us monks. Say you agree to this, and we do not have to kill you. Neither do we have to worry that you will spill our secrets and spoil our lives. What do you think?"
All the students trembled with fear, not knowing what to do.
"Bah!" Zhang Jie Yu scolded loudly, "You wretched monks still want me to wallow with you in your distasteful behaviour? I tell you, I will never surrender. You can beat me all you like."
He then spat onto the senior monk's face. The monk wiped the spittle off before laughing, "Take this kid away, tie him up and beat him. Beat him to death, it does not matter."
Upon saying this, two monks ferociously approached like tigers stalking their prey. Zhang Jie Yu whipped out a dagger and pointed it at the two monks.
One of the monks fearlessly reached out and grabbed the dagger from him, as Zhang Jie Yu screamed in surprise. The two men then dragged him out into an interrogation room nearby. Once he was inside the room, they started hitting him.
From afar, Zhang Jie Yu could be seen being tied onto a wooden cross. Two monks used whips to beat him as he cried out pitifully. All that could be seen were shadows and their movements as Zhang Jie Yu was unrelenting in his screams.
The students were hungry and afraid. Seeing two of their fellow friends shouting and screaming in pain, their resolve had been broken. They all lost their courage.
The senior monk laughed and said, "All of you are young and are the pride of your families. You have fathers and mothers. Some of you even have wives. Since you are scholars, you are intelligent as well. Seeing a situation like this, we cannot allow you to leave unless you are stained like us. If you refuse to participate and compromise your virtues, I am afraid death is the only option."
Everyone knew that the monk was right. Those who were present were also not scholars without sense. One by one, they started to surrender reluctantly. Some were even crying.
Suddenly, Zhang Jie Yu could be heard crying out, "I surrender, I surrender. Stop hitting me. I surrender."
Since someone had already surrendered, Zhu Hao could not bear it any further and cried out as well, "Stop hitting me, I surrender too."
The senior monk smiled happily and said, "If you had surrendered earlier, all of this would not have happened! Come, give them some medication to apply!"
They too released Zhang Jie Yu from the interrogation room. But since the distance was too far, all that could be seen were shadows. With the sounds of his screams, Zhang Jie Yu absolved himself of any suspicions.
Zhu Hao was being carried up as the gorgeous women approached and applied medication for him. The medicine was indeed potent. Once it had been applied, Zhu Hao's screams gradually receded. His face was full of tears, blaming himself for not being strong enough.
The senior monk spun around and laughed at the captives in the jail cell and asked, "Who else refuses to surrender?"
With Zhu Hao and Zhang Jie Yu being beaten so savagely, the rest of the students did not dare to speak and sealed their mouths shut. The scent of elder flower perfume permeated the entire room. A student could bear it no longer and shouted, "I surrender!"
The senior monk laughed and said, "Open the gates!"
This student stepped out as the ladies engulfed him. The student then said in surprise, " Sister......"
She kissed him on the lips before he could say her name and no sound could be heard. Following this, the students all could not take it and one by one, surrendered. They too were being received by the women, some of them were rolling on the ground as they engaged in acts of lust.
When there's a first, there will always be a second. The jail cell was being opened and the students were all mingling with the women, just like at a festival. The senior monk laughed and shouted, "It has been accomplished!"
Seeing a few students still struggling with themselves inside the jail cell, the monks laughed and said, "With us here, they will not escape. Watch them. If they decide to surrender, give them the food, wine and women."
"What if they do not surrender?"
The senior monk laughed, "I will give them two days. If they refuse to surrender by tomorrow night, we will kill them."
He then looked at the remaining few, "You are all smart people. We cannot kill all of you. But now that most of you have surrendered, and are cooperating with us, killing the few of you would be easy. We will just say you fell into the river and drowned. It is going to be troublesome, but I am sure we can cover it up. Think carefully!"
As he said this, Tang Zhen sighed and forced a laugh before saying, " Brother Pei, with a situation like this, please forgive me for not having enough resolve and courage."
He then raised his hands and said, "I surrender."