Chapter 269: “Dream turned Nightmare (1)”
[Mistress, it seems bad in here.]
Black mist seeped out of Jun Wu Xie’s body into a ball and coalesced into the agile little black cat. It jumped onto the soft bed and swished its furry tail furiously, looking like it was trying to dispel the bad smell in the air.
“It’s just the heavy smell of death.” Jun Wu Xie said dismissively, a smell she was extremely familiar with. Dissipated from the rotting bodies under the surface, the scent of death gradually blossomed here. The Hidden Cloud Peak looked on the surface to be a place exalted and revered, but hidden underneath, was mysterious deaths, unseen, unknown.
[That hideous monster must have been up to no good.]
The little black cat had seen Ke Cang Ju clearly when it hid within Jun Wu Xie’s body, and he had looked absolutely horrendous.
Jun Wu Xie was silent and sat quietly in the chair.
They had just come to the Hidden Cloud Peak and they were led straight to the living quarters by the disciple. No one else paid them any attention and the excited youths in the group had gathered in the courtyard all afternoon. They did not dare stray or wander without any instructions given as they highly treasured this opportunity given to them.
When night approached, several Hidden Cloud Peak disciples were returning to the quarters. The newcomers had grown hungry and they watched as their senior fellows passed them. One of them gathered his courage and approached the seniors to ask for food, but were sent crawling back with cold stares.
Only when night had fully fallen, and the youths were ravenously hungry, the disciple who had led them to the quarters earlier in the day ambled in slowly and shouted for all the new recruits to gather.
Jun Wu Xie and Qiao Chu stepped out of their rooms and exchanged a glance, and they did not see a sign of hunger on each other.
“Senior, it’s….. already so late into the night….., when can we ….. eat?” The ravenous youths held their bellies as they looked at the disciple.
The disciple cast them a glance and replied maliciously: “You want to eat?”
The youths nodded eagerly.
The disciple raised his hand and pointed outside, and said: “Look, there are a hundred large urns outside. Five miles to the east, lies a mountain spring. Everyone of you will have to fill up three large urns with water. If you do not complete it, don’t even think about dinner tonight, or even tomorrow’s breakfast.”
“What!?” The youths were utterly shocked. They had seen the huge urns earlier today when they had come in. They were larger in width than any of them with their hands stretched out and were as tall as they were. The distance of five miles was not too far away but a round trip would make it ten. They had starved for a whole day and had not even a drop of water and it was already so late at night, they did not have the energy to carry water treading through the mountains. Such huge urns to fill, and to fill up three at that, would require tens and tens of trips for them.
The uneven mountain paths did not make it easier, but even if the path was flat and even, none of them would be able to complete it.
“So, what is this? You guys are complaining? Let me tell you, the water in those urns will be used to water the herb beds tomorrow. If you cannot do it, then get out of here quick. The Hidden Cloud Peak has no use for useless wimps like that!” The disciple sneered and gave them a good tongue lashing.
The youths had been happily languishing around all day thinking that their dreams had finally come true, but they all huddled in fear together now, when they found out that their nightmare had actually just begun.
A dream of fantasy that suddenly fell straight into their hands, was actually a nightmare that could claim all their lives!
They stubbornly refused to give up this rare opportunity to have been finally accepted into the Hidden Cloud Peak, and pushed themselves to hang on. Even when the task given was impossible, they dragged themselves up and moved to carry it out.