More and more powerhouses converged on Nine-Five Island, looking for the whereabouts of Gu Hai everywhere.
Not just Nine-Five Island, seas as well as islands all around became the search targets of countless cultivators. Various islands mobilized their forces to search for Gu Hai at all costs.
However, Gu Hai seemed to have disappeared into thin air. After another month or so, not a single bit of information about Gu Hai had surfaced.
Already, even more cultivators had gathered at Nine-Five Island. The Golden Tong, as the biggest casino in this sea region, was also favored by cultivators of all regions. Such a gathering of cultivators similarly filled the pockets of Golden Tong with countless spirit stones.
Unable to find Gu Hai, many cultivators vented their grievances by gambling again and again.
Unbeknownst to everyone, Gu Hai, whom the cultivators had been looking everywhere to no avail, was hiding right under everyone’s noses.
Golden Tong, the Valley of Crooks…
Gu Hai and Gao Xianzhi rested in a corner. They had already been here for over a month; nonetheless, the two had been unable to dispel the seal.
“My Lord, we have been here for over a month already, the people outside should be anxious now. Are My Lord’s family members going to be…?” said Gao Xianzhi, worried.
“The more I don’t show up, the safer my sons will be!” Gu Hai shook his head.
“Yes, it best that My Lord’s family is going to be all right. Your Subordinate is all alone, I don’t have to worry about anyone!” agreed Gao Xianzhi, shaking his head.
“Now that you mention it, sometimes having your family threatened is a good thing!” Gu Hai said with a smile.
“Oh? Your Subordinate does not understand!” asked Gao Xianzhi, perplexed.
“If there is an enemy who wants to harm you, you can lead him into a trap!” explained Gu Hai, instructing Gao Xianzhi.
“Oh?” Gao Xianzhi’s eyes suddenly lit up.
“For the time being, put this matter aside, as we are in a jail. But once we get out, you can set up some ‘family’ for yourself. Then, if you have an enemy, you can handle him with ease!” Gu Hai told him in a low voice.
Having considered his words for a moment, Gao Xianzhi’s eyes shone with a bright gleam as he nodded. “Yes! Thank you, My Lord, for teaching me! In the future, whatever My Lord orders me, Your Subordinate will spare no effort to accomplish it for sure, Your Subordinate will absolutely not slack off!”
Gu Hai smiled slightly after looking at Gao Xianzhi, because Gu Hai already understood what Gao Xianzhi meant to say; Gao Xianzhi was finally willing to follow him sincerely.
“My Lord, we have been here for one month, could it be that we are going to live in idleness here, waiting here until our turn to go to Colosseum arrives, where we will fight to the death?” inquired Gao Xianzhi, somewhat worried.
“This situation is bad for us. After having been here for so long, what do you think of this Valley of Crooks?” asked Gu Hai, looking at Gao Xianzhi.
“All of them are a bunch of ruthless people, ruthless and intelligent! We can’t say that they are malicious, but they’ve had to become as such due to the bad environment here. This place is extremely sinister!” said Gao Xianzhi in a heavy voice.
“Yes! Just as you arrive here, you have to snatch food in order to eat. If you are not ruthless, you will be bullied!” agreed Gu Hai grimly.
“I heard Chen Tianshan mention that these people are all criminals in various areas of Thousand Islands Seas. All of them are criminals who committed horrendous crimes and were captured by various sects of the Thousand Islands Seas and then sold to Golden Tong!” recalled Gao Xianzhi.
“All of them are people who are all alone. So you mean to say, if someone is an enemy of major sects, he is evil? Going against sects does not necessarily makes you a criminal. Who said that all sects are good? In a war, those who win becomes the ruler and those who lose are reduced to bandits; nothing more, nothing less! Furthermore, having survived after going through countless fights, all of them are the best battle-hardened veterans,” Gu Hai stated calmly.
“My Lord, you mean…?” Gao Xianzhi looked at Gu Hai.
“Let’s just wait for the time being; they are all arrogant and unyielding, all of them are not good to deal with. Let’s put this aside until Chen Tianshan returns!” said Gu Hai, whispering.
“Chen Tianshan was selected for the Colosseum, I wonder if he is…?” wondered Gao Xianzhi, worried.
“You don’t need to worry about him. He is in the Golden Core Stage, and furthermore, he has eaten a peach. Haven’t you felt the benefits of eating that peach?” Gu Hai asked calmly.
“Yes, subordinate indeed felt that the peach was filled with vigor and vitality. When our ship wrecked, My Lord’s life jacket sure played a big role in letting us survive, but perhaps, that peach had also played a major role in it!” replied Gao Xianzhi in a low voice.
Gu Hai nodded in agreement.
“My Lord, that man is looking over here again!” Gao Xianzhi reported in a grim voice.
“Oh?” Gu Hai turned his head to look. “Scar?”
“Yes, it’s him! Ever since My Lord made him withdraw when we just came here and had to catch the rats, he has been opposing us everywhere. Unfortunately for him, he is not My Lord’s opponent. Now, the enmity between us and him is only getting bigger and bigger!” Gao Xianzhi said as he narrowed his eyes.
Looking at the distant Scar, a sliver of a sneer appeared on Gu Hai’s lips as he said, “It’s alright! He can’t overturn the stormy waves!”
Clank! Clank! Clank!
Suddenly, the clattering of chains came from outside the valley, making everyone turn their heads and look instantly.
Turning the gaze, everyone saw a group of black-robed men once again entering the valley. Behind the black-robed men was just one man, Chen Tianshan!
With his hands and legs bound by chains, Chen Tianshan was in an extremely sorry state. His entire body was covered in blood, his hair was a mess, and flesh from arms seemed to have been clawed out, revealing his bones.
“Uncuff him!” ordered the black-robed leader.
Clank! Clank! Chen Tianshan was quickly released from his shackles.
“Gather around!” shouted the black-robed leader.
Swash! Swash! Swash!
All the cultivators quickly assembled. This time, no one dared to slack.
Soon, Gu Hai and Gao Xianzhi also mingled in the crowd.
Chen Tianshan weakly made his way into the crowd and walked to the side of Gu Hai and Gao Xianzhi.
“My Lord! I am still alive!” There was a desperate and painful look in Chen Tianshan’s eyes.
“You can be proud of yourself, for you are the only one left alive among the twenty who went!” Gu Hai comforted him in a low voice.
“Even though they were all at the Xiantian Stage, they were too cruel, too ruthless. I almost wasn’t able to come back!” Chen Tianshan shuddered as he recalled.
“But you came back! You just focus on recuperating!” said Gu Hai, taking deep breaths.
Chen Tianshan nodded weakly.
Looking at more than three thousand criminals, the leader dressed in black robe said coldly, “Everyone with a ‘1’ number, come out and follow me!”
“What?” Gao Xianzhi’s and Chen Tianshan’s eyes went wide.
Because Gu Hai’s mask had a number 1 on it.
Gu Hai had been chosen?
Gu Hai narrowed his eyes.
The looks on many people among the group of criminals who had a 1 on their masks immediately changed.
Nonetheless, no one dared to oppose those words. All they could do was step forward.
“My Lord!” Gao Xianzhi blurted out anxiously.
When Gu Hai walked next to Gao Xianzhi, he handed a small bottle to Gao Xianzhi.
He handed it over in a flash; so, no one discovered this.
“Give it to him for recuperating. Wait for me to come back!” Gu Hai said in a low voice.
After speaking, Gu Hai followed everyone to the front.
There were a total of sixteen people who had the number 1 on their masks.
Clank! Clank! Clank!…
A group of black-robed men quickly cuffed the sixteen men.
“Hehehe, Kid, do you still remember me?” a ruthless voice suddenly rang out next to Gu Hai’s ears.
It was none other than Scar, who had been defeated again and again over the past month.
“Roll over to one side, you loser!” Gu Hai said coldly.
“Humph, I am gonna enjoy watching you die in the Colosseum!” Scar glowered at Gu Hai.
Suddenly, a whip lashed Scar.
“Cut the crap and follow me!” a black-robed man angrily shouted.
In response, Scar lowered his head, not daring to resist.
A row of sixteen men slowly followed the black-robed men out of the valley.
After the black-robed men left, Gao Xianzhi, supporting Chen Tianshan, made their way to their previous secluded location, trying to avoid everyone.
“What should we do? Gao, in the Colosseum, the Xiantian Stage and Golden Core Stage cultivators are forced into fighting a scrimmage battle! My Lord is gone, what should we do?” Chen Tianshan asked anxiously.
“My Lord asked me to give you this. Just eat this and focus on recuperating. My Lord will come back, we just have to wait!” Gao Xianzhi handed the bottle to Chen Tianshan.
Without dilly-dallying, Chen Tianshan opened his mouth and swallowed the pill in the bottle. Immediately, Chen Tianshan’s condition improved rapidly as the flesh on his wounds grew at visible rate.
“A scrimmage between Golden Core Stage and Xiantian Stage at the Colosseum? Your cultivation isn’t unsealed?” Gao Xianzhi looked at Chen Tianshan.
“The seal is dispelled for a short time, but it simply doesn’t matter what your cultivation is, who survives and who dies, it all depends on the arrangements! In our group, apart from me, everyone was in the Xiantian Stage. Therefore, I was the last man standing!” Chen Tianshan explained bitterly.
“You were so miserably injured by a bunch of Xiantian Stage cultivators even after having your cultivation restored?” Gao Xianzhi looked at Chen Tianshan with wide eyes.
Chen Tianshan explained in anguish, “You don’t understand, the Colosseum is not just about cultivation, but also about life! All of them can put their life on the line! All of them are ruthless and determined, they are simply too horrible… too horrible! As long as they got close to you, even if their hands were broken, they would still want to take a piece out of you. With just their teeth, they can take a bite out of your flesh and bones, they will bite you like their lives are on the line, and even devour your meat!”
Gao Xianzhi’s eyelids started twitching madly. Turning his head, he looked at the groups of criminals in Valley of Crooks. In here, anyone would rarely fight, like all of them were sheep. Who would have thought that once they went out, they would turn so ruthless?
“My Lord will be alright!” Gao Xianzhi stated, taking a deep breath.
Chen Tianshan nodded before speaking worriedly, “My Lord is extremely smart, but, in the Colosseum, it’s a contest of strength, ruthlessness, and life. No matter how strong you are, it will be useless. I hope My Lord will be alright!”
The Golden Tong detained them in an extremely careful manner. Even if the criminals’ cultivations were sealed, when taking them in or out, they were still bound by chains.
Gu Hai slowly followed along many hilly forest trails before arriving in the vicinity of an enormous mountain.
The mountain was hollowed out and had arrays engraved on it to make it extremely sturdy. Everyone, through the entrance, slowly walked down a dark and gloomy corridor.
The interior was divided into many rooms for different purposes.
The sixteen men were respectively sent into sixteen small cells. And inside the small cells, there was a window from which one could see a huge arena in the mountain valley outside.
The mountain above the arena had been dug into to create an enormous seating area.
Gu Hai looked outside the window, narrowing his eyes. “This sure looks like a Roman colosseum! It’s just that it is ten times bigger than the one in Rome…”
Inside the cell, there was a small table which was currently piled with beef.
“Perhaps this is your last meal. Tomorrow, you are going to enter the arena, eat your fill, eat your fill like a hungry ghost!” the escorting black-robed man said coldly.
The black-robed man closed the cells and walked away.
The sixteen criminals were all given the same hospitality. Each of their cells was filled with food.
In the Valley of Crooks, they had no choice but to eat rats. For a long time, they had not had the chance to have such a delicious meal. Of course, the criminals had long abandoned caring about the taste of the food. They would eat anything as long as they could add strength to their bodies.
Even if the table was filled with rat meat, they would still eat it. Tomorrow, their life and death would be decided; even just an ounce of extra strength could increase their chance to survive.
There were several criminals whose eyes teared up as they ate, but there was still a savage look on their faces.