Chapter 25

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written by kakashi

Shao Wan cloud-jumped to the gates of the Obsidian Palace. She had brought no weapons, because whatever arms she had in her current possession were useless against a High Demon God like Cheng Yin. She wouldn't even try to get her whip this time. The gates were wide open and there were no guards or soldiers anywhere. She walked in, her skin prickling. The silence and the emptiness were ominous but fitting. This was how she had always imagined her tomb: A huge, black stone building that scared every visitor.

She sensed Cheng Yin's aura in the red throne room, her once favorite place in the palace and where she had spent the most time with him. As she walked there, she greeted familiar objects exhibited in the corridors. A golden dragon scale she had picked up in front of her cave - it belonged to Mo Yuan's father. A Spirit Stone that had been given to her as a tribute by a wood spirit. A jade pendant in the form of a turtle that she had won over a game of Go. The tip of a Moon Tooth Spade that a wandering Daoist priest had thrown at her in anger. A Qilin Core that she had kept to honor the Beast that had been so hard to kill. These were fragments of a past life that held no meaning anymore.

The doors to the throne room were wide open too - an invitation to her doom. Not many steps left. Hesitating would not change anything.

She was so scared of what she would see she kept her eyes glued to the floor. But no, being afraid was not how she would spend her last moments. Stepping across the threshold at the door, she took a deep breath and lifted her head. Cheng Yin sat at the far end, on her throne, and grinned. In front of him, in a puddle of blood, lay Fong Hung, in large toad form. Cheng Yin had bound him with magical rope and judging from the instruments scattered on the floor, he had used all means of torture known to Demons on her Mount.

Tears started to gather in her eyes. She lifted her hand to brush them away. There was no shame in crying for her friend and the pain he had to endure because of her inability to protect him, but Cheng Yin would not get to see her tears.

"Wan Wan," Cheng Yin greeted her, extending his hand, "you took your time getting here; Fong Hung could hardly take it any longer. Is Mo Yuan a capable lover?"

She started walking towards him, not taking her eyes off her bleeding companion. Cheng Yin's magic was palpable all around her - it was possible there were hidden seals and traps - and she braced herself for his attack.

It didn't come. He must be very confident she would do everything to protect her Mount. She fell to her knees in front of Fong Hung and hugged his bulky form, almost choking on her tears. His life force was very feeble. How could she free him like this? He wouldn't be able to leave on his own.

"If you submit to me willingly, I will let him go," Cheng Yin said from the dais above her. "And don't worry. Given a few hundred or maybe thousand years, he will recover and be his old ugly self."

She looked up at him and what Cheng Yin saw in her eyes must have alarmed him, because the smile disappeared from his face.

"If you move against me, he is dead," he hissed, pointing his fingers at Fong Hung, ready to strike. "In fact, if you do not obey my every command, he is dead."

She stayed still, studying his cruel face. Had she ever thought him handsome? He was a monster. Worse than his father.

"And now, kneel in front of me and bow."

Kneeling and bowing was one thing, but Shao Wan knew he would not stop there. No man had ever taken her by force, but Cheng Yin wanted to break and fully dominate her. She knew exactly what kind of things he would order her to do soon.

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