From the outside, the wine cellar was pitch-black. But this was not the case.
There was a faint glow that appeared just seconds after entering the wine cellar. Even though it was faint, it was enough for Qin Yu to make out his surroundings.
However, it was as if there was a restricting energy in the wine cellar that trapped all light inside, not letting a single ray escape. This was why it looked pitch-black from the outside.
Qin Yu was alert and tried to sense what was around him. He could vaguely detect a cryptic energy, but when he tried to examine it further, he still could not really make sense of what it was.
He paused for a few moments before continuing forward. The smell of fragrant wine became more intense, and the sweetness of it became more alluring as he continued to inhale.
He walked downward, unable to find any traces of the tunnel having been carved by another being. From time to time, he did find some abandoned treasures near narrow pathways. It seemed that this wine cellar was a natural resource of the Peach Garden, and not something that was man-made.
Trudging ahead in the direction where the faint glow was coming from, he suddenly heard footsteps coming from ahead of him. Qin Yu raised his eyebrows and paused. It was second apprentice brother.
His face was shocked. “Junior-apprentice brother, why are you here?”
Qin Yu replied, “I heard that second apprentice brother had entered the wine cellar to cultivate, but you did not come out for three days, so I came to check on you.”
Second apprentice brother nodded his head. “Thank you for your concern, but I’m fine. I’m actually planning to leave now…”
“I’ve been in the Peach Garden for so long, but this is my first time in the wine cellar. I haven’t had the chance to try any peach blossom wine either, why doesn’t second apprentice brother lead the way and get some wine for us to enjoy together?” asked Qin Yu.
Second apprentice brother smiled. “Sure, junior-apprentice brother, please follow me.”
Then, he turned and led the way, while Qin Yu followed closely behind.
For a few moments, they were both lost in thought and neither of them spoke. Only the sound of their footsteps echoed through the underground passage. For some reason, the atmosphere suddenly became eerie and dark. Second apprentice brother was starting to get a strange feeling about Qin Yu, though he did not have a reason for it.
They turned into a bending path that was obviously man-made, and the wine fragrance was even stronger here.
Second apprentice brother stopped in his tracks and smiled at Qin Yu. “Junior-apprentice brother, we’re here.” He raised his hand to point at a water body, “That’s peach blossom wine made from our own peach blossoms. Thanks to the optimal conditions for fermentation in this underground wine cellar, we are able to brew such fine quality wine.”
In front of Qin Yu, the ground caved inwards and was much lower, forming a small water body that was filled with wine. It looked slightly sticky and viscous under the light of the faint glow. On the surface, there were reflections of light and soft ripples. The wine fragrance must have come from this place.
Qin Yu nodded in excitement. “As expected, this is good wine!”
Second apprentice brother laughed. “Actually, the wine cellar is split into two parts. What you are looking at now is the bigger winery which is located at the outer edges of the wine cellar. The wine made here is good, but it’s not the best.”
He pointed towards another direction in the wine cellar. “There is a crevice there. When you get past it, you will reach the smaller winery. It is about a third of the size of this winery, but the quality of the wine is much better. When Master was still around, we only drank wine from the smaller winery.”
The corner of Qin Yu’s lips turned up. “Oh? Since there is even better peach blossom wine, we have to try it.”
Second apprentice brother grinned and nodded. “I’ll bring junior-apprentice brother there.”
Like what second apprentice brother said, there was a crevice where the light was slightly dimmer than before. It was very narrow and only allowed one person to cross at a time. Second apprentice brother seemed to be very familiar with the place, and with a few shuffles, he got over to the other side quickly.
Qin Yu was slightly slower. When he touched the stone walls, he found that it was sticky and moist. When he lowered his head to take a closer look, he realized that the liquid on his hands was red.
“Junior-apprentice brother, are you coming?” Second apprentice brother’s voice rang out.
Qin Yu raised his arm to signal to him. “Give me a second.”
The path through the crevice was not very long, and it did not take long to cross it. However, it was very cold. When entering the crevice, there was an obvious drop in temperature, and the faint glow dimmed even more.
Like what second apprentice brother had said earlier, there was indeed a winery here. It was not as big as the other one, but the wine here was thicker, almost forming a paste.
Second apprentice brother smiled even wider when he saw that Qin Yu had crossed the crevice. “This is the smaller winery that produces the peak quality of peach blossom wine. Thanks to you, I’ll be able to enjoy some of it today too.”
“Thank you second apprentice brother for bringing me here.”
Then, silence filled the air. The two parties smiled at each other, neither saying a word. The tension in the air became stronger and stronger. Second apprentice brother coughed to break the silence, “Junior-apprentice brother, aren’t you going to go take some wine?”
Qin Yu smiled and shook his head. “This wine is so precious, just smelling it is good enough for me. I don’t really like wine; it would be a waste for me to drink it.”
Second apprentice brother advised him once more, “Since you’re already here, you should try some.”
Qin Yu continued to shake his head.
Silence once more.
Second apprentice brother turned to look at Qin Yu abruptly. “Why aren’t you taking any wine yourself? Are you hoping that I would serve you personally?”
His smile disappeared, and blood started to drip from his eyes. He was so pale that he looked like a corpse that had been buried underground for many years.
Qin Yu grinned slyly, thinking that there was no point in carrying on with the act anymore. He was not as patient as he thought.
“Thank you second apprentice brother for your kindness, but I am really unworthy of drinking such fine quality wine.”
The tone in second apprentice brother’s voice became even colder. “Looks like you are really hoping for me to serve you some wine personally.”
Then, blood started dripping from his nose and mouth. His pale skin started to decompose, revealing his red flesh underneath.
What was more strange was that the wine fragrance in the air became even more intense. Most importantly, the fragrance was giving Qin Yu a strong sense of temptation to just jump into the pool of wine.
Qin Yu held his breath, but realized that it did not suppress the temptation. It was as if these feelings were acting directly on his soul. He was unable to escape it even if he did not smell the fragrance.
Second apprentice brother’s body started to rot entirely. When he opened his mouth, his gums were visible and he looked extremely horrifying. “Junior-apprentice brother, please, come here and enjoy some of this wine!”
The wine in the small winery started to boil. The liquid gushed upwards and condensed to form numerous tentacles, rushing towards Qin Yu.
Qin Yu’s eyes looked slightly sluggish, and he reacted slightly late.
The wine tentacles wrapped around his arms and legs.
The tentacles’ grip tightened, and the small winery was like a beast, pulling Qin Yu frantically. The ground underneath Qin Yu’s feet ruptured, causing long ravines to appear. He could not prevent himself from being dragged towards the pool of wine.
He was struggling very hard, but from time to time, there was still a sluggish look in his eyes. He was completely unable to defend at all.
Ulcers started to form on second apprentice brother’s body. His whole appearance looked different now. He was all raw flesh, with pus oozing out of his ulcers. His eyeballs were out of their sockets, looking straight at Qin Yu. The blood vessels on his body were filled with blood, almost like they were going to burst. With them interwoven across his body, he looked extremely terrifying.
Second apprentice brother laughed evilly. “Come on, junior-apprentice brother. The wine is really good, you will definitely like it.”
Little by little, Qin Yu was pulled towards the pool of wine. ‘Splash!’ He fell right into it.
Second apprentice brother let out an ear-piercing guffaw, his voice sounding urgent. “I can finally eat again…I’m starving…”
He turned and walked into the small pool of wine. His flesh started to melt off his body and mix with the wine, and the fragrance began to intensify once more.
He lay down in the wine, and he completely dissolved in the pool as if he was made of mud.
From the outside it looked like a very small pool. However, it was extremely deep. Qin Yu descended very quickly due to the pull of the tentacles. Many moments had already passed, yet he had not reached the bottom.
A formless energy rushed towards Qin Yu and formed a cold, thick and sticky layer on the surface of his body. It wrapped around him tightly.
Qin Yu’s vision became more blurry. If this continued, he would soon be surrounded by darkness thanks to the layer of membrane around him.
Qin Yu took a deep sigh. The sluggish look in his eyes disappeared. If he still could not find the real second apprentice brother, he would have no choice but to make his move.
Otherwise, if he continued acting, this show might indeed lead to a tragic ending.
Thankfully, his dilemma did not last very long. ‘Dong!’ He had finally reached the bottom of the pool.
Even though his vision was blurred, he could still make out some of his surroundings. Near him, he saw someone that was exactly like him – a person that was wrapped with a membrane, lifeless and unmoving.
From that person’s figure, Qin Yu could confirm that it was indeed the real second apprentice brother.
He let out a sigh of relief internally, and the corners of his lips turned upwards, revealing a cold smile. Even though he did not know who it was that disguised themselves as second apprentice brother, clearly that person was a glutton and ate anything and everything. That person was about to have an upset stomach.
Qin Yu’s eyes glowed with vitality and with a flip of his palm, light rays were produced, forming a sword shadow.
Without resistance or struggle, he had allowed himself to be eaten by someone. Now that he was wielding a sword in his hand, about to retaliate…it was an unbeatable sense of satisfaction!
The pool of wine did not feel the same. Imagine someone pulling out a sword in your stomach. It would undoubtedly cause unimaginable pain. Furthermore, this sword had a huge killing power, thus it would definitely deal even more damage.
The pool of wine experienced yet another explosion, expelling Qin Yu who had previously been swallowed.
Of course, Qin Yu did not forget to bring the real second apprentice brother with him, who had been submerged at the bottom of the pool.
He landed near the shore of the pool. The membrane that was around him had already been torn to shreds thanks to the sword shadow, and he rapidly tore it off his body.
Just by feeling the membrane, Qin Yu could tell that using brute force to tear the membrane apart would not be enough. The sword shadow had already disappeared, making Qin Yu give up all ideas of borrowing its power once again.
Even though this sword had already acknowledged its master…hehe, or for better words, been forced to acknowledge its master, Qin Yu still had not gained complete control of it. If he teased it again, there was no guarantee that it wouldn’t slice him in half from head to toe.
Oh well, safety first; let’s leave second apprentice brother in the membrane for a little longer. Anyway, it looked like he had already spent quite some time in there, so what was another half an hour more?
The pool of wine was still bubbling and now, one could smell tinges of blood within the wine fragrance that was wafting in the air. As for that being that had disintegrated and mixed together with the pool of wine, it had now taken form again.
Without any eyelids, its eyeballs were protruding. It stared at Qin Yu, full of hatred and vengeance.
“Ah!” It cried out, and tentacles shot out from its body.
Qin Yu’s face paled, and from the contorted expression on second apprentice brother’s face, Qin Yu could tell that he had been through a lot of pain.
The tentacles summoned by the being rushed towards Qin Yu once more. However, this time, it was obvious that it was not trying to get ahold of him to pull him into the pool of wine. It aimed directly towards Qin Yu’s neck, wanting to strangle him to death and get rid of him once and for all!
But the self-decomposing being was fooled again. Qin Yu had already ‘hidden’ his soul in a separate ‘space’, thus he did not sustain any injuries at all.
His face paling was only part of an act. It was bait. Now that the fish had caught onto his bait…‘Pow!’ Qin Yu had gotten a firm grip on the tentacles, a cold smile on his face.
He stomped his foot on the ground, causing his ankles to sink into the cracks. It looked as if he had become one with the earth.
Qin Yu pulled fiercely and the tentacles instantly became taut like a bowstring. Being pulled at both ends, the tentacles became thinner and thinner, feeling as though they could snap at any point.
However, Qin Yu was not worried, because he knew the nature of the tentacles. They were formed from the wine in the pool, which meant that they shared a body with the pool, unless the other party decided to dismember itself.
If that was the case, then it would be an easier task for Qin Yu, because the other party would be sustaining two heavy injuries consecutively. Even if it hid back in the pool, Qin Yu would be able to subdue it.
As expected, this being in the pool did not do such a thing. It was aware of its plight, and got ready to let go and fight against Qin Yu with everything it had.
When the tentacles were pulled to their limits, suddenly, the pool of wine exploded, and like a dam that burst, the being rushed towards Qin Yu.
This being, who practiced the art of self-decomposition, opened its mouth and rushed towards Qin Yu, getting ready to tear him into pieces!