Chapter 1264: Empress
Han Sen now understood Yaksha had been playing Blood River King like a fiddle. His co-operation had been a complete lie all along. He had only wanted Blood River King’s super creatures, and he had gotten them successfully.
“Poor Blood River King. To think he actually believes he owes Yaksha his life…” Han Sen now knew not to underestimate Yaksha’s cunning.
The cold female spirit responded to Yaksha now, saying, “I acknowledge and appreciate the help you have given, but three super creatures are not enough to satiate the hunger of the Serpent Throne.”
“Blood River King was very hesitant, and despite pressing him all that time, I could only manage to convince him to bring three,” Yaksha said in his defense.
The female spirit responded, saying, “Understood. Still, you have brought me many over time. And when the flying fish comes, once I have killed it, I should meet the requirements for challenging the Aqua Vine. If I am successful, you will receive your reward then.”
“Thank you, my most gracious lady.” Yaksha kneeled, as if in her service.
“Scour the stream for the fish’s location. Until it arrives, I must return to rest,” the female spirit said.
“Yes, milady.” Yaksha bowed and then went off downstream.
Han Sen was shocked over what he had just witnessed. If what she said was true, it seemed Yaksha had managed to obtain for her more than just those three super creatures.
“But who is this female spirit? She must be an empress, if Yaksha so willingly obeys her.” Han Sen had no clue who he was now looking likely to deal with.
Han Sen reflected over his dealings with Yaksha, and he thought the spirit was a remarkable nemesis. Yaksha was clever and deceptive, as much as he was strong and mighty. He had even managed to trick Xiang Yin. If his past behavior was anything to go by, Han Sen thought it was unlikely Yaksha had the lake’s female spirit’s interests at heart. It was likely he was just using her, too, and his kneeling and kind words were just for show.
“I don’t like the fact that they’re going to kill the flying fish king.” Han Sen frowned.
Han Sen had planned to wait until they started fighting the Aqua Vine before intervening. But now, if he wanted to save the flying fish king, he’d have to expose himself earlier than he wanted to.
After all, there was no chance Han Sen could make battle with the pest Yaksha, an empress, and whatever goliath the Aqua Vine was, all by himself.
Fighting alongside the fish king was his only chance. If he wanted the fruit, or whatever other treasure might have been waiting, he’d need the fish to be his ally in the endeavor.
Han Sen then wracked his mind, going over the many ways he might be able to save the fish king from the trap that was waiting for it. But as he thought, he noticed one of the serpents moving the throne to the sh.o.r.e.
It did so in a short amount of time.
The empress went to sit on the throne, and her expression and posture suggested her mind was elsewhere, and she was deep in thought.
The serpents moved around a lot, but the throne was stable as she sat. They were wriggling around like lecherous tentacles.
The throne was being brought further past the sh.o.r.e, up the cliffside of a mountain.
“The fish king is on its way. Where is she going?”
Han Sen, still in the Night Cloak, ventured forward to see what she was up to.
The Empress was going up the mountain the fish king would inevitably head for.
“Is she tricking the trickster? Has she tricked Yaksha, getting him out of the way so she can nab the fruit all for herself?” As Han Sen followed, the more he saw and the more he reviewed this curious happening, he realized he was incorrect.
The throne stopped before the mountain. Then, she stood up and said aloud, “Are you really going to remain guised in shadow? You should come out and greet me like a man.”
This came as a sudden shock to Han Sen, and he thought to himself, “She knows I’m following her? I thought nothing could notice me while I wore the Night Cloak!”
Fear became the prevailing emotion Han Sen felt right now, but just as it settled in, a stone door revealed itself on the cliffside. Beyond it seemed to be a fairly deep cave.
Han Sen felt major relief wash over him like a tide, and he comfortingly said to himself, “Whew! She wasn’t talking to me. This Night Cloak helped me a.s.sa.s.sinate an emperor before, so I suppose it makes sense even she would not notice me.”
Han Sen looked into the cave and noticed it was pitch black inside.
The throne was still in front of the cave, and on it, the empress said, “Have you come to a decision regarding the offer I presented you?”
A weird noise came out of the cave, like metal been sc.r.a.ped against rock.
Han Sen envisioned a being chained up in the darkness. And whatever it was, it was rattling the chains and beating them against the stone.
The empress did not say anything more. She waited outside the cave in silence.
The sound of chains grew louder, suggesting it was coming closer.
Han Sen leaned forward, eager to get a look at what was coming out of the cave. He really wanted to see. The noise of chains was now near the entrance, and something was ready to step out and make an appearance.
When the moonlight revealed what had been kept from sight, Han Sen was given a shock.
It was a man. His clothes were in tatters, and his hair was long and filthy. It masked much of his face, denying a view of his true ident.i.ty. There were cuffs attached to each of his limbs, and the chains made a sordid sound when he moved.
The chains drifted behind the man, reaching back into the dark recesses of the cave. They had been created with the same material that composed the empress’ throne. But the most shocking thing about this entire affair was that the man was a human.
“Why has a human been chained up here? What could she possibly want with him?” Han Sen frowned, looking at the disheveled man.
“What is your decision? Will you help me?” The empress seemed to be giving the prisoner an ultimatum.