Heart and Soul
The door of Qiankun Palace's side hall was suddenly pushed open, and the candle flame inside the hall swayed with the wind.
Yan Yuan went straight into the inner hall, straight to the man on the bed, and grabbed Xuan Long's shoulders and shook him frantically.
"The inner elixir..."
"Give me the inner elixir!!! Quickly!!!"
The chains on Xuan Long's body rattled dully for a long time before he woke up in a daze and opened his turquoise eyes to look at the person beside him.
The silver crown on Yan Yuan's head was nowhere to be seen, his black hair was dripping wet and knotted into wisps, water was dripping down his cheeks and his eyes were as scarlet as blood.
He was shaking Xuan Long so hard that the chains inadvertently slammed into his bulging stomach, causing vague pain.
He was used to Yan Yuan's unpredictable moods, and when he had finished his rage, it would naturally pass, so Xuan Long endured his discomfort as he pursed his lips and turned his face away.
The rain under the eaves was falling heavier and heavier, and the noise of the outside world was cut off by the walls.
He was covered with heavy bedding, but Xuan Long still felt cold.
The cold was not something he had ever been afraid of.
In normal times, Yan Yuan would have allowed him to continue and just let it go, but this time it was different: Ning Zhiyu was dying, literally.
Xuan Long had just turned his face when Yan Yuan grabbed his cheek and turned it back, slapping it.
"I'm talking to you!!!"
"Are you deaf!!!"
"I said, give me the inner elixir!!!"
Yan Yuan was born tall and his palms were large.
When his slap landed on Xuan Long's face, not only did his ears experience a temporary ringing, but his temples also tingled with sudden pain.
Xuan Long opened his mouth and spat out a weak and hoarse sentence, "… I won't give it to you."
With so much force, his cheeks were slightly swollen and glowed a harsh red, making the other side of his face whiter and whiter.
Xuan Long used to have a chilling coldness to his face, but now that coldness seemed to have receded a bit, perhaps because he was so weak that many times those deep turquoise eyes could not even focus.
When a beast is dying, anyone can step on it.
Yan Yuan's palm was burning with pain that made him find some sense.
He didn't know how much pain Xuan Long was in, he only thought of his beloved dying and that if Ning Zhiyu died, he wouldn't be able to live.
The heartbreaking pain was so intense that it brought tears to Yan Yuan's eyes.
He bent down, crouched in front of Xuan Long's chest and hissed, “A'Yu is dying...
is really dying..."
“Give me the inner elixir...
I don't want to cut out your heart..."
give it to me."
Xuan Long was wearing a profane robe over his body, and Yan Yuan's tears soon permeated the thin material.
His tears that were so hot were shed for another person.
Originally he thought that after the death of Hu Le, his heart had become a dry well and no more tears could well up in his eyes, but that was not the case.
Since he was a body made of flesh and blood, he would have tears, he could not help it.
Xuan Long's indifferent turquoise eyes moved and a wetness slipped through the corner.
Yan Yuan had begged him for a long time, and between the chaos, Xuan Long vaguely felt that such a scene had appeared before, that Yan Yuan had also begged him in such a sad manner.
As for what he begged for, he couldn’t remember.
Perhaps it was all just a dream.
The inner elixir was long gone, it was not that he would not hand it over, but how could he give him what had been already given to him long ago What Yan Yuan thought of the dying dragon, who no longer even had the desire to confess the truth, was none of his business.
For many ordinary people, if they ask for something but cannot get it, they forget about it, but when it comes to Yan Yuan, the person who tells him that he cannot get what he wants always pays a huge price.
Xuan Long's persistent silence caused Yan Yuan to completely lose his patience, roughly grabbing Xuan Long by the lapels and dragging half of his body up, “I'll say it again, hand over the inner elixir."
"I have no more time to spend with you, if you remain silent like this, I will cut out your heart and the evil seed in your belly will not survive."
Yan Yuan thought that this would be enough to threaten Xuan Long, but in reality, for those who were about to die, many of the things they once cared about and feared would become less important.
Xuan Long's neck was tightly strangled by the clenched up collar of his profane clothes, the long hair behind his back moved slightly with his swaying body, and his mute voice answered, "… You are happy, that's all."
Yan Yuan clenched his teeth, and the force of his hand tightened slowly: "What did you say"
Xuan Long's faint breathing intensified due to the other party's brute force: "You are happy, that's all."
His face was expressionless as he said this, and he didn't even look at Yan Yuan, his demonic turquoise pupils looking past Yan Yuan into the void behind him with no purpose.
Yan Yuan hated the fact that Xuan Long was not looking at him, forcing him to squeeze his jaw painfully, demanding that he had to look at him, gritting his teeth with every word, "You're provoking me."
He had done everything he wanted, he had given him everything he wanted, and now he wanted his heart, he wanted him dead, and he had given it to him, so why was he still not satisfied.
The human race was really much more complex than their demon counterparts, at least he had never understood it.
Yan Yuan's face darkened: "You are the one who is forcing me."
"Someone!!! Han Po has repeatedly disobeyed the holy orders and does not know how to repent, so he will be immediately sent to the Heavenly Prison and will be sentenced to whipping!!!"
As soon as Yan Yuan's hand loosened, Xuan Long fell back onto the bed, and there was another muffled clanging of the chains.
A few imperial guards quickly came in from outside the hall, used the key to unlock the shackles on Xuan Long's hands, and dragged him off the bed.
Prisoners were not allowed to wear shoes, and Xuan Long was only wearing a thin set of profane robes, so when he left the quilt, he felt the cold breeze entering his body, and it was quite cold.
The guards in front of him didn’t care about his inconvenience and just obeyed the imperial decree.
Xuan Long staggered as he was dragged out, and he couldn’t even straighten his back.
Yan Yuan wanted to ask him to beg for mercy, but he did not look back at him until Xuan Long had disappeared from his sight, and he did not utter a single word.
The robes he wore were made for Xuan Long a long time ago when Yan Yuan asked the clothing bureau to come and measure him, probably when Xuan Long had just entered the palace.
Many pieces were made at once, and at that time they were just right for him to wear, but now that Xuan Long was pregnant, the robes looked much fuller.
From the back there was only a thin silhouette, so it was impossible to see that he was pregnant.
Xuan Long was dragged into the rain by two imperial guards and headed for the Heavenly Prison.
He had suffered a lot of pain in the past and was not too scared; the whipping was just a punishment, he was used to being beaten ever since he was a child.
The autumn rain fell on his body, and it was bone chilling.
When he was brought to the Heavenly Prison, he could no longer feel his limbs.
Inside the cramped and damp prison, Xuan Long's hands were tied to a wooden cross and his soaked robes clung to his body, his abdomen protruding.
No matter how you looked at him, he was pregnant.
The prison officer in charge of the punishment was carrying a whip, but he was not sure how to proceed and asked the two imperial guards what was going on.
The man who had been dragged out of Yan Yuan's palace was pregnant with Yan Yuan's child, but it was also Yan Yuan who had ordered Xuan Long to be dragged here, so the three men deliberated for a while before deciding to carry out the sentence.
The man shackled to the cross had his head hanging down, his long hair covering his cheeks so that his face could not be seen, and with one stroke of the whip, his body was immediately split open, blood dripping down along with the water.
Xuan Long's breathing was inevitably a little rapid, he didn't even have the strength to raise his head, and only begged in a low voice:
hit the abdomen."
As long as he lived, he wanted the child in his womb to be safe and alive, or at least not to leave before him.
At least he had tried to do his duty as a father and had not been cruel enough to leave him.
The whip had no eyes, and as he swung it out, he could not control it.
The prison officer had punished thousands of prisoners here and did not know what it meant to be soft-hearted, but he was afraid of Xuan Long's belly.
If there really was Yan Yuan's child inside, and if it was accidentally lost, Yan Yuan would blame him and he would not be able to withstand the chopping off of a hundred heads.
The long whip in his hand broke through the air and swung at the man's body, trying to avoid the bulging belly, but the whip was too long, even if the injury landed on the chest, the tail of the whip would still accidentally hit the stomach, and with each stroke, Xuan Long's body would tremble.
The child in his belly seemed to also suffer, squirming uneasily, so he didn't dare to use too much force.
"Don't be afraid...
soon, it will be fine, it won't hurt."
The prison officer saw the man murmur something inaudibly from his lips hidden under his long, messy hair.
There was only an airy sound, and the content was inaudible.
When Xuan Long was in his original form, he was covered in dragon scales that could withstand mortal swords and spears, but now that he was in human form, his Tao was completely gone and his scales were virtually useless, his fragile skin no different from that of a normal human.
Gradually, his chest and lower limbs were filled with crisscrossing whip marks, and his profane robes could barely be seen in their original form.
Yan Yuan only said that he would be whipped and tortured, but did not say exactly what would happen, whether he would simply be taught a lesson or whether he would never leave the prison again.
As the Emperor did not give the order, no one else dared to make a decision.
They were about to stop after a few more lashes when heavy, rapid footsteps came from the distance.
The whip stopped in mid-air the moment the man entered the torture chamber.
The prison officer turned his head and when he saw that is was Yan Yuan, he stopped immediately.
Yan Yuan's face was gloomy.
Seeing the man covered in blood on the torture rack, his hands hanging in his robe suddenly tightened.
He pursed his lips and walked over, and the prison officer and guards automatically backed away.
"Are you done thinking"
"Do you want to be beaten to death like this, or do you want to obediently hand over the inner elixir"
Xuan Long's head hung low, as if he had passed out.
A pregnant man could not afford to suffer like this.
Thanks to the fact that he was not a human being, but a dragon with ten thousand years of Taoism, Yan Yuan felt much more relaxed thinking this.
It was better to suffer some pain than to lose one's life.
"Pour cold water and wake him up."
Yan Yuan gave the order in a cold voice, and a guard immediately ran to bring water, pouring a whole bucket of cold water on him.
Xuan Long straightened up and coughed twice before he stopped moving.
The back of his head was leaning against the torture rack, his face sideways, his wet hair hiding most of his face, revealing his thin, pale jaw.
Yan Yuan knew that he was awake.
"Hand over the inner elixir."
"Then I will ask Hua Niang to heal you, and the bastard in your womb, whether it is mine or not, will be born at full term, and I will send him out of the palace, leaving him just barely alive."
"I thought you cherished this child How about trading your inner elixir for his life"
It sounded like a good deal, but unfortunately he had run out of leverage.
If he could not get the inner elixir, Yan Yuan would not let him go, nor would he let his child go.
What’s the use of talking too much, it’s just a waste of energy.
When Yan Yuan saw how stubborn he was, the anger in his eyes intensified, and his mind raced to think of other ways to make Xuan Long comply, but there was nothing he could do other than torture.
Xuan Long was already in such a state, and if he continued to fight, there was no telling what the consequences would be, so he had him dragged into the cell and thrown into the hay, leaving him to fend for himself.
Before leaving, Yan Yuan ordered someone to dig out a piece of Xuan Long's heart with a knife.
Without the inner elixir or the dragon's heart, Ning Zhiyu's breath could barely be held by his heart.