Chapter 86 - Removing the Masks
"I have a way to remove the masks!" Gu Hai turned around. He no longer looked at Meng Tai.
"What?" Meng Tai's countenance immediately changed. How was that possible?
Meng Tai's eyes flickered with varying emotions, filled with uncertainty. In contrast, the crowd of prisoners' eyes shone even brighter. Had it been earlier, none of them would have believed him. But after having gone through the great battle, everyone’s confidence in Gu Hai had grown to a completely new level. Perhaps more importantly, at the moment, they had no choice but to believe in him!
However, everyone could not help but wonder... how in the heavens was Gu Hai going to remove the masks?
Paying no heed to everyone's confusion, Gu Hai started searching around the Colosseum instead.
He kept on turning over the rocks and rubble in the arena.
"My Lord, what are you doing? How can we help?" the crowd of criminals asked.
"No need, stay right where you are or you will ruin that thing!" Gu Hai said in a heavy voice.
The assembly of escaped prisoners could only nod and comply.
Meng Tai, on the other hand, narrowed his eyes as he kept his gaze on Gu Hai, while hugging the trembling Feng Ling. He wanted to make sure that Gu Hai wasn't just drawing the longbow. After all, even he had no way to remove the mask, while Gu Hai had only come to know the principles of the mask not too long ago. And he was the one who told Gu Hai the principles of the mask.
There’s no way he can remove the mask!
Gu Hai rummaged through piles of rubble, one after another. Suddenly, Gu Hai's eyes turned brighter while his face beamed with joy, but very soon all the happiness was replaced by a serious look.
In a very careful manner, Gu Hai pushed aside the rubble all around, revealing a bronze mask bit by bit.
"Isn't that the mask worn by Feng Ling earlier?" Meng Tai asked, curious now.
Not just Meng Tai, but the crowd of criminals, as well as the gamblers atop the mountain peaks in the surrounding area, were all studying Gu Hai's actions with wide eyes. They could not help but wonder what Gu Hai wanted to do.
Having cleared away the rubble around the mask, Gu Hai very, very carefully picked up the mask from the edges.
Gao Xianzhi, Chen Tianshan, Scar, and Shangguan Heng quickly stepped forward.
A layer of dust had already settled on the mask. Nonetheless, one could notice few fingerprints on it.
"Well? What are these fingerprints?" Chen Tianshan asked, his curiosity piqued.
"Although they are vague, they are still sufficient to notice. These are the fingerprints left behind by Li Wei!" Gu Hai replied, taking a deep breath.
"These fingerprints were left behind when Li Wei was removing the mask?" Shangguan Hen's eyes lit up.
"But, there are eleven fingerprints on the mask, how would we know which comes first and which comes last?" Chen Tianshan asked, curious.
In response, Gu Hai pointed at the fingerprints and said, "These three are the first set of points to instill the True Qi, these four are the next set, and these four are the last set of points to infuse the True Qi!
"Oh?" Everyone was slightly taken aback.
"My Lord, what's on the mask, some kind of fat?" Shangguan Hen could not help but ask, curious.
Gu Hai replied, shaking his head, "It's a glue I concocted. This glue will solidify when it comes in contact with the air. The outermost layer will solidify into a film which keeps the air out, while the glue underneath it will remain in viscous form, until it is subjected to some strength, whereupon the outermost layer will be crushed!"
"Is this kind of glue readily available?" Chen Tianshan asked, frowning.
"That's right, it is very common, but quite effective!" Gu Hai replied as he took a deep breath.
"I understand! As the glue underneath the hard surface has not solidified, and Li Wei had no idea about the situation at first, when he quickly pressed his fingers on the mask, they happened to slip, creating these three elongated fingerprints. But when he pressed the second time, he fared a lot better. Nonetheless, his fingers slipped a bit, leaving a smaller set of fingerprints than before. When he pressed the third time, he had paid a lot more attention, so there aren't any signs of slippage!" Gao Xianzhi's expression flickered as he analyzed the mask.
Gu Hai nodded, agreeing with Gao Xianzhi's conjecture.
"My Lord is prudent!" Shangguan Hen praised suddenly, sighing with deep emotion.
"Scar!" Gu Hai called Scar in a deep voice.
"Go to the Colosseum warehouse, there are piles of bronze masks there. Bring them and put them on the Golden Tong disciples. We will use them for an experiment!" Gu Hai ordered calmly.
"Yes, my Lord!" Scar obliged without further ado.
The former convicts rubbed their hands upon hearing this. They were particularly excited.
Meng Tai, on the other hand, stared at Gu Hai, his eyes flickering with surprise before he narrowed his eyes, as if thinking of something.
Very soon, Scar brought the bronze masks.
"No, don't put it on me!" a Golden Tong disciple cried out in panic.
But no matter how he protested, he could not alter his fate. The mask was quickly put on his face.
"No, no, no!" That Golden Tong disciple kept on shuddering in trepidation.
"Knock him out, I can't do anything if he keeps on squirming like this!" Gu Hai ordered calmly.
"Yes, my Lord!"
Scar immediately stepped forward and knocked that Golden Tong disciple out immediately with a loud crunch of bone.
Meanwhile, a mass of True Qi shrouded Gu Hai, protecting his body. He did so in order to take preventive measures against any failure, or else, he might explode.
Everyone kept their gazes on Gu Hai as they swallowed nervously. The men could feel their heart racing crazily.
In light of what he had learned from Meng Tai, Gu Hai stretched three of his fingers out and placed them on the first three fixed positions.
Without further ado, Gu Hai instilled three streams of True Qi into the mask through his fingers.
The mask rang out with slight clanks.
"The first set of points are correct!" Scar reported excitedly.
Everyone, on the other hand, held their breath.
Gu Hai stretched four of his fingers out and pressed them on the second set of four True Qi inlets before slowly infusing True Qi into the mask.
Once again, slight rattles rang out from the mask.
"The second set of points are correct!" Chen Tianshan also announced to everyone.
The nearby Meng Tai's eyebrows twitched madly.
All around, everyone had grown completely quiet. Atop the peaks, many cultivators had curious looks on their faces, wondering what those criminals were doing.
Narrowing his eyes, Gu Hai changed the location of four of his fingers. After a moment of silence, he took a deep breath before infusing four streams of True Qi through his fingers once more.
While Gu Hai was instilling the True Qi, everyone had gone quiet, leaving only the pitter-patter of the rain.
This time, a loud clank rang from the mask before it fell down on the ground.
At the sight of this, all the criminals immediately broke into cheers, breaking the tranquility of the Colosseum in the blink of an eye. Some of the criminals were so excited that they shouted and jumped all around, expressing the overflowing happiness in their hearts.
"Has the water gone into those criminals' heads? What the hell are they cheering for?" A confused look appeared on the faces of all the onlooking cultivators in the vicinity at this sight.
Meng Tai, who was watching Gu Hai from one side, had a complex look in his eyes.
"Lucky, we have succeeded! Line up in according to your ranks, I will remove your masks!" Gu Hai shouted, his face beaming.
"Yes, my Lord!" all the criminals roared excitedly.
Gu Hai smiled slightly.
First was Gao Xianzhi.
Following the same pattern, Gu Hai unsealed the mask.
Gao Xianzhi's mask rang with a series of slight clanks and a loud one before it finally fell down on the ground.
Gao Xianzhi's face was wild with joy. "Thank you, my Lord!"
"Make way, make way!" Chen Tianshan shoved Gao Xianzhi away in his excitement.
Just as before, Chen Tianshan's mask rattled a bit before falling down on the ground.
"Fuck off!" Shoving Chen Tianshan away before he could even shout out, an excited Scar stood before Gu Hai.
Nonetheless, Gu Hai looked at Chen Tianshan and said, "Chen Tianshan, go the inner section and bring everyone here. Escort those Golden Tong disciples here as well!"
"Yes, my Lord!" Chen Tianshan happily obliged.
Chen Tianshan left without further ado, while Gu Hai continued to unlock Scar's mask.
After Scar, it was Shangguan Hen's turn.
With the removal of the masks of the four captains, it was the lieutenants' turn. The lieutenants immediately lined up before Gu Hai eagerly.
Each and every one of them looked at Gu Hai zealously, waiting for Gu Hai to remove their masks!
"It's removed, it's removed!" After their masks were unlocked, some of the criminals even broke down in tears.
Hitherto, everyone was having an unreal feeling as if they were dreaming. In the past, some people had already succumbed to despair. They had never thought that someday their cultivation would be restored, that someday they could take off their masks.
And today, everything had come true, and it was all thanks to their Lord. Now, when everyone looked at Gu Hai, their gazes were not only filled with fear, respect, and admiration, but also deep gratitude.
All the criminals had lined up before Gu Hai to have their masks removed.
Not far away, Meng Tai, with Feng Ling in his embrace, quietly watched this scene while resting.
"Gu Hai sure is skillful. Even if he has the method to remove the mask, he is still not letting others help him, he doesn't want the masks to be removed through somebody else's hands, all in order to win the hearts of others!" Meng Tai gazed at Gu Hai, narrowing his eyes.
Gu Hai was indeed winning popular support.
Personally helping them remove the masks, and giving away the method to the others so that they could remove the masks themselves were two completely different things. Judging from the gazes filled with gratitude in everyone's eyes, Gu Hai knew that he had achieved his objective.
At the inner section of the Golden Tong...
Five hundred criminals were in the midst of escorting the remaining Golden Tong disciples. At this moment, they heard a loud bang in the distance, which made the group of criminals rather anxious.
"What do you think, can our masks be removed?"
"I don't know, only Li Wei can remove the masks, but then again, that Li Wei isn't stupid!"
"Li Wei is but a Nascent Soul Stage cultivator!"
"Can our Lord force Li Wei?"
"He should be able to, our Lord is extremely powerful, we aren't our Lord's opponent!"
"But Li Wei is a Nascent Soul Stage cultivator, a freaking Nascent Soul Stage cultivator!"...
All the criminals were feeling fidgety.
"Look, someone's coming!" a criminal suddenly cried out as his countenance changed.
However, it was none other Chen Tianshan in the distance.
The group of criminals readied their weapons against Chen Tianshan at once, their faces filled with killing intent.
"What are you doing? Don't you recognize me?" Chen Tianshan shouted immediately.
That loud shout was instantly recognized by the men.
"Captain? It's the captain!"
"Really!? Captain's mask is removed!?"
"The mask can be removed?"...
The group of criminals' eyes went wide in surprise right away.
"What are you gawking for, escort these Golden Tong disciples with me. Our Lord is removing the masks for us, quickly!" Chen Tianshan shouted.
"Yes, sir!" the group of criminals yelled back, boundlessly excited now!
In the Colosseum...
Over a thousand Golden Tong disciples were now being detained closely. All the former prisoners were ruthlessly staring at them. If anyone dared to cause any kind of unrest, he would be taught a lesson right away.
On another side, the criminals were moving the sealing stage to seal the cultivations of the crowd of Golden Tong disciples.
"You also try how the sealing of your cultivation feels like, hahaha!" The ex-convicts helped themselves, taking great pleasure in the task.
Meanwhile, Gu Hai kept on removing the masks one after another.
When the mask of last of the criminals was removed, a huge mirror had already been brought before him.
Facing the mirror, Gu Hai slowly placed his right hand on the mask.
For a moment, all the criminals had stopped everything they were doing. They wanted to see what their Lord, who they feared, respected, admired, and felt grateful to, looked like.
The gamblers atop the peaks around the Colosseum also watched with their eyes wide. They also wanted to see what this criminal looked like.
Meng Tai also kept his eyes on Gu Hai.
Just like before, Gu Hai's mask rattled a bit before it slowly slipped down.
That mature appearance of Gu Hai was instantly revealed before everyone.
"What? That's...!?" a surprised voice came from a distant peak.
Atop the high points, the cultivators, one by one, quickly took out a portrait from their bosoms and looked at the picture. Then, they looked again at the faraway king of criminals.
"Gu Hai, he is Gu Hai!" one of the cultivators cried out in shock.
About the peaks, many cultivators immediately raised an uproar.
How could they not, it was Gu Hai!
The Gu Hai who we have been searching for so long is actually the king of the criminals!?
"Found him, we found him, we found Gu Hai!"
"So he is here, hahaha!"...
Many cultivators turned their gazes at Gu Hai, their eyes slowly turning red with greed. Didn't I come just for Gu Hai? The Xiantian Stage Gu Hai!
I found him! Hundred Years Longevity Peaches, he has the Hundred Years Longevity Peaches!
Almost ten thousand cultivators made an uproar immediately!
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