Dao Yu ordered people to pile rocks around the core seed, only leaving a tight path directly leading to the seed.

Dao Yu stood on the path. 

The others didn’t know the purpose of the rocks, they also didn’t know what that round thing in the middle was. They only knew that it was dangerous from the limited information Dao Yu had told them. They didn’t know the value of the core seed so they were unwilling to get close to it. 

Looking at more stones being stacked together, the colour on Dao Yu’s face started to return. He looked at his palms, the deep cut had gotten better after drinking the medicine. He was recovering at a fast rate, the skin near the cut had started to grow back. In two days, the skin would grow back fully, and maybe after just five or six more days, he would fully recover. 

“Alright, that should be enough for now.” Dao Yu said to the people moving the rocks.

At first, Dao Yu had brought 50 slaves but after these past few days, only around 30 of them were left. The number of deaths during these two days was especially high. When the slaves heard Dao Yu ordering them to stop, they all felt a sense of relief. Their job here was considered done, now they would get their reward. 

Dao Yu summoned the slaves from the palace and the guards to gather. He brought out a clay pot and when the lid was removed, the sweet smell of alcohol filled the air. For some low-rank slaves, alcohol was a luxury, they rarely got the chance to have a drink. For slaves with an even lower rank, the would have lived their whole lives without even tasting alcohol. 

After smelling the alcohol, some started to drool. They stared at the cup in Dao Yu’s hand, eyes filled with greed. Apparently, that particular type of alcohol was only drunk by the highest-level slaves and slave masters. They didn’t care whether it tasted good or not, it was a symbol of social status, they eyed it in eager anticipation.

Dao Yu observed their expressions. He smiled, “Has everyone arrived yet?”

“I t-think so,” replied someone. They were all starting to get impatient. 

Dao Yu looked around and counted them. He asked about the people that were not here yet, he knew exactly how many had died too but no matter how many times he counted, there were two missing. One in charge of disposing of dead bodies the other was a guard. 

“Should I go look for them?” asked someone. 

Dao Yu closed his eyes and thought for a while, he shook his head, “It is fine, forget about them, let’s drink first. It’s been a tough few days for everyone, I asked for a pot of alcohol from the young master just to share with everyone.” 
 
After listening to Dao Yu, everyone was happy. Even though they were fearful of him, some even called him ‘Master Dao’, they were relived now. A lot of their fears melted away. As for the two that were not here, nobody had any intention of going to look for them because if they leave now, they wouldn’t get their share of the reward. 

Dao Yu brought his cup to his face and drank a mouthful. It looked as if he was savouring every last bit of it, everyone looking was jealous. 

After taking the first sip, he passed the jar to the person beside him, “Come, everyone, have a sip.” 

There weren’t enough cups around but it didn’t matter to the slaves. They were used to sharing food like this so after Dao Yu passed the jar, the next person drank from the jar straight. The others were close to snatching the jar out of the hands for the person before them. 

The slave had just taken a sip from the jug. Before he even got a good taste of the alcohol, the jar was snatched him his hands. If Dao Yu wasn’t there, these people would have started a fight over a jar of alcohol. 

Looking at the slaves fighting over the jar, Dao Yu told them to stop fighting with assuring them that everyone would get a sip of the alcohol. 

Nobody noticed the fierce and ruthless gaze he had. 

Pang! 

The empty jar dropped to the floor. The slave that was holding it made a barely audible noise. With blood running out from his mouth, his legs were giving out on him, he staggered a few steps forward and collapsed onto the ground.

The slaves fell to the ground one by one. Some people started to realize that there was something wrong with the alcohol but it was too late. 

Dao Yu stood silently at the side, looking at them dropping one by one, their pulses stopping. A slave with a mouthful of blood crawled towards Dao Yu, eyes filled with hatred as if he wanted to drag Dao Yu down to hell with him. Unfortunately, before he even reached Dao Yu’s foot, his body lost energy and he took his last breath.  
   
Dao Yu smiled with disdain, he kicked the slave beneath him. The slave did not respond. He wanted to leave no chances so he stepped onto the slave’s chest, making sure to crush his ribs then only walked towards the exit. There was probably only a guard and another slave that was left there. He needed to kill them too, he couldn’t let anyone know of this. Even the bird he rode on from White Stone City was sent off to an unknown place. He chose to walk on his own, not allowing the bird to follow. 

Previously, Dao Yu chose these slaves to repair the palace and move the rocks, he didn’t want to endanger his life by touching the core seed every day, that would kill him. When he was stealing the core seed, he nearly lost one of his arms, he didn’t want to risk it again. He decided that this wasn’t the way he wanted to die so he sent others to die for him. Now, the tasks were mostly done, he didn’t need the slaves anymore. 

If he needed help again, he would call over another group of slaves. There were plenty of them in the desert, especially during these times of turmoil. Dao Yu didn’t care about these slaves even though he was one of them, he never saw them as his equal. 

As Dao Yu walked towards the exits, Shao Xian walked out from a dark corner. He saw the group of people on the ground and thought to himself, He really is ruthless

He looked up from the ground and started walking towards the core seed. 

Glowing crystals surrounded the area, there weren’t any torches. He wasn’t sure if it was an illusion but Shao Xuan had always thought the crystals were brighter here. 

He felt as if the cells in his body was warning him of something. He looked towards a small metal-like object in the middle of a stack of rocks. It must be something special if Dao Yu hid it like this. 

Maybe this had something to do with the metal? 

He closer he got, the burning sensation he felt in his arms, face and everywhere else felt stronger. No, he didn’t feel it everywhere. He took off his outer clothes and exposed the worm skin shirt he was wearing. 

It was made from the skin shed from a large worm he saw when he followed Chacha to Eagle Mountain. He didn’t feel the stinging pain at the areas where the worm skin was covering. 

Shao Xian quickly took the worm skin shirt off. No matter what he wouldn’t leave anything for Dao Yu, he’ll take it first then think. 

He made a rush to cover the metal-like object with the shirt. As he fully wrapped it with the shirt, the pain disappeared. 

After wrapping it, Shao Xuan placed it in his beast skin bag and held it close to himself. The shirt did a great job muting the power from the metal-like object. After hiding it, he jumped with ease over a large stone to hide. 

Seconds after Shao Xuan hid, Dao Yu rushed over. He stood at the entrance, originally wanted to kill the sleeping slave until he noticed something odd. After close inspection, he noticed that it didn’t seem like the slave was sleeping, it was more like he was unconscious after being struck! The core seed was also missing. Within the palace grounds, he could feel the core seed’s energy at any given moment. As soon as he felt it disappear, he knew something had happened to it. 

After killing the slave, he looked towards the area where the core seed was originally placed. It was gone. 

Dao Yu’s eyes were filled with anger as he stared at the empty spot in disbelief. The veins on his forehead bulged, his eyes bloodshot as he let out an angry scream. In his fury, he punched on one of the columns of the palace. A fist-shaped hole was left on it and a crack formed. 

The whole palace shook and debris fell from the ceiling.