Duck Emperor Chronicles – Chapter 9


    [Author – Blurry]

    [Proofreader – Samael]

    — — —

    Chapter 9: A Weird Connection; The Way Up is Revealed.

    Three right arms flew into the sky, spiralling appendages trailing blood.




    The surrounding villagers screamed in fright. Some of the burlier men even stepped forwards, intent on stopping the bloodshed that was occurring. Did they finally awaken their sense of justice? Or was it just a cheap ploy to get on the Huai Family’s good side? They were proficient martial artists too.

    Ducking opportunists. Where were they earlier? A single kick was all it took to send them packing.

    “Spineless cowards. Keep your two-faced justice to yourselves, or you might wind up dead.”

    Huai Maobing was the first to snap out of the abrupt pain and shock.

    “B*****d! You said you wouldn’t hurt him!”

    Huai Xiguan cradled his shoulder stump, gritting his teeth in agony. Huai Chengji was bawling. That large, bear-like man cried on the floor like an infant, rolling around and screaming for his brothers, only succeeding in further aggravating his injuries.

    “F**k! You goddamn oaf, stop moving around! Calm down!”

    “Huk—Brothers. . . save! Huai Chengji. . . pain!!!”

    “Tch, hold him. I need to bandage the wound.”

    As Huai Maobing was ripping off his shirtsleeve, a white-feathered wing softly grazed his neck.

    “Ugh! What do you want now?!”

    Ya Jiao’s empty eyes held no semblance of emotion.

    “A lost arm won’t kill anyone. I made sure to block the bleeding, so if you can get him to stay still, then there won’t be any unfavourable complications.”

    The wing cut deeper into his neck.

    “I do have to say, though. . . I dislike being accused of doing something I have not yet done.”

    “The kid decided to spare you. I am not her. I have no obligation to spare anyone. In fact, you lot should go thank your lucky stars for being alive after courting death like that. So what if you begged for your life? So what if you say you will change? What is done, is done.”

    The menacing duck picked up an unidentifiable object from the ground.

    “Pay the price for your foolishness. Not to mention. . .”

    Piak! Ya Jiao slapped Huai Maobing across the face with his own severed hand.

    “Lookie here. I’m actually doing you a favour by cutting it off.”

    The duck dangled the severed arm in front of Huai Maobing. And slowly but surely, his expression of rage morphed into a look of realization and shock. The goon’s mouth opened in horror.

    In recognition.

    For the arm that Ya Jiao had cut off no longer looked like an arm. It was burnt black as charcoal. Fiery veins ran through the destroyed tissue, so charred that one could see the grey flesh beneath, and beneath even that, bones as white as snow.

    An accursed symbol gleamed on the back of Huai Maobing’s mangled hand.


    A symbol that the head goon seemed to recognize.

    Ya Jiao quacked like a maniac.

    “A Slave Mark. How fitting for mere lapdogs.”


    “I-it can’t be. . . that? No. Of course they would.”

    Huai Maobing shook his head in disbelief, before settling into a despairing acceptance. Huai Chengji had also stopped crying, mostly owing to the fact that Huai Xiguan was currently feeding him candy from his back pant pocket, stuffing his mouth full of sweets.

    Ya Jiao watched them with amusement.

    “It’s a low grade curse that uses burning and decay. The trigger acts off two conditions: Attempted removal, or when intent to betray the curse-maker is detected.”

    “In other words. . .  a very crappy Slave Mark.”

    Huai Maobing took a moment to process the startling information. As the smartest of the slave trio, his average level of intelligence meant that he was the one who usually planned their schemes and selected their targets. Though that did not mean he was good at it.

    As such, the head goon quickly realized the scary situation, sending a belated shiver down his spine.

    “During the inauguration ceremony. . . the First Young Master’s return. They lied—”

    “Oh? Did someone scam you guys? Perhaps they told you that it was beneficial for your cultivation?”

    Huai Maobing flinched.

    “H-how did you know?”

    “Different people. Same old tricks. The Heavens and Earth may shift and change, yet only human nature is everlasting. To think that such a realistic phrase came from that old undying’s mouth.”

    The sheer amount of question marks that floated above everyone’s head at that moment could have crushed a whole mountain. Ya Jing shook his ghostly head in helplessness.

    Thankfully, there was now quite a distance between them and the gawking crowd, so there’d be no one staring at their tomfoolery for a while. Ya Jiao had taken the first opportunity he got to stomp up a massive dust cloud in the market, before subsequently booking it out of there, dragging the three one-armed bandits in tow.

    The group was now hiding in an abandoned alleyway near the edge of the market.

    “I see. . .”

    Huai Maobing hesitated for a split second before continuing.

    “Can I ask then, why exactly did you save us?”

    His eyes dipped as he spoke.

    “There’s no reason for you to spare us. I mean, we are extremely grateful for your forgiveness, but I was wondering why you’d do that—”

    Ya Jiao smirked, “I could kill you right now if you want.”

    F**k. “No no no no! I take it back, I take it back! Please sir, just think of me as a mute.”

    The white duck chuckled, and then seemed to ponder, musing over the thought.

    “Well. You seemed useful. Perhaps that’s why? If you don’t think so I can just—”

    “Useful, definitely useful! Get down you fucks—we three lowly servants greet our new master!”

    His face contorting into an ugly smile, Huai Maobing forcibly pushed his two brothers into a kneeling position and made them bow, much to the confusion of Huai Chengji.

    “Huai Maobing, Huai Chengji, and Huai Xiguan will serve the master with utmost care!”

    The head goon glared at the other two as if telling them to shut up and just go along with it.

    Ya Jiao’s faint smile looked like the devil’s grin.

    “Very well. I, the Young Master of the Ya Family, will take you three duds in. Bless my benevolence and kindness for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

    Two of the three suddenly stilled.

    “Yes! We thank the Young Master for your generosity!”

    Huai Maobing’s bootlicking words grew a bit more awkward. Clearly, something that Ya Jiao had said was triggering hidden memories to the surface. And even Huai Xiguan seemed to realize something, as the confused expression on his face suddenly froze like a river in winter.

    The white duck’s ducky eyes obviously noticed this change easily. However, he would unfortunately have to leave it for later, as there were more pressing matters at hand.

    Ya Jiao’s first reason for sparing them was evident.

    The Huai Family.

    Although holding three of their low-ranking goons hostage wouldn’t affect them in the slightest, the potential intelligence that he could gather with moles on the inside might become lethal given time.

    But the second reason, and the most important one was. . .

    Because he simply didn’t feel like it.

    More specifically, because he didn’t like the feeling of being ‘coerced’ to kill them.

    Ya Jiao cast a sideway glance at the little girl.

    A young and naïve lass, crouched over some wild weeds, picking at them gently with her white-jade hands. The de-facto, picture-perfect example of innocence and purity.

    But also a monster of a child, whose cultivation was at the highest peak of [Mortal Coil].

    A kid with the power to turn Jiang River Village into a bloody butchery.

    The Golden Core Realm cultivator turned around almost soundlessly, staring at the white-feathered duck with eyes like the depths of an endless well, boundless and unfathomable.

    Ya Jiao’s chilling smile only widened further.


    “Mister Duck. Who are you?”

    Leaving the Huai Family brothers to their own devices, Ya Jiao slowly approached the little girl.

    “Heh. Don’t you know that it’s rude to ask about someone without telling them your name first?”

    “Oh! Ah- I, uh. . .”

    The child seemed embarrassed, as her face flushed a deep red. She looked pointedly at the ground before giving him a proper response.

    “My name is Xiao Xian.”

    “Little Fairy, huh? A cute name for a cute girl. It’s very fitting.”

    (Author note: “Xiao Xian” means “little fairy”)

    Xiao Xian seemed unable to meet Ya Jiao’s eyes. She nodded hesitantly.

    ‘Hm, a fake name, huh. She’s a terrible liar. So she really is just a snot-nosed kid.’

    As expected. Ya Jiao did not think there was anything suspicious with her in the first place, outside of the question of what someone of her cultivation base was doing in such a backwater place.

    A Peak Golden Core Realm cultivator by itself wasn’t anything to lose one’s mind over.

    Even the backwater Jiang River Village possessed five Golden Core Realm cultivators.

    However, when one took into account the girl’s age, which looked no greater than eight or nine, then she could only be described as a monster in human flesh. Was it supreme innate talent? A heavenly physique bestowed upon chosen ones? Was she actually a hidden master in disguise?


    For he had already smelled something on her that solidified his previous predictions.

    Nine-Sun Dragon Leaf. A medicinal herb not native to the Lower Realms.

    The Duck Lord smiled widely. The little girl continued picking at the tangled weeds.

    “My name is Ya Jiao. I am but a lowly duck.”

    “May I know what an esteemed Young Lady from the Middle Realm is doing in the Lower Realm?”

    The Middle Realm Young Lady accidentally yanked out a metric tonne of dirt in surprise.

    Her starry eyes glimmered with shocked tears.

    “Sob, sob. . . h-how did you find out?”

    — — —

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