"Come here," Han Sen said, and Moment Queen unwillingly approached.
Han Sen pushed her on the ground and slapped her round buttocks. The slap was so loud, she trembled with wide eyes.
It wasn't because of the pain, though. It was due to the humiliation she was now being forced to endure; never before had she been treated like this in the sanctuaries.
Of course, Han Sen couldn't care less. Repeatedly, he continued to smack, slap, and spank her bum. Eventually, the fabric of her underwear was torn open. This revealed the reddened skin of her sore—but plump—bottom.
Han Sen's handprint was clearly displayed, for so hard were his hits, even her natural body couldn't withstand the strikes.
Han Sen was incredibly mad on the inside, for that was the closest brush with death he had ever endured. Had things not turned out the way they had, Moment Queen would've killed him and the silver fox. In response to her misdeeds, he felt killing her outright would be too kind of a fate.
Moment Queen, still under the control of her contract, was unable to resist. Being humiliated in such a fashion actually brought tears to her eyes.
Han Sen did not care, obviously. He continued to slap her butt as hard and as loudly as he could.
"I will never forgive you for this." There were many things Moment Queen wanted to do, but she couldn't bear the humiliation she was currently enduring. She desperately wished she could self-destruct.
"Oh, you want to die, do you? I'm not allowing you to get away with what you have done that easily. What was it that you said to me earlier? My death was going to be a slow one?" Han Sen had now changed the contract, forbidding her from being able to self-destruct.
Pat! Pat! Pat!
Han Sen kept on hitting her bum without reprieve, and as she thought about what was happening, she was overcome with whelming sadness. She started to sob her eyes out.
The Moment Queen of Moment Shelter, the cold and fierce spirit, was crying like a baby girl.
The gourd, meanwhile, had not yet satiated its hunger for the tree's energy. So, as this was occurring, it continued to consume everything that it could. The leaves of the tree had lost their lustre and yellowed. Many leaves had started to depart their birthing branches now, as well, falling to the cobbled grounds of the plaza.
The gourd shone gold like some sort of crystal; it was a most eye-pleasing jewel.
The Jade-Gold Tree died. Purple Mountain and Moment Shelter which had resided atop it both fell all the way back down to where they had previously rested.
The Jade-Gold Tree still remained, but it was little more than a deadwood sculpture of what it had once been. There was nothing left for the gourd to drain, and following this, the black hole blipped out of existence as easily and as quickly as it had first appeared. The gourd itself returned to its original, dull appearance.
Now, Han Sen stopped his torture of Moment Queen's bottom. He kissed the gourd and stroked it, saying, "Oh, baby gourd; might you allow me to play with the six pieces of Cog gear you recently consumed?"
The gourd gave no response, and he wondered whether or not it could hear his commands following its deactivation.
Han Sen greatly desired the weapons Moment Queen had previously used. Any one of those pieces could make him virtually invincible, he believed. They would prove invaluable upon his ascension to the Third God's Sanctuary, too.
Han Sen knew the weapons were inside the gourd, but it was refusing to release them.
"Oh, baby gourd. I have taken good care of you for the longest time now; I treated you as well as I would a true son. Perhaps now it is time for you to show a kindness in return. Give me two of them, at least. Or how about just one? One will do!" Despite Han Sen's continued pleading, there was still no response.
To say that this put a dampener on his mood was putting it lightly. He looked at Moment Queen, who was still crying, and said, "Moment, what can you tell me about this gourd?"
Moment Queen did not respond, and her face was still a blubbering mess. She had never felt so insulted before, and even if she did know something about the gourd, she would most certainly not oblige his desire for knowledge and explain to him the nature of the gourd that had defeated her.
"Hmm, it looks like your punishment was not sufficient." Han Sen used his mind to control Moment Queen, forcing her to stand up and approach him properly.
When she saw Han Sen rub his hands in an impish fashion, she became angry. But she also knew that resistance would only lead to further humiliation. Holding back the urge to kill him, she remorsefully said, "It does not come from the Second God's Sanctuary."
"Okay, continue. What is it, then?" Han Sen asked.
"I am not sure. But I assure you, I have never seen such a thing before. Also, it has not yet been born. There is something within, as you undoubtedly know, but I cannot even wager a guess about what lies inside. If I did have to guess, though, I would say that it is a high-class Geno Seed." Moment Queen did her best to subdue the shame that told her not to say a word.
"Geno Seed?" As he held the gourd, Han Sen could still feel the pulsating of its heartbeat.
He believed she really didn't know much about it. If she had known, she would have performed better against it earlier.
The gourd had managed to absorb the entire life energy of the gargantuan tree, and yet, it still wasn't ready to be born. Han Sen's mind could not fathom what manner of creature resided inside. Perhaps she was indeed right, guessing that it wasn't something that belonged to the Second God's Sanctuary.
"It looks like only the Third God's Sanctuary can produce something like this." Han Sen put away the gourd and returned Moment Queen to the Sea of Soul.
He didn't want to kill her yet, as it wouldn't make him feel any better over what had transpired. Furthermore, she was his property, and it'd only yield a loss if he were to destroy her.
Plus, Moment Queen had quite the history. She might have a use in the Third God's Sanctuary.
Of course, Han Sen wasn't going to underestimate her any further. For the rest of her existence, he was going to keep an eye on her. What's more, he was going to treat her like a slave and make her pay for her grievous misbehavior.
He left the shelter and went off to find Wang Yuhang, but he still wanted to established a guard for Moment Shelter during his absence.
Much had transpired within the walls of that shelter, and yet, it was still standing. Believing its history to be of some importance, he wasn't quite willing to give up on it.
"Bossman, by the sanctuaries! Care to tell me what happened over there?" Wang Yuhang asked as soon as Han Sen returned, unable to wait a single additional second. From where he had been, he had felt the ground quake and even see the Purple Mountain rise from the earth, before descending back down again.
When the mountain fell, anything within a few thousand miles would have felt the tremor.
"The Jade-Gold Tree was evil. It killed almost all the super creatures there. Fortunately, I was powerful enough to overcome the wooden fiend and defeat it." Han Sen pointed at the Jade-Gold Tree in the distance as he boasted.
Wang Yuhang did not believe the absurd story he had been fed, but he wasn't going to ask again. If Han Sen did not want to tell him the truth, he was willing to accept that.
After tidying up the shelter, Big Black and Small Black returned to continue their defense of the area. Han Sen, in the meantime, returned to the Alliance in the hope of researching Geno Seeds and learning how they might pertain to the gourd. He had to find out more.