The crowd was pushed to the sides. Ten young men with high spirits took the lead and cleansed the streets, followed by ten young women gradually paving the way with red carpets. Finally, there were ten children behind the women. They were assigned with strewing the way with flowers.
About ten women, who were of divine poise and possessed sage-like features, carefully carried a couch. Celestial Master Zuo of purple robes and a silver mask, along with the ever-ethereal Fairy Queen Li were seated.
The ambiance was initially filled with an aura of gloom and death. Nonetheless, their elegant and luxurious presence had somehow lifted the spirits of the people present.
The people saw how comfortable they were, sitting cozily. Their comfort was a strong juxtaposition to the poor family that was now tied helplessly on the pillars. Most of the bystanders got even more angry.
Celestial Master Zuo was once a savior. When people saw his vehicle from afar, they would kneel and bow excitedly before his presence. They would cheer for him, as his very presence was a celebration for the common people. Everywhere he stepped on, his scent lingered on. They were truly his worshipers.
Now, Celestial Master Zuo was only a nightmare. Everywhere he stepped on, countless killings piled up. When people saw his vehicle, they would tremble with immense fear. They would still kneel and bow before him, but deep down, they hated him so much that they wished they had the courage to attack him.
At this moment, all the people kneeled and bowed. They were forced to welcome the arrival of the demon. None of them spoke up as the huge plaza returned to silence, broken only by the loud cry of the innocent children on the pillars.
"Too much noise," responded Celestial Master Zuo. He swept his eyes across the three crying children. His voice remained deep and enchanting, but the words that came out of his mouth struck as an utter shock. "Cut their tongues."
"Yes," answered the executioners. They secured the children's mouths with one hand and prepared to cut off their tongues with another. Their silver daggers flickered with gleams of light.
All the bystanders stood in anguish and disbelief. In the past, dismemberment meant that the executioner would slice the prisoner's flesh piece by piece, up to thousands of slices to torture the prisoner in the most miserable and mournful way. After the torment, the prisoner would then be granted death. The number of slices differed for every prisoner. In the severest case, the prisoner would have to endure up to 3600 slices. The least would be eight.
However, the current era was somehow different from the widely known history. No dismemberment had ever been conducted yet, so the common people had no idea how the punishment was going to be like.
Gu Xietian and his family were the first ones to be punished by dismemberment, which was why so many curious people were attracted to witness their punishment.
Beheading was the most common form of death penalty, so the people actually thought that dismemberment was simply another form of beheading, only with some special instructions.
Therefore, when Celestial Master Zuo ordered the executioners to cut the children's tongue, most of them were completely shocked.
Even if Gu Xietian had done something unforgivable and brought death to his entire family, it was too merciless to cut out their tongues first. Moreover, they were only children.
The crowd was abuzz. There was widespread concern. Some felt great frustration, and they could no longer hold back their temper.
Gu Xietian's expression darkened. "Stop!" He shouted.
Although he was chained, his acupuncture points were not sealed. His voice remained clear and powerful. The executioners were terrified and stopped immediately.
Celestial Master Zuo turned to look at him and smiled politely. "Gu Xietian, what else do you wish to say?"
"I am being falsely incriminated, costing the lives of my entire family. We are brought here today to accept our deaths. With one command, we will all be beheaded instantly. What is the point of cutting the children's tongues? They are young. It is normal for them to cry out loud in moments like these." Gu Xietian was outraged at the brutality.