59 Deserving Of Death
Jam could cover 87,000 kilometers in less than a minute. However, Jam — even with his current emotional turmoil — thought things through; He wouldn't go in guns blazing and risk frightening the enemy, before confirming Arnold's living status. Upon reaching the base of the Munchies, Jam turned to Cynthia and said "Enter my Spatial Storage Dimension for now. I will enter alone and conduct reconnaissance before we make any extreme moves."
Cynthia was still a bit worried about Jam's emotional state. She walked up to him and took his hand, capturing all of Jam's focus. Once Cynthia was sure that Jam knew how seriously she was taking this, she said "Don't make any moves without us."
Jam looked her straight in the eyes and nodded his head. He put her in his Spatial Storage Dimension and addressed Danger Noodle "Can you make any Tier 6 Illusion talisman, we can use to hide from Saint Gods?"
Danger Noodle nodded her little snake head and said "As long as you provide me with the materials I can make a False Death Talisman that will camouflage you even in the face of Greater Sages."
Jam didn't say anything else. He already knew what the materials for the False Death Talisman were, so he took out enough herbs to make ten talismans and let Danger Noodle work her magic. Danger Noodle wasn't as fast or as good as Jam within the range of her level, but she was still fast nonetheless; completing the ten talismans in less than three hours.
With a False Death Talisman in hand, both Jam and Danger Noodle each tagged themselves with one, and then walked towards the Munchie Tribe Grounds. While under the effects of the talisman, Jam used his Detection Form to scope out the enemy forces and find Arnold.
Jam's Detection Form — aside from showing a being's true cultivation base — could be used to find the unique energy signature of every living creature. Even if a cultivator had died, their energy signature would stand the test of time and persist; how long would depend on that cultivators strength before they perished.
Rina told Jam that Arnold had his breakthrough into the Saint Grandmaster Stage while holding back the enemies from chasing them. A Saint Grandmaster's energy signature would last for decades. Thus, Jam would have no problems finding Arnold's body — dead or alive — as long as he remembered his energy signature.
Arnold was the core disciple that had fought the most with Jam, and given that Jam — like most other cultivators — had eidetic memory, Arnold's energy signature was branded in Jam's memory.
A quick scan of the stronghold before him, showed that the enemy had eight Saint Gods, and several hundred Saint Lords. Jam also found Arnold's energy signature, so he made his way to the Tribe Grounds' entrance gate, and just walked right in; right in front of the guards.
What Jam saw after he entered the 200 meter tall gates was nothing out of the ordinary. The Tribes Grounds were in truth similar to the city Jam recalled from his past, Reed City. There were urban, suburban, and rural areas, sprawled all around the city, bustling streets full of pedestrians, automobiles, and flying cultivators. Kids played around, while homely houses decorated the outskirts of the Munchie Territory.
However… as Jam walked through the city, his expression soured with troubling scenes playing out before him. The first time Jam felt a disturbance from what he would call "normal," was when he walked along a central road and came across a gang of Mortal Realm cultivators. These cultivators had a slave accompanying them, which wasn't out of the ordinary.
In the cultivation world, even in the Cultivation Academy, retainers and slaves were a common sight. However, the sight of these Mortal Realm cultivators torturing the slave in front of Jam, infuriated him to no end. The reason? This slave was a mortal child; with no power, no cultivation, and no strength. These Mortal Realm Cultivators, which at the very least had strength capable of moving several tons, were actually torturing a mortal child.
Forcing him to move heavy objects purely for their sadistic enjoyment. Jam truly marveled at his self control for not instantly disintegrating the trash before him. He forced himself to move on and continue with his recon, else the whole plan might go up in flames.
The next instance Jam almost lost his self control also happened because of the treatment of slaves. There are these special types of slaves in the cultivation world called "Cultivation Furnaces," which were women that were used to bolster the cultivation of men via the exhaustion of their Innate Yin energy.
In the orthodox cultivation world, these types of slaves were absolutely taboo to have; only the worst of the worst even dared to violate this rule. However, in this Munchie Tribe, Jam actually saw public use of cultivation furnaces. He saw and heard the cries of female prisoners of war in back alleys; violated and sullied.
If not for Danger Noodle's Tier 6 talismans, than it was more than likely that Jam would have been revealed from the extreme amounts of killing intent that waffed off of his body. Never in his life had Jam craved for the death of others as much as he had at this very moment; his eyes bloodshot with the sight of murder and a heavy, yet cold, heart.
Jam moved on once again, with a sunken expression. He saw various other prisoners being tortured and used in public, before coming into contact with a building jutting out of a mountain side. This building was were Arnold's energy signature was coming from, and appeared to be the Tribe's prison.
Jam entered the prison, and after hearing a couple guards talk for a while, figured out that he had to start descending a staircase to reach the area meant for prisoners of war. This was good news as it meant that Arnold might still be alive. However, that thought was tossed aside as Jam entered the area itself.
In the area allocated strictly for prisoners of war, Jam found all sorts of grisly scenes. There were guards using all sorts of "enhanced interrogation techniques." Those who were best off, were the ones that had their cultivation bases sealed and forced to go through the common methods of torture: waterboarding, physical trauma, bloodletting, etc.
Some — who were not as fortunate — had to go through more extreme forms of torture; the type that would kill mortals too fast for it to be unimaginably painful. Worst yet, was that because those undergoing these kinds of torture didn't have their cultivation bases sealed, they would have their bodies heal naturally, causing the pain to never end.
As Jam was searching for Arnold, the man in question was currently being burned alive. Arnold wasn't lucky enough to receive the regular torture. Instead he received special treatment for being an outsider.
Usually prisoners of war would not be subject to the highest levels of torture; the Munchies would save that for special occasions, like capturing an enemy general or chieftain.
The person torturing Arnold had a satisfied expression on his face as he kept saying "Was it worth it?" Sometimes he would say "Don't you regret it?"
Arnold never responded, not only because he didn't have the strength to do so, but also because he truly didn't regret his actions. He only thought to himself 'If I didn't sacrifice myself, then all of us would have been captured.'
Being burned alive was normally not a problem to a cultivator; if they had their energy to resist, or possess a refined body. However, Arnold had neither at the moment and the interrogator was using Saint fire — which, when controlled correctly, made the pain of being burned much worse.
The interrogator became a sadist because of his job. When he started out he was just another regular guy, but the years of constantly torturing others made him develop a lust for inflicting pain onto others.
At first he liked torturing Arnold, as he was a long lasting toy that never made a noise throughout the process. However, that lack of fear and response made the interrogator feel like he was just mindlessly striking a corpse. So to get a reaction out of Arnold, the interrogator had cut off one of his hands and burned it to ashes.
Arnold indeed had a reaction to seeing his hand disintegrate. But he had already come to terms with death, and after a while he stopped reacting to the torture again. The interrogator wanted another reaction from Arnold, so he repeated his actions with the rest of Arnold's arm.
Arnold didn't care this time around, and the interrogator was starting to get fed up with him. So, he cut off the rest of Arnold's limbs, and was about to disintegrate them as well.
This was the first thing Jam saw when entering the area isolated solely for the purpose of "interrogating" Arnold. As Jam watched Arnold lose all his limbs, he struggled massively to not immediately unleash endless waves of destruction to his surroundings.
But he controlled himself, and only ended exploding the head of the interrogator with a Lesser Compression Point.
[Lesser Compression: An evolved version of the basic point which allows the user the ability to compress much more energy into a singularity. Increasing insights of the Dao of Beams will increase the amount of energy the user can compact, as well as the final size of the singularity — 100% | Evolvable (Restricted by Realm)]
It was a superior version of the Point, and coupled with Jam's element of surprise it was no surprise that the Saint Lord immediately died.
The interrogator was a Saint Lord, and the prison of the Munchie Tribe only allocated a single Saint Lord to the special interrogation rooms. Moreover, these rooms were very far apart from each other. Thus, Jam's actions drew no attention from the rest of the Munchie Tribe.
Arnold could not believe what he was seeing. He had already accepted the fact that he was going to die. Jam coming to rescue him, and succeeding, gave rise to a flood of emotions. It was almost unbelievable that Arnold — who had 80% of his body burned, and lost all his limbs to torture, without shedding a single tear — openly cried in front of his savior. It might be easy to forget that Arnold was around Jam's age.
Jam knew that Arnold did not practice body refining, but for the current situation it was both a blessing and a curse. Because Arnold was not a body refiner, completely healing his cut off limbs would take much longer. Conversely, Arnold's lack of body refining cultivation would make it possible for his disintegrated arm to grow back.
Jam collected the limbs that had recently been cut off of Arnold and cauterized them back onto his body, before feeding him Tier 4 Regeneration Pills. Arnold could regrow his disintegrated arm in the future at the cost of one Tier 7 Regeneration Pill.
"I know you want to talk now, but my number one priority is rescuing you, so for now, don't resist." These were the first and last words Arnold heard before being transported into Jam's Spatial Storage Dimension.
However, he did manage to tell Jam "Try to rescue as many Junkie tribesmen as you can before leaving." through energy transmission.