Before the line had even disappeared, Zhang Tie had already long tumbled in…
"Handsome and magnificent my ass! I was almost slaughtered like a pig. Since you two didn't kill me, I will definitely kill you," Zhang Tie ruthlessly declared in his heart.
Even though he felt very weak, he was still able to run. The moment he appeared in the Castle of Black Iron, he immediately ran towards the sundry box…
Inside the box were the two killing weapons gifted by Donder, the "powerful rat poison" and a dagger. Besides being matched with poisonous needles, the dagger's edge had also been quenched in snake poison and thus had the same amazing lethality.
Although this was risky, Zhang Tie decided to give it a try.
The distance between the place he had appeared in the Castle of Black Iron and the box were only a few steps apart; however, by the time he arrived before the box, Zhang Tie was already slightly panting and his hands and feet felt weak. He quickly took out the vial of "powerful rat poison" and the dagger from the box. Zhang Tie then squatted and took in two deep breaths. Afterwards, it took him more than 10 seconds to lock onto that arched door in his mind again.
In the next moment, Zhang Tie reappeared in the bedroom, squatting on the bed.
After having accessed the Castle of Black Iron over many days, Zhang Tie had noticed a reoccurring pattern when accessing it—he will reappear exactly at the place where he had entered.
It was still bustling outside. It seemed that the investigation won't be over very soon, thus Zhang Tie took in a few deep breaths and moved off the bed with the smallest and slightest strength he could muster. Bending his body, he stealthily moved in front of the pile of food. After glancing over where the cups and plates were placed, he then took out the "powerful rat poison" and opened the alcohol bottle deftly and rapidly before pouring in half of the "powerful rat poison". He then spread the leftover "powerful rat poison" into the bowl of thick soup and slightly swirled the alcohol bottle and stirred the rich soup. Afterwards, he returned to his bed and threw the empty vial of "powerful rat poison" back into his pocket. He then pulled out of the dagger as he held it tightly under his body, pretending as if he had not awoken even for a moment… As Donder had told him that a dose of the "powerful rat poison" was enough to kill 20 elephants, Zhang Tie didn't believe that Huck and Snade would be stronger than 20 elephants.
Nervous, really nervous…
Closing his eyes again, Zhang Tie felt his heart pounding like a beating drum. He was extremely nervous and kept taking in deep breaths. Zhang Tie kept repeating in his mind—easy, take it easy!
Easy, take it easy!
Easy, take it easy!
Zhang Tie slowly calmed down in this way. Repeating this phrase in his heart, he was able to calm down. This was a useful method that was taught in school for occasions such as this.
Zhang Tie then waited for Huck and Snade as if nothing had happened…
Huck and Snade stood outside the door coldly for about 3 minutes before the owner of the hotel came towards them with several magistrates. After checking the names they registered with and asking a few silly questions, they left. Afterwards, Huck and Snade stared at each other at the same time, as they had already figured out what the alleged investigation meant. Usually, the magistrates of Blackhot City preferred to slack off by capturing several hapless people. Nobody would have expected that the fatty magistrates would have already figured out what had truly happened in that fire.
When the two returned to the bedroom, Zhang Tie had already been laying on the bed for a bit less than one minute. Everything remained unchanged in the room, and the food was still hot on the table, thus the two continued their meal.
Huck drunk some alcohol, and Snade simply ate a bit of the rich soup.
Laying on the bed, Zhang Tie glanced over them through the corner of his eye. When Huck chugged a large cup of alcohol, Zhang Tie gripped his dagger more tightly. As Snade was someone who would notice if he looked, he did not dare to look at him.
Zhang Tie was very nervous. He was afraid that Snade wouldn't have eaten even a bit of the poisoned food by the time the poison took effect on Huck. However, after a few seconds, Zhang Tie became reassured when he saw Snade drink a large spoon of the rich soup, thus he held onto that dagger even more tightly...
One minute after Huck drunk the alcohol…
"I feel a bit uncomfortable…" saying this, Huck's face suddenly turned black. He then inclined and fell backwards onto the ground from his chair.
"Huck!" Snade exclaimed. At the same time, he also felt a bit uncomfortable and noticed that something was moving on the bed behind him.
When Huck fell backwards, Zhang Tie had actually already fully opened his eyes. At that moment, Zhang Tie had slightly adjusted his posture so that he could use the dagger more easily.
Although Zhang Tie tried his best to not make any noise, his movements were actually noticed by Snade. Turning around, Snade stared at Zhang Tie while Zhang Tie stared back at him. At that moment, he looked even more surprised than he did when Huck had fallen over. Instinctively, he pulled out his dagger and charged at Zhang Tie, stabbing it towards Zhang Tie's neck like how a poisonous snake would spit out its tongue…
Having been long prepared for Snade's attack, Zhang Tie only made one movement—he rolled onto the ground from the bed, avoiding Snade's first strike…
Stabbing towards Zhang Tie, who was laying on the ground, Snade's face turned pale. He then slightly stopped and intended to throw his dagger at Zhang Tie; however, at the same time, Zhang Tie pressed the button on his dagger, releasing two poisonous needles that instantly shot into Snade's shank and thigh. The snake poison on the needles immediately paralyzed Snade all over, resulting in his hand remaining raised as he was no longer able to move. Zhang Tie then jumped up from the ground and fiercely stabbed Snade's heart with his dagger.
Laying on the ground, Snade didn't die instantly. Instead, he gazed at Zhang Tie with his widened eyes as the corner of his mouth twitched. "Wh… why…"
There were so many questions in Snade's mind. He couldn't figure out how this young man, who should have been in a hemorrhagic shock, could recover in such a short period of time. He couldn't figure out where the dagger and the poison had come from. He clearly remembered that he had searched this young man all over and found nothing that stood out. Why? How did it end like this…
With widely opened eyes, Snade died with many unanswered questions.
Kneeling on the ground, Zhang Tie panted for quite a while before he was able to slightly recover from the dizziness attributed to the lack of blood. The small tree in the Castle of Black Iron was not omnipotent; even now, he still has not fully recovered his strength, Qi, and blood. At that moment, Zhang Tie felt weak all over and had no strength at all, as he had exerted all his efforts just now. His forehead was covered in sweat, feeling as if he had just finished a 10 km run on the training ground at school. Over the past few minutes, he had experienced his most dangerous moment in his life yet.
In the end, Zhang Tie survived, while Huck and Snade became corpses.
Kneeling on the ground, Zhang Tie adjusted his breathing. He quickly wracked his brain on how to deal with their bodies. Zhang Tie knew that he had made a very dangerous decision, one which might tear him into pieces if he didn't deal with it carefully. Thus, Zhang Tie had to deal with it very carefully and not leave a single trace.
Zhang Tie was thinking about how to deal with the weird scene in the room; lying on both sides of him were two bodies that had turned completely black, while he was kneeling on the ground like a sculpture. He remained still for quite a while. It was still noisy outside the door, as the magistrates haven't left the hotel yet.
Three minutes later, after recovering a bit more, Zhang Tie picked himself up from the ground. After confirming that Huck was truly dead, he gave up on the idea of stabbing him once more. He then pulled Huck's body over and put it together with Snade's body. Afterwards, he searched every corner of the room and found their luggage. Several seconds later, lowering himself to hug Snade's dead body, Zhang Tie disappeared together with their luggage hung on his shoulders.
1 minute later, Zhang Tie reappeared in the room. This time, he fetched a watertight cloak from their luggage and packaged all the food and tableware. Hanging the package on his arm, he went over to Huck, squatting as he hugged the body that weighed about 100 kg. More than 10 seconds later, Zhang Tie disappeared once again.
This time, it took him longer than before. After more than 10 minutes, Zhang Tie tumbled and reappeared in the room with a pale face…
Back in the room, Zhang Tie had already changed his clothes. As Snade's figure was similar to his, Zhang Tie put on a suite of clothes from Snade's luggage along with a cold-protective hooded cloak which was usually worn by pioneers. After doing this, Zhang Tie glanced over the room.
——Flush the fresh blood in the toilet bowl. Clean his and Snade's blood using the towel in the toilet.
——Rearrange the chair lying on the ground.
——Arrange the bed well.
——Confirm that no evidence related to him, Huck, and Snade were left in the room.
He even checked it over for the second time. Sometimes, Zhang Tie even felt that he himself was somewhat a lunatic. Finally, on his second check, he picked up several strands of black hair from the bed.
Before leaving the room, Zhang Tie tossed the towel drenched in his blood into his pocket as he glanced over the room one last time. Actually, he made it even cleaner than what the servicemen usually does at the hotel. Like all hotels for pioneers, the guests paid before they lived in the room, thus the owner of the hotel would not feel anything out of place when the guests left without even bidding farewell.
Nodding inwardly, Zhang Tie put on Snade's clothes and raised the hood of the cloak in hopes to avoid being identified by others. He then sped up and left the hotel. Without careful looking, most people in the hotel could only mistake Zhang Tie for Snade. For the others who didn't know what had happened, this was also the last trace of Snade in this world...
When he left, Zhang Tie glanced at the clock hanging in the hotel. It was 11:52, 8 minutes before the curfew…
The magistrates had just left. Everybody else found it normal to closely follow the magistrates out of the hotel like Zhang Tie, as they knew every pioneer was rather bold.
Sneaking out of the hotel, Zhang Tie especially chose dim alleys and paths and found a dark corner about 200m away from the hotel. Taking off Snade's clothes and cloak, he threw them into a roadside trash can. The next morning, some lucky wanderer or beggar would receive a nice surprise.
After throwing away those clothes, Zhang Tie wrapped the towel dyed in his blood around a rock and threw it into a smelly sewer on one side of the road. As a result, all evidence was eliminated. Zhang Tie then let out a sigh of relief.
After doing all of this, Zhang Tie chose the avenues and streets without roadside lamps and stealthily walked towards home. In the meantime, he started to think of how he would answer his mom's questions when he got back, as this was the first time he has returned home after midnight.
"Stop!" A gloomy order drifted over. It really frightened Zhang Tie, as he was walking around a corner stealthily. A squad of patrolling soldiers shone their lanterns onto Zhang Tie's face, directly revealing him. Due to the strong light from the lamps, Zhang Tie wasn't even able to open his eyes. Hearing the safety wires of the bows being pulled on in the surrounding darkness, Zhang Tie hurriedly raised his hands and stayed still.
"What are you doing here?" A captain of about 20 years old walked towards Zhang Tie coldly with his right hand on the sword handle over his waist. Being alert, he didn't become relaxed until he saw clearly that Zhang Tie, who looked slightly pale, didn't carry a weapon with him.
"I'm… going home!" Zhang Tie stammered. In a split second, Zhang Tie found that he had already been surrounded by more than ten soldiers. Facing the bows in their hands, Zhang Tie did not dare to make the slightest movement. He had just escaped from Huck and Snade, and it would be really motherf*cking unworth it to be killed by those average soldiers here.
"Going back home? Why are you so late?" the young captain continued.
"I… I played outside today and forgot the time!"
"Where do you live?"
Zhang Tie told him his home address…
"Are you still in school?"
"Yes. Tomorrow is the last day!"
"I remember that block is close to Ninth National Male Middle School!"
"I'm from Seventh National Male Middle School!"
"Ah, yes. Has Mr. Fiore the biology teacher been well?"
"Miss Daina is the one who taught us biology. Mr. Fiore taught us law!"
Hearing the last answer of Zhang Tie, the captain showed a smile and raised his hand. Seeing his response, the other soldiers put away their weapons, alleviating the tension in the surrounding air.
"Leader, is this kid your schoolmate?" a soldier asked.
Zhang Tie stared at this captain of the City Guard Army of Blackhot City in surprise. He really didn't think that this man had also graduated from Seventh National Male Middle School.
"I'm Joy. I have also graduated from Seventh National Male Middle School. It's already past the curfew, why are you so late?"
"Erm… I played… too much... outside and lost track of the time!"
Seeing Zhang Tie's pale face, his unsteady body, and his staggering tone, Joy understood it immediately, and so did the other soldiers. Thus, all of them laughed out loudly, as they had already captured several students similar to Zhang Tie after the curfew in these past few days.
"Little bro, it must have been your first time touching a woman today. You should watch out for your health!" Joy suggested him kindly, "Since we're on the way, let us send you home just in case. Otherwise, you might be caught by the other patrol guards!"
Unexpectedly, Joy was so kind-hearted. Hence, Zhang Tie kept walking along with them until they reached an intersection that was less than 200m away from his home.
Seeing the lamplights at home, Zhang Tie became somewhat upset, as his dad and mom would have always fallen asleep by this time. Needless to say, they were waiting for him. Entering his house, Zhang Tie saw his dad and mom were just sitting there, waiting for his return. His mom looked furious, while his dad looked dejected, seemingly as if he had been cursed at by his mom. Hearing the door open, his dad and mom saw him coming back and immediately let out a sigh of relief.
His mom instantly rushed forward and looked all over Zhang Tie carefully. Seeing Zhang Tie's pale face, his mom poked his forehead with force. Without saying a word, she only stared at Zhang Tie and his dad, humphed, and went upstairs.
Followed by mom, his dad also walked up to Zhang Tie. Staring at Zhang Tie's face, he flicked at Zhang Tie's forehead several times ferociously. "Son, why are you so late? I have already poured out everything to your mom. Because of you, my private money was completely confiscated by your mom!" After saying that, his dad also turned around and went upstairs. However, several steps later, he turned back and asked obscenely, "How many times?"
Hearing his dad's words, Zhang Tie was puzzled and almost shouted out—your son has not circumcised!
Receiving no response, Zhang Tie's dad felt like that question made him lose face as a dad. Hence, he pretended to be serious, coughed twice, and followed Zhang Tie's mom upstairs.
Seeing his dad's shadow disappearing at the corner of the stairs, Zhang Tie suddenly felt moved and shouted out, "Dad!"
"Hmm?" His dad turned around and became curious about what Zhang Tie was going to say.
"I love you!"
"Boy, I swear you will get no more money from me! I was almost cursed to death by your mom…" Being scared by Zhang Tie's words, his dad intended to leave but soon turned around again. "Your mom has already prepared dinner for you. It's in the pot!"
Standing in the simple yet warm guest room, Zhang Tie looked around. Thinking back to what had happened to him just one hour ago, Zhang Tie felt a sense of rebirth. Especially when he heard the last words from dad, Zhang Tie couldn't stop his tears anymore…