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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
With its swiftest speed, the Orthodox Academy's carriage departed from the principal alley of the Northern Military Department.
The gathered crowd outside the alley didn't have time to react. Even Mao Qiuyu and Prince Chen Liu didn't know what had occurred in that small courtyard.
With the departure of the carriage, the five hundred Orthodoxy cavalry dispersed, leaving only trails of dust.
Chen Changsheng and the rest were in such a hurry not because Zhexiu was so critically wounded that he was barely clinging to life, but rather because the shadow that had been cast over their minds by that small courtyard was far too frightening!
Lying on the stretcher, Zhexiu was dressed in a set of clean clothes. His face was the sort of pale obtained from not seeing the sun for a while and his body was rather emaciated. However, there were no visible wounds, so his situation could be considered okay.
As the carriage galloped through the street, the wind blew up a corner of the curtain. Tang Thirty-Six was able to see one of the eaves of Zhou Prison and his face slightly paled. Subconsciously, he tightened his grip on the hilt of his sword. That calm and assured appearance he had when speaking to Zhou Tong was no longer visible at all.
Zhou Prison was sinister, but the truly frightening thing was still Zhou Tong himself.
Chen Changsheng's head was lowered, his hair already dripping with sweat. He seemed like he had just finished performing some extraordinarily strenuous physical labor.
He extracted a handkerchief from his sleeve and wiped the sweat off his face. Then he balled it up in his palm and enveloped it with his true essence.
Before he entered Zhou Prison, he had been kneading this handkerchief.
He rarely sweat, such that Tang Thirty-Six and Xuanyuan Po had never seen him do so.
Today's circumstances were special. Beforehand, he had considered that it was possible he might sweat today.
Only after confirming that the handkerchief soaked in sweat was not emitting that strange scent that made him uneasy did Chen Changsheng truly relax.
The standoff with Zhou Tong in that small courtyard, to him, was much more hair-raising than his battle with Zhou Ziheng.
Because in this standoff, their minds had to bear an extremely terrifying pressure.
"Don't wipe your mouth," Tang Thirty-Six said to him as he incessantly wiped off sweat.
Chen Changsheng momentarily paused as he asked, "Why?"
Tang Thirty-Six answered, "To use a handkerchief to wipe the mouth will make you seem just like Zhou Tong. It will look very freakish."
From the front of the carriage came Xuanyuan Po's laughter. An honest bear youth, his standard for humor had always been this low.
This joke wasn't very amusing, but the mood in the carriage lightened up somewhat.
Chen Changsheng's mind gradually calmed, and he began to check up on Zhexiu's injuries.
He placed his finger on Zhexiu's veins and quietly listened. Suddenly, there was a muffled bang in the compartment as his finger jolted away from the vein.
Tang Thirty-Six asked, "What's going on?"
"Tide Rush of Blood, his old illness."
Chen Changsheng felt that there was a problem with Zhexiu's pulse. He creased his brow, but said nothing more. He removed the metal needles from his fingers, undid Zhexiu's collar, and prepared to use the needles to take a look.
The moment he undid the collar, his fingers stiffened.
After Tang Thirty-Six saw it, his body also stiffened.
Chen Changsheng's fingers began to tremble, but he still persisted in slowly undoing the clothes, revealing Zhexiu's body.
Yes, Zhexiu's face did not have the smallest wound, nor could any sign of injury or torture be seen. Because all of it was on his body.
There wasn't one inch of Zhexiu's body that was complete.
It was all wounds and rotted flesh.
There were even places where the white bone was visible.
There were even places where the bone had turned black.
Chen Changsheng had no idea how many tortures Zhexiu had suffered, how many things he had been poisoned with.
He also did not want to know, because he could not bear to know.
The carriage compartment was deathly still.
"Stop the carriage!"
Chen Changsheng suddenly shouted.
Tang Thirty-Six's head was lowered. At some point, his right hand had once again tightly gripped the hilt of the Wenshui Sword.
Xuanyuan Po did not know what had happened within the carriage. After stopping the carriage, he entered and saw Zhexiu's miserable situation.
His eyes instantly turned red and his breathing became coarse and hurried in his fury. His arms began to thicken and steel-like hairs began to grow out of his skin, both signs of metamorphosis.
"I'm going to kill Zhou Tong!"
Chen Changsheng and Tang Thirty-Six said nothing, but they were both thinking this, which was why he had yelled to stop the carriage, which was why he had gripped the hilt of his sword.
Zhexiu had been tormented into such a wretched state such that even Chen Changsheng found it impossible to maintain his calm stoicism. Tang Thirty-Six was even less able to care about his identity as the descendant of a noble clan.
If it were said that Liang Xiaoxiao had used his own death to accuse Zhexiu of colluding with the demons, then it could be said that Zhexiu suffered from his involvement with Qi Jian. Then when Zhou Tong refused to release Zhexiu and used such cruel methods to torment him, it could be said that he suffered these torments in the Orthodox Academy's place.
They were the Orthodox Academy, so it was only a matter of course that they take vengeance on Zhexiu's behalf.
At this moment, Zhexiu opened his eyes.
There was still a lemon-yellow color in the depths of his pupils.
That was the intermixture of Nanke's poison and the fierce blood of the wolf tribe.
However, because he had been poisoned by so many toxins in Zhou Prison, all these poisons mutually conflicted with each other. In these last few days, his vision was surprisingly gradually recovering.
Every time he woke up in Zhou Prison, he would have to welcome a boundless and endless pain, so when he opened his eyes, they were cold and filled with hatred.
But after a moment, he realized that he wasn't seeing those strange torture devices that seemed to be built for use on demi-humans, but rather three young faces filled with deep concern!
It only took a few seconds for Zhexiu to completely sober up, and he was even able to guess from their expressions what these three intended to do.
The vigilance and hatred in his eyes gradually vanished but his face was still emotionless. He directly said to Xuanyuan Po, "Drive the carriage."
His voice was incredibly feeble, but it seemed to possess the feeling that it could not be refused.
Xuanyuan Po yelled, "We're prepared to attack Zhou Prison to get revenge for you."
Zhexiu looked at him and expressionlessly said, "There are many hot pillars in there. Do you want to make some simmer-fried bear-paw for them?"
(TN: A hot pillar is an ancient Chinese punishment where the victim was tied to a burning hot metal pillar and cooked to death.)
This was also a joke that wasn't very amusing, and there was no one laughing this time.
Of course, it wasn't because everyone was stunned because Zhexiu had never been one to make jokes.
"But it's really impossible to swallow back down this emotion," Tang Thirty-Six said.
Zhexiu replied, "When you can't defeat your enemy, you have to endure. You have to keep your eyes fixed on him, grow stronger, and then kill him in one bite."
This was the way of existence for wolves.
Chen Changsheng said to him sorrowfully, "I'm sorry, it's all because I got you involved."
Zhexiu closed his eyes, ignoring him.
Xuanyuan Po returned to the front of the carriage and continued to drive it down the street.
Zhou Prison grew farther and farther away.
But the four youths on the carriage were keenly aware that there would be a day when they would return.
A cold and flat voice suddenly rang out in the carriage.
It was Zhexiu's voice, but his eyes were still shut.
"If you think I'm too wretched…just add money and it'll be fine."
Upon their return to the Orthodox Academy, the priests of the Thirteen Divisions of Radiant Green that had long been awaiting their arrival began to use the Sacred Light technique to treat Zhexiu's wounds. Afterwards, Chen Changsheng began to personally give medical treatment, prudently using needles and scalpel to treat the appalling wounds on Zhexiu's body. It took half a day's time to complete the treatment, by which time the sky had already turned completely black.
Zhexiu's injuries were too severe. In order to make treatment more convenient and minimize movement, he did not stay in those buildings by the forest. Instead, a thick bedding was laid out on the wood flooring of the library so he could just sleep on the ground.
Under the illumination of the lantern light, Chen Changsheng looked through the directory of the Orthodox Academy, then put it back in its drawer. He turned his eyes to the wolf youth whose eyes were tightly shut, enduring the pain without saying a single word. Chen Changsheng recalled that back in the Garden of Zhou, Zhexiu had said that he wanted a sword.
"Money…right now, I don't have too much." Chen Changsheng did not pay any attention to the angry gaze shot at him by Tang Thirty-Six at the side. He said to Zhexiu, "But I have many swords. You can pick whichever one you like."