Chapter 24: Torture Chamber
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
When the teenagers paid their respects to the Miss, there were no signs showing that Han Shiqi's death was known. The Miss did not notice that two servants had disappeared. Only Mama Xue frowned and inquired about it. The six teenagers looked at each other and gave no response. She discontentedly shook her head, but did not ask anything further.
After they went back to Firewood Yard, Slave Ji still had not noticed that two people were missing. He eventually found that there were only six teenagers left in the yard when he wanted to ask Slave Qi and Slave Xie for more details.
"Where are they?"
Slave Ji was quite astonished and could not imagine that someone had disappeared in Golden Roc Fort, as it was impossible in his eyes.
The teenagers looked at each other and gave no response.
Slave Ji became furious and swung his rosewood stick at the teenagers without any particular reason. "How dare you! How dare you play tricks behind my back! You're all in this together. Did the other two brats leave with Third Brother?"
The teenagers ran away from him while they yelled that they did not know.
While the yard was in disarray, the eastern door opened. It was not the servants bringing dying people, but a group of men in black who entered. They looked slightly different from killers with their belts not red, but green or yellow, and they were also not equipped with blades.
Upon looking at those people, Slave Ji appeared more scared than he would upon meeting with killers. His rosewood stick fell to the ground. He opened his mouth without saying a word and could not help bending his knees. No one knew whether he would bow to them or fall down.
The men in black silently dashed over and rapidly carried Slave Ji away, who was paralyzed with fright. Someone locked the western door, which had never been locked before. The eastern door was also locked from the outside when they left.
No one explained anything to those terrified teenagers. Now they felt as if they were imprisoned in Firewood Yard. Except for Gu Shenwei, the others knew nothing about what they were guilty of.
Two injured men had been sent to the yard two days ago. Usually, the teenagers would avoid stepping into the room of those two men. But now, all of them ran into the room to look after the injured, because they wanted to prove that they were still useful in Golden Roc Fort.
At noon, no one brought them lunch, which was an ominous sign.
The two injured men died before it had gotten dark. The western door, which was used to access Ghost Cliff, was locked, therefore, the corpses could only be left on the brick bed to become stiff little by little.
"I didn't do anything. We didn't, right? Only Slave Ji got into trouble. He won't get us involved, will he?"
The teenager, Slave Zhao, suddenly spoke. Everyone had been silent for a long time. They just felt restless because they did not know what exactly had happened. Only Gu Shenwei could roughly guess most of it, but he would not say a word.
"Mama Xue will save us. We're underlings of the Miss, and we've taken oaths." Another teenager, Slave Lei, looked hopefully at his companions, wanting to gain some confidence from them.
The other teenagers desperately nodded and suddenly breathed a sigh of relief.
Gu Shenwei nodded, but thought that the Miss and Mama Xue would not save them. If they had such thoughts or abilities, they would not have let them stay in Firewood Yard to serve the dead. The Eighth Young Master's yard also needed servants, but they had not been asked to go there.
Bighead Kingpin's daughter, who had supreme power in the bandit camp, had ended her previous life since she had gotten in the bridal sedan.
At dusk, only two of the men in black with the yellow belts returned again. One of them gave a brief order to the six panic-stricken teenagers.
Though they were worried, the teenagers did not dare to inquire about it and honestly followed the two men in black to leave Firewood Yard. It had been a place that they desperately wanted to leave, but now, it was like home for them.
Gu Shenwei kept calm and was even a little optimistic. The men with the yellow belts did not tie anyone up. Maybe they only wanted to make an inquiry. Regarding the facts that a killer was missing and two servants had suddenly disappeared, everyone would link those two things together and would not suspect those who remained.
But Gu Shenwei's thoughts were not completely correct.
The men with the yellow belts were torturers from Heart Cleansing Yard. All of the teenagers were brought there. A formal interrogation was waiting for them.
Heart Cleansing Yard was not far from Firewood Yard, with there being only a small yard between them. It was also called Ghost Yard and it was used for punishment.
Gu Shenwei had always wanted to enter Ghost Yard to look for his sister. Now he knew that it was useless to go there. All the cells for the prisoners were underground and heavily guarded, so no one could see into them from outside.
Gu Shenwei thought it was ironic that there were "prisoners" in a killer organization.
The teenagers were brought to an underground torture chamber. It seemed to be frequently used, for the floor was filled with greasy mud. The teenagers had looked after several dying people who came from Heart Cleansing Yard, and their bodies were stained with this sort of mud. Slave Yao once said that the mud was mixed with flesh. Having seen the broken limbs of the dying people, they knew his judgment was nearly correct.
Numerous strange implements for punishment were placed inside the room, with iron chains here and there. In a corner, a prisoner was tied up to a wooden stand. His skin and flesh were torn so much that his original appearance could not be recognized. When he let out a groan, all the teenagers cried out.
That man was Slave Ji.
He had been the overseer of Firewood Yard in the morning, but now, he was only qualified to return to the yard to await his death.
A teenager immediately fainted and another two teenagers were so stupefied that they could not move a single step as some liquid dripped from their pants.
More than 10 people stood inside the room. Besides the torturers with the yellow belts, there were other people, some of whom even did not wear black. They did not care about the teenagers' fears. If someone were to remain calm upon entering Heart Cleansing Yard, that would make them surprised.
Gu Shenwei felt his leg shivering and he had the impulse to run away.
He was the descendant of the Gu family of the Central Plains. As the son of a government official, he used to play with the generals' and courtiers' sons. For them, excruciating torture, like a ghost or a god, was just a tale.
"How did I fall to such a place? Isn't it enough that I have lost my entire family? Must I also have to experience a humiliating way to die?"
No one expected that one of the teenagers was the young Master of the Gu family, nor could they understand how he felt. The torturers deftly tied the six teenagers to different stands and began to flog them without saying a word. After a single whip, the fainted Slave Lei cried out horribly. Then, the chamber was full of screams.
No one dared to resist.
That was the rule of Heart Cleansing Yard—whether one did something or not, one had to accept punishment first. Among those punishments, flogging was the lightest one.
After the flogging, the torturers ordered the teenagers to speak, but they did not say what the torturers wanted to hear.
The teenagers scrambled to tell them anything that they knew, even their experiences of pouring tea for Slave Ji. They still thought the overseer of the yard had run into trouble.
Then the torturers asked the teenagers to talk about Slave Qi and Slave Xie, which brought about more details.
It was all nonsense, but the poker-faced torturers wanted to discover a hole in the nonsense and find the real insider.
Gu Shenwei's legs went limp, but his fear disappeared after the flogging. Compared to the hidden agony in his heart, the physical pain became insignificant.
He also cried out and spoke nonsense. Although it was his first time entering a torture chamber and facing a torturer, he was quite clear about those tricks. He pretended to be an ordinary teenager while he observed them in private.
The inquirers were all underlings. The two men in charge stood far away and appeared indifferent.
One of them wore black and a yellow belt. He was a tall, thin man with a gloomy expression. Obviously, he was in charge of Heart Cleansing Yard. The other one wore a grey robe. Like a scholar, he was short and thin and had a meditative look about him.
They did not have sabers, which were symbolic of a killer.
After the interrogation, the torturers stepped aside. Then the two men began to make their judgment.
"They cannot say anything useful. The two servants did it alone," the man wearing the yellow belt said first. The teenagers felt relieved.
"Humph. That seems to be the case, but we should be careful. These kids are sinister, especially when they've had adults to teach them," the man wearing the grey robe said casually with a courteous smile, as if he was pointing out a common truth.
"Maybe. These kids haven't been in the fort for long. As they have only met a few adults, it would be easy to find out the person who is behind them. Right, Mister Guo?"
The man in the grey robe, called Mister Guo, looked surprised. "Blademaster Shen, you've misunderstood my words. I just feel that we shouldn't easily believe these kids. Han Shiqi was a killer. It seems impossible that these kids could have plotted against him."
Han Shiqi was his real name. Most of the killers in Golden Roc Fort were not famous, therefore, it was not necessary for them to use fake names while performing tasks.
Blademaster Shen and Mister Guo held different opinions; the former wanted to minimize the effects of the issue, but the latter wanted to dig up more information.
Gu Shenwei reminded himself that if he could survive in Ghost Yard, he would inquire about every conflict in Golden Roc Fort, which might be helpful to aid him in his vengeance.
The interrogation fitfully went on without any focus. The torturers seemed to ramble a bit. Gu Shenwei felt that the interrogation had been arranged on purpose. Every time the teenagers mentioned Mama Xue or the Eighth Young Mistress, the torturer would not ask anything further. The clever teenagers understood and no longer mentioned anything about the Eighth Young Master's yard.
Blademaster Shen and Mister Guo left and returned several times. They really did not speak much. There were no signs shown that they had had a dispute, but they did not look at each other.
The Eighth Young Master, Shangguan Nu, also arrived once. It was the second time that Gu Shenwei had seen his enemy who had slaughtered his entire family. Shangguan Nu stood farther away than he had before, so it was even more hopeless for Gu Shenwei to get his revenge.
Shangguan Nu just took a look and left without saying a word. He nodded at Blademaster Shen, but ignored Mister Guo. Instead, Mister Guo paid his respects to the Young Master.
At midnight, several men in black rushed in, threw something on the ground, and retreated after bowing to Blademaster Shen and Mister Guo.
That thing was a living person. As he raised his head, the first person that he saw was Gu Shenwei.
Slave Qi had been caught.