Chapter 93: Prison

Xue Wei looked around the prison cell he had been given. It was almost completely barren. A bit of old hay that smelled as if it had started to rot was laying on the hard ground. 

The entire prison was filled with criminals and deserters, yet the Fierce Beasts were held elsewhere.

"So they group me with the humans," Xue Wei muttered with a wry smile. It seemed more and more likely that someone had started a conspiracy against his uncle rather than actually expecting him to be a Primordial Beast. 

Xue Wei found a place on the ground with no hay and sat down. He had still not given up on surviving. He knew that his chances were slim, but he did not want to go down without a fight. 

Xue Wei spread his spiritual energy far and wide to grasp the prison’s structural composition. The cell he had been placed in was clearly made for Earth Warriors with a low amount of Spiritual Energy, because his senses easily penetrated the cell’s mechanisms against the use of Spiritual Energy and started roaming the prison.

He found that there were around a hundred prisoners within the range of his senses, and all of them were quiet and in the middle of cultivation. 

There were three guards that patrolled the area. They were Earth Warriors of the seventh layer. Their strength was not overwhelming by any means, because the prison overseers and the guards themselves were certain that no one would be able to escape the heavily armed doors.

Xue Wei snickered when he noticed this and started to feel as if he might have a chance anyway. 

He located the first one of the guards and launched Mind Infestation. This attack let him easily enter the mind of the guard and find his weaknesses, his strengths, and it also allowed him to control the guard. 

Xue Wei was calm and collected. Although this was a life and death moment, he understood the importance of being calm and not overlooking a single detail. If he allowed his killing intent and the urge to battle to take over, it was certain that he would never exit the prison. 

The guard made his way towards Xue Wei's cell. He fiddled with his keys as Xue Wei went through the memories of this guard to figure out which key it was that he had to use. 

This guard was informed Xue Wei was assumed to be a Primordial Beast. He had trusted completely in the information he had been given.

Xue Wei snorted. He then compelled the guard to move closer to his cell while at the same time observing the surroundings for any guards that might end up walking in on the scene.

Xue Wei made the guard open the cell. He knocked the guard unconscious swiftly, without killing him, as he had enough issues already. Killing even a mere guard could only worsen it, not improve it. 

Since this was the case, Xue Wei used his Mind Infestation to make the guard fall unconscious for a few hours, and started sneaking around the labyrinth that was the prison. 

He had his spiritual energy spread all around him for the sake of noticing all the changes in the surrounding air. His every sense was heightened as he snuck around. 

The prison cells were all closed by massive doors that no one could look through, which caused the other criminals to be incapable of noticing this sneaking escapee. 

Had they seen him, they would have without a doubt called out and alerted the guards out of jealousy. All of them wished to escape, yet the only escape that was from this prison was death. 

Xue Wei snuck from one side to another in search of the entrance. The guards became more numerous the further he went, but Xue Wei knew that hiding in the shadows alone was not enough. 

As he reached the entrance, he saw that four guards were placed here, all of them at the ninth layer of the Earth Warrior rank. 

"Let us create some chaos then," Xue Wei mumbled to himself and found the keys he had taken from the unconscious guard. He then started unlocking one cell after another until at least a hundred prison cells were unlocked.

Xue Wei did not open the doors; he just unlocked them. The loud clink could be heard by the prisoners, but they all assumed that it was a guard who was entering their cells with food or for some other reason, only to see that nothing happened.

Xue Wei snuck back to the entrance and hid in the darkness of a corner, eyes narrowed, and waited for the chaos to ensue. 

Some prisoners were rather fast at exiting their cells. However, they did so with caution, while others stayed within their cells for longer. 

Xue Wei was patient. He noticed how many of the experts exited the cells and snuck around like him in their attempt to escape. None of them were bold enough to walk in the middle of the hallways, and all of them hid themselves to the best of their ability.

Although they hid themselves, there were a few people who were noticed, and suddenly a loud whistle sounded in the prison ward. "Prison break! someone has escaped their cells!" 

The moment the yell resounded, the four guards at the entrance of the prison exchanged glances. "The Primordial Beast!" they yelled in unison before they all, without double-checking their surroundings, rushed towards Xue Wei's cell. 

Xue Wei, who had been waiting for this could not help but snicker slightly. Things were going according to plan.

While no one had taken the clothes he had been wearing, they had taken his bamboo hat and his bag filled with his herbs, money, and spare clothes. 

They had also taken his armor. While Xue Wei would miss these things, he was not about to start looking for them. Instead, he slipped to the side as soon as he exited the prison and hid in another shade of darkness. 

He did not move too far as he knew that reinforcements would arrive soon, and the further away he went the more likely he were to run into them. 

Hiding in the shadows close to the prison was risky, but it was also Xue Wei's only option. He could already hear the sound of running steps towards him, and he observed as Sky Warriors started entering the prison. 

Xue Wei planted five seeds of Mirage, after which he made all five of his copies rely on the Forbidden Rush movement technique to flee in different directions. 

They would continue existing as long as they had Qi to fuel them, and even if they ran to the center of the continent they would not collapse. 

At the same time, they had a mental link to Xue Wei so he could sense them all the time, which allowed him to know whether or not they had been dispelled. 

Xue Wei stayed in his hiding place and slowly started to climb the wall. He aimed to lay on top of the prison. As long as no flying beasts came by, he would be safe. 

Just as he started climbing, he noticed that the first one of his clones had been captured. The clone had made it just outside of the palace before it was apprehended. 

Xue Wei could feel that the clone had not been killed. It had only been severely injured, and it was still capable of holding itself together. As such, it was clear that the person who had caught him had no intention of killing him.

The second clone was caught in the middle of the Inner City. This one was treated the same way as the first and was also being moved back to the palace.

One after one, the clones were captured and brought back, allowing Xue Wei to understand that the entire capital was on high alert. It was impossible to escape as things were now. 

All Xue Wei could do was lay low, and hope that he would be able to leave after some time. 

He managed to climb to the top of the prison and saw that everyone else was bringing the five Seeds of Mirage clones towards another prison, the prison for Fierce Beasts. 

Xue Wei could not understand what they said to the copies. He could sense them, and they could sense him, but their connection was not strong enough to exchange sensory information so that he could see and hear what they could see and hear.

Xue Wei laid completely still while on the roof of the prison. He did not move at all; his senses were still heightened to their limits; and he caught whiffs of conversations whenever someone passed by below. 

"We don't know how he escaped." 

"He is to be placed together with the Fierce Beasts for now. The security there is much better."

"I heard that it was the Tie family that caught him."

"It was the Long family that found him."

"What are you talking about? It is the Wang family that captured him."

The discussion continued about who had captured Xue Wei even as the guards left the range of his senses. 

"I hear he is a Primordial Beast, but why did he not just transform and break his way out of the prison instead of relying on schemes and his wits to trick everyone?" 

"You know nothing. If he made such a ruckus, he would have been caught instantly."

"I hear that he has already been caught though, so it does not make much of a difference."

Again, they walked out of the reach of Xue Wei's hearing. In this manner, Xue Wei waited for a few moments before the entire castle was in an uproar.

"There are five Xue Weis!" someone came running from far away and told the guards at the Earth Warrior prison. "The Tie, Long, Su, Wang, and Xiao families all caught a Xue Wei lookalike and were immensely proud of themselves as they marched towards the Beast Cage to lock him up," the one who had come running was speaking with a hushed voice as he looked at the guards guarding the entrance.

"The first ones to arrive were the Long family. They were all high and mighty while presenting a beaten up Xue Wei, and demanded that he was kept securely in the future."

"Then the Tie family came and displayed another beaten up version," 

he snickered, "then came Su, Wang, and Xiao families with the same beaten up version. All of them were completely stumped for words and filled with disbelief when they saw the beaten Xue Wei that the others displayed."

"We don't know how many copies there are of Xue Wei, neither do we know if we have caught the right version," the guy continued to say. 

"What we do know is that things have gone horribly wrong. Also, the Outer City is starting to gather in groups that are demanding Xue Wei's release."

"They claim it is a conspiracy to get rid of Xiao Lei, and they demand justice and a fair trial."

"A few people from the Inner City have even joined them, and – just between us – I heard the manager of the Golden Chambers of the capital requested an audience with the King. I can only guess it was on behalf of this guy."

"He isn’t a Primordial Beast?" One of the guards asked in shock, and the one who had come running shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know, but there is some reason behind what the commoners are saying. Either way, there will be a riot soon, so prepare in advance. No matter who is right or wrong, we follow orders. So what if an innocent man gets killed? Innocent people die every day. I am sure the nobles have their plans, and if we wish to stay alive, we have to follow orders well."

"Anyway, I need to run," the man said and ran away, leaving the guards to debate amongst themselves.

Xue Wei, who was on top of the prison and had heard everything, felt excited about hearing that the Outer City was preparing a revolution. If they caused enough chaos, then Xue Wei could use this opportunity to escape – and hopefully escape together with Tie Haolong. 

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Tinalynge's Thoughts

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Author: Tinalynge

Editor: Melinum

Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking

Proofreader: Tue