Chapter 68: Visit (1)
The sixty Harpy captives had been split up into pairs and put into thirty different cells. The Zhu Clan didn’t have that many jail cells, and they had repurposed a few other locations in order to get enough space.
Jade Brilliance’s cellmate was an older Harpy.
The older Harpy was quite ancient. He stammered when he spoke, and his mind was muddled, so Jade Brilliance didn’t like him very much. From time to time, he would even start giving voice to the delusions that he believed in.
He always talked about how he was a famous Harpy with great status and that he had run into some kind of fortuitous encounter. The only reason he had been captured by the humans was because he had accidentally run into them while trying to excavate this treasures, which was how he had gotten locked up.
Jade Brilliance felt like he was going to go crazy if he paid any attention to the old man, so most of the time he ignored the old Harpy.
However, the jail cell was only so big. There was only so much he could do to try and hide.
“Young man, why do you not believe me? I’m telling the truth. It’s right near Black River Valley. An Astral left behind a precious treasure there. That place is full of riches and resources, as well as precious Arcana Techniques. I am only telling you this because you have taken care of me a few times. Remember, find the three-headed Medusa in that broken-down shrine and choose the head on the right side, and you will be able to open the pathway to those riches……” the old man muttered.
“Medusas don’t have three heads,” Jade Brilliance said
“That’s why it works well as a secret mechanism.”
“I only hope that you can stop being delusional,” Jade Brilliance sighed.
The old man was a bit dissatisfied, but in the end all he did was mutter a few incoherent sentences before falling silent.
A few moments later, some guards arrived on the scene.
The same warden with jowls of fat was in the lead again, but this time he took away the old man.
He charged in the jail cell and brusquely grabbed the old man, shoving him out of the cell.
“What are you guys doing?” Even though Jade Brilliance didn’t really like the delusional old man, he still couldn’t help but cry out.
“Get the hell out of my way!” The warden shoved Jade Brilliance aside and left with the old Harpy in tow.
Jade Brilliance had watched Halcyon Wing Streak return to his jail cell before, and he knew that the outcome of this old man was not likely to be good. But all he could do was watch the old man be taken away. There was nothing he could do.
After roughly an hour, the old man returned.
He was clearly on his last breath, having been beaten to within an inch of his life.
“Those humans are really a bunch of barbarians!” Jade Brilliance said angrily.
“Well, it’s not really strange,” the old man replied. “The humans imprisoned in our jails are probably also being treated like this, right? In the end, it’s all fair.”
“You still have the heart to speak on their behalf?” Jade Brilliance didn’t understand.
“Heh. I’m just pointing out the truth,” the old man replied in a strange tone of voice.
The way he spoke was a bit unfamiliar to Jade Brilliance. Jade Brilliance stared at him strangely. “What’s wrong with you?”
The old man sighed, “Not much. I’m about to die, so I guess my sight is becoming more and more lucid.”
About to die?
Jade Brilliance was stunned. “You…… are you serious?”
The old man grabbed Jade Brilliance’s hand. “I am the clearest about my own condition. I am already old, and my bones are rickety. Those guys beat me until my inner organs ruptured, and since I have no way of using Origin Energy, I will slowly die. Perhaps it won’t be long until that happens.”
Jade Brilliance was obviously startled when he heard these words.
He began to howl to anyone outside the prison. “Hey, is there anyone there? He’s about to die! Someone, send a doctor to save him? Or at least let him use a bit of Origin Energy!”
No one answered.
The other Harpy captives glanced in his direction, their eyes filled with compassion and sorrow.
“Don’t waste your time,” the old man murmured. “Come here, young man. Before I die, I have a secret I want to tell you.”
Jade Brilliance shook his head. “Don’t say anymore about that treasure stash.”
“No, it has nothing to do with the treasure stash,” the old man replied. “It’s another secret about something here in Flat Sky City.”
“What?” Jade Brilliance was obviously stunned.
The old man waved his hand, motioning for Jade Brilliance to lean in.
Then, he gently whispered in Jade Brilliance’s ear, “Listen to me carefully. There is a strange realm beneath the very ground we stand on.”
As he gently muttered words into Jade Brilliance’s ears, Jade Brilliance’s eyes grew larger and larger.
“Are you…… telling the truth?”
“Then how did you find out about this?”
“Do you remember Flowing Flame Oriole, from the capital?”
“Yes, I do.” Jade Brilliance’s face reddened slightly.
Of course he remembered the Sanskrit Chanter of the Gentle Voice Nest. He had even had some feelings for her at one point.
Unfortunately, she was taken away not long after she arrived. Where she was now, no one knew.
The old man said, “She was the one who told me.”
“Are you saying that this was all because of her?” Jade Brilliance was stunned.
The old man nodded. “Yes, but unfortunately she failed. However, she didn’t completely fail. The humans are still unaware of the existence of this secret.”
“But I don’t remember you ever coming into contact with her,” Jade Brilliance said.
“This happened when I was still outside. She told me this when I ran into her.”
“Why did she tell you of all people?”
“She had no choice,” the old Harpy replied. “She knew that she was about to die, but the secret of the plan for the great resurrection of the Harpies could not die with her. She needed to pass it on to someone else so that they could take the secret with them. Now, I am about to die, so I have no other choice. I can only tell you and pray that you will have an opportunity to speak with them.”
“Purple Forest Stream…… the diplomatic party that was sent this time.”
Jade Brilliance immediately understood. “So they aren’t after the captives, but that thing.”
“That’s right, but only by finding you will they be able to determine the location of that treasure,” the old man said.
“So what?” Jade Brilliance shook his head. “They aren’t here to try and save us, and we won’t be able to get in contact with them.”
“I will create an opportunity for you,” the old man said as he gripped Jade Brilliance’s hand firmly. “As long as you promise me to notify them of this secret, no matter what the cost may be!”
As the old man spoke with burning passion, Jade Brilliance felt like a heavy burden had suddenly fallen on his shoulders.
This matter was related to the Harpies’ future expansion and the successful formation of the sixth Floating Point. He would accomplish this mission, even if he had to pay the price of his own life in the process.
In that moment, Jade Brilliance felt like he had been commissioned to create Harpy history.
He nodded his head diligently. “Don’t worry, old man. As long as I can get in contact with them, I will definitely notify them. But…… how will we get in contact with them in the first place?”
“Don’t worry, child. The diplomatic party came here in name for the sake of the captives, but they haven’t taken any concrete steps to accomplish that goal yet. They haven’t even met with the captives yet, so the Zhu Clan is beginning to grow suspicious. They beat and interrogated me to try and figure out the true intentions of the diplomatic party. The diplomatic party should come shortly to see us, and that will be our opportunity…… ” the old man replied.
A day later.
Within the Zhu Clan’s main hall.
Purple Forest Stream sat in the guest’s seat as he chuckled along with Zhu Yunyan, “Matriarch Zhu, I am merely the head of this lowly diplomatic group carrying out the orders of my superiors. I don’t have the authority to make many decisions. These negotiations are not something that I can decide on my own. In this period of time, we haven’t made much progress, but part of that reason is because I am waiting for my country to respond. They are the ones who need to make up their mind before our negotiations can proceed smoothly. This is the only reason our negotiations are dragging on like this. I hope you can forgive us for this.”
Zhu Yunyan replied calmly, “You say that, but I still feel like your focus is not on those captives. You have been in Flat Sky City for a number of days now, right? Yet you haven’t even asked about how the people you are here to exchange for are doing. Are you not worried that we might mistreat one of the captives and they die accidentally?”
Purple Forest Stream said hurriedly, “Of course, we have faith in Matriarch Zhu.”
Zhu Yunyan said immediately, “That’s hard to say. Yesterday, one of the Zhu Clan’s subordinates drank too much wine and beat up one of the Harpy captives. He used a bit too much force, and it seems like that captive won’t be able to live for very long. Even though I have already punished him, the matter has already taken place. Ai, it’s all my fault for not disciplining my subordinates enough. But this clan is just too big. The more people there are, the more likely it is that these kinds of loopholes will be present. Who knows when the next victim will emerge?”
Purple Forest Stream immediately jumped to his feet.
He naturally wouldn’t care too much about the death of a single Harpy, but since he had come to exchange for the captives, he needed to put on the right kind of show. “Matriarch Zhu, how could you do something like that?”
Zhu Yunyan rolled her eyes at him. “I already told you that I wasn’t the one who did that. In any case, if you don’t care about them, why should I?”
“This……” Purple Forest Stream knew that they hadn’t handled the matter of the captives very well, which was why they had incurred the suspicion of the other party.
After a moment of thought, Purple Forest Stream said, “It was because I believed in Matriarch Zhu’s character that I was so relaxed. Now, it seems that we must investigate how the Zhu Clan has been taking care of the captives before we complete the exchange.”
“Oh? How are you planning on investigating?” Zhu Yunyan’s eyebrows jumped.
“I want to go and take a look at my compatriots and investigate their physical condition. You must immediately heal the one who was wounded and promise me that nothing like this will happen again!” Purple Forest Stream pretended to act angry.
This act was quite comical in the eyes of those who knew that their opponents were slippery up to no good..
Zhu Yunyan forcefully tried to repress her desire to laugh but failed, resulting in a cold chuckle spilling out of her mouth. “You say it like it’s incredibly easy. Do you think you can just go and see them whenever you want?”
Purple Forest Stream let out a long sigh. He knew that if he retreated now, the opponent would only grow more suspicious. After all, some of the Zhu Clan’s members had begun to tail them two days ago.
When he thought to this point, Purple Forest Stream said, “We also brought some presents with us this time. Please, Matriarch Zhu, accept our goodwill.”
As he spoke, he clapped his hands. A Harpy subordinate stepped forwards, an Origin Ring in his hands.
Zhu Yunyan took a look inside the Origin Ring and immediately smiled. “Oh, now you’re showing sincerity. Since that’s the case…… Xianyao, go and show them around the jail.”