Lin Xi almost went the whole night without sleeping.
He was the fastest at entering meditation cultivation out of all of Green Luan Academy’s new students.
Before nightfall, he used large amounts of plant ashes to completely plug up Wanyan Muye’s wounds, moreover deeply burying anything that could release any bloody smells. They found a place in the forest where the snow cover was extremely thick, and then built an igloo according to what they learned in Green Luan Academy’s classes. In this dark barren forest, even if it was that Thunder Academy student with exceptional night vision who walked past them, it might still be difficult for him to find traces of them.
However, because of his worry for Gao Yanan, because of his worry regarding Helan Yuexi’s wild beast-like sense of smell, only when it was his turn to rest and cultivate, less than half an hour before midnight, did he enter meditation cultivation.
This night was exceptionally long.
The darkness of night still didn’t fade, the first glimmers of dawn not descending upon Heaven Ascension Mountain Range yet.
Wanyan Muye’s body that was tightly bound with vines, large amounts of dead leaves piled around him, was currently in a seriously wounded and weak state of coma, but his cultivator constitution ensured that his aura was still stable, no danger to his life temporarily.
Bian Linghan was still in meditation cultivation, completely unaware of her surroundings.
Suddenly, Lin Xi’s entire body went taut out of nervousness. In this type of ice-cold environment, a fine layer of sweat actually appeared on his palms.
He heard some strange sounds.
Through the half submerged snow roof’s ventilation hole, as well as the peeping hole, Lin Xi saw a figure dressed in gray prisoner clothes.
When he thought about what Wanyan Muye said previously, Lin Xi who didn’t even dare to breathe a bit too heavily right now couldn’t be sure if this was a true prisoner or if it was a disguised Thunder Academy student.
However, when he saw this gray clothed prisoner’s figure continuously shiver while moving through the winds, pull back a piece of spruce tree bark, continuously cramming the thin layer of fibers inside into his mouth, swallowing, and then carefully returning the tree bark to its original position, he was already sure that this was a real prisoner.
When he thought about how they never discovered any traces through their deliberate searching, yet now, there just happened to be a prisoner who ran up to their igloo, Lin Xi suddenly felt like this world really was full of indescribable grief and happiness.
Because both his and Bian Linghan’s cultivation levels weren’t at a point where they would suffer from soul force rippling backlash, he lightly tapped his longsword by Bian Linghan’s side, making it release a light metal sound, waking Bian Linghan from her meditation cultivation.
After making a hand signal towards Bian Linghan, he silently pushed open a pile of snow, making his way out of the igloo.
When he was only twenty or so steps from that prisoner, that prisoner suddenly sensed something. His entire body trembled, and then he turned around in a rigid manner.
This was a face that was frozen to the point where it was a bit purple. He was forty or fifty years of age, the mustache and long beard giving him a bit of a scholarly aura, his hair dry and gray-white.
Lin Xi immediately brought his finger in front of his lips, making a ‘shush’ signal.
“I am Green Luan Academy’s student, I came to save you.” Almost at the same time, he immediately said this with a suppressed voice to this prisoner.
This stammering prisoner who didn’t immediately say anything shut his mouth, nodding.
“You aren’t a cultivator?” He looked at this prisoner whose skin on his neck was even a bit purple, seeing that there were some pine leaves tied to this prisoner’s foot, and then his eyes suddenly went cold. “You spent some time in the army?”
This scholarly like prisoner nodded, as if he saw through Lin Xi’s doubts, saying quietly, “Before I was sent to prison, I was a military doctor in Jadefall Border Army.”
“Come with me.”
Lin Xi looked at this prisoner who still didn’t stop shaking, nodding and saying, “Change into this armor of mine.” When he brought this prisoner into the igloo, he directly removed the light armor he wore, gesturing for this prisoner to change into it.
He didn’t have any deeper meaning for doing this, just that the light armor he wore was a bit warmer. Meanwhile, with this prisoner’s current situation, he might not be able to hold out much longer in this snowland.
However, this light armor that carried his body temperature, for this prisoner, was indeed exceptionally warm. An extremely moved expression appeared on his face, even though he could still only curl up in this igloo, he immediately bowed and expressed his thanks to Lin Xi. “This humble one is Wang Jianyu, may I ask senior officer’s name?”
“Senior officer?” Lin Xi stared blankly.
“According to Yunqin’s laws, Green Luan Academy’s students have military rank upon leaving the academy.” Bian Linghan reminded Lin Xi.
Wang Jianyu had now caught his breath a bit, recovering a bit. When he saw the appearance of Wanyan Muye on the side, his expression changed slightly. He reached out his hand, tapping on Wanyan Muye’s wrist, and then after some hesitation, said, “Senior officers, forgive me for speaking bluntly, but this companion of yours has already suffered internal damage. If he does not receive suitable medication, even if you can save his life, the hidden injuries in his body might be impossible to cure.”
“I am not sure if we need to keep our names a secret, so you don’t need to know our names.” Lin Xi looked at Wang Jianyu, and then gave Wanyan Muye a look, saying, “This sounds a bit cruel and callous, but I don’t want to lie to you either. This is a Thunder Academy student, not someone from our Green Luan Academy. Moreover, he tried to kill us first. In this situation where we cannot ensure our own safety, unable to guarantee the safety of the rest of our Green Luan Academy students, I really cannot make too many considerations for his life and death.”
Wang Jianyu stared blankly for a moment, but immediately afterwards nodded, expressing his understanding.
“You don’t seem like the vicious sort, how did you end up becoming a death row convict of my Yunqin Empire?” Bian Linghan looked at him, asking with her brows slightly furrowed. Even though she could tell that the other party wasn’t a cultivator, she felt like she still had to learn a bit from the other party to prevent bringing unfavorable threats to Lin Xi and herself.
The igloo became momentarily silent.
Wang Jianyu’s purple face became a bit more overcast. However, he looked at Lin Xi and Bian Linghan, still saying, “I killed people, killed three people. One of them was a plume chief.”
Lin Xi looked at Bian Linghan. “What rank is a plume chief?”
Bian Linghan said, “Justice Sector’s minor ninth rank.” After realizing that Lin Xi didn’t really know much about Yunqin’s officials ranking system, she then explained by Lin Xi’s ears, “Town supervisors are major eighth rank. Once students leave the three great academies, they will be minor eighth rank, two whole levels higher than minor ninth rank.”
Lin Xi knew that since Yunqin’s late emperor followed some of Principal Zhang’s suggestions, forming the eight sectors, Yunqin’s governing system had many areas that were neither modern nor ancient, not similar to any dynasties in the world he studied before. However, Bian Linghan’s explanation was quite easy to understand; two levels lower than a graduate of the three great academies, for ordinary soldiers, was clearly already not a low rank either.
“Why did you kill a senior officer in the army?” Bian Linghan looked at Wang Jianyu, and then continued, “Could it be that you colluded with the enemy?”
Wang Jianyu shook his head. “When my small troop was on a mission, we suffered an ambush. Me and two companions fled back, seriously wounded, it was a frontier family who saved us. However, later on, when we prepared to thank this family, we discovered that this family of five was completely killed off. Later on, we tried to examine the records, during that time, there was only one record of fighting… according to the record, it was two plume chiefs and two attendants who killed five enemies there.”
Bian Linghan’s face immediately turned white. She looked at Wang Jianyu and said, “Your meaning is that those four people killed the inhabitants of the frontier, falsifying military achievements?”
“All evidence points to this.” Wang Jianyu laughed in distress, “But when we reported this matter, the reply the higher ups gave us was that there was no evidence proving that the ones who were killed were frontier inhabitants. There was one plume chief, who because he gathered enough military achievements, rose in rank to a right wing chief. Meanwhile, one night, we were even surrounded and beaten up by a group of masked individuals, two of my ribs broken during that incident.”
“Because my relations with others in the army were still not bad, an old veteran personally found me, vaguely implying that killing some refugees or even frontier residents to feign military contributions was not at all uncommon among several divisions in our Jadefall Border Army. This was related to the overall military contributions of the higher ups, so from top to the bottom, they are all in this together… Normally, there is absolutely nothing I can do about this matter, but this life of mine was given to me by another. When I close my eyes at night, I would dream about that family wishing for revenge. That was why later on, I found a chance, preparing some medicines. Unfortunately, in the end, only three of them came, the one who rose to a right wing chief didn’t come.”
“It seems like Yunqin’s border army isn’t all that bright and honorable either.” Lin Xi carefully watched Wang Jianyu’s expression. After hearing him say these things, he said while shaking his head.
“What about the army’s priests?” Bian Linghan was a bit stirred up, a bit of anger appearing on her face. “If the proof is there, you could seek out the priests in the army.”
Lin Xi patted Bian Linghan’s shoulder. Unlike Bian Linghan who hadn’t had much contact with the dark side of the world, he could already imagine just how much darkness could breed within such a massive bureaucratic system. He said quietly, “Since things are already like this, as long as we can peacefully bring him out, we can still grant him amnesty. Thinking about the rest is already useless.”
Bian Linghan didn’t say anything else, but her shoulders were shaking slightly. She still couldn’t understand why under the emperor’s dignity and the faith of so many Yunqin priests, these types of dark matters would happen inside Yunqin’s glorious border armies.
Lin Xi knew what Bian Linghan was thinking, and he also knew even more clearly that if his other good friend Li Kaiyun learned about these matters, he would find it even more incomprehensible.
“If what you said is true, I will have the academy’s lecturers grant you and the five who died justice. Even if the academy’s lecturers cannot help you, as long as I have the ability in the future, I will get justice for you.” Lin Xi looked at Wang Jianyu, and then said, “However, what we need to consider right now is how to deal with these Thunder Academy students, we need to ensure that we can leave this place alive ourselves.”
While looking at Wang Jianyu who bowed solemnly again, Lin Xi then asked, “During these two days, did you not discover any traces of others?”
1. Jadefall Border Army is the border army Respected Cangyue supervises. His contributions are extremely high for his age, and from previous chapters, Great Mang’s elder and his student had discussed how because of his recklessness and ambition, he didn’t have any chance of seizing one of the nine seats behind the layers of curtains.