Chapter 97 The long dream paid in full Part 3
It seemed that he heard the sound of someone coming. The shadow flickered, as if it wanted to run. Helian Rongchuan hurriedly chased after him a few steps. The moment his fingertips were about to touch the corner of the man’s back, he suddenly stopped.
His heart seemed to jump to his throat and Helian Rongchuan’s voice was uncontrollably excited: “Changqing, is that you? Don’t be afraid, I am…”
The captured shadow turned around tremblingly. As soon as he saw it, his knees softened, and he fell to his knees with a thud, kowtowing continuously: “Sir, please forgive me, I won’t dare do it anymore, I don’t dare!!!”
The candle light became brighter again. Helian Rongchuan’s heart sank once again. In the dim light, he finally saw the person in front of him. It was the face of a completely unfamiliar man. His clothes were tattered, his face and hands were covered with red chilblains, and his small, soy-like eyes were dodging eye contact, obviously frightened.
Helian Rongchuan grabbed the man’s collar and said, “Who are you!”
“Forgive…forgive me!” The man being held was unable to breathe and his face turned red as he struggled, then his bag fell off of him. There were a few crisp sounds of “crashing”, and the things in the bag were scattered all over the place. It turned out to be several shovels, crowbars, axes, saws, etc., as well as a jade pendant.
A tomb robber!
Helian Rongchuan saw at a glance that the jade pendant was Yan Changqing’s belongings, and couldn’t help but be stunned. The man took the opportunity to break free, turned around and fled, but before he took two steps, he was suddenly hit hard in the back. He fell to the ground unexpectedly, and spat out a mouthful of blood.
“Forgive me… My lord, spare my life!” The man screamed, and Helian Rongchuan’s hand grabbed his neck.
“Little thief, where did you get this jade pendant?!” Helian Rongchuan’s eyes were oozing blood, like a ghost in h*ll, he gritted his teeth and said, “Where is the person? Where did they go?!”
“Person, who? I don’t know, I…I don’t know anything!” The tomb robber stammered, his eyes dodging like a mouse. Helian Rongchuan’s eyes sank, he pulled his collar and slammed it to the ground, a sharp knife swirled in the palm of his hand, stabbing down –
The knife stopped within a millimeter of distance from his eyeball.
“If you don’t tell the truth, you will be skinned alive, and then your eyes will be dug out to feed the dog.”
“I’ll speak, I will!”
The tomb robber was so frightened that he was about to pee his pants, but he didn’t even dare to blink his eyes. He said: “Sir, please forgive me, please forgive me, now that the world is in chaos, there are robbers and murderers everywhere. This small person was really poor and couldn’t help but do this kind of thing that damages one’s virtue! Someone else bombed this tomb. The items were long stolen by the soldiers guarding the tomb and the thieves before me. I only saw this coffin when I came here, I am really wronged!”
Helian Rongchuan snorted coldly and picked up the iron saw from the side. The saw was placed across the neck of the tomb robber: “Your saw is very sharp, would you like to try it?”
As he pressed down, the sharp sawtooth instantly pressed out blood on the flesh of the tomb robber’s neck. Just a little further down and he could cut his throat.
“Don’t-don’t!” The tomb robber screamed in horror, his head was full of cold sweat, and his teeth were chattering: “When I came here, there really was nothing of value. It’s just… I saw that this coffin was made of golden nan wood. It’s still worth some money, and I wanted to use a saw to cut off a bit to sell it to make a living…”
“What about this jade pendant? This jade pendant was a personal thing I gave him. He would never be willing to leave it behind, so how could it be in your hands?!”
“I…I…” The tomb robber was speechless, looking at Helian Rongchuan’s frost-like face tremblingly, he knew that this time he had really run into someone who was more difficult to deal with than a malicious spirit. He had to tell the truth.
“This jade pendant…I took it from that corpse…”
Helian Rongchuan’s face suddenly turned pale, and he felt a throbbing pain in his heart that almost made him breathless. The pain made him almost speechless.
“Then… where is his corse?”
The tomb robber hesitated for a moment, he knew that if he was not honest at this time, he would not be let go, so he cowardly said: “Your Excellency must not know. There are rules for us when we do this. Other things are fine, but taking another’s coffin wood is the most detrimental to one’s virtue. To prevent wandering ghosts demanding one’s life, our ancestors had thought us that before we can take the wood, we must first bury the person in another place. We must not ruin the corpse. So…”
The tomb robber’s voice became smaller and smaller, trembling with fear.
“So before I took this golden nan wood, I pried off the lid of the coffin, carried the one inside out, and buried it in a nearby mass grave— ahhhhh!!!
He was caught off guard by Helian Rongchuan’s heavy punch and fell on his butt. He didn’t have time to turn over on the ground, and then he was hit with a second punch, the third punch… Helian Rongchuan’s forehead was swollen with blue veins and he stared with blood-red eyes. He didn’t pay attention to the rules and the fists of brute force hit the tomb robber again and again. The tomb robber didn’t have time to dodge at all, and he was beaten to the ground. He was bleeding from the nose and mouth, screaming again and again. Suddenly, he became impatient, and shouted: “If you kill me, who will take you to find the burial place!?”
The fist that hit him suddenly stopped in the air.
Everything suddenly quieted down, only the sound of water dripping down from the stone wall could be heard. The air seemed to condense into ice snow, and the sharp ice balls gnawed at people’s throats.
Helian Rongchuan’s back was leaning against the cold and frosted stone wall, and he slowly slumped to the ground.
“Take me to find him.”
There were few cold stars, the cold moon was desolate. The thin and sharp branches were as motionless as cast iron, only the large swaths of withered grass shivered in the north wind. Hundreds of large and small tombs undulating on the silent wasteland, covered by heavy snow, showed a faint blue and white.
The tomb robber walked in the snow with one foot deep and one foot shallow, squinting his eyes as he walked. He looked at the tombs in front of him one by one with a torch. Even though it was a cold winter, his forehead was sweating constantly and the invisible sense of oppression emanating from the tall and dignified man behind him became heavier and heavier, making him feel like a thorn in his back.
How could the world be so messed up? The tomb robber couldn’t help smacking his tongue: It was clearly just two days of not seeing, how can there be so many new graves in this mass grave! ! This… how can this be good?
He didn’t know how long he walked, but this thin tomb robber with a bruised nose and a swollen face suddenly stopped his footsteps, twitched his hands, and turned around.
The temper snow stone blade quenched with light pressed against the tip of his sweaty nose. The tomb robber swallowed his dry throat, then looked at Helian Rongchuan with fear and guilt.
“You have taken me around here three times.” Helian Rongchuan said, “Where is he?!”
“I… I don’t know…”
“I don’t know?”
The cold and murderous aura that rushed towards his face frightened the tomb robber to his knees, shaking and crying.
“The night before yesterday, I really buried someone in this field. Although I didn’t… I didn’t have time to erect a monument, there were not as many graves at that time, so it was easy to find. But who would have known that so many people died in the chaos of the past two days, and they were all buried here indiscriminately. It was also a coincidence that it snowed heavily. There are so many tombstones, all covered with snow, they all look the same, I really can’t tell which one you are looking for…”
Helian Rongchuan said nothing. The cold silver glow of the snow reflected on his body, and in a trance, his pale complexion did not look like a living person.
There were hundreds of unnamed graves underfoot, cold, dark, and countless poisonous snakes and ants.
His Changqing was the proudest cloud eagle in the sky, the most beautiful morning mist in the mountains and forests, and the most stubborn lonely pine on the cliff. He was his treasure, the person he carefully swore to hold at the top of his heart forever.
Is that kind of person just buried in a straw mat like this? How can he bear it? How could he be willing!
“Can’t find it?” Helian Rongchuan looked at the undulating tombs in front of him with a faint gaze: “Then dig and find it, one by one!”
The words that popped out of his mouth made the tomb robbers stupid. He widened his eyes and looked at Helian Rongchuan in disbelief: “Sir, are you kidding me? There are at least over a hundred graves here, all of which have to be dug up? Not to mention that it takes a lot of effort, it will damage the virtue— —”
Before the tomb robber finished speaking, he raised his head to meet Helian Rongchuan’s eyes, and suddenly swallowed back his words “damage the virtue and longevity of oneself” that slipped into his mouth.
“If it’s not him, just fill the grave back as it is. If there is a grudge, ask the ghost to come to me.”
Helian Rongchuan turned around and left the cold sentence and no more words. He only walked to the nearest grave, leaned over with a knife as a shovel, and dug the mound without hesitation.
The tomb robber was stunned. He never expected the tall and handsome man in front of him to be so determined. In his opinion, although the face of the person in the coffin was very good-looking and was a young and promising general, his status unparalleled, in the end, he was just a dead person. They will all rot in the soil, so why bother?
When he said these words, he only dared to murmur it in his heart, for fear that Helian Rongchuan would stab him for saying one more word. He couldn’t escape, he sighed silently, and had no choice but to dig the graves beside him.
In the silent snow cemetery, only the distant barking of wild dogs and the sound of digging graves could be heard. The two dug one and filled one, one remained silent and the other dared not speak, they worked hard all night. The burial soil was frozen hard, and it was not easy to dig it up quickly. Whenever the top pile of soil was dug up, Helian Rongchuan dropped his tools and used his ten fingers to dig down the soil bit by bit, for fear of hurting the corpse rolled up in the straw mat. Soon, his hands were dripping with blood.
The morning light of winter casted in from the sparse branches in the distance. After a night, the sweat on the head of the tomb robber froze into ice balls. He lay panting in the soft snow, unable to dig any more.
Mother! The tomb robber sighed, feeling that he had dug more tombs this night than the tombs he had dug in the previous ten years combined. He didn’t want to do this business anymore!
The tomb robber sighed for a while, and suddenly realized that the man who had been digging the tomb all night like a demon suddenly stopped moving.
Could it be—?
The tomb robber suddenly turned over and saw Helian Rongchuan kneeling upright in front of a dug grave, his eyes staring straight at the figure wrapped in a roll of grass in the pit. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
The tomb robber glanced at the grass mat, and immediately understood everything in his heart. But for some reason, he didn’t feel relieved after a night of hard work and twists and turns, but suddenly had a feeling of grief and shame that he had never felt before.
Helian Rongchuan didn’t seem to hear it, and after a long while, he suddenly pulled up the corner of his mouth, showing a bleak smile. His voice was hoarse: “It’s him, right?”
The tomb robber dared not say yes, but dare not say no. Between hesitations, Helian Rongchuan was already soaked with his blood dripping, covered with mud. His hands that were frozen red and purple was placed into the clean snow beside him. He carefully rubbed his hands with the snow as if he didn’t know pain, then he jumped into the dirt pit, staring at the figure covered by the straw mat without blinking, with gentle and affectionate eyes.
“Changqing, it’s too cold here, I’ll take you home.”
Sure enough, there was no response. Helian Rongchuan took a deep breath, tried his best to restrain the trembling of his fingers, and gently lifted the straw mat.
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