but Korosha bastards and swindler lawyers should be sent to the kilns.”
His adjutant, along with the other guards, began to laugh.
Yu Feichen looked at him coldly.
Indeed, crude jokes were a common pastime in some armies, but the senior colonel’s bulging, bloodshot eyes, slightly twitching eyelids, and the rough, low timbre of his voice all suggest that he was abnormal in the mind.
If this were a zombie world, this could be considered the beginning of alienation.
However, based on what he had seen thus far, Yu Feichen felt that this was a regular world.
After the officer was done muttering curses, Yu Feichen naturally joined the ranks of the labourers.
Next was Bai Song.
This boy who had served in the military was only slightly shorter than him, and had firm muscles and strong bones.
So, he was given the nickname ‘cinder-eating Korosha mongrel’.
Several others followed after, receiving various nicknames such as frog-eating Korosha mongrel, cinder-eating Korosha frog, and mongrel-eating Korosha cinder.
Women and children were taken to the other side of the wall, while the group with the pregnant women and albino patients were whisked off in a vehicle.
The labouring group was divided into four teams.
One team went to the oak mountain in the south to collect acorns, the other team went to the hillside in the north to cut trees, the third team built barracks, and the fourth team was assigned to the brick kilns.
However, it was already night.
Instead of making them work through the night, the detention centre used three trucks to bring them to their barracks.
They were led into a long concrete building with twenty cells on each side.
The cells were small and humid.
Ten mattresses were placed above straw mats on the floor.
“Stay there, mongrel.”
The mattress that Yu Feichen was assigned was the barrack in the deepest corner opposite the lavatory.
He was with Bai Song, Gerold, the frog-eating Korosha mongrel, and three other men that he didn’t know.
There were seven of them in total.
He chose the side by the door so that he could see the situation outside more easily.
Bai Song chose the space next to him.
A guard walked over, kicking the iron gates of the cells back to their original position, and dropping padlocks on them one by one.
“I hope that when I wake up, you Korosha frogs are still here.” The chief warden of the barracks was fat and meaty.
He carried a basket of bread and threw them individually through the bars of the iron gates.
The hard and blackened croissants knocked against the ground like stones.
“There are always mongrels who try to escape.
Every time someone escapes, ten people will be executed here.”
The voice neared them.
When a croissant whacked Bai Song’s head, the chief warden pressed his face up to the iron gate, meeting Yu Feichen’s gaze.
Darkness wrapped around him, obscuring his facial features, and the shadows cast by light on the wall were long and vertical.
“The gate was locked.
But two people ran off without a trace from this cell, once.” The chief warden’s shrill voice said.
“Guess where the others are now?”
It wasn’t hard to guess.
They had been executed.
Of the forty cells, all others had people already staying in them.
Only theirs was empty.
Bai Song cowered beside Yu Feichen.
“Hoho.” This reaction greatly satisfied the chief warden, and he pulled out the electric cord on the wall.
It was pitch black.
Only a small, fist-sized window in the wall near the ceiling let in a little light.
The chief warden’s footsteps faded away.
Then, another dull locking sound as the door of the cement building was closed.
Water dripped steadily from the lavatory opposite.
Voices came indistinctly from the other cells, but they couldn’t be clearly made out.
Their cell remained deathly silent, aside from the sound of Bai Song gnawing the croissants, which resembled what gnawing a lump of coal would sound like.
“Why aren’t you guys talking?” After a long time, Bai Song asked.
Yu Feichen didn’t answer.
He was thinking of the situation at hand.
Like countless missions in the past, he was thrown into a world outside of Paradise.
But this time, he didn’t know the mission objective, nor did he know the reward.
There were only three types of objectives that can arise from a detention centre where civilians are held during wartime.
Rescue, destruction, or intelligence gathering.
If there wasn’t a clear mission objective, he could just try all three.
As he thought this, someone finally broke the silence.
It was the one who ‘ate frogs’.
He was a thin and weak-looking friar.
“Why do they call us ‘frog-eating mongrels’?” he said.
Bai Song said, “The Black Chapter believes that Koroshans have betrayed the God of Truth, thus leaving the country barren.”
“Korosha has never believed in the God of Truth.”
Bai Song didn’t answer, continuing to gnaw on his bread.
Another man spoke up.
“Korosha is full of coal mines.
They’ve been coveting them for a long time.”
“What are you doing?” Bai Song stopped chewing on coal cinders and asked Yu Feichen.
Yu Feichen was looking at the padlock.
After he inspected the thick iron lock, he shook the tightly welded iron bars.
They were very sturdy.
“Two men had escaped before,” he said.
“Probably not from here,” Bai Song also touched them, saying, “you can run when you pick acorns or cut wood.”
Unfortunately, they both belonged to the team manning the brick kilns.
But Yu Feichen clearly remembered the chief warden stressing that the gates were locked.
Sometimes, subtle anomalies were the key to breaking through.
The friar said, “Their God of Truth believes that it’s a virtue to treat prisoners with kindness.”
“I hope that’s so.”
—His companions didn’t look to have any desire to escape.
After scanning the cell under the wan moonlight, Yu Feichen simply closed his eyes and entered a light sleep.
He didn’t eat the bread for he had no interest in eating coal cinders.
Perhaps it might soften a little by morning from the humidity in this place.
He slept very shallowly.
This was a habit ingrained from the countless missions he had completed.
Any suspicious movement would wake him, and even if there wasn’t any, he would still wake once every hour.
An hour later, another man in their cell began to chew on cinders.
Bai Song started to snore lightly.
In the second hour, all six people in the cell fell asleep.
In the third hour, a few people were whispering from the neighbouring cell.
In the fourth hour, the midnight bell tolled in the distance.
Surrounded by darkness, Yu Feichen suddenly opened his eyes.
The dripping of water in the lavatory had vanished.
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