From the sea?
Shao Xuan didn't understand. Unless the slave masters were mermaids- but that was practically impossible. They’d lived in the desert for so many years, how could they be aquatic beings? Even if it was from evolution, that would be a long process.
After hearing the old blind slave’s answer, Shao Xuan’s first reaction was disbelief, his second reaction? Still disbelief.
However, the slave said it with a serious face, which made Shao Xuan baffled.
“What does from the sea mean?” asked Shao Xuan.
The old slave shook his head, “I’m not too sure. I heard someone say it before, that the masters originated there.”
Shao Xuan was still filled with doubt, he thought about it and asked for a map. The map that Su Gu let Shao Xuan look at once was incomplete, Su Gu was from one of the three big cities, how could they not have a complete map there? Shao Xuan had hoped to get a complete map here.
The old slave didn’t know much about maps either. He lost his vision at a young age, a lot of the things he had memorized were from listening to people read. He had no clue where the documents with pictures were placed.
Even though he didn’t remember the exact location, he knew approximately where they were placed. He walked to a rack and pointed in a direction, “It should be around here, you can go look for it.” Even though he couldn’t see, he still remembered the location for most of the records.
Shao Xuan looked through the things carefully and finally found some animal skin scrolls that looked like maps.
“It has not been touched by anyone for years, be careful with it,” said the old slave.
The scrolls were old, even when they were continuously taken care of by people, the quality of the animal skin scroll wasn’t the best. A moment of carelessness would damage it.
The map on the scroll was simple, the ratios were also average at best. It only marked out the approximate areas of the cities and other important areas. The darker areas towards the edges were the sea.
Shao Xuan took note of this then put the map back in place.
Shao Xuan stopped only after flipping through some records.
The blind slave took some records and placed them under the sun. This was to prevent bugs and mold. Even though he couldn’t see anymore, he had done it long enough for it to be a simple task. He could still feel where the sunlight was.
“If you have nothing else to do, it is best for you to leave soon,” said the old slave.
“Mmm.” Shao Xuan didn’t plan to stay long anyway. He had many more things to do in Snow Plains City, he planned to leave soon.
“Do not wait until sunset. The security at night is much tighter than the day,” said the slave.
Shao Xuan’s expression changed, he was planning to move after sunset. He hadn’t expected the security in the palace to be like this, maybe it was because of the multiple assassination attempts on the Lord so they tightened it.
No wonder the pair he saw earlier came out during the day to fool around, not the night.
“Ok.” Shao Xuan thanked the old slave. He saw the record the slave was carefully holding that was made of a different type of material.
From the old slave’s tone, Shao Xuan could feel that the slave didn’t think kindly of the masters, he may have even idolized the rebels in history. It was such a pity the records were only left there to gather dust. The slave with such an ability to memorize things would have been successful in academia if he had lived in a more stable and modern time.
What a pity.
“How did you lose your vision?” After Shao Xuan asked the question, he felt a sense of guilt as it didn’t seem appropriate to ask it. It was as if he was picking at someone’s old scar.
Seeing that there was no response, Shao Xuan was going to change the topic but the old slave replied calmly, “When I was a young boy, I became the Snow Plains Lord’s slave with the others. Once, I looked one too many times at his notes. You see, he was in a bad mood that day so he got very angry and I got punished.”
The old slave still remembered that day clearly. After the lord stabbed his eyes, he threw him into these stone rooms and even said, “You like to read don’t you, I’ll let you read all you want!”
The blind slave couldn’t read any of the scripts but he begged others to read it to him. He eventually memorized them and when he was bored he would recite them.
Shao Xuan winced and felt immense pity.
Before he left, Shao Xuan wanted to leave some herbs for the old slave. He didn’t have any to strengthen one’s overall health but he had some for external injuries.
The old slave rejected it.
“You need it more,” said the old slave.
“You……” Shao Xuan looked at the ill old man, if he continued living like this, even without the pain from his illness, his time here was nearing its end.
“I do not have many days left anyway,” said the old slave as he waved his hand, “Go along. Right, you need to beware of the silknose.”
“What is the silknose?”
“It is a type of desert beast that they raise in Snow Plain City. It ain’t large and is usually hidden in the palace. They have an acute sense of smell, do not let it notice you. Very few escape when they do,” said the old slave.
“Ever since I sneaked into the palace, I haven’t encountered one,” said Shao Xuan.
The old slave wasn’t too sure about that, considering he hadn’t left the stone rooms for so long, everything else that happened behind the walls was told to him by others.
“Maybe the silknose stays around the lord’s quarters,” said the old slave, “Just be careful.”
“Alright, I understand. Don’t worry.” Shao Xuan thanked him once again and left the room.
After Shao Xuan left, the old slave quietly sat there. Even though he couldn’t see, he could sense where the window was. At that moment, he was staring out the window.
He came from a long line of slaves, his ancestors were guards for the lord, it was only him that was sent here at an early age, left to look after this small stone room. He remembers what the old man that used to read him the scripts told him before he died, “One day, this system would cease to exist but another one would come to replace it.”
Throughout the years, he could not walk out of this place. He could only feel the changes within the palace, only guess what was happening from what people were talking about. He had a gut feeling that a big change was coming, Snow Plains City, what danger you are in!
When he mentioned the limited days he had left, he wasn’t only talking about himself, he was thinking about Snow Plain City too.
While the old slave was deep in thought, Shao Xuan had left the stone room and noticed there weren’t many people around. It was probably because there were not many masters around so other than a few guards, no one else was here.
Shao Xuan entered the palace from its main gate but he decided to exit through the side or back gate.
High and thick walls surround the palace. Guards were placed in and out of it. It wouldn’t be easy for Shao Xuan to leave, his only option was through the smaller doors.
While he was walking, he felt that he was being watched.
Did he get exposed?!
He did a quick scan of his surroundings and his gaze stopped in a direction.
There was a tree. On one of its branches hung an oval-shaped thing not larger than a fist. The thing stretched and extended its body and its wings. After it uncurled, a nose as large as the rest of its body was there. It extended and elongated as it pointed towards Shao Xuan.
Shao Xuan thought of the creature the blind old slave mentioned.
“Just do not let it notice you, very few escape when they do.” This was what he said about the silknose.
This was bad. Shao Xuan didn’t waste a second, sprinting away immediately.
At first, he thought about killing it but he started to feel many eyes on him, meaning there were quite a few silknoses hidden and they were all looking at him!
The silknoses in the palace weren’t all guarding the lord’s quarters, some went off to a quieter place to sleep. They didn’t imagine they would encounter Shao Xuan, and they noticed that he wasn’t from this city.
A sharp whistle-like noise was made from the large nose of the silknose.
It was a signal. The other silknoses started to make the noise too and flew towards Zhao Xuan.
The guards nearby heard the sound and all ran towards where the silknoses were, shouting loudly, “There’s an intruder!”
Luckily, Shao Xuan was fast, he knew there was an exit nearby and ran towards it.
There were no slave masters living nearby, the lord and young masters kept their beasts around this area.
At this moment, a Snow Plains young master was looking at the slaves training his beast. He heard there was an intruder and it sounded as if there was only one of them, he stopped everything he was doing. There was a chance for him to shine!
“Move! Go catch the intruder!”
The slaves thought to themselves, Catching the intruder is the guards’ job, why would a young master do that? As they looked at their master running towards the intruder, they knew, as slaves, they couldn’t not do anything so they clenched their teeth and followed him.
Shao Xuan was like a sharp knife cutting through everything that blocked his path. He noticed a rock as tall as a human with the words Garden of Beasts carved on it.
Shao Xuan didn’t care if it was a garden of beasts or humans, he used both of his arms to lift the stone up and threw it towards his pursuers.
As the young master brought along his beast for the chase, a few guards didn’t dare come close as they were afraid of hurting the beast. The beast howled loudly as it charged forward, as if it wanted to trample everything in its way. However, this didn’t last long as a stone was thrown towards it and smashed its nose. Blood gushed out of its nose. It was as if its legs got caught in something, its two front legs gave out and it crashed onto a row of houses.
These houses were not the extra strong walls of the arena, as this beast crashed onto it, everything came crumbling down.
The slaves were all in shock, they couldn’t believe it …… He could just lift and throw such a big boulder!
Even though there were strong slaves, none were at this level. When compared to that person who threw the boulder, the slaves would definitely lose out.
The young master who fell from the beast didn’t care about his own injuries, he yelled, “Catch him, I want to make him my slave!”
There were plenty of guards surrounding the area but Shao Xuan was fast, adding to the chaos.
Before the guards managed to regroup, he was already near the back door of the palace.