Chapter 127: Sentinel & Guide (IV)
Ultimately, Shang Ke chose to stay in prison rather than hide outside. They had strict defensive measures, stable food supply every day, and even medical insurance. You only had to guard against harassment from prison mates and then you could ‘rest easy.’
In the past, Shang Ke would never go to prison, but since he had both martial arts and a spirit guide which could detect danger, ordinary people weren’t really his match. It was unfortunate that this world didn’t have the conditions to use magic (like elements and mana), otherwise he wouldn’t have to worry about the attacks from the anti-government union.
After leaving a sentence of ‘surrender’, Shang Ke splendidly passed out…
“What? You found Zeder?” Upon receiving this news, Yonis got up instantly.
They took Shang Ke to a closed off hospital protected by guards. It was a medical institution mainly used to treat prisoners or other relevant personnel.
Strictly speaking, Shang Ke had not yet been convicted, and so they could only regard him as an important suspect. However, because of the serious nature of the terrorist’s attack, they still placed him under strict supervision.
Shang Ke was still receiving treatment when Yonis arrived at the heavily guarded hospital. Through the monitoring glass, Yonis saw a young man lying on the operating table, his naked back gruesome and bloody.
There were countless bruises on his arm, but the most obvious was the long scar on his waist. If Yonis wasn’t mistaken, that should be the scar Zeder received after his father nearly beat him to death when he was ten. After all these years, it still looked so ferocious, showing how badly hurt he was.
Yonis had watched the image of him working in the shopping mall and instinctively felt a slight rejection to him. But now that he could see him for himself, the pity and pain he felt for him rushed out from within his heart.
After the doctor treated Shang Ke’s wounds, they sent him to the monitoring ward.
Yonis came to the bed, bent over, and brushed away the hair that had fallen over his forehead. A delicate side profile immediately came into view. Compared to the red-haired youth in the video, this was a completely different person. If they had not extracted the photo on his identity card, people would never have linked the two of them together. One was dark and gloomy, while the other was serene and clean… why was there such a huge difference?
Yonis released his spirit guide, the Golden Lion, Moloc.
Moloc lightly jumped to the other side of the bed and sniffed around Shang Ke’s neck.
After a while, a small pale blue head poked out from Shang Ke’s arms, looked left and right, before shrinking back.
When Moloc saw Waves disappear, he felt unwilling and tugged at Shang Ke. Shang Ke seemed to have felt the oddity as his eyelashes quivered, and slowly, his eyes opened. Blue eyes shrouded in a layer of fog revealed a misty and soft charm, and suddenly, his plain and elegant face brightened up by the brilliant color.
In his daze, Shang Ke saw a figure beside the bed and said a little coquettishly, “Stop it, let me sleep a little longer…” Then, he buried his head in the soft pillow.
He thought Yonis was Tylor, and that he was still in the last world.
Hearing this voice, Yonis felt strangely sweet and soft, like he’d just eaten a piece of chocolate.
It’s him, a guide that belonged to him! There was a flash of splendor in Yonis’ eyes…
When the anesthetic effect subsided, Shang Ke slowly woke up from his lethargy. After going through the doctor’s general examination, several solemn officers entered the ward, one after another.
Shang Ke sat leaning against the pillow, unsurprised by their arrival. This interrogation would determine whether they would exonerate him in the future, so he couldn’t take it lightly.
“Let me introduce myself. My name is Ive.” Lieutenant Ive moved a chair and sat in front of Shang Ke, gazing intently at him. “I think you should know the purpose of our visit.”
Shang Ke nodded.
“Then I will begin,” Ive said. “Recently, a group of terrorists attacked the central shopping mall, and you were a staff member of that mall. Why did you suddenly disappear after the attack?”
Shang Ke responded calmly, “Lieutenant Ive, you don’t have to beat around the bush. I can tell you directly that I have some relations with them, but I am not a terrorist.”
Shang Ke’s straightforwardness surprised him, so Ive gestured to him to elaborate.
“I grew up in a welfare home.” Shang Ke started slowly, “When I was sixteen, a terrorist organization known as the ‘anti-government union’ abducted me. They locked me up with other teenagers. Every day, we had to finish all kinds of heavy work; assemble parts, refine raw materials, operate machinery, maintain equipment and so on.
They tried every means to brainwash us and kept us out of contact with the outside world. Many of us wanted to run away, but they murdered every single one that escaped. I didn’t dare take any risks. I stayed with them peacefully for five years, until recently, when they sent me to work in the central shopping mall.”
“Since you got out, why didn’t you ask the government for help?” Ive asked.
“I feared it was a test for me,” Shang Ke replied. “If I made any sudden movements, they would have killed me immediately.”
Ive nodded. That was understandable.
Shang Ke continued, “I didn’t know what they wanted to do beforehand.”
“Wait, beforehand?” Ive interrupted, “Didn’t you install the bomb in the mall?”
“No, I don’t know how to install bombs at all.” Shang Ke denied, “On that day, they handed me a gift box and told me that if they were to get caught, I had to open the box. As long as I finished this task, they would set me free.”
Ive and the others naturally knew what this so-called ‘gift box’ was.
Shang Ke lowered his eyes, “They thought I knew nothing, but thanks to their blessing, I came into contact with all kinds of mechanical materials in recent years. After only a few touches, I could guess what was in the gift box. Undoubtedly, it was a detonator, and one that relied on signals.”
Ive and the others felt a chill down their spine. As expected, the terrorists still had something up their sleeve, confirming Yonis’ suspicions. Fortunately, this man was too alert to be fooled by the terrorists. The other party obviously wanted him to be their scapegoat.
They’d probably never expected that a teenager whom they imprisoned and oppressed for five years still had a clear mind and judgment.
“What did you do with the detonator?”
“I threw it into the left river bank.”
“Well done. We’ll send someone to salvage it to confirm your story.” Ive’s expression finally eased.
Shang Ke had to praise the original owner’s taste here. The detonator he made for himself was indeed packed in a gift box, and the gift box was very exquisite. The original owner seemed to consider it his last gift.
“You threw away the detonator. This was tantamount to betraying the union, so they attacked you later?”
Ive asked for some more information about the anti-government union. He spent three hours before getting up and saying, “Alright, we have roughly understood the basic situation. You will recuperate here so you can answer our inquiries whenever necessary.”
After the party left, Shang Ke’s ward was quiet again. He turned to look out the window and thought that the first step was over.
It was true that the anti-government union kidnapped and controlled children. The group of arrested terrorists had also committed suicide. He threw away the detonator, betrayed the union, saved thousands of lives, and was attacked himself. He should not have to bear too much responsibility for his crimes. At most, he would spend a few months in prison.
To turn an antisocial criminal and main mastermind of terrorist acts into a pure and innocent victim, he really had tossed his all into it.
Since it was only one side of the story, the government and the military definitely wouldn’t fully accept it, but his injuries couldn’t be faked; the doctor’s diagnosis could also rule out the possibility of self-harm to get pity points. What’s more, he still had more information about the anti-government union, and the heads of the country would never give up this lead easily.
Shang Ke didn’t want to be controlled at first, but this situation was better than the other. Out of the two powers, this one posed the least danger to him. To survive in this task, he had to adapt to the current situation with the help of external forces.
During Shang Ke’s few days of recuperation in the hospital, Ive and others successfully salvaged the detonator from the left bank river, and thus verified the ‘gift box’ story. Then, they searched the place Shang Ke once lived and found that his living conditions were poor, with several food boxes piled up in his belongings. Apart from a few clothes and some basic articles for daily use, there was nothing else.
Then, according to the information provided by Shang Ke, they raided several contact points of the anti-government union, but all of them were empty. Shang Ke didn’t tell them the exact location of the union’s headquarters, because this information would make them doubt his identity as a ‘victim’.
A chess piece couldn’t know too many core secrets. Besides, even if he told them, it was probably useless now. After his ‘betrayal’, the anti-government union must have shifted their position.
As he took time to rest, Shang Ke didn’t know that some people were arguing about him. Although the signs showed that Shang Ke was indeed a victim and had committed no crimes, some still suspected deceit.
This was because his behavior was so calm, and he was much unlike a victim who had been oppressed and isolated from the outside world for four or five years. He lived under his father’s violence when he was a child, and he was kidnapped and brainwashed by terrorists after he turned fifteen.
In this environment, he would either become someone with a distorted personality, or autistic and cowardly.
His behaviour during this period was really too normal and unreasonable. Every day, he went to bed early and got up early. He was gentle, clean and had a fondness for reading. Although he rarely communicated with outsiders, he always smiled and never argued with anyone.
Such a person looked like a well-educated rich young man, not a poor man who had suffered abuse all year round, with low academic qualifications and a poor life.
Most people held this kind of suspicion, so they decided to conduct a test on Shang Ke. This test would directly determine how to deal with him in the future.
The test content was hypnosis.
Yonis had some reservations at first, but considering Shang Ke’s identity as a guide with an extremely powerful spirit, hypnosis would neither cause him any harm, nor control him to say anything.
It was just a simple lie detection ceremony, guiding his subconscious to make intuitive responses to various problems. This was tantamount to thoroughly washing away his suspicion. As long as he passed this test, he would be free from any punishment and would also be protected.
With this in mind, Yonis consented to the test. Although he thought this was a logical thing to do, he still had a very uncomfortable feeling in his heart, as if a voice was telling him to stop it.
The hypnotist was a sentinel who was good at mental control. In order for Shang Ke to not resist, he pretended to be a sick friend and got along with him for some time. After getting familiar with him, he hypnotized Shang Ke when he was not paying attention.
Shang Ke was half-lying in a chair with the hypnotist sitting next to him. The others watched outside the room.
The hypnosis went smoothly, and Shang Ke correctly responded to his questions under the hypnotist’s guidance. In fact, Shang Ke discovered it the moment they put him under mental control, but he didn’t resist. Instead, he acted according to plan, hiding his spirit guide while cooperating with the hypnosis.
For example, “Is your name ‘Shang Ke’?”
“Is your name Zeder?”
Both identities were his, so his answer was no problem.
“Have you ever lived in a welfare home?”
Shang Ke nodded.
“Is your father called Yalis?”
He shook his head.
“Is your father ‘Myrus’?”
Hearing the word ‘Myrus’, Shang Ke’s face showed an abnormal reaction, but it did not last long and he nodded again soon. At this time, Shang Ke faintly noticed that there seemed to be strange fluctuations in his brain.
Then, the hypnotist asked questions about terrorist acts and the anti-government union.
He smoothly resolved several key issues, and this reassured Yonis who was watching the screen.
When asked about the contents of the attack by the union, Shang Ke showed an abnormal reaction again.
What the hypnotist asked was, “Does the anti-government union really want to kill you?”
The word ‘kill’ touched a sharp nerve in Shang Ke.
His face was white, his eyelashes trembled slightly, and his lips changed from ruddy to pale pink. His hands clutched the armrest of the chair tightly.
Yonis’ face changed slightly. He was about to stop the hypnosis from continuing when the hypnotist said again, “Don’t be afraid, think about happy things. Do you remember your old friends?”
Shang Ke froze and stopped shaking.
The hypnotist thought it was effective and said, “It’s very fun to play with your friends. You all play all day long until dusk and don’t want to go home…”
Just after he uttered the word ‘home’, Shang Ke’s body trembled violently and his face lost color. Then he heard a broken voice speak slowly from his throat, “Dad… dad, don’t, don’t hit me… “
This kind of situation had not only the hypnotist stunned but also Shang Ke, who was only pretending to be hypnotized. Just now, the original owner’s consciousness and memories seemed to have been aroused, and he could only listen as ‘he’ continued, “I… won’t do it again, I will never go out… to play… please, don’t hit…”
The hypnotist hurriedly took Shang Ke’s hand, attempting to stop his abnormal spasming. Shang Ke’s consciousness was unwittingly pulled into the original owner’s memory, and the scars accumulated all year round seemed to all tear open at this moment.
The hypnotist’s action was like some form of punishment, pushing Shang Ke completely into the abyss, “Ah, it hurts so much, dad, don’t hit me anymore, I’m sorry. I promise… promise not to cry… I won’t cry…”
Memories of metal sticks full of short thorns hitting him kept playing out in his mind, and as blood rolled out with minced meat, he felt like the actual pain was happening all over his body.
Shang Ke’s whole being trembled, veins stood out on his white skin, and some water seeped from his closed eyes but never fell down. His consciousness was vague, and he couldn’t tell whether it was Zeder’s memory or his own.
This scene stunned the hypnotist silly, and he didn’t know how to respond.
Just then, a figure quickly flashed in, hugged Shang Ke tightly and angrily shouted at the hypnotist, “Are you still not getting rid of your mental control!”
The hypnotist had just returned to himself and was about to act, when he found that his mental strength was repelled.
“Oh, no, it’s spirit deflection!” The hypnotist looked pale as he said, “I can’t remove my control anymore.”
The desire to kill him rose in Yonis, but he had no time to waste. He immediately released his spirit guide and intended to lead Shang Ke’s spirit guide to help him out of the nightmare through spiritual resonance.
“Dad… I was wrong…”
“You aren’t wrong!” Yonis growled, “You did nothing wrong!”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”
“Stop apologizing, Shang Ke. Wake up! Wake up!” Yonis felt Shang Ke’s uncontrollable spirit. He was also gradually losing control of his own, and his expression grew extremely fierce. Violent spiritual power drove all those around him out of his domain.
Moloc, the lion, walked anxiously around the two men, touching Shang Ke’s body from time to time. But every time he touched, it felt like he was being pricked; he kept growling in pain, but he still went close to Shang Ke again and again.
At last, Shang Ke’s spirit guide Waves appeared. As soon as he formed, he fell to the ground and lay prostrate.
Moloc immediately leaned over and kept rubbing his nose against his body.
“It’s so dark. Is there, is there anyone who can save me…” Shang Ke spoke in a weak voice.
“Don’t be afraid, I am here to save you. I’ll protect you from any harm from now on.”
I, Yonis, vow with my life!