Chapter 95: Covenantor (XVIII)
The operation lasted for more than ten hours due to the numerous pieces of gravel that doctors had to extract from Shang Ke’s back. One piece almost pierced into his lungs. Even though the operation had finished, it was too early to say that he was out of danger so he still needed to be kept under observation for a couple days.
Lu Xiufan stayed by Shang Ke’s side as he was sent to VIP Intensive Care Unit. He held onto those still hands that didn’t make any movements.
The communicator on his wrist vibrated and he was updated with the preliminary report from the military captain who was investigating this incident. Based on the pattern of the blast and the residue from the debris, they were able to confirm that this was the work of a small bomb that was remotely activated. It appeared to have a signal sensor that was inside the body of a covenant or whose name was Jill. The alarm from the guard must have scared the other side which led them to hastily detonate the bomb.
“Quickly hire people to physically examine the bodies of the covenanters at the distribution center, the mansion, and with the Yue family.” Lu Xiufan was uncertain whether this attack was meant for him instead of Shang Ke. In any case, the other side had utilized covenanters as their weapon of choice.
The order was passed along and the military captain launched the operation. Even though they didn’t find any evidence, the investigation only took them a day to complete. One covenantor that was interrogated revealed that he had been attacked a few days prior. He fought back keeping the anti-violence pact in his mind. He was able to succeed in putting a stop to the other’s attack.
The officer who was in charge of the interrogation was shocked to hear about the anti-violence pact among covenanters as he had never heard of this before. However, the kidnapping still offered them a lot of clues.
The covenantor who had been attacked previously worked as a spy. His memory was extremely good, and he was able to meticulously describe the attacker’s appearance, outfit, weapon, and much more. The attackers wanted to use a knockout drug on him but ended up being discovered when they had just barely approached him.
He reported this incident to the watchdogs at the distribution center the same day that it had happened. However, the watchdogs only reported this information to Shang Ke every three days. The only exception would be an emergency where a covenanter was currently being abused. This incident didn’t seem to be an emergency as it had already been resolved and had led to no injuries.
Due to this, Shang Ke was not aware of the threat. Thus, he wasn’t able to be on guard and was injured as a result.
The covenantor by the name of Jill lacked the skills of a spy. Once he was knocked unconscious by the attackers, his body was used to house a small bomb. When Jill woke up, he had no idea about the danger he was in and continued his work as normal. He would never have thought about being investigated even though his body felt unwell.
Based on the clues the spy provided them, Lu Xiufan’s subordinates were able to follow the tracks which would lead them to the two aristocrats.
Why did the powerful fear Lu Xiufan? It was because he had information on all the aristocrats within the empire. This included all the shady deeds they did in private. When investigating, only a few aristocrats would be completely innocent. Lu Xiufan understood what was good and what was bad. In order to keep the empire stable, he didn’t touch those aristocrats that knew to stay in their lane.
His existence served as both an obstruction and danger to these aristocrats.
Lu Xiufan was important to the monarchy. The Queen felt extremely angry at how Lu Xiufan was undoubtedly attacked within the capital. The media reported this incident without restraint. The media constantly speculated and unanimously praised Shang Ke as a self-sacrificing saviour.
Lu Xiufan avoided listing the target of the attack as Shang Ke. Lu Xiufan simply reported to the Queen about the mole and the two aristocrats as well as their underworld activities. He also reported them as accomplices with the revolutionary forces. The Queen had different responses when it came to the revolution and an attack on a covenanter.
This report wasn’t completely fabricated. Many of the aristocrats had business with the political underworld. The two aristocrats that attacked Shang Ke were also included in these shady dealings.
When the Queen received Lu Xiufan’s investigative report, she sent someone to verify his report of the revolutionary forces. After the report ended up being verified, she revoked the aristocrat’s titles and they were sentenced to life imprisonment.
With the Queen’s orders, Lu Xiufan didn’t offer the two aristocrats the chance to refute the charges. Thus, the results ended up this way. They didn’t expect that Lu Xiufan would mercilessly get rid of them just because of a covenantor. They assumed that it was bad luck that the bomb was inconveniently detonated and that it had ended up injuring Lu Xiufan.
Half a month in, Shang Ke was still in a coma. Lu Xiufan used this time to throw two aristocrats into prison. He also used Shang Ke’s deeds and the public opinion to sway the Queen to revise the law to protect covenanters by officially including them in the nation’s constitution. The law would send people over to organize distribution centers and record information pertaining to covenanters.
Following this, covenanters finally got official legal safeguards. While they weren’t completely protected, they could at least somewhat avoid being abused.
Around this time, a new piece of legislation was passed. It stated that if it’s discovered and verified that you used a covenanter to commit a crime, you’d be sentenced to death regardless of your status. The bombing helped open the Queen’s eyes that covenanters could be used as dangerous human weapons and domestic security could be affected by this. Therefore, strict preemptive laws needed to be placed in order to prevent this incident from happening again.
【Addition Mission 1 is complete. A method for protecting covenanters has been established. The reward is five years of detainment time.】
Shang Ke woke up a month later. The system passed him some information as soon as he had regained consciousness.
Was the mission complete?
Shang Ke looked at the white walls and was confused where he was for a bit.
It was only after he noticed his surroundings that he realized that he was at a hospital. Even though he was laying down, he didn’t feel stiff.
Shang Ke inspected his own body to make sure that his limbs were working fine and were not paralyzed. He finally calmed down after his inspection.
He remembered an important task. 【System, didn’t you say that there would be a reward after the first additional mission was completed?】
System: 【Yes, the reward can be collected at any time.】
【What is the reward?】
System: 【A seventy-five mL bottle of brain repair serum.】
【…Sorry, say that again.】
System: 【A seventy-five mL bottle of brain repair serum.】
A glass bottle that could fit in the palms of the hands materialized in the middle of his brain. A pale-green liquid was inside the bottle. The appearance was sparkling and crystal-clear. However, the name gave him the feeling that it wasn’t easy to use. He had almost lost his life to complete this mission and being handed a fraudulent item would make it seem like he had almost died in vain.
Once he saw the bottle of brain repair serum in all its glory, all his complaints got lost in the back of his throat. Was it possible that the brain repair serum could actually repair damaged neurons and lengthen the lifespan of covenanters?
Oh lord, this medicine is divine. The system had finally given him a generous reward. Shang Ke revealed some emotions on his face.
However, it turns out that the system can never be described as kind.
System: 【Additional Mission 2: Analyze the components of the brain repair serum and use it to create a drug that can extend the lifespan of covenanters.】
Shang Ke: 【If I use a seventy-five mL bottle of brain repair serum for my research, there won’t be enough for repairing my own brain.】
System: 【That’s dependent on the experimental error rate.】
【System, let’s talk about this. Can’t you give me some more bottles? Seventy-five mL isn’t even enough for a mouthful!】
The System played dead and offered no response.
Shang Ke: (#‵′)凸.
During the time that he mentally heaped a thousand cuts to the System playing dead, he felt the presence of someone near him. He looked up and saw the rigid figure of Lu Xiufan.
When did you appear?
Lu Xiufan opened his mouth and said a few words. Shang Ke discovered that he was unable to hear anything. It was only at this moment that Shang Ke realized the strange silence around him. It seemed as if the sound of the wind outside the window, the ticking sound of the equipment, the rustling sound of the bedsheets, the sound of Lu Xiufan’s voice, and all other sounds had disappeared.
Shang Ke maintained a stoic face as he realized the fact that he had become deaf.
“Little Ze?” Lu Xiufan noticed Shang Ke’s silence so he bent down before asking, “What’s wrong?”
Shang Ke moved his mouth to say, “I think my ears are injured. It appears I can’t hear anything?” It felt weird for him not to hear his own voice.
Lu Xiufan’s face turned pale. He immediately called the doctor over.
The doctor conducted a basic hearing test with Shang Ke. He furrowed his brows before saying, “The explosion possibly damaged the patient’s ear bone. We will need to make sure of this with medical instruments.”
“Why didn’t you find this out earlier?” Lu Xiufan stared at the doctor with a cold expression in his eyes.
The doctor replied cautiously as cold sweat ran down his back, “Deafness can be caused by many things. Without any obvious indications of damage, it’s not easy to find the cause without detailed exams.”
“You have to cure him!” Lu Xiufan didn’t offer any room for argument.
The doctor avoided making any promises and instead called a nurse over to push Shang Ke away for his exams.
Lu Xiufan followed after him. The expression on his face was frightening.
It took a moment for the exam results to be ready. Both Shang Ke’s ears suffered many different degrees of damage which led to his hearing loss. If nothing else happens, there might be a chance to cure the damage. However at this point, he can only be a deaf person.
Shang Ke was used to getting injured so his nerves were like steel by now. He was not shocked about his deafness or about anything else.
Lu Xiufan did not feel the same way. Every time he saw Shang Ke getting severely injured from a dangerous situation, his heart felt unbearable pain. He felt that there was an invisible hand controlling Shang Ke’s life, ready to kidnap him at any moment.
It hadn’t been long when he suffered from an uncontrollable hover car and then the explosion that followed. He had just barely survived that incident but lost his hearing as a result. His nerves were constantly tortured by accident after accident.
He should probably take care of Shang Ke in an impenetrable fortress. This way, he would be protected from any danger that occurred outside that fortress.
Once this thought materialized, he was unable to shake it away.
“Little Ze.” Lu Xiufan grasped Shang Ke’s hand and gently said, “After you’re discharged from the hospital, I’ll take you somewhere away from here.”
Shang Ke didn’t realize that he was on the verge of enjoying a worry-free existence in a gilded cage.
The hearing loss made his world extremely quiet and seemed to isolate him from the happenings of the world. It wouldn’t be an impediment to everyday tasks, but others would have to communicate with him through writing. Since he was unable to even hear himself, Shang Ke also became silent.
For a tiny ear bone, it would take three months to recover after bone repairing surgery.
Shang Ke was picked up from the hospital by Lu Xiufan. Rather than returning to the mansion, they exited the capital and made their way towards a hilltop villa.
This area was guarded heavily. They noticed at least three watchtowers on their way from the bottom to the peak of the mountain.
The car came to a stop in front of the villa. Lu Xiufan placed Shang Ke onto a wheelchair. Shang Ke had the ability to walk on his own, but Lu Xiufan was scared that his back wound would reopen so he vowed not to let him move on his own.
Shang Ke sat in the wheelchair and Lu Xiufan pushed it while inspecting their surroundings and trying to guess what this place was used for.