Luo Wei and the others struggled bitterly through the swamp for three days and three nights.
Drinking water was not a problem. The rain did not stop, and they were wet from head to toe. They could open their mouths, and water would drip into their throats from the clothes on their heads. Eating brought grief. There were bugs everywhere. They couldn’t take off the clothes wrapping their heads, and couldn’t pry open a seam in the clothes to stuff dry food in. Before the dry food could enter their mouths, a dense layer of little bugs would cover it. There were mosquitoes, beetles, and other grotesquely shaped bugs that Luo Wei and the others had never even seen before, let alone name. This kind of dry food did not pose a problem for Luo Wei and Wei Lan, who had survived hard times. Imperial Physician Wei and the Dragon Guards could not eat this kind of dry food for the life of them. Finally, with no way out, Imperial Physician Wei took out the supplements he had brought for Luo Wei and used them as replacement for food. Whenever one was hungry, he would shove a small piece into his mouth. That way, this group of people did not starve to death.
As for sleep, they could only take turns. Those who were awake carried the ones who slept, not daring to stay still in this place. Imperial Physician Wei again developed a new understanding of Luo Wei. He originally thought Luo Wei was a weak, sickly young master, but now he believed what Luo Wei had once said to him: “Everyone endures difficulties.” This Third Young Master Luo was definitely a person capable of enduring. He looked like the wind could blow him away, but could still soundlessly carry Wei Lan while walking for most of the day.
“I’ll never enter a swamp again in my life!” Fourteen vowed.
“Enough, you bring trouble all by yourself!” Ten scolded this brother of his.
“It’s almost over,” Imperial Physician Wei said. “Bear with it some more.”
Luo Wei stood on tiptoe again to look. The farthest he could see to was a patch of loess. Furthermore, the reeds and wild grass growing from the grounds they currently walked on were sparser, shorter, and thinner than before.
“We count as lucky.” Imperial Physician Wei’s tone cheered up quite a bit. He slept the least in this group, because other than him, no one else knew how to find his way in this swamp.
“This counts as lucky?” Ten suspected that Imperial Physician Wei had lost his wits.
“We still haven’t encountered a fierce beast!” Imperial Physician Wei exclaimed. “With this kind of luck, after we go back, we all have to go to the temple and light incense for Buddha.”
“Fierce beasts? What kind of fierce beast?” Luo Wei asked.
“Man-eating ones,”Imperial Physician Wei answered. “Have you heard of crocodiles? There are also pythons. We didn’t encounter these man-eating creatures.”
“We also haven’t been poisoned by the miasma.” Luo Wei dragged Wei Lan, who had already closed his eyes and slept, while encouraging the Dragon Guards behind him, “it seems that God doesn’t want to claim our lives this time. Bear with it everyone.”
Eleven wanted to empty his bladder again, but could only urinate on himself. He could not possibly take off his pants here to relieve himself. Eleven endured the body-temperature fluid flowing from the top of his legs as he looked at their group of people. Having walked for three days, no one spoke of these matters. He thought that everyone was the same as him. Luckily they hadn’t had anything decent to eat these past three days. Otherwise–Ten shuddered–otherwise, would they even excrete fec*s on themselves?
They saw the end of the swamp, but that didn’t mean they could walk to it immediately. Luo Wei’s group walked another two full days before they reached the edge of the swamp, each feeling half-human and half-ghost.
Ten finally stepped on a patch of dry land. Just as he wanted to cheer at Luo Wei and the rest of them, he saw Wei Lan shaking his hand and saying, “There seems to be someone up ahead.”
“There’s someone as unlucky as us?” Fourteen couldn’t believe it.
“Don’t talk.” Ten focused on listening for movements in their surroundings, and confirmed to Luo Wei, “There’s someone up ahead.”
They walked about fifty meters and then heard a man shout, “Mo Huan Sang!” This sound frightened their group to stillness. Luo Wei subconsciously pulled Wei Lan to run back. It would be better to meet with the fierce beasts in the swamp than to encounter Mo Huan Sang!
“Mo Huan Sang, you can come to this point?” A man’s rung out.
Luo Wei didn’t run anymore. Hearing this, Mo Huan Sang seemed to be in trouble.
“Do you want to go see?” Wei Lan whispered to Luo Wei.
Luo Wei pointed forward, and their group walked forward. Having walked to this place, they no longer needed Imperial Physician Wei to lead the way.
Hiding in the reeds, they looked at the clearing not far in front of them.
Mo Huan Sang held Sima Zhuxie in his arms and tenaciously protected him. He could withstand the punches and kicks of these Mo clan members–he was just afraid that they would injure Sima Zhuxie, who already could not endure any more hits.
“The Mo clan did not treat you badly!” A Mo clan member about forty years old pointed at Mo Huan Sang. “We gave you your surname and raised you to adulthood. After you won success and recognition, how did you treat us?! The Black Frost Cavalry is finished, and only the nine of us survived in the clan. If we knew that today would come, back then when your immoral mother returned to the clan we should have sunk both you and your mother together to the bottom of a pond!”
(T/N: private punishment used especially for unfaithful wives.)
These words the Mo clan members spoke seemed to have struck Mo Huan Sang’s sore spot. He was able to stand up again and fight these Mo clan experts.
The Mo clan member who had just cursed Mo Huan Sang saw that Mo Huan Sang appeared to rise from the dead again, and hastily placed the single-edged sword in his hand against Sima Zhuxie’s neck. He yelled, “If you move again, I’ll kill him!”
The sword cut into Sima Zhuxie’s neck; in pain, he shouted, “Sang, Sang.”
Mo Huan Sang roared, “You cannot hurt him!”
“Hurt him?” This Mo clan member asked. “I want to kill him!”
The two members of the Mo clan took advantage of Mo Huan Sang stilling to pierce their swords below Mo Huan Sang’s ribs.
Mo Huan Sang collapsed to the ground, and the long sword in his hands finally slipped out.
“Sang!” Sima Zhuxie heard the sound Mo Huan Sang made, and wanted to run over to him. However, he was kicked aside by the Mo clan member who had held him.
“Just kill me.” Mo Huan Sang, wounded and fallen, seemed to have accepted his fate. He continued, “Let him go.’
“Can you guys still fight?” Luo Wei asked Ten and the rest as they crouched in the reeds.
“Dealing with those few isn’t a problem,” Ten answered. “It’d be even easier to kill Mo Huan Sang.”
In the clearing, the oldest Mo clan member shouted to Mo Huan Sang, “Not one out of the two of you can hope to live!”
Even at this point, Mo Huan Sang wanted to protect Sima Zhuxie’s life. He replied, “Sima Qingsha wants a living Zhuxie. You can bring him to see Sima Qingsha, and the recovery of the Mo clan would be just around the corner.”
“Do you take me for a three-year-old child?” The Mo clan member laughed grimly, “If Crown Prince Sima still trusted our Mo clan, how could he allow the entire Black Frost Cavalry to be wiped out?!”
Sima Zhuxie crawled over under the feet of this Mo clan member, wholeheartedly trying to get to Mo huan Sang.
“I can’t accept it!” This clan member kicked Sima Zhuxie away, hatefully continuing, “For this madman! Paying with the lives of the entire Mo clan!”
Sima Zhuxie burst into tears. He was clearly a tall man, but at this moment he looked like a small child who had survived grievances, powerlessly wailing.
“Zhuxie,” Mo Huan Sang was distressed but helpless, calling out for Sima Zhuxie.
Luo Wei saw that the Mo clan members were about to kill, and said to Ten and the others, “Go and save them!”