Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 462: The Determination

Chapter 462: The Determination

Chapter 462: The Determination

Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
Joe fell ill.

He was the second weakest in the group before Paper was kidnapped, and since then he had become the weakest. Joe was fine the night he came back from the square. But the next day, Snaketooth found him lying motionless on the hay, moaning vaguely and with bright red cheeks.

"He was infected by the cold plague," Sunflower said while touching Joe's head, "and his head is burning hot."

"Will I... die?"

Joe, squinting his eyes, asked softly.

No one answered.

The cold plague was an extremely stubborn disease, and once contracted, you can only rely on the body to resist the infection. However, people who were physically fit seldom suffered from the cold—those who were infected were generally weak, so very few patients could survive it. It was essentially a death sentence for Rats.

"I'll go and look for Kanas," said Snaketooth, breaking the silence.

"What do you want him for?"

"To beg him to give Joe more food." He stood up. "I've heard that the chance of survival is greater if the patient is kept warm and adequately fed."

"He won't give you any food," Tigerclaw shook his head and said. "We all know what kind of person he is."

"Exactly, you may even get beaten up by him," Sunflower said while gathering hay. "Rats never feed any useless person."

"Joe isn't useless." Snaketooth retorted. "He can read!"

"Just a few words, and of what use is that to Kanas? He wants people who can steal and rob others."

"..." Snaketooth clenched his teeth, turned around and walked towards the manager's room in the Endless Lane. He had to try even if he would be beaten up by Kanas with a stick.

Surprisingly, Kanas was not back yet.

"You're lucky." When he brought the message back to his companions, Tigerclaw grinned. "Or we may have to take care of another one."

Sunflower sighed. "Each of us will give a portion of our bread to Joe later when it's time for the bread distribution so that he can eat more."

However, Snaketooth did not feel lucky at all. He could feel something was not right.

"It'd only take half an hour to send the message to Bloodyhand. It's understandable that Bloodyhand didn't come back last night due to the discussion of countermeasures—but it's already noon, the discussion should have been finished by now." Furthermore, when his men opened the door, he took a peek and realized Kanas and his lover were both missing.

The gang started to distribute food not long after, and Snaketooth realized that it was distributed by Kanas' confidant.

What he received was nothing but half a slice of brown bread.

...

After four days, Joe's condition was still deteriorating.

He was yelling that he felt cold yesterday, but he couldn't speak a word today. His once pink cheeks started to turn pale and his breathing was getting weaker.

"We've tried our best," Sunflower said languidly with her hand on her stomach.

They had given half of their food to Joe in the past few days. If it was not for them, he might not have lived this long. Tigerclaw, who used to be very energetic, was starting to look feeble as well.

Kanas had not shown up these past few days.

More than a hundred Rats gathered in the room and started to discuss this matter. But it was just a discussion—after all, they were still getting food as usual. However, it was especially noisy today.

It was the day of free food distribution, as announced.

"I'll go to the square," after a long contemplation, Snaketooth clenched his teeth and said. "We need to eat more than just bread. Joe might be able to last if I could get a bowl of hot oatmeal for him."

"Are you crazy?" Sunflower stared at him and said, "Don't forget how Kanas warned us. Do you really want to get stitches on your lips?"

"That's if he knows I snuck out. We don't even know where Kanas is now. What if the lord of the city is really going to attack them?"

"But his men are still here. Do you think they'll let you off if they find out?" Sunflower looked at Tigerclaw. "Don't just stand there. Help me to talk him out of this."

"I'll go with you," the latter said suddenly.

"Both of you..."

"This food distribution may have already been ruined. Or perhaps there's no food at all, and it's simply the noble's act of disguising it. I suppose it shouldn't be considered disobeying Kanas' warnings in this case?" Tigerclaw twitched his lips and said, "I'm strong—I can run there and back while carrying Joe on my back, and it won't take us too long. Kanas isn't around now and his confidants are hiding in his room roasting themselves in front of the fire. No one will notice us."

"Um..." Sunflower hesitated.

"You just stay here," Snaketooth said, "so you can cover for us in case anyone asks. Just say we have diarrhea and had to go to find a sheltered place to relieve ourselves. No worries. We won't need long to rush back from there."

"Well, then," she looked around and said, "hurry up!"

...

Snaketooth and Tigerclaw snuck out of the log cabin, running all the way down the alley. The elevated snow under their feet drenched their trousers. Even though the cold wind that blew into their face felt as sharp as a knife, it couldn't stop them. Panting while arriving at the square, they found that there were almost a thousand people surrounding the podium.

Oatmeal really was being distributed!

Both of them ran over quickly, but were stopped by two guards in brown uniforms. "Walk slowly, no pushing, and no cutting in line—otherwise you'll be prohibited from receiving any free food."

Snaketooth noticed that there was a wooden fence set up around the center of the podium. The crowd was moving along the fence in a line like a folded dragon. Guards armed with strange iron bars could be seen at every short interval. They looked like the defenders of order, because people were expelled from the line from time to time.

"My friend is sick... Can you help us, please? I'm begging you!" Snaketooth knelt down on the snowy ground.

"He's been starving for days. He's in need of food urgently!" Tigerclaw knelt down beside him.

"What kind of illness?"

"It's... the cold plague."

One of them reached out to Joe who was unconscious and said, "Leave him with me. Both of you get in line."

"Erm..."

"He knows the way back, doesn't he?" the other guard said, "Even if he doesn't know, you can always come back here to look for him."

While saying this, the guard walked away with Joe on his shoulders.

"What should we do?" Both of them stared at each other. No one expected it to turn out like this—according to their plans, the other party would either be totally indifferent or let them bypass the fence to get the oatmeal in advance.

"Let's go back first." Snaketooth decided after some short contemplation.

"What... Go back?" Tigerclaw asked with surprise, "No oatmeal?"

"It'll take us at least half an hour to get there with this line. There might be trouble if we take too long," he nodded and said. "We can sneak out again in the evening to bring Joe back."

Tigerclaw looked at the oatmeal on the wooden table and said reluctantly, "Okay... then."

There was something that Snaketooth kept to himself—since the announcement of the free food distribution had come true, did it mean that the other two rumors would eventually pan out as well?

He vaguely felt that an upheaval might be coming towards the Black Street.

Back at the Endless Lane, both of them tiptoed into the house but were caught by surprise.

Sunflower was hung in front of the entrance with both her hands tied behind her back, standing on a shaky wooden bench. Bruises could be seen on her face. All the while, Kanas' men were standing by her side, sneering at both of them.

"You, finally back with a well-fed stomach?"