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Wedge (The Gate of a Thousand Doors)

Humans have neither the claws of tigers or wolves nor the power of lions and elephants, but they can capture wolves and bind tigers, train lions and hunt elephants, and have no other but wisdom ears.

——”The Secret of a Thousand Doors·Preface”

wedge

The sky is high and the earth is wide, there are no clouds in the sky, and the scarlet sun does not move high above the sky, reflecting the sky and the earth a fiery red. In the endless Gobi desert, a small group of people struggled to march in the yellow sand with nowhere to follow. Except for the leading four or five people who rode mules, horses and camels, the other ten people were chained in chains, and struggled to wriggle forward amidst the lashes of several riders.

The noon sun was scorching hot and the horses and horses were exhausted. When they saw the lonely post in front of them, several riders couldn’t help cheering in unison, whipping everyone and speeding up their pace. An old man with the appearance of a post house greeted him. As soon as the leading rider saw it, he yelled from a distance: “Old wilt! Get ready to prepare fresh water and grass! This horrible weather is almost ready to cook people!” There was a blood-red scar on his face, and his expression changed. I couldn’t help but squirm, looking from a distance, it was like opening a mouth on my cheek.

“Already ready! Master Dao!” Old Lin promised to welcome him. He recognized the person as Gan Liangdao’s famous head catcher, nicknamed Scar, but not many people knew his real name. Although this is the boundary of Qinghai, Scar is responsible for sending prisoners from the mainland to Ganliang Road, and then escorted to Qinghai to perform hard labor. He often has to pass through this lonely post station, going back and forth, and getting acquainted with Lao Li.

Several guards got off their horses and rushed to the Qingshui steamed buns prepared by Lao Rong. A few prisoners in shackles stumbled into the shade, slumped on the ground and gasped, like a few out of the water. fish.

Lao Yu took a bucket of clear water and walked towards them. Although he knew that most of the prisoners sent to such a desolate and remote place were of the most vicious and wicked people, they were not worthy of sympathy, but he stayed at this station for many years and it is rare to see a few people throughout the year. , Even a prisoner, in the eyes of Lao Ling is very kind.

The old wilt scooped up a scoop of water, and several prisoners immediately scrambled to open their mouths to pick it up. Lao Lin was about to feed, but he heard an officer behind him suddenly shout: “Wait!”

Lao Ling turned his head inexplicably, and saw an officer approaching with a smirk, grabbed Lao Ling’s water scoop and threw it back into the bucket, then crossed his legs, pulled off his pants and splashed against the bucket. Urine, then he lifted his pants and signaled to Lao Wei, “Go! Feed them!”

The old man looked at the scar on the side embarrassedly, and when he saw him, he didn’t stop, but smiled with interest. The old man had no choice but to scoop a scoop of urine and hand it to a prisoner. After hesitating, the prisoner closed his eyes and drank cleanly.

The guards roared with laughter, and amidst the roar of laughter, Lao Wei fed them one by one. Some of the prisoners were numb, some were weeping, and some had angry eyes. However, under extreme hunger and thirst, he drank it without hesitation. When Lao Wei fed to the last prisoner, he turned his head off when he saw him arrogantly. Lao Wei persuaded: “Drink! How can you not drink water in this weather?”

“I am a human being, how can I not have dignity?” the prisoner said in a bitter voice. Although his voice was hoarse and dry, there was an arrogance that could not be humiliated.

dignity? The old man was startled and couldn’t help but look at each other carefully. However, he was thin and thin, and his eyes seemed to be very young. Although his face was filthy, he still couldn’t conceal the bookishness in his bones.

“What’s the matter?” A scar question sounded behind him. Before Lao Wei had time to explain, he strode over, grabbed the water scoop, spit thick sputum in it, and stuffed the prisoner’s mouth. I don’t have enough material, I will add some more for you!”

The prisoner made a desperate effort and knocked the water scoop to the ground. Scar was furious, kicked him down with a kick, and sternly scolded: “Why don’t you drink something that you don’t know how to promote?”

The prisoner struggled to sit up on the ground and said loudly, “I am a human being, not an animal!”

“Human? Do you dare to call yourself human? You rubbish!” Scar waved his horse whip, drawing from the heads of several prisoners one by one, “You! A human trafficker; you! A flower picker; and you! A Jiangyang thief! Which of you fucking rubbish is worthy of being called a human? I can’t wait to execute you one by one on the spot, so that I don’t want to hurt I in this kind of weather, and I have to wait for you to travel to Qinghai!” Scar said as he turned back. In front of the prisoner, he raised his whip and said, “Especially you! I heard that I was a talented person before, but he forced xx to kill and be deceived. Just because of this, he should be more guilty!”

“I didn’t!” the prisoner yelled hoarsely, “I didn’t kill or be kidnapped. I was wronged!” “Humph! Every prisoner said that.” Scar said, scooping again. Urine was handed to the prisoner’s mouth, “I will ask you again, do you drink it?”

The prisoner met Scar’s fierce gaze tit-for-tat: “I am a human, not an animal!” Scar violently poured urine on the prisoner’s face: “Okay! As long as you can last until tomorrow, I will admit that you are. Man! Come man! Tie him to the pegs and see when he can get angry!”

Several guards dragged the prisoner out of the shade and tied it to a horse peg outside the post. The sun is shining above the head, and the gravel on the ground is hot. Under the grilling and frying, normal people can’t hold on for long. The prisoner licked his chapped lips and closed his eyes. Although he looked exhausted under the scorching sun, his face still had an unyielding arrogance.

“No one is allowed to give him water! I want to see how long he can last!” Scar said, beckoning to Lao Wei, “Prepare dry food and fodder, let’s leave tomorrow morning.”

The sky was getting darker, the old wilt finished feeding the mules and horses. When he passed the pegs, he carried a lamp to shine, and he saw the prisoner hanging limply on the pegs, knowing nothing about life or death. Lao Wei took a breath in the past, and his breath was as thin as a gossamer. Lao Lin knew that if he didn’t drink water, he would not be able to survive tonight. He couldn’t forget the arrogant eyes of the prisoner during the day, and he couldn’t help taking a scoop of clear water, holding up the prisoner’s jaw, and carefully pouring the water into the prisoner’s mouth. After a while, his eyelashes trembled slightly, and he finally woke up slowly.

“Thank God! I’m afraid you won’t be able to wake up!” Lao Ling murmured, completely feeding the scoop of water. After drinking enough water, the prisoner recovered a little, and couldn’t help but sighed to Lao Ling: “Old man, thank you for your help! If my Luo Wenjia has the day before, I will repay the old man for his grace!”

Old Wei waved his hand: “Whether you can repay you or not, wait until you leave Qinghai alive. As far as I know, no prisoner who is sent here to perform hard labor can leave alive.”

The prisoner was startled: “Why is this?”

Lao Ling sighed, “I would rather die on the ground than live in the underground. I do hard labor in the mine, eat food in the sun, and work in the underworld. I don’t know how many men will be buried alive in a year! All the prisoners sent there will be either buried in the underground. Buried, or tortured to death by heavy labor, without exception.”

“I want to live! I was wronged! I want to practice martial arts, let those who framed me pay the price!” The prisoner struggled desperately, his efforts failed to shake the pegs, but rather exhausted He was dizzy and fainted all over. “I want to live, I must live!” Luo Wenjia was still muttering in a coma, his dirty face was shining with a strange look… His consciousness seemed to have returned to that unbearable look back. ‘S past…

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