Chapter 68: Shocking Discovery
Fei stepped onto the square and took a detailed look around. He found out that most people here were pale and thin, and they wore ragged clothing. They were the poorest citizens in Chambord. All of them gathered here for some reason; when they saw Fei arrive, they cheered and kneeled to the ground.
“Look, his majesty really came……”
“Your Majesty, please restore justice for us all!”
“We want to sue the prison officials. They abused their powers and arrested the innocent……”
“King Alexander, my son was arrested and thrown into the Iron Prison – Water Dungeon just because he accidentally offended former Head Minister’s son Gill. Your Majesty, please do something about it……”
The citizens kneeled on the ground and cried out loud.
Fei turned around and looked at Brook. Brook quickly shook his head and said, “Your Majesty, I didn’t notify these people to gather here; I didn’t even tell them you were coming here this afternoon. Strange……Should I dismiss them?”
Fei smiled as he shook his head, “It’s ok. Aren’t I here to revamp the Iron Prison – Water Dungeon? This is perfect; I can get even more information on each prisoner. Send a soldier to set up tables and chairs on the square and tell Warden Oleg to bring out all the documents. I will revamp the prison in front of all the citizens.”
Brook nodded and went to execute Fei’s order.
Soon, the citizens on the square were separated by the soldiers. A shed was set up on the square and stone tables and chairs were put inside. Piles of documents written on silk and animal skins explaining the trial process and how each case was settled for the last ten years was delivered into the shed. Some documents even had mold on them; they might’ve been left in the same spot for too long. When Fei opened up the black dotted files, a musty smell filled his nose.
“Great and honorable King Alexander, these are the files from the past ten years. I have ordered my subordinates to move all of them here, and not a single file is missing, my king. Since I’ve become the Warden of Chambord, I haven’t dared to slack off at all……” The flatterer Oleg stood beside Fei pleadingly as he smiled. The delicate white feathered fan in his hands was moving briskly and fanned Fei to keep him cool.
Fei lightly nodded.
Oleg came out of the shed excitedly as if he was a c--k who got encouraged by its owner during a cockfight. He announced, “The Great King Alexander has arrived at Iron Prison – Water Dungeon to expose and correct all the crimes that the conspirator Bazzer has committed against Chambord. Give thanks as justice and fairness has arrived at Iron Prison – Water Dungeon. If any of you have been treated unfairly and have been persecuted by that damn Bazzer, you can safely complain to the Great King Alexander. Our king is wise, just, impartial and kind…… He will give all the innocent a fair treatment.”
Oleg used at least twelve adjectives to praise Fei. After his saliva had spurted everywhere, he finally ordered the soldiers to carefully separate the citizens from the shed and created a small entrance; the citizens were allowed to enter the shed and complain one by one.
Fei secretly nodded.
Although Oleg was timid, greedy and scared of death, and was just a huge flatterer, he had his strengths. Compared to the military officials such as Brook, he was more attentive. He had a good handle of situations like this. If these types of people were used properly, they would be great assistants.
“Honorable King Alexander, please cleanse my grievances……”
A ragged clothed elderly man came in first and kneeled to the ground. His son was a servant at the former Head Minister’s mansion. His son once broke fatty Gill’s rough dog food bowl by accident and was asked to pay 10 gold coins. Because his family didn’t have that kind of money, his son was locked up in Iron Prison – Water Dungeon; it had been three months now and the old man didn’t even know if his son was still alive.
Quickly, a jailer passed Fei the document about the elder’s son. Fei glanced it over; the record was roughly the same as what the elder had told him. He stroke his pen and put an end to the case. The elderly man’s son was instantly released and Fei took out 10 gold coins from Bazzer’s confiscated property and gave it to the family as compensation. The elderly man’s son had endured some torture, but overall he was healthy. The father and son huddled together and cried, and then they kneeled down to thank Fei for his mercy……
After seeing this scene, all the surrounding citizens became excited.
People came into the shed and cried as they complained continuously. Most of them were little and minor incidents, but because they affected Bazzer and the other nobles in the kingdom, the citizens were abused by the higher powers and were locked up, enduring torture in the water dungeon……
In just thirty minutes, Fei had released more than forty people from the Iron Prison. All the innocent people had not only gotten back their freedoms, but they also received a lot of compensation; one gold coin was around the annual income of a poor family. Everyone in the square felt grateful and kneeled down as they cheered “Hail the king”……
Fei had enjoyed the thrill of being a judge.
But as the revamp continued, people who had just planned on watching couldn’t help but stand up and complain about the injustices that happened to them. Some people were robbed by the nobles and lost everything they had and became homeless, while others had their heirloom treasures cheated from them by big merchants. Some even had their beautiful daughters kidnapped into the noble’s mansions, never to be heard from again……
Suddenly, the citizens on the square were stimulated and outraged, and the situation was getting a little bit out of Fei’s control.
As soon as Fei realized that more and more people were coming to the square after they heard the news, he sweated as he paused the public “revamp” event. He ordered a secretary to record all the complaints and give them to the new Head Minister Bast. Fei believed that his future father-in-law could handle the cases properly.
Fei on the other hand went through all the documents. Most of the cases weren’t difficult to resolve. After two hours, 60 – 70% of the prisoners were released. Honestly, in a remote kingdom such as Chambord, most of the people were kind and friendly; there wouldn’t be any huge or shocking crimes. Most of the cases were created by nobles and wealthy merchants oppressing the poor civilians, while some were disputes between neighbours. To Fei who was educated person from Earth, as long as he followed the principles of equality, all the issues would be resolved quickly.
After finished processing all the documents, all the civilians kneeled down excitedly and cheered. In the cheers of “Hail the King” and “Long live King Alexander”, Fei, Brook and Oleg entered the Iron Prison – Water Dungeon.
After entering the stone bunker, Fei realized that the name of the prison, Iron Prison – Water Dungeon was an accurate description. The building on the square was only the place where the prison official lived; the real prison was underground. Someone had drilled a corridor deep into the rocky mountain.
The corridor was about three yards (m) high and two yards (m) wide and headed deep into the ground. Numerous stone stairways were layered in the corridor.
The lights quickly darkened. After about three or four hundred yards (m) deep underground, the corridor finally became flatter; instead of going deep down, it extended further horizontally. On both sides of the corridor, there were many uneven sized artificial stone racks on the wall that held up charcoal torches. The flames flickered and illuminated the entire corridor, but the darkness further away at the end of the corridor created a daunting atmosphere.
Fei became more surprised as he walked deeper into the prison.
He was shocked when he found out that the inside of the mountain at the back of Chambord was completely emptied out. The entire prison didn’t have a single brick or tile; it was dug from the inside of the mountain as a whole and was like an underground maze. After more than 2/3 of a mile (1km) of walking and passing through more than two dozens iron gates, Fei heard the gurgling sound of water as the passage opened up. Many stone rooms were dug out on both sides of the corridor and sealed by steel fences. These stone rooms were layered with wet hay and contained some basic stone beds and chairs; these rooms were where the prisoners lived.
Due to the massive release of innocent citizens and revamp of the prison by Fei earlier, most of the stone rooms were now empty. Only a few stone rooms were still locking up prisoners who had actually committed thefts, assaults and other crimes. After seeing the appearance of the power figures at Chambord, some prisoners didn’t have any response, some rushed to the steel fence and shouted their innocence and others just laughed at Fei disdainfully……
The further Fei walked, the wider the corridor got; it turned into a large hall.
The gurgling sound of water became clearer and clearer.
Finally, after proceeding 500 yards (m) further, an underground river appeared on one side of the corridor. Cold, bone chilling river water flowed from it. Some stone rooms were dug under the surface of the water, causing the icy water to flood the floor in these rooms; the only way to avoid the chilling water was to stay on the stone beds. This was the so-called “water dungeon”.
The scale of the Iron Prison – Water Dungeon was far beyond his imagination. To dig such a magnificent maze in the mountain, even by using tools and the architectural methods of the 21th century, would take a number of years and a huge sum of money, resources and labour……It was too shocking. It was hard to imagine who had actually dug out such a vast cave?
As if he saw Fei’s confusion, Oleg followed Fei humbly and explained, “Your Majesty, this prison wasn’t built by Chambordians…… According to Royal Literature, one hundred years ago, a citizen was hunting on the back mountain and discovered this underground cave accidentally. After the King knew about it, he ordered a blockade on this place. After generations of Chambord Kings’ exploration and gradual improvements and transformations, this place became the unbreakable prison. For the past sixty years, not a single prisoner was able to escape from here. It was said that your father, the old King Alexander had imprisoned a powerful and terrifying warrior, but until death, that warrior wasn’t able to break from here……”
“So that’s how it is.”
After hearing Warden Oleg’s explanation, Fei instantly understood.
This record was the only way that this could make sense. This huge underground cave could never have been the work of Chambordians. Even if Chambord was still the slightly powerful level four affiliated kingdom, the operation of digging out such a magnificent cave into the mountain would take more than one hundred years.
“Then do you know who created this underground cave?” Fei asked.
“No one knows who created this place. There are no clues or traces left in this place. Except for these simple stone rooms and this corridor, there aren’t any statues or murals. When the royals entered here for the first time, there weren’t any writings, material or supplies. It looked as if this place was dug out by someone and was abandoned for some mysterious reason. Some people even suspect that this is the work of the God.”
“Work of the God?”
“Yes, except for a supreme almighty God, humans have a hard time digging through the hard rocks and creating such a giant cave inside a mountain…..of course, some others say that this stone cave might have been the masterpiece of a cave dwarf, but the dwarfs have disappeared for more than four or five hundred years……”
As Oleg was speaking, Fei’s vision lightened. His field of vision suddenly opened. A hall a few hundred yards (m) high appeared right in front of Fei. Numerous torches were located on the walls and ceilings. They looked like the bright stars in the dark night, shiny and beautiful.
Layers and layers of stairs were dug into the wall as they led to another area. The hundreds of yards (m) high stone walls had been divided into ten floors, with numerous stone rooms on each floor. It made Fei feel like he had travelled in space again and was suddenly in a tall skyscraper on Earth.
It was extremely shocking; no words could describe the shock Fei was experiencing.
“Your Majesty, this is where important offenders are kept. The black cloaked mage and the silver masked man’s body are all locked up in here. The former first commander of the King’s Guard Peter-Cech who was accused of treason is also being kept here.”
Oleg explained to Fei carefully.
Fei nodded and said, “Eh, good. Oleg, send someone with Mr. Brook to bring back Cech. I want to meet him.”
Oleg quickly called over two jailers and ordered them to take Brook up the stone stairs. They quickly disappeared into the corridor in the stone wall. Cech was a felon, so he was locked up on the seventh floor; it would take some time to bring him down.
In the meantime, Fei took a detailed look of this super massive hall. The more he looked, the more he was shocked. Despite being from the 21 century on Earth, he also believed that the building of this hall was God’s work. It was simply amazing; tens of Mogao Grottoes couldn’t compare to the size of this cave.
Suddenly, Fei’s eyes landed on a twenty yard (m) tall huge black steel door that was on the stone wall further away.
“What is that door doing there?” Fei asked.