The prison of Blackhot City was located outside the city. The prison's high walls were of course not used to protect those criminals. The prison was close to the west city gate, and was also within the coverage of the city-defense weapons.
Samira seemed to require more reassurance as he kept following Zhang Tie and the squad of soldiers past the west city gate. After seeing the soldiers complete the hand-over procedures with the prison guards at the entrance, he then let out a sigh and sneered.
Before arriving, Zhang Tie was led as he was, however, after the completion of the hand-over procedures, he was forced to put on handcuffs and anklets.
The icy anklets kept making the sound of 'Huala huala' while being drawn through the ground when Zhang Tie moved. Besides that, Zhang Tie's anklets were uncomfortable. He had roughly 20 kgs' load due to the anklets and handcuffs.
The prison of Blackhot City didn't seem to have changed a lot due to the end of the Coal, Steel, and Iron Federation's rule. Zhang Tie thought so since he found the guards wearing their old uniforms.
"How long will I stay here?" Zhang Tie asked the sergeant who'd brought him here.
"Three days. When the cases before you are dealt with, the Military Administration of the Norman Empire will arrange the Criminal Court to bring light to your case!" the sergeant gave a patient reply.
After that, Zhang Tie was pushed into the tall wall of the prison of Blackhot City. He turned back to see Samira sneering at him, from which he understood the man's delight in seeing his revenge plot succeed.
The interrogation would start in three days. Why would Samira reveal such a smirk right now? Zhang Tie couldn't find the reason for it, so he calmed his heart and put it away.
"What's up with him?"
Entering through the iron gate of the gloomy and lofty wall, Zhang Tie saw a 40-old man in a dark red military uniform of the Norman Empire; he was the one asking the question. He wore the rank of a captain and stood on the stairs of a tower building near the iron gate. Although guards in the prison didn't change, one more military officer from the Norman Empire's military was dispatched here. That man was the real head of the entire prison.
"This guy was accused of being hostile to the Norman Empire. He's a potential security risk. The criminal court of the Military Administration is predicted to deal with his case in three days!"
Explaining this, one of the guards that escorted Zhang Tie in handed over a document to this man in a very pious way.
"He's accused of being hostile to the great Norman Empire? Is he a hot-blooded youth that still has a good memories about the Andaman Alliance's rule?" With these words, that middle-aged man glanced over Zhang Tie while revealing a shadow of a grin in the corner of his mouth. He then calmly ordered, "Take him to the largest room on Floor 3, put him together with the murderers!"
The paths inside the prison were maze-like. On both sides of the 2-m wide path was a tall wall higher than 10 m, on the top of which was a wire net. The lofty tower buildings and watch towers were connected with the tall walls. Like small fortresses, these buildings tightly surrounded the prison.
Since the entire prison was in the leeward area of the industrial area of Blackhot City, Zhang Tie could smell coal ash with each breath. Nobody was doing exercises in the prison as no place was set for them to move about freely. The entire prison felt chilly, like a piece of stone that had been thrown here and weathered for dozens of years.
After walking for less than 100 m inside, Zhang Tie had passed three iron gates. Each one was guarded by soldiers. After passing them, Zhang Tie would always feel the place get darker and becoming harder to breathe in due to the increasingly dingier smell.
As Zhang Tie moved forward, the friction between his anklets and the chilly cement ground caused the sound of 'Huala huala' to reverberate through the maze-like aisles.
Not until Zhang Tie was pushed into the underground paths that could barely be seen clearly without the help of the gas lamps on the walls did he realize that 'floor 3' was not above the ground, but below.
"What's the crime of this brat?" asked a 60-odd year man with completely gray hair guarding an iron gate. He stood up to open the gates with his key and wondered about Zhang Tie's circumstances when he saw him being pushed in
"He was accused of being hostile to the Norman Empire. He's a potential saboteur. Captain Eugen ordered to put him in the club on floor 3."
Hearing the words, that old man didn't say anything but gave Zhang Tie a sympathetic look as he opened the iron gate. After Zhang Tie was pushed in, the old man drew a cross in front of his own chest.
Zhang Tie walked for a long time in the underground path. After passing three more iron gates and an 's-shaped' downward route, he was finally pushed into the underground floor 3.
He walked the underground path with no natural light, and the sound produced by his anklets grew louder. The stink here could almost make people breathless. Beside Zhang Tie was a narrow cell. Hearing the sound of the anklets, all the prisoners inside the cell moved closer to the bars to have a look at the newcomer.
The prisoners in the cell were more like monsters than humans. They all wore shabby clothes and looked dirty while also being extremely smelly. With their eyes wide open like wolves', they stretched out their thin hands through the iron bars, trying to scratch Zhang Tie.
His arrival had made the place bustle with activity.
"Give him to me... give him to me..." Someone started to crazily rock the iron bars with his hands. "I will promise you anything if you want. Give the brat to me..."
"Give him to me..."
"Give him to me..."
"Give him to me..."
"Just one day, give this savory brat to me, just one day..."
Many prisoners stretched out their hands, trying to grab Zhang Tie. With eyes like those of hungry wolves fixed on Zhang Tie, the prisoners drooled while swearing. Some even growled like wild beasts, making Zhang Tie's face twist.
There were no humans locked here; instead, there were mad animals with pus flowing out, or at least that's how Zhang Tie felt about this place. By now, he had faintly realized Samira's plot: Samira truly wanted to kill him with others' hands. The hands that Samira wanted to use were not those of the criminal court of the Norman Empire, but the damn prison's. Samira seemed to have predicted the outcome of sending him here, which cell he would end up in.
Bored by the prisoners, the guards pulled out thin iron sticks from their waists and started to fiercely slash onto the hands stretching out through the iron bars.
"This brat is going to be sent to the club. You want to go with him?" a guard exclaimed as he slashed at the hands.
After what the guard said, the cell quickly regained its previous calm; it was weird. At the same time, the hands were also pulled back.
The long underground path was over 100 m. At the end of the path was a cell. The guards stopped before its entrance, ordering Zhang Tie to stand still so they could open his anklets and handcuffs.
"Brat, don't blame us. We just follow the orders. If you want to blame someone, just blame the one who set you up to end up here!" One of guards sighed when he opened Zhang Tie's anklets. "My son is also as old as you!"
With a calm expression, Zhang Tie replied as if he knew that he would be killed inside. "What if someone dies in there?"
"Those locked here are the worst of the worst. No matter how many people would die on floor 3, nobody would care!" A guard seemed to want to warn Zhang Tie. "Brat, if you can leave here alive, from then on, you might be able to go sideways in Blackhot City!"
"I'm not a crab to prefer going sideways..." Zhang Tie moved his limbs as he said.
When Zhang Tie spoke, the guard had already opened the iron gate, allowing him to walk in. There was a second iron gate behind it; it seemed that this cell had stricter security measures. The switch of the second iron gate was set outside the first iron gate. It seemed that this cell called 'club' was dangerous enough that even the guards did not like to draw too close to it.
After Zhang Tie walked through the first iron gate, the guards closed it before opening the second gate.
"You'd better go inside by yourself. If you don't do so in half a minute by yourself, those people inside the cell will force you in. If that happens, you'll be even more miserable!" A guard standing outside the second gate warned Zhang Tie.
Zhang Tie walked inside with a calm expression. This cell was much larger than the other cells outside. It was at least as large as two classrooms at school. Over 20 people were scattered inside, sitting or lying.
After passing through the first iron gate, but before entering through the second one, Zhang Tie took note of the situation inside the cell. Because of his arrival, the calm cell slowly started to reverberate from beast-like heavy breaths.
After Zhang Tie entered through the second iron gate, it was locked by the guards outside. Soon after that, the guards left at an obviously faster pace than they had come.
A gas lamp was on the wall of the aisle between the two gates, which was the the only light source in the cell.
Dark, gloomy, stinky - this was how this big cell called 'club' revealed itself to Zhang Tie.
When the prisoners inside the cell could no longer hear the footsteps of the guards any more, they slowly surrounded Zhang Tie from all corners of the dark cell. With red, twisted faces, they looked like wild wolves that had caught sight of a lamb.