Short Story: The Shining

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They stopped at the edge of a cliff.

In a large expanse of ground beneath them, was the remains of a recently collapsed piece of land. For as far as Jingyan could see, the serpentine fissures that spanned the width of a house wound out from a steep sinkhole in the center of the land, creating an additional depth to the already sunken land. There was a heavy stench of lingering gunpowder and the fissures were filled with uprooted trees and crumpled earth.

According to the maps, Jingyan once committed to memory, this was where the old Xu Qing coal mine was. Xu Qing was a coal mine that the Hua Kingdom won from North Qi in the third year of their rule. Since then, the mine was a source of wealth for the restored kingdom.

Two years ago, spies
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There was a half-formed one in his pointer finger, a barely there indent. Was that why Su Zhe took his hand earlier?

He asked, "What does this mean?"

"Astaris Poison is more of a contamination than a poison," said Su Zhe. "Its weakening effects on the body is used to keep one out of fights."

Jingyan cringed.The ugly emotions, typically suppressed by willpower and logic, rose to the front of his mind, overriding all the self-restraints he'd forced into place. His fingers began toying with his sleeve again, helplessly mauling the silk as he tried to calm his quickened breaths. His throat felt so constricted it was a wonder he was still breathing.

Or maybe he wasn’t.

In spite of all his efforts, his varied pattern of calling for food and only eating plain food so unusual tastes could be detected, someone still managed to tamper with his food.But instead of a lethal poison, they’d strangely taken the opportunity to weaken his body.

Soon afterwards, an airy melody began to

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