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862 A Late Confession

 Sharmie's talent alone was not enough for her to gain a foothold in the Holy City. Yes, she was born with a huge Soul Sea, which gave her an advantage over others when she first entered the Heroic Soul Stage. However, the path of cultivation wasn't just about a single statistic. It was just like how a tall person might not be suitable for playing basketball. The measure of one's talent was a comprehensive statistic; any overly obvious flaw was enough to wipe out all your merits.

She probably understood that a long time ago, and Mario's death affected her more than anyone could imagine, leaving her in despair. As such, her decision was not unexpected.

"It's all because we were too incompetent. Does she blame us?" asked Small Eyes as her eyes grew red.

Wang Zhong smiled and shook his head. "No, I think she is at peace and very relaxed. It's like... she's free of all troubles now. If we get a chance, let's go back to Earth and visit her. She'll definitely be happy to see her old friends."

Blame them? Maybe a little. But were Oscar and the others really to blame? If they didn't hold it in, maybe everyone here would have been dead before Wang Zhong could come back. One could not stand on the moral high ground and then ask things of others. It was difficult for them to do so.

Everyone else couldn't help but smile when they heard what he said. The anger Small Eyes felt was dissipated instantly. They were about to speak when the door was suddenly pushed open by someone.

"Wang Zhong! We're safe!" Scarlet barged in excitedly, and there were little beads of sweat dripping from her head. Clearly, she had just run all the way here from headquarters.

"What do you mean?"

"The verdict issued to you for the murder of Hale is - not guilty! Here are the official documents!" Scarlet waved the stack of documents in excitement. This was the verdict that had just been announced in the morning, and even her teacher hadn't gotten a chance to see it. Upon receiving it, Scarlet immediately made a copy of it and ran here to deliver the news. She had been extremely worried about it for the past few days.

"Yes!"

"F*ck yeah! That's the way things are supposed to be." "Why do you have to be responsible for killing scum?" "Who approved the documents? He's wise!" The rest of the Wanderlust Team also cheered loudly.

Scarlet ran towards Wang Zhong in excitement and handed the documents over to him. "Quick, take a look!"

Wang Zhong smiled, but he didn't take the documents from her. Instead, he suddenly reached out and grabbed Scarlet's hand.

Huh?!

His sudden action surprised everyone in the room, and everyone stopped chattering. In Wang Zhong's left hand was a flower that was native to this world.

"Scarlet, will you be my girlfriend?"

Now, the room was completely silent, and Wang Zhong, who was invincible on the battlefield, appeared rather awkward. Indeed, he was really silly, but in Scarlet's ears, this was the most romantic sentence in the world.

Scarlet was definitely stunned, and her eyes began to blur. She had been waiting for this sentence for a long time.

She tried to hold back her tears, but they fell uncontrollably.

"Yes!"

Her answer was direct but filled with warmth. Love was in the air.

It was as though all the unhappy things had been put in the past, and everyone else recovered from this pleasant surprise.

Everyone had been friends for a while now and was very familiar with the 'love history' of Wang Zhong and Scarlet. Even as early as their first day being seen together in the Holy City, there were already many metaphors used to describe their relationship. One such metaphor was: a fresh flower on a heap of cow dung. Naturally, the people in the Wanderlust Team didn't think of Wang Zhong as a heap of cow dung, but this guy was truly a cultivation addict. Sharmie and Small Eyes had long started to gossip about this blockhead. He was really oblivious sometimes, and everyone was anxious for him.

But who knew? This blockhead finally straightened out his thoughts!

The sadness they felt due to Sharmie's departure seemed to have been reduced amidst this romantic atmosphere, and everyone in the room was excited.

"Woo!"

Bang bang bang bang!

Small Eyes began to pound on the table to get Wang Zhong to kiss Scarlet. "Kiss her! Kiss her!"

Wang Zhong smiled and pulled Scarlet, who was still tearing uncontrollably, into his arms tightly. Surprisingly, the entire process was rather smooth and natural. Being held in the arms of her lover and feeling the warmth of his muscular chest, Scarlet's tears couldn't stop falling, but she couldn't ask for a happier day.

Just as the Wanderlust Team soaked in happiness, some people at headquarters saw the verdict for Wang Zhong's punishment.

The verdict was placed on top of Sofia's table. She had already seen it. Wang Zhong was found not guilty and was only fined 5,000 Holy Coins for destroying public property and causing a stir in the base.

Sofia was rather surprised by this.

Generally speaking, reporting this kind of thing to her commanding officer was just a procedure. He was merely a Holy Disciple, and the higher-ups would usually let her take care of it, but this time, they specially asked about it and directly released a verdict. It had to be noted that they were currently fighting a Holy Battle. Did the higher-ups have nothing better to do?

This wasn't the main point. The key was the verdict. Not guilty.

Frankly speaking, she had predicted that Wang Zhong would go unpunished. For a Heroic Soul who could finish off a Sword Saint on his own - no matter how he did it - the higher-ups of the Holy City Army would definitely think highly of him. The speculations by those Holy Disciples were obviously just wishful thinking. They were currently in a Holy Battle, and they needed talents to help them win the war. It would obviously be a great loss to them if they sent this kind of talent back to the Holy Land. The problem laid only in the nature of the verdict.

If it was just a matter of cherishing talents, then the arbitral tribunal could convict Wang Zhong for disregard for military regulations and make him pay the same 5,000 Holy Coins fine, so that he could make up for what he did. This was the usual punishment routine for special talents, but the verdict directly used the words 'not guilty'...

The difference in the literal meaning of the words was not to be overlooked. The difference from the above-mentioned penalty was that Wang Zhong's record would be clean.

This was absolutely not an ordinary matter of cherishing talents. It was like someone was making sure that he could have a bright future.

Thud thud...

Thud thud...

Sofia leaned back on her chair with her fingers gently tapping on the verdict. All of a sudden, she stopped and revealed a smile. "Interesting..."

...

The verdict for Wang Zhong's punishment was soon made public at the Exploration Team Department.

He was found not guilty of murder, but due to having damaged public property in the bar and adversely affecting the base, he was fined 5,000 Holy Coins as a warning.

A fine...

A big group of people in the Exploration Team Department was rendered speechless. How the hell was this considered a punishment?!

To be fair, this fine was actually not a small sum. For many Holy Disciples, it might even result in their bankruptcy. But who was the one getting fined? For someone who had just finished off a Sword Saint, would 5,000 Holy Coins even matter to him?

Sure enough, as the verdict was issued, the mission rewards for the Wanderlust Team also arrived.

The Black Boulder Energy Cave had been destroyed together with the guards. Even the unexpected Sword Saint was also finished off; thus, the mission was considered 200% completed.