Chapter 303: Who Will Take the Blame?
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
Shi Zongyue, the Vivant Joy Holy Man and the Gambling Holy Man looked intensely solemn. When Shi Zongyue first stepped foot onto the scene he laid down a magic formation that formed a dome around the immediate vicinity and denied entry to outsiders.
His decision was proved to be correct. Previously, when Xiao Budian faced off his adversaries and after the cloud of green mist had dissipated, the ripples of mana from the clash traversed outward and attracted the attention of numerous individuals within the audience of the Spiritual Conference of Huanghai. In fact, some of these individuals had already made their way here but were rejected entry by the Shi Zongyue.
The other immortal soul cultivators could break through, naturally, but refrained from doing so out of respect for the Prince’s intentions.
Some of those people outside the dome still cared about what was going on inside, however. The Blue Pavilion Holy Man projected his voice inside the dome with his mana and asked aloud, “May I ask the Prince Anliang about what happened that led to the mana ripples?”
Shi Zongyue took a deep breath. “There was a minor clash here. I am already handling it, no need the Blue Pavilion Holy Man to worry. It’s not a big deal anyway.”
This was also the same statement he wanted to make to the other immortal soul cultivators, or whoever else was interested in what just transpired.
Controlling the spread of information and keeping the information contained was imperative as the main aim was to prevent further complications to the already negative situation.
Of course, to achieve that end he had to calm Lin Feng down, along with the rest of the Celestial Secft of Wonders.
Shi Zongyue faced the expressionless Lin Feng in front of him and coughed dryly before saying, “Master Lin, the three of us and the Great Qin Empire are the last people that would have wanted this to happen. You have to believe me.”
Lin Feng nodded his head but remained silent. He accepted this explanation as the consequences of assassinating their guests would rain hell on the hosts of the event. Moreover, the assassin was himself from the Great Qin Empire.
However, accepting the explanation did not mean that Lin Feng was going to just let it go. He was not going to let a few words resolve something that happened on the turf of the Great Qin Empire and something that was executed by the subordinates of the latter.
Shi Zongyue and company absolutely understood that. The Vivant Joy Holy Man was the first and he said, “Please forgive us for what happened, Master Lin. The Great Qin Empire is willing to provide commensurate compensation. We do hope you and your disciple will accept our offer.”
The three of them turned and trained their gazes on Xiao Budian. Everybody was heaving inward sighs.
The rise of the Celestial Sect of Wonders was extremely high profile. Besides Lin Feng, who was up till now still mysterious as ever and full of secrets, the backgrounds of everybody else in the Sect had been investigated and laid bare. Naturally, they knew of Xiao Budian’s family history and his life story. Two nascent soul stage grandmasters from the Yu Family perished in their pursuit of the fact.
Yu Qianshan and Yu Wanfeng, two nascent soul stage cultivators, died at the hands of Lin Feng. The Yu Family bore this grudge ever since but never had a chance to take their revenge.
A long time ago, Xiao Budian’s parents had a big fight so the Shi Family had to cover things up to the best of their ability. However, news got out in the end and even caused several uproars and public discussions.
Resources were generally diverted or favourably so towards some of the most talented or prodigious members of the family. This was nothing new as every family was doing something like this.
Except Shi Tianyi and his mother went too far. The victim of all this was Xiao Budian, who was still in his infancy. This was also the reason why the public were so upset.
However, Xiao Budian and his parents suddenly vanished. On the other side, Shi Tianyi rose as a prodigy and displayed his extraordinary and unprecedented talent. People in the Shi Family seemed to be deliberately directing and guiding him, changing the course of events.
Increasingly more people began to suspect that the Shi Family made a good deal to concentrate all their resources on a single person to forge and produce one of the most prodigious individuals ever; this individual was destined to leave his mark in history.
In recent years, Xiao Budian was reborn along with the rapid rise of the Celestial Sect of Wonders and returned into the sights of the public. Everybody knew that this kid was bound to have a showdown with Shi Tianyi – it was only a matter of time.
In fact, Shi Zongyue and the Vivant Joy Holy Man were somewhat related to Xiao Budian by blood. As they took in the child in front of them, the two great immortal soul cultivators heaved another inward sigh and glanced at each other. All of a sudden, an idea popped up in their heads at the same time.
“Could this be the doing of the Shi Family?”
They could not shake off the possibility of this theory the moment it appeared. Their gazes turned towards the grey-robed elderly figure and Zhao Xin and their eyes sparkled.
Shi Zongyue lowered his voice and said, “Master Lin, would you be willing to transfer custody of your prisoners to us for interrogation? I will definitely come up with a satisfactory explanation.”
Lin Feng did not even stop to think and rejected them outright. “I will personally interrogate these people. This is not because I don’t trust you, Prince Anliang, but I do not wish for any other unforeseen circumstances to happen.”
Shi Zongyue was taken aback. In normal times, his word was worth everything, but Lin Feng’s rebuttal rendered him speechless.
The only redeeming factor of it all was that Lin Feng seemed to believe that the main perpetrator of the assassinations was not the Great Qin Empire and that Shi Zongyue and company were in the dark as well.
However, Shi Zongyue and company were distressed by another fact. Even though Lin Feng did not say it out, the hidden meaning in his words was clear.
I trust that you had no knowledge of whatever happened, but something like this happened right under your nose, and the assassin was somebody under you as well. What were you doing?
I trust your personality and your word but I no longer trust your ability. To avoid any other accidents, let me handle this myself.
What worried Shi Zongyue the most was that Lin Feng was always doing everything himself. From previous occurrences, the leader of the Celestial Sect of Wonders did not typically antagonize others, but if others antagonized him his reaction was more often extremely firm than otherwise.
Back at Shazhou City, everybody who sought or created trouble at the opening ceremony of the Celestial Sect of Wonders suffered horrible consequences. Lin Feng showed no mercy and captured or murdered every single one of them.
The comparatively more fortunate outcomes were but Pang Jie, Kong Chang and Zhang Hai.
Lin Feng imprisoned Zhang Hai, the butler of the House of the Marquis of Xuanji of the Great Zhou Empire. In the end, the Head Eunuch of the Great Zhou Empire Mei Wulang exchanged a great sum of resources in exchange for Zhang Hai’s safe return.
Kong Chang of the Mount Shu Sword Sect was physically devastated and his nascent sword suffered irreparable damage. When he was captured by Lin Feng, he was already on the verge of death and was eventually handed over to the Heavenly Master Sword Sect. If Kong Chang could choose his fate, he would have preferred to die quickly on the spot.
Pang Jie ended up in a similar situation as Kong Chang. He was still alive when he was captured by Lin Feng. Put bluntly, this was the result of 庞佑. The Six Appearances Sword protected Pang Jie but he was still imprisoned inside Lin Feng’s Two Elements of Creation Formation. If not for Yan Mingyue, who arrived at the scene to beg Lin Feng for mercy, Pang Jie would have ended up in the hands of Lin Feng.
Of course, not many people knew the fact that the Pang Jie at Shazhou City was just an Avatar. However, it was also because of this fact that he became a stepping stone for the returning Yan Mingyue.
Besides the three of them, everybody else who picked a fight with the Celestial Sect of Wonders suffered the most undesirable consequences.
Shi Zongyue would not have been too bothered if it had been somebody else. Even if the other party rampaged up to their front door in a fit of rage, he would just let them be as any power would be subject to his geographical advantage. His own mountain entrance was fortified and extremely formidable.
Invading someone else’s mountain entrance with anything less than a distinctly superior ability would be futile. Chances were, the invading party would suffer great loss with no conceivable progress.
The ancestral grounds of the Shi Family, let alone Xiling City of the Great Qin Empire, had existed for millennia with unshakable foundations. In typical times they were unafraid of any incoming invaders seeking trouble at their front door.
However, the Lin Feng and the Celestial Sect of Wonders was a completely different breed. The uniqueness of Mount Yujing gave them the extraordinary ability of negating their adversaries’ geographical advantage. Lin Feng could carry his own mountain along with him; all the way up to his adversaries’ front door if need be. The clashing of mountain doors would be a great disaster.
According to his own approximations, the Shi Family should not be so hot-headed and take such risky measures.
This was because the benefits were not good enough to justify the downsides. They ran the risk of angering the Celestial Sect of Wonders and the Great Qin Empire at the same time and the consequence of that was extremely severe.
Furthermore, employing such drastic measures of assassination betrayed their guilty conscience.
This guilty conscience could be compared to a thief who ran into the stolen object’s owner.
Even if they successfully murdered Xiao Budian, the losses the Shi Family would be subject to from the wrath of the Celestial Sect of Wonders and the Great Qin Empire was not something they could handle, and far exceeded their gains.
Shi Zongyue, the Vivant Joy Holy Man and the Gambling man exchanged glances and turned back towards Lin Feng. “From the way I see it, the Great Zhou Empire’s suspicion is the greatest. What do you think, Master Lin?”
Taking down the reputation of the Great Qin Empire a notch, provoking disapproval from the Great Qin Royal Family towards the Shi Family and thus causing internal conflict, and creating an enemy for them as frightening as Lin Feng.
The party with the most to gain from the outcome of events was undoubtedly the Great Zhou Empire. It did not matter whether Xiao Budian was murdered – the Great Zhou Empire would still be reaping the benefits of whatever happened. It all made logical sense.
“That’s the problem – this makes too much sense. So from every angle it seems like you’re trying to push the frame someone else.” Lin Feng laughed inside but still wore a calm expression as he continued to look at Shi Zongyue and company. He knew that the three of them would set the tone for the resolution of this incident.
The assassin that Lin Feng captured had not even been interrogated and Shi Zongyue was already prepared to push the blame to the Great Zhou Empire.
If they reached an agreement with Lin Feng, even if the Great Zhou Empire was completely uninvolved, to the outside world the responsibility and blame would become theirs to bear regardless.
It was possible that the three immortal soul cultivators understood the problem with their theory. However, it was to their infinite advantage if they could push the blame to the Great Zhou Empire right here and now.
Yet, from Lin Feng’s perspective, pushing the blame to the Great Zhou Empire was not that good an outcome at all. Put more accurately, jumping to conclusions was of no benefit to him. Handling the incident himself was the best way to maximise the outcome and maintain his autonomy.
At the same tie, Lin Feng truly wanted to investigate the matter and get to the bottom of it. The other party had the audacity to assault one of his direct disciples – this violated his fundamental principles. He would never let it go just like that.
“The Great Zhou Empire is indeed a suspect. But this conclusion is too early to make.” Lin Feng yet again replied with an expressionless look, “I will personally interrogate these people with care. If I find anything I will definitely let the three of you know.”
He turned to look at Xiao Budian. “The most important question is, my disciple being ambushed and assassinated by a number of perpetrators…”
Lin Feng paused. Xiao Budian immediately understood his master’s intentions and his round black eyes sparkled with mischievous playfulness. A look of intense pain flashed across his face as he walked up to his master and tugged on his sleeve while he complained piteously, “Master, I have been injured and its hurts like crazy!”