Someone wearing a steward’s uniform walked over. There were a few Refining Qi stage third layer cultivators following behind him, and these cultivators were all glaring at them with grim and ruthless faces.
These people don’t have good intentions, Lin Xuanzhi thought.
Steward Zhang’s glance swept over Lin Xuanzhi, then he said in a cold manner, “Xuanzhi young master, come with us ba.”
Yan Tianhen stood in front of Lin Xuanzhi and glared at Steward Zhang as he said, “Where are you guys bringing him? What are you here for?”
Steward Zhang put on a smile that didn’t reach his eyes and said, “Xuanzhi young master really is an eminent person with poor memory. You had brutally murdered a Lin family servant at the Lin residence’s main gate a few days ago, don’t tell me you forgot about that? Even if you did, there are others who would never forget.”
Yan Tianhen’s pair of mountain brows1 furrowed together tightly, then he said, “That servant had obviously insulted my Dage first which is why my Dage taught him a lesson. And at that time, Lin Zhantian had already made his judgment for that incident — it was perfectly reasonable for my Dage to kill him!”
“So what you’re saying is, it really was Xuanzhi young master who made the move?” Steward Zhang narrowed his eyes, then pinched his goatee and laughed coldly, “Since that’s the case, then you must come with us, or else, I can only invite Xuanzhi young master on behalf of Madam Bai.”
Yan Tianhen put on a puzzled look on his face, how is Madam Bai involved in this?
Madam Bai came from the Middle Continent’s influential Bai family. The Bai family is a renowned craftsmen family within the Five Continents; countless cultivators, sects and families are at their mercy.
Even though Madam Bai only belonged to a side branch of the Bai family, her crafting level ability is one of the best in the whole of Qing city, also, craftsmen are extremely rare in the first place. Hence, ever since Madam Bai married into the Lin family, she had always held an extraordinarily special status within the Lin family.
It’s just that, Madam Bai’s husband — Lin Zhan’s elder brother Lin Xun — had pa.s.sed away 17 years ago in the Battle of Qing City, thus Madam Bai had begun her life as a widow and within a few months, she actually gave birth to a child.
That child was a boy, Lin Xun’s father held his face and wept as he said that it was because Lin Xun had acc.u.mulated much merit in his life that he finally received a favour from the heavens and managed to leave behind a successor.
With this layer of relationship, coupled with her relatively talented son Lin Zezhi, Madam Bai’s status within the Lin family went up a notch.
But for some reason, Madam Bai had never looked upon Lin Xuanzhi favourably and always showed him a black face, as if she was looking at something dirty.
Lin Xuanzhi naturally wouldn’t bother with a widowed woman, so he never took it to heart.
However, the Lin Xuanzhi today would definitely not leave her be anymore.
Lin Xuanzhi rested his hands on Yan Tianhen’s shoulders and said, “Ah Hen, since Aunt is calling us over, let’s go over and take a look ba.”
Steward Zhang nodded with satisfaction, then said, “Xuanzhi young master is smart after all. A wise man submits to his circ.u.mstances, and you are no longer the genius cultivator of the Lin family. When you’re conducting yourself, you should stay low-key when it’s time to do so, and lower your head when you have to. If you don’t have the good fortune, then you shouldn’t even eat that Five Yuan rice or something anymore. Anyway you won’t be able to live for much longer, so eating that will just be a waste, don’t you think so?”
“You……” Yan Tianhen immediately fumed and was about to rebuke him when Lin Xuanzhi hooked his hand around the crook of his arm.
“Steward Zhang’s right.” The edges of Lin Xuanzhi’s lips curved up, then he said, “Then Steward Zhang better remember what you had said clearly today.”
Lin Xuanzhi’s words made Steward Zhang narrow his eyes.
How could Steward Zhang not understand the threat behind Lin Xuanzhi’s words? But he didn’t think much of it. After all, Lin Xuanzhi is just a good-for-nothing now, and when he had just been sent back to the Lin family, the first elder of the Lin family had already looked for the best medicinal masters in Qing city to treat him.
And all of the medicinal masters had unanimously come to the same conclusion without a hint of doubt——
Within this lifetime, he could never cultivate through the martial path ever again. His cultivation would at most be maintained at the Refining Qi stage second layer, and his cultivation level would only fall but not rise, unless he’s fortunate enough to obtain a sky-level medicinal pill and recover his almost entirely shattered Dantian.
But, obtaining a sky-level medicinal pill was easier said than done.
Putting aside how all of the Lin family’s a.s.sets would not be enough to buy even just one sky-level medicinal pill, but a sky-level medicinal pill itself had not appeared on the Five Continents in the past hundred years.
Even though there was a chance to save Lin Xuanzhi, reality had already determined that his only lifeline had already been thoroughly cut off.
The Lin family naturally wouldn’t continue to waste its resources on a good-for-nothing, and even the Lin family’s earth-level first elder had given up on Lin Xuanzhi in the end.
Steward Zhang continued thinking, for the Lin family to still leave a mouthful of rice for Lin Xuanzhi was already considered an act of extreme benevolence. As for his cultivation resources, naturally it had nothing to do with him.
Steward Zhang thought again, anyway Lin Xuanzhi would at most be like how he is now, and for provoking Madam Bai today, this trip to the law enforcement hall now would cost him quite a bit. At the very least his remaining a.s.sets would definitely be thoroughly emptied.
It would be best if Lin Xuanzhi’s liver and gall gets torn in a fit of fury, then he’ll spit up a mouthful of blood and die. If that happens, everyone would be happy.
Steward Zhang thus became even more unbridled. He walked to the front with a peculiar air and played around with two longevity walnuts in his hand as he said, “I’ll have to say, Xuanzhi young master, when you used to suppress your fellow sect members in the olden days and was basking in the limelight, have you ever thought that you’d be reduced to such a plight today?”
Lin Xuanzhi said, “Do you know, how that person died?”
Steward Zhang said, “Didn’t he die because of some plot of yours?”
“He.” Lin Xuanzhi curved his lips up into a light smile, and the glint his eyes turned even colder on his elegant face, “You’ll find out very soon.”
Steward Zhang was startled by Lin Xuanzhi’s face. He inwardly cursed him for being a monster, then quickly withdrew his line of sight and refused to look at him any longer.
Lin Xuanzhi’s Dad may have looked good, but it was definitely not the kind of appearance like Lin Xuanzhi’s that would make one forget about all other ordinary mortals when you looked at him. Everyone who had seen Lin Xuanzhi’s past graceful demeanour would have definitely mulled over this thought: what kind of peerless beauty could have given birth to this kind of unordinary-looking child.
Yan Tianhen followed close behind Lin Xuanzhi, and would look up at him worriedly every once in awhile. Lin Xuanzhi held Yan Tianhen’s hand to comfort him and said, “Don’t worry, I will leave this place unharmed.”
He had already taken the hairpin off his head and hid it when Lin Xuanzhi realised that someone had entered their yard; he was afraid that it would be coveted by others if they had seen it.
From this small action, one could tell how exactly how prudent and careful Yan Tianhen is.
Yan Tianhen’s heart was pounding away furiously, he shook his head and said, “That Madam Bai had always tried to cause trouble for Daddy. Her son likes to bully me too, but last time when Daddy was around, they didn’t dare to cross the line. But now that Daddy is gone, they’ll definitely try to hit us while we’re down.”
Lin Xuanzhi rubbed Yan Tianhen’s head and said, “You silly child, with Dage around, I won’t let anyone bully you.”
Yan Tianhen anxiously said, “I’m afraid that they’ll bully Dage ah, Steward Zhang is Madam Bai’s steward. I heard from Steward Li that it was Steward Zhang who didn’t allow them to send us Five Yuan rice.”
A barely discernible cold glint flashed through Lin Xuanzhi’s eyes. He said in a warm and genial tone, “It’s ok, since he likes to dock our supply of Five Yuan rice, then I’ll let him have his fill of that same Five Yuan rice.”
Just as he finished speaking, they reached the entrance of the law enforcement hall.
The law enforcement hall is a place for the Lin family to judge right from wrong, settle conflicts and inflict punishment. As such, the law enforcement hall was built with the Lin family’s steepest mountain peak as its backdrop. It stood in stark contrast to the endlessly vast mountain wall that looked like no daylight could penetrate through it2, and its air of suppression was tremendously strong. Coupled with the law enforcement hall’s use of pitch black as its base colour throughout the entire hall, it appeared even more solemn and dignified.
Lin Xuanzhi raised his head and looked at the tablet that hung above the gigantic door of the law enforcement hall, and couldn’t help but recall what happened when he had entered the law enforcement hall in his past life.
At that time, he had just given the two tiger cubs that he had retrieved to Han Yuran. Yan Tianhen was extremely depressed because of that, so he ran to the lakeside at the back mountains to take a stroll.
But by an unfortunate coincidence, Yan Tianhen had ran into Madam Bai and the family’s third elder who were having a tryst at the back mountains.
Yan Tianhen immediately turned tail and ran with great alarm, but how could he be Madam Bai’s opponent? He hadn’t even taken a few steps when he was caught by Madam Bai.
Madam Bai was about to strike him dead with one palm to completely sever all chances of him talking. But third elder was worried, he thought that if Yan Tianhen had suddenly died without reason at the back mountains, it would definitely arouse the suspicion of many. And also, the first elder had said before that no matter what Yan Tianhen did, they needed to guarantee that his life would not be in danger.
And thus, third elder and Madam Bai conceived a plan; they collaborated to frame Yan Tianhen of stealing a precious Foundation Stage pill that had been prepared for Lin Zezhi and brought him to the law enforcement hall.
When Lin Xuanzhi finally arrived, Yan Tianhen was rolling about the floor in agony. There was a tremendous amount of multifarious Qi tumbling about within his body that was threatening to overspill; he had evidently swallowed a Foundation Stage pill that had contained a huge amount of spiritual Qi, and was thus considered to have been caught red-handed.
Even though Lin Xuanzhi had harboured some doubts, at that time he had absolutely detested Yan Tianhen and felt that Yan Tianhen was too big an embarra.s.sment for his Daddy. Also, a Foundation Stage pill was indeed precious; Lin Zezhi was at the brink of breaking through to his Foundation Stage, so this matter was of great importance. Thus, he allowed Yan Tianhen to be punished according to the Lin family’s rules.
When Yan Tianhen left the law enforcement hall, he had to be lifted out by others.
Ever since then, Yan Tianhen couldn’t speak anymore. His tongue had been ruined by some substance, so he could only let out ah ah ah sounds, but never a complete word.
It was only until several years later when Yan Tianhen fell onto the Devil’s path that he could speak again.
These world-shattering secrets were only discovered much later when Lin Xuanzhi killed the third elder and was searching through the memories of his soul consciousness.
Remorse, vexation, grief and lament were all inadequate descriptions of how he had felt at the time.
But Yan Tianhen had already died by then. Even if he scattered third elder’s soul and made it such that he could never reincarnate, it would all be for naught.
Lin Xuanzhi looked at the law enforcement hall once again, his eyes filled with gloom and desolation.
Yan Tianhen raised his head and looked at the two, opened doors of the law enforcement hall and the 100-metre-long hall pa.s.sageway and shuddered involuntarily. He said in a small voice, “Dage, do you feel like, the law enforcement hall looks like the big mouth of some monster — it looks like it’s gonna swallow us whole.”
1. Mountain brows:
2. Original idiom is “暗无天日”, which literally means that it’s so dark that it looked like there was no sunlight, and figuratively implies a world without justice↩