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Book 6 Chapter 17 - Deciding Victory and Defea

Immortal Devil Transformation
     On the hill, the sounds of sobbing became even more heavy.

    Chen Haozhi and Chen Family’s people hurried over when they heard the news, many people from Mulberry Elm Circle also rushed over.

    The mud-covered Jiang Xiaoyi also rushed over.

    “You really won’t go back?”

    Jiang Xiaoyi looked at the place where many of Mulberry Elm Circle’s people gathered, looking at Lin Xi who was slowly drinking a bowl of hot congee, asking out of worry.

    Lin Xi shook his head. He looked at Jiang Xiaoyi and said, “Chen Family’s people wish to complete the elder’s final wishes, so they discussed things with the villagers here, deciding to bury the elder on the hill where the dam is visible. I also want to help accomplish his cherished desire, so I will watch over him here.”

    After a slight pause, Lin Xi’s head sunk slightly, taking another sip of the hot congee, and then he said in a soft voice, “Also, I am worried that if I leave, if something unexpected happens here… with so many people here, I still have to solve the issue of food and drink. Also, if I leave, giving them the feeling that I don’t care anymore, or that I cannot do anything, they might be unable to resist their urge to return early.”

    Jiang Xiaoyi opened his mouth, but couldn’t say anything in opposition. He only sat down next to Lin Xi.

    Lin Xi fetched a bowl of congee from the pot next to Jiang Xiaoyi. When he saw that Jiang Xiaoyi’s hands were continuously trembling while holding the rough bowl, about to scatter the congee out, he couldn’t help but look at Jiang Xiaoyi’s hands out of curiosity. “Why are you like this?”

    Jiang Xiaoyi did his best to control his arms that refused to listen to him, bringing the congee to his mouth, drinking a mouthful, and then he explained, “After striking stakes with a hammer all night, my entire body was shaken until it has become weak.”

    Lin Xi said, “This is good for cultivation.”

    Jiang Xiaoyi gave Lin Xi a look, saying, “I know… where can’t we cultivate?”

    Both of them began to laugh.

    Even though their moods were heavy because of Chen Yangzhi’s death, the two youngsters were still smiling.

    …

    News went out one after another.

    All of Deereast City’s officials, even before the final verdict over East Port Town Silver Hook Lane case’s criminals, before some true activity began, immediately heard about some great events that took place in East Port and Swallow Descent one after another.

    It was Lin Xi again!

    The Judicial Sector official Lin Xi interfered with Trade Sector’s matters, actually transferring silver from the warehouse, using the garrisoned troops to reinforce the dam.

    Not only did this take place in East Port, he even ran all the way to Swallow Descent Town, evacuating the close to three thousand people from behind Swallow Descent Town to higher ground.

    He transferred quite a few individuals from the Enforcer and Warden Office to watch over the reinforcement of the dam, but the Warden Office under his care actually caught on fire during the day. Even though no prisoners were harmed, three prison houses were burned down.

    He was only a Town Police official in charge of capturing and locking up convicts, yet he went to manage the dam. Meanwhile, he didn’t properly manage his own matters.

    Moreover, did anything even happen by the river dam?

    There was absolutely nothing!

    Even Swallow Descent Town’s Trade Sector official said there were no issues after investigating the site.

    However, it was rumored that even after Lin Xi learned that the Warden Office caught on fire, he actually still remained on the hill where the civilians had evacuated to, not returning to East Port Town to take a look.

    Just what exactly did he want to do?

    He really was spreading himself too thin, undisciplined and out of control.

    When news of this spread through the various towns under Deereast City, most of the officials only developed this thought. This Lin Xi who had just been given an exception and was promoted, going from major tenth rank to minor ninth rank, definitely bit off more than he could chew.

    “He let his emotions affect his decisions, unable to realize what is important. His age is still too young, he has this type of disadvantage.”

    Even many officials who felt admiration and liked Lin Xi because of Silver Hook Lane’s case felt like Lin Xi was unreasonable this time, their view of Lin Xi’s decision-making dropping greatly.

    They didn’t hear Chen Yangzhi’s shouts, nor did they personally see the water situation on the dam, they only heard the rumors beings spread by the officials along the way, thinking that since the dam was fine, why was Lin Xi so obstinate and self-opinionated, letting his emotions affect his decisions.

    Yunqin didn’t lack geniuses, the military especially had who knew how many formidable figures. However, the more obstinate and self-opinionated they were, the more they let their emotions affect their decision, the higher the chance that they would encounter disaster.

    …

    East Port Town, Substitute Town Supervisor Jiang Wenhe called in sick again.

    This time, he really was sick, because his condition was always not very good. Together with an entire night of wind and cold, early in the morning, he already couldn’t hold on, breaking out into a fever.

    However, Jiang Wenhe who was trembling while wrapped in blankets continuously thought to himself, finally thinking things through, feeling like the current situation was something he just had to resign himself to. He already did everything, if he reached out his head, he would take a blade, if he retracted his head, the blade would still come. Reporting in sick and not showing up instead brought him some peace, not needing to constantly hear about the rumors and endless apprehension outside.

    Pa!

    Inside Deereast City Supervisor Manor, Li Xiping slammed his desk heavily, two red candles’ flames continuously flickering from the wind, almost about to go out.

    Tie Hanqing just happened to walk in at this time, placing a document before Li Xiping. Then, he couldn’t help but inwardly shake his head, wondering why that youngster would actually do this?

    “He is still on Swallow Descent Town’s hill?”

    When he saw the document that Tie Hanqing gave him, Li Xiping took a deep breath, but his complexion became a bit gloomier. After remaining silent for several breaths of time, he coldly said, “Tie Hanqing, help me report to the higher ups, have Sir Wang from the Trade Sector come over to investigate this situation clearly.”

    “Invite Sir Wang?” Tie Hanqing hesitated a bit.

    Li Xiping knew why this old subordinate of his would feel hesitation. He narrowed his eyes slightly, saying, “I’ve met Lin Xi, you’ve met Lin Xi in East Port Town as well. Do you feel like he is the type to let emotions affect his decisions, unable to discern between good or bad?”

    Tie Hanqing thought back to this calm youngster’s figure, shaking his head and said, “It doesn’t seem likely.”

    Li Xiping patted the table again, saying angrily, “That is why there is definitely something wrong with this dam! Swallow Descent Town’s Trade Sector fella said there’s no issues, unable to see any problems, so we’ll have a more formidable figure from Trade Sector head over, have Sir Wang who specializes in blockage and dam construction take a look!”

    “This is the only way.” Tie Hanqing said with a bitter smile.

    He also understood the nature of this old high ranked official extremely clearly, moreover, he knew that because of Silver Hook Lane’s case, there were definitely many people who were dissatisfied with Li Xiping.

    Right now, Lin Xi’s actions definitely involved him as well. Because of the shifting of funds from the silver warehouse and interfering with the governing of another town, as well as the even more severe ‘confusing the civilians’ crime, right now, it wasn’t something Li Xiping could control. The only way they could help Lin Xi and themselves, was to prove that there really was a problem with the dam, that Lin Xi’s way of handling this affair was indeed suitable.

    However, Tie Hanqing understood extremely clearly that even if it was inside Deereast City, their actions would still receive the intentional suppression of some higher ranked officials, let alone when it really did reach a higher level. Now that their request was brought up, the officials above might not agree to have Sir Wang who has great authority in dam manufacturing head down. Even if they did agree, they could also deliberately delay it, using some methods so that even if Sir Wang came, orders to demote Lin Xi and Li Xiping would have already gone out, the conclusion already reached.

    …

    Inside of East Port Town’s inn, the fat merchant who was used to wiping his hands on his sleeves had a huge smile on his face as he ate a bowl of chili oil noodles with fatty meat.

    He ate slowly and patiently, not in a rush at all.

    It was because he felt that in some matters… especially assassination, the best part was the process.

    Wei Xianwu always found this part of him extremely strange, but he instead felt like this martial idiot-like Wei Xianwu really had no sense of artistic taste.

    The moment a life was taken, when the blade moved, blood splashed out, and then the opponent fell, what was so interesting about this? What was interesting, was naturally the process of killing the other party.

    “Since you aren’t coming back even after burning down your Warden Office… this should be enough to strip you of your official rank, right?”

    After carefully finishing this large bowl of chili oil noodles, this fat merchant began to slowly sip on a pot of tea.

    “What kind of fun things should I do next?” He had a pensive look on his face while drawing with his tea water covered finger on the table.

    …

    In the evening, Breath River became covered in dark clouds again.

    Then, it began to rain.

    It was another night of rain, only stopping at dusk the second day.

    Then, that night, there was a bit of rain as well, only early in the morning did it gradually lessen, the weather starting to improve.

    It was close to midday the third day. Lin Xi and Jiang Xiaoyi stood on this dam.

    Because of Chen Yangzhi’s death and because of Fourth Grandpa Zhu, Xu Sheng, and others’ help, there were no issues with food on this hill, the villagers not really panicking, so Lin Xi and Jiang Xiaoyi were also rather at ease. They carried the ‘where can’t you cultivate mentality’, the two had Xu Sheng bring over the Black Sturgeon and Ironhead Dogfish, their eating rather full and satisfied during these three days.

    Right now, the dam below their feet was still fine, but the longer this continued, the more Lin Xi believed that what Elder Chen Yangzhi said didn’t have any issues.

    Even the elder’s prediction that the rain would stop today, was spot on.

    Meanwhile, when two individuals went to investigate, the water level was indeed like what the elder said, increasing another notch.

    Right now, as long as the two of them laid on the dam top, they could touch the water with their hands.

    That was why just like what the elder said, even though the weather will become much more bright and sunny, at the very least, in the following two days, before the water level declined, there might be issues with the dam at any time.

    “There are two more days. After two days, there shouldn’t be any more issues. The next time there’ll be this type of Rise of the River Dragon King weather, it will be something that’ll happen many years from now.” Lin Xi looked at the rocking river water in front of him, and then turned around to look at Jiang Xiaoyi.

    Jiang Xiaoyi nodded, saying, “My time off has ended, I need to be back the day after tomorrow.”

    “Got it.” Lin Xi nodded. His brows furrowed slightly, recalling some things.

    Even though he didn’t go back these two days, the Warden Office catching fire was something he had Du Weiqing and others help him investigate, the conclusion they received was that it was eighty to ninety percent man-made. It was because there wasn’t any inflammable material in the prison room, and according to the confessions of some prisoners, the flames seemed to have originated from the roof. Not long after the torrential rain stopped, there should have been someone who purposely set fire to these buildings. Only, back then, there weren’t many bystanders, no one seeing the scene when the fire began, so it was extremely difficult to investigate.

    Meanwhile, there was another piece of information that was outside of his expectations. Wei Xianwu was transferred to the border army. Originally, in his opinion, Wei Xianwu had a high chance of doing some things that overstepped the bounds of what was right and proper, but according to the information Du Weiqing and the others previously sent over, Wei Xianwu obediently followed the orders, already heading to the border army, nothing unexpected happening.

    Hm?

    Right at this time, Lin Xi raised his head, because Jiang Xiaoyi tugged at the corners of his clothes.

    At the top of the river dam, he saw He Zijing, Kuang Xiuxian, and a large group of Swallow Descent officials walking onto the dam. After examining the dam’s situation a bit, He Zijing didn’t pay him or Jiang Xiaoyi any attention, descending the river dam, heading towards the hill where the villagers residing behind the dam were.

    He Zijing knew that victory and defeat were already decided.

    It was because even though the Ministry of Appointments’ official documents haven’t arrived yet, he already knew that many officials at the provincial level, because of Lin Xi’s ‘letting his emotions affect his decisions, usurping power without permission, shifting public funds, and ‘confusing the people’, were shaken up. As for his negligence in fulfilling his duty and the Warden Office catching fire, it was already only a small matter. The order for how Lin Xi was to be dealt with was already set, all of Lin Xi’s official rank was going to be stripped, he was to be relegated to a normal civilian.

    …

    According to normal reasoning, an official like Lin Xi wasn’t enough to involve some provincial level officials, but since there was already Imperial Censor Jiang’s impeachment and Silver Hook Lane Case’s nastiness, this time, there were people who reported past City Supervisor Li Xiping, some people accusing Li Xiping of acting out of personal feelings, which was why the matters pertaining to this minor ninth rank official Lin Xi involved some officials at the provincial level.

    Once provincial level matters were involved, together with some special inquiries by people who had different intentions, the spread of information was a bit faster than normal.

    Right now, Liu Ziyu was sitting in a bright and clean hall, reading a small scroll in his hands. An indescribable cold and gloomy joy appeared on his face.

    “Lin Xi, it seems like you really are still just as complacent as before. Do you think this royal court is just like Green Luan Academy?”

    “A bumpkin like you, just some random ideas are enough to press you down to the point where you can never turn. It is just a pity that I cannot see it for myself. It hasn’t been long since you have been promoted, yet in the end, you are going to have all of your official rank stripped, I really wonder just how dazzling the expression on your face will be.”

    In front of a barracks granary, a silver-armored Gao Yanan had just completed an escort for army provisions. She just opened a small scroll she received, but after just giving it a look, her face immediately revealed a bit of a distressed and worried expression. “What am I going to do with you, first having an exception made and promoted, then having a demotion case, just refusing to let others feel at ease…”

    After muttering this to herself, this tall and slender young lady even more so furrowed her brows, thinking to herself. She had just written a letter to Lin Xi yesterday, sending it to East Port Town. If Lin Xi was already gone from East Port Town by the time it arrived, then her letter wouldn’t be able to enter his hands.

    …

    He Zijing walked between the fields.

    He examined some of the farm crops. Shang Yin, some other Martial Sector and Internal Affairs Sector officials followed behind him.

    When he saw Lin Xi and Jiang Xiaoyi from the corners of his eyes, his figure on the fields straightened, turning around to look at this loser, saying with mockery, “Don’t worry, you can continue to cause trouble. I am only here to see if any of those villagers on the hill have illnesses, to avoid spreading them.”

    Lin Xi’s brows jumped, remaining silent.

    “According to normal speed, after two days, the Ministry of Appointments’ document removing you from office should arrive.” He Zijing instead continued to speak coldly. “At that time, even if you want to continue messing around, I can still seize you and send you into the Warden Prison.”

    “Even if you are a cultivator,” After a slight pause, He Zijing used an emphasizing tone, coldly saying, “Yunqin’s army never lacked cultivators, nor have they ever feared cultivators.”

    Jiang Xiaoyi’s heart sunk.

    However, Lin Xi only furrowed his brows, saying coldly, “In that case, then don’t let those people on the hill return during these two days. You can just happily wait in your Town Supervisor Manor for the document to arrive at East Port Town.”

    “Truly impudent!”

    He Zijing released a cold shout, and then forcefully swung his sleeves, not saying anything else.

    This place became momentarily silent. He Zijing’s vicious shout was something many officials on the dam heard clearly.

    After squatting down and examining the dam for a bit, Kuang Xiuxian who didn’t see any clear cracks got back up, a bit out of breath. When he heard this line of He Zijing criticizing Lin Xi, his fat face was covered in a strong smile of mockery. He looked at Lin Xi, shouting loudly from the distance in mockery, “Sir Lin, with this dam being this stable, how can it possibly burst?”

    While speaking out in mockery, he even forcefully stomped down on the river dam, all of his body’s fat moving about.

    However, the river dam was still steady.

    Lin Xi’s brows furrowed even more tightly.

    When he saw Lin Xi become even more unhappy, Kuang Xiuxian and the others’ sneers became even louder.

    An official on the dam heard the sound of a distant ship.

    He turned around, seeing three large freight ships break away from the sailboats on the calm and bright river surface, moving over.

    “What an imposing style!”

    This official looked at the three imposing large ships, releasing a cry of praise.

    Of the three large ships which carried who knew how many thousands of jin of goods, one of them had the symbol of Thriving Prosperity, two of them having the symbols of Fortune Memory.

    Fortune Memory was also a great merchant company that competed with Thriving Prosperity to be the largest merchant company. Aside from tung oil, they also engaged in the wood business.

    The three large ships were indeed extremely imposing, as if three giant palaces were moving on the water surface. The fishing boats and small merchant ships really seemed extremely insignificant in comparison.

    Water moving sounds could be heard.

    The riverside weeds gently swayed.

    This official suddenly felt like the ground was a bit unstable.

    Kuang Xiuxian next to him already no longer stomped his feet.

    Suddenly, he reacted, realizing that what was shaking wasn’t the ground, but rather the dam below him.

    Ka…

    As soon as his expression just began to change slightly, Kuang Xiuxian just turned around, feeling like things were a bit strange, there was a loud noise that sounded on many parts of the dam, as if massive boulders were grinding against each other, splitting apart.

    This noise was something even the people on the hill heard clearly.

    Lin Xi and Jiang Xiaoyi suddenly turned around, looking towards the river dam.

    At this instant, they saw that several sections of the dam were as brittle as paper, breaking. The calm river water immediately became like a powerful group of charging horses.

    He Zijing, Shang Yin and the others were completely stupefied, their heads going blank.

    Dam burst! The river dam actually really did burst!

    In that instant, everyone saw Kuang Xiuxian and others were like insignificant ants, instantly submerged.