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Book 6 Chapter 22 - Very Nigh

Immortal Devil Transformation
     Many people already knew that Lin Xi was going to have his official rank stripped even before Zhou Nianshan set off from Deereast City. However, after Swallow Descent Town’s dam burst, almost everyone knew that even if this document was sent out and Lin Xi arrested, a few days later, Lin Xi might not only be restored to his official post, he would rise up even higher.

    With the collapse of the river dam, this not only meant that his deduction was spot on, it also proved that the supervision of Swallow Descent Town Trade Sector officials was improper.

    Transferring over the Enforcer and Warden Office’s people, having Jiang Wenhe transfer over the garrison army, using the storehouse’s silver, these all became trifling details, giving up small things to save bigger matters.

    The three prison rooms that burned down didn’t result in any escaped or injured convicts either, compared to the thousands of mines and a huge field area, it could long be overlooked.

    During Silver Hook Lane’s case, Lin Xi’s performance was already astonishing enough. Together with this case… most of the officials who were paying attention to Lin Xi were already only waiting, waiting to see just what kind of reward he would receive.

    The collapse of the river dam even affected the merchant ships of two great merchant companies, many people dying, even more so many of Swallow Descent Town’s officials passing away… This type of extremely great case, news regarding it would definitely travel even faster. Together with Lin Xi’s Government Sector punishment document already being sent out, even the document involving Li Xiping drafted up, prepared to be sent out, the management of this case definitely needed to be done even more quickly and efficiently.

    Yunqin was established through martial might, ruled through laws. None of the documents released within the royal court’s various sectors were small matters.

    To depose an official who instead achieved great merit, even if they immediately released documents to correct it after the punishment, the process would definitely be mocked by the people, mocked by the officials of other provinces for a long time, to the extent where it might even bring back serious attacks and accusations of misconduct.

    Right now, the inside of Deer Seeking Prefecture Magistrate Manor was brightly lit precisely because of this matter.

    As early as when he was going through Green Luan Academy’s booklet, Lin Xi was already aware that the royal court system established by Yunqin’s late emperor and Principal Zhang was substantially different from any of the historical eras he was familiar with.

    In the entire massive Yunqin Empire, aside from Central Continent Imperial City, there were a total of thirty-four provinces.

    Underneath the thirty-four provinces, there were ‘prefecture’, ‘city’, and ‘town’ arrangements. The various sectors’ officials, according to their rank and range of jurisdiction, were scattered in various levels of government office. The different sectors had different responsibilities. Underneath the provincial level, the highest level senior officer Town Supervisor, City Supervisor, or Prefectural Magistrate had the most authority. This made it so that the order from higher up down was smooth and clear.

    This ‘prefectural’ installation was a bit special. If there were military strategic locations, then it would be three cities per prefecture, but if there weren’t any of these military strategic locations, then it would be five cities per prefecture. Back then, Lin Xi’s commentary on this was that this should be because Principal Zhang wanted to preserve administrative efficiency, allowing Yunqin’s royal court system to penetrate deeply into the local areas, but at the same time not to make the administrative structure become too bloated.

    Deer Seeking Prefecture was precisely in charge of Deereast, Truth Seeking, and three other cities. The Prefectural Magistrate Bai Yulou had a Martial Sector background, minor fourth rank.

    Right now,several officials dressed in official uniforms sat inside the Prefecture Magistrate Manor’s governing hall. The Prefectural Magistrate still hadn’t arrived yet, the one who was in charge of matters right now was a thirty something year old individual with a serious expression, precisely Government Sector’s major fifth rank Yunqin Statesman Liu Xueqing who, despite not serving for that long, was already well-known for his wide learning and retentive memory.

    “This matter is without a doubt Swallow Descent Town Trade Cector’s mismanagement, Town Supervisor He Zijing suffering the consequences of his own actions. We must quickly bring order out of chaos, or else the entire world will mock us, saying that we are muddle-headed.”

    Liu Xueqing’s voice was clear, extremely decisive. “Lin Xi has no regard for his own reputation, his way of dealing with matters decisive, establishing this great service, it is enough to award a promotion!”

    “If it wasn’t for Lin Xi’s persistence, ignoring East Port Town, just Swallow Descent Town might have casualties numbering over a thousand. This type of contribution is already sufficiently great.”

    “Establishing merit doesn’t have anything to do with age. This type of great achievement indeed deserves a promotion.”

    The two officials at his side both nodded their heads one after the other.

    “I think it is worth discussing.” At this time, the Prefectural Military Commander Hong Shenwu instead frowned, saying coldly, “The timing of this dam burst is just a bit too much of a coincidence. Why didn’t it collapse at any other time, instead perfectly when Lin Xi had a disagreement with He Zijing?”

    Hong Shenwu, even though he was also major fifth rank, he was still the highest senior officer of this prefecture’s Martial Sector, he grasped great military might. When they heard his words, the atmosphere in the entire room immediately became tense, becoming momentarily silent, not even the sounds of coughing audible.

    Liu Xueqing’s brows also furrowed. He suddenly turned around, looking at this square-faced, outwardly imposing military officer, saying with a sunken voice, “Sir, what is the meaning behind your words?”

    Hong Shenwu gave Liu Xueqing a calm look, saying, “According to what I know, at that time, when He Zijing and the others examined the dam, Lin Xi was also on the dam…”

    “What?”

    When Liu Xueqing heard these words, the veins on his forehead immediately began to jump, his blood surging to his face. He fiercely slammed the chair, standing up.

    Pa!

    This chair was directly sent into the ground.

    Originally, the other officials all heard the implied opposition behind Hong Shenwu’s words, the atmosphere became extremely tense. Right now, when Liu Xueqing slammed his chair, the brows of the other officials immediately jumped!

    No one expected Liu Xueqing to actually immediately erupt into a violent rage.

    “Hong Shenwu! Normally, I respect you for your contributions to Yunqin, but I never expected you to be this shameless today!” Liu Xueqing’s fierce shout rang through the entire great hall. “Lin Xi’s performance is something anyone could see with their own eyes, yet you still say these words right now, could it be that you are saying that the dam is something he would purposely destroy? I really am suspecting just how many benefits you are receiving in secret!”

    “Hm?”

    Hong Shenwu’s eyes narrowed, also standing up, coldly looking at the vicious berating Liu Xueqing. “Sir Liu, please watch your words and bearing. I am merely stating facts, yet you have this type of attitude. Could it be that no one is allowed to have opposing opinions in the royal court, could it be that you want to threaten this official?”

    In the military, all those who were major seventh rank or higher were basically cultivators, only able to establish great achievements by fighting through life and death. Hong Shenwu was also like this, even though his face was normally calm without much viciousness, right now, when his eyes narrowed, a wave of cold intent rushing out, the other officials immediately sensed a wave of bone penetrating coldness, feeling as if they were suddenly thrown into a world with a mountain of corpses and a sea of blood.

    However, who would have imagined that Liu Xueqing would only erupt into further fury. With a raise of his hand, he directly sent a cup of tea at Hong Shenwu. “Hong Shenwu! It is precisely because of people like you that the river dams will collapse, that so many fields will be destroyed, that so many people die!”

    “Pa!” A shattering sound rang through the room. Hong Shenwu never expected Liu Xueqing to actually be this daring. He smashed apart the teacup, but quite a bit of tea water landed on his body. He immediately erupted into rage. “Liu Xueqing, I will definitely report your actions to the higher ups!”

    “Sure! Report me then!”

    Liu Xueqing moved his hands in fury, saying, “If Lin Xi isn’t awarded for this matter, I will personally resign from this post! Servings as an official together with people like you really makes me less than a dog!”

    “You!”

    Hong Shenwu was so angry he instead laughed. Liu Xueqing’s final words, even though they sounded like he was talking about himself, it was undoubtedly calling Hong Shenwu a dog official. “Only knowing how to cause trouble without reason, easily resigning from office, what proof do you have that Lin Xi didn’t touch the dam?”

    Upon seeing Hong Shenwu and Liu Xueqing, the two already about to fight until the point where they wouldn’t end until someone got hurt, the other officials all kept quiet out of fear, momentarily not daring to speak out.

    Precisely at this moment, footsteps sounded in this government hall. The forty something year old, face white like jade, scholar-like Deer Seeking Prefecture Bai Yulou walked in.

    “Sir Bai!”

    Apart from the angrily glaring Liu Xueqing and Hong Shenwu, the others immediately greeted out respectfully, all of them standing up and bowing.

    “The two of you hollering like this in the hall, what are you trying to start? I could hear you even far outside!”

    Bai Yulou’s face was completely expressionless, coldly giving Liu Xueqing and Hong Shenwu a look. After criticizing them, his eyes then stopped over Hong Shenwu’s body. “Commander Hong, you are suspecting that Lin Xi has done something to the great dam?”

    Hong Shenwu bowed slightly, nodding and saying, “The dam collapse happened after Lin Xi left, He Zijing and the others suffered a disaster, this matter is too much of a coincidence.”

    Liu Xueqing’s face immediately flushed red again, but Bai Yulou instead already coldly spoke. “Just a coincidence, yet you dare doubt him without reason?”

    When they heard Bai Yulou’s words, Liu Xueqing and the others were shaken, hearing a different feeling behind his words.

    Hong Shenwu’s expression sunk, his eyes immediately narrowing.

    “I wish to ask Commander Hong, if you were given a river dam, could you time the collapse whenever you wanted, making sure that it won’t collapse when you are there, but rather make it collapse when your enemies are there?”

    Bai Yulou looked at him coldly, continuing to speak coldly.

    Hong Shenwu’s face turned slightly pale, momentarily unable to retort.

    “He received news in the middle of a rainy night, and then he headed straight to the river dam, taking responsibility outside his own realm of jurisdiction, he ran all around day and night.”

    “He doesn’t hold a position in Swallow Descent Town, yet he still rushed there to ask for assistance from the town, still heading to the dam after being rejected, ultimately evacuating close to three thousand villagers.”

    “When the dam collapsed, two ships crashed, landslides crashing down from above, rubble falling like rain, yet he rushed in without any thought for personal safety, saving more than a hundred of the close to two hundred that fell into the river!”

    Bai Yulou’s face was still without any expression, only speaking these things one after another, his tone becoming more and more cold and severe. “With this type of performance, would anyone still doubt his character? Hong Shenwu, according to your intentions, he is still putting on a play and acting in a false manner, then how about you act without any regard for your military rank, in disregard for your own life, show us this type of fraud play before everyone’s eyes?”

    Hong Shenwu never expected Bai Yulou to actually speak words that were harsh to this level, blood also immediately rushing to his face. He roared out with a low voice, “Sir Bai, could it be that your intentions are that as a Yunqin soldier, when I fought on the battlefield, I would scheme about rank, that I would treasure my own life above all?”

    “You cannot retort, which is why you are twisting words and forcing logic at this time.” Bai Yulou stared coldly at Hong Shenwu, speaking with a bit of mockery. “As a Yunqin soldier, could it be that you’ll definitely not care about your own life and death? I was informed that there were Swallow Descent Town military officers present, yet when the two ships crashed, Lin Xi rushed out, even a young Trade Sector Construction Supervisor who just happened to be there rushed out, yet that military official instead turned around and ran to who knew where, scared out of his wits.”

    After a slight pause, Bai Yulou looked at Hong Shenwu, saying with an even colder voice, “Dragon Snake’s front line is currently under pressure, if you want to prove that you don’t carry any selfish intent towards Lin Xi in this manner, wishing to prove your character and fearless loyalty, then you can head there. If I don’t recall correctly, not a single one of your military contributions were accumulated from the truly dangerous front lines.”

    “Bai Yulou, what are you trying to say?” Hong Shenwu laughed out of extreme anger. “You wish to use this as a pretense to transfer me to Dragon Snake’s front lines?”

    Bai Yulou didn’t evade his blade-like eyes, coldly nodding and saying, “This is precisely my intention.”

    “Good! Very good! Don’t think that just because you are a rank higher than me that you can do whatever you wish to me. I’ll be waiting!”

    Hong Shenwu laughed in an extremely cold manner. After saying this, he directly stormed off in a huff.

    “Sir Bai, your actions today really are to the satisfaction of everyone.” Liu Xueqing released a loud cry of joy, showing Bai Yulou another bow of respect.

    “Sir Liu, you are an excellent talent to this empire’s governing, but you must watch your tone and temper when speaking. This year, you have already taken in the nickname of ‘crazy student’. Even if you don’t mind, you should understand that when you are sitting on your position, you can do many things for others, but if you die, not only would it be a misfortune for you, it is a great loss for our Yunqin as well.” Bao Yulou gave Liu Xueqing a look, and then said, “Everything is for Yunqin, for honor and glory.”

    Liu Xueqing once again bowed and admitted his wrongs, but at the same time felt inwardly puzzled along with the other people here. It was because they understood that Bai Yulou was someone who was honest and just extremely clearly, but just like the words Bai Yulou just said to Liu Xueqing, Bai Yulou was originally always part of the lower profile faction. This faction and the unbending Imperial Censor were entirely different, they always judged the hour and sized up the situation. If they couldn’t force something, then they would just momentarily choose to endure it, first protect themselves before slowly recovering.

    They also clearly understood that even though the relationship between Bai Yulou and Hong Shenwu wasn’t that good normally, Hong Shenwu’s connection with the Martial Sector was tangled and complicated, his way of doing things also more reserved, his slow scheming leaving Bai Yulou normally full of apprehension.

    However today, even though the way Bai Yulou criticized Liu Xueqing was according to his own view of conduct as an official, his actions were the exact opposite, directly forcing Hong Shenwu to that state.

    “Sir, how should we handle that Lin Xi’s matters?” Liu Xueqing walked the path of the Imperial Censor, even though he admitted his wrongs, he immediately straightened his body, looking at Bai Yulou and asking this.

    “The previous ways of handling matters was unjust, Deereast City’s document hasn’t been declared yet, so the Ministry of Appointments will naturally nullify it.” Bai Yulou gave everyone here a look. “Lin Xi’s great contributions, in terms of merit, are at least enough to make an exception and grant two ranks of promotion, reaching minor eighth rank. Swallow Descent Town is currently without a leader, the disaster-stricken people need management urgently, so let’s have Lin Xi act as Substitute Town Supervisor for now. Liu Xueqing, what do you think?”

    Liu Xueqing’s brows jumped slightly, saying, “According to merit, it is enough, but his age is too young. He was just given an exception and promoted, if he is promoted two levels again, it still doesn’t seem reasonable. Slowly sharpening himself will bring him benefits. Let’s give him one rank of promotion, and then first award a medal, recording this contribution. That way, when he earns some achievements in his new position, we can grant him a promotion then.”

    “Alright, we’ll just promote that Lin Xi to major ninth rank, award him the Radiance Medal, have him take the place of Swallow Descent Town’s Town Supervisor. East Port Town’s Substitute Town Supervisor Jiang Wenhe’s performance has been good, so he will officially rise up to Town Supervisor level. Favor Ancient Town’s Trade Sector Construction Supervisor Jiang Xiaoyi will also be promoted a rank.” Bai Yulou gestured with his hand. “The award document will be sent out before everything else, released the same night!” [1]

    


    1. Lin Xi has now received the Radiance Medal and Bravery and Loyalty medal. This means he now has two medals, one from the emperor, and this new one from Justice Sector, which, according to B4C30, means that if he commits some offense, the local area won’t have the authority to judge him. At the very least, he has to be escorted to a provincial Judicial Sector branch for a decision to be reached.