There was so much conclusive evidence, yet it was instead concluded as no proof.
Then even if there was proof, so what?
Even if Mu Chenyun’s own personal servant said that it was Mu Chenyun who committed the crime, it similarly couldn’t prove anything.
That was why this was already something that was decided, unrelated to proof.
There were just some things Lin Xi was still a bit unclear of. He wanted to find some quiet place to think to himself for a bit.
“Where are we going?”
Jiang Xiaoyi who was pulled out of the courtyard asked when they stepped past the wide entrance.
This upright and honest young man’s face was completely pale, his eyes vacant as he stared into the distance, his voice extremely empty.
In the distance was East Forest Province’s most bustling land. This was a great city with a population of a hundred thousand, every corner of this place filled with scholars, government officials or wealthy merchants, all of them wishing to purchase a home and establish a place of their own here, play a role in this city.
The walls were red, tiles black, alleys and temples well-known. The scene of hidden safflower trees was elegant and graceful. Well-known restaurants with fine wine and delicious food… there were who knew how many of these types of places to enjoy food from.
However, in his eyes, it was instead dull gray, as if everything lacked life force. There was no place for him to go to at all.
Lin Xi held onto Jiang Xiaoyi’s wrist, feeling that even his own body became a bit ice-cold. He took a deep breath, and then slowly said, “Let’s go for a drink.”
East Forest Province also had quite a few lotuses growing along the canals surrounding this provincial capital’s various streets and alleys.
Under the twilight’s glow, some people were praying for blessings, placing some lit lotus lamps on the canal.
Lin Xi, Jiang Xiaoyi and Bian Linghan drank in a wine shop on the side of a canal. The glasses of strong alcohol were like streaks of fire as they poured down Jiang Xiaoyi’s throat. It was already a bit difficult for him to tell which was a lotus lamp and which was a true lotus flower.
“I swear I will kill him.” He drank another cup of wine, saying with a clear and cold voice.
Lin Xi understood the pain Jiang Xiaoyi was feeling inside. He opened his mouth, wishing to say something, but right at this time, he instead suddenly turned around.
An individual whose face was cold like iron, dressed in civilian clothes, pushed aside the curtains and walked in.
He was precisely the Judicial Sector major third rank Superintendent Xiao Tieleng who brought Lin Xi and the others to see Mu Chenyun.
“You cannot kill him.” Xiao Tieleng looked at Lin Xi, Bian Linghan and Jiang Xiaoyi, saying this coldly.
Lin Xi raised his head. He lowered the wine cup in his hands and looked at this man whose face was cold like iron, calmly asking, “Are Sir Xiao’s words a reminder or a warning?”
Xiao Tieleng’s brows jumped slightly. He looked at the calm Lin Xi, the inwardly resentful Bian Linghan and Jiang Xiaoyi whose face was gradually becoming tough and grave, saying with a light sigh, “I do not have my uniform on right now.”
“Then it is just a reminder.” Lin Xi bowed slightly in respect. “Please have a seat, Sir Xiao.”
Xiao Tieleng quietly sat down before a low table next to him.
Bian Linghan and Jiang Xiaoyi’s eyes landed on Lin Xi, not knowing why Lin Xi was this calm, having this type of attitude towards this Judicial Sector official. However, Lin Xi instead already calmly looked at Xiao Tieleng, saying, “I have always been thinking about some things. Now that sir has arrived, perhaps you can help me sort out some of my thoughts.”
Xiao Tieleng remained silent, not immediately replying.
Lin Xi continued, “If there are those from higher up who wish to suppress this matter, according to normal reasoning, there should be no reason for the three of us to come and have questions asked or make any recordings. The best way is precisely to use the stalling and delaying tactics the royal court is best at, using time to drag on some truth and influences until all of it disappears without a trace, until few people are still concerned about it. The one who is deliberately suppressing this matter should also be clear on what I have done in East Port Town and Swallow Descent Town, knowing that I am someone who will act without regard for the consequences at times. Having me come here, seeing Mu Chenyun’s arrogance and complacency, witnessing how he is unfettered and beyond the law, according to normal reason, is an extremely unreasonable matter, as I might very well do some reckless things to make the situation get even more out of hand. Moreover, Mu Chenyun’s transaction this time is so astonishing, how could an accepted conclusion be reached so quickly? Even if it is those old senators’ families in Central Continent Imperial City who wish to suppress this matter, they still wouldn’t dare do it this quickly, they would still have to take the current emperor’s thoughts into consideration.”
Bystanders sometimes saw the situation clearer than those directly involved. Moreover, even if they were a bystander, they wouldn’t think about things in as great detail as Lin Xi, thinking about everything this clearly. When Bian Linghan and Jiang Xiaoyi heard Lin Xi’s words, their expressions both began to change slightly.
Xiao Tieleng’s eyes narrowed slightly. He never expected Lin Xi to actually have such knowledge and experience, actually having such sharp senses towards matters of bureaucracy. This wasn’t the way of thinking a young official should be able to have at all. With this, the shred of misgivings that was still holding him back was also dispelled. Only someone like this could draw the attention of those from Imperial City, able to make them reveal that type of intention.
However, he was a Yunqin official, loyalty to the emperor should be a concept deeply rooted into his very veins. Even if he felt much dissatisfaction towards the way Mu Chenyun was dealt with, he still couldn’t privately guess at the emperor’s will. That was why he could tell what Lin Xi was implying, but didn’t directly point it out either, only looking at Lin Xi and exhorting, “Since you’ve thought this much, you should also understand that there are some things that you can do, but also some things you definitely cannot do.”
An expression of ridicule appeared on Lin Xi’s face. “That is why this matter will ultimately still depend on how we act, where we stand, see if we dare go against him, if we dare kill Mu Chenyun regardless of everything… see if we can prioritize our loyalty towards him above all else.”
Xiao Tieleng’s expression became a bit rigid, sensing much disrespect in Lin Xi’s words.
The way Lin Xi thought was completely different from those of this world to begin with, he didn’t have some of the deeply-rooted concepts people of this world inherently had. Even if it was the one on the dragon throne, in his eyes, he was nothing more than an ordinary person who just happened to be sitting in that position. Together with the things he obtained from his conversations with Vice Principal Xia and others, he already had a rough idea of what kind of person the current emperor was, which was why it was naturally easier for him to clearly see some things than for others of this world. Meanwhile, Xiao Tieleng’s attitude even more so allowed him to understand that his conclusion was correct.
He obviously understood clearly that for the one on the dragon throne, everyone under the sky, apart from Vice Principal Xia and the others whose military strength intimidated all under the sky, they were all his slaves… However, Lin Xi never viewed himself as a slave of another.
If a ruler wanted a subject to die, then that subject had no choice but to die. No matter how much unwillingness you carried inside, you still had to kneel before the emperor, no matter how correct your actions were, if the emperor said you were wrong, you still had to endure it… this was because the emperor wanted absolute loyalty and devotion, absolute prestige and awe to manage this country. Lin Xi understood the emperor’s way of thinking, but when this type of thing happened, he could only feel increasingly conflicting feelings towards the one on the dragon throne.
“This is purely to suppress us, have us give up on our persistence and aspirations.” Lin Xi shook his head. “Only when one does things reasonably will you earn the respect and compliance of others.”
“Today, I came without my uniform, just wishing to chat in private. There is no need for you to try and use me as a way to spread your intentions, I don’t have this type of right to do so either.” Xiao Tieleng’s expression became even more rigid, coldly saying. “Even if things are as you suspect, the emperor naturally has his own considerations in doing things. As subjects, we should understand how to comply, we cannot have any other types of thoughts. Moreover, if you want to kill a person… you can always wait, wait until you can kill that person.”
Lin Xi laughed in ridicule, saying, “Many thanks for sir’s reminder and good intentions. However, if this kind of house arrest continues, or if in the end, he is deemed innocent, having him work for Yunqin again, wouldn’t we only be able to watch?”
Xiao Tieleng originally cherished talent, but after prolonged interactions with Lin Xi right now, he instead discovered that Lin Xi had many areas he didn’t like. Right now, his mood instead became a bit similar to that of Imperial Censor Jiang’s back then, he also couldn’t help but become angry inwardly, saying with a stern voice, “Regardless, you all need to understand that Yunqin has laws, everyone needs to act according to the rules and regulations. If you all assassinate him, it will still be breaking the law.”
Lin Xi shook his head. “This really is quite the law we have.”
Xiao Tieleng’s face sunk, momentarily unable to say anything, remaining silent.
Lin Xi wanted to drink, but when he picked up the wine cup, he instead stared blankly for a moment. He saw that the bloody scabs between his thumb and index finger had already completely come off, moreover, that area of the skin was just as smooth as before, not having even a hint of an injury.
Just as he was staring a bit absent-mindedly, Xiao Tieleng drank a cup of wine, feeling like there wasn’t much else to say, standing up and directly walking outside.
Several officials who were also dressed in ordinary clothes greeted Xiao Tieleng from a place not far from the wine shop, one of them with a scholarly appearance looked at Xiao Tieleng with an expression of worry, immediately asking, “How did it go?”
“It is just like the rumors, I fear that he truly doesn’t have much of a heart of reverence, a talent of tigers and wolves, dangerous… dangerous. In the future, he might have the aspirations to become a ruler of all people.” Xiao Tieleng had a bit of a dry and heavy expression as he looked at these officials who admired Lin Xi, shaking his head. “Only, he is extremely intelligent, his way of handling matters seasoned and cool-headed, he will endure…”
“Right now, Mu Chenyun’s injuries are extremely serious, losing large amounts of blood and suffering from internal wounds. You all should be able to sense that even though he has State Knight level cultivation, right now, he doesn’t have much fighting strength at all. If we want to kill him, we can definitely kill him, or else Xiao Tieleng wouldn’t have purposely sought us out to say these things.” Inside the canal facing wine shop, Lin Xi looked at Jiang Xiaoyi and Bian Linghan, saying, “However, we cannot kill him, because this is challenging the emperor’s prestige. This is a provincial capital, a place with many cultivators and soldiers…”
A pa noise cut Lin Xi’s voice short.
Jiang Xiaoyi raised his head and downed a pot of alcohol, his forehead slamming on the table, body sliding down weakly, losing consciousness from intoxication.
In the dead of night.
Lin Xi who was sitting on his bed suddenly opened his eyes, his pupils shining like starlight.
After experiencing half a night of meditation, right now, his condition already reached the absolute peak. He silently stood up, opened the window, and then jumped out.
Behind this tavern’s window was precisely a quiet bamboo forest. His figure and movements were extremely agile, but he immediately squatted down next to a window of the room next door.
This was Jiang Xiaoyi’s room, the inside lacking all breathing sounds.
Lin Xi reached out his hand. This window was easily opened by him, the bedding and couch a bit messy, but Jiang Xiaoyi was nowhere to be seen.
Lin Xi’s arms and legs became a bit cold.
He was the one who understood that Mu Chenyun couldn’t be assassinated the most clearly. However, because he had his unique ability, because he hated this type of choice, and also because he knew Vice Principal Xia already saw him as a Divine General, when everyone felt like he wouldn’t assassinate Mu Chenyun, he instead stubbornly wanted to give it a try.
It wasn’t for the thirteen sets of heavy armor, it was only because of the delicate white bones on that river island, for his own friends.
Bian Linghan and Jiang Xiaoyi were different from him, their concept of rulers and ministers, as well as the so-called empire and glory extremely strong. He thought that these two wouldn’t act wantonly against the law like himself. However, he never expected Jiang Xiaoyi would actually feign drunkenness, have him relax, and then not cherish his life at all to do this type of indiscriminate destructive thing.
He immediately knew that he might have still underestimated Jiang Xiaoyi’s feelings for Wang Simin, underestimating the hot-bloodedness and inward conflict of his good friend.
He took a deep breath, forcefully calming himself down. Then, he quickly ran his hand over Jiang Xiaoyi’s bed.
There was already not much heat left, it had been quite some time since Jiang Xiaoyi left.