Chapter 23 – A Lot Of Doubts Reveal The Chaos
“It was… urh… It was because of me… I told him about Ye Xiao…” Wang Xiao-Nian lowered his head and finally confessed.
“Hmm… I see. Mu Cheng-Bai didn’t know Ye Xiao at the beginning. You hate Ye Xiao because he had extorted you. When you saw him, you encouraged Mu Cheng-Bai to pick a quarrel with him. Is that right?” The crown prince said in a rather calm and peaceful voice.
But this calm and peaceful voice made Wang Xiao-Nian nervous. It almost made him pass out due to sheer fear.
“Y… Yes… Your highness…”
Wang Xiao-Nian spoke out these words with difficulty. He could clearly sense the much colder gaze from the crown princess. He couldn’t help quivering.
“And then they had a wrangle… And then Ye Xiao suddenly h… hit lord Mu… He knocked lord Mu down to the floor… Then lord Mu ordered his guards to fight back… Then Ye Xiao ran away… Then lord Mu and his guards ran after him…”
Wang Xiao-Nian’s face turned pale. He was sweating profusely as he stutteringly narrated the events which had taken place.
“Ye Xiao hit lord Mu and knocked him down to the floor…” The crown prince frowned, “As far as I know, Ye Xiao is one of the ‘three foppish lords’. He is just a fool, living a meaningless life, only to eventually waste away… Lord Mu had reached the top of the Grade of Renyuan… And there were two guards with him!”
He looked at Wang Xiao-Nian doubtfully, “Did Ye Xiao really beat lord Mu and knock him down to the floor?”
“Y… Yes, your highness… Th… That’s true…” Wang Xiao-Nian stuttered. He was on the verge of fainting by the time he finished speaking. He couldn’t believe that he had drawn this much bad luck.
If it hadn’t been for his plans to take revenge on Ye Xiao, would lord Mu have been involved in this ordeal?
In his opinion, the useless trash, Ye Xiao, really deserved to die. But while Ye Xiao had managed to survive, the young lord Mu, who really didn’t deserve to die prematurely, had passed away instead!
Wang Xiao-Nian felt like he was being pranked by a god!
This… this is just absurd!
“Oh… Ok.” The crown prince nodded, “Go on.”
“Ye Xiao fled away and lord Mu chased after him with his guards… and… And then I w… went ho… home…” Wang Xiao-Nian finally couldn’t hold his tears any longer and started to cry loudly, “Please, your highness… I know nothing about what happened next…”
“You started all this… You forced my brother into this fight… And while he was fighting against Ye Xiao, you actually just went home? And now that my brother has been killed, you dare to tell me that you don’t even know how it happened?!” The crown princess stared bitterly at Wang Xiao-Nian. Her voice sounded like she wanted to tear him apart.
“I… I… Lord Mu wanted to kill Ye Xiao and he told me to hide from the public… I… There was nothing I could do, your highness…” Wang Xiao-Nian cried like a baby. He was so scared that it felt like his soul was trying to escape his body.
“Guards! Take this useless garbage out and chop his head off!” The crown princess was so angry that she immediately gave the order to the royal guards. Wang Xiao-Nian heard this and immediately lost consciousness.
The crown prince waved his hand and frowned, “Wang Xiao-Nian was just a remote cause. There’s no need to kill him. It may force Wang Da-Nian to betray us if we kill his son. After all he is leading the royal guards… Besides, I think there is still a lot of things we don’t know about, regarding Mu Cheng-Bai’s death.”
“Uncertainties?” The crown princess frowned angrily, “What bloody uncertainties could there be?”
“Ye Xiao is just a stupid foppish lad. He absolutely does not possess the abilities to kill Mu Cheng-Bai!” The crown prince clasped his hands behind his back, “There must be a third party… that we don’t know of… involved in this case.”
His eyes lit up, “This case needs a detailed investigation.”
“This Ye Xiao must definitely be involved!” The crown princess was emitting a strong killing intent, “I can not let my brother die in vain! Ye Xiao must be buried with him!”
The crown prince smiled bitterly, “Well we need to discuss it further. Ye Xiao is nothing, but his father, Ye Nan-Tian, holds a strong army and defends the north. He is the backbone of our kingdom. In the north, he is almost like a king. Besides, the world is currently in a great disturbance and other kingdoms are maniacal. Wars are aroused frequently and our princes are all constantly fighting to protect our kingdom… To kill the great general’s son in this period of time… is truly not a smart move!”
The crown princess turned offish, “Chen Bang-Guo! We can’t do this and we can’t do that! So are you saying that we should just let my brother die in vain?!”
The crown prince sighed, “First things first. We shouldn’t focus on just one or two aspects, we need to focus on the overall situation and find the real culprit… Fine… Let’s check on Ye Xiao first. If the murderer truly is someone else and we have killed Ye Xiao without giving him a chance to explain, we will have lost our only lead and let the actual murderer get away. That would really be the situation in which your brother would have died in vain
“Fine! I will wait for the news!” The crown princess humph and walked away with a beautiful scent trailing her. She turned her head around when she got to the door and yelled, “No mercy for this bastard Wang Xiao-Nian!”
“Eighty cudgel beatings!” The crown prince frowned, “Let the god judge whether he should die or live.”
Eighty cudgel beatings could kill a normal cultivator. Wang Xiao-Nian was just a normal young lord who was already weak because of immoderate debauchery. Even though he had cultivated, more or less, it was not worth mentioning.
If he really got the eighty cudgel beatings, he would absolutely die. So after thinking for a while, he said, “Let Wang Da-Nian carry out this!”
Let Wang Da-Nian carry out the punishment to his own son… How could the lad die if so?
“Humph!” The crown princess was pissed and left.
The crown prince made sure his wife was gone, clapped and asked, “How’s your investigation?”
A man in black came in humbly and answered, “The whole thing is generally the same with what Wang Xiao-Nian said. But there is something weird.”
The crown prince frowned and didn’t say anything.
The man went on, “First of all, the witnesses said that they had seen Ye Xiao knock down Mu Cheng-Bai. It is weird because it is impossible that Ye Xiao has the capability to do so.
So I checked the body of Mu Cheng-Bai and found that… his dantian was wounded. But we all know that it was the hit on his back that took his life; it is a very clean hit…
So what happened to his dantian is suspicious. It is obvious… that someone had blocked his dantian. That’s why Ye Xiao could knock him down… Whoever blocked his dantian is absolutely a world-class elite cultivator!”
“A world-class elite cultivator…” The crown prince murmured, he paced around and nodded, “What else?”
“Yes, your highness. When Mu Cheng-Bai was chasing after Ye Xiao,Ye Xiao didn’t get very far. He hid behind some street debris after he turned around a corner and, after he saw lord Mu and the two guards run by, he went home. There are a lot of witnesses to this occurrence…”
It seemed like Ye Xiao had somehow mislead the spectators to believe in his escape, which had clearly worked.
The crown prince frowned, feeling increasingly puzzled by these developments.
The man in black continued, “But lord Mu hadn’t noticed this. So he ran all the way to the ‘a hill, a forest and a lake’, which is where he and his two guards were killed. There are still a lot of unknown factors. I can’t quite figure it out yet.”
The crown prince nodded, “What?”
“The fatal wounds on the three of them are all very clean… The two guards were cut at the same time and the wrist of one guard was completely broken. From this, I concluded that the murderer seized the sword from one of the guards and killed both of the guards at the same time! It is absolutely not a move that could be performed by an ordinary cultivator. Even a man who has reached the top of the Grade of Diyuan is incapable of doing this. The murderer is more like…” The man in black hesitated for a second and said, “…like an actual swordmaster… A sword master of the Grade of Tianyuan!”
The man in black felt cold sweat dripping down his back as he spoke out the last few words.
The crown prince raised his eyebrows and looked up, “A swordmaster of the Grade of Tianyuan… Are you sure?”
“Yes, your highness.” The man in black lowered his head.
The crown prince was silent for a while, and then he spoke, “So… This all had nothing to do with Ye Xiao?”
The man in black hesitated slightly before he answered, “It is uncertain.”
“If there is a third force that got to Cheng-Bai, to whom does it belong? For what reason did they kill him?” The crown prince asked as he was absorbed in these thoughts, within his voice, a strong sense of horror could be discerned. The man in black quietly listened to the crown prince as he humbly stood aside.
The crown prince was just talking to himself. He didn’t want any answers for the question. And the man in black didn’t dare to answer it.
There were too many variables and uncertainties in this whole ordeal.
With half closed eyes the crown prince calmly ordered, “Start from Ye Xiao. Move the investigation along from there…”
“Yes, your highness.”
“Anything else you might be working on… should be suspended.”
The crown prince turned around elegantly, flicked the sleeves of his bright yellow robe, and then he left calmly.
But the man in black was extremely nervous. He had been following the crown prince for many years now, so he knew better than anyone else that when the crown prince shows an unusually calm attitude, his heart would infact resemble a raging inferno!
He had already deeply etched this into his mind.
But he couldn’t understand why the crown prince had told him to suspend all his other cases.
The man in black felt cold sweat dripping on his back. He clearly understood that it was very possible that in the near future, endless amounts of blood would dye the sky and land of his beloved capital dark red!
There were also words that he didn’t dare to tell the crown prince – Even though Ye Xiao might not be the one to have taken Mu Cheng-Bai’s life, this didn’t make the investigation any easier. Besides the other princes, there were also another eight noble clans that’d be very happy to see Mu Cheng-Bai’s early demise.
But all the man in black could do, was to keep these words deep inside his heart.
At this moment, Ye Xiao was sitting cross-legged and carefully started to feel the change and increase of the qi in his dantian. This was something he enjoyed very much, because it gave him an intense feeling of getting stronger. As a matter of fact, this was a feeling every cultivator would crave for!
While Ye Xiao was enjoying this wonderful feeling, the steward entered his room quietly and made a gentle cough.
Ye Xiao opened his eyes at once and asked, “What is it?”
The steward was very surprised when he saw Ye Xiao sitting in a cultivating pose. He then said, “My lord, there is one thing that needs your affirmance.”
“What?” Ye Xiao frowned.
“Was it you who killed Mu Cheng-Bai?” The steward looked at Ye Xiao as he asked directly.
This question, that was asked with such a peaceful tone really stunned Ye Xiao.
Every time Ye Xiao met this steward, he found him more and more mysterious, he was truly an interesting fellow. He was definitely not a simple man!.