Zheng Dan and Xie Daoyun couldnt help but stare at Sang Hong.
They were just as confused as King Liang.
Why would Sang Hong do something like that
Sang Hong struggled to his feet and spat out a mouthful of blood.
However, he showed no sign of panic, but flashed a faint smile instead.
“Respectfully, I have no idea what you are talking about.
Everyone here knows that our Sang clan has a grudge against that kid.
He even had the nerve to interfere with my sons wedding.
Why would I ever help him escape”
All the guests present nodded along.
They clearly agreed with his words.
None of them believed that Sang Hong would step in to save Zu An.
King Liangs expression darkened.
“Then why did you stand in my way if you didnt intend to aid his escape”
Sang Hong replied nonchalantly, “Ah, about that… I gained some sudden insights from watching the fight, and before I knew it, I had rushed out.
I didnt expect King Liang to take flight as well, and I just happened to find myself in your way.
I really must apologize for that.”
Sudden insights were extremely rare and precious for cultivators, and they were often accompanied by a loss of control.
This was a plausible explanation for his sudden move.
Of course, King Liang knew that he was merely spouting nonsense.
Unfortunately, his explanation was somewhat passable, and would not cause much of a stir even if he reported it to the emperor.
“You really are a wily old fox!” King Liang cursed.
He finally got a taste of what both Zu An and Sang Hong had inflicted on each other earlier.
Sang Qian sent his father a voice transmission via ki.
“Dad, why did you save that brat Zu An!”
Sang Hongs words might have been enough to placate the crowd, but he was still left unsatisfied.
He absolutely hated Zu An, so there was no way he would accept such an answer.
Sang Hong sighed and replied, “Qianer, our Sang clan is truly in trouble this time.
If my suspicions are correct, weve already been abandoned by the emperor.
We will most likely be executed after we are brought back to the capital city.”
“What!” Sang Qian couldnt believe his ears.
Even though they were being detained right now, it was considered usual for members of the court to rise and fall in status.
Since his father had always found favor with the emperor, he believed that they were only being brought back to the capital as a public form of humiliation.
How did it get to the point where they would be facing execution
Sang Hong continued, “Its hard to say what will happen, but I still have hope that things do not reach that point.”
“What does any of that have to do with you saving Zu An” Sang Qian was still brooding over this matter.
Sang Hong looked in the direction Zu An had fled.
“Because he is a variable, and one that might very well save our lives.”
Sang Qian could not believe what he was hearing.
He was completely stupefied.
He just couldnt keep up with his fathers train of thought.
Sang Hong didnt offer any further explanation, but looked at Zheng Dan instead.
How did he fail to pick up on the fact that something was going on between the two of them What was supposed to be a honey trap had probably resulted in real feelings developing.
He didnt tell his son these things.
His son would most likely fly into a rage, which wouldnt help their current situation at all, but make things worse instead.
A variable, a variable… I need a variable right now.
Were surely dead otherwise…
King Liang waved his hand.
Several embroidered envoys walked over to them and restrained them with Soul-reaping Chains.
The two of them felt as if all of their ki had been sealed up.
They became no different from ordinary people.
“Capture the bride as well.” King Liang glanced at Zheng Dan.
Leaving aside the fact that she was Sang Hongs daughter-in-law for a moment, her astonishing beauty alone guaranteed that there would be great uses for her back at the capital.
Zheng Dan bit her lip when she saw the embroidered envoys walking towards her.
However, with all the Zheng clan members around her, she had no choice but to accept her fate.
King Liang returned to his horse.
“Keep them in prison for now.
The rest of you, follow me to the Chu clan!”
He had come with two important missions from the emperor.
The first was to bring the father and son of the Sang clan back to the capital city, while the second was to capture Zu An.
Comparatively speaking, the emperor seemed to care much more about the capture of Zu An, even sending the Embroidered Envoy to help with this mission.
However, he had actually let his target escape from him, despite being a powerful master rank cultivator! If he didnt capture Zu An, not only would his reputation be terribly tarnished, the emperor might punish him severely as well.
Meanwhile, Zu An was running for his life.
He had also witnessed Sang Hong stepping in to stop King Liang, which made absolutely no sense to him.
However, he couldnt be bothered to think about this right now.
He had to quickly figure out what the hell he was going to do about his current situation.
He was ninety-nine percent sure that the emperor already knew about the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra.
A technique that had a chance of granting eternal life was just far too tempting.
The thought depressed him greatly.
He might have yet been able to do something if hed offended someone else, but it was the emperor himself who was gunning for his life! This was an emperor who had unified an empire and grasped firmly onto the reins of power of an entire dynasty! He was even the publicly-acknowledged number one expert!
He wasnt so naïve as to believe that the emperor would let him go if he handed over the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra manual.
This was the most powerful man in this world! Would someone like that be willing to share eternal life with someone else
His first reaction was to throw in his lot with King Qi.
After all, the two factions were at odds, and he had big Manman to serve as an intermediary.
However, he quickly rejected these thoughts.
With the strength King Qi possessed, he would quickly find out what the emperor was searching for.
King Qi will surely want to obtain eternal life as well.
There were way too many stories where the protagonist got into trouble after they stumbled upon something too precious.
The Phoenix Nirvana Sutra was something that every cultivator desired.
Where else could he turn to
Zu An felt more than a little lost.
Even though this world was so large, it seemed there was nowhere for him to go.
His hand reached for a mirror.
He wanted to call Chu Chuyan.
Just hearing her voice would be nice right now.
However, when he picked it up, he saw that it was cracked.
It had probably been broken by the Soul-reaping Chains of the Embroidered Envoy in the earlier fight.
It was already too late for regret.
If hed known that this was going to happen, he would have stored it inside his Brilliant Glass Bead.
He tried to call out to Chu Chuyan, but the broken mirror did not respond at all.
Clearly, it was already completely broken.
Was this to be his fate
Elsewhere, King Liang arrived at the Chu Estate with his men, having rushed all the way.
Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru came out to greet him when they received news of his arrival.
“Why has the respected king returned so quickly”
King Liang had paid a visit to the Chu clan earlier to grant them their freedom, before heading to the Sang Estate.
Following that, Chu Zhongtian and his wife had moved on to settle the final formalities with the Imperial Guard and Liu Yao, as well as comforting the startled members of their clan.
King Liang sneered.
“Why do the two of you still bother to ask a question that you already know the answer to Your Red Cloak Army soldiers considered defying the imperial edict and attacking us! They should have returned already, and informed you of what had happened.”
Chu Zhongtians expression grew troubled.
He said with a serious voice, “We have indeed heard a little about what happened, but it is still hard for us to believe it.
Could there have been some sort of misunderstanding How could Zu An have had any interactions with the emperor, let alone have stolen something from him”
King Liang snorted.
He pointed at the embroidered envoys and said, “Brightmoon Duke, dont tell me you do not know who they are! His majesty has even dispatched the Embroidered Envoy.
How could there be a mistake As for exactly what he stole, that is a secret of the imperial family.
Forgive me for not being able to reveal what it is.”
Chu Zhongtians expression flickered several times.
He was clearly still wondering just how Zu An ended up provoking the emperor.
However, Qin Wanru, standing at his side, had had enough.
“This is absolutely absurd! All sorts of despicable methods have been employed against our Chu clan, and now that all of them have failed, you resort to such a laughable reason to attack the son-in-law of our Chu clan Do you think our Chu clan is a doormat!”
King Liangs face grew dark.
“What are you trying to say Is Madam Chu planning to rebel”
“Dont try to threaten me with this talk of rebellion.
Didnt the emperor seize control over this world through a rebellion” Qin Wanru began to gesticulate with her hands, a clear sign of her anger.
“Everything has to be done in accordance with reason! Since you refuse to be reasonable, you cant blame us for flipping tables! Lets see how you explain things to the rest of the world then! Where is the Red Cloak Army”
“Here, Madam!” Countless Red Cloak Army soldiers rushed out from their hidden locations and surrounded King Qis men.