Zu An smiled and said, “Of course there is a way to save you all.
Actually, your lives are important if you say they are, and they are unimportant if you say they arent.
For the aristocrats of the court, what they care more about is their struggle with King Qis faction, they dont care about your lives.
That is why this is where your opportunity to live lies.”
After seeing how Gu Yueyi almost sold out his own people, he didnt dare say that there was no way to save them.
Otherwise, there was no way this kid would cooperate.
He might even sell him out instead.
That was why he could only use this reason to convince him first.
However, he was letting down Sun Luzhen and Solitary Fire, giving them fake happiness.
Gu Yueyi obtained hope for survival when he heard this.
He immediately became overjoyed.
“Young master Zu really is our lucky star! We knew that you were someone extraordinary the moment we first set eyes on you back then in Brightmoon City! Hahaha, this is great!”
He was so excited it was hard for him to even speak.
Zu An rolled his eyes.
He definitely didnt remember this guy being all that friendly with him back in Brightmoon City.
This kid was about to kill him.
Sun Luzhen said, “Thank you young master Zu for remaining loyal and helping us.
I do not know how to repay this kindness.”
Solitary Fire said, “I have offended you before on the way to the capital.
Young master Zu, please do not mind the offenses of a petty person like me.
This one will be eternally grateful!”
The desire for survival was instinctive.
If they didnt have to die, then that was obviously the best solution.
“Sirs are too polite.
Forgive me for not being able to treat your injuries, or else they will become suspicious.” Zu An was apologetic.
He would feel bad if he couldnt save them, yet he was completely powerless to save them.
“These small injuries are nothing.” They all laughed.
What man feared the most was the lack of hope.
Now that they knew that there was a chance of being saved, they didnt care much no matter how injured they were.
After discussing the details with them, Zu An left them to inform Guo Zhi.
Guo Zhi was shocked when he obtained their confession.
He merely allowed Zu An to give it a try.
He didnt expect this fella to actually open up their mouths!
What was even harder to believe was that they actually confessed their relationship with Cheng Xiong.
His expression became extremely complicated.
“Sir Zu, is this really what they said”
Zu An smiled.
“Is that important”
Guo Zhi quickly realized something. Right, this isnt important at all!
The crown princes faction was trying to find a way to deal with King Qi.
He also roughly guessed at his majestys intentions.
Cheng Xiong was supposed to be dealt with to begin with.
Now, another one of his headaches were dealt with.
This was great news!
He immediately became inspired when he thought of this.
“Thank you, Sir Zu! Sir Zu will definitely become a first rate subject after this matter passes.”
“All of this was investigated by Sir Guo.
It has nothing to do with me.” Zu An said with a meaningful smile.
Guo Zhi was stunned, but he quickly realized what was happening.
The other party didnt want to reveal his talents! He instead gave me all of the contributions
But when he thought about it, this made sense as well.
Zu Ans background was still shallow, so offending King Qis faction so badly wasnt necessarily a good thing.
However, this was completely different for him.
With his status, he could perfectly digest all of these contributions.
He didnt have to worry about King Qis retaliation at all.
He was overjoyed at the turn of events.
“Brother Zu brought me such a great gift! If there is anything I can do to help this brother out, then just tell me!”
Of course, he still had to interrogate them himself once more to make sure.
However, his words right now were still sincere.
Zu An sneered inside. You were saying sir this sir that a moment ago, and now were suddenly brothers.
“Brother Guo speaks too seriously.
Ill need Sir Guo to take care of me in the palace in the future.” He went along with this, calling him brother as well.
Even though these fair-weather friends werent reliable in a moment of crisis, they could still help out on some small matters when interests aligned.
For him, this was already enough.
The two of them chatted happily on the way out.
Piao Duandiao and Jiao Sigun were completely stupefied when they saw how close the two were.
On the way back, Piao Duandiao couldnt help but ask, “Sir Zu, were you already acquainted with Sir Guo”
Zu An shook his head.
“Not at all.”
“Then why did he sound so enthusiastic while talking to you” Jiao Sigun asked with curiosity.
Zu An laughed and said, “What can I say, Im a naturally friendly guy.
Didnt you two feel close to me when you first met me too”
“Of course, of course.” Piao Duandiao laughed apologetically.
Only an idiot would refute in this type of situation.
Jiao Sigun also voiced his agreement.
He wasnt doing this falsely, but because he really did feel mysteriously close to this fella.
It really was strange.
They shouldnt have met before, so why did they feel so close
The two of them thought to themselves, even the crown princess attached such importance to him so quickly, so its completely natural for us to feel close to him.
They returned to the eastern palace, and then Zu An reported the results to the crown princess.
The crown princess was immediately stunned.
She quickly called her trusted aides to set up their following plans.
Meanwhile, Zu An leisurely waited for a nice drama to unfold.
He returned to let Yun Jianyue know about the current situation first.
When she heard that Sun Luzhen and the others were already tortured to the point where they almost didnt look human anymore, Yun Jianyue took a deep breath.
“I was the one who harmed them.”
She even had the urge to rush to the prison to bail them out.
However, she quickly rejected this thought.
The emperor already returned to the palace, and she hadnt fully recovered yet.
Charging into the imperial prison was completely meaningless.
Zu An continued, “That disciple of yours was about to spill everything.”
He then told her about how he just happened to see Gu Yueyi almost betray her.
Then, he said, “Even though I tricked him by saying that they can be saved, he wont be fooled for that long.
Hell be a problem sooner or later.”
Yun Jianyues expression grew cold.
“Then just kill him so he can never speak.”
Zu An was stunned. This is your own freaking disciple! Youre going to kill him just like that
He looked at this long haired woman.
He then realized that this was the legendary Devil Sect Master, a cold-blooded killer.
During the next days morning court session, the crown princes officials quickly brought up Cheng Gangs case.
This naturally involved Cheng Xiong.
King Qis men insisted on defending Cheng Xiong, to the extent where they were willing to abandon Cheng Gang.
Originally, both sides would argue meaninglessly for a while, and then they would just leave it at that.
However, the crown princes faction suddenly brought out fatal proof, the confessions of the captured assassins.
They explained how they used the government brothel, as well as Cheng Xiongs father and son relationship.
All of the details were extremely clear.
King Qis faction refuted one after another at first, but they only became more and more powerless as time went on.
It was because all of them knew fully well that those assassins were caught first, and then Cheng Gangs matter happened afterwards.
Unless the Right Guard General Guo Zhi leaked them information, there was no way those assassins confessions would match up that well.
Everyone knew that Guo Zhi was someone directly under the emperor.
If they suspected him, then werent they suspecting that his majesty framed Cheng Xiong
Who would do something that foolish
This was let alone the fact that those assassins were going to die to begin with.
So why would they listen to Guo Zhis words
That was why King Qis faction backed down in the end.
Several big shots exchanged a few looks.
Since Cheng Xiong couldnt be saved, then they would settle for the next best thing, to cut off his relationship with King Qi so that he didnt drag him down further.
It was clear that the emperor didnt plan to use this as a chance to attack King Qi directly.
The court quickly reached a decision.
Cheng Xiong and his son colluded with the assassins in their attack on the empress and crown prince.
They are to be punished with nine generations of executions.
Fortunately, the father and son were mutually dependant and didnt have many people in their clan.
As for those who were related, those who were to be executed were executed, those that were sent to the border to fight were sent out.
Zu An and Yun Jianyue chatted over tea.
Yun Jianyue gave him a look and said indifferently, “What, you cant bear to see this result”
“I do feel a bit uncomfortable.” Zu An became quiet.
As someone from a civilized world, killing off an entire family so easily was still hard to accept.
Yun Jianyue poured a cup of tea for him.
“Thats how the world is.
If you dont kill me, then Ill kill you.
If Cheng Xiong succeeded in framing you earlier, then the one whose clan would be eradicated would be you.”
Zu An said with a bitter smile, “But to a certain degree, he wasnt really framing me.
I wascolluding with you guys.”
“Your way of thinking really is weird.” Yun Jianyue gave him a look of surprise.
“Cheng Xiong didnt attack you because he really knew about your connection to us.
His motives were merely because he needed a scapegoat.
Even if you were innocent, he wouldve still chosen you.
In the end, both of you were just chess pieces in the battle between the emperor and King Qi, whether you live or die is not a choice you can make yourself.
You should figure out how to live on this chessboard longer, not worry about the deaths of other chess pieces.”
Zu Ans expression changed.
“Ive benefited from your advice!”
Yun Jianyue smiled.
“Heh, you only show me some respect in these types of times.”
Zu An was about to say something with a chuckle, but he suddenly heard Eunuch Wens voice.
“Sir Eleven, his majesty has summoned you to the imperial study.”
Zu An and Yun Jianyue exchanged a look.
Then, he arrived at the entrance.
Along the way, he asked, “Euncuh Wen, why did his majesty suddenly ask for me”
Eunuch Wens expression remained unchanged.
“This humble one does not know.”
Zu An was upset when he saw how this eunuch pretended to not know him.
This guy took bribes quite fast, yet he immediately became hostile once something happened.
But he realized something as well.
Wasnt the other partys attitude a type of warning in itself
Sure enough, Eunuch Wen walked in front, his lips moving slightly.
“His majestys mood seems to be quite bad today.
Sir Eleven, you should be more careful.”