Chapter 1116: For Them
Han Fengqiu hesitated a bit, but Zu An’s sword began pressing downward.
How sharp was the Tai’e Sword Han Fengqiu’s finger was instantly cut open, and blood spurted everywhere.
“Stop, stop, stop! I’ll talk!” Han Fengqiu quickly exclaimed. This guy really is cutting my finger vertically! Sensing how ruthless Zu An was, he didn’t dare to hold back at all and explained, “King Qi was working with Jian Yanyou before, but Jian Yanyou was too cowardly.
We noticed that his younger brother Jian Taiding had greater ambitions, so we supported his rise to power.
“But Jian Taiding rose up faster than we expected, so we decided to just work with him.
Even so, once he became the acting Commander-in-Chief, he became cocky and defensive toward the king.
He wasn’t willing to leave all of his bargaining chips with us anymore.
He secretly roped in King Yan and tried to use his strength to keep us in check.
“The king obviously wouldn’t allow something like that to happen.
That’s why he sent the young heir here to deal with things.
“We changed the account book and led you to discover it.
Then, we were going to use the power of the Imperial Envoy to investigate Zuo Su and Jian Taiding, thus smoothly eliminating our two greatest stumbling blocks.”
Zu An frowned and remarked, “That Zhao Zhi was actually this skilled”
They had carried out such an insane series of schemes in Cloudcenter Commandery.
If not because he had just happened to discover the truth, he might just have been completely fooled.
Meanwhile, even though Zhao Zhi had some talent in terms of cultivation aptitude, he was too egotistical and domineering.
He hadn’t seemed like the type to create such a scheme.
If the plan really was his work, Zu An would definitely feel a need to be more guarded against him.
“This was the plan the King Manor’s aides and advisors came up with together after discussing things with each other, and the king approved it.
The heir’s only purpose here was his identity, allowing us to effectively gather the forces we need,” Han Fengqiu continued.
He stared at the sword edge pressing against his fingertip, really scared that Zu An might cut his finger open vertically out of anger.
Zu An said, “You’ve eliminated Jian Taiding and Zuo Su, but Jian Yanyou has returned.
Doesn’t that mean everything is back to normal” Even though he knew Jian Yanyou was dead, that didn’t mean others did.
Han Fengqiu replied, “In the two years since Jian Yanyou has disappeared, almost all of his trusted aides have been eliminated.
Even though he’s returned, he’s completely cut off from support.
He’s even seriously injured right now, and his cultivation is far weaker than when he was at his strongest, making him even less of a threat.
“But he’s still the duke.
Too many things have happened recently in Cloudcenter Commandery too, which is why we’re allowing him to live a bit longer.
Once your Imperial Envoy leaves Cloudcenter Commandery and the commotion passes, we’ll then secretly deal with him.
We’ll eventually announce to the world that he passed away from his injuries.
There won’t be too great of a commotion then.”
Zu An’s eyes widened when he heard that, realizing that Yu Yanluo had come up with the same plan.
The way people with authority thought was surprisingly similar.
As he had that thought, however, the sword in his hand pressed down.
“Ahhhh!” Han Fengqiu’s miserable scream tore through the air.
He looked at the two halves of his finger that had been sliced vertically, exclaiming in pain and fear, “What are you doing!”
You have successfully trolled Han Fengqiu for 777 777 777…
Zu An said indifferently, “It’s your fault for not being honest.
You only reply when I ask you something, and I don’t have the patience to play this kind of game.
Tell me everything you know.
My sword slices through steel like butter, so I’m sure it didn’t hurt that much when I cut down on your finger just now.
I can switch to a dull blade to slowly hack away at your finger if you prefer that instead.”
“You’re an absolute demon!” Han Fengqiu wanted to curse again, but he was terrified when he met Zu An’s gaze.
He quickly said, “Once Jian Taiding and Zuo Su were taken down, we would have sent in our own men to take charge.
The leader would naturally be Pei Shao.
The Pei clan and King Qi Manor’s relations run deep.
One of the major reasons the young heir came here was to become bound to them in marriage.
“The king didn’t wish to sacrifice the young heir’s happiness either, agreeing to allow him to see her for himself and decide if he wanted to be married to the Pei clan.
The young heir was a bit unwilling at first, but when he saw the Pei clan’s young miss, his soul almost left his body.
Unfortunately, the Pei clan’s young miss remained cold and indifferent.
The young heir felt that the young miss was bashful because their marriage hadn’t been decided yet, so that was why he was in such a rush to leave.
He wants to quickly return and settle the marriage, because then, he can have a proper wedding with Miss Pei.”
Zu An was furious. This Zhao Zhi bastard thinks he can do whatever he wants!
Faced with Zu An’s unkind expression, Han Fengqiu was worried that another one of his fingers would be cleaved down the middle.
He quickly continued, “Apart from Pei Shao, the Martial Affairs Manor’s Yu Xuansu is also one of our people.
He clashed greatly against Yu Xuanqing within the clan.
Yu Xuanqing didn’t know what was good for him and decided to side completely with Jian Taiding.
The king is currently supporting Yu Xuansu in taking his place.
“With those two officials planted among the local officials and Military Affairs Manor, and so many of the lower officials being followers of the king, taking control of Cloudcenter Commandery from then on wouldn’t be too difficult at all.”
Zu An thought back to when he had been at the Pei clan. I think Manman mentioned that her stepmother was someone from the Yu clan.
Back then, Yu Xuansu had even made several appearances in Pei Manor.
Zu An had only thought that he was there to see his daughter and hadn’t paid too much attention to it.
Now, it seemed that all of them had been colluding together.
His gaze landed on Hu Xin and he asked, “Then what’s going on with the Tiger race” He was more familiar with Kong Qing’s group.
This fellow hadn’t appeared on Kong Qing’s side before.
Han Fengqiu shivered.
Fearing that Zu An would start cutting again, he hurriedly replied, “We relied on the Jian clan and the fiend races to keep the business going.
The Jian clan and Peacock King race have good relations.
In order to fully grasp those channels, my king wanted to bypass the Peacock King race.
It just so happened that the fiend races weren’t too inflexible.
The Tiger race has never been too happy under the Peacock King race’s rule and hoped to take their place, so our two sides clicked together easily.
The Tiger race will help the king establish a new network of exchange with the fiend races, while the king will help them rise up in status.”
“That’s why so many prohibited goods have gone to the fiend races” Zu An sneered.
“For the sake of his ambitions, King Qi actually disregarded the safety of the human race.
He isn’t worthy of his reputation.”
Han Fengqiu felt some hesitation, but in the end, he still said, “The world isn’t so black and white.
Even the higher-ups in the church only make decisions based on their own benefit.
Isn’t Yu Yanluo, that woman you’re close to, also doing business with and aligned with the fiend races Even the former emperor did similar things in the past.”
“What did the former emperor do” Zu An asked with a frown.
Such behind-the-scenes stories weren’t recorded in the information archives.
He could only hear them from elders who had experienced those times.
Han Fengqiu replied, “I don’t know too much about the exact details either, but I previously heard the king mention that the reason the former emperor rose up to the throne was through the help of the fiend races.”
Zu An was shocked.
The information he had come into contact with, both from the court and common people, all described how several generations of emperors had led the human race in a great battle against the fiend races.
Only after they had defeated the fiend races and drove them into the desolate borderlands was the human race able to live in peace.
The people worshiped those generations of emperors as saints, and yet now, it seemed that hidden behind their glorious and imposing figures was an untouchable darkness.
Han Fengqiu carefully gave Zu An a look.
He didn’t dare to stop and continued to tell him what he knew.
“King Yan’s subordinate Zhang Che vanished from this side of the world, but we’ve recently discovered that he’s managed to obtain an elder position in the Devil Sect.
He even established the Pegasus Merchant Company, providing King Yan with monetary support.”
Zu An thought to himself, No wonder when I entered the Pegasus Merchant Group, I saw the Devil Sect’s Solitary Eight among them. Qiu Honglei had also led him away from his investigation of the Pegasus Merchant Group several times.
However, that silly girl had been completely fooled by King Yan and had had no idea.
“They wanted to take the place of the Zhenyuan Merchant Group this time, to completely seize trade channels with the fiend races.
There’s obviously no way we would permit something like that to happen.
The king’s strategies are wonderful and divine.
He first sent Pink as a spy, placing her in the Pegasus Merchant Group’s Jasper Lane.
That way, she would be able to easily lead the Imperial Envoy to King Yan’s forces with just a bit of guidance.”
After listening to all that, Zu An was even starting to admire King Qi a bit.
His plans and strategies had taken all of Cloudcenter Commandery’s powers into account.
Han Fengqiu said to test the waters, “I’ve already told you everything I was supposed to tell you about.
Can you let me go now”
At first, he still had the courage to face death.
But after so much time had passed, he suddenly didn’t really want to die anymore.
Even though his cultivation had been crippled, living was still better than dying.
Zu An said seriously, “Sincerely apologize to Chen Zhou’s wife and son, and beg for their forgiveness.
Then, I’ll let you go.”
They hadn’t had time to bury anyone else in the village yet.
Only the mother and son had graves at that moment.
Han Fengqiu was overjoyed, exclaiming, “Yes, yes, yes! I’ll definitely apologize sincerely.
Even though they didn’t die at my hands, I still carry some responsibility.”
Zu An could tell that Han Fengqiu was deflecting blame, but he didn’t say anything about it.
Zu An quickly brought Hu Xin’s head and Han Fengqiu back to the Chen family’s tomb on the city’s outskirts.
He quietly placed Hu Xin’s head in front of the tomb.
Then, he lit three sticks of incense and kowtowed.
Even though he had endless thoughts running through his mind, he didn’t say anything.
Anything he said at that point would be meaningless.
Seeing how serious Zu An was, Han Fengqiu felt a bit unhappy. These are just some ant-like peasants.
Do you have to be that serious toward them
But for the sake of survival, he didn’t dare to reveal any of his real thoughts.
Instead, he apologized while weeping bitter tears.
However, Zu An didn’t show any reaction.
Han Fengqiu clenched his teeth, then even knelt down and knocked his head against the tombstone.
Inside, he was angry.
He was definitely going to repay the humiliation he had experienced today a hundredfold.
Even though his cultivation had been crippled, he could slowly absorb the blood of cultivators through the Abelios Sword to cultivate again.
With enough time, it wouldn’t even be an impossibility for him to recover his strength.
Seeing that Han Fengqiu’s head was even turning red from pounding against the stone, Zu An nodded slightly, seemingly very satisfied with the display.
Han Fengqiu was elated.
He thought to himself that he had finally made it through his final trial. This kid seems vicious, but he’s nothing more than a soft-hearted idealist.
He was about to stand up when a flash of light suddenly appeared before his eyes.
Then, a head flew into the sky.
“You…” Han Fengqiu was both shocked and furious, looking as if he were cursing Zu An for not keeping his word.
Zu An gently wiped away the blood from his blade, seemingly as if he were looking down on it for being filthy.
While wiping his blade, he calmly said, “Whether or not you’re forgiven will depend on the mother and son.
My job is merely to send you to them.”