Library of Heaven is Path
1939 Elder Lu Arrives!
The video didn't just stop there.
The person recording the video followed the suspicious-dressed soldiers as they snuck across the streets, all the way to Dan Xiaotian's residence!
"That video is extremely alike to the one that was played earlier. It's likely that they were taken at the same timing…"
"I thought that they were really bandits due to the clothes they were wearing, but who could have thought that they were actually the guards of the City Lord Manor…"
"Wait a moment, doesn't this mean that the guards of the City Lord Manor intentionally disguised themselves as bandits to murder others?"
It didn't take long for some to notice that the scene reflected in Cao Chengli's video was similar to the one displayed earlier, just that they were taken from different angles.
Due to the dress up, they instinctively assumed that those black garment individuals were bandits… but it turned out to just be a cover. They were actually the guards of the City Lord Manor!
The video stopped right after the guards entered the Dan Clan Residence. Taking the Record Crystal back into his grasp, Cao Chengli looked at Xue Chen and asked, "What else do you have to say for yourself?"
"You… That's fabricated evidence!" Xue Chen's face paled in fright.
He never thought that someone would follow him and record this sight down!
"Fabricated evidence? You sure speak as if it's that easy to fabricate such evidence. Why don't you try making one for us?" Cao Chengli spat.
It was impossible to alter the content recorded by a Record Crystal, and the presence of corroborating evidence from the neighbor's recording further proved the authenticity of Cao Chengli's recording.
"I…" Xue Chen's face paled as he took a step back. "This is all utter nonsense! You are engaged to the Second Young Mistress, and given how talented you are, why should we kill you? Isn't it foolish for the City Lord Manor to take such a course of action?"
"Xue Chen's argument does make sense as well…"
The crowd quickly turned their heads over to Dan Xiaotian, wanting to see how he would explain himself.
Considering that the two of them had a marriage agreement with one another, it should be a blessing for the City Lord Manor that Dan Xiaotian was actually a genius. Taking a step back, even if Xue Qin and Dan Xiaotian had some disagreement with one another, they could have just annulled their agreement. Did the City Lord Manor really have to go to the extent of killing Dan Xiaotian?
This didn't seem too rational to them.
"You are asking me why you want to kill me? It seems like your memory really isn't too good. Maybe this will help jot your memories a little!" Dan Xiaotian chuckled as he took out a Record Crystal too and played the video stored within.
"You know the reason why I am coming here, but instead of coming out to welcome me personally, you dispatched a lowly servant to send the marriage agreement over instead. Do you think that this matter can be resolved that easily?"
In the video, Xue Qin's attitude was cold and haughty, as if she had her head in the clouds.
"What I want from you isn't much. I just need you to announce to the entire city that you were the one who chose to back out of the marriage agreement on your own accord because you feel that you aren't worthy of me. It's after a series of careful deliberation before my father finally decided to respect your opinion and end the marriage agreement… By giving me the mere sheet of paper, are you expecting me to tell everyone that I, Xue Qin, refuse to marry you? How could I allow the noble City Lord Manor to have such a stain on its reputation?"
"Well, it's very simple! Over these years, the Dan Clan has offended quite a few people, isn't that so? You should also know that if not for your engagement with Xue Qing, you should have already died many times over!" Xue Chen sneered coldly in the video.
"How would your death affect the City Lord Manor's reputation? Let me see. Our city lord would be enraged to learn of your demise, and he would dispatch men to exact vengeance for you. As for our Second Young Mistress, she would be in deep sorrow for a long time, and eventually, she would decide to depart from this land of grief and head to the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!"
The Record Crystal displayed the haughty attitudes of both Xue Chen and Xue Qin clearly, be it their words, their expressions, or their gestures!
"It turned out that she wanted to annul the engagement, but she wasn't satisfied with the other party rejecting her. In order to preserve her reputation, she would stoop down to even killing him…"
"What a venomous heart she has!"
"The reputation of the City Lord Manor has remained pristine over the years, but who could have thought that they would conduct such vile acts beneath the surface?"
"How embarrassing… I have never felt so embarrassed to be a citizen of Xuanjiang City before!"
There was no one who didn't understand what was going on after watching the video. Their eyes gradually turned hostile as they shifted their gazes toward Xue Chen and Xue Qin
With a pale face, Xue Qin felt as if her strength had receded from her body, causing her to slump to a heap on the ground.
She thought that everything would be settled after this. She would be free from the trash, and her reputation would soar as well… But things ended up in a direction she hadn't expected. Everything that she did was exposed so blatantly in public!
From this day on, her reputation would be completely shattered!
Everyone would only remember her as the cold-hearted woman who would stoop to colluding with the bandits in order to murder her fiancé in cold blood…
Who would dare to marry her with such a reputation to her name?
If such a matter could happen to Dan Xiaotian, how could they guarantee that they wouldn't be next?
"A bunch of nonsense! Today, I'll teach you a lesson for daring to fabricate lies about the City Lord Manor!" Xue Chen roared furiously as he abruptly charged at Dan Xiaotian and Cao Chengli.
With a powerful gust of wind, his palm struck forth with impressive might.
After everything that had happened, Xue Chen knew that he had been cornered. In such a scenario, the best thing he could do was to silence Dan Xiaotian and Cao Chengli. Only with their death would he be able to start salvaging the situation.
With his Ancient Sage 3-dan cultivation, he swiftly sealed everything within the room. In that instant, both Dan Xiaotian and Cao Chengli felt as if a ravenous wolf had set its sights on them, and it left them trembling from instincts.
Huo Jianghe's eyes turned cold in fury. He didn't think that Xue Chen would dare to kill those two in his presence.
It seemed like the other party was really looking down on him!
Huo Jianghe immediately grasped his sword, intending to stop Xue Chen, but in the next instant, he felt a palm pushing his hands down, preventing him from unsheathing his sword. He glared at the person beside him, only to see City Lord Xue Gan looking at him with a composed smile, "Master He, there's no need to worry. Xue Chen is just scaring the two of them, he won't really make a move on them. As a disciple of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion, it would be beneath you to get involved in the affairs of our city!"
Those words made Huo Jianghe narrow his eyes frostily.
There was no way he could mistake Xue Chen's killing intent. It was definitely not a bluff but a true strike to kill. If that palm were to land, the two of them would be killed on the spot.
After those two were eliminated, City Lord Xue Gan would step forward and expressed his regret at failing to keep his subordinate in line. He would then imprison Xue Chen until the matter finally died down…
By then, Dan Xiaotian and Cao Chengli would already be dead, so who would dare to question the City Lord Manor's judgement over two dead men?
And once everything blew over, Xue Chen would be released as if nothing had happened at all…
In the face of Xue Chen's devastating palm strike, Cao Chengli's face paled as sweat washed down his forehead.
He had only come to redress Dan Xiaotian's grievances under the orders of that mysterious book… He had no intention of losing his life here!
Just as he thought that his fate was sealed, the imposing momentum that was headed his way suddenly dissipated without a trace. Fearfully raising his head to take a peek, he saw the Ancient Sage 3-dan expert in front of him collapsing powerlessly to the ground.
Alarmed, Cao Chengli warily approached Xue Chen, only to see a small piercing from his forehead to the back of his head. He carefully placed his fingers in front of Xue Chen's nostrils, only to realize that the latter had already breathed his last! His fingers immediately jerked back out of shock.
He was dazed for a moment before he began frantically looking around for the murder weapon. However, the only thing he found was a mysterious stalk of grass stabbed into the ground. There were traces of grayish matter on the stalk of grass. As unbelievable as it may seem, it seemed like it was the weapon that had robbed Xue Chen of his life!
For a flimsy stalk of grass to pierce through the head of an Ancient Sage 3-dan cultivator… Just how powerful must one be to achieve such a feat?
The comprehension that there was a powerful expert around who could take his life at any moment filled Cao Chengli's mind with utmost horror. His body stiffened in fear, not daring to move in the least.
On the other hand, Huo Jianghe rose to his feet as he looked upon the scene in disbelief.
He was an Ancient Sage 4-dan primary stage expert just like City Lord Xue Gan, but even he knew that he would be unable to pull off something like that.
The flimsy structure of grass prevented one from exerting significant strength through it or infusing zhenqi into it. Yet, it actually breached an Ancient Sage 3-dan's zhenqi protective layer and pierced through his head…
More importantly, even though the matter had happened right before his eyes, he was actually unable to discern who the culprit was, or where the grass had come from at all!
It was almost as if the stalk of grass had appeared out of nowhere!
City Lord Xue Gan was as shocked as Huo Jianghe was, and he felt his body turning icy cold.
He knew that if he had been in Xue Chen's place, that strike would have ended his life with ease as well.
The only one present in the court that wasn't surprised was likely only Dan Xiaotian. He heaved a sigh of relief as he thought, "My teacher… is truly formidable!"
He knew that his teacher was an extraordinary cultivator, but he didn't think that he would actually be this powerful!
Suppressing his agitation and astonishment, Dan Xiaotian was just about to continue speaking when he saw City Lord Xue Gan rising to his feet with an indignant look on his face. "How dare Xue Chen commit such atrocities? To think that I have trusted him and entrusted him with the important position as the chief instructor of the City Lord Manor! I must have been blind back then. This is truly a huge disgrace… Such black sheep must be killed in order to send out a stern warning to the others!"
Dan Xiaotian was taken aback by Xue Gan's sudden outburst.
Was the latter claiming that he was the one who had killed Xue Chen?
Just how shameless could that fellow get?
"Xiaotian, I apologize for the suffering you have been through as a result of Xue Chen's willful actions. It's fortunate that you are smart enough to undo his ploy, or else our City Lord Manor would have fallen into disgrace as well!"
Xue Gan walked over to Dan Xiaotian, and assuming the role of a caring elder, he said with a warm voice, "Your engagement with my daughter was decided by your grandfather and my father. They might be gone now, but as their offspring, we cannot let their expectations down. I believe that the reason why Xue Qin committed such foolishness is because of Xue Chen's beguilement. That fellow has always been skilled at manipulating the hearts of others…"
Dan Xiaotain couldn't help but sneer upon seeing how swift Xue Gan was adapting to the situation. As expected of the city lord, Xue Gan was a wily old fox.
It was only because his teacher valued his privacy that he didn't want to step forward in this situation. Of everything that was gathered here, the one who boasted the greatest strength was Xue Gan, so it was only natural that everyone thought that he was the one who killed Xue Chen.
Making use of this mentality, Xue Gan immediately pushed all blame onto Xue Chen, making it sound as if the City Lord Manor wasn't involved in the matter at all… After this matter blew over, he would then placate everyone with a mixture of fear tactics and incentives, so the public sentiments against the City Lord Manor would die down soon enough.
Nevertheless, to be able to cast away his loyal subordinate so quickly, Xue Gan sure was a callous man.
"City Lord Xue Gan, you sure are a good jester," Dan Xiaotian chuckled a little before his eyes suddenly turned utterly cold, "The fifty elites dispatched by the City Lord Manor has died overnight, and a huge investigation was carried out right after. Are we to believe that this was all orchestrated by Xue Chen without your knowledge?"
The death of fifty elites was a heavy cost to the City Lord Manor. There was no way Xue Gan would have been completely oblivious to the matter!
While there were various smart individuals amongst the crowd who had already figured out as much, Dan Xiaotian's act of pointing it out candidly could be considered as a direct challenge toward the City Lord Manor.
Not expecting Xue Chen to continue harping on this matter even though he had already proposed a peaceful resolution, Xue Gan's face turned livid. He immediately sent a warning to Dan Xiaotian via zhenqi telepathy, "Is Xue Chen's death not enough for you? Are you intending to bring me down as well? Naive! Do you even have evidence to prove that I was involved in this matter too?"
Dan Xiaotian fell silent.
While Xue Qin's attitude had been awful, it was true that most of the ploys were planned and executed by Xue Chen. As a result, there was no direct link to indicate that Xue Gan had played a part in it as well… In fact, it was likely that even Xue Qin would be able to shirk responsibility off her too. After all, what she had mainly done was just to annul their engagement!
Her actions thus far might have been reprehensible from a moral standpoint, but it didn't infringe on the law. Unless he could prove that Xue Chen was acting under Xue Qin's commands, he wouldn't be able to indict her under any crime.
"If you don't have any evidence, I advise you not to run your mouth. I know that you have a formidable expert backing you, and that's why you were able to kill Xue Chen so easily. However, I am the lord of Xuanjiang City, and this is a title conferred to me directly by the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion! Only the elders of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion have the right to judge me! If the expert behind you dares to lay a hand on me, that could be interpreted as intervening in the internal affairs of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion… Do you think that the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion would allow someone who challenged their authority to get off scot-free? Or do you think that the person backing you have the ability to withstand the pressure coming from one of the Six Sects?" Xue Gan sneered.
"If you don't want the person backing you to get in trouble while trying to help you, I advise you to obediently heed my words and let this matter go. That would be the perfect ending, wouldn't it? Your marriage with Xue Qin will go on as planned, and you need not worry about the Dan Clan's enemies either!"
Dan Xiaotian's eyes reddened in fury, but he was unable to speak a word at all.
In truth, he had also guessed as much that City Lord Xue Gan had played a huge role in the incident that resulted in the deaths of his family back then, and he had been wanting to exact vengeance too!
But… what Xue Gan said made perfect sense too!
Through proper channels, none of them had the right to judge Xue Gan. And if his teacher were to dare make a move on Xue Gan privately, that would be no different from falling out with the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!
While his teacher was powerful, he didn't think that his teacher was strong enough to stand against the entire Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion!
"Even if I don't say anything more, I believe you should know what you have to do, right?" Seeing that Dan Xiaotian was beginning to waver, Xue Gan harrumphed coldly. "In case you foolishly think that you still stand a chance, allow me to reiterate this fact for you once more. Unless an elder of the Ascendant Cloud Sword Pavilion hears your prayer and appears right now, otherwise you'll just be digging your own…"
Before Xue Gan could finish his words, the resounding call of a beast sounded from the air. Several individuals descended from the sky right after.
Upon seeing this group of people, Huo Jianghe's eyes lit up, and he swiftly rushed forward and clasped his fist.
Elder Lu had finally arrived here from Starlight City!
Seeing this sight, the words that Xue Gan had wanted to speak ended up clogging inside his throat instead.