HSSB588: Reinvestigating the case
Yan Zhaoge’s gaze fell on Yin Liuhua, still standing within the barrier that restricted her within her lodgings as she was trembling non-stop.
She wanted to turn and flee, but her feet seemed like they had been plastered by cement to the ground as she was completely unable to run.
Yan Zhaoge shook his head, “I’d originally thought that only the mindset was wrong, being lazy and lackadaisical. Who knew…”
“Still, there are things other than that as well,” Yan Zhaoge no longer looked at Yin Liuhua, his gaze instead sweeping over Chang Zheng, “I feel that all of us having appeared here together itself already shows that something is wrong.”
Fu Enshu said coldly, “That’s right. I am very curious as to how the usually competent senior apprentice-brother Chang would have produced such an unsolvable case like this.”
Looking at Yan Zhaoge, Chang Zheng slowly answered, “Junior apprentice-sister Fu, with you being safe, the matters of back then would naturally come to light. However, it would be hard to bring things to a conclusion before that.”
Fu Enshu declined to be polite at all, “In having lied, Liuhua used the Blood Soul Recollection Ceremony, but the Blood Soul Recollection Ceremony can be falsified as well.”
“I understand my disciple very well. Her mind is frail. With your cultivation base, senior apprentice-brother Chang, you would be able to suppress her into panic with a single glance, forcing the truth out of her. How would she have been able to get through to this day?”
Fu Enshu gazed at Chang Zheng, “I do not believe that you, senior apprentice-brother, would not have been able to tell that something was wrong with her. Yet, why have things become like this?”
Chang Zheng answered calmly, “Junior apprentice-sister Fu, you words are too much. In being this way now, it is because junior apprentice-niece Yin has seen you personally arrive here. Seeing that she has been exposed, that is why she is so afraid now like her soul has left her body. When I was questioning junior apprentice-niece Yin, she did not exhibit any abnormalities, appearing very stable of mind.”
He looked expressionlessly at Fu Enshu, “Junior apprentice-sister Fu, perhaps you aren’t as familiar with your disciple as you think you are. Otherwise, why would you not have been able to tell earlier that her intentions aren’t good, actually consorting with the enemy and framing her fellow disciple?”
Fu Enshu was greatly enraged as her brows shot up, “Chang Zheng, who are you fooling?”
Elder Qin frowned, “While educating disciples, which Master ever pressures and interrogates their disciples’ minds? Can this really be the same as the investigations of your Disciplinary Hall?”
Fu Enshu stared coldly at Chang Zheng, “If you aren’t feeling guilty, what have you come here for?”
“While it was Yunsheng who suffered in this matter, in having come here, it was probably Liuhua rather than her that you came for.”
Yin Liuhua’s entire body stiffened. Watching Chang Zheng’s gaze, she vaguely came to a realisation as she felt greatly afraid of what would surely have happened.
While Chang Zheng had been unceasingly investigating Feng Yunsheng, he had still generally moved in accordance to procedures in this area. There was not much fault which could be found with that.
However, if not for him having always been secretly helping Yin Liuhua, she should have been exposed long ago.
After Fu Enshu had returned to the Mountain and the truth had been revealed, Chang Zheng’s handling of Feng Yunsheng, if taken leniently, could be seen as overly strict as it might have hindered the Extreme Yin Bout and affected the bigger picture in its conservativism. If taken harshly, it would still only be the incorrect handling of matters and failing to properly carry out his duties at most.
However, after Fu Enshu had interrogated Yin Liuhua and learnt how Chang Zheng had been questioning her, she had immediately been able to tell that there was something off about him.
It was precisely in order to silence the witnesses that Chang Zheng had appeared here today, borrowing the assault of the Radiant Light Sect experts on the Mountain as concealment by portraying them as an accidental casualty.
However, it was Yin Liuhua as well as the solitary practitioner Hong Jiaqi whom he had been intending to silence.
Understanding this, Yin Liuhua knelt down on the ground before Fu Enshu, weeping non-stop, “Master! Do not be angered, Master! Forgive this disciple’s momentary muddle-headedness, being bewitched by the dogs of the Sacred Sun Clan.”
“During the process of the investigation, senior apprentice-uncle Chang indeed abetted me greatly. He should be someone of the Sacred Sun Clan!”
Chang Zheng glanced expressionlessly at Yin Liuhua, quietly thinking, “Useless in achievements and yet proficient in causing failure.”
Having been testified against by Yin Liuhua, his expression did not change as he instead said frankly, “I have handled matters incorrectly, failing my role as the First Seat of the Disciplinary Hall. I am willing to resign my position to a better candidate, solitarily reflecting on my mistakes.”
“Still, I cannot listen to junior apprentice-niece Yin maligning me like this.”
Chang Zheng said resolutely, “The heavens and earth can serve as my witness. As a descendant of Broad Creed Mountain, this Chang has never ever had any dealings with the Sacred Sun Clan. I do not fear my shadow tilting as I walk straight and just. Wherever I go, I will still maintain this as true.”
He looked at Yin Liuhua, “Maligning me cannot reduce the crimes that you have committed.”
“Consorting with the enemy and framing your fellow disciple, in a scheme that even concerns our clan obtaining the Extreme Yin Crown. Such a crime is already punishable by death.”
“Junior apprentice-niece Feng has proven her innocence. Meanwhile, that attack back in the East Sea was related to you in having leaked your movements. I have reason to suspect that you intentionally leaked the news to the Sacred Sun Clan in order to harm junior apprentice-niece Feng.”
“Still maligning your Elder now, by the laws of the clan, there is more than sufficient cause in calling for your death.”
Yin Liuhua was rendered wide-eyed and tongue-tied as she hissed, “No! It was you, it was you…”
Chang Zheng no longer looked at her, seemingly being completely disdainful of arguing with her.
Looking towards Yan Zhaoge, Feng Yunsheng, Fu Enshu and Elder Qin, he said solemnly, “My eyes were blinded by others, and I was overly cautious in handling affairs, thus causing junior apprentice-niece Feng needless suffering and affecting the clan’s acquisition of the Extreme Yin Crown. These are all my fault. However, saying that I am in league with the Sacred Sun Clan would be maligning me.”
“Junior apprentice-sister Fu, I already said earlier that I was just passing by in patrolling the area. You have mistaken me.”
Fu Enshu smiled coldly, “Pushing it cleanly away. You mean that you have only been negligent in your duties?”
Chang Zheng said calmly, “The faultless know their innocence.”
Feng Yunsheng suddenly asked now, “Since that is so, why did senior apprentice-uncle Chang want to frame me?”
Chang Zheng frowned, “What are you saying?”
Feng Yunsheng looked straight at him, “At the very start of the investigation, you found a Shadow Spirit Talisman in my Shadow Shrinking Pouch. That didn’t belong to me.”
“Senior apprentice-uncle Chang, you asked me whether Yin Liuhua could have come into contact with my Shadow Shrinking Pouch.”
“Whatever the Disciplinary Hall asked Yin Liuhua, she would definitely have denied it regardless of whether it was true or not.”
Hearing her words, Chang Zheng’s gaze focused slightly.
Feng Yunsheng said, “I answered back then that she could. Yet, in truth, she didn’t have such a chance.”
“Other than me myself, those who could have touched my Shadow Shrinking Pouch included only Elder Wang who took it away from my place as well as you yourself who guarded it afterwards.”
“The Shadow Spirit Talisman wasn’t mine, nor was it Yin Liuhua’s. Then, it could only belong to either you or senior apprentice-aunt Wang. How about we invite senior apprentice-aunt Wang over now?”
Chang Zheng’s expression did not change, but he sent a deep glance Feng Yunsheng’s way.
Feng Yunsheng’s gaze was bright and her expression fearless, “I had originally thought that Yin Liuhua had simply colluded with outsiders to frame me. However, after having heard about that Shadow Shrinking Talisman, I then knew that it was not simply Yin Liuhua who was problematic.”
“The one who was acting against me was likely you, senior apprentice-uncle Chang of the Disciplinary Hall, who holds a high status within the clan. I could also not be sure whether it was only you. Being uncertain of who I could report this to, I could only stay patient and let things pass. Fortunately, Master and Zhaoge were blessed by the heavens.”
Chang Zheng inhaled deeply, saying mildly, “Junior apprentice-niece Feng, I know that you feel wronged. However, you needn’t try to take revenge on me in such a manner. I was only doing my job at the time. After today, I will also be voluntarily stepping down from the role of First Seat of the Disciplinary Hall as I accept any punishments that are meted out to me for my failures.”
“Instead, it is you who should know that maligning a senior is a serious offence. Do not commit a mistake due to a moment’s anger. The clan does not prohibit its disciples from privately owning Shadow Spirit Talismans.”
Feng Yunsheng’s expression did not change, “Senior apprentice-uncle Chang is too serious. I am simply voicing my uncertainties.”
“With your history, why would you do something that would leave yourself so clearly vulnerable? There should be something that made you want to indict me so strongly, or want me to be unable to be absolved of the crime for a long time, thus acting so hastily.”
“If you are not someone of the Sacred Sun Clan, what benefit would there be in this for you?”
Chang Zheng had just been about to reply when Yan Zhaoge spoke up mildly, “I think I know why.”