"The Flower Wine Monk begged for mercy on his knees. The fourth clan head was merciful and kind, intending to spare his life. Yet the Flower Wink Monk suddenly launched a sneak attack, and the clan head flew into a rage, killing the Flower Wine Monk on the spot. However, due to the heavy injuries from the sneak attack, he passed away not long after. Alas, demonic path members were indeed treacherous and unworthy of kindness…."
However, as Tie Ruo Nan read through this content, her eyes gradually dimmed down.
"What a pity, this Flower Wine Monk died on the spot and couldn’t leave behind an inheritance. If he could leave an inheritance, that would be perfect to explain everything," The young girl sighed inwardly.
Yet she didn’t give up and continued to flip through the Gu Yue clan records, until the time was up and Gu Yue Yao Ji rushed them out.
Fang Zheng welcomed the Tie father and daughter outside of the clan pavillion, "Were there any discoveries?"
Tie Xue Leng was silent whereas Tie Ruo Nan gave a bitter smile and shook her head.
Fang Zheng continued, "I just thought of something which might be of help. Big brother and Chi faction worked quite closely, and the Chi faction’s elder Gu Yue Chi Lian had once defended him in front of everyone. Lady Tie, do you think this Liquor worm could have been secretly handed over by elder Chi Lian to my big brother?"
"Chi faction?" Tie Ruo Nan frowned.
"Yes. Chi and Mo faction were the most influential factions of our Gu Yue clan before the wolf tide," Fang Zheng explained.
How was Fang Yuan involved with Chi faction? Tie Ruo Nan reflected on this.
She started feeling a headache; this was her first case and she had been full of confidence at first but when she actually started doing it, she felt that it was filled with difficulties.
When she had seen her father solving the cases, it was as if success was guaranteed; all the mysteries were solved with methodical and orderly arrangement. However, she realized how truly difficult it was to solve a case when it was her turn.
There seemed to be no trails sometimes whereas all kinds of weird clues seemed to emerge, causing Tie Ruo Nan to be at wit’s end.
It was like she was covered in a dense fog and she didn’t know how close or far she was from the truth.
Would this clue regarding Chi faction be of any use?
Tie Ruo Nan couldn’t help but feel at a loss, and she subconsciously looked at her father.
"Father should have already discovered some clues, right?" At this moment, the admiration in the young girl towards her father deepened further.
"If it was my father, this case should have already been solved. I am still far away from father’s level. But even if I fail, as long as father is here, the truth will come out and the killer will be punished." Tie Ruo Nan felt ashamed but also a sense of pride.
With Tie Xue Leng here, she had no worries that the criminal could get away.
But the young girl quickly shook her head, getting angry. The anger was towards herself.
"Ruo Nan, you are worthless. Didn’t you think of surpassing father? How can you surpass him if you have the mentality of always relying on him!?"
"Ruo Nan, cheer up, you can do it!" The young girl pursed her lips, inwardly encouraging herself.
Her spirit boiled up again.
She decided to overthrow her previous conjectures and start over.
"If Fang Yuan didn’t obtain the Liquor worm from an inheritance and got it from other people, then this Chi faction would be the biggest suspect. However, why would Chi faction take notice of a C grade aptitude ordinary student and secretly give him the Liquor worm?"
"What does Fang Yuan have that Chi faction felt it worthy to invest in him? Because he is Fang Zheng’s brother? No, that is almost negligible. Wait a second, it might not be Chi faction taking the initiative to invest in him. There is another possi
bility, and that is because Fang Yuan blackmailed them!"
"If it is truly so, what did Fang Yuan have on them to make them hold their nose and obediently compromise with a student that had yet to be a Gu Master?"
Tie Ruo Nan racked her brains and an answer seemed to gradually emerge in her mind.
But this answer was blurry like the light behind a paper window. Tie Ruo Nan could feel its existence but she couldn’t grasp and understand it.
"Father." The young girl suddenly raised her head and looked at Tie Xue Leng, "I would like to borrow the Cactus Pointer."
Tie Xue Leng replied in a relaxed voice, "The suggestion given by Cactus pointer is based upon the information the user has. It only speculates on behalf of you and might not be accurate. Are you sure you want to use it?"
The young girl nodded.
Cactus pointer was a seed.
Tie Ruo Nan buried it in the ground then used her palm to press on the soil, transferring her white silver primeval essence to it.
After several breaths, she withdrew her hand. Soon, they could see the soil loosening up, and a young sprout grew out of it.
The newborn sprout was a translucent green, and looked very fragile. It quickly grew, becoming bigger and bigger, and its color changed from fragile greenish yellow to verdant green, then finally to dark green.
Its appearance was similar to a cactus. It had thick flesh, the surface covered with sharp black thorns and was lush green all over.
Within moments, a flower bud appeared on its top part.
The white flower bud gradually grew, becoming charming and delicate. The main body of the cactus, however, was shrinking as if its moisture was being squeezed out.
Tie Ruo Nan stretched her fingers and gently plucked this flower bud. The moment the flower bud was taken out, the cactus started turning grey and completely died after a few seconds.
The cactus pointer was a Rank three consumable Gu.
Tie Ruo Nan carefully opened the flower bud.
The flower bud, however, was not wrapped up with layers of petals, instead appearing similar to a ball of paper.
When Tie Ruo Nan completely opened it, it formed into a neat and square white paper.
There were only one word written on the white paper —‘Aptitude’.
This word would mean nothing to others and might even sound ridiculous. But to Tie Ruo Nan, it was a very important tip.
The cactus pointer was used just like this; it gave insights to the Gu Masters who had racked their brains but couldn’t advance forward. It pierced the paper window and let the Gu Masters see the light.
"Right, it is aptitude!" Tie Ruo Nan shouted.
She immediately took out the letter which recorded all the intels collected by Jia Fu.
There was something written in this intel which described the details on when and at what price Gu Yue Chi Lian had bought the Cleansing Water Gu.
"It’s this! I only briefed through this earlier and neglected it, not considering the underlying meaning. But the cactus pointer speculated on my behalf and gave me the answer. This Cleansing Water Gu only has one use and that is to cleanse the foreign primeval essence auras from the aperture."
"Why did Gu Yue Chi Lian need it? Hehe, this situation is too common and happens a lot in many clans. He should have bought this for Chi faction’s inheritor. Chi faction’s inheritor should have a bad aptitude, so Gu Yue Chi Lian poured his primeval essence to raise the former’s cultivation. The Cleansing Water Gu is necessary to remove any after-effects from this action. By some chance, Fang Yuan found this secret and used it to blackmail Chi faction, thus forcing them to compromise and give him the Liquor worm."
Tie Ruo Nan kept on mumbling out her conjecture.
"Lady Tie, you are amazing. You could deduce so many things with just this word! But Gu Yue Chi Cheng clearly has B grade aptitude," Fang Zheng said.
"B grade aptitude? Hehe, does that mean it can’t be fake? It is very simple to prove this. We only need to examine Chi Cheng’s aperture and the truth will be out." Tie Ruo Nan’s gaze was burning as her mouth slightly curved upwards.
"That’s inappropriate." Tie Xue Leng, however, shook his head disapprovingly.
If this truth was found out, it would be a great blow to Chi faction, leading to turmoil among the Gu Yue village’s higher-ups and causing political conflicts.
Tie Xue Leng said, "We came here to solve a case and not to wreck havoc. In the end, we are outsiders and unless it is absolutely necessary, we can’t meddle in other clan’s politics."
Tie Ruo Nan nodded, "Father is right. Besides this, there are also other ways to prove it. I remember that clans use a Photo-audio Gu to record every important sacrificial ritual. This is a traditional practice and I believe Gu Yue clan isn’t an exception. I want to refer to the Awakening Ceremony’s image!"
"Divine investigator Tie, you have constantly been on the move for so many days and have gone through a lot of trouble to solve the case, please come have tea. As for the image you want to look into, it is stored in the secret room inside the underground cave which is among the clan’s restricted areas. It would be inconvenient to let you two enter, but I have already sent someone to get it. It will be here in a short while," Gu Yue Bo spoke with a smile.
"I have troubled the clan leader," Tie Xue Leng politely said.
Tie Ruo Nan and Gu Yue Fang Zheng were standing on the side.
"Divine investigator Tie, if I may be so bold to ask a favor…." Gu Yue Bo suddenly said.
Tie Xue Leng. "Oh? Please speak, clan leader."
"This is our Qing Mao Mountain’s internal affair. My clan, Bai clan and Xiong clan have always been in a deadlock but that changed due to the wolf tide. Xiong village evaded the wolf tide with malicious intentions and tried to take advantage of the wolf tide to weaken the other two clans. The negotiation earlier for compensation with them ended up in nothing. Hence, our three clans decided to hold a three-clans tournament. Only Gu Masters at age thirty or below can participate in it, and it will decide the future strength of each clan."
Upon saying this, Gu Yue Bo sighed, "Actually I have already felt that something was strange with Fang Yuan long ago, but couldn’t look into it properly because of the wolf tide. If he really is the killer, my clan absolutely won’t shield him. But I hope Divine Investigator Tie can delay this for a few days, since the three-clans competition is hosted on the day after tomorrow."
Fang Yuan killed old Wang’s whole family, but they were just mortals and it was not worth investigating. What if he killed them? It wasn’t a big deal.
However, if he really killed Jia Jin Sheng, then that would change everything.
If Gu Yue clan still protected Fang Yuan, that would mean becoming enemies with Jia family and losing the chance to trade with Jia family caravan again; it would even result in Jia family’s retaliation.
Organizations protected their inner members, but if benefits were endangered, the organization could easily give up one or two members for the greater good.
The organization’s earliest form came from ancient times. Human clans assembled together for their survival, borrowing each other’s strength to gather more food and dividing up their work to hunt more successfully.
Any organization’s essence was obtaining maximum benefits.
If one or two members obstructed the organization’s path to benefits, then sacrificing them was a natural thing.
Thus, even if there were very few elders in Gu Yue clan right now, if there came a time when they had to abandon Fang Yuan, the clan leader would have no hesitation.
However, the day after tomorrow was the three-clans competition. The results of this competition would decide their future for the next few years as well as the benefit allocation of Qing Mao mountain. As a Rank three Gu Master, Fang Yuan was a vital fighting force for the Gu Yue clan.
Just like Bai clan’s clan leader, Gu Yue Bo also wanted to squeeze out Fang Yuan’s maximum worth.