7 AM, at the East Gate of the Redwood Royal City.
A few of the horse carriers ran through the official's street outside of the East Gate. As if he were a dragon and his horse a tiger, the Redwood King brought the four Stage Nine Elders and all the Stage Eight Elders to gather outside the East Gate.
On the official's street, all the passersby and merchants were forbidden to ride on it. Emergency measures had been imposed outside the East Gate.
Of course, the Redwood King had his own reasons for doing it this way. He did not want the outside world to know that he was the culprit behind the case of those missing girls.
Although he was the supreme ruler of a Territory, he still needed to care for his reputation even if he had proclaimed those strong words to Qin Wushuang.
Smiling leisurely, Qin Wushuang rode on the horse and slowly walked out from the side. From afar, he saw the unhappy looking Redwood King and those subordinates who seemed as if they wanted to swallow him whole. Yet, he did not care.
Instead, he said lightly: "Redwood King, you have indeed kept your promise. Let them go!"
When the Redwood King saw that Qin Wushuang had tied his son on the horse's back and he could not determine if his son was alive or dead, of course, he became inwardly infuriated.
"Let Fei'Er talk to me."
Qin Wushuang assented: "Sure!"
He Yufei raised his head powerlessly: "Father!"
Pain throbbed inside the Redwood King's chest as he shouted: "Let them go!"
Once he gave the orders, indeed, those girls were pushed out from the horse carriers. In total, there were seven or eight of them. Qin Wushuang glanced around and saw his sister was among them. Her face appeared ashen and unyielding, and anger filled her eyes.
The Redwood King was also cunning. He had deliberately let go of everyone to see whom Qin Wushuang would greet. Thus, he could follow this clue and learn the background of the other party.
Once the immediate danger to his son had been taken care of, the Redwood King would come down with a tempest of vengeance.
Now, the hatred accumulated inside of the Redwood King had reached an extent where no rivers or lakes could wash it away.
Qin Wushuang only sneered and did not speak.
"Give each of them a horse, a bag of food and a hundred silver coins!" The Redwood waved his hand and handed over all the prepared goods.
"Young man, I have stepped back continuously, now it should be the time for you to speak, right?"
Qin Wushuang nodded and smiled: "If everything goes smoothly, after half of a month, you will get your son back. If something happens in between now and then…"
The face of the Redwood King had slightly twisted and trembled: "Ok, I will wait for you for half a month! If, after half a month... just you wait if Fei'Er does not return! I don't care which aristocratic family you belong to in the Redwood Royal Territory. I promise, you will become homeless and destitute, and all nine generations of your people will be killed!"
Qin Wushuang revealed a relaxed expression and shrugged his shoulders: "I will wait."
Then, he shouted: "Girls, it was the Redwood King who captured you and who let you go! Remember, freedom does not come easily. If you want to stay alive and to see your parents, then go now!"
Panicking, although most of those girls could not ride a horse, they still climbed and left in a hurry.
Qin Xiu glanced at Qin Wushuang with doubt. However, she did not linger and charged through the officials' street.
When she heard him speak, she felt his tone sounded somewhat familiar. However, he had apparently changed his voice intentionally. Instinctively, Qin Xiu judged that this person should be her little brother, Qin Wushuang.
However, under such circumstances, Qin Xiu knew it was not appropriate to meet with him. Or else, they would face unending consequences once the Redwood King got ahold of her brother's real identity.
Both parties remained in a passive state until after lunch. Qin Wushuang only laughed after he had guessed that those girls had already gotten far away: "Redwood King, there is no need for you to see me off. You should pray that in this half a month that nothing goes wrong. Or else…"
After he had said this, he rushed onto his horse and left.
Revealing an ashen look, the Redwood King waved his hand and stopped those elite family warriors who tried to chase him.
"Your Royal Highness, have you seen through something?"
The muscle on the face of the Redwood King trembled helplessly: "That blue-clothed, pretty looking girl, where is she from?"
"Your Royal Highness, from the list, she is from the River County."
"River County?" The Redwood King's face froze and asked with a demanding tone: "What is her surname?"
"Qin?" Suddenly, the Redwood King was stunned, and his expression became complicated as he muttered: "Qin? Eastwood Qin? Could it be, him?"
"Qin Wushuang?" Now, those family Elders also saw the light.
The Redwood King waved his horsewhip violently and shouted: "Search, investigate thoroughly! Eastwood Qin! If I don't destroy your family, I promise I am not a human being!"
"Reporting, Royal Highness, news from the Southcloud State, that Qin Wushuang had once visited the Xi Men residence and invited all owners of the clothing manufacturing shops, he asked them to examine a piece of fabric…"
"Reporting… Royal Highness, news from the Third Young Master in the imperial capital that Qin Wushuang did not meet with the Martial Saint with them. He had left the capital beforehand!"
"Your Royal Highness…"
Different news kept arriving, and all the clues pointed to the same direction—
Most likely, the enemy was that Qin Wushuang!
It was a name where the Redwood King could never feel relieved to hear.
Initially, his third son, He Yuchong, was supposed to get the first place for sure. In the end, a dark horse appeared out of nowhere and took away his victory. It counted as an old grudge!
His eldest son needed to collect three hundred and sixty virgins born in the year of rabbit to sacrifice them to Old Man Ji Yin in order to practice his Innate Nefarious Technique. Then, this incident had happened and his second son had been kidnapped. The culprit was also Qin Wushuang!
It was the beginnings of a vendetta!
Before the old grudge had been resolved, a new grudge was added!
If he had a choice, the Redwood King had only one thought—Make the Eastwood Qin completely disappear!
Of course, this incident involved many people and particular circumstances. Especially since Qin Wushuang had stood out in this exam and had, apparently, become the most precious person to the Martial Saint. In the entire Bai Yue Country, he had become the most popular guy.
He needed to deal with him, yet he could not just kill him. Just as he was lost in his thoughts, one of his trusted aides walked in quickly.
"Your Royal Highness, there is an imperial edict!"
Imperial Edict? Stunned, the Redwood King wondered why did this imperial decree come now?
To the current Emperor, the Redwood King was his brother from the same family. A long time ago, he was assigned to the Redwood Royal Territory. Although they were not brothers related by blood, in the end, they were from the same family.
Nominally, they were brothers. However, he could not give unequal emphasis to etiquette. Since the imperial edict had arrived, the Redwood King did not dare to act sloppy and hurriedly tidied his clothes to welcome those who brought the decree.
After some chit chat, that Eunuch who brought the edict smiled and said: "Your Royal Highness, please hear the imperial edict!"
The Redwood King brought all his people and subordinates to kneel on the ground to hear the edict.
"In the Mandate of the Heavens, the Emperor speaks this imperial order…" With a high-pitched voice, that Eunuch started to read the edict.
At first, the Redwood King did not speak a word and listened respectfully. The more he listened, the more he felt that something was wrong. From the imperial edict, the Emperor had started off by praising this martial arts student exam. Then, he changed his tone and praised the victor for this exam and talked about the rewards along the way.
That was normal, however, what really made the Redwood King feel a boiling hot rage surge up within him was the following. It seemed that most of the territory given out as a reward to the new King had to come from his Redwood Royal Territory. One state from the Southcloud and the other one was the Green Tree State next to it. Two states worth of boundaries were taken out from his Redwood Royal Territory.
Of course, the Royal Family would also compensate the loss of the land owned by the Redwood King.
If the Eunuch herald weren't here, the Redwood King would have most likely cursed loudly on the spot.
After that announcing Eunuch had finished reading the edict, he smiled: "Your Royal Highness, the Emperor meant it this way, please take the imperial edict!"
Although the Redwood King was inwardly enraged, he did not dare to fail to perform his duties and maintain his manners: "Long live the Emperor, may he live for ten thousand years!"
The words had to be squeezed out through gritted teeth. In fact, he inwardly cursed the current Emperor more than a hundred times.
Of course, that Eunuch knew that the Redwood King was inwardly enraged. He did not dare to linger any longer. Thus, he smiled apologetically: "Your Royal Highness, I have finished my task and I will be going back to report to the imperial capital."
"I will not send you off," The Redwood King said lightly.
As soon as the Eunuch had stepped out, the Redwood King slammed his fist down on the chair.
Ka, Ka, Ka!
Instantly, that chair turned into pieces and scattered.
Qin Wushuang, it's that Qin Wushuang again…" Driven mad by his extreme anger, the Redwood King laughed but inwardly, his fury had reached its limits.
He knew that most likely that the Emperor had not truly sent out this imperial edict. Surely, it had come from the Martial Saint Mountain. In other words, the Martial Saint Mountain were clear on their intentions. They wanted to lavish the victor of this martial arts student's exam.
The Mother Country had ordered their Subordinate Countries to organize this exam. It carried a profound meaning. The Redwood King questioned himself, with the current situation, he knew he was not in a position to deal with Qin Wushuang even though he was a King of a Royal Territory.
However, with the combination of the old and new grudges, and today he had been forced to cut apart his land, it was not something that the Redwood King could obediently accept!
"Your Royal Highness, I do have a way!"
It was the Great Elder who talked, who was the head of the Stage Nine Warriors in the family.
"Great Elder, what is your idea?" The Redwood King asked quickly.
"Your Royal Highness, Old Man Ji Yin needed those virgins to train his Innate Nefarious Technique. This matter, on the Redwood Royal Territory, apparently we are not in a good situation to deal with the Qin family. However, it was the offspring of the Qin family who had destroyed the training process of Old Man Ji Yin. If we report this incident to the Ji Yin Mountain at the Great Luo Empire, surely Old Man Ji Yin would become furious. To get someone else to do the dirty work… I believe even that one from the Martial Saint Mountain could not stop Old Man Ji Yin …"
Revealing a dark face, the Redwood King nodded slightly. Apparently, he agreed with Great Elder's idea to let someone else do the dirty work. With the status of Old Man Ji Yin from the Great Luo Empire, murdering an offspring from a Subordinate Country was the same as killing a dog.
The Great Luo Empire had a dozen Subordinate Countries. In the eyes of a mighty warrior such as the Old Man Ji Yin, a mere exam victor from a Subordinate Country was not worth mentioning. Even if he had murdered him, most likely the Great Luo Empire had to weigh the severity of the issues, and they would compromise in the end.
Of course, the Royal Families of the Great Luo Empire could not become hostile with the Old Man Ji Yin on this little matter.
This method did sound doable!
Even if Old Man Ji Yin himself did not come, as long as he was willing to lend a hand, he could send any of his exceptional disciples that could easily destroy the entire Qin family!
When he thought there, malevolent intent filled the eyes of the Redwood King.
He decided this would be the best tactic. To let someone else do the dirty work and kill many birds with one stone. Not only could he use it to get rid of Qin Wushuang who was a thorn in his side, but he could also follow the trend and stabilize his youngest son, He Yuchong's status in the Martial Arts Society in the Great Empire!
And that person at the Martial Saint Mountain?
Haha, everyone knew that although he was a mighty warrior at the Upper-Sky Realm, he was old. He had reached a point where he must find an heir!