Soon, Bai Ziliang and Lan Susu, Kong Zhi and Ba Jie, as well as their respective subordinates, were all brought over.
When they saw the gathered members of the six families and noticed the two people looking down on them from above, the twelve of them wondered what was going on. They only knew that the people who brought them here weren't exactly in the best of moods.
"Which of you have been to this lord's Skyfire Mountain?" Lie Huan asked coldly.
The twelve of them were immediately shocked. 'Could this be Supreme Yao Lord Lie Huan?'
As they still couldn't make heads or tails of the situation, the twelve of them were afraid to answer his question. Ji Meimei and Grandmaster Qi Jie transmitted their voices to their respective members, asking if they'd gone to Skyfire Mountain and wrecked Supreme Yao Lord Lie Huan's Supreme Fire Palace. Both sides gave similar answers—they did go to Skyfire Mountain, but they had never even seen this Supreme Fire Palace.
Lie Huan laughed coldly. "It looks like you won't speak until I teach you some pain! Men! First, chop off their hands, then their legs! If these stubborn fools won't talk, then keep on cutting at them, and don't stop until you take down their heads!"
Bai Ziliang and the others were horrified. Since Yun Guang and the others weren't involved in the matter, they just stood by and watched.
With an indifferent expression, Qing Feng gently nodded. The six men standing on both sides of the plaza immediately moved to carry out Lie Huan's orders. Suddenly, Ji Meimei yelled, "Wait!"
Lie Huan leaned his body forward and asked mockingly, "Ji Meimei, do you think that just because you're Ji Huan's daughter, I won't dare to touch you? It's not like this lord offended anyone, and yet your members destroyed my home without rhyme nor reason. Don't you think my anger is quite justified? Even if Ji Huan were to question me himself, I wouldn't be afraid to stand my ground!"
Ji Meimei cupped her fists and said, "Big Brother Lie, you're exaggerating. We've known each other for a long time. Do you think your little sister is someone so unreasonable?"
Lie Huan laughed and said, "Before you got married, you were quite the unruly princess. With your old man Ji Huan backing you, you didn't hold anyone in regard. I've actually never seen you speak so reasonably before. But I guess you've learned some humility after getting married."
A sense of bitterness flitted past Ji Meimei's eyes. Forcing a smile, she said, "I was naive in the past. If I've ever offended Big Brother Lie, I ask that you forgive me. However, let us talk about the current issue instead. Big Brother Lie wishes to find the culprit who ransacked your Supreme Fire Palace. But if you kill all of them now, wouldn't you be cutting off the trail of clues and letting the true culprit go?"
"How do you know I'll be letting the true culprit go if I kill them all?" Lie Huan narrowed his eyes at her, and asked, "Do you know something?"
"I don't know much either. However, I've just asked my son, and he said that while they had indeed gone to Skyfire Mountain, they didn't enter the Supreme Fire Palace. Although they did witness a certain someone enter it."
Lie Huan immediately pointed at her and asked, "Who?"
Ji Meimei extended her arm to the side and gestured for her son to step forward and answer in her stead. "Ziliang, hurry up and tell your Uncle Lie what you saw. Be honest and don't hide anything."
"This young one greets Uncle Lie." Bai Ziliang stepped forward and cupped his fists in greeting. Deep down, he was overjoyed. 'Looks like I was scared for nothing. Let's see how that bastard is going to escape this time!' However, he still put up a serious expression and said, "The one that intruded into the Supreme Fire Palace is a Celestial Nation cultivator called Yan Beihong. He's presently inside this Western Constellations Palace!"
Tang Jun, Hong Chen, and Zuo Nanchun were all shocked by his words. Although Tang Jun was oblivious to the fact, the other two were aware that the Yan Beihong everyone now knew was actually Miao Yi!
"Foolish child. How dare you make such irresponsible remarks!" Tang Jun pointed at Bai Ziliang and abruptly yelled. Even though he wasn't exactly acquainted with Miao Yi, he obviously needed to protect the latter at a time like this. Cupping his fists at Lie Huan, Tang Jun said, "Lie Huan, this child has an ulterior motive. He has a grievance with Yan Beihong, and is using this opportunity to sabotage him!"
Lie Huan raised an eyebrow, then Bai Ziliang pointed towards Kong Zhi and said, "If Senior Tang doesn't believe me, you can ask them. They too are witnesses. You'll know whether or not this junior was lying if you just ask them."
Everyone immediately looked towards Kong Zhi and the others. Lie Huan swept a gaze across, and said curtly, "If you mutter even a single lie, I will show you no mercy!"
As Lie Huan said this, Ba Jie immediately nodded repeatedly, and said, "He's right. It's that bastard. I—"
Seeing how everyone was behaving so timidly before Lie Huan, the bastard wanted to rid himself of this troublesome affair as quickly as he could. 'Better that someone else dies than me.' However, before he could finish, Fairy Hong Chen's voice transmission suddenly rang by his ears, saying, "Hush! If any mishap were to befall upon that Yan Beihong, I can guarantee that your sister will never forgive you!"
She couldn't tell him outright that he was about to expose his big brother.
'Never forgive me? What could it be that's so serious? Don't tell me that asshole is in a relationship with my sister, and could be my future brother-in-law?' Ba Jie was greatly shocked. However, as he still wasn't clear about the situation, and since Fairy Hong Chen had already put it like that, he could only change his sentence midway, "I—I wasn't really paying attention, to be honest!"
Bai Ziliang was taken aback by his answer. Pointing at Ba Jie angrily, he snarled, "You're lying. You saw everything. At the time, you even talked to him and wanted to steal his belongings!"
"You can eat whatever you want, but you can't simply say whatever you please. How can a kind and benevolent monk like myself possibly want to steal someone else's belongings?" Ba Jie pointed back at Bai Ziliang and asked, "Bai Ziliang, I ask you this: at the time, did that guy lose a leg because of you?"
Bai Ziliang was surprised by the arbitrary question. Confused as to what the other party was playing at, he hesitated to answer.
Noticing his hesitation, Ba Jie immediately clapped his hands in prayer and said to Lie Huan, "Supreme Yao Lord, no manner of deceit can escape your judgment. Just look. This kid is feeling guilty now."
Lie Huan narrowed his eyes at Bai Ziliang. It did look as though he was feeling guilty.
Ji Meimei was instantly flustered, and Bai Ziliang was just as shocked. He replied loudly, "That's right. I made him lose a leg. But so what? It's survival of the fittest in the Sea of Constellations Subjugation Crusade to begin with. What's so strange about it then?"
"I didn't say it was strange at all. I was purely asking you a question. You could have just said yes or no. Why do you have to be so restless? Are you feeling guilty, perhaps?" Ba Jie asked curiously.
"You… What do I have to be guilty about?!" Bai Ziliang was completely flustered by Ba Jie's words. 'We were clearly talking about 'Yan Beihong'. Why is this bastard pointing the arrow back to me?' He was worried that Ba Jie was trying to set him up.
"If you're not feeling guilty, then just answer honestly!" Ba Jie shook his head and sighed, as though it was an exhausting task to speak to Bai Ziliang. He asked, "Bai Ziliang, I'll ask you a different question: was that guy's clothes all torn up, and his appearance completely unkempt that he barely looked like a person?"
Ji Meimei looked at Ba Jie apprehensively, not sure what this dirty monk was trying to achieve by talking in circles like this. She was also worried that he was trying to sabotage her son.
Bai Ziliang also felt quite restless from Ba Jie's questions. He hesitated briefly, then grit his teeth and answered, "That's right!"
When Bai Ziliang said this, Zuo Nanchun lowered his gaze slightly. He never thought that Miao Yi had actually gone through so much suffering.
Fairy Hong Chen felt a tinge of sorrow as well. The guy had one leg chopped off, and was reduced to such a miserable state that he lost all semblance of a person. How much pain did he have to go through? If Yue Yao were to find out, she would surely be heartbroken.
However, even then, the two were unaware of the torment Miao Yi felt as he was being burned to a crisp.
"Then what more needs to be said? You made him lose a leg, tore up his clothes, and ruined his appearance so much he barely looked human. You acknowledged this yourself. As such, how can you possibly expect me to be sure of what he looks like? On the other hand, the Yan Beihong we saw had both legs intact, has a handsome and noble countenance, and is charismatic to boot. He's like an entirely different person. How can I be sure then? As a monk, I will never make up stories. You don't expect me to lie, do you?" Ba Jie clapped his hands in prayer and said in a sanctimonious tone.
Grandmaster Qi Jie was lost for words. No one understood this disciple of his better than he did. 'What do you mean you never make up stories?'
"..." Bai Ziliang was utterly speechless. 'It looks like this dirty monk was just trying to prove that he actually wasn't paying attention. Damn it, he made me scared for nothing.'
Ji Meimei too sighed in relief. 'This dirty monk. If you didn't see him properly, then just say so. Why did you have to lead us on a big circle and scare us?'
Lie Huan's face darkened. He too thought that there was some profound meaning behind Ba Jie's questioning. As it turned out, this monk was just spouting a pile of nonsense. And he had even listened on so intently like a fool. Turning to the other monks, Lie Huan asked, "Did the rest of you fail to see his face as well?"
Grandmaster Qi Jie sighed and said, "Kong Zhi, regardless of the outcome, just tell it as it is. Don't hide anything!" He simply had no confidence in his own disciple's words.
Ba Jie rolled his eyes in disdain. 'How can you show such a lack of faith for your own disciple's words in front of other people? And you still have the gall to call yourself my master!' Suddenly, Kong Zhi's voice transmission rang by the side of this ear, asking, "Ba Jie, what's the situation? Should I tell the truth?"
"Of course you should. Did you forget how that surnamed Yan bastard set us up back on the nameless island? If he manages to return to the Celestial Nation, it'll be hard for us to do anything to him. Now that such a rare opportunity has presented itself, go send him to his grave for me!" Ba Jie replied in kind.
Feeling a little dubious, Kong Zhi asked, "Then why did you speak up for him just now? Don't try to set me up!" Evidently, this was another monk who had no confidence in Ba Jie's character.
"I had no choice. I really can't play the villain in this!" Ba Jie felt a little conflicted. He was quite positive that Yan Beihong had some kind of romantic affair with his sister. Otherwise, Fairy Hong Chen wouldn't have said those things to him. His sister was so beautiful, how could he allow an asshole that set him up to have her so easily? If he weren't trying to be considerate towards Yue Yao's feelings, Ba Jie wouldn't even give Kong Zhi the opportunity to play the villain here.
"Kong Zhi!" Grandmaster Qi Jie's said in a deeper tone.
Helpless, Kong Zhi could only tell everyone the story of how Bai Ziliang forced Miao Yi down the volcano. He also confirmed that the person in question was 'Yan Beihong'. What he didn't know was how 'Yan Beihong' had managed to escape unscathed.
As they listened to his story, many in the crowd felt awed as they thought about how that 'Yan Beihong' sacrificed himself to lure the enemies away from his comrades. Even when he had lost a leg, he was still trying to stall the enemy so that his comrades could escape. And in the end, he was forced to jump down to the Supreme Fire Palace. It was rare to see such a loyal person in the current cultivation realm.
Fairy Hong Chen's eyes were filled with worry. She too never imagined that the man who'd said such rude things to her was actually such a faithful person. Now she was worried about how Miao Yi was going to survive this. She didn't have the capability to safeguard him from Supreme Yao Lord Lie Huan at all.
"Kong Zhi, I ask you again, are you speaking the truth?"
"Every word is true. This disciple swears there wasn't a single lie," Kong Zhi replied.
"Amitabha!" Grandmaster Qi Jie clapped his hands together and sighed.
It's not that he had anything against Miao Yi, but with the situation being such a mess right now, it was hard for Grandmaster Qi Jie to save so many people from Lie Huan's grasp. However, if it was just one person, then Grandmaster Qi Jie still had some confidence that he could offer his protection.
Ji Meimei suddenly giggled and said, "How about it then? Tang Jun, do you doubt Grandmaster Qi Jie's words as well?"
Bai Ziliang also felt a rush of glee deep down. It was no exaggeration to say that both mother and child utterly detested Miao Yi.
Tang Jun said solemnly, "That's just your side of the story. Which one of you saw him wreck the Supreme Fire Palace with your own eyes? Who dares step forward and say you witnessed him committing this crime?!"
"That's not a problem!" Lie Huan narrowed his eyes at Tang Jun, then said coldly, "Now that we have a prime suspect, I naturally have my own ways of getting the truth out of him. Men! Bring this person to me!"
However, it seemed as though his command had fallen on deaf ears. The six people just stood motionlessly to the side; there wasn't any response at all.