Chapter 465 - Guillotines on a Snowy Night
When military banners of the three central divisions appeared on the battleground, the fight lost its suspense.
Ever since the founding of the Thirteen Divisions in the Avalon of Five Elements, the three central divisions were the most unusual and mysterious divisions. The direct subordinates of the Elders Guild, these three central divisions were Surveillance, Judgement, and Dread. The outside world had little understanding of them.
They only knew that Surveillance was good at obtaining news as they had countless spies. Judgement was in charge of trials and convictions. Only very specific crimes would require the involvement of Judgement. Dread was the most mysterious group, and news about them spread the least.
A peculiar thing was that the three central divisions were not in the Avalon of Five Elements, but defended the Old Territory instead.
Why did they do that? Which part of the Old Territory? No one knew.
Even the powerful members from aristocratic families who knew a lot of rare inside information were unaware of the reason.
Mystery always bred rumors.
Some said that the three central divisions guarded a large-scale treasury. It was the Avalon of Five Elements’s last hope and preserved boundless riches, rare treasures, weapons, and so on. When the Avalon of Five Elements reached the juncture of life and death, this treasury would be its last opportunity to overturn the situation.
Some also said that the place where the combat divisions were stationed was a big crack leading to a deep part of the Wilderness. In order to prevent dire beasts from entering the Old Territory through this crack, the combat divisions stood guard.
There were others who even believed that it wasn’t a crack that lead to the deep Wilderness, but to an abyss.
All kinds of strange and interesting rumors spread unceasingly through the years. This was still a riddle to this day. The other tencombat divisions had a retirement system, but once involved with the three central divisions, it was a lifetime commitment.
No matter which version of the rumors, there was something unanimous–the magnitude. There was no doubt that the three central divisions were powerful. It was common knowledge that the strength of the three central divisions were much stronger than the other tencombat divisions.
Even the strongest among the tendivisions was incomparable to any one of three central divisions.
Other opined that only Masters could join the central three. Of course, those with common sense knew how nonsensical this was.
There weren’t that many Masters in this world.
The appearance of the three central division military banners on the battleground immediately led to an all out attack. The rebel army formed from more than tenbandit teams was utterly defeated. Where the banner passed, the bandits crawled on the floor, put their hands behind their heads, and surrendered in fear.
It was as if boiling oil had been poured on snow.
The rebel army fled and surrendered without any effort on the part of the central divisions.
The battle ended quickly, shocking the crowd that covertly observed this rebellion. Captives continuously appeared outside the city, causing Skyheart City to bustle. During this period, people were alarmed and feared that the rebel army would enter the city and wipe them out.
Trial, conviction, execution..
The Judgement Division’s efficiency was astonishing. Their methods were so cruel that the audience was left speechless and overwhelmed. The Judgement Division wasn’t the least bit lenient toward these bandits.
Everyday, there were rows of bandits waiting to be publicly beheaded outside Skyheart City.
It was the people’s first time seeing the expressionless team members of the Judgement Division. They had an apathetic look on their faces, similar to that of experienced executioners. The captives’ uncontrollable screams, flying heads, spurting blood, and headless corpses weren’t able to even slightly change the expressions of the team members.
Yet, the Judgement Division did not kill everyone. They did not kill the Masters among the bandits, but handed them over to Madam Ye to determine their fate instead.
There were six of them.
Masters were excused from capital punishment. It was an unwritten rule.
The six Masters were all willing to follow Madam Ye’s orders. No matter where they went, they were a force that was difficult to ignore. This was also why the lives of the six Masters were handed over to Madam Ye.
Madam Ye, however, did not accept their surrender. The six of them were publicly beheaded.
When the heads of the six Masters were hung high up on the wooden poles outside Skyheart City, the city fell into a storm of protest.
If the rabbit dies, the fox grieves. Many Masters, cared for by their respective family clans, were disgusted by Madam Ye. During a private banquet among the Masters, many openly stated that they would never serve Madam Ye.
These rumors also spread to the ears of Madam Ye, but she was unaffected and continued doing as she pleased.
This was only the beginning.
People were then shocked to realize that the dignified and virtuous Madam Ye actually had an iron fist.
On that night, countless people tossed and turned restlessly in their beds, unable to sleep.
On the next day, before the sky brightened up, there was an endless stream of horse and carriages outside the mayor’s residence. Family patriarchs queued in a long line, waiting for Madam Ye to receive them. They were all well-celebrated figures.
The citizens of Skyheart City were rejoicing over the stabilizing situation of the armed rebellion, but the aristocratic families weren’t. They occasionally glanced over at the hanging Masters’ heads. It was as if those heads had a magical power that automatically attracted people’s attention.
Madam Ye was really ruthless to kill all the Masters!
Just then, the first ever snow since its construction fell over Skyheart City.
The ice-cold, bone-piercing snowflakes were sharp spinning blades that danced to the gale. A gale storm was extremely terrifying. Wherever it passed, the rocks and trees on the ground were destroyed. It hid the sky and covered the earth. Even the sunlight was obstructed, making seem like night.
Many secretly gossiped that this frightening snow gale must be the heaven’s doing since even the gods could no longer stand seeing Madam Ye’s careless behavior.
The five God-subduing Peaks in the Skyheart City were activated to stop the whistling snow gale and bring warmth to the city interior.
Nevertheless, people panicked inside and could not feel the warmth at all. Many thought of every possible method to leave this city, which protected them, because it was even colder and more bone-chilling inside.
Without a sign, Surveillance Division made a move.
More than tenfamilies had been investigated and were charged with colluding with the bandits and acting from the inside. Irrefutable evidence surfaced and proved that these families had committed dreadful crimes that could not be wiped away.
Arrest, trial, conviction.
The Judgement Division did not appear this time, and standing in their place was the Surveillance Division. It was said that the Judgement Division maintained silence with regard to this operation, while the Dread Division wasn’t in favor of this operation. Only the Surveillance Division returned to Skyheart City without any apprehension of becoming Madam Ye’s sharpest knife.
Scouting for news couldn’t get any simpler for the Surveillance Division.
In Skyheart City, heads were rolling and the amount of blood spurting all over could form a river. There was even a faint bloody smell that filled the air.
The whole operation lasted for three consecutive days.
There was no warmth in the recollections of the survivors. Whenever they told their stories, their voices spontaneously trembled. The snow gale enveloped Skyheart City, blocking out all sunlight for three days. It was as dark as night, and even the light emitted from the never-extinguishing southern light lanterns along the streets brought about a horrifying chill.
The row of lever operated guillotines looked exceptionally magnificent.
39 families had been trialed and over 7,000 had been condemned. Among these were weak servants and strong Masters.
1,622 were beheaded.
In the entire history of the Avalon of Five Elements, there had never been such a spectacular sight. This unprecedented blood purge seemed to have added a layer the color of blood to Skyheart City’s light screen.
These three days came to be known as "Guillotines on a Snowy Night."
When the snow passed and the sun rose up again, the sunlight sprinkled over the field, making the once bustling city appear much more spacious and empty. The marketplace was even more desolate as people did not dare to leave their homes.
A few days later the tense atmosphere gradually dissolved, and the city returned to its usual tranquility.
The mayor’s residence.
A man with his hair bunned up and a pale face smiled. His eyes weren’t big, but they were bright and clear. His smile was very fresh and contagious.
No one would’ve thought that this seemingly warm man was the division leader of the Surveillance Division.
His speech wasn’t slow as he reported the details of this operation in an organized and clear manner.
Madam Ye listened carefully and asked questions from time to time.
When the report was finished, she smiled and said, "It’s hard to guard against internal thieves. Who would’ve imagined that so many people would rather hand the city over to bandits than to let me keep my position. If they have the ability, what harm is there in giving my position up to them? I’m just a woman who wants to raise Xiaobao. Father-in-law entrusted this to me before he left, and I’m only doing this in order to not waste his previous efforts. If there is a worthy person, I will definitely give up my spot and hand it over personally."
Nian Tingfeng consoled, "Why care about those vulgar people, Madam Ye? You’re the only one who can turn this desperate crisis around! I’ll feel uneasy when you say such angry words."
Madam Ye responded graciously, "I’m not that great. This is all thanks to you, Division Leader Nian. It’s not a pity if I lost my position, but if the bandits entered the city, the people would fall into a terrible situation. The city and its people would die and countless families would be destroyed."
Nian Tingfeng replied respectfully, "You’re right, Madam. If people remain undisciplined, they would fall apart like a sheet of loose sand. Beyond Avalon needs a new leader in order for us to progress. These mindless people are harboring unfathomable motives and are conspiring against us. It’s not a pity even if they all die."
Madam Ye sighed. "A pity for all those who are Masters."
She wasn’t feeling regret for those Masters among the bandits, but for the consecrated Masters within the city. These Masters were numerous, and if they could serve her, she would be like a tiger that had grown wings.
Unfortunately, these Masters were practically all implicated, and more than half had been beheaded.
"Why do you care, Madam? Your Master’s Glory is a genius creation. Once the time is right, a large batch of Masters will emerge." Nian Tingfeng added seriously, "We just have to endure this period and all the Masters will be ours. No one can hold us by the elbow anymore. The others will naturally shut their mouths so that Madam can unleash your full potential and save Skyheart City from catastrophes. It’s always better to get the pain over with rather than prolonging the agony. Rather than letting them rot, why not eradicate the rotten meat?"
Madam Ye looked pleased. "With your assistance, I feel truly at ease. I still have something to trouble you with."
Nian Tingfen hurriedly asked, "What instructions?
"Help me investigate somebody."
"Please tell me."
"The Lightning Blade, Ai Hui."