Chapter 221: The True Culprit
After Ye Rong became Crown Prince, his control over the Dragonteeth Guard immediately greatly increased. Those who were on his side were given important positions.
For example, Tian Shao was continuously promoted from his original commander position to being a general in charge of a troop.
As both Xin Wudao and Lu Wuji, who had been close to Ye Dai, they kept a noticeably lower profile than before even though their positions hadn’t changed. Their limelight had been completely overtaken by the newly promoted Tian Shao.
Even General Director Shangguan Yi had to take this situation seriously. He had always favored Tian Shao to a certain extent when it came to affairs of the Dragonteeth Guard.
“Young master Chen, here are thirty flight tokens. Once the Goldwing Swordbirds you’ve brought are equipped with these flight tokens, you’ll be able to fly through the capital as you will. Apart from approaching the royal palace, all other areas are unrestricted.”
Tian Shao gave a bundle of flight tokens to Jiang Chen.
“Old Tian, you’ve gone to great trouble this time.”
Tian Shao waved his hands, “Young master Chen, we’ve contacted all the various underground powers, gangs, and organizations within the capital in the past couple of days. However, we can confirm that this matter has nothing to do with them.”
All sorts of underground powers, gangs, rogues, and assorted organizations existed within a kingdom.
There was a certain amount of rationale to the existence of these powers.
However, these powers were also quite smart and they normally wouldn’t fight against the authorities and wouldn’t move against a strong power like the Dragonteeth Guard.
“We can basically exclude all the underground forces within the capital.” Tian Shao analyzed. “To be honest, these underground forces wouldn’t dare provoke young master Chen. Their intelligence networks are all very strong, so they would definitely know the price of provoking young master Chen.”
Jiang Chen nodded slightly, but his expression had a unfathomable depth to it.
‘Young master Chen, the capital is already under martial law and there’s no way for them to get out. Our Dragonteeth Guard has already started a carpet style search. I believe that we’ll have news before long.”
Tian Shao could only comfort Jiang Chen when he saw the latter’s face darken.
Tian Shao had tried his best in this matter, but all sorts of strangeness suffused it, making it difficult for him to get a handle on things immediately.
Besides, Tian Shao was only the general of one troop. There were ten troops in the entire Dragonteeth Guard. He wasn’t at the level of a general director after all, there were many things he wouldn’t be able to handle fully.
Take the Dragonteeth Guard’s search for instance. Gaps would appear if the Guards of the other troops slacked off the tiniest bit in their search.
The Dragonteeth Guard wasn’t a place in which Tian Shao’s word was law. He could control his own troops, but couldn’t interfere with the others.
Whether the other troops were strict or lax, he would be hard pressed to command them.
“Old Tian, it’s not appropriate to maintain martial law for too long. You should maintain it for a day at most. Search normally after a day.”
“Young master Chen, don’t worry. The Crown Prince can handle the pressure.” Tian Shao thought that Jiang Chen was worried that Ye Rong wouldn’t be able to hold up beneath the pressure.
“Do as I say. One day!”
“Young master Chen, you…”
Jiang Chen waved his hand, “Old Tian, if this matter involves those inside the Dragonteeth Guard again, I won’t just laugh it off like I did last time. I’ll make the blood of those who touch my people run like rivers, even if they have a god as their backer!”
A cold killing intent shot out from Jiang Chen’s eyes, making even Tian Shao shudder with fright.
Jiang Chen had always rarely lost his temper, but this didn’t mean that he didn’t have one. Truthfully speaking, Tian Shao was well aware that once Jiang Chen truly grew angry, there were few within the kingdom that could bear up beneath his anger.
Ye Dai was arrogant huh? He was powerful, hmm?
And what had been his downfall? He died a ludicrous death without barely a fight.
Of course, there were those who were stronger than Ye Dai within the capital. It was possible that someone really was moving in the shadows this time and that there were turncoats within the Dragonteeth Guard.
If this matter had been done soundlessly and without a trace, it would be difficult to accuse anyone without any evidence.
Although Ye Rong had already been made Crown Prince, he was just a Crown Prince. His power wasn’t enough to influence the decisions of the highest executives of the Dragonteeth Guard.
The Dragonteeth Guard answered to only one person in the end, and that was the current king, not the next king.
However, even though this was the case, there was no way Tian Shao would sit idly by.
“Young master Chen, don’t worry. Even the Dragonteeth Guard wouldn’t protect a bad egg in themselves if there’s concrete evidence.”
A secret place within the kingdom.
A black robed figure was idly playing with the wine cup in his hand.
“Xue San, you can certainly hold yourself back. The entire capital is under martial law now and it’s being searched. Aren’t you worried at all?”
The person speaking was Lu Wuji of the Dragonteeth Guard.
“Worry? What is there for me to worry about? If we are found out, large numbers of heads will roll on your side as well. Therefore, I believe that even if we have no ways to escape, you’d protect us well.” The black robed Xue San laughed coldly.
“Huh. You better keep your head about you.” Lu Wuji snorted coldly.
“Don’t worry Vice General Lu,” Xue San laughed faintly. “Jiang Chen killed one of my Hidden Hands, strutting around with the weapon he stole. Shouldn’t he die? We’ve only come to collect on an old debt. When it comes down to it, you should be rejoicing in that we’re not asking you for payment.”
“Payment? The conveniences that we’ve given you allow you to come and go as you will within the capital. You also have so many hiding places. How much gold would it have cost to buy all this?” Lu Wuji was a bit displeased.
“Haha, so this is why our partnership is either a win-win situation or a lose-lose. Vice General Lu is such a smart person, you understand this, don’t you?” Xue San laughed leisurely.
“What do you plan to do next?” Lu Wuji asked. “Your Hidden Hand has sent assassins to the capital of the Skylaurel Kingdom. You don’t plan on just kidnapping one of Jiang Chen’s personal guards, do you?”
“You think too much. We don’t plan on leaving empty handed since we’ve come. A personal guard is only a bit of interest to make the hearts of the Jiang family tremble in fear. It’s only when the situation within the capital is in turmoil that the best opportunity arises for us to make our move, wouldn’t you say so?”
Lu Wuji had a darkened expression as boundless hate surged to the fore. “Jiang Chen, I can’t wait to collect your corpse. Did you think that because Ye Dai died, the Skylaurel Kingdom would become yours?”
Xue San wore a faint smile on his lips, “Lu Wuji, you can go if there’s nothing else. Remember, don’t let the Dragonteeth Guard find us. Otherwise, I can’t promise that my men won’t say something they shouldn’t.”
“Xue San, are you threatening me?” Lu Wuji spoke with barely suppressed anger.
“You think too much, I’m only describing a truth. We’re on the same boat now, we share in the same glory and all of us go down if one does.”
“You speak too much bullshit.” Lu Wuji cursed and stood up. “Where’s Xue Tong? I want to have a go at him and see if I can get anything out of him. If I can prove that the first prince met his death at their hands, then I can turn the situation around.”
Xue San’s eyes looked inside and a smile played around his lips, but he didn’t object.
Lu Wuji grimaced as he walked inside with large strides.
At this moment, Xue Tong’s true qi had been completely sealed. Although he’d regained consciousness, he wasn’t able to move at all.
However, although his true qi had been sealed, he could still use part of his Ear of the Zephyr to listen clearly to the conversations outside.
“Lu Wuji and the Hidden Hand!”
Xue Tong was deeply anxious. The Hidden Hand was without a doubt the boss of the assassin organizations within the sixteen kingdoms.
He knew that the Hidden Hand had once been employed by the Long family to kill young master Jiang Chen in the Boundless Catacombs, but had ended up being killed by Jiang Chen instead.
The bow that had been given to him had also come from the Hidden Hand assassins.
He’d thought that this matter was over and done with, but to think that this Hidden Hand organization had come knocking and sent assassins that were much stronger than last time.
The most important thing was, they’d bribed the Dragonteeth Guard this time.
With the Dragonteeth Guard in cahoots with them, the light was working with the shadows and placed Jiang Chen in further danger.
The Hidden Hand was the assassin organization most adept at assassination and ambush within the sixteen kingdoms. They were very frightening to begin with. The number of experts within were as numerous as the clouds as they came and left without a trace. They were so mysterious that no one knew where their headquarters were.
There were almost none who didn’t die after being targeted by this organization.
Xue Tong was anxious. He hadn’t thought that the young master had been once again targeted by the Hidden Hand. He also knew that his capture was just a show of force to the young master. He was an appetizer at best, and not the main course.
The most frightening thing was that the Hidden Hand was working in conjunction with the Dragonteeth Guard.
Lu Wuji in particular was an old enemy of the young master’s. There was possibly even a vice director Yang Zhou behind him.
“This won’t do, I need to notify the young master. The Dragonteeth Guard and Hidden Hand are colluding in the shadows while the young master is in the light. I must bring this intelligence to him as this is greatly disadvantageous to the young master.”
Xue Tong was deeply loyal to Jiang Chen ever since he started following him. Although he knew that he was in dire straits at the moment, his first thought was for Jiang Chen’s safety and not his.
Xue Tong heard Lu Wuji’s footsteps sound at this moment.
“Did you think this would happen, brat?” Lu Wuji laughed in an ugly fashion as he walked him, and stomped directly on Xue Tong’s hand. He exerted force and cracking sounds rang out as the bones of Xue Tong’s hand broke.
The ten digits were tied to the heart. The pain of breaking fingers pierced the heart directly.
Although he was in pain, Xue Tong grit his teeth and didn’t make a sound. Sweat poured off his forehead as it dripped down like rain.
“Brat, you’re a stubborn one hey?” Lu Wuji loved torturing prisoners, processing them, listening to their pleading, and the howls of his prey.
However, Xue Tong’s stubbornness made him feel very pissed off.
He exerted more force and shouted as he stomped, “Brat, let’s see how long you can go without making a sound or begging for mercy!”