Chapter 32: Investigation
After leaving the City Head’s residence, Su Chen headed for West Water Street.
It was almost noon already. The road was bustling with traffic.
One of the Origin Bureau’s martial artists pointed to a corner of the West Water Street and said, “That’s where Sir Liu perished.”
A toothless old lady was currently sitting and selling bean curds at where he was pointing.
The Investigations Office’s handling of this quite important matter was lazy, to say the least.
Su Chen asked, “You personally witnessed the victim’s death?”
The martial artist was startled. “How could I have seen it? The Investigations Office reported that to us.”
“So everything you know about the situation is just hearsay?”
Su Chen walked back and forth along that section of the road. The old lady thought that Su Chen wanted to buy bean curds, and she stared intently at Su Chen with her muddled eyes.
Even though the ground was covered with a lot of trash, it wasn’t enough to obstruct Su Chen’s vision.
He shook his head. “There’s not even a trace of blood...... This shouldn’t be where Sir Liu died, and the corpse was never here at all. The Investigations Office is just spouting nonsense. They didn’t even try to fabricate a crime scene.”
Duan Feng said, “I’ll go and look into the person who reported this case.”
“There’s no point.” Su Chen shook his head. “There isn’t anyone who reported the case anyways. This is just the ten Bloodline Nobility Clans taking their revenge on me.”
“So what are we waiting for, then? Sir, we should just slaughter our way back and give them something to think about!” Duan Feng said.
“Slaughter?” Su Chen stared at him quizzically. “With what? Can we slaughter them? They’re the ten Bloodline Nobility Clans. Every one of them is an ancient clan with deep reservoirs of strength. They might even have Light Shaking Realm cultivators. You’ll slaughter them? Are you trying to die?”
Duan Feng was stunned. “But......”
“Why wasn’t I afraid of them before? Is that what you mean?” Su Chen laughed. “Because I’m a government official.”
Duan Feng didn’t understand, and neither did Iron Cliff.
Su Chen sighed, “You guys still don’t fully understand the situation here in Clear River.”
Su Chen said as he walked, “The Crow Region is really quite vast. In terms of strength, even the City Lord himself wouldn’t be enough to defeat the ten Bloodline Nobility Clans on his own, let alone us. The only reason the stalemate has lasted this long is because the City Lord has the support of the imperial forces. If those Bloodline Nobility Clans aren’t trying to start a rebellion, they won’t dare to push things too far. But the opposite also holds; because the government’s influence is weak, the Bloodline Nobility Clans can rely on this support to maintain their position, but they can’t just do whatever they want. If the government pushes things too far, well, even a rabbit will bite a human if pushed too far, let alone these Bloodline Nobility Clans, who have their own sources of confidence.”
“One side has authority, while one side has strength, meaning that both keep each other on their toes. As such, they have their own special ways of doing battle. Why would I completely ignore the ten Bloodline Nobility Clans? Because what I did didn’t actually cross that bottom line. Yu Chengshui and Sun Mao were fighting in the streets and injured bystanders, so I was just carrying out the duties of my office; Long Shaoyou and Lian Jiao brought people to ambush me, so capturing them was just self-defense; Liu Wuya betrayed me, so killing him was just revenge; after he died, the Origin Bureau should fall to me, since I’m the Knowledge Executor. From the beginning until now, everything I have done is reasonable and lawful. No one would be able to point out something wrong with it.”
“When the balance of strength is unequal, strength is righteousness. When the balance of strength is equal, righteousness is strength. Because the government and the Bloodline Nobility Clans are restricting each other and everything I’ve done up to this point is lawful, reasonable, and justified, the Bloodline Nobility Clans can only endure it no matter how much they dislike me. They can only use such underhanded methods and can’t make any moves openly. But if I were to go on a rampage right up to their front door, then I’ll really be trying to get myself killed.”
Everyone was enlightened by Su Chen’s explanation.
No wonder those ten Bloodline Nobility Clans seemed to be in such a tough spot. Their counteroffensive seemed somewhat feeble and not-so-grandiose.
Just as he had said, if they were to make too much of a commotion, the Bloodline Nobility Clans wouldn’t be justified nor lawful. They wouldn’t be able to gain the sympathy of the commoners that way. If they were even the slightest bit over-the-top, the government would move to suppress them ruthlessly.
That was why they could only use such secret tactics to deal with Su Chen.
“So what do we do?” Duan Feng asked.
“Naturally, we need to find the true culprit, then deal with them. The ten Bloodline Nobility Clans don’t need to team up just to deal with Liu Jiyun, so Liu Jiyun was definitely killed by one of the Bloodline Nobility Clans in particular. Which clan that is, however, is hard to say. We will need to think of a way to figure out who did it first.”
Duan Feng felt a headache coming on. “That’s going to be hard to investigate. With the Investigations Office making a mess of things, everything can be ruined by them.”
Su Chen shook his head and said, “It might not be that hard to find out. Take a couple of brothers with you and walk around the surroundings, especially any place where the Bloodline Nobility Clans exert their influence. Listen around; you might find something out.”
Duan Feng disagreed. “How could those shopkeepers possibly know something about this?”
Su Chen laughed. “That’s where you’re wrong. I think that they do know because it is very likely that the Bloodline Nobility Clans spread the news on their own.”
“Sir, what do you mean? I don’t understand.”
“You need to know that the older a Bloodline Nobility Clan is, the more they’ll want to save face. To them, face is something absolutely essential to their survival. When I captured Long Shaoyou, the Long Clan’s Patriarch said that as long as I apologized to them, everything else was easy to discuss. Why? Because of face. But I didn’t; instead, I made them look like even bigger fools. Even until now, Long Shaoyou is still unconscious on his bed. To those Bloodline Nobility Clans, their biggest loss wasn’t losing a number of promising young youths. Instead, it’s that I wiped away all of their prestige and respect!”
Duan Feng understood a bit better. “So they urgently needed to do something to regain the face that they lost.”
“That’s right. That’s why they must exact their revenge as fiercely as possible. Not only so, but they need to let everyone know that the Bloodline Nobility Clan’s counterattack has begun. This is the price that Su Chen must pay for offending them!”
Duan Feng laughed, “So even though they killed Liu Jiyun secretly, they want everyone to know that they were the ones who killed him.”
“That’s right!” Su Chen laughed, “That’s exactly it.”
Iron Cliff said with some curiosity, “If that’s the case, isn’t there not much point in killing him secretly?”
“How could there not be much point to it?” Su Chen asked. “So what if everyone knows that they did it? As long as there isn’t any official evidence, they’ll be fine. Those Bloodline Nobility Clans are aiming exactly for this kind of effect. They want everyone to know that they did it, but they also don’t want there to be any evidence that they were the ones who did it.”
Duan Feng nodded. “That’s why they claimed that Liu Jiyun mysteriously died in West Water Street and why the Investigations Office is almost brazenly uncooperative, omissive, and slacking on its duties. It’s all because those guys want to be a prostitute and have a memorial erected in their honor at the same time[1. This effectively means doing underhanded, not-honorable things while wanting to be honored]!”
Su Chen clapped his hands. “That’s exactly it! Of course, this all is just my analysis, but I believe that it shouldn’t be too far off the mark. If this is really the case, as long as you send someone to ask around, they might even tell you that they were the ones who did it.”
This was why Zhang Sheng’an, Guan Shanying, and the others had admitted to abusing Qiu Tang to death right to Yue Longsha’s face. They just wanted to feel a thrill in that moment.
This time, it was the same.
After a period of time, Duan Feng got his answer.
This was Clear River Lai Clan’s doing, and the ones responsible for carrying out the deed was the Long Clear Gang.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter