Chapter 226: Entering the Capital
Xiang Rui was the deputy commander of the Blue Mountain Company, Chu Yingwan’s trusted aide and longtime friend.
After the Heavenly Might Battalion had been disbanded, he was sent to the Heavenly Enlightenment Battalion.
He was still a company deputy commander, but not of an elite company anymore.
That wasn’t really a big deal. However, the Heavenly Enlightenment Battalion’s commander, Long Ke, had received his position by declaring his loyalty to the Crown Prince.
He was one of the two generals who openly supported the Crown Prince.
And because of that, Xiang Rui’s life was not easy.
But ‘not easy’ was not the same as being arrested.
Upon hearing Chu Yingwan’s words, Shi Kaihuang asked, “What happened?”
“They said that he tried to murder someone.”
“Tried to murder someone?” Su Chen and Shi Kaihuang yelled simultaneously.
Xiang Rui didn’t actually believe that the person he had killed with his palm strike didn’t deserve to die. Actually, that person’s actions of forcing himself onto female commoners, beating the elderly, and doing as he pleased more than justified his fate.
But the problem was that Xiang Rui was not actually guilty of killing the man!
Xiang Rui knew exactly how much power had gone into the palm strike of his. It was enough to force the bully to spit out a mouthful of blood and suffer some injuries, or even be bedridden for half a month. However, there was no way that his palm strike could have killed him!
He was a veteran of the battlefield and had painstakingly earned his position through his own efforts. He had butchered hundreds of bodies before, and he was so experienced that he knew the exact amount of power necessary to achieve a certain result, down to the finest details. Even if he had somehow lost control for a moment, the damage shouldn’t have been that great.
However, he had somehow made such a miscalculation right in front of everyone present.
“So there are multiple people that can testify that you killed him?” Su Chen asked through the bars of the jail cell.
Beside Su Chen stood Li Chongshan, Chu Yingwan, Jun Moxie, Lin Shaoxuan, and many other high-ranking Heavenly Might Battalion officers. Shi Kaihuang was still under house arrest, so he had no way of coming.
Xiang Rui sighed as he admitted, “Yes, that’s right.”
“Did anyone touch him in the time period between the first moment your palm strike landed and the moment someone determined that he was dead?” Su Chen continued to inquire.
“Yes, lots of people. It was very chaotic at the time,” Xiang Rui replied.
Su Chen’s expression sank.
The scariest situation was not if no one had touched the victim but rather if too many people had touched the victim.
The chaos meant that not only would it be difficult to uncover the true culprit, but that the scene of the crime could have also been tampered with.
This tampering of the crime scene was an easy opportunity for the individuals in power.
Even if Su Chen managed to find the real culprit, any person with authority could use this chaos to deflect his findings or even deny it.
Yes, everyone knew this would be the case from the very beginning.
Xiang Rui’s arrest had nothing to do with the Heavenly Might Battalion. That matter had already been permanently settled, but the lack of a charge for that action didn’t mean that another charge could not be manufactured for another one.
A simple framing ploy was enough to achieve this.
The main problem did not lie in the ploy’s simplicity but in its effectiveness.
Even if everyone present knew what had happened, they could only start planning their response after the opponent’s plan had already been pulled off.
Right now, Xiang Rui had already been imprisoned. Lin Wenjun was subtly signaling to Su Chen via this method that, though he might not be able to do anything to Su Chen himself, there was plenty he could do to the Heavenly Might Battalion.
Xiang Rui would only be the beginning. As long as Lin Wenjun desired it, he could falsify even more charges and harm even more ex-members of the Heavenly Might Battalion.
Su Chen quickly reached this conclusion, as did everyone else present.
After asking Xiang Rui a few more questions, Su Chen said, “Wait in prison for now. I’ve already taken care of the people here, so you won’t be bothered here at least. Don’t worry about it. Leave the rest to me.”
Xiang Rui said, “Prince Su, if you can’t do it, then don’t force yourself. After all, this time……”
He didn’t finish that sentence, but everyone knew that his next words would have been that the one making things hard for them was Lin Wenjun. He hoped that Su Chen would be careful and assess his capabilities before acting.
Upon hearing his words, Su Chen chuckled. “I don’t think that they will be harder to deal with than the Ravagers.”
Xiang Rui’s expression was filled with worry. “No matter how you look at it, he is an extremely high-ranking official.”
Su Chen said, “That’s the most interesting part. Should the good men who fight on the battlefield, completely unafraid of enemies or even death itself, be afraid of a high-ranking official?”
When he said this, everyone fell silent. Their eyes, however, glowed with a strong light.
Why were soldiers usually the first to cause trouble?
Because they lived on the battlefield and were intimately acquainted with death.
If they didn’t even fear death, then why would they possibly fear a high-ranking official? Su Chen’s words were the greatest stimulation for a soldier’s arrogance and resoluteness.
Otherwise, the Flowing Gold Fort would not have had so many generals that were unwilling to lower their heads to Lin Wenjun.
Currently, one of the old Heavenly Might Battalion’s officers had been captured merely because they hadn’t been pushed to desperate straits yet. But if Lin Wenjun were to push things too far…… then he wouldn’t be very happy with that outcome.
Su Chen’s words activated the flames concealed within the veterans’ hearts.
Li Chongshan then said, “Su Chen, go do what you need to do. No matter what the consequences are, I, Li Chongshan, and my brothers will bear the consequences on your behalf.”
This was a vow from one soldier to another.
He would rather see himself lose his position than watch one of his comrades be harmed or schemed against.
Su Chen nodded. “If General says as much, then I can be at ease.”
On the way back, Chu Yingwan asked Su Chen, “Su Chen, what are you planning on doing?”
Su Chen replied, “If Lin Wenjun can imprison Xiang Rui, then he can imprison other people as well. There are eight thousand brothers in the Heavenly Might Battalion in total, meaning that Lin Wenjun has eight thousand targets. There are too many targets within his range of influence, so he basically has eight thousand people he is holding hostage against us. As such, we cannot only focus on saving our friends.”
Jun Moxie said, “That’s right. Even if we can save one, he will still be able to harm ten. He can randomly pick from eight thousand targets, meaning we will always be on the back foot, defensively speaking.”
Su Chen continued, saying, “That’s why we need to take our time when addressing the root of this problem. Saving the people who have been imprisoned is merely a defensive tactic; we also need to attack at the same time. Unfortunately, before then, you all may suffer some oppression.”
Only Xiang Rui had been locked up at this point, but Su Chen had referred to them all collectively.
The meaning behind his choice of words was quite deep.
Jun Moxie, Lin Shaoxuan, and the others all turned to look at each other before saying, “We will do our best to stabilize the situation.”
Li Chongshan had been stripped of his rank, but Jun Moxie and Lin Shaoxuan still had theirs. More importantly, their sphere of influence amongst the soldiers stationed at the Flowing Gold Fort was quite large, so their actions would have a significant impact.
And Lin Wenjun had not yet resorted to killing people, so everyone was confident that they would at least be able to ensure that these targets could keep their lives.
“Fine. If that’s the case, then I can go to the capital in peace.”
“The capital?” Upon hearing this, everyone immediately understood what Su Chen was planning on doing.
He was going to counterattack!
Two days later, an imperial decree arrived.
Su Chen was being summoned to the capital.
Lin Wenjun could push the responsibility of the Heavenly Might Battalion’s actions onto Li Chongshan’s shoulders by saying that he had refused to listen to orders and taken the initiative to act, bungling military procedure and resulting in them being stranded in Ravager territory. However, Su Chen’s act of saving them was impossible to twist into any sort of crime, so Lin Wenjun could only recognize his accomplishments after trying and failing to link him to the Immortal Temple.
This contribution was not a small one!
And since he had made a large contribution, he needed to be rewarded appropriately.
This imperial summons was precisely for this purpose.
When the imperial edict arrived, Lin Wenjun was so angry that his expression was more ashen than ever before.
Because in these past two days, Su Chen had never tried to look for him or for anyone else on his side. This was the case not only for Su Chen but also for Li Chongshan and the others.
Apart from visiting Xiang Rui at the prison, none of them had seemingly made any moves afterwards.
The problem was that Lin Wenjun’s goal in framing Xiang Rui was all to bait Su Chen into looking for him in the first place. His opponent, however, had ignored this path and never once sought an audience with him, catching him off guard.
What kind of situation was this? Aren’t you comrades who suffered through countless life-and-death situations together? Yet you are willing to let such a comrade sit in jail for such a long time without even asking me about him?
Yes, that was exactly what Su Chen had chosen to do.
Earlier, Su Chen had managed to identify the crux of the matter with a single sentence.
Having these eight thousand brothers was equivalent to having eight thousand targets.
There were too many to try and save them all.
No matter how much effort they put into saving one, the opponent could simply turn around and send another group to prison without much more effort.
As such, they could not afford to fight a battle on their opponent’s terms.
This was why Su Chen had chosen to directly leave for the capital.
Lin Wenjun didn’t know what Su Chen was thinking, but he instinctively felt anxious over the situation.
“If he reaches the capital, the situation will be much more difficult to control,” Lin Wenjun said.
Qiu Qingzhi thought the same. “I went to seek an audience with him yesterday, but he rejected me again. It seems as if he has made up his mind to oppose Your Majesty.”
Lin Wenjun clenched his fist in agitation. “I gave him an opportunity, but he still refuses it!”
The olive branch he had extended had been batted aside, and the pit he had dug was completely sidestepped. Lin Wenjun knew that he had lost his chance.
He then said, “Send news to those guys that I successfully taught Su Chen a lesson, but that he was stubborn and refused to back down, continuing to make mistake after mistake. Now that he is planning on returning to Long Coiling City, he is basically walking right into a trap. Feel free to rough him up a bit.”
As the Crown Prince, he did not have much talent; however, his ability to delegate responsibility was unparalleled.
Didn’t you guys want to deal with Su Chen and stop him and his Instructor from developing their bloodline-less techniques even further? I already did my best to teach him a lesson, and now I have even sent him over to you.
So go ahead and do something about it!
Even though this action was a bit shameless, it was still very effective.
If even the great nobility clans within the country couldn’t handle Su Chen, then it was pointless for anyone to point fingers at anyone else.
If they were able to handle him…… then would there still be a need to waste their breath complaining about him? Would they only be satisfied if they managed to get the Crown Prince to work for them?”
Qiu Qingzhi understood his intentions and nodded in affirmation. Then, he asked, “Then about Xiang Rui……”
Lin Wenjun thought for a moment, then replied, “Let’s throw a few more soldiers in jail. The Heavenly Might Battalion has been too arrogant these past few days. Even now, none of them have come to seek an audience with me. Since that’s the case, then let’s send some more of them to the prison!”
So their not seeking an audience with him was now considered arrogance.
Yet this was just how the Crown Prince thought.
Anything that did not go according to his preference was against him!
But even if he sentenced all of them to death and to be executed, it would not be of any use.
Because they needed to be executed after autumn.
In other words, no matter how much you tried to speed things along, you would still have to wait until the end of autumn to kill them.
And right now, it was spring — there was still half a year to go until autumn.
In this half-year’s time, no one would dare kill them. This was a restriction of the laws of nature that even the Crown Prince could not willfully violate.
In other words, Su Chen didn’t have to worry as long as he could successfully pull off his counterattack before then.
Pushing back against a Crown Prince was not going to be an easy matter.
However, Li Chongshan, Chu Yingwan, and the others were all filled with trust in Su Chen.
They believed that he would definitely win.
The next morning, Su Chen and the official who had delivered the imperial edict left for Long Coiling City.