A Yunqin Empire Civil Sector Imperial Taxman, major sixth rank, was in charge of a province’s taxation. Even though he wasn’t the Civil Sector official with the greatest authority in a province, for merchants, the authority he possessed was already shockingly great. There had never been an instance of this type of official fearing a great shopkeeper, it was always a great shopkeeper doing everything they could to curry favor with the official.
Liu Xuanwei was a part of Liu Family’s branch family, an uncle of Liu Ziyu. Before the summer solstice, he was transferred over to Jadewater Province, taking on this role as Imperial Taxman. Jadewater Province had just been established, the population few, the amount of taxes also greatly reduced, so there wouldn’t be much ill-gotten gains for many years. Liu Family’s true purpose for sending him here was naturally to deal with Auspicious Virtue who once again silently assembled shocking arrangements.
In this situation where they already possessed some conclusive proof, Liu Family originally didn’t have to go through so much trouble. However, in the repeated dealings with Auspicious Virtue, Liu Family instead repeatedly suffered losses. The people Liu Family sent out to investigate in the Dragon Snake Border Army, no matter how great their strength or how much power was used, none of them returned. This made it hard for Liu Family to gauge just how much power was within Chen Feirong’s hands.
Moreover, the most crucial thing was that Liu Family wanted to use Chen Feirong, not to completely end her. After all, in Liu Family’s opinion, Auspicious Virtue’s greatest value also lied in this legendary great shopkeeper.
Liu Xuanwei came from a collateral relative of the main family. His Liu Family had always been extremely cautious, sensitive to the situation around them. That was why after arriving in Jadewater Province, after meeting with Chen Feirong several times, he didn’t act overly forceful either, only tactfully expressing Liu Family’s intentions, also explaining that he didn’t have the freedom to act independently. This way, he felt that even if Chen Feirong was pressed too far and she ended up doing something out of desperation, she might leave him with a path of life.
He also understood extremely clearly that because of his status in Liu Family, as well as his own ability, there was no way he could obtain a higher position in Yunqin’s royal court, for him, what he pursued in the royal court was merely to live a bit longer, to do his utmost to enjoy life a bit more.
Liu Xuanwei deliberately walked openly outside so the people in this town could see his whereabouts, in this way guarding from being directly silenced without any proof. He entered one of Auspicious Virtue’s most popular knife shaved noodle shops. Under the lead of a waiter, he walked up to an elegant window facing room’s doorway.
For Liu Xuanwei, an elegant room inside a noodle shop was nothing more than having pretensions to culture. It was like how a house that clearly belonged to a peasant insisted on having some bookcases as decorative items. However, a bowl of steaming sour and spicy noodles and the lively atmosphere could allow him to feel more at ease while discussing things with Chen Feirong.
He entered this elegant room, but in the next breath of time, his figure stopped, the space between his brows furrowing into a 川 shape.
It was because in his line of sight, the one who sat in this room wasn’t only Chen Feirong alone, there was also a young man with his back to him.
When he met Chen Feirong before, it was always Chen Feirong alone. Now, another person suddenly appeared, this giving him a bad feeling. He immediately hesitated.
“Sir Liu, please be at ease.”
While looking at this brows furrowed middle-aged white faced man whose face bore a bit of resemblance to Liu Ziyu, Chen Feirong said quietly with a smile, “If I wanted to treat sir unfavorably, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Liu Xuanwei didn’t feel the slightest bit of discontent over Chen Feirong’s words. His eyes flickered, calming down. “It is as you say.” He closed the wooden door behind him in passing. When he was just about to ask Chen Feirong about the identity of the young man next to him, he instead stared blankly for a moment, inwardly feeling another wave of unease.
The young man sitting next to Chen Feirong right now was naturally Lin Xi. Only, right now, Lin Xi’s face was covered by an exquisite mask Chen Feirong personally made. At this time, it naturally gave off an extremely strange feeling.
Lin Xi sized up Liu Xuanwei’s facial features, seeing the caution and carefulness in the other party’s eyes, and then noticed how the other party’s center of gravity was shifted slightly to the right, his body able to instantly display force, as if he could instantly smash through the street facing wall at his right. He revealed a smile, knowing that this Liu Family individual’s nature was extremely similar to Chen Feirong’s portrayal.
“Chen Feirong is one of my people. To put it a bit more clearly, I am Auspicious Virtue’s great shopkeeper.” Without ordering the other party to sit down first, Lin Xi calmly said this.
Liu Xuanwei felt a ge deng noise sound within his mind, his eyes unable to hide his shock. His left eyelid continuously jumped a few times, momentarily at a loss for words.
“I know that your Liu Family has definitely carefully investigated Auspicious Virtue, feeling that Auspicious Virtue’s background is exceptionally clean.” Lin Xi’s eyes became a bit colder, saying with a bit of mockery, “However, if its background really is this clean, how can it have this type of confidence, how can it prevent a single one of those cultivators you all sent to Dragon Snake Border Army from returning?”
Liu Xuanwei’s forehead began to produce cold sweat.
The other party’s tone made him feel like things were already developing in an extremely unfavorable direction. However, he wasn’t someone who didn’t have any experience. As such, he did his best to control his emotions, doing his best to look at Lin Xi calmly, using a type of polite and modest voice to ask, “If I may ask which great one’s property is it?”
“Cold it be that it is Gu Yunjing?”
Right now, this was the thought that arrived in Liu Xuanweis’ head the fastest.
Dragon Snake Border Army… influence… the other party’s ice-cold and almost disdainful attitude… something not even Liu Family’s authority could find out through their investigations, all of this formed the name Gu Yunjing in his head.
With Gu Yunjing’s authority, if he wanted to deal with Liu Family, it didn’t seem to be that big of a problem.
“Are your Liu Family’s advisors all idiots?” However, he instead heard this sentence in reply.
He looked at Lin Xi in shock, Lin Xi also looking at him, his expression becoming even more disrespectful, becoming a bit more ice-cold and disdainful.
“Great one?” Lin Xi said in mockery, “Could it be that what Liu Family is most scared of is just a certain great one in Central Continent City?”
Liu Xuanwei suddenly felt his heart contract, sweat pouring out like syrup down his back. His expression suddenly became a bit pale.
“Have you ever thought about who Mu Chenyun was helping?” Lin Xi gave him an indifferent look and said, “In what kind of place something happened?”
“Of course.” After a pause, Lin Xi continued to say with a sneer, “If we were to say that your Liu Family couldn’t even investigate who Mu Chenyun was acting in place of, then I am suspecting if your Liu Family even has the ability to be in charge of a province’s government affairs.”
Lin Xi’s words were extremely ambiguous. If it was before, he might not be able to understand since Mu Chenyun’s black market transaction was actually backed by the emperor. This was a secret only few people knew. It was to the extent where before the emperor confessed this to the imperial princess, not even the imperial princess knew that this was done by the emperor. However, after the Divine Elephant Army and Sky Devil Heavy Armor events took place in Sanskrit Passage, even those of Liu Family’s level finally figured out who the one behind Mu Chenyun was.
Meanwhile, ordinary merchant companies, if they put on a bluff, they definitely wouldn’t know about Mu Chenyun’s matter, wouldn’t know about the Divine Elephant Army and Sky Devil Heavy Armor secret military intelligence this quickly.
That was why what Lin Xi wanted to express was already extremely clear and apparent in Liu Xuanwei’s mind.
This type of implication made it hard for Liu Xuanwei to even breathe.
“Could it be that it is… the emperor’s will?” If all of this was true, then just what kind of consequences would both him and the entire Liu Family face? When he spoke these words with difficulty, Liu Xuanwei’s hands even began to tremble uncontrollably.
“Otherwise, why is it that your Liu Family cannot investigate any inside information about Auspicious Virtue?”
“Why would Mu Chenyun carry out a transaction in Dragon Snake Border Pass?”
“Why would those officials dare to slaughter your Liu Family’s people in an absolutely unrestrained manner?”
“Otherwise, how could Auspicious Virtue develop this quickly?”
Lin Xi looked at Liu Xuanwei, coldly continuously asking four questions in return.
These four questions would normally naturally produce many different answers. Liu Family not being able to find any inside information about Auspicious Virtue from their investigations could naturally be that Auspicious Virtue truly didn’t have any dirty secrets. Mu Chenyun’s transaction in Dragon Snake Border Pass also didn’t represent that the emperor grasped the black market trade in Dragon Snake Border Pass. Those who dared to unleash a great slaughter in Dragon Snake Border Army might also not be officials. Even someone like Nangong Weiyang dared to unleash a great slaughter when Wenren Cangyue still oversaw Jadefall City. Auspicious Virtue’s fast development might also just be how they operated their business.
However, under Lin Xi’s deliberate guidance, what formed in Liu Xuanwei’s mind naturally couldn’t produce these conjectures. All of these rhetorical questions pointed at the same answer in his head, which was that Auspicious Virtue was the emperor’s secret industry!
It was because Auspicious Virtue was the emperor’s that even with Liu Family’s influence, they couldn’t find anything!
The emperor grasped Dragon Snake Border Army’s black market business, Auspicious Virtue precisely did some dirty money washing things, which was why Auspicious Virtue’s investments were so great, developing this quickly. That was why they showed such disdain towards a power like Liu Family… killing some Liu Family’s investigators was just a warning, yet Liu Family couldn’t associate these things together at all, still continuously wishing to interfere, finally forcing Auspicious Virtue to reveal the one backing them.
However, this backing was just a bit too great… With just a single order, Liu Family could be completely crushed.
“Since it is his majesty… then why doesn’t he just remind us through some method directly, why do we have to first make this type of huge mistake?” Liu Xuanwei’s expression was incomparably pale, looking at Lin Xi with difficulty as he asked.
Lin Xi was waiting precisely for this line.
If he couldn’t give any proof, leaving Liu Family completely convinced, even if Liu Xuanwei was scared today, there might still be other troubles later.
Lin Xi spat out this word ruthlessly with an ice-cold voice, looking at Liu Xuanwei while saying with a sneer, “Does Liu Family deserve something like this? Your most stupid aspect is just the same as your current thoughts. Even if I pointed it out to you now, you still want to see some proof that Auspicious Virtue is truly acting in the place of the son of heaven. You all will still provoke trouble. For better or for worse, your Liu Family still has some talents, having some use. Could it be that we have to completely cripple everyone in Liu Family, remove your official posts before you all reflect upon yourselves?”
Every single word Lin Xi spoke made Liu Xuanwei’s heart tremble fiercely.
He could tell that the reason Lin Xi was speaking this way was definitely because he was about to reveal some type of irrefutable proof.
Was it an imperial keepsake, or directly some type of secret decree of criticism?
He looked at Lin Xi, seeing Lin Xi reach out his hand.
However, he saw that there was nothing in Lin Xi’s hands. While in shock, his breathing completely stopped, his gaze also completely freezing, body also completely going rigid.
Lin Xi’s hand was extremely bright and clean. A layer of soul force radiance began to flicker before his eyes.
Then, he saw that this light golden soul force on Lin Xi’s hand formed streaks of dazzling golden lightning.
The soul force released from Lin Xi’s hand became even more fierce, reaching even further outwards.
Then, he saw it more and more clearly.
The soul force turned into golden lightning, condensing into a wave. It was just like a claw, like a golden dragon. A wave of exceptionally dignified and powerful aura suffused this entire elegant room.
Every single person in Yunqin understood what this type of soul force turning into golden lightning signified.
This was especially the case for a royal court member, as for a cultivator like him, he could even more so tell that this was definitely real, that there was nothing fake about this at all.
While his head went completely empty, his body went rigid for several breaths of time, with a putong noise, his entire body that was drenched in cold sweat knelt down before Lin Xi. His body trembled, unable to raise his head in horror.
When the pain of his knees hitting the ground made him recover a bit of thinking ability, he couldn’t help but think that according to normal reasoning, this was something only the emperor and crown prince could do. However, the emperor naturally couldn’t appear here, while the crown prince already died… could it be that the crown prince didn’t die? Or perhaps the emperor actually had another son?
However, regardless of which assumption he came to, the emperor borrowing the death of the crown prince to launch a war against the south, force Huang and Wenren Family to step down… the secrets hidden behind this series of events definitely weren’t something Liu Family could surmise. Even interfering in this matter might bring clan eradicating consequences.
The current him only felt like the emperor was too terrifying, the truth Liu Family discovered too terrifying. For Liu Family to not discover some connections ahead of time, they really were too stupid.
Lin Xi laughed in mockery.
Right now, his mockery was real.
“The things behind Auspicious Virtue are only known by your Liu Family right now, so you all should understand extremely clearly what to do.” He gave Liu Xuanwei who didn’t dare raise his head a look, saying this indifferently.
Liu Xuanwei continuously kowtowed, his face as white as paper as he said, “How can our Liu Family dare expose even the slightest bit of information?”
“If there are any more troublesome things that happen in the future, Liu Family can help deal with them.” Lin Xi made a gesture that he could get out now. Then, he turned around, saying this quietly by Chen Feirong’s ears with a voice only she could hear.
Chen Feirong revealed a smile that wasn’t a smile. When Liu Xuanwei frantically withdrew, she whispered by Lin Xi’s ears, “Master, you are so formidable.”
Lin Xi chuckled, scratching his head in embarrassment, “Even though I feel a bit proud as well… if you act like this, I’ll instead feel embarrassed.”