Chapter 131: Final Chance

Snow’s face also warped upon seeing the eyewitness’ face too. She quickly explained the current situation to Shi Kun.

Needless to say, Shi Kun was infuriated to have the tables turned in such a manner. He turned to look at Mei Chaofeng with a piercing glare. How dare you ruin my plans for your lust?

“Who are you?” Keenly noticing the reactions of Mei Chaofeng and Shi Kun, Xie Yi quickly asked the eyewitness.

The woman who was brought in by the guards of the Chu clan kneeled onto the floor and spoke, “City Lord Xie, I am the wife of Tan Wei, Madam Zhang.”

“Tan Wei?” Xie Yi naturally knew who Tan Wei was, and he began assessing the various people present in the court with a meaningful gleam in his eyes.

A slight furrow also formed on Sang Hong’s forehead. It looks like their plan is going to fail once again.

“What are you doing here? Go back right now!” Mei Chaofeng finally snapped out of his daze and rushed toward Madam Zhang’s side, attempting to chase her off. 

His sudden aggressive movement left Madam Zhang cowering fearfully, a sign that she was extremely afraid of Mei Chaofeng.

Chu Chuyan immediately stepped in between the two of them and said calmly, “Are you trying to intimidate my eyewitness here?”

Mei Chaofeng immediately argued anxiously, “How can she possibly be an eyewitness? She’s no more than my concubine!”

“No, I’m Tan Wei’s wife! You resorted to despicable means to force me to do your bidding!” Madam Zhang looked at Mei Chaofeng with eyes filled with hatred.

Mei Chaofeng felt as if he had been plunged into icy-cold water. The woman before him suddenly looked foreign to him. She had been so subservient to him in recent days, never hesitating to fulfill his requests. The dominance he had over her made him feel rather gleeful, and he even bragged about it before Snow too. Yet… 

Is it all an act?

Xie Yi secretly shot a glance at Sang Hong and saw that the latter wasn’t responding at all. This gave him a good idea as to what was going on. “Madam Zhang, feel free to speak of any indignance you have suffered. We’ll redress your grievances in this court.”

With tears in her eyes, Madam Zhang began to explain everything she had been through. 

As it turned out, she and Tan Wei were childhood lovers, but the Zhang clan opposed their relationship out of scorn for Tan Wei’s impecunious background. So, Tan Wei joined the Plum Blossom Sect in hopes of making it big, and his willingness to dive into danger and the tenacity he displayed against the sect’s enemies allowed him to swiftly rise through the ranks. It didn’t take him to make a bit of reputation and money for himself.

Eventually, at Madam Zhang’s insistence, her parents reluctantly accepted their marriage. The fulfillment of their difficult love made them cherish each other even more, and they lived in great bliss with one another. But one day, the sect master of the Plum Blossom Sect paid them a visit and became enamored with Madam Zhang’s beauty.

So, he laid out a scheme to take Madam Zhang’s body, which incurred Tan Wei’s rage. Tan Wei tried to stand up for his wife, but it was a pity that there was a huge difference in their cultivation ranks. In the end, it was only with Madam Zhang’s help that Tan Wei barely managed to escape with his life.

In order to keep her husband safe, Madam Zhang chose to lower herself to serve her enemy, allowing Mei Chaofeng to demean her in any way he wanted to. She was able to continue persevering because Mei Chaofeng had promised her to let Tan Wei go.

However, not too long ago, she received news that Tan Wei had been killed by Plum Blossom Twelve, and that drove her into despair. She wanted to just end her life and accompany her husband in the afterlife, but her anger and indignance stopped her. She couldn’t allow Mei Chaofeng to get off the hook just like that.

So, she changed her attitude. She began going along with Mei Chaofeng to win his affection. She made Mei Chaofeng think that his charms had conquered her, resulting in him lowering his guard against her.

In truth, she had been secretly collecting evidence of Mei Chaofeng’s wrongdoing, and she was only waiting for an opportunity to make her move. Just earlier today, the first miss of the Chu clan paid her visit, and she immediately knew that her chance had come.

“Rubbish! It’s this lowly woman who seduced me for my power and authority. Tan Wei chose to leave on his own accord out of humiliation. I’ve never tried to force myself on Madam Zhang before!” explained Mei Chaofeng anxiously.

There was no way Zu An was going to miss this perfect opportunity. “Hah! A woman seducing you on her own accord? Did you think that you’re like me? You should get yourself a mirror and take one hard look at your own face!”

Mei Chaofeng felt blood rushing into his head. If not for the fact that they were in the midst of a court, he would have rushed forward to give Zu An two tight slaps.

You have successfully trolled Mei Chaofeng for +501 Rage!

Chu Chuyan also fell silent. She felt a little offended by what he had just said.

It was then that Vice Magistrate Pang Chun spoke up in reminder, “Madam Zhang, what you’ve just mentioned is unrelated to the current case. We’ll trial your case separately afterward.”

“No, it’s related to the current case!” Madam Zhang raised her head and spoke resoundingly. “Yesterday, I personally heard Mei Chaofeng ordering his subordinates to falsify the evidence. He was also the one who killed Plum Blossom Thirteen. In the entire Plum Blossom Sect, he seems to be the only one who has the ability to imitate some kind of academy sword art.”

Those words understandably raised a huge uproar. Even the kin and friends of Plum Blossom Thirteen turned to look at Mei Chaofeng with eyes widened in disbelief.

“You slut! How dare you frame me?!” 

Mei Chaofeng felt deeply regretful. If only he had gotten rid of that woman while he could, he wouldn’t have ended up in his current plight. However, if he could do it once more, he would probably still do the same. For some reason, he simply wouldn’t grow sick of Madam Zhang no matter how he toyed with her.

Madam Zhang chose to disregard him and continued on with her testimony, “Lord Yang Wei’s death seems to have something to do with him too. It seems to be done by some influential figure.”

Everyone was shocked to hear those words. Yang Wei’s wife began rushing toward Mei Chaofeng in a frenzy, attempting to claw her nails through his skin, only to be held back by the guards in the court.

The crowd also began whispering amongst themselves. There wasn’t any concrete evidence yet, but they had already chosen to believe in Madam Zhang’s words. Mei Chaofeng’s act of killing Tan Wei and dominating his wife was so vile that it had incensed the crowd. 

“That useless trash!” Shi Kun was infuriated. How could he possibly not be? They were just moments away from condemning Zu An to hell, but their scheme was unraveled over a mere woman!

“Young master, please do not worry. You aren’t directly involved in this matter, so there’s no way Madam Zhang knows of your identity. Besides, Mei Chaofeng knows his own place. He’ll step forward to carry the blame if it looks like things are going awry. He would never dare to give you away.” Shi Lezhi sent a voice transmission to Shi Kun in order to reassure the latter.

“Hmph!” Shi Kun harrumphed coldly, but Shi Lezhi’s reassurance did little to lift his mood.

Xie Yi slammed the wooden brick on the table once more before issuing his order, “Men, arrest Mei Chaofeng and all of the eyewitnesses who accused Zu An of murder earlier. We’ll be interrogating them. I’ll make sure to get to the bottom of this case so that those who have died can rest in peace!”

Mei Chaofeng was a powerhouse who had ruled the underground world for many years, so the guards in the courtroom couldn’t even faze him at all. His first thought was to charge out of the court and flee, but he swiftly brushed off that urge. One must know that Governor Sang, City Lord Xie, and the Brightmoon Duke were present here as well. Even Vice Magistrate Pang wasn’t weaker than him in any way. There was no way he could get away, and an attempt to do so would only prove his guilty conscience.

Instead, if he stayed here, there might still be a chance to turn things around. He did have quite a few connections in the city, and young master Shi held great power in his hands too. There was still a chance for him to be vindicated.

With such thoughts in mind, he gave up on struggling and allowed the guards to shackle his limbs.

While he was being taken aback, Zu An walked up to him with a smile and said, “What a surprise, don’t you think? Just two hours ago, you were still trying to shackle me, only to be the one being shackled now. The world sure is a mysterious place, isn’t it?”

“You bastard! Don’t act so smug. You might be lucky today, but you won’t stay lucky for life. All it takes is you slipping up once, and you’ll be over!” spat Mei Chaofeng furiously.

With young master Shi’s influence, he could continuously hatch schemes against Zu An. Even if one failed, all he had to do was to try again. Even if Zu An managed to survive 99 of the schemes, as long as he slipped up the hundredth time, he would still be a goner. 

You have successfully trolled Mei Chaofeng for +998 Rage!

“What a pity it is that you’ll never live to see that day,” said Zu An with a smile.

The crime of killing an official of the royal court, as well as the other murder cases under his name and all of the underhanded deeds he had committed over the years; all of these were more than enough to have him executed multiple times.

“Zu An, I’ll make sure to drag you with me even if I die!” 

Even while Mei Chaofeng was being pulled away, his roars could still be heard from afar.

“Incompetent people sure love to talk big.” Zu An shook his head in disdain.

He was just about to put down Shi Kun and earn a bit more Rage points when he noticed that the latter had vanished from view. It seemed like he didn’t want to remain here after seeing how his plan had been unraveled.

Following that, Xie Yi assigned several guards to Madam Zhang’s side in order to protect her until the storm died down. With that, the court was dismissed.

The spectators slowly dispersed, but the excitement from the drama they had seen had yet to recede. It could be foreseen that within the next few days, everyone in Brightmoon City would come to learn of every single detail regarding this incident.

Before Sang Hong left, he directed a long look at Chu Zhongtian before remarking, “Brightmoon Duke, you really do impress me.”

“You’re impressed by me? For what?” replied Chu Zhongtian.

Sang Hong shot a glance at Zu An before explaining, “I’m impressed by your sharp eyes. While everyone was looking down on him, you chose to go against the odds to take him in as your son-in-law. It seems like your ability to perceive people is far sharper than mine.”

It was rare to see Sang Hong so frustrated. Chu Zhongtian delightfully accepted the praise and replied, “Governor Sang, you’re too kind. Hahaha!”

After the swift exchange, the two of them went their own ways.

While returning back to the Chu clan, Chu Chuyan couldn’t stop herself from asking, “How did you know that Madam Zhang would help you?”

The corners of Zu An’s lips inched upward as he explained, “To be honest, I encountered Tan Wei during my journey out of town. I learned that he had a sum of money stashed away in the wall of his residence. I was still quite poor back then, and since he was already dead, I thought of taking his money for my own. Unexpectedly, I stumbled upon Madam Zhang secretly paying respects to her deceased husband at the residence.

“It was then that I realized that the rumors about Madam Zhang willingly becoming Mei Chaofeng’s lover might have been a lie. Her act of paying respects to her deceased husband showed that she cared a lot for him, and the fact that she had to do it secretly meant that she was trying to conceal it from the Plum Blossom Sect. Piecing together all of these clues, I was able to roughly figure out her intentions, which is why I told you to bring her over to the courtroom earlier.

“Only with the prestige and standing you hold as the daughter of a duke would be able to convince her to make a move.”

Chu Chuyan felt admiration for Madam Zhang. “She’s truly a strong woman. In order to exact vengeance for her husband, she was willing to bear with humiliation. It’s truly a blessing that her sacrifice hasn’t been in vain.”

“Yes, she’s indeed someone worthy of respect.” Zu An nodded in agreement. “If something happens to me, will you be willing to put aside everything and exact vengeance for me too?”

Chu Chuyan rolled her eyes. “Haven’t you heard of the saying that good people die prematurely but vermins plague the world for centuries? I doubt that any harm could possibly come to you.”

“Ahahaha, I’m flattered by how highly you think of me.” Zu An laughed.

His reaction made Chu Chuyan scoff under her breath. I’m not complimenting you over here! “Speaking of which, you mentioned that you were going to take Tan Wei’s money for your own? Madam Zhang is already as pitiful as she is. Surely you aren’t going to keep her husband’s money after knowing of her story?”

“Of course not,” replied Zu An. “I gave the money to her on the spot. Otherwise, how could I be so certain that she would help me this time around?”

“It looks like you aren’t rotten to the core yet.” Despite her slightly harsh remark, a smile was forming on her lips. She was satisfied with how Zu An handled this matter.

It was then that Zu An suddenly realized a new problem. If Mei Chaofeng was done for, wouldn’t the Plum Blossom Sect crumble next? If so, the 7,500,000 silver taels debt note he had on the Plum Blossom Sect would become a mere empty cheque!

It’s fortunate that I magnanimously donated it to Brightmoon Academy beforehand. Oh well, I guess it’s Jiang Luofu’s problem now.

… 

Night descended upon Brightmoon City. In one of the cells of the yamen, Mei Chaofeng was just about to start cultivating when he suddenly sensed something and opened his eyes.

He could vaguely hear deep groans sounding not too far away. It was the sound of the patrolling guards being knocked out.

Soon, a figure appeared before his cell. The figure whipped out a key he had just swiped away from the prison warden and unlocked the cell.

“Mister Shi!” 

Even though the figure was masked, Mei Chaofeng was still able to recognize the other party.

“The young master has sent me here to bring you out,” replied Shi Lezhi.

Mei Chaofeng frowned. “Are we escaping just like that? Isn’t that as good as admitting to my crimes?”

“Are you still dreaming of being vindicated? You should have known better and kept that thing between your legs under control!” Shi Lezhi harrumphed.

“That slut! I’m going to kill her!” Just thinking about the matter was more than enough to stir Mei Chaofeng’s anger.

“Madam Zhang is being protected by the City Lord Estate at the moment, so you shouldn’t even bother thinking about it,” replied Shi Lezhi. “The young master has tasked me to save you in order to give you one last chance. As long as you’re able to get rid of Zu An, the young master will send you to another city where you can continue to live freely. Otherwise… you should know better than anyone else what happens to those who are useless.”

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