Chapter 242: Severe Haze of Suspicion

“Pfff, he uses his status as the elder of the Phoenix King Valley to oppress smaller factions… If not for the sake of our seniors and juniors, who will care about his stolen items? Helping him is like torturing ourselves…” One of the youths complained.

The moment someone opened the can of worms, all hell broke loose.

“Exactly. If he is truly capable, he wouldn’t be robbed in the first place. Not to mention the fact that his disciples aren’t the ones helping him. Are the disciples of the Phoenix King Valley too important to carry out the investigation? Are we weeds from the side of the road he can step over? Where is the justice in this?!” Another unsatisfied youth piped up. They had been dissatisfied with the way the Phoenix King Valley conducted themselves for a long time. He was finally able to let out some steam by scolding the Phoenix King Valley Elder.

Everyone started to comment and criticize the Phoenix King Valley. The only person who remained silent was the one who reported the findings to the Phoenix King Valley Elder. When everyone saw that he wasn’t saying anything, they assumed that he was trying to suck up to the elder. One of the youths started to mock him.

“Oh? Somebody seems content as a slave. You can’t even stand straight now… Wake up from your daydreams… Do you think the Phoenix King Valley Elder will remember your hard work?”

As the only one who hadn’t spoken up, the man slowly raised his head. When he realized that everyone was looking at him, he discovered that he was the target of their rage. Since he was already getting on in years, he was able to control his emotions. He seemed to be lost in thought as he slowly spoke of his suspicion. “Doesn’t this seem fishy to you?”

Everyone’s expression shivered and looked at each other with a confused expression in their eyes. They had no idea what he meant.

After hesitating a moment, he stated the anomalies he had noticed during the investigation. “Let’s put aside the nasty attitude the Phoenix King Valley Elder has been using to deal with us. Don’t you think that something is wrong when the Elder requested for us to assist him in the investigation?”

He turned to look at everyone and saw that there was no response. He continued, “The Phoenix King Valley will never ask for help. Even when rewarding us with cultivation resources, they will send the outer valley disciples out for the delivery. The thought of using reputable armed escort agencies never crossed the mind.”

“The fact that they are sending us to look for an item is a big red flag. Not to mention how the Elder refused to let us in on the details. He simply asked us to follow his instructions. Even after so long, we have no idea what we are supposed to be looking for. We don’t even have a description of the item, let alone an image. Isn’t there something weird about this?”

Everyone fell silent and all of them thought about the suspicious points in their mind. After contemplating for a moment, they weren’t able to come to a conclusion. Even though they dropped the subject in the end, the seed of doubt had been planted in their hearts.

After learning about the Phoenix King Valley Elder’s investigation, Bai Luochu returned to the residence as quickly as she could. She was afraid the elder would make things difficult for her. He would really hit the jackpot if he were to place his attention onto Bai Luochu.

As soon as she returned to the general’s residence, she saw Cai Ling waiting at the entrance. Perhaps she was feeling guilty for making Bai Luochu starve, Cai Ling quickly apologized, “Will Mistress please issue the punishment. This servant has neglected her duty and caused Mistress to starve.”

Bai Luochu was startled after hearing the apology and immediately consoled the poor girl. “It doesn’t matter. After all, I’m no longer hungry. I didn’t plan ahead and failed to inform you in advance. Let’s return to the room first. I have some instructions for you.” Bai Luochu gave Cai Ling an eye signal as an indication for Cai Ling to follow behind her. She quickly headed towards Bai Luochu’s courtyard.

“Close the door tightly. I have instructions for you.” The order came out of Bai Luochu’s mouth the moment she entered the room.

Cai Ling already had a habit of closing the doors tightly, but after hearing Bai Luochu’s instructions, she knew that what her mistress was about to say was extremely important. Cai Ling shut the door such that even a sliver of sunlight wasn’t able to pass through before asking, “Mistress, do you have any instructions for this servant?”

“When I was leaving the Remote Paddy Inn earlier, I realized that the Phoenix King Valley Elder’s investigation has already begun. Since I had the guts to steal his ring, I would be prepared for all his attempts at finding it. However, be it Ying Lan’s intention or the result of my deliberation, I will be staying in the residence for the next few days. Furthermore, I might break through at any moment and cultivating in seclusion would be beneficial. There is no need to worry about the elder, but… those wretched relatives of mine are difficult to get along with. I am afraid there will be internal strife in the residence. Did you notice anything strange with them recently?”

Cai Ling was rather anxious after hearing Bai Luochu’s words. After all, the incident with the Phoenix King Valley Elder was a big one and she already had a headache from it. Since Bai Luochu said it wasn’t a problem, Cai Ling wasn’t going to worry about it. Rather than being worried about something that she couldn’t help with, she would rather put in more effort in things that she could do.

After some consideration, Cai Ling reported the recent observations she had on the uncle’s family.

“Mistress, there is nothing strange going on. Lord Uncle has been constantly drinking and would gamble occasionally. Every time he gambles, he will lose. As for the Madam… it seems like she is afraid of Mistress. She released some control over the residence but there might be hidden tricks. This servant is slow-witted and cannot predict the Madam’s intention. As for Young Lady Qianqian...” Cai Ling hesitated for a moment.

“Don’t worry. Just speak your mind.” Bai Luochu urged Cai Ling to continue.

“Young Lady Qianqian was grounded and this servant wasn’t able to investigate her. However, there seems to be something strange going on as Young Lady Qianqian isn’t one to stay quiet for such a long time.”

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