The ten forefathers hadn’t let anyone go since departing from Sandplain. The original group was still gathered together.
After a series of battles and such a long journey, the safety of their respective sacred land had been their primary concern. Exhausted from the fight with Lightford, they’d almost forgotten about the traitors. It wasn’t until Jiang Chen’s reminder that they recalled this outstanding task.
“That’s right, the traitors must be identified.”
“If the moles hadn’t leaked our information back in Sandplain, our enemy wouldn’t have read us so thoroughly and planned accordingly.”
“The spies must’ve told their master everything. That was how we fell for the traps so easily.”
The ten forefathers were no pushovers. It was an awful feeling to be tricked. The reminder that there were traitors among their ranks ignited fury in their hearts.
If not for them, the ten sacred lands wouldn’t have suffered so much, and Lightford wouldn’t have become as big a threat as he’d been.
“We must find them! Every single one of them!”
“Do you have any suggestions, young friend Jiang Chen?”
Jiang Chen smiled. “Given Lightford’s lack of foundation, they couldn’t have recruited too many spies. To avoid detection, they wouldn’t have spread their efforts too wide either. I believe there are only a few treacherous factions. At most three to four of them.”
That was a solid speculation. Lightford had risked exposing himself if he recruited too many factions.
One of the divine cultivators who’d surrendered earlier took a step forward and offered a cupped fist salute. “There are factions in Myriad Abyss who were working for Lightford, young lord. However, he always sent the two enforcers to do the legwork.”
“Do you mean only the two enforcers know who the traitors are?” Jiang Chen rumbled.
“Not necessarily!” The man shook his head. “There are some remaining in Lightford’s base of operations, and the two enforcers had a few demigod confidantes. If they’re still there, the survivors must know something. After all, the two enforcers didn’t do everything themselves. They delegated some work to their underlings. Demigods make for some decent helpers.”
They might not have been of much help when facing the ten sacred lands, but they were more than enough to handle the second and third tier factions.
The information was highly valuable to Jiang Chen.
He threw the ten forefathers a glance and transmitted, “Venerated forefathers, the ten sacred lands must continue to rule Myriad Abyss together. We have to identify the traitors without creating a panic. Do you have any ideas?”
After some discussion, the ten forefathers agreed that there was no need to make the issue bigger than it needed to be.
Eternal’s forefather spoke up. “Lightford is dead. Those among you who worked with him know what you’ve done. We’re giving you a chance to confess. No matter who you are, we promise to punish only the main culprit and spare the rest of your factions. If you insist on being stubborn, you’ll be to blame for the consequences of angering us.”
It was a call to action, an attempt to persuade and to intimidate.
Those who confessed their crimes would be killed, but their peers would live. Those who remained silent would end up getting their entire faction executed.
Members of the second and third tier factions grew agitated. They couldn’t guarantee that their senior executives hadn’t flirted with Lightford and done something untowards.
What if a couple executives had struck a deal with the devil? Their entire faction would suffer as a result. The air was thick with tension, expressions were full of doubt and suspicion.
“You have fifteen minutes, everyone. After that, you’re considered to be stubborn to the bitter end.” Eternal’s forefather’s voice was frigid.
Time crawled onwards excruciatingly slowly. Finally, someone broke under the heavy atmosphere. An empyrean cultivator stumbled out of the crowd. “I confess.”
He was a senior executive of a second tier faction.
“Half a year ago, a man came to my sect...” He spilled everything about his experience. “He made me a lot of promises and offered many material rewards. In a moment of weakness, I fell for his trickery. But I didn’t know he had anything to do with demons. If I’d known, I wouldn’t have made the deal!”
“Good!” Eternal’s forefather settled his cold gaze on the man. “Who else in your faction has done the same?”
“I’m the only one,” the man hurried out. “No one else has.”
“Are you sure? If we find another traitor among you, you’ll all pay with your lives.”
The man stared dumbly at his peers. “Did any of you work with Lightford’s people?”
He knew only of his own crimes.
His peers looked back at him with derision and hatred in their eyes. There was nothing they wanted to do more than to disown him and cut their losses.
The man paled and mumbled, “Ah, it’s good that no one else has done the same. I’ve been seduced by the devil and made a grave mistake. I deserve my punishment. I’ll go on ahead. I hope the sacred lands will honor your promise and spare the others.”
The man smacked himself ruthlessly on the forehead without restraint and collapsed to the ground, dead.
Most people didn’t even react. Only a few of his closer peers showed some pain and heartache.
Eternal’s forefather waved a hand in the air. “You may take care of his corpse. I hope there really isn’t another traitor among you, or you’ll get what you deserve.”
He scoffed and swept his sharp gaze over everyone present. “Is it that he was the only one to work with Lightford?”
The venerated leader’s disbelief was clear.
An awkward silence permeated the air.
The ten forefathers kept their eyes open. None of them believed that there was only one traitor. The other ones were simply hoping to get lucky.
Eternal’s forefather scoffed. “Some of you aren’t going to tell until death is staring you in the face, are you?”
Jiang Chen shook his head. He had a few suspects. Those who had been especially proactive in the genius selection in Sandplain were suspicious. The Bluesmoke Isles were a good example.
Their members were now wearing highly innocent looks, which only served to cement Jiang Chen’s suspicion. He’d simply refrained from commenting because the time wasn’t right.
After about seven minutes, someone else broke under the ten forefathers’ intimidation.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Gomensorry! Heh, anyone else played the Halloween event for FGO? Can't wait for Christmas 2019 and so happy Salem released today!