DEATH SCRIPTURE - DEATH SCRIPTURE Chapter 902 - Confession
Many people participated in this meeting. The Dragon King, the Unique King, the Prince Regent of the Shule Kingdom, and Wei Song represented four armies. Each of them had brought two attendants. The team of the Central Plains envoy had also sent two people here – a deputy envoy and an attendant.
The deputy envoy’s name was Sun Chengqi. He was an amiable official, but on this occasion, there was a look of anger tinged with grief upon his face. He was a representative of the deceased Ma Lian and he was here to demand an explanation.
Sun Chengqi and Zhong Heng had secretly reached a preliminary agreement, but he pretended to not know the Dragon King. He slightly nodded at the Dragon King just like he had done to the other Western Regioners.
Nobody had introduced the attendant of the deputy envoy. His face was strange to Gu Shenwei, so Gu Shenwei knew he was Zhang You, the eunuch Zhang You that had once been mentioned to him.
Zhang You looked feeble, and his face was pale, as if he could be blown away by a gust of wind. Sending him here to the Western Regions had been a cruel decision, but he had an obedient face. When he stood behind Sun Chengqi, he looked as humble as an invisible man. By comparison, Shangguan Hong seemed like a sabersman who had only learned some below average kung fu, but had still managed to enter Jade City, where one’s kung fu was the most important quality.
The Four Noble Truths Temple didn’t send any eminent monks to this room. There was only the head monk and a couple of receptionists.
Sun Chengqi made an impassioned speech. According to his description, the envoy Ma Lian had been a highly dedicated official who had devoted his heart and blood to the Imperial Court. But unfortunately, he had been assassinated, which was a misfortune of the Central Plains as well as the Western Regions.
The name of the prostitute that Ma Lian had once favored would never appear in the Central Plains’ official records.
And then it was Wei Song’s turn to speak. As the supreme official of the Western Regions assigned here by the Central Plains, he first blamed himself for failing to protect the envoy of the Central Plains, and then he swore vengeance upon the killer. “The Central Plains will go to the ends of the earth to hunt this person down. We’ll move all the mountains that block our way and destroy all the countries that dare stop us. By no means will we allow this person to get away unpunished.”
The young head monk also gave his condolences.
It took a very long time to go through those ceremonial procedures. After about two hours, the meeting moved to the core session – the Western Regioners had to hand over the culprit.
The Prince Regent of the Shule Kingdom was the first one to speak. He spent a lot of time defending the Shule Kingdom, claiming that there was no need for his country to assassinate the envoy of the Central Plains, and that they didn’t have the strength to do it either. He didn’t hand over anything.
The Dragon King seldom made eye contact with the Unique King. In fact, they were facing the same crisis. The could have cooperated with each other to handle it. Three days ago, when they were performing the autopsy, Shangguan Fa had given him an extremely ambiguous clue. However, Gu Shenwei didn’t show any signs of approval, so the cooperation had ended before it could even take shape.
They politely offered to let each other be the first one to speak. Gu Shenwei was more insistent, so the Unique King became the second one to speak. He didn’t try to defend Golden Roc Castle and instead went straight to the point. “That deceased assassin was a disciple of Waning Moon Hall. Guests from the Central Plains may not know much about the Waning Moon Hall. Would you please provide some information for them, head monk Fa Feng?”
Fa Feng was the head monk of the Four Noble Truths Temple. He was under thirty years old, but was a peer of a lot of old eminent monks. The big smile on his face was a mixture of about seventy percent of mercy and thirty percent sophistication. “Amitabha. Actually, I also know little about this Waning Moon Hall. But I have consulted some seniors of our temple and also found some records among some old paperwork, which has enabled me to have a superficial impression of this organization. It’s only for reference, though. Uh, about a couple of decades ago, the Waning Moon Hall was a part of Golden Roc Castle. Then, later, it rebelled and became independent.”
Upon hearing the four words “rebelled and became independent,” several people looked in the Dragon King’s direction. Having realized that he had made some inappropriate remarks, Fa Feng loudly uttered “Amitabha” several times and then started talking faster. “The Waning Moon Hall only recruits female disciples. They are skilled at using knockout powder and evil kung fu, which is why all of the sects in the Western Regions despise them. Out of indignation and hatred, many sects once decided to besiege the Waning Moon Hall. Eventually, all sides reached an agreement right here in Four Noble Truths Temple: the other sects gave up on besieging the Waning Moon Hall, and the Waning Moon Hall retreated into the northeastern desert to never step out of it again. However, six years ago, the Waning Moon Hall openly breached the agreement. Not only did they reappear in Jianghu, but they also started killing people everywhere in the Western Regions. Alas. It’s a pity that only a few people in the Western Regions still remember the Waning Moon Hall, and that people didn’t unite to stop the Waning Moon Hall in time. This is why Ma Lian, Lord Ma, was tragically killed.”
“Wait.” The deputy envoy of the Central Plains, Sun Chengqi, interjected. “I don’t care about what kind of organization the Waning Moon Hall is, but we need proof to confirm that it is responsible for the assassination of the envoy. First of all, you said that the Waning Moon Hall only recruits female disciples, but that dead assassin was a man.”
“That was my mistake,” Fa Feng admitted frankly. “I should have only introduced the Waning Moon Hall. I shouldn’t have made any speculations. By convention, the Waning Moon Hall only recruits female disciples. With regards as to how they’re related to that assassination, I think that we should let the Unique King tell us about it.”
The Unique King moved his eyes to Gu Shenwei. “Originally, the Waning Moon Hall only recruited female disciples, but in the past two years, they’ve changed their rules. The Dragon King is very familiar with the Waning Moon Hall. Do you have any extra information to offer?”
This was an ambiguous provocation. The Unique King wanted to tie the Dragon King to the Waning Moon Hall. Though Gu Shenwei could just contradict him in a tit-for-tat way, he only said two words. “I don’t.”
The Unique King took three steps forward and said, “The Waning Moon Hall takes playing one side off another as its sect goal, which is also why they would assassinate the envoy of the Central Plains. My words can not be taken as evidence. Fortunately, Golden Roc Castle has captured a couple of disciples of the Waning Moon Hall, and they can prove my point.”
Wei Song whispered to Sun Chengqi for a little while and then loudly said, “Please have the prisoners brought here, Unique King.”
The Unique King briefly nodded at an attendant behind him who then immediately walked out of the room. Before long, he and six other guards escorted three prisoners into the room.
The Waning Moon Hall had always acted covertly, which was why many people present had become interested. The deputy envoy watched curiously, and even the head monk, Fa Feng, couldn’t help but raise his eyes, intending to compare the three prisoners with the rumors that he had heard.
All of the three prisoners were female, and surprisingly, one of them was even someone that Gu Shenwei knew.
Unaware that this was not the right occasion, Han Fen smiled brightly and said, “Dragon King, I was caught again. It seems that I’ve had a run of bad luck recently.”
Xu Xiaoyi had been trying his best to collect intelligence, but surprisingly, he had failed to get any information about Han Fen, which had been a terrible negligence on his part.
“Um. You’re rather suitable to be a prisoner.”
“Ha-ha, I prefer to be the Dragon King’s prisoner. The people in Golden Roc Castle kept giving me cold faces, and they wouldn’t let me go anywhere.”
One of the prisoners of Golden Roc Castle was actually an acquaintance of the Dragon King’s, which made the deputy envoy more confused. “Does the Dragon King and Waning Moon Hall know each other very well?”
“Yes. The Dragon Army once allied with the Waning Moon Hall. This one behind me counts as half a disciple of the Waning Moon Hall.”
Shangguan Hong quivered. Ever since he had followed the Dragon King into this room, he had never raised his head for fear of making eye contact with his biological father.
Sun Chengqi gave an ambiguous “Um” sound. Before confirming that the Waning Moon Hall was the mastermind responsible for the assassination, he didn’t want to talk about them too much.
But Gu Shenwei didn’t like breaking off in mid-sentence. Now that the Unique King had implied that he was a co-conspirator of Waning Moon Hall, he had to fight back. So, he continued. “I think that deputy envoy already knows that the Dragon Army and Golden Roc Castle used to be allies too. The Dragon Army has a lot of allies, and it has even more former allies. In addition, the name of this attendant of mine here is Shangguan Hong, who is the Unique King’s beloved son.”
“Who used to be,” Shangguan Fa corrected coldly.
Shangguan Hong broke out into a cold sweat and finally understood why the Dragon King had asked him to come. He deeply regretted coming and also badly wanted to complain, thinking that this tricky task should have been assigned to Shangguan Fei.
“Used to be… Exactly. I used to be an ally of Waning Moon Hall,” Gu Shenwei said.
The complex relationship between the Unique King and Dragon King bewildered Sun Chengqi, who then shook his head and said, “Let’s talk about this later. Did these three prisoners admit that Waning Moon Hall is responsible for the assassination?”
The other two disciples of the Waning Moon Hall kept silent, and once again Han Fen was the one who talked. “All right. I’ll talk. The envoy of the Central Plains was indeed killed by the Waning Moon Hall.”
The prisoner had admitted it so readily, which greatly surprised everybody present, Gu Shenwei in particular. He knew that Han Fen had never been a good liar, but now, she appeared frank and honest. However, back then, in the forest of peach trees of Gui Garden, when she had claimed that the assassin might be a member of the Kun Society, she had also looked very composed.
It had been only two months. ‘Did she learn how to be a good liar in that timeframe?’ Gu Shenwei was confused.
However, the others held the opposite opinion. Han Fen had admitted it too willingly, and there was a disapproving smile on her face, as if she believed that the assassination of the envoy of the Central Plains was not a big deal. Thus, most of the people here suspected that she had lied.
“Why did the Waning Moon Hall assassinate the envoy of the Central Plains?” Sun Chengqi felt that this woman was a little eccentric, so he asked his questions in a mild voice. “Just tell us the truth. Don’t be afraid.”
“Of course I’m not afraid. You’re a pretty nice old man, unlike the Unique King. His face is even more sepulchral than the Dragon King’s face, but he’s not as handsome as the Dragon King. He’s less good-looking than you.”
Embarrassed, Sun Chengqi gave out two short coughs. “You still haven’t answered my question.”
“Oh. Why did the Waning Moon Hall assassinate the envoy of the Central Plains – it’s because of you, of course.”
Stunned, Sun Chengqi snapped, “Do you know who I am? You dare openly slander me?”
“I know who you are. You are the one who argued about a prostitute with the envoy of the Central Plains in the Retention Alley. You lost, so you hired Waning Moon Hall to kill the envoy.”
Han Fen’s remarks were becoming increasingly unbelievable. Annoyed and embarrassed, Sun Chengqi finally became furious. He turned and faced the Unique King, “Did Golden Roc Castle make this arrangement to mock me?”
Shangguan Fa answered in an expressionless voice, “No.” And then he said to Han Fen, “It seems that you are not going to tell the truth.”
Han Fen widened her eyes. “Why do you think that I didn’t tell the truth? This is the truth. There are so many people here – the Dragon King, monks, and high-rank officials of the Central Plains. We are no longer in Golden Roc Castle, Unique King. You can’t just force me to say whatever you want me to say. I know that you don’t want me to tell the truth, but I’m no longer under your control.”
Gu Shenwei was becoming more and more startled. Talking meaningless nonsense was Han Fen’s style, and the words “playing it by ear” and “an iron hand in a velvet glove” had never applied to her. However, these remarks that she had just made insinuated that the Unique King had been colluding with the deputy envoy of the Central Plains. Although these words sounded absurd, they were also coherent. Thus, it was very unlikely that she was the one who had come up with these words.
Face livid, Shangguan Fa disdained arguing with Han Fen. He asked the other two prisoners, “What about you? Do you want to change your confession as well?”
The two exchanged eye contact and said in unison, “Han Fen’s words are our words.”
Han Fen was very smug. “Good girls. This is what disciples of the Waning Moon Hall should be like.”
Shangguan Fa waved his hand and the six guards escorted the prisoners out of the room. Before leaving, Han Fen winked at the Dragon King, as if asking him whether this game had been fun or not.
“The prisoners refused to tell the truth. But it doesn’t matter. Golden Roc Castle has other proof. But I’d like to hear the Dragon King’s opinions first.” The Unique King’s first move had ended up becoming a farce, and he had also deeply offended the deputy envoy of the Central Plains. However, the Unique King was unwilling to apologize to him in public, so he to make a concession and had decided to let the Dragon King make his move.
Gu Shenwei stood up. He had several plans in his mind, but none of them were flawless. After shooting a quick glance at Luo Qikang, who was behind Wei Song, he made the final choice.
“Ma Lian was killed by his own guard,” he said.