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Under the tree on that hill, before his death, the Great Divine Priest of Light had given Sangsang an ID token and touched her head affectionately. Master Yan Se had taken something out of his sleeves and given it to her, then left some words for her.
After that, the two old men had been reduced to ashes on the edge of the cliff. Of course, Sangsang did not forget the details, so she knew what the officer in front of her wanted. However, she chose to pretend that she didn't understand him.
Sangsang was not a smart little handmaiden who was good at lying. So Zhuge Wuren immediately saw through her words. His face became darker and darker, as if he was about to explode in rage at any time.
He Mingchi gently coughed, then glanced at him. The meaning of his gaze was very clear—although the array eye was a matter of great significance, it was Master Yan Se who had pa.s.sed it on to Ning Que after all. It was impossible for them to lay claim to it. If the imperial court was still worried about it, they could keep watch over the Old Brush Pen Shop and wait for Ning Que to come back to discuss the issue with him.
Zhuge Wuren knew what he meant and said indifferently, "Taoist He, I know you're the Second Prince's study companion. But I want to remind you that he is the Second Prince after all. You... really don't want to become the Nation Master of the Tang Empire?"
He Mingchi suddenly remembered that Zhuge Wuren was close to the Empress. As many people knew in Chang'an City, Ning Que had a close relations.h.i.+p with the Princess, Li Yu. Was it because the Empress did not want Ning Que to become the Nation Master in the future?
He smiled shyly and shook his head. The matter the other had mentioned made him not want to meddle in it anymore. However, he thought of something and could not help saying, "Sir Zhuge, you'd better not forget whose maidservant she is."
Zhuge Wuren kept silent for a short moment before a touch of decisiveness appeared in his eyes. He said, "This concerns the safety of the Tang Empire. I think the Academy will agree with me. Besides, I haven't been disrespectful to Mr. Thirteen. Will the Academy be angry with my interrogating a maidservant? There is a reason why the Academy doesn't meddle in the court administration?"
He looked at Sangsang and said coldly, "You must hand over the things left by Master Yan Se and the G.o.d of Light."
At this time, w.a.n.g Jinglue returned to the garden and looked at the two coldly, asking, "Have you finished? I'll be bringing her back to the Military Ministry now."
He Mingchi puzzledly looked at him and asked, "What does the general want to know from this little maidservant?"
w.a.n.g Jinglue answered, "It's about the G.o.d of Light and a murder case in Chang'an City fourteen years ago."
He Mingchi was silent as he slowly retracted the yellow oiled-paper umbrella.
Zhuge Wuren said indifferently, "Please tell Grand General Xu s.h.i.+ that we'll be taking away this little maidservant, and not just for the interrogation. The prince has previously entered the palace to seek permission from His Majesty, in order to allow the West-Hill Divine Palace to take her back to Peach Mountain."
w.a.n.g Jinglue slightly frowned and said mockingly, "Do you think the West-Hill Divine Palace can ignore the Military Ministry?"
Zhuge Wuren slightly frowned and said, "According to the law of the Tang Empire, the Military Ministry has no right to meddle in this case."
w.a.n.g Jinglue slightly smirked. "In accordance with the law of the Tang Empire, the Imperial Center Administration is even less qualified."
He Mingchi stood quietly at the side. Although many Taoists in the Southern Gate of the Haotian Temple had become extremely resentful towards the little handmaiden in the Old Brush Pen Shop for Master Yan Se's death, he did not share their view.
On most days, any government inst.i.tution other than the imperial palace would subconsciously withdraw if they found the military forces to be opposing them. However, today the Imperial Center Administration actually refused to retreat when faced with the Military Ministry, and they were determined to get the girl, even resorting to using the name of the Prince and West-Hill Divine Palace to suppress the other.
They did not waste time with superfluous words, actually forcing each other into a dead end instead. In the end, it seemed that, according to the law of Tang Empire, the Chang'an Local Government, where everyone now stood, was the only place qualified to interrogate Sangsang.
w.a.n.g Jinglue said, "I heard that the prefectural magistrate had a high fever and couldn't get up at all."
Zhuge Wuren said with a sneer, "Since the imperial doctor couldn't help, I had to ask the Imperial Center Administration to send some Psyche Masters to treat him. Even if his fever is rather high, he should still be able to hold a short conversation."
The Chang'an Local Government was the humblest inst.i.tution in the Tang Empire, just like a bullied daughter-in-law in a big family. Today, the Military Ministry, the Imperial Center Administration, and the Southern Gate Temple were all gathered in the local government's office. Under this immense pressure, the prefectural magistrate chose to feign sickness and refused to go out, while all the officials were as silent as a winter cicada.
When Zhuge's words were sent to the back of the mansion, the prefectural magistrate, Shangguan Yangyu, knew that he could no longer feign sickness. He rubbed his sore throat gently and thought of the uselessness of that pot of ice water yesterday afternoon. He could not help sighing and shaking his head again and again.
His wife said worriedly, "If you don't want to offend the Academy, you will have to offend so many other people. What should we do now?"
A touch of cruelty appeared in Shangguan Yangyu's ugly little eyes. He said with a sneer, "They want to push me into a dead end and want me to explain to Mr. Thirteen afterward. They wis.h.!.+"
Surprised, she asked, "Milord, have you thought of a good idea?"
Shangguan Yangyu looked at his affectionate old wife and sighed. He said pitifully, "Don't be scared later."
After finis.h.i.+ng this sentence, the prefectural magistrate struggled to climb up from his bed and pulled
pulled out a hard stick from under the bedside desk. He wheezed painfully several times, then mercilessly hit his head with the stick!
Bang! With a m.u.f.fled noise, he broke his head and pa.s.sed out.
He had truly lost consciousness this time.
A mournful cry from the wife of the prefectural magistrate sounded in the room.
While the prefectural magistrate took measures to remain a miserable patient in his bedroom, another person entered the Chang'an Local Government office.
The steward bowed respectfully to the others and said, "Her Highness is in the palace and can't come here in time. So she asked me to come over. What grave mistake has Sangsang committed to bother so many officials?"
Unexpectedly, the princess, Lee Yu, had found out about this matter so quickly. w.a.n.g Jinglue slightly frowned.
He represented the imperial army, so he did not technically need to listen to the princess. But now no one knew which prince the emperor would ultimately pa.s.s the dragon throne to. So he felt it prudent to tread carefully in these murky waters.
Zhuge Wuren did not give any explanation to the steward, expressing his att.i.tude with silence.
The steward did not get angry. At first, before coming to the local government office, he had a.s.sumed that it must have just been a misunderstanding. However, when he saw so many bigwigs there, he realized that it was not as simple as Her Highness had thought. He also guessed that the little handmaiden must have something important hidden from them. So he gave a slight smile, then left immediately to inform the palace again at the fastest speed.
As soon as the steward of the Princess' Mansion left, the latest news came out from the back of the mansion. The prefectural magistrate had already been seriously ill, and now fell into an unconscious coma. Apparently, he had cared about working for His Majesty as well as the people and had tried to get up to deal with the case, only to b.u.mp into the door because of his high fever.
This kind of official who was diligent in government affairs was really rare—it was this kind of excuse. Zhuge Wuren and the others did not believe it and angrily entered the back of the mansion. However, after a short moment, they came back with complicated expressions.
"Is there such a shameless official in the Tang Empire?" Zhuge Wuren lamented.
He Mingchi thought of the horrible b.l.o.o.d.y wound on the head of the prefectural magistrate and sighed, "It's really well played."
w.a.n.g Jinglue lamented, "He would rather hurt himself than deal with the case. Good for him!"
Zhuge Wuren suddenly said, "In that case, I'll bring this little maidservant back to the palace first."
w.a.n.g Jinglue frowned.
Zhuge Wuren said, "Someone in the palace will explain to the grand general later."
w.a.n.g Jinglue still frowned.
People came and went. Snow rose and fell.
The snow fell on yellow paper umbrellas, branches, eaves and the bedding. Perhaps the quilt was too big and blocked the little girl who was holding it. Perhaps the people who came and went were thinking about something important. So they forgot that the person they were discussing was right beside them. In short, Sangsang who was standing between the wind and snow was forgotten by them.
No one noticed that she also frowned.
Sangsang was a little girl unwilling to cause trouble for Ning Que.
At first, the Chang'an Local Government had only asked her about the case, so she had come here. And then she did all they had asked, including standing in front of the government, before the garden, in the wind and snow. But when she realized that the official really wanted to grab the things entrusted to her, and even seemingly wanted to bring her to the palace, she started to hesitate.
Sangsang was a person who would fight over several taels of silver even at the cost of her own life. What's more, the thing that these people wanted to steal from her was obviously worth even more money. Besides, they were the things that her teacher had left for her and Master Yan Se had left for Ning Que. So she frowned.
Her frown indicated her unhappiness and disapproval.
She stretched her head over the thick bedding with difficulty and looked at the shameless official who had wanted to bring her into the palace and rob her belongings. A deep, subtle light glinted in her dark and clear eyes. And then the light blazed quickly.
Suddenly a cold wind blew over.
The solemn Divine Light deep in Sangsang's eyes suddenly faded away. She slowly lowered her head.
Wind was just flowing air. The reason why a cold wind suddenly blew over here was that a huge object abruptly appeared in the air. And that object was a very fat young man.
The fat young man appeared in the park and caused a gust of winter wind. But he wind. But he quickly drove away the winter wind and brought warmth to everyone. It was as warm as his handsome and lovely eyes and brows.
"There are so many people here."
Sangsang looked up at him and gently nodded.
The fat young man looked at the three people and said, "If the prefectural magistrate of Chang'an City dares to deal with the case, you may interrogate Sangsang as per the law of the Tang Empire. If he instead chooses to lie on his bed, you shouldn't stay here embarra.s.sing yourselves."
Zhuge Wuren became solemn as he looked at this person who was reproaching him. "Who are you? How dare you say so!"
The fat young man chose to ignore these people and took the bedding from Sangsang's arms. "Let's go!"
Sangsang followed behind him and prepared to leave as honestly as she had come.
w.a.n.g Jinglue did not know who this fat young man was, but he could vaguely guess the person's ident.i.ty. He looked at the youngster's back and could not help feeling a little excited. So he gently waved his sleeves and moved one step forward.
The young man stopped and turned to glance at him.
A vague aura pa.s.sed through the two people instantaneously. The breeze stilled and those slowly falling snowflakes trembled in midair, yet w.a.n.g Jinglue's body shook violently.
w.a.n.g Jinglue grew more and more excited. His right hand slightly trembled on his side, as if holding a virtual sword.
The fat young man looked at his right hand and frowned slightly. He struggled to move the bedding to his left shoulder, then raised his right hand. He stretched his index finger to make a pressing motion toward the other at a distance.
With this pressing motion, w.a.n.g Jinglue's chest and abdomen suddenly collapsed, as if being hit by an huge invisible hammer. He suddenly hit the wall behind him. A shocking and squeaking sound appeared among the dust and gravel.
"Natural Stream Magical Finger!"
The snow and dust gradually subsided.
The fat young man looked at w.a.n.g Jinglue, who was bleeding from the corner of his lips under the broken wall, and shook his head slightly carelessly.
"Even if you are Invincible prior to Knowing Destiny."
"You're also only Invincible prior to Knowing Destiny."