In the Inner Yard.
Inside one of its residences.
With a hard smack, Zhang Xinxiong sent a flagon to the floor, shattering it into many shards of silver and jade.
The fragrance of wine instantly filled the air.
He stared furiously at the woman before him.
“I told you.
The men you sent were supposed to simply keep an eye on Xu Xiaoshou.
Look at what happened.
Look at what youve done.
“They tried to kill him.
I was fine with that.
They couldnt kill him.
They couldnt escape.
But did you have to choose that particular time to kill him…
“Did you have to attempt an assassination while everyone was watching
“You might as well have served those mens heads up on a platter!
“Do you really have a functioning brain at all”
Lan Xinzis strapless dress left her lovely, fair shoulders bare.
She proudly stuck her chest out in the face of the mans furious yelling, and said, “I dont!”
Zhang Xinxiong was momentarily rendered speechless.
Lan Xinzi eyed the shattered remains of her flagon with a sorrowful look.
The flagon had arrived at her residence after a journey through the night.
And now, after barely existing for a day, it had met its untimely end at the hands of Zhang Xinxiong.
The man probably had no clue that the last flagon had been replaced with a new one.
“What are your plans” asked Zhang Xinxiong after hed calmed down.
What was done was done.
There was nothing to be done about it.
“We didnt kill him the last time, so well just have to keep trying, I guess.
“Your father was the one who assigned this mission.
Let me do the job if youre not interested in getting it done.
“Besides, Im in a foul mood.
Killing someone will cheer me up.
Everything will work out.” Lan Xinzi didnt seem to care much about the mission at all.
Lan Xinzi was driving Zhang Xinxiong up the wall.
She must have been dropped on the head as a child!
Xu Xiaoshou couldnt keep himself cooped up in the Spirit Palace forever.
She could have bided her time and waited for him to leave the Spirit Palace.
It would have been a piece of cake to have him killed then.
Why was she trying to sabotage herself
She had instructed an Inner Yard disciple to kill an Outer Yard disciple.
She wasnt going to be let off easily if the Spiritual Law Division found out about her involvement.
“Dont you dare make another move.
Do that and you can forget about ever leaving this house,” threatened Zhang Xinxiong fiercely.
Lan Xinzis eyes lit up.
“Are you going to imprison me”
Zhang Xinxiong was speechless.
She was driving him crazy.
He thundered, “Make a move and Ill make sure you never walk again!”
“Is that so”
The doors of the residence slid open.
A quiet voice drifted in.
“Do that and Ill make sure you dont walk again.”
Zhang Xinxiong turned around.
In strode a man with a well-proportioned build and a sword hanging from his waist.
His dark unfeeling eyes stared out from beneath a pair of arched eyebrows.
It dawned on Zhang Xinxiong instantly.
“You were the one who gave Feng Kong his orders.”
He Yuxing nodded.
Zhang Xinxiong scoffed and pointed at Lan Xinzi.
Derision dripped heavily from his words.
“Do you simply do whatever she tells you to Cant you think for yourself”
“I like it,” He Yuxing said coolly.
His eyes fell on Zhang Xinxiongs finger.
“Put that down or youll lose it in a second.”
Zhang Xinxiong instantly blew up.
He appeared perfectly still as the floor beneath his feet abruptly sank.
A crack appeared in the ground, and the dark jagged line lengthened rapidly as it sped toward the man standing in the doorway.
He Yuxing placed his sword lightly on the ground.
The growing fissure splintered into two, branching off sideways instead.
With a loud explosion, the towering walls on both sides of the house collapsed, and shattered rocks fell through the crevices in the ground while clouds of dust rose everywhere.
A sudden hacking cough resounded in the air.
Zhang Xinxiong, He Yuxing, and Lan Xinzi turned their eyes toward the collapsed wall and were greeted with the sight of a man dressed in black, squatting on the wall.
He was chewing on a blade of leaf and had one hand placed lightly over his mouth and nose.
The look in his eyes was that of impudence.
“Young Master Zhang, He the Crazed, the Fair Maiden Lan…youre all here!
Ill need all of you to make a trip to the Spiritual Law Division with me.”
The trio was startled.
That was quick.
It hadnt taken the law enforcers much time to come knocking on their door.
They were displaying extraordinary efficiency this time.
“Zhao Xidong, what is the meaning of this” Zhang Xinxiong frowned.
“Hah!” Zhao Xidong spat the leaf in his mouth out and snorted.
“Im quite sure you know whats going on.”
“This isnt your first time facing trial.
If you want to do something bad, either make sure you dont get caught or dont even bother hiding the fact that you did it in the first place.”
The mention of a trial made looks of alarm appear on the trios faces.
Zhang Xinxiong tried to feign composure while protesting his ignorance.
“I have no idea what youre talking about.”
“Hah!” Zhao Xidong looked away and laughed.
He didnt attempt to hide the derision in his voice at all.
The image of that bizarre young man appeared in his head.
As a graduate of the Inner Yard and the former leader of its thirty-three disciples, this was the first time hed properly donned his judges uniform since his graduation and the first time hed made up his mind to do his job as he should.
He had been assigned to arena number 12 during the Outer Yards Windcloud Competition, which was where his nightmare had begun.
The first round of the competition had been all right.
Besides being utterly bored all the time, he hadnt had much trouble.
During the preliminaries, hed made history by becoming the judge to witness the first historic death in the Windcloud Competition.
Hed just stepped out of the Tribunal mere moments ago…
The thought of the Tribunal sent shivers down his spine.
The sudden chill made him recall the young man who would break out into occasional shivers for no rhyme or reason.
“Its Xu Xiaoshou.
Does that ring any bells” He shrugged.
“Im not the one whos out to get you.
This time, I have orders from Boss Xiao himself.”
Alarm flickered in the trios eyes.
Why would the Chief Elder of the Spiritual Law Division poke his nose into such a trivial matter Was he bored out of his mind
That was impossible!
There was only one explanation for this.
Xu Xiaoshou had connections in the Spirit Palace.
But he was just an Outer Yard disciple.
What kind of connection could he possibly have with Xiao Qixiu
A deep crease furrowed Lan Xinzis brow.
She was coming to realize the recklessness of her actions.
But she had done a background check on Xu Xiaoshou.
He was your average orphan.
What kind of connections could he possess
“Are you going to head for the Tribunal and turn yourself in Or am I going to have to make you” Zhao Xidong seemed to be buzzing with anticipation.
He Yuxing stepped forward.
“I was the one who gave the orders.
Show me the evidence you have that proves my guilt and Ill go with you willingly.” He paused for a moment.
“Otherwise, you should be looking for Feng Kong and Shao Yi.”
Zhao Xidong slapped his palm against his forehead.
That was practically a confession, wasnt it
He knew there was no way he could reason with the idiot, though.
He ignored what He Yuxing said and instead grinned cheekily.
“Were you cooped up somewhere training with your sword You havent heard the news, have you
“Feng Kong and Shao Yi are dead.”
He Yuxing arched an eyebrow.
“Was Xu Xiaoshou the one who killed them”
Ill go with you.”
He sheathed his sword and stood at attention.
Then, he turned to Lan Xinzi.
“This has nothing to do with you.
Ill take care of everything.”
Lan Xinzis eyelids twitched.
It wouldnt have had anything to do with her if hed kept quiet, but he had opened his big mouth.
Now, she couldnt be sure.
Zhao Xidong seemed to have something to say, but He Yuxing curtly cut him off.
“You only need one.
The law enforcer looked past He Yuxing and eyed the two persons standing behind him curiously.
Zhang Xinxiong wasnt going to say a word.
He hadnt done anything, after all.
Lan Xinzi was silent.
She didnt say a single word.
Well, that was interesting.
Zhao Xidong got to his feet, brushed his hands together, and leapt off the collapsed wall.
Follow me, then.”
It was then that a tremor rippled through the house, and everything started to violently shake.
The glint of a blade sped through the doorway and past the four persons, ripping a deep fissure in the ground and cleaving the peaceful abode into two.
“Zhang Xinxiong! Come out right now and meet your death!” A young, sweet voice pierced the air.
Zhang Xinxiong, He Yuxing, and Lan Xinzi were dumbstruck.
Zhao Xidong was utterly floored.
What was going on
Who would dare openly attack someone in the presence of a law enforcer from the Spiritual Law Division