Chapter 1031: On the Verge of Eruption
“That’s not entirely impossible.” Tang Tian’er looked a bit worried.
That person had come all the way to get something from their bank, and then had immediately captured the magistrate. He really is the bane of my existence!
“I am worried that this matter will quickly implicate our Zhenyuan Merchant Group.” Qian Dong had also seen Zu An fetch an item from them.
He also couldn't avoid that possibility.
“Who do you all think is the one making mischief behind the scenes” Tang Tian’er asked with a frown.
“Could it be Pegasus Merchant Group” Qian Dong mused.
“They have always wanted to take our place.”
“Not even ten Pegasus Merchant Groups could compare to us.
The only one who’s of any threat is the one backing them.” Tang Tian’er got up and looked out the window.
She asked, “Pegasus Merchant Group’s boss Zhang Che, have you investigated his background yet”
Qian Dong and the others nodded.
“That person’s background is mysterious, and his cultivation is high as well.
We were unable to find any concrete proof.
However, according to our analysis, we suspect he might have some kind of a connection with the Devil Sect.”
“The Devil Sect” Tang Tian’er harrumphed.
“Those guys aren’t good at anything else, but they sure are good at messing things up.
Send some men to keep an eye on the Devil Sect’s operations in Cloudcenter Commandery.
Report to me as soon as anything happens.”
“Understood!” Qian Dong quickly left to give out the orders.
Tang Tian’er then gave the other managers their tasks.
When she saw how deeply worried they were, her usual sweet smile returned to her face.
She said, “Everyone, please don’t be worried.
What kinds of hard times haven’t our Zhenyuan Merchant Group experienced in the last few centuries Our current situation is nothing.”
The managers all began to smile, replying, “The first miss is right.
It has always been us who has bullied others; when has anyone else ever taken advantage of us It would be one thing if this matter has nothing to do with us, but if they want to frame us, there is no way we can stand that!”
Tang Tian’er smiled and nodded.
She waved her hand, indicating that they could all return to their respective posts.
However, she remained in the room to think to herself.
Meanwhile, Sang Hong brought Zuo Su and the others back to the temporary residence.
Then, he personally interrogated them about the smuggling matter.
Zuo Su obviously denied everything.
He claimed to have been framed.
They were all old foxes, so they naturally knew how to deal with such interrogation tactics.
They were interrogated for a long time, but Sang Hong didn’t obtain any useful information.
He could only suspend the interrogation for the time being.
He left the prison cells and went outside to discuss things with Zu An.
“Does respected uncle think he’s innocent” Zu An asked.
Sang Hong’s face darkened and he shook his head.
Zu An was surprised, asking, “The interrogation bore results”
“No,” Sang Hong replied.
“That fellow is incredibly cunning and will not reveal any openings.
Unfortunately, that is precisely his biggest flaw.
If he truly were innocent, he would definitely work with me to investigate who the true criminal was, and not seem so worried about some meaningless things.”
Zu An was incredibly impressed.
He said, “Respected uncle’s foresight is bright like a torch after all.
You’ve already seen through him so quickly.”
“There is no need for flattery.
Things are quite difficult now.” Sang Hong said with a bitter smile.
“I was still hoping that someone really had framed Zuo Su at first, because we would then at least have some people from the court on our side.
But seeing as there is something wrong with even him, it proves that Cloudcenter Commandery’s court is already rotten to the core.
We are completely on our own here.”
Sang Hong had every reason to feel the way he was feeling.
Even though they had brought a several-hundred-men strong Armed Escort Army, a force respectable in its own right, it was nothing before a real army.
He had been hoping to cooperate with the Civil Affairs Manor’s troops to keep the Military Affairs Manor in check, but now, not even the Civil Affairs Manor could be relied on.
“Let’s wait until Gao Ying and Pei You capture the others first.
They definitely won’t be as calm as Zuo Su.
As long as one person speaks, the rest will be easily dealt with.” Zu An consoled him.
Zuo Su’s identity was special, so they couldn't use torture, but there were no such restrictions for the others.
The Embroidered Envoy specialized in making people speak.
As long as they had enough proof, they would have a proper reason to punish Zuo Su.
Then, they would take the chance to gain military leadership of the Civil Affairs Manor.
No one would be able to criticize their actions at that point.
“I hope things work out that way.” Sang Hong knew that was the best result as well.
But his brow quickly furrowed.
“Why haven’t they returned yet”
Just then, there was a disturbance outside.
Soon afterward, someone reported, “Sir Gao and Sir Pei have returned.”
Sang Hong and Zu An quickly exited.
They saw the two dejected individuals and asked in alarm, “Where is everyone”
The two hadn’t returned with suspicious individuals the way they had imagined, but had rather returned with many stretchers.
There was white cloth covering many of them.
When they saw that, Sang Hong and Zu An’s moods immediately plummeted.
Gao Ying and Pei You explained with sullen expressions, “We sought them out according to the list of names, but those people already received news ahead of time and either fled or committed suicide.
We didn’t even find a single living person to interrogate.”
“They were all silenced!” Zu An and Sang Hong exchanged a look.
They saw shock in each other’s eyes.
But that didn’t make any sense! After all, they had taken action so swiftly.
Why had those people been able to move before them Wasn’t the one behind the scenes a bit too remarkable
While the two of them were shocked by the situation, heavy footsteps suddenly rang out from outside.
“What is that noise” Those present suddenly raised their heads.
A guard ran over in fear and alarm, exclaiming, “Reporting! Chief Officer Dong Jin is leading a great army in our direction!”
“What!” The group was shocked.
Sang Hong harrumphed.
“How daring!” He quickly walked outside with an overcast expression.
Gao Ying and Pei You quickly followed.
Zu An waved his hands, gesturing for the Armed Escort Army to make their preparations.
The group arrived outside the entrance.
They saw that the entire temporary residence had already been completely surrounded.
“Dong Jin, you have quite the guts!” Sang Hong looked at the one in the lead with a furious expression, exclaiming, “Are you trying to rebel”
Dong Jin was a tall and strong man.
All of them had met each other before during the evening banquet.
But back then, his official position hadn’t been as high, so he hadn’t sat in the highest positions.
“I do not dare!” Dong Jin cupped his hands.
“We are only here for an explanation.
Sir Zuo has acted cautiously and conscientiously over the years in Cloudcenter Commandery, and he has always worked diligently for the court.
Yet you all captured him today with baseless accusations, and even hounded many Civil Affairs Manor officials to death.
Could it be that just because you are the Imperial Envoy, you can act so ruthlessly and willfully”
Sang Hong said calmly, “As the Imperial Envoy, I am naturally acting in place of the heavens.
I have the authority to punish local officials.
Why do I need to explain anything to you
“On the contrary, I have just captured someone, and yet you immediately led an army over.
How can there be such a coincidence in this world”
Dong Jin replied, “Cloudcenter Commandery is strategically located, with evildoers spying on us all the time.
That is why we will always have troops monitoring the situation.
Furthermore, Sir Sang has caused such a scene with your actions that it would be impossible for us to not know about this even if we tried to ignore it.”
“Then what are you trying to say right now Surrounding the Imperial Envoy’s official residence can already be viewed as rebellion.” A flash of killing intent appeared in Sang Hong’s eyes.
He had to deal with these situations quickly and decisively, or else those who were watching from the sidelines would start to do the same things.
But the other party seemed to have anticipated that.
He had hidden deep within the enemy force.
This situation would be hard to deal with if they couldn't take him down in one blow.
“Please do not try to attach that kind of a title to me, Sir Sang.
We only came to uphold justice, and not to rebel.” Dong Jin’s entire body was taut as he spoke.
He gripped the handle of his blade tightly.
“Then what kind of justice do you want” Sang Hong asked expressionlessly.
“Let Sir Zuo go.” As soon as Dong Jin spoke, his subordinates shouted as well.
Shouts of ‘Sir Zuo!’ echoed through the place.
Even Zuo Su in the prison heard them.
He opened his eyes, but no changes of emotion were visible on his face.
The soldiers had begun hollering louder and louder, and they looked as if they were about to charge forward.
The elite Armed Escort Army raised their spears and assumed a defensive position.
When they saw that, the city gate troops also drew their longswords one after another.
Visible beads of sweat began to trick down Dong Jin’s face.
It was easy to see just how nervous he was.
The current situation could still be explained, but if they really fought, his actions would be synonymous with a rebellion.
Sang Hong’s expression was also ashen.
He quickly tried to think of how he could immediately capture the other party.
Unfortunately, Dong Jin was extremely experienced and had hidden among his troops.
No matter how Sang Hong calculated it, the chance of success wouldn’t exceed fifty percent.
Both sides knew that a battle might break out at any moment.
Once there was the slightest spark, the whole situation would erupt into an uncontrollable wildfire.
Even though both sides were still holding back, if a third party with ulterior motives interfered…
Sure enough, whatever one was most scared of was what would happen.
A loud arrow suddenly flew out from the side, and a Cloudcenter Commandery soldier fell.
Someone from within the troops thus shouted, “They want to kill us all as traitors! Brothers, we have to stake it all!”
Those present all felt extremely tense.
With that voice as the fuse, the gathered forces subconsciously followed blindly.
Cloudcenter Commandery’s soldiers quickly clashed with the Armed Escort Army.
“Motherf*cker!” Dong Jin cursed.
How could he not tell that someone had incited disharmony But as matters stood, he couldn't do anything about it.
His subordinates were all in a frenzied state, so he couldn't stop them even if he wanted to.
He had to save Sir Zuo first no matter what.
Sang Hong also felt a huge headache.
Even though he knew both sides had been schemed against, this was an overt plot.
No one could stop it anymore.
A hint of ruthlessness flashed through his eyes.
If that was the case, he would execute all of them here as an example to intimidate those who were starting to get restless.
With his and Zu An’s cultivation, as well as the elite Armed Escort Army, they definitely wouldn’t lose.
However, serious casualties were unavoidable.
Just then, the sound of a pipa filled the air. Those present subconsciously turned around.
They saw that a figure had appeared on the second story of the temporary official residence, emerging from a window. That person was dressed in gilded embroidered clothes, and on his head was a sinister mask.
His presence gave off a mysterious feeling of pressure.
It was a golden token envoy!