Chapter 154: Like It or Not, the World Changes
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
Teacher Hu was in a complete panic, tightly hugging the parcel to himself. It was as if he was holding onto a bomb that would blow him to smithereens if he let go.
He was the Mayor Wan's Grand-master. Though he did not have a specific rank, it was not too much to say he was second only to the mayor of the city.
Thus he had been living particularly well. If not for today, he believed he would continue to enjoy a good life. But then that day came.
However, some things were inevitable. No man's will was capable of changing them. Things that were meant to be would eventually happen. It was not something one could stop by sheer force of will.
It was just like the letter he had stumbled upon in the mayor's study room this evening. It was not something that could be changed by his will. He really did not want to see such things, but there was no other way. The letter had appeared before him, and out of a very subtle curiosity, he opened and read it.
That was how he ended up this way. Carrying his parcel, he left Guard County Manor at the fastest speed like a stray dog. He did not even dare to return home.
Home. When he thought of his home, pain gnawed at his heart. He no longer had a home. Mayor Wan must have captured his mother, wife, and children by now. Soon, his family would be executed or used as a bait to lure him out before getting killed.
So he must run and leave Zhonghejun City as soon as possible, vanishing among the people. That was the only way for him to escape Wan An's pursuit and keep the hope of avenging his family in the future.
This was his only thought now, also what he had been forcing himself to think.
"Oh, isn't this Teacher Hu? Where are you rushing to this late at night? What are you going to do? Are you going behind your wife's back to meet your lover?"
The voice behind him nearly terrified him to death. He shivered violently all over and turned around as he trembled, finding three lightly-armored men smelling of alcohol and spitefully sneering at him.
"Li Yuan's personal guards!"
Only one battalion of soldiers was qualified to wear this kind of soft, scaly armor in this city: Li Yuan's personal guard camp. What was more, one of them was Qi Fei, the Camp Supervisor. Though he was not familiar with Qi Fei, they had once met. He had not met one of Qi Fei's two companions, but recognized the other as the young personal guard who earned first-class merit in the recapturing of Zhonghejun City, named Zhou Bao.
He relaxed a fair bit when he saw them. An idea immediately came to his mind and he threw himself at Qi Fei's feet.
"Camp Supervisor Qi, I want to inform against! I want to inform against! Mayor Wan is colluding with the bandits! I want to inform against!"
The three of them froze for a moment, sharing the same odd expression. "What are you saying? Is mayor Wan rebelling? Explain yourself!" Qi Fei seized Teacher Hu by the collar, lifting him off the ground after he rushed at him. "You'd better make it clear. If you're lying, I'll cut you down with my sword!"
"I dare not lie! I dare not act as a spy!" Teacher Hu repeated as he handed the parcel in his arms to Qi Fei. "Look, Camp Supervisor Qi, this is the evidence. I escaped because I accidentally stumbled upon the letter. Pity my poor mother, wife, and children! Perhaps they've already died in the hands of the traitor!"
Teacher Hu began to squall.
When Qi Fei opened the parcel, he saw there was indeed a letter among some valuables. As he was about to open the letter, he became irritated by Teacher Hu's cries. He winked at Junior Leopard.
Understanding what his supervisor wanted, Junior Leopard chopped Teacher Hu in the back with hand-knife and knocked him unconscious. Relieved, Qi Fei opened the letter and slowly began reading.
As soon as he read the letter, his expression changed into a terrible, dark one.
"Brother Qi, what's wrong?" Junior Leopard and Dong Chen leaned over curiously, wanting to read the contents of the letter.
"There's nothing!" Seeing that they had leaned over, Qi Fei immediately put the letter back in its envelope.
"This is an issue of great importance. I need to see the Admiral right away!" He glanced at Teacher Hu who had fainted on the ground. "Little Dong, Junior Leopard, kill him and make it look like a robbery. Return to the restaurant afterward and act as if nothing happened! Do you understand?"
"But!" Dong Chen wanted to say more, but Junior Leopard tugged at him. "Brother Qi, just leave it to us. Go and see the general."
"Good!" Qi Fei nodded, giving Junior Leopard a praising look. He did not dare to delay this any longer and ran to Governor Mansion at full speed.
Just then, Dong Chen noticed his mistake and smiled with some embarrassment. "Junior Leopard, thanks a lot for stopping me earlier!"
"Don't mention it. Brother Qi must have his reasons to stop us from reading that letter. Brother Dong, hurry up and kill Teacher Hu in case any more problems crop up!"
"Okay!" Dong Chen nodded. He looked around for a second and went to a dark corner. He returned with a thick stick and went up to Teacher Hu. "Teacher Hu, you can't blame me for this. It's because you've seen something you shouldn't. If I don't kill you, you may drag my brothers and I down with you. You'll have to suffer some grievance. Don't worry, I promise I won't let you feel any pain!" He hit Teacher Hu on the back of the head with the stick. Teacher Hu's brain immediately burst, blood overflowing from the wound.
The pitiful Teacher Hu died without being able to make a single noise.
"Let's go!" Junior Leopard and Dong Chen exchanged a glance. Without even turning their heads, they left the back alley and returned to the restaurant.
They naturally had no desire to drink after encountering such a thing. After downing a few more cups of wine, they went back to the camp with their brothers.
Fortunately, this group of personal guards had drunk a fair amount of wine this evening and the three of them had left only for a short moment. The guards thought they had gone to the washroom, so they did not alert anyone to their disappearance.
An hour later, four figures appeared in the alley where Teacher Hu died.
"Hurry up and come! He's here. Looks like something's gone wrong!"
The four people were all dressed in black, wearing black masks that hid their appearances. All of them had good cultivations. Seeing Teacher Hu's body, they quickly gathered around him.
"What's wrong? Old Fourth, is it him?"
"It's him, but he's completely dead!" the masked man called Old Fourth said helplessly. "Someone took the thing away. Looks like he was robbed!"
"Robbed?" The one who asked the question earlier sneered. "Who'll commit robbery in such a desolate place? Not to mention nobody comes here in the evening. Even if there's someone, what can the robber get from his victim?"
"Then you mean..."
"The thing was definitely stolen, but not due to robbery. Look around and see if you can find any clues. Old Third, bring the body back and tell His Excellency to be careful and take preventive measures. It's likely the thing has ended up in Li Yuan's hands!"
"Li Yuan? How could that be?" The Old Fourth said in surprise. "Has he noticed what we've been doing?"
"No, no, it should be a coincidence. Damn it! Didn't we see Li Yuan's personal guards drinking when we passed by earlier? Teacher Hu was running from that direction. I guess the personal guards noticed him as he was passing the back alley of the restaurant. They tracked him down to the dead end and took the thing. Worried about others' suspicion, they made things look like a robbery!"
"Then what should we do now?" asked Old Third.
"Go back now. Bring the body back first and inform His Excellency. He'll naturally tell you his orders."
"Yes!" Old Third dared not delay matters. He quickly picked up the body without worrying about getting bloodstains and rushed to Guard County Manor.
"Brother, what about us?"
"Let's look around and see if we can find any clues or if we can see who robbed it. There were so many personal guards in the restaurant; they can't all be involved. We should see if we can mend the current situation!"
"Yes!" the other two black-clothed men answered. The three of them shattered the night sky, running towards Admiral Manor.
"You guys were only out for some drinks; how could you get involved in such a thing?" In the study room of Admiral Manor, Li Yuan was pacing about with his hands behind him in apparent anger. He was holding a letter, the one from Teacher Hu. Qi Fei was standing on the side, not daring to stay another word. His expression was full of remorse.
"We were just curious. We thought that Teacher Hu stole something from his superior and was running away. We wanted to capture him and see if we can get hold of Wan An's Achilles' heel. We didn't expect Teacher Hu would reveal such a shocking matter. We were really shocked too!"
"Who else knows about this?"
"Only you? Humph. With your personality, would you follow Teacher Hu alone?" said Li Yuan, smiling coldly.
"I'm really the only one. Though Zhou Bao and Dong Chen were with me, I didn't let them read the letter!"
"Just because they didn't read this letter, do you think they'll be safe? I believe you, but will others?" Li Yuan's face was full of sarcasm. "It's the three of you who caused this problem. If they found out, you all can't escape this! No one cares who read or didn't read this letter. Tell the two to keep this a secret. If this leaks out, not even I can keep you alive!"
"Yes!" Qi Fei saluted and left the study room.
Seeing Qi Fei closing the door behind him, Li Yuan looked at the letter in his hand. He slammed the table and sighed deeply. "Alas. Whether we like it or not, the world changes."
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