Chapter 412 - Something Happened to The Cargo
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Mo Ruo felt like what Jing Rong said was directed to him on purpose. He stood up and replied with a glare and a sarcastic tone, “Since the Prince is so intelligent, can you tell me why a person like the smartass Crown Prince didn’t live long?”
The corner of Jing Rong’s lips twitched!
Haha, you clearly don’t have what it takes to challenge me and win. Without waiting for a response, Mo Ruo turned his back at Jing Rong and walked away conceitedly, as if he was telling Jing Rong, ‘Who’s the smart one now, huh? Loser~’.
Jing Rong shook his head and did not dwell on it. Instead, he stared at Wei Yi’s room, looking as if there was something bothering him in his mind, before he finally left.
On the other hand!
Yun Tongyang went back to the Longyang Escort Agency right after he left the market. The whole Longyang Escort Agency had a unique atmosphere. Once inside, there were weapons displayed on both sides of the courtyard. Everyone present in the agency boasted large statures and muscular figures. One could easily tell that they were not to be provoked.
Once Yun Tongyang entered, none of them in the agency had the courage to speak. Instead, they just greeted him politely. “Chief, something happened to the cargo. It was really unexpected.” Yang Yu, the agency’s senior escort hurried to make his report.
Yun Tongyang had a grim expression on his face and did not reply to Yang Yu. He strode into the hall, lifted his robe and sat down on the seat in the centre. The seats lining both sides of the hall were filled with all the leaders of the escort agency.
Something had happened to the tribute that Longyang Escort Agency was supposed to transport. If the Royal Court found out about this, not only the whole Longyang Escort Agency would be shut down, they would lose all their reputation if word spread further.
It was well known that Yun Tongyang treated outsiders politely, but once the doors were closed, he was a cruel and merciless person. Everyone sitting there was on edge, while also looking at each other in awkwardness. After some time, the second chief of the agency finally spoke, “Chief, this issue really had nothing to do with our agency. No one had expected it to rain so heavily during the trip. The road was full of mud and it was late at night. Moreover, they told us that the tributes needed to be delivered urgently, so we rushed our journey through the rain. No one knew that the big boxes were filled with flour,” he said cautiously with his forehead covered in cold sweat.
Someone else continued, “Even if this is our fault, Liu Daren is somewhat responsible too. For the past few years, Liu Daren would always notify us about the contents of the boxes whenever we delivered the tributes to the Capital. But for this delivery, he didn’t say anything. He briefly mentioned that those were some common goods that were needed urgently by the palace. No one knew that it was flour inside. If we had known about it earlier, we would’ve made the proper preparations.”
Liu Daren was the official who was in charge of tributes in Yu Province. Whenever there were tributes to be delivered, he would hire the Longyang Escort Agency to transport them once they arrived at the relay station in Yu Province. Usually, he would disclose the contents of the boxes in advance. But, not this time. Due to the trust they had in Liu Daren as well as the urgency of the case, Longyang Escort Agency did not question anything before they accepted the assignment and immediately left for the Capital. No one had expected that it was carrying flour. Even though they had covered up the boxes with waterproof fabric, the humidity of the weather turned the flour into dough.
At this time, Yun Tongyang had just returned to the agency after resolving the issue. Fortunately, the flour came from Liang City. All they had to do was to spend some silvers and buy the flour from Liang City again, then rush to the Capital. They might even make it on time. However, if this issue was exposed, none of the officials in the Royal Court could save them! There was a reason why Yun Tongyang was this angry.
His face turned more and more solemn, his aura threatening to turn everything around him into flames. A few moments later, he clenched his fist and pounded heavily on the handle of the pear blossom chair. The sound was horrifying! Everyone was startled into silence. All they could do was shiver in fear.
“Have I not said that when you are transporting tributes or personal goods, you must always ask about the contents of the cargo? So what if he’s Liu Daren? How could Longyang Escort Agency just trust anyone without asking what’s inside the boxes? That was the tributes. If anything went wrong, it would’ve killed us. Everyone here are the seniors of the agency. It’s forgivable if the younger ones make mistakes, but when the seniors make mistakes like this, how will the others look at our Longyang Escort Agency?” His voice was thick with anger.
Even though he did not raise his volume, but his voice still carried clearly throughout the hall, striking fear in their hearts. No one in the room had the guts to say anything. All of them slowly lowered their heads and avoided looking up at Yun Tongyang.
Yun Tongyang suppressed his rage and continued, “Listen up, all of you. Longyang Escort Agency acts as the official agency of the Yuzhou City. We must secure the reputation of our agency even if we are to pull someone out as a scapegoat. I’ll handle Liu Daren. The flour from Liang City is already on its way to the Capital, hence the Royal Court’s side is under control for now. However, if anyone in Liang City spread the news and the Ministry of Rites finds out about this, someone will have to bear the responsibility if they are to investigate the issue.”
Everyone twitched the moment they heard this. They were all afraid of bearing the charges; it was the imperial tribute after all!
Yun Tongyang observed everyone’s expression and remained silent for a while. “All of you can leave now.” Without any hesitation, everyone left feeling as if they had been sitting on a bed of nails.
A few moments later, the butler of the escort agency, Uncle Liang, came in and hunched down right beside Yun Tongyang. Yun Tongyang stared at the door with his eyes turning chilly and told Uncle Liang, “If the Ministry of Rites finds out about this, blame all of this on the second chief. He is useless and should’ve been dead by now.”
“Did anything happen when I was away from Yuzhou City?”
“Another person died.”
“Chang Shiliang. He passed away two days after you left the town to deal with the tribute,” Uncle Liang answered accordingly.
There was no distinctive change in Yun Tongyang’s expression, but his hands clenched into a fist and the veins on the back of his hands were nearly popping out. He stood up and said, “Stay here while I make a trip out.”
An hour after Yun Tongyang left the Longyang Escort Agency, he appeared at Li Mingzhou’s residence. After being released from the yamen the night before, Li Mingzhou had yet to leave, even though he originally planned to leave the city early in the morning. Seeing Yun Tongyang, he gave a start of surprise and dismissed his subordinates, leading Yun Tongyang to his backyard.
“Why are you here?”
“Three people have died. How can I stay put?”
“What are you trying to say?” It was obvious that Li Mingzhou was cautious around him.
Yun Tongyang looked serious as he said, “Fifth brother, does this case have anything to do with you?
Did he just address Li Mingzhou as fifth brother?
In fact, Li Mingzhou had not been greeted with the title of ‘fifth brother’ for a long time. He sneered as he scanned his surroundings, then brought him into a room and shut the door behind them. At this point, there were two shadows waiting discreetly on the roof of Li Residence’s backyard. As they shut the door, the shadows vanished.
Inside the yamen, the two shadows that bolted from the roof of Li Residence to the roof of the yamen, and landed beside Jing Rong steadily. “Have you found anything?” Jing Rong was sitting at the courtyard.
“Prince, there weren’t any ink in either the Chang Residence or the Li Residence that contained false daisy.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, we’re sure.”
“Fine, you are dismissed.” But the two of them stayed put.
Jing Rong glanced at them, “Speak.” They exchanged looks with each other before they answered, “Prince, while we were at Li Mingzhou’s residence, we saw Yun Tongyang from Longyang Escort Agency.”
What? Jing Rong’s grip on the cup slightly trembled, and he put down the cup heavily. “Are you sure that it was Yun Tongyang?”
“Yes. Furthermore, he addressed Li Mingzhou as fifth brother.”
Ha! So, it seems that out of the seven brothers, five of them have shown themselves.
ChouFleur Rants Corner
dun dun dun... what will he do next?
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