Chapter 428 - That Child's Still Alive
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Yun Tongyang had had full confidence that his plan would be successful; he muttered in disbelief, “Impossible, impossible!”
Liu Daren had delivered his message and straightened his back as he paid Fang Mingsan his respects, “Lord Fang, since the guilty parties have all been imprisoned, this one only awaits your report to the imperial government.”
“Lord Liu need not worry.”
“I still have to clean up the mess the Longyang Escort Agency created, so this one will take his leave now.” Liu Daren left as quickly as he appeared!
At this triple knockdown, Yun Tongyang had lost all hope. He flung back his head and laughed hysterically, “I, Yun Tongyang, had thought myself a clever man, but how foolish I am!”
Li Mingzhou persuaded him amidst his sobbing, “Big Brother, nobody can escape this.”
Yun Tongyang suddenly swayed, his face twisted with evil rage, “Fifth Brother, oh Fifth Brother, if I’m doomed, so are you. I wouldn’t die alone - you will die with me!”
“Did you think the tea you had earlier was just normal tea?”
“The tea’s poisoned - it’s something I had prepared especially for you. Fifth Brother, don’t blame your Big Brother for being harsh on you; your Big Brother’s just being careful.” He broke out in hysterical laughter again.
Li Mingzhou clutched his chest in shock! The next moment, he felt his chest burning up, as if it were being eaten away from the inside. He spat out a mouthful of blood and collapsed into a heap!
Mo Ruo rushed forward without a second thought. With his index and middle finger, Mo Ruo pressed down firmly on a spot roughly three inches below the base of Li Mingzhou’s skull as he checked his pulse through his wrist.. He then pulled out a pill and stuffed it into Li Mingzhou’s mouth, proclaiming, “He’ll live!”
After being fed that pill, Li Mingzhou was helped to one side by yamen runners. Yun Tongyang shook his head, “Impossible - I used arsenic, he can’t possibly be fine.”
“Arsenic’s a lethal poison, but you mixed it in with a pot of tea. Didn’t anyone tell you that when arsenic’s mixed with jasmine tea, components of the arsenic would only reach his heart in twelve hours? As long as the antidote is consumed within those six hours, he would live, albeit with some undesired consequences.” [1. As always, do NOT take this to be true...the arsenic may be diluted but everything depends on the dose. Initial effects can show up within 30mins of ingesting though - that much is pretty accurate. IRL, arsenic poisoning is usually slow and environmental.]
How could he have known? Nobody had ever told him this! Yun Tongyang’s face was ashen grey, what luck! The Longyang Escort Agency he so painstakingly established was destroyed, he was now trapped in this checkmate - all his hate was channeled to Ji Yunshu as he jabbed at her angrily, “You were the one who caused my downfall. How could this Yun Tongyang be defeated by a scholar like you? Even if I die, I must bring you with me!”
He leapt up more nimbly than one would expect, landing right before Ji Yunshu’s eyes. His extended a claw-like grip, aiming for Ji Yunshu’s neck - if she really were to end up in his grasp, Ji Yunshu’s neck would snap like a twig even if he only used a smidge of his strength! Yun Tongyang forgot, however, that Jing Rong stood right next to Ji Yunshu! He did not even come close to touching a single strand of Ji Yunshu’s hair before Jing Rong unsheathed one of the yamen runner’s blades, slashing it at his target, landing squarely on Yun Tongyang’s arm! Jing Rong then kicked him to the ground, where other constables pressed him firmly onto the floor with his hands locked behind his back.
WIth his arm injured and having received a blow to his chest, Yun Tongyang was no more than a toothless tiger, with no means of striking back. Jing Rong’s dark gaze grew even colder as he stared at Yun Tongyang, who was still struggling to get free, “Yun Tongyang, you’d best admit to your crimes. If you dare touch even a strand of Teacher Ji’s hair, this Prince will have your head!” Harsh!
Yun Tongyang managed to pull his arms free as he applied pressure to his bleeding forearm. He remarked in surprise, “You’re Prince Rong?”
“Did this Prince have to wear his title on his head?”
No need for that, thank you very much! Yun Tongyang could not speak anymore with his pale, trembling lips.
Fang Mingsan followed up, “Yun Tongyang, the evidence proves that you did indeed kill Li Yuan. This official will submit an official report to the imperial government - you just need to wait for your punishment in due time. Men, lock him up in the highest prison and have him await his end!”
“Hold up!” Ji Yunshu cut him off.
“Does Teacher Ji have something else in mind?”
She replied, “Since Li Yuan’s cause of death has been confirmed, then it’s time to clear up the remaining three murders in the case of the vengeful spirits.”
“Is Teacher Ji implying that Yun Tongyang’s also the culprit of the other three cases?”
“No.” Ji Yunshu refuted him immediately. She then looked at Yun Tongyang seriously, asking, “Does Chief Yun remember an old incident that occurred twenty years ago?”
Yun Tongyang’s eyes widened in fear as he kept his mouth shut!
“If you forgot, then let this one jolt your memory.” She continued, “Twenty years ago, when the previous Emperor passed away and the new Emperor’s reign began, our neighbouring allies offered tributes to the Capital. However, when those tributes passed through the Northern borders, they disappeared into thin air! Those treasures were worth cities, and even the Ministry of Rites’s prolonged investigation amounted to nothing. It was the same year that the Liu Sect disbanded, all seven of its leaders nowhere to be found. Nobody knew what triggered their disbandment. For the number one sect in the jianghu to disappear - some kind of unspeakable secret must have been involved, don’t you think so?”
The others in the room began to catch on; Fang Mingsan remarked, “So the Teacher is saying that those treasures were stolen by the Liu Sect twenty years ago?”
“That would depend on what Chief Yun confesses to.”
Yun Tongyang’s breaths began to quicken as he propped himself up from the ground. He raised his round, black eyes as he scoffed helplessly; at his deathbed, there was no other reason to lie anymore, “That’s right, we stole those treasures, so what? I’m a dying man - what’s another crime?”
“You’re wrong! This one doesn’t want to write another offence into your books; this one only wants to know - amongst the seven of you, was there one who died twenty years ago?” Ugh! Only six of the seven leaders had appeared - was the seventh really already in the grave?
Yun Tongyang’s gaze darkened, “Why do you ask so?”
Ji Yunshu replied, “Madam Li told this one that the seven of you squabbled day and night after stealing those treasures twenty years ago, and the following day, the Second Leader was nowhere to be discovered. Liu Sect was quickly broken up thereafter. It wasn’t that he disappeared, rather, he was murdered by the six of you!” These were not accusations, but confirmatory statements!
Yun Tongyang narrowed his eyes, “Hmph, Number Two was no more than a greedy coward. He was afraid the government would come after us and wanted us to return those treasures - he was the cowardly one, so the six of us got rid of him together and fed his body to wild dogs. With the money we gathered, we didn’t need to live by our blades anymore. We split the loot and dispersed. Did you think his vengeful spirit came looking for revenge, killing Wu Lei and the other two in return?”
“There are no ghosts in this world.”
“Then tell me, how did the three of them die?”
Ji Yunshu’s expression hardened as she neared him, bending down to meet him in the eye, “If Madam Li was right, that Second Leader should have had a three year old son around the time of his death?”
Yun Tongyang froze, his heart lurching. He slowly regained his senses as he shook his head slowly, stammering, “Impossible, that child… died then.”
“He’s not dead!” It was Li Mingzhou who spoke! He looked down, his murky gaze fixated on the floor before him as he repeated softly, “Big Brother, that child’s… still alive.”
“How? I saw you feed him that bowl of poison.”
“That wasn’t poison.”
ChouFleur Rants Corner
Huehuehue... I know some of you have guessed who that child is XD. All the clues coming together now!
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