HSSB26: The Final Verdict
Yan Xu stared at Yan Zhaoge. Yan Zhaoge smiled slightly, quietly waiting, not saying anything else.
The Disciplinary Elder looked at the two of them, sighing, "This underlying secret is something that I too was unaware of; they were not mentioned within the clan's precious records."
"You may have just set a precedent, Junior apprentice-nephew Yan. No matter what, we will first have to note down your contributions with regard to this issue."
"As for whether or not the Acting Elder of the Spirit Wind Canyon was in the know, we will summon him over later; having questioned all those of the Spirit Wind Canyon who are related to this issue, all will soon be revealed."
Yan Zhaoge smiled, "This secret concerning the production of Jade Essence should still be controlled within a limited radius at the present moment; after all, obtaining Jade Essence through the method in question is actually very easy."
"Other than the Spirit Wind Canyon, within the whole wide world, there are still other places where Cloud-Veined Crystals are produced; the rarity of these crystals is far lower than that of Jade Essence."
"While it is true that our clan requires a large amount of Jade Essence, this object is valuable only because of its scarcity. In order to gain the upper hand, this piece of news should still be kept under wraps for now."
"The excavation of Cloud-Veined Crystals also has to be carried out gradually in stages, in order to avoid drawing the attention of other, possibly hostile forces. I believe that the seniors within our clan will consider the matter thoroughly; I'll not touch on this any further."
The Disciplinary Elder said, "Naturally."
He glanced at Yan Xu, before saying slowly, "With the immensity of this issue, it is no longer merely a problem of the Eastern Tang; perhaps it is not even in the power of us in the East Heaven Region to do anything about it. The clan itself will be making the decision."
Yan Xu's expression turned grave, as he nodded, "This old man agrees."
Yan Zhaoge continued, "It's just that the current importance of the Spirit Wind Canyon is no longer comparable to how it was before. Before the proper procedures are passed down from the clan, stability is key. An acting Elder pending investigation remaining in charge there; is that appropriate?"
The Disciplinary Elder was momentarily silent. Yan Xu's eyes, on the other hand, narrowed into slots, a cold light emanating from within.
"Yan Zhaoge, is this a matter you can interfere in?"
"Your credit in the matter of the Cloud-Veined Crystals is not false, but the replacement of an acting Elder as well as who is assigned to the role; is it ready something you can participate in?"
"Do not forget your place from self-satisfaction!"
Yan Zhaoge said mildly, "Wen Ningzhi being your, Elder Yan's trusted subordinate and confidante, you would naturally understand him better than I do."
The coldness residing in Yan Xu's gaze grew; how could he not understand the meaning behind Yan Zhaoge's words?
Your trusted subordinate and confidante may be in collusion with enemies of the clan; well then, what about you?
Looking at Yan Zhaoge, the Disciplinary Elder sighed softly.
His was really a personality which completely did not accept losing out in a confrontation, and it was a supremely domineering one as well, looking at how he dared to stand up so strongly against even a Principal Elder.
But having come here to question Yan Zhaoge this time, they had also not possessed any hard evidence to speak of. It had merely been at the level of suspecting him. Now, even though there was no evidence to back up the suspicion that Wen Ningzhi knew about the secret behind the Cloud-Veined Crystals, how could they not follow up on it?
Of course he knew that Yan Zhaoge was counterattacking; but who could be completely sure that Wen Ningzhi had really been in the dark regarding this matter?
While it was said that the ignorant were not guilty, just thinking about the massive amount of Cloud-Veined Crystal being let out to the outside world made the Disciplinary Elder's heart ache terribly.
As for Wen Ningzhi telling on Yan Zhaoge, that was probably due to the conflict between factions, and was also most likely related to the former's personal grudge with him over what had happened with Elder Cui.
The King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom now said regally, "While the Spirit Wind Canyon lies within Eastern Tang territory, it is still a private holding of Broad Creed Mountain. This King will not say much here, only that when the production of Jade Essence begins, please reserve some of it for my Eastern Tang. The price will definitely be by the book, and will not cause your Broad Creed Mountain to lose out."
"In recent years, the supply of Jade Essence from the Domain of Fire as well as the Domain of Wind has somewhat dwindled, resulting in a shortage. My Eastern Tang also requires some Jade Essence urgently; may Broad Creed Mountain put out a helping hand."
While he had not put up an official stance, the Spirit Wind Canyon was situated within the territory of the Eastern Tang Kingdom. Without having had to say it openly, his dissatisfaction toward Wen Ningzhi could already be expressed.
Yan Xu closed his eyes and took a deep breath, before his face regained its former calm.
He reopened his eyes, his gaze already having turned serene as he turned to look at Xu Chuan, "While I believe that Wen Ningzhi was in the dark regarding this matter, since he will have to undergo an investigation now and the situation within the Spirit Wind Canyon also needs to be quickly calmed down, it is indeed true that he is not suited to continue assuming the role of acting Elder there."
"If I were to deploy someone from a foreign land over, they would need some time to familiarise themselves with the situation. This matter must be handled calmly and efficiently; it cannot be delayed. Xu Chuan, you are the acting Elder of Overlooking Abyss City, having had the most interactions with the Spirit Wind Canyon, as well as being familiar with its layout. I will temporarily place you in charge of the Canyon, until the clan has made an official decision on the matter."
"Holding two positions simultaneously, the workload will be very heavy. You'll really have to keep on your toes a little."
Xu Chuan calmed himself down, that characteristic slickness of his that Yan Zhaoge also possessed having completely disappeared, as, his expression solemn, he said, "As the clan decrees. I will perform to the best of my abilities, with all my might."
Yan Xu glanced at Yan Zhaoge without speaking, then nodded toward the Disciplinary Elder and the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom, "Old Monster Han being related to the sudden change in the Sealing Dragon Abyss is also a matter of the utmost significance; this old man will attempt to locate him."
Having taken his leave of the two, Yan Xu rose and strode out of the Great Hall, not speaking any further.
The King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom also stood up, saying to the Disciplinary Elder, "The situation within the Sealing Dragon Abyss cannot be ignored; the matter of the Jade Essence can be left for later. This King will also head to the Sealing Dragon Abyss for a look. Do as you wish, Elder; if there is anything, my Eastern Tang will coordinate with you."
The Disciplinary Elder nodded his head, "Then I'll have to thank Your Majesty first. About the Sacred Sun Clan; our clan will communicate with them such that they will not make things difficult for you."
Yan Zhaoge also smiled lightly, "Take care, Uncle, this Yan Zhaoge will go visit you soon."
The King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom's stern face revealed more than a hint of a smile, as he gently patted Yan Zhaoge's shoulder before leaving.
The Disciplinary Elder coughed lightly, as he slowly said, "Lets put aside the matter of Wen Ningzhi for now."
"Junior apprentice-nephew Yan, as the leading Martial Scholar who brought along some younger disciples along to the Sealing Dragon Abyss for tempering, with a disciple having been lost, his fate unknown, you bear a certain amount of responsibility even though you did not cause the accident."
"Having found a way to upgrade the Internal Crystal Furnace even further, that is a merit."
"Having defeated the Sacred Sun Clan's direct lineage disciple Chao Yuanlong in an overwhelming fashion, spreading the glorious name of our clan far and wide, a reward is also in order."
"Discovering the secret behind the Cloud-Veined Crystal, you once again contributed greatly."
"Merit does not affect fault; fault does not reduce merit. The clan is just regarding reward and punishment; these will both be relayed to you in the near future. However, being related to classified secrets, will not be announced officially; I'm sure you can understand the reason behind this."
This little bit of punishment, would just be for show. They were from the clan's rule of law, which even the Clan Chief had to abide by. Still, the punishment meted out should be a totally painless one.
And the level of the rewards, would obviously be much higher.
Yan Zhaoge naturally understood the underlying principles behind this.
He smiled, nodding his head, "I understand."
Having left the Great Hall, Yan Zhaoge immediately saw the crowd of young disciples who had entered the Sealing Dragon Abyss along with him.
They converged on him, asking, "Senior apprentice-brother Yan, how is it, there's no problem, right?"
Yan Zhaoge laughed, "There was never even a problem to begin with; after clearly explaining the situation to the Elders, what problem could there be?"
"Still, it's gonna be problematic for some other people."
That day, the acting Elder of the Spirit Wind Canyon was temporarily relieved of his duties, and also summoned for a questioning by the East Elder.
And not long after, Yan Zhaoge's official reward was also decided upon.
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