Chapter 541: Who has the most tragic end?Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Against Han Yunxi and the rest, Lady Lianxin was fighting with her back to the river---she was on her last ditch effort. Her attitude was stubborn and unyielding, so it wasn’t but a few exchanges later before she set her foot down. Meanwhile, the time for the trial was right around the corner.
“No matter what, you have to exonerate the Mu Clan from its criminal ties to the Hundred Poisons Sect!” This was Lady Lianxin’s sticking point. If this crime couldn’t be cleared, she herself would be in trouble back in Medical City. The medical academy already harbored a deep set grudge against anyone from the poison sects. Moreover, someone like Jun Yixie even knew how to use poison Gu. Medical City had spent a long time investigating him on their own. If the poison arts were taboo in Medical City, then poison Gu could count as the taboo of the taboos!
“Lady Lianxin, can’t you speak some sense? Jun Yixie himself admitted Mu Yingdong was affiliated with the Hundred Poisons Sect. How am I supposed to prove his innocence? Why don’t you teach me?” Han Yunxi said gloomily.
“Blame it all on the Xie Clan! Say that Jun Yixie colluded with them to smear the Mu Clan on purpose! Mu Yingdong only did everything for his daughter’s sake,” Lady Lianxin replied coldly. “Furthermore, it was the Xie Clan who planted that Poison Roundworm evidence!”
Han Yunxi was already clear on what she had to do, but she pretended to hesitate before she replied, “Fine, I can agree to wash the Mu Clan of its crimes for you. However, the Council of Elders will be holding a public trial. If the Mu Clan wants its innocence back, it should give us a show of good faith. Otherwise, who will believe them?” As Han Yunxi spoke, she emphasized, “I expect Medical City’s Council of Elders are very interested in this case as well. Even if you think it’s easy to fool Medicine City, you can’t expect the same of Medical City’s Council of Elders, right?”
Lady Lianxin might have been sexually involved with the Head and Vice-Elders, but nobody knew the extent of her liaisons. Even Gu Qishao only knew that she had something going on with the Vice-Elder. It was impossible for one woman to be simultaneously involved with two men at once, so in Han Yunxi’s eyes, the Head Elder had probably cast Lady Lianxin aside already. That’s why reality proved that Lady Lianxin didn’t have very much influence in Medical City at all. This was also why she was insisting on saving the Mu Clan.
A hesitant look crept into Lady Lianxin’s eyes as she remained silent. Such doubt was deadly in negotiation talks. Han Yunxi knew then that Lady Lianxin’s weak point was precisely Medical City.
“Unless the Mu Clan forks over something satisfactory, they’ll be hard pressed to convince the masses. Even if they’re proven innocent in Medicine City, Medical City still won’t regard them favorably,” Han Yunxi said truthfully.
Finally, Lady Lianxin relented. “What counts as something satisfactory?”
“Give up all the clan’s secret prescriptions to the medical academy and all the medicine fields to the Council of Elders.”
Lady Lianxin’s face turned black. “What’s the use of keeping the Mu Clan without those things?”
“There’s still you and Mu Yingdong, as well as the rest of the Mu Clan’s hundreds of disciples. There’s Mu Linger as well. You tell me what use these are. Unless you give something up, the Council of Elders will take the Mu Clan’s lands as punishment all the same. That’s why you not only need to sacrifice, but do it before the Council does it for you. Have Mu Yingdong admit his wrongs first! This is a true show of good faith!” Han Yunxi’s words were stern yet lofty, allowing no rebuke. Her powerful air made Lady Lianxin quake.
Han Yunxi peered at the skies before saying coldly, “There are two hours left before the trial begins. This is the best way to save the Mu Clan, so you had best consider it.”
Lady Lianxin stared out the window, her drawn and thin face deep in thought. In the end, she agreed. At least the Mu Clan still has secret prescriptions and medicine fields that it’s never released to the public. With these, we won’t be completely bereft. From her sleeve, she took out a brocade box that she had kept on her person. “Here’s that thing.”
Han Yunxi opened the box and saw a block of scarlet, oval-shaped jade inside. It was only the size of her thumbnail, but it glittering with a translucent, blood-like hue within. An inexplicably mysterious air emanated from its form.The detox system didn’t sense any poison from the object, so she silently started up its deep-system scanners until she detected a trace of poison within. But just like the poison pond water or poison earth, all she could tell from this jade was that it was toxic, nothing more.
Still, she prudently handed the item over to Gu Qishao. “Examine the goods.”
Gu Qishao was already knowledgeable about the jade, so he played with it in his hands a bit before nodding in approval. This was the real thing.
“Now may we go to the Council of Elders?” Lady Lianxin knew that time was tight.
Before rushing to the site of the trial, they made a detour at the Council of Elders’ headquarters. Han Yunxi and Long Feiye didn’t expose their connection to the Wang Clan, but used Han Yunxi’s status as the Pill King’s disciple to ‘pretend’ to discuss matters with Wang Gong in front of Lady Lianxin.
Naturally, the talks were a success.
There was only the time it took for a stick of incense to burn before the trial began. Mu Yingdong expressed his agreement to give up all of the Mu Clan’s secret formulas to the medical academy so their doctors could use them to treat illnesses. All of the medicine fields in the Mu Clan’s name would be donated to Medicine City and the Council of Elders as well for public use. The Mu Clan’s show of good faith, combined with Mu Yingdong’s personal apology to each clan representative in Medicine City, helped to support the claim that he had only colluded with Jun Yixie for his daughter’s sake. Meanwhile, he denied any association with the Poison Roundworm, saying that Mu Linger didn’t know any poison arts at all. The Mu Clan had only began associating with Jun Yixie recently and not a long history with the man. While expressing his apologies, Mu Yingdong also claimed that he was being framed and hoped that the Council of Elders would treat the clan fairly.
His words caused ripples to pass through Medicine City. In response, the Council of Elders delayed the start of the trial to that afternoon. But the results of the trial shocked denizens in both Medicine and Medical City, as well as all of Cloud Realm Continent. That was because there was conclusive evidence that Ouyang Ningnuo had colluded with the Xie Clan! Naturally, the proof came from the Poison Roundworm and two witnesses provided by Xie Deyi to Han Yunxi. The very fact that Ouyang Ningnuo could control Cloud Realm Continent’s greatest trade consortium and form connections with the three big medicine clans already made him big news. Intelligent people had already found out that much. But with this proof coming to light, even the dimmest person would ask Ouyang Ningnuo where he’d gotten the Poison Roundworm!
The Council of Elders looked into the Xie Clan’s plan with Ouyang Ningnuo to smear Mu Linger’s name instead of investigating the origins of his Poison Roundworm, which left the crowd to imagine all sorts of things about its origins. Some guessed that Ouyang Ningnuo was involved with Jun Yixie and the two had joined forces to fool with the Mu and Xie Clans, while others suspected Ouyaning Ningnuo had fallen out with Jun Yixie, leading to a loss for both sides. Still others guessed that Ouyang Ningnuo and Jun Yixie were originally allies, but fell into a disagreement because both of them loved Mu Linger, leading to a quarrel by the end…
No matter what the theory, everyone was certain that Ouyang Ningnuo was involved with the Hundred Poisons Sect leader!
The Xie Clan lost one thousand mu of land and all their posts in the Council of Elders. Their disciples were then banned from any and all medicine competitions for the next ten years and from any posts and duties involved with the Council. Xie Deyi and Xie Peng were both sentenced to life in prison.
Because Mu Yingdong had shown good behavior by proactively admitting his faults, his jail time was reduced to half a year. All Mu Clan posts in the Council of Elders were dismissed, but their disciples could still participate in competitions. Moreover, Mu Linger was found innocent of any involvement with Jun Yixie. Han Yunxi also pleaded on her behalf for her actions at the empress dowager’s birthday banquet, with the result that the Council of Elders fined Mu Linger with one day of community service in the public fields to atone for her acts. The denizens of Medicine City had found the least fault with Mu Linger’s sentence. In the past, Han Yunxi’s Pill Fiend Pharmacy was a direct opponent to Medicine City, but now, she had become Pill King’s disciple. Everyone in Medicine City was clamoring for a chance to win her favor while dreading her newfound influence.
At the empress dowager’s birthday banquet, Mu Linger had chosen to stand on the Duke of Qin and Han Yunxi’s side. Now it seemed like she’d helped Medicine City choose the right ally. Who would dare to reproach her now?
While Han Yunxi was picking Mu Linger up from prison, Lady Lianxin was going to meet Mu Yingdong. When Mu Linger passed Lady Lianxin, the latter gave her a meaningful look, hinting that she wanted a private talk. Han Yunxi attaches such importance to that girl, perhaps she could help the Mu Clan earn some favors while she’s at Pill Fiend Pharmacy. But Mu Linger didn’t even glance at her before walking away expressionlessly with her chin held high.
Lady Lianxin had no idea of the deep relationship between Mu Linger and Han Yunxi. She only felt angry and stomped off to see Mu Yingdong directly. Once she brought up the matter, Mu Yingdong was equally mystified. He knew that Mu Linger and Han Yunxi had interacted in the past, but he didn’t know the extent of their friendly relations. As the brother and sister chatted, they observed how the Mu Clan had lost just about everything except their most secret resources.
“Things will remain unstable for the second half for the year. It’ll help test those children of the clan while letting us keep up appearances so others won’t suspect us. Once I’m out of jail, we can plot the more important things. The five remaining secret prescriptions, as well as the hundred mu of high-production fields south of the city, is enough for our Mu Clan to rise again. Then we can come back as easily as turning over a hand!” Mu Yingdong was very confident. Lady Lianxin nodded. She had only agreed to Han Yunxi’s terms because she shared his confidence.
But while the two were still talking, the Council of Elders sent over a list of things for Mu Yingdong to sign off on. The items included the Mu Clan’s private prescription formulas and medicine fields. Mu Yingdong only glanced at the contents before preparing to sign them, but Lady Lianxin was more prudent and read over the entire list. When she got to the end, she even spotted the last five top-secret prescriptions and the remaining mu of fields.
Completely thunderstruck, she dropped the list with trembling hands.
“What’s wrong?” Mu Yingdong caught the paper and read it again before his temper flared at the familiar words. “Mu Linger!”
Immediately after that, he spat up a mouthful of fresh blood and fainted dead away. Lady Lianxin was too shocked to react in time and catch him. Who else but Mu Linger would know of these five ultra secret prescriptions? Now the Mu Clan had truly lost everything. Even if they had pharmacists, it wouldn’t do them any good. Would anyone in Medicine City use the Mu Clan’s people anymore? Even if the Mu Clan continued to run for election for the Council of Elders, would anyone pick from their members?
The Mu Clan might have suffered minor penalties compared to the Xie Clan, but they had a much more terrible end! As Lady Lianxin looked at the unconscious Mu Yingdong, she began to regret it. She wasn’t sorry that she’d provoked that despicable Han Yunxi, but that she’d accepted the Ten-Thousand Year Blood Jade all those years ago to help Mu Xin. If she had simply told Mu Yingdong of Mu Xin’s whereabouts, Han Yunxi would never have survived until today!
It was a pity that no medicine for regret existed in this world!
In actuality, the ending of the Mu siblings still wasn’t the worst one. Ouyang Ningnuo received the shortest end of the stick. Once he found out the results of the trial, he half ran, half stumbled his way out of the lodgings arranged for him by the Council of Elders.
He fled all the way to safety before expelling a long breath, his formerly handsome face now wearing a wholly black expression…
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