HSSB23: Questioning Yan Zhaoge
What will come, will eventually come. Very quickly, the East Tang Kingdom’s Principal Elder as well as a Disciplinary Elder of the East Heaven Region, come from far away, arrived together at Overlooking Abyss City.
Along with the Disciplinary Elder, came the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom.
This most exalted person in the Eastern Tang Kingdom, actually also rushed over to Overlooking Abyss City.
With the incident having taken place in Eastern Tang, the Eastern Tang Kingdom naturally had to put on a show of concern towards it. But for their King, as the head of a kingdom, to actually leave his capital and set off to the borderlands of his kingdom’s territory; it was still out of everyone’s expectations.
Although to the outside world, the explanation was that the volatile situation within the Sealing Dragon Abyss was such that it had the possibility of putting half of the Eastern Tang’s territory at risk, causing their King to have to pay a visit personally, in the eyes of Xu Chuan, Wen Ningzhi, and all those others, this head of a kingdom was, more likely than not, here for Yan Zhaoge.
The Disciplinary Elder coming here was obviously not good for Yan Zhaoge, and the Eastern Tang’s Principal Elder, Yan Xu, was also a prominent member of Yan Zhaoge’s second senior apprentice-uncle’s faction.
With Yan Zhaoge’s background placed out there for all to see, doing something like beating a confession out of him was naturally impossible, but the pressure he faced was still not small.
The King and Yan Zhaoge’s father had formed close ties when they were young; he was obviously here to show his support for Yan Zhaoge this time.
In recent years, while the encroachment of the Sacred Sun Clan on the Eastern Tang Kingdom had reached a rather serious stage, Broad Creed Mountain still held the upper hand in Eastern Tang. The King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom’s favouritism towards Broad Creed Mountain was the most significant reason for this.
Having learnt of his arrival, Xu Chuan did not rejoice, but rather, worried; Wen Ningzhi did not worry, but rather, rejoiced.
While the arrival of the King would indeed help Yan Zhaoge somewhat, the arrival of this bigwig in itself was a sign of how the trial Yan Zhaoge was going to face this time was really not that easy to pass. The clan’s Disciplinary Hall had moved for real this time, such that even the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom could not sit by and watch.
Sikong Qing and the other young disciples were, perhaps, still unaware of the deeper underlying meaning behind the king’s arrival, but even they could feel the suffocating atmosphere, warning of the storm that was raring to come.
Outside the Great Hall, Yan Zhaoge turned back to look at them, smiling, “They’ll be interrogating me, not you; you lot don’t have to be so nervous.”
They gave strained laughs, not speaking, till a young female disciple, hugging a small Light Spirit Cat, gathered up her courage and said, “Senior apprentice-brother Yan, I believe that nothing will happen to you.”
Yan Zhaoge smiled, then turned and walked into the Great Hall.
Entering the hall, they saw that at the primary position were two people, seated side by side.
One of them was an old man who had a calm, peaceful expression on his face, yet even so naturally exuded an aura of authority. This was one of Broad Creed Mountain’s Disciplinary Elders of the East Heaven Region.
The other was a middle-aged man, who, though wearing ordinary bright-yellow clothes, still naturally exuded the majestic, stately aura of a king. He was the King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom.
At the position below him sat an emaciated-looking elderly man, a stern expression on his face. This was the Principal Elder of Broad Creed Mountain in the Eastern Tang Kingdom, Yan Xu.
Next, sitting respectfully at the end of the line, was the original owner of this place, Broad Creed Mountain’s Acting Elder in the Eastern Tang Kingdom’s Overlooking Abyss City, Xu Chuan.
Though there was currently a solemn look on his face, deep within Xu Chuan’s gaze could vaguely be seen a bit of worry.
Yan Zhaoge entered the main hall, calmly paying his respects to those in sitting.
After he had done so, The King and Yan Xu, not speaking, remained seated quietly, leaving the matter of the interrogation to the East Heaven Region’s Disciplinary Elder.
The Disciplinary Elder looked at Yan Zhaoge, and said peacefully, “Junior apprentice-nephew Yan’s victory over Chao Yuanlong, did not disgrace the name of my Broad Creed Mountain. That, when seen by itself, would be a cause for celebration.”
“Yet, after that victory, you gathered the unconscious Chao Yuanlong and the other disciples of the Sacred Sun Clan, and chased them out of the Sealing Dragon Abyss’s central vortex region.”
“During the course of the fight, you did not simply take the victory, but instead deliberately humiliated Chao Yuanlong, disfiguring his face, afterwards whipping the other Sacred Sun Clan disciples.”
“The above is the testimony of the Sacred Sun Clan; were there any falsehoods within?”
Yan Zhaoge said mildly, “It’s basically true.”
The Disciplinary Elder asked, “What do you have to say for yourself?”
Yan Xu added, “Now, it is not just a matter of the personal duel between you and Chao Yuanlong.”
Yan Zhaoge smiled lightly, “The reason I chased them out of the central vortex region was that that particular area was especially useful to our clan. In order to keep it under wraps, I naturally could not allow those people from the Sacred Sun Clan to continue hanging around that area.”
The Disciplinary Elder shifted his gaze over, “Oh?”
Yan Zhaoge nodded, “That spot of land was a Nine Evils Congregating Ground. I had to perform an experiment there; in order to upgrade my Internal Crystal Furnace.”
The matter of the Internal Crystal Furnace was already known by the Eastern Tang Kingdom’s King, as one of the few outsiders not of the clan who was in the know.
The Disciplinary Elder asked, “That place no longer exists, isn’t it? Of your explanation, is there any proof?”
Yan Zhaoge replied honestly, “The Internal Crystal Furnace I brought into the Sealing Dragon Abyss with me went missing; it is true that that particular furnace is not in my possession. However, using that furnace, I produced a mid-grade artifact within a short period of time; the young disciples of the clan who were there with me all saw it, and can attest to it.”
As the one with the highest cultivation amongst the crowd of disciples, Sikong Qing was the first to be questioned.
“Senior apprentice-brother Yan’s words are all true; the other disciples and I all saw it happen.”
Yan Xu looked at Sikong Qing, “How much do you know about Internal Crystal Furnaces? Do you understand the underlying principles beneath them, thus being able to deduce the authenticity of that situation?”
Sikong Qing answered neither quickly nor slowly, “This disciple has limited understanding towards Internal Crystal Furnaces. It is true that I am unable to determine what happened at that time; all the facts which I have described have only come from what I saw with my own two eyes then.
“Whether senior apprentice-brother Yan had already prepared a mid-grade artifact beforehand and then used some sleight of hand to switch out the mortal tool for it, fooling us to get through the situation, this disciple cannot ascertain with her level of cultivation. However, that jet-black long knife was definitely a mid-grade artifact.”
“That Nine Evils Congregating Grounds can help in upgrading the Internal Crystal Furnace, this disciple cannot verify; but the Nine Evils congregating, is something that this disciple is familiar with.”
Hearing this, everyone turned to look at her. The Nine Evils congregating was not something that most people would be familiar with; on the contrary, most would never even have heard of it.
Yan Xu looked at Sikong Qing, and nodded his head slowly, as he ceased to speak.
The King of the Eastern Tang Kingdom opened his mouth for the first time, “According to what Miss Sikong has described, that place, did indeed show signs of the Nine Evils congregating.”
The Disciplinary Elder nodded, “Indeed.”
“Nine Evils Congregating Grounds do not last forever; as time passes, they have the possibility of vanishing.”
He looked towards Yan Zhaoge, “In this matter which concerned the Internal Crystal Furnace, any delays could cause the opportunity to be missed; you saw this and hurriedly exerted your authority, getting rid of the Sacred Sun Clan’s disciples. This cannot be considered a mistake.”
“If it can be determined that it could improve the Internal Crystal Furnace’s efficacy a step further, not only would you not be guilty, you would even be seen as having achieved some merits instead.”
“The Sacred Sun Clan will be handled by our clan itself; you won’t have to appear personally. But if any disciples from their younger generation show up to challenge you to a duel, you’ll have to deal with it yourself.”
Yan Zhaoge laughed, “That is only natural.”
Although the Sacred Sun Clan was slightly stronger, as a Sacred Ground on par with it, Broad Creed Mountain, even having found Yan Zhaoge guilty, would deal with his punishment internally, and stand firm against any outside forces; it would not show weakness in front of the Sacred Sun Clan.
Even if Yan Zhaoge were to be punished, in a situation like this, his punishment would not be too severe. At most, he would be lectured to, as a disciple of the clan, not go around finding trouble as and when he liked, in the process bringing meaningless, unnecessary trouble to the clan.
Yan Zhaoge knew that what came next would be the real highlight of the show.
As expected, the Disciplinary Elder changed the topic, “The matter of the Sacred Sun Clan, we’ll set aside for now. About our clan’s disciple Ye Jing who died in the Sealing Dragon Abyss; as the Martial Scholar leading the group, Junior apprentice-nephew Yan, who do you have to say?
Yan Xu continued, “Within that black fog, just what exactly did you do that caused Ye Jing to be so furious and unresigned just before his death?”
“Ye Jing, did he really die because of the Crimson Spirit Flag Master?”