One had to say, Xue Tong was tough. No matter what techniques Lu Wuji used on him, Xue Tong never made a sound. It was as if all of Lu Wuji’s various tortures weren’t being employed on him.
Lu Wuji persevered until his forehead was dripping with sweat, but never heard any words from Xue Tong that expressed any weakness.
“Brat, do you think I’ll be unable to do anything to you just because you didn’t make a sound? You’re just one of Jiang Chen’s dogs. I can consider sparing your life if you behave nicely.”
Xue Tong laughed heartily, “Lu Wuji, you coward, are you at the end of your rope now? Don’t you Dragonteeth Guards have a lot of methods? Come on! Like I’d be afraid of you!”
“Lu Wuji, do you think just because you’ve taken me, that you can do anything to my house’s young master at all? Do you think you’re so brave just because you’ve captured me? You’re wrong. If you’re not a coward, then you should use blades and spears to fight my young master, and not play these little tricks behind our backs. To think that you’re opening the door for a killer organization as a member of the Dragonteeth Guard. Lu Wuji, you’re adding face to the Dragonteeth Guard alright!”
Xue Tong wasn’t afraid at all as he cursed loudly at Lu Wuji.
Lu Wuji was greatly incensed as he stomped his foot on Xue Tong’s chest and placed the other on his neck, “Brat, are you looking for death?”
Although Xue Tong was underfoot, his face was full of disdain. “Go ahead and kill me. My young master will have your heads on the ground sooner or later.”
Lu Wuji had tragically discovered that the methods he had learned in the Dragonteeth Guard seemed to be completely useless against Xue Tong.
“Xue Tong, just what did Jiang Chen offer you? You’re just one of his personal guards. No matter how well he treats you, you’re still just a personal guard in the end. Countless wealth and prosperity will await you instead if you cooperate nicely!”
“Oh?” Xue Tong smiled coldly. He was slightly curious about the tricks Lu Wuji had up his sleeve.
Seeing that Xue Tong’s attitude seemed to be softening, Lu Wuji managed to squeeze out a smile on his face and pulled over a chair, continuing his persuasion, “As long as you tell me the truth about what happened in the Autumn Hunt, the reason for first prince Ye Dai’s death, and take a stand to accuse Jiang Chen and Ye Rong, I promise that you’ll have your share of wealth and prosperity.”
“Wealth and prosperity? How much are we talking about?” Xue Tong winked and asked.
“If you accomplish such a great achievement, you’ll have at least Jiang Chen’s rank of second rank noble.”
Xue Tong chuckled, “Vice General Lu, I wonder what rank noble are you now?”
Lu Wuji said arrogantly, “I’m not even thirty and have used my own abilities to get to the position of third rank noble. How can a jumped up upstart like Jiang Chen compare to me?”
“Tsk tsk, you’re only a third rank noble and you say would be able to grant me second rank? Lu Wuji, how brainlessly idiotic can you get? Do you think I’m as dumb as you?”
Lu Wuji’s face froze. He could tell that this wasn’t Xue Tong’s attitude softening at all. Rather, this was making a fool out of him, Lu Wuji!
“Brat, it looks like your hopes won’t die unless you’re staring at despair in the face. Alright, alright, I really won’t kill you now then. Just wait until you see Jiang Chen’s corpse lying in front of you. When that happens, let’s see if you’ll still be tough then!”
Lu Wuji turned huffily away and spoke to Xue San, “Xue San, we’ll continue to exert pressure on our side so that martial law will be lifted and create opportunities for you. Do you feel certain that you can kill Jiang Chen or not?!”
Xue San said faintly, “Vice General Lu, you just do your part properly and we’ll naturally do ours. The rest that remains is up to the will of the gods.”
Lu Wuji really wanted to beat the crap out of Xue San. What the hell was he strutting around about? Would it kill him to tell me his plan? Does he have to keep things so close to his heart?
However, he also knew that with his little bit of strength, it was a daydream to think of sending Xue San packing. He’d be lucky to not be beaten into the ground.
Lu Wuji left for home after throwing some dark looks around. He sat for a while, and still decided that he should report this matter to his uncle Yang Zhao.
“Wuji, although the rewards are great in this matter, so are the risks. Ye Dai is already dead. Clearing his name only means putting Ye Rong and Jiang Chen down. Even if this step succeeds, you need to prop up Prince Ye Hao. Although Ye Hao is a bit young, this also means he’s easier to mold. If you can successfully prop him up to the throne, the position of general director of the Dragonteeth Guard in the future will definitely be in your hands.”
These words made Lu Wuji’s blood boil, but he still said, “Uncle, that Xue Tong is keeping a tight seal on his lips. He’s not wavering at all no matter how I torture him.”
“If he doesn’t crack, there are still others. Xue Tong wasn’t the only one who entered the maze realm with Ye Rong. And, so what if all of Ye Rong’s men are staunchly loyal? As long as we take down Jiang Chen and do away with Ye Rong’s most useful assistant, his inadequacies will be revealed. The various powers that exist will naturally make their move then. How hard will it be to find a couple of ‘eyewitnesses’ then? Wuji, remember that in the struggles for power, it’s all about gaining the upper hand. Whoever is stronger can turn black to white. Whoever is on the losing side will find that even white can be turned to black. There’s no so-called innocence, the key point is whether or not one can gain power!”
Yang Zhao spoke with sincere words and earnest wishes as he tried to talk sense into Lu Wuji.
Lu Wuji nodded, “Uncle’s words have spontaneously enlightened me. Don’t worry, the assassins that the Hidden Hand has sent this time are all of the spirit realm. They won’t rest unless they kill Jiang Chen. Add our cover to that, we’ll have a strong chance to kill Jiang Chen.”
Yang Zhou sighed, “We should’ve destroyed Jiang Chen when we had the upper hand. It’s a bit late to make a move now. I hope nothing goes wrong this time.”
Come to think of it, although Jiang Chen had stirred up the winds and rain within the capital, Yang Zhao felt that he was a bit different from the usual nobles after a bit of observation.
Jiang Chen had no background within the capital at all, and there were no powerful experts within his personal guards. The numbers of his personal guards were also much less than the large noble families.
Of the nobles within the capital, each had more than hundreds, or even thousands of personal guards.
And for Jiang Chen’s men, he only had so many no matter how he looked at them. There wasn’t a single idle layabout amongst them.
Therefore, Yang Zhou felt that although Jiang Chen had a lot of methods, there was a great gap between them when it came to absolute strength.
This was why he felt that those from the Hidden Hand had a great chance of success.
“Wuji, Tian Shao is hopping up and down and being quite proactive this time. He’s your main competition now and you need to take heed. If Tian Shao gains the upper hand, you’ll have no chance to compete with him in the future. If Ye Rong ascends to the throne in the future, Tian Shao will very likely become the candidate for general director.”
“Tian Shao!” Killing intent exploded out of Lu Wuji’s eyes. “I underestimated him previously.”
Yang Zhao nodded. “Alright, you go back first. Things are a bit sensitive right now, so you should keep to yourself more. Don’t come to me unless things have reached a critical point.”
“Be as surreptitious as you can when helping the Hidden Hand, and don’t let anything slip. If even a single move is made wrongly, all will be lost.”
“Uncle, don’t worry, I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t go about it with brute force and won’t stick my neck out. I’ve learned that sneaky tactics are the best when it comes to Jiang Chen.”
Yang Zhou smiled with great satisfaction. It looked like his nephew had greatly wisened up from last time’s downfall and he had changed quite a bit.
Lu Wuji left in great spirits and returned home.
What he and Yang Zhou would have never thought of was that a golden colored shadow was also departing the Yang family living room after their conversation, drilling through the earth at an astonishing speed and heading for the Jiang family manor.
Jiang Chen’s ears twitched within the secret room as he felt the tremors beneath the ground. The Goldbiter Rat King’s head poked out of the ground in the next second.
“Old Gold, you’re back.”
“Young master Chen, you were absolutely right in telling me to keep an eye on that human.” The Rat King was quite excited. “Something was wrong about that human called Lu Wuji!”
The Rat King fully relayed the information that it had heard beneath the Yang family living room.
“The Hidden Hand?” Jiang Chen immediately remembered the time that he’d ran for his life beneath the Boundless Catacombs. It had been that chase that had caused Jiang Chen to flee into the forbidden zone of the fourth level. That was where he’d met Mang Qi, formed the master and servant relationship with Mang Qi, gained his Swordbird Army, and turned around the situation with the Long family.
“The Hidden Hand!” Jiang Chen repeated the phrase. “I’d thought that things were over when I didn’t seek revenge for last time’s matter. And now you’re directly provoking me. Good, very good! It looks like I, Jiang Chen, am too easy to talk to. To think you came knocking when I didn’t pursue things after killing those three!”
Killing intent surged through Jiang Chen’s tone.
“Old Gold, you’ve gone to great trouble this time. I may have to ask you to do more later.”
The Rat King smiled wryly, “Young master Chen, don’t say words like that. I only have one request in that you don’t forget your previous promise.”
Jiang Chen spoke seriously, “Old Gold, you’ve helped me time and time again. If I don’t go to this bit of effort for your tribe’s behalf, then I’d truly be less than the swine and dogs. Don’t worry, if I don’t strive my hardest with regards to helping your race evolve, then may the heavens and earth annihilate me.”
When the Goldbiter Rat King saw that Jiang Chen was speaking so seriously, he too expressed his opinions. “Don’t worry young master Chen. Things will be easy since we know who the opponents are and their plans. I’ll send my children to take care of this if you’re still worried. I can definitely save your man. These assassins can also die in whatever way you want them to die.”
Jiang Chen sneered, “Let them die? That will be going too easy on them. Since Lu Wuji and Yang Zhou have yet to let go of hope, then let’s make a big play this time!”
“Old Gold, keep an eye on Lu Wuji and see if he’ll make contact with those assassins next. I’ll summon you when the next mission comes around.”
Jiang Chen had still sent out the Rat King a bit too late, he’d missed the moment in which Lu Wuji had met with the assassins.
Otherwise, he would’ve located Xue Tong by now.
Jiang Chen’s first consideration was still Xue Tong’s safety. From current intelligence, it would appear that Xue Tong was still alive. These people were going to try to get the events of the maze realm out of him, and wanted Xue Tong to accuse Jiang Chen and Ye Rong in order to take down the new Crown Prince.
“The struggle to be Crown Prince… to think that although it seemed that the matter of this struggle was settled, there’d be so many who are still struggling feebly. Prince Ye Hao? That snivelling whelp?”
Jiang Chen wasn’t much interested in the struggle for Crown Prince. But Yang Zhao and Lu Wuji had thoroughly crossed over his bottom line this time!
“Yang Zhao, since you have no respect for your status as an elder, I’ll let you have a taste of the consequences of offending me!”
Jiang Chen was furious this time, completely and utterly furious!
The last time Lu Wuji had provoked him, he’d let Lu Wuji off the hook because he wanted to swindle a large amount of spirit ingredients out of Lu Wuji.
It wasn’t that Jiang Chen had been merciful that time either, it was because he knew that what he had wasn’t quite enough to take Lu Wuji’s head yet.
Also, Jiang Chen had just arrived to the capital and his foundations had yet to solidify, so he didn’t want to really make a mess of things. The situation was different this time however.
This time, Lu Wuji had dared collude with the Hidden Hand and lay a hand on his people. This was truly his bottom line.
Just like when the Long family had crossed over Jiang Chen’s bottom line, his revenge would not show the slightest bit of mercy and would not rest until he’d beaten his enemies down to the depths of despair.
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