Chapter 64: For the so-called greater-good (Part One)
Wangyue nodded to Fenghuo and Yanming gratefully but didn’t know how to defend himself. After all, no matter what he said, these people would dismiss his words as lies since they had regarded him as a traitor. So long as they singled out a so-called traitor, they’d feel complacent and go back to their illusion of a peaceful life.
Seeing people were swayed by Yanming and Fenghuo’s words, the Count Red Ear Devil Spirit said, “No matter how powerful Yaksha is, he couldn’t have escaped from the dungeon under the North Star Palace. Besides, the seal was broken from outside, which meant that he had a partner in the palace. Few people can walk freely in the palace and have the power to destroy such a powerful seal. If Wangyue isn’t the spy, who is?”
“Is it so?”
No one dared to speak now. After all, if Wangyue wasn’t the spy, then it might be Ouyang Hongye, Yanming the stone spirit, Fenghuo the puma spirit, or even the two elders. But no one dared to say it.
Wangyue also heard the hidden meaning in the words of the Count Red Ear Devil Spirit. If he refused to admit that he was the one who released Yaksha, then people would turn their suspicious eyes to Hongye or even Lord Yong; but if he admitted that he did it, then he’d become the evil traitor who betrayed the capital city and colluded with Green Cloud. He had neve been a deep thinker and couldn’t think of a way to get out of the tricky situation.
“I heard that Wangyue left his soldiers at the entrance and entered the city master’s cave all by himself. Don’t you think he did it to hide the truth from the others?” Seeing Wangyue was speechless, the Red Ear Devil Spirit continued more aggressively, “They concocted the ruse in which Yaksha pretended to be defeated and caught so he’d have the opportunity to enter the palace and attack the Fox Spirit King during the night. What a good plan!”
Ouyang Yong couldn’t remain silent any longer. It was obvious that the people were determined to force Wangyue to take the blame. Before he could speak, Wangyue said, “Fine! I admit I released him!”
Hearing his words, bedlam broke out in the Tianquan Hall as people began to talk at the same time.
“But…” Wangyue continued at the top of his voice, “But I didn’t collude with Green Cloud or Yaksha. I just regretted that I hadn’t killed the monster who is part of the gang who killed my brother Tingyue; this monster even caused the death of my good friend Dao Shuo! To avenge them, I sneaked into the dungeon during the night intending to chop him into pieces. However, I made a mistake; instead of killing him, I gave the monster the chance to escape and attack the Fox Spirit King. All this happened because of my selfishness. Punish me however you want!”
Wangyue suppressed his anger and frustration and admitted that he had released Yaksha by mistake, but he’d never admit that he was a traitor working for Green Cloud.
“We have no evidence that he works for Green Cloud, but he has admitted that he had released Yaksha who in turn severely wounded the Fox Spirit King. Elders, please punish him fairly!” Red Ear Devil Spirit couldn’t hide his sly smile.
Shi Wangcheng and Fenghuo glanced at Wangyue in disappointment and their gazes pierced Wangyue like steel needles; but he must bear their accusations and resentment so that Ouyang Hongye and Lord Yong wouldn’t be subjected to suspicion.
Ouyang Yong knew Wangyue was wrongly accused but was pleased that he could handle the situation so wisely. At least, Wangyue had dodged their attempt to brand him as a traitor; Ouyang Yong knew this was the best result he could get for the time being. Without hesitation, he said, “Fine. Guards, take Wangyue into the dungeon. We’ll decide on his punishment later.”
Two soldiers came up and took Wangyue out of the Tianquan Hall under everyone’s eyes. Seeing the issue was settled, the counts and aristocrats took leave after bowing to the two elders. Ouyang Yong didn’t stay to talk to Shi Wangcheng; he left with Thorn with the excuse that he needed to return and rest. He must meet with Ouyang Hongye as soon as possible and talk about the measures they should take about the issue.
Ouyang Hongye had just woken up and was about to go and see Ouyang Xiaoleng. Before he could walk out of his room, a guard came with the message that Lord Yong wanted to see him immediately for an urgent business. After washing up, he walked toward Lord Yong’s residence but didn’t smell the fragrance of tea that usually floated from Ouyang Hong’s room. Walking around the shield, he saw Lord Yong sitting on his Arhat bed, knocking his tobacco pipe with a frown on his face.
“Hongye, I need to talk to you,” Ouyang Yong said urgently as Ouyang Hongye walked in.
Ouyang Yong told him how the counts and aristocrats forced Wangyue to take the blame and how Wangyue admitted that he had released Yaksha by mistake, so the other people in the palace wouldn’t be subjected to suspicion. As Ouyang Yong talked, Ouyang Hongye furrowed his brows and bit on his lip; he had been listless after consuming lots of spirit to heal Ouyang Xiaoleng, but after hearing what had happened to Wangyue, his energy returned as fury surged up in his heart.
He knew Wangyue better than Ouyang Yong did. Under the flippant veneer, Wangyue was very proud; with a soul craving for freedom, he’d go crazy locked up in the small and dark dungeon cell. Ouyang Hongye knew he must figure out a way to get Wangyue out.
“How is Xiaoleng doing?” Suppressing his fury, Ouyang Hongye remembered Xiaoleng’s wound.
“He’s not woken up yet, but it looks the pain has eased.”
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