Chapter 893: Interrogation
Zhuxie Chixin glanced into the distance.
He asked quietly, “Crown princess, are there any other survivors”
Bi Linglong shook her head.
“There’s no one else with us.
However, our group scattered earlier, so I’m not too sure.”
“Then it looks like there are none.” Zhuxie Chixin nodded.
“I only found the Liu clan’s Gao Ying, Pei clan’s Pei You, and two Eastern Palace guards.
For some reason, they were all hanging from trees and heavily injured.
We already sent them back to be treated at the imperial hospital.”
Bi Linglong was surprised and replied, “Then I’ve troubled Chief Commander.” She wondered if those people knew the truth.
But when she remembered that they had already separated back then, that they couldn’t know about what had happened afterward, she sighed in relief.
The ‘unconscious’ Zu An sighed inwardly.
The two Eastern Palace guards had to be Jiao Sigun and Piao Duandiao.
Even though their cultivation ranks weren’t high, their luck really wasn’t bad! They had actually survived even after experiencing so much danger!
But that was definitely a happy thing.
He had even been feeling a bit ashamed that he wasn’t able to properly take care of them.
Zhuxie Chixin left behind some subordinates to search for other survivors, then escorted Bi Linglong’s group out of the dungeon with most of his men.
Now that he had found the crown prince and princess, his mission was already complete.
As for whether or not he could find the others, he didn’t care that much.
There was a large group raising their heads and looking around outside the dungeon entrance.
Everything boded ill for the crown prince’s party after what had just happened in the dungeon.
If his party had been wiped out, that meant that no one would be able to compete against King Qi anymore.
As for the emperor’s other sons, without the status of being the eldest son, they weren’t even worth mentioning in front of King Qi.
Many great subjects had egged on the crown prince and showed their support over the years.
They couldn't just switch to a new patron immediately.
Those from King Qi’s side felt as if the war had already been won, that everything was beautiful.
But they were all skilled politicians.
Even though they were smiling inwardly, they looked broken-hearted on the surface.
They didn’t give their political enemies any weaknesses to exploit.
However, there were people among the large group who were truly grief-stricken.
A handsome young man stared ahead with reddened eyes, tears continuously trickling down his cheeks.
Who else could it be but Chu Youzhao
“Big brother Chu, please don’t worry too much.
Big brother Zu is capable and outstanding; I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Murong Qinghe said in consolation.
A nearby person from the Murong clan muttered, “Why is he crying for nothing You’re acting like a girl.”
“You don’t know anything! This is called being in tune with his emotions; he’s a man full of emotions! He’s nothing like all of you who have muscles for brains!” Murong Qinghe shot that person a look as she gently consoled Chu Youzhao.
Chu Youzhao felt as if her heart had become ice cold.
She had always been waiting outside.
She had constantly been hearing predictions and analyses about what was happening inside the dungeon, but what all of them had in common was that a world-destroying calamity had happened inside.
No matter how high her brother-in-law’s cultivation was, everything pointed to a disaster…
The people from the academy shared her concern.
Xie Daoyun asked Jiang Luofu with a look of worry, “Ms.
Jiang, do you think big brother Zu is still alive”
Xie Xie’s mouth widened.
If he had seen his big sister like this at any other time, he would have cursed Zu An for not having any sisters, feeling that he was losing out greatly in that respect.
But at that moment, he couldn't even bring himself to think about such things.
Jiang Luofu was also quite stressed.
“You’ve kept asking me these questions these past few days; how am I supposed to know No one knows more about the dungeon than Ms.
Go and ask her.”
Xie Daoyun looked at Qi Yaoguang anxiously.
Qi Yaoguang scratched her hair and said, “The space inside was chaotic, so I couldn't check what was inside either.
But now that the dungeon has been opened again, Commander Zhuxie and the others have already gone in.
I’m sure they’ll reach a conclusion soon.”
Even though her impression of Zu An wasn’t bad, that was it.
The two of them hadn’t known each other for that long or shared deeper feelings.
If he died inside, she would feel a bit of regret, but she’d get over it after a few days.
Comparatively speaking, she was more interested in what had happened to the dungeon and what exactly had caused it.
She wanted to know if there was anything they could do to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future, or at least be more prepared for it should it happen again.
Jiang Luofu patted Xie Daoyun’s shoulder and said, “Don’t worry.
He has the chess piece Hei Baizi gave him, and he even has that Last Breath Talisman you gave him.
He should be able to come out ahead even if he does encounter any danger.”
Even though she consoled Xie Daoyun that way, she didn’t have any confidence in that regard either.
After all, the entire world inside had been destroyed! What could those things do for him in such a situation
Suddenly, the spatial elements by the entrance rippled.
Qi Yaoguang stood up and said, “People are coming out.”
Those present had been paying close attention to the entrance.
When they saw that, they all rushed over.
Fortunately, the Embroidered Envoy was present to maintain order, and didn’t allow them to get too close and secretly try anything.
Zhuxie Chixin and the others came out soon afterward.
When they saw a chubby body emerge, those from the crown prince’s faction were stunned at first, but then they all erupted into cheers.
To be honest, even they had already thought that Zhao Ruizhi had died.
After all, something so big had happened inside the dungeon.
Even if a master rank cultivator went inside, only death would await them.
How could an idiot like the crown prince survive
The crown prince’s faction had been left in low spirits.
Some of them had even already been considering how to change sides.
How could they not become emotional when they saw him return safely
Those from King Qi Manor were shocked.
The smiles they’d had just a second before froze on their faces as shock overwhelmed them.
“How is that possible How can he still be alive!” There were trusted aides among them who knew more details.
Even if the dungeon hadn’t collapsed, the crown prince should have died inside.
How had he come out alive
Even though the crown prince’s face was dirty and his clothes were tattered, and he had many injuries, his life wasn’t in danger.
No, not only that, he was throwing a tantrum and shouting that he wanted to eat the capital’s pastries right now.
Unlike those from King Qi Manor’s faction, who looked as if their family members had just died, those from the crown prince’s faction were beaming and screaming in happiness.
The Bi clan master, Bi Qi, rushed over to his daughter.
“Linglong, are you injured Huh Your hair…”
The crown prince was alive, but if the crown princess had died, the Bi clan’s many years of hard work would have only benefited another.
Bi Linglong shook her head.
I’ll explain things to you later, father.”
Bi Qi wanted to ask more questions, but Chu Youzhao had already shoved her way over, crying, “Where is my brother-in-law Crown princess, where is my brother in law!”
When she saw how panicked Chu Youzhao was, Bi Linglong thought to herself that Zu An’s relationship with him really was good.
But for some reason, the words ‘brother-in-law’ really stung.
Before she could even decide whether to reply or not, however, Chu Youzhao saw Zu An on a stretcher toward the back of the procession.
“Brother-in-law!” Chu Youzhao ran over while sobbing.
Zu An was lying there, not moving at all.
Was he already dead
The ‘unconscious’ Zu An sighed inwardly.
This little sister-in-law of his wasn’t so bad after all.
She was crying to the point that even he was feeling bad.
He wanted to tell her that he was fine through ki transmission, but when he remembered that this kid was really bad at acting and couldn't hide her real thoughts at all, he could only silently apologize to her and abandon that thought.
Meanwhile, Jiang Luofu and Xie Daoyun also came over.
However, they showed much more restraint and didn’t shove their way over while crying like Chu Youzhao.
They waited quietly off to the side, waiting for a reply.
Zhuxie Chixin immediately walked over and stopped everyone.
“I’m going to bring them back to the imperial palace first.
His majesty has summoned them himself.
Before then, those uninvolved aren’t allowed to get close to them.”
Chu Youzhao was stunned.
She picked up something from his words and asked, “My brother-in-law isn’t dead”
Zhuxie Chixin didn’t want to reply.
He still had his duty, after all.
He had to uphold a level of confidentiality before he received further instructions from the emperor.
It was Bi Linglong who replied instead.
“Don’t worry, his life isn’t in danger.
He was just wounded quite badly from saving me and the crown prince.”
The eyes of the entire capital were aimed in their direction at that moment.
She spoke about Zu An’s contributions again in front of all those present.
After having been in the palace for so long, she didn’t even bat an eyelid when telling lies anymore.
No one present sensed anything strange.
Chu Youzhao finally relaxed when she heard Bi Linglong’s explanation.
But she quickly replied, “My brother-in-law is wounded so badly, but you aren’t taking him to see a doctor, and instead bringing him to the imperial palace for an interrogation You’re all heartless!”
Zhuxie Chixin said with a snort, “This is his majesty’s personal decree.
Are you opposing his decree”
Chu Youzhao wanted to say something else, but Murong Qinghe immediately stopped her, saying, “Big brother Chu, don’t worry.
The imperial palace’s doctors are even better.”
Things would be really, really bad if Chu Youzhao ended up saying something disrespectful to his majesty! Everyone in the capital knew that his majesty’s mood hadn’t been too great.
Several subjects had made slight mistakes that usually wouldn’t have mattered at all, but because they had incurred the emperor’s anger, they had been punished severely.
If her big brother Chu angered the emperor, there would be nothing good waiting for her at all.
Fortunately, Murong Qinghe was able to convince Chu Youzhao.
Chu Youzhao decided not to push the issue any further when she thought about the skill level of the imperial physicians.
Jiang Luofu, Xie Daoyun, and the others sighed in relief as well.
With how things stood, it wasn’t proper for them to step forward and say anything.
King Liang Zhaoyi roared, “Where is my son, Zhao Xi!”
“I don’t see Xian’er either,” came Guard General Liu Yao’s voice.
“My clan’s Meng Pan isn’t here either!” Central Secretariat Supervisor Meng Yi also cried out in alarm.
They had seen a group of people leave the dungeon one after another, but they didn’t see any of their own disciples.
All of them finally lost their composure.
Bi Linglong opened her mouth, but she didn’t say anything in the end.
There were too many things that had happened inside;, she couldn’t explain it properly in just a few words.
There were many things she couldn’t say here either.
Fortunately, Zhuxie Chixin stepped forward to stop them.
Then, he escorted the party back to the imperial palace with his trusted aides.
When they arrived at the imperial palace, Zu An and Bi Linglong were separated.
After all, Bi Linglong was the only clear-headed person who had survived from this trip.
Zhao Ruizhi, that stupid fatty, didn’t count.
The emperor would immediately question her about what happened.
Bi Linglong was a bit frightened at first, but when she walked past Zu An, she received some ki transmissions from him.
She gradually calmed down.
Someone came to check on Zu An’s condition soon after Bi Linglong left.
That person sat down next to him and checked his pulse.
He was clearly a physician.
“How is he” the guard Zhuxie Chixin had left behind asked.
That physician didn’t reply immediately.
After studying Zu An’s vitals for a while, he said, “His internal energies are a mess, and his injuries are extremely serious.
He needs to rest for a long time.
Furthermore, even if he recovers from his injuries, an injury of this level will influence his cultivation.
He probably won’t ever be able to recover all of his cultivation.”
Zu An sighed in relief.
It seemed he really had managed to deceive the physician after all.
With his current cultivation, it wasn’t too difficult to imitate some serious injuries.
However, he had still been a bit worried because the doctors from the imperial hospital were highly skilled.
There had been a chance for something to go wrong here.
“It’s that serious” The guard jumped in fright.
After all, one’s cultivation was just as important as one’s very life! Furthermore, since the doctor had said that Zu An would never recover up to his previous level of cultivation, that also meant there would be no chance of ever increasing his cultivation from today on.
Even though this Zu An had his flaws, he had an outstanding strong point, which was that he already had such powerful cultivation at such a young age.
There was almost no one who could compare to him among his peers! If he continued to grow, reaching the master rank would just be a matter of time.
Once he reached the master rank, and furthermore at such a young age, he might even receive a noble title!
But now, all of that was already hopeless.
The world had never lacked geniuses, but neither did it lack geniuses who had been ruined prematurely.
“I’ll prescribe him some medicine for now.
Sir Zu’s current condition absolutely requires rest.
He can’t be allowed to fight against anyone for a long time, or else his meridians will break down, turning him into a cripple,” the physician warned.
The guard voiced his affirmation.
The room became quiet again.
Only the sounds of the physician preparing medicine could be heard.
A while later, the door opened with a groan.
Zhuxie Chixin asked from the other side, “How is he”
The guard repeated what the physician had just told him.
“Then when will he wake up” Zhuxie Chixin asked with a frown.
“Three days at the earliest.
Half a month is to be expected,” the physician replied.
Zhuxie Chixin shook his head.
“We can’t wait that long.
His majesty is going to ask him some questions soon.
Are there any medicines that can wake him up”
After some hesitation, the doctor said, “There are, but such strong drugs will only worsen his body’s condition.
Sir Zu’s condition is also very poor, so it might worsen his injuries.
There’s some danger to his life…”
“His majesty is currently waiting in the study.
Why don’t you explain that to him” Zhuxie Chixin gave him a cold look.
The physician shivered.
He immediately changed his tone.
“I’ll prepare the drug immediately.
Chief Commander, please wait a moment.”
He had only spoken those words out of his kindness as a doctor.
However, he couldn’t throw his life away because of a bit of kindness.
Kindness was the most worthless thing in this man-eating imperial palace.
Zu An cursed inwardly when he heard those words.
This Zhuxie Chixin calls me ‘sworn brother’ normally, and yet he doesn’t even hesitate to throw me under the bus as soon as something like this comes up!
Even though it was the emperor who had pressured him, it wasn’t as if he had no other choice.
However, Zhuxie Chixin had chosen the most brute force method.
Everyone in the capital claimed that Zhuxie Chixin was the emperor’s most loyal dog.
Indeed, that seemed to be the case.
Soon afterward, the physician carried over a bowl of medicine.
A servant had already propped Zu An up.
The physician poured the drug into his mouth.
However, when the drug entered Zu An’s body, it was surrounded by ki and slowly refined away.
That way, it didn’t harm his body.
A while later, Zu An coughed violently, pretending to wake up from the drug’s stimulation.
“Where… am I” Zu An began his performance, looking around him blankly.
Zhuxie Chixin’s cold expression was nowhere to be seen.
There was a huge smile on his face as he moved closer, replying, “Brother Zu, this is the imperial palace! How do you feel”
The guard and that physician looked straight down at the floor.
They didn’t utter a single thing.
Zu An sneered inwardly.
If not for the fact that he had been pretending to be unconscious, he might have really been deceived.
However, he also played along.
“My entire body hurts.
Also, I don’t know what’s going on, but my stomach feels as if it’s burning.”
The physician’s lips twitched.
However, he immediately stopped after Zhuxie Chixin shot him a fierce look.
Zhuxie Chixin said, “It might be the aftereffects of your wounds.
His majesty is waiting for you in his study.
How about we head over first Afterward, this big bro will find some spiritual medicine for you to nurse your body.”
Zu An forced out a smile.
“I’ll have to thank Chief Commander ahead of time then.” After saying that, he got out of bed.
However, he immediately staggered, as if he might fall at any time.
Zhuxie Chixin immediately supported him in alarm.
“You’re hurt too badly to walk properly.
Men, carry Sir Zu to the imperial study!”
“Won’t this be discourteous to the palace” Zu An asked, pretending to be worried.
You saved the crown prince and princess’ lives.
His majesty is incredibly happy right now, so why would he mind these details” Zhuxie Chixin replied with a hearty laugh.
Zu An cursed inwardly.
So you guys still remembered that I saved their lives! And yet you didn’t even hesitate to force me awake through drugs.
Do you even have any conscience
Soon afterward, the group brought Zu An to the imperial study.
After lowering his stretcher, even Zhuxie Chixin withdrew quietly.
Only Zu An and the emperor remained in the room.
“I greet… greet your majesty.” Zu An tottered as he tried to crawl to his feet.
However, he failed even after trying several times.
“You’re seriously wounded right now; there’s no need for excessive formalities.” Zhao Han’s expression was overcast.
He was more concerned with other things at the moment, so he obviously didn’t care much about these pretenses.
“Thank you, your majesty,” Zu An said ‘gratefully’.
At the same time, he secretly examined the other party.
The two of them had been at each other’s throats inside the dungeon.
In the past, the emperor’s image of unrivaled power had already been starting to grow weaker to Zu An.
Now, he already had the boldness and the right to face the emperor head-on.
Zhao Han frowned.
He didn’t really like how Zu An was looking at him.
For some reason, after the dungeon, he felt a subconscious dislike for Zu An.
But he just wrote that off as his poor mood over losing his split soul and didn’t pursue it further.
He cleared his throat and b, “I heard that you saved the crown prince and princess’ lives.”
“I was only doing what I could, but my skills were still lacking.
They still ended up being injured,” Zu An replied.
What happened in the dungeon Tell this emperor everything without skipping any details.” The emperor straightened his body on the dragon throne, his gaze scorching as he stared at Zu An.
Zu An thought to himself, Zhao Han probably just asked Bi Linglong this question.
Looks like Bi Linglong didn’t reveal any openings.
That girl is reliable in this aspect after all.
Now, we just have to make sure that our confessions match up.
He pretended to think for a moment, then slowly said, “When we entered the dungeon, we didn’t find the Jade Moon Serpent by Cold Jade Pond.
We were forced to head deeper into the mountains…”
He spoke about the Gu clan brothers’ betrayal, how Shi Tong had been mixed into their troop, and what had happened with the other young masters in full detail.
There was no need to hide any of those things.
Then, he talked about how after they had eliminated the Jade Moon Serpent, King Qi Manor’s experts had suddenly shown up.
Then, their group frantically ran for their lives.
Just then, the world began to break down…
Ninety percent of what he said was the truth.
The difference was that he had moved the appearance of Westhound Tomb up earlier.
That would then explain how they were able to escape from the pursuit of King Qi Manor’s master rank cultivators, as well as convince the emperor that Zhao Ruizhi hadn’t had to expose his split soul yet.
Then, he told the emperor about his various encounters in Westhound Tomb, saying he had used the world’s collapse to kill off those master rank cultivators.
He said that he had only managed to barely stay alive through the use of the Royal Academy’s Sacrificial Piece he had gotten from Hei Baizi, as well as the Last Breath Talisman he had gotten from Xie Daoyun.
The emperor nodded when he heard that.
Bi Linglong hadn’t talked about those details before, and things now made sense.
Otherwise, Zu An’s cultivation wouldn’t have been enough to stop the encirclement of so many of King Qi Manor’s experts.
Then, Zu An told the emperor that when they arrived on the final island, King Qi Manor’s remaining experts had caught up.
While Zu An’s group was left feeling despair, an ancient formation was activated in the dungeon.
A blood octopus monster came out and sucked all of King Qi Manor’s experts dry.
No matter how firm the emperor’s will was, his eyelids still couldn’t help but twitch when he heard that.
He asked, “And then”
The only thing he cared about was how his split soul had died.
Of course, all those who knew about the split soul had to die.
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