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Chapter 668: Aunt Ru, is it you?

    Kong Xi burst into tears as soon as he saw his grandmother. The woman was already over 50, but looked far older than her age. Her limbs weren't very spry, so someone had to support her while she walked. She didn't recognize Long Feiye or Han Yunxi, much less the Tang Clan head or the rest. But she was frightened to death upon seeing the room full of torture instruments.

    Quickly, she fell to her knees and cried to the crowd, "Your Excellency Clan Head, please have mercy! Have mercy! A'Xi couldn't have committed some crime? Spare him just once, this old body will pay you back for it! This old body will kowtow to you!"

    And she really did it, her head pounding loudly against the ground with each strike!

    "Grandma! Grandma, I'm here! I'm here!"

    "Grandma, I'm alright! You should just go back. Grandma, go back! I'll be home tomorrow! You go back first!" Kong Xi shouted between his sobs before finally throwing himself at Long Feiye's feet to kowtow and beg. "Your Highness Duke of Qin, please spare my grandma! She's innocent! She doesn't know a thing!"

    "Your Highness Duke of Qin, my grandma can't stand this kind of torment! Please let her go! I'll admit my crimes, I'll admit anything you want."

    When Long Feiye didn't respond, Kong Xi went to beg Han Yunxi next. "Esteemed wangfei, you're a generous person. I was the one who did the deed, it has nothing to do with my grandma! Can you bring her away?"

    "A'Xi, just what kind of crime did you commit? Speak! Do you want to anger your grandma to death? If grandma's gone, who will be left to save you?"

    If grandma's gone, who will be left to save you?

    Hearing this, Han Yunxi's heart suddenly lurched with grief. Does she really think she can save her grandson? So innocent... But the old woman was right. In this room, who else would love and protect this youth with half as much sincerity?

    "Someone come, take the old woman away!" Aunt Ru declared. "Feiye, he's already admitted to his guilt. Don't torment the old woman anymore. She's old and can't withstand such shocks."

    Unfortunately, there was still no one who dared to obey her commands. Aunt Ru simply went forward herself, but Long Feiye then spoke. "Did you forget the rules of the Tang Clan? Anyone who betrays it must be executed along with nine generations of his family!"

    Rather, these weren't the Tang Clan rules, but the laws of the East Qin Dynasty. It had been a long, long time since anyone had brought it up. Aunt Ru froze, her face turning as white as paper as she watched Grandma Kong kowtow again and again at His Highness Duke of Qin's feet.

    "Grandma, don't come over here!" Kong Xi threw himself at her, but his grandma shoved him aside. She had come to the mistaken assumption that Long Feiye was the Tang Clan head because he was sitting in the main seat.

    She moved herself forward with each kowtow and cried, "Your Excellency Clan Head, my Kong Clan has no one but this single boy left. If you want his life, please take this old body's first."

    "This old body doesn't know what kind of crime A'Xi's committed, but if you say he's done wrong, then he's done wrong! Whether it's a thousand or ten thousand mistakes, it's all this old body's fault for failing to instruct him properly. This old body...this old..." she suddenly burst into tears. "This old body is unworthy to his father and mother, ah!"

    Kong Xi sat on the side, crying nonstop. The old grandma suddenly raised her head and prepared to smash her head against the ground. Frightened by the sight, Kong Xi ran over and hugged her from behind, tears streaming down his face. "Don't! You can't!"

    "Grandma, I'm not guilty! A'Xi didn't do anything wrong! A'Xi isn't the traitor, I'm not!"

    "Sobsob, grandma! A'Xi was forced to admit guilt! A'Xi is unworthy to you."

    Everyone grew alarmed at the words. But Long Feiye had been waiting for them this whole time! He already had his suspicions when the youth stood out from the crowd. As he sat straight in his chair, he opened his mouth to speak when Kong Xi suddenly pulled out a small razor blade hidden by his shin and stabbed it into his heart. Everything happened so fast that even Long Feiye's flying dart wasn't enough to intercept him.

    Your Highness Duke of Qin, I beg you...please let go...of my grandma." Kong Xi finished speaking before falling back into his grandmother's lap, blood pouring from his chest.

    "Save him!" Han Yunxi shouted, pushing away the people blocking her way. She fed Kong Xi a pill to preserve his life, then started to stop the bleeding. But the stab wound was so deep that all she heard was his breathing getting weaker and weaker.

    "Child, hang in there! I'll definitely find you justice! Hold on!" Han Yunxi's hands were shaking from her panic. On some level, she knew the situation was hopeless. The weapon had not only hit his heart, but pierced in deep. But she didn't want to give up.

    Aunt Ru was the second to approach. She rested her fingers beneath the boy's nose to check for breathing before announcing that he was dead.

    "He's not breathing anymore. There's no need to save him," she said icily.

    Han Yunxi couldn't believe it, but the reality was lying right before her eyes. The old grandmother looked at the grandson in her lap with her mouth wide open. Her lip trembled as she tried to cry, but no tears came out. Such grief! She hugged the boy tightly and soon lost consciousness. All of the other prisoners watched with sympathetic expressions on their faces. Though their own lives were still in danger, they couldn't help feeling sorry for the child.

    Han Yunxi observed all of that as well!

    "Chu Xifeng!" Long Feiye raged. "Who was in charge of locking up the prisoners? How could such a large weapon remain hidden until now?"

    All suspects underwent a body search upon being taken into custody.

    "This subordinate searched them personally. I even paid special attention to this child, but he wasn't armed then," Chu Xifeng was certain. Long Feiye never had to worrry about his work, but everyone had seen the child take the knife from his leg just then.

    "Then the person who forced him to confess to his crimes must have slipped it to him!" Han Yunxi declared coldly. The truth couldn't be more obvious. Kong Xi was no traitor, but the true traitor had bribed him onto his side to put on an act and take the blame!

    If Long Feiye hadn't been smart enough to summon Kong Xi's grandmother, no one might have found out the scheme. If he hadn't been hard-hearted enough to keep the old woman here, Kong Xi might not have admitted to anything!

    Kong Xi had told Long Feiye to take care of his grandma before he died, proof enough that someone had threatened the old woman's life to keep him in check. He chose suicide instead of revealing the true culprit, most likely because he dread something else that the person still held over him.

    Tang Zijin grew apprehensive. "Make a thorough investigation! Anyone who's had contact with Kong Xi over the past few days should be brought to this room!"

    "That's right! Don't leave out a single person!" Aunt Ru chimed in, filled with indignation.

    Han Yunxi only looked at her and said coldly, "This child can't die as a victim of injustice! Nor should all the others who were interrogated before him have suffered the torture in vain! Once we find the traitor, we'll make them pay it back a thousand times!"

    Aunt Ru immediately averted her eyes, but Han Yunxi kept pressing. "Don't you agree, Aunt Ru?"

    "Of course," Aunt Ru replied instantly. "Big brother, sister-in-law, we have to investigate this to the end. We need to give a full explanation to Grandmother Kong and the innocent disciples!"

    Tang Zijin was too angry to speak. Nothing like this had ever happened since he took control of the Tang Clan. Lady Tang only looked at the old woman with pity. "Someone come, hurry and bring Grandmother Kong back. Take good care of her!"

    She gave a helpless sigh. "And have someone arrange for a proper burial of this child."

    A young life had ended just like that. Han Yunxi only felt constricted in her chest. She wanted to say something else, but stopped when Long Feiye shot her a glance. He himself simply left Chu Xifeng behind to assist Aunt Ru while he left with Han Yunxi. As soon as they left, Tang Zijin called Aunt Ru away on a pretext of some other business. Aunt Ru was silent the entire way, while Tang Zijin tried and failed to speak up. Finally, he shut them in his study before he was able to speak.

    He got straight to the point. "Yiru, was it you?"

    Aunt Ru only looked at him in confusion. "Big brother, what are you saying?"

    "Was it you who told Duanmu Yao the location of the Yaoshui estate?" Tang Zijin asked sternly.

    Like Han Yunxi had said, the traitor didn't reveal the relationship between the Tang Clan and the Duke of Qin's estate, only the location of the Yaoshui estate. He or she simply wanted Duanmu Yao to find trouble for Long Feiye. Aside from Aunt Ru, who else would do such a thing? All day long the woman was thinking of ways to tear Long Feiye and Han Yunxi apart. Duanmu Yao was the perfect 'third party' in their relationship!

    Aunt Ru shook her head, so Tang Zijin pressed closer with a cold voice. "There's nobody here but you and me. You still won't talk? How am I supposed to protect you, then?"

    "I....what am I supposed to say, ah?!" Aunt Ru grew incensed.

    "You know exactly what!" Tang Zijin was furious.

    "Big brother, you suspect me? You think I'm the traitor? I...betrayed the Tang Clan?" Aunt Ru rtorted.

    "This has nothing to do with betraying the Tang Clan. Just tell me if you were the one who revealed the location of the estate," Tang Zijin said seriously.

    "It wasn't me!" Aunt Ru replied without hesitation.

    "If it wasn't you, then who was it?" Tang Zijin asked next.

    "I...how should I know? You're asking me, but who am I supposed to ask?" Aunt Ru looked at Tang Zijin with an aggrieved air. "Big brother, why are you suspecting me? I...I might as well stop living!"

    Tang Zijin exhaled before finally taking a seat. He merely suspected Aunt Ru but had no proof. Asking her like this was simply probing for answers at most. Aunt Ru was truly suspicious, but she wouldn't resort to something as abominable as blackmailing fellow Tang Clan disciples to hide her crime. All of his questions had led to naught. What if it really wasn't her?

    Then who was it?

    "Big brother, you still suspect me?" Aunt Ru asked again.

    "Then who do you think it is?" Tang Zijin relented.

    "If I know, would something like this be happening now?" Aunt Ru demanded indignantly.

    "Fine, fine, I'm only joking," Tang Zijin explained.

    "Joking? You're using my reputation for a joke?" Aunt Ru refused to let him off, as was her habit. Tang Zijin only found it less likely that he was the suspect.

    "Hurry up and find the traitor. This is no small matter," Tang Zijin added.

    Aunt Ru silently exhaled. "I know! I'm more anxious than you! If I can't find them, perhaps Feiye will start suspecting me tomorrow! I'll go to the Three-Way Black Market tomorrow and investigate to see whether Duanmu Yao really sent out a message there!"

    Tang Zijin only knitted his brows and dismissed her with a distracted air. Even Tang Li's wedding affairs weren't so troublesome!

    Meanwhile, Long Feiye was deep in discussion with Han Yunxi.

    "It has to be her, no doubt! I'm willing to bet on it!" Han Yunxi was enraged. "Such a young boy can't die uncleared of false charges! If she has the skills, she should just aim for me directly. What's it worth, playing at things behind the scenes?"

    Long Feiye rested his hands on her shoulders while she fumed. Before she could speak again, he pressed a hand over his lips. "I have a plan. Do you want to hear it?"

    Han Yunxi nodded instantly. Of course! In any case, she was out of ideas to find conclusive evidence.

    
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