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Chapter 73: Liu Family

    Chapter 73: Liu Family

    Translator: CKtalon  Editor: CKtalon

    The County Governor Manor's dungeon wasn't large. With six hundred personal guards in charge of protecting the county governor, there were very few people left to man the dungeons. The dungeon was rather small so the people imprisoned in the dungeon were either servants that had committed crimes in County Governor Manor or mortals that had been specifically captured by the county governor. Those who committed truly heinous crimes would be imprisoned in the massive dungeons of the Six Fans Gate.

    At that moment, a prisoner in County Governor Manor's dungeon received a visitor.

    The middle-aged man was tied to a wooden frame. His clothes were tattered and one could see the lashes across his body through the holes. He hung his head low and was gasping for his breath.

    "Lord." The tormentors in the dungeon immediately bowed.

    "Patriarch Liu, I have been too busy. I had to meet figures from all around Grand Dominance and could only spare time to see you just now." County Governor Gongye said with a smile as he walked over.

    When the middle-aged man heard the voice, he looked up and saw Gongye walking towards him. He immediately said with a hoarse voice, "Lord County Governor, Lord County Governor! I am willing to serve you faithfully. Please spare my Liu family."

    Previously, the Liu family was considered one of the top three family clans in Grand Dominance County. But in fact, the Liu family had the weakest foundation among the three family clans! The Liu family had worked for the previous county governor, County Governor Wen, but lacked actual strength and a robust foundation. Now that County Governor Wen had been promoted, the Liu family no longer had a backer in Grand Dominance County.

    "Before Lord County Governor arrived in Grand Dominance, I sent people to offer great gifts to you. Lord County Governor, if there's anything you want my Liu family to do, feel free to instruct us," said the middle-aged man hurriedly.

    "Didn't I already tell you exactly what I want from the Liu family?" Gongye said.

    The middle-aged man immediately uttered, "But... but..."

    "Didn't someone tell you?" Gongye nodded slightly. "Then, this crime your Liu family suffered has been for nothing! Let me tell you once again. It's very simple. Your Liu family is to hand over three hundred thousand taels of silver. You can use your stores and houses as collateral too. Once there's three hundred thousand gathered, the slate of your Liu family will be wiped clean. The matter will not be pursued any further. If you don't, no one from your Liu family will survive."

    "Three hundred thousand taels of silver. How could my Liu family have that much?" Patriarch Liu's face was covered in tears. "Lord County Governor, feel free to investigate. In the past, my Liu family worked for County Governor Wen and gave him large amounts of silver. There wasn't much left. Even if we include the shops and houses, it would barely add up to a hundred thousand taels of silver."

    "I suppose you do not want to live any longer." Gongye nodded slightly. "However, did you know that there are two ways of dying? One way is to die a clean and painless death. The other is to be tortured for half a month, suffering excruciating pain before dying. Hehe, Patriarch Liu, you have only sampled a few of the tortures this dungeon is capable of. The true tortures have not been used yet."

    "I really don't have that much," Patriarch Liu pleaded.

    "Let Patriarch Liu experience the tortures of the dungeon. Let him experience them for three days. He is only allowed to die after three days!" County Governor Gongye instructed indifferently. "When that time comes, the entire Liu family will accompany him in death."

    "Yes." The tormentor replied respectfully.

    "Gongye Bing! You act with utter disregard for human life. Seeing you treat my Liu family in this way, who would dare work for you?" Patriarch Liu's face was hideous. "Who would trust you?"

    "Trust? No, all I want is for them to fear me," Gongye scoffed. "As for working for me? There are numerous people throughout the world who are willing to work for me."

    Patriarch Liu howled, "I might be unable to do a thing to you, but there will be retribution. Mark my words!"

    "Retribution?"

    County Governor Gongye sneered before walking out.

    ...

    In a particular compound in East Sea County.

    The fat Liu Qi was pacing around the yard, his figure illuminated by a dim lantern by the side.

    "Qi'er." A woman walked out of the house. "Is there any news from Grand Dominance?"

    "Mother, there isn't any," Liu Qi said immediately.

    Just as his voice faded, the door opened as a young page rushed in with a letter in hand. "Young Master, Young Master. There's a letter. A letter!"

    Liu Qi quickly received it. When he opened the letter, the color in his face drained immediately.

    "What happened?" His mother asked.

    "Father and the rest have been captured." Liu Qi's voice was trembling. "A group of unknown experts apprehended the Liu family. If it's as we suspected, it was done by the new county governor."

    Patriarch Liu was very meticulous.

    He had learned of the reputation of the new county governor, Gongye Bing. He knew Gongye did things in a domineering fashion, so he sent the sons and grandsons of the Liu family out of Grand Dominance. They were sent to three places. Direct descendants like Liu Qi had brought more than a hundred thousand taels of silver with them. Even his principal wife and company had followed Liu Qi to Jiang Prefecture's biggest county, East Sea County! Here, no matter how influential Gongye was, he could not touch them.

    From there, the Liu family was split into three branches.

    Firstly, Patriarch Liu was old so leaving his hometown was difficult for him. Secondly, many stores, restaurants, and houses could not be immediately liquidated. Hence, he and a tiny number of Liu family members had stayed behind in Grand Dominance, believing that the county governor would not engage in ugly acts of transgression in consideration of his status.

    However, he never expected Gongye to be so ruthless. Even offering up all that was left in Grand Dominance was insufficient to make up the three hundred thousand taels of silver... To have that much, the silver given to the three branches had to be taken back to barely make up the number.

    "Husband." The woman immediately slumped to the ground.

    "Mother. Mother." Liu Qi immediately hugged his mother and fell into a panic.

    At that moment, Liu Qi remembered the day his father exhorted him.

    "Qi'er, our Liu family doesn't have stable foundations. We were only able to grow our estate because of County Governor Wen. He was rather benevolent, but it's hard to tell how the new county governor would be. With a weak foundation, the Liu family can collapse at any time. We cannot pin our hopes on the new county governor. You are the eldest son of my line. The number of people accompanying you to East Sea County is the highest. In the future, you will have to count on yourself," Patriarch Liu said.

    "Father, leave with us."

    "I have been in Grand Dominance for so many years. I do not wish to leave. If the new county governor demands money, the Grand Dominance Liu family will give him all we have. If he demands my life? That would sully his reputation. It won't happen," Patriarch Liu said, "No matter what happens to the Grand Dominance Liu family in the future, you and your lineage should never come back. From this day forward, you are the East Sea Liu family."

    "I understand."

    When he recalled that scene with the letter in his hands, Liu Qi understood that the new county governor was a lot more terrifying than originally expected. Before he arrived in Grand Dominance, he had sent people to apprehend the Liu family.

    In the future, his father would no longer be there for him to rely on! The East Sea Liu family would depend on him. He had his mother, his younger siblings, and many Liu followers that now relied on him.

    Liu Qi suddenly found the weight on his shoulders very heavy.

    "Gongye Bing." Liu Qi felt aggrieved and furious but he also felt extremely helpless.

    ******

    On Nine Mountain Island.

    Nine Mountain Island Lord sat in the main hall as his eyes flickered with pangs of anger.

    "My junior brother is no longer wet behind the ears to ignore me in such a manner." Nine Mountain Island Lord grunted softly. He knew that he could not do a thing to his junior brother. On the surface, his junior brother was at the Connate False Core realm, but in order to infiltrate the imperial government, he had masked his strength! His true strength had long reached the Connate True Core realm. Due to the mystic arts that he cultivated in, he was able to completely conceal it.

    Thus, Gongye was confident enough to enter the humans' imperial government and was unafraid of being discovered. After all, if it became known that he cultivated in Dharma arts used by fiendish demons, the imperial government would definitely kill him.

    With such strength and the imperial government's force backing Gongye, Nine Mountain Island Lord could not do a thing. As for taking action himself? Perhaps, but Cloudfiend Mountain would be angered! After all, Gongye Bing was an important chess piece that the Cloudfiend Mountain had placed in the imperial government.

    Therefore, despite being a great demon at the Connate Golden Core realm, he was helpless against his junior brother.

    "Master," Azure Ox came in and said respectfully. "What matter requires you summoning me?"

    "Find your fifth junior brother." Nine Mountain Island Lord instructed. "He is at the Connate True Core realm and is adept at flying arts. Now that Charm Essence and Red Jade have left Grand Dominance, have your fifth junior brother infiltrate Qin Manor and kill Qin Yun to snatch the treasures. With his flying arts, he can escape at any time. The officials would not be able to pose a threat to him."

    "Fifth Junior Brother might not be agreeable to that," Azure Ox said.

    "Tell him that if he can obtain the heart blood of the children, the upper volume of the 'Sky Demon Mystic Volumes' will be given to him," said Nine Mountain Island Lord.

    Azure Ox hesitated for a moment and nodded. "Yes."

    The Sky Demon Mystic Volumes were one of the top heritage of fiendish demons, of which Nine Mountain Island Lord only had the upper volume. Azure Ox was willing to work so hard for so long because he was the only one who had received the upper volume among all the disciples.

    Now, it was being offered to his fifth junior brother.

    It was obvious how much the Nine Mountain Island Lord wanted the children's heart blood. The main reason was that finding that much blood was difficult with Water God dead.

    ...

    Night.

    Qin Manor.

    Qin Yun and his father, Qin Liehu, were chatting while having tea.

    "The county governor invited many people to tonight's banquet but you didn't see the Liu family, right?" Qin Liehu asked.

    "I didn't." Qin Yun nodded. Some time ago, he had taught the Liu family's Liu Qi a lesson at Swallow Phoenix Brothel.

    "As a silver-badge constable of the Six Fans Gate, I know many people. I heard news that... the Liu family has been apprehended and imprisoned in the County Governor Manor's dungeons." Qin Liehu shook his head. "This new county governor of ours sure is ruthless. He's a lot more ruthless than County Governor Wen."

    Qin Yun was astonished. "The county governor just arrived in Grand Dominance today and he already had the Liu family apprehended?"

    "The Liu family was caught before he even arrived," said Qin Liehu.
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