The banquet came to a close at the hour of the pig (9-11PM in the 12 earthly branches system). Qin Lei lead more than thirty Imperial Guards to escort Qin Yin and Tang Xiao Xi back to their estates. Feng Ji Xing drunkenly picked up his sword then hauled himself up his warhorse. He turned around to look at Lin Mu Yu, smiled and asked, " Ah Yu, you had so much to drink, can you still ride a horse?"
Lin Mu Yu was holding the reins in his hands, his helmet tucked snugly against his armpit. He smiled as he replied. "I can manage. Elder Brother Feng, you should worry about yourself, can you really ride home like that?"
Feng Ji Xing could not help but laugh. "This is fine, Lanyan City is Feng Ji Xing’s home. If one were to get lost in his own house, it is fine. If I really pass out, my brothers will find me and carry me back home.”
Qi Lei burped, his hand still held a wine jug. He called out, “Imperial Guards, to your horses!”
The lantern lights underneath the Rainsong Manor were very dim. Lin Mu Yu could not make out Qin Yin and Tang Xiao Xi’s faces and could only see two beautiful figures mount their horses. He asked, “Your Highness, Xiao Xi, should I escort you back before returning to the Temple? Elder Brother Qin Lei has had so much to drink…”
Qin Yin smiled faintly under the dim starlight. "Ah Yu, you’ve also had too much to drink. Go home and rest. Don’t worry, Lanyan City is the Imperial Capital and there are dozens of fine Imperial Guards behind me. Nobody can harm me and Xiao Xi will also be under my protection. Quickly return to the Temple. It's already dark. Watch out for wolves hiding in the shadows."
“Alright.” Lin Mu Yu knew that Qin Yin was referring to Zeng Fang, who was itching to dismember him. He whipped his horse forward and smiled in reply, “Then, until we meet again!”
Tang Xiao Xi replied with drooping eyes, "Bye, Mu Mu!"
Qin Yin suddenly thought of something as she watched Lin Mu Yu’s retreating back. She loudly called out, “Ah Yu, remember to join the Swordsmanship Tournament! If you win, my Emperor Father and I will attend your award ceremony!”
The dark night was tranquil and cold. She didn't know whether or not she was heard.
An Imperial Guard holding onto the reins of Qin Yin’s horse said, "Your Highness, shall we return to Ze Tian Palace? That man has already gone far....."
Qin Yin’s eyes were looking far into the distance. She took her eyes away blinking then smiled. “Alright. But let us first escort Xiao Xi to the Seven Seas Duke’s estate before returning to Ze Tian Palace. Let’s go!”
After Lin Mu Yu and Chu Huai Sheng escorted Chu Yao back to the Alchemist Division he made his way back to the temple. The two guards on duty were in awe upon seeing him in his imposing attire, riding atop the horse like a proper Imperial soldier. They immediately greeted him with the military salute. “Honored Lin Zhi, you are back!?”
Lin Mu Yu nodded and leisurely entered the Temple grounds.
He was walking through the long corridor, and as he approached the entrance to the stables, a figure suddenly ran towards him. Lin Mu Yu could barely make out his face under the torchlight, it was Zhang Wei.
"Master Zhang Wei, what is it?" Lin Mu Yu asked.
Zhang Wei looked pensively towards the guards in the surrounding area, said in a low voice, "Master Lin Zhi, there is something I must tell you, but....here is not a place to talk, come with me!"
Lin Mu Yu dismounted to walk side by side with Zhang Wei to the training hall, he then said, "Now you can tell me what is it about?"
Zhang Wei spoke while gnashing his teeth. "Brother, do you still remember Little Beansprout?"
"Yes, of course I remember. Little Beansprout died by the sword of Ou Yang Qiu. I'Il remember it for the rest of my life!"
"The death of Little Beansprout only exchanged for 500 gold coins, but these 500 gold coins still have not reached the hands of his parents."
"What? "Lin Mu Yu trembled, eyes opened wide and stared at Zhang Wei. "What happened?"
Zhang Wei took a deep breath, looked quite angry and said, "The home of Little Beansprout is in Sunset Village just outside of Lanyan city. Both his parents are healthy and alive, but....This morning, I was ordered along with other Temple horsemen to travel to buy winter coats. When we passed Sunset Village, we saw the parents of Little Beansprout die at the hands of someone, and the 500 gold coins were nowhere to be found."
Lin Mu Yu had a shortness of breath since his drunken nausea had yet to pass, his face reddened as he said, "Was it the work of Zeng Fang and Ou Yang Qiu?"
Zhang Wei sighed. "It is likely....we have already offended Shen Hou Fu, Zeng Fang killing the parents of Little Beansprout to vent his anger was a possibility. If not for my negligence, the old couple could have escaped.
"No, I am to blame." Lin Mu Yu clenched his fist while in pain.
Zhang Wei looked thoughtfully into his eyes. "Master Lin Zhi, the parents of Little Beansprout were unjustly killed, right? Even if we cannot avenge the death of Little Beansprout, we can still avenge his parents’ murders."
Lin Mu Yu gently nodded. "Who is investigating the case?"
"The Firebird Division“
Zhang Wei said lightly, “The Firebird Division manages all the murders within the scope of Lanyan city, but the The Firebird Division belongs to the Ministry of Justice, and the current minister is a frequent visitor of the God Marquis’ estate. If the marquisate presses hard enough, the Firebird Division cannot do anything about the trial. I have also received information that Firebird Division investigators have already confirmed that the parents of Little Beansprout died at the hands of bandits, and that refusing to hand over the 500 gold coins cost them their lives."
Zhang Wei punched the wall in before continuing, "They died by a sword piercing through their throat, most likely the throat was already shattered by the sword. Only a few people in Lanyan City have such a sword technique, if it was not Ou Yang Qiu then who else?!"
Lin Mu Yu nodded . "I understand. Let's go meet with Grandmaster Lei Hong!"
The two of them lead their horses straight to residence of Lei Hong. After hearing the knocking from his door, Lei Hong moved to quickly open it with a smile. "Ah Yu, Zhang Wei, you two...Oh dear...you should not meddle in things that don’t concern you. This world has so many injustices, are you intending to right them all?"
Obviously, Lei Hong knew the truth of what happened to Little Beansprout, he would understand this case better than anyone else.
Lin Mu Yu said with respect, "Grandpa Lei Hong, this is the Temple of the Empire. If even the Temple tolerates indiscriminate killings, then what is the meaning of this Temple, do we still consider ourselves as martial spirit cultivators of the Empire? Do we not learn martial arts to protect the Empire and fight for the weak?”
Lei Hong was too shocked for words. "Ah Yu, these words.... no one would dare speak to that way."
Lin Mu Yu’s gaze was unyielding. "Grandpa Lei Hong, you are the grandmaster of the Temple, whether you like it or not, you carry this burden else you are not worthy of being the Grandmaster!"
Lei Hong’s eyes widened to the size of beads and eventually shook his head in defeat. "You little brat, I really can’t deal with you. Why did that old Qu Chu accept such a stubborn disciple? Fine, in honor of Qu Chu, mount your horses, we are going to the Firebird Division!"
"Thank you Grandpa Lei Hong!"
Zhang Wei also said with joy, "Thank you, Grandmaster!"
Located to the right of the Ministry of Justice, lies a building entirely for the Empires Firebird Division. In the gathering hall of Firebird Division, there is likeness of a soaring fire finch from the heavens, it’s head postured proudly, vivid and life-like. Eight armed guards were stationed outside the hall, their shadows danced imposingly in the torch light.
Several hoofbeats sound as Lei Hong, Lin Mu Yu, Zhang Wei come to a stop in front of Huo Qiao Si.
"Who goes there?" a guard challenged.
Lei Hong pulled back the hood covering his face.
"The Grandmaster of the Temple!" the guards knelt respectfully. The difference in their ranks were too great. Lei Hong is not only the Grandmaster, he is also one of the six White-Robed Imperial Guards, and one who has the qualifications to request an audience with the Emperor. He is a man whom mere guards cannot afford to offend.
"What troubles the Grandmaster that he needs to rush to the Firebird Division so late at night?"
"I want to see the head of Firebird Division, Lord Zheng Gu!"
"Lord Zheng Gu is already asleep."
"Please inform him that I want to see him."
Not much time passed before the guards returned. "Grandmaster, please come in!"
The guards led the group to the main hall of the Firebird Division. Attendants lit lanterns that illuminated the hall, a man dressed in civilian clothing rushed to greet the party, bowing lowly he said, "Your subordinate Zheng Gu greets Grandmaster Lei Hong! "
Lei Hong bid him to stand and jovially said, "Lord Zheng Gu, you needn’t be that polite, get up get up."
"For the Grandmaster to visit, what noble errand brings you here?"
"Ah Yu, do you wish to be the one to say it?"
"Yes!" Lin Mu Yu cupped a fist in his other hand as he told of his suspicions about the deaths of of Little Beansprout’s parents.
After listening, Zheng Gu’s face looked grim. "This case has already been settled. If we were to re-open it, won’t it be offensive? Grandmaster, I...."
Lei Hong lightly said, "Lord Zeng Gu, the Firebird Division is in charge enforcing the law in the Empire. If you were witness and injustice, would you let it be?"
Zheng Gu took a deep breath. "This matter has some significant connections.... I'm afraid I......"
Lei Hong waved a hand to interrupt. "Don't say anymore. Write an order, now, granting Lin Zhi and Zhang Wei the power to thoroughly investigate the case. This case implicates someone in the Temple and is a matter we must clear up, I am compelled to interfere."
Zheng Gu nodded before replying with clenched teeth. "Yes....but if the God Marquis were to look into it....."
Lei Hong laughed, patting him on the shoulder. "Do not worry, if the God Marquis looks into it, I Lei Hong will bear full responsibility."
"Many thanks. I'll do as you say!"
Deep into the night, wearing Temple robes, Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei rode their horses towards the outskirts of the city, neither of them spoke. They only had one purpose, to punish and purge the evil from the Temple and Lanyan City, not allowing Zeng Fang to hide the sky in one hand.
TL: Hide the sky on one hand means to hide the truth from the masses.
Lei Hong looked at their retreating figures, thinking that he himself might be called into question for supporting them. Being a grandmaster for so many years, he had kept a low profile and played it safe. But now, something like this happened, Lei Hong himself was surprised by his own actions. But he was in high spirits. He saw in Lin Mu Yu the unbending and unyielding drive he had in his earlier years, but as time passed, his edge had dulled. Now, looking at Lin Mu Yu, he couldn’t help but reminisce.
He sighed heavily, suddenly at peace. Thinking that this child is like a dawn that will light up darkness hovering over the Empire.
Translated by: shogun
Edited by: seriouspotato