Sunset Village, in the silence of the night the villagers lay sleeping as they remained deaf to the sound of hoof falls.
Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei traveled northwest towards Sunset Village’s Firebird Division branch. Rather than calling it a branch, it would be more apt to call it an outpost—consisting of a small courtyard with only two government officials supervising the entire village. The corpse of Little Beansprout’s parents should be located there.
"Who is it?"
A man, eyes still hazy, answered the door. Seeing Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei wearing armor possessing the gold and silver stars from the Temple surprised the official. He quickly paid his respects. "Masters from the Temple, may I ask why you have come at such an hour to the Firebird Division. Is something the matter?"
Lin Mu Yu nodded and presented a document stating their business. "We are here to collect the bodies of the parents of Little Beansprout."
When Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei saw the bodies, their hearts clenched in agony. There was a bloody hole right through both necks, it was difficult to distinguish bone from flesh. The heads lolled to the side, almost completely severed from the rest of the body.
“This is indeed the killing technique Ou Yang Qiu favors.”
Zhang Wei gently covered the corpses with a white cloth. “Ou Yang Qiu has the ability to shatter the body. The damage is exactly the same as Little Beansprout’s death.”
“We have material evidence, but no one to testify.” Lin Mu Yu said at length, ”We must find a witness to fully condemn Ou Yang Qiu. Otherwise, we cannot prove that he killed the old couple. Let’s wait for morning and ask the villagers.”
Early next day, they began interrogating the villagers one by one. In the end, they came upon a mute girl. She immediately went into hysterics the moment she laid eyes on Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei. Lin Mu Yu quickly approached and gripped her shoulder saying, “Lady, don’t be scared. We are not bad people, don’t be scared….”
The girl stared frightfully at the gold star on Lin Mu Yu’s collar, shaking her head in alarm and The Firebird Division official who accompanied them said, “Sir, this girl is deaf and mute, a lunatic. You will not get any answers from her.
“Is that so?”
Lin Mu Yu smiled coldly when he saw what was clutched in the girl’s outstretched hand. The image of a sword over a gold star from the temple!
Zhang Wei snatched it from her. “Lady, did this come from the killer?”
She nodded, but dared not look at Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei.
“It was definitely Ou Yang Qiu!”
Zhang Wei flipped the emblem over. “Lin Zhi look, the name Ou Yang Qiu is carved at the back. He must have dropped it unintentionally. That son of a bitch, it was indeed him who killed the parents of Little Beansprout!”
Lin Mu Yu gnashed his teeth together. “We will head back to Lanyan City together with the bodies of Little Beansprout’s parents as well as this girl.There is no saving Ou Yang Qiu this time!”
It was noon when they reached the Temple to present all the evidence to master Ge Yang.
As morning training had just come to a close, the trainers and instructors left the hall in order to gather for a meeting, among them were Zeng Fang and Ou Yang Qiu.
Lei Hong gave a cold stare to each individual. “If an instructor were to mistakenly kill their sparring partner, they need not compensate the death with their own life. But…. What if an instructor were to intentionally murder multiple innocents, isn’t it a given that we should act according to the law?”
“Grandmaster, where are you going with this?” Zeng Fang asked.
Lei Hong’s tone lacked anger but was full of authority. “Ou Yang Qiu, kneel down!”
Ou Yang Qiu immediately complied saying, “Grandmaster, what sin did I commit?”
Lin Mu Yu pulled out a gold star emblem from his pocket and turned to Ou Yang Qiu, “When you killed the parents of Little Beansprout, you left this in the underbrush.”
Ou Yang Qiu face suddenly paled. “Lin Zhi, don’t accuse something I didn’t do!”
Lei Hong interjected firmly. “The people from the Firebird Division will arrive shortly. They will handle this case accordingly. Do not worry, if you are guilty, I will deal with you myself in order for the Temple to keep face. If you didn’t kill them, then you will not be judged unfairly.”
“Lin Zhi, darn you, you just want me dead!” Ou Yang Qiu was filled with nothing but resentment.
Lin Mu Yu did not speak and just gave him a cold stare.
Zeng Fang was staring at Lin Mu Yu and Zhang Wei coldly, unable to contain an outburst. ”It must be great to be so important, interfering in even the Firebird Division’s business. Is our Temple so overpopulated that we slate someone for death after hearing unjust accusations? Ou Yang Qiu is one of God Marquis’ men, I’d like to see the Firebird Division try anything !”
Lei Hong answered coldly: “Young Marquis Zeng Fang, if you continue on this course, it will be your own undoing!”
Zeng Fang raised his eyebrows in arrogance. “Lei Hong, don’t think that being a member of the White-Robed Imperial Guard makes you invincible. If you dare to touch Ou Yang Qiu, I will make sure you all will regret it!”
“Is that so? Then let us wait and see.“ Lei Hong laughed.
Not long after, the Firebird Division arrived, bringing ten people, Zheng Gu included. In a matter of time, they confirmed the crime and collected the witness testimony. Zheng Gu gave the sentence. ”According to law, Ou Yang Qiu is to be executed.”
Ou Yang Qiu shivered and immediately turned to Zeng Fang, “Young Marquis, help me……”
Zeng Fang stepped forward, he held out a gold medal saying, “Wait, Ou Yang Qiu is a member of God Marquisate, one of the noble families. I will guarantee his life using the God Marquis family crest, no one dare harm Ou Yang Qiu!”
Zheng Gu startled and looked to Lei Hong for assistance.
Lei Hong only stroked his beard, revealing a small smile. “Using the marquisate to secure his life is indisputable, but the Temple has its rules. Ou Yang Qiu committed a sin, and so he must face a trial. What say you, young marquis? I bear witness myself.”
“Trial…” Zeng Fang contemplated.
A trial would entail a duel; a fight to the death. If one is wronged, he has the right to challenge the one who caused it to a duel to settle the argument. This is an unwritten rule implemented by the Empire in order to prevent vendettas.
Ou Yang Qiu clung to that sliver of hope and still had it in him to sneer. “Little Beansprout is already dead. Who will challenge me on his behalf?”
In the entire Temple, the sword technique of Ou Yang Qiu had little competition and those who are able to match him number in few. As Little Beansprout was only a copper rank trainer, he did not have to influence to merit a fight to the death with Ou Yang Qiu.
This was when Lin Mu Yu chose to step up. “If there is to be a duel, then I will challenge master Ou Yang Qiu. Little Beansprout is my friend, in this battle, I will earn back the Temple’s respect on his behalf!”
Ou Yang Qiu could not contain his laughter. “You are just third rate trainer from the outskirts, a budding talent with no name for himself. Do you actually think you can beat me?”
Lin Mu Yu smiled confidently. “We’ll need to fight first before we know the outcome.”
Ou Yang Qiu’s eyes only bore coldness. “If you lose, I will not hesitate to gouge your heart out and feed it to dogs. And I always keep my word.”
Lin Mu Yu responded in kind. “I will not hesitate to kill you also, to honor Little Beansprout and his parents, else I’m not worthy to be called his friend!”
Lei Hong smiled faintly at the exchange. “In ten minutes, the duel will commence in the main hall. I and the Firebird Division head, Zheng Gu will act as witnesses!”
Zeng Gu nodded. “I am at your disposal!”
Lin Zhi, you’ve gone mad!”
Qin Zi Ling gnashed his teeth together. “Ou Yang Qiu has already perfected his sword technique. Even if your defense is remarkable, you are still no match for him. And Ou Yang Qiu already desires your death, if you are defeated, there is no saving you. The rules of this does not allow anyone to interfere, even the grandmaster cannot help you.”
“Don’t worry Zi Ling.”
Lin Mu Yu clapped his shoulder reassuringly. “If I didn’t have the confidence to win, I would not have challenged him.”
“Okay. I hope you can avenge Little Beansprout!”
When people started to gather, a group of trainers became indignant upon finding out the truth. Little Beansprout’s situation was much the same as theirs; the strong devouring the weak. They feared for their own sakes, and so one by one they cheered for Lin Mu Yu.
“Lin Zhi, go and defeat him! Kill that scum of an instructor!”
“Lin Zhi, take revenge for our fellow trainer!”
“Don’t lose, Lin Zhi!”
Lin Mu Yu had unknowingly become the beacon of hope for the trainers in the Temple. Lei Hong sighed at the spectacle. For the Temple to need hope was because there was power imbalance between the instructors and trainers. How was the Temple to prosper this way?
Ou Yang Qiu was busy preparing, sharpening his sword on a red whetstone which are known to be the best grindstones in the entire empire. The sharp sound of blade against stone is like provocation to the rival but with Lin Mu Yu’s willpower he was unaffected.
“Duel start! “ master Ge Yang announced.
Ou Yang Qiu stood at the center of the hall, boots stomping loudly on the brick floor. As he was psyching himself up, he threw a contemptuous smile towards his opponent. “Lin Zhi, you asked for this, now die!”
Lin Mu Yu walked to the center of the hall with deliberate steps. About 10 meters from the center, he took in air as his body filled with energy yet he did not summon any protective shells, his signature Verdant Shell technique.
“Has Lin Zhi given up on defense, is he crazy?” one of the instructors commented.
Zhang Wei’s brows furrowed.
“You are inviting death!”
Full of vindication, Ou Yang Qiu gathered up battle energy, palms spread out to guide the force towards Lin Mu Yu. Moving towards it’s target, the force energy sped forward with devastating force, ensuring a crushing blow the moment it hit.
Lin Mu Yu used the opportunity to raise his left palm and unleashed the wind element energy he had been storing. this was the power of wind sword style, The Destructive Gale. Although this could not defeat the attack of Ou Yang Qiu, it can greatly slow down the blow.
With his right palm, purple thunder and lightning surged out, and he slashed Prairie Fire at Ou Yang Qiu. The attack came so fast that the entire audience was stunned, no one has ever seen an attack with such speed and momentum!
Thunder and lightning shot out from the sword with an overwhelming force. This had been the reason why Lin Mu Yu had forsaken his defense; he had concentrated all his power on offense to deliver a decisive blow! Prairie Fire ripped through Ou Yang Qiu’s armor, just in time for the lightning to wreak havoc.
Ouyang Qiu tried to repel it, but his long sword was shattered by the sharp blades of Prairie Fire, piercing through it, driving the opponent to the walls of the makeshift arena.
Ou Yang Qiu froze in disbelief, looking down at his chest where the armor was shattered and the heart burned to a crisp. His mind came up blank.
Translated by: shogun
Edited by: seriouspotato