Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Lu Fan was seated in his wheelchair, and he looked young and elegant, and his smile was full of warmth.
But to Liu Ye and Zhu Yishan, this smile was vicious and full of malice.
The crippled Young Master of the Lu family, who almost never left the house…
How could he be this terrifying?
"Young… Young Master Lu." Liu Ye forced a smile, which was worse than if he had just cried instead.
Zhu Yishan opened his mouth to say something. He wanted to say which family he was from, but given the situation, it was pointless to, and he might even… be killed sooner for mentioning it.
But Chen Beixun was still confidently seated upright as he sat cross-legged on the straw on the floor of the jail cell, and was resting with his eyes closed.
Even if Lu Fan was going to kill them, he wasn't afraid.
Not only was he from the Chen family in Beiluo City, but he was also a disciple of Sword Sect. If Lu Fan dared to touch him, he had to consider what the Sword Sect would do in response and whether it would cause great turmoil in Beiluo City.
Lu Changkong didn't dare to touch the three major aristocratic families for this very reason.
Therefore, Chen Beixun remained very calm and wasn't alarmed in the slightest.
He figured he wouldn't be in this jail cell for long. As long as he never admitted to any wrongdoing, Lu Fan would eventually send him right back to Chen Manor in due time.
Liu Ye and Zhu Yishan's breathing became quieter.
Lu Fan sat on his wheelchair, his face nearly expressionless.
The Ironblood troops fell in behind Luo Cheng after they finished killing off all the Confucianists. Luo Cheng waved his sword, and all the Ironblood troops quietened down.
The jail was full of the stench of blood, and a misgiving, deadly atmosphere hung in the air.
Liu Ye and Zhu Yishan's legs had already given way from sheer terror.
But Chen Beixun still kept his eyes closed.
He looked very calm on the outside, but inside, he was panicking.
Lu Fan's cruelty and decisiveness were beyond what he'd imagined.
These dozens of scholars were recognized Confucianists, but Lu Fan had just killed them all off like that without so much as blinking or raising an eyebrow.
Once news broke out about this, it would surely shake up all of Great Zhou!
All the Confucianists in court would definitely make a mad dash at Lu Fan and Lu Changkong for what he's done.
Finally, Lu Fan started laughing within the quiet jail.
The wheelchair turned around by itself, and Lu Fan's back now faced Liu Ye, Chen Beixun, and Zhu Yishan.
"I know where your confidence lies… Sword Sect, right?"
"Luo Cheng, hold them down," Lu Fan said.
Luo Cheng followed his instructions and sent men to hold them down.
Yi Yue pushed the wheelchair and slowly walked out of the jail.
Behind them was Luo Cheng, who was leading the Ironblood troops. Cold, gleaming knifes were held to the necks of Liu Ye, Zhu Yishan and Chen Beixun, so they didn't dare to do anything rash.
After they left Lu Manor jail, they came to the main street of Beiluo City.
The people didn't understand what was going on, but they moved off to the sides and looked at the large group of people with awe and curiosity.
On the street, the Ironblood troops were stained with the blood of Confucianists that hadn't yet dried.
They had a hand on their swords as they neatly fell in line and slowly walked ahead. Each step they took seemed to make the ground shake.
The entire group's aim was clear. They were headed for the three major aristocratic families.
Liu Manor was no less opulent than the Chen residence.
Yi Yue's pretty face was cold and solemn as she pushed the wheelchair along at a good pace that was neither too fast nor too slow.
Nie Changqing held his butcher knife as he followed along by Lu Fan's side. Ni Yu carried the chessboard on her back while she held the umbrella over Lu Fan and didn't even dare to breathe too loudly. She knew that Young Master was probably going to do something very important.
Luo Cheng led the Ironblood troops and followed behind Lu Fan.
The dead silence surrounding Liu Manor was a little terrifying.
All of them stopped walking.
Lu Fan had a hand under his chin as he lifted his eyes slightly to calmly look in front of him.
The main gate of Liu Manor was tightly closed.
It was like a turtle hiding in its shell.
A commotion came from further down the long street. A large group of people carrying farming tools and axes were walking down the wide and long street toward them from afar.
Luo Cheng's eyes focused, and he took a step forward in front of Lu Fan.
Yi Yue's attractive face became even more ferocious, and she placed a pretty hand on the long whip at her waist.
All the Ironblood troops also tightly held their weapons in their hands.
These were ordinary folk working for the Beiluo City merchants. They were congregated together and were angrily wielding farming tools and axes. Among them were a few chanting Confucianists with bloodshot eyes and faces filled with self-righteousness.
They were chanting something along the lines of "Lu Fan killing Confucianists without reason," and that he "wanted to forcibly take over Beiluo City's various assets and turn the people out onto the streets."
It riled up the masses.
All sorts of chants were shouted loudly and clearly at Luo Fan.
On either side of the street, there were some people who weren't really sure what the truth was, and were just hanging around to watch the commotion. Their emotions were also stirred by the chanting, and they started to join in. If the mob managed to do something, at least they'd have something to brag about.
The angry group started with only a hundred people or so but multiplied in a matter of minutes. Now, there were nearly a thousand people in the mob, and they all shouted together, their voices reaching the sky and becoming one.
It was as loud as thunder, and it made one tremble.
"The audacity!" Luo Cheng shouted angrily as he pulled out his sword and glared at the oncoming crowd with large, angry eyes.
Yi Yue had a nasty expression on her face as she tightly gripped her long whip.
Nie Changqing was also a little taken aback by the crowd.
But Lu Fan remained calm. He looked at this angry mob, which looked like it was going to stage a revolt, and seemed a little interested in having some fun with them.
At Chen Manor.
There was a round Phoebe zhennan wooden table full of exquisite delicacies.
There was a wide variety of dishes, and each one was rare and expensive.
Several people were seated around the round table and were holding up cups of wine and happily chatting away.
Some of them had sword boxes on their backs with swords inside them, so they looked fairly imposing.
"The City Master's office has come out with a great deal of fanfare, but we all know that water can carry boats, and it can also capsize them. Hasn't it been pretty common in these thirteen counties of Great Zhou for ordinary folk to pick up their pitchforks and kill off officials?
"Lu Changkong left the city for the capital, so Beiluo City is left without a master. That crippled son of his actually dared to show his face in the city, massacre accomplished Confucianists on Beiluo Lake Island, take over Drunk Dust Court, and arrest the heirs to the three major aristocratic families. He has done much evil…
"Ah… he's asking to die."
This was said by a middle-aged cultured-looking man with a faint smile as he drank his wine down in one gulp. He had three swords in his sword box.
Cold laughter and sniggering erupted around the table.
At the table sat the representatives from the Liu and Zhu families, highly skilled fighters from the Sword Sect, as well as several merchants, who had a stake in the people of Beiluo City's livelihoods.
There were smiles on the faces of the representatives from the Liu and Zhu families. Sword Sect was backing the Chens, but now Lu Fan had arrested Liu Ye, Zhu Yishan and Chen Beixun, which was as good as falling out with the three major aristocratic families.
So they could only use their own means to deal with Lu Fan.
They ganged up with large and small merchants, spending quite a bit of money to hire the gang members of Beiluo City and some people who had nothing better to do than cause trouble on the street.
It would be best if they could beat that crippled son of Lu Changkong's to death in the chaos.
They were no strangers to this sort of thing. There was chaos all over Great Zhou, and it was nothing new for an official to be beaten to death by an angry mob. But of course, many of these incidents had been instigated by important families.
Everyone exchanged glances and smiles around the table as they raised their cups and toasted each other.
The angry mob was a large, dark mass of people in the distance.
Some of the people who looked like hooligans were hired by the merchants and did their best to rile up the crowd, raising their arms and shouting loudly.
And there were many who joined in, even though they didn't understand what was going on or why everyone was angry, making the mob bigger and stronger.
Lu Fan sat on his wheelchair and played with a chess piece in his hand as he looked at the Confucian scholars leading the way. There was a cold smile on his lips.
They had hired so many hooligans to put up such a huge show.
These three major aristocratic families' money was going to waste.
Chen Beixun was still being held at knifepoint, but he suddenly burst out laughing.
His beautiful hair was blowing in the wind.
"Lu Ping'an, do you see now that this is the end you'll meet for daring to lay a finger on us!?"
"The various factions under the Hundred Schools of Philosophy take charge of various major cities, and Beiluo City will be under Sword Sect's control. This is the way of the world. You can't stop it!"
Chen Beixun laughed loudly and confidently.
Liu Ye and Zhu Yishan's eyes also lit up with hope, and their backs slowly started to straighten.
They seemed to have found a source of confidence.
They were waiting for Lu Fan to succumb to the Sword Sect's pressure and send them back to their homes.
Lu Fan didn't even look at Chen Beixun.
He only turned to look at Luo Cheng. "Are these people… guilty of anything?" he asked calmly.
Luo Cheng narrowed his eyes.
Lu Fan had told him earlier that what he wanted to do next… would involve a lot of bloodshed.
His eyes flashed.
Luo Cheng placed a hand on the hilt of the long sword at his waist, and he lifted his head to look at the incoming crowd, and his gaze gradually became colder.
"Carrying weapons without permission and forming a rebellion are severe crimes!"
The moment Luo Cheng finished speaking, the street quietened down a little. The clamoring voices had been silenced by his words.
But after a moment, there was suddenly an uproar among the thousand-strong crowd.
Not everyone had the courage to rebel and be charged with a crime.
All the people who had joined the crowd for fun or bragging rights immediately turned pale with fear, and many of them made a desperate run for it.
The crowd thinned quite a bit.
Most of the remaining people were the hooligans and gangsters that the three major aristocratic families and the merchants had hired.
The Confucian scholar leading the crowd felt a shudder go through him.
He shouted loudly, "All of us are here to seek justice! You, Lu Ping'an, forcibly took Drunk Dust Court! If we just stand by and allow you to take it, then you will think you can simply take over some other store or restaurant in the future and get away with it, and then this world… will be lawless! We're not rebelling! It's unfair to punish us with the law, since there's so many of us. Instead, justice…"
On the wheelchair, Lu Fan lifted his head, and his eyes landed on the Confucian scholar who was speaking.
He stopped rubbing the chess piece.
His face was as pale and smooth as a jade. He smiled faintly and sighed as he said calmly, "If I say you're rebelling, then you're rebelling…
"Are you fit to seek justice?
"Luo, what happens to rebels?"
Luo Cheng's eyes blazed as he slowly pulled out the long sword at his waist, and the blade screeched loudly against its sheath.
The words leapt out of his mouth. "Those who rebel will be… killed on the spot!"
Lu Fan laughed quietly. "So… kill them all."
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