Chapter 53 - The Last Assassins
'They won't even let you have an intact corpse'.
He only said a few words, but these words made the atmosphere extremely heavy. Not only those five old men, who performed the autopsy, but even Luo Kedi and Ma Liang's faces instantly turned pale. Luo Kedi let out a cold humph and took a step forward, placing his palm on the handle of his sword. On the other side, Ma Liang grunted and extended his hand, stopping Luo Kedi from doing anything. After that, with both hands on his back, he walked in front of Lu Quyuan, who was crying his heart out.
"Sixth Young Master of the Lu Family. Please tell me what happened during the mountain expedition, in detail."
After some sobbing, Lu Quyuan finally raised his tearing face up and answered, stammering, "Scouting Officer Yan Bugui had given us an order. He said that those who dare to leak out any insight about the mission will die, and that all the titles and official positions of his family would be striped away, and the entire family would be condemned to lifelong exile."
Ma Liang's mouth was hanging wide open. He was immediately intimidated by what Lu Quyuan said.
Wu Qi nodded his head silently. Lu Quyuan indeed was from influential family. He didn't tell Lu Quyuan say that, but he was able to use Yan Bugui's name and bluffed Ma Liang all by himself. He really proved himself to be the sixth young master of the Lu Family.
Luo Kedi, who was standing beside him, stamped his feet forcefully and snapped, "Then, tell us how the Marquis died!"
When Lu Quyuan heard the question, he once again cried his lungs out and even slamming his head on the ground few times. After that, with his remaining arm, he grabbed on Luo Kedi's thigh, blowing his nose and tears on Lu Kedi's combat rope. With a stammering voice, together with endless sobbing and coughing, Lu Quyuan began to explain how Liu Suifeng was horribly killed in the forest, which, of course, was a story made up by Wu Qi and himself.
Basically, most of the things he said were true. There was nothing much worth suspecting in this account of Liu Suifeng's death. Old Devil and Lord Flame were both killed by barbarian beast warriors, this was a fact that Lu Quyuan could vow for, genuinely, even if he was standing in front of all the mighty gods. As for Liu Suifeng, he was killed by the deadly poison from some mysterious bugs. Once again, Lu Quyuan swore on the souls of all his ancestors that Liu Suifeng was really killed by a poisonous bug.
Lu Quyuan repeated over and over again, while Ma Liang kept throwing him all sort of questions. However, all the replies had been tested and modified countless times by Wu Qi. How could there be any mistakes? Although Ma Liang was Lord Puyang's most intelligent subordinate, compared to Le Xiaobai's god-level intellect, he was still far behind.
Lu Quyuan's replies covered all the bases, and there was nothing at all to pick at. Wu Qi even designed some inconsistencies in Lu Quyuan's statement purposely, blurring some minor details. Such imperfections actually made Lu Quyuan's replies more trustworthy.
Ma Liang's heart became heavier and heavier, as he could verify what Lu Quyuan said was trustworthy. Liu Suifeng was really killed by those barbarians in the forest. Swiftly exchanging a look with Luo Kedi, Ma Liang gritted his teeth and shouted, "Then how was Liu Zhong killed? Sixth young master Lu, please tell me everything you know about this, in detail!"
How was Liu Zhong killed? Of course, there was nothing that could be faulted with Lu Quyuan's answers. He and Wu Qi had practiced and practiced the answers to perfection.
Since there was no fault in his answers, Ma Liang could only blink his eyes and lower his head in frustration, sinking into deep thoughts.
Clearing his throat, Luo Kedi pushed away Lu Quyuan's arm, which was hugging his thigh, and, with a cold voice, said, "So, Mayor Lu, I still have the same question. Our Marquis was protected by two Embryonic Breath Stage Xiantian Realm cultivators. Why did he die in the forest, but all of you are still alive?"
When Lu Chengfeng was about to answer, Wu Qi suddenly laughed out loud, saying, "It is really funny for General Luo to ask this! So, in your mind, all of us were suppose to die in the forest as well?"
Luo Kedi kept staring at Wu Qi, and, with a cruel tone, said, "Our Marquis has died. Both of the cultivators, who were supposed to protect him have died, but why are you still alive?" The skinny body of Luo Kedi moved slightly and, in an instant, a warm energy shots out from his body, and light red natural energy in surrounding area began to quickly flow into his body.
He was a warrior in Xiantian realm as well. Also, judging from his the energy around him, he had broken through to 'Physical Strengthening' Stage of the Xiantian Realm. When those fire energies flowed into his body, all his skin started glowing with a faded red light, and his war robe caught on fire. The flame was covering Luo Kedi and, in just a short moment, his war robe had been burned into ashes, leaving him in his blood red armor.
Wu Qi took a few steps back without saying anything. With a wave of his hand, a few hundred City Guards in the surrounding area had raised up their nine-bolt crossbows and aimed them at Luo Kedi.
"Take it easy, let's not do anything stupid!" Wu Qi sneered and said, "Even General Luo is a Xiantian realm cultivator, with so many nine-bolt crossbows shooting at the same time, I'm sure you will be riddled with bolts. I don't think you want to taste that, do you?"
Ma Liang, again, cleared his throat, and, with a slight tremor of his body, Luo Kedi retracted the light red fire energy back into his body.
"Sorry for being so rude!" Ma Liang held his fist toward Wu Qi and said, "Old Luo has always had this hot temper, but he actually had no bad intentions. He just couldn't accept the tragic death of the Marquis. I hope Mayor Lu will let us bring the Marquis's coffin out from the city. We'll return to the capital immediately."
Lu Chengfeng nodded his head and asked, "You don't want to spend a night here and rest?"
Ma Liang breathed out a sigh and said, "What's done is done, and we aren't in the mood to rest. The earlier we bring the Marquis back, the better."
Wu Qi continued and asked, "Turning Marquis into this messy state... Was your own idea or Lord Puyang's order?" Wu Qi pointed at Marquis Liu, who had all his internal organs removed. A Marquis had his corpse chopped and sliced up, this was something really weird.
Ma Liang breathed out a sigh again, "How is it possible for us to have this amount of courage? It was Marquis himself who wanted to know the exact way his son was killed."
Wu Qi asked again, "So, both of you just want to bring Marquis's body back in this manner? Do you want me to look for some skillful men to stitch the Marqui's body back together?"
Before Ma Liang could say a word, Luo Kedi had roared out impatiently, "Why do you keep nagging us? Men, place Marquis into the coffin and we'll leave, now!" Taking a glance at all the nine bolts crossbows that were being held by the City Guards, Luo Kedi sneered, "I never expected that Little Meng City would have such good military equipment. Where did you find so many nine-bolt crossbows?"
Wu Qi said with an indifferent tone, "Oh, these nine-bolts crossbows were left behind by the personal guards of the Marquis after they were killed. Of course, we can't let them go to waste. Since these crossbows belonged to Marquis, our young master is willing to buy them for a high price!"
Luo Kedi's expression changed, and it seemed he was just about to do something, but Ma Liang, standing at the side, immediately let out a laugh and said, "They are just some trivial things. How much could they worth? Never mind, since the Marquis is no longer here, we will just leave these nine-bolt crossbows in Little Meng City!"
Breathing out a sigh again, Ma Liang lowered his head and looked at Lu Quyuan, who was kneeling on the ground crying his lungs out, "Sixth young mister Lu, we'll return to capital right now. Do you want to come with us and return to Liyang?"
Lu Quyuan paused for a moment, then said, "No, I sent a letter to my family and they have sent someone to come pick me up. Also, my duties as the assistant Supervisory Official are not yet complete. I don't have the courage to neglect my job!"
"Ma Liang breathed out a long sigh, he nodded his head slowly and said, "That's fine, that's fine!"
The five old men who performed the autopsy, swiftly picked up Liu Suifeng's body and threw it back into the coffin and quickly covered it up. Dozens of cavalrymen in blood red armor walked to the coffin and lifted the two thousand pound coffin into the air, carrying it and following behind Luo Kedi and Ma Liang, as they walked in the direction of the City Gate.
Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng were accompanying them together. As for Lu Quyuan, he was crying and yelling out Liu Suifeng's name as he followed behind them.
Just when they were about to leave the Mayor's Mansion, Wu Qi suddenly asked, "But, something is really strange. There should've been some 'assassins' who grew up together with Marquis Liu, and provided protection around the clock. Why I didn't see them in all of this?"
Luo Kedi and Ma Liang's faces trembled. Lu Quyuan explained while sobbing, "On our way to Little Meng City, we had a bet with few young masters from the Yan family in Tea City. All of my 'assassins' died in the fight. Two of the Marquis's 'assassins' were badly wounded and sent back to the capital for their recovery."
Ma Liang shook his head and sighed, "The two assassins protecting the Marquis were pretty strong. If they struck with all they had, they would be able to unleash a power that could stand up to a cultivator at the Respiration stage of the Xiantian Realm. If both of them were still here, the Marquis would have been able to survive that forest. This is his destiny! If not because they had the confidence that two Xiantian cultivators would be able to protect the safety of the Marquis, how could they allow Marquis to come here without the protection of his assassins?"
"Oh?" Wu Qi turned his head and looked around him. He unleashed his senses, which were now able to cover an area of more than a hundred feet. He had this feeling that something was not right, but he couldn't figure out what exactly the problem was.
Luo Kedi kept a straight face and kept his mouth shut. Ma Liang had a sad expression and walked slowly, talking with Wu Qi on and off.
Soon Wu Qi begun to understand the whole picture. Although Lord Puyang had a few children, he and Princess Yingchuan adored Liu Suifeng the most, as Liu Suifeng was the child of Princess Yingchuan, and thus the grandson of the King of the Lu Kingdom. Therefore his status was completely different than other children his age. Liu Suifeng had been given the title of Marquis at such a young age. This showed how the King of Lu Kingdom and Princess Yingchuan spoiled him.
If not because of the blind love from Princess Yingchuan toward Liu Suifeng, which made her keep begging at her father for it, how could a young man, who never made any contributions, get the title of Marquis?
As they walked and talked, Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng had finally sent Luo Kedi and Ma Liang out from Little Meng City.
Luo Kedi kept the same straight face and brought his men back into the main group of calvary. He did not bid goodbye to Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng.
Ma Liang was politely bowing and said his goodbyes to Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng. Before he left, and with a bitter smile, he said, "Princess Yingchuan love for the Marquis wass unbelievable!" Breathing out a long sigh and finished this rather baffling phrase, Ma Liang turned his ride and began to leave.
Wu Qi's expression changed dramatically, and his heart started to pound violently. In an instant, he screamed out, "Men, kill them all!"
Snatching a nine-bolts crossbow from a nearby soldier, Wu Qi aimed at Ma Laing's back and pulled the trigger.
'Click', nine bolts made of pure steel darted out at lighting speed.
Suddenly, some shrill swooshing sound came underneath them, and ten bright shining blades emerged from the ground, with three foot long sword lights protruding from their tips. They went straight toward Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng's groins.
The sword light of this blade was freezing cold. In an instant, they had blocked path of retreat for Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng.
Wu Qi grabbed on Lu Chengfeng and leapt high up into the sky, but, suddenly, the empty space beside them began to twist, and two blurry black figures appeared out of nowhere. Both of these black figures spreads their arms and leapt in Wu Qi's direction. Just a few feet before they reached Wu Qi, their bodies quickly inflated and became like balloons. In next second, both of them exploded violently.
"Follow in the Marquis's footsteps and die!"
This was said by both of the black-clothed figures before they exploded.
Poisonous gas, poisonous blood, poisonous meat, and poisonous bones were sent flying everywhere. Most of them were thrown toward Wu Qi and Lu Chengfeng.
Ma Liang, who was nearly a hundred feet away, turned around and slapped away all nine bolts which were shot at him. He stared at Little Meng City and yelled out, "Following the orders from Princess Yingchuan, breach Little Meng City and kill without mercy! All those who live in this city will be sacrificed in memory of the Marquis!"