Chapter 97 Mounting a Tiger
Two hours passed, yet Fang Xingjian had still not said a single thing. Not only that, he had not even moved, and if it had not been for the rising rhythm of his chest indicating that he was breathing, Charlie would have probably thought that he was dead.
Finally, Charlie lost his patience. Signalling to his assistant with his eyes, the air around him started to circulate as he spread out his Reduced Force Field.
The assistant stepped forth, moving behind Fang Xingjian.
And just as his arms were about to close in on Fang Xingjian's throat, Fang Xingjian's eyes snapped open.
"Were you sent here by the First Prince?
"I understand that you guys wish to ingratiate yourself with the First Prince, but do you really feel that the whole Empire already belongs to him? He hasn't ascended the throne yet, and not only that, this place is the Kirst Royal Academy and not the Imperial Capital. I can understand that you guys wish to perform well and obtain good results in front of your master, but in this struggle of power among the top echelons, why are you guys so excited to be cannon fodder?
Fang Xingjian stared into Charlie's eyes as he spoke, in a composed tone. "Don't do something that your entire family would live to regret."
Charlie's eyes narrowed, "Are you threatening me?"
"I'm just giving you a friendly reminder," Fang Xingjian replied. "You guys feel that the First Prince has full advantage over me, but what if the people behind me decide to take revenge against you? Would you be able to fend them off?"
"You don't have to worry about this. You're better off worrying for yourself instead. Do you think that after transitioning into a Windstorm Sword Hero everyone would have inhibitions when dealing with you? The Empire has never been short of one or two geniuses." Charlie coldly laughed, and said, "Do it."
But even though he had given the command, the assistant behind Fang Xingjian remained motionless. Charlie glanced at him furiously, asking, "What are you doing?"
"Sir..." The assistant laughed bitterly. He was not a Conferred Knight like Charlie. He was merely a first transition Knight, and a Class Two Investigator.
And he knew that Fang Xingjian was right. Regardless of how this matter ended, the rage of those important characters was certainly not something that small fries like himself would be able to take.
Hurting a Windstorm Sword Hero? How could he possibly do such a thing?
Not only that, looking at Charlie who was in front of him, that assistant could not help but sneer in his heart, 'Damn it, you're afraid of offending the other party, and so you asked me to make a move becauses you won't dare to do it yourself? You think I'm out of my mind?'
Charlie glanced at him coldly, then exhaled slowly, saying, "Very well, Fang Xingjian. You wish to test my patience, right? Then let's have a good chat from now."
After which he said to his assistant, "Go and take a break." Charlie glanced back to Fang Xingjian and coldly stated, "I have a total of eighteen people here. We'll take turns to have 'a good chat with you'."
From then on, Charlie broke off all forms of communication Fang Xingjian had with the outside world, only giving him a cup of water and a porridge meal before unceasingly bombarding him with threats, pressure, and fatigue for over twenty-four hours.
Do not look down on these little methods. One must recall that Knights were only humans, after all. Although they were incomparably powerful, they also needed to eat and replenish their nourishment, as well as to rest in order to replenish their stamina.
Any living thing, if put through spending a long period of time without nourishment, would weaken, in particular the muscles, the internal organs, and the bone structure.
It was the same for Knights. If they only ate porridge and vegetables for a few days, or for over ten days in a row, their muscles would weaken, and their attributes and specialties would degrade as well.
And mental fatigue would make people less resolute, and more easy to force into a confession.
However, Fang Xingjian continued to cultivate as he circulated the Ice Age Meditation Technique in his mind. From beginning to end, he showed no reaction to Charlie's offense. Moreover, he had eaten countless ferocious beasts and had taken countless specially prepared medicinal food so far, so the the nutrients, vital energy and blood in his body were all incomparably profound. The current situation would not affect him much if it was only for a couple of days, but if it dragged on for over ten days, no one could tell what would happen.
By then, his vital energy and blood would definitely weaken, and his body could even become atrophied.
Outside the small black room, Charlie stood there, frowning. A heavily bearded assistant walked out and closed the door, shaking his head at Charlie and saying, "It's no use. Nothing we do has any effect. It's as though he's sleeping."
Charlie stomped into the room, glaring at Fang Xingjian, saying, "Fang Xingjian, are you sure you still want to be so obstinate? We have already investigated the place where you first appeared. That old man has already confessed everything. You came here by sea, right? You're not a citizen of our Empire."
At this moment, Fang Xingjian actually opened his eyes. Staring at Charlie, he coldly asked, "What do you want to say?"
At this moment, his heartbeat surged. His identity as an Earthling was an absolute secret in the Miracle World. He could not begin to imagine what these people would do after they knew the truth.
Seeing the slight fluctuations in Fang Xingjian's countenance, Charlie continued, "Your teacher Huang Lin already confessed as well. He was the one who conspired with you and doctored the submitted reports about you. Since he has already confessed, what more do you have to say?"
Hearing Charlie's words, Fang Xingjian's mind regained his earlier calm. It was because he had never conspired with Huang Lin, and this was also the first time he had heard that Huang Lin had doctored the reports about him.
This was obviously a trick. Huang Lin had not been caught, so where could the confession have come from?
Seeing from Fang Xingjian's lack of reaction once again, Charlie snorted coldly. The reason he had come here upon receiving the news was because there had been reliable information. Fang Xingjian was someone without an identity, despite them having undergone a meticulous investigation.
According to the Empire's laws, people with unknown origins would never be able to become Knights. After all, Knights were the Empire's great weapons, who received the dedicated nurture of the Empire. There had to be checks at least three generations back for someone who wished to become a Knight, let alone for someone with unknown origins.
As for those with unknown origins, this matter could either be big or small. It was not as if there had not been any prior examples. With Fang Xingjian's talent, the Empire's upper echelons might have chosen to close on eye, unless Fang Xingjian had done something disadvantageous to the Empire.
Hence, Charlie wanted to quickly interrogate Fang Xingjian to see if he could discover anything. Even if he could not, this resonated with the First Prince's desire, namely to make things difficult for Fang Xingjian.
At that moment, a knock came from the door behind Charlie. An assistant swept a bizarre glance at Fang Xingjian before replying, "Sir, there's something that you have to know."
Charlie furrowed his brows, "Haven't I said it before? Don't disturb me during an interrogation."
The assistant could only smile bitterly as he replied, "It's something very important."
Charlie glared at him, but still he walked out. Before closing the door, he stared at Fang Xingjian and waving his finger at him, saying, "Fang Xingjian, you had better think about this properly. There's no benefit in continuing to refuse cooperating."
After exiting the room, moving past several corridors, and finally into another room, Charlie impatiently questioned, "What is it?"
"Sir, we've missed a piece of information," the assistant bitterly smiled, saying, "The day before we arrived, was the day when Class 256, Fang Xingjian's class, had just participated in the inter-class competition."
Charlie paid no heed to that. "I know that. Yes, they've taken part in the inter-class competition. It's just a bunch of young Knights competing with each other. What problem is there?"
"But... During the competition, Fang Xingjian displayed supersonic movements and sword techniques."
After the assistant finished his sentence, only silence was left between them. After a long while Charlie blinked, in a bit of a daze, asking, "What did you say? He's only sixteen, but he has reached supersonic speed?"
The assistant bitterly smiled as he continued, "I heard that the instructors in the academy have already reported this up to the Great Western Region's Governor."
The Governor, the one who had authority over all the academies, the Knights' promotions and over the Regional Selection in a region. It was clear how significant his status was. He could be considered the lord of a region.
But of course, the most important point was still that Fang Xingjian, being only sixteen, had already transcended the speed of sound. How astonishing was this? The future of such a character would definitely be unlimited, and one could not even dare to guess how many influential characters would look upon him with favor.
Instantly, Charlie had a feeling akin to having just stabbed into a beehive.
Do not look down on the achievement of having reached supersonic speed. This was just like a border. If Fang Xingjian had only transitioned into a Windstorm Sword Hero, then many people would just sit still and watch as the First Prince took his action. As long as Charlie did not go overboard, no one would say anything.
However, a Windstorm Sword Hero who had achieved supersonic speed in slightly over a month's time was a different thing altogether. It was sufficient for many influential characters to only wish to lay their hands on him.
Charlie saw clearly that he needed to grasp the limits with great care.
Charlie was utterly frustrated as he spoke, "Damn, why didn't you guys tell me this earlier?" If he had known that Fang Xingjian had reached supersonic speed at the age of sixteen, even if the First Prince had spoken, he would not have dared to come and create trouble for him.
The assistant smiled bitterly yet again and continued, "We've only just learnt of this as well. It just so happened that this occurred just one day before we arrived." But he was thinking to himself with contempt, 'You, bootlicker... In order to please the First Prince, you've offered to come forward. Now that you've stabbed into a beehive, you're blaming us?'
Charlie grabbed his hair, instantaneously entering a state of contradiction.
If he were to continue with the investigation, it would mean that offending Fang Xingjian and the ones backing him up was a done deal. Especially considering the fact that Fang Xingjian had not only transitioned into a Windstorm Sword Hero, but had also attained supersonic speed at the age of sixteen... The value of such a genius was truly extraordinary.
However, if he chose to abandon the investigation and return crestfallen to the Imperial Capital, what would become of the association's reputation? What would become of his stand in the association in the future?
Charlie suddenly found himself in a situation akin to mounting a tiger, and finding it incredibly difficult to get down.
Swiftly, however, a hint of ruthlessness flickered in his eyes as he said, "I shall pretend that I don't know of this, and then make good use of this time to interrogate others... This Fang Xingjian has monstrous talent, and has improved at an astonishing speed, but his origins are still unclear. I refuse to believe there's nothing wrong with him."
At the same time, another thought surfaced in his heart. 'Even if nothing comes out of the interrogation, as long as I can accomplish the First Prince's mission..."