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EIF - Book 03 Chapter 049: He Shikang’s Death

Word of everything that happened on Silver Moon Island reached the ears of the people in Silver Moon City quickly.

Master Gu had obtained Ensnaring Performance.

The Qian Heavenly Dynasty’s officials had confiscated the one million zither puppets.

Yun Mo had schemed against all the zitherists.

To make atonement for the Silver Moon Mountain Manor, the manor lord had knelt and kowtowed to the zitherists before he died, pleading for forgiveness for Yun Mo’s actions.

City Lord He was placed under inquiry and confined in the city lord’s official residence.

Sima Changkong took control of Silver Moon City.

As the news spread, it set the Silver Moon City’s citizens abuzz.

“Why did the young manor lord do such a thing?”

“He can’t be blamed. The manor lord raised Yun Mo. The manor lord never asked people for favors, and he treated everyone with kindness. Naturally, he would not do something that caused disharmony in the world, so Yun Mo got anxious.”

“Hah! The Silver Moon Mountain Manor was doing just fine. Now that the manor lord is gone, can the remaining disciples maintain it?”

“Although the manor lord died, he remained firm and unyielding. That kneel was not shameful. Instead, it was noble. It is just unfortunate for the Silver Moon Mountain Manor.”

“The Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s reputation is all gone now.”

Countless people sighed for the Silver Moon Mountain Manor.

As for Gu Hai, the people revered him even more, thinking that he lived up to being a music Dao master. Previously, he saved everyone in the city. Gu Hai obtaining Ensnaring Performance was naturally due to his capabilities.

Countless zitherists immediately came to This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion to offer congratulations. Of course, they also hoped to see what a heaven-grade zither looked like. Thus, This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion’s business boomed.

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In a small manor within the city:

Mo Yike listened to Lu An describe everything that happened in the Silver Moon Sea.

“Young Master An, did you not hear what I said?” Mo Yike looked at Lu An coldly.

Lu An’s expression turned stiff as he said, “Mister Mo, you can’t blame me for this. It was Gu Hai who agitated me. He tricked me!”

“He tricked you? And you fell for it so easily? How did the teachers in the duke’s official residence teach you? That was just basic agitation. Couldn’t you tell?” Mo Yike said in a serious tone.

“I…I…I…,” Lu An stammered with an unsightly expression.

Jiang Tianyi immediately tried to smooth things over. “Mister Mo, Young Master An should have been able to tell. However, those closely involved cannot see clearly. Gu Hai is also too sinister. He made use of Young Master An’s weakness. Mister Mo also said before that he could strip Young Master An of his succession rights to make way for Gu Hai. That’s why Young Master An lost control of himself.”

“Indeed, Mister Mo. I was just too closely involved, so I couldn’t see clearly. That’s all. It’s all Gu Hai’s fault for being too sinister!” Lu An immediately said.

Looking at Lu An, Mister Mo said coldly, “Gu Hai is sinister? That is wisdom! He could take control of you with just a few words, and you called him sinister?”

“Huh?” Lu An’s expression turned stiff.

“This Gu Hai is indeed impressive. He could control his opponent in the palm of his hand with such skill. He is no simple person. An extraordinary person suddenly appearing out of nowhere? I don’t believe it!” Mo Yike said, his voice sinking.

“Our people already went to the Thousand Islands Sea to investigate. We will obtain news soon,” Jiang Tianyi said seriously.

Mo Yike nodded. Then, he turned his head and looked at Lu An. “Young Master An, I can overlook this once. I hope there will not be a second time. You are not permitted to interfere with the matters of the Silver Moon Sea.”

“Huh?” Lu An’s expression turned stiff. Then, he nodded and said, “Yes!”

“Haha! You are still unwilling to accept it?” Mo Yike suddenly laughed.

Lu An’s expression clearly shows that he wants to seek trouble for Gu Hai. Fortunately, I reminded him.

“Young Master An, you can’t defeat Gu Hai. Just think about it. What did you have, and what did he have when you first met him? In such a short time, Gu Hai has already completely destroyed everything you have. Can you not see it?” Mo Yike smiled with dissatisfaction.

“Ah?” Lu An felt startled.

“Gu Hai destroyed all the sin dragons and Fang Minghou. He also won the World’s Best Zither Pavilion, the Silver Moon’s Best Go Pavilion, and all the other businesses. Just look. After what Gu Hai did, aren’t you left with nothing? Haven’t you already lost everything you have in Silver Moon City? Wager? Do you think that you were just too rash and ended up making a wager outside This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion? Then, you continued wagering after that? Furthermore, you wagered on Go of all things and not something else? Did you have to wager on Go? Can you not see? Gu Hai trapped you within such a short time. He manipulated you into wagering on Go,” Mo Yike sneered.

“Ah? No. No. That’s impossible, right? At that time, I was strong, and he was weak!” Lu An said with a stiff expression.

“You were strong? How laughable! Did you think that you were stronger than the other party with He Shikang bringing his army? Did you not see that the citizens around stood on Gu Hai’s side? Do you really think you could have eliminated Gu Hai and This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion had I not stopped you in time that day? Had I not done so, you would have already died there!” Mo Yike said coldly. 

“No, no, that’s impossible!” Lu An said in horror.

“When Fang Minghou attacked This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion, he faced the same ritual array as what Gu Hai laid in the Silver Moon Sea, right? Do you still think that you can do something to This Street’s Best Zither Pavilion? Furthermore, the citizens were enraged. What would He Shikang have done if there were a rebellion?” Mo Yike demanded sternly.

Lu An’s expression turned stiff.

Lu An thought about it after Mo Yike said that and concluded that he really was like a clown being manipulated by Gu Hai as Gu Hai pleased.

“You can’t defeat Gu Hai. Stay farther away from him; he is a ruthless person. This time, Gu Hai probably spared you on account of the duke. I cannot guarantee that Gu Hai will spare you the next time,” Mo Yike said coldly.

“But…but he is only in the Golden Core Realm…,” Lu An protested softly. 

“Golden Core Realm? Haha! Young Master An, you have been very humorous recently,” Mo Yike said sarcastically. “Are cultivation and strength the same? Gui Mian was a Nascent Soul Realm cultivator. Who killed him in the end? One million peak Nascent Soul Realm bronze statues chased after Gu Hai. What was the result?”

“Ah?”

“Do you think that I spent so much effort trying to recruit him because of his cultivation? What I value are his brains. His brains can defeat a vast army and resist one million zither puppets!” Mo Yike said in a heavy voice.

“Huh? Yes!”

“Also, have you heard of the Century Lifespan Immortality Peach Tree? Not long ago, when the duke led his soldiers to the Innate Puzzle World, he obtained some information. A Gu Hai had appeared over there. That Gu Hai possessed extraordinary Go skills. He suppressed one hundred thousand cultivators in Go skills all by himself. At first, I thought that it was just someone with the same name. Now, I am sure that they are the same person. Suppressing one hundred thousand cultivators alone? Furthermore, he held his own against the Great Light Sovereign Deity. Did you know that? And you still wanted to compete in Go? Ha! How laughable!” Mo Yike sneered.

Lu An’s expression turned stiff again.

“Alright. Make your preparations. The funeral of the Silver Moon Mountain Manor’s manor lord will take place in a few days. You will go to offer your respects on behalf of the duke,” Mo Yike said indifferently.

“What? Go to the Silver Moon Mountain Manor? They nearly killed me. Furthermore…furthermore…,” Lu An immediately said. 

“They shunned you?” Mo Yike said coldly.

“I…” Lu An showed a bitter smile.

“Remember this, no matter what people say about the Silver Moon Mountain Manor, you are not to show any strange expressions. Treat them the same as before,” Mo Yike said coldly.

“Yes!” Lu An nodded.

Turning his head, Mo Yike looked at Jiang Tianyi and asked, “How is it going on He Shikang’s side?”

“He Shikang had sent soldiers to camp on the three islands in the Silver Moon Sea to guard the zither puppets. The evidence is damning. Now, he is being interrogated. Sima Changkong has sealed the city lord’s official residence, so he cannot come out, nor can we receive any information,” Jiang Tianyi said gravely.

Mo Yike narrowed his eyes and nodded.

------

City lord’s official residence:

Sima Changkong and He Shikang sat in a pavilion.

“City Lord He, Changkong has been discourteous. However, this matter is very grave, so I have to offend City Lord.” Sima Changkong smiled as he poured City Lord He a cup of wine.

“Lord Sima, there is no need for this. I was the one who was too greedy this time. That’s why I did not report to the heavenly court. Facts are as such.” He Shikang shook his head as he spoke.

“Oh? It was just your greed? What about the dragons?” Sima Changkong frowned.

“The dragons? I found it with them. We agreed to split the zither puppets, so we guarded that place together. They were sin dragons that had escaped from the frontlines, right?” He Shikang smiled while shaking his head.

“You just found it together? Does Duke Lu Yang know about this?” Sima Changkong asked.

“Duke Lu Yang is at the frontlines. How can he know about the matters here? You are overthinking,” He Shikang said while shaking his head.

“Duke Lu Yang does not know? Then, why are Mo Yike and Lu An here?” Sima Changkong said.

“Them? They are here to participate in the zither bestowal event, right? However, Mo Yike did not participate in the end. I’m not sure about the others.” He Shikang shook his head.

No matter what Sima Changkong asked, He Shikang repeated the same thing, that it was his greed, bringing Sima Changkong’s questioning to stop here for now.

“Alright, then. City Lord He, think about it by yourself. Remember, this Ying Province belongs to the Qian Heavenly Dynasty. Only His Holy Eminence is the master of the Qian Heavenly Dynasty!” Sima Changkong said in a deep voice.

“Alright.” He Shikang nodded while smiling.

Sima Changkong walked away slowly, leaving He Shikang sitting alone in the pavilion.

He Shikang looked at the bright moon in the sky as he drank fine wine.

“Ha! Long Xiaoyue, this Old He does not seem to have let anyone down yet in this life. You are the only one I feel guilty towards. You died a wrongful death, but I could not do anything about it. I will be able to see you very soon, right? I hope that when I meet you again, you will still be that beautiful, still that dazzling. You were the most wonderful woman in the world. The only thing that I feel unworthy of you is Long Wanqing’s father. Who is he? That coward. You gave him two daughters, but he does not even dare show himself? When you died, he did not appear to help you take revenge. That coward is unworthy of you,” He Shikang sighed as he looked at the moon.

------

After Sima Changkong left the place where He Shikang was confined, he went to an office in a large hall.

“How is it?” Sima Changkong looked at a subordinate.

“Milord, the one million bronzes statues have already been moved away. They are being transported direct to the capital by the official couriers for delivery to His Holy Eminence for handling,” that subordinate reported respectfully.

“The official couriers? That is a military unit that His Holy Eminence started. All checkpoints will immediately open for them. Hopefully, those bronze statues can reach the capital as soon as possible.” Sima Changkong nodded.

“I have a report! Milord, it’s not good. It’s not good!” An official rushed into the hall in a fluster.

“What’s wrong? Didn’t you accompany the official couriers to deliver the bronze statues to the capital?” Sima Changkong frowned.

“Sorry, Milord. This subordinate drank too much the previous day and collapsed at the relay station. When I woke up, the troops had already left. I gave chase in a frenzy. As I knew the route, I quickly caught up. However, when I reached a valley, the officials and soldiers transporting the goods were all…all…” 

“All what?” Sima Changkong prompted, glaring.

“They were all dead! They all died! The one million bronze statues were all gone as well, taken by someone!” that official said in horror as he knelt.

“The transport routes of the official couriers are different every time. Even I don’t know the exact route. Yet, they all…,” Sima Changkong said in a heavy voice.

“No one leaked it. No one leaked it. All the people who knew the route died. Perhaps it was an accident? Maybe they ran into some bandits?” that official said in horror while kneeling.

“An accident? Bandits? Humph!” Sima Changkong glared. Naturally, he did not believe bandits had done it.

The bandits were like the criminals of the mundane world. Robbing merchant groups would already be their limit. How could they dare go against officials and rob the goods of officials?

Another official ran over frantically. “I have a report! Milord, it’s not good! It’s not good! He Shikang, City Lord He committed suicide!”

“He Shikang committed suicide?” Sima Changkong’s face sank.

“Yes, yes!” that official said anxiously.

DragonInWhite's Notes:

Chapters for September: 37 / 50

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Written by Guan Qi — Watching Chess. Translated by DragonInWhite. Edited by VampireCat.