| Chapter 368: Rumors
Translator: Irene Editor: TYZ/CakeHermit
Silver City was in an unstable state.
Madam Ye and son were almost murdered, causing the Great Elder, who often concealed his feelings, to fly into a rage. Evidence of the Ling Residence colluding with blood elementalists pushed them into a passive state. Ling Residence denied it flatly, but the development of affairs went against their favor.
"Are you guys just going to sit and wait for death?"
The person who spoke wore a black cloak that covered his whole body. His voice was stiff and monotonous, awkward for the listeners.
Ling Sheng glared at the other party. Ling Xiao had just woken up and his face was pale. Although he had lost an arm and lost a lot of blood and energy, his elemental energy hadn't been affected. His injuries, however, were very severe. The five residences and eight palaces were badly damaged and he would be unable to train from that day onwards. Even if he was Ling Xiao, the noble son of Master Ling, he would be useless if unable to train.
Madam Ling appeared calm, but the white hair on her temples revealed her anxious and haggard heart.
"Does Grandmaster Dai have any solutions?"
"As long as he doesn't die, Grandmaster Dai will be able to do something." The cloaked man trembled unpleasantly. "Even if his whole body is damaged, he won't die as long as his brain is intact."
The man lifted his cloak, revealing his body.
Ling Sheng and Madam Ling looked at the man in shock, their eyes wide open.
The man grinned at them, but their eyes were filled with fear. The man before them wasn't human-like. His body was made from a mix of grass cord and lotus, and only his brain was that of a human.
"I never thought that I'd be able to live until today. Although this doesn't feel like living, I feel pretty good. I forgot to tell you guys my name. I'm Qing Feng. Doesn't it sound like a servant's name? Haha, I'm actually a servant."
Qing Feng laughed merrily, but his voice remained rigid and rough. His laughter was unpleasant to hear, blood-curdling, in fact.
Madam Ling spoke up after a while. "The two arts, [Grasscord] and [Lotus Chiropractic Technique] that Grandmaster Dai founded are indeed freakish and brilliant."
Qing Feng shook with laughter. "What are you two going to offer Grandmaster Dai for this?"
Madam Ling answered solemnly, "We will not forget about him. Xiao Shuren is currently in the Ye Residence, so the time is not yet right."
Qing Feng responded very directly. "Then what are your plans? What happened is disadvantageous for your side."
"Don't worry, we've already taken action." Madam Ling's eyes were cold. "Great Elder has already forgotten that he needs the support of the aristocratic families. They are the pillar of the Avalon of Five Elements. When the situation gets increasingly chaotic, who's going to be able to reinstate order?"
Qing Feng trembled once again. "I see that you guys are prepared."
Madam Ling answered dully, "An old tree's roots extend deep down."
Silver City became chaotic very quickly. Battered corpses and blood filled the streets every morning. The situation became increasingly intense as attacks spread across the whole city. When night fell, fighting noises and flames could be heard and seen in every corner.
A unit leader of the Sky Edge Division was attacked during his patrol and died from severe injuries.
The family head of the slightly reputable Huo family died of sudden poisoning, and evidence found at the scene pointed toward the Gong Residence. The Gong Residence held an unyielding attitude towards accusations as a few families joined forces and reported the Gong Residence to the Elders Guild.
Accidents in the form of blatant attacks and poisonings occurred consecutively and increasingly within small families. While there wasn't any concrete evidence pointing toward the Gong Residence this time, smaller families still cooperated and started pressuring the guild to investigate the matter.
Disorder spread unceasingly, sending citizens into a state of panic.
The situation reached its peak when the Zeng and Zhong Residences fought. There had already been bad blood between both families, but this time, a conflict between servants fed their feud and before they knew it, things escalated quickly to the point of no return.
The number of families getting involved multiplied and the Sky Edge Division did not dare come out; the patrolling teams had been ambushed whenever making their rounds.
Silver City was completely out of control. Everyone was in danger and all kinds of rumors started emerging and breeding like flies.
Most rumors were about Madam Ye. The power she had displayed had long been circulated without restraint. Some news even said that the Great Elder's plan to put Madam Ye in charge of the Master's Glory was to let her nurture henchmen who would give her power.
The most sensational rumor was that Madam Ye's son was born to another man instead of her deceased husband.
The source of this rumor was unknown, but it very quickly spread rhythmically. The Great Elder's family members were all born talents. Families above the Ye family had also never produced any mentally challenged offsprings. Madam Ye's son, however, was born mentally challenged, hence fueling suspicions.
Other rumors even said that before Madam Ye's marriage, she had lived in seclusion for more than a year, and that this was actually a ruse to fool people; someone claimed to have seen her travelling in Jadeite Forest with a man. There was a released clip that was very blurry, but the figure within bore a remarkable resemblance to Madam Ye. The man beside her was tall and gigantic in stature, unlike that of her scholarly and delicate husband.
The Great Elder had been under great pressure, but not once did he lose his cool and get as angry as he did today.
He stared at the clip, his fists clenching automatically.
Initially, he had scoffed at the rumors, but upon viewing the clip, he started feeling suspicious. The manners of the woman in the clip were indeed very similar to Ye Lin's. It was a fact that even he was unable to deny.
Thinking about his deceased son, the Great Elder felt as if a knife was being twisted in his heart.
Shortly, he loosened his fists, his eyes cold and sharp.
No one could deceive him. No one!
Thump, thump, thump. Someone was knocking on the door. He raised his head, the sharpness in his gaze disappearing as his expression returned to normal.
His tone carried the same grandeur. "Come in."
A subordinate opened the door, reporting respectfully, "Madam brought Xiaobao over and wishes to see you."
Great Elder's heart shrank but his face remained unchanged. "Let them in."
A moment later, Madam Ye and Xiaobao walked in. Seeing Great Elder, Xiaobao shouted in delight, "Grandfather!"
Madam Ye bowed. "Father."
Great Elder chuckled. "Why are you guys here? Xiaobao, let me see if you got any skinnier."
"No, Xiaobao became stronger recently!" Xiaobao puffed his chest with a proud look on his face.
Great Elder burst into laughter.
Madam Ye stood at the said, smiling at their conversation.
After asking Xiaobao about his recent activities, Great Elder ordered a servant to bring him out for some food. Xiaobao left obediently and the servant closed the door carefully upon walking out.
Silence filled the room.
Great Elder observed that his daughter-in-law appeared calm and easy, not the least bit abnormal.
Madam Ye spoke unhurriedly with a smile at the corner of her mouth, "There've been a lot of rumors about me spreading and I've dismissed them with a laugh, but those that say Xiaobao isn't your son's, I can not sit idly and watch."
With a wave, Great Elder warned, "The town rumors shouldn't be taken seriously, don't be affected by them."
"If the rumors are about me, I will not mind, but Xiaobao is still young and naturally has a tough life. It would be better for him if these rumors were dispelled as soon as possible." She bowed and said respectfully, "Please invite all the Elders to test if Xiaobao carries our family's blood. Our family's [Sinuous Aqua Body] is pristine and unique."
Great Elder lowered his voice. "There's no need."
Madam Ye continued to bow, never raising her head. "Please grant my wish. Xiaobao has a long life ahead of him. Even if these critics get things straight, their comments would still leave a scar on Xiaobao. What's the point of us doing so much? As a mother, I'm unwilling to allow him to bear the criticisms. The test will set everything right. Mouths will shut when the truth is revealed."
After muttering to himself for some time, Great Elder spoke up slowly. "All right! Since you're so insistent, we shall do that. Don't worry, anyone who tries to smear Xiaobao will not be let off."
The Ling Residence received the news quickly.
Ling Sheng was rather shocked. "Widow Ye is going to publicize the test?"
He looked at his wife with uncertainty. "Is your news accurate? She must be very confident if she wants to publicize it."
Madam Ling was also somewhat swayed, but quickly calmed down. "She's just bluffing. The truth cannot be false, so let's see what she's up to. Since she's already set a date, it is our chance."
Qing Feng asked in a strange voice, "What chance?"
"The chance to seize Xiao Shuren." Madam Ling continued, "If Ye Lin is going to bring Xiaobao for the test, she's definitely going to be escorted by a strong guard. When the house is empty, that's the best time for us to strike. According to inside news, Ye Lin does not value Xiao Shuren as she's not interested in the ancient treasure."
Qing Feng responded, "The earlier we get her, the faster we can heal young master."
Ling Sheng made eye contact with his wife and both saw the determination in each other's eyes.
Zhong Residence, secret room.
She Yu was listening to Zhong Houjun's report.
"I've followed your orders and created some conflicts with the Zeng residence. There are casualties on both sides. Silver City is in chaos now and it started with the Ling Residence's strike. Later on, attacks became complicated and difficult to distinguish. Respective families are all very vigilant. Some suspect that the Ling Residence was creating trouble on the sly, some reckon that the residence has secret connections, while others even suspect that the new citizens are sowing discord since Yuchi Qingshan's appearance was way too coincidental. Following your instructions, we did not make any moves, so no one suspects us."
Zhong Houjun admired this Blood of God's envoy greatly. She was unpredictable and her hot and cold way of dealing with things was astonishing to see.
Without exerting much effort, she had managed to turn the Ling Residence and the Great Elder into mortal enemies, sending Silver City into a state of disorder.
No one would've thought that this unprecedented unrest was orchestrated by this woman before him.
She Yu was very pleased. "Very good. The Zhong Residence and your contributions will not be forgotten by Mister Bei. He will treat you guys well. Looking at the current situation of the Avalon of Five Elements, I believe you can tell who's going to have the last laugh."
Zhou Houjun answered without hesitation, "Yes! The Zhong Residence vows loyalty and devotion to Mister Bei! To God Nation!"
This chaos in the Avalon of Five Elements disappointed him very much, but also made him even more determined to follow the Blood of God.
She Yu looked satisfied. She asked directly, "Have you found people?"
Zhong Houjun reassured hurriedly, "Done. They're all professional and not from the Zhong Residence."
"Don't worry. You guys are not going because I do not want your identities to be exposed and not because I don't trust you all." She Yu added, "We might bump into Dai Gang's people, but I'm looking forward to it slightly. He's determined to obtain the ancient treasure. How exciting."
"Dai Gang's people!" Zhong Houjun shuddered before asking somewhat suspiciously, "Why isn't Ye Lin bothered by this?"
"She plots too much and is too ambitious." She Yu laughed coldly, "She probably already checked Xiao Shuren's background when the latter was still in Karakorum. Not only that, but reunions with old friends and what not are the most exciting."
Her radiant eyes flickered.