Different Year, Same Thing (Part 17)
Unlike the usual peaceful start to the day at the magistrate office in Lin’an, this one started off on a rowdy note, crowd jamming the streets due to their eagerness to see how Jiu Shaozhang’s case would turn out. Even Xie Duzhe, whose head resembled a mobile gauze shelf, was there bright and early.
Hong Jiu dumped the six young masters inside the magistrate court as per Ming Feizhen’s instructions and then waltzed out without a care to soare. Thenceforward was the real hard part. Thankfully, Ling Qingshu’s absence meant that whoever was in charge of the case wouldn’t have to clash directly with Ling Clan or be humiliated when Ling Clan brazenly strolled in to take him home.
The county magistrate hid as well as an assassin, praying to every deity from the earth and in the firmament that a miracle would absolve him of any involvement in the case. A county magistrate lorded over the county he ruled. That being said, when the issue presented linked back to grudges in the martial world, the last thing he would want to do is try to throw his weight around them. They might not publicly confront the magistrate, but who knows what happens at nightfall, when a robber in dressed in dark garments and mask coincidentally decides picks his estate and coincidentally runs a blade through him? In this scenario, Xie Duzhe was also present, meaning he was second fiddle to the former.
Though there was no concrete evidence to prove the claim that Ling Hanzhong pulled out of Hangzhou due to an old injury festering again, Dark Robe Brotherhood assumed it was true once Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary’s forces pulled out of Hangzhou and decided to recruit the erstwhile sects under Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary. Frankly, Dark Robe Brotherhood’s move was no different to robbery; it just appeared more cultured than getting into physical altercations.
Xie Duzhe couldn’t oppose his clan’s will. Telling him to just let the murderers of the hook didn’t sit right with him, nevertheless. As such, he was forced to put in a request with the imperial court to withdraw from the case due to severe injury, which he luckily had many witnesses to testify on his behalf. By the same account, Dark Robe Brotherhood couldn’t force him to exact their will, either.
Since Xie Duzhe washed his hands off the case, and the county magistrate couldn’t afford to stick his nose in the martial realm’s affairs, he sought another member of one of the three martial world law enforcement offices to replace him.
Soon enough, drum beats reverberated from the entrance of the court. The six imperious young masters sauntered in, spirits high. Not long after their initial lockup, they were moved to better cells. Their parents then soon came running for them, informing the warden of their affiliations. From then on, they were treated as VIP guests in a luxury inn.
The six young masters’ relatives sent them eye signals from outside, indicating to them that all they had to do was play along with mandatory procedures before being released. They would’ve been celebrating already if they were told so upon arrest, but they were livid when they thought back on having to spend a night in lockup. Accordingly, they intended to heckle the magistrate or inquisitor, humiliating them to vent.
“Wow, pretty big court room, eh?!” shouted one of the young masters, startling the magistrate
The six guffawed, driving home the fact that they ran the show.
“Right, let’s hear what you have to say. Displease me, and I’ll make you the laughing stock of the nation!”
“Ehehe, this one is not in charge of this case,” responded the county magistrate.
The six young masters’ cocky looks turned to nose wrinkles. One asked, “When is the judge coming? I’m a busy m-”
There weren’t just one or two people who blinked, rubbed their eyes and even checked their noses. Had she not displayed her token, Xie Duzhe would’ve chased her off for obstruction of justice.
The court magistrate got out of the chair for the eye-catching maiden barely fifteen years old. People still couldn’t believe such an adorable girl dressed in a warrior’s, form-fitting blue robe was supposed to be the judge of the case. Usually, one would remove their cloak upon entering a building, yet she swiped a copper pot of tea and poured herself a drink, knocking it back without rinsing the cup first. She wiped her mouth in a crude manner, acting as if she had a drink of wine.
She picked up the statement and, sounding as though she was taking on an insipid job, questioned, “What crimes did you six commit?”