Filing a Report

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The Sheng Palace having been robbed was not something that many people knew about. The eighth prince had always believed that it was his own servants that had stolen the things that they had been entrusted with. With a spy appearing in his palace, wave after wave of people had been killed.

But it was only after the homes of countless officials and even the bank’s vault had been emptied out that he found out that he had done something beyond stupid- he had killed the wrong people! But could it be that there really was a “divine thief of the shadows”? Someone that was so supreme that not even his counter to hidden guards could not discover them? Could they be so supreme that they could sneak so many chests out of the Sheng Palace?

Even if the eighth prince died, he would not believe it!

He maintained a certain suspicious attitude toward the divine thief of the shadows. After remaining calm for another four hours, he began another round of killing. He also developed a new view on the matter with the officials and the bank. All of this was the result of his advisor saying: “Your Highness, have you investigated this list of names carefully?” While speaking, he handed over a long piece of paper. At the same time, he explained to the eighth prince: “They’re all members of Your Highness’ faction. They all lost their manor’s wealth. Your Highness must deliberate on this matter carefully.”

Xuan Tian Mo did not react immediately and only said with a heavy expression: “That just shows that the thief is someone that opposes me. It can’t be some divine thief of the shadows from Jiang Hu. This should be some sort of careful plot with the goal of cutting off my support.”

The advisor heavily shook his head, “Your Highness, think about it from a different angle.”

Xuan Tian Mo tightly furrowed his brow, from a different angle? The advisor’s words seemed to have opened a window for him, as Xuan Tian Mo suddenly recalled that he had secretly gathered these officials shortly after returning to the capital. He was intending to raise personal soldiers in the South and needed a large amount of financial support. Although his faction’s support was not of high rank, each family had found their own way of making money with his support. They were just waiting for the day that he would need this money, and they would be able to bring it out.

At that time, there was not a single person that refused. After all, the source of their income was reliant on the eighth prince. Everyone had an understanding in their hearts that the day would eventually come. At the time, they were still quite happy; otherwise, those officials would not have taken such a big risk during the banquet to oppose Feng Yu Heng, and it had obtained such a great result. But all of this was just on the surface. After all, those people had not turned over their wealth. The day of the handover was set for the 15th of the first month. As a result, this sort of thing ended up happening. Could it be… “You mean to say that they are collaborating?” He asked the advisor, “For the sake of not handing over this money, they lied and said that it was stolen?”

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The advisor declined to comment, “Your Highness is very correct. There is no shortage of bold people in this world, but just having daring is not enough. For so many to have been robbed in a single night? When it comes to just the money in the bank, how many carts would that require? But if a procession of carriages was used, that could not have gone without notice.”

Xuan Tian Mo felt that his advisor was quite rational, thus he assumed that it was definitely those people that were reluctant to hand over their wealth and had used this plot against him. But he could not act with undue haste. He needed to observe this matter for a few more days. After all, the Sheng Palace had also lost things in quite a strange manner. It seemed that the methods used were the exact same as what had happened to those officials. He could kill all of the servants in his palace to prevent future trouble; however, he could not kill that many officials all at once.

While the eighth prince was feeling hesitant and lacking in resolution, the officials that had been robbed were also terrified to file a report for the time being. Instead, they first told the eighth prince about it, and the response that they received was to quietly observe.

On the other side, Feng Yu Heng did not stop. For three straight days, she would leave the manor in dark clothes to move around at night. With the eighth prince’s reminder, the ones that had not been robbed for the time being increased the defense of their warehouses. There were even some officials that did not sleep, as they moved a chair into the warehouse to personally stand guard!

With things like this, things should not disappear, right?

Unfortunately, it was pointless. Feng Yu Heng used her space to silently enter the warehouse then appear like a ghost behind the defender and chop at the back of their neck. As the official passed out on the chair, the entire warehouse of treasures was placed inside Feng Yu Heng’s space.

Over the course of three days, all of the officials, wealthy merchants and banks that were part of the eighth prince’s faction were thoroughly robbed by her. It was just that the bank only had an amount corresponding to the banknotes stolen. None of the other assets were touched. She felt that this was very ethical.

After three days, the eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo, still wanted to keep the matter suppressed to resolve it himself, but in the end, there were people that could not sit still. The report was filed to Xu Jing Yuan’s side. There were some that had planned to listen to the eighth prince’s arrangements that were no longer as resolute because there was a rumor that said that everything was perpetrated by the eighth prince for fear that they would not hand over the money, thus he sent people to raid their houses.

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The people angrily reported the loss of their things to the government office, demanding that Xu Jing Yuan give them an explanation. They also demanded Xu Jing Yuan to find the “divine thief of the shadows” that had managed to enter the capital.

Xu Jing Yuan was also quite interested in this matter. He felt that it was quite strange. How could so many homes have been robbed without anyone knowing about it? Also, it was the entire warehouse that had been emptied. Was that something that a single person could empty? At the very least, it would require a group of tens of people, right? But he was also curious. The other families were fine, as it was only these officials and merchants that had suffered. Did they think he was stupid? These were all people from the eighth prince’s faction. Among them, there were even some that had caused Imperial Daughter Ji An trouble during the banquet, forcing her to close Hundred Herb Hall. She had also been planning to head to her fief in the next few days.

What did this mean? It was possible that this was all arranged by Imperial Daughter. With this case reaching his side, he would need to change his method for investigating.

Xu Jing Yuan made up his mind, revealing a fox-like smile on his face. He immediately set up for court. Slamming the gavel, he did not ask anything of the merchants and directly asked the officials- “You lost your money? How much did you lose? False reports will see you get punished.”

The officials were dazed, “What false report? We really did lose that amount though? How could it be a false report?”

Xu Jing Yuan nodded his head with neither urgency nor hesitation: “Oh, it isn’t a false report. That means that everyone’s manor truly lost that much money?”

“Isn’t this just a waste of words?” One of them was originally short-tempered. Now that he had been angered to such a degree, he immediately said: “Without that much money, how could it be lost?”

“Since that’s the case, would my lords please go back and bring your account books over. This official will look through them.” Xu Jing Yuan’s face became stern, while his lips curled into a faint sneer.

“What do you want our account books for?” The people were confused, “What we lost is money, gold, silver, gems and banknotes. How is that related to our account books?”

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“That’s right! Our income comes from proper business.”

The people went back and forth, with none of them understanding why Xu Jing Yuan brought up their account books. When these people finally calmed down a bit, Xu Jing Yuan finally said to the official that blustered the least: “Lord Zhao, based on what this official knows, your family’s only businesses are a couple of cloth shops, and they cannot be considered among the higher-tier cloth shops in the capital. How much money could two cloth shops earn over the course of a year? I fear that even ten years would not account for all that you lost, right? And your shops have only been open for three years! This official wants to ask you, where did the money that you lost come from?”

“This…” Lord Zhao was speechless. Where did it come from? Either way, it did not come from proper paths. It was not that the account book could not be shown, after all, each family that did business had two account books, one that was kept in the open and one that was hidden. But for him, and all of the people that had come to file a report, they finally realized something: This Xu Jing Yuan was one of the seventh prince’s people! Since he actually intended to investigate the accounts, how could he be unable to find the slightest problem? And once a problem was found, the origin of that money would need to be investigated. Just last year, he had pulled some strings to sell off a sixth rank official. Could this sort of thing be laid out in the open?

In an instant, the officials lost their spark, as they all began to beat the drum to sound a retreat. Someone even began to laugh, expressing that they would go back and investigate it on their own. Perhaps their family’s madam had moved it. How could that much money have disappeared in a single night?!

Another person said: “Perhaps the banknotes sent to the bank were used by my family members elsewhere, and he would need to go back and ask about it.”

With just a few words, the officials that had been shouting and screaming found an excuse and left. In the court, only the merchants continued to remain.

These merchants were not fools. For officials to have grey income, it would affect their career paths, but they were not afraid. They were purely merchants. How much money their manors had could not be controlled by the court, thus someone said: “Then Lord Xu needs to take care of our case of having been robbed, right? We do not receive a government salary!”

Xu Jing Yuan nodded, “Un, your matter does indeed need to be investigated carefully. Alright, you can go back and wait for it. When this official has finished investigating it clearly, you will naturally be contacted.” With just a few words, they were sent off. Even when the merchants returned home, they did not think of anything.

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Xu Jing Yuan, however, snorted coldly and quietly cursed these merchants for being stupid. They were just merchants. Da Shun was an association of agricultural, industrial and commercial units. Businesses were of the lowest rank. He might need to expend some energy when dealing with officials, but getting rid of some businessmen was too easy. Just wait, this case would need at least a year or two to solve. If you’re nervous, just come every day and stick around.

When word of this reached the imperial daughter’s manor, Wang Chuan became suspicious, carefully asking Feng Yu Heng: “I heard that those lords lost all of their belongings. Young Miss, was it you that did it?”

Feng Yu Heng was sitting on the swaying seat in the yard while eating pastries, and she shook her head, refusing to admit it, “No, no, did you not see me with you every day? When have I ever gone out?”

The corners of Wang Chuan’s lips twitched: “You have always slept alone at night.”

“Even if I went out at night, I would at least be discovered by Ban Zou!” Feng Yu Heng argued with strong reasoning, resolutely refusing to admit it.

Huang Quan was pushing the chair from behind. Hearing this refute, she felt that she could no longer continue to hold it in, thus she said: “But when this servant went to fold young miss’ blankets today, I found that they were cold. Young Miss, you didn’t even sleep overnight.”

Feng Yu Heng facepalmed, “Can you be less thorough?” Are you lot wanting to take the test to become government officials or something? You even know how to conduct a trial.

“With this sort of master, would it do to be less thorough?” Ban Zou’s voice suddenly drifted through the air, as a dark shadow suddenly appeared in front of them.

Feng Yu Heng pointed at Ban Zou and said: “Wearing black at night is indeed quite good, but it’s too noticeable during the day.”

Ban Zou ignored her and just asked: “You said that it was not you that did it? Then might I ask, where did those things in the underground storage come from?”

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