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“Who was on guard duty last night?” Invincible Nie asked again.
A few disciples flew towards their master with trepidation. They were merely common guards of the sect. They could hardly see their master’s face on normal days. This was the first time they’d be this close to their master. His intimidating presence and his fury were was enough to put them on their nerves.
“Master, we are the ones that guarded the sect last night,” the leader said with a downturned face.
“Did you notice anyone suspicious pass through the gates?”
Invincible Nie asked this question to gather information about the killer. He wanted to know how someone capable of killing his horse was able to escape the notice of so many guards’ eyes. It was just a piece of cake for him to do so, but he was Invincible Nie!
“Master, there wasn’t any suspicious person last night.”
The disciple suddenly thought of an important fact after finishing his sentence.
He continued and said, “Brother Ruan Hao came back to the sect from his house all of a sudden. If I am not mistaken, he headed to the summit of Invincible after entering the gates.”
“What? Ruan Hao?”
Invincible Nie’s eyes sparkled. He still had some impressions of this disciple, he was a third grade combat king, but his strength far exceeded others of the same level. This disciple was now the suspicious one, but Nie couldn’t believe that this disciple could get rid of his horse. Ruan Hao couldn’t even enter summit of Invincible with his qualifications. This was rather strange.
“Where is Ruan Hao now?” Invincible Nie demanded.
“Master, Brother Ruan Hao returned to Changling City yesterday and has yet to come back.”
A good friend of Ruan Hao added that he had not returned to the sect after going home.
“It seemed that there is something suspicious about this guy, I would like to go to Changling City to find out,” said Invincible Nie.
He disappeared again after turning around. Silence filled the area. Everyone was staring at one another. There was nothing in their eyes but shock. They couldn’t make the connection between the death of the Ferghana Stallion and Ruan Hao. Could it be Brother Ruan Hao that killed the horse? It was a joke, he was definitely incapable of doing that. Not to mention that such thoughts were taboo for every Invincible Sect disciple.
Ruan Hao, his dad, and two of his elder brothers were sitting around the table in the chief of Changling City’s house. Ruan Chang Shan, the chief’s third son, was his pride. Ruan Hao was one of the core disciples of Invincible Sect, not everyone could say that.
Today Ruan Hao had returned from the Sect. It was a joyful reunion in the family. While Ruan Chang San, Ruan Hao and two of his brothers were having joyful conversation with one another, Ruan Hao was the only one distracted by his own concerns. His concerns overwhelmed his intention to spend his time with his family. Last night, the matter was about Jiang Chen. It was the two questions that were asked by Jiang Chen. He had no idea what the other’s intention was, but he didn’t feel comfortable about the matter.
Furthermore, Ruan Hao knew everything that happened in Chaotic Ocean, especially that the supposedly dead Jiang Chen had returned. The first incident was the bloody massacre in the stronghold of Asura Palace - all of the innocent disciples were dead, including Second Tycoon Zhang Liang. This was stirring news, but Ruan Hao felt extremely lucky to be alive after meeting someone capable of slicing an eighth grade combat king in half. His life would have belonged to Jiang Chen during his close encounters with the killer.
“Third Brother, why the sour face? You seldom come back. You’re finally here, and yet it seems your heart is preoccupied with something.”
This young man was Ruan Hao’s elder brother.
“It’s nothing, really, big brother,” Ruan Hao grinned to distract him from knowing the truth.
All of a sudden, the air in the big hall rippled, a shadow of a man appeared instantly, and caused the temperature in the building to drop. The sons and father were observing the intruder with plaintiff expressions. When they recognized who the man was, their expressions changed dramatically.
“I pay my respect to you, master.”
The father and sons quickly got off from their chairs. They bowed in respect to Invincible Nie with fear in their eyes. Save for Ruan Hao, everyone had met the master before, so the master wasn’t strange to them.
Cold sweat started to ooze from the pores of Ruan Hao’s forehead, this feeling of anxiety wouldn’t be present if he hadn’t met Jiang Chen. If not for this meeting he would think his master’s visit to their family compound a great honor. Today was different, however, his master was supposed to be on the Gorge Mountains battling, but he had left that important matter and come to them. His guess was that something big had happened, but he couldn’t understand what his family’s relation to the matter could be. This could only be a bad thing.
Invincible Nie didn’t make eye contact with the father or the eldest two sons, all of his attention was focused on Ruan Hao.
“Ruan Hao, let me ask you a question, is the death of the Ferghana Stallion related to you?”
“What? The Ferghana Stallion is dead?”
Ruan Hao exclaimed, shocked. This was bigger than what he expected, truly beyond his expectation. It was no wonder Invincible Nie could leave the battle and return to the sect in person. As an Invincible Sect disciple, he fully understood how much the horse-like beast meant to the master.
“I definitely don’t believe that you are capable of murdering my stallion, but there is one thing that I have to ask you. You went to the summit of Invincible when you returned to the sect last night if I am not mistaken.”
Invincible Nie said it without a pause. The only purpose to this visit was to find out who the murderer of his stallion was. It was impossible for Ruan Hao to have killed it.
“No sir, I was in my family compound for the entire day yesterday, I never returned to the sect.”
Ruan Hao’s facial expression changed, his face was full of cold sweat and his heart felt feint. He was sure that he didn’t leave his home, plus Jiang Chen had knocked him out. He didn’t even have the chance to return to the Sect. Even if he had returned to the sect, it was utterly ridiculous to think that he had intruded on the summit of Invincible, he knew it was forbidden. He was only familiar with the publicly accessible places in the sect. He didn’t have the nerve to break into the summit of Invincible.
“Humph! How dare you lie through your teeth! I will crush you and your father to ashes with my fingertips.”
Invincible Nie’s raging, cold, and cruel energy flowed out of his body in all directions. A shapeless whirlwind was created in the hall, turning the firm tables and chairs into powder. Their fear of death caused the whole family to fall to their knees. They wanted to beg for mercy.
“I DO NOT DARE… I SWEARRR my words are true…”
Ruan Hao was scared to death.
“Please calm down, master. There must be some mistake. There was no doubt that I was in my compound the whole time. In addition, as the disciple of Invincible Sect, I am bound by oath to not commit any misconduct and I wasn’t stupid enough to make any attempt on your ninth grade demon king stallion. It would be nothing but seeking death for me to do so,” Ruan Hao answered sincerely.
Invincible Nie frowned. His eyes could tell whether Ruan Hao told a lie or not. It was impossible for a young man of third grade combat king level to lie in front of him. It seemed Ruan Hao was really in his compound yesterday, but it was equally true that the guards saw Ruan Hao returning to the sect. Those disciples wouldn’t even dare to tell a lie to him. There had to be something unsolved or unseen.
Ten seconds later, Ruan Hao, who was kneeling down, thought of Jiang Chen and said, “Master, I know that this incident is related to a person.”
Invincible Nie’s eyes sparkled at the comment.
“Jiang Chen,” said Ruan Hao.
“Jiang Chen? Which Jiang Chen?”
Invincible Nie was stunned for a moment.
“This is about the disaster that happened a few months ago. He was the one who destroyed the Cold Hell Prison. He didn’t die, but has returned. He came to find me last night to ask about the situation of the Ferghana Stallion, and knocked me out. When I woke up again, it was already early morning.”
Ruan Hao told the whole story without even the slightest mix of deception.
“To my surprise, this kid didn’t die, but he wasn’t the opponent of the Ferghana Stallion in any aspect.”
Invincible Nie frowned in disbelief.
“Master, Jiang Chen came in search of me after his massacre of over thirty Asura Palace desciples in Chaotic Ocean. One of the strongest was Zhang Liang who was an eighth grade combat king.” said Ruan Hao.
“What? This kid’s become this strong in just a few short months? He could kill Zhang Liang? It seems that a person who could ignite disaster has singularly hidden his body. What about the matter that one of the guards saw you returning to the sect? How do you explain that?” Invincible Nie asked.
“Master, I have no idea what really happened. My guess is that Jiang Chen has mastered the shape shifting technique. He could have transformed into my figure and entered the sect.”
Ruan Hao’s justification and guess was correct. He had make every effort to prove his innocence. He knew that Invincible Nie was been suspicious of his relationship with Jiang Chen, any misunderstanding would not only cost him his life, but his family theirs as well.
“I shall forgive you since you haven’t lied to me. Since you are a disciple of Invincible Sect I will not pursue this matter any further. You and your family should stay in the compound for the time being. Wait until I capture Jiang Chen. You can prove your innocence then,” Invincible Nie warned.
“Thank you, master.”
The family sounded frightened, they kowtowed to the master with their forehead touching the ground.
Invincible Nie disappeared again. Despite being at the combat emperor level, he searched for Jiang Chen for a whole day without any success. The second party was Asura Palace, their desperation to look for Jiang Chen was equal to Invincible Nie’s. Sword Wu Xuang School was the other party that was also looking for Jiang Chen for revenge. Many of their disciples had been killed, especially by the monk. They wanted to settle the blood debt owed them.
Another day later, Invincible Nie had no choice but to issue a warrant for Jiang Chen’s arrest. The whole world was informed. Anyone that could provide any clues of Jiang Chen’s whereabouts would receive a great reward from Invincible Sect. Those that could provide information would be awarded a middle or high rank discipleship in the sect. The arrest would bring another storm into Liang Province. Everyone now knew of the death of the Ferghana Stallion. It sent a jolt down their spines.