Every inner sect disciple in Armament Sect was assigned a personal cave at Flame Volcano. Not only was the cave provided with a furnace used for artifact forging, it even had a guided earthfire source and was supplied with various artifact forging spirit materials.
Naturally Yin Hao was not an exception.
In Yin Hao’s cave, Pang Shishi hurriedly explained with a panic-stricken face, “I am lacking Flowing Cloud Stones which is why I have come to borrow a few from Senior Brother Yin Hao. I had shouted a few times in front of his cave, but Senior Brother Yin Hao had not replied. So I tried pushing the door a little and it opened straight away. After I came in, Senior Brother Yin Hao was already like this.”
Inside the cave, Yin Hao’s entire body was covered in a dark-green as his body fell stiffly beside a furnace.
Lian Rou and Tang Siqi could not help but cry out after taking only one glance.
There were several soybean sized beetles on Yin Hao’s body. His body was also dark green in color which was the same symptoms Qin Lie had a few days before.
“What happened to Yin Hao?” There was a cry of exclamation from outside the cave as the green garbed, tall and thin Pan Xuan walked in.
“Senior Brother.” The moment he appeared, Lian Rou, Tang Siqi, and Pang Shishi saluted in unison and greeted him.
Pan Xuan looked about thirty years old and was the disciple of the current sect master. He had some prestige among the inner sect disciples. He walked right next to Yin Hao’s body, looked down, and felt his expression turn heavy. “Eclipse Insects!”
He turned around, looked at Lian Rou and Tang Siqi before frowning, “I heard that an outer sect disciple had been bitten by Eclipse Insects previously and was saved by Junior Sister Lian Rou. Now Yin Hao has also been bitten by Eclipse Insects. Is there a connection between the two?”
“Senior Brother, Elder Tong has been investigating where Eclipse Insects came from lately, and according to him, they were brought back from the south by Long He.” Lian Rou’s heart was heavy. “Long He also died. Someone had pierced his throat with a sword. According to Elder Tong’s investigations, Senior Brother Yin Hao and Long He have been interacting more frequently as of late.”
“Elder Tong suspects that Yin Hao is the one who killed Long He? Who killed Yin Hao then?” Pan Xuan was shocked on the inside.
Lian Rou shook her head. “I’m not sure either.”
While speaking, more nearby inner sect disciples had gradually gathered and arrived at the cave. They all stared solemnly at Yin Hao’s corpse.
Qin Lie stopped his footsteps and listened intently. When he heard the two words “Eclipse Insect” his eyes shone with a cold light.
Although he wasn’t originally looking for trouble, he too headed to Yin Hao’s cave and tentatively poked his head into the cave. He hoped to clearly examine Yin Hao’s condition to find some leads.
“Who are you?” Beside Yin Hao’s body, Pan Xuan’s expression abruptly darkened as he yelled when seeing someone strange walk in.
“Qin Bing, outer sect disciple.” Qin Lie bowed slightly.
“Outer sect disciple?” Pan Xuan’s expression turned cold as he waved his hand impatiently. “Get out! There’s no place for you here!”
Qin Lie’s expression was indifferent, but his pupils shrunk a little.
“Senior Brother, Qin Bing is the assistant that I’ve chosen. Previously, he was helping me carrying a new batch of spirit materials up here.” Tang Siqi hurriedly explained, “The outer sect disciple who was bitten by Eclipse Insects is him.”
“Yin Hao’s death is strange. He was also killed by Eclipse Insects, so the outer sect disciples on the mountains currently are very suspicious.” Pan Xuan asked Lian Rou with a darkened face, “According to your understanding of Eclipse Insects, do you know approximately when Yin Hao was bitten?”
“It must have been last night.” After checking for a while, Lian Rou said, “He should have died to the poison this morning.”
Pan Xuan looked at Tang Siqi again and questioned, “Did this outer sect disciple called Qin Bing come to the mountain yesterday?”
“No, he only arrived this morning.” Tang Siqi looked a little angry. “Senior Brother, are you actually suspecting Qin Bing? He was also bitten by Eclipse Insects. The murderer must be someone else. Exactly what kind of reason do you have to suspect Qin Bing?”
“Revenge.” Pan Xuan responded with a dark face. “According to Elder Tong’s assumption, Only Yin Hao had close ties with Long He, and Long He’s Eclipse Insects were taken away by Yin Hao. In that case… it is possible that Eclipse Insect that bit Qin Bing was Yin Hao’s work. Now that he was bitten to death himself, who is to say that it isn’t possible that someone wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine?”
Once finished he harshly stared at Qin Lie and snapped, “Are you the one who killed him?”
“You have such rich imagination, senior brother,” Qin Lie coldly mocked him.
Qin Bing discovered that this inner sect senior brother seemed to be going against him at every step since the moment they met. It confused him; he didn’t know where he might have offended this person.
“Qin Bing, you can go down the mountain first. Naturally, there will be people who will take care of this.” Tang Siqi gave him eye contact.
“He cannot go yet!” Pan Xuan said coldly with a dark face, “If it truly was him, once he gets down the mountain, there’s no telling if he’ll escape out of guilt right away. Tan Fuzhou, go down and inform Elder Tong of this matter and have him come swiftly.”
An inner sect disciple nodded and headed out of the cave.
“Detain this Qin Bing for now and pass him onto Elder Tong later. Let Elder Tong investigate him closely,” Pan Xuan continued to instruct.
The two Armament Sect inner sect disciples immediately walked forward and arrived at Qin Lie’s left and right side. One of them took out shackles and was ready to put it right on top of Qin Lie’s head.
“You have neither evidence nor justification. On what basis are you detaining him?!” Tang Siqi’s beautiful eyes were practically about to spit fire.
“Siqi, will you just stop talking,” Lian Rou exclaimed softly before hurriedly grabbing the shackles from them “Let me do it. I’ll detain Qin Bing so as not to trouble you two junior brothers.”
Those two people were greatly troubled being stuck between Pan Xuan and Tang Siqi. Seeing that Lian Rou had proactively accepted the responsibility, they quickly passed over the shackles to her.
Accepting the shackles, Lian Rou walked near to Qin Lie, lowered her voice, and said, “Please endure it for the moment. Elder Tong knows and will not make things difficult for you…”
Qin Lie, who was looking harsh earlier quieted down once he heard her words. He cooperatively allowed her to put the shackles on him.
He understood now that the more Tang Siqi defended him, the more would Pan Xuan go against him, preferably to his death.
Wasn’t this obvious enough?
Pan Xuan obviously held an eye for Tang Siqi. The moment he heard that he had carried spirit materials into Tang Siqi’s cave, this person began to create trouble out of nowhere and intentionally put them on him. Ironically, Tang Siqi had unintentionally cooperated by continuously arguing with him, so naturally, this incited his jealousy and caused Pan Xuan to go against him like crazy.
Qin Lie’s heart was full with bitterness. He wasn’t sure if he should thank Tang Siqi or get her to shut up as soon as possible.
“Senior Brother, you are not an inner sect elder. You have no authority to do such a thing, do you?” yelled Tang Siqi as she angrily glared at Pan Xuan.
“Siqi, enough!” Lian Rou cried out.
“The inner sect elders are all forging artifacts in seclusion and very rarely ask about the unimportant stuff in the sect. As the eldest among the inner sect disciples and before an elder arrives, logic dictates me to handle this matter,” Pan Xuan answered arrogantly.
“Isn’t that just entering the sect ten years earlier? What is there to be proud of? You just watch out in the future!” Tang Siqi yelled hatefully.
“Hmph!” Pan Xuan also snorted coldly.
Qin Lie felt a bellyful of bad luck listening to the both of them converse. He would never have come out of curiosity if he knew this would happen. Now it’s just great. He was struck by an uncalled disaster out of nowhere and became this Pan Xuan’s outlet.
Before long, outer sect Tong Jihua arrived with a scowl and glanced at Yin Hao’s body. After confirming the situation he nodded and said, “The outer sect will take care of the random matters in the sect. You all only need to do your best in forging artifacts and live up to the sect master’s expectations.”
He made a grabbing motion from afar, and the shackles on Qin Lie’s body were unlocked. He glanced once at Qin Lie and ordered, “Follow me down.”
Qin Lie did not say anything and swept a cold glance at Pan Xuan. Then, he followed Tong Jihua down the mountain.
Lian Rou winked at Tang Siqi as they both also sneakily left Yin Hao’s cave. They quietly descended down Flame Volcano and went to the outer sect at the foot of the mountain.
Inside Tong Jihua’s exclusive cultivation room, Qin Lie, Tang Siqi, and Lian Rou were all present. The trio turned to look at Tong Jihua.
“Wait.” Tong Jihua narrowed his eyes, said this one word, and had the three of them keep silent.
After a full four hours—even the sky had turned dark—only then did a figure wald in, kneel on one knee, and say with his head lowered, “Liang Shaoyang was not at his stone tower last night.”
Tong Jihua waved his hands to let this person leave. Only then did he say, “The person who used the Eclipse Insects both times is Liang Shaoyang. But the one who killed Long He should be Yin Hao.”
“Before Yin Hao came to Armament Sect, he had been cultivating at a subordinate Limestone force under Dark Shadow Tower. The tower lord of Dark Shadow Tower saw his potential in artifact forging, which is why he had sent people to allow Yin Hao into Dark Shadow Tower and have the artificer of Dark Shadow Tower teach him the art of artifact forging.”
“Three years later, Yin Hao came to Armament Sect to participate in the exam and successfully entered the sect. Because he really was somewhat talented, he was quickly noticed by an inner sect elder and smoothly entered the inner sect. All of Yin Hao’s luck was all thanks to a word from Dark Shadow Tower’s tower lord, which was why he was very grateful to the tower lord.”
After a pause, Tong Jihua continued, “Liang Shaoyang happens to be the younger son of the tower lord of Dark Shadow Tower.”
Neither Qin Lie, Tang Siqi, nor Lian Rou, who were in the room, were stupid. Since Tong Jihua had explained up to this point, naturally they understood what it meant.
“Liang Shaoyang had grown up in Dark Shadow Tower since he was young. It was said that before he was even ten years old, he had already carried out missions for Dark Shadow Tower on the outside and learned how to kill people.” Tong Jihua said with a scowl, “To accept missions and assassinate people is the way martial practitioners in Dark Shadow Tower grow up. Every Dark Shadow Tower martial practitioners views murder as the easiest way to solve a problem. As someone who grew up in Dark Shadow Tower since he was young, he must be all too familiar with this method.”
“Liang Shaoyang!” Qin Lie exclaimed coldly in a low tone.
“Elder Tong, this Liang Shaoyang is the youngest son of the tower lord of Dark Shadow Tower. How are you going to deal with this matter?” Lian Rou suddenly asked.
“Naturally, we will act according to the rules of our sect!” Tong Jihua’s expression turned cold as he said without a hint of politeness, “Let’s not say that he is the son of Dark Shadow Tower’s tower lord. Even if it was the tower lord himself who dared to break the rules of Armament Sect, we will deal with them exactly as how they would deal with us! The reason Armament Sect can stand foot on this land and acquire the acknowledgement of Dark Asura Hall, Seven Fiends Valley, Dark Shadow Tower, Purple Mist Sea, Cloud Sky Mountain, and many other forces was not simply because we can forge artifacts!”
Proudness appeared on his face. “On what basis is it that no one dared to touch the spirit artifacts travelling between Armament Sect and every Armament Pavilion for the past few years? It is all because of our outer sect, ‘Blood Spear’! As long as ‘Blood Spear’ remains unbroken, anyone who dares to go against us Armament Sect will have to consider whether they will be pierced by ‘Blood Spear’ first!”
Blood Spear was a private team of Armament Sect’s outer sect. It was built through the sweat and blood of Armament Sect.
Every martial practitioner in Blood Spear had amazing combat capabilities, and they were equipped with the highest ranking spirit weapons forged by the artificers of Armament Sect. It could be said that they were the most luxuriously equipped men of all surrounding forces.
Blood Spear was also Armament Sect’s true trump card and why they were not afraid the other forces would rob them.