Chapter 12 – War of Words

As the black mist assassins were about to launch their attack, a loud shout rang out.

“Stop! The constable of Jixian is here, how dare you act recklessly!” The constable of Lu shouted from afar, throwing out his Treasures of Literature waist plaque.

A voice appeared out of thin air, reciting the war poetry “Canglang Journey” by the Half-Sage Chen Guanhai of Jing Kingdom. With the recitation, a sound like waves crashing against the shore exploded in mid-air, and the waist plaque turned into a three-zhang-high blue wave, blocking between Fang Yun and Liu Zicheng, covering the sky and ready to strike at any moment.

Liu Zicheng instinctively stopped writing and took three steps back, tightly gripping the brush in his hand, which also began to emit a faint light, surprisingly also a Treasures of Literature.

Liu Zicheng turned his head and said, “Constable Lu, I am Liu Zicheng of the Dayuan Liu family. My elder brother is the top scholar of Jiangzhou, and my uncle is the current Left Chancellor. You should leave now, and nothing will happen today.”

The constable of Lu, with righteous indignation, said, “You assassinated the saintly presented scholar in the street, and I am the constable of Jixian. How can I just stand by? The Treasures of Literature waist plaque has been activated, and the county lord’s official seal will surely respond. Put down the Treasures of Literature and wait for the county lord’s verdict!”

In the Academy, County Magistrate Cai changed into his formal clothes and was about to attend a banquet at the Jixiang Tavern, followed by an extremely sturdy man.

The man’s neck and below were no different from an ordinary person, but his head was not a human head, but a cow’s head, a Savage Cow.

A Presented Scholar could have two armored private soldiers.

An Imperial Scholar could have four private soldiers without limit on Demon Barbarians.

The Savage Cow held a small yellow silk package in his hand, containing the official seal that the county magistrate must carry when going out.

The yellow silk package suddenly moved slightly.

County Magistrate Cai’s expression changed, and his whole body was filled with qi as he reached out to take the official seal.

He saw everything happening outside Fang Yun’s house through the official seal and the waist plaque of the constable of Lu, including the half of Jing Ke’s assassination of Qin and Fang Yun’s predicament.

County Magistrate Cai was furious, and Jixian had finally produced a saintly presented scholar who could possibly be famous throughout the world, but the Liu family dared to kill him.

“Bold criminals!”

County Magistrate Cai shouted, and a white light flew out of his mouth, condensing into an ancient white light sword in front of him.

The ancient sword emitted an inexplicable killing intent, and even the Savage Cow, who was fearless on the battlefield, instinctively squinted his eyes and shrunk his neck at the moment the ancient sword appeared.

County Magistrate Cai was too far from Fang Yun, even an Imperial Scholar’s War of Words would be difficult to reach, but the entire county was shrouded in the power of the Academy. County Magistrate Cai squeezed the official seal, using the power accumulated by the Academy for hundreds of years to activate the ancient sword.

With a “swish,” the ancient sword cut through the sky, bringing a piercing sound of breaking through the air, and arrived above Fang Yun’s house in two breaths.

The ancient sword emitted a strong oppressive force, causing Liu Zicheng’s hand holding the brush to tremble.

Liu Zicheng was frightened, he knew too well how terrifying an Imperial Scholar was, and he knew even more that the other party would die to protect Fang Yun. If he dared to make a move, he would undoubtedly die.

Liu Zicheng immediately shouted, “I hope County Magistrate Cai can see clearly. I am Liu Zicheng, a Talented Scholar of Dayuan Prefecture. I didn’t know that Fang Yun was a saintly presented scholar before, but now that I know, I will never make a move!”

County Magistrate Cai’s voice came from the ancient sword, “Surrounding and attacking the presented scholar in broad daylight is a heinous crime!”

The ancient sword suddenly disappeared, and at a speed that the naked eye couldn’t catch, it flew past the neck of a servant, and then returned to mid-air.

“Uh…” The servant suddenly covered his neck with both hands, and surging blood sprayed from his fingers and mouth, slowly falling to the ground.

The pungent smell of blood spread in the air, and the sand on the ground gradually turned red.

The other three servants were frightened, kneeling on the ground and begging for mercy, “Please spare our lives, sir!””Lu Catcher, take these three people to the prison and interrogate them on a chosen day. As for Liu Zicheng, he is not allowed to leave the jurisdiction of Dayuan Prefecture until this case is resolved, otherwise it will be considered as fleeing from guilt.”

Liu Zicheng quickly bowed and apologized, saying, “I know my mistake.” He then hurriedly got on the carriage and left in a sorry state.

“Little Yun.” Yang Yuhuan cried and threw herself into Fang Yun’s arms, and Fang Yun gently patted her back to comfort her.

Fang Yun was extremely grateful to County Magistrate Cai and wanted to express his thanks, but he realized that saying “thank you” was too common and lacked weight. After all, he was just a Child Scholar, while the other was an Imperial Scholar County Magistrate.

Fang Yun pondered for a moment, then recited a poem aloud, “By the washstand in the Cai family’s garden, flowers bloom with faint ink traces; don’t let people praise your good looks, just keep your pure spirit filling the universe! Written by Fang Yun, in gratitude to Cai He.”

Lu Catcher was stunned. He thought to himself that Fang Yun was indeed the top scorer in the case, and this poem was at least at the county level. Fang Yun didn’t say anything good about County Magistrate Cai, but only wrote about the flowers in his garden, yet he praised him to the skies. Scholars pursued literary fame, but they also had to consider their influence. This kind of silent flattery was truly clever, especially since Fang Yun even named the poem “In Gratitude to Cai He.”

Lu Catcher became even more determined to attach himself to Fang Yun. Having talent was nothing special, but being able to conduct oneself properly at such a young age was rare, and his future achievements would be limitless.

“Great poem! Great poem! Only Cai’s greatness can match the pure spirit filling the universe.” Lu Catcher praised loudly.

As the poem was recited, the ancient sword of talent trembled slightly, then slowly dissipated. County Magistrate Cai said nothing.

Lu Catcher looked reverently at the place where the ancient sword of talent disappeared, put away his catcher’s badge, and handed a letter of invitation to Fang Yun, saying, “This is an invitation from the county lord for you to participate in the literary gathering at the auspicious restaurant.”

Fang Yun also took it with both hands and said, “Thank you, Lu Catcher.”

Lu Catcher smiled and said, “You’re welcome. Since Fang Gongzi is the top scorer in the case, I wanted to go in and have a cup of tea, but I still have to handle the case, so I won’t go in. This is my congratulations to Fang Gongzi. You know, we public servants don’t have much money, but you must accept this five liang silver. If you have anything to do in the future, just come find me. I will go through fire and water for you.” He then took out a five liang silver ingot.

Yang Yuhuan didn’t expect Lu Catcher’s gift to be so heavy. The usual gift for a happy occasion was only one hundred copper coins, but this five liang silver was equivalent to five thousand copper coins. She was even more surprised that someone called Fang Yun “Fang Gongzi.”

Fang Yun declined, saying, “Lu Catcher, you’re too kind. I haven’t even thanked you for your help. How can I accept your congratulatory gift?”

“One thing at a time. Take it, and I’ll have them leave immediately.”

Lu Catcher stuffed the silver into Fang Yun’s hand and ordered three servants to carry the corpses away.

As he watched Lu Catcher’s figure disappear, Fang Yun thought about the literary treasure waist badge.

A literary treasure was a treasure formed by injecting one’s lifetime talent into an object using poetry and prose as a medium before dying. Depending on the poetry and prose used, the effects of the literary treasure would vary.

Only an Accomplished Scholar or above could use the most basic literary treasure of an Imperial Scholar. Therefore, some people with literary positions of Presented Scholar or above would choose to create a literary treasure according to the requirements of the court before they died, in exchange for their descendants’ wealth and status.

Lu Catcher’s waist badge was a literary treasure of an Imperial Scholar. It was created by an Imperial Scholar who, before he died, injected his talent into the waist badge using Chen Guanhai’s famous poem “Canglang Xing” as a medium, and presented it to Jing Kingdom in exchange for one of his sons being promoted from Child Scholar to “Official Talented Scholar,” and for his grandson to be granted the title of “County Marquis” for a generation.

The so-called “Official Talented Scholar” was equivalent to a Talented Scholar in all respects within Jing Kingdom, but was not recognized by the Imperial Academy and had to be registered with the Imperial Academy.The higher the position, the stronger the treasures of literature offered, and the higher the status of their descendants.

If a Grand Academician or even a Half-Sage offers treasures of literature before their death, it is a great achievement, equivalent to military merit. Their descendants can inherit high titles.

In each country, there are people who have obtained titles through military merit or offering treasures of literature by their ancestors. These people are collectively called “nobles” and have a high status in their own country, but not in other countries. They receive many privileges.

Fang Yun saw the bloodstains in the corner of his eye, but he didn’t have time to envy those who had treasures of literature. He went to deal with the bloodstains, but Yang Yuhuan said she would do it.

“Aren’t you afraid of blood?” Fang Yun asked.

“I’ve killed chickens and pigs before. What’s a little blood? I’m just afraid I won’t kill enough!” Yang Yuhuan hated the person who hurt Fang Yun.

Fang Yun said, “If we kill them all, won’t it help Liu Zicheng destroy the evidence? If he kills one, it proves his determination. If he leaves three, it means he may be pursued in the future.”

Yang Yuhuan suddenly realized and asked, “Why don’t we catch that bastard Liu Zicheng together?”

“He’s a talented scholar, a nobleman, and a relative of the Left Chancellor. Even if we catch him and bring him to the yamen, without conclusive evidence, he can only be released. It will instead help him clear his name. If he plays any tricks or acts pitiful, other officials will impeach County Magistrate Cai, and we won’t benefit. Now that the three house servants detained by County Magistrate Cai are here, Liu Zicheng will bear the suspicion of murder. The Liu family will not seek help from the Left Chancellor Liu Shan but instead cover it up. With those three house servants, County Magistrate Cai can both attack and defend.”

Yang Yuhuan looked at Fang Yun with admiration and said softly, “Little Yun, you’re really smart. No wonder you became the top of the Child Scholars.”

Fang Yun said, “Actually, reading many books can open one’s mind and make them understand these things.”

“Well, our Little Yun is amazing! A Lu catcher gave you five taels of silver. I wonder how much the others will give you. You’re really impressive!” Yang Yuhuan looked up and felt that Fang Yun had grown up.

“No matter what I do, half of the credit belongs to you, Yu Huan.” Fang Yun smiled, his eyes full of warmth.

“I’m going to be busy.” Yang Yuhuan suddenly realized that she couldn’t meet Fang Yun’s gaze and hurriedly lifted her skirt and left.

Fang Yun looked in the direction where Liu Zicheng disappeared, his eyes gradually turning cold.

“Those three house servants won’t confess. If they do, their entire family will suffer. Even if they do confess, they will probably only say that Liu Zicheng ordered them to teach me a lesson, not kill me. There won’t be any evidence. The key is, at that time, I was not a Child Scholar yet, and he was a talented scholar. He won’t be severely punished. There have been similar cases before. County Magistrate Cai has already done his utmost by killing one house servant. Liu Zicheng, who knew that I was a pre-saint Child Scholar, dared to kill me. He won’t let me go in the future. I can’t wait for death. The day I become a talented scholar will be the day Liu Zicheng dies!”

Just then, from the other side came the panting voice of Ge Xiaomao, “Fang Yun! Fang Yun! You became a Child Scholar and ranked first! Why didn’t you go to the Academy to see the list?”

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