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Nirvana In Fire Chapter 98

Xie Yu did not heed his request to lift his head, but Mei Changsus words pierced his heart like a poisoned needle. Even if he had been truly stupid, he would still have recognized the truth behind Mei Changsus words, and he was not stupid in the slightest.

But if he did not depend on Xia Jiang, what other choice did he have? None. He had no choice but to cling to this lifeline, no matter how slim, because there was simply no opportunity left to plan or consider.

Xie Yu knew full well that even if he walked out of Sky Prison in the future, he would never betray Xia Jiang, because there was simply no benefit to doing so. Xia Jiang could save his life, could arrange matters in his favour, and could even one day be the starting point for his comeback, and so he would certainly keep Xia Jiangs secret until the end, so long as this Xuanjing Head Officer was willing to trust him.

Who can predict the future? It was as if Mei Changsu could read his thoughts, as he continued coldly, Just as, half a month ago, you would never have thought you could have fallen to your current state, no? From your present circumstances, as long as Xia Jiang saves you, you will have no reason to betray him, but nothing in this world is certain, and he would do just as well to trust a corpse as to trust you, that would be even cleaner, and more in the style of a Head Officer of Xuanjing, no?

Xie Yu finally raised his head and met Mei Changsus gaze, his face determined. You are not wrong, there is indeed the possibility that Xia Jiang will kill me to sentence me when I am free of Sky Prison, but that is only a possibility. I have no choice but to roll this last dice, if I do not trust him, what would you have me do, trust you instead?

Why not trust me? Mei Changsu smiled.

Trust you? What joke is Mister Su making? I am here today largely because of your doing, if I trust you, I might as well commit suicide, at least that would be faster.

You are wrong. Mei Changsus tone was like ice. You are here today by your own doing, and have not been wronged in the least. But I was not joking when I asked you to trust me.

Xie Yus gaze flashed, but he did not answer.

Mei Changsus lips pressed into a thin line, and he spoke slowly and clearly, Because Xia Jiang has reason to wish you dead, and I do not.

You do not want me dead? Xie Yu lifted his head and laughed. More like, you do not want me to die too slowly?

I have just said, Mei Changsu ignored him and continued quietly, even if you emerge from Sky Prison alive, you will only be an exile, what difference would it make to me whether you live or die? I attacked you only because the power you held was harmful to His Highness Prince Yu. You have been completely defeated now, and so your life no longer means anything to me.

Xie Yu eyed him suspiciously. Since I have nothing left but a life you are not interested in, then why not just let fate run its course? Why spend so much effort and energy to come to this dark place?

A good question. Mei Changsu nodded slowly. It is true that I have not the slightest interest in your life, what does interest meis Xia Jiang.

Xie Yu spun around. Su Zhe, you are truly daring. Xia Jiang is now the only hope I have left, and you dare hope to use me against him, are you insane?

So what if I use you? Mei Changsu shot him a look. Marquis Xie should be happy that he has any use left at all, given his current circumstances. If he truly had no use left, then only a dead end awaits.

Then I fear I must disappoint Mister Su. Xie Yu gritted his teeth. I am still gambling on Xia Jiang, gambling that he will trust that I will not betray him, because this is the only hope of survival I have left.

Mei Changsu cocked his head, a smile suddenly lighting his face, appearing for all the world like the refined, weakly scholar that he was, but somehow still managing to instill fear and trembling in the hearts of those who looked upon him in that moment. I am so sorry, I have already extinguished this last hope of the Marquis.

Xie Yu knew he should not take the bait, but he could not help himself. What do you mean?

Thirteen years ago, when you sent your people to kill off an insignificant, obscure scholar named Li Chongxin, that was on Xia Jiangs behalf, am I correct?

Xie Yus heart shuddered, but he forced a laugh. What nonsense are you speaking?

Perhaps I am speaking nonsense, Mei Changsus tone was light. I am only making a gamble myself, hazarding a guess. But Prince Yu has already gone to ask Xia Jiang why he ordered you to kill off an obscure scholar. Of course, Xia Jiang will deny every word of it, but afterwards, he will not be able to help wondering how it was that Prince Yu knew that he was the one who wanted Li Chongxin killed, unless it was Marquis Xie who told him.

I didnt!

I know you didnt, but Xia Jiang doesnt. Mei Changsus smile was thin, and he spread his hands as he continued, By the Marquis reaction, it seems that I have guessed correctly. So, I am sorry, but you have already betrayed Xia Jiang once, and perhaps he will believe that you did not leak this information voluntarily, but at least it has proven that your mouth is not as trustworthy as that of a corpse, and that there is much that might be excavated from the depths of your memory. Of course, to protect even greater secrets than this, he will certainly save your life first, but afterwards, in order to secure your silence forever, he can only act as a smart person would act. Marquis Xie, you will lose for certain if you gamble on Xia Jiang, because the length of your life is determined only by his faith in you, and this faith has already ceased to exist.

Youyou. Xie Yus teeth ground together audibly, his whole body trembling with fury. He made as if to lunge towards Mei Changsu, but Fei Liu was there, drifting around Mei Changsu as he played with the straw on the ground, and so he could only bite his lip and say in a voice shaking with anger, Su Zhe, what enmity, what hatred is there between us, that you must force me to such a place as this?

What enmitywhat hatred. Mei Changsu murmured, and then threw back his head and laughed. Marquis Xie, you and I both serve our respective masters in search of fame and glory. You have never held back in pursuit of your own ends all these years, so dont you find it funny that you are asking me this today?

Xie Yu fell onto the straw, his face drawn and pale, hopelessness in his heart. Facing Mei Changsu was like facing a cat determined to play with the mouse in its grasp. One casual swipe of its claws rendered one completely incapable of retaliation.

He should not have let the Crown Prince so easily give up such a formidable person.

Marquis Xie, since there is still the chance, hurry change your gamble to me. You do not have any information you can use against me, so I do not care if you live. Mei Changsu knelt before him, his voice soft. In any case, there is still a sliver of hope for survival on this side.

Xie Yu lowered his head. His body was soaked in sweat, and it was a long time before he answered quietly, What do you want me to do?

Dont worry, I will not ask you to openly accuse Xia Jiang of anything, and I have no interest in stirring up a case against Xia Jiang. Mei Changsu laughed gently. You and I both know well that Xia Jiang does everything according to His Majestys will, it is only thatsometimes, he employs methods the Emperor is not aware of in order to accomplish his goals, have I guessed correctly?

Xie Yu looked dazed as he slowly nodded.

It is only that His Majesty is prone to suspicion, and so Xia Jiang wishes to continue hiding these methods that he hid from the Emperor in previous years, Mei Changsu continued indifferently. In the end, all of this is unrelated to my current plans, and I have no interest in creating trouble for myself. But Prince Yu is worried that Xia Jiang is protecting you for the Crown Princes sake, and worried that he will break the Xuanjing Bureaus longstanding neutrality in order to join the fight for the crown, and so I had to come to speak to you in person today. Marquis Xie, why dont you tell me about the entire affair with Li Chongxin? As long as I can be sure that this has nothing to do with the succession, I will not pursue it. After all, everyone knows that its not easy being a Xuanjing Official. Theyre always receiving secret imperial commands, if they accidentally offend His Majesty in any way, then it wont end well, will it?

Xie Yu looked at him. If I tell you, what good is in it for me?

I cannot give you much, except to ask Prince Yu to back down, and let Xia Jiang save you from prison, and then to see you safely to your place of exile, where you will live out your sentence.

Xie Yu closed his eyes, clearly in deep thought. He was not worried that Prince Yu would stir up new waves with his secret about Li Chongxin, if he chose to tell it. This was because Prince Yu himself had benefited from the affairs behind this secret, and it was only that he had been young at the time, and so had not participated very deeply. Any waves and repercussions he stirred up now would undoubtedly involve himself and the Empress as well. As soon as Mei Changsu returned and conveyed the story to Prince Yu, he would understand immediately, and would not choose to implicate himself for the sake of accusing Xia Jiang. And what Xia Jiang wanted to prevent was the spreading of this whole story, for fear that certain details he had concealed from the Emperor might finally reach his ear.

But if he decided to open his mouth, would this Mister Mei ofJiangzuotruly keep his word?

It is a gamble. Mei Changsu said lightly, seeming to read his mind again. You have nowhere else to turn. I am ajianghu man, I know how to ensure your survival. You have no choice but to trust in my promise.

Xie Yu collapsed slowly to the ground, supporting himself by his arms. He was silent for the amount of time it took to burn a stick of incense before he finally began to speak.

Li Chongxinwas indeed only a scholar, but he had an extraordinary talent he could forge the handwriting of any words he saw, completely and without anyone being able to tell the difference. Thirteen years agohe wrote a letter for Xia Jiang, and the person whose handwriting he forged was Nie Feng.

Who is Nie Feng? Mei Changsu asked curiously.

He was the general of the vanguard of the Chiyan army, and also Xia Dongs husband. That was why Xia Jiang had much opportunity to obtain a copy of the drafts of his letters, and he cut out some important words and showed them to Li Chongxin, and had him forge a letter which even Xia Dong could not identify as false.

What did the letter contain?

It was a cry for help, in it was written: Commander seeks rebellion, I discovered, to silence me, sent on death mission, beg for rescue.'

I think I have heard of this. So the letter was false. Mei Changsu laughed coldly. Soyour claim that you rode a thousand miles to save Nie Feng and arrived too late, only able to bring back his bones that was false as well?

Xie Yu did not answer.

According to the tale I heard, it was General Xie yourself who led the rescue troops in a headlong rush to save Nie Feng, but when you arrived at the death valley he had been sent to, your scouts reported that there were no survivors, and the enemys army was rushing towards you, so you made the decision to seal the mouth of the valley and set it on fire in order to stem the enemys onslaught, and so preserve the left defensive perimeter of Da Liang. Mei Changsu continued mockingly, Thinking back now, what you sealed was actually Nie Fengs line of retreat, so that the mission of the vanguard general, which had not actually been a death mission at all, would now, because of you, become one, and so lead to the entire tragedy. Are my speculations correct?

Xie Yus mouth was pressed into a thin line, but he did not answer.

Never mind, these are all affairs of the past, there is no benefit to their further investigation. Mei Changsu gazed at him, his voice cold. And after this?

At the time, only Xia Jiang and I knew the letter to be false, he had his reasons, and I had mine, so with our mutual understanding, neither of us said anything. Because he did not want his apprentices to notice anything strange, he did not make use of the Xuanjing Bureaus power, but gave me hidden hints, and I wiped out Li Chongxins entire family for him. Xie Yus tone was flat, as if he felt no remorse at all for his actions. The entire story has been told. It has no bearing on the current situation, are you satisfied?

So this was how the foundation of the Pillar of the Court was laid. Mei Changsu nodded. His hands, hidden in his sleeves, tightened into fists, but his face was a mask of calm. What Xie Yu had revealed was of course only the tip of the iceberg of the hidden events of the past, but no good would come of forcing more out of him now, and this short conversation had already achieved his purpose for coming here today. The paths that came afterwards must still be tread carefully, one step at a time.

As for Xie Yus fate, there would be enough people worrying about that. Sometimes, death is not the most frightening outcome.

Rest well. Xia Jiang will not know that I have come to see you today, and His Highness Prince Yu has no interest in the affairs of the past. I will fulfill my oath not to let you die a violent death, but if you cannot withstand the harsh life of exile, that is not my problem. Mei Changsu finished indifferently, and turned away without a second glance to leave the jail cell. Fei Liu hurriedly threw down the straw he had been weaving and followed him out.

On his way back to the stairs that led up and out of the prison, Mei Changsu glanced into the dark cell beside the one which held Xie Yu, but his footsteps did not falter, and he disappeared quickly up the stone steps.

After he was gone, the door to the dark cell opened soundlessly, and two people walked out, one after the other, moving very slowly, their footsteps a little unsteady.

The person in front was slender and dressed all in black, her dark hair parted to both sides around the flash of white in the middle, her handsome face completely bloodless, as white as paper. A small stone in the dark corridor almost caused her to stumble, but fortunately, the person behind her caught her.

The two emerged from the darkness without a word of conversation, and even as one caught the other in her stumble, he immediately retracted his hand afterwards, and they did not exchange a word. They walked up the stone steps in Mei Changsus wake, but instead of the judicial commissioner An Rui waiting for them at the entrance, it was Cai Quan, now officially Minister of Justice.

We have troubled Officer Cai.

His Highness Prince Jing does not need to be so courteous.

There was no further pleasantries beyond this brief exchange. They walked in single file out of Sky Prison by way of a hidden back door. Xia Dong walked off quickly without so much as a glance backwards, silent from beginning to end. Behind her, Prince Jing watched quietly as her lonely figure disappeared into the distance, a dim fire burning in his gaze.

Translators Notes

Unexpected feels. Chiyan

Its scenes like these where I realize just how much of a prodigy and genius Lin Shu really is. Because this is LIN SHU. MCSs crazy plotting skills didnt spring up out of nowhere. Lin Shu was ALWAYS this insanely talented it just used to be less noticeable because it was balanced by his physical prowess, and also I guess because it was channeled into official business like military planning. But he was always this gifted at tactics and strategy. And now it shows.

(And also LS is a scarily good liar but thats no surprise.)

Also

I think we just passed the one-year anniversary of Lang Ya Scribe. The first chapter I translated (Chapter 27) was posted on July 11, 2017. So happy anniversary, everyone

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