Immortal of the Nine Realms-Chapter 172: If one desires concealment, one must refrain from committing the act!

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Chapter 172: If one desires concealment, one must refrain from committing the act!

King Xiang's face turned extremely solemn as he turned to Wu Changhuan, saying, "Please continue."

Wu Changhuan nodded slowly. "The woman told me that Huang Xin had helped a certain prominent figure in the academy with something. After the deed was done, Huang Xin had a premonition that he was about to be silenced, so he took her and left. However, on their way to escape the Southern Immortal Prefecture, he was ambushed. This incident is precisely related to Zhao Yan's case, as Huang Xin had personally told her that he had planted that very wooden hairpin inside Zhao Yan's pouch!"

The crowd erupted into an uproar!

Wouldn’t that mean that Zhao Yan was truly innocent and he was being framed by someone else? Who could be the one plotting against Zhao Yan? Many eyes found themselves drawn toward Yu Zhang in unison.

Yu Zhang’s became a shade whiter.

Zhao Yan was visibly agitated, and the energy within him began to surge. It wasn't until Fang Chen cast him a glance that he gradually calmed down.

He knew that from now on, he didn't need to worry about anything; everything could be left to Fang Chen!

"Your words are mere hearsay. How can we be sure that you're not fabricating such a colossal lie to exonerate Zhao Yan?" mouthed Yu Zhang slowly.

The other scholars chimed in, quite eager to agree. "Yes, yes, yes!"

"Huang Xin couldn't possibly be so ruthless as to harm a fellow student for a bit of benefit," said Master Chen. "Wu Changhuan, every word you've spoken carries immense weight. If there's even a shred of falsehood, I will report to the capital city so that they send troops down to wipe out your Flying Crane Sect! Though scholars may not be proficient in martial arts, we won't allow ourselves to be run roughshod over!"

Wu Changhuan's expression subtly changed. He subconsciously glanced at Huangfu Jie, who wore a calm expression. Finding a source of confidence, Wu Changhuan continued, "That woman is now my wife. Let her be the judge of whether I'm lying or not. Oh, and she also said that Huang Xin was unaware at the time that the hairpin would bring such calamity upon Zhao Yan. He believed it was just a prank by a student who disliked Zhao Yan, intending to tarnish his reputation. Once Huang Xin had learned about Zhao Yan's arrest, he deeply regretted his actions!"

"Unfortunately, it cost him his life," interjected Zhao Yan, who had been silent all this time, and sighed softly. "Back then, he always had that troubled look on his face whenever I saw him. I guess that’s because he was just like me, destitute. Without fame nor fortune, he couldn't never support a wife, much less a child. He was always lost in thought and distressed. If only I had known about it earlier..."

Just at that moment, a sob rang through the air, and everyone looked over to see a woman in plain clothes slowly entering the hall, holding a young girl who seemed to be about three or four.

The woman had been clearly crying by her evidently red-rimmed eyes. Guilt filled her eyes as she looked at Zhao Yan. "Zhao... Young Master Zhao, we’ve let you down! We’ve caused you to suffer unjustly for so many years..."

Many people gasped in disbelief as they looked at the woman in plain clothes. Was that Huang Xin’s former significant other? That woman who married Wu Changhuan, the man who saved her life?

Zhao Yan looked at the woman, and he instantly realized who she was. "So, it's you..."

Seeing who she was, Xia Song couldn't help but exclaim, "Isn't she... Lady Zihe from the Exquisite Jade Tower?"

Everyone was immediately enlightened! So that’s why Huang Xin had run away! That woman was a courtesan!

To think that a student of Southern Mountain Academy had relations with a woman of the brothel and had even impregnated her. If news were to spread, it would ruin his future!

"Lord Zhao, for the sake of a woman like me, Huang Xin had not only committed a grave mistake, but he also eventually lost his life. It also caused you to suffer wrongful accusations, letting the real beast roam free..." The woman became more and more agitated as she spoke, her face filled with self-blame. Then, suddenly, she pointed at Yu Zhang, "It's you! You hypocrite! You harmed innocent women, you made Huang Xin put the hairpin in Master Zhao’s bag, you framed Master Zhao, and you caused Huang Xin’s death!"

Yu Zhang's face turned ashen. Instinctively, he took two steps back.

King Xiang and the others faces’ turned serious, their gaze turned to Yu Zhang. They never expected that Fang Chen had guessed the truth.

The real culprit was not Zhao Yan, but the academy's chief scholar, Yu Zhang!

Outside the door, everyone fell silent. Their eyes showed disbelief, confusion, horror, and then came an overwhelming anger!

Everyone in the Southern Immortal Prefecture had been fooled by Yu Zhang! The family members of the victims were especially furious. They had not only lost their loved ones, but the person whom they had cursed over the years as the perpetrator had turned out to be innocent!

King Xiang's complexion turned pallid, and his lips quivered. Suddenly, he spat out a mouthful of blood.

"Don't falsely accuse me!" Yu Zhang's face fluctuated between red and white. Finally, he gritted his teeth and pointed at the woman, "You claim to have a prearranged marriage with Huang Xin. What evidence do you have? If anyone can just casually find a random woman off the street and bring her to make such baseless accusations, then the laws of Grand Xia are meaningless!"

"If you don't want others to know, you shouldn’t have done it.” Fang Chen sighed softly. "Indeed, there is no evidence to prove that this woman had a prearranged marriage with Huang Xin. There is also no evidence to prove that what she said is true."

The crowd was slightly puzzled by Fang Chen's change in attitude.

A glimmer of joy flashed in Yu Zhang's eyes. "Duke Fang, what you said is absolutely correct!"

Zhao Yan's expression changed slightly, but deep down, he still believed in Fang Chen. The appearance of the woman in plain clothes was in itself a form of proof!

"But I figured out something else last night." Fang Chen smiled faintly, then said, "If Zhao Yan is not the murderer, and the real murderer is still active in the Southern Immortal Prefecture, will he continue to commit crimes? I've seen many criminal cases, and it seems to me that this specific murderer hides a dark beast in his heart. These cruel methods are an outlet for some kind of desire. It's not just a simple act of killing and framing. The murderer himself enjoys the process, indulges in it. So... if Zhao Yan is not the murderer, then that means that the murder is still on the loose, which would mean that there might be many innocent women who have died in his hands without anyone knowing. This indicates that the murderer is very cautious, and his identity won't be easily revealed. After Zhao Yan became the scapegoat, the real murderer would only become more ruthless, releasing his inner beastly desires. Because there is no one left to discover that he is the real killer."

The people looked at each other, sensing the ominous undertone in Fang Chen's words.

"Lord Fang... could it be that in these past years, there have still been women continuously harmed by the culprit in the Southern Immortal Prefecture?" King Xiang's voice sounded somewhat hoarse.

Such incidents actually happened in his territory, and as the person responsible for the region, hadn’t noticed! If Fang Chen's speculation was correct, he would have to bear great responsibility!

"That's right. Once we find these victims, the evidence will be revealed," said Fang Chen coldly. "If you are willing, I will take you all to a place."

The crowd took in a sharp breath, and Yu Zhang's face became even more unsightly.

"Could... could Duke Fang have already discovered who the murder is?” asked King Xiang hastily.

This 𝓬ontent is taken from fre𝒆webnove(l).𝐜𝐨𝗺