Chapter 376: Things Have Gotten Serious
Lin Jin figured Yang Qingshi would most probably try to flee. It was the only reasonable course of action, especially since something had happened to that demonic appraiser. The longer he stayed around, the higher the chance was for him to be exposed. Had he not intended to escape, he wouldn’t have removed the eight-headed viper from Du Lianxi’s body.
Since he had done just that, it was clear that he was about to hit the road.
Arriving at this conclusion, Lin Jin immediately issued the order for all gates within the city to be sealed.
The captain was momentarily taken aback by the unexpected order too.
Sealing the city gates was no joke. A small patrol captain like himself did not have the authority to make such a call. However, General Lu Bin’s name would sound like thunder to a soldier’s ears.
Apart from that, his superior had mentioned Lin Jin’s name before so the captain dared not ignore his instruction. He quickly ordered his subordinates to spread out and inform the guards at the city’s four exit points.
As he watched the city guards leave, Lin Jin prayed silently that they weren’t too late.
His guess was that Yang Qingshi hadn’t left the city yet.
It was impossible for him to be that quick. Also, Lin Jin’s reaction must have been faster than what Yang Qingshi anticipated, so Lin Jin was confident that he could block the man off.
Even if Lin Jin didn’t manage to stop him here, he would never forgive Yang Qingshi.
Now that Lin Jin had set sights on this man, he would never rest, at least not before catching him.
It was a given that a huge uproar would be stirred up since this commotion happened right before the entrance of headquarters. Even the off-duty beast appraisers who were sleeping soundly at home were woken up abruptly and started gathering around the place. Hell, even government officials started showing up.
While Lin Jin’s shout from earlier may not have startled the entire capital, the entire street should have at least heard him.
As more and more people gathered, some speculated that something big was about to happen.
There were now over ten Rank 2 beast appraisers gathered here. Some of them recognized Lin Jin while some didn’t. However, Lin Jin didn’t hide his aura. Since it was his aim to raise as much attention as possible, to remain discreet was counter-productive.
His Beast Deterrence ability was also unleashed fully. Every single pet beast present was too frightened to even make a whimper, and many beast appraisers were shocked upon realizing what was happening.
Appraisers who were initially prejudiced against Lin Jin now knew what was good for them and shut up.
Then, Appraiser Tan Xun arrived.
Besides Tan Xun, two other Rank 3 beast appraisers of headquarters arrived as well.
One of them had met Lin Jin before. He was Lin Jin’s invigilator back at Maple City, the one who declared him to be the Jade Dragon Kingdom’s youngest Rank 3 beast appraiser, Yu Mantang. The other was Chu Chenghe. Just like Tan Xun, he was an experienced appraiser who was of great status and reputation in their kingdom.
Yu Mantang recognized who Lin Jin was the moment he arrived. How could he not? After all, that young man was the one who had stolen his thunder. It was also for this reason that Yu Mantang was a little envious of him. Still, credit where credit was due, even he knew how crazy talented Lin Jin was.
The moment he sensed Lin Jin’s aura, his pupils abruptly dilated and he cleverly swallowed back his words.
“Appraiser Lin, what is...” Tan Xun was the one who approached Lin Jin since he was the closest to him.
Lin Jin had respect for Tan Xun so after issuing a salute, he started explaining the issue at hand.
Without holding back any piece of information.
Everyone around gasped at what they heard.
Lin Jin pointed to the appraiser who had been shouting earlier and said, “This person was deliberately trying to bog me down. The way I see it, he has something to do with Yang Qingshi.”
Tan Xun looked over and nodded. “Indeed, he’s one of Appraiser Yang’s disciples. Zheng Yuan, come here. Let me ask you, Appraiser Yang give you any instructions before this?”
That Rank 1 beast appraiser was appalled.
Everyone was now looking at him, and he clearly heard Lin Jin’s elaboration earlier too.
‘Conspiring with demonic appraisers’.
‘Committing dastardly crimes.’
Each of these was an unpardonable sin. Now that Tan Xun was probing the matter, he was so frightened out of his wits that all color drained from his face. He quickly knelt on the ground and told them everything he knew.
It was more or less in line with Lin Jin’s explanation. Yang Qingshi appeared to be in a hurry when he informed his disciple that an appraiser named Lin Jin would show up soon. Yang Qingshi then instructed his disciple to think of a way to hold Lin Jin up.
“Appraiser Tan, I- I really didn’t know that Master Yang was doing all this. I really don’t...” the appraiser explained with a shaky voice.
At first, many people doubted Lin Jin’s explanation, but now, his story became much more believable.
“Appraiser Yang is a man of high status, a Rank 3 beast appraiser of headquarters. How could he conspire with demonic appraisers? I don’t believe it,” said Yu Mantang.
Yu Mantang wasn’t intentionally trying pick a bone with Lin Jin. He was just on very friendly terms with Yang Qingshi that he refused to believe it.
Lin Jin smirked. “I’m not asking everyone to believe me at once. For now, just consider it my side of the story. It’s pretty easy to determine the truth of my statement, no? Bring Yang Qingshi here and let him represent himself. Everyone will know the truth after that.”
With this, Yu Mantang didn’t know what else to say.
The other Rank 3 beast appraiser, Chu Chenghe spoke up, “Although I don’t really believe it as well, Appraiser Lin is right. Only after he explains himself can we determine who’s telling the truth here! Surely, the truth will be revealed then.”
Lin Jin looked at Chu Chenghe. This appraiser was clearly a reasonable man so Lin Jin bowed at him.
“Appraiser Yang has his own consultation hall. Send someone to look for him,” Tan Xun instructed. He understood Lin Jin more than anyone else here.
Admittedly, he had never seen Lin Jin this furious before.
Leaving that aside, this was a grave matter. For a Rank 3 beast appraiser to be working with demonic appraisers, it would be a tremendous blow to their reputation, even if it turned out to only be a mere allegation. Hence, they had to find Appraiser Yang to get to the bottom of this no matter what.
Personally, he hoped this was all just a misunderstanding.
The person who went to search for Yang Qingshi soon returned.
“Appraiser Yang isn’t at his consultation hall, and...” That person seemed hesitant to speak.
Tan Xun flared up in anger. “And what? Speak!”
“Yes, yes!” That person quickly said, “The spirit herbs planted in Appraiser Yang’s consultation hall have all been uprooted!”
“Ah!” Tan Xun’s eyes widened.
The others may be oblivious but Tan Xun knew full well how precious those spirit herbs were. After all, he himself had worked together with Yang Qingshi to cultivate these plants.
Who could have taken all those spirit herbs?
It could only have been Yang Qingshi himself. After all, a unique restriction spell had been cast over them so no one but Yang Qingshi had access to them.
If it was truly Yang Qingshi, it only strengthened Lin Jin’s argument that he was currently on the run. Otherwise, Yang Qingshi wouldn’t have uprooted those priceless spirit herbs without rhyme or reason.
At this, Lin Jin was almost completely certain that his assumption was right. He may be anxious but he couldn’t afford to lose control over himself. He still held firm to the belief that Yang Qingshi was still within the city walls.
If there was a need, Lin Jin just had to enter the palace to meet Emperor He Qian. He was sure that even the Emperor would not turn down a request from him.
Still in his thoughts, the clopping of horseshoes could be heard coming from the main street ahead. Hundreds of city guards soon appeared on the horizon, startling everyone. Although these people could hold their ground in one-to-one engagements, it was impossible for them to face such a well-coordinated group of soldiers.
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