OMF V5C7 Twenty-Three Days Ago

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Leng Jin Yu soon found himself in front of the gates to the Justice Court. Qiang Yan didn’t wait or say anything to the guards. He just stormed right in. Leng Jin Yu raised his brows. It seemed the situation was even worse than he had thought. He nodded at the two guards and followed the God of War inside.
Qiang Yan didn’t slow down until he barged into a room in the deeper parts of the palace. “Li Yin! Did anyone enter the repository in the last weeks? Maybe in the last month?”
The God of Justice looked up, his gaze traveling further to Leng Jin Yu before he leaned back. “What happened?” He may have asked but he got up at the same time and stepped out of the study.
Qiang Yan and Leng Jin Yu followed him to a courtyard where an array was drawn on the ground. Leng Jin Yu’s eyes traced the lines. This should be a portal, most likely one leading to the mortal realm. This was probably the place where they sent off those banished from the Nine Heavens.
Li Yin went past the array and walked down a small path. Another courtyard lay at the end with a red lacquered door leading into the building on the opposite side. The God of Justice took a dark red jade ornament from his sleeve and inserted it into the door. Something inside clicked and the God of Justice took the jade out and pushed the door open.
The three of them stepped into the building. It turned out to only consist of one room. Taking a look around Leng Jin Yu frowned. This looked like the place Zhong Jing Yi had described: A dark room, some sort of altar and a red dagger on top of it.
Li Yin went over to the altar but halted a few steps away, his gaze tracing the lines of the array drawn onto the ground. “It doesn’t seem like anybody was here.”
“Is there any possibility you’re wrong?”
“Well, you also know that the arrays only work on someone with spiritual energy. If it was an honorary ascended deity … But there aren’t many in the first place and most of them gain at least some spiritual energy here in the Nine Heavens if they didn’t do so in the mortal realm. I’m positive that that servant girl that was banished last week was the only one we’ve had in some years. You’d need to check with the Goddess of Magnanimity on that though.
“As for other possibilities … It could also be that someone deactivated and then reinstated the array. But we both know that that isn’t very likely. There are only a few people able to do something like that.”
Qiang Yan closed his eyes and suppressed a curse. Yes, there were only a few people able to do something like that. Unfortunately, his nephew just had to be one of those few people. He opened his eyes again. “Do you know if His Highness came by in the last few weeks?”
Li Yin’s brows raised and he once again looked at the array. “Do you suspect the crown prince broke into the repository, deactivated the array and stole the soul-engraving dagger before putting it back?”
“Did he or didn’t he?”
The God of Justice sighed and waved the other two men out of the room, closing the door behind them. “He did.”
“Then did you notice anything … strange?”
“He asked about the mortal world. It didn’t seem strange at that time. He told me that he would soon have to descend for his trial and I guess he just wanted to lay his mind at rest. Talking about it now he seemed a little pale.”
They went back into the palace and Li Yin motioned at a guard. “The day the array around the prisons activated when exactly was that?”
“Ah?” The guard blanked. “Uh … Twenty-three days ago?”
“Twenty-three days?” Li Yin narrowed his eyes. “When you came to report that day was I alone?”
“No.” The guard blushed and glanced at Qiang Yan before looking away.
“Who was there?”
The guard that had managed to clearly answer all previous questions mumbled something and lowered his head.
Li Yin knitted his brows and his eyes narrowed even more. “What was that?”
“The … the crown prince … was there.” The guard’s head lowered even further. Heavens! Why was the God of Justice asking this when the God of War stood next to him? Everyone knew he was the crown prince’s uncle! Who would dare talk about him in front of this man? Wouldn’t he immediately see through all their improper thoughts?!
Li Yin turned to Qiang Yan. “That should answer your questions.”
Qiang Yan nodded and sighed. “Yes. Thank you for your help. I won’t take up any more of your time.”
“Mn. Should I amend the report?”
“No need.” Qiang Yan turned around and hurried out of the palace before the God of Justice could think of anything else. He stopped in front of the gate and turned around to Leng Jin Yu. “I’m afraid you were right about that dagger. Something is wrong.”
Leng Jin Yu looked back at the Court of Justice. “If I didn’t hear wrong, it is called the soul-engraving dagger. Does it have to do with the soul-devouring dagger Hong Bao stole previously?”
The God of War sighed again and nodded. “Yes. They were originally a pair. One of them ended up with the gods and one with the demons. It was only in one of the previous wars when the previous dragon king Jinde managed to kill the former demon king Jian Heng that we managed to get a hold of the soul-devouring dagger and keep it safe.”
Leng Jin Yu nodded. He had known about the soul-devouring dagger. He only wouldn’t have thought that there was another dagger. “Then the soul-engraving dagger …”
Qiang Yan shook his head. “It’s not as lethal but it can’t be used arbitrarily either.”
“Then do you think that His Highness …”
Qiang Yan didn’t answer directly. “There are some things we’ll have to find out first. Let’s go make a trip to the God of Love’s palace.”

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