Shangguan Yu’s eyes bulged. What the fuck was going on?! Hadn’t they just come here to investigate? Why were people suddenly screaming murder?
He hurriedly moved into a stance to fight and drew his weapon while his thoughts churned. This was most likely thanks to that Merchant Wang again. Framing them for deliberately murdering Liangqiu Min was probably part of his plan.
He moved closer to Ao Jing and lowered his voice. “Let’s split up. They are unlikely to get both of us. Anyway, if they catch you, they wouldn’t be able to find any evidence on you that you had to do with this. Just say that you only met me after things happened and had no idea what was going on. That way, you can still go and investigate things without being hindered. Also, who knows if this would yield any clues?”
Ao Jing nodded and then stepped away, not reaching for his weapon but just trying to stay out of things.
The guards rushed at the two of them. While Shangguan Yu fought, Ao Jing just started to defend himself with words.
“I didn’t do anything. I only met this person on the road and followed him. I have no idea what you are going on about.”
The guards seemed unsure about what to do and looked behind them as if asking for instructions. Ao Jing expected to see that Merchant Wang standing there but instead, there was a young man who had about eighty percent similarity to Liangqiu Min. Obviously, his family had already arrived.
The man came over, giving off extreme pressure. Ao Jing pressed his lips together when he noticed. Fighting with this person wouldn’t do them any good. They might be able to win but not if there were still the town’s guards around.
No, if they had to fight with this person then they could only focus on him. This was obviously not just any NPC but some kind of boss. So if there was a fight, it would be best if it only happened later on. For now, he had to get out of this without getting embroiled into conflict.
The man looked Ao Jing up and down as if trying to decide if he could trust his words. “If what you say is true, then you certainly wouldn’t have a problem with letting the guards search you, would you? The murderer carries some incriminating evidence on him.”
Ao Jing gave him a smile. “I’d rather not but if it is either this or being convicted for a murder that I did not commit, then I guess I should let you do so.” He took off his bag and handed it over to the man, letting him look through it. Thankfully, both the painting and the jade pendant were in Shangguan Yu’s hands. Thus, there naturally wasn’t anything found that would make this man suspicious of him.
After a moment of silence, he handed the bag back to Ao Jing and gave a curt nod. “I see. I’m sorry for making trouble for you then. You see, the person that was murdered happens to be my younger brother. Avenging him is a must.”
Ao Jing lowered his head and glanced over to where Shangguan Yu was toying around with the guards. Even though it had been Shangguan Yu himself who told him to split up and do things this way, he couldn’t help but feel as if he was abandoning him. That certainly wasn’t what a good husband should do.
Unfortunately, he also didn’t know what else he could do. Thus, he just turned back to Liangqiu Min’s brother and tried to sound him out. “What exactly happened? This person … Although I have only met him a short time ago, I don’t feel that he is somebody who would murder someone in cold blood. Could it be that you’ve got the wrong person?”
Liangqiu Min’s brother only gave a grunt in return and his gaze turned to where Shangguan Yu was finishing up the guards. Seeing how things stood, he furrowed his brows and narrowed his eyes and then took out his own weapon.
Ao Jing’s eyes widened and he stared over at Shangguan Yu in fear. Even though this was a game, it was still a virtual-reality one. So dying wasn’t fun. It probably couldn’t even come close to what it would feel in real life but there would be some pain involved in being beaten up in a fight and seeing how Liangqiu Min’s brother was feeling right now, the fight probably wouldn’t be pretty. He definitely had to help them!
“Wait!” He grabbed his arm, holding him back just before he could storm over.
Liangqiu Min’s brother turned around to him, his brows furrowing even further. “I’m letting you go based on the account that you don’t seem to be the actual murderer since you’re not carrying my brother’s possessions with you. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t suspect you to be an accomplice. So you should better not make me anymore suspicious. Otherwise, you will also have to taste my blade.”
Ao Jing’s lips twitched. This guy … Wasn’t he a little too theatrical? He sighed but still held him back. “I’m not saying that you shouldn’t avenge your brother. I’m just saying that you should make sure that you do it the right way.
“If you go now and engage in a fight with him before making sure of anything, then what will you have done? In the worst case, you will kill an innocent person and not get any closer to avenging your brother while there’s some enmity born with another family. Or it could also be that you do have indeed found the perpetrator behind your brother’s demise and managed to avenge them. But even if you do so … Wouldn’t you rather want to know what was behind this?
“I mean he wouldn’t have just killed him because he felt like it, would he? I’m sure that there’s more behind this, maybe another person with a greater scheme. You should at least take the time to find out what caused your brother’s death. It might also be in the interest of the rest of your family if there is really more behind this.”
There was a bit of hesitation in the expression of Liangqiu Min’s brother when he glanced at Shangguan Yu. The same hatred could still be seen as well but, finally, he didn’t go over. “Very well, I do agree. What do you suggest to do?”
Ao Jing barely held back a sigh of relief. In the current situation, this was already the best outcome. Now, it depended on how they went from here. Thankfully, he had come up with an idea.