"I.. I... I.. I DiDn't Do iT! Clan Leader, you have to believe me! I didn't do it. I may have traded with Owner Song Ba to have a few pill slaves and human cauldrons on the farm, but that was only because he promised to help find Chen Xue's killer.

You all know how close we were. He was my brother.." Chen Zholan desperately said before he turned his pleas to the still muddle-headed Chen Gutian.

"Elder Chen Gutian, tell them. You were there when we both made that deal with him because the clan was dragging its feet in finding his killer.

Owner Song Ba is just slandering me! Chen Xue and I were brothers! Why would I have him killed?

We had already promised each other that we would help return the clan to its former glory. Don't believe him. He is just trying to protect his life and he will say and do anything to that end.

Please don't believe him! He is tricking you just like he tricked me and Elder Chen Gutian," added Chen Xue in a fluster."Seems my guess was right. That's how they got his cooperation.." muttered Chen Zian as he shook his head as he took in the sight of Chen Zholan desperately trying to make a case for himself that he had been framed by Song Ba.

As a clan leader whose job was to survive in an ocean of duplicity trying to constantly see through deception on a daily basis, Chen Zholan may have hidden himself well, but with the veil already exposed, Chen Zian could read him as plain as day.


It wasn't just him, the other elders could tell it too. The desperation and agitation in his voice wasn't because he had been slandered but rather out of fear at being exposed.

As old foxes who had engaged in a lot of dubious things over the years that they would not want seen exposed, such as what they were being charged with at themoment, if they were ever exposed, they would react the same way as Chen Zholan. What Chen Zholan was doing was exactly what some had been planning to do the moment it was their turn to defend themselves.

They intended to deny everything, grovel and try to appeal to Chen Zian, using their loyal service to the clan as their defence as a means of garnering sympathy and consideration from the court. But with how damning and incriminating the evidence had been, most abandoned that plan. They were not nearly shameless to try it.

Chen Zholan was relentless in trying to make a case for his innocence, as he tried to get Chen Zian and Chen Gutian to speak up for him, however, the former had already judged him guilty of the crime and would not speak up for him, while the latter was still frozen in shock with gibberish mumbles.

Chen Zholan was finally silenced when Song Ba revealed the final nail he had prepared for a moment like this.

"As a merchant, there is no way I would engaged in something risky without having certain guarantees in place, even if said thing was to my advantage, I would still try to get something out of it as payment for my efforts.lightsnovel


Having a potential clan leader under my thumb was a worthy trade off for the risk I was taking. I recorded the whole thing and the proof is here.." Song Ba said as he formed a small seal with his left hand muttering a strange incantation that resulted in something peeling off from the skin in his right forearm.

That object was a paperthin translucent object that looked like the wing of a fly. As it peeled off, the wing like object released a mysterious energy, as an elusive ethereal power emanated from it.

lightsΝοvεl ƈοm "The wings of the heavenly secrets cicada. How did you get such a thing?" asked Hou Dehui as his eyes glittered in interest.

The heavenly secrets cicada was a spirit beast know for its ability to conceal itself, and rumor was it was so good at it that it could hide even from the heavenly dao itself.

"It was a gift I received from one of the leaders of the Golden Bamboo Pavilion.." Song Ba said as his eyes flashed in complication as he peeled off the wing.

That wing was the most precious thing he owned, be it in terms of quality but also sentiment. Up until a few years ago, it was a possession of great pride, but it quickly turned into a painful reminder of how far he had fallen.

In value alone, the wing was just as precious as any concealing ascendant grade treasure. He had received it as a reward for all the efforts he had made, one of which was discovering a hidden property of sky grade herb.

The herb in question was the skyturtle dandelion. It was a good ingredient for healing potions, but when mixed with certain herbs, a certain aspect of it was released. That aspect was it had amplifying effects on potions that were related to the mind, such as meditation potions, or one's that were meant to give a cultivator small insights into a particular area.

The skyturtle dandelion had the ability to prolong the duration and increase the strength of the effects. The increase in duration or strength wasn't too outlandish, with effect being a minimal increase, but for potions of the mind, especially ones that helped one gain a deeper understanding into a particular area, prolonging that duration by even half a second, or increasing its ability by even a millimeter was the difference between one making a monumental breakthrough or not.

The gap was sometimes that small, a millimeter, orhalf a second. Whether one grasps the complete form of the dao he or she needs to breakthrough to the palace realm, or leaping from blooming to perfection in terms of mastery of a technique, or elevating the grade of an art; sometimes the gap between them was half a step, half a second, half a millimeter and the skyturtle dandelion, provided that chance.

This was why Song Ba gained a lot of merits and recognition when he submitted that discovery to the higher ups of the Golden Bamboo Pavilion which ended up with him receiving the wing of the heavenly secret cicada as a gift for his discovery.

Song Ba was over the moon when he got rewarded, especially the attention he got from the leading figures of the pavilion, with one of those figures being one of the founders. He expected from then on, he could only move up and eventually, he could maybeeven rise up from being one of the thousands subsidiary members into one of the executives.