103 Convincing the Masses
All eyes turned to Lu Mingshu.
Lu Mingshu, face as pale as a ghost, whose frail body was covered with blood, and the same person who had won eighteen fights in a row and created a historical moment.
She stood there quietly and expressionlessly. She didn’t try to defend herself, and she didn’t look guilty either, as if the whole situation had nothing to do with her.
On the other hand, Gao Xiang was like a cat on hot bricks. He stood up to defend Lu Mingshu, “Elder Zhou, where’s your evidence?”
“Evidence?” Elder Zhou sneered. He pointed to the horribly mangled body, “Look! Just look at him. He passed the lower door with Lu Mingshu and his body was found near the lower door as well. Doesn’t that seem fishy? And as for evidence… we could just match the cut on the neck to the murder weapon, do you want to have a go?”
“No need for all the hassle,” Lu Mingshu calmly cut off Elder Zhou, “I killed him.”
This caused many disciples to cry out in surprise. The heroine who won eighteen fights and reached the top ten is a murderer? This…!
“Mingshu!” Gao Xiang panicked, “You…!”
But Lu Mingshu had no intention of correcting herself.
Gao Xiang urgently debated with Elder Zhou, “Please think carefully, everyone! What reason does she have to kill? She’s much more powerful than most, so there’s no need for her to get rid of her opponent. Who would waste such unnecessary energy on someone like Liang Zongping?” He shouted, “And if you wanted to say that she killed for wealth, that’s even more ridiculous! How wealthy could a normal disciple like him be? Besides, his belongings are all still with him!”
“What are you blabbering about, kid?” Elder Zhou bellowed, “She already admitted it!”
“What my disciple means,” An Tongchen started coldly, “is that no matter what, there’s no reason for Lu Mingshu to kill. There must be something else going on here.”
“That’s right!” With his master backing him up, Gao Xiang felt more daring, “Yes, it’s a crime to murder, but it’s not a crime to kill someone in self-defense!”
Elder Zhou sneered, “Youngster, as you said earlier, she’s more powerful than others. What’s the need for self-defense then?”
“Why not?” Gao Xiang increased his volume, “Everyone saw it, they were together at the lower door, which shows that they were teammates! Under normal circumstances, why would you hurt your teammate for no reason? Unless… he betrayed her during a fight or tried to harm her!” He tried to reason with Elder Zhou.
The crowd nodded in agreement. That makes sense. Liang Zongping was an ordinary disciple, while Lu Mingshu was aiming to be a genuine successor disciple. He was hardly a rival for her; it made no sense to kill Liang Zongping unless he did something to her first.
“Haha, you’re quite a good storyteller! What you’ve said is certainly reasonable, but where’s your evidence?”
“Then where’s yours? She’s a genuine successor disciple of this Heavenly Door competition and yet you want to fix her up as a murderer before she can even explain herself? Is that how the Nine Jade Palace treats their genuine successor disciples!?” Gao Xiang shouted at the top of his lungs. He then pulled Lu Mingshu forward, “Mingshu, explain!”
Lu Mingshu slowly lifted her head. She made eye contact with Elder Zhou and smiled, “Elder Zhou, I think perhaps you’re missing something here.”
Elder Zhou stared daggers at her, “What are you trying to say?”
Lu Mingshu’s smile brought chills down everyone’s spine as she continued coldly, “Not only did I murder Liang Zongping, I also maimed Zhou Yinru!”
The crowd gasped in shock upon hearing Lu Mingshu.
Maimed Zhou Yinru? That explains why Zhou Yinru wasn’t at the middle door and why she disappeared! But what’s Lu Mingshu’s motive? Does she think that she hasn’t committed enough crimes already?
“You…!” Surprisingly, Elder Zhou didn’t seize the chance to accuse her, he was actually left speechless instead.
“Was Elder Zhou not intending to tell everyone about that?” Lu Mingshu asked in monotone. “Ah, right. Why would you? It’s such an embarrassment; the Zhou family’s Second Miss brought her two subordinates to ambush me but ended up being injured by me instead and had to withdraw from the competition.”
After summarizing the main event, Lu Mingshu’s eyes shone, “And to answer Elder Zhou’s question of why I killed Liang Zongping… Gao Xiang was right; he attacked me, but do you know why? Because Zhou Yinru ambushed me!”
All the disciples widened their eyes in shock. Zhou Yinru ambushed her? Senior Aunt Zhou brought two subordinates with her for the competition, which means… it was Lu Mingshu against the three of them?
Elder Zhou took a while to think of a reply, “The Heavenly Door competition allows disciples to compete with each other, and ambushes are also a way of competing. Are you planning to sue her for ambushing you?”
Lu Mingshu looked at him and sneered, “I’ve already told you what happened, yet Elder Zhou still doesn’t understand? Three against one… what makes you think that I can escape without the slightest injury? If the three of them were badly injured, would I be much better? That’s how Liang Zongping got the chance to attack me, which is why I killed him in self-defense. That’s my explanation. What do you think, Elder Zhou? Or do you think I should’ve just sat there and waited to die after being ambushed?”
Elder Zhou laughed sarcastically, “Lu Mingshu, don’t you think you’re contradicting yourself? You just said you were badly hurt by Zhou Yinru and attacked by Liang Zongping, yet you’re standing right here, perfectly alright, and you even managed to win eighteen fights in a row! Show your injuries then!”
Upon hearing what Elder Zhou said, most people were enlightened. Precisely! She just fought eighteen times in a row and won, so where were all her injuries then?
Lu Mingshu then retorted, “So, Elder Zhou is saying that I should already be dead after being ambushed?”
He was cut off by Lu Mingshu before he could continue, “Haven’t you heard of secret techniques? There’s clearly a reason I can no longer fight anymore, right?”
The disciples below the White Magnificent Peak were having a heated discussion about the supposed technique.
“Is there such a technique?”
“I have no idea,” another disciple shook his head.
“It’s such a big world, it may really exist and we’ve just never heard of it. I am going to believe her. Lu Mingshu wouldn’t say things that don't make sense, she’s not an idiot.”
“Of course she’s not an idiot! That’s why she is out to deceive idiots like you! She may have already predicted that everyone would think the same way as you.”
I’ll stick with my opinion. Who knows…?”
Having been cut off twice now, Elder Zhou turned to Fu Shangqing in annoyance, “Sect Leader, say something! She’s already admitted that she killed Liang Zongping, what more evidence do you need!? And just because she says she has some secret technique doesn’t mean it’s true! Killing a fellow disciple of the Nine Jade Palace is a serious offense! Are you going to just let her off?”
Fu Shangqing turned to look at the corpse before turning to the crowd, “This is a serious matter, decisions shouldn’t be made on impulse. I’ll investigate this matter further before giving everyone an explanation,” he replied solemnly.
“How can one be awarded a spot as a genuine successor disciple if one is a suspect in a murder investigation?” Elder Zhou continued, unwilling to let Lu Mingshu get away with it.
“You can investigate further all you like, but the title of genuine successor disciple shouldn’t be awarded to her, otherwise how are you going to account to the crowd! Or… Sect Leader, are you planning to bring your personal feelings into this?”
As Fu Shangqing was hesitating, a voice rang across the stage, “What a joke. Aren’t genuine successor disciples supposed to be important members of the Nine Jade Palace? Just by being a mere suspect, one will lose their title of genuine successor disciple? Isn’t the rule that one has to win with their own ability? How are you going to account to the public if that rule is ignored?”