Shen Dong did consider that this might be a trick, but since Yan Ting was involved with his own household, he still went over after some thought.
The big boss was an ordinary looking man in his forties. He neither tall nor short, fat nor thin. He could truly be lost in a crowd.
When Shen Dong saw him, he couldn’t help but wonder if this was truly the big boss of the “Broad Justice Band”.
“I hear you wanted to see me. Say whatever it is you want to say.”
The big boss had his hands bound behind his back. Because he was meeting Shen Dong, his treatment improved by a level and he was given a chair. However, his legs were bound as well.
He raised his legs, indicating for them to be untied.
A soldier glared fiercely on the side and was about to speak when Shen Dong waved his hand and interrupted him.
“I’m not a very patient person. Say whatever it is you want to say and don’t beat around the bush. I could change my mind about listening in the next second.” Shen Dong said.
The big boss still maintained a smile though his face turned rigid for a moment. He then spoke: “I have long since heard about the Xuanwei General’s prestige. You truly live up to your reputation. This subordinate is just a businessman, no need to view me as a threat. I don’t know any martial arts.”
Shen Dong slightly gestured and prevented the soldiers from moving.
He nodded and said to the big boss: “Those who know me are all aware that I hate when people try to manipulate me. When this happens, I usually like to do the opposite of what they want. Therefore, you better speak up fast. Don’t waste my time.”
“Aren’t you curious how I know Yan Ting?”
“I am rather curious. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have come to see you.”
“The Xuanwei General appears very calm to me….”
Shen Dong stood up and walked fiercely towards the door. As he walked, he instructed the soldiers to deal with the group of people according to the law, not sparing a single one.
The big boss finally revealed some anxiety in his voice, “Xuanwei General, why so impatient?”
Shen Dong stood still and gave him a glance.
Shen Dong was in his forties. He was of average height, the hair at his temples slightly greying. His appearance was very elegant, and he might be mistaken for a scholar based on his looks. However, he was tall and upright like a pine tree, an aura of steel and blood around him. It announced his identity as a general who had experienced countless battles.
The fierce aura exuded from his apathetic gaze made the big boss unable to underestimate him in the slightest.
He slightly froze and said solemnly: “This subordinate has something to tell the Xuanwei General that he’s sure the general will be interested to hear.”
Shen Dong turned and sat back in his chair.
“Could I trouble the general to send everyone out?” Seeing Shen Dong frown, the big boss hurriedly explained: “Once general hears what this subordinate has to say, you will definitely think the same way.”
Shen Dong waved his hands and had the soldiers leave. They even helped shut the doors as they stepped out.
“General should know everything we do is at great risk to ourselves. As the saying goes, businessmen like us follow profits, and we’re just trying to make a living….”
Shen Dong impatiently waved his hand, “Get to the point.”
The big boss seemed a little awkward. “Since general is already sitting, why not listen until the end before speaking?”
Shen Dong stared at him and laughed coldly, “Do you know what I hate the most in this life? What my greatest wish is?”
Without waiting for a response, he spoke again: “I hate the northern barbarians the most, and my biggest wish is to have them never invade again. Yet you people are accomplices to those tribes. Don’t say it’s for the sake of making a living. You clearly know the court has ordered an embargo yet still risk your lives to smuggle goods over. According to the law, this is treason and should be punished accordingly!”
The big boss heard these words and could no longer steady his chaotic emotions. Although he maintained a shrewd smile on his face, his gaze flickered rapidly.
“Your “Broad Justice Band” is notorious in the Pingsha Pass. I believe you understand what the metal tools you smuggle over end up being used for. You should also understand why the court has ordered the embargo. As a citizen of the Grand Xi, you don’t value your country and collude with the enemy for the sake of minor personal gain. Don’t you get nightmares when you spend the money exchanged with the blood and tears of our Grand Xi’s citizens? Does your family know you are a traitor? How are you able to look them in the eyes? How are you able to face the citizens who have lost their families due to the tribes’ invasion?!”
Every one of Shen Dong’s questions struck the big boss in his heart.
His chest rose and fell rapidly and his forehead was covered in sweat. His expression gradually became hysterical. He struggled with all his effort but his hands and feet were tied up. He could only slump helplessly in the chair.
“You officials shouldn’t speak so sanctimoniously! Do you know why the northern tribes continue to fight without retreating? It’s not just my “Broad Justice Band” that go against the embargo for these meager profits. There are plenty of merchants who do so! This subordinate admits that the Xuanwei General is filled with loyalty and that you’re a good man. But this doesn’t mean that everyone under the heavens is as noble and lofty as you!”
The big boss’s eyes were scarily red as he laughed mockingly; “You’ve guarded the Pingsha Pass for many decades and you have many supporters under you. You’ve probably never considered that your good brother-in-law Yan Ting is a traitor just like us!”
“What did you say?!”
Shen Dong was extremely startled as he stood up. His chair was knocked over with a clatter.
Someone outside called out urgently. Shen Dong took a deep breath before responding that everything was fine.
The room fell silent once more, enough to hear a pin drop.
Shen Dong stared straight at him, but the other party revealed no expression.
“Repeat what you just said!”
The big boss smiled smugly, “You’re wondering how a merchant like myself would know the grand Xuanwei General’s brother-in-law? That’s because our relationship was kept hidden, and we’ve never met face to face! Back then, Yan Ting privately had someone smuggle a batch of metal tools. No, it wasn’t metal tools. It was something those northerners coveted even more: arrowheads. He even helped me clear the path. Xuanwei General, why do you think the tribes seemed to have gotten upgrades despite not finding any metal in our caravans over the years? It was all thanks to your good brother-in-law!”
He clicked his tongue. “Ten large caravans of arrowheads went over, sufficient for those tribes to use for several years. If it weren’t for someone helping clear the way, my “Broad Justice Band” wouldn’t have the ability to send such contraband over. The northern barbarians who received the goods almost went mad with joy.”
“You dare speak nonsense?”
These words were forced out through Shen Dong’s gritted teeth.
“This subordinate doesn’t have the ability to come up with such a lie. Yan Ting has always been meticulous and there truly wasn’t any evidence left behind. However, this subordinate just ordered my men to get the information out of those barbarians. The fools told us everything. After all, they had worked with us for a long time, and the things were sent over by us. They naturally wouldn’t hold anything back. Do you know what that brother-in-law of yours sent the arrowheads over for? If this subordinate doesn’t tell you, you won’t be able to guess the reason in your entire life.”
The big boss chuckled. “That brother-in-law of yours must have gone insane from wanting to rise up. He actually colluded with the northern barbarians to get a military merit. Ten large caravans of arrowheads in exchange for two thousand barbarian lives. Two thousand heads are probably enough to extend your brother-in-law’s nobility, right? Unfortunately, man proposes and god disposes. Before those people attacked, your good brother-in-law was relocated to the capital. The northern barbarians received a bunch of goods for free.”
“Therefore, Xuanwei General, you had better let this subordinate go. Since I dared make this trip, I naturally have something to rely on. If something happens to me, as long as my subordinates don’t see me back in ten days, they will release this information. We’re just doing some minor business to make a living. Your brother-in-law smuggling arms is what’s really treason. Treason is a crime that merits execution of the entire family. The words you said earlier, this subordinate will return each one back at you!”
This was why the big boss dared personally make an appearance. First of all it was because this exchange was very important and he was forced to do so. Secondly, he also had a card that would prevent his death. Just based on this piece of blackmail, he was sure Shen Dong wouldn’t dare to anything to him.
This big boss had always been careful. It wasn’t like he hadn’t been caught before during his years of smuggling. However, no one knew what the big boss was called. He had made many arrangements on this trip as well, but ended up encountering the wild card Shen Dong.
As the commander of the Pingsha Pass, Shen Dong normally didn’t handle these arrests. Unfortunately, the big boss was too clever for his own good, and put up a huge smokescreen. The movements were too big and attracted Shen Dong’s attention. Hearing his subordinates say the big boss was personally making a move, Shen Dong figured they would catch them all in one go.
The big boss smiled coldly as he watched this grand general whose expression was changing as he thought things through.
A crack sounded out. Shen Dong’s armrest had split apart.
He stood up and looked down at the big boss before leaving.
“Keep an eye on him. Gag him!”
It was truly a little difficult to make a round trip from the Pingsha Pass to the capital in ten days.
Luckily the Zhenguo Duke Estate had stationed a garrison by the border for swift communications. They also had their own information channels.
Shen Dong’s top secret letter swiftly arrived at the Zhenguo Duke Estate. The entire estate started boiling over.
The Zhenguo Duke locked himself in his study for almost an hour before coming out.
Shen Ding’s expression was filled with worry. “Dad, what should we do? That damn Yan Ting, he actually dared do something like this!”
At the same time at the Pingsha Pass, Shen Dong once again met with the big boss in private to figure out his intentions.
After finding out what he wanted, Shen Dong’s expression was extremely ugly.
It turns out that the big boss personally made a move for a reason.
The “Broad Justice Band” was exchanging a batch of arrows and armor they got from who knows where. The northern tribe that got Yan Ting’s arrows for free didn’t dare try to assault the Grand Xi. Instead, they turned and attacked the small countries in the Western Regions as well as Russia. They plundered countless rare treasures, and was extremely rich at the moment.
Now that they had wealth, they naturally wanted to exchange it for equipment. The tribes didn’t have metal workers. When they faced off against the Grand Xi, the tribes wore leather armor. Now that they arranged for a large shipment of arms, their intent was obvious. These northern barbarians have always salivated over the wealth of the Central Plains. They were like undying cockroaches.
The big boss’s request was to release him, and let this shipment through.
But how could Shen Dong allow this?
The Shen household had always been loyal to the country and they hated traitors the most. How could they allow themselves to become traitors? Especially since this large shipment might allow the barbarians who were on their deathbed to recover. Not only would the Zhenguo Duke and Shen Dong’s efforts for the past decades all go to waste, it would also be an insult to the countless of lives that were sacrificed.
Of course Shen Dong wasn’t a fool. He acted hesitant and asked for an extension of the ten day deadline.
The big boss also knew ten days were a little short. After all, the Pingsha Pass was thousands of miles away from the capital. It would take over half a month to get there. However, he was afraid something unexpected would occur if things dragged on, so he set the limit at one and a half months.
Because he had some blackmail on the Shen household, the big boss turned from a prisoner to a guest. Of course, he also sent someone to notify his subordinates that he was temporarily unharmed.
This won’t be mentioned for now.
The Zhenguo Duke Estate was also under a lot of pressure.
Colluding with the enemy was a crime worthy of the entire family being executed. Since Yan Ting was the Zhenguo Duke’s son-in-law, the duke would also be implicated. Furthermore, this wasn’t something that could be solved by having Shen Yi Yao divorce Yan Ting. Yan Ting had been sent to the pass by the Zhenguo Duke’s personal arrangements. Everything he did there was naturally not something that can be brushed away by saying they didn’t know about it.
But if they agreed to the big boss’s demands, the Shen household’s people knew this definitely wouldn’t end so easily. There would be endless troubles that came after, and everything the Zhenguo Duke’s household built up would come crashing down overnight. Therefore, there was no chance they would agree to this sort of demand.
This was truly an unsolvable problem!