Chapter 40 Great Floating Water Prison
Multiple carriages sedately moved through the alleys of Changling. The person sitting in the cabin of the front carriage was Mo Qinggong.
Suddenly, his eyes showed wariness. A carriage came out through a nearby alley and moved towards them. He knew that the driver was Jing Mozong, one of Wang Taixu’s people.
However, he had been in Divinity Bureau for many years, and the lessons of blood told him to not trust anyone.
When the curtain of the carriage lifted from far away, his expression relaxed. He said warmly when the carriage came closer, “Why are you here?”
The people inside the cabin were Ding Ning and Shen Yi. Hearing Mo Qinggong’s words, Ding Ning seemed to not feel the terror of this “evil hound” of the Divinity Bureau. He moved into Mo Qinggong’s cabin and motioned for Shen Yi to follow.
“I have not seen Official Mo for a long time. You look good in the new year.” Ding Ning bowed slightly to Mo Qinggong and said, “I thought that Official may want to hear some details so I came first. The people of Fish Market are troublesome to find. I brought along my junior sect brother who was also present. Official will not need to expend great effort for the people of Fish Market.”
Mo Qinggong looked benevolently at Ding Ning without any of the sternness he usually treated his subordinates with. He smiled slightly and said, “You are smart. Even if you have not come, I am going to find you next.”
Ding Ning said with a smile, “I cannot have Official come find me. Of course I must come.”
Mo Qinggong studied Ding Ning for a few moments and said with a soft sigh, “You have become very famous in Changling in the last half year. Ever since you entered White Goat Cave, you have been the youth with the fastest rising reputation. This proves that my judgement was not wrong in the past. But now it appears even if I took you on as a student, you would not have grown so quickly. Who would think Old Man Xue Wangxu is a grandmaster with a foot in realm seven.”
“Official Mo, do you have any clues?” Ding Ning said, slightly bewildered. “I am just an ordinary youth. I do not have any enemies in Changling. Why have so many cultivators come to kill me?”
Mo Qinggong was exasperated and amused. He shouted, “I have not questioned you yet, and you start to question me. Xue Wangxu displayed his cultivation on the highway and was so flamboyant when he went to Zhushan District. Who in the world doesn’t know of his fight with General Liang at the gates of the North Tiger Wolf Army base? You were present for all those events, and you are also the cultivator to reach realm three the fastest in Changling. You are still an ordinary youth?”
“You should be more careful in the future.” Mo Qinggong warned after a slight pause, “Just your relationship with Wang Taixu will bring you many calamities.”
“It is not possible to avoid calamities.” Ding Ning said calmly, “I have to rely on Official Mo to investigate.”
Hearing the words, Mo Qinggong laughed mockingly.
Even he needed a support like Bureau Chief Chen to establish himself in Changling. He was not in control at many times. Youths like Ding Ning who came from ordinary families could only go along with the waves, even if they showed great talent. He had no room to make his own choices.
He started to ask about details of Fish Market.
Maybe because Mo Qinggong felt it wasn’t important who in Fish Market had fought these three cultivators, or he was deliberately avoiding the topic, he didn’t even ask who had acted in Fish Market during his interrogation.
As this interrogation finished, this carriage passed into a wood of poplar trees in the countryside outside Changling.
A low flat building built along the Wei River appeared in Ding Ning’s sight.
“This is the Great Floating Water Prison?” Ding Ning muttered. “It doesn’t look like much.”
People rarely talked to Mo Qinggong like he was normal rather than a terrifying official of the Divinity Bureau. So when Mo Qinggong heard Ding Ning’s mutter, he only smiled and didn’t mind. His tenseness finally eased.
In Changling, no one would dare to do anything near the Great Floating Water Prison.
“Are there many things unusual underground?”
Ding Ning became even more curious. He looked at Mo Qinggong and asked, “Could you take me to visit?”
Mo Qinggong stilled and his expression grew stern. He said, “You want to see?”
Ding Ning nodded and said, “Because I heard the most guarded place in Changling is not the imperial palace but the Great Floating Water Prison.”
“Childish words.” Mo Qinggong glanced at him and said with cold disdain, “You think the Great Floating Water Prison is a place anyone can enter as they wish?”
Ding Ning looked at him and frowned slightly, “Even you cannot take me in?”
“Not that I cannot take you in, but even I cannot enter. I do not even qualify.” Mo Qinggong said with a cold smile. “This water prison existed in the time of the previous emperor and has been reinforced and perfected after that. Almost all the powerful formations and wards that the cultivators of Qin create are added in. Even the criminals … only truly important people will qualify to be imprisoned here. Even this realm five survivor did not originally qualify to come here.”
“Realm five is not enough … then what kind of people qualify to be in here?” Ding Ning and Shen Yi looked at each other.
Mo Qinggong said, “Of course the true great rebels. Those existences that will not be able to be controlled if they fled.”
“Great rebels like Bai Shanshui?” Ding Ning frowned. “Even if only important people like them qualify to be imprisoned there, Official Mo, you have such a high position, why can’t you investigate cases in there? Then who can? Aren’t the Astronomy Bureau and Divinity Bureau above all other bureaus in their investigations?”
“Child, so curious.” Mo Qinggong jumped off the carriage and motioned for the Divinity Bureau driver to send Shen Yi and Ding Ning back. He said, “I have to do some paperwork and wait until the appointed time to enter this Great Floating Water Prison. The person in charge is Official Shen Xuan. But you do not know him even if I tell you.”
Ding Ning’s heart shook again. But in front of a person like Mo Qinggong, his expression maintained absolute calm without any abnormality.
Only when the carriage carrying him and Shen Yi turned around to the willow woods did he close his eyes in tiredness. He thought back to every detail on the building he had just seen. At the same time, he said inside, Shen Xuan, I had not thought that you survived and became a dog of Prime Minister Yan.
In the years of Emperor Yuanwu’s ascension, the people at the heart of the bloody storm were either the top people of the time, or people related to those top people.
Even if they were just subordinates of those geniuses or ordinary retainers, many of them had encountered extraordinary opportunities in that astounding regime change and stepped onto the stage of power.
Shen Xuan was different.
In the last dozen years, he never showed his face in Changling. But before Emperor Yuanwu’s ascension, he had been the Star-Viewing General, and in command of the city turrets.
Changling did not have an outer wall. The enormous corner turrets of Changling looked over Changling and observed all movements. The lights given off by the turrets could quickly guide the cultivators or armies moving through the distant streets.
In a crucially important battle, Shen Xuan had given the wrong directions to a group of cultivators who had the power to decide the battle.
Those cultivators had originally been his friends.
Those cultivators had followed his directions. When they moved to the place they were rushing to aid at their fastest speed, they found thousands of already positioned seal chariots waiting for them.
In the past, Shen Xuan had been powerful. Now, he should at least be realm seven second class.
A person like this was in charge here. A person like Mo Qinggong could only enter at special times. Ding Ning knew he had to be more patient and slower.
Today, he had used this opportunity. While he had not been able to enter the Great Floating Water Prison, he obtained useful information. At least, he saw the present Great Floating Water Prison at a close distance … so while he felt sad inside, he could only comfort himself with these words.
Translator Ramblings: Is building an underground prison in water a good idea? I feel like the water would end up eroding/rusting a lot of the structures…