"Hale, the Captain of the Oceanic Beasts?"
"Yes, Your Excellency."
"Teacher! I think there must be a—"
Before Scarlet could finish her sentence, she was interrupted by a wave of Sophia's hand. She emotionlessly turned her gaze to Wang Zhong's face and began to speak. "Wang Zhong? I give you a chance to defend yourself. Otherwise, according to the Holy City's regulations, you will be sentenced to death."
Fighting was strictly prohibited on battlefield bases. Even fighting was a serious crime, not to mention murder.
The demeanor and aura of a Great Teacher obviously had a world of difference as compared to the rest of the people here. The moment she opened her mouth, even the onlookers who wanted to get a good show grew afraid, dominated by her presence. Everyone began to breathe gingerly. It was as though they were scared that their small actions would anger this big-shot.
However, even when he was face-to-face with Sophia, Wang Zhong did not reveal any signs of stress or fear. He even stared straight at Sophia with the same unfazed expression she had, as though nothing mattered to him. "Hale harbored ill intentions towards a fellow female team member in my team and killed Mario in cold blood. Since no one in this base did anything about it, I had to do it myself."
"That's utter nonsense. It's ridiculous!" shouted Griffin, the vice-captain of the Oceanic Beasts. Previously, under the cold gaze of Wang Zhong, he dared not speak a word, but since the arrival of the law-enforcement guard, he grew active again. Now that Hale was dead, he would take over the Oceanic Beasts and become its new captain. However, the team was huge, and not everyone would listen to him; he had to show a little power. Taking the official way to avenge Hale was the easiest way to get the support and approval of members in the Oceanic Beasts. This opportunity was a godsend. He was happy about Hale's death, but Wang Zhong, who had actually done him a favor, also had to die.
As such, he was determined to push all the blame to Wang Zhong, and he began to shout angrily, "Mario and Sharmie tried to launch a sneak attack on our Captain when we were on a mission with them, and Mario was eventually killed when our Captain fought back in self-defense. This is the truth! Our captain was kind enough to let Sharmie off after the incident. That was why we didn't report this incident. How dare you accuse us?! Do you have any proof?!"
"Proof? Haha, is that important?" Wang Zhong glanced at him scornfully and said, "Why would they try to attack Hale with their levels? Does anyone f*cking believe that? Also, do you think nobody knows that Hale was a lecher? Everyone here f*cking knows the truth of what actually happened."
Griffin was stunned momentarily. Yes, Hale had been boasting about it everywhere. After all, this kind of thing was very common in the Holy City. Before his death, no one thought that it was a big deal. Now, not only did the people in the bar know about it, even if a few people were picked at random from the Exploration Team Department, they would be able to attest to it. Before this, if 10 people were asked about it, all of them would answer in favor of the Oceanic Beasts. The reason was simple. No one would want to offend the Oceanic Beasts for two newcomers without any background. Without testimonies and witnesses, no matter what the Wanderlust Team did, it would be impossible for the Oceanic Beasts to get punished. This was a hidden and unwritten rule.
But now? Not to mention the other things, with a single glare from Wang Zhong, Griffin felt that even the members of the Oceanic Beasts could be scared into telling the truth. He—he was definitely the devil…
Although both Wang Zhong and Hale killed someone, if Hale was the one who committed an offense in the first place — specifically intending to rape a fellow comrade as well as kill another in cold blood — then things would be entirely different. Such things were strictly prohibited by the law. What worried Griffin more was that if the truth was to get out, and if a thorough investigation was done, those seven Oceanic Beasts members, who had followed Hale to cause trouble for Mario and Sharmie on that day, might also be prosecuted with the same crime, and that included himself!
If that was the case, Wang Zhong would not be able to escape punishment. But even if he was found guilty of murder and disregard for military regulations, he would only be sent back to the Holy City and go to prison for a few years, and that was the worst-case scenario. However, if he himself was found guilty of the same crime as Hale, he would definitely be executed.
When he understood this, his entire back was drenched in cold sweat. When he caught sight of Sophia's gaze, a chill ran down his spine. Fortunately for him, he managed to react quickly and change the topic. "Wang Zhong, you indeed have a sharp mouth. Hmph! But justice naturally inhabits man's heart. The base will obviously investigate and find out the truth of the incident. Neither you nor I have a say in this matter!"
He turned his head and bowed respectfully to Sophia. "Great Teacher Sophia, I have a matter of great importance to report."
"Someone has betrayed the Holy Land and betrayed his fellow comrades!" said Griffin as he glared fiercely at Wang Zhong. "In a previous report from the Wanderlust Team when they returned from the Black Boulder Energy Cave, they mentioned that they encountered a Sword Saint and that Wang Zhong sacrificed his own life to lead the Sword Saint away, which allowed the Wanderlust Team to return safely. Hahaha. At that time, we, the Oceanic Beasts, also had great admiration for him, felt sorry for his death, and mourned for him. I believe many people in the Exploration Team Department also thought of it this way and thought of him as a hero. But now, this person, who was supposed to be dead after leading the Sword Saint away, has actually returned to base alive!"
The news of the Wanderlust Team encountering a Sword Saint and the death of KD Squadron was indeed the hot topic in the Exploration Team Department a few days ago. Many people were actually unhappy about the way the higher-ups handled the situation. Whether they liked the Wanderlust Team or not, almost everyone hoped that they would get punished, to set an example for the rest. This would deter people in the Exploration Team Department from slacking off, and this was definitely a matter of interest to all.
Now that Griffin suddenly brought up this old news again, everyone seemed to have been enlightened, after mulling over it.
Yes, why was Wang Zhong still alive? He was merely a Holy Disciple. If he was responsible for distracting the Sword Saint, he would definitely have been torn apart by the Sword Saint. He was already on the military's missing person list, yet he suddenly appeared out of nowhere again. What kind of nonsense was that? His opponent was a Sword Saint, and he was just a Heroic Soul. Even if he had a pair of wings and a rocket to boost his speed, it was impossible to escape from a Sword Saint!
Whether Hale was dead or whether Wang Zhong was punished was not a concern for most people, but most of the exploration teams were glad that this old matter had been brought up again. It wasn't a matter of whether they disliked the Wanderlust Team; it was that they had to be made into an example for the rest! This was to ensure that they could entrust their backs to their fellow comrades in this Holy Battle.
Many people began to talk about it, and the bar was filled with chatter once again.
Seeing that he had successfully diverted everyone's attention and pointed the finger at Wang Zhong once again, Griffin couldn't help but secretly applaud himself for his quick wit. With a sneer, he began to speak again. "So the Wanderlust Team is lying! The so-called Sword Saint simply does not exist! Did they come up with this lie just to hide the fact that they ran away without participating in the battle? I think not! Now, I am beginning to suspect that the Wanderlust Team had directly caused the deaths of KD! They must be hiding something! Your Excellency, I hope that you can investigate this, so that KD may rest in peace and that the other exploration teams can see justice being served!"
"Yes! Exploration teams that betray their allies and make up lies should not be tolerated!"
"Your Excellency, please see that justice is served."
Many others began to chime in. It was not only the members of the Oceanic Beasts but also the others in the bar. In this matter, all the exploration teams definitely had the same view. Compared to Hale, this merciless Wang Zhong was an even greater force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, his words just now truly made people shudder. It sounded like he would kill whoever Sharmie pointed at?
Scarlet originally felt that the situation had become clear, but she did not expect that the tides would turn in the blink of an eye. Of course, she knew that Wang Zhong was telling the truth. It was most likely that he had undergone a tiresome experience to have escaped with his life, but Griffin and the others would definitely request proof to support his claims. It was definitely impossible to get as they could not just confront the Sword Saint and ask for confirmation.
Scarlet grew anxious, and she couldn't think of a good idea to help Wang Zhong. Suddenly, Sophia began to speak. "You said you met a Sword Saint. How did you manage to come back?"
Sophia's tone was cold, as though she was casually handling a very trivial matter. No one doubted that if Wang Zhong dared to say a wrong word, he would be thrown into an abyss with no return by Great Teacher Sophia. The kind of aura radiating from her was definitely impossible to be imitated by ordinary people.
Everyone then turned to look at Wang Zhong at this time, especially the entire Wanderlust Team. Previously, when Wang Zhong returned, they had asked about it, but they had yet to get an answer due to Sharmie's situation. As such, even they did not know how Wang Zhong survived; thus, they grew extremely worried. As Scarlet had guessed, the situation was now very unfavorable for Wang Zhong. Griffin and the others were desperate, so they would definitely bite on the fact that Wang Zhong didn't have proof. However, the only witness was a Mizobudapi Sword Saint who would never be able to testify to humans…
The atmosphere seemed to have grown tense, and the buzzing among the people grew softer. They were all waiting to see what other lies Wang Zhong would make up. But Wang Zhong merely scoffed, "I killed him. Why can't I come back?"
The bar suddenly grew silent, and everyone stopped talking amongst themselves. Countless pairs of eyes stared at him, and the whole bar remained silent for a full ten seconds before someone couldn't help but laugh out loud.
"This guy has gone crazy!"
"Killed the Sword Saint… Who does he think he is? The disciple of the Holy Saint Teacher?"
"This dude must be insane. Do we look like idiots to you?"
"Your Excellency, you see, this person not only sold out his teammates but also brutally killed our Captain. He also tried to slander our Captain, a hero who spent his life fighting for the Holy Land. Please help us get justice!" Griffin was crying happy tears deep down, but his eyes were red and filled with tears. It seemed like his acting skills were solid. This Wang Zhong was seeking death. Did he assume that the Holy City Army would let him off so easily based on his words alone?
A burst of laughter erupted. This was indeed rare as they were in the presence of Great Teacher Sophia. But it couldn't be helped. It was truly too funny. A mere Heroic Soul actually claimed that he had killed a Mizobudapi Sword Saint by himself!
"Put away your lame humor," said Sophia as her eyes flashed a cold grimace. "Wang Zhong, you have to take responsibility for your words. Where is your proof?"
Wang Zhong didn't bother to explain himself. He directly opened his space crystal, yanked out a corpse, and threw it in front of everyone. "Here it is."
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