Northwest’s army was still sullen over Du Ji’s death. But more than sorrow, they were intent on battling the Jin thieves to death.
But even more people wanted to find the traitor.
“It must be Shen Xiao!” Sheng Peiyin glanced at the Ninth Prince, stirred. “It must be him. If not for him, how could he possibly know that General Du was in danger and coincidentally saved him?”
The Ninth Prince knitted his brows. Shen Xiao colluded with the Jin people? It was too incredulous. “Impossible. Shen Xiao is my Dazhou’s general. For many generations, the family had many famous generals. There’s no way he’d betray Dazhou.”
“He didn’t betray Dazhou, but General Du.” Sheng Peiyin was insistent that Shen Xiao was the traitor. She knew why Shen Xiao was that ruthless to her father in her past life. Father must’ve known his secret so Shen Xiao decided to make a move first and kill her father in order to hide his identity as a spy.
“Yin’er, you mustn’t casually speak of this. Had Shen Xiao not come to assist them in time last time, General Du would’ve already… They were both heroes. There’s no way he’s a spy.” The Ninth Prince believed that Shen Xiao wasn’t a spy.
This was a type of trust towards heroes.
That’s right. In many people’s eyes in the capital, Shen Xiao was a huge hero that protected his nation. Like General Du, they were guardian deities of Dazhou. Now, they lost a guardian deity. The entire Dazhou was sullen and angry. If news of Shen Xiao being a spy had spread out...
The soldiers’ morale in Dazhou would be defeated by then. When the time comes, who’d be confident enough to fight the Jin thieves?
Sheng Peiyin was anxious and glared at the Ninth Prince unhappy. “You don’t believe me?”
“It’s not that this prince doesn’t believe you but you need evidence to prove that Shen Xiao was a spy. We can’t have rumors spreading about him in Dazhou before there is any evidence.” The Ninth Prince stated sternly. This was the first time he revealed a serious expression towards Sheng Peiyin.
“I will find evidence.” Sheng Peiyin clenched. She’d make Shen Xiao pay the price.
There were other people that suspected Shen Xiao besides Sheng Peiyin.
In the military camp, the crown prince sat behind the desk with a grim expression. Qi Zheng and the other deputy generals stood besides him. Each one wore sorrowful and angry expressions.
Shen Xiao stood in the middle, accepting their questioning or guessing gazes.
“General Shen, how do you know there was something odd about General Du’s campaign this time?” Like the Ninth Prince, the crown prince didn’t believe that Shen Xiao would betray Du Ji or that he was a spy.
Du Yane who just lost her father didn’t believe in Shen Xiao however. She thought that he clearly colluded with the Jin people to kill Du Ji since he coincidentally knew that he was schemed and then rushed over just in time after he got shot.
Shen Xiao wore a calm expression. He was open and candid, unfair of people’s suspicions. “Reporting to Your Highness, this general found out from Vanguard Li. This is the secret letter I obtained from him.”
Vanguard Li’s name was Li Peiye, Du Ji’s left vanguard. The night before they went on campaign, his body suddenly spasmed and his fever didn’t reduce. In the end, he didn’t follow Du Ji along. Shen Xiao originally wanted to visit him but seeing his gaze flickering and looking away from him, he knew that there was something off. After testing him, he forcibly had someone searched his body and found the letter under his bed.
“Li Peiye is the spy?” The crown prince touched his chin, deep in thought. He looked at Qi Zheng and asked, “What do you think?”
Qi Zheng’s expression was cold. In a deep voice, “Li Peiye might not be a spy. If he really betrayed General Du, why would he leave the evidence there for General Shen to find? Why don’t we call him over and interrogate him first?”
His Highness crown prince immediately ordered people to bring Li Peiye over. He looked dispirited. Seeing the crown prince and Shen Xiao, he got on his knees shakingly.
“Li Peiye, is this yours?” The crown prince asked sternly. Seeing Li Peiye like this, he recalled Du Ji’s death and his anger rose.
Li Peiye’s face paled. He looked carefully at Shen Xiao and shook his head, saying that it wasn’t his.
Qi Zheng knitted his brows, questioning Li Peiye’s reaction.
“General Shen, save me… save me…” When the crown prince said that he was going to beat Li Peiye, he suddenly begged Shen Xiao for help.
Du Ji’s military counselor’s expression changed and he looked at Shen Xiao strangely.
“You think that I’ll save you?” Shen Xiao curled his lips up and looked coldly at Li Peiye.
“General Shen, I work for you. You have to save me.” Li Peiye shouted loudly.
If the crown prince couldn’t tell what Li Peiye wanted to do, then he’d live all these years for no reason. “Take Li Peiye down first and don’t let anyone near him.”
But before the two soldiers could walk to Li Peiye’s side, he started spasming.
Shen Xiao’s expression changed and he hurriedly kneeled down. “What is up with you?”
Li Peiye spat a mouthful of blood. Unresignment was in his eyes. “General Shen…”
He leaned in Shen Xiao’s ears and said a few sentences before he died.
“What did he say?” The crown prince hurriedly asked.
Shen Xiao pursed his lips as if he didn’t hear the crown prince.
“Jin thieves set this up!” Du Ji’s two most loyal trusted aides finally stood up. Lu Jiasheng looked at Li Peiye’s corpse and sneered.
“What do you mean, Military Counselor Lu?” The crown prince asked.
Lu Jiasheng and the bearded man wanted to get revenge for Du Ji the most. But they knew better than to casually frame someone without evidence. Dazhou couldn’t afford to lose a general.
Plus, Du Ji had talked to them before he died. Like General Du, they didn’t believe that Shen Xiao was a spy.
Then who was the spy?
Seeing that he said nothing, the crown prince knew that he had apprehensions. He ordered the rest to leave, leaving only Shen Xiao and Qi Zheng.
“Jin thieves want to kill two birds with one stone!” Lu Jiasheng trusted the people that stayed behind which was why he spoke about his suspicions openly.
Qi Zheng had the same thought too. “They first killed General Du then wanted us to be suspicious of General Shen because of General Du’s death. This was Jin thieves’ goal.”
“Jin thieves are usually straightforward with their tactics. But they knew to use such sinister tactics?” The crown prince asked in shock.
“There must be a mastermind.” Lu Jiasheng said.
Shen Xiao exclaimed deeply, “Li Peiye was forced. He just said...he was sorry to General Du and he was forced to do so.”
That’s right. Li Peiye apologized to Shen Xiao before he died but he had no other choice.
The crown prince was furious. “Just who betrayed Dazhou?!”
“If we can’t find anyone from the military camp, should we start checking the capital?” Qi Zheng suddenly asked.