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Chapter 160: Forgiving you is the Buddha’s matter, my task is to take you to the afterlife!
In the blink of an eye, two days had flown by, and Lin Beifan made the decision to head back. During his initial departure, he had rushed, determined to avoid even the slightest delay. But, upon his return, he opted for a more leisurely experience, traveling in a lavish carriage and savoring the relaxed journey home.
However, along the way, they discovered many refugees. Their clothes were tattered, their faces pale and skinny, their eyes lifeless. Many of them were barefoot, as if they hadn’t had a full meal in a long time or a good night’s sleep.
Mo Rushuang couldn’t help but stop a few refugees and asked, “Are you all from Northern Hebei?”
The refugees simply nodded and didn’t say much, quickly avoiding them, seemingly afraid of Mo Rushuang and the others.
Therefore, Mo Rushuang stopped an older refugee and asked, “Are you also from Northern Hebei?”
“Yeah,” the person numbly nodded.
“Why did you leave your hometown? Wasn’t it good there?” Mo Rushuang asked again.
“There are bandits everywhere, how can I survive? If I could make it, who would want to leave? Sigh!” The person shook their head and left with a sad expression.
Mo Rushuang’s heart sank as well. Guo Shaoshuai’s heart also felt uneasy. After all, that was their hometown, who would want to see it become like this?
Lin Beifan seemed to sense their thoughts and said, “Northern Hebei isn’t far from here, why don’t we take a detour and have a look? It won’t delay us much time.”
“Thank you, young master!” Mo Rushuang exclaimed in pleasant surprise.
Lin Beifan waved at the official attendants and said, “Change out of your official uniforms, we’re going to take a detour to Northern Hebei!”
“Yes, My Lord!” The attendants immediately responded.
When they came, they had already been instructed by the Empress to follow Lin Beifan’s orders. So everyone put away their official uniforms and changed into casual clothes.
They took a different path and headed towards Northern Hebei.
In less than half a day’s journey, they had already entered the territory of Northern Hebei. However, along the way, they saw more and more refugees, some heading to Tangzhou and others going elsewhere.
Everyone’s mood became increasingly heavy.
At this moment, Mo Rushuang pointed to an empty village on the roadside and said in a heavy tone, “I remember passing by here with my junior brother half a year ago! At that time, it was filled with people, bustling with noise, but now it’s almost empty!”
“Yeah, at that time we were here asking for a bowl of water to drink. The villagers here were very welcoming, but now there’s nothing to be seen!” Guo Shaoshuai said in a lost tone.
They continued walking and came across several more small villages, but there were no people, and even the fields were abandoned.
The mood of everyone became increasingly heavy.
“It seems that the problem of bandits here is very serious!” Lin Beifan sighed.
“To be honest, this situation is indeed very serious! I’ve traveled all over, but I’ve never seen anything like this before! Normally, when such a big thing happens, the local authorities would definitely send someone to handle it! Even if they couldn’t handle it, they would report it to the court and let the court handle it! But now, there’s nothing, it’s quite bewildering!” one of the accompanying officials said.
Lin Beifan laughed and said, “Sir Wang, you’re basically saying that the officials here are colluding with the bandits!”
The official quickly waved his hands and said, “My Lord, this is something that can’t be said casually!”
“It must be that the local authorities here have done nothing, which has led to the rampant banditry and the rise of refugees! When we go back, I will definitely report this to Empress Sister!” the little princess said with a burst of righteousness.
Just then, the sound of galloping hooves could be heard in the distance.
Looking in the direction of the sound, they saw a group of fierce men riding high-headed horses rushing over, raising dust all the way. In a short time, they arrived in front of Lin Beifan and the others, surrounding them.
“Brothers, it looks like we’ve got a fat lamb here!”
“This must be a young master on a journey! Such a luxurious carriage, fine clothes, and so many followers, he must be very rich! Tonight, we can have an even better feast!”
“And there are two beautiful women who look like fairies from heaven! Tonight, I’m going to have some fun!”
“Once the boss is done, we can all have some fun!”
“Haha, everyone gets a share!”
They shamelessly spoke lewdly, completely ignoring Lin Beifan and the others.
“Protect the young master!” All the attendants around Lin Beifan drew their knives and guarded him.
Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai drew their swords and cautiously stared at the intruders.
The little princess had no weapon, but her little fists were clenched, her face full of excitement, eager to try.
However, these bandits continued to laugh without any sense of fear.
“Haha! You actually want to resist?”
“This just got interesting!”
“Indeed, it’s been a long time since we’ve encountered something this interesting!”
“They really don’t know their place!”
The leader of the bandits waved his hand and shouted, “Attack, boys! Kill all the men, leave the women!”
“Kill!” The bandits howled.
A moment later, all the bandits trembled and knelt down on the ground.
The leader of the bandits cried out, “Spare us, brave hero! We were wrong, we shouldn’t have robbed you! Please give us a chance to live, we won’t dare anymore!”
Lin Beifan squatted down with a smile, “I have a few questions for you, I hope you’ll answer them honestly.”
“If I answer, can I keep my life?” The bandit leader was somewhat cunning.
Lin Beifan nodded, “Yes! I am a devout Buddhist. The Buddha is compassionate. As long as you let go of your weapons, the Buddha will forgive you. Amitabha!”
“Okay, ask your questions!” The bandit leader was somewhat delighted.
Lin Beifan asked, “I heard that a group of bandits appeared in the Northern Hebei region. Is it you guys?”
“Yes, that’s us!” The bandit leader immediately nodded.
Lin Beifan asked again, “How many of you are there in total?”
“It’s hard to say for sure, we haven’t counted, but there must be around two or three thousand!” The bandit leader said.
Everyone felt extremely heavy after hearing this. Two or three thousand bandits, such a large number, is enough to cause chaos in the area. Moreover, they suddenly appeared, indicating organization and premeditation. But so far, the court hasn’t received any information about it, which is a serious situation.
Lin Beifan asked again, “Who is the mastermind behind you guys?”
The bandit leader shook his head, “I don’t know!”
Lin Beifan was surprised, “How could you not know, otherwise who gives you orders?”
“Because we have a single line of contact! The person above me is ××, but as for who is above them, we don’t know. He gives orders for us to rob, so we go rob. As for the things we rob, apart from keeping a small portion for ourselves, the rest is all turned in!” the other party honestly replied.
“You’re so obedient, have you never thought of rebelling?” Lin Beifan chuckled.
The bandit leader shivered, “We dare not! They have many powerful individuals, just one of them can easily annihilate me! So it’s better to just work honestly and enjoy the good things in life!”
Lin Beifan asked a few more questions but didn’t gain any valuable information.
“Sir, that’s all I know! Please spare me and I promise I will never do it again! I will kowtow to you now, I will kowtow…”
As he spoke, he really kowtowed, showing a lack of integrity.
The other bandits followed suit.
Lin Beifan stood up and said, “Guards, they are of no value anymore, kill them all!”
The leader of the bandits was dumbfounded, “Didn’t you say you would leave me alive?”
Lin Beifan nodded, “Yes, I will leave your life behind!”
The bandit leader exclaimed, “Damn!”
The bandit leader pleaded, “Didn’t you say that if we put down our weapons, the Buddha would forgive us?”
Lin Beifan nodded again, “Yes! But forgiving you is the Buddha’s business, my task is to send you to the afterlife!”
The bandit leader exclaimed again, “Damn!”
“Attack!” Lin Beifan waved his hand.
Several slashes fell, and all the bandits were killed. They set a fire and burned the bodies.
Then, they continued on their way.
Surprisingly, they encountered two more groups of bandits, and they were all killed.
Lin Beifan and his companions shook their heads in sigh, in just half a day’s time, they encountered three groups of bandits. No wonder the people in Northern Hebei could not stay and became refugees, they had no other choice but to flee.
Because if they didn’t run, they really had no way to survive!
… .. …….
That evening, they found shelter in an uninhabited village.
The moon was bright, the stars were sparse, and a gentle breeze filled the air, creating a peaceful atmosphere.
Most of the people were asleep, while Lin Beifan sat on a stone table, drinking wine and admiring the moon.
He seemed to be waiting for someone.
At this moment, Mo Rushuang walked over, “Mr. Lin, there is something that I can’t understand in my heart! You are wise and intelligent, can you solve my confusion?”
Lin Beifan nodded and smiled, “What is your question? Ask me!”
“Mr. Lin, who is the mastermind behind these bandits, and what is their purpose?” Mo Rushuang said with pain.
Lin Beifan smiled, “Actually, you already have the answer in your heart!”
Mo Rushuang said painfully, “It shouldn’t be him. He is kind-hearted, wise, and martially skilled. It’s impossible for him to do such things!”
“But besides him, it seems there is no one else!” Lin Beifan tapped on the stone table, “After all, this is his territory. When such a big incident happens, can you believe that he doesn’t know? So he definitely knows, but if he knows and does nothing, then there are only two possibilities!”
“What are the two possibilities?” Mo Rushuang asked eagerly.
“The first one is that the mastermind behind the bandits is too powerful for him to offend!” Lin Beifan said, “However, such people are rare! After all, he is someone who even wants the throne. How many people in the world can he not afford to offend?”
“So the only possibility left is the second one!”
Lin Beifan smiled, “They are in cahoots, which is why the bandits are being tolerated!”
Mo Rushuang’s face became even more pained.
It was as if his long-held belief had collapsed and was hard to accept.
Lin Beifan stood up and placed his hands on Mo Rushuang’s slender shoulders, speaking softly, “Rushuang, don’t overthink it. Let’s observe and allow the situation to unfold. Everything will be revealed in due time. Now, go back and get some rest!”
“Yes, Mr. Lin!” Mo Rushuang nodded and went back.
At this time, due to losing track of three groups of bandits in the same location, the bandits became alert.
“Wolf, Fox, Bear haven’t returned. Something doesn’t seem right!”
“They were all operating in Feng County today!”
“It seems that they might have encountered trouble. Send someone to investigate immediately!”
The nearby bandits immediately mobilized and found three burned bodies. The situation was promptly reported up the chain of command.