277 An Apology to Whitty
The grand elders glanced at each other. They had unreadable expressions when they saw the handcuffs Jiang Chen was wearing.
"Grand elder, this guy doesn't have a collar for his mount. His mount lost control and hurt people. Murong Xing was injured due to this. I made him practice with the manacles on for a year as punishment," said Du Yue.
"One year?" the grand elder emphasized.
Maybe it was an illusion, but Du Yue felt coldness directed towards him.
The grand elder played the recorded video to see what had happened with his own eyes.
Du Yue's heart sank. The grand elder didn't completely believe him because he valued Jiang Chen.
If it had been one of the others, the grand elder wouldn't have asked about it. This was why Du Yue had been so arrogant.
Soon, what had happened outside the Time Palace was clearly shown.
It was the second time the bystanders watched it. They had a subtle change in feeling. Even the change of their expressions could be clearly observed.
Somehow, they were more or less embarrassed.
"Du Yue, not bad. You told a completely different story. I have to rethink my opinion of you," another grand elder smiled coldly. His look was frigid.
"Grand elder, Murong Xing was badly injured," Du Yue said immediately.
"He asked for it!"
Du Yue fell into despair when he heard the grand elder's reply. He would be a fool if he didn't understand what the grand elders were implying.
The bystanders found the atmosphere charged with tension. They were surprised to see Jiang Chen and Ying Wushuang look so relaxed.
"Jiang Chen, the Hero Palace isn't a corrupted place. I promise you such things won't happen again," a grand elder came up to Jiang Chen and said to him. His words shocked everyone. They didn't know why the grand elder was doing this. They were given a good scare.
The grand elder was being so polite to a newbie. Was Jiang Chen really just an average short-term disciple?
Du Yue's legs trembled. He went weak at the knees and almost knelt down.
He finally realized why Jiang Chen had been speaking so confidently.
"Sure. I don't believe the whole Hero Palace is like this."
Jiang Chen stood up. By then, everyone was looking at him differently. The smile that had made him look like a fool before seemed mysterious to them at that moment.
The handcuffs clanged as soon as he got to his feet. The grand elders frowned at the sound.
Du Yue didn't even dare breathe too hard when a grand elder shouted at him. He hurried to come up to Jiang Chen and give him the key to the chains, but Jiang Chen didn't take it. He was just looking at Du Yue silently.
Du Yue was puzzled. Then he realized what Jiang Chen wanted. He couldn't hold down his anger anymore.
But then he felt the sharp looks behind him. He had to squat down before Jiang Chen and unlock the cuffs with the key.
The bystanders couldn't believe what they had seen. It was quite humiliating for an elder of the Hero Palace to unlock the handcuffs of a newbie in person. It didn't seem real to them.
Du Yue made a great effort to unlock them, then kept stepping backward. His expression was almost distorted.
"And, you owe an apology to Whitty," said Jiang Chen.
Du Yue was surprised. He looked towards the mount doubtfully and couldn't hold his temper anymore. He said, "Don't go too far!"
Jiang Chen wanted him to apologize to an animal? He would rather die.
He shouted and looked back, hoping the grand elders also thought it was an excessive request and would stand on his side.
Yet the grand elders were hesitating!
"Whitty, how did you feel when he swore at you?" asked Jiang Chen.
Whitty's tail hung down limply. He frowned. His blue eyes looked so blue that it seemed he was about to cry.
Everyone present, including Du Yue, was surprised.
"Elders, Whitty is very intelligent. He can understand what we say. If he gets depressed because of being cursed at like that, as a mount, he will probably never recover his confidence again," said Jiang Chen.
The grand elders nodded. They didn't know too much about mounts, but they had heard stories about this.
Mounts were more fragile than humans.
"Du Yue, you will apologize for what you did today, but we haven't decided what punishment you'll receive for that yet," a grand elder said.
Du Yue's anger was extinguished immediately. What he felt at the moment was endless puzzlement.
Who on earth was this Jiang Chen?!
Why had the grand elders come here in person to seek justice for him?
In the Hero Palace, less than 100 people received such treatment.
Du Yue came up to Whitty. He felt complicated when looking at his blue eyes. During his many years of practice, he had never once apologized to a mount.
"I apologize for what I said to you. Please forgive me."
He pretended he was facing a human being and apologized as politely as he could, but then he was confused. How would a mount express if he was forgiven or not?
Whitty squinted at him and gave him a disdainful stare. Then he wagged his tail and left.
Du Yue froze there, at a loss. Fortunately, it looked like Jiang Chen and Whitty had let him off the hook.
"Go back. You'll hear later what punishment you'll receive," a grand elder said.
Du Yue was relieved. Before he left, he gave Jiang Chen an unreadable look.
"Jiang Chen, work hard. The Hero Palace values fairness and justice," a grand elder said.
"Sure, elders. I won't let the Hero Palace down," Jiang Chen answered. He was also implying his project developing extraordinary meridians, since that was why the Hero Palace thought so highly of him.
The Hero Palace was more eager for his research results than him. They surely wouldn't allow him to waste an entire year.
"Good. Go ahead. The Time Palace is expecting your arrival."
The grand elders had helped Jiang Chen. They were being quite kind to him, but they hadn't been excessive with their favor.
They didn't hesitate to leave. They nodded at Jiang Chen, then disappeared.
After all of the elders had left, the other guys were relieved, but they felt nervous when Jiang Chen looked towards them.
"Who attacked me just now?" said Jiang Chen.
They were confused until they recalled how a few guys had intended to teach Jiang Chen a lesson before Murong Xing.
They looked around. Then someone said, "Jiang Chen, they left."
Those guys had run off when Du Yue had left.
"That's enough. Let's go inside."
Ying Wushuang seemed impatient. She walked directly to the Time Palace.
"Besides being my subject, your task also includes reporting my progress to the higher-ups, doesn't it?" Jiang Chen followed up and said to her in a low voice.
It wasn't usual for those grand elders to have arrived so quickly.
Ying Wushuang stopped and curled her lips. She nodded in affirmation, then said, "And I'll oversee you so that you won't save up your substantial scholarship in an unreasonable manner."
"You're quite direct," said Jiang Chen.
Ying Wushuang snorted and entered the Time Palace. Jiang Chen shook his head and followed her.
At the same time, what had happened outside the Time Palace soon became a story that was spread throughout the Hero Palace.
The highlight of course was what Du Yue had done after the grand elders had shown up, but some people also knew the trouble caused by Murong Xing's injury wasn't over yet. Rather, it had just started.