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 Season 3

Episode 67

(The verdict and the princess (2)

"Erm, well… That is…" stammered Saint Zara only to be cut off again as he stumbled over his thoughts.    

 "You were only considering that the man who was slain was part of the Zhuge family, a noble clan and that Zen isn't a noble citizen, but instead he's a nobody. 

If Zen had been killed by Fren that day, would you have cared at all?" asked Aura, the disgust she felt was heard in her authoritative pitch. There was an imperial air in her manner, and such a noble air could only have been inherited from her father, the king of all of the Eastern Region.    

 Although Saint Zara remained silent, it was Saint Viana, who stood beside him, and in a clear voice spoke, "Your Highness, as the owner of the Commandment Hall, Murry's an upright, scrupulous man and highly respected. 

When weighed against what Zen said, his words were more credible. If your highness were present, I think you would have believed Murry, over a statement from a murderer."  

Saint Viana shrewdly defended the decision the court had made earlier.    

 After all, Zen was definitely the murderer. Murry's words were more persuasive. It was impossible for the saints to side with Zen over Murry.    

 Aura stared at Saint Viana up and down, which embarrassed Saint Zara a little. 

After a moment of awkward silence, Aura announced, "If that's the case, why didn't you wait for me before starting the court trial? I have evidence that shows Zen's innocence."     

 "You have evidence?" questioned Saint Zara with a surprised look on his face.  

   Saint Viana laughed as he commented, "Your Highness, you can't be serious. I was present the day that Zen committed this heinous crime. How could there be evidence that I am unaware of?"  

"Of course there could be proof that you don't know about! Why would I show you any evidence I have? Just think for a moment, if there were no evidence of Zen's innocence, why would I request a court trial?" asked Aura, looking down from her lofty position.    

 After finishing her rationale, Aura clapped her hands.     

The men who had brought the chair rushed in from outside the Commandant Hall.     

Now, what they were carrying was not a chair, but a Picture Slab.     

Carefully, the men set the Picture Slab on the floor beside Aura before once more retreating into the background.     

Aura gracefully extended her hand, flexing one finger at the Picture Slab while her remaining fingers remained slightly curled, reminding onlookers of an orchid.   

It wasn't long before the attention of those present was on the forms gradually coming into focus on the Picture Slab.     

Looking around the room, Aura noticed everyone's faces paled at the sight of what was coming into view.     

No one expected Aura to produce a Picture Slab with the events of that day recorded on it.     

Even Zen was shocked. He couldn't believe what had occurred that day reappeared on the Picture Slab before him.     

It also made Zen wonder why Master Su would have recorded what unfolded that day on a Picture Slab.     

Doubtful as he was earlier that justice would prevail, Zen knew the truth would be exposed, and the saints would have to declare him innocent.   

As the scene on the Picture Slab unfolded, it was as though the saints present were slapped in the face, the sting of humility lashing their cheeks like whips.     

Pictures speak louder than words, so the saying went.     

"Do you have anything to add, saints?" asked Aura while she slowly stretched her slender legs in the spacious chair, as if she were restraining herself from aggression and opting instead a more relaxed, even bored manner.     

"Erm…" Saint Zara was at a complete loss for words now, and he shot a resentful glance at Saint Viana, blaming him for this turn of events.     

After all, it had been Saint Viana who told him it would be all right to find Zen guilty and sentence him to death. He had even added that they didn't need to report anything to Aura.   

In fact, when they made their decision, Aura wasn't even a consideration.     

They hadn't expected Aura to show up and defend Zen so fiercely at such pivotal moment.     

Admittedly, they'd forgotten. Aura was the supreme noble princess who was once regarded as the precious pearl of the empire and had the confidence and drive to attain anything she wanted.    

 It was only the incidents that took place in the palace years ago that depressed her and drove her to her decision to hide away, keeping a low profile as a tutor at the Cloud Sect later.     

Today's demonstration though reminded everyone that Aura would always be Aura. Despite having some issues with the Burning Sky Palace, she was the royal princess of the Burning Sky Empire, and no one could deny it.     

"Saint Zara, don't you think you owe me an explanation?" Since no one had spoken up, Aura broke the silence and directed her question at Saint Zara, the primary judge of today's trial.   

As much as Saint Zara inwardly blamed Saint Viana, it was unrealistic to hope Saint Viana would step up and shoulder the blame which left him no option but lower his head as he said, "I am sorry, it was my negligence that led to the rash decision today. I beg your pardon, your royal highness."   

 "I can certainly forgive you. I wonder though whether or not Zen will forgive you. If I didn't arrive when I did today, he would be dead in the Commandment Hall by now. You should ask Zen," commanded Aura coldly.    

 It was clear that Aura intended to force Saint Zara to apologize to Zen.     

Zen was a mere outer disciple at the Cloud Sect. It was utterly beyond anyone's understanding why Aura would require a noble saint to apologize to him.   

As Aura's words sank in, Saint Zara and all the other saints' faces darkened.

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