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    Chapter 65: An Even Greater Crime

    Li Liang, seeing her in this state, became even more enraged and kicked her without hesitation.

    "Stop crying. How dare you weep after raising such a daughter?"

    It was as if Zhu had been awakened by that kick. She wiped away her tears carelessly and, without warning, lunged towards He Zhiran.

    "He Zhiran, give me back Rou'er's life!"

    Both Mo Jiuye and Zhou Laoba, sensing danger for He Zhiran, simultaneously moved to intercept Zhu.

    Zhou Laoba's whip lashed fiercely at Zhu's body, while Mo Jiuye's kick sent her flying several meters away.

    Zhu crashed to the ground, stirring up a cloud of dust, and spat out a mouthful of blood.

    The severity of her fall was evident...

    Upon witnessing Zhu's miserable condition, not a single member of the Li family stepped forward to help her.

    Lady Zhu clutched her abdomen, gasping for air.

    Struggling to her feet once more, this time she didn't attempt to attack He Zhiran but instead rushed desperately towards the riverbank.

    Peng Wang shouted, "The culprit is trying to jump into the river, stop her!"

    Several constables hurried over. Just as Lady Zhu's foot stepped into the water, they pulled her back.

    Her attempt at drowning herself foiled, Lady Zhu immediately fell into a frenzied state.

    "Let me go, let me find my Rou'er," she cried out. Then, she lunged and bit the official who held her collar.

    Feeling the pain, the official instinctively released his grip. Upon realizing what had happened, he kicked her hard, sending her sprawling onto her back once more.

    Already injured from Mo Jiuye's kick, the impact of her second fall sent Lady Zhu into unconsciousness.

    The displeased constable called for the Li family to help carry Lady Zhu back.

    The farce temporarily drew to a close, and Peng Wang made an immediate decision.

    Escaping as a convicted felon was no small matter; all family members would face heightened punishment.

    As for the specifics, that was not within the jurisdiction of these officers.

    Especially since the imperial edict for the Li family's punishment – their property seized and exile ordered – had come directly from the Emperor himself. Li Rouer's offense, in fleeing, could be seen as a form of deceiving the monarch.

    Peng Wang dared not delay such a significant matter. He promptly dispatched Zhou Laoba with four other officers to escort the entire Li family back to the capital for reevaluation of their crimes.

    Upon hearing Peng Wang's decision, the Li family immediately lost their spirits.

    Especially Li Liang, who had been immersed in officialdom for over a decade. How could he not understand that attempting escape during exile would worsen their fate?

    This return to the capital would likely mean either execution or life imprisonment for the entire family, even if not the former. At this thought, Li Liang's knees grew weak.

    He stumbled forward and fell to his knees before Peng Wang.

    "Sir, I beg of you, have mercy on my family, the Li's. I implore you... please..."

    How could Peng Wang possibly soften his heart just because Li Liang had kowtowed to him a few times?

    "Bring Li Liang back and prepare to depart immediately."

    As soon as he finished speaking, several officials roughly dragged Li Liang back to his original spot.

    Peng Wang then barked at the stunned Li family, "All of you, rise. We're escorting you back to the capital."

    With his heart as cold as ashes, Li Liang was forcefully taken away.

    He knew deep down that the Li family was doomed this time...

    Zhou Laoba and the officials were prepared. Seeing the Li family hesitating, they unsheathed their whips and brandished them relentlessly.

    The Li family feared returning to the capital, but even more so, they feared the officials' whips. To avoid physical torment, they obediently followed the officials back to the capital.

    Fortunately, they had been taking it slow and hadn't traveled far.

    As long as they didn't delay their journey, Zhou Laoba and the others could turn back within four or five days.

    Peng Wang ordered them to wait right where they were until Zhou Laoba and the others returned before continuing on.

    Seeing the fate of the Li family, everyone was filled with sighs.

    It seemed that the idea of fleeing really couldn't be entertained. Not only would it implicate one's family, but there wouldn't even be a chance at survival.

    Li Rouer was a perfect example. Not only did she die, but she also dragged her entire family down with her...

    By the time the Li family's figures disappeared from sight, it was already broad daylight.

    When He Zhiran and Mo Jiuye returned to their own camp, their sisters-in-law had already begun preparing breakfast.

    The original owner of this body hadn't undergone much physical exercise and was somewhat frail. He Zhiran was panting heavily, feeling utterly exhausted. Even if she wanted to help her sisters-in-law, she probably wouldn't have the strength.

    Madam Old Mo noticed her condition and quickly said, "He Zhiran worked hard looking for Xie Lin. You don't need to help with breakfast; let your sisters-in-law handle it.

    In the future, they'll have to work hard for their own prosperity. This will be good exercise for them."

    He Zhiran didn't insist on being strong: "Then I'll listen to Mother and take a break. I am indeed a bit tired."

    As she spoke, she had already raised her little fist, gently pounding her own shoulders.

    Seeing this, Mo Jiuye approached and asked, "Do you need help?"

    At that moment, He Zhiran genuinely needed a massage service.

    "Are you skilled in massage?"

    Mo Jiuye instinctively looked at his own hands.

    "I can give it a try."

    Seeing this, Madam Old Mo quickly spoke up for her son.

    "Our Jiuye is an expert in massage. His father has been waging battles for years, so he's accumulated many ailments. Jiuye learned how to massage his father from a young age. Apart from having a stronger grip, he's quite good at it."

    He Zhiran raised an eyebrow, looking at Mo Jiuye in disbelief. "I didn't expect you to have this skill."

    Feeling slightly flushed from his wife's teasing, Mo Jiuye lowered his head to hide his reaction.

    Moving behind He Zhiran, he placed his long, slender fingers with well-defined joints on her shoulders, kneading them skillfully.

    After just a few rubs, Mo Jiuye couldn't help but comment. "You should eat more in the future. You're too thin, all bones. I'm afraid to apply too much pressure."

    "What's so thin about me? I think this is just fine."

    He Zhiran was quite content with the original owner's physique. Although she appeared slim overall, she had ample curves where it mattered.

    In her previous life, such a figure would undoubtedly be envied by many.

    "Still too slender," Mo Jiuye maintained his opinion.

    He Zhiran was about to retort when she noticed Peng Wang approaching with Zhang Qing in tow.

    Upon seeing Mo Jiuye massaging He Zhiran, Peng Wang felt playful and decided to tease them.

    "Well, well... Looks like you two are quite the harmonious couple."

    Mo Jiuye's face flushed at the comment.

    He wanted to stop the massage and resume after the others had left, but the sight of He Zhiran's contentment made him reluctant to do so.

    Thus, his large hands remained resting on her shoulders, motionless for a moment.

    He Zhiran didn't find the situation awkward, and besides, she hadn't noticed Mo Jiuye's bashfulness.

    "It feels great, don't stop!" she urged.

    Only then did Mo Jiuye regain his composure, continuing the massage with a blush still adorning his cheeks.

    Feeling another wave of pleasure coursing through her body, He Zhiran finally turned her gaze towards Peng Wang.

    "Lord Peng, has something brought you here?"

    Peng Wang nodded. "Yes, I've just led my men to round up all the wolves. We've got exactly fifty, not a single one more or less. I was thinking that most of these wolves were taken down by the two of you. Hence, I came to inquire about your plans for dealing with them."

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