Chapter 10: A Trap

Zu An replied calmly, “I know that I deserve a thousand deaths for having carried out such a despicable, beastly deed. That’s why, when the Second Miss came to speak to me last night, I decided I would expiate my sins. I didn’t resist at all as she struck me again and again with her Wailing Whip. I took a total of eight strikes before finally being forgiven by her.”

Everyone around secretly cursed him for his shamelessness. Didn’t resist at all? Pagh! If the Second Miss really wanted to beat you up, how could you possibly resist or dodge even if you wanted to!

Only then did Patriarch Chu and his wife notice the bloodstones covering Zu An and the stretcher he was on. Yue Shan immediately reported, “Lord Patriarch, the young master said that he had been injured so heavily by the Wailing Whip that he was unable to get out of bed on his own, so we carried him here.”

“Huanzhao?” Madame Chu was startled. But, considering her daughter’s temperament, she found it believable. Rather irritated and embarrassed, she snapped, “This is ridiculous behavior!”

An odd look flashed across Patriarch Chu’s face as well. “Madame, we summoned everyone today for the sake of what happened to Huanzhao. If she has already personally punished Zu An, perhaps we can let this matter come to a rest?”

He thought back to the conversation he had yesterday with his daughter. He himself knew that there was something strange about this case, and Zu An probably was not to blame. However, given his wife’s temper and the fact that the side branches were all instigating matters, he felt it was best to call this meeting and go through the motions.

Upon hearing these words, Zu An instantly felt a sense of closeness to the man. It’s almost impossible to find such a wonderful father-in-law!

Before Madame Chu had a chance to respond, a screeching male voice rang out. “Big brother, I must disagree. Our Chu clan has always prided ourselves on the strictness of our clan rules. We’ve never had something so unsightly happen! If we simply handwave it away, the Chu clan will have lost all face! Do you know how many rumors are flying about these days? Everyone is saying that this brat has latched onto both sisters at once! If we do not punish him, it’ll only fan the flames of these evil rumors even more!”

The speaker was a grim-faced middle-aged man who was seated directly after Patriarch Chu. His most noticeable features were the heavy, dark bags under his eyes, and he was gently waving a fan when he spoke. According to Zu An’s memories, this person was named Chu Tiesheng. He was a member of the second branch of the Chu clan, and Chu Chuyan addressed him as ‘Second Uncle’.

“Second Uncle, what are you talking about?! It’s not like he did anything to me last night!” Right at this moment, a beautiful young woman suddenly ran inside from a back hall. She was dressed in fiery, skin-tight leathers, causing the formerly-icy hall to gain a hint of warm color.

Patriarch Chu hurriedly said, “Huanzhao, why did you come out? Go back inside immediately!”

“Stop yelling at her! You shouldn’t yell at children like that!” Madame Chu glared at her husband, then turned and instantly beamed at her daughter. “It’s alright, Huanzhao. Don’t listen to your father. Come and sit next to me. Tell Mother what this is all about.”

Patriarch Chu chuckled embarrassedly. The others present seemed completely unmoved; clearly, this happened so often that they were used to it by now.

Chu Huanzhao used the whip in her hand to point at Zu An. “Mother! Last night, I really did use the Wailing Whip to beat him up. In the end, I did also agree to forgive what he did that night. I don’t want to go back on my word!”

Zu An mentally gave her a huge thumbs up. Although the little girl was more than a bit sadistic, at least she was an honest gambler.

Right at this moment, an incredibly chubby man seated to the other side suddenly spoke out. “Niece, you are still too young. You don’t know the wicked ways of this world. Any of us could’ve punished Zu An; you were the only one who shouldn’t have! If word spreads, everyone will assume that something really did happen to you. You haven’t even gotten married yet. Think about what this would do to your reputation!”

When the man spoke, he didn’t have even a hint of a smile on his face… but there was so much fat jiggling on his face that it all creased together. It made everyone think that he was smiling at all times. As a result, he had a face that was hard to hate. He was currently playing with a glittering golden compass in his hands.

Zu An recognized this ‘smiling tiger’ as the Third Uncle of the Chu clan, Chu Yuepo. He couldn’t help but feel a headache. Why is it that everyone in the side branches all seem to want me dead? On the surface, I’m nothing more than a useless son-in-law. How did I piss off so many people?

Right at this moment, the young miss of the Pei clan, Pei Mianman, suddenly whispered a question to Chu Chuyan. “Doesn’t the Wailing Whip supposedly magnify all pain tenfold? Is he perhaps an expert who has been hiding his true abilities?”

Although her voice was soft, everyone present was still able to hear it. Zu An couldn’t help but secretly curse at her. This woman has a sweet smile, but a devious heart. What a total bitch!

Chu Chuyan frowned slightly. Snow, seated behind them, seized the chance to answer. “He doesn’t even know martial arts. How can he be an expert?”

Right at this moment, second branch leader Chu Tiansheng’s eyes lit up. He hurriedly said towards the Patriarch and Matriarch, “Big brother, sister-in-law! Everyone here knows just how powerful the Wailing Whip is. I imagine even the two of you would find it hard to endure eight blows. How could an ordinary person like him do so?”

Patriarch Chu and Madame Chu exchanged a glance. Honestly, they didn’t quite believe it either. The nearby Chu Huanzhao began to get angry. “I really did hit him eight times! Or are you all accusing me of lying?!”

“Patriarch, I’m sure that Second Miss would never lie, but she’s always been a kind and gentle person. Most likely, she showed mercy when she hit him and didn’t use much force, and so Zu An wasn’t injured as much as he claims to have been. Just now, he broke my nose! He packed quite a punch. There’s no way he’s hurt.” At this moment, Diao Yang raised his voice. You had to pick the right time to kick a man when he’s down, which was why he didn’t say anything earlier.

Odd looks appeared on the faces of everyone in the room. The Second Miss? Kind and gentle? How could you say such lies with a straight face? Since when did she ever show anyone mercy with that whip of hers?

Still, everything which had happened thus far was quite ridiculous. She… didn’t fall for her brother-in-law, did she?!

Second branch leader Chu Tiansheng immediately seized this opportunity to interrupt. “I think everything is now quite obvious. Not only did Zu An show no remorse for his detestable actions, he even manipulated our kind, naive Huanzhao in an attempt to escape blame for it. We should punish him in accordance with clan rules as a warning to any others!”

A pondering, fluctuating look was in Patriarch Chu’s eyes. Clearly, he was weighing the pros and cons of this. Zu An secretly groaned. Just as he was about to speak up, a servant suddenly rushed in.

“Lord Patriarch! Madame! A woman has come and is causing a huge fuss. She’s insisting on seeing your son-in-law. Quite a few people have already gathered around!”

“A woman?” Madame Chu was stunned. “A woman from which clan?”

Chu Chuyan, who had remained calm this entire time, felt a hint of curiosity as well. Did Zu An know other women?!

As for Zu An himself, a stupefied look was on his face. How many lovers did this guy have?! But why is it that I have no memories of any?

Snow, who was standing behind Chu Chuyan, reacted with a hint of a smile. I didn’t expect you to survive your injuries from last night. Thankfully, I made ample backup preparations.

In response to the madame’s questions, the servant nervously stuttered, “F-from the Red Harmony Courtyard.”

Instantly, the hall was thrown into an uproar. Everyone knew what type of establishment the Red Harmony Courtyard was!

“It’s a disgrace to let this nonsense continue outside our estate. Bring her inside!” Madame Chu ordered coldly, a hint of uncontrollable rage in her voice.

Soon, a gaudily made-up and dressed woman sashed and swayed her way inside. When she spied the distant Zu An, she immediately threw herself at him and began to sob and wail. “You heartless man! After you had your fill, you told me that you were broke and couldn’t pay me, but you said that you would quickly come back and bring me into your household as a concubine. You even told me that I could become sisters with the young misses of the Chu clan. That was the only reason I agreed to everything. How could you just abandon me?!”

Snow idly toyed with her ponytail while watching this, her eyes narrowed to crescent slits. Let’s see you make it out of this alive.

This was a case where no one save the two people involved could know the truth of it. Even if you denied it, no one will believe you unless you make public the fact that you are impotent… but once that happens, that would be even more embarrassing for the clan. No matter what, you’ll no longer be the son-in-law after today.

Young master, your dreams will quickly become a reality.

The hall once more fell into a strange silence. The members of the second branch and the third branch no longer spoke, because by now there was no need for them to say anything.

Even Patriarch Chu Zhongtian, who had been obliquely speaking up for Zu An this entire time, was now furious. A common whore was now talking about wanting to become ‘sisters’ with his precious daughter? This was an absolute disgrace… and it was all because of Zu An!

“Vile miscreant! What do you have to say for yourself?!” Madame Chu glared at Zu An, her eyes spitting fire.

You have successfully trolled Chu Zhongtian for +78 Rage!

You have successfully trolled Qin Wanru for +300 Rage!

Zu An himself was puzzled as to how the previous ‘him’ had managed to survive for so long. He had transmigrated to this world just a day ago, but everyone seemed to want him dead! So, who hired this prostitute to deal with me? The second branch? The third? Maybe Miss Pei? Looks like being a wife-moocher isn’t going to be that easy.

He turned to face the gaudily-dressed woman in a calm, unhurried manner. “What’s your name again?”

“Oh, you heartless man! Don’t even think about pretending not to know me. You called out my name ‘Springflower’ with such passion so many times, but now you’ve forgotten it?” the prostitute said with a cold smile.

Zu An didn’t argue with her. Instead, he said with a smile, “Ah. Pray forgive me, sweet Springflower, I’ve been busy recently and it slipped my mind. Oh, right – how much do I owe you in hooker fees?”

“What do you mean, ‘hooker fees’?! You don’t have to put it so unpleasantly.” Springflower waved her fingers ‘coquettishly’. “We were together for nearly half a month. All combined, it would be about twenty… no, thirty silvers.”

When she said this, everyone present felt even more disdain towards Zu An. You were actually interested in this sort of low-rate hooker? How thirsty were you?

“Thirty silvers?” Zu An nodded. “That’s pretty cheap. How about this? I’ll give you three hundred silvers, and we’ll consider the extra part as our betrothal gift.”

The second branch and third branch clansmen sucked in icy cold breaths of shock. Was this fellow suicidal? They hurriedly turned to look towards Chu Zhongtian, only to see that the Patriarch and the Madame’s face were all ashen as well.

Miss Pei was watching Zu An with a look of curiosity on her face. For some reason, she had the feeling that this fellow was a bit odd.

“Truly?” A look of joy appeared on Springflower’s face.

“Of course!” Zu An immediately turned to look at Chu Chuyan, “Sweetheart, I don’t have any money on me right now. Can you loan me three hundred silvers?”

Everyone in the hall stared at him as though he was insane. You are actually asking your wife to pay for your whoring fees?! What the hell is wrong with you! Chu Chuyan is probably going to rip him apart on the spot!

But, contrary to everyone’s expectations, Chu Yuyan actually nodded. “Very well. Servants, go bring me three hundred silvers.”

Now, everyone was thrown into a state of confused chaos. No one could understand what was going on. Even Pei Mianman stared at her with a look of astonishment. Was this truly her best friend?

Madame Chu was about to explode, but the nearby Patriarch Chu suddenly gave her a gentle nudge on the arms, then pursed his lips towards their daughter. Madame Chu couldn’t help but frown. In the end, she decided to be silent for now and watch.

Zu An mentally praised Chu Chuyan with a big thumbs up. My freebie wife really is as cold as ice and twice as clever. She was probably the only one who knew for sure that he was being maligned, as she had personally witnessed his impotency at work. There was no way she would believe he had been out whoring.

Wait. Why do I suddenly feel like I want to start crying uncontrollably?

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