Chapter 107: The Sharp-witted Brat

“Try to hurt him?” Qin Wanru was taken aback. She instinctively responded in turn, “What’s so great about him that someone would try to hurt him? Instead of thinking about these meaningless things, why don’t you focus on the fight against the Yuan clan tomorrow?”

Chu Chuyan looked a little conflicted at Qin Wanru’s words, hesitating whether she should talk about the matter. 

Chu Huanzhao, on the other hand, was not as patient. “Mother, do you know that Yuan Wendong has already publicly declared that he would cripple my brother-in-law during the Clans Tournament? As if that wasn’t enough, my brother-in-law also riled up Shi Kun today. I can tell that Shi Kun is a narrow-minded fellow, so he would surely try to exact his vengeance here!” 

To that, Qin Wanru answered, “Isn’t it perfect that Yuan Wendong has fallen for our plan? As for Zu An’s safety, we won’t have to worry about that since we won’t be needing him to get on the dueling ring in the end. Besides, your father and I will be there too. Do you think that we would watch quietly as that Yuan fellow harmed Zu An?”

“I’m just afraid that the Yuan clan has some other plans in mind. For some reason, I’ve been feeling a little jittery about this,” said Chu Chuyan.

“Yes, it would be best to be careful. We’ll have Hong Xingying take the first match. He’s one of the stronger ones in his generation, and he’s not the strongest one in our Chu clan either. It would be apt to have him take the first match and try out the Yuan clan,” said Chu Zhongtian. “I’ve called them back a few days ago in order to train them. I don’t think they would be too much problem dealing with the Yuan clan or the Wu clan.”

Zu An thought about how regretful he was when he didn’t see Hong Xingying in class earlier today, but it turned out that he had been called back for special training.

Qin Wanru turned to Zu An and said, “I know that you have your differences with Hong Xingying. I don’t care how the two of you are usually, but you aren’t to provoke him tomorrow lest he performs less than satisfactory due to his mood.”

Chu Huanzhao couldn’t stand the favoritism going on. “Mother, my brother-in-law is going to fight tomorrow too! Shouldn’t you care about his mood too?”

Qin Wanru rolled her eyes. “He’s just there to stall Yuan Wendong. He won’t even need to get on the field!”

Chu Zhongtian burst into laughter, saying, “Zu An, you don’t have to get too worried. If it ever gets to your turn, you can just admit defeat.”

Even an honest man like Chu Zhongtian was agreeing with his wife’s view.

Zu An was already used to this, so he replied with a smile, “Don’t worry. If I do need to fight tomorrow, it would mean that the Chu clan is in a dangerous position. If so, I’ll try my best to turn things around.”

He felt that it was all fate that he was queued at the very last. After all, the star of the show usually made their appearance at the very back, right?

“Pui! Shouldn’t you say something nicer here?” Qin Wanru glared at Zu An, unhappy at how he was speaking such inauspicious words.

Feeling irked, she turned to her second daughter and said, “Huanzhao, instead of worrying about others, you should worry about yourself instead. You spend your days idling and fooling around, resulting in your cultivation reaching only the third rank thus far. You’ll be the second last one to go up tomorrow. Your older sister should be able to settle the tournament in the first few matches, so hopefully, you wouldn’t have to join the battle and get hurt.”

“Orh~” Chu Huanzhao pouted in dissatisfaction. However, the thought that she was right in front of her brother-in-law lifted her mood a little.

Chu Zhongtian turned to Chu Chuyan and said, “Tomorrow, you, Hong Xingying, Yue Shan, Chu Hongcai, and Chu Yucheng will be going up. These five matches should be a takeaway. As long as we take another match aside from those, we should be able to clinch the victory.”

Zu An secretly tugged Chu Huanzhao sleeves and asked softly, “Who’s Chu Hongcai and Chu Yucheng?”

Chu Huanzhao raised her head to glance at her mother and big sister, acting almost as if a student checking out whether the teacher was paying attention to her, before quickly explaining the situation to Zu An, “Chu Hongcai is the son of my second uncle, serving as the vice-captain of our guards. He was responsible for protecting our clan’s spirit creek, but it ended up getting polluted the other day. Out of reproach, he has been reflecting quietly on it over the days, which is why you don’t see him around.

“As for Chu Yucheng, he’s the son of my third uncle. He has a chubby appearance that was quite cute when he was younger, but he simply became fat once he grew up. There’s nothing particularly special about him.”

Zu An glanced at Chu Zhongtian. The second branch and third branch all bore sons, but all of you have are daughters. It looks like you aren’t putting in enough effort.

It was not that Zu An was discriminating against women, but for prominent clans, it was important for them to bear sons for the sake of their inheritance. If Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru were to have sons, they wouldn’t have needed to sacrifice Chu Chuyan to marry him at the start.

Hmmm, then I actually should be thanking my father-in-law for failing in that responsibility then!

It was also about this moment that Qin Wanru noticed their interactions, and her face immediately frowned in displeasure. “Huanzhao, if you’re done with dinner, you should head off to your room right away. You need to get plenty of sleep so as to not affect your performance tomorrow.”

Just what’s wrong with my two daughters? How can their eyes be that bad? It’s one thing for my older daughter to marry Zu An—she was going for an average person in the first place—but what’s going on with my second daughter? Why is she getting closer and closer to Zu An?

Chu Huanzhao murmured in displeasure, “Didn’t you just say that you don’t need me on the field tomorrow?”

However, when she found herself with her mother’s raging eyes, she could only reluctantly return back to her room.

Qin Wanru then turned to look at Zu An. “You should return too. We still need to discuss the details regarding tomorrow’s tournament.”

Her attitude made it clear that Zu An was unqualified to participate in the discussions. In the first place, Zu An’s only duty here was to tie down Yuan Wendong, so there was no need for him to participate in the discussions.

Zu An shrugged calmly in response. There’s nothing meaningful here anyway. I might as well head back earlier.

As he closed the door, he could vaguely hear some words coming from within. 

“The one who is the most formidable in the Yuan clan should be Yuan Wendong. The others aren’t a threat at all. As for the Wu clan, most of their juniors aren’t able to compete with us, so they aren’t a threat either…”

As soon as Zu An walked out from the hall, Cheng Shouping rushed forward to his side with a fawning smile. “Young master, did you have a pleasant meal?”

Seeing this, Zu An suddenly felt that it wasn’t that bad to have such an attendant by his side. An idea flickered across his mind, and he grabbed Cheng Shouping’s shoulder and pulled him over to the side. “For the Clans Tournament tomorrow, are there any bets going on in the city?”

Cheng Shouping nodded in response. “There are. It looks like most people are more optimistic about our Chu clan. They’re staking their bets on our first miss’ win…”

Zu An quickly interjected, “Let’s not talk about the others. What’s my current payout ratio?”

Cheng Shouping had a bizarre look on his face as he raised a single finger up.

“1:10?” Zu An frowned. “It’s a bit low, but I guess it’s not too bad.”

He was just about to grab some banknotes from his robe when Cheng Shouping interrupted him, “Young master, it’s not 1:10 but 1:100.”

Cheng Shouping thought that the prideful young master would be angered, but surprisingly, the latter began laughing heartily. “1:100? Hahahaha! It looks like heaven is on my side! I’m going to strike it rich!”

Cheng Shouping blinked his eyes in bewilderment. What’s going on? Did the young master suffered too many shocks recently and went insane?

Zu An suddenly noticed another problem and hurriedly asked, “Who are the dealers? It can’t be just the Silverhook Casino, right?”

The Silverhook Casino couldn’t pay him the 7,500,000 silver taels it owed him previously. It was unlikely that they could fork out the money to pay him if he were to make a killing from them once more.

Toward that, Cheng Shouping shook his head and replied, “Nah. The Silverhook Casino have suffered a huge blow from the loss against you back then. Their finances are in trouble, and they have sullied their reputation as well. Their business is doing badly at the moment. The other clans in the city are making use of this opportunity to silently push out their own gambling business.”

Zu An’s eyes lit up. “That sounds perfect! Here is 20,000 silver taels. I want you to bet on my victory!”

A moment later, he changed his mind and took back 10,000 silver taels. “Forget it, it’ll do for you just to buy 10,000 taels.”

Based on what he had seen thus far, this world was tragically horrible in mathematics. That could be easily seen from the payout rates in casinos. They didn’t put in place safeguard measures against freak accidents, such that if someone were to really luck out, he could potentially bankrupt the casino. The previous incident between him and the Silverhook Casino was one perfect example.

Zu An was worried that the same would happen this time around. Instead of risking the casino defaulting on the payment altogether, he would rather reduce his winning to something that the casino was still able to accept. This way, he would at least be able to get his money. So, he chose to just bet 10,000 silver taels.

However, Cheng Shouping flew into a fluster upon hearing those words. “Young master, you shouldn’t squander money away like that even if you have the means to do so!”

“You don’t know anything at all. Just do as I say! It’s not convenient for me to head out right now, so I need you to do it in my place,” Zu An harrumphed.

Cheng Shouping grumbled under his breath, “If you’re really that confident, why did you take 10,000 silver taels back then? Would anyone be worried about winning too much money? In the end, you’re just afraid of losing and want to cut your losses.”

“What did you say?” Zu An glared sharply at Cheng Shouping.

“N-nothing much!” Cheng Shouping replied with a beaming smile. “Young master, the Chu clan strictly forbids gambling. I dare not to break its rules.”

“All you have to do is to make sure that no one finds out, no?” Zu An stuffed a hundred silver taels into Cheng Shouping’s clothes. “Here, this is your bonus for running an errand for me. I’ll give you some dividends after I earn some money from the bet.”

Cheng Shouping’s eyes lit up. His attitude made a 180-degrees change right away. “Sure thing! I’ll get it done right away!”

With that, he rushed right out of the room. 

Zu An was surprised at just how motivated he was. That fellow won’t try to run away with my money, right? But again, the servants in this world have a contract on them, and the outside world is dangerous too. He doesn’t have anywhere to run to.

… 

Meanwhile, Cheng Shouping made his way toward the casino while deep in thought. 

Our young master simply wanted to bet 10,000 silver taels on himself because he’s dissatisfied with how everyone looks down on him. He has 7,500,000 silver taels on him anyway, so losing 10,000 silver taels is no big deal.

However, as the young master’s study companion, it’s my duty to share his worries. How can I watch as he loses money? Alright, I’ll bet on the young master’s opponent winning then! By then, when the young master loses the duel but still receives the money, he’ll praise me for my sharp wits!

Hahaha, I sure am sharp!

Meanwhile, Zu An returned back to his residence, only to leap in shock. He realized that Old Mi was waiting for him inside.

“Elder, you’re here.” Zu An was as obedient as a man could be at this very moment. He didn’t dare to put on his usual unruly act at all.

Old Mi nodded in response before saying, “You progressed too quickly previously that I forgot to remind you. You mustn’t use the Sunflower Phantasm I taught you unless it comes to a desperate situation. Otherwise, it will likely bring you danger.”

“Ah?” Zu An was rendered speechless. 

I spent so much effort to learn my ‘Bixie Swordplay’, but all of a sudden, I can’t use it anymore?

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