Chapter 109: You Think I Wouldn’t Recognize You Just Because You’re Wearing a Hat?

“Miss Snow, you need not worry. We’ve already made preparations in advance,” Yuan Wendong said with a smile. He took out a mask that was as thin as a cicada’s wing and said, “This is a mask made by one of the runemasters hired by our clan. With this, he’ll be able to disguise himself as a young man.”

One of the main reasons why the Yuan clan dared to challenge the Chu clan was because they had the backing of the Wu clan. The Wu clan had dispatched a group of experts to assist them in the Clans Tournament.

While both the Yuan clan and Chu clan knew what was going on, there was still a need to keep up the pretense. Otherwise, if the crowd were to recognize that everyone on the Yuan clan’s side was actually from the Wu clan, they would be embarrassed too.

In order to solve this problem, the Yuan clan and the Wu clan figured out a solution, and that was to have their runemasters craft a batch of masks to disguise their identities. These masks looked identical to a human’s face, making it impossible to tell the difference unless one stared at it up close.

As soon as the middle-aged man named Wu Di put on the mask, he turned into a cold-faced youth. The crowd assessed him from multiple angles, but they were unable to find anything that could give away his identity.

Snow was both amazed and horrified at the same time. “With such masks, wouldn’t you be able to impersonate anyone you want to?”

If someone were to impersonate her young master, wouldn’t she be unable to tell the difference too?

Toward that, Yuan Wendong shook his head and replied, “How could it be that easy to impersonate another person? No matter how well made the mask is, it can only alter a person’s appearance. Impersonation requires far greater skill than that, such as imitating the voice, gestures, and everything else.”

In truth, Yuan Wendong had the same thoughts in mind when he first saw the mask. He thought that he could turn into anyone he wanted and strut right into another house and sleep with another man's wife.

But how could there be something that convenient in the world?

Snow calmed down a little after hearing those words. She turned her attention back to the Clans Tournament, thinking that given how confident Yuan Wendong was about this matter, even if Zu An survived the ordeal by some stroke of luck, he would end up crippled at the very least.

What a pity that I’m not making a move myself!

Just thinking about how her maidenly body had been sullied by that despicable fellow made her bite down on her lips hatefully. 

… 

“Ah choo~”

Zu An sneezed. Now, which beautiful lady is thinking about me this time around?

For the last few hours, Old Mi made him practice the modified version of the Sunflower Phantasm, and only after ensuring that it had been distorted to a point where it couldn’t be recognized anymore did he finally leave with a contented smile on his face.

With this, Zu An finally had some time to himself. He lay down on his bed to look at the Rage points he had collected in total. 

Hmm, 27,489, huh? That’s less than I thought.

While it looked like a substantial amount, the disastrous success rate of the lottery meant that it was unlikely for him to obtain anything much.

And as if the world was determined to prove him right, what he received subsequently were ‘Thanks for participating’ and 27 Ki Fruits. As for skills and artifacts, they had done well avoiding Zu An this time around.

“I knew that I shouldn’t have bore any expectations!” Zu An harrumphed indignantly.

Nevertheless, he still swallowed the 27 Ki Fruits right away. 

The fourth formation requires 233 Ki Fruits in total, so he only managed to fill a tenth of it in total despite his efforts. While mumbling grudgeful words toward the keyboard, he gradually drifted off to sleep… 

By the time Cheng Shouping returned, Zu An was already fast asleep, so he didn’t interrupt him. He decided to tell Zu An about the matter after the latter lost the duel tomorrow. 

Hehe, the young master would surely be upset after losing the battle. If I take out the bet paper then and show him that I managed to win some money for him, he would surely be delighted. At least, that would assuage his hurt soul.

I wonder how much money would the young master bestow upon me then… 

… 

Soon, it was finally the day for the Clans Tournament. In order to ensure fairness, both clans decided to hold it in an empty lot in the middle of the city.

Many of the juniors of prominent clans in Brightmoon City gathered around the area early in the morning, wanting to join in the rare commotion. It wasn't every day that one got to see the juniors of two prominent clans sparring with one another. Even if not to join in the commotion, they could also potentially pick up a thing or two from the battle, and that would make their trip here more than worth the effort and time.

Naturally, the Chu clan and Yuan clan arrived the earliest as the juniors who were participating in the duel later on had to familiarize themselves with the fighting grounds. 

As for Zu An, who was there just to fill up the slots, everyone implicitly thought that it didn’t matter whether he came in advance or not. Zu An himself also didn’t have the self-awareness of a participant of the tournament either, so it never crossed his mind that he should try to familiarize himself with the grounds. Instead, he sat on a chair while glancing around, seemingly marveling at the grandeur of the event.

Taking all of this into sight, Qin Wanru couldn’t help but frown at how much of a bumpkin he was being. However, in view that they were in public right now, it wouldn’t be proper for her to reprimand him before everyone else. So, she could only harrumph coldly and turn her head away.

This was the first time Zu An was seeing the sons from the second branch and third branch. 

The second branch’s Chu Hongcai looked like an outstanding young man. Instead of inheriting his father’s dark, brooding look, Chu Hongcai commanded a proud and reticent aura from his bones. 

According to the rumors, he used to be quite a prominent person in the Chu clan, but he looked exceptionally toned down today. Perhaps he was still blaming himself for failing to prevent the pollution of the spirit creek.

As for the third branch’s Chu Yucheng, he was an adorable little fatty. He had small beady eyes and a round physique. There was absolutely no doubt at all that he was the blood-related son of the third branch’s Chu Yuepo.

Compared to Chu Hongcai, he was much more amicable. He even approached Zu An on his own accord to chat with him.

After the interactions he had with them, Zu An felt that the sons of the second branch and third branch were really much more pleasing as compared to their fathers. He could still remember how Chu Tiesheng and Chu Yuepo used that mocking tone of theirs to put him down in the ancestral hall back then.

Hm, is it possible for this little fatty to have inherited his father’s genes though? Maybe under his kind exterior hides a sinister soul?

Zu An suddenly felt a bit wary of Chu Hongcai. He subconsciously shot a glance at Chu Yuepo and Chu Tiesheng. The former was chatting with those around him about something whereas the latter was staring at… 

Hmm, is he staring at Qin Wanru right now?

Given that this was a public event, it went without saying that Qin Wanru had made sure to dress herself up properly. She had put on all sorts of expensive jewelry to accentuate her noble disposition and her silk dress she wore showcased her beautiful figure perfectly.

Haa, why did Chu Huanzhao not inherit her mother’s voluptuous genes?

Seemingly sensing Zu An’s gaze, Qin Wanru turned her head over and shot him a stern glare.

You have successfully trolled QIn Wanru for +69 Rage!

Zu An felt a little stifled. I’m not the one ogling at you, so why are you getting mad at me?

But when he turned over to look at Chu Tiesheng, the latter was already chatting with a few others around him. It made him wonder if his eyes were playing tricks on him.

“The patriarch of the Wang clan has arrived!”

Zu AN turned his gaze over and saw a thin middle-aged man leading a group of people onto the field.

He had heard that the four prominent merchant clans in Brightmoon City were the Chu clan, Yuan clan, Zheng clan, and Wang clan. This was the first time he was meeting anyone from the Wang clan.

Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru stood up and welcomed those from the Wang clan with a smile, and it didn’t take long for them to start chatting merrily with one another.

Zu An was surprised by that sight. He turned to Chu Huanzhao and asked, “What’s the background of those from the Wang clan that your father is welcoming them personally?”

If there was another person that was here to fill in the numbers, just like Zu An, that person would definitely be Chu Huanzhao. She also had no interest to familiarize herself with the fighting grounds, and she showed none of the tension someone who was about to face an important battle would have either. Instead, she was looking around with an excited look on her face.

Upon seeing Zu An’s question, she replied, “I don’t think they have any particular background. I only know that the Wang clan is on good terms with us.”

Chu Chuyan, who was resting by the side all this while, opened her eyes and explained, “The Wang clan specializes in agricultural products, and the largest tavern in Brightmoon City is managed by them. Our Chu clan is on good terms with them because we have many business connections with one another. Our Chu clan requires permits from the royal court in order to sell salt, and the royal court distributes permits based on how much rations the merchant sends toward the borders. Our Chu clan doesn’t specialize in agricultural products, so we need the Wang clan’s help on this aspect. That’s also the reason why my parents regard them so highly. Huanzhao, you should stop idling your time away. How could you not know something as basic as that?”

Chu Huanzhao stuck her tongue out as she grabbed her older sister’s arm and said coyly, “We have you around anyway~”

Chu Chuyan looked at her little sister dotingly before shaking her head helplessly.

Meanwhile, Zu An looked at Chu Huanzhao in scorn. Hah, looks like my sister-in-law is also a wastrel too. Huh, why did I use ‘also’ here?

“The patriarch of the Zheng Clan has arrived!”

Compared to the Wang clan, Chu Zhongtian was much less amicable to the Zheng clan. They simply nodded slightly to acknowledge each other’s presence. The patriarch of the Zheng clan, Zheng Yutang, didn’t even bother to exchange pleasantries, walking straight toward the Yuan clan’s area and started chatting off with them.

Zu An assessed Zheng Yutang closely and found that he had quite a suave appearance. Despite reaching middle age, he had a charming presence that gave others a good impression of him. It was no wonder why he had a beautiful daughter like Zheng Dan.

All of a sudden, he realized that there was a beautiful woman dressed in a traditional qipao looking at him with a faint smile hanging on her lips. Who else could it be other than Zheng Dan?

Zu An blinked at her in response, and for a moment, sparks seemed to fly. Zheng Dan’s face immediately reddened, which caused her to turn her head away.

“Big sis, big sis! My brother-in-law and Zheng Dan were exchanging flirting looks with one another!” Chu Huanzhao tattled on Zu An.

“I wasn’t! I didn’t! Stop spouting lies!” Despite being caught red-handed, Zu An refuted it without any hesitation.

“But I saw it with my own eyes. You even winked at her!” Chu Huanzhao bellowed angrily.

Chu Chuyan frowned a little. “Quieten down! What if others hear it?”

It was fortunate that the clearing was quite noisy, so no one really paid notice to Chu Huanzhao’s shouting.

After berating Chu Huanzhao, Chu Chuyan turned to look at Zu An with eyes as calm as the water of a deep lake, asking, “Are you close with Zheng Dan?”

For some reason, Chu Chuyan’s pure eyes made Zu An feel a little guilt-ridden. “I can’t say that we’re close. I just happened to save her once.” 

He quickly explained their relationship with one another, though it went without saying that he excluded the events that transpired in his staff dormitory.

“You don’t need to be afraid. I’m not scolding you over here,” Chu Chuyan replied with a smile. “If you’re really able to capture Zheng Dan’s heart and pull the Zheng clan over to our side, I would be more than overjoyed.”

Zu An blinked his eyes doubtfully. Is she laying a trap here for me to jump in?

“Big sister~” Chu Huanzhao immediately protested toward how nonchalant Chu Chuyan was taking this matter. What’s this? Why is she even less agitated than I am? It’s your husband we’re talking about here!

However, Chu Chuyan continued mumbling under her breath, analyzing the situation, “It’s just a pity that Zheng Dan and Sang Qian are engaged with one another. If you snatch her over to your side, it’ll turn the Sang clan completely against you. It seems like the cons outweigh the pros…”

Zu An was completely speechless. Wait a moment, are you seriously analyzing the feasibility of the matter?!?!

“Principal Jiang of Brightmoon Academy has arrived!”

Upon hearing those words, be it the Chu clan or the Yuan clan, everyone immediately stopped their chatter and headed over to welcome Jiang Luofu. This showed just how high a standing Jiang Luofu had in Brightmoon City.

However, incongruous exclamations soon echoed amidst the crowd.

“Woah, those legs! I can get off on them for several days without any problem!”

“Where did she buy her stockings from? I should get a pair for my wife too!”

“Hah, do you think that yellow-faced woman you have back at home can be put on the same level as Principal Jiang?”

“Aiyo, I’ll just blindfold her, alright? Just the stocking is enough to fulfill my fantasies!”

“Do you want to die? How can you gossip about Principal Jiang like that?”

… 

Zu An swiftly noticed a familiar face amidst the crowd—Ji Dengtu. He was hiding amidst the crowd, peeking at the beautiful ladies present. 

Hah, did you think that I wouldn’t recognize you just because you’re wearing a hat? You should first do something about that perverted look on your face!

Without a doubt, Ji Dengtu was here to have a feast for his eyes. But surprisingly, he isn’t looking at Principal Jiang at all…?

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