Chapter 117: Childhood Trauma

“I’ve told you many times that you have to kick off your bad habit of boasting!” Qin Wanru was already feeling stressed from worrying about the future of the Chu clan, and Zu An’s words seemed to be further fueling her fury. Were it not for the fact that they were in public, she would have really lashed out at him. “Now isn’t the time for you to be running your mouth. I’ll deal with you once we get back!”

You have succesfully trolled Qin Wanru for +999 Rage!

After saying her piece, she pulled Chu Huanzhao away. Chu Zhongtian also looked a little displeased too, but he chose not to say anything. Instead, he left with Qin Wanru to finish up the last minute cramming.

Zu An stared at them with an incredulous look on his face. 

Wow, what’s wrong with this world? Everyone doesn’t hesitate to believe my lies, but when I speak of the truth, everyone starts doubting me. What a tough life I lead!

Also, father-in-law, you aren’t doing your part here. Look at how fiery-tempered Qin Wanru is. You have to work harder to vent her inner flames at night, or else the one to suffer is me!

It was then that Chu Chuyan’s voice sounded in his ears. “I know that you’re dissatisfied with your current circumstances, and you wish to do something to prove yourself before my father and mother. However, you really need not do this. It’s wiser to work within your limits instead. What you’re doing now will only have adverse effects.”

Chu Chuyan’s words were subtle, but the meaning behind what she was driving at was pretty clear. She also thought that Zu An was boasting over here.

“Orh.” Zu An couldn’t be bothered to explain anymore. It was not as if anyone would believe him anyway.

“How did you know that person is called Wu Di?” asked Chu Chuyan.

“I guessed,” replied Zu An with a shrug.

“Guessed?” Chu Chuyan frowned, unsatisfied with the answer Zu An was providing.

“Yeap. I thought that the name ‘Di Wu’ sounds pretty weird, and considering the fact that the Wu clan is backing the Yuan clan, I wondered if his real name might just be Wu Di. So, I gave it a try, and it was unexpectedly a hit.” Zu An couldn’t possibly reveal his system to her, so he could only come up with an excuse.

To his surprise, Chu Chuyan nodded in response. “I see. It was a coincidence, but you really did me and the Chu clan a huge favor this time around.”

Zu An already had no inner energy left to retort anymore. See! You believed my lies so easily, yet you keep doubting me when I’m saying the truth.

“Cough cough~” Chu Chuyan suddenly began coughing, and she quickly took out a handkerchief to cover her mouth.

Zu An sharply noticed a red patch on her handkerchief, and he froze in place. “You’re injured?”

Chu Chuyan grabbed his arm to stop him from speaking on. “I’m fine. It’s just a minor injury, so don’t say anything about it.”

Zu An noticed that Chu Chuyan’s face was three shades paler than usual, which was a clear indication that her injuries were not as light as she was putting it out to be. In a fit of rage, he cursed, “How dare the Yuan clan and Wu clan bully my wife? Tsk! I’ll teach them a lesson later on!”

“…” Chu Chuyan.

At this juncture, she already didn’t know what she could say to Zu An anymore. So, she decided to turn her attention toward the stage to see how her younger sister was faring.

Chu Huanzhao’s opponent was Yuan Wenji, Yuan Wendong’s cousin. While his cultivation was beneath that of Yuan Wendong, he was still around mid third rank. Theoretically speaking, Chu Huanzhao didn’t stand much of a chance in this battle, but her possession of the Wailing Whip and Chu Zhongtian’s pointers evened things out a little. As long as she played her cards well, there was a fair chance she could defeat her enemy.

On the opposite side, things looked a little tense over at the Yuan clan too. They thought that they could clinch a decisive advantage in the first eight matches, so even if they lost this match, it still shouldn’t have affected the conclusion.

Yet, who could have thought that a mishap would occur on Wu Di’s side? Despite being a sixth rank cultivator, he actually lost to a mere fifth rank cultivator. He really should change his name to Useless instead!

Due to Wu Di’s loss, the Yuan clan was currently lagging behind 3:4, which made this match of critical importance. They had to win this round in order to be able to proceed on to the next round.

Yuan Wendong took a look at Zu An and sneered coldly. You have been hiding their true prowes for so long, likely in hopes of proving your worth in this tournament. But what a pity, you bumped into me instead! Later on, I’d show everyone that you’re nothing more than a good-for-nothing. You’ll regret provoking me time and time again!

Looking at the two fighters on the dueling ring, the crowd began discussing amongst themselves.

“Woah, I didn’t expect Chu Second Miss to be this pretty.”

“Of course! Given how pretty the older sister is, how could the younger sister fare too badly?”

“I heard that Chu Second Miss is in the ninth place of Brightmoon Academy’s Sweetheart Ranking!”

“I think she’s just lagging behind due to her young age. Give it a few years, and she’ll surely blossom like a beautiful flower.”

“I think she’s fine as she is at the moment. It would be better if she could be younger.”

“… Get away from us. We don’t hang out with fiends like you!”

… 

Hearing the discussions coming from the crowd, Yuan Wenji shook his head and sneered coldly. Only he knew best just what kind of terrifying demon was concealed behind her beautiful exterior.

His thoughts drifted back to the times when he was bullied by her, be it having his pocket money snatched, getting beaten up by her, having his pants pulled down right before the entire class… He could still remember how she stood proudly before him, laughing evilly like a true demon. That had made him jolt awake from his nightmares far more than once.

In the past, he dared not to exact vengeance on her out of fear of her position as the daughter of a duke, but with the Wu clan’s backing now, he no longer had any fear. He could make full use of his dueling ring to return everything he had suffered in the past to her.

“Chu Second Miss, we meet one another again,” said Yuan Wenji with a gleeful smile.

He had intentionally hidden from Chu Huanzhao all these years while enduring arduous training in hopes of exacting vengeance one day. It was just a pity that his limited aptitude had decreed a cap on his future accomplishments. Nevertheless, the fruits of his labor should be more than enough to deal with her.

“Who are you?” asked Chu Huanzhao.

Yuan Wenji choked on his breath for a moment there before turning red in anger. This woman actually doesn’t remember me anymore! After bullying so much when I was younger, she actually forgot all about me!

He wanted to speak it out and make her remember, but his logical mind eventually persuaded him otherwise. He was going to exact vengeance later on anyway, and it would be dangerous if others were to catch him in the act.

To be honest, nothing would happen even if he revealed it. Chu Huanzhao had bullied far too many people when she was younger that she could hardly count them anymore… 

Perplexed by the lack of response, Chu Huanzhao was going to probe on when her father’s voice sounded in her ears. She took a deep breath and calmed herself down. Holding the Wailing Whip tightly in her hands, as soon as the official announced the commencement of the duel, she flicked her wrist to strike down on Yuan Wenji’s body.

Seeing this, Chu Chuyan nodded in approval. Her younger sister might be lacking in cultivation, but her skills with the Wailing Whip was the real deal… She had been using it well bullying others over the years, after all.

However, Yuan Wenji was prepared for her attack. He dodged the whip with a sideward row before quickly charging forward. Against a long-ranged weapon like the whip, the wisest decision was for him to engage her in a close-range battle.

Chu Zhongtian had already warned her about this in advance, so she slowly retreated to maintain the distance between them while flicking her whip to force Yuan Wenji to remain at bay.

On the other hand, Yuan Wenji tried his best to approach her while dodging the whips. However, he eventually slipped up and got struck on his arm.

“ARGH!”

The sheer pain had Yuan Wendong jolting in horror. It was really not something a human could endure. It felt as if someone had taken a screwdriver to hammer his bones.

The crowd amidst the Chu clan was delighted to see that the Wailing Whip was working its wonders. As long as she could get a few more hits in, the sheer amount of pain should be enough to make Yuan Wenji pass out.

At her father’s reminder, Chu Huanzhao continued to flick her wrist to pressure Yuan Wenji.

“Did you think that I’m unprepared?” However, Yuan Wenji suddenly retrieved a shield from behind his back. It wasn’t too big initially, but for some reason, it suddenly expanded to become big enough to shield his entire body.

Chu Zhongtian immediately straightened his back. “It’s no wonder why the arms produced by the Yuan clan suddenly improved so drastically. They have indeed managed to find a formidable runemaster to back them up!”

The shield was indubitably the work of a runemaster, wielding the ability to expand and contract at will.

In an instant, the tables were turned on Chu Huanzhao. Her whip was formidable, but Yuan Wenji was able to easily guard himself with the shield. Step by step, he slowly shortened the gap between them, rendering him helpless.

Qin Wanru clutched her husband’s arm and said, “He seems to be prepared in advance.”

Chu Zhongtian nodded with an awful look on his face. “Indeed. There’s no doubt that there’s a spy in our Chu clan now. They revealed our sequencing to the enemy; that’s why they are able to curb us to this degree. They even thought of how to deal with Huanzhao’s Wailing Whip in advance.”

“Who in the world is it?!” Qin Wanru turned to look at their own people, but with doubt lingering in her eyes, everyone looked like a possible spy to her.

“We’ll slowly look into it once we get back.” Chu Zhongtian closed his eyes and sighed deeply. “We’re doomed today. However, this works fine too. At least we know the threats lurking by our side, so we can guard against them in the future.”

“But we’re paying too great a price for that!” Qin Wanru knew just how important the arms market was, as well as the implication of losing it. “Should we get Huanzhao to hold on a little longer? There might just be some hope.”

Chu Zhongtian hesitated for a moment, but in the end, he decided to go along with his wife’s wishes. He didn’t want to lose the arms market which the Chu clan had dominated for centuries either.

Meanwhile, on the dueling ring, Yuan Wenji had already pulled close to Chu Huanzhao. A glint flashed across his eyes as he suddenly rolled forward and swiftly got into extremely close range to Chu Huanzhao.

Chu Huanzhao was horrified. She quickly hurled her fist forward in retaliation, but her cultivation was beneath that of Yuan Wenji, and her other hand was still holding onto the Wailing Whip. Given such disadvantages, how could she hold her own against him?

Yuan Wenji grabbed her left hand and dislocated her wrist, leaving Chu Huanzhao crying in horror.

Alarmed, Chu Zhongtian immediately stood up and declared, “We admit defeat this round!”

However, even while he was saying those words, Yuan Wenji gathered his strength toward his fist, and channeling his accumulation of rage over the years, he struck heavily on her abdomen.

Pu!

With a spurt of blood, Chu Huanzhao was sent flying.

Chu Zhongtian quickly rushed forward to catch his daughter before hurriedly dealing with her injuries. He had no spare attention to care about anything more given the circumstances.

Those from the Chu clan quickly crowded around Chu Huanzhao, leaving Zu An no space to squeeze in. So, he turned around to glare at Yuan Wenji coldly, saying, “We’ve already admitted defeat, so why did you still deal such a vicious blow?”

Under his guilty conscience, Yuan Wenji was overwhelmed by Zu An’s imposing disposition for a brief moment and ended up stuttering.

It was then that Yuan Wendong stood forward to speak up, “How could an ordinary human like you know about the battles between cultivators? There’s only a fine line between victory and loss in a fight, and Wenji has witnessed Chu First Miss’ glorious splendor in defeating a sixth rank cultivator earlier. Who knows? Chu Second Miss might just have other means to exert in the situation back then. Who could have known that Chu Second Miss turns out to be so lacking instead? Haa, she really should learn more from her older sister and practice more.”

Yaun Wenji also quickly snapped out of it and said, “Indeed! I was simply too immersed in the fight earlier that I didn’t hear the Brightmoon Duke’s words!”

“You didn’t hear my words?” Chu Zhongtian suddenly bellowed furiously. He had already confirmed that his younger daughter was in no danger, so he raised his head to look at the man still standing on the dueling ring. “Are you saying that the words spoken by an eighth rank cultivator are too soft for the likes of you to hear?”

A terrifying aura suddenly weighed down on the dueling ring, leaving Yuan Wenji gulping in horror. His body began shuddering uncontrollably as he took a step back.

“Is being an eighth rank cultivator that big of a deal to you?” Wu Wei suddenly appeared right in front of Yuan Wenji to shield him. “This is a conflict between the juniors. What’s an adult like you stepping into this and bullying the juniors for?”

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