“Wu Wei, it looks like you’re really asking for a fight here!” Chu Zhongtian took in a deep breath as he clenched his fists tightly together.
“The two of you should calm down.” Sang Hong also rushed down to stand between the two of them. “The focus today should be the Clans Tournament, so the two of you should stop taking the limelight here. Brightmoon Duke, allow me to say some words of fairness here. Yuan Wenji has already held back earlier, or else your daughter would have really been in danger.”
“Been in danger?” Chu Zhongtian sneered furiously. “He dares?”
Sang Hong could only brush off what Chu Zhongtian had said and continued on, “Patriarch Yuan, even though Yuan Wenji didn’t intend for this, he did go too far this time around. Why don’t we have the Yuan clan fork out Chu Second Miss’ medical fees as compensation?”
Needless to say, Yuan Zhengchu went along with Sang Hong’s suggestion happily. “Of course, that’s only to be expected. I’m willing to fork out 10,000 silver taels for Chu Second Miss’ safe recovery.”
“There’s no need for that. Our Chu clan can at least pay for our own people’s medical fees!” With a cold harrumph, Chu Zhongtian brought his younger daughter back to the Chu clan’s resting area.
With Sang Hong siding with the Yuan clan, Principal Jiang taking on a neutral position, and City Lord Xie opting for an ambiguous stance, it couldn’t be helped that Chu Zhongtian was in a disadvantageous position when a conflict broke out.
Amidst the crowd, Ji Dengtu shook his head and said, “Dumb Chu, you’re simply too tolerant. Even in the eyes of an outsider, you look nothing more than a coward. Why did Qin Wanru choose you of all people back then? Wouldn’t it be great if she chose me instead? She would have been able to live a carefree life right now.”
Wu Wei, and the patriarchs of the Yuan clan and Zheng clan traded gleeful glances. It looks like the Chu clan’s era has come to an end!
Shi Kun also had a smile on his face. Taking away the arms market is the first step to unraveling the Chu clan. Before long, Chu Chuyan will fall into my embrace.
Unable to stand the situation, Xie Xiu whispered softly, “Father, are we really not going to back the Chu clan up?”
“Of course we’re going to help them,” said Xie Yi. “But when we should do so is a question worth pondering over.”
Jiang Luofu was not interested in the factional wars occurring before her eyes. Right now, she was just curious to see what Zu An would do next. He had transcendent class aptitude, but that only symbolized his potential. He had wasted far too much time in his younger years, resulting in him being only at the third rank at the moment. He stood no chance at all against the fifth rank Yuan Wendong.
While she had advised him to stop concealing his abilities and reveal his own worth, this situation was clearly not suitable for him to do so. He was simply too outclassed here to prove himself.
With a livid face, Chu Zhongtian was just about to lead the Chu clan away with him when Yuan Zhengchu’s voice suddenly sounded, “Brightmoon Duke, we haven’t finished the tournament yet. Why are you leaving?”
Yuan Zhengchu would have never dared to speak to Chu Zhongtian in such a manner in the past, but with the backing of the Sunspring Duke and Governor Sang Hong, as well as the imminent victory right before him, he was feeling more confident than ever.
“What is there to compete?” replied Chu Zhongtian lividly.
All that was left in the Chu clan was a wastrel, yet the Zheng clan was insisting for the fight to go on. Wasn’t this obviously an attempt to further put down the Chu clan?
Was I too tolerant over the years that even these small fries dare to climb all over me?
Wu Wei chuckled softly and said, “The tournament has to go on. Right now, the score between the two clans is 4:4, so we need the final match to decide the allocation of the arms market.”
Sang Hong also nodded in agreement. “Indeed. It’s still a tie at the moment. Since we have been invited here to referee the match, it goes without saying that we must ensure fairness in the proceedings. If the Chu clan leaves in advance, I’m afraid that it’ll make it hard for us to decide on the allocation of the arms market.”
He was worried that if the Chu clan walked away without competing in the final round, it would create room for contention over the results of the tournament. The Chu clan might choose to disregard the results, arguing that the tournament hadn’t been completed back then. At the same time, he was also quite curious about the renowned drafted son-in-law of the Chu clan. Based on the reports he had received recently, while Zu An tended to act in a bizarre manner, he didn’t seem to be as inept as his reputation suggested.
Even Jiang Luofu also spoke up in agreement. “Indeed. No matter what the situation is, we should still hold the final duel to conclude the tournament properly.”
She was curious as to what Zu An would choose to do here. Would he continue to keep a low profile, or would he attempt to rise up and awe the crowd?
It was just unfortunate that his opponent had to be Yuan Wendong, so it would be hard for him to do anything.
While she was speaking, she uncrossed her legs and crossed them again the other way around. Her legs that were veiled in stockings were once again put into the center of attention, drawing the eyes of almost all of the men present. Of course, it was just a pair of legs, one might say, but it didn’t hinder these men from developing further on it through their vivid imagination.
With the other two making their stance, Xie Yi also nodded in agreement. “Since this is the Clans Tournament, we should see it to the end. Even if you wish to admit defeat, we should go by the proper procedures here.”
Xie Yi was a little alarmed to see Jiang Luofu’s sudden show of support for Sang Hong, so he subtly hinted to Chu Zhongtian that they could admit defeat and end things here.
Shi Kun immediately got anxious. If the Chu clan were to admit defeat just like that, wouldn’t his planning be all in vain? So, he quickly joined in the conversation too, “Based on what I know, young master Zu of the Chu clan has already agreed to fight it out with young master Yuan in order to settle their conflict. Furthermore, it looks like they have made such an agreement more than once?”
Wu Qing also made use of this opportunity to gloat at Zu An too. “Indeed, I can bear testimony to that. Zu An has challenged Yuan Wendong multiple times in the academy, saying that he would teach the latter a lesson in the Clans Tournament. I have been looking forward to it for some time now.”
Zu An immediately shot a glance at Wu Qing. You must be dying to fail my arithmetic class, huh? He was indeed intending to fight it out with Yuan Wendong, but Wu Qing obviously harbored malicious intentions in mind for saying those words.
Yuan Wendong also spoke up as well, “Indeed. Brother Zu, you have challenged me multiple times, and I was looking forward to trying out your skills too. Since we have time now, I hope that you won’t let me down.”
Those from the Wu clan and Yuan clan quickly chirped in as well. “Everyone should have heard how Zu An challenged Yuan Wendong earlier before the commencement of the tournament too. How could he possibly back down now, right?”
The crowd was always in for a commotion, and they were still harboring grudges toward Zu An for flaunting his wife earlier on too. It went without saying who they were going to side with here.
Chu Zhongtian frowned upon seeing this sight. He felt sorry for Zu An. They had intentionally told Zu An to provoke Yuan Wendong with the intention of having him tie down the strongest expert of the Yuan clan, but unfortunately, the crowd didn’t know of it, and they weren’t in a good position to explain it either. As a result, they could only have Zu An face the backlash on his own.
Still, we can’t really put Zu An in danger just like that.
With a deep sigh, Chu Zhongtian chose to surrender. “We’ll be admitting…”
But before he could finish his words, Zu An quickly cut him short. “Father-in-law, there’s no need to admit defeat. Allow me to fight this round.”
Chu Zhongtian was stunned. He didn’t expect Zu An to want to fight despite the current circumstances. Beside him, Qin Wanru’s fiery temper was ticked off once more. She glared at Zu an and said harshly, “What do you mean allow you to fight this round? Shouldn’t you know your own capability the best? Look at what occasion this is? This is not the time for you to boast!”
Chu Zhongtian agreed with his wife’s words too, “Indeed. Yuan Wendong hates you down to the core. It’ll be too dangerous for you to fight him on the dueling ring.”
Chu Chuyan walked over to Zu An’s side and advised, “I know that you hope to contribute to the Chu clan, but this is not the time for you to get reckless. Yuan Wendong is obviously seeking to exact vengeance on you on the dueling ring. You’ll just be falling for his ploy if you head up right now! You need not care about how others view you. At the very least, all of us know that you’re doing this for the Chu clan.”
“Indeed, brother-in-law. It’s too dangerous for you to head up right now!” Even Chu Huanzhao opened her eyes and uttered feebly to dissuade him.
Zu An squatted down by Chu Huanzhao’s side and said, “I was initially fine with backing down here, but the Yuan clan has gone too far. They viciously dealt such a severe injury to you. It wouldn’t do not to teach them a lesson!”
By the side, Hong Xingying rolled his eyes. What is going on in that fellow’s head? Even at a time like this, he’s still running his mouth. However, with the earlier precedence, he dared not to speak his thoughts out loud for fear of getting humiliated once again.
Chu Huanzhao’s face reddened upon hearing those words. She snuck a peek at her mother before hurriedly saying, “I know that you care about me, but you can’t even defeat me. You’ll just suffer a tragic defeat up there.”
Zu An replied with a smile, “Have you forgotten how I endured seven strikes of your Wailing Whip the other day? I’m not as weak as you think.”
Qin Wanru couldn’t stand it anymore. She quickly interjected, “Enough, enough! A man shouldn’t make promises that he’s unable to fulfill!”
There’s no way I’m going to let you seduce my younger daughter too! I already warned Huanzhao the other time, but she still continues to get close to him!
Without bothering to look at Qin Wanru, he looked at Chu Zhongtian directly and said, “Father-in-law, let me give it a try. Even if I don’t go up, the Chu clan is doomed to lose today anyway.”
Chu Zhongtian frowned. “I’m not worried about losing. I’m worried that you would be in danger.”
Zu An shook his head and said, “That Yuan Wendong wouldn’t dare to kill me in public. At most, he’ll just try to sever my hands or legs. If that’s the case, it would give our Chu clan an excuse to pressure them and renegotiate the distribution of the market shares.”
Chu Zhongtian was stunned. He didn’t think that there would be such a way out of it. If the Yuan clan really tried to hurt Zu An, considering Huanzhao’s previous injuries too, the Chu clan would indeed have a claim to state that the Yuan clan was undermining the supposedly amicable Clans Tournament and argue for its invalidation. By then, everything would be open for negotiation.
Qin Wanru was equally taken aback too. All along, she had viewed Zu An to just be an incompetent braggart. She honestly didn’t like him from the bottom of her heart. However, when she saw him insisting on going onto the dueling ring so as to fight for renegotiation rights for the Chu clan, she suddenly found herself regretting her actions. Have I been undermining him thus far?
The Chu clan’s Yue Shan and the others were also impressed by Zu An’s wits and bravery too, and their impression of him improved greatly. Despite knowing that it was nigh impossible, he still charged his way through in hopes of paving an impossible path. This was what true courage meant.
Only Hong Xingying sneered coldly in response. That guy has no capabilities at all; all he has is that sharp mouth of his. That’s such a forced reason.
Despite the reason Zu An came up with, Chu Chuyan still insistently shook her head, saying, “We could have considered the move if it had been on any other occasion, but Yuan Wendong hates you to the core right now. He won’t just try to severely injure you. It’s likely that he’s aiming to cripple you for good.”
Zu An shrugged with a bitter smile, “I’m already as crippled as I can get. What else can he do?”
Chu Chuyan was taken aback by that remark. There’s indeed nothing much to cripple Zu An for since he isn’t a cultivator. Besides, his down there is also… Recalling the incident that night, her fair complexion was swiftly tinged in redness.
“Have you all come to a decision yet or not? Zu An, are you a man? Are you planning to back down on the last moment? If you want to, sure. All you have to do is to admit that you aren’t a man and apologize to me publicly. I’ll magnanimously forgive you for your offense toward me then!” said Yuan Wendong with an arrogant voice.
“If you’re so desperate to get face-slapped by me, it’s only right that I give you what you want, right?” Taking use of the opportunity brought about by the Chu clan while they were in a daze, Zu An leaped onto the dueling ring.
“Looks like you still have some guts!” Yuan Wendong’s eyes lit up. Fearing that Zu An would back down, he quickly leaped onto the dueling ring. His movements were much cooler than Zu An’s. “You want to slap me? Come on then! Try your best to slap me then…”
While he was speaking, there was suddenly a crisp ‘pah’ sound, and his ears began ringing. It all happened so quickly that he found himself unable to process what just happened.
Zu An looked at his own hands before shaking his head lamentably. “I’ve never heard of a request as depraved as that in my entire life. However, since you’re earnestly pleading with me, I guess I have no choice but to give you what you want.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter