Chapter 121.5: Whatcha Staring At? (2)

It was also at that moment Wu Wei and Yuan Zhengchu turned around to look at the results of the battle, expecting to see Yuan Wendong crippling Zu An. However, what they saw instead left both of their mouths agape.

Yuan Zhengchu was taken aback for a moment before abruptly flying into a state of rage. With a ferocious look on his face, he leaped toward Zu An, roaring, “How dare you hurt my son? Die!”

You have successfully trolled Yuan Zhengchu for +1024 Rage!

Even though Yuan Zhengchu’s cultivation was beneath that of the two dukes, killing Zu An was still a walk in the park for him. Without holding back in the least, he struck forth with such powerful momentum that Zu An couldn’t even dodge even if he wanted to.

However, there was no need for Zu An to dodge at all, for a towering figure appeared before him in the next moment. Chu Zhongtian stopped Yuan Zhengchu attack, and with a mocking smile on his lips, he replied, “Patriarch Yuan, this is a fight between the juniors. Don’t you think that it’s beneath you to interfere here?”

Having been able to return these words to the dastardly Yuan Zhengchu left him feeling greatly soothed on the inside. He was a good person, but that didn’t mean that he would allow anyone to trample over him. The Yuan clan had been acting smugly for the entire day now, and it was time for them to suffer the consequences of their actions.

“You!” Yuan Zhengchu was infuriated, but his cultivation was lower than Chu Zhongtian, so he couldn’t breach the latter’s defense.

Fortunately, Wu Wei stepped forward at this moment. However, instead of making a move toward Chu Zhongtian, he walked over to Yuan Wendong’s side to first stop the bleeding. Then, he examined the wound with a livid face.

Out of fear of Zu An’s safety, he positioned himself to ensure that neither Yuan Zhengchu nor Wu Wei could hurt Zu An without going past him.

Yuan Zhengchu also quickly rushed over to his son’s side to support him. He took out a few recovery pills and popped it into the latter’s mouth.  Then, he turned to Zu An and bellowed, “Doesn’t the rule of the Clans Tournament state that the fighters shouldn’t harm their opponents? Yet, you viciously crippled my son! How vile is your heart?!”

You have successfully trolled Yuan Zhengchu for +999 Rage!

Toward that, Zu An shrugged casually and replied, “I’m afraid I don’t understand what you’re saying here. There’s only a fine line between victory and loss in a fight between cultivators, and it was just moments ago that I witnessed the glorious splendor of young master Yuan’s swordsmanship. I thought that he might have some other trump cards that he hasn’t utilized yet. As a third rank cultivator, you can’t expect me to hold back against a fifth rank cultivator. How am I to know that young master Yuan would be far weaker than I thought. Haa, I shouldn’t have put him on the same pedestal as my wife, Chuyan!”

These were the words that Yuan Wendong said mockingly earlier on when Yuan Wenji intentionally injured Chu Huanzhao. Zu An was just returning the favor now.

“You!” Yuan Wendong bellowed in fury before abruptly passing out from the severity of his injuries and his agitation.

You have successfully trolled Yuan Wendong for +1024 Rage!

“You bastard! You dare to…” Yuan Zhengchu was maddened, but he couldn’t think of a reason to refute Zu An’s argument.

You have successfully trolled Yuan Zhengchu for +1024 Rage!

It was then that Chu Zhongtian spoke up, “Patriarch Yuan, Zu An is the son-in-law of our Chu clan, not a bastard. Out of consideration for your injured son, I’ll let it slide this time, but know that our Chu clan won’t allow anyone to insult our family members!”

“You!” Yuan Zhengchu’s face flushed red, but in terms of standing or cultivation, he was far beneath Chu Zhongtian. As angry as he was, he was unable to make a move here.

Wu Wei took over the baton and turned to the judges of the tournament. “Judges, it’s a rule of this tournament that fighters aren’t to hurt their opponents intentionally. In the earlier battle, while Yuan Wenji had harmed Chu Huanzhao, her injuries aren’t severe and will recover with some time. However, Zu An has viciously crippled Yuan Wendong in this round. I ask of you to annul his qualification as a fighter and declare it as the Chu clan’s loss!”

“A load of rubbish!” Chu Zhongtian bellowed. “Wu Wei, do you take everyone to be blind? It was Yuan Wendong who tried to exploit the battle to cripple Zu An earlier, only to end up suffering a counterattack. His fate is nothing more than a work of karma he brought upon himself. He has no one to blame for his plight!”

There were some amidst in the crowd who had clearly seen what happened earlier too, and they roared in agreement. “That’s right! It was Yuan Wendong who tried to cripple Zu An first!”

However, the supporters of the Yuan clan immediately fought back. “Rubbish! Why would young master Yuan do that? A fifth rank cultivator like him needs not to pick on a third rank cultivator like Zu An! Zu An exploited his moment of carelessness to deal a vicious blow! What a sinister person he is!”

In truth, most of the spectators were ordinary mortals or low rank cultivators, so they weren’t able to clearly see what happened earlier on. They could only listen to the analyses of those coming from both sides and decide a side to support.

Meanwhile, instead of expressing his stance first, Sang Hong turned to Xie Yi and Jiang Luofu and said, “City Lord Xie and Principal Jiang, what do the two of you think?”

Old wily fox, Xie Yi thought in his mind. If he expressed his stance at a moment like this, he would only end up offending one side no matter what. However, as someone who had dabbled in politics for many years, he knew how to maneuver such situations too. “Pardon my weakness, but I’m unable to tell how young master Zu managed to strike young master Yuan ahead of time with the most basic Elementary Swordplay. I have to ask Governor Sang to enlighten me on this.”

His words voiced out the doubts in many of those present too. Anyone could tell that Yuan Wendong was in an advantageous position earlier on, but why would the tables be turned on him at the last moment?

“That trash! Why did Yuan Wendong answer Zu An’s question at that critical moment? He deserves to be crippled!” Shi Kun gulped down a cup of a tea, but his agitated heart simply wouldn’t calm down. He had made many preparations in order to ensure that Yuan Wendong would be able to get rid of Zu An, but his plan had been completely foiled.

Snow tried to console him, “It could be that Zu An is simply too hateful, such that Yuan Wendong failed to hold himself in.”

“A trash indeed!” Shi Kun tightened his grip, crushing the teacup in his hand.

Seeing this, Snow immediately fell silent. She wouldn’t want to be implicated in Shi Kun’s wrath at a moment like this.

Amidst the crowd, Ji Dengtu narrowed his eyes. 

That lad sure has a potent mouth. He’s actually able to get that Yuan guy to answer him at that critical moment. But again, what’s that movement skill he used? Somehow it looks a little familiar to me. Have I seen it somewhere before?

But why can’t I remember it? Is it because I tired myself out reading the booklet recently that it’s starting to impair my memory? Hmm, it looks like I must curb myself a little. I should prepare some medicine to nourish myself up.

The only one in the crowd who wasn’t surprised by Zu An’s victory was Pei Mianman. She sat leisurely in her seat, her beautiful profile drawing furtive glances from the men around her. However, she paid no heed to it. Her peach blossom eyes curled into a smile as she murmured, “A man whom I can’t kill; how could it be hard for him to defeat Yuan Wendong?”

Back to the judges, Sang Hong internally cursed Xie Yi for being as slippery as an eel while silently listening to the discussions occurring around him. In truth, he was also having difficulties understanding why Yuan Wendong would suddenly get distracted at that critical moment. He must be too young, that’s why he’s unable to focus properly.

So, he turned to Jiang Luofu and asked, “Principal Jiang, what are your thoughts?”

The victory of the Chu clan in the tournament would indubitably affect his future plans, which put him in a bad mood. Even Jiang Luofu’s beautiful thighs couldn’t stir him anymore.

Jiang Luofu calmly responded, “It was indeed Yuan Wendong who tried to cripple Zu An at the start, only to be counterattacked by Zu An. It was a critical moment, so neither side could afford to hold back against one another. Regardless of the outcome, neither side can be blamed for their decision back there. Since the victor has already been decided, I don’t think that there’s anything much we should be discussing here.”

Sang Hong was surprised to hear how supportive Jiang Luofu was of Zu An. However, she didn’t intervene the previous few times he tried to undermine the Chu clan, so it didn’t seem like she was sided toward them. More likely, she was just playing the neutral role, as per normal for the academy.

In any case, it didn’t seem possible to reverse the situation anymore, especially not with what Jiang Luofu had just said. So, Sang Hong declared, “Since the victor has been decided, I hereby declare that the Chu clan has won the Clans Tournament!”

Even though Sang Hong was sent here to deal with the Chu clan, he still had to uphold the dignity of the royal court. He couldn’t act too explicitly against the Chu clan, or else it would create openings for his enemies to dig at. With things already settled in stone, he could only go along with the flow and revise his future plans.

Those from the Chu clan immediately cheered happily. There were many incidents throughout the course of the day, and they thought that they would really suffer a loss in the hands of the Wu clan and Yuan clan this time around. Who could have thought that there would be such a last-minute reversal?

On the other hand, those from the Wu clan and Yuan clan looked absolutely livid. After all of the preparations they had made, they would have never dreamed that things would end up like this. They were so close to victory there, only for it to slip past the cracks of their fingers. No one could possibly take it well.

“Governor Sang!” Wu Wei looked at Sang Hong with an awful look on his face. Clearly, he was displeased with Sang Hong’s verdict.

Sang Hong turned to look at Wu Wei calmly and said, “Yes, I do understand that the Chu clan has to take responsibility for young master Yuan’s injuries too. Brightmoon Duke, I’ll hold you responsible for young master Yuan’s treatment fee. Do you have any objections?”

“Of course not!” replied Chu Zhongtian heartily. He was quite angry when the Yuan clan mockingly offered to pay for the Chu clan’s medical fee, but it seemed like karma was real.

“There’s no need for that. We can at least pay for our own family member’s medical fee!” Yuan Zhengchu spat coldly. He knew that this was a sign from Sang Hong that he had already given up on them. 

So, he indicated for their clan members to stand up and return back to the Yuan Estate.

It was then that Zu An suddenly spoke up, “Wait a moment. Are you leaving just like that?”

Yuan Zhengchu turned around and glared at Zu An with fury burning in his eyes. “Zu An, what else do you want?”

You have successfully trolled Yuan Zhengchu for +783 Rage!

Putting them aside, even those from the Chu clan had no idea what Zu An was up to in attempting to stop the Yuan clan’s departure.

“Nothing much. I know that you all hate me so much that you would love nothing more than to tear me apart. Since that’s the case, I’ll give you a chance to exact vengeance then.” Zu An pointed his sword toward Yuan Wenji. “I’ll challenge him to a fight. Let’s settle the conflict right here right now.”

Many of the spectators were also just about to leave when they heard those words and rushed back to their seats with excited looks on their faces. Yippie, another drama.

Yuan Zhengchu was stunned for a moment before realization struck him. “You want to exact vengeance for Chu Second Miss?”

Zu An nodded. “That’s my intention in mind, but it’s also an opportunity for your Yuan clan too. From this day onward, I’ll be protected by the guards of the Chu clan. This is the only shot you got, and you won’t get another chance if you pass this opportunity by. I advise you to carefully think it through.” 

On the stretcher, Chu Huanzhao was deeply excited. “Brother-in-law is the best to me!”

Qin Wanru, on the other hand, frowned. “This is utter nonsense. He only happened to defeat Yuan Wendong by coincidence, and all of a sudden, he thinks that he’s invincible in the world? While Yuan Wenji is much weaker than Yuan Wendong, he’s still beyond what someone of Zu An’s caliber can deal with. Besides, the Yuan clan has already suffered a loss to him, so they won’t fall for the same tricks again. Isn’t Zu An just forcing himself into the corner?”

It was then that Yuan Zhengchu received a message from Shi Kun. “Accept his offer. Make use of this opportunity to cripple Zu An. Our Shi clan will reward you handsomely.”

Yuan Zhengchu had the same intention in mind, and the Shi clan’s promise was an additional incentive on top of that. Delighted, he turned to Zu An and sneered coldly, “Very well. I hope that you won’t regret your decision!”

Zu An shrugged in response. “Everyone present, please be my witness. This duel is fair and square. Regardless of who wins, no one is to exact vengeance on the other side after this!”

Sang Hong’s eyes lit up. He immediately agreed to it, “Very well, I’ll be the witness of the battle for these two young men then.”

He didn’t want to get involved in this matter either, but just earlier on, his son had informed him of Zu An’s bet with a tearful look on his face. Upon hearing that they had just lost a million silver taels, he was utterly horrified. A million silver taels might be nothing much for established clans, but for the Sang clan which had just risen through the ranks in recent years, it was definitely not a small sum of money.

He was infuriated by his son’s folly, but the deed was already done. He could only find a way to resolve this somehow. It just happened that the two of them were making a bet at a time like this. If something really happened to Zu An, they might just be able to shrug off the debt and treat it as if it never existed. So, he immediately agreed to it.

His declaration was so fast that even Chu Zhongtian couldn’t even stop him in time.

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