Chapter 124: Interrogation

“Thank you, thank you.” Zu An had just earned a huge sum of money while learning of a new way to exploit Cheng Shouping’s unreliable nature, so his mood was pretty good.

Sang Qian and Zheng Dan quickly chatted with him for a moment before leaving. As soon as they were out of his line of sight, Sang Qian’s face immediately turned incredibly ugly. “Damn it! Why did I foolishly help him change the bet back then?”

Zheng Dan also had a bitter smile on her lips. “Who could have thought that a study companion would be so audacious as to defy his own master’s orders?”

Sang Qian agreed with those words. A thought suddenly arose in his mind, and he asked, “This is indeed illogical. Do you think that it’s possible that Zu An predicted that we would change his bet paper, so he intentionally betted on his loss so as to deliver the wrong message to the Yuan clan?”

“He would be a truly terrifying person if he’s able to think that far ahead.” Zheng Dan shook his head with a frown. “I don’t think that he’s able to predict our actions to that extent. I reckon that he likely intended to spend the 10,000 silver taels to mislead the Yuan clan, only for us to mistakenly change it back.”

“Damn it!” Sang Qian felt that his luck was really horrible recently. Things simply wouldn’t go his way.

You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for +999 Rage!

“Our initial plan to swap the bet paper failed. What should we do next?” Zheng Dan took out the new bet paper she had prepared just earlier on and ripped it apart.

“It looks like I can only count on you for this,” Sang Qian looked at Zheng Dan as he spoke.

Zheng Dan’s face immediately turned cold. “You want me to lay a honey trap again?”

Sang Qian smiled sheepishly as he replied, “You’re going to have to find the 7,500,000 silver taels debt note anyway. It’s just looking for another bet paper here…”

Zheng Dan interjected sharply with a wintry look. “Sang Qian, why do you keep pushing your fiancée into the arms of another man? Do you have some sort of feitsh regarding that?”

Sang Qian immediately lost his temper. “I’m not asking you to really succumb to him. Didn’t you say that he didn’t take advantage of you? Why are you saying as if I’m asking you to sell your body to him?”

Zheng Dan’s eyes reddened tearfully. “Those who walk along the river will eventually get their feet wet. Zu An isn’t as weak as the rumors put him out to be. If he really tries to take advantage of me, I’ll never be able to face anyone in the future!”

In truth, she wasn’t really opposed to getting close with Zu An. However, she couldn’t afford to appear too willing here. She had to make Sang Qian feel guilty and aware that she was forced into this, and only then would he cherish her more and not pursue this matter after their marriage.

Looking at the pitiful look on Zheng Dan’s face, Sang Qian felt his heart shattering into pieces. He quickly consoled her, saying, “I know that I’m putting you in a spot here. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you well. If Zu An dares to bully you, you can be certain that I’ll take his life!”

“Really?” Zheng Dan looked at Sang Qian with large, watery eyes.

“Of course!” Sang Qian’s heart softened at the sight of his beautiful fiancée. “Forget it, let’s just give up on the 7,500,000 silver taels debt note. We shouldn’t risk it.”

However, Zheng Dan shook her head in resignation and said, “That wouldn’t work either. The 7,500,000 silver taels debt note is important to your plans. On top of that, there’s also our 1,000,000 silver taels bet paper too. For our future, I have no choice but to sacrifice myself.”

“I’ll make it up to you.” Looking at the beautiful, gentle woman before him, Sang Qian felt that he was blessed to find such a virtuous fiancée.

However, Zheng Dan’s mind had already moved on to ponder upon how she should best approach Zu An.

… 

Zu An had a grand sneeze. He rubbed his nose as he murmured, “Which beautiful lady is thinking of me now?”

Beside him, Cheng Shouping quickly nodded fawningly. 

Earlier today, the young master showed his true worth and defeated a fifth rank cultivator. More importantly, he helped the Chu clan win the Clans Tournament. Without a doubt, his standing will rise greatly from this day onward, and the same goes for me too!

At a moment like this, I must make sure to get into the young master’s good books!

“Aren’t you afraid of your own wife hearing those words?”

A teasing voice suddenly sounded at this moment, and Pei Mianman walked over with an air of fragrance around her.

Zu An laughed softly and said, “My wife has already said that she doesn’t mind me looking for other women.”

Pei Mianman was taken aback, not expecting Zu An to respond in such a manner. “Chu Chuyan said those words?” 

“Why don’t you ask her then?” Zu An pointed to Chu Chuyan as he said. “How is it? Are you interested in becoming my woman? Chu Chuyan is your good friend anyway, so I bet the two of you will get along with one another.”

Cheng Shouping was stunned to hear those words, thinking that the young master was brave. It looks like I’ve really underestimated him in the past. To think that he would try to seduce his wife’s best friend right in front of her! T-this… When will the young master offer me some pointers to the secrets of his success?

“You want to be my man?” Pei Mianman chuckled softly, not getting angry at all. “It isn’t impossible, but your current strength is still far lacking.”

Cheng Shouping’s eyes immediately reddened, and he hurriedly lowered his head. His heart was thumping fast just by looking at Pei Mianman. She really is a temptress. Even her peach blossom eyes are more than enough to draw in the souls of others. The young master is trul amazing for being able to chat with her calmly.

“How high does my cultivation have to be in order to be considered strong enough?” asked Zu An with a smile.

“You’ll know it by then.” Noticing that Chu Chuyan was making her way over, Pei Mianman stopped teasing Zu An. “Alright, I’ll be leaving now. Don’t forget our promise.”

She left the area after saying her piece, leaving behind a trail of fragrance behind her.

“What did you two agree on?” Chu Chuyan looked at Zu An doubtfully.

“We agreed for her to become my little wife in the future,” replied Zu An.

Cheng Shouping was utterly impressed by those words. The young master is a true warrior!

Chu Chuyan, on the other hand, was rendered speechless. Clearly, she didn’t take Zu An’s words seriously. “You should come with me. Everyone has many things to say to you.”

As soon as Zu An walked over to where the other members of the Chu clan was, he found himself swarmed with a huge crowd.

“Young master, we didn’t expect you to be this formidable! This is a recovery medicine special concocted by the Red Cloak Army…”

“Our young master defeated his enemy so easily that he didn’t sustain any injuries at all. Why would he need your medicine?”

“Our medicine isn’t just for healing injuries. It can hasten the recovery of one’s ki too. Given the two battles the young master has fought earlier, he must have depleted his ki greatly.”

… 

“A bunch of bootlickers!” spat Hong Xingying coldly. He couldn’t stand how the others were rushing to fawn on Zu An.

Quite a few of them were still showing concern for him earlier on, only to rush to Zu An’s side right now. With Zu An’s accomplishment today, his rise in the Chu clan was already inevitable. Seeing this, Hong Xingying’s face turned livid. 

Tsk, the world sure is a mercenary place! What should I do from now on… 

It was then that the vision before him darkened. He raised his gaze, only to see two servants of the Chu clan had moved a table over and were looking at him intently. He immediately asked impatiently, “What are you doing?”

It looks like a fallen tiger would even get bullied by mere dogs. Even these weaklings dare to provoke me now, huh?

“I wonder who mentioned earlier that he would eat a table up if my brother-in-law wins!” a teasing voice sounded.

Chu Huanzhao was still lying on the stretcher in a tragic state, but judging from how she was shaking her fair legs leisurely in the air, it would seem that she was in a good mood. 

Had it been any other occasion, Hong Xingying would find his heartstrings being pulled along by the movements of her long, slender legs, but the words she had spoken earlier had riled him up.

Chu Huanzhao patted on the table and said, “Look, I’ve kindly prepared a superior redwood table just for you. It might be made of good material, but it’s much softer than most other tables out there, so don’t say that I’m taking advantage of you. Oh right, I’ve prepared a pot of water for you to aid in your digestion too. If it isn’t enough, feel free to tell me. I can get the other servants to bring more over.”

“I…” Hong Xingying’s mouth opened and closed, but he couldn’t find any words to say at all. He was starting to regret not feigning unconscious earlier on, leading to him being placed in such an awkward situation.

It’s all that Zu An’s fault!

You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +999 Rage!

Zu An was still happily accepting the crowd’s gifts when he noticed this inflow in Rage points. He turned to look over in Hong Xingying’s direction, only to see Chu Huanzhao ordering the servants to place a massive table right before him. 

Oh? It looks like my sister-in-law is helping me get even with him, huh?

It was around then that Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru noticed the awkward position Hong Xingying was in. Chu Zhongtian glared at his younger daughter and bellowed, “Ridiculous! What are you doing?”

Chu Huanzhao pouted unhappily as she replied, “He was the one who said earlier that if my brother-in-law can win the duel, he would gobble down a table right on the spot. You should have heard him loud and clear. It’s not as if I’m forcing him into anything!”

“Enough! How can you take such jokes seriously?” Qin Wanru shot a glance at the servants, and they immediately carried the table away anxiously. “We’re all one family here. It’s also out of concern that Xingying said those words earlier. You should stop causing trouble here.”

Be it out of consideration of Butler Hong or Hong Xingying’s contribution toward the Chu clan over the last few years, Qin Wanru was obliged to stand up for him. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but think that Hong Xingying wasn’t as trustworthy as a person she thought he was.

Chu Huanzhao still wanted to argue about the matter, but her older sister tugged her arm to stop her. So, she could only turn her head away unhappily and sulk.

“Thank you, Master and Madam.” Hong Xingying quickly bowed down to thank Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru. However, he was feeling incredibly bitter inside. He could feel the piercing stares coming from the others.

It’s all Zu An’s fault!

You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for +999 Rage!

Zu An was utterly flabbergasted. What the hell? You’re blaming me for that too?

It was obvious that there was no room for reconciliation between the two of them anyway, so Zu An decided to make use of this opportunity to squeeze out as many Rage points as he could. “Actually, it’s not that hard to eat a table. You can soak it in water for a few days to soften it before munching down on it. Otherwise, you can also have it grounded and mixed in water before drinking it. If you find it flavorless, you can even coat it in flour before deep-frying it. Perhaps, you might just get addicted to the taste!”

“…” Hong Xingying.

“…” Chu Zhongtian.

“…” Qin Wanru.

What in the world did I just hear? Who in the right mind would analyze the way to eat a table?!

Qin Wanru harrumphed coldly and said, “Men, bring the casualties back to the Chu Estate first!”

She was worried that a conflict might break out if the two of them were to remain in each other’s presence, so she quickly separated them.

Zu An looked at the massive inflow of Rage points coming in and smiled in delight. Oh well, I guess I should give it a rest for now. I have to think in the long-term. If I break Hong Xingying down right now, it’ll be hard to earn anything from him in the future.

After Hong Xingying was escorted off as a ‘casualty’, the remaining members of the Chu clan also swiftly packed up and returned to the Chu Estate too.

Once they were back at the estate, Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru instructed the others to wait outside and called Zu An alone into the study room. 

Everyone thought that Zu An was going to rise through the ranks after this incident, and they started thinking about how they should get close to him. Those who had offended him in the past also felt deeply regretful as they racked their brains for ways how they could salvage their relationship with him.

Over in the study room, as soon as the doors were closed, Zu An laughed heartily and said, “Actually, you need not be too thankful to me. Chuyan is my wife, after all. It’s only right for me to do my part for the Chu clan. Of course, if you wish to reward me with 100,000 silver taels or something, I’ll humbly accept your goodwill. Otherwise, I’ll be fine with having a few beautiful maids to wait on me too.”

“…” Chu Zhongtian.

“…” Qin Wanru.

“…” Chu Chuyan.

“Dream on!” Unable to take it anymore, Qin Wanru slammed her palm on the table and questioned, “Speak! Who sent you here?”

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