Zu An’s heart skipped a beat. He knew that he couldn’t possibly fool Old Mi with the same excuse he used for Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru. Of everyone in the Chu Estate, the one person who knew Zu An’s circumstances the best was no other than Old Mi. The latter knew that he was just an ordinary human a month ago, only embarking on the journey of a cultivator through the cultivation technique the latter imparted to him.
“How did you raise your cultivation that quickly?” Seeing how Zu An wasn’t answering, Old Mi repeated his question once more, but his tone was much more impatient this time around.
“I think it’s because I’m still young, that’s why I’m cultivating a bit faster?” It took Zu An some effort to squeeze out an excuse.
However, Old Mi simply glared at him coldly, not bothering to respond at all.
Zu An’s face heated up. This excuse sounded ridiculous even to him. So, he pondered once again before replying, “I entered the academy. The academy distributes ki stones to each of us to use in our cultivation. On top of that, the ki in the academy is much richer, so…”
Before he could finish his words, Old Mi had already interjected once more, “Even with ki stones, there’s no way you could have progressed that quickly. Besides, the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra relies mainly on getting beaten up to raise your cultivation. Ki stones have limited effectiveness for you.”
Zu An was surprised to hear those words. Old Mi mentioned that ki stones had limited effectiveness, not that it was completely useless. Yet, why did it not work for him?
He thought about how the system had turned the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra into a series of formations within his body. Could it be that the way he was practicing the cultivation technique was different from how it was supposed to be, resulting in some divergence? As a result of that, he could only raise his cultivation through getting beaten up or consuming Ki Fruits.
Thinking deeper into it, he felt that it wasn’t too bad since Ki Fruits were much easier to obtain than ki stones.
While Zu An was distracted, Old Mi had finally lost his patience. He reached out to grab Zu An’s hand to check on his condition personally.
Zu An was still feeling gleeful at having defeated two experts on the dueling ring, but to his astonishment, he couldn’t even dodge a casual grab from Old Mi. He tried to pull his arm out, but Old Mi’s hand was like a metal claw firmly latched on.
“The hell! Just how powerful is this old man?” Zu An was alarmed.
“Hm?” exclaimed Old Mi in surprise. He flicked his long fingernail on Zu An’s fingertip and created a small incision. Then, he squeezed out a small droplet of blood.
He brought the droplet of blood up to his nose to have a whiff of it, and his body immediately jolted in shock. He looked at Zu An with eyes filled with disbelief as he asked, “Transcendent class aptitude?”
Zu An’s heart skipped a beat. He remembered the warning Jiang Luofu had given him regarding how he shouldn’t reveal his aptitude level to others. So, he feigned ignorance and said, “What transcendent class aptitude?”
However, Old Mi disregarded his words and reached out to grab his collars. He looked at Zu An with heated eyes as he asked anxiously, “What happened to you during this period of time? How did your aptitude suddenly rise by so much?”
He was certain that Zu An’s aptitude was only at lower Ding a month ago, yet it suddenly rose to the legendary transcendent class aptitude. How could he possibly not be surprised?
Zu An knew that it was impossible for him to hide it anymore, so he quickly cooked up an excuse and said, “I’m not too sure either. I think it might be related to that wild fruit I ate the last time I was at the city suburbs.”
“What wild fruit?” Old Mi asked on. “How does it look like? Describe it to me.”
“Errr…” Zu An hesitated for a moment before continuing on. “It’s oval in shape, and its exterior is red in color. The fruit is covered with scalelike protrusions with sharp tips. The fruit has a thick skin that feels a bit wax, and its flesh is red in color. There are lots of black bits embedded in its flesh…”
Picturing the fruit based on Zu An’s description, Old Mi began murmuring under his breath. Could it be the legendary Dhara Scales? No, that isn’t right. The color of the flesh is a little different. Cold it be the Redcloud Divine Fruit then? The exterior looks different though. What could it possibly be…”
Zu An almost burst into laughter there and then. You’d be a god if you could guess it. That’s a dragonfruit from my previous life! I don’t think I’ve heard of it anywhere ever since arriving in this world.
“It looks like you’ve stumbled upon a fortuitous encounter, obtaining a fruit that could alter your aptitude. However, it’s hard for me to imagine why a treasure of such a tier would actually be in the Hidden Dragon Mountain,” said Old Mi.
Zu An chuckled in response, “I guess dumb people are compensated by their luck.”
A frightening smile surfaced on Old Mi’s aged face. He patted Zu An’s shoulder and said, “Wonderful. The higher your aptitude, the more heartened I am.”
“Thank you for your concern, elder,” replied Zu An. He looked at this still bleeding fingertip as he reassessed his evaluation of Old Mi. All along, he thought of Old Mi as a ‘grandfather gift pack’ accorded to newbie transmigrators so as to kick them off on their journey. However, it looked like he was sorely mistaken here. There was no one who would selflessly impart their teachings to a stranger for no good reason…
“You didn’t use the Sunflower Phantasm in the tournament today, right?” asked Old Mi.
“I didn’t. I used the modified version you imparted to me, and it looks like it was more than enough.” Had it been before, Zu An might have just confessed that he had used a move from the Sunflower Phantasm at the very last instant in order to deal with Yuan Wenji, but he felt that he couldn’t trust Old Mi anymore.
“That’s good,” replied Old Mi with a nod. He also thought that his movement skill would be more than enough to deal with most low-level cultivators, so he didn’t harbor any doubts toward Zu An’s words. “Alright, you should rest for now.”
After saying those words, he began staggering his way out. Despite his seemingly slow movements, it took only a few moments for his silhouette to completely vanish from view.
Zu An finally heaved a long sigh of relief. Somehow, being in Old Mi’s presence made him feel incredibly pressured.
It looks like I need to prepare a countermeasure against Old Mi…
There was a problem here though. The pressure that Old Mi exerted on him earlier was even greater than what he had felt from Yuan Zhengchu and the others when they charged at him earlier today. This proved that Old Mi was indubitably an incredibly powerful cultivator, and this only left Zu An’s heart feeling even heavier.
Heaving a deep sigh, he closed his door.
As per usual, he started off with washing his hands and face. Now that he was a bit more well-to-do, he even bought from fragrance and joss sticks in order to upgrade his ritual. As they say, the Goddess of Luck shines on those who are prepared.
Once all preparatory work was completed, Zu An dived into his lottery. He had accumulated a total of 58,835 Rage points thus far. Most of it had come from the splash damage he had dealt upon the spectators. Indeed, a good performance needed to be enjoyed by a huge audience!
Should I try to hug Jiang Luofu’s leg in public next time?
Zu An quickly dispelled that thought from his mind. While he would surely make a killing out of his Rage points, he might just end up dead from that.
He drew the lottery as per usual, but he didn’t obtain anything special. His total loot was only 59 Ki Fruits, which was pretty disappointing though it was within expectations. He swallowed the Ki Fruits and filled the fourth formation by roughly a third.
Seeing this, he couldn’t help but sigh deeply. He was only at the fourth step of the third rank, but the amount of Rage points he needed to make a breakthrough was already an astronomical sum. He couldn’t imagine how he could possibly rake up enough Rage points for subsequent breakthroughs.
All of a sudden, someone knocked on his door, and Cheng Shouping’s fawning voice sounded, “Young master, let’s go redeem the bet paper. It’s 1,000,000 silver taels!”
Zu An’s eyes immediately lit up as his low spirits cleared up in an instant. There had been too many things going on that he nearly forgot about this.
Zu An charged out of the door, only to quickly return back in. “No, this won’t do. I need to find someone to accompany me.”
While his winnings this time around wasn’t as exaggerated as what he had earned from the Silverhook Casino the last time around, it was still no small sum. Just the few guards from the Chu clan might not be sufficient to get the matter done. He needed to find a reliable backing here.
In the end, he felt that his wife was still the most reliable one of all. After the previous incident, she had experience handling things relating to the casino now.
Meanwhile, Chu Chuyan was in the midst of circulating her ki through her body to recuperate from her injuries. All of a sudden, an unnatural tinge of redness filler her face, and she abruptly lurched forward and sprouted a mouthful of blood. Shockingly, there were a few small shards of ice in her blood.
Confusion flickered across her face as she murmured in disbelief, “How could this be…”
“Honey, honey~” It was then that a familiar, light-hearted voice sounded from the outside.
She quickly waved her sleeves, and the puddle of blood vanished without a trace. Following that, Zu An barged right in. “Hm? Honey, what are you doing lying on the bed in the middle of the day? Are you trying to invite me to join you?”
Chu Chuyan nearly choked. It’s like this fellow is incapable of spouting anything good. “What are you doing here?”
Zu An said with a sheepish smile, “I want to invite you out for a walk.”
Chu Chuyan closed her eyes once more as she replied placidly, “I’ll pass.”
She still remembered how she was duped by Zu An the last time around and ended up becoming a spectacle on the street. She reckoned that he was doing the same this time around to satisfy his vanity.
“Err… Alright, I’ll be honest with you. I’m heading down to a casino to collect a payment, but I’m afraid that they might attempt to pull something. I’ll feel more assured with you by my side,” said Zu An with a smile. “I’ll split a portion of it with you!”
“You went to gamble again?” Chu Chuyan opened her eyes right away and stared at Zu An in displeasure.
“It’s not a gamble; I’m just collecting school fees. You see, they actually dared to put a ridiculous 1:100 payout on me! As an arithmetic teacher, I feel obliged to teach them basic math so that they’ll understand the importance of risk control in the case of freak accidents. It’s not like I’m taking a lot from them anyway,” answered Zu An vehemently.
“You can phrase it however you want to, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re gambling,” Chu Chuyan harrumphed. “The Chu clan has strict rules against gambling. I already made an exception by following you to the Silverhook Casino the last time around; there’s no way I’ll do it again.”
“At least do it on the account that I’ve made such a huge contribution to the Chu clan. I mean, instead of rewarding my merits, you all ended up interrogating me instead. Now, you wouldn’t even accompany me out for a walk. Hmph, it looks like there’s no point staying at the Chu clan anymore!” Zu An harrumphed lividly before stomping his way out.
“Where are you going?” Taken aback by Zu An’s sudden tantrum, Chu Chuyan asked in bewilderment.
“I’m going to announce to the world that we’re divorcing one another!” Zu An waved his hand as he continued heading out without the slightest hesitation.
“Come back here!” Chu Chuyan cried out in alarm.
It wasn’t easy for her to find a fitting husband to shield her from the other pursuers aiming for the Chu clan. If Zu An were to leave, how in the world was she going to find another one?
Besides, even if she could find someone who fit the criteria, surely she, as the proud first miss of the Chu clan, couldn’t possibly marry twice, right? That would be a huge embarrassment, as well as a scandal.
However, Zu An paid her no heed at all. He continued heading out as if he couldn’t hear her. So, Chu Chuyan bit her lips and dashed right in front to stop him. “Fine fine, I’ll accompany you, alright?”
“Really?” It was hard for Zu An to stop his lips from curling up. He never thought that the usual tricks used by vixens in soap operas would be effective even for men. If he refuses, cry. If crying doesn’t work, throw a tantrum. If even throwing a tantrum doesn’t work, threaten him with your life!
“Of course!” replied Chu Chuyan. “Only this time!”
Zu An contemplated for a moment longer before adding, “I also want to sleep with you later tonight. Otherwise, I’ll announce to the world that we’re divorcing one another!”
“Go ahead then!” Chu Chuyan eyed Zu An coldly.
Zu An nearly choked. Hey, you are supposed to follow the script here. “We don’t need to share a bed. Even just being in the same room is fine with me.”
Chu Chuyan turned around and walked off, saying, “If you don’t catch up, I won’t even bother going to the casino with you.”
“Wait a moment, does that mean that you’re agreeing to my request?”
Having learned from her previous lesson, Chu Chuyan insisted on taking the carriage this time around. It didn’t take them long to arrive at the entrance of the Four Seas Casino. This was where Cheng Shouping made his bet the last time around.
“Go and redeem the prize,” Zu An passed the bet paper to Cheng Shouping and instructed.
“Alright!” Cheng Shouping’s eyes immediately lit up. He was more than willing to do fun tasks like this. He puffed up his chest and walked up to the counter, smacking the bet paper down loudly. With a voice loud enough for everyone in the casino to hear, he shouted, “Manager, I’ve struck the lottery. Pay up my 1,000,000 silver taels!”
As one could expect, it immediately caught the attention of everyone in the casino.
The manager’s face immediately darkened. He shot a look at the person behind him before gritting his teeth. He took the bet paper and tore it into shreds, saying, “Where did this swindler come from? How dare you take a fake bet paper to fool us? Men, chase him out!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter