Chapter 132: Murder Ploy

Mei Chaofeng’s face darkened. He pointed out grimly, “I’m not useless. I still have the Plum Blossom Sect.”

To be frank, he was unwilling to assassinate Zu An. It was bound to be an incredibly dangerous undertaking, for Zu An was no longer the same person he used to be. On top of that, even if he succeeded, he wouldn’t be able to stay in Brightmoon City anymore. Both the Chu clan and Brightmoon Academy wouldn’t let this matter rest easily.

He was the sect master of the Plum Blossom Sect, but he was being treated as a sacrificial pawn here!

“The Plum Blossom Sect?” Shi Lezhi sneered coldly. “The news that you have killed Plum Blossom Thirteen has already gotten out, and it hasn’t been long since you killed Plum Blossom Seven too. Those subordinates of yours have already lost their respect and loyalty for you. You can’t be thinking that you’re still the same high and mighty sect master you were, right?”

Mei Chaofeng gritted his teeth furiously. 

I also knew that killing Plum Blossom Seven would make my subordinates lose trust in me, but what choice did I have? Young master Shi issued a direct command to me!

Plum Blossom Thirteen was my most trusted aide, but your Shi clan forced me to kill him in order to put your plan into action. Yet, you’re blaming all of these on me now?

Mei Chaofeng felt incredibly indignant, but knowing the current position he was in, he dared not to voice his thoughts aloud.

“Let’s get out of here first.” Even with Shi Lezhi’s powerful cultivation, he dared not to get careless here. Raiding a prison was definitely not a small matter. If he were to get caught, even the Shi clan would suffer a huge backlash.

The two of them quickly left the prison to head for a remote residence within the city.

“You shouldn’t return to the Plum Blossom Sect for the time being. Once they notice that you’re gone, they would surely issue an arrest warrant for you. Rest here for the time being instead,” said Shi Lezhi.

Mei Chaofeng looked at the dilapidated walls around him as he thought about how he was still feasting on meat, gulping down wine, and surrounded by beautiful women yesterday. He couldn’t help but wonder how he had fallen so low in the blink of an eye.

Noticing the dissatisfied look in Mei Chaofeng’s eyes, Shi Lezhi said, “You need not get too depressed. Once you’ve accomplished the young master’s mission, you’ll be able to live grandly as you previously did in another city.”

Mei Chaofeng frowned. “Killing Zu An is not hard at all, but the problem is that he has the protection of the Chu clan. He has guards with him wherever he goes, and he spends his time either in the academy or the Chu clan. There’s no chance to assassinate him at all!”

If we could kill Zu An that easily, why would we even bother plotting the earlier scheme for him? We would have just assassinated him outright!

“Don’t worry, we’ve found a way to kill him,” replied Shi Lezhi.

“Oh? What is it?” Mei Chaofeng’s interest was piqued. He would love nothing more than to kill that bastard with his own hands and vent his anger.

“Do you remember the bizarre melody he played on the dueling ring yesterday?” asked Shi Lezhi.

“Of course I do! He calls it bee gee em or something,” replied Mei Chaofeng in a huff. Even he had to admit that the melody was quite cool, albeit excessive.

“Zu An uses a seashell to play the music, and based on the results of our investigation, the seashell is the personal possession of a foreign language teacher of Brightmoon Academy. It seems like she has never lent it to anyone else before,” said Shi Lezhi.

Mei Chaofeng was surprised. “Is that fellow involved with Shang Liuyu too?”

Zu An’s wife was the number one beauty of Brightmoon City, and he was rumored to be in a relationship with many beautiful women in the academy too. To this day, the legend of the Moochlord was still spreading all around the city, creating a huge hype.

Mei Chaofeng could understand if that was all there was to it. Those women were mostly young lasses who tended to be gullible after all. But who could have thought that even a gorgeous, mature woman like Shang Liuyu would be involved with that fellow too? 

He began doubting his own common sense. Are men like Zu An in trend nowadays?

He thought about how he could only toy with women like Madam Zhang—and it even brought him trouble in the end!—whereas Zu An was involved with several of the most beautiful and distinguished women in Brightmoon City all at once. This disparity left him feeling so sour as if he had been plunged into a vat of vinegar. He was envious.

“We don’t know what his relationship with Shang Liuyu is, but it seems like they are quite close with one another,” said Shi Lezhi. 

“Tomorrow, when he arrives at the academy, we’ll ask him out for a private meeting using Shang Liuyu’s name. In one of your reports to the young master, you mentioned that Plum Blossom Thirteen spotted them together in a gazebo near the academy. We’ll ask him out there. I reckon that he wouldn’t turn down the invitation.”

“Very well. I’ll make sure to tear off that bastard’s kin and rip off his tendons so as to vent my anger!” Mei Chaofeng clenched his fists tightly.

… 

You have successfully trolled Mei Chaofeng for +812 Rage!

Looking at the sudden inflow of Rage points, Zu An snorted. That fellow sure carries a huge grudge for me. Oh well, he’s locked behind bars right now, so he’s no longer a threat anymore.

So, he turned his attention back to Chu Chuyan and said, “Honey, you really aren’t going to consider allowing me to move over? I mean, you even went to the extent of admitting to sleeping with me in public!”

“What about it?” Chu Chuyan’s tone was impassive.

“Just think about it! What a loss it would be if you have to bear such a reputation when we aren’t even staying together, right?” explained Zu An. “It’s out of consideration for you that I’m suggesting for us to stay together with one another!”

“…” Chu Chuyan.

Knowing that it was impossible for her to win this thick-skinned man in an argument, she decisively shut her doors on him.

Zu An’s nose was nearly struck by the slamming doors, and he hurriedly backed away in fear. Then, he sighed deeply. “Haaa, it looks like there’s still a long way to go.”

Meanwhile, at the master bedroom of the Chu Estate, Chu Zhongtian explained everything that had happened in the courtroom to his wife. In the end, he concluded wistfully, “Ah Zu looks like a reckless person on the surface, and his words tend to be jarring too. However, he has a sharp mind that allows him to analyze a problem and tackle it at its roots. There were many times where I was still in the midst of processing the situation when he had already launched a counterattack.”

“Is he really that formidable?” asked Qin Wanru skeptically.

“I’ve already told you everything that happened, so you should be able to come to a judgment yourself. If you still reserve some doubts about this matter, you can seek Chuyan for further clarifications too.” Chu Zhongtian was a little displeased to hear his wife’s doubt. Do I look like someone who just runs my mouth without careful thought?

Qin Wanru frowned. “Then why does he portray himself as a good-for-nothing all these years?”

Chu Zhongtian shook his head. “I don’t know either. We should find a suitable time to ask him about it.”

“Say, is it possible for him to be a spy sent by other clans?” asked Qin Wanru.

“It doesn’t seem like it,” replied Chu Zhongtian. “To be honest, I was indeed surprised when he won the Clans Tournament back then, but I didn’t think much about it. After all, he’s only at the third rank. However, his performance in the courtroom today made him realize that he’s a person with keen situation awareness. I think it’s more likely that Chuyan just happened to stumble upon a good husband.”

“You shouldn’t come to a conclusion that quickly.” Qin Wanru harrumphed. “Have you forgotten Chu Chuyan’s intention for seeking a husband? If Zu An is as capable as you put him out to be, and he intentionally hid his capability thus far, there’s a good chance that he might have his own plans in mind. His presence might not necessarily be a blessing for the Chu clan.”

“Surely it’s not as severe as you think?” replied Chu Zhongtian sheepishly.

“Have you forgotten about our Youzhao?” exclaimed Qin Wanru. “We might be able to keep his conditions under wraps from outsiders, but there’s no way we can hide it from Zu An for long. If Zu An learns of Youzhao’s condition and bears ill will toward him, what will become of our Chu clan? By then, what will happen to our Chuyan? She would be put in a difficult position!”

Chu Zhongtian hesitated for a moment and said, “If that’s the case, we should consider having Chuyan inherit the Chu clan. She has sacrificed too much for the Chu clan over the years.”

“But the royal court and the other clans would never approve of it!” Qin Wanru sighed deeply. “Forget it. We’ll just have to take a step at a time and see how it goes.”

… 

The following morning, Zu An woke up and headed for Brightmoon Academy. Now that he was a teacher, attending the academy didn’t feel like a chore anymore. On the contrary, he looked forward to exploiting his authority as a teacher everyday.

Chu Huanzhao wanted to accompany him to the academy, but Qin Wanru stopped her. The latter felt that her second daughter was getting far too close to her brother-in-law, so under the pretext that she was still injured from the Clans Tournament, she insisted on having her rest at home.

As for Chu Chuyan, she hardly went to the academy in the first place, not to mention that she was also injured at the moment. Naturally, she didn’t go with Zu An either.

Due to that, Zu An’s silhouette looked particularly lonesome today… Well, that lackey Cheng Shouping couldn’t really be considered as a companion after all!

Earlier in the morning, the Chu clan received the news that Mei Chaofeng had escaped from prison. Out of worry, Chu Zhongtian assigned more guards to Zu An’s side in order to protect him. These guards were from the Red Cloak Army, and they were skilled in collaborative assault. Even when faced with an enemy of higher cultivation rank, they could at least hold their own until reinforcement arrived.

So, Zu An was able to arrive at Brightmoon Academy without any problem. He was a little disappointed as he thought that Mei Chaofeng would try to spring an assault on him on the way, but it turned out that he was just a coward who had chosen to hole himself up.

To be frank, he was even more infuriated at the City Lord Estate. He didn’t think that they would be so incompetent as to allow Mei Chaofeng to escape from prison. Had it not been for the fact that they were in King Qi’s faction, he would have thought that the City Lord Estate had intentionally let Mei Chaofeng loose.

Having arrived at the academy, Zu An looked at the ravishing youthful women walking by him, and he suddenly felt refreshed. This was much more of a pleasing sight than the disgusting Shit Kun and Mei Chaofeng.

Seeing that there was still some time before the first class, he headed over to Shang Liuyu’s residence, intending to use the pretext of returning her recording seashell to her in order to visit her.

This was a trick he had learned from his peers in his previous life. One of the most common tricks they used to approach a woman was to borrow some of their items so that they could ask them out to return it later on. By repeating this process several times, it was only a matter of time before they got close to one another.

He skipped merrily all the way to Shang Liuyu’s residence and knocked on her door. When the door finally opened, he saw a properly-dressed Shang Liuyu sitting on a swing in the courtyard, stroking her zither lightly. 

What a bummer. I thought that I might be able to see her in her sleepwear or something by coming by earlier.

There was a smile on Shang Liuyu’s face as she took her seashell back from Zu An. “It looks like you have stirred quite a storm over the last two days. Your name has been echoing through the streets of the entire Brightmoon City.”

“You don’t look too surprised,” remarked Zu An.

Even quietly watching the woman before him was enough to make Zu An feel fulfilled. It was no wonder why people called it ‘feast for the eyes’.

“Someone who’s able to compose that kind of melody can’t possibly be a wastrel.” Shang Liuyu gently stroked her zither, and a soothing note played under her fingers.

Zu An laughed. “You do have sharp eyes! I have innumerable strengths hidden within me. You’ll soon come to realize that I have a treasure trove in me waiting to be uncovered!”

“…” Shang Liuyu.

She had no idea how to respond to those words at all. As if reflecting her feelings, a slight dissonance emerged in the melody she was playing.

Zu An continued hanging around for a bit longer before finally taking his leave. When he finally walked out of Shang Liuyu’s residence, his footsteps were lighter than ever. Be it her euphonious voice or the melodious tunes she played, it made him feel like he was having an eargasm.

Not too long after returning to his classroom, a student suddenly stuffed a paper note into his hands, saying, “Teacher Shang told me to pass this to you!”

Zu An was taken aback. He unfolded the paper note and read its message: See you in the gazebo two hours from now.

Hm? Could this possibly be the start of the legendary confession scene I’ve seen so often in dramas and animes?

However, he quickly tossed away that thought. Something smells very fishy here. We have just met one another a moment ago, so how could she possibly be in such a rush to ask me out once more?

No matter how narcissistic he was, he didn’t think that his charm was great enough to make the mild-tempered Shang Liuyu approach him so proactively.

More importantly, there was no way Shang Liuyu would task a student to pass a note to him on her behalf. This could easily spark rumors about their relationship in the academy, and it was something which she had been careful to avoid thus far. 

He thought about how Mei Chaofeng had escaped from prison earlier in the morning, and a moment later, he decisively made his way toward the administrative office.

It didn’t take long for him to arrive in the Principal’s Office, where Jiang Luofu sat in her chair with her long legs resting casually on the flower pots in front of her.

Light grey color!

It was amazing how the color of Jiang Luofu’s stockings was constantly changing, though what was even more remarkable was how everything simply looked nice on her. 

It looks like having beautiful legs is the key here.

Yup, I’m definitely not ogling over here. I’m just looking at it on Wei Suo’s behalf in case he asks me about it.

“You’re here. It just so happens that I was about to look for you.” Before Zu An could reveal the purpose behind his arrival, Jiang Luofu had already spoken up in advance.

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