Chapter 149: Addicted to Labor

Qiao Xueying finally understood that Zu An had recognized her right from the start, and he was just putting on an act to make her lower her guard so as to kill her.

She planned to make a fool out of Zu An, only to realize in the end that she was the fool all along. The explosion of embarrassment and fury in her head nearly drove her insane that very instant.

You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +1024 Rage!

She immediately gave chase right away, determined to mince that darned bastard into pieces so as to vent her anger.

Zu An ran off as fast as he could, but he realized that even while using Sunflower Phantasm, he was still unable to outrun Qiao Xueying. If not for the complicated terrain in the forest, he would have been caught by now.

After running a while, Zu An made use of an opportunity where he was in her blind spot to climb up a tree and conceal his aura, hoping that she wouldn’t find him.

Qiao Xueying chased over, only to realize that Zu An’s figure had vanished. Her footsteps gradually slowed to a leisurely stroll, and she remarked calmly, “Zu An, I’ll admit that your strength has caught me off guard. But if there’s one thing you should have never done, it’s to run into this forest.”

Zu An was stunned. It was through exploiting the terrain of the forest that he managed to get rid of Jia Zhengjing and the others, which was why he instinctively tried to emulate his previous success.

“Have you forgotten my awakened element?” 

Qiao Xueying casually raised her hand, and the leaves on the ground suddenly began moving on their own accord. Their soft surface hardened into sharp knives, and they shot straight toward where Zu An was hiding.

Zu An leaped down from the tree, knowing that the other party had already found him. He stared at her in astonishment as he asked, “You’re able to sense me?”

Qiao Xueying was in no rush to make her move. “Every tree and every grass in this forest are my eyes and ears. Where could you possibly hide?”

Zu An’s face turned grim. If what she said was true, he had really cornered himself by choosing to escape into the forest. However, he still found it hard to believe that those who had awakened the wood element would actually be powerful to this extent. At the very least, he hadn’t seen any fire element cultivators summoning magma from underground yet. 

“What’s with that slash earlier on? Why did it leave me with an overwhelming sense of dread, as if I was facing death itself?” asked Qiao Xueying. 

This was the question that had been plaguing her mind all this while. Given the disparity in their strength, there was no way Zu An’s attack could have breached her defense.

“You want to know? Call me big brother Zu, and I’ll tell you,” replied Zu An casually.

In his head, however, his mind was whirring quickly to figure a way to escape from this situation.

Qiao Xueying’s face turned cold. “It has been a while since we last met, but you’re still as hateful as ever.”

You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +400 Rage!

Zu An sighed deeply. “It has been a while since we last met, but your mouth is still as foul as ever.”

Qiao Xueying harrumphed coldly. She slowly flicked her finger upward, and the leaves in the area began dancing around her body. “I’ll break your arms and legs. Let’s see if you can still talk tough afterward.”

With a wave of her wrist, the leaves immediately whizzed toward Zu An’s limbs, moving at a speed so fast that it seemed to reach him in the blink of an eye. 

Zu An’s silhouette blurred as he dodged those leaves by a hair’s breadth. Cold sweat began trickling down his back. If not for his Sunflower Phantasm, that earlier attack would have punctured him full of holes.

Knowing that he would be a goner if he remained in a defensive position, he began charging toward Qiao Xueying to launch a new wave of offense, hoping to curb her attacks even by a little. At this point, he had already switched out to a regular sword. He was reserving Poisonous Prick for critical moments so as to avoid revealing its true nature. Otherwise, it would be much harder for him to defeat his opponents if others were guarded against it.

“Hm?” 

Zu An’s movement skill was so bizarre that Qiao Xueying was unable to make sense of it. She chose to back away for the time being, but Zu An’s sword continued to pursue her tightly, not letting her escape at all.

With a cold harrumph, she waved her hand. The leaves in the area began fluttering around her like dancing butterflies, blocking off Zu An’s attacks.

Zu An tried to approach her from different angles, but he was unable to pierce through the barrier of green leaves.

“It’s just the most ordinary Elementary Swordplay from the academy, but you were able to bring out such prowess from it. I guess it was not entirely bad luck that Yuan Wendong lost to you,” said Qiao Xueying.

If not for the huge gap in their cultivation ranks, she might not have been able to cope with him and his swordplay in a direct encounter. But of course, there was no way she would say those words aloud lest this hateful man got too gleeful.

“However, it’s all over now!”

Zu An immediately realized that things were getting bad for him. He hurriedly backed away, but countless vines were slithering across the ground like an army of snakes, rushing in his direction.

Zu An tried his best to dodge the vines with his movement skill. 

Is this the true prowess of a fifth rank cultivator? The power of elements is truly difficult for lower-ranked cultivators to cope with. Thinking back, it’s truly a relief that I prepared an electromagnet to deal with Yuan Wendong’s army of swords. Otherwise, no matter how formidable ‘Bixie Swordplay’ is, I probably won’t be able to defeat him.

Zu An’s movements grew faster and faster, but the vines in the area began weaving together to form a huge net, slowly stifling his escape routes. Slowly but surely, he was getting cornered.

Once, when he was landing on the ground, a tree branch lying on the ground suddenly morphed into a rope, catching him off guard. He lost balance for a moment before crashing into a tree. Countless vines immediately darted forth to bind him in place.

Zu An tried his best to struggle out of the vines, but he wasn’t able to break free.

Qiao Xueying slowly walked up to him with a triumphant smile hanging on her lips. “Oh? Why aren’t you running anymore?”

“You were desperately trying to get me to stay. How could I let you down?” replied Zu An.

Qiao Xueying’s face turned cold. She picked the sword he had dropped on the ground and said, “Hmph, your tongue still remains sharp even when you’re already at death’s door. Let’s see if you’ll still continue running your mouth after I sever your tongue!”

“Sever whatever you want, but at least make sure it’s a clean cut so that I can attach it back.” Zu An gulped.

Qiao Xueying burst into laughter. Perhaps it was because victory was already in her grasp, she was actually humored by Zu An’s words. “You want me to cut your tongue cleanly? That isn’t a problem at all. If you trust me, I can dice your body up clean enough so that you can reattach your body piece by piece afterward.”

“I trust you. There’s no need for you to demonstrate it,” replied Zu An hurriedly.

Qiao Xueying harrumphed. “That won’t do. You don’t have a choice here.”

Zu An sighed deeply before putting on a more severe tone, saying, “Snow, have you forgotten how it felt to give birth the last time?”

Just hearing the words ‘give birth’ was more than enough to make Snow stagger backward in horror. That excruciating pain that seemed to seep right into her bones had dealt to her a lasting trauma, such that she had many nightmares about it over the last few nights. “W-what do you mean? Were you… Were you the one who did it to me back then?!”

This was a question she had been wondering for quite some time now. She had visited many physicians to check on her condition back then, but all of them said that there was nothing wrong with her body at all. No one was able to figure out the cause of those abrupt spasms she suffered.

Most of them told her that her symptoms were identical to the labor pain suffered during childbirth. As a maiden, she felt deeply offended and angered to hear those words.

“I told you that I would give you a taste of what pregnancy feels like, but you still continue to pursue me relentlessly. Are you getting addicted to childbirth now?” 

Zu An had already decided to use his ‘Knock-You-Up Eyes’. There were only two uses remaining, but considering the current circumstances, it didn’t seem like he had any other choice now.

I was too kind the last time around, and it cost me another use of this skill. I mustn’t make the same mistake anymore.

It was at this moment that Zu An suddenly widened his eyes. He stared at something right behind Qiao Xueying in disbelief for a moment before exclaiming in surprise, “Honey, you’re here?”

This time around, Qiao Xueying didn’t even bother to turn around. She sneered coldly, “Did you think that I would fall for the same trick twice?”

But the next moment, she suddenly found her body trembling uncontrollably. A thin layer of ice had formed on her body, freezing her in place.

Chu Chuyan slowly walked over as she said, “So you were Snow. I should have guessed.”

“Y-young miss…” Qiao Xueying’s heart shuddered. 

It really is her! Damn it, it’s all Zu An’s fault! If not for him distracting me, I wouldn’t have been done in so easily!

So, she shot Zu An a glare.

You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +530 Rage!

Zu An was rendered speechless. What is wrong with this woman? The one curbing you here is Chu Chuyan! What does this have to do with me?

“Young miss? I don’t think I’m worthy of being addressed that way by you,” said Chu Chuyan.

As she spoke, she walked over to Zu An’s side. With a swipe of her hand, frost immediately cloaked the vines and weakened their structure, allowing her to break them with just a tpa of her finger.

Excited, Zu An rushed forward to give her a big hug. “How wonderful, honey! I never thought that I would meet you here. Come, give me a hug of love!”

Chu Chuyan dodged his hug with a sidestep, ignoring him altogether. She turned her eyes back onto Qiao Xueying.

Many emotions flickered across Qiao Xueying’s face, and in the end, she sighed deeply and said, “I’m deeply grateful for young miss’ care and concern over the years. It’s just that I already have a master, so I ask for your forgiveness.”

“Who’s the master you speak of? Shi Kun?” asked Chu Chuyan.

Qiao Xueying shook her head and said, “I apologize, but I cannot reveal that to you.”

Chu Chuyan frowned. She wasn’t sure about how she should deal with the current situation either. In the midst of this silence, Zu An stepped forward and offered a solution, “Isn’t this easy to deal with? Ask her any question you want to, and if she refuses to answer or lies, I’ll strip off a piece of her clothing. If she refuses to speak till the end, I’ll take off all of her clothes and tie her to a tree at the entrance of the forest so that everyone can admire her body.”

“…” Chu Chuyan.

Qiao Xueying’s body trembled in fury. “You bastard!”

You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +1024 Rage!

Zu An sighed softly and said, “You also know that you serve a different master, so you should have known what your plight would be if you got caught. If you’re going to continue insisting on your silence, I’m going to start.”

He picked his sword back up and pointed it toward her robe.

Chu Chuyan stepped forward and stopped him. “Enough. It won’t do to humiliate a woman like this.”

Zu An shrugged. “We’re the only ones here. You’re a woman, and I’ve already seen everything her body has to offer. How can this be considered a humiliation?”

Chu Chuyan found herself at a loss for words. For some reason, Zu An’s words always had their own twisted logic that made it hard to argue against him.

Qiao Xueying glared at Zu An so sharply that it felt like daggers were going to fly right out of her eyes. That matter was her greatest shame, but this man actually spoke of it as if it was nothing at all.

You have trolled Qiao Xueying for +512 Rage!

Chu Chuyan waved her hand and dispelled the frost shrouding Qiao Xueying’s body. “Leave.”

Qiao Xueying was stunned. “You’re letting me off?”

“Your motives for approaching me were impure, but it doesn’t change the fact that we had been sisters for many years. I can’t bring myself to take your life. I wish you all the best from now onward,” said Chu Chuyan.

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