Chapter 2: Murderous Ploy

Upon seeing the confused look on Zu An’s face, Chu Chuyan said slowly, “I don’t care where you heard this phrase from. In the future, do not ask any questions regarding it. Otherwise, you’ll get yourself killed.”

Zu An was secretly speechless. Oh, sweet lord. Looks like these Unknowable Regions are gonna be trouble. Suddenly, he paused. That means this goddamn keyboard is trolling me! If even asking about it is going to get me killed, how am I supposed to get some ‘secret manuals’ from these places to unlock the various functions?

He took a deep breath. Ah, forget it. Even if I don’t get a special ability from the start, so what? To start this transmigration with such a hot wife is a stroke of decent luck. I’ll work everything else out.

As for the obvious difference in status between his wife and himself, he wasn’t too worried. He had read many webnovels in the past with similar situations, and he would use the techniques he read from some of the best male leads in similar situations, like Xiang Shaolong [1], Wei Xiaobao [2], or Song Qingshu [3]. Even if you are a glacier, I’m sure I can melt you.

Just imaging how, the previous night, he had shared a bed with this fairy-like beauty was enough to get his heart pumping. Whoah, boy. Calm down, and wipe that drool. Keep it cool.

Zu An didn’t continue this line of questioning, as he didn’t want to arouse any suspicions. His wife clearly had no interest in conversing further with him, and so he glanced out the window to look at their surroundings.

A short while later, he could see city walls appearing in the difference. Judging from their size, if this city was transported to ancient China it would’ve still been a large one.

As they entered through the city gates, he noticed that above the gates were written three giant characters – BRIGHT MOON CITY. He mused to himself, I should find a chance to buy a map and see where this city is located in the empire. The original owner of this body was so useless that he lacked even this sort of rudimentary knowledge.

He continued to sneak glances at the streets of the city. Although they couldn’t compare to modern city downtowns, the streets were still quite bustling, filled with people and tradesmen. What surprised him the most, however, was that the carriage didn’t jolt from bumps at all. It continued to move through the streets as smoothly as though he was riding in the finest of cars back home.

Suddenly, he noticed that some faint blue lines were flowing through the insides of the carriage. It almost looked like a series of electric circuits. Is this one of the legendary ‘formations’? They’re using a formation on a carriage? That’s pretty extravagant.

Time passed. They finally arrived at a large estate, with two giant stone sculptures situated right in front of it. He wasn’t sure what creatures these sculptures depicted; they looked like a mixture of tigers and lions, and emanated a strange aura of power.

The carriage came to a halt. The white-dressed Chu Chuyan stepped out of the carriage, lotus petals blooming beneath her with each step, then walked straight through the gates. 

Zu An snuck a glance at his surroundings. He saw a placard with the words ‘CHU ESTATE’ located above the gates. He secretly muttered to himself. Eeesh! Does this guy’s life suck so much that he lives with his wife’s family? So he married into her family, rather than the reverse? No wonder everyone makes fun of him!

He began to stride forwards, only to be blocked by Snow once more. “Don’t even think about entering through the main gates. Off to the side gates with you!”

Zu An blinked. “Why can’t I go through the main gates?”

Snow pursed his lips. “The main gates are for the Chu clansmen to pass through. How could a drafted son-in-law like you qualify? You’d sully the clan gates.”[4]

Zu An calmly stared at her. “You got a pretty nasty mouth on you. I bet your boyfriend has a bad case of herpes.”

Although Snow didn’t really know what this meant, she was sure it was an insult. Furious, she grabbed him by the shirt and moved as though she was going to strike him. Unexpectedly, before her fist had actually connected, Zu An immediately fell to the ground by her feet and started to scream ‘in pain’.

I… didn’t even hit him yet? A stupefied look was on Snow’s face. Clearly, ‘flopping’ wasn’t a thing in this world.

Chu Chuyan turned to look at them. “You are being too impudent. No matter what, he’s the Chu clan’s son-in-law. In the future, you are not to treat him this way.”

A wronged look was on Snow’s face, but she didn’t dare argue. “Understood.”

Chu Chuyan glanced at Zu An. “Can you get up now?”

Zu An quickly clambered to his feet, then said with a cheeky grin, “I knew you cared about me.”

Chu Chuyan frowned, subconsciously taking a step back and putting some more distance between them. She then turned and began to walk inside. Her voice floated back: “Father and Mother are waiting inside. Stop wasting time.”

“Just think about what you did last night! Now, you are pretending that nothing happened? Shameless! I’m eager to see what the old master and the old mistress are gonna do to you!” Snow gave him a nasty glance, then quickly trotted in to follow her young mistress.

Only then did Zu An recollect the conversation he had overheard earlier. Apparently, the previous Zu An had clambered into his sister-in-law’s bed last night? Oh, god. Apparently I’m starting this game on Hell difficulty!

His eyes spun about in thought, then he suddenly grabbed his head while calling out, “My head hurts!” At the same time, he ‘fell’ towards the two women… but both stepped to the side, letting him crash to the ground.

This time, Zu An really was in so much pain that he was about to cry, but he didn’t dare make a sound. Clearly, using the same trick twice wasn’t going to work. The people here clearly aren’t honest and guileless. They catch on immediately!

“Why didn’t you catch him?” Chu Chuyan glanced at Snow in irritation.

Snow’s little mouth twitched. “You didn’t catch him either, young mistress. Besides, I’m pretty sure he’s faking it.”

Chu Chuyan gave the fallen Zu An a glance, then said, “I heard he was hit by lightning today. Perhaps he really is injured. Take him back and let him get some rest. Give him a bath as well. I’ll let my parents know.” After speaking, she walked away gracefully.

There was nothing Snow could do but arrange for two manservants to bring over a litter and carry Zu An over to one side.

On the litter, Zu An was feeling rather puzzled. He had apparently clambered into his sister-in-law’s bed the night of the wedding, but Chu Chuyan didn’t reprove him for it at all. In fact, she didn’t even look angry. Is her little sister adopted? He mused, his thoughts rather impure.

They entered a doorway, moved through a long pathway, past a rock garden, then arrived by the side of a pavilion. It was an incredibly winding route they took, and upon reaching the pavilion Snow suddenly said, “Put him here for now. Let’s go get a few buckets of water so he can bathe himself.”

Zu An stealthily opened his eyes after hearing the footsteps move away. He had been placed within a gazebo next to a small pond. Seeing that nobody was nearby, he clambered to his feet. He glanced down into the water, only to see that his hair was completely tousled and his face was scorched black. No wonder my freebie wife had that look of disgust on her face when she saw me!

Suddenly, he felt surge of power push against him from behind, sending him flying straight into the pool.

“Heeeelp!   HEEELP!”

Actually, he had swam in rivers ever since he was young, so there was no way he could possibly drown in a small pond like this. However, he was fairly certain that just now someone had kicked him into the water. He didn’t know what was going on, so he put on a pretense of being unable to swim.

He could vaguely make out a willowy form standing by the side of the water, smiling coldly at him. Zu An was shocked. Why does Snow want to kill me? Is this some sort of scheme that my freebie wife concocted with an illicit lover? Or is it the Chu clan which has felt ashamed by what happened and has decided to use an ‘accident’ to dispose of this son-in-law of theirs?

Multiple possibilities flitted through his head. Moments later, he pretended to have drowned to death and let his body simply float at the top of the water.

“He’s dead already? He got off easy,” the nearby Snow chirped in surprise. She then tossed out a ribbon from within her sleeves and hooked it around the ‘corpse’ floating in the pond.

Zu An was startled. So this little wench knows martial arts? It seemed as though he would have to be even more cautious of her.

Snow squatted down by the water, then reached out towards his neck to test his pulse. Right at this moment, the ‘dead’ Zu An suddenly opened his eyes and blasted a mouthful of water into Snow’s face. As Snow instinctively closed her eyes, he immediately pulled her into his arms and then dragged her back into the water with him.

Snow knew that she had just fallen for a trap. She subconsciously began to circulate her internal energy to beat him up, but as soon as she opened her mouth she suddenly swallowed a large mouthful of water.

Garg.   Garg. Although she knew martial arts, this was an era in which almost no women knew how to swim. In the span of just a few seconds, she had already choked down quite a few mouthfuls of water. She struggled to pull herself back towards the edge of the pond, but there was nothing she could reach.

Panicked, she suddenly twitched her hand and sent out another white ribbon. This one latched around a pole near the water’s edge. Just as she was about to use it to pull herself back onto land, Zu An latched onto her with both his arms and his legs, clutching at her like an octopus and making it impossible for her to exert any strength.

Snow was both humiliated and enraged by Zu An pressing himself so tightly against her body. She frantically tried to struggle, but Zu An’s swimming abilities were just too much. With her in his clutches, he sank deeper and deeper into the water. After choking on multiple mouthfuls of water, her vision slowly began to grow hazy.

Zu An could sense that her struggling movements were was beginning to fade away. Guess that’s about it. He finally pulled her out from the water.

Her eyes were shut, while here eyelids were quivering. She really did have an elegant nose, and also had a pair of cherry-red lips. She clearly looked like a delicate beauty… but her words were vicious, and her heart was rather viperish. It’d be wonderful if she was a mute.

“So. What should I do now?” Zu An mused to himself, quickly running through the possibilities. Someone in this estate wanted to kill him. Staying here was too dangerous. But, if he was to run away… even if he somehow made it through the great gates of the estate, he would be completely penniless and also lack knowledge regarding this world. He’d probably starve to death in days.

Considering the shameful acts ‘he’ had just carried out yesterday, if he actually killed someone today? The government would definitely pursue him as a criminal.

Wait a sec. Since someone was trying to make his death look like an accident, that meant they were afraid to openly kill him. Fine. I’ll take this gamble.

He lowered his head, pressing his ear against Snow’s chest. There’s no heartbeat! He couldn’t help but feel shocked, and immediately decided to use CPR chest compressions to try and bring her back to life.

As he loosened her robes, a large amount of candied fruits and nuts and other snacks fell out. He was stupefied upon seeing this. “She eats a lot. How the hell is she so skinny?” But it was no time for pondering this question. He placed both his hands against her chest and began to use CPR.

Even after twenty chest compressions, she still didn’t respond in the slightest. Just as he was about to start trying out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, he suddenly heard an icy voice from behind: “What are you doing?”

Zu An looked back, only to see the frosty-faced Chu Chuyan standing nearby. He subconsciously looked down at Snow. Her hair was tousled, her dress was open, her undergarments and her pale skin could vaguely be seen… and his hands were pressed upon her chest.

“Uh… would you believe me if I said I was trying to rescue her?” Zu An said seriously. At the same time, he subconsciously gave another press to her chest.

Chu Chuyan walked over, a calm look on her face. “Move aside.” She gauged Snow’s condition for a moment, then quickly began to tap various points on her body, her fingers moving like a blur.

Zu An couldn’t help but rub his eyes. Sweet mother of god. So my freebie wife is also a kungfu master?! But it made sense, given that even a maid like Snow knew martial arts. So. Is my freebie wife the one who wants me dead?

“Wifey dearest, how good is your kungfu?” Zu An asked in a probing manner.

Blargh. Right at this moment, Snow began to cough out multiple mouthfuls of water. Clearly, she had been saved. Chu Chuyan gently patted her on the back while turning her head to stare at Zu An. “What did you just call me?”

“Uh, sweetheart?” Zu An mentally shuddered and hurriedly changed the way he addressed her.

Chu Chuyan’s gaze turned even colder. She said in a flat voice, “As I told you before we became married, in the future you may address me as Miss Chu or as Chuyan. You are not to refer to me using those two words in the future.”

“Got it, sweetheart!” Zu An immediately assented. “So, how strong is your kungfu? What’s your world ranking?”

“Kungfu? You must mean cultivation.” Chu Chuyan frowned slightly, but she still answered the question. “The world is a vast place. No matter how strong you are, there is always someone stronger; there is always a heaven beyond the heavens. How could I possibly know what my ‘ranking’ is?”

Zu An mumbled, “Guess that means you suck.”

Chu Chuyan took a deep breath, but before she had a chance to reply, Zu An immediately continued: “Don’t worry, though! We’re family now, so I won’t look down at you. How about this? Why don’t you teach me some martial arts. Do you know any mysterious techniques that could allow someone to accomplish in one year what takes normal people ten? Or maybe an ultimate attack that can be quickly mastered.” That’s how these stories are supposed to go, right?

It was clear that someone in the estate wanted to kill him. It made him sense danger everywhere. If he learned some martial arts, it would also be easier for him to explore the Unknowable Regions in the future.

“There are no such techniques,” Chu Chuyan said coldly. “And even if there were, you wouldn’t be able to master them.”

“Impossible!” Zu An immediately leapt to his feet. “I’m sure I’m a one-in-a-million talent. How could someone like me be unable to master your techniques? I bet you just don’t want to teach me.”

Chu Chuyan replied, “All cultivators in the world begin tempering their body from a young age. This process requires a large amount of elementum. After becoming an adult, your body will have already reached maturity and there’s no point wasting resources on it. In addition, your talent is just barely a lower Ding, a lower fourth-class. Even if you did train from youth, there’s no hope.” She slightly shook her head.

What the hell is a lower Ding? He could immediately tell that it wasn’t a good evaluation, but Zu An didn’t really mind. All the MC’s in cultivation stories start off at the trash level, right? They just need to find suitable training techniques. For that matter, this was a good sign; by starting off as trash tier, from a certain perspective it meant he had already fulfilled half of the prerequisites for becoming the main character.

Snow was beginning to wake up, and so Chu Chuyan no longer paid Zu An any heed. “Snow, what happened just now?”


1. The protagonist in Huang Yi’s wuxia novel ‘A Step Into the Past’.

2. The protagonist in Jinyong’s wuxia novel ‘Duke of Mount Deer’.

3. A figure in Jinyong’s wuxia novel ‘Heaven Sword, Dragon Saber’.

4. This is a very Chinese concept. Traditionally, when a man marries a wife, he ‘takes’ her from her maiden home and makes her a member of his own clan. For the reverse to happen is generally considered incredibly shameful and reflective of a vast social gap between the two.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter