Zu An walked out of the study room gloomily, feeling an unprecedented feeling of loneliness.
Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru had pulled Chu Chuyan aside to ask her for more details. Chu Huanzhao had spoken up on his behalf earlier, but she was still angry at him for forgetting her present. Even Snow wasn’t around anymore, or else he could have bickered with her.
As for Cheng Shouping, he was definitely out of question. Anything that he was informed of would become known to the world the following day.
Looking at the bright moon in the sky, Zu An suddenly felt deeply wistful.
He recalled a poem that went ‘Raising my head to gaze at the clear moon, only to lower it out of nostalgia for my home’. He couldn’t understand this feeling in his previous world since he could always contact his home with a call, and even if he was at the opposite end of the globe, it would only take a day’s journey at most.
In the modernized world with all sorts of convenient transportation technology, it was hard for him to understand the feeling of missing one’s home. It was only when he came to this foreign land and had been picked on by Qin Wanru so many times that he finally understood it. The Chu clan wasn’t his home after all.
He suddenly found himself missing his home, and it made him sigh deeply.
It looks like I should really think about the matter of leaving.
He did contemplate this question previously, but back then, he had just transmigrated over not too long ago, knew nothing about this world, and had no money on him at all. Leaving abruptly clearly wasn’t a wise decision.
However, things were different now. He had hundreds of thousands on him, and he had officially become a cultivator too. Granted that his cultivation wasn’t too high, he still shouldn’t have too much difficulty protecting himself. More importantly, he even had an official position as a teacher of the Brightmoon Academy. He definitely had the ability to go independent now.
Just as Zu An’s thoughts were drifting afar, a pleasant voice suddenly sounded in his ears, “What are you thinking of?”
Zu An turned around, only to see that Chu Chuyan was standing behind him. Her smooth black hair reached all the way to her waist, contrasting beautifully with her pale skin. Under the gentle moonlight, it looked like she was cloaked in a layer of divine light, making her seem like a fairy who had descended from heaven.
She was currently staring at him with glistening eyes that seemed to contain a world of stars.
Zu An found himself awed once again. The number one beauty of Brightmoon City indeed. Even the simplest gaze from her could easily drive countless men into a frenzy.
“Nothing much,” replied Zu An.
Despite being awed by her appearance, he wasn’t in his usual mood to tease her.
Chu Chuyan noticed that he had a complicated look on his face, which prompted her to observe him even more closely. It didn’t take her long to sense the gloomy vibe around him, which astonished her.
All along, Zu An had always seemed to be a happy-go-lucky person who acted and spoke as he pleased. It was hard for her to imagine what was going through his mind for him to reveal such an expression on his face.
“I’m really apologetic about what happened earlier. My mother bears no ill-will; it’s just that she’s too worried about me. She has always been blunt with her words, so don’t take what she said to heart,” explained Chu Chuyan.
Zu An was a little surprised to hear Chu Chuyan explain on behalf of her mother. He had known her to be quite a cold and lofty individual. She would rarely take the initiative to speak to him, let alone bothering to explain about such matters.
He finally revealed a smile and said, “I’m living my life out with you, not her. There’s no way I would pay her words too much heed.”
Chu Chuyan’s face reddened. Looks like I’m worried about him for nothing. He’s still as thick-skinned as ever…
For some reason, she had a feeling that Zu An was making fun of her mother with those words earlier, but thinking that the notion was far too ridiculous, she tossed it to the back of her mind.
“That’s good. You must be exhausted after everything we’ve been through. You should have a good rest,” said Chu Chuyan before she turned around and left.
But a moment later, she suddenly halted her footsteps and turned around to look at the man behind her in bewilderment, asking, “Why are you following me?”
Zu An shrugged in response, replying, “Didn’t you tell me to have a good rest?”
Chu Chuyan frowned. “Why are you following me then? Your room is over there.”
Zu An put on a shocked look at those words. “Honey, you can’t possibly have forgotten what you promised me in the dungeon, right? You said that you would live together with me! Well, my room seems too small for the two of us, so it would be better for me to move to yours instead…”
Hearing as Zu An started prattling about how the room ought to be renovated, Chu Chuyan suddenly felt a migraine setting in. “When did I promise you to live together?”
Zu An stared at her intently. “Are you feigning ignorance now? I know that cultivation prodigies like you have a photographic memory. Is this an attempt to renege on your promise?”
“I…” Chu Chuyan finally realized that she had indeed said something along the line, and her face immediately reddened. “That won’t do. I only said those words due to the special circumstances. Furthermore… I didn’t fully agree to it either.”
“That’s too much!” Zu An was displeased. “How could the first miss of the Chu clan renege on her promise? Fine, I’ll get everything to judge this matter on my behalf and determine who’s right here!”
He immediately stomped off after saying those words.
“W-wait a moment!” Chu Chuyan stopped him in a hurry. She had always been a shy person, and she wouldn’t dare to walk out in the streets anymore if others were to learn of this matter.
However, Zu An continued walking away without paying her any heed.
This made her incredibly anxious, and all of a sudden, a chilling sensation gushed up her throat, and she spat out a mouthful of blood.
Noticing her peculiar condition, the horrified Zu An immediately turned around and supported her. “What’s wrong? I was just joking with you. Surely you don’t have to get so anxious as to start spurting blood, right?”
It was then that he noticed several shards of ice in the blood she had spurted earlier, and it left him stunned.
He was just about to ask her about it when her body suddenly succumbed and collapsed sideward. He quickly rushed forward to hold her, and it was only then that he noticed that her lips had gone completely pale, and there was a chilling frost enveloping her body.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” asked Zu An anxiously.
“I… I’m fine. It’s just an old problem…” said Chu Chuyan weakly. She wanted to explain that this was an affliction she had been suffering from over the years, just that it had worsened after the Clans Tournament, but she ended up fainting before she could finish her words.
“Honey, don’t worry. I’ll bring the physician over to treat you!” exclaimed Zu An as he carried her up.
“Don’t bother wasting your effort. Normal physicians wouldn’t be able to treat her.”
A euphonious voice that sounded both lofty yet seductive suddenly sounded. It was from Mi Li.
“Big sis empress! You’re awake?” Zu An was overjoyed.
Mi Li harrumphed coldly in response, “I woke up a long time ago. I need to check on your surroundings to see if there’s any potential threat around you lest I get done in by your foolishness.”
“So, did you find anything?” asked Zu An curiously.
“I haven’t found anything at the moment, but…” Mi Li suddenly changed her tone and remarked sharply, “I saw how that woman named Qin Wanru humiliated you earlier. I thought that you were quite a figure, but who could have thought that you’re such a scorned individual in this manor?”
Zu An was frustrated about it too. “What can I do about it? She’s the matriarch of the Chu clan after all, not to mention that she’s Chuyan and Huanzhao’s mother.”
“That won’t do. The more I think about it, the angrier I become. I felt almost as if she was scolding me.” Mi Li’s tone suddenly grew frighteningly sharp. “A mere wife of a duke dares to act so arrogantly. Back then, even the princes and their consorts dare not to breathe loudly in my presence. Hmph! Shall I secretly pull her elsewhere and get rid of her? Having someone like her around will only bring great trouble in the future.”
Zu An’s safety concerned her safety too. In her view, all threats should be nipped in the bud. In comparison, Qin Wanru’s life and death meant nothing to her at all. She was the type of person who would rather massacre thousands than let a person who posed a threat to her run free.
“That won’t do!” exclaimed Zu An in horror.
He wasn’t fond of Qin Wanru either, but to kill her over this was far too overboard.
“Ah, I understand it now.” Mi Li nodded in realization. “That Qin Wanru does have a good face and nice figure. I never thought that you would be into older women. Fine, I’ll do you a favor and capture her so that you can do whatever you want to her. We can always get rid of her after you have your fun with her.”
“…” Zu An.
What in the world do you understand at all?
“Why is your default solution to all problems killing off the person?” Zu An was exasperated. “She’s the mother of my wife…”
Before he could finish his words, Mi Li had already interjected with a cold harrumph, “You only think that way because your lowly birth doesn’t allow you to come into contact with how vile humans can be. Over the course of history, how many people have betrayed their families? Looking just at the imperial family, it’s common for brothers to kill one another and claim their wives… What I’m doing is already nothing much!”
“…” Zu An.
He was quiet for a long while before finally remarking deeply, “The circle of nobility sure is complicated.”
“Sour grapes. You’re just saying so because you’re still too weak to even get into the upper society,” sneered Mi Li.
“Let’s talk about that next time. What’s with my wife’s current condition? Why did you say that a normal physician wouldn’t be able to treat her?” asked Zu An hurriedly as he noticed that his wife’s body was getting colder and colder.
“There’s a problem in the cultivation technique she practices, or should I say that this is a common problem that all ice elemental cultivators suffer from? Anyone who practices ice element cultivation techniques has to absorb frost into their body, and over time, it’ll lead to an accumulation of frost in their ki meridians, body, and internal organs.
“While there are known ways to alleviate the negative effects arising from the accumulation of frost, it’s impossible to get rid of them. After all, cultivation is a fight against heaven. It’s only normal to suffer some retribution.”
Zu An was confused. “If there’s such a huge risk to ice element cultivation techniques, why would anyone even learn them?”
“Despite the downsides of ice element cultivation techniques, they’re incredibly powerful, possessing many advantages that other elements cannot compete with,” explained Mi Li. “It’s only normal to sacrifice some things for greater power.”
“That being said, while most ice elemental cultivators tend to have shorter lifespans and suffer from low fertility, it usually doesn’t pose a direct threat to their life. Your wife’s condition seems to stem from her hasty growth. On top of that, she has found another different angle to ice elemental cultivation techniques which greatly enhanced the might of her attacks and growth, but at the same time, it made the negative effects even more pronounced too.
“On top of that, you fed her the Evanescent Lotus, which forcefully raised her cultivation by a rank. That shook her foundation, further magnifying the problems she was already suffering from. The strike against that old man from the Shi clan was the last straw that finally unleashed all of the problems she has accumulated thus far. Right now, the frost has already permeated all of her vitals. Even a god would find it hard to save her.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter