If Zu An had seen her, he would have definitely wondered why this fellow’s pectoral muscles were so huge.
She was none other than Pei Mianman. She, like Xie Daoyun, was dressed as a man. However, while Xie Daoyun, aside from her pretty features, managed to pull off the look, this wasn’t the case for Pei Mianman at all. Her chest still bulged outwards no matter how she tried to bind it. Add in her enchanting peach-blossom eyes, and anyone could tell with a single look that she was a woman.
That was why she never left her private room.
She was here to investigate Qiu Honglei. Sang Hong wasn’t the only one who had suspicions regarding the courtesan’s background—King Qi’s faction also harbored their own doubts. From earlier reports, the assassinations of many of King Qi’s officials seemed to be somehow tied to this woman. That was why she’d made this special trip to the Courtesan’s Meeting.
Who knew that she would end up seeing Zu An here? Even more shocking, he seemed to be a complete natural in this environment! Even she couldn’t help but blush when she saw what he was doing.
“I really should’ve brought a mirror stone! If I could record this scene, who knows what sort of brilliant reactions I could get out of Chu Chuyan?” A sly smile appeared on Pei Mianman’s face as she considered the possibilities.
She was definitely not the only one looking at Zu An. The window belonging to one of the third-floor rooms cracked open, revealing a pair of cold eyes peering out from within.
“So that is Zu An? He doesn’t seem all that special to me. Isn’t he just another hopeless pervert? I really don’t think he is worthy of junior sister’s personal attention!”
The man pulled the window closed, and turned to look at his female companion, who was lying on her side. Even though this wasn’t their first meeting, it was still difficult for him to conceal the awe in his eyes. This woman really was too stunning.
“The original plan was to choose someone from the second or third branch to carry out our plans. However, having looked at him closely, I’ve changed my mind.” Her soft and bewitching voice could make any man’s bones go limp.
“But he is nothing more than a Chu clan drafted son-in-law!” The man objected, stealing glances at her stunning face. “He doesn’t possess any real strength, let alone access to the Chu clan’s resources. Wouldn’t it be inappropriate to choose him?”
His flickering eyes didn’t escape the discerning notice of this exceptional beauty, but she had long since grown accustomed to the infatuated stares of men. “That’s precisely why he needs our help. Someone who has everything can’t be compared to one who has received aid in a time of desperate need. There’s no way he can refuse our help if he wants to control the Chu clan. This way, we can weasel our way further into the Chu clan’s businesses. When the time comes, we might not even need another diplomat.”
The man frowned doubtfully. “Junior sister, your words are reasonable. However, all the logic in the world cannot get around the fact that this fellow is still nothing more than a useless son-in-law. He has no status at all to speak of, even within the Chu clan! Even with our backing, will he really be able to control the Chu clan?”
“According to our latest reports, the rumors about him being a good-for-nothing are untrue. In fact, he seems quite formidable. If someone like him managed to obtain young miss Chu’s favor and become the Chu clan’s son-in-law, how could he continue to endure being beneath others?”
The gorgeous woman sat up and crossed her beautiful legs.
Although the man couldn’t see anything, the way her dress kept moving tempted him to no end. His throat became dry, and his breath grew short and ragged.
She seemed to be quite fond of these ridiculous reactions men had towards her. Her lips compressed into a tight smile. “Of course, I haven’t finalized my decision yet. Let’s see how he performs first.”
Zu An had no idea so many people were eyeing him. He was completely engrossed in Leng Shuangyue’s physiology.
“Young master, please don’t be like this...” Leng Shuangyue grabbed his hand, trying to stop him from reaching for her tail. “This is a very intimate thing for us beast-clan girls! I beg young master not to make trouble for this humble servant…”
“What does someone have to do to be able to touch it, then?” Zu An couldn’t hide his regret. He really wanted to know if these beast girls had tails or not. After all, they didn’t look that different from human girls on the surface.
“A beast-clan girl has to acknowledge a man as her lover before he is… allowed…” Before she even finished speaking, Leng Shuangyue’s neck became thoroughly red.
Zu An was truly impressed by this girl’s acting, such that even he was starting to get confused. Since she doesn’t want me to touch her tail, I guess I’ll hold off for now. I’m not the sort of person who bullies girls.
He shifted his focus to the furry ears that stuck out from her hair. He couldn’t resist reaching out and kneading them between his hands. “Wow, they really feel similar to a cat’s. This really is adorable.”
Leng Shuangyue’s entire body shook. She felt as if a jolt of electricity had coursed through her body. Her legs closed reflexively, a moan escaping her lips.
“What happened?” Zu An was perplexed. Didn’t I just rub her ears? Was there really a need for such a big reaction?
He could see the barely-concealed bitterness in Leng Shuangyue’s face. She explained, “The ears of a beast-clan girl are very sensitive. Only the most intimate lover is allowed to touch it…”
Zu An was utterly baffled. “Are you really a brothel girl?”
I’ve always been a good-tempered person, but aren’t you taking it a bit too far with your acting?
Look at that Chu Yucheng over there! He’s got one hand inside that bear girl’s dress, and one hand stroking her ears, but do you see her reacting in this way? She even seems to be enjoying it!
“I’m sorry, young master.” Leng Shuanyue looked at him pitifully, which only made her look even more adorable. However, apart from saying sorry, she couldn’t say much else.
Suddenly, a familiar voice rang out, sounding pleasantly surprised. “Oh! Ah Zu!”
Zu An raised his head to take a look. A skinny, buck-toothed kid was looking right at him.
“Wei Suo! Why are you here?” Zu An was glad to see him. Ever since he had become a teacher, the two of them hadn’t spent that much time together in the academy. Not only that, he’d gone into the dungeon right after that as well. He found that he actually kinda missed this guy.
“I came with my brother!” Wei Suo ran over to him, pointing at Wei Hongde.
Zu An nodded towards Wei Hongde. He’s the one Old Mi wanted me to get close to. However, apart from the few words that we exchanged in the dungeon, we’ve never really spoken to each other.
Isn’t this an excellent opportunity? What better way to build camaraderie than this?
Wei Hongde had no choice but to return the greeting. However, seeing Zu An again immediately triggered the scene from the dungeon, which began to replay in his mind. His expression became bizarre.
Just like Xie Xiu, it had taken him a long time to free himself from this mental shadow. Now, he was back to square one.
How could he allow himself to interact with this guy further? He left Wei Suo with a final few words, then rushed off to a different area of the hall.
Wei Suo was full of excitement as he said to Zu An, “I was just about to ask you what you were doing here! You even have this pretty beast girl with you.”
When he saw Leng Shuangyue in Zu An’s arms, his eyes immediately widened. He always spoke as if he were a hardened veteran of the brothel scene, running his mouth and showing off. In truth, however, he was nothing more than an armchair strategist! He’d only managed to enter this establishment after begging his brother endlessly.
However, who would have expected this docile-looking guy in front of him to be in the thick of combat right away? His mood soured immediately. He really was a master who starved himself in order to teach a mere disciple!
“I came with my clan brothers.” Zu An introduced Chu Yucheng and Chu Hongcai.
Wei Suo greeted them in return, then pulled Zu An to one side. “You people really are something! The members of the Chu clan brought you to a brothel on their own initiative? Aren’t you scared you might piss off young miss Chu?”
“Why would I be scared of her getting angry?” Zu An stuck out his chest and declared, “In my home, If I tell her to go east, she definitely won’t go west! She wouldn’t dare to interfere with my affairs!”
Pei Mianman, who was sipping tea in her private room on the second floor, almost choked to death. My dear Chuyan, you have no idea what kind of husband you’ve ended up choosing!
Zu An suddenly felt a chill run down his spine, as if someone was eyeing him from behind. He cast his gaze around guiltily, only letting out a sigh of relief once he didn’t see Chu Chuyan. I’m really going to screw myself over, planting all these flags for myself.
Wei Suo was stupefied. He stared blankly for a while, then remarked with an admiring sigh, “You truly are my model senior!”
“You are too kind with your praise.” Zu An clasped his fist while laughing.
“My brother is calling for me. Let’s talk some more later.” Wei Suo bumped Zu An’s shoulder and winked at Leng Shuangyue, his appearance as vulgar as vulgar could be.
Zu An sighed. As the old saying goes, ‘there are only incorrect given names, and no wrong nicknames’. Why do I feel like this guy really was named perfectly, though?
He had just turned his attention back to his ‘physiological research on cat girls’ when a violent shout erupted.
1. When he says ‘this’, Zu An is referring to visiting a brothel together with Wei Hongde. The original text references a four-part Chinese phrase: Going through windows together (pure friendship), raising spears together (having each other’s backs in battle), coveting spoils (sticking together through thick and thin), and visiting prostitutes together (revealing their ugly side to each other). After all, if you did not trust one another, would you visit prostitutes together?