Zu An immediately jumped in fright. Who in the world would act like this in the Immortal Abode?
Even though this was only a brothel, there was no way a business of this size didn’t have anyone backing it.
He wasn’t the only one startled. All heads in the Immortal Abode turned towards the source of the sound. Everyone wanted to see who was causing trouble on such an important day in the Immortal Abode.
Their gazes fell on a burly man with a sword in hand. He had one foot on a chair, and his blade was stabbed straight through a table. He eyed the young masters seated there angrily, as if they had somehow provoked him.
What attracted even more attention was his eye-catching red hair, which lent him a rugged and powerful air.
Zu An snorted under his breath. Your hair is messy and looks like ramen noodles. How many people can pull off this sort of look? Do you think you’re Xiaoli Feidao?!
This was also the first time he’d seen someone with red hair since coming to this world. Could there be green hair too?
As Zu An let his imagination run, one of the young masters at the table slapped his palm down and stood up to confront the man. “How dare you! Do you know who is sitting here?”
“Oh? Do enlighten me.” The red-haired rogue dragged a chair over and dropped into it unceremoniously, his expression full of interest.
The young master who had stood up felt a sudden nervousness when he saw the overbearing man’s subordinates. However, he reminded himself that this was Brightmoon City, and he was in the Immortal Abode, which helped to calm him down a little. He pointed at the luxuriously-dressed young master at the head of the table and said, “This is Wang clan’s young master, Wang Yuanlong! Have you never even heard of the Chu, Yuan, Zheng, and Wang clans, which are Brightmoon City’s four major clans?”
Zu An was stunned by this revelation. He remembered Chuyan telling him that the Chu and Wang clans had always been on good terms, and could even be considered allied clans.
“Tsk. And here I was, thinking it was someone important.” The burly, red-haired man picked his ear with his pinkie. Then, with a flick of his finger, a clump of earwax landed right smack on young master Wang’s face. “I might have had some reservations if you mentioned that you were Duke Chu’s princess or City Lord Xie’s young master. How does the son of an insignificant grain merchant find the courage to holler in this sort of place?”
Wang Yuanlong’s lost his composed expression immediately. This guy was trying to trample all over him!
A brothel administrator came over, leading a group of Immortal Abode guards. “Kind sirs, may I ask how you all entered this place?” he asked the ruffians. Wang Yuanlong was a frequent visitor of this establishment. His family had money, and he was fond of spending extravagantly, so they had to treat him well. They couldn’t allow him to suffer such perceived injustice.
“With invitation cards, of course!” The red haired man said, tossing a crumpled invitation card onto the table.
“Please forgive my unobservant eyes. Our Immortal Abode doesn’t seem to have issued your distinguished self an invitation. If I may ask, how did you obtain this invitation card?” The administrator didn’t even need to open the invitation to know that this invitation card was real.
After all, these invitation cards were specially made by the Immortal Abode. They were unique in terms of their design and the materials used, and could not be easily replicated by others.
“You guys indeed didn’t send me one, but obtaining them wasn’t difficult. Isn’t it all right for us just to snatch a few for ourselves?” The burly man shrugged his shoulders. He seemed unruffled, as if his actions were perfectly normal.
The entire place erupted in a sudden commotion. This group of ruffians actually dared to commit—and admit to—such acts so openly!
Some of the more intelligent ones in the crowd quickly realized something else. The Immortal Abode only sent their invitation cards to prominent, well-established individuals. If these ruffians were able to steal so many in one go, then this man’s strength was really worth consideration.
The expressions of those from the Immortal Abode changed. His comment was the same as a blatant slap in the face. “This establishment does not welcome you. I must ask all of you to leave,” the administrator said coldly.
“Hm? Are you scared that I don’t have money?” This red haired man tossed a bag onto the table, which jangled with the familiar sound of silver ingots.
This move only drew a sneer from Wang Yuanlong. “Bumpkins will always be bumpkins. With so many reputable figures around, who would be so stupid as to bring actual silver here? All of us come with banknotes.”
“You little bastard! You’re courting death!” The red haired man immediately erupted in fury, as if prodded in a sore spot. He grabbed a plate of food and threw it at Wang Yuanlong’s face.
Wang Yuanlong immediately dodged. Even though he wasn’t a prodigy at cultivation, his status as a young master of the Wang clan ensured that he never lacked for cultivation resources. Wealth could still nurture a respectable level of strength.
However, things had happened too quickly. Although he managed to avoid getting hit in the face, the food still splattered all over him, leaving him in a rather sorry state.
“Preposterous, utterly preposterous!”
Wang Yuanlong’s entire body was shaking.
The Immortal Abode’s administrator couldn’t continue watching this. He immediately ordered his men into action. Unfortunately, his strong and vigorous guards were all beaten up miserably by the red-haired man’s subordinates before they could even get close to the man himself.
The red-haired man didn’t even glance behind him. He grabbed a clump of melon seeds from a plate next to him, tossed them into his mouth, then spat the shells everywhere. “This is a matter between the two of us, so why are you dragging other people into it? If you have the skills, why don’t you just settle things with me?”
Wang Yuanlong’s expression was beyond awful. Even though he was fuming, he wasn’t stupid. With the speed at which the red-haired man had thrown the plate at him, and taking into account the strength of his subordinates, all the evidence pointed to these overbearing people being stronger than him.
An invitation card only allowed the bearer to bring a single guest, so all of his subordinates had remained outside. If they really started a fight, the one on the losing end would definitely be him.
However, if he backed down, how could he maintain any semblance of respectability in Brightmoon City?
He wouldn’t have any dignity left!
Today was also the day of the Courtesan’s Meeting. If he embarrassed himself in the eyes of Qiu Honglei, he would cry until he had no more tears left to shed.
As he struggled to find a way out of this tight spot he was in, a voice sudden cut in, dripping with ridicule. “Hm? This brother seems unfamiliar to me. I reckon you probably don’t show yourself much around the city.”
Zu An was stupefied. Wasn’t Chu Yucheng busy enjoying his bear girl? Why is he suddenly stepping forward? This doesn’t seem like him at all.
Noticing his confusion, Chu Hongcai explained, “Our Chu clan is in the salt business, and we need to trade some of our salt for the Wang clan’s grain in order to trade with the border settlements. Third brother Yucheng works closely with the Wang clan, and has a good relationship with Wang Yuanlong.”
He rose to his feet as he was speaking. He clearly didn’t want to see that red-haired man make things difficult for Chu Yucheng.
Zu An shook his head. Madam really needs to look into what’s going on in the Chu clan! The relationship between the main branch and the second and third branches are merely lukewarm, but the second and third branch seem to have forged a close-knit relationship!
“Brother Yucheng!” When he saw Chu Yucheng step forward, Wang Yuanlong was almost moved to tears.
Chu Yucheng didn’t even have time to reply. The red-haired man immediately rolled his eyes and said, “Where did this fat porky come from? We don’t need you interfering in our affairs!”
Chu Yucheng’s breath caught. He was usually quite proud of his build, and saw it as the epitome of peak performance.
And yet, this fellow had dared to call him a fat pig to his face. How could he possibly let this slide?
“I’m going to bloody kill you!” Chu Yucheng roared in anger, sending a palm flying towards the red-haired man’s face.
His subordinates immediately rushed to defend him, and the crowd immediately cried out in alarm. After all, those tough-looking guards had been beaten up so easily by these subordinates. It seemed to all the world like this little fatty was done for as well.
Zu An rushed to Chu Hongcai’s side. “You’re not going to help him?” he asked urgently.
“There’s no need.” Chu Hongcai said with a cool and confident voice, his sword still cradled in his hands.
In the time it took for them to exchange these words, Chu Yucheng had charged in like a wild boar, sending his opponents flying everywhere.
“Interesting.” The red-haired man sounded surprised.
Almost casually, he gave the chair he was stepping on a quick shove, and it slid perfectly into the line of Chu Yucheng’s mad charge, tripping him up and causing him to fall over.
The red haired man laughed disdainfully. “What’s the use of having so much strength if you don’t know how to use it? A fat porky will always be a fat porky.”
Chu Yucheng’s eyes became completely bloodshot. He screamed incoherently as he charged toward his oppressor.
This time, the red-haired man didn’t dare stay still. Pushing off the table in front of him, he vaulted forward. The scabbard in his other hand flew toward Chu Yucheng’s face.
“Be careful!” Chu Hongcai couldn’t remain still any longer. From those brief movements, he could already tell that this person’s cultivation was considerably higher than both his and Chu Yucheng’s. Third brother Yucheng was most likely in trouble.
He hurriedly drew his sword and leaped into the fray, thrusting it at the red-haired man.
Zu An alone stood rooted to the spot, feeling slightly conflicted. Should I help them out?
Madam Chu already seems to be on guard against the second and third branches—she might even be eager to get rid of them. However, these two took such enthusiastic care of me just now. It doesn’t sit right with me if I don’t help them out.
1. Xiaoli Feidao is a series of five wuxia novels by Gu Long. The protagonist of the first novel, Li Xunhuan, goes by the moniker Xiaoli Feidao (Little Li Flying Dagger), because of his signature weapon. Zu An is probably referring to how his character appears in the 1999 TV Series Legend of Dagger Li starring Vincent Chiao.