Chapter 27: As the Keyboard Emperor, It Goes Without Saying That I’ll Destroy All Enemies That Stand In My Way
“Ah, it felt so comfortable that it slipped my mind,” Zu An replied sheepishly before quickly changing the topic. “Where were we earlier? Oh, yes. So, I am not the type of person to leave my name behind after doing a good deed, but I can tell that you’re a kind person at heart. Given the sincerity that you have shown me, I fear that you’ll be unable to eat well and sleep in peace if you do not know the name of your benefactor. I’m a soft-hearted person, so I can’t bear to see you being put in a spot. Thus, I am willing to make an exception and share my name with you. However, you have to promise to never divulge my real name to anyone else, including those subordinates of yours.”
A glint flashed across Yu Yanluo’s eyes. “You doubt them?”
“I wouldn’t say that I doubt them; it’s more about better safe than sorry,” Zu An replied. “I heard from Xiaoxi that the Yu clan is a behemoth known throughout the world, but why are your guards that weak?”
It was not that Zu An was thinking too pessimistically of humans, but someone like Yu Yanluo was bound to stir the hearts of men no matter where she went. There was no way she could remain safe bringing just a group of third rank cultivators led by a fourth rank.
Yu Yanluo replied, “The other guards have other duties on hand, so they were dispatched elsewhere.”
Zu An looked as if he had expected such an answer. “You mean to say that the bandits of the Blackwind Stockade happened to assault you while your guards are at the weakest ever? I wouldn’t say that it’s impossible, but don’t you think that it’s too much of a coincidence?”
Even if there was no spy amongst the guards, he still didn’t want to take the risk. After all, an additional person knowing his identity meant an additional chance for things to go wrong.
Yu Yanluo chuckled softly in response. “You’re an intelligent person. You probably aren’t just a normal person.”
Zu An tilted his chin up proudly. “Of course. Didn’t you see me defeating those fellows with a mere flick of my fingers? I, Zu An, am like a deity gazing loftily upon the world. There’s no greater sky higher than me out there. There are millions of Keyboard Immortals out there in the world, but all of them would have to lower their heads before me. As the Keyboard Emperor, it goes without saying that I’m peerless in the world. Who would dare to claim themselves invincible in my presence?”
Yu Yanluo: “…”
Sword Immortal? Sword Emperor? While this fellow is indeed quite enigmatic, his cultivation definitely hasn’t reached that level yet. However, his confidence does match the air of an expert. 
“Your name is Zu An?” Yu Yanluo asked. “Where do you live? I’ll have my men send the gold to your residence.”
Those words left Zu An feeling a headache coming up. To be honest, his identity as the son-in-law of the Chu clan was rather embarrassing, and he didn’t want those in the Chu clan to know too much about him as well. “Why don’t you tell me your address instead? I’ll drop by and claim the compensation when I’m free.”
“Fine by me too.” Yu Yanluo wasn’t surprised to hear that Zu An was unwilling to reveal his place of residence. She took out a jade token from her robe and passed it over. “Here, take this.”
Zu An took the jade token and examined it closely. It had a snowy exterior with an animal carved delicately on it, though he couldn’t recognize what kind of animal it was. It carried lingering warmth and fragrance from Yu Yanluo. Seeing this, he subconsciously asked, “Is this a token of love?”
Yu Yanluo didn’t lose her patience due to Zu An’s rude words. Instead, she smiled lightly and said, “While you’re not too weak, you’ll have to work hard for at least a few years in order to be worthy of becoming my man. This jade token is an insignia. My men will recognize it and allow you to pass if you present it to them.”
Zu An tucked the jade token into his chest as he remarked, “Look forward to it then. I’ll be knocking on your door a few years from now to become your man.”
Yu Yanluo burst into laughter. For some reason, she wasn’t put off by this young man’s straightforward attitude.
The two of them returned back to the area around the carriage, and they noticed that Ji Xiaoxi was currently squatting by the guards’ side, bandaging their wounds. Zu An leaped in fright, exclaiming, “Why are they able to move?”
Ji Xiaoxi blinked her eyes. “That’s because I released the restrictions on them. Their wounds were quite severe, so they needed immediate treatment.”
“Thank you, Miss Ji.” The guards expressed their earnest gratitude toward Ji Xiaoxi. At the same time, they couldn’t help but wonder why this fairylike lady would get involved with that demonlike scoundrel. What if she were to be led astray by him?
That being said, they dared not voice their thoughts aside for fear of offending Zu An. If traumas could be overcome that easily, they wouldn’t be called traumas.
“You mentioned earlier that your father is Divine Physician Ji Dengtu?” Yu Yanluo began assessing Ji Xiaoxi closely. This beautiful yet pure young woman was indeed very likable.
“That’s right,” Ji Xiaoxi replied shyly. She found it a little hard to face Yu Yanluo directly due to the pressure from the latter’s mature elegance.
“I’ve long heard of Divine Physician Ji’s reputation. I didn’t think that he would have such a ravishing and capable daughter. I really must thank you for your help today.” Yu Yanluo bowed slightly to her.
“Actually, I didn’t do much at all.” Ji Xiaoxi bowed back in a fluster. “Ah right, my father seems to be very fond of you. I thought that the two of you might have met each other before.”
Yu Yanluo was surprised to hear those words. She had no impression of meeting Divine Physician Ji before. Over the years, there were countless men who constantly dreamed of her after meeting her in person, but hardly any of them had managed to get inside her mind. Perhaps, Ji Dengtu might be one of them too. However, it wouldn’t be good for her to mention something like that before his daughter, so she simply smiled gently and replied, “We might have met before. It’s just that too many things have happened recently that I forgot about a lot of stuff in the past.”
It was then that the clobbering of horse hooves sounded from a distance away. Zu An’s face immediately turned grave, but Yu Yanluo quickly reassured him. “Don’t worry, they should be my people.”
“The internal politics of your clan run too deep, so I shan’t get involved in it. Farewell. I’ll drop by your Yu clan one of these days to collect my compensation!” After saying those words, Zu An pulled Ji Xiaoxi away with him.
“Ah? We’re leaving just like that?” Ji Xiaoxi was a bit bewildered by the sudden departure. They were clearly still hitting it off with one another a moment ago!
“Just leave with me first,” Zu An replied. Ji Xiaoxi replied with an “Orh”. While being dragged away by Zu An, she didn’t forget to turn around and wave everyone goodbye.
Looking at the departing duo, there was a slight hint of a smile in Yu Yanluo’s beautiful eyes. “He’s really an interesting lad.”
Ji Xiaoxi was dragged out of the mountain valley and into the forest. Seeing how Zu An was still holding onto her hands, her face reddened. “Your hand has been poisoned again.”
Zu An didn’t think too much into it. “Don’t you have any antidote anyway? You can just cure me.”
“Oh~” Ji Xiaoxi replied as she blinked her eyes contemplatively. It suddenly dawned on her that there was something amiss about this situation. The medicine on her was specially concocted by her father to protect her from getting taken advantage of, but this fellow touched her body brazenly and even asked her for the antidote.
Meanwhile, seeing that they were a safe distance away, Zu An pulled her down into a squatting position beside her and began to assess the situation in the mountain valley.
Ji Xiaoxi began curing the poison on his hand as she asked curiously, “Why do we need to run away?”
Zu An replied, “You mention that Madame Yu has just lost her husband, and her carriage was assaulted right after that. It’s clear as day that there’s a force that’s out to get her, and it’s likely that there are insiders in the Yu clan involved in that scheme too. There’s no way of telling whether the arriving reinforcement is intending to save her or to kill her. In any case, it’s best for us not to get embroiled in this mess.”
His situation in the Chu clan was already bad enough, and getting mixed into the politics of another major clan was just going to hasten his death.
Ji Xiaoxi immediately got the crux of what Zu An was saying. She nodded in realization as she exclaimed, “I didn’t think that deeply into the situation. Wow, big brother Zu, you are really smart!”
“Duh~” Zu An lifted his head up smugly. It felt good to be praised by such a pretty lady, and he waited patiently for the compliments to continue rolling in. However, Ji Xiaoxi was too focused on treating his poison, so there was no sequel to that.
Sighing in disappointment, Zu An could only turn his attention back to the mountain valley. A group of knights dressed in white robes with golden stitchings was racing toward the carriage. From their valiant appearances, they looked like fairly powerful cultivators. Many of them emanated an aura that felt even more imposing than the Third Master of the Blackwind Stockade.
The one leading the group of knights was a particularly tall man with sharp eyebrows. His eyes felt severe, but his carefully trimmed mustache mellowed down his sharpness and gave him a scholarly vibe.
“Sister-in-law, I’m sorry for coming late. I hope that you’re still safe!” Upon seeing Yu Yanluo, that man quickly got down from his horse and rushed to her side with a concerned look on his face.
“He’s her brother-in-law?” Zu An muttered. Considering that Yu Yanluo’s husband had just passed away, a young, beautiful widow together with her suave, dashing brother-in-law… it was hard to not think deeply into it. “Xiaoxi, who’s that guy over there?”
Ji Xiaoxi shook her head. “I don’t know either.” It couldn’t be helped since she was still young, and it wasn’t like she devoted her time to prying into the affairs of others. It was only natural for her to not be familiar with the intricate web of relationships within the Yu clan.
Yu Yanluo replied nonchalantly, “I’m fine, let’s head to the city first.” Then, she got back onto her carriage.
The mustache man was left standing alone in the field, and a hint of anger flashed across his eyes. However, he swiftly reined it in and gestured to his subordinates to help the wounded onto a horse. After that, he gave the order for the group to set off.
“Sister-in-law, may I ask how were those bandits from the Blackwind Stockade killed?” The mustached man rode his horse beside the carriage and asked through the window.
“I’m a little exhausted. Let’s talk about it later,” Yu Yanluo replied with a slightly lazy voice.
The mustached man frowned after hearing her response. His face looked incredibly livid.
Taking the interactions of the duo into account, Zu An stroked his lower jaws contemplatively.
After watching the family drama of the Yu clan, Zu An and Ji Xiaoxi began making their way back to the city too. There was nothing else that happened on their way back. Once they were in the city, Ji Xiaoxi turned her head over and said, “Big brother Zu, you should come home with me. I’ll get my father to take a look at your condition.”
As she spoke, her eyes subconsciously glanced downward toward his crotch. Her unwitting action made Zu An’s face darken. Are you going to do this every time?
Zu An was indeed planning to head over to Divine Physician Ji’s place, so he wouldn’t refuse her request. He looked at the sky and noticed that it was already starting to darken. He wondered if there was any curfew in the Chu clan, and whether he would be locked out of the door if he returned too late.
Even if that’s the case, I should be able to get Ji Xiaoxi to take me in for the night, right?
But thinking about her father’s attitude, it didn’t seem that reliable of a plan anymore.
With some worries in his mind, the two of them made their way to the Ji Residence. Before reaching their destination, a person suddenly shouted, “Miss Ji is back! Miss Ji is back!”
The crowd which had been camping at the entrance of the Ji Residence immediately crowded around her.
“Miss Ji, please help me take a look over here.”
“Miss Ji, please diagnose me first. I was the first one to arrive here!”
“Miss Ji, my illness is far more severe than the others!”
It wasn’t Ji Xiaoxi’s first time being surrounded by so many people, but she still couldn’t help but feel a little uncomfortable with this. Her face flushed as she said, “Calm down, everyone. Queue up. I’ll look at you all one by one.”
Zu An was honestly a little impressed. He had heard from Cheng Shouping that Ji Xiaoxi was very popular amongst the people, but it was only seeing it in person that he really understood what it meant to be loved by the populace. Every single one of these people here sincerely cherished and respected her.
That being said, Zu An felt that it wasn’t necessarily a good thing. This lass was all good except for her soft personality. These people were obviously taking advantage of her kindness to get treated for free. It was no wonder why Divine Physician Ji treated them so harshly earlier.
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