“I will think of a way to solve this problem. There is no need for you to continue,” Chu Chuyan said coldly.
“You’re going to think of a solution? What sort of solution could you possibly come up with?” Chu Tiesheng said disdainfully. Just as he was about to continue, he suddenly felt the temperature in the room fall by several degrees. Sensing that she was now truly angry, he didn’t dare to continue pressing her on this matter. “Whatever. I’ll just wait and see for myself what your solution is.”
He stormed off in a huff.
Chu Yuepo took his leave as well, his expression cold. Soon, Qin Wanru, Chu Chuyan, and Zu An were the only ones left.
Zu An couldn’t contain his indignance. “Aren’t they going too far? They’re all itching to pick a fight as soon as father-in-law leaves. If we let things be, won’t they end up planning a rebellion or something?”
“The second and third branches have always coveted our power, and want to replace us,” Qin Wanru explained. “There is no way they would pass up such a golden opportunity to make trouble for us.”
Ever since she’d found out Zu An and her daughter had consummated their marriage, she had abandoned her previous unrealistic delusions and begun to accept him. Moreover, he had spoken up in their defense earlier, and so she was willing to share more of the Chu clan’s secrets with him.
Zu An sighed. “The world really is a strange place sometimes. When bad things happen, strangers might end up being more reliable than those who are close to you. Even if strangers don’t lend a helping hand, they at least won’t hit you while you’re down.”
Qin Wanru’s voice was downcast. “What does saying these things do for us? Figuring out a way to resolve this matter is still our top priority.”
Chu Chuyan said, “I think we should gather together the money to ransom father back first.”
“This is sixteen million taels of silver that we’re talking about! How could we possibly amass such a huge amount of money?” Qin Wanru grew pessimistic as she recalled the astronomical figure.
Chu Chuyan also grew quiet. The Chu clan was already deep in the red after suffering years of losses. Together with the many expenses of the clan, their cash reserves were very limited.
After the eradication of the Whale Gang, their salt business had started to pick up. Their income had just begun to grow when this crisis blew up.
Now that the truth behind their salt permits had been exposed, their salt business was marked as illegal, and this revenue source had been cut off.
The only means left to them was to sell everything they owned. However, if they did that, would there be any meaning left in the Chu clan’s bitter efforts to protect their ancestral property?
If even the property inherited from their ancestors was sold off, faith in the Chu clan would surely crumble. When that time came, the Chu clan would truly be finished.
Zu An said, “I have around two to three million taels of silver that can be used to bail out father-in-law. Unfortunately, the Plum Blossom Sect has already been eradicated, so the seven-and-a-half million taels of silver they owe me cannot be collected. Otherwise, I could at least solve half of this problem.”
Chu Chuyan was given a shock. “Where the heck did you get so much money?”
She knew a little about his transaction with the academy, but she also knew that nothing much of value was left behind by the Plum Blossom Sect. How did he suddenly put together two to three million taels of silver?
Zu An said proudly, “Your husband is really awesome, don’t you know? I even managed to land a wife like you—what’s so hard about making a bit of money?”
Chu Chuyan’s face turned red. “You don’t have a shred of decency,” she scoffed.
At the same time, she looked guiltily at her mother.
Qin Wanru didn’t get mad this time. Her voice was instead tinged with gratitude. “Ah Zu, thank you for choosing to help the Chu clan in our moment of crisis. Chuyan didn’t choose the wrong person to marry after all. However, our Chu clan hasn’t yet fallen to the point where we need to rely on our son-in-law’s private stash. If that were to happen, we might really become the laughingstock of the entire city.”
Zu An was completely speechless. It sounded just like how the ancient families in China refused to touch a wife’s dowry. Faced with this situation, what was the point in holding on to such useless pride?
“Ah Zu, you should go back and get some rest,” Qin Wanru said. “I still have some matters to discuss with Chuyan.”
Zu An had never planned on getting involved with the Chu clan’s matters, nor did he have much interest in the details. He was relieved by her dismissal.
He came across Chu Huanzhao soon after leaving. She ran straight into Zu An’s arms when she saw him. “Brother-in-law, will dad come back?”
Some guards saw how close the two of them were behaving, but they turned around in unison and pretended that nothing had happened.
These intimate actions seemed to happen too often nowadays. Since both Madam and First Miss hadn’t said anything about it, they knew that servants like themselves were in no place to say anything either.
However, they could not ignore the fact that it was the second miss who had taken the initiative to throw herself into the young master’s embrace…
Just what kind of strange power did the young master have? Even though he was somewhat handsome, he wasn’t stunningly so. Just how had he seized the first miss’ absolute favor and made the second miss so infatuated with him?
What was even harder to understand was that even Madam seemed to be treating him better recently.
Sigh… we’re all so envious!
Zu An noticed the Rage points coming in. These fellas really were quite good at acting. They looked completely unfazed on the outside, but they were probably cursing the hell out of him inside.
Can’t you all find it in yourselves to get a little more angry, though? What is with all these single-digit numbers?
You don’t even dare to get really angry. No wonder you all can only stand to one side and admire my awesomeness.
He would’ve definitely gained an explosive amount of Rage points if he’d spoken these words out loud.
However, his past experiences had taught him to weigh the pros and cons. There were Rage points that were worth farming, and Rage points that would never be able to make up for the losses that he incurred while going after them.
He gently patted the young lady who was shaking in his arms. “Don’t worry, your dad will definitely be okay,” he consoled her.
“But I’ve heard that things are extremely serious this time! I’ve heard that it’s really, really bad…” Chu Huanzhao rubbed her eyes. She was clearly not convinced.
“Your dad is so amazing! He’ll definitely be able to overcome this.” Zu An wiped away her tears. “Besides, your mom and your big sister will surely think of a way to save him too.”
“But I’ve never seen mom and big sis look so discouraged before! They seem very pessimistic about our chances of saving dad.” Chu Huanzhao was still extremely depressed.
When did this brat suddenly turn into such a gloomy and depressed person?
Zu An rubbed her head with a smile. “Even if you don’t trust your mom or your big sis, you have to trust me! I will think of a way to save father-in-law as well.”
“Really?” Chu Huanzhao immediately became happy again.
Zu An nodded. “Of course!”
“Brother-in-law is the best!” Chu Huanzhao’s desolation left her immediately. She began to prance about in happiness.
The guards were all stupefied. She didn’t have confidence in First Miss or Madam, but instead put her faith in the young master?
Just what kind of bewitching potion did the young master use on the second miss?
“I’m so useless, I only know how to play around every day… When something serious happens, I can’t even help mom or big sis. I’m not even as good as you.” Chu Huanzhao suddenly became dejected.
Zu An stared at her, speechless.
What do you mean, you’re not even as good as me?!
Despite this outrage, Zu An still consoled her. “You’re still young, you’ll be able to help out once you grow older.”
“Really?” Chu Huanzhao blinked, still doubtful. At least she seemed to have some self-awareness regarding her own abilities.
“Of course!” Zu An said firmly. This girl had always been compared to her big sister since she was little, so there was no way that she would have much confidence in herself. He knew the importance of encouraging her.
“Brother-in-law is the best!” Chu Huanzhao grabbed his arm. Her face was beaming with smiles.
Feeling the soft warmth on his arm, Zu An’s expression became a little strange. Why does it seem like this kid has grown recently…?
After all that effort, Zu An finally managed to console her. He returned to his residence, and found Old Mi watering the plants in the courtyard.
This fella looks like a gardener, but he’s actually a terrifying old fiend. Zu An cursed, but he had a brilliant smile on his face. “Greetings, Elder.”
Old Mi grunted in acknowledgment. He also smiled, but it seemed slightly terrifying on his ugly face.
Zu An asked, “By the way, Elder, the Chu clan is facing some difficulties right now. Since you’re so powerful, is there anything you could do to help us?”
Since this old man had chosen to hide in the Chu clan, Zu An figured that he was probably some Chu clan ancestor, or perhaps someone who shared a friendship with the Chu clan. There was no way he would remain indifferent to their plight. Having someone with his cultivation on their side would surely ease their current situation.
Old Mi shook his head. “The Chu clan’s foundations were slowly built up over a thousand years. How could it be destroyed that easily?”
What kind of reasoning is this? Zu An was puzzled. How could he say that a clan built up over a thousand years couldn’t be destroyed?
He couldn’t find a way out for the Chu clan, not when they were on the hook for sixteen million taels of silver. Even the four great clans of Brightmoon City together might not be able to put together that much cash.
“Stopping fretting over nothing. Why would the glorious Chu clan need to be rescued by a drafted son-in-law like you?” Old Mi scoffed. “Besides, the entire Chu clan added together isn’t as important as you. Your only job is to take care of yourself. You absolutely cannot let any danger befall to you.”
With that, Old Mi left. He clearly didn’t want to hear any more requests about saving the Chu clan.
Zu An cringed when he heard those words. Please don’t tell me that the old man was confessing to me.
Zu An went to the Unvoiced Residence several times in the evening, but Chu Chuyan never returned.
Zu An snuck into the meeting hall and discovered that it was still brightly lit. From time to time, people came and went, many of them trusted aides of the Chu clan.
Chu Chuyan was probably thinking of a way to save the Chu clan.
Zu An’s heart ached. His wife was beautiful, strong, and most importantly, capable. However, being too competent came with its own drawbacks. From a young age she had had to bear many responsibilities that she shouldn’t have had to.
In his previous world, all the young ladies around her age in his past world enjoyed their years of youth to the full. Simps willing to do their bidding crowded around them. Their days were spent in endless enjoyment. Where would anyone find a trace of such hardships in their lives?
Zu An drifted off to sleep in the Unvoiced Residence. The next morning, he was awoken by Chu Chuyan. “Ah Zu, come with me on a trip.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter