Desire filled Li Zhenjian’s eyes. He had been captivated by this beauty for far too long! However, he clearly understood their difference in status, and he never dared to aim at something so clearly out of his league.
The only thing he could do was to have a concubine wear the same clothes as Qin Wanru, and do up her hair in a similar way. He had even made her wear a similar fragrance at night.
With that, he could satisfy whatever desire he had while imagining that she was Qin Wanru.
Unfortunately, after every such encounter, he would be reminded of the stupidity of it all. After all, these concubines were no match for Qin Wanru herself.
Perhaps heaven itself had finally felt pity for him, and presented him with such an opportunity!
The Chu clan was mired in a terrible scandal, and even Chu Zhongtian was now locked behind bars. His goddess had come to visit him on her own. What else could this be but a blessing from heaven?
The unapproachable woman with such magnificent pedigree was now finally within reach.
Just as his palm was about to cup her well-rounded bottom, pain shot through his arm. His hand had been grabbed by the other party.
Qin Wanru gave him a cold look. “What is the meaning of this, Clan Master Li?”
Li Zhenjian smiled in embarrassment. “I’m obviously trying to help the madam.”
“Is this how you offer your help?” Qin Wanru said coldly.
Li Zhenjian lost his smile. “If Madam grants me what I desire, then I will surely grant Madam what you desire.”
“Shameless!” Qin Wanru was so angry that her entire body trembled. She had never expected that this man, whom she had respected for so long, would be so small-minded and despicable.
She slapped his face across the face.
She couldn’t be bothered to waste any more breath on this shameless man, and stormed off in anger.
Li Zhenjian rubbed his own cheek, then brought his fingers to his nose, and sighed. “It smells so good…”
An advisor walked out from the back room. “Master, the Chu clan is still a dukedom after all. It might not be a great idea to offend Madam Chu,” he said, his voice tinged with worry.
Li Zhenjian gave a dismissive snort. “What dukedom? They’re already a relic of the past. The royal court is dead set on dealing with the Chu clan, and even Governor Sang is involved. What can the Chu clan possibly do?”
The advisor hesitated a little. “But what if they actually manage to…” he said haltingly.
“How many ‘what if’s’ can there be?” Li Zhenjian waved a hand. “Do you really think I’m just some idiotic lecher? How was I supposed to refuse Qin Wanru if I hadn’t resorted to this? Now, we can use this chance to sever ties with the Chu clan and announce to everyone that we are no longer allies with the Chu clan. Heaven forbid we end up caught up in this disaster of theirs as well!”
“The master is wise and brilliant after all!” The advisor was full of praise on the outside, but his heart was full of disdain. Your words sound so dignified—but do you really think that I didn’t see how you were behaving earlier?
Elsewhere, Zu An’s group finally arrived at Brightmoon Academy, and Chu Huanzhao went off to class.
Zu An and Chu Chuyan sought out Jiang Luofu.
Jiang Luofu straightened after hearing what Chu Chuyan had to say.
After taking a moment to herself, Jiang Luofu said, “First of all, let me express my sincerest condolences for Brightmoon Duke. However, I believe the Chu clan has indeed violated the law this time. The academy has never interfered in governmental affairs, so I fear that we cannot render our aid in this situation.”
Chu Chuyan had fully expected something like this to happen. Should Brightmoon Academy offer their assistance, it would be the same as openly defying the imperial household.
However, she had hoped that the academy would leverage its independence and overlook this issue.
Coupled with their close relationship with the Chu clan, it was still a possibility that they could render some assistance.
Unfortunately, the end result was disappointing.
“In that case, I apologize for disturbing the principal.” Chu Chuyan forced a smile. Not even the academy—that they were on good terms with—was willing to help. Their other options were most likely going to fall through as well.
Zu An shook his head. Chu Chuyan was truly remarkable in all aspects, but she had always been too outstanding ever since she’d been a child. This clearly made her care too much about her reputation.
With the situation that they were in, there was no place for etiquette.
He pulled her back and stepped in front of Jiang Luofu. “Gorgeous principal, you’re making a mistake.”
“Ah Zu!” Chu Chuyan tugged at his arm. Principal Jiang was strong, and she had tremendous status in Brightmoon City. Even though she wasn’t willing to help them, neither would they act against the Chu clan. Things would go terribly wrong if they ended up provoking her.
Zu An patted her hand to tell her not to worry.
“And what is this mistake?” Jiang Luofu asked indifferently from her chair.
Zu An took a step forward. Suddenly, his eyes widened. Jiang Luofu was wearing a pair of reflective, nude-colored stockings today, which made her alluring legs give off an intoxicating radiance. Matched with her decorative glasses and her well-ironed clothes…
She really was a fatally seductive beauty!
He hurriedly calmed his emotions—which had been thrown into disarray—and said in a serious voice, “From what I know, Brightmoon Duke has always treated Principal Jiang quite well. Moreover, the Chu clan has made great donations to the academy, in terms of both funding and resources. Yet now that the Chu clan is now experiencing difficulties, Principal Jiang is content to just watch from the sidelines. How could this be?
“I haven’t spent much time in Brightmoon Academy, but I know that the academy holds the virtues of repaying kindness and returning favors in high regard. Won’t your actions tarnish the dignity of the academy? How could the academy have the gall to continue preaching such morals to its students in the future?”
“Ah Zu…” Chu Chuyan’s heart had climbed all the way up into her throat. She hadn’t expected his words to be so harsh. It was too late to stop Zu An now, even if she wanted to.
Jiang Luofu narrowed her eyes and stood up. Her tall and dignified figure was more than a match for Zu An’s bluster, and her aura surged powerfully. “Very good! It’s been a long time since anyone has dared to speak to me in such a way!”
She stalked towards him as she spoke. The pressure she exerted was so great, even Chu Chuyan subconsciously took a step back.
Zu An swallowed with difficulty. He was the one who bore the brunt of the pressure, but he was simply too stubborn to back down. He didn’t want to appear weak in front of a woman.
He stuck out his chest, standing his ground as if his feet had been nailed to the floor, without budging an inch.
Even though the pressure Jiang Luofu emitted was great, it still couldn’t compare to Mi Li’s.
He’d survived Mi Li’s trial—there was no way he would fall here.
Jiang Luofu fully expected him to back down, but he somehow managed to hold his ground. Because of this, her final step took her right next to him, and their lips almost touched.
Her reactions were quick. With the slightest movement, she drew back from him, creating a gap between them.
For a brief moment, a tinge of red touched her dignified features, although it was unclear whether it was from embarrassment or anger.
Chu Chuyan hurriedly walked up to her. “Principal, Ah Zu didn’t intend to disrespect you! Please do not be offended.”
Jiang Luofu waved her hand. “It’s nothing. I’m not that petty. The two of us are closer than you think.”
Chu Chuyan was stunned. Jiang Luofu sounded as if she were talking about an old friend. Just how did Ah Zu establish such a relationship with someone with such a high status?
Zu An also smiled. “The gorgeous principal was behaving so coldly, I thought we had somehow become enemies.”
Jiang Luofu glared at him. “I’ll settle this with you later.”
She turned to Chu Chuyan. “Chuyan, I was planning to render assistance personally, without involving the name of the academy. However, Ah Zu has reminded me of a plausible reason for the academy to get involved.
“However, the academy isn’t run by me alone, and I don’t have the final say over many matters in the academy. There is a limit as to how much I can help. At most, I can offer you about a million taels of silver.”
Chu Chuyan was both surprised and overjoyed. “Thank you principal!”
This figure was already far beyond her expectations.
Jiang Luofu smiled. “I will also pay a visit to Glorious Sun City and seek out Governor Sang. Perhaps there is a way for the punishment to be lightened.”
Tears swam in Chu Chuyan’s eyes. “I really don’t know how to thank you, Principal Jiang!”
Jiang Luofu said, “There’s no need to thank me. You should be glad that you have a good husband.”
When the two of them had left the office, Chu Chuyan looked at Zu An, her gaze flickering left and right. Her expression grew complicated, and she finally said, “Is there something going on between you and Principal Jiang…?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter