Everyone in the city was deep in discussion regarding what was going on. After all, the appearance of so many yellow-armored cavalry troops was just too shocking.
In this world, the color yellow was used almost exclusively by the emperor.
That was why even though almost no one in Brightmoon City had ever seen an armed escort like this before, they still knew right away that this group of soldiers was surely acting under the emperor’s orders!
“What is going on? Why would soldiers from the imperial city appear in Brightmoon City?”
“Has something major happened?”
“They seem to be heading towards the Chu Estate.”
“Brightmoon Duke has really been plagued with endless misfortune recently…”
While the people in the streets were discussing this matter seriously, Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru were even more anxious. The arrival of the imperial envoy had left them completely shell-shocked.
However, they didn’t dare to show any negligence, and quickly came out to greet them.
Two rows of soldiers in bright yellow armor stood neatly inside the Chu clan’s courtyard. A middle-aged man stood calmly in the center. The servants in the Chu Estate had already prepared chairs, tables, and fruits for the new arrivals to enjoy.
The envoy sat leisurely, chewing on some grapes. Those from the Chu Estate were the complete opposite, all of them so nervous that they didn’t dare make a sound.
After all, the appearance of this armed escort was just too frightening.
Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru hurried over when news of this arrival reached them. They too were stunned by the scene before them. Husband and wife exchanged a look; they knew that these men were up to no good.
Chu Zhongtian cleared his throat and greeted them respectfully. “Greetings, General Liu. May I ask what brings you here today?”
The middle-aged man before him was Liu Yao, the general of the Imperial Guard. He was in charge of the imperial guards stationed in the capital, and also a cultivator at the pinnacle of the ninth rank.
He was well-respected for another reason as well—he was the uncle of the current empress!
Even though he looked middle-aged, he was actually much, much older.
Liu Yao slowly swallowed the grape he was working on when he heard Chu Zhongtian’s greeting. He continued to remain silent, then spat out the grape skin at Chu Zhongtian’s feet.
Qin Wanru was furious. This man was going too far!
Chu Zhongtian quickly grabbed her hand, warning her not to act impulsively.
Liu Yao spoke. “I didn’t expect Brightmoon Duke to still remember me, despite only meeting me once in the capital city.”
Chu Zhongtian smiled. “General Liu is so heroic, anyone would remember you from just a single look.”
Liu Yao roared with laughter. “Rumor has it that Brightmoon Duke is honest and considerate, but I find you quite the crafty man.”
He scanned Qin Wanru’s body. The rumors were indeed true. Brightmoon Duke’s wife really was something. She was curvy and graceful, beautiful and flawless.
Qin Wanru frowned when she sensed his rude gaze. She was unhappy, but the imperial guards standing off to the side, coupled with this man’s identity, gave her pause. She could only endure it and say, “Why has Lord Liu come to Chu Estate with so many soldiers today?”
“Thank you so much for the reminder! I would’ve forgotten if you hadn’t brought it up!” Liu Yao slapped his forehead, and then quickly lost his smile. “Someone reported to the court that the salt commissioners of Linchuan Commandery have racked up a huge debt over the years. Your Chu clan has been accused of bribing many officials in all sorts of different stations.”
Both Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru were shocked, and their bodies immediately went cold. The secret that they’d been concealing for so many years had finally been exposed.
Of course, this accusation alone wasn't enough to make them plead guilty. Besides, the Chu clan had never coveted this money either.
Chu Zhongtian said, “Our Chu clan has always operated in an honest and upright manner. We would never do something like that. Where has Lord Liu heard this from?”
Liu Yao laughed. “Brightmoon Duke, the emperor would never have sent me here without sufficient proof. This isn’t something you can blow off with just a few words.”
Qin Wanru spoke up as well. “If I may ask, Lord Liu, you said that someone made a report to the court. Who was it? Could it perhaps be false information?”
“Perhaps Madam Chu thinks that you are being wronged? Or that the emperor is deliberately framing you?” Liu Yao sneered.
Qin Wanru said in a low voice, “Of course that’s not what I meant. However, the Chu clan has established itself in Brightmoon City for hundreds of years, so we might have unknowingly offended some people. It could be those people who are trying to slander us.”
“I guess there’s no harm in telling you.” Liu Yao wouldn’t have bothered if Chu Zhongtian had spoken to him, but since it was this mature beauty who had asked him this, he indulged himself in speaking with her further.
As such, he gestured towards someone outside. “Come in.”
Soon, a cowering figure came shuffling in. His originally handsome face had changed completely, and his eyes darted about constantly. He was clearly full of guilt.
“Hong Xingying!” Those of the Chu Estate recognized him instantly. How could they remain clueless as to what was going on? All of them cursed him endlessly.
They had tried to find him after Chu Tiesheng and Hong Zhong’s betrayal, but the brat had already snuck away. They never expected that he would surface again so quickly.
Hong Xingying grew angry at the barrage of curses. “Are you guys done? All of you had better shut your goddamn mouths! Who knows if you’ll even live to see tomorrow!”
This only served to further shock and incense the members of the Chu clan. However, they were cowed by the fully armed soldiers under Liu Yao’s command.
Qin Wanru glowered at Hong Xingying. “Our Chu clan has always been good to you. Why have you and your father repeatedly betrayed us?”
“Good to me?” Hate burned in Hong Xingying’s eyes. “I’ve worked earnestly for the Chu clan all these years. How many times have I risked everything for you all? It was all because you hinted to me that I would marry the first miss. In the end, you took in some random mutt off the streets and made him her husband. What does that make me?!”
You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for 714 Rage points!
“All my years of hard work and efforts were just a joke to you! I even became the laughingstock of the entire Chu clan!
“I won’t accept this! What’s wrong with trying to reclaim everything that should have been mine?!”
Hearing his repeated accusations, Qin Wanru grew so angry that her entire body began to quiver. “Absolutely disgraceful! I did hint that there was a high chance, but I never promised that Chuyan would definitely marry you! Even though I favored you, the final decision still rested with Chuyan herself! She didn’t choose you, but chose Ah Zu instead. What could I possibly have done?
“I also thought that she’d made a poor choice in the beginning, but now, I’m so glad that Chuyan didn’t choose a disgusting wolf like you! It would have been a huge disaster for our Chu clan!”
Hong Xingying roared with laughter. “What’s the point in saying all of this now? I will surely seize back all that I’ve lost with my own hands!”
Chu Chuyan will still be mine in the end! My only regret is that the bastard Zu An had beaten me to it first…
You have successfully trolled Hong Xingying for 999 Rage points!
Whatever, there’s still the second miss. I’ll make sure to take everything that I couldn’t get from the first miss from her little sister!
Annoyed by this display, Liu Yao shoved him off to the side. “Are you done blabbering? Who wants to hear all that annoying nonsense? Are you in charge or am I?”
Anger flashed across Hong Xingying’s eyes, but it was clear that this was definitely not someone he could offend. He apologized immediately. “General, please forgive me. I failed to control my emotions on my return.”
“Just go and stand over there.” Liu Yao sniffed dismissively. He turned to look at the husband and wife pair that headed the Chu clan. “Are the two of you convinced now?”
Chu Zhongtian said with a heavy voice, “We are not. Everyone knows that Hong Xingying harbors a deep hatred for our Chu clan. His father even fomented a rebellion not long ago, and was executed for it. How can his words be credible under these circumstances?”
Liu Yao chucked. “Don’t worry, the emperor has ordered me here to fully investigate this matter. After all, this matter doesn’t concern the Chu clan alone, but also has implications for many important subjects in the court!”
His smile faded, and he gave the order to his troops. “Capture everyone in this estate! We are going to register every single person. Do not let a single one go!”
Hong Xingying’s eyes lit up. He volunteered and said, “I’ll lead the way. I am familiar with the Chu clan and I know everyone.”
The first thing he wanted to do was capture that Zu An. Not only did he hate him for stealing his crush, he had to get revenge for his father’s death.
Zu An’s eyes narrowed when he saw the rows of notifications informing him about earned Rage points. Hong Xingying!
Suddenly, the door to the classroom slammed open.Previous Chapter Next Chapter