“Wit?” Zheng Dan was confused.
“Let’s head to that small town first,” Sang Qien said in reply. “They will have to pass by it as well. I’ll explain matters along the way.”
“But those Devil Sect fiends have cultivations that are higher than ours, and they left earlier as well. Will we make it in time if we leave now?” Pei Mianman was a little skeptical.
Sang Qien quickly reassured her. “Earlier on, I learned about a small path between the mountains from some local hunters in town, which is much shorter than the main path. That was the path I took to get here. If we follow this path, we should be able to reach town first.”
Pei Mianman’s eyes lit up. “All right, then. Let’s get moving!”
They made their way through the forest. Sang Qian doggedly tried to start a conversation with Pei Mianman along the way. “Miss Pei, why must you get involved in all of this? Are you carrying out the Pei clan’s will?”
Pei Mianman shook her head. “I am merely acting on my own. I do not represent the Pei clan.”
“Then Miss Pei really is a paragon of righteousness!” Sang Qian said in praise. “I’ve heard that Miss Pei and Miss Chu are close friends, and it seems Miss Pei was really eager to help out once you heard that something had happened to Miss Chu’s husband.”
“You’re too kind,” Pei Mianman said with a gentle snort. She didn’t look at all pleased. Sang Qian was clearly trying to say that Zu An was Chu Chuyan’s husband, and that she should not harbor any thoughts about him.
Sang Qian’s eyes couldn’t help but wander towards her chest, which was gently rising and falling because of her irritation. He swallowed. This woman really is top-notch! She’s so pretty even when she’s angry.
“Is there anything else you need, young master Sang?” Pei Mianman was rather annoyed. His wandering eyes did not go unnoticed. If they weren’t relying on Sang Qien’s help to rescue Zu An, she would have snapped his head off by now.
“Miss Pei, you don’t need to worry. If you find yourself in any danger later, I will surely rush to your aid.” Sang Qian could feel that he was in a much better condition, now that the medicine’s effects had spread through his body, and his usual arrogance returned.
Pei Mianman smiled. “Thank you, young master. Then again, young master Sang, shouldn’t you be protecting your fiancée instead?”
Zheng Dan was none too pleased by this.
That dude was clearly bothering you—why do you have to start causing trouble for me?!
Sang Qian glanced at Zheng Dan and said resentfully, “I do not believe Miss Zheng needs me to worry about her.”
It was obvious that he didn’t like seeing his fiancée’s anxious desire to save another man.
Zheng Dan smiled, but she didn’t say anything. Her relationship with the Sang clan was ruined beyond repair, but she felt not a single shred of regret.
Sang Qian ran over to Pei Mianman’s side to chat her up. Meanwhile, Sang Qien was completely speechless when she saw this. Is my brother stupid? His attempts at flirting are just too clumsy.
Pei Mianman finally had enough. She found Sang Qien and asked her about the plan. “Miss Sang, what did you mean when you said we were going to outwit them?”
Sang Qien was grateful for the distraction. Her big brother’s clumsy display was hurting her eyes. She quickly laid out what she had in mind. “Their cultivation ranks are higher than ours, so a direct confrontation wouldn’t work. That is why we need to use other methods. For example… poison.”
“Poison?” Pei Mianman frowned. “Those Devil Sect cultivators are all powerful individuals, though, and regular poisons will likely be useless against them. Let alone the fact that they are all ruffians who have extensive experiences with using underhanded means. Our chances for success are slim at best.”
The corners of Sang Qien’s lips curved upwards, revealing a foxy smile. “That’s why I’ve gone through quite a bit of effort to procure some ‘Monarch’s Loyalty’.”
“‘Monarch’s loyalty’?” Zheng Dan, who had been listening quietly the entire time, exclaimed in surprise. “The miraculous poison that is known for being colorless and odorless, and can prevent those afflicted from using ki?”
She used to be the boss of the Whale Gang, and she possessed a fair amount of knowledge in this field.
“Indeed. With such a poison at our disposal, it doesn’t matter how powerful those Devil Sect cultivators are,” Sang Qien said proudly.
Pei Mianman’s mood improved considerably, now that there was a hope of rescuing Zu An. “The capital is full of rumors of Miss Sang’s wisdom. Indeed, it seems Miss Sang is as brilliant as expected!”
Sang Qien’s face reddened. “These are small, simple tactics. They’re nothing special.”
Their group hurried towards the small town.
Not long after they arrived, another carriage slowly entered the town.
“Lady Saint, let’s stop here to rest and reorganize,” Solitary Lightning said.
“All right. Make sure to stock up this time. We won’t be making another stop. After this, we’ll be heading straight back to the sect. The faster we bring him back, the fewer potential headaches we’ll face,” Qiu Honglei replied.
“Understood!” The other Solitary Eight members cheered. They held high positions in the sect, and they were used to leading comfortably lavish lifestyles. They had had to put up with quite a bit of discomfort during this mission, and were looking forward to some rest.
Qiu Honglei turned around to give Zu An a playful look. “Why do you keep looking at me? You’ve been staring at me the whole journey!”
“It’s because you’re pretty, of course.” Zu An sighed in satisfaction. “I was quite stressed out by all that had happened, but my mood instantly improved once I had you by my side.”
Qiu Honglei snorted. “You rascal, I see that your mouth is as slick as ever.”
Even though that was what she said, her brows betrayed her inner delight. It really was quite strange. She was praised wherever she went, by many who had much greater literary talent than Zu An, and yet she felt nothing when they spoke.
The carriage suddenly came to a stop. Solitary Wind’s voice came from outside. “Lady Saint, we’ve arrived at the tavern.”
Qiu Honglei accompanied Zu An out of the carriage. Zu An looked at the words ‘Four Seas Inn’ above him, and a thoughtful look came over him. He remembered that the casino that the Sang clan and Zheng clan had run was also named ‘Four Seas’. He’d even won a million taels of silver from them once.
“Is there something wrong with the name?” Qiu Honglei walked over to him and asked curiously.
“It’s nothing. The name just evokes a feeling of familiarity.”
Zu An chuckled and strutted inside. “Waiter, we’re ready to order!”
Solitary Lightning and the others rolled their eyes. This kid really did not have a single shred of decency.
“Coming!” A waiter quickly rushed over with a towel.
Zu An was just about to order when a thought occurred to him. He turned around to look at Qiu Honglei. “You guys are covering everything for this trip, right?”
Qiu Honglei’s mouth fell open in shock.
Despite that, she still replied, “But of course. The young master is our esteemed guest, so this meal is on us.”
“That’s good, then.” Zu An then turned to the waiter and said, “I want stewed bear paws, braised camel humps, stir-fried tiger’s tails, shark’s fin abalone soup…”
The Solitary Eight felt their eyelids twitch vigorously. Was this kid deliberately trying to rip them off?
Fortunately, the waiter had a troubled expression. “Our humble establishment doesn’t serve such precious dishes,” he said.
“You guys don’t even have these dishes?” Zu An looked unhappy. “Then what do you guys have?”
The waiter, having seen Zu An’s outburst earlier, didn’t dare show any disrespect. He quickly replied, “We have roast lamb, roast pork, tender steak, roast chicken, stewed goose, duck in soy sauce…”
After he had gone over their entire menu, he asked with great expectation, “What does our esteemed guest wish to order?”
“What do I want to order? Are you looking down on us? Look at those fellows over there—do they look like they’re broke?” Zu An pointed at the Solitary Eight. “Give us one of everything you just mentioned. If you even skip out on even a single dish, it’ll only mean that you’re looking down on them.”
“Ah?” This waiter was stunned. He had never seen this way of ordering before.
Every single member of the Solitary Eight looked as though they had eaten a mouthful of shit. If they stopped Zu An, it would only make them look stingy, yet they couldn’t suppress the anger they felt.
You have successfully trolled the Solitary Eight for 233… 233… 233…
In the end, it was Qiu Honglei who stepped in impatiently. “Enough, don’t listen to him. Just give us some of your best dishes…”
Even though she said she would only order some of their best dishes, she ended up ordering quite a bit, but not so much as to be wasteful.
The waiter looked blankly at Qiu Honglei, clearly enamored by her beauty, and only snapped out of his daze after she called him a half-dozen times. He said with a reddened face, “Got it!”
Zu An chuckled. “Honglei, your charm really is unmatched! Forget about the waiter, everyone in this inn is sneaking looks in your direction.”
“Stop teasing me already.” Qiu Honglei rolled her eyes. She was more than accustomed to this. “Hurry up and eat so we can get moving.”
Soon afterwards, the table was covered in piping hot food. The stomachs of the Solitary Eight were already rumbling with hunger. They were just about to eat when Qiu Honglei noticed a figure in the distance. She stopped her companions. “Wait!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter