Chapter 538: Childhood Sweethearts

The maid wasn’t a dumb lass. She didn’t have to have experience to know what that was.

She was the king’s personal maid, and there was no way she wouldn’t know what was prodding at her right now.

She was still a maiden, and this was the first time she was being held in this way by a man, surrounded by his masculine aura. The people of this period were dressed lightly as well, so there was a lot of skin-to-skin contact, and she could even hear his heartbeat clearly. How could she possibly stand this?

To cap it all off, she could constantly feel that loathsome thing prodding against her. She really wanted to cut it right off!

Unfortunately, that was mere wishful thinking. Even if she had a blade, she wouldn’t have dared. If the king died suddenly, the high priest would be the prime suspect. That was why she had to move slowly, knocking down this incompetent ruler’s prestige little by little. The invasion by the Qiang Faction provided the best opportunity. If the matter played out as it should, then Wu Ding would be humiliated, and the High Priest’s prestige would soar. At that point, ascending the throne would be a foregone conclusion.

Even though she continued to distract herself with these thoughts, the man behind her continued to hold onto her tightly, and his embrace was beginning to feel like a furnace. He kept rubbing against her body as well, making her heart pound madly and her thoughts scatter.

Is this guy actually sleeping or not?!

The maid was hopping mad, but powerless to do anything about it. She could only try her best to avoid his constant grinding.

Unfortunately, locked in his embrace this way, there was only so much room for her to move about. No matter how she wiggled, some part of him would still be rubbing against her.

After a long struggle, she exhausted most of her strength, and her breathing was beginning to grow ragged as well.

Every time she twisted about, she could keenly sense the thing behind her pushing into her more and more firmly. She dared not move about anymore, and silently grew still. 

Zu An almost laughed out loud when he sensed just how much the girl in his arms was trembling. It seemed to him that the female spies of this era had yet to undergo truly specialized training, and their bodies remained extremely sensitive. The female spies of later eras would have been used to treating their bodies as weapons. None of them would have been so uncomfortable just from being held by a man.

However, he had to admit that the girl had really soft skin, and holding her like this actually felt pretty good.

They had been constantly surrounded by danger, and he had just engaged in an intensely passionate struggle with Pei Mianman not too long ago, so he was quite exhausted. Lying on such a comfortable bed with a girl in his arms was a welcome respite, and drowsiness slowly overtook him. Before falling asleep, he made sure to wrap his arms around hers, and drape a leg across her waist. This way, he would immediately wake up if she made any strange movements.

Of course, this made things extremely awkward for the maid. She didn’t dare let herself get the slightest bit distracted, yet the more on edge she was, the more sensitive she became. Eventually, her entire body felt heavy and stiff.

She was incredibly ashamed that she was left in this state by the king she usually looked down on, and that she was letting down her lover. She also began to question her own life, wondering if she really was an emotionally fickle woman.

The next morning, the maid discovered that she had actually fallen asleep in his arms. Her expression flickered between shame and horror as she struggled free from his arms at once.

Knowing that Pei Mianman should have already completed whatever she needed to do, Zu An didn’t bother stopping her.

The maid bowed before leaving, then hurriedly left the palace, secretly heading to a remote hut.

She smiled when she glimpsed a familiar face. She was just about to walk up to it when a cold voice came from within the darkness. “You’re late.”

The maid’s smile froze, and she quickly explained, “I wasn’t able to get away earlier. Last night, that incompetent ruler made me stay…”

Midway through her sentence, she stopped suddenly. She didn’t know how to explain herself.

“You were forced to stay behind and sleep with him?” The voice chilled further.

The maid began to panic. “Big brother Lian, don’t misunderstand! He didn’t actually do anything to me!”

The person in the shadows in front of her wore a crown filled with feathers. There were a few streaks of color across his face, and he held an intricate jade badge in his hand. If Zu An were here, he would have recognized it as the jade badge sought after by the young Eastern Barbarian girl.

This was the high priest of the Shang State, Lian. He was also Wu Ding’s cousin, the son of the man who served as the Shang monarch before Wu Ding’s father.

“According to the people from the palace, Wu Ding took you to bed.” It was hard to make out his expression from the mysterious patterns drawn on his face.

“We didn’t do anything, he only hugged me… and then fell asleep,” The maid hurriedly explained.

“That was the reason why I sent you in in the first place, even if nothing went on between the two of you.” Lian clearly didn’t believe her. A man and a woman, sleeping together for an entire night in the same bed, wearing very little. Who would believe that nothing had happened?

The maid was truly beginning to panic. “That incapable ruler and the empress went at it for quite a while, and he was tired out. He fell asleep while holding me.”

“The empress…” Lian’s eyelids twitched. A glint of mad jealousy flashed across his eyes when he thought about how another man had toyed with that stunning woman.

Wu Ding, everything that you possess should have been mine. One day, I will seize back everything. Your throne, your wife, and everything else you own will be mine!

You have successfully trolled Lian for 999… 999… 999…

Zu An smiled as he noticed the Rage points flowing in. He had more or less pieced together what was going on, but now, he had confirmation that Lian was indeed a major boss in this trial.

He had to give props to the Keyboard system, though. It was able to follow him into this trial that not even Mi Li could enter! She had been forced to stay outside with his physical body, within the Tai’e Sword.

It made some sense, though, as the soul was the one that had been drawn into this trial, and the Keyboard system was much more tightly bound to his soul.

He expressed gratitude for his blessings. This damned trial hadn’t given him a single hint, and he’d had to rely on his own investigative prowess. The other participants had probably taken a long time to realize who the real enemy was, and by then, it would have been too late for them.

Meanwhile, in the remote hut, the maid was done talking about her night spent with the incapable king. She quickly changed the topic, bringing up what Zu An, Fu Shuo and Pei Mianman had discussed.

Lian had also calmed down. After listening to all of this, he said in a serious tone, “This Fu Shuo is quite formidable. He actually managed to come up with such a plan. It’s a pity that you’ve come to me too late. They’ve already spread the news, and now everyone knows that the king has received a divine dream. The idea of the sand table was also magnificent, and managed to convince everyone of his claim. Even though I am a high priest, it is already too difficult for me to stop them.”

“I guess that incompetent king still has some skill, considering how he managed to come up with something like that,” The maid said in amazement.

Lian snorted and said, “Fu Shuo was probably the one who came up with the sand table. Before Fu Shuo was an official, he worked in matters of construction, which makes this his specialized field. Wu Ding probably laid claim to it to increase his own prestige.”

Based on what she’d heard, the maid wasn’t so sure that this was the case, but it didn’t feel appropriate for her to correct him. “Big brother Lian, it’s all my fault that I couldn’t tell you about it in time and messed up your plans,” she said in the end.

“No harm done!” Lian waved his hand. “If they want to send the empress out to battle, then so be it. How can a woman like her possibly lead the troops? Once she messes up and loses both our army and Wu Ding’s personal guard, it’ll be a piece of cake for me to take over.”

The maid smiled. She liked seeing this confident side of him.

“Although…” Lian changed the topic. “I believe this Wu Ding is suspicious of you.”

“What?!” The maid couldn’t contain her shock.

Lian’s voice hardened. “I believe that he deliberately kept you in the palace to prevent you from contacting me.”

“There’s no way that’s true.” The maid just couldn’t believe that that pervert was such a meticulous thinker.

“I hope that you’re right.” Lian looked at her with a mixture of conflict and hesitancy. “But I can tell that this incapable king is quite fond of you, though. Perhaps you can use this opportunity to become his woman and earn his trust.”

“What?!” A tremor ran through the maid’s body. She could not believe what she’d just heard. “Big brother Lian, you know how I feel about you, yet you want me to…”

“Of course I do. Xiao Tuo, the two of us were childhood sweethearts, and we’ve shared a deep affection. Even if you lose your purity, I would not mind it at all. Once I ascend  to the throne, you will still become the empress,” Lian said gently. As he said this, though, it was Fu Hao’s gorgeous appearance that appeared in his mind instead.

“Is there no other way?” The maid’s thin lips were about to bleed from how hard she was biting them. “I can use a different means to gain his trust! Also, the Qiang Faction has already begun their invasion. Who knows, he might be dethroned very soon. Why do I have to…”

Lian cut her off. “I’m asking you to infiltrate his bedroom not just so you can obtain his trust. It is a key part of my great plan later on!”

“What plan?” The maid was on the verge of tears.

Lian shook his head. “Now is not the time to reveal it yet. You will know when the time comes. You just need to remember one thing—use all of your charms to make him completely infatuated with you. That’s all.”

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