Zu An was about to tell her that she didn’t have to go that far, and that he planned to face the emperor and settle the issue on his own once and for all.
However, he couldn’t shake the feeling that all that had happened so far was just too strange. Firstly, the emperor did not summon him to the palace, but made him wait outside for a night. Then, a group of assassins somehow reached him so easily. If he hadn’t made a great breakthrough in his cultivation, he would probably be dead by now.
He didn’t know who was orchestrating all this. If Zhuxie Chixin was one of the perpetrators, and he later found out that the assassins hadn’t been able to kill him, he might just send even stronger assailants, or even get personally involved. That would truly be a headache. It was probably safer for him to make his escape first and lie low for a while.
He nodded. “Okay, let’s go.”
Qiao Xueying beamed. She grabbed his hand and ran towards the window.
“Wait…” Zu An hurriedly picked up Chu Youzhao.
“What are you bringing him along for?” Qiao Xueying wasn’t too happy that a third wheel was coming along. “The assassins have failed, and the guards will soon arrive. No one will harm him, given who he is.”
Zu An shook his head. “Everything that’s happened today is much too strange. Things will get worse if something happens to him.”
If it were anyone else, Qiao Xueying wouldn’t have cared if they were dead or alive. However, since he was a scion of the Chu clan, she did not object any further.
Zu An walked over to her, carrying Chu Youzhao. As he walked, he felt a soft, squishy feeling. His heart skipped a beat, and he quickly shifted how he was holding her.
What the hell is this girl using? Her disguise seems perfect from the outside, but it’s completely different once one touches her.
He looked at the corpses on the ground, and his expression grew stern. With a wave of his hand, they were engulfed in flames. He did not want others to discover what had happened by examining the wounds on these corpses, whether it was Gui Tian’s—whom Qiao Xueying had killed—or the other three. Anyone who was determined enough could easily find out the truth. The flames spread quickly, but did not produce any sound. In a few heartbeats, the four corpses were so completely disintegrated that not even ashes remained.
Qiao Xueying was surprised. “You’ve awakened the fire element? The flames you wield don’t seem quite like those of other fire element cultivators, though. They seem rather special.”
“Of course they’re special. I think they’re the magical flames of the nine-tailed fox.” The flames he wielded were borrowed from Daji, so there was no way they were merely ordinary.
He had always been jealous of Pei Mianman’s destructive black flames, but now, his own flames did not seem all that bad.
The two of them talked quietly as they left the residence under the cover of night.
Zu An made sure to keep an eye on what was happening outside. Many guards were engaged in fierce fighting with a score of black-clad men. Some of these black-clad men had much higher cultivations than the four he had killed.
The bulk of their force was needed to distract the guards for this mission, so they could only afford to send those sixth-ranked experts to take care of him.
The black-clad men beat a fighting retreat. They figured that their companions should have already succeeded, so there was no reason to throw their lives away.
The two of them moved through the shadows silently. There were already soldiers patrolling the streets, having clearly noticed that something was not right within the city.
Qiao Xueying was extremely familiar with the capital. She led the way, just barely avoiding the soldiers’ detection. Eventually, the two of them arrived at a quiet, secluded residence.
Qiao Xueying opened the door and invited him in. “This is one of my hidden safehouses. Let’s wait things out here. I’ll take you to my clansmen once things calm down.”
“Okay.” Zu An looked about. Even though the interior wasn’t all that special, it was still rather nice. It was filled with all manner of plants and flowers, giving the space a refreshing feeling. It seemed that elves had a much greater affinity to nature.
Qiao Xueying helped him place Chu Youzhao on a chair. She was not about to let another man sleep in her bed, even if he was the Chu clan’s heir.
Zu An figured out what she was thinking, and couldn’t resist a chuckle.
“By the way, do you know anyone from the fox race?” Qiao Xueying asked, rather confused. She hadn’t had the chance to ask about this along the way, but they had some time to kill right now. She continued, “Even so… the fox race’s abilities lie in their bloodline. They have no way of passing on their flame-wielding skills to you either.”
“It’s complicated.” Zu An didn’t know how to explain things either. “If I had to sum it up, I am merely borrowing the flames of a nine-tailed fox.”
Qiao Xueying was surprised. “I was worried about how I would introduce you to the fiend races, but it’s much easier now, since you can borrow the power that the nine-tailed foxes wield. After all, it’s been a long time since there was a true nine-tailed fox within the fox race. You will surely be treated like a distinguished guest. Who knows, you might even be able to become their Saint. Even though the fox race isn’t a particularly strong race, they wield significant power, given their special status. It should be easy enough for them to shelter a single person.”
Zu An was stunned. “You’re planning to send me to live with the fiend races?”
“Where else could I send you?” Qiao Xueying replied. “Right now, you’re wanted by the emperor of the Great Zhou Dynasty, so no place within the Zhou Dynasty will be safe. However, no matter how strong the emperor is, he cannot interfere within the territories of our fiend races. You can hide out together with them for a few years. Once the emperor dies, you can come back.”
The term’ fiend races’ was used as a collective term for the other races in this world. The elves were one of the fiend races, so that was why she used the word ‘our’.
Zu An laughed. “The emperor of the Zhou Dynasty wants me for the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra, which can grant immortality. Do you think that no one else will covet my technique if I escape to the lands of the fiend races?”
Qiao Xueying was stunned. She hadn’t considered this possibility. After a short hesitation, she said, “The lifespans of fiends are longer than that of humans, so they don’t have such a great desire for techniques that grant immortality…”
Zu An shook his head. He gently caressed her beautifully braided hair. “Snow, thank you for worrying about me, but I should go to the palace tomorrow. I will face the emperor and settle this issue on my own, once and for all.”
Qiao Xueying began to panic. “The emperor is the world’s publicly-acknowledged number-one expert! Even if you’ve become stronger, you still don’t stand a chance!”
Zu An chuckled. “Silly girl, I’m not going there to fight him. Don’t worry, I have a plan. If my plan fails, then I’ll escape with you to the lands of the fiends.”
Qiao Xueying was incredibly worried. “But what if you don’t even have the chance to escape…?”
Zu An drew her petite body into his arms. “Trust me. I’ll be okay.”
Qiao Xueying hugged him tightly, as if he might slip away forever if she loosened her hold just a smidge.
After being apart for such a long time, any couple would act like newlyweds when they finally met again. As the two of them held on to each other, the temperature began to rise.
Qiao Xueying’s body slowly grew soft, while Zu An became harder.
No words were needed. Everything proceeded naturally. The two of them kissed each other deeply.
A while later, Qiao Xueying hastily tidied her messy clothes. She looked at Chu Youzhao, who was nearby, her face completely red. “Not… not over here….”
Zu An chuckled. He wanted to tell her that it was all right because Chu Youzhao was a girl too, and that she was still unconscious anyway.
However, when he saw her pleading stare, he did not bother explaining, but carried her straight to the nearby bed.
Qiao Xueying reached out her fingers. Several fine vines extended outwards, closing the curtains around them.
After a long time, Chu Youzhao slowly came to. She felt as if she had awaked from a strange dream. Everything within it had been pink and rosy, and it was just too embarrassing. She had dreamt that she was sleeping with a man, and that the man had been toying with her body to his heart’s content. All sorts of embarrassing noises had issued from her mouth.
His face had been blurry, but when she moved closer, she recognized that person’s face. It was her brother-in-law!
She woke up in fright.
So it was a dream!
She let out a long sigh, and she closed her legs together in shame. Why would she dream of something so embarrassing? And with that scoundrel as well!
Wait, the shameful sounds from my dream are still here.
She subconsciously turned around, and her eyes immediately widened. Even though there was a thin layer of curtains between them, she could still make out the figures inside.
What are they doing? Pretending to ride a horse?
Chu Youzhao was puzzled. Before she could react, a vine stretched out and knocked her out again.Previous Chapter Next Chapter