Chapter 576: A Young Noble Lady

Zu An frowned. Even though this woman was exceedingly pretty, she seemed just a tad too cold.

The iciness she exuded was different from Chu Chuyan’s. His own wife had a naturally gentle and refined disposition, which, when paired with the Snowflake Sword technique that she cultivated, gave her the demeanor of a snowy enchantress.

However, the woman in front of him seemed to act all high and mighty, and carried herself with a snooty indifference. She was clearly not that old, but she exuded a maturity that belonged to someone much, much older.

No wonder the lively fatty had suddenly shrunk in fear, like a mouse unexpectedly spying a cat close by.

Zu An wasn’t stupid. Clearly, this was the crown princess.

The beautiful woman gave the two of them a look. Zhao Ruizhi leapt off his seat, as though his bottom had just been burned. He stood rigidly and obediently.

The woman noticed that Zu An was still sitting leisurely, casually popping fruits into his mouth, and she frowned.

The maid next to her saw the change in her expression and immediately berated him. “Outrageous! Who do you think you are? How dare you sit in the crown prince’s spot?”

It seemed to Zu An that this crown princess really was excessively arrogant. It was almost as if she had deemed his status too low to speak to directly, and so she had her maid scold him in her place.

He gave that maid a sidelong look. “Your crown prince allowed me to sit here. Do I need to ask you for permission as well? Are you even anyone important?”

“You!” The maid immediately began to tremble uncontrollably.

You have successfully trolled Rong Mo for 999 Rage points!

She was the crown princess’ personal maid, and others would always try to curry favor with her wherever she went. She had never encountered anyone who criticized her immediately at their first meeting. She was so baffled that she didn’t know how to respond, which made her even angrier.

Zu An sneered. Rong Mo? Why aren’t you called Granny Rong?[1]

He could tell from the get go that this person couldn’t be reasoned with.

The crown princess gave him a surprised look. She hadn’t expected this person to be so brazen.

You have successfully trolled Bi Linglong for 258 Rage points!

Zu An stared at her as well. The woman’s name had a nice ring to it, but the woman herself was a little too fierce.[2]

The crown princess felt her unhappiness grow as he continued to stare at her, and she let out an angry huff.

She was the crown princess! Ordinarily, all men would bow their heads in her presence. At the very least, they didn’t look at her so openly.

Even the important ministers of the court would do their best to avoid laying their eyes on her, yet this fellow was staring at her in such an unrestrained manner!

You have successfully trolled Bi Linglong for 489 Rage points!

“Little Mo, I was the one who told him to sit there,” Zhao Ruizhi offered timidly.

Her maid was about to say something else when the crown princess stopped her. This foolish girl had invoked the crown prince’s title to criticize Zu An, yet he had shot the same title right back at her. It was completely pointless to continue with this line of argument.

She turned her head to take in the naked eunuchs, standing off to the side. “What are you all doing here?” she asked.

Little Xu and Little He trembled as they replied, “Respectfully, crown princess, we were pretending to be frogs.”

Bi Linglong was momentarily speechless.

She knew what kind of person her husband was, and these shenanigans weren’t surprising at all. As such, she changed her approach. “What happened here just now?” she asked instead. “Also, who is this?”

Zu An’s eyes narrowed. This crown princess was much smarter than that maid. From the looks of it, she was looking for another reason to punish him.

Little Xu and Little He hurriedly recounted what had just happened. They didn’t dare to offend the crown princess, but they were also afraid of offending the crown prince, which was why they laid out the facts in an unbiased manner, and objectively explained all that had just happened.

Unexpectedly, Bi Linglong flew into a rage upon hearing their tale. “Chatting with frogs? Utterly preposterous! This sorcerer who has deceived the crown prince is to be given twenty strikes to the mouth as a warning to others! All those who dare to deceive the crown prince through such treacherous methods in the future are to be punished severely.”

“Understood!” The eunuchs trailing behind her walked towards Zu An with sinister smiles.

Zhao Ruizhi opened his mouth several times, but when he saw the crown princess’ ferocious expression, he guiltily swallowed his pleas for leniency.

Zu An cursed him for being a henpecked good-for-nothing. There was obviously no way he would let these eunuchs have their way. He raised his voice immediately. “Wait a moment!”

Bi Linglong gave him a cold look. She had no intention of speaking with him.

Zu An’s face darkened. Wasn’t it only right to give him a chance to explain himself?

Left with no other choice, he could only say, “I am a friend of the crown prince. He invited me over here. If you don’t believe me, you can ask him yourself.” He nudged the fatty next to him as he said this.

Zhao Ruizhi seemed to have finally awoken from his daze. “Linglong, he is my friend, and he didn’t lie to me,” he finally managed. “I wanted to make him my teacher so that I could learn how to talk to frogs. It’s much more interesting than the things the other tutors teach me.”

“He even told you to call him your teacher?” Bi Linglong’s expression became even colder. “Absolutely shameful! There is no need to hit him in the mouth. Throw him to the floor and give him a hundred strokes of the rod!”

You have successfully trolled Bi Linglong for 581 Rage points!

The eunuchs serving her immediately quickened their pace towards him.

Zu An gave them a cold stare. The eunuchs froze immediately, as though turned to ice statues. It was as though they were facing some terrible threat. None of them dared take another half-step forward.

Even the crown princess and her maid felt a jolt run through their hearts.

Why are this fellow’s eyes so terrifying?

There was no way they could know that Zu An already experienced countless battles, dancing along the thin edge between life and death. He had even spent several decades as the ruler of the Shang Dynasty! Adding on the Tai’e Sword that he always carried with him, a sword known for its dao of power, all this had caused his aura to change considerably. Any ordinary person would naturally feel an oppressive fear when they faced him, although he usually intentionally concealed this aura.

Now that the crown princess had treated him so disrespectfully, there was no way he was going to remain polite.

How could an ordinary person survive a hundred strikes of the rod? Even if a cultivator did not die, their skin would still be stripped from their flesh, since the one administering the punishment would also be cultivators.

Zu An said coldly, “The crown prince is already a grown man. Could it be that he doesn’t even have the right to choose his friends, or who he chooses to learn from? As a wife, aren’t you being too controlling? Perhaps you view yourself as the true heir to the throne, and see him as your drafted husband instead.”

Bi Linglong’s face twitched. How could she dare admit to something like that? It would spell trouble if such a rumor got out. She quickly bowed to Zhao Ruizhi and said, “Crown prince, I was just worried that you might have been deceived because of your simple nature. There was no other meaning behind my actions.”

Zhao Ruizhi didn’t pick up on any of the conflict between the two of them. “It’s fine, it’s fine,” he said with a chuckle.

He noticed that she was bowing towards him, and subconsciously walked over to help her up.

Bi Linglong straightened quickly before he could do anything. Even though it looked as though the crown prince had supported her up, Zu An was close enough to see that the two of them had not made any contact.

A thoughtful expression crossed his face. This husband and wife seemed to share an interesting relationship.

He coughed lightly. “So, judging by the crown princess’ own words, could it be that you think the crown prince is stupid, and that he doesn’t even possess the ability to distinguish between right and wrong?”

This statement caused the expressions of everyone present to flicker. The topic of the crown prince’s simple-mindedness was absolutely taboo. It was always kept out of public discourse, and only ever mentioned in hushed tones. This fellow was quite the character. Not only did he mention this in public, he had even said it in front of the crown prince himself!

Bi Linglong was just about to say something when, unexpectedly, Zhao Ruizhi stepped in to voice his agreement. “Linglong, Zu An is right! I’m not stupid.”

Bi Linglong was at a loss for words.

This idiot of a husband was messing everything up! What else could she do about this?

There was no way she would be willing to let Zu An go just like that though. Both sides found themselves deadlocked.

Wait a minute. Zu An…? Why does this name sound familiar?

At this moment, a soft, gentle voice drifted over from the side. “May I ask who Little Sister Linglong is upset at?”

Bi Linglong’s expression flickered when she heard this voice. Her characteristic smile appeared on her face again as she turned around. “Concubine Bai, what made you decide to take a stroll around here today?”

Zu An tracked the source of the voice, and his eyes came to rest on a young noble lady, who was both slender and elegant. Her brows were shapely, and her eyes were clear and bright. She was absolutely gorgeous, and exuded a dignified yet awe-inspiring aura.

1. ’Mo’ here means granny, or old lady.

2. Bi means ‘jade’, Linglong means ‘exquisite’.

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