Chapter 66: Put In a Spot

Chapter 66: Put In a Spot

Brightmoon City was well-developed commercially, especially when it came to the salt and metal industry, so it would often export and import goods. Most of the exportations and importations occurred through the river, so the River Patrol Team was formed. The goal of the River Patrol Team was to deal with the issue of smuggling, as well as to protect the shipping of strategic resources, such as necessities, especially since ferocious beasts would appear along the shore of the river at some parts.

Sang Qian calmly answered, “While I’m responsible for the River Patrol Team, it’s also my job to ensure the security of the people. With so many people gathered here today, a small mistake can easily lead to a stampede. It’s reasonable for me to drop by and enquire about it, right?”

“There’s no need to trouble Commander Sang on this matter,” a gentle voice sounded all of a sudden.

From the doorway, escort by a group of guards, came a young man holding onto a paper fan. He had a face that was fair like white jade, and he emanated a scholarly vibe.

“Is this person a guy or a girl?”

“Shhh, are you tired of living? He’s the young master of the City Lord Estate!”

… 

Zu An was stunned. He didn’t expect to see Xie Xiu here. Previously, he was still having difficulties trying to understand why the royal families and nobles liked to rear male concubines, but if they were as beautiful as Xie Xiu, it would still be understandable… 

Pui, what the hell am I thinking about?

Sang Qian’s eyes turned grim as soon as he caught sight of Xie Xiu. “So it’s young master Xie! If I recall correctly, young master Xie should be studying in Brightmoon Academy at the moment and has no official position yet. Isn’t it inappropriate for you to issue an order to the guards despite the lack of authority?”

Xie Xiu snapped his paper fan shut before smiling calmly at Sang Qian. “It goes without saying that I’m not the one who brought these guards here. I was still drinking at the Heavenly Immortal Tavern a moment ago when I saw Uncle Pang leading a group of men over. It’s out of a moment of curiosity that I tagged along as well. Isn’t that so, Uncle Pang?”

A pot bellied man rushed into the casino while trying to steady his official hat from falling. It could be seen just how much of a hurry he was rushing here.

“This man is the vice magistrate of the city, Pang Chun. He’s a fifth rank cultivator, as well as the third-in-charge in Brightmoon City. He’s on good terms with our Chu clan, so you better not run your mouth and insult him by accident." Fearing that Zu An would talk nonsense, Chu Chuyan hurriedly warned him beforehand.

Zu An quickly nodded his head, though there was a bizarre look on his face. A man named Pang Chun? Just what in the world are his parents thinking?

However, Chu Chuyan’s words had also revealed some important news to Zu An too. It would appear that the Chu clan was on close terms with the city lord, but just a few days ago, Chu Zhongtian mentioned that the governor Sang Hong was coming to the Linchuan Commandery to deal with them. It should be safe to assume that Sang Hong’s movements represented the will of the royal court.

My gosh, it can’t be that the Chu clan is harboring rebellious thoughts? Are they colluding with local officials to undermine the royal court?

Zu An thought that he had managed to cling onto a thick thigh, but it turned out to be a boat that was already on the verge of capsizing. It was no wonder why they couldn’t even deal with a mere underworld organization!

Should I find an opportunity to leap off this boat?

If Chu Chuyan were to know of the thoughts running through his mind, she would surely push him down to the ground and pummel him up good.

Pang Chun clasped his fist and greeted Sang Qian with a smile, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Commander Sang.”

Sang Qian also didn’t dare to act disrespectfully against the vice magistrate, the third-in-charge of Brightmoon City. So, he quickly answered, “Yes, it’s a pleasure to meet you too, Lord Vice Magistrate.”

The two of them quickly traded pleasantries before turning to look at Xie Xiu. Their actions seemed to amuse Xie Xiu as he said, “What are the two of you looking at me for? I’ve no official position on me, so you should deal with the situation here according to the rules!”

Sang Qian was full of retorts against that. Like we don’t know that you were the one who called Pang Chun here! He’s deeply loyal to your father, so who else would he listen to other than you?

Pang Chun, on the other hand, looked at Sang Qian with a smile and said, “Commander Sang, would you mind if I take over this case?”

Sang Qian forced on a smile and replied, “This is the jurisdiction of the Lord Vice Magistrate. I dare not to overstep my boundaries.”

The vice magistrate was responsible for maintaining security within the city, which made him similar to the sheriff or police chief. Needless to say, the authority he wielded was great.

Pang Chun finally reined in his smile to look at the other parties gathered here. “What happened here?”

Chu Chuyan stepped forward and explained the chain of events to Pang Chun.

When Pang Chun heard the words ‘7,500,000 silver taels’, he almost leaped in shock, just like many others before him did. However, he quickly recovered and followed the flow of where Chu Chuyan was heading to. “Sect Master Mei, it looks like you’re in the wrong here. Since you opened a casino, it’s only right for you to accept a loss. Otherwise, if all casinos were to operate in the same way as you, it would be utter chaos in the world!”

Mei Chaofeng was infuriated to see that Pang Chun was siding with Chu Chuyan, but he still answered with composure, “Lord Vice Magistrate, you are unaware of the full story. This man took only two rounds to win 7,500,000 silver taels. That’s utterly unfathomable. There’s no doubt that he must have employed some sort of trickery here, so how can we simply accept it like this?”

Zu An was amused by the accusation. “Say, don’t you think that it’s embarrassing that a casino owner like you is worried about his customers cheating? Does this show that your skills are lacking, or that you’re just downright shameless?”

“You!!!” Mei Chaofeng pointed his finger at Zu An furiously. If the two of us were alone here, I would have smashed that lowly bug with a single finger of mine!

Shit!

You have successfully trolled Mei Chaofeng for +499 Rage!

Pang Chun also agreed with Zu An as well, “Sect Master Mei, since you claim that Zu An has cheated, do you have any evidence to back up your statement?”

This was the first time that Zu An was enjoying the privileges of having a superior backing him up. Every single word uttered was sided with him—though he was indeed on the side of reason this time around.

Mei Chaofeng hesitated a little before answering, “I don’t have any evidence. I was not present earlier. Furthermore, Zu An came here together with Miss Chu. Miss Chu is a fifth rank cultivator, so I reckon that our men in the casino wouldn’t be able to tell even if she tried to pull anything.”

Chu Chuyan’s face immediately turned chilly at that slander. “Are you insinuating that I am cheating here?”

Since both sides had already fallen out with one another, Mei Chaofeng had no qualms offending the Chu clan anymore. “Well, that’s hard to say. He’s your husband after all. Who knows whether the two of you are working with one another to scam me?”

“Our Chu clan will not accept such slander. I shall challenge you to a duel!” Chu Chuyan uttered with a wintry tone.

Mei Chaofeng was not backing down either. “I have only addressed you respectfully thus far out of consideration of the Chu clan. Don’t take my consideration as a weakness!”

Zu An watched the escalation in conflict excitedly, anticipating to watch an incredible duel. He was curious to see how rank five cultivators clashed with one another so that he would know how to better protect himself when dealing with one in the future.

As for whether Chu Chuyan would be hurt in the duel… to be honest, he wasn’t worried about that at all. For one, Xie Xiu and the vice magistrate were here. Furthermore, Brightmoon City was still the fief of the Chu clan, so how could Chu Zhongtian allow his own daughter to get bullied here?

On top of that, she was also backed by Brightmoon Academy too. 

No matter how one looked at it, Mei Chaofeng was definitely disadvantaged here.

However, Xie Xiu stepped forward at this moment to defuse the situation, “Please calm down and allow me to speak a word of justice. As everyone in Brightmoon City knows, the Chu clan has always strictly forbidden its own people from gambling…”

Those words sent eyes gathering upon Zu An, which left Xie Xiu at a loss for words at a moment. However, he quickly found an excuse and continued on, “Well, Zu An has only just married into the Chu clan not too long ago, so he might be unfamiliar with their rules. However, I trust that everyone in Brightmoon City knows what kind of person Chu First Miss is like.”

“Indeed, how could Chu First Miss possibly cheat here?”

“Sect Master Mei, it’s one thing for you to refuse to pay up, but how can you slander Miss Chu too?”

“Indeed! Miss Chu would never resort to such despicable tricks!”

… 

The surrounding crowd spoke up in agreement with Xie Xiu. 

Zu An was surprised by the resounding popularity of his wife. I didn’t think that there would be so many people who like her. It almost feels like I’m in a dangerous position here.

Xie Xiu raised his hand to calm the crowd down before continuing on, “Also, as everyone knows, I’m someone with hardly any strengths, spending my days idly… I dare not say for other matters, but I’m at least rather proficient when it comes to matters concerning gambling. Based on what I know, all of the tools used in casinos are specially inscribed by runemasters in order to prevent cultivators from tampering with the results through their ki. It’s an empty claim to say that Miss Chu is cheating just because her cultivation is higher than the others.”

At the same time, Sang Qian was also a little annoyed at how Mei Chaofeng chose to drag Chu Chuyan into this matter of all other things he could have said. Seeing that the situation was against them right now, he had no choice but to speak up, “Indeed. I can vouch with my life that Chu First Miss wouldn’t cheat either. She…”

But before Sang Qian could finish his words, Zu An suddenly interjected with a contemplative mutter, “Honey, if you admit that you were cheating right now, will we be able to get that guy over there to commit suicide?”

“…” Sang Qian.

“…” Xie Xiu.

“…” Pang Chun.

“…” Mei Chaofeng.

It is just a figure of speech, are you really taking it for real?!?! What the hell? Just what kind of son-in-law did the Chu clan draft into their household?

You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for +213 Rage!

Chu Chuyan’s face had also darkened upon hearing those words. “Be quiet. Don’t talk nonsense.”

Sang Qian feigned as if he hadn’t heard those words and tried to continue on. Wait, where was I at earlier? Damn it, that fellow!

“Miss Chu would never cheat, but as for young master Zu, I trust that there are plenty of people in the city who know about his personality, as well as his… capability. It’s impossible for him to win 7,500,000 silver taels here within two rounds. If so, that only leaves a single possibility—he has bribed Plum Blossom Seven ahead of time to scam the casino of its money!”

Sang Qian was merely short of openly claiming that Zu An was a trash.

On the other hand, Mei Chaofeng’s eyes lit up in excitement. His earlier accusation was filled with many loopholes, but Sang Qian’s argument had utterly denied the legitimacy of the means Zu An used to obtain the 7,500,000 silver taels. Not only so, they would also be able to turn the tables around and pursue Zu An for this matter.

As expected of someone who had come from the capital! What ingenious means!

“Wuuuuu~” Plum Blossom Seven, on the other hand, was scared out of his wits. He hadn’t expected to get implicated in this shitshow too. Unfortunately, his lower jaw had already been snapped out of place, so he couldn’t say anything despite feeling utterly anxious.

Pah~ Pah~ Pah~

Applause sounded in the casino. The surrounding crowd turned their eyes over, only to see that it was Zu An. “Commander Sang, could you possibly be one of the bosses behind this Silverhook Casino?”

Sang Qian’s face immediately darkened. “What rubbish are you talking about? Slandering an official of the royal court is a heavy crime!”

You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for +200 Rage!

“Since you aren’t one of the bosses of the Silverhook Casino, why do you keep speaking up for them ever since you stepped in here?” Zu An asked.

Sang Qian harrumphed coldly. “I’m just making a logical deduction based on the facts here.”

“Like you said, it’s only a deduction. Then, on the basis that you kept speaking up for Mei Chaofeng, I’m also just making a logical deduction that you are in collusion with the Plum Blossom Sect. May I know if my deductions can be used as evidence?”

“You!!” Sang Qian turned his face away. “I can’t be bothered to argue with someone like you.”

You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for +100 Rage!

Sang Qian was slowly calming down. Given the disparity in their standings, it would be beneath him to argue with Zu An in public.

Zu An, on the other hand, turned to the plump Pang Chun and said, “Lord Vice Magistrate, in your many years of experience dealing with such cases, I trust that you should have a clear idea as to what’s going on here, right?”

Sang Qian also spoke up as well, “Lord Pang, please don’t allow the threats of another man to affect your judgment.”

“This…” Pang Chun was put in a spot. Sweat droplets were falling from his forehead. 

Of course, he was very clear what was going on here, but the Plum Blossom Sect had been ‘offering tributes’ to the various administrative departments in the city over the last few years, and it had an elusive background too. Since Sang Qian was already openly backing the Plum Blossom Sect, could it mean that its backing was no other than Sang Hong?

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