Chapter 69: Honey Trap

Zheng Dan smiled and said, “We’re going to be a family soon. Any problem you’re facing is naturally my problem too. Feel free to speak.”

Sang Qian quietly clicked his tongue. You speak such beautiful words, but you wouldn’t even allow me to hold your hands.

“Doesn’t Zu An have a debt note of seven and a half million silver taels at the Silverhook Casino at the moment? He’s under the protection of the Chu clan, and he spends the rest of his time at Brightmoon Academy. As you know, I’m not in a good position to interfere in the affairs at the academy, so may I ask you to get close to him and ‘borrow’ the debt note from him?”

“How should I get close to him?” Zheng Dan frowned as an ominous premonition pounded in her heart.

“All men in the world are vulnerable to the ensnarement of a beauty, let alone trash like him. With your looks, you’ll surely be able to easily enchant him and make him do your bidding.” Sang Qian made a confident gesture as a cold sneer sat on the corner of his lips.

Zheng Dan’s face immediately chilled. She stood up and coldly uttered, “Just what kind of person do you take me for?”

“I know that I’m putting you in a spot here, but you’re the only one I can trust here. That’s why I came to seek your help,” Sang Qian quickly clarified.

However, that did little to placate Zheng Dan’s rage. She scoffed in a fit of anger, “So, the idea you came up with is to have your fiancée seduce another man?”

Sang Qian frowned. “Don’t phrase it so awfully. I just want you to find an opportunity to get close to him. It’s not like I’m asking you to get in bed with him. I reckon a lowlife like him barely has any experience with women. With your looks, all you have to do is whisper some sweet nothings to make him do your bidding.”

“His wife is the number one beauty of Brightmoon City, Chu Chuyan! With someone like that by his side, can he really be considered as someone who has no experience with women?” replied Zheng Dan.

“I’ve never thought of you as inferior to Chu Chuyan in any way. In terms of appearance, each of you have your own charms. The only reason people see her as the number one beauty is out of deference to her position as the daughter of the Brightmoon Duke. Haven’t you thought of stealing her man so as to vent the frustrations you’ve pent up all these years?” Sang Qian sharply noticed the slight fluctuation in Zheng Dan’s tone, so he decided to push a little harder.

He was aware that, despite his fiancée’s gentle exterior, she had always viewed Chu Chuyan as her rival. She would easily lose her composure whenever it came to affairs involving Chu Chuyan.

As expected, Zheng Dan’s eyes immediately lit up. She was moved by Sang Qian’s proposal. “Since you don’t mind, I can give approaching Zu An a try. However, if he manages to take advantage of me, the one that’ll lose out is you.”

Sang Qian burst out laughing. “Others might not know better, but I know that beneath your gentle exterior is a proud soul. Trash of Zu An’s caliber can never catch your eye, so how could you possibly allow him to take advantage of you?”

“It’s too early to say that. Since you want me to lay a honey trap for him, it’s likely that I’ll have to offer him some benefits in order to hook him on. We should prepare for the worst. What’s the limit of your tolerance regarding that?”

“The limit of my tolerance… at most, a hug. No, that won’t do as well. Just holding hands, that's the most I can accept!” Just the thought of Zu An taking advantage of his fiancée made Sang Qian feel deeply uncomfortable all over. “Once the matter is done, I’ll make sure to cut off his hands.”

Zheng Dan chuckled softly at Sang Qian’s display of jealousy. What’s the big deal about holding hands? I just have to wash them afterward. It’s his mere ego that makes him overly obsessed with such trivialities.

“Speaking of which, why did you all settle for the debt note? You can’t possibly be thinking that the Plum Blossom Sect has the resources to pay all those silver taels, right?” asked Zheng Dan.

“The Plum Blossom Sect doesn’t have the ability to raise that much money, but it’s a different story if we consider the master they’re serving,” Sang Qian said with a scheming laugh. 

While they were in a partnership at the moment, ultimately, their goals still differed from one another. If they ever fell out with one another in the future, this debt note would prove an invaluable weapon.

Zheng Dan nodded in response. She couldn’t be bothered to ask about the details of such lowly schemes. The higher a person’s standing was, the more they scorned such despicable and dirty tricks. “Tell me more about this Zu An. I’ve only heard some rumors about him thus far. Since you met him today, the information you have should be more accurate.”

Thinking about what he had encountered in the casino, Sang Qian began speaking hatefully, “He’s a minor character whose arrogance got ahead of his ability just because he managed to climb onto the high branches of the Chu clan. He’s an incredibly shameless and despicable person….”

… 

Achoo!

Zu An rubbed his nose and wondered who was talking behind his back.

Beside him, Chu Chuyan shot him a glance and asked, “You must be very happy right now.”

Zu An replied with a chuckle, “There’s no one who wouldn’t feel happy after winning seven and a half million silver taels.”

“With how the incident has blown up, I reckon that my parents are already aware of it by now. Let’s see how you deal with it then,” Chu Chuyan harrumphed in response.

Zu An was taken aback. “It’s still an issue even if I won?”

“It’s not an issue about money here. My parents care a lot about the reputation of the Chu clan, and it’s a known fact that our Chu clan strictly forbids its clan members from gambling. You went a bit too far this time around, nearly stirring up a conflict between our private army and the local guards. There’s no way they’ll turn a blind eye to that,” replied Chu Chuyan.

Zu An was displeased. “But that’s seven and a half million silver taels we’re talking about here! Does the annual profit of the Chu clan even come close to that number? Why am I going to get punished after earning so much money?”

“Is the seven and a half million silver taels in your hands right now?” Chu Chuyan silenced him with a sharp jab. “We all know there’s no way the Plum Blossom Sect will repay its debt. We’re putting ourselves at risk for a blank promise for repayment over here. It’s only natural that my parents would get angry.”

“But can’t we still collect interest from them every year?” asked Zu An weakly.

“That’s just mere words. There’s bound to be complications later on,” Chu Chuyan sighed. 

She knew the Plum Blossom Sect would renege on its promise, but there was nothing she could do. She couldn’t possibly really order the Red Cloak Army to massacre the Plum Blossom Sect, after all—that would be falling right into the enemy’s trap. If that happened, the royal court would have the legitimacy to deal with the Chu clan.

“Young miss, young miss~” 

Snow suddenly ran over, gasping for breath.

“Where did you go? What took you so long?” asked Chu Chuyan with a frown.

Snow quickly explained, “I also don’t know what’s up today, but my stomach feels unwell.…”

Zu An waved his hand before his nose in disdain. “In other words, you went to take a shit, right? You must’ve filled up the entire lavatory if you shitted for so long.”

Snow was struck dumb.

You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +444 Rage!

She had just rushed over after meeting Mei Chaofeng, and she was just making an excuse for Chu Chuyan to drop the matter. Normal people would just turn a blind eye to it, not bothering to ask any further. Yet, who could have thought that Zu An would actually dig deeper into it, and even scorn her? It was almost as if there was a stench coming from her!

“Young miss, look at him!” Snow stomped her feet angrily as she tugged Chu Chuyan’s sleeves in protest.

I’m going to kill this vile fellow later tonight, so we can’t get into a conflict right now. Otherwise, people will surely suspect me.

Chu Chuyan glared at Zu An. “Can you not be so disgusting?” 

It was worthy of note that even though she had berated Zu An, she still subconsciously shook off Snow’s hand. It was obvious that Zu An’s earlier remark had affected her perception of Snow, too.

This minor gesture was a critical blow to Snow.

This scoundrel…

You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +300 Rage!

Zu An shrugged casually and said, “If anyone’s disgusting here, it should be that human-shaped shitmaker over there, not me.”

“Shitmaker?!” Snow felt blood rushing to her head and nearly fainted on the spot. For a moment there, she had an urge to say screw everything and obliterate that bastard before her right away. She had never hated someone so much before. If she could, she would dice up his body from head to toe.

You have successfully trolled Qiao Xueying for +888 Rage!

Even Yue Shan, who was silently walking ahead of them, shuddered a little upon hearing that insult. Our young master might be trash in other aspects, but his ability to provoke rage is really top-notch. There’s probably no one in the whole of Brightmoon City who can hold a candle to him. For my mental stability, I should really try not to cross him in the future.

“Enough! Stop messing around, both of you. Don’t you feel embarrassed causing a public spectacle here?” Chu Chuyan could almost see smoke rising from Snow’s head, so she quickly separated the two.

Snow harrumphed impatiently and turned her head away. If I don’t make this fellow beg for a quick death tonight, I’ll renounce my own name!

There was an old man standing by the entrance of the Chu clan. His clothes were prim and proper, such that it was impossible to find a single wrinkle anywhere. His hair was white, but it was combed neatly in place. His appearance reflected his austere personality.

Zu An recognized the old man. He was the butler of the Chu Estate, Hong Zhong.

Hong Zhong greeted Chu Chuyan with a bow, and she quickly greeted him accordingly too. The old man had loyally served the Chu clan for decades now, winning him the respect of everyone in the estate.

After exchanging greetings, Hong Zhong began speaking. “Master has ordered me to bring the young master to the study once he returns.”

Then he turned around and led the way forward. Chu Chuyan shot a ‘See!’ glance at Zu An and followed Hong Zhong to the study.

On the other hand, Zu An was a little surprised to see that Hong Zhong’s attitude and tone were no different from before. The old man should have already heard about the conflict he had with Hong Xingying earlier in the day, so why did he seem completely unfazed?

Seemingly having guessed Zu An’s thoughts, Hong Zhong suddenly spoke up, “Young miss, young master, I already heard about Xingying’s matter. That child has always been proud and reckless, and it was in a moment of folly that he crossed the young master. Allow me to apologize to the young master on his behalf. I hope you won’t take this matter to heart. I’ll teach him a lesson once he comes back.”

“Uncle Zhong, you’re taking this matter too seriously. Zu An has his faults, too,” Chu Chuyan quickly replied.

Needless to say, Zu An was displeased by that response. What does this have to do with me? It’s that proud fellow who keeps trying to mess around with me.

He was just about to say something when Chu Chuyan shot him a piercing glare, leaving him no choice but to swallow his words. From the looks of it, Hong Zhong had a high standing in the Chu Estate.

Fine. I’ll let this go, since you’re my wife.

Hong Zhong shook his head and added, “I know that child well. He harbors some overboard thoughts, so it’s inevitable that he feels a little frustrated at the moment. Without a doubt, he was the one who started this conflict. Even though Master and Madame haven’t said anything about this matter, I’ve been feeling deeply guilty about it.”

His words seemed to be spoken in earnest. Zu An couldn’t help but wonder how someone as upright and honest as Hong Zhong could possibly raise such a narrow-minded son. Out of consideration of Hong Zhong’s sincerity, he decided he wouldn’t exact vengeance on Hong Xingying, as long as he didn’t mess with him anymore.

Chu Chuyan responded accordingly, and with just a few words, she was able to quickly alleviate Hong Zhong’s awkwardness. Afterward, she smoothly transitioned the conversation over to the Chu clan’s businesses, and it didn’t take long for the atmosphere to lighten.

Zu An was still wondering how someone as cold as Chu Chuyan could properly manage the Chu clan’s businesses, but he was starting to see the light now.

Soon, the group arrived at the study, where Chu Zhongtian and Qin Wanru were waiting for them.

“Zu An, the gall! The audacity! How dare you visit the casino so publicly? Not to mention, you even brought Chuyan with you!” Qin Wanru slammed the table and glared at him angrily.

You have successfully trolled Qin Wanru for +77 Rage!

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