Be it the Heiress’ Ball of Delights or the Knock-You-Up Eyes, while their names and descriptions sounded utterly horrendous, they were items that could bring forth incredible effects in desperate moments if used well.
However, Zu An couldn’t think of even a single practical use for this skill.
All it did was to make the other party reply ‘I’m staring at you, shithead.’. Could there be anything more useless than this?
At this moment, a thought suddenly arose in Zu An’s mind. Could it be a taunt skill to earn the enemy’s Rage points?
However, he soon refuted that line of thought. Even if it hadn’t been officialized into a skill, just saying the words ‘Whatcha looking at?’ was more than enough to provoke most people.
One thing was surprised him though was that this skill didn’t have a limit to its use, unlike the other artifacts and skills he had received.
This assuaged Zu An’s heart a little. But again, this skill was indeed much less useful than the previous few. He suddenly didn’t know whether he should celebrate or weep in sorrow.
With a deep sigh, he continued to draw the lottery. He didn’t get anything else afterward; they were all either ‘Thanks for playing’ or Ki Fruits. This was within his expectations though. After all, it was nearly impossible for him to be so lucky as to draw two skills or artifacts in a single seating.
So far, his third formation had been filled by a third. By devouring all of the Ki Fruits he had drawn, he managed to fill up the third formation fully. Based on the amount of ki he had at the moment, he felt that he could summon Grandgale twice now. Previously, it would sap him dry just to summon it once.
Looks like my ki capacity is indeed increasing along with my growth.
Zu An was curious as to whether he would really unlock a new skill once the nine formations had been filled. There was no doubt that Grandgale was a formidable skill, and this was only the first one. Surely the skills that came after it would be even more powerful, right?
However, when he thought about the astronomical amount of Rage points he would require to raise his cultivation level, he shook his head helplessly. Forget it, I shouldn’t think about all this for now. For the time being, I should focus on preparing for the battle two days later!
With his current ability, he was pretty confident that he would be able to protect himself against Yuan Wendong on the dueling ring. However, according to what Jiang Luofu said, the cultivators would grow disproportionately stronger upward. This was because strong cultivators had the ability to secure cultivation resources for themselves, allowing them to grow faster than the others. So, it would be unwise for him to simply keep hiding his abilities.
Zu An also belatedly realized the significance of being a member of the Chu clan. He was sitting on such a huge ship at the moment; it would be a huge waste if he didn’t put it to its full use. At the very least, he was determined to make the other members of the Chu clan acknowledge him.
While he did grumble about his wife and in-laws’ cold attitude toward him, deep down, he was aware that their prejudice toward him was justified. He was indeed a good-for-nothing before. Had he been in their position, he would have surely scorned himself too.
In fact, putting aside Chu Huanzhao, both Chu Chuyan and Chu Zhongtian actually treated him fairly well despite having the notion that he was a good-for-nothing. It was only Qin Wanru who kept berating him, sometimes even punishing him to copy the family rules.
Hmph, I should have given your dudou to Ji Dengtu that pervert…
Jiang Luofu’s advice made him realize that it was time for him to show his capability before the Chu clan. At the very least, he had to let them know that he was an asset to the Chu clan. By then, perhaps Chu Chuyan would willingly fawn on him too…
Just thinking about it made Zu An giggle under his breath. Saliva began dripping from the corner of his lips.
The only issue was that he didn’t think he was strong enough to defeat Yuan Wendong yet. After all, the latter was a fifth rank cultivator, but he had the ability to control multiple weapons simultaneously in battle, making him seem almost like those swordmasters in fantasy novels. Pei Mianman was able to melt his weapons with ease, but if he were to be placed in the same position, the more likely conclusion was him getting punctured with holes.
Also, he didn’t want to showcase all of his trump cards on a public dueling ring. He did want to prove his worth, but giving away all of his means was nothing short of foolishness. That would just be giving his enemies vital intelligence required to deal with him.
That’s why people in my previous life preach about humility and low profile. A wise man would silently strike it rich than to parade his wealth around. Those who stick out too much would only incur the envy of others and be eventually destroyed.
After a long moment of contemplation, Zu An decided to turn his attention toward the Thirteen Forms of Elementary Swordplay Bai Susu imparted to them earlier today. This swordplay might be of limited use to normal people, but its nature was very fitting for him. If he could defeat Yuan Wendong with this swordplay, he would be able to prove his own worth without giving away his trump cards.
With such thoughts in mind, he began to quiver in excitement. He picked up the sword he received from the academy and began practicing the moves. Perhaps it was due to his transcendent class aptitude, but he could still clearly remember the movements Bai Susu had demonstrated to them earlier in the day as if he had returned to the scene itself.
His movements were still a little awkward at the start, but after several repetitions, his movements began to flow much more smoothly.
“Oh? I didn’t expect you to have such high talent. You were actually able to grasp the academy’s Elementary Swordplay so quickly. All you’re lacking now is just practice,” an eerie voice suddenly sounded.
Zu An recoiled in shock. He turned around, only to see a scrawny, hunched figure standing not too far away in the garden. Who else could it be if not Old Mi?
“When did you arrive?” asked Zu An with an innocent smile. On the inside, however, he warned himself to be more careful the next time around. Otherwise, if Old Mi were to discover the trump cards he had, he might just get screwed over.
“I’ve been here for some time now,” replied Old Mi. “I heard that you’re likely to be up against Yuan Wendong in the Clans Tournament?”
“Yeah, it seems so,” replied Zu An helplessly. What could he do when the Chu clan viewed him as the ‘inferior horse’ to tie down the ‘superior horse’?
“You’re intending to use the Elementary Swordplay to deal with Yuan Wendong?” Old Mi stroked his beard as he stared at Zu An intently.
Zu An felt goosebumps rising up under Old Mi’s sinister gaze. “Yeah, I don’t know any combat skills other than this.”
“The Elementary Swordplay is the basic swordplay imparted to everyone in the academy, so it goes without saying that Yuan Wendong has learned it as well. I heard that he’s a fifth rank cultivator. Aren’t you courting death for attempting to challenge him with the Elementary Swordplay?” Old Mi harrumphed.
Zu An protested weakly, “But I heard from the teachers of the academy that this swordplay isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’s the foundation of all swordplay, and even true swordmasters who have reached a certain point would eventually return back to it…”
“You actually believe those nonsense teachers of the academy spout in order to spur the students’ motivation?” Old Mi looked at Zu An as if he was an idiot. “You’re not wrong to say that cultivators, upon reaching a certain level, would return back to the basics, but it only works out because they had overwhelming speed and strength to crush their enemies. A newbie like you taking this swordplay to deal with an expert; you’re really asking for a wallop!”
Zu An replied with a sheepish smile, “Well, I’m queued at the very end. It’s probably unlikely that I would even get onto the dueling ring in the first place.”
Old Mi fell silent for a while before suddenly asking, “I heard that you have a grudge with Yuan Wendong?”
Zu An was surprised to hear that from Old Mi. The latter appeared to be always in the Chu clan, yet he seemed to know everything that was going on outside. “Ah… We did have a bit of conflict in the academy.”
“A bit of conflict?” Old Mi scoffed. “I heard that Yuan Wendong declared that he’d cripple you.”
“Well, he did suffer some grievances against me back then. He might just be spouting threats in a fit of anger,” replied Zu An.
“You had someone to fish you out the last time, but who can possibly save you on the dueling ring two days later?” Old Mi rolled his eyes, which made his already terrifying face even more frightening. “I heard that the First Miss wanted you to provoke Yuan Wendong once more tomorrow?”
“Y-yeah…” Zu An felt a shudder running down his spine. This matter should only be known amongst the few of them who were on the dining table earlier. How in the world did Old Mi learn about it too? Could it be possible that he knows about the keyboard too?
“Preposterous! Even if the First Miss doesn’t like you, she shouldn’t toss you into the fiery pit just like that!” Old Mi stomped his feet in anger.
His outburst made Zu An feel heartened. “Elder, please don’t worry. My wife is just resorting to the ‘have the weakest tie down the strongest’ strategy. I’m the one going up last, so there’s a good chance that I won’t need to fight at all.”
Old Mi shook his head. “It’s different this time around. The Yuan clan came prepared. There’s a high probability that you would have to fight as well. I’ll impart to you a movement skill so that you’ll at least be able to protect yourself on the dueling ring.”
Zu An was taken aback for a moment before he suddenly cried out, “Elder, you treat me too well!” To think that he actually doubted Old Mi’s kind intention all this while!
Old Mi replied with a smile, “I don’t have anything much I hope for in this life; I just hope that you can fulfill my regrets. I can’t have you losing an arm or a leg.”
You must be joking. It wasn’t easy for me to find someone suitable, so how could I let that brat, Yuan Wendong, leave any scars on your body?!
Zu An had no idea that Old Mi had other thoughts in mind, so he was utterly moved by the latter’s gesture. There had only so few people who had treated him kindly ever since he came to this world, and Old Mi was indubitably one of them.
Old Mi cleared his throat and said, “This movement skill is called ‘Sunflower Phantasm’. It doesn’t require much ki to activate, but its effects are top-notch. For those who are talented, it’ll only take half a year in order to reach minor accomplishment. We’re short of time, but considering that your opponent is Yuan Wendong, it should be enough.”
Zu An was a little perplexed. “That doesn’t make sense. If the movement skill is top-notch, shouldn’t it require much ki to activate?”
Old Mi chuckled. “Don’t worry, I’m not trying to trick you here. While this movement skill requires very little ki to execute, there’s actually a huge hurdle that most people are unable to overcome. But as for you…”
At this point, Old Mi shot a glance at Zu An’s crotch meaningful and remarked, “The hurdle is nonexistent for you!”
Zu An blinked his eyes in bewilderment. What does that mean?
Old Mi coughed softly and said, “Gather your focus. I’m going to impart to you Sunflower Phantasm’s formula, ki pathways, and crux to you. Listen carefully…”
Roughly two hours later, Zu An began moving flitting from left to right, again and again, leaving Old Mi utterly giddy. It took a while before he found his voice and asked, “Did you actually know the Sunflower Phantasm beforehand?”
Zu An shook his head and replied, “Of course not.”
“Then how did you manage to grasp it so quickly? No, it’s already at the level of minor accomplishment!” Old Mi exclaimed.
“I guess I’m just talented?” Zu An asked shyly.