Chapter 96: Young Master Shi

Old Mi simply disregarded those words. A renowned wastrel of Brightmoon City actually had good talent? Is it even possible? Everyone else must have been blind all these years! 

He could only think of one explanation in the end. “Perhaps your body is suited for this movement skill. Quickly familiarize yourself with it. It should be enough for you to at least survive against Yuan Wendong. Also, don’t tell anyone about this martial skill, and don’t speak of its name ‘Sunflower Phantasm’ either. You might get in trouble.”

Zu An hurriedly nodded in response, “Yes, I understand.”

Looks like Old Mi is quite a low profile person too. If that wasn’t the case, how could he possibly remain as a humble gardener in the Chu clan for so many years?

Old Mi finally left the garden in peace after hearing Zu An’s assurance.

Zu An continued practicing Sunflower Phantasm, but a thought soon surfaced in his mind. This movement skill is unpredictable and fast. It’s too much of a waste to use it just for defense. What if I were to use it for offense?

Zu An recalled Bai Susu saying that the Elementary Swordplay was focused on dealing the greatest damage against one’s opponent at the fastest speed possible in the shortest distance. It had many openings in the eyes of a true swordmaster, but if one could move fast enough, these openings were practically nonexistent since they couldn’t be exploited.

Just thinking about it made Zu An a little excited. He started practicing ‘Thirteen Forms of Elementary Swordplay’ and ‘Sunflower Phantasm’ in unison. Before, the Elementary Swordplay looked quite monotonous and straightforward, but once combined together with Sunflower Phantasm, brilliant gleams of light began flashing around the garden in unpredictable trajectories.

If someone were to walk into the garden right now, they would only see a shadow flitting all around. They might even get afraid.

All of a sudden, Zu An sensed something and hurriedly retracted his sword. Following that, a couple of guards rushed over, asking, “Young master, is something wrong?”

These were the guards that Chu Zhongtian had assigned to protect him after the incident with Snow back then. You sure are useful. I didn’t see you rushing in when Old Mi strutted right in earlier.

“I’m fine. I’m just practicing my swordsmanship.” Zu An wiped the sweat off his forehead as he beamed a smile at them.

“Alright, we shan’t disturb you anymore.” 

Seeing that there was nothing amiss, the guards quickly retreated.

“Our young master’s body sure is weak. Just practicing the Elementary Swordplay is enough to fill his head with sweat.”

“I sure pity our young miss.”

“But I’m certain heard quite a huge commotion coming from there earlier though. Am I hearing things?”

“Tsk, your nerves must be too strung up during this period of time. Do you think that it’s possible for our young master to have caused a huge commotion by himself?”

“I guess so.”

… 

Zu An’s face darkened upon hearing the whispers around. It looked like there was really a need to improve on his reputation.

He was still worried about the Clans Tournament at the start, but he was more certain now that he had the Sunflower Phantasm. This movement skill and the Elementary Swordplay were a perfect combo, reminiscent of the Bixie Swordplay Manual from right off the novel.

But all of a sudden, his face suddenly stiffened. He noticed that there was the word ‘Sunflower’ inside the term, and Old Mi mentioned that there was a huge hurdle to overcome in order to learn the movement skill, such that most people wouldn’t be able to grasp it. On top of that, there was that lingering gaze on his crotch… 

What the hell!

This can’t be the Sunflower Manual, can it?!
[1]

As soon as this thought surfaced in his mind, he quickly tossed the sword in his hand away in fright.

Are you going to continue harping on this?!

Zu An could feel the malice the world bore toward him. It was one thing for ‘little Zu An’ to be sealed, but he even got paired with the Sunflower Manual and the Bixie Swordplay Manual?!

With an awful look on his face, Zu An stomped his way back to his residence and went to sleep. He lost all motivation to continue practicing.

… 

Meanwhile, there was another person who was in a worse mood. In the headquarters of the Plum Blossom Sect, an expensive porcelain cup was smashed onto the floor, shattering into innumerable pieces.

Kneeling on the floor, Mei Chaofeng’s eyelids twitched in horror. That was his favorite teacup. He had spent a great deal of effort in order to acquire it, and he was so fond of it that it always kept it by his side. If anyone were to touch the teacup, he would have had the person dragged down, diced into pieces, and fed to the dogs. However, against the person who had just smashed it into pieces, he dared not to rage at all. He could only tremble fearfully on the ground.

There was another person kneeling next to him at the moment. She was dressed in a green robe, and her hair was tied into a beautiful ponytail. It was no other than Snow.

Mei Chaofeng had always had a bad impression of this lass, but right now, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of camaraderie with her.

On the chair majestically sat a young man. He was dressed in a purple silk robe with a white belt fastening it on his waist.  He had long lustrous black hair and a beautiful face, giving him a graceful appearance.

It was just that he had a livid look on his face at the moment. He glared at the two kneeling people before him with rage in his eyes.

“The two of you sure are competent! Snow, it wasn’t long ago that you sent me a message telling me that everything is under control. You told me that you would make that trash, Zu An, disappear from the face of the world soon enough. Yet, you’re telling me now that you got exposed and had to flee from the Chu clan?” 

The young man had a smile on his face, but his tone was utterly cold and biting.

“Young master, please pardon me! Some minor accidents occurred along the way!” Snow lowered her head in utter shame as she gritted her teeth tightly. She had wanted to share the young master’s burden, but who could have thought that she would mess things up?

On top of that, of all people, she actually screwed up because of that renowned wastrel!

“Minor accidents?” the young master sneered coldly. “Do you know how many resources and connections I had to tap into in order to have you infiltrate the Chu clan? You have already infiltrated their midst for several years, and it was about time to reap the fruits of your harvest, but you messed it all up just like that!”

“I’ll surely make up for my mistakes! Young master, please spare me!” Snow kowtowed deeply onto the ground, her body trembling uncontrollably.

The young master harrumphed as he turned his head aside, not wanting to even look at her anymore. He turned to Mei Chaofeng and bellowed, “You too! Snow is still young, so it’s understandable that she’s inexperienced when it comes to such worldly matters. However, you’re the veteran here, a powerhouse of the underworld. How did you manage to get done in by that trash too? You actually lost 7,500,000 silver taels to him! Did you even earn me that much money in total over the years?”

Cold sweat dripped down Mei Chaofeng’s back. Is the young master intending to make an example out of me so as to warn others? He berated Snow harshly earlier, only to let her go softly. Yet, when it came to me, he’s starting to pursue responsibility. 

He anxiously explained, “I apologize for my mistake. It was already too late by the time I received the news. I never thought that someone would be able to earn 7,500,000 silver taels in just two short matches. Also, I wasn’t planning to acknowledge the debt, but Miss Qiao insisted that I accept the debt note, so I had no choice but to go along.”

His nervousness was not unfounded. The young man before him was the Sixth Young Master of the Shi clan, Shi Kun. With his father serving as the Minister of War, there was no question that the Shi clan was one of the most prominent clans in the capital. Shi Kun was a dashing person, but on top of that, he was also a renowned prodigy too. He had the hearts of everyone in the Shi clan, and he was often entrusted with great responsibilities too.

He was the one who managed most of the ‘underground affairs’ of the Shi clan too. Based on what Mei Chaofeng knew, there were many equivalents of the Plum Blossom Sect operating in the other prefectures all over the country.

Despite the imposing appearance of the Plum Blossom Sect, in truth, most of its earnings had to be submitted upward to the Shi clan. That was also the reason why Shi Kun was so angry when he learned that they actually owed Zu An so much money.

“Oh? Snow got you to write it?” Shi Kun turned to look at Snow. “Are you the spy of our Shi clan, or are the spy of the Chu clan?”

Snow hurriedly explained the situation. “Young master, there was no way to defuse the situation back then. I didn’t want to cause any complications in the matter, and I thought that it would be easy to get the debt note back anyway, so I didn’t think too much into it.”

Shi Kun harrumphed angrily. “The Shi clan has groomed you for so many years, yet you still remain so incompetently ignorant! Did you think that the Chu clan would really dare to mobilize their Red Cloak Army there? As long as they made a move, the royal court would surely crack down on them the following day!”

Snow lowered her head. “It was my mistake.”

Shi Kun continued his interrogation, “I can let that matter slip, but how did you manage to fail to assassinate Zu An?”

“That fellow looks like a good-for-nothing on the surface, but he’s actually a cultivator,” replied Snow.

“He’s a cultivator? What rank is he at?!” Shi Kun immediately rose to his feet in agitation.

“Around the third rank, but there’s something weird about his fighting prowess…” Snow was a little uncertain about this. In terms of ki pulsations, it wasn’t wrong to say that Zu An was at the third rank, but in a real fight, the force he exerted far surpassed that.

“A fifth rank cultivator like you couldn’t even kill a third rank cultivator?” Shi Kun found the situation so ludicrous that he began roaring in laughter. “Have all your training gone to waste?”

Snow’s face reddened. “I didn’t know what happened either. My stomach suddenly started hurting…”

She had gotten a physician to check on her condition afterward, and there was nothing wrong with her body. When she enquired deeper into the sensations she felt, all of the physicians she consulted told her that those were the symptoms that a mother would experience during childbirth. 

However, Snow was still a maiden. How could she possibly be pregnant? On top of that, those symptoms simply vanished all of a sudden, leaving her utterly confused as to what was happening to her body.

“Your stomach started aching during a critical moment? Utterly incompetent!” Shi Kun roared with an awful look on his face. “Since Zu An isn’t a wastrel, it would appear that he has been intentionally concealing his capabilities. His efforts did pay off, since he managed to lower the Chu clan’s guard toward him and successfully became their drafted son-in-law. If he’s a wastrel, I would have nothing to worry about. However, if he’s just putting on an act, there’s a good chance that he might win Chu First Miss’ heart and body!”

Just thinking about someone as beautiful as Chu Chuyan laying in Zu An’s embrace was enough to fill Shi Kun with burning envy.

Snow knew what Shi Kun was worried about, so she quickly clarified, “Young master, there’s no need to worry. The two of them are sleeping in different rooms, and the young miss isn’t fond of Zu An at all. She won’t let him get his way with her.”

“That might be true for the time being, but how can we be certain for the future?” Shi Kun rose to his feet in agitation. “This won’t do. We need to deal with the problem as soon as possible. What’s the progress with the plan you’re working on at the moment?”

Mei Chaofeng shot a glance at Snow before explaining the situation almost mockingly, “Miss Qiao arranged for an insider to get Zu An expelled from Brightmoon Academy so that I could find an opportunity to get rid of him outside. However, the person she engaged failed to chase Zu An out; on the contrary, he got expelled from the academy instead.”

Shi Kun could hardly believe what he was hearing. “If I hadn’t rushed here due to the opening of the Ursae Dungeon, I would have never known that there were so many issues cropping up here! Hurry up and tell me what’s going on!”

Snow had an awkward look on her face. “I tapped into your connection in Brightmoon City to get Yang Wei to assist me in getting Zu An expelled from the academy. Yet, who could have thought that Zu An was actually more skilled than Yang Wei in the field of arithmetic? In the end, Yang Wei ended up getting expelled instead.”

“What? Why is this fellow able to do everything?” Shi Kun was astonished. The reports he had received thus far had all reflected Zu An to be a good-for-nothing, but the reality was painting him a different picture.

Well, I can think of one thing that that fellow is inept in. Snow’s face reddened, but she had no intention of informing Shi Kun about it.


1. It’s a skill used by Dongfang Bubai in the Proud, Smiling Wanderer. He’s an antagonist who’s known to have castrated himself in order to learn the Sunflower Manual.

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starvecleric's Thoughts

A lot of people have been asking in the comments and in quite a few other places what the release schedule is. This novel has no release schedule, it's just 2 chapters a day. 

The reason why it doesn't have a steady release schedule is because I have quite a lot on my plate at the moment, and this novel is not exactly an easy novel to do like MGA where I can clear the chapters quickly. The chapters are released literally right after I'm done with them. It's not that I can't try to speed up even faster, but with speed comes more mistakes and reduced quality. I'm already unable to spend as much time on each chapter as I'd like in order to keep up with the current schedule, so I'm not sure about rushing things even more.

I know it's tough on yall to sometimes end up waiting in vain for a chapter, but I can only ask for your consideration regarding that. At least, I don't think I've missed a single day of releases yet thus far.

PS: It doesn't make sense for me to post at irregular timings to build up chapters for advanced chapters. I mean, I'm still releasing the same amount of chapters, aren't I? What's the point if I just post a few hours later when the total output is still the same @@