“You are finally willing to come back.” The minute he stepped into the living room, Gu Lingzhi’s jealous voice floated into his ears.
Rong Yuan chuckled and went ahead to embrace Gu Lingzhi who was giving him a hard time, “I am happy that you are jealous but before that, you should rest.”
Not sleeping for an entire night was nothing to a Martial Artist. However, Rong Yuan felt upset seeing Gu Lingzhi’s exhausted state.
“It’s okay, you can go and attend to the Princess. I still have to go compete later,” Gu Lingzhi rolled her eyes.
Today was the second round of the finals for the Martial Practitioner category, she could not miss it.
Rong Yuan frowned, “Don’t think about the competition now, you should get some rest first.”
Gu Lingzhi looked at him speechless as she mimicked him, repeating what he said before, “This is about the Xia Kingdom’s honor and reputation, whoever dares to mess around will be dealt with as a betrayal to the country.”
Rong Yuan opened his mouth and laughed bitterly, “If only you could remember my words of love as clearly.”
As the two of them bickered lovingly on this side, Ding Rou had flipped an entire table out of anger.
“My dear sister, what is the matter with you?” Ding Wei asked as he saw the mess on the floor.
“Damn Gu Lingzhi, how can she still be alive?” Ding Rou gritted her teeth, “Su Nian is useless. He hid beside her for so long yet could not take her out. He is simply useless!”
“Who would have known that the Black Thorn was actually a Martial Lord? We can only blame her for hiding it so well. On the other hand, they have sent news. We are not to bother about Gu Lingzhi first. Our priority is to kill the Black Thorn as quickly as possible.”
“The Black Thorn?” Ding Rou frowned. “What’s the point in killing her? It’s better if I get rid of Gu Lingzhi first so that we can get Rong Yuan on our side to help with the plan. The Black Thorn is just Gu Lingzhi’s lackey.”
“Who can guess why they made the decision?” Ding Wei stated, “From the start, they have been placing very high importance on the Black Thorn. I believe that they changed their mind and decided to kill her now because she exposed her Martial Lord cultivation which is more than they expected from her.”
As the two of them were talking, the guard outside suddenly reported in. There was a man in a veil requesting for an audience with Ding Rou’s badge. As Ding Rou took the badge, her face changed.
“Let him in!”
“Yes.” The guard immediately brought the guy in.
Ding Wei had also seen the badge and lowered his voice, “Is it Su Nian?”
“Yes,” Ding Rou gritted her teeth, “What is he doing here now? Isn’t he afraid of getting discovered by Rong Yuan’s men? A useless guy that can’t get anything done!”
“Lower your voice.” Ding Wen glanced outside, “Don’t let him hear you.”
“What are you scared of? Why would I, a Princess, be scared of a commoner?”
Ding Wei pressed down on her shoulders and asked her to compose herself, “Whatever it is, we will discuss after we send him on his way. Don’t create unnecessary trouble.”
Just as Ding Wei finished speaking, the soft sound of footsteps could be heard. Not long later, two silhouettes appeared at the entrance. It was Su Nian and the guard that was bringing him in.
Lifting the hat that was covering his face, Su Nian looked intensely at Ding Rou before saying apologetically, “Princess, I was incapable and could not complete the task.”
He then kneeled down on one knee as if awaiting his punishment.
As Su Nian was kneeling down, a sinister look crossed Ding Rou’s eyes. However, her voice was warm as she said, “I don’t blame you. After all, no one expected that the Black Thorn would actually be a Martial Lord. Thank you for your hard work in hiding in the Xia Kingdom for the past two years.”
“It was not hard work!” Su Nian suddenly lifted his head, “To be able to serve you, Princess, is my honour.”
That intensity in his eyes reflected his sincerity and no one could doubt him.
But it was also when he lifted his head did he see the disgust and despising look, that Ding Rou failed to cover in time. Su Nian felt his heart sink as he forced himself to not think of what her look could have meant. After all, with his status it would already be a blessing for him to remain by Ding Rou’s side.
Unfortunately, this hope of his was quickly dashed.
“To prevent people from becoming suspicious about your sudden appearance, you should return back to the Dayin Kingdom. When the issue has died down, I will then call for you.”
Su Nian felt his entire body stiffen.
He was a secret bodyguard that was sent to protect Ding Rou ever since she was young. When he followed her to the Royal School, in order to not create suspicions, he did not take the Appearance Alteration Pill when he entered. Instead, he had entered the Royal School with his true appearance. His motive was to get close to Gu Lingzhi and find out about her weaknesses. If he was able to seduce her and break apart her relationship with the Third Prince, that would be even better.
Who knew that the Third Prince treated Gu Lingzhi completely differently from all the other girls and he was completely unable to tear them apart? All he could do was make the Third Prince uncomfortable.
This time, his mission was to qualify for the Inter-school Competition and come to the North Qiu Kingdom. The scene that he was met with was however, Ding Rou trying her best to win over Rong Yuan. His heart was broken but all he could do was to try to get news about Ding Rou from different sources. Others only knew that he was concerned about Gu Lingzhi, but who knew that the one that made his heart stopped was actually Ding Rou?
Now, with his identity exposed, he did not complete his mission and Ding Rou was requesting for him to return to the country. This was equivalent to dismissing him. As long as Ding Rou stayed by Rong Yuan’s side, he would never have the chance to return to her side.
Thinking back on Ding Rou’s request for him to take a Spiritual Medicine to break off his Spiritual Roots, it resulted in him forever not being able to increase his cultivation level. This was so as to not give away his facade of being a Martial Student, and he felt indignant about it.
“Princess, I don’t want to return!” Su Nian kowtowed, his head hitting the floor with a loud sound, “I can disfigure myself so that no one will recognise me.”
Ding Rou was momentarily rendered speechless as she did not expect Su Nian to be so devoted to her. Ding Wei looked at her seriously before replying on her behalf, “There is no need to disfigure yourself. Xiao Rou is fortunate to have someone like you. About 50 kilometers from Yan Capital, there is a city called the Wuwang City. Find somewhere to stay first and I will send someone to get you after this has passed. When the time comes, I will help you obtain a new identity to stay by Xiao Rou.”
“Thank you, Your Highness!” Su Nian kowtowed a few times to Ding Wei out of happiness and Ding Wei helped him stand up. He then sent him off after assuring him.
After Su Nian had left, Ding Rou narrowed her eyes and looked disapprovingly at Ding Wei, “Rong Yuan is not easy to fool. The minute Su Nian appears in front of him, he is at risk of being exposed.”
“Of course I know that,” Ding Wei gave her a calm look, “There are so many capable people in the North Qiu Kingdom. Su Nian will be staying in Wuwang City, who knows if he will offend and be killed by an expert before we even call for him. Now, the most important thing is to send him away quietly.”
As Ding Rou caught onto what Ding Wei planned to do, which was to silence him, a flash of sadness came over her. However, it disappeared as quickly as it came.
It was Su Nian’s fault for being delusional. Her status was much higher than his. How could he harbor such thoughts about her? Now, they should take the chance to get rid of him to prevent him from continuing to hope and create unnecessary trouble in the future.
The news that Gu Lingzhi had been betrayed by one of her admirers and almost lost her life quickly spread through the First School. As she returned to her dorm after winning her fight that day, she could feel numerous gazes and people talking about her.
“How does she have the shame to continue to compete today? Why didn’t Su Nian kill her?”
“That’s right. Her fiancé is about to be stolen, yet she had the mood to go out with another man. No wonder Su Nian’s admiration for her turned to hatred and he attacked her. I wonder if Su Nian took advantage of her before he tried to kill her. It would be such a pity to kill her directly after chasing her for so long.”
This man’s regretful tone caught the attention of many people, resulting in them giving Gu Lingzhi suggestive looks.
“Lower your voice, don’t let her hear you. If she complains about you to the Third Prince, you won’t be able to get off scot free.”
“What is there to be afraid of? Who knows if the Third Prince still cares enough about her? I heard that not long after rescuing her, the Third Prince went to find the Princess of the Dayin Kingdom again. They’re definitely going to get married so that there can be an alliance between the two kingdoms.”
Numerous ridiculous rumors were spreading around school and Gu Lingzhi the victim of this whole thing was suddenly made out to cause this upon herself. On the other hand, Su Nian, who was the one that had conspired against her, gained the sympathy of everyone and took on a tragic role.
Hearing all these, Gu Lingzhi was stunned for quite a while. She did not know whether to laugh or cry as she told Wei Hanzi not to bother with the rumors.
“I don’t rely on those rumours to live. The truth will eventually be revealed.”
“But I don’t feel comfortable,” Wei Hanzi stated. She felt sorry for Gu Lingzi as she was clearly the victim but was made out otherwise.
Gu Lingzhi smiled slyly, “Don’t you think the more they bring me down now, the more embarrassed they will feel when the truth is out?”
Five days later, the third round of the finals ended. The top five that were able to enter the finale was released. What made everyone surprised was that out of the fifteen spots of the three different categories, the Xia Kingdom had actually gotten about half of the spots.
In the Martial Practitioner category, everyone in the finale was actually from the Xia Kingdom. They were Gu Lingzhi, Xin Yi and Tianfeng Jin from the Royal School, Song Ze from the Langya School and Lin Xiaouh from the Jingxiu School.
In the Martial Student category, one student from the Royal School had made it into the finale while two students had made it in the Martial Teacher category. They were Nie Sang and Yan Liang.
Gu Lingzhi was not surprised to see the others that made it to the finale. However, there was one that surprised her.
It was the young man named Lin Xiaohu. Wasn’t he the young man that had gotten the Yuli Snow Lotus at the Flower Hunt previously? Who knew that he would improve so much in just two years? It seemed like she could not slack off even with her Inheritance Space.
However, everyone’s attention was not on those that made it to the finale but it was once again on the Black Thorn.Previous Chapter Next Chapter