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The Dragon

The Dragon By Oct 30, 2023 6 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 32

Chapter 33

The Ruthless Zuo Clan’s Forced Marriage

Gu Fuyou exclaimed, “A proposal gift from the Zuo family? What did they send?”

“Third Miss, what else could it be? Naturally, it’s a gift for marriage,” came the reply.

Si Miao frowned, clicking her tongue impatiently, “Didn’t I say not to let that trash in?”

“Miss, he brought a cultivator with him at the peak of the Nascent Soul stage. If we forcefully stop him and there’s a fallout, it won’t look good.”

The more Gu Fuyou heard, the more confused she became, “Who is getting married?”

Si Miao held her forehead, sighed deeply, and then asked, “Ah Man, did you know that a spiritual ore from a mine was discovered in Weng Mountain near Ning City?”

Ores from the spiritual vein, when slightly refined and impurities washed away, become the spirit stones that circulate in the market, just like gold mines in ancient times.

Not only are spirit stones the main currency in the cultivation world, but they’re also the primary direct source of spiritual energy.

One spiritual vein could provide resources for Xiaoyao City’s cultivation needs for hundreds of years. Normally, this would be cause for citywide celebration.

“I know, Gu Huaiyou told me about it. One-fifth of the spiritual vein crossed the Mo River, falling into the territory of the Xu Ling Sect. Si Miao, did the Zuo family provoke something?”

Ning City neighbors Huo City. While Ning City is a subsidiary of Xiaoyao City, Huo City is under the control of Xu Ling Sect. The boundary between the two cities is marked by the Mo River. The east side of the river is Xiaoyao City’s territory, while the west side is Xu Ling Sect’s territory.

Weng Mountain stretches for miles, and a small portion of its peaks extends into Huo City’s territory. Coincidentally, that same portion of the mountain’s spiritual vein is also on Huo City’s land.

Though Mo River runs through Weng Mountain and both sides generally don’t get along, their people live peacefully as the river clearly defines their territories.

However, inside Weng Mountain, the spiritual vein stretches across both territories without a clear boundary, unlike on the surface where the Mo River clearly divides them.

When borders aren’t clear and there are valuable resources at stake, conflicts are likely to arise.

The more Si Miao spoke, the more worried she looked, “My father was seriously injured and fainted during a mining accident and hasn’t woken up yet.” Her voice was full of deep concern, very different from the light-hearted banter she shared with Gu Fuyou earlier.

Gu Fuyou, shocked by this, responded, “Didn’t the letter from Uncle Sishi mention that he was just overworked and unwell?”

“It was originally like that,” Si Miao bitterly smiled, “The incident occurred a few days ago.”

Both sides had disputes over mining rights. In an attempt to mediate, Si Gonghou got involved, but for some unknown reason, a fight broke out. During the scuffle, the ground collapsed, revealing a mysterious, deep hole. Many people fell in and got trapped.

Only Si Gonghou managed to escape, but upon reaching the surface, he muttered, “Save them,” before passing out.

Si Miao sent people to rescue those trapped, but they encountered protective formations within the cave and couldn’t reach the trapped people.

Gu Fuyou pondered, “What does this have to do with Zuo Tianyi bringing a proposal gift?”

Si Miao sneered. Zuo Tianyi is the lord of Huo City, a distant relative of the Zuo family and, by lineage, a cousin to Zuo Tianlang.

“When my father was trapped, Zuo Tianyi was there with him. According to him,” Si Miao mockingly mimicked Zuo Tianyi’s words, “I faced adversity with your esteemed father and escaped the pit together. On the way out, fearing he might not survive, he expressed his sole unresolved concern about your future, Miss Si. He promised that if I got out, he would entrust you to me, offering your hand in marriage. Firstly, to express gratitude for saving his life, and secondly, to unite our two families and dissolve any tensions between our cities…”

Gu Fuyou interrupted before the sentence was finished, exclaiming, “What nonsense! Uncle Sishi has long approved of you and my second brother. How could he say such a thing?”

Furious, Gu Fuyou laughed and said, “Who does this Zuo think he is, trying to snatch away Gu Huaiyou’s woman?”

Upon hearing this last comment, Si Miao gave Gu Fuyou a resentful glance, saying, “His proposal is just a ruse. He’s probably here to gather information.”

“Do you mean… he’s here to inquire about Uncle Sishi’s condition?”

Si Miao’s face darkened, “My father’s injury is not unrelated to him. What exactly happened in the mine, how my father got injured, and the details known by the trapped citizens must be uncovered. We need to rescue them quickly. But the formations inside the cave… Ah Man…”

Gu Fuyou replied, “I understand. Next time we go down, I’ll come with you and help you solve it.”

As they reached the courtyard, a tall, slender young man in a white robe with golden trims stood on the balcony of the northern pavilion. Spotting them, he called out, “Si Miao.”

Seeing him, Si Miao’s face turned cold.

As they went up the stairs and met him, Si Miao immediately said, “Uncle Song, please escort our guest out.”

Zuo Tianyi laughed, “Si Miao, even though I’m your fiance, you’re treating me quite coldly. You didn’t even offer me a cup of hot tea.”

Zuo Tianyi spoke affectionately, as if they were truly engaged.

Gu Huaiyou stepped forward, placing himself in front of Si Miao and sternly said, “Lord Zuo, watch your words.”

Before Si Miao and the others arrived, it was Gu Huaiyou who was attending to this man. The hall was filled with betrothal gifts, with red ribbons forming flowers adorned on the big red gift boxes.

A man beside Zuo Tianyi saw the displeasure on Gu Huaiyou’s face and immediately stepped forward, guarding Zuo Tianyi.

From behind, Gu Fuyou observed this man. He was dressed in alternating shades of grey and brown, and had a determined face. It appeared he was Zuo Tianyi’s bodyguard, one who had reached the Nascent Soul stage. Clutching a blade, his palm was calloused, and the veins on the back of his hand stood out, signaling great strength. Clearly, he was an external cultivator, and an exceptionally proud one at that.

Typically, external cultivators like Zhong Michu would keep their spiritual swords concealed when not in use, both for convenience and as a way to hide their true power.

Only those who are extremely confident in their abilities would wear their weapons openly.

Zuo Tianyi gestured for the man to step back, saying, “Yan Zhi, stand down.”

Yan Zhi obediently stepped back into a corner, holding his blade, without any hesitation, upon Zuo Tianyi’s command.

Zuo Tianyi said, “Young Master Gu, don’t be angry. We’re all family.” Although he addressed Gu Huaiyou, his eyes were fixed on Si Miao.

Gu Fuyou whispered to Si Miao, “I think Zuo Tianyi is not only here to gather information but might also be serious about the marriage.”

Zuo Tianyi’s fondness for wine and women was no secret.

Si Miao was beautiful, talented, and a prodigy in alchemy. Such a person perfectly matched the Zuo family’s requirements for a bride.

If Si Gonghou dies and Si Miao takes over the city lord’s position, once Zuo Tianyi marries Si Miao, he’ll have legitimate rights to mine the entire spiritual vein.

For Zuo Tianyi, it would be both a financial and personal gain.

Forcing a marriage, although brutal, was in line with the Zuo family’s style.

Si Miao coldly said, “Who’s family with you?”

Zuo Tianyi laughed, “You will be, sooner or later.”

Upon hearing Zuo Tianyi’s tone, Si Miao glanced at Gu Fuyou, feeling as if her pessimistic prediction was coming true.

Following her gaze, Zuo Tianyi noticed Gu Fuyou and said, “Ah, the Third Miss is also here. My apologies for not noticing.”

Until now, he had only been focused on Si Miao and hadn’t paid attention to the others. Now, he unabashedly sized up Gu Fuyou from head to toe.

Gu Fuyou felt a chill and instinctively moved closer to Zhong Michu for protection.

Following her gaze, Zuo Tianyi then noticed Zhong Michu. The broken horn on Zhong Michu’s forehead was now hidden, and she wasn’t wearing her hat.

Noticing Zhong Michu, Zuo Tianyi’s eyes lit up in an unpleasant way, which made Gu Fuyou feel even more uncomfortable.

As expected, Zuo Tianyi was staring at Zhong Michu, his eyes becoming sticky and greasy. The lecherous desire evident in his face made Gu Fuyou feel that even Zuo Tianlang’s gaze was far more refined compared to this cousin’s.

Zuo Tianyi, with a smirk, approached and asked, “Third Miss, you brought a friend. Won’t you introduce us?”

Disgusted by his sleazy demeanor, Gu Fuyou felt an urge to throw Zuo Tianyi out. Realizing she couldn’t overpower him, she angrily called out her spirit beast, “Ah Fu!”

Ah Fu, upon hitting the ground, grew in size, as big as a bull, standing in front of Zuo Tianyi, blocking his entire view, and growling at him.

Yan Zhi stepped forward, shielding Zuo Tianyi with one hand and brandishing a blade towards Ah Fu with the other.

Zuo Tianyi asked with a smile, “Third Miss, what’s the meaning of this?”

Gu Huaiyou moved Gu Fuyou behind him and shouted out, “Uncle Gan, City Lord Zuo is leaving. Please see him out.”

Zuo Tianyi’s smile faltered, turning his cold gaze to Gu Huaiyou without a word. Contrary to his usual gentleness, Gu Huaiyou met the gaze with equal intensity.

From behind a screen walked in a middle-aged man, well-built and distinctive with short hair, a red cloth tied around his forehead.

Gan and Song served as the left and right-hand men of Si Gonghou, with Gan being martial and Song being scholarly. Gan Fengzhong had already reached the Nascent Soul stage. Because Gu Huaiyou was cautious of Zuo Tianyi, he had kept Gan Fengzhong waiting outside.

Gan Fengzhong had just entered when Zuo Tianyi coldly huffed and said, “If that’s the case, then I’ll take my leave. I’ll come to pay my respects another day.”

Gu Huaiyou replied, “There’s no need for another day.”

Zuo Tianyi chuckled, “The future is long. Who can be certain? Yan Zhi, let’s go.”

Not long after Zuo Tianyi left, Si Miao looked at the gifts and frowned, “Uncle Song, throw these gifts outside Zuo Tianyi’s city.”

“Yes.”

After finally clearing out the clutter of items and people, Si Miao sighed deeply, feeling utterly drained.

She looked at Zhong Michu and said with a wry smile, “Senior sister, it’s your first visit to Ning City, and you had to deal with this mess. I’m really sorry.”

Zhong Michu shook her head, signaling that she didn’t mind.

Si Miao led her and Gu Fuyou to the back courtyard, arranging guest rooms. Gu Huaiyou and Gu Fuyou walked in front, while Si Miao and Zhong Michu trailed behind.

The siblings couldn’t contain their frustration. Gu Huaiyou remarked, “Did you see how Zuo Tianyi was looking at Si Miao?”

Gu Fuyou retorted, “And what about the way that Zuo guy was looking at Senior Sister Zhong?”

“Shameless.”

“Despicable,” Gu Fuyou added, “We should strip him naked, hang him from the city tower, and let passersby look at him, let him enjoy it.”

Gu Huaiyou frowned, “Ah Man, how can a young lady like you come up with such ideas?”

“So, you want to spare him?”

“Absolutely not!” After saying this, he felt frustrated. He didn’t want to let Zuo Tianyi off lightly, but being too harsh might give the Zuo family a reason to start a conflict. Gu Huaiyou rubbed his chin, deep in thought.

Walking behind, Si Miao chuckled softly, looking at Gu Huaiyou with affectionate eyes, “Naive.”

Zhong Michu glanced at her, then at Gu Huaiyou, and lastly, her gaze settled on Gu Fuyou with a slight smile.

Naive, huh?

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Previous: Chapter 32

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Mzeti
Mzeti
8 months ago

The two protective siblings for their partner πŸ˜‰

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
8 months ago

Thanks for the chapter.

Alex Potus
Alex Potus
8 months ago

thanks for the update. I wish the chapters were longer.

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

OWO secret treasures inside mine shaft cave? How else could these natural formations form if not for someone wanting to protect something! I wonder if Fuyou will ever get her spiritual power upgraded.

MatrixM
MatrixM
3 months ago
Reply to  Khriss

I guessed that this Zuo guy did it intentionally, but you could be right.

Doom
Doom
5 months ago

The siblings projecting their wifey πŸ˜‚πŸ˜