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The Dragon

The Dragon By Nov 23, 2023 5 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Those Gone from Last Year

“What’s the matter? What’s going on?” Scholar Zhai’s voice arrived before she did. Thinking Gu Fuyou was urgently calling for a reason, she ran over and saw Gu Fuyou standing by the door, looking outside. Once Scholar Zhai arrived, Gu seemed to relax.

Scholar Zhai joked, “What? Can’t stand a day without seeing me? Missing me terribly after just a short while?”

“Stop talking nonsense,” Gu Fuyou replied involuntarily glancing at Zhong Michu, who was sitting at the table, pouring tea. Gu Fuyou then said, “I have a difficult and important task, and you’re the perfect person for it.”

“Difficult and important?”

“Yes.”

“Only I can do it?”

“That’s right.”

“Maybe Miss Zhong would be better suited. Look at me, I’m weak as a chicken.”

“It has to be you.”

“…Alright, tell me about it.”

After making sure there was no one around, Gu Fuyou whispered, “The girl in the light-yellow dress we saw today. I want you to get close to her, but don’t be too obvious, pretend to admire her.”

“Admire her?”

“Yes.”

Scholar Zhai teased, “I think I’d prefer someone more like Miss Zhong.”

Gu Fuyou said, “Scholar Zhai.”

Scholar Zhai responded, “Just kidding. Go on. Why do you want me to get close to her?”

“To see what kind of person she is and her attitude towards the Zuo family.”

“What’s so special about this girl?”

“She’s not from the Zuo family. Her maternal family suffered greatly under the Zuo’s tyranny. She’s been married into the Zuo family for a while as a concubine to the second young master of this mansion. She must know a lot about this place… maybe she can tell us more.”

Scholar Zhai hummed thoughtfully, “Ah, a strategy to sow discord.”

Zhong Michu, who had been silent, said, “You don’t need to go to such lengths to approach her. Just bring Xiao Zhongting to meet her, and she will trust you.”

“Xiao Zhongting?” Gu inquired.

Zhong continued, “You want to investigate Zuo Shaode’s background and understand the power dynamics of Bailu City, right? If so, Xiao City is a small city under Bailu City, responsible for military defense. Xiao Zhongting is the general defending Bailu City; he knows it well. If you gain his support, your actions will be much easier.”

Gu Fuyou pondered, “I might want to meet him, but he might not want to meet me. Even if we meet, he might not trust me.” If Xiao Zhongting’s nature hadn’t changed, knowing she was a guest of the Zuo family, he would probably be quite hostile upon meeting her.

“If you want to meet him, I’ll bring him here,” Zhong Michu said.

Gu Fuyou’s face lit up. Almost without thinking, once Zhong Michu said this, Gu Fuyou truly believed she could bring the man. “Great!” She later realized, considering Zhong Michu’s detailed knowledge about the Xiao family, she might have had interactions with them over the years. If Zhong Michu had some connection with Xiao Zhongting, it wouldn’t be difficult for her to arrange a meeting.

Zhong Michu stood up, “I’ll make the arrangements.”

“Now?” asked Gu Fuyou.

Zhong Michu replied, “Bailu City is some distance away, and there’s no teleportation formation connecting it. To bring Xiao Zhongting into the city discreetly will take some time.”

Gu Fuyou nodded and advised, “Alright, be careful then, and make sure the Zuo family doesn’t discover anything.”

“Understood,” Zhong Michu responded softly, then left with light steps, gradually fading into the distance.

Gu Fuyou leaned against the door, watching her leave. Scholar Zhai waved a folding fan in front of her eyes. “What are you doing?” she asked.

Scholar Zhai smiled, “I told you it should be Miss Zhong for this important task.”

Gu Fuyou glanced at Scholar Zhai, who chuckled, “Do I still need to get close to that girl?”

“Go ahead.”

“…”

Scholar Zhai, with her pleasant appearance, interesting conversation, and unique insights, and being a woman, easily made others let their guard down and feel close to her. In Gu Fuyou’s words, she could get along with anyone.

Scholar Zhai had visited the martial arts platform several times. In the eyes of the Zuo family, although she was Gu Fuyou’s slave, she was ultimately a slave of Qing Jun, who was now a distinguished guest of Zuo Shaode, known and respected by the whole household. Therefore, Scholar Zhai was treated with great respect and allowed onto the martial arts platform.

After a few visits, she saw Xiao Zhongting’s daughter again. Scholar Zhai found an opportunity to talk with her and learned her name was Xiao Zhi. Xiao Zhi was an intelligent and cautious girl, not someone who would easily reveal her secrets to a stranger. But Scholar Zhai, understanding her background and not being a cultivator, and had an extraordinary way of speaking, which made Xiao Zhi very comfortable talking to her.

Scholar Zhai sensed Xiao Zhi’s distress. The girl had talent and ambition, aspiring to be like a soaring eagle in the sky, strengthening Xiao City, supporting her father, and being admired by the people. In ancient times, she would have wanted to be a female hero. These aspirations were crushed in Wantong City.

If she had no ambition, an ordinary life would have sufficed. But being a proud and ambitious girl, with her wings clipped, how could she not feel resentful and bitter about her unfair fate? Thus, she was often sullen and unhappy.

Now, Xiao Zhi was like a caged canary, admired for her potential but unable to use it. Despite her talents, she couldn’t use them, her only purpose being to produce quality offspring. Her cultivation was still intact, but if she became pregnant, both her cultivation and health would diminish, making it even harder to escape her cage and she would be trapped here for life.

After gathering this information, Scholar Zhai reported it to Gu Fuyou. Zhong Michu, having already arranged matters, came to inform Gu Fuyou and overheard this conversation, finding it painfully familiar. She stared silently at Gu Fuyou, feeling a pang in her heart.

Gu Fuyou sat at the table, her elbow on it, revealing a slender, frail wrist, her palm supporting her cheek, the other hand tapping on the table, making a rhythmic sound. She listened quietly to Scholar Zhai’s words, then her hand stopped, the sound ceased, and she softly called out, “Scholar Zhai.”

“Yes?”

“Tell her, if she wants to fly away, I’ll help her.”

Scholar Zhai responded, “She doesn’t fully trust us yet. It’s not the right time.”

Gu Fuyou looked towards Zhong Michu, and Scholar Zhai followed her gaze. Zhong said, “Xiao Zhongting has arrived, he’s outside the city.”

“It’s time,” Gu Fuyou stood up and said, “It’s not convenient to meet here. Senior Sister Zhong, please invite him to Si Miao’s private residence. Scholar Zhai, stay in the City Lord’s mansion and watch over that spirit beast.”

“Okay, be careful.”

Gu Fuyou left the City Lord’s mansion first. The cultivators of the Zuo family followed her, saying they were ordered by the city lord to assist her. At this moment, she was grateful for the Azure Phoenix’s arrogant temperament, allowing her to boldly and openly chase away these followers.

Once alone, she casually wandered around the city, making her way to Si Miao’s private residence. Si Miao was there, and they sat in the front hall of the courtyard, waiting for their guest. Gu Fuyou told her about the Xiao family and the ape-shaped spirit beast.

She was slowly wiping her sword, Yinhen, when suddenly, the sound of shattering glass echoed in her mind. Her expression turned cold, and she abruptly stood up, looking towards the courtyard.

The formation outside the house had been broken, someone had forcefully entered.

Who could it be? Was it intentional or accidental, perhaps someone from the Zuo family secretly following her here? Impossible, she had been vigilant, and there was no one following her, nor had she been marked with any tracking spells.

As she pondered for a moment, a dark shadow leaped over the high wall, descending from the sky with powerful spiritual energy, cold like a chilling stream. When it landed, a gust of wind struck Gu Fuyou and Si Miao’s faces.

Both of them had gathered their spiritual power, ready to act. Gu Fuyou’s dark green eyes shimmered with a deep light as she coldly stared at the intruder in the courtyard. However, her expression froze in confusion when she clearly saw the figure.

A majestic black wolf, with a dignified and upright posture and piercing wolf eyes, exuding a kingly aura, landed in the courtyard. Riding the wolf was a little girl, around nine or ten years old, with bright red lips and white teeth, and sparkling eyes. Unlike other little girls dressed in pink floral dresses, this girl was dressed in a black dress with golden embroidery, exuding a dashing spirit despite her young age. Her childlike face contrasted with her attire, adding a touch of cuteness that was endearing.

Gu Fuyou thought, “Whose daughter is this? Did she wander here by mistake?”

But then the little girl crisply called out, “Mother!”

Gu Fuyou thought, “What unfortunate child calls out for their mother like this?”

She then realized the girl was not calling out to her or Si Miao as she looked around inside.

Gu Fuyou approached and smiled, “Little girl, have you come to the wrong place? Why are you looking for your mother here? We don’t have any mothers here.”

The girl shook her head, saying, “Kunling told me that Mother is in Wantong City. I followed the scent here.”

Gu Fuyou found the girl’s serious, adult-like manner amusing and asked, “Who is your mother?”

The girl replied, “My mother is…”

Before she could finish, two men entered, apparently her guardians. One of them looked familiar to Gu Fuyou, who recognized him as Xinghan, the guard from outside Zhong Michu’s palace in Lihen Tian that night. He called out, “Young Princess, you shouldn’t run ahead like that.”

Seeing him, Gu Fuyou understood and looked at the girl again, feeling a mix of emotions. She smiled, “You are Senior Sister Zhong’s daughter.”

The girl’s eyes brightened up, very happy, “Yes. Are you my mother’s junior sister? Is Mother here?”

“Yes.”

Gu Fuyou looked back and forth at the girl, thinking she didn’t resemble Zhong Michu much. Could she resemble her father more? She tried to recall Jiu Yao’s face, remembering only an impression of his handsomeness, so she assumed the girl took after her father.

Gu Fuyou asked Si Miao to set up another formation and walked over to the black wolf, intending to lift the girl down: “Your mother will be back soon.” She said to the two men, “Please, come in and have a seat.”

But as she approached the black wolf, it growled lowly, like thunder, sending chills to the core and baring its fierce white fangs. Its wolf eyes narrowed sharply. The black wolf was highly protective of the girl, showing such a warning as Gu Fuyou approached.

Gu Fuyou was momentarily stunned, then realized, “You… you’re Ah Fu.”

“Ha…” Gu Fuyou’s face bloomed into a radiant smile, her voice trembling with emotion: “Ah Fu, you’re Ah Fu.”

She had been so focused on the little girl that she hadn’t taken a close look at the black wolf. The small patch of white fur on its forehead, amidst the black, was unmistakably Ah Fu.

The little girl asked, “Auntie, do you know Ah Fu?”

More than just know – Gu Fuyou had personally helped deliver Ah Fu.

She really wanted to hug Ah Fu like she used to, burying her face in its chest, but every time she approached, Ah Fu growled in warning, its eyes fixed on her in a defensive posture.

“Don’t you recognize me? I’m Gu Fuyou.”

Si Miao returned just then. Gu Fuyou asked, “Si Miao, can you bring me a plate?”

Si Miao brought her a porcelain plate, and as she handed it over, Zhong Michu arrived with Xiao Zhongting, just in time to see Gu Fuyou throwing the plate in front of Ah Fu.

Ah Fu didn’t chase after the plate like it used to. It held its head high with pride, its wolf eyes looking down, far from the round-eyed, bewildered look it had in the past.

Seeing the plate lying on the ground, ignored by Ah Fu, Gu Fuyou felt a moment of disorientation. Back in Xiaoyao City, Ah Fu loved playing catch with the plate alongside Yi’er. She used to scold it, saying it was unbecoming for a Zhenmao to play like a house dog.

Now, Ah Fu truly seemed above such games.

A bittersweet feeling welled up in Gu Fuyou’s eyes as she murmured, “You’re not Ah Fu, you’re a Zhenmao, you’ve become a Zhenmao.”

It had been seven hundred years; how could she forget? Ah Fu had finally become the Zhenmao she had hoped for, a creature capable of shaking the heavens and roaring like thunder.

Why did it still feel so painful?

Zhong Michu quietly approached. The little girl joyfully called out, “Mother!” and Ah Fu let out a soft howl in response.

Zhong Michu walked straight to the porcelain plate, bent down to pick it up, and returned to Gu Fuyou, handing her the plate: “Ah Fu was very young back then and has forgotten many things. It’s not that it doesn’t remember you, it’s just that you’ve changed your body, and it might need some time to get used to you.”

“Senior Sister Zhong…”

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Mzeti
Mzeti
7 months ago

Ohhhh the daughter might look like the old gu fuyou.

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

blah
blah
7 months ago

so sad ah fu doesnt remember 🙁

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

Wuwuwuwu ah fu is back

Hatimo
Hatimo
20 days ago

Ah fu 😭😭😭😭