The Dragon

The Dragon By Nov 25, 2023 8 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Night of Dark Moon and Strong Winds

The two were led to the top floor, a place traditionally reserved for honored guests. Gu Fuyou had been fortunate enough to visit it before.

The decor here was elegantly arranged, less lavish than the lower floors. In the southeast corner, where potted plants were placed, a crystal vase caught Gu Fuyou’s eye. It held a bunch of lilies, fresh with white blooms and green leaves, drawing her a few steps closer.

Footsteps approached from behind. “My apologies for the wait, esteemed guests.”

Turning around, Gu Fuyou saw a man with a scholar’s cap and a large cloth coat, resembling a bookkeeper.

He looked familiar, but she couldn’t place where she had seen him before. He didn’t seem like the typical owner of a place of pleasure and entertainment, prompting her to ask with a smile, “Haven’t been waiting long. Are you the owner of Yinxue Pavilion?”

Zhong Michu, standing behind Gu Fuyou, had been wearing a mask since leaving Si Miao private residence, but now had it half hanging beside her face. The scholar glanced at her, then back at Gu Fuyou, and smiled, “I heard you’re interested in acquiring this little place?”

Sitting back, Gu Fuyou let her black hair fall loosely over her ears, leaning casually in her chair. She exuded a relaxed elegance as she inquired, “Would the owner be willing to part with this place?”

The bookkeeper, who had been slightly bent over, straightened up and chuckled, “That might be a bit difficult.”

“Oh? What makes it difficult?”

“To buy this place was not about making money. If it were for profit, any price you offer might suffice to persuade me to hand it over…”

“So, what was your purpose in buying this place?”

The bookkeeper smiled, “Well, owning a place like this, what do you think the reason might be?” His words were vague, neither confirming nor denying if it was for beauty.

Gu Fuyou frowned slightly and smiled, “Then what would make you willing to part with Yinxue Pavilion?”

The bookkeeper stroked his beard, glancing at Zhong Michu behind Gu Fuyou, and said with a smile, “I’ll need to consult with the owner about that.”

Gu Fuyou: “…” Realizing this man was not the decision-maker, she felt a mix of irritation and amusement.

He had neither confirmed nor denied being the owner, speaking in riddles. Conversations with such people were exhausting.

Gu Fuyou spoke, “Then please ask the owner to meet us, or else…”

“Or else what?”

Gu Fuyou smiled, “I’ll overturn Yinxue Pavilion.”

The bookkeeper left towards the back hall and returned after a while, not accompanied by anyone, but holding an old, yellowed scroll.

Recognizing it as the deed to Yinxue Pavilion, Gu Fuyou watched in disbelief as the bookkeeper handed the scroll to Zhong Michu.

The bookkeeper chuckled, “My lady, she is the owner. She doesn’t lack wealth. If you wish to take it by force, you know her capabilities. Consider carefully if you want to take it by force.”

Zhong Michu held the scroll in one hand. Gu Fuyou stared at her, speechless, then realized with mixed emotions, “So it was you who bought Yinxue Pavilion. You didn’t tell me, just watched the show unfold.”

Zhong Michu replied, “You never asked me.”

“How could I have thought to ask you…”

Zhong Michu, with a slight sigh, “Because you don’t believe I would protect what you care about.”

Gu Fuyou retorted, “You, you’re just twisting words!” It was a new experience for her to say this to someone else.

Zhong Michu extended the scroll towards her, “Do you want it?”

“I want it.” Despite her irritation, Gu Fuyou still wanted to take the deed. In her relationship with Zhong Michu, their disagreements never lasted long and would soon be resolved after some bickering.

Gu Fuyou grasped the scroll firmly, but couldn’t take it from Zhong Michu, who held it tightly.

Realizing the need for fairness, even with Zhong Michu, Gu Fuyou joked, “Senior Sister Zhong, we know each other so well, how about a discount?” She knew she couldn’t forcefully take it, and she didn’t have enough spirit stones to buy it.

“I don’t want spirit stones.”

“Then what do you want?”

Gu Fuyou sat in her chair, while Zhong Michu stood in front of her, her eyes downcast, looking at her like amber gleaming in the sunlight.

Feeling overwhelmed by Zhong Michu’s intense gaze, Gu Fuyou let go of the scroll, stepped back, and said, “Forget it, I don’t want it. It’s the same whether it’s with you or me.”

Zhong Michu’s grip tightened on the scroll, her face showing a mix of loss or sadness. She watched Gu Fuyou’s retreating back for a long time, then walked over and placed the scroll in her arms, sighing, “Let’s go.”

Gu Fuyou held the scroll. Zhong Michu, having put her mask back on, didn’t wait for her and left Yinxue Pavilion, heading back to the City Lord’s mansion.

Gu Fuyou went downstairs. Zhong Michu’s slender figure faded into the crowd, her pace neither fast nor slow. Gu Fuyou caught up and bent down in front of her, “Are you angry?”

Zhong Michu didn’t respond with her usual “No”. She turned her head, looking deeply at Gu Fuyou through her mask, “Gu Fuyou, you always do this, making promises you don’t keep.”

“What are you talking about…” Gu Fuyou was both frustrated and amused, “How have I broken my promises?”

“If you want spirit stones, I’ll give them to you.” Gu Fuyou tried to stop her, but Zhong Michu kept walking closer, forcing Gu Fuyou to step back, “You can’t possibly say I broke my promise just because I didn’t seduce you.”

Zhong Michu stopped. Gu Fuyou said, “That was just a joke…”

Her laughter faded, and her smile dropped. Zhong Michu’s intentions were clear; she wasn’t naive. She sensed feelings deeper than friendship, more intimate and ambiguous, but she hesitated to acknowledge them, fearing a descent into madness like Si Miao.

There was a long silence between them before one of them said, “Let’s go back.”

After returning to the city lord’s mansion, Scholar Zhai immediately noticed the heavy atmosphere between them, sensing it wasn’t just a setback in their plans but rather like the cold war after a couple’s quarrel.

Feeling awkward, Scholar Zhai decided to keep her distance, diligently working on Gu Fuyou’s plan.

The situation in the City Lord’s mansion was complex; even with thoughts of rebellion, it wouldn’t be openly shown. If they tried to persuade Zuo Shaode to seize the position of family head rashly, it might only raise his suspicions. This matter had to be handled internally by the Zuo family.

Xiao Zhi mentioned that Zuo Shaode’s second son harbored resentment. Even after being reprimanded by Zuo Shaode for rebellious talk, the son continued to express his discontent privately.

The sons of Zuo Yuezhi, being of the same generation as Zuo Shaode, were outranked by Zuo Tianlang, Zuo Yuezhi’s son. Despite being younger, Zuo Tianlang was highly favored and overshadowed them. Now with Zuo Yuezhi assuming the family head position, Zuo Tianlang acted even more arrogantly, offending them further.

Xiao Zhi used her charm to further inflame the ambitions of Zuo Shaode’s sons. Although not stunningly beautiful, her attractiveness was undeniable.

People sometimes crave what they can’t easily have. Used to subservience, they yearn for the unattainable. Although Zuo Shaode’s son could coerce Xiao Zhi into compliance, her prideful demeanor, unyielding to his control, only fueled his obsession. When this cold and defiant woman suddenly warmed up to him, he was both surprised and smitten.

Whispers in bed can change minds. Xiao Zhi spoke of her hatred for Zuo Tianlang and Zuo Yuezhi. Zuo Shaode’s son believed her, remembering Zuo Tianlang’s harm to Xiao Yuan and the humiliation of Xiao Zhongting.

When Xiao Zhi criticized Zuo Yuezhi as unworthy of leading the sect, he didn’t consider it meddling in clan matters, thinking her view merely narrow, focused on her personal grievances.

Xiao Zhi also pointed out that the Xu Ling Sect had started a father-to-son succession with Zuo Yuezhi, suggesting that Zuo Tianlang might inherit the position, ensuring the lineage’s perpetual control.

Her words struck a chord, leading him to confront Zuo Shaode the next day: “Father, in what ways is Zuo Yuezhi superior to you? Why should he inherit the sect leader position?”

“When you and Zuo Taisui contended for the position, it was only because he was older and your elder brother that he got it. Our family isn’t bound by ancient imperial succession. If this continues, won’t the position always belong to Zuo Yuezhi’s line? Father, both in justice and reason, you deserve to be the sect leader.”

Zuo Shaode, writing on a sheet of paper, finished another Map of the Five Continents and Four Seas, admonished his son, “Haven’t I told you to stop bringing this up? Why don’t you listen?”

His son replied, “I’m speaking out of injustice for you.”

“You’re really standing up for yourself, aren’t you? Are you discontent that the sect leader position went to Zuo Yuezhi’s line and want it to continue in yours?”

“If father thinks I’m that ambitious, fine. Zuo Yuezhi has just become the Sect Leader, his foundation isn’t stable. If you don’t act now, it will be even harder to move against him once he’s firmly seated.”

Zuo Shaode put down his brush. Knowing his son had touched upon his own thoughts, his son seized the moment: “The Qingluan appeared in Wantong City. We should ally with her…”

“Hmph, Qingluan isn’t easy to provoke. Thousands of years ago, her clan dominated the continents. Dealing with her is like bargaining with a tiger.”

“Father, it’s better to risk dealing with the tiger than to be devoured by Zuo Yuezhi. He’s already making his moves, having sent Zuo Qingfeng to Bailu City under the pretense of recuperation. But everyone knows he’s actually there to monitor and gain power.”

“True, you’re related to Zuo Yuezhi, but he trusts his brothers, not necessarily his uncle. Even if you have no treasonous intentions, can Zuo Yuezhi really trust you? Perhaps someone is already on their way to oversee Wantong City.”

Zuo Shaode pondered. After a pause, he asked, “What do you think Qingluan’s intentions are?”

“Do you mean why she came to Wantong City?”

“No. It’s strange that an outsider suddenly gets involved in our family’s affairs.”

“She might be testing the waters. Father, as a partner, you are a better choice. It would be a fair exchange: she aids you in seizing the sect leader position, and you help her claim the clan leader position. You are stronger and have more resources than Zuo Yuezhi. If you can gain Uncle Yuanrong’s support…”

Zuo Shaode scoffed, “Yuanrong is a coward, that man, is a fence-sitter, always ready to switch sides at the slightest hint of change. He’s best at watching from a safe distance.”

Seeing their father swayed, his son smiled, “Father, all you lack compared to Zuo Yuezhi is the position of sect leader.”

Zuo Shaode remained silent. After a while, he said, “Don’t bring this up again.” Though tempted, he was overly cautious and didn’t fully trust Qingluan, this seemingly perfect chess piece.

A month passed during which Gu Fuyou focused on sword refining, staying within her confines. When her sword was finally complete, a surge of spiritual energy created a whirlwind, causing the city’s protective formations to flicker in and out of existence. This strange phenomenon only ceased after a while.

When Zuo Shaode visited to congratulate her, he saw Qingluan holding a black sword of simple design but concealed power, obviously a rare artifact. He praised, “Your weapon crafting skills are truly remarkable.”

Leaning on a chair, Gu Fuyou seemed disinterested and indifferent, even after crafting such an extraordinary spirit sword. She hadn’t spoken to Zhong Michu for a month since returning from Yinxue Pavilion. Focused on her sword, she rarely went out, and Zhong Michu hadn’t sought her out either.

“What important matter brings the City Lord here?” she asked, her tone curt due to her sour mood. Being an Azure Phoenix, she didn’t need to hide her arrogance or be cordial when feeling down.

Zuo Shaode, sensing her impatience, said with a smile, “I’m afraid I can’t return your spirit beast.”

“Oh?” she feigned surprise, her annoyance evident, “Why is that?”

Zuo Shaode explained, “The sect leader’s orders. That creature not only harmed many but also injured the previous sect leader, leading to his demise. Out of filial piety and justice, the sect leader wishes to take its life. I, as his subordinate, cannot disobey.”

Gu Fuyou laughed coldly, her dissatisfaction obvious as she vented on Zuo Shaode, “Such loyalty from City Lord Zuo, devoted to the sect leader. But it seems the sect leader might not appreciate it, perhaps even plotting against your life.”

Zuo Shaode’s expression darkened, “What do you mean by that?”

“You know what I mean,” she retorted, “Please leave, City Lord Zuo. I am weary.”

Leaving a seed of doubt planted, she walked back into the house, not looking back, waiting for it to take root and grow.

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Previous: Chapter 77


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7 months ago

Go and keep your promise Ah Man, seduce her, acknowledge those feelings and become wives and mothers to Yi’er. Destroy the Sect but don’t lose out on new happiness

7 months ago
Reply to  admin

I need a huge fluff payout in volume 3. The story is really interesting, but get together already dammit.

7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter…

7 months ago

It’s like game of thrones but with gl

6 months ago
Reply to  Anon

Ooo you’re so right! I was wondering what this was making me think of aside from JWQS!

6 months ago

I mean at least she’s not so flippant that she’d start a relationship when she can’t give it her all, but goddamn it michu is suffering how could you do this to her!!!

19 days ago
Reply to  Khriss

She knew what her revenge required, I’m shock she even know in her heart michu want her more than friends, but she knew her attachment to michu might not be good for revenge