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The Dragon

The Dragon By Nov 29, 2023 6 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 84

Chapter 85

Scholar Zhai returned and informed that Xiao Zhongting would pass the news of Zuo Tianlang’s imprisonment to the ears of Zuo Yuanrong’s sons.

Three days later, Zuo Yuanrong’s eldest son set off, leading a group of cultivators to Wantong City to discuss an alliance with Zuo Shaode, as ordered by his father. Unlike before, he didn’t strongly oppose it and even volunteered to go himself after some thought.

There were four cultivators who had come with Zuo Shaode, two of whom returned to Wantong City with the group, while the other two continued to accompany Gu Fuyou.

Zuo Pexian came to see off his older brother. Zuo Hanling glanced at Zuo Shaode’s subordinates and, using a sound-proofing artifact, took his younger brother aside to speak. Zuo Pexian said, “Elder brother, this goes against father’s wishes. He’ll punish you severely once he finds out.”

Zuo Hanling replied firmly, “It’s better to be punished by him than to see Bailu City fall into chaos.”

Zuo Pexian argued, “An alliance with uncle isn’t necessarily bad. Father and uncle are closer than father and Zuo Yuezhi.”

Zuo Hanling shook his head, “You’re being naive. Not to mention the illegitimacy of seizing the Sect Leader’s position through an alliance, internal strife weakens the family, making even the victor a loser. If our uncle and father win, our uncle, who is more ruthless than Zuo Yuezhi, will be a threat. While Zuo Yuezhi might only sideline our father, our uncle, once in power, would surely target him first. Can we allow such a threat beside our father’s bed?”

“This…”

Zuo Hanling revealed, “I’ve sent word to the Thirty-Three Skies, informing them of Zuo Shaode’s treacherous intentions. Even at the risk of father’s wrath, I won’t let him make such a foolish decision.” His plan was to wait for reinforcements from the Thirty-Three Skies. Once they arrived, he would enter the Wantong City Lord’s mansion under the pretense of discussing an alliance.

Inside, they would coordinate with Zuo Yuezhi’s supporters to rescue the young master. By doing this, Bailu City would avoid being implicated in treason. In fact, they might even be recognized for their role in suppressing the unrest.

This action would effectively obstruct any alliance between his father and uncle. It aimed at preventing internal strife, persuading Zuo Shaode, and minimizing damage to Nanzhou. For Zuo Hanling, this strategy represented a threefold benefit: protecting his city, undermining his father’s misguided alliance, and positioning Bailu City as a peacemaker.

Realizing the gravity of his brother’s words, Zuo Pexian looked worried, “Elder brother, this is dangerous. You should take more people with you.”’

“I’ve already taken two-tenths of the city’s cultivators. Any more, and father might suspect,” Zuo Hanling said.

“Then be extra cautious,” Zuo Pexian urged.

Zuo Hanling patted his brother’s shoulder, advising, “You must also be vigilant in Bailu City. That Qingluan is not to be trusted; she probably orchestrated father’s alliance with uncle. Father’s easily swayed by such people. In my absence, keep an eye on things, and if you can’t handle it, seek help from Zuo Qingfeng.”

“I understand,” Zuo Pexian replied.

Zuo Hanling mounted his flying sword and departed with his men, leaving Zuo Pexian watching him disappear into the distance.

The wind rustled through the maple forest in front of Bailu City, the leaves swaying as if waves in a sea of blood.

Meanwhile, Gu Fuyou was lying on a rocking chair, rocking it back and forth with her foot, like a cradle, while holding a list in her hand.

The list, provided by Xiao Zhongting, detailed some slave owners in Bailu City, excluding Zuo Yuanrong. These owners possessed the most and highest quality slaves.

About a dozen names were listed, perfect for her to practice on.

As she was reading, Scholar Zhai came in and announced, “They have left.”

Gu Fuyou, light as a feather, stopped the rocking chair with a tap of her foot and stood up. With a flick of her hand, she tossed the list aside, and it instantly turned to dust. “Then let’s begin tonight,” she declared.

That night, under a dark, moonless sky, Gu Fuyou moved like the wind, silently leaving her sleeping quarters. Despite the patrolling cultivators in the city, she was invisible to them.

She flew to an open-air bathhouse, landing barefoot on the edge of the roof. Her clothes fluttered in the night breeze as she gazed down at the people shrouded in steam below.

Having an inside man made things much easier. Xiao Zhongting had provided comprehensive details about these slave masters: their residences, habits, cultivation levels, and personal guards. Now ready to act, she was in the light, and her enemies in the dark, so even if she were to slit someone’s throat, they wouldn’t have the chance to react.

She remembered the day when Xuan Miao Sect fell, all due to an insider’s betrayal. It was a thought that brought mixed feelings. Regrettably, she hadn’t witnessed Zhong Michu reclaiming Xuan Miao Sect and defeating Ji Xiyan in a fair battle. She was curious to see what Ji Xiyun, who schemed tirelessly and betrayed friends and family, would look like when all his scheming and betrayals amounted to nothing.

Lost in thought, Gu Fuyou noticed the person below leaving the bath and getting dressed. Focusing her mind, she summoned the Yan’er bell and threw it downwards, instantly shattering the defensive formation. The guards outside were only briefly distracted by the sound of a silver bell, not realizing the formation was broken.

Stepping down from the open air, Gu Fuyou gracefully landed in front of the slave master. The bell by her side rang with an ethereal tone. The slave master, already entrapped in the illusion created by the Yan’er, saw not Gu Fuyou but Zuo Yuanrong. The Yan’er bell, now recognizing its original master, could create incredibly realistic illusions, blurring the line between falsehood and reality, easily deceiving even those at the Hallow Void stage, let alone this Golden Core stage slave master.

“Hand over your slave contract to me,” Gu Fuyou demanded.

The slave master, bewildered, asked, “City Lord, why?” In his eyes, he wasn’t in the bathhouse but a hall, and the person before him wasn’t Qingluan but Zuo Yuanrong.

Gu Fuyou replied, “I wish to redistribute the contract.”

To obtain a slave contract, there were two ways: voluntary transfer or automatic transfer upon the death of the slave owners in Bailu City to Zuo Yuanrong, then to Zuo Yuezhi, and so on to the next head of the Zuo family.

Hearing Gu Fuyou, the slave master, his will eroded by the illusion, willingly clasped her hand.

Threads of red extended from the slave master’s heart to his arm and then to Gu Fuyou, coalescing like blood vessels on her pale wrist.

Suddenly, voices outside the bathhouse disrupted the process. “What are you doing here?” one voice asked.

Another familiar voice replied, “My Lord, I noticed the defensive formation was broken, so I came to check.”

Realizing something was amiss, the guards outside called in, “My Lord, the formation outside is broken. Are you alright?”

Soon, three figures burst into the room. Gu Fuyou, caught in the final moments of transferring the contract, had no time to set up a defensive barrier. She had anticipated complications in operating alone, but Xiao Zhongting was occupied as the city’s defense commander, Scholar Zhai had no cultivation, and Yuan Shan and Zhong Michu needed to watch over the two cultivators left by Zuo Shaode.

She hadn’t expected her luck to turn sour so quickly, with the first attempt going awry due to the unexpected intervention of Seven. Possibly sensing something off nearby, he had come to investigate. The guards outside, initially under a shallow illusion, were quickly roused by his alert.

Upon entering and seeing Gu Fuyou, they were shocked: “Lady Qing Jun?” Why was this esteemed guest, Qingluan, here at this hour?

They then turned to the slave master. Gu Fuyou, having just completed the contract transfer, withdrew her hand. The master, coming out of the trance, realized his contract was taken. “She stole my contract!” he exclaimed in shock.

Gu Fuyou seized the moment of their astonishment to overpower them with her spiritual energy. She activated the Eterbal Life formation with Yinhen, causing two large trees to sprout in the bathhouse. Their parasitic vines entwined the guards, draining their spiritual energy rapidly.

As Gu Fuyou made her escape, she reflected on the complexity and unpredictability of her task. This was just the beginning of her plan to redistribute the slave contracts.

Gu Fuyou knew the two men were no match for her, especially since she had gained the upper hand.

One of them yelled, “Seven, subdue her and take her to the City Lord!”

As he spoke, Gu Fuyou felt a searing wave of heat behind her. She retreated swiftly, withdrawing Yinhen, and quickly set up a defensive formation, enveloping the bathhouse.

She turned to face Seven. His body was tense, ready for combat. While Gu Fuyou could defeat him, he was a Hallow Void stage cultivator, she couldn’t subdue him with a single move. If possible, she wanted to win him over, which made confronting him quite troublesome.

“I recognize you,” Gu Fuyou said to him.

Seven stared at her, silent. Gu Fuyou smiled, “You were the one reprimanded by the training officer at the city gate that day.”

Seven’s eyes were deep-set and perpetually red, a picture of weariness.

“It’s quite a coincidence. That day, I also saw a woman in Sancong Forest. On inquiry, it turned out she had been involved with someone without her master’s permission, got pregnant, and was punished by the training officer.”

Seven’s expression flickered, and he asked with a trembling voice, “You saw Liu Nang?”

“That’s her name? She was wearing a grey dress, wasn’t she?”

“Yes, that’s her. How is she?”

At the mention of Liu Nang, Seven’s demeanor softened, his eyes filled with a pleading, eager light as he looked at Gu Fuyou.

Gu Fuyou cruelly said, “She’s dead, died miserably.”

Seven was shocked, already knowing the outcome but shaken by its verbal confirmation.

“So, you were her lover?” Gu Fuyou continued, pointing at the training officer. “He was the one who executed her that day. Liu Nang begged, even if just to spare her unborn child. But he, as if deaf, beat her until she was covered in blood and unrecognizable. Liu Nang wailed continuously, weakly protecting her belly, but he didn’t stop, even extracting her unborn child…”

Seven’s eyes turned blood red, his breathing labored. He stared at the officer Gu Fuyou pointed at, his face turning ferocious.

Gu Fuyou taunted, “One corpse, two lives lost, and your beloved gone. You’ve endured all this, yet you still serve them, obeying their commands. Even dogs have more dignity than you.”

Seven approached the officer, asking with a low, threatening voice, “Was it you?”

The officer tried to deny it, but he was already restrained by the parasitic vines and could only mumble. even grabbed his throat. Just then, the slave master shouted, “Insolence! Are you rebelling?”

Seven hesitated, constrained by years of conditioned obedience.

Gu Fuyou egged him on, “Will you let him go? He killed your wife and child. That unborn child, so small, so pitiful. Liu Nang, so beautiful and frail, endured so much alone. And you lack the courage to seek justice for her. What wrong did she commit to deserve such a fate? The Zuo family took her life, the slave master and the training officer theirs. They all deserve to die. It’s only just.”

Overcome by rage and grief, Seven finally snapped, breaking the officer’s neck. Staring at his hands, he seemed unable to believe he had killed the man he had always revered. Killing them had been so easy.

Gu Fuyou laughed heartily, stabbing the Yinhen into the officer’s dantian, destroying him completely. “Well done, well done! A tiger, once tasted blood, can turn on its master.”

Confused and frightened, Seven trembled, “I…”

Gu Fuyou whispered sinisterly, “You did right. They all deserve to die, especially those from the Zuo family.”

“There are two more,” she reminded.

The slave master, seeing Seven’s transformation, became fearful. Without the contract, he couldn’t control Seven directly and tried to flee. But Gu Fuyou wouldn’t let him escape, blocking his path with a gust of wind.

She urged Seven, “Go.”

His eyes ablaze with a hatred fueled by deep love, Seven abandoned all his fears. He approached the slave master like a vengeful deity.

The Golden Core stage slave master stood no chance against the two, especially as he was caught unprepared during his bath. Left defenseless, he could only await his fate. The slave master raised his hand, pleading, “Seven, doing this… the City Lord won’t spare you…”

Seven looked at him steadily for a long time before suddenly striking. With Gu Fuyou suppressing him from behind, Seven killed him with a single blow, swift and clean. Watching the fresh blood flow from the slave master’s body, he took a deep breath, feeling an unexpected sense of relief.

Standing taller and with a fiercer gaze, he approached the last person without hesitation and finished him off.

After the deed, Gu Fuyou beamed with satisfaction, “Well done.”

Seven turned to her and asked, “When you saw her that day, why didn’t you save her from being killed?”

“Why should I have saved her? Who was she to me? Her own kin didn’t care for her life or death; why should I have interfered?”

Seven had no answer, remaining silent before saying softly, “Slaves in Bailu City can’t decide their own fate, not even their own emotions.”

“Now they are your own,” Gu Fuyou stated.

Seven looked up at her. Gu Fuyou said, “Follow me, and I’ll give you the chance for revenge. Killing the training officer, the slave master, even Zuo Yuanrong, I can help you leave Bailu City.”

Looking up at her, Seven nodded decisively, “Okay.” He inexplicably trusted her. Having nothing left, he had no fear.

The next morning, the murder of the slave master spread quickly. Zuo Peixian personally inspected the scene, hearing whispers, “There aren’t many in the city who could silently kill him.”

“Could it be a personal grudge, an inside job?”

Zuo Peixian felt uneasy and went to report to Zuo Yuanrong. After searching, he was told, “The City Lord is in the garden, playing chess with the noble one and not to be disturbed.”

“That noble one” was undoubtedly the Azure Phoenix.

Zuo Peixian insisted on reporting his urgent matter, but was blocked by Twenty-three. Enraged, he slapped her, “What are you, daring to stop me?”

Kneeling, Twenty-Three stood firm, “The City Lord’s order.”

As Zuo Peixian attempted to force his way through, Zuo Yi emerged. Relieved, Zuo Peixian quickly said, “Zuo Yi, someone from the Zuo family’s side branch has been harmed. Please let me see my father.”

Zuo Yi replied with a smile, “Young master, the City Lord isn’t seeing anyone right now.”

“Can’t you just inform him?” Zuo Peixian pleaded.

“You’re putting me in a difficult position. You know the City Lord’s temperament better than I do,” Zuo Yi responded.

Frustrated and helpless, Zuo Peixian left, glancing back at the garden with furrowed brows. Bailu City had always been peaceful, but the Azure Phoenix’s arrival stirred up so much trouble!

That evening, Gu Fuyou ventured out again, this time assisted by someone well-versed in Bailu City, which made her task much easier than the previous night.

The next day, four more slave masters were found dead. Zuo Peixian, increasingly alarmed, struggled to find any clues. It was as if the masters had quietly died in their chambers, their names suddenly crossed off by the King of Hell.

Upon learning of this, Zuo Yuanrong simply instructed Zuo Peixian to investigate thoroughly, then went to enjoy a lake outing with Gu Fuyou. Zuo Peixian secretly had people monitor the Azure Phoenix’s movements.

At night, more slave masters died silently, leaving Zuo Peixian clueless and the city gripped by growing panic.

That afternoon, Gu Fuyou lay on the watchtower, overlooking Bailu City. Due to the mysterious killings of the slave masters in the past few days, there was an increase in patrols around the city. Xiao Zhongting even had to summon personnel from nearby small cities.

Gu Fuyou mused, “By now, the Zuo family must have received Zuo Hanling’s letter, and are probably sending people to Wantong City. Zuo Shaode should have received my message as well, and is likely organizing forces to swallow up Zuo Yuanrong’s troops.”

Scholar Zhai inquired, “How’s the collection of your slave contracts going?”

“Almost done,” Gu Fuyou replied, only needing to secure the major share – the contracts held by Zuo Yuanrong.

“When do you plan to make your move?”

Gu Fuyou, leaning on the railing and gazing skyward, contemplated, “Why wait for another day when today’s perfect?” It was a bright sunny day.

“Scholar Zhai, could you fetch me a jug of wine?” she requested.

“A toast to courage?” Zhai Master chuckled.

Gu Fuyou smiled and descended the watchtower to return to her quarters. After Scholar Zhai brought the wine, she took it along with two cups into the inner hall.

Zhong Michu was meditating, but upon hearing the noise, she opened her eyes to see Gu Fuyou approaching with the wine jug, inviting, “Zhong Michu, join me for a drink.”

“Why the sudden urge to drink?” Zhong Michu asked.

“I plan to act tomorrow, to seek my revenge. I’m happy and wanted to share a drink, and you were the first person I thought of. Is your alcohol tolerance still the same as before?”

Gu Fuyou moved the table to the couch and sat opposite Zhong Michu. She said, “It’s improved a bit.”

“Will you humor me?”

Zhong Michu looked at her silently for a long time, then said, “Okay.”

Gu Fuyou poured wine for both of them. She seemed extremely cheerful, humming a light tune that Zhong Michu recognized as a lullaby from Xiaoyao City.

Zhong Michu, running her fingers along the cup’s edge, commented, “There’s a fragrance.”

Gu Fuyou explained, “I’ve applied plum blossom ointment. Smell it.”

She brought her hand closer to Zhong Michu, the scent overpowering any other. Zhong Michu leaned back slightly, “Why suddenly use this?”

Gu Fuyou explained, “It’s from Zuo Yuanrong. I have to accompany him to the lake later. In playing this role with him, it’s not just about slapping him; sometimes, I have to offer a sweet date too.”

“How mundane.” Zhong Michu remarked.

Gu Fuyou laughed, “I don’t like it either. I wonder if I’ll be able to get rid of this scent later.”

Gu Fuyou raised her cup, intending to clink it with Zhong Michu’s. The crisp sound of the porcelain resonated as Gu Fuyou drained her cup in one gulp. Zhong Michu gazed into her cup, observing the golden liquid, then slowly brought it to her lips and sipped it carefully.

Seeing Zhong Michu finish her drink, Gu Fuyou felt even better. The tune she hummed gradually formed into words.

When the golden wind blows, the rice flowers are fragrant, Dreaming with you —

Gu Fuyou poured another cup for Zhong Michu and filled her own, drinking together again.

Green crabs are plump, autumn fruits are ripe, Every home sews new clothes —

Gu Fuyou chuckled, “You have indeed improved compared to before, not forgetting your name after just two cups.”

“You’re teasing me,” Zhong Michu commented.

“Far from it, my empress,” Gu Fuyou replied. “This is a sincere compliment.” She poured another round.

Red lanterns hang high, the alleyways long, White walls and green roofs adorned

“It’s good that you’re happy.” said Zhong Michu softly.

A gentle ripple of tenderness appeared in Gu Fuyou’s eyes as she sipped her wine.

Zhong Michu suddenly stood up, holding the cup in one hand and touching her forehead with the other, sighing as if in resignation, “Ah Man…” Her voice was slightly slurred.

Gu Fuyou stood up quickly, catching Zhong Michu before she could fall, gently laying her down. She supported Zhong Michu’s head with her arm, softly singing in a melodious and tender voice.

After placing the cup on the table, Gu Fuyou rhythmically and gently patted Zhong Michu’s shoulder and back. Gradually, Zhong Michu closed her eyes and fell asleep in her embrace.

Gu Fuyou looked down at Zhong Michu’s sleeping face for a long time, tenderly tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear.

Cooking smoke rises, kites fly high, my dear child, may you always be pure and kind, blessed with joy and peace for a hundred lifetimes—

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Previous: Chapter 84

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Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
7 months ago

is it because Gu Foyou is going to kill Zuo brutally and doesn’t want Michu to witness it? Or is it because Gu Fuyou is going to have 3ex with Zuo and doesn’t want Michu to witness it? I hope it is not the latter one.

Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
7 months ago
Reply to  Alex POTUS

What’s wrong with talking about that? Nothing wrong. It is a natural thing. Too much censorship is funny.

Alex POTUS
Alex POTUS
7 months ago

I hope Gu Foyou’s first kiss, first 3ex, first everything, and last everything is with Michu.

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

Well who’s here to see Fuyou’s plan be ruined by the Lord’s eldest son? Ehehe tha author sure isnt one to give the MCs such easy lives, things going right the first time? A dream is only a dream because it ain’t reality.

Hatimo
Hatimo
26 days ago

Fuyou drug michu? 😧