Zu An was stunned.
“Do you really think there is something going on between the two of us” he asked, laughing.
Chu Chuyan was embarrassed.
“It doesnt seem likely, but the two of you are much closer than I expected.”
“I would love to develop that sort of relationship with her, but Id die from a single kick of hers,” Zu An said regretfully.
“I only grew closer to her because of the matters regarding the Plum Blossom Sect.
I guess your husband is really just too awesome, though.
She recognized my potential from the beginning.
With a single look, she could tell that I was destined for greatness… Wait, honey, why are you leaving Sigh… why does no one believe me when I speak”
The two of them left the academy and headed to the Wang clan estate.
After exchanging the usual pleasantries, Wang Fus expression grew troubled.
“My niece, I know I should be helping brother Zhongtian out, given this situation.
However, you know that our Wang clan is in dire straits as well.
I really have no ability to help you!”
Chu Chuyan was full of understanding, “Uncle, of course I know about the troubles afflicting the Wang clan.
Im not looking for that sort of help from you today.”
Wang Fu was surprised.
“Oh, then why did you come”
“I need to know how many people in the Wang clan knew about this plan to use the advance salt permits,” Chu Chuyan said.
Wang Fus expression clouded over.
“Is niece worried that one of our clan members leaked this secret and caused harm to befall Brightmoon Duke”
Chu Chuyan replied, “Thats not what I meant.
I obviously do not suspect uncle.
However, the Sang clan has spies everywhere.
There is a chance that someone else has unwittingly leaked out this information.”
“Thats impossible!” Wang Fu said resolutely.
“Most of the guards that were escorting the caravan died in the attack.
Only I, Yuanlong, the butler, and a few others know about this, and every single one of these others have been with the Wang clan for several decades.
They are absolutely trustworthy.”
Chu Chuyan smiled when she heard his response.
“It seems Ive made a mistake, then.
By the way, does uncle have any advice for the Chu clan regarding our current situation Also, is there anyone else in Brightmoon City who we can talk to help ease our efforts to resolve this matter”
Wang Fu quickly replied, “Of course I know some people! However, now that this situation has gotten so out of hand, Im not sure if any of them can be of help…”
When they left the Wang clan, Zu An said, “You guys said that the idea to use advance salt permits ahead of time was proposed by Wang Fu.
Isnt there a chance that he already went to Sang Hongs side Maybe they are colluding against us together”
Chu Chuyan shook her head.
“The Wang and Chu clans have been allies for a few centuries, and our bond runs deep.
I do not believe this to be the case, although its not entirely impossible… However, its meaningless to continue pursuing this matter.
Our top priority is still finding a way to help the Chu clan make it through this crisis.”
“Youre right,” Zu An agreed.
“Whats next on the agenda”
“We are going to the Xie clan!” Chu Chuyan said in a serious tone.
Zu An saw the logic in this as well.
There were only so few clans with the strength to help the Chu clan out of their current predicament.
Both the Yuan and Zheng clans opposed the Chu clan, and so did the Wu clan, from the neighboring commandery.
These clans would be of little help, so they were left with the Xie clan.
The reason Chu Chuyan hadnt turned to the Xie clan first was most likely because she feared that King Qi was backing them.
However, they were already at the end of their rope, so they had to give this a shot.
The two of them arrived at the Xie clan estate.
The servant at the gate went in to announce them, but came running out a moment later, apologizing profusely.
“Young miss Chu, Master has gone out to take care of some matter, and has yet to return.”
Chu Chuyan frowned.
“Do you know where Master Xie has gone How long will it take for him to return”
That servant shook his head.
“Please forgive me, miss Chu, this is not something a servant like me would know.”
Chu Chuyan looked disappointed.
“Thank you for your trouble.” With that, she turned away and walked off.
That servant sighed inwardly as he admired her departing figure.
First miss Chu was even prettier than the rumors claimed! She was so polite and modest as well.
This servant would brag about this short conversation for the rest of his life.
“Were leaving just like that” Zu An couldnt help but ask.
“What else can we do” Chu Chuyan sighed.
“Whether City Lord Xie has really gone out, or whether hes just ignoring us, it doesnt make a difference.
Its clear what his attitude towards us is.”
Zu An hesitated a moment, then said, “Its actually not that hard to enter the Xie Estate.”
Chu Chuyan was stunned.
“You have a way to get in”
Zu An smiled mysteriously.
“Just watch me!”
When that servant saw him walk over, he immediately waved his arms and said, “Our clans master isnt here!”
This guy doesnt seem that much more handsome than I.
How did he ever end up marrying miss Chu
Zu An tossed him a coin.
“I didnt come here to see Master Xie.
I came to meet with the first miss of your clan.”
From their earlier visit to the academy, he knew that Xie Daoyun hadnt gone to the academy today.
Heirs of influential clans like the Xie clan only attended classes if they felt like it.
If they werent in the mood, or if they had some other matters to take care of, they would just skip class.
That servants eyes brightened as he weighed the heavy silver coin in his palm.
“Okay, Ill notify our first miss of your arrival.
However, I cant guarantee that the first miss will meet with you.”
Zu An smiled.
“I only need you to tell her who I am.”
The servant nodded and ran inside.
A while later, he re-emerged.
“Our clans miss welcomes the young master.”
The servant was in complete disbelief.
Their young miss rarely welcomed guests, yet she had immediately allowed Zu An in when he paid a visit.
He had never seen the young miss so excited before!
Zu An waved his hand towards Chu Chuyan, beckoning for her to enter with him.
That servant was a bit troubled.
“Our clans young miss didnt say…”
Zu An cut him off before he could finish.
“She didnt forbid her from coming in, did she”
That servant was stunned.
“Whats the problem, then Your clans first miss and mine share a good relationship, after all.” Zu An grabbed Chu Chuyan and walked straight into the Xie Estate.
Now that they had made it inside, it became inappropriate for the members of the Xie clan to chase them away.
They were meeting with the young miss, after all.
Chu Chuyan grabbed Zu Ans sleeves along the way.
“How did you get so close to miss Xie”
She was well-acquainted with Xie Daoyuns nature, since they were both from Brightmoon City.
Even though young miss Xie often participated in various poetry meetings, she rarely received men into the estate.
Zu An smiled.
“When a man is handsome, women cant help but treat him better!”
Chu Chuyan glared at him, but held her tongue.
She felt a sense of déjà vu.
The same thing had happened at the Zheng clan as well—he had gained entry through the Zheng clans young miss.
Every single beauty in Brightmoon City seemed to have some kind of relationship with him.
She grew alarmed.
“Ah Zu, you are hiding many things from me!”
Zu An shrugged.
“Ive told you guys plenty of things, but none of you ever believed me.”
Chu Chuyan was about to continue pressing him when she saw Xie Daoyun walking over.
The smile on Xie Daoyuns face froze when saw Chu Chuyan.
However, she quickly recovered.
“I was wondering what made young master Zu suddenly pay me a visit.
It turns out he was merely serving as an intermediary for this beautiful lady.”
Zu An clasped his fist apologetically.
“We wanted to meet with your esteemed father, but we were turned down.
This was the only way we could enter.
I hope lady Xie can help us.”
Xie Daoyun grunted in acknowledgement.
She walked up and held Chu Chuyans hand.
Her voice was gentle and kind.
“I have heard about whats happened to Brightmoon Duke as well.
Please dont worry too much.
He is a respected duke, after all.
The governor wouldnt dare go too far.”
Chu Chuyan expressed her gratitude.
They were both well-known beauties in Brightmoon City and even fellow students, which meant they were quite familiar with each other.
They quickly struck up a conversation.
Zu An curled his lips in a sneer.
This was the perfect example of a beautifully plastic relationship.
They werent actually close, so why did they have to pretend as though they were
After they had carried on for a while, Xie Daoyun said with a smile, “How about this Ill bring you two to see my father.
I believe he should be back by now.”
She wasnt a fool.
There was no way she would blatantly expose her father.
Chu Chuyan was overjoyed.
“Thank you so much!”
“Its no problem at all.” Xie Daoyun nodded towards her.
At the same time, she used this chance to move beside Zu An.
“You owe me a song for this,” she said quietly.
Zu An had known that this was the prerequisite, and he had no choice but to agree.
He began to ponder over what song he would use.
Even though they had spoken quietly, there was no way they could escape Chu Chuyans ears.
She seemed completely unfazed on the surface, but it was just a mask concealing the shock she felt inside.
Ah Zu and Xie Daoyun were actually this close
Qiu Hongleis previous visit had been shocking enough, but the courtesan queen had suddenly gone quiet.
It was safe to assume that that girl had ulterior motives for pursuing Zu An, and didnt actually like him.
However, from what shed seen so far, Principal Jiang and Xie Daoyun both seemed quite close to him! She also knew about his relationship with Ji Xiaoxi, Zheng Dan, and the academy teacher, Miss Shang…
Just what kind of strange power did this guy have
I did say that I didnt mind it if you looked for other girls… but did you have to grab so many of them
Xie Yi was sitting leisurely in his study when he received word that his daughter was bringing the two Chu clan members to meet him.
His smile froze instantly.
After a moment, he sighed deeply and said, “Daughters are really good for nothing but incurring losses after all!”
He felt that it wasnt the right time to make his move, and that the Chu clan needed to be squeezed a little further first.
Now, Xie Daoyun had completely messed up his plans.
How could he not be upset