“Marshal Dugu, you mustn’t go believing these brats’ nonsense and look at things from another perspective. Civil war, people dying left and right. I’m sure you want to avoid that from happening.”
You Wanshan rushed to cup his hands to Dugu Zhantian and spoke anxiously. The others from his team watched tense for any change in Marshal’s expression.
If Dugu Zhantian was going to storm Hell Valley, then the next to follow would be their houses.
The atmosphere suddenly took a heavy tone, making it hard to even breathe.
Dugu Zhantian stroked his beard, and when Zhuo Fan saw him move his arm dismissively, he jumped in action, “Humph, Valley Lord You, the nerve on you, to dare command Marshal who to attack and who to hand over! You must already be taking those million soldiers as yours!”
You Wanshan sent all his hatred in his glare at Zhuo Fan. He would’ve long since jumped Zhuo Fan and kill this thorn in his side by now if Dugu Zhantian wasn’t there to help it.
Funny enough, Dugu Zhantian’s mind worked the same. He was clenching his fists wishing he could beat some sense into this egotistical parvenu for using his army. Only emperor’s edict to protect Luo clan stopped him from chocking the life of this damn punk.
[My army is not Hell Valley’s, and it’s most certainly not yours. You damn steward, who do you think you are to represent my army when trying to show off? You even go as far as threaten the grand Seven Noble Houses! Are you dying to start a civil war?]
Thank god for Zhuo Fan, You Wanshan and Dugu Zhantian had no clue of the other’s thoughts or they’d be shaking on it while putting an end to the kid’s play.
You Wanshan took deep breaths to push down the anger and bring out the calm. He chose to relinquish his house lord’s demeanor, and cupped his hands, speaking in a difficult tone, “Marshal Dugu, let us all just take a step back. Since you defend Windgaze City, we won’t dare to intrude. As for Zhuo Fan, we don’t want him. I am willing to do this for you and forget about today. What do you say?”
“Valley Lord, that punk killed…” 5th elder shouted, but You Wanshan snapped, “Quiet, can’t you see Marshal Dugu is in charge here?”
5th elder turned from Dugu Zhantian to the mocking Zhuo Fan and stormed away outraged.
Understanding where Hell Valley was going and not wanting to see this spiral further out of control, Dugu Zhantian sighed with a nod.
While all people there wanted love and peace, there was one who burned to see the two sides like oil and water.
So he butted in just as Dugu Zhantian was about to conclude this affair with a laugh, “Valley Lord You, you must be dreaming if you think you’re getting away that easy! Have you forgotten the hundred thousand men you killed in my clan, those pitiful lost souls unable to find peace…”
But Dugu Zhantian and You Wanshan snapped at him in unison. Reeling, Zhuo Fan knew when to quit, so he quietly stood there, not making even a peep, like an angel.
His action made other feel mortified.
[This kid will stoop to any low, uncaring of appearances, a true parvenu. His talent is a damn waste as a steward.]
Dugu Zhantian stammered. He saw Zhuo turned from a biting dog into an adorable kitty, as if all that brash talk was not said, and was lost for words. In the end he cupped his hands, “You Wanshan, then we shall let this matter rest here. However, I do feel the need of reminding you, Valley Lord You, this empire is under Yuwen ruling, not your backyard!”
“I shall keep in mind Marshal’s counsel. Farewell!” You Wanshan gave one last salute and left with the others. Yet just a few steps after, his eerie tone came, “Marshal, on your way to Windgaze City, have you perhaps met some of my men?”
“Uh…” Dugu Zhantian was about to shake his head.
Zhuo Fan’s eyes sparkles like stars and grabbed hold of this golden ticket with a snicker and stepped up, “Valley Lord You, Marshal’s four generals are of immense valor, how could they waste time on nobodies? Ha-ha-ha, I urge you to got back and look after their families, and put a stop to your men’s reckless behavior. Windgaze City isn’t a place where you can come and go as you please.”
You Wanshan spurted blood, his eyes bloodshot.
[Dugu Zhantian, you are truly vicious. I will remember this debt…]
He only wanted to ask Dugu Zhantian what happened to his men hiding in Windgaze City. But the Marshal had came after the battle and had no clue what transpired.
Zhuo Fan picked up on his intention and cooked up an ingenious reply.
To Dugu Zhantian, this line was vague. He thought it was only a warning to You Wanshan to not make trouble when he had four strong godsons by his side.
However, You Wanshan’s team heard of the implied meaning. The four generals’ valor, of disregarding Hell Valley’s men, were actually hinting at the fact that these four amazing godsons handled their men hiding in the city!
But the next phrase really took the cake, pointing it out that Dugu Zhantian commanded the execution of all of them.
The eyes of the three house leaders went bloodshot, their nails biting into their hands. Zhuo Fan predicted that the three men would pointedly shift their anger from Luo clan onto Dugu Zhantian.
How could any of them ever forget a heavy loss of three elders and three Venerables?
“Marshal, everything must be done within a limit. But you have grossly crossed it!”
You Wanshan snorted and shot into the sky, leaving his last words of hatred behind, “Dugu Zhantian, I pray we’ll meet again soon. I doubt such a senile fool can be a God of War forever!”
“Hey, did you see, Marshal? You just let them go, and all they give in return is spite!” Zhuo Fan honked some more.
Dugu Zhantian and his generals were lost, not having a clue of being turned into patsies by Zhuo Fan.
[How odd, why is there a sudden grudge between us?]
Dugu Zhantian frowned but couldn’t make sense of it and sighed with a shake of his head, “There are no longer men with any integrity around!”
“I knew that teaching them a lesson was better!” Dugu Huo roared.
“You’re right, third brother. How about you lead the army and I accompany you in flattening them!”
“Alright, that’s enough. Yunhai, what did I tell you? Don’t use my banner to show off and pick on the weak!” Dugu Zhantian glared at Luo Yunhai then cursed, “Is the Dugu Army that easy to mobilize?”
Luo Yunhai lowered his head not daring to speak again. But that didn’t stop Zhuo Fan’s smile of respect, “Marshal is wrong here. How can the seven houses be considered weak when we are the ones being picked on?”
Dugu Zhantian was startled, [He has a point]. But then he reacted and glared, “And you, Steward Zhuo, it almost settled before you started speaking, always mocking and inciting them. You, the dispossessed, the weak, just angered the strong until they coughed blood!”
This launched everyone in a fit of giggles, especially Iris and Peony Overseers. They hid their smiles as they started recalling the fake Song Yu’s acting in Drifting Flowers City.
Zhuo Fan shrugged and kept his thoughts to himself, lest he became the target of the ol’ Marshal’s anger.
Sighing, Dugu Zhantian calmed the rage in his heart, then cupped his hands to Chu Bijun’s group, “I know that you are different then them, coming to resolve the situation and not make it bigger. But I am under imperial order and I can’t let you in Windgaze City.”
“We understand!” Chu Bijun returned the gesture.
Dugu Zhantian nodded and went to his generals, “Return to camp!”
“Hold on, Marshal. There are matters young master needs to tend in the Luo clan. Can he…”
Dugu Zhantian nodded to Zhuo Fan, “Alright, the kid got me in a foul mood so I will hand him to you for today. Humph, I don’t want to see him right now!”
Then he vanished. Luo Yunhai’s face sank, “Big brother, does godfather hates me?”
“Ha-ha-ha, relax fifth brother, Marshal is only putting a tough front but he’s a softy inside. He just favors you too much to stay angry for long. Once his anger passes, it’ll be fine!” Dugu Lin smiled in mid-air.
Luo Yunhai relaxed.
He had been robbed of his father early in his life and started to consider Marshal a father figure after spending so much time with him…
Ruffling his hair, Zhuo Fan drew him to Long Yifey, Chu Bijun and the rest, “Ha-ha-ha, people, long time no see. You’ve come to help us? You can rest easy now, since everything is fine!”
“With little brother Zhuo taking charge, the Luo clan will be forever safe, ha-ha-ha…” Long Jiu said then introduced, “Brother, let me present to you our Pavilion Lord, Long Yifey. And here is Sword Marquise Abode’s Abode Lord…”
Zhuo Fan had Luo Yunhai pay respects alongside him as Long Jiu introduced.
When it was Chu Bijun’s turn, Chu Bijun nodded before Zhuo Fan could bow, “Qingcheng was right about you, Steward Zhuo. A man mighty in pen and sword is worthy of being Drifting Flowers Edifice’s son in law!”
Zhuo Fan shook his head bitterly seeing the odd looks in everyone’s eyes…