“Grandmother, you can’t be speaking so casually, some people might misunderstand!” Squinting, Zhuo Fan’s tone dropped, “My trip to Drifting Flowers City was all for the Bodhi Jade Sap. It had nothing to do with Chu Qingcheng. Please refrain from speaking such falsities in the future.”
Chu Qingcheng was startled. [Drifting Flowers Edifice isn’t some scourge, so why do you insist on keeping your distance? And what’s not to like about Chu Qingcheng? She is a worldly beauty that has countless men treating her like a goddess.]
Long Yifey and the rest were also puzzled. [You just got a hot wife thrown in your lap so why on earth are you stepping aside? You aren’t fed poison anyway so what’s with that huge reaction?]
Peony Overseer’s temper flared, cursing him, “Zhuo Fan, Qingcheng’s love is wasted on you. How can you be such a disappointment?”
“Humph, disappointment you say?” Zhuo Fan stuck out his chest and bellowed, “I was the one who saved all of Drifting Flowers Edifice, this old crone included. I owe you jack-squat!”
Peony Overseer was now shaking out of rage. His words were right and she had nothing to say despite wanting to.
Chu Bijun’s face twitched. She had had her fair share of travels in her youth, but never once met someone so brazen to curse her in her face. Especially not by a young pup.
The Lady of Steel wasn’t one to take that tone lying down even if they were from the seven houses. Letting a snot-nosed brat off without teaching him a lesson would let others believe the Drifting Flowers Edifice was a pushover.
But Zhuo Fan was different. Since she woke up, all she heard were endless dreaded rumors about this legendary youth. And today she saw him playing Hell Valley and Dugu Zhantian like a fiddle into jumping at each other’s throat.
Getting on the bad side of such a sly and vicious fellow would end in disaster.
The wise Chu Bijun knew who was easier to push around and save her prestige and who was better left alone and bear the brunt instead.
It was crystal clear in what category Zhuo Fan fell into.
Her only choice was to bear it! Though she was quite curious to know what nerve did this topic struck to irk him into flaring up at any who mentioned it.
“Humph, heartless rat!” All the Peony Overseer could do was curse him. Zhuo Fan ignored her all the same.
Long Yifey let out a wry chuckle trying to mediate the situation, “We’re all on the same side. Must we get angry over something so minor? We need to focus on the task at hand and remove the danger our four houses face!”
“Pavilion Lord Long is right. Please forgive my rude remarks, Steward Zhuo!” Chu Bijun smiled.
Zhuo Fan glanced at her and secretly nodded.
No wonder people started calling her Lady of Steel, she was quite amenable. The issue had nothing to do with her, but for Drifting Flowers Edifice’s sake, she was willing to take one for the team in being first to extend an olive branch.
Zhuo Fan wasn’t unreasonable either, bowing, “Please forgive my rash behavior as well.”
Chu Bijun nodded, with a smile of praise. Although Peony Overseer was still too pissed to look him in the eye.
“Seeing everyone here today I can only assume you have agreed to join hands!” Zhuo Fan suddenly took a sombre tone, “That would imply us four houses’ objectives have aligned. Or more aptly put, we have been pushed into a corner and forced to ally!”
Chu Bijun picked up where he left, “Pavilion Lord Long with Abode Lord Xie and myself have participated in the Seven Houses Gathering at Regent Estate. As Steward Zhuo had suspected, they wish to rule over all the houses, with Hell Valley and the others already standing on Regent Estate’s side.”
“Oh, Seven Houses Gathering you say? Do tell me the details.” Zhuo Fan’s eyes glimmered.
Chu Bijun started recalling the meeting in minute details. Whatever she had missed were supplied by Long Yifey and Xie Xiaofeng.
Having understood what transpired, Zhuo Fan paced around with a frown, “I was wondering why Regent Estate didn’t come to Windgaze City. I see it now. Estate Lord sure is a man of character!”
“Humph, what character? Big bro Zhuo, sending Hell Valley and the rest instead paints him for the coward he truly is!” Luo Yunhai mocked.
Zhuo Fan laughed, “Rotten brat, guess I have to teach you a harsh lesson, lest you encounter an expert from which you’d suffer dearly!”
“As the saying goes, the cruelest are the regents! I killed one of his sons, yet, he did not fly into rage, only sending experts to kill me in Windgaze City. In this manner, he is rather calm. He did not seek revenge but planned to test the imperial family’s limit. It is clear this man’s ambition is great. This is how a man should act when he wants to look at things from perspective.”
“Kid, you will become Luo Clan Head one day. I won’t say anything about being strong or having a cunning mind, but one thing you must never forget, to give no quarter!” Zhuo Fan snickered and patted Luo Yunhai’s head.
They all felt ashamed. Did anyone guide their young master in such a way in this empire? But one thing was certain, Zhuo Fan’s logic made complete sense. In this cruel and harsh world, things like compassion would only drag one down.
Chu Bijun took a long look at Zhuo Fan, and nodded, more to herself.
Zhuo Fan pondered for a bit before saying, “Currently, the imperial family has shown their stance so we should be safe for now. While the Luo clan, having Marshal Dugu on our back, is in an even safer position, ha-ha-ha…”
Zhuo Fan cackled to the speechless audience who thought, [Just what rotten luck did this guy stumble upon to get Dugu Zhantian’s support?]
“Brother Zhuo, when did you get so close to Dugu Zhantian? I’ve been in Windgaze City for years and never heard of this.” Long Jiu’s curiosity got the better of him.
“Hmm, how should I put this?”
Zhuo Fan jutted his chin, while Luo Yunhai’s face beamed with pride. He was quite frankly the second coming of Zhuo Fan in this world.
The other’s faces twitched, [He’s posing again! And there’s two of them now!]
“Ha-ha-ha, we only met Marshal half a month ago. Getting so close in such a short time is evidence in and of itself. That nothing is impossible for me!” Zhuo Fan snickered.
Luo Yunhai added with a creepy laughter, “That is because I am of unmatched talent. It was only a matter of time for one such as I to find myself as godfather’s disciple, ha-ha-ha…”
The others felt dark clouds looming overhead, [Zhuo Fan is a bad influence.]
Be that as it may, the grand God of War had nonetheless joined their fold in but half a month. This was unprecedented.
Chu Bijun felt the brunt of the news the most. She had ties with every great clan out there but never had she succeeded in turning any of them into a strong friendship. Her impression of Zhuo Fan went up a notch.
[No wonder he became a steward. He knows the ins and out of everything. He considers everything when making a choice.]
[Perhaps not even Unwonted Contriver can match his meticulousness.]
[For a third rate clan to jump in the first rate category through a single connection is unheard of!]
[With Zhuo Fan as steward, the Luo clan will most definitely rise above the seven houses. A pity he is so set against marrying into Drifting Flowers Edifice!]
Chu Bijun lamented.
“Since Luo clan is so outstanding, then should we stop supporting the Luo clan?” Having enough of Zhuo Fan being a wise ass, Long Yifey decided to play a practical joke.
The snicker froze on Zhuo Fan’s face. He then spoke in all seriousness, “To be completely honest, Luo clan is lacking in resources. What Veiled Dragon Pavilion provided us so far was just a drop in the bucket. In any case, we four are now allies. Will the other two houses be willing to lend a helping hand and get this third rate clan to rise above?”
“Haven’t you taken a year’s worth of income with the ingredients you took the last time you were in Drifting Flowers City? What more do you want?” Peony Overseer glared.
Zhuo Fan smiled wryly, yet not denying, “Those are just ingredients for alchemy. Besides, don’t we deserve at least some thanks for saving your house? How can you call that support?”
“You damn rogue!” Peony Overseer huffed.
Chu Bijun chuckled, “Ha-ha-ha, with all four of us in the same boat, the Luo clan will be our biggest ally. Helping you is helping us. Drifting Flowers Edifice will henceforth settle the Luo clan’s ingredient problem!”
“Grandmother, you are wise beyond your age!” Zhuo Fan gave a thumbs up.
Xie Xiaofeng smoothened his beard, “Sword Marquise Abode is specialized in tool refining and has many ores. Then we shall supply you with the items needed to make spiritual weapons and demonic treasures.”
Zhuo Fan’s eyes shined and laughed inside.
Luo clan had many guards, but no weapon or armor to fit them with. He had lately been thinking of who to rob and solve this little snag.
[Damn that Xie Tianyang. Did it hurt to not tell me this sooner? And you call yourself my brother?] Zhuo Fan cursed.
Long Yifey twirled his mustache and shrugged, “I guess Veiled Dragon Pavilion will handle the rest?”
“Oh please, who else is there? You’re the best merchant in Tianyu!” Zhuo Fan perked the corner of his mouth.
That sent everyone into a laughing fit.
With this, they all began to see Luo clan as a dependable ally.
They were yet unaware what the Luo clan would grow into, but with Dugu Zhantian shading them, it was worth investing in them.
Luo Yunhai felt the clan would experience a golden age with how many resources were coming over and was laughing at the sky, “It’s good to have friends coming from afar!”
Iris Overseer praised, “He is quite clever, knowing how to gauge a situation!”
While all smiled, Peony Overseer was snorting at Zhuo Fan, “True, he is a clever little child and with proper manners too. Unlike someone else we know!”
She then said to Luo Yunhai, “Tell me, do you know what that means?”
“Of course. Big bro Zhuo had made me study many books these few days to last a lifetime!” Luo Yunhai laughed as he explained, “The more brothers that come, the more I can exploit. A true joy-“
Zhuo Fan covered his mouth before he could finish. The other looked at him with dark faces, boring holes into him.
“Uh, I am just a steward and not good at teaching…” Zhuo Fan blinked his large eyes in embarrassment.
The other’s faces twitched, “On the contrary, you’re too highly qualified…”
One thing was certain, this young master was a lost cause having been through Zhuo Fan’s rotten hands…