Chapter 1008: Letting a Wolf Guard the Sheep
Xiao Yao opened his drowsy eyes and gave Zu An a look, saying, “You don’t seem scared.”
Zu An smiled and said, “We share no grudges, and we even drank together.
Why would I need to be scared”
“I don’t think that’s the real reason.” Xiao Yao jumped down from the window and slowly walked toward him, saying, “It’s because we’ve fought before that you have enough confidence.”
“The sword you displayed in the banquet was indeed brilliant.
I was instead the one who managed to get by through a fluke,” Zu An said humbly.
The other party had imbued his sword intent into wine.
Wine was mostly made of water, so using the water affinity he had received from Blue Mallard, he had been able to receive that attack much more easily than most.
Xiao Yao shook his head.
“I’m not talking about our exchange at the banquet, but rather during the day.”
Zu An was alarmed, replying, “I don’t know what you’re saying.”
Xiao Yao looked at him with an ambiguous smile, saying, “You’ll know once we give it a try.” He thrusted outward with his sword as soon as he finished speaking.
It was so fast that Zu An couldn't even see him draw the sword from the scabbard.
Zu An instantly withdrew by a zhang, evading the lightning fast sword.
He was just about to retaliate, but Xiao Yao had already withdrawn his sword, saying, “Your evasion is the same as it was during the day.”
Several auras rushed over just then; the one in the lead was Sang Hong, who asked, “Ah Zu, did something happen” Others quickly rushed over as well.
The violent ki fluctuations had clearly startled them.
“I’m fine; I was just training by myself.” Zu An even opened the door to let them see inside, to help dispel their confusion.
Sang Hong examined the room out of the corners of his eyes.
When he saw that there was indeed nothing wrong, he nodded and said, “Then you have to be careful.
If there’s anything wrong, just shout out.
The guards nearby will immediately rush over.”
“Thank you for your concern, respected uncle.” Zu An closed the door again after seeing them out.
Xiao Yao walked back out from behind the bed.
He asked out of curiosity, “Why didn’t you tell them to work together with you to capture me”
“I can sense that you bear no malice, so why would I capture you” Zu An pulled over a chair and sat down.
He gestured for Xiao Yao to do the same.
Xiao Yao didn’t put on airs and sat down casually, saying, “Your age isn’t great, but you’re surprisingly open-minded.”
Zu An declined to comment and instead replied, “Your respected self didn’t seek me out in the middle of the night just to have an ordinary chat, right”
“I’m quite curious.
You’re still so young, so why were you able to recognize me I already disappeared from the martial world so many years ago, and I almost forgot my name myself,” Xiao Yao said with a sigh.
Zu An replied, “It’s actually because I visited the academy a few times, and my relationship with those teachers is pretty good.
I know a bit more than others.”
When he heard Zu An mention Shen Xuzi, Hei Baizi, and the others, a smile appeared on Xiao Yao’s face.
He said, “It's been so many years, but they’re still the same.
Sigh, but they’ve already become the best in their respective fields; only a senior brother like me alone has wasted away…”
Sensing his bleakness, Zu An said, “Your respected self doesn’t need to undervalue yourself.
Everyone says that you’ve already fallen, but in my opinion, your sword dao is a bit more formidable than it was in your past peak.
That can only mean the world is mistaken, and the Sword Immortal is still the same Sword Immortal.”
Xiao Yao shook his head in self-mockery, saying, “I’m not.
It’s already too late for many things.”
Zu An said seriously, “Even though I don’t know what happened, I know that your deeds have inspired many people.
For example, I have a friend who views you as his idol…” He told Xiao Yao the story of Xiao Jianren, but of course he hid many details to prevent Xiao Yao from guessing that he was Golden Token Eleven.
Xiao Yao was a bit surprised to hear that there was someone who cared that much about him.
He was actually a bit shaken up, clearly recalling his former glory years.
Zu An thought to himself that if he used this chance to ambush the other party, if he didn’t deal a fatal blow, it would still be a serious injury! Xiao Yao was really shaken up.
Zu An wondered just what he had experienced for him to be this way.
“The fact that I could inspire a young man like that means this life of mine wasn’t lived for nothing.
I ought to drink to that.” Xiao Yao laughed and undid the gourd, drinking a few more gulps.
Then, he asked Zu An if he wanted any.
Zu An shook his head.
This man really was an alcoholic; he always managed to find all sorts of excuses to drink more.
After closing the wine gourd again, Xiao Yao suddenly put away his smile.
His originally drowsy look was replaced with a penetrating gaze as he asked, “Why were you around the Pei clan’s inner courtyard”
“I’m friends with Manman.” Zu An replied.
Then he asked, “So why were you there”
“I’m friends with her mother.” A gentle expression appeared in Xiao Yao’s eyes when he mentioned Pei Mianman’s mother.
Zu An had a strange expression. Isn’t calling her your friend here a bit suspicious
“Damn brat, what the hell are you thinking” As if sensing what Zu An was thinking, Xiao Yao gave him an annoyed look.
Zu An asked probingly, “You aren’t Manman’s real dad, are you” If this was his freaking father-in-law, that would really be crazy.
Xiao Yao’s face turned entirely red.
“Stop speaking nonsense! Manman’s mother is as clear as ice and as clean as jade.
Don’t insult her purity.”
Zu An could guess what was going on from his reaction.
Xiao Yao’s status in his mind plummeted.
He had thought that this man might have been lovers with Big Manman’s mother.
But now, not only were they not lovers, he seemed to just be a simp…
Xiao Yao gradually calmed down.
He looked at Zu An’s neck, saying, “I saw a flame-shaped pendant around your neck during the day.
Where did you get that from”
Zu An suddenly realized something.
No wonder this person’s killing intent had become much weaker.
He took out that unique pendant and said with a warm smile, “Big Manman gave it to me.”
Xiao Yao was momentarily absentminded.
His expression was extremely complicated as he looked at Zu An, muttering, “She actually gave this pendant to you.”
Zu An was surprised, asking, “What’s wrong”
Xiao Yao shook his head, appearing to be recalling something.
A while later, he said, “This pendant used to be her mother’s, and then she gave it to Manman.
This item is what they treasured the most, something they would only give to their most treasured lover.”
Zu An quietly put away the pendant, thinking, Don’t try to steal this from me just because Big Manman’s mom didn’t give you hers.
Xiao Yao couldn't help but laugh, saying, “Since you and Manman have such a relationship, I can feel at ease putting her under your protection.
I have some matters to take care of and need to make a trip, so I can’t protect her for some time.
That’s why I was quite worried.”
Zu An said, “Senior was protecting her, as expected.” It was as he had suspected.
Xiao Yao nodded, explaining, “Manman’s mother passed away at an early age, after which her father took the Yu clan’s woman as his wife; she gave birth to a little brother, that Pei Xing you met today.
Since her mother didn’t have any status, Manman’s status in the clan has always been rather difficult.”
Zu An felt a bit pained when he heard that.
He hadn’t expected Manman to have had such a life growing up.
She’d had a beautiful and enthusiastic personality when he first met her.
She had clearly buried all of that deep within her, using her smile as a camouflage.
“The Yu clan’s father and son used their status as main wife and first son, as well as the mother’s clan background, to make things hard on Manman.
Pei Shao, that fellow, is also incredibly prejudiced, so Manman always had a hard time.
She rarely spent any time at home and always wandered the world, but she was fine on her own,” Xiao Yao said.
“But this time, after returning to the Pei clan, she was kept under house arrest and not allowed to leave as she wished.
I wanted to bring her with me, but she wasn’t willing to leave with me no matter what I said.” He had a pained expression as he spoke.
“Why isn’t she willing to go with you” Zu An asked out of curiosity.
Big Manman wasn’t the type to let others bully her without doing anything!
Xiao Yao laughed in self-mockery, saying, “It might be because of her mother that she hates me.”
Zu An’s expression immediately became strange. You’re still going to say that you and her mother were just normal friends
Xiao Yao clearly didn’t want to discuss the topic anymore.
He continued, “Later on, through my investigations, I finally found out that Pei Shao wishes to marry her off to King Qi’s heir as a concubine.”
Even though he had already heard Pei You tell him about that, Zu An still erupted in rage when he heard that.
“Someone like Zhao Zhi actually thinks he’s worthy!”
Xiao Yao nodded in deep sympathy when he saw Zu An’s reaction, saying, “Indeed, Manman is a beautiful genius; it would be a waste even if she were the main wife, yet they actually want her to be a concubine Pei Shao, that pig, has lost his mind!”
Zu An looked toward the Pei clan.
He thought to himself, There’s absolutely no way I’ll give Big Manman to anyone else.
“I can’t make Manman leave, so I’ve always remained here to protect her, to prevent others from bullying her.
Unfortunately, recently, a matter occurred that’s forcing me to leave for a while.
I now feel at ease leaving her protection to you,” Xiao Yao said gratefully.
“Don’t worry; I’ll take good care of her!” Zu An replied seriously.
Xiao Yao nodded in satisfaction.
He took out a toothpick-sized wooden sword and gave it to Zu An, saying, “Your cultivation should be enough to deal with most situations, but keep this with you just in case.
This has my sword intent sealed in it.
If you encounter any opponents you can’t defeat, use this against them.
It’s equivalent to a full-powered attack from me.
There aren’t many in all of Cloudcenter Commandery who can withstand such an attack.” As he spoke, his voice was full of pride.
Then, he didn’t wait for Zu An to try to keep him.
His figure quickly vanished through the window.
He called out, “The sword rides the wind, purging evils throughout the world… You’ve given me a poem, and I’ve given you a present.
This should be enough to make us even, hahaha!”