Chapter 1052: Invisible Hand
Zu An put on a mask to disguise himself as just a passerby, then left after changing his outfit.
He avoided the eyes of the surrounding surveillance.
When he was just about to leave, he suddenly noticed that a young lady with an outstanding figure was pacing back and forth by the entrance.
The rippling waves that formed when she walked drew the eyes of everyone who passed by.
Who else could it be but Pei Mianman
Zu An quickly went over to bring her away.
Pei Mianman was alarmed when someone grabbed her hand, and a black flame surged from her hand.
But that flame went out soon after making contact with the other party’s hand.
She stared blankly for a moment, then realized something.
She exclaimed with pleasant surprise, “Ah Zu”
“Yeah, it’s me.” Zu An suppressed his voice as he brought her over to a nearby alley.
There were some people who noticed the strange interaction and followed them, but Pei Mianman swept out her hand casually.
A black shadow surrounded those people, and they could no longer see anything.
When everything returned to normal, Pei Mianman and Zu An were already nowhere to be seen.
Were we attacked by ghosts or something
Those individuals were horrified and didn’t dare to continue chasing the two.
Meanwhile, Pei Mianman and Zu An were already walking along the main street.
She couldn't help but pinch Zu An’s face, saying, “It feels weird when you have that mask on.”
Zu An removed the mask and chuckled, replying, “I wore this because everyone is watching me carefully right now, so I have to at least do something to hide myself.
By the way, why were you standing around our residence so early in the morning”
“How could I do nothing after something so big happened last night I only learned you were involved the morning after.
I heard you were seriously injured, so of course I had to come to visit you! But who would’ve thought that the guards wouldn’t let me in, and they wouldn’t even deliver a message for me,” Pei Mianman said in annoyance.
Then, she quickly grabbed Zu An’s arm to check his body, asking, “Where are your injuries Why are you running around right now instead of properly nursing your injuries”
“Some things happened back at the temporary residence, so the entire place is on lockdown.
No one is allowed to come in or leave.
That’s why you were stopped.” When he saw how nervous she was, Zu An felt warm inside.
He added, “Don’t worry, I’m fine.
They’re just some small injuries.”
“What small injuries I heard that a sword was stabbed straight through your chest and that you couldn't even move from your bed, that you were half dead!” Pei Mianman’s eyes became misty.
She said, “You don’t have to act tough anymore; just rest well and focus on recovering.”
“I’ve already pretty much recovered.” Zu An pulled down his shirt to show her his chest, explaining, “I cultivate the Primordial Origin Sutra, which has powerful regeneration abilities.
I even reforged my body several times over with primordial ki, so my body is harder than anyone else’s.
You should know that better than anyone else, right”
“Hmph, you’re so indecent.” Pei Mianman’s charming face immediately flushed red.
She looked even more tender and beautiful than before.
However, when she examined his body herself, she saw that he really was more or less healed.
She thus felt fully at ease.
Still, she said, “Even if your body is fine, your injuries haven’t fully healed yet.
Why are you leaving so early in the morning”
“How could I have run into you if I hadn’t left so early in the morning” Zu An chuckled, then said, “The reason I left today was to investigate a matter.”
“What kind of thing is it that’s made you so anxious” Pei Mianman exclaimed in alarm.
“Someone warned me to be careful of the Pegasus Merchant Group before.” Zu An didn’t bring up Tang Tian’er’s name.
“I had someone look into them last night after I came back.
Rouge Spice is also owned by the Pegasus Merchant Group.”
“What’s wrong with that” Pei Mianman didn’t really pay much attention to the true owners of such stores.
She didn’t understand what Zu An was saying.
“In these past few days, apart from visiting the Pei clan, Zhao Zhi has barely been to any other places.
He only buys some gifts from certain stores, so I visited those stores to see if there was anything wrong with them.
I suspected he might have met up with some people there,” Zu An explained.
“But after looking into them, I discovered that all of those shops had a common trait, which is that they’re all owned by Pegasus Merchant Group!”
Pei Mianman also sensed that something was off.
She exclaimed, “Don’t tell me King Qi is colluding with Pegasus Merchant Group”
“I don’t know for certain either.” Zu An felt a huge headache.
Han Fengqiu had appeared in the Zhenyuan Merchant Group compound the previous night too.
Didn’t that mean he should be with Zhenyuan Merchant Group He said, “That’s why I plan to look around the Pegasus Merchant Group.”
There was another reason he hadn’t mentioned.
When he had investigated Rouge Spice, he had been taken to the Zhenyuan Merchant Group by Qiu Honglei.
Was that a coincidence, or was there a different reason for that
“That’s something worth looking into.” Pei Mianman’s eyes lit up.
She asked, “Do you know where the Pegasus Merchant Group is”
I was just about to ask around.
It shouldn’t be too hard to find, right” Zu An replied.
“You don’t have to ask anyone! I’ll take you there.” Pei Mianman was a local after all.
Furthermore, the Pegasus Merchant Group was also a top merchant group in Cloudcenter Commandery, so its existence was no secret.
Zu An obviously wouldn’t refuse such a pretty tour guide.
Under her guidance, the two quickly arrived at the Pegasus Merchant Group’s location.
The Zhenyuan Merchant Group’s style was a bit more reserved, while the Pegasus Merchant Group went all out on their decorations, with gold and jade everywhere.
It looked even more imposing in style and conveyed a strong sense of a nouveau-riche upstart.
The two of them found a distant wall and secretly climbed over.
The further in they went, however, the more Pei Mianman’s expression changed.
She exclaimed, “It’s just a merchant group; why is the security so tight!”
Zu An said in a lowered voice, “Looks like there’s something wrong with this place after all.”
Compared to the previous night’s Zhenyuan Merchant Group, the security wasn’t inferior at all.
The two remained extremely careful.
Fortunately, Zu An had the jade badge to scout around him.
Pei Mianman was one of the best among her generation too, so they avoided all of the security along the way.
They were about to enter the area where strategic locations like the study were located when suddenly, Zu An felt something.
He quickly grabbed Pei Mianman and hid behind a nearby rock garden.
The opening behind the rock garden was extremely narrow.
They had to be pressed up tightly against each other to fit.
Pei Mianman’s face turned a bit red.
However, she didn’t get embarrassed, but instead felt the situation was thrilling.
She wrapped her arm around Zu An’s neck and got on her tiptoes, giving him a kiss.
Zu An felt a soft sensation near his chest.
When he saw the naughty expression in the other party’s eyes, he couldn't help but admit that this woman really was a vixen.
Several people slowly walked out from around the corner just then.
“I didn’t expect Zhenyuan Merchant Group to have White Jade Sect behind them.
Things are troublesome now; that hag Yan Xuehen isn’t easy to deal with.”
“Boss Zhang, please don’t worry too much.
Yan Xuehen rarely pays attention to worldly matters, so she probably won’t get involved.
Furthermore, even if she did, we would have our sect master to deal with her.”
Zu An was startled.
He quietly looked out and saw the two middle-aged men in front.
One of them was dressed in blue robes and had a stalwart build, his eyes flickering with brilliance.
His gait was steady and powerful, giving him the air of a formidable figure.
Pei Mianman told him through voice transmission, “That man is the Pegasus Merchant Group’s Boss Zhang Che.
He’s visited my father often over the years to give us presents.
I’ve met him before and have some impression of him.”
“Zhang Che” Zu An had heard a bit about someone with that name.
With the Pegasus Merchant Group behind him, he was a big player in Cloudcenter Commandery as well.
Pei Mianman voiced her surprise.
“Why is that guy here too”
Her surprise was, however, no surprise to Zu An.
There was a big fatty at Zhang Che’s side.
He looked like a local wealthy landlord, with a golden abacus in hand.
If he hadn’t known that person, Zu An would have thought he was Pegasus Merchant Group’s boss.
Zu An had met that person before on his way to the capital from Brightmoon City.
He was one of the Devil Sect’s Solitary Eight, Solitary Metal! Pei Mianman had seen him back then too, which was why she was so puzzled.
Zu An’s mood turned serious.
As expected, Pegasus Merchant Group had ties with the Devil Sect! Looks like Qiu Honglei really did appear in Rouge Spice to draw me away.
He suddenly remembered what Qiu Honglei had said before, asking if he would get mad if he found out that she had lied to him.
This was probably the matter she had been talking about.
“Turns out she was the one looking out for me.” Zu An recalled how Qiu Honglei had frantically tried to protect him the previous day and sighed. She probably didn’t know there would be so many experts gathered over there.
Zhang Che and Solitary Metal had already left.
Pei Mianman noticed Zu An’s pale complexion and asked out of concern, “What’s wrong”
“It’s nothing.” Zu An let go of those thoughts.
It was easy to see whether Qiu Honglei’s feelings for him were real or fake.
Why did he need to feel bad about such things
“Who was that Yan Xuehen they mentioned earlier” Pei Mianman became curious again when she saw that he was fine.
“White Jade Sect’s Sect Master.
She’s also Chuyan’s master,” Zu An casually replied.
“Ah She was that grandmaster from last night” Pei Mianman jumped in fright.
She wasn’t all that surprised by the woman’s cultivation, but rather that she was Chu Chuyan’s master.
She bit her lips when she thought of that and asked guiltily, “What if she knows about the two of us Will she act in Chuyan’s place”
“That’s a possibility.” Zu An thought back to the previous night when the other party had come to talk to him about Qiu Honglei.
If she knew about his relationship with Pei Mianman too… Ugh, just the thought alone is scary…
They had already gotten the information they needed, so Zu An and Pei Mianman left the Pegasus Merchant Group.
After hearing about the matter of Yan Xuehen, Pei Mianman didn’t have much interest in much else.
She looked preoccupied with something.
She wasn’t even in the mood to go for a stroll with Zu An anymore.
The two of them went their separate ways after they chatted for a while longer.
Zu An’s mood was also heavy, because he felt as if he had just gotten himself trapped in a huge net.
It was as if there were an invisible hand guiding him to do certain things.
But even after spending a long time thinking about it, he just couldn't figure out where the problem lay.
He could only return to the temporary official residence for the time being.
When he got back, the entire residence was surrounded by layers of security.
The soldiers present were all tough with fierce expressions, their auras suffused with killing intent.
They were all battle-hardened warriors.
They weren’t the Civil Affairs Manor’s troops, but rather the Military Affairs Manor’s field army!
Zu An’s expression darkened. Don’t tell me Jian Taiding is taking desperate measures and plans to rebel
After looking around for a while, though, he rejected that suspicion.
The soldiers seemed to only plan on surrounding the temporary residence.
They didn’t have any intentions of barging in.
When he got inside again, he just happened to hear a knock on his door.
A voice called out, “Ah Zu, I do not want to disturb your rest either, but there is a serious matter that needs to be discussed!”
Zu An recalled Daji, then went over to open the door.
“Jian Taiding has moved his troops.
The current situation does not look good.” Sang Hong didn’t even have time for normal greetings and immediately cut to the chase when he saw Zu An.