Chapter 1118: Trouble
However, the two of them weren’t completely unprepared.
They told Pei You to remain vigilant with the Armed Escort Army, and they instructed Gao Ying to immediately bring over his men if something strange happened.
The two of them arrived at the Civil Affairs Manor.
Because Zuo Su had died, the various affairs of the place were being managed by Vice Magistrate Xu Yu instead.
Once inside the manor, Zu An discovered that most of Cloudcenter Commandery’s higher level figures had arrived.
But compared to the welcoming banquet when the Imperial Envoy had first arrived, there were now much fewer people in attendance.
It was commonly known that the duke ‘Jian Yanyou’ was resting from his serious injuries.
He naturally didn’t make an appearance.
Magistrate Zuo Su had died.
Governing Supervisor Yu Xuanqing had been involved in the illegal smuggling between Jian Taiding and the fiend races, so he had been locked up by Sang Hong a few days prior.
The Martial Affairs Manor wasn’t much better off either.
Jian Taiding was dead, so his core supporters and trusted aides had all lost their former privileges.
Surprisingly, not even the Martial Affairs Manor’s Yu Xuansu had come.
Zu An frowned.
He thought to himself, Is it because everyone Sang Hong arrested was related to King Qi, so they didn’t dare to come anymore
But this was clearly something arranged by Xu Yu!
The only other person he was acquainted with who was present, apart from Xu Yu, was City Lord Pei Shao.
“City Lord Pei seems to have grown thin since the last time I saw you,” Zu An said as he walked over with a smile.
Pei Shao thought to himself, That’s thanks to what you told me before.
I haven’t been able to sleep well at all these days and I’m constantly anxious.
But he was an old fox in politics, so he looked completely natural on the outside.
He said, “Too many things have happened in Cloudcenter Commandery recently, so I have been quite preoccupied with governmental affairs.
Sir Zu seems to be glowing with health.”
“Perhaps my mood has been rather good recently,” Zu An replied.
He thought to himself, I’ve had Pei Mianman’s warm company every night, so how can my mood not be good
For some reason, Pei Shao couldn't help but feel that he was losing out on a lot whenever he looked at Zu An.
But he couldn't figure out just how even after thinking about it, so he could only conclude that he was overthinking things.
Chatting with Zu An just felt awkward somehow, though.
As such, after saying a few more things, he returned to his own circle.
As he heard the flattery of his surrounding colleagues, he felt a bit better again.
Zu An quietly sized up everyone around him.
Because so many members of Cloudcenter Commandery had been purged recently, many new people had come in to take their places.
Some of them were people he had promoted with the identity of Jian Yanyou, while many others had been promoted by Xu Yu.
“That fella didn’t do a thing, and yet he ended up gaining the most benefits in the end,” Zu An remarked, sighing to himself.
Suddenly, exclamations of alarm filled the air.
People all stopped chatting and looked toward the entrance.
Shock and eagerness flickered in their eyes.
Zu An turned around and saw Yu Yanluo slowly walk in.
She was wearing a silver dress, with a fiery red fur coat draped over her shoulders.
It made her seem even more glamorous than usual.
Her brows were a beautiful umber-black, and her complexion was pink.
Her long and slender neck made her look elegant and refined.
Her gracefully tied hair bun further added a hint of mature style.
Those present were all high-level figures of Cloudcenter’s officialdom.
They were all experienced individuals, and their cultivations weren’t low.
In theory, their willpower should have been quite firm.
But when they saw the dazzling Yu Yanluo, many of them secretly gulped down their saliva.
Even though they were all trying to hide it, it was as clear as day to those with high cultivations.
Yu Yanluo was already used to such scenes.
She naturally greeted all of the officials present.
For someone like her, she didn’t need to fawn over people.
Just a faint smile was enough to make them feel incredibly refreshed.
Zu An sighed.
The position of number one beauty was no joke! Even without any techniques, beauty alone would invite packs of ravenous wolves.
Yu Yanluo treated everyone else with simple courtesy.
Only when she faced Zu An did she display a hint of a truly gentle and soft smile.
But there were too many people present, so she felt a bit guilty, not daring to let anyone know about their true relationship.
She quickly pulled back her gaze.
Maids quickly arrived with tea and refreshments.
The officials began to chat within their own circles of three to four people.
Sang Hong and Xu Yu had many officials around them.
After all, one was the Imperial Envoy, while the other had become the head of the Civil Affairs Manor.
But even the two of them added together couldn't compare to the number of people surrounding Yu Yanluo.
Those people were all doing their best to leave their best impression within the shortest amount of time possible.
“Not many things in this world are so beautiful.
An evening autumn breeze across the river, and madam’s irresistible smile.”
“Stars that fill the skies You are the only one I see.”
“I want you to know that I know just how busy you are, so madam only needs to hear the first three words of this sentence.”
Zu An was completely stupefied. Aren’t these guys simping way too much
For better or for worse, you’re all at least important court officials! How can you all be so unreliable
But that was where Zu An was wrong.
This world was quite open-minded, and there were quite a few who openly expressed their feelings.
Furthermore, these people wouldn’t have many chances to meet Yu Yanluo to begin with.
They obviously couldn't meet with her as often as Zu An did and gain some degree of immunity to her charms.
Those present all had some tea and refreshments.
Seeing that things were getting more and more ridiculous, Xu Yu couldn't keep watching anymore either.
He coughed and indicated that the meeting was going to start.
The others thus began to gradually calm down.
Then, Xu Yu began to explain everything that had happened in Cloudcenter Commandery recently, saying that they were in for troubled times.
Thus, they all had to abandon the past and push forward to overcome hardships and difficulties.
The other officials naturally voiced their agreement.
But Zu An frowned instead. You called over everyone on such short notice just to tell us this
Sure enough, Sang Hong said in a deep voice, “Sir called us over to discuss something related to the very fate of Cloudcenter Commandery.
It cannot just be this, can it”
He had a lot of work to do to verify the contents of the account book from the toy wooden sword.
He wasn’t in the mood to listen to such superfluous words.
Xu Yu thus said, “There is indeed another important thing.”
Those present all knew that the most important moment had come.
They all straightened up in their seats as Xu Yu said slowly, “We all know that all of the things that have happened thus far have been related to the fiend races.
There are many members of Cloudcenter Commandery’s higher court who have been influenced by the fiend races.
“Everyone should know about the grudge between the humans and the fiend races.
They have slaughtered far too many of our compatriots.
“Normally speaking, the fiend races are immediately cursed at and beaten if they come over to our human side of the world.
That is why I have always been curious as to why the fiend races seem to have become so powerful, that they could permeate so deeply into Cloudcenter Commandery’s officialdom.”
Those present looked at each other in dismay when they heard that.
They didn’t know what Xu Yu was really getting at.
Was he going to carry out another great cleansing
Xu Yu continued, “You might all think that I am merely giving advice in hindsight, but I have already suspected that something was wrong for many years, and I have already looked into this matter before.
But each time, the trail of clues always ended for various reasons.
Only after recent discoveries did I finally understand where the problems lay.”
Some officials couldn't take it anymore, calling out “Sir Xu, please don’t keep us in suspense anymore.
What did you find out Please tell us!”
Xu Yu’s eyes swept across the room.
This time, he slowly asked, “Have you noticed that every single case related to the fiend races seems to have the Yu clan’s shadow behind it”
The crowd erupted into an uproar when they heard that.
Zu An was also shocked. Don’t tell me the purpose of this meeting is to deal with the Yu clan Where does this guy get his confidence from
Sang Hong also frowned.
He couldn't really figure out what Xu Yu’s intentions were.
The Imperial Envoy had come on orders from the emperor to deal with the Yu clan, but they didn’t have a great way of completing that task at the moment.
Who was Xu Yu representing
Yu Yanluo’s expression remained calm.
She didn’t even have to speak up.
There were already many of her admirers speaking up in her place.
“It was Yu Xuanqing and Yu Xuantao who were extremely daring.
They were the ones who colluded with the fiend races!”
“Exactly! What does it have to do with Madam Yu”
“Madam Yu is a goddess-like existence; why would she take part in this filthy affair”
Suddenly, Xu Yu’s cold voice echoed through the place.
He called out, “What if she is a fiend race individual herself”