Frightened, Zu An quickly dodged backwards.
“Dont listen to your brothers nonsense! I am his benefactor! Other girls show sincere devotion towards their benefactors; why are you trying to stab me with your sword”
“You are a pervert after all!” The young ladys pretty face went completely red.
She tugged at her belt with her free hand, drawing a cold and vicious flexible sword out of its scabbard, which she thrust straight at him.
Zu An had a mocking look on his face. Your waist is tiny! If you keep a flexible sword there, arent you scared that youll accidentally cut yourself in half
Jokes aside, the sight of her gleaming sword slashing through a group of assassins in mere seconds was still fresh in his memory, and he didnt dare act carelessly.
In a panic, he used his Sunflower Phantasm to dodge to one side as he yelled, “Old man Sang! Im going to start cursing if you dont keep a leash on your kids!”
Sang Hong had a strange expression on his face.
He had deliberately done nothing just now, amused to find out how this was going to play out.
This fellow had kept bullying Qianer all this while, so it wasnt that bad to see him suffer a little.
However, when he saw that Zu Ans life really might be in danger, he released a light cough.
The young lady immediately sheathed her flexible sword when she heard him, and returned to his side.
Sang Hong nodded.
His daughter really was much more obedient than his son.
Zu An crawled to his feet again and brushed the dirt off his body.
“Qiener! The young miss had a wonderful name.
It sounds way better than your brothers.”
Sang Qien rolled her eyes.
This fellow really was shameless! Only my family calls me Qiener.
Why are you calling me that…
Sang Qian was furious.
Their names were phonetically similar, just that one of them was male, and the other was female. What do you mean, one sounds bad and one sounds good
You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for 666 Rage points!
Sang Hong was somewhat at a loss as to what to say as well.
But he still introduced Zu An to his daughter.
“This is Zu An.
he saved your father and your older brothers lives.
You should know about the rest.”
Sang Qien nodded.
She had looked into the details before making her way here, so she obviously knew about Zu An.
What was going on between him and her sister-in-law, though
Of course, she was always a careful person, and she wasnt going to do something so stupid as to ask that question now.
She greeted Zu An instead.
“Thank you, young master.
Please forgive me for offending you just now.”
“Its no big deal.” Zu An laughed, then gave Sang Qian a look.
“You should learn a little from her.
Your little sister is far more polite than you.”
Sang Qian was furious.
“You little bastard, are you trying to start a fight”
You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for 798 Rage points!
Sang Hong quickly interrupted the two of them to prevent another quarrel.
“By the way, Qiener, why are you here”
Sang Qien gave Zu An a look.
She pulled her father and older brother to the side, and then she said in a hushed voice, “Those influential figures in the capital were quite worked up when they discovered that the account book was fake.
Father, youve offended too many people in the past, so many people in the capital do not wish to see you return alive.
Thats why I brought some men with me to protect the two of you.”
Sang Qians mouth fell open, his eyes wide with shock.
He had to admire his fathers foresight.
He had predicted this situation right from the start!
Sang Hongs voice was heavy.
“What are His Majestys intentions”
Sang Qien shook her head.
“His Majesty didnt give a definitive response regarding this matter, which is likely a form of tacit agreement.
That is why those clans are acting so brazenly.
It truly is a pity.
Father, you have always remained loyal and devoted to His Majesty, and youve willingly fought alone all this time.
Yet in the end, despite offending so many influential figures for his sake he has cast you aside and abandoned you.
This emperor has wronged you.”
“Speak cautiously!” Sang Hongs expression remained nonchalant.
“As an emperor, this is what he must do.
Your father already knew what he was getting himself into when he made this choice all those years ago, so theres no point in pointing fingers.
Moreover, His Majesty is only doing this as a way of appeasing those furious influential figures.
As long as we can reach the capital city safely, Im sure well survive this ordeal.”
Sang Qien said, “How could it be that easy As far as I know, many clans wish for your deaths.
Take this attack in the inn, for example.
If I hadnt infiltrated this inn, you all might have…”
“Why did they only send these weaklings after us” Sang Qian asked, puzzled.
Even though their attacks seemed fierce, they werent really all that strong.
Sang Qien said, “It was most likely to escape the Embroidered Envoys detection.
They cannot bribe everyone, after all.
If the workers in an ordinary small town inn had strong ki fluctuations, it would definitely draw suspicion.”
Sang Hong rebuked him gently as well.
“Qianer, you shouldnt talk such a big game without being able to back it up.
Even though they didnt have high levels of cultivation, we would be corpses right now without Zu Ans help and your sisters timely appearance.”
Sang Qian grunted in acknowledgement even though he didnt agree.
He hated being seen as inferior to his younger sister, and his father even seemed to think of him as inferior to Zu An.
Zu An felt as though he had to say something.
“You guys are having such a sweet family reunion over there.
But what about my feelings”
Sang Hong smiled and said, “My apologies.”
“You dont have to be that polite to me,” Zu An replied.
“There is something Im curious about, though.
Why is it that the guards outside havent done anything even though there was so much noise in here”
Sang Hong replied, “I believe those who wish to kill us have some sort of relationship with King Liang or Liu Yao, and are leveraging this relationship to create this opportunity for assassination.
Bribing the members of the Embroidered Envoy is impossible, so they were likely transferred away.
If I am not mistaken, then they should be back soon.
Qiener, you should hurry up and leave, or else you wont be able to get away later.”
Sang Qien nodded.
Her lips moved slightly, clearly talking through voice transmission.
Then, she said, “Father, take care of yourself.
I will watch your surroundings for you along the way.” She smashed open a window and disappeared into the darkness.
Huang Huihong came back with some men soon after she left.
When he saw the mess, and the corpses littering the ground, his expression darkened considerably.
King Liang and Liu Yao rushed over as well, once they received the news.
They had equally shocked expressions.
“How could something like this happen What about the guards outside”
Very quickly, someone came back with the answer.
“Theyre not breathing.
They were probably poisoned by blow darts.”
Huang Huihongs eyes narrowed, and he gave King Liang a cold look.
“Respected king, can you tell me what is going on”
Two of his own Embroidered Envoy were among the casualties.
He and his subordinates had been transferred away, but he had deliberately left behind two of his men.
He hadnt expected there to be a problem, given the presence of so many Imperial Guard soldiers keeping watch.
Yet, he had returned only to be confronted by this gruesome sight.
King Liang was confused.
“What do you mean”
“It was your subordinate who called us over to discuss our itinerary going forward,” Huang Huihong said, his voice full of unspoken meaning.
King Liang sniffed.
“Commander Huang, please be considerate when you speak.
When did I send anyone to summon you I have been patrolling the surroundings all this time, and that is something many people can testify to.
Something has happened in your own absence—how can you cast the blame on me”
Liu Yao acted as a mediator.
“Come on, we are all on the same side here.
This is something none of us want to see! Right now, our top priority should be making sure that we havent overlooked anything else, instead of being in such a hurry to point fingers at each other.”
Huang Huihongs sharp eyes scanned the whole area, but he didnt find the one who had passed on the message to him.
He didnt think he would see them again in the future either.
Even though he knew that it was one of King Liangs subordinates that had called him over, but without any proof, he could only swallow this in silence.
Sang Hong watched everything play out, a faint smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
Huang Huihong personally interrogated the three of them to find out the details of what just happened.
They hid nothing, apart from Sang Qiens appearance.
When all of them had left, Sang Hong nodded gratefully towards Zu An.
Zu An smiled.
“I have been born with a great deal of goodwill towards women.
Naturally, I wouldnt want her to be hunted down.”
Sang Qian snorted angrily.
“You arent allowed to go after my sister! Whatever is in your mind, Im sure its just wishful thinking anyway.
My younger sister is beautiful and smart.
She has turned down many suitors in the capital who were far better than you.”
Zu Ans expression was a little strange.
“I didnt really have any thoughts about her earlier, but after hearing you say all of this, Im becoming more and more interested.
Wouldnt I gain a huge sense of achievement if I obtained your sister”
“You!” Sang Qian roared in fury.
You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for 515 Rage points!
Sang Hong couldn\'t help but shake his head.
These two really were naturally incompatible.
However, this wasnt his focus right now.
He had just noticed Huang Huihong walk in, and he took this chance to say, “Commander Huang, I have something I wish to discuss with you in private.”
The phonetic pronunciation of the names of the two children are very similar, differing only in intonation.
Both are written asQian in pinyin.
As such, I am going to use Qien instead for the daughter to make it easier for everyone to distinguish between the two.