Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Lu Fan continued lounging in his wheelchair, his eyes half-closed.
He was satisfied with his selection.
Drunk Dust Court had been a total surprise, but it met all his requirements.
Beiluo City was quite a big place, and it held a lake within its walls. All sorts of Beiluo City residents liked to go there.
Recreational boats often docked on the lakeside, and young gentlemen often chose the lake for their romantic endeavors.
In the center of Beiluo Lake, there was a small island. Drunk Dust Court was the only building on the island.
The quest Lu Fan had accepted required him to build a Supreme Power from scratch, so he had a lot of factors to take into consideration before he picked a location.
Once the location was selected, Lu Fan would start deploying Spirit Qi in that area to build a cultivation spot. In the future, he would train more and more cultivators there.
So, it was vital that he chose the right spot to begin building his Supreme Power.
Because it stood alone on an island, Drunk Dust Court was separated from the urban area of Beiluo City. At that moment, it was Lu Fan's best option.
The moment he saw the deed, Lu Fan felt an immediate connection to the place.
Chen Beixun had a strange look on his face as he gazed at Lu Fan, whose eyes were closed. He still wasn't sure if Lu Fan was pulling his leg.
Did Young Master Lu really want to get his hands dirty in the brothel industry?
Or was Lu Changkong actually behind this decision?
Chen Beixun set his wits to work and contemplated many possibilities.
The nation was in chaos, and the Hundred Schools of Philosophy had teamed up with 12 counties to take down Great Zhou.
Beiluo City was the Sword Sect's target. Chen Beixun, as the Sword Sect's representative, was certainly under a lot of pressure. Any decision he made had to be the result of deep consideration.
"Young Master Lu..." Chen Beixun took a deep breath. He put a smile back on his face.
"Drunk Dust Court is a romantic place. Although Confucianists have been known since ancient times to enjoy the occasional romantic encounter, this might not be the best place for you to spend the rest of your life, Young Master Lu."
Lu Fan opened his eyes. His face went cold.
"What's wrong with brothels?" Lu Fan asked calmly.
"If this is really what you want, then I will not push the matter." Chen Beixun squinted his eyes.
The Chen family scholars behind him also fell silent. As angry as they were, they didn't dare to say anything. Lu Fan was so arrogant and pushy, but there was little that they could do about it.
Lu Fan had the City Master behind him. If Chen Beixun hadn't returned from the Sword Sect, the City Master Manor would have already leveled the Chen family, and they knew it.
Instantly noticing the hardness in Lu Fan's voice, Ning Zhao raised her Cicada Wing Sword.
Although the wind had stilled, her long dress danced around her in a phantom breeze. A flow of Qi seemed to swirl around the point of her sword.
Nie Changqing also lifted his butcher knife. His face was like granite, but for some reason, his lack of visible anger made him even more intimidating.
Chen Beixun laughed.
"What are you talking about, Young Master Lu? If you like this property, there's no way that the Chen family will break our promise. The only thing is..."
"Drunk Dust Court is jointly owned by the Chen family, the Liu family, and the Zhu family. I can't make the decision alone," Chen Beixun said seriously.
"Besides, Drunk Dust Court provides a lot of services. Once Young Master Lu closes Drunk Dust Court down, it will surely provoke the dissatisfaction of a lot of scholars in Beiluo City. At that point, Young Master Lu, you might find yourself being criticized by thousands of people." Chen Beixun said.
He had chosen his words carefully to send a message to Lu Fan. He then looked at Lu Fan calmly.
Heavier clouds floated over the night sky, darkening it even further.
The Chen family's garden was incredibly quiet.
Leaning back in the wheelchair, Lu Fan raised his hand and grabbed the title deed. He held it between his index finger and middle finger and waved it in front of Chen Beixun.
"Good. Since you represent one of the three families that operate this place, you might as well go talk to the other two families. Each of them needs to provide their copy of the title deed to Drunk Dust Court, plus an additional 2000 silver liang. Tomorrow, you will bring everything to Lu Manor, and we will consider this matter closed."
"Otherwise, I will personally visit both families tomorrow. At that point, the price will not be the same," Lu Fan said.
Chen Beixun paused, staring at Lu Fan with disbelief.
Lu Fan had struck a perfect balance between arrogance and confidence.
Yet, based on the political state of the city, Lu Fan's aggressive approach was justified.
"As far as the dissatisfaction of the scholars in Beiluo City..."
Leaning back in his wheelchair, Lu Fan drummed his fingers on the armrest. He glanced at Chen Beixun with a shark-like grin.
Under the moon, Lu Fan's smile seemed even more feral.
"What does their dissatisfaction have to do with me? They are welcome to come see me, if they dare. I will be the target of the animosity of thousands of men? How interesting…"
Lu Fan's smile was full of sarcasm.
"Sister Ning, please push me back home. I'm tired."
Lu Fan then closed his eyes. He didn't bother discussing the matter further with Chen Beixun.
Ning Zhao stepped back behind the wheelchair. She put her Cicada Wing Sword back in the sheath built inside the wheelchair, and her hands returned to resting lightly on the handles. The wheelchair started moving slowly.
The sound of wooden wheels rolling on the black bricks filled the quiet garden in the dark.
Ni Yu returned the deed to Chen Beixun.
She and Nie Shuang walked on either side of Lu Fan's wheelchair.
Nie Changqing propped the bloody butcher knife on his shoulder. He remained in place for a second, his sharp eyes glancing over the Chen family soldiers as he covered Lu Fan's departure.
Chen Beixun recalled the meaningful and complicated smile on Lu Fan's face. He took a deep breath.
He grabbed the stack of title deeds and slapped them lightly against his palm.
He then cupped his hands and bowed toward Lu Fan's departing entourage. His voice was loud and clear.
"You have my utmost respect, Young Master Lu. Until next time."
Then Chen Beixun turned around and gestured for his men to follow suit.
The scholars of the Chen family opened their mouths reluctantly.
"You have our utmost respect, Young Master Lu. Until next time." They spoke in unison, with shame and reluctance filling their voices. Their voices were so loud it was as if they intended to tear the night sky into pieces.
Lu Fan's silhouette in the wheelchair disappeared as Ning Zhao pushed him out of their sight.
Still carrying the butcher knife on his shoulder, Nie Changqing gave Chen Beixun a cold glance before he slowly backed away and disappeared into the dark.
After Lu Fan left, Chen Beixun let out a half-laugh with his hands clasped behind his back.
"Interesting. I thought the son of Lu Changkong was no more than a nerdy scholar who knew nothing but reading Confucianist books. Now I see...The world has been wrong about this Young Master Lu. We are on the precipice of troubled times where extraordinary talents rise."
"This guy is no ordinary fish swimming in a pond. When the moment comes, he will take off and soar like a dragon."
Chen Beixun stroked his well-kept beard.
Out of nowhere, he burst into laughter.
"But I, Chen Beixun, will enjoy tearing out a dragon's tendons and drinking its blood."
By the time Lu Fan got back to Lu Manor, it was already very late.
Yi Yue was standing in front of the gate, waiting for Lu Fan and others.
"You took care of the bodies?" Lu Fan asked, looking at Yi Yue.
"I weighed them all down with rocks and tossed them into Beiluo Lake," Yi Yue answered, pressing her lips together and absently brushing a bloodstain on her light yellow skirt.
"Thank you. Sister Ning, could you please get a room for Nie and Shuang?" Lu Fan nodded to the pair.
He lightly rubbed the spot between his eyebrows and had Ni Yu push him back to his room.
"Sister Ning, please don't overthink about what happened today. I'm not really as weak as I look. But..." Lu Fan paused for a moment.
"You do need to learn from your mistake. With Spirit Qi, you are ahead of others, certainly. Spirit Qi, however, isn't the answer to everything. Until your Spirit Qi has an overwhelming advantage, don't underestimate other martial arts practitioners in this world."
Ni Yu kept pushing the wheelchair. Lu Fan was tapping his fingers lightly on the thin woolen blanket.
"Don't let this happen again," Lu Fan said.
Following his words was absolute quietness, broken only by the squeaking of the wooden wheels as Lu Fan rolled away.
Ning Zhao was still standing there with a pale face and tightly clenched fists. Her rosy, full lower lip had a deep dent from where she was biting it.
Her mistake had indeed hit her hard.
If the Young Master hadn't suddenly and unexpectedly taken control of the situation, the result of tonight's encounter would have been totally different.
The body tossed into Beiluo Lake might have been Lu Fan's, not Han Lianxiao's.
Of course, Ning Zhao knew that Lu Fan wasn't blaming her. After all, it hadn't been long since she had received her Spirit Qi.
Unfamiliarity with controlling her Spirit Qi wasn't the only reason she had failed, though. More importantly, she had arrogantly underestimated her enemy.
She could have done better.
She had thought that with Spirit Qi, she was superior to regular martial arts practitioners.
She was so confident that she didn't even take the other Grandmasters all that seriously.
In truth, however, Grandmasters' Internal Blasting Resonances ranged from one to nine. Any Fifth Resonance Grandmaster or higher could kill Ning Zhao pretty easily. A Ninth Resonance Grandmaster could kill her effortlessly.
"As a martial arts practitioner, you have to guard against arrogance and impetuosity. A lion, even when facing a rabbit as his enemy, must still fully concentrate on fighting. That is all the more important when your enemy is a Grandmaster," Nie Changqing rumbled quietly in his low voice.
In the dark, he looked at Ning Zhao as he lightly rubbed Nie Shuang's head.
He gave her the advice, hoping it would save her trouble in the future. Based on his experience, he thought it was an important thing to keep in mind.
The defeated look on Ning Zhao's face disappeared. She bowed slightly to Nie Changqing.
"I really appreciate your advice, Big Brother Nie. Please come this way."
With broad smiles, Ning Zhao and Yi Yue led Nie Changqing to a side room.
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