Chapter 28: Affectionate Thoughts
After leaving the main hall, Su Chen walked with Zhu Xianyao, with Iron Cliff following closely behind.
Zhu Xianyao leaned on Su Chen’s shoulder, her heart full of sweetness.
Unlike Zhu Yunyan, Zhu Xianyao had no complaints about Su Chen’s needs. To her, getting married with Su Chen was the most important thing.
Zhu Yunyan needed to consider the face of her clan, while all Zhu Xianyao wanted was love.
While the nobles were bitterly fighting to maintain the front, the commoners had parted ways for the sake of adequate food and housing. Zhu Xianyao’s situation was somewhat analogous to this.
Ever since she had confirmed her own feelings in Mountain Overlook City, Zhu Xianyao realized this, so she was staunchly determined to be Su Chen’s wife. Before she accomplished this goal, she had no interest in considering other problems.
“I came this time both to see how you are and to see if I can take you back to the Boundless Sect with me,” Su Chen said as he began to explain how he had established his own sect.
In this world, sects were not that rare, but they had very little influence and weren’t all that important. The Boundless Sect alone was not much, but the territory of the Ten Thousand Swords Mountain was worth paying attention to.
“So you’re right on the border of Liaoye! Yet you didn’t tell me earlier or call me over,” Zhu Xianyao said to Su Chen with a hint of unhappiness and anger.
“Would you have been able to come if I had told you?” Su Chen chuckled. “Look at the situation today. They almost used force to get me to stay with the Zhu Clan.”
Zhu Xianyao pursed her lips. “That’s because they see you as important.”
“If she saw me as important, she wouldn’t have let that Zhu Xianling get away with trying to assassinate you. Given how healthy and vibrant your sister looks, I very much question how much your mother really loves you,” Su Chen said calmly.
Zhu Xianling had sent people to assassinate Zhu Xianyao while she was at West Laina Castle. If it weren’t for the fact that Su Chen had made a move to save her while disguised as You Tianyang, Zhu Xianyao would have died. That was what Su Chen was referring to.
Zhu Xianyao sighed. “My younger sister has always done things with caution. There’s no evidence to say that those assassins were sent by her.”
“So have you needed evidence to reach the point you are at now?” Su Chen chuckled.
Zhu Xianyao had brought a secret back with her that could increase the might of the Zhu Clan’s bloodline, bringing her status up along with it. This was the reason she lived in such a carefree manner.
This was the reason why Su Chen was surprised that Zhu Xianling was still out and about. It was not so much that “evidence was found to punish Zhu Xianling for sending those assassins”, but more so that “Zhu Xianyao’s authority had greatly increased, and she had returned to get revenge.”
The matter of the assassination was just the justification, not the method.
When Zhu Xianyao heard this, she sighed. “No matter what you say, she is still my mother’s daughter. Even though I informed her that what happened at West Laina Castle was very likely related to Zhu Xianling, my mother wasn’t willing to believe it. All that happened was that she took away some of her authority and stripped her of some power.”
“Took away some of her authority and weakened her control a bit? But she seems very carefree next to your mother?”
Zhu Xianyao replied, “If your connections with the outside were severed, what would you do?”
Su Chen instantly understood. “I would grasp the internal situation firmly.”
The less matters a person needed to oversee, the more spare energy they would have. People with ambition would never let this spare energy go to waste; instead, they would firmly grasp it and direct it somewhere else.
As such, after Zhu Xianyao gained an advantage, Zhu Xianling didn’t grow depressed because of it. Instead, she did her best to show “respect” to her mother and rope in other clan members. As a result, her actions became much more modest and respectful.
While Zhu Xianyao was out annexing territory, Zhu Xianling was stirring up trouble on the inside. It seemed as if Zhu Xianyao possessed extraordinary influence and authority, but she was unaware that her rapport with the other clan members was declining. It was unsurprising that she had overlooked her relationships with others.
The more brilliantly she dealt with matters, the more people she would offend!
This was something that she couldn’t do anything about.
Most importantly, Zhu Xianyao had no grounds to criticize her younger sister even a little bit.
“So......” Zhu Xianyao shrugged helplessly, indicating that there was nothing she could do.
Su Chen chuckled and didn’t dwell on the topic. Instead, he said, “Right, so what’s going on between you and the Rong Clan? It seems like a big battle is about to take place.”
Zhu Xianyao seemed startled by this question.
She gazed off in the distance, as if she was searching for something.
After some time, she finally helplessly said, “I have no idea.”
“No idea?” Su Chen was taken aback.
Su Chen wasn’t expecting that response.
Zhu Xianyao said, “The Zhu Clan has been fighting with the Rong Clan for many years, and our roots go very deep. Sometimes we fight for no particular reason, and the only difference is how large the conflict gets. This time, for some unknown reason, the Rong Clan has started to viciously provoke us. They flattened a number of the Zhu Clan’s stores and even sent some people to take over some of them. These past few days, they have begun to attack our mines. The Zhu Clan could bear it no longer and finally retaliated......
“The Zhu Clan needed to bear it?” Su Chen chuckled. He didn’t believe Zhu Xianyao one bit. He was not so naive as to think that this person by his side was definitely the good guy.
Unexpectedly, Zhu Xianyao replied, “The Zhu Clan really did endure this time.”
This was the truth, but not because they were pacifists, but because of their bloodlines.
Even though Zhu Xianyao had brought back medicines which would increase the might of the Zhu Clan’s bloodlines, it would take some time for them to become truly effective.
As such, the Zhu Clan didn’t actually want to start a fight at this moment.
However, just because they didn’t want to fight didn’t mean that they wouldn’t need to. As long as one party wanted to fight, that was enough.
This was the reason the situation had devolved to that point by the time Su Chen came.
“If a big battle like this breaks out, I’m afraid your clans will be irreconcilable, right?” su Chen asked.
“Of course. Even though the Zhu Clan and the Rong Clan have never seen eye to eye, and we have fought many times, there has never been such a large scale war because people have had misgivings precisely about that.”
“The Rong Clan wouldn’t go crazy for no reason,” Su Chen said faintly.
Zhu Xianyao was taken aback. “You mean?”
There must be some reason that gives them no other choice. For instance, if they don’t fight now, they might never get the chance in the future...... or perhaps some other reason.”
Zhu Xianyao understood what he meant. “You mean that news of our bloodlines growing stronger leaked out?”
“I just brought it up on a whim. After all, I have only been here for a very short period of time.”
Zhu Xianyao nodded. “I thought of that possibility as well, but not many people know, and those people are all extremely trustworthy.”
“Does Zhu Xianling know?”
Zhu Xianyao was startled for a moment before she began to laugh. “You’re trying to tie these two together? Unfortunately, I can only disappoint you. First of all, Zhu Xianling doesn’t know about it, since I never gave it to her to use when I came back. Even though I couldn’t officially retaliate for the assassination attempt, I am not so soft as to hand over what I worked hard to obtain so easily. Second of all, what Zhu Xianling wants is my position. Selling out her clan doesn’t really align with that goal.”
“Just because you didn’t tell her doesn’t mean she doesn’t know. Actually, your refusal to give it to her only ostracized her more. Don’t you feel that this would give her even more of a reason to sell out the clan?”
Zhu Xianyao was stunned.
Su Chen said, “Of course, I cannot say for sure whether she was involved, only that this is a possibility, and your reasons for refuting that possibility at this point are insufficient.”
Zhu Xianyao said, “I understand. I will keep a close eye on her.”
Su Chen lowered his head once again in thought. “However, even if news of the Zhu Clan increasing the strength of their bloodline was to spread, it still wouldn’t be enough to provoke the Rong Clan to attack so recklessly. Since they possess a Demonic Emperor Bloodline, they could just migrate to a smaller city and continue to develop if they failed to gain control. Even though leaving their place of origin might be emotionally painful, it’s much better than being wiped out in an all-out conflict. I believe that they have many more reasons.”
“What is it?”
“We’ll only know once we do some investigation,” Su Chen replied.
After thinking about it for some time, he said, “This isn’t that urgent, though. Since I am here, I cannot possibly stand idly by and watch while people bully my woman.”
When she heard this, Zhu Xianyao felt happiness in her heart as she demurely lowered her head.
She gently bit her lip. “So you knew......”
Su Chen said meaningfully, “How could I not know?”
As they spoke, they soon arrived at the residence prepared for Su Chen.
Su Chen brought Zhu Xianyao inside, then turned around and said, “You all are dismissed.”
Iron Cliff and the others tactfully retreated.
Su Chen stretched out his arms and brought Zhu Xianyao into his embrace.
Zhu Xianyao gazed at Su Chen, her furious blushing telling Su Chen everything he needed to know.
Su Chen parted his lips, but Zhu Xianyao placed a hand on his chest and said, “Wait a moment.”
How could Su Chen possibly wait? He wrapped himself around Zhu Xianyao tightly and began to kiss her passionately.
Zhu Xianyao was being kissed so hard that she was gasping for air. She barely squeezed out, “Don’t...... Don’t be in such a hurry. I haven’t washed it yet.”
“I can’t wait any longer. It’s better if there’s a little taste,” Su Chen smiled perversely at Zhu Xianyao as he picked her up and put her on the bed.
Zhu Xianyao felt completely sapped of energy and could only watch as Su Chen carried her onto the bed and began to pull off item after item of her clothing.
Suddenly, a wave of sorrow surged in her heart, and she began to cry.
Su Chen was totally caught off-guard by her tears and could only stop his movements. “What’s wrong?”
Zhu Xianyao continued to cry.
When Su Chen saw her like this, the flames of passion in his heart were put out, and he understood somewhat. “I was in too much of a rush and didn’t consider your feelings. I’m sorry.”
As he spoke, he stood, preparing to make a tactful departure.
Zhu Xianyao, however, pulled him in and leaned against his chest as she said quietly, “I just..... I just was a bit unwilling.”
Yes, a bit unwilling.
She was unwilling to just be conquered like that, unwilling to accept Su Chen’s favoring of Gu Qingluo, unwilling to accept that the lover she had missed so bitterly for so long could be so inconsiderate.
She was unwilling about a lot of these things, causing her to resist it naturally.
It wasn’t because she didn’t love Su Chen, but because she loved him too much. She was willing to be wronged for him, but she was also unwilling to be wronged like that. This was the reason she felt such sorrow.
This kind of internal conflict wasn’t easy to describe, but Su Chen was able to understand how she felt.
He gently caressed Zhu Xianyao’s hair. “I’m sorry. I was too promiscuous.”
Zhu Xianyao, however, shook her head. “It’s not strange for a talented man to have many wives and concubines. You aren’t the one being promiscuous; I was just too proud to accept it, is all.”
Perhaps future generations would feel that Zhu Xianyao was valuing herself too cheaply, but in this world, this kind of a system of values was seen as accurate.
To Zhu Xianyao, this was her feelings bowing to her rationality. After struggling with her aego for some time, she had managed to defeat it and had made what she deemed to be the correct decision.
After realizing this point, Zhu Xianyao made up her mind and gently began to take off Su Chen’s clothes, easing herself down......