The inn within the small town was full of the Imperial Guard, and King Liang and Liu Yao were surprisingly on the list.
They had already made contact with the reinforcements sent from the capital.
King Liang and Liu Yao were normally confident and arrogant, because they were usually the most powerful individuals present, and were also relatives of the emperor and empress.
Now, however, the two of them were uncomfortably restless.
They snuck looks at the man off to the side from time to time, as if trying to determine his present mood.
No one could blame them for being so cautious.
Even though the rank of the man in front of them was beneath theirs, his strength was absolutely unquestioned.
His rank was being deliberately suppressed only because he was the emperors confidante, and the emperor wanted him to serve as the leader of his secret service.
Many nobles and officials in the capital had been crushed by him over the years, which was why the two of them did not dare to be negligent.
They had been given the huge task of capturing Zu An, and yet they had ended up losing him, and the lives of ten of the Embroidered Envoy as well.
If they had managed to capture Lu Sanyuan, then they might have at least been able to make up for some of that.
However, Lu Sanyuans cultivation was way too high, and even with the two of them working in tandem, there was no way for them to deal with him.
They had been toyed with for a while before he had swaggered off.
There was only one possible outcome for this, which was for them to be stripped of their ranks and criticized harshly.
The two of them were relatives of the emperor and empress, so they wouldnt suffer as poor a fate as other ordinary officials, but they wouldnt stand a chance if Zhuxie Chixin spoke poorly of them when they returned to the capital.
A storm was brewing on Zhuxie Chixins face.
He had noticed the way the two of them wer behaving, but paid them no attention.
One after the other, the Embroidered Envoy began to return from their assigned scouting missions.
“Reporting to the Chief Commander! We did not locate Mosquito Daoists whereabouts.”
“Reporting to the Chief Commander! We did not locate Zu Ans whereabouts.”
“There was no sign of the young miss of the Pei clan either.”
Zhuxie Chixins eyelids twitched as the reports came in.
He looked at the beautiful and reserved woman beside him.
“Miss Chu, I fear that we require an explanation from you.”
“I do not understand what I should be explaining,” Chu Chuyan replied indifferently.
King Liang and Liu Yao were taken aback.
This young lady was clearly showing such bravado because of her ignorance.
She did not know how terrifying Zhuxie Chixin was.
In the capital, even children knew to fear him.
Despite that, their hearts were full of admiration as well.
They had heard of the reputation of the Chu clans first miss before, but they would only catch glimpses of her from far away.
They werent of the same generation, after all, so even if Chu Chuyan was in the capital, there wouldnt be any suitable opportunity for them to interact with her.
Now, they managed to see what she was like up close.
As expected, her reputation was well-deserved.
She really did have the aura of an immortal deity, floating above the cares of the mortal world.
Given their social status, the two of them had already seen their fair share of young and beautiful women.
However, sharp and refined women like her really were a rarity, and what made her even more outstanding was her uniquely cold arrogance and her noble temperament.
Right now, she was facing the leader of this special assignment, whose cultivation was far above hers, and who held the lives of countless people in the palm of his hand.
However, she didnt try to assert herself, nor did she bend down in subservience.
She merely maintained her simple, elegant composure.
Such a proud and arrogant demeanor stirred in men a powerful desire to conquer her.
However, such a woman was definitely not worthy of any ordinary man.
Shes like a flower lovingly placed upon a pile of cow dung!
The two of them both happened upon the same thought by chance, because both of them recalled how obscenely and shamelessly Zu An had acted along the way.
In their opinion, the person worthy of Chu Chuyan would be an elegant and handsome young master, who was gentle in speech and character.
This man would have to possess an exceptional background, and be a genius as a cultivator, nurtured from his youth.
This Zu An, however, was just some hoodlum from the streets, no matter which angle they looked at him from.
They had no idea which part of him attracted Chu Chuyan.
They subconsciously glanced over at the nearby Zheng Dan.
The Sang clans daughter-in-law treated him rather well too, and hadnt said much even when Zu An bullied her.
They even seemed to be rather attached to each other.
Then, there was that lady saint of the Devil Sect, and the Pei clans young miss as well.
Both of them seemed to be close to Zu An.
Their imaginations went into overdrive.
Were the aesthetic tastes of women and men that different
Zhuxie Chixin cut off their fanciful thoughts with a cold snort.
“I recall that Chu First Miss promised me that you wouldnt help Zu An escape.
You swore on the name of the Chu clan.
Why are you placing the Chu clan in danger because of a man”
Chu Chuyan kept her composure.
“I indeed made this promise, and I didnt help Zu An escape.”
“Then why was it that Zu An was gone by the time I arrived” Zhuxie Chixin gave her a frosty look.
Her exceptional appearance hadnt the slightest effect on him.
As the leader of the Embroidered Envoy, the emperors greatest and most trusted aide, he had long since trained himself to be unaffected by the charms of women.
Chu Chuyan replied, “At the time, Mosquito Daoist was going to kill both Pei Mianman and Ah Zu, and the members of the Devil Sect were intent on capturing them as well.
I did not have the ability to protect them both, so I ordered them to leave the battlefield first in order to survive.
I did not intend to let Zu An escape.”
“Why did those members of the Devil Sect agree to cooperate with you On top of that, you even let them go when I arrived.
Is the Chu clan colluding with the Devil Sect” Zhuxie Chixin leaned forward.
His gaze was intensely oppressive, and his voice had grown much more severe.
King Liang and Liu Yao subconsciously straightened their bodies, cowed by his overbearing stance.
Sang Hong, Sang Qien, and Zheng Dan exchanged glances.
This was definitely a huge crime.
The emperor had been looking for a way to deal with the Chu clan all along, and this crime would really be the final nail in the coffin for the Chu clan.
Chu Chuyan clearly realized this as well.
“Lord Zhuxie, please do not speak such frightening words.
Our Chu clan has nothing to do with the Devil Sect.
We only worked together because Mosquito Daoist was too strong.
Neither side was a match for her.”
After a pause, she continued, “Lord Zhuxie is well aware of Mosquito Daoists prowess.
Respectfully, not even you could restrain her, so I stood even less of a chance.
As for what happened then, the Devil Sect used the opportunity to get away.
I was seriously injured myself, so there wasnt much I could do to stop them.”
Zhuxie Chixin almost choked on his breath.
This woman had completely turned the tables on him! It was true that Mosquito Daoist had sli[ped through his fingers in the end.
If this matter was examined closely, he would be the one to bear all the responsibility.
His expression grew even darker.
Mosquito Daoist was infamous, and she really was quite formidable herself.
The many years she had spent on the run from her pursuers had only helped her to perfect her arts in escape.
She had still managed to get away despite his side having such a huge advantage in terms of numbers.
As for those Devil Sect fiends, they had also taken the opportunity to slip away.
That lady saint of the Devil Sect had run in the direction of Chu Chuyan, who should have at least done something about it, but she had deliberately let her go.
Unfortunately her explanation for that was also reasonable and fair, and he had no proof to back his claim up.
His face was almost as black as a piece of coal.
A subordinate interrupted them.
“Reporting! There has been a discovery in the rear courtyard.”
This sudden report was sudden and unexpected, and he quickly got up to take a look.
The others also followed, curious to find out what had happened.
They reached the rear courtyard, where they discovered a simple, crude tombstone.
The graves were exhumed, and then the dozen-or-so corpses were removed.
Zhuxie Chixin frowned.
“Who are these people Are they from the Devil Sect”
A trembling voice spoke in reply.
“No, they are warriors from our Sang clan.”
Zhuxie Chixin looked at Sang Qien.
“Why would your men die here From their appearance, they seemed to have dressed themselves up as tavern workers.
What were you all planning”
“I received intelligence that someone wanted to harm my father, so I summoned some men to protect them…” Sang Qien gave a rough recount of what had happened.
For the sake of avoiding complications, she didnt talk about how they took the initiative to save Zu An, instead framing the meeting between the Devil Sect and their men as a coincidence.
“Those Devil Sect members really are vicious and merciless.” Zhuxie Chixin suddenly sensed something amiss.
“Who buried these people, then Those Devil Sect members wouldnt be so kind-hearted as to bury them and erect a tombstone, right”
Even though these people werent resting in coffins, they had still been carefully buried.
Every one of them had their clothes sorted out, and they were even given a woven mat to serve as a coffin.
“It was probably Zu An,” Chu Chuyan said.
She looked at the words on the tombstone and blushed.
“The handwriting is so ugly, yet the words are so distinctive.
Who else could it be but him”
Someone else found the other half of the tombstone, which had accidentally broken off while the graves were being exhumed.
Sure enough, the large wordsSet up by Zu An were written on it.
“Zu An…” Sang Qien fell into a daze as she read the words he had written: “Grave of loyal men.
Her eyes grew slightly misty.
She suddenly seemed to understand why her sister-in-law had fallen for this man.
“Achoo!” Meanwhile, somewhere far away, Zu An sneezed.
“Which girl is thinking about me now” he muttered to himself.
Next to him, Pei Mianman snorted.
“You really are the most shameless man I have ever met.”