Chapter 1341: 1341
Chapter 1341: [NCheng] Support behind the scenes
Ning Cheng didn’t stop Han Xiang in time, but her hand stopped in the nick of time. To be precise, it was stopped by a stone that hit her from afar. She withdrew her palm to discover that her wrist was now bleeding.
“Who’s there? Show yourself! If you have any skills, fight this young Miss openly instead of sneak attacking me!”
She immediately looked towards the direction of the stone. Whoever hit her had some guts! Very soon, a tall man leaped off from the opposite building. He was particularly handsome with sword brows and starry eyes. Dressed in simple white robes with no luxurious decorations, he nevertheless emitted a noble aura that let people knew he had formidable origins.
Han Xiang was very taken aback. She never expected the attacker to be the eldest young master of the first wife of the Shangguan Clan. In terms of ranking, he was ahead of her on the Mysterious Continent rising newcomers list. Her first thought was: Does this fellow have his eye on Liubei Trade Consortium too?
Shangguan Ze strode forward step by step with an imposing air. Although Han Xiang also emitted such pressure, he was one head taller than her when he stopped in front of her to sweep his gaze from head to foot. Just one cold gaze was enough to show his contempt for her.
“You’re thinking too much, Eldest Miss Han. This young master won’t fight with underdogs, nor do I do sneak attacks. This young master just forbids you…” He paused to glance at Cheng’er before continuing, “Forbids you to touch the person this young master wants, not even a single hair!”
Cheng’er looked at the man before her, stunned. Her heart beat fast.
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She never knew she had a big brother like that! His mad style was exactly suited to her tastes. But judging from his words, it sounded like he would help her, not acknowledge her. Still, that was satisfactory enough. She knew that she could be saved and not be reduced to Batu’s plaything.
Pingyang City’s walled moat city was the largest in the southern region. Both the Wolf Sect and Shangguan Clan resided her. She had Yujin bring about a trusted token to ask for help, but didn’t expect the Shangguan Clan to acknowledge her easily in public. She only wanted to preserve her life.
She actually wanted to glance at Ah-Cheng next, but in the end she didn’t. Instead, she lowered her head beneath Shangguan Ze’s gaze.
She had lost her bet.
She had been waiting for Ah-Cheng to speak up the entire time, but she didn’t get to hear him. So it turns out he really didn’t care about not killing me. He just scorned to. She stubbornly insisted that Ah-Cheng had designs on Han Xiang for the sake of saving her, but she was overthinking it.
She was now completely silent.
Ning Cheng was mute. He didn’t recognize anyone from the Shangguan Clan, but knew of their existence and heard much about this eldest young master. The Shangguan Clan head’s martial arts were weaker than the Wolf Sect patriarch, but Shangguan Ze’s skills were stronger than Han Xiang’s. In the list of rising newcomers they were one name apart, but if they actually fought, Han Xiang would be the loser.
He came to save Cheng’er? He said Cheng’er was the person he wanted?
Cheng’er was really an impressive little minx. He thought it was impressive enough that she seduced a major fighter beneath Han Xiang, but she actually charmed Shangguan Ze too? Just what kind of woman was she? What sort of things had she done?
Ning Cheng looked at Cheng’er coldly with a trace of anger in his eyes. Han Xiang was seething too. She was already furious by Cheng’er’s cursing, but now Shangguan Ze had humiliated her. The so called “underdog” in her ears was just a nightmare! It had accompanied her ever since the qualifying matches for the rising newcomers rankings.
“Your person? Hehe, when did Young Master Ze’s tastes change? You even approve of this kind of capricious woman?” Han Yunxi sneered.
Shangguan Ze was incomparably aristocratic even when he sneered back. He laughed and said, “This young master can fancy her since she’s prettier than you.”
“You!” Han Xiang couldn’t suppress her rage.
Shangguan Ze arched his brow, plainly asking if she wanted a match. Han Xiang might be unresigned, but she wouldn’t be impulsive enough to fight him. She knew she’d only lose.
“Since she’s your person, claim her fast and take her away so she doesn’t sully this young lady’s eyes,” she said icily.
Shangguan Ze wasn’t interested in arguing with her and took Cheng’er’s hand before turning to leave without a word. Ning Cheng watched them coldly, but Cheng’er never looked back.
Seeing his reaction, Han Xiang couldn’t help but demand, “What, she stole your soul away? I was wondering how she got the gall to run out. Turns out she seduced a gold master like Shangguan Ze!”
Ning Cheng finally recovered his wits and chuckled lightly. “This little slut is quite skilled.”
“So seducing men counts as a skill in your eyes?” Han Xiang asked derisively. She had forgotten how she’d tried the same thing on Ning Cheng in the carriage just then.
“Yes. Otherwise, how could she have seduced Batu or arranged things so well at Carefree Joy?” Ning Cheng said earnestly. “Eldest Miss Han, it’s a big loss not to keep her at Liubei Trade Consortium. How about you find a way to bring her back?”
Han Xiang couldn’t do it, but she didn’t want to admit that. She maintained her proud attitude and said, “She’ll only cause more trouble if her heart’s not here. Ah-Cheng, don’t worry. As long as you cooperate with my Wolf Sect, even the Shangguan Clan won’t dare to trouble Liubei Trade Consortium in the south.”
“Since Eldest Miss Han says so, I can set my heart at ease. I’ll have someone sort out the accounts and send them over two days later,” Ning Cheng said sincerely.
Han Xiang finally felt a little happier and gave Ning Cheng an ambiguous smile. “If you come yourself, I’ll be waiting for you.”
“All right,” Ning Cheng agreed easily.
After sending away Han Xiang, his expression grew gloomy. He went back to his rooms and immediately found a few trusted men to act according to the original plans to transfer away Liubei Trade Consortium’s silver as quickly as possible. When Batu came to find him, he had already planned everything out. Now he was dragging out the time to transfer away the trade consortium’s funds. The amount he couldn’t move in time would be divided amongst his brothers.
He wanted Han Xiang to gain an empty coffer Liubei Trade Consortium at the same time he would pin Le Zheng’s death on her. He planned to use three days’ time to disperse all funds before disappearing without a trace from then on. In any case, the identity of Ah-Cheng was false to begin with. He had plenty of ways to disguise himself. If Le Zheng’s backers came looking for them, Han Xiang would be unable to defend herself as Liubei Trade Consortium’s newest leader.
Everything had been within the palm of his hand but for that damnable Cheng’er who killed her way in halfway. If Shangguan Ze hadn’t suddenly shown up, he would have had to save her and ruin all his plans. After handling all matters, Ning Cheng finally exhaled.
Xiongfei watched from the sidelines and couldn’t help saying, “Master Cheng, Cheng’er is really capable. She actually climbed onto Eldest Young Master Ze. You’ll have to be careful in case he comes looking for trouble with you.”
“If I can’t afford to offend, I can still afford to hide,” Ning Cheng said frostily.
Xiongfei added, “Master Cheng, something about this seems odd. If Cheng’er’s already involved with Eldest Young Master Ze, why would she still cling to you? Unless…hehe, Cheng’er actually fancies you?”
Ning Cheng looked at him coldly and Xiongfei’s smile froze on his face. He didn’t dare to laugh any longer.
“Getting involved with Shangguan Ze is good too,” Ning Cheng replied simply. “Batu won’t be able to cause trouble for her and I can have some peace and quiet.”
Ning Cheng thus busied himself to the point that the task that needed three days was done in to instead. At morning two days later, Liubei Trade Consortium operated as usual while Ning Cheng’s trusted men had long been sent away yesterday night. He changed into servant clothing and pasted a fake beard on his face before bringing along his travel money and leaving through the consortium’s back door. He was originally planning to head north, but for some reason walked to the rear entrance of Shangguan Manor instead. There he stood vigil from night until morning.
Before it was fully light, servants emerged from the door. Ning Cheng looked at them for a while before focusing on a mama who looked to be in charge and followed after her. He stopped her in a place with no people and asked, “Mama, I’d like to ask you something. Take this silver draft,” Ning Cheng said as he placed the silver paper money in her hands.
Small sums wouldn’t move the mama, but a thousand taels of silver certainly did. She looked back and forth before asking in a low voice, “What is it?”
“A few days ago, did Eldest Young Master Ze bring a woman back?” Ning Cheng murmured.
“He did bring a female back. But she’s been shut up in the rooms this entire time and no one knows her origins,” the old mama replied honestly.
“What are they doing shutting her up in the rooms?” Ning Cheng ased.
Seeing the mama hesitate, he took out another silver draft. Such generosity almost scared the old woman, who didn’t dare to blackmail him. “Sir, this is all I know.”
“Does the Shangguan patriarch know of this matter?” Ning Cheng asked next.
The gentry of great clans were strict. No one would pursue matters if their sons had multiple lovers outside, but bringing them into the household needed approval from their head.
“The old master is in closed door cultivation. Sir, this servant doesn’t work for Eldest Young Master Ze’s household, so I really can’t help out,” the mama said seriously.
Helpless, Ning Cheng could only let her go. He leaned against the wall with head bowed to ponder. How in the world did Cheng’er seduce Shangguan Ze? Enough to satisfy him into bringing her back to the estate? Perhaps he really took a fancy to the woman. Or perhaps, he saw something advantageous in her. Just when he was lost in thought, a sharp sword suddenly stabbed towards him. He quickly backed away before it slashed his neck. Looking over coldly, he saw the female assassin who had been following Cheng’er around.
Even with the sword about to stab him, Ning Cheng remained as steady as a mountain. He used a voice changing technique to disguise himself and asked, “This female gallant, we have no grudge with each other. You should at least have a reason if you want to kill me.”
“Master Cheng, what do you want to know about Cheng’er? Just ask me. I’ll only take ten taels, so there’s no need to offer up silver drafts,” Yujin said simply.
She had just come out to wander around because she was bored and hadn’t expected to bump into someone stalking the manor’s mama. She followed after them and heard Ning Cheng questioning the woman, thus recognizing his disguise.
Ning Cheng didn’t explain himself but opened handed over ten taels. He asked, “Why is Shangguan Ze helping Cheng’er? What’s the relationship between the two of them?”
Yujin hid the snicker in her eyes and said seriously, “Shangguan Ze used to be a frequent guest of Carefree Joy. Cheng’er didn’t want to implicate you and Liubei Trade Consortium because of Batu’s matter, so she agreed to offer her body to Shangguan Ze and serve as his slave for the rest of her life.”
1. 上官泽 – Shangguan is a compound surname, Ze means water/lake/benefaction.
2. 金主 jin zhu – Sponsor, sugar daddy, thigh to hug, you get the idea.
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