Chapter 84 – The Targeted Young Noble
Cheng Wuyong grinned as he watched this play out, but when he sensed that Su Yi didn’t seem interested, he hurriedly changed the subject.
“According to Zhang Yiren, there’s a mysterious VIP guest aboard the tower ship.
He’s currently staying in the first pavilion.”
“Who is it?” asked Yuan Luoxi curiously.
“Zhang Yiren wasn’t sure either.
He just knows that Chen Zheng, the Spiritmartial Marquis, pulled some strings to get him on board.
He suspects he’s the son of some noble family.
Although he only has four guards with him, every one of them has a cultivation in the Qi Accumulation Realm.”
Yuan Luoxi’s beautiful eyes were suddenly serious.
“He’s sure traveling in style.
I’m afraid that even in the Jade Capital, only scions of peak-level clans and factions can enjoy such treatment.”
“No, that’s not all there is to this young noble.
He also has a woman with him, and although she’s only seventeen or eighteen, Zhang Yiren, a late-stage Qi Accumulation expert, felt his heart shake facing her.
According to him, it’s highly likely that she’s a Martial Dao Grandmaster!”
“What!?” exclaimed both Yuan Luoxi and Huang Qianjun. A seventeen-year-old Martial Dao Grandmaster? Do monsters like that really exist in this world?
“That’s just Zhang Yiren’s speculation.
I don’t know whether it’s true or not either, but what I can be sure of is that this young lord’s origins aren’t simple.”
As he said this, Cheng Wuyong discovered that Su Yi was just sipping away at his tea, tranquil and composed, as if this topic didn’t arouse his interest at all either.
Cheng Wuyong couldn’t help but sigh. I wonder, just what in this world can pique the interest of someone like Master Su?
I’m afraid none will suffice.
Suddenly, the clear, sweet sound of a zither as ethereal as mists and rain emanated from a distance.
The melody had a poetic, picturesque charm, sending listeners into a dazed reverie.
They couldn’t help but stop and strain to listen.
But although no one else noticed, Su Yi’s brow furrowed at the sound.
It was only after the music faded away that Huang Qianjun could no longer hold back his praise.
“That was simply divine! It was as gentle and soothing as a spring breeze; I feel refreshed!”
“It really was lovely.
It had no traces of conscious artistry; it floated like clouds and flowed like rivers, as if it were formed naturally.” Yuan Luoxi nodded and commented too, looking stunned. “Uncle Yong, don’t tell me there’s a master of the zither on board too?”
“The one playing the zither just now is most likely the number one songstress of the Roving City of Commerce’s ‘Garden of Blossoms’, Cha Jin.
They say she’s peerlessly skilled on top of being a rare beauty.
She’s quite famous.”
Huang Qianjun’s eyes filled with longing.
“It’s amazing that a brothel could give rise to such a peerlessly talented beauty.
I’d love to go see her for myself!”
Yuan Luoxi snorted.
“She’s just a singing courtesan.
Even if she were prettier, and even if her music were lovelier, she’d still be nothing but a toy for men to drool over.”
Her voice was rife with disdain.
What’s she talking about? Can’t she tell from Cheng Wuyong’s description that Miss Cha Jin sells her artistic talent, not her body? She’s a peerless beauty who remains pure even when surrounded by filth.
Isn’t it natural that men would admire and covet her?
Although Huang Qianjun wanted to argue, Yuan Luoxi’s status was far loftier than his, so he could only force his words back down.
Suddenly, Su Yi spoke up out of nowhere.
“There’s something fishy about Cha Jin.
If you run into her down the line, you’d all best keep your distance.”
It was just two sentences, but they left the entire group stunned.
“Master Su, did you notice something amiss?” asked Cheng Wuyong gravely.
“I can’t be certain yet, but it has nothing to do with us, so no need to give this matter any further heed.” Su Yi rose.
“It’s getting dark.
Where can we find something to eat?”
Cheng Wuyong hurried to his feet.
“Master Su, I’ve already arranged a banquet.
There’s a spacious terrace on the ninth floor of the main tower.
We can eat and drink with a full view of both banks of the Great Azure.
The scenery is remarkable.”
“Then let’s go right now.” Yuan Luoxi got up, and the entire group left the pavilion.
Cheng Wuyong led the way to the ninth floor.
Meanwhile, two beautiful maids were escorting the youth in the purple robes and feathered headdress out of the third pavilion.
“Tell Miss Cha Jin that I’ll be back tomorrow,” he ordered, then turned to leave.
It sounded as if he’d yet to get his fill.
“Your Highness.” On his way back, the middle-aged Zhang Duo rushed over and whispered, “I already asked about that group you sent me to investigate.
One of them is Yuan Luoxi from the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital.
Zhang Duo hurriedly explained Yuan Luoxi and Cheng Wuyong’s origins, touching on all key points.
As for Su Yi and Huang Qianjun, he only mentioned them in passing.
The purple-robed youth nodded.
If they’re from the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital’s Yuan Family, there’s no need to worry about them.
Come on, let’s go eat.”
With that, he walked right off into the distance.
When they reached the open terrace, numerous people had already gathered there, all of them clustered in groups, chatting as they dined.
There was a sumptuous array of dishes, most of them delicacies of the mountains and rivers.
The wine was aged, and the serving girls were pretty as butterflies flitting through fields of flowers.
As night fell, the staff lit torches around the terrace, the firelight swaying as the stars sparkled overhead.
The faint sound of the currents emanated from the waters of the Great Azure.
The venue was elegant and soothing.
Of course, those who could dine on the ninth floor’s terrace were all either rich or members of the nobility.
“Oh? They’re here too.” As soon as the purple-robed youth arrived, he saw Yuan Luoxi and her group seated near the rail.
The torchlight only offset her valiant beauty, making the already heroic-looking young woman seem even prettier.
“Your Highness, our seats are over there.” Zhang Duo was about to lead the way when the young man shook his head.
“I’m going to go pay Miss Yuan a quick visit.” With that, he quickened his footsteps and sped off.
Zhang Duo froze, stunned, but when he saw Yuan Luoxi’s bright, beautiful face, he instantly understood.
He laughed bitterly, but he’d long since grown accustomed to this, so he hurried after his master.
Su Yi and company were enjoying their food and drink when the purple-robed youth in the feathered headdress first appeared on the terrace.
Cheng Wuyong noticed him immediately, then looked him over, a hint of surprise on his face.
He hurriedly said, “Unless my guess is mistaken, that youth over there is the ultra-VIP guest Zhang Yiren spoke of.”
Yuan Luoxi couldn’t help but ask, “Uncle Yong, how can you tell?”
“Those purple robes of his are made of woven Snowspirit Silk, which is invulnerable to both water and flame.
That feather headdress has a hint of spirituality; it’s obviously no common item.
His belt, boots, jade pendant….
Every last one is exquisitely crafted.
His outfit alone had to cost at least five hundred spirit stones!
Cheng Wuyong lowered his voice and continued, “More importantly, his attendant is a late-stage Qi Accumulation expert, and although he looks outwardly ordinary, he can’t hide his aura from me; one look and I know he’s an experienced killer.”
Yuan Luoxi and Huang Qianjun couldn’t help but exclaim.
Even Su Yi couldn’t help but re-evaluate Cheng Wuyong. I didn’t realize he was so perceptive.
He’s got good senses.
Alas, he’s overlooked the most important point.
There was a barely perceptible trace of a spiritual imprint within the purple-robed youth’s aura.
It was reminiscent of the marks left by various soul techniques.
There was no doubt about it: someone proficient in soul-based secret arts had set their sights on the purple-robed youth!
But Su Yi didn’t point it out.
They were merely passersby; there was no need to go out of his way to warn the young man.
But to Su Yi’s surprise, he then saw the young man in purple walk right towards them.
“Miss Yuan, would you mind if I joined you?” The youth walked right up to Yuan Luoxi, smiled personably, and cupped his fist.
“You recognize me?” Yuan Luoxi was surprised, but also confused.
“You’re the pearl of the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital’s Yuan Family.
How could I not know you?” Even as he said this, the youth had already taken a seat, a broad smile on his face.
“Everyone, please forgive me for showing up uninvited.
The road is lonely; I just hope to meet a few new friends.”
Huang Qianjun almost rolled his eyes.
There was no way he’d miss that this stranger was here for Yuan Luoxi!
But when he saw Zhang Duo standing silently nearby, his heart filled with awe.
Thanks to Cheng Wuyong’s forewarning, Yuan Luoxi was aware of the youth’s presumed extraordinary background, so she forced down her displeasure instead of sending him packing.
As for Su Yi, he merely glanced at the youth, then looked away, returning his attention to his meal.
The way he saw it, the purple-robed youth was trouble.
It was better to keep his distance and avoid bringing trouble upon himself.
“Miss Yuan, are you planning to return to the Prefectural Capital?” The purple-robed youth poured himself a glass of wine and flashed a winsome smile as warm as a spring breeze.
He was easy to like.
“That’s right.” Yuan Luoxi, then asked him right back, “You know who I am, so why haven’t you introduced yourself? That’s a bit rude, you know.”
The purple-robed youth froze, then clasped his fist and smiled.
“I was negligent.
My name is Zhili, and I’m from the Jade Capital.
I’m headed to the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital too.”
Huang Qianjun interjected, “Young Lord Zhili, might I be so bold as to ask what you’re visiting the prefectural capital for?”
The purple-robed youth smiled faintly.
“I’m visiting a few friends.”
With that, he changed the subject and began chatting up Yuan Luoxi.
There was no denying it: the purple-robed youth was a smooth-talker, but he was modest and unassuming, too.
Combined with his handsome looks, most other girls would likely have taken a shine to him already.
But Yuan Luoxi was merely irritated.
She didn’t like idle small talk with strangers.
Especially when she sensed that the other party was interested in her.
This only increased her aversion.
If not for the fact that she didn’t know his origins, she likely would have lost her temper by now.
When he saw that Yuan Luoxi’s replies were merely perfunctory, the purple-robed youth took the hint and backed off before pushing his luck.
He seemed to realize that he couldn’t come across as overly zealous during their first meeting.
He rose, then clasped his fist.
“Everyone, please carry on.
I should be on my way.”
“Right, Miss Yuan, during my trip to the Cloudriver Prefectural Capital, it’s possible I’ll pay your family a visit.
Don’t be too surprised to see me!”
With one last dashing smile, he turned and was about to leave…
But it was then that—
The massive tower ship beneath them trembled, as if it had crashed into a coral reef.
All several hundred feet of it shook back and forth.
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