It took Zu An a long time to react to what was happening.
He couldnt believe that this starstruck woman was the same valiant and formidable warrior from before. Does she have any idea that the man she adores is a cross-dressing trap
Or maybe she does know
Huh Why do I sense some girl-on-girl romance going on But theyre both beauties...
What an interesting pair...
Chu Youzhao was about to speak up for Murong Qinghe, but the moment she saw Zu An, her eyes widened.
Zu An nodded.
“Who else would it be I never expected you to be this popular with girls.”
Chu Youzhao obviously knew what he was implying, and her face immediately turned red.
She quickly ran over to him and pulled him to the side.
“Youre not allowed to expose my identity!” she hissed quietly.
Zu An was stunned. So she really does think youre a man If Im not mistaken, isnt Murong your grandmothers clan Doesnt she know the truth
Then again, this issue was the Chu clans greatest secret, since the fate of the Chu clans noble title rested on it.
It wasnt a surprise that they did not know about it.
Sorry, Miss Murong, your love is doomed to be unrequited.
The whole thing was quite strange to him.
It seemed like ones outward appearances really didnt say much about ones preferences.
Murong Qinghe was such a tough-looking girl, yet she had ended up falling for a pretty boy like Chu Youzhao.
Chu Youzhao had an artifact that hid her feminine traits.
Even though she looked quite dashing, there was still a feminine side to her appearance. So this is Murong Qinghes type
“Why should I” Zu An replied in amusement.
Chu Youzhao bit her lip, which might have seemed slightly disgusting if she really was a guy.
On the other hand, knowing that she was a woman made the gesture rather alluring.
That was the benefit of having good looks.
“Because youre my brother-in-law! Why would you leak out the Chu clans secrets”
Zu An raised his eyebrows.
He was extremely pleased that she had called him brother-in-law.
“So Im not a scoundrel”
Chu Youzhao snorted.
“Youre clearly my brother-in-law, yet you touched your wifes little sister.
What else are you but a scoundrel”
She had been terribly upset that her amazing eldest sister had ended up marrying a completely useless man.
She did not approve of it one bit, and she was also worried about her big sisters happiness.
However, she had seen with her own eyes how easily he had taken care of those powerful assassins.
She had to admit that he looked rather gallant right then.
Unfortunately, this fellow just had to touch her there.
Back then, she had been embarrassed and furious, but she gathered her composure again after one night.
What else could she do about it She couldnt just kill him since he was her brother-in-law, after all.
She couldnt beat him either… She could only console herself that, at least, it hadnt been an outsider.
Zu An couldnt believe she still held it against him.
“I was trying to save you, okay I never thought that you were… hmph.”
Chu Youzhaos lips curved upwards in a half-smile.
“All I know is that you touched me.
Ill just tell my eldest sister if I have to.
Lets see what she thinks about that.”
Ugh, what a pain. Zu An had just gotten together with Chu Chuyans best friend.
When she found out, Chu Chuyan hadnt been sure if he would manage to stay alive, so she couldnt bring herself to get angry, which allowed him to weather that storm.
Who knew if shed bring it up again If she found out that he touched her little sister, she might really lose it...
Chu Youzhao was delighted when she saw him grimacing.
It went a long way to soothe her sense of injustice.
“So How about it You keep my secret and Ill keep yours.”
“Why do I feel like its not fair” Zu An said, hesitating.
“How about you call me brother-in-law a few more times”
“No way!” Chu Youzhao was annoyed.
“Ill tell my eldest sister, then.”
“What are you two doing” Murong Qinghe was confused by the sight of the two of them whispering in a corner.
“Uh… Im going to help you teach this guy a lesson since hes bullying you!” Chu Chuyan turned around and replied, draping her arm around Zu Ans shoulder.
“Come on, show me some consideration and play along.
Zu An had a weird look on his face. Did you forget something, perhaps If you put your arm around me like that, I can feel everything! What happened yesterday was an accident, but now youre doing this on purpose...
Chu Youzhao immediately realized what was going on as well, and she flushed red.
She punched him in the gut.
“Scoundrel!” She was only going to put on an act at first, but in the end, she didnt hold back one bit.
Zu An cried out.
“Why didnt you hold back!” he hissed at her.
“Its your fault for taking advantage of me!”
“What… Young lady, you were the one who came on to me, okay”
“Youre still talking about it!”
Murong Qinghe was now the one who was embarrassed.
She rushed over to them.
“Big brother Chu, I think thats enough…”
They were from the same clan, after all.
If they fell out because of her, how was she going to marry into the Chu clan…
Chu Youzhao shoved Zu An away, her face red.
“Enough! Ill spare you this time, but only because of little sister Qinghe.”
“Little sister” Zu An studied Murong Qinghe.
Chu Youzhao was already young enough, yet this girl was actually even younger She doesnt look it, though, judging by her height and how developed she is…
Murong Qinghe sensed his gaze and shot him a hateful look, but when she thought about how they were going to be seeing each other often in the future as family members, she swallowed this anger back down.
Hmph! I wont lower myself to argue with you because of big brother Chu!
Chu Youzhao waved at Zu An.
“Big s… ahem, ahem… Grandpa invites you inside.”
Zu An nodded.
He was quite curious to find out what Chuyans grandfather, the legendary, most highly-ranked figure in the military, was like.
As they headed inside, Chu Youzhao asked Murong Qinghe, “Qinghe, why are you here today”
Murong Qinghe gave Zu An a sidelong glance.
“Its all because of him! In the court session this morning, His Majesty was furious, yelling about how it was intolerable that there would be a public assassination attempt within the capital.
My grandfather was the Security Officer, and was in charge of public safety within the capital.
Because of this, my grandfather obviously had to take responsibility.
He was relieved as Security Officer and moved to the position of Supervisor of Attendants, which has no real power.
Zu An couldnt help but chuckle.
No wonder she was so upset.
The Security Officer wielded great authority, and was feared within the court.
Even though the Supervisor of Attendants was considered one of the nine Ministers, and seemed to enjoy an elevated status, several of these ministerial positions were slowly becoming figureheads, with their authority being transferred to the other branches.
One of these weakened ministerial positions was the Supervisor of Attendants.
In theory, the Supervisor of Attendants was supposed to be in charge of the imperial bodyguards, but the military leadership within the palace was tangled and complicated, each power intricately balanced against another.
There was the Left General and Right General of the palace gates, as well as the Brave Rider General and Guerilla Warfare General who were each in charge of their corresponding troops.
There was also Zhuxie Chixin, commander of the Embroidered Envoy, which maintained a large presence within the capital.
The Supervisor of Attendants was only required to arrange the ceremonies that preceded the emperors departure on long journeys outside the capital.
“How is all of that my fault” Zu An retorted.
“Im clearly the biggest victim.
Your grandfather wasnt able to maintain security within the capital, which was why I was attacked as soon as I entered the city.
I almost lost my life, you know”
Murong Qinghe pouted.
“My grandfather isnt the only one in charge of keeping peace within the capital, though.
It feels as though were being punished for no reason… Were in this position because of you.”
Zu An knew that the emperor was merely finding excuses to shuffle aside important ministers loyal to King Qis faction.
Of course, he couldn\'t say this out loud.
Chu Youzhao quickly tried to mediate this situation.
“Both of you are victims! The assassins are the ones we should blame for all this.”
She had almost been killed by those assassins yesterday, and she had only been saved thanks to her brother-in-laws intervention. Hm Why do I recall dreaming about something really embarrassing last night Something about brother-in-law riding a horse
They quickly found themselves entering a study.
Within, a tall and sturdy elder cast his gaze over the three of them.
His eyes shifted to Murong Qinghe, a smile appearing on his face.
“Little Qinghe, you must have come to play with Youzhao again.”
Zu Ans face darkened.
This elder was deliberately ignoring him in a clear show of strength.