“Dragon Slaying”

The man in black was indignant and wanted to persuade him. “Young Lord…”

“Uncle Chen, if an evil dragon extended its claws and killed someone, do you think the claws are at fault, or is it the dragon itself who is guilty?”

Zhou Linghuai lowered his head and flipped through the book in his hand. The side of his face was pale and thin, but his sickly and pitiable appearance revealed an indescribably handsome and distinguished aura. His lowered eyelashes were very long, casting a shadow under his eyes, making him seem unfathomable.

Uncle Chen’s expression became extremely complex. He clutched the hilt of his sword tightly. The veins on the back of his hand throbbed, and his knuckles turned white.

“Just because the dragon used its claw to attack, does that mean one of its claws should be cut off as revenge? If it used its right hand to kill, then should its right hand be severed? Is that revenge?” Coldness and viciousness seeped through his lips, and his eyes were as dark as ink. “I don’t agree. Only a life for a life is justified.” 𝒾𝗻𝓃𝐫eα𝚍. 𝒄𝐨m

The five words, “A life for a life,” lingered on the tip of his tongue, and he savored it in his mouth slowly. It was bone-chilling.

A calm voice came from above his head. It was as calm as a deep pool, but seemed to be brewing a turbulent undercurrent. The man in black abruptly looked up, and the words “dragon slayer” suddenly appeared in his mind. His gaze looked full of shock, astonishment, dilemma, agitation, and all kinds of complex emotions.

Zhou Linghuai asked calmly, “What do you think?”

The man in black tried his best to calm down and quickly analyzed the situation in his mind. “Ever since the sudden change in Youzhou three years ago, the situation in the court has become increasingly tense. The emperor is obsessed with alchemy and doesn’t come to the court often. The court officials are under the control of the cabinet and the Marquis of Weining. The court officials form cliques for private interests, fill their own pockets, and corrupt the law. The nobles are domineering, arrogant, and do as they please. The vassals of various areas are also getting restless.”

At this point, he paused slightly and looked up at the young master. He saw that he was holding a scroll in his hand and did not seem to be paying attention to him.

However, he knew that the young master was listening.

“Also, things aren’t very stable in Cangzhou, Yunzhou, and Liangzhou. Dongyi, Xirong, and Nanman have invaded the Great Zhou’s borders and fought repeatedly with the vassal lords guarding the three states. Every time there was damage, the vassal lords of the three lands complained bitterly and repeatedly reported to Emperor Ming to ask the emperor to send troops to help.”

“I heard that before the New Year, Prince Ping of Liangzhou entered the capital under an edict. In front of all the civil and military officials, he cried until his face was covered in snot and tears. He said that it was bitterly cold in Liangzhou, and he could not even collect taxes. Every year, there were countless wars, big and small. In war, he needed money, food, and soldiers. The soldiers in his army had not changed their armor for three years, and he asked the emperor for money and food.”

At the mention of this, the man in black’s tone seemed to be dripping with disdain for the way a vassal king like him—who had a strong army under his control—had allowed himself to appear so weak and pitiful in front of everyone.

“Do you think they’re crying about being poor?” Zhou Linghuai pursed his lips lightly and gently closed his book. “They’re crying about their lives. Whoever cries the most pitifully, shamelessly, and cowardly would be the least likely to follow in the footsteps of King You. They’re smart, though. They have battles to fight, with casualties and persistent poverty. Such vassal states are what some people want to see the most.” Zhou Linghuai’s tone was filled with sarcasm.

The man in black blanked for a moment before he suddenly understood what his young master meant.

The vassal lords are responsible for guarding the borders surrounding the Great Zhou Dynasty and protecting its territory. Only when there were wars would there be a need for them to exist, and when they remained poor and damaged, the court would not worry about the vassal lords planning their independence.

Meanwhile, the official troops of the You King guarded the northern border and fought the Northern Barbarians all year round. It was the coldest border of all.

The Northern Barbarians were a large tribe. They were tall and strong, and were even great horsemen, archers, and fighters. Every autumn, they would attack the borders of the city, burning, killing, and plundering. The You King, who was guarding Youzhou, had no choice but to station a large number of troops. Could it be…

Zhou Linghuai narrowed his eyes. “To be able to put down his dignity and even swallow his pride, it means that he has something up his sleeve, and it must be something so big that outweighs even his dignity. But whatever he’s planning is probably going to get him twice his dignity back.”

The man in black held his breath. “Young Master, you mean, King Ping…”

Zhou Linghuai interrupted him and said coldly, “Send someone to keep an eye on Liangzhou.”


Yu Youyao had left quickly with Chun Xiao and Dong Mei. She couldn’t help thinking about how the man in black had called her cousin “Young Lord.” He was extremely respectful and was unlike ordinary servants.

‘Cousin seemed to be acting very secretively?’

Plus, her cousin had mentioned the Marquis of Weining.

In recent days, she had gained some understanding of the various Residences in the capital, and what the Marquis of Weining’s Residence was most known for was the fact that someone in their family had become an imperial consort.

This Imperial Consort Lu had been conferred the title of secondary consort even when the emperor was still waiting to succeed the throne. From then on, she had been constantly favored and doted on all the way until now.

Because the Empress was unwell, Imperial Consort Lu was in charge of the Phoenix Seal in the harem, so all the matters in the Rear Palace were handed over to her, and she held the authority in the harem.

Being related to her, the Marquis of Weining’s Resident also became the most prominent family in the capital. It was far from what the Yu Residence could compare to.

Yu Youyao had an inkling that she might have accidentally discovered a shocking secret about her cousin?!

The reason that her cousin had suddenly come into the capital and moved into the Yu Residence, was definitely not as simple as seeking refuge with his relatives.

When Chun Xiao saw that Miss had returned with the flower branch in her hand, she pursed her lips and did not say a word. On the way back, she kept her head lowered, but she was a little puzzled. “Young Mistress, why did you run into the back area earlier? I couldn’t see you.”

When they had lost sight of their young mistress, she and Dong Mei were almost scared out of their wits. Fortunately, she had returned quickly.

Thinking of the dangerous situation she had been in just now, Yu Youyao felt a lingering sense of trepidation. “The flowers at the back were more beautiful.”

Chun Xiao hurriedly said, “The outside is different from when you’re in the residence. Young Mistress, you can’t do this in the future.”

Yu Youyao nodded absentmindedly. Not daring to wander around anymore, she returned to the room. However, after sitting for a while, she felt that the room was a little stuffy and decided to head to the meditation room, bringing Chun Xiao and Dong Mei along.

Along the way, there were uniquely shaped stones, rock structures, and rivers, which all created a peaceful and serene atmosphere. The ground was filled with patterned limestone bricks, and there were evergreen Bodhi trees on both sides.

Soon, Yu Youyao heard chanting not far away. They had arrived at the meditation room. Qing Xiu, who was guarding outside, welcomed them and led Yu Youyao into one of the meditation rooms.

The room wasn’t big. There were only tables and chairs inside, making it look very empty. The incense burner emitted the smell of sandalwood. The servant girls and old maids stood on both sides of the room with their hands by their sides. Old Madam Yu leaned against the round, purple longevity embroidered pillow.

On the other side sat a round-faced old woman in an ink-blue loose outer coat that had gold embroidery. She had an emerald gem on her forehead, and most of her hair had already grayed. She looked older than Yu Youyao’s grandmother.

Yu Youyao realized that this old woman was the old madam of the Marquis Zhen’s Residence, Old Madam Song. She and her grandmother had also been close friends since they were young, so Yu Youyao went up to her and respectfully greeted her.

Old Madam Song called Youyao over and held her hand. “Yao Yao, during the new year celebrations, I remember that you were wearing a red pomegranate dress, looking chubby and lovely.” As she spoke, she couldn’t help but laugh. “It’s been less than a month since then, but you’re already a big girl now. I also remember that you will be turning ten in two months.”

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