Chapter 163 Green Vines: An Imminent Crisis
As soon as Shangguan Yan had finished speaking, everyone present was dumbstruck.
Covert Guard Two had long silently left as signalled by Situ, avoiding Shangguan Yan and Lu Buping. However, the remaining few people had become witnesses of Xue Yiqi's embarrassing scene.
Although Situ appeared calm and composed, he could not hide the astonishment in his eyes from Feng Luodi.
Of course, Feng Luodi did not appear any less shocked than Situ. Initially, she had thought that Shangguan Yan was used to behaving wantonly and living in a Xiaoyao style in the jianghu, thus she did not mind how others viewed her. Right now, from the looks of it, Shangguan Yan's innate temperament was like that. She would say exactly what she wanted, and then fight for it.
Feng Luodi subconsciously formed a favourable impression of Shangguan Yan.
On the other hand, after hearing his supremo's words, Lu Buping glanced at the dumbfounded Xue Yiqi very pitifully and went forward to exhort Shangguan Yan. "Supremo, he is a court official. Didn't you say that you'd never want to have any relationship with the court officials in your whole life?"
"Hm?" Shangguan Yan's raised his shapely eyebrows and waved her hand.
"When did I ever say something like this? Buping, you're old already. Be careful that Qi'er wouldn't want you."
The corners of Lu Buping's mouth twitched and he gave an expression of 'you're on your own, good luck' to Xue Yiqi. Xue Yi only slowly came back to his senses after a very long time. Once his gaze settled somewhere, he saw Shangguan Yan's cheerful expression.
"When are you going to marry me?" Shangguan Yan swayed her hips seductively as she walked towards Xue Yiqi.
Xue Yiqi backed away in panic. "Miss Shangguan, please conduct yourself with dignity. Both you and I have only met each other for the first time. Please don't joke about such an important affair in your life like marriage."
Shangguan Yan's smile widened. Her beauty caused the surrounding scenery to become dull and gloomy. Whenever Shangguan Yan took a step closer, Xue Yiqi would flusteredly take one step back as if he was avoiding a beast.
"Oh, right. what's your name?" This time, Shangguan Yan realised that she still did not know the name of the fiancé she had set her sights on.
Xue Yiqi did not dare to reply. He had never expected that he would encounter the first calamity in his life today.
"Xue Yiqi." Situ replied on his behalf in a flat tone.
Feng Luodi secretly tugged on his sleeve, hinting to him to take a look at Xue Yiqi's unwillingness. Situ turned a blind eye to it but a smile flickered across the recesses of his eyes.
Shangguan Yan gave Situ a 'you're tactful expression and continued to close in on Xue Yiqi.
"So my fiancé is called Xue Yiqi. That's a really good name."
The sweeter her smile was, the more terrified Xue Yiqi became.
"Right, I almost forgot." Shangguan suddenly stopped her footsteps. Xue Yiqi sighed in relief.
Shangguan Yan turned her head to tell Lu Buping, "Change the Demonic Sect's name. Let's change it to…change it to the Xiaoyao Sect."
Shangguan Yan casually waved to Lu Buping. "Buping, instruct the various regions immediately. From now on, there will only be a Xiaoyao Sect and no more Demonic Sect in the jianghu."
Lu Buping helplessly complied. He turned around to leave and set out on the task. Upon seeing this, Shangguan advanced towards Xue Yiqi again with a pleased smile on her lips.
"With the name changed, the court will no longer pursue us to kill us and you will also no longer be placed in a difficult spot. The two of us can then be together openly."
Feng Luodi wanted to speak but hesitated. Shangguan Yan's attitude was so firm just then. But now, she has just met Xue Yiqi for the first time and she wants to change the sect's name for him. Is this really love at first sight? On the other hand, Xue Yiqi quickly fled under Shangguan Yan's pressure but he still did not forget to greet Situ before he left.
"Eldest Brother, I'll be going out to take a stroll now."
Yet, the one who replied him was not Situ but Shangguan Yan who cut in. "That's coincidental, I'll like to take a stroll around too. Let's go together."
After everyone had scattered, Feng Luodi still had not come back to her senses and turned to Situ in surprise. "Situ, what do you think Sect Leader Shangguan means by this? She suddenly changed her mind so she used Master Xue as an excuse to say those words because she was put on the spot?"
Situ lowered his head to look at her. "Only she herself knows her own intentions. We only need to carry out the next step.""But…" Feng Luodi still felt uneasy. She recalled how Qi Jianqiu was once extremely distressed about Xue Yiqi's feelings towards her so Feng Luodi did not want to see Xue Yiqi being put in a difficult spot. I'm just doing this for Qi Jianqiu.
"Don't think too much about it." Situ placed his hand on Feng Luodi's head and patted her gently.
"Only they themselves will know about their feelings. No one can help."
Feng Luodi sensitively discerned that there was an overtone in Situ's words. She lowered her head and spoke no further.
The next day, the news that the Demonic Sect had changed its name to Xiaoyao Sect had spread across the whole jianghu. The people of the jianghu were all discussing about it animatedly. Only Sect Leader Xiao of Qing Cheng Sect, as well as the few other sect leaders who Governor Tian had met, knew that this was the stratagem Situ and the others had come up with to prevent getting into a fight with the Demonic Sect.
Nevertheless, even if they were aware of that, they could not inform the people about this matter. Otherwise, it would imply that they were intentionally making things difficult for the Demonic Sect. In that way, they would be implicated in the case of the murder of the fifteen officials.
The commoners had heard that the Demonic Sect was an unconventional and independent sect and they seemed to have done some bad things. They were well-known but had no relations with the prestigious and upright sects. However, they had also never done anything that caused harm to the commoners.
However, the Xiaoyao Sect was different. The jianghu people knew that the Xiaoyao Sect was the Demonic sect but the commoners did not care about this. They only knew that the Xiaoyao Sect had a branch in Ding Tao and they specially carried out good deeds. They would usually help the commoners' households that were facing problems. Occasionally, when there were small disasters, the Xiaoyao Sect would also fork out money and contribute in terms of manpower. These made many acting county magistrates feel deeply grateful.
Therefore, in Dingtao, the Xiaoyao Sect's reputation was getting increasingly better. Compared to the few sects, Qing Cheng, Kun Lun and E Mei that dwelled in Ding Tao who were always causing trouble, their brawls disturbing the peace of the people, the commoners liked and supported this Xiaoyao Sect much more.
Lu Buping sauntered one round and came back with the corners of his mouth twitching as he touched his forehead and sighed helplessly. He had never thought that the Demonic Sect's reputation would become this sublime after changing its name. He was really not used to it and he reckoned that the disciples in the sect were surely not used to it too.
The supremo should also certainly be not used to it. With her arrogant personality, she should still find it very annoying. This was what Lu Buping thought but when he slipped into the yamen from the side door, he saw Xue Yiqi instructing a few of the covert guards. Their beloved and esteemed Supremo Shangguan Yan was beside him teasing him in multifarious ways. Her whole body language expressed that she was ecstatic.
Lu Buping felt a terrible headache. He turned around and wanted to leave, but in the end, Shangguan Yan discovered him when she unintentionally glanced over.
"Wow, if it isn't Buping himself! I see that you've done what I told you to do?."
Lu Buping stopped in his tracks and turned around to look at Shangguan Yan and nodded. I have no choice. If I don't follow what Shangguan Yan says, it would be wishful thinking to marry Qi'er. It just happens that that lass worships Shangguan Yan very much.
"Supremo." Lu Buping walked closer to Shangguan Yan. When he realised that Xue Yiqi did not plan to pay attention to him at all. He helplessly spread out his hands and pulled Shangguan Yan to one side.
"Supremo, it's fine if you're just messing around for a few days. This joke is getting out of hand."
"Hm?" Shangguan Yan narrowed her eyes shaped like those of a phoenix and her expression became dangerous. "Who said I was joking? I want to marry Xue Yiqi. Do you have any objections? There's no helping it even if you have any objections."
Lu Buping was taken aback. So it turned out that their supremo was serious this time. He involuntarily turned to observe Xue Yiqi again.
*In the aspect of resourcefulness, Xue Yiqi can't be compared to the First Prince. In the aspect of power and influence and leading the troops for war, Xue Yiqi can't be compared to Situ Muye. While in the aspect of martial arts, he couldn't even defeat me. His status is still acceptable but he is not tactful as well as an overly honest and loyal man. To put it bluntly, he is straightforward and maybe also very pedantic. Shangguan Yan's words just now already caused his neck to turn red.
It is very hard for such a person to survive in court and he would also be schemed against in the jianghu. Which part of him had their sect leader actually taken a fancy to?*
Shangguan Yan did not care about what Lu Buping thought. Her whole mind was only on Xue Yiqi. As soon as she turned her head, she realised that Xue Yiqi who had finished discussing his matters was quietly leaving and immediately chased after him.
"Yiqi, wait for me."
"Argh." Lu Buping heaved a long sigh. He turned to Situ and Feng Luodi who walked out from the main hall. "Even if we change the name to the Xiaoyao Sect, we still have a lot of friction with the people from the Righteous Path. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of people trying to plot against our sect disciples again. If we don't solve this, the Xiaoyao Sect will ultimately still be the Demonic Sect." Lu Buping knew that Shangguan Yan did not care about this matter and could only find people who cared about this matter.
Situ nodded. "The current situation is already much better than expected. All we lack is an opportunity. "
"What opportunity?" In name, Lu Buping was still a murderer incarcerated in the underground prison. Qi'er better not hear of this.
"The opportunity for them to fight amongst themselves."
After Situ finished saying his words in a cold tone, Covert Guard Quattor suddenly appeared and lowered his voice. "General, Governor Tian's favoured concubine was killed. She was also killed with one stab like the fifteen county magistrates from before. Governor Tian was the first person to discover her. He has headed out of his residence, enraged; Six has already followed him."
"What about the people who want to spread the news?" A glint flashed in Situ's eyes. The opportunity has arrived.
Covert Guard Quattor replied, "All of them have been restrained. The people outside won't know about this matter at all. In addition, all his family members, handmaidens and attendants have been restrained by us. None of them will speak a word."
"Very good." Situ nodded. He gazed into the distance. "Right now, we just need to wait for them to walk into the trap themselves."
Lu Buping did not understand. Feng Luodi who was beside him told him, "Young Knight-errant Lu, you should continue to stay in the prison now while Supremo Shangguan should look for the First Prince."
"Why are the two of you talking in riddles?" Lu Buping felt that his brain was insufficient in his attempts to deal with the two before him. He was clearly Xiaoyao Sect's protector, resourceful and greatly venerated by the sect disciples. Yet, in the aspect of using schemes, he was left far behind by these people.
Despite his grumblings, Lu Buping knew that Situ and the others would not harm them and he obediently followed their plan, hoping that the matter could be solved as soon as possible.
After Feng Luodi found Shangguan Yan who had Xue Yiqi backed into a corner, she roughly explained the whole matter. Shangguan Yan could barely be separated from Xue Yiqi and follow Feng Luodi to settle the matters. Before she left, she even tossed a flying kiss at Xue Yiqi.
"Yiqi, I'll come look for you again later."
Xue Yiqi shivered. The fear on his face had yet to wear off and the trembling corner of his lips revealed his mood. At this moment, from the bottom of his heart, he sincerely hoped that this case could be settled faster. Then, he would be able to return to Chang'an and not have to see this bewitching woman ever again. But before that, I suppose that I will have to endure for a few more days.
1. The word Xiaoyao means "carefree and unfettered" in Chinese.