076 - I’ve Underestimated Her
“Sis!” Zhou Yinru protested, these words made it seem as if she would not be able to get married if she did not marry that Jin dude.
The smile on Zhou Miaoru’s face did not falter. “Yinru, speaking from just the current circumstances, the possibility of you having a marriage of connection within the sect is close to zero. Those suitable would either be you being contemptuous towards them, or them being contemptuous towards you. Since it’s so, we can only look for a suitable target outside the sect.”
“But the trashy Jin family?” Zhou Yinru cried out, “They are not some high official nor royal family, and neither are they an aristocratic family. As for that Eldest Young Master Jin, who in the world doesn’t know that he’s a good-for-nothing? What are we to gain from having a marital connection with the Jin family?”
“The Jin family is wealthy,” Zhou Miaoru lightly stated.
“So for the sake of wealth, I have to be sacrificed?” Zhou Yinru jumped up and stared at her elder sister with a face full of disbelief.
“Do you think it is for us?” The corner of Zhou Miaoru’s mouth curled up. “When compared to aristocratic family, the Jin family’s background only falls short by a little. The power and influence they have wielded in the recent years has rapidly expanded. If you want wealth from them you’ll get wealth, and if you want power you’ll get power. Furthermore, the Jin family only has the Eldest Young Master Jin as their bloodline and if you marry him, the big Jin family will belong to you in the future.”
“But he is a fool?” Zhou Miaoru cut off her sentence. “Yinru, why are you unable to lower your standards regards to this? It’s even better that he is a fool. This way you won’t have to hide yourself and will be able to grandly and openly take control of the Jin family as the young mistress.”
Zhou Yinru bit her lips in indignance. “It can’t be that I’ll have to follow a fool for my entire lifetime? Isn’t it calling for others to laugh their heads off? Sis, although you also married someone of a lower status than you back then, brother-in-law is still someone with unlimited potential and plus, he is even good-looking. However ... that fool? Haizz ...”
“Yinru,” Zhou Miaoru looked at her with a gaze that was close to one of pity. “So your heart is still fixed on such a thought? Finding a handsome and heroic man to become a loving couple?”
Under her gaze, Zhou Yinru lowered her head and murmured, “No matter what, I still must marry some normal person, right?”
“You ah!” Zhou Miaoru poked her head. “Why do you not look at things from another perspective? Since that Young Master Jin is a fool, he will naturally depend on you in all respects. Once you’ve gotten hold of the Jin family in your palms, no one will be able to stop you from doing whatever you want.”
Zhou Miao sighed, “You’re already thirty-two this year, right?”
Zhou Yinru immediately kept her mouth closed.
“Us practitioners age slowly, but as we have not yet reached the Assimilation Realm, we will not be able to remain youthful forever. There will come a day where your skin will wrinkle up and you’ll have a dull complexion … Do you still want to continue to put it off?”
(TL Note: Assimilation Realm is the realm after Spirit Realm.)
Zhou Yinru parted her lips to speak but shook her head before saying, “Can’t I just not want to marry a fool?”
Zhou Miaoru stooped down to her eye level before speaking in a soft yet icy-cold voice, “That’s fine. The Heavenly Door competition is about to arrive soon. You didn’t attend the past two times, and if you do not attend this time, you’ll by default be kicked out of the genuine successor disciple placing. If you truly do not want to marry into the Jin family, then prove that you’ve the right to make your own decision with real results.”
In the bamboo fenced small courtyard, Yu Wen Shi picked up a list of names.
“The Heavenly Door competition this time has numerous disciples signing up!”
“Yes.” Shao Zhengyang stood by the side.
He was a mere twenty-year-old this year, but now that he had shedded off his youthful look, coupled with his originally mature appearance, he seemed more like a twenty-three to twenty-four year old.
“Are you nervous?” Yu Wen Shi asked him while smiling.
Shao Zhengyang only pursed his lips as he shook his head.
Yu Wen Shi resumed lowering his head as his fingers slid down the list of names before stopping on a particular name. He laughed, “Gao Xiang from Willow Woods has signed up too, to think that you’ll have to compete with him also.”
The flash went past Shao Zhengyang’s eyes as he clenched his hands tightly into a fist.
He had entered Harmonization Realm three years ago. In that year, a Heavenly Door competition was held too, and as a matter of course, he had signed up for it too. However, he had been overcast by others and fell out of the top ten. Thus, he was still a second-rate disciple today.
Gao Xiang, who had entered the sect a few years later than Shao Zhengyang, was but a wimpy kid in his eyes, but who would have known that he would actually have to compete for a place as a genuine successor disciple with this wimpy kid! Shao Zhengyang felt deep hatred in his heart, I am definitely going to get back at those people that took the top ten spots!
“Yi?!” Yu Wen Shi suddenly let out a cry of astonishment.
Shao Zhengyang looked towards his master.
Yu Wen Shi flicked his finger on the name list and looked at him with a profound gaze. “Do you still remember that girl from Green Jade Valley?”
Shao Zhengyang nodded. He would not be able to forget what had happened in the spring hunt four years ago even if he wanted to.
“She also signed up for the Heavenly Door competition this time.”
Shao Zhengyang was stunned. “She … is now in Harmonization Realm?”
“Since she signed up, of course she is in Harmonization Realm now.” The corners of Yu Wen Shi’s lips curved up into a smile. “No wonder Senior Brother Liu suddenly took out a sword technique secret manual to exchange it a high grade mystic weapon with me.”
“This is impossible!” Shao Zhengyang could not help himself from blurting out his disbelief.
Lu Mingshu and Gao Xiang had attended their first hunt just four years ago and even Shao Zhengyang had been in the same small team as them. That’s why he had very clear knowledge about their cultivation realms.
Shao Zhengyang did not find it surprising that Gao Xiang was able to breakthrough into Harmonization Realm in four years. First, Willow Woods line had a strict criteria for accepting their direct disciples so Gao Xiang would definitely have had to been highly talented to be chosen. Second, the Willow Woods line always had only one single successor. Therefore, all their resources would go into grooming Gao Xiang. Perhaps only Fu Mingtang was a match for him in terms of resources in the whole sect. Last but not least, Gao Xiang went to Jade West Mountain Forest every years and thus everyone could see his steady cultivation progress.
As for Lu Mingshu? She indeed possessed a good aptitude, but who didn’t know about the current state of Green Jade Valley? Liu Jizhen only had the empty title of a courtyard leader and didn’t have the corresponding strength to back it up, which meant he was not given even the tiniest bit of resources. Moreover, she had not left the valley for four long years, and had not attended any of the seasonal hunts. Even a little kid would know that a Martial Practitioner grows through combat. How exactly would one be able to improve in a vacuum?
“However impossible it might be, it’s an actual fact.” Yu Wen Shi muttered, “I’ve underestimated her. She made Fu Mingtang lose his confidence four years ago, and now four years later, she’s even successfully broken through into Harmonization Realm in a situation where she had scarce resources. Zhengyang, you seem to fall short in comparison to her!”
Shao Zhengyang tightly pursed his lips together.
“How interesting, this idle chess piece might actually turn into a killer move.” Yu Wen Shi lifted up his head to look at the fluctuating expression on his disciple as he sported an expression that seemed like he was worried about something. He did not hesitate to speak: “Why? You’re feeling unwell after something so small? How many geniuses do you think there are in this world? If you’re to feel unwell every time you meet one, then you’ll definitely feel unwell often in the future.”
After a moment of silence, Shao Zhengyang lowered his head. “This disciple knows his mistake.”
Yu Wen Shi shook his head. “Zhengyang, I’m not trying to get you to admit your mistake. Think of it yourself, where exactly has your haughtiness gone? I yearn for the past where you were haughty.”
Once he finished speaking, Yu Wen Shi got up and entered the room to cultivate.
He left Shao Zhengyang behind with mixed feelings.
When the small bamboo-fenced courtyard received the name list, the Jasper Jade Palace also received one.
Zhou Miaoru’s delicately manicured jade colored nail slid up and down the list as she slightly narrowed her eyes.
“She’s actually so fast?” She mumbled to herself, “It seems I’ve underestimated her.”
“Mother, what are you saying?” A maiden leaning against a table while doodling lifted up her head and looked at her mother curiously.
Zhou Miaoru flashed her a slight smile as she placed the name list aside. “I’m saying your younger brother has been too lazy these days.”
Fu Mingxi pondered for a moment before asking puzzledly, “Mingtang isn’t lazy these days, he’s been practising daily.”
“What about you?” Zhou Miaoru looked at her daughter. “All you do is play everyday, when have you ever practised diligently?”
Fu Mingxi pouted, “I’m not like Mingtang who has such a good body constitution …”
“But you’re not inferior to her.”
“Mother, who are you talking about?”