In the blink of an eye, three to four days passed.
"Bitter strength Gu…" In the study room, Shang Ya Zi held the Gu in his hand, his eyebrows folding into a crease, as he had an overwhelming urge — to crush this Gu worm to death!
But he had to control himself.
This bitter strength Gu cost him eight hundred and ten thousand primeval stones, if he crushed it, his heart will ache.
Every time he looked at this Gu, Shang Ya Zi felt extremely gloomy.
He had an illusion that the bitter strength Gu was soundlessly mocking him, reminding him of his stupidity every single second!
At the auction a few days ago, he was tricked by Fang Yuan in front of everybody.
Right now, he was a laughing stock. Even his surrounding clansmen refused to meet him.
Nevermind if he was an idiot, but he was a Shang clan young master, such a deed brought shame to the entire Shang clan!
As a Shang clan young master, Shang Ya Zi's every action represented Shang clan and carried its image. His performance at the auction was not only a humiliation to himself, but also dragged the pride and glory of his Shang clansmen through the mud.
As for Shang Yan Fei, he did not say a word regarding this matter.
But this made Shang Ya Zi feel even more uneasy.
"No, I must salvage my reputation. I have to make sure father looks at me in a different light, I must change my clansmen's impression of me!" Shang Ya Zi gritted his teeth, deciding in his heart.
"Fang Zheng, you dare to oppose me, and played me like a fool. I will make sure you pay a terrible price!" His eyes shone with a dark sinister glow, flickering as he thought of ways to deal with Fang Yuan.
After this matter, his hatred towards Fang Yuan had reached a tipping point, it was hatred that seeped into his soul.
"Young master, young master, there is trouble!"
At this moment, a loyal servant came over, shouting in front of the study room.
"Why are you so frantic, is this the proper decorum? Get in here!" Shang Ya Zi scolded unhappily.
The room door was pushed open, as the servant kneeled on the floor, his face flushed with terror: "Young master, there is trouble. There's a rumor going around, it has spread all over Shang clan city. It says that you and Fang Zheng had once competed for Lady An Yu but you lost to him. That resulted in a grudge between you two, thus you went to find trouble with Fang Zheng."
"Lady An Yu? That Qin Yan brothel's prostitute? What rubbish is that." Shang Ya Zi curled his lips, laughing in disdain.
But the servant continued: "They are also saying, you had a secret deal with Fang Zheng in order to pass the yearly assessment, and… and faked the accounts."
"What?!" Shang Ya Zi heard this and howled, his expression changing. He jumped out of his seat, causing the brush and ink on his table to vibrate and fall.
The servant continued carefully but anxiously: "Young master, the rumor is so elaborate, they even have the transaction time, and the exact amount of the account is circulated. It seems the clan's internal affairs hall has been alerted, and they are sending Gu Masters here to investigate the matter."
Shang Ya Zi was dumbfounded, as if lightning struck his brain.
At that instant, his face went pale, like blood drained out of his body.
His heart palpitated, his body went soft as he almost fell onto the ground. Holding on to the study table weakly, he propped himself up.
This impact was too quick, too heavy, too sudden!
"I'm finished, completely finished. Once the matter of the fake accounting is exposed, I will lose the position of young master. This violates the clan rules, even mother cannot protect me. There is no point in begging father either! Once I lose this position, there are countless people waiting to devour me."
As the crisis struck, Shang Ya Zi was extremely frightened, falling into a state of panic.
"How can such news circulate? I was completely careful during the deal, other than Fang Zheng, no other person knew. Impossible, it's impossible…"
Shang Ya Zi muttered to himself as his expression was in a daze.
He was still too young, without any life-threatening dangers to train him, although he managed the shops for two years, and had good management skills, he only scratched the surface. Once a problem occurs, he becomes shocked and helpless.
Nan Qiu garden, the pavilion in the middle of the lake.
Light winds blew, causing small waves to form on the surface of the lake.
The lake was not big, the edges were made of stacked up rockery stones.
On the surface of the lake, there were large lotus leaves, connected together like a chain, the pink-white flowerbud had not opened yet. Gold and orange carps swam in the water, surfacing at times.
The pavilion was made of bricks and had a colorful roof and red pillars, it was obviously meticulously designed.
In the pavilion there was a chessboard, and two youngsters were playing.
One young man wore black clothing, his eyes dark like the abyss. The other was a female wearing white clothing, having silver hair and blue eyes, showing a cold expression.
It was Fang Yuan and Bai Ning Bing.
Bai Ning Bing played for a bit, before looking outside at the lake: "This Shang Ya Zi is really stupid, his reaction speed is so slow. I sent out the rumor long ago, why hasn't he come here yet?"
"No worries, I have instructed the guards to let him in, he will come." Fang Yuan smiled, showing his confidence of being in control of the situation.
After panicking, Shang Ya Zi would definitely suspect Fang Yuan. Thus, he would come over and investigate the situation, even if he had no suspicions, he would come to convince Fang Yuan to cover up for him, to survive this investigation by Shang clan.
Bai Ning Bing squinted her eyes, sighing: "Fang Yuan, I am really impressed, you actually managed to exploit this 'loophole' in the poison vow Gu. You planned this from two years ago, didn't you? Just waiting and enduring, until the time was ripe to activate this trap."
Fang Yuan smiled, playing his chess piece as he answered: "Shang Ya Zi is a petty man, he will definitely take revenge. Why would I leave such a threat around? I did not use this earlier because Shang Xin Ci just had arrived in Shang clan and did not have a foundation. Gone with Shang Ya Zi, and in comes Shang Xin Ci, that is beneficial to both of us."
Bai Ning Bing did not speak anymore, but her eyes were shining with blue light.
In her heart, she felt a chill.
Fang Yuan's schemes came one after another, closely connected, once a person steps into it, it is like being in quicksand, trapped and helpless. The most shocking part was, he planned this two years ago after predicting this situation. Such foresight, it gave people chills, Shang Ya Zi was courting death by being enemies with him!
"Fang Zheng, where are you? Get out here now!" Shang Ya Zi's furious screams finally came.
The pavilion on the lake was not concealed at all, after Shang Ya Zi was informed by the doorboy, he quickly found Fang and Bai.
"Fang Zheng, you still have the mood to play chess? Do you know how far the rumors have spread? Tell me, was this all done by you!" Shang Ya Zi came to the pavilion, pointing at Fang Yuan as he shouted furiously.
Fang Yuan turned his body around, speaking plainly: "If this was done by me, would I be alive? Shang Ya Zi, I can't believe you are getting dumber and dumber. Did you forget that we used the poison vow Gu together?"
Shang Ya Zi snorted, his anger subsiding slightly. Fang Yuan was right, if he was the culprit, he would have been dead already. Now that he was sitting there safe and sound, it meant the rumors were not due to him.
But Fang Yuan's next sentence sent him into pure rage.
"Although I did not create the rumor, my companion Bai Ning Bing did."
Shang Ya Zi was stunned, his relaxed face turned bright red, like a meteor entering the atmosphere.
An intense rage grew in his heart.
"It was you, it was done by you! You bitch, I am going to kill you!" He screamed, his eyes red with anger, as he stared at Bai Ning Bing like he was going to devour her. His aura was insane, like a leopard or wolf trying to attack its prey.
"Oh? You want to strike here? Attack me?" Bai Ning Bing slowly stood up, her absolutely stunning face was cold as ice, as her icy tone contained strong disdain: "I am rank three peak stage, I have never lost a single battle in the battle stage, and I possess the purple thorn token, do you really want to fight to the death with me?"
Shang Ya Zi's facial muscles twitched, as he gritted his teeth, his eyes burning with fire as he stared fiercely at Bai Ning Bing.
He did not attack in the end.
He was rank three upper stage, and lived in an ivory tower all his life, he was not Bai Ning Bing's match. At the same time, Bai Ning Bing had the purple thorn token, something Shang Yan Fei gave her personally.
"Fang Zheng, you went back on your word, you will die a painful death! How did she know our deal? No wait, you went back on your word, why are you still alive?! Did you find some way to disable the poison vow Gu?" Shang Ya Zi turned to look at Fang Yuan, feeling uncertain.
"No, no." Fang Yuan shook his head: "The poison vow was — You and I will keep it a secret, and we 'cannot divulge the information to an unknowing third party'. But before the poison vow Gu was used, I already told Bai Ning Bing this matter. Thus, she was a 'knowing third party'. The rumor was also not let out by me. It was all Bai Ning Bing's effort. Thus, I did not violate the poison vow at all."
Shang Ya Zi opened his mouth wide, showing a dumbstruck expression.
Now that Fang Yuan mentioned it, the vow was indeed like this.
Then why did he not find out this loophole back then?
One, because of his mindset, he did not think Fang Yuan would tell Bai Ning Bing before they even discussed the issue. 'Cannot divulge the information to an unknowing third party', just looking at this sentence, there was no problems.
Second was because he was the one who initiated the use of the poison vow Gu, Fang Yuan looked unprepared and caught off guard, but he had actually predicted it long ago and was just trying to numb Shang Ya Zi's senses.
Third, Shang Ya Zi wanted to remain as a young master, and had no other ways. He was anxious and because the vow reciting was extremely painful, he could not think properly.
But now that he knew, it was already too late…
"Fang Zheng, you shameless scoundrel! You dare to trick me and deceive me like this! You are a despicable scum, so extremely despicable and shameless!"