"You're not a scholar?" The young girl became even more cheerful: "Then you're… an imperial graduate?"
"Palace exam topper?"
"What the hell are you then?"
"Right now, I'm deeply ashamed…" Minister Chu's face was painted a shade of shame, as if he was really embarrassed for some act of his.
"Wahaha..." The young maiden suddenly burst into laughter, almost falling into the water. Overjoyed, she then turned her head and called out: "Young Miss, this bookworm is so funny; he is killing me..."
"That person is teasing you; he is just playing around with you." That young woman replied in a soft voice from the inside of the cabin. Though her voice was quite magnetic, it still… contained formidable power!
Though her voice sounded like that of a man, it still had a feminine touch to it!
It was a neutral sounding voice… in a way.
Chu Yang had already taken note of this strange master-servant duo several days ago. The young lady had yet to show her face, whereas the young maid was seen rushing in and out of the cabin this entire time.
Chu Yang had been staying in this Lotus Lake for several days and they too had been floating for some time now. In fact, they would see each other every single day, which had been making him feel somewhat strange.
[I'm here to find a fragment of the Nine Tribulations Sword… but what exactly are the two of you doing here? ]
He obviously wouldn't believe that they were here to enjoy the scenery since there were no plants or flowers on the lake's surface at this time of the year.
Chu Yang was here for two reasons: First, to comprehend the supple power of water. Secondly, to accomplish his most important goal, that of finding the Nine Tribulations Sword's third fragment, hidden in this Lotus Lake!
The clues hidden inside the 'house of exceptional beauties' weren't just to confuse Diwu Qing Rou, but also to assist him in accomplishing his main objective: obtaining the third fragment of Nine Tribulations Sword!
Because it was hidden in this Lotus Lake!
This entire time Chu Yang had been trying to pin-point its location.
He had been boating in this lake for quite some time now, wandering in all directions, in order to allow the sword's tip and sword's edge in his Dantian to sense the third fragment's location.
However, they hadn't felt its presence in the least bit despite searching continuously for several days.
In any case, Chu Yang's memory wouldn't fail him; but unable to locate it, he only had one explanation to console himself with: [the right time hasn't yet arrived! ]
Pulling back the curtains, following that voice, a human figure emerged from the cabin. As that figure strode forward, the boat began to sway. The young maid cried out in alarm and almost fell into the water.
"Young master, would you be willing to join me on my boat?" said that voice which, apparently, belonged to that 'young lady' who had made an appearance just now.
However, she walked with a majestic gait on the boat, resembling the resolute walk of a dragon or the deadly stride of a tiger!
Chu Yang took a quick glance and couldn't help but exclaim in his heart: [My goodness! ]
Since the moment he had heard the maid call out 'young lady' earlier, he had been expecting to see a beautiful and graceful lady with the countenance of a flower and face like the moon. But the 'young lady' who had appeared in front of him just now…left him in a complete shock!
She was seven feet tall and had fierce eyebrows which resembled those of a leopard. She had sharp piercing eyes, broad shoulders, back of a tiger and waist of a bear. Overall, she had a robust built and good stature!
Simply put, she had this natural heroic aura of a genuine male tyrant, who was out to dominate the entire world! If only it was a man!
Chu Yang didn't say anything in response and maintained a calm expression on his face; but it had begun to get acidic inside his stomach, while he was lost in contemplation. If he had not noticed the lack of a beard on her face, if he had not noticed that she didn't have the Adam's apple, if he had not noticed her plump bosom and bulging buttocks, if he had not noticed that she was wearing a skirt...
Then Chu Yang would have definitely mistaken her for a man!
Not just that, for a tall and strongly built man, to be precise!
"Young master, would you be willing to join me on my boat?" The young lady, sullen, repeated herself in a precise manner, yet there was no trace of anger in her tone.
"Very well then, I will take you up on that offer." Chu Yang agreed and flung the fishing rod to direct that big fish to tow his boat over there.
Just then Chu Yang had a premonition: [This woman is perhaps not an ordinary person. ]
"If you are not rowing the boat…then, how is it moving on its own?" The young maid asked in an astonished tone, staring with her big round eyes.
"It's being towed by a fish I caught earlier." Chu Yang winked at her and replied with a smile.
"What a braggart!" The young girl pursed her lips.
"Hey!" Chu Yang had already arrived in front of her, so he readily handed over his fishing rod to her and said: "Hold this and have fun..."
The young maid pouted, while her countenance betrayed distrust as she said: "Who would believe you...ah!"
She suddenly cried out in fear and, with a 'plop' sound, fell into the water. She had been caught off guard, and the big fish took advantage of that and pulled her down into the water.
However, she immediately floated back up to the water's surface, wiped the water off her face, and began to shout and make noise: "So the boat was really being towed by a fish…and that too by such a big fish…hey, don't run away…come back here!"
The last few words were said to that big fish.
Then that young girl used her hands and feet to climb back onto the boat, grasped the fishing rod tightly, and began to contend fiercely with that underwater fish.
Doubtful, Chu Yang raised his eyebrows: [This maid knows martial arts and also looks quite strong! ]
"Young master, please come in and make yourself comfortable. And kindly ignore this crazy girl," that tall and sturdy looking young lady said with a smile, and reached out with her hand in a welcoming gesture.
"Thank you very much." Chu Yang smiled and went into the cabin. There was a small table in the cabin, and a big teapot was kept upon it along with a big cup.
Quite boorish and straightforward!
"Excuse me young lady, may I know your name?" Chu Yang asked.
"My surname is Huyan." The young lady poured tea into the big teacup and offered it to Chu Yang as she took a seat across him and said with a smile: "My full name is Huyan Aobo."
"I see, so you're a young miss of Huyan Clan." Chu Yang's heart suddenly jumped: [she is a member of a clan from the Middle Three Heavens! Haven't the people of the Middle Three Heavens already gone back some time ago? Why didn't she return with them? Why is she still here? ]
"Young master, what is your name?" Huyan Aobo asked with a faint smile on her face.
"My surname is Chu."
"So, you're Young master Chu." Huyan Aobo smiled gently: "May I ask where you are from? Are you from the Middle Three Heavens or the Upper Three Heavens?"
Asking that, she looked directly into his eyes and continued: "Young master Chu must not say that he is not a scholar or an intellectual, otherwise I would be left with no other choice but to look down upon you."
Chu Yang suddenly realized that this woman was really going to be hard to deal with!
Her so-called 'hard to deal with' characteristic was not derived from the act of pestering endlessly, but from the kind of calm wisdom and farsightedness that she possessed! This was a type of profound wisdom which was hard to deal with!
In front of her, it would be very difficult to tell a lie, since she would be able to see through it quite easily.
"I am neither from the Middle Three Heavens, nor from the Upper Three Heavens." Chu Yang replied with a nonchalant laugh.
"Eh! Don't tell me you're King of Hell Chu?" Huyan Aobo raised her brilliant sharp eyes to gaze at him like a falcon!
[Such a pair of eyes would really better suit a rugged male face ]. Chu Yang thought as he smiled and said: "Why would this young lady come to such an absurd conclusion all of a sudden? Calling me King of Hell...isn't that kind of ridiculous?"
"Oh really..." Huyan Aobo smiled calmly before saying: "Firstly, perhaps you haven't noticed, but you have been sitting alone in your boat, seemingly free and unfettered, but somehow managed to manipulate a big submarine fish with a fishing rod and the attached fishing line; can an ordinary person do something like that?"
"Perhaps you will explain by saying that the fishing line helped in towing the boat, but...the fishing line can only prevent the fish from escaping, it cannot control the direction in which it will swim."
"Oh?" Chu Yang got somewhat intrigued.
"Secondly, I have seen a lot of those brilliant young masters from the Middle Three Heavens, but none of them resemble you."
"Thirdly, I heard that some time ago two young masters of the Chu Clan had come from the Upper Three Heavens. After Diwu Qing Rou's investigation a lot of people went to apprehend them, only to discover that those two had silently disappeared without a trace..."
Huyan Aobo finally used the card she had up her sleeve as she said: "And in the Lower Three Heavens, if you had stayed within the borders of the Great Zhao, then a person of your stature would have already been captured by Diwu Qing Rou's subordinates. Even now as we speak, Great Zhao is going through such turbulent times, but you are not the least bit worried. This explains that you are not from Great Zhao."
She smiled: "There are too many of those Great Zhao scholars who are distressed to see such chaos and madness spreading throughout their homeland..."
"But this still cannot prove that I am King of Hell Chu...Young lady, don't you think that your conclusion is too farfetched?" Chu Yang said in a calm and composed manner.
"I cannot prove, but I can tell." The woman immediately said with a frank laugh: "I can tell, even if you're not King of Hell Chu, you are definitely one of those two Chu Young masters..."
"Furthermore, I firmly believe that you are King of Hell Chu…even if you say you are not ...I still feel that you are!"
[So overbearing! ]
Chu Yang had rarely come across a woman of such temperament. Today, as he stood in front of her, he clearly saw her domineering demeanor being exposed in its entirety through her soft way of speaking!
"Well, in that case, I really may not have the means to prove otherwise." Chu Yang forced a smile. The opposite party said so much, what else could he do? This woman was really headstrong and cunning, not to mention she was also willful and seemed to possess some male-specific traits such as overwhelming aggressiveness and inherent boldness...
Continuing to deny would only turn it into a jest.
The best course of action would be to neither admit nor deny it and just leave it ambiguous, and let it be like that.
Chu Yang's heart was telling him[: This woman didn't harbor the slightest hostility towards him; on the contrary, she admired him very much. Moreover...it was a sharp and incisive appreciation, which usually exists between two evenly matched opponents in a game of chess. ]
"Young master Chu, do you know Gao Sheng?" Huyan Aobo asked with a placid smile on her face.
"Gao Sheng?" Even if Chu Yang didn't know him earlier, he certainly did now, after coming to Great Zhou.
He was the primary heir of the Gao Clan of Middle Three Heavens. No one knew why he had arrived in the Lower Three Heavens; but for some reason, he had been assisting Diwu Qing Rou for past 1-2 years. It was with his support that Diwu Qing Rou had managed to establish and spread his dominance!
"Yes, Gao Sheng..." It appeared as if she was speaking of a stranger as she said indifferently: "Actually, I am his fiancée and the reason why he has arrived in the Middle Three Heavens, and has been idling around since then, is to escape from our arranged marriage..."
"He escaped from marriage...cough…" Chu Yang choked on the tea, and then nodded again and again: "Cough...I can understand..."
Huyan Aobo looked at him somewhat angrily as she asked: "What do you understand?"
"I can understand where you're coming from!" Chu Yang solemnly replied: "It must have been painful for you."
"Painful? No! It wasn't painful at all." Although Chu Yang clearly didn't mean what he said, Huyan Aobo failed to see through: "I already knew that he would run away from our marriage. It's just that I was a little curious about him, so I came to see him."
"Huh? You only came to see him?" Chu Yang asked.
"Yes, just to see him." Huyan Aobo gave a complacent smile before saying further: "Although I am not good-looking, I still wanted to see this deserter who had run away from our marriage; I wanted to know what he looks like and whether he deserves to be my husband!"
"Eh?" Chu Yang was slightly puzzled.
"Gao Sheng must be so proud of himself to have finally succeeded in escaping from me." There was a trace of scorn in Huyan Aobo's eyes: "But he doesn't know that the fully bearded imperial bodyguard who stayed by his side until some time ago…was actually me. I followed him just to see him, and spent no less than four months with him! Until some time ago, he led his troops back to the Middle Three Heavens, but I stayed back."