Book 7 Chapter 6 – Passionately Selecting Precious Woman
Song Yuzhi took Kou Zhong through the corridor connecting the main hall with the rear pavilion, and then slanting to the left into the west hall, before she was heading toward one of a row of rosewood chairs in the middle of the hall to sit down.
Kou Zhong hurriedly preceded her to pull the chair out a little from the round table and pretending to be respectful he solemnly said, “Song Da Xiaojie, please sit down!”
Song Yuzhi glowered at him angrily. She sat down, and said with a tight face, “Speak up!”
With his left hand grabbing the arm of his chair and his right hand holding on to the back of the chair, Kou Zhong leaned over and put his mouth close to Song Yuzhi’s jade-like sparkling and translucent, emitting whiffs of fragrance, small ear, and sighed in admiration, “Smells really good!” He also made a show of sniffing around and putting an act of a playboy.
Song Yuzhi struggled hard to maintain her wooden expression. Knitting her jet-black eyebrows, she said, “Would you mind moving a bit far way?”
Kou Zhong laughed aloud. Suddenly he straightened up his tiger body, walked around the table, and sat down pompously. His eyes flickered with mysterious flashes as he stared deeply into Song Yuzhi’s beautiful bright eyes. Just as suddenly he sighed and said, “Looks really good!”
Displeased, Song Yuzhi said, “What nonsense are you babbling about?”
Kou Zhong showed a brilliant smile, revealing a row of shining white teeth, and then he seriously said, “The number of women who are worthy to earn my, Kou Zhong’s praise is really not many, and Miss Song is definitely at the top of the list. Just now Xiaodi was enjoying Miss Song’s graceful figure and your touching dainty steps from the back, already my heart and soul were intoxicated, and I am sure that I will never forget it as long as I live.”
Song Yuzhi was wondering in her heart why she did not stop this kid from speaking such frivolous words, even more so, why didn’t she feel the slightest bit of anger? While averting his burning hot gaze, which was able to penetrate her heart, she lowered her head and said, “If you continue speaking that kind of frivolous thing, I won’t speak with you.”
Kou Zhong laughed aloud and said, “Men and women pleasing each other is the great unifying factor in human relationship. As long as we are sincere an in a good faith, how could you call it frivolous?”
Song Yuzhi sighed and finally met his eyes. Shaking her head, she said, “Kou Zhong, if you are thinking of playing a trick on me, Song Yuzhi, it will be useless. First of all, I will never be fond of you. Second, I always think that you are the kind of person who loves to speak flowery words to coax us, womenfolk. Third …”
Kou Zhong smiled and said, “Isn’t it true that your Die has already given your hands in marriage, that you already have a future husband?”
Song Yuzhi’s tender body trembled slightly; hanging down her tiny head, she nodded and said, “It’s good that you can guess that!”
Kou Zhong mused how could he not guess? Such a high-class family and powerful clan like the Song Clan, especially the Clan Leader ‘Heavenly Saber’ Song Que’s beloved daughter, her marriage option was naturally strictly limited to families that were well matched in terms of social status. Men could take concubines based on personal preferences, but women did not have this kind of liberty; they could only depend on their family to make the arrangement, to be matched with appointed men.
Kou Zhong shrugged his shoulders with confidence and at ease as he said nonchalantly, “Difference in social status is one thing, how much Miss dislikes me is another thing. But for me, whatever I feel in my heart, I will only feel comfortable if I speak it up.”
Heaving a deep sigh, he turned his gaze to the window, toward the garden outside the pavilion resplendent under the brilliant sunshine. Shaking his head with a wry smile, he said, “Ever since that day in Xingyang city, at the small alley outside Shen Luoyan’s residence wrestling with Miss and hugging and having close personal contact, I …”
Greatly embarrassed, Song Yuzhi cut him off, “I forbid you to mention that matter, from now on you must not mention it to any other people, especially Xu Ziling.”
Kou Zhong broke into giggle, “Forgive me,” he said, “I already could not bear not to tell him. If I kept it bottled inside of me, I would burst to die, ha ha!”
Song Yuzhi was greatly angered, “You, this kid, will never be serious. It is clear to me that you are teasing me again. What I hate the most is people like you.”
Kou Zhong spread out his hands, “Miss, calm down!” he said, “After all, I, Kou Zhong, have a little bit of self-realization. I clearly know that Miss can’t possibly look up to a man with a humble origin like myself. Right now Miss is willing to listen to me unloading what’s in my mind, Kou Zhong’s appreciation is indeed not shallow. From now on I will not mention that matter!”
Song Yuzhi shook her head in distress and cast him a hateful stare. She hated him for being frivolous, but she was also afraid that from now on he would be heartless. The contradiction in her heart was really distressing.
Ever since she was little, her dream mate was a man of noble birth, erudite and multi-talented, cultured and refined, charming and handsome.
The one in front of her was wild from head to toes, a playboy loved to seduce women of good family. Hence, he should be a man she loathed the most. Yet he had created in her an unprecedented stimulation, and deep down in her heart she was wishing that he would continue talking to her like that.
It was not to say that she had fallen in love with him, rather, that kind of stimulation had made her forget the load of her mind and made her wish to continue listening to his bullshit.
Kou Zhong sprawled himself comfortably in the chair, after stretching out, he said in gentle voice, “After we part this time, I don’t know whether there will be a day we will meet again, but I know that for the rest of my life, I will never forget Yuzhi’s demeanor when you are happy and when you are angry.”
Slightly cross, Song Yuzhi said, “I forbid you to call my name, you and I don’t have that kind of relationship yet.”
With a hint of smile on his face, Kou Zhong looked at her straight in the eye and said, “Very well! I respect Miss Song’s view. Let us talk about Zhuhua Bang’s affair now!”
Song Yuzhi fought hard to suppress the disappointment that arose suddenly in her heart; she said with a wooden face, “You’d better not get involved in my Song family and Zhuhua Bang’s affair. My Song family won’t make any business deal with you even more.”
Kou Zhong straightened up his body; without the slightest care in the world he smiled and said, “Then there is no point in any negotiation. Whether in the future your Song family and I will become friends or foes, let Laotianye decides.”
Turning around, he was about to walk away when Song Yuzhi suddenly stood up and shouted with her tender voice, “Kou Zhong, don’t you dare walking away from me!”
Kou Zhong leisurely walked around to Song Yuzhi’s back, put his face close to her brimming-with-energy beautiful face, breathing his warm breath next to her completely-without-blemish skin, and said softly, “Miss Song, what instruction are you going to bestow to me?”
Song Yuzhi’s breathing quickened; her breasts were heaving up and down in an unprecedented rate. Suddenly she turned around and fast as lightning her jade palm pressed on Kou Zhong’s broad chest, and she said with hatred, “I want to kill you!”
Kou Zhong opened up both arms and with smile across his whole face he said, “Be my guest!”
Song Yuzhi’s pretty face alternated between light and dark, at first the beautiful pupil of her eyes was suffused with profound murderous aura, but just as sudden the murderous aura was replaced by a complex emotion.
From her jade palm she could feel Kou Zhong’s heartbeat, and every single beat brought her unparalleled shock.
In a flash she recovered her cold demeanor. Sending out a burst of force she pushed Kou Zhong away that he staggered three steps back, and then she said emotionlessly, “What do you have in mind?”
A deep, unfathomable smile appeared on Kou Zhong’s face; turning around, he walked over toward a large window. Standing proudly like a mountain, he looked outside the window, put his hands behind his back and said, “When the world is in chaos, heroes appear. Take your Song family for example, before your ancestors established the Song Clan, weren’t they the same as Kou Zhong, people who don’t have anything at all? In time of rapid changes like this, anybody could become a duke, marquis, general or prime minister, even an emperor who unifies the world [tian xia].”
Song Yuzhi detected the heroic, proud and strong aura in the tone of Kou Zhong’s voice; momentarily she was stunned speechless.
Kou Zhong took a deep breath and said, “Supposing I killed the ‘Green Dragon’ [see Book 7 Chapter 3] Ren Shaoming, how would Miss repay me?”
Song Yuzhi was speechless for half a day. She left her seat and walked over until she was about five chi from his back. Shaking her head, she said with a sigh, “You are either excessively overestimating yourself, or you are underestimating Ren Shaoming too much. Do you think Ren Shaoming is of the same level as Zuo Qiubi, Luo Xian, and the others? In Jiangnan, Ren Shaoming and Lin Shihong are equally famous. Other than my Die, nobody dares to think that he is better than him. Not to mention Tieqi Hui’s men are strong their horses robust. Merely his subordinates, Evil Monk and Amorous Nun, two great martial art masters, who both are in charge of their two factions, I am afraid the two of you will have trouble to deal with.”
After smiling wryly, she added, “Much less presently everybody in Jianghu wants to capture you; the two of you are in an extremely difficult situation. Will you have time to mind other people’s business?”
Letting out a cold humph, Kou Zhong said, “Future fact will authenticate what I, Kou Zhong, say today. Right now I just want to ask Miss Song: supposing I can kill the thorn in your Song family’s side, will you, Song Clan, be willing to support Gui Xiliang, the beloved disciple of the late Bangzhu, to inherit the Bangzhu position?”
Staring blankly at him, Song Yuzhi said, “You have such a grand ambition.”
“Without ambition, how can you accomplish great things?” Kou Zhong loftily said, “As long as Miss Song provides intelligence on that Ren Shaoming’s movements, I, Kou Zhong can guarantee that his little life will be difficult to protect.”
Against her will Song Yuzhi took two steps forward to his left side; after scrutinizing his silhouette, which was brimming with masculine charisma, she said in heavy voice, “If you knew that we have sent three different teams to assassinate Ren Shaoming, all three times we suffered the misfortune of having our entire troops failed miserably, would you even consider another near-suicide plan like that?”
Like a twister Kou Zhong spun around so that he came face to face with Song Yuzhi, who was only about a cun shorter than he was, and the distance between them was less than three cun. His tiger eyes shone with a very strong confidence while his voice was full of fighting spirit, “Those who can achieve extraordinary great undertaking must achieve extraordinary matters first. What we, two brothers, lack right now is a great battle which will cause sensation in Wulin. This deficiency will be rectified by Ren Shaoming first. Even if you are unwilling to make a deal, this matter is still absolutely necessary. Besides, even if we do not make any move, do you think Ren Shaoming will still let us off?”
Chapter 6 - Part 2
Song Yuzhi’s blank expression immediately disappeared, her beautiful eyes were glistening as she locked gaze with Kou Zhong’s eyes. She said in heavy tone, “Although we have considerable influence toward the Zhuhua Bang, we may not necessarily be able to influence the candidates of Bangzhu election.”
“Don’t lie to me,” Kou Zhong said, “If Zhuhua Bang loses the Song Clan’s support today, it will collapse tomorrow. If I killed Ren Shaoming, you guys will support Gui Xiliang to be the Gang Leader. The first order of business is to delay the General Assembly of the Bamboo Forest. In this short period of time, I will rely on you to do your magic.”
Song Yuzhi said in distress, “You are too overbearing and love to force others to do your bidding.”
After looking deep into her eyes for a moment, Kou Zhong said, “I am leaving now. Miss Song, please think about it! Anytime Miss Song sends us intelligence about Ren Shaoming, we’ll carry out the transaction.”
Song Yuzhi recovered her calm-demeanor completely; not letting the proximity between them, so close that they could smell each other’s breath, bothered her, she looked back into his eyes and said, “Don’t you still have the ‘Duke Yang’s Treasure’ thing to tell me about?”
Kou Zhong smiled and said, “Please tell your esteemed father, if he is willing to give his beloved daughter in marriage to me, Kou Zhong, the ‘Duke Yang’s Treasure’ will be my, Kou Zhong’s betrothal gift to offer to him. If your esteemed father could accept Gui Xiliang as his disciple, that will be even more ideal. Yuzhi ought to understand my meaning!”
With a loud laughter he simply walked away, leaving Song Yuzhi whose thought was in a whirl.
Four mule carts were tied together. Driving the cart at the head of the train were Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling. Gui Xiliang and Xing Rong urged their horses to send them off out of the city.
The city defense was strengthened substantially, the Zhuhua Bang men joined hands with the citizens of the city, working hard together to set up fortifications.
Kou Zhong turned toward Gui Xiliang and said with a laugh, “Kid, you need to work a bit harder, and then your brother, me, will help you to attain the Bangzhu position.”
Gui Xiliang was greatly shocked, “What nonsense are you talking about?” he said.
“Nonsense?” Kou Zhong sneered, “This is more real than a piece of pearl. With me and Xiao Ling supporting you, plus the Song Clan behind you, your chance of becoming the Bangzhu is greater than anybody else’s.”
Xing Rong, who was riding on the other side, was so shocked that his face turned green and his lips paled, “Are you going to kill us? How could Shao Junshi let Xiliang become the Bangzhu?” he asked.
Xu Ziling remained silent, but from his expression, it was clear that he resented Kou Zhong’s remark.
Kou Zhong calmly said, “We are all brothers, how could I harm you? The fact will prove everything. Go back now!”
Lashing the whip down, he drove the mule train faster passing through the city gate and into the dusty road outside.
Kou Zhong cast a glance toward Xu Ziling. He sighed and said, “Xiao Ling, just consider it I am asking for your help, all right? Don’t give me that kind of look, you made my heart feel so uneasy.”
Xu Ziling smiled wryly and said, “What did you talk about with Song Yuzhi? You made us waiting anxiously for more than half a sichen.”
“Naturally talking about the conditions of our business deal,” Kou Zhong nonchalantly replied, “But in passing I was also teasing her, to see whether she would refuse or welcome my advance with her alluring seductive appearance. Don’t you think she is alluring?”
Xu Ziling let out a subdued snort and said, “I don’t care how alluring she is, it’s no use. Because what you are looking for is not her as a person, but her Song family’s tremendous power. If you obtain the Song Clan’s support, you would obtain power over half of the south. Now I am convinced that in order for you to win over the world, you will do anything, by hook or by crook.”
Kou Zhong said exasperatedly, “Xiao Ling, not again! To tell you the truth, I really have adoring thought toward her. But I realized it’s just a delusion. Because she has been betrothed early on. Ay! Right now my great undertaking is just getting started, your support is very critical for me. Besides, don’t you forget that if we do not expand our power, sooner or later we will be slaughtered by either your precious Princess or Li Mi.”
Xu Ziling’s heart softened. He heaved a sigh, and no longer said anything.
By the time the sun set over the western hills, the jungle where Duan Yucheng and the others, along with their salt, were hidden appeared on the horizon.
The surging water of the Yangtze River outside the jungle looked spectacular under the glow of the setting sun.
Kou Zhong let out the secret signal. But after waiting for half a day, they still did not see Duan Yucheng and the others coming out of their hiding to meet them.
The two boys exchanged glances, both felt something was not right.
They jumped down the cart, untied the mules from the carts, and let them rest and eat some grass. And then side by side they walked down the hillside toward the jungle.
Kou Zhong said in a low voice, “If something is wrong, we’ll flee toward the river and regroup. Do you think it could be Ren Shaoming’s men?”
“I don’t know!” Xu Ziling replied.
Fully alert, the two boys entered the jungle. They crept toward the place where they hid the salt, while sending their qi toward their feet and eyes, to see whether there were any traps around.
When they reached the clearing in front of the place where they hid their salt, the two boys could only stare blankly with mouth agape. Because they saw Duan Yucheng and the others, four men, were tied with their arms behind their back and the rope looped around their necks. Even their mouths were stuffed that they could not speak. And they were placed on top of the salt sacks that were piled up into a small hill.
A cold snort came from behind them.
The two boys turned around in shock, only to see Fu Junyu standing enchantingly behind the two boys. Her face was as cold as ice and snow while her pretty eyes shot incomparable hatred toward them.
A warning signal went off in their hearts.
The two boys turned their eyes toward the pile of salt again, and saw a handsome, dignified Ba Fenghan, whose entire being exuded some kind of cold blade aura, was sitting leisurely at the edge of the salt hill, and was looking at them up and down, with a hint of smile at the corner of his mouth.
The two boys’ scalp went numb, while in their heart they groaned incessantly.
Any one of these two adversaries would give the two boys a very hard time to deal with, and now both of them were here and worse yet, they seemed to work together.
Acting as if he was ready to destroy them, Ba Fenghan calmly and leisurely said, “Kou Xiong, Xu Xiong are now renowned figures. Early on Zaixia [lit. under, myself (humble)] had a mind to make friends with you. It’s a pity that you have provoked Junyu, so that even Zaixia is in an extremely difficult position.”
After a short pause, he went on, “If you are willing to fight one-on-one with Junyu, life or death will depend on your real skill, Zaixia can promise not to interfere. I wonder what the two brothers think?”
Kou Zhong and Xu Xiling exchanged some glances. Suddenly they roared in laughter together.
Their laughter was filled with strong fighting spirit.
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