Chapter 25: Gift
Translator: Sparrow Translations Editor: Sparrow Translations
"Sir, you must be joking ..."
Fang Yuan shook his head: "There will always be people who are unsatisfied when it comes to dividing benefits in such a big family!"
"The words of the master are indeed wise!"
Zhou Tong was surprised that Fang Yuan was very experienced and could clearly see the ways of the world. He was wise beyond his age.
"I am afraid that this is not the reason you find me for?"
Fang Yuan blew the steam off the teacup. He looked at Zhou Tong and grimaced.
"I would not hide the truth from you!"
Zhou Tong appeared to have nothing to hide: "I am preparing to return to Qingye City today."
"Oh? Why is that so?
While Fang Yuan did have his suspicion, he did not let on what he thought.
"I received the news this morning that something big happened in Qingye City... Elder Song's beloved son, Song Yujie, as well as a servant, were murdered in the city. That vicious person even set the house on fire!"
Fang Yuan pretended to be surprised: "Who would be so vicious?"
"I am not sure as well. Elder Song is going crazy with the loss of his only son. The whole city is in a state of unrest..."
Zhou Tong shook his head. Fang Yuan's acting was too good and Zhou Tong did not have any reason to suspect him. Little did Zhou Tong know that the vicious murder was just sitting opposite him.
Fang Yuan could tell that Zhou Tong was secretly rejoicing. Zhou Tong and Song Zhong were from different factions in the sect and Zhou Tong was happy over Song Zhong's misfortune.
"If that is the case, I will not disturb you any further!"
Fang Yuan smiled as he lifted up the teacup.
Zhou Tong was embarrassed. He had been dismissed but he continued to stay. It was indeed awkward.
He had no choice as he had a favour to ask of Fang Yuan.
Zhou Tong took a look around before he kneeled down and kowtowed: "I will always be grateful to you for saving my life. However, I have a favour to ask you and hope that you would not decline"
"Since you are so bold to ask for a favour, there is no need to explain further!"
Fang Yuan took a sip of tea, almost as if to aggravate Zhou Tong and drive him to his grave.
Zhou Tong could see that while Fang Yuan was highly skilled and could work wonders, he was extremely apathetic.
However, Zhou Tong had no choice but to ask for his help.
Song Zhong had become totally crazy after the loss of his son!
Zhou Tong was afraid that if he was alone, he might be hurt or even killed!
Song Zhong and he were of the same sect, they belonged to conflicting factions. While they never had a fallout, he was afraid that Song Zhong would be irrational and hurt him.
Fang Yuan's reaction, while overboard, was within Zhou Tong's expectation. After all, he was not related to Zhou Tong and even saved his life. There was no reason for him to continue helping Zhou Tong.
Zhou Tong took a deep breath and revealed his trump card: "I heard that you are interested in martial arts? You previously traded Red Mountain Ginseng for 3 martial arts manuals? Would it not be better for me to be here to help you with the manuals?"
Fang Yuan's interest was piqued after hearing that from Zhou Tong. He helped Zhou Tong up with his left hand and said: "We can talk after you stand up!"
Zhou Tong could not help but felt astonished as he felt a surge of power which caused him to stand in spite of himself.
Zhou Tong was a highly-skilled martial artist who had surpassed the level of [Martial Artist (5th Gate)]. He was a deacon of the Spirit Returning Sect. In order to reach that position, he possessed a high level of martial arts skills. His skills were hardly affected despite him being unwell.
In spite of this, Zhou Tong was unable to resist when Fang Yuan single-handedly forced him to stand. It was clear that Fang Yuan was highly skilled as well.
"I am definitely interested in some high-level martial arts that are able to enhance and improve myself!"
Fang Yuan answered without hesitation.
Furthermore, in order to overcome the Pain Gate in the future, he must possess a higher level of martial arts.
"However, I will have to politely decline if you want to give me the manuals of the Spirit returning Sect. Not everyone will dare to cross the Spirit Returning Sect and be hunted by them incessantly!"
Fang Yuan smiled.
"How is that possible? I will not do something that will hurt others and myself even if I have more courage!"
Zhou Tong drew out a manual: "It was by chance that I come across Iron Skin when I was young and I never came to regret it. This technique can be combined with the Eagle Claw Technique to become the Eagle Claw Iron Skin Technique. Yu Qiuleng is very proficient in the Cold Iron Eagle and is famous within the inner circle..."
"Oh, I see!"
Fang Yuan nodded his head. He remembered the martial artist that accompanied Lin Yuanwai during the withdrawal of the marriage. He now realised that the martial artist surpassed Zhou Tong in every aspect, be it rank or skills.
The Eagle Claw Technique was more well-known than the Black Sand Palm Technique with more divergence of practices.
For example, using the Iron Skin's defence as the focus in the Eagle Claw Iron Skin Technique or using the offensive ability of the skill, could greatly enhance the Eagle Claw Technique and even techniques such as the Fiery Claw, and the Icy Eagle Claw. Even the original creator would be confused with the countless variation of the practices.
'The Eagle Claw Iron Skin Technique was like the Rough Breathing Technique which focused on defence. With the offensive capabilities of the Eagle Claw, the technique was all-rounded.'
Fang Yuan was satisfied.
While the Eagle Claw Iron Skin Technique appeared to be commonplace, only those who had undergone many trials were qualified to train within the sects.
Fang Yuan hesitated for a while. He made no attempt to take the manual and instead, glanced at Zhou Tong: "Those who present gifts have things to request, what is your request?"
Zhou Tong was momentarily embarrassed. He said, "I owe you a big favour, and will willingly climb a mountain of blades or cross a sea of flames without batting an eyelid. The manual is nothing compared it. It is just that the world is cruel and deceitful and as such, I can only be shameless and make a request..."
He asked heavily, "What do you think of my youngest daughter, Wenxin?"
Fang Yuan rolled his eyes as he thought that Zhou Tong was offering his daughter as a way to entice him.
He was speechless for a while before he came to a revelation.
Zhou Tong relaxed his tone, "Truth to be told, my youngest daughter is very stubborn and I am unable to discipline her. Why not you accept my youngest daughter as a disciple?"
Fang Yuan immediately shook his head, "How is that possible? To be the master of your beloved daughter? It would be better to find someone else."
He did not want to put up with a troublemaker. At the same time, he admired Zhou Tong's cheek to make such a request. He was indeed unparalleled.
Furthermore, Wenxin might just be older than him.
"Will you not consider it?"
Zhou Tong was slightly disappointed.
Having Fang Yuan as the master of his child was his brainchild after a long night of thinking.
This was a plan with many benefits. Firstly, he would be able to entice such a mysterious and "abled" person. Secondly, his daughter would be protected. Furthermore, regardless of Fang Yuan's martial art ability or other skills, as long as he was able to learn medicine from Fang Yuan, he would be very much settled in his pursuit.
No matter how much he planned and calculated, he was unable to calculate that his daughter and Fang Yuan had crossed path before.
"I never had any thoughts of having a disciple before. I think it is better for you to take back the gift!"
Fang Yuan pushed the manual away from him.
Even though she would look pretty after dressing up and she had no choice but to follow his orders as she was the disciple, he did not want the lady to cause trouble by his side.
"Sigh, my daughter is indeed unfortunate! However, please keep this manual. If not, I would really be shameless... …"
Zhou Tong let out a long sigh.
"In any case, thank you very much..."
Fang Yuan was interested in the manual. Furthermore, he had saved the life of Zhou Tong. It was only right that he received the gift. As such, under Zhou Tong's insistence, he accepted the manual.
However, never could he had imagined that Zhou Tong had little morals!
Zhou Tong smiled and looked at the surroundings after Fang Yuan accepted the manual, "You live alone in the deep mountain with no one around. Let me present you a servant to take care of you!"
"That will not be necessary?"
Fang Yuan rejected. He had too many secrets which might be leaked out quickly should there be another person in the deep valley with him.
He should protect the secrets that need to be kept while he still had the power to guard those secrets.
"It is settled!"
Zhou Tong waved his hand and said, "This is all according to your uncle's wishes. Don't worry, I have disciplined the servant. It is okay to scold or even hit her!"
He immediately stood up and walked out of the valet as if he was afraid that Fang Yuan would reject his arrangement.
Fang Yuan realised that there was a large group of people waiting outside. They appeared to be ready to move anytime.
"I will now take my leave!"
Zhou Tong saluted respectfully. Majority of the Zhou Family followed Zhou Tong and left.
"Sigh…. Virtuous nephew..."
Lin Benchu was the last to leave. He looked at Fang Yuan with regret and said, "Other than Leiyue, I have a few daughters… what a shame…"
Fang Yuan was confused. He soon realized that a delicate figure was left behind after most of the people had left.
He looked over and saw Zhou Wenxin with red puffy eyes as if she had just cried. She appeared to be full of grievance.
Zhou Wenxin looked as if she was ready to cry. She curtsied, "I…. I have met you before!"
Fang Yuan was shocked as he realized Zhou Tong's plan. He understood the reason behind why Lin Yuanwai gave him such as look before leaving.
Zhou Tong did not manage to entice Fang Yuan to make Wenxin his disciple. As such, he forced Wenxin onto Fang Yuan by giving her to Fang Yuan as a servant.
Looking at Wenxin who was full of grief, Fang Yuan struggled as he did not know what to do.