C22 – Saving One’s Life
Zuo Shaoqing observed Lu Zheng’s actions with a touch of anxiety. Witnessing Lu Zheng delve into his bag, Zuo Shaoqing retrieved the translucent pearl and tossed it over. “Consider this your reward.”
Detecting uncertainty in Zuo Shaoqing’s expression, Lu Zheng patiently clarified, “You can exchange this at any Great Yang bank for five hundred silver.”
Unsure whether this petite item held intrinsic value or if its worth stemmed from being Lu Zheng’s possession, Zuo Shaoqing understood that Lu Zheng was proactively compensating him, intending to provide two taels of silver.
Nonetheless, money wasn’t what Zuo Shaoqing sought. Saving an average person might warrant five hundred liang, but was the individual before him ordinary?
He promptly declined the item, asserting, “While I have some suspicions about your identity, I can’t be certain. I didn’t perform the rescue expecting any form of compensation.”
Zuo Shaoqing’s words rang with sincerity and conviction, stirring a heartfelt response in anyone else. Regrettably, the individual facing him was Lu Zheng, a man far removed from the realm of ordinary humans.
“Oh? Is that so?”
“Naturally, late… I was just curious, that’s why I touched the purse.”
Zuo Shaoqing had expected Lu Zheng to utter something else, but instead, those inscrutable eyes fixated on him, igniting a flutter in Zuo Shaoqing’s heart once more.
Lu Zheng tossed the pearl back into Zuo Shaoqing’s lap and slowly closed his eyes. His satchel bore a unique fragrance, discernible only to those with profound inner force skills. Therefore, he was confident this young man had once rifled through his bag.
As for why he had returned it, it was rather straightforward. One possibility was that he had discovered the contents were devoid of value and utility. The other possibility was that he had recognized Lu Zheng’s lineage and dared not withhold it.
If it had been the Mountain Barbarian Man, it might have been the former, but Zuo Shaoqing was a scholar, hailing from the esteemed Zuo Family. The likelihood of him not recognizing the Lu Family emblem was minuscule.
From this alone, Lu Zheng deduced that the young man before him wasn’t as honorable and magnanimous as he had presented himself.
Yet, what did it matter? Duan Ling Tian had, indisputably, saved his life, and offering some form of recompense was only natural. Lu Zheng only hoped the youth wouldn’t exhibit excessive greed, or he would soon realize that saving his life held little significance.
Witnessing Lu Zheng’s lack of anger further unsettled Zuo Shaoqing. It suggested that Lu Zheng didn’t take him seriously at all. Well, he truly wasn’t worthy of being the future Master Lu.
Nevertheless, it wouldn’t suffice to dismiss him with mere money. Settling the debt so effortlessly wasn’t feasible when Zuo Shaoqing had staked his entire future on Lu Zheng.
“Brother… Young Eunuch Lu, do you suspect the ulterior motives of this humble one?” Zuo Shaoqing deliberately altered his form of address for Ye Zichen. Less conversation was evidently better.
“Further talk is pointless. Just remember your words,” Lu Zheng replied, closing his eyes and ignoring Zuo Shaoqing.
Zuo Shaoqing arched an eyebrow, disregarding the warning. Someone like Lu Zheng might be ruthless, killing without hesitation, but he harbored an aversion to being indebted. Moreover, what he sought was a trifling matter for Lu Zheng, and he believed Lu Zheng wouldn’t be miserly.
Perhaps in the future, I can probe his limits. Zuo Shaoqing chuckled at his own musings, hoping fortune favored him.