C44 – Chromotropia
In front of them, Zuo Shaoyan and Cao Zongguan were playing chess. The two of them were unable to match up against each other in a short period of time, so they temporarily forgot about Master Lu.
When they saw Zuo Shaoqing walk in together with Lu Zheng, they were so shocked that their jaws almost fell off. They didn’t know how Zuo Shaoqing, who had always been depressed, and Master Lu, who always had a cold face, got together.
However, when they saw Zuo Shaoqing cowering and chasing after Master Lu in panic, the two of them felt relieved at the same time.
Perhaps he had met her somewhere along the way, Zuo Shaoyan thought, then he stood up and bowed towards Lu Zheng with an apologetic expression, “Look at how we neglected this, we forgot the timing the moment we started playing chess. Has Master Lu seen Grandmaster Fang Shu?”
Lu Zheng’s gaze fell on the unfinished board. He nodded his head and sat in front of Zuo Shaoyan. He took out a chess piece from his chess box and placed it on the unfinished board.
Cao Zongguan’s expression tightened. He was a little surprised and a little happy, but he didn’t dare to say anything. He was seriously playing chess with Lu Zheng.
They didn’t care that Lu Zheng had just said last night that he wouldn’t play chess. He was the boss anyway. If he didn’t want to play with you, he didn’t even need to find an excuse.
Lu Zheng quickly broke the balance of the game. Zuo Shaoyan and Cao Zongguan’s game was stable and steady. With Lu Zheng’s interference, it was like inserting a sharp knife, quickly breaking Cao Zongguan’s defense.
Cao Zongguan’s eyebrows never relaxed. He sighed and cupped his hands towards Lu Zheng: “Master Lu, I lost tonight!”
Lu Zheng threw the chess piece back into the chess box and said coldly, “As long as the spear in your hand is sharp enough, any defense is useless!”
Cao Zongguan saluted once again and said with sincere admiration, “I’ve been taught a lesson late!”
Lu Zheng let him pack up the board and pointed at Zuo Shaoyan, “You do it!”
Zuo Shaoyan was full of fighting spirit. He sat down cross-legged and made a “please” gesture, signaling Blackie to go first.
Lu Zheng also did not shirk his responsibility, heavily knocking the board with a black piece in his hand. With Cao Zongguan’s previous example, Zuo Shaoyan changed his attitude from the very beginning and adopted an offensive strategy.
On the other hand, Lu Zheng continued to defend himself at a moderate pace. This made the two officials and his opponent a little confused. How did Master Lu show mercy just now with his unstoppable force?
However, Zuo Shaoyan’s attack also did not go as smoothly as expected. He was often suppressed by Lu Zheng the moment he appeared and had to surrender in the end.
Lu Zheng took the teacup that Zuo Shaoqing handed to him and drank a mouthful. He lectured him rudely, “Don’t try to stick your neck out if your spear is not sharp enough. Otherwise, you’ll only end up being surrounded and killed.”
Zuo Shaoqing snickered in his heart. This Lu Zheng really didn’t leave any face for others. He was just short of directly saying: “Greed your way through. You deserve it!”
However, being overjoyed could easily lead to sorrow. Zuo Shaoqing looked at the finger pointing at him and blinked, “Me?”
“What is it? You don’t dare?”
Don’t dare to? How is this possible? Zuo Shaoqing followed suit and sat opposite Lu Zheng. Looking at the clean chessboard, he took a deep breath and then took Bai Zi first.
It was very painful to play chess with Lu Zheng because you could never predict what his next move would be. Zuo Shaoqing thought, no wonder this man could force Beidi out of Great Yang. This kind of secretive strategy was really hard to guard against.
Zuo Shaoqing knew that losing was inevitable. He just wanted to lose a little bit better. He had also studied chess and chess for a while. When he was bored to the extreme, he even used his left and right hand to spend the tough days.
At first, Zuo Shaoqing didn’t decide whether to attack or defend. He followed Lu Zheng’s pace and gradually changed his route. Although it was a little suspicious that he would follow the trend, at least he wouldn’t end up in the dark.
By the time he admitted defeat at chess, the sky had already darkened. He had persisted under Lu Zheng for the longest time. Even Lu Zheng did not hesitate to reward him with two words: “Not bad.”
Zuo Shaoyan and Cao Zongguan looked at him with a different expression. The former was very sure that before this, Zuo Shaoqing did not have any outstanding chess skills. Could it be that he had been concealing himself all the time?
The latter thought to himself: No wonder everyone said that Zuo Family was a scholarly family, even an unremarkable bastard had used a good move. I presume Zuo Shaoqing would also have good results in this year’s country level exam, if he could get Master Lu’s green eyes, then Zuo Family would have a good chance of returning.
Zuo Shaoqing did not ignore the probing and the profoundness in Zuo Shaoyan’s eyes, but he didn’t mind it at all. Once the results of the country level exam were made public, no matter how much he hid it would be in vain.
During this period, Zuo Shaoling came back once and saw a few grown men playing chess. After watching for a while, he yawned out of boredom and went to look for entertainment.
Seeing that it was already late, Lu Zheng decided to stay at the Western Zen Temple. He sent a servant to report back to Zuo’s Mansion, but Zuo Shaoqing was concerned about the store and its business, and wished he could rush back overnight.
After sitting for too long, Zuo Shaoqing finally realized how bloated his stomach was. He apologized and went out to use the toilet. When he went around to the backyard, he heard a few weird noises coming from the bamboo forest on his left.
He walked over with light footsteps. The voice was sometimes high and sometimes low, sometimes slow and sometimes hurried. It was so familiar that it made one blush.
If he didn’t know that Liu Xi was the only woman in the temple today, Zuo Shaoqing wouldn’t have believed that the two of them would dare to commit sacrilege in the back mountain of the temple in broad daylight.
He thought Zuo Shaoling would at least take the people back and settle them before making a move. He didn’t expect that he overestimated Zuo Shaoling’s mental fortitude.
Zuo Shaoqing couldn’t tell what he was feeling. He felt somewhat relieved and a little absent-minded. He stopped and looked at the corner of his clothes that was exposed from behind a rock not far away. His expression changed unpredictably.
He leaned against a tree trunk, closed his eyes, and listened to the sounds of laughter and panting coming from behind the rocks. His eyes gradually turned cold, but he did not regret it.
There were many students in the academy who liked to roam the brothels. Occasionally, when they were free, they would chat about the various matters on the Wind and Moon Arena.
In his previous life, he had only heard of Liu’er by chance. At that time, a classmate of his in the academy had suddenly dropped out of school. Rumor had it that his classmate had contracted an incurable disease and had been forced to drop out to seek a famous doctor.
It was said that his classmate caught this incurable disease on West Street. At that time, he was very curious, after all, Zuo Shaoling was a frequent visitor on West Street, but he didn’t get any disease.
Later on, someone secretly told him that this so-called incurable disease was actually Flowery Willow Disease. It was passed on to him by dancer, and that dancer was Liu Xi, commonly known as Liu’er.
Looking at the time, wasn’t this exactly the time?
He comforted himself with the fact that he had only arranged an ordinary encounter. On the way here, many people had seen Liu Xi, but Zuo Shaoling was the only one who was lustful. How could he not be surprised?
Zuo Shaoqing didn’t know that because he had schemed against Zuo Shaoling, the sickly student in his previous life had managed to escape calamity. It could be said that he had indirectly saved a person’s life.
The breathing behind the rock gradually calmed down, Zuo Shaoqing listened to the conversation behind him.
“Master, please accept this servant… Your servant is already yours, you can’t just abandon me…”
“You bitch, don’t take me for a fool… I thought she was a filial daughter of a good family, but I didn’t expect her to be such a bitch!”
“Ah… This lord has misunderstood this one. This one died too early…”
“So you came out here just to hook up with me? I didn’t expect to meet a charming widow… Serve this lord well, this lord will be at ease with anything…”
The corner of Zuo Shaoqing’s mouth hooked up. He didn’t want to continue listening and turned around to leave.