Chapter 11: Chief Steward Li Xian
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Since the moment they entered the earthly dining booth at Yunxuan Restaurant, the three Zhong siblings had taken turns provoking Zhou Donghuang. Every word and sentence from them emphasized the difficulties he was facing.
At first, Zhou Donghuang thought that the three of them were shooting off their mouths.
But now that he knew Qin Fei was the one treating them to the meal, he could guess with certainty that Qin Fei had deliberately brought Xiaoyu along to witness his humiliation.
His motive was obvious.
It was surely to belittle him and diminish her impression of him, in the hope that she would not stick as close to him as before.
Because Qin Fei had eyes on Xiaoyu.
It was a man’s possessiveness that made Qin Fei refuse to accept that Xiaoyu could be close to another man.
Because of this, Zhou Donghuang had naturally become a thorn on Qin Fei’s side.
Upon realizing this, Zhou Donghuang laughed in his heart.
Still just a... little fart who has not grown up.
It was as though Zhou Donghuang had forgotten that he was only sixteen years old, and Qin Fei was a year older than him.
“Brother Donghuang, we have always heard that you are unable to manifest your qi... how did you maim Wang Feng? You must know that Wang Feng’s ability is comparable to mine and Zhong Gang’s,” Qin Fei asked curiously, looking at Zhou Donghuang.
At Qin Fei’s question, not just the three siblings Zhong Gang, Zhong Yi and Zhong Xiu, but also Qin Xiaoyu, turned curiously to look at Zhou Donghuang.
They were all evidently curious about this.
The fact that Zhou Donghuang was a martial invalid who could not manifest his qi was no secret in the whole of Qingshan Town.
“Although I have no qi, I still have brute strength,” Zhou Donghuang said as he helped himself to the dishes on the table. Till now, he had not so much as glanced at Qin Fei.
Qin Fei’s face sank a little at Zhou Donghuang’s perfunctory reply, although he still managed to force a smile. “From what I know, Wang Feng has manifested his qi at a reasonable standard and should have at least a few hundred jin of force... even if Wang Feng had been careless, mere brute strength should not have been enough to force his arm into a knot, should it?”
“That can only be because his arm was too weak and fragile,” Zhou Donghuang said.
“Zhou Donghuang, the reason that you could have such brute strength is that Guild Master Lin Lan has searched everywhere for some rare and exotic supplements to increase your physical strength, am I right?”
Zhong Yi gave Zhou Donghuang a profound look. “If that’s not the case, you could not possibly have such brute strength!”
Zhong Xiu snorted in derision and added, “No wonder Chen Dandan betrayed Guild Master Lin Lan, she showed such favoritism...”
Zhong Xiu stopped in the middle of her sentence and shut her mouth because Zhou Donghuang had stopped helping himself to the food and was glaring at her icily.
Zhou Donghuang’s icy glare exerted a great unseen wave of pressure on her, robbing her of the courage to continue.
“Mention Chen Dandan again, and I won’t mind... tying your arm in a knot too!”
Zhou Donghuang grinned slowly, revealing two rows of gleaming white teeth. His icy voice seemed to bring the temperature in the booth down by several degrees in that instant.
“Zhou Donghuang! You’ve gone too far!”
Seeing Zhou Donghuang threaten their sister, both Zhong Gang and Zhong Yi stood up in an instant, staring daggers at Zhou Donghuang.
However, Zhou Donghuang did not even spare either of them a glance and continued eating as though they did not even exist.
This only made them both even angrier!
“Everybody, please sit down... we don’t meet up often, why make it so tense? Zhong Xiu, you are at fault. Chen Dandan is an ingrate and is no better than a rat on the street. She is the object of everyone’s ire. How could you stick up for her?”
Once again, Qin Fei played the peacemaker and at the same time sent a strong hint to Zhong Gang and Zhong Yi. Both of them resumed their seats reluctantly.
“Xiaoyu, am I not correct?” Qin Fei followed up immediately with a smile.
“Big Brother Qin Fei is correct; Chen Dandan is truly an ingrate, just like a rat on the street!”
Qin Xiaoyu nodded diligently and thanked Qin Fei softly while giving him a grateful look.
“Big Brother Qin Fei, thank you for getting Big Brother Donghuang out of that difficult situation.”
“Xiaoyu is too courteous, your friends are also my friends,” Qin Fei replied softly, but joy blossomed in his heart.
This was exactly what he wanted. Otherwise, why would he have saved Zhou Donghuang from embarrassment?
Anyway, he still felt that Zhou Donghuang had been able to maim Wang Feng because Wang Feng had been careless. Zhong Gang and Zhong Yi together were more than he could handle, and he could not imagine that Zhou Donghuang would be a match for them.
The discreet exchange between Qin Xiaoyu and Qin Fei, although soft, was still clearly audible to Zhou Donghuang.
The Way of the Supreme Four Divisions which he had been practicing was an extremely potent technique, and aside from raising his physical level, it was also capable of heightening his senses.
Although he had not yet attained level-one of the gathered qi, his hearing had been greatly enhanced.
What a hypocrite! Zhou Donghuang cursed in his heart.
It was obvious that Qin Fei was trying to court Qin Xiaoyu’s favor.
The atmosphere in the booth calmed down once more.
In the end, it was Qin Fei who broke the silence and asked Zhou Donghuang, “Frankly speaking ... the troubles faced by the Magnolia Guild, do you think they can be smoothly resolved this time?”
Zhou Donghuang gave a blank stare, followed by a smile. “I love speaking frankly.”
Then in front of Qin Fei and the others in the booth, Zhou Donghuang said as frankly as he could, “Whether or not the Magnolia Guild can resolve its problems, I really couldn’t care less about that. The only thing I care about is that my mother remains safe.”
Zhou Donghuang spoke the truth.
The stark truth of the matter was that the Magnolia Guild merely represented his mother working for the Lin family, and however much profit it made, nine-tenths would still go to the Lin family. The remaining tenth would belong to Lin Lan after much effort, and still, she would have to reinvest it into the guild to earn more money.
If more money was needed, they would even have to come up with ways to borrow money. It was fair to say that his mother had not had a day of good rest in recent years because of the Magnolia Guild.
In other words, only without the Magnolia Guild would his mother be able to rest.
“You don’t care? Who would believe that!” Zhong Xiu laughed in derision.
“Haha... this has got to be the best joke we have heard in our entire lives!” Zhong Yi guffawed.
“Zhou Donghuang, without the Magnolia Guild, you have no background whatsoever... now, based on your background with the Magnolia Guild, people greet you as Young Master Donghuang. Without the Magnolia Guild, you are nothing more than a martial invalid who cannot manifest his qi. Who will respect you?” Zhong Gang asked disdainfully.
“Why is it that no one believes anything of what I say?”
Zhou Donghuang shook his head and heaved a long sigh, seeming to be dejected for reasons only he knew.
“Brother Donghuang, I never before realized that you were so... humorous.”
Qin Fei played the peacemaker once again.
“What? You don’t believe me either?” Zhou Donghuang asked Qin Fei.
Qin Fei looked at Zhou Donghuang, then looked back again at Qin Xiaoyu and spread his palms helplessly, saying, “It’s not that I don’t believe your words, it’s just that what you’re saying is... quite unbelievable.”
“What if I told you... that even if that level-two adept of the gathered qi from the Wang family came personally to make trouble for me, I could kill him with a single blow,” Zhou Donghuang asked Qin Fei. “Would you believe me?”
Qin Fei was dumbstruck.
Qin Xiaoyu was stupefied.
The two servant girls beside the table were also stunned by Zhou Donghuang’s words.
The three Zhong siblings simultaneously broke into uncontrollable laughter. Their laughter flooded the entire booth and was so loud that even some of the lighter plates on the table started vibrating.
“Zhou Donghuang, I see that you are unable to accept the reality that the Magnolia Guild is about to fall. Have you gone insane?”
Zhong Xiu laughed till tears fell from her eyes.
“Zhou Donghuang, you really know how to exaggerate... Why don’t you simply say that you and Zhao San, the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant, are brothers, and you can eat here for free?”
Zhong Yi was rocking with laughter.
“Exactly! You can exaggerate, can’t you? Why don’t you exaggerate even more?” Zhong Gang echoed, looking at Zhou Donghuang as though he were a performing monkey.
“You’ve really hit the mark.”
Zhou Donghuang looked at Zhong Yi and said with all seriousness. “I really can eat here at Yunxuan Restaurant for free. However, the reason I can eat here for free is not because Zhao San and I are brothers, but because... I am the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant.”
Zhou Donghuang said this very solemnly and very earnestly.
The three Zhong siblings laughed even harder, and it seemed they would not be able to stop.
Zhao San was the wealthiest man in Qingshan Town and the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant. This truth was ironclad, but now Zhou Donghuang was saying that he was the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant?
What other jokes could beat this one?
“This Zhou Donghuang probably really has gone insane!”
When Qin Fei looked again at Zhou Donghuang, it was with a look of pure hatred.
“What? Qin Fei, you still don’t believe what I said?” Zhou Donghuang asked Qin Fei.
“Brother Donghuang, let’s stop here.”
Qin Fei shook his head, his voice losing its former warmth and becoming much colder. He could now not even be bothered to pander to Zhou Donghuang.
“Big Brother Donghuang...”
Qin Xiaoyu was looking worriedly at Zhou Donghuang, trying to figure out whether her Big Brother Donghuang was ill. Why else would he be spouting nonsense incessantly?
Although she was young, she knew that Zhou Donghuang was not being realistic, and what he said could not be true.
A sharp knock sounded from the door and caused the laughter of the three Zhong siblings in the booth to die down temporarily.
Qin Fei shouted in the direction of the door, “Come in!”
“Esteemed guests, your loudness is disturbing other guests... Could you please lower your volume?”
The door of the booth opened, and a middle-aged man with a beard like a mountain goat’s and eyes sparkling with intelligence walked in.
“Chief Steward Li Xian!”
Immediately upon seeing the middle-aged man, the three Zhong siblings jumped to their feet as though they had sat on a pin, and Qin Fei also stood up, tugging Xiaoyu to her feet.
The three Zhong siblings and Qin Fei all bowed and saluted him humbly and respectfully.
Although Li Xian was only a lowly steward, he was the Chief Steward of Yunxuan Restaurant, and was employed by Zhao San, the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant.
It was normal even for their elders to treat Li Xian respectfully.
Naturally, they would not dare to misbehave in front of Li Xian.
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