Chapter 9: Lin Lan Returns
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Esteemed Master Zhou, this is Chief Steward Li. It is his duty to ensure that Yunxuan Restaurant operates smoothly... if Esteemed Master Zhou does not wish to personally oversee the running of Yunxuan Restaurant, you can delegate this duty to Chief Steward Li.”
Upon seeing that Zhou Donghuang had kept the title deed of Yunxuan Restaurant, Zhao San introduced the middle-aged man standing behind him.
“After I leave, he will remain at Yunxuan Restaurant and serve the Esteemed Master Zhou.”
“Chief Steward of Yunxuan Restaurant, Li Xian, here, acknowledging your presence, Young Master Zhou,” the middle-aged man said humbly as he saluted Zhou Donghuang.
Zhou Donghuang nodded mildly in acknowledgment and turned his gaze back to Zhao San.
“Will you be preparing to leave Qingshan Town and return to the Governor’s Household in the prefecture capital?”
Zhao San nodded, “It seems that you already know that I am of the Governor’s Household... you are correct, I set out today for the Governor’s Household in the prefecture capital.”
“If you ever have the time, you are welcome to see me in the Governor’s Household in the prefecture capital, and I will be delighted to entertain you,” Zhao San said with a slight smile.
“Moreover, as I have promised earlier... the money that I have loaned to the Magnolia Guild from this moment on belongs to the Esteemed Master Zhou,” Zhao San said with a glance at Granny Lian.
Following that, Zhao San and Zhou Donghuang chatted for a short while, but upon seeing that Zhou Donghuang had no interest in continuing their chat, he tactfully chose to leave with Li Xian.
Zhou Donghuang, under the dumbfounded gaze of Granny Lian, returned to his room to practice.
Young Master... is now the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant?
Granny Lian was still grappling with reality, and she felt as though she was dreaming. It all felt too surreal.
Outside the Magnolia Guild, Li Xian was walking behind Zhao San.
“Elder San, you gave Yunxuan Restaurant to him just like that? That is the most profitable business in Qingshan Town, and it rakes in money every day!”
Zhao San grunted in acknowledgment and nodded. “I will be returning to the prefecture capital soon, and keeping Yunxuan Restaurant will not benefit me. I owe him big time, and I consider giving Yunxuan Restaurant to him to be paying off this moral obligation.”
“Elder San, in the past, your support sustained Yunxuan Restaurant, and no one dared to attempt a takeover... now, with you gone and Yunxuan Restaurant in the hands of a new owner, I fear there will be many takeover attempts.”
Li Xian cast a probing gaze at Zhao San and asked, “If there really is a takeover attempt... when that happens, should I warn them that even though Elder San has left, he will still not stand for any takeover attempts?”
At Li Xian’s words, Zhao San stopped and looked back in the direction of the Magnolia Guild.
After that momentary halt, he looked away and said mildly, “Since I have already given Yunxuan Restaurant to him, whether or not he is able to hold on to it will depend entirely on how capable he is.”
Although one word from Zhao San would have been enough to forestall anyone who was planning a takeover attempt on Zhou Donghuang’s Yunxuan Restaurant, he would not say the word.
He felt that Zhou Donghuang, who had been able to cure his chronic ailment, was no ordinary person, despite rumors saying that Zhou Donghuang was unable to practice and was a martial invalid.
Would a martial invalid be able to maim Wang Feng, the grand master of the Wang family, and tie his arm into a knot?
Thinking back to the news he had heard about the events of that day, Zhao San was still rather startled.
Interesting fellow... I only hope that since you have accepted Yunxuan Restaurant, your performance will not disappoint me.
Of course, Zhao San said this in his heart and not out loud.
“Depending on how capable he is?” Li Xian’s eyes lit up suddenly at Zhao San’s reply, and a look of greed flickered across the depths of his eyes.
Zhao San obviously did not have eyes in the back of his head and noticed nothing.
Two days later.
Zhou Donghuang was awakened once again from his practice, but this time, it was because his mother Lin Lan had returned from the Lin family in the prefecture capital.
Lin Lan sought him out soon after returning.
“Mother, have you given the formula to the Lin family?”
Zhou Donghuang had a look of tenderness in his eyes as he looked at Lin Lan.
Although Lin Lan was only his adoptive mother, the love she had shown him was no less than his biological mother had. It was even more than most mothers showed their own biological children.
Lin Lan remained unmarried till this day because of him.
When he was young, he had overheard Granny Lian advice Lin Lan to find a good family to marry into, but Lin Lan had firmly rejected her advice.
Lin Lan’s exact words had been, “This life of mine has been saved by Donghuang’s father... In this lifetime, I will never let Donghuang suffer even the slightest wrong.”
Evidently, Lin Lan had felt that if she were to marry and bear children, she would have wronged Zhou Donghuang. Therefore, she had never considered marrying.
Even when Zhou Donghuang had grown up and matured, and he advised Lin Lan to marry, she had deflected the advice with a smile.
“I would.” Lin Lan smiled and gave a slight nod, but the look she gave Zhou Donghuang was conflicted.
Just now, upon her return, Granny Lian had apprised her of what had happened while she was away from the guild...
Firstly, her son had cured the chronic ailment that Zhao San, the owner of Yunxuan Restaurant, was suffering from, and had been gifted Yunxuan Restaurant as a result.
Secondly, her son had the misfortune to be provoked by the grand master of the Wang family, Wang Feng, and had maimed one of his arms.
She was not particularly surprised by the latter.
After all, she had been present when her son had defeated Hong Yue, the guild master of the Sunset Guild, who was a level-one adept of Qi-gathering. Wang Feng was not even a level-one adept of Qi-gathering and would naturally have been no match for her son.
If she were to be surprised, it would be at how savage her son had been, which was totally different from the impression she had of him as a well-behaved boy.
It was the former that had surprised her most.
Zhao San was no ordinary person; he was the scion of the Governor’s Household of the prefecture capital, and he had surely sought out many healers to treat the dark affliction that he suffered. They had all failed, but he had finally been healed by her son.
The fact that Zhao San had given away Yunxuan Restaurant was proof that her son had performed a great service to Zhao San!
“What did the Lin family say?”
What Zhou Donghuang wanted to know of most was the reaction of the Lin family, and whether his mother had been able to extricate herself from the trouble she was in.
“It is not known for now,” Lin Lan said, shaking her head. “However, I have handed the formula over to the fourth elder who has been in charge of liaising with the Magnolia Guild... the fourth elder said to wait for him to submit the formula to the patriarch, and the patriarch would dispatch someone to inform us of his decision.”
“Fourth Elder?” Zhou Donghuang furrowed his brows slightly. “Mother, are you saying that you did not meet with the patriarch? Or the head elder? That fourth elder... is he trustworthy? Won’t he snatch the formula for himself?”
In the Lin family, the final decisions were made by the patriarch and head elder of the Lin family. Zhou Donghuang knew this.
“The fourth elder said that the patriarch was in seclusion and the head elder was away on business,” Lin Lan said.
“Such a coincidence.”
Zhou Donghuang began to feel suspicious at Lin Lan’s words.
“Probably... that shouldn’t be the case? This is no small matter.”
Now, seeing the suspicion on Zhou Donghuang’s face, Lin Lan began to worry, but she still tried to console herself.
“When there is a personal benefit at stake, nothing is impossible,” Zhou Donghuang said, shaking his head.
In the thousand years of previous experience, he had seen too many self-serving people.
Presented with such a golden opportunity, the fourth elder of the Lin family would not hesitate to take full advantage.
“The hearts of man cannot all be that bad... I feel we should look on the bright side,” Lin Lan said.
Of course, despite her words, Lin Lan was still worried. After all, if the adopted daughter she had raised for ten years could betray her, it was not inconceivable that the fourth elder might misappropriate the formula.
“Let us hope for the best,” Zhou Donghuang nodded.
He allowed himself to hope that the fourth elder of the Lin family would not have any ill intentions regarding the formula that his mother had sent, but if he had...
At this thought, a cold glimmer flickered across Zhou Donghuang’s eyes.
“Donghuang, since I’m back, isn’t it time to tell me everything?”
Lin Lan’s stare burned into Zhou Donghuang. Evidently, she remembered what Zhou Donghuang had said before she left.
Zhou Donghuang had told her that when she returned, he would tell her how he had come up with the formula for the blood-staunching elixir and how he had defeated Hong Yue despite not being able to manifest his qi.
“Mother,” Zhou Donghuang’s expression changed, and he suddenly became very stern. “Regarding what I am about to tell you, you must not breathe a word to anyone... not even Granny Lian. This is a grave matter; it even involves my personal safety!”
Zhou Donghuang trusted Lin Lan unconditionally.
Therefore, he did not think too much when it came to revealing everything about his previous life to Lin Lan, and perhaps it would help to preempt any shock Lin Lan might feel at anything he would do in the future.
“It has implications on your personal safety?”
Lin Lan’s expression changed, and she shook her head repeatedly. “Donghuang, if that’s the case, you don’t need to tell me, I don’t want to know... it is my enduring belief that whatever happens to you, you’ll always be my son!”
Lin Lan resolutely refused to listen to Zhou Donghuang. She had evidently been frightened by his words. Zhou Donghuang could not help this and did not insist.
In reality, what he was about to tell Lin Lan was neither good nor bad. But now, if Lin Lan refused to listen, Zhou Donghuang would play along and not insist.
After Lin Lan had left, Zhou Donghuang continued to practice. He was now completely focused on attaining level-one of Qi-gathering as soon as he could. Only by building up his abilities could he have the capacity to protect himself and those he cared about.
In this life, he would not allow himself any regrets.
Besides, the other reason he practiced so desperately was that he wanted to leave the planet of Ziyun as soon as possible and embark on an expedition across the boundless universe.
Out there, he could grow up very fast.
In addition, there were some people out there who were waiting for him to change their fate...
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