Chapter 2: Murderous Ploy  


Noticing Zu An’s confusion, Chu Chuyan replied slowly, “I don’t care where you heard this phrase from. In the future, do not ask any questions regarding this. Otherwise, you’ll get yourself killed.”

Zu An was exasperated. Goddamnit. Looks like these Unknowable Regions are gonna be trouble. He paused. That means this darned keyboard is trolling me! If even asking about it is going to get me killed, how am I supposed to get some ‘secret manuals’ from these places to unlock the functions?

He took a deep breath. Ah, forget it. Even if I don’t get a special ability from the start, so what? To start this transmigration with such a hot wife is a stroke of decent luck. I’ll work everything else out.

The huge difference in status between him and his wife did not overly worry him. This was a common theme in many of the webnovels he had read before, and he knew he could borrow the techniques used by male leads such as Xiang Shaolong[1], Wei Xiaobao[2], or Song Qingshu[3]. Even if you are a glacier, I’m sure I can melt you.

Just imagining how he had shared a bed with this fairy-like beauty the previous night was enough to get his heart pumping. Woah, boy. Calm down, and wipe that drool. Keep it cool.


Zu An stopped asking questions so as to avoid arousing any suspicions. His wife clearly had no interest in further conversation, so he looked out the window to gaze at the surroundings instead.

After a short while, city walls appeared in the distance. By the standards of ancient China, the city of him before him was indubitably a major one.

While he was entering through the city gates, he noticed a massive plaque hanging above calligraphed with the name of the city - Brightmoon City. I should find a chance to buy a map and see where this city is located in the empire, he mused to himself. Even such basic information was beyond the knowledge of the original owner of this body. He was truly a good-for-nothing.

He continued to study the city streets. Although they couldn’t compare to any modern city center, the streets still bustled with activity, brimming with people and merchants. What surprised him the most, however, was that the carriage wasn’t jolted by bumps at all. It raced through the streets as smoothly as the finest of cars back in the modern world.

His eyes were soon drawn to some faint blue lines flowing through the interior of the carriage. It almost looked like a series of electric circuits. Is this one of the legendary ‘formations’? They’re using a formation on a carriage? That’s pretty extravagant.

After some time, they arrived at a large estate that had two giant stone sculptures towering at its entrance. He wasn’t sure what creatures these sculptures depicted; they looked like a crossbreed between a tiger and a lion, and they radiated a strange aura of power.


The carriage came to a halt. Chu Chuyan stepped out of the carriage and walked gracefully through the gates, her white dress flowing behind her.

Zu An took a quick glance at his surroundings. He saw a placard with the words ‘Chu Estate’ located above the gates and muttered under his breath. Eeesh! Does this guy’s life suck so much that he lives with his wife’s family? So he married into her family, rather than the reverse? No wonder everyone makes fun of him!

He began to stride forward, only to be blocked by Snow once more. “Don’t even think about entering through the main gates. Off to the side gates with you!”

Zu An blinked. “Why can’t I go through the main gates?”

Snow pursed her lips. “The main gates are for the Chu clansmen to pass through. How could a drafted son-in-law like you qualify? You’d sully the clan gates.”[ref]This is a very Chinese concept. Traditionally, when a man marries a wife, he ‘takes’ her from her maiden home and makes her a member of his own clan. The reverse is generally considered incredibly shameful and reflective of a vast social gap between the two.[/ref]

Zu An gave her a cool look. “You’ve got a pretty nasty mouth. I bet your boyfriend has a bad case of herpes.”

Snow might not know what this meant, but she could easily tell that it was an insult. Furious, she grabbed him by the shirt and moved as though she was going to strike him. Before her fist could connect, Zu An collapsed to the ground, screaming in mock pain.

I... didn’t even hit him yet? Snow looked on, stupefied. Clearly, ‘flopping’ wasn’t a thing in this world.

Chu Chuyan turned around to glare at her. “You are too impudent. No matter what, he’s still the son-in-law of the Chu clan. In the future, you are not to treat him this way.”

Snow felt wronged, but she didn’t dare to argue. “Understood.”

Chu Chuyan glanced at Zu An. “Can you get up now?”

Zu An clambered quickly to his feet, then said with a cheeky grin, “I knew you cared about me.”

Chu Chuyan frowned, subconsciously taking a step away from him to put some distance between them. She turned and began to walk inside. Her voice floated back, “Father and Mother are waiting inside. Stop wasting time.”

“Just think about what you did last night! And now, you’re pretending like nothing happened? Shameless! I’m eager to see what Master and Madam are gonna do to you!” Snow stared daggers at him, then whirled around and followed her young mistress.

Snow’s words jogged Zu An’s memory, and he recalled the conversation he had overheard earlier. Apparently, the previous Zu An had clambered into his sister-in-law’s bed last night? Oh, god. Apparently I’m starting this game on hell difficulty!

Quickly considering his options, he grabbed his head and whined, “My head hurts!” before toppling towards the two women... Unfortunately, both stepped nimbly aside, leaving him to crash unceremoniously to the ground.

This stunt left Zu An in unbearable agony, but he didn’t dare cry out. Clearly, the same trick wasn’t going to work twice. The people here clearly aren’t gullible. They catch on quickly!

“Why didn’t you catch him?” Chu Chuyan glanced at Snow in irritation.

Snow’s little mouth twitched. “You didn’t catch him either, young miss. Besides, I’m pretty sure he’s faking it.”

Chu Chuyan spared a glance at the fallen Zu An, then said, “I heard he was hit by lightning today. Perhaps he really is injured. Take him back and let him get some rest. Give him a bath as well. I’ll let my parents know.” With that, she walked away gracefully from the courtyard.

There was nothing Snow could do but arrange for two manservants to bring over a litter to carry Zu An away.

Meanwhile, Zu An lay on the litter, feeling rather puzzled. He had apparently clambered into his sister-in-law’s bed on his wedding night, but Chu Chuyan didn’t reprove him for it at all. In fact, she hadn’t even looked angry. Is her little sister adopted? He mused, his thoughts rather impure.

They entered through a doorway and made their way down a long and winding pathway. They passed by a rock garden before finally reaching a pavilion. As they reached the pavilion Snow abruptly said, “Put him here for now. Let’s go get a few buckets of water so he can bathe himself.”

Zu An waited for the footsteps of Snow and the servants to fade in the distance before stealthily opening his eyes. He had been placed within a gazebo next to a small pond. Seeing nobody nearby, he clambered to his feet. He peered at his reflection in the water, only to see that his hair was completely tousled and his face was scorched black. No wonder my freebie wife looked so disgusted when she saw me!

Out of nowhere, a surge of power slammed against him from behind, propelling him straight into the pond.

“Heeeelp! HEEELP!”

In truth, Zu An had swum in rivers ever since he was young, so there was no way he could possibly drown in a small pond like this. However, he was fairly certain that someone had just kicked him into the water. He didn’t know what was going on, so he feigned drowning to buy himself some time.

As he splashed around, he could vaguely make out a willowy form standing by the side of the water, smiling coldly at him. Zu An was perturbed. Why does Snow want to kill me? Is this some sort of scheme that my freebie wife concocted with an illicit lover? Or did the Chu clan, shamed by what happened, decide to use an ‘accident’ to dispose of this son-in-law of theirs?

Multiple possibilities spun around in his mind. He decided to take his ruse all the way, going limp and floating to the surface of the water as if he had truly drowned.

This seemed to surprise Snow. “He’s dead already? He got off easy,” she chirped. She tossed out a ribbon from within her sleeves and hooked it around the ‘corpse’ floating in the pond.

Zu An was startled. So this little wench knows martial arts? I should be more cautious of her then.

Snow squatted down by the water, reaching out towards his neck to check his pulse. Right at that moment, the ‘dead’ Zu An opened his eyes and blasted a mouthful of water into Snow’s face. As Snow instinctively closed her eyes, he pulled her toward him, dragging her down into the water with him.

Snow knew instantly that she had fallen into a trap. She subconsciously began to circulate her ki, intending to beat him up, but as soon as she opened her mouth, she swallowed a large mouthful of water.

Garg. Garg. This was an era where few knew how to swim. Snow might be well-versed in martial arts, but swimming was beyond the scope of her abilities. In just a few seconds, she had already choked down many mouthfuls of water. She struggled desperately to pull herself back to shore, but there was nothing within her reach.

Panicked, she flicked her wrist and sent out another white ribbon. It wrapped around a pole near the water’s edge. Just as she was about to use it to pull herself back onto land, Zu An latched onto her with all four of his limbs, grappling onto her like an octopus. It made it impossible for her to exert any strength.

Snow’s face burned with humiliation and anger as she felt Zu An press himself even more tightly against her body. She struggled frantically, but Zu An’s swimming abilities were just too much. With his prey firmly in his grasp, he sank deeper and deeper into the water. Snow felt her vision grow hazy as she continued to gulp in more water.

Zu An sensed her struggling fade.. Guess that’s about it. He released her and dragged her back onto dry land.

Her eyes were shut, though her eyelids were quivering. She had an elegant nose and cherry-red lips. She possessed a delicate beauty... but she had a viper’s tongue and a vicious heart too. It’d be wonderful if she was a mute.

“So, what should I do now?” Zu An mused, quickly running through the possibilities. Someone in this estate wanted to kill him. Staying here was too dangerous. But, if he was to run away... even if he somehow made it through the great gates of the estate, he would be penniless. Not to mention, he lacked knowledge about this world too. He’d probably starve to death in days.

Moreover, considering the shameful acts ‘he’ had just carried out yesterday, if he actually killed someone today, he would surely be hunted down as a criminal.

Wait a sec. If someone was trying to make my death look like an accident, it would mean that they are afraid of openly killing me... Fine. I’ll take this gamble.

He pressed his ear against Snow’s chest. There’s no heartbeat! Aghast, he decided to use CPR to try and bring her back to life.

As he loosened her robes, a large amount of candied fruits and nuts and other snacks fell out. He was stupefied. “She eats a lot. How the hell is she so skinny?” But there was no time for pondering this question. He placed both hands against her chest and began pumping vigorously.

Even after twenty chest compressions, Snow showed no signs of life. Just as he was about to try mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, an icy voice called out from behind him, “What are you doing?”

Zu An looked back, only to see Chu Chuyan standing nearby, her face cold as winter. He subconsciously looked down at Snow. Her hair was tousled, her dress was open, her undergarments and her pale skin were vaguely exposed... and his hands were pressed upon her chest.

“Uh... would you believe me if I said I was trying to rescue her?” Zu An said seriously. At the same time, he subconsciously pumped her chest again.

Chu Chuyan walked over, a serene look on her face. “Move aside.” She took a moment to examine Snow’s condition before swiftly tapping several points on her body, her fingers moving like a blur.

Zu An rubbed his eyes in disbelief. Sweet mother of god.So my freebie wife is also a kungfu master?! But it made sense, since even a maid like Snow knew martial arts. So. Is my freebie wife the one who wants me dead?

“Wifey dearest, how good is your kungfu?” Zu An probed.

Blargh. Before Chu Chuyan could answer, Snow convulsed, coughing up mouthfuls of water. Clearly, she had been saved. Chu Chuyan gently patted her on the back before turning around to fix Zu An with a frigid stare. “What did you just call me?”

“Uh, sweetheart?” Zu An mentally shuddered and hurriedly changed the way he addressed her.

Chu Chuyan’s gaze cooled further. She said flatly, “As I told you before our marriage, you may only address me as Miss Chu or as Chuyan. In the future, do not refer to me with those two terms you just used.”

“Got it, sweetheart!” Zu An assented immediately. “So, how strong is your kungfu? What’s your world ranking?”

“Kungfu? You must mean cultivation.” Chu Chuyan frowned slightly, but she still answered the question. “The world is a vast place. No matter how strong you are, there is always someone stronger; there is always a heaven beyond the heavens. How could I possibly know what my ‘ranking’ is?”

Zu An mumbled, “Guess that means you suck.”

Chu Chuyan took a deep breath, but before she could reply, Zu An pressed on, “Don’t worry, though! We’re family now, so I won’t look down at you. How about this? Why don’t you teach me some martial arts. Do you know any mysterious techniques that could allow someone to accomplish in one year what takes normal people ten? Or maybe an ultimate attack that can be quickly mastered?” That’s how these stories are supposed to go, right?

Clearly, someone in the estate wanted him dead. He felt like danger was lurking in every corner, which made it necessary for him to quickly raise his strength so that he could protect himself. Moreover, some knowledge of martial arts would greatly aid him in exploring the Unknowable Regions in the future.

“There are no such techniques,” Chu Chuyan said dismissively. “And even if there were, you wouldn’t be able to master them.”

“Impossible!” Zu An leapt to his feet. “I’m sure I’m a one-in-a-million talent. How could someone like me be unable to master your techniques? I bet you just don’t want to teach me.”

Chu Chuyan replied, “All cultivators in the world begin tempering their body from a young age. This process requires a large amount of elementum. After reaching adulthood, your body would have fully matured, and there would be no point in wasting resources on it. Your talent is just barely a lower Ding, a lower fourth-class. Even if you had begun training in your youth, there would still be no hope.” She slightly shook her head.

What the hell is a lower Ding? He knew right away that it wasn’t a high standard, but Zu An brushed it off. All the MC’s in cultivation stories start off at the trash level, right? They just need to find suitable training techniques. For that matter, this was a good sign; from a certain perspective, starting off as trash tier meant he had already fulfilled half of the prerequisites for becoming the main character.

Snow was beginning to wake up, so Chu Chuyan immediately dismissed Zu An’s presence. “Snow, what happened just now?”

. The protagonist in Huang Yi’s wuxia novel ‘A Step Into the Past’.

. The protagonist in Jinyong’s wuxia novel ‘Duke of Mount Deer’.

. The protagonist in Jinyong’s wuxia novel ‘Duke of Mount Deer’.