In order to expand the escort chamber and increase reputation, Wu Zetian’s father decided to accept commissions of officials. Wu Zetian managed to stop him as she had a bad feeling about the decision, but ended up being scolded.
Making light of her advice, her father led a team of elites to set out. On the seventh night, a pigeon flew over the chamber, and Wu Zetian knew something went wrong.
She opened the message delivered by the pigeon. The message showed that the whole escort team was captured by a sect. As the news spread to the chamber, it stirred up a hot debate among everyone.
“Forget about the money loss. If the official finds out we lost his goods, then all of us will be executed!”
“That’s why our master escorted the cargo in person this time. Unfortunately…”
“What should we do…”
Anxiety-ridden, everyone paced back and forth pondering over this matter. Wu Zetian understood that if she did not act fast, her father and the team would die.
“As long as I can solve this, father will surely be impressed!” Wu Zetian thought deeply and decided to take out a letter from the study room.
“Don’t worry.” She told them, “father has expected this and prepared a solution beforehand. First, we have to keep a secret of the lost goods. The details must not be leaked.”
In fact, the letter was empty, and it was her lie in order to calm them. As she told the news in all sincerity, they trusted her words.
“Second, I’ll lead few elites to negotiate. In the meantime, the chamber operates as usual. And all the related affairs will be managed by the deputy.”
“Everyone, I’ll bring our master back, safe and sound!”
Wu Zetian’s determination had earned the faith of everyone.
Two days later, she picked several escorts to set out to the destination. During which, Wu Zetian had entrusted a secret agent to investigate the sect that captured her father. The lucky thing was that, the sect was not barbarians, so it still had room for negotiation.
Arriving at the city gate, they were led to the main hall of the sect. A young man, sitting in the center, took the last bite of a chicken drumstick and threw the bone before her.
Wu Zetian remained calm and bowed at him respectfully, “I’m the eldest daughter of the chamber’s master. I’ve brought the ransom for the escorts.”
“Haha! We don’t lack money though.”
“Pardon me. Then what can we do in exchange of the release?”
“Humph, you broke into my sect without permission and strutted around holding the flags of your chamber’s emblems. Obviously you show no respect to us, and you’re gonna pay for it!”
In the face of his threat, Wu Zetian had no fear but nodded politely. “I, on behalf of the chamber, apologize for our discourtesy of not noticing you in advance before we visit. I wish to have your generous forgiveness.”
“Anyways, I’m not releasing them. What are you gonna do to me then!?”
“Well…” Wu Zetian intentionally extended her tone with a perplexed look. “I guess I’ll have to report to the official that your sect has stolen their goods. By then you’re gonna pay a big price for this.”
The sect master sneered. “So you’re a stooge of those bureaucrats. We only submit ourselves to strength. I, the sect master, fear no one, not even the gods!”
“Is that so? Then I’m sure you won’t be afraid of a girl like me.” Wu Zetian was undaunted. “You dare to challenge me?” Her big talk had raised the interest of the sect master
As Wu Zetian nodded to express her intention, the sect master burst into laughter. “Hahaha! Very brave of you! But bullying a girl will harm my reputation.” He lifted a finger and said, “Take an attack from me, and I’ll release the escorts.”
Afterwards, he and Wu Zetian walked to the arena, where had all kinds of weapons for her to pick.
“I’m just a weak girl. These weapons don’t fit me. Please give me a paper umbrella instead.” The sect master smiled as her action had intrigued his curiosity.
“Wu Zetian, you’re the first woman who has the guts to challenge me. I’ll remember you.” Then he drew his sword, “but I won’t have mercy on you!”
When the conversation finished, he sprinted towards Wu Zetian and gave her a few deadly stingers.
“It’s lethal if I’m slack on this one.” She took a deep breath and closed her eyes to concentrate.
As the sword was close to her neck, she recalled the teachings of the old butler. Raising the umbrella, Wu Zetian parried the blade gently and diverted its force to offset the attack. Miraculously her umbrella remained intact.
“It’s not the end yet!” The sect master swung his sword with strong aura against Wu Zetian.
She opened the umbrella to block the strike; the sword cut the paper and passed by her ears. Eventually the blade was stuck into the umbrella ribs, but it also left a scratch on Wu Zetian’s neck.
“Hahahaha!” The sect master burst out. “You win!”
“You’ll honour your promise right?” Soreness sent from her neck. “Of course. I’m a man of my words,” he responded.
The sect master winked at his men to bring her father to the arena. Knowing that he was covered in bruises, Wu Zetian lent an arm to support him immediately.
“Let go of me,” her father scolded. “Who asked you to come here! If people know that the master of the escort chamber was actually saved by his daughter, I’ll become a laughing stock. What a shame!”
“Even after saving the chamber, you still look down…” This heartbroken thought kept playing in her mind.
The old butler could not bear to stand idly by. “She deserves the merit. Don’t blame her anymore.”
Then, her father gave her a cold gaze and left with the escorts. Wu Zetian was once again left behind. She could simply follow him with her glance.
This particular scene was captured in the eyes of the sect master. He crossed his legs, raised her chin and smiled. “You’re such an interesting girl. I know your true nature. Your ambition is much greater than this. What is holding you back?”
“...None of your business.” Wu Zetian covered her weak side towards her father with a fierce yet charming face. Her sudden change in emotion seemed to make the sect master even more delighted. Then he tossed a thing to her——a token.
“You can come here anytime you want. I’ll treat you well.”
After a moment of hesitation, Wu Zetian put the token into her clothes and went back home, where trapped her will and ambition...