The Feast – 221 – Startle the Snake

The Feast – 221 – Startle the Snake

Chapter 221: Startle the Snake

 

Translated by Gumihou

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

“Calm down, don’t excite yourself so much.” Su Nuan Nuan grabbed her husband’s fingers and began bending them back one by one away from Su Dong Lou’s throat. “Let’s listen to what Dong Lou has to say first, don’t be in such a hurry to choke him to death.”

“Clearly sister-in-law is the most reasonable one here.” Su Dong Lou wheezed through tearing eyes as he tried to catch his breath back.

Su Nuan Nuan continued, “If we don’t like what he says, you can choke him to death later.”

Su Dong Lou, “… …”

“Anyway,” Su Dong Lou decided to pretend he didn’t hear any of that. “What I meant to say is this. Let Lu Feng Yu bring myself and sister-in-law to Immortal’s Range. As long as I am there, what are you afraid of? The moment we left Hangzhou, you can follow from behind. Once we enter Immortal’s Range, we can take whoever’s guarding that place by surprise and then, hehehe…

It doesn’t matter if we kill or cut down those scoundrels, right? Of course, everything must be meticulously planned if we want to suppress all the various chess pieces planted by Lu Feng Yu. The last thing we want is for King Xiangyang to catch wind of what we’re doing.”

“Wu! If we can really discover the secret of Immortal’s Range, who cares if King Xiangyang finds out what we’re doing? He won’t be able to do anything about it anyway since he lacked military strength. Once his trump card is discovered, what could he even do?”

Thus was Su Nuan Nuan’s opinion, which was unanimously supported by Su Dong Lou and Duan Tingxuan. With that, the meeting ended and Su Dong Lou took his leave. As before, he sneaked out of their little room in the dead of the night.

 

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~

 

“So, someone is snooping around Immortal’s Range?”

Lu Feng Yu carefully rolled the letter up and placed it on the table. His eyes fell half shut as he sunk into deep contemplation. After a while, he stood from the couch and began to pace steadily around the room with his hands clasped behind his back. It was a long time before he was able to calm himself down. Finally, he sat by the table and wrote out a long missive. Once done, he had someone sent it off via a carrier pigeon.

Three days later, when there seemed to be no movement on Lu Feng Yu’s side, Su Dong Lou got impatient and sent someone else to make trouble at Immortal’s Range. This attempt was followed by a third and fourth, but no matter how much he poked at the security around Immortal’s Range, Lu Feng Yu remained as steady as Mt. Tai [1].

“That venomous snake is really hard to deal with. No matter how much we kick and stomp on the grass, he just refuses to move.”

Su Dong Lou was angry and helpless at the same time. Just like that, another month passed them by. Finally, he decided to personally look up Lu Feng Yu. The moment he entered the other’s house, he declared, “As you know, that Ms. Wang and her husband has a brother. That fellow had been left by them at my place.

Ever since I know who they really are, I had that little wretch watched, day and night. Yesterday, that wretched mongrel managed to escape the people tailing him. Now, while we did not manage to track him down, my subordinates were able to trace his movements to the docks. I’m afraid he was last seen moving in the direction of Immortal’s Range.”

“Immortal’s Range?”

Lu Feng Yu finally looked a little shaken, he stood up and frowned deeply. “They sent out the only other person they brought with them? Could it be possible that they have found something at Immortal’s Range?”

Su Dong Lou began to fan the flames, “This is possible. Ever since you told me that Immortal’s Range contained our most valuable trump card, I have sent my people over to keep an eye on the place. For some reason, there have been a lot of new faces appearing there lately.

I had not spoken to you about this before because I believed that you must have set up your own precautions around the place. Also, who am I to just come and advise you on how to do your work? It would be bad if I accidentally ruin whatever plan you have up your sleeves. However, it looks like I have really underestimated the enemy.”

“Not your fault.” Lu Feng Yu waved a hand, as though dismissing his worries. “As you’ve said, how could I not have any fail-safes in place? That Feng Gu you met last time is but one person. I have already received reports on the appearance of those strangers, but I did not do anything because no one could have known what is really hidden at Immortal’s Range. Therefore, I believed all this relentless onslaught of people are merely some hidden force trying to ‘Beat the Grass to Scare the Snake’. Which is why I took no notice of them.”

Su Dong Lou gaped. To think that the plan he and Duan Tingxuan had cooked up so carefully was immediately seen through by Lu Feng Yu. Just what kind of great mastermind is this? To think he’d actually dare to ‘Sit in his Fishing Boat Despite a Storm [2]’?

Even as he howled and scold in his heart, Su Dong Lou faked a relieved sigh and said, “I see, you’re certainly amazing. To think that I was the one who nearly lost my head. If that’s the case, then I shall not worry about it anymore. Let them bang about the place as they like. I do wonder though, just how many people these two had brought with them to Jiang Nan? And how they got in touch with their people. I say, Your Excellency Lu, did your people notice anything?”

Lu Feng Yu stared at him for a long time before sniffing derisively, “Those two are certainly cunning. I’ve had people watching them all this while, and it looks like they are aware of every eyes I set upon them. Since it suits me to have them stick around longer, I’ve left them alone. After all, the longer they stay around with nothing to show for it, the better it is for me. Therefore, we can let them ‘escape’ with their lives intact.”

“You are sure about this?” Su Dong Lou was stunned by this declaration: Looks like, in addition to being sly and cunning, this fellow’s self-confidence was incredibly immense.

“Of course.” Lu Feng Yu laughed arrogantly. “If they had encountered danger within 10 days or half a month of arriving at Jiang Nan, they could still withdraw quickly. However, after tarrying until now and with nothing to show for it, how could they just go home empty-handed?

It’s just like gambling. In the beginning, if you pull out quickly, you’re still safe, but play too long and you get addicted. The longer you play, the more difficult it is to get out. In fact, until you’ve earned back the money you put in, you’d refuse to leave. By then, even if you do win big, your eyes will be set on the next big win. This is why gamblers always lose everything in the end.”

Su Dong Lou looked at Lu Feng Yu with a complicated expression. He had to admit, this fellow’s skill in people reading was the real deal. However, this was not the time to admire the enemy. Feeling his heart pounding anxiously, he lowered his voice to say, “So, you’re saying that I should leave matters relating to Immortal’s Range alone? To avoid their trap?”

“No, that was then, this is now. You’re right to bring the matter to my attention. It looks like that Duan Tingxuan really found out about something at the Immortal’s Range. No matter how bumbling they are, they might eventually stumble upon something. I absolutely cannot allow this to happen.”

Lu Feng Yu stood up and paced about a few steps, his expression very grave. Suddenly, he straightened up and said, “Yes, I’ve decided. We should take a look at the situation at Immortal’s Range. It’s better than just staying here and continue to play guessing games. Also, I too can ‘Beat the Grass to Startle the Snake’. We will use this opportunity to find out how much Duan Tingxuan actually knows. The thing I’m really curious about, however, is just how did he find out about the secret of Immortal’s Range?”

When this fellow mentioned this, he suddenly looked pensive. Then, he darted his gaze over at Su Dong Lou…

… who had lowered his head, pretending to be in deep thought. He managed to catch that lightning-quick look and his heart clenched. Was Lu Feng Yu suspecting him again? He thought quickly, considering and discarding several ideas before raising his head to say, “I am curious too. Do you think that Long Pingzhang might have left some sort of clues or messages at his original death site?

If they managed to find something… for you to risk the emperor’s wrath by having Long Pingzhang killed, that man must have discovered something vital, ba? Also, is it possible that he must have somehow been in contact with them all this while?”

“Wu! You’re right. That made sense.” Lu Feng Yu tensed shoulders finally relaxed a little. Perhaps he really had been too paranoid? If this Su Dong Lou is in league with Duan Tingxuan, surely he wouldn’t have exposed his own comrade’s identity?

Also, though that Long Pingzhang really had died at the foot of that mountain, he was still a brilliant man. It’s possible he might have left some clues that was later found by Duan Tingxuan. Because no matter how he looked at it, that Duan Tingxuan certainly suspected something at Immortal’s Range.

 

Author White Pear Flower: Let’s all give Surname Lu a thumbs up for his self-confidence and brilliant mind!

 

[Gumihou: Poor Surname Lu, I wonder what he’d do if he could relive this life of his?]

 

[1] Steady as Mt Tai – Steady as a rock. I’ve also seen this idiom used in Japanese to describe one of the great leaders of Japan during the warring states period. Mt. Tai is a real mountain in China, and is 1,545 metres tall.

 

[2] To Sit in One’s Fishing Boat Despite a Storm – To remain unflustered even in the middle of a great crisis.

 

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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