Chapter 27: Banquet
On that night, the sounds of celebration were unceasing from the City Lord’s residence.
News of the Origin Bureau’s sudden shift in power had spread throughout Clear River City in a day. Basically, anyone and everyone who had some kind of power in Clear River City heard about it.
Everyone knew what it meant for there to be a celebration at this time in the City Lord’s residence.
Thus, the invited guests came thick and fast, giving An Siyuan their congratulations.
Of course, An Siyuan couldn’t say that he had thrown this celebration because the Origin Bureau was under his control again; as such, he used the excuse that it was his concubine’s birthday.
The wave of guests was unceasing. The din of laughter and conversation, as well as the sounds of nonstop congratulations, echoed throughout the main hall.
An Siyuan sat high up in the main hall’s seat of honor. To his left was a male with a wide face, a tall nose, a pair of hands like an eagle’s talons, and a grave, stern expression. His name was Lu Qingguang, the head of the district office and An Siyuan’s most trusted, capable subordinate. To An Siyuan’s right was Su Chen; from this position, it could be seen that Su Chen had already become one of An Siyuan’s right-hand men.
“Knowledge Executor Su is extremely courageous, single-handedly giving the Lian and Long Clans something to regret. Most importantly, you even succeeded – truly, your heroism is beyond your age!” An Siyuan laughed as he raised his cup to Su Chen.
“Many thanks to City Lord for his praise.” Su Chen raised his cup in return. “But from today onwards, Su Chen will be facing not just the Lian and Long Clans but also all ten of the Bloodline Nobility Clans. Without City Lord’s protection, Su Chen might not be able to hold out.”
Su Chen’s earlier battle was just a personal dispute with the Lian and Long Clans. The other eight clans wouldn’t participate.
However, taking over the Origin Bureau and expressing his allegiance to An Siyuan changed everything.
The Origin Bureau didn’t just belong to the Lian and Long Clans; rather, it was controlled by all ten Bloodline Nobility Clans.
Su Chen’s actions were equivalent to offending all ten clans at once.
This was the price of declaring war openly.
While gaining the support of An Siyuan, he had also made many more enemies.
“Knowledge Executor Su.”
At this moment, while everyone was still happily conversing, Lu Qingguang said, “There’s something that I don’t understand.”
“Captain Lu, please speak.”
“During the battle at the Ten Kilometers Pavilion, Knowledge Executor Su killed Liu Wuya, then escaped from Long Qingjiang’s hand, creating a miracle. Of course, this miracle is a miracle precisely because it’s incomprehensible and illogical. Forgive me for being so bold, but can Knowledge Executor Su explain to me exactly how you did it?”
Su Chen thought for a moment, then nodded. “Fine, it’s better to be open about some things; there’s no point in keeping this matter hidden. It’s probably best to start from what happened with the Li Clan’s old residence……”
Su Chen started from when he had heard about the strange things happening at the Li Clan’s residence while still at the Hidden Dragon Institute. “After I heard about it, I wanted to investigate the matter more closely, so I sent someone to buy the residence. But I hadn’t expected someone to fight me for it……”
Sitting in the main hall, Su Chen began to explain exactly what had happened.
Even though there were many people in the main hall, Su Chen carefully controlled the volume of his voice to prevent it from spreading. Only An Siyuan, Lu Qingguang, and the scholar Dai Yang, who was sitting beneath him and was clearly An Siyuan’s brain trust, could hear.
Upon hearing Su Chen’s analysis of the situation, Lu Qingguang couldn’t help but praise him, “Prince Su’s thoughts are extremely intricate. I admire that very much.”
“But who exactly is Lian Weicheng? And how is he related to the matter involving the Li Clan’s residence?” An Siyuan said with some confusion.
Su Chen shook his head. “That, I’m not sure. But if he wants that metal block, he will need to come look for me sooner or later. We’ll know when the time comes.”
“That’s true.” An Siyuan nodded.
The matter wasn’t very related to him, so he didn’t continue to press for more information.
The host and his guests continued to chat merrily. After three cups of wine, Su Chen bid farewell and took his leave.
This time, however, he didn’t leave on his own. In addition to the Blood-Robed Guards, Su Chen was accompanied by three of the Origin Bureau’s Origin Qi Scholars and nearly twenty martial artists. One could say that Su Chen definitely wasn’t lacking in manpower anymore.
After the banquet ended, Lu Qingguang didn’t leave. He was kept behind by An Siyuan, and they went to the back yard to drink some tea.
An Siyuan held a teacup in his hands as he stood in front of his flower lattice, rearranging the flowers aimlessly with his fingertips as he said, “Qingguang, what do you think of Knowledge Executor Su?”
Lu Qingguang thought for a moment, then replied, “Based on what we know already, Long Shaoyou was inflicted with a strange curse during the battle at the Ten Kilometers Pavilion and has remained unconscious until now. He could die at any moment. From this viewpoint, Su Chen shouldn’t be one of their people.”
An Siyuan laughed, “Haha, you’re thinking too much. I never wondered if that was the case. Those lousy clans don’t have nearly enough ability to reach their hands into the Hidden Dragon Institute. But don’t you think that Knowledge Executor Su is frank to the point that it’s surprising?”
“City Lord means……”
“It’s obvious that Wei Liancheng isn’t a simple character, and that metal block isn’t a simple item. Someone else probably would have casually responded with a few sentences when faced with the question that you asked him. But instead, he clearly described what happened from the beginning to the end. Right, Dai Yang, you know a lie detection skill. Was he lying when was telling us all that?”
Scholar Dai Yang replied, “Absolutely not. Every sentence of his was true.”
“See! So sincere and honest!” An Siyuan gestured.
Lu Qingguang was confused. “Isn’t that a good thing? Why does City Lord say it like that?”
An Siyuan chuckled, “Candidness is a virtue that not everyone has. Normally, it is only manifest in a simple-minded, honest person. Qingguang, do you think that Su Chen is someone like that?”
Lu Qingguang replied, “Someone who can even include a person they’ve never met before into their plans and plan things out step-by-step so meticulously? Definitely not. It’d be much more accurate to describe him as shrewd and astute.”
“That’s right!” An Siyuan’s fingers began to trim even faster. “Don’t you think that it’s strange for a person who was able to force the Long Clan into this kind of situation just by strategizing to suddenly become so open?”
“It could be that he views us as a backer and wants to gain our trust to build up a relationship?”
“No!” An Siyuan shook his head. “You don’t understand people like him. Someone like Su Chen definitely wouldn’t rely on our questioning to establish a relationship. If I questioned his loyalty, he would think of a way to cut off Long Qingjiang’s head and present it to me to justify himself instead of opening up to me.”
Where had the reckless, straightforward attitude from before gone when he had been making this analysis?
Lu Qingguang wasn’t surprised by this. “Then, Sir, you mean……”
An Siyuan shook his head. “I don’t know why he would do this either, but I have a feeling that Wei Liancheng isn’t simple. And Su Chen probably has some awareness of this guy’s background; perhaps he even feels apprehensive. This is why he would take the initiative to inform us of this matter concerning Wei Liancheng…… Perhaps because he wants to investigate or even deal with this person for him.”
Lu Qingguang was stunned. “Su Chen doesn’t strike me as an apprehensive person. If he’s not even afraid of the ten great Bloodline Nobility Clans, how could he…… could it be?”
“Yes, his apprehension towards Wei Liancheng is probably even higher than his apprehension towards the ten Bloodline Nobility Clans,” An Siyuan said.