Chapter 38: Slowly Solidifying a Foundation
A small pottery cup decorated with fish playing in the water and floral patterns had an intimate encounter with a slab of obsidian, shattering into pieces.
Lai Wuyi’s expression was extremely cloudy.
Even though he was already two hundred years old, Lai Wuyi had preserved his middle-aged appearance, and he was quite energetic.
When this energy transformed into rage, however, it was exceptionally frightening.
“SU CHEN!” Lai Wuya growled, gritting his teeth.
“Father, things are a bit troublesome right now. After Wang Wenxin took control of the Long Clear Gang, the first thing he did was come to find me and ask me for help in settling the matter. He said that if we didn’t settle it quickly, Su Chen would exterminate every last one of them.”
“I know. I heard Su Chen wants Wang Wenxin to hand over the perpetrators of the murder within a certain period of time?”
“Yes,” Lai Tianli said. “Wang Wenxin has already found the culprits, but he hasn’t handed them over yet. He is waiting to hear our opinion.”
“What does he mean, waiting to hear our opinion?”
“He wants us to bear the responsibility for this. Without question, he is lowering his head to Su Chen! Simultaneously he is also verifying Liu Jiyun’s assassination and justifying Su Chen’s actions. This is way too embarrassing! It’s basically the same as kowtowing to him! Wang Wenxin doesn’t want to make that decision, so he handed it over to us.”
Lai Wuyi harrumphed, “He can’t just hand over a few random people?”
“The problem is that he isn’t willing to do so,” Lai Tianli replied.
“Oh? Why is that?” Lai Wuyi said with some surprise.
“Father, think about it. Let’s put aside the fact that Su Chen isn’t an easy person to deceive and talk about the matter itself. We were the ones who ordered to make a move first, and the ones to carry it out were the former gang leader’s trusted aides. To Wang Wenxin, the former gang leader has only just died, and remnants of his influence might still be there. It’s hard to avoid there being some people in the gang who are still loyal to him. Anyone who could carry out the assassination of Liu Jiyun must be one of Li Yue’s trusted aides, who also happens to be the most at odds with Wang Wenxin……”
“So Wang Wenxin wants to take care of them now.” Lai Wuyi understood.
“Yes, but it’s best if he doesn’t make the move himself,” Lai Tianli added.
“So he handed the blade to Su Chen.”
“Yes, but he wants us to be the ones to hand Su Chen the blade, not himself.”
“That bastard!” Lai Wuyi smacked the table in anger. “He dares to use us to take the heat off of himself?”
Lai Tianli said helplessly, “Wang Wenxin was part of the Long Clear Gang, who was being suppressed. Even though we controlled the Long Clear Gang, it was through Li Yue, not through Wang Wenxin. He has no gratitude towards us, and that’s the truth.”
“What about trying to rope him in now?”
“It’s too late for that,” Lai Tianli said. “Even though he hasn’t handed the individuals over yet, Wang Wenxin has already given Su Chen a list of names, and he’s even prepared an oral confession. Both the human testimony and the physical evidence are there, and the Long Clear Gang’s assassination of Liu Jiyun can be considered an open and shut case now. The only thing missing is that the perpetrators themselves haven’t been turned over yet.”
“He’s afraid that we’ll force him to switch out the individuals!” Lai Wuyi said in shock.
“That’s exactly his intentions. Now that things have reached this point, Father, what should we do?”
Lai Wuyi shut his eyes helplessly.
After thinking about it for a long time, he said, “If we don’t agree to hand the people over, Su Chen will openly wipe out the Long Clear Gang with the Origin Bureau, further increasing his prestige. He could even continue to pursue the matter and link it to the Lai Clan. If we agree to hand the people over, we are lowering our heads to Su Chen, and our prestige and influence over the Long Clear Gang will be greatly diminished. Wang Wenxin will have full control of the Long Clear Gang. Is that the situation we are in?”
“Ai! Looks like we’ll have to pick the lesser of two evils,” Lai Wuyi said reluctantly.
“Your son understands.”
Even though giving Wang Wenxin complete control of the Long Clear Gang didn’t benefit the Lai Clan, it was just a matter of striving for influence. As long as they let him in on the profits and softened him up with some coin, they should be able to regain control of the Long Clear Gang. That was much better than forcefully taking the Long Clear Gang under their protection and further escalating the situation.
Even though Nobility Clans were powerful, they still needed to know when to stop. It was precisely because they didn’t have the power to shake the heavens that they needed to control their ambition; otherwise, they would be wiped out sooner or later.
“Then, what about Su Chen……” Lai Tianli asked.
Lai Wuyi thought for a moment, then said, “Nan’an Street, Ten Kilometers Pavilion, and now Clear River Dock…… do you not understand yet? This person isn’t simple at all.”
“Absolutely. Someone who is able to trap us multiple times and also possesses a significant amount of his own strength, even to the point that he killed Li Yue and the other two single-handedly, cannot be underestimated!” Lai Tianli sighed.
“Our previous defeats were precisely because we underestimated him. But we won’t do something like this again. It’s time for us to make up the homework that we’ve been neglecting.”
“Father, you mean……”
“Find a few people and send them to Long Coiling City to look into this Su Chen’s background. If we want to deal with this opponent, we need to understand him.”
“Next, we need to make Su Chen a high-priority target during the next coalition meeting.”
“A coalition target?” Lai Tianli was stunned.
“That’s right. Su Chen has already made us suffer too many setbacks, and we can’t have the different clans moving on their own. After this, his control over the Origin Bureau will be even more solid. It will probably be difficult to shake his foundation in the future. Just his status as the substitute City Head of the Origin Bureau is more than deserving of becoming a coalition target.”
“But if that’s the case, we won’t be able to deal with Su Chen in the short term.”
“Then we don’t need to try to pursue a quick victory. The person who wins is the person who values patience. Our previous mistakes were because we underestimated our opponent and wanted to defeat him in a single battle. Now is the time for us to learn from our mistakes.”
One thing Lai Wuyi had said was absolutely correct – after the battle at Clear River Dock, Su Chen’s control over the Origin Bureau had become much more solid.
Within the Su Palace.
Yuan Lieyang stood in the main hall and paced around. His expression was filled with anxiety. No one knew what he was thinking about.
After some time, Su Chen’s footsteps could be heard from behind the screen wall.
Su Chen walked out from behind the screen, his hands stained with fresh blood.
Mingshu had already prepared a basin of water. When he saw Su Chen walk out, he hurried to carry it over to Su Chen.
Su Chen reached his hands in the basin, the blood coming off his hands and diffusing in the water, creating red flowers in the water.
After washing his hands, Su Chen took the towel Mingshu handed him and wiped his hands before saying, “This is Li Yue’s blood. The White Phosphorus Snake Bloodline truly is unique and has some interesting aspects to it. Unfortunately, Li Yue was just a mixed breed of the lowest kind, and it was hard for him to display the full strength of the White Phosphorus Snake Bloodline. But that’s okay; I think that I will have an opportunity soon to see the real White Phosphorus Snake Bloodline for myself,” Su Chen said as he stared at Yuan Lieyang. He then reached his hand out and said, “Sit.”
Sweat beaded on Yuan Lieyang’s forehead. “With Knowledge Executor present, your subordinate doesn’t dare to sit down.”
“You don’t dare to sit down while I’m here? Then why did you disobey my command for you to go to the Clear River Dock?” Su Chen said coldly.
There were nearly twenty Origin Qi Scholars in the Origin Bureau, but in the end, only six had shown up at the Clear River Dock along with Su Chen.
It wasn’t because Su Chen had only taken six people with him; rather, most of them still weren’t completely submissive to him. Even though they had helplessly acknowledged Su Chen’s temporary substitution of the City Head position, they didn’t treat Su Chen’s commands seriously.
But today, everything had changed.
Washing the Clear River Dock with blood and single-handedly killing three of the Long Clear Gang’s gang leaders had completely shocked everyone.
If they didn’t respect him before because of his Blood Boiling Realm cultivation base, then his display of strength on par with a Yang Opening Realm cultivator gave him authority throughout all of Clear River City!
Most importantly, even Yuan Lieyang himself wasn’t confident that he could take on Li Yue and the other two on his own.
Under these kinds of circumstances, how could Yuan Lieyang dare not take Su Chen seriously?
When he thought of the fact that he had even challenged this fierce expert, Yuan Lieyang felt regret oozing from every inch of his body.
He really was looking to die.
When faced with Su Chen’s accusations, Yuan Lieyang replied in a trembling voice, “Sir, I was wrong!”
“If you know that you’re wrong, then you need to make amends. Don’t you think so?” Su Chen said neither warmly nor coldly.
“I understand, sir. From this day onwards, I will obey Knowledge Executor’s commands to the letter.”
“Good. Tomorrow, the Long Clear Gang will hand over the perpetrators of Sir Liu’s murder. You go and deal with them.”
Yuan Lieyang knew that this was Su Chen asking him to demonstrate his loyalty.
When the heads of those culprits from the Long Clear Gang hit the ground, everyone knew that the Lai Clan had fallen.
At the same time, a new star was steadily rising in Clear River City.