Chapter 25: Countering the Cheng Clan
Translator: _Dark_Angel_ Editor: Kurisu
Ling Dong Xing was already completely numb.
He knew that his own son was a genius now. But to actually be someone whom an alchemist would fawn on and painstakingly curry favor with… this still caused him to be incomparably shocked!
Before, Ma Da Jun’s attitude was one full of arrogance, superiority and condescending. He had invited Ma Da Jun repeatedly before the man finally agreed to come, and yet the first thing the latter did upon coming was to seek flaws and create problems. He had truly displayed the arrogance of an alchemist to the full extent.
But now… he really dared not believe that Ma Da Jun would actually treat him with such respect and courtesy.
These few days that he was gone… what had actually happened to cause his son to change so much?
“Ling Clan Head, I truly deserve death. Please do not worry, I shall have someone deliver the medicine to you as soon as I return,” Ma Da Jun said very gently and cautiously. Once he recalled his previous attitude towards Ling Dong Xing, he could not control the rapid beating of his heart. He was scared half to death now.
Ling Han tapped one finger on the table, and said, “Is it the Cheng Clan that had you do such a thing?”
“Hehe, Young Master Han, I really didn’t know that Ling Clan Head was your father, and so fell under the deception of the Cheng Clan. You must believe me!” Ma Da Jun explained hurriedly.
Ling Han smiled and said, “I believe you.”
Ma Da Jun immediately felt elated, but then he heard Ling Han continue to speak, “You’re a greedy man. Going by your personality and character, how could you actually deign to help the Cheng Clan without sufficient benefits? Tell me then, what benefits have you received from the Cheng Clan?”
“This-” Ma Da Jun stuttered, but once he saw Ling Han’s sharp gaze, he tensed up and hurriedly said, “Thirty thousand silver coins.”
“The Cheng Clan is really generous!” Ling Dong Xing snorted. As the head of clan, he had a deep understanding of the significance of thirty thousand silver coins.
The Cheng Clan and the Ling Clan were very similar in that they both had shockingly large income yet their spending was also extremely large. A sum of thirty thousand silver coins could only be painstakingly saved up over two, three years’ time. That the Cheng Clan was willing to use such an astronomical sum to hire Ma Da Jun meant they were completely serious in their attempt to utterly cut off the Ling Clan’s lifeblood.
Just as Ling Han said, Ma Da Jun was a greedy man. To let him once again supply Ling Clan with medicine, they would have to offer him a reward that exceeded thirty thousand silver coins. But the problem was that after the Ling Clan had been hit twice, they had practically expended all money they had available, so where would they be able to find thirty thousand silver coins to bribe Ma Da Jun with?
This move may have been only a little wound to the Cheng Clan, but for the Ling Clan, it would definitely be a fatal injury.
Thank goodness he had a good son!
Ling Dong Xing could not help smiling. The Cheng Clan would never have thought that the thirty thousand silver coins they had handed over was practically wasted.
“Thirty thousand coins, that’s quite a lot,” Ling Han looked at Ma Da Jun with a faint smile, “Alchemists really are quite expensive. They had to spend such an amount to be able to bribe you.”
“Young Master Han, you jest,” Ma Da Jun wiped away the cold sweat beading on his forehead. He was not an idiot, so naturally he could tell that Ling Han was being sarcastic.
“Because of you, our Ling Clan really have suffered a huge loss these few days,” Ling Han said serenely.
Ma Da Jun immediately shivered, but a flash of inspiration passed through his brain and he hurriedly said, “Although the mastermind is the Cheng Clan, it is undeniable that I too am responsible to some extent. Thus, allow me to hand over these thirty thousand silver coins to the Ling Clan to compensate for the losses the Ling Clan has suffered.”
Ling Dong Xing was astounded. A man as greedy as Ma Da Jun would actually hand over the monetary bribe that he had long received? Just how terrified was he of his son!
Ling Han nodded, and said, “This isn’t a problem for you, right?”
“How could it be?” Although he felt as if his heart was bleeding, Ma Da Jun was all smiles and said in embarrassment, “This is something I ought to do, and it is a small token of my feelings.”
“All right then!” Ling Han nodded, “I need you to do something for me.”
“Young Master Han, say it and it shall be done,” Ma Da Jun pandered to him.
“From tomorrow onwards, have the portion of pills usually given to the Cheng Clan be supplied to our Ling Clan for resale,” Ling Han said.
When Ling Dong Xing heard this, he immediately felt ecstatic. Alchemical pills were one of the two largest sources of income for the Ling Clan. If they could get double the amount of their supplies, then their profits would also double accordingly. At the same time, the income of the Cheng Clan would be halved.
Should this last for a few years, then the overall power of the Cheng Clan would soon fall very far from the power of the Ling Clan, while the Ling Clan… would be able to completely defeat the Cheng Clan and become the most important clan in Gray Cloud Town, and also the only Great Clan in the town!
“Yes, of course,” Ma Da Jun replied quickly. After all, all he needed to do was to issue the necessary commands–he would suffer no personal loss on his part.
“I don’t need to give you some kind of benefits in exchange?” Ling Han said with a smile.
“Hoho, Young Master Han, you’re really such a joker,” Ma Da Jun said with a dry laugh.
“All right, there’s nothing else that I need you for so you can go on and do your job,” Ling Han nodded, sending Ma Da Jun off.
“Why not have dinner first before leaving?” Ling Dong Xing said politely. After all, Ma Da Jun was going to do something for them.
Ma Da Jun naturally dared not stay. He hurriedly waved his hands and said, “No need, no need. I should go ahead and get to work,” he raised his clasped hands towards Ling Han and then towards Ling Dong Xing while stepping backwards at the same time till he left the room.
“Han’er, wouldn’t treating him in this manner backfire?” Ling Dong Xing said. After all, Ma Da Jun was still an alchemist. They didn’t give him any kind of monetary benefits and Ling Han was even rude to him.
“Please don’t worry, Father. That guy is the type that fears the strong and bullies the weak. Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile,” Ling Han said with a smile.
Ling Dong Xing did not ask Ling Han why Ma Da Jun had been so fearful of and respectful towards him. His son was already all grown up, and so he naturally had his own secrets. As a father, the only thing he needed to do was to support him.
Moreover, he also had to start preparing for the next step. Now, it was time for their counterattack!
“Alchemist Ma!” Seeing Ma Da Jun come out, Ling Zhong Kuan and his grandson emerged from the shadows, waving over at him.
The grandfather and grandson duo did not depart after they’d left the restaurant. Instead, they remained in wait here.
In front of Ling Han, Ma Da Jun acted like a pug dog. Yet in front of others, he immediately recovered his arrogant demeanor. He snorted, and said, “Do you have something to discuss with me?”
“Alchemist Ma, you see, Mu Yun and Ling Han are brothers of the same clan. Shouldn’t you be more accommodating and allow Mu Yun to continue to learn alchemical arts with you?” Ling Zhong Kuan said with a flattering smile.
Yet Ma Da Jun only laughed, and said, “Chief Butler Ling, I cannot decide on this issue. If you want your grandson to become an alchemist in the future, then you must first obtain Young Master Han’s approval! Otherwise, it’s useless even if you find another alchemist. No one would dare to take your grandson as a disciple!”
Ling Zhong Kuan and his grandson both wore an expression of utter disbelief. How could a mere piece of trash have such power?
“You can choose not to believe me, but this has nothing to do with me, so please do not drag me into this affair,” Ma Da Jun waved his hand, “However, I will still offer you a word of advice–do not oppose Young Master Han on any account. Furthermore, you have no idea how fortunate you are!”
They were all members of Ling Clan. There was no such thing as eternal enmity among family. As long as they sincerely apologized to Ling Dong Xing and his son, then how could it be that they would not receive any benefits in the future?
After all, Ling Han was a man that even Grandmaster Zhu, Zhu He Xin, treated with respect!