Chapter 16: Conspiracy (1)
“It’s been four months already. Even with this much time, you really have no way of dealing with him?”
Yan Wushuang angrily pounded her armrest.
An underling who seemed like a steward was kneeling in front of her and said, trembling, “Ever since Su Chen entered the True Jade Pavilion, he follows head storekeeper Tang in studying cultural relics, ancient history, and the languages of the different races. Regardless of rain or wind, he arrives on time every day and has never once been late. Even moreso, he never does any business in the pavilion. As all control was given to storekeeper Tang, it’s hard for us to force anything.”
“You haven’t even tried any other methods?”
“We’ve tried them all. However, they probably also know that Su Chen entered the True Jade Pavilion due to our influence behind the scenes. Thus, in the past few months, their actions have been extremely cautious. With regards to buying things and guarding the storerooms, they have added even more people to monitor the situation. Their accounts are also pristine, and no fault could be found in them. No matter how much we hoped the opportunity would arise, they would not fall into the traps we laid out for them. I sent many groups of people, and I even tried to sell them a few counterfeit articles that were painstakingly crafted by Hong Wendong, but I was actually unable to bypass their inspections. They are also located in the Thousand Curve Alley, which is populated by many soldiers, so we could not make excessive movements. That is why the matter has dragged on for so long.”
Yan Wushuang’s expression sank, “So the reason I wasted so much effort sending Su Chen to the True Jade Pavilion was to let him read books!?”
“Madam, please calm your anger!” That underling kowtowed as if he were beating garlic with his forehead.
“You useless pieces of garbage!” Yan Wushuang was already standing as she cursed.
She paced back and forth a few times, her large red brocade dress setting off a storm of red-colored waves in the hall.
After coming to a halt, Yan Wushuang spoke gloomily,
“Even the tightest security has to be made up of humans. If we want the security of the True Jade Pavilion to collapse, we must start at their people. Have you not tried to bribe someone among them?”
The underling replied, “We tried, but there wasn’t much effect. Apart of Su Chen, there are a total of nine people in True Jade Pavilion. Of those nine, three are storekeepers, one is an accountant, two are laborers, two are maidservants, and one is a chef. Each has a unique job, and since Su Chen arrived, their responsibilities have been made even clearer, and they have become even more stringent in punishments. A few months ago, we bribed one of the laborers, who snuck into the treasury when they were not prepared. Who could expect that although Su Chen was blind, his ears were still sensitive? Upon hearing the strange movement, he called for people who caught the laborer and kicked him out without allowing room for explanation, refusing to ever hire him again. That laborer began to wail about telling the Su Clan that we had bribed him, so in the end, we had no choice but to purchase his silence with a hundred taels of pure gold.”
“A hundred taels of pure gold as hush money? You really have this much style in spending money?” Yan Wushuang was so angry that her sleek eyebrows were almost vertical.
At this time, the purchasing power of gold was still quite strong; a hundred taels of pure gold was enough for that laborer to live for ten years without worrying about food or drink.
That underling said with a sour face, “It’s not that we have that much style in spending money, but rather that Su Chen is too vicious. After catching that laborer, he told him, “I don’t need to know who the mastermind behind your actions is, but I will tell you that now that you’ve lost your livelihood for them, you should ask for compensation. If you’re smart, I recommend you ask for a hundred taels of pure gold. Believe me, this isn’t a very large amount of hush money to seal a mouth like yours. Of course, in order to prevent them from trying to silence you by killing you, it’s best to leave some contingency plans so that just in case you die, the news will spread. In this way, they will not dare to kill you and can only pay you the money.” That laborer only came to demand hush money from us once he had been told that. Of course we wanted to silence him right then and there, but just as Su Chen had said, the brat had made preparations a long time ago. We had no choice but to give in to him!”
Yan Wushuang was so angry that her entire body began to tremble.
Very good, Su Chen! He actually counterattacked by using her instrument to extort her. Her schemes to steal the True Jade Pavilion had failed, and she had actually lost a large sum of money because of Su Chen. The rage in her heart increased, and she angrily spat out, ”Have you tried any of the storekeepers!?”
“Head storekeeper Tang is a person who was brought from Tang Hongrui’s side of the family and is extremely loyal to the Tang Clan, so it’s basically impossible! Second storekeeper Zhang Heng was directly promoted by Master, and third storekeeper Lou Yi was handpicked by Tang Zhen. All of them can be considered to be loyal, so wanting to buy them out would not be easy……”
Yan Wushuang said, “I hear that Lou Yi has a son who likes to gamble?”
That underling responded, “Yes, he does! However, it seems that Lou Yi also knows about this shortcoming. For this period of time he has confined his son to his home, not allowing him to leave the house.”
“He can restrict him for a hundred days, but can he do that for so many years? It should be about time for him to relax, given the passage of these few months.”
“This little one understands. This little one will do it now!”
“Go, and don’t screw up this time.” Yan Wushuang said sinisterly, “I will make Su Chen pay the price no matter what!”
It could be said that she was previously only scheming about stealing the businesses. But having been humiliated and obstructed so many times, Yan Wushuang’s thoughts have escalated to satisfying her hatred.
Even if it was only for revenge, she was unwilling to let Su Chen off.
As he exhaled and yelled, the stone stele answered by shattering.
In the back garden of the True Jade Pavilion, Su Chen retrieved his fist. Today’s training would end here.
Learning under Tang Zhen didn’t mean that he had stopped cultivating his Martial Dao. Su Chen was very clear that embarking on the road of an Origin Qi Scholar was his ultimate goal.
Not long ago, he had successfully broken through the Body Tempering Ninth Layer. At this moment, he was already standing at the threshold of an Origin Qi Scholar.
“One more year should be enough time,” Su Chen murmured.
The recruitment period for the Hidden Dragon Institute occurred every summer.
The Hidden Dragon Institute could be considered the top school in the entire Long Sang country. Every year, an unknown number of Heaven’s Chosen would tear out their hair in a desperate attempt to enter.
Next year, Su Chen would be sixteen – the age where he would be entering school.
If he could enter the Qi Gathering realm, and become an official Origin Qi Scholar, it would certainly be very helpful for him in the trial to enter the Hidden Dragon Institute.
In these few years, Su Ke had been unceasingly trying to create opportunities for Su Qing .
He also hoped that Su Qing could enter the Qi Gathering realm before then.
Similarly, Su Chen was unwilling to give up. He could not afford to wait until his eyes recovered before continuing to cultivate.
By then, it would be too late.
Fortune only favored the prepared.
Originally, Su Chen was worried about whether or not he could ever recover. Now that he had confirmed that his vision was recovering, his worry began to shift from whether or not he could recover to a matter of how soon he could completely recover.
His current speed of recovery was still too slow.
Su Chen did not want to still be severely nearsighted when the time for the examination for the Hidden Dragon Institute came around.
“Who knows if I will ever have another big breakthrough like that one time with the Shifting Snake Steps,” Su Chen sighed.
Upon thinking about the Snaking Mist Steps, Su Chen suddenly recalled that he had not seen Gu Qingluo for many days.
These days, Gu Qingluo seemed to be busy with something. The frequency of her visits to the back mountain had decreased greatly, and it had already been a month since the last time they’d seen each other.
“Who knows what she is busy with,” Su Chen shook his head.
An idea suddenly sprang up in his heart – since Gu Qingluo had not come to see him, then why not go and visit Gu Qingluo?
Go visit Gu Qingluo!
As soon as this thought appeared, Su Chen could not repress the longing in his heart, and immediately decided to take action.
Of course, he would not just recklessly charge up to their gates. The Lin Clan and the Su Clan had never been friends, and the relationship between Gu Qingluo and Su Chen had always been a secret.
However, this wouldn’t pose a problem for Su Chen.