Chapter 6: System Change
Su Cheng’an’s thunderous voice rang through the halls.
“You unfilial son! You actually dared to deceive me!?”
Pa! Su Cheng’an slapped his son across the face.
“What are you doing!” Tang Hongrui 1 moved forward to protect her son.
“You would still protect him!?” Su Cheng’an’s body trembled with anger as he pointed at Su Chen and yelled, “This unfilial son actually dared to lie to his father! His eyes hadn’t recovered in the slightest!”
“Then what of it?” Tang Hongrui rudely replied, “Didn’t Chen’er do so only because you thought to favor the Second Elder’s suggestion of a system change?”
“I was acting in the interest of the clan.”
“Oh? Was it not for your fourth concubine?” Tang Hongrui looked at Su Cheng’an with an ice cold gaze.
Ever since Su Cheng’an married his second concubine, the affection between Tang Hongrui and Su Cheng’an had greatly declined.
Su Cheng’an was stunned but soon recovered, and furiously said, “I wanted another child but you feared it would harm Chen’er and were thus unwilling. Did I have any other choice?”
“Nonsense!” Tang Hongrui bluntly spat at her husband’s face, “Did you really need to marry three to fulfill that goal? Clearly you were motivated by lust!”
Su Cheng’an blushed and immediately said, “As the child of a great clan, to start branches and scatter leaves is a righteous matter. Chen’er is blind and is doomed to have difficulty succeeding in the future. As the future clan head, my heir must be outstanding and capable. What about this do you not understand?”
Those words were not incorrect.
More sons would produce more happiness; this was a sentiment shared by all great clans. Their reasoning was quite simple: all it took was one talented, determined individual to lead a clan to glory. As long as there was a talented enough descendent, no one cared if a majority of offspring were disappointing.
As such, when the previous generation selected an heir, they would look at not only their own children, but the children of the third generation as well.
As the eldest son of the Clan Chief, succession rules dictated that Su Cheng’an would be the future clan lord. But if he didn’t have an excellent heir, then that future would never come to be. After all, no one wished for the Su Clan to sink into internal strife after Su Cheng’an passed.
Tang Hong’rui looked at her husband with great resentment, “You talk and talk, but you cannot hide your selfish intent. You only think of yourself.”
“I am only thinking of myself?” Su Cheng’an felt incomparably wronged, “Who do you think was shielding the boy from the wind and rain these past two years if not I? The second elder had long wanted to change the system. Yet, leading a group of sixty elders, I persisted in preventing it. It was only because of me that he was able to place first in two evaluations despite being blind!” ”
“That’s right. That was after you heard your son’s eyesight was recovering,” Tang Hongrui grimly laughed,“But what about now?”
Su Cheng’an froze.
“You cannot continue to persist, correct?” Tang Hongrui continued, “Because you’ve discovered there is no more value in continuing to protect your son.”
Su Cheng’an’s face became ashen as he remained silent.
Tang Hongrui looked at her husband with disappointment, “Su Cheng’an, I see through you. You are but a selfish scoundrel who measures his own son based on how useful he is to you. If he can be used, you will take care of him and protect him from wind and rain. But if there is nothing to gain, you will immediately abandon him.”
“When have I ever abandoned him?” Su Cheng’an could only feel extremely vexed. Did he not only slap his son once? This animal lied to his father. Should he not discipline him? And when did he say anything about abandoning him or driving him away? Besides, he is truly unfit to become a warrior…
However, he didn’t finish that thought. He only looked at his own son.
He said, “Chen’er, tell me, why have you not given up until now?”
“Because I am convinced I will recover.” Su Chen replied, “That beggar said that he exchanged my eyes, not destroyed them. He told me he could give me a future with limitless possibilities. This means, that I could possibly recover.”
“YOU LIED TO ME BECAUSE OF THE RAMBLINGS OF A BEGGAR?” Su Cheng’an roared, unable to control himself.
Su Cheng’an was familiar with these words. During Su Chen’s depression, he and Tang Hongrui had even used these words to comfort him. At the time, Su Cheng’an also shared the hope that sustained Su Chen now.
But two years had passed and Su Chen’s eyes were the same as before. What future of unlimited possibility?
It was simply nonsense!
Everything was a lie, a complete lie!
Su Cheng’an had already given up on this idea. Only Su Chen and Tong Hongrui still believed that recovery was possible.
“Chen’er. You clearly understand that it is only an impractical dream. How could you believe the words of the one who harmed you? You need to face the truth and abandon your unrealistic delusion!” Su Cheng’an said sincerely and earnestly.
“And what then?” Su Chen faintly smiled, “So long as I give up, you would be able to righteously abandon me with confidence, yes?”
Su Cheng’an’s heart was shaken. Su Chen quietly exposed the selfish calculations that he had buried in the depths of his heart. He felt a chill of terror momentarily wash over him.
How is this possible? He is only fourteen years old but he can already clearly understand the hearts of men?
But that terror quickly changed to indignant anger.
He buried his guilt beneath this anger as he assumed an air of righteous punishment..
Su Cheng’an loudly roared, “HOW IMPUDENT! How could you say those things to your father?”
Su Chen didn’t say anything. He only “looked” at his father.
Although his eyes were blind, they appeared no different from normal. His eyes, his gaze, both were bright and meaningful.
The intelligence and meaning contained in Su Chen’s eyes only served to further unnerve Su Cheng’an.
He tried to calm himself. He mustered every bit of self control he had in a bid to steel his heart, but failed. He could not meet his son’s gaze, and turned away in shame.
Su Chen then said, “Father, could you tell me what I did wrong in the end?”
Su Cheng’an went silent.
After a long while, he replied, “You didn’t do anything wrong. You have always been a good child.”
“Then why can’t you support my diligence, instead of continuing with your current plans?” Su Chen again asked.
Su Cheng’an replied, “There is no sin in forging onward but you are standing in the way of others.”
After Su Chen’s lies were exposed, the system was changed with no further objections.
The changes were not great. The evaluation would still primarily test power, but with the addition of a right to challenge.
The leader of the yearly selection had an obligation to receive a single challenge. The challenger will be selected from the other defeated children. However, there could only be one challenge, and weapons were forbidden.
This change was worded carefully. It was small enough that it garnered no opposition, and it dispelled Su Changche’s worry of injuries and death.
Naturally, this made the target of these changes even more obvious. Everyone knew it was for Su Chen.
For this reason, Su Qing became excited. He even boasted that Su Chen would be better off giving up now, before he embarrassed himself in the challenge.
However, his threat was obviously useless.
This was because Su Keji and his son received information extremely quickly that Su Chen was certain to participate in this year’s end of year evaluation.
1. Su Chen’s mother