Chapter 477: Improvised
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
It was very easy to judge if a person had completely lost his willpower. In the next hour, Vice Transport Commissioner Zhong Xiankui broke down in tears and spilled out all that Yan Liqiang wanted to know, not daring to withhold any information.
Vice Transport Commissioner Zhong Xiankui’s trip to Gan Province this time was indeed to find trouble with the manufacturing bureau. He was assigned by Transport Commissioner Jiang Tianhua of the Northwestern Transportation Office. Before he came, they were already prepared to improvise anytime. If everything went according to plan, the Transportation Office would’ve taken over the entire manufacturing bureau. If the Pingxi Prefectural Governor’s Office or Gan Provincial Governor Lei Sitong were to get involved and foil their plans, they would need to at least get the spring manufacturing method and take away one of the artisans who knew how to make the spring.
The Dark Razor Tribe wrote an official letter to the imperial court on behalf of the Shatu Seven Tribes, stating that the Dark Wood Tribe was rebelling so they were seeking aid from the imperial court to quell the rebellion together. This was indeed true, however, there had not been any formal consensus from the imperial court. Lin Qingtian wanted the northwestern provinces to dispatch troops to assist the Dark Razor Tribe to take down the Dark Wood Tribe, but the Emperor expressed his disapproval. Jiang Tianhua made use of this opportunity, intending to take over the manufacturing bureau in the name of the Northwestern Transportation Office. At the very least, they wanted to ensure that the manufacturing bureau would not be monopolizing the massive profit from the four-wheeled carriages.
Regardless of whether it was Jiang Tianhua or Zhong Xiankui of the Northwestern Transportation Office, they had not expected that Yan Liqiang would be so tough before they came to Pingxi Prefecture. This was something that they had miscalculated. They believed that unless Wang Jianbei or Lei Sitong dared to step up for Yan Liqiang and clash with the Transportation Office, Yan Liqiang was absolutely nothing to worry about. Moreover, even if Wang Jian Bei or Lei Sitong fell out with the Transportation Office, it would ultimately be a strategic battle within the officialdom. There should not be any danger in sending Zhong Xiankui and his men to Pingxi Prefecture.
Considering Yan Liqiang’s past, they learned that Yan Liqiang was a little ‘capable’ and was considered a ‘rebel’. Jian Tianhua had ordered Gan Province’s inspector Shi Zhiyao from the Northwestern Transportation Office to accompany Zhong Xiankui to subdue Yan Liqiang so that he wouldn’t dare to meddle around. Shi Zhiyao had already progressed into Martial Grandmaster and he was a character who could assume personal responsibility in the Transportation Office. Therefore, Jiang Tianhua and Zhong Xiankui thought that even if Yan Liqiang was unconvinced, with his little capability, Shi Zhiyao would still be able to handle him.
Expectation was far from reality — Jiang Tianhua and Zhong Xiankui never thought that Yan Liqiang would be so tough and even dare to attack the people from the inspection office. Even Shi Zhiyao who had already progressed into a Martial Grandmaster was unable to withstand a single blow. Yan Liqiang’s capability, courage, and insight became the main reason for their failed plan.
According to Zhong Xiankui, Northwestern Transportation Officer Jiang Tianhua had always been very close to Grand Chancellor Ling Qingtian. They exchanged letters frequently. Upon hearing this, Yan Liqiang already knew the mastermind behind this incident.
By the time Yan Liqiang walked out from the dungeon of the manufacturing bureau after interrogating Zhong Xiankui, the sky was filled with stars. Yan Liqiang lifted his head to look at the starry sky and let out a long breath.
Qian Su, who was beside Yan Liqiang, had his eyebrows knitted together. Since the moment he saw Yan Liqiang send Zhong Xiankui flying with a slap across the face today and learned that Yan Liqiang had killed the people from the Transportation Office, Qian Su’s eyebrows never unfolded even after Shi Zhiyao died under Yan Liqiang’s hands. His eyebrows remained knitted along with the grave expression on his face.
They walked toward the Iron Transportation Hall and Qian Su was the first person to break the silence.
“Within the manufacturing bureau, everyone’s statement was that those people posed as officers from the Transportation Office and acted ostentatiously. We have already issued a gag order, and a majority of the people would have no idea about the real situation!”
“Uncle Qian, are you worried?”
“Liqiang, you should understand that this incident is no small matter. If the people in the manufacturing bureau learn about the real identity of those who died in the manufacturing bureau today, I am afraid they would all start panicking. Everyone knows how powerful the Transportation Office is. This is a serious crime that warrants decapitation, and there are plenty who are afraid of it!” Qian Su said worriedly.
“So Uncle Qian, are you afraid?” Yan Liqiang turned around and looked at Qian Su with a smile.
“Of course I’m afraid. Uncle Qian’s life did not jump out from the seams of a rock. How can I not be afraid?!” Qian Su stared at Yan Liqiang angrily and blew his mustache. “At a time like this, you are still in the mood to be sarcastic. There is no use for me being afraid anyway because I can’t run from this. I’ve got to stick to you instead. Worst comes to worst, I’ll just follow you and your father to escape to some unknown place and live my life secretly!”
“I know that in your heart, you’ve slightly blamed me for being impetuous.” Yan Liqiang let out a long breath and spoke disappointedly, “If it was for my father’s matter, as a son, I would at most beat the offenders to help my father seek justice and not kill anyone. However, I had no choice but to give it my all because of the manufacturing bureau. The bureau is a seed that I planted with my own hands — it’ll grow into a giant tree that many people can rely on. In the future, whenever a storm comes, this giant tree may be able to shelter lots of people, so I cannot let this seed get destroyed by the hands of those bastards. I’ll ensure that whoever wants to destroy this seed will pay a high price for it. We cannot back down this time because the Transport Commissioner Jiang Tianhua of Northwestern Transportation Office is just one of Ling Qingtian’s dogs. As per my understanding of Ling Qingtian, if we had let this dog bite us without retaliating and chose to back down and compromise, this dog will undoubtedly want more in the future. It’s even possible that it will gather more wild dogs to chew and swallow us whole. We can only choose to fight head to head with them this time without any room for compromise!”
“However, we are dealing with the Northwestern Transportation Office!” Qian Su let out a bitter smile. “To be honest, when I thought about going against such a colossus, I could taste the bitterness inside my mouth, anxious about not knowing what to do. If it wasn’t for you, I would have already packed my bags and fled!”
“Don’t worry Uncle Qian, this situation is different from before. Transport Commissioner Jian Tianhua of the Northwestern Transportation Office will not bring this up to the imperial court because the manufacturing bureau was indeed personally assigned to the Qiyun Protectorate by His Majesty. The Northwestern Transportation Office has absolutely no jurisdiction over the manufacturing bureau. If he brings this up to the imperial court, it’ll be as if he’s slapping His Majesty’s face — he doesn’t have such guts. For this incident, we are not up against the imperial court as Northwestern Transportation Office will not get any support from them!” Yan Liqiang said with a calm expression. His eyes shone with brilliance and profoundness that did not match his age.
“With my relationship with Lei Sitong in Gan Province, even if Lei Sitong does not openly support me, he would never stand alongside Transport Commissioner Jiang Tianhua. In fact, he will put some pressure on Jian Tianhua discreetly. Jiang Tianhua did not receive support from the imperial court or any responses from the local government to deal with us. He is now in the middle of nowhere with no help. So, we only have to deal with the Transportation Office that is a thousand miles away!”
“But it’s still the Transportation Office after all!” Qian Su sighed.
“Yes, it’s the Transportation Office after all. The reason why the Transportation Office is feared by others is because aside from representing the imperial court, a lot of people are in this office. Jiang Tianhua had around six thousand men in his troops, around two groups of men from the Patrol Cavalry Battalion. When those troops gathered, they were indeed frightening. However, according to what Zhong Xiankui said, among those six thousand men, most of them were infantry. There were only around a thousand cavalrymen. We are so far away from the Transportation Office and I’ve been thinking that without the support from the imperial court and Gan Province’s local bureaucracy, Jian Tianhua only has a cavalry of a thousand men against us!” Yan Liqiang halted his footsteps and looked at Qian Su earnestly. A cold gleam flashed across his eyes, “If Jiang Tianhua dares to dispatch his cavalry here, I’ll wipe… it… out…completely!”
“Ah…” Qian Su looked at Yan Liqiang in shock. Up until now, he had never heard the tone or the words that came out of Yan Liqiang’s mouth. The confidence and aggressiveness that Yan Liqiang revealed at this instant were as bright as the stars in the sky.
“There’s no need to be shocked Uncle Qian, for I have discovered that in this world, there’s point in reasoning with anyone. In the end, it still comes down to fists and blades. Wait until Jiang Tianhua finds out that the blade in the Gan Province is no sharper than the blade that I have. That’s when we can reason with him. Our manufacturing bureau is very wealthy now, but being wealthy is not enough. It’s time for others to be afraid of us…” Yan Liqiang smiled.
“Besides, there is no use in issuing a gag order about this incident and concealing it from the people of the manufacturing bureau. Uncle Qian can gather everybody for a meeting tomorrow morning, I’d like to tell them the truth. Those who are afraid can leave, we will not stop them!”