Jiang Qing'e's voice rang out coldly, met by mutters and exchanged glances within the hall.
"Miss, someone was sent to the Suncreek Villa's headquarters to convey the message. President Hanzhi should have hurried over if he received the message," Lei Zhang said.
Jiang Qing'e nodded. "Seems like we have a problem."
"Is President Hanzhi Pei Hao's man?" Li Luo asked.
Today was his presentation as the young lord of House Luolan. The management staff knew it was important. Even if they did not respect him, they had to respect Jiang Qing'e.
And if this Hanzhi was planning to disrespect both, then he had to be a diehard Pei Hao supporter.
Jiang Qing'e shook her head. "Hanzhi is not one of Pei Hao's. He has always swung between us, a shrewd and cunning person. There's no reason he wouldn't be here..."
"If he's not here, there must be trouble."
"Or," Li Luo said softly, "he found a buyer even more attractive than either of you?"
The entire room turned to him in horror. This meant... Hanzhi had betrayed House Luolan?!
Jiang Qing'e's eyes narrowed too, then her expression became even more grim than before.
She felt that Li Luo's guess might just be exactly right.
As the whispers grew around the room, there suddenly came the sound of hurried footfalls from outside. An old man barged in.
Li Luo recognized him as Zheng Ping, who had come to the City of Southwind before. He had affirmed Yan Lingqing's position there.
Zheng Ping was an elder of the Suncreek Villa's headquarters. He had a wealth of experience. Right now, his weathered face was creased in anger.
"Young Lord, Young Mistress, that scumbag Hanzhig suddenly announced that he's leaving the Suncreek Villa for House Duze's Bigswamp Villa. Before he left, he took half the Suncreek Villa resonance artificers with him. Worse, the cursed devil even burned the formula research center!" Zheng Ping shouted hoarsely, his face miserable.
There was a collective gasp across the meeting room. All of House Luolan’s management was dismayed.
Was Hanzhi crazy? A betrayal of House Luolan, poaching the Suncreek Villa's resonance artificers, and arson at the formula research center?!
A loud outcry of anger exploded in the meeting room.
Li Luo's face was grave. He had worked in the Suncreek Villa's branch workshop before. He knew well that the most important thing to a villa was the resonance artificers.
If Hanzhi was dissatisfied with the Suncreek Villa, he could have chosen to leave, no problem. But to break and bury the Suncreek Villa with his departure?
And the formula research center. That was the lifeblood of any villa. Immense capital had been poured into experimentation and research. And now it had all been burned down by Hanzhi. It was a devastating loss.
One more point. He could have chosen to leave any time, but he had purposely waited for the young lord's return to do such a despicable thing... No one would believe that it was not a targeted attack on Li Luo.
Jiang Qing'e's voice sharply silenced the hall.
"This is a well-calculated plot of House Duze against House Luolan." There was no apparent anger on her face, only seriousness.
Her calmness helped them control their anger as well.
"House Duze again..." Li Luo sat down beside Jiang Qing'e. He had heard it straight from Si Qiuying's lips—House Duze had it in for him from the moment he set foot in Xia City. This was a masterful stroke they had delivered.
"They must have spent quite a lot to pull Hanzhi to them. Otherwise, he would not have dealt such a cruel blow," Jiang Qing'e said. This was not only a move against House Luolan, but also against the new leader, Li Luo, the young lord.
They had purposely chosen their timing to completely embarrass Li Luo and reduce his standing within House Luolan.
After all, a change in leadership being immediately met with such a tragic betrayal was sure to get people pointing fingers at Li Luo.
They might even say that the young lord was so out of touch with the management that their people were fleeing from him.
Li Luo sighed inwardly. So these were house politics? Cruel, savage, cutthroat. Compared to them, the City of Southwind's Song family looked like a child's squabble.
"House Duze has gone too far! This is underhanded!" Lei Zhang shouted in a trembling voice.
"We have always been rivals. It is naive to blame our enemies for being harsh," Jiang Qing'e said flatly. "We will remember this. We will pay them back when the time comes."
Although she was angry, she quashed it down with logic. She knew that House Luolan could not engage in all-out war, if the house was to survive this storm.
"Young Lord, Young Mistress, the Suncreek Villa is in disarray right now. You have to do something.
"Pang Qianchi is only adding fuel to the fire. He says that since Hanzhi has left, there should be a new president..." Zheng Ping reported with barely suppressed fury.
Jiang Qing'e turned to Li Luo. "Pang Qianchi is a Pei Hao supporter. He has always blocked my interventions at the Suncreek Villa. When Hanzhi sat back neutrally, Pang Qianchi could control many things at the Suncreek Villa."
Li Luo gave her a small nod. This was similar to the situation back at Tianshu, although this Pang Qianchi was probably much harder to deal with than Zhuang Yi.
He had heard the story regarding the headquarters' vice president back at the City of Southwind. He was once a strong contender to be President of the Suncreek Villa, and was favored over Hanzhi at one time. However, his parents ended up choosing Hanzhi over Pang Qianchi.
Perhaps his resentment of Li Luo's parents was the reason he immediately turned to Pei Hao the moment they disappeared.
But now it seemed like neither Hanzhi nor Pang Qianchi could be relied upon. He could not blame his parents. When House Luolan was in its fledgling years and growing, they were sorely lacking talent. They could only make do with what they had, and make a note to replace the bad people later.
But before these two could be replaced, they had vanished.
"Elder Zheng, please help calm things down over at the Suncreek Villa's headquarters. Tomorrow, the young lord and I will personally go and sort things out. Do not worry. The Suncreek Villa is precious to the House Lords and many of the elders. We will not let it fall into ruin," Jiang Qing'e said soothingly to Zheng Ping.
"Alright." Zheng Ping immediately turned away after paying his respects to Li Luo and Jiang Qing'e. He hurried off.
With his departure, the mood in the meeting hall returned to normal, although this was only on the surface. House Duze had chosen the perfect time to strike, souring the young lord's return.
Starting tomorrow, word would spread all over Xia City, and they would be made fools of.
House Duze was disgustingly low.Previous Chapter Next Chapter