Pang Qianchi stared at Li Luo, and the corners of his eyes seemed to be spasming. He was unprepared for Li Luo's finishing move.
The details of Tianshu's branch had not reached headquarters, so even he was not sure of what had happened there...
He knew now. Li Luo's secret seventh-grade watersource was the magic behind Tianshu's success.
But how could Li Luo have such a powerful watersource?!
Could it be an inheritance from the two House Lords? But if that was the case, why would he not take it out earlier? With a watersource of such quality, the Suncreek Villa would definitely be many times stronger than it currently was!
Pang Qianchi reeled from the confusion. Li Luo ignored him. He turned to the other resonance artificers. "So, am I qualified to be president now?"
Silence greeted him, and the hothead from before hung his head shamefully.
In this situation, silence meant consent.
Elder Zheng Ping's rage had already subsided fully. "No objections from me," he stated.
He spoke on behalf of many of the moderate artificers, who were fully intending to lend Li Luo their support now.
Pang Qianchi's face was stony as he struggled with his anger. In his mind, the position of president was already his, but now Li Luo had swooped in to take it away. All of his carefully ministrated opportunities had been thoroughly swept away.
It seemed like he had no other reason to block Li Luo's ascension.
However, he had already swayed many resonance artificers to his side before this. Although Li Luo might have won this battle, he had yet to win the war.
With those who had promised to follow him, he could continue a secret struggle against Li Luo. He would start attending the Astral Sage College soon, so he would not have much time left with them. Once he left, wouldn't the Suncreek Villa be back in his hands again?
He had run a tight ship with the Suncreek Villa before. Was a young lord really going to change anything?
Thinking thus, Pang Qianchi managed to calm himself. So be it. The fight would simply take a little longer than expected. Pei Hao had already told him: just hold on until next year's housemeet. He would make his move then. And when House Luolan was dust, who would care about a lord of nothing?
When Pang Qianchi fell silent, Li Luo's gaze swept their ranks. "Since there seems to be no objections, then I will assume the role of the Suncreek Villa's headquarters’ president. I ask for your kind regard."
The gathered resonance artificers dutifully applauded. Such was the temptation of an upper seventh-grade watersource.
"The proverb goes: a new boss cracks the whip three times. Let me crack the whip for the first time."
Li Luo declared. He turned to Pang Qianchi. "Vice President Pang, you have worked very hard. I give you a year's leave. Please enjoy your rest at home."
In other words, a temporary removal of Pang Qianchi.
Pang Qianchi remained unmoved. Was this young lord so naive to think that removing him would lessen his influence at the Suncreek Villa in any way?
Those he had swayed to his side would be his eyes and ears. He would simply use different methods to interfere in the Suncreek Villa's affairs.
Some resonance artificers frowned doubtfully. Li Luo seemed to be moving too hastily. It might not be good for the Suncreek Villa's future.
But before anyone could speak up on Pang Qianchi's behalf, Li Luo suddenly announced, "I know that some of you have been swayed by Pang Qianchi, and your allegiance is with Pei Hao."
There was a jolt of panic suddenly, and some queasy looks could be spotted on faces.
Pang Qianchi frowned as well. He stared at Li Luo. What was he planning to do? It was not a hard guess to make, but what could he do?
"Perhaps you think you can communicate with Pang Qianchi in secret, but you're underestimating the intelligence network of House Luolan..."
Li Luo said with a calm expression. He pulled out a scroll that was sealed with wax. "This is the list of all who have turned to Pang Qianchi's side."
There was even more restless shuffling now, but no one spoke. They waited quietly.
The tension in the atmosphere was palpable.
Pang Qianchi started. Was he intending to cull them based on the list? If so, that was incredibly bold. Still, the price would be a thorough sacking of the Suncreek Villa.
With some resonance artificers stolen away by Hanzhi, if Li Luo chased even more of them away, it would be virtually impossible for the Suncreek Villa to resume normal operations any time soon. That would be a huge loss.
Elder Zheng Ping's face was rigid with tension as well. One wrong move, he knew, would bring the whole Suncreek Villa crashing into disaster.
The silence continued to build until some found it difficult to breathe.
"I haven't looked at the list yet."
Li Luo said calmly. And then he pulled out a flare, setting the scroll on fire. The flames ate at the paper hungrily.
He then carelessly tossed the burning scroll aside.
He had their attention now, and all eyes were staring at the burning scroll.
They did not understand.
As for Pang Qianchi, he was staring at Li Luo fearfully now.
He seemed to have guessed what Li Luo was up to.
"Gentlemen, you all know what has been going on in House Luolan in recent years very well. The fact that all of you have remained here through these hard times speaks of at least some loyalty.
"It is normal for you to falter in hard times. Therefore, I pledge to you here, in the capacity of a young lord, that all you have done in the past will be wiped away clean, just as this namelist burns. As long as you are willing to work hard on the Suncreek Villa's behalf in the future, you are a valued member.
"Have no fear, your previous allegiances will not be used as blackmail against you."
His declaration gave them much to ponder. They did not know if the namelist he had was real, but that was not important compared to the significance of the pardon he had just pledged.
Clearly, he was prepared to extend his generosity in order to assure the stability of the Suncreek Villa.
"Moreover, the Suncreek Villa intends to take out 20% of all profits in the future, which will be passed on to the resonance artificers as remuneration, through higher salaries and other perks."
If Li Luo's burning of the list had been enough to make them reconsider, this further push was enough to bring them over into joy.
Resonance artificers joined villas for two purposes. One was to improve themselves, and the other was to earn money. After all, they all had families to feed.
Li Luo had first presented them with a high-purity watersource that would help them improve in the future. And now, a salary increase. 20% of the Suncreek Villa's profits was no small number—it was enough to match what the best villas were paying.
This meant that the Suncreek Villa would have a bright and rich future ahead of it.
How could they not rejoice at such news? Moreover, they were sure that this declaration would bring resonance artificers flocking to the Suncreek Villa.
Anyone with the slightest shred of acumen could see that the Suncreek Villa was about to take flight in the near future.
They looked at Li Luo with renewed passion now flaring in their eyes.
This young lord was far more capable than they had expected.
As for Pang Qianchi, the blood was steadily draining from his face as he watched Li Luo appeal to the artificers. He had made one masterful move after another. It would pull away the majority of his followers.
Li Luo's combination of punches was enough to undo much of the work that he had done before.
Pang Qianchi was getting the feeling that his hands were being tied tighter and tighter. They had underestimated this young lord—he seemed to be a more formidable opponent than they had given him credit for.Previous Chapter Next Chapter