Chapter 35: Bewitched
Su Chen sat at the head position in the main lobby. Below him were five males all wearing the clothing of servants.
The person at the very front was a haggard old man wearing a dark-green chief steward’s uniform. He called himself Yu Wen, and he was the Yu Clan’s chief steward. The other four were the chief stewards of the Chang, Bai, Zhang, and Liu Clans, respectively.
Naturally, the five chief stewards had come to Su Chen regarding their Young Masters.
The matter of Bai Ou trying to find trouble for Su Chen was no secret. At the very least, those present knew about it. After Bai Ou and the others had disappeared, they knew after a few discreet inquiries that Su Chen was definitely involved. Thus, they had come right to his front door.
The Bai Clan’s steward said in a low voice, “Su Chen, don’t waste our time with useless words. You are very clear about why we are here today. Bring them out right now and we can let the matter go. Otherwise, you will face the consequences!”
Su Chen didn’t even blink. He gazed intently at a few tea leaves floating around in the teapot as he slowly said, “You were the one who said not to waste time with useless words, but you are the one trying to strut about in front of me. What point is there in blustering like this? Do you think that I would dare to kidnap your Young Masters, yet tremble in fear upon hearing your words?”
Everyone present was speechless.
Su Chen had kidnapped the Young Masters of all five clans, so he definitely wasn’t afraid of the consequences. There was no point in trying to threaten Su Chen.
However, Bloodline Nobility Clans were used to feeling superior, and even their servants had this attitude. If they couldn’t have an aloof and elevated aura when speaking to demonstrate their superiority, they wouldn’t speak at all.
Thus, after Su Chen’s biting retort, the chief steward from the Chang Clan tried to smooth things over, “Chief Steward Bai was just somewhat impatient. What we are trying to say is that it is better to quash the enmity between us than keep it alive. The Young Masters from our clans didn’t know any better and offended Prince Su. Since Prince Su has already taught them a lesson, will you be generous and let them go?”
Su Chen laughed sarcastically, “Are you done spouting rubbish?”
Although the tone was much softer, the meaning of their words were the same: if I want that person, you will give him to me. They were not sincere at all.
Upon realizing that Su Chen was moved neither by force nor persuasion, the five chief stewards glanced at each other.
Finally, the chief steward of the Zhang Clan spoke up, “If Prince Su is willing to let our Young Masters go, the Zhang Clan is willing to pay a thousand Origin Stones to display our gratitude.”
The frosty expression on Su Chen’s face began to thaw slightly. “Finally, someone is speaking reasonably, but it’s just a person who isn’t worthy of coming on stage.”
Evidently, he was calling out the Zhang Clan for being too stingy.
Flames of rage emerged in the five chief stewards’ hearts, but they could only lower their heads and endure.
Chief Steward Liu asked, “How much is Prince Su asking for?”
Su Chen glanced at him before saying in a warm voice, “I have to make something clear first. I have never done anything like kidnap the princes from your five clans. I would never do anything like holding people ransom for money. However, as a fellow student of the Institute, I need to take care of our friendly affection. Since some of my classmates have disappeared, I have the responsibility of searching for them, right?”
The five of them cursed in their hearts. This Su Chen was someone who would erect a large monument to commemorate his chastity upon becoming a prostitute.
But this was not surprising. This world still had its rules and laws. Regardless of whether it could actually be controlled, some things were better not talked about. Thus, Su Chen would not confess no matter what. The young masters were in his hands, so the situation could only be resolved under the pretext that he had “helped look for them”.
“Secondly, searching for people is a very troublesome matter. There must be a price paid. Those five are all elites in the Qi Drawing Realm. Who knows where this adventure of theirs has led them? It will take a lot of time and effort to find them, and will also probably require other materials as well. The way I see it, we can value them at fifty thousand Origin Stones per person.”
“What did you say?” The five of them shouted in unison.
50,000 Origin Stones was daylight robbery!
Chief Steward Chang said coldly, “Prince Su, are you not afraid of offending five Bloodline Nobility Clans?”
“Chief Steward Chang, you must have made a mistake!” Su Chen exclaimed in fake shock. “I never kidnapped your clan’s Young Master. I will use this money to help you find your clan’s Young Master. Of course, you can also choose to believe that they’re with me right now. You are more than welcome to try and search my instructor’s Origin Energy Tower.
At a loss, the five of them glanced at each other.
How many servants would be needed to search Shi Kaihuang’s Origin Energy Tower?
This would be equivalent to not knowing how the character for “death” was written.
Since forcing their way in was no longer viable, they would have to negotiate.
No matter what, Su Chen was unwilling to lower the price from 50,000 Origin Stones. He claimed that the money would be spent on the five of them in the end anyways, which was not a lie; he spent lots of money on experiments, especially now when he was performing multiple experiments simultaneously.
Earlier in Northface City, he earned two large sums of money totaling roughly 400,000 Origin Stones. But in the following days, he had spent roughly 100,000 Origin Stones including the amount that he had given to the Su Clan and his cultivation expenses, leaving him with 300,000.
Of this 300,000, roughly half of it was gone after Su Chen’s wild spending.
This was even with the support of the Immortal Temple, who would send him a shipment of ingredients every month. Otherwise, Su Chen’s savings would’ve disappeared a long time ago.
Thus, Su Chen was trying new ways to make quick cash. Pan Hao was a victim of that, as were Bai Ou and the others.
Why didn’t Shi Kaihuang perform so many experiments? It wasn’t just because he didn’t have eyes that could see Origin Energy or because of ethics. Neither was it because of his reverence for contemporary Origin Skills. It was because he didn’t have any money!
He was in the Light Shaking Realm, but he had buried his head in his research and never looked to make some extra money on the side. Even though he had the ability to make quite a bit of money every day, he was still as poor as a dog.
It was his fault for believing in “focus” so much.
Earning money was not the behavior of someone who was “focused”.
Su Chen was destined not to be the ideal student that Shi Kaihuang wanted. He had no way of remaining focused, he took advantage of every opportunity he had to make money.
You want the person? Fine, bring me the money!
While the other party was busy gathering the money, he could perform some last few experiments on them so that he didn’t waste even a bit of the resources available to him.
The five chief stewards had no choice. They returned to their clans to think of some method to gather some money.
50,000 Origin Stones was no small sum, but it was not a sum that would ruin a Bloodline Nobility Clan. However, it would be difficult to procure such a sum as a servant. Most importantly, they didn’t dare inform their clans.
If the heads of their clans found out, they might be killed by the ensuing fits of rage.
The most important objective was to save the Young Masters. After they were saved, explaining the situation would become much easier.
Before they left, Chief Steward Yu said meaningfully, “We will work hard to come up with the money. We hope that nothing will happen to them.”
Su Chen said sincerely, “Heaven rewards those who are righteous. I believe that my five fellow classmates are somewhere enjoying themselves, living peaceful lives. Their cultivation might not have even been impacted very much.”
When those five servants heard this, they felt relief wash over them. They believed that Su Chen only wanted money and not the people themselves. Their clans’ Young Masters were most likely safe and sound.
That’s for the best, that’s for the best.
They returned to gather money, feeling much more at ease.
After watching them leave, Su Chen returned to his experiment chamber.
Zhang Zhongyue was lying on a table. Upon seeing Su Chen walk in, his eyes revealed a panicked expression, but his mouth was still slanted and was unable to say anything. He could only babble incoherently.
Su Chen smiled at him and said, “Congratulations, your clan members came to find you. Right now they’re gathering some money, and you should be able to leave very soon.”
A trace of excitement flashed across Zhang Zhongyue’s eyes.
“Wow, you still remember how to feel excitement! It seems like I haven’t stimulated your consciousness enough yet. You know, it’s possible that this is all just a dream; you might be hallucinating because of the effects of a drug and this might not be real. You are under my control and you have no way of leaving. As for your clan members, they are nothing but demons trying to obtain your trust and corrupt your intellect. Thus, you need to be strong and determined to protect yourself, understand?”
Su Chen fed him a bottle of medicine as he gently continued, “Remember, everything might be a dream, but your memories of Su Chen are not. He is destined to be the bane of your existence. Opposing him is like opposing fate. Any person who tries to coerce you to oppose Su Chen is just a demon...... a demon......”
“Demon...... demon......” Zhang Zhongyue squeezed out. His eyes were already beginning to roll into the back of his head as soon as the medicine entered his mouth.
He passed out again. Large waves began to surface in his consciousness......
“Yes, a demon......” Su Chen gently said. A brilliant light appeared in his eyes.