Chapter 151: Roping in (2)
Long Qingjiang stared at Su Chen, tongue-tied. “Su Chen...... You’re too vicious! You’re trying to wipe us out too!”
“Wipe you out? I don’t think so. Actually, it’s the exact opposite - I’m saving you as recompense for what happened at the Southern Mountain,” Su Chen said calmly.
“Do you really think that you’ve won for sure?” Long Qingjiang stared at Su Chen savagely.
“Why not?” Su Chen countered. “The He and Xiong Clans have both been finished off, and the Wei and Shen Clans are being bullied by you guys and would love to see you all destroyed. They won’t be of any help at all, at least not at the very beginning. The Wang Clan is being suppressed by City Lord An. They might not even be able to bring out any strength at all to help; instead, they might need the help of the other clans. In other words, the current alliance is only really composed of five clans.”
“You won’t be able to deal with five clans either!” Long Qingjiang said.
“Wasn’t your ten-clan alliance unable to do anything to me before?”
“That’s because I was helping you!”
“That’s why I’m asking you for help just like before,” Su Chen quickly replied, causing Long Qingjiang to fall silent.
Su Chen laughed, “See, the situation really is that easy. If you help me, I’ll have the Origin Bureau, the Long Clan, Long Clear Gang, Evil Tiger Gang, and the Third River Army to boot. That should be more than enough to deal with four clans.”
“And then? You’ll eliminate me as well?”
“You know I’m not the type of person to forget a favor,” Su Chen replied. “It’s not that Clear River City cannot have any Bloodline Nobility Clans. However, the Nobility Clans have become puffed up and they no longer answer to the emperor. Just because they are strong, they wantonly break the law, monopolize the economy, and offer neither tributes nor taxes. This is the reason why both sides have been locked in a battle all the way until now. As long as the Long Clan is willing to be under the imperial jurisdiction in the future, none of this will be an issue.”
Long Qingjiang laughed coldly, “Bloodline Nobility Clans becoming puffed up is not something that only occurs in this city but all over mankind’s territories. You can keep Clear River City in check, but can you watch over the whole human race?”
Su Chen replied, “Of course not, and I have no interest in doing so either. I am only doing this because I am an official of the Origin Bureau, and this is my duty. Once my term is fulfilled, I will leave. At that time, it won’t matter to me if you want to throw Clear River City back into chaos.”
Long Qingjiang stared at him in shock. “I thought you were an official who loves the common people like your own sons.”
Su Chen laughed, “Perhaps I love the common people, but not as my own children. The world is too big and there are too many people. I can’t love all of them. It’s enough for me just to do what I should do.”
“But didn’t you vow to pave a way forward without a bloodline and to overthrow the Bloodline Nobility Clans?”
Su Chen’s smile only grew wider. “So you guys know about this too? You really did your homework. However, there’s one thing you got wrong - the vow I made was to break through the bloodline restrictions and create a cultivation system belonging uniquely to humans so that they don’t have to rely on bloodlines to cultivate. This will cause the human race to rise to prominence...... but I never said that I want to overthrow the Bloodline Nobility Clans. That’s just how some people choose to interpret my actions.”
“But if the common people rise to power, where will the Bloodline Nobility Clans find a place to shelter themselves?”
“That doesn’t concern me. I only know that if the common people rise to power, the Bloodline Nobility Clans will be indirectly attacked. However, that is not my goal nor my pursuit. For instance, people will always produce excrement after eating, but you cannot say that I eat for the purpose of producing waste, can you? I don’t care whether the Bloodline Nobility Clans exist or perish. Truthfully speaking, as long as they don’t bother me, I’m too lazy to even pay them any mind. Whether there are still Bloodline Nobility Clans in Clear River City doesn’t affect or matter to me at all. The conflict between us was never a fight over social status but because I was trying to carry out my duty and you all disapproved, causing you to try and make trouble for me. It’s as simple as that.”
Long Qingjiang was stunned. When he recalled the hatred he had initially felt for Su Chen, he realized that it was just because he had arrested two Origin Qi Scholars who had been stirring up trouble.
Su Chen was just carrying out his official duties, but in the eyes of these Bloodline Nobility Clans it had become a provocation, and they immediately sent large numbers of people after him to have him answer for his “crimes”.
It was at that moment that Su Chen had joined forces with An Siyuan. Before then, he hadn’t ever gone to the City Lord’s residence to try and curry favor with him.
“So that’s how it was...... everything started merely because you were just carrying out your official duty?” Long Qingjiang muttered to himself.
“But that’s not strange, and there’s no way to change that truth,” Su Chen said. “As long as the Bloodline Nobility Clans want to try and remain above the law, refusing to answer to the emperor, this kind of conflict was bound to happen sooner or later. If I didn’t arrest them on that day, I would have done it a few days later. And if you guys tried to retaliate then, you would do it a few days later. The only difference would have been timing, but this didn’t all occur by happenstance.”
“That’s true.” Long Qingjiang didn’t deny that the Bloodline Nobility Clans held themselves in much too high a regard. They wouldn’t have been able to accept being suppressed by a lowly Knowledge Executor like Su Chen, so something like this would happen sooner or later.
However, this conflict was originally not irreconcilable, yet things had still played out in this manner in the end.
It really was too late for Long Qingjiang to regret it even if he wanted to.
Su Chen said, “I’ve already said all that needs to be said. I don’t have any prejudice against the Bloodline Nobility Clans; everything that I have done until now is just for self-preservation.”
Long Qingjiang thought of something. “So you don’t need to kill everyone, right? The clans have already been taught a lesson and don’t want to go on fighting. I can take the lead on our side and begin a peace negotiation to resolve the situation!”
Su Chen shook his head. “I can agree to a peace negotiation, but only under one condition.”
“What condition is that?”
“The Light Shaking Realm! Clear River City does not need the existence of Light Shaking Realm cultivators who refuse to be a subject to the emperor.”
There was only a single Light Shaking Realm cultivator in Clear River City who refused to be a subject to the emperor: Wang Zhanyu.
Wang Zhanyu was a Light Shaking Realm cultivator with three Lotus Platforms and the most powerful expert amongst all the Bloodline Nobility Clans, the cornerstone keeping everyone else in place.
Su Chen’s basing the peace negotiations on wiping out Wang Zhanyu was tantamount to saying that this was impossible.
“No room for discussion?”
“No room for discussion!” Su Chen replied very decisively.
Wang Zhanyu must die!
If he didn’t die, Su Chen wouldn’t feel at ease.
If he didn’t die, An Siyuan wouldn’t feel at ease.
Only once he died would the Bloodline Nobility Clans truly have lowered their heads.
Like Su Chen, An Siyuan didn’t actually need all the Bloodline Nobility Clans to be wiped out.
They couldn’t all be wiped out anyways. If he defeated a wave today, a new group would rise up tomorrow.
He only needed these Bloodline Nobility Clans to lower their heads and obey.
Wipe out the ones bubbling up, split up the ones gathering together, weaken the strong ones, and leave behind the obedient ones.
This was Su Chen’s plan.
Long Qingjiang asked, “What tactics do you have to get them to agree?”
“I don’t have to provide them any incentives; I can also just threaten them,” Su Chen said in a measured tone. “We’ll talk seriously first. If they are willing to lower their heads, that will be for the best. If they don’t, then we’ll beat them until they do. If they still aren’t willing, then we’ll wipe them out immediately. Of the ten Bloodline Nobility Clans, two have already been eliminated. A few more won’t make a huge difference.”
“You’ve killed so many people belonging to them, then are proposing such a harsh condition? I think it’ll be hard to succeed.”
“That’s because they haven’t reached desperate straits yet. As long as they realize that they have no chance of winning, things will be much easier,” Su Chen replied casually. “Also, don’t I have your help? Why don’t you tell me which of these clans have the weakest wills and are the most cowardly. We’ll start by eating the softest fruit and go after the more difficult ones later.”
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