Chapter 20: Conditions (2)
Upon hearing Su Chen’s proposed conditions, Chu Jiangyu felt like his heart was being viciously squeezed by someone.
That was the entirety of his wealth! More importantly, the 161 Lifesource Candles the Gu Clan had just handed over were also stored inside it.
Just these riches alone would probably take him more than a few hundred years to reaccumulate. How could he possibly just hand it over like that?
Chu Jiangyu stared viciously at Su Chen. “Don’t even think about it!”
Su Chen smirked as he responded, “His Majesty just mentioned billions of Origin Stones and peerless treasures, but you have already started to deny this small pittance. Don’t you think that you’re going back on your word too quickly?”
Chu Yuan chuckled. “The problem is that Sir Su isn’t planning on staying here.”
Su Chen calmly shot back, “So is His Majesty not planning on paying the price to keep me quiet?”
Chu Yuan calmly replied, “I want to see just how much Sir Su loves his wife.”
Gu Qingluo and the notice in the Dreamrealm had become the two bargaining chips that Su Chen and Chu Yuan could use against each other.
Under these circumstances, Chu Yuan wouldn’t need to pay any hush money, and he also needn’t worry that Su Chen would go back on his word.
Unless Su Chen’s statement that Gu Qingluo was his wife was a lie.
If that was the case, then he needed to find out now.
Su Chen calmly tapped his tea cup. “True. With Qingluo here, you don’t have to worry about me going back on my word. However, the agreement that we have made so far only concerns the secrets of the three curses, right?”
Chu Yuan was stunned. “What do you mean?”
“I have been researching the Gu Clan’s bloodline, which was how I originally derived the secrets of the three curses. Tomorrow, I could theoretically research the Chu Clan’s bloodline to see how the White Fang Desolate Beast matches up. Or perhaps……”
Su Chen didn’t say what else he might do, but Chu Yuan’s expression changed drastically at those words.
“Su Chen, you’re quite bold!” Chu Jiangyu yelled as he smacked the table.
Su Chen shrugged. “I haven’t even started researching yet.”
Yes, he hadn’t started researching yet.
And since he hadn’t started his research, using it as a condition in this exchange shouldn’t have been possible.
But even so, this was Su Chen!
He was a genius who had developed two bloodline-less techniques in rapid succession, as well as perceived the secrets of the three curses in a single day.
If he were to research the Chu Clan’s bloodline, what kinds of shocking outcomes might emerge?
Chu Yuan’s expression shifted slightly. With but a moment’s consideration, he grabbed his son’s hand.
“Father!” Chu Jiangyu yelled in shock.
“It’s just a few Lifesource Candles. As long as the status of the Chu Clan doesn’t change, we will have opportunities to gather more,” Chu Yuan said as he tossed the ring over to Su Chen. “Everything inside belongs to you now. However, you must also swear right now not to research the secrets of the Chu Clan’s bloodline.”
“Ok!” Su Chen replied.
With the Origin Beast Shining Dragon Bloodline, Su Chen wasn’t really that interested in the White Fang Bloodline, so exchanging it for this big haul was pretty good.
At the very least, it made up for the cost of purchasing the Dream Monarch status.
Of course, Su Chen didn’t know that Chu Jiangyu’s Origin Ring contained Lifesource Candles. He had merely used the Origin Bone Scepter to predict that the Origin Ring on Chu Jiangyu’s finger would be incredibly valuable.
“Also, I want the secret techniques that you used to manually activate the three curses,” Chu Yuan said.
Su Chen was already very happy that he was able to use the Capricorn Chant and bypass the Capricorn Staff. Naturally, Chu Yuan was also very interested in it; if he were to obtain it, then he would be able to control the Gu Clan much more effectively in the future.
“Fine,” Su Chen replied.
This was also a kind of exchange: Lifesource Candles for the improved versions of the three curses.
After completing the exchange, Su Chen received the Origin Ring and took a look inside. Even he was dumbfounded. “There’s that many Lifesource Candles inside?”
“161 candles!” Chu Yuan clarified as he gritted his teeth. “Each one is worth tens of millions of Origin Stones. Just one candle is enough to extend the days of someone about to die by a significant amount, and these candles can also give weak people the strength to unleash incredibly powerful Origin Skills.
“Many thanks,” Su Chen chuckled.
These Lifesource Candles also had another hidden potential for Su Chen: as sacrifices to the Origin Bone Scepter.
Apart from the Lifesource Candles, Chu Yuan’s Origin Ring also contained a large quantity of cultivation resources. As the Crown Prince, it was impossible for him to be lacking in that regard, but in the blink of an eye they had all been transferred to Su Chen’s ownership.
An agreement had been reached, so the Gu Clan’s three Ancestors also returned at this moment.
“Qingluo, so this is the husband you have chosen for yourself? Good, very good!” Gu Xinrong harrumphed through her nose.
It was unclear whether she was praising Su Chen or still held some anger over Su Chen’s use of the Capricorn Curse to exert control over her.
“Greetings, Fourth Grandmother, Seventh Grandfather, and Eighth Grandfather,” Su Chen said with neither too much humility nor too much arrogance.
Gu Qingyang chuckled, “Good, very good. You do indeed have some talent. No wonder this girl Qingluo fell for you. She has quite the sharp eyesight.”
Gu Qingyang, surprisingly, began to praise Su Chen.
This wasn’t actually that strange a turn.
During their prior negotiation, everyone had realized something: if Su Chen was able to discover the secrets concerning the three curses and their applications that quickly, then wouldn’t he someday also develop a way to nullify the three curses?”
Both Chu Yuan and Gu Xinrong, as well as the others, had their own conjectures about this.
Su Chen had been referring to this when he had vaguely said, “Or perhaps……” earlier.
However, Su Chen had never explicitly stated it.
Because if he did, that would be essentially equivalent to opening it up to discussion. Su Chen didn’t want to do so, because he still wanted to maintain control over whether or not he would pursue that line of research in the future.
Chu Yuan wouldn’t openly ask either. To him, the situations of someone able to activate the three curses and someone able to nullify them wasn’t really all that different. As such, he didn’t want to bring it up lest Su Chen extort them again. In any case, Su Chen was also a smart person. He was probably also aware that, if the equilibrium was disturbed, then the Chu Clan wouldn’t let him off as easily.
Thankfully, the two sides had preserved this delicate balance with a kind of tacit understanding.
The three Gu Clan Ancestors, however, did not seem to feel the same way.
To them, the difference was extremely significant. After all, one meant that everyone was their master, while the other meant that no one was their master.
As such, after recovering from their initial shock and anger, every one of them had suddenly realized that this Worldly Sage possessed immense potential. Perhaps the opportunity the Gu Clan had been waiting for forever was right in front of them, so their entire attitude had shifted dramatically.
Though Gu Xinrong had a bad temper and wanted to maintain her prestige through a strict demeanor and brusque words, Gu Qingsong and Gu Qingyang almost wrapped their arms around Su Chen and called him brother.
So what if they were at the Ultimate Emperor Realm?
With the three curses afflicting them, they were essentially living under someone else’s roof and had to behave accordingly based on the other party’s mood.
If everything was fine, then they had no problem addressing you with a higher form of seniority for the sake of convenience. But when they needed to use you, there was the constant threat of the Capricorn Staff and the Origin Dream Jade if you didn’t obey.
Now, someone who possessed the talent to release them from the three curses had appeared, bringing them a ray of hope. How could these two Ancestors not treat him with the utmost respect and flatter him a little?
They were willing to do more than flatter Su Chen with a few sentences. Even if he asked them to dig deep into their coffers, they were probably willing to do so.
Unfortunately, the slippery old Chu Yuan wouldn’t leave despite the fact that he was unwilling to openly discuss the matter. There was no way that the Gu Clan would be able to negotiate a deal with Su Chen while avoiding Chu Yuan.
The same went for Su Chen.
He wanted to nullify the three curses for Gu Qingluo, not to release the Gu Clan as a whole.
He was no longer the same ignorant kid as before, and he was very clear about the balance of the world. The Gu Clan possessed an extremely important status amongst the Seven Kingdoms. If it wasn’t for the precious Lifesource Candles they contributed every year and their past service as the human race’s top warriors, then the Seven Kingdoms might not have been able to hold out against the powerful enemies waiting right outside their borders for this long.
If the Gu Clan were to obtain their freedom before the human race was strong enough to hold their borders on their own, it would be a disaster.
As such, Su Chen wasn’t considering that option at all.
However, if one day the bloodline-less cultivation system was strong enough that it could replace the system of bloodline inheritance, and the Gu Clan’s status was no longer that important, Su Chen was willing to consider freeing the Gu Clan.
But as for right now, it was better to forget about that.
Thankfully, with Chu Yuan present, all that could be shoved onto him to manage, and Su Chen didn’t need to play the role of the bad guy. As such, he could deal with the three elders courteously, but not sincerely.
Since the matter was settled, the three parties became “friends,” and the following trivial matters were very quickly taken care of.
Chu Yuan didn’t try and push Su Chen to take down the notice quickly. Instead, he invited Su Chen to come visit his imperial palace.
This was a necessity to demonstrate his sincerity.
Some things could not be achieved by threats or by incentives alone. Building a relationship at the appropriate moment was sometimes less costly but more effective.
That evening, the Chu imperial palace organized a celebration banquet for Su Chen.
Of course, it was impossible for them to mention the three curses openly, so the reason publicly given was that it was a reception for the Boundless Sect’s Sect Master, Su Chen.
The leader of a country entertaining the head of an organization was a passable excuse. Even if it was a bit more extravagant than the norm, most people would only comment on that in passing.
The Chu Emperor was someone who enjoyed showing hospitality, and the Crown Prince played his role perfectly as well.
Even Gu Qingluo was treated well — because of Su Chen’s influence, she had truly become an important figure that could not be offended in Empty Mountain.
“Just yesterday we were being chased around like stray dogs, but somehow in the blink of an eye, we’ve become Emperor Chu’s guests,” Gu Qingluo sighed.
“You are the first person to describe your circumstances as akin to that of a stray dog,” Su Chen chortled. “Right, how is Gu Feihong doing?”
“He’s been sent to the Gu Clan’s prison for ten years. He’s basically powerless now,” Gu Qingluo replied as she pulled out another Origin Ring. “Right, this is a gift that the Ancestors wanted me to give to you.”
“Many thanks.” Su Chen said as he accepted.
“Brother Su!” Chu Jiangyu was a bit agitated.
Su Chen chuckled and said, “Don’t worry. I am aware of what I can and cannot do.”
He quickly glanced at the contents of the Origin Ring.
Indeed, apart from a large number of Origin Stones, precious ingredients, and a few top-tier Origin Tools, the most eye-catching item in the ring was three vials of blood.
Without question, these vials contained the blood of the three Gu Clan Ancestors.
The purest manifestation of the Shining Dragon Bloodline.
There was no communication or transaction because the Chu Clan was present. Everything was conducted without a single word.
The Gu Clan had sent over a vast sum of resources and samples of their precious bloodline for no reason other than for Su Chen to research it on an impulsive whim.
There was no permission, no agreement, no promise. All the terms had been left up to Su Chen.
The Gu Clan was just hoping that this seedling which they had invested these resources into would someday bud and blossom.
Even if it was just a one-in-a-million chance!
Even if the chance of success was very low, it was worth a shot.
That was the Gu Clan’s reasoning.
Chu Jiangyu understood what was going on, but he had no way of stopping it from happening.
As such, he could only say, “I trust Brother Su’s judgement.”
Su Chen chuckled and downed his drink.
Everything had been concluded without even a word being spoken.