Volume 3 – The Place Where My Heart Feels At Peace, Chapter 117: Lobbyist (Part 1)
In truth, Qianye still wasn’t clear as to what Wei Potian’s two elders were planning even after their dinner together. The meal was a family dinner through and through. The dishes were sumptuous and involved no overly complicated table etiquette. They simply ate as an ordinary family would. There was only Wei Dongming, Wei Bainian, Wei Potian and a single advisor who seemed to be of significant position within the Wei family.
Wei Potian was exceptionally well-behaved today as most of Marquis Wei’s words were to lecture him. Wei Bainian and the advisor both seemed to be cultured gentlemen—the topic of their livening conversations mostly involved the customs of various lands and the hobbies of the nobility of which Qianye had merely heard of. Qianye was inherently lacking with regards to social intercourse. The odd part was that they didn’t inquire about Qianye’s origins either.
Wei Potian insisted on sending him back when Qianye excused himself and proceeded to jump into the jeep’s driver seat. Qianye noticed Wei Potian’s expression seemed somewhat gloomy as if he wanted to complain about his sufferings.
The jeep rumbled as it fled swiftly—it almost seemed as if it was about to fly. Qianye’s residence was in the adjacent street block but Wei Potian drove in the opposite direction, taking a long detour. Despite that, it didn’t take them much longer than the normal route to arrive at the small courtyard. Apparently, driving at such a speed was the only way to improve his mood a little.
Wei Dongming and Wei Bainian stood gazing at the jeep rushing through the streets. The advisor had already excused himself and no maids were left in the room. Only the two brothers were left in intimate discussion.
Wei Bainian spoke first, “I’ve already observed the scene. Wu Zhengnan’s remains were ignited by origin flames, but his friend doesn’t have such an origin power attribute.” He paused momentarily before adding, “The expeditionary army headquarters aren’t without skilled personnel. It’s impossible for them to not discover this point. However, I heard that it was Qiyang who had appeared to deal with them from beginning to the end. They didn’t even ask if there were any other survivors who can testify.”
Although Marquis Wei had come to Evernight Continent in secret, he was, nonetheless, an extremely prominent target. That was why he rarely left his residence after returning from Wei Potian’s office. Wei Bainian would check up on whatever the former wanted to see.
At this point, Wei Dongming replied indifferently, “Even black-faced Xiao’s attitude seemed to be more bark and less bite. When did he become so amiable? I refuse to believe this Marquis of Bowang has that much prestige.”
“Do you mean someone had already paved the way on the expeditionary army’s side for Qiyang to overthrow Wu Zhengnan? And our Wei clan had no hand in it?”
Wei Dongyang nodded. “It’s quite likely. But whether or not Qiyang knows is uncertain.” He laughed coldly. “Why otherwise would Zhang Youheng be in such a hurry to wash his hands of this matter? He wouldn’t extricate himself so directly if he knew of the expeditionary army headquarters’ ambiguous attitude.“
Wei Bainian frowned. “This man is really too pragmatic.”
“It doesn’t matter. He’s not from the Zhang clan despite his surname. It’s better for him to be more cautious. We’ll just have to use him less in the future.” Wei Dongming didn’t really mind the military police prosecutor’s withdrawal but instead asked, “What do you think of Qiyang’s friend?”
“A good blade, but one that’ll be hard to control.”
Wei Dongming was silent for a moment before saying, “There’s someone behind him.”
Wei Bainian also expressed agreement. Qianye didn’t seem like a person who could scheme and accomplish the feat of placating Xiao Lingshi.
At this time, Wei Potian was rushing into Qianye’s courtyard. He shouted at Lil’ Seven and Nine as if he was the master, “Bring wine!”
Qianye shot a glance at him before entering the house. He then received the two cups of strong wine from Lil’ Seven and put a drop of his custom stimulant into each of them.
Wei Potian snatched a whole bottle and finished half of it in one swig. Only then did he slam the bottle onto the table and said angrily, “Tell me why that bastard won’t stay despite the many benefits I’ve offered him? Damn his grandmother! Isn’t this making it difficult for me on purpose?
“Who else but my sixth uncle? In order to take up the position of division commander, one needs to be a champion in addition to being proficient in military affairs. He’s likely the only one in the clan who can make time for this.” At this point, Wei Potian couldn’t help being depressed.
He had gone to see Wei Bainian as soon as the latter returned, striking while the iron was hot. However, he was respectfully seen off before half an hour had passed. Apparently, the negotiation wasn’t successful. This Wei clan young master certainly wouldn’t suffer such bulsh*t if he had a second choice.
Qianye’s felt a slight jolt to his mind. As it turned out, Wei Bainian was the Wei clan’s candidate for taking over the 7th division’s defensive region. But judging from how Marquis Wei worked, there should be another purpose.
It was likely that the Wei clan had intended this operation against Wu Zhengnan to be a practical experience for the heir. That was why they had set up only the general plan and required Wei Potian to work out the details. After passing through many knocks and bumps along the way, it was his final test to find a suitable candidate and reorganize the 7th division.
However, even an outsider such as Qianye was able to see that it was quite the overkill to assign someone of Wei Bainian’s talents to Evernight Continent. It seemed the Marquis Wei’s real intention was to make Wei Potian back out after seeing the difficulties and give up on this small region sooner. However, it also wasn’t bad if Wei Potian could persuade Wei Bainian to stay because that would give the Wei clan an additional base of operations in Evernight Continent, albeit one of little value.
At this time, Qianye began to recall the item Song Zining had given him and the contents of the conversation between Wei Bainian and the advisor at the dinner table. He suddenly began to grasp the meaning behind all this.
“Why is he refusing to take up the position of the 7th division commander?”
“How should I know?! Heaven knows what’s going on in his mind. Why would he need to travel all the way here if he has no intention to stay?” Wei Potian drank in large gulps while complaining and soon a whole bottle had entered his stomach.
Wei Potian kept on talking continuously for almost an hour. The effects of the wine had appeared and he could no longer stand straight. Hence, he summoned the guards who had come to find him with a loud cry and staggered away in their company. Wei Potian’s complaints were mostly focused on the management of trivial matters which he must’ve been holding in for quite some time. It was just that today was a good opportunity to vent.
Qianye mostly listened in silence during the whole process. As the heir of Marquis Bowang and the future leader of his clan, Wei Potian would encounter these things sooner or later. They would only be more complex than the management of a mere Blackflow City—Wei Potian was obviously aware of this—he only needed someone to listen to his rants.
After Wei Potian left, Qianye returned to his bedroom and gazed contemplatively at the wooden box near his bed. He could already confirm that the item within it was prepared for Wei Bainian. Qianye thought for a while before he laughed, shaking his head. Could this be considered “adapting to other party’s tastes”?
The night peacefully passed by. Qianye, being someone quick to take action, called upon Wei Bainian early next morning.
Qianye went silent for a moment when Wei Bainian inquired the purpose of his visit. Recognizing that he wasn’t quite proficient in lobbying people with lengthy words, Qianye decided to get straight to the point. “General Wei should be the single best candidate for the 7th division commander’s position. I wonder why you refuse to accept?”
Wei Bainian replied with a question of his own, “Then why do you think I should accept this position?”
Qianye was momentarily speechless as he discovered how difficult it was to answer this question.
Qianye shook his head after the words “future prospects” escaped his mouth. With Wei Bainian’s qualifications and background, he could easily obtain a division commander’s position in any of the regular corps. The future prospects there were much better than in the second-rate expeditionary army.
Qianye gave it some thought before asking, “I wonder if General Wei has plans to climb higher in rank?”
It was easiest to breakthrough amidst life and death struggles. This was the creed of all experts of the Great Qin Empire. Most champions had cut their way through paths full of thorns and thistles. It was likely that the war zone in which Blackflow City was located would encounter a battle with the dark races. It was also likely to attract those who sought to increase their strength.
However, Wei Bainian laughed self-deprecatingly. “I’m very clear about my aptitude. I’m afraid it’s no longer possible for me to improve. That being the case, I would rather pass my days peacefully and let my family be at ease."
This had effectively blocked Qianye’s intended words. If Wei Bainian had really reached a bottleneck like he said and could no longer breakthrough, the focus of his considerations would likely be a stable lifestyle—this was common sense. This was especially true for descendants of aristocratic families. With so many things burdening their minds like their parents, children, and subordinates, one simply couldn’t exclude the possibility that they had lost their spirit. This might be the background reason why he was the only champion available to lead an army.
The guest room immediately became silent. Wei Bainian’s expression was quite calm and showed no traces of impatience.
“But there are tens of thousands of people living in the two cities of this defensive region.”
Wei Bainian broke out in laughter. “The tens of thousands of Evernight citizens aren’t more important than the people of my Far East Province. I can serve anywhere and still serve the same purpose.” His words could be considered quite polite. For many of the aristocracy, their native citizens were naturally more important than the people from this abandoned land.
Qianye produced a wooden box and placed it on the table. “Then, what about considering this item as remuneration?”
Wei Bainian’s eyes flashed slightly as he let out a chuckle. “You must already know that Young Master Qiyang has already offered me many things.”
Wei Bainian had already noticed the uneasiness in Qianye’s actions and the awkwardness of his words as he handled the item. It was obvious that this was the first time he had engaged in such business. However, he didn’t expose the latter and only took the box and played around with it in his hands. He didn’t open it in a hurry but instead sized up Qianye with great interest.
Qianye also replied quite calmly. “Potian didn’t tell me about the details but did indeed say that he had offered you very good terms but you didn’t agree to it.”
“That makes me somewhat curious what young master has brought for me.” Wei Bainian smiled as he unlocked the jade fastener. The box was pushed open a crack to reveal the corner of a smaller and more exquisite box. From this angle, one could see a light golden seal on its cover.
Wei Bainian’s expression suddenly changed after his gaze fell upon this seal. His chest began to undulate rapidly and the hand that was holding onto the box casually trembled a little bit. He couldn’t help but close the box and place it back on the table.
He raised his head and looked toward Qianye with a rueful smile. “I truly lost my composure! It’s actually such an item!”
Wei Bainian inhaled deeply before opening the wooden box once again. It was uncovered completely to reveal a small and exquisite black lacquer box. On its surface was a striking insignia overflowing with great antiquity. Every stroke exuded the aura of vicissitudes.
Qianye was only able to barely recognize the word forming this insignia because he had read the description of this item. It was the ancient character “Ji”.
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2/6 of the week. Enjoy ^_^
TL: Legion, ED: Moxie