Elder Xue said, “Can we think about it for a while?”
“Can you let Brother Du Yun go first? He’s merely hot-headed, he doesn’t mean any harm.”
“No problem.” Qianye drew East Peak back, but the red-faced elder still couldn’t stand up. Only under the support of Xue Wu and another elder did he manage to clamber up and return to his seat, gasping for breath.
The red-faced elder had expended most of his origin power during that brief exchange. East Peak’s pressure was so terrifying that he simply had no way to resist—all he could do was hold on using origin power. The three seconds just now was enough to exhaust him entirely.
They had claimed they wanted to discuss this matter, yet everyone here, including Xue Wu, could only look at one another in silence, not knowing where to start. The item Qianye had brought out was simply too astonishing. Those present were all knowledgeable people, so they could easily imagine countless usages for this type of alloy. And the deeper they thought about it, the more shocked they became.
With this kind of formula and mature processing technology, Ningyuan Heavy Industries could easily crush Seagaze’s industrial foundations. No matter what angle they considered this matter from, Seagaze simply had no power to compete with Dark Flame. It was obvious that the families of Seagaze would have, literally, no business in whichever field this mercenary corps decided to set foot in. They would have to pick up the less profitable stuff that Dark Flame didn’t want to do.
This was what everyone here dreaded. Qianye’s bitter fights and killings would only destroy the families’ leaves and branches, but Song Zining’s move, on the other hand, would completely uproot their foundations.
The worst part was that Seagaze wasn’t too far from Southern Blue and there were no major powers to act as a buffer between them. How many major families of Seagaze City could refuse the allure of Dark Flame’s wealth in the future? The one that could drag things out until the end was the Xue family. They were still, in name, the number one family of the city, and it was this empty fame that would come back to bite them.
Xue Wu was actually the more decisive one; he nodded slowly toward Elder Xue. The latter glanced at everyone’s expressions and found either helplessness or indifference on their faces. Even the red-faced elder only heaved a long sigh.
Elder Xue cupped his hands at Qianye, saying, “Sire Qianye, our families will refrain from overestimating ourselves since this is an unavoidable trend, else it’ll be like the proverbial mantis trying to stop a cart. We would like to know, however, what it is that you want us to do?”
Qianye nodded. “It’s great that everyone is willing to cooperate. Otherwise, it’ll be more work for me if I have to visit the managers of the trade companies.”
Everyone exchanged glances, secretly feeling relieved that they hadn’t shed all pretenses just now. Otherwise, the curtains would rise over a new play in Seagaze City—one detailing the fall of old clans and the rise of new ones.
A suitcase appeared in Qianye’s hand, which he duly opened up on the table. “The contents of our cooperation are here.”
Everyone noticed several components arranged within the container. Their shapes were similar to the previous ones, but the surfaces were coarse and uneven, apparently unfinished products that had just been cast. Everyone had their guesses after seeing these, but there was an extremely complicated component at the center of the case, and no one knew what it was for.
Qianye pointed at the surrounding parts. “These are all semi-finished products, requiring the final processing touches. What everyone needs to do is set up related workshops according to our requirements and work on the late-stage processing for these parts.”
The elders were half worried and half delighted after hearing this. There was almost no limit to the demand for such components, so much so that they could even sell them back to Evernight or the Empire. A steady stream of wealth would be rolling in without a doubt. What worried them was the fact that this sizable fortune would come at a steep price.
As expected, Qianye smiled, “These new workshops will be split 60-40, with Dark Flame holding the majority.”
A commotion broke out in the room, but Xue Wu said, “Our Xue family agrees.”
Elder Xue was startled, but he didn’t object to this after careful thought. The other elders also contemplated on the matter and realized that they didn’t even have a choice. They would be knocked out of Seagaze if they failed to catch this train.
Qianye pointed to the complicated component at the center. “These parts, I’m sure everyone knows already, requires an expert’s origin power to process. We hope you can provide us with a steady supply of them—this is also the foundation of our cooperation.”
This caused all the other families, except for the Xue, to reveal rueful smiles. The construction of such components was extremely demanding on origin power. If Dark Flame wanted a large number of them, all the families’ experts would have to exert themselves every day, effectively keeping them tied down in Seagaze City and preventing them from affecting the bigger picture. Smaller families were doubly affected due to their relatively smaller lineup of experts, while larger families like the Xue enjoyed a larger roster and thus had more leeway to reassign people.
Xue Wu immediately replied, “We can also agree to that, but since we must mobilize our experts for this, I hope Sire Qianye will provide suitable remuneration. Additionally, the quota should also be within the scope of our power.”
With the two most important terms decided, everything else went smoothly. Qianye produced a preformed plan and placed it in front of everyone. Even Elder Xue couldn’t help but gasp after seeing the contents. The plan required them to build twenty workshops, ten in Segaze and ten in Southern Blue. This was a massive investment, basically involving ten years of accumulated wealth. Only then did everyone realize just how grand Dark Flame’s ambitions were.
Qianye’s tone became much more relaxed at this point. “The moment these workshops are constructed, we’ll be one big family. This plan is just a small fraction of the bigger scheme. Before long, you’ll see the skies of the Eastern Sea under our control.”
As for how to split the twenty workshops among themselves, that was for the families to worry about. Qianye had no intention of meddling with that. He stood up, ready to leave, when Xue Wu caught up to him and whispered, “Sire Qianye, you must be careful inside the city.”
Qianye patted his shoulders. “I’m not the one who should be careful.”
Qianye left the teahouse on his own and strolled slowly through the city, taking in the views along the way. He eventually arrived at a rather silent alleyway. There was a blood-colored X drawn on the wall at its entrance, a ghastly sight to behold. Looking into the alley, one could see small groups of fierce-looking people sitting about and playing with their daggers.
This small lane was definitely not a good place, but Qianye didn’t seem to mind as he simply strolled. He had just entered when a dagger appeared out of thin air, brushing past Qianye’s throat and nailing itself to the nearby wall.
He halted his steps and said indifferently, “I’d stop playing these boring games if I were you.”
A tall woman walked out from behind the opposite wall. “You almost died in my hands, yet you still dare to speak in such a tone!”
Qianye completely ignored her ticks. “If you think that the one who nearly died just now was me and not you, then just believe what you wish. I have no time to waste on you.”
The lady was almost spewing flames from her eyes. “If it wasn’t for the good price you’re offering, I wouldn’t have missed.”
“Are you prepared for the transaction? Otherwise, I’m leaving.”
The woman pointed into an alleyway. “Follow me, I’m just afraid you’ll lose the guts in a while.”
Qianye followed her deeper in without saying a word. There was no shortage of fierce characters along the way, either showing off their tattooed bodies, flexing their muscles, or glaring at Qianye in a bid to intimidate him. However, how could someone like Qianye—who had experienced numerous wars—even pay them any attention? He couldn’t even be bothered to spare them a second glance.
The woman shot Qianye a sideways glance. “Who would’ve thought? You really do have some guts. I’m called Black Lily, remember my name or I’ll be very unhappy. I rarely tell people my name.”
Black Lily was as tall as Qianye, and her black clothes could hardly hide her curvaceous figures. She moved as silently as a female leopard, but was full of explosive strength that would erupt and cause injuries—the ideal target for men who liked to conquer their partners.
But Qianye had no interest in her fiery figure, neither looking at her intentionally nor looking away. Even if his gaze passed over her hips or chest, he would simply look past them, as though he had just seen a rock or a tree.
Black Lily clenched her teeth secretly. She increased her lithe movements noticeably, causing her chest and hips to undulate with each step. Her black suit hugged her body even tighter at this point—one would be inclined to believe that she wasn’t wearing anything if they only saw her silhouette.
It was just that none of this had any use on Qianye. The latter simply followed her into the depths of the alleyway and finally entered a small courtyard.
Two faint figures appeared at the entrance of the alley after the gates were closed behind Qianye—it was Li Kuanglan and Ji Tianqing. The latter was clad in common mercenary-use light armor, while the former was in a billowy martial-artist attire.
“That slut is so hateful, don’t you think?” Ji Tianqing’s eyes were actually fixed on Li Kuanglan.
“People like her are dime a dozen, what’s the point of paying attention?” Li Kuanglan’s reply was calm.
Ji Tianqing’s eyes shifted about. “What if she sleeps with Qianye? She’ll definitely do such a thing, look at how hard she’s twisting her behind.”
Li Kuanglan’s expression remained wooden. “Just kill her if you don’t like her, why waste words with me?”
Ji Tianqing stretched lazily, saying, “Why should I do that? It’s your man she’s about to bed, it has nothing to do with me.”
Li Kuanglan snorted. “Nothing to do with you? Then why are you here?”
“Why are you here then?” Ji Tianqing retorted.
Li Kuanglan stood calmly with her hands behind her back. “I came to protect Qianye and the goods at Song Seven’s request. So, there’s nothing strange about my presence here.”
Ji Tianqing wasn’t willing to back down. “I’m his aide, so I naturally have to come.”
She couldn’t even finish speaking before she paused to size Li Kuanglan up. Clicking her tongue repeatedly, she said, “Wait, when did you start listening to Song Seven’s words? Don’t tell me you’re so obedient because it’s related to him? Something is fishy here!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Fishy indeed XD
TL: Legion ED: Moxie