A payment of 300,000…
According to the agreement signed in the Supreme Manual, Sea Spirit Pavilion would have to compensate three million spirit stones. It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford this, but once they paid, this was no different from acknowledging that Sea Spirit Pavilion was at fault. Sea Spirit Pavilion’s upright and honorable reputation had allowed them to constantly develop these past years, but while they did so, many people had begun to eye them, and all sorts of moves were being made in the shadows. These people would absolutely not let go of such a prime opportunity. They would inevitably spread propaganda recklessly to attack Sea Spirit Pavilion’s reputation. This sort of invisible loss was the most terrifying of all.
The chief manager was surnamed Wu. No one knew his true name. His normally warm and kind expression was dark and gloomy. If he had the qualifications to oversee the capital city’s branch division, it was natural that he had an extremely high status within Sea Spirit Pavilion’s overall hierarchy. While he stood at the peak of the wave, there were countless people targeting him from below. Each one of those people was waiting for him to make a mistake so that they could take advantage of him while he was down.
The Supreme Book had been proposed by Chief Manager Wu. After the idea had been discussed at headquarters, it had been agreed that it would first be implemented in the capital city’s branch division. The feedback for the last several months had been good. Creating profits was one thing, but the most important aspect was that it increased their renown and faith and was something that Bluesky Tower and Earthfault Spire could not control, allowing Sea Spirit Pavilion to obtain an even higher reputation.
Headquarters had begun to consider promoting the Supreme Book through various large cities in the sea region. If this were to smoothly succeed, then Chief Manager Wu’s fame would rise precipitously and his position would be impregnable. But, at such a critical moment, a dramatic mistake had occurred with the Supreme Book. It was already a great testament to his training and poise that he was able to sit down while suppressing his anger.
“Could it be that someone deliberately set up a trap and led us into it?” A branch division manager frowned as he spoke. It was clear that everyone had considered this possibility already. She looked forwards. As the second in command of the branch division, it was her responsibility to fully investigate this matter. Her name was Clearwood and she came from a mysterious background. In fact, many of the other sea race managers didn’t know where she came from. But, after arriving at the capital city branch division over a year ago, Clearwood had used her incredible skills and methods to obtain everyone’s approval.
“I’ve already personally questioned the people involved in this. The guest didn’t mention the Supreme Book on his own initiative, rather, it was the counter worker who introduced it after considering the possible commission, and it was the guest who chose the payment amount. Because the payment amount was too high, the worker confirmed with the ninth floor to make sure it was acceptable. However, because she was too nervous, she forgot to attach the amount involved and after the ninth floor examined the object and didn’t perceive anything wrong, they signed it as passing.”
Clearwood’s voice was cold, just like her expression. “On the other hand, I urgently gathered five high level sea spirit teachers to work together and diagnose the red coral. It was determined that nothing was done to tamper with it. It was dying under normal conditions through having its life depleted, and it was only barely managing to live on with the powerful potency of the high quality nutrient fluid. The rest of the symptoms were only a sign of its weakness. When the sea spirit teacher initially in charge was diagnosing, he didn’t discover that replacing the nutrient fluid with a lower quality version would lead to the death of the red coral.”
Closing the text in her hand, she looked around at everyone. She faintly said, “In summary, I judge that this matter is a coincidence completely caused by neglect of the staff.”
Everyone looked at each other with blank dismay. The vast majority of them had conspiracy theories and plots racing through their thoughts, but now they finally discovered that this problem was entirely their own fault. Even though they didn’t want to believe it, the truth was placed right in front of them. If they tried to pretend that it didn’t happen, their skin simply wasn’t thick enough to do that. Moreover, if this matter were to be exposed, the reputation that Sea Spirit Pavilion had garnered over the years would be utterly ruined.
Chief Manager Wu glanced at everyone and said, “Clearwoood was in charge of investigating this matter. Since this is a mistake of my capital city branch division, there is no need to discuss it further.” He paused, and everyone could feel how heavy his words were. “Right now, what we need to do is figure out how to solve this while minimizing the possible fallout.”
An awkward silence followed.
Everyone knew that Chief Manager Wu was in a critical period right now, and this was no trifling matter. If someone used this as a pretext to move against him, it would be good if he could keep his position within the capital city branch division. But after that, he wouldn’t be able to take another step upwards. Because this matter was so important, no one dared to speak out; the consequences were too serious.
Chief Manager Wu frowned. He began to call out names, “General Affairs Manager Shen, you are always wise and crafty. Let’s hear your thoughts.”
General Affairs Manager Shen secretly complained about this, but he remained calm on the surface. He coughed and pushed up the crystal glasses lying on his nose, saying, “I’m sorry, it’s a bit embarrassing but I must urgently use the restroom.”
Chief Manager Wu said without expression, “Then go.”
General Affairs Manager Shen rose up, nodded, pushed up the door, and left.
Looking around, everyone had their heads down. Chief Manager Wu sighed, knowing that none of them had a good plan. Of course, even if they did, no one would be willing to say it out loud. The several managers present all had complex backgrounds that represented a variety of special interest groups. In fact, some of them might even be hoping for him to fail.
“If you want to control the fallout as much as possible, then the key will be the guest. As long as he is willing to settle this matter quietly, then there will be a chance for us to resolve matters amicably and with the smallest amount of trouble.” As the cold voice rang out, Chief Manager Wu’s eyes flashed with surprise. He never thought that the first one to say something voluntarily would be Clearwood. It was a bit surprising, because if an accident happened, Clearwood was next in line to replace him. Chief Manager Wu always held a bit of fear towards her, but he never thought she would be so open-minded and gracious. He sighed inwardly.
As long as a knife didn’t appear at his back, Chief Manager Wu had some assurance that he would be able to overcome this hurdle. He sucked in a deep breath, “What does Manager Clearwood suggest?”
Clearwood lightly said, “I’ve already sent some people to investigate and look through the image monitors at the capital city’s streets. As long as he isn’t deliberately hiding from us, we should be able to find him.”
The hearts of several managers who held their heads down like ostriches skipped a beat. They didn’t know what this mysterious Clearwood was thinking of that she would actually let go of such a prime opportunity, and not just that, but even help on her own initiative. Could there be some hidden feelings involved? As soon as several people thought this, they felt their hearts shake. They originally had some minor plots they wanted to hatch, but now they didn’t dare to try them anymore.
What nonsense. Once the second and first in command joined forces, anyone that jumped out first would immediately be cut down.
Chief Manager Wu’s heart relaxed. He sent her a thankful look, and nodded, saying, “Manager Clearwood’s words have really opened my mind. Since this is the case, let us wait for further news.”
Besides the General Affairs Manager Shen who had supposedly gone to pee, no one else could leave, meaning that no one else could go out and try to interfere. As they all sensed Chief Manager Wu’s icy gaze, all of them sat down respectfully, sighing in their hearts. It seemed that they wouldn’t be able to benefit from this incident. They also cursed in their hearts. Just what was this Clearwood woman trying to do?
Sea Spirit Pavilion made full use of their prestige and power. Good news soon came back. The guest was staying in an inn and hadn’t taken a step out yet.
Chief Manager Wu stood up. He looked around. “Everyone, this matter involves not just me, but also the reputation of the entire capital city branch division. So, I ask that everyone follow me for a visit.”
It was obvious that he wanted to completely crush the possibility of anyone making moves in the shadows. Moreover, there was an implicit threat in his words, saying that if he were to suffer, no one else would be better off.
Several high level figures forced a smile and nodded.
Moments later, an inconspicuous carriage drove out from Sea Spirit Pavilion. After meandering around in circles several times and making sure that no one was following, the carriage snuck into the flow of people and disappeared.
When Qin Yu heard the young servant knock on his door and say that some people wanted to see him, a trace of astonishment flashed in his eyes. He hadn’t thought that Sea Spirit Pavilion would respond so quickly.
“I understand. Allow them in.”
Several breaths of time later, there was a knock on his door. It was clear that by the time the young servant responded, they had already arrived.
Qin Yu said, “Please enter.”
With Chief Manager Wu at the head, six people walked into the room. Even the peeing General Affairs Manager Shen had been dragged over. Seeing Qin Yu so calm, Chief Manager Wu’s heart shrank, and the smile in his eyes turned a bit colder. “It seems that our guest knew we would come?”
Qin Yu didn’t immediately reply. He gestured, “Please sit.” The room he reserved was extremely large. There was a spacious living room and the chairs of woven seaweed were wide and spacious. Chief Manager Wu stormed over and fearlessly took a seat. Since this other party didn’t deny it, that was already an answer.
“You all have come for the red coral, right?”
A manager responded with an icy look. “If so, then you acknowledge that you deliberately trapped us?”
Chief Manager Wu lifted a hand. “Just what do you plan on doing?”
A serene voice came from beneath the black robes. “That red coral, did you bring it here?”
Clearwood turned a hand and took out the jade box. She had an indifferent expression.
Qin Yu lifted a hand and the jade box fell in front of him with grace and ease.
Chief Manager Wu’s eyes shrank.
To move objects through space. This was something that even a Foundation Establishment cultivator could do and wasn’t considered anything at all. But, what was strange was that not even a bit of aura came from Qin Yu while he did so.
This sort of wonderfully skilled control of strength was something only the truly powerful could accomplish.
Qin Yu opened the jade box, revealing the nearly dead coral within. “I presume that you all have already assigned someone to carefully investigate the coral, and perhaps have even looked over it yourself? Then, I only have one question. Does Sea Spirit Pavilion have the means to revive it?”
As this question entered the ears of those present, it was simply openly taunting them. If they had a method to revive it, why would they all come here!? The complexions of several managers darkened as they all had looks as if they wanted to eat Qin Yu alive.
Chief Manager Wu said, “Why do you ask something you already know?”
Qin Yu smiled. He stroked the red coral. “Because I can.”
These words came without explanation, leaving several people stunned. But as they remembered the earlier conversation, their complexions changed. They looked at Qin Yu, their gazes incomparably sharp as if they could pierce through his body with looks alone.
Chief Manager Wu took a deep breath, “Just what do you want?”
Qin Yu stood up and gestured. “Tomorrow at this time, I ask that you all come visit again. At that time, I will explain everything.”
Clearwood suddenly said. “Alright. Then we’ll bother you tomorrow.”
Chief Manager Wu had a thoughtful expression. He looked deeply at Qin Yu. “Then, we won’t bother you anymore.”
Everyone left the inn and boarded the carriage. After driving out a long way, a manager suddenly sneered. “Everyone, you don’t all really believe that this person can revive the red coral, right?”
General Affairs Manager Shen shook his head, “I’ve personally looked into it; its life vitality has indeed been exhausted through natural means, and unless there are some heaven-defying treasures extending its lifespan, the coral will die. Moreover, just how rare and precious are these kinds of heaven-defying treasures? Even if this person has something like that, he would be insane to use it on the coral.”
The meaning behind his words was that he didn’t believe Qin Yu.
Clearwood lightly said, “It’s only a day after all, so why not wait?”
The atmosphere turned a little bit colder.
Chief Manager Wu said, “Order people to blockade the inn. Until tomorrow, do not let even a fly escape. I want to take a good look and see just what trick that black-robed guest will try to play tomorrow.”
With everyone involved temporarily isolated and with timely handling of affairs, the incident with the Supreme Book hadn’t yet spread out.
Everything calmed down for the moment.
But, when the coral changed from dark blue to red, this sense of calm was suddenly broken.
Bluesky Tower and Earthfault Spire held a joint conference, clearly stating that an incident occurred with Sea Spirit Pavilion’s new Supreme Book and that they attempted to cover the truth. Not just that, but they had placed the guest under house arrest and had locked away all essential evidence.
As Chief Manager Wu looked at everything occurring from an imaging mirror and saw the two solemn and respectful expressions of his enemies, he smashed his favorite teapot to the ground, his face as hard as iron.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter