As the executives chatted, Ji San emerged and walked up to them with large strides.
“It’s a tragedy for our clan, Elder Yuan Li, but the clan rules are clan rules. Contributions and mistakes are to be rewarded and punished accordingly. You overcome many enemies to get our patriarch home. That’s a great contribution. Clan rules dictate that you should be rewarded.”
“That’s right, Elder Yuan Li. You should accept the commendation.”
“The young patriarch is right. These are the rules. If you decline the appointment, you’ll be breaking the rules.”
Everyone knew Ji San held Elder Yuan Li in high regard. Perhaps the elder would one day become Ji San’s confidant. It wouldn’t hurt to get on his good side now.
Talking up the elder wouldn’t cost them anything. Everyone spoke up in support of Elder Yuan Li.
The elder was going to decline the offer still, but Ji San pulled a long face.
“If Elder Yuan Li refuses to accept the appointment, I’ll turn over the position of patriarch to someone else then.”
Everyone knew that was Ji San’s stubbornness speaking and tried even harder to convince Yuan Li.
Finally, the elder accepted respectfully, “I wouldn’t want to disrespect you when you value me so. I shall accept the appointment with a thick face.”
Ji San’s mock anger gave way to delight. “That’s the spirit! Patriarch Coiling Dragon has yet to recover. The burden of the clan fell on me before I was mentally prepared. Truth be told, I’m feeling insecure. Therefore, I need your support and advice with regards to major clan businesses.”
“You’re too humble, young patriarch.”
“That’s right. The old patriarch’s experience gives him an edge, but you’re growing into an equally fine leader as his successor. It’s no secret that you’re close to young lord Jiang Chen, and that you’ve been gifted with two empyrean weapons. That makes us the most favored clan within Veluriyam Capital. With the young lord’s support and a talented young patriarch, our clan will continue to prosper. Wouldn’t everyone say so?”
“That’s right. The young patriarch will bring a new energy into our clan!”
A change of leadership meant a shift in the political landscape.
Perhaps some of the more senior elders weren’t entirely convinced with Ji San, considering him too young and inexperienced to be the patriarch, but everyone knew a coup wasn’t an option despite their grievances.
Ji San was always going to be the patriarch after Emperor Coiling Dragon retired. There was no other candidate. The fact that Ji San was Jiang Chen’s sworn brother was reason enough.
No one dared covet the position.
Therefore, the smartest decision was to support Ji San in becoming the patriarch in name as well as power, and to win over the new patriarch’s approval so as to not be replaced. Everyone could tell that following Ji San would be the most beneficial path.
Ji San was so close to Jiang Chen that the young lord had gifted him two empyrean treasures without batting an eye. There would definitely be more in the future.
Truth be told, the young man might make an even better patriarch than Emperor Coiling Dragon.
After all, he’d surpassed the old patriarch in cultivation despite his youth, and he had a personal connection to Jiang Chen. Who else was a better candidate?
During this time, Ji San had gradually gotten used to being the patriarch. The compliments didn’t cause even a ripple in his heart. Nevertheless, he put on a pleased smile, acting as if he greatly enjoyed the praise.
The world was a stage, and one had to be a good actor in order to survive.
Ji San had taken Jiang Chen’s warning to heart. He had to play his role to avoid alerting their enemies.
He knocked on the arm of a chair. “We’re all talking about young lord Jiang Chen. To be honest with you, becoming his brother may be the greatest achievement of my life. Now that my brother has encountered a problem, I can’t possibly stand by and do nothing, can I now?”
“Of course not! The young patriarch should shoulder some of the young lord’s burden in order to demonstrate the Coiling Dragon Clan’s value. Only then will our clan’s status in Veluriyam Capital continue to rise.”
“That’s right, young patriarch. It’ll be best if we can help the young lord.”
Ji San nodded. “I know that, but do any of you have any suggestion as to how we can help him? The human domain hasn’t been peaceful lately. There are attacks taking place all around the domain. The Coiling Dragon Clan may be decent in our strength, but we aren’t good enough to quell the unrest. Our very own patriarch was attacked when he travelled around outside.”
The elders fell silent.
They weren’t willing to respond to the attacks. It was too risky. They didn’t have the strength for it.
“It’s said that young lord Jiang Chen has been repairing the Great Formation of Heavenly Soul Confinement, young patriarch,” an elder spoke up. “Perhaps we can supply him with some spirit stones.”
“Agreed. That’s one way to make some contribution. Suppressing the unrest is a high-risk but low-return task. If we succeed, it won’t necessarily be considered a great achievement. If we fail, we’ll be considered more trouble than we’re worth.”
“Yes, it’s better that we do something to help with the formation.”
Ji San frowned and pondered without a word.
Elder Yuan Li smiled and broke the silence. “This subordinate knows a thing or two about formations, young patriarch. If possible, I’m willing to take a delivery of spirit stones and a few of my formation experts to assist the young lord. We may be of some help.”
Ji San’s eyes lit up. “You’re a formation master, Elder Yuan Li?”
“I wouldn't call myself a master,” Yuan Li said with a smile. “However, I do have some experience.”
Ji San didn’t immediately respond. After a moment of deliberation, he asked, “What do you think, everyone?”
“Elder Yuan Li is skilled in formations. This may be our clan’s chance to prove ourselves to the young lord!”
“Well said! Elder Yuan Li will be improving our clan’s outlook.”
“This subordinate volunteers to go with them, young patriarch. Although I can’t help with the formation, I can stand guard on the outskirts and ward off incoming harassment. That’s a way to contribute as well!”
“That’s the way to go.”
Ji San was delighted. “I’m delighted to see all of you eager to contribute to our clan. The clan and I myself owe the young lord a great deal of debt. It’s time for us to repay him. Elder Yuan Li, take your team and some spirit stones to young lord Jiang Chen and await his orders.
“Elder He Gang, take some people with you to guard the formation for the young lord.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
'twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...
Do the next line, xianxia style!