Chapter 24 - Scheme
Edited by FluffyGoblyn
Xu Pingfan was stunned for a moment before he replied, smilingly, “Stop joking, Young Master. You’re a Spirit realm expert now; how could you be so easily defeated? Unless that man is a Void realm expert, but it’s impossible for Mo Dingtian to get such a bodyguard.”
“It is still unknown if he’s a Void realm expert. What I do know for sure is I can’t defeat him. I had a brief encounter with him before and sensed his strength; he should be much stronger than me,” Xu Qi shook his head.
“What? You’ve met him? Where on earth did Mo Dingtian hire such a bodyguard, to cause Young Master have second thoughts?” Xu Pingfan asked seriously when he heard Xu Qi’s tone, which didn’t seem to be joking.
Xu Qi thought briefly before saying, “Uncle Mang, perhaps it was due to my probing him earlier which alarmed him, resulting in him mobilizing such an expert. However, there must be something up; mobilizing such an expert is not something possible with just money.”
“I agree. A measly auction house shouldn’t be capable of requesting such expert, unless…” Xu Pingfan recalled Xu Qi’s previous warning. It was too much of a fantasy to consider, but he didn’t dare think lightly of it anymore.
Xu Qi smiled and said to Xu Pingfan, “It was just as I said previously. The reason Mosuo Auction House was able to take root in Rivulet City and auction precious treasures without incident is due to the influence they have backing them from the shadows. I’m willing to bet the white-robed man was sent by them to protect Mo Dingtian. What a guy he is.”
Xu Pingfan nodded thoughtfully, agreeing with Xu Qi’s explanation.
“Uncle Mang, the construction in the suburbs should be ready soon, right?” Xu Qi changed the topic, asking about the institution outside of the city.
“Institution? Oh yes, I thought to report to you, Young Master, regarding this. The construction outside the city has finished. I wish to invite Young Master to take a look and provide feedback for areas to improve on,” Xu Pingfan hurriedly answered. He was too absorbed in discussing Mo Dingtian earlier and had forgotten about this.
“Uncle Mang, I trust your arrangements. I won’t be checking the institution out for now; just do as you deem fit. Another thing, I need you to think of a way to send the twenty-six orphans to the institution without anyone noticing. Then, arrange for trustworthy guards to be stationed there for security. Don’t let anyone get near the place. I will visit when all is done,” Xu Qi said.
Without waiting for a reply, Xu Qi continued with a crafty smile, “Uncle Mang, there’s this important segment which requires you to be involved, personally. Despite your heavy injuries, this has to be carried out.”
“Do speak, Young Master,” Xu Pingfan understood there must be something of utmost importance Xu Qi needed him to take care of.
Xu Qi took a look at Xu Pingfan’s earnest face, then continued with his crafty smile, saying, “Uncle Mang, I need you to think of a way to… drive me out of Xu Clan!”
“Ah!” Xu Pingfan instantly froze at Xu Qi’s words.
The latter laughed at Xu Pingfan’s intense reaction, “Uncle Mang, how else can I keep myself out of the political struggles in Rivulet City and develop my own influence if you don’t drive me away from Xu Clan? Leaving Xu Clan is our best option. It’s also the best way to pull the wool over people’s eyes.”
“But Young Master, making me drive you out of Xu Clan, that’s a little…” Xu Pingfan felt he was put in a difficult situation, even though Xu Qi explained himself.
“Uncle Mang, you’re not really driving me out. I can always sneak back in without anyone knowing. Though your recent accusations of conspiring against your masters will be proven, and that is some serious blame to bear; I’m really putting you in a difficult spot,” Xu Qi felt his suggestion doesn’t do any justice to Xu Pingfan, and knowing that the latter, he really cared about his reputation.
Xu Pingfan revealed a bitter look but agreed with a smile, “As you wish, Young Master.”
“Haha, don’t be so dejected, Uncle Mang. I will clarify the situation for you in the future. Aren’t we all working for a better future for Xu Clan?” Xu Qi consoled.
“You don’t have to console me, Young Master. As I’ve said before, I’m willing to sacrifice my life if it’s for you and Xu Clan’s sake, so what does my reputation matter? I’m only feeling I’ve let the patriarch and lady down; they entrusted the Xu Clan and you to me, and yet, I’m incapable of protecting you. Furthermore, I’ve let you be troubled over these matters. I’m really ashamed,” Xu Pingfan slowly explained.
Hearing Xu Pingfan mention his parents, Xu Qi felt some dull pain in his heart. Although he hasn't spent much time with them, they were his closest kin, after all.
Once the topic steered towards the deceased patriarch and lady, both of them began to ponder. The atmosphere turned sorrowful without any exchange of words.
In the end, it was Xu Qi who broke the awkward silence, asking, “Uncle Mang, what happened in the Helian and Liang Clans after our transference of business rights?”
“Young Master, I think they will probably never cooperate again, since their falling out in the auction house. Helian Liang isn’t any sort of virtuous man. He failed to gain any benefit out of that exchange and was almost injured by the guest from Liang Clan. Having lost face there, Helian Liang is probably hiding in his residence, scheming against Liang Clan. He won’t bother with our Xu Clan anymore; Young Master’s move was wise indeed,” Xu Pingfan rejoiced.
“Even so, we mustn’t let our guards down against Helian Liang and Liang Renqing, Uncle Mang. Our Xu Clan can’t afford to bear any sort of setbacks now, nor can we let anyone foil our plans,” Xu Qi said solemnly.
Xu Pingfan nodded in agreement, “Young Master is thorough in his considerations, indeed. I will be careful.”
“Hm. Be careful in everything you do, Uncle Mang. Go, take care of the matters regarding the institution in the suburbs. Let me know if anything comes up and try not to show yourself in public. After all, you’re supposed to be recuperating. You don’t have to handle some matters personally. Inform me when you’re done,” Xu Qi reminded.
Xu Pingfan nodded. However, he was very confident in his strength as a sixth stage Qi realm swordsman. The only people who could match up against him in Rivulet City were Xu Qi and the mysterious white-robed man. As for the others, they didn’t pose any threat at all; all he needed was to be a little more careful when handling affairs.
“Go on ahead, Uncle Mang. I wish to have some time alone to think. You must keep in mind to be careful in everything you do. Also, get rid of anyone in Xu Clan whose backgrounds aren’t fully in the clear,” Xu Qi reminded once more.
Xu Pingfan revealed a look of anger at Xu Qi’s mentioning dubious characters. They really needed to rid of them; otherwise, they might prove to be the root of problems in future plans. The former quickly bade his farewell, then turned to leave.
“Sigh, what a headache. Are these issues supposed to be dealt with by a child?” Xu Qi shook his head. He was never good with handling such political affairs, and now he was forced to think about such matters all the time. What an unpleasant experience.
Let’s see what kind of support you have behind you, Mo Dingtian. If this young master is to develop my influence in Rivulet City, I will definitely not allow such threat to remain here, Xu Qi thought inwardly, then left Xu Pingfan’s chambers.
That night, Xu Qi put on the black mantle once again, intending to sneak out. Suddenly, he felt a strong aura darting around in Xu Clan’s premises. If it weren’t for his unique methods, he would never have sensed it.
He immediately took off the mantle and looked out the windows, mumbling, “I was preparing to visit you, and here you are, showing up on your own. How could I let you come in vain?”
Xu Qi tidied up himself and pushed open the doors, walking out. At that moment, he sensed that aura locking on to him. However, Xu Qi didn’t put up any resistance. Lock on all you want; who cares? he thought inwardly, quickly running towards Xu Pingfan’s courtyard.
Xu Qi was familiar with that aura. It was none other than the white-robed man. He concluded this man was sent by Mo Dingtian to scout the situation in Xu Clan. It seemed like he still suspected Xu Clan was up to something.
After a short sprint to Xu Pingfan’s room, Xu Qi feigned gasping for breath, holding on the door. Then, he knocked on the doors with difficulty and clumsily entered the room upon getting Xu Pingfan’s permission. He looked to be in a sorry state.
Following which, a white silhouette zipped into Xu Pingfan’s courtyard, vanishing on the spot.
“What do you know, you disobedient child! Since your parents are gone, you have to listen to me. Look at you now; all you care about is playing. What do you know other than wasting your time! You’re nothing but trash and a mute, on top of that! Get out of here!” Cough, cough. Not long after Xu Qi entered Xu Pingfan’s chambers, loud roars could be heard from within, followed by coughing sounds from the latter.
Next, the doors were immediately slammed open. A figure flew out of the room and crashed to the ground.
Xu Pingfan staggered over with one hand pressed on his chest while the other held the door. He coughed with a look of anger, staring down at Xu Qi, who had just been kicked out of the room. Then, he yelled at Xu Qi exasperatedly, “I’m the one with the final say in Xu Clan now. Disobey me again and I’ll kick you the hell out of here. If it weren’t for your parents, I would end you with a palm-strike right now.” Cough, cough.
As for Xu Qi, who was kicked to the ground, he showed a look of horror. Tears flowed down his swollen face. Hearing Xu Pingfan’s furious roars, he struggled to get back to his feet and left the courtyard with staggering steps.
“You’d even grown a temper, now, huh, you dumb little boy?! Just a word or two and you dare disobey me! Get the hell back here; your daddy here isn’t done with you!” Cough, cough. Xu Pingfan coughed continuously as he scolded.
Looking at Xu Qi gradually fade from his courtyard, Xu Pingfan coughed even more severely. He slowly closed the doors to his room, jabbering on, “Damned mute!”
After Xu Pingfan closed the doors, a white silhouette flashed its way out of Xu Clan.
Thereafter, the closed doors to Xu Pingfan’s room gently opened, and Xu Pingfan slowly walked out of the room. He was like a different person compared to the man coughing unceasingly, walking with unsteady steps. In front of him, Xu Qi’s figure gradually reappeared, as well.
The two looked at each other, showing a smile of victory.