After two hours, Hildebrand walked out of the restaurant with a frown. The Conferred Knight standing next to him was Peter, the one who had gone to inform Fang Xingjian the other day. Peter said, "Big Brother, why didn't they agree? It's clear that our conditions are better. Could it be a problem with Fang Xingjian's side?"
Hildebrand did not understand either. However, he merely said, "The problem is probably with Fang Xingjian's side. This guy... Haha.. Seems like I really have to pay a visit to him personally."
"Big Brother, you're going to meet him personally? Do you have to go that far?"
Hildebrand said, "Of course, I have to. The Martial Techniques Grading Plan... Even if we get have a slight relation with it, that would be a cash flow of ten million and above. As long as we can get involved in this project, it won't be an issue for me to completely surpass Odysseus and Xiao Tianxia in the later half of the year.
"I'll also be able to fight for the top three position in the National Selection." Odysseus and Xiao Tianxia were the other two students in the academy who were at level 29. They were ranked first and third respectively in the academy. Closely matched with Hildebrand, they were seen as Hildebrand's greatest rivals.
To Hildebrand, the Martial Techniques Grading Plan was a super big piece of meat. He had the support of the Knight Association as well as strong connections. Furthermore, the Empire's upper echelon was also highly supportive of collaborating with the Church for the Martial Techniques Grading Plan. All of Hildebrand’s preparations were perfect.
Hildebrand was not expecting that he would be able to hog the entire involvement of the Martial Techniques Grading Plan for himself. There were numerous people in the central who had their eyes on the money the Church had set aside for this project. Just the first batch of 1,000 sword techniques, which involved a price of 15 million gold, had already caused their eyes to light up.
However, even if Hildebrand were to get only a small slice of the project, he would be able to get access to several million gold. To him, it would be an easy feat to keep aside several hundred thousand gold. He could use the rest of the money to purchase various cultivating resources as well as heavenly and earthly treasures to use on himself. In a way, it was all in order to speed up the progression of the project.
"Fang Xingjian would probably be unwilling. When I met him the previous time, he reacted very badly."
Hildebrand shook his head and smiled. "So what if he isn't willing? The collaboration with the Church is something driven by the current situation. Many important characters in the central are highly supportive of this collaboration. This is a national policy! So what if he has amazing talent?
"Moreover, in this world, it's impossible for one to hog all the benefits to himself. Fang Xingjian’s sale of the Prodigious Astral Divine Powers Waves to the Second Prince was but a stroke of luck. That act has already attracted many jealous gazes.
"For the Martial Techniques Grading Plan this time around, if he knows better, he should voluntarily give up a large part of it. That isn't a resource which he can keep for himself."
"If he really wants to hog the entire project, he'll only stuff himself to death."
Hildebrand shook his head and sighed. "A man whose heart is discontent is like a snake which tries to swallow an elephant. If a person tries to hog all the good things to himself every single time, he won't be able to hold on for very long in this world. Humans are social animals. In order to ensure long-term benefits, there is a need for the sharing of the benefits.
"If Fang Xingjian continues wanting to keep everything for himself, it'll just be the most idiotic way to die."
Peter nodded, going deep into thought.
Hildebrand thought about it as well and said, "Make another trip to the central, and ask the steward for another 10,000 gold."
"Another 10,000 gold?" Peter smiled bitterly. "Aren't you giving them too much?" In order to expedite the negotiation for the collaboration, Hildebrand had already given the officials in the central government over 80,000 gold. He could be said to have paid a huge price.
The liquid funds he had only surmounted to just over a million.
"To gain something, one must first pay a price. Many people are unable to even get close to the project, and thus, they won't be so proactive. By giving them money, it'll mean that they also get some benefit. Otherwise, if I hog all the benefits to myself, they won't allow the plan to pass through so easily, even if my father is the Deputy Chief of the Knight Association." Hildebrand pat Peter's shoulder and said. "Alright, you should head off in a while. One must be willing to part with a small sum of money in order to earn great fortune.
"Using 80,000 gold in exchange for several million or several ten million gold... There's nothing else that could be more worth it."
Peter sighed and said, "All the dirty work is done by us. The people in the central government are having such a good life, just waiting for money to come in."
Hildebrand said, "They have their own difficulties. Living right under the eyes of His Majesty isn't so easy either. Moreover, even if the connections with these people aren't of use this time around, there will be a day where they'll come in handy.
"I'll be heading to the Imperial Capital sooner or later. What you're doing now can also be considered as helping me prepare for the future."
Peter looked at Hildebrand and nodded. "Big Brother, this time around, you'll definitely emerge as the top three in the National Selection. No, you'll definitely be able to get first!"
Hildebrand smiled, "I must first win over Odysseus and Xiao Tianxia, and become the top in the Great Western Region before I think about that."
As the two of them spoke, they saw Fang Xingjian walking over.
Peter frowned, stopped Fang Xingjian in his tracks, and said, "Fang Xingjian, what are you doing here?"
Fang Xingjian threw him a glance. "It's of no concern to you."
A hint of fury flashed in Peter's eyes. However, he had heard that Fang Xingjian had managed to defeat two level 27 Sand Country assassins. He also knew that Fang Xingjian had once gone to the Beize Continent by himself and suppressed Gao Clan. The head of Gao Clan had been a level 27 Conferred Knight.
Therefore, even though Peter was infuriated, he did not raise his hands. It was because he knew that Hildebrand was behind him.
Hildebrand said, "Alright, Peter, don't be bickering with a kid." After saying that, Hildebrand walked up to Fang Xingjian, looked at the latter's young-looking face, and shook his head. Then he said, "Fang Xingjian, you're really very foolish.
"If I were you, I wouldn't be making so many enemies for no reason. Right now, you're doing whatever you wish by relying on your talent. You show no signs of any traits which a leader or a successful person should possess."
Fang Xingjian looked at Hildebrand and asked, "Who are you?"
Hildebrand smiled. Peter could not hold back and said, "This is Young Master Hildebrand, an expert ranked second in the Regional Academy. Show some respect."
Hildebrand spoke calmly, "With regard to the Martial Techniques Grading Plan, the association has already made the decision. I'll be taking over and working to ensure an in-depth collaboration between the Empire and the Church. I'll be sending someone to head to the Sword Tower to get the concrete documents the Church has given. I hope that you'll be able to cooperate with us when the time comes."
"Oh, you've sent someone to the Sword Tower before?"
Hildebrand frowned and shook his head.
Fang Xingjian smiled. He now knew that Hildebrand had no idea that he had already completed the appraisal of all 1,000 set of sword techniques. Moreover, Hildebrand would be unable to imagine that Fang Xingjian could have completed it so quickly.
Therefore, Fang Xingjian paid no heed to them. He merely threw them a glance and continued heading toward the archbishop's room.
Hildebrand looked at Fang Xingjian's back and said while shaking his head, "As a senior, I have to give you a word of advice. Fang Xingjian, if you don't even know the basic principles that a person should have, how are you going to reach the pinnacle of Knights?
"What should I say about you? The Westerners have a saying that being overly rigid makes one fragile. Right now, this is what your attitude is like. I understand that you're young and feel that there's nothing that you can't achieve. However, that is but an illusion. You are unable to see the situation clearly.
"The whole world is formed by countless trends, and if you wish to work your way up to the pinnacle, you must accept the trends of the world.
"It's the same for the collaboration between the Empire and the Church this time around. You better take a good look at the situation and not stir up trouble recklessly, spoiling it for everyone."
With that, Hildebrand did not bother waiting for Fang Xingjian's reply and took his leave.