He had assumed Fang Yuan was trying to teach him a lesson. But he did not expect Fang Yuan to have killing intent, even willingly giving up the precious purple thorn token!
"Just because of me, you acted so ruthlessly, was it worth it?" Feeling Fang Yuan's 'determination', Zhou Quan wanted to cry.
He was a normal person.
He also feared death.
If not, after Zhou clan was wiped out, and he became alone and injured, he would've died already.
But he lived.
The desire to live was every living being's instinct.
He rejected Shang Xin Ci because he looked down on her. He was a proud man, once the leader of a clan, how could he submit to a weak and powerless girl like her?
But he did not think the matter would escalate to this extent!
Now, he was facing the threat of death! Fang Yuan's insanity was something he did not expect.
"Had I known this would happen, I would've accepted her invitation. To think it would end up like this!" Zhou Quan felt intense regret.
Although he was prideful, he was not stupid.
Survival and pride, he obviously chose the former. If not, he would not have stayed alive like a beaten dog for all these years.
"That's right, I understand! My act of rejecting Shang Xin Ci was a heavy hit on her reputation. Fang Zheng is her greatest supporter, thus he has to eliminate me! Shang Yi Fan had misled me…"
Feeling Fang Yuan's intense killing intent, Zhou Quan quickly thought of the reason.
With his intelligence, with just a little analysis, he understood that the rumors earlier were all caused by Shang Yi Fan.
Back then, he was still gleeful and smug. These rumors were the best excuse for him to reject Shang Xin Ci. At the same time, he could feel that Shang Yi Fan valued him greatly from these rumors. In the worst case, he could go to Shang Yi Fan.
Whether it was Shang Yi Fan or Shang Xin Ci had no difference to him. As long as he was willing to help, he could make them young master easily.
This was Zhou Quan's confidence.
But now he was beyond regretful.
Because of this rumor, Fang Yuan wanted to kill him. It was already too late to go to Shang Yi Fan.
Fang Yuan was a maniac, he did not follow the rules. Zhou Quan had completely screwed up this time!
Zhou Quan sprawled on the ground, his bones hurting from the battle, as he was immobilized by Fang Yuan's leg on his face.
He wanted to open his mouth and beg for mercy.
But he could not say it.
"There are so many people watching, if I beg in public, my reputation will be tarnished. But if I don't, my life will be forfeited…"
Character decides fate.
At the crucial moment, Zhou Quan's arrogance was still influencing him.
"The saying goes, a wise man submits to circumstances. Zhou Quan, since you cannot understand your circumstance, you are no wise man. I wasted a purple thorn token to kill you, feel honored. Now die." Fang Yuan sneered as he exerted force on his leg.
Zhou Quan felt an intense pressure on him, he finally abandoned all hesitation and begged.
But because Fang Yuan was using so much force, his cheeks were squeezed together, he wanted to speak, but could not.
Zhou Quan was panicking!
"Wait, I don't want to die, I want to beg, I want to surrender, let me speak…"
He screamed in his heart, at the same time, he waved his limbs around frantically.
He grabbed Fang Yuan's leg, but Fang Yuan's body was as tough as steel, not even moving an inch.
"I'm dead meat…" Just as Zhou Quan was despairing, he heard a familiar voice.
"Brother Hei Tu, have mercy on him." Shang Xin Ci rushed to the scene.
"Xin Ci, it seems you still found out in the end. I know you treasure talents, but you don't have to beg for his sake. Such a person deserves death." Fang Yuan replied coldly, but stopped exerting force on his leg.
"No, brother Hei Tu, I have to speak." Shang Xin Ci was very determined.
She continued: "You did not spend much time with Sir Zhou Quan, I know him better. Sir Zhou had always been adamant on rebuilding Zhou clan. He bore a heavy weight on his shoulders, he is a person with noble aspirations in his heart. He had once told me with great pain that he could not forget his former clansmen. Before his wife passed away, she told him to rebuild their home. These years, he carried a heavy burden and have been working hard for it. He has his grievances…"
"Is that so?" Fang Yuan reduced the strength he placed on his leg, his expression changing.
"Why don't I remember ever tell you that?" Zhou Quan felt weird, when his wife died, he was not even at the scene.
But he immediately understood, this was an act Shang Xin Ci was putting on with Fang Yuan.
Actually, Fang Yuan and Shang Xin Ci were still trying to recruit him!
They used Shang clan as the stage and acted out a good show. Her words earlier were his ticket out of this mess.
It not only portrayed Shang Xin Ci's kindness and love for talented people, it also gave him a way out of this predicament.
"What a great scheme, great scheme indeed… I am the Zhou clan leader, but today I lost to these youngsters. Truly, the new generation is replacing the old." Zhou Quan gritted his teeth, sighing helplessly.
He felt anger, hatred, but also grief and helplessness.
"So that's it. To think that Sir Zhou was such a man with aspirations. But you are too stupid, assisting Xin Ci does not clash with your aspirations of rebuilding your home. You are not afraid of death because of your goals, I am impressed by you. But do you know, dying is easy, but enduring shame and staying alive for your ideals, moving forward with the pressure on you, that is true courage." Fang Yuan said loudly.
Zhou Quan heard this, and knew that this was an opportunity Fang Yuan was giving him.
This was most likely the last one as well.
If he does not accept it, his life would be over, there are no more chances left for him.
Thinking so, this old man said: "Sigh! A new generations breeds new geniuses, after listening to what you both have said, I am greatly enlightened!"
Fang Yuan loosened his leg.
Shang Xin Ci was overjoyed, helping Zhou Quan up.
Zhou Quan endured the pain on his body, slowly getting up, then paying respects to Shang Xin Ci: "Zhou Quan greets Lady Xin Ci."
"What did you say? Zhou Quan acknowledged that lass as his lord?" In the study room, Shang Yi Fan heard this and froze in shock.
"That is impossible! I know Zhou Quan's personality, even back then when Shang Ya Zi was in charge, and controlled all the shops, he could not recruit him. What abilities does this Shang Xin Ci have, to manage to gain his loyalty?!" Shang Yi Fan reacted and shouted in astonishment.
"This really happened." Old Zhang sighed: "Shang Xin Ci is still young, she naturally doesn't possess the ability. But she has Fang Zheng and Bai Ning Bing with her, to speak the truth, I underestimated Fang Zheng, to think that he is so scheming under that straightforward facade, he purposely made the matter impossible to resolve, and forced Zhou Quan to submit to her."
"If Zhou Quan did not submit, Fang Zheng would've killed him on the spot. Right now, the entire shop district is talking about the matter. There are rumors everywhere, saying that Zhou Quan had been living while enduring humiliation and shame, in order to rebuild his clan. After being enlightened by Fang Zheng, he decided to join Shang Xin Ci who had a love for talents. Shang Xin Ci's reputation has surged to a peak now!"
Shang Yi Fan heard that and raged: "That means all the effort we wasted earlier, spreading rumors around, has instead helped them out instead? Liar, they are all liars! All these rumors must be sent out by them, how could there be such a touching story, hmph!"
"Young master Yi Fan, calm down, the competition is not over yet, although Shang Xin Ci has some people now, they might not truly be loyal to her. Now, we still have madam's help, there is still a high chance of winning." Old Zhang analyzed calmly.
As he advised, Shang Yi Fan's emotions went back to normal.
He gritted his teeth, his eyes shining with an ominous light: "You are right, building a force takes a lot of time. All these people she recruited were either threatened or forced, how could she gain their loyalty? Hehehe, next, I will stir up discord among them, and then poach them over with money, I'm sure it'll work!"
With Shang Xin Ci in charge, Fang and Bai as guardians, Zhou Quan assisting, and the cooperation of Wei De Xin and Xiong clan brothers, the intel business in the battle stage was finally established.
As Shang Xin Ci predicted, once the business started, it caused a lot of commotion and reaction.
The first day they started, they recouped their invested capital.
On the second day, business was still booming.
On the third day, business was still on fire.
After seven days, Shang Xin Ci's three hundred thousand primeval stones grew to four hundred and forty thousand.
Shang Yi Fan's schemes did not make any progress. Shang Xin Ci's force was very united, and everyone could not be wavered. Such unity made the other young masters feel surprised.
Shang Yi Fan was panicking, because he knew: If Shang Xin Ci continued to develop like this, with her current reputation, she would definitely be the final winner.
Thus, he started using his mother's influence to affect Shang clan's higher-ups.
Shang Xin Ci's intel business involved the battle stage, it was a sensitive topic. Shang clan's higher-ups held a meeting and were about to stop Shang Xin Ci's business from operating, when Shang Yan Fei stood up, and swept away all objections, fully supporting his daughter.
Shang Yan Fei's attitude was the final blow to Shang Yi Fan.
Several months later, Shang Yi Fan and his mother's forces lost terribly to Shang Xin Ci.
Shang Xin Ci became one of the ten young masters succeeding Shang Ya Zi.
But the pain of separation overwhelmed her joy of success.
"Brother Hei Tu, are you in such a rush?" Shang Xin Ci walked outside the city, bidding farewell.
"You have already become a young master, with your talent, you will definitely grow well here. Xin Ci, there is no banquet that never ends, we will meet again in the future, do not be sad."
Fang Yuan consoled, but then changed the topic: "Before I go, I have something to remind you. Always maintain a wide vision and look ahead, above the ten young master position, there is still the young clan leader Shang Tuo Hai. Above Shang Tuo Hai, there are the five elders of Shang clan, your father Shang Yan Fei, and even the supreme elder of Shang clan…"
"Rest assured brother, back then, when Shang Tuo Hai became young clan leader, he had the perfect conditions. The other young masters also had favourable relationships when they rose to power. But I have neither of those, I can only invest in human capital, only with talents can I compete with them. Brother, if you need anything, inform me, I will do anything I can to help you!" Brilliance shone in Shang Xin Ci's eyes.
Her words caused Fang and Bai to take a second look at her.
As expected of the future Shang clan leader, the female talent that shook the world!
"Alright, until the next time we meet." Fang Yuan looked deeply at Shang Xin Ci, before turning around to leave.
Bai Ning Bing followed behind him immediately.
The two, one wearing black and the other white, gradually vanished into the mountainous terrain.
Shang Xin Ci and her two servants stood on the spot, staring at the two's background without moving.
"Brother Hei Tu, San Cha mountain is very dangerous, please take care!" Shang Xin Ci's eyes were watery as she prayed for him in her heart.