Qin Lianshan spoke in a low voice as he tried to control his anger: "Mr. Gou Sheng, from the way you're talking, you think that the Qin family is going to lose for sure in four years?"
Gou Sheng slowly said as he lay in the chair: "For the past twenty years, a lot of new powerhouses have emerged in River County. At least seven or eight of these powerhouses are eligible to fight for the seat of the Humble Class. However, we only have approximately thirty big and small aristocratic seats in the entire River County. Too many people are fighting for a limited number of spots. Let's take Mr. Niu, owner of the herb shop in Eastwood Town, as an example. Do you think that you can keep your seat when he has a stronger power and better connections than you? I am sure that Patriarch Qin understands your family's present situation much better than I do, right?"
Upon hearing these words, Qin Lianshan fought to control his anger and quietly put his teacup down.
"Throughout generations, my family has gone through this "Family Class Evaluation" for more than twenty times. Regarding qualifications, these modern aristocratic families did not even exist when my family was here. The Qin family has seen its ups and downs. Moreover, all the personnel in charge of the "Family Class Evaluation" sessions are assigned by the Emperor from the Zhen Wu Holy Place. No matter what kind of network you have, do you think it's possible to extend your connections to the Holy Place?"
Qin Lianshan delivered his words with a tone that was neither humble nor arrogant. He knew very well of his family situation. However, as a strong-willed man, how could he show cowardice?
Gou Sheng laughed dryly. He stared at Qin Lianshan strangely; his eyes exposed his unruly behavior. Obviously, he was about to go on the attack as he changed the way he addressed Qin Lianshan.
"Brother Lianshan, I am not here to judge you. Although the Qin family has quite the heritage, it's all in the past. Surely you know the saying of "What goes around, comes around," right? In the present situation, whether the judges are fair, wouldn't it come down to an individual's accomplishments and moral ethics, eventually? Do you think that His Majesty will have the time to care about the personnel assigned in such a small county? Moreover, the rules of this world supports the survival the fittest. It is the natural law that those with stronger power, the stronger network will enter the spotlight and contribute to the country! Who cares about what methods you use? Heritage is worthless in our Bai Yue Country…"
Regardless of Qin Lianshan's ability to control his anger, his face abruptly changed when he heard these words. He could not help but flick his sleeves and say: "Mr. Gou Sheng, it seems that you are not here to point a way out for my family. Rather, you are here to destroy the path altogether, correct?"
"That's right!" Gou Sheng stood up and replied with a harsh tone, "Lianshan, please excuse my words. Your family will lose its Humble Class seat in the next "Family Class Evaluation". You will give away the seat no matter what happens. I believe that you know much better about the situation of your family than I do. Once you lose your seat, you will lose everything. I think by that time, you will not want to become empty-handed and fall into poverty, right?"
"Humph Humph…" These words certainly hit the mark as Qin Lianshan gave a cold sneer and replied with a harsh tone, "It seems that Mr. Gou Sheng still cares about my family? I don't think you are that kind-hearted? Just spit it out, don't try to conceal it in your stomach."
Gou Sheng laughed recklessly. The angrier Qin Lianshan became, the more pleased he was with himself.
"As I said previously, the Wealthy Class Xu family will guarantee the safety of the Qin family if you are willing to give away your aristocratic seat. Or else after four years, your family will be doomed," Gou Sheng spoke these words directly, but then he added with a wicked smile: "Of course, it's still unknown whether your family can make it in four years."
Qin Lianshan glanced at Xu Sihai and saw he did not even put his reaction in his eye.
The Wealthy Class Xu was one of the three Wealth Class families in River County. Indeed, the Qin family could not compete against them; he knew that even Xu Sihai alone could massacre his entire family.
He must endure this humiliation; if he could not, then he must force himself to swallow it!
The handle of the chair he sat in immediately turned into a handful of scraps. Qin Lianshan clutched those scraps and spoke coldly: "Mr. Gou Sheng, Master Xu Sihai, my family's power has not declined to the extent where others could do what they want. The Qin family went through great trouble in gaining this aristocratic seat. I will not give this position away. If you want it, then come to take it. Whether you rob me or make threats, I will take all of your attacks!"
Gou Sheng's face immediately turned to disgust when he heard these words.
In contrast to the previous carefree face, Xu Sihai's expression also froze instantly. He shot a murderous glare at Qin Lianshan and measured him from top to bottom.
"Patriarch Qin, it seems that you would rather die gloriously than live shamefully, right?"
Strangely, Wu Xinghe stood motionlessly. He was apparently touched. However, he wanted to see what would the father do under this circumstance.
Qin Lianshan unleashed his arrogant attitude as he no longer cared if he was speaking to the master from the Wealthy Xu family. He rolled his eyes and spoke in a fine voice: "My ancestors have set the rules that whoever seeks to steal from the Qin family property, we shall repay them five times more. Whoever tries to harm the status of the Qin family, we shall repay them ten times more. Whoever seeks to destroy the Qin family, we shall destroy them with everything we have, regardless of the cost!"
This sonorous and forceful reply immediately expressed Qin Lianshan's attitude very clearly.
"Xiu'er, help father to send off the guests!"
Extremely angered, Gou Sheng's face turned purple. Then, he suddenly laughed villainously.
"You, Qin Lianshan! You asked for it! Good good good, I will come to spit on your face when your family falls to the streets. By that time, don't blame me for dropping the stone on you."
When he heard this, Wu Xinghe could not help but laugh. Then, he said: "From your tone, it seems that you did not come here to drop the stone? Mr. Leftover (In Chinese, leftover rhymes with the name Gou Sheng), I will give you some advice. All troubles come from ambition. Today, you came here to show off your power and your negotiation skills. To put it bluntly, you rely on the powerhouses and do whatever you want. However, you better beware of some sneaky attacks because if both dog and master are attacked, then the situation will not be good for you at all."
Gou Sheng could think of a single word to respond. A moment later, he finally growled: "Qin Lianshan, both of you, father and son, sing the same melody and do not understand the circumstances at all. Sooner or later you will regret it!"
When Jin Buyi saw Wu Xinghe had opened his mouth, he came up and spoke to him with a smile: "Qin Wushuang, you still need to report back to the Martial Arts Academy since your injuries are fine. Your name is still on the school roll. Even if you want to drop out of the school, you still need to fill out some paperwork. However, all aristocratic children must study at the Martial Arts Academy. It's not a solution if you hide at home."
His words sounded as if he cared for Qin Wushuang, but how could Wu Xinghe not see through his ill-intentions? But he did not expose him and replied: "Of course, I will return to the academy. Thank you for reminding me, Mr. Dean."
"Yes, yes, that's good! No matter what situations we are in, you should still focus on school in your current stage." Jin Buyi smiled slyly and walked out.
"The road is long, and we will never know what happens. I will not see you off. Please be careful on the way, Mr. Dean. If you make one wrong step, there might be a bottomless chasm."
His words sounded like advice, but in truth, these words contained Wu Xinghe's warning and threats. However, no one would be able to interpret the meaning of these words at the current stage. Of course, they would never keep a small martial student like him on their mind.
After sending off the three evil guests, Qin Lianshan asked with a serious tone: "Wushuang, you are planning to return to the Martial Arts Academy?"
Wu Xinghe spoke with profound meaning as he watched the back of the three evil guests.
"Jin Buyi is River County's famous two-faced snake. Naturally, he is not harboring any good intentions when he invited you to return to the academy."
"How could they have come with good intentions when these three have joined hands? But since they do have ill-intentions, the more reason I should go back to the Martial Arts Academy and see the situation. It all depends on my attitude if we want to know more. "
Wu Xinghe's logic was simple. You must experience the situation yourself if you wanted to know how bad it was. Just like the old saying of "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Qin Lianshan watched his son and vividly felt that his son's entire temperament had changed after he had gone through the disaster. His eyes no longer evaded others nor expressed shyness like before, what he had now were maturity and confidence. This change was particularly obvious in the prior situation when the three evil guests had come to visit. Even with his previous character, his son had tolerated their words until the end. Just this tolerance was a hundred times much better than before.
"Father, thinking back, I feel that duel was a conspiracy. This conspiracy was not only targeting me but our family's Humble Class seat and business!"
Qin Lianshan's face exhibited a seriousness in which you could not tell his emotions. Of course, he knew about the situation and that was why he had wanted his son to stay in Eastwood Town. After all, his family would continue to exist if his son was here. With him, they have hope.
If something else were to happen to his son, then nothing could save the Qin family…
"Wushuang, do you still plans to return to that academy even though you've figured out everything?" Qin Lianshan wanted to know what his son had in mind.
"Father, that stupid scholar Gou Sheng is a wicked man, and he dared to show off at our family house. Of course, he relied on the powerhouse to bully us. However, from another perspective, isn't it because he thinks that the Qin Family is a sick cat and he doesn't need to fear us?"
Qin Lianshan gave a long sigh. He knew his son was right. A hundred years ago, the Qin family was part of the Wealthy Class and had a booming population. Within River County, nobody had dared to bad-mouth the Qin family. Not to mention people coming to threaten them in their own home.
"Father, I've thought a lot these days. If the Qin family wants to survive, it all depends on you and me. It probably wasn't a bad thing when I lost that duel. After all, one is destined to have great fortune after surviving a disaster. If I am not able to go through this challenge and hide back in the Qin house whenever something difficult occurs, how can I carry the family and move forward?"
These words hit the mark and touched Qin Lianshan's heart. He looked at his son, whose whole body exhibited a kind of life vitality. His eyes and his body movements were high-spirited which was entirely different from his previous conservative character.
Vividly, he felt that his son had been reborn into nirvana after the resurrection.
Finally, Qin Lianshan nodded with wide eyes: "You are a good son with ambition. Father will let you go!"
Then he spoke with a solemn tone: "But, you must promise Father as well. When you return to the Martial Arts Academy in River county, you must endure all hardships and never fall into their traps again."
Wu Xinghe suddenly initiated his heroic spirit when he heard these words. With a trace of arrogance, he twitched his mouth and spoke with proudness: "Father, please rest assured. After the resurrection, I already know what to do, and what not to do."
What to do, and what not to do?
Qin Lianshan's tiger-like eyes opened widely when he heard these words. He looked at his son, his eyes filled with deep thoughts.