Chapter 740: Inner Turmoil Surfaces in House Wei
Slow and steady wins the race; no great city was built in a day. No matter how much expertise I have, I can't apply it without sufficient strength to back me up. That fact had been proven to him numerous times in the past. He'd thought the Longevity Pill to be something insignificant, but the consequences it had given rise to had been astonishing. Though it wasn’t the main reason for the joint invasion of the Eternal Celestial Capital and the Great Scarlet Mid Region, its existence had certainly caused the invaders to focus on Regal Pill Palace.
However, it had also allowed the lives of Elder Yun Nie and his peers to be spared. Regal Pill Palace still had a remnant of life left, unlike the other completely exterminated sects. The world was transient. Good and evil accompanied each other in unpredictable ways. Learning from his past mistakes, Jiang Chen decided to be more cautious. "Young master Wei, let's go take a look at your family's storefront," Jiang Chen suggested with interest.
Wei Jie had no objections. Through the trouble with the Ninelaugh Golden Buddha Powder, he’d come to realize the extent of his difficulties, both internal and external. He urgently desired to find a breakthrough point, and Jiang Chen's appearance seemed to be the stroke of providence that might help him. If he could really start a pill business with Jiang Chen, both he and his father would gain a more dominant voice in the affairs of the house.
The reason for the various voices of dissent within the house was because all of its businesses were bottlenecked, or even regressing. It was enough for some members to begin to hatch plots against Wei Jie. As a ninth ranked aristocratic house, House Wei's members were extraordinarily sharp at predicting crises. It was normal for their hearts to waver if the house showed signs of going downhill. If House Wei were to be demoted to an eighth ranked, or even seventh ranked house, its position in the Veluriyam Capital would be greatly affected, and it would even risk being sidelined. Thanks to these considerations, Wei Jie had no shortage of motivation to succeed.
Jiang Chen needed House Wei to cover for him, and House Wei needed Jiang Chen to be a game-changer. This mutual necessity was one of the main reasons that Jiang Chen’s and Wei Jie's relationship had developed so quickly.
"Brother Jiang, the store is up ahead," Wei Jie pointed forward.
Jiang Chen scanned his surroundings and was a little surprised to see that they were in one of the most prosperous parts of the Farmer God Martket. House Wei has stores located in such a prime location? How unexpected. To think that even with such an advantage, their pill business hadn't flourished… what a waste. As they walked nearer, Wei Jie's face colored imperceptibly. He pulled lightly on Jiang Chen's arm, and the two of them ducked behind the guardian lion statue of a nearby store.
A group of people walked out from House Wei's store. One of them was Wei Jie's fifth uncle, Wei Tiantong, as well as his son Wei Xiu. They were accompanied by several elders from House Wei. Though Jiang Chen didn’t know the elders' identities, their unique dress gave away their origin. Most importantly, the House Wei members were gathered around one person. It was a young man some twenty years of age, clad in luxurious robes. There was a hint of regality in his expression, and the House Wei members appeared to be giving him their full respect. Wei Jie frowned a little at the scene.
The group walking out had clearly not noticed Wei Jie and Jiang Chen. Several of them were talking and laughing. Foremost among them was Wei Jie's cousin, Wei Xiu, whose tone oozed flattery. "Young master Wang, your word is as good as done. We will definitely rent this store to House Tong," Wei Xiu’s voice oozed charm.
The young man hummed in agreement, but ignored Wei Xiu. "I hear that the one who still has final say at House Wei is still Wei Tianxiao." He turned to Wei Tiantong.
"As the master of the house, of course he has the final say on many things. We don't bother arguing with him on smaller things, but a store in the Farmer God Market is an important matter. Neither I nor the house elders will allow him to mess about in this matter." Offering a placatory smile, Wei Tiantong tossed a few looks at the house elders, who nodded successively in agreement.
"If that's so, then I thank your hard work in this matter. I will inform father of all these details once I return, including your cooperative attitudes. If all goes according to plan, father will be sure to personally host a banquet of gratitude," the youth surnamed Wang smiled serenely.
"The lord of the Majestic Clan has much to attend to. It would be an honor for us to receive such an invitation," Wei Tiantong declared hurriedly.
The Wang surnamed youth nodded slightly at the words, but said nothing further as the group departed.
Wei Jie's face was very pale behind the statue. He had inadvertently stumbled on a great secret. Its contents shocked and terrified him. "Brother Jiang, there may be a change in the proceedings." His tone was grave.
"That youth… is from the Majestic Clan?" During Jiang Chen's time at House Wei, the lord of House Tong had come to visit. The Majestic Clan had been mentioned several times in conversation back then.
House Tong was one of several houses under the Majestic Clan's command. Moreover, the Wang surnamed youth was the son of the clan lord. Putting the details together, Jiang Chen understood the chain of events. So it wasn't House Tong alone that was after the store. The Majestic Clan was involved as well!
No wonder Wei Jie was so pale. This new development was wholly unexpected. Wei Tianxiao easily had the authority to refuse House Tong's request, since ninth ranked aristocratic houses were evenly matched. There was no fear of offending anyone. But as one of the strongest clans in Veluriyam Capital, the Majestic Clan possessed a strength which House Wei could not hope to resist.
From what they had just seen, some House Wei members obviously intended to change their allegiances, and flock to the Majestic Clan banner. More incredibly, both house lord Wei Tianxiao and heir Wei Jie had been unaware of it. And now, there were plans to reduce the father and son to figureheads. Decisions were being made before approval had been granted. Judging from their tone, House Wei members would stop at nothing to appease the Majestic Clan. They were even willing to band together in opposition against the nominal master of the house. For Wei Jie, the situation had worsened beyond belief.
Used to various conflicts, Jiang Chen knew that House Wei's circumstances were about to come to a head. "Young master Wei, is your father completely oblivious about all of this?" Jiang Chen couldn't resist the question. Being in the dark, the Wei father and son were at a clear disadvantage. If things were allowed to continue, it was likely Jiang Chen himself would be dragged in as well. At that point, cooperation would be out of the question.
"Let us return first, brother Jiang," Wei Jie replied in a low voice. He too felt how dangerous this situation was.
Jiang Chen was no stranger to the grand stage, so he wasn’t in the habit of retreating at the slightest sign of a problem. Aside from the connection to House Wei, he currently had no other options for connections to higher society. There were many other houses, true, but it would be hard for one of them to accept him. Starting from scratch? That was even more absurd. Though the Veluriyam Capital appeared to be a free city, the hierarchy between social castes was quite defined. As an outsider with no background, he would be devoured instantly regardless of how unassuming he was. The only way to grow was to build a relationship with a native faction.
Wei Jie's expression was heavy throughout the return trip. "Brother Jiang, I am very sorry. These developments are quite unexpected. As you've seen, the circumstances of our house are very complicated at the moment. Though my father has some grasp of the situation, a small change may have great effects. Sometimes, it is hard to deal with things even when you know what is happening. For example, I was poisoned a while back. Father's investigation led to my fifth uncle, but his hands were tied without evidence. Furthermore, house matters are actually decided on by six people. My father is the master of the house, but doesn’t hold absolute power." Wei Jie had nothing further to hide given how far things had progressed. He explained House Wei's plight in detail. "Brother Jiang, if this blows up, both my father and I may lose our position in the house. So, I understand if you want to back out now." Wei Jie added honestly after thinking for a moment.
'Backing out now' was not Jiang Chen's style. He would have no compunctions about it if they had faked their regard for him, but Wei Jie had treated him with honesty and sincerity throughout their friendship. "Though I couldn't take a look inside, your store's location is quite amazing. I have my mind set on it." Jiang Chen's words were not a direct response, but they expressed his sentiment.
Wei Jie was overjoyed. "You are truly a chivalrous man, brother Jiang. It is no surprise that you came to the rescue of your fellow sect members, despite the distance or difficulty," he praised.
"Let us spare the niceties, young master Wei. First describe to me the decision making process within your house. Which six people are part of it? How are they related to each other..." Internal change was needed to achieve a reversal. If the problems within House Wei couldn't be suppressed, taking over their store would be like wishing on fairy dust.
Wei Jie went over the details with Jiang Chen. At House Wei, there were six people with executive power, including house lord Wei Tianxiao and second-in-command Wei Tiantong. Being second-in-command meant that if something were to happen to Wei Tianxiao, Wei Tiantong would rightfully take over his role as house lord. In addition, there were four house elders.
Only one of the elders was indubitably loyal to Wei Tianxiao—his own uncle, Wei Jie's grand-uncle. Out of the other three, one was Wei Tiantong’s confidante, and the other two generally held a neutral position. From today's events, however, both of the neutral elders had seemingly been persuaded by Wei Tiantong. They would not have appeared at House Wei's store otherwise, nor would they have cavorted with the young master of the Majestic Clan!
Click through to the official announcement post for pictures of volare staff, WW staff, and yours truly! I did a heart pounding live reading of those battle scenes! The new novel will launch this weekend!