Chapter 744: The Secret Recipe That Makes Wei Mo Blush
Jiang Chen and Wei Jie were delighted. They hadn't thought Elder Zhuo would be so easy to convince. They'd never even imagined that they'd not only persuade him to back the house lord, but that he'd even take the initiative to spring into action himself, bringing them to persuade Elder Feng. Wasn’t that a delightful surprise? If they could take this opportunity to sort out Elder Feng as well, then Wei Tiantong’s plan would end in utter failure. He would've gone for wool and come back shorn instead.
Elder Feng had clearly not been expecting a sudden call from Elder Zhuo. It seemed that he’d even come visiting with Wei Jie in tow, the house lord’s son. Elder Feng was rather baffled. Elder Zhuo and him deciding to back Wei Tiantong’s side was a secret that wasn't supposed to be spoken of. But today, Elder Zhuo was here with Wei Tianxiao’s son. Wasn’t that just putting himself in an awkward spot? Fortunately, Elder Feng and Elder Zhuo’s relationship had been good to begin with. Both of them had previously belonged to the same neutral camp. They hadn’t been particularly intimate with Wei Tianxiao, while their relations with Wei Tiantong had been middling as well. "What brings you here today, elder brother Zhuo?" Elder Feng looked at Wei Jie standing beside Elder Zhuo, some doubt flashing in his eyes.
Elder Zhuo didn’t offer a straight answer. "Old friend, call for your direct disciple. I have urgent business."
"Brother Zhuo, who are you talking about?"
"Whose matter have you been distressed about in these past few days?"
Elder Feng looked pensive. He wondered what tune Elder Zhuo was singing, but he’d always respected the elder very much. He instructed his servants to go and summon his disciple without further delay. Elder Feng’s direct disciple, Mu Ge, came soon as soon as he heard the summons.
Mu Ge was a fair and good looking fellow, but there was a black line etched through his forehead, making the area between his eyebrow seem black. His entire person seemed to be in a rather bad condition.
"Mu Ge, come and pay your respects to Elder Zhuo," Elder Feng hurriedly said when he saw the disciple he was most proud of come their way.
Mu Ge was clearly very familiar with Elder Zhuo. He looked at Elder Zhuo, then at Wei Jie and offered a cupped fist in salute. "Mu Ge respectfully greets Elder Zhuo and young master Wei."
Wei Jie responded with a smile, "Mu Ge’er, long time no see."
Mu Ge smiled and nodded, but he didn’t say anything else, docilely taking his spot behind Elder Feng. Seeing the situation turn a little awkward, Elder Feng looked at Elder Zhuo and whispered, "Brother Zhuo, what on earth's happened?"
"Old friend, there are no outsiders here, so I’ll get straight to the point." Elder Zhuo fixed Elder Feng with a profound gaze, "Our previous decision was too rushed. I've turned it over and over in my head. Us two old men cannot be the sinners of our house."
Elder Feng blinked. "Old brother, aren’t your words too strong?"
Elder Zhuo shook his head,"I fear that this is not me being an alarmist, but rather the result of careful consideration. Add to that some information that young master Wei provided… I've discovered that some things that we assumed have gone beyond our imagination."
"What?" Elder Feng was growing steadily more confused.
"We’ve been taken advantage of by Wei Tiantong…" Elder Zhuo immediately recounted the whole sequence of events in full detail. By the end of the explanation, Elder Feng’s face was shrouded in frost, his expression grave and solemn. "Brother Zhuo, when all’s said and done, this is only a one-sided assertion. Are you certain?"
Elder Zhuo sighed softly, "This old man may not have definite proof, but when comparing both sides, I would rather put my trust in the house lord. Wei Tiantong’s behavior is something even you’re aware of. Even if this matter doesn’t take his conduct into account, if we were to rent our store in the Farmer God Market to House Tong, we would be proclaiming to the entire Capital that our house has gone under the Majestic Clan's banner. What would the Coiling Dragon Clan think then? How would the entire Capital look upon us? Are we truly going to let the whole of the Capital poke fun at us behind our back?"
In truth, this was a thought Elder Zhuo had mulled over countless times himself. Only, he’d previously numbed himself with lies for the sake of his grandson’s future. He’d comforted himself by saying it was merely renting a store, and not a true reflection of the whole of House Wei. However, this was just self-deception.
Eyes and ears were everywhere in the Capital. Who would've missed House Wei renting an important store to House Tong, and the clan lord of the Majestic Clan paying them a personal visit? How would Elder Feng be ignorant of these arguments? It was just that Wei Tiantong’s flowery words and various incitements, plus his deep concern for his direct disciple Mu Ge, had momentarily made him soft hearted and accept Wei Tiantong’s request. "Brother Zhuo, things have already come so far, do we still have any other choice? Who was it that asked you to come persuade me? The house lord?" Elder Feng glanced at Wei Jie.
Jiang Chen started chuckling before Elder Zhuo could speak. "How amusing. When faced with the principles of the house and what is right and wrong, the proper action should be in everyone’s heart. Why would the house lord need to speak?"
Elder Feng’s expression sank. "Who might you be?"
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. "Who I am doesn’t matter. Elder Feng only needs to know that I am someone who can rescue your direct disciple, and also someone who can salvage your esteemed self’s reputation."
"Your tone’s pretty big for an ignorant kid," Elder Feng had a fiery temperament by nature. He naturally wasn’t happy with Jiang Chen’s interruption or biting words.
Elder Zhuo hurried to speak, "Old friend, he is no trivial person. Perhaps you can let him have a look at Mu Ge’s poison."
Elder Feng’s expression was a little unsightly. "Brother Zhuo, I have many disciples, but Mu Ge is the only one with extraordinary innate talent. You know that this isn’t a gamble I can afford."
Jiang Chen smiled faintly. "You can’t afford the gamble, so you would rather shoulder infamy and ruin House Wei’s foundations?"
Elder Feng suddenly erupted in anger. "Kid, if you speak one more rude word, don’t blame this old man for not showing mercy!"
Wei Jie was also silently signaling Jiang Chen with his eyes, telling him not to anger Elder Feng. Jiang Chen erupted in laughter, as though he hadn't seen him. "Elder Feng, I came to visit with good intentions, trying to share your woes, but you can’t seem to recognize a friend even in front of you. Even when some people have schemed against you, going so far as to poison your disciple and then coming to you so hypocritically claim that they can cure him, you'd still rather consider them friends. Tell me, what the hell are you on, huh?" Jiang Chen wasn’t being impulsive. He could tell that this Elder Feng had a fiery disposition and a willful temperament. Convincing him would probably not be an easy task. Reason might not immediately resonate with someone like this. Instead, butting heads might end in a happy surprise.
Elder Zhuo also spoke again, "Old friend, this matter is indeed very fishy. Our house has always been peaceful, but things keep happening to the younger generation in the past few months. Don’t you think it’s all too strange?"
Huffing with anger, Elder Feng said, "Brother Zhuo, this matter is indeed strange, but they’re directly accusing it all of being Wei Tiantong’s doing. However, they have no proof either that they aren’t the ones pulling the strings."
It was Wei Jie's turn to feel unhappy. He stood up abruptly, "Elder Feng, I’ve stayed respectful thus far because you are my senior. However, those words treat our goodwill and sincerity as nothing more than cheap deceit. If we plotted this matter, then may the heavens strike us dead!"
Wei Jie was normally a calm and even tempered man, but Elder Feng’s words had clearly pricked at his self-esteem. It was true he wanted to pull Elder Feng to his side. However, Elder Feng stubbornly refused to discern friend from foe. He was even suspecting Wei Jie and father of orchestrating this matter, confusing right and wrong. This was something that Wei Jie couldn’t sit by and tolerate.
Elder Feng seemed to realize that his words had crossed a line. He humphed softly, but didn’t say anything else.
However, Jiang Chen actually started chuckling. "Elder Feng, you aren’t afraid of believing Wei Tiantong nor afraid of shouldering the infamy of betraying House Wei, so why are you afraid of facing reality?"
"Face reality? Are you asking this old man to sit down and watch his beloved disciple die?" Elder Feng’s tone was a mixture of sorrow and indignation.
"Who said your brilliant disciple has to die? Is there only a single pill master in existence? Without Wei Tiantong’s pill master, is there no one else in the whole world who can cure your disciple’s poison?"
"What… What do you mean?" Elder Feng was unexpectedly subdued by Jiang Chen’s imposing demeanor.
"My only meaning is, what will you do if I cure your disciple?" Jiang Chen didn’t beat around the bush either. He knew he’d goaded this old man about as far as he should.
"Can you cure it?" Elder Feng snickered. He had no faith in Jiang Chen, since in his eyes, Jiang Chen was far too wet behind the ears. "If you can cure him, then whatever you say goes. If I object to anything you say, then I'm a son of a bitch."
Jiang Chen roared with laughter and stood up. "Elder Zhuo, did you hear that? Then let us consider this as a bet between Elder Feng and me. If I can cure Mu Ge…"
Elder Feng wheezed with anger, "Kid, stop talking in circles! I know you came here on behalf of the house lord. I'll have you know that I have no opinion about the house lord. If you can truly cure Mu Ge, I will assist the house lord with unwavering will and nary a stray thought for the rest of my life."
"What if Wei Tiantong comes up with some other shenanigans in the future? I rather fear a certain someone will be swayed again," Jiang Chen said with a faint smile, continuing to prod.
Elder Feng's hair was nearly on end with fury. "Do you think I’m the kind of bastard who'd go back on their words?"
Elder Zhuo was also frowning. "Pill Master Zhen, I can vouch for my old friend Feng’s character. As long as you can solve these problems, then us two old sacks of bones will single-mindedly support the house lord for the rest of our lives, never having another thought."
Wei Jie was delighted at these words. He'd been completely won over by Jiang Cheng’s pill-making. Though he hadn’t seen it many times, every time had been an earthshaking experience. Since Jiang Chen was so utterly confident, Wei Jie naturally knew that Jiang Chen was completely assured of success.
Elder Feng suddenly spoke coldly, "You talk a big talk, but I have to remind you that Wei Tiantong will put forth a proposal for a house meeting the day after tomorrow. We’ll be discussing the matter of the store in Farmer God Market then. You only have two days."
Jiang Cheng’s smile was faint. "No need for two days. I’ll return a lively disciple to you tonight."
"Those are your own words. And what if you can’t?"
"If I can’t cure him, then by all means, please do not hesitate and stand with Wei Tiantong when the time comes. We won’t have anything to say." Jiang Chen practically brimmed with confidence.
Elder Feng glanced at Elder Zhuo, then looked at Wei Jie. "Gentlemen, those were his own words. For Mu Ge’s sake, I’ll have no choice but to stand with Wei Tiantong when the time comes, even if I have to go against my convictions."
Jiang Chen laughed in response, "Don’t worry, you won’t have a chance to stand with him." It wasn’t empty talk. Wei Tiantong’s pill master was definitely a pill king, but he was still far from the apex when it came to using poison. Whether the Ninelaugh Golden Buddha Powder or Mu Ge’s poison, neither were difficult issues for Jiang Chen.
In Elder Feng’s private library, Wei Jie drank tea with Elder Zhuo and Elder Feng. From time to time, his eyes fell on a private chamber. Inside, Jiang Chen was creating an antidote for, and treating Elder’s Feng beloved disciple, Mu Ge. Wei Mo stood at Elder Zhuo’s side. Jiang Chen had already given him two pills, as well as a secret prescription, telling him to go back and follow what was written.
"Mo’er, what secret prescription did that pill master Zhen give you?" Elder Zhuo suddenly asked, feeling curious.
Wei Mo’s face nearly combusted with heat as he spontaneously turned red. He hemmed and hawed and mumbled and stammered, uncertain how he should answer. He could only hand the prescription to Elder Zhuo in the end. Elder Zhuo’s old face instantly froze as soon as he read it, awkwardness written all over his face. Wei Jie and Elder Feng exchanged a glance at the sight of this scene. It's just a secret prescription, do you two have to go this far?
Our translator of this chapter, cvquake, also does a Western magic novel of adventure and mystery!