Chapter 850 – Second Master Has Something to Say
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"None of you came to Wenshui City to investigate anything, only to show off your strength through this matter, shaking my position in Father's heart. At present, the Li Palace doesn't support me, Holy Maiden Peak doesn't support me, Scholartree Manor doesn't support me, Mount Li doesn't support me, and now even the Qiushan clan doesn't support me. And now you say that I'm colluding with the demons, damaging my reputation. Even if I don't care and no one dares to mention it, Father must consider it."
The Tang Second Master looked at Chen Changsheng and said, "In truth, you are much smarter than the common people and your believers might think, and there's also Qiushan and that nephew of mine. Although you're all still young, your methods truly aren't lacking. I regard myself as shrewd and ruthless, but now it seems that I've truly been beaten by you into a rather sorry state. It will truly be rather problematic for me to resolve the situation confronting me."
Chen Changsheng asked, "Can I understand, did you not just now admit that you were colluding with the demons?"
The Tang Second Master laughed, with all its usual lack of noise. He then restrained his smile and looked at everyone like they were a pack of idiots. "I naturally wouldn't admit that I was colluding with the demons, and even if I did, so what? Do any of you really think that the Demon race can be completely exterminated? In the end, a truce will be called. How can one obtain a long peace? Through trade and communication. I was doing nothing more than doing some work in advance."
Everyone fell quiet at these words, the old estate once more descending into silence.
After some time, Chen Changsheng replied, "Your view truly is rather reasonable, but in the current circumstances, your conduct was incorrect."
"How was I wrong? Ever since I was little, Father always taught us that the Tang clan is a clan of merchants. Merchants will be merchants, and what they want is to make money."
The Tang Second Master sneered at him, "Is there such a thing as a dirtier money?"
At this moment, a voice spoke.
"At times, a merchant cannot be only merchants."
The speaker was the Tang Old Master.
His gaze fell on the storm raging outside the room, perhaps recalling that blizzard engulfing Luoyang those many years ago.
"Some matters might be correct if you did them several hundred years later, but since you have done them now, you are wrong."
The Tang Old Master's words were the verdict on this matter.
It was clear that the Tang Second Master had not expected for his father to say such a thing.
He calmly gazed at the Tang Old Master. There was no rage, no despair. He just looked.
And then he noiselessly laughed once more, his face still rife with derision and malice. This time, however, there was also some exhaustion and relief.
With the verdict handed down, what would the end be?
What happened next would be an internal matter of the Tang clan. Linghai Zhiwang, Zhexiu, and the others retreated out of the old estate, leaving only father, son, and Chen Changsheng.
The Tang Old Master looked at the Tang Second Master and said, "When all of you were little, I said many things to you. Some of them you remembered up until today, like those words you said just now, so do you still remember when I said this: whether it's the Tang clan, the Qiushan clan, the Wu clan, or the Mutuo clan, why is it that they have managed to persist for so long, their succession never once interrupted?"
The Tang Second Master looked at the snowstorm outside as he replied, "Because an internal conflict has never once taken place in these clans of ours."
The Tang Old Master did not care that his son had his back towards him. "Correct, clans like ours can disregard the greatest of external storms, but when we begin to rot from within, therein lies danger. Think about those clans of Tianliang County that were like blazing suns at their peak. Now they have all gradually withered away, only the Chen clan left sitting on the imperial throne, but even they were almost exterminated due to internal conflicts. Thus, our four clans have always been wary over this matter and have thought of countless methods to deal with it. I once believed that my method was correct. Before Little Tang inherited the clan, I did not allow any of the other branches to have descendants, severing your desires and severing the chance of any furtive glances being cast in your direction."
The Tang Second Master turned around to face his father, expressionlessly saying, "But did Father ever think that this is very unfair to us?"
"Yes, it truly is unfair, but you no longer have the right to say this." The Tang Old Master was similarly expressionless. "Because I later on changed my mind and planned to pass on the clan to you. You also have a descendant now, so I do not understand why you had to poison your elder brother."
The Tang Second Master remained silent.
The Tang Old Master added, "Of course, the poisoning does not matter. Just like you said, our Tang clan is a clan of merchants. Is there anything that we wouldn't do for money?"
The Tang Second Master knew that his father had definitely not finished speaking, so he still remained silent.
"But you were in too much of a rush."
The Tang Old Master said with heartfelt sincerity, "Before you did all these things, did you ever ask me a single time? Did you even attempt to probe out my intentions?"
The Tang Second Master found it impossible to keep his silence, because he truly wanted to laugh, and so he smiled and said, "Did I need to?"
Perhaps it was his attitude or that question that ignited his rage, but the Tang Old Master's face suddenly went cold as he harshly rebuked, "What do you think? Is this your Tang clan or my Tang clan? In the future, it will certainly be your Tang clan, but right now, it's still mine! Since it's my Tang clan, what right did you have to conceal so many of your deeds from me!"
The Tang Second Master calmly looked at him, remaining silent for a long time. Finally, he scornfully said, "It truly is the case."
Was he scorning himself or scorning the world?
The Tang Old Master asked, "What did you say?"
"It's useless to speak, because everything you said is false. Father, what you want isn't reason, but respect. You only want to maintain your mystery, hiding away in the old estate every day and playing mahjong. There are naturally these sons and stewards to handle the business for you. If they do well, you'll give them a few words of praise, but if they do poorly, that's a problem. Like a rag, you just throw them away."
The Tang Second Master looked at his father and ruefully said, "That's right, what do you need to worry about except that the Tang clan is your Tang clan?"
The Tang Old Master squinted his eyes and said, "That is because you did something that I could not endure."
"You could not endure?" The Tang Second Master's voice suddenly grew louder. "Did you not just say that as long as the clan was not ruined, it wouldn't be a problem even if I poisoned you!"
The Tang Old Master impassively said, "I can say this, but you can't do it. Do you not even understand this?"
The Tang Second Master coldly replied, "Because it's too ruthless? Doesn't Principal Shang value and support me with the full force of the Imperial Court because I'm like you, so ruthless?"
The Tang Old Master narrowed his eyes even more. After a while, he finally said, "What made me disappointed in you the most today is precisely this statement."
The Tang Second Master's face filled with ridicule, but he did not reply.
The Tang Old Master said, "I have known Shang for several centuries, and both of us truly walked the same path. I know how formidable he is, how mentally formidable he is. What you have said now signifies that you have mentally submitted yourself to him, but the Tang clan can only cooperate with him. If this continues, you will bring the Tang clan to ruin."
Hearing this, the Tang Second Master narrowed his eyes.
"And you? Did you truly think about passing the Tang clan into my hands?"
His voice softened, but it was not all calm, seeming to be packed with many years of resentment. "Yes, you thought of me in these past three years, but your decision was ultimately made because I crippled my older brother with poison, because the grandson that you had placed your hopes on foolishly insisted on standing at Chen Changsheng's side. You were forced to pick me."
The Tang Old Master asked, "If I didn't give this clan to you, who would I give it to?"
"Give to who?" The Tang Second Master crazily laughed, the extremely rare sound of laughter issuing from his mouth. "Hahahaha… give to who?"
He furiously roared, "Did you really think I didn't know that that man visited the old estate three days ago? Did you tell me of this matter? No! Because you were afraid that I and the Imperial Court would attack him, because this is Wenshui City! Do you still have hopes in him? After so many years, do you still feel that I'm inferior to him? But don't forgot that his surname is Wang, not Tang! Just who is your real son here!"
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