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Chapter 19: Reception
A knock sounded on the door.
Zhou Hong entered the room and knelt down in front of Su Chen. "Young Master, the Lian and Long Clan's Chief Stewards have both left, but they left a large number of subordinates behind to surveil this place."
"Oh," Su Chen replied as he shook the flask in his hand carefully. The brown liquid bubbled gently within the vial, constantly emitting hot air.
Zhou Hong glanced at the focused Su Chen and couldn't help but ask, "Young Master, why didn't you agree to meet them? Didn't you capture their young masters so that you could negotiate with them?"
"Of course we will have to negotiate, but not now," Su Chen replied.
He poured out the liquid in the vial, slowly pouring it out evenly on a stone tablet he had prepared. The liquid followed the nooks and crannies in the tablet, painting a beautiful picture.
"Not now?" Zhou Hong didn't understand.
"Yes. Right now, the Lian and Long Clans are still incredibly arrogant and won't place me in their eyes. They think that I just got lucky. If it weren't for the fact that their successors were in my hand, they wouldn't even be willing to speak with me. This kind of arrogant att.i.tude isn't appropriate for negotiations."
"But……" Zhou Hong trailed off.
"You want to say that they truly are stronger than us, right?" Su Chen turned around and glanced at him, smiling.
Zhou Hong lowered his head. "Forgive me for my offense."
"It's no big deal. Your thoughts aren't wrong, anyways," Su Chen said indifferently. "We're weaker than them in the first place. That's why we need to wait a bit."
"What are we waiting for?"
"Naturally, for an opportunity when we have more clout…… Do you really think that I'm fighting on my own in Clear River City?" Su Chen asked as he watched the liquid flow down the stone tablet.
The thick liquid flowed across the surface of the tablet, quickly forming a patterned film.
Su Chen gently blew on it, then pulled the membrane off of the stone tablet. He inspected it carefully, a satisfied expression on his face. "Success."
"What's succeeded?" Zhou Hong was confused. "The experiment? Or has an opportunity arisen?"
Li Shu walked in from outside.
"Young Master, City Lord An would like to meet you."
Within the Clear River City Lord's residence.
"Hahahaha, juniors are quite promising!"
An Siyuan laughed loudly within the main hall.
Outwardly, An Siyuan looked like a crude martial artist. He had a brawny figure, and his head was completely bald and s.h.i.+ny. Anyone who saw it would find it difficult not to want to touch it.
His laugh was also quite coa.r.s.e and loud, booming thunderously.
An Siyuan continued, "You showed your strength off to the Lian and Long Clans as soon as you got to Clear River. Good job at the battle at Nan'an Street!"
His simple words clearly demonstrated his att.i.tude towards the situation.
Su Chen replied, "Does City Lord not blame Su Chen for being impulsive and creating an issue as soon as he got here?"
"Hehe, if you're making trouble for those ten big Bloodline n.o.bility Clans, the more the better," An Siyuan chuckled darkly.
Su Chen laughed, "I feel a lot more at ease hearing that."
Yes, other people might fear the ten great Bloodline n.o.bility Clans, but An Siyuan wouldn't.
The rise in power of a royal family weakened the government.
As the City Lord, An Siyuan had an immense amount of control. Naturally, he wouldn't be happy if that control was to be usurped.
In addition, he himself was from a clan without a bloodline.
To become head of a city without a bloodline was an indicator of how strong he was. Unfortunately, that had also limited his strength, and he wouldn't be able to get past the Light Shaking Realm.
Long before his arrival, Su Chen had already discovered that An Siyuan and the Bloodline n.o.bility Clans were always at odds with each other, and their disputes were already public. Naturally, this was both because of the differences in bloodline and the struggle for power.
An Siyuan said, "Unfortunately, not everyone is as courageous as Knowledge Executor Su and willing to fight the ten great Bloodline n.o.bility Clans."
Su Chen replied, "I never intended of doing battle with them. I just felt that I needed to carry out my duty as the Knowledge Executor of the Origin Bureau. The Bloodline n.o.bility Clans think that they are rich and powerful and can ignore the law, so arresting them was the only way. As for the battle at Nan'an Street, that was just another example of them acting as if they were above the law is all."
"Mm! Well said!" An Siyuan nodded. "No matter who the person is, as long as the person is a citizen, they need to abide by the law. However, there are always people who think that they are exceptions and rely on their own influence to do whatever they want. Even though I, An Siyuan, want to deal with these kinds of people, I am unable to on my own."
Su Chen laughed, "Why does City Lord feel such regret? There is always a place for government officials in this world."
"But Clear River City is about to become the playground of the Bloodline n.o.bility Clans," An Siyuan said as he rubbed his bald head. "Knowledge Executor Su, I'm not going to be courteous. Why are they so arrogant? Just because they have some hidden tricks? No! They control not only their own clans, but they also have the a.s.sistance of the empire! Let's take you as an example; you saw yourself that even Liu Wuya, the captain of the Origin Bureau, belongs to them. If it weren't for the fact that you are powerful yourself, you would've been killed by them! Unfortunately I, An Siyuan, am useless, and I had to punish that d.a.m.ned b.a.s.t.a.r.d."
The Origin Bureau's captain was determined by the higher-ups. Even An Siyuan had no way of appointing someone, so he could only grit his teeth and endure.
Of course, that didn't mean that he had no authority whatsoever. He was still the City Lord. He was saying all of this primarily to address Su Chen's concerns first.
Su Chen had never expected An Siyuan to get revenge for him. All he said was, "There must be some people who are loyal to the empire and obedient to City Lord, right?"
"Of course there are," An Siyuan replied. "The district office has always been loyal to the government, and I can also vouch for the Lingyuan Navy. It's just the Origin Bureau and the Investigations Office that haven't listened to me for a long time now. As for the Secret Task Force, they do things their own way and won't listen to anyone apart from the emperor himself."
The district office was responsible for handling the city's internal affairs. The Lingyuan Navy didn't belong to Clear River City alone but to the Crow Region as a whole, and they were much larger in scale than the district office. An Siyuan controlled both of these critical forces, which were also the biggest means by which An Siyuan could resist the ten great Bloodline n.o.bility Clans.
The Origin Bureau was responsible for handling disputes between Origin Qi Scholars, while the Investigations Office was responsible for solving crimes. Both were responsible for public safety and had some measure of force, but An Siyuan couldn't rely on them.
As for the Secret Task Force, just like An Siyuan had said, their sole goal was to serve the country. No one could order them around.
Anyone who tried to interfere with them would be killed.
In reality, the only reason An Siyuan still controlled the district office and the Lingyuan Navy was probably because the ten great Bloodline n.o.bility Clans wanted to avoid offending the imperial family.
They couldn't casually interfere with the army or with special intelligence groups. It was enough for them to just control the public safety branches.
Even so, Su Chen laughed, "There might be another group of people that City Lord An wants to control but hasn't reached out to yet, right?"
An Siyuan paused. "You mean……"