Chapter 21: Negotiations
Two days later.
Within the Su Residence’s Main Hall
“...... We’ve listed out all of our requirements above.”
Su Gaoye watched Su Chen as he spoke, his head slightly tilted up and a self-confident smile on his face.
He had practiced this smile in front of a mirror for nearly two days. It was neither too servile nor too overbearing; it both gave Su Chen enough face and didn’t tarnish the grace that the ten great Bloodline Nobility Clans should have.
“So the Lian Clan is the same, then?”
Su Chen turned around to glance at Chief Steward Lao.
Chief Steward Lau laughed, “The Ten Great Bloodline Nobility Clans advance and retreat together. Naturally, the conditions are the same.”
“Advance and retreat together?” The corners of Su Chen’s mouth quirked up in a disdainful smile.
Then, he said unhurriedly, “Since both Chief Stewards have already listed your requirements, then please listen to mine. I can release the captives, but I want a million Origin Stones as reparations. You must also apologize to me, and you must give me access to your secret libraries......"
“Rubbish!” Su Gaoye slapped the table and stood up. “Su Chen, you dare blackmail us? Our two clans being willing to reconcile with you is already giving you a tremendous amount of face!”
“Reconcile?” A cold light suddenly shot from Su Chen’s eyes. “Who cares about reconciling with you?”
The two of them were shocked.
Su Chen enunciated every word as he spoke, “If you want to fight, I can accommodate you! But if you want to take someone back with you, you’ll have to provide the corresponding benefits! The conditions put forth by the two Bloodline Nobility Clans are simply too disgraceful and aren’t even worth discussing. If you still want to maintain your previous attitude, we might as well just skip straight to the fighting. But if you really want to negotiate, we’ll do it by my standards!”
“Su Chen, don’t even think about......”
“What I think about is my problem, what you do from here on is your problem. Of course, if one of you agrees first, I can make some concessions to that party. Otherwise, you can wait to collect the corpses of your heirs.”
“You!” Su Gaoyi pointed at Su Chen, so angry that he couldn’t speak.
Su Chen waved his sleeves and stood. “Li Shu, send our guests off!”
The two Chief Stewards cursed the entire way out of the Su Residence.
“He’s taken it too far!”
Su Gaoye pointed at the Su Residence and said, “Brother Lao, this Su Chen is too much. We absolutely cannot agree to his conditions!”
“Naturally not,” Chief Steward Lao nodded repeatedly.
The two of them left, filled with rage, indicating that they wouldn’t compromise. They puffed each other up, then returned to their own respective clans.
Within the Long Palace.
Long Qingjiang’s expression was dark. “That’s how he said it?”
“Yes, Su Chen said he didn’t care for reconciliation. If you want him to release the persons, you’ll need to pay money as reparations. It must be this way even if you attack him immediately after,” Su Gaoye replied, exaggerating the story somewhat as he talked.
“How bold.” Long Qingjiang shattered a teacup, turning into powder as it floated to the ground like white snow. “He isn’t worried that I’ll head over there right now and eliminate him immediately?”
“He still has Young Master and Young Miss under his control. Whether he dies isn’t important, but it’s not worth getting Young Master and Young Miss involved,” Su Gaoye reminded Long Qingjiang.
Upon hearing of his son, Long Qingjiang couldn’t think of anything else.
It was his carelessness that had led to his son being captured.
“So all we can do is let him blackmail us?”
“This......” Housekeep Su muttered before saying, “Even though Su Chen’s tone was unyielding, he seemed to be indicating that everything can still be negotiated and the conditions he proposed aren’t set in stone. But if we want to negotiate with him......”
“What is it?”
Su Gaoye hesitated for a moment, then said, “If we want to negotiate with him, it’s best if we go on our own.”
“Why is that?”
“Su Chen said that he was willing to negotiate with the first person who agreed to his conditions.”
Long Qingjiang froze for a moment before he realized what was happening. “He’s trying to pit us against each other.”
Yes, that was exactly what Su Chen was trying to do.
Even though the Ten Great Bloodline Nobility Clans normally cooperated with each other, that was only against the government. Behind closed doors, they still had their own conflicts with each other. There were even conflicts for status within a single clan, so how could ten clans who didn’t even share the same surname be completely of one accord?
If things were really that peaceful, why would Sun Mao and Yu Chengshui have any reason to fight? Were they just playing house?
These conflicts were usually well-contained, however; as soon as the government tried to exert their influence, each of the clans would join together to counter.
This was how they stayed united yet separate.
Su Chen’s requirement was, without a doubt, to try and tear down this superficial pretense.
Want to negotiate? Fine! You must do it on my terms, and you can’t do it secretly; the first person here will have an advantage.
The Long Clan could ignore him, but could they really just sit and watch as their heir was kept shut up?
Even if the Long Clan abided by the rules, what if the Lian Clan ignored them and secretly met with Su Chen?
Would the Long Clan then make trouble for the Lian Clan for that?
After leaving the Su Residence, both Chief Stewards had loudly agreed that they absolutely wouldn’t acquiesce to Su Chen’s demands, but both of them knew that they might not have a choice.
It was all because Su Chen’s hostages had quite a bit of value.
However, they could not make that decision on their own. They could only go back and bring the difficult problem to their own clan’s patriarchs.
Long Qingjiang pondered over it for some time before agreeing in the end. He told Chief Steward Su to return to the Su Residence and negotiate the release of individuals instead.
Of course, he didn’t bring up the matter of Su Chen apologizing anymore - since he had already said that he wasn’t worried about the Long Clan coming to make things even after the deal, there was no point in threatening him anymore. As such, they could only lower their heads obediently.
To prevent the Lian Clan’s people from finding out, Chief Steward Su specifically set out at night to meet Su Chen.
Upon arriving at the Su Residence, Li Shu informed him that Su Chen was performing an experiment and brought him to the back flower garden to wait.
Su Gaoye waited for a long time in the flower garden before finally hearing some commotion from outside.
The sound came from the opposite side of the wall. Su Gaoye instinctively got close to the wall. He peeked through the cracks and saw a person being led
That person was Chief Steward Lao.
That old bastard had come too!
Su Gaoye was both surprised and angry. He knew that those people from the Lian Clan weren’t to be trusted!
A gentle cough came from behind him.
Su Gaoye turned around and found Su Chen staring at him with a wide smile.
Su Gaoye’s heart jerked. He knew that Su Chen had let him see it on purpose to put more pressure on him.
Su Gaoye calmed himself down before walking over and saying in a low voice, “Gaoye greets Prince Su.”
Su Chen waved his hands and pointed at a nearby stone bench. “Chief Steward Su, please, have a seat.”
“We’re going to discuss things here?” Su Gaoye glanced behind himself.
“Don’t worry about it. He can’t hear,” Su Chen replied.
Su Gaoye sighed. “My Clan Patriarch thought over Prince Su’s agreements. He can give you a million Origin Stones, but the apology and the opening of our secret library we can’t agree to.”
The Origin Stones could be seized again afterwards, but the face lost couldn’t be taken back even if they killed Su Chen’s whole family afterwards.
Su Chen said calmly, “I can do without the apology, but I need your clan to help me out with two things.”
“What is it?”
“First of all, I want Liu Wuya to apologize to me.”
“You want Liu Wuya to apologize to you?” Su Gaoye was shocked.
“Yes. No matter what, he is still the head of the Origin Bureau; he needs to at least make amends for what happened last time.” Su Chen shrugged.
“That...... makes sense. I’ll go back and let Clan Patriarch know, but it shouldn’t be a problem,” Su Gaoye agreed.
“Second of all, you must give me a person.”
“I can hand Sun Mao over to Prince Su.”
“I don’t care about Sun Mao. I want someone else.”
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