Chapter 85: The Correct Decision
As soon as Zhou Qingkuang heard these words, he felt his heart tremble. The battle had more than likely been lost.
Gu Xuanmian said slowly, “I know that you’re not satisfied with this outcome, but consider what he did when the Beast Race attacked the city. Without him, Swallow River City probably would’ve fallen to the Beast Race’s onslaught, and we might not even be here having this conversation. It was Su Chen who saved Swallow River City, helped the Gu Clan’s ancestor, helped me, and saved all of the citizens in Swallow River City. Where were you when he was risking his life to save others?”
“I......” Zhou Qingkuang was immediately at a loss for words.
When the Beast Race had attacked the city, most of the Origin Qi Scholars had set out to protect the city. However, most did not mean all.
There were always a few people who shirked their responsibilities and betrayed the hopes of the commoners.
Zhou Qingkuang was one of them.
During that time, he had packed everything up and ran outside of the city to hide. How could he possibly have cared for the civilians inside the city?
Gu Xuanmian despised him for this reason.
Zhou Qingkuang angrily said, “I’m not from Swallow River City anyways, and Uncle had just annulled the engagement. I felt unjustly wronged and had no heart to fight for Swallow River City. I confess that this was a bit wrong of me, but my act is also pardonable!”
“Whether or not it is pardonable isn’t up to you to decide, but the civilians,” Gu Xuanmian said casually. “You don’t need to try to keep anything hidden. Of course, just as you said, you’re not someone from Swallow River City, so no one can say much even if you weren’t willing to place your life on the line for Swallow River City. But if that’s the case, how can you even think about marrying someone from Swallow River City?”
“Then what about Su Chen? That cheater is suited to marry someone from Swallow River City?” Zhou Qingkuang said harshly.
“Cheater?” Gu Xuanmian’s eyebrow bunched up. “I admit that his goal was never to set up a Flight Network but instead to irreversibly tie himself and the Gu Clan together, making it easier for him to try and take Gu Qingluo for himself. However, this doesn’t mean that the Flight Network itself is a scam; it’s just that his priorities were never placed there, but the network itself is quite real. Today, the Network is expanding rapidly and developing quite well, and the investments we made are already beginning to produce returns. Everything that needs to be done has been done, so all we can do now is wait. As such, Su Chen’s Flight Network is more of an overt plot than a covert one. Once the four Bloodline Nobility Clans in Swallow River City decided to invest in this business venture, we were tied together with him, making it impossible for us to easily back out.”
“So you’ve changed your mind? Even though you knew Su Chen was lying, you’re still willing to accept him? Even if he doesn’t have a bloodline? Even if the Gu Clan will be laughed at by everyone because of this?” Zhou Qingkuang said incisively.
With a clear, resounding slap, Zhou Qingkuang was sent flying.
Gu Xuanmian slowly pulled his hand back and said calmly, “This slap is for your disrespect towards your elders. But since you are still young, and your father and I have some history, I will answer your questions. Yes, the biggest issue with Su Chen is his background. He is someone without a bloodline. But you forgot two important things.”
Gu Xuanmian raised a finger. “First of all, even though he doesn’t have a bloodline, he has long since surpassed the limitations of a bloodline and even that of a cultivation base, evidenced by his strength that seems to be on par with that of a low-tier Light Shaking Realm cultivator. During the battle with the Beast Race, the powerful combat ability he demonstrated should be proof enough of this point. Because of this, calling Su Chen a dragon amongst men wouldn’t be too excessive. What does someone like this, who has no bloodline but is even stronger than many people with a bloodline, have to be ashamed of?”
Gu Xuanmian raised another finger. “Second, he saved the citizens in the city, earning their respect and gratitude. No one lacks praise for him; they know that he has no bloodline but his incredible combat ability allowed him to do something that many people from Bloodline Nobility Clans couldn’t even dream of doing. With knowledge of this incident being so widespread, do you really think it would be shameful for us to betroth Gu Qingluo to him?”
Zhou Qingkuang was stunned.
The biggest barrier to Gu Qingluo and Su Chen’s marriage was face!
Bloodline Nobility Clans all treasured their face. Betrothing someone from a Bloodline Nobility Clan to someone without a bloodline was marrying into a lower social class, a clear sign that the clan was weakening. As such, Bloodline Nobility Clans wouldn’t easily permit such a marriage to occur.
However, if a person without a bloodline proved his own strength, status, and prestige, and received acknowledgement, respect, adoration, and acceptance from the public, then there was no humiliation to speak of.
His wanton purchasing of the nearby businesses gave the people of Swallow River City a deep impression of his wealth; the Beast Race’s invasion of the city made the countless people that he saved feel a deep adoration and respect for him.
If people still laughed at someone like this being married to a Bloodline Nobility Clan, then was there any reason left to be found on the entire continent?
Unless everyone had somehow become mentally challenged?
Because of this, Gu Xuanmian agreed, as did the Clan Relative Society.
Despite knowing that Su Chen and Gu Qingluo had been involved secretly for a long time and that Su Chen had done everything with an ulterior motive, they still accepted him.
“You have every right to be upset and angry over Su Chen using such methods to get close to the Gu Clan. But as a father, watching a heroic, affectionate, and resolute young man go to such pains to pursue my daughter, I have no reason to be angry. His ability to trick me is also just a demonstration of his skill. I’m very impressed at his shrewdness despite his tender age. He thinks through every situation carefully but harbors great ambitions. He does things lawfully and is able to control himself. How could I not like a person like him? If I didn’t like him, there must be something wrong with me, right?” Gu Xuanmian said candidly.
Zhou Qingkuang was flabbergasted. “That’s why you aren’t angry even though he lied to you.”
“Yes, I’m not angry. Actually, I’m delighted,” Gu Xuanmian replied. “I’m not the only one, either; everyone from the Gu Clan feels this way. They are even jealous and envious of me. If I didn’t accept him as my son-in-law, there would probably be a fight in the Gu Clan over him.”
Zhou Qingkuang’s entire body trembled.
He couldn’t accept this answer.
Even so, this was the cold, harsh, painful reality.
“Good! Very good! I’ll remember this!” Zhou Qingkuang laughed harshly twice as he stumbled backwards. “You Gu Clan people are all a bunch of cheaters, a bunch of lowlives, a bunch of people that throw morality out the window as soon as a hint of profits come your way!”
His anger had reached a point that he was no longer able to control what he said.
Gu Xuanmian shook his head. “I understand how you feel, but that doesn’t mean that you can disrespect my clan like this. Considering my relationship with your father, I can let what you just said slide by, but if you dare spout such nonsense again, don’t blame me for being impolite. Right, news just arrived that Su Chen woke up. Seven days later, Qingluo will be wed to Su Chen. I wanted to let you know so that you can act appropriately. My advice is for you to leave as soon as possible so that the peaceful relationship between our clans can be preserved. As for the presents you brought with you, you can take them back with you.”
Upon hearing this, Zhou Qingkuang knew that the situation was now irreversible.
He let out a long sigh. “I understand Uncle’s words. Since that’s the case, I, Qingkuang, won't ask for anything else. But since Qingluo is going to be married and I am still here, then I think I should still attend. Uncle, will you give me this opportunity?”
Upon hearing this, Gu Xuanmian frowned.
Just based on his reasoning, he didn’t want Zhou Qingkuang to remain here as he might say something outrageous during the wedding ceremony that would ruin the atmosphere or harm their reputation.
However, Zhou Qingkuang was still the successor to the Zhou Clan, and the Zhou Clan and the Gu Clan still interacted quite often.
Even if the engagement had been annulled, the Zhou Clan still needed to be given a reason and an apology. If he didn’t even let Zhou Qingkuang attend the wedding ceremony, that might be considered too heartless, and it would create problems for the Gu Clan if word ever spread.
After thinking about it for a moment, he finally nodded and said, “Since that’s the case, you may stay.”
“Many thanks for your agreement, Uncle.” Zhou Qingkuang bowed and left.
Gu Xuanmian said as he watched Zhou Qingkuang’s departing figure, “Tell the subordinates to keep an eye on Zhou Qingkuang. Don’t let him do anything that might ruin the wedding.”
“Yes, sir,” a voice from the darkness replied.