“Baishi, if you’ve changed your mind, the doors to the Hall are absolutely open to you. Does this even need to be discussed? I can make a decision now so that you’ll still be the Third Hallmaster if you come back!” Song Tianxing was jubilant.
Qiao Baishi couldn’t help but laugh. He hadn’t thought that his words would cause Song Tianxing to misunderstand him.
“Me, the Third Hallmaster?” Qiao Baishi shook his head with a rueful smile.
Off to the side, Elder Blue couldn’t hold it in any longer, “Is the position of Third Hallmaster not enough? Do you wish to replace the Lord Hallmaster in one fell swoop?”
“You, shut up!” Song Tianxing and Ying Wuyou yelled almost in unison.
Qiao Baishi had long since grown immune to this woman as he chuckled. “I’ve already lost interest in the position of Hallmaster a long time ago. If the Lord Hallmaster wishes to listen to my terms, then I’ll speak frankly.”
“Go ahead.” Song Tianxing was in a great mood when he heard that there were conditions that could be discussed. At the end of the day, wouldn’t it just be an outrageously high price? Go ahead and name it! As long as the Hall of Healing could withstand it, they would endure it no matter how high it was.
“The terms actually aren’t much of any terms at all. They’re all in consideration of the future of the Hall. First, Ying Wuyou will return to the Hall as the Third Hallmaster and future successor. I will then hand over the three spirit medicines to him with full authority. None of you will be allowed to have a hand in them.”
This was the most basic condition.
Song Tianxing hurriedly nodded, “There is absolutely no problem in this. When Wuyou wanted to leave, I also tried my hardest to keep him.”
Qiao Baishi nodded, “The second condition is that the ranks of the senior executives of the Hall of Healing must be cleansed. Those who should leave must be expelled, and those who should be punished should be punished. Take Elder Blue for instance, I’m quite curious as to what basis she has to be on equal footing with the other elders? And as for Wang Li, he’s too radical and is completely unsuited for the Hall of Healing. He must be expelled as well. In addition…”
Qiao Baishi listed six or seven names of senior executives in one go.
The faces of those called darkened whenever they heard their names.
The area of this blow was indeed quite large. After this adjustment, almost half of the senior executives of the Hall of Healing would be eliminated.
Those who would be raised up to fill their positions instead would naturally be Qiao Baishi’s old friends and Ying Wuyou’s people.
Song Tianxing didn’t have any changes in expression as he listened. In actuality, great waves and billows were roiling in his heart. But as Lord Hallmaster, he’d long since gotten used to keeping a straight face even when Mt. Tai was collapsing in front of him.
Truth be told, he wasn’t shocked or enraged, but rather secretly delighted.
It could be said that Qiao Baishi’s suggestion struck many chords within Song Tianxing. He’d always been contemplating the issue of cleaning house for the senior executives.
But who should be made an example of first? This question was quite irritating.
Now that Qiao Baishi had raised the issue, he could be the villain. He, Song Tianxing, merely needed to go with the flow. With the two working in tandem, they could possibly wrap up this purge just like this.
Yue Qun’s old face collapsed, “Qiao Baishi, are you kidding me? Are these your conditions? You’re interfering with the internal affairs of the Hall of Healing.”
“Indeed, you’re someone who’s already left. What right do you have to intervene with the private affairs of the Hall?” Fourth Hallmaster Wang Li was thoroughly enraged and couldn’t control his temper.
Qiao Baishi smiled faintly, “I said earlier that we can conduct negotiations. I can speak on behalf of the young duke, but can’t make decisions for your Hall of Healing. If you don’t wish to discuss terms, you don’t have to discuss then.”
Wang Li put down his cup with a heavy thud. “How do we discuss this? This is a slap to the face! Take down me, Wang Li? Qiao Baishi, you dare speak of such an outrageous thing?”
“Lord Hallmaster, you told me to swallow insult and humiliation slightly, apologize, and offer gifts. All this I can do. But do you see, they want to take me down. How can I bear this insult?” Elder Blue also complained.
“Ludicrous! There’s no way we can continue these negotiations.” Yue Qun’s face darkened as well.
Song Tianxing’s cold, sharp gaze alighted on these three and he nodded his head slightly. “Good, very good. I’ve always suspected that there was an underground organization within the Hall, and that someone was creating a group for selfish purposes. I only suspected this before, but now it looks like the three of you have long since colluded together.”
“You… boss, what do you mean by this?” Yue Qun was the most senior out of all of them and couldn’t help but talk back.
“Don’t play the fool with me. Elder Blue slept with you for three months before she became an elder. This isn’t false now, is it?”
“Wang Li is your prodigy in name, but he’s actually your illegitimate child. Did you think that no one beneath the heavens would know this secret?”
Song Tianxing then swept his gaze over the faces of those who’d been called out. “Who amongst these isn’t someone that you’ve promoted? All of you have, step by step, nibbled away at the Hall! Did you really think that I had no idea?”
Song Tianxing used the situation as an excuse to finally erupt.
He also knew that this was his only chance and opportunity to make use of the situation. It was the best timing with which he could use to exterminate Yue Qun’s group of people.
Qiao Baishi laughed loudly and clapped his hands, “So it turns out that the Lord Hallmaster is able to penetrate deeply into all things. Yue Qun, you’ve posed as a person of high morals and arranged places in the senior executives for your illegitimate son and mistress to cause trouble. Don’t you have the slightest awareness, even now, of what you’ve done to the Hall all these years?”
Yue Qun’s old face seemed to age ten years all of a sudden!
Wang Li viciously lifted his hands and flipped the banquet table, sending everything clattering to the floor with a crash.
“What a bullshit negotiation. No more talk now, we return to the capital!”
“Right, what kind of negotiation is this, this is a dinner in which treachery was planned! Our own boss didn’t protect his own people but struck out on behalf of outsiders. We should go back and have a good discussion on who should be in charge of the Hall.”
“You feel like leaving?” Qiao Baishi laughed coldly.
Like the tidewaters, countless elite soldiers surged out from the four corners of the Rainflower Pavilion.
With the four Sheng battalion brothers at the head and Jiang Chen’s eight personal guards, large amounts of elite soldiers surrounded the Rainflower Pavilion so that not even a drop of water would leak out.
The dagger was revealed when the map was unrolled. There was no suspense about what happened next.
The seven or eight people on the list were almost all detained without a fight. What came out of the blue was the fact that Second Hallmaster Yue Qun, who’d always appeared old and worthless, was actually an eleven meridians true qi master.
Except, even in that case, there was no place for him to deploy his martial arts when surrounded by a large army. He broke through a few times, but still couldn’t shake himself free of the formation set up by Jiang Chen’s eight guards. He finally found it hard to escape his destiny of being captured.
“Lord Hallmaster, desperate times call for desperate measures. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve intervened in the internal affairs of the Hall. My feelings for the Hall are much deeper than these people.” Qiao Baishi said with some penitence.
“Baishi, speak no further. I’m the one who should be apologizing. If it wasn’t for me continuously having an indecisive standpoint as Lord Hallmaster, you wouldn’t have left the Hall in the first place. I know you’re set on leaving. I will raise Ying Wuyou and let him gradually control the Hall.”
“As long as the Hall can prosper and develop, then I, Qiao Baishi, will have a clear conscience.”
“Song Tianxing, Qiao Baishi, you despicable, petty villains! How dare you join hands and scheme against me!” A tied up Yue Qun roared from his disorderly position.
“Yue Qun, you formed a clique for your own selfish interests. How dare you rage and roar?” Ying Wuyou laughed coldly.
“Go to hell! Formed a clique for selfish interests? Song Tianxing, I only rue that I didn’t make a move against you earlier! I regret this bitterly! But, don’t you be too proud too early. Why do you think I’ve spent more than ten years kissing up to you in your Hall of Healing? Let me tell you something, I’m not a person from the Eastern Kingdom. For the past ten years, I’ve been a spy in the Hall of Healing. I’ve long since used various venues to convey the message of the Eastern Kingdom’s internal conflict back to the Darkmoon Kingdom. It won’t be long before the iron hooves of the Darkmoon Kingdom trample the mountains and rivers of the Eastern Kingdom! Hahahahaha!!”
“Darkmoon Kingdom?” Song Tianxing and Qiao Baishi looked at each other as they both sucked in a breath.
The Darkmoon Kingdom was a kingdom contiguous to the southern part of the Eastern Kingdom. It was stronger than the Eastern Kingdom and had always eyed its neighbor covetously.
Unfortunately, Yue Qun’s words were probably not random ravings grounded in nothing.
However, Qiao Baishi recovered his composure very quickly. “Darkmoon Kingdom is it? That’s fine, we weren’t able to find a suitable excuse to kill all of you earlier. Since you call yourself a spy from the Darkmoon Kingdom, then we’ve actually gained sufficient grounds to kill all of you.”
“Kill me? Haha, do you think I’d be afraid? I am a citizen of the Darkmoon Kingdom and a ghost of the Darkmoon Kingdom if I die. I won’t even crease my brow if I die for my country.”
“You… old thing, are you crazy? Are you really a spy from Darkmoon Kingdom?” Even Elder Blue was frantic.
She was a born and bred citizen of the Eastern Kingdom and not some Darkmoon spy. She had originally slept with Yue Qun to climb up to her current position of elder.
She’d been captured now, but still may not be put to death. However, if she was associated with a spy, then she would be dead without a doubt.
Wang Li was also stunned and started cursing loudly. “Old man, you’ve really thrown me to the wolves. You said you would support me to the highest position and help me expand the branches of the Hall to all the territories within the kingdom. Was all of this a lie?”
“Ai, they weren’t really lies. You’re my son, how could I deceive you? Those words were built on the premise of the Eastern Kingdom not having internal strife. Without internal discord in the Eastern Kingdom, the Darkmoon Kingdom wouldn’t have a window of opportunity. I’d only be able to cultivate you and have you take control of the Hall. Who knew that even the best laid plans would fall to pieces in the face of reality.”
“Since this is the case, then what did you come to the Jiang Han territory for?” Wang Li cursed.
“Come to the Jiang Han territory?” Yue Qun grimaced in laughter. “For the pill medicine recipes of course. Even I’m jealous of those recipes. If I could bring that back to the Darkmoon Kingdom, then I’d be the greatest meritorious statesman in the Darkmoon Kingdom!”
Wang Li was completely dumfounded. He’d discovered that in this old fellow’s heart, his position as an illegitimate son was completely inferior to the position of the Darkmoon Kingdom.
Elder Blue wailed like ghosts and howled like wolves, “Lord Hallmaster, I was wrong. I will redeem myself with good service, please give me a chance. I… I know how to warm a bed, I’m also extremely skilled with techniques, and I’m well versed in pleasuring men with my mouth…”
This woman had gone completely crazy.
Qiao Baishi wouldn’t hear any of it and waved his hand, “Take them all away, I’m going to visit the young duke.”
Although he didn’t know whether or not Yue Qun’s words were true or false, but this piece of news was startling enough. If this was the case, then a sword was hovering over the Eastern Kingdom’s neck.
There was a sharp sword that could behead the Eastern Kingdom at any time!
“Yue Qun? Spy for the Darkmoon Kingdom?” Jiang Chen was also a bit shocked by Qiao Baishi’s report. He’d sent Qiao Baishi to the negotiations and didn’t even mind using a bit of brute force. He hadn’t thought though, that such dumbfounding news would be unearthed.
The Darkmoon Kingdom had always been at odds with the Eastern Kingdom. Over the past couple hundred of years, battles between the two were a common occurrence.
“Young duke, this matter is likely not false. The Long family caused internal strife and the royal family has been hollowed out as well. It’d be truly bizarre if the Darkmoon Kingdom didn’t take advantage of this opportunity to invade.”
Jiang Chen nodded, this matter forced him to treat it with all due consideration.
The Jiang family didn’t have any further relations with the Eastern Kingdom to begin with. However, once the Darkmoon Kingdom began their invasion, the Jiang family would be the first to be impacted, given their location in the southern frontier.
After all, the Darkmoon Kingdom was located to the southwest of the kingdom. Once an opening was created, the Jiang family was almost surely the first line of defense that would suffer an attack.
Just as he was hesitating, one of his men suddenly reported in. “Young duke, there’s an envoy outside the manor who says he’s an envoy from the Darkmoon Kingdom and seeks an audience.”
The Darkmoon Kingdom?
Jiang Chen and Qiao Baishi looked at each other. An envoy from the Darkmoon Kingdom had arrived when they were just discussing about them. This speed was simply a bit too fast, wasn’t it?