“Feng Yan, take my card and visit the second highest personage of the Dragonteeth Guard, Vice Director Zhou. Tell him that all business between my Myriad Treasures Palace and the Dragonteeth Guard will be halted for three years. Any business that they have entrusted to us is to be returned to them in full.”
The Dragonteeth Guard had extremely high expenses from feeding a million strong army. The stipend from the kingdom was enough to enable them to become strong and mighty, but it was very difficult to help each member of the Guard actually earn money.
Therefore, the Dragonteeth Guard had their own ways of making money. All of the Guard’s gains from cases didn’t have to be handed to the royal treasury. They were instead handed over to the Myriad Treasures Palace to be sold or auctioned off.
The income from this was much more rewarding than the funds that they’d receive from the kingdom, and was the true source of wealth for the Dragonteeth Guard. It was a small gold mine for them.
If this bit of business was stopped, the entirety of the Dragonteeth Guard would only be able to subsist on the stipend from the kingdom, and wouldn’t ever enjoy the benefits of this gold mine anymore.
The benefits of this gold mine were practically a hidden rule for the Dragonteeth Guard. If the benefits of this gold mine were to disappear, the entire system that the Dragonteeth Guard had created would definitely fall into an uproar.
One had to say, Shi Xiaoyao’s actions were more ruthless and brutal than Elder Ning’s.
If one were to say that Elder Ning had left a trace of a way to salvage the situation, then Shi Xiaoyao was an absolute demon when his ire was aroused. He would dare do the most outrageous things.
Not to mention, he had the authority and the rights to. Even the head of the Myriad Treasures Palace, Zhuge Yan, wouldn’t say much about this decision.
After all, the vice head’s face had to do with the reputation of the Myriad Treasures Palace. Anyone who slapped the vice head’s face had committed the same action as trashing the Myriad Treasures Palace’s banner. If they didn’t strike back, it would be the same thing as them destroying their own banner.
The Dragonteeth Guard was both the most influential and the strongest army within the capital.
They had a decent amount of authority and all sorts of roles; such as protecting the royal family, guarding the capital, and defending the royal authority. They were also in charge of inspections, customs, and general security — amongst other things.
It could be said that, if it was something to do with matters of force within the Skylaurel Kingdom, no one would be able to make a move without the Dragonteeth Guard’s permission.
In addition, the Dragonteeth Guard didn’t fall under any jurisdiction. They were answerable only to the king himself. The king alone had the authority to command the general director of the Dragonteeth Guard.
Anyone else, even the king’s own sons, wouldn’t do.
It could be seen from this how much authority the Dragonteeth Guard had.
Of course, despite them having this much power, it was only applicable to the various aspects of the kingdom. Having great power didn’t mean that they could blot out the sky with one hand. It also didn’t mean that they wouldn’t have any favors to ask of others.
Take the four great sites for instance — even the Dragonteeth Guard didn’t dare to easily offend them.
The four great sites were part of the Precious Tree Sect’s authority, and answered directly to the Precious Tree Sect. Even the king himself gave quite a lot of face to them in private, not to mention the Dragonteeth Guard.
Offending the four great sites would mean that even the foundations of the kingdom would possibly shake.
The Dragonteeth Guard had a general director who was a trusted confidant of the king, whose name was Shangguan Yi.
Shangguan Yi didn’t venture out often. Although his authority reached the heavens, he almost never showed his face. He left most things for the three vice directors beneath him to handle.
At this moment, three out of the four total generals and vice directors had assembled.
Shangguan Yi had an urbane manner about him. He looked roughly forty years old, and had a sprinkling of white hairs in his sideburns that further offset his steadiness and maturity.
A pair of eyes akin to those of tigers and dragons were suffused with an uncommon light, giving others the feeling of being filled with vitality.
He leaned slightly forward, patiently listening to the complaints of the other two vice directors.
“General director, it isn’t that I didn’t try, it’s just that I don’t know what madness has gotten into the Southern Palace. The equipment we ordered was to be delivered half a month ago, but they’ve suddenly said that they don’t have time to deliver the shipment. They also want us to pay in full what we owe them before noon tomorrow.”
The person complaining about this matter was a stout, short, middle-aged man. He was one of the four directors of the Dragonteeth Guard, ranked number three amongst the vice directors, named Qi Tiannan. He was without a doubt the fourth greatest personage in the Dragonteeth Guard.
General director Shangguan Yi smiled faintly, and set down the teacup in his hand. “Old Qi, has something gone wrong with our communications with the Southern Palace? Didn’t we say that we’d make up for the outstanding balance when our items were sold at the Myriad Treasures Palace, and after we’d received the funds?”
The Dragonteeth Guard didn’t have any industry themselves, and weren’t allowed to participate in business. Therefore, their source of income, to a great extent, depended on their business with the Myriad Treasures Palace.
All sorts of spoils and stolen goods that they’d received would be given to the Myriad Treasures Palace for them to sell.
This was the Dragonteeth Guard’s greatest source of revenue.
Qi Tiannan smiled ruefully, “General director, you too know that the Southern Palace has always been nice and polite when conducting business. I’ve gone over this a hundred times, and don’t understand why all of this has suddenly changed either. I suspect that possibly, we’ve offended them somehow?”
“Mm, according to my understanding, the Southern Palace wouldn’t just have a fall out like this. Old Qi, you must find Elder Ning and have a thorough discussion about this. If we’ve really offended them, we should offer gifts and apologize. We can’t have a dispute due to personal feelings.”
“Understood. I, Old Qi, know what to do once given the general director’s orders.”
Shangguan Yi smiled faintly, and turned his gaze to another balding elder. “Director Zhou, you don’t look too pleased. Has something happened on your side as well?”
The balding elder was in an even higher position than Qi Tiannan. He was the second highest personage within the Dragonteeth Guard, Zhou Kai. His power was second to only the general director Shangguan Yi.
One could tell that Zhou Kai was from the old guard in the Dragonteeth Guard, by Shangguan Yi’s use of his title. Even Shangguan Yi treated him with some respect.
“Ai, general director. To be honest, I, Old Zhou, shouldn’t come pour my grievances into your ear. However, this matter was truly too unexpected and too serious. I had to come find you and discuss a response.” Zhou Kai also started pouring out his complaints when he opened his mouth.
“Oh? What matter could this be?” Shangguan Yi was a bit surprised.
“I’ve just received a calling card from the Myriad Treasures Palace. A disciple said that he was here on Vice Head Shi’s behalf to notify me that the Myriad Treasures Palace is halting all business with us for three years. All business that we’ve entrusted to them has been returned to us. It’s really quite bizarre. This is indeed, really quite bizarre. The Myriad Treasures Palace has always been tempted by money. We do so much business with them, and they take a ten percent commission. Do they think that that’s too little?”
“It’s not a matter of money.” As the general director, Shangguan Yi possessed an exceptionally keen state of mind. His brow furrowed, “Something is very wrong here. The Southern Palace and the Myriad Treasures Palace have always had an amicable partnership with us. Why did these two great powers change so drastically within the span of a single day? Old Zhou, did that disciple of the Myriad Treasures Palace say anything else?”
“Nothing else, just that our partnership was temporarily halted, and that our business had been returned to us. I wanted to ask further, but he paid me no heed and left.”
The three directors all had grave expressions on their faces. They’d realized that this likely wasn’t an accident. Something must have gone wrong in the Dragonteeth Guard for them to offend these two great powers.
“Old Zhou, the person who has tied the bell is required to untie it. Shi Xiaoyao possesses an eccentric personality, and requires his fur to be brushed in the proper direction. The more you get in his face, the more stubborn he becomes. Go, butter him up and find out where our Dragonteeth Guard have offended him, and given him reason to be so angry.”
If it were any other powers, the Dragonteeth Guard would have no need to look to anyone else.
But, whether it was the Southern Palace, or the Myriad Treasures Palace, they were all part of the Precious Tree Sect. The Dragonteeth Guard wanted to act tough to them? They didn’t have the right to.
At most, they were on the same footing, and didn’t have to give each other face.
However, the others could ignore the Dragonteeth Guard, but the Dragonteeth Guard couldn’t afford to ignore them. To a great extent, the Dragonteeth Guard’s operations couldn’t wean themselves off of the support of the four great sites.
Therefore, even if they had to humble themselves, they would still have to settle this matter.
One had to say that, if their partnership with the Myriad Treasures Palace was stopped, none of the others would be able to digest the items that they had.
Without the Myriad Treasures Palace, they wouldn’t be able to sell their items for a good three to five years.
However, how many years could the Dragonteeth Guard afford to wait? The Southern Palace was already knocking at their door to collect on their debts, to say nothing of anything else.
It was akin to a leaky roof running into successive nights of rain.
“General director, things are truly bad. Elder Fei of the Qingyang Valley just came to us in a huff. Your subordinate stopped him, saying that the director was in a meeting, and attempted to ask him to wait a moment. Who knew that Elder Fei would show me a cold expression without another word, saying to look elsewhere for the Full Moon Pill that the general director had asked him to refine. In addition, all pill partnerships that we have with the Qingyang Valley have all been cancelled. In the future, when our Dragonteeth Guard handles cases, we must skirt past their territory. Otherwise, every person they catch will spend a lifetime in servitude!”
“What did you say?” At this moment, even the tremendously calm Shangguan Yi was unable to retain his composure.
“Elder Fei was here? Where is he now?”
“He… he left.” The subordinate stammered.
“Useless thing, don’t you know to directly come in and make a report?” Shangguan Yi rarely lost his temper to hector his subordinates, but this time, he made an exception.
“I… your subordinate also said I would make a report, but he didn’t give me a chance to. He yelled out quite a few insults, saying that our Dragonteeth Guard were white-eyed wolves, devoid of gratitude, and even greater…”
“Stop.” Shangguan Yi glared at him. “Dismissed.”
The subordinate saw that the atmosphere was quite off, and didn’t dare to linger. He hastily walked out.
All of these matters had happened one after another, crashing down onto the Dragonteeth Guard like one blow after another.
Shangguan Yi’s astute eyes were filled with confusion at the moment. “Both of you, do you see what’s happening? The coming events have cast their shadow in front of them.”
Out of the four great sites, three of them had blown up at them in a short period of time. What did this mean? This meant that the Dragonteeth Guard had done something gravely wrong, and had really put their foot in it.
The other two vice directors also had looks of awkwardness on their face, their expressions filled with astonishment that they couldn’t voice. They were all shrewd people; how could they not see that something was greatly amiss here.
If only one of the sites had blown up at them, then it could be called an accident. But three had completely turned hostile at almost the same time. There was great meaning in this.
Even if it was the Dragonteeth Guard, simultaneously offending three out of the four great sites at the same time, wasn’t something that they could hold up against. They could run into overwhelming disaster with the slightest misstep.
If the three sites combined their strength to go against the Dragonteeth Guard, even they would have heads rolling on the floor, and even their foundations upended!