In terms of bearing and strategy, it was inconvenient for Jiang Chen to speak up. Jiang Zheng on the other hand, said everything on his mind in one go.
Jiang Tong and his son nodded repeatedly as he spoke, agreeing fully.
As for Jiang Chen, he smiled faintly and stood up, walking up to Jiang Yu. “Xiaoyu, your brother only asks you one question, do you have any feelings for this woman?”
Jiang Yu’s handsome face blushed, “Brother, I’ve only seen her once or twice a year since we were young. I’ve never had any deep conversations with her, and don’t have any sort of feelings for her. And, I don’t really like pushy and bossy women, they’re not virtuous.”
Jiang Chen smiled, “A thousand taels of gold won’t purchase love. Since you don’t like her, then I’ll make the decision for you today. This marriage contract is pronounced dissolved starting from this moment henceforth.”
“Chen’er.” Jiang Tong stood up.
Jiang Chen waved his hands. “Third uncle, I’m the young duke. When my father isn’t here, I make the decisions in the Jiang Han household.”
Jiang Tong’s throat moved vaguely, as he wished to say something, but he finally heaved a sigh of dejection and sat down again. His arm trembled slightly, the depths of his anger apparent.
But, what else could he do apart from this?
Jing Man laughed heartily and stood up proudly, his tone carrying notes of scorn, “Young duke, haha. They say that a tiger father doesn’t beget a dog son. The young duke has increased my knowledge today.”
The connotation behind this wasn’t a compliment for Jiang Chen, but rather jeering at Jiang Chen for having cold feet. If Jiang Feng were the one here, how could he have given way here?
Jiang Chen smiled lightly and did not avoid looking at Jing Man in the slightest. “I increased your knowledge so easily? Looks like Chief Jing truly lacks knowledge and experience.”
“Oh? How do you say?” Jing Man’s face darkened.
“The marriage contract is dissolved alright, but this matter isn’t over yet.” Jiang Chen’s face darkened as his tone abruptly grew frosty. “You are of a tribe, yet tear up a marriage contract and challenge the authority of the duke’s manor. This is one crime. As a subordinate, you didn’t greet the young duke when you saw him. This is another crime. Raging and roaring at the duke’s manor, with no respect for your superiors. This is a third crime.
Combined punishment for three offenses! Take them!”
The four brothers from the Sheng battalion immediately leapt upon Jing Man like wolves and tigers as soon as Jiang Chen had finished speaking!
Jiang Tong started and then quickly woke up to reality. He also immediately gave an order, “Jiang family premier guard, seal off the manor. Do not let a single person who has come today leave!”
Jing Man had also been overconfident, or it might be better said that he had acted recklessly with no scruples at all. Although he had brought a pack of personal guards with him this time, in terms of absolute strength, there was still a large gap between his guards and the premier guard of the duke’s manor.
He had dared come because Jiang Tong had always been weak and feeble, and would never move to arms. It was even more impossible that he would dare draw swords against him, a big tribe chieftain.
However, he had never reckoned that Jiang Chen, this devil incarnate, would return to the manor at this time. He hadn’t thought even more so that this Jiang Chen would take action when he had been smiling merrily and staying calm and collected!
The worst thing was that the Sheng battalion four brothers were all experts from the capital. Sheng One and Sheng Two were even of nine meridians true qi.
They were even able to contend against Jing Man evenly in a one on one battle.
The four of them combined their efforts to force Jing Man into an extremely passive situation.
Jiang Chen’s new follower, Guo Jin, was also the epitome of agility and bravery. His blade thoroughly preoccupied Jing Cai’er. Although he was only six meridians true qi, he was actually able to beat Jing Cai’er to the point at which she didn’t know what to do with her hands and feet when he went all out.
Jiang Tong also entered the fray afterwards.
Jiang Tong was also of nine meridians true qi. There were no doubts about the conclusion of the battle once he joined the battle.
Jing Man and all his followers were taken within the span of an hour.
“Jiang Chen, even your old man doesn’t have the guts to do anything to me! You dare plot against me! The Redbud Tribe will feud with you until the end of time now that you’ve done this to me!”
Jing Man was truly angry. He had run amuck through the Jiang Han territory all his life. Apart from giving way in front of Jiang Feng, he had never been the one to suffer losses.
He had been restrained by others today and even tied up. This was an extreme disgrace to him.
“Third uncle, convene all the members of the family clan together. I want to call for a clan meeting!”
Jiang Chen flicked a glance at Jing Man. “Put these people secretly behind bars. Sheng One, make them take these pills so that they’re not too noisy.”
Jiang Tong called together the family clan members in the name of the duke. No one dared to slight him then.
They hadn’t gone to meet Jiang Chen because Jiang Chen was a good-for-nothing. He was a useless person with not much to his name in their eyes, this is why they had dared act so wildly.
Although Jiang Tong had a weak and passive personality, he was the person that Jiang Feng had personally entrusted to be acting duke. None of the Jiang family clan members dared be disobedient when he employed the power of the duke.
After all, Jiang Tong’s level of training made him first after Jiang Feng, not to mention his identity!
All of the members of the Jiang family clan numbered between one to two hundred people at the end of the day.
However, the main hall of the duke’s manor was spacious enough. It was still quite expansive even when one to two hundred people stood within it.
Jiang Tong and his son stood to the right of Jiang Chen, and Jiang Chen’s followers stood to his left.
“Greetings to the young duke!”
“Why did no one notify us that the young duke had come back?”
“Indeed. I happened to be away two days ago, and didn’t receive the news. It was my fault in failing to meet the guest.”
These clan members were all quite shrewd. They hadn’t gone to greet Jiang Chen, because they wished to covertly play a petty trick in trivial matters. However, no one dared act atrociously when they actually saw Jiang Chen in person.
Jiang Chen swept his gaze over those assembled and nodded slightly.
“Jiang Zheng, you speak.”
Ever since following Jiang Chen, Jiang Zheng’s entire presence and composure had thoroughly changed after the matter at the Hall of Healing. He now paid utter servile obeisance to Jiang Chen.
“Everyone, I’d first like to report one matter. Jing Man and his daughter from the Redbud tribe were causing an uproar in the duke’s manor just now. They had no respect for their superiors, and disrespected the young duke. They’ve already been captured by the young duke and are being held secretly!”
He delivered a heavyweight of a news as soon as he opened his mouth.
“What? Jing Man’s been captured and locked behind bars?”
“This… We just saw Jing Man behaving atrociously at the manor doors.”
“Jing Man, captured?”
The Jiang family clan members were all shocked and baffled when they heard this news. They thought it was incredible. Jing Man had been captured? The most important thing was, they heard overtones of another implication.
Jing Man had caused an uproar at the duke’s manor and had no respect for his superiors. He disrespected the young duke. These crimes all made the fine hairs on their bodies stand up when they heard of them.
One had to know, that as members of the Jiang family clan, none of them had gone to greet the young duke. This could also be counted as huge disrespect to the young duke.
When their thoughts traveled down this trail, these people all started becoming a bit nervous, no matter what their status or position.
If Jiang Chen wished to make a big issue of this, they would all likely be hard pressed to escape this calamity.
Jiang Zheng smiled faintly. “As members of the Jiang family clan, we are all of the same origin. Blood is thicker than water, and when the Jiang family runs into a problem, we are either united as one or are cautious in order to save our own skin. The young duke would like to make use of this opportunity to witness your character!”
Jiang Zheng’s words also gave them a way out.
The clever ones immediately realized the error of their ways. A clan elder more than fifty years old smiled, “My Jiang family has always been united as one under the leadership of this duke. This Jing Man has often come to the manor to behave wildly. Capturing him is the right thing to do, we endorse this wholeheartedly!
“Right, Jing Man, the chief of a tribe dared to affront the authority of the duke’s manor, he should be captured!”
“The young duke is wise and brilliant!”
“He is the duke’s son alright, we support the young duke!”
They were all quick on the uptake. Upon seeing that Jiang Chen had removed even a thorn such as Jing Man, they knew that it would be as easy as blowing away a speck of dust if he wanted to deal with family members.
Judging from Jiang Chen’s current state, if this devil incarnate grew confused and charged them with crimes as well, then things would be grave indeed.
Hence, they all hastened to declare their support. Firstly for self insurance, and secondly as members of the Jiang family clan, they truly had no reason to defend Jing Man.
The Jiang family members also severely despised Jing Man’s arrogant attitude. Jiang Tong had no methods to deal with Jing Man, and so they’d naturally been unable to say anything.
Now that Jing Man had been captured by Jiang Chen, they firstly felt great satisfaction as they’d vented a breath of ill feelings; they also felt confused as well. How had Jiang Chen gained such daring and resolution in the two, three years that he’d been away?
Except, seeing his personal guards behind him who looked around with the fierce gaze of fiends, the hearts of these clan members pounded like drums and they didn’t dare say much.
Jiang Chen had no desire to strut around in front of his clan members, and said with a diffident tone, “Third uncle, pass on an order from the duke’s manor, and convene all the tribes within the territory. Tell them to come to River Wave City to attend a tribal convention. I have an important matter to announce. Failure to come within three days will be viewed as treason!”
The various tribes naturally didn’t dare give the cold shoulder once the duke’s order was given.
They all traveled to River Wave City at the fastest speed possible.
That night, Jiang Chen summoned the seniors who possessed more prominent positions and reputations and treated them to a banquet within the manor.
If it hadn’t been for the issue with Jing Man, these elders might not have all shown up for Jiang Chen’s banquet. However, the former days were not the ones of today, and they all felt that something was bizarre regarding this matter, after seeing the young duke Jiang Chen today.
With that said, the six elders all arrived promptly. These people were all highly experienced, and very shrewd. When they met each other at the doors of the manor, they all looked at each other and smiled, a bit awkward and a bit unable to fathom the current situation.
“Elder Xi, what does this Jiang Chen have up his sleeve?”
“Ai, I cannot see it clearly. I too cannot fathom it. Have you all discovered that Jiang Chen seems to have changed greatly in the three years that he’s been out of sight?” An elder with graying hair spoke. He was the elder with the longest record of service in the Jiang family clan, and everyone called him Elder Xi.
“Ai, I’ve heard that this Jiang Chen has been ridiculous beyond belief in the capital. Rumors say that he couldn’t even pass the foundational exams. If this kid is allowed to continue to fool around like this, how is my Jiang family to keep the dukedom?”
“It doesn’t seem like it, really doesn’t seem like it!” Elder Xi shook his head. “When I look at Jiang Chen, I don’t see someone who can’t pass the foundational exams.”
“Heh heh, what’s the use in saying so much. Let’s go inside and see what he has to say!” A relatively younger elder floated by and took the lead in walking into the manor.
The banquet was exceedingly sumptuous. Jiang Chen sat at the main seat, with Jiang Tong on his left.
Everyone took their seats according to the record of service. Jiang Zheng was proactive as he poured wine for them in that order.
“Gathered elders, I, Jiang Chen, would not like to mention previous matters. I will speak of only one matter today. I am competing for the duke of first rank in this time’s Hidden Dragon Trials, and I’ve come back to execute the second mission of the first rank this time. I need everyone’s help in this matter. If the elders are willing to help, please drink their cup of wine!”
Jiang Chen lifted his cup, the aura of one superior arising spontaneously.
Duke of the first rank? Mission of the first rank?
This news stunned even Jiang Tong. His arm shook, so surprised that he almost spilled his wine.