Chapter 384: Huang Clan's Compensation!
Kneeling in front of Wang Chong, the head of the Huang Clan lowered his head further.
It was for a fact that an offspring of the Huang Clan had schemed against Wang Chong by reporting his whereabouts to his enemies, and the assassination on him could be taken as a representation of the Huang Clan's attitude toward the Wang Clan.
Moral high ground was an important aspect of any conflict within the upper society, so the actions of the Huang Clan were reprehensible even among prestigious clans. There wouldn't be anyone who would step forward and speak up for them.
Thus, the Huang Clan only had themselves to rely on.
The head of the Huang Clan knew that if they wanted to earn the Wang Clan's forgiveness, they had to first win Wang Chong over. Otherwise, by the time Wang Gen stepped forward to deal with them, a war would be what they would be facing.
And the Huang Clan couldn't possibly win a war against the Wang Clan.
Wang Chong narrowed his eyes as he gazed down upon the head of the Huang Clan silently.
He knew that he held the fate of the entire Huang Clan in his hands. More often than not, even though conflicts between clans wouldn't result in any direct bloodshed, the devastation it caused could far surpass mere slaughter.
On this aspect, not even possessing powerful martial arts could grant one reprieve.
This was the first time Wang Chong was using the power of his entire clan, as well as the first time he held the fate of another clan in his hands.
Be it a nod or a shake, he knew that big uncle and King Song would back his decision.
Even Yang Zhao had sent a letter expressing his support for him. If he willed it to be so, Consort Taizhen's faction would devote her influence into helping the Wang Clan destroy the Huang Clan.
After the various matters they had gone through, Consort Taizhen, the Wang Clan, and King Song were already tied together by a network forged by common interests.
And standing at the very core of this network was Wang Chong.
Wang Chong played a vital part in facilitating the alliance among the three parties, so the Huang Clan's actions had threatened both King Song and Consort Taizhen as well.
Understanding the implications of this matter, even the Yao Clan and King Qi had chosen to steer clear of it, even though they were the ones who had initiated the entire mess.
Wang Chong's silence was particularly unnerving to the head of the Huang Clan. Cold sweat trickled down his forehead as he gritted his teeth in anxiety.
"If gongzi wishes for it, I am willing to deliver that unfilial son for you to deal with..."
"There's no need for that!" Wang Chong interjected.
The head of the Huang Clan raised his head in astonishment. He thought that Huang Yongtu would be doomed, but who could have thought that...
"... I'll spare him." Wang Chong spoke nonchalantly as he looked into the distance with a complex gaze.
"As for the rest, do as you please."
After saying those words, without a single emotion on his face, Wang Chong turned around and left the lounge with his hands behind his back.
Sparing doesn't mean forgiveness!
Wang Chong might have chosen to spare Huang Yongtu, but this didn't mean that the Huang Clan was out of danger yet.
There were conventions concerning the conflicts between prestigious clans.
Whether there would be a Huang Clan remaining in the capital at the end of this matter would depend on the Huang Clan's performance from now onward. If the head of the Huang Clan was wise, he would know what he had to do.
The head of the Huang Clan left the gates of the Wang Clan with a dazed look. Wang Chong was only sixteen, but he still couldn't help but tense up in his presence.
This night was destined to be a sleepless one for the Huang Clan.
"Gongzi, there is someone outside who seeks an audience!"
On the second day, when the first rays of sunlight had barely appeared on the horizon, a guard suddenly reported from beyond the doors of Wang Chong room while he was still lying in his bed.
Frowning, Wang Chong immediately got up.
"What did my mother say about the issue?"
Usually, matters on the residence would be dealt by Madam Wang. Only under certain special circumstances would they fall onto Wang Chong.
"Madam has said to allow gongzi to deal with this issue." the guard replied.
"Got it." A gleam flashed across Wang Chong's eyes as he vaguely understood what was going on.
"Summon him in!"
Wang Chong thought that it would be a "him", but it turned out to be a "her" instead. In the distance, he could hear the faint ringing of a trinket and the clanging of ornaments.
A slight breeze blew, and there was a whiff of a refreshing fragrance in the air.
"What is going on?" Wang Chong was taken aback.
Before he could make sense of the situation, the door abruptly opened, and an eighteen-year-old young lady with a large silver sword on her back walked in.
The young lady was dressed in a flowing white robe paired with a golden bracelet on her wrist. Her fair and smooth skin complemented well with her beautiful features, and for a moment, it seemed as if she had walked out from a painting.
Even Wang Chong, who had seen plenty of beautiful ladies in his lifetime, couldn't help but fall into a momentary daze.
But despite her beautiful appearance, she had an icy-cold demeanor.
"Huang Clan's Huang Qian-er pays respect to gongzi!"
As soon as the young lady stepped into the room, she immediately kneeled onto the floor and lowered her head down onto the ground, unmoving as if a statue.
Her hands were raised up high, and propped by her slender fingers was a letter.
"To Chong gongzi", these words were written with powerful strokes on the cover of the letter. Through calligraphy, one could peer into the soul of the other. Those words seemed to have come from a man who wielded immense authority, and the seal of the head of the Huang Clan by the corner further substantiated this.
"What does the Huang Clan mean by this?" Wang Chong frowned, unable to comprehend the intentions of the Huang Clan.
Standing up from his bedpost, he casually grabbed a robe by the side and draped it on him before slowly walking over to receive the letter from the white-robed lady.
While he was taking the letter, he accidentally brushed against the latter's hand and felt a smooth and icy sensation at his fingertip.
On the other hand, the young lady trembled at that touch.
Paying it no heed, Wang Chong tore open the letter and began browsing through its contents.
He was right, this was indeed a letter written personally by the head of the Huang Clan. However, he didn't expect the Huang Clan to have come to a decision on this matter over a single night.
Due to Huang Yongtu's wilful intervention in the conflict between the Wang Clan and the Yao Clan and playing a part in the scheme against Wang Chong, he would be stripped of his identity as a member of the main family and punished accordingly to their clan rules. After which, he would be exiled to Lingnan, never to step into the capital again.
(Lingnan is near Northern Vietnam/Jiaozhi, at the Southern border of Great Tang)
On top of that, the Huang Clan would give up three of their businesses, four mines, a large amount of herbs, pills, trained steeds, and three million gold taels as compensation for their grave mistake.
Furthermore, for the next three years, all income of the Huang Clan would be remitted to the Wang Clan.
Last but not least...
Upon seeing the last line, Wang Chong's eyelids twitched violently as his gaze fell on the unmoving young lady on the ground.
With just the previous few terms, the Huang Clan could be said to be extremely generous with their compensation. This would deal a heavy blow to their finances, weakening them significantly for a long time to come.
However, this was simply how clans dealt with conflicts. Taking a step back, even if Wang Chong was willing to let this grudge go and make peace with the Huang Clan, the rest of the Wang Clan wouldn't allow him to do so.
This matter might have started with Wang Chong, but he wasn't the only concerned party here. Countless parties in the empire had their eyes on this matter, and the Wang Clan's pride and dignity were at stake here.
Before the interest of the entire clan, Wang Chong's personal views paled in comparison.
Besides, even if Wang Chong was willing to resolve this issue without any compensation, the Huang Clan would never agree to it. Not only would they not be thankful to Wang Chong, they would even be plagued with apprehension. They might take it as a sign that the Wang Clan is going to make a move on them, and this might trigger a retaliation on their part.
Having grown up in the capital, even if Wang Chong had never experienced such matter personally, he would have at least heard a thing or two about it.
Within the circles of the scions in the capital, such rumors were aplenty.
These conventions didn't simply appear abruptly out of nowhere; they appeared along with the establishment of empires and clans, and they were passed down from generation to generation.
Since the Huang Clan had erred, they would have to pay the price. There was no other way around it.
However, the issue Wang Chong had with it was the very last term...
The Huang Clan had mentioned that they were extremely regretful for the incident, and they understand that no amount of explanation or wealth could compensate for what they had done.
Thus, to appease Wang Chong's anger, as well as to breach the fissure between the Wang Clan and the Huang Clan's relationship, the Huang Clan had decided to send their most outstanding female offspring to wait on Wang Chong to atone for their mistake.
Furthermore, it was hinted in the letter that the female offspring would do anything that Wang Chong asked her to.
In other words, from this day onward, she was a member of the Wang Clan. Even to her death, she wouldn't be allowed to return to the Huang Clan!
This was the greatest sincerity that the Huang Clan had to offer to him!
On the surface, it might seem like the Huang Clan sending in their daughter to serve as the Wang Clan's servant to wait on Wang Chong.
However, Wang Chong was extremely familiar with this maneuver.
There was another term for this among the upper society: Marriage of convenience!
When a weaker clan offends a powerful clan, in seek of survival and forgiveness, they would resort to such a mean.
On the surface, they were delivering their daughters in as a "servant" but in truth, this was not much different from a matrimony.
Through the connections established in the matrimony, they could resolve their past differences and strengthen the ties between both clans. If the weaker clan could receive the protection of the stronger clan, it would be beneficial to its future development as well.
As clich as it was, there were no grudges that couldn't be resolved with a matrimony.
This was the most efficient, effective, and thorough method to resolve conflicts between clans.
But even so, Wang Chong had never thought that such a situation would befall him one day!