"Leader, this is our fault. We did not fulfill our duties and even let a Master break through our defenses!" exclaimed Chen Jiudeng
"It's useless to explain now. Go and order the subordinates now to find that fellow and kill him!" Mah Thong scoffed.
"The person has already escaped!" Chen Jiudeng said while letting out a loud sigh.
"Hmph, he may not have! Summon all the subordinates in the faction to find that intruder. I'll find him even if I have to dig athree-foot hole into the ground!" Mah Thong ordered.
"Leader" muttered Chen Jiudeng while looking at the two other Clan Leaders.
"Don't beat around the bush. We're already in a serious predicament. What are you afraid of?" Mah Thong said.
Chen Jiudeng nodded.
"The only thing I am worried about is that our defenses of the faction may weaken if we send all of our men to look for him. There is a possibility of him returning and wiping us out and even if he doesn't, there is also a chance the Ferric Twill Association will seize the opportunity instead"
The Rockwell Association only had four Clan Leaders with no Guardians or any High Officials. They were considered the local mafia in the Town of Clouds but they did not have the ability to entirely take down the Town of Clouds. Their biggest competitors were the Ferric Twill Association.
Mah Thong furrowed his silkworm-like eyebrows and slowly nodded.
"After thorough investigation, I believe the Ferric Twill Association ordered the Master to assassinate Clan Leader Wu!" inferred Chen Jiudeng.
"You're may be right. It does make sense," muttered Mah Thong in agreement.
"But there is a minor problem. Why would he want to kill Clan Leader Wu?"
"Clan Leader Wu's martial arts is the best among us. Therefore, he is obviously the one who poses the biggest threat to the Ferric Twill Association" Chen Jiudeng said.
"Ferric Twill Association" Mah Thong squinted his almond-shaped eyes and looked at the other three Clan Leaders.
"Leader, what if we attacked the Ferric Twill Association?" said Wu Ziniu, the leader of The Shang Zhi Clan.
"We will attack them while everyone is still angry and the side who is higher pressured will rise to power and inevitably achieve victory. This will teach the Ferric Twill Association a lesson!"
"How's the morale of the Shang Wu Clan?" Mah Thong asked.
"They are holding a rally now. It is time for us to take down the enemy, together" said We Ziniu.
Mah Thong's expression changed and he hesitated for a moment but then waved his hand.
"...Forget about it!" he said after making his decision.
As long as he did not make any mistakes, everything would be fine. Mah Thong did not have a clear mind yet as everything was still a mess. It was not an appropriate time to attack the Ferric Twill Association and he was afraid that there would be someone who may use the confusion as an opportunity to attack them.
Chen Jiudeng sighed as he helplessly shook his head.
"Leader! This is the best opportunity to seize and we may not get another one!" Wu Ziniu yelled agitatedly.
Wu Ziniu was thin with a long, narrow face which was rather yellow toned. He looked sickly but had aninnate mastery boundary. He had a bad temper and always had a lot of twisted ideas which made Mah Tong the most suspicious of him.
Wu Ziniu had always felt that Mah Thong was a coward and did not have much intelligence. He was very unsatisfied with the fact that Mah Thong was the leader of the faction but had no choice but to accept it.
Bai Jingren, leader of The Shang Hu Ren Clan always looked majestic and serious. He had not said a word since the beginning and kept still like clay art most of the time. He followed orders of Mah Thong strictly and earned him the trust of the faction leader who thought very highly of him.
With the wave of his hand, Mah Thong told everyone to leave. He ordered the strengthening of the protection of the faction to prevent the assassin from breaking in and killing any of the others.
By the time Chen Jiudeng returned to his residence, it was almost sunrise. He did not want to disturb Madam so he went straight to the study room. As soon as he opened the door, he saw Chu Li sitting in front of the window while holding onto the scroll of a book.
"How was it, Leader Chen?" asked Chun Li while putting down his book with a sly smile on his face.
"You killed Clan Leader Wu!?" exclaimed Chen Jiudeng.
"How dare you! Aren't you afraid of what would have happened if I yelled?" Chen Jiudeng coldly asked.
Chu Li could not control himself and started laughing.
Chen Jiudeng was angry about Chu Li's dismissive attitude, but held back his temper. He furrowed his brows and scoffed.
"You have good martial arts!"
Chu Li unintentionally waved his hand.
"How's your consideration going?"
Chen Jiudeng kept quiet.
Chu Li's move was a threat and a firm resolution. If he rejected Chu Li's offer, he would have suffered the same fate as Clan Leader Wu. Chu Li's grandeur was much higher than the others and so Chen Jiudeng had no choice but to give in and agree to the offer.
He sighed after he thought of everything.
"I have one condition!" Chen Jiudeng said.
"Let Chen Xuefeng come back."
"Don't you think it'd better if Chen Xuefeng stayed there?" asked Chu Li.
"Thirty percent is too high! Ten percent!" said Chen Jiudeng.
Chu Li shook his head.
"The lowest deal is twenty percent. Otherwise, we'd just be doing this for nothing. It wouldn't even be worth the effort."
Chen Jiudeng frowned and looked at him.
"Don't tell me that you thought Mah Thong's death would be enough?" Chu Li smiled as he shook his head.
"Even if Mah Thong dies, you still won't be faction leader."
"Oh?" Chen Jiudeng unwillingly stared at him.
"If Mah Thong dies, the one that will most likely be the next faction leader is Bai Jingren," said Chu Li while standing up and tying his green robe.
"Seems like you understand us very well!" Chen Jiudeng scoffed.
He whispered to himself, even if Mah Thong dies, could he handle the whole situation? He had no guarantee no matter how hard he thought about it.
The four clan leaders were not ordinary figures. The hot-headed Clan Leader Wu was dead. There was still the cunning Wu Ziniu and the profound Bai Jingren. They were not easy to defeat alone, not to mention defeating both at the same time.
Killing everyone was not an option either. The Rockwell Association would be doomed if he did.
"Leader Chen, your prestige and might is inadequate. You need time to improve" Chu Li said.
Chen Jiudeng kept quiet.
"My plan spans three years. In three years, you'll become the faction leader, take down the Town of Clouds and work with the Starling Cloud Association. We'd each take one town, ushering our factions' golden age" proposed Chu Li.
Chen Jiudeng looked at him as he scoffed.
Chu Li looked at him and asked, "Do you think it's too long, Leader Chen?"
"It's not a problem for each of us to take down the two towns, is it?"
"Are you sure about that?" Chen Jiudeng said to Chu Li.
"Of course, one town is fine too."
He scoffed. Chen Jiudeng lacked confidence.
If he really had to destroy both towns, he would have only given himself more problems.
The Public House was not easy to defeat. They would have seen both factions taking over other towns and assume administration over the town with their eyes wide open. The Public House may act as if they saw nothing and knew nothing, but if it crossed a certain line, the Public House would attack the both of them.
"What you think about the plan?" asked Chu Li.
"How are you going to help me?" responded Chen Jiudeng.
"I'll tell you the whole picture later. For now, it's either we give you manpower or information. We have an informant in the Ferric Twill Association."
"Very well." Chen Jiudeng agreed after thinking about it for a while.
He knew that he did not have many other alternatives. The offer he had been given was the best possible scenario for him.
Chu Li smiled.
"Then we're a family now. If madam really wants to see Chen Xuefeng, she can come over to Cloud State Town to see him."
Chen Jiudeng's expression darkened.
Chen Li had never left and was beside him but he never noticed!
The Madam was his weakness. She must have already found out!
Chu Li waved his hand and in the blink of an eye had disappeared.
Chen Jiudeng looked around him. He wasn't sure if Chu Li had actually left or if he was still around. This made him worry day and night.
His only choice now was to work and cooperate with Chu Li.
Chi Li stopped by the Chen Residence and activated the Omniscient Mirror. Through this, he was able to check Chen Jiudeng's thoughts and what he saw relieved him of any doubts.
Once Chu Li became the faction leader of the Rockwell Association and both towns combined together, they would be the strongest clan or faction and would be unbeatable.
The plan was to wield the underground power systems of the two towns which would benefit them in many ways. As long as he had the power to control the systems, the benefits were endless.
Chu Li returned to the Cloud State Town and explained everything that had happened during his time with Chen Jiudeng. Chen Siyu complimented Luo Feng as she felt as if she was in peace with the top Masters by her side, even as she slept.
Chi Li never met with Luo Feng. He only saw him from around the corner. He decided to activate the Omniscient Mirror to read Luo Feng's thoughts and saw that he was satisfied with his current life. He returned to the Yi Public House with a sense of relief.