Xiao Jianghu chuckled. “Do you mean to say… that by pointing out my identity, Leader Yun was giving us a reminder?”
“Yes. If he didn’t say anything upon finding it out, we should be suspecting his motives instead.”
Lang Fantian explained honestly, “He discovered it and blurted it out loud. He’s informing us regarding his opinion about it. This young man has always been cool and reliable, he doesn’t bend or bow, and does not endeavor to prove himself. There’s no need for him to flaunt or boast.”
“This is true,” Xiao Jianghu commented as he mused.
“As for his attitude just now, I think it’s inevitable… Our partnership did consist of large sums. Looking at the digits, Yun Yang had more than enough advantage, but more than eighty percent of what he gained was presented to the Spirit’s Grave in exchange for the most valuable items. It was us, the General Commerce League, who have easily acquired the exquisite treasure instead.”
Lang Fantian concluded, “Therefore, this reputable one feels that the current collaboration favors us. It can be carried out for the long term and in order to do that, the first prerequisite is to build a good rapport with Yun Yang. We mustn’t rouse his dislike for momentary gain – just like today, multiple trades within a short period of time are Yun Yang’s taboo. We’ll have to show some sincerity later as recompense.”
Xiao Jianghu’s gaze was thoughtful. After a long time of consideration, he suddenly took a turn in the conversation topic. “The current concentration of spiritual Qi in the Residence of Nine Supremes… is similar to our own headquarters, is it not?”
“Yes,” Lang Fantian answered after a slight pause from the surprise he felt at the sudden question.
“Fantian, haven’t you realized the difference? The main reason our league’s headquarters has that sort of spiritual Qi environment is due to our middle-class Celestial Luck Banner while the Residence of Nine Supremes doesn’t even have the lower class banner now!”
Xiao Jianghu continued grimly. “If the Residence of Nine Supremes were to obtain the Celestial Luck Banner, the spiritual energy within its vicinity will definitely escalate. At least, it’ll be on par with our headquarters. Do you all agree?”
“That’s true, it’s undeniable.”
“Here comes the issue. Let’s not talk about the fact that the Residence of Nine Supremes will have the spiritual atmosphere parallel to a sect bearing the middle-class flag after only acquiring the lower class banner, aren’t all of you bewildered by what’s already going on now?”
Xiao Jianghu’s thick brows met each other in a frown.
“I can basically be sure now that the Residence of Nine Supremes will rise colossally with time and become a formidable enemy of any school in the Bound of Universe as long as there aren’t any unusual accidents from now. It’s a… massive threat…”
His words were laced with emotions.
Lang Fantian kept quiet for a moment before he spoke up, “This reputable one thinks that Chief might be overly worried.”
“Hmm?” Xiao Jianghu hummed with a tilt of his head.
Another instant of consideration was taken before Lang Fantian said genuinely, “This younger brother has something to say that if I don’t, I would feel choked.”
Lang Fantian’s use of his personal pronoun kept changing. Right now, he no longer called himself by his name, or his status, or his secondary position; his address of himself had suddenly switched to being a younger brother in the midst of the conversation. He had swapped the perspective of the current conversation to one between brothers.
“Do speak,” said Xiao Jianghu.
Lang Fantian coughed to clear his throat and started. “This younger brother thinks that big brother’s mind is too occupied with fame and power now. It’s deviating from the league’s purpose of establishment.”
Xiao Jianghu was silent, only looking back at Lang Fantian.
“The league’s founding principle is in its name. We are called the General Commerce League. Our mission is stated in our name. Although we also envision absorbing businesses into our league, we’re essentially traders.”
“The word commerce itself has decided the nature of our league. And the Bound of Universe obviously is dependent on commerce,” said Lang Fantian.
“Based on this principle, the league developed rapidly, especially after the extreme difficulty of first starting the business. It has almost been smooth sailing since.”
“The premise of us being a commerce league dissolves any conflict between us and other sects, clans, and associations. Since there isn’t a fundamental conflict, they do not see us as a threat to be eradicated. That’s why we’re able to stand strong so smoothly until now.”
“Even if we’ve successfully pocketed the upper-class Celestial Luck Banner this time, a commerce league remains a commerce league. At most, we have more faculties to protect ourselves and fewer parties setting their preying eyes on us. It’s never going to change the commerce league’s way of working and our principles.”
“It is only by this philosophy that our league can keep on surviving.”
“Maybe the Residence of Nine Supremes will soar into the nine heavens in the future, maybe it’ll dominate the martial world… Perhaps it’ll be a threat to the other sects or schools, an enemy even, one that can hardly co-exists with the others, but there wouldn’t be too much damage to us, a commerce league.”
“Moreover, we can complement the Residence of Nine Supremes with each other’s advantage and share a closer-knit of partnership. A little goes a long way – look at our current state; our collaboration with the residence is already increasing our league’s capability continuously.”
“That said, this younger brother feels that the Residence of Nine Supremes is never a threat to us.”
The meaning was already apparent, but Lang Fantian’s additional conclusion felt as if there was more between the lines, or like he had not finished. Finally, after another pause, he gritted his teeth and said, “Besides, this younger brother thinks that there’s a limit to our league’s growth.”
“We cannot exceed this limit. Once we do, once we step out of this frame of constraint, we’ll be asking for disaster. However, if we restrain ourselves, we’ll probably last for an eternity; as the dragon in the sky, we would continue to reign. On the contrary, if we go overboard, the fall comes after the peak. We want to be the dragon, not the falling one.”
Lang Fantian blurted the large chunk of words without missing a beat, already sweating by the time he finished. The dozen people listening to him, too, were drenched in a nervous sweat.
Lang Fantian was really bold, telling the truth as it was…
Xiao Jianghu had been listening with a straight face without a word. After some time, he asked, “Hmm, then, where do you think the limit of the General Commerce League lies?”
Braving himself, Lang Fantian spoke, “Above the upper class and below the Gold class Celestial Luck Banner… Arriving at the upper-class Celestial Luck Banner is already surpassing many in this realm and this is also the peak of our development. Passing it, we’ll be a sore thumb to many high-class sects in addition to inciting the Palace class’ scrutiny. Then, our days will be numbered.”
Xiao Jianghu let his head hang down as he went into another bout of silence.
A few people from the circle wanted to say something, but they were all stopped by Lang Fantian despite their opened mouths.
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