"Oh? So if I understand Lord Ling Xiangqu correctly, are you saying that we are in the wrong?" Great Dragon Turtle Demon's eyes hardened and his voice turned cold.
Ling Xiangqu scoffed once more.
"This was not what I meant. In fact, I think that both parties were in the wrong this time and if we could reach a compromise, this would not affect our relationship at all. Haha. This is a small matter after all and we are all businessmen so why do we need to be so petty? If we could let this matter slide and have a bit of leeway in our dealings with each other, we would both benefit from it. Heaven Wasteland Domain might be rich in resources but there is still a lot of room for development. In fact, it is only a tiny new domain but it would only be able to truly develop if it opens itself up to the various forces and chambers of commerce. My lords, if you continue to be so haughty and refuse to let us off the hook for one minor mistake, this would affect our good relationship. Wouldn't this be detrimental to both of us? I doubt that you would be able to bear the repercussions if word of this reaches the ears of Empress Wuzhao."
After Ling Xiangqu said those words, he shot a meaningful glance at those representatives of the various chambers of commerce who continued to linger awkwardly in the main hall after Heaven Wasteland Domain rejected them.
Those few representatives' eyes lit up and they immediately agreed.
"Yes, exactly! My lords, we had been threatened and were forced against our will to terminate the contracts. Furthermore, we have already brought gifts to express our apologies and have shown Heaven Wasteland Domain due respect. Why can't you be more reasonable about this?"
"In the marketplace, everyone would have to know when to move forward and when to compromise. Your overbearing attitude would not benefit but cause harm to the future of Heaven Wasteland Domain! Don't go too far just because you have the upper hand for now."
"If we are to break ties because of your unreasonable attitude, the party who would stand to lose out most would ultimately be Heaven Wasteland Domain!"
"That's right. I doubt you would have the authority to preside over such major issues. Don't lose sight of the big picture over a small amount of satisfaction. When Empress Wuzhao of your domain flies into a rage because of this, I'm afraid you wouldn't be able to handle it."
"Exactly. Haha. Think carefully about it. It usually doesn't end well for those who act on impulses. If you want to continue surviving in the Vast Thousand Domains, sometimes it would be better for you to know when to compromise."
There was a sudden shift in power.
These rousing voices that carried hints of threatening tones were from the representatives of the various chambers of commerce who had just been begging for forgiveness earlier and were reluctant to leave after being rejected by Great Dragon Turtle Demon and the others. Now, they were all pretending to be reasonable with fake smiles when in reality, they were forcing Heaven Wasteland Domain into submission.
Great Dragon Turtle Demon and the others' expressions changed slightly.
They were extremely disgusted by the behavior of Ling Xiangqu and these representatives of the various chambers of commerce. These people had probably colluded before they came to apply pressure on Heaven Wasteland Domain if their gift offerings and sycophantic apologies were not accepted.
They were joining forces to back Heaven Wasteland Domain into a corner.
If Great Dragon Turtle Demon and the rest gave in to the requests of these unscrupulous merchants, it would be a major humiliation not only to them but to the entire Heaven Wasteland Domain as well. Their domain would henceforth be known as a domain that could be easily bullied and they would also become the butt of people's jokes. However, if they continue to stand firm, Heaven Wasteland Domain might suffer some losses and if this unscrupulous alliance used underhand methods to spread malicious rumors, their reputation would suffer and this would greatly affect the future development of Heaven Wasteland Domain.
Great Dragon Turtle Demon did not expect these people to be so shameless and became a little hesitant.
Suddenly, silence fell upon the main hall.
The atmosphere became tense and mysterious.
Ling Xiangqu smiled coldly and he could not stop a proud look from spreading across his face. Everything was playing out according to his plan. He had already expected Great Dragon Turtle Demon and the rest to not budge, but these people to him were just like children who were just learning to walk. Did they really think that they could win against him? Haha, they were just asking to be humiliated. He had been in this business for so many years, visited countless domains and weathered through all kinds of crises. He would not be troubled over such a small issue.
Great Dragon Turtle Demon's face hardened and he was about to speak….
"Oh, are you saying that we should forgive and forget?"
A cold and calm voice rang out that seemed to echo in everyone's ears. It wasn't extremely loud, but for some reason, when everyone heard this voice, a chill ran down their spines and they suddenly felt as though they should submit to this person.
The door at the stairway opened softly.
Countless pairs of eyes were drawn upwards.
They saw a handsome man clad in robes as white as jade and with black hair that flowed like a waterfall slowly descend from the stairs on the left stairway of the main hall. He walked steadily to the center of the main hall. His features were masculine and handsome, his black brows were as sharp as swords and he exuded an authoritative aura that could not be ignored. At that instant, everyone within the main hall felt as though a large stone was pressing against them, causing them to be unable to catch their breath.
The handsome young man came within ten steps of Ling Xiangqu and looked at him coldly, "But… you're not even worthy of being called a Human, so how are you expecting me to forgive you? Hm?"
Ling Xiangqu was stunned.
"Who are you? How dare you speak so impertinently?" He had not figured out the identity of this handsome young man.
The [Ice Sword Killing God], Ye Qingyu, had caused such a stir along the Road of Chaos and his name alone was enough to strike fear into the hearts of everybody. However, Ling Xiangqu had never seen Ye Qingyu in person and he looked slightly different compared to the portrait depicted on the formation hologram since his strength had surged recently. Thus, at the moment, Ling Xiangqu failed to connect this handsome young man to the [Ice Sword Killing God].
Great Dragon Turtle Demon, Registrar Liu and Adviser Xu were all pleasantly surprised and immediately rose to their feet to come up behind this handsome young man. Then, they bowed respectfully to him and said, "Greetings, Lord Ye Qingyu."
The handsome young man acknowledged their greeting with a wave of his hand.
The main hall fell completely silent.
This was when Ling Xiangqu suddenly realized who that handsome young man was.
Terror immediately filled his face.
This was the murderous killing machine – Ye Qingyu.
Ye Qingyu's feats and achievements had spread wildly all across the entire Road of Chaos, so when people thought, saw or heard of Ye Qingyu, they would immediately think of a wild and lawless martial artist. Then, they would be instinctively struck with terror. Ling Xiangqu was no different.
He couldn't help but gulp.
The next moment, he talked himself into calming down.
Haha, so had the true master of the place finally shown up?
He deliberately stood upright and raised his head to meet Ye Qingyu's gaze to show that he was not afraid. He knew that he could not afford to show any signs of weakness right now. Nothing would change even if Ye Qingyu appeared since Ye Qingyu was only a young kid. What would he be able to do to me? In any case, I'm not here to fight him but to negotiate business terms. Not all problems could be solved on martial arts skills alone, sometimes, the brains and strategies deployed are more important.
Furthermore, Ling Xiangqu could not hold back a fissure of excitement at the thought of backing Ye Qingyu into a corner.
"Who are you?" Ye Qingyu looked at him coldly as he threw Ling Xiangqu's earlier words back at him. "How dare you speak so impertinently?"
Ling Xiangqu shot him a small smile and replied, "I am the deputy manager of Tong Yuan Chamber of Commerce and I…."
He did not get to finish his sentence.
Ye Qingyu immediately lifted his hand and forced Liang Xiangqu to his knees with one smack.
A clear palm print appeared on Liang Xiangqu's face and half his face became as swollen as a pig. He knelt on the floor and it was some time before he could react. His shock and embarrassment overshadowed the pain he felt and he looked at Ye Qingyu bitterly as he bellowed in disbelief, "This Ye Qingyu fellow, you… have gone too far. How dare you attack me in front of everybody?"
The onlookers all burst into an uproar.
Those representatives of the various chambers of commerce who had supported Ling Xiangqu earlier felt cold sweat run down their backs. No one could have imagined that Ye Qingyu would have the audacity to hit someone in such a situation. After all, this was about business, not war. His actions were too violent.
Ye Qingyu looked disdainfully at Ling Xiangqu.
The clang of armor could then be heard.
Two white-robed divine guards who had been stationed in front of Heaven Wasteland Building entered the hall sternly. They drew their swords and their sword radiance pressed against Liang Xiangqu's back. Then, they stepped on him and said icily, "Your first offense is that you failed to greet the deputy spokesperson when you saw him. Then, you called him by his name; that is your second offense. It would be within his rights if the deputy spokesperson decides to kill an arrogant and rude person such as yourself. Admit your guilt now, or die!"
Ling Xiangqu finally realized how serious the situation was.
Damn it, he forgot that Ye Qingyu was now the deputy spokesperson of the Human Race.
He realized that he had committed a fatal mistake.
The deputy spokesperson of the Human Race was a high-ranking position, especially so for someone such as Ling Xiangqu who also belonged to the Human Race. He would have been obligated to bow respectfully when he met the deputy spokesperson but he had forgotten this point in a moment of carelessness. His opponent had immediately latched on to this point to attack and now, the blame was laid squarely on him and he had no room to maneuver.
He felt the sharp swords pressing against his back and did not doubt that these swords would immediately pierce through him if he dared to utter one more word. After all, those who held the swords were the true white-robed divine guards.
"Lord Ye Qingyu, please spare me… I was wrong, please spare me…" Ling Xiangqu fell to his knees, trembling. He had always thought that he cut a confident and self-assured figure in business negotiations but in the face of absolute power and authority, his confidence was immediately shredded to pieces. He knelt and bowed humbly on the floor, not even daring to raise his head.
"Greetings, Lord Deputy Spokesperson!"
"Greetings, Lord Ye Qingyu!"
"Please forgive us, we know that we were wrong."
Those representatives of the various chambers of commerce who had supported Ling Xiangqu earlier all knelt down together. The deputy spokesperson of any race was a high-ranking position and despite it being a nominal position, this was not someone that they as merchants could bully and plot against. As they recalled their earlier actions, these people were terrified that it was too late to beg for forgiveness and that this newly promoted lord would hold this incident against them.
Was Ye Qingyu truly a martial arts lunatic?
Was he truly a rash and evil demon who only knew how to fly into a murderous rage?
These were the questions running through Ling Xiangqu's mind. He realized that his knowledge of this new darling of the Alliance of Domains and the martial arts genius of the Human Race was far too shallow. He had overestimated his own strength this time.
In other words, he was completely powerless to fight against such a powerful figure. Ling Xiangqu could not help but pity himself when he recalled how conceited and arrogant his actions had been. He also pitied those representatives of the various chambers of commerce in the main hall who had supported him.
His plot today had been completely in vain.
The commercial alliance that was secretly formed to threatened Heaven Wasteland Domain was thus easily destroyed by Ye Qingyu in this direct and violent manner…. The difference in strength was just far too vast.
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