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Absolute Resonance Chapter 196 - Have It All

Absolute Resonance Chapter 196 - Have It All

Chapter 196: Have It All

Clack, clack!

The carriage ground to a halt before the Suncreek Villa’s headquarters. Li Luo, Jiang Qing’e, and Cai Wei alighted. 

All eyes turned their way.

“Wow, having a party?” Li Luo remarked cheerfully, looking at the resonance artificers sitting in silent protest at the doors.

Elder Zheng Ping hurried forward and quickly told them everything. “Young Lord, Miss Jiang, this is no easy matter to deal with. Some of the resonance artificers here are just caught in the crossfire. I’m afraid the mastermind behind this is Pei Hao.”

Jiang Qing’e’s golden eyes surveyed the scene calmly. “Li Luo is president of the Suncreek Villa. He knows how to deal with this. I won’t interfere.”

Elder Zheng Ping gritted his teeth. “Young Lord, shall we be a little more decisive? Expel the Xiling branch from the Suncreek Villa entirely. Before they ruin our name—and the name of House Luolan—any further.”

Privately, Jiang Qing’e agreed. She was a no-nonsense type that liked to cut the fat. The Xiling branch was tainted, controlled by Pei Hao. Amputate and cauterize. Sure, a few innocent resonance artificers might be caught up, but that was the price to pay. Besides, they were probably all too aware of Pei Hao’s agenda, he was simply claiming to be helpless.

Li Luo regarded the protesters for a few long moments. He did not acknowledge Elder Zheng Ping’s suggestion, instead strolling forward to the two middle-aged men sitting at the front. “Are you two Branch Presidents Tang Yun and Lu Xiaofeng?”

The two hesitated for a moment, suddenly reminded of the overwhelming presence of Li Taixuan and Tan Tailan. Deep down, they recalled respect.

Those two had a reputation so strong that they were still feared years after they had disappeared.

“Young- Young Lord…”

“Let’s speak standing up, shall we?”

Tang Yun and Lu Xiaofeng looked at each other and scrambled to their feet. Li Luo had spoken politely but with a charisma that they found hard to deny.

When Pang Qianchi saw their deferent stance before Li Luo, he sensed that things were starting to go sour. Plus, he had tasted the Young Lord’s sneaky methods firsthand. He quickly stood up himself. “Young Lord, since you’re finally here, please give an explanation to all of these brothers from the branch.

“Everyone is from the Suncreek Villa, so why can headquarters and Tianshu branch get the secret watersource but not the Xiling branch? Are you showing favoritism here?” Zheng Ping glared at him angrily. As if you didn’t know why the Xiling branch wasn’t getting anything!

“Pang Qianchi, you’ve already been removed. You don’t have the right to speak!” Zheng Ping shouted.

Pang Qianchi turned up his nose. “I might have been removed, but I’m still a loyal and old hand here at the Suncreek Villa. I’ve contributed my blood and sweat to building up the Suncreek Villa. These brothers from the Xiling branch worked with me as well. Of course I will speak out against unfair treatment!”

“If the Young Lord thinks I’m out of line, you can expel me from the Suncreek Villa immediately.”

Pang Qianchi’s move was clever. He was playing the moral card here. If Li Luo really threw him out, it would unsettle the resonance artificers at the Xiling branch.

Li Luo looked over the resonance artificers, gaging their mood. Many of them were fired up and were looking at Pang Qianchi with respect.

The old dough fritter was oily and puffed up as ever.

“And what is it that you think we should do?” Li Luo asked him amiably.

“The Young Lord should provide the Xiling branch with his secret watersource,” Pang Qianchi immediately answered. “If supplies are insufficient, the formula of the secret watersource can be handed over to the Xiling branch, and that will save transport costs.”

Elder Zheng Ping dearly wanted to slap him across the face. A dog yapping before a lion. Hand over the secret watersource formula?

Go to h.e.l.l.

“This guy is just here for trouble,” Cai Wei muttered to Jiang Qing’e.

Jiang Qing’e remained calm. “He’s just trying to goad Li Luo. One wrong word in anger, and it will spark even more resentment and rebellion among the Xiling artificers.”

She looked up towards the inn nearby. She could not see him, but she sensed that Pei Hao was nearby, watching.

Was he trying to see how much trouble he had brought them?

Jiang Qing’e’s eyes flashed dangerously.

Pang Qianchi waited for Li Luo’s response. He was disappointed to see the young man completely unfazed or angered. His expression was thoughtful instead.

Li Luo looked at them. “You want the secret watersource?”

Tang Yun nodded. “Young Lord, the secret watersource is very beneficial for us resonance artificers. If we refine with it over a long period of time, our artificing skills will improve.”

Li Luo gave him a faint smile. “I seem to recall that the Xiling branch hasn’t contributed any money to the headquarters for the past few years.”

Lu Xiaofeng faltered. “Ah, Young Lord, we wouldn’t know about such things. We give our due contribution to the branch, but… We don’t know whether it reaches headquarters.”

That was a little sneaky. They would hand over the contributions to Pei Hao. As if he would pa.s.s it on to headquarters.

Li Luo continued to smile at them until they looked away guiltily.

He had spoken nicely to them, but they had not responded with honesty.

Still, he did not scold them. After another deliberate pause, he turned to the resonance artificers. “I can provide you with the secret watersource.”

A collective gasp. Li Luo was giving in!

Li Luo waved off Elder Zheng Ping before he could protest. “But there are conditions. I will extend a month-long probation period to all of you. In this period, you will do your refining at headquarters. There will be all the secret watersource you can use.

“Your pay will be exactly the same as the resonance artificers here at headquarters. I trust all of you know that it’s far higher than before…

“If you perform well in this month, I will supply the Xiling branch with secret watersource after the probation period.

“What do you say?” He swung on the gaping Tang Yun and Lu Xiaofeng.

The resonance artificers took up muttering among themselves. Clearly, they were inclined to take up the offer.

They had come to protest the favoritism with the distribution of the secret watersource, and Li Luo had agreed to answer their demands. A month’s probation period should be no problem at all.

The mood was clear enough to Tang Yun and Lu Xiaofeng.

“The Young Lord has made many concessions. We would be unreasonable to accept,” they said begrudgingly.

Pang Qianchi’s expression was sour. Where was the fighting? Where was the rebellion?

But Li Luo had given so much ground. How could he fight on?

Especially when all these resonance artificers were looking so satisfied.

Cai Wei was quite surprised by Li Luo’s approach. “When did the Young Lord become such a smooth talker?”

Jiang Qing’e smiled. “That boy has a big appet.i.te.”

Cai Wei’s penciled eyebrows rose. “He means to have them all? There must be many of Pei Hao’s agents among them.”

“Of course. But weren’t there a lot of Pei Hao’s agents at headquarters before as well? Where are they now?” 

Cai Wei nodded. It was a battle of persuasion, and currently the Young Lord was winning.

By far.

Li Luo gestured, and the seated resonance artificers got to their feet and started to briskly move into headquarters.

The crowd that had gathered started to disperse as well.

Li Luo stood at the door, smiling broadly in the direction of the inn. He clapped loudly, looking all around him.

“A small gift, but delivered with great feeling. I accept it with thanks.”