Zhao Qi snorted coldly and still didn’t give in. “Pay what bill? I never pay the bill when I have a meal and drink wine. If you want money, go find the Department of Imperial Clan Affairs.
The manager said with a long face, “The Department of Imperial Clan Affairs won’t acknowledge this kind of bill. Young master Zhao, you’re forcing us, these restaurants, to all go and live on air!”
Zhao Shi Cheng’s heart felt slightly cold. He knew that the imperial clan moved to the South for the sake of advancing the merge of the community. As a result, the government was responsible for the imperial clan’s expenses. However, the items that the government was responsible for was also regulated. Besides the necessary expenses, the government won’t bother with these kind of expenses concerning food and drinks.
From Zhao Qi’s attitude, he could tell that these members of the imperial clan probably all appeared to be like a lord of the land when they’re away from home and don’t pay the bill. The people here had endless complaints, yet they don’t dare to speak up. This caused him to want to rectify them greatly even more.
Hence, his footsteps paused and he asked the manager, “Among the several dozen young men here, it should more or less include a majority of members from the Zhao imperial clan, right?
The manager nodded his head repeatedly, “More or less. More or less.”
Zhao Shi Cheng smiled coldly. “If the fathers of this bunch of rich boys come to find you, tell them to all come to the department of imperial clan affairs to get their children. Also, get all the people with surname of Zhao, who possessed some power, to wait at the department of imperial clan affairs. Not one of them can be, or else if a single person is missing then I, Zhao Shi Cheng, will kill one person from these bunch of youngsters.”
Zhao Shi Cheng knew very well that in order to deal with the members of the imperial clan, who believed themselves to be superior, the best method was to suppress them vigorously first and then impose both grace and might onto them. Because most of them merely reincarnated into a good place and was born into nobility, but in reality, those ranks that were inherited generation after generation, many of them were left to be nominal posts with an undeserved reputation. On top of that, these younger generations don’t have any achievements, they could only rely on their ancestors’ title to bully people, that’s all.
When Zhao Shi Cheng lead all of the crestfallen members of the imperial clan who were involved to the department of imperial clan affairs, the elderly people of the older generation with the surname of Zhao rushed over in a rage, before he even had the time to get to know the yamen in the department of the imperial clan affairs, and gathered at the court room. They pointed at Zhao Shi Cheng and started to yell at him before they could even understand what was going on—-
“Don’t that we’ll be scared of you simply because you’re Great General Zhao’s son! What, so the new official, who just assumed office, wants to grab my grandson to establish his power?”
“I’m telling you, if my Qi er loses a single strand of hair, I will hold you solely responsible! Going by your position in the family hierarchy, you still have to call me great-uncle!”
“You’re still not letting them?! Look at how you beat this kids up in this manner. I’m definitely going to report this to the capital!”
Zhao Shi Cheng listened to these people display their power as a senior with an ice cold expression. He suddenly slammed the table and shouted loudly, “All of you shut up!”
This group of seniors have never met someone who would berate them in a loud voice. For a moment, they were all startled on the spot.
After he received a short while of silence, Zhao Shi Cheng opened his mouth and stated indifferently, “You want to report to the capital right? I’ll go with you. This group of imperial clansmen indulged their horses to injure people on the street, destroy people’s property, blackmail this official with intimidation and want to take action against an official appointed by the imperial court. Moreover, they also coveted the imperial court’s Gaoming furen and intended on snatching her and taking advantage of her. Since you want to disclose this matter to the capital, then this official also wants to see how many heads these people have to be beheaded.”
When they heard their grandsons actually committed a matter like this that went to too far, the elders all panicked. They all usually turned a blind eye when these kids trampled on the people on the streets, but this time, they actually offended the newly appointed minister of the imperial clan affairs and even intended on snatching the wife of the minister of imperial clan affairs. That was an enormous crime!
A person stammered, “This…Shi Cheng…I mean, Zhao Daren, these kids were merely foolish for a while. Let them go home and we’ll definitely discipline them properly.”
“Of course discipline is needed, but whether or not they can keep their lives, I still have to see what you will do.” Zhao Shi Cheng tossed out a bait.
“What do you want us to do?” Zhao Xing’s father asked in haste.
“This official is just a newcomer. There are some stuff that requires you, these imperial clan members, to cooperate. Of course, at the start, it will most likely sacrifice a little bit of your profit, but I promise that it won’t affect your position.”
The elders looked at each other in the eye. One of the elders, who had relatively high prestige and commanded respect said, “Zhao Daren, please tell us.”
He knew that when this matter implicated profit, they won’t easily relent, however Zhao Shi Cheng still spoke calmly, “First of all, you have to give ten thousand silvers for each household to redeem the lives of these kids…”
“What? Ten thousand silvers? You’re taking our lives!” One elder among them, who worshiped money as his own life, hollered in disbelief.
“So you rather not want their lives then? Don’t think that I won’t dare to touch them. Don’t forget that even Yang Wen Chang suffered a loss in this official’s hands.”
Zhao Shi Cheng’s icy, sharp gaze looked over them and that elder, who hollered, retracted his head and didn’t dare to speak.
When the rest of the people recalled the change in the imperial court’s atmosphere a while ago, they also remembered in a flash that Zhao Shi Cheng wasn’t exactly a pushover. He appears to gentle, but his actions were ruthless. They had to think over their own strength first before they could think about displaying their strength to him.
Their cowardly expression naturally entered Zhao Shi Cheng’s eyes and as a result, he continued to say, “If this official dares to receive ten thousand silvers, then this official won’t let you suffer any losses. This official can let you take back both the principal and the interest in a short period of time. Are you sure you’re not willing?”
A few members of the imperial clan, who was relatively well-informed, once got wind of the fact that the Yingfeng pavilion was Zhao Shi Cheng’s property; when Yang Wen Chang demanded three million silvers as the ransom money at that time, he took it out without any hesitations; this meant that he was probably very skilled at doing businesses; when they heard him say it like this at present, they promptly tipped the others with a wink and had them to not interrupt him while he was speaking.
Zhao Shi Cheng was very satisfied with their response and he nodded his head, continuing on, “FuZhou overlooked the bay closely and possessed the potential of becoming a large port. It’s just that the imperial court didn’t think highly of it. This official decided from this day onward to promote trade overseas and attract foreign trade caravans to this port…”
“That won’t work!” A rather impulsive member of the imperial clan hurriedly shook his head. “Foreigners are all pirates. Not one of them can be trusted.”
Zhao Shi Cheng continued to reply in a tranquil expression as before, “Foreign goods have a high price. If we can sell them in the capital, then this will be a business with a huge profit and small capital. Plus, with the department of imperial clan affairs overseeing this, only the foreign merchants who underwent official examination and approval will be allowed to trade with us. This prevented the possibility of pirates infiltrating the trade. You have to know that the people, who handed over the ten thousand silvers today, will all possess a share of this business. Think about how much you can earn.”
These senior members of the imperial clan usually just interacted with aristocratic families and have seen many things. Through Zhao Shi Cheng’s pointers, they immediately understand the countless benefits inside this. Their eyes radiated light everywhere and they started to whisper.
Zhao Shi Cheng went on, “With a harbor, we can build a shipyard. Your ten thousand silvers will also be used in this. Afterwards, not only will the locals have more outlets, if trade flourishes, there will be many ship transactions and needless to say, the ship’s repair and protection…”
Those are all shiny, white silvers! The senior members of the imperial clan could almost see the silvers in front of their eyes and repeatedly nodded their heads.
“What Zhao Daren said was very reasonable. These ten thousand silvers are worth handing over! Worth handing over!”
With regards to how he should reform FuZhou, Zhao Shi Cheng didn’t only eat and drink during the entire journey going to the south from the capital, he already finished drafting the overall plans. Therefore, when he mentioned it right now, it was clear and organized and really possessed persuasiveness. He wasn’t scared that they won’t agree,
When Tang Wan listened to this point, she possessed even more admiration towards Zhao Shi Cheng. Her adoring expression almost couldn’t be hidden. He wasn’t the man she fell in love with for nothing; this kind of ability that could intimidate a hundred or even a thousand people with a single man’s strength, there were very few even for military officials; it’s no wonder that he could manage Yingfeng pavilion to the point where it was famous; his skills in negotiating was simply unbeatable.
After pointing out the benefits, Zhao Shi Cheng suddenly changed the topic, “However, this official also has two conditions if you want to participate in the department of imperial clan affairs’s business.”
“What condition?” The senior members of the imperial clan quickly asked. They all couldn’t wait to hurry back home and take out the money.
“Number one, from now on, the imperial clan must control themselves; if there are situations where the people are bullied and humiliated again like what happened today, or a conflict with the locals occur, this official will cancel their quota.”
“Of course, of course, we will certainly restrain the children in our household.” One of the elders started to smile wryly. What he thought in his heart was, the moment he, Zhao Shi Cheng, came, he established his authority using these kids first, frequently threatening to behead them. Who would still dare to go up against him with force.
“In addition, after joining the trading business, I can imagine very well that you will earn big money, so in the future, the department of imperial clan affairs will no longer bear the burden of providing your necessities. You must provide for yourself, the living expenses in FuZhou.”
This time, before Zhao Shi Cheng could finish speaking, everyone all protested one after another—-
“How’s that okay? When the imperial court originally wanted us to move to the undeveloped land in the south, they came to an agreement that this would be our compensation.”
Tang Wan couldn’t listen any longer and replied, “But it should already be enough compensation. At present, FuZhou’s prosperity didn’t lose to the capital; all of you imperial clan members have acted like a tyrant for many years; on one hand, you rely on the imperial court to provide for you and the other hand, you also desperately fish out money from this land; everything you use are all paid for by the commoner’s money and land tax; aren’t you ashamed?”
“What does this have to do with you, woman?” One member scolded discontented.
When he say someone scold his own wife, Zhao Shi Cheng’s expression instantly sank. “Very good, if you’re not willing to cooperate, then these kids will be sent straight to the capital then. It will save this official from wasting saliva again.”
Only then did the senior members of the imperial clan remember that the kids are still in his hands. For a moment, they felt even more awkward and weren’t really willing to submit.
Tang Wan looked at them sinisterly, “Husband, there’s no need for you to be bothered like this,” after saying this, she stepped forward and casually stretched out her dainty hands and slapped it on the surface of the table—
Thump! The big circular sandalwood table broke in two halves in a flash and collapsed. The members of the imperial clan took quite a few steps back from the shock.
She withdrew her hands elegantly and finished talking gently, “Let me handle the kids.”
“Ahem! This seems like a good idea.” Zhao Shi Cheng looked towards those members of the imperial clan and kindly introduced her, My wife is the Tang Wan, who single handedly killed the foreigners until no armed warriors remained and also forced Yang Wen Chang to commit suicide. It seems like there’s still people who didn’t really recognize her.”
Even if they didn’t know her a moment ago, they knew her now. That group of imperial clan members promptly nodded their heads like they’re pounding garlic, agreeing to Zhao Shi Cheng’s conditions in succession and Zhao Shi Cheng ordered his assistant really quickly to draw up a contract and get all of them to sign it.
T/n: Lol, when I see how fast Tang Wan makes the imperial clan members agree to sign the contract, I feel like Zhao Shi Cheng wasted his energy convincing them to get on board with his plan. He should have brought Tang Wan over from the start to intimidate them. Although, that would make them do the same thing thing as Zhao Xing and Zhao Qi. I’m glad the imperial clan is not gonna leech off of the government and locals anymore. Yay!