IGK - Chapter 48.1 The Most Painful Thing (1/2)
Zhu Cultivation Town. The back court of Gongyi Teahouse!
“Give back my money! Now!”
“You swindler! How dare you come back! I’m going to slaughter you!”
“Where’s my money? Where?”
A huge commotion burst out the moment the crowd saw Wang Ke. The mob was shouting at the top of their lungs, expressing their immense grievance toward him. The entire Zhu Cultivation Town could hear the loud clamoring coming from the teahouse.
All the cultivators rolled up their sleeves and drew their weapons with bloodshot eyes; they were about to overturn the place.
The aura of their resentment washed over the back court like a tidal wave. Wang Ke’s men shuddered, fearing they would be torn into pieces. Only Wang Ke was bold enough to hold his ground, calmly standing on the platform; he was confident that he could deal with the situation.
Once the first wave of furious denouncements died down, Wang Ke caught an opening and began to speak.
“I came back today to talk about money! Please quiet down and do not waste everyone’s time!” Wang Ke cried out.
“You’ve wasted a lot of our time already!”
“Stop shouting. Listen to him! Let the man speak!”
“Can you guys stop shouting already? We are here to get money, not to hear you complain. Shut up, shut up! Listen to Wang Ke!”
“Yes, shut up, all of you! If you don’t want your money back, get lost!”
At once, all kinds of frustrated voices were heard in the back court. Some wanted to continue grumbling about having been cheated by Wang Ke, but the others were desperate to get their money back, so they berated them.
Seeing the “touters” he planted in the crowd trying their best to maintain order, Wang Ke waited patiently for everyone to calm down.
Indeed, his group of rousers convinced the crowd with their words, and the place quieted down gradually.
“OK then, speak!” someone shouted.
Wang Ke nodded and said, “It’s been a few days since I returned to the Zhu Cultivation Town. I heard many rumors in town saying that I had sold financial products to take the money and run; that I used a fake Princess Youyue to cheat She Tianba into letting go of the real one, along with getting loads of money. And supposedly for that reason She Tianba had to borrow money from the Clan Lords present, with many running out of money in the end! All of you must be very anxious about this situation!”
“Damn right!” someone shouted.
“Bulls**t!” Wang Ke responded with a furious roar.
“What did you say?” That person glared back.
“Listen to Wang Ke! Stop interrupting! Don’t waste everyone’s time!” one of the plants in the audience pulled that person back immediately.
Wang Ke took a deep breath and waited a moment to get a grip on his emotions. “I understand how anxious everyone is,” Wang Ke reasoned, “But can you lose your common sense just because you’re anxious? Can’t you see through such a clumsy excuse?”
“Listen to him! Listen! Don’t interrupt!” The plants continued to persuade the audience.
“I, Wang Ke, lived in the Zhu Cultivation Town for a decade! A decade! All of you know me! Have I ever been dishonest while doing business in these ten years? Have I ever cheated any of you? Before this happened, was anyone cheated by me? Is there anyone? Who?” Wang Ke shouted to the crowd.
His words managed to ease their restlessness.
For ten years, Wang Ke had been conducting business in an honest manner. He was the wealthiest man in town, yet no one could find any faults with him. Who would have thought that Wang Ke had used those ten years to build up an “honest” façade?
Everyone was silent.
“Now, let’s talk about She Tianba. How about his character? If anyone here is willing to praise She Tianba for his good character, I will take back whatever I said just now. Anyone? Is there anyone who wants to praise She Tianba? Is there?” Wang Ke cried out again.
Everyone’s face was downcast. The She Clan was domineering and self-centered; they were basically bullies. Those who had recently gone to the She Clan territory to ask for repayment were beaten up miserably; no one was willing to praise She Tianba!
“Now, this is the problem. You don’t trust me, Wang Ke, but you trust She Tianba’s lies? This is how you judge people? Something must be wrong with your heads!” Wang Ke reprimanded them.
Although they felt angry since they were being scolded, they thought deeply about what he said. Damn it. Am I wrong?
A clan lord yelled, “Wang Ke, it’s no use telling us all these meaningless things. Give us back our money now! Return the money and we’ll have no problem listening to your speech for three days and three nights. We can also denounce She Tianba along with you for three days and three nights… But first things first, give us our money back!”
And suddenly, everyone followed the tide. “Yes, give us our money first!”
The crowd resumed the commotion once again.
Wang Ke waited a while before everyone quieted down again. Of course, much of the credit went to those who were pacifying them, telling them to keep quiet and listen to Wang Ke.
“This must be Clan Lord Huang, is it not? I spent the past few days understanding the whole situation. And now you’re asking me for money? Heh. Let me ask you: have I ever borrowed money from the Huang Clan?” Wang Ke looked toward that clan lord.
“Back then, I...”
“Back then, you were pulled over by She Tianba to lend him money. You lent it to She Tianba, not me. Moreover, Clan Lords, you must understand that the money you lost because of She Tianba’s lies has nothing to do with me. I, Wang Ke, will admit any wrongs about the money that I’ve taken. But I won’t allow anyone to push the blame on me for things I haven’t even touched! I’m only responsible for the financial products!” Wang Ke rebuked.
“He’s right!” Those among the crowd who had purchased his financial products were swayed by his words.
All the clan lords were instantly silenced. All of their faces were flushed due to embarrassment. Seems like we won’t be getting our money back today… They were about to start a riot.
“Of course, I understand that you Clan Lords have lost your money. I invited you here today so that I can help you get it back! Fellow Clan Lords, please calm down,” said Wang Ke.
He’ll help us get our money back? The Clan Lords calmed down immediately.
Everyone quieted down.
After taking a deep breath, Wang Ke looked at everyone and said, “Dear friends, I, Wang Ke, have been living in the Zhu Cultivation Town for ten years. You were witnesses to how my clan rose to wealth! Now you lost your money, and my heart goes out to you. But what about me? My clan’s hundred and sixty people are all gone! The whole hundred and sixty one of them! They are all dead!” said Wang Ke with a grieving face. The crowd was confused.
“Why do I need to wear black today? It’s not that my style has changed. It’s to mourn for the one hundred and sixty departed souls of my Wang Clan! Were you aware of this? You only lost money… The Wang Clan lost the lives of its clan members. Did you know?” Wang Ke roared at the crowd with reddened eyes.
Everyone was shocked by Wang Ke’s cry. What does he mean by this?
“Clan Lord Wang, are you saying that all your clan members are dead? What happened? Who did it?” The plants in the crowd threw out the question, one that nobody really cared about.
“The Wang Clan paid dearly to capture Princess Youyue! We brought her back to our manor and waited for the Golden Crow Sect’s people to come. All of you insisted on taking a look, and I didn’t think that it would be a big issue because we knew each other; I didn't reject you guys. But in the end, She Tianba had his eyes on me. To take the princess, he uprooted the Wang Clan overnight. Had I not escaped with Princess Youyue, I might have already...!” Wang Ke spoke bitterly.
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