Chapter 1145 – Secret Meeting
After reporting what happened in Shanghai in a low voice, Xue Zengmei finally concluded. “I have no idea what Tang Xiu has in mind. But he asked me to come back ahead of time, informing you to find a secret place. He also wants this meeting to be kept secret and nobody else other than you and I must know about this meeting.”
Xue Guanzhong was silent for a long time. He then slowly said, “Whether it’s a blessing or a calamity, we can never avoid the latter. House Tang of Beijing has power the Xues can’t contend with. It’s absolutely very easy if he wants to obliterate our family. I feel that he has other purposes in mind.”
“What should we do, then, Father?” asked Xue Zengmei.
“He’s looking for me for some secret issues, so we really can’t let anyone learn about it,” said Xue Guanzhong. “Hence, you’re to contact and tell him that I’ll be waiting for him at the Mid-lake Pavilion.”
Xue Zengmei’s expression, however, slightly changed and she replied in a whisper, “But the Mid-lake Pavilion is our secret base, Dad. Those guarding that place are trusted people you’ve cultivated from childhood. Once Tang Xiu learns about it, then…”
Xue Guanzhong raised his hand to interrupt her and faintly said, “Our family can be said as a prominent existence with lots of assets and ranked in the top three families in Dongshan Province. But it’s all the more reason that we have many eyes greedily staring at us. Further, Tang Xiu’s identity is equally extraordinary, many of whom will find out that he’s here if he comes openly. That’s why I can only feel at ease if we’re to use the Mid-lake Pavilion.”
“I’ll rush over to the Mid-lake Pavilion, then.” Xue Zengmei gritted her teeth. “I’ll notify everyone there to evacuate the place temporarily.”
Xue Guanzhong nodded and slowly said, “As I said, be it a blessing or a curse, we can’t avoid the calamity. I’ll be there early in the morning.”
As early morning came and the first ray of sunshine shone on the shimmering lake in the eastern suburb of Ji City, Xue Guanzhong drove a car by himself into the dirt road ahead and disappeared into the dense woods. The lake was quite large with an isle in the middle that was occupied by an antique building. The building looked dilapidated from the outside and the two long bridges leading to it were also broken.
Xue Guanzhong parked the car in the dense woods. He got off and grabbed the black bag to take out a diving suit from the inside and quickly changed. He then observed the surroundings and found nothing suspicious as he headed to the lakeshore and gradually disappeared into the lake water.
Half an hour later, he appeared in the run-down antique building in the middle of the lake. As he quickly took off the diving suit, Xue Zengmei approached him with a clean set of clothes.
“I’ve contacted Tang Xiu, Dad. He should arrive here soon,” said Xue Zengmei.
Xue Guanzhong nodded without a word and changed his clothes. After neatly dressing-up, they then headed into a spotless quaint room which was decorated with classical flavors. He took a seat on a mahogany chair and slowly said, “Zengmei, go outside and wait for him. Also, prepare a few sets of diving suits. You are to bring him here if he’s not good in the water.”
Xue Zengmei nodded in response. As she was about to leave after putting on the diving suit, a voice suddenly entered her ear: “No need for that.”
The moment after, two figures silently appeared at the door of the room. Tang Xiu and Jin Shi walked into the room and there was no trace of water on their bodies. He then looked at Xue Guanzhong, who got up and smilingly greeted. “Patriarch Xue, I’m Tang Xiu.”
The later looked perplexed and carefully observed Tang Xiu a few times before asking, “How did you come here this way?”
“I just flew,” answered Tang Xiu smilingly.
The answer made Xue Guanzhong slightly furrow his brows. “Please don’t kid me, Young Master Tang. This place is in the middle of the lake, and both bridges leading here have been broken as well. The distance is at least tens of meters from the shore, it’s very hard to come here without a diving suit.”
Tang Xiu’s brows picked up and his vision shifted to the eight-people old-fashioned table at the other side. His fingers made several movements as a violent force suddenly destroyed that table, turning it into scattering wooden ashes. The instant after, the energy instantly gathered the scattering ashes into a ball and a basketball-sized grayish blob floated in front of the few people inside.
Xue Guanzhong stepped back before sitting back on his chair. His square face was now devoid of any color as though he was seeing a ghost. Xue Zengmei was no exception as fear covered her whole face.
Tang Xiu slightly smiled and walked into the air slightly step by step until he came before Xue Guanzhong with his feet a meter high above the floor. With such a stance, he stood in front of Xue Guanzhong and asked with a strange expression, “Do you believe now that we flew here?”
Xue Guanzhong desperately gulped down. Nevertheless, he was, after all, an experienced family Head. He was able to calm himself down gradually after the brief horror and panic. He then nodded and said, “I believe you now.”
Tang Xiu smiled in response and his figure flickered to appear instantly before the chair across Xue Guanzhong. After taking a seat, he smilingly said, “Please don’t think that I’m some kind of superman, Patriarch Xue. I just possess some abilities a superman doesn’t, that’s all. Also, I’m sure you’re rather confused and wondering why I asked for this meeting, am I right?”
Xue Guanzhong got up and personally served a pot of tea for Tang Xiu. After serving one cup to Tang Xiu respectfully, he went sat back on his chair and noddingly said, “This Xue is indeed feeling puzzled and wondering about that. If you could, please dispel my doubts, Mr. Tang.”
“If anything, you should thank your daughter. I wouldn’t have had the intention to find you if it wasn’t for her,” explained Tang Xiu. “After all, there are other affluent families in Dongshan Province that are much stronger than your family. The purpose of my visit today is to give your family, father and daughter, a chance. It’s up to you whether or not to take it.”
Realizing that Tang Xiu was about to disclose his intention, Xue Guanzhong immediately asked, “Please do elaborate more, Young Master Tang.”
“I want to set up an intelligence network that will cover China in its entirety, so I want you to be the team leader responsible for Dongshan Province,” explained Tang Xiu. “So to say, as long as you accept, you will be one of the intel operatives I’ve personally assigned in this intel network in the future.”
“What would you like me to do?” asked Xue Guanzhong.
“You’re not qualified to learn about it as of now,” said Tang Xiu indifferently. “All you need to know is that you must carry out and accomplish your tasks once you accept my offer.”
Xue Guanzhong bitterly smiled and said, “But Young Master Tang, the state won’t allow…”
“The Director of Special Abilities Bureau, Duanmu Lin, will turn a blind eye as long as he doesn’t catch my intel operatives. Besides, intel operatives who get caught are nothing but trash. Losing such agents is not worth feeling regretful.”
Xue Guanzhong was startled inwardly. He didn’t expect Tang Xiu to have such power to even make a terrifying figure from the Special Abilities Bureau to turn a blind eye.
“Do I still have the right to refuse, by chance, Young Master Tang?”
“Testing me by declining my offer, you’re really a smart man,” said Tang Xiu smilingly. “Of course, I won’t let you work in vain. I already told you that I’m giving you, father and daughter, as well as your whole family, a huge chance. You’ll become one of my people as long as you become the team leader in Dongshan Province.”
Xue Guanzhong thought for half a minute and then heavily nodded. “I accept.”
“As people said, a wise man knows how to act according to the circumstances.” Tang Xiu praised while raising his thumbs up. “But then, don’t you want to know what kind of perks you and your daughter will receive?”
“Young Master… Boss Tang, you already gave us, father and daughter, an opportunity already. What you give us is and shall be our opportunity,” said Xue Guanzhong with all seriousness. “To be able to work for you is our honor.”
“Truly worthy to be the Head of the Xues. You can grasp the situation and immediately decided your position when there’s no room for any maneuver left.” Tang Xiu smilingly replied, “I believe you’ve clearly seen my abilities, so let me tell you something. I’m a cultivator, and my power is beyond your imagination. You both have chosen to work for me, so I’ll teach you a cultivation art. This cultivation art may only be a basic one that allows you to reach a very low level of cultivation, up to the late-stage of Qi Refining Stage, yet it can still make you both become experts who can easily knock out those at the martial arts grandmaster level.”
Xue Guanzhong and Xue Zengmei exchanged glances and their eyes shone.
“As long as you perform well in the future, the following contents of this cultivation art can become your reward as well. You can obtain up to the Foundation Establishment, Golden Core, or Nascent Soul… Shortly put, it depends on your ability to gather information in Dongshan Province. But if you can’t accomplish it, or your identity is exposed, you can expect to be replaced and even have your whole family obliterated.”
As always, opportunities coexisted with crises.
Xue Guanzhong took a deep breath and said in a deep voice, “I’m confident that we can accomplish it well, Boss. Should we fail to do so, or if we get exposed, you can do as you see fit.”
Tang Xiu nodded in response and pointed to Jin Shi. “His name is Jin Shi. He’s the one in charge of the intel network all over China, which means that he’ll be your immediate superior. You will help him deal with some issues pertaining to laying out the intel network in Dongshan Province. However, he will also choose a deputy leader, though you have no qualification to learn about who the person is. These two positions will have separate lines of communications and exist side by side.”
Xue Guanzhong’s expression slightly changed, but he still nodded and said, “I understand. Competition is needed, and I can also do my best with such pressure.”
Afterward, Tang Xiu took out the cultivation art manual he had written in advance from the interspatial ring. After handing it to Xue Guanzhong, he threw a bottle of pills to the man and explained, “You can learn the cultivation aspect by yourself, and there are also six Essence Amassing Pills which effects have been greatly reduced by 90%. Take one pill every three days once you’ve familiarized yourself with this cultivation art and start practicing. You should be able to sense the True Essence energy in your system after taking three pills.”
“Thank you for your gifts, Boss,” said Xue Guanzhong and Xue Zengmei at the same time.
Tang Xiu then shifted to Jin Shi and coolly said, “I give you half a day to discuss everything about the situation and preparation to build the intel network in Dongshan Province with them. I’ll go ahead and wait for you in He Province.”