The River Patrol Army was originally set up as a preventative measure against the river flooding.
If the river floods, then they need large amounts of manpower to repair the dike.
There was also a need of laborers to cut out canals for ease of transportation.
Eventually, as the transportation system developed, the River Patrol Army also assumed the role of ensuring the safety of the trade route along the river.
They were in charge of exterminating some wild beasts in the vicinity.
Brightmoon Citys area prospered because of the salt industry, and because of the potential profits, the illicit drug trade had always been a problem.
The River Patrol Army thus took on the job of suppressing smugglers.
Over time, everyone eventually called them the River Patrol Police Camp.
Inside a secret room within River Patrol Camps government office, Commander Sang Qian bowed respectfully to an elder.
“Fathers move truly is brilliant.
Youve effortlessly divided Wang and Chu clans.”
Sang Hong lightly stroked his beard.
There wasnt much joy in his expression.
“How can it be that simple I really would be looking down on Chu Zhongtian if this was enough to make those two families fall out.”
“Is it possible that Chu Zhongtian can still turn things around” Sang Qian asked with curiosity.
“He will definitely think up some countermeasures, but it doesnt matter.” Sang Hong released a light laugh.
“The exchange permit is just the beginning, theres still a whole arsenal of tricks waiting for him.
Well cut off their most competent ally first, and then well deal with the isolated Chu clan.”
“You make Brightmoon Duke sound pretty impressive, but isnt he still being toyed with under fathers hands!” Sang Qian roared with laughter.
Sang Hong shook his head.
“Its not that Chu Zhongtian is inferior, but instead that I have the emperor and empress behind me.
The irresistible trend isnt something a mere man can go against.”
Sang Qian grumbled to himself that his father always loved to blabber about nonsense.
He was clearly doing amazing for himself, yet he kept flattering other people.
He really was taking modesty too far.
“Oh, by the way, father needs to take good care of your body too.
Brightmoon Citys rich merchants sent over some of Immortal Abodesfine goods earlier.” Sang Qian winked as he spoke, giving his father a knowing expression.
Sang Hong rolled his eyes at his son.
“Are you really still holding a grudge because I didnt let you go to Immortal Abode last time You called for their girls as soon as I turned my back”
“I wouldnt dare!” Sang Qian bowed his head at once in apology.
But inside, he had some other thoughts.
“Father has always been upright and honest.
Ive made a rash decision in calling those escorts today! This might slander your respected selfs name and easily draw political attacks.”
“As long as I can take care of the mission the imperial household has assigned me, an honest reputation is pointless.
Your dad will give you a piece of wisdom today,” said Sang Hong with a heavy voice, “An honest appearance is completely useless apart from having a good reputation.
If you want to be an honest and upright official, then you have to be even more crafty than those corrupt officials.”
“Only if you receive those clans gifts would they treat you as one of their own, only then will cooperation become much easier in the future, eliminating some unnecessary misgivings.”
“The task we were entrusted with this time is to deal with the Chu clan, take back all of their salt and iron wealth back to the court where it belongs.
Everything else is secondary.”
Sang Hong bowed respectfully.
“Fathers instructions are wise.”
He couldnt help but sign inwardly.
To even justify sleeping with women with such proper wording and reasoning… perhaps his father was the only one in this world who would do such a thing.
“Reporting! Chu clans young master Zu An has brought men with him and requested a meeting!” A soldier passed on this message at the entrance.
“Why did he come here” Sang Qians brows furrowed.
He really didnt like this guy for some reason.
When he thought about how that second-rate rascal ended up obtaining the goddess like first miss Chu, he really felt like this was a flower falling into **.
No, this was a flower falling into an entire hole of **.
He felt even more irritated when he recalled how Zu An won a few hundred thousand silvers from his own familys casino.
“You are letting your emotions affect you too greatly! How many times have I already taught you You just dont learn!” Sang Hong said in dissatisfaction.
His son was way too immature, not possessing a shred of his fathers composure.
“Go and see what Zu An came for.”
“Yes…” Sang Qian replied resentfully.
Its all that Zu Ans fault that his dad scolded him again.
Zu An was waiting in the hall.
He suddenly saw two chunks of Rage points come from Sang Qian.
Zu An was speechless.
He was already so upset when the two of them didnt even meet yet
Does he know about what happened between me and his fiance
But apart from having a bit of an ambiguous relationship, groped a few times, nothing really happened either
Im really being wronged here!
While he let his imagination run wild, Sang Qian finally came.
“Young master Zu, what brings you to River Patrol Police Camp today”
Calling this fella young master made him want to throw up.
How could the two words young master possibly fit someone like him
But his father always told him not to let his anger get the best of him.
If he directly called out this guys name, wouldnt he feel even more enmity
He was incredibly conflicted inside.
But how could he possibly know that Zu An already knew about his hostility through a different way
“We discovered that a large batch of illicit salt is being unloaded from the pier tonight.
That is why we need Commander Sang Qian to lead your men and completely take out those illicit salt traffickers.” Zu An didnt feel like wasting any time with this man either, instead getting straight to the point.
“Illicit salt” Sang Qian was immediately frightened.
“Where did Brother Zu obtain his intelligence Why did our River Patrol Army not receive any news of this”
He gave a slight nod to his subordinate while talking.
That subordinate nodded slightly as well before silently withdrawing.
Zu An and the others didnt notice anything.
After all, there were just too many River Patrol Army men here, and none of them were familiar with this place.
“I do not believe the key issue right now is where the intelligence comes from, but rather that we need to catch those criminals as quickly as possible.” Zu An obviously didnt want to bring up Qiu Honglei.
He originally wanted to berate this guy and say that even a brothel has better information than the army actually in charge of this type of criminal activity.
Werent they completely good for nothing
But after some consideration, the Chu clan still had to depend on them in the future.
He held back on these words for now and cook his ass later when things were already decided afterwards.
“Its really not that I dont believe you, but this matter is too important! If we always fail and alarm the true illicit salt traffickers, then thatll only make it even harder to catch them in the future,” Sang Hong said with a heavy voice.
“My information is definitely reliable.
The commander just needs to do your part and catch them,” said Zu An.
This didnt come purely from his trust in Qiu Honglei, he himself already scouted things out.
There was definitely no mistake.
“In that case, does Brother Zu dare lay down a military order” Sang Qian also got up, his expression becoming serious.
Zu Ans eyes narrowed.
He shook his head and said, “I am not a military soldier, why would I bother with any military order”
Even though he had great confidence, he didnt want to assume risks for no reason.
Unexpected things always happened.
This guy is definitely up to no good by making me give some military order, right
Zu An frowned.
He thought for a bit, and then he felt like this operation might not go as smoothly as he thought.
Sang Qian laughed and said, “There is no need for Brother Zu to feel alarmed, I am merely seeking confirmation.
It is just that dispatching troops isnt that simple of a matter.
I need to report to the authorities for approval.
If we make a huge fuss but end up with nothing, then everyone from the top brass to the low level soldiers will have complaints.”
“You need to request for approval from the higher ups” Zu An was stunned.
“Then why are you wasting time here How long does it take for this process to be completed”
Zu Ans brows furrowed tightly. Where was there any time to waste like this These fellas are so inefficient! No wonder the illicit salt trade has gotten so out of hand.
Sang Qian then came up with all types of subjects to stall for time.
Zu An replied indifferently to all of it.
After a while longer of this, Zu An finally couldnt take it anymore.
He got up and said, “If the commanders side wont be able to help, then Ill move my Chu estates own men to catch the criminals.”
Things always had a higher chance of going wrong the more time was wasted.
Being held up here already left him with a vague ominous feeling.
“Please do not be impatient Brother Zu, itll be completed soon.” Sang Qian changed the topic.
“Furthermore, the arrest of the illicit salt trade is our River Patrol Armys responsibility, so how can we make Brightmoon Duke go through the trouble If the governor, City Lord, heard about this, then I will be severely punished for negligence.”
“I will wait another ten minutes.
If there is still no progress, then I will head over to deal with it myself.” Zu An also knew that Chu Zhongtian most likely sent him here out of reservations towards the regulations, to prevent his political enemies from having more things to use against him.
But he couldnt wait here limitlessly.
If someone really scared those illicit salt traffickers away, then everything would go down the drain.
“Minutes” Sang Qian didnt really understand this measurement of time, but he roughly guessed Zu Ans intentions.
“Well receive news soon.
Please be patient, Brother Zu.”
After waiting a few more torturous minutes, Zu An finally couldnt take it anymore.
He got up and began to walk out.
Unknown if it really was a coincidence or not, a soldier suddenly ran in and said, “We received orders from above!”
Sang Qian said with a laugh, “Good, well immediately mobilize the troops.
The soldiers in River Patrol Armys drill ground began to gather.
When he saw how slow these soldiers were moving, their armor not even on straight, Zu An frowned. Are these soldiers or riffraffs
With this type of army in charge, no wonder the illicit salt trade has grown so rampant.
Sang Qians expression also became a bit unpleasant, hurriedly explaining, “Yesterdays drills ran a bit late.
I reckon that the men havent completely recovered yet.”
He spoke while roaring at his subordinates, “Hurry up, stop dilly dallying!”
Unfortunately, no matter how he roared, those soldiers only put on a bit of an act.
In reality, they didnt move that fast.
Just the assembling of the troops took half an hour.
But thank the heavens they still departed in the end.
Sang Hong silently watched as the troops departed.
He fiddled with a smoking pipe in his hand and quietly took a hit.
His slim face flickered behind the rising smoke.
A wave of confusion rose within him.
“How did Zu An manage to pinpoint the illicit salt traffickers activity”
Zu An brought Chu estates guards and River Patrol Armys soldiers towards the pier.
Out of worry that the illicit salt traffickers already ran, Zu An was extremely anxious.
He urged the horse to charge crazily.
As a result, after only covering half the distance, a palanquin suddenly rushed out from a street.
Zu An hurriedly reined his horse in.
Even though it stopped at the final moment, those porters were clearly alarmed.
The palanquin on the shoulders of the men who fell over also leaned to the side.
“Aiya~” A young ladys alarmed voice sounded from within.