“What!” Zu An was shocked.
He immediately grabbed Wei Hongdes hand.
“Brother Wei knows a way out”
Wei Hongde smiled.
“Im not the one who knows what to do.
My father is the one who came up with it.
I dont know what it is myself.”
Zu Ans expression grew gloomy.
“Are you toying with my feelings”
“You misunderstand me, brother Zu,” Wei Hongde said.
“Your friendship with Wei Suo has shown you to be trustworthy.
Thats why I sought you out today.
There is no one more suitable than you that I could approach.
However, juniors like me and you dont have the authority to make any decisions.”
Zu An couldnt help but say, “Why do I feel like I am being looked down on”
Clearly, Wei Hongde meant that someone important from the Chu clan had to meet with Wei Dabao to discuss this matter.
Wei Hongde smiled.
“I am being frank because of your friendship with Wei Suo.
I hope brother Zu can forgive me if I offended you somehow.”
Zu An grunted.
“Could you at least tell me a little more If not, what am I supposed to tell the rest of the Chu clan when I go back”
After a slight hesitation, Wei Hongde finally said, “Weve heard that the Chu clan needs monetary support.
We can provide you with some help on that front.
I really dont know any further details.”
Zu An shivered. Are these guys trying to be loan sharks
The Wei clan had always maintained a low profile in Brightmoon City.
Everyone knew that their clan had its roots in the capital city, and they could even have connections to the imperial palace, but that was it.
They didnt participate in the affairs of Brightmoon City.
It was almost as if they didnt even exist.
It was merely out of fear of their perceived backing that no one chose to offend them.
That was why the Wei clan was almost invisible.
Why did they suddenly plan to get so deeply involved
After bidding Wei Hongde farewell, Zu An hurriedly returned to the Chu clan.
He found Qin Wanru and told her about the Wei clans offer.
He didnt bring up the information about the salt permits, since he didnt know how he was going to use this information yet.
Besides, the information had come from Qiu Honglei, and so it wasnt the most convenient thing for him to share with her.
Qin Wanru immediately called the Chu clans trusted aides over for a meeting, and extended the invitation to the members of the second and third branch as well.
Zu An was confused.
“The second and third branch are all vicious wolves.
Why do you have to discuss this with them”
Qin Wanru shook her head.
“Even though they all have their own agendas, when all is said and done, they are still members of the Chu clan.
If the Chu clan is dissolved, it will not bode well for them either.
They have no choice but to help the clan through this crisis.”
Zu An had to disagree with her assessment.
There were so many instances throughout the history of his previous world where internal strife had torn families apart.
However, she was a stubborn woman, and Zu An wasnt stupid enough to clash with her over this.
A large group quickly gathered in the discussion hall.
Perhaps because of what Chu Chuyan had said before she left, or because Zu An was the one who had brought this information back, Qin Wanru didnt chase him out.
He was made part of this important meeting.
The others present were shocked to see Zu An attending the meeting, whether it was Chu Tiesheng, Chu Yuepo, butler Hong Zhong, and even guard leader Yue Shan.
After all, this meant that he was now officially part of the Chu clans decision-makers.
Before this meeting, he had only been a drafted son-in-law who no one cared about.
After this day, however, no one in the Chu clan would dare look down on him again.
Chu Tiesheng was still skeptical about this, but Chu Yuepo grabbed his hand to forestall any action.
He said via ki transmission, “Sister-in-law is all alone now, since Master isnt here.
She needs someone around to help her maintain some dignity.
Just let her do what she wants.”
Chu Tiesheng acknowledged his advice and decided not to press the issue.
However, he still asked, “Sister-in-law, why is Chu Chuyan not here”
Qin Wanru said, “Chu Chuyan has gone on a trip, so she wont be joining us today.”
She didnt elaborate further, and she seemed to have no intention of revealing anything else.
The others present in the meeting hall exchanged glances.
They all began to wonder where Chu Chuyan had gone.
Qin Wanru cleared her throat to get their attention again.
She then outlined the Wei clans proposal.
The hall broke out into low whispers when she was finished.
Chu Tiesheng was the first to speak his mind.
“Something feels off about this.
The Wei clan has maintained a low profile for so many years.
Why would they suddenly choose to get involved now They are definitely plotting something.”
Chu Yuepo had different thoughts.
“From what I know, there has always been a secret organization in Brightmoon City that offers loans to clans in need.
This organization has always been shrouded in mystery.
However, it seems now that it could be the Wei clan who is behind this.
Since were in need of money, I dont see any issue with borrowing from them.”
Qin Wanru declined to comment.
Instead, she looked at their butler.
“Elder Hong, what do you think”
The Hong clan had been a staunch supporter of the Chu clan for generations.
Hong Zhong was also a shrewd and noble figure who had served under the previous head of the Chu clan.
He was held in high regard within the clan, and Qin Wanru had the utmost respect for him.
Hong Zhongs tone was serious.
“Theres something else that concerns me.
The Wei clan has the imperial palace backing them.
I cant help but wonder if this offer was instigated by the emperor.
I wonder if the emperor is using this loan as just another scheme to deal with us.”
A few of the others nodded when they heard his words.
Even Zu An couldnt help but look at him with respect. This elder really is worthy of being the Chu clans butler! He seems to possess knowledge and experience far exceeding that of ordinary people.
But then again, how did he end up giving birth to such a dumb son
Objectively speaking, Hong Xingying is okay compared to his peers, but he is just too fickle and scatterbrained.
He doesnt have any of his fathers steady demeanor at all!
Speaking of which, I havent seen that kid for a while.
Did I scare him off He seems to be avoiding me in the academy.
While Zu An was lost in his own thoughts, Chu Yuepo spoke again.
“It might not be a conspiracy at all.
From what I know, all high officials in the capital are extremely wealthy, but it is considered inappropriate for any of them to act openly.
The capital has strict regulations as well, and so many of them rely on intermediaries to facilitate profitable loans and other such financial transactions for them.
The Wei clan is probably one of these intermediaries.
The imperial palace may be backing them, but it might not be the emperor himself.
It could easily be some imperial concubines, palace eunuchs, or even some ministers in the capital… Either way, I think the chances of it being the emperor are extremely low.”
Animated discussion began to break out amongst those present.
Both sides had provided compelling arguments.
Zu An gave Yue Shan a curious look.
This man hadnt said anything all this time.
His name fitted him like a glove.
He was as steady and reliable as a mountain.
No wonder he had maintained his position as Chu Zhongtians most trustworthy subordinate.
Qin Wanru allowed the discussions around her to continue for a while longer, then called for order again.
“It is hard to say what the Wei clans motives are right now.
However, our Chu clan is in need of funds at the moment, so we have to meet with them.”
The thought of Chu Chuyan and herself going around begging for money caused her anger to surge within her.
The head of that Li clan had even brazenly harassed her!
She reached out a hand to forestall any further argument.
“Dont worry, I wont go too far.
Meeting with them doesnt mean that I will end up borrowing money from them.
Well make a decision after I hear what they have to offer.”
That helped to quell any further opposition from the others.
With the meeting adjourned, Zu An made to leave.
However, Qin Wanru stopped him.
“You are coming with me to the Wei Estate!”