Chapter 103.1 – Deputy Commander Gong Yun
Bao Hua Gambling House began showing up at Li Zhen’s doorstep more and more often, looking to start trouble.
From the start, Luo Yang never thought much of Li Zhen’s financial banker. He didn’t believe that this no name person could have much ability. Although his master said that he did not want to blow up the situation, it didn’t mean that Bao Hua Gambling House could suffer such a lost. They had yet to settle the previous arson incident with them.
Although there was no evidence to prove that the culprit behind the arson incident was Tian Long Gambling House, any person with brains would know that it was definitely them. This time, for the sake of Bao Hua Gambling House’s future, no matter what, they could not retreat another step.
Li Zhen’s carving workshop was considered to be among the middle level in Jun Zi City.
He only ran a small business, but among his customer base, there were still a small number of people that would ask for more than a hundred prints of a book. They have done business many times and were among his regular customers.
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The fact that Li Zhen’s carving workshop could continue to stand until this day was thanks to these customers. Without them, his carving workshop would definitely sustain a lost, and eventually be unable to operate.
Luo Yang decided to start his approach from this angle.
That day, after Luo Yang left in a fuming rage, the next day, Li Zhen received a few return orders from his regular customers. Some of those orders were in the midst of being printed, and some of them were already completely finished.
Li Zhen could see the shadow of Luo Yang’s hand in this. Because there was an agreement beforehand, if the contract was breached, the other party would have to pay a penalty fee. As for the finished printing products, the other party would have to pay him the full amount, so he was actually not worried at all, but on the third day, he realized his way of thinking was too simple.
There were return orders every day, but these people were unwilling to pay the penalty fee.
Li Zhen personally approached them to ask for the penalty fee, but they all shut their doors in his face, or they ridiculed him, their once polite faces replaced by distorted expressions.
“Li Zhen, it’s not that I’m telling you off, but I advise you to get with the current state of affairs*. Don’t go against Bao Hua Gambling House. You’re just a small workshop owner. If Bao Hua Gambling House wanted to pinch you to death, it would be as easy as stepping on an ant.” When Li Zhen showed up at his door asking for the penalty fee, this was what Boss Zhan said to him with a cold face.
[*T/N: 识时务者为俊杰 – only an outstanding talent can recognize current trends (idiom). A wise man submits to circumstances.
I almost wanted to translate it as “get with the program, bro” but the tone didn’t fit. XD]
“That is this one’s business. This one only wants to know when is Boss Zhao going to pay the penalty fee. The contract was clearly written on paper in black and white text. Now that the books have been printed, Boss Zhan says he has changed his mind and doesn’t want it, but he must pay the full amount.” Li Zhen wasn’t going to tell him any more than this.
Boss Zhao laughed and said, “Soon you won’t even be able to protect yourself, and you’re still thinking of the penalty fee? Even if I give it to you, you won’t have a life left to spend it.”
Li Zhen’s expression sank. “If Boss Zhao refuses…”
“Is Owner Li going to say that he is going to report me to the authorities?” Boss Zhao interrupted him.
Li Zhen stared at him with a somber face.
Boss Zhao explained. “It’s useless, Li Zhen. Regardless of what you want to think or what you want to do, you will definitely have to suffer this misfortune. I urge you, if you have the time to be standing here talking to me about penalty fees, then you might as well think about to reduce your losses.”
Abruptly, Li Zhen stood up. People who walked different paths could not make plans together*. He didn’t plan to say anything more, but he was also not a person that was easily bullied. Boss Zhao’s actions were merely the act of someone seizing the opportunity to throw stones at someone who was already down.
[*T/N: 道不同不相为谋 – idiom meaning “to go separate ways.” In this case, it means they can no longer cooperate in business together if this is how things are going to be.]
Boss Zhao’s order for Li Zhen’s engraving workshop numbered over two hundred books. At first, due to them being old acquaintances, Li Zhen did not ask for much money for advance payment. Now, Boss Zhao was receiving benefits from Bao Hua Gambling House, and he also had Luo Yang to rely on, so naturally, he did not want to pay that penalty fee.
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On the surface, it looked like Luo Yang’s schemes would really endanger his engraving workshop, making him unable to continue his business, but that was before. Right now, he was not worried at all. He has calculated that the income he made from printing playing cards was more than what he had earned before. Even if he had to close his engraving workshop, he would not feel distressed, but to have people clearly seeking for trouble at his door, he felt unwilling.
Back at his workshop, Li Zhen wrote a letter and had one of his workers deliver the letter to Tian Long Gambling House.
He didn’t dare to contact the Imperial Fu Palace right now. Luo Yang must have sent someone to spy on him in secret, so he could only use the casino as a go between.
The letter soon reached An Zi Ran.
He just so happened to be at the casino that day.
“This Luo Yang is actually quite smart.”
After reading the letter, An Zi Ran handed it to Fu Wu Tian.
From Li Zhen’s words, he could already discern Luo Yang’s purpose. He didn’t just want to force Li Zhen to submit. That was only on the surface. The real motive was to get to him through Li Zhen. Once he knew their identity, Bao Hua Gambling House would no longer have any misgivings.
Fortunately, Li Zhen was not stupid, and had instead sent the letter to the casino.
Fu Wu Tian burned the letter. “What is wang fei planning?”
An Zi Ran muttered irresolutely, “Li Zhen is my business partner, and this mess was caused by me. I can’t just look on unfeelingly and be unconcerned as others make things difficult for him.”
“Wang fei is not afraid to reveal his identity?” Fu Wu Tian knew that his wang fei had always wanted to hide behind the scenes. If he were exposed too early, it would have an impact on future development.