Chapter 313: The Ancient Su Family
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Chen Fan’s meeting with Su Susu and Fang Mingde was uneventful.
Both Su Susu and Fang Mingde were smart people and they knew that they wouldn’t do anything after the die had already been cast. Su Susu hid her resentment and plastered on a welcoming smile. Fang Mingde had always liked the boy and he was more than happy to accept the boy as his son in law. He persuaded Chen Fan to drink a few cups of hard liquor with him as his way of celebration.
Chen Fan obliged and poured the contents of the cup down his throat.
It would take at least a few hundred kilograms of hard liquor to make an Ethereal Enlightenment level cultivator drunk.
Su Susu watched the interaction between the two men with complicated feelings.
If not for Fang Mingde’s conviction in what he knew of Chen Fan, she would never have guessed that Chen Fan could lord over Jiang Bei. The way he carried himself, from his attitude to the cadence of his speech, resembled that of an erratic hermit instead of a tycoon.
“Could the rumors be true that he had used a Dharma Spells to subjugate all the tycoons of Jiang Bei?” The question rose in Su Susu’s mind. She simply couldn’t believe that an ordinary teenage boy sitting before them was Master Chen that was feared by everyone in Jiang Bei.
However, for Su Susu, Dharma Spells and Divine powers were the stuff of legends.
The people she dealt with every day were government officials and elites of the city who were law-abiding citizens. However, Chen Fan was someone who would kill an entire family and could get away with it. Therefore, Su Susu was afraid of Chen Fan, worse, she simply couldn’t understand him and neither could she comprehend Chen Fan’s methods.
Throughout the family dinner, the couple didn’t ask Chen Fan’s personal matters.
When the dinner was almost over, Fang Mingde finally brought up the fact that the Su Family Lord had decided to arrange a marriage for Fang Mingde. Chen Fan nodded knowingly. Although Chen Fan couldn’t remember Xiao Qiong ever mentioning this in his past life, he knew he would have to face some competition sooner or later.
After he left the Fang’s residence, he didn’t go back to his dorm. Instead, he took a taxi and went to the Chen family’s manor.
He needed to inform his family about his marriage and also get some information about the Su Family of Wu Zhou City. There was one person in the Chen family who knew the Su Family of Wu Zhou City better than anyone would.
Chen Huaian had dominated Jin City for many years, so Chen Fan wagered that he must know the details about the Su Family’s power.
When he arrived at the manor, the Old Man was all by himself, practicing calligraphy.
Chen Huaian let out a smile as a greeting to his grandson and returned to his practice. Chen Fan stood beside his grandpa and watched as the old man commanded the ink to form powerful strokes on the paper.
“Xiao Fan, come take a look at my work.” Chen Huaian put down his brush and said with a proud smile.
“It’s heavy and powerful. The strokes are as steady as Master Han Yu’s work. It’s a testament to Grandpa’s decades of dedication to the art.”Chen Fan praised.
Although Chen Fan was not trained in the art of calligraphy, he knew how to appreciate it. His father was also an avid calligraphy artist, so Chen Fan could read cursive fonts easily.
“I have practiced calligraphy ever since I was a child. I picked it up again after I retired and it wasn’t until recently that I started to get good at it. However, my level of attainment is no match compared to you.” Chen Huaian shook his head and put away his calligraphy work. He grabbed hold of Chen Fan’s arm and said: “Come on, let’s play a round of Chinese chess.”
Chen Huaian had many hobbies, among them, were calligraphy, martial arts, and Chinese chess.
Of all the members of the Chen family, Chen Fan was the only one who appreciated the fun of those hobbies as much as he did.
In the past five hundred years, Chen Fan had fiddled with chess whenever he had free time. If he was alone, he would cast an illusion spell to create an opponent to play chess with him. Over the hundreds of years, his chess skill had surpassed even the best player on earth.
However, since he was playing with his grandpa, he needed to be turned down a little.
As Chen Huaian’ pondered on his move, he asked casually: “What brings you here today?”
“I am married, Grandpa.” Chen Fan moved his knight and captured a bishop.
“what?” Despite Chen Huaian’s previous steady demeanor, he dropped a chess piece on the board. He looked up at Chen Fan with shock and asked: “You are married? Why didn’t your parents tell me that?”
“I just got the marriage license yesterday.”
Chen Fan rubbed his head embarrassed and told the old man what had happened yesterday.
“How reckless!” Chen Huaian was not sure what to make of what had happened. “You are only nineteen years old, not even old enough to get your ID card, much less getting a marriage certificate. This kind of marriage license is not going to be legally binding.”
“On another note, I have heard of Xiao Ning mentioning this girl a few times. She said her talent and abilities are both one of a kind. The fact that she was willing to get the marriage license with you meant that she really cared for you. So don’t disappoint her.” The old man said slowly.
“Don’t worry Grandpa, I will protect her with my life.” Chen Fan nodded with conviction.
Although Fang Qiong’s actions were reckless if not foolish, the fact that she had dragged Chen Fan to city hall and got the certificate meant that she was ready to take all the responsibility as well as blame. Even when Chen Fan was in the city hall, he had made up his mind to visit the Fangs to explain everything even it the girl had kept the marriage hidden.
“I don’t think it will be much of a problem since the Fangs already knew your identity.” Chen Huaian knocked on the table and said: “My grandson is the Master Chen of Jiang Bei, the Head Sergeant of Cang Dragon. He can even marry the daughter of the richest man in China, much less that of Fang Mingde.”
Chen Fan cracked a smile after hearing his grandfather’s praise.
The old man was right, at his level, he might even brush off the affection of the First Daughter of the United State of America.
“That being said, you need to talk to your parents about this first.” Chen Huaian turned around and said: “Both of you are still too young, and marriage might take a toll on your academic achievement. I agree with the Fangs. The two families should meet first to arrange an engagement. As for the wedding, that can wait.”
“As you wish, Grandpa.” Chen Fan nodded.
Chen Fan didn’t care when he would get married. He also knew that marriage would give Fang Qiong too much of a burden while she was still in the first year. Chen Fan would rather see her enjoy her time in college as well as her education abroad. He would always stay right behind her, supporting her whenever she needed and catch her if she falls.
“Other than the marriage, I also wanted to ask you about the Su Family of Wu Zhou City.” Chen Fan continued.
“Su Family of Wu Zhou City…”
The old man murmured wistfully.
“That family is a force to be reckoned with!” Chen Huaian shook his head and lamented. “Ever since the fall of the Qin dynasty, China had its fair share of turmoil, yet, the Su Family was able to last three hundred years and stay unaffected by the war that ravaged the land. The leaders of the family must be very wise men and women to pull it off.”
Chen Fan nodded his agreement.
Su Family was different than the other ancient families such as the Lus or the Gus.
The other two families were martial arts families and had produced countless powerful martial artists. It was common to see martial arts families thrive during tumultuous times. They had the ability to rally capable fighters under their banner to protect the local area and claim dominance. On the other hand, other families tended to do better during peaceful times. If it was in the old time, in order to defeat Lu Tianwu, Chen Fan would have to fight at least over a few hundred of his disciples.
The Su Family, on the other hand, was a mercantile family clan. They were relatively stronger during peacetime but will become the target of violent crimes during a war. Chen Fan was surprised that the Su Family was able to pass down their family wealth so many generations unscathed.
Then, the old man spoke a name that was the key to the success of Su Family.
Chen Fan furrowed his brows and asked: “You mean the Su Family are Bureaucratic Merchants”
“Indeed.” Chen Huaian ran his fingers through his long beard and said.
Hu Xueyan was a notable businessman during the Qin dynasty and he had made a court appearance due to his generous donation to General Zuo’s campaign. He was the only person of the merchant class in the Qin dynasty to be awarded the red-top-hat a symbol of uttermost prestige. Later on, people used his name to refer to a new class of merchants that were called Bureaucratic Merchants who were not only a businessman but also influential in the realm of politics.
“The Su Family ran the Jiang Nan Province Royal Textile Factory and rose to fame. After the Qin dynasty fell, they shifted their business to banking and financed many warlords, including Dr. Sun Zhongshan, the founding father of modern China and his revolution. One of the family lords during that era was the deputy director of the Chinese Central bank. They were also well connected with the four great families at that time.”
“After our party took over China, Su Family changed their alliance and funded many of our campaigns. Therefore, he was named the Patriotic Merchant, the merchant of the people. Once the People’s Republic of China was founded, the current family lord was invited to the central party committees and advised our party leaders on the matters of financing. The current lord was retired now, but he was still a big name out there and was well respected by our country’s leaders.”
Chen Huaian explained the three hundred years of history of the Su Family patiently.
Chen Fan nodded slightly.
The Su Family was indeed an incredibly successful and resilient force, no wonder they would look down on Fang Mingde who owned over a few dozen billion of assets. In Chen Fan’s past life, even when Sheng Junwen’s father had become the richest man in the province, he dared not to force Xiao Qiong to marry him.
“The Su Family has been going downhill ever since the Old Man had retired. However, they are still a formidable force in Jiang Nan Province and Zhong Hai. Over the hundred or so years, they had exerted influence not only in Jiang Nan Province but also all over China. They are well connected with many other powerful families and therefore, it would not be a small feat to threaten them.”
Despite his words, pride flashed in the old man’s eyes. “But my grandson is a general major, and the Head Sergeant of Cang Dragon, he is more than qualified to marry Su Yanghao’s granddaughter.”
Chen Fan cracked a smile and didn’t reply.