Yang Chen froze for a moment, not because he was meeting a bigwig. Instead, he was surprised that First had opened the door for them. 

Yang Chen thought he would call them in from inside, and they would push the door open by themselves.

Needless to say, Yang Chen’s anger dissipated in an instant.

Yang Gongming patted Yang Chen’s shoulders, signaling him to snap out of his trance. Then, he smiled and nodded at First before walking in.

Once they entered the office room and sat on the sofa, First even fetched tea leaves and teacups to make them tea, much to Yang Chen’s surprise.

“I only have green tea here. Yang Chen, you returned from overseas, right? Are you okay with tea? Otherwise, I could get some coffee here. Uh, what’s the new secretary's name again? Oh, right, Liang Hao. He just returned from the States, and he loves to drink coffee. I can ask him to bring some over,” First muttered as he bent over to choose tea leaves.

“Uh, it’s fine. I’ll drink tea.” Yang Chen’s expression was quite stiff, stunned by the utterly unexpected progression of their meeting.

“Haha, tea is good. It has detox, beauty, and anticancer properties. Cultivators like you might not need it, but normal people like us need to take care of our bodies,” said First as he put two cups of hot tea on the coffee table before the grandfather and grandson duo.

Yang Chen did realize that he didn’t have any cultivation, so he asked, “Couldn’t you get some pills to increase your cultivation?”

First waved his hands and sat down. “I suppose you don’t know about the rules in China. No one from the four major clans nor a cultivator is allowed to be in my position. Otherwise, they’d reign like an emperor, living till a hundred plus years old.”

It made sense to Yang Chen. That’s a pity. All the past First Senior Officials knew the secret to longevity, yet they couldn’t do anything.

First didn’t care about those things. Instead, he started chatting with them. “Oh yeah, remember the secretary Liang Hao? Do you know which family he is from? Yeap, he’s from the Liang clan. I pitied him, so I hired him as a secretary. I guess it gives their clan a chance to thrive. Eh, Yang Chen, you’ve been making things hard for me ever since you returned. Marshal Yang has aged. If you don’t settle down any sooner, when can he hand over the clan to you?

Yang Chen scratched his head. For some reason, it felt like an elder was lecturing him. Besides, Yang Gongming was only watching from the sidelines, letting him deal with First by himself.

“Uh… What should I call you? Sir? First? Senior Official?”

“Anything works. Why don’t you call me uncle? I’m in the same generation as your father,” First said smilingly.

The smile on Yang Chen’s face froze. Are you kidding me?!

Ignoring the thoughts in his mind, Yang Chen responded, “Uncle, didn’t you call me over to ask about the Meng clan? Or are you planning to chat with me?”

“Oh, of course, I didn’t forget about that. Well, since you’re so impatient, I'll talk about that.” 

Yang Chen was conflicted. You’re the one who called me over to talk about this matter! Why are you making it sound as if it’s the opposite?!

The feeling of being wrapped around First’s little finger made him frown.

Meanwhile, First stopped smiling and said thoughtfully, “Yang Chen, I can tell that you’re a patriotic man since you were willing to provide 60 million tonnes of fossil fuel per year. I’m glad to see that.”

Yang Chen thought, I was forced to do so. Ugh, every time I think about it, my heartaches.

“But, we have to be just and fair. For someone in my position, the country’s welfare is my utmost concern. I have to look at the big picture. I know you’re patriotic, but I can’t turn a blind eye to the damage you’ve caused to the stability of our nation. The Meng clan’s influence in the Central Plains is associated with the stability of society in that region. Our nation values Huazhong Industrial too as they make considerable contributions to the development in our country. Now that you’ve killed the direct descendants and higher-ups of the Southern China Gang, the Central Plains is wavering. Have you ever thought about the consequences?”

Yang Chen was anxious, though he didn’t show it. Does he know the current Meng Yue is a fake? It can’t be. My movements were quick, and he couldn’t have seen everything that happened in Japan.

After hearing First’s speech, he was relieved that First was clueless about it. “They still have Meng Yue. She’s pretty capable, and she’s the direct descendant of the Meng clan.”

“Meng Yue? I don’t deny that she’s capable, but she’s still too young to enter dominance over the entire clan. Besides, she doesn’t have any competent subordinates. It’ll be hard for her to gain control over the clan in a short time. Besides, you’ve offended the actual Meng clan. You’re no match for them. What if they ignored the consequences and came after you? Do you know what kind of a catastrophe that would be?”

He was almost warning Yang Chen.

The latter was no pushover. He snorted and said, “If I don’t kill them, they will kill me? What? I’m supposed to do nothing? I don’t have such a habit.”

“You might not be afraid of them, but you have to think about the whole Yang clan. Think about your women and your daughter. Can you protect all of them?” First asked with a smile.

A murderous intent flashed across Yang Chen’s eyes. He sneered, “I wanted to ask you about the force behind the Meng clan. If worse comes to worst, I’ll go to their lair and wipe them all out.” 

Yang Chen wasn’t joking, nor was he bluffing. Before this, his movements were restricted because he lost his cultivation. Now that he had reached another level in his cultivation and with the Chaos Cauldron in hand, he doubted the force behind the Meng clan would be stronger than him. Rather than being passive, he preferred taking the initiative.

By then, his cultivation might improve if he engulfed the cultivators while killing them. There might even be a chance to get through the Shang Qing Heavenly Lightning Tribulation.

First looked at Yang Chen in surprise. “I never expected you to be this bold.

Finally, Yang Gongming sighed and chimed in, “Sir, please don’t take it to heart. My grandson is quite irascible.”

“It’s fine.” First waved his hand. Then he looked into Yang Chen’s terrifying gaze. “Do you really think that you’re able to fight against the forces behind the Meng clan?”

Yang Chen stared right back at him. “What do you think?” he asked in return.

First pondered it and shook his head. “I’m not very sure, but you can try it out.”

“Try? How? Are you going to tell me their location?”

First pointed at his feet. “You don’t have to go anywhere. It’s here.”

Yang Chen was puzzled. What does he mean by that?

However, in the next second, shock washed over him.

True Yuan?!

A wave of True Yuan surged towards him like a raging wave.

It was grabbing Yang Chen and squeezing him as if it had taken the shape of a hand.

Immediately, Yang Chen unleashed the Heaven and Earth Restoration Energy and resisted against that True Yuan.

The power of this True Yuan was far beyond all opponents he had ever met.

Which level of cultivation is this? Ruo Water? Tai Qing? Could it be Shang Qing?!

Yang Chen’s face flushed as he used the Chaos Cauldron, hoping to engulf the True Yuan.

However, due to the huge difference in their cultivation levels, his effort was in vain. 

Yang Gongming frowned when he saw Yang Chen trembling and making pained sounds. 

First maintained his cool, as if he had expected this outcome. “How is it? Do you still have the confidence?” he asked while smiling.