“How did you know that I need your help?”
Ethan had arrived in the mountain a month ago. He probably wasn’t fully aware of what was going on yet.
What had given him the confidence to say something like that?
“Clearheart Sect’s mission is to guard the mountain gate.” Ethan stared at Liam. “It’s quite obvious that you can’t hold the gate for much longer. In fact, Clearheart Sect’s dominance is at risk now.”
Liam appeared unfazed by Ethan’s words.
“If the gate falls, your people are the ones who’ll end up suffering.” Liam stared right back at Ethan. He tapped his fingers lightly on the table. “You’re not helping me out. You’re saving yourself.”
He was negotiating terms with him.
Ethan didn’t say a word. He simply smiled faintly at Liam.
Negotiation was an art form. It wasn’t something one could accomplish simply through verbal wit. The parties to the negotiation had to have stakes at the table. Sometimes, you need to risk a gamble.
Ethan was willing to do that right now.
“Fine. Name your conditions.”
Liam was a wily one. He could tell that Ethan knew that he was cornered.
He had no options left but Ethan had.
“First, I need the antidote to Drunken Dreams.”
That was the only reason why Ethan had entered the mountain. Nothing else mattered.
Liam frowned slightly when he heard Ethan’s first condition.
“Drunken Dreams?” He shook his head. “You can’t find that in the mountain anymore. Naturally, there’s no antidote to be found as well.”
“The deal’s off then.”
Ethan remained in his seat. He didn’t seem like he was going to get up anytime soon.
Liam said that he didn’t have the antidote, so that meant that it must be around somewhere. The antidote belonged to Clearheart Sect after all, so how could he insist that the sect didn’t have any?
“We really don’t have the antidote,” Liam sighed. “Drunken Dreams is a banned substance that Clearheart Sect stopped producing a long time ago. That means that we stopped making the antidote as well.”
He glanced at Ethan, then narrowed his eyes slightly. “Is this why you’re here? To find the antidote?”
Concealment was unnecessary in a conversation between intelligent men. One could speak plainly. That made things so much simpler.
“The second condition,” Ethan ignored Liam’s question and continued. “I need a suitable identity so that I can remain in the Clearheart Sect.”
Liam had been right. If he failed to keep Clearheart Sect standing and the mountain gate shut, the ones who would suffer were going to be the people outside the mountain.
Ethan needed to find the antidote to save Diane. He also needed to make sure that the mountain gate remained standing and that the people outside the mountain remained safe from harm.
These were people whom he cared for and loved deeply.
“That’s not going to be a problem.” Liam nodded. “I’ve made the necessary arrangements.”
He gave Ethan a long considering look.
“I have a word of warning for you though. You’re not allowed to touch my daughter. If you do anything to her, I’ll kill you even if it kills me and destroys Clearheart Sect.”
Ethan laughed. “You worry too much.”
His heart only had a place for Diane. His life revolved only around one person, and that was Diane.
He didn’t care how beautiful other women were. He wasn’t interested at all.
No one could understand why he felt this way, but Ethan didn’t need them to understand.
“The third condition…”
“It seems that you have quite a few of them.” Liam was a little displeased. He didn’t like Ethan’s attitude and his tone. Ethan was the one who needed his help. Yet, it seemed as if he was the one who was asking Ethan for a favor.
“Just a few. You know that they’re worth it,” said Ethan calmly.
He paused and gave Liam a long look. He appeared to be waiting for some kind of reaction.
After some time, Liam finally took a deep breath and seemed resigned. Ethan continued talking again.
“The third condition. I want to have sufficient authority in Clearheart Sect!”