Chapter 845 : Ultimatum
The middle-aged Jew was speechless. He did not expect that Zhang Heng, a gladiator, could be so eloquent in debating. It was true that the patrol team had been working together with Soap to eliminate and take over all the gangs nearby them. However, Zhang Heng managed to make it sound like they were doing the right thing.
According to Zhang Heng’s statement, the Jewish gang was supposed to be grateful for the patrol team’s efforts to safeguard their interests. The key issue was that Zhang Heng insisted it was the patrol team’s duty to fight the crimes on the street. In other words, their behavior and motives were completely different from those forces that were present here. And the Jewish gang would not be able to apply their rules on the patrol team.
The middle-aged Jew realized this too. He had prepared lots of materials to prove that the patrol team and Soap’s gang had colluded to bring down the other small and medium gangs, not to mention the suspicious financial exchanges. He even found out the secret relations.h.i.+p between the patrol team and the anti-patrol alliance. However, if Zhang Heng insisted that all he did was to be a part of the patrol team’s duties, the questions and evidence would become invalid.
Therefore, he acted decisively and dwelled no further on this topic. Instead, he said, “No matter how you quibble, you can’t deny that security in the southeast of the city during this period has further deteriorated because of your actions! Everyone’s business is now affected.”
“About that… Sometimes if we want to achieve something bigger, we’ll have to pay a small price,” Zhang Heng said.
As soon as he said that, everyone in the tavern booed. That was because the reason sounded ridiculous. Previously, everyone had a good life and lived well here, and there was no need to make this place better. And no one knew if the changes would turn out good for everyone. It was something that required a lot of further discussions.
Copper Arm then shouted, “Don’t talk nonsense with them anymore. Let them pay for their shameless behavior!”
The atmosphere was filled with righteous indignation, and some even drew their weapons. Soap had only gotten even more nervous. He quickly placed one of his hands on the dagger around his waist, and his palms were full of sweat.
The middle-aged Jew waited for the boos to tone down before speaking again, “Look, no one here is willing to believe your nonsense. How long have you been in this neighborhood? You have absolutely zero ideas about their beliefs, living habits, and what they actually want. You are unqualified to talk about the future that they want.”
“What do they want?” Zhang Heng asked.
“It’s very simple. We just want to live our lives peacefully and undisturbed,” the middle-aged Jew said. “Do you know how our ancestors came to Rome? They were enslaved, discriminated against, and killed by the crazy emperor. And we endured everything silently. After all the hards.h.i.+ps, we finally gained our precious freedom and obtained this neighborhood where we could settle down. We know that this place is criminal heaven in the eyes of outsiders. This place also reeks of poverty and evil. However, this is a place where we can call home. Most who are here in this tavern grew up in this neighborhood. We have our set of rules and regulations that might conflict with the Roman laws, but these rules help us survive this place. This is the lifestyle we choose, and outsiders are unqualified to make decisions for us.”
His statement was unanimously approved by everyone in the tavern.
“With the power of the Jewish gang, we could have driven you out immediately. We could’ve made you suffer, but in the end, we chose to resolve this issue as peacefully as possible. That’s how Mr. Lockeed treats his guest. Of course, we will only lean toward this solution if you are still willing to be our guest,” the middle-aged Jew warned. “I will give you a week to lay off all the patrol team’s expansions, return to us the turf that you took over recently, and we want you to resign from the patrol and never step foot in this place again. If you can do all that, we can forget about everything you have done.”
Bronze Arm was obviously unsatisfied with this decision. After all, the patrol team was the one that caused him to lose everything. He hoped that the Jewish gang could impose a heavier punishment on Zhang Heng and others. However, he also knew that he had no right to interrupt the meeting in his current position. Therefore, he could only glare at Zhang Heng fiercely. He believed that he still could deal with Zhang Heng after he resigned from the patrol team. Since the Jewish gang could not avenge him, he could only do it himself.
As long as Zhang Heng was no longer part of the patrol team, Bronze Arm would be able to do more harm.
Soap’s heart was still agitated. Was the big fight inevitable? The Jewish gang finally gave Zhang Heng an ultimatum. Indeed, this was also a dilemma they had to face. No matter how well Zhang Heng could explain the motives of the patrol team, this was not Basilica Julia, after all. There was no need to abide by any law. The only rules that worked here were the rules that the three most potent gangs came up with. And the Jewish gang was leading them.
This decision was made before they invited everyone. Giving Zhang Heng a chance to explain himself simply just a formality. The Jewish gang was determined to restore the situation to how it was a month and a half ago.
Soap would not be able to accept this decision. A month and a half ago, he was an ordinary thief on the street, and he had never thought of becoming a gang boss. But now that he had tasted power. Marcus and the patrol team were still the ones that controlled the gang. However, his outstanding performance during this period had allowed him to more decisions on his own. That was why he was unwilling to hand over his power.
Of course, the bigger problem was that he had recently been following Zhang Heng’s orders to fight with the other gangs. Thanks to that, he had offended a lot of people. Still, his gang was growing bigger, and he was backed by the patrol team. Once he fell from his current position, he believed that many would come forward and make him pay for what he did to them.
Thus, after the middle-aged Jew finished speaking, Soap and others turned around and looked at Zhang Heng. But Zhang Heng’s expression remained unchanged. After listening to the middle-aged Jew, he said, “Very well. Don’t try to justify yourself since you are the bad guy here. It’s good that you gave me an ultimatum.”
“I don’t mind if you see us this way,” the middle-aged Jew said lightly.
“Then I won’t beat around the bush anymore. I appreciate all the efforts you have made to maintain your lifestyles and traditions,” Zhang Heng looked around again. “But, unfortunately, I can’t do the three things that you asked. In fact, you should be grateful for everything I’ve done because the old order has collapsed. Either you welcome the new world with me, or you can go down with the old order.”