Chapter 101: Troubles Brought Upon by Riches
Han Li had traveled in a southeastern direction from his hometown and rushed straight towards the Lan Province.
On the way, he had met with other travelers, but when they arrived at the bustling city streets, Han Li had left their company to take a shortcut on a path that ran through the desolate wilderness. He didn’t face much danger even halfway through the journey. In fact, the only slightly dangerous incident he had encountered was when he had met several hungry wild wolves during his stay at some remote region in the vast wilderness. Although the wolves were the ones hunting Han Li, they ended up as Han Li’s dinner instead.
Han Li had traveled through two other provinces before finally arriving at Lan Province with a body covered in dust.
The moment he entered the Lan Province, he was amazed by the massive water channels he saw, sprawling from one end to the other and accessible from all directions. After all, he came from a region where there was mostly just mountainous wilderness. There weren’t many places to see small lakes, not to mention big lakes and canals. As for drinking water, they would usually obtain it from wells or small creeks.
Thus, Han Li was extremely interested in the boats and crafts that were sailing on the water canals. In the end, because of his curiosity and obsession, he had spent some money and rented a small boat, savoring the taste of his virgin sailing experience.
After ten days of pleasant sailing, Han Li had arrived at Jia Yuan City, which was mentioned in Doctor Mo’s will, and sailed into an unremarkable dock.
The first impression the dock gave Han Li was that it was far too decrepit.
The dock was constructed entirely from simple wooden panels. Not only was the place narrow and crude, but rotten baskets and broken bags were also strewn about, making the dock incomparably dirty. Standing on the two bamboo piers at the sides of the dock were several tens of barechested men who wore only short pants and emitted a strong odor from their sturdy builds.
Currently, all these sturdy males were staring unblinkingly at him and Crooked Soul. Not only that, but there were also some who even revealed a fervent look in their eyes. Han Li was surprised for a moment, but he immediately smiled faintly.
Before disembarking from his small boat and descending onto the dock, the boatman had warmly reminded him that inside Jia Yuan City, the pier had an unwritten rule: no matter the amount of cargo that a passenger brought, he had to hire a porter from the pier to help him. If not, the passenger would face negative, unkind treatment from the harbor gangs and might even get beaten up.
Since this was Han Li’s first time here, he had no intentions to disrupt the social customs, so he honestly asked, “I need to hire a porter. Is there anyone available?”
Sun Ergou retracted his sight. From his previous inspection, he could already tell that the youth who had just left the boat was a young master from some rich clan. Not only that, but also the giant man was most likely his bodyguard. This type of pair was frequently seen throughout the year whenever young masters from wealthy clans came to visit Jia Yuan city. These young masters were often here to expand their horizons and spend their money before going back to boast. Thus, there wasn’t much to be bothered about them.
But these types of people, who loved to slap themselves until they were swollen in order to look imposing, made for perfect targets! As long as he used sweet words to flatter them, these country bumpkins would scatter their money about freely. As a result, they were a good source of business to the shopkeepers here.
However, it wasn’t the Fourth Level Gang’s turn this time around. According to his prior agreement with Black Bear, the two gangs would take turns doing business with the unsuspecting tourists, and stealing customers would not be tolerated. As for the amount of money to be made, it depended on their luck. The day before, they had made a deal ensuring that today was the Black Bear Gang’s turn.
Thinking of this, Sun Ergou glanced over to the side, only to see Black Bear’s men discussing in a low voice. Shortly after, a man ran excitedly towards the direction of the youth.
“Out of the question. It’s impossible for you to carry my belongings alone. Call another person over.” Han Li commanded as he looked at this robust man, glanced at the large amount of baggage on Crooked Soul’s back, and lightly shook his head.
“Young master, I’m strong enough to carry such a small luggage with just one hand. There’s no need to look for others.” The muscular man wasn’t willing to split his earnings with the other porters. Not only that, he was sure that there was no way he wouldn’t be able to carry the baggage unless it was filled with stones.
After he finished speaking, the muscular man walked in front of Crooked Soul, with the intent to snatch the luggage away.
Han Li sighed. Inside the luggage, there was about two thousand taels of silver, as well as an assortment of other random items. The total weight, which was not light at all, was impossible for ordinary humans to carry.
But seeing how passionate the muscular man was, Han Li could only helplessly signal Crooked Soul to hand the baggage over to the muscular man before he tried to snatch it.
As expected, once the baggage was in the muscular man’s hands, his countenance underwent a drastic change. He expended his energy but could only walk a few steps before running out of breath. Embarrassed, the man had to put down the baggage and eventually called one more person for help.
Han Li finally nodded his head in satisfaction upon seeing that the two of them were able to carry the baggage. He quickly left the harbor, walking on the path that led to the city,
It wasn’t that Han Li lacked knowledge about how the world functioned. Although his experience in Jiang Hu was limited, he could sense the pair staring at him through eyes filled with greed. Little did they know that they were about to invite trouble of a magnitude that they would not be able to handle.
Seeing the youth’s back moving further and further away, Sun Ergou retracted his covetous gaze. He suppressed the joy within his heart and locked his eyes with the eyes of Black Bear, who was on the opposite site of the dock. Both of them knew that within the baggage, there was most likely an immense wealth.
As expected, Black Bear was also filled with joy. He slightly hesitated before flashing a look over to Sun Ergou, who intuitively walked towards a nearby rubbish dump. Before this huge source of wealth, even if Black Bear was the one who killed Sun Ergou’s father and stole his wife, he would also be willing to put aside all grievances and work together. After all, ‘Humans die for wealth, while birds die for food’.
(TL: “人为财死，鸟为食亡” (idiom): man will do anything in his power to become rich)
“50-50!” Sun Ergou said in a low voice.
“30-70! This was originally our prey.” Black Bear directly refuted.
“40-60, and I can’t lower it any further. Your explanation is not enough to make me concede.” Sun Ergou stated in a sly manner, hitting the nail on the head.
“This……” Black Bear hesitated. Naturally, he wanted to maximize his own profits.
“Hmph! You can take your time to think all you want, but I’m afraid that people from the other gangs already have their eyes on this fat sheep.” Sun Ergou coldly snorted.
“Alright, we’ll do it your way. Let’s strike our palms to seal the deal.” Black Bear was obviously agitated by Sun Ergou’s words, but he quickly agreed to the offer.
“Pa” “Pa” “Pa” Sun Ergou and Black Bear spat on their palms and struck each other’s palms three times, forming a temporary alliance.
“Okay, quick, we need to catch up to him before he disappears into the crowded areas.” Sun Ergou hurriedly exclaimed.
“Hehe! Don’t you worry, I’ve already instructed the two whom he hired as porters to lead him into a baackwater alley. Let’s hurry over there now to intercept them.” Considering himself quite crafty, Black Bear laughed.
“Excellent! What a cunning plan, my old brother!” Sun Ergou’s expression broke into joy, but inside, his heart shuddered. He silently reminded himself to increase his guard when dealing with Black Bear.